Ninety-three percent of Americans believe maintaining brain health is very or extremely important, according to an AARP survey; however, few are aware of the many holistic approaches available to do so.1
Contrary to popular belief, your brain doesn’t have to slow down or become unreliable with age, and there are steps within your control that can influence your memory, cognition and more.
Your lifestyle, from vitamin D to vegetables, may make the difference between staying mentally sharp in old age or starting to lose your edge. Even if you’re already living your “golden years,” simple healthy choices can prompt brain changes for the better.
In fact, while it was once believed that brain cells (neurons) were produced only during a certain period of development, it’s now known that neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells) continues into adulthood.
” … [N]ew neurons are integrated into functional circuits, and the ongoing neuronal turnover is significant for some functions,” researchers wrote in “Brain Aging: Models, Methods and Mechanisms.”2
Exactly what influences the rate of neurogenesis is still being explored, but if you want to support your brain health as much as possible, here’s what you should know.
Vitamin D Deficiency Is Linked to Dementia
Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer’s patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. It’s thought that optimal vitamin D levels may protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in restoring damaged neurons.
In addition, vitamin D may be beneficial for brain health because it has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and has even been found to clear amyloid plaques in the brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Its neuroprotective effects are so strong that the risk of cognitive impairment was up to four times greater in elderly people with severe vitamin D deficiency compared to those with adequate levels.3
In 2014, a study of more than 1,650 elderly adults, described as the “most robust” of its kind, also found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.4
Do You Know Your Vitamin D Level?
Fortunately, the solution is both simple and inexpensive — optimize your vitamin D. The first step is to find out your level, which can be done via a blood test. For optimal health, you need a vitamin D level of at least 40 to 60 ng/ml (a more ideal level may be 50 to 70 ng/ml).
If you’re outside of the optimal range, you can fix it by getting sensible sun exposure or taking a vitamin D3 supplement.
While sunlight is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D, winter and work prevent more than 90 percent of those reading this from achieving ideal levels without supplementation. As a general guideline, research by Grassroots Health suggests adults need about 8,000 IUs per day to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml.
If you do opt for a vitamin D supplement, please remember that you also need to boost your intake of vitamin K2 through food and/or a supplement, as well as get your levels tested to be sure you’re safely within the therapeutic range.
Carotenoids in Veggies Improve Cognition
Carotenoids are antioxidant compounds found in certain vegetables. Most often associated with orange produce like sweet potatoes and carrots, some carotenoids, namely lutein and zeaxanthin, are also found in dark green vegetables like kale and spinach.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, in turn, are most known for the role they play in vision health, such as reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. However, accumulating evidence suggests they play a powerful role in cognitive health as well.
One recent study, the first of its kind, found lutein and zeaxanthin may promote cognitive function in old age by enhancing neural efficiency.5
In the study of 43 older adults, participants were asked to learn pairs of unrelated words while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Higher levels of the two carotenoids were associated with lower brain activity during memory tasks, which suggests they did not have to work as hard to complete them.
Cutter Lindbergh, a doctoral candidate in the psychology department of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia, said in a press release:6
“There’s a natural deterioration process that occurs in the brain as people age, but the brain is great at compensating for that. One way it compensates is by calling on more brain power to get a job done so it can maintain the same level of cognitive performance.
On the surface, it looked like everyone was doing the same thing and recalling the same words, but when you pop the hood and look at what’s actually going on in the brain, there are significant differences related to their carotenoid levels.”
The take-home message here is that improving your diet by eating more lutein- and zeaxanthin-rich foods may help protect your aging brain. Following is a list of lutein-rich foods. Most of these also contain zeaxanthin, albeit in lesser quantities than lutein.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. 2005. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20 (2007), Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
Probiotics for Your Brain
You’re probably familiar with the importance of probiotics for gut health. Lesser known is that certain beneficial bacteria strains also have a marked, positive effect on your brain, and consuming such bacteria in your diet may benefit your brain function.
In a study by University of California (UCLA) scientists, women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria via yogurt experienced changes in multiple areas of their brain, including those related to sensory processing, cognition and emotion.7
Also revealing, in a study by John Cryan, Ph.D., at the University College Cork in Ireland, mice without any microbes in their intestines were found to be unable to recognize other mice around them.
Cryan believes that microbes may communicate with the brain and help us be social, which in turn allows the microbes to spread to others.8 In addition, mice lacking gut bacteria have been found to engage in “high-risk behavior,” and this altered behavior was accompanied by neurochemical changes in the mouse brain.9
When examining the animals’ brains, the researchers discovered a number of genetic alterations in the germ-free mice. According to The Guardian:10
“Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was significantly up-regulated, and the 5HT1A serotonin receptor sub-type down-regulated, in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. The gene encoding the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor was also down-regulated in the amygdala. All three genes have previously been implicated in emotion and anxiety-like behaviors.
BDNF is a growth factor that is essential for proper brain development, and a recent study showed that deleting the BDNF receptor TrkB alters the way in which newborn neurons integrate into hippocampal circuitry and increases anxiety-like behaviors in mice.
Serotonin receptors, which are distributed widely throughout the brain, are well known to be involved in mood, and compounds that activate the 5HT1A subtype also produce anxiety-like behaviors.”
Daily Dose of Probiotics May Improve Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients
A recent study of 60 Alzheimer’s patients looked into the effect of probiotic supplements on cognitive function, with promising results.11Those who drank milk containing probiotics experienced significant improvements in cognitive function. While average Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores increased from 8.7 to 10.6 among the probiotics group, the control group (which drank plain milk) had a decrease in scores from 8.5 to 8.0.
The probiotics group also had beneficial metabolic changes, including lowered triglycerides, very low-density lipoprotein and C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation, as well as reduced markers for insulin resistance.
The researchers suggested the beneficial metabolic changes may be responsible for the cognitive improvements. Walter Lukiw, Ph.D., a professor of neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Louisiana State University (LSU) who was not involved in the study, further explained to Medical News Today that your gut and brain are intricately connected:12
“This is in line with some of our recent studies which indicate that the GI [gastrointestinal] tract microbiome in Alzheimer’s is significantly altered in composition when compared to age-matched controls …
… and that both the GI tract and blood-brain barriers become significantly more leaky with aging, thus allowing GI tract microbial exudates (e.g. amyloids, lipopolysaccharides, endotoxins and small non-coding RNAs) to access central nervous system compartments.”
Fortunately, reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria is relatively easy to do. Fermented foods are the best route to add more beneficial bacteria to your diet, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions.
Healthy choices include lassi (an Indian yogurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots, and natto (fermented soy).
Fermented vegetables, in particular, are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into your gut. If you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis, consider using a high-quality probiotic supplement. Eliminating excess sugar from your diet, and ending the use of unnecessary antibiotics, will further allow your body’s beneficial bacteria to grow and flourish.
Additional Strategies for a Healthier Brain
Your brain is not “programmed” to shrink and fail as a matter of course as you age. In fact, you can build a bigger, better brain by making smart choices. Lifestyle strategies that promote neurogenesis and regrowth of brain cells include the following. All of these strategies target a specific gene pathway called BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which promotes brain cell growth and connectivity as demonstrated on MRI scans.
Exercise. Physical activity produces biochemical changes that strengthen and renew not only your body but also your brain — particularly areas associated with memory and learning.
Reduce carbohydrate consumption, including sugars and grains.
Increase healthy fat consumption. Beneficial health-promoting fats that your body — and your brain in particular — needs for optimal function include organic butter from raw milk, organic grass-fed raw butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon and avocado, for example.
Increase your omega-3 fat intake and reduceconsumption of damaged omega-6 fats (i.e., processed vegetable oils) in order to balance your omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio. Krill oil works well for this because (like wild Alaskan salmon) it also contains astaxanthin, which appears to be particularly beneficial for brain health.
As explained by Dr. David Perlmutter, author of “Grain Brain,” it belongs to the class of carotenoids and is very “focused” on reducing free radical-mediated damage to fat (your brain is 60 percent to 70 percent fat).
The myth that dietary fat increases your potential for obesity and causes heart disease has been perpetuated for years and has likely ruined the health of millions of people.
It is difficult to know just how many people suffer with poor health or have succumbed to disease as a result of following a conventional low-fat, high-carb diet.
Once metabolized, non-fiber carbohydrates turn into sugars in your body, raising your insulin and leptin levels. Reducing fat and increasing sugars and net carbs raises your risk for heart disease, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, and affects your neurological health and immunity.
The sugar industry funded research in the 1960s to publicly downplay the role sugar plays in your health and the development of disease.1 Sponsored research by Harvard scientists was published in the New England Journal of Medicine refuting concerns about the role sugar plays in the development of heart disease.
These same tactics continue to be used in industry-funded research and councils publishing the views of paid experts to strengthen income for manufacturers.
The cereal industry is just the latest in a line of manufacturers who have taken advantage of the public through paid-expert education and media advertising affecting the youngest consumers.
Cereal Industry Fighting to Protect Sales
Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., co-authored the historical analysis of internal industry documents that revealed the sugar industry sponsored a program, including research, to cast doubt on the hazards of sugar, while simultaneously promoting fat as the culprit to bad health. According to Glantz:2
“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,”
The cereal industry has also been using paid experts to further their financial cause and improve profits, at the same time affecting your health.
Using the Breakfast Council, composed of dietary experts, Kellogg Company published a paper defining what constituted a quality breakfast in a nutritional journal, reportedly written by their “independent nutrition experts.”3
However, overseeing and providing feedback for the journal article was an employee of Kellogg who recommended a line be removed from the article that said 25 percent added sugar may be too high.4 The paper underwent peer review before being published.
Kellogg planned to use this journal article in comments on government dietary guidelines where it could be referenced as a key message for the company. The information was gathered by the Associated Press in a request for public records.5 The ‘independent experts’ used by Kellogg were members of the Breakfast Council.
Kellogg Perpetuates Sugar Myth With Paid Not-So-Independent Experts
Kellogg used their association with the Breakfast Council to advertise on their website that these industry experts were helping to guide the nutritional content of the cereals.
But for the mere sum of $13,000 these industry experts were also not allowed to speak about other cereals or produce content negative to the cereal industry.6 These same experts were required to engage on social media and with colleagues to influence outreach of the company. The council was brought together in 2011.
Although Kellogg compensated the experts, the company published that they were “independent experts,” blurring the lines between financially rewarded promotion and impartial guidance.
Industry sponsored research that consistently favors the industry has influenced public health recommendations and damaged health. Marion Nestle, Ph.D. and professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, has commented on claims made by researchers saying:7
“I worry a lot about the effects of industry sponsorship on public belief in the credibility of nutrition science.”
Even if the research is sound, Nestle believes the ultimate reason many corporations sponsor research is for marketing purposes and not to improve public health.
If the results don’t statistically support the theory the company holds, researchers may simply communicate the statistics in a way that supports the theory. According to Nestle:8
“I have 95 published studies funded by every food company you can think of that favor the company’s interests. I’ve found nine that don’t.”
Kellogg Gives Breakfast Council the Ax
The Breakfast Council is no longer active and the webpage referring to them on Kellogg’s website has been removed.9 The contract with these six council members expired in May 2016, and it was not renewed. Their contract paid them $13,000 a year to provide the company with their expert voice in company marketing.10
Before being disbanded, Kellogg used the group to increase interest in cereal, a product that has experienced a loss in sales over the past decade. Sales dropped from $9.57 billion to $8.85 billion between 2012 and 2014, equating to an 8 percent drop in sales over two years.11
In the same period of time, sales for yogurt and eggs — products also eaten for breakfast — went up by similar percentages.
An interesting survey conducted by Mintel found millennials don’t have the energy for breakfast that requires clean up, while baby boomers continue to love cereals as much as they ever did.12 The type of individuals eating cereal is shifting, sparking industry movement toward producing cereals with a healthier profile.
To continue long-term growth, cereal companies need to grow their customer base, namely millennials. Since sales began slumping in the 1990s, cereal companies began including other products that would tempt the taste buds of those who enjoy snacking.13
With the encouragement of manufacturers, cereal is also becoming a part of the mix in the professional kitchen. Cocktails infused with Fruity Pebbles14 or Kellogg’s paella15caught the eye of the manufacturers.
Kellogg picked up the idea and paid a group of chefs to create dishes using cereal.16Although these chef creations will likely not boost business, they do increase visibility of the cereals, always a plus in marketing and sales.
Children’s Eating Habits Are Influenced by Food Ads
Both children and adults are influenced by advertising on television. Although the number of hours adults are watching live TV is dropping, the number of hours children are watching video on their digital devices is rising.
According to research from Nickelodeon, children born after 2005 are watching up to 35 hours of TV each week.17 That number represents the total number of hours a person in France can legally work in one week.18 And, according to Nickelodeon’s numbers, these same children are spending even more time on their digital devices.
All this time in front of the TV is contributing to mindless snacking and increasing the number of children suffering from obesity.19 In one experiment, researchers evaluated the influence that TV advertising had on the eating habits of 2- to 5-year-old children in the absence of hunger.20
Prior to the experiment the researchers fed the children, ensuring they were not hungry during the testing period. During the TV programming, the children were exposed to an ad for Bugle chips or for a department store.
All of the children had two snacks available during the programming: Bugle corn chips and another option. The researchers found children who saw the ad for corn chips ate approximately 30 more calories during their TV watching than those who saw the ad for the department store.21
While 30 calories may not seem like a lot, testing occurred over just one TV show. If you multiply the potential number of calories children may mindlessly eat while watching up to 35 hours of television a week, it becomes a significant issue.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than one hour per day of TV for children aged 2 to 5 to encourage activity and support healthy sleep habits. The results from this study may give you just one more reason to limit your child’s exposure to advertising. When choosing the shows your child is watching, pay attention to how products are promoted.
Although at age 2 children may be too young to understand the influence on their choices, you may consider gradually introducing information about how advertising influences decisions to help them resist the effects of media promotion. Ultimately, limiting exposure to TV is the best option.
To Improve Your Health, Reduce Your Net Carbs
Changing your and your children’s food choices to those with higher amounts of healthy fat and fewer net carbs will ultimately increase your energy level, improve your health and help you maintain a normal weight. Eating a healthy high-fat diet will help shift your metabolism from primarily burning carbs to burning fat, the basis of a ketogenic diet.
Your cells have the metabolic flexibility to burn glucose or break down fats for fuel. Most cancer cells don’t have this flexibility and require glucose to thrive, making a ketogenic diet advantageous for preventing cancer. For optimal health, you may need as much as 50 to 70 percent of your daily calories to come from healthy fats, such as coconut oil, MCT oil, organic pastured eggs, grass-pastured butter, avocado and raw nuts (pecans and macadamia nuts are particularly beneficial).
By eating a diet high in net carbohydrates you effectively prevent ketosis and force your body to burn glucose. Your net carbs equal the total carbs eaten minus the grams of fiber eaten that day. If you’re like most people eating a Western diet, your foods are heavily laden with sugars and other carbohydrates, and low in fiber.
Dietary fiber is non-digestible carbohydrates found in plant foods that help provide bulk in your diet and promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract by nourishing heathy gut bacteria. Fiber also reduces the net carbohydrate impact on insulin secretion.
Unfortunately, most Americans only consume between 12 and 16 grams of fiber per day22 when the Institute of Medicine recommends between 28 and 35 grams of fiber for women and men respectively.23 However, I don’t feel those recommendations are high enough and encourage you to eat close to 50 grams of fiber for each 1,000 calories of food each day.
When your diet is rich in carbohydrates and sugars, your liver down regulates the fat-burning process, as it is not needed, effectively losing the ability to burn fat despite an adequate supply. To cut out the mid-afternoon loss of energy, you’ll want to reduce your overall net carbs and increase the amount of healthy fats you consume.
Switching to Healthy Fat Improves Energy, Health and Reduces Weight
Lowering your net carbs increases the likelihood you’ll shed body fat more quickly, simultaneously improving your metabolism and boosting your energy levels. As sugars are one of the primary triggers for inflammation in your body, eating a diet high in fats also lowers the level of inflammation and promotes optimal health.
An effective way of achieving nutritional ketosis is to limit your net carbs to under 30 to 40 grams per day and limit protein to 1 gram of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of your lean body mass. You then make up the calories with an increase in healthy fats. Ideally, choose organic produce and pastured meats, and avoid genetically engineered (GE) foods. Essentially, this means eating more real food and very little to no processed foods.
Specific dietary fats can be harmful to your health, but saturated fats are not the culprit they’ve been made out to be. For an in-depth review of dietary fats see the Weston Price Foundation article, “Saturated Fat Does a Body Good.”24 A quick summary of the fats you want to avoid are:
These act as a pro-oxidant and contribute to oxidative stress that causes cellular damage. These fats are often added to baked goods, as the fats are man-made and have a phenomenally long shelf life compared to healthy, natural fats.
•Highly Refined Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oils
Also called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), these are often found in peanut, corn and soy oils. PUFAs are high in damaged omega-6 acids from the manufacturing process and produce a toxic oxidation product, such as cyclic aldehydes, when heated.
About the Director
I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the director, Donal O’Neill, from “Cereal Killers.” Thank you to Mr. O’Neill for bringing us this life-changing film.
What was your inspiration for making this film?
In 2010 my father suffered a very unexpected heart attack after the standard cardiac tests had suggested — to the contrary — that he was perfectly healthy.
The question I asked was, “What did they miss?” I spent three years researching and trying to answer that question. Making a movie was not in the plan initially, but the frustration I felt with what I discovered eventually led to the making of “Cereal Killers.” It was my attempt to add something meaningful to the debate around fat and heart disease.
Where do the proceeds of your film go?
Because we make our movies independently, we just reinvest any surplus funds into the next project. After “Cereal Killers,” we made “Run on Fat” (2015) — this movie mapped Sami Inkinen’s transition from a carb- and sugar-fueled, pre-Diabetic World Ironman Champion to a sugar-free, fat-adapted and metabolically healthy World Champion.
In 2016, we then teamed up with British cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra to make “The Big Fat Fix” — an investigation into the history of the Mediterranean Diet (and what was left behind).
What was your favorite part of making this film?
The best thing about making these movies are the people I get to know and meet. “Cereal Killers” introduced me to professor Dr. Tim Noakes. His participation and enthusiasm carried the movie — and me — over the line. He is a genuinely inspirational figure I am proud to know.
Together with your help we can continue to spread the word about the myth that dietary fat causes obesity and heart disease so that we can take control of our health and the health of our children. Don’t forget to take advantage of the SPECIAL DISCOUNT offered by the director. Just click the link below to activate the offer!
In it, he reveals how the agency has engaged in massive fraud, misinformation and manipulation of vaccine information. What made Grundvig write such a book?
“A couple of reasons,” he says. “One is I have an autistic son who’s 16 years old now. He’s one of the 5,000 cases kicked out of vaccine court [for] thimerosal poisoning.
Number two, I’m first generation Norwegian-American. Poul Thorsen, the main manipulator — but not the only one — is of Danish descent. I was introduced to an alliance [that asked me] to track down Thorsen over in Denmark, a culture and country I know very well.”
Danish Scientist Charged in Vaccine Research Scam
Thorsen is a major player and an essential character in this real-life drama. In 2011, he was charged with 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering. A federal grand jury alleged Thorsen stole over $1 million from autism research funding between February 2004 and June 2008.
He stole the money while serving as the principal investigator for a program studying the relationship between autism and exposure to vaccines. At the time, The Copenhagen Post reported that:1
“… [Thorsen] submitted over a dozen false invoices from the CDC for research expenses to Aarhus University … instructing them to transfer the funds to a CDC account, which was in fact his personal account …
Thorsen’s research on autism is widely known in academic circles, where he was until this week a highly respected figure. A paper of his on the subject, which is known as ‘The Danish Study,’ is quoted extensively to refute the autism vaccine connection.”
As of 2014, Thorsen was permanently expelled from Denmark’s university hospital system. Thorsen has been a fugitive for the past five years. Yet his whereabouts are no secret. As noted by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in a 2015 Forbes article:2
“The fact that he is roaming free and is easy to find, despite the U.S. Federal indictment … suggests a lack of enthusiasm by HHS and CDC to press for his capture and extradition.
The agency undoubtedly fears that a public trial would expose the pervasive corruption throughout CDC’s vaccine division and the fragility of the science supporting CDC’s claims about thimerosal safety.”
The Master Manipulator
Thorsen’s spectacular demise was likely the result of an inside tip to Aarhus University. But was he really the sole person responsible for the creation of these manipulated studies? According to Grundvig’s investigation, the CDC appears to have had a clear hand in the deception.
In 1999, Thorsen — who had earned his Ph.D. in Denmark the year before — was invited to the CDC in Atlanta as a foreign visiting scientist. He arrived at a time when there was a lot of discussion between vaccine makers and the CDC to remove thimerosal from vaccines.
Thorsen ended up being hired full-time to conduct five studies on Danish people, as the Danes had a preexisting database covering the entire population.
In the U.S., no federal health authority was collecting this kind of comprehensive vaccination and health data. “That was the beginning of five corrupt Danish studies that were done: four on thimerosal; one on MMR,” Grundvig says.
The Danish Study
Thorsen’s “Danish Study,”3 which was never retracted, reported a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark AFTER mercury-based preservatives like thimerosal were banned from vaccines. This study has since been used to support the idea that thimerosal has no bearing on autism rates.
However, it was actually an example of lying by omission, because at the same time the apparent autism increase took place, a new Danish law required autism cases to be reported on the national level. There was also a new clinic dedicated to autism treatment.
These two factors were likely the driving forces behind the sudden spike in reported autism cases, but the researchers didn’t even disclose them, let alone take them into account. Despite the obvious ramifications of these omitted details, the CDC has relied on the Danish Study to “prove” their case that MMR vaccine and mercury are safe.
Moreover, the fact that Thorsen’s scientific integrity was in serious question was completely lost on the CDC, which issued the following statement following his arrest warrant:4
“Dr. Thorsen was one of many co-authors on these research projects. All of these were subject to extensive peer review and we have no reason to suspect that there are any issues related to the integrity of the science.”
CDC Dumped Agent Orange Studies to Avoid Backlash From Injured Veterans
In researching Thorsen’s involvement with the CDC, Grundvig came across other instances of malfeasance. In 1984, Coleen Boyle was a principal investigator for the CDC, charged with investigating the effects of Agent Orange. Today, Boyle is the director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), an arm of the CDC.
In the 1980s, the CDC was given extensive information from the army on Operation Ranch Hand about the flight patterns of Agent Orange. The information was archived in Pennsylvania, but the CDC refused to go to the archives and look at it. Doing so meant they’d have to face the truth about the contamination of U.S. troops — about half a million American veterans who suffer from cancers and other diseases caused by Agent Orange.
The CDC basically gave up on the Agent Orange studies saying they “couldn’t figure it out,” when in fact they could have, had they simply gone to Pennsylvania. In so doing, they forfeited $21 million in research money, which in and of itself raises questions about motives. Apparently they deemed the loss of $21 million to be preferable to what they might find by doing the research.
“The 101st Congress came out [with a report in 1990 and called it [the] “Agent Orange cover up” to basically skewer the CDC. Unfortunately, nothing happened. They didn’t fire the people in charge. They didn’t clean house in the CDC. Once those people at the top were able to get away with this, they felt emboldened. They also had a template for future issues like Ebola and Zika,” Grundvig says.
With Boyle, the CDC demonstrated they are really masterful at covering up issues that are directly related to the public health, or issues that could have a negative impact on people’s perception of a certain exposure.
The Link Between Thimerosal and Autism
To this day, most doctors will tell you the science is settled and there’s no link between vaccines and autism. In reality, the science is FAR from settled. In 2000, two secret meetings took place. The first one, in May, took place in Puerto Rico. This meeting covered aluminum adjuvants in vaccines. The second meeting took place in Simpsonwood5 three weeks later.
“In those meetings, they talked about how they all realized — the scientists within those meetings, from the CDC, from college institutions, from Big Pharma vaccine makers — all agreed that thimerosal is a problem, and aluminum is a problem. But they can’t change overnight and lose that kind of money …
These two meetings produced results from foreign scientists, like Dr. Thomas Verstraeten out of Belgium. The CDC realized they had a major problem on their hands with the general public. They found thimerosal … is dangerous to the brain, especially of babies, infants and children.”
The CDC desperately needed to prove there’s no link between vaccines and autism, and Thorsen ended up being the guy hired to produce that evidence. Had the CDC not covered up the truth, we’d probably have an entirely different discussion on vaccines today.
As noted by Grundvig, some of Thorsen’s studies kept getting extended because the CDC simply wasn’t comfortable with the results; even with manipulation, they kept showing an association between the number of vaccines and the rise of autism.
“What’s amazing is Thorsen coming from Denmark. Thimerosal was banned in Denmark in 1991 — fully enacted in 1992. Vaccines today in Denmark have no thimerosal whatsoever. So, you have Thorsen agreeing to do whatever the CDC wanted to, which was manipulate the data, to lose data, to produce results that would favor [thimerosal],” Grundvig says.
Thorsen Colleague Caught Colluding With CDC to Cherry Pick Data
Thorsen worked at Aarhus University outside of Copenhagen, Denmark. At the university, he had a small research group he called the North Atlantic Neurological Epidemiology Alliance (NANEA). Part of that research group was a Ph.D. candidate named Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen.
Madsen was the principal investigator on at least two out of the five studies Thorsen did on behalf of the CDC. She came under fire when leaked emails6 showed she was coordinating with CDC officials “intent on fraudulently cherry picking facts to prove vaccine safety,” according to a report by The Huffington Post.7
“They were under duress because the CDC was directly involved, with Diana Schendel going to Denmark several times to produce better results. These studies were done over and over again. In fact, there’s one email from Coleen Boyle that basically went out to the Danes saying, ‘What happens if we got rid of the 2001 data set completely? What happens to the line then? Does it flatten?’ At the end of the day, that’s exactly what they did,” Grundvig says.
In his book, Grundvig explains how, were the studies done properly using valid scientific criteria, they would have revealed some incredible insights. For starters, they would have shown that autism is in fact correlated with thimerosal exposure.
Brian Hooker is one of the researchers who has gone back to re-evaluate Thorsen’s studies. In 2017, Danish scientists will again redo the studies, to hopefully settle the matter.
Thorsen was hardly the only manipulator of data at the CDC, however. Dr. William Thompson, a research scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIR), is another. He co-authored four studies refuting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, as well as thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.
According to Thompson, one of the studies found that African-American boys who received the MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months had an increased risk for autism.8 He also maintains that other CDC studies have found a relationship between thimerosal and tics, which are associated with autism.9
Clearly, there’s no way for the truth to get out unless we have skilled investigative journalists like Grundvig bringing us the full story. After that, it’s a matter of sharing the information, because you can be sure this information will not appear in The New York Times or on your local news station. It’s suppressed by design.
Thimerosal Is Still a Major Vaccine Ingredient
In the early 2000s there was a major push to remove thimerosal from vaccines, but it never took the form of law. Instead, vaccine makers were encouraged to reduce or eliminate thimerosal in their vaccines on a voluntary basis. Some did so, but according to Grundvig, even vaccines that claim to be thimerosal-free are not entirely devoid of it.
“If you read the labels, it says “thimerosal-depleted” … They remove [thimerosal] in the process. It’s filtered out, but it’s not filtered out 100 percent. There’s still thimerosal in all of the thimerosal-containing vaccines as there were before, just a lot less. However, in the flu vaccine, it’s full bore thimerosal.
It’s the cheapest and fastest way to make it. I don’t think that vaccine makers are interested in changing the 20th century recipe to making vaccines. It’s cheap and fast. That’s all they care about. They do not care about safety. They don’t care about children’s health. With poor children’s health, they are able to take care of children, on the other end … with drugs and treatments and so forth. They continuously make money off every American citizen out there,” Grundvig says.
Annual Flu Shots Are a Health Disaster in the Making
The flu vaccine is perhaps the most egregious example of this criminal activity. When I graduated from medical school, it was only recommended for health care workers, those over 55, and those with chronic diseases such as pulmonary diseases or cystic fibrosis. The target population was a relatively small percentage.
Now, it’s recommended for every single individual in the United States, each and every year starting at the age of 6 months until death. It’s truly beyond irrational. Not only is it ineffective, but it’s perniciously toxic, thanks to the thimerosal. (For clarification, flu vaccines do not contain aluminum — a highly toxic adjuvant.)
“Even when they don’t get it right — like last year, when they realized they didn’t predict the strain properly [so] the flu vaccine was completely useless — they say, ‘We admit it’s useless. We were wrong, but take it anyway,'” Grundvig says.
And why wouldn’t they? Drug companies, health officials and administering doctors are all completely insulated from lawsuits, so people suffering side effects have no impact on the bottom line. They have absolutely no incentive to urge you to weigh the risks and benefits. As long as you take the shot, they profit. And, if you’re harmed, they continue to profit in other ways, since your treatment will undoubtedly involve medical care and drugs.
OTC Tapeworm Drug Kills Zika
At the end of the day, I believe it comes down to us — we all need to take the incentive to spread this information to our friends and family; make them aware of the corruption, fraud and manipulation occurring that is preventing them from understanding the truth about any given matter. Grundvig offers another example:
“The Florida State University [FSU] discovered that an off-the-shelf remedy [Nicolsamide, an FDA approved drug used to treat tapeworm] likely either suppresses or eliminates Zika. But did the press cover this? … You’d have to go to Florida State University10 and some other lesser blogs to actually find this story.
The reason for that is they do not want that to interfere with the CDC going to Congress and begging for $1.1 billion for a vaccine that no one’s going to need. Ninety percent of that money will be for a vaccine for Zika …”
We must educate ourselves and understand the political and financial dynamics that underlie the recommendations coming from these agencies. Failing to do so can quite literally be dangerous to your health. In this case, Grundvig has done a remarkable job of explaining the situation at the CDC that has allowed the claim that thimerosal-containing vaccines have no role in autism.
This is not to say that there are no other factors involved in autism. Evidence suggests Roundup and other glyphosate-containing pesticides may play a role. Ditto for other toxic exposures and electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures. Having an unbalanced gut microbiome also appears to influence the outcome. There are many variables that, when combined, can result in autism. Still, that does not mean we should give vaccines a free pass.
Projections suggest that within the next 25 years, half of all children will be autistic. There is no way a culture can survive with half of the population being in the autistic spectrum. We’re looking at the collapse of society if the rise in autism isn’t stopped or reversed, and that means addressing ALL known factors.
The MTV production “Prescription for Change” highlights the struggles of drug addiction and includes interviews with President Obama, in which he urges users to seek help, and discusses the need for more and better treatment programs, regardless of the user’s ability to pay.
The video also discusses the history of opioids that led to the current addiction epidemic. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, lied to doctors and patients, convincing them that OxyContin — a narcotic pain killer — was safe and non-addictive when prescribed for pain.
Starting in 1996, Purdue unleashed more than 20,000 “educational programs” to encourage long-term use of opioids to control non-cancer pain,1 even though there were no studies to support the use of opioids long-term in patients with non-fatal conditions.2
In the first year (1996) sales of Oxycontin reached $45 million. By 2000, that number had ballooned to $1.1 billion.3 Ten years later sales had tripled to $3.1 billion, gobbling up 30 percent of the market.4
Addiction Epidemic Was No Fluke
Misinformation and manipulation of scientific facts by drug makers have led to a drug crisis of truly astounding proportions, with more Americans now using prescription opioids than those who smoke cigarettes.5
In Alabama, which has the highest opioid prescription rate in the U.S., there are 143 prescriptions for every 100 people.6 Clearly doctors bear a significant responsibility for creating this situation.
Surgeons also need to reevaluate current practices of routinely sending surgical patients home with a powerful painkiller.7 In fact, many of today’s addicts became hooked after being prescribed a narcotic pain reliever following dental surgery or a relatively minor injury.
Heroin use more than doubled in 18- to 25-year-olds between 2002 and 2011,8 and this rise in heroin addiction was a direct result of prescription opioid addiction among young patients.
Crazy enough, just last year — in the midst of rallying cries to get a better handle on the burgeoning crisis — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of opioids in children as young as 11.9 I shudder to imagine what this might do to an entire generation of children!
Opioids Top the List of Potentially Lethal Drugs
In 2015, 27 million Americans used illegal drugs like heroin and/or misused prescription pain killers. Oxycontin and other opioid pain killers have been identified as the primary gateway drugs to heroin10 — something every person out there needs to be fully aware of.
According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine,11 while most opioid drug abusers obtain the drug from a friend or relative, (23 percent pay for them; 26 percent get them for free), individuals who are at greatest risk for drug abuse are just as likely to get them from their doctor.
Addiction to opioids and heroin is now costing the U.S. more than $193 billion each year. Opiates such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and morphine
also kill more Americans than car crashes each year.12
As noted by Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently.”13
He has also warned that “Patients given just a single course may become addicted for life.”14 Doctors and patients simply must become fully cognizant of this immense risk.
Studies Do Not Support Use of Opioids for Long-Term Use
According to Frieden, studies show that addiction affects about 26 percent of those using opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. Worse, 1 in 550 patients on opioid therapy dies from opioid-related causes within 2.5 years of their first prescription.
Most studies investigating long-term use of opioids have lasted a mere six weeks or less, and those that lasted longer have, by and large, found “consistently poor results.”
Several of them found that opioid use worsened pain over time and led to decreased functioning — an effect thought to be related to increased pain perception.
3 Factors That Make You More Prone to Opioid Addiction
Opioid painkillers work by interacting with receptors in your brain resulting in a decrease in the perception of pain — at least temporarily. As mentioned, over time they can result in increased pain perception, setting into motion a cycle where you need increasingly larger doses, making a lethal overdose more likely.
Oxycontin’s high rate of addiction is the result of a short half-life (the amount of time the drug stays in your system before you are left wanting more). Opioids also create a temporary feeling of euphoria, followed by dysphoria, that can easily lead to physical dependence and addiction.
However, why certain people become addicted while others don’t has remained a mystery. Researchers from the University of Derby set out to determine what might be influencing painkiller addiction by conducting an anonymous survey of people who had pain and had used painkillers in the last month.
The three predictors that identified those most at risk of developing painkiller dependence included those who:15
Used prescription painkillers more frequently
Have a prior history of substance abuse (often unrelated to pain relief)
Are less accepting of pain or less able to cope with pain
According to the authors “Based on these findings, a preliminary model is presented with three types of influence on the development of painkiller dependence: 1) pain leading to painkiller use, 2) risk factors for substance-related problems irrespective of pain and 3) psychological factors related to pain.”
From Prescriptions to Street Drugs
The transition from prescription opioids to street heroin is an easy one. Physical addiction to the drug drives behavior to seek more of the same drug.
When a prescription runs out, a physician refuses to renew, or the cost of the prescription becomes too high to manage, many addicts turn to heroin. Chemically, these drugs are very similar and they provide a similar kind of high.
Without additives, street heroin is as dangerous as Oxycontin, and just as addictive. However, when dealers cut the drug with other drugs, the result may be deadly. In just six days in August 2016, 174 overdoses of heroin were recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio, the largest number of overdoses in one week on record.16
On average, the city records between 20 and 25 overdoses each week. This unprecedented number of overdoses was precipitated by heroin cut with carfentanil.17Meant to deliver a stronger and more extended high, it resulted in greater overdoses and deaths. This is to be expected, when you consider the drug was originally developed as a tranquilizer for large animals, such as elephants.
Carfentanil is the strongest commercially prepared opioid. Dealers find it delivers a stronger and more addictive high. Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan told Channel 9 WCPO:18
“These people are intentionally putting in drugs they know can kill someone. The benefit for them is if the user survives it is such a powerful high for them, they tend to come back … If one or two people die, they could care less. They know the supply is so big right now that if you lose some customers, in their eyes there’s always more in line.”
Drug Addiction — a Crime or a Disease?
As noted in the video, drug addiction has long been treated as a crime. Views are now changing, and in his recent report on substance abuse, U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy stresses the importance of recognizing drug addiction as a disease.19 He recently told NPR:20
“We now know from solid data that substance abuse disorders … affect the rich and the poor, all socioeconomic groups and ethnic groups. They affect people in urban areas and rural ones … For far too long people have thought about substance abuse disorders as a disease of choice, a character flaw or a moral failing.
We underestimated how exposure to addictive substances can lead to full blown addiction. Opioids are a good example. Now we understand that these disorders actually change the circuitry in your brain … That tells us that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, and we need to treat it with the same urgency and compassion that we do with any other illness.“
While this is good news for addicts and their families, this change did not occur until the victims of addiction were primarily Caucasian. Prior to the opioid epidemic, most people were convinced heroin was a problem relegated primarily to communities of color, and heroin users were viewed as a criminal element.
In 2001, 45 percent of Americans supported tough drug laws where users were simply sent to jail, and most of the federal spending relating to drug abuse was spent on law enforcement. Today, Native Americans and Caucasians have the highest rate of death from opioids; 8.4 and 7.9 per 100,000 people respectively. African Americans, Latinos and Asians are far less affected by this epidemic, with 3.3, 2.2 and 0.7 per 100,000 dying from pain killers respectively.
This shifting demographic of users has led to a change in how people view drug addiction. In 2015, 67 percent of Americans said they support treatment over incarceration for drug addicts, and the 2017 federal budget now includes $14.3 billion for treatment, compared to $9.5 billion for drug law enforcement.
Ending the Epidemic
At present, only 1 in 10 drug addicts receive the help they need, and those who do get into treatment typically face long wait times. About one-third of those who need treatment cannot afford it, or don’t have insurance coverage. There’s still an enormous amount of work that needs to be done to turn this epidemic around, but part of the answer is to become an educated patient, and to never fill that opioid prescription in the first place.
The drug industry and prescribing doctors must also acknowledge their role and take responsibility for its resolution. As noted in the video:
“We need big pharma to be honest about the products they’re selling us. We need doctors to prescribe opiates only when they’re absolutely necessary. We need to think of addiction as a treatable medical condition so people can openly ask for help, like they would for any illness.
We need to improve treatment, so it’s scientific and long-term. We need to shift money away from incarceration and into expanding treatment, so everyone has access as soon as they need it. If you or a friend are struggling with drugs or alcohol, visit halfofus.com for ways to get help.”
Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars from your diet
Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels and decrease insulin and leptin resistance, which is one of the most important reasons why inflammatory prostaglandins are produced. That is why stopping sugar and sweets is so important to controlling your pain and other types of chronic illnesses.
Take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat
My personal favorite is krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, by manipulating prostaglandins.)
Optimize your production of vitamin D
Optimize your vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.
Medical marijuana has a long history as a natural analgesic. Its medicinal qualities are due to high amounts (up to 20 percent) of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes and flavonoids. Varieties of cannabis exist that are very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes you feel “stoned” — and high in medicinal CBD.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states. You can learn more about the laws in your state on medicalmarijuana.procon.org.21
Kratom (Mitragyna speciose) is another plant remedy that has become a popular opioid substitute.22In August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice saying it was planning to ban kratom, listing it as Schedule 1 controlled substance.
However, following massive outrage from kratom users who say opioids are their only alternative, the agency reversed its decision.23
Kratom is likely safer than an opioid for someone in serious and chronic pain. However, it’s important to recognize that it is a psychoactive substance and should not be used carelessly. There’s very little research showing how to use it safely and effectively, and it may have a very different effect from one person to the next.
Also, while it may be useful for weaning people off opioids, kratom is in itself addictive. So, while it appears to be a far safer alternative to opioids, it’s still a powerful and potentially addictive substance. So please, do your own research before trying it.
EFT is a drug-free approach for pain management of all kinds. EFT borrows from the principles of acupuncture in that it helps you balance out your subtle energy system. It helps resolve underlying, often subconscious, and negative emotions that may be exacerbating your physical pain.
By stimulating (tapping) well-established acupuncture points with your fingertips, you rebalance your energy system, which tends to dissipate pain.
Among volunteers who had never meditated before, those who attended four 20-minute classes to learn a meditation technique called focused attention (a form of mindfulness meditation), experienced significant pain relief — a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness.24
K-Laser, Class 4 Laser Therapy
If you suffer pain from an injury, arthritis, or other inflammation-based pain, I’d strongly encourage you to try out K-Laser therapy. It can be an excellent choice for many painful conditions, including acute injuries. By addressing the underlying cause of the pain, you will no longer need to rely on painkillers
K-Laser is a class 4 infrared laser therapy treatment that helps reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance tissue healing — both in hard and soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments or even bones. The infrared wavelengths used in the K-Laser allow for targeting specific areas of your body and can penetrate deeply into the body to reach areas such as your spine and hip.
Many studies have confirmed that chiropractic management is much safer and less expensive than allopathic medical treatments, especially when used for pain such as low back pain.
Qualified chiropractic, osteopathic and naturopathic physicians are reliable, as they have received extensive training in the management of musculoskeletal disorders during their course of graduate healthcare training, which lasts between four to six years. These health experts have comprehensive training in musculoskeletal management.
Research has discovered a “clear and robust” effect of acupuncture in the treatment of back, neck and shoulder pain, osteoarthritis and headaches.
Physical therapy has been shown to be as good as surgery for painful conditions such as torn cartilage and arthritis.
A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Pain Medicine included 60 high-quality and seven low-quality studies that looked into the use of massage for various types of pain, including muscle and bone pain, headaches, deep internal pain, fibromyalgia pain and spinal cord pain.25
The review revealed that massage therapy relieves pain better than getting no treatment at all. When compared to other pain treatments like acupuncture and physical therapy, massage therapy still proved beneficial and had few side effects. In addition to relieving pain, massage therapy also improved anxiety and health-related quality of life.
Astaxanthin is one of the most effective fat-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs. Higher doses are typically required and you may need 8 milligrams (mg) or more per day to achieve this benefit.
This herb has potent anti-inflammatory activity and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 milligrams (mg) of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. A past study also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the overproduction of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.26
Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form but eating fresh pineapple, including some of the bromelain-rich stem, may also be helpful.
Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO)
This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mildly annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.
These contain the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.
Methods such as yoga, Foundation Training, acupuncture, exercise, meditation, hot and cold packs and mind-body techniques can also result in astonishing pain relief without any drugs.
Walking barefoot on the earth may also provide a certain measure of pain relief by combating inflammation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 American adults (about 70 million people) have high blood pressure.1 About half have uncontrolled high blood pressure, which increases your risk for a number of serious health problems, including:
Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease3,4
Globally, more than 1 billion people struggle with high blood pressure, and prevalence has nearly doubled in the past four decades.5,6
Overall, men tend to have higher blood pressure than women, and while high-income nations have seen a significant decline in hypertension, prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, such as South Asia and Africa, is spiking. According to researchers, prevalence is “completely inverse” to national income.
Worldwide, high blood pressure is thought to cause nearly 13 percent of all deaths, or about 7.5 million deaths annually.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
According to medical physiology textbooks, as much as 95 percent of hypertension is called essential hypertension, meaning the underlying cause is unknown. From my perspective, this simply isn’t true. A number of factors have been identified as contributing to high blood pressure, including but not limited to:
•Insulin and leptin resistance. As your insulin and leptin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase7,8
•Elevated uric acid levels are also significantly associated with hypertension, so any program adopted to address high blood pressure needs to normalize your uric acid level as well
•Poor nutrition in childhood has been shown to raise the risk of high blood pressure in adulthood9
•Pollution. As your insulin and leptin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase
•Insulin and leptin resistance. Air pollution affects blood pressure by causing inflammation while noise pollution asserts an effect via your nervous and hormonal systems.
Air pollution has been shown to increase your risk of high blood pressure to the same degree as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30.
Living in an area plagued by constant noise pollution (busy city streets with night time traffic) has been shown to increase the risk of hypertension by 6 percent, compared to living in an area where noise levels are at least 20 percent lower10
The Importance of Diet and Insulin Sensitivity
As noted by the lead author Majid Ezzati, Ph.D., a professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London:11
“The perception is that people are not getting enough calories, but the reality is, they’re not getting healthy calories. Making fresh, healthy food affordable and accessible for everybody should be a priority.”
One of the most important dietary changes needed to improve high blood pressure is to eliminate or dramatically reduce sugar and processed fructose from your diet. The easiest way to do that is to replace processed foods with real, whole foods. This will address not only insulin and leptin resistance but also elevated uric acid levels.
One 2010 study12 discovered that those who consumed 74 grams or more per day of fructose (the equivalent of about 2.5 sugary drinks) had a 77 percent greater risk of having blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg (stage 2 hypertension).
Consuming 74 grams or more of fructose per day also increased the risk of a 135/85 blood pressure reading by 26 percent, and a reading of 140/90 by 30 percent. To learn more about healthy eating, please see my optimal nutrition plan, which will guide you through the necessary changes step-by-step.
To ascertain whether insulin/leptin resistance is at play, be sure to check your fasting insulin level. If your hypertension is the result of elevated insulin levels, dietary intervention will be key.
Aim for a fasting insulin level of 2 to 3 microU per mL (mcU/mL). If it’s 5 mcU/mL or above, you definitely need to lower your insulin level to reduce your risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular health problems.
Keep in mind that the so-called “normal” fasting insulin level is anywhere from 5 to 25 mcU/mL, but please do not make the mistake of thinking that this “normal” insulin range equates to optimal.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
A blood pressure reading gives you two numbers. The upper or first number is your systolic blood pressure reading. The lower or second number is your diastolic pressure. For example, a blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 (120/80) means you have a systolic arterial pressure of 120 and a diastolic arterial pressure of 80.
Your systolic pressure is the highest pressure in your arteries. It occurs when your ventricles contract at the beginning of your cardiac cycle. Diastolic pressure refers to the lowest arterial pressure, and occurs during the resting phase of your cardiac cycle. Ideally, your blood pressure should be about 120/80 without medication.
If you’re over the age of 60, your systolic pressure is the most important cardiovascular risk factor. If you’re under 60 and have no other major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your diastolic pressure is believed to be a more important risk factor.13
According to guidelines14,15,16 issued by the Joint National Committee (JNC) on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in 2014, the following blood pressure classifications are used to determine whether you might suffer from hypertension:17
Blood Pressure Classification
Systolic Pressure (mmHg)
Diastolic Pressure (mmHg)
Stage 1 Hypertension
Stage 2 Hypertension
How to Avoid a False Hypertension Diagnosis
To avoid a false hypertension diagnosis, keep in mind that your blood pressure reading can vary significantly from day to day, and even from one hour to the next, so don’t overreact if you get one high reading here or there. It’s when your blood pressure remains consistently or chronically elevated that significant health problems can occur. The following variables can also affect the validity of your blood pressure reading:
•Incorrect blood pressure cuff size: If you’re overweight, taking your reading with a size “average” blood pressure cuff can lead to a falsely elevated blood pressure reading, so make sure your doctor or health care professional is using the right size cuff for your arm.
•Incorrect arm position: If your blood pressure is taken while your arm is parallel to your body, your reading can be up to 10 percent higher than it really is. Blood pressure readings should always be taken with your arm at a right angle to your body.
•Nervousness: “White coat hypertension” is a term used for when a high blood pressure reading is caused by the stress or fear associated with a doctor or hospital visit. This can be a transient yet serious concern. If this applies to you, stress reduction is key.
To decrease your risk of being falsely diagnosed with hypertension in this situation, take a moment to calm down (be sure to arrive for your appointment ahead of time so you can unwind), then breathe deeply and relax when you’re getting your blood pressure taken.
Measuring Pressure on Both Arms May Provide Valuable Health Info
More recently, researchers are urging healthcare providers to measure blood pressure twice, once on each arm. A number of studies have revealed that a significant difference between your right and left arm pressure may indicate circulatory problems that raise your risk for stroke, peripheral artery disease or other cardiovascular problems.18
Slight variations in blood pressure between left and right is normal, but when the difference is five points or greater, it could signal trouble. A British study found that people with a five-point or more difference between arms had nearly double the risk of dying from heart disease in the next eight years.19
Another analysis of 20 studies found that those with a right-to-left arm difference in blood pressure of 15 points or more were twice as likely to have peripheral artery disease in the arms and/or legs. As noted by Harvard Health Publications:20
“In younger people, side-to-side differences in blood pressure can occur when a muscle or something else compresses an artery supplying the arm, or by a structural problem that prevents smooth blood flow through an artery. In older people, it’s usually due to a blockage arising from atherosclerosis, the artery-clogging disease process at the root of most heart attacks, strokes, peripheral artery disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
A less common cause of a between-arm difference in blood pressure is an aortic dissection. This is a tear inside the wall of the aorta, the main pipeline of oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. At your next doctor’s visit, ask to have your blood pressure checked in both arms. If there’s a difference greater than 10 point, another test called the ankle-brachial index might be in order to check for peripheral artery disease.”
If you’re between the ages of 18 and 59 without major health conditions, or if you’re 60 or older with diabetes and/or chronic kidney disease, conventional medicine recommends drug treatment if your blood pressure is at or above 140/90. In those over 60 who do not have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the panel suggests delaying drug treatment until you’re above 150/90. According to the JNC panel members:21
“For all persons with hypertension, the potential benefits of a healthy diet, weight control and regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. These lifestyle treatments have the potential to improve BP control and even reduce medication needs. Although the authors of this hypertension guideline did not conduct an evidence review of lifestyle treatments in patients taking and not taking antihypertensive medication, we support the recommendations of the 2013 Lifestyle Work Group.”22
While recommending diet and exercise is a step in the right direction, the panel didn’t take it all the way. In my experience, even stage 1 and 2 hypertension can be successfully addressed with lifestyle interventions, to where drugs become unnecessary.
The key is to be sufficiently aggressive in your diet and lifestyle modifications. There are plenty of clinical success stories that vouch for this stance.23 That said, if you have seriously elevated blood pressure, it would be wise to be on medication to prevent a stroke while you implement these lifestyle changes.
Omega-3 Is Vital for Healthy Blood Pressure
Recent research highlights the importance of animal-based omega-3 fats for healthy blood pressure — especially in young adults. More than 2,000 healthy men and women between the ages of 25 and 41 participated in the study. Diabetics and those with a BMI over 35, which is considered obese, were excluded.
The findings showed that those with the highest serum levels of omega-3 also had the lowest blood pressure readings. On average, their systolic pressure was 4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) lower and their diastolic pressure was 2 mm Hg lower compared to those with the lowest omega-3 blood levels. As reported by WebMD:24
“‘This suggests that promoting diets rich in omega-3 foods could be a strategy to prevent high blood pressure,’ [Dr. Mark] Filipovic said … Even a small reduction in pressure, as little as about 5 mm Hg, could prevent a great number of strokes and heart events in the general population …
Another recent study found that doses of omega-3 fatty acids as low as less than a gram a day could help those who already have high blood pressure reduce their numbers … The fish oil may work by improving blood vessel function and reducing inflammation, among other things,’ Filipovic said.”
Animal-Based Versus Plant-Based Omega-3s
You can obtain omega-3 fats from both plants and marine animals like fish and krill. However, it’s really important to realize that these sources provide very different types of omega-3 and, as explained by Nils Hoem, Ph.D., a Norwegian scientist specializing in omega-3phospholipids, they are NOT interchangeable.
The short-chain fatty acids found in plants are simply food — they’re a source of energy — while the long-chain fatty acids found in fish and krill, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are structural elements that actually make up your cells. This is a MAJOR difference between plant- and animal-based sources.
There are specific transporters for long-chained omega-3s in your blood-brain barrier, the placenta (in pregnant women), and likely also in your liver, which transport these molecules in a very precise way into the cell membranes where they belong. No such transporters exist for the short-chained omega-3s.
So please, don’t make the mistake of confusing plant-based (short-chained) and animal-based (long-chained) omega-3, as doing so could have severe health consequences. You absolutely need animal-based omega-3, and you simply cannot obtain the same benefits from plant-based sources because the conversion rate of plant-based ALA omega 3 fats to DHA is clinically insignificant.
Fish and krill also have differences worth noting. One of the most important differences is the fact that krill oil is bound to phospholipids, which allows the omega-3 fats to travel efficiently into your hepatic system; hence, they’re more bioavailable. Phospholipids are also a principal compound in high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which you want more of, and by allowing your cells to maintain structural integrity, phospholipids help your cells function properly.
Finally, many vegans are using marine-based DHA supplements, which makes sense but is still less than ideal, as you not only need DHA but the whole complex of supporting fatting acids. Do your best to get your DHA from healthy, nontoxic seafood, and if that is not possible, then use a high-quality full spectrum DHA supplement like krill oil.
Another food that has been found to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure is beetroot juice.25 In one small placebo-controlled trial, one glass (250 milliliters or 8.5 ounces) of beetroot juice per day for one month reduced blood pressure in those diagnosed with hypertension by an average of 8 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic pressure.26
This 8/4 mmHg reduction is very close to that provided by blood pressure mediations, which typically can reduce blood pressure by about 9/5 mmHg, and for many it was enough to bring their blood pressure down to normal levels. The treatment group also saw a 20 percent improvement in blood vessel dilation capacity and a 10 percent reduction in arterial stiffness.
However, within two weeks of stopping the juice, their blood pressure returned to their previous levels, so you’d have to keep drinking it consistently. For this reason, I would advise against viewing beetroot juice as a primary solution. A better strategy would be to incorporate a glass of beetroot juice as a short-term solution while you’re implementing other dietary changes and exercise.
The beneficial effects are related to the nitrate (NO3) found in beetroot juice. Your body converts the NO3 into bioactive nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO), the latter of which helps relax and dilate your blood vessels, and helps prevent blood clots. Other vegetables high in NO3 include:
Garlic Is Also Helpful
Two other foods known to dilate blood vessels, albeit in different ways from beetroot juice, are garlic and watermelon. In an experiment by the British BBC series, “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor,” designed to evaluate which of these three foods was the most effective for lowering blood pressure, found that beetroot produced the greatest results.
It lowered blood pressure of the 28 participants from an average baseline of 133.6 mmHg to 128.7 mmHg in one week. Garlic came in second place, lowering blood pressure to an average of 129.3 mmHg. Watermelon, in last place, lowered blood pressure to an average of 129.8 mmHg. As noted by BBC:27
“Our small study adds to a growing number which suggest that eating beetroot and garlic regularly may help reduce your blood pressure. But these aren’t the only foods that can do this. The active ingredient in beetroot, nitrate, is present in plenty of green vegetables: celery; lettuce; watercress; rocket; spinach; chard; broccoli; for example.
And the active ingredient in garlic — allicin — is also present in onions, shallots, leeks, chives and spring onions. It turns out there are several foods which can help keep our blood pressure low.”
Vitamin D Can Also Relax Your Arteries and Improve Blood Pressure
Vitamin D deficiency, associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension,28 is another important consideration. According to researchers from the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute,29 even if you’re considered generally “healthy,” if you’re deficient in vitamin D then your arteries are likely stiffer than they should be. As a result, your blood pressure may run high due to your blood vessels being unable to relax.
In their study, having a serum level of vitamin D lower than 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) was considered a deficiency state that raises your hypertension risk. Less than 30 ng/ml was deemed insufficient. Previous research30 has also shown that the farther you live from the equator, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Blood pressure also tends to be higher in winter months than during the summer. Exposing your bare skin to sunlight affects your blood pressure through a variety of different mechanisms, including the following:
•Sun exposure causes your body to produce vitamin D. Lack of sunlight reduces your vitamin D stores and increases parathyroid hormone production, which increases blood pressure.
•Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, a group of health problems that can include insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, obesity and high blood pressure.
•Research31 shows that sun exposure increases the level of NO in your skin. This dilates your blood vessels, thereby reducing your blood pressure. (For comparison, and to show how various factors tie together, uric acid, produced when you eat sugar/fructose, raises your blood pressure by inhibiting NO in your blood vessels — the opposite effect of sun exposure.)
•Vitamin D is also a negative inhibitor of your body’s renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which regulates blood pressure.32 If you’re vitamin D deficient, it can cause inappropriate activation of your RAS, which may lead to hypertension.
•Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is thought to cause the release of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that produce feelings of euphoria and relief from pain. Endorphins naturally relieve stress, and stress management is an important factor in resolving hypertension.
Key Lifestyle Strategies for Lowering Your Blood Pressure
In summary, here are several suggestions that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.
Address insulin and leptin resistance
As mentioned earlier, high blood pressure is typically associated with insulin resistance, which results from eating a diet too high in sugar. As your insulin level elevates, so does your blood pressure. Insulinstores magnesium, but if your insulin receptors are blunted and your cells grow resistant to insulin, you can’t store magnesium so it passes out of your body through urination.
Magnesium stored in your cells relaxes muscles. If your magnesium level is too low, your blood vessels will constrict rather than relax, and this constriction raises your blood pressure.
Fructose also elevates uric acid, which drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting the NO in your blood vessels. (Uric acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism. In fact, fructose typically generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion.) NO helps your vessels maintain their elasticity, so NO suppression leads to increases in blood pressure.
If you’re healthy, and want to stay that way, the general rule is to keep your total fructose intake to 25 grams per day or less. If you’re insulin resistant and/or have high blood pressure, keep your total fructose to 15 grams or less per day until your condition has resolved.
Eat real food
A processed food diet, loaded with net carbohydrates (non-fiber carbs like sugar, fructose and grains) and trans fat (margarines and vegetable oils) is a recipe for hypertension. Instead, make whole, ideally organic foods the focus of your diet.
Also remember to swap non-fiber carbs for healthy fats such as avocados, butter made from raw, grass-fed organic milk, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, raw nuts such as pecans and macadamia, grass-fed meats and pasture raised poultry. To learn more about healthy eating, please see my optimal nutrition plan.
Mind your sodium to potassium ratio
According to Lawrence Appel, lead researcher on the DASH diet and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins, your diet as a whole is the key to controlling hypertension — not salt reduction alone.
He believes a major part of the equation is this balance of minerals — i.e., most people need less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Appel:33 “Higher levels of potassium blunt the effects of sodium. If you can’t reduce or won’t reduce sodium, adding potassium may help. But doing both is better.”
Indeed, maintaining a proper potassium to sodium ratio in your diet is very important, and hypertension is but one of many side effects of an imbalance. A processed food diet virtually guarantees you’ll have a lopsided ratio of too much sodium to potassium. Making the switch from processed foods to whole foods will automatically improve your ratios.
Load up on veggies
Juicing is a simple way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet, and many NO3-rich veggies (which raise your NO level) are suitable for juicing, such as beets, kale, celery, spinach, carrots and more. Allicin-rich garlic, leeks, challots and chives also help improve your blood pressure, and are easy to add to salads and various dishes.
The best way to boost your omega-3 is to eat plenty of oily fish that are low in mercury and other pollutants. Good options include wild caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies. Alternatively, take a high-quality krill oil or fish oil supplement. As noted earlier, krill oil has certain advantages over fish oil, which is why I prefer it.
Consider intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity. It’s not a diet in conventional terms, but rather a way of scheduling your eating in such a way as to promote efficient energy use.
Essentially, intermittent fasting means eating your calories during a specific window of the day, and choosing not to eat food during the rest. When you eat, your body reacts by elevating insulin and leptin.
A comprehensive fitness program can go a long way toward regaining your insulin sensitivity and normalizing your blood pressure. To reap the greatest rewards, I recommend including high intensity interval exercises in your routine.
If you are insulin resistant, you’ll also want to include weight training. When you work individual muscle groups, you increase blood flow to those muscles, and good blood flow will increase your insulin sensitivity.
I also recommend training yourself to breathe through your nose when exercising, as mouth breathing during exercise can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in fatigue and dizziness. To learn more about this, please refer to my previous article on the Buteyko breathing method.
Avoid smoking and other forms of pollution
Smoking is known to contribute to high blood pressure, as are other forms of air pollution, and even noise pollution. To address these, avoid smoking, consider using ear plugs during sleep if you live in a noisy neighborhood (provided you cannot move), and take steps to improve your indoor air quality.
Going barefoot will help you ground to the earth. Experiments show that walking barefoot outside (also referred to as Earthing or grounding) improves blood viscosity and blood flow, which help regulate blood pressure.So, do yourself a favor and ditch your shoes now and then.
Grounding also calms your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability. This in turn promotes homeostatis, or balance, in your autonomic nervous system. In essence, anytime you improve heart rate variability, you’re improving your entire body and all of its functions.
Address your stress
The connection between stress and hypertension is well documented, yet still does not receive the emphasis it deserves. In fact, it has been shown that people with heart disease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.
Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable every day stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.
The good news is, strategies exist to quickly and effectively transform your suppressed, negative emotions, and relieve stress. My preferred method is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions.
EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to “reprogram” deeply seated emotional patterns.
I read about 150 books a year and last year the best book I read was “The Metabolic Theory of Cancer.” This year I would have to give that honor to Kelly’s book. I have read many books on posture and movement, but his was the best.
If you have a desk job, this book is a veritable gold mine of helpful guidance that can improve your health and well-being. Kelly is one of the leaders in the CrossFit movement and stresses the importance of proper body mechanics, both in and outside the gym.
“[A]s I was addressing football teams and soldiers, we were seeing the same sequel of problems — a lot of forward [leaning] head or neck, stiff upper back, and inability to put the arms over the head … lower back dysfunction, short hips and over striding,” Kelly says.
What we realized [is that] most were engaged in an activity that went against physiology … [W]hat’s happening today, because of the changing environment, we’re sitting a lot more. We have a lot more technology … We commute more.
We’re making this very basic adaptation error, and that is we’re not moving enough. What’s interesting about the sitting versus standing conversation is it’s really the wrong conversation. The right conversation is moving versus not moving …
When we stand up, we [upregulate] the whole physical being. That really ends up being the most important conversations — bringing the consciousness to the fact that, as modern humans, we may not be able to move the way we were designed.”
Optional Versus Non-Optional Sitting
In “Deskbound,” Kelly quotes research from Dr. James Levine showing that for every hour you sit down, your life expectancy decreases by two hours. For comparison, every cigarette smoked reduces life expectancy by 11 minutes.
That means sitting down is far more hazardous to your health than smoking — a shocking revelation for most, I’m sure.
However, Kelly notes that you cannot simply replace sitting with standing. Your body was designed for full range of motion, and simply standing does not optimize your physiology either. Also, sitting CAN be beneficial, when done right. In other words, there’s a skill to sitting in a way that’s beneficial to health.
“Let’s just clean up our sitting hygiene,” he says. “Look at your sitting time, and divide your life into optional sitting and non-optional sitting …
You may have to sit in a meeting or sit in your car — those things are non-optional. But the rest of it, you can really get a big upregulation and function just by ditching that optional sitting.”
Blocking Unwanted Behavior
In the video, you see Kelly sitting down. It appears as though he’s sitting on a couch, but this is actually an optical illusion. He’s sitting on the floor, and that is one of the strategies he presents in his book.
It’s not uncommon for people to sit for 13 hours a day, and the challenge is to replace sitting with movement, not simply standing.
“If anyone has ever had a job or they’ve had to stand for long periods of time, statically, it is brutal … Go to your local yoga class and ask for a good dose of tadasana; standing pose, standing meditation, and you’ll last two or three minutes before you start to burn and fatigue …
It takes skill in standing, but how do we create an environment that reflects the physiology instead of making the physiology of the body conform to the environment?
When we address or teach about strength and conditioning, or about behaviors or patterns, we try to make what we call blocked behaviors, blocked patterns, where you don’t have to make a decision; the decision is made for you.
For example, when I come back after lunch and there’s no chair. Instead I go up to my standing moving station at my desk. I’m automatically going to do the right thing. I don’t have to make a decision about raising my desk or getting out of the chair …
[O]ne of the nice pieces about creating a movement-rich environment is that you automatically get these contextual signals and cues that say ‘I need to sit’ or ‘I need to work.’
So I’m sitting at a table cross-legged. What that does is it starts to give me more movement options. Now I’m taking my hips to a more full-range of motion, and it’s a break from the standing that I was doing earlier.”
The Sitting-Rising Test Predicts Mortality Risk
There’s a well-validated study showing that your ability to rise off the floor from a seated position can predict your risk for early mortality. (See video above for a demonstration.) If you have to use both hands and knees, or use something to help you get up off the floor, chances are you may be weak or have poor range of motion.
Historically, humans have sat on the ground. We’re supposed to be able to sit cross legged. We’re supposed to be able to work on the ground. By setting up your environment to facilitate sitting on the floor or an exercise ball rather than a chair, your working hours can be more conducive to improving health and well-being.
The Importance of External Hip Rotation
In reading “Deskbound,” I realized that a lack of optimal external hip rotation was the cause of my bunion. I calculate that I have walked or run over a quarter of a billion steps over the last 50 years. In my case it was the combination of insufficient hip rotation and a massive amount of walking/running. The general principle is that if you have a movement imbalance it will invariably tend to result in some type of injury over time.
Your hips and spine are like the chassis of the body machine. If you have a bend in the chassis, you will automatically experience downgraded function around your spine, because the spine is prioritized during movement. To correct your posture, squeeze your buttocks. This will reorient your pelvis into the proper shape in relationship to your lumbar.
This alone will improve the function of your hips and shoulders. As you squeeze your buttocks, you will feel the outside of your legs tighten, and your feet will feel like they’re pulling outward. This corrects the relationship between your femur and your pelvis, making your pelvis more stable on the femur, and your lumbar more stable on your pelvis.
“What you’ve done is integrated the trunk. Instead of just balancing around on a couple balls on the hips, you’re suddenly integrated through a mechanical fascial muscular system to the ground. You’ll notice that your arch stops collapsing, that you’re creating the right amount of tension to support the structure …
You’re integrating all of your systems, because we’re not just a bone system, we’re not just a muscular system, and we’re not just a connective tissue fascia system. We are a system of systems.
If you stand with your feet straight, and your weight is balanced over your arch so that your weight isn’t on your heels and it’s not too much on your toes, and you’re just weighted evenly through the front of the foot, what you’re going to find is you automatically create this rotation. [When] you lay down, your legs want to unwind. They actually fall out to the side …
What you’re seeing is that the natural structure of the body is set up to always create a passive external rotation tensionality in the system, so that when your feet are straight, you’re automatically capturing this passive elastic winding of the body that supports the pelvis, supports the spine, and organizes all the way up to the top.
But what you experience when your feet are turned out [“duck walking”], you basically short-circuit that system and you start doing this thing where you look for stability. So the knees come in, arches collapse, hip internally rotates, pelvis gimblesforward. We start to just see a stack of blocks that’s trying to find its way in gravity instead of having a foundation and moving up from that foundation.”
Pain as Indicator of Body Mechanics
Your body is a neurobiological mechanical system. Much of the pain, decreased mobility and stiffness people experience is not pathological. In most cases, it’s simply the result of inefficient or incomplete movement. One way to improve your body mechanics is by sitting tall.
“Probably our most efficient elite cue that we can give is to pretend you’re looking over a fence,” Kelly says. “As you sit there, you’re going to look up over a fence, notice how much taller you got standing, and your head realigns.”
When your body mechanics are efficient, your body has to compensate less, which translates into less tightness and pain. For example, if you turn your feet out when walking, one of the things that happens is that your calves aren’t working properly.
Some of the muscles are shortened, others are extended, and some of the musculature that supports your arch has to work overtime — all because your body is trying to compensate for the improper foot alignment. “Duck walking” may even be a cause of bunions, as it places excess weight forces on that part of your foot.
All Tissues Should Be Painless to Compression
As Kelly notes, all tissues in your body should be painless when moderate compression is applied. If you use a foam roller on your leg, glutes, back or shoulders, and experience pain, you have unnatural stiffness in your body. To release the stiffness, contract the muscle while leaning into the foam roller for about five seconds, then release. Continue that contract and relax cycle until you feel those tissues start to relax and become less painful.
“What’s great is that we have this beautiful neurologic measurement system built in. It’s called breathing. How do you know that you’re going too deep? If you cannot take a full breath in and a full breath out, you’re going too deep.
Your brain will tell you, through your breathing, if you’re giving too much input. So if you stop breathing while you’re rolling, then you’re working too deep. That’s a miraculous way of keeping ourselves from doing too much harm to ourselves and integrating the brain back in,” he says.
Do Soft Tissue Work Daily
Soft tissue work causes a big parasympathetic response in your body. What this means is it gets you OUT of your sympathetic fight or flight mode, allowing your body to down-regulate into recovery mode. Essentially, you can simulate the relaxation response you get from a massage by doing 10 or 15 minutes of soft tissue work on a foam roller.
While it’s always great to get worked on by a professional, Kelly points out that it’s actually more beneficial to do your own work, consistently, than getting, say, one massage every two weeks. Because what happens during the 13 days in between massage sessions? A few minutes of soft tissue work on a foam roller every day is likely to produce better, more lasting results.
“If you did 10 minutes a day, that’s 70 minutes a week. That’s 280 minutes in a month. It starts to aggregate into an astounding amount of time where you work on your chest or your forearms, and the bottom of your feet. You roll on those and they improve and become suppler …
[P]rioritize the non-exercise activity, like walking, the basic sleep and a mobility practice, then add on top difficult training, add on top professional massage or rolfing, or anything else that you want to keep the body going.
But we have to democratize these practices and we have to be able to give people solutions that scale, because I’m not going to bring my daughters to a massage therapist. That’s prohibitively expensive. But when we’re hanging out in the night, rolling our calves out, because that’s what our family does, that’s a really sustainable idea,” Kelly says.
“It’s useful to have a mobility practice where we spend 10 minutes a day … taking care of our tissues, taking care of our muscular stiffness, taking care of our joints. If you’re a walker, then we want you also to spend 10 minutes … to work on your feet [today], and tomorrow you’ll work on your hips …
What we’ve tried to do in the back of the book is give people some very simple templates to begin a conversation about some simple myofascial pain, simple structural issues so that it becomes part of their lexicon. This is not some domain of an elite physical therapist or full-profit medicine.
This is what human beings should be able to do; we should be able to take care of ourselves … Certainly if I move more during the day that will help, but there are some things that I can do that will really improve my mechanics. Ultimately, what we’re talking about is about function.”
Changing the Way Schools View Movement
Movement is particularly important for kids, and Kelly is hard at work getting local schools to switch from sit-down desks to standing desks. Last year, his daughters attended the first all-standing/moving school in the world, located in Vallecito, San Rafael, California. Every child in that school now has a standup desk, appropriately height adjusted for each child. Each desk also has a “fidget bar” that swings back and forth, allowing the kids to remain in constant motion.
“What we know is that there’s a large genetic drive and genetic component to movement. Some people have a very large movement drive … We’ve probably been medicating some of our best, most driving movers because they moved and fidgeted and got into trouble …
Right now, for the first time in the history of our planet and certainly our nation, there are more obese Americans than non-obese Americans … diabetes is up 400 percent in the last 10 years. We’re seeing a whole kind of constellation of issues that come back to this one drive, which is we’re not moving enough. We’re not being human beings. We’re using the [body] wrong.
What’s been interesting about our experience is that in that school, we have 450 kids standing and moving … and all the metrics that are coming out … has seen achievement going up, has seen attention going up, has seen decreases in body mass index across kid populations. I mean, anything that’s sort of important to you as a parent … A standing, non-sitting intervention is a no-brainer.”
Join the Standup Kids Movement
Kelly’s initiative, called Standup Kids, has partnered with a number of corporations, giving about 30,000 children the opportunity to move more in school. They’ve also partnered with University of California Berkeley and the local county public health department to try to get more research done. This is really something that needs to spread like wildfire across the nation, if we want to have any hope of rescuing our children from chronic dysfunction.
“The problem is when we take these top-down health initiative approaches, it’s very bureaucratic and very difficult. And that’s the wrong approach. Ultimately, we would love the state and national government, the federal government, to be able to support bottom-up initiatives. We realized that it was on us, ultimately, to start with our own daughter’s classroom.
When we originally made this pitch to our principal three years ago — because [first] we did a little pilot classroom, then we did a few more — is that we were going to have to just make the case. My wife is an attorney, she had prepared a brief to go before the Supreme Court and in two seconds, our principal was like, ‘Yes. Totally. This makes perfect sense.’ There was no resistance. The resistance primarily comes from our inability to raise funds fast enough to meet the current demand …
Finland just put out a study that said their recommendation for kids is to get three hours of exercise a day, plus sunlight, plus all these other things. We’ve seen recess get hacked, most schools don’t have PE. So we’re making this big, big, big error … If you’re interested in this idea … go talk to [your child’s] teacher, and then through StandUpKids.org, there are templates and resources for you to initiate a conversation about changing that single classroom.”
The data is also showing that children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cannot learn without moving. They need to be able to fidget constantly. The standup classroom allows these kids to excel in ways they’ve not been permitted to before.
Go Slow. Let Your Body Adjust to Increasing Amounts of Movement
When you first start out, it’s fairly unreasonable to think you’ll be able to stand up all day when you’re used to sitting down at work. Start by standing for 20 minutes a day. Do that for a week. The following week, bump it up to 40 minutes a day. The third week, make it a full hour. You need to give your body a chance to get used to the new loads and demands. At the end of each day, do 10 to 15 minutes’ worth of soft tissue work on a foam roller to soften any tight spots.
I typically sit less than 30 minutes a day unless I am traveling, but as Kelly explains, an even better option would be to sit on the floor in a variety of different positions, which will help increase your flexibility and range of motion.
Kelly has a chapter in his book that discusses how to implement this transition. Also, don’t get caught up in the idea that you cannot stand up at work unless you have an expensive standup desk. I purchased standup desks for all of my employees, and you can in fact get a good adjustable, motorized standup desk for less than $1,000. If you cannot afford one, and your company cannot afford to give you one, there are cost-effective ways to improvise.
All you really need is a box. When I travel, I often use a wastebasket. I simply turn it upside down on the desk and put my laptop on it. That said, it would behoove employers to seriously consider making this investment.
“We want employers to understand that the research really does support that the most dangerous job you can have is to be an office worker. We see more muscular and skeletal problems in our office workers than we do in people who run oil rigs and do construction.
There’s even a really interesting study that found smokers were healthier than non-smokers, because the smokers get up, walk 10 minutes to get outside, walk back. They were taking more breaks and actually doing more movement, even though they were smoking. The bottom line here is these are simple interventions that really can improve the quality of your life …
If you’re an employer … a study by Mark Benden of Texas A&M University … [showed] a six-month intervention made a $40 million [profit] for the company. All they did was have their employees [work] at standing stations. Turns out, everyone works a little bit better when they stand up. If you want to make this about money, make it about money.
If you want to make it about healthcare, I talked to a lot of HR directors and we are spending more money on muscular and skeletal problems, and back pain … All we have to do is to have people be human beings at work, and that means more movement.”
I highly recommend Kelly’s book, “Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World.” I believe most people can benefit from it. With the holiday season right around the corner, why not get a copy for someone you care about? I just love books because, for a relatively inexpensive amount, you get all this wisdom.
He also has a YouTube channel called MobilityWOD, which stands for Workout of the Day. The interventions he suggests are not only powerful, they’re also inexpensive — in most cases free. When you consider the well-documented benefits of movement over sitting, implementing these strategies is really one of the best types of health insurance you can get.
“We really have always believed that if you give people the right information, they’ll make the right decisions. The reason many of us haven’t changed these aspects of our lives is that we didn’t realize they were important,” Kelly says. “[P]eople get overwhelmed [thinking] ‘I have to go start this heavy duty movement practice, I need to start exercising.’ You don’t. The first order of business is to get more movement during the course of the day.”
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Food security. Health. Environmental sustainability. Democracy. All of these things are interconnected like spokes around the hub of agriculture. Agriculture, in turn, has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair.
Yet today, we’re faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity.
The Price of Divorcing Ourselves From Nature
You don’t have to go very far back in history to get to a point where “What should I eat?” was a nonexistent question. Everyone knew what “food” was. They harvested food off trees, bushes and out of the ground, and they ate it, either raw or cooked in some fashion.
Our current confusion about what is healthy and what is not is basically rooted in having divorced ourselves from the actual growing of food. What’s worse, this separation has led to an even greater forgetfulness about our place in the ecosystem, and our role as shepherds of the natural world.
Soil health, for example, is a crucial component of human health that many are clueless about these days. And because people don’t understand this connection, they fail to realize the importance of regenerative agriculture, and the dangers of industrial farming.
For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. Today, we see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem.
Modern Food System Is Not Set Up for Healthy Eating
The success of the processed food industry has come at a tremendous price. People’s lives are now at stake due to diet-related diseases. Sadly, many have also become incorrectly convinced that eating healthy is a complicated equation requiring loads of nutritional data.
They’re wrong. It’s actually much simpler than you might think. Eating healthy is really about eating REAL food, i.e., food as close to its natural state as possible. Avoiding agricultural toxins like pesticides is also part of the answer. But this is not the kind of food American farmers are currently focused on producing.
This is where the PBS program, “Food Forward,” comes in. It basically asks: What has agricultural progress brought to the table? And: Is the farm bill actually helping or harming our food system?
Cheap Food — A Blessing or a Curse?
Since the launch of the “green revolution” — which, by the way, has turned out to be anything but “green” — food production has gone through a transformation characterized by centralization and monopolization. Fewer and fewer people are growing more and more of the food we eat.
On the one hand, this system has created less expensive food. At the beginning of the film, Secretary of Agriculture, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Tom Vilsack, notes:
“The American farmer gives us this extraordinary diversity in our grocery stores. We have affordable, accessible food. In fact, it’s so affordable that we have a lot more of our paycheck [left] when we leave the grocery store, as a percentage, than almost anywhere else in the world.”
However, cheap food comes at a steep and mostly hidden price. Not only does cheap food promote poor health, it also takes an enormous toll on the environment. By polluting and destroying soils and water supplies, our chances of obtaining healthy food in the future are sorely diminished.
In short, what looks like progress is really a huge step backward, in terms of creating long-term food security. As noted in the film, cheap food is really more of a curse than a blessing.
A societal discussion needs to take place about how we can move forward without continuing on this destructive path. That discussion is what this program is trying to ignite.
A Short History of American Farming
The Great Depression of the 1930s was tough for most Americans, but farmers were particularly hard hit. Plowing up the Southern Plains to grow crops turned out to be a massive miscalculation that led to enormous suffering, as the area turned into an uninhabitable and unworkable “dust bowl.”
The U.S. farm bill was an outgrowth of these harsh times. On the one hand, farmers were overproducing certain crops, such as corn. On the other hand, people were starving. The farm bill promised to help farmers by buying up surplus food, and alleviate hunger by giving it to those less fortunate.
After World War II, the tools of war were repurposed as tools for farmers. Chemicals were increasingly foisted on farmers as a means to simplify the growing of crops, and for a time, that seemed to work.
But it also became apparent that to further lower the price of food, size was an important factor. “Get big or get out,” eventually became the motto. Over time, the farm bill became less about protecting small farmers, and more about supporting the really big ones.
Again, the small farmers were left to fend for themselves, and that’s where we are today. What began as a beneficent intervention to sustain agriculture and ensure food security has morphed into a scheme where American taxpayers are subsidizing industrial farmers that produce low-quality food that promote ill health.
The Rise of Monoculture
The large-scale industrialization of agriculture also demanded a reduction in diversity, as it’s all about efficiency. Hence we got monoculture; farmers growing all corn, or all soy, for example. Farm animals were also removed.
Instead of farms raising both crops and livestock, the two were separated into different specialties. That change alone has done tremendous harm, as livestock are actually a core component of regenerative agriculture. Without diversity, crop failures become more serious, and so do the environmental ramifications.
The separation of crops and animals into two distinctly different processes has also led to waste becoming a massive source of pollution rather than a valuable part of the ecological cycle. A whole host of land maintenance services that animals serve for free have had to be replaced with chemical and mechanical means.
The primary crops grown on industrial farms today — corn, soy, wheat, canola and sugar beets — are the core ingredients in processed foods known to be harmful to health. What people really need more of is fresh produce.
During World War II, many foods, including butter, eggs, coffee, meat and sugar, were rationed by the government. There were also labor and transportation shortages that made it difficult for enough fresh produce to be brought to the market. For this reason, the government called on Americans to plant “victory gardens” to supply their own fruits and vegetables.
Close to 20 million Americans planted produce in every nook and cranny they could find, from rooftops and empty lots to their own backyards. An estimated 40 percent of the produce grown in the U.S. came from these victory gardens. Neighbors also began to work together, planting varying crops and forming food cooperatives to share their harvests with one another.
Private Gardens Foster Security and Freedom
Unfortunately, when the war ended so too did many Americans’ gardening efforts. Today, Americans largely tend to their lawns instead. But unlike a vegetable garden, which gives back in the form of fresh produce and a symbiotic relationship with soil, insects and wildlife, a lawn gives you nothing but brief esthetic pleasure in exchange for loads of hard work and water.
It’s been estimated that repurposing a mere 10 percent of the 35 million acres of lawn1 in the U.S. into food-producing gardens could supply about one-third of America’s fresh produce.
Moreover, Thomas Jefferson — one of our Founding Fathers, and a farmer himself — believed self-sufficiency was an important part of democracy. He recognized that being dependent on food producers could prevent people from voicing their true opinions and beliefs. Today, as our food system is dependent on a mere handful of gigantic multinational seed and pesticide corporations, the reality of the power that control of food wields has become clearly recognizable.
Hunger and Food Deserts in 1 of the World’s Richest Countries
Hunger is still a major problem in the U.S. According to the featured program, 1 in 6 Americans is eligible for food stamps. Many inner city areas are also void of healthy food sources — people are literally buying their food at gas stations and the like, as there are no grocery stores in the neighborhood.
Investing in regional and local food systems is imperative if we are to change this situation, and while progress has been slow, positive changes are afoot. For example, in New York City, the non-profit organization Harvest Home develops farmers markets in low income neighborhoods. At present, they operate 19 farmers markets in 4 of the 5 city boroughs, serving about 250,000 customers each year.
Most of the neighborhoods served have a high incidence of diet-related conditions like obesity and diabetes, and the customer base is lower income people who normally cannot find fresh produce in their local grocery or convenience stores. The market is also set up to accept food stamps, as a majority of customers are on assistance programs.
Fresh food incentive programs have also been added to SNAP (food stamps). At New York City farmers markets, SNAP customers get an additional $2 coupon for every $5 they spend at the market. This incentivizes people to use their food stamps at the market to buy fresh foods.
“Food Forward” also discusses Michigan’s “double up food bucks” program, which incentivizes people to use their food stamps on fresh produce. The program works with independent farmers, farmers markets and grocery stores. If you buy $10 worth of produce, you get another $10 coupon to use toward locally produced fruits and vegetables, essentially cutting your cost of fresh produce in half.
Subsidize Health, Not Commodities
For decades, the U.S. government has subsidized crops like corn, sugar, soybeans and cottonseed. From these crops you get corn syrup and trans fats — two major ingredients in processed foods — and feed for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Why not subsidize foods that are actually good for us? After all, it’s our tax dollars being spent on these subsidies. According to research2 presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology meeting in Phoenix at the beginning of March:
Reducing the price of fruits and vegetables by 30 percent could save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years, by lowering rates of heart disease and stroke.
A 10 percent reduction in price of fruits and veggies could prevent 515,000 heart-related deaths and 675,000 heart attacks and strokes by 2035. That includes the assumption that people would be able to afford one additional serving of fruits or vegetables per week.
If people added one additional serving of fruits and vegetables a day, up to 3.5 million deaths from heart disease could be prevented in just two years.
The researchers believe simply lowering the price on healthier foods would be more effective than campaigns encouraging higher consumption. As noted by lead researcher Dr. Thomas Gaziano at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School:3
“This shows that just changing your diet by eating one more piece of fruit or one more serving of vegetables a week can reduce your risk of heart problems by a significant amount. On a population level, policy makers need to realize that it’s hard to get people to make changes in their diet. But certain policy changes, whether it’s taxes on unhealthy foods or subsidies for healthy ones, can make those choices easier for people and are worth looking into.”
You Are What You Eat
Aside from the environmental harm being done by CAFOs and chemical-dependent agriculture, the current food production system also takes an incredible toll on human health. Many kids are not getting the nutrients they need in order to thrive, especially in the U.S. where nearly 40 percent of children’s diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats.4 Only 21 percent of youth ages 6 to 19 eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Your best bet for finding healthy food is to grow your own. If that is not possible, your next best bet is to connect with a local farmer that grows food and raises animals according to organic standards.
Remember, even if you’re not a farmer, you can still have an impact by implementing regenerative aspects such as no-till, plant diversity, and using ground cover like wood chips into your home garden. Along with that, plant some pollinator species to provide a habitat for pollinators. Monarch butterflies, for example, need milkweed to feed and reproduce. When purchasing bee-friendly plants, make sure they have not been pretreated with pesticides that are toxic to bees.
Most importantly, as a consumer, use your dollars to drive change, and educate others as to the importance of nutrient-dense, toxin-free food. Every single time you spend money you make an impact, whether you’re buying organic heirloom seeds for your garden, organic grass-fed food for your family, organic cotton clothes or any other organic items, furnishings and building materials.
It all adds up, and together we can drive larger industries that have such an enormous impact on our environment and health toward more sustainable, regenerative practices. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:
EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce wholesome raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.
Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.
The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.
The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.
If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund5 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.6California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.
If eating raw vegan food doesn’t excite you, let me tell you about Chris. He is a cancer-free blogger that eluded cancer by removing processed foods from his diet and replacing junk food with raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. He says, “The vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and enzymes in raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts are bio available. Plants take these minerals from soil and convert them into a form that the human body can absorb and use to repair itself.” (1) In other words, when the body is fed processed foods, the body can only use what little (if any) nutrients are available. By eating a vegan diet, the body is given all the nutrients it needs. Although Chris’ story may be anecdotal, studies have been published confirming his claims. (2)
2. Gerson Therapy
In the words of 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Albert Schweitzer, MD, “…I see in him one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine. Many of his basic ideas have been adopted without having his name connected with them. Yet, he has achieved more than seemed possible under adverse conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands attention and which will assure him his due place. Those whom he has cured will now attest to the truth of his ideas.” (3) Schweitzer was referring to Dr. Max Gerson, who developed one of the most effective natural cancer treatments nearly 100 years ago. Coined the “Gerson Therapy,” Dr. Gerson helped hundreds of cancer patients activate their body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself by recommending: (4)
Organic, plant-based foods
13 glasses of raw juices each day
3. Budwig Diet
The Budwig diet, also known as the Budwig protocol, is a diet considered to be excellent in the prevention of cancer and as a natural cancer treatment. It promotes the consumption of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids to repair damaged cell membranes. By combining the two fats in a meal, the cells are given the optimal conditions needed to heal. One such meal with the Budwig diet consists of cottage cheese (saturated fats) and flaxseed oil (unsaturated fats) combined together to create a super potent meal that makes the fats more soluble and able to be absorbed by the cell readily. “The Basic Rule with the Budwig diet is ‘if God made it, then it’s fine and try to eat it in the same form that God made it.’ (5)
4. Vitamin D
A link has been made between Vitamin D deficiency and certain types of cancers, suggesting that the deficiency may have contributed to premature deaths. The best way to get it is directly from the sun (and, yes,that includes skin cancer patients as well!). For those of you living in dark, cold climates, vitamin D is one of the easiest supplements to get access to as most drug and grocery stores carry it. According to the Am J Public Health Journal, “The majority of studies found that a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status, for example by Vitamin D supplementation, could reduce cancer incidence and mortality at low cost, with few or no adverse effects.” (6)
Intermittent fasting has been practiced by many different cultures for centuries, however in the United States it is just catching on as a way to lose weight and heal the body naturally. To do a daily intermittent fast, most people only eat during an eight hour window; say 11am to 7pm daily. This gives the body time to use any glycogen and begin burning stored body fat. With that said, fasting and binging will lead to unhealthy behaviors and possible acceleration of certain cancers. Fasting must be combined with a sensible, balanced diet. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the benefits of intermittent fasting far outweigh any uncomfortable hunger pangs (7):
Produces weight loss
Decreases cardiovascular disease risk
More effective for reducing insulin resistance
Boosts metabolism and human growth hormone
Improves brain function
Protects against some effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
With so many benefits, there is no reason not to try intermittent fasting today.
Nutrition Research and Practice published a study stating, “High consumption of fruits and vegetables has been suggested to provide some protection to smokers who are exposed to an increased risk of numerous cancers and other degenerative diseases.” (8) The great news is all of the benefits found do not apply only to smokers, but to everyone. Another study found a link between ingesting carrot juice and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight breast cancer survivors. (9) With more studies being conducted on the benefits of juicing, it really is an easy step in the right direction in addressing cancer naturally. Juicing makes it simple to get the proper nutrition and amounts needed for protection and each vegetable used contains its own worthwhile nutrients. For example, carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and tart cherry juice with its polyphenol is associated with a lower risk of cancer. (10) Even pomegranates and citrus fruit juices are associated with preventing colon cancer. (11)
7. Beta Glucan
You have probably seen the television commercials touting the heart benefits of eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning. Turns out that is not just a marketing ploy to have you buy oatmeal; science confirms this claim. The heart-healthy soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol and the superior source of this benefit is beta glucan. You can get soluble fiber from beans, fruits, lentils, bran, and peas. However, studies are being published about the benefits of using beta glucan for cancer. One reason may be that beta glucan is scarce as a surface component in tumor cells. It has been shown that when taken as a supplement it will prevent cancer growth in a number of ways. (12)
8. Essential Oils
Essential oils are all the rage at the moment, but can they really work in addressing cancer? In vitro studies strongly suggest that they can! Additionally, the National Cancer Institute reports that essential oils can be effective at improving the quality of life for a cancer patient. (13) The aromatherapy can be combined with massage and other treatments to help address virtually every side effect a cancer patient may be experiencing.
9. Stress Relief
Next to sugar consumption, stress is arguably the #1 cause of disease in the human body. It’s relationship to cancer patients, unfortunately, is cyclical. Meaning, that stress can cause cancer and cancer can cause stress; which exacerbates the problem! Thankfully, effective coping strategies are available:
First and foremost, prayer
Training techniques in relaxation, meditation, or stress management
Cancer education sessions
Exercise to raise endorphins and increase circulation and cognitive function
It is suggested to ask for help from a trusted Christian counselor if you are experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression related to a cancerous condition.
Through the centuries prayer and meditation have been used in different forms in different cultures. Indigenous cultures do not separate healing and sacred, ancient traditions. According to the Permanente Journal, 73% of adults believe praying for someone can heal them. (16) This is not a minority number! Additionally, 50% of adults go so far as to say they would like their physician to pray for them. (16) So can prayer and meditation really bring about healing and improve quality of life? In 2012, a randomized, blinded study of the impact of intercessory prayer on spiritual well-being in patients with cancer was published. Upon evaluating 999 patients over the course of 5 years, it was discovered that cancer patients who were being prayed for showed “significant improvements in spiritual well-being.” (17) Having a direct effect on lowering the risk of developing depression and hopelessness, which can complicate cancer considerably, enhanced spiritual well-being can positively affect cancer in a multitude of ways. (18)
Stemtech was the first to discover the way to support the body’s natural renewal system with a clinically documented stem cell enhancer. Now in its third generation, StemRelease3 is on the forefront of modern science and designed to perform in two ways to deliver unprecedented results.
First, StemRelease3 is the only stem cell nutrition formula to contain stemrelease, an exclusive blend of clinically tested ingredients that help support the natural release of your body’s own stem cells. Studies show that the more healthy stem cells circulate in your blood, the greater the ability of your body to naturally renew itself.
Second, with its youth-promoting nutrients, StemRelease3 helps support telomeres health. Telomeres are the caps that protect the ends of chromosomes, similar to how shoelaces have plastic caps to stop them from fraying. Supporting and maintaining the health of your telomeres can help you enjoy a healthier and youthful life.
Stem Cell Nutrition–The future of the Natural Healthcare Industry
Stemtech has pioneered a new category of dietary supplements — Stem Cell Nutrition, which has changed the landscape of health and wellness forever. Unlike other stem cell copycat products, Stemtech’s Stem Cell Nutrition formulations are comprised of specific nutrient combinations of plant-based whole foods, powerful antioxidants, rare and potent botanicals, and other health promoting compounds. All of these ingredients support your body’s natural renewal system by optimizing the performance of its own stem cells. Our patented and patent-pending technology and published studies are what set up apart from all the rest — a testament to our expertise and the value we provide. This is the Stemtech difference.
Life Brings Many Challenges
In today’s modern world, it’s more difficult than ever to maintain good health. Poor diets, exposure to toxins, stress and the fast-paced lifestyle challenge your health every day. Specifically, these factors show the production, release and activity of stem cells — key players in maintaining optimal health and keeping your body and mind in a more youthful state.
What are Stem Cells?
Known as “master” cells, stem cells can become virtually any type of cell in the body — cells of the heart, liver, brain, or other tissue. Produced primarily in the bone marrow, stem cells are released into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. When circulating stem cells reach the area in need of renewal, they migrate into the tissue and transform themselves into new healthy cells of that same tissue.
Here’s How Your Stem Cells Work
Messengers are sent by tissue in need requesting the release of stem cells from the bone marrow. Recommended ProductStemRelease3.
Stem cells circulate in the bloodstream. Recommended ProductStemFlo.
New messengers attract stem cells to migrate into tissue where the stem cells reproduce and become new health cells of that tissue. Recommended ProductSt-5 with MigraStem.
What is Found in StemEnhance3?
Aloe macroclada comes from Madagascar where it is endemic to the island and known as the “remedy of legend”. It has been used for centuries by the people of Madagascar and is considered as a factor of rejuvenation and longevity. The Aloe macroclada in StemRelease3 is prepared by Madagascar natives according to an ancestral formulation that preserves the potency of it natural compounds. Aloe macroclada is a natural source of polysaccharides, minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial nutrients that support an increase in the number of circulation and their participation in the process of tissue repair Stemtech has patents pending on Aloe Macroclada related to stem cell support.
Undaria pinnatifida (Fucoidan)
Fucoidan, also known as wakame has been touted as one of the ocean’s greatest treasures. It is an ultra-pure marine algae that has been clinically shown to support a long-lasting increase in the number of circulating stem cells. Fucoidan offers a wide variety of other cellular and health benefits including immune system support, anti-aging, and strong antioxidative protection. It is a rich source of polysaccharides as well as proteins, soluble fiber, vitamins (A, B1, B2, C), and minerals, such as iodine, calcium and magnesium. Fucoidan is highly bioactive and as such is easily absorbed and assimilated. Stemtrech has patents issued and pending on Undaria Pinnatifida related to stem cell support.
Other Key Ingredients:
Astragalus Membranaceous Extract
Astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is considered to be one of the most effective natural stimulants, tonifying agents and immune-boosting compounds. Astragalus extract provides nutritional support for stem cells and have been shown to have a beneficial role in supporting telomeres health.
Curcuma Longa (Turmeric)
Powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress. An Indian spice widely used in food preparation, turmeric has been diligently studied for decades. This powerful antioxidant helps protect cells from free radicals and oxidative stress. Turmeric also helps to support the immune and cardiovascular systems and provides many anti-aging benefits, including the support for telomeres health.
Organic Cordyceps Sinensis
Cordyceps has been known in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years. As an edible mushroom, it provides a wide variety of health benefits including the support of the immune system and the safe release and circulation of stem cells. Consumption of cordyceps has long been associated with longevity, stamina and energy. This medicinal mushroom is a rich source of polysaccharides, and also provides proteins and vitamins (B1, B12, and C). All these nutrients help to protect and regenerate cells in the immune system and support health longevity.
To see video evidence and a direct link to order StemRelease3:
Once considered as a magic potion, dill oil is an essential oil that does wonders for all ages, from babies who suffer colic to mothers who want to increase their milk production. In this article, I’ll discuss about the many uses and benefits of dill oil.
What Is Dill Oil?
In the olden times, Romans applied dill oil topically before charging into battle because they believed that it could reduce nervousness and stress. It was also believed that the oil can protect against witchcraft as well as used as an ingredient for love potions.1
Today, dill oil is known for its versatility; it has a number of properties ranging from antioxidant and anti-fungal to antibacterial. This essential oil is usually used for digestive support, specifically for indigestion or constipation.2
Dill, the plant from which dill oil is obtained, has two variants: Anethum graveolens (European dill), which is cultivated in England, Germany, Romania, Turkey, USA, and Russia and Anethum Sowa (Indian dill), which is cultivated in many parts of India as a cold weather crop.
There are two types of dill oil: dill seed oil and dill weed oil. The former is obtained from the mature seeds through steam distillation, and the latter is obtained through steam distillation of fresh herbs.
The two types of dill oil also differ in odor and color. While the color of dill seed oil is a slightly yellowish to light brown liquid, dill weed oil is a pale yellow to yellow liquid.
The dill seed oil is known for its caraway-like aroma because it has a higher carvone content compared to dill weed oil. Dill weed oil, on the other hand, emits a strong, fresh and somewhat spicy aromatic odor.3
Uses of Dill Oil
There are several uses of dill oil, but it is popularly used in medicine, food, perfume and soap manufacturing because of its pleasant aroma. It’s known for its healing properties, such as:
•Antimicrobial — It contains a high concentration of carvone.
•Antispasmodic — Its relaxing and calming effect can help pacify spasmodic attacks.
•Sedative — It also has a sedating effect that may aid in inducing drowsiness.
Dill oil also promotes milk production for nursing mothers as helps treat breast congestion due to nursing.4 When mixed in lotions or creams, dill oil can be used to help heal wounds. I also recommend using it in vapor therapy for calming the nerves and relieving tension.
Composition of Dill Oil
Dill oil has at least 10 different aromatic compounds. The dill seed oil and dill weed oil have different chemical compositions, which vary according to geographical location, time of harvest, growth condition and isolation procedure.5
Dill seed oil’s chemical constituents are limonene, ?-pinene, ?-Terpinene, decanal, terpinene-4-ol, ?-elemene, cis-Dihydrocarvone and caryophyllene, trans-hydrocarone, carvone and dillapiole. For dill weed oil, the principal constituents are carvone, limonene, ?-phellandrene and 3,7-dimethyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro coumaran.
Dill weed oil is milder than dill seed oil because it has less carvone and more ?-phellandrene.
Benefits of Dill Oil
Dill oil is usually used for digestive problems such as constipation, loss of appetite and indigestion. Because of dill’s carminative properties, it can help stop gas formation in the intestines. It also has a calming and soothing effect that helps reduce nervousness and relieves anxiety and depression. Other benefits of dill oil include:
•Helps reduce inflammation in the mouth and throat.
•May help alleviate the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children by mixing it with chamomile tea.6
•May be used as a protection from head lice by rubbing it on the scalp.
•Works as a diuretic and helps treat urinary tract infection (UTI) by regulating urine excretion without any difficulty.
How to Make Dill Oil
The dill seed oil is extracted by steam distillation of dried seeds, while the dill weed oil comes from leaves and stem of the plant.
Harvesting is best done when the dill plant is 105 days old, right after the blooming period when seeds are immature. For seed oil, harvesting should take place in the morning when plants are damp with dew. The seeds should be fully mature to avoid shattering.7
How Does Dill Oil Work?
To achieve its therapeutic effect, mix three drops of dill oil, two drops of lavender oil and two drops of lemon balm oil in an aromatherapy lamp. The oil’s relaxing effect creates a soothing feeling that assists in relieving panic, anxiety and stress. Its aroma, which is minty, sweet and spicy at the same time, promotes sleep and helps relieve cramps.8
Another relaxing combination of oils that I recommend is to mix three drops of dill oil and three drops of roman chamomile oil with five drops of lavender oil in an aromatherapy lamp. It gives a sense of calm and it also helps in concentration, making it an effective option for hyperactive children.
It is also ideal to use dill oil in the shower to get that refreshing and soothing feeling. By adding three drops of the oil in your bathwater, it can strengthen and stimulate your entire body.
It is also an ingredient for gripe water, which is a remedy for colic. However, I advise you to consult your physician before ingesting any amount of this essential oil.
Is Dill Oil Safe?
Dill oil is considered safe as a food additive. However, skin rash may occur in people who are sensitive to it. To check if you have any with dill oil, I recommend having a skin patch test prior to using it.
I also advise pregnant women to avoid using dill oil, although it may have some benefit for nursing mother because it helps the flow of breast milk. I recommend consulting a qualified health care practitioner before using dill oil.
Side Effects of Dill Oil
The most common side effect of dill oil is skin irritation, especially for people who are allergic to plants that belong to the carrot family.9