Should You Worry About an Ebola Outbreak in the US?

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By Dr. Mercola

For the third time in the history of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency has raised its level of emergency alertness to “Level 1″—this time in response to the Ebola virus, following outbreaks in West Africa.

CDC Level 1 emergency response, reserved for the most dire health emergencies, was declared for the first time in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 for the H1N1 influenza outbreak.1

On August 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) also declared the Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency.2

The outbreak began late last year. Affected areas include Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. At the time of this writing, of the 1,711 people infected 932 have died in these three areas. Nine people have also been diagnosed with the disease in Nigeria.3

While the death rate for Ebola can be upwards of 90 percent, the current outbreak has a death rate of about 55 percent.4

Two American aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, have contracted the disease, and have been flown back for treatment in the US, aboard a specially-equipped plane. At least one of the victims is being treated at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.5, 6

What Is Ebola?

The Ebola virus7 was first discovered in 1976 when an outbreak occurred in Sudan. So far, five subtypes have been identified:

Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), identified in 1976, is thought to be the most virulent
Sudan ebolavirus, (SEBOV)
Ivory Coast ebolavirus (ICEBOV)
Ebola-Reston (REBOV), isolated from monkeys in the Philippines in 1989. In 2009, this variant was thought to have been transferred from pigs to humans
Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BEBOV). The first outbreak of this virus occurred in the Bundibugyo District, Uganda, in 2007.8 The virus was deposited with the CDC in November 2007, and was patented in 2009.9 It is the most closely related to the ICEBOV strain, but it’s more virulent
The current outbreak involves Zaire ebolavirus, which produces symptoms within six to 16 days of infection. The virus leads to severe immunosuppression, but most deaths are attributed to dehydration caused by gastric problems. Early signs of infection include:

Non-specific flu-like symptoms

Sudden onset of fever, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, and abdominal pains
Other, less common symptoms include sore throat, rashes, and bleeding
As the infection sets in, shock, cerebral edema (fluid on the brain), coagulation disorders, and secondary bacterial infections may occur. Hemorrhaging tends to begin four to five days after onset of the initial symptoms, which includes bleeding in the throat, gums, lips, and vagina. Vomiting blood, excreting tar-like feces indicative of gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver and/or multi-organ failure can also occur.

How Ebola Spreads

According to Fabian Leendertz, an epidemiologist and disease ecologist at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the West African outbreak is spreading via contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. Those at greatest risk are women caring for sick relatives, those handling the dead, and health care workers.

However, he notes that Ebola doesn’t spread as easily as most people might think. Again, person-to-person transmission requires close personal contact with an infected individual or their body fluids during the late stages of infection, or after death.10

Leendertz recently told Science News11 that “even if an infected person were to hop on a plane and fly to the United States, Europe, or elsewhere, tight health care measures would ensure that Ebola will never get far.”

Researchers have also confirmed that Ebola is not airborne. Like HIV/AIDS, the Ebola virus requires contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

Interestingly, the Ebola virus is inactivated by UV radiation.12 It certainly isn’t the first time sunlight has been shown to be beneficial in the fight against disease, although bacteria appears to be more susceptible to UV radiation than viruses.

Additionally, regular sun exposure will help optimize your vitamin D, which is crucial for overall robust immune function. Americans in particular may want to take that advice to heart, seeing how most are vitamin D deficient and therefore more open to infections of all kinds.

Where Did the Ebola Virus Come from?

Potential hosts of the Ebola virus include humans, various monkey species, chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons, duikers (a type of African antelope), two species of rodents, one species of shrew, and three species of fruit bats. The current outbreak in West Africa is thought to originate from either bats or primates.

In a recent NPR interview,13 David Quammen, author of Spillover, a book that traces the evolution of viruses that move from animals to people, said:

“[T]here’s a group of diseases, called zoonotic diseases, which pass from nonhuman animals into humans. And spillover is the moment when a new virus has the opportunity to leap from a bat, monkey or rodent into its first human victim. We’re pretty sure that’s what happened with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa…

We don’t know where Ebola lives permanently — its so-called reservoir host. A reservoir is the animal in which a pathogen or virus lives inconspicuously, without causing symptoms…

There was one Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was suspected that the first case involved contact with a big fruit bat. There were some large, migratory fruit bats roosting along the river in this area.

One man in particular bought a bat at a market and carried it home. Then, I believe, the infection passed from him to his daughter. There was a strong, but not definite, implication that the killing of fruit bats, and the selling and buying of them in the market, is what triggered an outbreak.”

Fast-Tracked Ebola Vaccines Moving Into Human Trials

A number of vaccines are in the works, with human trials already underway. One human trial is set to begin in September.14 According to Newsweek:15

“Once phase 1 testing is completed in January [2015], Fauci expects phase 2 will be conducted on both American and African populations. ‘If it proves to be safe, you expand the trial,’ he says. ‘All of that, the second phase, takes several months. You need to scale up production of the virus.’

From there, if the vaccine is successful in both US and African populations, it may skip the third phase of trials and go directly to Africa. According to Fauci, the earliest this might happen is ‘sometime before the end of 2015′—a timetable he describes as ‘lightning speed.’”

According to Biotechnology Focus,16 Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation already began a Phase 1 human clinical trial of a drug called TKM-Ebola back in January. This drug is being developed under a $140 million contract with the US Department of Defense (DoD). (Monsanto has also invested in Tekmira, which is a developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics.17) In 2013, the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center at Vanderbilt University also received a $4.4 million grant from the US DoD for Ebola vaccine development and other Ebola treatments.18 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also been working on an Ebola vaccine for more than a decade.

Debate Grows Over Use of Experimental, Untested Drugs

A debate is now growing over the use of experimental drugs to combat the Ebola outbreak. As noted by WebMD,19 an experimental treatment called ZMapp, formulated in January, is based on genetically engineered tobacco leaves. The drug is a joint venture between Mapp Biopharmaceutical and Kentucky Bioprocessing, and is being developed in collaboration with LeafBio of San Diego, Defyrus Inc. of Canada, the US government, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.20

The two American aid workers who contracted Ebola both received this drug, despite the fact that it’s only been tested in monkeys. The scientists working on the drug haven’t even published the initial findings of their research, and the drug has not gone through the FDA drug approval process yet.

“Making the serum is slow, in part, because the plants must be grown for several weeks before they are ‘infected’ with a type of protein. ‘Basically the plants act like a photocopier of the proteins,’ WebMD explains.21 Once they’re infected… it takes a week for the plants to make enough of the protein to harvest and distill into a useable drug… [T]he compound… is a combination of three antibodies that are thought to help in two ways.

One of the antibodies alerts the immune system to infected cells so they can be destroyed… the other two antibodies probably prevent the virus from making more copies of itself. ‘We’re still trying to figure out exactly how it works,’ [Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., professor of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA] says. ‘But it seems to neutralize the virus.’”

Dr. Kent Brantly is said to have recovered after receiving the drug, Thomas Geisbert, MD, professor of infectious disease at The University of Texas Galveston Medical Branch, who has studied the Ebola virus for more than 25 years, urges everyone to be cautious about interpreting the effect of the drug. It may or may not have had anything to do with Brantly’s recovery. There are still many unanswered questions about the safety and efficacy of this genetically engineered plant-vaccine. As noted by Dr. Ollmann above, they don’t even understand how it works yet! It should come as no surprise then that they have no idea what the side effects might be…

Such worries are not foremost on the mind of investors in companies creating Ebola drugs however. As noted by NPR:22 “Interest in drugs that might be used to treat Ebola virus has hit a fever pitch, but the buzz isn’t simply about fear of Ebola, or about saving lives in poor nations of West Africa. It’s also about money… [Tekmira] trades on the stock market, so—no surprise—there’s a fair amount of chatter online by investors pumping up the prospects of the putative Ebola drug and hoping to make a buck.” According to Time Magazine,23 the price of Tekmira stock shot up by 45 percent once the company announced the FDA approved limited use of the drug in already infected Ebola patients.

‘New Drugs Are Not the Answer to Ebola,’ Infectious Diseases Expert Says

Meanwhile, common-sense basics like hygiene, nutrition, vitamin D, and intravenous vitamin C are overlooked. Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD recently published an article24 addressing potential Ebola remedies, noting that vitamin C may be of particular importance:

“To date, not a single virus has been tested that is not inactivated (killed) by a large enough dose of vitamin C (ascorbic acid)… A primary way in which vitamin C destroys viruses, or sets them up for destruction by the immune system, is by activating the ‘Fenton reaction.’ In a nutshell, this reaction can proceed inside the virus, inside cells in which viruses are replicating, and on the surfaces of the viruses themselves.

The result of this reaction that is stimulated by the presence of vitamin C, one or more transition metal cations, and the local presence of peroxide is the immediate production of hydroxyl radicals. These radicals are the most reactive oxidizing agents ever identified. As such, they radically upregulate oxidative stress and end up destroying whatever is in their immediate environment.”

I’ve also interviewed Dr. Ronald Hunninghake, an internationally recognized expert on vitamin C, about its benefits in serious cases of H1N1 infection. According to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the most powerful tool against Ebola is basic medical care.25

“The real area of focus… should be setting up medical infrastructure in the affected countries to provide sick people with basic medical support such as replacement fluids and blood. That will have a much bigger effect on health than a few batches of experimental medications,” he told USA Today.26

There’s really no reason to suspect that Ebola would actually become a major threat in the US, as airborne transmission is unlikely.27 But scaring Americans is undoubtedly a profitable venture…

Fear-Mongering Is a Lucrative Business

The Ebola panic is very reminiscent of the 2005 bird flu hoax, and the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) scare—another Level 1 “emergency” that turned out to be grossly hyped to promote the sales of unnecessary vaccines that turned out to be riddled with horrible side effects, including the devastating sleeping disorder, narcolepsy.

In 2005, President Bush made the public prediction that two million Americans might die from the bird flu. Similar predictions were issued in 2006, 2007, and again in 2008. Those fears were exposed as little more than a cruel hoax, designed to instill fear, and line the pocketbooks of various individuals and industry. I became so convinced by the evidence AGAINST the possibility of a bird flu pandemic that I wrote a New York Times bestselling book, The Bird Flu Hoax, revealing the massive fraud involved with the epidemic that never actually happened.

Then, in 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned its 194 member nations to expect up to 1/3 of the world’s population to be infected with the swine flu (H1N1). Massive amounts of casualties were again predicted; dangerous vaccines were fast-tracked, and antiviral drugs later shown to be useless were stockpiled. The antiviral flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza were found to shorten duration of symptoms by less than a day, and had no effect on the number of hospitalizations. One British study concluded that Tamiflu drugs given for the swine flu was “a waste of £500?million,” as it did nothing to halt the spread of influenza.28, 29, 30 According to The Telegraph:31

“The review, authored by Oxford University, claims that Roche, the drug’s Swiss manufacturer, gave a ‘false impression’ of its effectiveness and accuses the company of ‘sloppy science.’ The study found that Tamiflu, which was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week, has been linked to suicides of children in Japan and suggested that, far from easing flu symptoms, it could actually worsen them.”

In reality, the 2009 flu season turned out to be far milder than average, despite the H1N1 variant of the influenza virus being in circulation. An explosive CBS News investigation published in October 2009 clearly showed that the vast majority of “swine flu cases” were not even influenza at all, let alone H1N1. Rather, based on lab testing, the vast majority of people who reported flu-like symptoms actually had some other type of cold or upper respiratory infection.

Now, health officials warn that an Ebola outbreak in the US is just “one airline passenger away.” While theoretically plausible, panic should be tempered by the fact that the American medical system is far better equipped to contain a non-airborne virus like Ebola, compared to West Africa. According to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,32 it would be “extraordinarily unlikely that it will be an outbreak at all because of the way we take care of people, how we have the capability of isolating them, how we understand what one needs to do to protect the health care providers and the kinds of health care facilities we have.”

Why Does the CDC Promote Unreasonable Fear and Panic?

The fact is, the CDC is trumping up the fear factor, while simultaneously downplaying its own role in potentially creating a devastating outbreak through its own negligence. Mere weeks ago, the CDC was found to have accidentally released two dangerous pathogens: anthrax and H5N1 avian influenza. Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, head of the CDC, recently issued a report that admits to sloppy work ethics at the lab.33 If you ask me, we should probably be more afraid of what the CDC does with the Ebola virus than anything…

The CDC promoted and was intimately involved with the film Contagion, which was in part filmed at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA.34 In the summer of 2011, the agency again gave a nod to Hollywood, creating a Zombie Preparedness Campaign;35, 36 ostensibly to bring awareness to pandemic, hurricane, earthquake, and other disaster preparedness.

Promoting Fear to Further Financially-Driven Agendas

As I’ve discussed many times previously, there are tremendous hazards inherent with fast-tracking vaccines. By their very definition, fast-tracked vaccines are those that have received very little safety testing prior to being used, and US regulations already place ALL the risk on the public receiving the vaccine, regardless of whether the vaccine is mandated or voluntary. Vaccine makers can more or less create a lethal vaccine and get away scot free at this point; they’re that well-protected against liability for adverse events of pandemic vaccines.

The PREP Act removes your right to a trial jury unless you can provide clear evidence of willful misconduct that resulted in death or serious physical injury. But that’s not all. But first you must apply for and be granted permission to sue by the DHHS Secretary. The most problematic aspect of the PREP Act is that it removes all financial incentive to make a safe product. In fact, vaccine makers now have a negative incentive to test it for safety, because if they are aware of problems, then they could potentially be held liable for willful misconduct!

As long as they can prove they “didn’t know” of any problem, they will not be liable for damages. Hence, it’s in their best interest to know as little as possible about the adverse reactions it might cause. It seems unimaginable, but under these pandemic conditions, you and your children are little more than unpaid human trial subjects for experimental, fast-tracked vaccines (and other pandemic drugs).

For the most part, most all of the conventional media portrays the entire vaccine process as something heroic and vital to the health of our culture, and they will be reluctant to ever promote any news that contradicts this belief. But as recent history shows, the GREATEST danger could actually be the CDC and other bioterror labs.

I believe we need to consider the financial motives behind the promotion of pandemics and the vaccines that go along with them. It is vital for you to carefully research ALL sides of the vaccine issue and not merely trust federal public health authorities, most physicians, and the media, as they are largely influenced by massive conflict of interest and collusion. Seek other independent and objective views like those at NVIC before you make any important decisions about deciding to vaccinate.

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.

National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips..

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.

If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.

Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

Sources and References

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

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Good News: Gluten-Free, Low-Carb Paleo Diet Hits the Mainstream

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By Dr. Mercola

My book, The No Grain Diet, was published in 2003 and my clinical recommendation included eliminating gluten as a first line intervention before I would fine tune a patient’s diet.

It’s taken well over a decade, but the Gluten-Free, Low-Carb Paleo (GFLCP), which is essentially the same kind of high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet I’ve been promoting, is now hitting the mainstream. Gluten-free diets are also becoming widely recognized.

For those with celiac disease, avoiding gluten is vital, but physicians are also starting to recognize that many have some sort of gluten intolerance, and fare better on a gluten-free diet.

Now, the US Food Administration (FDA) will start to crack down on food manufacturers misusing the gluten-free label, which is good news for those trying to avoid gluten.

Four years ago, I warned that many food products bearing the gluten-free label were in fact contaminated with sometimes high amounts of gluten. In one study, even naturally gluten-free products tested positive to gluten, courtesy of cross-contamination during processing.

New Gluten-Free Labeling Standard Is Now in Force

In August 2013, the FDA issued a standard for gluten-free labeling, requiring any product bearing the label to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. As reported by CNN1 at the time:

“The new regulation is targeted to help the estimated 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, a chronic inflammatory auto-immune disorder that can affect the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley and crossbreeds of these grassy grains.

‘Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease…’ said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg… ‘The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health.’”

According to the rule, in order for a food to bear the label “gluten-free” it must be:

Naturally gluten-free

Any gluten-containing grains must have been refined in such a way to remove the gluten. The final product may not contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten
Naturally gluten-free grains include rice, corn (just make sure it’s non-GMO), quinoa, sorghum, soy (which I don’t recommend eating for other reasons), flax, and amaranth seed. The following foods may NOT use the gluten-free label:

Foods containing whole gluten-containing grains
Foods made with gluten-containing grains (such as wheat, rye, barley, or any their derivatives) that are refined but still contain gluten
Foods that contain 20 parts per million of gluten or more as a result of cross-contact with gluten containing grains

Most People Can Benefit from Avoiding Grains

The deadline for compliance was August 5, 2014.2, 3 You may still find some products manufactured before the deadline that may not conform to this standard, however.

The gluten-free labeling standard should make it much easier to comply with a gluten-free diet, whether you’re suffering from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity or not.

Celiac disease is really just one of several autoimmune disorders that can be significantly improved by avoiding grains. The autoimmune thyroid disease known as Hashimoto’s is another disorder where gluten avoidance is very important.

There’s also compelling evidence that high-grain diets fuel Alzheimer’s disease, and that avoiding gluten can help prevent and treat this devastating brain disorder. Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain goes into this in detail.

Similarly, if you want to avoid heart disease, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, or even cancer, you’d also want to severely limit your grain consumption, or avoid grains entirely. The reason for this is because grains and sugars are inherently pro-inflammatory and will worsen any condition that has chronic inflammation at its root.

In my experience, about 75-80 percent of ALL people benefit from avoiding grains, even whole sprouted grains, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not. The ONLY carbohydrates your body really needs are vegetable carbs. All sugar/fructose and all grains, including the “healthful” ones, will tend to raise your insulin levels, which is a detriment to your health.

Low-Carb Paleo and Ketogenic Diets Embraced by Athletes

I’m quite pleased to see that the high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet I’ve been recommending is now being embraced by a number of athletes. This eating plan is in stark contrast to traditional carb- and protein-loading.

The idea behind carb-loading is to saturate yourself with carbs so your muscles will have plenty of glycogen to go on while you exercise. This can work well for really fit athletes that have an intense workout regimen.

However, I believe it is totally inappropriate for the vast majority of non-athletes that exercise casually. There’s also compelling reasons for professional athletes to rethink carb-loading, for the fact that high-fat, low-carb diets provide more long-lasting fuel and has an overall better impact on metabolism.

Athletic superstars like NBA players LeBron James and Ray Allen claim to have switched to a low-carb diet with beneficial results.4

Other athletes jumping onto the high-fat, low-carb diet include Ironman triathlete Nell Stephenson, pro cyclist Dave Zabriskie, and ultra-marathoner Timothy Olson. Former Ironman triathlete Ben Greenfield is said to have followed a ketogenic diet while training for the 2013 Ironman World Championships.

“After switching to a ketogenic diet, Ben experienced improved stamina, stable blood sugar, better sleep, and less brain fog,” the featured article5 states. “Greenfield, author of Beyond Training, no longer follows the ketogenic diet, but advocates consuming plenty of healthy fats.”

Ironman Triathlete: High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet with High Intensity Training Is a Winning Combination

Former Ironman triathlete Mark Sisson is another tremendously fit athlete who has reportedly improved his athletic performance, body composition, and energy levels after ditching carb-loading for a high-fat, low-carb, Paleo style diet. He subsequently went on to write the popular book, The Primal Blueprint.

Even more interesting, he reports getting fitter on this diet while simultaneously exercising less. As I’ve discussed on many occasions, high intensity interval training can cut your workout routine down from an hour to about 20 minutes, three times a week, without any reduction in efficacy. On the contrary, you can reap better fitness results by exercising this way, and that’s exactly what Sisson experienced as well.

High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Benefits Pediatric Epilepsy and Cancer Recovery

High-fat, low-carb ketogenic diets are also well-recognized in certain fields of medicine. For example, children with epilepsy are frequently prescribed a ketogenic diet to control their seizures when medications are ineffective.6 The ketogenic diet benefits your brain by making your brain cells burn ketones (which are byproducts of fat burning) instead of sugar. According to epileptologist Ahsan Moosa Naduvil Valappil, MD:7

“[The ketogenic diet is] based on a ratio of fat to carbohydrates and proteins. A normal diet contains a 0.3:1 fat-to-carb and protein ratio, but the classical ketogenic diet is based on a 3 or 4:1 ratio… This means that the diet includes 3-4 grams of fat per 1 gram of protein and carbohydrate… Research has shown that more than 50 percent of the children with epilepsy who eat this diet can have their number of seizures cut in half. About 10-15 percent of children will stop having seizures… Fats like butter, heavy whipping cream and olive oil are recommended. Carbohydrates are strictly limited.”8

Ketogenic diets may also be key for cancer recovery. All of your body’s cells are fueled by glucose. This includes cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw – they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies for fuel as all your other cells can. So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel – glucose – for their growth.

The Benefits of Mimicking the Life of Our Ancient Ancestors

During the Paleolithic period many thousands of years ago, people ate primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots, and meat. These foods form the basis of the Paleo diet, although there are slight variations of it. Unfortunately, many Paleo diets recommend switching the carbs for protein rather than fat, which can have detrimental consequences. I’ll discuss this more below. Today, these staple foods have been largely replaced with refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cereal, bread, potatoes, and pasteurized milk products. This processed food diet has promoted the rise of a wide array of chronic and debilitating diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Going back to basics and refocusing your diet on fresh, whole, unprocessed, “real” food is foundational for optimizing your health and addressing just about any health condition. You can easily mold your diet around the principles of Paleo eating by following my nutrition plan. Episodes of intermittent fasting may also be important, as our ancestors clearly did not have access to food on a 24/7 basis like we do today. I believe it to be one of the most profound interventions for the 21st century. While my nutrition plan goes into many details, as a general rule I advocate eating a diet that is:

High in healthy fats. Many will benefit from 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fat from avocados, organic grass-fed butter, pastured egg yolks, coconut oil, and raw nuts such as macadamia, pecans, and pine nuts
Moderate amounts of high-quality protein from organically raised, grass-fed or pastured animals. Most will likely not need more than 40 to 70 grams of protein per day, for the reasons I’ll discuss below

Unrestricted amounts of fresh vegetables, ideally organic

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Your body needs protein for bone and muscle maintenance and for the creation of hormones, among other things. However, you do need to be careful to not consume too much. The average American consumes anywhere from three to five times as much protein as they need for optimal health. I believe very few people will need more than one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Those that are aggressively exercising or competing and pregnant women should have about 25 percent more, but most people rarely need more than 40-70 grams of protein a day.

To determine your lean body mass, find out your percent body fat and subtract from 100. This means that if you have 20 percent body fat, you have 80 percent lean body mass. Just multiply that by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos.

The rationale behind limiting your protein is this: when you consume protein in levels higher than recommended above, you tend to activate the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway, which can help you get large muscles but may also increase your risk of cancer. There is research suggesting that the “mTOR gene” is a significant regulator of the aging process, and suppressing this gene may be linked to longer life. Generally speaking, as far as eating for optimal health goes, most people are simply consuming a combination of too much low-quality protein and carbohydrates, and not enough healthy fat.

It is particularly important though to make sure you increase your protein intake by 25 percent when you are working out with strength training. Your body will need the additional amino acids to build muscle tissue.

Translating Ideal Protein Requirements Into Foods

To determine whether you’re getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you’re eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources. Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts.

Again, you’re aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you’re currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly. You could use the chart below or simply Google the food you want to know and you will quickly find the grams of protein in the food.

Red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood average 6-9 grams of protein per ounce.

An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat or seafood (not 9- or 12-ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18-27 grams of protein Eggs contain about 6-8 grams of protein per egg. So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12-16 grams of protein.

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)
Seeds and nuts contain on average 4-8 grams of protein per quarter cup Cooked beans average about 7-8 grams per half cup
Cooked grains average 5-7 grams per cup Most vegetables contain about 1-2 grams of protein per ounce

Take Control of Your Health with a Health-Promoting Diet and Exercise

I recommend minimal to no consumption of grains and sugars in my Food Pyramid for Optimal Health, which summarizes the nutritional guidelines espoused in my Nutrition Plan. Again, most people would benefit from getting at least 50 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil, nuts, and raw butter until they are able to burn fats as their primary fuel and have no evidence of insulin/leptin resistance. In terms of bulk or quantity, vegetables would be the most prominent feature on your plate.

They provide countless critical nutrients, while being sparse on calories. Next comes high-quality proteins, followed by a moderate amount of fruits, and lastly, at the very top, you’ll find grains and sugars. This last top tier of sugars and grains can be eliminated entirely. Another tremendous benefit is that once your body has successfully switched over from burning carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel, carb cravings tend to disappear as if by magic. To summarize, there are two primary ways to achieve this metabolic switch, and these strategies support each other when combined:

A high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet: This type of diet, in which you replace carbs with low to moderate amounts of high-quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat, is what I recommend for everyone. This kind of diet is very helpful for normalizing weight and resolving insulin/leptin resistance.
Intermittent fasting: There are many reasons to intermittently fast. In my view, it’s one of the most effective ways to normalize your insulin and leptin sensitivity and shed excess weight, which is foundational for optimal health and disease prevention. You can boost your results further by exercising in a fasted state.
Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone (aka the “fitness hormone”). High intensity interval training will do this as well. Intermittent fasting can also improve your brain function by boosting production of the protein BDNF, which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and triggers other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and helps protect your neuro-muscular system from degradation.

Sources and References
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This Doctor Changed His Life with Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Exercise—You Can Too

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By Dr. Mercola

Is there such a thing as a fast diet? Dr. Michael Mosley, a physician like me, wrote a best-selling book on this subject, aptly called The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting, which answers that question.

As a journalist for BBC in the UK, Dr. Mosley has really helped popularize one of the most powerful medical interventions I’ve ever encountered for helping people normalize their weight, namely intermittent fasting.

I’ve previously featured some of his TV documentaries on intermittent fasting and high intensity exercise in this newsletter. In those programs, Dr. Mosley reveals his own health journey, showing how he went from being overweight, diagnosed with diabetes and high cholesterol, to regaining his health.

“My doctor wanted to start me on drugs. But I said, ‘I want to see if there’s something better and alternative out there,’” he says. “I started exploring, and came across intermittent fasting…

I ended up testing all sorts of different forms of fasting, including alternate-day fasting. Eventually, I came up with something that I called the 5:2 Diet, which is really counting calories two days a week and eating normally the other five days.

I stuck to that for about three months. During that period, I lost about 20 pounds of fat, my body fat went down from 28 percent to 20 percent, and my blood glucose went back to normal.

That was two years ago and it stayed completely normal since… I have to say it’s been absolutely life-changing.”

Different Types of Fasting Regimens

Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers an array of different fasting schedules. As a general rule however, intermittent fasting involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or even daily, as in the case of the scheduled eating regimen I use myself.

In his explorations, Dr. Mosley tried a number of these different approaches, including a five-day fast, alternate day fasting (promoted by Dr. Krista Varady), and the 5:2 fast.

The five-day fast was very effective in that he lost weight and improved some of his biomarkers. But it was quite difficult to go a full five days without nearly any food whatsoever. The alternate day fasting also worked, but he found it to be a bit inconvenient.

“And then I came across some work done in England by Dr. Michelle Harvie, which was [fasting] two days a week. I thought, ‘I can handle two days a week.’ In a way, I kind of combined a number of different techniques together and ended up with the 5:2 plan.

One of my inspirations was the Prophet Muhammad because he had told his followers they all need to fast on a monthly basis for Ramadan but also cut your calories two days a week – Mondays and Thursdays. That’s what I did.

I’m not a very religious person, but I do believe that great religions have a lot to teach us, whether it is mindful meditation or indeed some of the benefits of fasting. I think the reason that these ideas persist is there is something very profound about them.”

On the 5:2 plan, you cut your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories on fasting days (about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women), along with plenty of water and tea. On the other five days of the week, you can eat normally.

Yet another version of intermittent fasting, and the one I personally recommend for most people who are overweight, is to simply restrict your daily eating to a specific window of time, such as an eight-hour window. It is more aggressive and, as a result, people will see results sooner.

I too have experimented with different types of scheduled eating for the past three years, and this is my personal preference as it’s really easy to comply with once your body has shifted over from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel.

It is important to note that this is not a permanent eating program and once your insulin resistance improves and you are normal weight, you can start eating more food as you will have reestablished your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel.

Intermittent Fasting Actually CURBS Your Hunger

Many are hesitant to try fasting as they fear they’ll be ravenously hungry all the time. But one of the most incredible side effects of intermittent fasting that I’ve found is the disappearance of hunger and sugar cravings.

I’m a fellow of the American College of Nutrition and have studied nutrition for over 30 years, and I’d never personally encountered or experienced hunger cravings just disappearing like they did when I implemented intermittent fasting.

Dr. Mosley had the same experience once he began fasting. Others have also contacted him saying they’re astonished to realize that hunger no longer dominates their lives; they’re back in control. Now, you get hungry because your body needs fuel. But the vast majority of people in the world, certainly in the developed world, are eating foods that severely inhibit their ability to produce lipase and use fat as an energy source. Lipase is inhibited because of high insulin levels, and your insulin rises in response to eating foods high in carbohydrates.

“Absolutely. I think we’re just beginning to discover what insulin is capable of –not just in managing blood glucose but also in managing fat deposition and probably its link with cancer and dementia. I think we’re just beginning to grasp just how important it is,” Dr. Mosley says. When fasting, I recommend paying attention not only to the timing of your meals but also the quality of the food you eat. I believe it’s important to eat a diet that is:

High in healthy fats. Many will benefit from 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fat from avocados, organic grass-fed butter, pastured egg yolks, coconut oil, and raw nuts such as macadamia, pecans, and pine nuts

Moderate amounts of high-quality protein from organically raised, grass-fed or pastured animals. Most will likely not need more than 40 to 70 grams of protein per day

Unrestricted amounts of fresh vegetables, ideally organic
Dr. Mosley on Intermittent Exercise

Dr. Mosley is also a proponent of high intensity interval training (HIIT), and recently finished a new book called Fast Exercise.

“The reason I got into high-intensity exercise (and this was three years ago) was because I was making a documentary for the BBC called The Truth About Exercise. I met a professor and he said, ‘I can give you many of the benefits of exercise for just a few minutes a week.’ I didn’t believe him. I did the program; it changed my life.”

After that, he began looking into the science behind it, again discovering that there’s a huge body of science showing the benefits of HIIT. Dr. Mosley has also started doing a form of high intensity weight training, which is like the strength-training equivalent of HIIT, based on research he found from the University of Texas. But there’s also another piece of the fitness puzzle that many are still unaware of, and that is the importance of avoiding sitting. When I first started seeing the studies showing that even fit people had an increased risk of dying if they sat for long periods of time, I couldn’t believe it.

I researched it and eventually came across Dr. Joan Vernikos, who’s a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research scientist. She wrote the book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. She really drove home the point of how important it is to engage in intermittent non-exercise movement throughout the day. As it turns out, your body needs to interact with gravity in order to function properly.

Ideally, you shouldn’t sit down for more than 15 minutes or so at a time. Personally, I set a timer to go off every 15 minutes. Once I got used to the routine of standing up several times an hour, I started adding some simple exercises to it. I’ve compiled a list of 30 videos for ideas about what you can do when you stand up, to maximize your benefits.

“I’m familiar with the work of Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Institute. He’s been shouting, ‘The chair is a killer!’ for a good 10 years now,” Dr. Mosley says. “I met him first about 10 years ago. He had very compelling evidence that you should get off your bottom and move around every 20 minutes or so, even if it’s only for a minute, and that being sedentary is itself a killer. It doesn’t matter if you go to the gym. You’re not going to undo 13 hours of sitting.”

Intermittent Fasting Benefits Your Brain

There’s exciting research indicating that intermittent fasting can have a very beneficial impact on your brain function, too. It may even hold the key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

“What really impressed me is when I went to the National Institutes on Aging and I met Dr. Mark Mattson. He’s got these genetically engineered mice. They’ve been genetically engineered so they will develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. Normally they’ll develop dementia around a year, which is the equivalent of about 40 or 50 in humans.

But when he put them on an intermittent fasting diet – alternate-day fasting diet in fact – they developed it at around two years, which is equivalent to being 90. When he put them on a junk diet, a junk food diet, they developed it at about nine months.

When he looked into their brains, he discovered that the ones who had been on intermittent fasting diet have grown 40 percent new brain cells particularly in the area associated with memory. He identified this thing called BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which seems to be driving those changes and also protecting the brains. He’s doing this big study in humans at the moment to see if the same thing happens with fasting humans.”

Mattson’s research suggests that fasting every other day (restricting your meal on fasting days to about 600 calories) tends to boost BDNF by anywhere from 50 to 400 percent, depending on the brain region. BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

BDNF also expresses itself in the neuro-muscular system where it protects neuro-motors from degradation. (The neuromotor is the most critical element in your muscle. Without the neuromotor, your muscle is like an engine without ignition. Neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy.) So BDNF is actively involved in both your muscles and your brain, and this cross-connection, if you will, appears to be a major part of the explanation for why a physical workout can have such a beneficial impact on your brain tissue — and why the combination of intermittent fasting with high intensity exercise appears to be a particularly potent combination.

Eating Like Our Ancestors Helps Optimize Biological Function

One of the arguments for intermittent fasting is that it mimics the way our ancestors ate. They didn’t have access to food 24/7, and underwent alternating intervals of “feast and famine.” The human body is adapted to this, and research shows that abstaining from food now and then actually optimizes biological function all-around.

“We know, for example, that it’s only in the periods when you don’t have food that your body goes into a sort of repair mode, because most of the time it’s going flat out. Your body’s really only interested in procreating, growing cells, always going on and on. But when you go without food for 12 to 14 hours, your body starts to think, ‘Well, let’s do a little bit of repair now.’ Some of the proteins get denatured. New ones get created. Your mitochondria cells originate. There’s a lot of fundamental biochemistry, which completely validates this argument,” Dr. Mosley says.

“As Dr. Mark Mattson said to me, in terms of the brain work, the time when you need to be smart is not when you have food. Because if you’re in a cave and you’ve got food, you reach out and grab it. You don’t have to be clever. The time you have to be smart is when you don’t have food. Because then you’ve got to get up, you’ve got to get out, you’ve got a plan, you’ve got to remember where you left the food before or where you found the berries, and how to hunt. It’s actually being without food that makes you smarter.”

Optimizing your brain function is yet another amazing benefit of applying these two powerful approaches – intermittent fasting and intermittent exercise. You’re actually able to think clearer, get more done, and be far more efficient. It’s a phenomenal side effect of following this type of program.

“At the moment, I’m in contact with a group in Ireland who are doing research trying to combine the two approaches, because as far as I know, it hasn’t been properly tested together. I believe that together it’s going to be much more powerful than separately. It would be nice to have this sort of scientific basis for that [recommendation].”

Finding an Eating Schedule That Works

There are many reasons to implement an intermittent fasting schedule. Adding high intensity interval training and making sure you stand up at regular intervals (several times per hour) can go a long way toward eliminating not only unwanted weight, but also metabolic syndrome and most chronic disease—including heart disease and dementia.

Dr. Mosley and I have both had bouts of diabetes, and close family members have struggled with it as well. Both of us were able to completely reverse our diabetes and regain normal insulin and leptin sensitivity through diet, intermittent fasting, and exercise. Type 2 diabetes is basically 100 percent curable, but you have to give it a sincere effort, and not quit after a few days.

If you struggle with food cravings, especially sugar, know that once you make this shift to burning fat instead of sugar as your body’s primary fuel, your hunger for unhealthy foods will vanish, and you will not have to exert enormous amounts of self-discipline to resist unhealthy foods any longer. You will be back in control!

Perhaps best of all, intermittent fasting is not something you have to do non-stop for the rest of your life. I believe that most who are insulin/leptin resistant would benefit from doing it continuously until the resistance resolves. However, once your weight is ideal, and you have no high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol ratios, or diabetes, then you can have more meals until or unless the insulin/leptin resistance returns.

 

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Anti-Canceer Vegetables

There are two superfood classes of vegetables most adept at blocking
human cancer cell growth in a petri dish: the cruciferous family (cabbages,
kale, broccoli, spinach, even watercress) and the allium family,
of garlic, scallions (green/ spring onions), onions, shallots and leeks.

Yes, synergistically, within the human metabolism vs a petri dish, things
might be different but this video still shows the results of an interesting study
that is worthy of note because most people over 100 eat garlic every day!

I’m wondering why they left out watercress as a salad green, which has
recently (to my delight) been touted as the superfood of all superfoods?

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Osteopathic Medicine Is Gaining Recognition

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By Dr. Mercola

While many people are now aware that there are well-trained health care practitioners specializing in complementary medicine, many are still unaware that there are two kinds of allopathic physicians to choose from as well.

Medical doctors, MDs, and doctors of osteopathy, known as DOs, have similar training requiring four years of study in the basic and clinical sciences, and the successful completion of licensing exams.

As you may know, I’m an osteopathic physician (DO), and DOs, just like MDs, are licensed to prescribe medication, deliver babies, and perform surgery in all 50 states in the US. DOs have the identical license to practice the full range of medicine and surgery as MDs; there is absolutely no difference in their state license.

I’m also board-certified in family medicine, and served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years. In October 2012, I was awarded fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (FACN).

There are some intrinsic differences between MDs and DOs, however. DOs have frequently been viewed as “less than” a “real” doctor1—a view that is simply not true when you consider their training.

Are Osteopaths Real Physicians?

One of the primary distinctions that separates DOs from MDs is the fact that osteopathic physicians are typically trained in an approach that treats the person as a whole, rather than just treating individual symptoms.

In essence, DOs practice “whole person” medicine, and help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that not only address their current illness, but help prevent it. In addition to the four year conventional medical curriculum, DOs receive in-depth training in manipulating the musculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, muscles, and bones.

This training in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) equips DOs with a comprehensive understanding of how illness or injury in one part of your body can influence and affect other parts. DOs are trained to view the human body as an interconnected system.

OMM involves using your hands to diagnose and/or treat. Contrary to most conventional MDs who rarely touch their patients anymore, DOs will palpate and perform physical manipulation. The featured article in the New York Times2 provides an example of this:

“Growing up on Long Island, [Gabrielle Rozenberg] suffered from chronic ear infections. Her doctor recommended surgery. But before committing to an invasive procedure, her parents took her to a DO — a physician whose skills are comparable to those of an MD.

In several visits, he performed some twists and turns of her neck and head, and within days the infection cleared up. ‘The infection happened because of fluid in the ear,’ she explained, ‘and the manipulations opened up the ear canal.’

The infection didn’t come back… Many are drawn to the field for this more personal, hands-on approach and its emphasis on community medicine and preventive care.”

All DOs Are Not Focused or Trained in Natural Medicine…

I opted for a DO instead of getting an MD because I was attracted to its natural philosophical orientation and its focus on prevention. However, as beautifully described in a classic article by Dr. Joel D. Howell, MD, Ph.D, in reality there’s actually little difference between the two degrees.

Patients frequently believe that ALL osteopaths practice natural medicine exclusively. Regrettably, this is not the case. In fact, most fall into the drug and surgical solution trap. Early in my career, I too prescribed drugs as a first line of treatment, before I became more fully aware of the risks, and the viability of natural alternatives.

If you’re looking for a physician of natural medicine, you’re best off contacting the American College for Advancement in Medicine3 (ACAM) for a referral, as most ACAM physicians are at least oriented towards natural medicine and more open to those alternatives.

I do, however, believe that the selection process for osteopathic schools is oriented toward identifying variables besides grades and test scores, which tend to produce more empathic and holistically inclined physicians. This is a factor that is often overlooked in conventional medicine, and can have a great impact on a patient’s outcome.

Osteopathic Schools Becoming Increasingly Popular

After four years of academic study, DOs serve a one-year internship, gaining hands-on experience in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, and surgery.

As a result of this experience, the majority of DOs tend to become primary care physicians—about twice as many DOs as MDs choose this path—and many end up practicing in small towns and rural areas, where they often care for entire families and communities.

DOs who want to go into a particular specialty will complete an additional residency program in their chosen area, which typically requires two to six years of additional training. I completed a two-year family practice residency (three counting internship) to complete my osteopathic training.

DOs focus on being a doctor first and specialist second is becoming increasingly valuable, as shortages of doctors are predicted to worsen in the near future. By 2020, workforce experts predict a shortage of more than 45,000 primary care physicians in the US.

As noted in a recent New York Times4 article, 22 percent of all new medical school graduates come out of osteopathic schools, which is more than double the percentage when I graduated over 30 years ago. Between 1983 and 2000 alone, 16 new schools of osteopathy were opened. As reported in the featured article:5

“The boom in osteopathy is striking. In 1980, there were just 14 schools across the country and 4,940 students. Now there are 30 schools, including state universities in New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Michigan, offering instruction at 40 different locations to more than 23,000 students…

Whatever the reasons for choosing a DO over an MD, osteopathic medicine has, for decades now and increasingly so, been accepted as authoritative training by the medical establishment, including the residency programs that lead to licensure.”

Where Did Osteopathy Come From?

The first osteopath was Andrew Taylor Still, a rural Kansas physician, back in 1864. After the best medicines available at the time failed to help his three children, all of whom died from spinal meningitis, he set out to devise an alternative modality of healing. This new line of thinking was based on the idea that health and healing can be achieved by improving blood flow through manipulation of the spine and neck.

Dr. Still founded the first school of osteopathy in 1892. Three years later, Daniel David Palmer established chiropractic, which is yet another treatment modality based on spinal manipulation. Despite having been around for well over a century, many Americans are still completely unaware that DOs even exist. According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association:6

29 percent of Americans do not know that DOs are licensed to practice medicine

33 percent do not know DOs can prescribe drugs

63 percent were unaware that osteopaths can perform surgery

Originally, osteopathy was created as a very radical alternative to a failing medical system. Since then, the DOs path has inched ever closer to that of the MD, and as I stated earlier, some DOs practice mainly allopathic medicine, focused primarily on pharmacological principles. As noted by Dr. Joel D. Howell in his 1999 article in the New England Journal of Medicine:

“A 1995 survey of 1055 osteopathic family physicians found that they used manual therapy only occasionally; only 6.2 percent used osteopathic manipulation for more than half of their patients, and almost a third used it for fewer than 5 percent. The more recent their graduation from medical school, the less likely practitioners were to use osteopathic manipulation, a finding consistent with the view that osteopathic practice is moving closer to allopathic practice.”

New Residency System Will Further Lessen Distinction Between MD and DO

The distinction between MD and DO accreditation is about to become even more insignificant. In February of this year, the accrediting agencies for MDs and DOs agreed to combine the two into a singular residency and fellowship system. This means that, starting in 2015, DO residency standards will be the same as those for MDs. DOs will be accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, which will have osteopathic representatives on its board and in its review committees. This change is aimed at providing a more uniform learning path, thereby lessening the distinction between MDs and DOs, which will help mitigate the looming shortage of primary care physicians.

As noted in the featured article:

“Dr. Atul Grover, the association’s chief public policy officer, credits the osteopathic boom to the need for additional sources of medical training… Dr. Grover speculates that the new residency system could also lead to one accreditation for MD and DO schools. At the least, the new synergy lends an imprimatur to the osteopathic schools, which by and large lack marquee status. ‘It will allow graduates from two similar but different education systems to work side by side,’ said Dr. John E. Prescott, chief academic officer of the MD association. ‘It’s a true step forward.’”

Redistribution of Federal Funds for Physician Training

Historically, government subsidies for the training of physicians have disproportionally benefited teaching hospitals in the northeast United States. A recent report for the Institute of Medicine (IOM), titled “Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs,”7 calls for redistribution of these funds, amounting to about $15 billion annually. As noted by NPR:8

“The report also called for an end to providing the money directly to the teaching hospitals and to dramatically alter the way the funds are paid. The money in question is for graduate medical education — the training of medical school graduates that’s required before these interns and residents can be licensed to practice in any state.”

About two-thirds of these government funds come from Medicare, and the IOM report now suggests shifting large portions of this money away from major teaching hospitals toward smaller community-based training clinics—some of which do not treat Medicare patients. This has raised quite a bit of opposition, especially from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges9 (AAMC). In a recent press release, the AAMC states:

“By proposing as much as a 35 percent reduction in payments to teaching hospitals, the IOM’s recommendations will slash funding for vital care and services available almost exclusively at teaching hospitals, including Level 1 trauma centers, pediatric intensive care units, burn centers, and access to clinical trials… While the current system can and is being improved to train more doctors in non-hospital settings, these immediate cuts will destabilize a system that has produced high-quality doctors and other health professionals for more than 50 years and is widely regarded as the best in the world.”

In response, Edward Salsberg, a former top official at the Bureau of Health Workforce at the Department of Health and Human Services has noted that:10 “The current system is unsustainable. Health care is moving to the community, but our system of financing graduate medical education is tied to inpatient care.” Osteopathic physicians will undoubtedly play an important part in shifting the system into a more community-based and family oriented type of medicine that places greater weight on health education and prevention—provided osteopathy doesn’t completely lose its holistic-based orientation in the process of becoming more integrated with allopathic medicine…

Be Part of the Change by Taking Control of Your Health

Whether the proposed changes will result in more and better doctors and improved public health remains to be seen. As always, I urge you to take an active role in your health—no matter what kind of physician you’re working with. After all, you’re the one who must live with the outcome of any chosen treatment, for better or worse.

If there is one thing I want everyone to understand, it would be that you have FAR greater control over your health than you think. Leading a common-sense, healthy lifestyle is your best bet to achieve a healthy body and mind. And if you struggle with a health problem, there are almost always simple strategies that can be enormously beneficial and helpful, if not outright curative. While conventional medical science may vacillate in its recommendations, you can take control of your health with the following approaches:

Make healthy food choices: For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular. All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging.

I believe the two primary keys for successful weight management are severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and increasing healthy fat consumption. This will optimize insulin and leptin levels, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight and optimal health.

Exercise effectively and efficiently. High-intensity interval-type training is particularly beneficial for optimal health, as it boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production.

Address your stress: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer.

Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using simple tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden, emotional problems.

Drink plenty of clean water.

Maintain a healthy gut: About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research is stacking up showing that probiotics—beneficial bacteria—affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora.

Optimize your vitamin D levels: Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk of death from ALL causes.
Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.

Get plenty of high-quality sleep: Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss.

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Modern Agriculture is Killing You!

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by Dr. Mercola

Industrial chemical-based farming, which produces the vast majority of US food crops, is destroying the soil that makes the growing of food possible in the first place.

Using wood chips as ground cover, not compost, is a highly cost-effective strategy that will help radically improve your ability to effortlessly grow nutrient-dense food.

In India, genetically engineered seeds cost farmers up to 400 percent more than conventional seeds, and produce 30 percent less yield.

The entire food chain is connected, from soil, plant, and insect health, all the way up to animal and ultimately your health. Supporting the bottom of the food chain ultimately supports your health.

No-till agriculture is likely one of the best approaches, as 70 percent of the soil microbes responsible for plant health and plant communication are fungi, and tilling will disrupt these mycorrhizal fungal filaments.

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What is Fluoride? Hidden Camera Exposes the Toxic Chemicals in Fluoride

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The people who have tricked us to believe that fluoride is healthy for us deserve some kind of “grammy mind control” award, because they have done such a great job of brainwashing us that most of us believe it is good for our teeth and health.

What is fluoride?

The fluoride used in commercial product and for treating drinking water is known as sodium fluoride, which is not the same as the natural version called calcium fluoride. The name fluoride is a cover up term for many of the dangerous chemicals that make up fluoride, including arsenic, lead, fluorosilicic acid and even radioactive materials.

As described at organic-gardening-and-homesteading.com.

Fluorosilicic acid is a waste product of the phosphate fertilizer industry and is heavily contaminated with toxins and heavy metals (including the cancerous arsenic, lead and cadmium) and radioactive materials. This substance is the waste residue from the superphosphate fertilizer industry, and about 70 to 75 percent of this stuff comes from the Cargill fertilizer manufacturing company.

Dr. J. William Hirzy, EPA scientist, is reported to have said, “If the stuff gets out into the air, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the river, it’s a pollutant, if it gets into a lake, it’s a pollutant; but if it goes right straight into your drinking water system, it’s not a pollutant. That’s amazing!”

Fluoride conspiracy: The hidden agendas behind water fluoridation

The toxins mentioned in the excerpt above are just a few examples of the dozens of toxic chemicals in fluoride. Many of these toxins are deliberately put into our drinking water as part of the fluoride-cocktail administered in many of the water treatment facilities across the United States and other Western countries. The toxic chemicals that make up sodium fluoride are often not simply byproducts of fluoride, but a mix of toxic waste byproducts created by companies that are in the phosphate fertilizer business and other similar business.

Why do these companies want to poison our drinking water with their toxic chemicals? It all comes down to profit and greed. Managing and disposing these toxic wastes in a safe way cost a lot of money. Instead of being responsible and taking appropriate actions to dispose these toxic wastes, they lobbied our politicians into believing that fluoride is healthy and then advised our politicians to put these toxic wastes in our drinking water. This is done to destroy our health and dumb us down, so that we rely more on the medical industry for pharmaceutical drugs.

Did you know that many conventionally grown foods are contaminated with sodium fluoride?

Fluoride (sodium fluoride) is not only found in drinking water but also found in a great portion of conventionally grown food because a great portion of the pesticides use for growing conventional food are contaminated with sodium fluoride. These irresponsible actions are great for making profits for companies that support this poison, but they are also great for destroying our health.

Sodium fluoride has been known to increase the risk of brain inflammation, bone cancer, thyroid disorder, lowered IQ and mental functions and sterility. The pure form of sodium fluoride is so toxic that by just drinking a small droplet of it could kill you. This is why fluoridated toothpastes have warning labels and non-fluoridated toothpastes do not have warning labels. These are just a few examples of the dangers of fluoride.

If you still think fluoride is not dangerous, you need to watch the short video clip below since it exposes the toxicity of this poison. Info Wars is an alternative news that does a decent job of covering highly sensitive topics about the government, but its information is not always accurate. For this reason, use your intuition to help you discern the information in the following video.

Infowars Hidden Camera – Fluoride Treatment Facility: Nightly News Report

How to protect yourself and your family from sodium fluoride

Avoid using products that contain fluoride, such as fluoridated toothpaste.
Drink only fresh filter water that is filtered with activated alumina filters or reverse osmosis technology. If you are interested in a portable water purification system, you may want to check out the Berkey water filter system with PF-2 fluoride filters.
Avoid drinking bottled water because it is just as bad as tap water.
Take action by educating your local authorities about the dangers of fluoride and advise them to stop treating drinking water with this toxic poison.
Sources:

http://www.organic-gardening-and-homesteading.com/fluoride-water-filters.html
http://www.infowars.com/water-fluoridation-war-government-admits-dangers-experts-speak-out/

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FDA Urges Tighter Rein on Hydrocodone Medication While Simultaneously Approving Another Addictive Painkiller

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By Dr. Mercola

In the year 2011, more than five billion hydrocodone-containing pain pills were prescribed to an estimated 47 million American patients.

According to a recent report1 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in little over one decade (1999-2010), deaths from prescription painkiller overdose—whether accidental or intentional—leapt up 400 percent among women and 265 percent in men.

Last year, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta also reported that:2

“Distribution of morphine, the main ingredient in popular painkillers, increased 600 percent from 1997-2007, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.3

In the United States, we now prescribe enough pain pills to give every man, woman and child one every four hours, around the clock, for three weeks.”

Not surprisingly, deaths from these addictive and dangerous drugs have ballooned and become a significant societal problem. Overall, prescription drug deaths have far surpassed deaths from illicit street drugs, accounting for about three-quarters of all drug overdose deaths in the US.

Funny how among all this prescription drug carnage, American politicians still have the gall to single out dietary supplements as the threat to public health to be curbed through more stringent regulations and safety testing…

Among women, the overdose death rate is currently highest among 45 to 54-year olds, suggesting that at least a portion of these drugs are probably prescribed appropriately for pain. Unfortunately, many fail to realize just how addictive these drugs are, and how they affect other systems in your body.

How Pain Killers Can Take Your Life

Most prescription pain killers work by binding to receptors in your brain to decrease the perception of pain. But they also create a temporary feeling of euphoria, followed by dysphoria, which can easily lead to addiction.

This may drive some people to take larger doses in order to regain the euphoric effect, or escape the unhappiness caused by withdrawal. Others find they need to continue taking the drugs not only to reduce withdrawal symptoms but to simply feel normal.

Large doses of these kinds of drugs can cause sedation and slowed breathing to the point that breathing stops altogether, resulting in death.4 A relatively pleasant way to go if you have to go early, but you are still dead.

But these people do not have a death wish; they’re not suicidal, and have no idea that they’ll never wake up again after taking their medication and going to bed. Sadly, and far too often, that’s exactly what happens, courtesy of too much of the medication in their system… As stated by Dr. Gupta:5

“[A]ter just a few months of taking the pills, something starts to change in the body. The effectiveness wears off, and patients typically report getting only about 30 percent pain relief, compared with when they started. Even more concerning, a subgroup of these patients develop a condition known as hyperalgesia, an increased sensitivity to pain.

As you might guess, all of this creates a situation where the person starts to take more and more pills. And even though they are no longer providing much pain relief, they can still diminish the body’s drive to breathe.

If you are awake you may not notice it, but if you fall asleep with too many of these pills in your system, you never wake up. Add alcohol, and the problem is exponentially worse. People who take pain or sleeping pills and drink a couple glasses of wine are playing Russian roulette.”

Despite This, FDA Approves Yet Another Addictive Painkiller

Among the most commonly abused medications are:

Opioids, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, codeine and Fentora, which are used for pain relief
Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium and Ativan, which are used as sedatives to induce sleep, prevent seizures and relieve anxiety
Amphetamine-like drugs, such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall, which are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The opioid pain relievers are by far the most troublesome, causing nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses.6 That said, ADHD drugs such as Ritalin, Vyvanse, Strattera, and Adderall (and their generic equivalents) are also becoming increasingly misused. This drug category saw a greater than 400 percent increase in ER visits due to adverse reactions in a mere six years,7 and are now responsible for nearly 23,000 emergency room visits annually.

With more people now dying from prescription drug overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes, public health agencies are being forced to sit up and take notice. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently recommended tighter controls on painkiller prescriptions,8 and have previously paid lip service to less addictive treatments.

The agency has now announced its intention to reclassify hydrocodone-containing painkillers from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug. The drug schedule system classifies medications based on their potential for abuse and addiction, as well as other medical criteria.

The reclassification will affect how hydrocodone-containing drugs can be prescribed and refilled. Doctors will only be allowed to prescribe a 90-day supply of the drug per prescription, and they will no longer be permitted to phone in refills; rather the patient has to bring the prescription with them to the pharmacy. The new regulations are expected to take effect as early as next year.

Ironically enough, while talking about the need for stricter controls and less addictive painkillers, it just approved the first drug containing pure hydrocodone for the US market, called Zohydro ER (Zogenix). All other hydrocodone-containing painkillers on the market are mixed with other non-addictive ingredients. Zohydro ER was approved for patients who need around-the-clock pain relief. As reported by Bloomberg:9

“The approval came as a surprise since an FDA panel of outside advisers gave the drug an overwhelmingly negative review last year. The panel of pain specialists voted 11-2, with one abstention, against approving the drug. It questioned the need for a new form of one of most widely-abused prescription drugs in the United States. The approval also came a day after the FDA said it would support stronger restrictions on combination drugs containing hydrocodone.”

Beware of Taking These Common Painkillers if You Value Your Heart Health

Another commonly used type of pain killer is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS. Millions of Americans depend on NSAIDS to relieve pain from arthritis, headaches, injuries and countless other conditions that cause chronic pain, and these drugs are also clearly dangerous.

The deadly painkiller Vioxx was in this category. It was pulled from the market in 2004 after 60,000 people had died from its increased heart risks. Later that same year, the FDA warned that other NSAIDS, such as the Cox-2 inhibitors Bextra (which was pulled from the market in 2005) and Celebrex, as well as over-the-counter varieties like Aleve, Ibuprofen and aspirin, also lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Two years ago, researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland revealed that NSAIDs lead to a two to fourfold increase in the risk of heart attacks, stroke or cardiovascular death, noting that it would only take 25-50 patients being treated with NSAIDs for one year to lead to an additional heart attack or stroke. Aside from significantly increasing your heart risks, NSAIDs are also linked to serious gastrointestinal risks, like bleeding of the digestive tract, increased blood pressure and kidney problems.

It’s really quite difficult to find a drug-based method of pain relief that is not saddled with severe side effects. Even acetaminophen-containing prescription products are now required to limit the amount of the drug to 325 milligrams or less per tablet, as taking too much acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the US.

Carefully Ascertain Your Need for a Narcotic Pain Killer…

Some now insist that the proposed FDA reclassification of hydrocodone-containing pain killers will pose too great a burden on people who are in pain, and the doctors who will have to see them more frequently. Few are talking about the elephant in the room, however, which is that there are many other, safer pain relief options.

How about trying them out as a first resort, before resorting to addictive drugs? It is extraordinarily hard to believe that nearly 50 million Americans being in such dire chronic pain as to require a narcotic painkiller… Clearly, these drugs are being over prescribed and misused by many, and I believe the vast over reliance on them as a first line of defense for pain is a major part of the problem.

Remember, no matter what type of painkiller you choose, it will come with potentially serious risks to your health. Unfortunately, most conventional physicians’ tend to address chronic pain with a long-term treatment plan that typically includes a drug-combination approach, using narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-convulsants, muscle relaxants, and possibly other types of pain medication as well. In other words, the answer for pain relief is drugs, drugs and more drugs — each one raising your risk of suffering potentially lethal side effects.

I believe there’s a better way. If you are suffering from pain, I suggest you work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner to determine what’s really triggering your pain, and then address the underlying cause. Make sure you do your homework regarding the risks and benefits of taking them, and understand that they are a temporary solution at best. Not long term.

Non-Drug Options for Pain Relief

Remember, along with exposing you to potentially deadly risks, medications only provide symptomatic relief and in no way, shape or form address the underlying cause of your pain. Still, I realize that pain can be debilitating so you don’t need to suffer unnecessarily while you get to the bottom of your pain issues.

The following options can often provide excellent pain relief when you are dealing with a mild, annoying type of pain, without any of the health hazards that prescription (and even over-the-counter) painkillers carry. If you have chronic pain, you might want to consider trying these first.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (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, 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.
Ginger: 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.
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 mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.
Cayenne Cream: 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, meditation, hot and cold packs, and other mind-body techniques can also result in astonishing pain relief without any drugs.

Sources and References
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11 Charts That Show Everything Wrong with Our Modern Diet

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By Dr. Mercola

Three decades ago, the food available was mostly fresh and grown locally. Today, the majority of foods served, whether at home, in school or in restaurants, are highly processed foods, filled with sugars, harmful processed fats, and chemical additives.

During that same time, obesity rates have skyrocketed, and one in five American deaths are now associated with obesity. Obesity-related deaths include those from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, dementia, and depression, as nearly all have metabolic dysfunction as a common underlying factor.

The featured1 article contains 11 telling charts and graphs, illustrating how the modern diet has led to an avalanche of chronic disease. As its author, Kris Gunnars says:

“The modern diet is the main reason why people all over the world are fatter and sicker than ever before. Everywhere modern processed foods go, chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease soon follow.”

Sugar Consumption, Especially Soda and Juices, Drives Disease Rates

Of all the dietary culprits out there, refined sugar in general, and processed fructose in particular, win top billing as the greatest destroyers of health. The amount of refined sugar in the modern diet has ballooned, with the average American now getting about 350 calories a day (equivalent to about 22 teaspoons of sugar and 25 percent of their daily calories) from added sugar.

This level of sugar consumption has definitive health consequences. One recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine,2 which examined the associations between added sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths, found that:

Among American adults, the mean percentage of daily calories from added sugar was 14.9 percent in 2005-2010
Most adults (just over 71 percent) get 10 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar
Approximately 10 percent of American adults got 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar in 2005-2010
The most common sources of added sugar are sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, and candy
According to this study, those who consume 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar are TWICE as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who get seven percent or less or their daily calories from added sugar.

Needless to say, with all this added sugar in the diet, average calorie consumption has skyrocketed as well, having increased by about 20 percent since 1970.

A primary source of all this added sugar is soda, fruit juices, and other sweetened drinks. Multiple studies have confirmed that these kinds of beverages dramatically increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and mortality. Diet sodas or artificially sweetened foods and beverages are no better, as research reveals they appear to do even MORE harm than refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), including causing greater weight gain.

Abandoning Traditional Fats for Processed Vegetable Oils Has Led to Declining Health

Fats help your body absorb important vitamins, including vitamins A, D, and E, and fats are especially important for infants and toddlers for proper growth and development. Moreover, when your body burns non-vegetable carbohydrates like grains and sugars, powerful adverse hormonal changes typically occur. These detrimental changes do not occur when you consume healthy fats or fibrous vegetables.

As explained by Dr. Robert Lustig, fructose in particular is “isocaloric but not isometabolic,” which means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. Furthermore, saturated fats, although supplying more calories, will NOT actually cause you to get fat, nor will it promote heart disease.

Unfortunately, the healthiest fats, including animal fats and coconut oil, both of which are saturated, have been long portrayed as a heart attack waiting to happen. Meanwhile, harmful hydrogenated vegetable oils such as corn and canola oil have been touted as “healthful” alternatives. Ditto for margarine.

Boy, did they get this wrong. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The hydrogenation process creates incredibly harmful trans fats, which the US Food and Drug Administration is now finally considering banning altogether. (I’ll review the health hazards of trans fats in further detail below.) Clearly, switching from lard and grass-fed butter—which contains heart-protective nutrients—to margarine and other trans-fat rich hydrogenated oils was a public health experiment that has not ended well.

Low-Fat Fad Has Done Unfathomable Harm

Conventional recommendations have also called for dramatically decreasing the overall amount of fat in your diet, and this fat aversion is yet another driving factor of metabolic disease and chronic ill health. As I and other nutritional experts have warned, most people (especially if you’re insulin or leptin resistant, which encompasses about 80 percent of Americans) probably need upwards of 50-85 percent of daily calories from healthful fats. This is a FAR cry from the less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats recommended by the US Department of Agriculture.3 As stated in the featured article:

“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.

The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”

There’s no telling how many have been prematurely killed by following these flawed low-fat guidelines, yet despite mounting research refuting the value of cutting out fats, such recommendations are still being pushed.

Increased Vegetable Oil Consumption Has Altered Americans’ Fatty Acid Composition

The increased consumption of processed vegetable oils has also led to a severely lopsided fatty acid composition, as these oils provide high amounts of omega-6 fats. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50. Eating too much damaged omega-6 fat and too little omega-3 sets the stage for the very health problems you seek to avoid, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, just to name a few. To correct this imbalance, you typically need to do two things:

Significantly decrease omega-6 by avoiding processed foods and foods cooked at high temperatures using vegetable oils
Increase your intake of heart-healthy animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil.

The Dangers of Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

About 95 percent of soy is genetically engineered to have resistance to glyphosate and is loaded with this highly toxic herbicide. But even if you have organic soy, most of it is hydrogenated. Hydrogenated soybean oil has, like sugar, become a major source of calories in the US diet. Americans consume more than 28 billion pounds of edible oils annually, and soybean oil accounts for about 65 percent of it. About half of it is hydrogenated, as soybean oil is too unstable otherwise to be used in food manufacturing. In 1999, soybean oil accounted for seven percent of consumed daily calories in the US.

Part of the problem with partially hydrogenated soybean oil is the trans fat it contains. The other part relates to the health hazards of soy itself. An added hazard factor is the fact that the majority of soybeans are genetically engineered. The completely unnatural fats created through the partial hydrogenation process cause dysfunction and chaos in your body on a cellular level, and studies have linked trans-fats to:

Cancer, by interfering with enzymes your body uses to fight cancer Chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma, auto-immune disease, cancer, and bone degeneration
Diabetes, by interfering with the insulin receptors in your cell membranes Heart disease, by clogging your arteries (Among women with underlying coronary heart disease, eating trans-fats increased the risk of sudden cardiac arrest three-fold!)
Decreased immune function, by reducing your immune response Increase blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol
Reproductive problems, by interfering with enzymes needed to produce sex hormones Interfering with your body’s use of beneficial omega-3 fats

Besides the health hazards related to the trans fats, soybean oil is, in and of itself, NOT a healthy oil. Add to that the fact that the majority of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered, which may have additional health consequences. When taken together, partially hydrogenated GE soybean oil becomes one of the absolute worst types of oils you can consume. Unfortunately, as stated in the featured article:4

“[M]ost people don’t have a clue they’re eating this much soybean oil. They’re actually getting most of it from processed foods, which often have soybean oil added to them because it is cheap. The best way to avoid soybean oil (and other nasty ingredients) is to avoid processed foods.”

Wheat – A Bane of the Modern Diet

Modern wheat is not the same kind of wheat your grandparents ate. The nutritional content of this staple grain has been dramatically altered over the years and is now far less nutritious than the varieties of generations past. As Gunnars states:5

“Modern dwarf wheat was introduced around the year 1960, which contains 19-28 percent less of important minerals like Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Copper. There is also evidence that modern wheat is much more harmful to celiac patients and people with gluten sensitivity, compared to older breeds like Einkorn wheat. Whereas wheat may have been relatively healthy back in the day, the same is not true of modern dwarf wheat.”

Wheat lectin, or “wheat germ agglutinin” (WGA), is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive ill effects. WGA is highest in whole wheat, especially sprouted whole wheat, but wheat isn’t the only grain with significant lectin. All seeds of the grass family (rice, wheat, spelt, rye, etc.) are high in lectins. WGA has the potential to damage your health by the following mechanisms (list is not all-inclusive):

Pro-Inflammatory: WGA lectin stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers, even at very small concentrations Neurotoxic: WGA lectin can pass through your blood-brain barrier and attach to the protective coating on your nerves, known as the myelin sheath. It is also capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain neurons
Immunotoxic: WGA lectin may bind to and activate white blood cells Cardiotoxic: WGA lectin induces platelet aggregation and has a potent disruptive effect on tissue regeneration and removal of neutrophils from your blood vessels
Cytotoxic (toxic to cells): WGA lectin may induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) Research also shows that WGA may disrupt endocrine and gastrointestinal function, interfere with genetic expression, and share similarities with certain viruses
Flawed Assumptions About Eggs Have Worsened Health

According to USDA data, Americans ate more than 375 eggs per person per year, on average, in 1950. Egg consumption dipped to just over 225 eggs per capita between 1995 and 2000, and as of 2007, it was just over 250 eggs per capita per year—a 33 percent decline since 1950.

Like saturated fats, many naturally cholesterol-rich foods have also been wrongfully vilified. Eggs, which are actually among the most nutritious foods you can eat (provided they come from organically raised, pastured hens) have long been accused of causing heart disease simply because they’re high in cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol has little to do with the cholesterol level in your body, and numerous studies have confirmed that eating eggs does NOT raise potentially adverse LDL cholesterol in your blood. Studies have also failed to find any evidence that eggs contribute to heart disease.

Testing6 has confirmed that true free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs. The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. In a 2007 egg-testing project, Mother Earth News compared the official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs with eggs from hens raised on pasture, and found that the latter typically contains:

2/3 more vitamin A
Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
Three times more vitamin E
Seven times more beta-carotene
Barring organic certification, which is cost-prohibitive for many small farmers, you could just make sure the farmer raises his chickens according to organic, free-range standards, allowing his flock to forage freely for their natural diet, and aren’t fed antibiotics, corn, and soy.

You can tell the eggs are free range or pastured by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you’re getting eggs from caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet. Cornucopia.org offers a helpful organic egg scorecard that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria that are important for organic consumers. According to Cornucopia, their report “showcases ethical family farms, and their brands, and exposes factory farm producers and brands in grocery store coolers that threaten to take over organic livestock agriculture.”

People Eat More Processed Food Than Ever Before

Overall, about 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods.7 This includes restaurant foods (i.e. food away from home) and processed grocery foods that require little or no preparation time before consuming at home.

When looking at the ratio of money spent on store-bought groceries only, Americans spend nearly a fourth of their grocery money on processed foods and sweets—twice as much as they did in 1982—according to Department of Labor statistics.8 Pricing of meats, sugar, and flour has had a great influence our spending habits. These items have actually seen a decrease in price per pound, which has had an inverse effect on Americans’ spending habits, in that cheaper prices encourage people to buy more.

The result is obvious. Compared with shoppers 30 years ago, American adults today are twice as likely to be obese, and children and adolescent three times as likely to be overweight. Pediatric type 2 diabetes—which used to be very rare—has markedly increased along with the rise in early childhood obesity. According to previous research, early onset type 2 diabetes appears to be a more aggressive disease from a cardiovascular standpoint.9

Take Control of Your Health

Research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions now confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development. Sugar, and fructose in particular, has been implicated as a culprit in the development of both heart disease and cancer, and having this information puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to prevention. A diet that promotes health is high in healthful fats and very, very low in sugar and non-vegetable carbohydrates.

Understand that excessive sugar/fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance appears to be the root of many if not most chronic disease. So far, scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and health problems,10 including heart disease and cancer.

Many also eat far too little healthy fat, and the combination of too much sugar and too little fat is driving disease rates through the roof. If you’re still unsure about what constitutes a healthy diet, please review my free optimized nutrition plan, which starts at the beginner level and goes all the way up to advanced.

 Sources and References
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Brazil Farmers Say GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Pests

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Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
SAO PAULO — Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday.

Producers want four major manufacturers of so-called BT corn seeds to reimburse them for the cost of spraying up to three coats of pesticides this year, said Ricardo Tomczyk, president of Aprosoja farm lobby in Mato Grosso state.

“The caterpillars should die if they eat the corn, but since they didn’t die this year producers had to spend on average 120 reais ($54) per hectare … at a time that corn prices are terrible,” he said.  ($1 = 2.223 reais)

Large-scale farming in the bug-ridden tropics has always been a challenge, and now Brazil’s government is concerned that planting the same crops repeatedly with the same seed technologies has left the agricultural superpower vulnerable to pest outbreaks and dependent on toxic chemicals.

Experts in the United States have also warned about corn production prospects because of a growing bug resistance to genetically modified corn. Researchers in Iowa found significant damage from rootworms in corn fields last year.

In Brazil, the main corn culprit is Spodoptera frugiperda, also known as the corn leafworm or southern grassworm.

Seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.

Dow Agrosciences, a division of Dow Chemical Company, has programs in Brazil to help corn farmers develop “an integrated pest management system that includes, among other things, the cultivation of refuge areas,” it said in an email.

Another company, DuPont, said it had not received any formal notification from Aprosoja. The company’s Pioneer brand has been working with producers to extend the durability of its seed technology and improve efficiency since Spodoptera worms were found to have developed resistance to the Cry1F protein, it said in a statement.

The other two companies, Monsanto Co and Syngenta AG did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Tomczyk, who also spoke for Brazilian farmers during a dispute over seed royalty payments to Monsanto that ended last year, said Aprosoja encouraged the planting of refuge areas. But he said the seed companies have not given clear instructions.

“There are barely any non-GMO seeds available … it is very uncomfortable that the companies are blaming the farmers,” he said. Aprosoja hopes to reach a negotiated agreement with the seed companies, but if all else fails farmers may sue to get reparations for pesticide costs, he added.

Brazil is harvesting its second of two annual corn crops and expects to produce 78 million tonnes this crop year, slightly less than last season’s record. Domestic prices recently hit their lowest in four years due to abundant supplies.

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