The United States lags far behind many other nations when it comes to food safety and nutritional recommendations, and this is perhaps particularly true when it comes to raw milk.
The fact is, large dairy farmers operating under the factory farm model simply cannot produce raw milk safe for human consumption.
They’re too large, and therefore end up being hotbeds for pathogenic contamination. They also cannot provide enough open pasture for tens of thousands of cows to continually graze on.
Cleanliness and pasture are critical parameters for producing healthy milk fit for raw consumption. So really, the war on raw milk boils down to control—controlling the competition, which is selling a superior product. It’s NOT an issue of safety at all.
In fact, several studies have demonstrated the superior safety of raw milk compared to pasteurized, yet the vilification of raw milk continues unabated—science and statistics be damned…
Europeans Can Buy Raw Milk from Vending Machines
In sharp contrast to the US, some European nations sell raw milk in vending machines! And contrary to popular (American) belief, the bodies are NOT piling up as a result. As reported by Modern Farmer:1
“Europe’s embrace of raw milk vending machines isn’t new. Such daring dispensers of unpasteurized dairy can be found in France, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and, as one map2 shows, all over the place in Italy.”
The safety measures are remarkably simple. If the temperature of the milk rises above the regulated level, the machine will stop dispensing milk, and the farmer is notified via text message. The milk spout is sterilized by a UV light between each purchase.
In the US, several states have outright banned the sale of raw milk for fear of contaminated milk despite the fact that, statistically, such fears are completely and udderly unfounded (pun intended).
Research by Dr. Ted Beals, MD,3 featured in the summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, shows that you are actually about 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!
Pasteurized Dairy and Processed Foods Top the List of ‘Most Dangerous’
The vast majority of foodborne illnesses in the US are linked to factory farmed and highly processed foods, not raw foods. For example, late last year, Chobani Greek yogurt was recalled following reports of gastrointestinal illness.4 The yogurt, which is pasteurized and not raw, was found to be contaminated with a fungus called Murcor circinelloides.
In 2011, Cargill recalled a whopping 36 million pounds of ground turkey.5 An antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella in the meat ended up causing 107 illnesses and one death.
An investigation revealed that this strain of Salmonella had been found four times over the course of one year, yet the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), took no action against the producer. And, from the time the first illness was reported and the recall took effect, five months passed, allowing over a hundred more people to become ill from the contaminated meat.
A major part of the problem is that, despite being in charge of food safety oversight of meat and poultry, the USDA does not have the authority to take action against a meat or poultry producer—even if the permissible limits of pathogenic contamination are repeatedly exceeded.
Clearly, this does not bode well for food safety. As explained in a previous Food Safety News article discussing this case:6
“For example, take ground turkey. When USDA tests for Salmonella, they take individual 1-pound samples on 52 consecutive days of production. Sometimes it takes a year to complete a set — and the establishment gets a heads up that a sample is going to be taken!
In addition, if 26 or fewer are positive, the sample set passes. If more than 26 are positive, the sample set fails.
Basically, these are like open book exams — not pop quizzes — where a 50 percent is still passing! And even when a sample set fails, USDA does another set of testing. And they keep doing testing until a set passes.”
What this means is that if 50 percent of the samples are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, it’s deemed “safe.” But if it hits 51 percent, it’s tagged as “unsafe.” And testing simply continues until illness is reported. What sense does this make?
Yet anytime the lack of food safety is discussed, the focus is suddenly turned to raw milk! It’s almost as though US agencies are using raw milk as a scapegoat to keep you from looking at the real problem, which is that factory farms produce inherently unsafe foods. It’s like a propaganda machine sleight of hand maneuver…
CDC Stance on Raw Milk—As Biased as It Gets
Mark McAfee, CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy and an internationally recognized expert in raw milk production and safety, has on numerous occasions tried to set the record straight with US authorities, to no avail. In a 2012 letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he writes:7
“As a grade A producer of retailed-approved raw milk in California, I find your raw milk page filled with highly erroneous and very misleading information… In California, we have legal retail-approved raw milk in 400 stores consumed by 75,000 consumers each week. This retail legal raw milk is tested and state inspected and far exceeds pasteurized milk product standards without any heat or processing.
It is clean raw milk from a single source dairy. There have been no deaths from raw milk in California in 37 years. Two years ago, I submitted a FOIA request to the CDC to request data on the two deaths that the CDC database claims were from raw milk. The data I received back from the CDC showed that in fact there had been no death from raw milk at all.
The two deaths had been from illegal Mexican bath tub cheese and not raw milk from any place in America. Why does the CDC persist in publishing this erroneous information? …The last people to die from milk died from pasteurized milk at Whittier farms in 2007, not from raw milk.”
While both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC warn that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, they completely overlook the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk.
They make no distinction whatsoever between disease-riddled factory farmed milk and the milk from clean, healthy, grass-fed cows. This is indeed a key issue, as raw milk from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) IS dangerous and must be pasteurized in order to be fit to drink, whereas raw milk from cows raised on pasture IS NOT dangerous and DOES NOT need pasteurization. The source of the milk makes all the difference when it comes to raw milk.
What the CDC Doesn’t Tell You About Raw Milk Is Worth Knowing…
The CDC also fails to inform visitors in its website that legal raw milk producers oftentimes adhere to stricter safety standards than CAFOs do. California, specifically, has its own special set of standards for raw milk for human consumption, in which farmers must meet or exceed pasteurized milk standards, without pasteurizing.
Instead of giving you the facts, the CDC lists raw milk as one of the riskiest foods in America, without any real proof to back up such a proclamation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has even called for a complete ban on raw milk because it is so “dangerous.” But on what do they base their assumptions? On the CDC’s unproven opinion? If safety was truly the issue, then pasteurized dairy would be banned, as that’s what’s causing the most disease.
So you’ve got to ask yourself, is this really about our personal safety or the safety of the milk industry? Eating directly from the farm is prohibited by industry so they can control our food supply. They make it very difficult for farmers to sell directly to us, whether dairy products or meat products. They claim this is done for our safety, but it’s really just a plot to control our food system.
“The FDA does not mention raw milk on their top 10 most risky foods in America list,” McAfee notes. “Pasteurized ice cream and pasteurized cheeses make the top 10 risky foods list… According to the Cornell study performed on CDC data, there were 1,100 illnesses caused by raw milk between 1973 and 2009. There were 422,000 illnesses caused by pasteurized milk. No deaths from raw milk and at least 50 deaths from pasteurized milk or pasteurized cheese—the CDC left out the 29 or more people that died from the pasteurized Jalisco cheese listeria incident in 1985.”
Raw Milk Has Many Health Benefits
The CDC, as McAfee notes, is absolutely riddled with bias. While most of it is obvious, some of the bias is hidden by the way the CDC counts its statistics. For example, it counts outbreaks rather than the number of people affected by the outbreak. In one outbreak caused by pasteurized milk, 200,000 people fell ill! Yet it’s only counted as one incident. Its website also makes no mention whatsoever to studies showing how raw organic milk differs, nutritionally, from CAFO milk, and how it improves health. For example, raw milk is:
Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract High in omega-3 and low omega-6, which is the beneficial ratio between these two essential fats
Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies). These enzymes are destroyed during pasteurization, making pasteurized milk much harder to digest Loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live Lactobacilli
Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolism Rich in healthy unoxidized cholesterol
Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestible It also contains phosphatase, an enzyme that aids and assists in the absorption of calcium in your bones, and lipase enzyme, which helps to hydrolyze and absorb fats
Pasteurizing milk, on the other hand, destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamins, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, and actually promotes pathogens.
Max Kane’s Self-Healing Is a Testament to the Power of Raw Dairy
In the video above, I interview Max Kane, a local raw dairy farmer from whom our office purchases a variety of raw dairy products from. Max was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 10. Through years of study, he eventually healed himself through nutrition and lifestyle changes. He now consumes only 100 percent raw, 100 percent organic, and 100 percent pasture-raised dairy products. Raw dairy makes up about 50 percent of his diet.
“The cream is perhaps the most important part of the milk because the cream is where all the energy is that’s needed to digest the milk protein casein,” he explains. “That’s why it’s important to consume full-fat dairy products instead of non-fat or skim dairy products. The cream is also responsible for regulating the sugar absorption into your blood. It decreases the likelihood of insulin spikes. The cream naturally floats to the top of the milk, and it can be skimmed right off the top. Traditionally, people would use the cream line as a visual aid to help them assess the quality of the milk…
Homogenization [is] an industry process that fractionates the cream molecule, the fat molecule, into small little pieces. This was done for the purpose of making the cream line non-detectable to the human eye… That’s how they standardized the milk, by taking away the viewable quality assessment from the consumer, and ultimately left the consumer with no real visual way to assess the quality and the value of the milk.”
The quality of grass-fed milk, butter, and yogurt can easily be ascertained by its color. The carotenoids in the plants cows eat on pasture gives grass-fed products a more yellow-orange cast. When cows are raised on dried grass or hay, opposed to fresh-growing grass, you end up with a whiter product, which is an indication of reduced carotenoid and antioxidant content. Raw milk yogurt is also very thick and creamy, compared to pasteurized commercial varieties. The same goes for pastured eggs, which can be ascertained by their deep orange yolk. CAFO chickens, which never go outdoors, and are fed grains rather than bugs and insects, produce eggs with pale yellow yolks.
ABOUT Max Kane – Max Kane was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 10, and through years of study, healed himself through nutrition and lifestyle changes. 100% of his dairy products and over 50% of his other foods are purchased directly from farms. When it comes to dairy, he only consumes 100% raw, 100% organic, 100% grass-fed. Dairy makes up about 50% of his diet. After realizing the healing power of fresh farm foods, Kane teamed up with Amagisoft to create FarmMatch.com.
ABOUT FarmMatch — It’s free to create an account, but no account is required to use the system.
FarmMatch is built over the Google mapping system and makes local food searchable worldwide, making it easy to find a local farmer. Not only are specific farm products searchable, but products are searchable by quality standards as well… 100% grass-fed, non-GMO, etc. You can connect with farmers and buy online as well. The order management system is consumer funded. Buyers pay a $2.95 fee when placing an order or can opt into a $3.95/month plan that allows unlimited ordering with no $2.95 fees. Through these small affordable consumer fees, FarmMatch delivers a state-of-the-art software suit to every small scale farmer at no charge to the farmer. The FarmMatch business model not only helps individual small farmers, but it also lifts the entire local food movement as a whole.
Join the Fight for Food Freedom
The fight over raw milk stands as a symbol of the much larger fight for food freedom. Who gets to decide what you eat? You? Or the FDA? If the FDA and other government agencies are allowed to impose their view of “safe food” on consumers, raw milk won’t be the only thing lost—all food will be pasteurized, irradiated, and genetically engineered. The effort to reclaim our right to buy and consume raw milk is leading the way for everyone who wants to be able to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice. So please, get involved! I urge you to get involved with the following action plan to protect your right to choose your own foods:
1. Get informed: Visit www.farmtoconsumer.org or click here to sign up for action alerts. To review the raw milk laws in your state, see the Farm-to-Consumer.org’s Raw Milk Nation page.
2. Join the fight for your rights: The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is the only organization of its kind. This 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization provides a legal defense for farmers who are being pursued by the government for distributing foods directly to consumers. Your donations, although not tax deductible, will be used to support the litigation, legislative, and lobbying efforts of the FTCLDF.
3. Support your local farmers: Getting your raw milk from a local organic farm or co-op is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting high-quality milk. You can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Website. California residents can find raw milk retailers by using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.
There is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless—but others are outright dangerous and can lead you down the road to chronic health problems and may even trim years off your life.
It is critically important to decipher fact from fiction. Many nutrition myths get repeated over and over until they are mistaken for truth, especially when perpetually spread by public health authorities.
But the good news is that slowly, the real truth finally appears to be reaching mainstream audiences, as evidenced by the eagerness of satirists to take a jab at the food industry, as in the clever Coca-Cola parody featured above.
In an article addressing destructive nutrition lies, Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition1 is among those admirably trying to bust the dangerous dietary myths that continue being spread by so many nutritionists. I agree with the majority of his points, but have added a few others that I believe to be important. Read on for my own top 10 list, which builds upon his.
Lie #1: Breakfast Is the Healthiest Meal of the Day, and You Should Eat Many Small Meals a Day
How many of you had mothers who would not let you leave the house without breakfast? Mother may have known best about some things—but as it turns out, this wasn’t one of them. There is now a good deal of research supporting the health benefits of intermittent fasting—which is what you were really doing by zipping out of the house without breakfast.
Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction which many studies have shown to dramatically increase life span in animals. It may also be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.
Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone production (aka the “fitness hormone”) by as much as 1,200 percent for women and 2,000 percent for men.
Intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction have both been shown to produce weight loss and improve metabolic risk markers. However, intermittent fasting tends to be slightly more effective for reducing insulin resistance.
Other benefits include reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure, and increased lean body mass. Intermittent fasting can also improve your brain function by increasing levels of BDNF, a protein that protects your brain cells from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
There are several types of intermittent fasting to choose from, so I recommend experimenting to see what style works best for you. One of the easiest, however, is to simply skip breakfast, and limit your eating to a narrow window of time each day—say between 11am and 7pm, to start. You can review my more comprehensive article on intermittent fasting for more details.
The advice to “eat six small meals per day” comes from seemingly logical principles (portion control, keeping your energy up, stabilizing blood sugar, etc.), but in reality, eating this way has not been shown to provide these benefits. We seem to need periods of fasting for optimal metabolic function.
And if you think about it, our ancient ancestors never had access to a grocery store 24/7 and they went through regular periods of feast and famine. The problem is that most of us are in 24/7 feast mode. Implementing intermittent fasting is the quickest way I know of to jump start your body into burning fat as its primary fuel again.
Lie #2: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease
The dangerous recommendation to avoid saturated fat, which arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming people’s health for about 40 years now. As recently as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:
“Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”
Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is the polar opposite of an ideal fat to carb ratio and virtually guarantees you a heightened risk of disease.
Most people benefit from a diet where 50-85 percent of daily calories are derived from healthful fats. However, you need very few, if any, carbohydrates for optimal health. Although that amount of fat may seem like a lot, fat is very calorie-dense, and will therefore still constitute the smallest amount, in terms of volume, on your plate.
The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.
Fats also serve as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and are required for converting carotene into vitamin A, absorbing minerals, and a host of other important biological processes. Saturated fat is also the preferred fuel for your heart! Good sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include:
Avocados Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk Raw dairy Organic pastured egg yolks
Coconuts and coconut oil Unheated organic nut oils Raw nuts, especially macadamia, and raw seeds Grass-fed and finished meats
Lie #3: High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good for You
Of all the health-destroying foods on the market, those made with highly processed vegetable and seed oils are some of the worst. When consumed in large amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort your important omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. In a perfect world, this ratio is 1:1—but the average American is getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Excessive omega-6 fats from processed foods significantly increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other illnesses.
The cholesterol found in arterial plaque is oxidized, damaged cholesterol, which your immune system identifies as bacteria. In response, your immune system sends out macrophages to attack it, which creates inflammation inside your artery walls. A major factor driving heart disease is this oxidized cholesterol, which you introduce into your body every time you consume vegetable oils, or foods cooked in them.
Many vegetable and seed oils are also genetically engineered, which only compounds their health risk. More than 90 percent of US canola oil is GE. So what’s the best oil to cook with? Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the one of choice for cooking because it’s close to a completely saturated fat—meaning, much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most nutritionally beneficial fats. For more information about coconut oil, please see our special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.
Lie #4: Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss
Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they are diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The irony is that nearly all of the studies to date show that artificial sweeteners cause even MORE weight gainthan caloric sweeteners. Studies also show that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.
In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain much more so than regular soda.2 On average, each diet soda the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several possible reasons for this, such as:
Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content
Artificial sweeteners appear to perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced, leading to further problems with weight control3
Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced by multiple studies. For example, a Purdue University study found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids4
The list of health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, continues to expand. I maintain an ongoing list of studies related to the detrimental effects of aspartame, which I recommend you review for yourself if you are still on the fence. I invite you to watch my aspartame video, as well.
Lie #5: Soy Is a Health Food
The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, regardless of your age or gender. I am not opposed to all soy—properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto, offer great health benefits, courtesy of the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) the fermentation process produces.
Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to a number of health problems, however. More than 90 percent of American soy crops are also genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.5 If you find this information startling, then I would encourage you to review some of the articles on my Soy Page. The following table lists a number of the damaging health effects science has linked to unfermented soy:
Breast cancer Brain damage and cognitive impairment Heart disease
Thyroid disorders Kidney stones Immune dysfunction
Severe, potentially fatal food allergies Malnutrition Digestive problems
Problems with pregnancy and breastfeeding Reproductive disorders and impaired fertility Developmental abnormalities in infants
Lie #6: Whole Grains Are Good for Everyone
The use of whole grains is an easy subject to get confused about, especially for those with a passion for health and nutrition. For the longest time, we’ve been told that whole grains are highly beneficial. Unfortunately, ALL grains can elevate your insulin and leptin levels, even whole grains and organic varieties—and elevated insulin/leptin increases your risk of chronic disease. This is especially true if you already struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, which would manifest as high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol ratios, being overweight, or diabetes).
It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin and leptin levels and have one or more of the symptoms listed above. You may be one of those if you struggle to maintain an ideal body weight and body composition, tend to accumulate fat around you belly, or have a suboptimal lipid profile. In fact, insulin/leptin dysregulation is a common indicator for many of the diseases so prevalent today, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.
Many whole grains also contain gluten, which is a common trigger for allergies and sensitivities. Subclinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, with symptoms that are not always obvious. I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains from your diet, as well as sugars/fructose, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above. As a general rule, the higher your insulin levels are, the greater your grain restriction should be.
Lie #7: Genetically Engineered Foods Are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods
Genetic engineering (GE) of our food may be the most dangerous aspect of our food supply today. I strongly recommend that you avoid ALL GE foods. Since more than 90 percent of the corn and 95 percent of the soy grown in the US are GE, then you can count on virtually every processed food having at least one GE component if it doesn’t bear the “USDA 100% Organic” or non-GMO label. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of them is that the crops are saturated with one of the most dangerous herbicides on the market, glyphosate, to the tune of nearly a billion pounds per year. This toxic chemical can’t be washed off as it becomes integrated into nearly every cell of the plant, and then gets transferred into your body.
No one knows exactly what will be the ultimate impact of these foods on your health, particularly over the long term. Animal studies have pointed to increased disease, infertility, and birth defects as the top contenders. The first-ever lifetime feeding study showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan. It’s important to realize that, unless you’re buying all organic food or growing your own, you’re probably consuming GE foods on a daily basis. In order to avoid as many GE foods as possible, be aware that the following common crops are likely to be GE unless otherwise labeled:
Corn, Canola, Alfalfa
Soy, Cottonseed, Sugar from sugar beets
Zucchini, Crookneck squash, Hawaiian papaya
Lie #8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart
Eggs are one of the most demonized foods in the US… thanks to the cholesterol myth. The misguided belief that cholesterol, such as in egg yolks, will give you heart disease is simply untrue (see Lie #1). Studies have shown that eggs do NOT have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels and are actually one of the most healthful foods you can eat. In one Yale study,6 participants were asked to consume two eggs daily for six weeks. Researchers found that this egg consumption did not spike cholesterol levels and did not have a negative effect on endothelial function, a measure of cardiac risk.
Choose pasture-raised organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are also more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs. Some of the many nutritional benefits of eggs are summarized for you in the table below.
One egg contains six grams of high quality protein and all nine essential amino acids Beneficial for eye health due to lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants in your lens and retina that help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts Good source of choline, a member of the vitamin B family (essential for nervous system, cardiovascular system, and prenatal brain development)
Vitamin D: eggs are one of the few foods that contains naturally occurring vitamin D (24.5 grams) Sulfur (essential component of glutathione, also promotes healthy hair and nails) Many other vitamins and minerals (B vitamins, vitamins A and E, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc)
Lie #9: Low-Fat Foods Prevent Obesity and Heart Disease
Conventional recommendations over the past 40 years or more have called for drastically decreasing the overall fat in your diet, but this fat aversion is a driving force behind today’s metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and ill health. As discussed earlier, most people need between 50 and 85 percent of their calories from fats—a far cry form the less than 10 percent from saturated fat recommended by the USDA!7 Kris Gunnars stated it quite nicely:8
“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.”
Let’s face it, if low-fat diets worked, the United States would be the healthiest nation on the planet—folks have been following them since the late 1970s! But if you look at the following graph, you can see that America’s waistline has done nothing but expand since then. There’s no telling how many people have been prematurely killed by following these flawed guidelines. Yet, despite mounting research to the contrary, low-fat diets are stillbeing pushed as “heart healthy” by the majority of nutritionists, cardiologists, and the like.
Lie #10: Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories
I have already covered how insulin resistance is a key factor in disease (see Lie #4). A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates—particularly processed grains and sugar—leads directly to insulin and leptin resistance. When your highest percentage of calories comes from healthful fats, these problems just don’t exist. Most high-carb diets are high in sugar and starch, not vegetables. When the low-fat mantra swept over the country, the high-carb craze soon followed. When fat was removed from foods, something had to be added back in to make foods more palatable—and that something was sugar. Particularly, highly concentrated forms of fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup, which spell metabolic disaster for your body.
With fat being the identified villain (albeit falsely accused), sugar was completely ignored—even though sugar was the real culprit behind inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease. America’s love of sugar was a boon to the processed food industry—which added fructose to practically everything from soup to nuts… literally. If you want to see what effects this had on the country’s health and belt size, just turn on your national news.
A high-carb diet disrupts your insulin and leptin signaling, and over time may very well result in type 2 diabetes. By contrast, a diet higher in beneficial fats corrects these metabolic issues. Recent research has demonstrated that the ketogenic diet—one marked by carbohydrate restriction and substantial healthful fats—extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent, because it optimized their insulin sensitivity and other metabolic processes. There is evidence that low carbohydrate diets, combined with appropriate amounts of protein, can even slow down Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Now for the #1 Truth…
The more you can eat like your ancestors, the better—fresh whole foods, locally and sustainably raised, and foods that are minimally processed or not processed at all. These are the types of foods that your genes and biochemistry are adapted to and will provide you with the ability to reverse and prevent most diseases. You will find these at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, or in your own backyard garden. And you will be amazed at the positive changes you’ll see in your health when you “clean up” your diet! Be wary of nutritional advice from mainstream “experts” as it may not be based on science—or based on bad information that is several decades outdated. Truthful, accurate information is your number one weapon in taking control of your health.
Great Britain, like the United States, has seen a remarkably rapid rise in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes over the last decade. According to a recent BBC News1 report, more than one-third of British adults are now pre-diabetic.
In 2003, 11.6 percent of Britons had pre-diabetes. By 2011, that figure had more than tripled, reaching 35.3 percent. Researchers warn that this will lead to a massive avalanche of type 2 diabetics in upcoming years, which will have serious consequences for health care and life expectancy.
In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. What’s worse, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and teens has also skyrocketed.
The most recent data,2, 3 reveals that, between 2001 and 2009, incidence of type 1 diabetes among children under the age of 19 rose by 21 percent. Incidence of type 2 diabetes among children aged 10-19 rose by 30 percent during that same timeframe!
Conventional Medicine Has It All Wrong…
Statistics such as these point to two very important facts. First, it tells us that diabetes cannot be primarily caused by genetics, and secondly, it literally screams that something we’re doing, consistently and en masse, is horribly wrong, and we need to address it.
In this case, that “something” is a seriously flawed diet and lack of physical activity. Unfortunately, Dr. Ron Rosedale wrote in 2005, doctors cause diabetics to D.I.E from their flawed prescriptions, which stem from a basic lack of insight into the root cause of this disease. D.I.E., here, is a clever acronym for “Doctor Induced Exacerbation,” which does indeed include early death.
Conventional medicine has type 2 diabetes pegged as a problem with blood sugar rather than the underlying problem of improper insulin and leptin signaling. The reality is that diabetes is a disease rooted in insulin resistance4 and perhaps more importantly, a malfunction of leptin signaling, caused by chronically elevated insulin and leptin levels.
This is why the medical community’s approach to its treatment is not getting anywhere. Treating type 2 diabetes with insulin is actually one of the worst things you can do…
Recent research has come to the same conclusions that Dr. Rosedale warned us about nearly a decade ago, which is that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin can lead further to the development of type 1 diabetes.
And, not only are conventionally-trained doctors wrong about the cause of the disease, but they continue to pass along seriously flawed nutritional information as well, which allows the disease to increase to epidemic proportions.
Definitions of Terms
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of causes and treatments for diabetes, let’s clarify the difference between type 1 and type 2, and the emergence of what some are now referring to as “type 3″ diabetes. The terms “pre-diabetes” and “metabolic syndrome” also need to be explained.
Pre-diabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance, is a term used to describe an earlier state of progressing insulin resistance. It is conventionally diagnosed by having a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125 mg/dl.
Pre-diabetes is very easy to turn around. Simply swapping processed foods for whole organic foods lower in sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates combined with a few minutes of daily exercise will quickly put you on the road to reversing this condition.
Metabolic syndrome. As your insulin resistance progresses, your liver makes too much sugar and fat, and your skeletal muscles are less able to burn them and make glycogen, which is how glucose is stored in your muscles and liver. In turn, there is an increase in sugar and fats in your bloodstream which leads to high triglyceride levels and increased body fat–especially abdominal fat, and higher blood pressure.
Having 3 or more of a group of symptoms caused by insulin (and now we also know leptin) resistance — high triglycerides, low HDL, higher blood glucose and blood pressure, and increased belly fat—is referred to as metabolic syndrome (in the past it was called Syndrome X).
Type 1: insulin-dependent diabetes. Traditionally, type 1 diabetes develops before the age of 20. It used to be relatively uncommon, but as noted above, its incidence is rapidly rising.
Type 1 diabetes is classically an autoimmune disease in which your immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of your pancreas, resulting in an inability to produce any significant insulin which that, if left untreated, will cause death in days to weeks from a hyperglycemic coma.
This deficiency of insulin is why type 1 is called “insulin-dependent” diabetes. There is currently no known way to completely reverse this.
However recent research suggests glimmers of hope. For example, Columbia University scientists claim that by turning off a particular gene, human gut cells can be converted into cells that produce insulin in response to dietary sugar.5, 6
Type 2: non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is producing some insulin, in fact usually too much, but is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly. This is an advanced stage of insulin resistance, which is typically caused by a diet that is too high in sugars and sugar-forming foods.
When you have inadequate insulin signaling, sugar cannot get into your cells and instead builds up in your blood. While anyone can get type 2 diabetes, you are typically considered at highest risk if you are overweight, sedentary, if you are a woman who had gestational diabetes, have family members with type 2 diabetes, or have metabolic syndrome. However, all of these really have the same underlying root of insulin and leptin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes represents the vast majority of all diabetics, and contrary to conventional medical and media teaching, it’s nearly 100 percent curable7 through lifestyle changes alone (if these are instituted before conventional medical therapy/drugs kills the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin, causing type 1 diabetes too; see below).
Study Confirms: ‘Insulin Therapy May Do More Harm Than Good’
A study published in the June 30, 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine8 concluded what Dr. Rosedale has been saying for two decades, that insulin therapy in type 2 diabetic patients may indeed do more harm than good. As reported by Medical News Today:9
“In the US, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when hemoglobin A1c levels reach 6.5 percent or higher. The higher A1c levels are, the greater the risk of other health problems. Sometimes the condition can be managed through changes in diet, but other patients with type 2 diabetes may need medication – such as insulin or metformin – to help lower their blood sugar levels, and ultimately, reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
But the researchers of this latest study… claim that the benefits of such treatment – particularly for people over the age of 50 – may not always outweigh the negatives. ‘In many cases, insulin treatment may not do anything to add to the person’s quality life expectancy,’ says study co-author John S. Yudkin… ‘If people feel that insulin therapy reduces their quality of life by anything more than around 3-4 percent, this will outweigh any potential benefits gained by treatment in almost anyone with type 2 diabetes over around 50 years old.’
For example, they estimate that a person with type 2 diabetes who begins insulin therapy at age 45 and lowers their hemoglobin A1c levels by 1 percent may experience an extra 10 months of healthy life. But for a patient who starts treatment for type 2 diabetes at age 75, they estimate the therapy may only gain them an additional 3 weeks of healthy life. The researchers say this prompts the question – is 10-15 years of pills or injections with possible side effects worth it?”
New Kid on the Block: Type 3 Diabetes, or ‘Brain Diabetes,’ May Be Responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease and Glaucoma
A growing body of research suggests there’s a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma,10 via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers learned that the pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin. Your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of your brain cells.
A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have now discovered that insulin does far more than simply regulating blood sugar. Your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones. In fact, Dr. Rosedale believes that it is the constant burning by the brain of glucose that is primarily to blame for Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders
Insulin is actually a “master multitasker” that helps with neuron glucose-uptake, and the regulation of neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning. This is why reducing the level of insulin in your brain impairs your cognition. Other research11 shows that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than expected—particularly gray matter. This kind of brain atrophy is yet another contributing factor for dementia. “Brain diabetes” may also be responsible for glaucoma, according to recent research. As reported by Medical News Today:12
“Researchers [in India]… have proposed a new mechanism of glaucoma which suggests that diabetes can occur in the brain and may be the cause of many neurodegenerative disorders including glaucoma… an irreversibly blinding disorder with almost 65 million sufferers worldwide. There is no cure…
The recent paper titled ‘Glaucoma: Diabetes of the brain – a radical hypothesis about its nature and pathogenesis’, published in Medical Hypotheses… explore glaucoma and related neurodegenerative diseases from many perspectives and come up with a multifaceted and internally coherent concept of glaucoma being ‘the diabetes of the brain.’”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunts its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.
Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Indeed, mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Contrary to type 2 diabetes, type 1 is not may not be rooted in insulin and leptin dysfunction caused by excessive sugar (and carbohydrate) consumption. However, over the past several years, research has given us important clues about its predisposing conditions. Two important ones that you have more or less complete control over are:
Vitamin D deficiency. Research suggests that sun avoidance may play a major role in the development of insulin dependent diabetes. The further you move away from the equator the greater your risk of being born with, or developing type 1 diabetes. A major key to preventing type 1 diabetes in children is to ensure that pregnant mothers have optimal vitamin D stores. There is also strong evidence that this can decrease your child’s risk of autism. Once your child is born, ensuring he or she gets optimal sun exposure (and/or wise use of oral vitamin D supplementation) could virtually eliminate the risk for type 1 diabetes.
Abnormal gut flora. An excessive focus on a germ-free environment is another potential contributing factor that impairs immune function. In 2008, animal research13 suggested that beneficial bacteria could protect against the development of type 1 diabetes. There is a good deal of evidence that a contributor to the rising rates of type 1 diabetes is raising our children in too sterile an environment. Many parents religiously use antibacterial soaps and keep their children away from the natural dirt, germs, viruses and other grime of childhood.14
Antibiotics, which kill all of the good and bad bacteria in the gut, are also overused in childhood. The lesson here is, it’s okay to let your child get dirty. Use plain soap and water for washing. Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, and feed them naturally fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut.15
Root Causes of Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity. This makes it easily preventable and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs. One of the driving forces behind type 2 diabetes is excessive dietary fructose, which has adverse effects on all of metabolic hormones—including two key players: insulin and leptin.
There is no question in my mind that regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of insulin/leptin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. It’s important to realize that even though fructose is relatively “low glycemic” on the front end, it actually reduces the receptor’s affinity for insulin, leading to chronic insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar on the back end. So, while you may not notice a steep increase in blood sugar immediately following fructose consumption, it is likely changing your entire endocrine system’s ability to function properly behind the scenes…
Another major cause of type 2 diabetes is the consumption of the vast amount of glucose derived from the high carbohydrate diet that has been recommended for the last half century by conventional medical and media recommendations. All carbohydrates that are not fiber will be quickly metabolized into sugar, and it makes little sense to eat large amounts of sugar to keep your blood sugar lower.
The misconception of the cause of diabetes may be the biggest problem. Conventional medicine describes diabetes as a disease characterized by elevated blood sugar. This “dysregulation of blood sugar control” is typically explained as “an inability of your body to produce enough insulin.” To control diabetes with that view, it would be rational to prescribe insulin or drugs that raise insulin to counteract the elevated blood sugar. The reality however is that type 2 diabetes is NOT the result of insufficient insulin production. It’s actually the result of too much insulin being produced on a chronic basis primarily from eating the high carbohydrate, low fat diet recommended by the ADA and AHA to prevent and treat this.
This overwhelms and “deafens” your insulin receptors, hence the term “insulin resistance.” It’s the chronically elevated insulin levels that make your body “resistant” to understanding the signals sent by the insulin. This also occurs with leptin. It’s really important to realize that T2 diabetes is not caused by elevated blood sugar or “insulin deficiency” per se. The root cause is insulin and leptin resistance which is why prescribing insulin is one of the WORST things you can do for type 2 diabetes, as it will actually worsen your insulin and leptin resistance over time. You do not need more insulin. You need to restore the sensitivity of your insulin and leptin receptors by keeping their levels low!
If you’re still having trouble understanding why taking insulin is a terrible choice in type 2 diabetes consider this; when your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy (sugar) into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen, but the majority is stored as fat. Therefore, insulin’s primary role is not to lower your blood sugar, but rather to store this extra energy as fat for future needs when food may not be available. The fact that insulin lowers your blood sugar is merely a “side effect” of this energy storage process. Taking more insulin just makes you fatter!
Your body’s cells become desensitized to insulin, leptin, and other hormones, by being overexposed to these hormones—be it by eating food that causes excessive secretion, or by injection. Diabetes treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar by adding insulin therefore tend to worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.
As Dr. Rosedale has previously stated: “Type 2 diabetes is brought on by constantly having too much insulin and leptin circulating secondary to the same diet that has been recommended to treat diabetes and heart disease, a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Then giving these diabetics more insulin is adding gasoline to the fire. Doctors couldn’t be doing more harm if they tried.”
Leptin—An Oft-Ignored KEY Player in Type 2 Diabetes Development
While much conventional advice centers around insulin, leptin is another hormone that plays an integral role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Leptin is produced in your fat and other cells, and one of its primary roles is regulating your appetite and body weight. Leptin tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and most importantly, when to stop eating. Leptin also instructs your brain as to what to do with the available energy.
Now remember, when your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy into storage—the majority of which is stored as fat, and leptin is produced in these fat cells. The more fat you have, the more leptin is produced. Furthermore, as the sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat releases further surges in leptin. This is why I typically talk about insulin and leptin resistance, as they work in tandem. Moreover, leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and whether or not you become insulin-resistant. If you’re insulin resistant, you’re more than likely leptin resistant as well, especially if you’re overweight or obese.
Because when you develop leptin resistance, your brain can no longer hear leptin’s signals, resulting in chronic hunger, overeating, inability to properly burn fat and, typically, obesity. Insulin resistance, and ultimately type 2 diabetes, follow suit. Just as with insulin, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin signaling is through proper diet. High consumption of carbohydrates, especially fructose, are again the prime culprit and the root cause of leptin resistance. Lack of exercise and abnormal gut flora also contribute and/or exacerbate insulin and leptin resistance. Leptin’s importance in blood glucose control and diabetes is powerfully illustrated by recent studies that show its ability, even in low doses, to lower blood glucose in both type 1 and 2 diabetics, and this is an exciting new potential treatment.
Magnesium Deficiency—Another Factor That Raises Your Risk for Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium deficiency is also worth mentioning while still on the subject of root causes of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium actually plays an important role in glucose and insulin homeostasis,16 and magnesium deficiency is widespread these days. Magnesium is also required to activate tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that functions as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors.
It is well known that people with insulin resistance also experience increased excretion of magnesium in their urine, which further contributes to diminished magnesium levels. This magnesium loss appears to be secondary to increased urinary glucose, which increases urinary output.17 Therefore, inadequate magnesium intake seems to prompt a vicious cycle of low magnesium levels, insulin resistance, elevated insulin and glucose levels, and excess magnesium excretion. In other words, the less magnesium your body has, the less it appears to you’ll be able to “hang onto it.”18
Rarely do so many studies,19, 20, 21 from around the world find universal agreement on a subject, but here the evidence is clear: if you want to optimize your metabolism and keep your risk for type 2 diabetes low, one of the things you need to do is consume adequate magnesium. One 2013 study involving pre-diabetics found that most had inadequate magnesium intake, and those with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71 percent.22
Current government guidelines for magnesium intake among adults call for 300 to 420 mg per day (depending on your gender, age, pregnancy and lactation), but many people consume less than 300 mg per day. Research suggests many would benefit from a much higher intake, about 700 mg per day or more. Magnesium is lost in sweat during exercise and used up in higher amounts when you’re stressed.
I believe that magnesium threonate is one of the best supplemental sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally, it also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure to avoid any containing magnesium stearate, a common but potentially hazardous additive.
New Warning: Insulin Can Rapidly Produce Type 1 Diabetes in Type 2 Diabetics
Please understand that medications and supplements are not the answer for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes drugs fail to address the underlying problem, and many, like Avandia, can have dangerous side effects. Avandia is linked to 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared with other treatments. Instead, type 2 diabetes is best controlled by restoring your insulin and leptin sensitivities. This is done by eliminating grains and sugars—especially fructose—from your diet, getting plenty of healthy fats, exercising, and sleeping well. Further details on this will be provided below, in the treatment section.
As noted earlier, recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism23 confirms what Dr. Ron Rosedale has stated for the last two decades, which is that insulin treatment can provoke otherwise reversible type 2 diabetes to progress into type 1 insulin deficient and therefore insulin-dependent diabetes. The study found that giving genetically engineered recombinant insulin to type 2 diabetics with certain genetic susceptibility can trigger their bodies to produce antibodies that destroy their insulin producing cells (pancreatic islet cells). You may not realize that all human insulin, the type typically used, is GMO or genetically modified which might be responsible for this autoimmune reaction.
Basically, it triggers an autoimmune disease response, producing a condition in which you have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes simultaneously. The average time of type 1 diabetes onset was 7.7 months. One study participant developed type 1 diabetes in just over one month! According to the authors, acute deterioration of blood glucose control after administering insulin is a warning sign of this problematic side effect. According to this study, the genes predisposing you to this autoimmune-type response to insulin are:
Type 1 diabetes high risk HLA class II (IDDM1), thought to play a role in about half of all type 1 diabetes cases
VNTR genotype (IDDM2), which is believed to predispose you to type 2 diabetes
This is yet another way conventional diabetic treatment pushes diabetics into premature death… Research24 published last year revealed that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin more than doubled patients’ risk of all-cause mortality. It also leads to:
Twice as many myocardial infarctions 1.4 time more strokes 2.1 time more neuropathy 1.4 times more cancer
1.7 time more major adverse cardiac events 3.5 times more renal complications 1.2 times more eye complications 2.2 times more deaths
Another study published in Diabetologia25, 26 in May of this year, found that diabetic cancer patients also have a significantly elevated risk of death. Diabetic patients using insulin at the time of their cancer diagnosis had a four times higher mortality rate one year after cancer diagnosis, compared to non-diabetic patients, or those who did not use insulin to control their diabetes. While this was an observational study, which means it cannot establish causality, it is worth noting nonetheless.
Dr. Rosedale has also said; “All of these increased rates of chronic diseases caused by taking insulin may be because it is doing exactly the opposite of what has been shown in many studies to reduce cancer, total mortality, and extend lifespan; reducing insulin. In fact, T2 diabetes is often considered to be a model of accelerated aging because of the high insulin. In other words, treating diabetics by overly raising insulin, either with drugs or insulin itself, is only further accelerating their aging, associated chronic diseases, and death, and should be considered malpractice.”
Warning #2: Beware of Future Diabetic Vaccines
As noted by GreenMedInfo.com,27 these findings also raise serious warnings against diabetic vaccines:
“[T]here are a number of trials underway to produce vaccines containing insulin intended to induce a ‘tolerogenic immune response’ and therefore ameliorate autoimmune type 1 diabetes. Clearly, however, their findings run contrary to this expectation, revealing that it is possible that introducing exogenous forms of insulin may stimulate the opposite reaction and induced autoimmunity against the hormone, or the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing it.”
It also raises questions about the safety and effectiveness of synthetic insulin. Virtually all of the insulin sold in the US is synthetic, synthesized from recombinant DNA technology, which differs considerably from natural animal-derived insulin. Interestingly, it could be that it’s the “inactive” ingredients or additives, such as polysorbate 20, that produce an exaggerated immune response in susceptible individuals—similar to that encountered with vaccines. Sayer Ji also notes that:28
“Furthermore, synthetic insulin does not have the same conformational state – i.e. it does not assume the same complex folded form – of natural human insulin, or more closely related pig insulin. This presents a ‘recognition’ problem from the perspective of the immune system which may identify the foreign protein as ‘other’ generating acute or sustained autoimmune reactions to it as a result…
Research29 dating back to the early 1980s compared synthetic E. Coli derived insulin with porcine (pig) derived insulin in diabetic children and found that porcine insulin was more effective at lowering HbA1 values (a marker of damage associated with elevated blood sugar), superior at reducing fasting glucose concentrations, and less antibody reactive to insulin than synthetic insulin. While pig derived insulin has its limitations, especially considering there are limits to how much can be produced, clearly it is more appropriate than synthetic versions if it is true that the latter is incapable of reproducing the same therapeutic outcome for diabetics.”
How to Prevent and Treat Insulin/Leptin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
Now that you have an understanding of the root causes of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, it’s time to outline a program to reverse this condition. Remember, type 2 diabetes is curable, and in the vast majority of cases does not require any form of medication.
The following nutrition and lifestyle modifications should be the foundation of your diabetes prevention and treatment plan. Also, make sure to monitor your FASTING insulin level. This is every bit as important as monitoring your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the greater your insulin resistance and the more aggressive you need to be in your treatment plan, especially when it comes to altering your diet.
Swap out processed foods, all forms of sugar—particularly fructose—as well as all grains, for whole, fresh food. A primary reason for the failure of conventional diabetes treatment over the last 50 years has to do with seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Fructose, grains, and other sugar forming starchy carbohydrates are largely responsible for your body’s adverse insulin reactions, and all sugars and grains—even “healthful” grains such as whole, organic ones—need to be drastically reduced.
If you’re insulin/leptin resistant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or are overweight, you’d be wise to limit your total fructose intake to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has resolved. This includes about 80 percent of Americans. For all others, I recommend limiting your daily fructose consumption to 25 grams or less, to maintain optimal health.
The easiest way to accomplish this is by swapping processed foods for whole, ideally organic foods. This means cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. Processed foods are the main source of all the primary culprits, including high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, processed grains, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and other synthetic additives that may aggravate metabolic dysfunction.
Besides fructose, trans fat (NOT saturated fat) increases your risk for diabetes30 by interfering with your insulin receptors. Healthy saturated fats do not do this. Since you’re cutting out a lot of energy (carbs) from your diet when you reduce sugars and grains, you need to replace them with something. The ideal replacement is a combination of:
Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein. Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. When selecting animal-based protein, be sure to opt for organically raised, grass-fed or pastured meats, eggs, and dairy, to avoid potential health complications caused by genetically engineered animal feed and pesticides.
Most Americans eat far too much protein, so be mindful of the amount! I believe it is the rare person who really needs 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. 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.
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
As much high-quality healthy fat as you want (saturated31 and monounsaturated). For optimal health, most people need upwards of 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fats. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. (Remember, fat is high in calories while being small in terms of volume. So when you look at your plate, the largest portion would be vegetables.)
As many non-starchy vegetables as you want
Exercise regularly and intensely. Studies have shown that exercise, even without weight loss, increases insulin sensitivity.32 High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a central component of my Peak Fitness program, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by as much as 24 percent in just four weeks.
Improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Today’s Western diet has far too many processed and damaged omega-6 fats, and is far too little omega-3 fats.33 The main sources of omega-6 fats are corn, soy, canola, safflower, peanut, and sunflower oil (the first two of which are typically genetically engineered as well, which further complicates matters). Our bodies evolved for an optimal 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. However, our ratio has deteriorated to between 20:1 and 50:1 in favor of omega-6. This lopsided ratio has seriously adverse health consequences.
To remedy this, reduce your consumption of vegetable oils (this means not cooking with them, and avoiding processed foods), and increase your intake of animal-based omega-3, such as krill oil. Vegetable-based omega-3 is also found in flaxseed oil and walnut oil, and it’s good to include these in your diet as well. Just know they cannot take the place of animal-based omega-3s.
Maintain optimal vitamin D levels year-round. New evidence strongly supports the notion that vitamin D is highly beneficial not only for type 1 diabetes as mentioned before, but also in type 2 diabetes. The ideal way to optimize your vitamin D level is by getting regular sun exposure, or by using a safe tanning bed. As a last resort, consider oral supplementation with regular vitamin D monitoring, to confirm that you are taking enough vitamin D to get your blood levels into the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml. Also please note that if you take supplemental vitamin D, you create an increased demand for vitamin K2.
Get adequate high-quality sleep every night. Insufficient sleep appears to raise stress and blood sugar, encouraging insulin and leptin resistance and weight gain. In one 10-year long study34 of 70,000 diabetes-free women, researchers found that women who slept less than five hours or more than nine hours each night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept seven to eight hours each night. If you are having problems with your sleep, try the suggestions in my article “33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep.”
Maintain a healthy body weight. If you incorporate the diet and lifestyle changes suggested above you will greatly improve your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and a healthy body weight will follow in time. Determining your ideal body weight depends on a variety of factors, including frame size, age, general activity level, and genetics. As a general guideline, you might find a hip-to-waist size index chart helpful. This is far better than BMI for evaluating whether or not you may have a weight problem, as BMI fails to factor in both how muscular you are, and your intra-abdominal fat mass (the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around your inner organs), which is a potent indicator of leptin sensitivity and associated health problems.
Incorporate intermittent fasting. If you have carefully followed the diet and exercise guidelines and still aren’t making sufficient progress with your weight or overall health, I strongly recommend incorporating intermittent fasting. This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits, including improved insulin/leptin sensitivity, lowered triglycerides and other biomarkers for health, and weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings. Intermittent fasting has also been identified as a potent ally for the prevention and perhaps even treatment of dementia. Ketones are released as a byproduct of burning fat, and ketones (not glucose) are actually the preferred fuel for your brain. Keep up your intermittent fasting schedule until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (or your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). After that, you only need to do it “as needed” to maintain your healthy state.
Optimize your gut health. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall. Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by regularly eating fermented foods (like natto, raw organic cheese, miso, and cultured vegetables).
You CAN Prevent and Treat Diabetes
You don’t have to be a part of the diabetes epidemic that is taking place before your eyes; you merely need to make some lifestyle changes and be mindful about your habits. The changes, detailed above, will prevent you from heading down the diabetes path, and can be the U-turn you’ve been looking for if you’re already insulin resistant or diabetic. None of these strategies are expensive or overly time-consuming. However, they do require a measure of honest reflection and discipline.
Now that you have an understanding of what diabetes really is and how it develops, you can steer clear of behavior patterns that harm your health, and incorporate those that will enhance your quality of life. Again, type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is easily preventable, and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs, by addressing your diet and other lifestyle habits, such as exercise, sleep, and intermittent fasting. I suggest taking a lifestyle inventory to see where you might have room for improvement. For example:
Review your eating patterns. How much sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates are you eating daily? Is corn syrup a primary staple of your diet, hidden in the processed foods you buy on a regular basis? Are you spending your time in the middle of the grocery store, or around the periphery? (Most processed foods come from the middle aisles.)
Are you an “emotional eater”? Do you tend to overindulge in comfort foods when you are feeling sad or angry? If so, review the information on my website about EFT, which you might find very helpful.
Evaluate your activity level. Are you getting enough exercise each week?
Are you getting enough sunlight? Have you measured your vitamin D levels lately? Unless you are deeply tanned, that is the only way to know your level. Do you need to consider a vitamin D supplement?
Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet? Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including muscle spasms and abnormal heart rhythms. To learn more, please see my interview with Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle.
What patterns are you inadvertently passing along to your children? What example are you setting for your kids, in terms of nutrition and exercise? Are they getting the message that health is a priority? Getting healthy can and should be a family activity! When everyone is involved, you can support each other and give kudos for positive strides, making it more fun for everyone. The payoffs to your health will be great, and you will be passing along good lifestyle habits to your children, which will serve them for years to come.
Studies have found links between acute and/or chronic stress and a wide variety of health issues, including your brain function.
Most recently, an animal study reveals that higher levels of stress hormones can speed up short-term memory loss in older adults.1 The findings indicate that how your body responds to stress may be a factor that influences how your brain ages over time. As reported by Business Standard:2
“[R]ats with high levels of the stress hormone corticosterone showed structural changes in the brain and short-term memory deficits.
Robert Sapolsky, PhD said that older animals with higher levels of stress hormones in their blood have ‘older’ frontal cortexes than animals with less stress hormones, thus, stress may act as a pacemaker of aging in this key brain region.”
Previous research3 has also linked chronic stress with working memory impairment. Other recent research suggests that stress may even speed up the onset of more serious dementia known as Alzheimer’s disease, which currently afflicts about 5.4 million Americans, including one in eight people aged 65 and over.4
Fortunately, there’s compelling research showing that your brain has great plasticity and capacity for regeneration, which you control through your diet and lifestyle choices.
Based on the findings linking dementia with chronic stress, having effective tools to address stress can be an important part of Alzheimer’s prevention, not to mention achieving and maintaining optimal health in general.
The Effects of Stress on Memory Function and the Aging Brain
As reported by the University of Iowa,5 where the featured research was done, elevated levels of cortisol affect your memory by causing a gradual loss of synapses in your prefrontal cortex.
This is the brain region associated with short-term memory. Cortisol—a stress hormone—basically has a “corrosive” effect, over time wearing down the synapses responsible for memory storage and processing:
“Short-term increases in cortisol are critical for survival. They promote coping and help us respond to life’s challenges by making us more alert and able to think on our feet.
But abnormally high or prolonged spikes in cortisol—like what happens when we are dealing with long-term stress—can lead to negative consequences that numerous bodies of research have shown to include digestion problems, anxiety, weight gain, and high blood pressure.”
The researchers suggest that you may be able to protect your future memory function by normalizing your cortisol levels. Such intervention would be particularly beneficial for those who are at high risk for elevated cortisol, such as those who are depressed or are dealing with long-term stress following a traumatic event.
Stress May Trigger Clinical Onset of Alzheimer’s
Last year, Argentinean researchers presented evidence suggesting that stress may be a trigger for the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that 72 percent—nearly three out of four—Alzheimer’s patients had experienced severe emotional stress during the two years preceding their diagnosis.
In the control group, only 26 percent, or one in four, had undergone major stress or grief. Most of the stresses encountered by the Alzheimer’s group involved:
Bereavement; death of a spouse, partner, or child
Violent experiences, such as assault or robbery
Financial problems, including “pension shock”
Diagnosis of a family member’s severe illness
According to lead author, Dr. Edgardo Reich:6
“Stress, according to our findings, is probably a trigger for initial symptoms of dementia. Though I rule out stress as monocausal in dementia, research is solidifying the evidence that stress can trigger a degenerative process in the brain and precipitate dysfunction in the neuroendocrine and immune system. It is an observational finding and does not imply direct causality. Further studies are needed to examine these mechanisms in detail.”
Stress Wrecks Your Health in Multiple Ways
Robert Sapolsky, PhD, quoted in reference to the featured study, has spent three decades investigating the role of stress on human health. In the 2008 National Geographic special, Killer Stress, he reveals how it affects your body and brain. By understanding how stress affects your biology, you are better equipped to combat it, and mitigate its detrimental impact.
To give you a quick overview, when you’re experiencing acute stress, your body releases stress hormones (such as cortisol) that prepare your body to either fight or flee the stressful event.
Your heart rate increases, your lungs take in more oxygen, your blood flow increases, and parts of your immune system become temporarily suppressed, which reduces your inflammatory response to pathogens and other foreign invaders.
When stress becomes chronic, your immune system becomes less sensitive to cortisol, and since inflammation is partly regulated by this hormone, this decreased sensitivity heightens the inflammatory response and allows inflammation to get out of control.7 Inflammation, in turn, is a hallmark of most diseases, from diabetes to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
It’s not so surprising then that researchers have found links between stress and ailments ranging from physical pain8 and chronic inflammation,9 to stillbirths10 and poor gut health (which is critical to maintaining mental and physical health).
Researchers have even found that stress-induced anxiety can rewire your brain in such a way as to alter your sense of smell,11 transforming normally neutral odors into objectionable ones, and, as I will discuss in further detail in a later article featuring an upcoming interview with Greg Marsh, stress is also associated with a loss of visual acuity, and by correcting it, many can eliminate their glasses or contacts.
Conquer Your Stress with Energy Psychology
While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, there are tools you can use that will allow your body to effectively compensate for the bioelectrical short-circuiting that takes place when you’re stressed or anxious. Remember, some stress is necessary in life. In many ways it is like exercise, but like exercise, it needs to be addressed properly. My favorite tool for stress management is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It’s an energy psychology tool that can help reprogram your body’s reactions to everyday stress, thereby reducing your chances of developing adverse health effects.
EFT was developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig, a Stanford engineering graduate specializing in healing and self-improvement. It’s akin to acupuncture, which is based on the concept that a vital energy flows through your body along invisible pathways known as meridians. EFT stimulates different energy meridian points in your body by tapping them with your fingertips, while simultaneously using custom-made verbal affirmations. This can be done alone or under the supervision of a qualified therapist.12
By doing so, you reprogram the way your body responds to emotional stressors. Since these stressors are usually connected to physical problems, many people’s diseases and other symptoms can improve or disappear as well. For a demonstration, please see the following video featuring EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman, in which she discusses EFT for stress relief. For serious or deep-seated emotional problems, I strongly recommend seeing an experienced EFT therapist, as there is a significant art to the process that requires a high level of sophistication if serious problems are to be successfully treated.
Other Tips for Relieving Stress
Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and meditation are also important “release valves” that can help you manage your stress. Aromatherapy can also have anxiety-inhibiting effects, as can spending time in nature. In fact, so-called eco-therapy is becoming increasingly validated, with many proponents in the mental health field. Two recent articles in The Guardian13, 14 investigates how spending time in nature can “unlock a healthier mind” and promote a sense of inner peace and happiness. Oliver James writes:
“Ecotherapy encompasses a wide variety of interventions, whether they be prolonged periods in wilderness, gardening or individual therapy. They are all united by the concept that exposure to nature will improve wellbeing and healthy living…
[E]gocentricity… is often reduced by awareness of something much bigger than them, whether it be mountains, wide open plains or huge skies. The feeling that the client is the centre of the universe is called into question by the sheer scale and complexity of nature… The solitude and lack of pressure to satisfy the demands of peers and family lead to significant improvements in such self-attributes as esteem, efficacy and control.
There are many reports of clients of all ages having spiritual experiences as a result of exposure to wilderness… A heightened awareness of plants, animals and landscape leads them to ponder existence beyond themselves. The power of nature encourages a sense of higher powers and of connection both to self and to others.”
A winning combination is to exercise outdoors. Not only is exercise known to relieve stress and ease depression, it also directly benefits your physical brain. It encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by stimulating nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage. Also, during exercise, nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health, and directly benefits cognitive functions, including learning. For more stress-busting tips, please see my previous article, “13 Mind-Body Techniques That Can Help Ease Pain and Depression.” Clearly, stress is an inescapable part of life—it’s how you deal with it that will determine whether it will translate into health problems later on.
The fluoride debate is changing, and fast, as more Americans are becoming aware of the known health risks of water fluoridation. City councils across the country are beginning to give their residents a choice when it comes to fluoridated drinking water, with many adding fluoridation measures to upcoming ballots.
Fortunately, Americans are using their votes to keep this highly toxic fertilizer-industry byproduct out of their drinking water (the fluoride added to municipal water supplies is a toxic byproduct from the fertilizer industry—a rarely discussed fact!).
Dallas is among the latest US cities considering whether or not to renew a three-year, $1.8-million contract that provides their drinking water with fluoride. Set to expire January 1, 2015, if Dallas ends fluoridation, it will become the largest city in the US to stop fluoridating its water.1
Dallas Is on the Verge of Ending Water Fluoridation
Earlier this year, in May, there was a shift in attitudes in the Dallas city council meeting regarding water fluoridation. Despite the fact that anti-fluoridation activist Regina Imburgia had spoken to the Dallas city council several times before with no response, at the May meeting three of the 15 council members finally agreed with Imburgia’s message that water fluoridation in the city deserves a closer look.
The media picked up the story with the Dallas Observer covering the issue at length, in both column and blog formats, not only citing a recent concerning study about fluoride health risks (see below) but also calling out Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd for engaging in unprofessional behavior (like name-calling) against anti-fluoride activists.
Then, on June 11, retired chemistry professor Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) testified before the Dallas council. His 3-minute (plus questions) expert testimony can be seen in the video above (and it’s time well spent if you’re new to the issue of water fluoridation). Dr. Connett said:
“I was impressed by the willingness of the councilors to listen to me and to ask important questions. This augers well because we have to beat this nonsense one open mind at a time.
I was also very impressed by the local organizers. In addition to my testimony, with only a few days notice, they were able to pull together a public meeting, which over 40 people attended including 3 local dentists.
Like many other cities right now the decision to end fluoridation in Dallas may well hinge on events happening elsewhere, like the potential for a legal challenge to fluoridation in Canada as outlined by a leading lawyer in Canada before the Peel regional council in Ontario on June 26 and the ending of mandatory fluoridation in Israel.”
During his testimony, Dr. Connett made a strong case for why dentistry should be done in the dental office… not via your water supply, and as he stated, water fluoridation is “the height of arrogance”:2
“Organized dentistry, which includes the American Dental Association, the Oral Health Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state dental directors, is the only health profession that seeks to deliver its services via the public’s water supply.
The practice of artificial water fluoridation is the height of arrogance when one considers the following undisputed facts and scientifically supported arguments.”
12 Reasons Why Water Fluoridation Must Be Challenged
Dr. Connett, who co-authored the book The Case Against Fluoride, is recognized worldwide as a leader in the movement to eliminate fluoride from municipal water supplies, and I’m pleased to be working with him to achieve this goal. He recently compiled a comprehensive and eye-opening list of reasons why water fluoridation must be challenged. Here are some of the highlights:3
Fluoride is not a nutrient; no biochemical process in the human body needs fluoride The level of fluoride in a mother’s milk is exceedingly low. Formula-fed infants receive up to 175-250 more fluoride than a breast-fed infant
Once fluoride is added to the water supply, there is no way of controlling the dose; it goes to everyone regardless of age, weight, health, need, or nutritional status Fluoride accumulates in bone and other calcified tissues over a lifetime; early symptoms of fluoride poisoning of the bones are identical to arthritis, and fluoride accumulation may make bones brittle and prone to fracture
The addition of fluoride to the public water supply violates the individual’s right to informed consent to medical or human treatment Fluoride is known to have toxic properties at low doses
Children in fluoridated countries are being over-exposed to fluoride as demonstrated by the very high prevalence of dental fluorosis; according to the CDC, 41 percent of American children aged 12-15 have some form of dental fluorosis The effectiveness of swallowing fluoride to reduce tooth decay has never been demonstrated by a randomized control trial
The evidence that fluoridation or swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay is very weak Fluoridation is designed to treat a disease (dental caries) but has never been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the FDA classifies fluoride as an “unapproved drug”
Most dental authorities now agree that the predominant benefit of fluoride is topical, not systemic The vast majority of countries neither fluoridate their water nor their salt, but according to the World Health Organization, tooth decay in 12-year-olds is coming down as fast, if not faster, in non-fluoridated countries as it is in fluoridated countries
Fluoride Added to List of Chemicals That Cause ‘Brain Drain’ (Along with Mercury and Lead)
In 2006, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants. This included unquestionable poisons like lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since then, they’ve documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants and have added them to the list of what are now 11 known industrial chemicals that harm brain development in human fetuses and infants.4 One of the recently added neurotoxicants is fluoride, and one of the study’s authors has previously said:5
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain… The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”
The debate over the dangers of fluoride has been ongoing for more than six decades, despite the fact that study after study has confirmed that fluoride is a dangerous, toxic poison that bio-accumulates in your body while being ineffective at preventing dental decay. So what exactly does fluoride do to your brain?
There are 37 human studies linking fairly modest fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence (nine of these studies found lowered IQ at less than 3 ppm in the water) and 12 human studies linking fluoride with neurobehavioral deficits. There are also three human studies linking fluoride exposure with impaired fetal brain development,6 and approximately 100 animal studies linking it to brain damage. This includes such effects as:7
Reduction in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors Damage to the hippocampus Formation of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic brain abnormality in Alzheimer’s disease)
Reduction in lipid content Damage to the Purkinje cells Exacerbation of lesions induced by iodine deficiency
Impaired antioxidant defense systems Increased uptake of aluminum Accumulation of fluoride in the pineal gland
Check Out the Truth: Drinking Fluoride Doesn’t Prevent Cavities
Even if you were willing to overlook the proven fact that fluoride is a poison to the human body, would you still want to drink fluoride if it wouldn’t protect your teeth? The truth is, it won’t. Fluoride advocates often claim that the reduction in tooth decay that’s occurred since the 1950s is a benefit of fluoridated water, but the facts just don’t add up. For example, in 1999 the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed that dental caries declined precipitously during the second half of the 20th Century.
But what they failed to mention is that tooth decay rates “precipitously declined” in ALL Western nations, regardless of whether or not fluoridation was used – and most of those countries did NOT fluoridate!8 According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, the US, which fluoridates about two-thirds of public water supplies, actually has higher rates of tooth decay than many countries that do not fluoridate their water, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden.9 Furthermore, if fluoride were effective in preventing caries, you would expect to see an increase in tooth decay when fluoridation is stopped. Yet, this is not what we see! The following demographic studies and fluoridation trends make it clear that fluoridation has very little to do with whether or not you develop cavities.
In Japan, fluoridation has been virtually nonexistent since the 1970s, yet rates of dental caries have declined since that time.10
In the town of Tiel in the Netherlands, water fluoridation was discontinued in 1973, and by 1993, rates of dental caries had declined.11
In the town of Kuopio, Finland, water fluoridation was stopped after 1992. In 1995 and 1998, dental caries had either decreased or stayed the same.12
In two towns in former East Germany, a significant fall in the prevalence of dental caries was seen in the 20 years following cessation of water fluoridation.13
In Canada, “the prevalence of caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community.”14
Fluoride Has Nothing to Do with the Underlying Causes of Tooth Decay
Dental caries are caused by demineralization of your teeth (enamel and dentin) by the acids formed during the bacterial fermentation of dietary sugars. Demineralization is countered by the deposit of minerals from your saliva, or remineralization, which is a slow process. Enthusiasts report that fluoride prevents dental caries by enhancing mineralization. However, dental caries are not caused by a lack of fluoride, just as depression is not caused by a lack of Prozac. Some of the true primary causes of tooth decay cited in the literature include:
Consistent use of refined sugar, sugary soft drinks, and processed foods in general
Children going to bed with a bottle of sweetened drink in their mouth, or sucking at will from such a bottle during the day
Poor dental hygiene and poor access to and utilization of dental health services, usually related to socioeconomic status
Mineral deficiencies, like magnesium, which can weaken bones and teeth15
More than 600 medications promote tooth decay by inhibiting saliva
It’s often said that fluoride helps to re-mineralize your teeth and make them stronger, but even this must be questioned. A groundbreaking study published in the journal Langmuir uncovered that the fluorapatite layer formed on your teeth from fluoride is a mere six nanometers thick16 — you’d need 10,000 of these layers to get the width of a strand of your hair! Scientists now question whether this ultra-thin layer can actually protect your enamel and provide any discernible benefit, considering the fact that it is quickly eliminated by simple chewing. They wrote: “…it has to be asked whether such narrow… layers really can act as protective layers for the enamel.”
More Than 100 US Communities Have Ditched Water Fluoridation
Since 2009, about 130 communities have stopped water fluoridation. Canada has dropped from about 60 percent of the population drinking fluoridated water down to about 32-33 percent. Victories have also been logged in Australia, Israel, New Zealand, and across the US. The latest fluoride-free victories include:17
Wellington, Florida: After hours of debate and testimony from medical experts and residents, council members voted to end 14 years of fluoridation. A number of pro-fluoride dentists are unfortunately working to overturn the council’s vote, but it’s still a victory for now.
Amherst County, Virginia: The Service Authority Board voted to discontinue fluoridation because of conflicting opinions on what constitutes “optimal” levels of fluoride. According FAN, “Several board supervisors felt that the additive was unnecessary and a waste of resources.”
Wood Village, Oregon: The Woodsville City Council was considering adding fluoride to the city’s drinking water, but after polling residents found that 100% of respondents were against it. They have since ended their fluoridation discussions.
Sebastopol, California: City Councilors voted unanimously against fluoridation in Sonoma County because of concerns the fluoride could leach into their groundwater from surrounding communities, putting residents at risk.
Bantry, Ireland: Town Councilors voted unanimously in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate end to fluoridation throughout Ireland. Two other towns–Skibbereen and Clonakitty–also passed similar resolutions in 2013. Support for this historic vote was provided by the local group West Cork Fluoride Free.
Boyne City, Michigan: In early May 2014, city commissioners voted 3-2 to end more than 40 years of fluoridation for the town’s approximately 4,000 residents. Commissioner Gene Towne summed up the council’s decision, saying: “It comes down to choice. I don’t see how you can control the dosage (of fluoride that people ingest) if it’s in everything. If there’s a chance that it could cause any health problems… this should all come down to your choice.”
Buffalo and Union, Missouri: In May 2014, Alderman voted to end a decade of fluoridation, saying the additive damaged equipment, city trucks, and was not economical. Also in May, councilors in Union, Missouri voted 7-1 to end fluoridation after the city’s public service committee recommended the city not repair fluoride injection equipment destroyed by the corrosive additive. According to the city engineer, “It’s an acid and it eats the pipes. Employees are handling it and they don’t want to be.”
Do you want to add your city to this growing list? Stay tuned, as the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the US and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today. You might also wish to attend FAN’s Fifth Citizen’s Conference on Fluoride to be held in Washington, DC Sept 5-8. I will be speaking at this on Sept 7 (for more details contact email@example.com).
Join the Fight to Get Fluoride Out of Drinking Water
There’s no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you’re stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it’s very difficult to filter out of your water once it’s added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the United States and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.
ANH-USA submits a legal petition to the FDA. Action Alert!
A number of drugs contain an incredibly toxic chemical, even though safer alternatives exist. Big Pharma could have but chose not to clean this up voluntarily.
In May, we told you how the FDA was asking the pharmaceutical industry to police itself on the use of phthalates—synthetic chemicals used in plastics, lubricants, insect repellants, nail polish, perfumes, and prescription drugs. Phthalates are acknowledged by the FDA to be known endocrine disruptors which cause sterility, birth defects, and developmental delays. Congress banned phthalates from children’s toys, but allowed their use in other products, asking industry to voluntarily remove them and use less toxic chemicals.
This week ANH-USA submitted a legal petition to the FDA to ban phthalates altogether. It would replace the non-binding guidance currently in place that “recommends” safer alternatives, since that guidance has had very little positive impact.
Drugs such as Asacol and diadonisine (sold under the brand name Videx) and at least fifteen others still contain phthalates. In one case , a man taking Asacol for ulcerative colitis had a concentration of phthalate metabolite measuring nearly 17,000 parts per billion. The average phthalate metabolite for the general population is 46.
There is no reason to use phthalates other than to protect Big Pharma’s profit margin. The FDA acknowledges that safer alternatives exist , as one can find in FDA’s inactive ingredient database.
Action Alert! We need your help to put pressure on the FDA to grant our petition. Contact the FDA immediately and tell them there is no reason for drugs to contain phthalates a moment longer. They should be banned outright instead of relying on drug makers’ voluntary compliance.
A diet of mostly whole, organically-grown foods is undoubtedly among the most effective ways to prevent disease and achieve optimal health, and sprouts may offer some of the highest levels of nutrition.
From my perspective, broccoli, watercress, and sunflower sprouts are foods that virtually everyone can and would benefit from growing. Adding these to your diet can go a long way toward improving your nutritional status—and it won’t cost you much to grow them.
The Many Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts
Science has proven time and again that Mother Nature is the best physician, and food is the best medicine.
Broccoli, for example—and to an even greater degree, sprouted broccoli seeds—has been linked to a rather impressive list of health benefits. Research has shown broccoli has the capacity to prevent a number of health issues, including but not limited to:
Hypertension1 Osteoarthritis2, 3, 4, 5 Cancer Heart disease
Allergies6 Diabetes7 Ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori8 UV radiation damage to your skin, when applied topically9
Broccoli Sprouts Can Help Combat Exposure to Environmental Pollutants
Some of the latest research10, 11, 12 into this “super food” suggests that broccoli sprouts may help detox toxic pollutants. As reported by Time Magazine:13
“Broccoli sprouts specifically are a source of glucoraphanin, which creates sulforaphane when chewed or swallowed. That compound accelerates the body’s ability to detoxify from various pollutants…”
The three-month long study included about 300 Chinese men and women living in one of the most polluted areas of China, a rural community in the Jiangsu Province.
The test group drank half a cup a day of a beverage consisting of sterilized water, pineapple, and lime juice, with dissolved freeze-dried broccoli sprout powder. The control group drank the same mixture without the addition of the sprouts.
After urine and blood tests were collected and analyzed, the researchers found that the test group, who received the broccoli sprout powder, excreted far greater levels of two carcinogens. Excretion of benzene increased 61 percent, and the rate of excretion of acrolein increased by 23 percent.
Benzene is usually found in car exhaust fumes, but can also be ingested via soda, where it can form from benzoate salt—used as a preservative. Acrolein forms from the breakdown of certain indoor air pollutants, from the burning of organic matter such as tobacco, and the burning of fuels like gasoline. Study author Tom Kensler told Time Magazine:14
“The situation is that people throughout China are breathing dirty air, and the exposure is largely unavoidable. We wanted to boost the defense mechanism that accelerates the rate that these are cleared form the body so there is less opportunity for harm to be evoked by chemicals.”
When asked if people living in other large cities like New York or Los Angeles could benefit from drinking the same mixture, Kensler says he thinks their approach could be extended across all people.”
Broccoli Sprouts Contain a Number of Health-Promoting Compounds
As mentioned, fresh broccoli sprouts are FAR more potent than whole broccoli, allowing you to eat far less in terms of quantity. For example, previous tests15, 16 have revealed that three-day old broccoli sprouts consistently contain anywhere from 10-100 times the amount of glucoraphanin—a chemoprotective compound—found in mature broccoli.
Broccoli sprouts are also an excellent alternative if you don’t like the taste or smell of broccoli. Best of all, you can easily and inexpensively grow broccoli sprouts at home. Another major benefit is that you don’t have to cook them. They are eaten raw, usually as an addition to salad or juice.
As noted in the featured study, the compound called glucoraphanin appears to have a protective effect against toxic pollutants by improving your body’s ability to eliminate or excrete them. Glucoraphanin has also been shown to protect against cancer. Other health-promoting compounds found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli sprouts (and mature broccoli) include:
Glucosinolate glucoraphanin, which helps improve blood pressure and kidney function.17 It also boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.18, 19
Sulforaphane, a metabolite of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin, has been shown to normalize DNA methylation20 — a crucial part of normal cell function that allows cells to “remember who they are and where they have been.”
It’s also important for regulating gene expression, and this compound has been found to play a role in activating more than 200 different genes.
Sulforaphane also has anti-diabetic and antimicrobial properties, and kills cancer stem cells, which slows tumor growth.
Isothiocyanate, a specific sulforaphane compound, has very strong cancer-protective benefits, sparking hundreds of beneficial gene changes. This compound activates some genes that fight cancer, and switch off other genes whose job it is to aid in tumor growth.
One 2008 study21 found that just four extra servings (equating to about 10 spears) of broccoli per week could protect men from prostate cancer, largely because of the anti-cancer activity of this compound.
Watercress Sprouts—Another ‘Superfood’ to Add to Your Daily Diet
Although broccoli sprouts contain the highest amounts of isothiocyanates, other cruciferous vegetables also contain this anti-cancer compound, including watercress. This often-overlooked, leafy green is a close cousin to mustard greens, cabbage, and arugula.
When phytochemicals like sulforaphane are excluded from the equation, watercress may actually be the most nutrient-dense vegetable out there—scoring higher on nutrient density scores than both broccoli and sunflower sprouts.
Based on 17 nutrients, including potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, watercress scored a perfect 100 in a recent study titled, “Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach.”22, 23
Vitamins A, C, and K, and phytonutrients like isothiocyanates and gluconasturtiin in watercress strengthen your bone, limit neuronal damage, fight infection, help maintain healthy connective tissue, and prevent iron deficiency.
Previous studies have also found that a compound called phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development and prevent DNA damage in cells—just like broccoli sprouts.
One of the best culinary aspects of watercress is its versatility. It can be used as a salad green in salad or vegetable juice, or you can steam and eat it as a vegetable. You can also add it to soups or on top of sandwiches for a subtle, peppery flavor.
Growing Your Own Sprouts Is Easy and Inexpensive
Sprouts are far less expensive (90 percent or greater) if made at home rather than purchased, so I strongly recommend growing your own sprouts. It’s easy and can radically improve your overall nutrition. Just consider this: sprouts can contain up to 30 times the nutrients of organic vegetables! They also allow your body to extract more of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats from the rest of your diet.
Add to that the boon of requiring very little space, and the ability to grow them indoors, year-round. I’m working on a comprehensive guide to sprout-growing, but in the meantime, you can find instructions on rawfoods-livingfoods.com.24
I started out growing sprouts in Ball jars about 15 years ago, but I’ve found that growing them in potting soil is a far better option. With Ball jars, you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth and it is a hassle to have them draining in the sink, taking up space. Trays also take up less space. When grown in soil, you can harvest your sprouts in about a week. I strongly recommend using organic seeds, and a pound of seeds will probably make over 10 pounds of sprouts.
As mentioned, you can use sprouts in salad, either in addition to or in lieu of salad greens, or add them to vegetable juice or smoothies. When it comes to which sprouts to grow, taste preference may ultimately guide your selection, but I’d encourage you to consider growing some of the most nutritious varieties, which include:
Sunflower spouts. They will give you the most volume for your work and, in my opinion, have the best taste. They also provide some of the highest quality protein you can eat, along with plenty of iron and chlorophyll, the latter of which will help detoxify your blood and liver. In one 10×10 tray, you can harvest between one and two pounds of sunflower sprouts, which will last you about three days. You can store them in the fridge for about a week.
Broccoli sprouts look and taste similar to alfalfa sprouts. Again, when you consider the nutrient-density of sprouts, calculations suggest 10 pounds of broccoli sprouts translate into as many cancer-protecting phytochemicals as 1,000 pounds (half a ton) of mature broccoli!
Pea sprouts, like sunflower sprouts, provide high-quality protein. They’re also an excellent source of bioavailable zinc and magnesium.
Watercress. Based on their exceptional nutritional profile, watercress may turn into a new favorite of mine. I recently started growing some to try them out.
Sprouts—An Ideal Home-Grown Food for Small Spaces
Sprouts are an authentic super food that many overlook or have long stopped using. In addition to their superior nutritional profile, sprouts are really easy to grow if you’re an apartment dweller, as they don’t require an outdoor garden. During sprouting, minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, bind to protein, making them more bioavailable. Furthermore, both the quality of the protein and the fiber content of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains improves when sprouted. The content of vitamins and essential fatty acids also increase dramatically during the sprouting process.
Watercress, sunflower seed, and pea sprouts tend to top the list of all the seeds that you can sprout and are typically each about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables. As discussed above, many sprouts also contain compounds with anti-cancer and detoxifying properties. Speaking in general terms, sprouts also have the following beneficial attributes:
Support for cell regeneration
Powerful sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that protect against free radical damage
Alkalinizing effect on your body, which is thought to protect against disease, including cancer (as many tumors are acidic)
Abundantly rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses, and bacteria that cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment
Fermented veggies are another outstanding super food that can help your body eliminate toxic pollutants such as pesticides. But whatever method you choose; juiced, whole, sprouted, cooked, or fermented, do make it a point to eat your veggies. This is one food group that is incredibly diverse, so there’s a wide variety to choose from and plenty to suit virtually everyone’s tastes.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not get fat from eating fat. You get fat from eating too much sugar and grains
Refined carbohydrates promote chronic inflammation in your body, elevate low-density LDL cholesterol, and ultimately lead to insulin and leptin resistance
Insulin and leptin resistance, in turn, is at the heart of obesity and most chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s—all the top killers in the US
To normalize your weight and protect your health, it is crucial to address your insulin and leptin resistance, which is the result of eating a diet too high in sugars and grains
Donal O’Neill turned the American food pyramid upside-down—eliminating sugars and grains from his diet and dramatically boosting his fat intake, thereby reducing his hereditary risk factors for heart disease to nil