Bitter Pill: The Dangerous Side Effects of Fluoridated Antibiotics

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By Dr. Mercola

Fluoroquinolones are among the most dangerous drugs on the market and should be avoided unless your life depends on it. Despite their dangers, they’re the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics in the United States… In 2010, Bayer’s top two fluoroquinolones (Cipro and Avalox) brought in $1 billion in sales.

That same year, Johnson & Johnson sold $1.3 billion-worth of its drug, Levaquin. All antibiotics carry a risk of side effects, but fluoroquinolones are in a class by themselves when it comes to potential health risks.

No other antibiotic carries as high a potential to cause serious, permanent injuries and even death, as the fluoroquinolones do. Despite their higher than normal risks, doctors frequently prescribe them as a first line of treatment even for mild infections. Always ask your doctor if there is a safer alternative.

And, adding insult to injury, most victims claim they were never warned that there are dire adverse effects associated with these antibiotics. I strongly advise you to educate yourself about the risks of fluoroquinolones, and refuse any prescription for these drugs unless absolutely necessary.

What Makes Fluoroquinolones So Dangerous?

Fluoroquinolones have fluoride as a central part of the drug. Fluoride is a known neurotoxin, and drugs with an attached fluoride molecule are able to penetrate into very sensitive tissues, including your brain.

The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier is what makes fluoride such a potent neurotoxin. Fluoride also disrupts collagen synthesis, and can damage your immune system by depleting energy reserves and inhibiting antibody formation in your blood.

According to Todd R. Plumb, M.D.1–a physician and fluoroquinolone victim—fluoroquinolone toxicity appears to be functional, not structural, as structural abnormalities are not typically seen on the radiological studies of patients with fluoroquinolone toxicity. Based on the available research, he cites the following four possible mechanisms of harm by fluoroquinolones:

Inhibition or disruption of the central nervous system GABA receptors
Depletion of magnesium and disruption of cellular enzyme function
Disruption of mitochondrial function and energy production
Oxidative injury and cellular death

Bitter Pill features three victims whose lives have been shattered by the long-term health effects of fluoroquinolones. Placing the blame squarely on the drug maker, one of them says: “[These side effects are] not something they’re just finding out now. These people are criminals. They belong in prison for the rest of their lives.”

Dr. Terence Young, MD, also featured in this video, lost his 15-year old daughter to a lethal drug effect in 2000.

Channeling his grief into finding out how that could happen, he says he discovered “corrupt practices that prevented doctors and patients learning what the true risks of prescription drugs were. And the reason that’s happened is because of this incredible marketing power of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Beware the Serious Side Effects of Fluoroquinolones

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally issued a warning that fluoroquinolone antibiotics, taken by mouth or injection, carry a risk for permanent peripheral neuropathy.2

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the arms and/or legs, characterized by “pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain, or temperature, or sense of body position.”

But the risk for peripheral neuropathy was noted in 2001, when Dr. Jay Cohen published documentation showing the following fluoroquinolone-related reactions.3 Adverse reactions of fluoroquinolones were documented in Europe as far back as the 1980s:

Nervous system symptoms occurred in 91 percent of patients taking fluoroquinolones (pain, tingling and numbness, dizziness, malaise, weakness, headaches, anxiety and panic, loss of memory, and psychosis)
Musculoskeletal symptoms in 73 percent of patients (tendon ruptures, tendonitis, weakness, and joint swelling)
Sensory symptoms in 42 percent of patients (tinnitus, altered visual, olfactory, and auditory function)
Cardiovascular symptoms in 36 percent of patients (tachycardia, shortness of breath, chest pain, and palpitations)
Skin reactions in 29 percent of patients (rashes, hair loss, sweating, and intolerance to heat or cold)
Gastrointestinal symptoms in 18 percent of patients (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain)
In a letter to his Congressman, Dr. Cohen wrote:4

“These severe reactions are occurring in patients who are usually healthy, active, and young. Most often, the antibiotics are prescribed for mild infections such as sinusitis, urinary or prostate infections. Most reactions occur very quickly, sometimes with just a few doses of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Reactions are acute, severe, frightening, and often disabling.” [Emphasis mine]

Despite persistent warning signs, the FDA didn’t take action until 2008, at which point they added a black box warning about severe tendon damage. They waited another five years before issuing a warning about permanent neuropathy.

This is yet another sad example demonstrating that just because a drug is FDA approved does NOT mean it has a proven safety record. Fluoroquinolones have also been associated with the following health problems and adverse effects:5

Retinal detachment, which can cause blindness      Disruption of collagen synthesis and collagen degradation,6 causing muscle, tendon, cartilage, and/or ligament damage

Nausea and diarrhea                                          Acute kidney failure Hallucinations and/or psychotic reactions. (About one-third of patients tend to experience some sort of negative psychiatric effect, such as anxiety, personality changes, or confusion)

Hearing problems                                              Brain fog

Painful rashes                                                    Disruptions to blood sugar metabolism7

Depression                                                        Phototoxicity Peripheral neuropathy

Seizures                                                              Heart damage

Acute liver toxicity8, 9

PLEASE—Only Use Fluoroquinolones as a Last Resort

Dr. Cohen’s documentation differs rather drastically with the drug makers’ own data. The drug companies claim less than one percent of subjects in clinical trials suffered serious adverse reactions. That’s a far cry from Dr. Cohen’s data showing a vast majority of patients taking the drugs experience more serious symptoms.

According to Bitter Pill, about 100 Canadian deaths have been attributed to fluoroquinolones since 1985. Freedom of Information documents obtained from the US FDA reveal more than 50,000 reports of adverse reactions and 3,000 deaths. Dr. Young believes the full picture is undoubtedly far worse than that, since most doctors never report suspected drug side effects and/or deaths. Patients also rarely report side effects of drugs they’re taking. Previous research suggests that actual reports represent about one percent of the reality.

If your doctor prescribes a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, please be certain that your condition warrants the risks. Fluoroquinolones should really be reserved for treating only the most serious bacterial infections that remain unresponsive to other treatments. While several drugs in this class have been removed from the market due to their deadly adverse effects, six remain FDA-approved for use in the US:

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)         Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
Gemifloxacin (Factive)      Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
Norfloxacin (Noroxin)      Ofloxacin (Floxin)

Get Into the Habit of Reporting Adverse Drug Reactions

If you believe you have experienced a reaction to a fluoroquinolone—or any other drug for that matter—please report it to MedWatch, the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program. It is vital that they hear from each and every one of you who has experienced an adverse drug reaction. This is a major impetus in getting dangerous drugs removed from the market, and physicians almost never report the reactions themselves so it’s really up to you to help make sure dangerous drugs are taken off the market. MedWatch offers several reporting options:

Telephone 1-800-FDA-1088
Fax to 1-800-FDA-0178
File a report online
Mail a report (FDA form 3500) in a postage-paid envelope to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852-9787

Support for Fluoroquinolone Victims

Victims of fluoroquinolones damage are so numerous, they’ve banded together in a worldwide network, calling themselves “Floxies.” Quite a few Floxies are in the medical field themselves (or were, before they were poisoned), and are on a mission to help fellow fluoroquinolone poisoning victims. This is how the documentary Certain Adverse Events came about. If you haven’t already seen this film, I highly recommend it.10

For more information, you can also visit the following websites (there are many more in addition to these if you search by the term “fluoroquinolone”):

Levaquinadversesideeffect.com
CertainAdverseEvents.com
Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Toxicity Advocacy Page (Facebook)
SurvivingCipro.com
MyQuinStory.com

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Important Factors Typically Ignored in Mental Health Screening Tests

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By Dr. Mercola

According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs and among some groups like women in their 40 and 50s it is one in four.1

In 2010, antidepressants were the second most commonly prescribed type of medication in the US.2 October 9 was National Depression Screening Day in the US,3 coinciding with World Mental Health Day.

The campaign, founded in 1991 by Douglas Jacobs, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, urges Americans to get screened for depression, offered free of charge at doctor’s offices, colleges, community institutions, and hospitals across the nation.

Unfortunately, the importance of things like vitamin D and gut health for the maintenance of mental and emotional stability is still frequently ignored. Exercise is another widely overlooked remedy that would do far more good than any drug ever will.

And that’s the problem I have with campaigns like National Depression Screening Day. Rarely if ever do these mental health tests include questions about sun exposure, diet, or exercise habits…

The Problem with Mental Health Screening Tests

Mental health screening tests could serve to improve the mental health of millions, if vitamin D screening, diet, and other lifestyle factors were addressed. But all in all, mental health screenings typically do little besides promote the use of antidepressants.

For example, the free online depression screening test offered by WebMD back in 2010 turned out to be sponsored by drug giant Eli Lilly, the maker of Cymbalta, and was rigged in such a way that no matter how you responded, the answer was always the same: “You may be at risk for major depression, and it would probably do you well to discuss it with your doctor…”

The test was absolutely useless, and was purposely designed to lure in new patients for a drug pitch. When looking at the research literature, short-term trials show that antidepressants actually do NOT provide any clinically significant benefits for mild to moderate depression, compared to a placebo.

Long-term studies also indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed!

All drugs have benefit-to-risk ratios, so if a drug is as effective as a placebo in relieving symptoms, and comes with an array of hazardous side effects, it really doesn’t make sense to use them as a first line of defense—especially if they raise your risk of mental illness over the long term! Based on the scientific evidence there are many better options.

Vitamin D Deficiency Can Play a Role in Depression

Most countries in which depression rates are high tend to be in northern latitudes where vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, and numerous studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression, and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores.

For example, one previous study found that seniors with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels. More recent research was discussed in a Times Online article:4

“A study in the United States indicated that vitamin D deficiency occurred more often in certain people, including African-Americans, city dwellers, the obese, and those suffering from depression.

People with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with vitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/mL” [Emphasis mine]

Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder5 (SAD), and according to a double-blind randomized trial6 published in 2008: “It appears to be a relation between serum levels of 25(OH)D and symptoms of depression.

Supplementation with high doses of vitamin D seems to ameliorate these symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship.” Recent research also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. As reported by Michigan State University:7

“The study, published in the September issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that around 60 percent of the suicidal patients were deficient in vitamin D according to clinical standards.

The suicidal patients’ levels of Vitamin D were significantly lower than those in the healthy controls… The patients who were deficient in vitamin D also had higher inflammatory markers in their blood, the study found, suggesting that low levels of vitamin D could be a cause of the inflammation.

Previous studies have shown that increased inflammation in the body might be a contributing factor to depression and suicidal tendencies. Vitamin D deficiency also previously has been linked to mental illness, including depression.” [Emphasis mine]

To suggest that depression is rooted in nutrient deficiencies and other lifestyle related factors does not detract from the fact that it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed with compassion and non-judgment. It simply shifts the conversation about what the most appropriate answers and remedies are.

During this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, KCWY13,8 a local news channel in Wyoming, wisely noted that:

“Vitamin D is important because it helps fight off depression… Dee Ann Lippincott, of the Central Wyoming Counseling Center said, ‘The higher altitude you go and the higher you go in the country the higher the rates of depression.’

While sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D and ward off depression, it isn’t the only way. For example there’s a strong connection between a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind.

Lippincott said, ‘People who eat a healthier diet are less prone to depression then people who eat the more western diet which is more based on junk food and fast food, and not a lot of fruits and vegetables.’”

The Links Between Gut and Mental Health

Your mental health is also linked to your gut health. As with vitamin D, a number of studies have confirmed that gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression. For example, a Hungarian scientific review9 published in 2011 made the following observations:

Depression is often found alongside gastrointestinal inflammations and autoimmune diseases as well as with cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2 diabetes and also cancer, in which chronic low-grade inflammation is a significant contributing factor. Thus researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.”
Research suggests the primary cause of inflammation may be dysfunction of the “gut-brain axis.” Your gut is literally your second brain — created from the identical tissue as your brain during gestation — and contains larger levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with mood control.
It’s important to understand that your gut bacteria are an active and integrated part of serotonin regulation and actually produce more serotonin than your brain. Optimizing your gut flora is a key part of the equation to optimize your levels.
An increasing number of clinical studies have shown that treating gastrointestinal inflammation with probiotics, vitamin B, vitamin D, and omega-3 fats may also improve depression symptoms and quality of life by attenuating pro-inflammatory stimuli to your brain.

Sugar Is Also a Major Factor in Depression

Nearly 40 years ago, William Duffy penned a great book on this subject, called The Sugar Blues. It delves into the sugar-depression link in great detail, and is as applicable today as it was then. The central argument Duffy makes in the book is that sugar is extremely health-harming and addictive, and that simply making one dietary change — eliminating as much sugar as possible — can have a profoundly beneficial impact on your mental health.

This really makes sense when you consider that sugar not only triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation, it also distorts the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut. Both of these factors—chronic inflammation and imbalanced microflora—play integral roles in the quality of your second brain and your mental health.

Sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that inhibit the beneficial and health promoting bacteria in your gut. Sugar can also lead to excessive insulin release that can lead to hypoglycemia, which, in turn, causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks, and an increase in suicide risk. Cultured and fermented foods, on the other hand, help reseed your gut with a wide variety of healthy bacteria that promote mental and physical health as long as your keep your sugar and processed food intake low.

For instance, one 2011 study10 found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus has a marked effect on GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowers the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior. So the two-prong dietary answer for treating depression is to a) severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, and b) introduce fermented foods into your diet to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Exercise Proven More Helpful Than Antidepressants

Regular exercise is another “secret weapon” to overcoming depression. It primarily works by helping to normalize your insulin levels while simultaneously boosting “feel good” hormones in your brain. According to Dr. James S. Gordon, MD, a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression:

“What we’re finding in the research on physical exercise is that exercise is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed… physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in your brain. And it increases your endorphin levels, your ‘feel good hormones.’”

Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker also discusses the drawbacks and benefits of various treatments in the video above and in his two books: Mad in America, and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, noting the superior benefits of exercise compared to drugs. Recent animal research also suggests that exercise can benefit your mental health by allowing your body to eliminate kynurenine, a harmful protein associated with depression. According to Reuters:11

“’If you consistently exercise and your muscle is conditioned and adapted to physical exercise, then you acquire the ability to express this class of enzymes that have the ability to detoxify something that accumulates during stress and that will be harmful for you,’ senior study author Dr. Jorge Ruas of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said…

The body metabolizes this substance, kynurenine, from tryptophan, a process that is activated by stress and by inflammatory factors… Studies have linked high levels of kynurenine – which readily crosses the blood-brain barrier – to depression, suicide and schizophrenia… Clinicians can use the findings to help their patients understand why physical activity can fight off depression, Dr. Ruas said, which may improve their compliance with exercise recommendations.”

How to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level

Based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general physical and mental health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml. As for HOW to optimize your vitamin D levels, I firmly believe that sensible sun exposure is the best way. If you can’t get enough sunshine in late fall, winter, or early spring, then a tanning bed would be your next best option. Keep in mind that most tanning equipment use magnetic ballasts, which create harmful EMF fields. If you hear a loud buzzing noise while in a tanning bed, it has a magnetic ballast system. I strongly recommend you avoid these types of beds and restrict your use of tanning beds to those that use electronic ballasts.

If your circumstances don’t allow you to access the sun or a safe tanning bed, then you really only have one option left, and that is to take a vitamin D supplement. GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.

Keep in mind that if you opt for a vitamin D supplement, you also need to take vitamin K2. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the consequences similar to vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries.

vitamin d levels

Test Your Vitamin D Levels at Least Once a Year—Even if You’re Healthy

I recommend testing your vitamin D level at least once a year, in the middle of the winter when your level would be at its lowest. This will give you an idea of the extent of your insufficiency. Ideally, you’d want to get your level tested several times a year, at regular intervals, to ensure you’re continuously staying within the ideal range. Once you know your pattern and can comfortably predict that you will not fall below 60 ng/ml, then it would be fine to shift to annual testing.

It’s important to remember that optimal vitamin D levels appear to offer powerful PREVENTION of a whole host of chronic diseases, not just depression, so please, do not wait for a problem to appear before addressing your vitamin D status. The D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth is one cost effective solution. To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.”

Vitamin D Kit

Order button

Rethinking Your First Line of Defense Against Depression

There are many options besides antidepressants for addressing depression. Three of the most effective strategies have been addressed above, which include:

Optimizing your vitamin D level, ideally through appropriate sun exposure
Optimizing your gut health by limiting or eliminating sugar, fructose, grains, and processed foods from your diet, and introducing fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic
Getting regular exercise
Other helpful strategies include the use of energy psychology, getting adequate omega-3 fats, and getting enough sleep. Engaging in outdoor activities such as gardening can also do wonders. As a general rule, it would be wise to remember that your lifestyle can quite literally make or break your health and general sense of wellbeing and may be one of the most fundamental contributors to depression. The most appropriate answer then is to get to the root of the problem, and not ignore it by popping pills…

You’d be well advised to address the factors discussed in this article before resorting to drug treatment—which science has shown is no more effective than placebo, while being fraught with potentially dangerous side effects. For even more inspiration, please see my previous article 13 Mind-Body Techniques That Can Help Ease Depression.”

That said, if you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department.

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New Report Will Reveal Which Yogurts Are Healthy, and Which Are Best Avoided

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By Dr. Mercola

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, about their long-awaited and much-needed Yogurt Report. The interview took place at the recent Heirloom Seed Festival in Santa Rosa, CA, where we both had the honor of speaking.

The idea for the Yogurt Report was seeded about two years ago. I was out of town and a friend requested yogurt, so I went out looking for some in a local grocery store.

To my dismay, I couldn’t find a single healthy yogurt… They were all junk food disguised as “health food.” Previous to this experience, I was unaware of how truly degenerated most commercial yogurts had become.

I believe this is really a strong case of deception, so I turned to The Cornucopia Institute. It required two years of investigation, but they will be releasing their scorecard later this week by the New York Times.

If you’re eating yogurt to help optimize your gut flora, you need to review this report. Chances are you’re currently eating yogurt that has more similarities with candy than anything else…

Have You Been Deceived?

Most commercial yogurts are chockfull of artificial colors, flavors, additives, and sugar, typically as fructose (high fructose corn syrup), which actually nourishes disease-causing bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your gut. Since your gut has limited real estate, this smothers your beneficial bacteria and gets you sick.

Sugar also promotes insulin resistance, which is a driving factor of most chronic disease. Virtually all commercially available yogurts use pasteurized milk (heated high temperature) even before it is reheated to make the yogurt itself, and this has its own drawbacks.

The top-rated yogurts are generally VAT pasteurized at relatively low temperatures, and are made from raw milk rather than previously pasteurized milk. While not as advantageous as making yogurt from raw milk in your own home, it’s certainly better than most commercial yogurt.

The report also took a look at the food industry’s labeling campaign, Live and Active Cultures, which is supposed to help consumers select products with high levels of healthy probiotics.

To assess probiotic content, Cornucopia tested yogurt purchased directly from the grocery stores instead of following the industry’s practice of testing levels at the factory. As it turns out, many of the brands bearing the Live and Active Cultures label contain LOWER levels of probiotics than the top-rated organic brands in Cornucopia’s scorecard that are not part of the Live and Active campaign.

The report also includes a comparative cost analysis of commercial yogurt brands. The good news is that many organic yogurts are actually less expensive, on a price-per-ounce basis, than conventional, heavily-processed yogurts.

Cornucopia Files Complaint; Requests FDA Investigation

As noted in their press release:

“Based on its industry investigation, The Cornucopia Institute has filed a formal complaint with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to investigate whether or not certain yogurt on the market, manufactured by such companies as Yoplait, Dannon, and many store brands including Walmart’s Great Value, violate the legal standard of identity for products labeled as yogurt.

The Cornucopia Institute requests that the legal definition of “yogurt” be enforced for product labeling, just as it is for products labeled “cheese.”

“The reason that Kraft has to call Velveeta® ‘processed cheese-food’ is that some of the ingredients used, like vegetable oil, cannot legally be in a product marketed as ‘cheese’,” Kastel added.

Cornucopia alleges that some of the ingredients that manufactures are using in yogurt, like milk protein concentrate (MPC), typically imported from countries like India, do not meet yogurt’s current legal standard of identity.“

Why You Need Probiotics

Your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria, mostly in your gut, which is more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your entire body. It’s now quite clear that the type and quantity of micro-organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases.

A healthy microbiome is not only important for optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, these bacteria also help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals, aid in the elimination of toxins, and are responsible for a good part of your immune system and mental health, including your ability to resist anxiety, stress, and depression.

One recent study2, 3 discovered that yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus can help protect children and pregnant women against heavy metal poisoning.

As shown in earlier research, certain microorganisms are particularly efficient at binding to certain toxins and/or chemicals, including pesticides. Here, they found that L. rhamnosus had a preference for binding (and eliminating) mercury and arsenic.

According to the authors: “Probiotic food produced locally represents a nutritious and affordable means for people in some developing countries to counter exposures to toxic metals.” Probiotics also have dozens of other beneficial pharmacological actions,4 including:

Anti-bacterial Anti-allergenic Anti-viral Immunomodulatory
Anti-infective Antioxidant Antiproliferative Apoptopic (cellular self-destruction)
Antidepressive Antifungal Cardioprotective Gastroprotective
Radio- and chemo protective Upregulates glutathione and certain glycoproteins that help regulate immune responses, including interleukin-4, interleukin-10, and interleukin-12 Downregulates interleukin-6 (a cytokine involved in chronic inflammation and age-related diseases) Inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha inhibitor, NF-kappaB, epidermal growth factor receptor, and more

It’s also important to realize that your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to lifestyle and environmental factors. Some of the top offenders known to decimate your microbiome include the following—all of which are best avoided:

Sugar/fructose Refined grains Processed foods Antibiotics (including antibiotics given to livestock for food production)
Chlorinated and fluoridated water Antibacterial soaps, etc. Agricultural chemicals and pesticides Pollution

Brain Health Is Strongly Tied to Gut Health

While many think of their brain as the organ in charge of their mental health, your gut may actually play a far more significant role. Mounting research indicates that problems in your gut can directly impact your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression.5 For example:

One proof-of-concept study6, 7 conducted by researchers at UCLA found that yogurt containing several strains of probiotics thought to have a beneficial impact on intestinal health also had a beneficial impact on participants’ brain function; decreasing activity in brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation such as anxiety.
The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility8 reported the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 normalized anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis by modulating the vagal pathways within the gut-brain.
Other research9 found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA levels—an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes—in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.
Previous studies have confirmed that what you eat can quickly alter the composition of your gut flora. Specifically, eating a high-vegetable, fiber-based diet produces a profoundly different composition of microbiota than a more typical Western diet high in carbs and processed fats.

This is part and parcel of the problem with most commercially available yogurts—they’re widely promoted as healthy because they contain (added) probiotics, but then they’re so loaded with ingredients that will counteract all the good that they’re basically useless… The negative effects of the sugar far outweigh any marginal benefits of the minimal beneficial bacteria they have. Remember, the most important step in building healthy gut flora is avoiding sugar as that will cause disease-causing microbes to crowd out your beneficial flora.

Surprisingly, Mark Kastel notes that some of the organic brands of yogurt actually contained some of the highest amounts of sugar! It’s important to realize that some yogurt can contain as much sugar as candy or cookies, which most responsible parents would not feed their children for breakfast. Artificial flavors are also commonly used.

You Can Easily and Inexpensively Make Your Own Yogurt

Your absolute best bet, when it comes to yogurt, is to make your own using a starter culture and raw grass-fed milk. Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows not only contains beneficial bacteria that prime your immune system and can help reduce allergies, it’s also an outstanding source of vitamins (especially vitamin A), zinc, enzymes, and healthy fats. Raw organic milk is not associated with any of the health problems of pasteurized milk such as rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, diarrhea, and cramps.

To find a local source of raw grass-fed milk, see RealMilk.com.

While delicious as is, you could add a natural sweetener to it. Mark suggests whole food sweeteners such as raw organic honey or maple syrup, for example. You can also add flavor without sweetening it up by adding some vanilla extract, or a squirt of lime or lemon juice. Whole berries or fruits are another obvious alternative. Just be mindful not to overdo it, especially if you’re insulin or leptin resistant—and about 80 percent of Americans are.

Nourish Your Microbiome with Organic Yogurt for Optimal Health

Cultured foods like yogurt are good sources of natural, healthy bacteria, provided they’re traditionally fermented and unpasteurized. One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is to obtain raw milk and convert it to yogurt or kefir. It’s really easy to make at home. All you need is some starter granules in a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature overnight.

By the time you wake up in the morning you will likely have kefir. If it hasn’t obtained the consistency of yogurt, you might want to set it out a bit longer and then store it in the fridge.

A quart of kefir has far more active bacteria than you’d obtain from a probiotic supplement, and it’s very economical as you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about 10 times before you need to start a new culture pack. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir! Cultured foods should be a regular part of your diet, and if you eat enough of them you will keep your digestive tract well supplied with good bacteria.

There may still be times when a probiotic supplement is necessary, but for day-to-day gut health maintenance, yogurt and other traditionally cultured or fermented foods are truly ideal choices.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Honey

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By Dr. Mercola

Honey has been valued as a natural sweetener long before sugar became widely available in the 16th century. Honey production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, for instance, while animals other than humans – bears, badgers, and more – have long raided honeybee hives, risking stings for the sweet reward.1

Honey is truly a remarkable substance, made even more extraordinary by the process with which it is made. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is quite unlike any other sweetener on the planet.

And while honey is high in fructose, it has many health benefits when used in moderation (assuming you’re healthy). Before I delve into those, here’s a brief “lesson” on how honey is made…

How Honey Is Made (Fascinating!)

It takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.2

Once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and then passes it (via regurgitation) to another bee’s mouth. This process is repeated until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb.

Once there, the honeybees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, helping the water to evaporate and create the thick substance you know as “honey.” This honeycomb is then sealed with a liquid secretion from the bee’s abdomen, which hardens into beeswax. As Live Science reported:3

“Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.”

There are more than 300 kinds of honey in the US, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent upon the nectar source. Lighter colored honeys, such as those made from orange blossoms, tend to be milder in flavor while darker-colored honeys, like those made from wildflowers, tend to have a more robust flavor.4

5 Honey Facts You Might Not Know

Honey, particularly in its raw form, offers unique health benefits that you might not be aware of. Among them…

1. Honey Makes Excellent Cough “Medicine”

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film.5

Research shows honey works as well as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over the counter cough medications, to soothe cough and related sleeping difficulties due to upper respiratory tract infections in children.6

2. Honey Can Treat Wounds

Honey was a conventional therapy in fighting infection up until the early 20th century, at which time its use slowly vanished with the advent of penicillin. Now the use of honey in wound care is regaining popularity, as researchers are determining exactly how honey can help fight serious skin infections.

Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidants activities that make it ideal for treating wounds. In the US, Derma Sciences uses Manuka honey for their Medihoney wound and burn dressings.

Manuka honey is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush (a medicinal plant), and clinical trials have found this type of honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as:

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
Compared to other types of honey, Manuka has an extra ingredient with antimicrobial qualities, called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). It is so called because no one has yet been able to discover the unique substance involved that gives it its extraordinary antibacterial activity.

Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through an enzymatic process, which explains its general antiseptic qualities, but active Manuka honey contains “something else” that makes it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to killing off bacteria.7

That being said, research shows that any type of unprocessed honey helped wounds and ulcers heal. In one study, 58 of 59 wounds showed “remarkable improvement following topical application of honey.”8

3. Honey Improves Your Scalp

Honey diluted with a bit of warm water was shown to significantly improve seborrheic dermatitis, which is a scalp condition that causes dandruff and itching. After applying the solution every other day for four weeks, “all of the patients responded markedly.” According to the researchers:9

“Itching was relieved and scaling was disappeared within one week. Skin lesions were healed and disappeared completely within 2 weeks. In addition, patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss.”

4. Help Boost Your Energy

A healthy, whole-food diet and proper sleep is the best recipe for boundless energy, but if you’re looking for a quick energy boost, such as before or after a workout, honey can suffice. This is particularly true for athletes looking for a “time-released fuel” to provide energy over a longer duration.10

5. Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Locally produced honey, which will contain pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduces a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time can build up your natural immunity against it.

The typical recommendation is to take about a teaspoon-full of locally produced honey per day, starting a few months PRIOR to the pollen season, to allow your system to build up immunity. And the key here is local.

This approach only works because it has pollen of local plants you may be allergic to. Honey from other parts of the country simply won’t work. While research on this has yielded conflicting results, one study found that, during birch pollen season, compared to the control group, the patients using birch pollen honey experienced:11

60 percent reduction in symptoms
Twice as many asymptomatic days
70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms
50 percent decrease in usage of antihistamines
Interestingly enough, there were few differences between the two honey groups (those who took regular honey, versus those who took honey that contained birch pollen.) However, the birch pollen honey group used less histamines than those who used regular honey. The authors concluded:

“Patients who pre-seasonally used birch pollen honey had significantly better control of their symptoms than did those on conventional medication only, and they had marginally better control compared to those on regular honey. The results should be regarded as preliminary, but they indicate that birch pollen honey could serve as a complementary therapy for birch pollen allergy.”

Honey for Herpes

Good-quality honey offers several topical wound-care benefits that can explain some of its success as a remedy for herpes sores:

It draws fluid away from your wound
The high sugar content suppresses microorganism growth
Worker bees secrete an enzyme (glucose oxidase) into the nectar, which then releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide when the honey makes contact with your wound
In one study, 16 adult subjects with a history of recurrent labial and genital herpes attacks used honey to treat one attack, and a commonly prescribed antiviral drug, Acyclovir cream, during another. (It’s important to realize that neither the drug nor the honey will actually cure genital herpes. They only treat the symptoms.)

Interestingly, honey provided significantly better treatment results. For labial herpes, the mean healing time was 43 percent better, and for genital herpes, 59 percent better than acyclovir. Pain and crusting was also significantly reduced with the honey, compared to the drug. Two cases of labial herpes and one case of genital herpes remitted completely with the honey treatment, whereas none remitted while using acyclovir.12

3 DIY Honey Home Remedies

Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture, making it an ideal addition to moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners. Along with its antimicrobial properties, honey makes a wonderful addition to homemade personal care products. The National Honey Board has a few you can try out for yourself:13

Honey Hair Conditioner: Mix ½ cup honey with ¼ cup olive oil. Work a small amount through your hair until coated. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let sit for 30 minutes. Shampoo as normal and rinse.
Honey Body Moisturizer: Mix 5 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons rose oil, and 2 cups almond oil in a medium-sized bottle. Apply as needed onto wet skin.
Honey Almond Scrub: Mix 3 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 6 ½ tablespoons of finely crushed almonds. Rub the exfoliating scrub onto your face gently and rinse with warm water.
The Organic Consumers Association has also published this simple honey lemon cough syrup that’s useful to keep on hand during the winter months:14

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.

Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1-tablespoon doses.

Is Honey a Healthy Natural Sweetener? How to Avoid Fake Honey

As far as natural sweeteners go, honey does have a place. The main thing to remember when it comes to honey is that not all honey is created equal. The antibacterial activity in some honeys is 100 times more potent than in others, while processed refined honey will lack many of these beneficial properties altogether. Your average domestic “Grade A” type honey found in the grocery store is likely highly processed.

It’s also been found that more than 75 percent of the honey on American supermarket shelves may be ultra-processed—to the point that all inherent medicinal properties are completely gone—and then smuggled into the country by the barrel drum. Nearly all of this “fake” honey is made in China. Some of these brokers will even create bogus country of origin papers. All 60 jars of “honey” tested by Food Safety News (FSN) came back negative for pollen, which is a clear sign of ultra-processing.15 According to FSN:

“The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others have also ruled that without pollen, there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.”

In their investigation, FSN discovered the following:

76 percent of honey samples bought at grocery stores (such as TOP Food, Safeway, QFC, Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.) were absent of pollen
77 percent of the honey from big box stores (like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target) were absent of pollen
100 percent of the honey sampled from drug stores (like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS Pharmacy) were absent of pollen
The good news is all of the samples from farmers markets, co-ops, and natural stores like Trader Joe’s had the full, proper compliment of pollen, as did organic brands from common grocery stores. When choosing honey, be sure it is raw, unfiltered, and 100% pure, from a trusted source.

Honey Should Be Consumed Only in Moderation

Honey has many healthy attributes, but it is also high in fructose, averaging around 53 percent. Each teaspoon of honey has nearly four grams of fructose, which means it can exacerbate pre-existing insulin resistance and wreak havoc on your body if consumed in excess. So when consuming honey, carefully add the total grams of fructose (including fruits) that you consume each day, and stay below 25 grams of total fructose per day.

Keep in mind, though, that if you have insulin resistance (i.e. if you are taking drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, or if you’re overweight) you’d be better off avoiding all sweeteners, including honey, since any sweetener can decrease your insulin sensitivity and worsen your insulin resistance. If you’re healthy, however, eating raw honey in moderation could provide many of the benefits listed above.

Sources and References
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New Film “Second Opinion” Exposes the Truth About a 40-Year Long Cover-Up of Laetrile Cancer Treatment

Source
By Dr. Mercola

Second Opinion: Laetrile At Sloan-Kettering – by Eric Merola (Watch free from Oct. 18 – Oct. 24, 2014) from Merola Films on Vimeo.

If you are old enough, you might recall a controversy in the early 1970s regarding the compound Laetrile, purported to prevent the spread of cancer. New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was ground zero in that firestorm.

In the early 1970s, America’s war on cancer was in full force, and Sloan Kettering was regarded as one of the world’s leading cancer research centers.

But Sloan Kettering’s Board of Directors swept positive findings about Laetrile under the rug when it became unprofitable and publicly unpopular for them to support it.

Their Laetrile research was done under their own roof by one of the world’s most respected cancer researchers of the day—Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura. One person—and only one—has come forward with the truth about what turned out to be one of the most reprehensible cover-ups in the history of cancer research.

In 1974, young science writer Ralph Moss had just netted his first big-time job in Sloan Kettering’s public relations department, but he soon found himself smack dab in the middle of the Laetrile fiasco.

In July 1977, Moss was no longer willing to lie on behalf of his employer, so he exposed the truth about Sloan Kettering’s conduct at a highly publicized press conference. The next business day he was fired and swiftly escorted to the door by armed guards.

This story is personally recounted in a new documentary Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan Kettering,1, 2 in which Moss reveals the full extent of the Laetrile cover-up, in its entirety, as an insider. He’s also written a book about it, called Doctored Results.

Eric Merola is an award winning documentarian whose prior work includes Burzynski: The Movie and Burzynski—Cancer is Serious Business, Part II. The experience was life changing for Ralph Moss, who has since devoted his career to independently evaluating the claims of conventional and nonconventional cancer treatments.

The fact that mainstream media has embraced this documentary with positive reviews is rather astonishing, and perhaps a sign of changing times.

“Though a documentary, it’s dramatic enough to be reminiscent of ‘The Insider,’ the whistleblowing thriller about Big Tobacco.”
—Graham Fuller, New York Daily News, August 28, 2014

What Is Laetrile?

Laetrile is the patented drug made from the natural compound amygdalin, found in the seeds of many fruits, such as apricot, plum and peach pits, apple seeds, and quince, as well as in almonds. Laetrile is also known as Amigdalina B-17 or vitamin B17, although there is very little evidence it warrants classification as a vitamin.

Amygdalin contains glucose, benzaldehyde, and cyanide. Cyanide is believed to be the active cancer-toxic ingredient in Laetrile. However, cyanide is toxic to all cells, so Laetrile’s overall toxicity is a concern.3

Some Laetrile proponents claim that it’s more toxic to cancer cells than to normal cells.4 Getting cyanide poisoning from apple seeds or almonds is extremely unlikely.5

In 1924, Laetrile was synthesized from amygdalin and promoted as a cancer treatment. By 1978, it was estimated that more than 70,000 Americans had tried it—despite its being banned in the US since 1963. Most people obtain Laetrile from Tijuana clinics, as the agent is still legal in Mexico.6

Dr. Sugiura’s Research

Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura7 spent most of his career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, authoring more than 250 papers and receiving numerous awards, including the highest honors from the Japan Medical Association for outstanding contributions in cancer research.

While studying Laetrile, which was previously written off as “quack medicine,” Dr. Sugiura discovered Laetrile to have very positive effects in preventing the spread of malignant lung tumors in laboratory mice.

In control groups, which received only plain saline, the lung tumors spread in 80 to 90 percent of the animals. But in those given Laetrile, the tumors spread in only 10 to 20 percent.8

Then, the Cover-Up

By 1974, the findings were so positive that Sloan Kettering had signed off on clinical trials—but suddenly everything changed.9 The center began shifting their Laetrile experiments away from Dr. Sugiura to other scientists. But every time new experiments even hinted at a positive outcome, the research was scrapped, for ridiculous reasons.

Even the scientists at Sloan Kettering who had previously been supportive of Sugiura’s studies began to characterize Laetrile as a fraud—yet nothing had changed scientifically to negate Sugiura’s findings. Despite the opposition, Dr. Sugiura stood firmly by his work.

Ralph Moss had befriended Dr. Sugiura from the beginning of his employment at Sloan Kettering, and Sugiura had excitedly shared his findings about Laetrile with Moss. When things went south, Moss was suddenly caught in a dilemma.

His only choices were to lie, in order to support his employer, or tell the truth and sacrifice his job and potentially his career. He tried leaking the documents of Sugiura’s work to the editor of the New York Times, but they never saw the light of day.

Ultimately, Moss chose to come clean at a press conference in July 1977, which ended up being the final day of his employment at Sloan Kettering. He was admonished to never set foot in the facility again. What happened to cause this sudden, drastic shift about Laetrile?

Embarrassment Over Patchwork Mice

Just prior to the Laetrile controversy, Sloan Kettering was already reeling in embarrassment from research fraud, courtesy of dermatologist William T. Summerlin. In 1974, Summerlin was supposedly studying transplantation immunology and claimed to have successfully performed the first skin transplant from a black mouse onto a white mouse—quite a scientific feat, as they were genetically unrelated animals.

Shortly thereafter, technicians noticed that the black “pigmentation” on the white mice wiped off with a cotton swab, tipping them off that Summerlin had merely colored the skin patch with a black permanent marker. Further investigation revealed that many of Summerlin’s prior studies were equally bogus.10

Sloan Kettering did not want to be in the spotlight for anything else even remotely resembling quackery, and Laetrile was considered too controversial. The problem was compounded by the fact that the pro-Laetrile movement had been commandeered by the extreme right wing John Birch Society, with whom the center did not want to be associated. And then, you must consider the individuals comprising Sloan Kettering’s Board of Directors.

Sloan Kettering’s Board Included Drug and Petrochemical Industry Big-Wigs

According to Ralph Moss, the Laetrile cover-up really only makes sense when viewed through the lens of “the politics of cancer.” According to Moss:11 “The individuals on Sloan Kettering’s Board of Directors were a ‘Who’s Who’ of investors in petrochemical and other polluting industries. In other words, the hospital was being run by people who made their wealth by investing in the worst cancer-causing things on the planet.”

The Board was dominated by CEOs from top pharmaceutical companies that produce cancer drugs, whose interest was in promoting chemotherapy and undermining natural therapies. For example, both the Chairman and Vice President of Bristol-Myers Squibb (the world’s leading manufacturer of chemotherapy drugs) occupied high positions on the Board. Of the nine members of the hospital’s powerful Institutional Policy Committee, seven had ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Even the hospital itself invested in stock of these drug companies. The Board also included directors of the biggest tobacco companies in the US—Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco. Moss writes:

“With this background in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that Sugiura’s findings did not please his employer. What goes on inside the laboratories is generally of little interest to board members. It is assumed that, whatever it is, it will result in a new patented drug that will keep the cash flow moving in their direction. They were slow to pick up on the implications of Sugiura’s work, but when they did, all hell broke loose in the board room. If a cure for cancer were to be found in an extract from the lowly apricot seed, it would be a terrible economic blow to the cancer-drug industry.”

Related to this is one very telling quote that comes near the end of the film, attributed to William W. Vodra, the former Associate Chief Counsel for Drugs at the USFDA: “Nobody is going to pay $70,000 for a new cancer drug if they can buy Laetrile for 75 cents.” The Sloan Kettering Board likely realized that Laetrile offered no hope as a profitable cancer treatment—so it had to be squelched.

Corporate Greed Knows No Bounds

The Laetrile story is not unlike the Stanislaw Burzynski and Nicholas Gonzalez stories, where potentially powerful cancer treatments are silenced by those whose real agenda is to protect corporate bank accounts. The cancer paradigm is based on toxic drugs, dangerous surgeries, and expensive machines. There’s an enormous amount of money to be made in this system, and those who threaten to overturn it will pay a steep price.

Conventional medicine purports to be beholden to science-based medicine, yet it resists and denies solid science-based evidence again and again. Things have not changed much since the 1974 Laetrile cover-up—in fact, they may getting worse. “Science” may not be as trustworthy as we would all like to believe. We continue to see one case after another of shocking medical science fraud, particularly in the extremely profitable cancer industry.

Our current medical system has been masterfully orchestrated by the drug companies to create a system that gives the perception of science based medicine when it is really a heavily manipulated process designed to boost their profits, and more accurately labeled science biased medicine. One review of retracted biomedical and life-science research found that only 21 percent of retractions were due to errors—the rest were due to misconduct, fraud, or plagiarism.

The more respected or influential the journal was, the more likely its retractions were attributed to fraud or suspected fraud! Even the prestigious Mayo Clinic is not immune to this type of scandal, retracting 19 papers from nine research journals due to shady research a few years back. Ralph Moss was very clear in saying he’s not an advocate for Laetrile, but rather an advocate for truth in medical science. An interesting aside is that another laetrile researcher, Dr. Harold Manner, was head of the biology department at Loyola University in the late 70s. Two of his graduate students, Dr. Tom Michalson and Dr. Steve Disanti, were in my medical school class and their Laetrile stories confirmed the details in this story.

Contemporary Laetrile Studies Confirm Sugiura’s Work—But an Apology from Sloan Kettering Is Nowhere to Be Found

The research into Laetrile did not stop just because Sloan Kettering buried it 40 years ago. Many recent studies confirm Dr. Sugiura’s work, supporting his conclusion that Laetrile shows potential in reducing the spread of cancer, although it’s not a cure. Laetrile and amygdalin may also have benefits for other medical issues, such as kidney disease. Here are just a few of the more recent studies that substantiate Dr. Sugiura’s work:

August 2014: In a new German study, amygdalin dose-dependently reduced growth and proliferation of bladder cancer12
May 2013: Amygdalin inhibits renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease; researchers conclude it is a “potent antifibrotic agent that may have therapeutic potential for patients with fibrotic kidney diseases”13
February 2013: Amygdalin induces apoptosis in human cervical cancer cells; authors conclude it may offer a new therapeutic option for cervical cancer patients14
August 2006: Amygdalin also induces apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells15
February 2003: Amygdalin from Prunus persica seeds (peach pits) shows anti-tumor effects comparable to epigallocatechin gallate in green tea16
Despite contemporary research findings, you will find no retraction (or apology) by Sloan Kettering, and sadly, the vast majority of cancer information sites claim that Laetrile is useless as a cancer treatment. Laetrile was a lost opportunity. This type of misinformation is rampant in the industry, and the people who really suffer are those battling cancer and denied access to treatments that could potentially save them or extend their lives. The facts show that Dr. Sugiura was both competent and honest, but instead of accolades, he received nothing but grief because he just happened to step into the middle of a political hornets’ nest.

Sign the Petition Now!

Ralph Moss’s organization Second Opinion has a petition urging Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to acknowledge its positive results about Laetrile from the 1970s. You can sign that petition here. Since being fired by Sloan Kettering in 1975, Ralph Moss has written or edited 12 books and three film documentaries about issues related to cancer research and treatment. He currently directs The Moss Reports, an up-to-date library of detailed reports on more than 200 types of cancer. You can obtain further information about Dr. Moss and his work on his website.

If you liked this documentary, you can support this project by renting or buying the entire package which also includes an additional 74 minutes of ‘extras’ exploring many other parts to this story here.

Or purchase the DVD or Blu-ray at a reduced price here.

Sources and References
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Ebola – U.S. Weapon?

by Larry Stell
Ebola News is getting very strange indeed
and U. S. government makes Vaccines mandatory?

and the CDC Owns the Ebola Patent!
http://www.google.com/patents/CA2741523A1

Strange indeed!

Here is a direct quote from Mike Adams, The Health Ranger, “Piece by piece, a case is building that shows the U.S. government may be actively encouraging the spread of Ebola in America.”
It is known that the CDC owns the patent on Ebola.
10 Pieces of information that raise all sorts of red flags:
http://www.naturalnews.com/047118_Ebola_pandemic_US_government_American_cities.html

Reporter Joe Biggs breaks down the rapid rise in possible Ebola victims who were in contact with the confirmed Ebola patient in Dallas, TX. He also breaks down how quickly this can escalate throughout the country with a possible Ebola patient now in Alaska.

Dallas hospital sent Ebola patient home despite exhibiting symptoms
Ebola Conference Dodges Hard Questions
Is The US Government The Master Criminal Of Our Time?
Paul Craig Roberts
Source: PaulCraigRoberts.org

UPDATE: As I read this notice from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the US National Institutes of Health, the US Government and Pharmaceutical corporations have been conducting ebola tests on humans. http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02041715

This is official confirmation of Dr. Boyle and Dr. Broderick’s reports that the US government has conducted ebola experiments. Perhaps the vaccine was not effective, and those on whom the experiment was conducted came down with ebola and perhaps also employees in the US bio-warfare laboratories located in Africa where the experiment was conducted.

It appears that the test consists of giving an ebola vaccine and then exposing the unaware person to ebola, apparently an engineered version for bio-warfare. Whatever the tests are, it is clear that Boyle and Broderick in their articles below are correct that experimentation with ebola by the US government is underway.

Two Scientists Say Ebola Originated In US Bio-warfare Lab

Experts have brought to the public’s attention that ebola is a genetically modified organism developed in US biowarfare laboratories in Africa.

In the two articles below reproduced from Tom Feeley’s Information Clearing House
(a good site worthy of your support), Dr. Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois and
Dr. Cyril Broderick of the University of Liberia and the University of Delaware provide their fact-based assessments. Dr. Boyle drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the US implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

For speaking out, both Boyle and Broderick will be viciously attacked by the US print and TV media. Remember the case of Gary Webb who exposed the CIA’s drug-running that supported the Contras in Nicaragua. The cocaine that launched the War on Drugs was brought in by the CIA.
http://www.opednews.com/articles/WPost-s-Slimy-Assault-on-G-by-Robert-Parry-CIA_Cocaine_Gary-Webb_Journalism-141018-836.html

These are the URLs for the articles by Dr. Boyle and Dr. Broderick:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40012.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40013.htm

See also: http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/no_author/its-the-worse-strain-of-ebola-ever/

US Bio-warfare Laboratories in West Africa Are The Origins Of The Ebola Epidemic

Professor Francis A. Boyle interviewed by Aggeliki Dimopoulou

Could Ebola Have Escaped From US Bio-warfare Labs? American law professor Francis A. Boyle, answers questions for tvxs.gr and reveals that USA have been using West Africa as an offshore to circumvent the Convention on Biological Weapons and do bio-warfare work.

Is Ebola just a result of health crisis in Africa – because of the large gaps in personnel, equipment and medicines – as some experts suggest??

That isn’t true at all. This is just propaganda being put out by everyone. It seems to me, that what we are dealing with here is a biological warfare work that was conducted at the bio-warfare laboratories set up by the USA on the west coast of Africa. And if you look at a map produced by the Center of  Disease Control you can see where these laboratories are located. And they are across the heart of  Ebola epidemic, at the west coast of Africa. So, I think these laboratories, one or more of them, are the origins of the Ebola epidemic.

?US government agencies are supposed to do defensive biological warfare research in these labs. Is there any information about what are they working on??

Well, that’s what they tell you. But if you study what the CDC and the Pentagon do… They say it is defensive, but this is just for public relation purposes than anything. It’s a trick. What it means is what they decide at these bio-warfare labs. They say, “well we have to develop a vaccine”, so that’s their defensive argument. Then what they do is to develop the bio-warfare agent itself. Usually by means of  DNA genetic engineering. And then they say, “well to get the vaccine we have to develop the bio-warfare agent” – usually by DNA genetic engineering – and then they try to work on the vaccine. So it’s two uses type of work. I haven’t read all these bio-warfare contracts but that’s typical of the way the Pentagon CDC has been doing this since at least the 1980’s. I have absolute proof from a Pentagon document that the Center of Disease Control was doing bio-warfare work for the Pentagon in Sierra Leone, the heart of the outbreak, as early as 1988. And indeed it was probably before then because they would have had to construct the lab and that would have taken some time. So we know that Fort Detrick and the Center for Disease Control are over there, Tulane University, which is a well-known bio-warfare center here in USA – I would say notorious for it – is there. They all have been over there.

In addition, USA government made sure that Liberia, a former colony of  the USA, never became a party to the Biological Weapons Convention, so they were able to do bio – warfare work over there – going back to 1980’s – the USA government, in order to circumvent the Biological Weapons Convention. Likewise, Guinea the third state affected here – and there is an increase now – didn’t even sign the Biological Weapons Convention. So, it seems to me, that the different agencies of the US government have been always there try to circumvent the Biological Weapons Convention and engage bio-warfare work. Indeed, we had one of these two lab bio-warriors admit in the NY Times that they were not over there for the purpose of either screening or treating people. That’s not what these labs are about. These labs are there in my opinion to do bio-warfare work for different agencies of the US government. Indeed, many of them were set up by USAID. And everyone knows that USAID is penetrated all up and down by the CIA and CIA has been involved in bio-warfare work as well.

?Are we being told the truth about Ebola? Is that big outbreak began all of a sudden? How does it spread so quickly?? 

The whole outbreak that we see in the west coast of Africa, this is Zaire/Ebola. The most dangerous of five subtypes of Ebola. Zaire/Ebola originated 3500 km from the west coast of Africa. There is absolutely no way that it could have been transmitted 3500 km. And if you read the recently published Harvard study on the DNA analysis of the west Africas’ Zaire/Ebola there is no explanation about how the virus moved there. And indeed, it’s been reported in the NY Times that the Zaire/Ebola was found there in 1976, and then WHO ordered to be set to Porton Down in Britain, which is the British equivalent to Fort Detrick, where they manufacture all the biological weapons for Britain. And then Britain sent it to the US Center for Disease Control. And we know for a fact that the Center for Disease Control has been involved in biological warfare work. And then it appears, at least from whatever I’ve been able to put together in a public record, that the CDC and several others US bio-warriors exported Zaire/Ebola to west Africa, to their labs there, where they were doing bio-warfare work on it. So, I believe this is the origins of the Zaire/Ebola pandemic we are seeing now in west Africa.

?Why would they do that?

Why would they do that? As I suggested to try to circumvent the Biological Weapons Convention to which the US government is a party. So, always bio-warriors do use offensive and defensive bio-warfare work, violating the Biological Weapons Convention. So effectively they try to offshore it into west Africa where Liberia is not a party and Guinea is not a party. Sierra Leone is a party. But in Sierra Leone and Liberia there were disturbances which kept the world from really paying attention of what was going on in these labs.

?USA sent troops to «fight» Ebola. What do you think about that move??

The US military just invaded Liberia. They send in the 101st Airborne Division to Liberia. That’s an elite division of combat and they have no training to provide medical treatment to anyone. They are there to establish a military base in Liberia. And the British are doing the same in Sierra Leone. The French are already in Mali and Senegal. So, they’re not sending military people there to treat these people. No, I’m sorry.

?Weren’t they afraid Ebola’s going to go out of control even in the USA or EU in a massive way?? 

It’s already gone in the USA and the European Union. So, there it is. Which raises the question: Was this Zaire/Ebola weaponized at any of these labs? I don’t have an answer to that question. I am trying to get an answer. And therefore it is much more dangerous than the WHO and the CDC are telling everyone. The WHO and the CDC are up to their eyeballs in this. They know all about what ‘s going on. It was the WHO that ordered the original Zaire/Ebola in 1976 to be sent to Porton Down for biological warfare purposes. So this could be more dangerous than the WHO and the CDC are saying.

And you can’t believe anything they telling you because they are involved in that. But certainly I can’t say it has been weaponized. I don’t know that yet for sure. I have the Harvard genetic analysis of it. When I was in college I had very good courses in genetics, and biochemistry and population biology but I am not a professor of genetics. I have a friend who is a professor of genetics and he is going to take a look at this and try to figure out if there’s been DNA genetic engineering perpetrated or performed on the Zaire/Ebola. Is there a genetically modified organism at work, a GMO? I don’t know. But if a GMO is at work that’s a pretty good sign it’s been weaponized. But in anyway, it is far more dangerous than the CDC and the WHO are telling anyone, because it’s clearly transmitted for a certain distance – we don’t know how far – by air. Breathing and coughing and sneezing. So, anyone treating people, seems to me, are going to need not only a protective suit but probably a breathing apparatus, at minimum. And you saw what happened to that Spanish nurse and that Spanish priest that were brought in, infected with Ebola. So right now the WHO and the CDC are telling healthcare workers that in addition to suits they need breathing apparatuses. So, again, I don’t believe you can trust anything the WHO or the CDC are telling you. And I really don’t know about the European Health Agency… If they‘re believing the WHO and the CDC then, in my opinion, they ‘re not properly protecting the health of the European people. And it’s simply bizarre that the CDC and WHO are relegating the screenings to the people in west Africa. It’s just bizarre. They need to be protecting health of their own people and they aren’t doing that. I read some of the European press but I’m not sure precisely what the European Health Agency is recommending but they certainly can’t rely upon the WHO and the CDC. As for Greece, I know you have your own Health Ministry there and they cannot rely upon them at all, as well.

Some experts told recently the Forbes magazine that even ISIS could use Ebola as a biological weapon. I would like to have your comment on that.

This is total propaganda. These people are trying to distract public opinion from the fact. My opinion is that the origins of the current pandemic came out of the USA bio-warfare labs in west Africa. That’s what is going on here. ISIS has nothing to do with this. That’s just propaganda which is trying to scare and distract public attention away of what really is going on here. They doing the same thing here in USA. That’s what we need to concentrate on. Number one. And number two? We have to find out: was this Zaire/Ebola GMOed by either Porton Down or CDC or these US bio-warfare labs? It is far more dangerous than it currently appears. That’s the real issue. And I don’t have an answer to that question. It was the US government labs that research here. I’m not saying that Ebola was released deliberately by these labs. I have no evidence to that. It could have escaped. But this is really what we need to be focusing on. Not ISIS. It’s ridiculous, it’s preposterous.

What do you think should be done??

I would encourage the Greek government to convene an emergency meeting of your top health science people and to look into this on comprehensive bases and figure out what to do under these circumstances to protect the health of people of Greece. In particular they must not believe anything they are being told by the WHO and CDC. There is a need of open objective minds here about what is really going on. I think this needs to be done.

Back in 1985, I was down in Nicaragua investigating atrocities of the Contras there and all of a sudden the country was hit with an outbreak of a hemorrhaging Dengue Fever which is similar to Ebola. And it seemed pretty suspicious to me. So I met with some of the highest level officials of the Nicaraguan government and said: “you know, this very well could be US bio-warfare against Nicaragua. They did the same thing to Cuba. And my advice is you convene health care medical experts, not politicians, to look into this. And if you agree with me and that’s the result, file a complaint with the UN Security Council for violation of the Biological Weapons Convention against the USA”. And eventually that is what they did. Here I am not recommending the Greek authorities to file a complaint against the USA. What I am recommending is the same thing I did to the Nicaraguans. That you need to convene some of your top experts geneticists, doctors, etc.

And don’t get anyone in this group who has ever done any type of research for any agency of the US government. They are completely unreliable. Get Greeks experts completely independent of the US government or the British government. It’s funny here in the USA when the media want to get experts on this, all the experts they talk to are people who have done biological warfare work for the USA. And they are up to their eyeballs on this Ebola. And doing research on this Ebola. Of course they’re not going to give you proper advice. So, find this experts and make sure they never done any research for USA or Britain on any of this stuff  but are qualified and can give you a qualified opinion of what is really going on and how dangerous this stuff is. And then aim to protect the health of Greek people. You definitely don’t have to wait for the European Union in Brussels to do it for you. I’m not telling Greece what to do. I’m just telling you how to do it. And this should be done immediately. It should have been done already. But ok, better late than ever.

Francis A. Boyle is a leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia – Herzegovina at the World Court. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University.
He is also the author of “Biowarfare and Terrorism”. The book outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup.

Ebola Is A GMO Product Of US Bio-warfare Laboratories

Dr. Cyril Broderick

Dear World Citizens:

I have read a number of articles from your Internet outreach as well as articles from other sources about the casualties in Liberia and other West African countries about the human devastation caused by the Ebola virus. About a week ago, I read an article published in the Internet news summary publication of the Friends of Liberia that said that there was an agreement that the initiation of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was due to the contact of a two-year old child with bats that had flown in from the Congo. That report made me disconcerted with the reporting about Ebola, and it stimulated a response to the “Friends of Liberia,” saying that African people are not ignorant and gullible, as is being implicated. A response from Dr. Verlon Stone said that the article was not theirs, and that “Friends of Liberia” was simply providing a service. He then asked if he could publish my letter in their Internet forum. I gave my permission, but I have not seen it published. Because of the widespread loss of life, fear, physiological trauma, and despair among Liberians and other West African citizens, it is incumbent that I make a contribution to the resolution of this devastating situation, which may continue to recur, if it is not properly and adequately confronted. I will address the situation in five (5) points:

1.    EBOLA IS A GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (GMO)

Horowitz (1998) was deliberate and unambiguous when he explained the threat of new diseases in his text, Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola – Nature, Accident or Intentional. In his interview with Dr. Robert Strecker in Chapter 7, the discussion, in the early 1970s, made it obvious that the war was between countries that hosted the KGB and the CIA, and the ‘manufacture’ of ‘AIDS-Like Viruses’ was clearly directed at the other. In passing during the Interview, mention was made of Fort Detrick, “the Ebola Building,” and ‘a lot of problems with strange illnesses’ in “Frederick [Maryland].” By Chapter 12 in his text, he had confirmed the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases and improve the health of “black Africans overseas.” The book is an excellent text, and all leaders plus anyone who has interest in science, health, people, and intrigue should study it. I am amazed that African leaders are making no acknowledgements or reference to these documents.

2.  EBOLA HAS A TERRIBLE HISTORY, AND TESTING HAS BEEN SECRETLY TAKING PLACE IN AFRICA

I am now reading The Hot Zone, a novel, by Richard Preston (copyrighted 1989 and 1994); it is heart-rending. The prolific and prominent writer, Steven King, is quoted as saying that the book is “One of the most horrifying things I have ever read. What a remarkable piece of work.” As a New York Times bestseller, The Hot Zone is presented as “A terrifying true story.” Terrifying, yes, because the pathological description of what was found in animals killed by the Ebola virus is what the virus has been doing to citizens of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in its most recent outbreak: Ebola virus destroys peoples’ internal organs and the body deteriorates rapidly after death. It softens and the tissues turn into jelly, even if it is refrigerated to keep it cold. Spontaneous liquefaction is what happens to the body of people killed by the Ebola virus! The author noted in Point 1, Dr. Horowitz, chides The Hot Zone for writing to be politically correct; I understand because his book makes every effort to be very factual. The 1976 Ebola incident in Zaire, during President Mobutu Sese Seko, was the introduction of the GMO Ebola to Africa.

3.    SITES AROUND AFRICA, AND IN WEST AFRICA, HAVE OVER THE YEARS BEEN SET UP FOR TESTING EMERGING DISEASES, ESPECIALLY EBOLA

The World Health Organization (WHO) and several other UN Agencies have been implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events, promoting vaccinations, but pursuing various testing regiments. The August 2, 2014 article, West Africa: What are US Biological Warfare Researchers Doing in the Ebola Zone? by Jon Rappoport of Global Research pinpoints the problem that is facing African governments.

Obvious in this and other reports are, among others:

(a) The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), a well-known centre for bio-war research, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland;

(b) Tulane University, in New Orleans, USA, winner of research grants, including a grant of more than $7 million the National Institute of Health (NIH) to fund research with the Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever;

(c) the US Center for Disease Control (CDC);

(d) Doctors Without Borders (also known by its French name, Medicins Sans Frontiers);

(e) Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company;

(f) The UK’s GlaxoSmithKline; and

(g) the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a “First in Human” Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March. Disturbingly, many reports also conclude that the US government has a viral fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Kenema, a town at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The only relevant positive and ethical olive-branch seen in all of my reading is that Theguardian.com reported, “The US government funding of Ebola trials on healthy humans comes amid warnings by top scientists in Harvard and Yale that such virus experiments risk triggering a worldwide pandemic.” That threat still persists.

4.    THE NEED FOR LEGAL ACTION TO OBTAIN REDRESS FOR DAMAGES INCURRED DUE TO THE PERPETUATION OF INJUSTICE IN THE DEATH, INJURY AND TRAUMA IMPOSED ON LIBERIANS AND OTHER AFRICANS BY THE EBOLA AND OTHER DISEASE AGENTS.

The U. S., Canada, France, and the U. K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are. There is the need to pursue criminal and civil redress for damages, and African countries and people should secure legal representation to seek damages from these countries, some corporations, and the United Nations. Evidence seems abundant against Tulane University, and suits should start there. Yoichi Shimatsu’s article, The Ebola Breakout Coincided with UN Vaccine Campaigns, as published on August 18, 2014, in the Liberty Beacon.

5.   AFRICAN LEADERS AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES NEED TO TAKE THE LEAD IN DEFENDING BABIES, CHILDREN, AFRICAN WOMEN, AFRICAN MEN, AND THE ELDERLY. THESE CITIZENS DO NOT DESERVE TO BE USED AS GUINEA PIGS!

Africa must not relegate the Continent to become the locality for disposal and the deposition of hazardous chemicals, dangerous drugs, and chemical or biological agents of emerging diseases. There is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons. It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others? Wherever they exist, it is time to terminate them. If any other sites exist, it is advisable to follow the delayed but essential step: Sierra Leone closed the US bioweapons lab and stopped Tulane University for further testing.

The world must be alarmed. All Africans, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, and people from every conclave on Earth should be astonished. African people, notably citizens more particularly of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are victimized and are dying every day. Listen to the people who distrust the hospitals, who cannot shake hands, hug their relatives and friends. Innocent people are dying, and they need our help. The countries are poor and cannot afford the whole lot of personal protection equipment (PPE) that the situation requires. The threat is real, and it is larger than a few African countries. The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Dr. Cyril E. Broderick, Sr.

About the Author: Dr. Broderick is a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry.  He is also the former Observer Farmer in the 1980s.  It was from this column in our newspaper, the Daily Observer, that Firestone spotted him and offered him the position of Director of Research in the late 1980s.  In addition, he is a scientist, who has taught for many years at the Agricultural College of the University of Delaware.

About Paul Craig Roberts:

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost

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HOW TO OIL PULL: for naturally white teeth & a healthy body

by Larry Stell

Here is the story as told by Alexandra Bruce, publisher of ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.com.

“I never heard of “oil pulling” your teeth in my whole life, until I arrived in Rio de Janeiro yesterday morning, from my brother who has been suffering from a mysterious and completely debilitating illness which looks as if it’s finally been correctly
diagnosed the day before I arrived, as Trigeminal neuralgia.

“For the past three years, my brother has up until today been unable to eat
practically anything without triggering what seemed like a food allergy reaction,
leading to paroxysmic migraine attacks. I have never seen anybody suffer as
much physical agony as he and it’s been the worst thing I’ve ever had to watch,
including some really tough stuff my parents’ cancers have caused the past
few years.”

“I was not surprised to learn, from this new diagnosis today that, indeed,
Trigeminal neuralgia is described as producing the “most painful conditions
known to humankind” and was known as “suicide disease” before it was
medically identified, because it made life so impossible for the sufferer that
suicide was the only way to finally find relief.”

“I suspect that his condition is a sequela of a freak accident he had a decade ago,
when he fell three stories (around 60 feet), through his neighbor’s roof one afternoon,
smashed the back of his skull on a pillar’s capital in mid-fall, before landing on the
cement floor of an art studio, resulting in a “hangman’s break” of C2, the second
vertebra beneath your head, which can lead to becoming quadriplegic, when it
doesn’t just result in death – and in fact, the doctor in the emergency room in
London said that he’d “never seen this type of break in a living body.” After two
weeks of traction, the doctors gave up and fused his vertebrae together with a
titanium rod – didn’t like what they saw, went back in and did it again – but
miraculously, my brother never suffered any ill effects, let alone any other broken
bones from this mishap.”

“The recent mystery illness has left him so malnourished and he is severely
underweight and he’s been desperately trying to learn everything he could to solve
the riddle of what was happening to him, which is what brought him to Brazil, which
actually has great medicine. My stepfather chose to have his quintuple bypass here, in
Rio and at 80, he is back to playing tennis three times per week. (He worked for a
major pharmaceutical company before it was bought by Monsanto).”

“One of the many new things my brother has learned about is suddenly becoming trendy in the West but it is actually an ancient ayurvedic practice called “oil pulling”, as part of one’s daily dental care routine.”

“Oil pulling is supposed to be great for naturally whitening your teeth, keeping your teeth and gums healthy, stopping caries from forming, re-mineralizing your teeth and detoxifying your whole body.”

“We’re all going to do it tomorrow morning with coconut oil, because of the additional benefits associated with coconut oil and neurological conditions, including the reversal of
Alzheimer’s symptoms and “chemo-brain,” my mother having survived 18 infusions and
successfully put her cancer into remission for the second time and who is now suffering from neuropathy in her legs.”

You can learn all about oil-pulling from the pretty young woman in the video above!  Perhaps it is time to add this to your daily hygiene routine

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Important Factors Typically Ignored in Mental Health Screening Tests

Source
By Dr. Mercola

According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs and among some groups like women in their 40 and 50s it is one in four.1

In 2010, antidepressants were the second most commonly prescribed type of medication in the US.2 October 9 was National Depression Screening Day in the US,3 coinciding with World Mental Health Day.

The campaign, founded in 1991 by Douglas Jacobs, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, urges Americans to get screened for depression, offered free of charge at doctor’s offices, colleges, community institutions, and hospitals across the nation.

Unfortunately, the importance of things like vitamin D and gut health for the maintenance of mental and emotional stability is still frequently ignored. Exercise is another widely overlooked remedy that would do far more good than any drug ever will.

And that’s the problem I have with campaigns like National Depression Screening Day. Rarely if ever do these mental health tests include questions about sun exposure, diet, or exercise habits…

The Problem with Mental Health Screening Tests

Mental health screening tests could serve to improve the mental health of millions, if vitamin D screening, diet, and other lifestyle factors were addressed. But all in all, mental health screenings typically do little besides promote the use of antidepressants.

For example, the free online depression screening test offered by WebMD back in 2010 turned out to be sponsored by drug giant Eli Lilly, the maker of Cymbalta, and was rigged in such a way that no matter how you responded, the answer was always the same: “You may be at risk for major depression, and it would probably do you well to discuss it with your doctor…”

The test was absolutely useless, and was purposely designed to lure in new patients for a drug pitch. When looking at the research literature, short-term trials show that antidepressants actually do NOT provide any clinically significant benefits for mild to moderate depression, compared to a placebo.

Long-term studies also indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed!

All drugs have benefit-to-risk ratios, so if a drug is as effective as a placebo in relieving symptoms, and comes with an array of hazardous side effects, it really doesn’t make sense to use them as a first line of defense—especially if they raise your risk of mental illness over the long term! Based on the scientific evidence there are many better options.

Vitamin D Deficiency Can Play a Role in Depression

Most countries in which depression rates are high tend to be in northern latitudes where vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, and numerous studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression, and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores.

For example, one previous study found that seniors with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels. More recent research was discussed in a Times Online article:4

“A study in the United States indicated that vitamin D deficiency occurred more often in certain people, including African-Americans, city dwellers, the obese, and those suffering from depression.

People with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with vitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/mL” [Emphasis mine]

Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder5 (SAD), and according to a double-blind randomized trial6 published in 2008: “It appears to be a relation between serum levels of 25(OH)D and symptoms of depression.

Supplementation with high doses of vitamin D seems to ameliorate these symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship.” Recent research also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. As reported by Michigan State University:7

“The study, published in the September issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that around 60 percent of the suicidal patients were deficient in vitamin D according to clinical standards.

The suicidal patients’ levels of Vitamin D were significantly lower than those in the healthy controls… The patients who were deficient in vitamin D also had higher inflammatory markers in their blood, the study found, suggesting that low levels of vitamin D could be a cause of the inflammation.

Previous studies have shown that increased inflammation in the body might be a contributing factor to depression and suicidal tendencies. Vitamin D deficiency also previously has been linked to mental illness, including depression.” [Emphasis mine]

To suggest that depression is rooted in nutrient deficiencies and other lifestyle related factors does not detract from the fact that it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed with compassion and non-judgment. It simply shifts the conversation about what the most appropriate answers and remedies are.

During this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, KCWY13,8 a local news channel in Wyoming, wisely noted that:

“Vitamin D is important because it helps fight off depression… Dee Ann Lippincott, of the Central Wyoming Counseling Center said, ‘The higher altitude you go and the higher you go in the country the higher the rates of depression.’

While sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D and ward off depression, it isn’t the only way. For example there’s a strong connection between a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind.

Lippincott said, ‘People who eat a healthier diet are less prone to depression then people who eat the more western diet which is more based on junk food and fast food, and not a lot of fruits and vegetables.’”

The Links Between Gut and Mental Health

Your mental health is also linked to your gut health. As with vitamin D, a number of studies have confirmed that gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression. For example, a Hungarian scientific review9 published in 2011 made the following observations:

1. Depression is often found alongside gastrointestinal inflammations and autoimmune diseases as well as with cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2 diabetes and also cancer, in which chronic low-grade inflammation is a significant contributing factor. Thus researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.”

2. Research suggests the primary cause of inflammation may be dysfunction of the “gut-brain axis.” Your gut is literally your second brain — created from the identical tissue as your brain during gestation — and contains larger levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with mood control. It’s important to understand that your gut bacteria are an active and integrated part of serotonin regulation and actually produce more serotonin than your brain. Optimizing your gut flora is a key part of the equation to optimize your levels.
If you consume loads of processed foods and sugars, your gut bacteria will be severely compromised because processed foods tend to decimate healthy microflora. This leaves a void that is filled by disease-causing bacteria and yeast and fungi that will promote inflammation and decrease the health of your second brain.

3. An increasing number of clinical studies have shown that treating gastrointestinal inflammation with probiotics, vitamin B, vitamin D, and omega-3 fats may also improve depression symptoms and quality of life by attenuating pro-inflammatory stimuli to your brain.

Sugar Is Also a Major Factor in Depression

Nearly 40 years ago, William Duffy penned a great book on this subject, called The Sugar Blues. It delves into the sugar-depression link in great detail, and is as applicable today as it was then. The central argument Duffy makes in the book is that sugar is extremely health-harming and addictive, and that simply making one dietary change — eliminating as much sugar as possible — can have a profoundly beneficial impact on your mental health.

This really makes sense when you consider that sugar not only triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation, it also distorts the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut. Both of these factors—chronic inflammation and imbalanced microflora—play integral roles in the quality of your second brain and your mental health.

Sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that inhibit the beneficial and health promoting bacteria in your gut. Sugar can also lead to excessive insulin release that can lead to hypoglycemia, which, in turn, causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks, and an increase in suicide risk. Cultured and fermented foods, on the other hand, help reseed your gut with a wide variety of healthy bacteria that promote mental and physical health as long as your keep your sugar and processed food intake low.

For instance, one 2011 study10 found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus has a marked effect on GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowers the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior. So the two-prong dietary answer for treating depression is to a) severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, and b) introduce fermented foods into your diet to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Exercise Proven More Helpful Than Antidepressants

Regular exercise is another “secret weapon” to overcoming depression. It primarily works by helping to normalize your insulin levels while simultaneously boosting “feel good” hormones in your brain. According to Dr. James S. Gordon, MD, a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression:

“What we’re finding in the research on physical exercise is that exercise is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed… physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in your brain. And it increases your endorphin levels, your ‘feel good hormones.’”

Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker also discusses the drawbacks and benefits of various treatments in the video above and in his two books: Mad in America, and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, noting the superior benefits of exercise compared to drugs. Recent animal research also suggests that exercise can benefit your mental health by allowing your body to eliminate kynurenine, a harmful protein associated with depression. According to Reuters:11

“’If you consistently exercise and your muscle is conditioned and adapted to physical exercise, then you acquire the ability to express this class of enzymes that have the ability to detoxify something that accumulates during stress and that will be harmful for you,’ senior study author Dr. Jorge Ruas of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said…

The body metabolizes this substance, kynurenine, from tryptophan, a process that is activated by stress and by inflammatory factors… Studies have linked high levels of kynurenine – which readily crosses the blood-brain barrier – to depression, suicide and schizophrenia… Clinicians can use the findings to help their patients understand why physical activity can fight off depression, Dr. Ruas said, which may improve their compliance with exercise recommendations.”

How to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level

Based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general physical and mental health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml. As for HOW to optimize your vitamin D levels, I firmly believe that sensible sun exposure is the best way. If you can’t get enough sunshine in late fall, winter, or early spring, then a tanning bed would be your next best option. Keep in mind that most tanning equipment use magnetic ballasts, which create harmful EMF fields. If you hear a loud buzzing noise while in a tanning bed, it has a magnetic ballast system. I strongly recommend you avoid these types of beds and restrict your use of tanning beds to those that use electronic ballasts.

If your circumstances don’t allow you to access the sun or a safe tanning bed, then you really only have one option left, and that is to take a vitamin D supplement. GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.

Keep in mind that if you opt for a vitamin D supplement, you also need to take vitamin K2. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the consequences similar to vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries.

 

vitamin d levels

Test Your Vitamin D Levels at Least Once a Year—Even if You’re Healthy

I recommend testing your vitamin D level at least once a year, in the middle of the winter when your level would be at its lowest. This will give you an idea of the extent of your insufficiency. Ideally, you’d want to get your level tested several times a year, at regular intervals, to ensure you’re continuously staying within the ideal range. Once you know your pattern and can comfortably predict that you will not fall below 60 ng/ml, then it would be fine to shift to annual testing.

It’s important to remember that optimal vitamin D levels appear to offer powerful PREVENTION of a whole host of chronic diseases, not just depression, so please, do not wait for a problem to appear before addressing your vitamin D status. The D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth is one cost effective solution. To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.”

Vitamin D Kit

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Rethinking Your First Line of Defense Against Depression

There are many options besides antidepressants for addressing depression. Three of the most effective strategies have been addressed above, which include:

Optimizing your vitamin D level, ideally through appropriate sun exposure
Optimizing your gut health by limiting or eliminating sugar, fructose, grains, and processed foods from your diet, and introducing fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic
Getting regular exercise
Other helpful strategies include the use of energy psychology, getting adequate vitamin B12 and omega-3 fats, and getting enough sleep. Engaging in outdoor activities such as gardening can also do wonders. As a general rule, it would be wise to remember that your lifestyle can quite literally make or break your health and general sense of wellbeing and may be one of the most fundamental contributors to depression. The most appropriate answer then is to get to the root of the problem, and not ignore it by popping pills…

You’d be well advised to address the factors discussed in this article before resorting to drug treatment—which science has shown is no more effective than placebo, while being fraught with potentially dangerous side effects. For even more inspiration, please see my previous article “13 Mind-Body Techniques That Can Help Ease Depression.”

That said, if you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department.

Sources and References
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Juicing—One of the Best Tools for Improving Your Health

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By Dr. Mercola

Vegetable juice is an enormously helpful tool for improving your health. Dr. Andrew Saul, who’s been a guest here many times before, is a lifelong juicer.

His book, Vegetable Juicing for Everyone: How to Get Your Family Healthier and Happier, Faster!, is a fantastic resource, offering lots of practical tips for integrating juicing into your life, and having fun doing it.

“My father juiced and my children were raised on juice. By the way, that’s what the book is about. The whole sordid story of what it’s like to raise your kids with juicing when the neighbors think you’re crazy and your relatives are sure,” Dr. Saul says.

“In the 39 years that I’ve been working with folks and teaching in the natural health arena, the one thing that’s helped more people more consistently is vegetable juicing.”

Dr. Max Gerson was one of the pioneers of juicing. He suffered terrible migraine headaches, which he eventually resolved by drinking vegetable juice.

Once word spread, patients started coming in to be relieved of their migraines and ended up improving their health in other ways as well. Eventually, Dr. Gerson realized that vegetable juice is a metabolic therapy, capable of combating virtually any disease.

“The advantage of the juicer is, first of all, it reduces [large amounts of] vegetables into a few manageable glasses. That means you get a nice, easy-to-take, and quick food concentrate,” Dr. Saul says.

“It has zero cholesterol, practically zero fat, lots of fiber, lots of minerals, and lots of vitamins…

The juicer also does a good job of making the nutrients available. [W]hen you juice, you break down the cell walls and you release these nutrients and liquid solution. When you drink that, you absorb it.”

Juicing really is for everyone. Even people with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and other kinds of gastrointestinal problems can usually handle vegetable juice, whereas they may not be able to eat a lot of raw food.

The Importance of High-Quality Produce

Using organic produce is very important when juicing. The price of organic produce can be a challenge for some. One alternative is to grow your own, making sure not to use synthetic pesticides and optimizing your soil by adding mulch or wood chips, which will promote beneficial soil microbes.

“Just say no to GMOs. Make sure that you grow as much as you can. If you really want to make an impact on this world, the answer is self-reliant production of your own food,” Dr. Saul notes.

If the juice doesn’t taste good, you’re not going to want to drink it. Children are even more finicky than adults. But organic vegetables have a lot of flavor, and when picked straight from your own garden and juiced within minutes, the flavor is going to be at its peak. This is also true for the nutrient content.

Interestingly, one of the things I found in my own juicing experience is that some of the healthiest vegetables to juice are also some of the most bitter. This includes collards and mustard greens.

When using those, you’ll want to add them in smaller quantities and balance the bitterness with other ingredients. My favorite is lime, but you can also use cranberries or occasionally an apple.

“People say to me, ‘What should I juice?’ My answer is anything you can eat raw. Play around with it. Have some fun. Just try everything,” Dr. Saul suggests.

“I have a Facebook site called The Megavitamin Man. People go on there, and they talk about the different things that they’re juicing. I find it extremely entertaining because they’re so creative…

Cabbage juice is fantastic for the gastrointestinal tract, and beet juice is a good blood builder. [B]eet juice… is remarkably sweet. Now, it looks awful but it tastes great.”

Juice Fasting for General Health

Even if you don’t juice every day, Dr. Saul recommends getting into the habit of doing a juice fast about once a month, where you drink nothing but vegetable juices for three to seven days. It’s a great detox. Others have found new life by juicing every single day.

Experts typically recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day. I believe the key is to drink enough fluids so that your urine is light yellow. If it’s dark, you’re not drinking enough. But when it comes to water, purity is really important. This is yet another benefit of vegetable juice.

It actually qualifies as water, and it is some of the absolute best water you can get. The reason is because it’s structured water—essentially high-quality living water. It’s actually different from regular water. It’s not H?O; it’s H3O2. And vegetables make magnificent structured water; far better than drinking filtered tap water.

Different Types of Juicers

There are three basic types of juicers:

Centrifugal type juicers that separate the juice from the fiber through a spinning process. These are the least expensive and the most common
Auger or masticating types of juicers that chew up the vegetables and push them through a strainer. They work very well and tend to give you more juice than a centrifugal juicer. Dr. Saul estimates you could get 20-25 percent more juice from a masticating juicer, which makes it a sensible choice even if you’re paying a little bit more for it. Over time, it’ll save you money as you can get by with fewer vegetables. They’re also quieter than other models, and tend to be easy to clean and assemble
Grind-and-press juicers that work like an apple cider mill. These are quite expensive and therefore generally not as popular
There are also blenders, which are different from juicers. A powerful blender will give you juice along with all the fibrous material from the vegetables. This can work well for the elderly, or people who have trouble chewing for whatever reason. But it also has drawbacks. The “juice” doesn’t taste as good and remember if it doesn’t taste good you won’t drink it. The other downside of blending is that it limits the amount of vegetables you can eat. And while fiber is certainly good, the nutrients in the juice are more important.

“There’s much to be said for that because nothing is lost, nothing is thrown away. And there is every value in having the complete food and just pulverizing it. The problem with that is not everybody likes it that way. It’s kind of a thick, baby food-like consistency,” Dr. Saul says.

Time Saving Tips, and a Warning About Storage

Provided you’re using organic veggies, a great way to save time when juicing is to clean them with a brush rather than peeling them. One exception is beets, which have a rather foul tasting skin. If you’re using non-organic vegetables, your best bet is to peel them, to avoid juicing pesticide residues. This is particularly important for fruits and vegetables that have been waxed, as this seals in pesticides.

Be aware that it can be difficult to discern if a vegetable has been waxed or not, because it can be applied in a very thin non-glossy layer. According to Dr. Saul, eggplant, turnips, cucumbers, and tomatoes are almost always waxed. Zucchini and squash are usually waxed but not always. Carrots are never waxed. Ideally, you’ll want to drink the juice right away. The longer it sits, the more nutrients are destroyed through the contact with air, which oxidizes them. You also lose taste.

“Can you do all your juicing in the morning, take it with you to work, and drink juice all day? The answer is you can. But you will lose quality and you will lose taste. That’s the number one reason I think people should have all their juice at once. But if you don’t want to do that, you can certainly juice in advance. Generally speaking, the masticating juicer will introduce less air into the juice than the centrifugal. People have told me that they get longer storage when they use a masticating or chewing juicer and not the centrifugal type.

The next trick is to fill the container all the way to the top. Don’t leave any airspace. My little trick is to add vitamin C as ascorbic acid at the top because it’s an antioxidant. You cap it up, and you’re good to go for a number of hours. You can take this with you.”

A helpful device that can prolong the life of your juice is called the FoodSaver. It vacuums out air from plastic bags that you then seal. But it also has an attachment that will suck out the air from the top of a Ball jar, essentially creating a vacuum seal to further limits the problem of oxidation, which is what destroys nutrients. You still need to keep the juice refrigerated, and you’ll want to drink it all that day. As noted by Dr. Saul:

“Whenever you have an oxygen low or oxygen-free atmosphere like that, there is a risk of botulism. We don’t want that. The way to avoid that is to simply drink the juice that day. Don’t think you can put it in your fridge all sealed up and leave it for two weeks. That’s not going to work.”

Storage of fresh juice also allows methanol to dissociate and increase over time, which is another reason to drink it as soon as possible. The human body is not adapted to detoxify methanol, which is why it can cause so many problems. For example, it can convert into formaldehyde that can then wind its way into your brain.

Methanol toxicity, which is primarily associated with the artificial sweetener aspartame, has been linked to Alzheimer’s and other health problems. Methanol is not a problem in fresh produce because the methanol is bound to pectin, which allows it to safely pass through your system, but the processing and storing of it could allow it to build up. So make sure you discard any left-over juice the next day.

More Information

As stated by Dr. Saul, in order to get and stay healthy, we need to get back to basics. It’s not very complicated when it really comes down to it, but if you listen to the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession, they all seem to make their living complicating things.

“We have been taught that the simple is not scientific. It’s not effective. It’s really not a viable alternative,” Dr. Saul says, “Yes, it is! The simple solution is usually the best one. When we’re looking at our health, it’s just amazing how many people ask me, ‘What vitamin should I take?’ They are eating a lousy diet, are overweight, don’t exercise, and they eat a lot of junk. Now, it’s good if they take the vitamins, but you still have to eat right. That means it’s got to come out of the dirt. It’s got to be good dirt, good seed, and you need a good quantity of it.

We need to get back to the land. It sounds kind of hippie-like, but the fact is, truth is truth. It’s always been a good idea to follow nature. We’re way off that. We need to turn around, look at the animal kingdom, and take the knowledge that we see in healthy animals. What can we do to improve our life? It’s very simple… ‘No junk.'”

If you’re looking for an entertaining book to get you juicing, whether you’re ready to try it out for the first time, or want to pick the habit back up, I highly recommend Dr. Saul’s book, Vegetable Juicing for Everyone, which he co-wrote with his daughter Helen Saul Case.

 

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What Is Cacao Good For?

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Crazy About Cacao

Botanical name: Theobroma cacao

One of the most wildly popular trees on the planet is the cacao, the plant species from which cocoa – and chocolate – is derived. While some might think cacao and cocoa are one in the same, they’re not, exactly. Cacao is the tree, while cocoa is the product made from it (not to be confused with coca, an evergreen shrub from which cocaine is concocted). Edible parts of cacao pods and the beans inside them can be processed to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter, or chocolate after being dried and fermented.

Because cocoa beans were prized for their medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties, they were traded just like currency among ancient South American civilizations. Rumor has it Casanova was fond of them.

The earliest known evidence that cacao was processed for ingestion goes back as far as 1,400 B.C.E., gathered from discoveries of its residue on pottery excavated in Honduras, possibly to ferment the pulp for making an adult beverage. Sweetened forms came about when the Europeans landed in the New World and tasted cacao in liquid form. Although they hated it at first, someone discovered that adding honey made it downright palatable. By the 17th century, this form of chocolate was all the rage in Europe, and subsequently, the world. It still is.

Health Benefits of Cacao

There’s been a lot of discussion about free radicals and antioxidants, but some are unsure of what these terms mean in regard to our health. Exposure to the sun, cigarette smoke, pollution, and toxic chemicals, such as chemical weed killers, and unhealthy foods can all release free radical activity in the body, however they also can be produced by factors like stress, damaging healthy tissue. Antioxidants in the foods you eat reverse that process, helping to combat disease by zapping harmful free radicals.

That’s where cacao comes in. Raw cacao powder contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate – more than 20 times than that of blueberries. Protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids are also present. The precise blend of all these elements combined serve to kick in naturally occurring phytochemicals that have incredible benefits throughout the body, such as lowered LDL cholesterol, improved heart function, and reduced cancer risk.

Phenethylamine, or PEA, is one of them. Large doses of this compound are said to be released into the brain when we’re attracted to someone, but natural pain- and stress-relieving chemicals known as neurotransmitters stimulate the secretion of endorphins to help us stay alert and focused.

Studies have shown that chocolate affects your emotions and mood by raising serotonin levels, which explains why chocolate is often craved when gloominess looms. Also to the rescue is a neurotransmitter called theobromine, a mild stimulant sometimes used as a treatment for depression. It releases the compound anandamide, which produces uniquely euphoric feelings of relaxation and contentment.

For those who think chocolate must be bad for you (it has to be if it tastes so good, right?), rest assured: there’s only one gram of sugar in a half-cup serving of raw cacao. It’s what’s done with it that makes the difference. Unfortunately, high heat from processing and refining to produce different types of cocoa or chocolate damages the cocoa bean’s micronutrients, along with the health benefits.

Not only that, but additions like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar, and partially hydrogenated oils limit the amount of actual cocoa, and dairy products actually block the absorption of antioxidants, so if it’s nutritive benefits you’re looking for, your average chocolate bar isn’t likely to supply much.

Learn more about the beneficial role of sulfur in the body.

Studies on Cacao

According to one study, black tea, green tea, red wine, and cocoa are all high in phenolic phytochemicals, such as theaflavin, epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, and procyanidin, respectively, which have been extensively investigated due to their possible role as chemopreventive agents based on their antioxidant capacities. Cocoa contained much higher levels of total phenolics and exhibited the highest antioxidant activity. These results suggest that cocoa is more beneficial to health than teas and red wine.1

Another study showed that while eating lots of fruits and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, there was also a similar relationship found with cocoa, a “naturally polyphenol-rich food.” Intervention studies strongly suggested that cocoa has several beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, such as lowering of blood pressure, improving vascular function and glucose metabolism, and reducing platelet aggregation and adhesion. Proposed mechanisms through which cocoa was thought to exert its positive effects included activation of nitric oxide synthase, increased bioavailability of nitric oxide, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.2

Cacao Healthy Recipes: Raw Cacao Fruit-Nut Bonbons

Cacao Healthy Recipes
Ingredients:

1 cup dates
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey (or stevia)
½ tsp. cardamom powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
A pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup coconut
½ cup raw cacao powder
¾ cup chopped soaked nuts (almonds, walnuts, and pecans)
¼ cup dried fruit (raisins, cherries, and cranberries)
Procedure:

Place the dates in a food processor and process on high speed for 10 seconds. Add the coconut oil, honey, cardamom, cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla and process again for 10 to 20 seconds or until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Add the coconut and cacao powder and process again for another 10 seconds. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the chopped nuts and dried fruit, and mix well.
Use an ice cream scooper with a release lever (or a spoon) to place bonbons onto a parchment paper-lined plate or tray. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Cacao Fun Facts

The Aztecs gave cacao the name “yollotl eztli,” meaning “heart blood.” They may have understood even then the heart-benefiting aspects of eating what is now known to be a boost for the cardiovascular system.

Summary

I say cocoa, you say cacao, but there is a slight difference: Cacao is the tree; what’s made from it is cocoa. This moderately addictive plant-derived substance contains such amazingly powerful nutrients. Raw cacao powder has more than 300 phytochemicals and nearly four times the antioxidant power of regular dark chocolate, and contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur these properties can be destroyed by high heat, so it’s important to know just what type of processes your cocoa powder and baking chocolate have undergone. .

Cacao can improve heart health, cholesterol, stress levels, and inflammation, to list just a few physical advantages. Fringe benefits cacao releases into the brain include anandamide, endorphins, phenylethylamine, and serotonin, all sparking descriptives like “blissful” and “euphoric.” All this satisfying goodness comes from a frothy mug of hot cocoa or a creamy bar of unadulterated chocolate. It’s no wonder the Spanish called it “black gold.”

Other sources:

http://grammarist.com/usage/cacao-cocoa/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2020555/For-chocolates-true-benefits-time-ditch-foil-real.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
http://livesuperfoods.com/raw-cacao-powder.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/029156_cacao_chocolate.html#ixzz2FgZIQQfG
http://vegetarian.about.com/od/rawfooddessertrecipes/r/raw-chocolate-truffles.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/029156_cacao_chocolate.html
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/brief-history-of-chocolate.html

References:

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