About Larry

My hobby is research. I am been conducting research on a number of subjects for many years. This blog is one result of my research.

4 Medicinal Mushrooms That Fight Cancer

Source

By Ty Bollinger

Medicinal-Mushroom-Cancer-Prevention

Having secured a rich history in many ancient Asian healing practices, medicinal mushrooms have been prescribed and used for countless ailments for thousands of years. As modern medicine rediscovers these ancient superfoods,there is good evidence that mushrooms are among the most powerful functional food in a growing cancer-fighting and cancer-preventing arsenal.

It is first important to differentiate between the anti-cancer medicinal mushrooms and the countless other common varieties. A quick visit to the local supermarket will reveal culinary mushrooms such as oyster, portabella, and others. Although these have their health benefits, the focus of this article will be on four of the more specialized and not typically commercially grown reishi, maitake, agaricus blazei murill, and turkey tail mushrooms.

Medicinal Mushrooms and Cancer

There are a few primary mechanisms that most of these functional, anti-cancer mushrooms share when assisting the body during cancer stages or in simple everyday prevention. First is their ability to enhance the body’s first line of defense against cancer ? the immune system. When this system is weak or has failed, the mechanism for cancer has a better opportunity to manifest.

Next, some anti-cancer mushrooms exhibit direct antiviral and tumor shrinking abilities. In learning about the assistance given by mushrooms, it is important to note that the side effects exhibited are often mild, but it is still important to talk with your healthcare provider before use.

It has been demonstrated that, in some cases, formulas containing multiple strains of different mushroom extracts often exhibit synergistic, complementary, and amplified effects. This is in stark contrast to many of the negative cumulative effects of chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy methods commonly prescribed in hospitals today. As with research for many alternative treatments, the United States has been late to the party when it comes to medical research on the anti-cancer and overall health benefits of mushrooms.

Reishi Mushroom Benefits: The Mushroom of Immortality

Perhaps one of the most well-known medicinal mushroom in Asian healing arts is Ganoderma lucidum, or better known by its common name, reishi. The mushroom’s bioactive molecules and polysaccharides have been shown to better activate natural killer (NK) cells reducing cancer metastasis. NK cells are lymphocytes that perform immunosurveillance within the body, constantly on the lookout for “immuno-alerters” signaling tumor presence.

Reishi also has been shown to assist in slowing the growth (angiogenesis) of tumors as well as triggering programmed cell death in malignant cells. Currently, there is data to support the potential use of reishi as, at the very least, an adjunct therapy for colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

Maitake Mushroom Benefits: The Dancing Mushroom

Maitake, like the reishi mushroom, also contains a broad-spectrum array of bioactive molecules. In studies, maitake has shown similar results as the reishi mushroom in stimulating NK cell activity in cancer patients. The mushroom also shows promise in blocking tumor growth and activating malignant cell death through its specific immune-enhancing methods. Maitake has clinically shownpromise for individuals with breast cancer, lung cancer, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

Maitake-Medicinal-Mushroom

Agaricus Blazei Murill: Tokyo’s Cancer Secret

This mushroom made perhaps the biggest splash when a study jointly conducted by the Medical Department of Tokyo University, The National Cancer Center Laboratory, and Tokyo College of Pharmacy showed a complete recovery in 90% of guinea pigs injected with cancer cells (180 sarcoma).

The pattern of other mushrooms was seen again as agaricus blazei murillactivated macrophage and interferon immune activity leading to tumor shrinkage, a halt in metastasis, and reduction of future cancer occurrences. As an adjunct,agaricus blazei murill was shown to lessen the side effects in individualsundergoing chemotherapy for endometrial, cervical, and ovarian cancers.

Turkey Tail: The $5 Million Dollar Mushroom

In 1976, a Japanese company patented certain extracts of this mushroom under the name PSK and later PSP. They have since become recognized cancer drugs in Japan. The anti-viral properties of the turkey tail mushroom offer a unique opportunity to target oncoviruses (tumor virus) such as human papillomavirus leading to cervical cancer, hepatitis C leading to liver cancers, and others. For this mushroom, again studies are showing increased NK activity towards tumor detection and eradication. This mushroom is in the process of a $5.4 million study by the National Institutes of Health that began in late 2012.

It is important to note that drug companies cannot patent mushrooms. Due to this fact, funds typically won’t be allocated to study them unless they come from private institutions or government grants. However, this should be a positive as many studies only seek to isolate one part of a plant or mushroom to patent as a drug.

As mycologist (mushroom expert) Paul Stamets states, “Isolating one constituent from the others denatures and lessens the broad-spectrum potency of this natural, functional food.”

Turkey-Tail-Medicinal-Mushroom

 

How Your Immune System Helps Direct Your Social Interactions

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By Dr. Mercola

That your immune system is your first line of defense against disease is nothing new. Interestingly, recent research suggests your immune system may also play a role in your social interactions.1 In fact, researchers now believe your immune system may actually be a controlling factor in your behavior.

In the referenced study, by blocking a specific immune molecule in the brain of a mouse, the mouse brain displayed hyperactivity, resulting in abnormal, asocial behavior. When they restored the molecule, both problems disappeared.

Is Your Personality Dictated by Your Immune System?

Scientists believe this discovery may have “enormous implications for neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.”2

According to Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and director of the Center for Brain Immunology at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine:

“The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as sign of a pathology.

And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens.

It’s crazy, but maybe we are just multicellular battlefields for two ancient forces: pathogens and the immune system. Part of our personality may actually be dictated by the immune system.”

 

Your Brain, Gut and Immune System Are All Linked

Kipnis was part of the team that, just last year, discovered there’s a direct link between the brain and immune system.

Similar to blood vessels that carry blood throughout your body, previously unknown lymphatic vessels carry immune cells throughout your body, including your brain, which was previously thought to be impossible.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that your brain, immune system and your gut microbes are intricately linked, affecting each other in surprising ways. Autism, for instance, is associated with gastrointestinal problems and, potentially, an over-reaction in the immune system.

Neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s have also been linked to immune dysfunction, and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s diseaseshare certain traits with psychiatric illness.

It wasn’t always clear how such connections occurred, but now scientists have uncovered three important and interconnected pieces:

The gut-brain axis (in recent research, scientists were even able to raise or lower blood sugar and insulin, and increase or suppress hunger, simply by activating and deactivating certain neurons3)

The pathway between your immune system and your brain

The influence of your immune system on your brain and behavior

In addition to that, we now know your microbiome also helps control gene expression, so by optimizing your gut flora, you are actually influencing your genes in a positive way.

How Interferon Gamma Influences Your Brain and Behavior

Getting back to the featured study, the UVA reports that:4

“The relationship between people and pathogens … could have directly affected the development of our social behavior, allowing us to engage in the social interactions necessary for the survival of the species while developing ways for our immune systems to protect us from the diseases that accompany those interactions.

Social behavior is, of course, in the interest of pathogens, as it allows them to spread.”

The immune molecule identified as a “critical” player in social behavior is known as interferon gamma (G), a cytokine normally produced by your immune system in response to pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. In your brain, interferon G inhibits neurons in your prefrontal cortex.

This is normal and healthy. Without interferon G suppressing these neurons, your prefrontal cortex can go into overdrive, as it did in the mice in this study. When the researchers blocked interferon G in their brains, the mice became hyperactive and less social.

Social Interactions and Spread of Pathogens

As for why the same molecule responsible for normal social behavior would also be triggered by pathogens — which suggests that pathogens would be more easily spread between people — the researchers can only speculate. As reported by The Atlantic:5

“‘We were really fascinated by why this antipathogen molecule would have a prosocial function — that doesn’t really make sense,’ says Anthony Filiano, [Ph.D.]… lead author on the study

… [G]athering in groups makes diseases more likely to spread. Why, evolutionarily speaking, is that something the immune system would want to promote? …

‘Naturally if individuals tend to spread diseases, that could easily result in extinction of the whole colony,’ [co-author Vladimir] Litvak [Ph.D.] says. ‘So you have to have a very strong immune response.’

Maybe the immune system activates when animals are socializing to protect them against the increased risk of getting a disease.”

While entirely speculative, I’d propose another potential mechanism. Your body contains 10 times more bacteria than it does cells, plus viruses, which in turn outnumber the bacteria 10 to 1.

You are in a sense a walking, talking mass of microorganisms, and these organisms are involved in a wide range of biological and biochemical regulatory functions.

It has previously been suggested that human evolution may in part have been driven by the introduction of new pathogens (and/or beneficial microorganisms) into our system,6,7,8 and this research appears to support the idea that we may be “programmed” to share pathogens with others in our group to spread immunity.

So rather than outright defending against disease, it may be that by sharing disease the people in the group and subsequent generations build stronger immunity or immune system defenses and/or incorporate new, important microbes into our biology.

The Importance of a Healthy Gut Microbiome

As mentioned, the microorganisms residing in your gut — collectively known as your gut microbiome — preside over a wide array of biological functions and are closely interconnected with both your brain and your immune system. For example, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found they could alter the brain function and mood of participants in a beneficial way by giving them probiotics (healthy bacteria).9

Gut bacteria also influence your immune function. Biologist Sarkis Mazmanian, Ph.D.,10 believes bacteria can actually train your immune system to distinguish between “foreign” microbes and those originating in your body. His work is laying the groundwork for new therapies using probiotics to treat a variety of diseases, particularly autoimmune diseases such as MS and Alzheimer’s.

Researchers have also discovered that the absence or presence of gut microorganisms during infancy permanently alters gene expression.11 Through gene profiling, they’ve been able to discern that absence of gut bacteria in mice altered genes and signaling pathways involved in learning, memory and motor control.

This suggests gut bacteria are closely tied to early brain development and subsequent behavior. These behavioral changes could be reversed as long as the mice were exposed to normal microorganisms early in life. But once the germ-free mice had reached adulthood, colonizing them with bacteria did not influence their behavior.

Gut Bacteria and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Recent research suggests gut bacteria may also play an important role when it comes to addressing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). According to Maureen Hanson, Ph.D., senior author of the study in question, CFS patients have “a different profile of bacterial species in their gut microbiome than healthy individuals.”12

Not surprisingly, CFS patients as a rule had more species of bacteria known to promote inflammation, and fewer of those that help combat inflammation. Those with CFS also had less diversity of bacteria than healthy subjects.

That said, not all CFS patients had radically abnormal microbiomes. Some were “fairly normal,” yet still struggled with symptoms of CFS. So while gut flora appears to be part of the dysfunction, it’s unlikely to be the sole cause. Aside from hinting at potential treatments using probiotics, which have yet to be investigated, this research also suggests you may be able to use microbiome testing as a diagnostic tool. As reported by Medicinenet.com:13

“Using the microbiome findings, the researchers said they were able to correctly classify whether 83 percent of the study volunteers had [CFS] or didn’t. If these findings are confirmed in a larger study, the authors suggested that the gut microbiome could be used as an additional test to determine if it’s likely that someone has [CFS].”

 

How to Optimize Your Gut Flora

Considering the fact that an estimated 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, nourishing your gut and regularly reseeding it with healthy bacteria is important for the prevention of virtually ALL disease, from colds to cancer. To do so, I recommend the following strategies:

Eat real food and avoid processed, refined foods in your diet. It is especially important to avoid all sugars and grains and keep your net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to under 50 grams per day. You can use cronometer.com/mercola/ to help you monitor this.

Eat traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods: Fermented foods are the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Some of the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods are also excellent chelators of heavy metals and pesticides, which will also have a beneficial health effect by reducing your toxic load. Healthy choices include:

?Fermented vegetables of all kinds (cabbage, carrots, kale, collards and celery spiced with herbs like ginger and garlic)

?Lassi (an Indian yogurt drink)

?Fermented raw milk such as kefir or yogurt, but NOT commercial versions, which typically do not have live cultures and are loaded with sugars that feed pathogenic bacteria

?Natto (fermented soy)

?Kimchi

Ideally, you want to eat a variety of fermented foods to maximize the variety of bacteria you’re consuming. Fermented vegetables, which are easy and economical to make at home, are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into our gut.

As an added bonus, they can also be a great source of vitamin K2, provided you ferment your own using the proper starter culture. We tested samples of high-quality fermented organic vegetables made with our specific starter culture, and a typical serving (about 2 to 3 ounces) contained 10 trillion beneficial bacteria and 500 mcg of vitamin K2, which is an important co-nutrient to both vitamin D and calcium.

Take a high-quality probiotic supplement if you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis.

Sources and References

The Clinical Use of Nutritional Ketosis

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Eating a high-quality, high-fat diet may be one of the most useful interventions for many chronic diseases. Dr. Jeanne Drisko, who heads up the University of Kansas Integrative Medical Center, has used this nutritional protocol in a clinical setting for many years now.

Drisko is also the chairman and medical director for the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), a grassroots organization that helps educate consumers and patients about natural health strategies and important political issues that affect your access to alternative medicine.

“As many of us in integrative medicine, I started out very conventionally,” Drisko says. “But with a personal health crisis, you suddenly learn there’s not a lot in conventional medicine that works. I turned to integrative medicine and got much better …

I ended up doing a fellowship with Hugh Riordan in Wichita, Kansas, who was one of the pioneers in intravenous vitamin C and a number of other integrative therapies. That was really what launched me into integrative medicine.”

In 1998, the dean of the University of Kansas asked her to launch the KU Medicine Center,1 which now teaches students in integrative medicine.

The fellowship, which is one additional year after completion of a residency program, is even eligible for the board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).

Clinical Use of Nutritional Ketosis

Part of Drisko’s focus has been on the clinical use of nutritional ketosis, which is what I recommend for nearly everyone to improve their health. This all began when, at the prompting of the clinic’s naturopath, they began investigating how shifts in the diet could improve outcomes in cancer patients treated with intravenous (IV) vitamin C.

“[T]he naturopath kept saying, ‘We need to get them off the sugar. We need to get their diets improved.’

We worked together and found the responses with IV vitamin C were improved with more good fat, the essential fatty acid, medium-chain fat diet; the low sugar; and some good-quality protein,” Drisko says.

“I never really put a name to it until Thomas Seyfried’s book [“Cancer as a Metabolic Disease“] came out. That book was seminal for me. I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Tom, to have dinner with him, and to have been in communication with him since that book came out.”

Seyfried and I will both be speaking at the Conquering Cancer Conference in Orlando, September 22 through 24. The event is sponsored by the Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine (ACIM).

Drisko will also participate in the brainstorming group at the ACIM Conquering Cancer Conference on September 25. You and/or your physician are invited to attend thegeneral conference, which precedes this event. It should be one of the best cancer conferences of the year.

Cancer is not the only disease the KU Medical Center treats with a ketogenic diet. When asked what type of illness this intervention can benefit, she replies:

“Chronic illness generally … We see a lot of young people that are very toxic and they have a lot of endocrine disruption, chronic illness and autoimmune disorders … The ketogenic approach has been really helpful in getting them back [to] health with detoxification.”

 

Assessment and Evaluation

Patients initially receive a personalized integrative health assessment, which includes a comprehensive digestive stool analysis and a genetic panel. The latter allows you to evaluate the function of the detoxification, methylation and sulfation pathways.

They also receive an individualized nutrient evaluation and essays to determine mitochondrial function.

“We really like to look at the urinary organic acids. We look at lactate, pyruvate, and the urinary organic acids to see how the mitochondria are functioning,”Drisko explains.

“We also like to look at some of the medium chain fat levels and then try and figure out if they’re spilling some of these important fats in the urine or if they’re burning them in the mitochondria [for] energy, and if they need cofactors like carnitine or some of the B vitamins …

We use conventional labs or the Genova panel for the cardio-metabolic profile. It’s an ION panel, but it adds some of the cardiac factors; lipid. That way, we can really assess some of the biochemical cofactors. I also like US Bio Tek … [a] urinary metabolic panel. I get a lot of information from that.”

 

Determining Mitochondrial Function

If your mitochondria are functioning well, they will efficiently metabolize fat. If they don’t, it suggests you’re primarily burning carbohydrates as a primary fuel. Elevated lactate is typically found in people whose mitochondria are working at max capacity. However, there’s a continuum.

In a chronically ill patient, particularly if the individual is toxic, the lactate will be high while some of the mitochondrial cofactors in the Krebs cycle will be either elevated or too low, indicating that the mitochondria are not working properly.

Poorly functioning mitochondria will also cause butyrates and certain fats to be eliminated via urine rather than being burned as fuel in the mitochondria. In cancer patients, this pattern of poor mitochondrial function becomes clearly evident.

“We’ve even done some metabolic cart testing in these patients, and at rest, they’re burning glucose and their glycogen stores if they’re really metabolically impaired,” Drisko says.

Seyfried’s book, which catalyzed Drisko’s interest in this field, is a great resource. On the downside, it’s expensive and best suited for health professionals.

An easier read is Travis Christofferson’s book, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer,” which provides a great overview of how mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction contributes to cancer, and may in fact be the primary cause.

Sample Success Story

One sample success story from Drisko’s clinical experience involves a young man who had been at an outdoor concert, spending the entire day in 98 F heat. Prior to that day, he’d been healthy, but after that, he became chronically ill.

“He had thyroid dysfunction … He had a drop in his testosterone levels. He had the onset of irritable bowel. He was a mess,”Drisko says. “He went from doctor to doctor to doctor, as you can imagine. They finally told him he was just depressed and gave him antidepressants.

Someone referred him to our clinic. It turned out it was like sitting in a sauna all day for that young man, which released all these toxins that had built up … He had lived near a farming community and been exposed to a lot of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.

Those are stored in your tissues. In sitting in that heat, it was like sitting in the sauna and releasing it. He didn’t have the mechanism to clean it up and get it out of him. It was a toxic hit. When he came to me, we put him on appropriate doses of testosterone, got his thyroid in range, and just made him generally feel a little bit better. We cleaned up his gut and changed his diet.”

After doing a genetics panel and urinary metabolic profile to assess the functionality of his detoxification pathways, they found his mitochondria were hardly working at all.

By removing sugars and processed carbohydrates and adding in healthy fats, including medium-chain triglycerides and higher-quality protein, he was able to turn his health around. He also received IV vitamin C and IV glutathione to aid with the detox process. “In time, he was pretty much back to baseline; off testosterone, no more irritable bowel, and on small dose of thyroid medication,” Drisko says.

Healthy Versus Dangerous Fats

When we’re talking about implementing a high-fat diet, it’s extremely important to identify which fats we’re referring to, and how much.

As a general rule, you’ll want at least 50 to 75 percent of your total calories (some may benefit from as much as 85 percent) from healthy fats, which include: olives, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, organic pastured butter, cacao butter, raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans, seeds such as black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds, organic pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, lard and tallow.

If you’re using the fats found in the typical American diet, you’re undoubtedly going to get worse, not better. This is actually one of the reasons why the low-fat diet is in fact beneficial for some; because it lowers their intake of harmful polyunsaturated (PUFA) refined vegetable oils, primarily omega-6.

Making matters worse, 85 to 90 percent of those oils are from corn and soy, most of which are genetically engineered (GE), which means they’re more heavily contaminated with glyphosate residues from Roundup. I suspect glyphosate may be an important contributor to mitochondrial dysfunction.

While typically never measured, Drisko has a new integrative medicine fellow who will be doing a research project to actually measure glyphosate residues in patients. I look forward to seeing the results of that research. In short, the key to success on a high-fat diet is to eat high-quality healthy fats. MCT oil is particularly beneficial, but need to be implemented with some care.

“I think a person, a physician or a health food coach really needs to be well versed in the use of these fats, because they can be difficult for patients to take. I have one patient that comes to mind that have a lot of GI distress from the use of these fats. We’re always looking for a different way to administer these important medium-chain triglycerides (MCT),” Drisko says.

 

MCT Versus Coconut Oil

One of the challenges with MCT oils is that if you consume high amounts, they can cause loose stools and gastrointestinal side effects. I’ve experienced that myself, even though I thought I was tolerant to it from eating high amounts of fat already and previously using 5 to 6 tablespoons of MCT. The problem was I’d stopped taking the MCT oil for awhile, and when you stop and restart it takes a while for your GI system to readjust.

Once your tolerance increases, you can have 5 to 6 tablespoons of MCT oil per day. But you wouldn’t want to start with more than a teaspoon of MCT oil. Interestingly, Drisko notes that chronically ill people actually tend to have an increased tolerance to MCT, whereas healthy people have a lower tolerance. One of the ways you can improve your tolerance is by taking the powdered form.

Most of the commercial brands have eight-carbon (C8) and 10-carbon (C10) fats. They usually contain a 50/50 combination of both. I prefer taking C8 alone (caprylic acid), as it converts to ketones far more rapidly than the C10 fats.

Using coconut oil will provide a mixture of C6, C8, C10 and C12 fats, the latter of which is lauric acid. There are benefits to all of them. However, MCT oil is very refined, making it more appropriate for clinical use. When MCT oils are therapeutically used to fuel the mitochondria, they can be very effective.

“With cancer care, combining all of these approaches into a package: the ketogenic diet, the intravenous vitamin C, lifestyle changes … we have seen some really life-threatening cancer cases become a chronic illness, such as ovarian cancer … We have a handful of [ovarian cancer patients] that are 10 years out from their diagnosis of Stage 4.

It can work. It does not always work, but I think we’re fine-tuning our approach such that I think we’re going to find more and more benefit as we progress,” Drisko says.

 

Compliance Is Everything

It goes without saying that treating your illness with nutrition and lifestyle changes requires you to change and stick with it. It’s not easy. However, the more severely ill a person is, the more apt they are to make drastic changes in order to save their life. Although, sometimes not even the prospect of death can sufficiently inspire a person to do everything that is necessary.

“We have pretty compliant patients by the time they end up here,” Drisko says. “It is a cash-paid clinic. It’s outside of the university insurance system. Very motivated patients come here, which is what we want. We have so many patients; we don’t have time for people that aren’t interested.

The best way to make the system work is to have integrative dietitians as part of the team. I lay everything out, do all the testing, and then I hand them over to the dietitian … They’re the coach of that patient. They don’t just see them one time. They’re on a regular schedule. They’re coming back. They’re having phone conferences. It’s a real aggressive time commitment for that patient, but it really keeps them on the straight and narrow…

[P]atients are actually asking the oncologists if they can come over here or they’re telling them they are going to come over here. Then they get proper nutritional advice. But if they are in an oncology clinic, they are going to get the pink M&Ms for the breast cancer. They’re going to get the donuts on the cart. I think conventionally, there still isn’t a lot of understanding of how important basic diet is in cancer care.”

One tool that will radically improve your ability to understand what you’re eating and follow a ketogenic diet is a nutrient tracker. There are a number of them available, but the most accurate one is Cronometer.com/Mercola. That’s our revision of the basic tracker, and it’s already set up for nutritional ketosis.

More Information

You can find more information about the KU Medicine Center on www.kumc.edu, including contact information should you want to make an appointment.

Also, if you have an interest in or passion for learning more about cancer, be sure to attend the ACIM Conquering Cancer Conferencein Orlando, September 22 through 24. I will be there along with a long list of other excellent speakers. There, you’ll learn more about how to implement a ketogenic diet and so much more.

You may also attend the Conference for Intravenous Vitamin C hosted by KU Integrative Medicine September 30 through October 1, 2016.

Sources and References

Physical Inactivity Costs Global Economy $67 Billion Each Year

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Modern fitness research offers many potent reminders that physical activity is one of the best “preventive drugs” for many common ailments, from psychiatric disorders to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.1,2

Many studies have also confirmed that prolonged sitting is an independent risk factor for disease and early death. So it’s no major surprise to find that inactivity may be costing the global economy tens of billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and healthcare costs.

As reported by Reuters3 and others,4 a recent study5 looking at data from 1 million individuals worldwide found that lack of physical activity had a global price tag of $67.5 billion in 2013.

Of this amount, $32.2 billion was paid by the public sector, $12.9 billion by the private sector and $9.7 billion by individual households. According to their findings, one hour of daily exercise could eliminate a majority of these expenses.

According to the researchers, inactivity is also the cause of more than 5 million deaths per year. To put that into perspective in terms of being a risk factor, smoking kills about 6 million annually.

Non-Exercise Movement and Exercise Are Equally Important

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, but even this may not be enough, according to the researchers of this study.

Ulf Ekelund, Ph.D., a senior fitness scientist and professor at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and Cambridge University, told Reuters:

“You don’t need to do sport or go to the gym … but you do need to do at least one hour a day,” he said, giving walking at 5.6 km [3.5 miles] an hour (km/h) or cycling at 16 km/h [10 mph] as examples of what was needed.”

I’ve often stressed that non-exercise movement, such as standing up at work and walking more, is just as important as a regular fitness routine. On the other hand, this research also points out that having a fitness routine is just as important as staying active and avoiding sitting. As noted by Reuters:

“People who sat for eight hours a day but were otherwise active had a lower risk of premature death than people who spent fewer hours sitting but were also less active, suggesting that exercise is particularly important, no matter how many hours a day are spent sitting.

The greatest risk of premature death was for people who sat for long periods of time and did not exercise, according to the findings …”

In short, you need both. The more time you spend sitting, the more you need to exercise. On the other hand, while sitting less reduces the amount of exercise you need, it does not entirely eliminate your exercise requirement.

But just how much movement and regimented exercise do you need? Previous research has provided valuable clues that are worthy of attention.

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

One impressively large study looking at the exercise habits and health of 661,000 adults revealed there is in fact a “Goldilock’s zone” in which exercise creates the greatest benefit for health and longevity.6

As expected, this study confirmed that those who did not exercise at all had the highest risk of premature death. But some of its other findings were more intriguing:7

Those who exercised but did not meet current exercise recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week lowered their risk of early death by 20 percent

Those who met the guidelines of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise lowered their risk of death by 31 percent during the 14 year study period, compared to those who did not exercise

Tripling the recommended amount of exercise had the greatest benefit. Those who engaged in moderate exercise such as walking for 450 minutes per week (7.5 hours a week or a little over an hour a day), lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent, compared to non-exercisers

Those who exercised at 10 times above the recommended level only gained the same mortality risk reduction as those who met the guidelines of 150 minutes per week

A second large-scale study8 that focused on exercise intensity found that upping the intensity from time to time also had a definitive impact on health and longevity. Here, health survey data from more than 200,000 adults was pooled.

Spending up to 30 percent of the weekly exercise time doing higher intensity exercises led to a 9 percent lower risk of premature death compared to exercising the same amount of time at a consistently moderate pace.

The greatest benefit was found among those who spent MORE than 30 percent of their exercise time doing high intensity exercises. This group reduced their risk of premature death by an extra 13 percent, compared to those who did an equal amount of low to moderate exercise.

So, to summarize, the data suggests that for optimal health and longevity, you want to exercise for at least 7.5 hours per week (about one hour per day), spending at least 2.25 hours a week (20 minutes a day) doing higher intensity exercises.

How Much Non-Exercise Do You Need?

The other question is how much general activity or non-exercise movement do you need? This question is a bit more difficult to answer but, in general, it appears safe to say that the more the better. Some studies have offered some general clues though.

For example, a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that sitting for more than three hours a day is responsible for 3.8 percent of all-cause deaths in the 54 countries surveyed.9

Reducing your sitting time to less than three hours a day could increase your life expectancy by 0.2 years, the researchers concluded.

Reducing sitting time by 50 percent (mean sitting time being 4.7 hours a day) would result in a 2.3 percent decline in all-cause mortality. This may not sound like much, but the real value is not necessarily living longer but rather being healthier while still alive.

Non-Exercise Movement Improves General Health

As explained by Dr. James Levine, who has dedicated a large part of his career to investigating the health effects of sitting, the simple act of standing upright is responsible for activating a number of molecular functions.

Within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol — which are mediated by insulin — are activated.

These molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your bodyweight upon your legs. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells. When done regularly, this may radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity. Levine’s research reveals that, at the molecular level, your body was designed to be vertical and on the move all day long.

According to Levine, when you stop moving for extended periods of time, such as when you’re sitting at your desk working on a computer all day, you’re essentially telling your body it’s time to shut down; no need to maintain life-supporting functions any longer because your inactivity signals the organism (you) is preparing for death.

So while you certainly need to sit down and rest now and then, rest is supposed to break up activity, not the other way around. The posture assumed when sitting on a chair or couch also has an adverse metabolic impact.

Not only is it bad for your back and neck, but it also switches off “the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles and in the tissues,”Levine says. For example, sitting causes a rise in your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and toxic buildup, all of which have adverse health consequences over time.

Poor Fitness Is Second Only to Smoking as Risk Factor for Premature Death

In related news, another recent study found that poor aerobic fitness (measured as VO2 max) is second only to smoking as a risk factor for premature death. For this study, more than 790 middle-aged and older men were analyzed, and “each measurable increase in fitness level translated into a 21 percent lower risk of death over 45 years of follow-up,” Medicinenet.com reports.10

Smoking was the most significant risk factor for premature death, but aerobic capacity was actually more potent a factor than high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Dr. William Zoghbi, chief of cardiology at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas told Medicinenet.com: “The surprising part of the finding is that [physical fitness] is prognostically important so many years down the line. A message we’ve heard before is that physical fitness is really a major determinant of longevity. This study supports it.”

Balanced Variety Is the Key to Optimal Health and Longevity

Even if you’re eating the best diet in the world, you still need to stay active and exercise on a regular basis if you seek to optimize your health and longevity. I’ve often equated exercise to a drug from the perspective that they both need to be taken at optimal dosage to reap the desired effect.

One way of looking at the impact and benefits of non-exercise movement versus exercise is that the former will help optimize your health and quality of life, while the latter may help you live healthy significantly longer. Both are important.

As for the optimal weekly time investment, remember that the greatest effect on longevity was found among those who engaged in 150 to 450 minutes of exercise per week, the bulk of which was moderate intensity activities such as walking. Including bouts of vigorous activity can give you an additional boost in longevity. As for non-exercise movement, a general recommendation would be to limit your sitting to three hours a day.

In the final analysis, one of the keys to optimal health is to remain as active as you can, all day long. Whenever you have a chance to move and stretch your body in the course of going about your day, do so.

And, while not highlighted in any of the studies discussed here, your best bet is to incorporate a wide variety of activities, including core-strengthening exercises, strength training, stretching and high-intensity activities. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength, vigor and yes — longevity.

For a quick overview of other lifestyle factors that can help improve your general health and increase your longevity, take a look at the following infographic.

Sources and References

 

Food Allergies: a safe eater’s guide

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20160812 food allergies shutterstock_174191513

by Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy

Do you ever get a headache, indigestion, nausea, stomach ache, or joint pain after eating a meal?

If you’re like many people, you probably have. And any one of those might be a symptom of a food allergy.

They’re not the rash or hives or watery eyes, or the worst-case choking we associate with food allergies. And of course symptoms like these can show up for totally non-food related reasons.

That’s where trouble lies—possibly very serious trouble. A food allergy symptom that’s wrongly attributed to other causes can range from annoyingly persistent, to frightening, to, in rare cases, fatal.

For some, an offending food item can lead to anaphylactic shock. It’s a severe allergic reaction that causes the tongue and throat to swell, making breathing dangerously difficult and requiring an immediate trip to the emergency room.

Who’s protecting us from allergens?

The FDA requires that foods containing the following common allergens list them on the ingredients label:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans

These are the cause of 90 percent of all food allergies, and the FDA is right to require food producers to warn us of their presence.

But mistakes happen. Occasionally a product is accidentally mislabeled. Perhaps, more commonly, they show up in your meal while dining out when detailed ingredient lists are less common.

There’s no perfect system

It’s not uncommon for a producer to bring different versions of a product to market.

A good example? High-end chocolate bars with exotic ingredients. They’re all the rage these days. Well and good, especially as chocolate’s exceptional antioxidant powers have been confirmed.

But there’s 70 percent dark chocolate with cranberries and salted caramel. There’s also 70 percent dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt. And there’s 70 percent dark chocolate with lemon creme filling … one ingredient of which is milk.

It’s easy to imagine how ingredient tracking could get quite confusing, with lookalike chocolate bars—or granola mixes, or baked goods.

And the milk in the lemon creme filling? It’s not on the ingredients label. There could be a legitimate reason. Some guidelines specify if an ingredient is above a certain percent of total ingredients, it must be declared. Maybe the milk in the filling fell under that number. The wheat in the baked goods, the soy in the granola? Same.

I’d never call these mistakes deliberate. There’s too much risk, thanks to the FDA’s power to pull products off the shelves.

Let the data be your guide:

These product types are the most often recalled for “undeclared allergens.”

  • Baked goods
  • Snacks
  • Candy
  • Dairy
  • Salad dressings, sauces, gravies
  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Soy

Yet another reason to avoid processed foods

The reality is that no system can guarantee that all producers label all products accurately. We’ve all seen ingredient labels that require a PhD in chemistry to understand.

So please add the risk of undeclared allergens to all of the other reasons to avoid prepared and processed foods whenever possible.

Do it yourself and keep it clean

I do not exaggerate when I say buying processed foods and eating in restaurants is more likely than not hazardous to your health.

Yes, many, many restaurants and producers are trying earnestly to clean up their acts.

A 2014 survey, for example, looked at chain restaurants—arguably the worst of all offenders, and frequented by 82 percent of Americans at least once per week.

The good news? Some 30 percent of respondents said they planned to serve locally sourced foods more often in 2014. The bad news … that’s only 30 percent. Worse, 54 percent said they had no plans to serve locally sourced foods.

Here’s the plan.

First: If you have symptoms that can’t be attributed to other causes, there are simple, standard, reliable food allergy tests that don’t cost much and might be covered by your insurer.

Second: take charge of your health and your future, and do it yourself. Eat healthy: local, free-range, organic, fresh, cage-free, antibiotic-free. Get my Newport Natural Health Cookbook. It’s free and has enough healthy recipes to last you for a good, long time.

Third: If you know your allergies, and can’t replace store-bought with fresh and local, always read the label.

I know, you’re not a PhD, so how do you know what you’re reading?

Some experts recommend, and I support:

  • Avoiding any food that has more than five or six ingredients
  • Avoiding any food with chemistry exam ingredients with names of more than three syllables
  • Buying foods that contain only natural ingredients, like fruits and vegetables

Enjoy summer’s bounty free of worry and in the best of health. Bon appetit!

And take a look at the list of recalled foods, if you do buy something prepackaged.

References

Consumer Reports Joins Pharma Campaign Against Dietary Supplements

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By Dr. Mercola

As you may have noticed, there’s an ongoing campaign aimed at regulating supplements as drugs.1 This would allow the drug industry to eliminate the competition of the supplement industry, thereby increasing its own profits.

The primary talking point is that supplements are not regulated as drugs, so they are therefore unsafe. Strangely, prescription drugs kill many more people than car accidents — making them one of the most dangerous products on the market.

Yet, the pharmaceutical agents continue lobbying for drug regulations to be enforced upon supplements to ensure our “safety.” The obvious motivation here is to give pharmaceutical companies a whole new product line as they have been struggling to innovate new successful drugs.

Can you imagine a day when the vitamins you consume will only be available by prescription? And at drug prices? In the U.S., sales of dietary supplements totaled nearly $37 billion in 2014, while the number of supplement users in the U.S. has reached68 percent of the population.2

In February, I exposed how the Canadian Broadcast (CBC) News, The New York Times and PBS/Frontline all appeared to be part of this coordinated campaign against supplements.3

In November 2015, CBC News published a report in which they accused a number of supplement makers of failing to live up to label claims. By the end of January, the news agency was forced to retract its report as their lab tests were proven inaccurate.

Following on the heels of this debacle, Frontline aired a program focused on concerns that consumers may endanger their health by taking vitamins and supplements.

Our initial story outing the glaring bias and the subsequent public outcry led to PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler doing a detailed review of the program.

In conclusion, Getler admitted that vitamin supplements do not pose “a public health calamity” as the show had unfairly insinuated. I published a follow-up on Frontline’s hit piece on February 22, in which I further clarified the issue of how supplements are regulated.

Consumer Reports Joins Organized Campaign Against Supplements

Now Consumer Reports has issued a very similar report,4 again raising the nonsensical and inaccurate claim that supplements put your health at risk simply because they’re not regulated as drugs.

Buried in this 15-page report, they do admit that any adverse reactions are likely “miniscule.” That slight admission is easily missed among the massive fear-mongering promoted throughout this propaganda piece.

Anyone familiar with the statistics knows how stupendously ignorant it is to say that drugs are safer than supplements because their regulations are stricter.

At least 106,000 Americans die each year from the negative side effects of drugstaken as prescribed, and that’s using decades-old data. People take more drugs these days, so the death toll is likely to be far higher5

Prescription drugs kill more Americans each year than traffic accidents

One drug, Vioxx, killed 60,000 people before finally being withdrawn

Beta-blockers alone killed 800,000 in five years

Since 1999, more than 190,000 Americans have died from overdosing on opioid painkillers6

Data also shows that adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs are 62,000 times more likely to kill you than food supplements and 7,750 times more likely to kill you than herbal remedies.7

Considering the fact that Consumer Reports’ article contains the exact same talking points, and is supported by the same people as so many other hit pieces against supplements, it’s quite obvious that this piece is part and parcel of the pro-pharma “astroturf” campaign.

For those unfamiliar with the term “astroturf,” it refers to effort on the part of special interests to surreptitiously sway public opinion by making it appear as though it’s a grassroots effort for or against a particular agenda or, as in this case, warnings issued by a “panel of experts.”

Supplements Have an Enviable Safety Record

Since 2008, the supplement industry has been required to report adverse events to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) adverse effects reports (AER) system, pursuant to the 2006 Act.

Data from this reporting system shows there were 488 times as many adverse events reported from prescription drugs as from dietary supplements between2008 and 2011.8 Adverse effects from drugs are also far more likely to be lethal. In 2014, there was not one single death from a vitamin supplement.9

Adverse events from supplements are also most commonly associated with sexual enhancers, energy-boosters and weight loss formulas, not vitamins and minerals that have well-established benefits for health.

Frankly, these are the types of products you can find at many gas stations. If you are buying your supplements at the same place you find powdered doughnuts and potato chips, you are likely not a very educated consumer and should reconsider your choices.

Unfortunately, many of these types of products are illegally spiked with pharmaceutical drugs! If drugs are so well-regulated, how do they end up on the shelves illegally disguised as supplements?

And why are we constantly spammed with emails linking to websites where you can buy all these pharmaceuticals online without a prescription?

If pharmaceutical regulations were so great, you would think they would have better control of their supply chain and stop the illegal sales of their products. But, as we have found out with the tragic opioid epidemic — drug companies are more than happy to sell as many drugs as possible.

After all, they are the federally approved drug dealers that leave tax-payers and family members to clean up after the wave of deaths and addictions they have caused.

Regulating Supplements Like Drugs Would Not Make Them Safer

Given these kinds of statistics, wouldn’t it make more sense to argue that we need much more stringent regulations on drugs? Tylenol alone kills nearly 500 people annually, and ironically the supplement NAC is used to save the lives of those poisoned.

Why focus on dietary supplements when drugs clearly pose a FAR greater health hazard? There’s only one reason, and that is because supplements effectively compete with drug sales. Without supplements a lot more people would be sicker, and without alternatives, they’d have no choice besides drugs.

And there can be little doubt that many supplements would vanish from the market should supplements be regulated as drugs, since the drug approval process itself can cost upwards of $2 billion — a fee that cannot be recuperated when you’re selling a low-cost nutrient.

The only alternative would be to charge drug prices, which means any given vitamin or mineral supplement could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per bottle.

Probiotic Accused of Killing Preemie

The Consumer Reports story opens with a tragic and horrible description of a premature infant given probiotics (based on life-saving evidence such as that published by Cochrane Neonatal Reviews10) that was allegedly contaminated with a fungus that killed the child.

According to Solgar, the maker of the probiotic in question, the company fully cooperated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the contamination, and “numerous facility and equipment inspections” failed to reveal any contaminants at any point in its supply chain.

As noted by Consumer Reports, “The company said the only contaminated samples found were those delivered to the FDA by the Yale-New Haven Hospital pharmacy.” What the article fails to note is that fungal infections are commonly found in hospital settings in general. Fungal outbreaks have been traced back to contaminated linens, bandages and tongue depressors, for example, and preemies are a high-risk group for fungal infections.11,12

So it seems odd that the fungus could not be found anywhere except in the bottles stored at the hospital itself. While the absolute source may never be known, this is an extremely rare and tragic example that is now being used as a prime example of why supplements like probiotics should be regulated as drugs.

But just how does the FDA regulate drugs when it comes to contamination? They do it through a process called Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations (CGMPs).13 The FDA also has CGMP regulations for dietary supplements.14 So whether probiotics were regulated as supplements or as drugs, the end result in this case would have been the same, as the FDA cannot guarantee that drugs are free of contaminants either.

A look at the FDA’s recall list15 for 2016 is enough to suggest contamination is an issue that affects the food, drug and supplement industries alike. Of these products, supplements are by far the safest to consume.

Consumer Reports Stoops to Shocking Low

“With the help of an expert panel, Consumer Reports identified 15 supplement ingredients to avoid,16 ones that have been linked to serious medical problems including organ damage, cancer and cardiac arrest,” Consumer Reports writes. The article itself does not identify the experts on this panel. Nor does it report any conflicts of interest. A separate document17 does list the members of this panel, though.

Lo and behold, Consumer Reports could not have put together a more biased base of “experts” for this anti-supplement hit piece. In fact, they did a poor job of covering their tracks by picking some of the most outspoken supplement-loathing pro-pharma spokespeople out there. As suspected, Dr. Paul Offit was part of this panel. It seems wherever the big pharma campaign against supplements goes, Offit is there — even though his fabrications and lack of disclosure are well-documented.18

And, as usual, Offit did not disclose the extent of his professional and financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. Offit has been paid millions of dollars by Merck, a company whose reputation rivals some of the worst on the planet. His research chair at the Children’s Hospital is even sponsored by Merck.

Offit has also been on the board of trustees of one of the worst front groups of all times, the American Council on Science and Health(ACSH),19 and he certainly did not raise a ruckus about the contamination issues plaguing his own rotavirus vaccine, which was suspended in 2010 when found to contain DNA from a virus lethal to pigs.20,21,22 Why Consumer Reports would give any credibility to someone so clearly conflicted is difficult to comprehend.

‘Expert’ Panel Filled With Documented Supplement-Loathers

Another panel member notorious for his staunch views against dietary supplements is Dr. Pieter Cohen. It seems Offit and Cohen are now tag-teaming on their respective life’s work to make supplements regulated as drugs, so they can be equally expensive and “safe.”

Cohen reportedly became obsessed with identifying supplements illegally laced with drugs back in 2005, when some of his patients were sickened by a Brazilian weight loss supplement containing antidepressants and thyroid hormones. As reported by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel in 2015, after 10 years of sleuthing, “he and his collaborators have identified three hidden stimulant drugs in supplements.”23

Three illegal stimulants. In 10 years. Hardly what one would call an epidemic of crime when drug makers are regularly featured on various Top Criminals lists and keep getting fined hundreds of millions of dollars for their illegal activities. For a rundown on some of the worst of the worst, see my previous articles, “The 6 Top Thugs of the Medical World,” and “Top 10 Drug Company Settlements.”

Another noteworthy irony is that it is supplements containing DRUGS that are causing problems, not vitamin and mineral supplements most commonly used for and associated with health.

Consumer Reports’ Chief Medical Adviser: an Outspoken Pro-Drug, Anti-Supplement Crusader

Consumer Reports’ own chief medical adviser Dr. Marvin Lipman was also part of this expert panel. He too has “authored articles on the dangers of dietary supplements,” according to Consumer Reports, and has a history of speaking out against the use of supplements. Indeed, entering “Marvin M. Lipman dangers of dietary supplements” into Google yields no less than 8,080 results.

To his credit, Lipman did disclose the fact that he’s a board member of U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP, a compendium of drug information), which is repeatedly promoted as “what to look for in a trusted supplement brand.” Overall, Lipman, just as Offit and Cohen, has made his stance on supplements quite clear and is by no possible means an unbiased objective panel member. One 2015 Sam’s Watch article quotes Lipman as saying:24

“The idea that dietary supplements cure the common cold, restore prostate health, sharpen your mind, or have any other health benefit is dubious at best.”

To say that supplements have no health benefits whatsoever, despite the enormous amount of scientific research done on a wide array of vitamins, minerals and other common nutritional supplements such as antioxidants, is tantamount to saying there’s no evidence that food supports or restores health, either.

I encourage everyone to contact Consumer Reports to let them know that you will not stand for them intentionally selecting such a biased group of panel members that falsely dramatize the dangers of supplements. Click on the button below to contact them now.

I think it’s really important to note that just as you have junk food with questionable and downright hazardous ingredients on the market, there are certain types of supplements that should be viewed with suspicion as they’re more prone to cause adverse effects. Top offenders as I’ve previously described are weight loss supplements, energy-boosting preparations and muscle or sexual enhancement products.25

These types of products have little to do with nutrition and health, even though they’re lumped together with nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Drs. Marcus and Grollman, Raising Awareness Against Herbal Use

Then there’s Drs. Arthur Grollman and Donald Marcus, who have campaigned against the use of herbs. In a recent paper26,27,28 the pair warn against the use of traditional herbal remedies, saying long-term historical use is no guarantee of safety. They also disagree with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) endorsement of the use of traditional herbal remedies on the premise that traditional medicine is of unproven quality.

In 2012, Marcus and Grollman also published a paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine, discussing “The Consequences of Ineffective Regulation of Dietary Supplements.”29 A Google search for “Marcus Grollman Supplements” yields a whopping 48,500 results, and a quick browse through the headlines confirms initial suspicions that these two are clearly biased against nutritional supplements and traditional herbal remedies.

Some Supplements Are Best Avoided

There’s only one person left on Consumer Reports’ expert panel and that’s Philip Gregory, director of the Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice and an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Creighton University. Gregory is also an associate editor of the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Last year, Gregory published a study showing that of the 1,560 dietary supplement-related regulatory alerts identified through Health Canada (1,287 alerts) and FDA MedWatch (273 alerts), sexual enhancement products accounted for 33 percent of all regulatory alerts.

Overall, and conforming to what I said earlier, “supplements intended for sexual enhancement, weight loss and bodybuilding or athletic performance appeared to pose the greatest risk for patient harm due to product contamination with a pharmaceutical such as a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor or sibutramine.”

Again, pharmaceutical contaminants were the most common hazard, which is ironic when you consider that supplement critics all claim supplements would be much safer if only they were regulated as drugs. Maybe Consumer Reports could trace down where these illegal pharma products are coming from rather than trying to turn all dietary supplements into drugs, seeing how drugs kill well over 100,000 people each year and are the problem ingredients in hazardous supplement products.

I agree that sexual enhancers, weight loss and performance enhancers are not product categories that most reasonably health conscious people understand, and I believe you should stay away from them as you do junk food or factory-farmed meat products.

Dangerous pharmaceutical products are likely to be found in those illegally disguised supplement products. To include ALL nutritional supplements into this class of “gas station supplements” is beyond irrational, especially when you consider the enormous dangers posed by so-called “well-regulated” drugs, which are one of the leading causes of death.

Sources and References

EVERYTHING IS RIGGED: Medicine, science, elections, the media, money, education, search engines, social media… you are living in a fabricated fairy tale

Source

Rigged elections

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) After witnessing how Reuters just blatantly cooked the presidential election polls this week to favor Clinton and how the mainstream media is so terrifyingly biased in favor of Clinton that the very foundation of democracy is now in crisis, it’s time to tell you something that perhaps a lot more people are finally ready to hear:

EVERYTHING IS RIGGED.

Every institution in America is sold out, corrupted and politically rigged to favor Big Government and Big Business. “America is a lost country,” explains Paul Craig Roberts. “The total corruption of every public and the private institution is complete. Nothing remains but tyranny. And lies. Endless lies.”

CNN, Reuters and the Associated Press are all now shameless promoters of every big lie across every sector of society, from vaccines and GMOs to elections and politics. The federal government itself is incapable of doing anything other than lying, and it has totally corrupted the entire realm of science by pulling the strings of funding via the National Institutes of Health and the NSF.

The FDA is entirely corrupt, as is the USDA. Both function now as little more than marketing propaganda pushers for Big Pharma and Big Biotech. Similarly, Google, Facebook and Twitter are all rigged, too, censoring the voices they don’t want anyone to hear while highlighting the establishment lies they wish to promote.

Here’s what “rigged” really means… the tools of tyranny

When I say “everything is rigged,” what does that mean, exactly?

• All “official sources” are ordered to constantly lie about everything, weaving illusions to push a chosen narrative rooted in fiction (from “there are no Islamic terrorists” to “carbon dioxide is poison to the planet”).

• All voices of reason and sanity are silenced. Only the most insane, irrational voices are allowed to be magnified through any media (including social media). This is also true across the sciences, where real science has been all but snuffed out by political agendas (biosludge, GMOs, glyphosate, mercury in dentistry, etc.).

• All facts are obliterated by propaganda. Facts have no place in any debate, and those who invoke facts are shamed and silenced (or even fired from their jobs, expelled from their schools or bullied into a state of suicide on social media). Anyone who invokes facts on things like the actual statistics of police shootings is told they are “part of the problem” because they have the “wrong attitude” about social justice.

• Every branch of government is weaponized against the people and used as an assault tool against political enemies who threaten the status quo. (IRS, FDA, FTC, DEA, EPA, USDA, etc.)

• All science is distorted into absurd, politically-motivated conclusions about everything the government wants to use to control the masses: Vaccines, climate change, GMOs, fluoride, flu shots, chemical agriculture, carbon dioxide and so on.

• Every branch of medicine is hijacked by globalist agendas to make sure medicine never makes anyone healthier, more alert or more cognitively capable of thinking for themselves.

• Every “news item” that’s reported from any official source is deliberately distorted to the point of insanity, turning many facts on their heads while attacking anyone who might offer something truly constructive to the world. (Such as reporting that Clinton was “cleared” by the FBI when, in fact, she was indicted by the very facts the FBI presented!)

• All voices of truth are silenced, then replaced by meaningless, distracting babble (Kardashians) or meaningless, tribal sports competitions (the Rio Olympics). The point is to dumb down the entire population to the point of cultural lunacy.

• Any true reports that contradict any official narrative are immediately censored. For example, radio host Michael Savage just got blocked by Facebook for posting a true story about an illegal alien who committed murder in America.

• Emotions are used as weapons to manipulate the masses. For example, when the mom of a Benghazi victim shares her grief with the world, she is ridiculed and shamed. But when a radical Muslim father who’s trying to bring Sharia Law to America attacks Trump by expressing his loss of his soldier son, the media turns him into an instant celebrity, praising his “courageous voice” for daring to speak out. The media hypocrisy is enough to make you vomit…

What exactly is rigged?

• The entire mainstream media
• Google search engine and Google News
• Facebook and Twitter
• The DNC and the RNC (both 100% rigged by globalists)
• Every federal agency (EPA, FDA, etc.)
• The entire justice system (makes a total farce of real justice)
• Interest rates and the value of the money supply (central banksters)
• Academia (all public universities)
• EPA’s “safe” limits on pesticides (all rigged by Big Biotech)
• Food and food labeling (all run by corrupt food companies)
• Public education (rigged into Common Core anti-knowledge idiocy)
• Banking and finance (all controlled by globalists)
• Government economics figures and statistics
• Medicine and pharmaceuticals (rigged to maximize profits)
• Big Science (totally rigged by government agenda pushers)
• The music industry (most top singers can’t sing at all)
• Weapons manufacturers and war corporations
• The illegal drug trade (it’s run by the government)
• Political elections (all 100% rigged at the federal level)
• Political polls (now rigged by Reuters, too)
• The health insurance industry (rigged by Obamacare)
• College admissions (legally discriminates against Whites and Asians)
• 9/11 and domestic terrorism (all rigged “official stories”)
• Oil and energy industries
• The rule of law (rigged in favor of the rich and powerful)
• Infectious disease and the CDC (a constant stream of lies)
• Hollywood (all run by globalists)
• Climate change science (all a grand science hoax)
• Press release services (they only allow official narratives)
• History (what you are taught is mostly a lie)
• Government grants (only given out to those who further the agenda)
• Government bids (only awarded to those who kick back funds to corrupt officials)
• Consciousness and free will (we are all taught consciousness doesn’t exist)
• Ethnobotany (medicinal and spiritual use of healing plants)
• Life on other plants (the obvious truth is kept from us all)
• The origin of the universe (the official narrative is a laughable fairy tale)

As a fantastic example of how everything is rigged, consider these paragraphs from this Breitbart.com news story published today:

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

America’s transformation into Communist China is nearly complete

If you’re pondering where all this is headed, look no further than Communist China, where all independent news has been outlawed by the state. Political prisoners across China have their organs harvested to enrich black market organ traders, and nearly one out of every three urban citizens is a secret spy who snitches on friends for the totalitarian communist government.

Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of Communist Chinese totalitarianism. She’s such a perfect fit for their disastrous model of human rights abuses, government corruption and systemic criminality that I’m surprised she doesn’t live in Beijing. If Clinton gets elected, America is gone forever, replaced by a criminal regime of totalitarians who violate the RICO Act as a matter of policy.

If this entire rigged system of biased media, Facebook censorship, Google search result manipulations and twisted science ends up putting America’s most terrifying political criminal into the White House, it’s lights out for the American we once knew. Almost immediately, the nation fractures into near Civil War, with calls for secession growing unstoppable as state after state seeks to escape the political wrath of an insane regime of D.C. criminals and tyrants. #TEXIT

We now live in two Americas: Half the country is tired of everything being rigged, and the other half can’t wait to be exploited by yet another crooked leftist LIAR who rigs everything

America is now essentially two nations. On one hand, we have the pro-Trump America, filled with people who are tired of being cheated, censored, punished, stolen from and lied to about everything under the sun. Donald Trump supporters are people who realize everything is rigged… and they’re demanding an end to the corruption and criminality of the fascist system under which we all suffer today.

Hillary Clinton supporters are people who are too busy chasing political rainbows to realize everything is rigged. They still believe the lies and the propaganda (the “hope and change” that never came, but is still promised by empty politicians). They’re living in fairy tale delusional worlds that have been woven into their gullible minds by the skillful social engineers of the radical left. These people still think the government cares about them… or that CNN only reports truthful news. They can’t wait to see another globalist in the White House because they are pathetic, weak-minded empty shells of non-consciousness who are wholly incapable of thinking for themselves.

These two camps of Americans can no longer coexist. They have almost nothing in common when it comes to knowledge, wisdom, ethics, morals or philosophy. One camp believes in the rule of law (Trump); the other camp believes that people in power should be above the law (Clinton). One camp believes in states’ rights and individual liberty (Trump) while the other camp believes in the consolidation of totalitarian power in the hands of a centralized, domineering government (Clinton). One camp believes in a level playing field, free market competition and rewarding innovation and hard work (Trump), while the other camp believes in free handouts, government “equality” mandates, and the ludicrous idea that “there should be no winners or losers in society.” (Clinton)

In other to try to win this election, the Clinton camp has already rigged EVERYTHING from the very start, including the coronation of Hillary, the scheduling of televised debates to minimize their viewership, the surrender of Bernie Sanders to the DNC machine, the mass organization of illegal voting schemes to make sure illegal aliens vote in November, and so much more. No doubt they’re also working extremely hard to rig the black box voting machines all across the country.

If you’re tired of everything being rigged, this November vote against the rigged system by voting for Donald Trump. This is truly your last chance to save America from being overthrown by a totalitarian regime of criminals who will crush every last iota of freedom and liberty in America.

 

Cancer as a Metabolic Disease — A New Look at an Old Foe

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By Dr. Mercola

Each year during the anniversary week of Mercola.com, we recognize a Game Changer; someone whose work stands as a great service to humanity by making a significant contribution to improving people’s health.

This year, we present the Game Changer Award to Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D.,1 a professor of biology at Boston College and a leading expert and researcher in the field of cancer metabolism and nutritional ketosis.

His book, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease” is an important contribution to the field of how cancer starts and can be treated. Seyfried’s work is also heavily featured in Travis Christofferson’s excellent book, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer.”

Each day, some 1,600 people die from cancer in the United States alone. Worldwide, we’re looking at a death toll of about 21,000 people daily. So many of these deaths are unnecessary — they’re preventable and treatable.

Seyfried is one of the pioneers in the application of nutritional ketosis for cancer; a therapy that stems from the work of Dr. Otto Warburg, who was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant biochemists of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931 for the discovery of metabolism of malignant cells.

Warburg also held a doctorate in chemistry and was personal friends with Albert Einstein and many of the most prominent scientists of his time. His life’s mission was to find a cure for cancer, and he actually did. Unfortunately, few were able to appreciate the importance of his findings.

Seyfried has followed in Warburg’s scientific footsteps, and is conducting important research to advance this science. He has in fact exceeded Warburg’s initial supposition, shedding important light on the metabolic underpinnings of cancer.

Cancer as a Metabolic Disease

The traditionally held view or dogma is that cancer is a genetic disease, but what Warburg discovered is that cancer is really caused by a defect in the cellular energy metabolism of the cell, primarily related to the function of the mitochondria, which are the little power stations within each cell.

The mitochondria were not well understood in Warburg’s time but, today, we have a much better understanding of how they work. In my view, this information is the game changer that not only treats cancer but virtually every single disease known to man, because at the core of most serious ailments you find mitochondrial dysfunction.

As noted by Seyfried:

“A dogma is considered irrefutable truth, and that cancer is a genetic disease is, no question, a dogma. The problem with dogma is that sometimes it blinds you to alternative views and sets up ideologies that are extremely difficult to change.

All of the major college textbooks talk about cancer as a genetic disease. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) website, the first thing they say is cancer is a genetic disease caused by mutations … [and] if cancer is a genetic disease, everything flows from that concept.

It permeates the pharmaceutical industry, academic industry and textbook industry, the entire knowledge base. There’s very little discussion of alternative views to the genetic view. The argument now is that, yes, metabolic problems occur in cancer cells. No one denies that.

But these are all due to the genetic mutations. Therefore we must maintain ourselves on the established track that all of this metabolic stuff could be resolved if we just understood more about the genetic underpinning of the disease.

Now that would be well and good if it were true. But evidence is accumulating that the mutations we see that are the prime focus and the basis for the genetic theory are actually epiphenomenal.

They’re downstream effects of this disturbance in the metabolism that Warburg originally defined back in the 1920s and ’30s.”

 

How the Metabolic View Alters Cancer Treatment

As Seyfried notes, the problem today is not that scientists and doctors cannot understand the science; it’s that they cannot accept that this could be the truth behind the nature of the disease, because it changes how you approach treatment.

If defective mitochondria are responsible for the origin of cancer, and defective energy metabolism is responsible for the majority of the phenotypes, i.e., the observable characteristics of the disease that you see, then how do you treat the disease?

In my view, one of Seyfried’s most magnificent contributions to this science was his compilation of research from independent and well-respected scientists within various disciplines, who conducted valuable experiments but had no clue how to interpret the results.

Seyfried put all of their work together, forming a strong scientific foundation for the theory that cancer is indeed a metabolic disease, not a genetic one, and that genetic mutations are a downstream effect of defective energy metabolism in the mitochondria.

“Those nuclear transfer experiments were always present in the literature. They were considered anomalies. They were not consistent with the view that cancer is a nuclear genetic disease … but the observation was not interpreted in light of [being] the origin of cancer.

I bundled all those observations together in a new light, looking at the conclusions of those experiments in light of whether the results would support a nuclear gene-based theory versus a mitochondrial metabolic theory …

It was just interpreting a series of experiments in light of the origin of the disease, and then asking what conclusion would these experiments support. Would it support the nuclear genetic theory of cancer, or would it support the mitochondrial metabolic theory of cancer?

In each of these cases, the results more strongly supported the metabolic theory of cancer than the nuclear genetic theory,” Seyfried says.

 

What the Nuclear Transfer Experiments Showed

The nuclear transfer experiments in question basically involved transplanting the nuclei of a tumor cell into a healthy and normal cytoplasm (the material within a cell, excluding the cell nucleus), which include the mitochondria, the energy-generating organelle of the cell.

The hypothesis is that if cancer is nuclear-gene driven and the phenotype of cancer is dysregulated cell growth, meaning if genetic mutations are responsible for the observable characteristics of the disease, then those abnormal genes should be expressed in the new cytoplasm. But that’s not what happened.

Again and again, what was observed was that when the nuclei of a cancer cell were transferred into a healthy cytoplasm, the new cytoplasm did NOT form cancer. It remained healthy and normal.

“What was interesting is that in many of these nuclear transfer experiments, the organisms aborted at certain periods of development. That abortion seems to be related to how many mutations were in the nucleus that was transferred,” Seyfried says.

“It was true that these cancer nuclei did contain mutations, but those mutations were not causing the hallmark feature of the disease, that is proliferation. Rather, they were causing abortion at some developmental point of the organism that had those nuclei … On the other hand, when the normal nucleus was transferred back into a cancer cytoplasm [which had defective mitochondria], either the cell died or it formed tumor cells.”

Additional evidence has recently been produced by Benny Kaipparettu, Ph.D., and colleagues at Baylor University. When they transplanted normal mitochondria (with its nuclei intact) into cancer cell cytoplasm, it caused the cells to stop growing abnormally. It downregulated the oncogenes that were alleged to be driving the tumor and made the cells grow normally again.

On the other hand, when they took the mitochondria from a tumor cell and moved it into a very slow-growing type of cancer cell, the cancer cells began growing very rapidly. As noted by Seyfried, “When you bundle all these experiments together, you come to the conclusion that nuclear mutations cannot be the drivers of the disease.”

What About BRCA1 and Other Inherited Cancer Genes?

A common argument for the genetic theory is that cancer can be inherited; therefore it must have genetic underpinnings. Li-Fraumeni syndrome,2 which raises your risk of developing cancer at a very young age, and BRCA1, which raises your breast cancer risk are two examples.

“The answer is, yes, on the surface, that would appear to be true,” Seyfried says. “But as Warburg said, there are many secondary causes of cancer but there is only one primary cause, and that’s damage to the respiration. So inherited mutations through the germ lines that cause cancer to affect the mitochondria, it is [still] the mitochondria that is the origin of cancer.

It just so happens that the defect is coming from an inherited gene rather than a chemical carcinogen, radiation, viral infection or an infection of some parasite or whatever, all of which damage respiration; all of which can cause cancer.

Clearly the origin of the disease is a disturbance of the respiratory capacity of that cell which then, if the cell is to survive, must upregulate genes necessary for fermentation. Many of those genes are the so-called oncogenes. The oncogenes are simply fulfilling a rescue event of that cell to function in a fermentation metabolism rather than an oxidative metabolism. We can downregulate oncogenes simply by putting in new respiration.”

If genetic mutations are not the primary cause of cancer but rather a secondary, downstream effect of dysfunctional cell respiration, why and how do mutations occur? As explained by Seyfried, once the cells’ respiration is damaged, that damage then leads to a compensatory fermentation, which requires the upregulation of oncogenes (cancer genes).

Damaged respiration also produces large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals that damage DNA proteins and lipids (fats inside your cellular membranes). The ROS also cause mutations in the nuclear genome. So the mutations are the result of defective respiration and subsequent exaggerated ROS production.

Why the War on Cancer Has Not Yet Been Won

At present, the cancer industry is focusing on the downstream effects of the problem, which is why the “war on cancer” has been such a miserable failure.

“Personalized medicines, checkpoint inhibitors, all of these kinds of therapies are basically looking at downstream effects of the disease,” Seyfried says.

“Unfortunately, most of the cells in the tumor are all different from each other genetically. You’re not going to be able to target all of the different cells using these kinds of approaches. Even though you may get success for a few months, or even a year in some people, the majority of people will not respond effectively to these kinds of therapies for the most part.”

 

Why Being an Efficient Fat Burner Is so Important

The ROS also target the actual mitochondria themselves, where respiration occurs, which brings us to a very important point. ROS are mostly generated through the co-enzyme Q couple in the electron transport chain. Both glucose and fatty acids produce FADH2, which can generate ROS.

In contrast, fat-derived ketone bodies produce only NADH, which increases the redox span of the co-enzyme Q couple and reduces production of ROS. Hence, ketone bodies are considered a more “clean” fuel than is either glucose or fatty acids. Today, most people are burning glucose as their primary fuel, thanks to an overabundance of sugar and processed grains in the diet and a deficiency in healthy fats.

If you have less ROS being generated in the mitochondria, you end up with less mitochondrial damage and less DNA damage. So not only is switching the fuel you’re feeding your body the key component of cancer treatment, but in my view it’s the primary way that you prevent cancer from occurring in the first place.

“I think that’s an important point. One of the things that trigger cancer is inflammation. We have inflammation. Chronic high levels of blood sugar create inflammation. This you see in a lot of situations. Glucose itself is not carcinogenic, but elevated dysregulated glucose metabolism can lead to inflammation, and can cause a number of other disturbances in the overall metabolism of the body,” Seyfried says.

“If you fast, if you stop eating, your blood sugar goes down. Your insulin levels go down. The body starts to metabolize fat for energy. But the fatty acids themselves are only one component. The major components of course are the ketone bodies … They are water-soluble fat products. They readily enter cells and they’re metabolized to acetyl-CoA through a series of steps.

These steps generate nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), which is a reducing equivalent. But they also keep the coenzyme Q couple in an oxidized state. This is very important because it’s that coenzyme Q couple where ROS are in fact generated in the first place …

Ketones are clean fuel only in the sense that they suppress the formation of ROS, especially when blood sugar levels are low. Because if you have very high ketones AND high blood sugar, you have ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening event.”

 

Do Not Confuse Nutritional Ketosis With Ketoacidosis

Nutritional ketosis should NOT be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is not a concern unless you have type 1 diabetes. It’s rare for a person with normal physiology to elevate their ketones above 7 or 8 millimole (mmol). If you have DKA, your ketones will be about 20 mmol. Additionally, your blood sugars will be very high, while in nutritional ketosis blood sugars are very low. These are clearly two entirely different states.

And whereas ketoacidosis can be life threatening, nutritional ketosis is a healthy state that helps you maintain maximum energy efficiency and reduces ROS production in your body. As noted by Seyfried, “Mitochondria actually get very healthy when ketones are metabolized as opposed to some of the other fuels, especially glucose.”

For the last few decades, most natural health enthusiasts would attempt to circumvent the ROS challenge by taking antioxidants, either through foods high in polyphenols and other natural antioxidants, or supplements. I now believe this is a fatally flawed strategy that has significant drawbacks.

Rather than trying to quell the ROS after they’re produced, it’s far more effective to address the ROS generation at its source, which is the fuel your body is primarily burning for energy. Change the fuel, from sugar to fat, and you will generate fewer ROS.

Ketones Prevent Dysregulated ROS Production, Thereby Reducing Your Risk for Cancer

It’s not that ketones don’t generate any ROS, they do; just not as much. And this brings us to yet another crucial point. ROS are not merely agents of destruction; they’re also powerful signaling molecules. If you suppress them indiscriminately, you’ll create biological dysfunction.

So you do not want to eliminate them. You just want to control them to optimal levels so all the signaling can occur without damage. That’s what happens with ketones. When your body is burning ketones as its primary fuel, you more or less ensure that you’re in an ideal therapeutic window with regards to ROS generation, so you have neither too much nor too little ROS.

“There’s no question about that. It’s what we call a homeostatic state,” Seyfried notes.”Ketones prevent dysregulated ROS production … You’re allowing your body to remain healthier for a longer period of time. That’s basically what we’re doing here … Cancer is accelerated entropy. It’s a total disorganization of the homeostatic parameters within cells and outside the cells in the morphogenetic field and in the entire body itself.

Cancer patients have all kinds of disturbances in systemic homeostasis. It’s not just in the cells … When the body has cancer there are a number of ramifications that take place throughout the body. We’re producing more acidity. There are a lot of responses in the part of hormones and signaling cascades throughout the body as a result of this disease. One has to treat cancer as a systemic [disease]. The whole body has to be treated but in a non-toxic way.”

Indeed, toxicity is one of the biggest failures of current treatment protocols for cancer. The majority of treatments for cancer are extremely toxic, which further exacerbates the problem. Many cancer recurrences are likely due to the initial treatment. On the other hand, when you view cancer as a metabolic disease, you can target and manage the disease without creating systemic toxicity. As explained by Seyfried, you do this by targeting the fuels the cancer cells are using, primarily glucose and glutamine.

“What we have to recognize … is that if cancer is a mitochondrial metabolic disease and you get cancer because of mitochondrial failure in certain populations of cells and certain tissues, if you prevent your mitochondria from entering into this dysfunctional state … [then] the probability of getting cancer is going to be significantly reduced. To what percent? I would say a minimum of 80 percent. Cancer is probably, as I said in my book, one of the most manageable diseases that we know of …

The problem is that many people don’t want [to take the preventive steps to avoid cancer]. They’re like, ‘I have to therapeutically fast for a week? Oh, I’m not going to. Give me a break’ … An effective prevention is to eat less and move more. A lot of people don’t want to do that … Once you realize what cancer is, that it’s a metabolic disease, you can take charge of those kinds of things. In other words, getting cancer is not God’s will. It’s not bad luck.”

 

Most Disease Is Rooted in Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Cancer is not the only outcome when mitochondrial respiration goes awry. This kind of dysfunction also plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It’s also at play in seizure disorders, and in diabetes, obesity, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Most of the major diseases we’re currently treating with harsh and toxic drugs can potentially be solved with proper nutritional intervention that addresses your choice of cellular fuels.

How exactly do you do that? According to Seyfried, in order to achieve nutritional ketosis, you need to reduce net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) to less than 100 grams, probably less than 50 grams. I have a slightly different view on this, which I’ll expound on in the next section.

You also need to reduce your amino acid content. Glutamine is the most common amino acid in proteins, and besides glucose, cancer cells can use glutamine for energy and growth as well. The combination of both glucose and glutamine creates a really “supercharged system,” Seyfried notes.

In order to lower glutamine, you have to eat less protein. Also, there’s a threshold for amino acids, above which you will simply stimulate the mTOR pathway, which in conjunction with insulin may wield a more powerful influence on mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial biogenesis than insulin alone.

How to Assess the Health of Your Mitochondria

How can you assess the health of your mitochondria? There are a couple of ways of doing this. Seyfried has published a paper on the glucose ketone index calculator3 (GKIC) in an open access journal, which can be accessed by anyone. You can use that calculator to assess the health and vitality of your mitochondria.

The GKIC looks at your glucose to ketone ratio. Ketones must be measured by blood, not urine, and your glucose must be entered in mmol, not in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). “When you have a glucose ratio of 1.0 or below, you know your mitochondria are in a very healthy zone,” Seyfried says.

Now, getting down to a 1.0 is quite difficult. I’m typically between 2 and 3, and my diet is about 80 percent healthy fats with minimal net carbs. You may need to do a complete fast in order to get that low. However, you don’t need to remain in that ultra-low zone for very long. On the other hand, if you have cancer, you’ll want to hit that mark as much as possible.

“You do a water fast for about three to four days, then you can take some exogenous ketones, and you can get your blood sugars way down,” Seyfried says. “To prevent cancer, you don’t have to stay there [longer than] four or five days every six months or something like this. It’s just a guide,” Seyfried says.

“Some people can get into these zones very quickly and very easily. Other people really struggle. All of this is a biomarker gauge. We’ve done some interesting linear regression analysis on survivability of mice with cancer using the GKIs, the independent variable, the glucose-ketone index.

There definitely is statistical relationship on how long you can keep your GKI [and] how long you can survive with a very aggressive cancer. Clearly, it’s just one biomarker system that allows individuals to help battle their own cancer.”

 

Therapeutic Ketosis Made Simpler With a Nutrient Tracker

That strategy will likely be too extreme for most folks, unless you’re faced with death or otherwise highly motivated. Rather than doing lengthy water fasting, I believe a more user-friendly strategy would be to restrict your net carbs below 50 grams per day and your protein to below 1 gram per kilogram of lean body mass. Most people eat a lot more net carbs and protein than that.

To make sure you’re actually meeting these targets you need an analytical tool to do a detailed nutritional analysis of what you’re eating. Otherwise, you really don’t know how much fat, carbs and protein you’re getting. This was my motivation for working with the developer of www.Cronometer.com/mercola, an online nutrient tracker, to create a Mercola version of the software programmed specifically for nutritional ketosis.

You can sign up and use Cronometer.com/Mercola for free. This software will make all the calculations for you, based on the parameters you enter, such as your height, weight, body fat percentage and waist circumference. You can also enter and track various biomarkers, such as fasting glucose, which is an essential measurement.

You really must keep tabs on your fasting blood sugar. Ideally, you would measure it twice a day; first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. You want to get your blood sugar below 70 mg/dL, ideally somewhere around 60.

If your fasting blood sugar is significantly higher in the morning than in the afternoon, it’s likely due to glucogenesis, which is a sign you’re not getting enough protein. You need a certain amount of amino acids or else your body will start to metabolize lean body tissue to generate them. In that process, the excess gets shuttled to your liver, which is what generates the extra glucose (hence the elevated reading in the absence of food).

More Information

If you really want to dig deep into the details of therapeutic ketosis, read Seyfried’s book, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease.” If you want to start with a shorter treatise, you can read through his paper, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: Implications for Novel Therapeutics,” published in the journal Carcinogenesis in 2014, or his 2015 paper in the journal Frontiers, titled “Cancer as a Mitochondrial Metabolic Disease.”.4

Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to consider the nutritional roots of cancer and other chronic disease. I can promise you will hear a lot more about this in the months and years to come, as I am convinced addressing mitochondrial dysfunction is the real key to solving most of our current health problems. The good news is that optimizing mitochondrial function can be effectively accomplished through diet and lifestyle strategies like exercise. No costly drugs or invasive procedures required.

And, while we still have a long way to go, more doctors are starting to pay attention. “This is the tipping point,” Seyfried says. “Many physicians are coming on board. I think things are going to start changing for the best and for the success of people.”

Too many people have died and continue to die needlessly. It’s time to get back on the right track. It’s going to require a lot of education, but the effort is absolutely worth it. The information about how to prevent cancer and other chronic illness already exists. It’s just a matter of applying it.

You or Your Doctor Can See Dr Seyfried Live Next Month

Last but not least, if you want to learn more about cancer, be sure to attend the ACIM Conquering Cancer Conference in Orlando, September 22 through 24. Seyfried and I will both be there, along with a long list of other excellent speakers. There, you’ll learn more about how to implement a ketogenic diet and much more. I will also be speaking and attending the event and will share my absolute latest on how to use nutritional ketosis, many of which have never been previously presented.

Sources and References

 

Your Guide to Healing and Optimal Health

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By Dr. Mercola

Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to be sick than healthy these days. Nearly 70 percent of adults in the U.S. take at least one prescription drug for a chronic or other medical condition, with antibiotics, antidepressants and narcotic painkillers topping the list.

One in 5 deaths in the U.S. is linked to obesity, and diabetes has increased over 300 percent in just 15 years.1 All told, nearly one-third of Americans have either prediabetes or some form of diabetes,2 which predisposes them to a whole host of other serious health conditions and chronic diseases.

More than half a million Americans also die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.

Importantly, ALL of these conditions have been scientifically linked to poor lifestyle choices and alterations in the modern diet. So is there a way out of this proverbial mouse trap? I believe there is.

Your Body Is Designed for Effortless Healing

In the video above, originally aired on public television (PBS) last year, I highlight some of the foundational basics of effortless healing, which is also the name of my New York Times best selling book, published in 2015.

Effortless Healing” distills what I’ve learned and shared on this website over the past two decades down to nine simple principles that will help you optimize your weight and health — all by making small, gradual shifts in what you eat and how you live.

The video will only be available for viewing for the next seven days, so I recommend setting aside the time to watch it if you haven’t already done so. It’s also an excellent primer to share with your friends and family who may still be unfamiliar with nutritional healing.

In short, I’ve come to realize that good health is not as elusive as you might think, and strategies that are both simple and inexpensive (or free) can significantly improve your health status.

Contrary to the impression you get when listening to the drug advertisements on TV, your body is by nature designed to heal and repair itself and to actively prevent the onset of disease through built-in feedback systems. But in order for your body to function properly, it needs to be supported and nourished.

The simple truth is that most disease is rooted in poor nutrition and lack of physical movement. Drugs neither support nor nourish your body’s innate healing capabilities. Food and proper rest and movement, on the other hand, do.

Diet and Lifestyle Can Make or Break Your Health

Diets high in sugars, excessive amounts of low-quality protein and insufficient amounts of healthy fat, coupled with inactivity, promote a cascade of metabolic effects that lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, and THAT appears to be at the heart of most ailments.

Unfortunately, most physicians are taught very little about the use of food for healing in medical school, and many never take the time to learn even the most basic nutritional principles.

As a result, few conventional doctors have the prerequisite knowledge to guide you in nutritional healing. Many are outright suspicious about claims that foods can heal. Such suspicions are not based in reality of fact, however.

The medical literature is rife with evidence showing how food and physical activity influences health and longevity. There’s even a solid foundation of evidence showing your mind and outlook influence your health, for better or worse.

It’s easy to forget that our diet and lifestyles have changed dramatically over the last 100 years. Many have no recollection of or insight into how life was like back then and what people actually ate, and this is part of the problem.

It’s easy to think today’s health epidemics are due to some mysterious process, the root of which is largely unknown. This is simply untrue.

You could say the answer lies in the past, because in order to heal “effortlessly” and/or avoid illness altogether, you must acknowledge the fact that eating REAL FOOD (i.e. food that is as close to its natural identity or as unadulterated as possible) is a foundational necessity for health and disease prevention.

Is Your Diet Making You Sick?

One of the reasons why so many diseases are skyrocketing in prevalence is because we don’t eat enough real food. Most Americans eat a predominantly processed food diet, which virtually guarantees you’ll suffer health problems at some point.

Two of the primary culprits are sugar and trans fat. This includes all kinds of sugar but in particular refined sugar and processed fructose (HFCS) followed closely by refined grains, as these ingredients cause your insulin level to spike.

Insulin allows your cells to use sugar, but when you eat too much sugar your cells eventually become resistant to the insulin. You’re insulin resistant if your fasting insulin level is over 3 or 4, and insulin resistance can in turn lead to diabetes and a long list of related health problems and diseases.

When you’re insulin resistant, your body will also store rather than burn fat. As a result, it becomes exceedingly difficult for your body to use stored body fat for energy; hence, weight gain is typically associated with insulin resistance.

The good news is you can turn insulin resistance around fairly quickly and easily by eating real food and swapping out net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber) for healthy fats.

By driving down the sugar content of your diet and increasing the healthy fats, your body can begin to shift from burning sugar as its primary fuel to burning fat instead, and this has several health benefits.

Not only will it help you shed body fat, it also helps optimize your mitochondrial function and drives down inflammation, allowing your body to heal and regenerate.

Lack of Movement and Insufficient Sun Exposure Take Their Toll

Your body was also designed for more or less continuous movement. The habit of sitting for most of the day is an entirely new convention that was not part of life 100 years ago.

Indeed, studies show exercise can be as effective a treatment as many drugs, includingantidepressants and medications for prediabetes and heart disease. These diseases were quite rare in the past, and the reason for that is because they are primarily lifestyle-induced conditions.

More than 10,000 studies now show that prolonged sitting takes a devastating toll on your health.

It actively and independently promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including weight gain and type 2 diabetes, even if you exercise several times a week and are very fit. The sad truth is, you cannot offset eight to 10 hours of stillness with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, even if you exercise every single day.

Other healthy lifestyle components include getting sensible sun exposure and grounding to the Earth. These are lifestyle habits with potent health-promoting potential that cost little to nothing. The same can surely not be said for drugs and conventional medical treatments, so it seems foolish to forgo them.

Wellness Tips to Live By

Making a commitment to live healthier is an ongoing process. It’s virtually impossible to make all the needed changes in one fell swoop. The trick is to have a broad understanding of what “living healthy” entails, and then implement the necessary changes one-by-one. Two months ago, I published a Mid-Year Health Check article discussing some of these basic parameters. If you didn’t do it then, I encourage you to print out your Healthy Check List now and make a commitment to begin.

Once you get around to cleaning up your diet, read through my recently updated Nutrition Plan. It is set up to guide you in a step-by-step fashion, allowing you to incrementally improve your diet in such a way as to make it a lasting part of your lifestyle, as the guidelines I propose are not fads. They’re science-based recommendations that will help normalize your insulin and leptin sensitivity and optimize your mitochondrial function, which in turn will give you a better chance at living a long and healthy life.

Last but not least, Cronometer.com/Mercola, which is by far the best nutrient tracker on the market, is a phenomenally helpful tool if you’re serious about implementing a diet high in healthy fats and low in net carbs, as my version is specifically designed to help you achieve nutritional ketosis.

Selling Products I Trust

There are two basic ways to stay in business online when you’re providing information for free. One is to charge for advertising space, the other is to sell products. From the very beginning, I was intent on maintaining my freedom to educate you about the best, most valuable health information I could find. I didn’t want to be forced to shift my stance or sacrifice my principles based on the desires (or demands) of my advertisers.

As a result, I opted to sell products that I and my team have thoroughly vetted and tested. Today, I have an extensive online store where you can find an array of health products, including books, supplements, healthy snacks and foods, personal care products, pet items, fitness products and home/office and garden supplies.

These are what I personally use and recommend to my own friends and family. They’re products I trust, and those are the only ones I would ever consider promoting to others. Naturally, you are NEVER required to purchase anything. The information I provide on my website and through this newsletter is and will remain free for all.

This includes my Nutrition Plan and nutrient tracker, both of which are free of charge. Having access to free information is, I believe, more crucial today than ever, as there is so much industry-propagated misinformation floating about.

Take Control of Your Health and Healing

That said, it can be helpful to have the information gathered in one handy place, such as a book, and that’s precisely why I wrote “Effortless Healing.” While I’ve written extensively on all of the nine principles covered in this book, here they’re all put together in one comprehensive package — again with the aim of helping you implement these strategies one-by-one in a sensible fashion.

In honor of starting my website 19 years ago in the year 1997, I’m making my book and magazine available for the discounted price of $19.97. That’s a savings of over $18 and will only be available at that price for this week.

order now

 

Sources and References