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.

Top Environmental Risk Factors for Dementia Identified


By Dr. Mercola

“Dementia” is an umbrella term covering an array of neurological diseases and conditions that develop when neurons in your brain die or cease to function normally. The death or malfunction of neurons causes changes in memory, behavior and ability to think.

Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most serious form of dementia, eventually leads to the inability to carry out even the most basic of bodily functions, such as swallowing or walking. Alzheimer’s is ultimately fatal, as conventional treatment options are few and limited in effectiveness.

Disturbingly, Alzheimer’s has reached epidemic proportions, currently affecting an estimated 5.4 million Americans.1 In the next 20 years it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect 1 in 4 Americans, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes and by 2050, Alzheimer’s diagnoses are projected to triple.2,3

Already, more than half a million Americans die from the disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.4,5Considering there’s no known cure and so few treatments, prevention is key.

Top Environmental Risk Factors Identified

As with autism, it’s quite reasonable to suspect that a variety of factors are at play, collectively contributing to the rapid rise in Alzheimer’s prevalence.

Experts at the Edinburgh University’s Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre have now compiled a list of top environmental risk factors thought to be contributing to the epidemic.6,7,8 As reported by BBC News:9

“Dementia is known to be associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure in mid-life, smoking, diabetes, obesity, depression and low educational attainment, as well as genetic factors.

But the Edinburgh researchers said a third of dementia risk was unexplained, and they want to determine whether other issues are at play, including the environment.”

Not surprisingly (if you’ve been paying attention to the research), vitamin D deficiency, air pollution and occupational pesticide exposure top this list. Living close to power lines also has “limited yet robust” evidence suggesting it may influence your susceptibility to dementia.

All Forms of Air Pollution Raise Your Dementia Risk

The risk factor with the most robust body of research behind it is air pollution. In fact, they couldn’t find a single study that didn’t show a link between exposure to air pollution and dementia. Particulate matter, nitric oxides, ozone and carbon monoxide have all been linked to an increased risk.

Aside from raising your risk for dementia, a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report10 on environmentally related deaths claim that 1 in 4 deaths worldwide are now related to living and working in a toxic environment — with air pollution being the greatest contributor to this risk. As noted by WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan:

“A healthy environment underpins a healthy population. If countries do not take actions to make environments where people live and work healthy, millions will continue to become ill and die too young.”

During the World Health Assembly, held in May 2016, WHO vowed it “will propose a roadmap to increase the global response by the health sector to reduce the effects of air pollution.”

Pollution, Diabetes and Dementia

American researchers have also warned that exposure to air pollution for as little as one or two months may be enough to increase your risk of diabetes — especially if you’re obese.11

Diabetes, in turn, is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s, doubling your chances of contracting this devastating form of dementia. Alzheimer’s was even tentatively referred to as type 3 diabetes at one time.

Recent research has also confirmed that the greater an individual’s insulin resistance, the less sugar they have in key parts of their brain, and these areas typically correspond to the areas affected by Alzheimer’s.12,13

Needless to say, the most significant contributor to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is not pollution but rather your diet. More specifically, eating a diet that is excessively high in net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and too low in healthy fats, which I will discuss further below, can contribute to insulin resistance.

Sensible Sun Exposure Is Important for Brain Health

The Scottish Dementia Research Centre also noted there’s a very clear link between vitamin D deficiency and dementia. Indeed, studies have shown vitamin D plays a critical role in brain health, immune function, gene expression and inflammation — all of which influence Alzheimer’s.

In a 2014 study,14 considered to be the most robust study of its kind at the time, those who were severely deficient in vitamin D had a 125 percent higher risk of developing some form of dementia compared to those with normal levels. According to the authors:

“Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.”

The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) or 50 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). Please recognize that higher levels are associated with better brain health.

Based on a broader view of the available science, 20 ng/ml is still far too low, as the bulk of the research suggests a healthy range is between 40 to 60 ng/ml, certainly no lower than 40 ng/ml. Sadly, a vast majority of people are severely deficient, in large part because they’ve been fooled into fearing sun exposure.

Researchers have previously estimated that half of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. This suggests vitamin D may be a very important factor for successful prevention among the general population.

A wide variety of brain tissue contains vitamin D receptors, and when they’re activated by vitamin D, it facilitates nerve growth in your brain.

Researchers also believe that optimal vitamin D levels boost levels of important brain chemicals, and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.

Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which are well established.

Heart and Brain Health Are Closely Linked

It may be helpful to remember that Alzheimer’s shares many risk factors with heart disease.15 This includes smoking, alcohol use, diabetes, high fasting blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and obesity.16

Arterial stiffness (atherosclerosis) is associated with a hallmark process of Alzheimer’s, namely the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in your brain.

The American Heart Association (AHA) also warns there’s a strong association between hypertension and brain diseases such as vascular cognitive impairment (loss of brain function caused by impaired blood flow to your brain) and dementia.17

In one clinical trial, test subjects who consumed high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) developed higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease in just two weeks, demonstrating just how influential your diet can be on your heart and brain health in the long term.

Such findings dovetail nicely with the conclusions reached by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of “Grain Brain,” and “Brain Maker,” who has concluded that anything that promotes insulin resistance will ultimately also raise your risk of Alzheimer’s.

Exercise Is Important for Alzheimer’s Prevention

The good news is that lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and sleep can have a significant impact on your risk. As previously noted by Dr. Richard Lipton of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine — where they study healthy aging — lifestyle changes “look more promising than the drug studies so far” when it comes to addressing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.18

Exercise, for example, has been shown to protect your brain from Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and also improves quality of life if you’ve already been diagnosed.19 In one study,20 patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s who participated in a four-month-long supervised exercise program had significantly fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with the disease (especially mental speed and attention) than the non-exercising control group.

Other studies21 have shown that aerobic exercise helps reduce tau levels in the brain. (Brain lesions known as tau tangles form when the protein tau collapses into twisted strands that ends up killing your brain cells.) According to co-author Laura Baker:

“These findings are important because they strongly suggest a potent lifestyle intervention such as aerobic exercise can impact Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain. No currently approved medication can rival these effects.”

Cognitive function and memory22 can also be improved through regular exercise, and this effect is in part related to the effect exercise has on neurogenesis and the regrowth of brain cells. By targeting a gene pathway called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), exercise actually promotes brain cell growth and connectivity.

In one year-long study, elderly individuals who exercised grew and expanded their brain’s memory center by as much as 2 percent per year, where typically that center shrinks with age. It’s also been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,23 thus slowing the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.

Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research24 has shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less of this protein in their brains, and that cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s.

Eating for Brain Health

Reducing your net carbs and increasing healthy fat consumption are another important part of the equation, and my optimized nutrition plan can set you on the right path in that regard.

Research25 from the Mayo Clinic reveals that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia while high-fat diets are associated with a 44 percent reduced risk. Perlmutter places most of his patients on a ketogenic, high-fat and low-net-carb diet that is gluten-free, along with prescribed exercise.

One of the easiest ways to optimize your diet is to make sure you’re only eating real food. Avoid processed foods of all kinds, as they contain a number of ingredients harmful to your brain, including refined sugar, processed fructose, grains (particularly gluten), genetically engineered (GE) ingredients and pesticides like glyphosate (an herbicide thought to be worse than DDT, which has already been linked to Alzheimer’s). Opting for organic produce will help you avoid toxic pesticides.

Also choose organic grass-fed meats and animal products, as animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are routinely fed GE grains contaminated with pesticides, along with a variety of drugs. Some researchers have even suggested Alzheimer’s may be a slow-acting form of mad cow disease, acquired by eating contaminated meats. It’s a rather compelling theory, considering mad cow disease originated in the CAFO system, where herbivores are forced to eat animal parts.

To Protect Your Heart and Brain, Trade Sugar for Healthy Fats, and Other Helpful Tips

Ideally, keep your added sugar levels to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you already have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorders.

Healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, butter made from raw, grass-fed organic milk, organic pastured egg yolks, MCT oil, coconuts and coconut oil (coconut oil, and to an even greater degree MCT oil, show particular promise against Alzheimer’s) and raw nuts such as pecans and macadamia, both of which have a near-ideal ratio of protein and healthy fats.

Avoid all trans fats or hydrogenated fats that have been modified in such a way to extend their longevity on the grocery store shelf. This includes margarine, vegetable oils and various butter-like spreads. It’s also advisable to:

  • Avoid gluten. Research shows that your blood-brain barrier is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream where they sensitize your immune system and promote inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.
  • Optimize your gut health by avoiding processed foods, antibiotics and antibacterial products, fluoridated and chlorinated water and by regularly eating traditionally fermented and cultured foods, along with a high-quality probiotic if needed.
  • Optimize your vitamin D. This is ideally done through sensible sun exposure, but as a last resort, vitamin D3 supplements are better than nothing. Just make sure you also increase your intake of vitamin K2 if you take an oral vitamin D supplement. As for dosage, the “right” dose is one that will keep your blood level between 40 and 60 ng/ml.
  • Improve your magnesium levels. Not only does magnesium work in tandem with vitamin D and K2, preliminary research also suggests higher levels of magnesium in the brain help decrease Alzheimer symptoms. Magnesium threonate is one of the few magnesium supplements that appears to be able to actually cross the blood brain barrier, making it my first choice.
  • Increase your intake of animal-based omega-3. I prefer krill oil to fish oil here, as krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which appears to be particularly beneficial for brain health.

Other Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies

Besides exercise and the key dietary instructions just mentioned, the following suggestions may also be helpful for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease:


Ketones are mobilized when you replace nonfiber carbs with healthy fats. Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to jumpstart your body into remembering how to burn fat and repair the insulin/leptin resistance that is a primary contributing factor for Alzheimer’s.

A folate-rich diet

Vegetables are your best form of folate, and you’d be wise to eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.

If you enjoy black coffee, keep the habit

While I would not encourage you to drink coffee if you’re not already a coffee drinker, if you enjoy it, there’s good news. Caffeine triggers the release of BDNF that activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, thereby improving your brain health.

In one study, people with mild cognitive impairment whose blood levels of caffeine were higher (due to coffee consumption) were less likely to progress to full-blown dementia compared to those who did not drink coffee.26 In another study, older women whose coffee consumption was above average had a lower risk of dementia.27

Just make sure your coffee is organic, as coffee tends to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. For more details on making your coffee habit as healthy as possible, please see my previous article, “Black Coffee in the Morning May Provide Valuable Health Benefits.”

Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body

Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However, you really should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.

Avoid and eliminate aluminum from your body

Sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, non-stick cookware and vaccine adjuvants, just to mention some of the most common ones. For tips on how to detox aluminum, please see my article, “First Case Study to Show Direct Link between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity.”

Avoid flu vaccinations

Most flu vaccines contain both mercury and aluminum.

Avoid statins and anticholinergic drugs

Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence and certain narcotic pain relievers.

Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10, vitamin K2 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

Get plenty of restorative sleep

Sleep is necessary for maintaining metabolic homeostasis in your brain. Wakefulness is associated with mitochondrial stress; without sufficient sleep, neuron degeneration sets in. While sleep problems are common in Alzheimer’s patients, poor sleep may also be contributing to the disease by driving the buildup of amyloid plaques in your brain.

While you sleep, your brain flushes out waste materials, and if you don’t sleep well, this natural detoxification and clean-out process will be severely hampered.

Challenge your mind daily

Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sources and References

CoQ10 — A Nutritional Powerhouse for Mitochondrial Health


By Dr. Mercola

According to the industry publication New Hope,1 coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and the reduced version, ubiquinol, are among the most popular supplements for mitochondrial health.

Between 2000 and 2016, the number of Americans using CoQ10 increased from an estimated 2 million to 24 million, and the number of brands featuring CoQ10 has increased from 18 brands to 125.

This rapid growth suggests people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of mitochondrial health, which is really great news.

Ubiquinol plays an important role in the electron transport chain of your mitochondria, where it facilitates the conversion of energy substrates and oxygen into the biological energy needed by your cells for life, repair and regeneration.

It’s a fat-soluble antioxidant, meaning it works in the fat portions of your body, such as your cell membranes, where it mops up potentially harmful byproducts of metabolism known as reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Taking this supplement helps protect your mitochondrial membranes from oxidative damage, and this in turn has been shown to be helpful for a number of health conditions and chronic diseases.

This is to be expected, since many conditions, including heart disease and migraines — for which CoQ10 has been found beneficial — appear to be rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction.

Low CoQ10 levels have even been detected in people with certain types of cancer,2including lung, breast and pancreatic cancer, as well as melanoma metastasis, further strengthening the metabolic theory of cancer.

CoQ10 Versus Ubiquinol

Ubiquinol is the fully reduced version of CoQ10. It’s the same molecule, but when CoQ10 is reduced it takes on two electrons, which turns it into what we call ubiquinol.

In your body, this conversion occurs thousands of times every second inside your mitochondria — the “engine” of nearly every cell. The conversion of CoQ10 to ubiquinol is part of the process that allows your body to convert food into energy.

Ubiquinol is the only fat-soluble antioxidant that is actually generated within your body and does not need to be obtained from food. The downside is that by the time you hit your 30s, your body starts to produce less and less of it.

With age, many also start to lose their ability to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol, and this is why ubiquinol is typically recommended for older people while younger folk can do quite well by taking CoQ10.

Many Health Conditions Stand to Benefit From CoQ10

Researchers have identified a number of conditions and health concerns where CoQ10 or ubiquinol can be of great benefit, including the following:

Heart disease (ideally in combination with selenium) Migraines
Diabetes Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Chronic fatigue Autism spectrum disorder
Hypertension Heart transplant or chronic heart failure
Mitral valve prolapse (ideally in combination with magnesium) Arrhythmia

Ubiquinol is particularly important if you’re taking a statin, as these cholesterol-lowering drugs deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have serious consequences for your heart and other muscles.

Research has also shown CoQ10 can improve exercise performance, improving your overall energy status, peak power production and muscle recovery when taken in doses of 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) per day.3 World class athletes who need extra ATP turnover may go as high as 300 to 600 mg per day.

Heart-Healthy Benefits of CoQ10

CoQ10 is perhaps most well-known for supporting heart and cardiovascular health, as your heart is one of the most energy-hungry muscles in your body. Without sufficient energy, your heart will not be able to function properly.

Chronic nutrient deficiencies can lead to a number of heart problems, such as cardiomyopathy (a condition characterized by inflammation, loss of elasticity and enlargement of your heart), diastolic dysfunction, heart valve diseases, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and heart failure.

Besides CoQ10, other examples of nutrients that are important for heart health include (but are not limited to) B vitamins (including folate or B9 and B12), carnitine, taurine, magnesium, vitamin K2, vitamin D and animal-based omega-3. All of these play important roles in keeping your mitochondria working properly.

Since ubiquinol also acts as an antioxidant, part of its benefits can be attributed to its ability to quench inflammation. Two markers for inflammation are gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) — which is an early marker of heart failure — and NT-proBNP.

There is in fact an association between the levels of these two markers and ubiquinol. When ubiquinol is supplemented, both these markers go down and genes associated with them are downregulated, thereby lowering your risk for heart problems and other conditions rooted in chronic inflammation.

Beware, Statins Compromise Your Heart and Health in Many Ways

At present, at least 1 in 4 American adults over the age of 40 are taking a statin — ostensibly to protect their heart health.

Unfortunately, these drugs deplete, inhibit or interfere with a number of really important heart nutrients, including CoQ10,4 vitamin K2 and glutathione peroxidase (a selenium-containing protein), which helps explain why statins may actually increase your risk of heart failure.

If you’re on a statin, it’s really important to make sure you’re supplementing with ubiquinol and keeping an eye on your vitamin K2 and selenium intake.

Moreover, statin drugs also diminish your liver’s ability to produce ketones, because the enzyme that produces ketones is the same enzyme that produces cholesterol, namely HMG-CoA reductase.

This is the enzyme inhibited by statin drugs. This means that, in addition to lowering your cholesterol, the drug also compromises your body’s ability to benefit from a healthy and cleaner-burning fuel (fat).

As a result, your ability to optimally metabolize fat can become severely compromised and this too will have cardiovascular consequences, since depriving your cardiac tissue of fuel will impair your heart health.

So, if you’re on a statin, even if you’re taking vitamin K2 and ubiquinol you still have to address the fact that you cannot make ketones.

CoQ10 + Selenium = A Winning Combo for Heart Health

Recent research found that taking CoQ10 in combination with selenium improves heart function and cuts cardiovascular mortality by nearly 50 percent in elderly people. The study in question used 200 mg of CoQ10 and 200 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per day.5

CoQ10 and selenium work in tandem to reduce oxidative stress, minimize mitochondrial damage and increase the generation of new mitochondria. While CoQ10 is known to do all of those things by itself, selenium helps your body produce and accumulate CoQ10, so it’s an important “booster” in that regard.

Animal studies have shown that selenium-deficiency reduces the animals’ ability to generate CoQ10 by as much as 33 percent.6 As noted by Life Extension:7

“It has now been shown that a vital selenocysteine-containing enzyme called thioredoxin reductase actively recycles exhausted CoQ10 (ubiquinone) molecules and turns them into active, oxidative stress-fighting ubiquinol molecules. In other words, selenium improves the efficacy of CoQ10.8

But just as we need ample selenium to produce and accumulate CoQ10, we also need ample CoQ10 to make the selenocysteine-containing enzymes.9 Thus, there appears to be an important reciprocal relationship between CoQ10 and selenium.”


CoQ10 May Be Important for Migraine and Dementia Prevention and Treatment

CoQ10 also shows significant promise in the treatment of migraines — a debilitating kind of head pain that strikes approximately 38 million Americans10 and 1 billion people worldwide.11 While migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world,12 researchers have long struggled to identify their cause.

In more recent years, scientists have started leaning toward migraines being a mitochondrial disorder, and studies suggest certain nutritional deficiencies may play a significant role. CoQ10 is on this list. Vitamin D is another important one, and both are important for mitochondrial function and health. In one recent study, a high percentage of children, teens and young adults who struggled with migraines were found to have mild CoQ10, vitamin D and riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiencies.13,14

Interestingly, girls were more likely to be deficient in CoQ10, whereas boys were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. These and similar findings lend support to the theory that migraines are in fact a mitochondrial disorder.15 Other studies showing the link between CoQ10 and migraines include the following:

  • In 2005, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial found that those who took 100 mg of CoQ10 three times a day (for a total of 300 mg per day) had 48 percent fewer migraines after three months. The placebo group only had 14 percent fewer migraines.16
  • Another early study found that pediatric and adolescent patients with low CoQ10 levels who received 1 to 3 mg of CoQ10 per kilo (2.2 pounds) of body weight had a nearly 50 percent reduction in migraines.17
  • A 2011 study found that taking 100 mg of CoQ10 for about 7 months reduced migraine frequency, severity and duration compared to placebo. Beneficial effects were noticeable after the first month of supplementation.18
  • More recently, a 2015 study using a commercial formula containing 150 mg of CoQ10 in combination with 400 mg of riboflavin (B2), 600 mg of magnesium and other nutrients, found it decreased migraine frequency by about 50 percent and significantly reduced intensity, compared to placebo.19

Studies also suggest CoQ10 can be helpful for other brain-related disorders beyond the treatment of migraines. For example, research published in 2014 found that people with the highest CoQ10 levels had a 77 percent lower risk of dementia than those with the lowest levels.20,21

How to Regenerate CoQ10 Naturally

Recent research shows you can improve your body’s conversion of CoQ10 to ubiquinol by eating lots of chlorophyll-rich vegetables in combination with sun exposure. Once chlorophyll is consumed it gets transported into your blood. Then, when you expose significant amounts of skin to sunshine, that chlorophyll absorbs the solar radiation and facilitates the conversion of CoQ10 to ubiquinol.

You can also improve absorption of CoQ10 from food or supplements by taking it with a small amount of healthy fat, such as some olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil or avocado. Foods particularly rich in CoQ10 include:22

Grass-fed beef Herring Organic pastured chicken
Sesame seeds Broccoli Cauliflower

Suggested Dosing Recommendations

General dosing recommendations vary from 100 to 600 mg per day, and as a general rule, the sicker you are, the more you need. A good place to start is to begin by taking 200 to 300 mg of CoQ10 or ubiquinol per day. Within three weeks your plasma levels will typically plateau to its optimum level.

After that, you can go down to a 100 mg/day maintenance dose. This is typically sufficient for healthy people. Splitting your dose up so that you take it two or three times a day (rather than taking it all at once) will result in higher blood levels.

If you have an active lifestyle, exercise a lot, struggle with a chronic health condition or are under a lot of stress, you may want to increase your dose to 200 to 300 mg/day. Remember, if you’re on a statin drug you MUST take at least 100 to 200 mg of ubiquinol or CoQ10 per day, or more. To address heart failure and/or other significant heart problems you may need around 350 mg per day or more.

Ideally, you’ll want to work with your physician to determine your ideal dose. Your doctor can do a blood test to measure your CoQ10 levels, which would tell you whether your dose is high enough to keep you within a healthy range. Also keep in mind that CoQ10 supplements can interact with certain drugs, including beta-blockers, certain antidepressants and chemotherapy drugs, so be sure to consult with your doctor if you’re on medication.

Sources and References


Natural remedies for kidney stones


by Rebecca Jacobs

kidney-stone(NaturalHealth365) 1 in 10 Americans will have a kidney stone during their lifetime, and there are nearly half a million people going to the emergency room – due to kidney stones – each year! With more than 10% of the American population suffering from these painful stones it’s important to understand how to prevent these from happening in the first place, and the answers may be simpler than you think.

Is the ‘standard American diet (SAD) the cause of kidney stones?  It’s hard not to acknowledge the fact that the foods found in the SAD diet are a contributing factor to a massive decline in the health of Americans today. Which brings us to the $64,000 question: Is there a link between this way of eating and kidney stones?

What we do know is that diet plays a key role in how high your risk is for developing these stones and that these stones are developed when your body is not able to process toxins efficiently. Diets high in sodium, processed sugars, and processed animal products are a recipe for kidney stones, and certainly do not help with your kidney’s ability to detoxify.

Simply put, bad food choices are a primary reason for the develop of kidney stones.

Did your doctor talk about these natural ways to eliminate kidney stones?

The truth of the matter is this. How often have you been to the doctor and natural remedies are not brought up, not even once? The thing is that natural remedies are often overlooked in the medical field, but there are a handful of natural remedies that work wonders on kidney stones, and helping to prevent them.

These methods are safe, effective, and easily accessible and will help to alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with these stubborn little stones and break them apart before they become a massive problem.

Pomegranate juice is one of the most effective remedies for kidney stones

Who would have thought that this delicious juice was such an effective remedy for kidney stones? If you love pomegranates, then this is excellent news. The kidney stone benefits that come with this juice is thought to be related to the sourness and astringent properties, just be sure to choose organic when you decide to pick up some pomegranate juice at your health food store.

Try making a smoothie with a pomegranate juice base for a kidney stone busting recipe.

Dandelion root: Excellent kidney tonic and overall kidney cleanser

Using organic dandelion root in your attempt to reduce or prevent kidney stones is an excellent natural remedy. Dandelion root comes in extract form as well as tea, tablet, and capsule form.

As a reminder always check with your physician before supplementing with any herbal remedies to be sure it’s a safe option for you.

Is magnesium a hidden kidney stone remedy?

Magnesium is needed for nearly every process in the body and studies have shown that magnesium may be a useful remedy for kidney stones as well. In fact, one particular study found that magnesium supplementation caused a 92.3% improvement rate in the reduction of kidney stones!

Basil is one of nature’s finest kidney toners

Basil serves as an excellent all natural way to cleanse the kidney. Basil tea, in particular, has been shown to be an excellent kidney toner for overall kidney health. If you need a kidney cleanse, try one teaspoon of basil juice with raw honey to help clear kidney stones.

Chanca pierda has been shown to inhibit calcium oxalate crystals

If you’ve never heard of this medicinal plant, it’s likely because it’s not as commonly talked about as some of the other kidney stone remedies, but it certainly holds some powerful benefits. Chanca pierda has been used for many years in Central and South America as a treatment for kidney stones, and its common name literally translates to “stone breaker.”

This medicinal herb has been found to inhibit the formation of the calcium oxalate crystals, and there is a possibility that this herb may be able to help break up already existing stones.

Dr. Edward Group offers some great advice about natural ways to eliminate kidney stones – check it out:



Mustard Greens and Seeds Offer Potent Health Benefits


By Dr. Mercola

Eating plenty of vegetables can help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. For example, one 2010 study found that eating just one extra serving of leafy greens a day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.1

Fresh vegetables are a nutritional cornerstone, as most are very low in calories and net carbs while being high in beneficial fiber,2 vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also contain a wide variety of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds.

Phytochemicals found in plants have potent anti-inflammatory capacity and some even help in the elimination of carcinogens. Other plant chemicals regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, remove old cells and maintain DNA.

Leafy greens, thanks to their high fiber content, also activate a gene called T-bet, which is essential for producing vital immune cells in the lining of your digestive tract.3

These immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), help maintain balance between immunity and inflammation in your body and produce interleukin-22 (IL-22), a hormone that helps protect your body from pathogenic bacteria.

ILCs even help resolve cancerous lesions and prevent the development of bowel cancers and other inflammatory diseases.

For Better Health, Eat More Veggies

Studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have:

Lower risks of high blood pressure and stroke Lower risks of certain types of cancer Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss
Higher scores on cognitive tests Higher antioxidant levels Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress
Lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease4 Lower risk for eye diseases Fewer digestive problems

That said, some veggies are more beneficial than others. Kale, for example, has gained vegetable VIP status, in large part thanks to its 3-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. This is an exceptionally high amount of protein for any vegetable, resulting in kale being viewed as “vegetarian beef.”

Like meat, kale contains all nine essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within the human body, plus nine other non-essential ones for a total of 18.

Unlike meat it does not have these amino acids in a high concentration. This makes it far more difficult to consume excess protein, which we know can activate mTOR and accelerate aging and chronic degenerative diseases. It also contains more omega-3than omega-6, which is almost unheard of in nature.

Mustard — The New ‘King of Greens’?

More recently, mustard greens (of which there are several popular varieties5,6) have been gaining in favor. Mustard is a relative of cabbage, broccoli and radishes.

Like kale and collard greens, steamed mustard greens have potent cholesterol-lowering ability, courtesy of its ability to bind bile acids. Bile acids are composed of cholesterol, so this binding activity helps reduce your cholesterol level by boosting excretion.

Mustard Greens’ Claim to Fame: Cancer Protection

Mustard greens are also high in glucosinolate, a plant chemical that your body converts into isothiocyanates (ITCs), which have anti-cancer properties. In fact, studies suggest cancer protection is a primary benefit of mustard greens. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods:7

“All cruciferous vegetables have long been known to contain glucosinolates, but it’s recent research that’s made us realize how valuable mustard greens are in this regard.

The cancer protection we get from mustard greens may be largely related to two special glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: sinigrin and gluconasturtiian.

Sinigrin can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC) and gluconasturtiian can be converted into phenethyl-isothiocyanate (PEITC). Both AITC and PEITC have well-documented cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory properties.”

In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, mustard greens also help protect against cancer by supporting your body’s detoxification systems.8 Some of the nutrients in mustard help boost phase 1 detoxification while sulfur-containing compounds aid phase 2 detoxification.

Nutritional Information

Steamed mustard greens also have an impressive nutritional profile, providing a whopping 922 percent of your RDI for vitamin K, 96 percent of your vitamin A, and 47 percent of your vitamin C per cup (140 grams). Mustard also contain a number of valuable antioxidant compounds, such as:

  • Hydroxycinnamic acid, shown to inhibit human lung adenocarcinoma cells and effectively combating multiple-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It also has antimalarial activity9 and much more
  • Quercetin, an important free radical fighter10
  • Isorhamnetin, shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in certain cancer cells. It may also have particular benefits for inflammatory skin conditions11
  • Kaempferol, which has hypoglycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cardioprotective and neuroprotective effects, and more.12

Ideally, you’ll want to incorporate 1.5 cups of mustard greens into your meals at least two to three times per week. An even better goal would be 2 cups, four to five times a week, although you could mix it up by including other cruciferous veggies as well.

Mustard Seeds Have Medicinal Qualities Too

Every part of the mustard plant can be used, including the roots, seeds and leaves. The seeds in particular have a long history of use in Chinese medicine.

Abscesses, bronchitis, asthma, colds, rheumatism, toothaches, aches and pains, bladder inflammation, ulcers and various gastrointestinal ailments are among the many historical uses of mustard seed, often in the form of a mustard plaster or poultice, which is applied topically.13,14

Historically, mustard was also used in baths to alleviate inflammation, as it helps increase blood flow.

Mustard seeds — which are commonly used to make the condiment you recognize as “mustard” — are a good source of phosphorous, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and manganese.

Gwen Stewart, author of “The Healing Garden,” provides a couple of recipes for making your own mustard condiment in this referenced article.15 I’ve also provided a recipe below.

The seeds can also be sprouted. For instructions, check out SproutPeople.org’s growing instructions for mustard seeds.16 Tips for growing mustard plants are provided by Mother Earth Living.17

A note of caution: Some states view mustard as an invasive weed and have imposed restrictions on where and how you’re allowed to grow it, so be sure to check with your County Extension agent to find out if any restrictions apply before you plant them in your garden.

How to Make Your Own Mustard From Scratch

Here’s a basic mustard recipe by Paleo Leap,18 which can be tweaked based on your own taste preferences by adding other seasonings and herbs to it.

Basic Mustard Recipe

1/2 cup mustard powder

1/2 cup water

Sea salt to taste

Optional: fresh parsley, chopped

Optional: fresh basil, chopped

Optional: lemon or lime zest

Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons of your choice of vinegar

In a bowl, combine mustard powder and water and mix until smooth. Add parsley, basil, lemon or lime zest and/or vinegar, if using. Let the mustard rest for 15 minutes before using.

You can also find a whole-grain mustard recipe on the Paleo Leap website,19 which uses yellow and brown whole mustard seeds instead of mustard powder. It’s a bit more involved, as the whole seeds need to be soaked overnight before you can use them. You also need a food processor to turn it into a paste.

Boost Nutritional Value Through Fermentation

Inflammation from bacterial endotoxins may be a factor helping to drive the obesity epidemic. Sugar and processed foods can quickly make the “friendly” microbe community in your gut unfriendly — even downright hostile. When dysbiosis occurs, bacteria release noxious byproducts called endotoxins. Endotoxins increase the permeability of your gut wall (leaky gut syndrome) and make their way into your bloodstream, triggering system wide inflammation.

To counter or prevent this chain of events you need to avoid sugary foods and regularly reseed your gut with healthy bacteria, and one of the best ways to do that is to eat fermented vegetables. In addition to helping break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of other important functions as well, including:

  • Mineral absorption, and producing nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2 (vitamin K2 and vitamin D are necessary for integrating calcium into your bones and keeping it out of your arteries, thereby reducing your risk for coronary artery disease and stroke)
  • Preventing obesity and diabetes, and regulating dietary fat absorption
  • Lowering your risk for cancer
  • Improving your mood and mental health

Like most other vegetables, you can easily ferment or pickle mustard greens at home. C?iChua is Vietnamese pickled mustard greens. Its sour and spicy flavor works well with a variety of dishes. The following recipe is from GardenBetty.com. For step-by-step instructions, please see the original article:20

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens

2 1/2 pounds of mustard greens

4 stalks green onions

1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt

4 Thai bird’s eye chiles (or 2 serrano peppers)

(Optional brine)

2 cups water

1 tablespoon pickling salt

Have You Tried Mustard Greens Yet?

Mustard greens and sprouted mustard seeds can be eaten in a number of ways. Simply toss them into your salad, or add as a steamed or sautéed side dish, for example. Most of the mustard used for greens are the brown-seeded variety, which is spicier and zestier than some of the others.

Sautéing, braising or steaming the leaves will cut some of the bitterness. The sprouts can also be mixed into smoothies. For a slow-cooked Indian-style Sarson ka Saag (pureed greens) dish, see MyHeartBeets.com.21 Many other recipes can be found online as well.

Sources and References

How to Nourish Your Gut with Food

Note: this is an except form the book, Effortless Healing“, page 164, by Dr. Joseph Mercola. I recommend you get a copy!

How to Get Your Gut Flora Back in Balance

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Consistently reseeding your gut with healthy bacteria may be crucial for help in the prevention of virtually all disease, as well as from coughs, colds, and flus; autoimmune disorders, psychiatric disturbances, and even cancer. The good news is that improving the health of your digestive system is a simple, straight forward process of achieving the right balance of good and bad gut bacteria. It’s a matter of moving the right bacteria, in the right amounts, into permanent residence in your digestive tract.  And doing that is very nearly effortless, you avoid sugars,chlorinated water, and processed foods, and you eat more fermented foods.  In addition to being delicious, fermented foods have the added benefit of being powerful healers, that you can create on your own with minimal investment and energy.

Simply eating more fermented foods is the best way to optimize your digestive health. Be sure to eat the traditionally made unpasteurized versions.  Healthy choices include fermented shredded vegetables and fermented unpasteurized dairy like yogurt and kefir. Ideally you would make your yogurt or kefir yourself as most commercial versions are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors and sweeteners and low in beneficial bacteria.

Environmental Signs Suggest Atrazine Is Becoming a Serious Health Threat


By Dr. Mercola

Atrazine, which was approved for use in 1958, is the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. More than 73 million pounds of it are applied to golf courses, lawns and food crops each year.1 As just one example of its prevalence, as much as 80 percent of all the herbicides used in Vermont are atrazine-based.

Meanwhile, Europe banned atrazine in 2005 due to suspected health concerns and environmental damage, including the high risk of water contamination.

Indeed, research clearly shows that atrazine has a potent “gender-bending” impact on marine life, including fish, alligators, turtles and frogs, and many scientists suspect it may be equally harmful for humans.

Most recently, testing reveals a shocking 85 percent of male smallmouth bass in 19 American wildlife refuges, including the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge located near the U.S. and Canada border, are carrying eggs.

Gender-Bending Chemicals Are Turning Male Fish Into Females

In other words, a vast majority of the male fish are turning into females, and the primary culprits are estrogenic compounds such as those found in birth control pills, bisphenol A (BPA, a chemical used in plastic) and the herbicide atrazine.

Smallmouth bass are known to be very sensitive to pollutants, hence researchers use them as an “indicator species” when evaluating the ecological impact of environmental pollutants. In the case of water pollution with endocrine disrupting chemicals, the situation appears severe.

The lowest incidence of feminization or intersex in the wildlife refuges tested was 60 percent. The highest was 100.2

While some fish species are hermaphrodites, meaning they can change sex in order to protect the continuation of the species, non-hermaphroditic fish that turn into females do not contribute to species survival. On the contrary, it contributes to sterility.

By lowering immune function, this type of endocrine disruption also contributes to infections, diseases and die-offs. According to National Geographic:3

“Over the past decade, feminized male fish have been discovered in 37 species in lakes and rivers throughout North America, Europe and other parts of the world.

Experts say the new discovery in protected wildlife refuges is worrisome because it suggests that pollution may be even more pervasive than previously thought.

‘There are no truly untouched areas. I think the take away here is that everything we do, everything we use or put on the land, ends up in the water at some point,’ says Luke Iwanowicz, a U.S. Geological Survey fish researcher … who led the wildlife refuge study.”

Intersex prevalence among largemouth bass at these 19 sites were about 27 percent, and in previous testing done at eight U.S. river basins, including the Mississippi, Rio Grande and Columbia Rivers, about 33 percent of male smallmouth bass had changed gender.

Atrazine Is a Common Pollutant in Drinking Water

Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that in wildlife refuges, there are no identifiable sources of the contamination, which means the pollutants are spreading into the environment far more readily and/or in ways currently unknown.

This in turn raises serious questions about the extent of human exposure, and the potential effects of such exposure. As noted in the featured article:4

“Exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals in drinking water, food and household products have been linked to health problems in people too, including reduced fertility, developmental delays in children and some cancers.”

In fact, as far as pesticides go, atrazine is the one most commonly found pesticide in U.S. drinking water. In 2012, Syngenta AG and its U.S. subsidiary were ordered to pay $105 million to filter the chemical out of Midwestern community water treatment operations providing drinking water to 52 million Americans.5,6

The legal proceedings revealed that as many as 1 in 6 Americans were drinking atrazine-contaminated water. The $105 million settlement was really just a drop in the bucket when compared to the actual cost of filtering this chemical.

In 2010, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Stephen Tillery, said the 16 cities included in the original lawsuit had already spent about $350 million to filter it out. Since 2012, at least 1,085 other compensation claims over atrazine contamination have been filed against Syngenta, suggesting the problem is incredibly widespread.7

Atrazine Linked to Harm in Humans

The legal limit for atrazine in drinking water, set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is 3 parts per billion (ppb). This is the equivalent of three drops in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Syngenta and other atrazine proponents insist that atrazine is safe for the simple fact that it’s been used for over 50 years, but mounting research suggests otherwise. For example:

  • Research has linked atrazine exposure in utero to impaired sexual development in young boys, causing genital deformations, including microphallus (micropenis)
  • The evidence also suggests atrazine exposure may contribute to a number of different cancers, specifically ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hairy-cell leukemia and thyroid cancer8,9,10
  • Elevated concentrations of atrazine in drinking water have been associated with abdominal birth defects, including gastroschisis (in which the baby’s intestines stick outside of the baby’s body) and others
  • Animal research also suggests long-term exposure to atrazine may induce insulin resistance and weight gain by lowering energy metabolism11
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals like atrazine are also implicated in lowered fertility and infertility12

EPA’s New Risk Assessment Acknowledges Serious Hazards

On June 6, 2016, the EPA released a new risk assessment for atrazine.13 Its current view of the chemical suggests the agency might lower allowable levels and issue tighter regulatory limits on the chemical. There’s even the possibility of an eventual ban.

The risk assessment concluded the chemical may cause reproductive harm to mammals, fish and birds, with the level of concern surpassed nearly 200-fold using real-world scenarios for mammals. (An EPA “level of concern” describes the threshold above which a chemical may be expected to cause harm.)

For fish and birds, atrazine exceeded the level of concern by 62- and 22-fold, respectively. A number of organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association14 (OCA) and Beyond Pesticides,15 created petitions urging Americans to push for a complete ban on atrazine. As noted by Beyond Pesticides:

“In July, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that atrazine, its chemical cousins propazine and simazine, and its breakdown triazine compounds would be added to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity for purposes of the state’s Proposition 65. The evidence is clear. Atrazine harms wildlife, persists in soils and moves easily through waterways.”


Big Ag Fights to Keep Atrazine

The EPA’s public comment period ended on October 5. Time will tell whether the agency will take appropriate measures to protect environmental and human health from this pernicious endocrine disruptor. Not surprisingly, the pesticide and agriculture industries are up in arms over the EPA’s new assessment.

ChemChina, which has bid to acquire Syngenta, said the EPA’s report “contains numerous data and methodological errors and needs to be corrected.”16 The Iowa Corn Growers Association has also spoken out against the report, saying it would “effectively ban the product from most uses” if finalized as currently written. As noted by Journal Sentinel:17

“Farm groups, including the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, the Cooperative Network, Wisconsin Pork Association, Midwest Food Processors, the Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Soybean Association, have asked farmers to contact the EPA and urge the agency to reconsider its position …

‘For more than 50 years, atrazine has been a safe and effective crop protection tool to control the spread of resistant weeds and improve crop yields. … EPA’s action would drive up the cost of production to Wisconsin corn growers and would reduce our yields,’ said Casey Kelleher, president of the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.”


Harmful Toxin or Conservation Aid?

A ban on atrazine would be the BEST scenario for farmers and consumers alike, yet some farm groups have gone so far as to say the EPA’s plan to limit atrazine’s use would actually HARM the environment! According to Tom Liebe, president and CEO of Cooperative Network, an alliance of co-ops in Wisconsin and Minnesota:18

“Atrazine plays an important role in conservation tillage,19,20 a farming practice that reduces soil erosion and runoff. An atrazine ban would require more soil tillage to control profit-robbing weeds and will be a net-negative for the environment.”

Conservation tillage refers to the practice of applying atrazine to suppress or kill leftover vegetation in the field before the new planting season. The use of the chemical allows farmers to till the soil less, which reduces soil erosion and related problems. As explained by Penn State’s introduction to weed management for conservation tillage systems:21

“An important benefit of tillage is weed control. In conservation tillage agriculture, the grower relies on the same weed management practices as in more conventional tillage systems but eliminates most or all of the tillage operations. Therefore, in limited tillage systems, there is greater dependence on cultural and chemical control options …

Chemical weed control remains an important pest management tactic in reduced-tillage agriculture. Regardless of how effective cultural control strategies are, herbicides provide a way to manage weeds successfully with little or no tillage … Chemical approaches are based on timing of herbicide application and include burndown, soil residual, and postemergence treatments.”


True Regenerative Farming Is Non-Toxic

The idea that a toxin like atrazine would somehow be necessary for environmental conservation is ludicrous of course, and this is a perfect example of spinning a negative into a positive by appealing to people’s growing concern about the harm being done by conventional agriculture.

Some conventional farmers also worry that increased restrictions on atrazine might result in lower yields and loss of income at a time when crop prices are already at a record low. While financial concerns are valid, at some point the greater good really must come into the equation, and when it comes to atrazine, that time is now.

There are other, far safer ways to reduce soil erosion and chemical runoff than using atrazine. Besides chemical application, strategies that facilitate no-till farming include:22

  • Crop rotation
  • Pasture cropping
  • Use of livestock on the land
  • Mulching

Non-Toxic No-Till Can Work Just as Well

This lecture by Gabe Brown, who is an international leader in soil health and sustainable farming techniques, describes processes that help build healthy soils and the importance of no-till. By 2012, Brown’s family farm, which consists of 5,400 acres in North Dakota, had reduced its herbicide use by 75 percent.

His intention is to eliminate it entirely by introducing other weed control techniques. Importantly, from a financial perspective, by cutting input costs, Brown has decreased his production costs, which has resulted in higher profits.

How this was accomplished is described in the Brown’s Ranch no-till case study published by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service in October 2012.23 I’ve also interviewed Brown on his techniques, which you can read about in my previous article, “How to Regenerate Soil Using Cover Crops and Regenerative Land Management.”

The take-home message is that you do not need toxins to farm profitably. Atrazine, which like DDT and PCBs is chlorine-based, can persist in soil for 22 years!24 Considering the clear danger it poses to marine life, and the impact it might have on human health over time, it’s unconscionable to suggest atrazine is a farming necessity or a critical conservation aid. It is a toxic pollutant that threatens the entire food chain.

How to Protect Yourself From Atrazine and Other Pesticides

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75 percent of the U.S. population has detectable levels of pesticides in their urine, and unless you’re a farmer, your diet is one of the most likely routes of exposure, along with your drinking water.25

Eating organic is one of the best ways to lower your overall pesticide burden. The largest study26 of its kind found that people who “often or always” ate organic food had 65 percent lower levels of pesticide residues compared to those who ate the least amount of organic produce. Organic produce also had, on average, 180 times lower pesticide content than conventional produce.27

If you need to prioritize, refer to the Dirty Dozen list and buy organic as much as possible when you’re choosing foods that are listed as the most-contaminated. If you shop at farmers markets, which I strongly recommend, you can also ask the farmer directly about pesticide usage.

It’s possible to find produce that is not certified organic that may still have a lower pesticide burden than typical conventional produce depending on the farmer. So if you can’t find organic produce, look for a local farmer who has eliminated pesticide use (or uses a minimal amount of such chemicals).

Filtering Your Tap Water Is Important to Reduce Atrazine Exposure

As mentioned, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. water supplies, so I recommend filtering your tap water — both for drinking and bathing. To remove atrazine, make sure the filter is certified to remove it. Fortunately, since it is a relatively large organic molecule it is easily filtered by a quality carbon filter. As noted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):28

“Consumers should make sure that the filter they choose is certified by NSF International to meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard 53 for VOC (volatile organic compounds) reduction and therefore capable of significantly reducing many health-related contaminants, including atrazine and other pesticides.”

Finally, if you know you have been exposed to pesticides, eat fermented foods like kimchi. The lactic acid bacteria formed during the fermentation of kimchi may actually help your body break down pesticides. In addition, there is some evidence that the antioxidant lycopene, found in watermelon, tomatoes, red bell peppers and more, may protect against some of atrazine’s toxic effects.29

Sources and References

Blaming Donald Trump for the Inevitable Economic Collapse

Bulletin!!!        Bulletin!!!                Bulletin!!!

Though this is not health related.  I wanted to get this information to as many people as possible. Watch this video from Mike Adams, The Health Ranger.

At one level, many globalists actually want Donald Trump to be elected President so they can BLAME HIM for the economic collapse they’ve barely held back for eight years.


How First Lady’s Organic Garden Became a Junk Food Campaign


By Dr. Mercola

Mere months after President Obama came into office, first lady Michelle Obama launched an organic garden project at the White House, complete with a composting system and beehives. Early on she also helped establish a farmers market one block from the White House.

During a recent White House Kitchen Garden dedication ceremony, the first lady reminisced about those early days, saying:1

“… [W]e started thinking about the challenges that many families faced, so many other families were facing the same things that we were, trying to raise healthy kids.

And many of us didn’t understand the impact that the food we ate was having on our bodies, on our kids’ bodies, or how we felt. Like we just didn’t have the right information, or we didn’t have the time that we needed to buy and prepare healthy food for our families.

So I had this crazy idea that what if we planted a garden on the White House lawn to start a conversation about where our food comes from and how it impacts our children’s health.

Well, fast-forward to spring of 2009 — Barack actually won … and that’s when we decided to move forward on this idea of planting a garden.”


Who Shut Down the White House Promotion of Local Organics?

As Mrs. Obama mentions later on in her speech, many were opposed to the idea of an organic garden in the White House, and even more so to having a first lady focused on organic food and organic gardening as a source of health.

What she doesn’t mention is who exactly comprised the opposition. If you’re unfamiliar with this part of American history, it was primarily the agricultural and processed food industries raising a ruckus.

This was in response to her invitation to dialogue about the importance of healthy eating and her promotion of local and organic foods. In a March 2009 letter to President Obama, the Mid America CropLife Association wrote:2

“Fresh foods grown conventionally are wholesome and flavorful yet more economical. Local and conventional farming is not mutually exclusive.

If Americans were still required to farm to support their family’s basic food and fiber needs, would the U.S. have been leaders in the advancement of science, communication, education, medicine, transportation and the arts?”

In a Diane Rehm Show interview that same month, Bob Young, an economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation said:3

“We have no problem with this [organic] concept. But understand that you’re making lifestyle choices here about how you want your food produced. Fine. But don’t denigrate the other approaches to food production.”


Organics Branded as ‘Elitist’ in Effort to Subdue Popularity

Others called the idea of organic gardening “charming” but impractical, due to the seasonality of different food items. In 2012, a number of media articles suddenly cropped up, in which they referred to organics as an “elitist lifestyle choice.”

A spokesman for the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH) went so far as calling the Obamas “organic limousine liberals.”4 Clearly, it was a poorly shrouded effort to quell the rising tide of organic food enthusiasts.5

It was also quite clear that the White House organic garden was a point of contention, not because it was there, but because the first lady was implying that organic foods are healthier. A growing fear among food companies was that her enthusiasm might begin to color agricultural policy.

First Lady Pressured to Accept Benefits of Crop Protection Products

In May 2009, Tom Philpott wrote about how the Mid America CropLife Association stepped up its pressure on the first lady by urging its members to share the benefits of conventional agriculture with her through a letter writing campaign. According to Philpott, CropLife told its members:6

“What message does [a White House organic garden] send to the non-farming public about an important and integral part of growing safe and abundant crops to feed and clothe the world — crop protection products?

I hope that you will take a moment to consider how important that message is to your livelihood, your passion for agriculture, and your growers’ future — and send your own letter, sharing the benefits of modern, conventional agriculture.

Help allay any fears by providing a specific example of how what you do on a daily basis, including custom application and/or the sale of crop protection products and fertilizers, has saved a crop and/or improved yields to benefit more Americans.”

“Crop protection products” — that’s the industry’s term for what the rest of us call pesticides and toxic chemicals.7 According to the chemical industry, crops would suffer dramatic losses without these chemicals, and have positioned them as a farming necessity.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as you can grow healthy, thriving plants without any pesticides at all, provided you’re using appropriate support strategies. I’ve detailed many of these strategies in previous regenerative agriculture articles.

How Big Food Hijacked and Destroyed Obama’s Organic Campaign

In February 2010, Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign, which by then had turned into something quite different from her original stance, which had been focused on raising awareness about the impact of food on health and the importance of organics.

Instead, the “Let’s Move” campaign focused on “solving the challenge of childhood obesity” — primarily by getting kids to exercise more.

Riding on the coat tails of this public health campaign were messages promoting the ridiculous and clearly flawed “energy balance” model, promoted by the Global Energy Balance Network — an industry front group secretly funded by Coca-Cola.8

The aim of this group, which has since been disbanded,9 was to minimize and obfuscate the scientific evidence showing that sugar (and sweet beverages in particular) are a majorcontributor to obesity and diseases associated with insulin resistance, such as diabetes.

Arguing for more exercise is a good thing, but not when you’re placing the sole focus on exercise and making people think you can exercise your way out of a high-sugar diet. The fact is, your diet can make or break your exercise efforts. Not the other way around.

Food Industry Legislation Falls by the Wayside

The “Let’s Move” campaign also put an end to the first lady’s push for food industry legislation. As noted by Think Progress in 2013:10

“Let’s Move” has deliberately veered away from pushing actual legislation, instead focusing on personal responsibility in nutrition and fitness. That’s a very different approach than the one Mrs. Obama took during the inception of her fight against childhood obesity.

In 2010, the first lady gave a fiery speech at a Grocery Manufacturers Association [GMA] conference, arguing that changing personal habits won’t work if big companies like Kraft and General Mills continue to target children with misleading ads for sugary, fatty food:

‘This is a shared responsibility … And we need you not just to tweak around the edges, but to entirely rethink the products that you’re offering, the information that you provide about these products, and how you market those products to our children.

That starts with … ramping up your efforts to reformulate your products … so that they have less fat, salt, and sugar, and more of the nutrients that our kids need.

As a mom, I know it is my responsibility … ?to raise my kids. But what does it mean when so many parents are finding that their best efforts are undermined by an avalanche of advertisements aimed at their kids? And what are these ads teaching kids about food and nutrition? That it’s good to have salty, sugary food and snacks every day — ?breakfast, lunch and dinner?'”


Not Even an Organic-Friendly President Could Rein in Big Food

In a recent New York Times article,11 Michael Pollan expertly details the subversive influence of Big Food on Obama’s presidency. Our broken food system contributes to many of our most pressing problems, including but not limited to health care costs, energy dependence, greenhouse gas emissions, antibiotic resistance and food safety. Yet the power of Big Food, in large part due to the centralization and monopolization that has occurred, effectively blocks any and all attempts at positive change.

There can be no denying that our current food system is undermining public health and is a major contributor to environmental destruction and pollution, and while on the presidential campaign trail, Barrack Obama appeared very supportive of regenerative agriculture, and seemed in favor of agricultural reform.

“In ways small and large, Obama left the distinct impression during the campaign that he grasped the food movement’s critique of the food system and shared its aspirations for reforming it,” Pollan writes.

Obama promised to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), for example — a promise that was never fulfilled during his eight years in office. He also promised to address pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) by bringing them under the authority of the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts — another campaign promise left unfulfilled, and there’s reason to suspect that industry pressure was at play in both instances.

Obama’s Big Food Antitrust Initiative Went Nowhere

When Obama first took office, the new administration did launch an antitrust initiative, investigating potentially anticompetitive practices within several food sectors, including the poultry, dairy, cattle and seed industries.

“… [R]anchers and farmers testified to the abuses they suffered at the hands of the small number of companies to which they were forced to sell, often on unfavorable terms. In many regions … there were so few buyers for cattle that the big four meatpackers were able to dictate prices, impose unfair contracts and simply refuse to buy from ranchers who spoke out.

Chicken farmers testified about how they had been reduced to sharecroppers by the industry’s contract system. Companies like Tyson and Perdue make farmers sign contracts under which the companies supply the chicks and feed and then decide how much to pay for the finished chickens based on secret formulas; farmers who object or who refuse any processor demands … no longer receive chicks, effectively putting them out of business.”

After months of investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed new regulations to level the playing field for producers. The proposed rules specifically addressed legal recourse, making it easier for producers to sue packers for unfair practices.

Producers who complained or sued would also gain additional protection from retaliation under the new rules. The proposed legislation infuriated the meat industry, and after an intense lobbying campaign, the legislation was successfully squashed.

The antitrust initiative was also quietly dropped and never received any further attention, despite farmers’ testimonies clearly having established that anticompetitive behavior was commonplace. As noted by Pollan:

“Obama had launched the most serious government challenge to the power of Big Food since Teddy Roosevelt went after the Meat Trust a century ago, but in the face of opposition it simply evaporated.”


The Four Horsemen of Agriculture Atrocities

How is it that an industry can so easily get even the highest office in the nation to back down when faced with such a clear pattern of malfeasance and wrongdoing? According to Pollan:

“In order to follow the eight-year drama starring Big Food and both Obamas … it’s important to know what Big Food is. Simply put, it is the $1.5 trillion industry that grows, rears, slaughters, processes, imports, packages and retails most of the food Americans eat.”

The four proverbial horsemen that make up our food system are:

  1. Industrial agriculture or “Big Ag”: growers of commodity crops, plus seed and chemical companies
  2. CAFOs
  3. Food processors
  4. Food retailers and fast food franchises

As noted by Pollan:

“Each of these sectors is dominated by a remarkably small number of gigantic firms. According to one traditional yardstick, an industry is deemed excessively concentrated when the top four companies in it control more than 40 percent of the market.

In the case of food and agriculture, that percentage is exceeded in beef slaughter (82 percent of steers and heifers), chicken processing (53 percent), corn and soy processing (roughly 85 percent), pesticides (62 percent) and seeds (58 percent). Bayer’s planned acquisition of Monsanto promises to increase concentration in both the seed and agrochemical markets.”

Not only do all of these industry sectors have powerful lobbying organizations working on their behalf, they also have a large number offront groups secretly pushing the industry’s agenda under various other guises. And, while these industries are sometimes at loggerheads, they all have one common enemy: The local and organic food movement.

One of the primary reasons why change is so difficult is because when these “four horsemen of agriculture” join forces, they form one formidable entity — one that Pollan refers to as “Big Food.” The local and organic food movements, on the other hand, are nowhere near as powerful or organized. As noted by Pollan:

“Whenever the Obamas seriously poked at Big Food, they were quickly outlobbied and outgunned. Why? Because the food movement still barely exists as a political force in Washington. It doesn’t yet have the organization or the troops to light up a White House or congressional switchboard when one of its issues is at stake.”


How Big Food Undermined First Lady’s Efforts to Clean Up Food Marketing to Kids

Pollan mentions Scott Faber, who in 2010 — at the time of Mrs. Obama’s impassioned GMA speech in which she in no uncertain terms implored the food industry to clean up its act to protect children’s health — was the chief lobbyist for the GMA. In a shocking twist, earlier this year Faber was hired by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to represent the organic industry during closed doors negotiations with Congress to undermine the GMO labeling effort.12

“The obesity epidemic ‘had put a bull’s-eye on the food industry’s back,’ Faber explained. Here was a chance to remove it, with the first lady’s help,” Pollan writes.

“[T]he industry adopted a clever two-track strategy to deal with the challenge laid down by the first lady. On a very public track, industry leaders engaged the foundation that she formed, the Partnership for a Healthier America, in negotiating a series of private-sector partnerships — a series of voluntary efforts that the industry hoped would help avert new regulations …

Supermarket retailers pledged to promote more healthful foods in their stores, like fresh produce … Food makers pledged to reduce harmful ingredients in processed food, like salt and sugar, while boosting healthy ingredients, like whole grains …

Michelle Obama has celebrated these partnerships as significant achievements, but do they match the ambitions of her 2010 speech, with its call for industry to do more than “tweak around the edges” and instead to “entirely rethink the products you’re offering”? …

[M]aking junk food incrementally less junky is a dubious achievement at best. It tends to obscure the more important distinction between processed food of any kind and whole foods.  What began as a cultural conversation about gardens and farmers markets and real food became a conversation about improved packaged foods, a shift in emphasis that surely served the interests of Big Food.

While it can be argued that this was simply a concession to reality — because most Americans eat processed foods most of the time — to give up on real food so fast was to give up a lot.”


Scott Faber Takes Pride in Efforts That Destroy Children’s Health

Big Food even derailed Mrs. Obama’s efforts to implement voluntary guidelines for marketing foods to children, and Farber was instrumental in this industry coup as well. The guidelines, which set standards for salt, sugar and fat in processed foods marketed to kids, were “a turning point” for the food industry,

Faber told Pollan, because even though they were voluntary, they could potentially give certain popular kid foods a bad rap. The GMA decided to face the administration head on — and won without so much as a fight.

“Faber … told me he was ‘frankly surprised the administration never came back with a revised set of guidelines.’ Evidently the White House had lost its stomach for this particular fight. That wasn’t the only one, either. In the years after, Big Food scored a series of victories over even the most reasonable attempts to rein in its excesses.” 

Those successes include but are not limited to:

  • Preventing CAFOs from being regulated like other polluting industries
  • Preventing antibiotics from being regulated out of agriculture
  • Undermining the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act by getting Congress to refuse its reauthorization
  • Circumventing the inclusion of CAFOs and agriculture as industries to be regulated under new, more stringent pollution standards aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preventing the labeling of GMOs

With clear evidence that processed junk food is responsible for childhood obesity and related health problems, Faber seems proud of his successful efforts to ensure that junk food manufacturers can continue to manipulate children with their cartoon marketing style. And as the health of Americans keep declining, he seems proud of his ability to influence politicians to ensure that toxic foods remain the status quo.

Circumventing Big Food

Big Food is a formidable opponent. There’s no denying that. But we can still win; we can still steer the agricultural industry toward safer, more sustainable systems. The key is to keep supporting local farmers and choosing fresh, local produce over processed and fast food fare. Every dollar you spend pays not just for a food but for an entire food system.

There’s a tipping point at which the failing system must change or perish, so it’s all a numbers game, really. The more people that buy non-toxic, whole, unprocessed foods, the closer we get to that tipping point. Big Food wields great political power, but our power is our sheer numbers.  If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:


EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce wholesome raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Weston A Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.


The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.


If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund13also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.14 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.

Sources and References

Flu Vaccine Effectiveness in Question


By Dr. Mercola

Flu season is rapidly approaching and, with it, constant reminders to get vaccinated. This despite the fact that mounting research suggests this approach to flu prevention may be ill advised for long-term health, and doesn’t actually work in the first place.

In January 2015, U.S. government officials admitted that, in most years, flu shots are, at best, 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing lab confirmed influenza requiring medical care.1

Then, in December 2015, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis2 of flu vaccine effectiveness revealed that, between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.

Flu Vaccine Keeps Missing the Mark

In the 2004/2005 season, the flu vaccine was 10 percent effective. Put another way, 90 percent of the time, it failed.3 During the 2012/2013 flu season, the seasonal flu vaccine was 56 percent effective across all age groups, but only 9 percent effective in seniors.

The 2014/2015 flu vaccine flopped with a mere 18 percent effectiveness rate; 15 percent among children aged 2 to 8, and Fluzone — which delivers FOUR TIMES the normal dose of antigen — was found to lower seniors’ risk of influenza by a modest 24 percent compared to the standard-dose vaccine.4

Undeterred by such stupendous failure rates, the CDC expressed unreserved confidence in the 2015/2016 vaccine. In September 2015, CDC Director Tom Frieden said:5

“Get vaccinated … That’s the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community against flu.”

In the 2015/2016 season, the injectable flu vaccine ended up having a 63 percent effectiveness. However, the popular live virus nasal flu vaccine did not fare nearly as well.

This fall, don’t be surprised if the pressure gets ratcheted up a notch, as health authorities fear the CDC’s recommendation to avoid the nasal spray (FluMist) this year, due to evidence that it failed to provide any protection to children for three years in a row.

“We’re concerned that vaccination rates could be lower this year because the mist isn’t available,” Frieden recently told The Washington Post.6

Also, while flu vaccination rates among children have steadily climbed, vaccination rates among adults over 50 are dropping, which means extra pressure will likely be applied to get more adults to get flu shots this year.

What Recent Science Says About Annual Flu Vaccinations

It seems no matter how poor influenza vaccine effectiveness is, the call to vaccinate remains. But is getting an annual flu shot really “the best way” to protect yourself against influenza? Research frequently tells a very different story. For example, recent studies have shown that:

With each successive annual flu vaccination, the protection afforded by the vaccine appears to diminish.7,8 Research published in 2014 concluded that vaccine-induced protection against influenza was greatest among those who had NOT received a flu shot in the previous five years.9

The flu vaccine may also increase your risk of contracting other, more serious influenza infections.

?Data shows that people who received the seasonal flu vaccine in 2008 hadtwice the risk of getting the H1N1 “swine flu” compared to those who didn’t receive a flu shot.10

?Compared to children who do not get an annual flu vaccine, those who receive influenza vaccinations have a three times higher risk of hospitalization due to influenza.11

Statin drugs — taken by 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 45 — may undermine your immune system’s ability to respond to the flu vaccine.12,13

After vaccination, antibody concentrations were 38 percent to 67 percent lower in statin users over the age of 65, compared to non-statin users of the same age.14Antibody concentrations were also reduced in younger people who took statins.

Independent science reviews have also concluded that flu shots do not appear to prevent influenza or complications of influenza.15,16

Influenza vaccine does not appear to prevent influenza-like-illness (ILI) associated with other types of viruses responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory or gastrointestinal infections during any given flu season.17,18,19,20

We Need Studies That ‘Cannot’ Be Done in the U.S.

Despite the accumulating scientific evidence AGAINST flu shots being effective, many health authorities insist the evidence is “unclear.” Take Wilbur Chen, an infectious disease expert at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, for example.

Responding to Canadian findings that flu vaccine effectiveness wanes with repeated vaccinations, he noted that “this has not been replicated by the CDC in the U.S.”21

What Dr. Chen failed to point out was that clinical studies comparing the health outcomes of individuals receiving annual flu vaccines versus those who remain unvaccinated cannot or will not be done in the U.S. for the simple fact that the U.S. recommends everyone get vaccinated every year. As noted by STAT News:22

“Given that policy, it would be unethical for researchers here to randomly assign some people to forgo vaccinations in some years. But experts elsewhere, including in Hong Kong, where influenza circulates year-round, are trying to put together the funding for what would have to be a large, multiyear study.”

FluMist Has Failed to Protect Three Years in a Row

About one-third of annual flu vaccinations given to children in the U.S. have been the live virus nasal spray FluMist, which many pediatricians like to use because it’s needle-free.

In recent years, both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) went so far as to say the live virus nasal spray version was the preferred influenza vaccine for healthy children between ages 2 to 8 years because early data suggested it worked a little better for them than the inactivated injected vaccine.

Children were given twodoses to inhale initially, so that, theoretically, they would quickly build immunity.23 But the nasal spray flu vaccine has now turned into a failure of epic proportions. During the 2015/2016 flu season, it had a failure rate of 97 percent. As recently reported by STAT News:24

“In late June an expert committee that advises the U.S. government on vaccination policy recommended that the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, which has been used by millions, not be used this season. The reason: Studies conducted by the CDC had shown that for the past three flu seasons the vaccine wasn’t protecting the people who got it.

It’s not clear why … Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are working with the company to try to figure out what’s going on … In Canada … data gathered there showed the vaccine was working — though not quite as well as injectable vaccine …”


Live Virus Vaccines Could Potentially Transmit Influenza

While the CDC’s decision to pull FluMist off the American market is based on lack of effectiveness, there are other important considerations when considering use of a live-virus vaccine. The injectable flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine while the nasal spray contains live, albeit weakened (attenuated) virus. The attenuated virus is intended to stimulate the immune system to fight disease without causing clinical symptoms of severe illness.

However, when you get a live attenuated viral vaccine, you shed live vaccine-strain virus in your body fluids — just like when you get a viral infection and shed virus in your body fluids. So after getting a live-virus vaccine, you can asymptomatically shed and transmit vaccine-strain virus to other people, including immune compromised people, for whom vaccine strain virus infection could cause serious complications.

Live attenuated viral vaccines also have the potential to affect the evolution of viruses, which are constantly recombining with each other, because vaccine-strain live viruses are released into the environment where further mutations can occur.25

Flu Vaccine Associated With Serious Disability

Every vaccine carries a risk of injury or death that can be greater for some people, and the potential risk of suffering flu vaccine complications that result in a permanent disability such as paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a risk you need to take into account each time you get a flu shot.

While death and complete disability from influenza vaccine complications may be rare, severe complications and death from seasonal influenza itself are also relatively rare, especially for individuals with healthy immune systems.

So it is wise to weigh the risk of suffering a debilitating side effect from a flu shot relative to the more likely potential of spending a week in bed recovering from a bout with influenza. Most of the deaths attributed to influenza are actually due to complications leading to bacterial pneumonia and, unlike in past centuries, bacterial pneumonia today is often effectively treated with advanced medical care.

As previously noted by Dr. Mark Geier (see video below), who also has a Ph.D. in genetics and spent 10 years of his career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), GBS is a well-recognized side effect of the influenza vaccine. Even as early as 2003, the CDC recognized the flu vaccine causes an excess of 1.7 cases of GBS per 1 million people vaccinated.26

When the vaccine has an effectiveness of say 10 to 20 percent at best, this vaccine reaction risk is a significant one, even if rare, since your likelihood of actually benefiting from the vaccine at all is so small in terms of being protected against contracting influenza.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) shows GBS is the top injury for which people are receiving vaccine injury compensation, and the flu vaccine is the most common vaccine cited by adults seeking federal vaccine injury compensation awards.27

Geier also notes that a) the number of deaths from influenza number in the hundreds, not thousands, each year (and definitely nowhere near the 36,000 so frequently cited), making it a low-risk disease to vaccinate against, and b) flu vaccines should rightfully be marketed as experimental vaccines, as their constantly changing nature means they cannot meet the legal efficacy and safety requirements for vaccines.

Vaccines Wreak Havoc on Your Immune System

It’s important to realize that vaccines (all vaccines, not just flu vaccines) are immunosuppressive, meaning they suppress your immune system, which may not return to normal for weeks, perhaps months. Here are just some of the ways vaccines impair and alter your immune response:

Some components in vaccines, such as thimerosal (mercury preservative) and aluminum adjuvants, are neurotoxic and may depress your immune and brain function Vaccines can trigger allergic reactions by introducing large foreign protein molecules into your body that have not been properly broken down by your digestive tract (since they are injected)
Lab altered vaccine viruses may further impair your immune response Vaccines may alter your T-cell function, thereby triggering chronic illness
Foreign DNA/RNA from animal tissues can wreak havoc in your body and trigger autoimmunity in some people The flu vaccine may pose an immediate risk to your cardiovascular system, causing abnormalities in arterial function and LDL oxidation that may persist for at least 2 weeks28

How to Protect Yourself Against the Flu Without Vaccination

Health officials now recommend every person over the age of 6 months get an annual flu shot, whether the person is healthy or not, low risk or high. But what will receiving a flu shot every year for decades on end do to your immune system? No one can answer that question because it has never been studied.

Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to avoid getting sick during the flu season that do not require getting a flu shot every year. By following these simple guidelines, you can keep your immune system in optimal working order so you’re far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick, you will be better prepared to move through it without complications.

Optimize your vitamin D levels. This is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of all kinds, and research suggests vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true culprit behind the seasonality of the flu — not the flu virus itself.Raising your vitamin D to a therapeutic level of 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take to avoid the flu.
Avoid sugar and processed foods. Sugar impairs the function of your immune system almost immediately, and a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other pathogenic invaders.
Get plenty of rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued, it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest.
Address your stress. When stress becomes overwhelming, your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads.
Take an animal-based omega-3. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. Also avoid damaged omega-6 oils and trans fats found in processed foods as they will damage your immune response.
Wash your hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, however, and cause far more harm than good. Instead, just use a mild, toxin-free soap and warm water.
Use natural immune-boosters. Examples include colloidal silver, oil of oregano and garlic. These have potent antibiotic activity, boosting your body’s ability to fend off harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance.
Avoid hospitals. Last but not least, I recommend staying clear of hospitals unless you’re having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

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

NVIC Advocacy poster


National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smart phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.

Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story With the Media and People You Know

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

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

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.

The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

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

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall: View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.

Connect With Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

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

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.

It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

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

Sources and References

How Doughnut Bribes Helped Build America’s Opioid Addiction


By Dr. Mercola

Drug addiction has reached unprecedented levels in the United States. Each year, the U.S. spends more than $51 billion on the war on drugs and, in 2014, more than 1.5 million arrests for drug-related violations were made.1 Of those arrests, 83 percent were for possession only.

The vast majority of drug-related arrests are for marijuana, and 88 percent of those are for possession only. Amazingly, 1 in every 111 adults in the U.S. is incarcerated (the highest incarceration rate in the world).

While nearly half of all U.S. states now allow the medical use of marijuana,2 and 20 have decriminalized marijuana possession and use, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance3,4 — a category reserved for the most addictive and dangerous of drugs, including heroin and LSD.

According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs are defined as those having a “high potential for abuse” and “no acceptable medical use in treatment.”

Yet the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has held a patent for marijuana as a “neural protectant,” claiming it can protect your brain against stroke and trauma, since 2003.5

The War on Drugs Is an Utter Failure

The illogical and hypocritical stance on marijuana is but one way the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does more harm than good.

Considering the vast majority of drug-related arrests and convictions are for cannabis possession and use, the DEA is acting as a “head hunter” to fill up privately owned prisons with non-violent ganja users, who may or may not be using it for valid medicinal purposes.

Whether used for medical purposes or recreation, marijuana is nowhere near as dangerous as opioids, and addiction to prescription painkillers is spiraling out of control in this country. Yet when it comes to these profitable drugs, the DEA suddenly takes a whole different view on drug addiction.

Speaking about the heroin epidemic at a meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, (see video above) DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg stated we cannot “prosecute or enforce our way out of this mess.” Instead, we need to “do a much better job of getting the word out about how dangerous this stuff is.”

DEA Is Biased in Its War On Drugs

So in Rosenberg’s (and the DEA’s) view, marijuana users are criminals whom they have no qualms about prosecuting and jailing, but when a person is abusing opioid painkillers — from which drug companies profit handsomely — the answer is not criminalization but education. As reported by Cleveland.com:6

“Rosenberg was in Cleveland as his agency is working in tandem with the U.S. Justice Department in launching a multi-faceted effort in treating the overdose epidemic by partnering with local hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and educators to try and inform the public about cutting down on the use of prescription painkillers.

Rosenberg said the agency is also urging doctors across the country to cut down on prescribing unnecessary painkillers to patients, who sometimes end up addicted to the drugs or turn to more dangerous forms of opioids, such as heroin, once their prescriptions end.”

I do not support criminalizing opioid addiction, but it is hypocritical in the extreme to fill for-profit jail cells with marijuana users while saying the same “cannot” work for prescription drug addicts. As noted by Opensecrets.org:7

“The revenue from waging the war on drugs has become a significant source of financial support for local law enforcement.

Federal and state funding of the drug war — as well as the property police forces seize as a part of drug raids — have become significant financial supplements to local forces’ budgets …

One of the largest for-profit prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America [CCA], even stated in a regulatory filing that keeping the drug war alive is essential to its success as a business …”


Why DEA Won’t Go After Corporate Drug Pushers

It’s blatantly clear that the DEA does not want to criminalize prescription drug abuse because that would sorely hamper drug companies’ ability to promote and sell painkillers. And that’s really where the parties responsible for the current epidemic of addiction can be found.

Is it any surprise then that, in April 2016, a law was passed that restricts the DEA’s ability to track and charge pharmacies and wholesalers who are expanding the epidemic? Andre Kolodny, director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, and an addiction specialist, responded to this news saying:8

“I’m shocked that Congress and the president would constrain DEA from taking on corporate drug dealers in the midst of the worst addiction epidemic in U.S. history. This law allows opioid distributors to reap enormous profits and operate with impunity at the public’s expense.”

The New Face of Heroin Addiction

Many patients are shocked and surprised to find themselves hooked on opioids after filling a prescription for something simple as a wisdom tooth extraction, sports injury or bout of back pain.

They were not properly warned and educated on how to safely take these drugs, and that stems from drug companies’ deceptive marketing campaigns.

Once their prescription runs out, or can no longer satisfy their habit of use, many end up turning to heroin dealers. It’s cheaper, and works just the same. The video above is just one example of how painkillers end up feeding a longstanding cycle of addiction.9

In August, Cuyahoga County in Ohio had 52 opioid-related deaths. So far this year, the county has recorded more than 500 overdose deaths — more than double that of 2015. Many of these deaths are attributed to street heroin cut with the drug carfentanil, a sedative for large animals like elephants.

Carfentanil is anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 times more potent than heroin. The drug is so potent it even poses a lethal risk to first responders, should they inhale or absorb a tiny amount while working on the overdose victim. The following graph illustrates opioid overdose deaths by state.

Today, prescriptions of Oxycontin and other painkillers are the primary gateway drugs to heroin and other illicit drugs, and narcotic pain relievers are a primary culprit in opioid overdose deaths. As shown in the graph above, they cause FAR more deaths than heroin. The graphs below offer additional statistics, showing the true scope of the opioid problem.

Doctors are the new drug dealers. Respectable and legal, prescription drugs have an air of safety around them. But they are really no different from heroin. The documentary below details the tragic fate of several young people whose heroin addiction began with a legal prescription and ended in death.

Tech Competition to Combat Heroin Overdoses

In related news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently launched “The 2016 Naloxone App Competition.”10 The idea is to create a smartphone app to combat opioid overdoses. Tech wizards have until November 7, 2016, to submit their apps. As explained by CNN:11

“The FDA envisions an app that will connect anyone experiencing an opioid overdose with the closest supply of naloxone, a reversal drug.

Naloxone counteracts the effects of heroin, some addictive painkillers and the synthetic opioid fentanyl and is available at pharmacies with a prescription. It is often carried by medical and law enforcement first responders in most states as well as at-risk opioid users and family members. The app is intended to alert these antidote carriers when someone overdoses …

‘With a dramatic increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the US, there’s a vital need to harness the power of new technologies to quickly and effectively link individuals experiencing an overdose … with someone who carries and can administer the life-saving medication,’ FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in the announcement.”

Again, while the thought is good, the FDA, like the DEA, is missing the mark by ignoring the SOURCE of the problem, which is prescription opioids. Gently asking doctors to ease up on prescriptions is not enough. We don’t need to incarcerate opioid addicts any more than we need to incarcerate marijuana users, but we do need to hold drug companies legally responsible for their products and the deceptive marketing practices that allowed this epidemic to swell out of control.

Opioid Epidemic Is an Undeclared Public Health Emergency

As noted in a recent STAT News article,12 the opioid epidemic really should be declared a public health emergency in order to mobilize the needed resources to address the situation.

“Congress took a first step toward responding to this expanding epidemic by passing, nearly unanimously, theComprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act13 this summer. This $181 million act was designed to fund a wide range of activities essential to turning the tide on opioid addiction, including expansion of overdose reversal, recovery and prevention programs …

But since the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act became the law of the land, Congress hasn’t made any money available to turn it into real treatments for real people. Lawmakers looked good by approving the act, but … they never appropriated the money to fund it, rendering the bill and its good intentions effectively useless.”

State of the Union

So what do we have here? We have a DEA that criminalizes marijuana — an effective and safe alternative to addictive and deadly opioid painkillers — and has repeatedly obstructed marijuana rescheduling efforts,14 thereby assuring the continued profitability of law enforcement and private prisons.15

Also, while Rosenberg has stated that “no drug product made from marijuana has yet been shown to be safe and effective,” going so far as to refer to the concept of medical marijuana as “a joke,” two synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) medicines — Marinol and Cesamer — recently received FDA approval for sale as patented drugs.

THC is a subclass of cannabinoids, the general category of active chemical compounds found in marijuana. Cannabidiols (CBD) is another subclass.16 Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, whereas others are not. THC is the most psychoactive, the one that produces the “high” associated with smoking pot.

Cannabinoids produce biological effects because, just like opiates interacting with your opiate receptors, cannabinoids interact with specific receptors located in your cell membranes. The approval of these drugs alone should be sufficient to prove marijuana has medical applications.

We have a Congress that supports the epidemic by legally restricting the DEA’s ability to pursue corporate drug dealers. Moreover, former DEA chief Michele Leonhart 17 was harshly criticized for opposing the legalization of marijuana — so much so, President Obama was petitioned18 to have her removed for her anti-marijuana stance. Yet her replacement, Rosenberg, is following in the exact same footsteps!19

We have the FDA searching for high-tech solutions to get the overdose-reversal drug Narcan20 (naloxone) into the hands of drug addicts while approving more addictive painkillers. In 2013, the FDA issued a strong warning against the use of opioids to control pain. On the very same day, the agency approved Zohydro, a drug that has five to 10 times the potential for abuse. Two years later, the FDA approved the use of opioids in children as young as 11!21

Of course, on both ends of the epidemic, we have drug companies cashing in. In 2012, $9.38 billion worth of painkillers were sold in the U.S. OxyContin alone accounted for $2.81 billion in sales.22 Meanwhile, that same year, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (the sole maker of the nasal-spray Narcan), began what appears to be a clear case of price gouging, raising its prices by as much as 100 percent.

Protecting Opioid Profits by Banning Herbal Alternatives

It appears no serious efforts are really being made on the behalf of the federal government to crack down on deceptive and manipulative drug company marketing. No real effort is put into minimizing the availability of opioids. Perhaps worst of all, no consideration is given to alternatives that are FAR safer and just as effective; marijuana being one of them.

Were marijuana decriminalized nationwide, the drug industry clearly would take a big hit. Not only would people have access to a far less expensive, more effective and natural version of synthetic THC drugs selling at a premium, many would also turn to marijuana to relieve their aches, pains, nausea, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and even cancer instead of using opioids and other expensive and potentially dangerous drugs.

No wonder drug companies are fighting to shut down the legalization of marijuana in order to maintain their drug monopoly. What’s reprehensible is that the U.S. government is siding with the drug industry rather than doing what is best for the public health.

DEA Criminalizes Pain Relieving Herbal Tea

Besides marijuana, the DEA recently cracked down on the herb kratom, which is related to the coffee plant. The herb has garnered a loyal underground following of people using it to wean off opioids and relieve pain in lieu of these potent and addictive drugs. In late August, the DEA announced a plan to place kratom into a Schedule I controlled substance category, the same category as marijuana. Kratom users are incensed, and for good reason. As reported by Kaiser Health News:23

“In a YouTube video, a veteran shakes a bottle he says contains prescription opioids he has been given for pain. ‘This,’ he says, ‘is not Schedule I.’ ‘Do I seem angry?’ he continues, ‘Yes. Because you’re taking away a right that I fought for.

When I did my tour in Iraq, I fought for my right to be in America and be able to help myself, to cure myself. I’m not talking about snorting cocaine, shooting up heroin, I’m not even talking about puffing a joint. I’m talking about brewing some tea leaves, having a sip and feeling better’ … People have uploaded hundreds of videos talking about why they drink or swallow kratom pills — veterans coping with PTSD, recovering alcoholics [and] people with fibromyalgia.”

A WhiteHouse.gov petition24 to maintain kratom’s legal status has nearly 137,000 signatures as of this writing. The DEA has also received an “unexpected” number of phone calls from people opposing the Schedule I classification. According to DEA spokesman Melving Patterson, the reason for the strict classification is “concern for public safety,” as 660 calls to poison control centers involving kratom were received between January 2010 and December 2015.

Fifteen deaths between 2014 and 2016 have also been attributed to kratom (although kratom defenders are quick to point out that these deaths were the result of mixing the herb with other drugs).25 The DEA’s justification is about as illogical as it gets. About 14,000 Americans died from overdosing on prescription opioids in 2014.26 Yet agencies like the DEA, FDA and HHS are fighting against marijuana and kratom!

How can seven or eight deaths a year compare to the tragedy of losing 14,000? While every death is tragic, when you’re talking about public health, wouldn’t it make sense to opt for the lesser evil or, in this case, the substance that causes the LEAST amount of harm? The hypocritical nature of this state of affairs is a clear sign that these federal agencies have ceased working for the public good.

The classification is also frustrating to researchers who believe, from initial testing prior to the ruling by the DEA, that kratom may hold the key to a non-addictive painkiller or even a route for treating addiction. They found the ingredients activated just the pain relief receptors and not the secondary receptors responsible for the deadly side effects from opioids, such as respiratory depression.27

Although also addictive in nature, kratom effectively treats withdrawal symptoms from heroin without life-threatening side effects, and has been useful in treating chronic pain without the potentially lethal effects of opioid overdoses.28 Side effects include headache and nausea.29

The Making of a Blockbuster Drug

Use of the opioid prescription painkiller OxyContin has been a primary driving force behind the addiction epidemic.30 The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, manufactured the demand for the drug, and the epidemic, by falsely claiming the risk of addiction was “extremely small,”31 and/or had less potential for abuse compared to short-acting opioids.

Both claims are false. In a recent STAT News report,32 David Armstrong also reveals the role the global healthcare company Abbott Laboratories played in creating a demand for this dangerous drug.

“The pharmaceutical sales representatives from … Abbott Laboratories had a problem,” Armstrong writes. “No matter what they tried, they couldn’t get the attention of an orthopedic surgeon to convince him to prescribe the potent painkiller OxyContin … That is, until the staff let them in on a secret: ‘We were told by his nurses and office staff that the best way to capture his attention and develop our relationship was through junk food,’ the sales reps wrote in an internal memo.

The next week, one of the Abbott representatives showed up with a sheet cake box filled with doughnuts and snack cakes arranged to spell out the word ‘OxyContin.’ The gambit worked.

The surgeon listened to the sales talk, and every week after that, the Abbott sales personnel visited the doctor to ask him to switch at least three patients to OxyContin from other painkillers. The doughnut ploy, highlighted in a trove of internal documents obtained by STAT, shows the lengths to which Abbott went to hook in doctors and make OxyContin a billion-dollar blockbuster …

Purdue Pharma LP, the Connecticut company that developed OxyContin, has been vilified for planting the seeds of today’s opioid crisis … But the role of Abbott in pushing the drug has largely escaped notice. The documents reveal it was a crucial partner in the aggressive — and misleading — selling of OxyContin during its first decade on the market.


Doctors Are Easily and Often Manipulated

The documents, which were part of a legal case brought by West Virginia against Purdue and Abbott for the inappropriate marketing of OxyContin, reveal Abbott’s drug representatives were clearly instructed to downplay the risk of addiction. They were also taught to make other claims “that had no scientific basis,” Armstrong writes.

Purdue even agreed to indemnify Abbott from any legal expenses associated with its efforts to sell the drug — that’s how important a role Abbott Labs played in Purdue’s scheme.

Aside from the occasional doughnut ploy — which actually won the Abbot sales rep in question the “best OxyContin sales success story” award — Abbott’s drug reps also used techniques such as taking doctors to their favorite takeout restaurant or bookstore, where they would “detail” the doctor — i.e., present the selling points of the drug — while waiting to pay.

Bringing lunches, cookies or snacks are also common strategies aimed at getting on the good side of doctors, nurses and other personnel that might influence a doctor’s prescription habits. Then there were the business strategies aimed at the sales force itself. Armstrong writes:

“Abbott heavily incentivized its sales staff to push OxyContin, offering $20,000 cash prizes and luxury vacations to top performers.

Their almost religious zeal to sell the drug is evident in the wide use of terminology from the Middle Ages Crusades: Sales reps were called ‘royal crusaders’ and ‘knights’ in internal documents, and they were supervised by the ‘Royal Court of OxyContin’ — executives referred to in memos as the ‘Wizard of OxyContin,’ ‘Supreme Sovereign of Pain Management’ and the ‘Empress of Analgesia.'”

The head of pain care sales, Jerry Eichhorn, was the ‘King of Pain’ and signed memos simply as ‘King.’ ‘As you continue to carry the OxyContin banner onto the field of battle, it’s important to keep highlighting OxyContin benefits to your doctors,’ Abbott urged its sales staff in a memo contained in the court records.'”


Treating Pain Without Drugs

Considering the risks, I would urge you to consider other options before resorting to an opioid painkiller. It’s especially important to avoid opioids when trying to address long-term chronic pain, as your body builds a tolerance to the drug. Over time, you’ll require greater doses at more frequent intervals to achieve the same pain relief, which is a recipe for disaster and could have lethal consequences.

Together with addiction and tolerance, opioids have not lived up to the promises manufacturers have made. There are many non-drug and dietary alternatives that may help manage your pain. You can learn more about these non-drug options in my previous articles, “Astounding Amounts: Opioid Epidemic Filling up Morgues” and “Prescription Painkillers Lack Evidence of Safety and Effectiveness for Long-Term Use.”

Sources and References