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Calories IN, Calories OUT – Big Lie

[EXPOSED] The calories in, calories out theory is a downright LIE

Stop suffering on the scale—do THIS instead

Written by Dr. Marc S Micozzi, M.D., Ph.D.

 

The holidays are over, and now we’re being barraged with weight-loss ads.

Seems that a new year is supposed to usher in a “new you”—or more accurately, a “thinner you.”

Most of these so-called diet plans are based on the theory that if you consume (eat) more calories than you expend (burn), you’ll gain weight.

Sounds simple, right?

But this theory leads to unhealthy ideas (voraciously fed by the processed food and drink industry) about being able to eat dangerous foods, like sugars and refined carbs…as long as you “burn them off” through excessive exercise (which causes many health problems of its own, as I often report).

And it fails to explain why there are many people who don’t overeat, but still gain or keep on extra weight. Or why other people can eat all they want without putting on an extra pound.

Well, a new scientific analysis authored by 17 international researchers and public health experts attempts to answer these dichotomies. It presents strong evidence that weight management should NOT be based on how much you eat…but rather what you eat.

Why “calories in” doesn’t equal “calories out”

The analysis argues that the “energy balance principle” (EBP) for weight management should be replaced with the “carbon-insulin model” (CIM).

The EBP draws on the First Law of Thermodynamics, formulated in the 1800s. This law of physics says energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In the human body, this has been interpreted to mean that if you consume more calories than you burn (or otherwise excrete), the excess is stored in the body (primarily as fat). And since the early 1900s, modern medical science and practice has been built around this simple idea.

But the problem is—it’s not true. Despite decades of obsession with counting calories and calorie restriction, the obesity pandemic is worse than ever. And it increases risk for type II diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions—not to mention, a higher risk for a fatal outcome from COVID-19.

The authors of the new scientific analysis point out that in the “energy balance” way of thinking, all calories are alike to the body, metabolically. But plenty of research (and real-life examples) show that intense caloric restriction drives hunger, while also lowering people’s metabolisms.

So, the more you cut calories, the more your body shuts down metabolically and tries to conserve calories, which helps keep on the weight, and actually FORCES YOU TO EAT MORE. That’s certainly not the answer for a healthy lifetime diet and weight!

The CIM model, on the other hand, proposes that your hormonal and metabolic responses to your overall diet—not simply calorie counts—cause your body to store excess fat. (And this may help explain why some people can eat more than others, without suffering on the scale—and vice versa.)

The theory is that certain foods increase your body’s insulin levels, which leads to more fat storage.

Although the CIM model hasn’t been appreciated—let alone embraced— by the mainstream, it is supported by extensive evidence, from lab experiments, to clinical trials, going back nearly a century…

What types of foods are we talking about?

The authors of the new scientific analysis say foods with a high “glycaemic load” are responsible for increased insulin levels in the body and subsequent fat storage and weight gain.

High-glycaemic foods are defined as foods that are quickly digested and rapidly raise blood sugar, causing a strong insulin response. But really, “high-glycaemic” may be just another name for highly processed, refined “food” products that cause hormonal responses telling our bodies to store more calories in the form of fats. (Yet another fatal downfall of these “Frankenfoods.”)

A lot of the nonsense about the “glycaemic index” for all kinds of different foods, including whole fruits and vegetables, is just a bunch of hooey designed to sell a lot of useless books. (I had to sit on a book panel with the guy who came up with that idea 25 years ago, and it was already clear to me then that there was no real science behind it, and it never made any sense to me anyhow. It was just a catchy title from book publicists.)

So, forget all that hype about the glycaemic index—the REAL culprit in the CIM model is what all the other real science tells us: Refined sugars and carbs, and highly processed foods.

Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital, who is the lead author of the new scientific analysis, said that during the recent craze about artificial “low-fat” foods, people ended up consuming more fake, processed foods that typically substitute fats with refined sugars and processed carbs.

“Given the choice between bread and butter, for years we focused on getting rid of the butter,” he said. “But maybe between the two, the bread is the bigger issue.”

The best foods for weight loss

Like many studies before it, the new scientific analysis shows once again that healthy weight is about eating a moderate, balanced diet of whole foods…instead of packaged, processed products—together with sensible, moderate exercise. (This also helps prime your immune system).

Eating whole foods rich in natural fiber supports healthy probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps naturally reduce insulin. And study after study shows that the more insulin you have in your system, the hungrier you are—and the more you eat.

So, if you want to see a “new you” in the new year, DON’T go on a traditional, caloric-restriction diet. Instead, commit to adding more whole foods to your daily diet—and cut sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods.

As always, I recommend enjoying plenty of grass-fed and -finished meat (including red meat, like lamb), wild-caught fish and seafood, full-fat, organic dairy (such as butter, eggs, cheese, and yogurt), fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, beans (legumes), and olives and olive oil.

CategoriesBlog

New Year’s resolution that’s sure to stick

Ward off Alzheimer’s with these fun, simple strategies that help keep your aging brain RAZOR SHARP

Written by Dr Fred Pescatore, M.D

 

Let’s face it: If New Year’s resolutions were as easy to keep as they are to make, most of us would have run out of room for self-improvement a long time ago.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop making them. Instead, maybe it just means you need to add a positive TWIST!

And that’s exactly where I come into the equation.

Because the optimist in me is always looking for new and fun ways to make positive change stick, once and for all.

Luckily, I find spinning these resolution “chores” into “enjoyable tasks” rather easy.

And that’s especially true when it comes to delaying, preventing, and fighting cognitive decline—a goal that we should ALL put front and centre as we age.

So, let’s first discuss why boosting your brain (and protecting your memory) belongs on everyone’s resolution list this year.

Then, I’ll share some of my favourite, FUN, brain-saving strategies. After all, dementia prevention doesn’t always have to be intimidating, or even difficult…

There’s no age limit on cognitive decline

First and foremost, memory loss isn’t just a problem for seniors over the age of 65 anymore. In fact, worldwide rates of young-onset dementia are a lot higher than anyone ever saw coming.

A recent, large meta-analysis showed that there are currently nearly four million people living with early-onset dementia. That adds up to a shocking 199 out of every 100,000 people between the ages of 30 and 64—which accounts for 175,000 younger people in the United States alone.

Now, I must admit that statistic is a tad misleading (as statistics often are), since most of these cases are occurring in the latter portion of that age bracket. But the point remains that dementia—and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in particular—is a growing problem across various age groups.

Of course, we tend to focus on AD because it’s the most common cause of dementia in the U.S. It kills more people every year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

To make matters worse, deaths from Alzheimer’s have jumped 16 percent since the COVID pandemic began… costing the nation more than $355 billion in 2021 alone.

So when I say that brain health should be top of mind for everyone (pun intended), I mean it. Fortunately, preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s can be a walk in the park. And yes, I do mean that literally…

Regular movement protects your memory

The simplest solution for protecting your brain is one that I’m always encouraging you to make time for: Exercise.

New research shows that a year of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise training could boost cardiorespiratory fitness, blood flow to the brain, and memory and executive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).2 Meaning that consistent exercise may also help to lower Alzheimer’s risk.

So—what makes this solution “fun”?

Well, we’re not talking about back-breaking workouts here. At the beginning of the study, subjects took just three brisk walks, for 25 to 30 minutes each, per week. By the 11th week, the walks had increased to 30 to 35 minutes, uphill. And after six months, subjects walked 40 minutes, five times weekly.

That’s right… no gym equipment, no running, no heavy weights—just plain ole’ walking. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to break up my day. (Not to mention, it’s an easy way to get outside in nature for some fresh air!)

But the good news doesn’t stop there. Yet another recent study shows that both walking and dancing can bolster your brain’s white matter—and potentially protect cognition and memory as you age.

Walking and dancing keep the white matter in shape

White matter connects and supports the cells in our brains. It allows for proper brain function—and deficits could lead to memory impairment. But according to this new research, white matter remodels itself when we become more physically active. An inactive, sedentary lifestyle, on the other hand, could cause it to shrink.

To analyse these effects, there was a control group that participated in supervised stretching and balance training three times weekly. Another group walked together three times a week, at a brisk pace, for about 40 minutes. And a third group took dance lessons three times a week.

After six months, both the walkers and the dancers were aerobically fitter. Their white matter also increased, both in size and nerve fibres. Meanwhile, the control group saw decreases in white matter.

These results tell us a couple of things: First, that the brain can change, for better or worse, based on what you are and aren’t doing—so it’s never too late to take control of (or to lose control of) that path.

This also means that the structure and function of your brain doesn’t have to decline with age. Once again, this study shows that regular, enjoyable exercise will lead to greater brain volume. So, lace up those shoes and hit the dance floor or an outdoor trail. Your white matter will thank you for doing so. Speaking of the great outdoors…

Support Gray matter with the great outdoors

Clearly, taking a nice, brisk walk outside can offer powerful protection for your brain. And now, the results of yet another recent neuroscientific study show that regularly going out in the fresh air has a positive impact not only on your brain structure but also on your mental health and mood—even if you’re only outdoors for a short time.

In this study, brain scans of six middle-aged participants revealed that time spent outside increased gray matter volume in the part of the frontal lobe linked with planning, regulation, and cognitive control. (Gray matter impacts your memory, among other functions.)

This positively influenced concentration, memory, and the overall psyche for the better—regardless of other factors.4 And I can’t say I’m surprised.

As you know, I despise winter weather. But it always makes me feel better to get up and outside—even on the coldest, most hateful of days. (That’s a good thing for my dog Remington, who needs to go outside no matter what the forecast is.)

And the one good thing about the pandemic is that many people increased their outside walk times. So, here’s your reminder to keep going!

Of course, there are plenty of enjoyable ways to give your brain a workout without stepping foot out the front door, too. So let’s talk about those now…

Play cards, do crosswords or curl up with a book

Get this: Simply continuing to use your brain in old age could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as five years.

That’s right! According to another recent study, older adults with the highest levels of cognitive activity in late life experienced the onset of Alzheimer’s-type dementia at an average age of 94. Those with the least levels of cognitive activity, meanwhile, experienced the onset at an average age of 89.

So—how can you help obtain those five extra good years?

Well, the activities in this study were focused on seeking or processing information: reading (newspapers, magazines, or books), number of annual library visits, writing letters, and even time spent playing games (like puzzles, cards, and board games). All things that a lot of us love to do anyway!

But the best part of these findings is that they show it’s never too late to start tending to your cognitive health—a common theme today. Because the average age of the study participants here was 80 years old!

In other words, this research shows that the age at which you might develop dementia is mainly determined by the activities you do in later life. So please, choose how you spend your time wisely.

Because while there’s no cure in sight for dementia— nor are there safe, effective medications to help treat it—simple, enjoyable, lifestyle changes can help keep it at bay.

Walking, dancing, reading, and playing are just a few fun things that can make a world of difference. Plus, they’re so enjoyable that this is one New Year’s resolution that’s sure to stick well past the first few months of 2022.

So, if you value your memory and independence, start taking the steps outlined here today (literally!) to improve them—for years to come.

CategoriesBlog

ABC’s for Brain and Eye Health

Written by Dr. Marc S Micozzi, M.D., Ph.D. a worldwide leader in nutritional and
complementary/alternative medicine.

Three simple—and delicious—ways to keep your vision
AND your mind sharp, no matter what your age

Natural substances don’t just have one, single mechanism of action.
Rather, they have many different active constituents that act in
synergy to help them survive and thrive.

That’s why, unlike drugs—which use artificial compounds concocted
in a pharmaceutical lab, and are designed to treat a single disease or
symptom—foods and nutrients help keep you healthy from head to toe.

So it’s no surprise that there’s new research showing how a variety
of nutrients and foods can support both healthy brain function and
eyesight.

In fact, these studies suggest that the same nutrients that reach the
brain also reach the eye. This makes sense, considering these organs
are derived from the same kind of embryological tissue during fetal
development.

Consequently, science is now showing that when we talk about
preserving good cognitive function in the brain, the findings are
typically relevant to preserving good eyesight, too.

And there are a variety of foods and nutrients that have been
demonstrated to support both brain and eye health. I call them
my ABCs for brain and eye health because they’re that fundamental to
healthy function—especially as we age. (Not to be confused, of course,
with my ABCs of joint health, which I’ve shared with you many times
before.)

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some simple—and
delicious—ways to keep your vision and your mind sharp, no
matter what your age…

A is for avocados

Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which supports heart health.
Plus, they’re packed with fiber, which feeds the probiotics in the
gastrointestinal (GI) tract and promotes a healthy GI microbiome.

Avocados are also good sources of vitamins B, C, E, and K. They even
have more potassium than bananas! All of this makes avocados one
of the original “health foods.” (Remember those Angie Dickinson
commercials in the 1970s?) And now, new research shows that these
creamy fruits are particularly good for your brain and eyes.

That’s because avocados are loaded with lutein—one of my favorite
carotenoids.

In fact, one new study showed that lutein in avocados can improve
brain function, and specifically, attention span.
(That should be good news for all of those avocados
toast fans—before they shift their attention to the next trendy food!)

The study looked at adults who were overweight or obese, which
is estimated to affect 70 percent of the U.S. population. For 12 weeks,
researchers prepared daily meals for the 84 study participants. Diets
were identical in nutrients and calories, but half of the participants
consumed an avocado each day, and half did not.

The researchers measured lutein levels in all participants’ blood and
eye fluids. (It’s rare to measure nutrients within the eye itself, as
often done in forensic sciences, but those levels are most relevant
to determining eye function.) Participants also completed three
tests to evaluate attention span and other cognitive functions.

Ultimately, the researchers found that the avocado group had better
performance on their cognitive assessments.

They also had markedly higher levels of lutein in their blood and eyes.
Other studies have found similar results. One 2017 study of nearly
50 men and women with an average age of 63 found that eating one
avocado a day for six months increased lutein levels in the eye by
25 percent. And that also translated into improvements in memory and
attention span.

Recommended amount: Two to three avocados per week. And there
are much healthier ways to eat them than as a spread on toast. Try
an avocado chopped up in a salad, diced into an omelet, or as a tasty
topping for grilled chicken.

B is for blueberries

A growing amount of research shows you really can “get your
thrill on blueberry hill” (as originally sung by Fats Domino)—
at least when it comes to brain and eye health.

As you know, blueberries have become the focus of a number
of health investigations in recent years. Studies using both the fruit
and blueberry dietary supplements have shown benefits for cancer,
cardiovascular disease, cognitive function, and metabolic syndrome.

Initially, it was theorized that the antioxidant properties of
blueberry flavonoids were primarily responsible for these benefits.
Blueberries are particularly high in anthocyanins—a flavonoid that
gives them their deep blue color. (Interestingly, research shows
that wild blueberries have three times more flavonoids than their
cultivated cousins.)

But recent studies suggest other ways blueberries work to
support brain and eye health. For instance, some lab studies show
that blueberries reduce chronic inflammation in brain neural tissues.
And chronic inflammation has been linked with cognitive decline and
dementia, along with other chronic diseases.

Plus, one study on mice found that blueberry, strawberry, and spinach
consumption for just eight weeks led to an actual reversal of aging
changes in brain cells.

In addition, studies consistently show that dietary intake of
blueberries is associated with better cognitive function and memory.

One of the most compelling was the huge Nurse’s Health Study,
which analyzed the diets of just over 16,000 women, ages 70 and
older, during a 20-year period. Researchers found that increased
consumption of blueberries was related to a 2.5-year delay in
cognitive decline.

Another recent analysis reviewed 11 different studies on blueberries
and cognition. Four studies looked at adults ages 60 and older. Four
studies were on children ages 7 to 10. And three studies looked
at adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), specifically.

In children, blueberry consumption was associated with increased
memory and executive function, like decision-making. In older
adults, both with and without MCI, there were improvements in
executive function and memory, as well as psychomotor function—
which is strongly associated with increased lifespan and longevity.

These results are also particularly important for people without MCI.
That’s because most botanical supplements are used to help
memory in older adults who already suffer from memory problems—but
they don’t boost cognitive function in people without memory problems.

Meanwhile, blueberries are beneficial to eye health, too.
One new research review noted that our retinas have the highest
cellular respiratory rate of any of our tissues, making our eyes
particularly prone to damage from oxidative stress.

And guess what? Blueberries’ anthocyanins may relieve that
oxidative stress!

The review cited one study of more than 35,000 women, ages 45 and
older, which found a significant association between blueberry
intake and lower risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Sadly, there currently aren’t many other human studies on blueberries
and vision—although animal and lab studies do look promising. (As
always, I’ll be sure to report on all of the latest research here in my
newsletter, as well as in my Daily Dispatch.)

Recommended amount: Half a cup of fresh blueberries per day, or
400 mg of blueberry powder per day (which can be added to water,
tea, or smoothies).

C is for carotenoids

Earlier, I discussed the carotenoid lutein, which is found in avocados
and other foods. Carotenoids are the pigments that make certain
fruits and vegetables red, orange, or yellow. (Indeed, the word actually
comes from carrots, which are bright orange.)

But carotenoids do more than just make fruits and vegetables colorful.
They also help plants absorb light to use in photosynthesis. And they
act as powerful antioxidants in the human body.

There are even a variety of studies linking carotenoids to cancer
prevention. And they also have strong anti-inflammatory properties,
which help protect against a whole host of chronic diseases.

In fact, there are more than 600 types of carotenoids. The single
most well-known is beta-carotene— even though my research years
ago, with scientists at the Human Nutrition Research Lab at the
USDA Agricultural Research Center, revealed that healthy foods
had far more abundant sources of other carotenoids, besides just beta-carotene.

(But that doesn’t mean you should overlook the health benefits of beta-carotene—

or alpha-carotene—in the proper dosages and natural forms, or preferably from foods.
Both are tried-and-true carotenoids for supporting healthy eyesight.)

Still, in recent years, there has been more research into some “new”
carotenoids—like the lutein and avocado studies I mentioned earlier.

And along with lutein, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin also show intriguing
evidence for brain and eye health. Thus far, most of the research
focuses on combinations of these carotenoids rather than the
individual compounds themselves.
Let’s take a look…

Astaxanthin. This potent carotenoid is found in sea plants,
and is what gives crab, lobster, shrimp, and salmon (which eat
these plants) their pinkish colors.

One new analysis of seven studies showed the benefits of both

astaxanthin and lutein for cognitive function in healthy adults without
memory impairment (like the blueberry study I mentioned earlier).
Five of the studies focused on lutein supplementation, and two analyzed
astaxanthin supplementation.

Middle-aged and young adults who took 10 mg of lutein a day for 12
months had consistently improved memory, attention span, and focus.
Astaxanthin also showed similar benefits in one of the studies.

And there’s even more evidence on astaxanthin’s effects on eye
health. In fact, one new research review found that the carotenoid
is effective for treating retinal diseases, cataracts, ocular surface
disorders like dry eye syndrome, eye strain, and eye inflammation.

Zeaxanthin. This carotenoid gives corn, saffron, and other botanicals
their distinctive yellow colors.

Several studies link zeaxanthin to lower risk of macular degeneration.
And now, researchers are focusing on the link between zeaxanthin,
lutein, and brain health.

One recent study involving 62 adults, with a median age of 74,
found that taking 10 mg of lutein plus 2 mg of zeaxanthin for one
year significantly increased the levels of both carotenoids in the

study participants’ eye fluid.
Those who took the carotenoid combination also had significant
improvements in attention span, executive function, and memory.

Recommended amount:
If you take supplements, I suggest
10 mg a day of lutein, 2 mg daily of zeaxanthin, and 4-6 grams a day
of astaxanthin. (Or you can look for liquid formulas that combine
astaxanthin with vitamin D for a one-two health punch.)

CategoriesBlog

Sleep problems continue to haunt many Americans in the age of coronavirus

 Start enjoying natural, sound sleep night-after-night

Written by Dr. Micozzi    www.drmicozzi.com

The coronavirus pandemic changed many of our lives…physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Even now, as we’re getting back to “normal”, there are still remnants and repercussions from a year of lockdowns, economic uncertainty, and extreme stress—and there will be for a long time to come.

Take our sleep habits, for example. Americans didn’t sleep particularly well before the pandemic.

And now, new research shows we’re sleeping even less.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the pandemic, more than one-third of U.S. adults routinely got less than the seven hours of sleep each night that’s considered the minimum amount for optimum health.1

Then, in March and April 2020—just as the pandemic panic was getting into a full uproar—two new surveys of nearly 3,500 adults in the U.S. and around the world found that all respondents had substantial changes to their sleep patterns.2

At first, the survey respondents reported they were sleeping more (about 30 minutes extra per night).

But there was a 10 percent decrease in continuous sleep without interruptions (the healthiest type of sleep).

But sleep patterns got worse as the pandemic continued.

The respondents reported an average 7 percent increase in nights with fewer than seven hours of sleep.

Even worse, a growing number of people turned to sleeping pills for their night-time woes—even though numerous studies have shown these drugs to be dangerous and ineffective (including a new report that I’ll discuss in a moment).

In fact, the researchers concluded that the coronavirus pandemic has increased sleep problems and the use of (useless) sleeping pills most significantly among women, people who have been financially impacted, and healthcare professionals.

This is especially concerning because, as I’ve written before, chronic lack of sleep leads to a whole host of health problems… Poor sleep leads to poor health Along with attention and memory loss, accidents, and poor work performance, poor sleep is a key factor in chronic diseases like obesity, dementia, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and more.

Plus, as you would expect, poor sleep is especially damaging for your brain.

A new study, which followed nearly 8,000 men and women for 25 years, found that people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who routinely slept less than six hours each night had a whopping 30 percent increase in dementia risk compared with those who slept seven hours each night.2

Interestingly, this was even the case for people with other dementia risk factors like lack of exercise, low fruit and vegetable consumption, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, or depression.

Meaning that sleep is one of the single biggest determinants of whether you’ll get dementia later in life.

The good news is, there are simple, natural, effective steps you can take to improve the duration and quality of your sleep…starting TODAY.

My six natural sleep solutions Here are my top six sleep solutions.

You can try them individually, or for optimal success, try combining them…

  • Skip the dangerous sleep drugs.

As I mentioned earlier, more people turned to sleeping pills during the pandemic.

But research shows these pills don’t help you sleep better over the long term.

A new study of women with an average age of 50 years measured sleep disturbances over two years.4

The study included 238 women who used benzodiazepine medications for insomnia and 447 women who didn’t take these drugs. (Common benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin.)

After one year, there was no difference in the rate of sleep disturbances—which the researchers defined as difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakening, and waking up early—between those who took prescription meds and those who didn’t.

Even after two years, there were no statistically significant reductions in sleep disturbances among the two groups.

The researchers noted that 9 million U.S. adults use prescription drugs to help them sleep.

But, based on their study, they concluded that the “effectiveness of long-term sleep medication use should be re-examined.” And I agree.

Not only are sleep medications ineffective, but they can lead to a dangerous cycle of drug dependency.

Plus, many sleeping pills can interfere with the conversion of short-term memories to long-term memories.

So, while you may enjoy more sleep…you may not remember it.

Of course, this study applied to women, but I suspect men would see similar results.

So, rather than relying on drugs, I suggest adopting five other daily routines to help improve your sleep…

  • Set the mood for sleep.

Think of the evening as your time to relax and destress—both mentally and physically.

As the sun starts to set, I advise dimming the lights.

Turn them on only when you’re moving about, for safety, or for specific tasks like reading.

The lowered light will help prompt your body to start converting serotonin (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter produced when exposed to natural sunlight during the day) into melatonin, which helps you sleep.

You should also turn off all electronic screens—including the television, computer, phone, and e-book reading contraptions.

The blue light emitted from these devices actually impairs the release of melatonin.

It also keeps your mind running.

Instead, train your mind and body to prepare for sleep with some healthy, restful, low-tech practices.

For example, take a bath; listen to music; read a physical book, magazine, or newspaper; practice mindfulness meditation; drink a cup of herbal tea; or just sit out on the porch, listening to the sounds of Nature and allowing your mind to wander for a while.

  • Be mindful about your exercise regimen.

Strenuous exercise (or “excess-ercise,” as I call it) puts your body on “high alert” by increasing blood flow, body temperature, and mental stimulation.

In effect, it keeps your “engine running” for up to six hours and can interfere with sleep.

Science shows you only need to engage in 140 to 150 minutes of light-to-moderate activity per week to support your overall health and longevity.

And walking, hiking, swimming, housework, and yard work all count toward your weekly total! These light, enjoyable activities won’t interfere with getting restful sleep at night, so you can engage in them whenever you’re feeling up for it.

  • Limit daily napping or “sleeping in.”

Establishing a regular pattern of sleeping and waking helps your body adhere to its natural circadian rhythm, which signals when it’s time to sleep, eat, and carry out other key body functions.

But research shows that as you get older, your circadian rhythm becomes less reliable.

So, it’s even more important to stick to a regular sleep schedule as you age.

That means reconsidering naps or “sleeping in” on weekends.

I know this can be difficult if you have insomnia, but resisting an afternoon nap helps encourage restful sleep— and sleepiness—at night-time… helping you to restore your natural circadian rhythm.

  • Practice mind-body approaches.

Relaxation and stress-reduction approaches like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can help you fall asleep at night.

To find the right mind-body techniques that will work best for you, check out my books, Your Emotional Type and Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain: Keys to Treatment Based on Your Emotional Type. (Both can be found under the “books” tab of my website, ww.DrMicozzi.com.)

 

  • Get scent-sational sleep. Science shows many people experience significant improvements in sleep and relaxation by inhaling essential plant oils (the same kinds of oils used to make perfumes).

This practice, known as aromatherapy, has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to treat various ailments… and it’s finally getting the attention it deserves from mainstream medicine.

Studies show the plant compounds in essential oils directly link to the sleep centres in the brain. Consequently, they have significant benefits for relaxation, stress reduction, and sleep—especially among older people and people with chronic medical conditions.

To attain these benefits, simply apply the oils to your skin (around your nose, chin, jaw, earlobes, and inner wrists), where they’ll be absorbed, enter your bloodstream, and travel to your brain.

You can also inhale them from an application on the skin, or through a mist diffuser—where the scents travel into your upper nasal passages, which connect directly into the olfactory centres of your brain.

While many essential oils can be used in aromatherapy, research shows the most effective sleep-inducing essential oils are:

  • Chamomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Limonene
  • Orange
  • Peppermint

I like to apply a carefully crafted combination of all of these oils, blended with vitamin E in organic coconut and eucalyptus oil, in one “easy-to-use” roll-on applicator, directly onto my skin shortly before, or right at bedtime.

I also apply them later during the day to promote calmness and relaxation.

At the end of the day, we’re all struggling to reach a sense of normalcy again after a long, trying year.

If you’re among the millions of people still experiencing sleep difficulties, you’re not alone.

But you also don’t need to rely on pharmaceutical pills—or even special pillows.

Just follow my six steps for safe and healthy sleep… and start to rest easy tonight and, hopefully, every night

CategoriesBlog

Can a Messed-up Metabolism be related to eating less than you should?

 

by LCR Health Staff Writer

Metabolism 001

 

There is a big difference between metabolism and digestion. Some people think that they can’t lose weight because they have a slow metabolism. Others think that if they have fast digestion, it means that they must have a fast metabolism. As it turns out, the old adage of “eat less and exercise more” may not always be the best strategy for preventing long-term weight gain.1

Are you dealing with a messed-up metabolism? It may be more common than you might imagine. Here, you will learn about metabolic rate, how it is affected by eating less, and what you can do to support healthy weight loss.

 

Some Basics on The Human Digestive System and Metabolic Rate

 

Human Digestive System

Digestion is the process of breaking down food, so our bodies are able to separate what is going to be used, and what is going to go to waste. This is the first part of what happens when we ingest food.

The human digestive system works by breaking down food into smaller pieces so that the nutrients contained within the food can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Digestion is a mechanical and chemical process.2

Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which our cells convert the food we eat into the energy we need to keep our bodies functioning.3,4

This is the second part of what happens when we ingest food. It encompasses chemical and physical processes such as:

  • Breathing
  • Blood circulation
  • Body temperature control
  • Muscle contraction
  • Digestion of food and nutrients
  • Waste elimination
  • Brain and nerve functioning5

 

Metabolism measures the amount of oxygen used by the body over a specific amount of time.6

There are two parts to how our metabolism functions and they should ideally be in balance:

Catabolism is the process that breaks down macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and dietary fats) into molecules that can be used to provide the body with energy.

Anabolism is the process of rebuilding and repairing the body. Any excess nutrients not used during this process become stored as fat.7

 

Metabolic Rate

Your body’s total energy expenditure is known as the metabolic rate. Even at rest, your body needs to keep certain systems supplied with energy, such as breathing, ensuring that the heartbeats, providing resources for cells to be repaired, and adjusting hormone levels.

Your body burns calories in three distinct ways:

  • Via the mechanism of the basal metabolic rate
  • As a result of everyday activities
  • As a result of exercise8

The measurement, known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR), is made when the body is at rest. It measures the amount of energy your body needs to maintain homeostasis.9 Basal metabolism can be influenced by your body’s level of nutritional health, overall health status, and body temperature, among other factors.10

A number of factors affect metabolism. They are food, exercise, current weight, former weight, and deprivation of food and sleep.

 

How Does the Food You Eat Affect Metabolism?

Does eating specific foods make your metabolism faster? Would that make your body lose weight and achieve fat loss? What about only eating at certain times of the day? These are common questions that come up. Fortunately, your metabolism does not vary much throughout the day, regardless of what you eat or when you eat it. But there are a handful of instances in which you can help speed up your metabolism. For example, caffeine speeds up the rate at which your body burns calories, but the effect only lasts for a short time then goes back to its regular rate.11

For weight loss, foods to avoid include products with empty carbs such as cakes, cookies, candy bars, potato chips, and soft drinks, as well as those that contain refined white flour, like bread. Unfortunately, the body stores these foods as fat. Instead, if you want to achieve fat loss, consume foods rich in whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruit. These are foods whose energy can be more available for immediate use. The important part about metabolism is to not focus on the metabolic rate – but on the quality of the metabolic process.12

 

How Does Your Current Weight Affect Metabolism?

Your weight is largely dependent on the presence and proper functioning of hormones such as insulin. The release of insulin after a meal acts as the trigger for anabolism. But if you are overweight, it is possible that your body will no longer respond well to insulin. Therefore, sugar may remain in your blood rather than being stored as energy.13 This will result in weight gain rather than fat loss.

 

How Does Body Fat Affect Metabolism?

There are two types of fat in the body. “White fat” is the result of your body storing excess calories. It is often considered “bad fat.” Weight gain occurs when your body accumulates too much white fat. “Brown fat” is considered “good fat.” Its primary function is to turn food into body heat by breaking down sugar and fat molecules. Brown fat is activated by cold temperatures. This leads to a slew of metabolic changes in the body.14,15

Different Dieting Methods: Can They Lead To A Messed Up Metabolism?

Calorie Restriction and Intermittent Fasting

When it comes to dieting, there are two ways to restrict calories – and they have very different outcomes. The first is continuous calorie restriction, which is a diet that consists of a significant reduction of calories that are consumed. The other is intermittent calorie restriction. Also known as intermittent fasting, this consists of going for extended periods of time without eating.

Eating a restricted-calorie diet can cause metabolic problems by triggering increased hunger and additional eating. This may result in weight being regained. It may also affect hormone levels and contribute to age-related muscle wasting.16

On the other hand, intermittent fasting can be an effective dieting solution for short-term weight loss, among people of varying weights, from normal to overweight and obese. It may also be helpful in stabilizing blood sugar.17,18

Starvation Mode

Starvation mode is the biological process of restricting calories to the point that bodyweight declines. Rather than burning calories, the body grabs onto any calories it can get. As a result, a person may gain weight rather than losing it.19

How do you avoid this type of metabolic starvation?

A normal metabolic process consists of hormones, neurotransmitters, proteins, and a host of chemical messengers. Their role is to regulate the number of calories that get burned through actions such as walking, breathing, talking, and exercising. However, when a person heavily restricts calories, the body goes into overdrive to retain enough calories required to have the energy to function properly.20 You can avoid this outcome by eating lots of lean protein (25-30g per meal) to preserve and rebuild muscles, manage body weight, and keep cardiometabolic risk factors in check.21

Eating Disorders

Occasionally, metabolism may be affected by an eating disorder. One disorder distorts the perception of weight, resulting in extreme weight control behaviours and starvation. When the metabolism is dysregulated and set too low, the body does not want to gain weight.22

Binge eating followed by purging is another eating disorder that wreaks havoc on body weight and affects metabolism.23 This cycle disrupts sodium, potassium, chloride, and other electrolyte levels, and affects pH levels as well as many other metabolic complications and related illnesses.24

 

Healthy Ways to Support A Healthy Metabolism

 

How Does Exercise Affect Metabolism?

Your resting metabolism accounts for most of the calories that you burn during the day. Exercising is one of the few ways that you can influence your metabolic rate. This is because muscle tissue is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat tissue. A bonus outcome is that once you build more muscle tissue, your body still burns more calories – even when you are sitting still.25

A big factor that determines your metabolism is genetics. Your genes play the biggest part in the rate of your metabolism, and the speed is not related to your body size or composition. Age also plays a role. Having a slower metabolism means that fewer calories are burned, which affects the ability to lose weight. People who have a slower metabolism store more fat in the body. Conversely, people with faster metabolism can burn calories at a faster pace. That is why two people with similar weights can eat the same amount of food, but one of them gains weight while the other one doesn’t.26

Another factor is muscle tissue. Your body’s ability to burn calories is dependent upon the amount of muscle tissue that you have. This varies by gender (women tend to have less muscle than men) and by age (older people tend to have less muscle tissue than younger people). While building muscle mass can boost metabolism, the best way to burn more calories is to move a lot: running, walking, and playing sports.27

Eating more protein is also a contributing factor in altering the speed of metabolism. This process, known as the thermic effect, happens when we eat, digest, and store food. The thermic effect of protein is higher than carbs and fats, so it takes longer for the body to absorb it. To speed up your metabolism, you could combine more protein intake with lifting weights.28

 

How Do Proper Eating and Sleeping Affect Metabolism?

Reducing calorie intake by eating too little can cause your body to burn calories more slowly. As an example, skipping meals such as breakfast can confuse your body into thinking that there is a shortage of food. In that case, the body tries to preserve all the calories it can find, which lowers the metabolic burn rate.29

To avoid a messed-up metabolic situation, it is best to follow a dieting routine of eating several small meals a day. This should include vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

It is also vital to get enough sleep. Both lack of sleep and sleep disorders significantly impact metabolic homeostasis in a negative way. This can lead to high insulin levels, insulin resistance, and more fat storage, leading to weight gain. Studies have shown that 6-8 hours of sleep is best for optimal metabolic performance.30

 

Approach Weight Loss “In Spite Of” Your Metabolism Instead of Trying To “Beat It”

The most reliable ways to lose weight and avoid dysregulated metabolism are to stay active and to eat a healthy diet. Your body thrives when its metabolism is at its peak. This occurs when you maintain consistent routines, exercise and build muscle, get good and adequate sleep, and eat good quality sources of calories. Avoid situations where you starve your body of calories and nutrition over an extended period of time. Consult your doctor for a weight loss plan tailored to your specific situation.

Learn More:
Are Probiotics Effective For Healthy Weight Management?
Daily Diet And Eating Habits: Portion Control Meals For A New Start To Weight Loss
How To Target “Stubborn Areas” For Fat Loss

Sources
1 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1014296
2 http://cte.sfasu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2_Principles_of_Digestion_and_Metabolism.html
3 https://www.britannica.com/science/metabolism
4 https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/how-metabolism-really-works
5 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002257.htm
6 https://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Thyroid_and_Weight.pdf
7 https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/metabolism
8 https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/does-metabolism-matter-in-weight-loss
9 https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/metabolism
10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2645618/
11 https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/how-metabolism-really-works
12 https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/how-metabolism-really-works
13 https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/how-metabolism-really-works
14 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240989#a_solution_for_obesity
15 https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-brown-fat-improves-metabolism
16 https://www.precisionnutrition.com/fasting-restriction-life-extension
17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6128599/
18 https://www.precisionnutrition.com/fasting-restriction-life-extension
19 https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19998301/what-is-starvation-mode/
20 https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19998301/what-is-starvation-mode/
21 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25926512/
22 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-019-0439-2
23 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25936153/
24 https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/blog/metabolic-abnormalities-resulting-from-bulimia-nervosa
25 https://www.firstbeat.com/en/blog/5-things-to-know-about-burning-more-calories/
26 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-metabolism
27 https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/how-metabolism-really-works
28 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-metabolism
29 https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/what-happens-to-the-body-when-you-skip-meals
30 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498/

CategoriesBlog

7 Simple Ways to Unclog Your Arteries Naturally

7 Simple Ways to Unclog Your Arteries Naturally

Written By:  Sayer Ji, Founder GreenMedInfo

Cleansing arteries

We all want to live a long life, but did you know eating these simple foods has been proven scientifically to prevent and in some cases reverse the #1 cause of death in the modern world?

At present, atherosclerosis (the progressive narrowing and clogging up of the arteries) is the driving process behind cardiovascular mortality, the #1 cause of death on this planet, with approximately 18 million deaths annually.  A complex process, involving autoimmunity, infection, dietary incompatibilities, and many known and unknown factors, it is – despite conventional medical opinion – entirely preventable, and in some cases reversible.

Here is the peer-reviewed, published research proving that fact:

  • B Vitamins – yes, something as simple as adding a source of B-complex to your regimen can prevent the juggernaut of heart disease from taking your life prematurely. A double-blind, randomized study, published in 2005, in the journal Atherosclerosis found that a simple intervention using 2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg Vitamin B6, and 0.5mg Vitamin B12 for 1 year, resulted in significant reductions in arterial thickness (as measured by intima-media thickness).[1] Even niacin[2][3]or folic acid[4][5] alone has been shown to have this effect on patients. [Note: Always opt for natural sources of the B-group vitamins, including probiotic supplementation (which produce the entire complement for you), or a whole food extract, versus synthetic or semi-synthetic vitamins which, sadly, predominate on the market today].
  • Garlic – as we have documented extensively previously, garlic can save your life. It has been found to regress plaque buildup in the arteries, among many other potentially life-saving health benefits.[6]
  • Pomegranate – this super healing fruit has been found to regress plaque buildup in the arteries,[7][8] as well as being demonstrated to provide dozens of validated health benefits, including replacing the function of the mammalian ovary!
  • Fermented Cabbage – Kimchi, a Korean recipe, which includes fermented cabbage, hot pepper, and various other ingredients, including fermented fish, appears to stall the atherosclerotic process in the animal model.[9] Additionally, strains of good bacteria in kimchi have been found capable of degrading toxic chemicals that can additional bodily harm.
  • L-Arginine: This amino acid is capable of preventing arterial thickening – up to 24% reduction! — in the animal model.[10][11]We have done an extensive literature review on arginine supplementation and have found that in over 30 studies demonstrating this fact addition to 150 known health benefits, it is capable of addressing the underlying dysfunction associated with cardiovascular disease: endothelial dysfunction, with no less than 20 studies proving this fact.
  • Turmeric (curcumin): the primary polyphenol in the Indian spice turmeric known as curcumin has been found to be an excellent cardioprotective, with over 30 studies demonstrating this fact. One study found that curcumin prevented damage to the arteries associated with blockage (neointima formation).[12] We’ve discussed turmeric’s cardiovascular health benefits in greater depth in an article comparing it to aspirin here.
  • Sesame Seed: probably one of the most underappreciated superfoods on the planet, sesame seed, which we have shown is as effective as Tylenol for arthritic pain, maybe an excellent cardioprotective substance, ideally suited for preventing the progression of atherosclerosis. One animal study found it was capable of preventing atherosclerosis lesion formation.[13] Another human study found that eating sesame seed paste can reduce blood markers of cardiovascular disease.

This is a small sample of evidence-based natural interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention and/or regression. We have a much larger set of studies on over 200 natural substances capable of reducing the risk of heart attack and associated cardiovascular diseases.

Remember, heart disease is not a natural process, that we must accept as inevitable based on the family history of an outdated gene-based model of human disease risk. Our daily decisions, especially regarding what we decide we are going to eat or do not eat, are first and foremost. We can use food as medicine, sloughing off the pharmaceutical industry meme that we need statins to stave off the inevitable.’ Take back control of your health with nutrition, and realize that food is the only medicine that will both nourish us and heal our bodies in a way that will produce lasting health.

REFERENCES

[1] Uwe Till, Peter Röhl, Almut Jentsch, Heiko Till, Andreas Müller, Klaus Bellstedt, Dietmar Plonné, Horst S Fink, Rüdiger Vollandt, Ulrich Sliwka, Falko H Herrmann, Henning Petermann, Reiner Riezler. Decrease of carotid intima-media thickness in patients at risk to cerebral ischemia after supplementation with folic acid, Vitamins B6 and B12. Atherosclerosis. 2005 Jul;181(1):131-5. Epub 2005 Feb 16. PMID: 15939064

[2] Allen J Taylor, Hyun J Lee, Lance E Sullenberger. The effect of 24 months of combination statin and extended-release niacin on carotid intima-media thickness: ARBITER 3. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov;22(11):2243-50 PMID: 17076985

[3] M Thoenes, A Oguchi, S Nagamia, C S Vaccari, R Hammoud, G E Umpierrez, B V Khan. The effects of extended-release niacin on carotid intimal media thickness, endothelial function and inflammatory markers in patients with the metabolic syndrome. Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Nov;61(11):1942-8. PMID: 17935553

[4] George Ntaios, Christos Savopoulos, Dimitrios Karamitsos, Ippoliti Economou, Evangelos Destanis, Ioannis Chryssogonidis, Ifigenia Pidonia, Pantelis Zebekakis, Christos Polatides, Michael Sion, Dimitrios Grekas, Apostolos Hatzitolios. The effect of folic acid supplementation on carotid intima-media thickness in patients with cardiovascular risk: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Int J Cardiol. 2009 Feb 6. PMID: 19201496

[5] T P Smith, C P Cruz, A T Brown, J F Eidt, M M Moursi. Folate supplementation inhibits intimal hyperplasia induced by a high-homocysteine diet in a rat carotid endarterectomy model. J Vasc Surg. 2001 Sep;34(3):474-81. PMID: 11533600

[6] G Siegel, A Walter, S Engel, A Walper, F Michel. [Pleiotropic effects of garlic]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1999;149(8-10):217-24. PMID: 10483684

[7] Michael Aviram, Mira Rosenblat, Diana Gaitini, Samy Nitecki, Aaron Hoffman, Leslie Dornfeld, Nina Volkova, Dita Presser, Judith Attias, Harley Liker, Tony Hayek. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33. PMID: 15158307

[8] Michael H Davidson, Kevin C Maki, Mary R Dicklin, Steven B Feinstein, Marysue Witchger, Marjorie Bell, Darren K McGuire, Jean-Claude Provost, Harley Liker, Michael Aviram. Effects of consumption of pomegranate juice on carotid intima-media thickness in men and women at moderate risk for coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2009 Oct 1;104(7):936-42. PMID: 19766760

[9] Hyun Ju Kim, Jin Su Lee, Hae Young Chung, Su Hee Song, Hongsuk Suh, Jung Sook Noh, Yeong Ok Song. 3-(4′-hydroxyl-3′,5′-dimethoxyphenyl)propionic acid, an active principle of kimchi, inhibits development of atherosclerosis in rabbits. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 12;55(25):10486-92. Epub 2007 Nov 16. PMID: 18004805

[10] M G Davies, H Dalen, J H Kim, L Barber, E Svendsen, P O Hagen. Control of accelerated vein graft atheroma with the nitric oxide precursor: L-arginine. J Surg Res. 1995 Jul;59(1):35-42. PMID: 7630134

[11] Mehdi Nematbakhsh, Shaghayegh Haghjooyjavanmard, Farzaneh Mahmoodi, Ali Reza Monajemi. The prevention of endothelial dysfunction through endothelial cell apoptosis inhibition in a hypercholesterolemic rabbit model: the effect of L-arginine supplementation. Lipids Health Dis. 2008;7:27. Epub 2008 Aug 2. PMID: 18673573

[12] Xiaoping Yang, D Paul Thomas, Xiaochun Zhang, Bruce W Culver, Brenda M Alexander, William J Murdoch, Mysore N A Rao, David A Tulis, Jun Ren, Nair Sreejayan. Curcumin inhibits platelet-derived growth factor-stimulated vascular smooth muscle cell function and injury-induced neointima formation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Jan;26(1):85-90. Epub 2005 Oct 20. PMID: 16239599

[13] Shylesh Bhaskaran, Nalini Santanam, Meera Penumetcha, Sampath Parthasarathy. Inhibition of atherosclerosis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-negative mice by sesame oil. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4) PMID: 17201634

Originally published: 2014-06-23  Article updated: 2019-04-08

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

 

CategoriesBlog

Vitamin B12: Why it’s Important and How to Avoid B12 Deficiency

 · CEO, Food Revolution Network –  

Here’s the deal: B12 is an essential vitamin, crucial for many bodily functions. And many people can’t get enough B12 from an exclusively plant-based diet without some form of supplementation. Therefore, the anti-vegan concludes, plant-based diets are unnatural and unhealthy. Case closed, and let’s break out the ribeyes.

Well, not so fast. While it’s true that B12 is an essential nutrient, and it’s hard to get enough from plants, there’s a lot more to the story. Many non-vegans are also low on B12, for a variety of reasons having to do with individual health issues, as well as modern agricultural and sanitation practices. And many people actually host bacteria that make B12 in their digestive tracts.

No matter what your diet, this article tells you what you need to know about B12. You’ll find out what it is, where it comes from, why it’s so important for your health, how much you need, and where to find the healthiest sources.

What Is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12
iStock.com/

Of all the known vitamins, vitamin B12 is the largest and has the most complex structure. (Think of it as the vitamin equivalent of book five of the Harry Potter series.) Like all the other B vitamins, B12 is water-soluble. This means that your body uses what it needs and excretes the rest through your urine. While some people can store vitamin B12 in their bodies for a long time (up to four years), it’s important to get a regular supply in order to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin B12 contains the metallic chemical element cobalt, which is why B12 compounds are also known as cobalamins. (It turns out that Wolverine isn’t the only one with a partly metallic body!) Your body requires B12 to form red blood cells, to keep your brain functioning well, and to synthesize DNA. B12 also plays an essential role in folate (vitamin B9) metabolism, which is a critical nutrient for reproduction. In other words, no B12, no life.

B12 Benefits for Your Health

B12
iStock.com/Mizina

Vitamin B12 is critically important for a lot of reasons. It contributes to a vast array of processes that keep your body running smoothly and that support your overall health. Here are just a few crucial benefits of B12.

  1. Helps fight depression.

Getting enough vitamin B12 supports brain health and a positive mood. Observational studies have found that approximately one-third of patients who are admitted for clinical treatment of depression are deficient in vitamin B12.

  1. Protects against cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin B12 helps regulate levels of homocysteine, a byproduct of protein metabolism. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Homocysteine levels increase when B12 is deficient and decrease when there is enough B12 in the body. (Think of B12 and homocysteine on opposite sides of a see-saw.) Many studies conducted between 1999-2003 found that vegans who were not supplementing with vitamin B12 had unusually high levels of homocysteine, whereas those who did supplement had homocysteine levels that fell within a normal range.

  1. Protects against eye disease and disorders.

Vitamin B12’s ability to bring down homocysteine levels benefits not only your cardiovascular system and your brain but your eyes as well. Elevated homocysteine levels appear to increase the risk of a number of eye-related diseases, including (warning: list of medical jargon coming up) retinopathy, cataracts, optic atrophy, retinal vessel atherosclerosis, and pseudoexfoliative glaucoma maculopathy (I don’t recommend trying to say this five times fast).

And that’s not all. Age-related macular degeneration is associated with both high homocysteine levels and low levels of vitamin B12. The good news is that vitamin B12 and folate supplementation can be helpful in helping elderly people reduce the high homocysteine levels that can lead to eye disease. And remarkably, the topical application of vitamin B12 along with citicoline — a naturally-occurring brain chemical sometimes used in supplements — to the eyes of patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy actually regrew damaged nerves, improving their corneal nerve health. Now that’s some real-life magic right there!

  1. Protects against neural tube defects in pregnancy.

Neural tube defects are serious birth defects that can change the function or shape of the spinal cord and brain. While we most often hear about the importance of folate for preventing neural tube defects, vitamin B12 also plays a crucial role. Fetuses of mothers with low levels of vitamin B12 are at a higher risk for neural tube defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly, among others.

  1. Helps with red blood cell formation.

Vitamin B12 also helps to make sure you have enough red blood cells in circulation. In turn, it supports oxygen availability in your body and may improve athletic performance. A 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients examined 1,131 blood samples collected from 243 track and field athletes over six years and compared the results to athletic performance. The researchers concluded that the ideal athletic performance was achieved when blood levels of B12 were in the range of 400-700 pg/mL (that’s picograms per millilitre. And in case you’ve never heard of a picogram before, it’s one trillionth of a gram).

  1. Has a protective effect on DNA.

Vitamin B12 has antioxidant properties, which is one of the reasons it can both protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals and reduce your cancer risk. If Jeff Goldblum had gotten enough B12, I suspect The Fly would have been a very different (and much less scary) movie.

Having enough vitamin B12 in your system can also help protect you against the toxicity of some drugs. One 2014 study, for example, found that vitamin B12 was protective against the known free radical damage caused by Paclitaxel, an anticancer drug that leads to irreversible cell injury. And a 2018 study found that vitamin B12 reduced toxicity from hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic drug used to treat high blood pressure and fluid-related swelling.

Where Does Vitamin B12 Come From?

B12 3

iStock.com/PeopleImages

There are many misconceptions about B12, but the truth is that this critical vitamin does not actually come from meat. Rather, B12 is made only by bacteria and single-celled organisms. And where pray tell, are these B12 producing microorganisms found? In soil, and in the small intestine of animals, including humans.

Before the advent of modern sterilization practices, you could get B12 pretty much everywhere, including by eating vegetables that had a teeny bit of dirt left on them. Or by drinking well or river water, or just by working in a garden.

These days, though, most of us drink chlorinated water, which kills the B12-producing bacteria (as well, of course, as the nasty pathogens that cause cholera, typhoid, and dysentery). Furthermore, much of our farmland today is sterile since it’s fed with synthetic fertilizers instead of decaying plant and animal matter in which B12 bacteria can survive.

Meanwhile, our society has developed a collective fear of dirt and germs. While there are undeniable public health benefits to our anti-microbial efforts, there are serious negative side effects as well, including a lack of bioavailable B12 in our environment.

And remember our anti-vegan debater crowing about the fact that vegans have to supplement with B12, and how it “proves” that their diet is inherently unhealthy and unnatural? Well, the sad truth is that factory-farmed animals are also B12 deficient, so they receive supplementation in their feed. This means that no matter where you’re getting your B12, it’s likely to depend at least in part on supplementation. The real question is whether you supplement directly or take it through a middleman, er, middle-cow or middle-chicken.

How Much Vitamin B12 Do You Need?

It’s not just a matter of how much B12 you take in; it’s also how much you can use. The vitamin must be bioavailable. And you must be able to absorb and transport it efficiently as well. For instance, optimal B12 absorption can only be achieved when there’s enough intrinsic factor — a transporter protein for B12 — in the digestive system.

And with all of the factors in our world today that can throw off our gut microbiome, it’s not just vegans or vegetarians who are at risk for B12 deficiency. In fact, according to one study of 3,000 people conducted a while back by researchers at Tufts University, up to 39% of the US population could have low B12 levels. That’s why it’s crucial to understand how to get vitamin B12 from dietary and/or supplemental sources, and how much you need in order to maintain optimal levels.

Below are the recommended daily needs for vitamin B12, based on established Adequate Intake and Recommended Dietary Allowances:

  • 0-6 months: 0.4 mcg (micrograms, or millionths of a gram)
  • 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
  • 1-3 years: 0.9 mg
  • 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
  • 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
  • 14+ years: 2.4 mcg
  • Pregnancy: 2.6 mcg
  • Lactation: 2.8 mcg

As you can see, the recommended intake varies depending on age, pregnancy status, and diet. But minimum daily needs data can be misleading. The truth is that if your absorption is suboptimal for any reason, which is increasingly the case as you grow older, your actual needs might be higher.

B12 Deficiency

B12 4

iStock.com/jarun011

If you don’t get enough vitamin B12, either because of inadequate intake, poor absorption, and/or inability to make your own in tandem with the bacteria in your gut, you’re at risk of a B12 deficiency.

What are some of the more common symptoms of B12 deficiency? They can include fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, tingling of hands and feet, sore mouth or tongue, difficulty balancing, confusion, and poor memory. In infants, it can look like failure to thrive, movement disorders, and developmental delays.

Of course, the best way to know how efficient your body is at producing — and absorbing — vitamin B12 is to have your blood levels tested. A vitamin B12 test can be done at the same time as other general labs at a wellness check-up. But because it’s not a standard test, you will have to request it in most cases. It typically costs $30-50 for such a test.

In western medicine today, B12 deficiency is generally suspected when blood levels of B12 fall below 200 pg/mL. But research suggests that levels of at least 400 pg/mL are closer to optimal.

Who Is Most At Risk for Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

B12 5

iStock.com/kate_sept2004

While vitamin B12 deficiency can affect anyone, certain groups are at higher risk.

The most common cause of B12 deficiency is poor absorption, which can result from conditions like irritable bowel disease, Celiac disease, AIDS, or bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. The elderly population is also at heightened risk because B12 absorption worsens with age.

People who have an MTHFR genetic mutation may also be more prone to B12 deficiency. This is because having this particular mutation inhibits the way your body can process B vitamins, including folate and B12.

Additionally, people who follow a diet that excludes animal products are at a higher risk. This is because, for many people, the most abundant food sources of B12 are animal products.

Vitamin B12 Sources & Absorption

Plant-based eaters generally can’t remedy a B12 deficiency simply by more veggies. While whole food, plant-based diet can provide optimal levels of almost all of the nutrients you need, vitamin B12 is one of the only ones that isn’t easily sourced from plants.

The dietary sources of vitamin B12 include:

  • Most animal products (for those who eat them), including fish, beef, poultry, dairy products, and eggs
  • Algae, seaweed, and some mushrooms
  • Some fermented foods like tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso
  • Fortified foods like certain plant-based milk and yoghurts, some cereals, nutritional yeast, and tofu

Some root veggies, like carrots, potatoes, and turnips, were traditionally considered to be decent sources of vitamin B12 due to the healthy soil they were once grown in. However, with so much food grown in relatively “dead” and degraded soils, and with most of us today cleaning our products thoroughly before we eat it, these foods are no longer reliable sources of B12.

While they may provide some vitamin B12, and it’s also possible that bacteria in your gut are taking care of your needs completely, B12 is too important to leave to chance. If you follow a plant-based diet, it’s important to include a B12 supplement to meet your needs.

Vitamin B12 Supplements

B12 6

iStock.com/SbytovaMN

Taking a B12 dietary supplement is necessary for plant-based eaters. But considering how many omnivores are deficient in it, it might be advisable for other people, too. Vegan B12 is easy to find and is one of the least expensive supplements on the market.

But there are several different forms of B12 supplements available. So which one is best? Believe it or not, some natural health advocates get remarkably heated on this topic.

Cyanocobalamin vs Methylcobalamin

The most widely used form is cyanocobalamin, mainly because it’s cheaper and more stable to manufacture than other forms. When you ingest cyanocobalamin, your body converts it into one of the two active forms of vitamin B12: methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin. And some studies indicate that cyanocobalamin may be better absorbed, so score one for team cyanocobalamin.

But the next most popular form is methylcobalamin, which is the natural form (the kind found in food sources), whereas cyanocobalamin is synthetic. And some studies have found that, compared to methylcobalamin, more cyanocobalamin is excreted through urine, suggesting that methylcobalamin may be retained better.

Some people also rail against cyanocobalamin by explaining that it is made with cyanide (a poisonous substance). And it’s true that cyanocobalamin does include a cyanide molecule. But the good news is that even at a high dose, you’ll still be getting a thousand times less cyanide than is toxic. And the tiny amount of cyanide is excreted in the urine. So while this sounds terrible, it probably doesn’t cause alarm. Even if you don’t have the constitution of Rasputin, you will not get poisoned.

That said, if the cyanide factor makes you want to opt for methylcobalamin, I won’t blame you. Overall, available research around vitamin B12 suggests that the differences in bioavailability between these two forms may not be enough to suggest one over the other for most people. Instead, factors that affect the absorption of vitamin B12, like age and genetics, may be more influential than the form of the supplement itself.

Supplement Amounts

How much vitamin B12 should you take in the form of a supplement? Generally speaking, it’s best to get your levels tested to determine your baseline and adjust dosages accordingly.

The registered dietitians at VeganHealth.org, who have extensively researched vitamin B12 on a vegan diet, put together a helpful table with recommended regimens for supplementing vitamin B12. You can see that table here.

Vitamin B12 injections are another option. Such injections are most often used for high-risk people who have absorption issues, and for people who are already vitamin B12 deficient. The advantage of this method is that it can quickly correct low levels of B12. Injections generally contain high levels of cyanocobalamin and can either be self-administered or given by a physician.

Editor’s Note: If you want to get B12 from a supplement, one option that you might want to consider is Complement Plus, which provides methylcobalamin B12 and other critical nutrients that can be hard for plant-based eaters to get from food — specifically D3, DHA, EPA, Zinc, Iodine, Magnesium, and Selenium. Our friends at Complement put them all into one simple, non-GMO, vegan capsule. They’re offering FRN members a special discount price. To find out more, click here. If you make a purchase using this link, they’ll make a contribution to support FRN’s work, too. (Thank you!)

Vitamin B12 Risks and Interactions

In general, high doses of B12 are considered safe with a low risk of toxicity, and there is no established upper tolerable limit for this nutrient. If you’re taking an oral supplement, there’s no known risk with taking a reasonable amount daily, even if you haven’t had your blood levels checked.

However, there may be some risks to B12 injections, which is why they should not, in most cases, be undertaken without support from a qualified healthcare professional. If you’re allergic to cyanocobalamin or cobalt, have low potassium levels (hypokalemia), kidney disease, a rare blood disorder called polycythemia vera, the eye disease Leber’s disease, or nutrient deficiencies like iron or folic acid, B12 injections are not recommended due to higher risk for interactions.

Vitamin B12: Essential and Non-Negotiable

B12 7

iStock.com/Professor25

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that’s necessary for good health. Plant-based eaters and older people are at increased risk of deficiency. Fortunately, even if you opt to forego all animal products, you can get all the B12 you need, and all the benefits from this versatile and critical nutrient, with a simple and affordable supplement.

Featured image: iStock.com/Tero Vesalainen

 

CategoriesBlog

Garlic: Roto-Rooter for the Arteries?

Garlic: Roto-Rooter for the Arteries?

One of the most common kitchen staples could prove to also be one of the most effective natural treatments for heart disease

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the modern world. It’s the reason why millions pop aspirin, blood pressure, or statin drugs daily in the hopes that they might reduce the risk of sudden and premature death. But pharmaceutical approaches to prevention carry with them such profound health risks that, in most cases, the jury is still out as to whether they do more good than harm. Here at GreenMedInfo.health, we have a strong belief (and therefore bias) that natural substances are superior to synthetic ones in preventing and treating health problems. We also focus on bringing to light research on the unintended, adverse effects of these commonly employed pharmaceutical interventions, as they are underreported in popular media. That said, as an “evidence-based” platform we make a concerted effort to defer to the authority of peer-reviewed and published scientific literature, which when closely inspected, lends remarkably consistent support to our core advocacies. You can view literally thousands of studies we have gathered on natural ways to prevent and sometimes reverse heart disease via our newly redesigned Research Dashboard by searching any number of over 10,000 categories, from arterial calcification to high blood pressure to a heart attack.

Why The Drugs (Patented Chemicals) Won’t Work

A quick word about commonly ingested and putatively heart-friendly drugs for the primary prevention of heart disease…

First, let’s acknowledge that heart disease is not caused by a lack of a drug. This point is so obvious that it often seems to escape the attention it deserves. To the contrary, it is exposure to tens of thousands of chemicals (many of them drugs) that did not pre-exist the industrial revolution in the late 19th century that is one of the major, if not the primary reason why we have a heart disease epidemic. Of course, nutritional and lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking) play a huge role, but being exposed to chemicals and drugs that shouldn’t be in the body (outside their occasional use in emergency medicine where they can be life-saving) is a sorely underreported part of the puzzle.

Aspirin, for instance, has been linked to over 50 serious side effects, the top 7 of which we documented in our previous report, The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives. Statin drugs are even worse. Not only are the statistics manipulated to make them seem far more effective than they actually are, but we have identified over 300 adverse health effects linked to their use. Should we be surprised? The body is comprised, molecule by molecule, cell by cell, of natural substances, not synthetic ones. Therefore what’s not natural is perceived by the body as xenobiotic (“foreign to life”), rejected if possible, but almost always leading to a wide range of adverse effects that are at the root of many health conditions that are, in turn, treated with more chemicals to suppress or mask the symptoms of chemical poisoning. It’s a truly vicious cycle. Some call it the medical merry-go-round.

Why Garlic May Save Your Heart (And Your Life)

Given the uncertainty that comes with taking pharmaceuticals — basically patented chemicals, ostensibly to “improve health” or “reduce disease risks” — natural alternatives are receiving far greater attention today than ever before. And rightfully so! Literally, thousands of years of a cross-culturally confirmed positive experience is backing their use, including a glut of relatively recently performed scientific research.

We’ve looked at a wide range of natural alternatives to drugs for heart disease in previous posts, with pomegranateturmeric, and sesame seed demonstrating extraordinary cardioprotective properties, to name but a few. Garlic, however, maybe the most compelling of them all from the standpoint of clinical research, given that numerous recent studies now show this amazing herb can prevent and even reverse the accumulation of calcified plaque in the arteries. This is, of course, the goal of root-cause resolution medicine: to address and ameliorate the underlying pathologies, instead of simply suppressing symptoms or surrogate markers of cardiovascular disease risk such as LDL cholesterol. Take a look at one of our previous reports on the topic of garlic’s artery de-calcifying properties here.

The most recent clinical study on the topic of garlic’s heart-disease healing properties was just published in the journal Nutrition and entitled, “Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Low Attenuation Plaque in Coronary Arteries of Patients with Metabolic Syndrome in a Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Study.” It looked at whether or not aged garlic supplementation could reduce the volume of so-called low-attenuation plaque in the arteries of patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome includes a constellation of health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. This condition greatly increases the person’s risk for heart attack and stroke and often occurs alongside atherosclerosis.

Although several previous studies have demonstrated that aged garlic extract (AGE) inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification, its effect on noncalcified plaque (NCP) has not been clearly demonstrated to be effective in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

The new study involved 55 patients with metabolic syndrome, with an average age of 58.7 and 71% men. They were divided into two groups (27 orally administered with 2400 mg a day of aged garlic) and 28 placebo.  The intervention lasted an average of  354 days.

The patients were maintained on current medications such as aspirin, hypertensive, or hyperlipidemia medication, and did not change medications during the study period.

The results showed a significant decrease in low-attenuation plaque volume (-1.5% ± 2.3%),  compared with an increase of 0.2% ± 2.0%, in the placebo group.  Low-attenuation plaque is associated with ischemia risk (inhibited blood supply) in atherosclerosis, a factor in a poorer prognosis.

The clear conclusion of the study was that aged garlic prevented plaque buildup in the arteries. When compared to the increase in plaque volume in the untreated group, clearly the intervention has life-saving implications in that it actually reversed the progression of atherosclerosis.

How does garlic work?

The researchers surmised that garlic possesses a number of therapeutic properties that occur simultaneously to stabilize atherosclerosis. Those primary properties are:

  • Cholesterol-reducing effects
  • Blood vessel dilating effects (blood pressure lowering)
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Antioxidant effects (inhibiting LDL oxidation)

When you consider the diverse ways in which garlic expresses its cardioprotective actions, it is what you could call a “polypill.” For decades the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to reproduce the spectrum of benefits witnessed in natural substances with a patented chemical capable of doing the same thing. The industry has clearly failed. In fact, drugs like statins carry over 300 distinct risks for adverse effects. You can view the statin database on our website to see the evidence for this astounding evidence of its toxicity.

We have additional research on our garlic database which reveals the cardioprotective properties of this remarkable herb. We have created a public page for 16 studies on the topic here, as part of our professional membership toolset functionality called “create the public page.” [Learn more about Professional features here]

Garlic is a powerful, time-tested, safe, affordable and easily accessible natural healing agent with dozens of documented side benefits. Those on medication, such as a blood thinner, should be mindful not to take it in “nutraceutical” concentrations without the guidance of a trained medical professional. For those who have opted out of conventional, drug-based approaches we can only opine that the best thing would be to let your food, and herbs like garlic, be your medicine if you so choose to exercise your free will.

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

CategoriesBlog

What is Quinoa?

Written by Ocean Robbins –  Food Revolution Network

 

Keen-what? Kwinowah?

Gone are the days when health food devotees were the only ones who’d heard of — and could pronounce — quinoa. From a peasant staple in South America’s remote highlands to the “it” grain of foodies, quinoa has taken the world by storm.

Quinoa — pronounced “keen-wah” — has enjoyed rapidly increasing popularity over the past couple of decades, and for good reason. It’s gluten-free, high in protein, and filling. It works well in breakfast bowls and porridges as well as quinoa salads, homemade veggie burgers, and casseroles — in addition to being a flavorful side grain. The crop grows in over 50 countries around the world, is highly nutritious, and boasts a number of health benefits that make it a valuable pantry staple. But what exactly is quinoa, and is all the hype justified?

What is Quinoa?

What is quinoa? Red, black, and white quinoa seeds in spoons
iStock.com/id-art

Chenopodium quinoa — quinoa’s botanical name — hails from the goosefoot family of plants, along with beets, Swiss chard, and spinach. Chenopodium literally means “little goose’s foot” in ancient Greek, since the leaves of some of quinoa’s relatives do resemble aquatic webbed feet — at least once you know to look for the resemblance.

Quinoa as we know it was first cultivated high in the Andes Mountains in Peru and Bolivia and constituted a major part of the traditional Incan diet. This region is still the largest producer of quinoa, responsible for over 80% of the global supply. And while quinoa was once considered peasant food, it became more popular in the 1970s in health food circles in North America and Europe. Today, farmers are producing quinoa in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, as well as many other regions of the world.

There are three main types of quinoa, which can be identified by their colours: traditional (white), red, and black quinoa. You might also see tri-colour varieties where the three colours are mixed.

Is Quinoa a Grain or a Seed?

So what is quinoa, really? Quinoa is a small, lightly-coloured, spherically-shaped “grain.” But I put “grain” in quotes because quinoa isn’t technically a cereal grain at all. It falls into the category of pseudocereals (like amaranth, buckwheat, and chia), which are basically seeds that are prepared and eaten like grains.

Quinoa seeds are the main edible part of the quinoa plant, though its leaves are also edible. Since quinoa is gluten-free and higher in protein, it’s often touted as a healthy alternative to rice, especially since, unlike rice, it contains, at most, negligible amounts of arsenic.

When I tried to figure out the difference between a seed and a grain, though, I got a headache. Merriam-Webster defines seed as “the grain… of a plant used for sowing.” When I looked up “grain,” I got “the seed… of a cereal grass.” So seeds are grains, and grains are seeds. I’m just going to have to let that debate rage on since, ultimately, quinoa is both.

Quinoa Nutrition

hands in heart shape holding quinoa
iStock.com/seanfboggs

Quinoa is a nutrient-dense food. In just one cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa, you’ll find a little over 200 calories and a number of vitamins and minerals. It’s also a particularly good source of manganese, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, and copper. It also offers some iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

That same serving of cooked quinoa also contains eight grams of protein, including all nine of the essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own.

Seventy percent of the calories in quinoa come from carbohydrates. And they are complex carbohydrates rather than the kind found in refined grains and sugars. In addition, quinoa contains a little over five grams of fibre per cooked cup, which helps keep it low on the glycemic index. This means that quinoa doesn’t spike your blood sugar the way that, for example, white rice or birthday cake does.

6 Quinoa Health Benefits

quinoa veggie burger patties on cutting board
iStock.com/nata_vkusidey

Don’t let the tiny size of the quinoa seed fool you, though. Not only is quinoa packed with nutrients and is a tasty addition to a number of dishes, studies on quinoa, and its unique compounds, have found some impressive health benefits.

1. May have anticancer properties

Quinoa is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that may help protect cells against oxidative diseases like cancer. One 2018 study found that 17 potential bioactive peptides derived from quinoa had powerful antioxidant properties, showing the ability to inhibit colon cancer cell growth in a lab setting. The authors suggested that these peptides could be used in the development of functional foods aimed at reducing diseases related to oxidative stress, like cancer. An even more recent 2020 report in the journal Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutrition came to similar conclusions. The authors stated that gluten-free pseudocereals (like quinoa) have peptides that have promising anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties relevant to human health.

2. May protect against heart disease and metabolic syndrome

Enjoying quinoa may help keep some heart health biomarkers, like blood fats, in an optimal range. A 2017 dose-response randomized, controlled, single-blind trial compared the impacts of 25 and 50 grams of quinoa consumed per day for 12 weeks, among 50 overweight or obese individuals. The researchers found that the group who consumed 50 grams of quinoa daily experienced an average reduction in triglycerides of 1.14 to 0.72 mmol/L, as well as a 70% reduction in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome.

3. May help regulate blood sugar

In a 2017 study, 30 prediabetic participants were randomized into two groups, to either receive processed quinoa or a placebo (maltodextrin) for 28 days, before and after which BMI, HbA1C (a measure of long-term blood sugar levels), satiety, and fullness were assessed. The quinoa group experienced a significant reduction in BMI and HbA1C values and an increase in reported feelings of satiety. The placebo group had no significant differences.

4. May support healthy weight loss and maintenance

Quinoa could be an excellent staple food to include in your diet if you’re looking to achieve a healthy weight. In a 2015 review, researchers concluded that quinoa consumption is able to effectively increase satiety and feelings of fullness, reduce fat tissue, and even lower inflammation related to obesity. Quinoa is a high-fibre food, which may help prevent overeating and excessive calorie intake, promoting healthy weight loss.

5. May have immune-boosting properties

According to a 2017 study, quinoa contains bioactive polysaccharides — a type of carbohydrate — that have promising potential as a natural antioxidant and immune regulator. The authors of this study, and researchers from another study more recently published, suggest that bioactive polysaccharides extracted specifically from quinoa could have food or drug applications.

6. May improve liver function

Quinoa may also have particular protective effects against diseases of the liver. A 2019 study among some very unfortunate rats found that quinoa seed powder had cytotoxicity against liver cancer cells and may be protective against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that can become a risk factor for liver cancer. Another study similarly found that quinoa intake prevented fatty liver in obese mice.

Eating a daily bowl of quinoa (or other whole grains) reduces the risk of premature death from diseases like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and type 2 diabetes by 17%.

All of this adds up to the potential for expanding life expectancy. A 2015 study by Harvard Public School of Health found that eating a daily bowl of quinoa (or other whole grains) reduces the risk of premature death from diseases like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and type 2 diabetes by 17%.

Potential Downsides of Eating Quinoa

What is quinoa
iStock.com/bhofack2

There are a few issues to watch out for with quinoa.

Quinoa is high in fibre, which is an important nutrient but can cause digestive disturbances if you’re not used to eating a fibre-rich diet. If this is the case, it’s best to introduce it into your diet slowly or in smaller portions.

Also, because its seeds are so small, they aren’t easily sifted, so little bits of debris can sneak in from time to time. This seems to vary from batch to batch. But if you find that your quinoa is pebble-prone, it could be wise to examine your quinoa for any unwanted particles, like small pebbles, that might have found their way into the harvest. You can do this by spreading raw quinoa out on a large baking sheet and sifting through it, or placing it in a very fine mesh strainer and running water through as you search for anything that needs to be discarded. As a few people have discovered the hard way (literally!), if it chips your tooth, it wasn’t quinoa.

Saponins

After you’ve examined your quinoa seeds, you need to rinse them. This is because they have a bitter coating of saponin, which should be removed before consumption to give them a milder flavour. Saponins are actually nature’s way of keeping birds and insects away from quinoa crops. And eating them can also be a mild stomach irritant for some people.

To rid your quinoa of saponins, you can soak it for at least five minutes (or overnight if you want to start the germination process), and then rinse it. Manufacturers sometimes rid quinoa of saponins during processing using a dry method that “polishes” the seeds through an abrasion process. This is often why you’ll see packaged “pre-washed” quinoa at the grocery store. But polished quinoa has lost some important nutrients, including half the fibre, as well as some of the protein, vitamins, and minerals.

However, if you don’t remove the saponins from your quinoa before cooking it, it’s probably not a big deal for most people. Some researchers actually say that saponins are phytochemicals, which might offer some health benefits. Still, some people are more sensitive to saponins than others and can have an almost allergy-like reaction, with side effects like diarrhoea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. If you find yourself feeling any strange side effects after eating home-cooked quinoa, try washing your seeds thoroughly before cooking next time to see if the saponins are the culprit.

Is Quinoa Ethical and Sustainable?

A field of quinoa growing
iStock.com/cicloco

Quinoa is an Andean plant that originated in Peru and Bolivia. As it has become increasingly popular as an export crop, the high demand has driven up the price. In fact, the cost of quinoa increased by 600% between 2000-2008 and has continued to go up since then. Because it’s now more profitable to sell quinoa to wealthy Americans and Europeans than Peruvian subsistence farmers, this traditional staple crop has become economically inaccessible to many indigenous people. In other words, while people in Europe and North America are eating more and more quinoa, some people living in quinoa farming communities can no longer afford it.

In some cases, farmers sell most of their valuable quinoa for cash and feed their families and communities cheaper and less nutritious grains, such as white rice and pasta. While quinoa production in Bolivia has skyrocketed in the past decade, domestic consumption has actually fallen.

Since export-quality quinoa is so much more profitable than other traditional crops, many farmers have traded their longstanding practices of mixed agriculture for quinoa monocropping. While this causes their profits to rise in the short-term, the longer-term effects of monocropping include degradation of soil, inefficient land use, and loss of biodiversity. Chasing profits today may, over time, destroy the fertility of the land base that produces those profits.

Of course, higher quinoa prices have also led to more income for farmers, so it isn’t all bad news in Bolivia and Peru. And now that quinoa is being cultivated in other countries, the stress on Andean farmers to provide all of the world’s quinoa is beginning to ease.

Should You Buy Fair-Trade or Organic Quinoa?

To minimize your contribution to ethical and sustainability concerns in the quinoa industry, it’s best to buy fair-trade varieties. Fair-trade organizations pay farmers a living wage, in addition to premiums that the farmers reinvest in their communities. In this way, the net impact of your consumption on the surrounding communities can be positive.

What about the eternal question, organic or not? Interestingly, the natural saponins found in quinoa render them unpalatable to most pests, so farmers can go easy on pesticides and other chemicals. For this reason, buying quinoa organically offers less of a relative benefit than a lot of other foods. If your food budget forces you to choose a limited number of organic items, then quinoa might not be the top place to focus.

How to Cook Quinoa

What is Quinoa? A seed and a grain. Rinsing quinoa in a strainer
iStock.com/deymos

Most types of quinoa have a mild, crunchy taste, though there are some subtle texture and flavour differences between quinoa varieties. White quinoa has the lightest flavour. It works well in many recipes, taking on flavours you add, and it has the fluffiest texture of the three main types. Red quinoa has a slightly heavier texture than white and keeps its crunch well when cooked. It tends to have the nuttiest flavour of the three. Black quinoa, which is not as easy to find as the other two colours, has a similar texture to red quinoa and a more robust, earthy flavour. Regardless of the colour, if the saponins haven’t been rinsed and removed from the exterior, quinoa can taste quite bitter.

There are several ways to cook quinoa in preparation for use in a dish or recipe. The most common method is to use the stovetop. Cook quinoa like you’d cook rice, with a 2:1 water to grain ratio. In other words, if you’re cooking one cup of quinoa, you’ll want to boil it in two cups of water. Combine rinsed quinoa with water in a saucepan on the stove, bring it to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, and you can fluff it.

Another method is to boil it like pasta — using a ratio of four cups of water to one cup quinoa — and draining the excess water once it’s cooked. You can tell the quinoa is ready to drain when the germ and seed have separated on the seeds. You can also cook quinoa using a rice cooker, which should turn off once all of the water has been absorbed or evaporated through steam. A slow cooker can work well too, but be sure to add a little extra water to support the cooking process and prevent it from drying out or burning on the bottom.

Quinoa Preparation Ideas

As for ways to use quinoa once it’s been cooked, here are some ideas:

  • As a base for breakfast bowls or power bowls
  • An alternative to oats for porridge, topped with berries and nuts/seeds
  • Added to a casserole dish or mac and cheese for extra bulk and plant protein
  • In stuffed peppers or zucchini
  • Cooked in vegetable broth and served as a side dish
  • Mixed into a cold salad of crispy mixed greens
  • Used as a taco “meat” or made into homemade veggie burger patties
  • Ground into flour (you can purchase quinoa-based pastas and crackers at many grocery stores)

Another way to get quinoa into your diet is to pop it like popcorn. You don’t need to use oil; dry-popping the seeds in a hot, covered saucepan will produce a nutty, toast-like aroma and flavour. Just keep the pan moving, so the bottom seeds don’t burn. You can use the popped seeds to add crunch to salads or in granolas or energy bars.

Sprouting Quinoa

You may also want to try sprouting your own quinoa, which means allowing sprouts to start growing from the seeds. Some studies have found that sprouting grains can enhance certain nutrients and healthy bioactive compounds while also reducing potential nutrient-inhibiting compounds, like phytates and tannins.

To sprout quinoa at home, rinse one cup of quinoa with water and place it into a quart-sized mason jar. Fill the jar with water to the top, and let the quinoa soak for four to six hours. Pour out the water and place a sprouting lid on the jar. Place the jar with the sprouting lid upside down in a bowl or dish drainer to catch any leftover water drips. Repeat this process of rinsing, draining, and leaving the jar upside down every six to eight hours for the next day or two until sprouts form.

You can cook the sprouted quinoa just like regular quinoa (though it will cook faster and require less water). If you want to dry sprouted quinoa to eat later or for flour, you can try one of these methods. Sprouted quinoa can be used in salads, sandwiches, or added to stir-fries.

Plant-Based Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa is a versatile ingredient that you can prep in bulk and then use in multiple meals throughout the week. Here are some great recipes that showcase how well quinoa can fit into pretty much any meal.

1. Mediterranean Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

mediterranean quinoa breakfast bow

Quinoa for breakfast? Absolutely! Quinoa makes a great base for a breakfast bowl, so we recommend batch cooking enough so that you can use it all week long. Either stick with the vegetables and flavours in this Mediterranean bowl or switch them up based on what you have in the fridge. You can even turn it into a sweet breakfast by adding fruit, nuts, and seeds of your choice (think of it like a bowl of oatmeal —but with quinoa instead!).

2. Warm Cannellini Quinoa Salad with Spinach

warm cannellini bean and quinoa salad in bowl

If you want a salad that is satisfying and fulfilling, add some quinoa! Quinoa adds flavour and so much more. It brings protein, fibre, phytonutrients, and a satisfying texture. And it complements vegetables, leafy greens, and legumes in a salad perfectly. This quinoa salad might easily become your favourite dish that you can enjoy year-round!

3. Lentil Quinoa Meatballs

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Eating less – or no – meat? Or just want to make something fun? Then you’ll want to try these Lentil Quinoa Meatballs. Make them for a snack, as an appetizer, or to add to your favorite pasta and sauce.

Quinoa: Simple, Tasty, Nutritious

quinoa sald in jar being held by woman
iStock.com/GMVozd

Quinoa is a healthy and nutritious pseudo-grain that’s high in fibre, protein, and many valuable phytonutrients. It’s helpful in the prevention of chronic illness and in extending life expectancy. And it’s delicious! When cooked or sprouted, quinoa can be a tasty and versatile addition to almost any diet.

CategoriesBlog

APPLES – FACTS & HEALTH BENEFITS

 · · 14 min read

SUMMARY

Apples are one of the most well-known and widely consumed fruits, found in kitchens and lunchboxes around the world. But how healthy are they? Do they come with any concerns? And what are some of the best ways to enjoy them? Here are the apple facts you need to know about.

 

If there’s an iconic fruit, it’s the apple. From the Big Apple to “American as apple pie” to your sweetheart being the “apple of your eye,” this delicious fruit has captured our imaginations like no other. It’s both revered for its health benefits (keeping the doctor away) and reviled for its contribution to original sin (although the fruit in the Garden of Eden is no longer thought to have been an apple.)

Apples fill not just our thoughts and religious traditions, but our shopping carts as well. The apple and its comical buddy, the banana, are the most consumed fruits in the United States. (Worldwide, the apple is hugely popular too. Although it loses ground to the tomato — if we’re going to call tomatoes fruits, that is!)

And no wonder apples are popular. They’re not only delicious but convenient as well. They’re portable, pre-wrapped, long-lasting, relatively inexpensive, and widely available. And, as we’ve seen, they’ve been imbued by our collective imagination with both wholesome and health-giving properties. But there are some concerns, including their high sugar content, pesticide exposures, and more and more genetically modified varieties are coming out. So all in all, how good for you are apples? Do their benefits outweigh any downsides? Let’s examine the apple facts.

Apple Facts

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According to DNA analysis, apples originated in the mountains of Kazakhstan, in Central Asia. Apples are members of Rosaceae, the Rose family, along with pears, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, and peaches. Apple trees reproduce sexually, meaning that both a male and female tree are required to produce a viable seed. And here’s the crazy thing. Unlike most plants, baby apple trees can produce fruit completely differently from either parent — an evolutionary strategy known as “extreme heterozygosity.” Pretty ironic, considering the meaning of the phrase, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”

These qualities of huge variance and utter unpredictability in the propagation of apples are what made Johnny Appleseed so important to the history of the apple. By planting seeds everywhere he went in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Ontario, and Illinois, he provided the seed stock for many of the varieties of apples we enjoy today. But because farmers can’t count on new trees from seed to produce edible and marketable fruit, their only guarantee of reproducibility is grafting, which is how the modern apples we’re used to eating come about. Grafting apples is a process by which buds are carefully removed from the current year’s growth and inserted into the bark of trees used to grow the following year’s apples. A well-cared-for apple tree can live from 100 to 200 years.

Types of Apples

Apple Types

When you go to the grocery store, chances are you’re familiar with the most common types of apples to choose from — for instance, Golden, Pippin, Granny Smith, and Fuji. And don’t forget Red Delicious, the most well-known of all, which reigned as the most popular apple in the United States for decades until 2018 when it was dethroned by the Gala apple. But did you know that worldwide there are over 7,500 cultivated apple types?

The most popular cultivated apple types include:

  • Red Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Gala
  • Fuji
  • Honeycrisp
  • Golden Delicious
  • McIntosh
  • Pink Lady/Cripps Pink
  • Braeburn
  • Idared
  • Cosmic Crisp

Rare Apples

Although most apples you see in the grocery store are red, pink, yellow, or green with a whitish interior, rarer apples may be black or purple on the outside, or have red or pink flesh. Some even taste like roses, lemon, or honey. What’s even more interesting is that the sweeter apples most of us are used to weren’t the original apples. Today’s commercial apples were likely only introduced within the last two hundred years.

Rarer apples can be expensive as they’re not often commercially grown. The Tibetan Black Diamond apple — which is a dark purple apple that grows in a very remote part of Tibet and resembles something from a fairy tale — can cost up to $20/apple. Most of these rare black apples never make it to the consumer marketplace, partially because apple farmers are uncertain how well they would sell internationally, and because they can take five to eight years to even bear fruit.

If you’re not planning to travel to Tibet anytime soon, a similar dark purple apple grows in Arkansas and is called the Arkansas Black apple. Still, this one is too tart to eat when first picked. And it requires long-term storage to develop its flavor, which prevents it from being widely available to consumers.

Apple Nutrition

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Nearly all apple varieties are a good source of important nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, as well as various antioxidants and phytochemicals — such as quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid.

Much of the fiber in apples is called pectin, which is a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps feed good gut bacteria and lower high cholesterol. While insoluble fiber helps keep your intestines clean and healthy.

Apples contain simple natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose, but they have a low glycemic index (GI) — around 36 — which means they don’t spike your blood sugar much after you eat them. While some people avoid apples because they are so sweet, their high fiber and polyphenol content actually help prevent glucose spikes by slowing down how fast your body breaks down carbohydrates.

One medium (3-inch diameter) apple offers the following nutritional profile:

  • Calories: 95
  • Protein: 0.5 grams
  • Total Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 4.5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Potassium: 6% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 4% of the DV

Keep in mind that there are many nutritional components in the apple peel, so it’s best to eat them washed and unpeeled.

Health Benefits of Apples

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In addition to being packed with nutrients, apples offer a number of health benefits. Discover some of the benefits with the most research support below.

  1. May have anticancer benefits.

Some of the phytonutrients in apples appear to have protective effects when it comes to cancer risk. A 2005 study published in the Annals of Oncology reviewed studies done between 1991 and 2002 in Italy, consistently finding that people who consumed at least one apple per day were at a 20% and 18% lower risk of colorectal and breast cancers, respectively. Other research suggests that polyphenolic compounds in apples have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and apoptosis-inducing characteristics when it comes to cancer.

  1. May lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Human and animal studies have found that regularly eating apples can protect heart health. A 2008 study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research fed some very unfortunate hamsters a high cholesterol diet for 12 weeks. When these hamsters also received apples and apple juice, they experienced a reduction in cholesterol levels and a 48% reduction in arterial plaque buildup compared to a control group. The researchers attributed this effect partially to the antioxidant boost the hamsters received from the fruit.

But what about humans? A Finnish study from 1998 found that men and women who ate more than 54 grams of apples daily (about half a decent-sized apple) lowered their risk of dying from a heart attack by 19% and 43%, respectively. And more recently, a 2020 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition fed healthy, mildly hypercholesterolemic adults either two apples per day or a sugar- and energy-matched apple control beverage for eight weeks each. Researchers measured heart health biomarkers before and after each treatment. They found that eating two apples per day reduced total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides compared to the control group.

  1. May support healthy weight loss.

Apples are high in fiber and low in calories, which are two characteristics that make them an ideal weight-loss food. Their fiber content can contribute to satiety, preventing overeating during the day, and reducing overall caloric intake. In a 2003 study, overweight women between ages 30-50 years with high blood cholesterol levels were randomized to eat supplements of either apples, pears, or oat cookies for 12 weeks. The group who consumed one and a half apples (300 grams) per day lost three pounds during the course of the study. (To be fair, the pear group also lost weight, but hey, this article is about apples. Pears, wait your turn.) A 2018 review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at current research around apple components and weight loss, finding that there is a consistent correlation between apple consumption and weight loss.

  1. May improve lung health and asthma symptoms.

Consuming fruits and vegetables, in general, has been found to have a positive influence on lung health. In 2007, an in-depth analysis of the link between produce consumption and lung cancer, based on data collected from a prospective cohort of 478,590 participants from 10 European countries, was published. A significant inverse association occurred between daily intake of apples and pears and lung cancer incidence. In other words, the more apples (and pears — there they go trying to creep in again!) people ate, the less likely they were to get lung cancer.

  1. May lower the risk of dementia and protect brain health.

2005 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that mice fed apple juice concentrate after being fed a pro-oxidant diet (deficient in vitamin E and folate, but high in iron) had significantly improved cognition and reduced pro-oxidative status compared to the control group. The amount fed to the mice was the equivalent of two to three, eight-ounce glasses of apple juice per day for humans. Other research suggests that apple juice concentrate may intervene in mechanisms that promote production of amyloid β peptide, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.

  1. May support healthy blood sugar control.

It’s counterintuitive, considering how sweet apples are, but a growing body of research suggests that eating apples may help lower high blood sugar and protect against type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the fiber and polyphenols in apples are thought to slow carbohydrate digestion, preventing dramatic spikes in blood sugar after eating. In a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers examined the association of dietary flavonoid intake and type 2 diabetes among 38,000 women, finding that eating one or more apples per day was linked to a 28% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  1. May improve bone health.

Research shows that eating fruits and vegetables improves bone mineral density and other markers of bone strength. In a 2004 clinical trial, 15 healthy female adults ate a 500-calorie, macronutrient-matched test meal on three different occasions, which either included fresh peeled apples, unsweetened applesauce, or candy. Urine samples were taken after the meals, finding that eating fresh apples and applesauce each reduced net acid excretion from the body, and slowed calcium loss.

  1. May help protect your gastrointestinal system.

Apples may not only protect your gut via their fiber composition; they may actually protect it from damage caused by medications. For instance, a 2005 study published in the journal Gut found that apple extract helped prevent damage to the gut known to be a risk factor from using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This attribution came from the polyphenols catechin and chlorogenic acid, which help prevent oxidative damage to cells in the body. Preliminary test-tube studies have also indicated that apple polyphenols may protect against gastric ulcers.

  1. May stimulate hair growth.

It turns out that there may be some truth to the touted growth-promoting effects of certain apple-derived hair products. A 2002 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology observed the effects of apple-derived procyanidin B-2 on the growth of hair in rats, concluding that it has a hair growth-promoting mechanism and plays a role in the hair cycle progression. Ironic, considering how smooth and shiny apples are!

5 Common Apple Criticisms and Potential Health Risks

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While apples offer undeniable health benefits, they’ve also received criticism for risks that may come with eating them. Are these concerns warranted or not? Let’s examine some of them and separate apple facts from fiction.

  1. Apples are high in cyanide.

While it’s true that apple seeds contain amygdalin — a cyanide and sugar compound that degrades into hydrogen cyanide when metabolized — the human body can detoxify this in small doses. I don’t know about you, but most people don’t even eat the apple seeds — at least, not on purpose. And the number of apple seeds it would take for the cyanide content to become dangerous is so large that even apple seed lovers are unlikely to be at risk for issues. Plus, you’d have to chew them really well to release the amygdalin into your bloodstream. Creating a lethal apple seed concoction would probably require grinding the seeds from hundreds of apples and consuming them all at once. (Don’t do that!) The good news: apple flesh and peel don’t contain any cyanide.

  1. Apples are high in sugar.

Like other fruits and vegetables, apples do contain their share of natural sugars. Sugars and carbohydrates often get a bad rap for people with prediabetes or diabetes. But apples don’t actually contribute to this disease. The average apple contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of which are sugars. But apples are low on the glycemic index because of their fiber and polyphenolic content. Note, however, that this is referring to whole apples. Juiced apples are another matter as apple juice has had most — if not all — of its natural fiber filtered out and discarded, leaving you with a sugar-rich liquid that will likely affect your blood sugar differently.

  1. Apples are often genetically modified.

One of the most common genetic modifications done to apples is to prevent them from browning. Arctic apples, for instance, have this modification. While it doesn’t improve their flavor or nutritional value, the flesh of these apples won’t turn brown when sliced and exposed to oxygen like other apples will. This is appealing to food service providers and some restaurants because they can leave sliced apples out for longer without them turning brown.

Arctic apples could lead to some degree of reduction in food waste. But they lead to no net improvement in flavor, nutritional value, or yield. And they don’t help reduce water or pesticide consumption, either. And GMO apples that don’t brown could lead to people unknowingly consuming apples that could be weeks or even months old or more. Are there risks? We don’t know. And without proper labeling, we likely never will. Purchase organic or non-GMO labeled apples whenever possible to reduce pesticide exposure and opt-out of the GMO experiment.

  1. Apples contain high amounts of pesticides.

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases their shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce, called the Dirty Dozen™. And every year, apples make the list. According to a 2019 article from EWG, apples contain at least four pesticide residues on average, including some at high concentrations. The use of some pesticides occurs after apples are harvested, like diphenylamine, which doesn’t have enough long-term safety data available at this time. That’s why I suggest buying organic apples whenever possible. And to help remove any pesticide residues, soak them in a mixture of water and baking soda, or at the very least scrub them thoroughly with a produce brush before eating.

  1. Apples are a source of allergens.

Although rare, there is such a thing as an apple allergy. Specifically, it’s an allergy to the protein in apples. What may be more common, however, is a reaction called oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which can appear suddenly after eating certain fresh produce like apples. Symptoms typically include itchy lips and tongue. But OAS isn’t actually an allergy to apples themselves; it’s an overly-protective bodily response to pollen. In a sense, your immune system mistakes the apple for pollen that you’re allergic to. OAS is more common among people with seasonal allergies or hay fever who react to pollen in the environment. Cooking produce can remove the allergen, but an OAS response typically only lasts 15 minutes and isn’t usually severe.

How to Choose Apples

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Like other fresh produce, proper storage will help preserve apples in your home for as long as possible. Furthermore, knowing what to look for at the grocery store or farmers market will help you choose the best quality apples.

When purchasing apples, look for any damage or discoloration on the skin. When you feel apples in your hand, avoid any that have soft or mushy spots. And after you get your apples home, eat the ones that have any damage first as these will start to go bad faster the longer they sit. Remember what they say about “one bad apple”!

Tips for Apple Storage

At home, consider how long you’ll be storing your apples before eating them. Apples with thinner skins don’t last as long. Furthermore, apples give off a compound called ethylene gas, which will speed up the ripening of other produce. Hence, apples should usually be stored away from other produce, in your fridge or on your countertop. The ideal temperature for longest storage is 30-35°F (-1-1.5°C) with 90-95% relative humidity. If storing a small amount in the fridge, place the apples in a crisper drawer in a plastic bag with holes, or cover them with a damp paper towel. Putting apples in an airtight container or sealed bag right away will release moisture and make them rot quicker.

If you have a lot of apples to store, a cool, dark place with a little bit of humidity, like a basement or garage, may be a good choice. For very long-term storage, the most optimal method is to individually wrap apples in paper with their stem still intact. The paper helps keep the apples separate to prevent them from ripening each other. Wrapped apples should be put in a crate, ideally in a single layer, or in trays. Be sure to wash the apples well before eating them to remove any paper residue.

The Best Ways to Eat Apples

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The best way to enjoy apples depends on the specific variety. Some types of apples are firmer, have thinner skin, or break down more easily than others.

Here are some suggested best uses for some of the most popular types of apples (all of which are also good eaten straight):

  • McIntosh: These break down easily and are a good choice for homemade applesauce.
  • Fuji: This type is sturdy and can withstand baking and roasting, making it ideal for strudel or apple crisp.
  • Red Delicious: These are sensitive to heat and are best enjoyed fresh and crisp, like sliced into salads or crunchy sandwiches.
  • Gala: This type is also heat-sensitive and works best raw or cut and tossed into fruit salads.
  • Crispin: This variety is versatile and works well baked, in apple pies, or made into applesauce.
  • Braeburn: The sweetness of this type mellows when heated. But the Braeburn apple keeps its shape. Braeburns work well in both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Honeycrisp: This apple remains sweet even when cooked, so it does well in dishes like crisps and pies, but also slaws and sandwiches.
  • Granny Smith: This tart, high-acidity variety is tasty raw or cooked into pies, tarts, pancakes, soups, or stuffing.

Enjoy Eating Apples

Regardless of the type, apples are one of the most versatile fruits. And there are many ways to enjoy them. Try adding chopped apples to cold cereal or hot oatmeal, in plant-based yogurt with other healthy toppings, on pancakes or waffles, sliced and stacked onto peanut butter sandwiches, or simply sliced and served with nut butter or a homemade chickpea-based “cookie dough” dip. You can boil apples, mash them into homemade cinnamon applesauce, grate them into coleslaw, grill, stuff, and bake them, or dice and mix them into cold salads. Apples are a healthy, delicious addition to just about any dish or snack. And, of course, you can also eat them raw, straight away, without any preparation (other than rinsing in clean water).

Healthy Apple Recipes

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the versatility of apples. They can add a little sweetness and crunch to salads, add texture to and develop flavor in salad dressings, or you can bake them into a delicious dessert. It’s time to step away from the traditional apple and peanut butter (though I think it’s one of the most delicious snacks on the planet!) and experiment with all of the ways to use apples in recipes. To get you started, we’ve created three for you to make and enjoy.

  1. Kale Pomegranate Salad with Chopped Walnuts and Apples

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Apples can lend a subtle sweetness to savory dishes like this Kale Pomegranate Salad, where it pairs perfectly with the acidic dressing and earthy kale. The vitamin C in the apples can also increase the iron absorption from the kale. And you can enjoy this salad year-round, from a refreshing meal on a summer evening to a colorful dish for a winter holiday party.

  1. Magical Applesauce Dressing

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Who knew that apples could help emulsify a dressing? When you change the consistency from whole apple to applesauce, apples make for a perfect dressing ingredient by adding texture and natural sweetness.

  1. Apple Crumble

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Have a sweet tooth but don’t want the overly processed sugar? This Apple Crumble might help to satisfy it naturally. Braising the apples helps to bring out their natural sugar. And adding a bit of date paste adds more natural sweetness, plus fiber and nutrition.

Fact: An Apple a Day is a Good Start

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Apples are a fantastic addition to a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet. It’s no wonder they’re so well-loved, considering they have many benefits and offer properties that can help prevent chronic disease. While there are some “bad apples” out there — like GMOs and pesticide-laden crops — the real apple facts show there’s definitely some truth to the adage of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

CategoriesBlog

Busted: 11 COVID Assumptions Based on Fear Not Fact

Posted on: 


Originally published on www.thefreedomarticles.com

COVID assumptions – the assumptions people make about COVID, how dangerous it is, how it spreads and what we need to do to stop it – are running rampant, running far more wildly than the supposed virus SARS-CoV2 itself. The coldly calculated campaign of propaganda surrounding this ‘pandemic’ has achieved its aim. Besieged with a slew of contradictory information coming from all angles, people, in general, have succumbed to confusion. Some have given up trying to understand the situation and found it is just easier to obey official directives, even if it means giving up long-held rights. Below is a list of commonly held COVID assumptions which, if you believe them, will make you much more likely to submit to the robotic, insane and abnormal conditions of the New Normal – screening, testing, contact tracing, monitoring, surveillance, mask-wearing, social distancing, quarantine and isolation, with mandatory vaccination and microchipping to come.

Assumption 1: The Method of Counting COVID Deaths is Sensible and Accurate

A grand assumption of the COVID pandemic is that the numbers are real and accurate, especially the death toll. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. We have had confirmation after confirmation after confirmation (in nations all over the world) that authorities are counting the deaths in a way that makes no sense. Well, it makes no sense if you want to be sensible or accurate, but it makes perfect sense if you are trying to artificially inflate the numbers and create the impression of a pandemic where there is none. The sleight of hand is achieved by counting those who died with the virus as dying from the virus. This one trick alone is responsible for vastly skewing the numbers and turning the ‘official’ death count into a meaningless farce devoid of any practical value.

Assumption 2: The PCR Test for COVID is Accurate

As I covered in previous articles, the PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction) was invented by scientist Kary Mullis as a manufacturing technique (since it is able to replicate DNA sequences millions and billions of times), not as a diagnostic tool. COVID or SARS-CoV2 fails Koch’s postulates. The virus which shut the world down has still to this day never been isolated, purified and re-injected, or in other words, has never been 100% proven to exist, nor 100% proven to be the cause of the disease. When used to determine the cause of a disease, the PCR test has many flaws:

1. There is no gold standard to which to compare its results (COVID fails Koch’s postulates);
2. It detects and amplifies genetic code (RNA sequences) but offers no proof these RNA sequences are of viral origin;
3. It generates many false-positive results;
4. The PCR test can give a completely opposite result (positive or negative) depending upon the number of cycles or amplifications that are used, which is ultimately arbitrarily chosen. For some diseases, if you lower the number of cycles to 35, it can make everyone appear negative, while if you increase them to above 35, it can make everyone appear positive;
5. Many patients switch back and forth from positive to negative when taking the PCR test on subsequent days; and
6. Even a positive result does not guarantee the discovered ‘virus’ is the cause of the disease!

In summary, the PCR test doesn’t identify or isolate viruses, doesn’t provide RNA sequences of pathogens, offers no baseline for comparison with patient samples, and cannot determine an infected from an uninfected sample. That is staggeringly useless! Here is a quote from the article COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless:

“Tests need to be evaluated to determine their preciseness — strictly speaking their “sensitivity” and “specificity” — by comparison with a “gold standard,” meaning the most accurate method available. As an example, for a pregnancy test the gold standard would be the pregnancy itself. But as Australian infectious diseases specialist Sanjaya Senanayake, for example, stated in an ABC TV interview in an answer to the question “How accurate is the [COVID-19] testing?”:

If we had a new test for picking up [the bacterium] golden staph in blood, we’ve already got blood cultures, that’s our gold standard we’ve been using for decades, and we could match this new test against that. But for COVID-19 we don’t have a gold standard test.”

Jessica C. Watson from Bristol University confirms this. In her paper “Interpreting a COVID-19 test result”, published recently in The British Medical Journal, she writes that there is a “lack of such a clear-cut ‘gold-standard’ for COVID-19 testing.””

Here is the admission about the PCR test by the CDC and FDA:

“Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms …this test cannot rule out diseases caused by other bacterial or viral pathogens.”

Accurate would be about the last word I would use to describe COVID PCR testing, yet it is currently the standard test worldwide for COVID. Another magnificent example of many COVID assumptions. Go figure.

Assumption 3: The Antibody Test for COVID is Accurate

If you realized by reading the last section that the COVID PCR tests are flawed and meaningless, get ready for more absurdity with the COVID antibody tests. As I covered in the article COVID Antibody Tests: Here Comes More Trickery and Fakery, there are numerous reasons why the antibody tests don’t really work and can be interpreted any way you want:

1. Old blood samples contain COVID antibodies, so if a test finds antibodies, they may have been there for years or decades. There is no way to tell if they were recently acquired;
2. Like the COVID PCR test, they generate many false-positive results;
3. They test for antibodies which may not even be specific for COVID;
4. Antibodies don’t actually prove immunity, since there are people who fight off disease with little or no antibodies, and conversely, there are those with high antibody titers or counts, but who still get sick; and
5. The results can be interpreted any way you want. The presence of antibodies could mean you’re safe and immune to future COVID waves, or conversely, it could mean you’re dangerous (sick and infected right now). It’s all about the interpretation.

Hhmmm … all these COVID assumptions are not exactly reassuring, are they?

Assumption 4: The COVID Case Count is Rising

Someone sceptical of the alternative view I am painting here may ask at this point: well if COVID is not that dangerous, how come cases keep rising? The answer is simple: because there is more testing. The more we test, the more cases we will find, because this ‘virus’ (really an RNA sequence) is far more widespread than we have been told, and there are far more asymptomatic people than we have been told (which shows it’s not that dangerous). As discussed in previous articles, there is really no proof that people didn’t have this particular RNA sequence for years or decades before the test, so the test results are quite meaningless.

That aside, a general rule of thumb is that wherever there are people trying to gain power, there will be fraud, and COVID testing is no exception. It has been exposed that tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double counted (in the UK, but probably happening in many places). This article explains that the “discrepancy is in large part explained by the practice of counting saliva and nasal samples for the same individual twice.” Additionally, the COVID tests are using the PCR method as discussed above in COVID Assumption 3, which has many flaws, including the flaw of results flipping back and forth depending on the number of cycles, as this previously quoted article states:

” … it is hardly surprising that there are several papers illustrating irrational test results. For example, already in February the health authority in China’s Guangdong province reported that people have fully recovered from illness blamed on COVID-19, started to test “negative,” and then tested “positive” again.

A month later, a paper published in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that 29 out of 610 patients at a hospital in Wuhan had 3 to 6 test results that flipped between “negative”, “positive” and “dubious”.

A third example is a study from Singapore in which tests were carried out almost daily on 18 patients and the majority went from “positive” to “negative” back to “positive” at least once, and up to five times in one patient.

Even Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, conceded in February that the PCR tests are “only 30 to 50 per cent accurate”; while Sin Hang Lee from the Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory sent a letter to the WHO’s coronavirus response team and to Anthony S. Fauci on March 22, 2020, saying that:

“It has been widely reported in the social media that the RT-qPCR [Reverse Transcriptase quantitative PCR] test kits used to detect SARSCoV-2 RNA in human specimens are generating many false positive results and are not sensitive enough to detect some real positive cases.” “

Assumption 5: Thermal Imaging/Screening for COVID is Effective

Taking people’s temperature by pointing a gun at their head is blatant conditioning. It sends the subliminal message that the State is all powerful and can aim a gun-like device at your head, and you are powerless to do anything but submit. On a practical level, taking people’s temperatures has no effect in stopping viral spread. Even if someone has an elevated temperature, what does that mean? There is a natural variation in human body temperatures; everyone operates at a slightly different temperature. Besides, even if your temperature is elevated, that could be because you were just exercising, running to catch a flight, just had an angry conversation with someone, just got the phone after a stressful call, had to discipline a disobedient child, etc. Think about all the things that make you stressed and irritated, or raise your blood pressure, which could lead to an elevated temperature!

In this way it is similar to the antibody test; it can show a result, but the result can be interpreted in so many ways that it renders the result pointless in terms of science (although there is a very much a point in terms of control).

READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing: What Are We Doing? What Does “Positive” Test Really Mean?

Assumption 6: Asymptomatic People Can Spread the Disease

One particular piece of propaganda hammered in hard to people’s brains which is still doing great damage is the idea that anyone could be a carrier and could, therefore, infect anyone else. This has the effect of making people anxious, scared and even paranoid in just going about their daily life. However, the idea that asymptomatic people can spread the disease is not something to worry about. This Chinese study A study on infectivity of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers published in May 2020 exposed 455 subjects to asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV2. None of the 455 were infected!

WHO (World Health Organization) official Dr Maria van Kerkhove was reported by MSM CNBC saying the following last month in June (though she later backtracked her comments):

“”From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said at a news briefing from the United Nations agency’s Geneva headquarters. “It’s very rare.””

Assumption 7: Making Schools Adopt Insanely Restrictive Measures Will Stop COVID Spread

Of the many COVID assumptions floating around, these next two are based on the idea that children are a significant source of COVID spread. They are not! The figures from WorldOMeter state that children aged 0-17 years have 0.02-0.06% share of world COVID deaths, which is essentially zero. Meanwhile, CDC stats show that “among 149,082 (99.6%) cases for which patient age was known, 2,572 (1.7%) occurred in children aged <18 years” which is likewise a tiny fraction. With this in mind, why on Earth would the CDC issue these draconian guidelines (pictured above and also found at this link in full) for American schoolchildren, if not to condition and dehumanize them?

Assumption 8: It’s a Good Idea for Government to Take Abduct Kids from COVID-Positive Parents

Governmental abduction of children using COVID as a pretext has begun. This article from June 17th 2020 reports how the “LA County Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) recommended that the court remove [a] child from their physical custody after the parent tested positive for COVID-19. This is a non-offending parent. The judge ruled in favor of DCFS and detained.”

Let that sink in for a minute. The State stole a child from his/her parents just because a parent showed a COVID-positive result on a (deeply flawed) test! Can anyone spell T-Y-R-A-N-N-Y? This is the outcome of the sinister and oxymoronic warning given by WHO official Michael Ryan in March, that people would be removed from their families in a “safe and dignified” way. Ryan said:

“In some senses, transmission has been taken off the streets and pushed back into family units. Now we need to go and look in families to find those people who may be sick and remove them and isolate them in a safe and dignified manner.”

Mercola.com reports that the CDC is recommending newborns be separated at birth from their parents for COVID testing.

How bad does it have to get before people wake up to what is happening?

Assumption 9: Social Distancing is Backed by Solid Scientific Evidence

Another of the baseless COVID assumptions is that all this social distancing or physical distancing is backed by solid scientific evidence. It’s not. Whether it’s 6 feet, 1.5 meters or 2 meters, the virus seems to be able to jump different distances depending upon what country it is in. The article There is no scientific evidence to support the disastrous two-metre rule states:

“The influential Lancet review provided evidence from 172 studies in support of physical distancing of one metre or more. This might sound impressive, but all the studies were retrospective and suffer from biases that undermine the reliability of their findings.”

Meanwhile UK governmental advisor Robert Dingwall said:

“We cannot sustain [social distancing measures] without causing serious damage to society, to the economy and to the physical and mental health of the population …I think it will be much harder to get compliance with some of the measures that really do not have an evidence base. I mean the two-metre rule was conjured up out of nowhere … Well, there is a certain amount of scientific evidence for a one-metre distance which comes out of indoor studies in clinical and experimental settings. There’s never been a scientific basis for two metres, it’s kind of a rule of thumb. But it’s not like there is a whole kind of rigorous scientific literature that it is founded upon.”

Of course, the assumption that social distancing works is based on the underlying assumption that there is a distinct and isolated virus SARS-CoV2 which is contagious and is the sole cause of all the disease – which has not been proven.

Assumption 10: Mask Wearing for Healthy People is Backed by Solid Scientific Evidence

The penultimate assumption for today is the wonderful topic of masks, or face diapers and face nappies as many have started calling them. One of the COVID assumptions that many are still clinging to is that it is ‘respectful’ to wear masks because masks protect healthy individuals from getting sick from viruses. This is patently false. As covered in the previous article Unmasking the Truth: Studies Show Dehumanizing Masks Weaken You and Don’t Protect You, masks are designed for surgeons or people who are already sick, not for healthy people. They stop sick people spreading a disease through large respiratory droplets; they do nothing to protect well people. In fact, they restrict oxygen flow leading to under-oxygenation (hypoxia), which in turns leads to fatigue, weakness and a lower immunity. With a lower immunity comes … more susceptibility to disease. As I previously wrote, the masks many people are wearing – homemade from cloth – are a joke if you think they will stop a virus which is measured in nanometers (nanometer = 10-9 meters, or 0.000000001 meters). They won’t stop a virus but they will assuredly become a hotbed for microbes to develop due to the warm and humid conditions. For the scientifically minded, here’s what Dr Russell Blaylock had to say:

“The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte. This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.”

Assumption 11: We Live in a World of Indiscriminate Killer Viruses

The biggest assumption of this entire scamdemic is that viruses are indiscriminate killers which can cross species and jump bodies through the air to infect people. In fact, the nature of the humble virus has been totally misunderstood by mainstream science, fueled by the Medical Industry which promotes germ theory and the myth of contagion to keep you in fear and to raise demand for its toxic products (Big Pharma petrochemical drugs and vaccines). Viruses have been demonized. As discussed in earlier articles such as Deep Down the Virus Rabbit Hole – Question Everything, virologist Dr Stefan Lanka exposed the truth that viruses do not cause disease. Lanka famously won a 2017 Supreme Court in Germany where he proved that measles was not caused by a virus. Lanka writes:

“Since June 1954, the death of tissue and cells in a test tube has been regarded as proof for the existence of a virus … according to scientific logic and the rules of scientific conduct, control experiments should have been carried out … These control experiments have never been carried out by official science to this day. During the measles virus trial, I commissioned an independent laboratory to perform this control experiment and the result was that the tissues and cells die due to the laboratory conditions in the exact same way as when they come into contact with allegedly “infected” material.

In other words, the cells die of starvation and poisoning (since they are separated from energy and nutrients from the body, and since toxic antibiotics are injected into the cell culture), not from being infected by a virus. This great video presentation entitled Viral Misconceptions: The True Nature of Viruses is well worth watching. It outlines many stunning truths about the nature of viruses, such as:

  • Viruses are created from within your cells; they do not come from outside the body
  • They arise as a result of systemic toxicity, not because the body has been invaded by an external threat
  • Viruses dissolve toxic matter when body tissue is too toxic for living bacteria or microbes to feed upon without being poisoned to death. Without viruses, the human body couldn’t achieve homeostasis and sustain itself in the face of systemic toxicity
  • Viruses are very specific. They dissolve specific tissues in the body. They do this with the assistance of antibodies
  • The more toxicity you have in your body, the more viral activity you will have
  • The only vector transmission of a virus is through blood transfusion or vaccines; otherwise, viruses cannot infect you by jumping from one body to another
  • Viruses are discriminatory by nature, made by the body for a specific purpose. They are not indiscriminate killers
  • The RT-PCR test (PCR test for short) observes genetic material left over by the virus, not the virus itself (see assumption 2)

Conclusion: Time to Question all Your COVID Assumptions

The good news is that these are assumptions not facts. When you look closely, you will realize the entire official narrative on COVID is a house of cards built on sand. It cannot stand up to close scrutiny. This knowledge is the key to remaining sane and free in a COVID-crazed and brainwashed world. Spread the word. Evidence, information and knowledge will dispel assumptions and ignorance.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com. Makia is on Steemit and FB.

 


Sources

*https://www.bitchute.com/video/9GWhQ4v9H53E/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5f_6ltv7oI

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fic2dlKlhw

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/covid-19-umbrella-term-fake-pandemic-not-1-disease-cause/

*https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/

*https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/covid-antibody-tests-here-comes-more-trickery-fakery/

*https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/tens-thousands-coronavirus-tests-have-double-counted-officials/

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219423/

*https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html

*https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

*https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6914e4.htm

*https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

*https://parentalrights.org/it-finally-happened-child-taken-due-to-covid-19/

*https://www.bitchute.com/video/CMPsWxDDTwMo/

*https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/09/newborns-and-coronavirus.aspx

*https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/15/no-scientific-evidence-support-disastrous-two-metre-rule/

*https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/25/two-metre-social-distancing-rule-conjured-nowhere-professor-claims-12609448/

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/unmasking-the-truth-masks-weaken-dont-protect-you/

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/deep-down-virus-rabbit-hole-question-everything/

*https://davidicke.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Paper-Virus-Lanka-002.pdf

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtWYQS3LFlE

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
CategoriesBlog

8 Juicy Reasons to Eat More Strawberries

8 Juicy Reasons to Eat More Strawberries

Who doesn’t love strawberries? And you don’t need any reason other than the pleasure of their sweetness to eat them every day. But according to researchers from Oklahoma State University, there’s lots more to strawberries than the flavor.[i]

Their study was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition with funding from the NIH and the California Strawberry Commission. In it the researchers review over 130 studies attesting to the strawberry’s status as a “functional food.”

There is no regulated meaning for the term “functional food.” But it usually refers to a food that provides some benefit in addition to calories that may reduce disease risk or promote general health. That can be said of every fresh, organic whole food. But functional food is also a term that has become a marketing tool for food manufacturers who “enrich” their processed foods with vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements.

But strawberries don’t need any enriching. They consistently rank among the top fruits and vegetables for health benefits. They are full of powerful natural compounds that include:

  • Antioxidants – Strawberries were found to have higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) activity than black raspberries, blackberries or red raspberries.[ii] One study even found strawberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL fruits and vegetables commonly available in the UK as measured by the trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay.[iii]
  • Polyphenols – Strawberries have been listed among the 100 richest sources of dietary polyphenols.[iv] They contain flavonoids like catechin, epicatechin, quercetinkaempferol, cyanidins, naringenin, hesperadin, pelargonidin, ellagic acid and ellagitannins. Flavonoids are free radical scavengers, and have anti-inflammatory effects. They also dilate blood vessels and slow tumor growth.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Strawberries are high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, carotenoids and potassium.
  • Anthocyanins – These are water-soluble compounds responsible for the deep colors of berries and are among the principal bioactives in strawberries.
  • Phytosterols – These plant-derived sterols have structures and functions similar to cholesterol.

All of those natural components translate to a broad range of health benefits. Animal and cell culture studies show strawberries may be effective in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease including obesity, hyperglycemiahyperlipidemiahypertension, and oxidative stress.

Here are eight scientifically proven reasons to eat more strawberries:

1. Strawberries Lower Heart Attack Risk

In an analysis of data from over 93,000 subjects in the famous Nurses’ Health Study I and the Nurses’ Health Study II, researchers looked at the effects of eating strawberries and blueberries on cardiovascular health. They found that over a 14-year period, women eating just three servings weekly of blueberries or strawberries reduced their risk of heart attack by 33% compared to those eating berries once monthly or less.[v]

In addition, in an analysis of data from over 34,489 postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, eating strawberries was associated with a significant reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease over a 16-year follow-up period.[vi]

2. Strawberries Reduce Hypertension

Researchers again used the data from the two Nurses Studies as well as data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study to measure cardiovascular health benefits of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins. They found that higher intakes of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins (16-22 mg/day) were associated with a significant 8% reduction in the risk of hypertension. That was compared to those consuming only 5-7 mg/day of berry anthocyanins.[vii]

3. Strawberries Lower Inflammation and C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

In a study of 38,176 female US health professionals enrolled in the Women’s Health Study participants were asked whether they ate fresh, frozen, or canned strawberries “never,” or “less than one serving per month,” or up to “6+ servings per day.” Over an 11-year follow-up period, cardiovascular disease was lower among those consuming more strawberries.

CRP levels were significantly reduced among women consuming just two or more servings of strawberries per week.[viii] Elevated CRP is strongly associated with inflammation and is a high-risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

4. Strawberries Reduce Cancer Risk

In a prospective five-year cohort study in an elderly population, higher consumption of fresh strawberries and other fruits and vegetables was associated with significantly reduced cancer mortality. The authors attribute these observations to the carotenoid content of fruits and vegetables known to exert anti-carcinogenic effects.[ix]

In another larger five-year prospective cohort study, eating more foods from the Rosaceae botanical subgroup, including strawberries, was associated with a protective effect against esophageal squamous cell carcinoma compared to eating less of this fruit group.[x] The same cohort also reported reduced rates of head and neck cancer among those consuming more servings of the Rosaceae botanical subgroup including strawberries.[xi]

Other studies show that strawberries can even reverse early stage esophageal cancer.

5. Strawberries Reduce Oxidized Cholesterol

Studies show strawberries increase plasma antioxidant capacity helping to reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol. In human trials fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried strawberries were shown to reduce oxidative stress associated with metabolic syndrome or eating high-fat meals.[xii]

6. Strawberries Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol

The fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols in strawberries have been shown to lower serum total and LDL cholesterol.[xiii] It’s also been shown to raise serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol.[xiv]

7. Strawberries Help Control Blood Glucose Levels

Polypenols in a berry mixture that included strawberries produced a lower glucose response after eating a meal.[xv]

8. Strawberries May Help Reverse Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

In an animal study researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts found that strawberry extracts significantly reversed signs of age-related neuronal deficits.[xvi]

And animals eating a diet including 2% strawberries for two months showed significant protection from radiation damage to neurons.[xvii] Researchers suggest that strawberries and other berries may have a role in reversing Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.[xviii]

Are Fresh or Frozen Strawberries Better?

Studies show benefits to all forms of strawberries whether fresh, frozen, dried, pureed, or made into juices or jams. But the more they’re processed the more strawberries can lose some of their active compounds.

Frozen strawberries have significantly higher vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and polyphenols than freeze-dried or air-dried.[xix] Processing strawberries into juices and purees also results in a loss of ascorbic acid, polyphenols, and antioxidant capacity.[xx] And canning strawberries or making them into jams can significantly reduce the levels of anthocyanins and total phenolic compounds.[xxi]

Fresh or frozen are the best choices for health benefits when it comes to strawberries. But processed strawberry products still have some benefits and are a good choice when the real things aren’t in season.

Just remember to buy organic berries. Most conventionally grown strawberries are heavily sprayed with pesticides.


References

[i] Arpita Basu , Angel Nguyen , Nancy M. Betts & Timothy J. Lyons “Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, (2014) 54:6, 790-806.

[ii] Wang, S. Y., and Lin, H. S. (2000). “Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 48:140-146.

[iii] Proteggente, A. R., Pannala, A. S., Paganga, G., Van Buren, L., Wagner, E., Wiseman, S., Van De Put, F., Dacombe, C., and Rice-Evans, C. A. (2002). The antioxidant activity of regularly consumed fruit and vegetables reflects their phenolic and vitamin c compositionFree Radic. Res. 36:217-233.

[iv] P’erez-Jim’enez, J., Neveu, V., Vos, F., and Scalbert, A. (2010). “Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: An application of the phenolexplorer database.” Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 64:S112-S120.

[v] Aedín Cassidy, Kenneth J Mukamal, Lydia Liu, Mary Franz, A Heather Eliassen, Eric B Rimm. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Circulation. 2013 Jan 15 ;127(2):188-96.

[vi] Mink, P. J., Scrafford, C. G., Barraj, L. M.,Harnack, L., Hong, C. P.,Nettleton, J. A., and Jacobs, D. R., Jr. (2007). Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: A prospective study in postmenopausal womenAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 85:895-909.

[vii] Cassidy, A., O’Reilly, E. J., Kay, C., Sampson, L., Franz, M., Forman, J. P., Curhan, G., and Rimm, E. B. (2010). Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93:338-347.

[viii] Sesso, H. D., Gaziano, J. M., Jenkins, D. J., and Buring, J. E. (2007). Strawberry intake, lipids, c-reactive protein, and the risk of cardiovascular disease in womenJ. Am. Coll. Nutr. 26:303-310.

[ix] Colditz, G. A., Branch, L. G., Lipnick, R. J.,Willett,W. C., Rosner, B., Posner, B. M., and Hennekens, C. H. (1985). Increased green and yellow vegetable intake and lowered cancer deaths in an elderly populationAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 41:32-36.

[x] Freedman, N. D., Park, Y., Subar, A. F., Hollenbeck, A. R., Leitzmann, M. F., Schatzkin, A., and Abnet, C. C. (2007). Fruit and vegetable intake and esophageal cancer in a large prospective cohort studyInt. J. Cancer. 121:2753-2760.

[xi] Freedman, N. D., Park, Y., Subar, A. F., Hollenbeck, A. R., Leitzmann, M. F., Schatzkin, A., and Abnet, C. C. (2008). Fruit and vegetable intake and head and neck cancer risk in a large United States prospective cohort studyInt. J.Cancer. 122:2330-2336.

[xii] Paiva, S. A., Yeum, K. J., Cao, G., Prior, R. L., and Russell, R. M. (1998). Postprandial plasma carotenoid responses following consumption of strawberries, red wine, vitamin c or spinach by elderly womenJ. Nutr. 128:2391-2394.

[xiii] Basu, A., Fu, D. X., Wilkinson, M., Simmons, B., Wu, M., Betts, N. M., Du, M., and Lyons, T. J. (2010). Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndromeNutr. Res. 30:462-469.

[xiv] Erlund, I., Koli, R., Alfthan, G., Marniemi, J., Puukka, P., Mustonen, P.,Mattila, P., and Jula, A. (2008). Favorable effects of berry consumption on platelet function, blood pressure, and hdl cholesterolAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 87:323-331.

[xv] T¨orr¨onen, R., Sarkkinen, E., Tapola, N., Hautaniemi, E.,Kilpi, K., andNiskanen, L. (2010). Berries modify the postprandial plasma glucose response to sucrose in healthy subjectsBr. J. Nutr. 103:1094-1097

[xvi] Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., Denisova, N. A., Prior, R. L., Cao, G., Martin, A., Taglialatela, G., and Bickford, P. C. (1998). Long-term dietary strawberry, spinach, or vitamin e supplementation retards the onset of age-related neuronal signal-transduction and cognitive behavioral deficitsJ. Neurosci. 18:8047-8055.

[xvii] Rabin, B. M., Joseph, J. A., and Shukitt-Hale, B. (2005). Effects of age and diet on the heavy particle-induced disruption of operant responding produced by a ground-based model for exposure to cosmic raysBrain Res. 1036:122-129.

[xviii] Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., and Willis, L. M. (2009). Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behaviorJ. Nutr. 139:1813S-1817S.

[xix] Asami, D. K., Hong,Y. J.,Barrett, D. M., and Mitchell, A. E. (2003).Comparison of the total phenolic and ascorbic acid content of freeze-dried and air-dried marionberry, strawberry, and corn grown using conventional, organic, and sustainable agricultural practicesJ. Agric. Food Chem. 51:1237-1241.

[xx] Klopotek,Y., Otto, K., and B¨ohm,V. (2005). Processing strawberries to different products alters contents of vitamin c, total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacityJ. Agric. Food Chem. 53:5640-5646.

[xxi] Ngo, T., Wrolstad, R. E., and Zhao, Y. (2007). Color quality of Oregon strawberries-impact of genotype, composition, and processingJ. Food Sci. 72:C025-C032.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
CategoriesBlog

Call for NZ Government to act after study finds most packaged food unhealthy

Phil Taylor is a senior writer for the New Zealand Herald

The biggest independent study to date of packaged food on supermarket shelves has found most of it is unhealthy.

More than two-thirds was classified as “ultra-processed” and half were not foods that are necessary in a person’s diet.

Authors of the study are calling on the NZ Government to make improved Health Star Ratings labels compulsory and to set food manufacturers targets to lower salt, sugar and saturated fat.

Both the current and the previous government have opted to work with the food industry to encourage improvements in labelling and reduction in sugar and salt content rather than impose requirements.

But those who conducted the New Zealand State of the Food Supply study say substantial change across the food supply was unlikely without strong government direction.

“We need the Government to take real action by setting targets to lower salt, sugar and saturated fat content,” Dr Sally Mackay, a lead author of the report, said.

The study analysed 13,000 packaged food items using the Health Star Rating criteria, which rates foods from 0.5 to 5 stars.

Researchers found that 59 per cent of items have a low star rating and that even in categories such as muesli bars and yoghurts the average rating was low.

Poor diet was the leading cause of early death in New Zealand, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of illnesses and premature death, Mackay said.

“Getting healthier foods on the shelves makes it easier for consumers to make a healthy choice, which is key to curbing the obesity epidemic and diet-related ill health,” said Mackay, a research fellow at Auckland University’s medical and health sciences faculty.

Although acknowledging that the country’s top food manufacturers have made commitments to reduce sugar, salt and fat in their products, the researchers said industry uptake of the Health Star Rating had been too slow at only 21 per cent of eligible products, and all packaged food should be required to carry Health Star labels.

“Consumers have the right to know the healthiness of the products they’re buying,” Mackay said.

Health Star Ratings are an independent system developed by the New Zealand and Australian governments with public health experts, the food industry and consumer groups. Packaged foods are given a number of stars based on their nutrients, ingredients and the amount of energy (kilojoules) they provide.

Whether to include the star rating on labels is voluntary for food manufacturers.

Health Minister David Clark said the Government was serious about tackling obesity and the health problems that stemmed from too much sugar, fat and salt in our diets.

“We are working on this with the food industry itself through the Food Industry Taskforce. Reformulation of processed food and drink and an improved food labelling system are key strands of this work.”

Clark said he was considering advice about the next steps of the taskforce.

When he was in Opposition, Clark criticised the National Government for not pulling corporates into line over the ” tsunami of sugar and salt in everyday foods”.

An article he authored in 2017 said a ” massive flaw” in the voluntary food labelling system meant it could be “rigged” by manufacturers “at the expense of New Zealanders’ health”.

He said a Labour Government would “look at a front of package labelling system such as the number of teaspoons of added sugar and salt in a product so that people can make clear and informed decisions about their food intake.”

Yesterday, Clark said an independent review of the Health Star Rating system had been done and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor was leading the work.

A spokeswoman for O’Connor said a report on the rating system was imminent.

The study, done in collaboration with Australian food and health academics, aimed to take a snapshot of what we are currently eating.

Among other key findings:

Fruit and vegetable juices and energy drinks had the highest mean sugar content.

Most breads and cereals had ratings above 3.5 stars. High performers included Goodman Fielder’s breads and Nestle’s cereals, while Dairyworks had the lowest proportion of ultra-processed products.

Only three companies had an average star rating of 3.5 across their products – Sanitarium, McCain Foods and Sealord.

Healthy Food Guide editor-at-large Niki Bezzant said the findings were no surprise.

“The healthiest food doesn’t come in packaging.”

Bezzant favours making it mandatory to display health star ratings. “Though not perfect, it would at least give shoppers a quick comparison between products.”

There is so much “marketing speak” on packaging that shoppers couldn’t be expected to cut through it.

Researchers from a range of fields including public health, medicine and marketing, have said a targeted tax on sugar should be top-priority to tackle the country’s interconnected issues with obesity, type 2 diabetes and rotten teeth.

The Labour-led Government has no plans for such a tax.

The numbers

• 69 per cent of foods were classified as “ultra-processed”.

• 13,000 packaged food items were included in the study.

• 79 per cent of breads had a star rating at or above 3.5.

• 68 per cent of breakfast cereals had a star rating at or above 3.5.

CategoriesBlog

Garlic Beats Drug in Detoxifying Lead Safely From Body

Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019
V

Garlic Beats Drug in Detoxifying Lead Safely From Body

Garlic is used the world over as a culinary spice, but recent research indicates that among its 100+ medicinal properties it is far safer and more effective than a commonly used chelation drug in pulling lead out of the human body.

A remarkable study published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology revealed something very special about garlic: it is a natural detoxifier of lead and is not only as effective as a common chelation drug known as d-penicillamine at pulling this metal out of the body but is also much safer.

The study was titled, Comparison of therapeutic effects of garlic and d-penicillamine in patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning,” and sought to confirm previous research in animals that showed garlic (Allium sativum) is effective in reducing blood and tissue lead concentrations.[1]

The study took the measurements of the blood lead concentrations of 117 workers at a car battery plant who were randomly assigned to two groups of garlic (1.2 milligrams of allicin from approximately 1,000 mg of garlic extract, three times daily) and d-penicillamine (250 mg, three times daily) and treated for 4 weeks. Clinical signs and symptoms of lead poisoning were also investigated and compared with the initial findings.

The study found:

“Clinical improvement was significant in a number of clinical manifestations including irritability (p = 0.031), headache (p = 0.028), decreased deep tendon reflex (p=0.019) and mean systolic blood pressure (0.021) after treatment with garlic, but not d-penicillamine. BLCs [blood lead concentrations] were reduced significantly (p=0.002 and p=0.025) from 426.32±185.128 to 347.34±121.056μg/L and from 417.47±192.54 to 315.76±140.00μg/L in the garlic and d-penicillamine groups, respectively, with no significant difference (p=0.892) between the two groups. The frequency of side effects was significantly (p=0.023) higher in d-penicillamine than in the garlic group. Thus, garlic seems safer clinically and as effective as d-penicillamine. Therefore, garlic can be recommended for the treatment of mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.”

Clearly, despite the near equal reduction in measurable blood lead concentrations in both groups, improvements in various measured clinical manifestations were only found in the garlic group. Also, side effects were higher in the d-penicillamine group. These results clearly indicate the superiority of garlic over the drug and underscore how drug-based interventions often end up ‘normalizing’ target values, e.g. blood lead concentrations, without resulting in improvement in the quality of life or even the objective clinical signs and subjective symptoms of the treated patient; to the contrary, often the patient feels and is much worse off following drug treatment.

Lead exposure is ubiquitous in our modern age, and has been estimated to account for approximately 0.2% of all deaths and 0.6% of disability adjusted life years globally.[2]Exposure to this heavy metal results in harm to the cardiovascular, skeletal, gastrointestinal, kidney, reproductive and nervous systems of the human body. It has been identified to be particularly harmful to infants and children, whose developing nervous systems are far more susceptible to lead toxicity than those of adults.  In fact, a 2008 PLoS study found decreased brain volume in adults who had been exposed to lead as children.[3]

The standard of care involving drugs such as d-penicillamine is dismal, considering that the chemical has been linked to the following side effects:

  • Anemia, Aplastic
  • Breast Enlargement
  • Anorexia
  • Bone Marrow Suppression
  • Collagen Disorders
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysgeusia (distorted taste)
  • Kidney Damage
  • Liver Damage
  • Muscle Damage

The chemical is so toxic that the total incidence of side effects from d-penicillamine treatment is 30-60%, with a withdrawal rate of 20-30%.[4]

Garlic, on the other hand, is a commonly enjoyed culinary spice worldwide with a wide range of potential side benefits and a high margin of safety. In a previous article titled, How Garlic Can Save Your Life, we discussed the sizable body of research gathered on the GreenMedInfo.com database on the over 150 health conditions garlic has been researched to be potentially beneficial for.

Additionally, our open access database project, which now contains over 3000 ailments indexed, has a section on “Lead Poisoning,” which includes research on 23 substances that may help ameliorate the effects of lead exposure and/or toxicity, and which can be viewed here: Natural Agents for Lead Poisoning.

References

[1] Sina Kianoush, Mahdi Balali-Mood, Seyed Reza Mousavi, Valiollah Moradi, Mahmoud Sadeghi, Bita Dadpour, Omid Rajabi, Mohammad Taghi Shakeri. Comparison of therapeutic effects of garlic and d-Penicillamine in patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 May ;110(5):476-81. Epub 2011 Dec 29. PMID: 22151785

[2] Global health risks : mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. 2009. p. 24. ISBN 9789241563871.

[3] Kim M Cecil, Christopher J Brubaker, Caleb M Adler, Kim N Dietrich, Mekibib Altaye, John C Egelhoff, Stephanie Wessel, Ilayaraja Elangovan, Richard Hornung, Kelly Jarvis, Bruce P Lanphear. Decreased brain volume in adults with childhood lead exposure. PLoS Med. 2008 May 27 ;5(5):e112. PMID: 18507499

[4] K Grasedyck. [D-penicillamine–side effects, pathogenesis and decreasing the risks]. Z Rheumatol. 1988 ;47 Suppl 1:17-9. PMID: 3063003

Originally published: 2013-07-25  

Article updated: 2019-03-03

Sayer Ji

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine,Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

CategoriesBlog

Breast Cancer Cover-Up Continues

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Breast cancer is one of the major killers of women in the United States. It is also one of the most overdiagnosed and overtreated conditions. Sadly, most women have no idea that simply not wearing a bra can have a major impact on the likelihood of developing breast cancer. 

You probably didn’t hear about a recent study from Brazil, published in May, 2016 in the journal Advances in Oncology Research and Treatments.

Entitled, “Wearing a Tight Bra for Many Hours a Day is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer”, the study echoes another recent study, done in 2015 in Kenya, which also confirmed the bra-cancer link.

This study demonstrated the existence of a relationship between the use of a tight bra when associated with an increased number of hours wearing it and the risk of breast cancer among pre- and post-menopausal women.”

Studies from Venezuela, Scotland and numerous studies out of China also agree. Wearing tight bras for long hours each day is a leading cause of breast cancer.

But you probably haven’t heard about any of this. That’s because the multi-billion dollar cancer industry doesn’t want you to know about it, and they control mainstream media’s coverage of cancer.

And with Pink October just around the corner, they want you to open up your purses, not your minds.

Cancer is big business, and Pink charities rake in the dough donated by hard working women who walk and run for a cure – while wearing cancer-causing bras!

Fortunately, more women are questioning the need for a bra, and that leads to questioning the need to accept the discomforts and diseases bras cause. Headaches, backaches, nerve damage to the hands, deep shoulder grooves, droopy breasts, breast pain, cysts and lumps, and breast cancer are some of the problems bras cause.

Like the corset, bras are harmful garments that constrict and shape the body through pressure, which impairs circulation, especially the circulation of the immune system’s lymphatic pathways. This results in fluid accumulation in the breasts, causing cysts, pain, and tissue toxification.

As the new study from Brazil explains, breast cancer most likely has to do with the compression and impairment of the lymphatic system by tightly worn bras. “Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow cutting off lymphatic drainage so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast.”

From our research and our U.S. 1991-93 Bra and Breast Cancer Study, which is described in our book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, we found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as a man, while the tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the incidence rises, to over 100 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to bra-free.

The cancer industry has been covering up the bra-cancer link. It doesn’t fit into their world of mammogramschemotherapy, surgery, and lifetime drug treatments.

It takes the wind out of the cancer sales pitch when the public knows how to prevent breast cancer by simply no longer wearing constricting bras for long hours each day of their lives.

It should sound obvious that tight bras are a health hazard. As studies continue to be published around the world proving bras are causing breast cancer, and women experience the health benefits of being bra-free, the cancer industry will somehow have to find a way to accept a bra-cancer link that it has been denying for over 20 years.

In the meantime, if the Susan G. Komen Foundation or American Cancer Society or any other cancer charity asks for your money for a cancer cure while denying the bra-cancer cause, I suggest you send them your bra instead of your money. They may get the message.

Get the truth about the true causes and solutions for breast cancer at the GreenMedInfo.com Breast Health research portal


References:

1.Wearing a Tight Bra for Many Hours a Day is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/wearing-a-tight-bra-for-many-hours-a-day-is-associated-with-increasedrisk-of-breast-cancer-aot-1000105.php?aid=72034

2. Do you wear bras every day? Watch out for breast cancer, study warns. 

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/article/2000147890/do-you-wear-bras-every-day-watch-out-for-breast-cancer-study-warns

3. Bra linked to breast cancer.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/bras-linked-to-rise-in-breast-cancer-1-3422526

4. [A case-control study on risk factors of female breast cancer in Zhejiang province].

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23086643

5. Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

CategoriesBlog

5 Sneaky Ways to Burn Calories at Work

You may think the 30 minutes you spend every other day in the gym is enough to keep you trim and healthy, but it’s not. If you want overall good health, you need to eat well and find windows of exercising opportunity every day—not just during your scheduled workouts.


How can you squeeze in a little exercise when most of your hours are spent sitting at a desk, meeting in the conference room, and preparing for big presentations? Read on to find out when you can squeeze in exercise and how to do it.

1. On the Way to Work. To start your day with a smidgen of calorie-burning exercise, you may need to wake up a few minutes earlier than usual. Not to get in a workout before tossing on your power suit, but rather so you’ll have time to torch a few calories on the way to work. To shed some calories before clocking in, you have a number of options depending on your situation.

You can bike or walk to work, perform seated calf raises on the bus or train, or park your car at the far end of the parking lot so you get to walk farther to reach your office. And of course, once you get to your building, take the stairs.

2. When Doing Mindless Tasks. Admit it: everything you do at work doesn’t require an amazing amount of brainpower. Take advantage of the easy tasks by multitasking with some exercise. The easiest option is to flex and squeeze your body.

From your glutes and your abs to your pecs and thighs, you can get rid of a few calories by simply flexing them as you work. As you grow accustomed to the flexing, you may find it to be a great way to work your way through a long, difficult meeting.

3. Every Time You Finish a Task. When you first get to work, make a to-do list. This will help keep you on track and will also set you up for exercise rewards. Each time you cross a task off your list, give yourself an exercise reward.

This could be walking a couple laps around the office, standing up and doing a couple quick stretches, or closing your office door and knocking out a dozen push-ups. Know what your reward of the day will be and go for it.

4. When You Need to Communicate. Helpful as email may be, there is a way to communicate with your colleagues that actually keeps your body moving. That way? Getting out of your seat and walking to your coworker’s office to talk things through. Have to make a few phone calls? Stand up as you talk or better yet, pace back and forth during the conversation.

5. At the Top of the Hour. A great way to sneak a little calorie burning into your routine is to get up every hour. And your exercising doesn’t need to be super intense. All you need to do is stand up. Do this for five minutes, eight times a day, and you will drop 100 calories a day.

That’s right—all you have to do to stand up for your health is stand up!

All of these bonus calorie burning tips are great – when done in conjunction with a consistent, challenging functional resistance exercise program. 

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Bypassing Surgery: Can Leafy Greens Repair Your Arteries?

Bypassing Surgery: Can Leafy Greens Repair Your Arteries?

We all know that leafy green vegetables are good for us, but do you know why they’re so good?  There are plenty of reasons but, when it comes to heart health, the secret may be nitrates and chlorophyll.

In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh propose that high levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens.

Since the 19th century nitrates have been administered to patients with angina to dilate their arteries and increase blood flow.

Vascular diseases (disorders of the circulatory system) can lead to heart attacks, strokes and even death.  The Pittsburgh researchers pointed out that typical treatments for these disorders, such as bypass surgery and angioplasty, actually induce vascular injury and can lead to an over-proliferation of the cells of the blood vessels in a way that limits blood flow.

According to the researchers, nitric oxide is an important molecule that helps maintain the contractility and health of vascular smooth muscle cells.  Multiple studies have linked vascular disease to a decreased level of nitric oxide and it is believed that therapies increasing the availability of nitric oxide could help protect vascular health.

Usually, nitric oxide in our bodies is synthesised from the amino acid L-arginine by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase.  In the University of Pittsburgh research, it was found that when rats sustained blood vessel injury that synthesis was disrupted.  However, a secondary process that generates nitric acid from nitrate was activated.

The researchers found that supplementing rats with nitrate before inducing vessel injury significantly limited the extent of the damage, while a diet low in nitrate exacerbated it.

Chlorophyll’s heart health promoting properties

Chlorophyll is an essential heart health nutrient for two reasons: 1) it contains magnesium, which is used to produce energy in every cell of the body by being part of all enzymes either utilising or synthesising ATP, along with being an essential component in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. Given that the heart muscle is one of our body’s organs which demands constant energy, chlorophyll’s contribution to the body’s magnesium stores can greatly support cardiovascular health. 2) it is converted through digestion into dietary metabolites that enter into our mitochondria and allow an increased production of ATP and mitigation of reactive oxygen species. This process can amp up the available energy to our heart muscle.

What kinds of greens are best for your heart?

Leafy greens and root vegetables are good sources for nitrates with beetroot, turnips, celery, spinach, lettuces, carrots and radishes generally having the highest levels.

Besides vascular health there are many other good reasons to eat your leafy greens.  Greens have a wide range of nutritional benefits. They contain vitamins A, C, E and K as well as prodigious amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc, not to mention the fiber, folate, chlorophyll, micronutrients and phytochemicals that protect against disease.

They also contain informational molecules such as microRNAs which research is showing may help to coordinate gene expression in a way that makes these ancestral foods essential for maintaining our health and well-being.

Greens are also rich in cancer fighting antioxidants. Generally speaking, the darker the leaves, the more nutrient dense is the vegetable.

While iceberg lettuce, Boston bibb or even romaine all have a place at the table, it is best to make the effort to add in more of the nutrient dense dark greens.  These include serious greens like kale, bok choy, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, escarole and dandelion. These greens are powerful allies for your body, assisting in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, promoting good intestinal bacteria (probiotics) and improving circulation, liver and kidney function.

pomegranateCategoriesBlog

4 Ways Pomegranate Extends Women’s Lives

4 Ways Pomegranate Extends Women’s Lives

Modern women at midlife have many options when it comes to dealing with those nasty menopausal symptoms like mood swings, depression, bone loss, and fluctuating estrogen levels.  But their most surprising source of natural relief may come from an ancient food:  the juicy pomegranate.

Pomegranates have been cultivated for over 4,000 years.  Our word pomegranate dates back to around 750 B.C. and comes from the Latin “Punicum malum” meaning “Phoenician apple.”  Today the fruit is often called a “Chinese apple.”

Despite its frequent comparison to an apple, the pomegranate bears a striking resemblance to the female ovary.  It is not too surprising, then, that it served as a symbol of fertility for the Zoroastrians and other ancient cultures.

Fruits in general are defined as “the developed ovary of a seed plant” but in the case of the pomegranate fruit, the physical resemblance to a human female ovary is striking.  Looking at a cross section of each reveals how similar are the containers for the pomegranate’s seeds and the ovary’s eggs.

But the pomegranate’s resemblance to the female ovary goes beyond its physical similarities.  The fruit also provides the same estrogens as the female ovary – estradiol, estrone and estriol.

What does this mean for a menopausal woman?  It may very well mean relief from depressive moods and a lower risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer and heart disease.

Bone Loss Reversed

In a 2004 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, rats who had their ovaries removed suffered accelerated bone loss, a typical symptom of menopause.  When they were fed an extract of pomegranate juice and seeds for just 2 weeks, however, their bone mineral loss reverted to normal rates.

Pomegranates: The New Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Mood Improvement

The same Japanese researchers in the 2004 study also found that the rats given pomegranate extract measured lower levels of depression indicators.  Based on their results the authors found it conceivable that pomegranate would be clinically effective for women exhibiting a depressive state.

Heart Health

The rate of death from coronary heart disease in women after menopause is 2 to 3 times that of women the same age before menopause. Here again, pomegranates provide proven healing benefits:

  • Lowers Cholesterol – A 2000 study found that pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants which prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing and leading to atherosclerosis.
  • Lower blood pressure – A small 2004 clinical study by Israeli researchers concluded that drinking one glass a day of pomegranate juice may lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol oxidation, and reversed the plaque buildup in their carotid arteries by up to 29%.
  • Blood clotting – One study in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that pomegranate juice slows down platelet aggregation and thins blood, preventing clotting.
  • Improves coronary heart disease – Several different studies have found that cardiovascular health is improved with the use of pomegranate juice since it reduces plaque, increases nitric oxide, and may prevent plaque from building in the arteries in some patients.
  • Increases oxygen flow – A 2007 study showed that drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily for three months increased oxygen flow to the heart muscle in coronary patients.

Breast Cancer

Lab studies have shown pomegranate anthocyanidins (sugarless plant pigments), flavonoids, and oils exert anticancer effects against breast tumors.

Although some women worry that foods with estrogenic properties may increase the risk of breast cancer, that isn’t the case.  In fact, pomegranate is a natural adaptogen, increasing levels of estrogen when the body is low but blocking stronger estrogens when levels are too high.  This innate intelligence to adapt its function to the body’s needs is an incredible benefit that natural foods have over pharmaceuticals.

In fact, pomegranate extract was compared to the drugs Tamoxifen and Estradiol in a 2011 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.  The researchers suggested that the pomegranate extract may potentially prevent estrogen dependent breast cancers.

How do pomegranates work their magic?

An 8 ounce glass of pomegranate juice contains about 40% of the RDA of vitamin C, and also is rich in vitamins A and E and folic acid.

The pomegranate fruit contains antioxidants called phytochemicals, which protect plants from harmful elements in the environment. These same phytochemicals when ingested protect the cells in our body.  The juice has been found to contain higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices, including cranberry or blueberry, and more even than red wine or green tea.

Drink the juice or eat the seeds (yes, they are edible) to reap the benefits of this menopause miracle.

For additional information on the healing properties of pomegranate, visit GreenMedInfo’s extensive pomegranate resource page which lists over 80 researched health conditions.

CategoriesBlog

How to Optimise Your Cells for Healthy Ageing

In a hurry? Click here to read the Article Summary…

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the September 2017 edition of TTAC’s Heroes Against Cancer member newsletter.

Every time my family and I go hiking or spend time out at the lake, I’m always amazed at the breathtaking beauty of nature. So many different species of trees, shrubs, grasses, animals, birds, and insects all living in harmony with one another as part of a vast, complex ecosystem. You might say that it’s a living, breathing “macro-organism” of sorts. One that both sustains and maintains itself without the need for human intervention (unless it starts creeping into your backyard and tearing through your grass and garden beds, of course).

Humbling is the word I would use to describe the persistent means by which nature exists. Its diversity of plants and animals having to continually adapt to changing weather patterns, unpredictable environmental conditions, and other factors that influence whether they live or die.

What’s even more intriguing is the fact that part of what makes nature thrive in this way is controlled destruction. I’m talking about a phenomenon as natural as the earth itself, but one that most people would probably assume to be a negative occurrence rather than a positive one: forest fires.

You may not know this (I know I didn’t at one point), but forest fires are actually a good thing for nature. So long as they’re frequent, low-intensity, and don’t spread out of control, forest fires actually help to clean up the forest floor of excess debris, for instance, opening it up to more sunlight and soil nourishment. Forest fires also clear out weaker trees to make room for stronger ones, which in turn provides new and expanded habitats for flourishing plant and animal kingdoms.

Forest fires further eradicate disease and pestilence that would otherwise kill off healthy trees and plants. In the process, all of the vegetation that’s burned generates more nutrients that are deposited into the soil to feed existing healthy trees. This helps to keep the life cycle in motion. Many tree species, believe it or not, are actually dependent on forest fires in order to survive and produce the next generation of arboreal life.1

Fire

Just as fire can ultimately rejuvenate a forest, controlled cell death is an important maintenance tool for the body

Why am I talking so much about trees and forest fires? Because the human cellular system is a lot like a forest in that it requires a routine purging of the old in order to make way for the new. The cells in your body are constantly dying and being replaced with new cells, as a matter of fact. This is a completely normal and natural process that keeps your body healthy and strong. Controlled cell death, much like a natural forest fire for trees, is an important maintenance tool that our bodies use to keep us vibrant and free of disease.

It’s when your body actually stops the controlled demolition of these old cells, fails to dispose of them, or when these old cells decide to go “rogue,” that serious problems can arise. Like an overgrown forest that’s deprived of purifying fire, a dysfunctional cellular system eventually gets clogged up with cellular waste and other toxic debris. This creates conditions inside the body that can accelerate the ageing process, damage the immune system, and even promote the formation of cancer.

Cellular Regeneration: How Things Are Supposed to Work

In a healthy biological environment, your body’s vast cellular “forest” of nearly 100 trillion cells is almost always on “fire,” so to speak. Cells that have reached the end of their life cycle are constantly being purged and eliminated in order to make way for new cells that pick up the baton where they left off. If a cell is no longer able to do its job, it will either repair itself or commit “suicide” via a process known as apoptosis. This is a streamlined process that keeps everything in the body balanced and running smoothly.

Since cells are the building blocks behind every organ and system in the body, it’s important that all of them meet the highest quality standards. Defective cells put the entire system at risk, and thus have to be eliminated. We call this process cellular regeneration. It functions a lot like the quality control unit at a manufacturing plant, where only the best components make it off the assembly line and into the final product, while everything else ends up in the scrap heap.

It’s how the integrity of the larger, interconnected cellular matrix is sustained. Though each individual cell is relatively self-contained and programmed to perform a variety of functions on its own, cells generally work together to get these jobs done and done correctly. That’s why all of them need to be in tip-top shape. There’s no room for slackers.

Cellular regeneration is also important for maintaining the integrity of human DNA. Healthy cells act as an airtight bunker to keep these blueprints of life locked away and fully protected in their nuclei, where they can’t be tampered with or corrupted. Expired cells, on the other hand, are like an old house with a leaky roof, where the genetic code is exposed to all sorts of damaging elements.

This is why it’s vitally important for cells that no longer work, or that have reached the end of their lives, to either regenerate themselves or get the heck out of the way. When they do this, the cellular system is in good working order. It is able to absorb nutrients from food, convert them into energy, use them to keep organs and tissue healthy and strong, and reproduce and proliferate as needed. This is the very bedrock of human life.

Cellular Senescence: When Cells Turn to the Dark Side and Refuse to Die

When we’re young, it’s easy for our bodies to do an exceptional job of this. They swap out used-up cells and replace them with new ones like it’s nobody’s business. But as we grow older, life catches up with us: poor diet, lack of exercise, and a stressful lifestyle further contributing to the demise of this important, life-sustaining process. If cellular maintenance continues to degrade, it can eventually cascade into more serious types of dysfunction that can bring about chronic disease.

One manifestation of this is cellular senescence, a state in which bad cells no longer complete their normal life cycle and instead stick around in a type of “zombie” state. Senescent cells are those cells that have somehow been damaged by stress – either internally or from some outside source – but that don’t either repair themselves or self-destruct. Though they’re no longer capable of doing anything beneficial, senescent cells remain present within the cellular terrain.

girl playing on swing

As children and young adults our cells easily repair and replenish, but this process slows down as we age

To clarify, healthy cells that become worn out or damaged are programmed to either repair themselves or commit suicide: this is how life persists. But senescent cells are different in that they do neither of these things. They actually impede the life cycle by getting in the way of it. Like a clogged drain, senescent cells gunk up cellular pathways and obstruct the flow of activity that’s responsible for regulating energy levels, sleeping patterns, organ functionality, and many other things.

One study explains cellular senescence as an “irreversible arrest of cell proliferation (growth) that occurs when cells experience potentially oncogenic stress”2 [Note: Oncogenic refers to the potential of cells to become cancerous and form tumors.] Senescent cells are permanently damaged, in other words, meaning they have no capacity to ever serve a useful purpose again. And yet they never go away.

This is obviously problematic, especially when considering the fact that senescent “zombie” cells accumulate in the body over time. The health effects of this are significant and may include symptoms you’re familiar with. Things like:

  • Accelerated signs of ageing
  • Poor metabolism
  • Fat accumulation
  • Joint stiffness and pain
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Age-related memory loss

Just about the only thing even remotely positive about senescent cells is that, in some cases, they appear to be somewhat tumor-suppressive. They don’t replicate like cancer cells do. The fact that senescent cells even form in the first place is seen by some as being a good thing because, hey, at least they’re not cancer cells that reproduce and cause even more problems.3

It’s a lesser of two evils kind of thing, but unfortunately it still doesn’t tell the full story. The more that senescent cells collect, it turns out, the more they generate pro-inflammatory cytokines. Studies suggest these cytokines directly contribute to increased abnormal cell growth.4 For this reason senescent cells are really no better than cancer cells if they provoke the formation of cancer cells anyway. And inflammation, as you may well know, isn’t exactly a good thing when it comes to keeping cancer at bay, either.

One of the studies I mentioned earlier that looked at ageing and cancer in relation to cellular senescence concluded that, because of their propensity to drive degenerative pathologies, senescent cells are definitively cancer-forming. As they accumulate, senescent cells create a tissue environment “that is permissive for the development, or at least the progression, of cancer,” the study concluded.

In other words, any perceived benefits to senescent cells are greatly overshadowed by their immense detriments. Inflammation aside, senescent cells are known to disrupt the structures of healthy tissue throughout the body, provoking all sorts of degenerative effects.

These include damage to the brain, as well as other typically age-associated pathologies such as:

  • Memory loss and dementia
  • Immune suppression
  • Muscle loss
  • Muscle loss that’s replaced by fat

What You Can Do to Minimise Cellular Senescence While Optimising Cellular Health

From an official standpoint, there’s not much that can be done to get rid of senescent cells. Once they’re there, they’re not going anywhere – or so goes the claim. The truth of the matter is that there are many ways to help combat cellular senescence that work to give the body an upper hand in maintaining an optimal state of cellular regeneration. Perhaps the most obvious way is through diet (which many mainstream health experts ignore).

couple cooking together

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to combat cellular senescence

Nutrition, it turns out, can be a powerful weapon against “zombie” cells. It not only helps the body rid itself of them, but also prevents them from forming in the first place. The scientific literature is replete with evidence to show that nutritional deficiency is directly linked to cellular senescence. It is often the determining factor behind common health conditions like type-2 diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammation, hypertension, and various other markers of metabolic syndrome.5

Low glycemic diets rich in micro-nutrients – things like vitamins, trace minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants – have been shown to induce the opposite effect. Functional foods free of processed ingredients, refined sugars, and other damaging chemicals are protective against these types of conditions. The complexity of micro-nutrients they contain is essential for keeping the body well-tuned. These micro-nutrients aid in the production of digestive enzymes and hormones that further help to guard cells against senescence. Beyond this, micro-nutrients help to:6

  • Convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into usable energy
  • Support a strong and robust metabolism
  • Minimise oxidative and free radical damage that leads to inflammation
  • Protect against brain degeneration
  • Support bone remineralisation
  • Synthesize DNA
  • Repair damaged tissue
  • Support muscle movement and flexibility

ATP: Fuel for Your Mitochondria

One of the key elements that cells require in order to function properly is adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Also known as the “universal cellular energy molecule,” ATP is the fuel that cellular mitochondria need in order for cells to breathe, generate energy, and do their respective jobs.

This is another area where micro-nutrients come into play. They function as metabolic co-factors in food to ensure that healthy cells are given all of the building blocks they need to produce ATP. Without these micro-nutrients, cellular mitochondria would starve – leading to the exact opposite of the above listed benefits. Current research suggests that humans require more than 50 different micro-nutrients from three unique categories for health optimisation.

1) Vitamins are essential for maintaining cellular health, helping to protect the body against oxidative stress. In the process, they aid in slowing the ageing process and protecting against cancer as well. There are 13 vitamins in particular that are considered to be absolutely essential for human health, including both water-soluble and fat-soluble types.

vitamins essential for human health

Water-soluble vitamins include the entire B vitamin complex: B1 thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5(pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 biotin), B9 (folate), B12 (cobalamin), as well as vitamin C.

Because these water-soluble vitamins tend to be easily lost via sweat and urine, it’s important to consume plenty of them on a daily basis. Here are some of the bodily functions they each support (and take note that many of these nutrients overlap and work together with one another in synergy):

  • B1 (thiamine) – hair, skin, brain, heart, nervous system
  • B2 (riboflavin) – metabolism, immune system, nervous system
  • B3 (niacin) – digestion, hair, skin, brain, heart, circulation
  • B5 (pantothenic acid) – energy, adrenal glands, nervous system, heart, hormones, brain
  • B6 (pyridoxine) – protein digestion, mood, appetite, immune system, blood
  • B7 (biotin) – glucose synthesis, metabolism, skin
  • B9 (folate) – reproduction, heart, nervous system, mood, digestion, eyes
  • B12 (cobalamin) – metabolism, nervous system, blood
  • C -immune system, nutrient absorption, cardiovascular system

Fat-soluble vitamins are equally as important, but because they’re more easily stored in the body long-term, we generally don’t need as much of them (though I would suggest erring on the side of too much rather than too little). Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they are vital for the following systems:

  • A (beta-carotene) – immune system, mucous membranes, immune system, bones, eyes, skin
  • D – nutrient absorption, bones, immune system
  • E – immune system, muscles, blood
  • K – protein activation, blood, wound healing, bones

2) Minerals hold a top spot in cellular health as well, helping to support healthy bone development, metabolism, brain function, and longevity. There are at least 18 different minerals that the body needs in order to maintain optimal functionality, including “macro-minerals,” or electrolytes. These include things like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, along with “trace” minerals like copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc, each of which offers the following benefits:

  • Calcium – bones, digestion, blood
  • Magnesium – nervous system, muscles, digestion, heart, blood, energy, brain
  • Potassium – blood, heart
  • Sodium – muscles, nervous system, fluid balance, enzyme function
  • Copper – inflammation, brain
  • Iodine – growth and development, thyroid
  • Iron – oxygen delivery, energy
  • Manganese – bones, blood, metabolism, inflammation
  • Selenium – prostate, inflammation, reproduction
  • Zinc – immune system, brain, cardiovascular system, reproduction

3) Antioxidants can include both vitamins and minerals, as well as other free radical-fighting compounds.Antioxidants are commonly found in whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, ancient grains, legumes, and pasture-raised animal products. Healthy living is contingent upon having enough antioxidants, including what’s considered to be the most important antioxidant of all: the “master” antioxidant known as glutathione peroxidase.

Maximising Glutathione, “the Master Antioxidant”

What Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, refers to as “the mother of all antioxidants,” glutathione peroxidase represents the essence of cellular vibrancy. It lives inside every single cell in the body, and is absolutely critical for maintaining a healthy immune system. Glutathione further facilitates enzyme expression, detoxification, inflammation support, and programmed cell death as well – all things that directly counteract cellular senescence.7

Maximising glutathione intake in order to optimise cellular health can be as simple as knowing the right things to eat. By consuming the following foods regularly, you can help your body to naturally produce more glutathione, and thus stave off cellular senescence and its life-destroying effects:

Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens. Foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are all rich in sulfurous amino acids that help to keep the body’s glutathione stores in an optimal state. Other sulfur-rich veggies worth adding to the mix include arugula, collard greens, Bok Choy, kale, mustard greens, radishes, watercress, and turnips.

Brazil nuts. One of the most beneficial glutathione precursor nutrients known to man is the mineral selenium. And one of the world’s richest sources of natural selenium is the Brazil nut. Just one ounce (6-8 nuts) of which contains about 544 micrograms of selenium. This is more than 100% of the recommended daily value. Other selenium-rich foods include grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish like yellow fin tuna, halibut, and sardines, pastured chicken and eggs, and spinach.

acerola cherry for graceful aging

Folate-rich foods. Consuming the full spectrum of bio-available B vitamins, or what are often referred to as methylation nutrients, is critical for the body to produce glutathione. These include vitamins B6, B9, B12, and biotin. Not to be confused with folic acid, its synthetic counterpart, folate is one of the primary components that the body uses to generate fresh, new cells. It also helps in transcribing DNA to these new cells from the old ones. Folate-rich foods include garbanzo beans, liver, pinto beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus, avocado, beets, black eyed peas, and broccoli.8

Whey protein. Considered by many to be a premiere food for increasing glutathione levels, whey protein contains a special amino acid known as cysteine that’s directly involved in the body’s production of the master antioxidant. Clean whey protein derived from grass-fed cows or goats is ideal, containing the full spectrum of other vital amino acids that are also necessary for cellular support.

Camu camu berry and acerola cherry. Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial antioxidants and it’s also a precursor to glutathione. Vitamin C-rich foods are thus an important part of a healthy cellular optimization lifestyle. Camu camu berry and acerola cherry top the list as the densest natural sources of 100% bio-available vitamin C.9,10 Other vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits as well as red peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Foods rich in vitamin E. While vitamin C is busy increasing glutathione levels in red blood cells and lymphocytes, vitamin E helps to protects them, along with vital enzymes, against oxidative stress. The perfect pairing, these two classes of vitamin wield a death blow to cellular degeneration. This is why it’s important to eat foods rich in vitamin E. These include almonds and other raw nuts and seeds, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and avocado.

When I speak of vitamin E, by the way, I’m talking about eight different varieties of fat-soluble antioxidants that fall into two distinct categories: tocopherols and tocotrienols. These include alpha, beta, gamma, and delta varieties – four in each category – that each possess their own protective benefits in support of cellular optimisation.

This collective of “tocols,” as they’re called, are what constitute true “vitamin E” – the full spectrum of which has been shown to aid in protecting against heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other chronic ailments.11

Beef liver. It might seem gross to some people, but the liver of animals is where nutrients tend to congregate. Liver from grass-fed cows, in particular, is densely packed with glutathione-producing nutrients like selenium that offer copious benefits with regards to cellular optimisation. This offers added protection against cellular senescence.

Milk thistle. A flowering herb commonly used in traditional folk medicine, milk thistle (silymarin) has been shown to directly enhance glutathione levels in the body. Studies reveal that it helps to protect the liver and biliary tract against disease, and can even help to offset liver toxicity induced by alcohol consumption (which, for the record, is known to substantially decrease glutathione levels).

Would you like to know ALL the ways to prevent, treat, and beat cancer? If so, you’ll love what you discover here.

Article Summary

  • Cellular regeneration is important for maintaining the integrity of human DNA.
  • Cellular senescence is a state in which bad cells no longer complete their normal life cycle and stick around in a type of “zombie” state.
  • Senescent “zombie” cells accumulate in the body over time and some symptoms include:
    • Accelerated signs of ageing
    • Poor metabolism
    • Fat accumulation
    • Joint stiffness and pain
    • Blood sugar imbalances
    • Age-related memory loss
  • Nutritional deficiency is directly linked to cellular senescence.
  • There are 13 vitamins in particular that are considered to be absolutely essential for human health.
  • Glutathione further facilitates enzyme expression, detoxification, inflammation support, and programmed cell death.
CategoriesBlog

What is Cancer?

Video Transcript: What is Cancer? Natural Cancer Treatments Explained

Ty Bollinger: So Webster, we are constantly trying to beat cancer, to cure cancer, to kill cancer, to control cancer. Whatever you want to call it. But what exactly is cancer?

Webster Kehr: It depends on who you ask. The orthodox charities will say that cancer is caused by DNA damage. The truth of the matter is cancer is caused by microbes. The microbes are inside of the cancer cells.

Let me explain briefly why a cell is cancerous and then we’ll get back to the microbes. In a normal cell, glucose will enter into the cell, there will be about a ten-step chemical chain reaction to convert glucose to pyruvate, the pyruvate will go inside the mitochondria, and once the pyruvate is inside the mitochondria, two chemical chain reactions start. This is a gross simplification, but it’s pretty good.

The first one is the citric acid cycle, also known as the Krebs cycle. And that starts with pyruvate. That’s the complete cycle to create ATP energy. ATP energy is what drives the energy of the cells with adenosine triphosphate. Then about half way through the Krebs cycle, the electron transport chain spins off. Now the electron transport chain actually creates more ATP than the Krebs cycle, or the citric acid cycle. But together they create more of the ATP energy than anything else.

The Nobel Prize was given to Otto Warburg in 1931 for stating that the definition of a cancer cell is low ATP energy. So in a normal cell glucose is converted to pyruvate, the pyruvate goes through these two chemical chain reactions, and that’s where the ATP chemical comes from.

So now the question is, “Why is there low ATP energy?” And the answer is microbes. Helicobacter pylori is the main culprit. This microbe intercepts glucose. That’s what microbes do; they eat glucose. So if you’re losing a part of that glucose to the Helicobacter pylori there’s less pyruvate, because if you have less glucose you’re going to have less pyruvate. If you have less pyruvate you’re going to have less pyruvate going inside of the mitochondria, and you’re going to have ATP energy. That is the definition of a cancer cell.

A lot of the treatments I have designed work specifically to kill those microbes. And typically, not always, the way to do that is to have a combination of a Trojan horse and something that kills microbes. The Trojan horse is designed to get the thing that kills microbes inside of the cancer cells. I’ll give you a good example: honey and curcumin; honey and ginger; honey and cinnamon. Those are three good examples. Honey is the Trojan horse. Cancer cells love sweets and so you mix up the honey with the curcumin/turmeric, or the ginger, and the honey gets the other things in there.

What’s interesting about this is that down in South America, there was a Catholic priest. I think his last name was Romano. He was in a very poor section of Brazil and he had cancer patients. He experimented with his patients with trial and error. He didn’t know how to cure cancer. He came up with a formula of honey and aloe arborescensAloe arborescens a cousin of aloe vera. He added a little bit of whiskey so that the honey and the aloe arborescens would get a little bit deeper into the tissue to get to where the cancer was.

The formula is in the book and there’s actually a product now called Aloe Arborescens, which has a combination of… guess what? Honey (the Trojan horse) and Aloe Arborescens, which kills microbes. He developed it by trial and error. DMSO is commonly used as a Trojan horse on my website, MSM, and honey. Those are the three main Trojan horses that are used with something that kills microbes. Chlorine dioxide, which is normally a gas, but it’s a liquid for a half an hour or so, or colloidal silver. LIPH, which is pronounced “life”, is commonly used with MSM. That’s really what I use for cancer prevention: MSM and LIPH. The formula has worked well. Cancer patients have done well with treatments that use a combination of those two things, a Trojan horse and something that kills microbes.

Of course, there are also the treatments that actually kill the cancer cells like carrot juice and organic purple grape juice. I mention organic because normal grape juice has a lot of chemicals in it. Organic purple grape juice has at least twelve chemicals in it that kill cancer cells, barleygrass juice… There are multiple ways to deal with cancer.

CategoriesBlog

Soy and Strong Bones

I’ve told you before about the dangers of eating processed soy…

That it throws your hormones out of whack and increases your risk of certain cancers… makes digesting protein much more difficult… and blocks the absorption of important minerals.

But as more and more people become convinced of the dangers of this product, Big Agra’s advertising team needed to push a new health benefit to bring soy eating back.

So now they’re trying to tell you that eating soy builds strong bones…

Researchers from the University of Missouri wanted to test how soy impacts a woman’s bones after menopause. But instead of testing soy on real women, they tested it on fat, lazy rats. That was their idea of what postmenopausal women are all about.

The researchers took 40 middle-aged rats and removed the ovaries in half of them. That was to simulate the hormone effects of going through menopause. The other half got fake or “sham” surgery.

Then they fed half the rats in each group either soybean meal or corn meal. At the end of 30 weeks, the researchers were thrilled to see that the rats fed soy improved their bone strength compared to the corn meal rats.1 And it didn’t matter whether or not the rats still had their ovaries.

The researchers were quick to jump to the conclusion that eating more soy might strengthen bones in real people of all ages.

But there’s a big hole in their experiment. They were comparing soy to corn, both of which are terrible foods for humans. It’s a stretch to call either one “food.”

Let me put it this way… They were basically comparing a car accident to getting struck by lightning. Neither is going to leave you with better health — let alone stronger bones.

And the truth is soy interferes with bone-building. A study from Yale New Haven Hospital compared calcium from people eating soy versus those eating meat. Their results showed that soy protein caused a steep drop in the bioavailability of calcium.2

In other words, if you eat soy your body can’t use calcium. That’s a surefire way to sabotage your bones.

There’s another good reason to avoid soy…

Almost all soy crops are genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Monsanto and other chemical companies developed soy GMOs by altering DNA in plants to make them resistant to pesticides. Now industrial farms can drench soy with more and more deadly chemicals. In fact, GMO crops can contain 18 times the EPA’s safe limit for Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

Your body doesn’t recognize GMOs as food. It treats them like foreign invaders. It launches an inflammatory response that causes hives, rashes, swelling, headaches, digestive problems and more. And animal studies show GMOs lead to stomach inflammation and fertility problems.3 They have also been linked to depression, fatigue, infections, brain fog, nausea, and even cancer.

2 Ways to Build Strong Bones without Big Agra’s Poison

Poisoning your body with processed GMO soy is never a good idea. Instead, I’ve helped patients increase their bone strength naturally. Here’s how you can do it…

  1. Increase your protein to build strong bones. Forget about Meatless Mondays, tofu and soy milk. You need high-quality protein for your skeleton. Our ancestors ate a primal diet full of game, organ meats and fatty fish. They never touched a soy burger. And their bones and joints were as strong as steel.

    Beef, organ meats, fish, and eggs are your best sources of protein. If possible, eat grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish. Choose eggs from pastured chicken. Other good sources of protein include chicken, turkey, wild-caught salmon and other cold-water fish.

  2. Whole body vibration prevents broken bones. Research shows whole body vibration (WBV) improves bone strength, bone mineral density, and bone formation. In one study of 46 people, those getting WBV three times a week had 34.6% less bone breakdown in just eight weeks.4 Other studies show that WBV reduces the risk of falling. And it improves balance, mobility, muscle strength and power, and range of motion.5

    With WBV therapy, you lie, sit or stand on a platform with plates that vibrate. The rapid vibrations from the machine stimulate receptors on muscles and tendons. They cause your muscles to contract and relax from 30 to 50 times a second.

    I recommend WBV therapy three times a week for the best results. In just 20 minutes, your muscles can get a tremendous workout. You can get the benefits no matter what your age or physical condition is.

    To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS


References

  1. Hinton PS, et al. “Soy protein improves tibial whole-bone and tissue-level biomechanical properties in ovariectomized and ovary-intact, low-fit female rats.” Bone Rep. 2018;8:244-254.
  2. The Weston A. Price Foundation. Soy and osteoporosis: Not a leg to stand on. https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/soy-and-osteoporosis-not-a-leg-to-stand-on/ Updated December 18, 2006. Accessed September 9, 2018.
  3. Carman JA, et al. “A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet.” J Organic Systems. 2013; 8(1):38-54.
  4. Turner S, et al. “A randomized controlled trial of whole body vibration exposure on markers of bone turnover in postmenopausal women.” J Osteoporos. 2011;2011:710387.
  5. Yang F, et al. “Controlled whole-body vibration training reduces risk of falls among community-dwelling older adults.” J Biomech. 2015;48(12):3206-3212.
CategoriesBlog

Restless leg syndrome

Big Pharma has a pill for every “disease” under the sun…

They even invent diseases just so they can provide a cure.

This is exactly what happened with “restless leg syndrome.” That’s when you have an itchy, creepy-crawly feeling in your legs and an urge to move them, especially at night.

About 10 years ago, I noticed a sudden increase in the number of patients insisting they had this condition. They told me they had learned about it on TV. Turns out Big Pharma had just started running ads for their new “restless leg syndrome” drug.

My patients with tingling legs wanted to know if their conditions were serious or if they needed a prescription…

If you’re a regular reader, you know I don’t solve problems with pills. I’d rather get to the bottom of what’s actually causing your symptoms.

So when someone comes to me complaining of tingling legs, one of the first things I do is a simple blood test to measure their iron levels.

You see, that tingling sensation is often a symptom of an iron deficiency or anemia.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the U.S.Nearly 25% of the population is iron deficient.2

That creepy-crawly feeling in your legs isn’t the only symptom. Others include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Brittle nails
  • Fast heartbeat
  • A craving for ice
  • Cold hands and feet

An iron deficiency occurs more often in women who are still menstruating. But I’ve found that even my postmenopausal patients can experience levels that are too low.

Research confirms this…

A large study found that almost 44% of postmenopausal women are at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia.3 And it’s because of our modern diet.

Our ancestors got the nutrients they needed from food. But their food was nothing like what we have today. Since the rise of Big Agra, our soil has lost nutrients at a staggering rate.

And mineral-depleted soil leads to mineral-depleted food.

Today, you have to eat 10 servings of vegetables or more to equal the nutrition of one serving from 50 years ago. Even the FDA admits nutrient levels have fallen almost 80% in the last 30 years.4

And iron levels have dropped dramatically.

Scientific American published the results of a study that compared vegetables from 1975 to 1997. It found that iron levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 37% in 20 years!5

Here’s a sad example…

In 1950, one apple provided 4.3 mg of iron. In 1998, you needed to eat 26 apples to get the same amount of iron. Today, you have to eat 36!

And it’s not just produce.

Another analysis from 1940 to 2002 found that iron levels in whole milk had dropped 62%.6

Iron levels in meat have fallen just as fast. Since 1940, iron in red meat is down 55%. In chicken, it’s 69% lower. And today’s turkey has almost 80% less iron.7

Give Your Iron Levels a Boost

But despite all this, I rarely recommend an iron supplement. Your body can’t excrete iron easily. That means it can build up over time and become toxic. Here’s what I suggest instead:

  1. Eat foods high in iron. Eating a Primal meal plan similar to what our ancestors ate will help boost your iron levels naturally. Good choices include pumpkin seeds, chicken liver, grass-fed beef (it has more iron than commercial grain-fed beef) and lamb, oysters, cashews, white beans and dark, leafy greens.
  2. Eat foods that help your body absorb iron more easily. Your best bet are foods high in vitamin C. Foods like citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and strawberries.

    Eating vitamin C-rich foods along with the iron-rich foods I mentioned above further increases absorption.

  3. Cook with iron cookware. Several studies have shown that iron can be released into foods that are cooked in iron cookware.8 One study found that there was an increase of 16% in the iron content of foods cooked in iron pots compared to those cooked in Teflon coated non-stick pots.9

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS


References

1. CDC. Recommendations to prevent and control iron deficiency in the United States. April 3, 1998.
2. Beck KL, et al. “Dietary determinants of and possible solutions to iron deficiency for young women living in industrialized countries: A review. Nutrients. 2014;6(9):3747-3776.
3. Thomson CA, et al. “Nutrient intake and anemia risk in the women’s health initiative observational study.” J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111(4):532-541.
4. Worthington, V. “Nutritional quality of organic versus conventional fruits, vegetables, and grains.” J Alt Comp Med. 2002(7)2:161-173.
5. Scientific American. “Dirt poor: Have fruits and vegetables become less nutritious?”
6. Thomas D. “Meat and dairy: where have the minerals gone?” Food Magazine. Jan/Mar 2006.
7. Ibid..
8. Cheng YJ and Brittin HC. “Iron in food: Effect of continued use of iron cookware.” J Food Science. 2002;67(9):3301-3303.
9. Kulkarni SA. “Beneficial effect of iron pot cooking on iron status.” Indian J Pediatr. 2013;80(12):985-989.

CategoriesBlog

Speed Over Safety: The Perilous 5G Network

Speed Over Safety: The Perilous 5G Network

Most Americans today are constantly connected to the world of digital information via smartphones and other mobile devices. An estimated 95% own a cell phone of some kind, while 77% own a smartphone – which currently operates on 4G technology.1,2

According to tech experts, at least a hundred telecom operators all over the world are preparing to make the switch to 5G technology, which is expected to be fully rolled out by 2020. It will be needed to run the 28 billion devicesestimated to be online by 2021.Before we proceed, let’s understand what all these “Gs” mean and what 5G is designed to do.

What is 5G and What Will It Do?

The “G” in 3G, 4G, and 5G stands for “generation.” The first wireless phone technology marked the appearance of the first generation. Later, 2G started when people were able to send text messages between their phones.

The advent of 3G allowed people to make calls, text, and browse the internet using their phones, while 4G provided faster wireless access and better connectivity. Long-term evolution (LTE) gave 4G even better access and faster speeds.

5G has been designed to vastly expand upon the 4G LTE technology to significantly increase storage capacity, along with boosting connection and browsing speeds.

Currently, wireless companies are mostly still in the testing and prototype stages when it comes to 5G technology. However, 5G is already being rolled out in several test cities, including Sacramento, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and New York.3

According to Verizon, when it finally materializes, 5G will provide “about 50 times the throughput of current 4G LTE, latency in the single milliseconds” and will be able to “handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices” which should “accommodate the […] explosion of the Internet of Everything”.2

5G technology is expected to have positive effects on customer support, worker productivity, and product quality. Gamers, who depend on the high-performance connections needed for gaming on mobile networks, are also going to love 5G.

5G is also likely to have a huge impact on the so-called “Internet of Things” – the network of physical devices, vehicles, and home appliances containing the electronics and software that will allow them to efficiently connect with each other, along with collecting and exchanging information.

There is no doubt that when 5G does roll out, it will lead to a dramatic surge in cell phone usage, the number of transmitters, as well as the number and variety of Internet-enabled devices.

This is very exciting from a technological standpoint, but what does 5G mean for our health and wellbeing – especially given that exposure to radiation equivalent to that of a cell phone tower has already been shown to cause cancer in mice in laboratory experiments?4woman feeling pain from cell phone

Let’s look at how 5G will be deployed to understand the effects they are likely to have on our health.

How Will 5G be Deployed?

To enable 5G deployment, wireless providers will use submillimeter and millimeter waves in frequency ranges above 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond, so that much more data can be transmitted in the same amount of time.3,5

However, these high-frequency waves can’t carry data very far. To use them, wireless companies will have to build a massive infrastructure of literally thousands of small transmitters to increase signal range and capacity. It is estimated that a transmitter will need to be placed every two to ten homes apart.3

Why should we be concerned about this?

Non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are generated by devices that emit radiofrequency radiation (RF), including cell phones, cordless phones and their base stations, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and even baby monitors. Electronic devices and infrastructures used to deliver electricity that generate extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields also produce EMF.

Proximity to these devices, cell phone towers, and transmitters increases our risk of adverse health effects because of EMF exposure. The massive increase in transmitters required to enable 5G deployment means that it may become impossible to avoid exposure.

cell phone towerDespite community protests and municipal litigation, many state governments – along with the federal government ­– want to allow 5G transmitters to be installed in front of homes without the consent of the owners.6

The prospect of so many transmitters emitting radiation has alarmed health experts who are rightly concerned about their potential adverse effects on our health, especially considering the preliminary findings from a federal government study.7

5G Deployment Will Lead to Higher RF Levels than with 3G & 4G

Documents show that companies are aware that deploying 5G will lead to higher levels of harmful radiofrequency radiation in the vicinity of the 5G transmitters, relative to 3G and 4G.8 According to a senior expert in the field of EMF and Health at Ericsson Research, the proposed 5G network roll-out will present difficult challenges – such as more complex EMF compliance assessments and site design requirements, along with larger EMF exclusion zones.8

Countries such as China, India, Poland, Russia, Italy, and Switzerland have lower radiation limits than the U.S. So far, they have refused to allow 5G deployment, as the accompanying increase in radiation levels would exceed those limits.

According to Ericsson, if the national EMF limit for a given country is one-tenth of the international standard limit proposed in 1998 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)9 the size of the exclusion zone would make the roll-out “very challenging”. If the national limit was one-hundredth that of the ICNIRP limit, the size of the exclusion zone would seemingly make the 5G roll-out “a major problem or impossible”.

Will 5G Affect our Health?

Before we discuss the health ramifications of 5G, consider this: published, peer-reviewed, scientific evidence indicates that even the current wireless technologies of lead to radiofrequency exposures which pose a serious health risk to humans, animals, plants, and the environment.3

For instance, wireless frequencies in the millimeter and submillimeter range have been shown to interact directly with our skin, specifically sweat glands. Our skin is our largest organ. The ICNIRP, while developing recommendations for public exposure limits, appears to be planning to classify our skin as an extremity. In other words, our skin would be categorized as belonging to our limbs rather than head or torso, permitting it to be exposed to more radiation than would otherwise be allowed.3

In her report “A 5G Wireless Future: Will it give us a Smart Nation or Contribute to an Unhealthy One?” Dr. Cindy Russell raises further concerns about the basic safety of currently used wireless technologies.10 She points out that the proposed 5G frequencies have not been tested for short- or long-term safety.

Based on a 1998 review of dozens of studies,11 Dr. Russell’s report explains the science behind electro-sensitivity and the biological harm caused by EMFs. It further details the many adverse effects of 5G’s frequencies – including arrhythmias, heart rate variability, bacterial effects, antibiotic resistance, immune system effects, chromatin effects, teratogenic effects, altered gene expression, and cataracts.10,115G LTE

Dr. Russell warns: “The possibility of induction of adverse health effects by a local, low-intensity MMW (millimeter wave) irradiation is of potential significance for setting health and safety standards and requires special attention.”

To protect public health, Dr. Russell recommends the following steps, among others:

  • Rolling out 5G technologies only after completion of studies on their health impact
  • Creating an independent, multidisciplinary agency to develop safety regulations, premarket testing, and research needs in a transparent environment with public input
  • Labeling EMF information on devices along with appropriate precautionary warnings.

EMFs have also been shown to trigger oxidative stress,10 defined as an imbalance between free radicals and reactive oxygen species and their elimination by protective mechanisms, known as antioxidants. This imbalance is known to trigger many acute and chronic diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently classifies EMFs associated with RF as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.3,5 However, according to a recent monograph published in the journal Environmental Research, mobile phone use is associated with an increased risk of brain, vestibular nerve, and salivary gland tumors, along with a possible higher risk of breast, testicular, and thyroid cancers.12

Based on this evidence, the authors of the monograph recommend that IARC’s current categorization of RFR as a possible human carcinogen should be upgraded to Carcinogenic to Humans.

EMFs can seriously compromise our health. Unfortunately, because this is the first generation that will be exposed from birth to such high levels of man-made radio frequencies, it will be years or even decades before the full health consequences are known.

For these reasons, many experts strongly recommend that research on the effects of 5G on human health be carried out and existing exposure limits be both re-examined and revised to ensure that both people and the environment are protected.

For instance, Dr. Russell calls the RF wavelengths to which we are currently exposed a toxin to biological systemsand recommends a moratorium on 5G deployment, along with creating independent health and environmental advisory boards containing members with specific expertise in the biological effects of RF exposure.13

The National Toxicology Program Studies

The FDA nominated the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to study cell phone RF exposure because, as we have already seen, most Americans use them. Further, current safety guidelines seek only to protect users from acute injury because of the heat cell phones generate, while not much is known about the potential health effects of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation. Some human studies have shown limited evidence of an increased risk of cancer from cell phone use.

For these studies, rats were exposed to 2G and 3G frequencies of 900 and 1900 megahertz – which are currently used in voice calls and texting in the U.S. – for a total of just over 9 hours a day, for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments. Partial findings, reported in May 2016, revealed that the brains and hearts of male rats developed low incidences of tumors.7 Tumors in other locations have been reported in both male and female rats, but these results are not yet considered conclusive.14

microscopeThe complete results of these studies, expected later in 2018 or early 2019, will help the federal government better understand the health risks of exposure to cell phone radiation and are likely play an important role in determining future governmental policies regarding cell phone usage safety.

An Extraordinary Appeal

The December 2015 issue of the European Journal of Oncology contains an extraordinary document known as the “International EMF Scientist Appeal”, in which over 240 scientists from 40 nations – who are themselves actively engaged in the study of biological and health effects of non-ionizing EMF – have issued a statement to the effect that that the overall weight of evidence reported in peer-reviewed, scientific studies strongly supports greater precautionary measures be taken to reduce or eliminate exposure.15

This appeal has been submitted to the UN, the WHO, and the UN Environmental Program, and to all UN Member Nations.

The opening paragraph states:

Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

According to the scientists who drafted this appeal, the agencies responsible for setting safety standards have failed  puppy smelling flowerto create and enforce proper guidelines to protect our health and wellbeing – particularly children, who are more susceptible to EMF.

For instance, in 1998 the ICNIRP published the “Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-Varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz)”.9These guidelines are accepted by the WHO and many countries. In fact, the WHO has called for all nations to adopt these guidelines to encourage global standardization of EMF safety standards.

In 2009, the ICNIRP released a statement saying that it was reaffirming its 1998 guidelines, since apparently the scientific literature published since that time “has provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an immediate revision of its guidance on limiting exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields”.16

Over 240 scientists who signed the appeal disagree strongly with the ICNIRP. They assert that growing scientific evidence contradicts ICNIRP’s claims – in other words, that these guidelines are insufficient to protect public health.

The WHO adopted the IARC classification of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in 2002 and RF in 2011. According to this classification, EMF is a possible human carcinogen, as we have noted before. Despite this, the WHO maintains that there is insufficient evidence to justify lowering EMF exposure limits.

The signees of the appeal have recommended that the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) fund an independent multidisciplinary committee to explore alternative options to lower human exposure to RF and extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields.

The signees further state that although it is essential that the industry be involved and cooperate in this process, they should not be prevented from influencing its processes or conclusions in any way.

Finally, the signees of this document have also collectively requested that steps be taken to:

  • Protect children and pregnant women
  • Strengthen guidelines and regulatory standards
  • Encourage manufacturers to develop safer technology
  • Maintain adequate power quality and ensure proper electrical wiring in utilities responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and monitoring of electricity to minimize harmful ground current
  • Fully inform the public about the potential health risks from electromagnetic energy and teach harm reduction strategies
  • Educate medical professionals about the biological effects of electromagnetic energy and train them to treat patients with electromagnetic sensitivity
  • Persuade governments to fund training and research on electromagnetic fields and health independently of industry, while mandating industry cooperation with researchers
  • Ensure that media disclose experts’ financial relationships with industry when citing their opinions regarding health and safety aspects of EMF emitting technologies
  • Establish radiation-free areas, known as white zones.

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Exposure to EMFs and Dirty Electricity?

As we have seen, many experts are concerned about the health effects of the proposed massive increase in transmitters needed for 5G deployment and are working to protect us from their harmful effects. In the meantime, we need to protect ourselves as much as possible while we wait for existing exposure limits to be revised. Here are a few recommendations for lowering or eliminating exposure to harmful EMFs and dirty electricity:17,18

  1. Keep all devices in another room at night. Carry them in a bag instead of in clothing
  2. Try to have phone conversations on a landline instead of putting your cell phone up to your head for long periods of time
  3. Headphones and chargers can increase EMF exposure from cell phones – so don’t use them while they’re charging
  4. Avoid traditional headsets. Instead, opt for air tube headsets, which deliver great sound without EMF exposure
  5. Putting your cell phone on airplane mode stops connectivity with the towers, minimizing radiation exposure
  6. Get rid of electric blankets, waterbeds, and electric heating pads
  7. Use a quality shielding phone case that is designed to block various forms of radiation.
  8. Purchase shielded, grounded extension cords and power cords for home use
  9. Change your bedroom circuit breaker to exclude smoke detectors, alarms, etc. and then switch off the circuit breaker at night
  10. Use battery-powered alarm clocks
  11. Leave at least eight inches of space between your bed and your wall. Wiring (even in walls) can emit a significant magnetic field
  12. Position your bed so that it’s as far away as possible from strong magnetic field sources, including the utility pole, refrigerator, and home entertainment center
  13. Forget about Bluetooth headsets. Use speaker mode to keep your phone as far away from your body as possible
  14. If you’re using a laptop at home, avoid Wi-Fi and opt for hard-wired Ethernet connections
  15. Purchase a radio frequency meter, which will allow you to pinpoint EMF hotspots
  16. Reduce or eliminate dimmer switches, wireless products, printers, scanners, computers, television sets, and other energy-saving devices.
CategoriesBlog

CONSUMER ALERT: Splenda Releases Toxic Dioxin When Heated

Dark Side of Wheat

CONSUMER ALERT: Splenda Releases Toxic Dioxin When Heated

CONSUMER ALERT: Splenda Releases Toxic Dioxin When Heated

A review on the synthetic sweetener sucralose (marketed as Splenda), published in the journal Toxicology and Environmental Health, overturns widely held misconceptions about the purported safety of this ubiquitous artificial sweetener.

Found in tens of thousands of products and used by millions of consumers around the world, sucralose’s unique ability to dissolve in alcohol and methanol as well as water, makes it the most versatile and therefore most widely used artificial sweetener in production today. And yet, its popularity is no indication nor guarantee of its safety, as is evidenced by the widespread use of other artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which while being safety approved in 90 nations around the world, has been linked to a wide range of serious health conditions including possible neurotoxicity.

But tide is turning…

Back in 2013 year, the Center for the Public Interest in Science downgraded Splenda from “safe” to “caution,” citing their need to evaluate a forthcoming Italian study linking the artificial sweetener to leukemia in mice as a basis for their decision.

Another human study published around that time linked Splenda to diabetes-associated changes, calling into question its value as a non-calorie sweetener for those suffering with, or wishing to prevent, blood sugar disorders.

The 2013 review, however, may be the most concerning yet to surface in the peer-reviewed literature. Titled, “Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues,” it reveals an extensive array of hitherto underreported safety concerns, not the least of which is the formation of highly toxic chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, when Splenda is used in baking, an application which its manufacturer, McNeil Nutritionals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), actively encourages it to be used for, including targeting children as ideal consumers. [see: Cooking and Baking: SPLENDA®]

A Dizzying Array of Splenda (Sucralose) Safety Concerns That Have Never Been Adequately Tested

The study argues that, despite its widespread approval and use, further scientific safety research is warranted due the following significant findings:

  • “Sucralose alters metabolic parameters and its chronic effects on body weight are unknown”: both animal and human research indicates sucralose may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, indicating it may have diabetogenic properties.
  • “Sucralose alters P-gp and CYP expression”: While classified as a food additive, sucralose’s organochlorine structure indicates it interferes with a wide range of organochlorine class drugs, and activates detoxification pathways and enzymes, in a manner similar to these xenobiotic chemicals.
  • “The metabolic fate and health profile of sucralose metabolites are currently unknown”: Contrary to statements in the research literature that sucralose passes through the body in the feces ‘unchanged,’ metabolites have been detected in the urine and feces of both animals and humans, the nature and health consequence of which have never been studied
  • “Sucralose alters indigenous bacterial balancein the GIT”: Sucralose (delivered as Splenda) has been found to reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointesintal tract (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria), while  increasing the more detrimental bacteria (e.g., enterobacteria). One study found the adverse effects on flora did not return to normal (baseline) after a 3-month recovery period. Sucralose also altered the pH of the gastrointestinal tract.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly:

  • “Numerous toxicological issues regarding long-term exposure to sucralose are unresolved”: 1) DNA damage (genotoxicity), and possible adverse epigenetic alterations. 2) The generation of toxic compounds during baking, including chloropropanols, 1,6-DCF and dioxins. 3) The bioaccumulation of sucralose and/or its metabolites 4) The interaction between sucralose and/or its metabolites with drugs have not yet been studied or evaluated. [emphasis in bold and red added]

Cancer-Causing Dioxins and Dioxin-Like Compounds Formed When Splenda (Sucralose) Is Cooked

As the reader can plainly see, the picture is a complex one, and there are more unresolved questions than answers. But perhaps the most concerning issue addressed in the report is the ‘Safety of Sucralose That Has Been Heated.’ According to the paper, historically, sucralose was reported to be heat stable at temperatures used in cooking. But they cite a number of reports from independent laboratories showing that sucralose undergoes thermal degradation when heated. One study showed that the stability of sucralose decreased as the temperature and pH increased, with the breakdown process commencing at 119 degrees Celsius and temperatures of 180 degrees Celsius causing its complete degradation at all pH levels with the release of chloride ions.  Additionally, they refer to research showing that sucralose can break down into the following concerning compounds when heated:

  • Chloropopanols are generated when sucralose was heated in the presence of glycerol. Chloropopanols are a group of contaminants that include known genotoxic, carcinogenic and tumorigenic compounds.
  • Other chlorinated compounds formed when sucralose is heated in the presence of food include dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, dioxin-like polychlorinated bisphenyls and polychlorinated naphthalenes.

Chlorinated compounds like dioxins and DDT are notorious for being both highly toxic and resistant to breaking down once released into the environment, which is why they are classified as ‘persistent organic pollutants.’ Splenda was launched in 2000 with tagline “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar,” until it retired this slogan in 2007 after settling with its rival, Merisant Co., the maker of Equal, who accused the makers of Splenda of intentionally confusing consumers into thinking its product was more natural and healthier than other artificial sweeteners. Long gone are the days that this artificial sweetener can be marketed as natural, safe and a healthy alternative to sugar. To the contrary, today’s research clearly indicates that sucralose is a chemical that we should go to great lengths to avoid exposure to rather than something we should intentionally add to our food. You will also find a growing body of research that indicates that sucralose not only does not break down in the environment, but survives water treatment plant purification techniques, with the inevitable consequence that it is accumulating in concentrations in our drinking water and the environment that may adversely impact humans and wildlife alike.

The discovery that thermal breakdown through cooking can lead to the formation of highly toxic and equally persistent chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, should raise a series of red flags for consumers, manufacturers and regulators as the information becomes more widespread. A cursory perusal of the World Health Organization’s description of ‘Dioxins and their effects on human health,’ which lists it as belonging to the “dirty dozen” of the world’s most dangerous pollutants, will see what is at stake here. Here are the key facts on dioxin from the WHO document:

  • Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs).

  • Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals.

  • More than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Many national authorities have programmes in place to monitor the food supply.

  • Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

  • Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health. However, due to the highly toxic potential, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.

  • Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce formation of dioxins.

For more information on the formation of toxic chlorinated byproducts following the heating of sucralose read a 2013 study published in Scientific Reports titled, “Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans formed from sucralose at high temperatures,” which goes into the topic in greater depth.

The Acceptable Daily Intake of Splenda (Sucralose) May Have Been Set 100’s of Times Too High To Ensure Safety

Lastly, an equally concerning issue addressed by the paper is the problem of the acceptable daily intake (ADI). The FDA approved an ADI for humans of 5 mg/kg/day in 1998 based on toxicity studies in rats by determining a no-observed-effect level (NOEL) of 500 mg/kg/day, and then applying a 100-fold safety factor. Since then, research has emerged showing that the NOEL in the microbiome (‘gut bacteria’) of rats for Splenda is actually as low as 1.1 mg/kg/day – 454 times lower than first determined – and 3.3 mg/kg/day for changes in intestinal P-gp and CYP – 151 times lower than first determined. Therefore, if the biological effects of sucralose in rats and humans are the same, or similar, then significant effects would be expected in humans far below the ADI.

Given the clear indication of harm associated with Splenda, as well as the fact that heating Splenda as advised by the manufacturer can release toxic dioxin, we call on McNeil Nutritionals to clearly label the risks of their product both on the product packaging and website. 

For additional research on sucralose’s adverse health effects, visit our research pagethat collates peer-reviewed research on its toxicological properties. You can also read our article: Top 5 Reasons Never To Use Splenda. Also, for research on natural sweeteners not associated with these adverse effects, take a look at the following alternatives.

To learn more on safe, natural alternatives read: 4 Sugar Alternatives That Won’t Poison You


 

 

CategoriesBlog

Walnuts Can Help You Beat Stress

Walnuts Can Help You Beat Stress

Walnuts Can Help You Beat Stress

If you’re feeling stressed out or you know that you’re in for a bad day, you might want to eat a handful of walnuts to relieve the pressure. According to one study by researchers at Penn State University, a diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may prepare the body to deal better with stress.

The researchers wanted to examine how walnuts and walnut oil, which contain polyunsaturated fats, influence blood pressure at rest and under stress.  That’s because people who have an exaggerated biological response to stress are at higher risk of heart disease.  According to the researchers, they wanted to find out if omega 3-fatty acids from plant sources would blunt cardiovascular responses to stress.

In the study 22 healthy adults with elevated LDL cholesterol followed three different diets for six weeks each. The participants were subjected to stress either by giving a speech or immersing a foot in cold water. The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutritionshowed that when participants were following a diet that included walnuts and walnut oil, their blood pressure and stress responses were lower.

The “average” American diet does not include any nuts on a daily basis and the diet found to be effective to reduce the stress reaction included about 9 whole walnuts as an average serving.  That may be all it takes for you to feel the calming effects.

A quarter cup of walnuts provides over 90% of the recommended daily value of omega-3 fats.  Previous studies had already shown that omega-3 fatty acids like the alpha linolenic acid found in walnuts and flax seeds, can reduce LDL (the so-called bad) cholesterol, and may also reduce inflammation.

Walnuts are rich in healthy fats, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytosterols, and have long been associated with heart health.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows walnut providers to make the health claim that “eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Besides its beneficial effects on blood pressure and inflammation, walnuts have also been shown to be an excellent source of antioxidants, help to prevent gallstones, improve sleep by boosting melatonin, protect bone health and prevent weight gain.

Now this study points out that walnuts and walnut oil reduce blood pressure during stressful periods. And since we can’t completely avoid all the stresses in our lives, it’s good to know that such a simple and convenient snack could help us deal with the pressure.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.