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“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates.
Doctors should be taught this in medical school, as well as “First, do no harm”.

Posted by: | Posted on: October 22, 2019

Beware of ‘Nitrate-Free’ Organic Cured Meats

Reproduced from original article:

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – October 22, 2019
celery powder nitrates


  • Nitrates and nitrites are used to cure (preserve) processed meats of all kinds, and studies have repeatedly found they raise your risk of colorectal cancer, even at relatively small amounts
  • Processed or cured meats (either conventional or organic) labeled as “no nitrates or nitrites added,” “no nitrite” or “uncured,” are not a healthier option, as they are simply cured with nitrite-rich celery powder
  • Most organic processed meats (whether labeled nitrite-free or not) are cured using nonorganic celery powder. The problem is that part of the technique used to produce conventional celery powder is extra loading of nitrogen fertilizer which the celery plant is very adept at taking up
  • The nitrate loading makes conventional celery powder a very rich source of nitrate — far richer than organic celery powder. Organic celery powder is not nitrate-rich enough to be able to replace nonorganic celery powder
  • In addition to synthetic fertilizer, nonorganic celery powder may also contain traces of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. For these reasons, organic leaders believe celery powder must be taken off the organic exemption list

For many years now, I’ve written about the health hazards posed by cured meats, which are high in nitrates. As explained in “Top 9 Reasons to Optimize Your Nitric Oxide Production,” not all dietary nitrates are the same.

While nitrates from plant foods promote beneficial nitric oxide production in your body, processed meats trigger conversion of nitrates into carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds.1 Nitrates from plants turn into beneficial nitric oxide due to the presence of antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyphenols, which are absent in processed meats.

Nitrates and nitrites are used to cure (preserve) processed meats of all kinds, and studies have repeatedly found they raise your risk of colorectal cancer, even at relatively small amounts.2,3,4,5,6

The World Cancer Research Fund7 has since 2007 warned against eating processed meat, defined as “meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation,” due to its cancer risk. The American Institute for Cancer Research also recommends avoiding processed meats for this reason.8

Don’t Trust Nitrate-Free Labels

If you’re an avid label reader, chances are you’ve been swayed by processed meat products (either conventional or organic) labeled as “no nitrates or nitrites added,” “no nitrite” or “uncured,” thinking they must be a healthier option.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. An August 29, 2019, article9 in Consumer Reports highlights a regulatory loophole that allows such labels to mislead consumers. As it turns out, processed meat products labeled as nitrite-free do in fact contain nitrites and are no healthier than other processed meats. This is one of the dirty little secrets that has been kept hush-hush within the organic industry.

“‘Thanks to the topsy-turvy world of government food labeling rules, ‘no nitrites’ doesn’t mean no nitrites,’ says Charlotte Vallaeys, senior food and nutrition policy analyst at CR.

Instead, it means that the nitrates and nitrites used to ‘cure’ — or preserve and flavor — meat come from celery or other natural sources, not synthetic ones, such as sodium nitrate or nitrite,” Consumer Report writes.10

“To further confuse matters, ‘their chemical composition is absolutely the same, and so are the health effects,’ says Joseph Sebranek, Ph.D., Morrison Endowed Chair in meat science at Iowa State University …

Nitrates and nitrites prevent bacterial growth and give deli meat its dis­tinc­tive color and flavor. But there’s a downside. Nitrates convert to nitrites, and when nitrites interact with protein, that creates compounds called nitrosamines — which may cause cancer.”

Testing reveals so-called “uncured” meats don’t even contain lower amounts of nitrites. Whether cured with nitrates and nitrites from natural sources or synthetic ones, the average levels found in chicken, ham, roast beef, turkey and salami were the same.

Together with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Reports has filed a petition11 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, calling on the agency to “stop requiring the terms ‘Uncured’ and ‘No Nitrate or Nitrite Added’ on labels for meat processed with nitrates or nitrites from nonsynthetic sources, such as celery powder,” as such labels are “misleading and may give consumers the false impression that these products are healthier.”12


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The Celery Powder Nitrate Scam

But the nitrate scam actually goes deeper than this. Most organic processed meats (whether labeled nitrite-free or not) are cured using celery powder, which isn’t organic. Here, yet another loophole is at play.

As it turns out, nonorganic celery powder is exempt from organic standards altogether, meaning an organic product is allowed to contain nonorganic celery powder and still qualify as 100% organic.13,14

You might wonder what the big deal about that is. The problem is that part of the technique used to produce conventional celery powder is the extra loading of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, which the celery plant is very adept at taking up. This makes conventional celery powder a very rich source of nitrate15 — far richer than organic celery powder.16

In April 2019 the Organic Trade Association submitted a comment17 to the National Organic Standards Board saying it is “committed to help the industry innovate and proactively take steps” to replace conventional celery powder with organic celery powder.

However, in the meantime, allowing nonorganic celery powder to be used in organic processed meats must be allowed to continue, or else organic processed meats simply cannot be sold.

The problem is that without nitrogen-loading, organic celery is unlikely to contain high-enough amounts of nitrate to do the job well. The curing process not only affects flavor but also and, more importantly, preserves the meat, giving it a longer and more stable shelf-life.

Truly uncured meats are prone to uncontrolled growth of dangerous pathogens responsible for foodborne illness, such as botulism. In fact, the use of synthetic sodium nitrite in meat products was in large part driven by the need to inhibit Clostridium botulinum bacteria,18 and research has shown that the higher the sodium nitrite level in the processed meat, the greater the inhibition of C. botulinum.19,20,21

As noted in “Investigating the Microbiological Safety of Uncured No Nitrate or Nitrite Added Processed Meat Products,” a 2010 graduate thesis and dissertation by Armitra Lavette Jackson:22

“Natural and organic processed meats may require additional protective measures in order to consistently provide the same level of safety from bacterial pathogens that is achieved by conventionally cured meat products.”

Celery Powder Just as Hazardous as Synthetic Nitrates

The conundrum here is that while organic processed meats are generally thought to be healthier, and “uncured” or “nitrate free” especially so, as Consumer Reports points out there’s really no difference between synthetic nitrates and (conventionally-grown) celery powder in terms of their ability to morph into carcinogenic compounds.

Since organic celery powder simply doesn’t have the functional attributes of conventional celery powder, they’re not interchangeable.23 But even more importantly, even if a functional organic celery powder could be produced, the nitrates will still render the organic meat carcinogenic in character, as you cannot remove the protein from the meat. (Remember, carcinogenic nitrosamines are a byproduct of nitrites combining with protein.)

So, here’s the problem in a nutshell: Organic processed meats are not allowed to be cured with synthetic nitrates, as the danger of nitrosamines are widely recognized.

But “natural” nitrate in the form of celery powder is permitted, and this despite the fact that conventional celery is loaded with synthetic high-nitrogen fertilizer,24 and the net effect on health is identical.

In addition to synthetic fertilizer, nonorganic celery powder may also contain traces of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. For these reasons, organic leaders insist celery powder must be taken off the organic exemption list.25

Since 2016, the University of Wisconsin in collaboration with The Organic Center and the Organic Trade Association have been working to identify organic crops that might serve as suitable curing agents to replace nonorganic celery powder.26 As of yet, no suitable replacement has been found though.

Beyond Pesticides Weighs In

In its September 17, 2019, comment27 to the National Organic Standards Board, Beyond Pesticides urged the board not to relist celery powder (along with several other nonorganic ingredients). The many reasons for their objection to retaining celery powder on the list of approved ingredients in organic foods are summarized as follows:

“Beyond Pesticides opposes the relisting of celery powder. Its production in chemical-intensive agriculture results in health and environmental hazards.

In considering the relisting of celery powder on §205.606, the NOSB must consider (a) whether its use is a direct violation of OFPA [Organic Foods Production Act] and the regulations, and (b) whether the hazards associated with the added nitrate/nitrite exposure — in addition to the hazards associated with nonorganic celery production — result in a failure to meet OFPA criteria.

The use of celery powder is a way of artificially adding nitrate as a preservative at levels not possible to achieve through use of organic celery. Nitrates pose dangers to health when artificially enhanced in food.”

Beyond Pesticides Launches New Investigative Arm

Beyond Pesticides’ comment was prepared shortly before the launch of its investigative arm, OrganicEye,28 led by organic policy experts Mark Kastel, founder of The Cornucopia Institute, Terry Shistar, Ph.D., a former member of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board, and Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.

This new watchdog organization “will focus on defending the time-honored philosophy and legal definition of organic farming and food production from USDA’s systemic failure to protect the interests of organic farmers, ethical businesses, and consumers.”29

The issue of nonorganic celery powder in organic foods is just one area of focus for OrganicEye. Others include the use of genetically engineered ingredients in organics, and concentrated animal feeding operations being passed off as organic.30

The group is also urging farmers, farmworkers, government employees and food industry insiders to share what you know. All information shared will be kept in strict confidence. Contact information can be found on OrganicEye’s tips page.31 With regard to celery powder, OrganicEye noted in a recent press release:

“In terms of functionality and human health impacts celery powder is virtually indistinguishable from the synthetic preservatives it is replacing based on a growing body of research. The World Health Organization classifies processed meats a ‘known human carcinogen.’

‘The continued use of this material in organic meat is in conflict with the law that requires all synthetic and non-organic ingredients to be safe for the environment and human health,’ Kastel added.

‘Organic food is supposed to be the most easily-accessible safe haven for mothers and fathers shopping for ingredients for their children’s lunch. Quite frankly, industrial, turbocharged celery powder just does not cut the mustard.’”

Take-Home Message

As for processed meats, your best bet is to avoid it. Remember that this includes deli meats of all kinds as well, not just hotdogs and sausages. The key take-home message is that it doesn’t matter whether its 100% organic and/or “nitrite-free.”

It still contains nitrites, the health effects of which — as OrganicEye points out, — include the blood disorder methemoglobinemia, high blood pressure, increased risk of pregnancy complications, adverse reproductive effects and cancer.32

Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: October 20, 2019

Why 80% of Us Are Deficient In Magnesium

© 20th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here
Reproduced from original article:
Posted on:  Thursday, October 17th 2019 at 6:45 am

Originally published on

Magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood tests – only 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood

Most doctors and laboratories don’t even include magnesium status in routine blood tests. Thus, most doctors don’t know when their patients are deficient in magnesium, even though studies show that the majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium.

Consider Dr. Norman Shealy’s statements, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.” The truth he states exposes a gapping hole in modern medicine that explains a good deal about iatrogenic death and disease. Because magnesium deficiency is largely overlooked, millions of Americans suffer needlessly or are having their symptoms treated with expensive drugs when they could be cured with magnesium supplementation.

One has to recognize the signs of magnesium thirst or hunger on their own since allopathic medicine is lost in this regard. It is really something much more subtle then hunger or thirst but it is comparable. In a world though where doctors and patients alike do not even pay attention to thirst and important issues of hydration, it is not hopeful that we will find many recognizing and paying attention to magnesium thirst and hunger, which is a dramatic way of expressing the concept of magnesium deficiency.

Few people are aware of the enormous role magnesium plays in our bodies. Magnesium is by far the most important mineral in the body. After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies; vitally important, yet hardly known. It is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and regulates all three of them. Millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it

In fact, there happens to be a relationship between what we perceive as thirst and deficiencies in electrolytes. I remember a person asking, “Why am I dehydrated and thirsty when I drink so much water?” Thirst can mean not only lack of water but it can also mean that one is not getting enough nutrients and electrolytes. Magnesium, Potassium, Bicarbonate, Chloride and Sodium are some principle examples and that is one of the reasons magnesium chloride is so useful.

A man with magnesium deficiency
Magnesium Torment (Deficiency)

You know all those years, when doctors used to tell their patients ‘its all in your heads,’ were years the medical profession was showing its ignorance. It is a torment to be magnesium deficient on one level or another. Even if it’s for the enthusiastic sport person whose athletic performance is down, magnesium deficiency will disturb sleep and background stress levels and a host of other things that reflect on the quality of life. Doctors have not been using the appropriate test for magnesium – their serum blood tests just distort their perceptions. Magnesium has been off their radar screens through the decades that magnesium deficiencies have snowballed.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

The first symptoms of deficiency can be subtle – as most magnesium is stored in the tissues, leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle ‘twitches’ can be the first sign. Other early signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.

A full outline of magnesium deficiency was beautifully presented in a recent article by Dr. Sidney Baker. “Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction. Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that he can’t take a deep breath. Sometimes a person may sigh a lot.”

“Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation; urinary spasms; menstrual cramps; difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar; photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease; and loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear.”

“Other symptoms and signs of magnesium deficiency and discuss laboratory testing for this common condition. Continuing with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, the central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.”

“Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse. Be aware that not all of the symptoms need to be present to presume magnesium deficiency; but, many of them often occur together. For example, people with mitral valve prolapse frequently have palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks and premenstrual symptoms. People with magnesium deficiency often seem to be “uptight.” Other general symptoms include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, especially of chocolate, and breast tenderness.”

Magnesium is needed by every cell in the body including those of the brain. It is one of the most important minerals when considering supplementation because of its vital role in hundreds of enzyme systems and functions related to reactions in cell metabolism, as well as being essential for the synthesis of proteins, for the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. Magnesium is needed not only for the production of specific detoxification enzymes but is also important for energy production related to cell detoxification. A magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every system of the body.

Water rich in magnesium can prevent magnesium deficiency
Like water we need magnesium everyday. There is an
eternal need for magnesium as well as water and when
magnesium is present in water life and health are enhanced.

One of the principle reason doctors write millions of prescriptions for tranquilizers each year is the nervousness, irritability, and jitters largely brought on by inadequate diets lacking magnesium. Persons only slightly deficient in magnesium become irritable, highly-strung, and sensitive to noise, hyper-excitable, apprehensive and belligerent. If the deficiency is more severe or prolonged, they may develop twitching, tremors, irregular pulse, insomnia, muscle weakness, jerkiness and leg and foot cramps.

If magnesium is severely deficient, the brain is particularly affected. Clouded thinking, confusion, disorientation, marked depression and even the terrifying hallucinations of delirium tremens are largely brought on by a lack of this nutrient and remedied when magnesium is given. Because large amounts of calcium are lost in the urine when magnesium is under supplied, the lack of this nutrient indirectly becomes responsible for much rampant tooth decay, poor bone development, osteoporosis and slow healing of broken bones and fractures. With vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), magnesium helps to reduce and dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones.

Magnesium deficiency may be a common factor associated with insulin resistance. Symptoms of MS that are also symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle spasms, weakness, twitching, muscle atrophy,  an inability to control the bladder, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), hearing loss, and osteoporosis.  People with MS have higher rates of epilepsy than controls.  Epilepsy has also been linked to magnesium deficiencies.[1]

Another good list of early warning symptoms suggestive of magnesium insufficiency:

  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Persistent under-eye twitch
  • Tension in the upper back, shoulders and neck
  • Headaches
  • Pre-menstrual fluid retention and/or breast tenderness

Possible manifestations of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiousness
  • Irritability
  • Seizures (and tantrums)
  • Poor digestion
  • PMS and hormonal imbalances
  • Inability to sleep
  • Muscle tension, spasm and cramps
  • Calcification of organs
  • Weakening of the bones
  • Abnormal heart rhythm

Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia). Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia). Magnesium levels drop at night, leading to poor REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep cycles and unrefreshed sleep. Headaches, blurred vision, mouth ulcers, fatigue and anxiety are also early signs of depletion.


We hear all the time about how heart disease is the number one health crisis in the country, about how high blood pressure is the “silent killer”, and about how ever increasing numbers of our citizens are having their lives and the lives of their families destroyed by diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other chronic diseases.

Signs of severe magnesium deficiency include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Sores or bruises that heal slowly
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurry vision that changes from day to day
  • Unusual tiredness or drowsiness
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Frequent or recurring skin, gum, bladder or vaginal yeast infections

But wait a minute, aren’t those the same symptoms for diabetes? Many people have diabetes for about 5 years before they show strong symptoms. By that time, some people already have eye, kidney, gum or nerve damage caused by the deteriorating condition of their cells due to insulin resistance and magnesium deficiency. Dump some mercury and arsenic on the mixture of etiologies and pronto we have the disease condition we call diabetes.

Magnesium deficiency is synonymous with diabetes and is at the root of many if not all cardiovascular problems.

Magnesium deficiency is a predictor of diabetes and heart disease both; diabetics both need more magnesium and lose more magnesium than most people. In two new studies, in both men and women, those who consumed the most magnesium in their diet were least likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a report in the January 2006 issue of the journal Diabetes Care. Until now, very few large studies have directly examined the long-term effects of dietary magnesium on diabetes. Dr. Simin Liu of the Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health in Boston says, “Our studies provided some direct evidence that greater intake of dietary magnesium may have a long-term protective effect on lowering risk,” said Liu, who was involved in both studies.

The thirst of diabetes is part of the body’s response to excessive urination. The excessive urination is the body’s attempt to get rid of the extra glucose in the blood. This excessive urination causes the increased thirst. But we have to look at what is causing this level of disharmony. We have to probe deeper into layers of cause. The body needs to dump glucose because of increasing insulin resistance and that resistance is being fueled directly by magnesium deficiency, which makes toxic insults more damaging to the tissues at the same time.

When diabetics get too high blood sugars, the body creates “ketones” as a by-product of breaking down fats. These ketones cause blood acidity which causes “acidosis” of the blood, leading to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), This is a very dangerous condition that can lead to coma and death. It is also called “diabetic acidosis”, “ketosis”, “ketoacidosis” or “diabetic coma”. DKA is a common way for new Type 1 diabetics to be diagnosed. If they fail to seek medical advice on symptoms like urination, which is driving thirst they can die of DKA.

Oral magnesium supplements reduce erythrocyte[2] dehydration.[3] In general, optimal balances of electrolytes are necessary to maintain the best possible hydration. Diabetic thirst is initiated specifically by magnesium deficiency with relative calcium excess in the cells. Even water, our most basic nutrient starts having a hard time getting into the cells with more going out through the kidneys.

Autism and Magnesium Deficiency

When dealing with autism spectrum and other neurological disorders in children it is important to know the signs of low magnesium: restless, can’t keep still, body rocking, grinding teeth, hiccups, noise sensitive, poor attention span, poor concentration, irritable, aggressive, ready to explode, easily stressed. When it comes to children today we need to assume a large magnesium deficiency for several reasons.

1) The foods they are eating are stripped of magnesium because foods in general, as we shall see below are declining in mineral content in an alarming way.

2) The foods many children eat are highly processed junk foods that do not provide real nutrition to the body.

3) Because most children on the spectrum are not absorbing the minerals they need even when present in the gut. Magnesium absorption is dependent on intestinal health, which is compromised totally in leaky gut syndromes and other intestinal problems that the majority of autism syndrome disorders.

4) Because the oral supplements doctors rely on are not easily absorbed, because they are not in the right form and because magnesium in general is not administered easily orally.

Modern medicine is supposed to help people not hurt them, but with their almost total ignorance of magnesium doctors end up hurting more than they help for many of the medical interventions drive down magnesium levels when they should be driving them up. Many if not most pharmaceutical drugs drive magnesium levels into very dangerous zones and surgery done without increasing magnesium levels is much more dangerous then surgery done with.

The foundation of medical arrogance is actually medical ignorance and the only reason ignorance and arrogance rule the playing field of medicine is a greed lust for power and money. Human nature seems to be at its worst in modern medicine when it should be at its best. It is sad that people have to suffer needlessly and extraordinarily tragic that allopathic medicine has turned its back on the Hippocratic Oath and all that it means.

For additional research on Magnesiun Deficiency, read the following articles:

Consult our Magnesium research database on the therapeutic role of magnesium in over 190 conditions.



[2] Red blood cells are also known as RBCs, red blood corpuscles (an archaic term), haematids or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for “red” and kytos for “hollow”, with cyte translated as “cell” in modern usage). The capitalized term Red Blood Cells is the proper name in the US for erythrocytes in storage solution used in transfusion medicine.

[3] J. Clin. Invest. 100(7): 1847-1852 (1997). doi:10.1172/JCI119713. The American Society for Clinical Investigation

Originally published: 2018-02-12  

Article updated: 2019-10-17

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.
Posted by: | Posted on: October 15, 2019

Genistein: The Soy Nutrient That Puts Bone Drugs to Shame

© 14th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here
Reproduced from original article:

Posted on: Monday, October 14th 2019 at 9:30 am

If you are one of the estimated 40 million US-women who are aged 51 and older–past the average age of natural menopause–you may be considering hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, to maintain youthful vigor, as well as ward-off the hazards of brittle bones and heart disease. Did you know that a nutrient in fermented soy foods has been clinically-proven to put bone drugs to shame, with no negative side effects?

Drugs like Fosamax (alendronate) and Evista (raloxifene) and hormones like estradiol (estrogen) are often prescribed by healthcare practitioners to preserve vital bone density and prevent problems associated with menopause such as fractures and osteoporosis. But what is behind the over-prescription of these drugs when a person has no symptoms, no disease, and is unaware that there is even a problem?

Medicalizing a “Non-Problem”

The marketing of “drugs as cures” by the pharmaceutical industry is a familiar trope: promotional budget (aka, wine-and-dine doctors), followed by a wave of television advertising, and prescriptions soon start flooding the populace. In many cases, a new condition is even manufactured to fit the pill.[1]

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “More than half of all Caucasian women age 50 and older are estimated to have low bone mass, which means their bones are getting weaker but they don’t yet have osteoporosis.”[2] In the early 1990s, a consortium of doctors gathered at the World Health Organization (WHO) to decide what disease state to project onto these women. The diagnosis of osteopenia, a condition described as a precursor to osteoporosis, was the result.

It is a fact that even healthy women gradually lose bone density as they age. This natural process has been vastly over-medicalized, with more than 50% of postmenopausal white women, and 35% of same-age black women falling within the diagnostic category of osteopenia.3 As we explored in the article Osteoporosis Myth: The Dangers of High Bone Mineral Density, this has created a feeding frenzy for the medical industrial complex. Essentially they converted a symptomless state that most women were unaware of into a “disease” by making people think the natural thinning of bone that attends the aging process a disease. The Director of the Oregon Osteoporosis Center put it very succinctly: ”We have medicalized a non-problem.”[4]  Moroever, having denser bones than is normal for one’s age will significantly increase a woman’s risk of malignant breast cancer.

Creating the Pill-Based Solution

In the decade that followed the conception of osteopenia, an array of bone-density drugs hit the market. In addition to Fosamax and Evista, the use of estrogen and other hormone replacement drugs to combat bone loss was popularized. Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, became a popular way for aging women to combat both the inward and outward signs of a naturally-aging body, including loss of bone density.

But by the early 2000s, the harms of synthetic hormones were being increasingly validated by science. As news spread of the myths these drugs were selling, the popularity of HRT as a preventative treatment began to decline. Meanwhile, lawsuits against the makers of other bone-density drugs started stacking up. Merck Pharmaceutical has numerous pending lawsuits for Fosamax (alendronate),[5] for tragic complications from use that include “frozen bone” syndrome which causes bones to snap in-half as if frozen solid, to the horrific “dead jaw” syndrome, where ensuing infection causes the bones of the jaw to literally crumble. Hormone therapy drug Evista’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company, had to issue a warning in 2006 about increased risk of death from stroke for women who use their drug.[6] Evista (raloxifene) has also been shown in studies to increase risks of pulmonary embolism, venous thrombosis, and coronary artery disease.


According to Dr. Susan Ott, a specialist in Metabolic Bone Disease at the University of Washington, “Many people believe that these drugs are bone-builders, but the evidence shows they are actually bone-hardeners.” This class of drugs, known as bisphosphonates, have been linked to over 40 adverse health effects. Risks associated with these drugs are most pronounced for long-term use, defined as ten years or more.[7]

Although it is produced naturally in the body, estradiol as an estrogen replacement may have cardiotoxic and carcinogenic properties when levels are too high.[8] Supplementation in otherwise healthy women can dangerously inflate these levels, as can any non-related health condition that causes detoxification pathways to work sub-optimally.

Genistein: Nature’s Superior Prescription

Nature has supplied humankind’s healthiest medicine cabinet since long before the American Medical Association (AMA) decided that only pharmaceutical drugs can heal people. And when it comes to maintaining healthy bones into our senior years, there is a plant-based solution that puts HRT and bone drugs to shame: it’s called genistein. An isoflavone, or bioactive flavonoid found primarily in beans such as soy, fava, garbanzos, and coffee, genistein is a phytoestrogen due to its similarity in structure to human estrogen. Eating a diet high in phytoestrogens has been attributed with alleviating symptoms of menopause and conveying preventative or therapeutic effects against canceratherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.[9] Of all isoflavones, genistein possesses the strongest estrogenic activity.[10]

The powerful effects of genistein on bone health were illustrated in a landmark study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2008. Using an animal model of menopausal osteoporosis, researchers concluded that prescription bone-density drugs alendronate (Fosamax), raloxifene (Evista), and estradiol (estrogen, E2), are all inferior to the phytoestrogen genistein in preserving bone mineral density (quantity) and strength (quality). What makes this finding so groundbreaking are the comparative benefits-versus-risks of these four different forms of treatment for bone-loss. Genistein is a plant derivative that acts naturally and holistically on the body, strengthening what is weak without causing damage to other parts of the body. In contrast, all three prescription drugs are made from biologically-foreign chemicals (xenobiotics) that can have profound, unintended adverse health effects like “frozen” and crumbling bones, among other horrific outcomes.

Genistein has been extensively researched for its potential therapeutic role in osteoporosis prevention and treatment, as well as hundreds of other health conditions. And while phytoestrogens have come under scrutiny as part of the broader reevaluation of HRT, genistein’s natural biocompatibility appears to have a more positive effect on the body than synthetic hormones in cases when endogenously-produced estrogen levels fail to meet the body’s optimal requirements. Genistein’s highly selective activity is capable of binding and stimulating bone estrogen receptor sites resulting in increased strength/density for bones. Genistein has much weaker estrogenic activity compared to estradiol, yet it is capable of binding to the same estrogen receptors for a much longer duration, which may result in significant, longer-term positive effects without the risks associated with high estrogen levels. This process of binding with estrogen receptors provides an added layer of protection against cancer by preventing the estrogen from binding and initiating cancer growth.

In addition to estrogenic and anti-cancer activity, genistein is a powerful antioxidant. Consuming genistein regularly in the diet can remove dangerous free radicals from the bloodstream, effectively slowing down the aging process. Other studies show it is highly effective at lowering blood pressure and improving the quality of arterial walls, validating genistein’s cardioprotective properties.[11]

Eat Your Way to Bone Health

The evidence speaks loudly that more awareness must be given to natural, food-based alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs, particularly when a substance has mountains of scientific data proving efficacy. Fermented soy–the most potent form of food-based genistein– has a long-standing history as a healing food, spanning many centuries and numerous cultures. Studies have shown that genistein is primarily absorbed in the GI tract, where it is extensively metabolized throughout the body. This makes food an ideal way to supplement this vital nutrient.

Natto, a traditional Japanese food made by cooking fermented soybeans, has long been believed to destroy blood clots and improve blood glow, among other benefits. Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty taste, is a popular protein source for vegans and vegetarians, as well as staple in the diets of many Asian countries. Miso, a fermented soybean paste used to make delicious miso soup, is an inexpensive and easy way to integrate genistein into the daily diet.

As eating well becomes more popular and even fashionable, products such as fermented soy drinks and snack foods have become available at select markets and specialty stores. Asian markets are a great place to find a large variety of fermented soy foods, however it should be noted that these labels may not indicate if the product is made from GMO-soybeans. With more than 90% of all soybeans in the world now a genetically-modified version of the crop,[12] it is vital to source organic, non-GMO soy and genistein products. Caution should be exercised when purchasing supplements for this same reason, and because genistein’s poor solubility “may prevent absorption of larger doses without proper formulations.”[13]

It is possible to eat your way to bone health and hormonal balance. Both your body and your bones deserve nothing less!

For additional research on the health benefits of Genistein, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.





[4] WHO (1994). “Assessment of fracture risk and its application to screening for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Report of a WHO Study Group”. World Health Organization technical report series 843: 1–129. PMID 7941614.










Originally published: 2018-03-23

Article updated: 2019-14-2019

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.
Posted by: | Posted on: October 14, 2019

Health Benefits of MSM — A Powerful Sulfur Donor

Reproduced from original article:

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola – Medically reviewed by Dr. Stephanie Seneff
Fact Checked – October 14, 2019
msm health benefits


  • Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in many bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification
  • Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins. Sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes
  • Sulfur is crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. A derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism is found even in mild forms of liver disease
  • Excellent sources of sulfur include homemade bone broth, organic pastured eggs, grass fed meats, seafood, cruciferous vegetables and alliums like onions and garlic. Sulfur can also be obtained through supplementation with MSM and/or by taking Epsom salt baths
  • MSM is widely used in the treatment of pain, especially pain associated with arthritic conditions. Research has shown it can significantly decrease pain and improve physical function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee

Sulfur is a somewhat “forgotten” nutrient you don’t hear mentioned very often, but it’s very important for optimal body function and health. You get most of your sulfur from certain proteins in your diet, specifically the amino acids methionine, cysteine, cystine, homocysteine, homocystine and taurine.1

Of these, the two most important sources are methionine and cysteine. Methionine is an essential amino acid, which means it cannot be synthesized by your body and must be supplied through your diet. Cysteine is conditionally essential, because it can be synthesized from methionine but not from inorganic forms of sulfur.2

Neither of these primary sulfur-containing amino acids is stored in your body per se, although glutathione is a key storage form for sulfur.3 Glutathione is composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate and glycine, and is your body’s most potent antioxidant.

Glutathione also keeps many other antioxidants performing at peak levels, and cysteine availability is thought to be a rate-limiting factor for glutathione synthesis.4

While sulfur is found in many foods, sulfur deficiency may still be quite common5 — in part due to sulfur deficiency in crops,6 and in part due to low consumption of sulfur-rich foods7 such as leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, alliums8 such as garlic and onions, seafood, grass fed meats and organic pastured eggs.

Frequent use of drugs that require sulfur for excretion and/or detoxification can also contribute to an inadequate sulfur status. Acetaminophen is one such example.9 A vegan diet can also put you at increased risk for sulfur deficiency, because plant-based foods contain fewer sulfur-containing amino acids than animal-based foods.10

The Importance of Sulfur

According to Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., who has written several papers11,12,13,14 on sulfur and sulfur metabolism and its role in human disease, sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, including metabolism15 and the sulfonation of hormones,16 and deficiency appears to play a role in a wide range of health problems and diseases, including:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism17

Required in the creation of connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments, sulfur is also essential for healthy joints, and deficiency has been linked to joint pain and joint-related diseases.18 Other benefits, uses and sources are also noted in the paper “Sulfur in Human Nutrition and Applications in Medicine”:19

“Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a volatile component in the sulfur cycle, is another source of sulfur found in the human diet … Organic sulfur, as SAAs [sulfur-containing amino acids], can be used to increase synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), glutathione (GSH), taurine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

MSM may be effective for the treatment of allergy, pain syndromes, athletic injuries, and bladder disorders.

Other sulfur compounds such as SAMe … taurine, glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate, and reduced glutathione may also have clinical applications in the treatment of a number of conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, interstitial cystitis, athletic injuries, congestive heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.”


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Sulfur 101

As explained by the featured study above, sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body, based on percentage of total body weight.20 Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins.

For example, hair and nails consist of a tough protein called keratin, which is high in sulfur, whereas connective tissue and cartilage contain proteins with flexible sulfur bonds, giving the structure its flexibility.

With age, the flexible tissues in your body tend to lose their elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkling of skin, stiff muscles and painful joints. A shortage of sulfur likely contributes to these age-related problems.

In addition to bonding proteins, sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, enzymes cannot function properly.

A cascade of health problems may thus ensue, since your metabolic processes rely on biologically active enzymes. You can learn more about this in “Enzyme Fundamentals.” Sulfur also plays an important role in:

Your body’s electron transport system, as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells21
Synthesizing important metabolic intermediates, such as glutathione — one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces — SAMe, taurine and NAC22
Detoxification23 — Without sulfur, glutathione (your body’s built-in detoxifier) is rendered ineffective
Thiamine (vitamin B1) and biotin (B7) conversion, which in turn are essential for converting carbohydrates into energy
Proper insulin function24 — The insulin molecule consists of two amino acid chains connected to each other by sulfur bridges, without which the insulin cannot perform its biological activity25
Glucose metabolism — One hypothesis26 is that if a sufficient amount of sulfur is available, it will act as a decoy to glucose, effectively diverting it to reduce the sulfur rather than glycating and causing damage. This would have the beneficial effect of reducing chronic inflammation, as sugar (glucose) is highly inflammatory and wreaks havoc in your body

Sulfur for Liver Health

Sulfur is also crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. As noted in one study,27 “a derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism, possibly located at various steps along the trans-sulfuration pathway” is found even in mild forms of liver disease.

Part of its influence on your liver has to do with its influence over glutathione. As noted in the 2015 paper,28 “Metabolism of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids in the Liver: A Link Between Hepatic Injury and Recovery”:

“The transsulfuration pathway is connected to the production of glutathione (GSH), which has potent antioxidant capacity in the liver. Accumulating data show that GSH depletion renders the liver vulnerable to oxidative stress and prone to progression of liver disease.”

Similarly, the journal Nutrients reports that MSM has been shown to attenuate “cytokine expression in vivo for induced colitis … and liver injury,” and that MSM has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on liver cancer.29

Another crucial nutrient for liver health and the prevention of chronic liver disease, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, is choline,30 detailed in “Choline Is Crucial for Liver Health.”

MSM for Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is known as a sulfur donor, being 34% elemental sulfur by weight.31 Many of the benefits of MSM supplementation are related to its ability to reduce inflammation, regulate the balance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant enzymes,32 and modulate your immune response.33

As a supplement, MSM is widely used in the treatment of pain, especially pain associated with arthritic conditions. One clinical trial34 found that people with osteoarthritis of the knee who took 3 grams of MSM twice a day for 12 weeks experienced significantly decreased pain and improved physical function, compared to a placebo.

Another randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study35 found patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis benefited from oral glucosamine and MSM, both individually and in combination. Here, the treatment groups received 500 milligrams (mg) of glucosamine and/or 500 mg of MSM three times a day for 12 weeks. According to the authors:36

“Glucosamine, MSM and their combination produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. Combination therapy showed better efficacy in reducing pain and swelling and in improving the functional ability of joints than the individual agents.

All the treatments were well tolerated. The onset of analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity was found to be more rapid with the combination than with glucosamine. It can be concluded that the combination of MSM with glucosamine provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis.”

Sulfur’s Role in Heart Disease

In 2011, I interviewed Seneff about the influence of sulfur on health and disease. I’ve included that interview above for your convenience. In it, Seneff discusses the crucial connections between sulfur, cholesterol and vitamin D.

Her research suggests heart disease may actually be related to cholesterol sulfate deficiency, and in the interview, she explains how elevated LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a sign of this deficiency.

To summarize, high levels of LDL cholesterol is your body’s way of compensating for cholesterol sulfate deficiency. When LDL is turned into plaque, blood platelets inside the plaque produce cholesterol sulfate, which your heart and brain need for optimal function.

Seneff also explains why lowering LDL with statins can lead to heart failure. Essentially, by elevating LDL, your body is protecting itself from the harmful effects of cholesterol sulfate deficiency. When you simply remove the LDL, you remove this “backup” mechanism aimed at keeping your heart going strong. As a result, heart failure becomes a distinct possibility.

That said, high LDL is correlated with cardiovascular disease, so the question then becomes: How can your body produce cholesterol sulfate without having to create harmful LDL?

Under normal, healthy conditions, your skin synthesizes both cholesterol sulfate and vitamin D3 sulfate when exposed to sunlight. These two sulfated sterols are water soluble and can travel freely in your bloodstream.

If you have sufficient amounts of cholesterol sulfate in circulation, your body does not need to produce more cholesterol-transporting LDL. This results in less plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart, because cholesterol sulfate is plentiful.

In essence, sensible sun exposure may be an important part of heart and cardiovascular health. In fact, studies have shown that those who live in countries with abundant sunlight have a lower risk to heart disease. Vitamin D3 supplements, on the other hand, are unsulfated. This is a significant drawback, as the unsulfated form needs LDL as a vehicle of transport.

Seneff believes that vitamin D is basically a signaling molecule that informs the tissues that there is an abundant supply of cholesterol sulfate, and cholesterol sulfate is the real beneficial product of sunlight exposure to the skin. Her suspicion is that the oral nonsulfated form of vitamin D is unlikely to provide the same benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, since it is not accompanied by cholesterol sulfate, and therefore provides a false signal.

Sulfur Intolerance May Be a Sign of Toxicity

As mentioned earlier, sulfur-rich foods37 include leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, alliums,38 seafood, grass fed meats and organic pastured eggs. Another excellent source, and perhaps the best one, is homemade bone broth made from organically raised animals.

Either drink the broth regularly, or use it for soups and stews. Connective tissues are sulfur-rich, and when you slow-cook the bones, you dissolve these nutrients out of the bone and into the water.

If you have poor tolerance for foods high in sulfur, it may be an indication of an overgrowth of sulfur-reducing bacteria in your gut. These bacteria, such as Desoulfovibrio and Bilophila wadsworthia, produce hydrogen sulfide gas from sulfur-based food sources, which can destroy the gut lining and cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

A defect in the enzyme that oxidizes sulfur to sulfate, called sulfite oxidase, will lead to an overgrowth of these sulfur-reducing bacteria, and toxic chemical exposures may disrupt sulfite oxidase.

Furthermore, these bacteria also convert mercury to a toxic organic form called methyl mercury. When sulfite oxidase is deficient, mercury cannot be converted to mercury sulfate, which is the nontoxic form of mercury that can be excreted by the body. Thus, disruption of sulfite oxidase results in impaired sulfation capacity and increased mercury toxicity.

Other food additives such as food dyes can also exacerbate problems in your phenol sulfur-transferase (PST) sulfation pathway by suppressing PST enzyme activity. Sulfation is a critical step in detoxification of toxic phenols.

To address this situation, it’s recommended you initially go on a low-sulfur diet and reduce your toxic exposure by eating organic and avoiding household toxins of all kinds.

As your toxicity level is reduced, you can start adding sulfur-rich foods back into your diet, one at a time. Next, it’s important to enhance your body’s detoxification process by supplying more sulfate, either through diet or supplementation.

How to Boost Your Sulfur Intake — Diet and Supplementation

Aside from sulfur-rich foods, sulfur can also be obtained through supplementation with MSM. You can learn more about MSM in my interview with Rod Benjamin.

Benjamin is the director of technical development for Bergstrom Nutrition, the largest producer of the highest quality MSM produced by distillation purification. In his interview, we discuss suggested dosages and how to identify a high-quality supplement.

The sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and taurine can also be used, both of which are available in supplement form. The supplement form of cysteine is NAC, the benefits of which I expounded on in “The Many Benefits of NAC — One of the Most Important Supplements You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.”

Another excellent source of sulfur is taking regular Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. While most of the benefits associated with Epsom salt baths relates to magnesium39 — such as improved sleep, stress reduction and reduced pain and muscle cramping — its sulfur content is also important for health.

Epsom salt baths are often preferable if you’re toxic, as the sulfur in Epsom salt is readily available to your body without having to be converted. As a general recommendation, use 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt to a tub of water. The warmer the water, the more of the salt will be dissolved, and the more your body will be able to absorb as the heat opens your pores.

If you experience a negative reaction, such as irritability or hyperactivity, decrease the amount used and incrementally increase the amount based on your tolerance. Alternatively, use 1 part Epsom salt to 2 parts water for a foot bath. Soak your feet for about 30 minutes.

Toxicity data shows MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at high doses. As noted in the journal Nutrients, “As a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) approved substance, MSM is well-tolerated by most individuals at dosages of up to 4 grams daily,”40 although toxicity studies have reported no observed adverse effects up to a level of 5 grams per kilo per day.41

That said, potential side effects at higher doses include intestinal discomfort, ankle swelling and skin rashes. These are likely detoxifying effects that can typically be mitigated or minimized by cutting back on the initial dosage and slowly working your way up.

 Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: October 11, 2019

Alarming report: Energy drinks have life-threatening side effects

Reproduced from original article:


(NaturalHealth365)  According to the National Institutes of Health, “a growing body of scientific evidence shows that energy drinks can have serious health effects, particularly in children, teenagers, and young adults.”  So, why are these products still being sold – to this day?!  After reading this report, you’ll understand why we think these products are a big mistake.

Thousands of people to date have faced serious, sometimes deadly side effects as a result of consuming energy drinks, and an alarming number of these victims have been children.  In fact, the lead author of research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has said, ‘the public should be aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body, especially if they have other underlying health conditions.”

The severe side effects from these drinks included seizures, elevated blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.  And, the fact remains: most of these kids didn’t even know what they were consuming.  They simply found them left around the home by an adult.

The grim realities of energy drinks

To be blunt, most of these beverages are loaded with sugar and caffeine – a recipe for disaster.

However, the manufacturers also blend in other compounds such as l-carnitine, taurine, guarana, amino acids and ginseng. Despite this veritable mystery punch of ingredients, studies have not found that these drinks boost energy, focus or stamina any better than having a cup of coffee.

In truth, the marketing hype of these beverages don’t tell the whole (ugly) story.

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Along with this lack of efficacy, the drinks come with very real dangers.  Dr. Steven Lipshultz and his colleagues have been examining the effects of these drinks for a number of years, and in 2011 noticed a marked surge in reported illnesses linked to their consumption.

A separate study conducted by the United States government found emergency-room visits between 2005 and 2011 that were related to energy-drink consumption surged as well. A host of alarming side effects were also reported, including seizures, liver damage, heart issues and in some cases, premature death.

Drinks with additives like plant extracts and amino acids were found to be worse for people than those with just caffeine.  Some theories hold that these assorted extracts might have components with unknown, undocumented effects, especially when combined with caffeine and other food additives.

A call for action: Why we need better labeling

A great number of the people who consume these energy drinks simply aren’t aware of their potentially dangerous side effects and their specific hazards to children. This causes adults to consume copious amounts of them while sometimes leaving the beverages unattended and accessible to young children.

Dr. Lipshultz recommends that even as these energy drinks are studied more closely, they should be affixed with a label similar to the Surgeon General warning placed on alcohol and cigarette packages. Doing so could alert adults to protect children (and themselves) from exposure to these controversial drinks.

Experts warn about the dangers of energy drinks:

The World Health Organization (WHO) says, “the full impact of the rise in popularity of energy drinks has not yet been quantified, but the aggressive marketing of energy drinks targeted at young people, combined with limited and varied regulation have created an environment where energy drinks could pose a significant threat to public health.”

The extreme level of caffeine (mixed with other suspicious ingredients) can cause palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases heart failure leading to sudden death. An even greater risk is the mixture of these energy drinks with alcohol and food additives – which many younger people tend to consume in excess.

In August 2014, professor Milou-Daniel Drici, from France, gave a presentation to the European Society of Cardiology in which he said:

”So-called ‘energy drinks are popular in dance clubs and during physical exercise, with people sometimes consuming a number of drinks one after the other. This situation can lead to a number of adverse conditions including angina, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and even sudden death.”

Dr. Steven Lipshultz, pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, in Detroit, says ‘although the target markets for energy drinks are typically teens and young adults, more than 40 percent of reports to U.S. poison control centers in a three-year period involved children under the age of 6.’

Young or old, energy drinks are putting both children and adults at risk. Regardless of age, the potential dangers are the same: seizures, heart issues, high blood pressure, and kidney problems. With coffee providing a similar benefit, it’s hard to see how the health risks are worth the chemically-induced “boost” that energy drinks provide.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 11, 2019

Benefits of turmeric shown to neutralize cancer cell growth, study reveals

Reproduced from original article:

benefits-of-turmeric(NaturalHealth365) A common spice frequently used in Asian cooking may hold the key to slowing down the growth of cancer cells.  To be clear, we’re talking about the benefits of turmeric.  And, its value is being touted by several major medical institutions like, the Mayo Clinic.

Diving deeper into the research, the National Institutes of Health published a systematic review about the anticancer effects of curcumin – the main active ingredient in turmeric.  But, that’s not the only one: there are over 1,500 PubMed studies that illustrate the value of turmeric – in the fight against many forms of cancer.

Understanding the benefits of turmeric for cancer patients

Worth mentioning again, curcumin is an antioxidant and the main active ingredient in turmeric.  Antioxidants are compounds frequently found in plants and known to protect the body’s cells from the onslaught of activated molecules – known as free radicals – that are believed to cause a variety of diseases and disorders.

According to the American Cancer Society, benefits of turmeric can be illustrated by the fact that curcumin has demonstrated some anticancer effects in the lab by interfering with several significant molecular pathways believed to be involved in cancer presence, growth, and spread.  Research results have shown curcumin inhibited the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in animals, according to the American Cancer Society – which added that curcumin can kill and slow the growth of cancer cells in vitro.

It has also been shown to reduce cancer growth and shrink tumors of lab animals.

Why is curcumin so effective at preventing cancer cell growth?

A 2011 study looked at the benefits of turmeric by taking advantage of the fact that curcumin stays in the intestine rather than absorbing into the bloodstream, leading researchers to investigate whether it might reduce the number of cancer precursors in the rectum and colon.

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They found that smokers who consumed 4 grams of curcumin a day had fewer abnormal crypt foci following the study than smokers who took only 2 grams a day, who showed no change.  Research continues on whether curcumin can actually reduce the prevalence of colon and rectum cancers – leaving patients cancer free.

Science is looking at ways to slow down the progression of cancer

In the most recent study, Onio and German investigators analyzed tissue samples of mesothelioma tumors from patients at three geographical locations across the United States, comparing patient mortality and the specific type of mesothelioma suffered.

While mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos exposure, many of the 43,000 people killed worldwide by this cancer on an annual basis have never been exposed to asbestos. While widespread, treatment options have remained limited, with less-than-optimal results.

Senior research author Afshin Dowlati, MD, Professor of Medicine – Hematology/Oncology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, was quoted in a statement by the University confirming that better ways to treat mesothelioma are necessary.

“We now understand the mechanisms that drive cell proliferation and growth in malignant mesothelioma,” said Dowlati, a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, referring to the study’s findings.

It is believed that many cancers, mesothelioma included, are triggered by the action of an intraceullular protein and transcription factor known as STAT3.  STAT stands for “signal transducer and activator of transcription.”

A signal transducer and activator acts as a pathway for instructing growth and survival of cells throughout the body. The term “transcription factor” refers to a protein that controls genetic information that tells cells how to perform.

Cancer is linked to the presence of STAT3 because the transcription factor has a reputation for providing misdirection that sparks the onset of human cancers and then fuels their continued growth. However, the protein inhibitor known as PIAS3, which stands for “protein inhibitor of activated STAT3,” has the ability to slow, and even block, the ability of STAT3 to spur cancer growth.

Has science discovered the true ‘anticancer’ power of curcumin?

Investigators were able to link levels of PIAS3 with STAT3 activity in each tissue sample. In addition, the researchers assessed the impact of curcumin and peptides extracted from PIAS3 on malignant mesothelioma cells in vitro.

Curcumin and PIAS3 peptides raised PIAS3 levels in the study, which inhibited the cancer-causing activity of STAT3 – even killing off mesothelioma cells.  These latest findings are believed to provide  proof that these two compounds are effective in treating malignant mesothelioma.

The research is characterized as representing the first steps toward an actual clinical trial for treatment.

A potential treatment strategy for cancer patients is on the horizon

The medical community has long observed that mesothelioma does not progress consistently in patients even when stages, grades and clinical presentation of the tumor are very comparable. This suggests that the presence of PIAS3 in patients could serve as a marker because its expression was found to have a positive impact on patient survival, based on the study’s findings.

The results have led investigators to suggest that PIAS3 activation could be a therapeutic strategy for mesothelioma patients.

“Mesothelioma patients who have low PIAS3 and high STAT3 have a greater chance of dying early,” explained Dowlati. “On the flip side, those patients with high PIAS3 levels have a 44 percent decreased chance of dying in one year, which is substantial.”

The scientists believe these findings may lead to further investigation of what role PIAS3 could hold in inhibiting other cancers that are caused by STAT3 action.  Of course, on a practical level, an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is the key to reducing your risk of cancer.

On a daily basis, do the best you can to consume as many antioxidants as you can – in your diet and supplement routine.  Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins, such as household chemicals, indoor air pollution and wireless (microwave) radiation.  Stay well hydrated with clean (purified) water and stay physically active.

Remember, your future health is counting on you to make healthy decisions – today.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 9, 2019

4 herbal remedies designed to eliminate the threat of urinary tract infections

Reproduced from original article:


(NaturalHealth365) Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common form of bacterial infection, triggering emergency room visits for roughly a million Americans every year.  Women are far more susceptible than men, with fully one third of women experiencing a UTI by age 24.

Western medicine attempts to treat UTIs with broad-spectrum antibiotics – which can cause a variety of toxic side effects, as well as contributing to the growing global epidemic of antibiotic resistance. These dangerous drawbacks have caused many scientists to stress the urgent need for alternate, natural therapies for UTIs.

Below, you will find four time-honored herbal remedies, the benefits of which have been validated by recent scientific research.

Discover the leading natural preventative option for urinary tract infections

Cranberries have a well-earned reputation for helping to ward off UTIs. Extensive scientific studies are now revealing their intriguing method of action.  And, while researchers used to credit the benzoic acid in these tart berries with creating an environment in the bladder that is unfriendly to the growth of pathogens, many now believe that benzoic acid must share the infection-fighting credit with the proanthocyanidins.

Proanthocyanidins, a group of natural pigments and antioxidants, are found in intensely-colored fruits and vegetables – and are in particularly good supply in cranberries.

The primary cause of UTIs – a bacterium known as E.coli – makes its way from the anus to the urethra, where it then adheres to mucosal cells in the urinary tract.  Researchers have discovered that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries actually attack and disable the structures on the surfaces of the bacteria that make cell adhesion possible.

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Without attaching to the urethral lining, the infection fails to take hold.

In one impressive study involving female adult participants with chronic urinary tract infections (an average of six a year), 400 mg of cranberry extract a day completely eliminated UTI incidence – with no side effects.  How’s that for effectiveness?!

Cranberry appears to be equally beneficial when taken in the form of juice.  In recent research, cranberry juice performed nearly as well in preventing UTIs as trimethoprim, an antibiotic.  If you decide to go the “juice route,” opt for unsweetened, organic cranberry juice – in the amount of at least two cups per day.

Cranberry extracts, however, have the advantage of being more cost-effective than fresh juice.  But, ultimately, the best way to access the benefits of cranberries depends on your personal taste – and your financial situation.

Marshmallow root is a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and diuretic

Revered in herbal medicine for its ability to ease sore throats and coughs, marshmallow root is also gaining traction among integrative healthcare providers as a treatment for UTIs – and for good reason.

This natural herb is high in mucilage, a natural tissue-soother.  It also has potent anti-inflammatory effects to alleviate swelling in the mucous membranes lining the urinary tract – thereby making tissues stronger and less susceptible to toxins, infections and damage.

In addition, marshmallow root increases urine flow, helping to flush toxins, and also combats bacteria – making it a useful ally against E. coli.  And, finally, marshmallow root contains high levels of antioxidant glucuronoxylan – which helps to protect against disease-causing oxidative damage.

While marshmallow root is indeed an ingredient in the sugary white confection roasted over bonfires, you need a more concentrated supply to get the herb’s full benefits.  An integrative physician may recommend addressing UTIs with one to two teaspoons of powdered marshmallow root per day, taken with at least 8 ounces of liquid.

Alternately, marshmallow root is available as a tea, which can be sipped in the amount of one-half to one cup, four times a day.

Uva ursi contains a host of infection-fighting phytochemicals

Uva ursi, also known as bearberry, has been used by herbal healers for close to two thousand years to treat infections and inflammations of the bladder and kidneys.  A natural diuretic and antiseptic, uva ursi alleviates inflammation and strengthens the lining of the urinary tract.

But that isn’t all.

The herb is also rich in tannic acid – which has proven antifungal and antibacterial properties – and contains a compound called arbutin that helps regulate the pH balance of urine.

Finally, uva ursi contains allantoin, which is often used as a healing, skin-soothing ingredient in lotions and ointments.  Uva ursi is available in capsules (or powders) and natural health experts advise a formulation standardized to 400 to 800 mg of arbutin.

You can also make uva ursi tea by simmering a tablespoon of dried leaves in 2 cups of water for 40 minutes, then straining and cooling. Drink three to four times a day.

Keep in mind: Uva ursi should not be used long-term, or in high dosages. As with the other three remedies, always consult your integrative doctor before taking it.

Corn silk: An old-fashioned herbal remedy exhibits therapeutic powers in clinical studies

Corn silk, long treasured in folk medicine as a home remedy for UTIs, has some serious scientific credibility backing up its low-tech, homey image.  In fact, it turns out that these silky fibers have powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

In a study published in Journal of Complementary Medicine Research, 42 adult participants with UTIs were treated with an aqueous extract of corn silk, and followed up after 5 days, 10 days and 20 days.

The patients experienced significant reductions in the pain and in the frequent, urgent urination that can accompany UTIs – along with a decrease in the number of pus cells (a sign of infection) in the urine.

There were no reports of side effects, leading the team to characterize corn silk as “effective and safe.”

Corn silk can be easily brewed into a tea. Simply add a tablespoon of dried strands to a cup of almost-boiling water, let the mixture steep for 15 to 20 minutes, then strain, cool and drink.  Plus, natural healers may advise drinking one or two cups of corn silk tea, two to three times a day, to combat UTIs.

Remember, don’t attempt to treat urinary tract infections – or any other medical condition – with these natural remedies without first consulting an experienced healthcare provider.  UTIs can sometimes progress to serious kidney infections, manifested by fever, chills and lower back pain – which require immediate medical attention.

To prevent UTIs from taking hold in the first place, natural health experts advise staying well hydrated, avoiding antibiotic overuse, wearing cotton underwear and avoiding irritating bubble baths and commercial vaginal hygiene products.  Of course, eliminating refined sugars from your diet can also lower the risk of these uncomfortable infections.

Marshmallows, cranberries, corn silk and bearberry (uva ursi) may lack the multi-syllabic, official-sounding monikers of the latest drugs cooked up by big pharma.  But, these herbal strategies can still offer wonderful results.

Sources for this article include:

Posted by: | Posted on: October 7, 2019

Radical Innovators Are Trying to Transform Health Care

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – October 06, 2019
Reproduced from original article:

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  • The U.S. health care system is riddled with inefficiencies. With an annual budget of $3 trillion, it’s the largest industry in the United States, so there’s financial motivation to capitalize on expensive treatments, even if they don’t work well
  • Price gouging, overtreatment and fraud are yet other problems plaguing the U.S. health care system, contributing to its inefficiency
  • Many prevention strategies and simple, inexpensive treatments are ignored and not used for the fact they do not generate income for the doctors
  • Switching the incentive model is part of the answer. Hospitals that pay their doctors a salary and bonuses for patient health outcomes see significant improvements and have lower health care outlays
  • Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania prescribed prediabetic and diabetic patients fresh, whole food, along with treatment and educational support. As a result, they reduced the annual cost for Type 2 diabetics by 80%

Travis Christofferson — who has a premedical undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in materials engineering and science — has written two excellent books about health. The first one, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer,” helped me understand the profound influence of diet in cancer.

Here, we discuss his latest book, “Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators Is Trying to Transform Our Health Care System,” which addresses questions such as: “What has happened to American health care?” and “What are the foundational disruptions or corruptions in the system?”

His book, in some ways, is based on the theory promoted in the book and subsequent film, “Moneyball.” It describes how you can use statistics to massively improve a flawed system. Christofferson explains:

“I’d been invited to speak at a small charity event in London. The speaker who went right after me was Dr. Ndabezinhle Mazibuko. He was at this startup clinic called Care Oncology in the U.K.

The idea behind this clinic was that there are drugs that have gone off patent that have [other uses], but they’re unrealized. They’re undervalued in the system. One of these drugs is metformin in the use for cancer.

There’s this vast body of data to suggest it can improve cancer outcomes, but there’s no good mechanism to get this on the prescription pads of doctors. It just doesn’t happen. There’s a flaw in the system.

To address this flaw or this underappreciated argument, they opened this clinic and then prescribed a combination of four drugs that showed they had synergy, very few side effects and the best chance to [improve] outcomes. The cost of the drugs is about $60 per month …

I agreed to open a clinic in the U.S. to help them start in the U.S. I opened it up in my small town, Rapid City. We started doing telemedicine as well to address the rest of the country. I arranged the time to speak at our local cancer center, to present what we were doing to the local oncologists.

My hope was that they would see the value in it and refer patients to us, especially patients with dire cancers, like glioblastoma, where there are few good treatment options. This is such a low-risk intervention that it had a good potential to help …

Immediately when I was done … one of the oncologists just lit into me. He accused us of taking advantage of desperate patients. Then he brought up, ‘Why would you prescribe a medication for Type 2 diabetes for cancer?’ Another oncologist in the room in the corner said, ‘Well, I do that.’

What struck me in that moment is you can have these medical doctors in the same room that have a profound disagreement on data that we have just gone through. If this is the case, what are the inefficiencies in the health care system? That was the original spark for the book.”


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Identifying the Inefficiencies Within the System

Michael Lewis’ book, “Moneyball,” showed how, within a simple game of baseball, you can have massive inefficiencies. By taking away the human biases and just applying statistics to find what is undervalued in that market, you can massively boost the performance of a team (in the book, it was the Oakland A’s, which had a tiny budget).

“In health care, we have a massive disparity in valuation — how we value treatments,” Christofferson says.

“As I said, metformin has got massive repositories of data to suggest you can ward off not only cancer but a plethora of chronic disease, but it’s the price of a nickel a pill and very rarely gets prescribed for these other indications … [‘Curable’] is an examination of these huge disparities in health care and why it’s gotten so out of control in the U.S.”

The health care system is the largest industry in the United States. It has an annual revenue of $3 trillion. So, there’s a financial motivation to capitalize on expensive treatments, even if they don’t work well, and that’s a significant part of the problem. Price gouging is another related problem. Overtreatment and plain fraud are yet others.

Christofferson suspects these issues may account for half of all health care costs. One answer is to focus more on undervalued treatments and low-cost prevention — both of which could help prevent cost escalation. In his book, Christofferson recounts a number of stories demonstrating this.

Drug-Free Treatments Save Money

One such example is Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania. For Type 2 diabetes, they introduced the Fresh Food Farmacy. In a nutshell, patients with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes are given a prescription for fresh, whole foods. Patients are allowed two free meals a day and recipes, along with intensive care and educational support.

As a result of this program, Gelsinger Health was able to reduce its per-year outlays and cost for Type 2 diabetics by a whopping 80%. “It only cost them $2,600 a year,” Christofferson says.

“What interests me about that is they didn’t leave out the human component. They made sure that the patients’ families [were] engaged. They gave free food to the families so they can all cook together. Pretty soon, when people have this level of engagement and feel like they’re part of a system, they start asking questions.

‘What else can I do? Can I exercise? How do I stop smoking?’ Not only is it changing their health status, but it’s changing the way their families view health and what they do about it. To me, there are these wonderful examples of places, these pockets that are doing extraordinarily good work.

The other one I focused on is Intermountain Health Care which, shockingly, if you … extrapolated their system to the rest of the U.S., we would see a 40% reduction in health care costs immediately.”

The Overwhelming Power of Incentives

Another fundamental issue that really needs to be addressed is the physicians. Most medical students pursue medicine for the right reasons. But then they get brainwashed into a single-minded focus on drugs and surgical intervention, and aren’t given the education and tools to address the actual roots of disease.

What’s more, once they’re done with their schooling, they’re a few hundred thousand dollars in debt, which they need to pay off. And then they go into a health care system where they’re given just 10 to 15 minutes with each patient. It’s a system that is designed to fail right out of the gate.

“As I wrote this book, what I kept coming back to was the overwhelming power of incentives,” Christofferson says. “Our system is so flawed with regard to incentives. The biggest offender of that, by far, is the fee-for-service system, where we demand our doctors get paid for every test and procedure that they do.

This creates a terrible incentive for them so that they have to think like businessmen … If there’s a marginal procedure and you have a financial incentive to do it, perhaps you’re going to do it. This leads to overtreatment.

There’s a brilliant example of that in the book. This was actually done by Atul Gawande. He wrote about this in The New Yorker. McAllen, Texas, had two times the Medicare utilization compared to the national averages — $15,000 per person.

And it wasn’t specific to that demographic region, because if you went to El Paso, up the border, it’s the same demographics, but it was half the cost there. He flew down there to ask why. What had happened was the doctors had just developed this entrepreneurial culture where they almost competed with each other financially …

Really, their focus was money. Just putting a pen to paper and writing that article had a sterilizing effect. Suddenly, the regulators came in. They looked at all the fraud that was going on. There was, I think, $20 million fines levied. The overutilization started to drop …

When you look at the high-quality providers, like Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, they put their physicians on a salary. The marketplace will reward that behavior because now you can see the data … [At] the Mayo Clinic … if they don’t need surgery, they won’t get one. The doctor has no financial incentive to operate.

So, the incentive structure is entirely backwards. That’s the underlying theme of this book. We really have to take a look at human incentives and what drives human beings; how they make mistakes. We can design systems around that to do better.”

The Success of Intermountain Health

Intermountain Health, for example, places their doctors on salary, and gives them bonuses based on health outcomes. They also assess the differences between treatments to see which works best.

For example, they discovered that inducing delivery in pregnant women led to more babies being born with respiratory problems. Guidelines for inducing labor were entered into the electronic medical record, which led to a drop in early inductions from 30% to less than 2%. This resulted in babies born with fewer respiratory problems.

Another example: Patients are always given antibiotics before surgery, but it’s never been established when the optimal time to administer the drugs is. Intermountain compared medical records, finding the optimal time was two hours before surgery, which cut their surgical infection rate by over half.

The History of Medicine

Christofferson’s book also addresses some of the history of medicine, and the advent of controlled clinical trials. Historically, the practice of medicine was largely dependent on the doctor’s experience and personal ideas.

“Hippocrates said that a physician’s judgment matters more than any external measurement. This really guided medicine in the beginning, in the 1700 or 1800s,” Christofferson says.

“I was shocked to learn that the first well-conducted trial was in the ‘40s … That’s how far [medical science] lagged behind. And then all of a sudden, it kind of exploded because they shifted the patent structure to where over-the-counter drugs were separated from patented drugs.

This launched pharmaceutical companies into a for-profit venture. They took over the randomized control trials … That was the gold standard to determine if a therapy was good, if it was going to be approved by the regulatory bodies in the world.

Today … the pendulum has almost swung too far to where you have to have this randomized control trial and Food and Drug Administration approval for a therapy to be good.”

Novel Science That Might Extend Life Span

In the interview, we also discuss a few side tangents, such as cellular reprogramming therapies under investigation. David Sinclair, Ph.D., refers to the use of what’s known as Yamanaka transcription factors, which can be used to reedit your genome to reset the epigenetic clock and the DNA methylation. As explained by Christofferson, who has looked into this research:

“I’m completely fascinated by it. I think it’s not known as widely as it could be. Longevity science is focused on caloric restriction. That’s the reliable way to extend mammalian lifespans … Epigenetic rejuvenation is outside of that …

When you think about humans, about all life for that matter, we are essentially immortal in the fact that we take our aged germ line cells and we recombine them through the process of fertilization to create a new life. That life is biological age zero when it comes into being.

How does that happen? The way that happens is it takes 23 chromosomes from the mom, 23 from the dad. There’s a process in the egg that wipes off the processing of the software. The software in the genome is the epigenome. There’s molecular tags on our DNA that are wiped clean and new ones are put on. This kicks off the process of embryogenesis.

In the process, it resets the aging clock. Now we’re starting to learn that you can do this, you can take a cell … and put it in a Petri dish, add these factors — there are four factors involved in this process — and you will reset the epigenome back to age zero … Potentially, now it’s a therapy. You can inject this back into them.”

The Influence of Lifestyle and Social Connection

Christofferson also points out science showing that inherited genetics account for a rather small portion of our health and longevity potential — about 20%. The remaining 80% is predicated on environmental variables, factors such as toxic exposures, certainly, but also love and interpersonal relationships.

“All of these things we experience day to day have an impact … Our epigenome changes the way genes are expressed. This has a massive impact on our health.

We know this because of identical twin studies … When you track them over time, their destinies are very different. They very rarely die of the same diseases. This nurture aspect, this 80%, that’s the part we have control over …

I looked at that in the book. What misconceptions do we have under these kinds of medical biases? What are our misconceptions as individuals about our own health? … What are the most important factors to stay healthy and live a long life?

We always think of diet, exercise and genetics … [but] the biggest factor is your social life and how engaged you are in the world — the number of close friends you have, social integration. How many people have you talked to throughout the day? Did you say hi to the mailman? Did you talk or chat with people at the gym? That’s got a massive influence on your immune system.

When you’re lonely, you have this sort of corrosive inflammatory response. But when you’re not lonely, your immune system has a more targeted response. Inflammation, as we know, is the root cause of so many cardiovascular disease, cancer and so many chronic diseases.

That’s kind of why these blue zones get so much attention. That’s the constant variable … People are connected and they’re surrounded by each other all the time. [The blue zones] is where you have … 10 times the number of centenarians than you do in North America.”

Indeed, epigenetic programming, which is dependent on environmental factors, far outweigh the influence of your genetics, and it does this in a very specific way. It’s usually through transcription factors that either methylate the DNA (put small one-carbon molecules on the DNA), which essentially silences that specific genome, or they acetylate it, which activates those genes.

Depending on the combination of shutting off and turning on of genes, you get the expression of the genome. So, it’s not what you’ve inherited, but your expression of the genome that’s so important, and this is really how these lifestyle factors influence your genes.

“The good news about the epigenome is it’s able to be manipulated,” Christofferson says. “We can change it, from lifestyle factors all the way to these Yamanaka factors that kind of reset it back to a younger age.”

More Information

In short, the fact that epigenetic factors control so much of your health and longevity potential is powerful motivation to make simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes. Basics include sleeping well, choosing the right foods, choosing when not to eat (time-restriction eating), exercising, getting plenty of sunshine, and addressing loneliness and stress.

These are simple basics that pretty much everyone could apply to radically improve their health and avoid the medical care system, which is fraught with hazards. While medical mistakes are a leading cause of death in the U.S., the greatest hazard is the fact that so many doctors fail to understand what the foundational cause of disease is.

By failing to address the root of disease, they are causing premature death and needless pain and suffering in a majority of the population. As noted by Christofferson:

“The numbers are scary. I think it’s 200,000 die every year from medical error. I learned that 7,000 people die from sloppy physician handwriting. If you’re in the hospital for four weeks, you have about a coin-flip chance of developing C. diff, which is a horrible, horrible intestinal infection.

Anytime you can stay out of that system, [you avoid] not just the financial but the very real health risks. We didn’t even touch on the overtreatment and cancer that is so rampant …

We’ve had such a focus on early detection for cancer. We’ve gotten much better at it. However, that hasn’t changed the death rates at all. But it’s led to an incredible amount of overtreatment, unnecessary treatment, because most of these tumors are not dangerous at that point.

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer from a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, you’re 47 times more likely to receive damaging treatment — chemotherapy, surgery or radiation — than you are to have your life extended …

My editor said something to me while I was writing the book that I thought was beautiful. You can be your own culture of one when it comes to health. Just do these very simple things … and just being with other people. That, in and of itself, is health care.”

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators Is Trying to Transform Our Health Care System.” I really enjoy the way he tells the story and makes it a very readable book.


Posted by: | Posted on: October 7, 2019

Seafood Can Resolve Many Nutrient Deficiencies

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  – Fact Checked  – October 07, 2019
seafood high in omega 3


  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are long-chained omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and certain other sea creatures, including krill
  • DHA and EPA are key structural elements of cells; they’re not just simple fuel. If you don’t have enough DHA and EPA, your body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy cell structures is seriously impaired
  • The omega-3 index is expressed as a percent of all fatty acids in the red blood cell membrane. Research suggests an ideal, healthy range of omega-3 is between 8% and 12%
  • Data suggests omega-3 deficiency may be more prevalent than suspected. Of the first 135 participants in the D*action + Omega-3 home testing project, 85% had an omega-3 index below 8%, which puts them at increased risk for chronic health problems
  • Recent research suggests many nutrient deficiencies could be resolved by eating more seafood, and retaining more of the local fish catches for the local population rather than exporting them

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are long-chained omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and certain other sea creatures, including krill.

Along with vitamin D testing, measuring your omega-3 level at least once a year is strongly recommended, as being low in this vital nutrient can spell trouble for your health in more ways than one.

One of the reasons why DHA and EPA are so crucial is because they’re actually key structural elements of cells; they’re not just simple fuel. If you don’t have enough DHA and EPA, your body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy cell structures is seriously impaired.

Marine-Based Omega-3 Protects Heart Health

Marine-based omega-3 is particularly important for your heart health. According to a 2016 analysis1,2 of 19 studies, higher blood levels of DHA were found to lower the risk of a fatal heart attack by 10%. This effect held true even after accounting for confounding factors like age, sex, ethnicity, diabetes and use of aspirin or cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Studies have also shown that, when taken after a heart attack, omega-3 fats can significantly improve your odds of survival.3 A large Italian trial4 found that heart attack survivors who took 1 gram of omega-3 fat per day for 3.5 years had a “clinically important and statistically significant” reduction in the risk for death, nonfatal heart attack and stroke. Animal-based omega-3 fats, especially DHA, protect and support your cardiovascular health by:5

  • Lowering blood pressure and improving endothelial function
  • Counteracting or preventing cardiac arrhythmia
  • Lowering triglyceride concentrations
  • Helping prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel) by decreasing platelet aggregation
  • Counteracting inflammation

Most recently, results from five years of study by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the VITAL study (which is looking at both omega-3 and vitamin D) show fish oil supplementation lowers your risk for heart attack.6,7 Results8 were presented at the September 25 through 28, 2019, NAMS meeting in Chicago. Contemporary Clinic reported the results, noting:9

“People with dietary fish intake below the cohort median of 1.5 servings per week saw the greatest treatment benefit. Meanwhile, participants whose intake was above that level did not see as much as a benefit.”

Nutrient Requirements Could Be Met by Local Fish Catches

An interesting study10,11,12 published September 25, 2019, suggests fish is an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, including iron and zinc, and that many micronutrient deficiencies could be resolved by retaining more of the local fish catches in any given area rather than exporting them.

As reported in a press release,13 the data “showed important nutrients were readily available in the fish already being caught but they were not reaching many local populations, who were often most in need.”

In most areas of the world, a majority of fish is caught by international companies and subsequently sold to other, typically more affluent, nations, while locals often end up forgoing their native diets for processed food. As reported by, 90% of the fish caught in Mauritania is caught by foreign fishing fleets and never enters the local market.

In other areas, such as Namibia, even though a majority of the fishing fleets are locally owned, the fish is still exported. Edward Allison, professor at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs told,14 “These transformed diets suck fish towards the mouths of the better-off, meaning that not everyone who might benefit from consuming fish gets to eat it.”


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Fairer Fish Trade Would Curtail Nutrient Deficiencies

For example, common nutrient deficiencies plaguing West Africa are zinc, iron and vitamin A deficiency. Yet these three nutrients are readily available in the fish caught off the West African coast, the researchers found, and in amounts sufficiently high to meet the nutritional needs of those living within 100 kilometers of the coast. As explained by the authors:15

“Micronutrient deficiencies account for an estimated one million premature deaths annually, and for some nations can reduce gross domestic product by up to 11%, highlighting the need for food policies that focus on improving nutrition rather than simply increasing the volume of food produced.

People gain nutrients from a varied diet, although fish — which are a rich source of bioavailable micronutrients that are essential to human health — are often overlooked.

A lack of understanding of the nutrient composition of most fish and how nutrient yields vary among fisheries has hindered the policy shifts that are needed to effectively harness the potential of fisheries for food and nutrition security.

Here, using the concentration of 7 nutrients in more than 350 species of marine fish, we estimate how environmental and ecological traits predict nutrient content of marine finfish species … and compare nutrient yields to the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in human populations …

For a number of countries in which nutrient intakes are inadequate, nutrients available in marine finfish catches exceed the dietary requirements for populations that live within 100 km of the coast, and a fraction of current landings could be particularly impactful for children under 5 years of age.

Our analyses suggest that fish-based food strategies have the potential to substantially contribute to global food and nutrition security.”

As reported by,16 were Namibia to retain just 9% of its local fish catches, it would resolve the nation’s iron deficiency. In Kiribati, a mere 1% of the fish catches would help resolve calcium deficiencies affecting 82% of the island nation’s population.

In conclusion, the study proposes a number of policy recommendations aimed at improving the availability of fish around the world. Among them, supporting small-scale local fisheries and implementing global fish trade guidelines to ensure fairer distribution. As noted by

“Xavier Basurto, an associate professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in the United States, believes that the processing of highly nutritious fish into low-nutrient products for developed countries, including pet food, should also be curtailed.

‘For instance, one could regulate certain types of catch not to be used as fish meal for export because of its nutritional value for low-income populations,’ he suggested.”

Your Blood Level, Not the Dosage, Is Key

Getting back to omega-3, data suggest deficiency in these important nutrients may be more prevalent than suspected.18 One of the reasons for this is because omega-3 testing is rather new. The assay to measure omega-3 in your red blood cells was developed by William Harris, Ph.D., in 2004. Before that, an assay was not available.

The omega-3 index is expressed as a percent of all fatty acids in the red blood cell membrane.19 Data from studies Harris performed showed an ideal, healthy range of omega-3 is between 8% and 12%.20

Importantly, the only way to determine your omega-3 status is through testing, which is now easy to do. GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization, has several cost-effective options available as part of its various consumer-sponsored nutrient research projects,21 the aim of which is to establish population-based recommendations based on science-backed data.

For example, ongoing research by GrassrootsHealth has firmly established that a vitamin D level of 20 ng/mL is nowhere near sufficient; the ideal range for disease prevention is actually between 60 and 80 ng/mL. Their research also shows a whopping 80% of cancer recurrences could be prevented simply by raising vitamin D to 60 ng/mL.

GrassrootsHealth is conducting the same kind of consumer-sponsored research for omega-3 and magnesium. For omega-3, you have four test options:

Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth.

Your participation in this research project will enable GrassrootsHealth researchers to provide accurate data about the omega-3 status in the population, the level at which disease prevention is actually obtained, and guidance on dosing to achieve optimal levels.

All of this is crucial information that can go a long way toward improving public health. Your test results will be emailed to you in about 10 to 20 days after your samples are received. Based on your index result, you will then be able to use GrassrootsHealth’s omega-3 index calculator22 to determine the dosage you may require to raise your current level to your chosen target level.

Your health data are used anonymously. Please note that 100% of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge anything extra as a distributor of these test kits.

Don’t Assume Your Intake Is Adequate

I strongly urge you to avoid the temptation to assume that your omega-3 index is sufficient just because you’re eating fish or taking a supplement. Many fish do not contain high omega-3 levels (you have to eat cold-water fatty fish to reap that benefit), and many fish oil supplements are synthetic with questionable efficacy.

As reported by GrassrootsHealth,23 of the first 135 participants in the D*action + Omega-3 home testing project, a surprising 85% had an omega-3 index below 8%, which is the lower threshold for sufficiency, putting them at increased risk for heart disease24 and other chronic diseases, as well as death from any cause. To learn more about the benefits of optimizing your level, see “How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?

omega-3 home testing project
Source: GrassrootsHealth

As reported by GrassrootsHealth:25

“In studies using a measurement called the Omega-3 Index test, individuals with a low Omega-3 Index were shown to have a 10-fold higher risk of death compared to those with a high index … An Omega-3 Index between 8% and 12% was associated with lower risk for death from cardiovascular disease, versus an index less than 4%.”

omega-3 index test
Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: October 7, 2019

Artificially sweetened products threaten heart health, study reveals

Reproduced from original article:


artificial-sweeteners(NaturalHealth365) Just about everyone knows that sugary beverages not only destroy weight loss plans, but also trigger negative health effects.  Unfortunately, as a replacement for sugar-laced beverages, too many people still turn to soda with artificial sweeteners – with the hope of cutting out “empty calories.”

However, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests it’s a really bad move.

Excessive sugar consumption continues to be a problem in the Western diet, contributing to health conditions like diabetes, obesity plus much more.  However, while diet soda and other diet drinks are popular, one new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that artificially sweetened beverages have the potential to increase the risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions.

Discover what artificial sweeteners can do to your cardiovascular system

The study looked at regular consumption of soda and found that individuals who consume soft drinks regularly have a higher risk of mortality over 16 years compared to those who drink them infrequently.  Data from more than 450,000 men and women who were a part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) was considered, with initial dietary assessments done on the type and number of soft drinks consumed daily, weekly and monthly when individuals enrolled.

Individuals who consumed two or more glasses of soda a day had a 17% higher risk of dying from any cause during the 16.4-year follow-up period.  For those who drank beverages with artificial sweeteners, their mortality risk was 26% greater.

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Among those who had a high intake of sweetened sodas, the risk of dying of heart disease was 27%.  Shockingly, people that drank sodas with artificial sweeteners had a 59% greater risk, far higher than in those who consumed the sugary sodas.

Beyond heart disease, drinking a glass a day of sugary beverages was also linked to a 59% higher risk of digestive diseases.

Don’t be fooled: Fruits juices can be just as bad as soda

While some people turn to fruit juices thinking they’re a healthier beverage choice, they can be just as bad as sodas. Regular consumption of commercially-produced fruit juices has also been linked to premature death.

Consuming 10% of more of your daily calories from sugary drinks increases the risk of dying from heart disease by 44%, and that includes drinking store-bought fruit juice.

Both sugary beverages and soda with artificial sweeteners come with serious health risks, and this recent study showed that drinking artificially sweetened beverages was even more dangerous than consuming the sugary ones.

And remember, artificial sweeteners don’t just show up in sodas, they’re often found in juices, coffee drinks and “diet” sweets like cupcakes and donuts.  Even some ‘healthy-sounding’ beverages contain them.

Bottom line: Instead of drinking sugary sodas, artificially sweetened beverages or fruit juices, try staying well hydrated with plenty of clean (purified) water – every day.  If you want something sweet, go for an organic apple or a bunch of blueberries.

And, if you’re having trouble with your blood sugar levels – you might want to look at the value of alpha lipoic acid.

To learn more about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, listen to this mind-blowing NaturalHealth365 Podcast with Jonathan Landsman.  You’ll never look at artificial sweeteners the same again.

Sources for this article include: