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This Protein Could Signal Early Death


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/04/high-troponin-levels-increase-risk-of-death.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  Fact Checked – December 04, 2019
troponin levels heart attack

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Troponin is a protein responsible for helping to regulate contractions in skeletal and heart muscle. After comparing blood levels and age, data revealed a slight raise in all age groups increased the risk of early death, and those who were 18 to 29 years old had a tenfold higher potential risk
  • High levels in people without a diagnosis of heart attack also had a higher risk of early death; high levels of troponin may be found after sepsis, stroke, pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease and chemotherapy
  • Symptoms of a heart attack are not always obvious, but immediate treatment improves the rate of survival and reduces the risk of heart muscle damage from lack of oxygen; women may experience different symptoms including anxiety, back pain, heartburn or extreme fatigue
  • One study showed 70% of heart attacks could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, maintaining a normal BMI, not smoking and other health lifestyle choices. It is important to know your risk factors and take quick action even if you only feel like you might be having a heart attack

Statistics from the American Heart Disease 2019 update shows cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still the leading cause of death, although the rate decreased by 18.6% from 2006 to 2016.1 Despite this reduction, 1.05 million people were expected to have a coronary event in 2019, including 720,000 first time and 335,000 recurrent events.

Nearly every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack or a stroke. In 2014-2015 the annual financial burden for CVD was estimated at $351.2 billion. In the survey, the data showed awareness of the symptoms of a heart attack was low.2

This has a negative impact on early diagnosis and treatment of a heart attack, which is linked to a higher potential for survival and return to normal activities when more of the heart muscle can be saved.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,3 nearly 47% of sudden cardiac death happens outside of a hospital, which suggests people may be unaware they have heart disease, or they don’t act on early warning signs of a heart attack.

Those at greater risk of a cardiac event include people who have other medical conditions such as diabetes or practice specific lifestyle choices, such as eating a poor diet, excessive alcohol use, smoking or lack of physical activity.

Protein Linked to Muscle Damage Raises Risk of Death

Once your heart has begun to be damaged by a heart attack, the heart muscle releases a protein, troponin, which is responsible for helping to regulate contractions in skeletal and heart muscle.4 Emergency room physicians test for blood levels of this protein, along with other clinical tests, to evaluate the likelihood a patient is having a heart attack.

The level of the protein and other test results help clinicians make choices about immediate treatment. A new analysis from the National Institute for Health Research Health Informatics Collaborative led by researchers from London looked at data from 250,000 patients who had troponin tests completed.

The information was grouped by age and then compared against the test results and the patient’s health outcomes in the following three years. The researchers were interested in comparing the differences in troponin levels across age ranges, specifically in the senior population, as well as investigating the significance of the different levels of the protein.

The new data showed even a slight raise in the level of protein was associated with an increased risk of early death in all age groups. They also found the higher the level, the higher the risk of death in those who had suffered a heart attack.

However, patients who had the highest levels had a lower risk of dying, which the researchers theorized was due to the likelihood the patient had an event requiring surgery that may have reduced the risk of death. The data also showed patients from 18 to 29 years with raised levels had a tenfold higher potential risk of dying than those in the same age range without raised levels of troponin.

When the patients were over 80 years with raised levels, 46% died within three years.5 The lead scientist of the study commented in a press release:6

“There have been many advances in treating heart disease yet it remains the leading cause of death in the UK and around the world. This is the first study to address the implications of raised troponin in a real world large sample of patients across a wide range of ages.

Doctors will be able to use this information to help identify the risk of early death in patients who have a troponin level measured; this could lead to interventions at a much earlier stage in a wider group of patients than are currently treated.”

Other Things Can Also Raise Troponin Levels

The results also revealed, even if the patient had not been diagnosed with a heart attack, those who had higher levels of troponin had an increased risk of death.7 When you are healthy, levels of troponin are low enough they are usually undetectable. The levels begin rising three to four hours after heart damage and may stay elevated for 14 days.

However, troponin protein may be released into your bloodstream following more than a heart attack.8 Physicians from the Cleveland Clinic discuss several other health conditions during which your body releases troponin, which may signal an increased risk of death without early treatment.

Sepsis — This is a life-threatening condition triggered by a systemic infection that ultimately affects the function of your vital organs. Sepsis is sometimes referred to as blood poisoning and it is conservatively estimated to be responsible for 270,000 deaths each year.

Troponin elevations may be the result of a combination of renal dysfunction, massive inflammatory response and increasing levels of catecholamine damage to the heart.

Stroke — An acute ischemic stroke may raise troponin levels by triggering a variety of cardiovascular responses increasing stress on the heart. Troponin levels may also rise through neurogenic heart damage and alterations to the autonomic nervous system control.

This results in a catecholamine surge and damage to the myocardium. Scientists theorize this may explain the presence of rising levels in an ischemic stroke in the absence of coronary artery disease.

Pulmonary disease — A strain on the right side of the heart from pulmonary disease may mark right ventricular dysfunction or indicate severe disease and poor outcomes in those who have high pulmonary arterial pressure.

An acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been linked to an increase in all-cause mortality with elevations of serum troponin.

Chronic kidney disease — Troponin is cleared by the kidney, which may be one explanation for elevated levels in those with chronic kidney disease. Elevations may also be the result of elevation in proinflammatory cytokines and associated high blood pressure.

Chemotherapy — Chemotherapy can induce cardiac toxicity through the production of oxygen free radicals and by disturbing mitochondrial metabolism. When left ventricular deterioration is associated with chemotherapy it is often irreversible. By monitoring troponin levels problems may be identified before cardiac symptoms are clinically evident.

Can You Have a Heart Attack and Not Know It?

Although the terms are used interchangeably, a heart attack and cardiac arrest are not the same thing. A heart attack affects the oxygen supply to your heart while a cardiac arrest affects the electrical impulse. During a heart attack, restriction of oxygen occurs with a blockage to the blood supply, but the remainder of the muscle continues to beat.

During a cardiac arrest, the electrical system is affected by conditions such as heart failure, arrhythmias or ventricular fibrillation, usually resulting in a loss of consciousness and heartbeat. In some instances, just before cardiac arrest, you may notice abnormal gasping or there may be seizure activity at the beginning of the event.

Symptoms of a heart attack are not always obvious. However, immediate treatment often results in higher survival rates and loss of less heart muscle from lack of oxygen. Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

Chest pain or discomfort Upper body discomfort Shortness of breath
Breaking out in a cold sweat Nausea Sudden dizziness
Feeling unusually tired Lightheadedness

Not all heart attacks begin with crushing chest pain as is depicted on television or in the movies. Women are less likely to report chest pain during a heart attack and more likely to perceive the symptoms as stress or anxiety. Women use terms such as “pressure,” “tightness” or “discomfort” rather than chest pain.

While 30% of women will seek medical care compared to 22% of men, physicians tend to misdiagnose or dismiss the symptoms of a heart attack in women rather than men. Other symptoms that may indicate a heart attack is in progress include:

Anxiety attack Back pain
Heartburn Hot flashes
Extreme fatigue Feeling electric shocks down on the left side
Numbness and stiffness in the left arm and neck Feeling like there is a large pill stuck in your throat

Know Your Risk Factors and Take Action

Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology found women who addressed six lifestyle factors had the greatest impact on their heart health. In the study, nurses were followed for 20 years, starting around age 37.

Those who adhered to all six guidelines lowered their risk of heart disease by 92%. Researchers on the team estimated more than 70% of heart attacks could be prevented by implementing:

Healthy diet Achieving a normal BMI (body fat percentage is more accurate)
Getting at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week Watching television seven or fewer hours per week
Not smoking Limiting alcohol intake to one drink or less per day

While none of these factors should come as a surprise, they collectively have an impressive impact on your cardiac risk. With respect to BMI, note that your waist-to-hip ratio is a more reliable predictor of risk than BMI, as it reflects the amount of visceral fat you carry. Another factor that can increase inflammation, activate your sympathetic nervous system and trigger a heart attack is stress.

Additionally, sitting for long periods of time raises your risk of a heart attack. This means intermittent movement and spending time at the gym or exercising at home are important factors to lowering your risk of CVD.

Some of the uncommon symptoms may lead you to believe you are not having a heart attack. Even if you’re not sure, it is vital that you call for immediate emergency assistance as time is a significant factor in improving your potential for survival.

An ambulance is the best and safest way to reach the hospital because emergency personnel can use treatments enroute before reaching the emergency room. Emergency medical personnel would rather treat you for a non-life-threatening condition then have you die because you are unwilling to go for treatment.

Talk with your health care provider about your risks and keep important information with you in case of an emergency. For instance, write down all your medications and supplements you’re taking and have the card laminated, keeping it in your wallet or purse.

Medicinal Mushrooms Cut Herpes Suffering Time in Half

© 26th November 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 www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/medicinal-mushrooms-cut-herpes-suffering-time-
half

The herpes virus afflicts millions of people worldwide, causing painful blister-like sores that are often embarrassing. There is no known cure, and medications have a long list of potential side effects and a “take it forever” prescription. Did you know that there is a clinically proven, natural way to provide relief that is growing right under your feet?

Mushrooms, both wild and cultivated, have been prized for their medicinal value for more than 2,000 years. A staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ganoderma lucidum or lingzhi mushroom, commonly called reishi, are among the rarest and most prized of therapeutic, edible fungi.

Deemed by ancient healers as the “mushroom of immortality,” reishis are large, dark mushrooms with a shiny, slick surface and “woody” texture, which is unsurprising, considering that they grow on old, hardwood trees. In order to meet culinary and medicinal demands for this valued mushroom, reishis are now actively cultivated in different varieties, using wood chips and logs as growing mediums.

One potential benefit of supplementing with this superfood is its proven ability to ease the painful symptoms from recurrent herpes simplex viral infections.

Herpes: A Global Epidemic

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.7 billion people (nearly 70% of adults worldwide under age 50) are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).[1] Often referred to as “oral herpes,” this type generally presents with lesions known as “cold sores” on or around the mouth. HSV-1 is mainly transmitted via oral-to-oral contact but can also cause genital herpes via oral-to-genital contact.

An estimated 417 million people from this same group (around 11% of adults under 50 worldwide) have HSV type 2 infections (HSV-2), or genital herpes.[2] Both types of herpes are considered lifelong infections with no known cure.

While most herpes infections are asymptomatic, for some sufferers, outbreaks are severe and can recur frequently. Symptoms include painful blisters at the site of infection, open ulcerations that burn and weep, and chronic itching. Non-physical symptoms can be acute, including shame and a desire for physical isolation due to social stigma surrounding infection.

Mushrooms Speed Relief of Herpes Symptoms

With no known cures and few effective treatments, scientists are focused on finding ways to help sufferers manage this often-debilitating condition more effectively. It was to this end that researchers at the Toyodo Hijikata Clinic and Kansai Medical University in Osaka, Japan, conducted a clinical experiment on medicinal mushrooms’ ability to improve recovery time for patients suffering from outbreaks due to HSV-2.

Published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinethe paper details the attempt to reduce the amount of time needed for patients afflicted by genital herpes outbreaks to return to an asymptomatic state using an herbal mixture comprised primarily of reishi-type mushrooms.

A total of 28 adults participated in this clinical study. These individuals had experienced recurrent herpes outbreaks for more than one year and had received standard outpatient care at other medical facilities without improvement.

The treatment mixture, a combination of two, powdered reishi-type mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum, Elfuinga applanata) and other traditional herbal remedies such as water chestnut and tropical almond, was administered to test subjects, while the control group received no treatment.

According to published results, the difference was dramatic: the mushroom and herb mixture provided “…fast, effective relief from symptoms of recurrent herpes (genitalis and labialis).” Herpes genitalis sufferers experienced a decrease in symptomatic time of more than 50% compared to the control group, with an average 4.9 days to recovery from pain and associated symptoms, while the group receiving no treatment required 10.9 days before relief was experienced.

Similarly, the time required to obtain relief from herpes labialis was nearly eight days without treatment but only four days when patients received the herbal supplement.

Effective Relief From Herpes Pain

A similar study provides reliable confirmation of the power of mushrooms to inhibit the pain associated with herpes outbreaks. Herpes zoster is another type of herpetic infection caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox.

Also called “shingles,” herpes zoster is characterized by ulcerative lesions on the skin forming a painful rash-type cluster of blisters that can be slow to heal. Current conventional treatment protocols include oral antiviral medications, as well as pain medications to provide relief from these outbreaks.

The 2005 study, a pilot clinical trial, was published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.[3] Researchers provided a hot water extract of herbs containing Ganoderma lucidum, aka reishi mushroom, to five patients suffering from shingles. According to published results, pain relief was experienced within a few days of intake, with near-complete pain relief by day 10 of administration of the herbal extract.

Relief was experienced by patients of all ages (from 17 to 74 years) and in all outbreak locations (head, legs and lower body). Patients responded quickly to treatment and after more than one year of follow-up examinations, no patient had developed post-herpetic neuralgia, a lingering pain that is the most common after-effect of shingles.

Are Mushrooms a Prescription for Long Life?

Reishi mushrooms have been widely studied in modern medical research, with many of their traditional therapeutic powers confirmed.

Known for their ability to boost the circulatory and immune systems, people supplement with reishi mushrooms for health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and to improve cardiovascular health, among other documented benefits. Some of the properties attributed to reishis include their ability to:

Mushrooms as Nutritional Medicine

Mushrooms are often considered a vegetable but are in fact a type of edible fungus. Rich in seleniumniacinpotassiumvitamins D and B3, as well as copper and iron, mushrooms are potent antioxidants that activate the immune system, eradicate dangerous free radicals and ensure proper functioning of nerves and muscles.

While eating reishi mushrooms is less common due to their tough, woody texture and bitter taste, this healing powerhouse is widely available as a tea and in both liquid and powdered extract formulas.

Red reishis have the longest history of medicinal use and have been shown to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions. Unlike other mushrooms, only the reishi (Lingzhi) has triterpenes (ganoderic acid), an important compound that gives them their bitter taste and is widely believed to be responsible for reishi’s amazing pharmacological effects.

Finally, mushrooms have a beneficial effect on the all-important microbiome, contributing a prebiotic effect by encouraging proliferation of healthy gut bacteria, resulting in better digestion, anti-aging effects and improved metabolic processes, including potential weight loss.[4] This effect is attributed to the cobweb-like mycelium that make up the mushrooms’ structure, and connects mushroom clusters underground via a network of intelligent signaling pathways.

Explore the many healing effects of medicinal mushrooms and take advantage of Mother Nature’s infinite healing intelligence. GreenMedInfo has an in-depth database of nutritional-medical research. Find out more by exploring the 138 abstracts reishi mushrooms and their miraculous healing potential.


References

[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

[2] IBID

[3] Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(4):517-23.

[4] https://www.nature.com/articles/nrgastro.2015.137

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.

Tylenol in Pregnancy Doubles Risk of Autism


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/12/tylenol-during-pregnancy-causing-autism.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked  –  November 12, 2019
tylenol during pregnancy causing autism

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy can influence fetal brain development, and research published in 2014 warned acetaminophen is in fact a hormone disruptor
  • According to that 2014 study, use of acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with a 37% increased risk of the child being diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder, a severe form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • A 2019 study found that, compared to children of mothers with the lowest acetaminophen burden, children of mothers with the greatest exposure had a 286% higher risk for ADHD and a 362% higher risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the time they were about 9 years old
  • Findings published in 2016 revealed use of acetaminophen at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy were associated with a 42% higher risk of conduct problems and a 31% higher risk of hyperactivity symptoms in the child
  • Another 2016 investigation found children of both sexes whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 41% more likely to present with ADHD symptoms at age 5. Boys were also more likely to have ASD

Many view over-the-counter (OTC) drugs as safe because they don’t require a prescription. Nothing could be further from the truth. Acetaminophen, for example, (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol among others) is actually one of the more dangerous drugs you can get your hands on.

Despite statistics showing acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.,1 most people don’t think twice before downing those pills. Acetaminophen is also found in a wide variety of products designed to treat headache, fever and cold symptoms, as well as in prescription pain medications mixed with codeine or hydrocodone.2 And, most households have more than one of the over-the-counter products, which could easily lead to overdosing.

Although it was initially hailed as a safe drug for pain, by 2013 lawsuits were piling up, citing 50,000 trips to the emergency room every year, all due to Tylenol causing liver and kidney failure.3 The grim truth is that as early as 2005 scientists already knew that “severe acetaminophen hepatotoxicity leads to acute liver failure.”4

Not only that, reports also showed that unintentional overdoses accounted for hundreds of suicide attempts, deaths and liver transplants. Along that line, statistics from national database analyses in 20065 showed that acetaminophen accounted for an estimated 56,000 emergency room visits and 26,000 hospitalizations annually. The average annual death toll from acetaminophen overdose was 458.

A number of studies have also linked acetaminophen use during pregnancy with lifelong repercussions for the child, raising their risk of developing conduct disorders, hyperactivity and autism.

Acetaminophen Use Linked to Hyperactivity in Offspring

In 2014, a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics6 revealed that “Research data suggest that acetaminophen is a hormone disruptor, and abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy may influence fetal brain development.” This is a significant concern, considering many pregnant women are likely to reach for an OTC pain reliever at some point during their pregnancy.

According to that 2014 study, use of acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with a 37% increased risk of their child being diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder, a severe form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Their children were also 29% more likely to be prescribed ADHD medication by the time they were 7 years old. The strongest associations were observed in mothers who used acetaminophen in more than a single trimester, and the greater the frequency of use, the more likely their child was to experience behavioral problems. As reported by Forbes at the time:7

“Acetaminophen can cross the placenta, making its way to the fetus and its delicate developing nervous system. The drug is a known endocrine (hormone) disrupter, and has previously been linked to undescended testes in male infants.

Since the maternal hormone environment plays a critical role in the development of the fetus, the authors say that it’s ‘possible that acetaminophen may interrupt brain development by interfering with maternal hormones or via neurotoxicity such as the induction of oxidative stress that can cause neuronal death.’”

Similar findings were published in 2016. This study,8 also published in JAMA Pediatrics, found use of acetaminophen at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy was associated with a 42% higher risk of conduct problems and a 31% higher risk of hyperactivity symptoms in the child.

When the mother used acetaminophen at 32 weeks of pregnancy, the child also had a 29% higher risk of having emotional problems and a 46% higher risk of “total difficulties.”

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Tylenol in Pregnancy May Double or Triple Risk of Autism

A study9,10,11 published online October 30, 2019, in JAMA Psychiatry further strengthens the link between acetaminophen use and ADHD, while also noting an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to the authors:12

“Prior studies have raised concern about maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy and increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their children; however, most studies have relied on maternal self-report …

In this cohort study of 996 mother-infant dyads from the Boston Birth Cohort, cord plasma biomarkers of fetal exposure to acetaminophen were associated with significantly increased risk of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder.”

Compared to children of mothers with the lowest acetaminophen burden (first tertile, based on cord plasma biomarkers for acetaminophen), children of those in the second tertile had a 226% higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD, and a 214% higher risk for an ASD diagnosis by the time they were about 10 years old (average age 9.8 years).

Those with the greatest (third tertile) acetaminophen burden had a 286% higher risk for ADHD and a 362% higher risk for ASD. As noted by the authors,13 their findings “support previous studies regarding the association between prenatal and perinatal acetaminophen exposure and childhood neurodevelopmental risk.”

More Evidence Against Taking Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

In addition to the studies already mentioned, a number of others have also documented this disturbing link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and neurological problems in the children. Among them:

A 2013 study14 published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found “children exposed to [acetaminophen] for more than 28 days during pregnancy had poorer gross motor development, communication, externalizing behavior, internalizing behavior and higher activity levels” than unexposed children at age 3. Use of ibuprofen was not associated with these neurodevelopmental effects.

A 2016 Spanish investigation15,16 published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found children of both sexes whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 41% more likely to present with ADHD symptoms at age 5. Boys were also more likely to have ASD. As noted by the authors:

“Prenatal acetaminophen exposure was associated with a greater number of autism spectrum symptoms in males and showed adverse effects on attention-related outcomes for both genders. These associations seem to be dependent on the frequency of exposure.”

Aside from a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems, studies have also shown:

Use of acetaminophen during pregnancy may increase your risk of pre-eclampsia and thromboembolic diseases17

Taking the drug for more than four weeks during pregnancy, especially during the first and second trimester, moderately increases the risk of undescended testicles in boys18

Using acetaminophen in the third trimester increases your risk of preterm birth19

Acetaminophen After Birth Also Linked to Autism

The use of acetaminophen after birth may also lead to problems. In fact, some argue the increased risk of autism we see following childhood vaccinations may in fact be due to the inappropriate use of acetaminophen after the shots are given — not the vaccines.20

In my view, it seems irrational to give toxic injections a free pass, but acetaminophen administration could certainly make matters worse. A small preliminary study21 published in 2008 concluded “acetaminophen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was associated with autistic disorder.”

Debunkers of the vaccine-autism connection point to statistics showing that, in the early 1980s, when the autism trend began its precipitously steep incline, vaccines were not only being added to the vaccination schedule, but pediatricians were also told to start using acetaminophen instead of aspirin, as aspirin had been linked to Reye’s syndrome.22

A 2017 study23 even claims “The use of acetaminophen in babies and young children may be much more strongly associated with autism than its use during pregnancy, perhaps because of well-known deficiencies in the metabolic breakdown of pharmaceuticals during early development.”

While parents give babies and infants Tylenol for numerous reasons, one instance in which Tylenol is routinely used is after childhood vaccinations, and according to research24 published in the journal Lancet in 2009, acetaminophen might actually render vaccinations less effective when administered together, which is yet another reason to avoid giving acetaminophen to your baby.

Infants who received acetaminophen right after getting a vaccination experienced lowered immune response, developing significantly fewer antibodies against the disease they were vaccinated against.

The vaccines used in the study were for pneumococcal disease, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio and rotavirus. The authors concluded that:

“Although febrile reactions significantly decreased, prophylactic administration of antipyretic drugs at the time of vaccination should not be routinely recommended since antibody responses to several vaccine antigens were reduced.”

Understand the Risks Associated With Acetaminophen

Pregnant women are not the only ones that need to be careful in their use of this common pain reliever and fever reducer. Acetaminophen overdose is responsible for nearly half of all acute liver failure cases in the U.S.,25 and its use has also been linked to three serious skin reactions; two of which typically require hospitalization and can be fatal.

These problems can happen to anyone. A major problem is that while acetaminophen is considered safe when taken as recommended, the margin between a safe dose and a potentially lethal one is very small.

Provided you have a healthy liver and do not consume more than three alcoholic beverages a day, the recommended oral dose of acetaminophen is up to 1,000 milligrams (mg) every four to six hours, not to exceed 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day.26 As noted by U.S. San Diego Health:27

“To appreciate how easy it is to exceed the safe limit, consider that one extra strength Tylenol tablet contains 500 mg of acetaminophen. Take two tablets at a single dose three times a day and you are at the maximum recommended dose.

If you then inadvertently consume an acetaminophen-containing allergy medication or cold medication in addition, you risk damaging your liver … The key is to be aware of how much acetaminophen you are consuming.”

What’s more, research28 has shown taking just a little more than the recommended dose over the course of several days or weeks (referred to as “staggered overdosing”) can be riskier than taking one large overdose. So, in summary, please be aware that your risk of severe liver injury and/or death increases if you:

  • Take more than one regular strength (325 mg) acetaminophen when combined with a narcotic analgesic like codeine or hydrocodone.
  • Take more than the prescribed dose of an acetaminophen-containing product in a 24-hour period.
  • Take more than one acetaminophen-containing product at the same time — Make sure to read the list of ingredients on any other over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drug you take in combination.
  • Drink alcohol while taking an acetaminophen product — Research29,30 suggests acetaminophen increases your risk of kidney damage by 123% if taken with alcohol, even if the amount of alcohol is small.

Why You Should Keep NAC in Your Medicine Cabinet

Given their health risks, I generally do not recommend using acetaminophen-containing drugs for minor aches and pains. There are many other ways to address acute and chronic pain that do not involve taking a medication. For a long list of pain-relieving alternatives, please see this previous article.

That said, pain relievers like acetaminophen do have their place. Post-surgical pain, for example, or other severe pain may warrant its temporary use. For those instances, I recommend taking it along with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione.

It is believed that the liver damage acetaminophen causes is largely due to the fact that it can deplete glutathione, an antioxidant compound secreted by your liver in response to toxic exposure. Glutathione also helps protect your cells from free radical damage.

NAC is the standard of care in cases of acetaminophen overdose, approved in 1985 by the FDA as an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity.31 Mortality due to acetaminophen toxicity has been shown to be virtually eliminated when NAC is promptly administered. So, whether you are taking Tylenol in prescription or over-the-counter form, I strongly suggest taking NAC along with it.

Keep in mind, however, that there’s no data showing whether taking NAC would ameliorate the autism or ADHD risk for pregnant women, so if you’re pregnant, I would recommend just avoiding acetaminophen. If you absolutely need an OTC pain reliever, ibuprofen appears to be a safer choice. The same caveat for lack of data goes for infants.

Tips for a More Toxin-Free Pregnancy

I believe it’s imperative to be aware of, and abstain from, as many potential neurotoxins as possible during pregnancy to protect the health of your child. Our environment is saturated with such a wide variety of toxins, and you may not be able to defend yourself against each and every one of them, but you do have a great degree of control within your own immediate household.

The food and drinks you ingest, and the household, personal care and medical products you opt to use during pregnancy can have a distinct impact on your child’s development and long-term health.

ADHD and autism have both skyrocketed in prevalence the past few decades, signaling that something is going terribly wrong. Our environment is becoming overly toxic, and children are paying the price for our chemical-laden lifestyles. OTC drugs like acetaminophen are part of this toxic burden that infants have to contend with.

Avoiding any and all unnecessary drugs is one aspect you have a large degree of control over. Below are several more. Rather than compile an endless list of what you should avoid, it’s far easier to focus on what you should do to lead a healthy lifestyle with as minimal a chemical exposure as possible. This includes:

As much as you’re able, buy and eat organic produce and grass fed, pastured animal foods to reduce your exposure to agricultural chemicals like glyphosate. Steer clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. This way you automatically avoid pesticides, artificial food additives, dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring, MSG and unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients.

Also avoid conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury. Wild caught Alaskan salmon is one of the very few fish I still recommend eating, as well as small fatty fish like anchovies, sardines, mackerel and herring. If you don’t eat these on a regular basis, consider taking a krill oil supplement to optimize your omega-3 level.

Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods to avoid exposure to plastic chemicals known to disrupt endocrine function.
Install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).
Only use natural cleaning products in your home.
Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great database32 to help you find safer personal care products. I also offer one of the highest quality organic skin care lines, shampoo and conditioner, and body butter that are completely natural and safe.
Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances. Relinquish the idea that fragrance equals “clean.” It doesn’t. Clean laundry need not smell like anything at all.
Replace your nonstick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware to avoid toxic PFOA chemicals.
When redoing your home and/or shopping for baby items, look for “green” toxin-free alternatives. Avoid plastic toys, especially teething toys, and make sure items like mattresses, car seats and nursing pillows do not contain toxic flame retardant chemicals.
Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or install a glass shower door. Most all flexible plastics, like shower curtains, contain dangerous plasticizers like phthalates.
Avoid spraying pesticides around your home or insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives.
 Sources and References

Vitamin D3

Written by Brenton Wight – LeanMachine, Health Researcher.

Health Facts on Vitamin D3 – the Natural Cure for all disease!

Why we need Vitamin D3
First, to help absorb calcium and other minerals to build strong bones with the help of Vitamin K2 that keeps calcium in bones instead of in blood where calcium plaques form.
Second, to build the immune system, in conjunction with gut bacteria – the other half of the immune system story.
Depending on which study we believe, optimal vitamin D3 can prevent between 50% and 90% of all cancers, as well as Multiple Sclerosis, and reduce the intensity or even cure almost every other disease.
If a drug company developed something that would do this, it would make headlines around the world and win a Nobel prize, and many billions of dollars would be saved in the health care budgets of countries everywhere.
If the entire population had optimal Vitamin D3 combined with a healthy diet, countless lives would be saved from cancer, many illnesses would disappear, most artificial replacements of hips and knees would not be required, thousands of people clogging up the nursing homes in their wheelchairs would be out playing tennis and leading active, productive lives.
Have I convinced you yet that just a few dollars for a year’s supply of super-strength 5000 IU Vitamin D3 would be a good investment in your future?
If not, then perhaps you should go and reserve that spot in the nursing home, and pick out the burial plot while you’re at it!

Benefits of Vitamin D3

Studies show that Vitamin D3 has cancer inhibiting properties, especially breast, prostate, pancreas, colon, skin cancer and leukaemia.
While millions are spent trying to find a cure for cancer, Vitamin D3 could be used to prevent cancer in the first place, at a cost equivalent to a drop in the ocean.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies can cause the following:
Colds and flu:
Vitamin D3 helps prevent or reduce severity of colds, flu, and almost every other infection. LeanMachine is living proof. After 10 years of taking Vitamin D3, no colds, no flu, no infections of any kind, not even a headache!
When we look at studies funded by drug companies who manufacture vaccinations, which are always biased in favour of the flu shot, the NNT (Number Needed to Treat) for the flu vaccine is 40, meaning that to protect one person from getting the flu, 40 people must receive the vaccination. Compare this with Vitamin D3, where the NNT is 33 in the average population, and in those people with D3 deficiency, the NNT drops to 4. In other words, for the average person, D3 is significantly better than the flu shot, and for those with low Vitamin D3, D3 supplements work 10 time better than the flu shot!
Most infections are naturally destroyed by our own immune system, mainly the T-cells, but T-cells need Vitamin D3 to operate correctly.
Studies funded privately, without the influence of the drug companies, have foud the flu shot to be even less effective, with those over the age of 65, or under the age of 2, or those on statin medications, all receiving NO statistically discernible benefit from the flu shot, and everyone else receiving a very marginal benefit such as a reduction in duration of illness of about 1 day.
On the downside, those taking the flu shot every year received less benefit (less protection), and actually INCREASED risk of coming down with a different strain of the flu!
More on vaccinations under the heading below.
OA (Osteoarthritis)
Osteoarthritis (OA)is the most common disease in people over age 50, more common than the common cold, and especially in women.
OA is directly linked to Vitamin D3 deficiency, and higher Vitamin D3 levels lower the risk.
Studies show that hip fractures in high risk population groups can be reduced by up to 40% by supplementing with Vitamin D3.
Partly because bones are stronger, and partly because people with good Vitamin D3 levels have much better balance and stronger muscles, so don’t fall over as much.

RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and MS (Multiple Sclerosis) appear to have the same link.

Obesity
Most Australians (two thirds) and others in Western society are overweight or obese.
Two thirds of people in Western society are also deficient in Vitamin D3, and this is no coincidence. There is a direct link between Vitamin D3 deficiency and obesity.
On average, the more Vitamin D3 deficient a person is, the more obese they are.
Healthy levels of Vitamin D3 are seen mainly in lean, healthy people.

Chronic pain
Chronic pain from any source can be reduced with Vitamin D3, even a simple headache, migraine, back pain, fibromyalgia, etc.
Many people with osteoporosis have chronic pain, typically lower back pain, often a sign of D3 deficiency.
Those people usually exercise less because of the pain, and insufficient exercise causes depression, worsens their osteoporosis, increases obesity, and their condition only gets worse.

Before 2010, LeanMachine suffered from headaches back pain and other pain, but no more. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, of course it hurts, and if I strain my back or another muscle, I feel stiffness that goes away in a day or two. But no other pain, no painkillers required, and in fact no painkillers of any kind kept in the house.

Cancer
Cancer is a devastating condition, but high levels of Vitamin D3 offer up to 80% or more protection, especially childhood cancers, breast, prostate, pancreas, skin and colon cancer.
A recent study confirmed that women with high levels of Vitamin D3 had about 85% reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is critical to the body’s production of GcMAF, a cancer-fighting protein that inhibits cancer metastasis, and is capable of reversing the devastating effects of cancer on the body. Vitamin D3 supports GcMAF synthesis, helping to shut down pro-cancer receptors and enzymes that encourage metastasis.
DBP-maf(Vitamin D3 binding protein-macrophage activating factor) is another protein reducing cancerous activity, which directly stimulates the immune response by suppressing angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) required for cancer cell migration and tumor growth. DBP-maf requires Vitamin D3 for transport in the bloodstream.

Depression
There are links between low levels of Vitamin D3 and depression.
For depression sufferers, LeanMachine recommends extra Vitamin D3 from sunlight because getting outside in the sun always lifts our mood. If we cannot get out in the sun, supplementation is a must.

Hearing Loss
Vitamin D3 deficiency weakens our bones, but when the three tiny bones (hammer, anvil and stirrup) in the ear become weak and spongy, attenuation of sound transmission results in hearing loss.

Allergies
Recent studies show that children with allergies have a high chance of being deficient in Vitamin D3, and those with the worst allergies, are over 80% likely to be deficient in vitamin D3.

Heart disease
The number one killer of Western society people is still cardiac disease.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies bring on high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
Number two is cancer, so we can alleviate both killers easily by eating a healthy diet and getting enough Vitamin D3 from sunlight and/or supplements.

Type 1 diabetes

Pregnant women who are deficient in Vitamin D3 are far more likely to produce offspring with Type 1 diabetes.
Any child deprived of sunlight in the first few years of life also has a far higher risk of type 1 Diabetes.

How do we get Vitamin D3 ?

We get Vitamin D3 from the sun, but we need the basic building-blocks in the body first.
The normal process of Vitamin D3 metabolism can be stopped by the deficiency of one single nutrient, so a healthy, nutrient-rich diet is essential.
In particular, we need cholesterol, which has been demonised for decades. More on this later.

Vitamin K2 – No Bones without it

Some people say we need Calcium for strong bones, but we get plenty of calcium from the diet, and we can absorb calcium with no problems as long as we have enough Vitamin D3.
No vitamin D3 means no calcium absorption, so adding more calcium to the diet without vitamin D3 means potential for calcium to form as plaque in our arteries, kidneys or other places where it will only damage the body.
Vitamin K2, which comes from animal products such as chicken, cheese, butter, eggs, etc, can help build bones by directing calcium to bones and teeth where it belongs, and helps keep our arteries, kidneys and other organs free from calcium.
The only vegetable source of Vitamin K2 is Natto (fermented soy), which explains why Japanese post-menopausal women have much stronger bones than Western women, as Natto is part of the traditional Japanese diet.
Vitamin K2 is not to be confused with Vitamin K (or K1), which is required for effective blood clotting, but not as effective as Vitamin K2 for bones, but still desirable in the diet.
K1 comes from intestinal bacteria as well as from green leafy vegetables like kale, spring onions, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, basil, asparagus, also prunes.
For vegetarians or vegans, supplementation of Vitamin K2 is essential as well as D3 for healthy bones. Vitamin D3 metabolism is complex, where each essential and critical nutrient provides the path to the next step, and one missing link in the chain will stop the entire process.
So it is no surprise that a third of our population is deficient in Vitamin D3, and around 90% are less than optimal. Unfortunately, these are the people who are at the highest risk of cancer.

Importance of Diet

Vitamin D3 cannot form without basic nutrients for the multi-stage process and this explains why so many people are deficient.

D3 – A Vitamin or a Hormone?

The answer is both.
It is a hormone (a chemical messenger) because it controls cells, organs, muscle and bone in everyday function, and because the body can manufacture it with sunlight exposure on skin.
It is a vitamin because it binds calcium so we can absorb it, as we humans cannot digest calcium without Vitamin D3, which maintains calcium and phosphate concentrations in the blood, providing minerals for bones, nerves, muscles, immune function, and lowers inflammation.
Many cell functions are controlled in part by vitamin D3, aiding in weight loss, blood glucose regulation, metabolism, and essential fatty acids (Omega-3) processing.
There is no point taking calcium or omega-3 foods or supplements without a good supply of Vitamin D3.
Almost every cell in the body has Vitamin D3 receptors, so Vitamin D3 is a crucial nutrient.
Vitamin D, D2 or D3?
The terms Vitamin D and vitamin D3 are used interchangeably here. D3 is the correct and natural Vitamin D.
D3 exists in the body as the storage form 25(OH) and the active form 1,25 2(OH). Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is an artificial version of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), or vitamin D coming from some foods.
D2 has very low affinity for DBP (vitamin D binding protein) so it cannot be easily stored and should never be used.
Firstly, D2 has nowhere near the healthy properties of D3 (cholecalciferol), and secondly, D2 tends to block absorption of the real D3.
Many foods come “fortified with vitamin D” but this is invariably an artificial D2 with poor benefits.
Some early medical studies on vitamin D used inferior synthetic D2 which is toxic at much lower doses, and unfairly discredited the real D3 which was not even being used in the studies.

How is Vitamin D3 made?

We get vitamin D3 from sunlight, food or supplements.
D3 from sunlight
Most people know we get Vitamin D3 from sunlight, but there is a multi-stage process involved.
Production starts in the liver, which makes 7-dehydrocholesterol, which then migrates to the skin to be altered by UVB (ultra-violet light in the B range) to become pre-vitamin D3.
This is carried back to the liver to be mediated by an enzyme (25-hydroxylase) to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D, where a hydroxy (OH) molecule is added to build the storage form 25(OH).
This is then transported to the kidneys to be mediated by yet another enzyme (1-alpha-hydroxylase) to finally become calcitriol, where a second hydroxy (OH) is added. This is the active form of vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol or 1,25 dihydroxyvitaminD3 or the active form 1,25 2(OH). Dihydroxy means that the D3 molecule has two OH molecules added, one from the liver and a second from the kidneys.
Vitamin D3 is carried in the blood by DBP (vitamin D-binding protein).
This entire process takes around 15 days, so if we shower every day, we “wash off” most of the pre-vitamin D, so morning showers are best, allowing the pre-vitamin D to start the migration back to the liver before the next shower.
And a day at the beach won’t help our vitamin D3 if we go for a swim, and worse if we get sunburnt!

Statins rob our Vitamin D3

As we age, we lose the ability to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight, and those on statin medication (half the aged population) cannot make 7-dehydrocholesterol, co-enzyme Q10, Cholesterol Sulfate and other important requirements for the body, because when statins slow the liver production of cholesterol, all of the above are affected.
No one should ever take a statin drug (Lipitor, Crestor, Simvastatin and others) other than exceptional circumstances, as they generally do much more harm than good.
Independent studies show that while some deaths from heart disease are reduced, deaths from ALL OTHER CAUSES is INCREASED by statin medication! Taking statins, we will generally not live one day longer, and will have a poorer quality of life.
Also as we age, we generate less stomach acid, losing the ability to take in B12, Methyl Folate (never Folic Acid!), Vitamin K2 and other nutrients that vitamin D requires to do it’s job. If we get reflux or heartburn, doctors normally prescribe Nexium or antacids, which may relieve symptoms short-term, but only make the problem worse. The best way to cure heartburn is to eat less, and eat an alkaline-forming diet, but that is another story in my Alkaline Diet article.
Those who dress fully covered for cultural reasons or those with dark skin always need more vitamin D.
Annual blood tests for vitamin D3 are advisable if taken at very high doses as excess levels can become toxic.
For adults, toxic levels for vitamin D3 are generally not seen unless we take in some 40,000 IU daily for many weeks.
Vitamin A can also be toxic in high levels, but if A and D are taken together, the toxic levels are some 5 times higher for both A and D, giving a huge margin of safety, so old “toxic levels” should really be called “imbalance levels”.
Another factor is Vitamin K2, discussed later.

Other things that Steal our Vitamin D3

Being overweight – the more overweight we are, the less bioavailable Vitamin D3 becomes. But if we take Vitamin D3 supplements and/or get more sunshine, this will assist our weight-loss efforts!
Being old – as we age, our ability to absorb D3 from sunlight and from food reduces, so supplementation becomes more essential.
BPA (Bisphenol A) – BPA (Bisphenol-A) and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals reduce our Vitamin D3 levels. Avoid foods in plastic or cans and use glass containers.
Liver problems – a poor liver produces less bile, which reduces absorption of Vitamin D3. Look after the liver – avoid excess alcohol and eat a healthy diet of quality fats, few carbohydrates, and low to moderate protein.
Kidney problems – as kidney disease gets worse, so do Vitamin D3 levels. Look after kidneys by drinking plenty of clean water and eating a healthy diet
Gut bacteria – these 100 trillion organisms are a major component of our immune system, and also aid in absorption and processing of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin D3. People with celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or Crohn’s disease, or those taking antibiotics, will all have reduced D3, so essential supplements are Vitamin D3 and probiotics.
Slip, Slop, Slap in the face campaign – this disastrous campaign has been running for over 30 years in Australia, costing the taxpayer many millions of dollars, and has caused many more millions in extra health care, more disease, and many more lives lost.
True, reduced sunlight has reduced the number of mostly harmless skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which are easily treated, and rarely turn into something more serious (less than 1% of cases).
But the number of MELANOMA cancers – the real, deadly kind, has DOUBLED, but this fact has been hidden by the Australian Cancer Council who are behind the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign! The primary reason, of course, is lack of Vitamin D3 due to reduced sunlight, reducing immunity.
Melanomas also appear on the soles of feet, in armpits and other places where sunlight is very limited, but so-called “specialists” still blame the sun!
The science cannot be denied. The closer one lives to the Equator, the less chance of any type of cancer, a proven fact.

Too much sunlight?

If we get D3 from sunlight, then surely if we spend all day in the sun, like construction workers and other outdoor activities, we should get plenty?
Wrong. After we spend around 10 to 20 minutes in the sun in the middle of the day (90 minutes for dark-skinned people), we reach a point where the body will no longer synthesise any more vitamin D3.
This is the way the body is designed to prevent toxic levels from building up, and also the reason why we get a tan – to prevent too much vitamin D3 from the sun.
If our skin starts to get the slightest shade of pink, it is time to cover up or seek some shade, as more sun will only then cause damage, with no extra vitamin D3 past that point.
And if we get a healthy dose of sunlight one day, we can happily work inside the next day, as it may take 2 days to build new skin resources for more absorption.

The Morning Myth

The cancer society and other “health” organisations all say the we should avoid the sun in the middle of the day, and only go out in the morning or the evening when the sun is low in the sky. Wrong again!
This is actually the complete reverse of the truth!
The sun produces ultra-violet rays in three bandwidths, named UV-A, UV-B and UV-C, each with different properties.
UV-A
We get UV-A from all sunlight, no matter what time of day, and it passes through cloud and glass, and this kind travels deeper into the skin, causes skin damage and ZERO vitamin D production.
We can sit by a window or in a car with windows up, on a hot sunny day and never get any vitamin D.
We can be outside all day when there is cloud cover, but we will never get any vitamin D.
All we get from UV-A is skin damage.
UV-B
We get UV-B ONLY from a clear blue sky, and ONLY when the sun is HIGH in the sky. This is the “good” sunlight, as this is the ONLY kind that gives us vitamin D.
When the sun is lower in the sky, most UV-B is absorbed in the atmosphere leaving little or none for our benefit.
We need 10 minutes a day (fair-skinned) to 20 minutes a day (tanned) with the sun high in the sky, no clouds, and no glass. This can give us all of the vitamin D we need, but for many, this is impossible.
For those living a long way from the equator, or out of the tropic areas in winter, those working shifts or indoors, those who cover their entire bodies for religious reasons, or slap on sunscreen, those who have very dark skin, those on statin medication, those on a poor diet, those confined to hospitals or nursing homes and others who mistakenly believe the sun is evil, will never get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning that if we get plenty one day and miss the sun for a few days, we will still be able to call on our vitamin D reserves stored in fat cells.
Of course, UV-B will still damage our skin if we stay out in the sun too long.
UV-C
UV-C rarely gets to Earth as it is almost completely absorbed in the atmosphere, so is of little concern unless you are an astronaut.

Why we NEED sunlight, more than just for Vitamin D3

The human body is designed to thrive in sunlight, and it is not only the Vitamin D3 benefit.
A 20-year study of over 29,000 people found that those avoiding sun exposure had double the death rate from all causes!
This study did not measure D3 levels, but results from other D3 studies show that the high death rate from insufficient sun exposure can not be accounted for only by low Vitamin D3.

We also get Cholesterol Sulfate from sunlight on the skin.
Cholesterol sulfate protects red blood cells from breaking up. Without enough cholesterol sulfate, we get a condition called hemolysis, where the red blood cells die prematurely, spilling their contents into the blood.
Without sulfur, and without the sun, we cannot make cholesterol sulfate, a molecule which is both fat-soluble and water soluble, which is essential for the body to distribute cholesterol and sulfur throughout the body.
All artery walls have an endothelial lining, and these endothelial cells cannot work correctly when depleted in sulfate. They cannot control what gets into and out of cells, which promotes cardiovascular plaque.
Cholesterol Sulfate, in conjunction with it’s nitric sister, eNOS, determines how thick or thin or blood becomes. Sulfate makes it thicker, nitric makes it thinner, and this automatic regulatory system works very well as long as we have supplies of both, for which we need sunlight.
Interestingly, one thing that messes up these molecules is glyphosate (“Roundup” and other weedkiller trade names) so this is a good reason to avoid all GM (Genetically Modified) foods, which are all heavily sprayed with glyphosate.
Sulfur is incredibly important for health. Cholesterol sulfate protects against bacterial and virus infections and strengthens the immune system.
Cholesterol sulfate is essential for babies. Women normally have about 1.5 units of cholesterol sulfate in the blood, but in pregnancy, levels rise in the villi of the placenta to around 24 units!
Foods high in sulfur include eggs, beef, garlic, onions, sprouts, asparagus, kale, coconut oil, olive oil, but only where they are grown or raised in sulfur-rich soil (think organic).

Vitamin D sulfate is also made from sunlight, and is both water and fat soluble, so it can go anywhere in the body, distinct from the regular fat-soluble Vitamin D3 I have been talking about. Same with cholesterol sulfate. Not only is it both water and fat soluble, it can travel through the body on it’s own, where many other substances need to be “carried” by cholesterol wherever they need to go.
If we want healthy blood, we MUST have sunlight!
Humans make several other important peptide and hormone “photoproducts” when skin is exposed to UVB sunlight:

  • β-Endorphins are natural opiates that induce relaxation and increase pain tolerance
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptides are vasodilators (expand blood vessels) that protect us from hypertension (blood pressure), vascular inflammation, and oxidative stress
  • Substance P is a neuropeptide that increases blood flow and also regulates immune system response to acute stressors
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone is a polypeptide hormone, controlling cortisol (stress hormone) release by the adrenal glands, regulating immune system and inflammation
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone is a polypeptide hormone, reducing appetite, increasing libido, and increasing skin pigmentation

Sunlight contains a beneficial EMF (electromagnetic frequency) that is essential for health.
40% of sunlight is infrared, and the red and near-infrared frequencies interact with CCO (Cytochrome C Oxidase). CCO is a protein in the inner mitochondrial membrane, also part of the electron transport chain. CCO is a chromophore (a molecule that attracts and absorbs light), so sunlight improves ATP (the generation of energy). The optimal wavelengths for CCO are red at 630 nm to 660 nm (nanometers) and near-infrared at 810 nm to 850 nm.
LeanMachine gets sun exposure as often as possible. Others afraid of the sun may consider photobiomodulation therapy (use of near-infrared light treatment).
UVA exposure is generally considered harmful, as this is the most damaging kind of exposure for skin with no ability to generate Vitamin D, however there are benefits such as releasing NO (Nitric Oxide), discussed above. An important cellular signaling molecule that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.
This is closely tied to another molecule, eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) which regulates the “thickness” of blood. When blood becomes too thick, eNOS makes more nitric oxide which expands blood vessels and thins the blood. When blood is too thin, eNOS makes more sulfate. Sulfate is essential for the endothelial lining of all blood vessel walls. If we are low in sulfate, the wall can start breaking down and clots start to form to repair the damage. We can get more sulfur in the diet from onions, garlic, broccoli, egg yolks and other foods, or by supplements such as MSM (MethylSulfonoyl Methane) but we still need sunlight to make cholesterol sulfate which can be distributed through the body to keep us alive!

Apart from photoproducts, nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate production, sunlight is essential for our circadian rhythm (body clock). Sunshine activates neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, sending signals to the pineal gland which regulates production of the hormone melatonin. When the circadian rhythm is upset, melatonin and other hormone production is disrupted, leading to mood problems, poor cognition (thinking), metabolic syndrome (leads to diabetes) and increased risk of cancer.

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are famous for increasing risk of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Tanning beds have been outlawed in all States of Australia, except in the Northern Territory, where they are still legal, but there are no commercial solariums there because the tropical climate makes sunlight tanning easy. However, this is seen by some as a knee-jerk reaction by politicians to win votes.
Most tanning beds produce UV-A and UV-B radiation, but some better units are available which produce only UV-B, which are much safer if used correctly.
Staying too long in even a quality tanning bed will cause skin damage, a precursor to many forms of skin cancer. Tanning beds that emit high levels of UV-A should be avoided completely.

Vitamin D3 from food

We get some vitamin D from the diet. Eggs, fish, cod liver oil are all good sources, and also come naturally with Vitamin A, but it is almost impossible to get enough D3 from the diet, so we must top up our D3 from sunlight or supplements or both. Milk contains some vitamin D, but calcium and vitamin D in milk are very poorly absorbed. Asian women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, so doctors claim this is caused by low milk consumption, but Asian women are much less likely to have a hip fracture (the worst kind), indicating that traditional DEXA scans (bone density tests) do not mean much, as dense bones are often not as strong as less dense but more flexible bones.
Africans generally have stronger bones than caucasians, even though they get less vitamin D3 from sunlight. They appear to be much more sensitive to the sunlight they do receive.

VitaminD3 from supplements

Most Vitamin D3 sold in Australia from chemist shops or supermarkets contain 1000 IU which may be enough to prevent rickets in young people, but is nowhere near optimum for immunity and bone strength, especially in older people, and not enough for anyone except small children to have an optimal immune system.
LeanMachine recommends Vitamin D3 5000 IU daily for almost a year’s supply, and this is the cheapest health insurance anyone can buy!
Vitamin K2 is also recommended, as this combination helps put calcium where it belongs, in bones and teeth, and reduces calcium buildup in blood vessels (arterial plaque).
Vitamin A is also recommended for health benefits as well as to eliminate any chance of toxicity.

No Cholesterol means no Vitamin D3

As explained above, cholesterol is the building-block for vitamin D3, also for every hormone in the body and many other functions.
About half the adult population over 60 in Australia and the USA is taking statin medication.
Sold under many names including Simvastatin, Lipitor, Advicor, Lovastatin, Mevacor, Vytorin, Zocor, Lipex, Simcor, Crestor, Pitavastatin, Pravastatin, Rosuvastatin, Fluvastatin, and Cerivastatin (withdrawn 2001).

The Lies about Cholesterol

Statins do lower cholesterol, but we NEED cholesterol, it is NOT the enemy it is made out to be. Yes, cholesterol is found in a badly inflamed body, but this is because the liver makes more cholesterol to repair damage caused by the inflammation, which is the REAL cause of poor health.
Statins reduce cholesterol by preventing the liver from producing as much cholesterol, but the job of the liver is to make cholesterol as required.
If we eat cholesterol foods (such as meat or eggs) the liver makes less, if we eat no cholesterol (such as a vegan diet), the liver makes more, which is the way it should be.
When statins are used, they attempt to shut down this natural process, and in so doing, also shuts down co-enzyme Q10 which is vital for healthy muscles.
And the heart is the most important muscle in the body – why clobber it with statins?
Statins also stop production of 7-dehydrocholesterol, so then we get almost zero vitamin D3 from sunlight.
Statins have shown no benefit to women whatsoever in many studies.
For men who have had a heart attack, statins have shown a slight reduction in deaths from future heart attacks, but in all patients, statins cause an INCREASE in deaths from all other causes!
Because statins knock out our Co-enzyme Q10 (often called the spark-plug for the heart), the patient can suffer extensive muscle damage, causing pain, reduced mobility and even death.
Drug companies say they have no idea what causes this increase in death from statins, but the answer is obvious to me – low vitamin D3!
Studies show that treatment with one fish oil capsule daily prevented 9% of deaths in cardiac patients over 4 years, while those given the Crestor statin drug had an INCREASED death rate of 1% over the same period.
The Framingham study, the biggest and longest study ever, showed that those with the lowest cholesterol died first, and those with the highest cholesteol lived longest!
But the drug companies continue to perpetuate these cholesterol lies to maximise profits from their biggest-selling drug.

How much D3 do we need?

The older we get, the more vitamin Vitamin D3 we need.
The only way to know how much we have is by a blood test, because ethnic background, skin colour, amount of tan, food, medication, supplements, geographic location, sun exposure, clothing, sunscreen, exercise, BMI and many other factors determine how much Vitamin D3 we absorb and retain.
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin, so daily levels do not vary much, as every fat cell in the body can store D3.
Always ask the doctor for a printed copy of your results so you can compare with any previous test and also get a true reading.
Unfortunately, most Australian labs say we need 60 to 160 nmol/L of D3, which is inadequate. Better labs say 75 nmol/L is the minimum, but we need more.
Values above 60 will prevent us from getting rickets, but will not give us good immunity.
For optimal immune system function, we should aim for the high end of the range of 125 to 175 nmol/L.
If we are battling cancer or some other serious disease, we should aim for 175 to 250 nmol/L but this requires careful monitoring and extra Vitamin K2 and Vitamin A to prevent toxicity.
Supplement values vary, and the RDA (recommended Daily Allowance) of 60 IU was alarmingly too low, and changed to 400 IU, originally determined as the minimum amount to prevent rickets.
Even the 400 IU allowance typically gives a blood test of 40 to 60 nmol/L which may barely stop rickets but will not provide a strong immune system.
Conservative studies determine that infants less than one year old need 400 IU daily, 1 year to adolescents need 400-600 IU daily, adults need 400-600 IU daily, and adults aged over 70 years need 400-800 IU daily.
More modern studies recommend babies take 400 IU, children 1000 IU, adults 4000 IU, and those over 70 may need 8000 IU daily.
Small doses are fine for strong bones, but for a strong immune system to ward off all disease, high doses are a must.
LeanMachine has taken 5000 IU daily for over 10 years, and has zero colds, flu or any other illness, not even a headache!

But don’t I get my Vitamin D3 from Milk?

Sorry, but you do not!
I was told to drink milk as a youngster, some 6 decades ago, and milk does indeed contain vitamin D and calcium, but these and other nutrients in milk are poorly absorbed in the gut.
Worse, pasteurised milk has most of the nutrients heated out of it, and homogenisation is very BAD for our health.
Homogenisation is a process making each fat globule 10 times smaller than normal, to save us the trouble of shaking the milk container to disperse the cream. The problem then is that these tiny fat globules then enter the bloodstream through imperfections in the gut lining, often referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”. When raw milk fat enters the blood directly like this, the immune system detects this as a foreign substance, and begins attacking these fat globules, and marks them as invaders. Now when we consume milk the regular way, and absorb it naturally through a healthy intestine, the immune system starts attacking this as well, as it has already been recognised as a foreign invader. The result: Allergies to Lactose, one of the main ingredients in milk, has reached epidemic proportions in the last few decades where homogenisation has become standard practice. Vitamin D3 can help stabilise an over-reactive immune system, but the only safe way to drink milk is to only use NON-HOMOGENISED milk. Most supermarkets have it, but you have to look past the big-name brands to find it.
In many countries it is against the law to buy non-pasteurised milk, but we can at least buy non-homogenised milk if we feel we must have milk (and we do not need milk).
Some Asian countries have diets where milk is non-existent, and their bones are stronger, and broken bones are rare.
We get more useful Vitamin D3 from broccoli and other fresh vegetables than from milk!
Milk is also BAD for our bones, as it is acid-forming in the body, and all acids in the blood cause an immediate reaction in the body to neutralise the blood acid (otherwise we die!).
This reaction, controlled by the parathyroid glands, leaches potassium, calcium and magnesium from bones, teeth and organs, the fastest way the body can neutralise the acid.
If we must drink milk (and we do not have to for a healthy diet) then the ONLY milk to buy is FULL CREAM, UNHOMOGENISED milk, which you can find at good supermarkets if you look hard enough.
The only better product is the milk straight from the cow, or better still straight from mother’s breast (most mothers will not be impressed if you ask for milk this way!)

Getting enough of the right Vitamin D3

Sunlight is still the best way to get enough Vitamin D3 and Cholesterol Sulfate, but for many, this can be difficult or impossible.
Supplements are the next best choice, but the supplements we buy at Chemist shops or supermarkets in Australia have only around 1000 IU of Vitamin D3.
They are also often combined with Calcium, which LeanMachine does NOT recommend, but that is another story.
While this is better than nothing, most people require 5 to 10 times this much to bring their levels to “optimum”.
For most health specialists, “optimum” means over 60 or 75 nmol/l (30 ng/ml), and if your results come in at over this threshold, the doctor will say you are fine.
However, true experts in this field say that truly optimum for a normal healthy person for immunity to disease, is between 125 and 175 nmol/L (50 – 70 ng/ml).
For those recovering from a serious disease, optimum should be 175 to 250 nmol/L (70 – 100 ng/ml).
Vitamin D3 can be toxic at high doses for extended periods, so continuous levels over 250 nmol/L (100 ng/ml) should be avoided.
Blood tests are advised for all very high-dosage patients.
People most at risk of deficiency are the elderly, those with with dark skin, those who cover their body with clothing or sun screen, or work night shifts or underground and never see the light of day, and those who live furthest from the equator or in cloudy climates.
Those at risk may need 10,000IU daily supplements, the rest of us can usually get plenty with 5000IU, and the very young who get plenty of sunlight on a regular basis may not require any.
Remember that we only get Vitamin D3 from sun in a blue sky when the sun is high, from the UVB (Ultra-Violet light in the “B” range”).
When the sun is low in the sky, or when there is cloud, or when the light comes through a glass window, UVB is blocked and we only receive UV-A which is the damaging, cancer-causing radiation with Zero Vitamin D3 benefits.
Other tests: Depending on the condition, the doctor may order other tests to check for liver and kidney disease as well as a full blood count.
A full blood test for Vitamin D3 is:
25-hydroxyvitamin-D (25-D or D2/D3) or 25(OH)D or simply 25-D
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3, or 1,25(OH)2 D3, or 1,25 2(OH), or simply 1,25-D
Most doctors will only test for 25(OH)D which is the storage form, which is fine for most people.
For those suspected of having Sarcoidosis (a rare condition) then both must be tested, and vitamin D supplementation and sunlight should be avoided altogether unless the active form 1,25(OH)2 is tested low.

Vaccinations

There are many reports of children suffering from Autism and other serious conditions after vaccinations.
Vitamin D3 supplements should be taken for at least 1 week before any vaccination to reduce risk of unfortunate reactions.
Panadol, Panadeine, Paracetamol, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Atasol, etc must NEVER be taken before or after any vaccination, even though doctors incorrectly recommend it to reduce pain and fever.
Autism rates in the USA are 1 in 45, while Autism rates in Cuba are 1 in 12,000.
A few decades ago, Austism rates were only around 1 in 200, before Panadol (Tylenol, Acetaminophen in the USA)
Cuba has a high vaccination rate of 97%, but the difference:
These over-the counter pain medications are prescription-only items in Cuba.
Of course, no drug company is interested in conducting a study where the result may be that their “safe and effective” product causes Autism, but as far as LeanMachine is concerned, Vitamin D3 reduces the risk of sickness from almost any disease.
Besides Autism, Panadol can destroy liver function (most patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Panadol), and Panadol is also acted upon by enzymes which then destroy the body’s reserves of L-Glutathione, the natural “Master Antioxidant” in the body.
If you want your child vaccinated anyway, DO give them vitamin D3 and DO NOT give them any pain or fever medication.
A little fever is the body’s way to fight the toxins in the vaccination and the best way to deal with it is to let it run it’s course.
However, a very high fever can lead to convulsions, especially in small children. The best way to bring down a very high fever is to place the child in a cool to lukewarm bath and keep water over the skin using a sponge or cloth.
No drugs required, and much safer and more effective than any drug.
Better still, vaccinations can be avoided altogether for those with a strong immune system.
For more information on vaccinations, see this article: Vaccinations.

Autoimmune conditions

Allergies, hives, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, etc, are all autoimmune conditions.
Little help is available from medications which merely help to ease symptoms.
Vitamin D3 builds the immune system and protects us from colds, flu and other diseases, but Vitamin D3 is also an Immune Moderator, helping to dampen the effect of the immune system over-reacting, the cause of auto-immune disease.
Vitamin D3 can also help treat the cause of the symptoms, often Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), found in over 70% of autoimmune patients.
H. pylori can invade the gut via contaminated water or food, or from contact with infected people or animals, causing gut inflammation, disrupting the immune system.
Vitamin D3 effectively destroys H. pylori and restores the immune system, often reducing allergy symptoms by 30% in seven days, and another 40% in 12 weeks.
H. pylori infects around 30% of adults in the western world, more if we are over 60 with low Vitamin D3 levels.
A blood test can give your D3 levels, but the lab will say 60 to 75 nmol/L is OK, but we need 125 nmol/L minimum to destroy H. pylori.
Mushrooms, eggs, wild-caught salmon, etc have natural Vitamin D3 but the modern Western diet is lacking in these. Mushrooms grown in the dark will have no vitamin D3, but 30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight can generate significant D3 levels.

Vitamin D3
The latest science Says: “It’s not just about bones, it’s about your total well-being!
Professor Michael Holick:
We now think that maintaining adequate Vitamin D3 levels are important for decreasing the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
There is some evidence that in young children if they are fortified with vitamin D3 from 12 months old it can reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes by 80%“.
Professor Philip Sambrook:
We have always thought it could not happen in Australia – it is too sunny a country. However, people do not get sunlight for various reasons and if you do not get some sunlight you do not make vitamin D3. We do not get it much in food any more so for that reason, deficiency is quite common. And the vitamin protects healthy cells while also killing cancer cells.”

LeanMachine online supplements

Note: This online supplement shop is now closed, but each product page contains a link to the best supplier of that product.

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:

  • Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
  • RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the
  • World
  • University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging
  • Populations
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
  • TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
  • TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
  • Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
  • Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
  • WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
  • WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
  • Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain

LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 11th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Echinacea Benefits

Written by Brenton Wight – LeanMachine, 11th November 2019
© 2019 – This article is copyrighted by Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine

What is Echinacea?

Echinacea is a flowering plant in the daisy family, also known as purple coneflower.
There are nine species, however only three are normally used as supplements:

  • Echinacea purpurea
  • Echinacea angustifolia
  • Echinacea pallida

Most commonly used as an over-the-counter remedy to build immunity for colds, allergies and flu, but also  used for inflammation, pain, migraines and blood glucose.

Native to North America but cultivated almost anywhere.
Upper parts and roots are typically used in tablets, tinctures, extracts and teas.
Beneficial Compounds in Echinacea include:

  • Caffeic acid
  • Alkamides
  • Phenolic acid
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Polyacetylenes

Suggested health benefits include:

  • Antioxidants, including flavonoids, cichoric acid and rosmarinic acid
  • Alkamides that enhance antioxidant activity
  • Immunity to infections and viruses. In studies, Echinacea lowered risk of colds by 50% and  duration by one and a half days
  • Helps blood glucose control by suppression of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, also increased insulin sensitivity, and helps stop glucose levels plummeting in hypoglycemia
  • Shown to help lower blood pressure, probably by helping to control blood glucose
  • Reduced anxiety due to action of alkamides, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid
  • Anti-inflammatory, via compounds that reduce inflammatory markers
  • Reduced pain, especially in those who received no benefit from standard pain relief drugs
  • Reduced swelling
  • Improved skin hydration and reduced wrinkles with Echinacea cream
  • Acne (caused by Propionibacterium) suppressed with Echinacea cream
  • Eczema symptoms reduced by Echinacea cream
  • Shown to suppress cancer cell growth and trigger cancer cell death (Apoptosis), a benefit of  the chicoric acid component
  • Shown to increase apoptosis in pancreas and colon cancer cells

Issues with cream products: Echinacea extract is difficult to incorporate into commercial skin care products due to short shelf life.

Side Effects

Echinacea has been shown safe and tolerated well for short-term use, but long-term studies have not been carried out. Rare side effects (mainly in those with allergies to daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds, ragweed) include:

  • Stomach pain, nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rashes, hives, itchy skin
  • Swelling

Those trying Echinacea for the first time should start with a tiny dose to test for any reaction.

Who should NOT consume Echinacea

Because Echinacea stimulates the immune system, those with any autoimmune disorder, or those taking immunosuppressive drugs (such as those for transplant rejection) should avoid taking Echinacea.

Dosage

No official dosage exists, partly because studies have varied in quantity and quality of the product used, and products sometimes do not contain the amount and/or strength specified, so it is wise to purchase products from trusted brands such as those recommended by LeanMachine in this article.

Studies in the immunity properties of Echinacea suggest the following doses:

Summary

Echinacea has a long and successful history of use in many countries, with rare allergy side-effects, and may help with immunity, allergies, anxiety, skin, cancer, blood pressure, pain, swelling and more.

There are many studies on Echinacea, but results are mixed, with some showing benefits and others showing none. Most studies were mouse studies, test tube studies, petri dish studies, etc and all were of short duration. However, LeanMachine suggests that the antioxidant benefits alone are worthwhile, and long-term studies are expected to show better health outcomes for seniors because their cardiovascular system should be in better shape, and their cancer risk should be lower.

Children

Generally safe for children over age 2 to take Echinacea supplements and drink Echinacea teas, and studies show benefits to children taking Echinacea.

Pregnancy

Study:
www.webmd.com/baby/news/20001128/study-shows-echinacea-safe-during-pregnancy
This study shows Echinachea is safe, but because the study involved only about 200 women, safety cannot be guaranteed absolutely.

Drug Interactions

Risk of drug interactions is relatively low, but some medications are affected by Echinacea.
Some interactions can be a life-or-death situation, so always inform the doctor if taking any herbal products, supplements, vitamins, minerals etc.

Health Benefits of MSM — A Powerful Sulfur Donor


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/10/14/msm-health-benefits.aspx

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

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • 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

RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome

Written by Brenton Wight – LeanMachine

What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

This is a nervous disorder, affecting around 10% of the population, but more prevalent among middle aged or older people.
Up to 40% of women experience at least some mild symptoms during pregnancy, which usually passes at end of term.
Significantly affects more women than men, even allowing for the pregnancy factor.
Often interrupts sleep, so is also considered a sleep disorder.
Stress, pregnancy, heredity, hormonal changes, diabetes, Parkinsons disease, heart, lung, circulatory problems, arthritis and kidney failure are among the many trigger factors.
Smoking, caffeine and alcohol tend to increase symptoms.
Deficiency in iron, magnesium, folate, B-group vitamins can cause or aggravate RLS.
Problems mainly occur at night, but some patients can have symptoms at any time.
Sitting, relaxing, resting, or lying down tends to bring on symptoms, and moving, stretching, or massaging the legs tends to diminish symptoms.
Some people with RLS also have PLMD – Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. This is a sleep disorder where repetitive cramping or jerking of the legs occurs during sleep.
If the condition does not improve, most patients eventually start suffering from other chronic health issues due to lack of sleep. People with sleep disorders have a 65% greater risk to develop cancer.
Symptoms vary between patients, which is why it is often difficult to diagnose, but can include:

  • Itchy feeling
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Creepy crawly feeling, as if something is crawling on or under the skin
  • Prickling, tingling, tugging, burning or aching sensations
  • Uncontrollable need to move legs
  • Legs jumping, jerking or twitching uncontrollably
  • Uncomfortable sensations deep within the legs
  • Feeling like a fizzy soda is bubbling through the veins
  • Feeling an itch deep within the bones
  • Some symptoms occur in the arms as well as the legs
  • Some patients only have symptoms after stressful events, some have it every night

Causes of RLS

Officially, the cause is unknown and there is no cure.
Possibly an imbalance of dopamine, which transmits signals between nerve cells in the brain.
Some say that abnormal iron uptake by the brain may cause or aggravate RLS.
Around 60% of sufferers have other family members with the same condition.
Those consuming diet soft drinks have greater risk of RLS because these drinks leach potassium from the body. Potassium is imperative for correct nerve function, as well as all of the other electrolytes. Food sources of potassium include bananas, avocados, spinach, sweet potato, yogurt and more.
As well as helping with restless legs, potassium will help lower blood pressure and build strong bones.

Treatment

Prescription Medication

There is no official cure, but doctors often prescribe Ropinirole, which can make symptoms better or worse, and side effects such as dizziness, fainting, severe nausea, narcolepsy, hallucinations and addictive behaviors can be very serious.
A study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that patients with restless leg syndrome have a 40% percent higher risk of death in the next eight years.
Some prescription drugs may mask symptoms, but side-effects may make the condition worse in the long run.
Speak to the doctor about medication.
If snoring or breathing is a problem, the doctor can organise a “sleep study” as a CPAP machine may improve health, lower blood pressure, and supply oxygen that the patient may be missing.
The doctor may simply refer patients to a sleep disorder clinic, as these specialists deal with RLS regularly.
Some doctors recommend dopaminergics, benzodiazepines, or opioids.
Medical conditions such as iron deficiency, diabetes, or nerve damage may be aggravating RLS, so treatment of the underlying problem may reduce symptoms.
If there is no underlying condition and all else fails, some prescription medication may help to reduce symptoms.
Medication works for some people, aggravates it for others, and several types may have to be tried for best results.
Prescription medications which initially work may become less effective over time.
Some side effects include nausea, headache, daytime sleepiness, and may increase risk of compulsive disorders like gambling, binge eating, shopping, etc.
Parkinsons medication may help with RLS – pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requip), rotigotine transdermal system (Neupro), Sinemet (carbidopa/levodopa), cabergoline and pergolide.
Side effects of Parkinsons medications include nausea, lightheadedness, fatigue, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Prescription painkillers like Codeine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, etc can provide relief in severe, unrelenting cases of RLS, but these can be addictive.
Side effects include nausea, dizziness, constipation, and can cause other problems, and the effect wears off over time, often leading the patient to over-dose.
Sleep medications and muscle relaxants such as Ambien, Sonata, Klonopin may help those whose RLS keeps them awake all night, but do not help the leg twitching, and can cause daytime drowsiness.
Anti-seizure medications such as Neurontin, Tegretol, Epitol may help painful daytime symptoms, but side effects include dizziness and drowsiness.
Obviously, pregnant women should always avoid prescription medication where possible.

Medications that can make RLS worse

The doctor should review all medications you are taking. Some prescription and over the counter drugs can aggravate RLS. Some known medications to watch out for are:

  • Over-the-counter sleeping pills
  • Antihistamines – found in allergy and many cold meds like Benadryl, NyQuil, Dimetapp
  • Anti-nausea medications – like Antivert, Compazine, Dramamine
  • Calcium channel blockers (drugs for heart and high blood pressure)
  • Antidepressants such as Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro
  • Antipsychotics – used for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

The Leg Wrap Cure

This natural treatment is more effective than any drug, according to the Lake Erie Research Institute in Pennsylvania.
Researchers created a leg/foot wrap which places pressure on two foot muscles: The abductor hallucis and the flexor hallucis brevis. The wrap was used in an eight-week clinical trial of 30 moderate RLS patients, with great results. 90% of the participants using the leg wrap experienced improvement in their symptoms, while only 63% of those taking Ropinirol found improvement. Those using the leg wrap reduced sleepless nights by 82%.
The wrap is believed to be more effective in the way it targets the two muscles known to ease RLS symptoms, and because this causes the brain to release dopamine. RLS sufferers are thought to have a dopamine deficiency.
Conventional leg wraps, physiotherapy, acupuncture or massage directed at these muscles, all appear to have the same benefits.

Other treatments

  • Exercise every day – walk, swim, aerobic, yoga, pilates, tai chi, but avoid very strenuous exercise
  • Calf stretch – with hands against a wall, bend the right knee, step the left leg back with foot flat on the floor to stretch the calf muscle, hold for 20 seconds, switch legs and repeat
  • Front thigh stretch: grab an ankle and pull toward the buttock, keeping the other leg straight, hold for 30 seconds, switch legs and repeat
  • Hip stretch: place the left foot on a chair with the knee bent, keeping the back straight, press the pelvis forward to stretch the top of the right thigh, hold for 30 seconds, switch legs and repeat
  • Cut back or give up caffeine, smoking and alcohol
  • Wear warm socks to bed
  • Wearing compression stockings to bed
  • Get sunlight during the day and sleep in a pitch-black room or wear a mask – helps the circadian rhythm required for a good sleep
  • Leg massage, any time through the day, but most important before bed
  • Acupuncture (do not be afraid of needles – it might just work!)
  • Avoid intense exercise before bedtime
  • Losing excess weight will reduce symptoms – cut back on carbohydrates, processed foods and trans fats
  • Change ergonomics, changes such as working from a high stool allowing legs to dangle
  • Let co-workers, friends and family know why you must keep moving so they can help create a healthy environment at work and home
  • Sit in an aisle seat during movies, meetings, aircraft etc, allowing periodic walking around
  • Get adequate sleep – always a problem when sleep is interrupted
  • Improve sleep patterns: try a consistent bed time, or sleep later in the morning
  • Aromatherapy: Lavender, eucalyptus or other oils in the bedroom can help sleep
  • Drink plenty of water, sipped slowly throughout the day and evenings to prevent dehydration of muscles
  • Take a hot (hot as you can stand it) shower just before bed, scrubbing legs vigorously
  • Have more sex! Orgasm releases natural dopamine and opioids which can help calm the legs
  • Slowly slide the leg back and forth on the bed for a few minutes and repeat with the other leg. May help relieve jumping
  • Leg lunge exercises at bedtime, but be careful not to overdo it. More intense lunges are better earlier in the day
  • Menthol creams such as Tiger Balm or Vicks Vapor Rub, rubbed into the legs before bed
  • Balance electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate. Read the electrolyte section in my Blood Tests article
  • A hot soak in the bathtub with Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar or baking soda, before bed
  • Relaxation, meditation, deep breathing and other stress-reducing activities
  • Apply hot or cold packs to the legs. Alternating between hot and cold can help
  • Sleep with a pillow between the legs to help prevent compressing leg nerves
  • Keep a sleep diary for RLS symptoms – this will help determine which foods or activities aggravate symptoms
  • Muscle relaxation, deep breathing and meditation at bedtime – see below

Muscle relaxation and breathing

Breathe deeply for a few minutes to oxygenate the lungs (breathing out fully is just as important as breathing in).
Tense the muscles in the feet and hold for a few seconds.
Breathe deeply again, and do the same with the calf muscles, and repeat with the thigh muscles.
Repeat with the other muscles all the way up to the neck.
The major muscle groups should now be more relaxed and oxygenated.

Lifestyle Changes

Fatigue can worsen the symptoms of RLS, so getting enough sleep is vital.
Regular exercise: If push-ups or squats do not appeal, then tennis, swimming, bowls, dancing, zumba, tai-chi, pilates, yoga, walking are a few more pleasant options.
Hit the sack at the same time every night, (or try warm baths before bed, or reading in bed) allowing plenty of time for winding down.
A warm bath with half a cup of Epsom Salts in the water can increase magnesium intake through the skin, avoiding diarrhea which can be the result of taking too much magnesium in supplement form. Magnesium also helps lower blood pressure, improve the cardiovascular system, and improve all nerve conditions.
Avoid TV, bright lights, etc for an hour or more before bed time.
Get support from family members. It will not hurt them to follow the same routine.
Reduce stress. Engage in a hobby, craft, or any pleasing activity can help calm down the nerves, and help forget the stressful events of the day, preferably something not involving sitting for long periods.

Supplements which can help RLS

  • A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water at bedtime (or ACV capsules if the taste is a problem)
  • 5-HTP before bed can help calm the legs and improve sleep quality
  • Magnesium supplements 400 to 600mg daily – also helps diabetes, blood pressure, etc
  • vitamin D3 also builds bones, improves immunity
  • vitamin K2 to keep calcium in bones and out of blood vessels
  • MSM – (Methylsulfonyl Methane) – to reduce inflammation and pain, improve nerves, increase pain tolerance
  • Vitamin B-Group for nerve health
  • Active Vitamin B12 for extra nerve health
  • Active Folate essential for nerve function
  • Iron – ONLY after a blood test showing deficiency, and NEVER overdose!
  • Valerian may help get a better night’s sleep
  • Vitamin E may improve symptoms
  • D-ribose 5 grams powder once daily for prevention, 3 daily for treatment
  • Potassium and Iodine Potassium deficiency is not uncommon, especially in hot weather. Many prescription drugs deplete potassium

Pain Medication

Over-the-counter pain relievers may reduce symptoms temporarily, but long-term make the body more sensitive to pain.
Paracetamol (Panadol), known in the USA as Tylenol or Acetaminophen all deplete Glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant. Even small doses may damage the liver.
The recommended 8 pills per day (500mg each) has now been reduced to 6 per day, but anyone in severe pain invariably overdoses, so it is best not kept in the house!
It is estimated that 90% of those on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Paracetamol overdose!
If you have children, note that in Cuba, where Panadol/Tylenol cannot be bought off-the-shelf, Autism cases are less than 1 in 12,000 compared to the USA at 1 in 45, and Australia becoming very close to the USA.
A few decades ago, Autism cases were 1 in 100,000. Perhaps some were not diagnosed, but the increase is still alarming. If one were to include cases of ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity, etc in with the Autism count, it is 1 in every 5 new births and predicted to be 1 in 2 if the alarming increase proceeds over the next 1 or 2 decades!
No double-blind studies have been carried out to prove or disprove the relationship, but LeanMachine requires no further evidence to make a logical conclusion.
More info at www.leanmachine/catalog/articles/autism-spectrum-disorder.php
Aspirin is now proven to cause deadly side effects such as intestinal bleeding.

Supplements to NOT take

Surprisingly, Melatonin supplements (well-known for improving sleep) may aggravate leg movements in those with restless legs syndrome.
Caffeine, alcohol, SSRI antidepressants, antihistamines, and most antipsychotic and antinausea medications can potentially increase symptoms.
Also be aware that RLS can occur as a result of kidney or liver disease. People with these conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements

Important

All information here is for education only.
There is no intention to provide medical advice.
LeanMachine no longer sells supplements, but links to the best suppliers are available in our LeanMachine Supplement site.
The information provided is completely independent. Most products can easily be purchased world-wide at health stores, chemists, supermarkets, etc.
LeanMachine cannot take responsibility for any consequences from any treatment, supplement, procedure, exercise, diet, etc resulting from reading or following this information.
This information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. It is only intended to aid the reader to arriving at a better understanding so that a better outcome with the health provider may be hopefully achieved.
The reader should seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider before undertaking any course of treatment, supplementation or medication.

LeanMachine supplements

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been studying nutrition and health since 2011 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain

LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 10th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2019 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

6 Natural Ibuprofen Alternatives Backed by Clinical Research

© 16th September 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 www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter

With the public’s growing awareness of the deadly side effects associated with the regular use of synthetic painkillers like ibuprofen, the need for natural, evidence-based alternatives has never been greater.

People generally think that over-the-counter drugs are safer than physician-prescribed ones. Unfortunately that does not hold true for drugs like ibuprofen, consumed at a rate of billions of doses, annually, and responsible for thousands of cardiovascular disease-related deaths each year.

Did you know that Merck’s blockbuster drug Vioxx caused more than 27,000 deaths and heart attacks between 1999 and 2003? In fact, it was the FDA’s own drug safety researcher, David Graham, who blew the whistle on the agency in 2004 at a Congressional hearing, estimating that over 60,000 Americans died as a result of its use, and the FDA’s inaction around their well-known side effects.

What does this have to do with ibuprofen? Researchers have known that ibuprofen is at least as dangerous as Vioxx for at least six years. But millions continue to take this drug, daily, without receiving adequate warning, while heart disease and cardiac mortality statistics continue to expand unabated.

For further background on the severe and still underreported dangers of ibuprofen, consult the following articles:

You can also view our ibuprofen database which presently collates the peer-reviewed research on the link between ibuprofen use and over 30 different conditions.

Considering the veritable nightmare of adverse effects associated with ibuprofen use — the “pain killer” that that is ‘so effective’ it permanently cures pain by killing the patient — it behooves both the medical profession and the health consumer to find safer alternatives, even if that means going back to the time-tested, multi-culturally validated tradition of herbal medicine.

Here are a 5 clinically validated, natural alternatives worth considering:

  1. Arnica: a 2007 study found that arnica, applied topically, was as effective as ibuprofen for relieving symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the wrist, and with less side effects.

  2. Ginger: a 2009 study found that ginger was effective as ibuprofen for pain symptoms associated with difficult menstrual cycles (dysmenorrhea).

  3. Turmeric: a 2014 study found that turmeric extracts were as effective as ibuprofen for relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

  4. Thyme2004 study found that an extract of thyme was as effective as ibuprofen in reducing pain and spasm symptoms associated with difficult menstrual cycles (dysmenorrhea).

  5. Omega-3 fatty acids: a 2006 study found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation with fish oil helped neurosurgery patients reduce their need for medications, and experienced results consistent with previous research indicating palliative effects at least as effective as ibuprofen.

  6. Cinnamon: a 2015 study found that cinnamon was as effective as ibuprofen for pain associated with difficult menstrual cycles (dysmenorrhea).

For related research, use the GreenMedInfo databases on natural anti-inflammatories and analgesicsConsider also that ibuprofen is not the only NSAID with debilitating and even lethal side effects. Learn more about the dangers of this chemical class, including aspirin, on our NSAID database.

Originally published: 2019-01-28

Article updated: 2019-09-16

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.

Acetaminophen warning: A leading cause of acute liver failure

Reproduced from original article:
https://www.naturalhealth365.com/acute-liver-failure-3093.html
by:
 

acute-liver-failure-warning

(NaturalHealth365) In an ideal world, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would always function in the best interests of the consumer. However, the sad truth is that the FDA often behaves as though it is in the back pocket of the big pharmaceutical companies and their financial interests.

In fact, there’s no better example than the case of the over-the-counter pain reliever acetaminophen, a drug that causes an array of health issues and problems – yet is still on store shelves today.

A dangerous drug connected with many liver-related health problems

Acetaminophen causes an alarming number of cases of liver damage, acute liver failure and death each year, to the tune of 26,000 hospitalizations, 56,000 emergency room visits, 100,000 calls to poison control centers, and over 450 deaths. Even when taken at the recommended doses, acetaminophen can still cause major problems; however, it’s a very profitable drug – which seems to be fueling the lack of emphasis on these risks.

The risks are even worse for those who drink three or more alcoholic beverages per day.  Taking even less than the daily recommended dose of acetaminophen for issues such as gastroenteritis can cause serious health risks; however, despite many reports of the dangers of using acetaminophen, the products don’t include sufficient warnings about these dangers.

The dangers associated with a lack of consumer awareness

Nearly half of all acetaminophen overdoses are unintentional and occur either when people lose track of how much they are taking or when more is taken because pain is not relieved by the recommended dose. Taking acetaminophen, while taking other medications, is another way that people can accidentally harm to themselves.

At over 100,000 per year, acetaminophen is the cause of most of the total calls to U.S. poison control centers, annually.  It also causes more acute liver failure cases than all other medication types combined.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

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While millions do take acetaminophen without an immediate incident, experts are alarmed at the significant number of people that experience serious health problems.  Keep in mind, like all medications, there is a bioaccumulative effect that must be considered a risk.

How to protect the public from needless drug-related injuries and death

While it’s clear that overuse of acetaminophen can lead to liver issues, acute liver failure and even death, you’d hardly know it from reading the label.  An alarming number of issues also arise in people who are malnourished and take acetaminophen without adequate levels of glutathione in their bloodstream – an antioxidant the liver needs to metabolize acetaminophen.

However, as you would probably expect, this fact about glutathione is not emphasized on acetaminophen labels, either.

One of the main complaints about over-the-counter acetaminophen is that its packaging has incomplete or missing warnings against the possible dangers of the drug. Experts believe that risk information about mixing acetaminophen with alcohol and other medications (including those containing acetaminophen), using it after not eating, and warnings against overuse should be made much more clear.

Despite widespread alarm and calls for more safety measures as well as educational campaigns, the FDA continues to delay taking action to help protect the public from acetaminophen risks.  Bottom line: it’s up to you – as the health-conscious consumer – to educate yourself about the risks associated with acetaminophen toxicity and find safer alternatives for pain relief.

Sources for this article include:

Lifeextension.com
NIH.gov
NEJM.org

LeanMachine comment: Acetaminophen in the USA is exactly the same as Panadol, Paracetamol and similar names in Australia. Dis drug, marketed as “Safe and effective” is neither safe nor effective, and has proven links to Autism – see my article on Autism Spectrum Disorder. LeanMachine uses supplements of L-Glutathione (reduced form) regularly and has not had a cold or flu or even a headache in 10 years, or any need to take pain relievers. Watch for my upcoming pain article.

Why you’re addicted to your cellphone

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  Fact Checked – August 24, 2019
Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/08/24/addicted-to-cellphones.aspx

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The featured CBC Marketplace program, “Why You’re Addicted to Your Smartphone,” goes behind the scenes, talking to tech insiders about how cellphone addiction is manufactured, and the effects thereof
  • Internet addiction — the inability to unplug — has been shown to take a toll on cognition and focus, as it’s a constant source of distraction
  • The “Moment” app tracks the amount of time you spend on any given app, allowing you to see just how much of your life you’re frittering away
  • Silicon Valley companies use artificial intelligence and neuroscience to create more engaging and persuasive apps, maximizing the addictive potential of your smartphone
  • Commonly used habit-forming tools include pleasure hooks, variable awards, “the infinite scroll” and loss aversion techniques

This article will focus on the social addiction issue of cellphone use and does nothing to address the electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures, which I cover carefully in my next book “EMF’d,” slated for publication in early 2020.

As a lover of technology, it pains me to see what technological advancements are doing to the psychological health of so many, especially our youth. Children today cannot even fathom a life pre-internet — a life where school work involved library visits and phone calls required you to stay in one spot (since the telephone was attached to the wall).

Children and parents alike now spend an inordinate amount of time on their smartphones, communicating with friends (and possibly strangers) via text, on Twitter and Facebook, and work to keep up their Snapstreaks on Snapchat.

Even many toddlers are proficient in navigating their way around a wireless tablet these days. Smartphones have changed the way people interact socially, especially teens, and this has significant ramifications for their psychological health.

This is a topic covered in-depth in Jean Twenge’s book “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us.”1

A majority of teens’ social life is carried out in the solitude of their bedroom via their smartphones, Twenge points out in a 2017 article2 adaptation of her book, published in The Atlantic, and this lack of face-to-face interaction has a steep psychological price: loneliness. Internet addiction — the inability to unplug — has also been shown to take a toll on cognition and focus, as it’s a constant source of distraction.

Your cellphone — A necessity or a convenience?

The featured CBC Marketplace program, “Why You’re Addicted to Your Smartphone,”3 goes behind the scenes, talking to tech insiders about how cellphone addiction is manufactured, and the effects thereof.

According to Marketplace, people use their cellphones for an average of three hours a day, and as shown in the footage, many are in the habit of perusing their cellphones while walking — completely oblivious to their surroundings.

Over their lifetime, teens will spend “nearly a decade of their life staring at a smartphone,” CBC reporter Virginia Smart writes in an accompanying article.4 If you frequently feel you don’t have enough time in the day to get more productive things done, perhaps your cellphone usage is part of the problem, siphoning off valuable time from each day.

Still, most agree their phone has become a “necessity” rather than a convenience. Forgetting their phone at home, or losing it, is frequently described as a disaster.

“My entire life is on my phone,” one man says.5 “I don’t know where I’d be [without it].” Just how did we get to this point? “It’s part of a plan you didn’t even know you signed up for,” CBC correspondent David Common says.

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Variable rewards and other mind tricks

To investigate real-world usage, CBC Marketplace enlists an Ontario family of five in an experiment: An app on their phone will track each family member’s usage over a two-month period. The app, called “Moment,”6 tracks the amount of time you spend on any given app, allowing you to see just how much of your life you’re frittering away.

Tracking the usage of all users, everywhere, is also being done by Silicon Valley companies in an effort to figure out how to make us use their apps even more. One of them is Dopamine Labs, founded by Ramsay Brown, which uses “artificial intelligence and neuroscience to track your usage, loyalty and revenue.”7

As explained by Brown, they use AI and the science of the mind to “make apps more engaging and persuasive.” In other words, they use science to maximize the addictive potential of your smartphone.

The secret is rather simple. Apps that trigger pleasure become addictive. As noted by CBC Marketplace, it’s rather telling that the two leading creators of the smartphone revolution, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, both admitted limiting their children’s use of their revolutionary devices — probably because they knew something the rest of us didn’t.

We’re not really designing software anymore,” Brown says. “We’re designing minds.” Just how is this done? Some of the most commonly used habit-forming tools include:8

Pleasure hooks — This could be a notification of “Congrats!” or “Good job!” or a high-five icon after you’ve completed an action, for example. On social media platforms, getting “Likes” accomplishes the same thing. The ability to collect followers is yet another hook.

Variable rewards — As explained by Marketplace, a key method used to trick your mind into addictive behavior is known as “variable rewards.” In a nutshell, it means you’re never sure what you’re going to get. How many “Likes” will your post garner? How many followers or points can you get? How long can you maintain a streak?

As with other types of gambling, this uncertainty coupled with the prospect of a pleasure reward is what feeds the compulsion to keep going.

The infinite scroll — Another “hook” perfected by social media is that never-ending stream of content and commentary that can keep you going indefinitely.

Loss aversion — While starting out as a pleasurable activity, at a certain point, your continued usage morphs into a prison of your own making — you “can’t” stop using the app, or you’ll experience let-down and disappointment. Snapchat’s snapstreak is a perfect example of how apps cash in on loss aversion.

“Brain hacking” techniques such as these have led to 6% of the global population now struggling with internet addiction, according to a 2014 study,9 rivaling that of illicit drug use.10

The problems with overuse and abuse of cellphones lead to sleep disturbances, anxiety, stress and depression,11 as well as an increased exposure to electromagnetic field radiation, which also places your health12,13 and mental14 well-being at risk.

Internet addiction is on the rise

Marketplace interviews Lisa Pont, a social worker at the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where people are now coming into the program because their smartphone usage has become a problem.

“Research is starting to show that technology has an impact on memory, concentration, mood, [causing] anxiety and depression; it has an impact on sleep, it has an impact on overall well-being,” Pont says.

Children, Pont stresses, are particularly vulnerable due to their innate lack of self-control, and really need parental guidance and limits on their device usage. “It’s too tempting at that age to mitigate their own use,” Pont says, pointing out that children’s brains are not fully developed, hence they lack impulse control and the ability to foresee the consequences of their behavior.

Cellphone use and depression

As noted by Twenge in her article15 “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” rates of teen depression and suicide have dramatically risen since 2011, and data suggest spending three hours or more each day on electronic devices can raise a teen’s suicide risk by as much as 35%.16

Spending 10 or more hours on social media each week is also associated with a 56% higher risk of feeling unhappy, compared to those who use social media less, and heavy social media users have a 27% higher risk of depression.17

“It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades,” Twenge writes,18 adding that “Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones …

There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives — and making them seriously unhappy.”

How much time are you spending on your phone?

After tracking Jackson, age 8, for two months, his average daily screen time came out to five hours and 32 minutes, but on some days, he spends nearly 11 hours on his tablet — basically the whole entire day. At his current pace, his projected lifetime screen time amounts to a whopping 15 years.

His mother admits being worries about her young son’s screen time, especially as she’s noticed he typically prefers spending time on his tablet over all other social interactions and activities. Meanwhile, the family’s 16-year old, Emily, trades her sleep for social media. She admits getting caught up in the infinite scroll; before she knows it, hours may have passed.

As noted by in Twenge’s Atlantic article,19 sleep deprivation among teenagers rose by 57% between 1991 and 2015. Many do not even get seven hours of sleep on a regular basis, while science reveals they need a minimum of eight and as much as 10 hours to maintain their health. Twenge writes about the habits of the teens she interviewed:

“Their phone was the last thing they saw before they went to sleep and the first thing they saw when they woke up … Some used the language of addiction.

‘I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t help it,’ one said about looking at her phone while in bed. Others saw their phone as an extension of their body — or even like a lover: ‘Having my phone closer to me while I’m sleeping is a comfort.’”

Emily is no different, admitting that checking her phone is part of her morning and evening routines. It’s the first thing she does upon waking, and the last thing she does before bed. For Emily, a large part of her day revolves around Snapchat. She uses the app continuously to keep in touch with her friends — even when they’re sitting right next to her.

As mentioned, Snapchat uses a technique known as “loss aversion” to keep their users using. Emily has a Snapchat streak that has been going for nearly two years, and now she feels compelled to not break it, which is what loss aversion is all about.

On many days, Emily’s phone stays in use for nearly 7.5 hours. The Moment app clocked her picking up her phone up to 100 times a day during the monitoring period. On average, she spends 30% of her waking hours on her phone. Her parents are not far behind, each averaging about 21%.

Symptoms of internet addiction

Symptoms of internet or cellphone addiction are similar to other types of addiction, but are more socially acceptable. As noted in one study, internet addiction (IA) is:20

“[G]enerally regarded as a disorder of concern because the neural abnormalities (e.g., atrophies in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and cognitive dysfunctions (e.g., impaired working memory) associated with IA mimic those related to substance and behavioral addiction. Moreover, IA is often comorbid with mental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression.”

According to Psycom.net, conditions that can increase your risk of internet addiction or compulsion include anxiety, depression, other addictions and social isolation or awkwardness.21 Common emotional symptoms of internet addiction include:22

Boredom with routine tasks Dishonesty and defensiveness Feelings of guilt, fear or anxiety; mood swings
Experiencing euphoria while online Procrastination; inability to prioritize tasks or keep schedules Avoidance of work

Physical symptoms of internet addiction disorder can include:23

Backache, headache, neck pain Carpal tunnel syndrome Dry eyes and other vision problems
Insomnia Poor nutrition; weight gain or weight loss Poor personal hygiene

Notifications take a significant toll on your cognition

If you’re like most, you probably have an array of notifications set on your phone. According to Marketplace, these notifications concern experts, who warn the constant pinging, beeping and buzzing actually has significant consequences for your cognition.

Marketplace correspondent Commons visits Western University, where a lot of cognition research is being conducted. He participates in a test to evaluate his ability to focus, and to see how distractions from his phone affects his attention and cognition.

First, Commons performs the attention test without his phone. For the next round of testing, his phone is left on, nearby. And, while he can’t see it, he can hear it — incoming phone calls, texts and the pinging of incoming social media notifications.

For the third part of the test, Commons has to recall numbers being texted to him. “It reflects how we normally interact with our phones,” the researcher explains. You might text details to a coworker, for example, or your spouse might ask you to buy milk on the way home.

Commons admits the distractions caused by his phone significantly interfere with his ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Even vibration without sound causes problems. Just how big of a problem? Commons’ verbal comprehension declined by nearly 20% when phone distractions were allowed.

One simple step that can eliminate many of these distractions is to simply turn off all notifications. Still, simply having your phone nearby can be enough to take your mind off what you’re doing.

A study24,25 using a group of more than 50 college students found that performance in complex tasks was worse when the participant could see a cellphone present, whether it was the study leader’s phone or their own, as compared to the performance of tasks when no cellphone was visible.

As noted by Brown, smartphones are here to stay, and app developers are getting increasingly sophisticated at capturing your attention. Smartphone users therefore need to become savvier, and learn to make conscious choices about how they use their devices.

The question is, “Who do we want to be?” Brown says. Modern technology really requires you to shape yourself (or be shaped by software developers), and to use your devices in a way that helps you rather than hinders you from living your best life.