What’s The Real Question We Should be Asking About Statins?

Shocking Osteoporosis Statistics! (Better Bones)

We at the Center for Better Bones have come to challenge this distinction between what scientists call “primary” and “secondary” osteoporosis. Our work leads us to suggest that all osteoporosis is indeed caused by something, and in this sense, all osteoporosis is secondary to something else. For example, the American College of Rheumatology has estimated that 20% of all osteoporosis in the US is due to use of steroid medications. Other researchers have suggested that 20% of all hip fractures are related to smoking. The use of acid-blocking drugs has been shown to double fracture rates. Some studies suggest that almost 20% of those with osteoporosis have the disorder caused or worsened by an excessive loss of calcium in the urine.Vitamin D inadequacy could be causing half or more of all osteoporosis, and so forth

Fructose and Fatty Liver (Heptaology)

This Journal article concluded that fructose consumption is associated with not only fibrosis but increased triglycerides, lowered HDL, and increased cholesterol levels in those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This research finding suggests that staying away from high fructose corn syrup in sodas, processed foods, and excess fruit is important for those with liver issues.

After controlling for age, sex, BMI, and total calorie intake, daily fructose consumption was associated with lower steatosis grade and higher fibrosis stage (P < 0.05 for each). In older adults (age  48 years), daily fructose consumption was associated with increased hepatic inflammation (P < 0.05) and hepatocyte ballooning (P = 0.05). Conclusion: In patients with NAFLD, daily fructose ingestion is associated with reduced hepatic steatosis but increased fibrosis. These results identify a readily modifiable environmental risk factor that may ameliorate disease progression in patients with NAFLD.

And, it’s not just fructose. Another study in International Journal of Obesity  Related Metabolic Disorders links liver steatosis (fatty infiltration of the liver) with obesity and higherserum glucose. Therefore, this suggests the combination of fructose and sugar can lead to fatty liver and fibrosis.

The severity of the steatosis was associated with BMI (P = 0.002) but not with the duration of obesity or the age of the patient. When compared with patients without fatty change, those with liver steatosis had significantly higher fasting plasma glucose (5.5 mmol/l vs 5.1 mmol/l, P = 0.007) and triglycerides (1.8 mmol/l vs 1.3 mmol/l, P = 0.002). Mean serum liver enzyme activities (alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (gammaGT) were significantly (P < 0.001) increased in patients with fatty change but remained within laboratory reference values.

Appetiate Journal provided further evidence on stevia affecting insulin and blood glucose levels.

Stevia preloads significantly reduced postprandial glucose levels compared to sucrose preloads (p<.01), and postprandial insulin levels compared to both aspartame and sucrose preloads (p<.05). When consuming stevia and aspartame preloads, participants did not compensate by eating more at either their lunch or dinner meal and reported similar levels of satiety compared to when they consumed the higher calorie sucrose preload.

Association of Metabolic Syndrome & Fatty Liver in Adolescents (Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition)

A reason to start early in helping our children make healthy choices to avoid processed foods which cause insulin resistance:

Metabolic syndrome is strongly associated with ALT>40 U/L in US male adolescents. Body mass index z score explained this association among Hispanics, but not among non-Hispanic males. Significant sex and ethnic differences exist in the association of pediatric metabolic syndrome with elevated ALT.

Vitamin D activates Immune Booster Cells (Reuters)

The researchers found that immune systems’ killer cells, known as T cells, rely on vitamin D to become active and remain dormant and unaware of the possibility of threat from an infection or pathogen if vitamin D is lacking in the blood.

“When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or ‘antenna’ known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D,” said Carsten Geisler of Copenhagen University’s department of international health, immunology and microbiology, who led the study.

“This means the T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease. If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won’t even begin to mobilize.”

Biochemistry of T-cell activation (Natural Immunology)

Naive T cells did not express VDR, but VDR expression was induced by TCR signaling via the alternative mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 pathway. Thus, initial TCR signaling via p38 leads to successive induction of VDR and PLC-gamma1, which are required for subsequentclassical TCR signaling and T cell activation.

Good news for those with a sweet tooth, stevia actually helps reverse insulin resistance, acts to stop oxidation and can aid in weight loss by triggering adiponectin, a hormone that signals appetite. Here is a summary of the research findings in the International Journal of obesity.

Stevioside had no effect on weight and triglycerides, but lowered glucose and insulin. Stevioside treatment improved adipose tissue maturation, and increased glucose transport, insulin signaling and antioxidant defense in white visceral adipose tissues. Together, these increases were associated with a twofold increase of adiponectin. In addition, stevioside reduced plaque volume in the aortic arch by decreasing the macrophage, lipid and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) content of the plaque.

Berries & Fatty Liver (Vital Choice)

The scientists measured the participants’ blood levels of an enzyme called alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) – a well-established marker of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – at the beginning and end of the trial.
People in the berry group averaged a 23 percent drop in their ALAT levels … a sign of enhanced liver function.
And, the berry group enjoyed a rise in blood levels of adiponectina hormone that discourages storage of excess dietary calories as abdominal fat.
While the Finns saw no rise in the total antioxidant capacity of the berry group’s blood, they detected lower levels of inflammation in the berry group.
Those findings make sense, given that the polyphenol-type antioxidants in berries reduce the expression of genes related to inflammation.

Why & How to Avoid GMOs (Jeffrey Smith/Mercola)

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called on all physicians to prescribe diets without genetically modified (GM) foods to all patients.1 They called for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), long-term independent studies, and labeling, stating,

“Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

…There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation…”

The GM War In Europe (Telegraph)

In a little-noticed move last week, the European Commission defied most of the governments to which it is supposed to answer to give the green light to growing a modified potato across the continent. It was the first time a GM crop had been authorised for cultivation in 13 years. But, now the long moratorium has been broken, similar approvals for others are expected rapidly to follow.

Correlation Study Concludes That DHA Extends Life by One Year in Breast Cancer (Vital Choice)

As the authors noted, their decision to conduct the new trial was prompted by the promising outcomes of four studies in which rodents with chemically-induced breast cancers were given omega-3s (Colas S et al. 2004; Colas S et al. 2006; Vibet S et al. 2008).
In those earlier animal experiments, omega-3 DHA turned breast cancers from being resistant to chemo- or radiation therapy to becoming vulnerable to both treatments, with breast cancers being suppressed more effectively by DHA than by omega-3 EPA (Yuri T et al. 2003).
Now, the results of a small clinical study suggest that omega-3 DHA may help extend the lives of women with cancer that has spread beyond the breast … by an average of one extra year
The results of this preliminary clinical study should encourage the conduct of better, larger, placebo-controlled clinical trials.
More on women’s Health from vital choice….

Higher Consumption of  Omega 3s and Lower Trans Fats Helped Those with Endometrosis

Excessive activation of Nf-Kappa B is associated with the many major degenerative diseases characterized by chronic inflammation.
Researchers at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago scoured the evidence base, and reported an encouraging finding:
“NF-kappaB … modulates key cell processes contributing to the initiation and progression of endometriosis … inhibiting NF-kappaB appears to be a promising strategy for future therapies.” (González-Ramos R)
This is where omega-3s come in.
Researchers from Texas A&M reviewed the evidence and reported last year that in addition to halting or moderating the influence of other major inflammation-promoting agents within the body’s immune system, fish-borne omega-3 fats clearly do suppress over-activation of NF-kappaB (Chapkin RS et al. 2009).

VItamin K injections in Newborns May Pose Risks (Dr. Mercola)

There are three primary areas of risk associated with these injections:

  1. Probably the most significant is Inflicting pain immediately after birth likely causing psycho-emotional damage and trauma to a newborn, which is totally inappropriate, and unnecessary. It just creates another emotional wound that the helpless and innocent baby needs to overcome to achieve health and wellness.It is bad enough they will have to overcome unintentional traumas along the way but to mandate this practice is the 21st century is simply unconscionable.
  2. The amount of vitamin K injected into newborns is 20,000 times the needed dose[ii] . Additionally, the injection may also contain preservatives that can be toxic for your baby’s delicate, young immune system.
  3. An injection creates an additional opportunity for infection in an environment that contains some of the most dangerous germs, at a time when your baby’s immune system is still immature.

It is, however, also important to correct the record about one myth that has been propagated for years about the dangers of vitamin K injections in newborns.

It was suggested some years ago that vitamin K injections were associated with cancer and leukemia. However, that conclusion was in error. There is NO known association between the two.

As mentioned above, these injections are absolutely inappropriate for your baby — but the increased risk for cancer is not a legitimate concern.

Although premature clamping of the umbilical should be avoided as it can result in brain damage, there is insufficient evidence to say that this can lead to lower vitamin K levels in newborns, although you will occasionally see this claim made.

Please see the resource section on the right hand side of my webpage for exemption forms should you decide to educate yourself further on the vitamin K controversy or to print out exemption forms and birth plans for hospitals.

Journal Articles Exposing EMF Dangers of Cell Phones

Fish Oil Help Astronauts’ Bone Strength New Study Claims (VItalchoice)

Many are finally realizing that bone strength is related to more than just calcium, in fact, too much calcium can cause an imbalance of the other vital nutrients needed for bone strength (vitamin K, vitamin D, and trace minerals) and cause excess buildup.

Recently, inflammation has been linked to many disease processes, including bone strength. NFK-B is an an inflammatory marker which can be down-regulated by omega 3 consumption.

Many Americans show excessive levels of NF-kappB, thanks to diet and lifestyle factors that activate the pro-inflammatory, bone-sapping gene switch, which, when it’s over activated, adversely affects many organs and functions.
If omega-3s are good for astronauts because they suppress NF-kappaB, there’s reason to think they should benefit the earthbound as well.

The Dangers of Fructose & Agave (Dr. Mercola)

But the menace of fructose doesn’t stop there.

  1. Fructose also elevates your uric acid levels, which is actually more dangerous than elevated cholesterol levels as it causes chronic, low-level inflammation, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis and premature aging.
  2. Fructose also “tricks” your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism — it actually severely impairs your body’s normal appetite-control systems.
  3. Excessive fructose rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (“beer belly”), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure — i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
  4. Fructose metabolism is very similar to alcohol metabolism, which has a multitude of toxic effects, including NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Metabolically it’s very similar to drinking alcohol without the buzz.

The agave starch is converted into fructose-rich syrup using genetically modified enzymes and a chemically intensive process involving caustic acids, clarifiers, and filtration chemicals. Here is a partial list of the chemicals involved:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Cationic and ionic resins
  • Sulfuric and/or hydrofluoric acid
  • Dicalite
  • Clarimex
  • Inulin enzymes
  • Fructozyme

How natural does this sound?

The result is highly refined fructose syrup, along with some remaining inulin.

The Gamble of Gardasil (Washington Examiner)

Cervical cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of all cancer deaths, so it was somewhat surprising when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked approval of Gardasil, a Merck vaccine targeting the human papilloma virus that causes the disease, in 2006.

As of Jan. 31, 2010, 49 unexplained deaths following Gardasil injections have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (http://vaers.hhs.gov/index). By contrast, 52 deaths are attributed to unintended acceleration in Toyotas, which triggered a $2 billion recall.

The Power of Positive Thinking (LiveScience)

Optimism doesn’t just boost your mood. According to new research, a glass-half-full attitude also strengthens the immune system.

The study, which tracked changes in optimism and immune response among first-year law students, found that as students became more optimistic, they showed stronger cell-mediated immunity, the flood of immune cells that respond to an invasion by foreign viruses or bacteria. When optimism dropped, so did cell-mediated immunity.

Breast Cancer Patients on Tamoxifen & Interferences with SSRIs (Medscape)

After adjustment for potential confounders, absolute increases of 25%, 50%, and 75% in the proportion of time on tamoxifen with overlapping use of paroxetine were associated with 24%, 54%, and 91% increases in the risk for death from breast cancer, respectively, which represented a significant difference for each comparison (P < .05). By contrast, no such increased risk was seen with other antidepressants. The investigators calculated that use of paroxetine for 41% of tamoxifen treatment (the median overlap in the study sample) would result in 1 additional breast cancer death within 5 years of cessation of tamoxifen for every 19.7 (95% confidence interval, 12.5-46.3) patients treated. The risk with more extensive overlap would be greater, the investigators noted. These results supported the hypothesis that SSRIs can reduce or abolish the benefit of tamoxifen in women with breast cancer. Dr. Kelly and colleagues concluded that breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen who are treated for depression or hot flashes should be prescribed antidepressants that show little or no inhibition of CYP2D6.

The results of the study, which were first presented at the 32nd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 9-13, 2009,[7] were published in BMJ earlier this year.[8] Dr. Kelly spoke with Linda Brookes on behalf of Medscape Oncology to discuss the study and some of its clinical implications for Medscape’s readers.

And they mention SNPs-functional medicine! 🙂

Medscape: As you mentioned in your paper, about 7% of women are poor metabolizers of tamoxifen because of the CYP2D6 variants they carry. These patients are not getting benefit with tamoxifen even without taking a CYP2D6 inhibitor, such as an SSRI. So, do you think that, in the emerging era of personalized medicine, genetic testing for CYP2D6 of breast cancer patients is warranted? I imagine that most patients would want to know whether there is a chance that they might not respond to tamoxifen, even if it is small.

Dr. Kelly: There are about 13 published studies specifically addressing the association between CYP2D6 loss-of-function variants and outcome among patients taking tamoxifen. Most indicate that polymorphisms in CYP2D6 are important predictors of prognosis for patients with breast cancer who are taking tamoxifen. However, the data are not entirely consistent and are limited by the inclusion of small numbers of patients. In addition, few data have accounted for use of concomitant CYP2D6-inhibiting medication during tamoxifen therapy.

Our study supports the hypothesis that functioning CYP2D6 is necessary to derive benefit from tamoxifen, and it is relatively straightforward, in most cases, to discontinue a potent CYP2D6 inhibitor in preference for an alternative agent.

Too Many Tests & Unnecessary Procedures Equate to High Health Costs (Seattle Times)

“People have come to equate tests with good care and prevention,” said Redberg, of the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. “Prevention is all the things your mother told you – eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, don’t smoke – and we’ve made it into getting a new test.

This week alone, a New England Journal of Medicine study suggested that too many patients are getting angiograms – invasive imaging tests for heart disease – who don’t really need them; and specialists convened by the National Institutes of Health said doctors are too often demanding repeat cesarean deliveries for pregnant women after a first C-section.

Last week, the American Cancer Society cast more doubt on routine PSA tests for prostate cancer. And a few months ago, other groups recommended against routine mammograms for women in their 40s, and for fewer Pap tests looking for cervical cancer.

Experts dispute how much routine cancer screening saves lives. It also sometimes detects cancers that are too slow-growing to cause harm, or has false-positive results leading to invasive but needless procedures – and some risks. Treatment for prostate cancer that may be too slow-growing to be life-threatening can mean incontinence and impotence. Angiograms carry a slight risk for stroke or heart attack.

British Medical Journal :

CONCLUSIONS: Caesarean delivery independently reduces overall risk in breech presentations and risk of intrapartum fetal death in cephalic presentations but increases the risk of severe maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in cephalic presentations.

Dr. Mercola on US Health Care Cost:

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 31 percent of the 4.3 million births in 2006 were surgical, at a price tag of anywhere between $2,000 and $200,000 each. Planned cesarean births cost an average 76 percent more than a vaginal birth, according to a 2007 report published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Diabetics Taking Statins Does not Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Events (New England Journal of Medicine)

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of fenofibrate and simvastatin did not reduce the rate of fatal cardiovascular events, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, as compared with simvastatin alone. These results do not support the routine use of combination therapy with fenofibrate and simvastatin to reduce cardiovascular risk in the majority of high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00000620.)  PMID: 2022840

D’Adamo’s Newsletter- Excerpt on Epigenetics

70% of your genes are manipulatable by your environment. Anytime you adapt to an influence genetically (activate enzymes) can turn on and off control genetic expression, similarly to increasing or decreasing volume control. For example, alcoholics produce more alcohol dehydrogenases. We inherit our parents epigeneticcs genetic expression and can use nutrition to change the volume control. Genotype (genetic blueprint) does not determine phenotype (gene expression).

Excerpt on Seasonal Allergies

According to a team at Genoa University in Italy, pollen seasons, as well as the amount of pollen in the air, progressively increased during a 26 year study in Italy. The study group recorded pollen counts, how long pollen seasons lasted and sensitivity to five different types of pollen in the Bordighera region of Italy from 1981 to 2007.

“By studying a well-defined geographical region, we observed that the progressive increase in the average temperature has prolonged the duration of the pollen seasons of some plants and, consequently, the overall pollen load,” Dr. Walter Canonica, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

Christine Rogers, a research associate in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University agrees. In a recent interview in the LiveScience newsletter, she is quoted as saying, “There have been significant increases in allergies and asthma in recent decades which cannot be explained by any change in genetics.”

Excerpt on berries from supplement:

Plant anthrocyanidins such as those found in elderberry, cherries and other pigmented fruits and vegetables have been shown to block the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) that is responsible for the production of polyamines, growth factors which can be problematic when found in the body in excessive amounts.

Hence the use of pigmented fruits and vegetables can be a valuable method of enhancing normal systemic detoxification.

Bilberry Protects Eye Health Through Antioxidant Mechanisms (J Agric Food Chem)

bilberry extract decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) level and increased oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) level, glutathione (GSH) level, vitamin C level, and total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities. Moreover, bilberry extract increased expression of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and GPx mRNA. Taken together, bilberry extract showed protective effects against EIU, whereas the effects of bilberry extract (100 and 200 mg/kg/day, 5 days) were dose-dependent. In conclusion, these results provide new evidence to elucidate the beneficial effects of bilberry extract on eye healt

Obama Halts Oil Drilling in Salmon Sanctuary (Vitalchoice)

Secretary Salazar expressed their goals in a press release: “Our strategy calls for developing new areas offshore, exploring frontier areas, and protecting places that are too special to drill.”
Alaskan waters are not entirely excluded, since the Administration supports exploratory drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic Ocean.
But the big news for us – and lovers of Alaska’s wild waters and sockeye salmon – is that President Obama is withdrawing Bristol Bay from consideration for oil and gas development through 2017.

Bone Health Tips (Better Bones)

I find that the trick to avoiding osteoporosis is to limit this “menopause transition bone loss” as much as possible. Let me tell you of Lynn’s case and why I think she did a good job halting this transitional bone loss.

Lynn is an athletic, weight-conscious, and very busy executive. She experienced her last period in 2005, and we began working on her bone health in 2007. By that time, she was two years into menopause and her bone density tests showed she’d already lost 4.3% of bone in her hip and nearly 7% in her spine during the two years before her last period and the first two years after it. Even though she had exercised regularly and taken calcium, she still experienced typical menopausal bone loss. Yet, you could say she was doing better than many other women, as she is petite and thin, and as a rule, women under around 125 lbs lose more bone during menopause than their heavier counterparts.

In 2007, two years into menopause, Lynn began the full Better Bones, Better Body® Program. She used the 20 key bone nutrients, reduced her anti-nutrients, stress, andtoxic burden, kept up the strength training, and started incorporating our Alkaline for Life® diet into her routine. She also asked her doctor for several tests to make sure there were no hidden medical causes of her bone loss.

Dangers of GM Foods (My Blog)

There is a big issue in our food supply that is commonly ignored- it is genetically modified (GM) foods. Jeffrey Smith, is a world authority on  GM foods and has been spreading the word for years. Smith feels once consumers learn of the harms of GM foods, they can put a stop to it through speaking with their pocketbook.

Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products.

Furthermore, an article in the Global Researcher cites Jeffrey Smith’s publications on independent lab studies and health hazards associated with genetically modified foods (GM). However, governmental regulation on further testing has been halted, some feel for political gain.

Due to the fact that “85 percent of the corn grown in the US is genetically engineered to either produce an insecticide, or to survive the application of herbicide. And about 91-93 percent of all soybeans are genetically engineered to survive massive doses of Roundup herbicide,” another reason to buy organic for health safety and prevention is made.

Healthy Sexuality Related to Overall Health (BMJ)

CONCLUSION: Sexual activity, good quality sexual life, and interest in sex were higher for men than for women and this gender gap widened with age. Sexual activity, quality of sexual life, and interest in sex were positively associated with health in middle age and later life. Sexually active life expectancy was longer for men, but men lost more years of sexually active life as a result of poor health than women.

Facts on ADD and ADHD (Webmd)

Includes the pros and cons of medications and some nutritional therapies, such as avoiding MSG and food colorings. Due to the fact that the stimulating drugs work on the dopamine centers of the brain, many neurotransmitter and integrative support can be helpful as well.
This link from webmd discusses fish oil and food colorings:
Other things to rule out a diagnosis of ADD:
  • checking the person’s hearing and vision
  • testing the blood for lead levels
  • testing the blood for diseases such as thyroid disease
  • testing brain waves with an encephalograph to measure electrical activity in the brain
  • CT scan or MRI to check for brain abnormalities

FDA’s position on organic cosmetics (FDA)

According to the OCA newsletter:

On March 8, 2010, the FDA issued a Q&A about organic cosmetics. It warns companies that make organic claims to follow the USDA organic regulations.

Cosmetic products labeled with organic claims must comply with both USDA regulations for the organic claim and FDA regulations for labeling and safety requirements for cosmetics.”

Ending Insomnia (Deepak Chopra)

According to Ayurveda, sleep is the nursemaid to humanity. During deep, restful sleep, our body recovers from stress and we wake up feeling refreshed, clear-minded, and energized. Unfortunately, with the turbulence in people’s personal lives and in the world at large, many of us suffer from insomnia and a lack of adequate rest.

While sleep medication can provide a temporary altered state that resembles sleep, it doesn’t offer the level of rejuvenation that comes with normal sleep. To restore our innate capacity to sleep soundly, Ayurveda suggests that we focus on creating a lifestyle that includes optimal nutrition, exercise, a regular meditation practice, and a daily routine. Restful sleep is the natural result of making choices that support physical and emotional balance throughout the day.

The Pleasure of Exercise (Chopra)

Our bodies are designed for movement, yet many of us associate exercise with pain, boredom, or drudgery rather than with lightness and feelings of wellbeing. We may completely avoid exercise or, if we do manage to “will” ourselves to exercise, we may remain disconnected from our body and our feelings as we move. Walk into any gym and witness the number of people staring at the TV monitors, reading magazines, or even talking on a cell phone as they pound out miles on the treadmill or hunch over a StairMaster set to a level that is too high to allow for the most beneficial posture and body alignment.

In vivid contrast with the “no pain, no gain” mentality, Ayurveda and other Eastern healing traditions view exercise as a way to experience the pleasure of moving, breathing, and circulating our life’s energy. It’s meant to leave us feeling invigorated, centered, and ready for rest of the day. (Learn your ideal exercise at the link above)

Herb action as an anti-asthmatic and allergy reliever (Int Arch Allergy Immunology) PMID: 12403927

In an open clinical trial in patients suffering from allergic rhinitis, a reduction of leukotriene and histamine levels in nasal fluids was associated with the butterbur extract administration.

Lack of Evidence on Efficacy of Flu Vaccine (Science Daily)

The researchers conducted a thorough search of studies based on previous vaccine trials. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are often considered the “gold standard,” but of the 75 studies included in their review, the researchers were only able to identify one recent RCT with “real” outcomes. In other words, this was the only RCT that used influenza cases as an outcome, as opposed to surrogate outcomes such as measurements of influenza antibodies in the blood. All the other studies included in the review were deemed of low quality and open to bias.

The Second Leading Cause of Unintentional Death in The US- OD Rx Drugs (Green Living)

In a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers came to a surprising conclusion: hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription medication has increased by 65 percent from 1999 to 2006. The rates of unintentional poisoning– from prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers in the U.S. has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death.

Simply put, this means that poisoning from prescription drugs is now the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S.

Accentuate the Positive (Webmd)

How the brain functions seems to play a role, too. Enthusiastic people have more activity in the left prefrontal lobes of their brains, while those with more active right prefrontal lobes tend to get stuck in negative emotions. The rostral anterior cingulate cortex may be significant: One brain imaging study found that, when asked to think about future positive events, the more optimistically inclined had higher activity in this region, which is located along the midline of the brain and seems to play a role in moderating emotional reactions. Malfunctions in this area can cause depressionor anxiety.

How to Be More Positive

Our brains are not hardwired for optimism or pessimism, so you can learn to accentuate the positive. Here’s how:

  • Learn to meditate. An eight-week program of daily mindfulness meditation — trying to stay in the moment without distracting thoughts — increased activation of the left prefrontal lobe in study subjects.
  • Think in threes. Approximately three positive moments are needed to counteract one negative one, according to Fredrickson. So volunteer, listen to music you like, or pet a puppy.
  • Write it down. Martin Seligman, the psychologist who authored the book Authentic Happiness, suggests you create a journal. Every night, write down three good things that happened that day — and include an explanation for why each happened.

Menopause Slide Show (webmd)

Help For Your Joints This Summer (Dr. Northrup)

German researchers gave 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate to all study participants, Group A. Some, Group B, also received 200 mg of omega-3 fats. In the participants who noted only a 20% or less reduction in pain, both groups faired equally. However, when researchers asked those who experienced an 80% reduction in pain, those in Group B reported reduced morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees by between 48.5 and 55.6%, compared to 41.7 to 55.3% for those in Group A. Head researcher Joerg Gruenwald, Ph.D., remarked, “Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the inflammation process in OA, whereas glucosamine sulfate further supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage substance.”

American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine:

Reports Flu Vaccine Not as Effective in Mortality Reduction as Thought In Elderly

CONCLUSIONS: The 51% reduction in mortality with vaccination initially observed in patients with pneumonia who did not have influenza was most likely a result of confounding. Previous observational studies may have overestimated mortality benefits of influenza vaccination.

..Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Reports the Following in Children Under 2:

MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-one studies involving 263,987 children were included. Seventeen papers were translated from Russian. Fourteen RCTs and 11 cohort studies were included in the analysis of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness.

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two years but little evidence is available for children under two. There was a marked difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. That no safety comparisons could be carried out emphasizes the need for standardisation of methods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given recent recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as public-health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.

PMID: 16437500

EMFs linked to Blood Sugar Issues in Diabetics (Electromagnetic Biological Medicine)

Exposure to electromagnetic pollution in its various forms may account for higher plasma glucose levels and may contribute to the misdiagnosis of diabetes. Reducing exposure to electromagnetic pollution by avoidance or with specially designed GS filters may enable some diabetics to better regulate their blood sugar with less medication and borderline or pre-diabetics to remain non diabetic longer.

PMID: 18568931

The Un-Healthy Truth of Factory Farming (OCA)

Economically stressed and distracted consumers have become dependent on a factory farm system designed to provide cheap processed food that may be cosmetically perfect and easily shipped, but which is seriously degraded in terms of purity and nutritional value.

USDA studies reveal that the food currently grown on America’s chemical-intensive farms contains drastically less vitamins and essential trace minerals than the food produced 50 years ago (when far less pesticides and chemical fertilizers were used). As even Time magazine has admitted recently, given the hidden costs of damage to public health, climate stability, and the environment, conventional (factory farm) food is extremely expensive.  Much of Food Inc.’s common fare is not only nutritionally deficient, but also routinely contaminated–laced with pesticide residues, antibiotics, hormones, harmful bacteria and viruses, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and toxic chemicals. 1 Like tobacco, factory farm food is dangerous to your health. No wonder organic food is by far the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture.

How Soda Affects Your Body (Dr. Mercola)

Did you know that just one can of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar?!

This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake (which is more than double my recommended daily allowance to begin with). Within 20 minutes of drinking that soda, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.

Within 40 minutes, your blood pressure rises due to your body having absorbed all the caffeine, and then your liver dumps even more sugar into your bloodstream.

After about one hour, you’ll start to have a sugar crash, which oftentimes leads you into a vicious cycle of consuming more sugar – and caffeine-laden stimulants, followed by crashes, throughout your day.

It is a proven fact that sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to not only weight gain, but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, premature aging and many more negative side effects.

In fact, sugar is so bad for your health in so many ways, I’ve created an entire list outlining the ways sugar can damage your health.

More or Less Meals for Weight Loss? Listen to your body…

British Journal of Nutrition:

However, there were NS differences between the low- and high-MF groups for adiposity indices, appetite measurements or gut peptides (peptide YY and ghrelin) either before or after the intervention. We conclude that increasing MF does not promote greater body weight loss under the conditions described in the present study.

It has been argued, however, small frequent meals do have the potential to aid insulin resistance( hormone which regulates cellular energy and fat storage) and leptin resistance (fat cells communication hormone sent to the  brain to signal fullness) by a steady state of blood glucose. This prevents surges and “overwashing” the receptor sites with these two important hormones which can keep your body sensitive to your hunger signals and fat burning capacity.

Yikes, That pizza has more sugar than that Krispy Creme???!! Hidden Sugars. (Dr. Mercola)

t’s hard to imagine, but a vast array of modern processed foods contain more sugar than a glazed doughnut! Sugar in some form is present in nearly every packaged product, from spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, and peanut butter, to mayonnaise and ketchup, just to name a few.

This outrageously excessive sugar consumption has caused people’s appetite regulation system to go awry. Leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety, isn’t working properly anymore in a majority of people.

It has now become clear that limiting sugar – and fructose in particular — in your diet is a key to longevity for a number of reasons.

For example, according to Dr. Richard Johnson, author of The Sugar Fix, about 25 percent of all Americans consume over ½ a pound of added sugars a day, and this statistic dovetails nicely with the statistics showing that one in four Americans is either pre-diabetic or has type 2 diabetes.

Diabetics have, on average, a reduced lifespan of about 15 years.

How Sugar Can Make or Break Your Health

Your blood glucose levels rise slightly every time you eat. This is natural. However, excessive sugar consumption will typically cause your blood glucose levels to become excessively elevated and then stay that way.

It is a well proven fact that sugar increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones. This can lead to:

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Premature aging

Video Slide Show: 14 Ways to Fight Fatigue (Webmd)

FodMaps Diet for IBS? (Webmd)

to eliminate all foods that contain the five forms of carbohydrates (lactose, fructose, fructans, sugar alcohols, and galactans) for a trial period of 1-2 weeks.  If FODMAPS carbs are causing the symptoms, relief can occur in just a few days.

You follow the elimination period with a challenge of reintroducing one of the FODMAP carbs and observe symptoms. Additional FODMAP carbs are slowly added back, one at a time.  At the end of the reintroduction phase, a final diet emerges with only those FODMAP carbs that are fairly well tolerated.

The goal is to find the most liberal and varied diet possible that still keeps symptoms under control. Most people find they can still include their favorite foods if they exercise care. For example, a person who discovers that fructans (found in wheat) cause a lot of distress might find they can’t tolerate wheat at every meal, but may be able to tolerate one portion of wheat without a problem.

Say NO to GMOs (Capwiz)

In February, 2009, Friends of the Earth released a report proving that GM crops cannot, and are unlikely ever, to contribute to poverty reduction, global food security or sustainable farming.
On March 22, the Times (South Africa) reported that 280 of the 1000 farmers who bought Monsanto’s GM maize experienced crop losses of up to 80%, and on April 2, Reuters reported that Monsanto had paid the farmers $42 million for the failure.
On March 26, Greenpeace announced that Luxembourg was expected to join Austria, France, Greece and Hungary in banning the use and sale of Monsanto’s genetically modified maize, the only GM crop that may be grown commercially in the European Union at present.
But, in the United States, the Obama Administration and Congress are cynically trying to make “research on biotechnological advances appropriate to local ecological conditions, including genetically modified technology” a condition of agricultural aid.

USDA Hosts a People’s Garden (Washington Post)

Murtagh is among 80 volunteers at the USDA who are lending their sweat and muscle to an organic garden created by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack along the Mall, on the grounds of the agency’s headquarters at 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW.

Vilsack carved out the garden last year from an asphalt parking lot. He grabbed a jackhammer and challenged USDA facilities across the country to follow suit and create what he calls a People’s Garden.

As of last week, 255 gardens have been established by Agriculture Department workers worldwide, including an indoor lettuce garden in North Carolina and a vegetable garden on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in South Korea. All of the food grown at these gardens — 29,656 pounds last year — is donated to food pantries and soup kitchens. The garden at USDA headquarters last year yielded more than 300 pounds of peas, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and other produce, which was given to D.C. Central Kitchen.

The 76 Dangers of Sugar (Dr. Mercola)

Average consumption of sugar per year in 1900: 90 lbs. Average consumption per year in 2009: 180 lbs! (1/2 POUND of SUGAR a day)

Types of Sugars:

It is easy to become confused by the various sugars and sweeteners. So here is a basic overview:

  • Dextrose, fructose and glucose are all monosaccharides, known as simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. Glucose and dextrose are essentially the same sugar. However, food manufacturers usually use the term “dextrose” in their ingredient list.
  • The simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like the disaccharide sucrose (table sugar), which is half glucose and half fructose.
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
  • Ethanol (drinking alcohol) is not a sugar, although beer and wine contain residual sugars and starches, in addition to alcohol.
  • Sugar alcohols like xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners. They are incompletely absorbed from your small intestine, for the most part, so they provide fewer calories than sugar but often cause problems with bloating, diarrhea and flatulence.
  • Sucralose (Splenda) is NOT a sugar, despite its sugar-like name and deceptive marketing slogan, “made from sugar.” It’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match.
  • Agave syrup, falsely advertised as “natural,” is typically HIGHLY processed and is usually 80 percent fructose. The end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant.
  • Honey is about 53 percent fructose, but is completely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when used in moderation, including as many antioxidants as spinach.
  • Stevia is a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe (in its natural form). Lo han (or luohanguo) is another natural sweetener, but derived from a fruit.
  • There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
    1. Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver.
    2. People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound.

    The explosion of soda consumption is the major cause of this.

    Fructose elevates uric acid, which decreases nitric oxide, raises angiotensin, and causes your smooth muscle cells to contract, thereby raising your blood pressure and potentially damaging your kidneys.

    (Fructose increases uric acid levels due to massive cell loss of energy, cellular breakdown due to shock, increasing purine degradation, and resulting in high blood pressure and resulting heart effects. You need some uric acid to act as an anti-oxidant, too much is pro-oxidative damage)

    Nancy Appleton, PhD, author of the book Lick the Sugar Habit, contributed an extensive list of the many ways sugar can ruin your health from a vast number of medical journals and other scientific publications.

    1. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.
    2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
    3. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
    4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.
    5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.
    6. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.
    7. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.
    8. Sugar can weaken eyesight. 1
    9. Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
    10. Sugar can cause premature aging. In fact, the single most important factor that accelerates aging is insulin, which is triggered by sugar. 1
Click the link above for all 76 reasons Sugar is not good for your health:

Organic Eggs are Better (OCA)

Eggs from organic free-range hens raised on pasture are far more nutritious than eggs from confined hens in factory farms:

• 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D
• 1?3 less cholesterol
• 1?4 less saturated fat
• 2?3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta

Does Your Veggie Burger Contain Hexane? (Alertnet)

Hexane-free products:

Boca Burgers “Made with organic soy”

Helen’s Kitchen

Morningstar “Made with organic”

Superburgers by Turtle Island



Also worth noting: Products labeled “organic” aren’t allowed to contain any hexane-derived ingredients, but that rule doesn’t apply to foods that are labeled “made with organic ingredients.” For more on soy sourcing, plus a list of popular “made with organic ingredients”-labeled protein bars that are made with hexane, read the Cornucopia Institute’s full study, “Behind the Bean.”

What I’ve Been Saying For Years….Work with the Placebo Effect! (Dr. Mercola)

y continue:

“Some products that have been on the market for decades, like Prozac, are faltering in more recent follow-up tests. In many cases, these are the compounds that, in the late ’90s, made Big Pharma more profitable than Big Oil. But if these same drugs were vetted now, the FDA might not approve some of them.

It’s not that the old meds are getting weaker, drug developers say. It’s as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger.

The fact that an increasing number of medications are unable to beat sugar pills has thrown the industry into crisis.”

Your mind has the power to create or cure disease because your thoughts affect the expression of your genes. Today’s “New Biology” is overlapping with consciousness science and quantum physics, and it’s showing us that we have masterful control over our own lives, including how we feel pain, depression, anxiety and even our ability to overcome diseases like cancer.

Many illnesses, from Parkinson’s disease to irritable bowel syndrome, have been proven to improve after placebo pills and treatments. The jury is still out on whether the practice of taking a sugar pill or simply going through the ritual of treatment is what’s causing the beneficial responses … but either way studies show that if you think you’re receiving a treatment, and you expect that treatment to work, it often does.

As the above article in Scientific American shared:

“In recent decades reports have confirmed the efficacy of various sham treatments in nearly all areas of medicine. Placebos have helped alleviate pain, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory disorders and even cancer.

Placebo effects can arise not only from a conscious belief in a drug but also from subconscious associations between recovery and the experience of being treated—from the pinch of a shot to a doctor’s white coat. Such subliminal conditioning can control bodily processes of which we are unaware, such as immune responses and the release of hormones.”