Natural Appetite Suppressant Natural Appetite Suppressant Respective post owners and feed distributors Fri, 16 Sep 2016 18:40:07 -0700 Feed Informer a really great article on how humans get b12 and why we can't get it the way herbivore animals do. vegans i'm not trying to attack you. i'm simply trying to help you understand what issues can come from this diet and how to work around them https://www.d Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:e72cbe27-e409-6c26-2f4c-21957c58bfd3 Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:29:48 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">a really great article on how humans get b12 and why we can't get it the way herbivore animals do. vegans i'm not trying to attack you. i'm simply trying to help you understand what issues can come from this diet and how to work around them <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Buyer Beware: GMO Stevia Is Everywhere Articles urn:uuid:e79bab9e-6f46-6411-eb2c-37510fcff4d1 Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), a perennial shrub native to South America, has a long history of use as a natural sweetener for food, medicines and beverages.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> Whole stevia contains a number of substances, including various stevioside compounds, rebaudiosides and glycoside. </p> <p>Steviol glycosides, including rebaudioside A, rebaudioside D and rebaudioside M (Reb A, Reb D, Reb M respectively), are what provide the sweet taste, with Reb A being the sweetest.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> In its isolated, purified form, Reb A is 250 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. </p> <p>Despite hundreds of years of safe use of stevia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled <a href="">stevia leaf</a> and crude stevia extracts “unsafe food additives,”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> granting GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to certain high-purity steviol glycosides only.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> </p> <p>In 2007, Hain Celestial Group Inc., maker of Celestial Seasonings herbal teas, received a warning letter from the FDA saying the stevia used in some of their teas may be dangerous to blood sugar and reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>If this FDA action strikes you as backward, you’re not alone. More often than not, consuming whole plant products will be safer due to synergistic effects than using a single active ingredient by itself. Many suspect the FDA is protecting the sugar and artificial sweetener industries.</p> <p>As noted by Rob McCaleb, president and founder of the Herb Research Foundation, “Sweetness is big money. Nobody wants to see something cheap and easy to grow on the market competing with the things they worked so hard to get approved.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <h2>Beware of Cargill’s Genetically Engineered ‘Stevia’</h2> <p>To this day, FDA considers whole stevia unsafe, while genetically engineered (GE) versions of stevia have received the green light for widespread and unregulated use in food. The FDA issued a GRAS No Objection letter for Cargill’s GE stevia product EverSweet in 2016.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <p>Even more ridiculous, Cargill’s GE stevia is being marketed as “nonartificial.” As reported by the nonprofit watchdog group U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) November 20, 2019:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The international food conglomerate Cargill is ramping up commercial-scale production of its genetically engineered sweetener, EverSweet, in a new $50 million production facility that began operating this week in Blair, Nebraska …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Cargill is marketing its new stevia substitute as ‘non-artificial.’ What does that mean? Consumers who click on the link provided in the press release will not get a straight answer. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>The web page twists itself into knots trying to describe the new process, which involves genetically engineering yeast to convert sugar molecules into a substance that mimics the taste of stevia, as a ‘centuries old technique’ — without once mentioning genetic engineering or the genetic modified organisms (GMOS) used to make the product.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In short, Cargill’s “nonartificial stevia” isn’t even derived from actual stevia. It’s a GE-derived synthetic biology product designed to mimic components of the real thing.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> While “inspired” by real stevia, EverSweet’s Reb M and Reb D components are made through GE yeast fermentation. Can it get any more artificial than that? As reported by Star Tribune:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“A decade ago, Cargill partnered with the University of Munich and Swiss biotech company Evolva to map the stevia leaf’s molecular biology. The team found that when Reb M and Reb D were combined, it produced the same sweetness but without the Reb A molecule that can give pure stevia products a bitter aftertaste.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>But Reb M and Reb D are found in less than 1% of each stevia leaf and Cargill said it could never grow enough to make leaf extraction feasible without degrading the land … </em><em>The process adds a GMO yeast to a fermentation tank where it helps convert simple sugars into Reb M and Reb D.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Subterfuge and Misleading Marketing </h2> <p>In recent years, awareness of the potential <a href="">hazards of GMOs</a> have skyrocketed, and Americans have fought hard for transparency in labeling. More and more people are also demanding fresh, natural, unadulterated or minimally processed foods.</p> <p>Not only did Americans not get clear and proper GMO labeling, companies like Cargill are taking the subterfuge even further by using vague descriptors such as “fermentation derived” and “nature identical” to describe what’s in reality an artificially lab-created substance.</p> <p>A key take-home message from all of this is that if you want a stevia-based sweetener that is actually made from the plant, opposed to GE yeast, you have to make sure it’s certified organic or has been non-GMO verified. </p> <p>Cargill also promotes its synthetic, GE-derived stevia as “sustainable,” which is yet another grossly misleading PR ploy. As noted by USRTK, Cargill provides no data to support its sustainability claims. </p> <p>What’s already apparent is that lab-grown synthetic biology compounds are causing severe economic damage to indigenous farmers. As reported by Huffpost in 2017, “Farmers in Paraguay and Kenya, for example, depend on stevia crops.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup></p> <h2>Cargill Named Worst Company in the World</h2> <p>In a recent 2019 report<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> by Mighty Earth, an environmental protection organization<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> chaired by former congressman Henry Waxman, Cargill was named “worst company in the world” for its destructive impact on the environment and its human rights abuses. In the foreword, Waxman states:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“We recognize this is an audacious claim. There a</em><em>re, alas, many companies that could vie for this dubious honor. But this report provides extensive and compelling evidence to back it up …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>In my 40-year long career in Congress, I took on a range of companies that engaged in abusive practices. I have seen firsthand the harmful impact of businesses that do not bring their ethics with them to work. But Cargill stands out. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>In contrast to the oil and tobacco industries, for instance, the bad practices documented here are not inherent to the products Cargill sells, and are, in fact, entirely avoidable. For example, perhaps Cargill’s largest negative impact on the natural world is its role in driving the destruction of the world’s last remaining intact forests and prairies …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Unfortunately, because the status quo is deforestation, child labor, and pollution, Cargill’s dithering results in a continuing environmental and human rights disaster. And because Cargill’s reach is so broad, they drag other companies into aiding and abetting their environmental destruction and human rights abuses too.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Stevia Benefits Beyond Sweet Taste</h2> <p>While stevia has obvious benefits as a natural noncaloric sweetener, studies have shown it may have other health benefits as well. For example, research<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Animal Psychology and Animal Nutrition noted the stevioside in stevia has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which could render it useful in animal feed in lieu of antibiotics.</p> <p>According to this study, dietary stevia leaf reduced blood levels of glucose, triglycerides and triiodothyronine (T3) in broiler chickens. In contrast, chickens that received only the active agent, stevioside, only saw a decrease in T3. What this suggests is that consuming whole stevia may be preferable to only one of its components, even if that one agent does not cause undue harm. </p> <p>Interestingly, though, both stevia leaves and stevioside were found to significantly increase abdominal fat content in the animals. This is reminiscent of other <a href="">artificial no- and low-calorie sweeteners</a>, which have all been found to increase weight gain, and often to a greater degree than regular sugar. </p> <p>In studies looking at artificial sweeteners, the lack of calories has been shown to be largely irrelevant, as your metabolism is still affected. Even your <a href="">risk for Type 2 diabetes</a> has been shown to rise when using artificial sweeteners. </p> <p>Another study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> published in 2007 reported that the stevia plant may be useful as a source of natural antioxidants. In this study, stevia leaves were found to prevent oxidative DNA damage better than quercetin, which is quite remarkable. </p> <p>As reported in “<a href="">Quercetin Lowers Your Risk for Viral Illnesses</a>,” quercetin packs a powerful punch, inhibiting several strains of influenza, hepatitis B and C and a number of other viruses.</p> <h2>Other Stevia Products</h2> <p>Cargill’s EverSweet is certainly not the only stevia product on the market that leaves health conscious consumers wanting. Coca-Cola Co. has Truvia and PepsiCo has PureVia, for example. Both use rebiana, an extract from the stevia plant, and have received the FDA’s blessing.</p> <p>The fact that stevia has such a long history as a natural sweetener is a major testament to its safety.&nbsp;As mentioned, it’s usually the synergistic effect of all the compounds in the plant that provide the overall health effect, which oftentimes includes “built-in protection” against potentially damaging effects. </p> <p>But what happens if you take only one or two of these agents and discard the rest? Will it affect your body the same way? The answer is likely no. In its 2008 report, “Toxicology of Rebaudioside A: A Review,”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup> the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) points out that stevioside compounds and Reb A are metabolized at different rates.</p> <p>This makes it virtually impossible to assess the risk of Reb A from toxicity assessments of stevioside, which has been used as food and medicine in Japan and South America for decades or longer. Additionally, in a human metabolism study, stevioside and Reb A had different pharmacokinetic results. </p> <p>In layman’s terms, that means your body reacts differently to the two compounds; each compound is metabolized differently and remains in your body for different lengths of time. While neither of these compounds appear to have carcinogenic potential,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup> the exact ramifications of these differences are still uncertain.</p> <h2> Is Natural Stevia Safe for Everyone?</h2> <p>Although I believe natural, organic stevia is one of the safest natural sweeteners available, I want to emphasize that if you have insulin issues, you should avoid sweeteners altogether, including stevia, as they all have the ability to lower your sensitivity to insulin. </p> <p>So, if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding all sweeteners, whether they contain calories or not. Additionally, I recommend using stevia in moderation, just like sugar. </p> <p>According to a 1995 study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup> in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, rats receiving chronic administration of stevia extract for 40 and 60 days developed abnormally low blood pressure, diuresis (increased formation of urine by the kidney), and natriuresis (excretion of an excessively large amount of sodium in the urine). </p> <p>However, if you compare it to the damage caused by consuming too much sugar — which is GRAS, and very easy to overdo if you eat the standard American diet laden with fast food and processed foods — then stevia is still likely to be the lesser evil. It’s also preferable to <a href="">artificial sweeteners</a>.</p> <p>So, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I believe natural organic stevia is a good choice. Just remember to make sure it’s certified organic and/or non-GMO verified, and not simply labeled “natural” or “nonartificial.” </p> <p>I also recommend holding off on other stevia-based sweeteners (which contain isolated components of the stevia plant) until their long-term safety have been thoroughly assessed. For information about other safe sweeteners, see my “<a href="">Sugar Substitutes</a>” report.</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Choose Avocados to Help Reduce Risk for Obesity and Diabetes Articles urn:uuid:50524a31-f000-19b8-a8aa-7fb7c180b946 Thu, 05 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat your body burns easily for energy. They may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat every day as they help protect your heart and optimize your cholesterol. They also are rich in fiber.</p> <p>Together with high amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, potassium and vitamin K, the <a href="">avocado</a> is a fruit you may want to consider for more than guacamole. Adding avocados to salad also helps your body to absorb three to five times more carotenoids, helping your body fight against free radical damage.</p> <p>An average sized avocado also contains about 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium, a mineral used by every organ in your body. Insufficient levels may lead to unexplained muscle fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or muscle spasms.</p> <p>Avocados are also surprisingly high in fiber, which plays an important role in digestive, heart and skin health. Fiber is also important in helping to regulate blood sugar and weight management. One study found eating one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may help you feel full longer and prevent snacking later.</p> <p>Avocados don't ripen on the tree, but only after they're picked. Choose firm avocados, as they will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, ripening slowly. On your counter, they will ripen within a few days. After you cut it, an avocado will turn brown from oxidation.</p> <p>If you don't eat it all, you can keep it fresh longer by leaving the pit with the avocado and storing in an airtight container. Brush lemon juice and olive oil over the cut flesh to help inhibit oxidation. Be aware, though, that the oil can add oiliness to the texture, while the juice will give it a slight lemon flavor.</p> <h2>Avocados at Breakfast May Reduce Hunger Through the Day</h2> <p>Being overweight increases the risk of insulin resistance and <a href="">Type 2 diabetes</a>, and it's possible that eating avocados may help address these conditions. When it comes to weight management, some ethnic groups may be more prone to developing both prediabetes and Type 1 diabetes, for example, Hispanic/Latino Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup></p> <p>Although this is "a diverse group that includes people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican and South and Central American," they all have a higher potential risk of developing diabetes than nonHispanic whites, the CDC says. The increased risk may come from general risk factors including genetics, foods you eat, your weight and your activity levels.</p> <p>To gain insight into how to affect change, one survey of Hispanic millennials showed that they would be interested in learning about lifestyle changes they could make that could reduce their risk for diabetes without medication.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> The investigation was spearheaded by the Hass Avocado Board, which runs Saborea Uno Hoy, a self-described research program<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> that promotes avocados for their health benefits.</p> <p>A clinical study published in Nutrients<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> sought to evaluate <a href="">how well avocados</a> could satisfy hunger and replace carbohydrates in a meal. Using 31 overweight or obese adults, the researchers used a visual analog scale that matched against serum levels of <a href="">ghrelin</a>, a hormone associated with appetite, to measure how full the participants felt after consuming one of three different meals.</p> <p>There was greater suppression of hunger after the participants consumed a whole avocado as compared to the control meal high in carbohydrates and low in fat. They also felt more satisfied after a meal with a half or whole avocado as compared to the control meal.</p> <p>The researchers wrote, "Replacing carbohydrates in a high-carbohydrate meal with avocado-derived fat-fiber combination increased feelings of satiety …" Although the study size was small, the findings support a growing body of research that eating healthy fats, including those found in avocados, has a positive impact on weight management and glucose control.</p> <h2>A Fat Found Only in Avocado Associated With Glycemic Control</h2> <p>Another intriguing study found that avocados have yet another impact on glucose control and the management of diabetes.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, discovered a fat molecule found only in avocados, avocatin B (AvoB), has a positive effect on reducing insulin resistance.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <p>The researchers wrote a diabetic's inability to properly utilize blood glucose is associated with mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. When the body completely oxidizes fatty acid, the body can use fat for fuel. However, obesity and diabetes inhibit the body's ability to completely oxidize fatty acids.</p> <p>AvoB counters this incomplete oxidation in the pancreas and skeletal muscles, improving insulin sensitivity. As detailed by Science Daily, scientists fed mice fed high-calorie meals for eight weeks to induce obesity and insulin resistance. Then, in the following five weeks, they added AvoB to the diet of half the group.</p> <p>At the end of the study the treated animals weighed less than those in the control group, demonstrating slower weight gain during the intervention, and exhibiting improved insulin sensitivity. The researchers also engaged human subjects and found AvoB supplement was absorbed safely without affecting kidney or liver function.</p> <p>The human subjects also enjoyed weight reduction while eating a typical Western diet. The beneficial effects of consuming monounsaturated fats from avocados shown in recent studies support past research<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> comparing a diet rich in complex carbohydrates against one rich in oleic acid from avocado and <a href="">olive oil</a>.</p> <p>Data revealed replacing complex digestible carbohydrates with monounsaturated fatty acids in those with noninsulin-dependent <a href="">diabetes</a> improved the participants lipid profile while maintaining glycemic control.</p> <h2>Certain Lifestyle Choices May Increase Risk of Diabetes</h2> <p>In 2015, 9.4% of the U.S. population had been diagnosed with diabetes.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> This is slightly higher than the 8.5% of global prevalence among adults over 18 years of age recorded by the World Health Organization<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> in 2014.</p> <p>Your potential risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is dependent on your lifestyle choices and genetics. While you can't change your genes, there are certain risk factors over which you have control that can affect your chances of getting diabetes, including:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Being overweight or obese</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Having <a href="">high blood pressure</a></p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Dealing with depression</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Having an imbalance in your cholesterol levels</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Having a history of heart disease or stroke</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Being physically inactive</p></td> </tr></tbody> </table> <p>In addition to these risk factors, <a href="">low levels of vitamin D</a> also affect your risk for developing metabolic syndrome, characterized by high triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, large waist circumference, high blood pressure and high blood sugar and/or insulin resistance.</p> <p>Vitamin D is a steroid hormone responsible for influencing virtually every cell in your body. Studies have found those who have lower levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Low levels of magnesium also contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.</p> <p>One review found <a href="">magnesium deficiency</a> may be the greatest predictor of heart disease, and that even subclinical deficiency may compromise your cardiovascular health. Studies have found those who have Type 2 diabetes are more prone to magnesium deficiency; depletion has been found in 75% with poorly controlled disease.</p> <p>In addition, magnesium plays an important role in the regulation of high blood pressure, another risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Studies have also demonstrated supplementation may lower your risk and improve your condition if you currently have diabetes.</p> <p>You can boost your magnesium by eating foods rich in magnesium, using Epsom salt baths or taking an oral supplement. My personal preference is magnesium threonate, since it appears to be efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including the mitochondria and blood-brain barrier.</p> <h2>Intermittent Fasting Helps You Achieve Metabolic Flexibility</h2> <p>When your body is resistant to insulin it lowers the cells' ability to use glucose for energy. In response, the pancreas secretes more insulin to overcome the cells' weak response and maintain blood glucose in a healthy range. Additionally, animal studies have demonstrated that repeated fasting may induce <a href="">pancreatic beta cell</a> growth accompanied by a marked improvement in blood sugar control.</p> <p>In one animal study, researchers found pancreatic fat plays a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes, but <a href="">intermittent fasting</a> helps prevent these fatty deposits. The team found mice undergoing intermittent fasting every other day exhibited better glucose control and less fat in the liver and pancreas than the control group that was allowed unlimited food.</p> <p>Intermittent fasting encourages your body to burn fat for fuel. By not relying exclusively on carbohydrates, it reduces insulin resistance that can develop in tissues and organs. Your skeletal muscle burns 60% to 80% of glucose thought to be related to the interaction of skeletal muscle and insulin resistance in those with Type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>An overall metabolic inflexibility may be overridden by fasting and improving mitochondrial capacity. In other words, the ability to use both fat and carbohydrates for fuel is necessary to reduce insulin resistance, maintain weight and achieve optimal health.</p> <h2>What Is Intermittent Fasting and How Do You Practice It?</h2> <p>There are several ways to integrate intermittent fasting. The idea is to forgo food for a specific amount of time. The method you choose will vary by the number of days, hours and calories you allow.</p> <p>There is no one plan that works for everyone, so it's likely you'll find a way to fit it into your lifestyle preferences to improve your metabolic flexibility. I recommend starting with a 12-hour fast from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Once you have achieved this for a week, try adding one hour every week for a month. This will help you easily move from a 12-hour daily fast to a 16-hour daily fast.</p> <p>Before starting, remember intermittent fasting is not necessarily a form of calorie restriction but, rather, eliminating food sources to improve metabolic flexibility. Sugar and hunger cravings will disappear as your body begins burning fat, so the quality of your diet does play an important role in your health.</p> <p>Reduce or eliminate as much processed food as possible and practice fasting under your physician's care if you have an underlying medical condition. Here are several different ways of incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily routine:</p> <ul> <li><strong>12-hours-a-day fast —</strong> This is often used as a jumping-off point as described above.</li> <li><strong>16-hours-a-day fast —</strong> This is sometimes referred to as the 16/8 method and is a graduation from the 12-hour fast. Many people choose to finish eating by 7 p.m. and do not eat again until noon.</li> <li><strong>Two days a week —</strong> For some it may be easier to restrict food for 24 hours twice weekly as opposed to each day. Men may eat up to 600 calories on the fasting days and women up to 500 calories. To use this type of intermittent fasting successfully, there should be at least one nonfasting day between your fasting days.</li> <li><strong>Every other day —</strong> There are several variations of an every-other-day plan. Some completely avoid solid food and others allow up to 500 calories on fasting days. The authors of one study found this type of intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss and heart health for both normal and overweight adults.</li> <li><strong>Meal skipping —</strong> This is a more flexible approach that works well for those who respond to hunger signals and normally eat when they're hungry and skip meals when they're not.</li> </ul><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Read my latest cover story and tell me what you think? … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:d4203f32-57e0-17db-7744-5df4cf1a5aa0 Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:39:43 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Read my latest cover story and tell me what you think? <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> The Tragic Leading Cause of Death for Ohio Preteens Articles urn:uuid:9def6e2a-b9ad-53eb-2900-04067dbd1666 Wed, 04 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>In Ohio, suicide is the leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Health,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> and the second leading cause of death among 15- to 34-year-olds.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <p>The alarming numbers follow sobering data from the World Health Organization (WHO),<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> which identified suicide as the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds in 2016, worldwide. Suicide rates have been on the rise throughout the U.S., including in Ohio, where, from 2007 to 2018, the number of suicides among youth ages 10 to 24 increased by 56%, while the suicide rate increased by 64%.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <h2>Suicide Deaths in Ohio Increased by Nearly 45%</h2> <p>When all age groups were factored in, suicide rates in Ohio rose by nearly 45% from 2007 to 2018, according to the report, with most suicides committed among adults aged 45 to 64. Overall, five people die due to suicide daily in the state, while one youth commits suicide every 33 hours.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>While suicides increased the most among youth, other populations also saw steep increases, including black men, with an increase of nearly 54% from 2014 to 2018, and adults aged 65 years and older, who had a nearly 48% rise from 2007 to 2018.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> Men were also about four times more likely to commit suicide than women.</p> <p>A CDC report also revealed that students in Cleveland, Ohio, are more likely to attempt suicide than students in other cities. The report found that 2 in 10 high school students in the city tried to commit suicide in 2015, which means 20% of the high school population is suicidal.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <p>Cleveland is also home to the school district with the second-highest poverty rate in the U.S., along with close to 4,000 homeless students, which plays a role in suicide risk. Poverty, domestic violence, parental separation and other adverse childhood experiences that are more common in Cleveland youth than in other areas, account for some of the suicidal tendencies.</p> <p>“It is not surprising, considering the environment in our urban setting, but it’s always alarming,” said Cleveland Metropolitan School District psychologist Bill Stencil to News 5 Cleveland. “High areas of poverty also have the stressors that go along with it, which may lend themselves to contemplating suicide, or actually attempting.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup></p> <h2>Suicide Is the 10th Leading Cause of Death in the US</h2> <p>As in Ohio, suicide rates rose across the U.S. from 1999 to 2016, making it the 10th leading cause of death. In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans aged 10 and older committed suicide, and more than half of them did not have a diagnosed mental health condition.</p> <p>“Relationship problems or loss, substance misuse, physical health problems and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to risk for suicide,” the CDC noted, but added, “Suicide is rarely caused by a single factor.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> Suicide rates varied across the U.S., from a low of 6.9 per 100,000 residents per year in Washington to a high of 29.2 per year in Montana.</p> <p>However, rates increased in nearly all U.S. states, 25 of which had increases of more than 30%. CDC principal deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat called suicide a “tragedy for families and communities across the country.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <h2>Nearly 800,000 People Die by Suicide Globally Every Year</h2> <p>In calling suicide a “serious global public health issue,” WHO said the nearly 800,000 people who die by suicide annually is more than the number of people killed by <a href="">malaria</a>, <a href="">breast cancer</a>, war or homicide.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> Even among teenagers aged 15 to 19 years, suicide is the second leading cause of death after road injury.</p> <p>“ … [M]any suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship breakup or chronic pain and illness,” WHO noted, adding:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; indigenous peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons; and prisoners. By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Farmers, particularly those in rural agricultural areas in low- and middle-income countries, are also disproportionately affected. It’s estimated that self-poisoning with pesticides is responsible for 20% of suicides worldwide.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> In India, alone, about 16,000 farmers die due to suicide every year.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup></p> <p>Because intentional pesticide poisoning is so common among farmers, WHO cited reducing access to pesticides as an “underused but highly effective strategy” for suicide prevention:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The intervention that has the most imminent potential to bring down the number of suicides is restricting access to pesticides that are used for self-poisoning. The high toxicity of many pesticides means that such suicide attempts often lead to death, particularly in situations where there is no antidote or where there are no medical facilities nearby.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Should the US Have a Psychologist General?</h2> <p>Writing in Scientific American, Kirk J. Schneider, a psychologist and member of the Council of the American Psychological Association, suggested a novel idea: that Congress should create a “psychologist general,” an office that would be dedicated to Americans’ mental health, similar to that of the surgeon general for physical health needs.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p> <p><a href="">Anxiety disorders</a> represent the most common mental illness in the U.S., with 40 million U.S. adults affected.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup> Further, in the U.S., an estimated 3.2 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 suffer from depression, defined as having at least one major depressive episode in a year.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <p>This accounts for 13.3% of adolescents, who experienced a period of at least two weeks with a depressed mood, loss of interest in daily activities and other symptoms, such as problems with sleep, appetite, energy, concentration or feelings of self-worth. <a href="">Depression</a> among adolescents is on the rise, increasing by 30% in the last 10 years,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup> which could be one factor in why suicide rates are also increasing.</p> <p>As Schneider noted, while the U.S. has the Public Health Services to communicate health recommendations to the public, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is geared toward mental health, SAMHSA focuses on addition and “shorter-term, behavioral modalities,” and is medically oriented, which “may not be adequate to address the intense psychological needs of many in the nation.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup> Schneider explained:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Such a position could be filled by a psychologist, a counselor, a social worker, a researcher or a psychiatrist — but he or she must have specific expertise in psychological approaches to public mental health …</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>[T]here are indications that many in our society are overmedicated and that potent psychological methodologies could give people the resources to function more sustainably on their own or in conjunction with appropriate medical care.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>There is clearly a lack of mental health support in the U.S., and what does exist often uses medications as a first line of treatment, when a more comprehensive approach is warranted.</p> <p>In fact, in 2013 1 in 6 Americans was taking antidepressants or some other type of psychiatric drug, and most appear to be taking them long-term.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup> Meanwhile, suicide rates continue to rise, and antidepressant drugs, which may <a href="">increase suicide risk</a>, are not the answer for most.</p> <h2>The 12 Warning Signs of Suicide</h2> <p>According to the CDC, the 12 warning signs that someone may be contemplating or getting close to suicide are:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup></p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Feeling like a burden</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Being isolated</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Increased anxiety</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Increased substance use</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Looking for a way to access lethal means</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Increased anger or rage</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Extreme mood swings</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Expressing hopelessness</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Sleeping too little or too much</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Talking or posting about wanting to die</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Making plans for suicide</p></td> </tr></tbody> </table> <p>The Ohio Department of Public Health also noted the following <a href="">warning signs of suicide</a>:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span></sup></p> <ul> <li>A major change in mood or behavior, appearing consistently unhappy, depressed, irritable or withdrawn from family and friends</li> <li>Poor grades in school or bad performance in extracurricular activities</li> <li>Problems with concentration or changes in energy level or sleep schedule</li> <li>Hurting themselves (wrist cutting, burning self)</li> <li>History of depression or family history of depression</li> </ul> <p>“If you know someone is struggling, you may be able to help save someone’s life by recognizing the warning signs and steps to take,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup> If you notice someone showing signs of contemplating suicide, it’s recommended that you ask them directly if they’re having suicidal thoughts.</p> <p>“Asking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide but does open up conversation,” the Ohio Department of Public Health explains. From there, be sure to listen to the person’s response and respond accordingly. Be sure to keep lethal means, such as firearms, away from them and call 911 if you’re in the middle of a crisis.</p> <p>For ongoing support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line (text “4hope” to 741 741). For more information about how to prevent suicide, see</p> <ol> <li>Ask how they are feeling and if they are considering ending their life, or if they have a plan to do so</li> <li>Don't let them be alone and do your best to keep them safe</li> <li>Make yourself available to them</li> <li>Reach out to them daily and help them connect to others</li> <li>Follow up</li> </ol> <h2>Comprehensive Care for Mental Health</h2> <p>If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, the important first step is getting help. In the longer term, however, lifestyle-based strategies, including <a href="">dietary changes</a> and exercise, are important. Certain foods are dense sources of nutrients known to help prevent depression as well as help recover from it, for instance. Twelve such antidepressant nutrients include:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup></p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Folate</a></p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Iron</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Magnesium</a></p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Potassium</p></td> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Selenium</a></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Thiamine</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Vitamin A</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Vitamin B6</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Vitamin B12</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Vitamin C</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Zinc</p></td> </tr></tbody> </table> <p>These can be found in such foods as seafood, particularly <a href="">wild-caught Alaskan salmon</a>, herring, sardines and anchovies, <a href="">leafy greens</a>, cruciferous vegetables and <a href="">grass fed organ meats</a>. If you’re struggling with mental health, it’s best to work with a holistic health care provider who can ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to function optimally on a mental level.</p> <p>Learning how to use an energy psychology tool like the <a href="">Emotional Freedom Techniques</a> (EFT) can also make an enormous difference if you suffer from depression or any other kind of emotional challenge.</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post hit piece on Articles urn:uuid:f3d941a9-1ba5-8889-4e83-8338b15001a5 Wed, 04 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>On December 2, 2019 I was contacted yet again by the Washington Post indicating they would like me to answer more questions for their article.</p> <p>Oddly, we were already in receipt of the article with a publication date of November 15, 2019. These additional questions were disingenuous as they had 'accidentally' published the article, evidently without their knowledge as they are now republishing this hit piece they've been putting together since August.</p> <a href="" target="_blank"> <figure class="center-img"> <img alt="article written by satijan and sun" style="border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; width: 100%; max-width: 350px !important;" src=""> </figure> </a> <p class="hide-figcap"><strong>&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; <a href="" target="_blank">Click Here</a> &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;</strong> </p> <p>Back on August 9, 2019, I was first contacted by Washington Post reporter Lena H. Sun. She requested an interview, which I had to decline due to travel and speaking engagements. Instead, I asked her to send me the questions, so I could respond in writing.</p> <p>Considering the biased and clearly industry-favorable reporting done by Sun and The Washington Post on previous occasions, I would not be surprised if my answers are twisted or misinterpreted to support an industry narrative, so I've decided to publish all of The Washington Post's questions to me, along with my complete answers. I expect The Washington Post article to be published later this week.</p><p>The Washington Post reporters are really concerned with how much money I make selling vitamins, which is pretty funny considering their owner has admitted to selling and profiting off of&nbsp;<a href="">FAKE supplements</a>!&nbsp; What are the chances we will see those revealing details in their sleuthing?</p> <p>In my response, I also confronted Sun about The Washington Post's concerted efforts to "dig up dirt" on me and my company, as well as her failure to publish a correction to a vaccine story in which she made a provably false claim. Below, you will find correspondence to Sun in its entirety.</p> <p>As noted in an August 6, 2019, HuffPost article<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> by Paul Thacker, media reporters and columnists are routinely enlisted, groomed and secretly used to disseminate industry propaganda, and Sun's reporting bears many of the hallmarks and talking points of the vaccine industry. Her questions to me have them as well.</p> <p>In his article,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> Thacker highlights another Washington Post columnist, Tamar Haspel, whose blogs and articles consistently favor the GMO industry and chemical agriculture. Haspel has also become a voice for GMO Answers (an industry front group created by Monsanto's PR firm, Ketchum). Not surprisingly, there's now evidence suggesting Haspel works rather closely with Monsanto and Ketchum. According to Thacker:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"For many who have been suspicious of Haspel's relationship with agrichemical giants, the documents are further evidence that she's too close to the industry she writes about and that her prominent column at The Washington Post provides a perch to spread misleading information about agriculture and the food we eat."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>The war on health freedom is heating up</h2> <p>I've been publishing articles about the dangers of <a href="">social engineering</a> and data collection by the largest monopolies for several years. Facebook, Google and Amazon are engaged in a dangerous attempt to control the masses through massive data collection, surveillance and censorship. </p> <p>These technology tyrants are working overtime to prevent access to information that contradicts their world view and ultimate goal, driven by greed, conquest and insatiable lust for control.</p> <p>While the justifications given for the current <a href="">censorship on holistic health</a> in general and vaccine safety in particular is that of "public safety," one must question the rationale behind <a href="">blocking first-hand testimony of vaccine damage</a>, and bullying and maligning of victims of medical harm rather than supporting them and investigating the causes that allow for harms to occur on such vast scales.</p> <p>Between the current online censorship and the exponential advancement of artificial intelligence, our ability to think independently is under immediate threat. Social engineering tactics are employed from every angle — the manipulation and control of a significant portion of the global population is occurring right before our very eyes.</p> <p>There is a reason that data has become the world's most valuable resource, exceeding the value of oil.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> As reported by The Economist in 2017,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> Amazon captures 50 cents of every dollar Americans spend online, while <a href="">Google and Facebook</a> between them "accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America" in 2016. </p> <p>Facebook alone makes billions by tracking every click, image, word and GPS location of its users and then selling that information to anyone willing to pay. Google, meanwhile, has infiltrated virtually every nook and cranny of our lives. </p> <p>By taking over schools, it now has the means to start its extensive data harvesting right from childhood, building the most extensive personality profiles of a generation ever conceived. </p> <p>And, while current censorship and social engineering efforts are focused primarily on eliminating voices that are critical of vaccines, it would be foolish and naïve in the extreme to believe it will end there. </p> <p>Ultimately, the end goal is total control — they will tell you what you need, be it a vaccine, a medication, a toxic food or any other goods or services, and you are to comply, handing over your mind, body and cash, no questions asked. </p> <div class="video-rwd"> <figure class="op-interactive aspect-ratio"> <iframe src="" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></figure> </div> <p>Surveillance and social manipulation through censorship and "curated content" are all required for such a nonviolent yet hostile takeover to work, and all of them are currently in play, right before our eyes, behind our backs.</p> <h2>Big Brother joins big tech in 'Surveillance Valley'</h2> <p>As reported by NBC News<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> August 8, 2019, Amazon is now "developing high-tech surveillance tools" for the U.S. police force, saying it "has a duty to help police, defense and intelligence agencies." </p> <p>While there are benefits, there are also hidden drawbacks and side effects of such partnerships, the most obvious one being the expansion of government's ability to surveil Americans without just cause.</p> <p>Amazon founder and CEO Jeffrey Bezos also bought The Washington Post in 2013.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> Now, what could the owner of a massive monopoly, who has no newspaper experience, want with a newspaper?</p><p>Considering the power of collecting data and controlling information at the scale that this surveillance allows, logic will tell you that when you combine mass data collection capabilities with a massive media empire, you develop the synergistic ability to protect and further your goal — whatever it might be, from moment to moment.<br></p> <p>Google and Facebook follow the same model — they collect data, control information and use artificial intelligence for social engineering purposes. I've been the target of hit pieces pushing industry propaganda for a long time, and I've been talking about the dangers of these technology tyrants for years. </p> <p>We are now looking at the "endgame" for the continued existence of freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and not only your ability but also your very right to take control of your health. All of these basic human rights of autonomy and self-determination are under attack, and unless we defend them with everything we've got, we may well lose them all. </p> <p>What follows are my responses exactly as I wrote them to Sun's questions exactly as she wrote them for her Washington Post article, starting with my commentary on her attempts to extract information from former employees.</p> <h2>Confronting Sun about dirt digging and false statements </h2> <p>Before I answer your questions, I have a comment to make: We've received disturbing communications from former employees informing us of your attempts to solicit negative opinions and confidential business data from them. If you are interested in seeing the true culture at, the following video was recently produced by some of my employees to celebrate our 22nd anniversary.</p> <div class="video-rwd"> <figure class="op-interactive aspect-ratio"> <iframe src=";rel=0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </figure> </div> <p>Furthermore, in an October 25, 2017, story you <a href="">published false information</a> about vaccines and whooping cough, which you stated does not occur in communities with high rates of immunization. We duly sent you a correction. Your response, oddly, was to <a href="">delete the false information</a> but, to our knowledge, you did not issue a correction. </p> <p>If you did publish a correction and we missed it, please advise. </p> <p>This type of journalistic error being covered up and your repeated questions containing false claims and attacks on others supporting informed consent principles demonstrates a reckless disregard of the truth and adherence to fair journalism standards which include presenting opposing views and different perspectives. </p> <p>Some of the claims you make about me and my company are not remotely true. </p> <div class="indent"> <p><span class="bullet">• </span>You claim that I state "my products are better than vaccines." If such a statement is indeed found on my website, why don't you provide the link? To allege that I claim "my products are better than vaccines," is false, and demonstrates a reckless disregard of the truth. </p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span>You claim I "tell[s] people not to get vaccinated and to take Vitamin D instead." That statement is twice false: I do not tell people not to get vaccinated, and I do not say to take vitamin D instead of getting vaccinated. Making either claim in any article you publish would demonstrate a reckless disregard for the truth. </p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span>You infer that I make big profits by taking on unpopular positions and getting attacked by critics. I donate a significant amount of sales to nonprofit groups — none of it earmarked — to advance individual and public health by encouraging people to take control of their health and defend their freedom to do that. </p> <p>Consumers have enormous power if they have the knowledge and freedom to wield it, and I urge everyone to make informed choices that improve their health and decrease their need to rely on pharmaceutical products or medical interventions that have real risks and cause tens of thousands of deaths each year, not just in this country but in countries around the world. </p> </div> <h2>The Washington Post Q&amp;A</h2> <h2>Question: Tell us your story, how you got into medicine and natural health. </h2> <p>Answer: As a child I dreamed of becoming an astronaut and began my academic studies in an engineering program before changing my major to pre-med. I graduated from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1982 and became board certified in family medicine in 1985 before starting my own practice. I answer most of these questions in more detail <a href="">in this short video</a>.</p> <h2>Question: How many products do you sell and how would you categorize them? What are your most popular products? Why are your products better than vaccines, as you say on your web site?</h2> <p>Answer: There are more than 100 different products at that include vitamins and supplements, organic fruit and vegetable powders, biodynamic foods, Alaskan seafood, grass fed beef, organic cotton clothing and pet products. </p> <p>Please provide the reference regarding the claim that "my products are better than vaccines". That is a blatantly false and defamatory statement. </p><p>If you are referring to <a href="">this video recorded by Dr. Joe Prendergast</a>, he explains why he believes Vitamin D is more powerful than any vaccine. I can't find anything that resembles your false accusation.</p> <h2>Question: How has your business evolved? What were you selling in the 90s, mid 2000s, and later? How much do your businesses make? In the natural health space, how big of a player are you? </h2> <p>Answer: I started my website in the late 1990's to share information with my patients and their families. For the first three years of running the site, I supported the cost entirely from my medical practice alone and sold no products. </p><p>I eventually realized that did not scale well as the site grew in popularity. The only realistic options were to either charge for a subscription for the information, accept advertising, or sell my own products. </p><p>Subscribers wanted free information, and I didn't want to advertise products and businesses that I didn't trust or believe in – so I formulated, tested, and sold my own brand of products to support the website. </p><p>I have around 175 employees. It is a fairly small business in comparison to the companies that make up a majority of the nutraceutical space. My business makes less than Jeff Bezos makes while shaving.</p> <h2>Question: Do you still practice medicine/see patients and if not, when did you stop practicing medicine? </h2> <p>Answer: I stopped seeing patients in 2009 so I could concentrate my time on publishing my research. Instead of helping tens of thousands of people in my office, I could help hundreds of millions of people nationally and internationally. My website is now published in 11 languages. </p> <h2>Question: How would you characterize your position on vaccines and how has it evolved, if at all? </h2> <p>Answer: I believe very strongly in the principle of informed consent and am deeply concerned about the enormous amounts of money spent by pharmaceutical companies to lobby federal and state legislatures. The deep conflicts of interest that exist because of public-private business partnerships between drug company giants and federal health agencies has created a revolving door that is progressively eroding consumer safety. </p><p>I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all-cradle-to-grave mandated use of liability-free vaccines because it violates individual freedoms and eliminates health care choices. I think medical policies that rely almost exclusively on indiscriminate use of prescription drugs and vaccines by children and adults does not protect individual or public health. </p><p>The <a href="">revolving door </a>between top government health officials and pharmaceutical companies is particularly disturbing. Gottlieb goes to Pfizer, Gerberding goes to Merck – the <a href=" ">list goes on and on</a>.</p><p>The CDC itself <a href="">deceives the public</a> by presenting disclaimers that erroneously claim no financial conflicts of interest while receiving millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies.</p><p>The <a href="">pharmaceutical choices</a> we make must remain free from any legally mandated social penalties. The pharmaceutical and pesticide industries operate essentially in the same way as criminal <a href="">organizations exploiting people</a> for financial gain. The <a href=" ">mass media</a> is quite friendly to industry talking points and very protective of its advertisers and advertising money.</p><p>The <a href=" ">pharmaceutical companies</a> spend billions of dollars every year advertising through media.</p> <h2>Question: We understand that you reached out to Barbara Loe Fisher around 2007/2008 to work with her. What prompted you to do so? Tax records show you've given around $400,000 a year to the National Vaccine Information Center -- why did you decide to do this and what do you see as the benefit for </h2> <p>Answer: I personally reached out to NVIC over a decade ago because they produce accurate, referenced information and are completely aligned with my philosophical beliefs. </p><p>I can strongly assure you that being an adversary to powerful industries is not a positive for a business like mine being targeted with major discrediting campaigns and the leveraging of regulatory agencies, which is just a small part of the cost required to engage in these battles. </p> <h2>Question: Tax records also show you fund the Organic Consumer Association and others. Can you tell us why you decided to fund these groups. Can you also tell us more about what the Health Liberty Coalition does and why you founded it? </h2> <p>Answer: I support the Organic Consumers Association because of their dedication to improving food &amp; agriculture. Good health requires good food, but we've polluted most of the earth's water and depleted much of the soils. Agriculture consolidation and control is threatening the very existence of farmers, and the fertilizer / pesticide treadmill the current processed food business depends on is toxic and unsustainable.</p><p>The pesticide industry is increasingly damaging our health and deceiving people, extending their tentacles into scientific journals and media. </p> <p>A Washington Post <a href="">columnist's relationship</a> has recently been uncovered as part of a strategic relationship for the agrichemical business. </p> <p><a href="">Regeneration International</a> is an initiative I support through the OCA. </p> <p>All of the organizations I support can be found in the footer of my website. They are all dedicated to protecting individual rights, the environment, and improving health by helping eliminate barriers that industry and government have created to achieve optimal health. All contributions are in the form of unrestricted grants. I believe in the mission of these organizations and ask for nothing in return. </p><p>Health Liberty was started as a way for non-profits working to empower people with information to network and share knowledge. There is massive social engineering occurring, especially by the technofascists of Silicon Valley – and I believe that everything that can be done should be done to empower individuals to take control of their health. </p> <h2>Question: Has NVIC helped your business? If so, what are the examples? </h2> <p>Answer: As stated previously, for more than a decade I have financially supported the work of the National Vaccine Information Center, a charitable organization founded by parents of vaccine injured children in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. I believe in their mission and their strong defense of civil liberties and human rights, including the human right to exercise informed consent to medical procedures or use of pharmaceutical products like va How to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder Articles urn:uuid:91b5eaf1-08d9-09ba-c167-6251d18cd9d4 Wed, 04 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>The loss of daylight hours during winter is a common cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that hits seasonally and lifts as spring and summer rolls back around. </p> <p>The fact that SAD occurs when the days begin to darken and sunlight is at a minimum is not a coincidence. Your health and mood are intricately tied to <a href="">exposure to sunlight</a>. For example, your serotonin levels (the hormone typically associated with elevating your mood) rise when you're exposed to bright light. </p> <p>Your melatonin level also rises and falls — inversely — with light and darkness. When it's dark, your melatonin levels increase, which is why you may feel tired when the sun starts to set, and in the heart of winter, this may be at as early as 3 p.m. if you live far from the equator. Light and darkness also control your biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which impacts hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism. </p> <p>As explained in the paper, “Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches,” published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment in 2015:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“… SAD is a recurrent major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern usually beginning in fall and continuing into winter months. A subsyndromal type of SAD, or S-SAD, is commonly known as ‘winter blues.’ Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Symptoms center on sad mood and low energy. Those most at risk are female, are younger, live far from the equator, and have family histories of depression, bipolar disorder, or SAD … Typical treatment includes antidepressant medications, light therapy, vitamin D, and counselling.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Considering the many health risks associated with antidepressants, and the fact that their efficacy is right on par with placebos, my recommendation is to avoid them if at all possible.</p> <p>Aside from light therapy and vitamin D, other drug-free treatment options include optimizing your omega-3 level, exercise, the <a href="">Emotional Freedom Techniques</a> (EFT) and normalizing your circadian rhythm, all of which will be reviewed here.</p> <h2>The Role of Vitamin D</h2> <p>As explained in the featured paper,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> <a href="">vitamin D</a> appears to play a role in the activity of serotonin, a mood-balancing hormone, and <a href="">melatonin</a>, a hormone that responds to light and dark. </p> <p>People with SAD tend to have lower serotonin and higher melatonin levels, which can account for the fatigue, tiredness and depressed mood typically associated with this condition. According to the Depression Research and Treatment paper:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“A</em><em> systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression … During the winter months of November through February, those living about 33 degrees north or 30 degrees south of the equator are not able to synthesize vitamin D.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Many people with SAD and S-SAD have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D, and although no further studies have confirmed the findings, research investigating this association suggests that taking 100,000 IU daily may improve their symptoms. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Taking vitamin D before winter darkness sets in may help prevent symptoms of depression. Adverse reactions or intoxication is rare but could occur from doses of more than 50,000 IU per day.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">Vitamin D deficiency</a> is very common, and should be a top consideration when you’re looking for a solution to flagging mood and energy — especially if it occurs during fall and winter months. </p> <p>Ideally, you’ll want to get your vitamin D level tested twice a year, in summer and winter, when your levels are highest and lowest. This will help you fine-tune your dosage over time. While regular <a href="">sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D level</a>, this isn’t possible in many areas during the winter, thus necessitating the use of oral supplements instead. </p> <p>GrassrootsHealth has a helpful calculator that can help estimate the dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. The optimal level you’re looking for is between 60 and 80 ng/ml, and for all-around health, you’ll want to maintain this level year-round. </p> <h2>Omega-3 Fats Are Important Too</h2> <p>Another nutrient that can be helpful is marine-based <a href="">omega-3</a>. As noted in a 2009 review<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> of three studies looking at the impact of omega-3 supplementation on patients with unipolar depression, childhood major depression and bipolar depression:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Twelve bipolar outpatients with depressive symptoms were treated with 1.5-2.0 g/day of EPA for up to 6 months. In the adult unipolar depression study, highly significant benefits were found by week 3 of EPA treatment compared with placebo. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>In the child study, an analysis … showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on each of the three rating scales. In the bipolar depression study, 8 of the 10 patients who completed at least one month of follow-up achieved a 50% or greater reduction in Hamilton depression scores within one month.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In another study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> published that same year, people with lower blood levels of omega-3s were found to be more likely to have symptoms of depression and a more negative outlook while those with higher blood levels demonstrated the opposite emotional states.</p> <p>A more recent review,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> published in 2015, pointed out that “Cell signaling and structure of the cell membrane are changed by omega-3-fatty acids, which demonstrates that an omega-3-fatty acid can act as an antidepressant.” </p> <p>Importantly, this paper also points to research showing that the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is an important factor that can influence your depression risk. People with severe symptoms of depression have been found to have low concentrations of omega-3 in conjunction with considerably higher concentrations of omega-6. </p> <p>You can learn more about the importance of this ratio in “<a href="">Getting Your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio Right Is Essential For Optimal Health</a>.” The key, really, to normalizing this ratio is to increase your omega-3 intake while simultaneously lowering your omega-6 consumption. This means you’ll need to ditch processed and fried foods, as they’re typically loaded with omega-6-rich vegetable oils.</p> <h2>Get Tested Today</h2> <p>GrassrootsHealth, which is conducting consumer-sponsored research into both vitamin D and omega-3, is one of your most cost-effective alternatives when it comes to testing. </p> <p>Their vitamin D testing kit enrolls you into the GrassrootsHealth D*Action project, where your anonymized data will help researchers to provide accurate data about the vitamin D status in the population, the level at which disease prevention is obtained, and guidance on dosing to achieve optimal levels.</p> <a href="" target="_blank"> <figure class="center-img"> <img style="width: 100%; max-width: 210px !important;" alt="vitamin D testing kit" src=""></figure> </a> <p class="hide-figcap"><strong>&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; <a href="" target="_blank">Click Here</a> &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;</strong></p> <p>Their <a href="">vitamin D, magnesium and omega-3 test kit</a> is another option that will allow you to check the status of several vital nutrients at once. Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth. A link to your test results will be emailed to you about a week after your blood samples have been received. </p> <a href="" target="_blank"> <figure class="center-img"> <img style="width: 100%; max-width: 210px !important;" alt="vitamin D magnesium omega 3 test kit" src=""></figure> </a> <p class="hide-figcap"><strong>&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; <a href="" target="_blank">Click Here</a> &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;</strong></p> <h2>Light Therapy Is More Effective Than Antidepressants </h2> <p>Light therapy,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> using full-spectrum nonfluorescent lighting that has blue light to artificially mimic sunlight, is among the most effective treatment options for SAD. You want to avoid fluorescents as they emit large amounts of dirty electricity. Ideally, have the light exposure in the morning, well after sunrise. As noted in the Depression Research and Treatment paper:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Knowing the difference decreased daylight can make in triggering SAD and S-SAD, approaches seeking to replace the diminished sunshine using bright artificial light, particularly in the morning, have consistently showed promise …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Light boxes can be purchased that emit full spectrum light similar in composition to sunlight. Symptoms of SAD and S-SAD may be relieved by sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, from the early fall until spring …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Typically, light boxes filter out ultraviolet rays and require 20–60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white… light daily during fall and winter. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>This is about 20 times as great as ordinary indoor lighting … Light therapy should not be used in conjunction with photosensitizing medications such as lithium, melatonin, phenothiazine antipsychotics, and certain antibiotics.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>While light therapy can take up to four weeks before you notice an improvement, it was shown to be more effective than antidepressants for moderate to severe depression in a 2015 study.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup> In it, the researchers evaluated the effectiveness of light therapy, alone and in conjunction with the antidepressant fluoxetine (sold under the brand name Prozac). </p> <p>The eight-week trial included 122 adults between the ages of 19 and 60, who were diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. The participants were divided into four groups, receiving:</p> <ul> <li>30 minutes of light therapy per day upon waking, using a 10,000 lux Carex brand day-light device, classic model, plus a placebo pill</li> <li>Prozac (20 mg/day) plus a deactivated ion generator serving as a placebo light device</li> <li>Light therapy plus Prozac</li> <li>Placebo light device plus placebo pill (control group)</li> </ul> <p>In conclusion, the study found that the combination of light therapy and Prozac was the most effective — but light therapy-only came in at a close second, followed by placebo. In other words, the drug treatment was the least effective of all, including placebo.</p> <p>The mean changes in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale from baseline to the eight-week end point was 16.9 for the combination therapy (active light- and drug therapy), and 13.4 for light therapy alone. </p> <h2>Blue Light During Daytime Hours May Improve Your Mood</h2> <p>In addition to the bright white light used in light therapy, blue light has also been shown to be useful. According to a 2010 study,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> <a href="">blue light</a> appears to play a key role in your brain's ability to process emotions, and its results suggest that spending more time in blue-enriched light could help prevent SAD.</p> <p>Blue light is prevalent in outdoor light, so your body absorbs the most during the summer and much less in the winter. Because of this, the researchers suggested that adding blue light to indoor lighting, as opposed to the standard yellow lights typically used, may help boost mood and productivity year-round, and especially during the winter. </p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that blue light after sunset or before sunrise should be avoided, as it can disrupt your circadian rhythm. In fact, one of the reasons for insomnia and poor sleep is related to excessive exposure to blue light-emitting technologies such as TV and computer screens, especially in the evening. </p> <p>The blue light depresses melatonin production, thereby preventing you from feeling sleepy. So, to be clear, you only want to expose yourself to blue light in the morning, and possibly afternoon, but not in the evening.</p> <p>In “<a href="">How the Cycles of Light and Darkness Affect Your Health and Well-Being</a>,” researcher Dan Pardi explains the peculiar effect blue light has on your brain, which sheds further light on why it’s so important to expose yourself to blue light during daytime hours only, and why you need to avoid it at night:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"[R]ods and cones in the eye... are specialized cells that can transduce a photo signal into a nerve signal... In the mid-90s, a different type of cell was discovered... [called] intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGC). </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>It does the same thing as rods and cones: it transduced light to a nerve signal. But instead of the signal going to your visual cortex, it goes to your master clock. Those cells are most responsive to blue light. If you can block blue light, you can actually create something called circadian darkness or virtual darkness. </em></p> </blockquote><blockquote><p><em>What that means is that you can see, but your brain doesn't think that it's daytime; your brain thinks that it's in darkness. That is actually a practical solution for living with artificial light in our modern world... </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>With more awareness, future digital devices will adjust lighting in the evening to automatically dim and emit amber/red light [instead of blue]. This is much better for healthy circadian rhythms and sleep quality."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Address Insomnia</h2> <p>As you can tell by Pardi’s explanation above, the blue light issue is closely related to your sleep quality and <a href="">circadian rhythm maintenance</a>, and this too is an important component of mental health. </p> <p>Historically, humans went to sleep shortly after sunset and woke up when the sun rose. Straying too far from this biological pattern will disrupt delicate hormonal cycles in your body, which can affect both your mood and your health. Indeed, the link between depression and lack of sleep is well established, and sleep disturbance is one of the telltale signs of depression.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <p><a href="">Sleep therapy</a> has also been shown to significantly improve depression. While there are individual differences, as a general rule, you’ll want to aim for about eight hours of sleep per night. </p> <p>For many, this will require going to bed earlier, which can be difficult if you’ve been watching TV or using electronics beforehand, as the blue light from the screen suppresses your melatonin production.</p> <p>So, an important part of the solution is to avoid screen-time for a couple of hours before bed. Alternatives to not watching TV or using electronics is to install a blue light modulating software such as Iris,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> or using <a href="">blue-blocking glasses</a>. </p> <p>Just make sure you don't wear blue blocking glasses during the daytime, which is when you need the blue light exposure. Also, make sure the glasses filter out light between 460 to 490 nanometers (nm), which is the range of blue light that most effectively reduces melatonin. You can easily tell this by looking at a blue light and if it doesn’t disappear with the glasses, it is not blocking that frequency. </p> <h2>Exercise Helps Prevent Depression</h2> <p>Like sleep, exercise can impact your risk of depression. Even a minimal amount of exercise may be enough to combat depression in some people — as little as one hour a week could prevent 12% of future cases of depression, according to one study.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> </p> <p>Participants were followed for 11 years in this study, during which time it was revealed that people who engaged in regular leisure-time exercise for one hour a week, regardless of intensity, were less likely to become depressed. On the flipside, those who didn't exercise were 44% more likely to become depressed compared to those who did so for at least one to two hours a week. </p> <p>Exercise benefits your brain and mood via multiple mechanisms, including creating new, excitable neurons along with new neurons designed to release the GABA neurotransmitter, which inhibits excessive neuronal firing, helping to induce a natural state of calm<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> — similar to the way anti-anxiety drugs work, except that the mood-boosting benefits of exercise occur both immediately after a workout and on in the long term. </p> <p>Exercise also boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. What's more, anandamide levels are known to increase during and following exercise.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> <a href="">Anandamide</a> is a neurotransmitter and endocannabinoid produced in your brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. It can also be activated with CBD products. </p> <h2>Tap for Symptoms of Depression</h2> <div class="video-rwd"> <figure class="op-interactive aspect-ratio"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src=";rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe> </figure> </div> <p>Last but not least, EFT, a form of psychological acupressure, is a noninvasive way that can help treat symptoms of depression, whether related to seasonal light differences or not. </p> <p>Some people avoid energy psychology, believing it's an alternative form of New Age spirituality. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is merely an advanced tool that can effectively address some of the psychological short circuiting that occurs in emotional illnesses. </p> <p>It is not associated with any religion or spiritual outlook at all, but merely an effective resource you can use with whatever spiritual belief you have. In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how you can use EFT to relieve your This Protein Could Signal Early Death Articles urn:uuid:5d2673dd-55a7-deb5-a64b-01bfc86cdb34 Tue, 03 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>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.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> 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.</p> <p>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.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <p>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.</p> <p>According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <h2>Protein Linked to Muscle Damage Raises Risk of Death</h2> <p>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.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>When the patients were over 80 years with raised levels, 46% died within three years.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> The lead scientist of the study commented in a press release:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"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.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>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."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Other Things Can Also Raise Troponin Levels</h2> <p>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.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> 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.</p> <p>However, troponin protein may be released into your bloodstream following more than a heart attack.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> 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.</p> <div class="indent"> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Sepsis —</strong> This is a life-threatening condition triggered by a systemic infection that ultimately affects the function of your vital organs. <a href="">Sepsis </a>is sometimes referred to as blood poisoning and it is conservatively estimated to be responsible for 270,000 deaths each year.</p> <p>Troponin elevations may be the result of a combination of renal dysfunction, massive inflammatory response and increasing levels of catecholamine damage to the heart.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Stroke —</strong> An acute <a href="">ischemic stroke</a> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Pulmonary disease —</strong> 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.</p> <p>An acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been linked to an increase in all-cause mortality with elevations of serum troponin.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Chronic kidney disease —</strong> 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.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Chemotherapy —</strong> 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.</p> </div> <h2>Can You Have a Heart Attack and Not Know It?</h2> <p>Although the terms are used interchangeably, a heart attack and <a href="">cardiac arrest</a> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><a href="">Symptoms of a heart attack</a> 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:</p> <table class="generic-table"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Chest pain or discomfort</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Upper body discomfort</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Shortness of breath</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Breaking out in a cold sweat</p></td> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Nausea</a></p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Sudden dizziness</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Feeling unusually tired</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Lightheadedness</p></td> <td class="hide-mobile"></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>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.</p> <p>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:</p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Anxiety attack</p></td> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Back pain</a></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Heartburn</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Hot flashes</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Extreme fatigue</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Feeling electric shocks down on the left side</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Numbness and stiffness in the left arm and neck</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Feeling like there is a large pill stuck in your throat</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>Know Your Risk Factors and Take Action</h2> <p>Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology found women who addressed six lifestyle factors had the greatest impact on their <a href="">heart health</a>. In the study, nurses were followed for 20 years, starting around age 37.</p> <p>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:</p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Healthy diet</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Achieving a normal BMI (body fat percentage is more accurate)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Getting at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Watching television seven or fewer hours per week</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Not smoking</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Limiting alcohol intake to one drink or less per day</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>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.</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="">sitting </a>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> WebMD and Healthline Exposed Violating Your Privacy Articles urn:uuid:df58d4ff-2166-88e3-9708-35ea33eeb9cf Tue, 03 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p><strong>Expert Review by <a href="" target="_blank">Maryam Henein</a></strong></p> <p>As reported in a November 12, 2019, Financial Times article,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> dozens of popular health websites are tracking, storing and sharing your personal data, including WebMD (the leading health website) and Healthline (currently the third most popular health site<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup>). </p> <p>These two websites also, as of this year, dominate Google health searches, which virtually guarantees their continued growth and influence. “Establishment, big corporate pharma websites like WebMD are monopolizing the first page of results,” Google Whistleblower Zach Vorhies confirmed in an interview with The Epoch Times.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <p>I wrote about how these two websites use and share your data in my November 8, 2019, article “<a href="">Shocking Proof How Google Censors Health News</a>.” I’ve also covered this issue in other articles, so the Financial Times’ report came as no surprise to me. </p> <p>What some might not know is that this kind of information sharing is illegal in Europe. As reported by Financial Times:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Using open-source tools to analyse 100 health websites, which include WebMD, Healthline, Babycentre and Bupa, an FT investigation found that 79 per cent of the sites dropped ‘cookies’ — little bits of code that, when embedded in your browser, allow third-party companies to track individuals around the internet. This was done without the consent that is a legal requirement in the UK.”</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> Seventy-eight percent of the sites shared user data with DoubleClick, Google’s advertising arm, while 48% shared data with Amazon. Facebook, Microsoft and AppNexus, another advertising firm, also received user data. </p> <p>What this means is DoubleClick, Google’s ad service, will know which prescriptions you’ve searched for on these websites, thus providing you with personalized drug ads, and Facebook will know what you’ve searched for in WebMD’s symptom checker, as well as any diagnoses you received.</p> <h2>European Law Is Unambiguous and Far Stricter Than the US</h2> <p>According to Financial Times,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> “keywords such as ‘heart disease’ and ‘considering abortion’ were shared” from several sites, including Healthline, and eight of the 100 sites tested included specific identifiers that allow third parties to tie the information to specific individuals. Tracker cookies were also dropped without consent or before any consent was given. </p> <p>The following graphic, created by Financial Times, illustrates the flow of data from, a site that focuses on pregnancy, children’s health and parenting, to third parties, and the types of advertising these third parties then generate.</p> <figure class="center-img"> <img alt="user data sent to third parties" src="" style="max-width:500px;width:100%!important;"> </figure> <p>Wolfie Christl, a technologist and researcher, told Financial Times:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6&nbsp;</span></sup> “These findings are quite remarkable, and very concerning. From my perspective, this kind of data are clearly sensitive, has special protections under the [General Data Protection Regulation] and transmitting this data most likely violates the law.”</p> <p>Phil Smith, director-general of the U.K.s Incorporated Society of British Advertisers told<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation&nbsp;— which was implemented in May 2018 — is unambiguous and straight-forward: Websites must request and obtain “explicit consent for the sharing of ‘special category data,’” which includes health data. </p> <p>Other special category data considered to be particularly sensitive and needing explicit consent to be shared include race, ethnic origin, political persuasion, religious affiliation, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics, sexual orientation and details relating to your sex life.</p> <h2>Weeding Out ‘Undesirables’&nbsp; </h2> <p>In response to Financial Times’ report, Google said it “does not build advertising profiles from sensitive data,” and that it has “strict policies preventing advertisers from using such data to target ads."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> Well, if it’s not being used to personalize medical ads, what is the health data being used for, and why is it collected and shared in the first place? </p> <p>According to Tim Libert, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University who developed the open-source tool Financial Times used to investigate the information sharing, medical information can be used to “prey on the ill and vulnerable.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> Health data can also be used to secretly discriminate against certain individuals. As noted by Libert:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“As medical expenses leave many with less to spend on luxuries, these users may be segregated into ‘data silos’ of undesirables who are then excluded from favorable offers and prices. This forms a subtle, but real, form of discrimination against those perceived to be ill.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Your Mental Health Data Is Also Shared </h2> <p>A September 3, 2019, report<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> by the data privacy advocacy group Privacy International revealed mental health websites are also sharing sensitive personal data with third parties — including the answers and results from depression tests — again without the consent required under EU law.</p> <p>This analysis looked at 136 European mental health web pages, finding 97.8% of them had third-party elements such as cookies, and 76.04% had third-party trackers for marketing purposes.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <p>What’s more, some websites shared data with third parties in hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) rather than hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), used for secure communications over a computer network, which means the data, which contains unique identifiers, is susceptible to interception by hackers as well.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p> <p>Two sites, the NHS mood test and, also used “session replay scripts,” which “can be used to log (and then play back) everything users typed or clicked on a website.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> In other words, they would be able to tell whether you altered your test answers and/or searches.</p> <h2>Opt Out Option Is Still Not User Friendly</h2> <p>On a side note, Financial Times brings up a popup about its cookies and gives you the option to opt out of advertising based on your use of the Financial Times site. It also gives you the option to opt out of advertising based on your online activity, which is tracked by third party cookies linked to its site.</p> <p>Looking at their Manage Cookies page,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> you can get a feel for just how extensive that online activity tracking is. There are dozens of third party trackers, and you’d have to go to each one to opt out! Who has time for all of that — especially since you have to do that for every browser you use, and for every site you visit? While having the option to opt out is a step in the right direction, it’s still an unmanageable system for most users. </p> <p>As noted in the Privacy International report, “The burden should be on websites to protect user privacy by design and by default.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> In the meantime, Privacy International offers the following recommendations “to anybody looking for help and support online”:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup></p> <ul> <li>Block third party cookies on your browsers </li> <li>Use ad blockers and antitracking add-ons </li> <li>Before completing an online test for a mental health condition, make sure the website is trustworthy. If in doubt, seek out information from public health bodies, medical professionals or qualified charities </li> <li>In the U.K., Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. In the U.S., the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international helplines can be found at </li> </ul> <h2>Health Publishers Make Millions Off Online Searches</h2> <p>A recent AdBeat blog<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup> reviews just how all of this personal information is being used to generate millions in advertising revenue. Health websites obviously attract drug ads and sponsorships, and the pharmaceutical industry has deep pockets. In his blog, Bradley Nickel points out that:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of people looked online for health information within the past year … WebMD reports an average of 206 million unique users per month, and over 400 billion page views per quarter.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>There are many ways in which all these page views can be turned into revenue. Nickel reviews the monetization strategies of five health publishers: LifeScript (a women’s health publisher), WebMD, HealthCentral, eMedTV and Healthline. </p> <p>Estimates suggest WebMD made $10,977,280 in advertising revenue in six months, which means its total revenue for a single year could reach as high as $22 million. A majority of this revenue comes from direct buys. </p> <p>A majority of ads on WebMD are for over-the-counter drugs, which are strategically placed on related pages, meaning if you’re searching for “common cold,” you’re likely to find ads for Nyquil, Tylenol Cold &amp; Flu, Sudafed and similar cold and flu remedies. </p> <h2>Healthline Is All About Matching Users to Its Advertisers </h2> <p> Healthline is not too far behind WebMD with an estimated six-month ad revenue of $7,025,644, with a majority of it coming from direct buys. Unlike WebMD, Healthline’s top ads are prescription drugs. As noted by Nickel:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Direct Buys are the name of the game when it comes to monetizing traffic from sites related to health and wellness. A prescription drug company is a publisher’s dream. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Drug companies tend to have lots of cash to spend on advertising, a desire for large amounts of traffic, and getting permission to advertise prescription drugs on Google and other ad networks can be difficult.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In all, Healthline Media made more than $100 million in 2018. A big part of its rapidly growing success is its focus on content, AdExchanger contends.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup> Before 2011, Healthline licensed content and didn’t create any of its own — a decision that threatened to bankrupt the company. According to AdExchanger:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Today, Healthline employs 150 clinicians to review articles and cites academic research in stories. When Google revamped its search algorithm in fall 2018, with the ‘Medic’ update,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup> which changed the rankings for health sites based on the quality of their content, Healthline saw even more organic traffic sent its way.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In an interview with AdExchanger, Healthline Media CEO David Kopp explains how user data are used to satisfy the needs of its direct advertisers. “Several hundred data points” are monitored internally, Kopp says, and for 32% of the company’s advertisers, the first or second metric is audience quality or cost per qualified user. </p> <p>“For pharma, it might be someone diagnosed with a disease, and for a hospital, it might be someone looking for an ER in a geographic area,” he says. To allow advertisers to reach their target audience, Healthline places their advertisements “on content that is relevant to the product.” </p> <p>This, clearly, is the most effective way to sell a product. Talk about its benefits in an article, and have ads for that very product in the side bar. This, by the way, is illegal for nutritional supplements. I cannot tell you about how to use berberine to treat your Type 2 diabetes and link to a berberine product in my online store, for example. Yet, this is precisely what they’re doing with drugs. </p> <p>Healthline also offers condition-specific apps, where users can connect with others who have the same medical condition as they. This, undoubtedly, gives advertisers a first-row seat with a captive audience — a very select group of people they can be sure are looking for specific remedies and products.</p> <h2>Boycott Google to Protect Your Privacy</h2> <p>In addition to all of this data mining, Google is also <a href="">actively manipulating search results</a> and making decisions about what you’re allowed to see and what you’re not based on its own and third party interests — a topic detailed in a November 15, 2019, Wall Street Journal investigation.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup></p> <p>The dangers of censorship, data mining of sensitive information and tracking should be self-evident. It won’t take long before most people think and believe whatever Google and its advertisers want people to think and believe, and spend their money accordingly. </p> <p>This data mining could also end up being used in some sort of “social credit” system, similar to what already exists in China. Imagine not being allowed to purchase airplane tickets because you’re suspected of having a cold, based on your online searches and purchases, for example. </p> <p>Or, think what would happen if you are being denied a gym membership because you’ve been logged as having an STD. In truth, personal data can be misused in any number of unimaginable and discriminatory ways.</p> <p>Now, more than ever, we must work together to share health information with others by word of mouth, by text and email. We have built in simple sharing tools at the top of each article so you can easily email or text interesting articles to your friends and family.</p> <p>My information is here because all of you support and share it, and we can do this without Big Tech’s support. It’s time to boycott and share! Here are a few other suggestions:</p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Become a subscriber to my newsletter and encourage your friends and family to do the same. This is the easiest and safest way to make sure you’ll stay up to date on important health and environmental issues. </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>If you have any friends or relatives who are seriously interested in their health, please share important articles with them and encourage them to subscribe to our newsletter.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Consider dumping any Android phone the next time you get a phone. Android is a Google operating system and will seek to gather as much data as they can about you for their benefit. iPhone, while not perfect, appears to have better privacy protections.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Use the <a href="">internal search engine</a> when searching for articles on my site.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Boycott Google</a> by avoiding any and all Google products: </p> <ul> <li>Stop using Google search engines. Alternatives include <a href="">DuckDuckGo</a><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span></sup> and Qwant<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup> </li> <li>Uninstall Google Chrome and use Brave or <a href="">Opera browser</a> instead, available for all computers and mobile devices.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup> From a security perspective, Opera is far superior to Chrome and offers a free VPN service (virtual private network) to further preserve your privacy</li> <li>If you have a Gmail account, try a non-Google email service such as <a href="">ProtonMail</a>,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn27" data-hash="#ednref27">27</span></sup> an encrypted email service based in Switzerland </li> <li>Stop using Google docs. Digital Trends has published an article suggesting a number of alternatives<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn28" data-hash="#ednref28">28</span></sup> </li> <li>If you’re a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts</li> </ul> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Sign the <a href="">“Don’t be evil” petition</a> created by Citizens Against Monopoly </p></td></tr> </tbody> </table><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Why the Milk Monopoly Is Faltering Articles urn:uuid:d5ffbb0d-119a-e30f-5c6d-ab1d9c5748ad Mon, 02 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Life is about choice. Every day we make choices that determine how we want to live — what we eat, what we read, whom we elect and so on. But as lobby groups and Big Business wield their influence, your daily choices become increasingly limited. And when your options are deliberately cherry picked and certain alternatives are vilified and suppressed, how much choice do you really have?</p> <p>Milk is a perfect example of how your choices are being restricted for no other reason than to benefit big business. <a href="">Raw milk</a> is banned in many states on the basis of claims that it may make you sick. </p> <p>Yet, toxic herbicides and pesticides are dumped on our crops by the tankful, and this is touted as perfectly safe. If this reasoning seems nonsensical, then your reality testing is intact. </p> <p>Government and industry are marked by massive corruption that has permeated most of the regulatory bodies in the U.S. The fight for food freedom isn't just for those who love raw milk — it's for anyone who wants to be able to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice.</p> <p>In sharp contrast to the U.S., where raw milk is demonized, many European countries sell raw milk in vending machines, as illustrated in the featured video by The Healthy Home Economist.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> How can raw milk be safe all over Europe — safe enough to be dispensed from a vending machine, no less — yet be too hazardous to be sold in the U.S.?</p> <p>The answer to that is that it isn't dangerous at all. In fact, the U.S. standards for raw milk are in many instances higher than those for pasteurized milk. As noted by Healthy Home Economist founder Sarah Pope in the video,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> the reason Americans don't have free access to raw milk has nothing to do with consumer safety; it's about maintaining the profits of the Big Dairy monopoly.</p> <h2>Two Dairy Monopolies May Merge Into One</h2> <p>As reported by Washington Monthly,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> Dean Foods, the largest dairy processor in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2019.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> Aside from processors like Dean Foods, farmers have the option of selling their milk to dairy cooperatives, which negotiate sales of the milk to processors and retailers on behalf of its members. </p> <p>Dairy co-ops have been rapidly consolidating, however, leaving farmers with fewer options for sales. Now, their options may dwindle even further, as Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) — the largest dairy co-op in the U.S. — may end up buying Dean Foods.</p> <p>The merger would pose a serious conflict of interest for dairy farmers, as DFA is supposed to advocate for farmers but would end up being a processor. As such, they'd have an interest in keeping milk prices low, at the detriment of the more than 14,000 dairy farmers they represent.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <p>While combining these two monopolies would violate antitrust rules under normal circumstances, such mergers are legal when one firm is about to go out of business. Together under one umbrella, Dean Foods and DFA would form a monopoly that threatens the livelihood of farmers to a greater degree than any retaliatory tariffs from China ever could.</p> <p>DFA already controls about 30% of the raw milk supply while Dean controls 12% of the fluid milk market. Both of these monopolies have settled antitrust claims in the past, and their merger is hardly going to make it any less anticompetitive. As reported by Washington Monthly:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"… antitrust laws permit collusion once it occurs within a single corporation. 'The more DFA expands downstream into fluid milk processing the greater the leverage it's going to have in a variety of ways,' Peter Carstensen, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Law School and former Department of Justice antitrust attorney, told me. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>So-called ''tacit' coordination becomes much more possible because … that will be an internal corporate [decision].' The merger means that dairy farmers have even fewer processors competing to buy their milk.</em></p></blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>'As a producer, I'm concerned about DFA making this large a purchase,' said Charles Untz, a farmer and former DFA board member. 'It puts a lot of the control of the fluid market in the hands of one co-op. That sends a little fear as far as the milk price goes, because they can literally dictate what they pay for milk' …</em> </p> </blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>If DFA operated the way co-ops are supposed to, its farmer owners would be able to decide if a major deal like acquiring Dean Foods was worth the risk. But because of its vast size and entrenched management, farmers have little control</em><em> …"</em></p> </blockquote> <h2> Milk Industry Doesn't Understand Modern Consumers</h2> <p>Again and again, farmers are told to "go big or go broke." But this isn't necessarily true. At least this trend isn't the result of free market forces. In recent years, an increasing number of Americans have embraced organics and everything that goes with it, including minimal processing, higher nutrient density, fewer chemical contaminants and <a href="">animal welfare</a>.</p> <p>People are becoming more educated about the environmental impact of monocrop agriculture and <a href="">concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)</a>, as well as their ramifications for food quality and food safety. </p> <p>What a growing number of consumers want is more raw, organic and grass fed milk, yet the dairy industry is pushing forward with plans for ever-larger CAFOs and increased centralization and monopolization.</p> <p>This is why Dean is going bankrupt. It's not because it's not big enough already. It seems Big Dairy simply doesn't understand modern consumers, seeing how it's doing the complete opposite of what so many are calling for. </p> <p>Big Dairy ignores all of the concerns that have brought organics from a tiny little specialty niche into mainstream prominence. Among them is the growing public understanding of the health concerns associated with CAFO products. </p> <p>Just like ground beef mixtures, any given gallon of CAFO milk can contain milk from as many as thousands of cows. It takes just one sick cow to contaminate many thousands of hamburger patties or gallons of milk — even when processors assure you that their products have been inspected, tested and sanitized. </p> <p>On the other hand, the risk of widespread illness affecting hundreds of people all over the country is barely possible with ground beef and milk from small organic farms and dairies, as the ground beef you buy there typically comes from a single cow, and the milk is mixed with a limited number of cows on the farm. </p> <p>Another growing concern is the environmental pollution associated with CAFOs. Consumers are starting to recognize that CAFOs are among the biggest polluters destroying our air, soil and water, and are using their purchasing dollars to support operations that understand the role the farm plays in maintaining ecological balance, and are actually <a href="">improving the environment</a> rather than destroying it.</p> <h2>Fear-Mongering Used to Control Raw Milk Sales </h2> <p>Just where did America's fear of raw milk come from? Raw milk did go through a "dark age" in the mid-1800s, which is still used to seed fear in present day. At that time, the cows' diets, combined with unsanitary conditions, water supplies contaminated with raw sewage and lack of refrigeration led to the spread of diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid. Many died from raw milk that came from unsanitary dairies raising malnourished cows. </p> <p>The "swill milk" scandal also occurred around the 1850s.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> Dairy cows fed the remnants from grain distillation and raised in poor conditions produced diseased milk, which was then mixed with chalk and sold as fresh. A reported 8,000 children died as a result, which increased consumer support and industry acceptance of pasteurization.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup></p> <p>Today, this fear is still used as a tool to restrict your right to raw milk, even though the conditions that made raw milk unfit for consumption have long since been amended. </p> <h2>Tennessee Bill Seeks to Eliminate Herdshare Programs</h2> <p>A perfect example of government overreach based on these outdated fears is Senate Bill 15 (SB15), introduced in Tennessee by Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, which would make it illegal for a partial owner of a hoofed animal to drink the milk from that animal.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <p>Only a sole owner of a hoofed animal would be allowed to drink its milk. In essence, the bill is an attempt to snuff out herdshare programs. Herdshares are private agreements formed between farmers and individuals, which entitle you to the benefits of owning a "share" of a cow, such as a certain amount of milk each week. </p> <p>However, SB15 not only would make it illegal for herdshare owners to obtain raw milk but also would make it against the law for the farmer running a herdshare to drink milk from their own cow, as they would not be considered a "sole owner." </p> <p>SB15 is poised as a bill to protect the public welfare from the "risks" of drinking raw milk, but raw milk is a nutritious and safe food when it comes from cows raised on pasture. </p> <p>Briggs reportedly introduced SB15 to close the herdsharing "loophole" after 10 children in the state were sickened by E. coli that was blamed on raw milk obtained from a Knoxville shareholder dairy. But according to Weston A. Price, "no E. coli was found in any of the dairy's milk that public health officials tested."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup></p> <h2>Raw Butter Producers Sue the FDA</h2> <p>The unfounded fears of raw dairy even extend to raw butter, and producers of raw butter are now suing<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which prohibits sale of raw butter across state lines. </p> <p>The lawsuit was filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), a nonprofit membership organization, and seeks to overturn the decades-old ban on interstate sale of unpasteurized milk products, which includes <a href="">butter</a>. This is rather nonsensical, because even if you're concerned about raw milk contamination, pathogens have a hard time growing in butter. As reported by Reason:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"A European study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> published earlier this year found that 'the chance of growth of Listeria monocytogenes in raw milk homestead butter is small.' (Unpasteurized butter is common in many countries, including those in Europe.)</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>The FTCLDF suit cites numerous studies — including research by the FDA itself — that supports the contention raw butter is not a good medium for pathogenic growth. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>It also cites the federal government's own data, which suggests 'at most–one' reported case of foodborne illness has occurred in recent decades as a result of consuming unpasteurized butter. That illness, in Utah in 2007, was caused by consuming homemade (rather than commercially sold) butter.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Not surprisingly, foodborne illnesses caused by raw butter are virtually unknown. For example, the suit notes there have been no cases of foodborne illness traced to raw butter from McAfee's dairy, Organic Pastures, which has sold more than 2 million pounds of raw butter in California since 2001."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Raw Milk Cheese Also Wrongly Targeted</h2> <p>Unfounded fears of raw milk and government overreach also threaten the artisan cheese industry, as detailed in the book, "Ending the War on Artisan Cheese," written by food scientist Catherine Donnelly.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> In an interview with Eater, Donnelly states:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"There are careful standards that cheesemakers pay attention to because if they don't start out with the best quality raw materials, they're not going to end up with a good cheese. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Paying attention to the microbiological quality of the raw milk is really, really critical. The raw milk, the starting material, has to be of good quality or you're not going to have a sellable product."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>What's more, Donnelly notes that more foodborne illness outbreaks are associated with processed and pasteurized products than raw milk and raw cheese. Despite that, the FDA continues to favor Big Dairy at the expense of smaller artisan producers:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Who has the ear of the FDA when regulations are being promulgated? It isn't the small, rural farm people who have a seat at the table, influencing policy. It's the large, multinational corporations who are looking at their bottom line and profit.</em> </p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>If those voices are having input on regulations, there isn't a holistic approach for the FDA to look at something other than a one-size-fits-all approach to regulations. Cheese makers have no market for their product if it's contaminated and they're making their customers sick.</em> </p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>But I would argue that a small-scale producer has much more control over the safety of that process than some of these large-scale industrial plants, where there are lots of post-pasteurization processes like shredding, and cutting, and repackaging, and lots of opportunities for exposure to contamination.</em><em> </em><em>That's why we see more outbreaks associated with industrially processed products, as opposed to artisan."</em> </p> </blockquote> <p>While in the U.S. cheese must either be made from pasteurized milk or held for 60 days before it can be sold, Europe considers raw milk essential to such delicacies as traditional French cheese. Pennsylvania cheesemaker Sue Miller explained to Mother Nature Network:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"There are all these great enzymes living in the milk when it's raw that create flavor profiles. When milk is pasteurized, they get extinguished so you have to add cultures to accentuate the flavors of the milk … I'd love for people to really try raw milk cheese. In Europe people don't want pasteurized cheese. They know how good raw milk cheese is."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Support Raw Milk and Your Right to Food Freedom</h2> <p>Ultimately, whether you drink milk or not, and whether you prefer raw or pasteurized milk, is a personal choice and should remain that way. You have the right to choose what to eat, regardless of the government's opinion on what's healthy and what's not. </p> <p>As mentioned, strict regulations are already in place for raw milk — in some cases far stricter than those for pasteurized milk. So there's really no reason — aside from bolstering CAFO profits — to prohibit the sale of raw milk, cheese or butter. </p> <p>As long as farmers are prohibited from selling to consumers directly, processors can and do price fix the market, ultimately leading to corporate monopolies, consolidation of CAFO dairy farms, a degradation of food safety and quality, and the intentional destruction of small, family dairy farms.</p> <p>The answer to the dying dairy industry is to make raw milk legally accessible everywhere. At present, 43 of 50 states<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup> have made it possible to buy raw milk in one way or another (even though some states still force farmers to label the milk as being restricted to pet consumption only, which is yet another fear tactic designed to keep the squeamish at bay). </p> <p>You can help push the remaining seven states to legalize raw milk by making a donation to the <a href="">Weston A. Price Foundation's Real Milk Campaign</a>. If you're still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a>. </p> <p>They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup> also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup> California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Canada Launches Lawsuit Against Bayer Articles urn:uuid:c9d03fe3-68de-8bd1-fa4a-2ff2ab98da76 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>Canadian law firm Diamond &amp; Diamond has filed a class-action lawsuit against various makers of Roundup, including Bayer.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> Bayer acquired Monsanto, Roundup's original maker, in 2018 for $63 billion and has been grappling with related lawsuits ever since.</p> <p>The Canadian class-action suit names more than 60 individuals as plaintiffs, but thousands more may have been affected. The suit alleges that Roundup, which contains <a href="">glyphosate</a> as an active ingredient, caused serious health problems in the users, including <a href="">Non-Hodgkin lymphoma</a>, brain cancer and lung cancer.</p> <p>"These are not minor injuries," Darryl Singer, the head of commercial and civil litigation at Diamond &amp; Diamond, told CBC News. "Of the [plaintiffs] that are living, some of them are not likely to see the end of this lawsuit because they will pass away before that."</p> <p>In the U.S., approximately 42,700 U.S. lawsuits from individuals alleging that glyphosate caused them to develop cancer have already been filed<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> and analysts at JP Morgan suggested the number of glyphosate lawsuits may soon surpass 45,000.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <h2>Bayer Continues to Claim Glyphosate Is Safe</h2> <p>Bayer isn't surprised by the rising lawsuits and even stated in October 2019, "With the substantial increase in plaintiff advertising this year, we expect to see a significant surge in the number of plaintiff filings over the third quarter."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <p>They're blaming the increase on lawyers trying to get the word out about these class-action suits, though, instead of acknowledging the truth about Roundup. In a statement to CBC News, Bayer even continued to support the toxic products and label them as safe:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"While we have great sympathy for the plaintiffs, glyphosate-based herbicides are not the cause of their illnesses … Glyphosate has been extensively studied globally by scientists and regulators, and results from this research confirm it is not carcinogenic.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>We firmly stand behind the safety of glyphosate-based products and as a company devoted to life sciences, assure Canadians that their health and the environment are our top priority."</em></p> </blockquote> <p> The statement echoes those made by Monsanto, which has long stated that Roundup was safe for people and the environment. However, internal Monsanto emails released during the glyphosate trials paint a much more sordid picture, one in which Monsanto-affiliated scientists question the chemical's safety. As reported by Medtruth:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"In a 2014 email exchange, Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer warned a company spokesperson to not call glyphosate safe. 'We cannot say it [glyphosate] is 'safe' ... we can say history of safe use, used safely etc,' Farmer wrote.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>She encouraged the spokesperson to instead call the chemical 'one of the most thoroughly tested herbicides,' and one that 'poses no unreasonable risks to people' when used according to directions."</em></p> </blockquote> <p> Further, Monsanto consultants and epidemiologists specifically warned against stating there's "no evidence" that glyphosate causes cancer, while company emails suggest Roundup had never been tested to see if it causes cancer in people, despite company claims that it was safe.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <h2>Glyphosate's Unprecedented Usage</h2> <p>The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) identified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> This is alarming, in part, because of the sheer volume of glyphosate that's been sprayed into the environment.</p> <p>In the U.S. alone, over 1.6 billion kilograms (3.5 billion pounds) have been applied since 1974. This represents 19% of the glyphosate used globally during that time, and the majority (two-thirds of glyphosate applied from 1974 to 2014) has been applied in the last 10 years.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> Writing in Environmental Sciences Europe, researchers explained:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"In 2014, farmers sprayed enough glyphosate to apply ~1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pound/acre) on every hectare of U.S.-cultivated cropland and nearly 0.53 kg/ha (0.47 pounds/acre) on all cropland worldwide … In the U.S., no pesticide has come remotely close to such intensive and widespread use.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>This is likely the case globally, but published global pesticide use data are sparse. Glyphosate will likely remain the most widely applied pesticide worldwide for years to come, and interest will grow in quantifying ecological and human health impacts."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>What Are the Risks of Roundup?</h2> <p>Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been studying glyphosate for years and has become hooked on determining what makes this ubiquitous chemical so toxic.</p> <p>You can watch our interview above, but, according to Seneff, the increase in glyphosate usage in the U.S., as well as in Canada, is extremely well correlated with the concurrent increase in the incidence of multiple diseases, including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer and myeloid leukemia.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"[B]oth of those countries have a lot of heart health issues, high Autism rates, lots of autoimmune diseases, food allergies, Alzheimer's is going up dramatically. Of course diabetes, obesity, all these things are going up dramatically in our population,"</em> Seneff says.</p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>"We don't know why. We see that glyphosate is perfectly correlated with many of these diseases. It's also going up exactly in step with these diseases, and there's many, many plots that I've put together in collaboration with other people."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Research scientist Anthony Samsel is one of Seneff's co-authors, and together they've suggested that one of the ways glyphosate is harmful is via disruption of glycine homeostasis. Glyphosate has a glycine molecule as part of its structure (hence the "gly" in glyphosate). Glycine is a very common amino acid your body uses to make proteins.</p> <p>Samsel and Seneff believe your body can substitute glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) into peptides and proteins, which results in damaged peptides and proteins being produced. Glyphosate causing glycine disruption is still theoretical in nature, not proven, but it makes a lot of sense.</p> <p>Glyphosate also causes sulfate deficiency "in so many ways," Seneff says, "it's almost like it's a perfect storm," and impairs the <a href="">heme pathway</a> and the shikimate pathway, which is involved in the synthesis of the essential aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <p>"Super, super important," Seneff says. "[These amino acids are] … not only part of the building blocks of proteins which would already be pretty drastic, but they're also precursors to all the neurotransmitters. Dopamine, serotonin, <a href="">melatonin</a>, melanin. Skin tanning agent. They're also precursors to certain B vitamins like folate and I think niacin."</p> <h2>Glyphosate Trials Support the Chemical's Toxicity</h2> <p>In August 2018, jurors ruled Monsanto must pay $289 million in damages to DeWayne "Lee" Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who claimed the company's herbicide Roundup caused his terminal cancer.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> The award was later slashed to $78 million,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> but it signaled the beginning of Roundup cancer lawsuits siding with victims.</p> <p>After Johnson's case, a judge ruled in favor of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, who alleged his repeated exposures to Roundup, which he used to kill weeds on his 56-acre property, caused him to develop cancer.</p> <p>Bayer was ordered to pay more than $80 million in the case,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> which was later reduced to $25.2 million.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> In a similar trend, the third Monsanto Roundup case involved a married couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who both developed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma after regular use of Roundup.</p> <p>The jury ordered Bayer to pay $2 billion in punitive and compensatory damages,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup> but a judge later said the punitive damages, which make up the majority of the award, should be reduced. Additional trials continue to be postponed until 2020, including the first set in the area of Monsanto's former hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, and one scheduled in San Francisco.</p> <p>The San Francisco case is notable, as it originally involved only Elaine Stevick, who is battling aggressive Non-Hodgkin lymphoma she believes is the result of repeated use of Roundup.</p> <p>In October 2019, however, Stevick's husband, Chris, who often mixed Roundup for his wife, was also diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lawyers are battling out whether this pertinent diagnosis can be added to the case, or if the trial will be delayed further. U.S. Right to Know reported:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Monsanto's attorneys oppose the joining of the claims and say that Elaine Stevick's trial should only proceed in February if there is no mention made of her husband's cancer. Alternatively, Monsanto requests that the February trial be delayed and the company be given time to do discovery into Chris Stevick's diagnosis."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Research published in Frontiers in Genetics also supports glyphosate's cancer link, finding that exposure in low concentrations (in parts per trillion) may induce cancer in cells when combined with microRNA-182-5p (miR182-5p).<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p> <p>MicroRNA-182-5p is a gene regulatory molecule found in everyone, and overexpression of the molecule has been linked to cancer. Michael Antoniou of King's College London, who peer reviewed the study, stated, "These observations highlight for the first time a possible biomarker of glyphosate activity at the level of gene expression that could be linked with breast cancer formation."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup></p> <h2>Glyphosate a Danger to All Life</h2> <p>In December 2019, the EU will begin its three-year reevaluation of glyphosate, with the debate expected to focus less on the specific cancer threats to humans and more on its overriding threat to the environment, including to biodiversity and aquatic life. Speaking to Politico, Jeroen van der Sluijs, a professor of science and ethics at Norway's Bergen University, explained:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"It [glyphosate] kills a lot of non-target plants and it leads to an agricultural practice where you have monoculture with no wild plants left in the fields … </em><em>If you remove all the wild plants from the fields then you only have the crop that flowers and that's only a very short period in the year. The rest of the year there's nothing to forage on.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>… We find [glyphosate] everywhere in surface waters, it is indeed toxic for all kinds of aquatic organisms, so of special concern are amphibians like frogs and salamanders."</em></p> </blockquote> <p> Bayer, meanwhile, has been spinning a similar rhetoric relating to environmental harms as they have been for cancer, basically downplaying the links and claiming the chemical is safe and "does not pose a risk to nontarget organisms."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup></p> <p>Here again, evidence suggests otherwise. As usage of the glyphosate has skyrocketed, milkweed, which is the only plant on which the adult monarch butterfly will lay its eggs, has plummeted.</p> <p>In 2013, it was estimated that just 1% of the common milkweed present in 1999 remained in corn and soybean fields and, tragically, while milkweed is not harmed by many herbicides, it is easily killed by glyphosate.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup> A 2017 study published in the journal Ecography further noted a strong connection between large-scale Monarch deaths and glyphosate application.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup></p> <p>Germany, for one, isn't waiting any longer for glyphosate to continue decimating the environment. When the EU's approval period for glyphosate ends in 2023, Germany announced it would be banning the chemical, with the phase-out starting even sooner.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup> Germany's decision to ban the chemical is based on its effects on insect populations, including pollinators that support the food supply.</p> <p>Worldwide, more than 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn27" data-hash="#ednref27">27</span></sup> Researchers cited compelling evidence that agricultural intensification is the main driver of population declines in birds, small mammals and insects, and the next most significant contributor named is pollution, primarily that from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.</p> <h2>How to Curb and Detoxify Your Glyphosate Exposure</h2> <p>The lawsuits that continue to be filed against glyphosate's maker are signs of just how widespread the damage from this ubiquitous chemical has become. For now, investing in a good water filtration system for your home and eating as much organic or biodynamically grown foods as possible are among your best methods for reducing exposure, as is eliminating its use around your home garden.</p> <p>In the interview above, Seneff also shares some <a href="">tips for detoxing glyphosate</a>, which include consuming organic, unpasteurized <a href="">apple cider vinegar</a>, as it contains acetobacter, one of the few substances known to break down glyphosate.</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Opioid Producers Put Blame on Addicts Articles urn:uuid:93ed86ab-9392-cda8-4a2c-ea739155c166 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>Opioid overdoses kill more than 130 people in the U.S. daily<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> in an unprecedented crisis that continues to spiral out of control. The pharmaceutical companies behind these drugs are now facing mounting lawsuits, as it's become clear that they're the ones with blood on their proverbial hands, having pushed drugs on unsuspecting pain patients while knowing they were unsafe.</p> <p>From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people died from a drug overdose and, in 2017, this was a leading cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S. Of the 70,000 drug-overdose deaths that occurred that year, 68% involved opioids.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <p>Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, was instrumental in driving up sales of the drug to close to $2 billion a year by 2004,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> and as it became clear that people were dying as a result, they engaged in every damage-control tactic they could think of, even suggesting that the only people dying from opioids were already drug addicts.</p> <p>In a major exposé by ProPublica, the lengths Purdue Pharma went to downplay OxyContin's risks are revealed. In short, ProPublica senior reporter David Armstrong wrote, "OxyContin's makers delayed the reckoning for their role in the opioid crisis by funding think tanks, placing friendly experts on leading outlets, and deterring or challenging negative coverage."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <h2>Doctor Behind Opioid Story Had Ties to Purdue Pharma</h2> <p>Today, the pharmaceutical industry's contribution to the opioid epidemic is well established, with even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stating:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>But in 2004, doctors were being singled out for overprescribing the drugs, with criminal charges pending against major prescribers. That year, psychiatrist Sally Satel wrote an essay titled "Doctors Behind Bars: Treating Pain is Now Risky Business," which was featured in The New York Times.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <p>While painting people who became addicted to painkillers as typically "a seasoned drug abuser with a previous habit involving pills, <a href="">alcohol</a>, heroin or cocaine," Satel cited a study suggesting OxyContin was rarely the only drug involved in opioid-related deaths and described an unnamed colleague who needed to prescribe large amounts of oxycodone to help patients get out of bed.</p> <p>Satel was described as a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, but her many ties to Purdue Pharma were noticeably absent. "Among the connections revealed by emails and documents obtained by ProPublica," Armstrong wrote:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>" … Purdue donated $50,000 annually to the institute, which is commonly known as AEI, from 2003 through this year, plus contributions for special events, for a total of more than $800,000. The unnamed doctor in Satel's article was an employee of Purdue, according to an unpublished draft of the story.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>The study Satel cited was funded by Purdue and written by Purdue employees and consultants. And, a month before the piece was published, Satel sent a draft to Burt Rosen, Purdue's Washington lobbyist and vice president of federal policy and legislative affairs, asking him if it 'seems imbalanced.'"</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>The Opioid 'Anti-Story' Begins</h2> <p>Satel's media portrayal of opioids as saviors to pain patients is only the tip of the iceberg of Purdue Pharma's aggressive responses to counter criticism. Not only did Satel's favorable writings continue, but Purdue Pharma hired notorious PR firm Dezenhall Resources, which has defended such clients as Exxon Mobil, to court Satel and further their damage control. Armstrong continued:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"ProPublica reviewed emails to Purdue officials in which Dezenhall and his employees took credit for dissuading a national television news program from pursuing a story about OxyContin; helping to quash a documentary project on OxyContin abuse at a major cable network; forcing multiple outlets to issue corrections related to OxyContin coverage; and gaining coverage of sympathetic pain patients on a television news program and in newspaper columns."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>It was 2001 when the New York Post published an article painting pain patients who may lose access to opioids as the true victims of the opioid controversy, and Eric Dezenhall, the PR firm's founder, emailed Purdue Pharma executives in response, writing, "The anti-story begins."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup></p> <p>That same year, Richard Sackler, who was Purdue Pharma's acting president, wrote in an email, "We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible … They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup> <a href="">The Sackler family</a>, owners of Purdue Pharma, made it onto Forbes' Top 20 billionaires list in 2015<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> — in large part due to the burgeoning sales of OxyContin.</p> <p>"After Purdue and Dezenhall launched their 'anti-story,'" Armstrong wrote, "media reports of OxyContin addiction and abuse declined for several years. In 2001, there were 1,204 stories that included the words 'OxyContin,' 'abuse' and 'Purdue' published in media outlets archived on the Nexis database. The number plummeted to 361 in 2002 and to 150 in 2006."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <h2>Purdue Pharma Fined Millions — A Mere Slap on the Wrist</h2> <p>Purdue Pharma claimed they were unaware that Oxycontin was being abused until the 2000s, but a Justice Department report showed they knew the drug was popular with drug addicts in the late 1990s, and that they'd concealed the information.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p> <p>Despite knowing that the drugs were being crushed, snorted and stolen from pharmacies, they continued to market the drug as less addictive and less prone to abuse. DOJ prosecutors recommended that three Purdue Pharma executives be indicted on felony charges, which could have sent them to prison, but instead the case was settled.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup></p> <p>Further, in 2007 Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to charges of misbranding "with intent to defraud and mislead the public" and paid $634.5 million in fines, but the fines did little to dissuade them from continuing to profit off the deadly drugs.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup></p> <p> More recently, a number of states and municipalities have sued Purdue Pharma over the role it played in the opioid crisis. In March 2018, the company reached a $270 million settlement with Oklahoma, about $122.5 million of which are earmarked for the funding of a drug addiction treatment center at Oklahoma State University<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> that will study opioid addiction and its treatment.</p> <p> As part of the deal, Purdue has also agreed to stricter limitations on how they market and sell opioids in Oklahoma.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup> When you consider Purdue has made an estimated $35 billion from sales of OxyContin since its release in 1996, settlements of a few hundred million dollars are still akin to a slap on the wrist. Originally, Oklahoma had sought damages in excess of $20 billion.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <h2>Purdue Pharma Files Bankruptcy Amidst Thousands of Lawsuits</h2> <p>In September 2019, Purdue Pharma filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a deal to settle the more than 2,000 lawsuits it's currently facing, alleging the company fueled the opioid epidemic by misleading doctors and patients about their drugs.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup> Bankruptcy is a common tactic aimed at stemming the flow of lawsuits.</p> <p>While for decades the Sacklers have been successful in largely separating their name from the deadly product that made them rich, some of the lawsuits have named individual Sacklers as defendants, but some opposed to the bankruptcy deal suggest it could still let the family off the hook. According to STAT News:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p> <em>"States that have opposed the bankruptcy deal have said that it would not extract enough from members of the Sackler family. They've argued that Purdue's assets are limited because the family has absorbed the bulk of the company's profits, and so should be on the hook for more than the deal outlines</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em>… the New York attorney general's office said it had uncovered $1 billion in wire transfers by the Sacklers, alleging the family was trying to hide its assets … Plaintiffs' attorneys have likened the ongoing case to the one against the tobacco industry that culminated in a $246 billion settlement two decades ago."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Recycling the Problem Into China</h2> <p>Purdue Pharma is only one pharmaceutical giant owned by the Sackler family. They also own Mundipharma, a Chinese company that's selling OxyContin abroad, using many of the same marketing tactics Purdue Pharma is now being accused of.</p> <p>In 1995, when Purdue Pharma received U.S. FDA approval for extended-release oxycodone (OxyContin) for the management of moderate to severe pain, it was promoted as being nonaddictive and safe for long-term use, unlike other opioids on the market.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the idea that extended-release Oxycontin, which didn't lead to the immediate high drug abusers were presumably looking for, was less addictive was not based on real evidence. Meanwhile, in China, present-day sales reps for Mundipharma are repeating the same deadly story.</p> <p> "In conversations with the AP more than a decade later, three current and former sales reps in China made the same misleading pitch, which was repeated in training and marketing materials used by Mundipharma staff," STAT News reported, adding:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p> <em>"'Immediate-release morphine and Dolantin are more addictive,' a current employee recently told AP on condition of anonymity for fear of losing her job. OxyContin, which enters the blood slowly, she explained, 'doesn't resemble immediate-release morphine, rising and falling with these frequent peaks and troughs that cause a euphoric feeling.'</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em>'I'm shocked,' she said, after AP showed her documents from the U.S. legal case and 2016 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that say there is no evidence long-acting opioids reduce risks of abuse. 'Why after more than ten years would they still do the same thing and go against the laws and regulations of society?' </em>she said."</p> </blockquote> <p> Mundipharma's sales reps have also violated Chinese law by copying patients' private medical records to better target sales and have even worn white doctors' coats to make visits with hospital patients, as well as offered doctors paid speaking jobs and gifts.</p> <p>Mundipharma is also actively working to combat "opiophobia" in doctors, which is reportedly the "mistaken" belief that opioid painkillers are highly addictive and should be used sparingly.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup> While in the U.S. Purdue Pharma has stopped marketing OxyContin to doctors, in China Mundipharma is hoping OxyContin sales "surpass those in the U.S. by 2025."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup></p> <h2>Anyone Can Become Addicted to Opioids</h2> <p>Purdue Pharma's attempts to blame the opioid crisis on addicts have ultimately failed, and it's now widely known that even when taken as directed, prescription opioids can lead to addiction as well as tolerance, which means you need an increasingly stronger dose to get the pain-relieving effects.</p> <p>Physical dependence, in which you suffer withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drugs, can also result along with other issues like increased sensitivity to pain, depression, low levels of testosterone and more.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span></sup></p> <p>"Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them. In fact, as many as 1 in 4 patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction. Once addicted, it can be hard to stop," the CDC notes.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup></p> <p>Money is still being made by opioid makers even as people are dying as a result. The motivation to sell more of these drugs is not one of altruism but greed. If you're in need of pain relief, consider <a href="">natural options</a> first and be aware that opioids are not always necessary to treat even moderate to severe pain, as ibuprofen and <a href="">acetaminophen</a> (which do have their own set of risks) may work just as well.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup></p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Risks Linked to Choline Deficit Drastically Understated Articles urn:uuid:dba4b5a0-5025-a184-b536-2f1d9666cdac Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>In this short video health coach Christine Smith, Ph.D., succinctly describes the necessary role choline plays in your health and wellness.</p> <p><a href="">Choline</a> was discovered in 1862, but it was 1998 before the Institute of Medicine declared it an essential nutrient for optimal health. Unfortunately, 90% of the U.S. population does not consume enough of it, likely since popular dietary guidelines limit consumption of the richest dietary sources.</p> <p>Many are still unaware of the biological importance choline plays and it may be one of the least likely nutrients to be recommended. Choline is not a vitamin or mineral, but an organic water-soluble compound scientists often group with <a href="">vitamin B complex</a> since the function is similar.</p> <p>Although your liver has the ability to produce small amounts, you need to consume the majority of the nutrient from the foods you eat. Some people opt to use dietary supplements, but that may not be the best choice. I suggest you optimize your levels by eating choline-rich foods.</p> <h2>Choline Is Essential for Optimal Health</h2> <p>Researchers have linked the intake of higher levels of choline to a range of benefits including a reduced risk for heart disease, prevention of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and a 24% reduced risk for breast cancer.</p> <p>Choline appears to be a key controlling factor in the <a href="">development of NAFLD</a>. As Smith discusses in the video above, the nutrient is also used in several ways throughout your body, including:</p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Healthy fetal development —</strong> Choline is required for proper neural tube closure, brain development and healthy vision. Research shows children of mothers who get enough choline enjoy better memory due to changes in the development of the hippocampus (memory center) of the child's brain. Choline deficiency raises the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and preeclampsia.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Synthesis of phospholipids —</strong> The most common phospholipid is phosphatidylcholine, better known as lecithin, which constitutes between 40 and 50 percent of your cellular membranes and 70 to 95 percent of the phospholipids in lipoproteins and bile.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Nervous system health —</strong> Choline is necessary for making acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in healthy muscle, heart and memory performance.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Cell messaging —</strong> Choline is one factor in the production of cell-messaging compounds.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Fat transport and metabolism —</strong> Choline is needed to carry cholesterol from your liver, and a deficiency could result in excess fat and cholesterol buildup.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>DNA synthesis —</strong> Choline aids in the process of DNA synthesis with other vitamins, such as folate and B12.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Improved cognitive performance —</strong> Researchers<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> found a relationship between high dietary choline and better cognitive performance in a study involving men and women from the Framingham Offspring population. In a group of 1,391 men and women, performance factors were better in those who consumed more choline, adding to evidence your nutrition makes a difference in how your brain ages.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Methylation reactions</strong></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Healthy mitochondrial function</strong></p></td> </tr></tbody> </table> <h2>Choline May Be Primary Driver Behind Liver Disease</h2> <p>Choline deficiency may be a primary trigger behind NAFLD. This is the most common form of liver disease in the U.S., with an estimated prevalence of 30% to 40% in the adult population. Additionally, 80% of NAFLD patients are likely insulin resistant and 90% are deficient in choline; both are factors in the development of NAFLD.</p> <p>According to Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D., nutritional science, choline deficiency may be a more significant trigger than excess fructose. His Ph.D. is in nutritional science and in his view the rise in NAFLD is largely due to the result of the dietary practice of avoiding liver and egg yolks.</p> <p>In his review of medical literature, Masterjohn found a link between choline and fatty liver, which was initially discovered in research into Type 1 diabetes. However, the most noteworthy offender in NAFLD is large amounts of fructose consumption, as all of it must be metabolized in your liver and is primarily converted into body fat as opposed to being used for energy like glucose. According to Masterjohn:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Physicians and researchers had started pinning the blame on alcohol abuse for fatty liver back in the 1800s, so while research was first highlighting the role of sucrose in fatty liver, other research was doing the same for alcohol.</em></p></blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>In 1949, however, researchers showed that sucrose and ethanol had equal potential to cause fatty liver and the resulting inflammatory damage, and that increases in dietary protein, extra methionine, and extra choline could all completely protect against this effect.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Conversely, much more recent research has shown that sucrose is a requirement for the development of fatty liver disease in a methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) model. The MCD model of fatty liver disease is the oldest and most widely used dietary model.</em></p></blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>The MCD model produces not only the accumulation of liver fat, but massive inflammation similar to the worst forms of fatty liver disease seen in humans. What no one ever mentions about this diet is that it is primarily composed of sucrose and its fat is composed entirely of corn oil!</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>The picture that is clearly emerging from all of these studies is that fat, or anything from which fat is made in the liver, such as fructose and ethanol, are required for the development of fatty liver. But in addition to this [same] factor — overwhelmingly, it appears to be choline deficiency — must deprive the liver of its ability to export that fat."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>However, while carbohydrates, healthy saturated fats and unhealthy polyunsaturated fat (PUFA)-rich oils all have the ability to contribute to the buildup of fat in your liver, lipid peroxidation and associated inflammation is primarily driven by PUFA-rich oils such as corn oil. As noted by Masterjohn:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Corn oil probably promotes inflammation both by increasing vulnerability to lipid peroxidation because of its total PUFA content and by decreasing tissue levels of DHA because of its high omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Long-Term Risks of NAFLD</h2> <p><a href="">NAFLD</a> is also triggered in part by obesity and insulin resistance. Researchers who evaluated the effects of treatment and long-term health conditions associated with NAFLD found they could create the condition in animal models using methionine and choline deficient diets.</p> <p>NAFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are associated with fatty liver deposits, but are not associated with <a href="">alcohol consumption</a>. In NAFLD the liver suffers from fatty deposits but has little to no inflammation or cellular damage. NASH may also occur when you have hepatitis. In this condition the liver is inflamed and cellular damage is present.</p> <p>It may also lead to fibrosis of the liver and then cirrhosis or liver cancer. In one animal study researchers found choline supplementation normalized cholesterol metabolism. This appeared to help prevent NASH and demonstrated an improvement in liver function.</p> <h2>How Much Choline Do You Need?</h2> <p>A Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) has not been established, but the Institute of Medicine set an adequate daily intake value for men, women and children. The daily values are 425 mg per day for women, 550 mg for men and 250 mg for children as a minimum amount to <a href="">prevent choline deficiency</a> and potential organ damage.</p> <p>However, requirements may vary depending on your overall diet, genetic makeup and other lifestyle factors. For instance, those who eat a diet rich in saturated fats may require more choline. For the liver to export excess fat it requires choline. This means, the more dietary fat you consume, the greater your need for choline. Individuals who may need to pay special attention to this requirement include:</p> <div class="indent"> <p><strong><span class="bullet">• </span>Pregnant mothers —</strong> Choline is required for proper neural tube closure, brain development and healthy vision. Choline deficiency also raises your risk of premature birth, low birth weight and preeclampsia.</p> <p>In one study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> researchers found that mothers who consumed 930 mg of choline during the third trimester had a 33% lower concentration of the stress hormone cortisol as compared to those consuming 480 mg per day.</p> <p><strong><span class="bullet">• </span>Athletes —</strong> During endurance exercise, such as running a marathon, choline levels are depleted more rapidly. In studies, choline supplementation before severe physical stress has demonstrated several advantages. Supplementation may also reduce body mass without side effects.</p> <p><strong><span class="bullet">• </span>Consumers of large amounts of alcohol —</strong> Excess alcohol consumption can increase your need for choline and raise your risk of deficiency.</p> <p><strong><span class="bullet">• </span>Postmenopausal women —</strong> Lower estrogen concentrations in postmenopausal women increase the risk of organ dysfunction in response to a low-choline diet, so their requirements are higher than those of premenopausal women.</p> <p><strong><span class="bullet">• </span>Vegans —</strong> Choline supplementation may be important for vegans, as they have an elevated risk for deficiency since choline-rich foods such as eggs and meats are avoided.</p> </div> <h2>Best Natural Sources of Choline</h2> <p>In the 1970s many physicians warned their patients to steer clear of eggs and egg yolks to minimize their intake of cholesterol and saturated fat. In reality, both are good for you, and <a href="">eggs</a> may be one of the most important available health foods. A single hardboiled egg may contain from 113 milligrams (mg) to 147 mg of choline.</p> <p>This represents 25% of your daily requirement, making it one of the best sources in the American diet. Only grass fed beef liver with 430 mg of choline per 100 grams per serving delivers more.</p> <p>Other healthy sources include <a href="">wild-caught Alaskan salmon</a>, <a href="">organic pastured chicken</a>, <a href="">shiitake mushrooms</a> and <a href="">krill oil</a>. Some vegetables, such as <a href="">broccoli</a>, <a href="">cauliflower</a> and <a href="">asparagus</a> offer 31 mg, 24 mg and 23.5 mg respectively per one-half cup serving.</p> <p>One study in 2011 found 69 choline containing phospholipids in krill oil, including 60 phosphatidylcholine substances, making it one of the best sources of choline. While eggs have a fair amount of phosphatidylcholine, krill oil delivers a higher amount per volume, which is one of the reasons I personally take krill oil capsules each day.</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Why Your Brain Craves PQQ Articles urn:uuid:50759a7c-3454-88fd-2c73-2db527435cca Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>While your diet is one of the most important tools you can use to take control of your health, certain supplements can be helpful, especially when it comes to improving your mitochondrial function. One particularly powerful supplement in this regard is pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ),<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> which has been shown to promote the growth of new mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis).</p> <p>Your <a href="">mitochondria</a> also require PQQ to catalyze energy producing reactions, and it's critical in protecting your mitochondria from damage. Your mitochondria are the tiny energy producers inside your cells, which is why mitochondrial dysfunction is at the heart of just about all chronic diseases, old age and death. </p> <p>In order for your body to function properly, it needs sufficient energy and, for that, you need well-nourished, well-functioning mitochondria. PQQ is an important player in this regard.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> As noted by Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and author of books on energy, life span and brain power:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Anti-aging starts at the cellular level and PQQ is an easy way to protect your cells, all while helping to improve the most mitochondrial-dense parts of your body like your brain and heart."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>PQQ Enhances Mitochondrial Density and Function </h2> <p>PQQ is relatively unique in its ability to enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, i.e., the creation of new, healthy mitochondria in aging cells, which is the basis of so many of its health benefits. As reported by Better Nutrition magazine:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"In addition to improving energy production, this characteristic of PQQ shifts some of the aging process into reverse gear. In a study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> at the University of California, Davis, researchers gave a small group of men and women PQQ supplements and tested the effects 76 hours later. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em>Using blood and urine tests, researchers found that PQQ improved mitochondrial performance and reduced chronic inflammation. The effective dose was 0.3 mg of PQQ per kilogram of body weight — 20 mg of PQQ for a 150-pound person, as an example."</em></p> </blockquote> <p> One mechanism by which PQQ lowers inflammation, improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis is by upregulating Nrf2 expression — a biological hormetic that upregulates intercellular antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase and catalase.</p> <p>PQQ has also been shown to boost the activity of primary life span extension transcriptional factors, which led the researchers to surmise that PQQ may play a "novel role" in longevity.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> Indeed, it modulates a variety of signaling pathways, including mTOR, which plays a role in aging and cancer,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> and helps repair DNA,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> all of which suggests it may help you live longer.</p> <p>PQQ also enhances NADH,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> which is converted to <a href="">NAD+</a> as food is broken down into energy.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup> When DNA damage is repaired, NAD+ is used up, and if you run out you can't repair the damage, which is likely the central cause for most of the diseases we are seeing in the modern world now. </p> <h2>How PQQ Protects and Benefits Your Brain </h2> <p>PQQ's ability to shield your brain cells and their DNA from harm also suggests it can be a powerful preventive aid against neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondrial DNA is quite prone to damage from free radicals and pro-oxidants. Most of the free radicals in the body are produced within the mitochondria themselves, which is why they're so susceptible. </p> <p>Free radicals are an unavoidable artifact of converting food into cellular fuel, and your food is ultimately metabolized in your mitochondria. PQQ has been shown to protect against this kind of damage. It also activates your mitochondria's built-in repair and replication mechanisms. </p> <p>In your brain, the practical end result is an overall improvement of neurologic function,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> including improved cognition, learning and memory,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Research<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> has shown PQQ protects and improves the survival of neurons by stimulating the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF) in certain glial cells found in your central nervous system. </p> <p>It's also been shown to improve the function of beta amyloid-damaged brain cells<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> — a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease — and prevent the formation of alpha-synclein proteins associated with Parkinson's disease.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> </p> <p>According to a 2012 study,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> PQQ can even help prevent neuronal cell death in cases of traumatic brain injury. According to the authors of this study, "PQQ may play an important role in recovery post-TBI." </p> <h2>Adding CoQ10 Provides Synergistic Benefits </h2> <p>Both animal and human studies using doses between 10 and 20 milligrams (mg) of PQQ have demonstrated improvement in mental processing and memory on its own, but combining it with Coenzyme Q10 could potentially be even more beneficial. </p> <p>One study found PQQ in combination with CoQ10 produced better results than either of these nutrients alone, so there appears to be some synergistic effects. I recommend using the reduced form of CoQ10, called <a href="">ubiquinol</a>, as it is more readily available for your body. </p> <p>Both CoQ10 and PQQ are fat-soluble, so they're best taken with a small amount of fat in your meal rather on an empty stomach. In addition to being a powerful <a href="">antioxidant</a> in its own right, CoQ10/ubiquinol also facilitates the recycling (catalytic conversion) of other antioxidants, so when taken in combination with PQQ, you're really turbocharging your body's antioxidant capacity. </p> <h2>PQQ Is a Powerful Antioxidant and Immune Booster</h2> <p>Another reason why PQQ is so beneficial has to do with its powerful antioxidant activity. It's capable of undergoing upward of 20,000 catalytic conversions. A catalytic conversion is when an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical. In other words, PQQ is a remarkably efficient antioxidant. For comparison, vitamin C can only go through four catalytic conversions before it's used up.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup> </p> <p>Research has shown PQQ lowers the inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in humans at doses between 0.2 mg and 0.3 mg per kg.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p> <p>PQQ also supports your immune function and PQQ deficiency has been linked to immune dysfunction.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup> In one study,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup> PQQ supplementation increased the responsiveness of B- and T-cells (white blood cells that play central roles in your immune response) to mitogens (proteins that induces cell division or mitosis). </p> <h2>PQQ Activates Metabolic Master Switch</h2> <p>The list of potential applications for PQQ is extremely long, as its metabolic effects go well beyond improving mitochondrial function. For example, it helps activate adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is an important molecular target for metabolic health.&nbsp; </p> <p>AMPK is an enzyme inside your body's cells. It's sometimes called a "metabolic master switch" because it plays an important role in regulating metabolism. As noted in the Natural Medicine Journal:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p> <em>"AMPK induces a cascade of events within cells that are all involved in maintaining energy homeostasis … AMPK regulates an array of biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances.</em> </p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em>Metabolic syndrome (MetS) occurs when these AMPK-regulated pathways are turned off, triggering a syndrome that includes hyperglycemia, diabetes, lipid abnormalities, and energy imbalances …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em>AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors, shifting energy toward cellular repair, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em>The hormones leptin and adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting, and weight loss — the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies."</em></p> </blockquote> <p> With age, your AMPK level drops naturally, but poor diet can reduce AMPK activity at any age. This enzyme plays a major role in body fat composition, inflammation and blood lipids, so boosting its activity can go a long way toward improving blood sugar control, reducing visceral fat and lowering LDL cholesterol. </p> <p>AMPK also stimulates <a href="">mitochondrial autophagy</a> (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as five other critically important pathways: insulin, leptin, <a href="">mTOR</a>, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1α).</p> <p>It is important to note that PQQ will not likely work well, if at all, if you are eating around the clock, as elevated insulin levels will activate mTOR and inhibit AMPK, thus limiting PQQ's ability to increase it.</p> <h2>Other Benefits of PQQ </h2> <p> PQQ has also been linked to several other health benefits, including:</p> <ul> <li>Improved reproductive outcomes in animals<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup> (PQQ deficiency has been linked to abnormal reproductive performance<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span></sup>) </li> <li>Reduced risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in offspring when given to obese mouse mothers during pregnancy and lactation<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup> </li> <li>Improved sleep (by modulating the cortisol awakening response)<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup></li> </ul> <p>As you can see, the list of PQQ's health benefits is quite long. And, while PQQ is found in foods such as natto, <a href="">parsley</a>, <a href="">green pepper</a>, <a href="">spinach</a>, <a href="">papaya</a>, kiwi and green tea,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn27" data-hash="#ednref27">27</span></sup> the amounts you get from your diet are likely to be insufficient if you want to reap all of its beneficial health effects. </p> <p>When taking a PQQ supplement, you'll know within a few weeks whether the brand and dosage is working for you. Overall, you should feel better, with greater energy and clearer thinking. </p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Could Soup Broth Replace Antimalaria Pills? Articles urn:uuid:10d69293-37ef-e4a4-1345-c3566e28f01d Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>Despite their tiny size, <a href="">mosquitoes</a> are dangerous creatures that can act as vectors to spread deadly diseases. More than half the Earth's population live in areas where disease-carrying mosquitoes cause deaths from illnesses like malaria, dengue and yellow fever.</p> <p>Insecticides have been identified as a primary defense against insects, but the potential for resistance has not gone unnoticed by the World Health Organization. The WHO reports that resistance to pyrethroids, organochlorine, carbamates and organophosphates is widespread through Africa, Southeast Asia, Western Pacific, the Americas and the Eastern Mediterranean.</p> <p>Additionally, some mosquitoes appear to be developing resistance to agricultural insecticides that continue to kill their predators. This creates an environment for mosquitoes to flourish. When the anopheles mosquito carrying a plasmodium parasite bites a person, it spreads malaria.</p> <p>The 2018 World malaria report released by the WHO<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> provided a comprehensive update on regional and global data and trends for malaria. They found in 2017 there were an estimated 219 million cases worldwide as compared to 239 million in 2010. The disease was responsible for 435,000 deaths worldwide in 2017, 61% of which were children under the age of 5.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <p>However, while the number of infections fell over seven years, it rose by 2 million cases from 2016 to 2017. Authors of the report also found 15 countries accounted for 80% of the number of cases and deaths; these were in sub-Saharan Africa and India.</p> <p>Only India has been reporting progress in reducing cases of malaria. India accounted for 4% of all cases in 2017 but registered a 24% reduction over 2016. Scientists found this was due to a substantial decline in disease following a rejuvenated political effort that prioritized a vector control method and increased domestic funding.</p> <h2>Can Soup Effectively Treat Malaria?</h2> <p>The global impact of malaria-associated mortality was the object of interest in a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> A team of researchers asked students at Eden Primary School in London<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> for samples of homemade soup. The students represented families from a variety of backgrounds. The researchers used 56 total samples of broth, which were tested for the ability to arrest the parasite’s asexual or sexual stage development in vitro.</p> <p>The Plasmodium falciparum parasite was tested as it's the most prevalent parasite, responsible for 99.7% of the estimated cases in Africa, 62.8% in Southeast Asia and 69% in the Eastern Mediterranean.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>Of the broths screened,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> five inhibited the P. falciparum asexual blood stage more than 50% of the time in vitro, and two of the broths had an inhibition factor comparable to that seen using a leading antimalarial medication. Four other samples had a recognized ability to block transmission by preventing the male sexual stage development.</p> <p>The researchers concluded there were broths that induced activity against the malaria parasite’s in vitro growth. They wrote that the study also represented “a successful child education exercise, in teaching about the interface between natural remedies, traditional medicine and evidence-based drug discovery.”</p> <h2>Advantageous Benefits to Wormwood</h2> <p>The researchers were interested in the ingredient artemisinin found in the Chinese herb Qinghao, also known as wormwood. This herbaceous perennial plant has several beneficial effects against a variety of health conditions. It is the key ingredient in absinthe, a liquor used during the 19th century.</p> <p>The plant commonly grows in Europe, North Africa, North India, Scotland and Scandinavia. It grows up to 3.6 feet or higher with branches that produce light yellow flowers and long green leaves. It has a slightly bitter taste and goes by other common names such as green ginger, grand wormwood, madderwort and wormwood sage.</p> <p>According to Scientific American Journal, some of the earliest recorded uses date back to ancient Egypt. For more information on the plant, how to use the oil and its benefits in treating the conditions listed below, see my past article, “<a href="">Discover the Many Benefits of Wormwood to Your Health</a>.” You’ll also find a recipe for wormwood tea.</p> <table class="generic-table"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Lead exposure</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Liver disease</p></td> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Depression</a></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Crohn's disease</a></p></td> <td valign="top"><p>IgA nephropathy</p></td> <td valign="top"><p><a href="">Osteoarthritis</a></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Leukemia</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Lymphoma</p></td> <td valign="top"><p>Lyme disease</p></td> </tr></tbody> </table> <h2>Malarial Infection Can Be Deadly</h2> <p>Malaria is categorized as severe (complicated) or uncomplicated.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> In general, when diagnosed and treated early it can be curable. The clinical symptoms of the disease are triggered during the asexual blood stage of the parasite as it develops in a red blood cell.</p> <p>Waste and toxic factors accumulate inside the cells that are dumped into the bloodstream as the infected cell ruptures. The infected red blood cells adhere to the vascular endothelium and do not freely circulate in the blood. If infected, these cells, also referred to as erythrocytes, settle in the vessels of the brain. Scientists believe this is a factor in the development of severe disease associated with high mortality.</p> <p>In the early stages, symptoms are similar to other types of infections, including flu.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> The time you are infected with the parasite to the time of the first symptoms is usually seven to 30 days. However, this can differ depending on the parasitic species.</p> <p>It may take longer for the disease to show up if you are on medication to prevent infection. Symptoms include fever, which is the most common, and signs that often accompany fever, including chills, headaches, sweats and body aches. Additionally, someone with malaria may experience nausea and vomiting, fatigue and a general feeling of sickness.</p> <p>Any time you develop symptoms of malaria during or after a visit to one of the places the disease may be found, it is important to seek medical help. A blood test will confirm infection and treatment will begin to reduce the potential for severe complications, including anemia and cerebral malaria.</p> <p>When the small vessels in the brain are damaged by affected erythrocytes, this can potentially cause seizures, brain damage and coma.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> In the 2018 WHO<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup> report, authors placed a special focus on the effects of the second complication, malaria-related anemia.</p> <p>When left untreated this condition can result in death, especially in pregnant women and children younger than 5 years. The decline in awareness of malaria-related anemia has resulted in inconsistent reporting. WHO reports that in the 16 high burden African countries, the prevalence of anemia in children who tested positive for malaria was 79%.</p> <h2>Relationship of Plasmodium Parasite Life Cycle to Treatment</h2> <p>The parasite goes through a life cycle that begins in your liver.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> After a mosquito transmits the parasite to your body, it first grows and multiplies in the liver cells before moving into the red blood cells. Once it has invaded an erythrocyte, it reproduces asexually, growing inside the red blood cell and eventually destroying it.</p> <p>As the red blood cell ruptures it releases young daughter <a href="">parasites</a> that continue the cycle by invading other red blood cells. This blood stage parasite is responsible for triggering the symptoms experienced with malaria.</p> <p>The parasite goes through several stages; in one stage they have both male and female forms. When this form of the parasite is consumed by a female anopheles mosquito, the parasite mates inside the mosquito to begin the life cycle. After 10 to 18 days, it migrates into the salivary glands, where it is injected into a new host.</p> <h2>CDC Recommends Artesunate</h2> <p>Authors of the 2018 WHO<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> report analyzed drug resistance to antimalarial medications. They found that despite multidrug resistance, there was decreasing death and disease in the Greater Mekong subregion. Cases of malaria in the African region were not related to resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies.</p> <p>The CDC recommends<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> that anyone in the U.S. diagnosed with malaria be evaluated for parasites that are drug-resistant. Those samples undergo multiple types of testing. The CDC reports there are 1,700 cases of malaria diagnosed in the U.S. each year, many of which are attributed to travel involving visits to countries in which malaria is endemic.</p> <p>The WHO recommends intravenous artesunate for severe malaria, but the drug is not approved or available in the U.S. For this reason, the CDC provides it under an expanded access investigational new drug protocol in which specific criteria must be met for the medication to be delivered.</p> <h2>Avoid Mosquitoes and Use Other Preventive Strategies</h2> <p>The global fight against malaria is centered on insecticide application and the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, along with antimalarial drugs and new <a href="">malaria vaccines</a>. But mosquitoes and parasites are developing drug resistance, and spraying toxic insecticides is not a safe or sustainable solution.</p> <p>The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) of Germany has called for safer, nonchemical means of targeting the disease, with significant impacts seen during a pilot program in West Africa. The program began by increasing residents' knowledge and awareness of the sources of malaria.</p> <p>This included sharing strategies for reducing mosquito breeding sites, as many of the villagers were unaware of the potential existing nearby in areas of food waste, refuse and standing water. Villagers were educated about how to help prevent indoor mosquito infestations via cleaning and garbage removal, as well as how to cover outdoor wells and septic tanks with lids.</p> <p>Fish were introduced to certain areas to help with mosquito larval control. Clinicians at the local health center were also educated on how to better treat malaria, which led to a significant drop in school absenteeism due to the disease, from up to 30 percent during the years 2009 to 2011 to a low of 4.6 percent in 2012.</p> <p>When traveling into malaria-endemic areas, consider taking precautions to reduce your risk of being bitten. To discover more about mosquito behavior and what strategies you may use to reduce your risk, see my past article, “<a href="">How and Why a Mosquito Bites You</a>.”</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Weekly Health Quiz: Pollution, Exercise and Emotions Articles urn:uuid:822030a8-c053-d35a-85b7-6da1c51297dd Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <div class="quiz-panel"> <div class="quiz-item"> <p class="title"><span class="number">1 </span><span>Which of the following is an important component of chronic disease prevention, including cancer?</span></p> <ul class="options"><li class="option-item"><span>Increasing water intake and decreasing dairy (including organic)</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Restricting your bowel movements to four times a week or less</span></li> <li class="option-item correct"><span>Increasing intake of omega-3 and decreasing omega-6 (found in vegetable oils)</span> <span class="explanation"><p>Vegetable oils are a concentrated source of omega-6 linoleic acid, which has led to a severe imbalance between the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in most people's diets. This imbalance appears to be why vegetable oils promote chronic diseases and cancer. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more.</a></p></span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Avoiding standing for more than three hours a day</span></li> </ul></div> <div class="quiz-item"> <p class="title"><span class="number">2 </span><span>Which of the following is a valid contraindication for vaccination that would make you eligible for a medical vaccine exemption?</span></p> <ul class="options"><li class="option-item"><span>Any seizure condition</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Any autoimmune disease</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Autism</span></li> <li class="option-item correct"><span>None of the above</span> <span class="explanation"><p>According to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, there are only two types of vaccine reactions that are absolute contraindications to getting revaccinated and thus warrant a medical exemption: 1) a life-threatening allergic anaphylactic reaction that occurs within minutes of vaccination and 2) development of encephalopathy (prolonged seizures, coma and other brain dysfunction) within seven days of receiving pertussis-containing vaccines — but only if the doctor believes the encephalopathy is "not attributable to another cause." <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more.</a></p></span></li></ul></div> <div class="quiz-item"> <p class="title"><span class="number">3 </span><span>Which of the following companies recently acquired Fitbit and has access to the health data of all Fitbit users?</span></p> <ul class="options"><li class="option-item correct"><span>Google</span> <span class="explanation"><p>In November 2019, Google acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion, giving it access to the health data of its 28 million users. While Google says it won't sell or use Fitbit data for Google ads, some users have already ditched their devices for fear of privacy breaches. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more.</a></p></span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Amazon</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Microsoft</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Apple</span></li> </ul></div> <div class="quiz-item"> <p class="title"><span class="number">4 </span><span>Which of the following emotional states has been scientifically validated as a way to boost health, happiness and life satisfaction?</span></p> <ul class="options"><li class="option-item"><span>Amusement</span></li> <li class="option-item correct"><span>Gratitude</span> <span class="explanation"><p>Practicing gratitude has been scientifically verified as a way to boost happiness and life satisfaction. It also benefits your mental and physical health. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more.</a></p></span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Pride</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Excitement</span></li> </ul></div> <div class="quiz-item"> <p class="title"><span class="number">5 </span><span>Why are rivers key to cleaning up plastic pollution?</span></p> <ul class="options"><li class="option-item"><span>it is impossible to install antipollution equipment in oceans</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>rivers are an important source of drinking water</span></li> <li class="option-item correct"><span>80% of ocean plastic pollution comes from the world's rivers</span> <span class="explanation"><p>Eighty percent of the plastic pollution in our oceans comes from the rivers and 1,000 of the world's rivers are responsible for most of the plastic pollution. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more.</a></p></span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>rivers contain more marine life than oceans</span></li> </ul></div> <div class="quiz-item"> <p class="title"><span class="number">6 </span><span>Which of the following types of exercise helps prevent osteoporosis, by improving osteoblast formation?</span></p> <ul class="options"><li class="option-item"><span>Marathon running</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Swimming</span></li> <li class="option-item"><span>Bodyweight exercises</span></li> <li class="option-item correct"><span>Blood flow restriction training</span> <span class="explanation"><p>Blood flow restriction training improves osteoblast formation, or the formation of bone, and helps prevent further degradation of bone density, thus lowering your risk of osteoporosis. <a href="" target="_blank">Learn more.</a></p></span></li></ul></div> </div> <p class="NLQuizscore" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> The Endocannabinoid System and Human Health Articles urn:uuid:384e5b13-d7da-8480-2129-aa4de58c00a2 Sat, 30 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><div class="panel-block resolution"> <p class="head">Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts</p> <p style="margin: auto; max-width: 90%;">This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> </div> <p><a href="">Hemp</a> has been outlawed in the U.S. since 1938. Thankfully, the latest Farm Bill signed into law at the end of 2018 makes it legal. In this interview, board-certified clinical nutritionist and expert on phytocannabinoids, Carl Germano, discusses the exciting implications of this change.</p> <p>Now, there's a difference between cannabidiol (CBD) products made from hemp and those made from marijuana. While many mistakenly believe hemp and marijuana are interchangeable, they're actually two different plants.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Both are considered Cannabis sativa by genus and species, but that's where the similarity ends," </em>Germano explains<em>. "Hemp has been cultivated for many reasons for the past few thousand years — food, clothing, fiber and fuel. The plant itself contains naturally occurring active compounds called phytocannabinoids, of which CBD is just one of them.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Marijuana, on the other hand, has been cultivated for its primary phytocannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While it has recreational value at small levels, it does have medicinal value.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Nevertheless, many decades ago, hemp got dumped into the definition of marijuana. Hemp was unjustly placed into the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which kind of hampered its access, its ability to have U.S. farmers grow it, or to have even medical or academic institutions study it.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>We've been in the Dark Ages for decades. Thanks to Israel and Europe, who've championed all the research, we've [discovered] the cannabinoid system in the body called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Trump did sign a Farm Bill that finally deregulates hemp. It takes it out of the CSA … It gives the rights of farmers to grow it. It will open up the doors for academic and medical institutions to study it. It will give consumers access to [what is] probably the most important botanical we have on this planet."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Why Whole Hemp May Be Better Than Isolated CBD</h2> <p>The hemp plant contains over 100 different phytocannabinoids, of which CBD is one. And while hemp has now been taken off the CSA, CBD is still under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for the labeling of supplements and enforcing the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"With the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), you have several things against CBD. First, CBD was not in commerce prior to 1994, so it could not be grandfathered as a dietary supplement, yet hemp oil has been in commerce prior to 1994, so we're OK there.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Secondly, DSHEA states that if you want to submit a new dietary ingredient application, you can do so and petition the FDA for an ingredient to be classified as a dietary supplement.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Well, if you were to do that today, you would get rejected immediately because the other part of DSHEA states that if Big Pharma takes a natural ingredient and makes a drug that gets approved, it's hands-off to the dietary supplement industry.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>GW Pharmaceuticals has two <a href="">drugs using isolated purified CBD</a> in it. Therefore, we've got several strikes against putting CBD on the front panel, calling it a dietary supplement, and I say, why bother? Because the story is much bigger than CBD, both clinically, scientifically and legally."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Hemp oil is a food that happens to have CBD in it. But while CBD may not be legally advertised on the label, CBD-containing hemp products can be labeled as having phytocannabinoids — the class of compounds to which CBD belongs. While CBD has gained the most attention, CBD alone cannot fully support your body's <a href="">endocannabinoid system</a> (ECS). You need the other phytocannabinoids and terpenes, which are very complementary to the phytocannabinoids, as well.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Those of us in botanical medicine understand that the sum of all the parts of the plant is greater than any one single ingredient," </em>Germano says.<em> "Let's face it. There's more than one ginsenoside in ginseng. There's more than one curcuminoid in curcumin. There's more than one isobutylamide in Echinacea. There's more than one ginkgolide in ginkgo.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Well, there's more than just one phytocannabinoid in hemp. Back in 2011, Dr. Ethan Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> … wrote about the entourage effect of all the phytocannabinoids and terpenes needing to be present to give rise to full clinical, meaningful benefit …</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>While CBD may be the most dominant phytocannabinoid in hemp, the others are there in minor in number, but they are not minor in the body as they all participate in nourishing, supporting the ECS, which is the bigger story."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Understanding Your ECS</h2> <p>While the discovery of the ECS is fairly recent, genetically it dates back over 600 million years.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> Cannabinoid receptors in the human body were discovered in the 1990s, which in turn led to the realization that we make compounds in our body — endogenous cannabinoids — that influence these receptors.</p> <p>It was also discovered that the ECS orchestrates communication between other bodily systems, such as your respiratory, digestive, immune and cardiovascular systems. The ECS does this via receptors found in every organ, including your skin.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Your ECS is like the conductor of the orchestra. The orchestra are our organ systems. We cannot be healthy, we cannot be well if our ECS does not function well,"</em> Germano says.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>"Your body produces cannabinoids similar structurally to the cannabinoids found in cannabis. Your body feeds off of them. If you don't produce enough to feed every single receptor, various conditions and various illnesses will ensue."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Two Types of Endocannabinoid Receptors Have Been Identified</h2> <p>There are two primary ECS receptors: cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). While CB1 is typically thought of as being primarily in the brain and CB2 primarily in the immune system, both types of receptors are in fact found throughout your body.</p> <p>One of the two cannabinoids your body produces is called anandamide — a nod to the word "ananda," the Sanskrit word for "bliss," as it attaches to the same CB1 receptors that THC attaches to. The other, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), is found throughout your body.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"The ECS has been the subject of many scholarly textbooks … Quite frankly, this is something that should be taught from high school to college to medical school. Unfortunately, because of the stigma attached to cannabinoids … less than 13 percent [of medical schools in the U.S.] are teaching the ECS.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>I say, 'Are you insane? This is like saying that for the next 70 years we will not teach the cardiovascular system, as if it never existed.' We now have to dismantle this medical travesty … The whole thing is about education. This is critical and crucial to our health and well-being.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>We have to dismantle the stigma, and we have to start educating ourselves to understand that the ECS is probably one of the most important medical discoveries in quite some time. Understanding the enormity of this system and what it does and what it influences throughout the entire human body."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Low Endocannabinoid Levels Result in Ill Health</h2> <p>With age, our bodies tend to become less efficient in creating the compounds needed for optimal health, and this holds true for anandamide and 2-AG as well. According to Germano, these two cannabinoids can actually be used as biological markers for certain illnesses and conditions.</p> <p>Endocannabinoid deficiency has been identified in people who have <a href="">migraines</a>, <a href="">fibromyalgia</a>, irritable bowel syndrome, <a href="">inflammatory</a> and neurological conditions and a variety of treatment-resistant conditions. Germano also cites a paper<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> in Translational Psychiatry, which found low anandamide levels are a statistically positive indicator for stress-induced anxiety.</p> <p>They've also discovered there's an intimate relationship between your ECS and your omega-3 status.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> As it turns out, omega-3 fats make your cannabinoid receptors more active, and are used as backbone structures to produce cannabinoids in your body.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"What do we see in people who have low omega-3 status? We see the same things we see in people who are endocannabinoid deficient: pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety, depression and so on. It is a perfect marriage between omega-3s and phytocannabinoids, which act like a multivitamin for the ECS.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>But it doesn't stop there. Look at bones … the reason we give post-menopausal women estrogen is because it influences the cells that build up bone, osteoblasts, and the cells that break down bone, osteoclasts. What does this have to do with the ECS?</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>We now know that if you stimulate the CB1 receptors, you start to stimulate the brain-to-bone communication by slowing down the brain from releasing bone-breaking compounds, like norepinephrine. Then when you stimulate the CB2 receptors, it increases osteoblasts, the bone makers, and decreases osteoclasts, the bone breakers."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Top conditions associated with low cannabinoid levels include:</p> <ul> <li>Pain, inflammation and inflammatory conditions</li> <li>Stress, <a href="">anxiety</a> and <a href="">insomnia</a></li> <li>Ocular health</li> <li>Bone health</li> <li>Neurological conditions</li> </ul> <p>"These are all conditions that can be suitably treated with phytocannabinoids," Germano says. "These are conditions that we see in people who are endocannabinoid-deficient."</p> <h2>Running Dramatically Boosts Anandamide Level</h2> <p>While runner's high is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, running also dramatically increases anandamide in the body, and anandamide not only targets the CB1 receptor, but it also influences opioid and endorphin receptors. Not surprisingly then, the higher an individual's anandamide level, the better they report feeling.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"That makes sense, because anandamide hits the receptors in the brain that are involved in reward and mood," </em>Germano says<em>. "We also understand that the cannabinoids we produce are quite promiscuous.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>They certainly touch the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but they [affect] other receptors as well, [such as] the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT3) receptors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, and receptors that control inflammation, pain, reward, anxiety and things of that nature."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>A paper<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> published in PLOS ONE also details how various nutrients (such as <a href="">omega-3 fats</a>), drugs, exercise, chiropractic care, massage and <a href="">acupuncture</a> influence the function of your ECS.</p> <h2>Your Endocannabinoid System — A Key Player in Inflammation</h2> <p><a href="">Curcumin</a>, <a href="">boswellia</a>, fish oil and quercetin are all well-recognized anti-inflammatory nutrients, but none can compare to what cannabinoids can do, Germano says, especially when the full spectrum is used.</p> <p>As noted in a 2014 paper<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> in Current Opinions in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, the ECS is an emerging key player in inflammation, because it's intertwined with all of the inflammatory pathways, including the eicosanoid ones that omega-3 fish oils influence.</p> <p>Germano also cites other research showing that targeting the ECS can ease both inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and describe how cannabinoids act as analgesics. According to Germano:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"You cannot contend with any inflammatory condition unless you're supporting the ECS. They can be used interchangeably; phytocannabinoids along with curcumin and boswellia and fish oils would be remarkable, as they are complementary to each other by doing different things.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Again, we must address the ECS in any inflammatory condition, whether it be irritable bowel syndrome or injuries — even inflammation in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of all neurological diseases. In 2003, the United States government got issued a patent on the neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>At that time, while the government has been telling us that phytocannabinoids are like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and heroin — [meaning they] have no medical value — they go out and get a patent on the medical value.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>But that was followed up, and there are many papers that talk all about the anti-inflammatory effects in the brain and in the nervous system, of these cannabinoids … There is nothing else like supporting the ECS with phytocannabinoids."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Your Endocannabinoid System Also Plays a Key Role in Your Gut Health</h2> <p>You're probably familiar with the fact that there's a strong connection between not only your brain and your gut, but also your immune system. The importance of this triad in health and disease prevention cannot be overstated. Your gut not only is your largest immune organ, it's also your second brain, containing hundreds of millions of neurons.</p> <p>"We now understand how the gut is involved with communicating with the brain and the immune system, because it has brain cells and immune cells in it," Germano says. In the middle of this trio is your ECS. It is actually the orchestrator of this tri-directional communication. According to Germano, researchers have also discovered the ECS controls:</p> <ul> <li>Motility in the gut</li> <li>Intestinal inflammation</li> <li>Abdominal pain</li> <li>Gut permeability</li> <li>Tolerance to antigens</li> </ul> <p>The ECS also reduces the activity of the stress pathways, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) pathways. Anandamide, specifically, participates in the immunological response in the gut. What's more, there's also communication occurring between your endocannabinoid system and your gut microbiome (the bacteria in your gut).</p> <h2>Clinical Applications for Hemp Products</h2> <p>Again, a full-spectrum oil is actually far preferable to product in which CBD has been isolated. Germano cites a 2015 Israeli paper, which compared full-spectrum oil against isolated CBD, and found the full-spectrum oil was in fact clinically superior.</p> <p>As for dosing, most of the literature demonstrates efficacy of CBD in the several hundred milligram range — but that is for "single magic bullet" isolated CBD. Preclinical studies and any clinicians are reporting that efficacy can be achieved with much lower doses when using a ful spectrum oil — some in the 10 to 25mg CBD range.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Since CBD is the most dominant cannabinoid in hemp, when you extract oil from hemp, you do have much, much higher levels of CBD naturally in the oil as compared to the rest of the phytocannabinoid family. Providing 10 to 25 mg of CBD is the sweet spot for most conditions in the trade — especially when used with other synergistic ingredients …</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>People are responding quite remarkably, which [suggests] you don't need a lot to jump-start the body's ECS. Quite frankly, when we look at the bell-shaped curve with the isolates, the higher the dose, sometimes you decrease the effectiveness … When you use a full-spectrum oil and you're getting the other important phytocannabinoid and terpene components, this is superior, and I'll tell you why.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>People have been focusing on CBD, which is the wrong message. It's the myopic message. Think about it, CBD does not attach to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. If anything, CBD supports the CB1 receptors by preventing the breakdown of anandamide in our bodies and anandamide hits the CB1 receptor.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>What about the CB2 receptor that controls inflammatory cycling, pain signaling, insulin sensitivity and bone building? CBD does nothing for that, so we need something of a CB2 agonist. A perfect partner to CBD would be another phytocannabinoid called beta caryophyllene. Luckily, the family of other phytocannabinoids in a full-spectrum oil contains other phytocannabinoids that complement to what CBD is not doing as well.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>We must get off this single magic bullet bandwagon. We must appreciate the full gamut of all these phytocannabinoids as a whole, and that they complement each other, because CBD is not the answer to support the ECS as a whole."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>As with most things, too much can backfire. While CBD cannot kill you, using CBD isolate in too high amounts can reduce its effectiveness. Such problems are far less likely when using a full-spectrum oil.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"I don't foresee anybody really overdosing on the standard dosages that we're recommending,"</em> Germano says.</p></blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>"Nor when we look at the data that's been published, up to 1,500 mg of CBD chronically administered over time show that it was well-tolerated, minimal to no adverse reactions on physiological function, psychological functioning and other parameters in the body, including blood pressure. So, CBD is quite well-tolerated in humans."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Hemp Oil for Sleep</h2> <p>Aside from inflammation and pain, another area where a full-spectrum hemp oil can be beneficial is to improve sleep and treat insomnia. Germano recommends using a full-spectrum oil in a dose that provides 25 mg of CBD.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"CBD at that range does a number of things. No. 1, it reduces excitability in the brain. It can reduce glutamate toxicity and any excitatory conditioning. Secondly, CBD is involved in various neurotransmitters that are involved with a normal sleep cycle.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>While it has a calming effect and helps to establish a normal sleep cycle, it's not necessarily a sedative. You can use it with melatonin. You can use it with lavender. You can use it with chamomile and passionflower, what have you. I would do that towards the latter part of the day, at least an hour or two before bedtime. Lower doses of CBD are more stimulating, so to speak, and more upregulating."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>How the New Law Can Improve Quality of Hemp Products</h2> <p>In the past, prior to the signing of the new Farm Bill, the leaf, flower and bud of the hemp plant could not be used in the production of CBD-rich hemp oil. The oil had to be pulled from the stalk and stem of the plant only — the less concentrated part. With the new law, all parts of the plant can be used, which will make processing easier and more economical, as the cannabinoids are more concentrated in the leaves, flowers and buds.</p> <p>The law also makes it legal to grow hemp in in every state, so if you wanted to, you could grow it in your backyard. This is something I'm definitely considerin Blood Flow Restriction Trainer Educator Interview Articles urn:uuid:a1fde0b6-de6a-78d1-9a21-f88d09782f15 Sat, 30 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="640" height="360" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border: none;" src=""></iframe><p>In this interview, Dr. Ed Le Cara, a chiropractor with a Ph.D. in sports medicine, shares his knowledge about blood flow restriction (BFR) training — a form of training that I believe is one of the greatest innovations in the last century. He’s also a certified athletic trainer and a strength and conditioning coach and one of the leading educators on BFR in the US. </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“I combine all those backgrounds into the treatment plan and approach that I use with my patients,” </em>Le Cara says<em>. “One of the frustrations I’ve had — I’ve been in practice for about 20 years — was that very often patients would see me while they’re in pain, and once the pain is gone, give up on their previous exercise regimen. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>But with my understanding of exercise and exercise physiology, I knew that once they were out of pain, they still had not gotten their body to the capacity they needed in order to meet the demands their sport or their life was imposing on them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gotten injured in the first place. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>A lot of times it’s because they run out of insurance visits and that only got us through the point of where they’re decreasing in pain. Or they think that once they’re out of pain their injury is healed. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>It was very frustrating for me to see people consistently injure themselves over and over again, and I wasn’t given enough time to really, truly increase their body’s capacity for the demand of sport, life or whatever they’re applying on it that was causing injury. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Then in about 2012, a good friend of mine, who at the time was the director of sports medicine at FC Dallas, said, ‘Hey. You’ve got to really check out this thing called BFR training.’ I had never heard of it … I looked at these different databases</em><em> that I had access to. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>I was overwhelmed with how much research was already out there. My previous experience with different types of modalities that I use in the clinic or different exercise appliances, there was not a lot of literature. Or we had to try to apply literature that was already existing towards what we were trying to do …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>This was totally the opposite. Over 650 studies at the time had been done. It had been utilized for years, [it was] validated and reliable … It was almost too good to be true. To get strength or hypertrophy in four to six weeks was like, ‘There’s no way.’ Physiologically that was impossible. And to not be causing muscle damage associated with that? I was a very big skeptic to say the least when I started.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>What Is BFR?</h2> <p>BFR involves exercising your muscles while partially restricting arterial inflow and fully restricting venous outflow in either both proximal arms or legs.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> Venous flow restriction is achieved by using bands on the extremity being exercised. </p> <p> By restricting the venous blood flow, you create a relatively hypoxic (low oxygen) environment in the exercising muscle, which in turn triggers a number of physiological benefits, including the production of hormones such as growth hormone and IGF-1, commonly referred to as “the fitness hormones.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> </p> <p> It also increases vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which acts as “fertilizer” for growing more blood vessels and improving their lining (endothelium). BFR, originally known as <a href="">KAATSU training</a>, was developed over 50 years ago by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato. Now 73 years old, Sato is still in excellent shape and a true testament to the value of this approach. </p> <p>Between 1996 and 2015, Sato, along with exercise physiologist Naokata Ishii and Dr. Toshiaki Nakajima, a renowned cardiologist at the University of Tokyo Hospital, performed a variety of groundbreaking research, proving the benefits of KAATSU. </p> <p>Much research on BFR has also been done in the U.S. in recent years, but it didn’t really catch on until 2010, when Steven Munatones from the KAATSU Global Company was granted permission by Sato to bring the technology to the U.S. </p> <h2>BFR — Low-Intensity Exercise With High-Intensity Rewards</h2> <p>BFR provides many benefits through a variety of mechanisms. As noted by Le Cara, you’re essentially tricking your brain and body into thinking that it’s doing <a href="">high-intensity exercise</a>, yet you’re doing low-intensity exercise. He explains:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“High-intensity resistance training is defined as somewhere between 65% and 90% of someone’s one rep max (1RM), depending on what resource you’re looking at. Low-intensity exercise is around 20% to 35% of your 1RM. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>If you look, you can even see behind me some of the modalities that I use in my clinic. I’m using resistance tubing and resistance bands. I’m using dumbbells no heavier than about 20 pounds. I’m able to take these light weights, apply something to occlude the blood flow and allow patients’ bodies to think that they’re doing very high-intensity exercise when they’re not. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>The advantage to this is that I don’t cause any damage to the tissue if I do it appropriately, whereas normal exercise and training at high intensity does. These patients cannot tolerate more damage to their tissue because they’re already injured. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>We use the same exercises that we do in rehab, very light load, but we’re able to mimic high-intensity exercise, which, outside of the physiology that occurs, is really the game-changer. That’s what allows us to see quick adaptations.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In the video, Le Cara demonstrates the basics of how the BFR cuff works. </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“I have this cuff and I place it on my limb. Now, I inflate this cuff … to a certain percentage of what’s called my limb occlusion pressure (LOP). I’m reducing the amount of arterial flow into this arm, but I’m totally restricting any venous return. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>What happens is that fluid that should be returning to my heart under normal circumstances is not. That means there is extra fluid hanging out down here that never gets back to my heart that can’t be involved in cardiac output. Cardiac output is the amount of blood that’s being pumped to the body. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>The other part of that equation is the heartrate. Heartrate times stroke volume is equal to cardiac output. And so, if I reduce the stroke volume, my heartrate has to jump up in order to keep the same amount of blood flow going out to the working muscles. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>That’s where, really, physiologically, we see the stress induced on the aerobic capacity system, and why these exercises raise your heartrate so rapidly and give you this sense of having to work very, very hard to do very light loads.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Aerobic Improvements With BFR</h2> <p>Aside from helping you grow bigger muscles, BFR training also improves your aerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance. One of the simplest ways of using BFR is to simply walk with the cuffs high on your thigh for 15 to 20 minutes. According to Le Cara, you can improve your aerobic capacity in as little as four or five weeks doing this.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“I had a patient who had experienced stroke. He could walk about four or five minutes at a time without feeling like he was going to fall, and had fallen a few times. Of course, we know that when we have this increased risk of falling, we have increased risk of fracture and further problems down the line. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>He was asking for a way to be able to do two things: He wanted to be able to go quail hunting with his buddies … [and] he wanted to be able to take the dog out for a walk with his wife. That’s what he did every night of his life until this happened. It was really having a negative effect on him psychologically.” </em></p> </blockquote> <p>Le Cara had the man walk on a treadmill with the cuffs on his legs for one minute holding on to the handles, and one minute unsupported. Over the course of four or five weeks, he was able to build up to where he could walk for 20 to 25 minutes without feeling like he was going to fall.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“That’s just one of many examples. But that was very profound because he was so limited in what he could do. He really needed something to help him translate from the rehab setting to life,”</em> Le Cara says.</p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>“When I put the cuffs around both legs and go for this walk, not only do I improve aerobic capacity, but [researchers] have also seen increased … hypertrophy of the thigh. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>They’ve also seen increase in strength at the knee … If you can increase your strength with just walking for 15 minutes a couple times a week, then that’s also going to translate into a decrease in fall risk. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Things that have been measured, like the ‘sit to stand’ test, ‘timed up and go’ test … also improve. We’re seeing increases in strength and aerobic capacity at the same time with a very simple exercise like walking, which normally does not cause positive adaptation.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>BFR Improves Bone Density</h2> <p>Interestingly, BFR also <a href="">improves bone density</a>, thereby lowering your risk for <a href="">osteoporosis</a>. As explained by Le Cara, who is familiar with the medical literature on this, BFR improves osteoblast formation, or the formation of bone. It also helps prevent further degradation of bone density. </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“There are many pathways associated with it, including capillarization and VEGF. But the primary thing I think helps the most is that when we inflate the cuff and we’ve got the swelling in to the limb, because the swelling is all around in all the tissue, you’ve got the bones surrounded, 360 degrees all around, [and] that creates a stress on the bone. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>When we stress the bone, now the body has to respond by stimulating bone growth. So, I think Wolff’s Law comes into effect through that mechanism, in addition to the physiological adaptations that are occurring … It appears that hypoxia, or the decrease in oxygenation, also stimulates [bone growth]. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>There’s a stimulation of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that occurs; numerous cascades that are happening. There’s something magical about creating an environment where there’s not enough oxygen and the body has to adapt due to that.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, that “magic” was recently elucidated further with the award of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup> for the discovery of how cells sense and adapt to the availability of oxygen, which involves responses in VEGF, hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1A) and erythropoietin. In essence, by creating a hypoxic (low oxygen) environment, your body thinks you’re doing high-intensity exercise, and responds accordingly. </p> <h2>Wide Rigid Cuffs Versus KAATSU</h2> <p>While KAATSU specifies the use of narrow elastic occlusion bands, Le Cara has developed his own take on the technique using rigid, nonflexible wider bands, which is actually listed as a Class 1 medical device (blood occlusion device) in the U.S. He explains why he decided to veer from Sato’s already established parameters: </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“When I’m experimenting with different modalities and I’m unsure of them, my first tendency is to go to the literature. What is the literature suggesting? What has been studied? What hasn’t been studied? When I went there, there was really a hodgepodge of different types of modalities being used to occlude blood flow. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Nothing was sticking out to me … There really wasn’t a resource … except for very expensive modalities [and], frankly, until I’m confident that something works, I am hesitant to spend the money.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>This is understandable, considering the original KAATSU equipment was rather large and had a price tag around $16,000. (However, as of October 2019 they have a unit that sells for only $800<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> and is the one I personally use every day and endorse. Unfortunately, Le Cara has never worked with the KAATSU system, but has used numerous elastic and thinner bands.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“What I first did was based on the recommendation of my buddy who … had mentioned a certain type of band, and so I ordered those and started using them. What I first noticed was that exercise didn’t seem to be that hard. I was actually using the cuffs on all four limbs. It still wasn’t that hard …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>When we have these cuffs [on] … it creates these little spaces in the cuff, and then the accumulation of metabolites distal to the cuff or closer to my hand can still escape. It wasn’t truly occluding arterial flow, so it wasn’t creating a hypoxic environment. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Now, my veins were sticking out like crazy. What we know is that because the veins are closer to the surface or more superficial, they’re much easier to occlude. The deeper pressure is what’s needed in order to get to the arterial flow to really create that hypoxic environment that we have already said is very beneficial. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Some of the other literature that came out [showed] that if we use a very narrow band, less than 5 centimeters, then it requires much higher pressures in order to occlude the arterial flow. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>I wanted to use something that was wider so I didn’t need so much pressure, especially if I was going to use this with my compromised patients or people who maybe had … contraindications. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>I wanted something that was as safe as possible. So, we developed something that was wider, that had that full diaphragm — the bladder that gets inflated with air …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>When you have the little segmented bladder, when you inflate it, you really can’t find true LOP. I was never able to quantify with my patients what a safe and effective pressure was. We were using something called ‘arbitrary pressures or guessing what pressures we needed to use. With my patients’ safety, I don’t guess. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Realistically, I was what I like to call ‘undercooking’ people, not using enough pressure to occlude. I wasn’t getting the benefit I really wanted to see. We needed something wider. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>We needed something that had that full diaphragm or bladder that could be inflated and that I could measure LOP using a Doppler to know exactly what each individual’s LOP was … [even] in different positions, like standing, sitting or lying down, depending on what position of exercise I was putting somebody in.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>The Case for Wide, Rigid Cuffs</h2> <p>So, to summarize, the reason Le Cara recommends using a wider rigid inflatable cuff instead of a narrower, flexible inflatable cuff, is because it traps and accumulates metabolites more effectively at lower pressures, thus reducing risk to damage beneath the cuff. </p> <p>When using a flexible cuff, the muscle contraction will force the blood to return back to your heart. Even though the return flow is initially restricted, it doesn’t remain restricted once you do the contraction. </p> <p>However, there are three concerns when using wide rigid cuff systems. The first is that wider cuffs will tend to limit movement during exercise. The second is that there appears to be an attenuated response to BFR benefits to the muscle and tissues under the cuff.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>Finally, although BFR improves hypertension in the long-term, there is a greater risk of eliciting an acute hypertensive response, especially in those who already have hypertension or the elderly that already have compromised vascular resilience.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> For these reasons it is likely wiser to choose narrow elastic bands like the KAATSU in these populations. </p> <p>As with the KAATSU system, you would place the wide cuff proximal to the bicep, distal to the deltoid. With the wider band, the correct placement is essentially as close as you can to the armpit, right below the deltoid tubercle (the insertion point of the deltoid). On your leg, the cuff would go right below the greater trochanter; in other words, as high up on the leg, near your groin, as you can.</p> <h2>BFR Provides Full Body Benefits</h2> <p>Interestingly, BFR doesn’t just benefit the limb being occluded. The chemical cascade that occurs as a result of the restricted blood flow provides body-wide benefits. Benefits occur both distal and proximal to the cuff, i.e., on both sides. You also get crossover effects, so while you might be working your right shoulder, your left will also benefit. </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“We use this in rehab a lot when [one] shoulder has been immobilized,” </em>Le Cara says.<em> “I have a patient who I’ll go see as a home visit tonight. She just had surgery last week … She’s not moving this arm.</em></p> </blockquote><blockquote> <p><em> But I can do things over here that’ll get the crossover effect. I can do things with her legs. She can walk with the cuffs on … She can do things for other extremities to try to maintain her muscle mass and maintain that capacity as an entity …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Within 10 days of disuse, we can lose about 30% of our muscle mass … We start losing aerobic capacity at about Day 7 and we start losing strength and size right around that Day 10. So, if I tell somebody to take four or six weeks off, they’re way in a hole.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Risk Factors and Contraindications</h2> <p>BFR is a fitness modality that really everyone can benefit from. The elderly, especially, need to consider it, as it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent <a href="">sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss</a>. Once you lose muscle mass, your risk of developing complications from everyday activities skyrockets. </p> <p>Again, one of the reasons why BFR is so well-suited for the elderly is because you use such light weights. You don’t even need to use any. According to Le Cara, research has shown it takes three sessions of BFR for your body to start adapting.</p> <p>In Le Cara’s clinic, the first visit typically involves establishing the patient’s LOP bilaterally while sitting, lying and standing, and taking down a thorough medical history to make sure there are no contraindications. </p> <p>While very safe when done properly, there are risks when using a rigid cuff system like the Smart Cuff System, the two primary ones being a hypertensive crisis that could contribute to a stroke or heart attack, and blood clots, which could be lethal. Factors that place you at increased risk include:</p> <div class="indent"> <p><strong><span class="bullet">1. </span>Recent blood stasis —</strong> Situations in which you’ve had blood occluded, such as during surgery. Most people who have just had surgery in the orthopedic setting are at a slight increased risk for clotting. </p> <p> Another situation that can raise your risk is after long travel. If you’ve sat on a plane for a day, it’s best to wait a few days to normalize, as blood stasis and pooling can put you at increased risk for a blood clot. Being bedridden for a period of time is another scenario that would apply here.</p> <p><strong><span class="bullet">2. </span>Blood vessel damage —</strong> A crush injury on a limb would be a risk factor, for example, or a venous graft. Poor circulation can also increase risk, necessitating lighter pressure to start.</p> <p><strong><span class="bullet">3. </span>Cardiovascular risk factors —</strong> If you have heart problems, has your physician cleared you for high-intensity exercise? “If they’re cleared for high-intensity exercise, cardiovascularly, they are cleared for BFR,” Le Cara says. </p> <p> For patients with high blood Boyan Slat Unveils the Ocean Cleanup Interceptor Articles urn:uuid:53a08f21-dc8f-9753-cb77-56c4c8b6850e Fri, 29 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Boyan Slat, a young Dutch entrepreneur, and his group Ocean Cleanup have invented <a href="">an ingenious collection barge</a> to clean plastic debris from our oceans. When their barge, called System 001/B, was tested in June 2019 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — the first plastic-ridden area Slat planned to tackle — it worked successfully.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup></p> <p>The patch, a trash vortex between the West Coast of North America and Japan,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> is twice the size of Texas.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3 </span></sup> During its test run in the Garbage Patch, System 001/B captured visible pieces of plastic debris — sometimes called macroplastics — large ghost nets used with commercial fishing and even microplastics in its haul.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <p>On the basis of challenges discovered in its test run, The Ocean Cleanup team will begin to design an improved barge to be known as System 002. And, there is more good news about The Ocean Cleanup's efforts, detailed in the video, "Boyan Slat Unveils the Ocean Cleanup Interceptor."</p> <p>In October, they rolled out an innovative and workable plan to turbocharge plastic cleanup efforts, pun intended.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> The group ascertained that about 80% of ocean plastic pollution comes from the world's rivers and they have developed a plan to target the 1,000 most plastic-polluting rivers with a new invention.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup></p> <p>The device, called the Interceptor, can collect 50,000 kilos (110,231 pounds) of plastic trash every day — equivalent to 1 million soda bottles, according to the featured video — and may collect up to 100,000 kg a day under perfect conditions.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> Two Interceptors have already been deployed — one in Jakarta, Indonesia, and one in Klang, Malaysia.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> Others are in the works.</p> <h2>Which Rivers Need To Be Targeted?</h2> <p>"When it rains, plastic washes from street to creek to river to ocean," Slat points out<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> — a fact which seems pretty evident. But how can it be determined which specific rivers are the worst culprits and need to be targeted? After all, there are about 100,000 rivers in the world!</p> <p>The Ocean Cleanup created a monitoring system that can be attached to a bridge, scanning for plastic that floats by. With the use of artificial intelligence, the system allowed The Ocean Cleanup team to automatically measure how much plastic was flowing out of a river. </p> <p>Based on that information, they were able to create an interactive global map model, the first of its kind, that ranks rivers on the basis of the amount of plastic pollution in them. </p> <p>It was soon discovered that a small fraction — only 1 percent — was causing most of the pollution, says Slat in his Interceptor presentation. If 100,000 rivers were contributing to plastic pollution, the cleanup task might be overwhelming. But since a relatively small number of rivers are responsible for most of the pollution, those 1,000 plastic-polluting rivers can be targeted with the new device.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <h2>The Interceptor Is Accepted by Other Countries</h2> <p>Obviously, an ambitious plan to attack plastic river waste on an international scale needs the buy-in from world leaders as well as funding, and The Ocean Cleanup is securing both. </p> <p>Working with government leaders and private corporations, the team plans to install Interceptors in the 1,000 most-polluted rivers within the next five years.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup> Those of us who are concerned about plastic pollution know that time is of the essence.</p> <p>In addition to the Interceptors already installed in Malaysia and Indonesia, others are planned for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> Thailand has also agreed to situate an Interceptor near Bangkok. </p> <p>The Ocean Cleanup has not neglected the U.S., which is clearly one of the world's major producers and disposers of plastic. It is currently in talks with officials in Los Angeles county, according to the video report. Though an Interceptor costs approximately $777,000 right now, The Ocean Cleanup predicts that costs will come down as production increases.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p> <h2>The Challenge of Closing the Plastic Tap</h2> <p>River cleanup is crucial to solving the ocean plastic problem because removing existing plastic in the ocean is not enough, says Slat in the video.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"To truly rid the oceans of plastic, what we need to do is two things. One, we need to clean up the legacy pollution, the stuff that has been accumulating for decades and doesn't go away by itself. But, two, we need to close the tap, which means preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place. Rivers are the arteries that carry the trash from land to sea."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The Ocean Cleanup doesn't want to be "the garbage collector of the oceans," says Slat, though it would be a "pretty sustainable business model." Rather, The Ocean Cleanup's goal "is to put ourselves out of business."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup></p> <p>Still, judging by current pollution data, it will be quite a while before The Ocean Cleanup runs out of plastic garbage to collect. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a mere 9.1% of the plastic material generated in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream was recycled in 2015, and only about 30% of plastic bottles and jars were recycled.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup> That is why The Ocean Cleanup's campaign is so important and urgent.</p> <h2>How Does the Interceptor Work?</h2> <p>According to the "Boyan Slat Unveils The Ocean Cleanup Interceptor" video, the Intercept system is anchored to the riverbed and makes use of the natural flow of the river to collect plastic debris as it floats by. </p> <p>Its barrier guides the plastic into the mouth of the Interceptor and a conveyer belt scoops the plastic out of the water. (Slat uses scores of little yellow rubber duckies in the video to demonstrate the system's effectiveness.) To prevent clogging, the belt has been made to be permeable and behind it is a flow channel that creates a suction effect.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <p>After the plastic has been funneled into the Intercept, the conveyer places the plastic in the "shuttle," a basket on wheels, which distributes the plastic across six dumpsters, sensing which ones are full or empty. Each dumpster can hold 50 cubic meters (1,765 cubic feet) of trash. </p> <p>When the dumpsters are full, the Interceptor signals through its internet-linked, onboard computer to local operators to bring a boat for towing the full barge so the plastic can be emptied and recycled.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup> While the barge is removed from the river for emptying, the shuttle can still collect plastic, says Slat.</p> <h2>The Interceptor's Environmentally Sensitive Features</h2> <p>When you look at the Interceptor's features, it is clear The Ocean Cleanup team has thought through all the potential problems that could come from such a system including its environmental toll. </p> <p>For example, even though the Interceptor's floating barrier directs garbage into the system, it will usually only span part of the river so it will not interfere with the movement of wildlife and the safe passage of vessels. The Interceptor is able to do this because The Ocean Cleanup discovered through sensors that at certain points in many rivers, "all the plastic is flowing through this very narrow band," says Slat. </p> <p>This removes the need for the Interceptor to span the whole width of the river.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup> Next, the Interceptor is powered by solar panels and onboard lithium-ion batteries that enable it to operate day and night with no human operator, and without noise or exhaust fumes.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p> <p>Finally, the nose of the Interceptor has been engineered to deflect large objects like trees that could enter the unit and harm the machinery. And, because the Interceptor is designed like a catamaran sailboat, it has a low center of gravity and is very unlikely to tip over. "It will stay upright no matter what," Slat says. </p> <h2>Is the Interceptor Cost Effective?</h2> <p>The key metric to determine if a plastic cleanup method is practical is the cost per kilogram of plastic collected, says Slat. Because of the Interceptor's effectiveness and the fact that it is a "series produced product," it offers the lowest cost for such removal.</p> <p>But there is another metric through which the Interceptor's costs should be analyzed, says Slat, and that is the cost to tourism and fisheries in coastal countries of doing nothing about plastic waste. </p> <p>Countries are "losing money every day" that they do not invest in plastic removal, he says. Dramatic before and after pictures of plastic-polluted and cleaned rivers during his presentation underscore the urgency of tackling plastic waste and the feasibility of deploying the Interceptor.</p> <p>Plastic pollution take a huge toll on marine life, which often mistake the plastic bits for food. Chemicals used to make plastics disrupt hormones, embryonic development and gene expression, and are linked, in humans, to <a href="">obesity</a>, heart disease and cancer. It is estimated that humans are now eating, swallowing or breathing in about 2,000 pieces of microplastic a week, equal to the weight of one credit card.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup></p> <h2>What Can You Do About Plastic Pollution?</h2> <p>While technology like the Interceptor is an encouraging step forward, each and every one of us has a responsibility and share the burden for putting an end to plastic pollution. Below is a sampling of strategies that can help:</p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Don't use plastic bags — use reusable bags</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Make sure the items you recycle are recyclable (See <a href="">this list</a>.)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Use reusable shopping bags for groceries</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Take your own leftovers container to restaurants</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Bring your own mug for coffee, and bring drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Store foods in glass containers or mason jars rather than <a href="">plastic containers</a> and plastic freezer bags</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Avoid disposable utensils and straws and buy foods in bulk when you can</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Opt for nondisposable razors, washable feminine hygiene products for women, cloth diapers, handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, rags in lieu of paper towels and infant toys made of wood rather than plastic</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Avoid <a href="">processed foods</a> (which are stored in plastic bags with chemicals). Buy fresh produce instead, and forgo the plastic bags</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </table><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Do Barometric Pressure Changes Trigger Pain? Articles urn:uuid:b11a0bdf-82e8-b65f-2d42-c9fcc432ecca Fri, 29 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>You may know that as you spend time outside on a sunny day, it improves your mood and allows your body to produce vitamin D. Some people enjoy warm weather and others appreciate the winter snow. But regardless of your preference, when the sun is out you may feel better without realizing it.</p> <p>Many people feel they can identify when the weather is changing. Barometric pressure is one measurement meteorologists use to describe current weather and predict future conditions.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup></p> <p>Barometric pressure is a measurement of atmospheric pressure, or the weight of the atmosphere above the planet. A barometer is used to measure the pressure, which is stated in units of mercury. At sea level, barometric pressure is measured as 760 mm of mercury. A barometer measures pressure of the atmosphere against the earth, so the measurement changes at different elevations.</p> <p>A meteorologist then uses a formula to compare barometric pressure against the reading at sea level. High pressure causes the atmosphere to drop toward the earth, reducing cloud cover and creating clear, dry conditions. Low pressure happens when the ground is warm, heating the surface air and causing it to rise.</p> <p>As the air expands it also cools. Since warmer air holds more water vapor than cooler air, as the air temperature drops the air condenses, leading to rain or storms. When a meteorologist predicts falling barometric pressure it suggests rain is moving into the area.</p> <h2>Falling Barometric Pressure Creates Pressure Difference</h2> <p>As the pressure in the atmosphere rises or falls, the same thing happens to the pressure against your body. When a low barometric pressure front arrives, it may cause areas of your body to swell.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> People who suffer with chronic stress may be more attuned to weather changes. Seniors may also be more sensitive to barometric changes, as the ability to combat this challenge declines with age.</p> <p>So, when your elderly aunt says she can feel a storm coming in her bones, she probably can. The changes in pressure accompanying shifts in weather may have a measurable effect on joint pain and headaches. In answer to a question about headache pain, Dr. Matthew Fink, neurologist in chief at New York Presbyterian Hospital, commented to The New York Times:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Differences in air pressure because of the weather or changes in altitude can have noticeable effects on the human body, though some people are more sensitive than others. Low barometric pressure can cause headaches by creating a pressure difference between the surrounding atmosphere and the sinuses, which are filled with air. That leads to distended sinuses, especially if there is any congestion or blockage."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>With less pressure against the body, the pressure differences may trigger headaches. As reported in a study published in the journal Internal Medicine,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> researchers enrolled 28 patients who suffered migraine headaches. They were asked to keep a diary for the course of a year, recording their headache pain.</p> <p>Their recordings were compared to barometric pressure data from the local meteorological observatory. The researchers found a correlation between the frequency of headaches and small reductions in atmospheric pressure, which were measured two days before and two days after headache onset.</p> <p>Participant diary data showed the frequency increased when the barometric pressure dropped from the day the headache occurred to the day after, and the frequency reduced as the barometric pressure rose. They concluded that pressure changes may be an exacerbating factor in migraine headaches.</p> <p>The authors of a second study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> found similar results, when 20 migraine headache sufferers were asked to keep an hourly pain log for 14 days. Whether there is an effect on your blood pressure measurement from the weather is still a subject of study, however. The Mayo Clinic<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> writes that blood pressure typically increases in the winter months and may go up or down in reaction to abrupt changes in atmospheric pressure in the same way.</p> <p>In a study of the effect of temperature and barometric pressure in 333 men and women with Stage 1 high blood pressure, researchers discovered no variability associated with barometric pressure changes. They did find variability associated with temperature and concluded that cold weather could increase blood pressure variability, complicating diagnosis and management.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <h2>Pressure and Temperature May Affect Your Joint Pain</h2> <p>It is also common to hear people predict the weather based on changes in joint pain. Falling barometric pressure may increase the risk of joint swelling, but to date no clear association has been found to explain an increase.</p> <p>In one study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> of 200 participants who had knee osteoarthritis, researchers recorded daily values for temperature, barometric pressure, dew point, precipitation and relative humidity. The participants were located across the U.S. and the data were recorded for three months. The researchers found a consistent association between barometric pressure changes, ambient temperature and pain severity.</p> <p>This remained after the data were adjusted for age, gender, body mass index and pain medication use, including opioids. They concluded "barometric pressure and ambient temperature are independently associated with osteoarthritis knee pain severity."</p> <p>In a second systematic review of observational studies,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> researchers looked at the association between weather and joint pain in those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. An overall analysis of all studies showed nearly no association between temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure and pain.</p> <p>However, data from two studies showed a minority of patients were influenced by one or more of the criteria. They concluded the information to date had not shown any consistent effect, yet evidence did suggest pain in some individuals was likely affected by the weather.</p> <h2>Citizen Scientists Measure Weather and Pain Relationship</h2> <p>A research team from the University of Manchester<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup> undertook a unique data gathering study when they published a smartphone app to recruit participants. During the 12-month recruiting period, it was downloaded by 13,207 people in the U.K.</p> <p>Participants were asked to record daily pain intensity and GPS locations on their phone, which linked their location to local weather data. At the end of the study, the researchers had 2,658 participants included in the analysis. The data revealed that an increase in relative humidity and wind speed was associated with a higher potential for pain.</p> <p>The potential for pain reduced with an increase in atmospheric pressure. Temperature did not have a significant association with pain in this study. Based on the data, the effect on pain could not be explained by mood or physical activity. The team wrote the study validated that an individual's perception of their pain was associated with the weather.</p> <h2>Opioids Are Not the Answer to Chronic Pain</h2> <p>Barometric weather changes may influence your joint pain. Turning to <a href="">opioids</a> for pain management is not the answer. Before the mid-1980s, these pain killers were not frequently prescribed, as physicians feared their patients would become dependent on highly addictive drugs.</p> <p>By 2017, there were 1.7 million who suffered from a substance abuse problem related to a prescription opioid painkiller. During the same year, 47,600 deaths were recorded from an opioid overdose and at least 130 died every day in 2016 and 2017 from an opioid-related overdose.</p> <p>Before you accept a prescription for an opioid painkiller, consider if you would use heroin to treat the type of pain you're experiencing. Opioid painkillers are essentially prescription strength, legal heroin drugs with the same addictive properties and potential to destroy your life.</p> <p>It is important to remember that pain is your body's way of communicating something is wrong. I recommend working with your health care provider to identify the source of it. Often if you're able to relieve the source, it can relieve the pain. Consider the following non-pharmacological options to reduce inflammation and pain long-term.</p> <h2>Nondrug Options Lessen Pain Without Risky Side Effects</h2> <div class="indent"> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Magnesium deficiency —</strong> <a href="">Migraine headaches</a> are one health condition associated with barometric weather changes. While the exact mechanism behind migraine headaches has not been identified, researchers have found those who suffer likely have a magnesium deficiency.</p> <p>Magnesium deficiency is also associated with depression, platelet aggression, serotonin receptor function and influence in the production and use of neurotransmitters.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Posture and Exercise —</strong> <a href="">Sitting</a> for long hours contributes to tightening muscles, placing undue pressure on your lower back, hip and knee joints. Using simple strategies to strengthen your <a href="">core muscles</a> and sitting properly, you help reduce underlying mechanical reasons for joint pain.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Acupuncture and Emotional Freedom Techniques —</strong> One of the most common uses of <a href="">acupuncture</a> is to treat pain conditions. Those undergoing acupuncture report a 50% reduction in pain, compared to 28% receiving standard treatment without acupuncture.</p> <p><a href="">Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)</a> work on the same principles but can be done at home or in public as needed. EFT may be used for a number of conditions, including pain, headaches, anxiety and depression.</p> <p><span class="bullet">• </span><strong>Reduce Inflammation —</strong> Inflammation increases the pain response. By taking steps to reduce inflammation you affect pain and your overall health. Reduce or eliminate sugar and carbohydrates, as these trigger inflammation. <a href="">Gluten</a> may speed the development of inflammation, damaging the lining of your small intestines and lead to negative effects on your joints, liver and nervous system.</p> <p>Your gut is vital to your immune system and the inflammatory response. You can protect your <a href="">gut health</a> by eating fermented foods and practicing intermittent fasting. Boost your production of <a href="">melatonin</a> using good sleep hygiene. This helps support your mitochondria and reduces inflammation. Consider using <a href="">essential oils</a> or <a href="">turmeric</a> to help reduce inflammation and treat pain.</p> </div><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Giving Thanks Does Your Body Good Articles urn:uuid:0b45382f-7f96-4aa5-9245-b40d280a29d5 Wed, 27 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>Focusing on gratitude has become a growing trend in recent years,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> and for good reason. There’s a lot of stress, illness and unhappiness in the world, and gratitude is an effective remedy for all of these — and it’s free. For example, research shows that gratitude:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Alters your brain in a number of beneficial ways — Examples include triggering release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and <a href="">oxytocin</a>; inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol; and stimulating your hypothalamus (a brain area involved in the regulation of stress) and your ventral tegmental area (part of your brain’s reward circuitry that produces pleasurable feelings)<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Increases happiness and life satisfaction<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Lowers <a href="">stress</a> and emotional distress </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Improves <a href="">emotional resiliency</a><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Reduces symptoms of <a href="">depression</a><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Reduces pain</p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Lowers inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines</p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Lowers blood sugar</p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Improves immune function<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><a href="">Lowers blood pressure</a></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Improves heart health,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with <a href="">congestive heart failure</a> and <a href="">coronary artery disease</a></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Lowers risk for heart disease<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Improves general health by encouraging self-care<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Improves sleep<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Improves interpersonal relationships<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Boosts productivity<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p>Reduces materialism<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup> and increases generosity,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup> both of which can increase happiness and life satisfaction</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>Gratitude Defined</h2> <p>As explained by Harvard Medical School:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>According to one study,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup> gratitude is “uniquely important to psychological well-being.” In teenagers, gratitude has been found to correlate with “positive affect, global and domain specific life satisfaction, optimism, social support and prosocial behavior.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup> It’s even been suggested that gratitude practice and cultivation can be used as a psychotherapeutic intervention with positive effect.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn27" data-hash="#ednref27">27</span></sup></p> <h2>Finding What Works</h2> <p>As psychologist Laurie Santos, who teaches the science of happiness at Yale, told NPR,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn28" data-hash="#ednref28">28</span></sup> "It's one of the practices that really wins out from the field of positive psychology, because it takes very little time, and the benefits are so powerful."</p> <p>As noted by Harvard,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn29" data-hash="#ednref29">29</span></sup> there are many ways to feel and express gratitude, and all are equally valid. You can think back to positive memories, for example, applying gratitude for past blessings. </p> <p>Feeling and expressing gratitude in the present helps remind you to not take good fortune for granted. Applied to the future, it becomes an expression of hope and optimism that everything will work out for the best, even if you cannot see the road ahead.</p> <p>For best results, the key is to find a method that feels meaningful to you. For some, writing a gratitude list first thing in the morning might do the trick. For others, quietly contemplating what you’re grateful for — past, present or future — at the end of each day works better. </p> <p>One particularly potent strategy is to write a letter of gratitude to someone whom you’ve not properly thanked for their kindness, and to hand deliver the letter to them. In one study,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn30" data-hash="#ednref30">30</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn31" data-hash="#ednref31">31</span></sup> doing this resulted in an immediate and significant increase in happiness score that lasted for an entire month. </p> <h2>When Gratitude Is a Struggle</h2> <p>Depending on circumstances, gratitude can sometimes be a struggle. Researchers say the best way to overcome this hurdle (which can trigger even more pessimism or guilt) is to find one tiny little thing to be grateful for, and to focus on that one thing. </p> <p>Maybe you’ve lost your job and your car was repossessed but — thankfully — there’s a bus stop within easy walking distance. Over time, you’ll find it becomes easier to identify additional things to be thankful for.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn32" data-hash="#ednref32">32</span></sup></p> <p>Another way to flex your gratitude muscle when life events leave you uninspired is to identify and express gratitude for seemingly “useless” or insignificant things. It could be a certain smell in the air, the color of a flower, your child’s freckles or the curvature of a stone. Over time, you’ll find that doing this will help home your ability to identify “good” things in your life. </p> <h2>Materialism and Entitlement — Two Common Blocks to Gratitude</h2> <p>According to Robert Emmons, one of the leading scientific experts on gratitude,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn33" data-hash="#ednref33">33</span></sup> materialism and entitlement are two common stumbling blocks to gratitude, so if you cannot find anything to be thankful for, consider whether you might have fallen into one of these traps. As explained in a newsletter by Greater Good Science Center:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn34" data-hash="#ednref34">34</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Seen through the lens of buying and selling, relationships as well as things are viewed as disposable, and gratitude cannot survive this … Research has proven that gratitude is essential for </em><a href=""><em>happiness</em></a><em>, but modern times have regressed gratitude into a mere feeling instead of retaining its historic value, a virtue that leads to action … </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>[G]ratitude is an action of returning a favor and is not just a sentiment. By the same token, ingratitude is the failure to both acknowledge receiving a favor and refusing to return or repay the favor … If we fail to choose [gratitude], by default we choose ingratitude …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Provision, whether supernatural or natural, becomes so commonplace that it is easily accepted for granted. We believe the universe owes us a living. We do not want to be beholden. Losing sight of protection, favors, benefits and blessings renders a person spiritually and morally bankrupt … </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>People who are ungrateful tend to be characterized by an excessive sense of self-importance, arrogance, vanity and an unquenchable need for admiration and approval. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p> <em> Narcissists reject the ties that bind people into relationships of reciprocity. They expect special favors and feel no need to pay back or pay forward … </em><em>Without empathy, they cannot appreciate an altruistic gift because they cannot identify with the mental state of the gift-giver.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p> If entitlement is the hallmark of narcissism, then humility is the antidote and the answer when you struggle with gratitude. As noted by Emmons, “The humble person says that life is a gift to be grateful for, not a right to be claimed. Humility ushers in a grateful response to life.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn35" data-hash="#ednref35">35</span></sup></p> <p>So, gratitude isn’t a response to receiving “your due,” but rather the recognition that life owes you nothing, yet provided you with everything you have anyway — a place to live, family, friends, work, your eyesight, your breath, indeed your very life. When you start seeing everything as a gift, opposed to things you’ve deserved (for better or worse), your sense of gratitude will begin to swell.</p> <h2>How to Build and Strengthen Gratitude</h2> <p>While keeping a daily gratitude journal is highly recommended, there are many other ways to practice gratitude. I’ve compiled suggestions from various experts below. The key is to stay consistent. Find a way to incorporate your chosen method into each week, and stick with it. </p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p><strong>Write thank-you notes</strong><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn36" data-hash="#ednref36">36</span></sup> <strong>—</strong> When thanking someone, be specific and acknowledge the effort and/or cost involved. </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Say grace at each meal —</strong> Adopting the ritual of saying grace at each meal is a great way to flex your gratitude muscle on a daily basis,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn37" data-hash="#ednref37">37</span></sup> and will also foster a deeper connection to your food. </p> <p>While this can be a perfect opportunity to honor a spiritual connection with the divine, you don’t have to turn it into a religious speech if you don’t want to. You could simply say, “I am grateful for this food, and appreciate all the time and hard work that went into its production, transportation and preparation.”</p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Change your perception —</strong> Disappointment can be a major source of stress, which is known to have far-reaching effects on your health and longevity. In fact, <a href="">centenarians</a> overwhelmingly cite stress as the most important thing to avoid if you want to live a long and healthy life. Since stress is virtually unavoidable, the key is to develop and strengthen your ability to manage your stress so that it doesn’t wear you down over time.</p> <p>Rather than dwelling on negative events, most centenarians figured out how to let things go, and you can do that too. It takes practice, though. It’s a skill that must be honed daily, or however often you’re triggered. </p> <p>A foundational principle to let go of negativity is the realization that the way you feel has little to do with the event itself, and everything to do with your perception of it. Wisdom of the ancients dictate that events are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. It is your belief about the event that upsets you, not the fact that it happened.</p> <p>As noted by Ryan Holiday, author of “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance and the Art of Living,”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn38" data-hash="#ednref38">38</span></sup> “The Stoics are saying, ‘This happened to me,’ is not the same as, ‘This happened to me and that’s bad.’ They’re saying if you stop at the first part, you will be much more resilient and much more able to make some good out of anything that happens.” And, once you can see the good, you’re more apt to feel gratitude. </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Be mindful of your nonverbal actions —</strong> Smiling and hugging are both ways of expressing gratitude, encouragement, excitement, empathy and support. These physical actions also help strengthen your inner experience of positive emotions of all kinds. </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Give praise —</strong> Research<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn39" data-hash="#ednref39">39</span></sup> shows using “other-praising” phrases are far more effective than “self-beneficial” phrases. For example, praising a partner saying, “thank you for going out of your way to do this,” is more powerful than a compliment framed in terms of how you benefited, such as “it makes me happy when you do that.”</p> <p>The former resulted in the partner feeling happier and more loving toward the person giving the praise. Also, be mindful of your delivery — say it like you mean it. Establishing eye contact is another tactic that helps you show your sincerity.</p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Prayer and/or </strong><strong>mindfulness meditation —</strong> Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing "<a href="">mindfulness</a>" means that you're actively paying attention to the moment you're in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you're grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze or a lovely memory. </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Create a nightly gratitude ritual —</strong> One suggestion is to create a gratitude jar,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn40" data-hash="#ednref40">40</span></sup> into which the entire family can add notes of gratitude on a daily basis. Any jar or container will do. Simply write a quick note on a small slip of paper and put it into the jar. Some make an annual (or biannual or even monthly) event out of going through the whole jar, reading each slip out loud. </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Spend money on activities instead of things —</strong> According to research,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn41" data-hash="#ednref41">41</span></sup> spending money on experiences not only generates more gratitude than material consumption, it also motivates greater generosity.</p> <p>As noted by co-author Amit Kumar, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago, “People feel fortunate, and because it’s a diffuse, untargeted type of gratitude, they’re motivated to give back to people in general.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn42" data-hash="#ednref42">42</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Embrace the idea of having “enough” —</strong> According to many who have embraced a more minimalist lifestyle, the key to happiness is learning to appreciate and be grateful for having “enough.”</p> <p>Financial hardship and work stress are two significant contributors to depression and anxiety. The answer is to buy less and appreciate more. Instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses, practice being grateful for the things you already have, and release yourself from the iron grip of advertising, which tells you there’s lack in your life.</p> <p>Many who have adopted the minimalist lifestyle claim they’ve been able to reduce the amount of time they have to work to pay their bills, freeing up time for volunteer work, creative pursuits and taking care of their personal health, thereby dramatically raising their happiness and life satisfaction. The key here is deciding what “enough” is. Consumption itself is not the problem; unchecked and unnecessary shopping is.</p> <p>Many times, accumulation of material goods is a symptom that you may be trying to fill a void in your life, yet that void can never be filled by material things. More often than not, the void is silently asking for more love, personal connection, or experiences that bring purpose and passionate engagement. So, make an effort to identify your real, authentic emotional and spiritual needs, and then focus on fulfilling them in ways that does not involve shopping.&nbsp; </p></td> </tr> <tr><td valign="top"><p><strong>Tapping —</strong> The <a href="">Emotional Freedom Techniques</a> (EFT) is a helpful tool for a number of emotional challenges, including lack of gratitude. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the energy meridians used in acupuncture that can quickly restore inner balance and healing, and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. In the video below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for gratitude. </p> <div class="video-rwd"> <figure class="op-interactive aspect-ratio"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src=";rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></figure> </div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><img src="" width="1" height="1"> How Google Is Stealing Your Personal Health Data Articles urn:uuid:5d436c95-0e14-3a98-5af6-22f18845bfcf Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><strong>Expert Review by <a href="" target="_blank">Maryam Heinen</a></strong></p> <p>Google, by far one of the greatest monopolies that ever existed, and poses a unique threat to anyone concerned about health, supplements, food and your ability to obtain truthful information about these and other issues.</p> <p>This year, we’ve seen an unprecedented push to implement censorship across all online platforms, making obtaining and sharing crucial information about holistic health increasingly difficult.</p> <p>As detailed in “<a href="">Stark Evidence Showing How Google Censors Health News</a>,” Google’s June 2019 update, which took effect June 3, effectively removed and hundreds of other natural health sites from Google search results. Google is also building a specific search tool for medical and health-related searches.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup></p> <p>And, while not the sole threat to privacy, Google is definitely one of the greatest. Over time, Google has positioned itself in such a way that it’s become deeply embedded in your day-to-day life, including your health.</p> <p>In recent years, the internet and medicine have become increasingly intertwined, giving rise to “virtual medicine” and self-diagnosing — a trend that largely favors drugs and costly, invasive treatments — and Google has its proverbial fingers in multiple slices of this pie.</p> <h2>Health Data Mining Poses Unique Privacy Risks </h2> <p>For example, in 2016, Google partnered with WebMD, launching an app allowing users to ask medical questions.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> The following year, Google partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, launching a <a href="">depression</a> self-assessment quiz which turned out to be little more than stealth marketing for antidepressants.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <p>Google and various tech startups have also been investigating the possibility of assessing mental health problems using a combination of electronic medical records and tracking your internet and social media use.</p> <p>In 2018, Google researchers announced they’d created an artificial intelligence-equipped retinal scanner that can appraise your risk for a <a href="">heart attack</a>.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>According to a recent Financial Times report,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> Google, Amazon and Microsoft collect data entered into health and diagnostic sites, which is then shared with hundreds of third parties — and this data is not anonymized, meaning it’s tied to specifically to you, without your knowledge or consent.</p> <p>What this means is DoubleClick, Google’s ad service, will know which prescriptions you’ve searched for on, thus providing you with personalized drug ads. Meanwhile, Facebook receives information about what you’ve searched for in WebMD’s symptom checker.</p> <p>“There is a whole system that will seek to take advantage of you because you’re in a compromised state,” Tim Lebert, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University told Financial Times.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> “I find that morally repugnant.”</p> <p>While some find these kinds of technological advancements enticing, others see a future lined with red warning flags. As noted by Wolfie Christl, a technologist and researcher interviewed by Financial Times:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“These findings are quite remarkable, and very concerning. From my perspective, this kind of data are clearly sensitive, has special protections</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The following graphic, created by Financial Times, illustrates the flow of data from, a site that focuses on pregnancy, children’s health and parenting, to third parties, and the types of advertising these third parties then generate.</p> <figure class="center-img"> <img alt="user data sent to third parties" src="" style="max-width:500px;width:100%!important;"> </figure> <h2>Tech Companies Are Accessing Your Medical Records</h2> <p>As described in the featured Wall Street Journal video,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> a number of tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and the startup Xealth, are diving into people’s personal electronic medical records to expand their businesses.</p> <p>Xealth has developed an application that is embedded in your electronic health records. Doctors who use the Xealth application — which aims to serve most health care sectors and is being rapidly adopted as a preferred “digital formulary”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup> — give the company vast access to market products to their patients. The app includes lists of products and services a doctor believes might be beneficial for certain categories of patients.</p> <p>When seeing a patient, the doctor will select the products and services he or she wants the patient to get, generating an electronic shopping list that is then sent to the patient. The shopping links direct the patient to purchase these items from Xealth’s third-party shopping sites, such as Amazon.</p> <p>As noted in the video, “Some privacy experts worry that certain Xealth vendors can see when a patient purchased a product through Xealth, and therefore through their electronic health record.” In the video, Jennifer Miller, assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine says:</p> <blockquote><p><em>”In theory, it could boost adherence to physician recommendations, which is a huge challenge in the U.S. health care system. On the other side, there are real worries about what type of information Amazon in particular is getting access to.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>So, from what I understand, when a patient clicks on that Xealth app and is taken to Amazon, the data are coded as Xealth data, which means Amazon likely knows that you purchased these products through your electronic health records.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Amazon Is Mining Health Records</h2> <p>Amazon, in turn, has developed software, called Amazon Comprehend Medical, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to mine people’s electronic health records. This software has been sold to hospitals, pharmacies, researchers and various other health care providers.</p> <p>The software reveals medical and health trends that might otherwise go unnoticed. As one example, given in the video, a researcher can use this software to mine tens of thousands of health records to identify candidates for a specific research study.</p> <p>While this can certainly be helpful, it can also be quite risky, due to potential inaccuracies. Doctors may enter inaccurate data for a patient, for example, data that, were it accurate, would render that patient a poor test subject.</p> <p>Apple is also getting in on the action through its health app. It facilitates access to electronic medical records by importing all your records directly from your health care provider. The app is meant to be “helpful” by allowing you to pull up your medical records on your iPhone and present them to any doctor, anywhere in the world.</p> <h2>What Does This Mean for Your Privacy</h2> <p>While tech companies like Amazon and Apple claim your data are encrypted (to protect it from hacking) and that they cannot view your records directly, data breaches have become so common that such “guarantees” are next to worthless.</p> <p>As noted in the video by Dudley Adams, a data use expert at the University of California, San Francisco, “No encryption is perfect. All it takes is time for that encryption to be broken.” One very real concern about having your medical records hacked into is that your information may be sold to insurance companies and your employer, which they can then use against you, either by raising your rates or denying employment.</p> <p>After all, sick people cost insurance companies and employers more money, so both have a vested interest in avoiding chronically ill individuals. So, were your medical records to get out, you could potentially become uninsurable or unemployable.</p> <h2>Google Collects Health Data on Millions of Americans </h2> <p>Getting back to <a href="">Google</a>, a whistleblower recently revealed the company amassed health data from millions of Americans in 21 states through its Project Nightingale,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> and patients have not been informed of this data mining. As reported by The Guardian:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale … has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em> The anonymous whistleblower has posted a video on the social media platform Daily Motion that contains a document dump of hundreds of images of confidential files relating to Project Nightingale. </em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>The secret scheme … involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the U.S. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike other similar efforts it has not been made anonymous though a process of removing personal information known as de-identification …</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>Among the documents are the notes of a private meeting held by Ascension operatives involved in Project Nightingale. In it, they raise serious concerns about the way patients’ personal health information will be used by Google to build new artificial intelligence and other tools.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The anonymous whistleblower told The Guardian:</p> <blockquote><p><em>“Most Americans would feel uncomfortable if they knew their data was being haphazardly transferred to Google without proper safeguards and security in place. This is a totally new way of doing things. Do you want your most personal information transferred to Google? I think a lot of people would say no.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>On a side note, the video the whistleblower uploaded to Daily Motion has since been taken down, with a note saying the “video has been removed due to a breach of the Terms of Use.”</p> <p>According to Google and Ascension, the data being shared will be used to build a search tool with <a href="">machine-learning algorithms</a> that will spit out diagnostic recommendations and suggestions for medications that health professionals can then use to guide them in their treatment.</p> <p>Google claims only a limited number of individuals will have access to the data, but just how trustworthy is Google these days? Something tells me that since the data includes full personal details, they’ll have no problem figuring out a way to eventually make full use of it.</p> <h2>Google Acquires Fitbit</h2> <p>In November 2019, the company also acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion, giving Google access to the health data of Fitbit’s 25.4 million active users<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> as well. While Google says it won’t sell or use Fitbit data for Google ads, some users have already ditched their devices for fear of privacy breaches.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> As reported by The Atlantic on November 14, 2019:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“Immediately, users voiced concern about Google combining fitness data with the sizeable cache of information it keeps on its users. Google assured detractors that it would follow all relevant privacy laws, but the regulatory-compliance discussion only distracted from the strange future coming into view.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>As Google pushes further into health care, it is amassing a trove of data about our shopping habits, the prescriptions we use, and where we live, and few regulations are governing how it uses these data.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>How HIPAA Laws Actually Allow This Data Mining</h2> <p>The HIPAA Security Rule is supposed to protect your medical records, preventing access by third parties — including spouses — unless you specifically give your permission for records to be shared. So, just how is it that Google and other tech companies can mine them at will?</p> <p>As it turns out, the Google-Ascension partnership that gives Google access to medical data is covered by a “business associate agreement” or BAA. HIPAA allows hospitals and medical providers to share your information with third parties that support clinical activities, and according to Google’s interpretation of the privacy laws and HIPAA regulations, the company is not in breach of these laws because it’s a “business associate.”&nbsp;</p> <p>The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the legality of this arrangement.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup> As reported by The Atlantic:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“If HHS determines that Google and its handling of private information make it something more akin to a health care provider itself (because of its access to sensitive information from multiple sources who aren’t prompted for consent), it may find Google and Ascension in violation of the law and refer the matter to the Department of Justice for potential criminal prosecution.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>But whether or not the deal goes through, its very existence points to a larger limitation of health-privacy laws, which were drafted long before tech giants started pouring billions into revolutionizing health care.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Patients Bear the Risk While Third Parties Benefit</h2> <p>BAA agreements only allow for the disclosure of protected health information to entities that help the medical institution to perform its health care functions. The third party is not permitted to use the data for its own purposes or in any independent way.</p> <p>I personally find it hard to believe that Google would not find a way to profit from this personal health data, considering its web-like business structure that ties into countless other for-profit parties. Even if they don’t, there does not appear to be any distinct advantages to patients whose records are being shared. As reported by STAT News:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“Jennifer Miller, a Yale medical school professor who studies patient privacy issues, said the way health information is being shared, whether legal or not, is far from ideal. Patients — whose data are shared without their knowledge or specific consent — end up with all the risks, she said, while the benefits, financial or otherwise, go to Google, Ascension, and potentially future patients.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>As reported by Health IT Security<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup> in March 2019, Democratic senator of Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, has also introduced a data privacy bill “that would require companies not covered by HIPAA to obtain explicit consent from patients before sharing health and genetic data.”</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The bill covers the collecting and storing of sensitive data, such as biometrics, genetics, or location data,” </em>Health IT Security writes.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup> <em>“The consent form must outline how that data will be used.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>And the bill will also let consumers request, dispute the accuracy of their records, and transfer or delete their data “without retribution” around price or services offered.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>Further, organizations would need to apply three standards to all data collection, processing, storage, and disclosure. First, collection must be for a legitimate business or operation purpose, without subjecting individuals to unreasonable risks to their privacy.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>Further, the data may not be used to discriminate against individuals for protected characteristics, such as religious beliefs. Lastly, companies may not engage in deceptive data practices.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2> Google Partnership Spurs Class-Action Lawsuit</h2> <p>The fact that patients don’t want Google to access their medical records is evidenced by a class-action lawsuit filed in the summer of 2019 against the University of Chicago Medical Center which, like Ascension, allowed Google access to identifiable patient data through a partnership with the University of Chicago. As reported by WTTW News June 28, 2019:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“All three institutions are named as defendants in the suit, which was filed … by Matt Dinerstein, who received treatment at the medical center during two hospital stays in 2015.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>The collaboration between Google and the University of Chicago was launched in 2017 to study electronic health records and develop new machine-learning techniques to create predictive models that could prevent unplanned hospital readmissions, avoid costly complications and save lives … </em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>The tech giant has similar partnerships with Stanford University and the University of California-San Francisco. But that partnership violated federal law protecting patient privacy, according to the lawsuit, by allowing Google to access electronic health records of ‘nearly every patient’ at the medical center from 2009 to 2016.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>The suit also claims Google will use the patient data to develop commercial health care technologies … The lawsuit claims the university breached its contracts with patients by ‘failing to keep their medical information private and confidential.’ It also alleges UChicago violated an Illinois law that prohibits companies from engaging in deceptive practices with clients.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Like Ascension, the University of Chicago claims no confidentiality breaches have been made, since Google is a business associate. However, the lawsuit claims HIPAA was still violated because medical records were shared that “included sufficient information for Google to re-identify patients.”</p> <p>The lawsuit also points out that Google does indeed have a commercial interest in all of this information, and can use it by combining it with its AI and advanced machine learning.</p> <p>According to the plaintiffs, Google’s acquisition of DeepMind “has allowed for Google to find connections between electronic health records and Google users’ data.” The news report also points out that:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><em>“In 2015, Google and DeepMind obtained patient information from the Royal Free NHS Trust Foundation to conduct a study, which a data protection watchdog organization said ‘failed to comply with data protection law.’”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Health-Tracking Shoes and Other Privacy Abominations</h2> <p>Google is also investing in other wearable technologies aimed at tracking users’ health data, including:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span></sup></p> <ul> <li>Shoes designed to monitor your weight, movement and falls </li> <li>“Smart” contact lenses for people with age-related farsightedness and those who have undergone cataract surgery<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup> (a glucose-sensing contact lens for diabetics was canceled in 2018 after four years of development<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup>) </li> <li>A smartwatch to p This Revolutionary System Can Help Stop Global Warming Articles urn:uuid:c8f75cd8-d58d-1e3c-4692-2dc1c64effb3 Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <blockquote> <p><em>“Unsustainable land use and greenhouse gas emissions are delivering a one-two punch to natural ecosystems that are key to the fight against global climate change. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>And without sweeping emissions cuts and transformations to food production and land management, the world stands no chance of staving off catastrophic planetary warming,” HuffPost reported, citing the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Agave plants (the best known of which are blue agave, used to produce tequila), along with nitrogen-fixing, companion trees such as mesquite, huizache, desert ironwood, wattle and varieties of acacia that readily grow alongside agave, are among the most common and prolific, yet routinely denigrated or ignored plants in the world. As India climate scientist Promode Kant points out:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Agave is to the drier parts of the world what bamboo is to its wetter zones. Capturing atmospheric CO2 in vegetation is severely limited by the availability of land and water. The best choice would be species that can utilize lands unfit for food production and yet make the dynamics of carbon sequestration faster.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>As much as 40% of the land on earth is arid and semi-arid, largely in the tropics but also in the cool temperate zones up north. And on almost half of these lands, with a minimum annual rainfall of about 250 mm and soils that are slightly refractory, the very valuable species of agave grows reasonably well.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Agave plants and nitrogen-fixing trees densely intercropped and cultivated together have the capacity to draw down massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and produce more above ground and below ground biomass (and animal fodder) on a continuous year-to-year basis than any other desert and semi-desert species.&nbsp; </p> <p>Ideal for arid and hot climates, agaves and their companion trees, once established, require little or no irrigation to survive and thrive, and are basically impervious to rising global temperatures and drought. Agaves alone can draw down and store above ground the dry weight equivalent of 30 to 60 tons of CO2 per hectare (12 to 24 tons per acre) per year. One hectare equals 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres. </p> <p>Now, a new, agave-based agroforestry and livestock feeding model developed in Guanajuato, Mexico, promises to revitalize campesino/small farmer livestock production while storing massive amounts of atmospheric carbon above and below ground. </p> <p>Scaled up on millions of currently degraded and overgrazed rangelands, these agave/agroforestry systems have the potential to not only improve soil and pasture health, but to help mitigate and potentially reverse global warming, aka climate change.</p> <h2>Climate Emergency </h2> <p>As international scientists, activists and our own everyday experience tell us, we are facing a Climate Emergency. A “profit at any cost,” fossil fuel-supercharged economy, coupled with industrial agriculture and factory farms, destructive land use and mindless consumption have pumped a dangerous load of CO2 and greenhouse gas pollution into the sky, bringing on global warming and violent climate change. </p> <p>Degenerative food, farming, livestock and land use practices have decarbonized and killed off much of the biological life and natural carbon-sequestering capacity of our soils, forests and <a href="">ecosystems</a>. </p> <p>This degradation and desertification of global landscapes has oxidized and released billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and eliminated much of the above ground carbon biomass once stored in our forests and landscapes. </p> <p>This global degeneration has depleted so much of the carbon and biological life in our soils, trees and plants that these natural systems can no longer draw down and sequester (through natural photosynthesis) enough of the excess CO2 and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to maintain the necessary balance between CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the carbon stored in our soils, trees and plants.</p> <p>The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) estimates that arid and semi-arid lands make up 41.3% of the earth's land surface, including 15% of Latin America (most of Mexico), 66% of Africa, 40% of Asia and 24% of Europe. </p> <p>Farmers and herders in these areas face tremendous challenges because of increasing droughts, erratic rainfall, degraded soils, overgrazed pastures and water scarcity. Many areas are in danger of degenerating even further into desert, unable to sustain any crops or livestock whatsoever.&nbsp; </p> <p>Most of the world’s drylands are located in the economically underdeveloped regions of the Global South, although there are millions of acres of drylands in the U.S., Australia and Southern Europe as well. Farming, ranching and ecosystem conservation are becoming increasingly problematic in these drylands, especially given the fact that the majority of the farms and ranches in these areas do not have irrigation wells or year-round access to surface water. </p> <p>Crop and livestock production levels are deteriorating, trees and perennials have typically been removed or seasonally burned, and pastures and rangelands have been overgrazed. Poverty, unemployment and malnutrition in these degraded landscapes are rampant, giving rise to violence, organized crime and forced migration</p> <p>The good news, however, coming out of Mexico, applicable to many other regions, is that if farmers and ranchers can stop overgrazing pastures and rangelands and eliminate slash and burn practices, and instead reforest, revegetate, rehydrate and recarbonize depleted soils, integrating traditional and indigenous water catchment, agroforestry, livestock and land management practices with agave-based agroforestry, we may well be able to green the drylands and store and sequester massive amounts of carbon. </p> <h2>Via Organica, the ‘Organic Way’</h2> <p>After decades as a food, farm, anti-GMO and climate campaigner for the Organic Consumers Association in the U.S., I now spend a good part of my time managing an organic and regenerative farm and training center, Via Organica, in the high-desert drylands of North Central Mexico. </p> <p>Our semi-arid, temporal (seasonal rainfall) ecosystem and climate in the state of Guanajuato is similar to what you find in many parts of Mexico, and in fact in 40% of the world. In our valley, we typically get 20 inches or 500 millimeters of precipitation in the “rainy season” (July to October), greening the landscape, followed by eight months with little or no rain whatsoever. </p> <p>At Rancho Via Organica, we’ve been trying to regenerate our high-desert (6,300 feet elevation) environment, developing farming, livestock and landscape management practices that produce healthy organic food and seeds, sequester carbon in the soil, preserve our monte or natural densely-vegetated areas, slow down and infiltrate rainwater (including runoff coming down the mountains and hillsides) to recharge our water table, and reforest and revegetate our still somewhat degraded corn fields and pasturelands. </p> <p>Looking across our mountain valley, the most prominent flora are cactus and agave plants (some of which are quite large) along with hundreds of thorny, typically undersized, mesquite, huizache and acacia shrubs/trees. </p> <p>In order to grow our vegetables and cover crops, maintain our olive, <a href="">mulberry</a>, citrus and <a href="">pomegranate trees</a>, and provide water and forage for our animals, we — like most small farmers and ranchers in Mexico — irrigate with only the rainfall that we can collect and store in cisterns, ponds and soils. </p> <p>Eighty-six percent of Mexican farmers and herders have no source of water other than seasonal rainfall, and therefore have to struggle to maintain their milpas (corn, beans and squash) and raise their animals under increasingly adverse climate conditions. </p> <h2>Greening the Drylands: A New Agroforestry Model</h2> <p>Recently Juan Frias, a retired college professor and scientist, came up to me after attending a workshop at our farm. As we discussed regenerative agriculture practices and climate change, Juan told me about a new system of drylands agroforestry and livestock management (sheep and goats), based upon agave plants and mesquite trees in the nearby community of San Luis de la Paz. They call their agroforestry system Modelo Zamarripa.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <p>By densely planting, pruning and intercropping high-biomass, high-forage producing, fast-growing species of agaves (1,600 to 2,000 per hectare) amongst preexisting deep-rooted, nitrogen-fixing tree species such as mesquite, or among planted tree seedlings, these farmers are transforming their landscape and their livelihoods. </p> <p>When the agaves are 3 years old, and for the following five to seven years, farmers can begin pruning the leaves or pencas, chopping them up finely with a machine, and then fermenting the agave in closed containers for 30 days, ideally combining the agave leaves with 20% or more of mesquite pods by volume to give them a higher protein level. In our region mesquite trees start to produce pods that can be harvested in five years. </p> <p>By Year Seven the mesquite and agaves have grown into a fairly dense forest. In years eight to 10, the root stem or pina (weighing 100 to 200 pounds) of the agave is ready for harvesting to produce a distilled liquor called mescal. Meanwhile the hijuelos or pups put out by the mother agave plants are being continuously transplanted back into the agroforestry system, guaranteeing continuous biomass growth (and carbon storage). </p> <p>In their agroforestry system, the Zamarripa farmers integrate rotational grazing of sheep and goats across their ranch, supplementing the pasture forage their animals consume with the fermented agave silage. Modelo Zamarippa has proven in practice to be ideal for sheep and goats, and we are now experimenting at Via Organica with feeding agave silage to our pastured pigs and poultry.</p> <p>The revolutionary innovation of these Guanajuato farmers has been to turn a heretofore indigestible, but massive and accessible source of biomass — the agave leaves — into a valuable animal feed, using the natural process of fermentation to transform the plants’ indigestible saponin and lectin compounds into digestible carbohydrates and fiber. </p> <p>To do this they have developed a relatively simple machine, hooked up to a tractor, that can finely chop up the tough leaves of the agave. After chopping the agave, the next step is to anaerobically ferment the biomass in a closed container (we use 5-gallon buckets with lids). </p> <p>The fermented end-product, after 30 days, provides a nutritious but very inexpensive silage or animal fodder (in comparison to alfalfa, hay or cornstalks) that costs less than 1 Mexican peso (or approximately 5 cents USD) per kilo (2.2 pounds) to produce. </p> <p>According to Frias, lambs readily convert 10 kilos of this silage into 1 kilo of body weight. At less than 5 cents per kilo (2 cents per pound) agave silage could potentially make the difference between survival and bankruptcy for millions of the world’s small farmers and herders. </p> <h2>Agaves and Carbon Storage and Sequestration</h2> <p>The Zamarripa system of drylands afforestation and silvopasture draws down and stores in the plants large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. Agronomists have observed that certain varieties of agave can produce up to 43 tons per hectare of dry weight biomass per year, on a continuous basis.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <p>These high biomass varieties of agave will likely thrive in many of the world’s arid ecosystems, wherever any type of agave and nitrogen-fixing trees are already growing.</p> <p>Nitrogen-fixing trees such as mesquite can be found in most arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Mesquite grows readily not only in Texas and the Southwestern U.S., Mexico, Central America, Argentina, Chile and other Latin American nations, but also “thrives in arid and semi-arid regions of North America, Africa, the Middle East, Tunisia, Algeria, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), Russia, Hawaii, West Indies, Puerto Rico and Australia.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>At Via Organica, outside San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> we are utilizing moveable, solar-fenced paddocks for our grazing sheep and goats in order to protect our mesquite tree seedlings, to prevent overgrazing or undergrazing, to eliminate dead grasses and invasive species, and to concentrate animal feces and urine across the landscape in a controlled manner.</p> <p>At the same time that we are rotating and moving our livestock on a daily basis, we are transplanting, pruning, finely chopping and fermenting the heavy biomass leaves or pencas of agave salmiana plants. Some individual agave pencas or leaves can weigh (wet) as much as 20 kilos or 44 pounds. </p> <p>The bountiful harvest of this regenerative, high-biomass, high carbon-sequestering system will eventually include not only extremely low-cost, nutritious animal silage, but also high-quality organic lamb, <a href="">mutton</a>, cheese, milk, aquamiel (agave sap), pulque (a mildly alcoholic beverage) and distilled agave liquor (mescal), all produced organically and biodynamically with no synthetic chemicals or pesticides whatsoever, at affordable prices, with excess agave biomass and fiber available for textiles, compost, biochar and construction materials.</p> <h2>Massive Potential Carbon Drawdown</h2> <p>From a climate crisis perspective, the Modelo Zamarripa is a potential game-changer. Forty-three tons of above-ground dry weight biomass production on a continuing basis per hectare per year ranks among the highest rates of drawing down and storing atmospheric carbon in plants in the world, apart from healthy forests. </p> <p>Imagine the carbon sequestration potential if rural farmers and pastoralists can establish agave-based agroforestry systems over the next decade on just 10% of the worlds 5 billion degraded acres (500 million acres), areas unsuited for crop production, but areas where agave plants and suitable native nitrogen-fixing companion tress (such as acacia varieties in Africa) are already growing. </p> <p>Conservatively estimating an above-ground biomass carbon storage rate of 10 tons of carbon per acre per year on these 500 million acres, (counting both agave and companion trees, aboveground and below ground biomass) we would then be able to cumulatively sequester 5 billion tons of carbon (18 billion gigatons of CO2e) from the atmosphere every year. </p> <p>Five billion tons of additional carbon sequestered in the Earth’s soils and biota equals nearly 50% of all human greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. </p> <h2>More Background on Agaves</h2> <p>To better understand the potential of this agroforestry/holistic grazing system, a little more background information on agave plants, and nitrogen-fixing or trees such as mesquite, huizache or other fodder and food producing trees such as inga or moringa may be useful. </p> <p>Various varieties of agave plants (along with their cactus relatives and companion nitrogen-fixing trees) are found growing on approximately 20% of the earth’s lands, essentially on the half of the world’s drylands where there is a minimum annual rainfall of approximately 10 inches or 250 mm, where the temperature never drops below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. </p> <p>Kant has described the tremendous biomass production and carbon-storage potential of agaves in dry areas:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Agave can … be used for carbon sequestration projects under CDM [the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Climate Protocol] even though by itself it does not constitute a tree crop and cannot provide the minimum required tree crown cover to create a forest as required under CDM rules. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>But if the minimum required crown cover is created by planting an adequate number of suitable tree species in agave plantations then the carbon sequestered in the agave plants will also be eligible for measurement as above ground dry biomass and provide handsome carbon credits … </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>It causes no threat to food security and places no demand for the scarce water and since it can be harvested annually after a short initial gestation period of establishment, and yields many products that have existing markets, it is also well suited for eradication of poverty …”</em><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> </blockquote> <p>Agaves, of which there are 200 or more varieties growing across the world, can thrive even in dry, degraded lands unsuitable for crop production because of their Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthetic pathway (cacti and other related desert plants also have a CAM pathway) that essentially enables these plants to draw down moisture from the air and store it in their thick tough leaves during the nighttime, while the opening in their leaves (the stomata) close up during daylight hours, drastically reducing evaporation. </p> <p>Meanwhile, its relatively shallow mycorrhizal fungi-powered roots below the soil surface spread out horizontally, taking in available moisture and nutrients from the topsoil, especially during the rainy season. </p> <p>In addition, its propagation of baby plants or pups, (up to 50 among some varieties) that grow out of its horizontal roots makes the plant a self-reproducing perennial, able to sustain high biomass growth, and carbon-storage and sequestration on a long-term basis. </p> <p>Even as a maturing agave plant is pruned beginning in Year Three (to produce fermented silage) and the entire mature agave plant (the pina) is harvested at the end of its life span, in order to make mescal, in our case after eight to 10 years, it leaves behind a family of pups that are carrying out photosynthesis and producing biomass (leaves and stem) at an equal or greater rate than the parent plant. </p> <p>In other words, a very high level of above-ground carbon storage and below-ground sequestration can be maintained year after year — all with no irrigation and no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals required, if intercropped in conjunction with nitrogen-fixing tree such as mesquite, huizache, inga, moringa or other dryland species such as the acacias that grow in arid or semi-arid areas.</p> <p>Agaves and a number of their tree companions have been used as sources of food, beverage and fiber by indigenous societies for hundreds, in fact thousands of years. However, until recently farmers had not been able to figure out how to utilize the massive biomass of the agave plant leaves which, unless they are fermented, are basically indigestible and even harmful to livestock. </p> <p>In fact, this is why, besides the thorns and thick skins of the leaves, animals typically will not, unless starving, eat them. But once their massive leaves (which contain significant amounts of sugar) are chopped up and fermented in closed containers, livestock, after a short period of adjustment, will gobble up this sweet, nutritious forage like candy. </p> <p>Developing a native species/agroforestry/livestock system on 5 million to 10 million acres of land unsuitable for food crops in a large country like Mexico (which has 357 million acres of cropland and pastureland, much of which is degraded) could literally sequester 37% to 74% of the country’s net current fossil fuel emissions (current net emissions are 492m tons of CO2e). </p> <p>And, of course, wherever these agave/agroforestry/holistic grazing systems are deployed, farmers and ranchers will also be restoring the fertility and moisture holding capacity of millions of acres of pasturelands and rangelands, thereby promoting rural food self-sufficiency and prosperity.</p> <p>Scaling up best regenerative practices on the world’s billions of acres of croplands, pasturelands and forest lands — especially those degraded lands no longer suitable for crops or grazing — can play a major role, along with moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, in stopping and reversing climate change.</p> <p>For more information on the global Regeneration Movement go to <a href="">Regeneration International</a>. Please sign up for our free newsletter and, if you can afford it, make a <a href="">tax-deductible donation</a> to help us spread the message of Reg Superbugs Kill Someone Every 15 Minutes Articles urn:uuid:38277fb5-bd53-b819-e6ba-8207bbdbfeac Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> published their first Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report in 2013. The intention was to sound the alarm to the dangers of antibiotic resistance that experts had been warning about for decades.</p> <p>Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are also called superbugs. The resistance occurs as bacteria adapt to chemicals and drugs in the environment. This may make standards of treatment for bacterial infections less effective, and in the case of superbugs, ineffective.</p> <p>The term “superbug” was initially coined by the media, but Dr. Stephen Calderwood, who serves as president for the Infectious Diseases Society of America says,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> “It resonates because it's scary. But In fairness, there is no real definition.”</p> <p>The medical term is multidrug-resistant bacteria, referring to bacteria unaffected by two or more types of antibiotics. Brian Coombes, Ph.D., head of the department of biochemistry and biomedical science at McMaster University in Ontario speaks to the widespread impact antibiotic resistance has on public health, saying:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Superbugs should be a concern to everyone. Antibiotics are the foundation on which all modern medicine rests. Cancer chemotherapy, organ transplants, surgeries, and childbirth all rely on antibiotics to prevent infections. If you can't treat those, then we lose the medical advances we have made in the last 50 years."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>More Dying From Superbugs Than Earlier Estimates</h2> <p>In their first report, the CDC estimated there were 2 million antibiotic-resistant infections reported in 2013, accounting for 23,000 deaths.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup> The recently released report includes data not available in 2013, including electronic health records.</p> <p>Writers of the 2019 report calculate the 2013 data missed nearly half of the cases and deaths.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> According to the new estimates 3 million each year are infected and 35,000 die. Put another way, on average, every 11 seconds someone in the U.S. is infected with an antibiotic-resistant bacterium, and someone dies every 15 minutes.</p> <p>Other researchers believe even this estimate is too low and the true number of infections is likely much higher.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> Dr. Jason Burnham is an infectious disease specialist at Washington University. He and two colleagues surveyed data from 2010, expanding the definition of antibiotic resistant deaths.</p> <p>The lower limit of their estimate of people who died in 2010 as the result of an antibiotic resistant <a href="">bacterial infection</a> is 153,113. The team believes their estimate indicates a need for better surveillance and reporting to address this crucial issue and establish a more accurate estimate of the burden of the infection, which may open more avenues for research funding.</p> <p>As indicated in the CDC report, hospitals have improved tracking methods and slowed the spread of resistant germs by nearly 30% since 2013.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup> Additionally, they identified a secondary infection linked to antibiotic use, Clostridioides difficile (C. diff).</p> <p>This infection triggers deadly <a href="">diarrhea</a> after antibiotics upset the natural balance of bacteria in the digestive system. If deaths from C. diff are added to the CDC 2019 totals, more than 3 million infections and 48,000 deaths may be attributed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These numbers are likely still a conservative estimate of the damage that could be attributed to multidrug-resistant bacteria.</p> <h2>Antibiotic Resistance Is an Evolving Challenge</h2> <p>According to The Washington Post, the CDC identified five germs representing the most urgent threat. The first three are well-known. They include carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), C. diff and drug-resistant gonorrhea. Each of these are resistant to nearly all antibiotics physicians have used to treat them, and statistics show they kill up to 50% of those who become septic.</p> <p>Further, these bacteria have the ability to transfer their resistance to related bacteria. This may potentially increase the number and species of bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant. Two new pathogens were added to the list. The first is a yeast called Candida auris, which the CDC<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> refers to as an “emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat.”</p> <p>The second is carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter bacteria, which the CDC reports is resistant to nearly all antibiotics. The new report added a classification of pathogens to watch, in which they placed 18 germs with the potential to spread further resistance.</p> <p>The comparison in the 2013 and 2019 data drives home what experts have warned for decades — bacteria continue to evolve and mutate, developing the ability to fight off different types of antibiotics. As more antibiotics are used in agriculture and health care, they become less effective.</p> <h2>Developing Superbugs Spurred by Antibiotic Overuse</h2> <p>The CDC report links misuse of antibiotics to the impressive rise in resistant infections. In another study<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> by the CDC, researchers stated at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. are unnecessary. Antibiotics used in physician offices and emergency rooms were analyzed, and the data revealed most of the unnecessary antibiotics were used for respiratory conditions triggered by viruses.</p> <p>Put another way, 30% of the antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. equals 47 million prescriptions each year, placing patients at risk for allergic reaction or C. diff infections. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed proactively, as in the case of erythromycin eye ointment in newborns to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum from gonorrhea and chlamydia.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <p>The antibiotic is not used universally throughout the U.S. or Europe to prophylactically treat infant pink eye since mothers who receive prenatal care are screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia and treated before the birth of their child. The issue with treatment of all babies is that 25% of all gonorrhea is now resistant to erythromycin.</p> <p>Despite the fact the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends the universal use of eye ointment, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force extended the 2011 recommendations citing a lack of prenatal care for many in the U.S. Dr. David Hyun from the Antibiotic Resistance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts commented on the rising number of antibiotic resistant bacteria:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The fact that we’re seeing some of the greatest increases among resistant infections that are acquired outside of the hospital — combined with data we already have showing that approximately 1 in 3 outpatient prescriptions are completely unnecessary — underscores the need for improved antibiotic use in doctor’s offices and other non-hospital settings.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Although overly prescribed antibiotics play a significant role in the development of superbugs, there are other large agrochemical contributors as well. A major source of human consumption of antibiotics comes from agricultural use. One CDC report<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup> showed livestock antibiotics have played a role in the development of resistant bacteria.</p> <p>In 2013, estimates of antibiotic use on livestock accounted for 80% of all antibiotic use in the U.S.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> In a report in 2018,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> the FDA noted a 28% reduction in the sales and distribution of antibiotics earmarked for livestock since the FDA first compiled evidence in 2009.</p> <p>Pesticide use also contributes to the development of multidrug-resistant bacteria, as I discussed in “<a href="">Pesticides Compound Antibiotic Resistance</a>.” The bottom line is, bacteria are affected by any chemical they contact and develop resistance up to 100,000 times faster after exposure to certain herbicides, like glyphosate or dicamba.</p> <h2>Hospital-Acquired Infections May Decline With Copper Beds</h2> <p>Hospital beds are another source of <a href="">infection</a>. Whether you have a planned or unplanned hospital admission, it should never be taken lightly. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that if the person who occupied the bed before you was prescribed antibiotics, you had a greater potential for contracting C. diff.</p> <p>More than 100,000 pairs of hospitalized individuals were compared from 2010 to 2015. When the previous occupants of a bed received antibiotics, the patient who used the bed after them had a 22% greater risk of developing C. diff. However, the authors of one study show that switching to copper bed frames may reduce that number significantly.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup></p> <p>In the new study, published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, it’s reported that copper beds in an intensive care unit had 95% fewer bacteria than traditional hospital beds. According to one of the scientists from the Medical University of South Carolina:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Hospital-acquired infections sicken approximately 2 million Americans annually, and kill nearly 100,000 — numbers roughly equivalent to the number of deaths if a wide-bodied jet crashed every day. Despite the best efforts by environmental services workers, they are neither cleaned often enough, nor well enough.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Hospital beds are a source of nosocomial infection, or infections originating from a hospital source. <a href="">Candida auris</a>, one of the two new pathogens identified in the CDC report, are an intractable threat faced by hospitals, and have been found on hospital beds.</p> <p>The findings from the study with copper beds indicate they may help infection control efforts and reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections. After the death of one man at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York from Candida auris, the hospital had to use special equipment to clean the room. The hospital president commented:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>"Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump. The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Know This Treatment if Infection Leads to Sepsis</h2> <p>The CDC recommends using basic precautions to halt the spread of pathogens, including washing your hands when needed and using a <a href="">good handwashing technique</a>. Dr. Helen Boucher, chief of infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Center, commented on the need to prepare for multidrug-resistant bacteria:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“We want to have diagnostic tools and medical treatments for problems we know we’re going to have. But we also need to prepare for the kind of resistance that we could never predict. We know from history that bacteria and Mother Nature are smarter than we are.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>One medical treatment you must be aware of is a combination therapy of vitamin C, thiamine and steroids to improve your potential for survival from sepsis — a last-ditch effort by your immune system to fight an infection. Every year 1 million people suffer from sepsis and nearly half will die.</p> <p>Dr. Paul Marik, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, made the discovery while treating a patient with sepsis. Despite the treatment being harmless (it doesn’t make the patient any worse than they are) and a demonstrated reduction in mortality rates in his hospital from 40% to 8.5%, many practitioners continue to wait on further studies.</p> <p>It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis early, as early treatment also increases the potential for survival. To learn more about sepsis and the treatment that could save the life of someone you know, see my past article, “<a href="">Vitamin C Lowers Mortality in Severe Sepsis</a>.”</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> How the Dairy Mafia Destroyed Dairy Farmers Articles urn:uuid:1c922018-e62c-0b5c-2a8b-c03f12ae0a67 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>In November 2019, Dean Foods, one of the biggest dairy companies in the U.S., announced it had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> sending a wave of uncertainty through an already shaky milk industry. Dean Foods was one of the primary milk processors and distributers in the U.S., purchasing milk directly from dairy farms.</p> <p>If farmers don’t sell their milk directly to a processor like Dean Foods, they can also sell it to dairy cooperatives, which negotiate sales of the milk to processors and retailers on behalf of its members. Dairy co-ops have been rapidly consolidating, however, leaving farmers with few options for sales — Dean Foods among them.</p> <p>Alongside the bankruptcy, the dairy giant also announced that it was in talks with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the largest dairy co-op in the U.S., about a possible acquisition. The merger would pose a serious conflict of interest for dairy farmers, as DFA is supposed to advocate for farmers but would end up being a processor. </p> <p>As such, they’d have an interest in keeping milk prices low, at the detriment of the more than 13,000 dairy farmers they represent.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <h2>Dean Foods Bankruptcy Could Worsen Milk Monopoly</h2> <p>Speaking with New Food Economy, Peter C. Carstensen, a former attorney for the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice, explained that DFA acquiring Dean Foods raises serious questions about anticompetitive activity. “The problem with DFA is the conflict of interest that will result from [trying] to lower prices to farmers in order to increase their revenue as a milk processor,” he said.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <p>DFA already controls 30% of the U.S. milk production, which means acquiring Dean Foods could easily lead to a monopoly over the market. “What you’re going to see is increased risk of tacit collusion on the consumer side, raising the price of milk for consumers,” Carstensen continued.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <p>It’s not the first time DFA and Dean Foods have raised such suspicions. In 2013, DFA paid a nearly $159 million fine to settle a 2007 lawsuit alleging DFA conspired with a number of companies to suppress milk prices by closing bottling plants and stifling competition. In 2010, Dean Foods also paid dairy farms in the northeast a $30 million settlement as part of an antitrust lawsuit.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> </p> <p>Milk prices are already low, causing many dairy farmers to close their businesses. In Wisconsin, for instance, farmers in 2019 are getting nearly 40% less for their milk than they were in 2014. Nearly 700 dairy farms closed in the state in 2018, most of them small operations.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> Meanwhile, in 2018 the Organic Consumers Association reported:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Dairy farmers are suffering because the companies that send their milk to the grocery store refuse to pay them what it costs them to produce the milk. On the West Coast, cooperatives created to sell dairy products have been accused by their members of pocketing millions of dollars in an elaborate accounting scheme. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Meanwhile, farmers in the Northeast have filed a lawsuit&nbsp;against their coop, Dairy Farmers of America, and Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk processor, alleging the companies conspired to monopolize the market and drive down prices, knowing their member farmers would have nowhere else to sell their milk. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Milk prices are so bad this year — farmers are getting the same price they got 20 years ago — that at least one milk processor sent farmers phone numbers for suicide prevention hotlines and other mental health services&nbsp;along with the latest market forecasts.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Ultraprocessed Homogenized CAFOs Killed Milk</h2> <p>Many are asking what “killed” Dean Foods, blaming its downfall on everything from <a href="">plant-based milk alternatives</a> and millennials’ apparent distaste for milk to increased availability of other beverages.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> Even the relatively newfound popularity of drinking water has been pinpointed as a scapegoat.</p> <p>Dean Foods president and CEO Eric Beringause said in a statement, “Despite our best efforts to make our business more agile and cost-efficient, we continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup></p> <p>The fact is, milk consumption is on the decline. In 1975, Americans consumed 247 pounds of fluid milk (about 29.6 gallons) per person, compared to 146 pounds (or about 17.5 gallons) in 2018.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <p>What’s truly responsible for this decline, however, is the shift of milk from a fresh, wholesome raw food to one that’s ultraprocessed, homogenized and the product of <a href="">concentrated animal feeding operations</a> (CAFOs).</p> <p>On CAFOs, milk can be produced in filthy conditions, then heated until all the pathogens are gone. Never mind that, along with killing “germs,” pasteurization kills off beneficial organisms in the milk and prevents natural souring (while naturally soured milk can still be consumed, pasteurized milk past its prime will quickly go bad).<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup></p> <p>Rather than forcing dirty and dangerous CAFOs to clean up their acts, the FDA has waged a war against raw milk producers — those who are typically producing milk using far healthier, more humane and more sustainable methods than the industrial dairy industry ever could.</p> <p>As CAFOs became the norm for dairy farms (even in idyllic-seeming <a href="">dairy states like Vermont</a>), farmers were forced to grow their herds and increase milk production using artificial (drug and hormone-based) methods, among others (like feeding cows an unnatural amount of grain-based food, 24-hour confinement and increased number of milkings per day).</p> <p>Meanwhile, some people who experience gastrointestinal upset or other health problems when drinking regular CAFO dairy do fine when drinking raw, <a href="">organic grass fed milk</a>, which is far easier on your digestive system. Raw, grass fed <a href="">A2-only milk</a> may be even more ideal.</p> <h2>Raw Milk Advocates Win Lawsuit</h2> <p>In the U.S., raw milk is the only food banned from interstate commerce, which means small farmers cannot transport it across state lines, and even in states where farmers are allowed to sell raw milk directly to consumers from their farms, <a href="">advertising bans</a> may be put in place, allowing farmers to be punished with fines or jail time if they advertise their raw milk for sale.</p> <p>In many cases, this effectively makes it impossible for farmers to successfully market and sell their raw milk, so farmers have been fighting back against this type of prohibitive legislation. In Kansas, for instance, a statute enacted in 1967 banned any advertising of raw milk, except for signage on the farm.</p> <p>However, two goat farmers sued agriculture secretary Mike Beam, asking for the state to stop enforcing the statute. “Then an unusual thing happened,” Food Safety News reported. “The state agreed with the goat farmers”:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Under the terms of the settlement, the parties agree the advertising ban violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights Section 11 and is therefore unenforceable.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt further stated:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The statute restricting advertising of raw milk does not comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s modern application of the First Amendment to commercial speech and is plainly unconstitutional … </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>While we typically provide a rigorous defense for every statute enacted by the Legislature, in this case where there exists no plausible legal defense the better and less-costly course of action is for the Department of Agriculture to work with the Legislature to modify the statute so it complies with the U.S. Constitution.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Fear and Control Aim to Keep Raw Milk an Illegal Food</h2> <p>There was a period of time, from 1860 to the 1920s, when raw milk went through what Mark McAfee, founder and chairman of the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI), describes as a “dark age.” </p> <p>The cow diets, combined with unsanitary conditions, raw sewage mixed with water and lack of refrigeration led to the spread of diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid. A lot of people died from raw milk that came from these unsanitary distillery dairies raising malnourished cows. </p> <p>Around this time, the “swill milk” scandal also occurred, in which dairy cows being fed grain distillation remnants and raised in poor conditions produced diseased milk, which was then mixed with chalk and sold as fresh. A reported 8,000 children died as a result, which increased consumer support and industry acceptance of pasteurization.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup></p> <p>In the modern day, fear is still used as a tool to promote restrictions to your right to choose what to eat. A bill introduced in Tennessee by Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, Senate Bill 15 (SB15), even suggests amending a Tennessee code relating to milk products to make it illegal for a partial owner of a hoofed animal to drink the milk from that animal.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup> </p> <p>While graciously allowing a person who is the sole owner of a hoofed mammal to drink the milk personally, the bill is aimed at snuffing out herdshare programs. Private agreements called herdshares are often formed between farmers and individuals, which entitle you to the benefits of owning a "share" of a cow, such as a certain amount of milk each week. </p> <p>However, SB15 not only would make it illegal for herdshare owners to obtain raw milk but also would make it against the law for the farmer running a herdshare to drink milk from their own cow (or other hoofed mammal), as they would not be considered a “sole owner.” </p> <p>SB15 is poised as a bill to protect the public welfare from the “risks” of drinking raw milk, but raw milk is a nutritious and safe food when it comes from cows raised on pasture. </p> <p>Briggs reportedly introduced SB15 to close the herdsharing “loophole” after 10 children in the state were sickened by E. coli that was blamed on drinking raw milk from a Knoxville shareholder dairy. But according to Weston A. Price, “no E. coli was found in any of the dairy’s milk that public health officials tested.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p> <h2>Raw Milk Cheese Is Also Targeted</h2> <p>In her book, “Ending the War on Artisan Cheese,” food scientist Catherine Donnelly states that fears of raw milk are threatening the artisan cheese industry, which uses raw milk in many of its cheeses. She explains that traditional cheesemakers carefully source raw milk from high-quality sources to ensure a safe and delicious end product.</p> <p>In an interview with Eater, Donnelly states, “There are careful standards that cheesemakers pay attention to because if they don’t start out with the best quality raw materials, they’re not going to end up with a good cheese. Paying attention to the microbiological quality of the raw milk is really, really critical. The raw milk, the starting material, has to be of good quality or you’re not going to have a sellable product.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup></p> <p>What’s more, Donnelly notes that more illness outbreaks are associated with processed products that have been pasteurized, while the FDA favors Big Dairy at the expense of the smaller, artisan producers:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Who has the ear of the FDA when regulations are being promulgated? It isn’t the small, rural farm people who have a seat at the table, influencing policy. It’s the large, multinational corporations who are looking at their bottom line and profit. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>If those voices are having input on regulations, there isn’t a holistic approach for the FDA to look at something other than a one-size-fits-all approach to regulations. Cheese makers have no market for their product if it’s contaminated and they’re making their customers sick. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>But I would argue that a small-scale producer has much more control over the safety of that process than some of these large-scale industrial plants, where there are lots of post-pasteurization processes like shredding, and cutting, and repackaging, and lots of opportunities for exposure to contamination. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>That’s why we see more outbreaks associated with industrially processed products, as opposed to artisan.” </em></p> </blockquote> <p>While in the U.S. cheese must either be made from pasteurized milk or held for 60 days prior to sale, Europe considers raw milk essential to such delicacies as <a href="">traditional French cheese</a>. Pennsylvania cheesemaker Sue Miller explained to Mother Nature Network:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"There are all these great enzymes living in the milk when it's raw that create flavor profiles. When milk is pasteurized, they get extinguished so you have to add cultures to accentuate the flavors of the milk … </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>I'd love for people to really try raw milk cheese. In Europe people don't want pasteurized cheese. They know how good raw milk cheese is.” </em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Support Real Dairy and Your Right to Food Freedom</h2> <p>Ultimately, whether you drink milk or not, and whether it’s raw or pasteurized, is a personal choice — and it should remain that way. You have the right to choose what to eat, regardless of the government’s opinion on what’s healthy or what’s not. Further, by choosing <a href="">raw milk that comes from small, grass fed farmers</a>, you can support the small operators that deliver farm-fresh foods to local residents.</p> <p>As long as farmers are prevented from selling to consumers directly, processors can and do price fix the market, ultimately leading to corporate monopolies, consolidation of CAFO dairy farms, a degradation of food safety and quality, and the intentional destruction of small, family dairy farms.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup></p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Disabled Boy Kicked Out of School for Lack of Vaccination Articles urn:uuid:4dffec2f-b8a8-30c0-03cd-187aa35df345 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>The global vaccine market was valued at $35.8 billion in 2018, and it’s predicted to nearly double by 2024.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup> One major reason for this exponential growth has to do with the fact that more vaccines are being mandated as a condition for school attendance, while vaccine exemptions are being eliminated.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <p>After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2011, vaccine manufacturers are also the only corporations selling products in the U.S. that cannot be sued, even when there is evidence the company could have made a product safer.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup></p> <p>After Congress amended the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act at the end of 1987, doctors and medical workers who administer federally recommended vaccines that injure or kill children can’t be sued either.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> In 2016, Congress expanded vaccine manufacturer liability protection to include federally recommended vaccines that injure or kill pregnant women or their unborn infants in the womb.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <p>This blanket protection from liability is part and parcel of what makes vaccines so profitable — and potentially hazardous. </p> <p>Making matters worse, state legislatures in California<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup> and New York<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup> have passed laws that remove the legal right for doctors to exercise professional judgment and conscience when granting children a medical exemption to vaccination.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <p>A recent case highlighted by The Highwire demonstrates just how difficult it has become to obtain a vaccine exemption — even when a child’s life is clearly at high risk for suffering harm from vaccination — and the disastrous ramifications it can have for families whose children are denied school access simply because they’re not willing to roll the dice when it comes to protecting their child from harm. </p> <h2>Vaccination Laws Sacrifice the Vulnerable</h2> <p>In the video above, Del Bigtree, CEO of the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), a nonprofit he founded in 2017, interviews Ali and Orooba Hamideh, who live in New York. Their disabled 9-year-old son, Ameer, lost his vaccine exemption after the passage of New York’s Senate bill S2994A<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup> in June 2019, which removed all non-medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup> </p> <p>Weeks later, the New York health department issued a new rule that denied New York physicians the legal right to grant a child a medical exemption to vaccination unless the reasons given strictly conform to vaccine contraindications approved by public health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup></p> <p>Ameer was born prematurely and suffered a stroke at birth. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 3, thought to be the result of the brain damage he suffered from his stroke. Ameer also has a rare seizure disorder called Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup>). </p> <p>His seizures began after his first round of vaccines at 5 months of age. His parents, who attributed the seizures to the complications at his birth, dutifully followed the recommended vaccine schedule. It wasn’t until he got a <a href="">flu shot</a> at the age of 2 that they started asking questions. </p> <p>As with previous vaccines, his seizures and other symptoms worsened directly after the shot. After researching the matter, and finding others whose stories mirrored their own, they decided to not give Ameer any more vaccines.</p> <p>They opted to file a <a href="">religious vaccine exemption</a> for Ameer, simply because it was easier, but the new law meant Ameer could no longer attend school, and he ended up missing months of education and therapy over the summer while his parents turned to Ameer’s neurologist, who has treated him for nine years. She issued a medical exemption, stating: </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Patient carries a diagnosis of Lennox Gastaut with refractory seizures. Patient has a history of hospitalization following immunizations in the past for seizure activity triggered by those immunizations.”</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Seizure Disorder Not a Valid Contraindication to Vaccination </h2> <p>With the medical exemption in place, Ameer was allowed back to school. But then, September 12, 2019, the Hamidehs received a copy of a letter from the New York Department of Health sent to Ameer’s school, recommending his medical exemption should be denied. Dr. Elizabeth Rausch-Phung, director of the New York Bureau of Immunization, wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“I have reviewed the documentation submitted by Sarah Finnegan, MD with regard to the medical exemption request for the student in your school … </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>Lennox Gastaut with refractory seizures is not a valid contraindication to this student receiving MMR, varicella, polio, or Tdap vaccines pursuant to Public Health Law (PHL) 2164 and the accompanying regulations at 10 NYCRR Subpart 66-1. Therefore, I recommend against accepting this medical exemption.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Ameer was again kicked out, for while the health department didn’t forbid the school to accept the exemption, the school refused to go against the health department’s recommendation, saying it would be “foolish” of them to do so. </p> <p>“You feel awful,” Ali says. “You have no choice over your child. No choice at all.” Seizure disorders are serious medical conditions, and Ameer’s parents fear that any additional vaccines could cause uncontrolled seizure activity leading to his death. </p> <p>Since the family started him on a <a href="">ketogenic diet</a> and <a href="">CBD oil</a>, Ameer has gone from 20 to 30 seizures a day to none. He’s making progress that simply isn’t worth risking. Yet, as noted by Bigtree, New York state essentially delivered a potential death sentence to this child — all because he’s missing his fifth Tdap booster. </p> <h2> Justice for Ameer — For Now</h2> <p>In desperation, Ali vented his frustration on Facebook, asking for help. The story went viral, being shared more than 100,000 times, eventually making headlines on local news. </p> <p>As noted by Bigtree, one of the official justifications for removing non-medical vaccine exemptions and mandating certain vaccines is to protect immunocompromised children who cannot be vaccinated. </p> <p>Yet here we have a child whose history clearly shows he is at grave risk for vaccine damage, whose neurologist agrees vaccination could compromise his health and worsen his already serious condition, and he’s somehow not worthy of that same protection. </p> <p>Ameer, by the way, is not an isolated case — 26,000 children in New York lost their rights to public education with the passing of S2994A.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup> </p> <p>In The Highwire video above, the Hamidehs mention they would take legal action if the school did not allow Ameer back in. Since the airing of that episode, Ameer’s case has been brought to court, resulting in a temporary legal victory. </p> <p>November 12, 2019, the Erie County Supreme Court judge presiding over the case issued a temporary restraining order to allow Ameer to attend his classes at the CHC Learning Center for the duration of the court proceedings.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup> But first, Ali had to present to the court a signed affidavit from the neurologist, confirming the signature on the medical exemption wasn’t a fraudulent one.</p> <p>This request was so out of the ordinary and the neurologist was so surprised and confused by the request that she initially refused. Fortunately, by the time Ali and his attorney reached the court house, she’d emailed them the signed affidavit. No school representative from the school or state education department attended the hearing. The case goes back to court in December. As reported in an ICAN press release:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Because of Ameer's previous severe reaction to the DTaP vaccine — most recently a grand mal seizure that sent him, uncontrollably screaming, to the hospital — his parents Ali and Orooba Hamideh followed the advice of Ameer's physician to not give him an additional dose.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>ICAN took up the family's cause and turned its team of attorneys to the case, which pointed out — among other things — New York state law allows any doctor to provide a valid medical exemption, and does not provide the Department of Health the authority to overrule that exemption.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>‘This is so satisfying because of what it means for the Hamideh family,’ says&nbsp;Del Bigtree … ‘The State thought they could steamroll the Hamideh family. Their bureaucratic decision regarding Ameer's medical treatment, made without ever even talking to his doctor, could have seriously injured him.’"&nbsp;</em></p> </blockquote> <div class="video-rwd"> <figure class="op-interactive aspect-ratio"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src=";rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe> </figure> </div> <h2>‘Nothing Is Working the Way It’s Supposed To’</h2> <p>At the end of the November 12, 2019, video update above, Bigtree says:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“I will tell you my experience today, in watching how the courts were dealing with this issue, and watching the hoops having to be jumped through that lawyers don’t normally see in any other case …&nbsp;— doctors being forced to sign [an affidavit confirming] their own signature — this is just a bizarre world we are living in right now. </em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>And it’s extremely distressing that in almost every department of our government … nothing is acting or working the way it’s supposed to work. This is not how our system is designed. This vaccine issue is putting everything on tilt.&nbsp;There’s something really wrong here.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p>As for how it will all end, only time will tell, but for now, Ameer is allowed to receive the therapy and education he needs and deserves. But what about the tens of thousands of other children in New York and around the nation who have been ruthlessly stripped of their right to a public education?</p> <p>Some families are making plans to move out of the state because their children are already vaccine injured or have brain and immune system disorders that do not qualify for medical exemptions under narrow federal vaccine use guidelines. </p> <p>Others say they will quit their jobs and move in order to avoid having to vaccinate their unvaccinated children. One such couple, featured in an August 29, 2019, article<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup> on, stopped vaccinating their children after their eldest son developed autoimmune encephalitis after getting the <a href="">HPV vaccine</a> and was hospitalized for 31 days. </p> <p>Like the Hamidehs and so many others, this family does not consider themselves “anti-vaxxers” but “ex-vaxxers.” They’ve “been there, done that,” and realized the risks were real and very serious, and weren’t worth taking. </p> <h2>Approved Vaccine Contraindications Are Almost Nonexistent</h2> <p>The fact that a serious seizure disorder isn’t a valid contraindication for vaccination should set off warning bells, especially since febrile seizures is a possible side effect of most vaccines. </p> <p>Ameer’s case clearly demonstrates just how dangerously narrow the vaccine contraindications really are, and how it’s nearly impossible to get a medical exemption under the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) rules.</p> <p>Vaccine contraindications are the health conditions ACIP agrees are valid reasons for not getting vaccinated. The problem is, under ACIP guidelines, there’s virtually no health condition or vaccine reaction history that is an absolute contraindication to vaccination, and this is what your doctor has been taught to believe as well.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup></p> <p>For example, ACIP tells doctors that pregnancy or severe immunodeficiency are contraindications to getting live virus vaccines like <a href="">MMR</a> and varicella zoster — but inactivated vaccines are not an absolute contraindication for either of these groups.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup></p> <p>This is a very important point, because we’re often told that ACIP-recommended vaccines must be mandated for children in order to protect pregnant women and the severely immune compromised<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn24" data-hash="#ednref24">24</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn25" data-hash="#ednref25">25</span></sup> who cannot be vaccinated. Yet clearly, this is not true. </p> <p>According to the CDC’s ACIP, there are only two types of vaccine reactions that are absolute contraindications to getting revaccinated and thus warrant a medical exemption:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn26" data-hash="#ednref26">26</span></sup></p> <ol> <li>A life-threatening allergic anaphylactic reaction that occurs within minutes of vaccination.</li> <li>Development of encephalopathy, such as prolonged seizures, coma and other brain dysfunction, within seven days of receiving pertussis-containing vaccines — but only if the doctor believes the encephalopathy is “not attributable to another cause.” </li> </ol> <h2>Vaccine Precautions, Another Short List</h2> <p>The CDC also publishes a very short list of health conditions that warrant “precaution,” as they “might increase the risk of a serious adverse reaction, cause diagnostic confusion, or might compromise the ability of the vaccine to produce immunity.”<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn27" data-hash="#ednref27">27</span></sup></p> <p>Only one CDC-approved universal precaution applies to all vaccines: Having a “moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever.” But this is not a total contraindication, which means a doctor could still decide to vaccinate an acutely and severely ill patient, as it’s up to his or her discretion what “moderate or severe acute illness” is. </p> <p>The CDC also recommends that hospitalized patients should be vaccinated as long as they’re “not acutely, moderately or severely ill” — as if hospitals are filled with people who are only mildly ill from chronic conditions.</p> <p>The core message the CDC sends to doctors is that 99% of the U.S. population are candidates for vaccination 100% of the time.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn28" data-hash="#ednref28">28</span></sup> It’s not surprising then that most doctors, pharmacists and other vaccine providers — who cannot be sued if a vaccine injures or kills — simply ignore any listed precautions.</p> <h2>What Role Have Conflicts of Interest Played?</h2> <p>At the end of the day, what all of this means is that most vaccine damaged children have no chance of getting approved for a medical exemption, and are forced to play Russian Roulette with their lives if they want a public education. It really shouldn’t be this way. </p> <p>It’s wrong. And it’s so clearly wrong that it’s not hard to understand why people like the Hamidehs conclude that it’s really all about making a profit at any cost, even if the cost is the life of a child. Indeed, evidence of financial conflicts of interest are all around.</p> <p>A U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigation published in 2000 found serious conflicts of interest between the pharmaceutical industry and voting members of two of the most important federal vaccine advisory committees in the U.S:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn29" data-hash="#ednref29">29</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn30" data-hash="#ednref30">30</span></sup></p> <ul> <li>The ACIP, which reviews and votes on the quality of scientific evidence used to make national vaccine policy </li> <li>The FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which reviews and votes on the quality of scientific evidence used to license new vaccines </li> </ul> <p>Yet, to this day, government-appointed members of both ACIP and FDA vaccine advisory committees can receive conflict of interest waivers by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which allows them to vote on the licensing of vaccines and make national vaccine policy that is turned into public health law.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn31" data-hash="#ednref31">31</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn32" data-hash="#ednref32">32</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn33" data-hash="#ednref33">33</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn34" data-hash="#ednref34">34</span></sup></p> <h2>We Are Not All the Same</h2> <p>Emerging science reveals we are not all the same and do not respond the same way to infectious diseases or vaccines. Responses to infectious diseases and the risk for complications can vary depending upon genes, environment, age and health at the time of infection.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn35" data-hash="#ednref35">35</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn36" data-hash="#ednref36">36</span></sup></p> <p>That is why malnourished, vitamin-deficient children living in poverty, for example, are at higher risk for complications from <a href="">measles</a> and other infections.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn37" data-hash="#ednref37">37</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn38" data-hash="#ednref38">38</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn39" data-hash="#ednref39">39</span></sup></p> <p>Your risk of having a vaccine reaction can also range from zero to 100%. It again depends on genetic influences, your epigenetic history, microbiome, environmental factors, your age and current state of health, the type and number of vaccines you get, and how much time has elapsed between them if you’re getting more than one.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn40" data-hash="#ednref40">40</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn41" data-hash="#ednref41">41</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn42" data-hash="#ednref42">42</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn43" data-hash="#ednref43">43</span></sup></p> <p>Research has also confirmed that vaccinated individuals can still get infected with and transmit infections like measles, pertussis and influenza to other people, sometimes without showing any symptoms at all.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn44" data-hash="#ednref44">44</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn45" data-hash="#ednref45">45</span>,</sup><sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn46" data-hash="#ednref46">46</span></sup> </p> <p>With that evidence, the vaccine acquired <a href="">herd immunity</a> argument really falls apart, yet like so many other medical myths, it keeps being repeated long after its been disproven. </p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Doctors Plot to Steal Baby When Parents Refuse Shot Articles urn:uuid:8c5ff849-6097-f8f8-4dfc-3800d896b0dc Mon, 25 Nov 2019 23:00:00 -0700 <p>The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all newborns receive a shot of vitamin K at birth, which is intended to help prevent a rare condition known as vitamin K deficiency bleeding.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn1" data-hash="#ednref1">1</span></sup> Babies have very little vitamin K when they're born, which is necessary to help form clots and stop bleeding.</p> <p>Giving a dose of vitamin K can help babies, most of whom are born with insufficient vitamin K levels, to avoid potentially life-threatening internal bleeding, including in the brain or intestines, but the vitamin K shot is not the only solution. Oral vitamin K can also be used, as can naturally increasing the infant's levels via breastfeeding (which requires that the mother's vitamin K levels be optimized).</p> <p>Some parents, therefore, choose to refuse the vitamin K shot for their newborn, a medical decision that's well within a parent's rights in most U.S. states. Despite the fact that parents have the right to choose whether or not to allow a vitamin K shot for their child, with many hospitals requiring consent forms for such, some hospitals are persecuting parents for exercising this right.</p> <p>The issue reached a breaking point in September 2019, when a class-action lawsuit was filed against Illinois hospitals, including Silver Cross, University of Chicago Medical Center and Christ Hospital; the AAP; the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS); and pediatricians by Illinois families who had their babies taken from them for refusing the vitamin K injection.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn2" data-hash="#ednref2">2</span></sup></p> <p>Recordings of a meeting of members of the Illinois Department of Health's Perinatal Advisory Committee (PAC) have since been released, revealing that doctors were plotting to take custody of newborns and administer vitamin K injections in violation of the parents' rights.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn3" data-hash="#ednref3">3</span></sup></p> <h2>Lawsuit Filed After Newborns Illegally Seized</h2> <p>The lawsuit was filed on behalf of families who refused one or more non-mandatory medical procedures, including the vitamin K injection, antibiotic eye ointment or vaccines, for their newborns. In response, hospital or state officials responded with investigations or threats and in some cases even seized the infants. According to the lawsuit:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn4" data-hash="#ednref4">4</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"[DCFS] used the power given to them as State officials and/or employees and through their authorities and investigative powers to cause the Plaintiffs to be threatened and coerced into accepting unwanted and unnecessary medical procedures."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In one case described in the Chicago Tribune, Danielle Anderson refused the vitamin K shot for her newborn daughter, as doctors warned that the hospital "would take the baby away" if she didn't relent.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn5" data-hash="#ednref5">5</span></sup> Hospital security came in to remove the baby, forcing her to call the police, who told doctors to stop pressuring Anderson.</p> <p>Although she was able to leave the hospital with her baby later that day, she was later investigated by DCFS, who came to her home twice to check on the children. In another case, a nurse left the room with Angela Bougher's newborn — <a href="">medically kidnapping</a> her — after Bougher refused the vitamin K injection — and they remained separated for about 12 hours.</p> <p>"I honestly could not understand what was going on," Bougher told the Tribune. "I was in total shock. I've never not had my baby right away."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn6" data-hash="#ednref6">6</span></sup> The class-action suit that has since been filed alleges that parents had their constitutional rights violated.</p> <p>"Hours that should have been filled with happiness and family photos were instead filled with uncertainty, they said, as children were temporarily taken into protective custody, DCFS caseworkers were called and the parents were made to feel like criminals," according to the Tribune.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn7" data-hash="#ednref7">7</span></sup></p> <p>One of the pediatricians named in the suit is Dr. Jill Glick, who is accused of "[conspiring] with DCFS officials ... to implement a DCFS policy that all of them knew was illegal, and [making] sure that Illinois pediatricians and hospitals carried out this policy using coercive threats... designed to enforce compliance with their desires that no parent be allowed to refuse the prophylactic medical procedures at issue in this case."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn8" data-hash="#ednref8">8</span></sup></p> <p>A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed an email from Glick written in August 2017, which suggested parents should be forced to accept such procedures in order to send a clear message to parents who "do not see the medical community as the expert."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn9" data-hash="#ednref9">9</span></sup></p> <h2>Advisory Committee Discusses Taking Newborns</h2> <p>In an April 2018 meeting of members of the PAC, vitamin K injections were discussed, including cases in which parents signed written refusals. Audio from the meeting has been released, which reveals plans to work with DCFS to take newborns into "protective custody" and administer vitamin K shots illegally against parents' wishes.</p> <p>The plan includes getting DCFS to agree that the hospital staff needed to take the infants into protective custody, which the officials believed could protect them from getting sued after they administered the vitamin K injection that the parents had refused. A part of the excerpt, published by PJ Media, reads:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn10" data-hash="#ednref10">10</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"WOMAN #1: You can take… Protective custody is just the right to do what you think is right for the baby. And, DCFS, if they say, 'yes, that we agree with you, cause this is our rule'. You give the vitamin K and then do any of us really care what happens next?</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>WOMAN #3: No, but can they sue you then?</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>WOMAN #1: No, because you have their … you took protective custody. That's the part that we have to assure with DCFS. That when we do this …</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>MS. LIGHTNER: Need DCFS to assure you.</em></p></blockquote><blockquote> <p><em>WOMAN #1: Yes, that's what I mean, DCFS has to say, 'This is our protocol, no matter what else we do: You are protected.'"</em></p> </blockquote> <p>State officials and hospital employees are overstepping their bounds in accusing parents of medical neglect for refusing optional medical procedures for their infants. As PJ Media noted:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn11" data-hash="#ednref11">11</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"This audio is shocking proof that doctors hold immense power over individual rights. Liberty died around a board room table in Chicago that day. Innocent parents had their children removed from their custody on nothing more than some unelected busybody's opinion that their medical degree was more important than constitutional rights and the right to informed consent."</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>States Abducting Children in the Name of 'Abuse'</h2> <p>In 1991, the bipartisan National Commission on Children figured out that children were being taken from their families prematurely or unnecessarily because federal formulas give states a strong financial incentive to do so rather than provide services to keep families together.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn12" data-hash="#ednref12">12</span></sup></p> <p><a href="">Children in foster care</a> bring in revenue for counties, such that The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) — the federal law on which almost all state and local legislation and funding for child protective services are based — mandates states to implement child abuse laws on their own, so they can align themselves for the massive funding and grants that go along with the law.</p> <p>In theory as the years went by, if the goal for this law — to reduce child abuse in the U.S. — had been successful, then today we should need less funding for these programs, not more. Success also should have resulted in fewer children in foster care and even fewer being put up for adoption.</p> <p>But in reality, the opposite happened. Instead of less children in foster care, the numbers went up for nine years after CAPTA was passed. And, layers and layers of state and federal government programs and agencies whose funding depends solely on child abuse occurring were created.</p> <p>Child abuse is a terrible thing, but thousands of child abuse cases may in fact not be child abuse at all, such as in some cases of <a href="">rickets</a>, caused by either <a href="">vitamin D deficiency</a> or aluminum adjuvants in vaccines. Infant rickets perfectly mimics child abuse, and the baby will have virtually no symptoms — until their bones fracture.</p> <p>According to Dr. David Ayoub, a radiologist in Springfield, Illinois, a great number of child abuse cases may in fact be instances of misdiagnosed metabolic dysfunction.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn13" data-hash="#ednref13">13</span></sup></p> <p>You may have also heard about the case of Justina Pelletier, who was removed from her parents' custody by Massachusetts child protection officials after Boston Children's Hospital filed a "medical child abuse" complaint against them, following a dispute over Justina's medical diagnosis.</p> <p>The state kept the teen hospitalized for close to a year and wanted to place her in private foster care. Eventually, a judge ruled the girl should be returned to her parents, but all the while she was unable to receive treatment for the rare mitochondrial disease she actually suffered from.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn14" data-hash="#ednref14">14</span></sup></p> <h2>Vitamin K Denial Associated With Vaccine Refusal</h2> <p>A study published in Pediatrics revealed that children who did not receive the vitamin K shot at birth were 14.6 times more likely to be unvaccinated at 15 months. The researchers concluded:<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn15" data-hash="#ednref15">15</span></sup></p> <blockquote> <p><em>"This is the first population-based study to characterize parents who are likely to decline vitamin K for their infants and whose children are likely to be unimmunized. These findings enable earlier identification of high-risk parents and provide an opportunity to enact strategies to increase uptake of vitamin K and childhood immunizations."</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The link adds another layer to the injustice being done to parents exercising their right to informed consent, as it labels anyone who refuses the vitamin K injection as a "high-risk" parent.</p> <p>The fact remains that protecting such medical decisions form the basis for informed consent, a basic human right in which a person has the ability to voluntarily accept or reject a treatment or medical procedure after being fully informed of its possible risks and benefits.</p> <p>In the case of the vitamin K injection, while the CDC states it's safe,<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn16" data-hash="#ednref16">16</span></sup> in 2010, I interviewed Cees Vermeer, Ph.D., an associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, a specialist in vitamin K. He raised several concerns with the vitamin K injection:</p> <ul> <li>The amount of vitamin K injected into newborns (0.5 to 1 milligram) is far greater than needed</li> <li>The injection may contain benzyl alcohol, a preservative that may be toxic for the baby's delicate immune system. Preservative-free shots may contain a combination of polysorbate 80 and propylene glycol instead, but these ingredients also have a questionable safety profile. For <a href="">polysorbate 80</a>, hypersensitivity and possible death are among the known risks<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn17" data-hash="#ednref17">17</span></sup></li> <li>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</li> <li>Inflicting pain immediately after birth causes psycho-emotional damage and trauma to a newborn, which is both inappropriate and unnecessary</li> </ul> <h2>A Safe Alternative: Oral Vitamin K</h2> <div class="video-rwd"> <figure class="op-interactive aspect-ratio"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src=";rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe> </figure> </div> <p>While most newborns do require vitamin K, a vitamin K injection is not the only option to attain it. Oral vitamin K drops are a safe alternative that can be given without pain, but because they require multiple doses, hospitals may assume that parents will not follow through with the full dosing. There are a variety of suggested dosages for newborns:</p> <table class="generic-table left-align"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Six-month weekly regimen — One 2-mg oral dose at birth, followed by a once-weekly dose of 1 mg for the first six months of life, provided they're breastfed at least half of the time. This regimen was found to be as effective as the vitamin K shot, Evidence Based Birth reports.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn18" data-hash="#ednref18">18</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Three-month weekly regimen — 2 mg at birth, followed by once weekly dose of 1 mg for the first three months was found to be "an efficient prophylaxis against VKBD."<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn19" data-hash="#ednref19">19</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Three-month daily or weekly regimen — 1 mg dose at birth followed by 25 micrograms per day for 13 weeks, or 2 mg at birth followed by 1 mg per week for three months was found to provide the lowest risk of VKDB.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn20" data-hash="#ednref20">20</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Three-dose regimen — 1 mg by mouth at birth, 1 mg at 1 week of age, and a third 1 mg dose at 4 to 6 months of age.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn21" data-hash="#ednref21">21</span></sup></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Three-dose regimen — 2 mg four hours after birth, 2 mg on Day Four, and a third 2-mg dose in the fourth week was found to "adequately" protect infants from VKDB.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn22" data-hash="#ednref22">22</span></sup> (Omitting the third dose was shown to provide inadequate protection).</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><p>Single dose — A single oral dose of 1 mg may protect against early VKDB in exclusively breastfed babies but not late VKDB.<sup style="font-size: 10px;"><span id="edn23" data-hash="#ednref23">23</span></sup></p></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>It's also possible to provide vitamin K to newborns via breastmilk, but most women are low in vitamin K, according to Vermeer, which means their milk will be too. In order to use this approach safely, you need to make sure your vitamin K level is truly optimized, and for most women, the vitamin K absorbed from foods won't be enough, so supplementation might be needed.</p> <p>The choice of whether or not to allow the vitamin K injection for your baby is yours — not the hospital's or doctor's. It's a good idea to make the decision well before your baby's delivery, so you can inform your obstetrician, hospital and nursing staff of your decision, and request that they have oral vitamin K drops — along with instructions for proper continual dosing — available at your child's birth.</p><img src="" width="1" height="1"> Check out some of my at home go to workout moves here … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:daab16ed-afad-2471-9dfe-72dd1b199829 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 15:03:07 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Check out some of my at home go to workout moves here <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> read about my top five supplements for fitness enthusiast … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:ba4c60d2-e469-f413-8382-57cd937153ec Wed, 20 Nov 2019 12:28:24 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">read about my top five supplements for fitness enthusiast <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> This #WorldChildrensDay, listen to the young voices of the Pihcintu Chorus in their new song, “Somehwere.” Pihcintu is comprised of #refugee and immigrant girls who have made Maine their new Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:d6eeb133-bc78-2d04-c50d-d98e9ad84375 Wed, 20 Nov 2019 11:00:00 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">This <a class="twitter-hashtag pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">#<b>WorldChildrensDay</b></a>, listen to the young voices of the Pihcintu Chorus in their new song, &ldquo;Somehwere.&rdquo; Pihcintu is comprised of <a class="twitter-hashtag pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">#<b>refugee</b></a> and immigrant girls who have made Maine their new home. <a class="twitter-timeline-link u-hidden" dir="ltr" href=""></a></a></p> Need motivation? Get my top strategies to get your head in the game here: … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:cc4aa08c-ca49-9da2-887b-76246c76a22c Thu, 14 Nov 2019 15:58:08 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Need motivation? Get my top strategies to get your head in the game here: <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Thanksgiving Survival Guide Hydroxycut urn:uuid:13d3f8d9-0e90-5b9e-ce67-887d17227bb4 Tue, 12 Nov 2019 12:27:48 -0700 <p>With a few strategies in place, you’ll sail through Thanksgiving with ease.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Thanksgiving Survival Guide</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1573586846797"> <div id="text-block-2" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Whoever said “life is a marathon, not a sprint” wasn’t thinking about Thanksgiving. Done right, this holiday is the ultimate food marathon, and for many, that’s so wrong!</p> <p>But, if you’ve been on the clean path for a while, there’s no need to fear the feast. With a few strategies in place, you’ll sail through Thanksgiving with ease. This year, no stretchy pants!</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1572612814661"> <div id="text-block-4" class="mk-text-block "> <h3><strong>Strategy #1:</strong></h3> <p>Repeat this over and over: bread is my enemy. OK, maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but hitting the carbs heavy does bring a hefty dose of remorse. Limit yourself, especially if there’s a cocktail or dessert in the foreseeable future.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1572612826468"> <div id="text-block-6" class="mk-text-block "> <h3><strong>Strategy #2:</strong></h3> <p>No fasting! Your instincts may be to fast all day in preparation for what’s to come. This is not a great idea. Once dinner is served, you’ll fill up super fast and just end up feeling uncomfortable. Instead, eat smaller, non-bloating meals throughout the day. Hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, a light salad or avocado will do nicely.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1572612853817"> <div id="text-block-8" class="mk-text-block "> <h3><strong>Strategy #3:</strong></h3> <p>Squeeze in some morning fitness. Exercise is always great for revving the metabolism and reducing the guilt. If you want a few cheats, go ahead, you’ve earned it! </p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1572612878041"> <div id="text-block-10" class="mk-text-block "> <h3><strong>Strategy #4:</strong></h3> <p>Stay busy mingling. Instead of indulging in the food, indulge in some light-hearted chit-chat with long-lost friends and family. This will keep your pace slow and your gossip quota high. </p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1573586813848"> <div id="text-block-12" class="mk-text-block "> <h3><strong>Strategy #5:</strong></h3> <p>B.Y.O.D. Bring your own dish. This one’s a no-brainer, as you’ll have total control over what you’re consuming. Just let your host know ahead of time that this is your plan, so there’s no chance of hurt feelings. Better yet, bring plenty to share.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Thanksgiving Survival Guide</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> Hey team! Wanna burn fat fast? Check my latest blog for all the "how to's" on mastering HIIT training for maximum workout results. … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:42af88ed-70e3-d8be-ed0a-40851e9e311e Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:37:08 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Hey team! Wanna burn fat fast? Check my latest blog for all the "how to's" on mastering HIIT training for maximum workout results. <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Squash Spaghetti with Parmesan Cheese Hydroxycut urn:uuid:53951e8f-3d6b-7bc1-1579-35ad29aea680 Fri, 08 Nov 2019 12:28:48 -0700 <p>It’s squash season! What better way to celebrate than by swapping it with your spaghetti noodles?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Squash Spaghetti with Parmesan Cheese</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div id="text-block-14" class="mk-text-block "> <style> table tr td {text-align:left;} table {outline:1px solid #4a4a4a;} table .tableHeader {background:#d2000f; color:#FFF;} .red strong {color:#d2000f !important;} h3 {margin-bottom:0px;} .ingredients {position:relative; width:48%; float:left; } .ingredients ul { margin: 0.75em 0; padding: 0 1em; } .ingredients ul li { margin-bottom: 0.25em; } .ingredients ul li:before { display: block; height: 0; width: 0; left: -1em; top: 1em; position: relative; } .directions ol{margin: 0.75em 0 0.75em 1em; } .directions ol li{ margin-bottom: 0.25em; } .directions {position:relative; width:48%; float:left; } .single-post-tags {clear:both; } @media (max-width: 600px) { .ingredients, .directions { display: block; clear:both; width:100%; } table td {display:block; width:100%;} } </style> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1573067380447"> <div id="text-block-16" class="mk-text-block "> <p><strong>Servings:</strong> 4</p> <p>It’s squash season! What better way to celebrate than by swapping it with your spaghetti noodles? Add a little Parmesan cheese and tomato sauce, and you’ve got a dish that’ll rival your Mom’s go-to pasta recipe.</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tableHeader" colspan="4">Nutritional Facts Per Serving*</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Total Calories: </strong>211</td> <td><strong>Protein</strong>: 8.6g</td> <td><strong>Carbs:</strong> 25.1g</td> <td><strong>Fat:</strong> 10.9g</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <article class="ingredients"> <h3>Ingredients:</h3> <ul> <li>2 tbsp. olive oil</li> <li>1 small onion, diced</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>3 cups tomato sauce</li> <li>1/4 cup basil, chopped</li> <li>1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded</li> <li>1/4 cup Parmesan cheese</li> <li>Salt and pepper, to taste</li> </ul> </article> <article class="directions"> <h3>Directions:</h3> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush halved and seeded squash with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast until outside is slightly browned and inside can be pulled apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.</li> <li>While squash is roasting, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, then add a garlic clove and cook for about 30 seconds. Next, add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, then add basil, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until squash is ready.</li> <li>Let squash cool until it can be touched, then scrape with a fork. Throw away skins.</li> <li>In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add another garlic clove and cook for 30 seconds, then add squash. Cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.</li> <li>Top cooked squash with tomato sauce mixture and serve.</li> </ol> </article> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Squash Spaghetti with Parmesan Cheese</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> Healthy on a Budget Hydroxycut urn:uuid:73bffc04-aeff-2e1d-d2f8-c0c9408a3e4e Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:26:29 -0700 <p>These money-saving grocery tips will have you seeing some more green this holiday season.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Healthy on a Budget</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1573586752087"> <div id="text-block-18" class="mk-text-block "> <p>The time of giving is approaching, which might mean spending a little extra on your friends and loved ones. But, with those dollars spoken for, it’s a lot easier to fall back on cheap, unhealthy food options to help curb the cost. These money-saving grocery tips will have you seeing some more green this holiday season.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-20" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>1. Plan your meals around what’s on sale.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056600650"> <div id="text-block-21" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Check each store’s weekly flyer for healthier items, then find a recipe using those items. You can also adjust it as needed, so that you’ll have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-23" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>2. While you’re at it, price match.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056669413"> <div id="text-block-24" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Take advantage of this great policy when you can. Some stores will offer to lower their prices on certain items to keep up with competitors.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-26" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>3. Buy dry, frozen, canned or in season.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056684395"> <div id="text-block-27" class="mk-text-block "> <p>These options are just as good and can save you a couple of bucks.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-29" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>4. Choose store brands.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056706424"> <div id="text-block-30" class="mk-text-block "> <p>You’ll be getting the same quality for a smarter price.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-32" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>5. Bulk bins are your new best friend.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056728926"> <div id="text-block-33" class="mk-text-block "> <p>You can get flour and spices for a better value in bulk. Plus, you only have to buy what you really need.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-35" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>6. Stick to the list.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056749265"> <div id="text-block-36" class="mk-text-block "> <p>This is important, because it’ll save you from being tempted. Also, be sure to eat before you go, so that you’re not shopping on an empty stomach.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class="mk-image mk-image-38 align-center simple-frame inside-image " style="margin-bottom:30px"><div class="mk-image-container" style="max-width: 967px;"><div class="mk-image-holder" style="max-width: 967px;"><div class="mk-image-inner "><img class="lightbox-false" alt="Healthy On A Budget" title="Healthy On A Budget" width="967" height="375" src="" /></div></div><div class="clearboth"></div></div></div> <h2 id="fancy-title-39" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>7. Take advantage of the points card.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056818274"> <div id="text-block-40" class="mk-text-block "> <p>It adds up. Before you know it, you’ll be cashing in your rewards or getting even better deals on exclusive items.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-42" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>8. B.Y.O.B.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573586741253"> <div id="text-block-43" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Bring your own bags. It’s only a few cents, but in the long run, it’s better for the environment and your wallet.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-45" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>9. Freeze it.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056861352"> <div id="text-block-46" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Found a great deal on meat or bread, but don’t think you can use it all at once? Divide it into portions and freeze the rest for later.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-48" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>10. Make your own dressings, sauces and marinades.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056881184"> <div id="text-block-49" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Not only will it save you money, but you’ll also be able to keep track of the ingredients.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-51" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>11. Don’t give up on your green thumb.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056909908"> <div id="text-block-52" class="mk-text-block "> <p>Your backyard might be out of commission for the winter, but that doesn’t rule out your kitchen. Start an indoor herb garden next to the sunniest window for fresh ones all year round.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <h2 id="fancy-title-54" class="mk-fancy-title simple-style color-single"> <span> <p><strong>12. Keep track.</strong></p> </span> </h2> <div class="clearboth"></div> <div class=" vc_custom_1573056936627"> <div id="text-block-55" class="mk-text-block "> <p>If something you’ve bought goes to waste, make a note to use it first, buy less or skip it next time. Also, don’t forget to use up what you have before buying more.</p> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Healthy on a Budget</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> So much of the book resonates with me - adoption, forming a family, learning from your kids. It’s a must-read, must-gift book brilliantly told as only Mitch Albom can. Bravo Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:6f001359-cf2c-42ea-9ed2-4ae424808ea3 Mon, 04 Nov 2019 15:12:40 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">So much of the book resonates with me - adoption, forming a family, learning from your kids. It&rsquo;s a must-read, must-gift book brilliantly told as only Mitch Albom can. Bravo <img alt="&#x2764;&#xFE0F;" aria-label="Emoji: Red heart" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Red heart"></img><img alt="&#x2764;&#xFE0F;" aria-label="Emoji: Red heart" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Red heart"></img><img alt="&#x2764;&#xFE0F;" aria-label="Emoji: Red heart" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Red heart"></img> <a class="twitter-timeline-link u-hidden" dir="ltr" href=""></a></a></p> <img src="" width="250" /> Check out my latest Vlog on intermittent fasting! Everything you need to know about it is all here! … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:549f79e7-0733-e8be-c7d5-22ab2b698f84 Mon, 04 Nov 2019 09:53:27 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Check out my latest Vlog on intermittent fasting! Everything you need to know about it is all here! <a href=";">;;&hellip;</a></p> Stuffed Avocados Hydroxycut urn:uuid:cdb86eaa-ab43-2a51-4f20-a8ae5cf8646d Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:35:53 -0700 <p>Avocados are also extremely versatile. Most commonly known as the main ingredient in guacamole and the recent avocado toast trend, they can also be used for smoothies, brownie recipes and so much more.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Stuffed Avocados</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div id="text-block-2" class="mk-text-block "> <style> table tr td {text-align:left;} table {outline:1px solid #4a4a4a;} table .tableHeader {background:#d2000f; color:#FFF;} .red strong {color:#d2000f !important;} h3 {margin-bottom:0px;} .ingredients {position:relative; width:48%; float:left; } .ingredients ul { margin: 0.75em 0; padding: 0 1em; } .ingredients ul li { margin-bottom: 0.25em; } .ingredients ul li:before { display: block; height: 0; width: 0; left: -1em; top: 1em; position: relative; } .directions ol{margin: 0.75em 0 0.75em 1em; } .directions ol li{ margin-bottom: 0.25em; } .directions {position:relative; width:48%; float:left; } .single-post-tags {clear:both; } @media (max-width: 600px) { .ingredients, .directions { display: block; clear:both; width:100%; } table td {display:block; width:100%;} } </style> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1572464065911"> <div id="text-block-4" class="mk-text-block "> <p><strong>Servings:</strong> 2</p> <p>Avocados fall under the superfood category, and for good reason. They’re a very satiating fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit!), they’re a great source of fiber, and they actually contain more potassium than bananas. Avocados are also extremely versatile. Most commonly known as the main ingredient in guacamole and the recent avocado toast trend, they can also be used for smoothies, brownie recipes and so much more.</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tableHeader" colspan="4">Nutritional Facts Per Serving*</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Total Calories: </strong>257</td> <td><strong>Protein</strong>: 23.4g</td> <td><strong>Carbs:</strong> 11.3g</td> <td><strong>Fat:</strong> 14g</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <article class="ingredients"> <h3>Ingredients:</h3> <ul> <li>1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted</li> <li>1 handful of grape tomatoes, halved</li> <li>4 oz. can of tuna, drained</li> <li>1/4 red onion, diced</li> <li>1/4 cup diced red pepper</li> <li>1 tbsp. lime juice</li> <li>Red pepper</li> <li>Pepper to taste</li> <li>1 tbsp. cilantro (optional)</li> </ul> </article> <article class="directions"> <h3>Directions:</h3> <ol> <li>Scoop out some avocado from the pit area. Place in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Add tuna, red onions, lime juice and pepper. Mix well.</li> <li>Scoop tuna mixture into avocado halves and top with tomatoes and red peppers.</li> <li>Garnish with cilantro.</li> </ol> </article> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Stuffed Avocados</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> thank you … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:84e64300-1de8-75bb-9cb2-1545bd1b9ceb Sun, 27 Oct 2019 08:57:36 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">thank you <img alt="&#x2764;&#xFE0F;" aria-label="Emoji: Red heart" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Red heart"></img> <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:396cae93-0abd-a476-7a35-82f37641d0ba Sun, 27 Oct 2019 08:57:20 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="und"><img alt="&#x1F60D;" aria-label="Emoji: Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes"></img><img alt="&#x1F60D;" aria-label="Emoji: Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes"></img><img alt="&#x1F60D;" aria-label="Emoji: Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes"></img> <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Time to sort my fitness out. The bairns coming up to 3 months old now (already!) so it's gonna b @JillianMichaels, treadmill and some lovely autumn walks from tomorrow Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:c21565f0-ecf0-67ba-dc82-692f8de17bc2 Thu, 24 Oct 2019 12:12:10 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Time to sort my fitness out. The bairns coming up to 3 months old now (already!) so it's gonna b <a class="twitter-atreply pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">@<b>JillianMichaels</b></a>, treadmill and some lovely autumn walks from tomorrow <img alt="&#x1F60E;" aria-label="Emoji: Smiling face with sunglasses" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Smiling face with sunglasses"></img></p> … Check out my philosophy on how to time your meals and strategize your snacks! Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:4843bf62-f5f5-9aa2-1586-7f6137f65e61 Thu, 24 Oct 2019 11:42:02 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en"> <a href="">;&hellip;</a> Check out my philosophy on how to time your meals and strategize your snacks!</p> Hey team! Who's down for a 30 day challenge?! Deets here Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:def6b51d-048e-b490-730b-e06bfa09aeb8 Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:58:45 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Hey team! Who's down for a 30 day challenge?! Deets here <a href="">;</a> <a class="twitter-timeline-link u-hidden" dir="ltr" href=""></a></a></p> Getting all my sexy brides ready for the big day! … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:c1a0900a-4f9f-46c3-6efc-ffbf62715096 Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:24:52 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Getting all my sexy brides ready for the big day! <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Check out how i personally manage stress! … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:53f3d709-4102-eb17-927a-49ce98c94a12 Thu, 10 Oct 2019 14:58:33 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Check out how i personally manage stress! <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Fun fall granola parfait recipe from the My Fitness App Meal plans! … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:fd6bc4ef-02ea-b906-2e28-53d5b0fdf28a Tue, 08 Oct 2019 10:32:46 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Fun fall granola parfait recipe from the My Fitness App Meal plans! <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Humanity is the thread that binds us together. We’re teaming up with @TwitterForGood and @Kniterate to turn that thread into a unique scarf and #KnitForRefugees. The names of 500 people who RT this tweet will be woven into it. Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:31c2f165-a9cd-aff8-d08e-65ba2c031c7c Tue, 08 Oct 2019 07:09:56 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Humanity is the thread that binds us together. We&rsquo;re teaming up with <a class="twitter-atreply pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">@<b>TwitterForGood</b></a> and <a class="twitter-atreply pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">@<b>Kniterate</b></a> to turn that thread into a unique scarf and <a class="twitter-hashtag pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">#<b>KnitForRefugees</b></a>. The names of 500 people who RT this tweet will be woven into it. <img alt="&#x1F9E3;" aria-label="Emoji: Scarf" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Scarf"></img><img alt="&#x1F9F6;" aria-label="Emoji: Yarn" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Yarn"></img><img alt="&#x1F9F5;" aria-label="Emoji: Thread" class="Emoji Emoji--forText" draggable="false" src="" title="Thread"></img> <a class="twitter-timeline-link u-hidden" dir="ltr" href=""></a></a></p> Team! Fall is upon us and I'm starting a new @dietbet! You simply bet 35 bucks that you will lose 4% of your bodyweight in 4 weeks. And i'm gonna help you do it and win money in the process! It begins October 21. check out Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:4eaea4d7-662f-3b98-509b-d8468c1f3007 Mon, 07 Oct 2019 13:50:11 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Team! Fall is upon us and I'm starting a new <a class="twitter-atreply pretty-link js-nav" dir="ltr" href="">@<b>dietbet</b></a>! You simply bet 35 bucks that you will lose 4% of your bodyweight in 4 weeks. And i'm gonna help you do it and win money in the process! It begins October 21. check out <a href="">;</a> for details! <a class="twitter-timeline-link u-hidden" dir="ltr" href=""></a></a></p> Fast and fun little fitness plan I put together for ya … Twitter Search / jillianmichaels urn:uuid:3f59e197-549f-9925-6f7a-fa37de6804c5 Thu, 26 Sep 2019 12:26:46 -0700 <p class="TweetTextSize TweetTextSize--normal js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en">Fast and fun little fitness plan I put together for ya <a href="">;&hellip;</a></p> Taco Lettuce Wraps Hydroxycut urn:uuid:bf59cf78-8954-4d84-3d40-5e1dfd441f65 Mon, 23 Sep 2019 07:56:56 -0700 <p>Is it a taco? Is it a salad? Who cares? It’s delicious! Experiment with different proteins, lettuce and fillings, and you’ll discover that these wraps are just as fun to make as they are to eat.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Taco Lettuce Wraps</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div id="text-block-2" class="mk-text-block "> <style> table tr td {text-align:left;} table {outline:1px solid #4a4a4a;} table .tableHeader {background:#d2000f; color:#FFF;} .red strong {color:#d2000f !important;} h3 {margin-bottom:0px;} .ingredients {position:relative; width:48%; float:left; } .ingredients ul { margin: 0.75em 0; padding: 0 1em; } .ingredients ul li { margin-bottom: 0.25em; } .ingredients ul li:before { display: block; height: 0; width: 0; left: -1em; top: 1em; position: relative; } .directions ol{margin: 0.75em 0 0.75em 1em; } .directions ol li{ margin-bottom: 0.25em; } .directions {position:relative; width:48%; float:left; } .single-post-tags {clear:both; } @media (max-width: 600px) { .ingredients, .directions { display: block; clear:both; width:100%; } table td {display:block; width:100%;} } </style> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> <div data-mk-stretch-content="true" class="wpb_row vc_row vc_row-fluid mk-fullwidth-false attched-false js-master-row mk-grid"> <div class="vc_col-sm-12 wpb_column column_container _ height-full"> <div class=" vc_custom_1569250436027"> <div id="text-block-4" class="mk-text-block "> <p><strong>Servings:</strong> 4</p> <p>Is it a taco? Is it a salad? Who cares? It’s delicious! Experiment with different proteins, lettuce and fillings, and you’ll discover that these wraps are just as fun to make as they are to eat.</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tableHeader" colspan="4">Nutritional Facts Per Serving*</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Total Calories: </strong>278</td> <td><strong>Protein</strong>: 36.9g</td> <td><strong>Carbs:</strong> 2.5g</td> <td><strong>Fat:</strong> 12.5g</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><span class="disclaimer">*Per 2 wraps. Values are approximate.</span></p> <article class="ingredients"> <h3>Ingredients:</h3> <ul> <li>1 lb. lean ground beef</li> <li>2 tsp. taco seasoning</li> <li>8 leaves Bibb lettuce, rinsed (or lettuce of your choice)</li> <li>1 green onion, chopped</li> <li>1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese</li> <li>1/4 cup salsa</li> <li>1/4 cup sour cream</li> </ul> </article> <article class="directions"> <h3>Directions:</h3> <p>Brown ground beef on the stove, then stir in taco seasoning.  In a lettuce leaf, layer beef, onion, cheese, salsa and sour cream.</p> </article> <div class="clearboth"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Taco Lettuce Wraps</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Hydroxycut</a>.</p>