Monthly Archives: October 2011

Sugar-Free Drinks and Chewing Gum Linked to Tooth Damage

By Dr. Mercola

Many people choose sugar-free beverages and gum because they believe they are safer for their teeth.

The sugar alcohol xylitol, which is popular in sugar-free foods, has even been found to help fight tooth decay, and the European Union has approved a related health claim that it is a ‘tooth friendly’ ingredient in chewing gum.

However, a label of “sugar-free” should not automatically be taken to mean “safe for your teeth.” As a new study revealed, even foods that contain “tooth friendly” xylitol have the potential to cause other dental problems …

Sugar-Free Foods May Cause Tooth Erosion

The fact that sugar-free foods do not contain sugar may mean they’re less likely to contribute to the formation of cavities in your teeth, however this says nothing about their ability to cause other tooth problems, like dental erosion.

A new review revealed that sugar-free products that contain acidic flavorings and preservatives may in fact lead to dental erosion, even if they contain cavity-fighting xylitol.

The researchers stated:

“Although the presence of acidic flavorings and preservatives in sugar-free products has received less attention, these additives may have adverse dental health effects, such as dental erosion. Furthermore, the term sugar-free may generate false security because people may automatically believe that sugar-free products are safe on teeth.”

Unlike cavities, dental erosion is a process of incremental decalcification, which, over time, literally dissolves your teeth. Virtually any food or beverage that is acidic can contribute to tooth erosion, including carbonated beverages like soda, sports drinks, fruit juice, lemon juice and vinegar.

Reducing or eliminating as many erosive beverages as possible from your diet is important if you want to protect your teeth from unnecessary damage, and this has nothing to do with their sugar content, or lack thereof.

So if you’re eating sugar-free foods to protect your teeth you are being misled because if the food is acidic or contains acidic flavorings or preservatives, it will still have the potential to damage your teeth. In fact, if you believe there is any benefit to eating foods that contain artificial sweeteners, you are probably in for a surprise …

Artificial Sweeteners Can Damage Your Health and Make You Fat

The fact that sugar-free products can damage your teeth adds to the growing litany of reasons why you’re better off ditching these fake foods from your diet altogether.

For starters, artificial sweeteners themselves are toxic. For instance, aspartame (found in Equal, Spoonful, Equal Measure, AminoSweet, Benevia, NutraTaste, and Canderel) is metabolized inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which embalms tissue and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys). It’s been linked to birth defects, cancer, brain tumors and weight gain.

Sucralose (Splenda) was approved by the FDA based on only two human studies, the longest of which lasted only four days – even though animal studies found the sweetener was associated with decreased red blood cells (a sign of anemia), male infertility, enlarged kidneys, spontaneous abortions and an increased death rate.

Further, consuming artificial sweeteners can cause distortions in your biochemistry, and if you drink diet soda in an attempt to lose weight, they won’t help you. Instead, most studies looking at this show very clearly that diet soft drinks actually double your obesity risk by stimulating your appetite, increasing carbohydrate cravings, and stimulating fat storage!

Several years ago, I wrote a book called Sweet Deception, in which I expose the many concerns related to the consumption of artificial sweeteners.

It’s an extremely well-researched book, and it’s as valid today as it was when I first wrote it. I spent over three years and had five health care professionals work on it with me, as the maker of Splenda, Johnson & Johnson, had their legal firm write me a 20-page letter threatening to sue me if I published the book. Needless to say, the book was published and they did not sue me as the information was all true. This is not to say that you should swap your sugar-free foods for sugary varieties, as sugar, too, will wreck your teeth.

A Low-Sugar, Healthy Diet, Not Sugar-Free Fake Foods, is the Key to Healthy Teeth

Cavities form on your teeth when the acid-producing bacteria in plaque dissolve the mineral in your teeth. While microscopic at first, the cavities can increase in size and number until the decay must be drilled out and repaired with a filling or crown, a root canal performed, or the tooth removed. But how do you prevent the proliferation of the bacteria that cause decay in the first place?

By avoiding sugars and processed foods (including sugar-free processed foods)!

Good oral health and strong, healthy teeth are the direct result of a healthy diet. Dr. Weston A. Price, who was one of the major nutritional pioneers of all time, completed some of the most incredible research on this topic back in the 1900s, and it is still very much relevant today.

What he found, and documented in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is that native tribes who were eating their traditional diet had nearly perfect teeth, and were almost 100 percent free of tooth decay — and they did not have toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, or root canals and fillings.

But when these tribal populations were introduced to sugar and white flour, guess what happened … their health, and their perfect teeth, rapidly deteriorated. Most people whose diet includes very little sugar and few processed foods have very low rates of tooth decay. So the simple act of limiting, or eliminating sugar, and avoiding processed foods — along with regular cleanings with your natural mercury-free dentist — will ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy and cavity-free naturally.

Your Dental Health is a Window to Your Overall Health

Most people regard a cavity as a minor inconvenience, but if your tooth has begun to decay to the point that a cavity is evident, this is a major sign that disease-causing bacteria has begun to overpower your immune system and your body.

Your teeth are constantly under attack from the foods you eat, the beverages you drink and bacteria, so much so that your body constantly works at repairing small amounts of damage to the enamel of your teeth. If you’re healthy, this should be enough to prevent cavities from forming, but if the bacteria overwhelm your system, dental decay can result.

Gum disease, which is caused by the long-term effects of plaque deposits and is a major cause of tooth decay, also raises your risk of developing several chronic health problems including:

So tending to your oral health is an important strategy for protecting your overall health. This includes not only brushing and flossing but also eating right by avoiding sugar, sugar-free foods and processed foods. In the event you are looking for a sweet treat that will not interfere with your health or harm your teeth, the herb stevia is my favorite option.


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# 708 CDC Pervert Arrested

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CDC Director Arrested for Child Molestation and Bestiality

By Dr. Mercola

Dr. Kimberly Quinlan Lindsey, a top official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been arrested and charged with two counts of child molestation and one count of bestiality.

Dr. Lindsey, who joined the CDC in 1999, is currently the deputy director for the Laboratory Science Policy and Practice Program Office. She’s second in command of the program office.

Prior to that role, she was the senior health scientist in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, an office that oversees the allocation process for $1.5 billion in terrorism preparedness.

According to CNN:

“Authorities also charged Lindsey’s live-in boyfriend, Thomas Joseph Westerman, 42, with two counts of child molestation. 

The two are accused of ‘immoral and indecent’ sexual acts involving a 6-year-old …

The bestiality charge says Lindsey ‘did unlawfully perform or submit to any sexual act with an animal.’”

Between January and August last year, Dr. Lindsey and her boyfriend allegedly involved the child during sex, and DeKalb County police claim they discovered photographs of Lindsey performing sex acts on a couple of her pets.

Some of you may wonder why I’ve chosen to discuss this story. Some may think it’s in poor taste and doesn’t belong in a newsletter about health. However, I believe it’s relevant to be aware that someone in charge of your child’s health is allegedly engaged in child abuse. Her actions raise serious questions in my mind about her level of concern for the health and well-being of children in general.

Dr. Lindsey Played Primary Role in Bogus Swine Flu Propaganda Campaign

As you may recall, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic turned out to be a complete sham, with a fast-tracked and particularly dangerous vaccine being pushed as the sole remedy. Children and pregnant women were the primary targets of this dangerous vaccine. The H1N1 flu was a perfect example of how the CDC can brazenly distort reality, and often ignore and deny the dangerous and life-threatening side effects of their solution. As a result of this bogus propaganda campaign, thousands of people were harmed (and many died) worldwide.

In August, it was revealed that the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine increased the risk for narcolepsy—a very rare and devastating sleeping disorder—in Swedish children and adolescents by 660 percent.

Finland also noticed a dramatic increase in narcolepsy following vaccination with Pandemrix. There, an interim report issued in January of this year found that the H1N1 vaccine increased the risk of narcolepsy by 900 percent in children and adolescents below the age of 19. In the US, the H1N1 flu vaccine was statistically linked with abnormally high rates of miscarriage and stillbirths. As reported by Steven Rubin on the NVIC’s blog, the US H1N1 flu vaccine was SIXTY times more likely to be reported to VAERS to be associated with miscarriage than previous seasonal flu vaccines.

The only “winners” in this game were the pharmaceutical companies that received millions of dollars for this never-proven-effective and highly reactive vaccine, while being sheltered by our government from liability for any harm it caused.

Dr. Lindsey played an important role in that campaign, which ended in tragedy for countless many—not from a killer flu (statistically, the 2009 H1N1 flu was MILDER than usual) but from the dangerous and expensive “remedy” to this oversold non-threat.

All of that said, I do want to stress that Dr. Lindsey has not yet been found guilty, and there are still many unanswered questions relating to this case. But this is not the only shocking story raising questions about the ethics of those involved in creating the CDC’s health recommendations.

The CDC’s Stance on Water Fluoridation—Another Misleading Recommendation

Take water fluoridation for example.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that since the 1970′s, the dental health professionals in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have had sole control over the agency’s stance supporting water fluoridation.  

The CDC is part of a larger administrative structure that provides intra-agency support and resource sharing for health issues that require the input from more than one area of expertise. Other offices that share information and expertise with the CDC include the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, and the Agency for Toxic Substances. The general assumption has been that the agency used a broad range of expert input to evaluate fluoride before reaching the decision to support water fluoridation.

After all, since fluoride is swallowed, it stands to reason it may have an impact on your whole body, not just your teeth.

Yet the documents show that no CDC toxicologists, minority health professionals, experts in diabetes, or others outside the Oral Health Division had any input into the agency’s position.

This flies in the face of what the agency claims, and what water-, health- and political leaders have believed about the way the CDC operates. Without these additional experts from other fields, can we reasonably believe that the agency has properly assessed the research on whole-body harm from fluoridation? The documents have drawn attention once again to the CDC’s and EPA’s fluoride safety statements, which appear completely at odds with current scientific knowledge, and the fact that no outside experts from related fields were ever included may very well explain this discrepancy.

CDC Doctor who “Debunked” Vaccine-Autism Link Indicted on Fraud

Another shocking case involving the CDC is that of Dr. Poul Thorsen, who, after being found to have falsified documents, was indicted on fraud, money laundering and tax evasion after stealing somewhere between $1-2 million in research grant money from the CDC.

Here you might wonder why I’m faulting the CDC, as the organization was the victim of fraud. The reason I fault them is because they hired Dr. Thorsen to debunk the link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism—which he did to their satisfaction. However, CDC officials may have played a significant role in “guiding” this research to their desired end, and now that Thorsen has been exposed as a fraud, the agency still upholds his research as being of high caliber.

As explained in a 2010 article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.:

“Thorsen was a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote several key studies supporting CDC’s claims that the MMR vaccine and mercury-laden vaccines were safe for children. Thorsen’s 2003 Danish study reported a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark after that country banned mercury based preservatives in its vaccines. His study concluded that mercury could therefore not be the culprit behind the autism epidemic.

His study has long been criticized as fraudulent since it failed to disclose that the increase was an artifact of new mandates requiring, for the first time, that autism cases be reported on the national registry. This new law and the opening of a clinic dedicated to autism treatment in Copenhagen accounted for the sudden rise in reported cases rather than, as Thorsen seemed to suggest, the removal of mercury from vaccines.

Despite this obvious chicanery, CDC has long touted the study as the principal proof that mercury-laced vaccines are safe for infants and young children. Mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, has relied on this study as the basis for its public assurances that it is safe to inject young children with mercury — a potent neurotoxin — at concentrations hundreds of times over the U.S. safety limits.”

Were CDC Officials in on the Fraud?

Emails released in response to FOIA filings by parents also show that Kreesten Madsen, one of Dr. Thorsen’s research partners, had acquiesced to the wishes of CDC officials who wanted to cherry pick facts in order to prove vaccine safety. Furthermore, according to an April 28 report by Natural News:

“From February 2004 through June 2008, says the DOJ indictment, Thorsen allegedly submitted over a dozen fraudulent invoices requesting reimbursement for expenses that were fabricated. Interestingly, these allegedly fraudulent invoices were signed by a laboratory section chief at the CDC, indicating that someone inside the CDC was either duped by Thorsen or potentially involved in the alleged fraud.

… This is the great untold story of an alleged criminal ring operating inside the CDC, with the purpose of falsifying research that would “disprove” any links between vaccines and toxic side effects.”

Why Does the CDC Not Invalidate Dr. Thorsen’s Research?

Dr. Thorsen’s studies are frequently quoted in rebuttals to the claim that vaccines may play a role in the disorder. The studies in question were riddled with flaws, yet despite the fact that Thorsen’s studies may actually be a complete sham, the CDC has not officially declared them invalid. In fact, they’re still listed on the CDC website as part of the scientific backing of their stance on autism and vaccine safety.

Nor has the media jumped on this story and exposed how vaccine-safety claims have been based on junk science by a scam artist. They’ve also failed to question why none of the journals have denounced Dr. Thorsen’s studies, which support the claim that vaccines are safe, while Dr. Wakefield’s research was denounced after the mere insinuation of wrong-doing.

Furthermore, according to research by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill writing for AgeOfAutism.com, Dr. Thorsen has also been working with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) on an updated definition of “autism” for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is slated for release in May 2013. I believe it would be prudent to take a deeper look at his input, to make sure his connections to the CDC and his role in protecting vaccine safety has not tainted the new definition of autism.

The sad fact is that conflicts of interest color most of the ties between our government and the pharmaceutical industry, and conventional media repeatedly fails to report the truth on these matters.

So, who can you trust?

I would recommend trusting yourself. Do your own research, and make your own decisions accordingly. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is an excellent resource on all things relating to the controversial topic of vaccines. They have been compiling objective evidence showing both sides of the issue and have been one of the strongest voices for vaccine safety and true informed consent.


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Help Knock Out Your Baby’s Health Enemies – Use This Remarkable Supplement

By Dr. Mercola

When your baby is born premature or sick, you can feel pretty helpless.

This feeling can be magnified if your newborn is unable to leave the hospital, since the hospital, although sometimes necessary, can feel like a cold and sterile place for your precious new child.

Of course, your goal is to do everything you can to give your new baby what he needs to get better so he can come home with you as soon as possible.

One of the most important prerequisites for your newborn is establishing a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

For your baby, as for you, his gut is his first line of defense in terms of immunity.

Without a well-functioning GI tract, he can’t get the proper nourishment to  grow, or defend himself against pathogens.

So getting his gut up and running efficiently is crucial.

Fortunately, there is a natural approach that offers great benefits for neonates, as well as older children and adults.

This approach involves boosting your baby’s intestinal flora by feeding him fermented foods and/or a high quality probiotic supplement.

The Link Between Your Baby’s Gut and Brain Development

Your baby gets his or her first “inoculation” of gut flora from your birth canal during childbirth. If your flora is abnormal, your baby’s flora will also be abnormal; whatever organisms live in your vagina end up coating your baby’s body and lining his or her intestinal tract.

Studies show that a growing number of women have unknown vaginal infections at childbirth, which can result in the passage of abnormal microflora onto their babies. This introduction of unfriendly flora, combined with antibiotic use, can predispose a baby to Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). GAPS can have very damaging long-term effects on a child’s health, such as:

  • Autism
  • ADHD/ADD and learning disabilities, such as dyslexia
  • Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • A number of other psychological, neurological, digestive, and immunological, problems

This has profound implications for the autism epidemic. Rates of childhood autism are staggering, now 50 times higher in some areas than three decades ago. Not surprisingly, there is a matching epidemic of GAPS.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is a neurologist and neurosurgeon who has devoted years of her career to studying this phenomenon, and how to treat and prevent it. She believes nearly all children are born with normal, healthy brains. However, this normal brain function gets derailed by a malfunctioning digestive system, turning what should be a source of nourishment for your child into a source of toxicity.

Total Video Length: 1:13:21
Download Interview Transcript

See Dr. Natasha Campbell-
McBride and Me Speak
in November

We are both scheduled to speak at the Weston Price Foundation Conference Nov 11-13th.

Please click here for more details.

Pathogenic microbes in your baby’s digestive tract damage the integrity of his or her gut wall, allowing all sorts of toxins and microbes to flood his or her bloodstream, and then enter the brain and disrupt its development.

Breastfeeding protects your baby from this abnormal gut flora, which is why breastfeeding is so crucial to your child’s health. No infant formulas can do this.

Any time your baby is given a broad-spectrum antibiotic, his or her beneficial flora are wiped out, giving pathogenic flora a window of opportunity to overgrow and wreak havoc. It takes the “friendly flora” two weeks to two months to recover, but by then, some not-so-friendly ones have found a niche. The first symptoms you typically see are colic, loose stools, constipation, eczema, or respiratory infections.

Adding a vaccine that further stresses your baby’s immature immune system is like adding fuel to a fire—conditions that raise your child’s risk for a major adverse vaccine reaction. In other words, a vaccine could be the proverbial “final straw” if your baby has GAPS. But all of this may be corrected, or even averted, by the addition of some natural probiotics.

Fermented Foods Can Help Your Baby Avoid MAJOR Health Problems

Providing abundant probiotics in the form of fermented foods is one of the most powerful ways to restore your baby’s beneficial gut flora. Oftentimes, a commercial probiotic supplement won’t even be needed.

The first fermented food Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends for your infant is raw organic grass fed yogurt (not commercial yogurt from the grocery strore), because it’s well tolerated by most infants and children. It’s best to make your own yogurt at home from raw organic milk, and start with a very tiny amount. Once yogurt is well tolerated by your baby, then start introducing kefir. If you have any problems with dairy, you can substitute vegetables fermented with yogurt culture or kefir culture.

To learn more about introducing fermented foods to your newborn, including a week-by-week schedule, please refer to this article by Dr. Campbell-McBride, or order a copy of her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which has a large recipe section for fermenting your own foods at home and using them to benefit all members of your family. If your baby has a severe condition, then the addition of a high-quality probiotic supplement may be needed.

Supplemental Probiotics Can Also Be Useful

There have been more probiotic studies involving adults than those with children, and even fewer with infants. Precious little research has been devoted to the study of probiotics for neonates, especially extremely low birth weight neonates (ELBW), but scientific studies thus far are very promising.

One study in particular, published in BMC Medicine on August 2, 2011 by the Department of Neonatal Pediatrics in Nepean Hospital along with several other Australian hospitals, brings us closer to important evidence-based guidelines for the use of probiotics with preterm neonates. And it is their recommendations I will be discussing later in this article. But first, why use probiotics?

What Probiotics Can Do for You and Your Newborn

Probiotic bacteria are living microorganisms that have highly beneficial effects on your health. Most of these reside in your gastrointestinal tract. Most people, including many physicians, do not realize that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to achieve optimal health. The root of many health problems is related to an imbalance of intestinal bacteria.

You may be surprised to learn that the bacteria in your gut outnumber the cells in your body by a factor of ten to one—you have 100 trillion bacteria living in your GI tract, comprised of as many as 500 different species. Collectively, each of us carries around several pounds of bacteria inside us! In adults, probiotics have been found to:

  • Modulate immune responses via your gut’s mucosal immune system, aiding in the production of antibodies and keeping pathogens under control
  • Act as an anti-inflammatory, reducing CRP levels and proinflammatory cytokines
  • Prevent allergies by training your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens and respond appropriately
  • Digest and absorb certain carbohydrates (starches, fiber and sugars)
  • Produce vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin K), absorb minerals and eliminate toxins

Studies have documented beneficial probiotic effects in a variety of disorders including the following:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Constipation and diarrhea
Colon cancer Eradication of H. pylori infection, which is associated with ulcers Vaginal infections
Strengthened immune response Eczema Rheumatoid arthritis
Cirrhosis of the liver Hepatic encephalopathy  

Probiotics even influence the activity of hundreds of genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner. Probiotics have been shown to provide a number of benefits to infants and children.

For example, daily supplements of probiotic foods may reduce your child’s risk of eczema and allergy by 58 percent, according to one study. Another study found that  a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri can help improve your baby’s colic. But this is turning out to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what probiotic supplementation can do for your newborn.

A Terrible Disease in Newborns: Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

One of the most dangerous complications in premature or sick babies is necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, which involves the death of intestinal tissue. The exact cause of NEC is still unknown. It is hypothesized that a decrease in blood flow to the bowel prevents the bowel form producing the mucus that protects the gastrointestinal lining. NEC may also be caused by a bacterial imbalance in the intestine. According to the National Institute of Health, the following infants have a higher risk for NEC:

  • Premature babies
  • Babies fed concentrated formula
  • Babies who have received blood exchange transfusions
  • Babies in a nursery where an outbreak has occurred

NEC is a serious disease, with complications that include intestinal perforation, peritonitis, and sepsis. Standard treatments include replacing oral feedings with intravenous feedings, antibiotic treatment, and sometimes inserting a tube into the stomach to allow the escape of accumulated gas. Sometimes surgery is required to remove dead intestinal tissue.

Despite advances in neonatal intensive care over the past 20 years, the incidence of NEC in preterm neonates has not changed. Mortality of NEC remains around 25 percent, accounting for 1.4 percent of all infant deaths. Early, aggressive treatment improves your baby’s chance of survival. This is clearly a disease you would NOT want your baby to have!

Probiotics Show Great Promise in Preventing NEC

Since NEC is an intestinal disease, the Australian researchers chose to investigate whether building up a baby’s gut flora would have a positive benefit in preventing or treating NEC.  The results were remarkable! They concluded that probiotic supplementation does indeed significantly reduce NEC risk and mortality in pre-term neonates. In fact, probiotics reduced the incidence of NEC in neonates by at least 30 percent.

Although the Australian study was not specific to ELBW babies, one prior study in 2005 did find that probiotics reduced the incidence and severity of NEC in that particular group. This is one of the areas where a great deal more research needs to be done.

Besides probiotic supplementation, there are two other important factors that I should mention with respect to lowering your baby’s risk of developing this deadly disease:

  1. Breastfeeding your baby is of utmost importance. In one U.K. study, babies fed formula were found to be 6 to 10 times more likely to develop NEC than babies exclusively fed breast milk.
  2. There is evidence that phthalates can bring about NEC in at-risk babies by creating inflammation in their bodies. NEC is associated with excessive inflammation. Neonates, especially premature neonates, are exposed to extraordinarily high concentrations of phthalates via exposure to the plastic medical equipment commonly used in neonatal intensive care units. So I would urge you to avoid all unnecessary exposure to these plastics, and urge your hospital to use phthalate-free equipment in their NICU.

Neonatal Probiotic Guidelines

As a result of their extensive research, the Australian researchers put together a set of guidelines for neonatal probiotic use, which I’ll summarize below. If your physician is unfamiliar with these guidelines, I would encourage you to share them with him or her, along with a copy of the study, which should convince even the most skeptical physician about the benefits of probiotic treatment for newborns.

I’ll also include a table summarizing the recommendations at the end of the article, for easy reference.

What are the Best Strains to Use?

According to the Australian study, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are the species of choice for neonates, based on the evolution of a preterm baby’s gut flora. Lactobacilli are a minor component of your baby’s intestinal microbiota. Human strains of these bacilli are preferable because of their natural occurrence, long-term safety record for infants, and “adaptability to both mucosal and dairy ecosystems,” according to the report.

They also recommend using a probiotic formula with multiple strains of each species for optimal benefit, as opposed to single strains.

What Dose Should You Give Your Baby?

Even though your baby’s GI tract has millions of naturally occurring bacteria, probiotic supplementation must be implemented with care so as not to overwhelm his immature immune system. Preterm neonates are more “fragile” and often suffer from poor nutrition, impaired immune status, and frequent exposure to infectious agents. Too many probiotics can result in excess replication in his gut, which can lead to bacteremia.

Probiotic complications are more likely if your infant already has compromised gut integrity, which is why it’s important to pay attention to his probiotic dose.  The probiotic should be diluted with breast milk or water, to about 1.0 to 1.5ml per dose.

Researchers suggest the following dosing guidelines:

  • Neonates less than 32 weeks gestation: 3 x 109 cfu/day (“cfu” stands for colony forming units)
  • Extremely low birth weight neonates (ELBW): 1.5 x 109 cfu/day until they reach enteral feeds of 50-60 ml/kg/day.

When to Start and Stop Your Baby on Probiotics

Probiotics should be started as early as possible, before pathogens can colonize your baby’s intestinal tract and before antibiotics destroy his natural flora. In most scientific trials, probiotics are typically started with the start of enteral feedings, but they have been started as early as in the first four hours of life.

Speaking of antibiotics, newborn babies—especially sick newborns and premature newborns—often receive antibiotics of some kind. If your baby does receive antibiotics, it is very important he receive probiotics to rebuild his gut flora, since antibiotics kill the good bacteria, along with the bad. Ideally, he should receive probiotics BEFORE the antibiotics. The healthier his gut flora is, the more resistant he’ll be to infection in the first place.

According to the Australian study:

“Owing to the development of aberrant gut flora and delayed colonization by normal commensal strains in preterm neonates, early preferential feeding with breast milk and minimizing exposure to antibiotics are crucial to optimize the benefits of probiotic supplementation. Neonates given antibiotics at birth have been reported to retain abnormal microbial flora four weeks later, indicating the damaging effect of these agents. Strategies for preventing sepsis are also crucial in optimizing the benefits of probiotic supplementation, as sepsis needs treatment with antibiotics (anti-probiotics).”

Although you may not be able to avoid antibiotics entirely, you should avoid them as much as possible, especially prolonged exposure to them.

Probiotics may need to be stopped during an acute illness such as sepsis, NEC or perinatal asphyxia (oxygen deprivation). If your baby is on probiotics, you and your baby’s healthcare providers should watch for signs of intolerance, such as abdominal distension, flatulence, vomiting or diarrhea.

What to Look for in a Probiotic Supplement

Not all probiotics are created equal, so make sure you select a high quality one. You should only use a product from a company with good manufacturing practices and strict quality control. The probiotic should be formulated in such a way to ensure the bacteria survive to their final destination—your child’s digestive tract. This is accomplished by the addition of something to feed the bacteria themselves (sometimes called a prebiotic).

Even the type of packaging is important as it maintains the viability of the products to ensure therapeutic activity. Probiotics are live anaerobic organisms that are sensitive to oxygen, moisture and heat—designed to thrive in the gut environment. Manufacturing and packaging should involve limited exposure to oxygen.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is, you should become well informed before implementing any strategy. Partner with your pediatrician, and don’t be afraid to share information. Be vigilant about your child’s health from the day he is born.  I think the Australian study is a giant leap forward in support of a more holistic approach to your child’s health. A good deal more research is needed about the use of probiotics in newborns. But already, we have a firm scientific basis to confidently say that probiotics can have a major positive impact on your baby’s health.

As promised, the following chart is a summary of the guidelines suggested in the latest study, for easy reference.

Summary of Suggested Protocols for Use of Probiotics in Neonates

(From Deshpande et al., BMC Medicine 2011)

When to Start When the neonate is ready for enteral feeds, preferably within first 7 days of life
When to Stop May need to stop the supplementation during an acute illness, such as sepsis, NEC, or perinatal asphyxia
 Strains Combination of strains containing Lactobacillus and at least one Bifidobacterium species is preferable; Lactobacillus GG alone may not be effective
Dosages Neonates less than 32 weeks gestation: 3 x 109 cfu/day in a single dose; ELBW neonates: 1.5 x 109 cfu/day in single dose until they reach enteral feeds of 50-60 ml/kg/day
Osmolality Solution should be diluted to keep the osmolality below 600 mOsm/L
Diluent Sterile water or breast milk (NOTE: leftover solution should be discarded after giving small doses as it may become contaminated)
Volume for Administration 1.0 to 1.5 ml per dose
Monitoring Patients should be monitored for intolerance (abdominal distension, diarrhea, vomiting), probiotic sepsis, and adverse effects (flatulence, loose stools) of additives such as prebiotic oligosaccharides.


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Do You Supplement with Vitamin D? Please Remember This…

By Dr. Mercola

Vitamin K is frequently called the “forgotten vitamin” for a good reason — it’s often not fully appreciated, considering its immense value to your health.

One of these oft-overlooked benefits is in relation to your insulin sensitivity, which has implications for a slew of potentially life-threatening chronic diseases.

Vitamin K Enhances Insulin Sensitivity

Research shows that vitamin K can help to regulate your glucose metabolism by converting to a substance called carboxylated osteocalcin in your body, which affects insulin sensitivity.

A recent study found for the first time that vitamin K2 supplementation increased insulin sensitivity in healthy young men, and the effect seemed to be related to increased carboxylated osteocalcin levels, rather than to another factor such as modulation of inflammation.

According to the study in Diabetes Care:

“Although our study could not provide the underlying mechanism, we speculate that [carboxylated osteocalcin] or vitamin K could modulate adipokines or inflammatory pathways other than the IL-6 pathways.

Alternatively, [carboxylated osteocalcin] can directly regulate glucose disposal at skeletal muscle or adipose tissues.”

Past research has also shown that vitamin K slowed the development of insulin resistance in elderly men, adding to the growing evidence that vitamin K has a potentially beneficial role in insulin metabolism.

This is an incredibly important benefit, as enhanced insulin sensitivity means that it is easier for your body to take up sugar from your bloodstream.

Impaired insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, occurs when your body cannot use insulin properly, allowing your blood sugar levels to get too high. Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes as well as a risk factor in many other chronic diseases.

In fact, controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. The increase in insulin-related diseases we’re now seeing is largely due to lack of exercise combined with the excessive consumption of fructose and carbohydrates in the average American diet, which means healthy sources of vitamin K are often lacking!

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin K to Get These Important Benefits?

According to Dr. Cees Vermeer, one of the world’s top researchers into vitamin K, nearly everyone is deficient in it — just like most people are deficient in vitamin D. Most of you get just enough vitamin K from your diet to maintain adequate blood clotting, but NOT enough to offer protection against the following health problems — and the list continues to grow:

Arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease and varicose veins Brain health problems, including dementia (the specifics of which are under study)
Osteoporosis Tooth decay
Prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and leukemia Infectious diseases such as pneumonia

For a comprehensive exploration of all the research and functions of vitamin K, refer to this article on the Weston Price website, but before you head out to buy a supplement or increase your dietary intake, it’s important to understand the differences between the two forms, as they can impact its potential benefit.

What are the Different Types of Vitamin K?

Vitamin K exists in two basic forms, K1 and K2:

  1. Vitamin K1: Found in green vegetables, K1 goes directly to your liver and helps you maintain a healthy blood clotting system. (This is the kind of K that infants need to help prevent a serious bleeding disorder.)
  2. Vitamin K2: Bacteria produce this type of vitamin K. It is present in high quantities in your gut, but unfortunately is not absorbed from there and passes out in your stool. K2 goes straight to vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than your liver.

There are several different forms of vitamin K2: MK4, MK7, MK8, and MK9. The form of vitamin K that has the most relevance for health benefits is MK7, a newer and longer acting form with more practical applications. MK7 is extracted from the Japanese fermented soy product called natto. You could actually get loads of MK7 from consuming natto, as it is relatively inexpensive and available in most Asian food markets.

Few people, however, tolerate its smell and slimy texture, so most people who find natto unpalatable prefer to take a supplement. Most vitamin K2 supplements are in the form MK7. You can also get MK7 by eating fermented cheeses.

Do You Take Oral Vitamin D? Why Vitamin K2 is Especially Important for You

There are very compelling reasons to make a concerted effort to get ALL your vitamin D requirements from exposure to sunshine, or by using a safe tanning bed (one with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields).

As a quick summary, when you expose your skin to sunshine, your skin synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate. This form of vitamin D is water soluble, unlike oral vitamin D3 supplements, which is unsulfated. The water soluble form can travel freely in your blood stream, whereas the unsulfated form needs LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) as a vehicle of transport. The suspicion is that the oral non-sulfated form of vitamin D likely will not provide the same benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, because it cannot be converted to vitamin D sulfate.

For more details, please refer to my recent interview with Dr. Stephanie Seneff.

As a last resort, if neither sun exposure nor safe tanning beds are feasible options, then you may resort to taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement. Getting back to vitamin K, there is evidence that the safety of vitamin D is dependent on vitamin K, and that vitamin D toxicity (although very rare with the D3 form) is actually mitigated by vitamin K2 deficiency. So if you take oral vitamin D, ideally you should take vitamin K2 as well.

There is also a synergistic effect between vitamins D and K, as these two agents work together to increase MGP, or Matrix GLA Protein, which is the protein responsible for protecting your blood vessels from calcification. In healthy arteries, MGP congregates around the elastic fibers of your tunica media (arterial lining), guarding them against calcium crystal formation.

Vitamin K Keeps Calcium Where You Need It, Not Where You Don’t

There is new evidence that it is vitamin K (specifically, vitamin K2) that directs calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it — i.e., your organs, joint spaces, and arteries. A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”

Vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by osteoblasts, which is needed to bind calcium into the matrix of your bone. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into your arteries. So while increasing calcium is good for your bones, it is not so good for your arteries, which can become calcified. Vitamin K protects your blood vessels from calcifying when in the presence of high calcium levels.

Optimizing Your Vitamin K Intake

Vitamin K measurements in blood plasma can be done accurately, but the results are really not helpful because they mainly reflect “what you ate yesterday,” according to Dr. Vermeer. Because there are no good laboratory assessments, he and his team have developed and patented a very promising laboratory test to assess vitamin K levels indirectly by measuring circulating MGP.

They are hoping to have this test available to the public in the next several years for a reasonable price, and several labs are already interested. Additionally, they are working on developing a home test that would be available at your neighborhood drug store.

At this time, however, there is really no commercial test that would give you meaningful information. But since nearly 100 percent of people don’t get sufficient amounts of vitamin K from their diet to reap its full health benefits, you can assume you need to bump up your vitamin K levels.

Ideally, optimize your vitamin K through a combination of dietary sources (leafy green vegetables, fermented foods like natto, raw milk cheeses, etc.) and a K2 supplement, if needed. Although the exact dosing (for oral supplementation) is yet to be determined, Dr. Vermeer recommends up to 185 mcg daily for adults.  You must use caution on the higher doses if you take anticoagulants, but if you are generally healthy and not on these types of medications, I suggest 150-300 mcg daily.


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The New Epidemic Sweeping Across America (and it’s Not a Disease)

By Dr. Mercola

Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America’s “war on drugs” is clearly directed at the wrong enemy!

Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing, an analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Los Angeles Times revealed.

The Times analysis of 2009 death statistics, the most recent available, showed:

  • For the first time ever in the US, more people were killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents
  • 37,485 people died from drugs, a rate fueled by overdoses on prescription pain and anxiety medications, versus 36,284 from traffic accidents
  • Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69

Again, these drug-induced fatalities are not being driven by illegal street drugs; the analysis found that the most commonly abused prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

“Pharmageddon” is Upon Us

Pharmageddon is “the prospect of a world in which medicines and medicine produce more ill-health than health, and when medical progress does more harm than good” — and it is no longer a prospect but fully upon us. Those most at risk from dying from this new drug crisis are people you would least expect; the analysis revealed the death toll is highest among people in their 40s, but all ages, from teenagers to the elderly, and all walks of life are being affected. In fact, prescription drugs are now the preferred “high” for many, especially teens, as they are typically used legally, which eliminates the stigma of being a “junkie.”

And even if you don’t have your own prescription, drugs of all kinds can be found in the nearest medicine cabinet in most homes.

Yet, these drugs are also now being sold on the black market and on street corners, where people who have run out of prescriptions are willing to pay upwards of $80 a pill to get their fix. Many become addicted after using the drugs for headaches or back pain, and teens are increasingly taking the pills from their parents to use recreationally, under the false assumption that they are not dangerous.

As written in the Baltimore Sun:

“According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drugs are second to marijuana as the drug of choice for today’s teens. In fact, seven of the top 10 drugs used by 12th-graders were prescription drugs.

More than 40 percent of high school seniors reported that painkillers are “fairly” or “very” easy to get. They also reported that they believed that if they were to get caught, there was less shame attached to the use of prescription drugs than to street drugs. This mirrors the perceptions of their parents, who when queried said that they felt prescription drugs were a safer alternative to drugs typically sold by a drug dealer.”

How Many are Dying From Prescription Drugs?

Nearly 20 percent of Americans have used prescription drugs for nonmedicinal reasons, three-quarters of whom may be abusing them. Legal prescription drug abuse is a silent epidemic, and is part of the reason why the modern American medical system has become the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. Authored in two parts by Gary Null, PhD, Carolyn Dean, MD ND, Martin Feldman, MD, Debora Rasio, MD, and Dorothy Smith, PhD, the comprehensive Death by Medicine article described in excruciating detail how everything from medical errors to adverse drug reactions to unnecessary procedures caused more harm than good.

Seven years after the original article was written, an analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine November 25, 2010 piqued my interest — the researchers found that, despite efforts to improve patient safety in the past few years, the health care system hasn’t changed much at all. So, earlier this year I updated posted an update to the original Death by Medicine article, which, unfortunately, shows more of the same:

  • In a June 2010 report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, study authors said that in looking over records that spanned from 1976 to 2006 (the most recent year available) they found that, of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors.
  • An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the U.S. every year.
  • The costs of adverse drug reactions to society are more than $136 billion annually — greater than the total cost of cardiovascular or diabetic care.
  • Adverse drug reactions cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients.
  • The reason there are so many adverse drug events in the U.S. is because so many drugs are used and prescribed – and many patients receive multiple prescriptions at varying strengths, some of which may counteract each other or cause more severe reactions when combined.

There are numerous repercussions to a society that eats, breathes and sleeps prescription medications, not the least of which is its impact on children. Between 2001 and 2008, there was a 36 percent increase in hospital admissions, and a 28 percent increase in emergency room visits, among children 5 and younger who had accidentally ingested medication. ER visits for ingestion of prescription opioid painkillers, such as Oxycodone, increased 101 percent!

And in 2009, there were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visits to U.S. emergency rooms nationwide, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribed. When you add in the growing numbers of people who are using these drugs recreationally or due to addiction, you begin to see the magnitude of the problem that the pharmaceutical industry is propagating.

Unfortunately, this problem is now seriously impacting the next generation. When you were a teenager you may have snuck a beer or two at a party … nowadays teens will mix a variety of prescription pills together in a bowl and take a mouthful of them like candy! The kids think this is a safe way to get high, since they see their parents taking the same medications all the time, but it often turns out to be a literal prescription for disaster that can even be deadly.

The Real Thugs of the Drug World

The “war on drugs” has focused nearly exclusively on the illegal trafficking of drugs like cocaine, heroin and marijuana, while the most powerful drug dealers of all — the pharmaceutical companies — are allowed to grow their businesses with the U.S. government’s gold seal of approval.

But make no mistake – the leading pharmaceutical companies are also among the largest corporate criminals in the world, and they are really nothing more than white-collar drug dealers.

Although many fail to realize this, prescription drugs can be just as addictive as illegal drugs. In fact, in many cases there’s no difference between a street drug and a prescription drug. For example, hydrocodone, a prescription opiate, is synthetic heroin. It’s indistinguishable from any other heroine as far as your brain and body is concerned. So, if you’re hooked on hydrocodone, you are in fact a good-old-fashioned heroin addict.

But aside from the nature of their business, fraud, kickbacks, price-setting, bribery and illegal sales activities are all par for the course for big-name drug companies. Last year I set out to investigate some of the criminal activities that some of the largest pharmaceutical companies had been convicted of lately, and the amount of gross misconduct, fraud and deceit I found was so insidious, so massive, and so overwhelming that it shocked even me.

You can read the grim details in full here, but here is just a sampling of what the top drug companies are up to:

  • Merck: With a long list of deaths to its credit, and more than $5.5 billion in judgments and fines levied against it, it was five years before Merck made its $30-billion recall of the painkiller Vioxx that I warned my readers that it might be a real killer for some people. After the drug was withdrawn, and 60,000 had already died, Merck picked up the pieces painlessly by getting a new drug fast-tracked and on the market.

    That drug is Gardasil, a vaccine that so far has been linked to thousands of adverse events and at least 49 unexplained deaths. It’s a situation that the FDA and CDC have been denying repeatedly, keeping their heads buried in the sand even as the adverse reports mount.

  • Baxter: Dozens of recalls of products that caused deaths and injuries, at least 11 different guilty pleas to fraud and illegal sales activity, more than 200 lawsuits – many of them stemming from selling AIDS-tainted blood to hemophiliacs – and more than $1.3 billion in criminal fines and civil penalties.
  • Pfizer: In the largest health care fraud settlement in history, Pfizer was ordered to pay $2.3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company illegally promoted uses of four of its drugs, including the painkiller Bextra, the antipsychotic Geodon, the antibiotic Zyvox, and the anti-epileptic Lyrica.

How Can You Avoid Being Killed by a Prescription Drug?

There is a risk of side effects every time you take a prescription drug. No one (except for those who intentionally overdose) expects these medications to kill them, but they can do just that, and it happens far more often than you might think! In a study recently released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), officials emphasized that people should not assume there’s no risk in prescribed medicines. The truth is, the only way to avoid all risk, including death, from prescription drugs is to not take them at all.

It is your body, not your doctor’s and not your pharmacist’s, so it is up to you to make the decision of what drugs to take, if any. Be SURE you are aware of the risks of any medication prescribed to you, and weigh them against any possible benefit. Then you can make a well-informed decision of whether it’s a risk you’re willing to take.

Of course, of paramount importance is also taking control of your health so you can stay well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care. If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need medications in the first place. This includes:

  1. Proper Food Choices

    For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home.

    For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).

    Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose. Sugar, and fructose in particular, acts as a toxin in and of itself, and as such drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.

  2. Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness

    Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I’ve discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information, please review this previous article.

  3. Stress Reduction and Positive Thinking

    You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.

  4. Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D

    We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you’re getting out in the sun on a daily basis. There is preliminary evidence suggesting that oral vitamin D may not provide the identical benefits, although it’s still better than none at all.

    Just keep in mind that it’s really best to get ALL your vitamin D from the sun. It appears that vitamin D plays a crucial role in sulfur metabolism and when you swallow it orally it may not have the same benefit as getting it from the sun.

  5. Take High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

    Animal-based omega-3 fat is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived race on the planet.

  6. Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible

    This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.


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#002 FDA approves no more Mercury used in Dental Fillings

Encouraging news, steps are being taken to remove mercury from Dental Fillings and other environmental sources. articles.mercola.com FAIR USE: This Video may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice, etc. issues. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this video is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If any individual wishes to go beyond the fair use law, they should contact the copyright owner for permission.

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#002 Getting Mercury out of our Mouths

Encouraging news, steps are being taken to remove mercury from Dental Fillings and other environmental sources. articles.mercola.com FAIR USE: This Video may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice, etc. issues. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this video is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If any individual wishes to go beyond the fair use law, they should contact the copyright owner for permission.

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Dr Mercola On Dr OZ jan2011.wmv

Dr Mercola On Dr OZ jan2011.wmv

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Dental Breakthrough – May Save Thousands of Lives

By Dr. Mercola

A great deal of progress has been made this year toward ridding the dental industry of dangerous mercury-containing amalgams.

For example, Consumers for Dental Choice recently reported that:

“On October 10, the City Council of Malibu, California passed a resolution supporting “national and worldwide efforts to reduce anthropogenic [man-made] sources of mercury to the environment.” 

Specifically, the city endorsed “efforts by UNEP [the United Nations Environmental Programme] to adopt an international treaty to phase out each of the above five major mercury pollutants”:  batteries, electric switches and relays, measuring devices, mercury-containing lamps…and dental amalgam. 

Malibu is the third California city to call for the phase-out of dental amalgam, following the resolution of the city council of Costa Mesa and the proclamation by the Mayor of Santa Ana.” 

According to Consumers for Dental Choice, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) also just released its long-awaited updated and finalized report on dental amalgam.  In Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration, WHO urges “a switch in use of dental materials” away from amalgam, stating that:

“[F]or many reasons, restorative materials alternative to dental amalgam are desirable.” 

But that’s not all!

As a result of enormous public pressure from dentists, health professionals and consumers, the FDA has also promised to make an announcement by year’s end of its decision about whether or not to warn the public of the dangers of dental amalgam, and possibly even restrict its use.

A series of town meetings in three states this year, hosted by the FDA’s Center for Devices, has resulted in the FDA’s reconsideration of its appalling 2009 amalgam rule.

Thanks to Consumers for Dental Choice, town meetings previously attended mostly by industry representatives pleading with the FDA to “go easier on them” are now instead being dominated by consumer advocates demanding government accountability. Their greatest hope is to see mercury amalgams banned altogether, but short of that, the Consumers for Dental Choice hopes the FDA will at least make all consumers aware that amalgams are more than 50 percent mercury. The American Dental Association (ADA) has historically covered up that fact, while taking money from Coca-Cola and other companies whose products promote the formation of cavities.

Fifty percent of dentists are now mercury-free; you can help abolish the use of mercury fillings by supporting one of them. We are on the brink of prompting real change in the fight for mercury-free dentistry, but your voice is needed in order to bring about permanent change.

First Base: Dallas, Texas on March 10

The first of the town meetings occurred in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, in March 2011. According to Charlie Brown (former attorney general and president of the World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry), the Texas town meeting generated a surge of long-overdue press coverage about dental amalgam on major Dallas television stations and newspapers.

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the presiding FDA official in the dental amalgam issue, was presented with testimony from, among others, Dr. Bill Glaros, the former president of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine. In response, Dr. Shuren acknowledged the FDA scientific panel’s conclusion that certain populations, such as pregnant women and young children, might be “more sensitive” than others to the adverse effects of dental amalgam. The following statement certainly indicates the door is open, but whether or not the FDA will actually walk through it remains to be seen Dr. Shuren stated:

“We may decide to change our current regulation, and that could include changing the status of dental amalgam, which means it comes off the market or has other controls on it, or we may decide to leave things as they are.”

Second Base: Orlando, Florida on May 5

Floridians continued the momentum by turning out en masse for the next town meeting, outraged over the FDA’s failure to protect children from mercury fillings. The event generated front-page news from coast to coast, even prompting an article from the Los Angeles Times.

As in Texas, with the press in his face, Dr. Shuren was compelled to answer to the FDA’s inaction on amalgam. After all, it is far easier to evade questions about the health hazards of amalgams when behind the protective walls of a government office than it is in front of television cameras. Dr. Shuren told the Orlando Sentinel that he would like the FDA to make a decision this year, but it (FDA) would have to reconsider the scientific and legal issues.

It was hardly the promise of regulatory overhaul, but it was more than the FDA had been willing to say in Washington. Consumers two… amalgams one. But consumers would soon advance their cause even further as dentists turned up in droves for the third town meeting, this time in San Francisco.

Third Base: San Francisco, California on September 22

The highlight of the California meeting was testimony by Anita Vasquez Tibau, grassroots director of Consumers for Dental Choice, who detailed amalgam’s devastating impact on the Spanish-speaking community. Vasquez Tibau assailed Shuren with his own words. In an exchange with the European Union regarding device regulation last February, Shuren sparked an international scrap when he commented that European patients may be “guinea pigs” for medical devices due to inadequate government oversight, and added, “We don’t use our people as guinea pigs in the U.S.”

Oops… except, we do—a point that Anita Vasquez Tibau was quick to bring up.

While holding up a photograph of a Latino kindergartner whose smile showed the tragedy of a mouthful of mercury fillings, Vazquez Tibau reminded Shuren that the FDA itself admits amalgam can cause neurological damage in young children as their immature systems are more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor. She also reminded him of the FDA’s statement about the lack of evidence of amalgam’s safety for children under age six, and then asked him to stop treating Latino children like “guinea pigs.” Dr. Shuren responded that he intended to make an announcement of the FDA’s position by the end of the year. So the clock is ticking.

Now it’s Your Turn

We need to keep the momentum going between now and year’s end. You must urge the FDA to heed the advice convened by its own scientists in December 2010. To voice your opinion, contact Dr. Shuren at:

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, Director
Center for Devices, U.S. Food & Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
WO66-5431, Room 5442
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

Phone: 301-796-5900
Fax: 301-847-8149 or 301-847-8109
Email: jeff.shuren@fda.hhs.gov

The following are Charlie Brown’s recommended talking points for this contact:

  • Thank Dr. Shuren for agreeing to act on amalgam fillings this year.
  • Please end the use of amalgam immediately for children, pregnant women, and hypersensitive adults (as a minimum).
  • Please make sure every parent knows amalgam is mercury, not silver, by making warnings mandatory. Every consumer should be told the truth about what’s going into their mouths, and their children’s mouths.
  • Kicking the can down the road is not acceptable. It is time for a decision now, NOT an announcement that the FDA’s decision will be postponed. We have irrefutable scientific evidence about the dangers of mercury amalgams. Your children are being subjected to harm now—they can’t wait another year.

I also urge you to contribute to Consumers for Dental Choice. I strongly believe in their mission and their commitment to the Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry. They rely on public donations to complete this important mission. (Consumers for Dental Choice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry. Contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S.)

Donations can be made online or through the mail:

Also, for timely updates and information, please join Consumers for Dental Choice on Facebook.

Thank you for your help in keeping the ball rolling—help make 2011 a landmark year for your dental health!


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