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Monthly Archives: December 2011
By Barbara Loe Fisher
I am grateful for the blessings that I have had in my life, including the hard times, when I learned that faith and hope can overcome fear and doubt.
Adversity can make us stronger but it is also an opportunity to feel and offer compassion to others to ease their suffering.
Journalists often profile individuals, who are suffering from adversity: the earthquake survivors in Haiti;7 the victims of hate crimes;8 children living in poverty dying from starvation and neglect.9
These stories of human suffering are reminders of why we should listen to our conscience 10 and act in compassionate ways to lessen the suffering of others.
The ability to have compassion for others is an antidote to cruelty, inequality, injustice, and tyranny.
Valuing Individual Life, Freedom & Compassion
America was founded by immigrants who had personally suffered oppression and adversity, and knew how important it is to treat individuals with respect and compassion.
There is a ringing endorsement in the U.S. Declaration of Independence for the individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,11 and in the Constitution for the right to freedom of speech and personal religious beliefs.12
Perhaps it is that fundamental appreciation for the value of the individual, which is part of our history and culture that has taught us to value conscience and compassion.
Vaccine Injured Not Treated with Compassion
So it is sad to see what happens in America today when babies, children and adults react to vaccines and become permanently injured or even die.13 14 15 16 When healthy people suffer complications from infectious diseases, they are treated with compassion.17 18 19 20 But when healthy people suffer complications from vaccination, often they are not treated with compassion.21 22 Many times, vaccine victims 23 24 25 are victimized all over again by those who deny the reality of what happened 26 27 28 or use a utilitarian 29 30 31 rationale to dismiss them as acceptable losses in the War on Infectious Disease.32 33 34 35
Media Failing to Protect Vaccine Injured and Safety Advocates
In the past decade, this persecution of a growing minority of vaccine-injured citizens has been facilitated by the fourth estate,36 the free press, which has historically served as a check and balance on inequality and injustice in America.37 The vital function of a free press, ensured in the U.S. Constitution, is failing to do what it could do to protect the health and lives of the vaccine injured38 39 or defend freedom of speech for citizens calling for inclusion of vaccine safety and informed consent protections40 in public health policies and laws,41 42 43 while the chronic disease and disability epidemic destroys the health and economic stability of our nation44 45 46 47 48 and the public health community has no answers, so the band plays on.
Institute of Medicine Acknowledges Vaccine Safety Science Gaps
The Institute of Medicine issued an historic report this year that acknowledged there is not enough quality vaccine science in the medical literature to determine whether or not many of the vaccines routinely given to children and adults cause more than 100 different types of brain and immune system dysfunction.49
These are serious inflammatory brain and immune system disorders, which are part of the exploding chronic disease epidemic in America, and range from heart and blood disorders to strokes, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, GBS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes and encephalitis that can lead to seizures, learning disabilities and autism.
Institute of Medicine Acknowledges Individual Biological Susceptibility
In that historic report, the Institute of Medicine also acknowledged there are pre-existing biological susceptibilities that can make some individuals more vulnerable than others for suffering harm from vaccination, such as genetic variations; age or developmental stage at the time of vaccination; coinciding illness or other environmental exposures.50
If one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and mandates are putting an unknown number of biologically susceptible individuals at risk for injury and death, why do so few doctors care or want to do something about it?
Doctors Denying Medical Care to Families
It is disturbing to watch doctors, who we have always believed to be the most compassionate among us, coldly turn away families questioning the government policy of giving children 69 doses of 16 vaccines.51 52 Families wanting to choose or delay vaccines, are being denied medical care even if children have experienced previous vaccine reactions or have become chronically ill and disabled after vaccination and could be made sicker if more vaccines are given.53
Doctors Tell Employees: Get Vaccinated or Be Fired
It is shocking that health care professionals are being threatened by doctors running hospitals and medical facilities that, if they do not obey orders to get an annual flu shot, they will be fired 54 55 56 – even if they are pregnant; have had previous vaccine reactions or have medical conditions that could be made a lot worse if they get more vaccines.57
Doctors Strip Parents of Legal Right to Make Vaccine Decisions for Minor Children
It is hard to accept that doctors we have trusted are pressuring our elected state legislators to pass laws stripping us of the legal right to make medical risk decisions for our children so minor children can be given vaccines without a parent’s knowledge or consent.58 59
Pharma Funded Doctor Associations Attack Vaccine Safety Advocates
It is frightening to know that medical trade associations and doctors taking money from drug companies60 61 62 63 are mounting disinformation campaigns to demonize vaccine safety advocates64 and censor public access to information about health and vaccination so the American people cannot make fully informed vaccine decisions.65
Mainstream Media Facilitates Public Attacks on Advocates
And it is tragic to witness the mainstream media facilitating the public attack on vaccine victims and those calling for a move away from one-size-fits all vaccine mandates66 67 that punish individuals, who are biologically vulnerable to vaccine reactions in part because of the genes they inherited.68 69
Vaccine Makers and Doctors Giving Vaccines Shielded from Liability
In 1986, Congress passed a law acknowledging that vaccines can and do cause brain and immune system damage and that more should be done to protect individuals from vaccine injury and death.70 In that law, Congress shielded drug companies selling vaccines and doctors giving vaccines from civil lawsuits when someone is seriously injured or dies after being vaccinated.
So why are doctors, who are shielded from liability, so unwilling to treat vaccine injured children and their families with compassion or understand the need for people to have the freedom to protect themselves and their loved ones from vaccine injury?
Loss of Compassion Leads to Exploitation
When you enter the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., you see an inscription that says “The first to perish were the children…. From these a new dawn might have risen.”71
The loss of compassion and, then, freedom in any society always begins with people looking the other way when those in power justify exploiting a vulnerable minority for what they say is the benefit of the majority.
NVIC: Three Decades of Defending Informed Consent Rights
It has been 30 years since the parent co-founders of our non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center, launched the vaccine safety and informed consent movement in America. We were parents of children, for whom the risks of vaccination had been 100 percent, and we took on the mission of preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.
That is still our mission.
Please consider sending a donation – no matter how big or small – to the National Vaccine Information Center so we can continue to fight for the freedom for Americans to use every government vaccine, a few vaccines or choose other preventive health care options for staying well. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at NVIC.org.
You can also visit NVIC’s Vaccine Freedom Wall on our website and read the true stories told by Americans whose parental and informed consent rights are being violated in schools, doctors’ offices, hospitals and state legislatures across our nation.
You can sign up to be a user of NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal and learn how to stand up in your state for the legal right to make informed, voluntary vaccine choices.
And if you or a loved one has suffered a vaccine reaction, injury or death, please consider going to our website to share your story on NVIC’s Memorial for Vaccine Victims and make a report to the federal vaccine adverse event reporting system.
Compassionate Doctors Will Count and Minimize Vaccine Casualties
I hope that doctors developing, selling, giving and promoting the use of vaccines will stop to consider the way they are treating the vaccine injured and their families. I pray that they find it in their hearts to replace their fear, anger, doubt and prejudice with compassion and take positive steps to accurately count and minimize the numbers of vaccine casualties rather than dismissing them as a “coincidence” or unimportant.
- 1 The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. U.S. Charitable Giving Shows Modest Uptick in 2010 Following Two Years of Declines: Donations of 290.89 billion. June 20, 2011.
- 2 Godlasky A. How to Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina. USA Today. Sept. 2, 2005.
- 3 Sydell, L. Donations to Haiti Pour In Via Text Message. NPR. Jan. 14, 2010.
- 4 Post T. Setting a Goal to End Poverty and Hunger in the United States. Bread for the World Institute. February 2009.
- 5 National Network to End Domestic Violence.
- 6 The Global Fund Welcomes U.S. Budget Allocation of U.S. $1.05 Billion for 2011. Press Release: The Global Fund to Fight ADIS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Apr. 18, 2011.
- 7 Hensel B. Haiti Quake Victim’s Surgery Successful. NBC. Aug. 10, 2011.
- 8 Blair E. ‘Ten Years Later,” the Matthew Shephard Story Retold. NPR. Oct. 12, 2009. Stump S. Teen’s Parents: After Suicide, He’s Still Being Bullied. Today Show. MSNBC. Sept. 27, 2011.
- 9 Associated Press. Once again, children are starving in Ethiopia. MSNBC. May 20, 2008.
- 10 Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Definition of conscience.
- 11 U.S. History.org. Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776.
- 12 U.S. History.org. First Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution: Bill of Rights.
- 13 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1985.
- 14 NVIC. Memorial for Vaccine Victims.
- 15 MedAlerts.org. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System Database.
- 16 Miller NZ,, Goldman GS. Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity? Human and Experimental Toxicology: Published online May 4, 2011.
- 17 PBS. American Experience: The Polio Crusade. Feb. 2, 2009.
- 18 Friedman E. Viagra Used to Treat Rare Meningitis Attack, Student Fights for Her Life. ABC. Feb. 5, 2009.
- 19 Sunseri G. Rick Perry’s HPV Stance Grounded in Case of Heather Burcham, Who Died of Cervical Cancer. ABC. Sept. 15, 2011.
- 20 Yang L. Girl’s Death Believed to Be Flu Related in Nassau. ABC. Mar. 1, 2011.
- 21 Wood RL. Vaccine Intolerant Child Wants Public Education. Gazette-Mail (WVA). Nov. 11, 2011.
- 22 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
- 23 Conrick T. Parents Find It Hard to Ignore Evidence of Vaccine Injury. Janesville Gazette (WI). Dec. 5, 2011.
- 24 Planinz T. Federal Court Awards Compensation to Boy Injured by Vaccines. Examiner.com. July 20, 2009.
- 25 HRSA. Vaccine Injury Compensation Award Statistics.
- 26 Offit, P. Vaccines and Autism Revisited: The Hannah Poling Case. New England Journal of Medicine 2008; 358: 2089-2091.
- 27 Wallace A. An Epidemic of Fear: How Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All. Wired Magazine. October 19, 2009.
- 28 Melnick, M. The Dangers of the Anti-vaccine Movement. Time Magazine. Feb. 24, 2011.
- 29 Business Dictionary.com. Definition of Utilitarianism.
- 30 White R. The Principle of Utility. College of Mount St. Joseph.
- 31 Gunn A. Peter Singer: The Most Dangerous Man on Earth? The New Doctor. Winter 2000.
- 32 Holland M. Reassessing Compulsory Childhood Vaccination. New York University School of Law. Sept. 1, 2010.
- 33 Field, RI Caplan A L. A Proposed Ethical Framework for Vaccine Mandates: Competing Values and the Case for HPV Vaccine. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 18(2): 111-24. June 2008.
- 34 New Award Winning Documentary: The Greater Good Movie. 2011.
- 35 Catsoulis, J. Movie Review of The Greater Good: Vaccines and Autism, Continued. New York Times. Nov. 17, 2011.
- 36 The Free Dictionary. Definition of the fourth estate.
- 37 Nelson J. The Civil Rights Movement: A Press Perspective. Human Rights Magazine. Fall 2001.
- 38 American Medical News. What Editorial Writers Are Saying About Vaccines. Sept. 11, 2011.
- 39 Banks N, Baker C. Selling Drugs as Scholarly Opinion. Office of Medical and Scientific Justice. July 2011.
- 40 Fisher BL, Wrangham TK. Comments to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee on the Vaccine Safety Working Group’s Draft Report and Recommendations on the federal Vaccine Safety System. June 6, 2011.
- 41 Mooney C. Irrationality vs. Vaccines: Fighting for Reality. New Scientist. Jan. 13, 2011.
- 42 Khan A. Pediatricians decry in-flight vaccine-questioning ad on Delta. LA Times. Nov. 16, 2011.
- 43 Ropeik D. Vaccines & Fear: It is Time for Society to Say Enough Is Enough. Huffington Post. July 21, 2011. Also LA Times (July 18, 2011). Also NPR (July 18, 2011)
- 44 Bethell CD, Kogan MD et al. A National and State Profile of Leading Health Problems and Health Care Quality for US Children: Key Insurance Disparities and Across-State Variations. Academic Pediatrics 2011; 11(3S): 22-33.
- 45 Boyle CA, Boulet S et al. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children 1997-2000. Pediatrics. Published online May 23, 2011
- 46 Ostrow N. Autism Leads Rise in Developmental Disabilities in U.S. Kids. Bloomberg News. May 23, 2011.
- 47 Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Asthma Facts & Figures.
- 48 Mathews AW. So Young and So Many Pills. Wall Street Journal. December 28, 2010.
- 49 Stratton K, Ford A, Rusch E, Clayton EW, editors. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. National Academies Press: 2011.
- 50 Ibid. Page 70.
- 51 CBS Pittsburgh. Local Pediatricians Refusing to See Non-Vaccinated Patients. CBS-TV. Nov. 2, 2011.
- 52 Four Seasons Pediatrics Vaccine Policy. Four Seasons Pediatrics, Clifton, NY.
- 53 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
- 54 Matthews C. NY Health Care Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Flu Shots. USA Today. Sept. 29, 2009.
- 55 Fisher BL. Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next? NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter. Sept. 29, 2010.
- 56 Fox Phoenix. HealthCare Group: Get a Flu Shot or Get Fired. Fox-TV. Aug. 31, 2011.
- 57 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
- 58 Neale T. Calif. 12-year olds Can Get HPV Vaccine Without Parental OK. MedPage Today. Oct. 11, 2011.
- 59 Businesswire. NVIC Calls New CA Vaccine Law A “Violation of Parental Informed Consent Rights & Federal Law.” Oct. 10, 2011.
- 60 Attkisson S. How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders? CBS-TV News. July 25, 2008
- 61 Orange County Register. CORRECTION re: August 4, 2008 article “Dr. Paul Offit Responds.” April 18, 2011.
- 62 Center for Science in the Public Interest. Integrity in Science: Corporate Support for Health and Environmental Professional Associations, Charities and Industry Front Groups. July 2003.
- 63 Jacobsen M. Lifting the Veil of Secrecy from Industry Funding of Non-Profit Health Organizations. International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health 2005; 11:349-355.
- 64 Fisher BL. Advocacy Panel Statement to National Vaccine Advisory Committee at Vaccine Safety Working Group Stakeholder Meeting. June 13, 2011.
- 65 Businesswire. NVIC Calls Out AAP for Using Public Intimidation to Censor NVIC Flu Prevention Video Offered to Delta Travelers. Nov. 15, 2011.
- 66 Fisher BL. Using Fear & Prejudice to Attack Vaccine Exemptions. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter. Aug. 4, 2010.
- 67 Fisher BL. Amy Wallace & Yellow Journalism. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter. Sept. 9, 2010.
- 68 See Reference #45.
- 69 Poland GA. Adversomics: The Emerging Field of Vaccine Adverse Event Immunogenetics. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2009; May 28(5): 431-432.
- 70 NVIC. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
- 71 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Children’s Tile Wall.
By Dr. Mercola
Most people spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors.
But indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than outdoor air, which can have a very detrimental impact on your health.
For example, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), poor indoor air quality can cause or exacerbate:
- Asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems
- Eye and skin irritations
- Sore throat, colds and flu
- Memory loss, dizziness, fatigue and depression
Long-term effects from exposure to toxic airborne particles include heart disease, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders, sterility and even cancer.
Tips for Healthier Indoor Air
In The Daily Green, the American Lung Association offers 25 tips on how to keep the air in your home healthy.
Here’s a small sampling of them:
Don’t Allow Smoking Indoors: Each year, second hand smoke sends up to 15,000 children to the hospital.
There is no safe level of secondhand smoke; never let anyone smoke inside your home.
Don’t Idle the Car in the Garage: Carbon monoxide exposure can lead to weakness, nausea, disorientation, unconsciousness and even death. Fumes from cars or lawnmowers left running in enclosed spaces can endanger your health.
Use Low-VOC Paints: Paints release VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, for months after application. VOCs can include highly toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Use low-VOC or no-VOC paints, varnishes, and waxes.
Clean Your Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier: Standing water and high humidity encourage the growth of dust mites, mold and mildew. All of these can worsen asthma. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner when needed, and clean both regularly.
Beware of Dry Cleaning Chemicals: Dry cleaning solvents can be toxic to breathe. Let dry cleaned items “air out” outdoors before bringing them inside.
Avoid Toxic Household Products: Hair and nail products, cleaning products, and art and hobby supplies can increase the levels of VOCs in your home. Some of the VOCs in these products have been linked to cancer, headaches, eye and throat irritation and worsened asthma.
To see the rest of their tips, please review the featured Daily Green article.
Do You Know What’s in the Air You Breathe?
One 2009 study, in which they used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to examine the air inside 52 ordinary homes near the Arizona-Mexico border, researchers found that indoor air was FAR more contaminated than previously demonstrated. They identified an astounding 586 chemicals, including the pesticides diazinon, chlorpyrifos and DDT. Phthalates, endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in a variety of plastics, were also found in very high levels. Even more disturbing was the fact that they detected 120 chemicals they couldn’t even identify!
For a listing of the most common indoor air pollutants and toxic particles, please see this previous article.
There’s little doubt that most indoor areas have poor air quality. The question is, what to do about it? One of my recommendations used to be to move to an area known to have better air quality, as the more heavily polluted your outdoor air is, the worse it’s going to be indoors.
I now believe the best thing you can do is to be proactive about cleaning the air inside your home and office, and being mindful about the chemicals you bring into and use inside your home. I also recommend paying close attention to the materials used in the construction and furnishings of your space as many building materials act as a continuous source of toxic air contaminants.
You may not have much individual control over the air outside, but these are some of the factors you DO have control over, which can help you create as health-promoting an environment as possible.
Four Major Sources of Air Contamination You DO have Control Over
Since environmental health is a concern of mine, I wanted to create the healthiest office possible for my staff, so a few years ago we built the “greenest” building we could. So green, in fact, the building received the prestigious Gold LEED certification. In addition to using air purifiers and lots of live plants, we also paid a great deal of attention to the building materials and furnishings that went into the space.
Four of the most common sources of air contamination from building materials and home furnishings include:
- Pressed wood products—This faux wood is made of wood leftovers combined together. Pressed wood products include paneling, particle board, fiberboard and insulation. The glue that holds the wood particles in place may use urea-formaldehyde as a resin. The U.S. EPA estimates that this is the largest source of formaldehyde emissions indoors.
Formaldehyde exposure can set off watery eyes, burning eyes and throat, difficulty breathing and asthma attacks. Scientists also know that it can cause cancer in animals. The risk is greater with older pressed wood products, since newer ones are better regulated. To limit your exposure:
- Use “exterior-grade” pressed wood products (lower-emitting because they contain phenol resins, not urea resins).
- Use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to maintain moderate temperature and reduce humidity levels.
- Increase ventilation, particularly after bringing new sources of formaldehyde into the home.
- Ask about the formaldehyde content of pressed wood products, including building materials, cabinetry, and furniture before you purchase them.
- Use solid wood whenever possible.
- Chemicals in carpets—Many types of indoor carpeting off-gas VOC’s and contain other toxic materials. The glue and dyes used with carpeting are also known to emit VOCs, which can be harmful to your health. Limit or eliminate exposure by carefully selecting non-toxic carpeting, such as those made of wool, or opt for non-toxic flooring like solid wood or bamboo instead.
- Paint—While paints have gotten a lot less toxic over the past 25 years, most paints still emit harmful vapors, such as VOC’s, formaldehyde and benzene, just to name a few. These types of fumes may be harmful to your brain over time, and they’re released daily for about 30 days after application. Low levels can continue to leak into the air for as long as a year afterward, so you’ll want to make sure you ventilate the area repeatedly.
Another danger is lead-based paint, which can be found in many homes built before 1978. Once the paint begins to peel away, it releases harmful lead particles that can be inhaled. In 1991, the U.S. government declared lead to be the greatest environmental threat to children. Even low concentrations can cause problems with your central nervous system, brain, blood cells and kidneys. It’s particularly threatening for fetuses, babies and children, because of potential developmental disorders.
Fortunately, it’s getting easier to find high-quality non-toxic paints, also known as “low-VOC” or “no-VOC” paint. Both large paint companies and smaller alternative brands now offer selections of such paints. For a list of distributors and manufacturers, see this link.
- Mattresses, upholstery, drapes and curtains—These are all common sources of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); flame retardant chemicals that have been linked to learning and memory problems, lowered sperm counts and poor thyroid functioning in rats and mice. Other animal studies have indicated that PBDEs could be carcinogenic in humans, although that has not yet been confirmed.
Your mattress may be of particular concern, as many contain not only PBDE’s, but also toxic antimony, boric acid, and formaldehyde. Shopping for a safe mattress can be tricky, as manufacturers are not required to label or disclose which chemicals their mattresses contain. However, some manufacturers now offer toxin-free mattresses, such as those made of 100% wool, which is naturally fire resistant. There are also mattresses that use a Kevlar, bullet-proof type of material in lieu of chemicals for fire-proofing. These are available in most major mattress stores, and will help you to avoid some of the toxicity.
For more information and guidelines on selecting healthier alternatives, see this helpful article by Healthy Home Plans.
Air Purification Requires a Multi-Faceted Approach
The most effective way to improve your indoor air quality is to control or eliminate as many sources of pollution as you can first, before using any type of air purifier. You simply must eliminate all fixable sources of the indoor air pollution, otherwise it is like trying to drive your car with your foot on the accelerator and the brake at the same time.
This is particularly true for mold. No air purifier will ever remove the source of the mold, which is typically related to a previous or ongoing intrusion of water into the living space, providing increased humidity levels that molds require. You simply must repair this before you consider any air purifier to solve your indoor air quality issues.
Once you have eliminated the sources of indoor air pollution, there are a wide variety of devices on the market that function in a number of different ways. My recommendations for air purifiers have changed over the years, along with the changing technologies and newly emerging research. There are so many varieties of contaminants generated by today’s toxic world that air purification manufacturers are in a constant race to keep up with them, so it pays to do your homework.
At present, and after much careful review and study, I believe air purifiers using Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) seems to be the best technology available (see chart below).
That said, truly effective air cleaning requires a multi-pronged approach that incorporates a variety of different air cleaning processes/technologies as no one device can remove all types of pollutants. Finding ONE air purifier that does it all is like trying to find one magic vitamin that would meet all your physiological needs. Still, if you can only afford one, newer devices employing PCO technology will remove the widest spectrum of pollutants.
Air pollutants fall into three main categories, each requiring a different approach:
- Biological particles (molds, bacteria, spores, viruses, parasites, animal dander, pollen, etc.)
- Non-biological particles (smoke, dust, heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, etc.)
- Gases (fumes from things like adhesives, petroleum products, pesticides, paint, and cleaning products; radon, carbon monoxide, etc.)
Modern air purification devices work using the following four primary technologies:
|Technology||Types of Pollutants||How It Works|
|Filtration||Particles and biologicals||Mechanical or electrostatic, these physically trap particles in a filter (HEPA is example)|
|Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO)||Particles, gases, biologicals||Destroys pollutants using a UV lamp and a catalyst that reacts with the UV light|
|Negative Ionization||Particles and biologicals||Disperses charged particles into the air to attract to nearby objects, or to each other, thereby settling faster|
|Ozone||Biologicals||Activated oxygen assists with the breakdown of biologicals|
Basic Steps for Improving the Air Quality in Your Home
Aside from being mindful of the building materials and furnishings used during construction or renovation and using an air purification system, there are a number of other things you can do to take charge of your air quality and greatly reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants generated in the first place:
- Vacuum your floors regularly using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner or, even better, a central vacuum cleaner which can be retrofitted to your existing house if you don’t currently have one. Standard bag- or bagless vacuum cleaners are another primary contributor to poor indoor air quality. A regular vacuum cleaner typically has about a 20 micron tolerance. Although that’s tiny, far more microscopic particles flow right through the vacuum cleaner than it actually picks up! Beware of cheaper knock-offs that profess to have “HEPA-like” filters—get the real deal.
- Increase ventilation by opening a few windows every day for 5 to 10 minutes, preferably on opposite sides of the house. (Remember, although outdoor air quality may be poor, stale indoor air is typically even worse by a wide margin.)
- Get some houseplants. Even NASA has found that plants markedly improve the air! For tips and guidelines, see my previous article The 10 Best Pollution-Busting Houseplants.
- Take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house, and leave them by the door to prevent tracking in of toxic particles.
- Discourage or even better, forbid, tobacco smoking in or around your home.
- Switch to non-toxic cleaning products (such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar) and safer personal care products. Avoid aerosols. Look for VOC-free cleaners. Avoid commercial air fresheners and scented candles, which can degass literally thousands of different chemicals into your breathing space.
- Avoid powders. Talcum and other personal care powders can be problematic as they float and linger in the air after each use. Many powders are allergens due to their tiny size, and can cause respiratory problems
- Don’t hang dry cleaned clothing in your closet immediately. Hang them outside for a day or two. Better yet, see if there’s an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your city that uses some of the newer dry cleaning technologies, such as liquid CO2.
- Upgrade your furnace filters. Today, there are more elaborate filters that trap more of the particulates. Have your furnace and air conditioning ductwork and chimney cleaned regularly.
- Avoid storing paints, adhesives, solvents, and other harsh chemicals in your house or in an attached garage.
- Avoid using nonstick cookware. I now carry my favorite alternative, ceramic cookware, in my store.
- Ensure your combustion appliances are properly vented.
- Make sure your house has proper drainage and its foundation is sealed properly to avoid mold formation. For more information about the health dangers of mold and how to address it, please see this previous article.
- The same principles apply to ventilation inside your car—especially if your car is new—and chemicals from plastics, solvents, carpet and audio equipment add to the toxic mix in your car’s cabin. That “new car smell” can contain up to 35 times the health limit for VOCs, “making its enjoyment akin to glue-sniffing,” as this article reports.
Sign the petition Please – www.ipetitions.com The egregious crime committed by the chemical barons and those who chose to participate is truly likened to a living holocaust which is the most appropriate description. The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible. articles.mercola.com www.thehumansideoflyme.net www.youtube.com www.youtube.com www.underourskin.com The primary reason for this communication was to create an awareness of the methods of omission used by all parties in this great crime against humanity itself. Now if you look closely you will not find the mentioning of powerful antibiotic actions of marijuana nor will you find the mentioning of the Lyme plague (Lyme disease primarily is treated with powerful antibiotics ) which was so disturbing to myself — you the reader are being directed to these specific omitted facts with all the background provided. Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria. abcnews.go.com Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa pubs.acs.org Thus the difficult yet apparent facts of this bio weapon being empowered by marijuana Prohibition comes to light. This is the 2012 moment and we have to prosecute this crime as a collective <b>…</b>
By Dr. Mercola
Monsanto has long been trying to establish control over the seeds of the plants that produce food for the world.
They have already patented a number of genetically altered food crops, which can only be grown with proper license, and the seeds for which must be purchased anew each year.
But genetically engineered crops cannot be contained.
And rather than being found guilty of contaminating farmers’ property, Monsanto has successfully sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement.
Many farmers have subsequently, quite literally, lost their farms.
Percy Schmeiser of Saskatchewan, Canada, was also a victim of Monsanto’s vile ways.
Schmeiser worked on farming and developing his own seeds for 50 years, and when his fields were contaminated, Monsanto threatened him, intimidated him, and tried to take his land away.
But Schmeiser refused to give in, and eventually beat them in court.
David versus Goliath
Percy’s story is a classic case of David versus Goliath, and his victory is no doubt momentous.
It all began in 1998, at which time Schmeiser had grown canola on his farm for 40 years. Like any other traditional farmer, he used his own seeds, saved from the previous harvest. But, like hundreds of other North American farmers, Schmeiser ended up being sued by Monsanto for ‘patent infringement.’
More than 320 hectares were found to be contaminated with Roundup Ready canola—the biotech giant’s patented canola, genetically engineered to tolerate otherwise lethal doses of glyphosate. The company sought damages totaling $400,000.
Most farmers end up settling, but Schmeiser was angry enough to fight back. In a 1999 interview, Schmeiser stated:
“I never put those plants on my land. The question is, where do Monsanto’s rights end and mine begin?”
The case eventually went before the Federal Court of Canada. Schmeiser in turn accused Monsanto of:
- Libel, by publicly accusing him of committing illegal acts
- Improperly obtaining samples of his seed from a local seed plant
- Callous disregard for the environment by introducing genetically modified crops without proper controls and containment
- Contamination of his crops with unwanted GM plants
After 10 Years, Monsanto Agrees to Pay for Cleanup
After a decade-long battle, Schmeiser won when, in March 2008, Monsanto settled out of court, agreeing to pay for all cleanup costs. The agreement also specified that Schmeiser would not be under gag-order, and that Monsanto can be sued for recontamination.
This was a much-needed win not just for Schmeiser, but for farmers everywhere. It set the precedence that farmers may be entitled to reimbursement when their fields are contaminated with unwanted GM crops (as indeed they should!). On Schmeiser’s website, www.percyschmeiser.com, he states:
“If I would go to St. Louis and contaminate their plots–destroy what they have worked on for 40 years–I think I would be put in jail and the key thrown away.”
However, that’s not to say that farmers have nothing to fear anymore… The Federal Court of Canada did uphold the validity of Monsanto’s patent, dismissing Schmeiser’s challenge to the patent based on the fact that Monsanto cannot control its spread. Worse yet, while the judge agreed that a farmer can generally claim ownership of crops growing in his fields when they’re inadvertently carried there by pollen or wind, this does not hold true when it comes to patented, genetically modified seed. Schmeiser was deeply upset about this particular part of the ruling, as the implications are huge.
Still, in this case, while Monsanto’s patent was still deemed valid and enforceable, Schmeiser was not forced to pay for the ‘privilege’ of having his fields contaminated…
This landmark case is now featured in the documentary film “David versus Monsanto.” (See the trailer above.)
The Riceland Foods Lawsuit—Another Successful Strike-Back against GM Contamination
More recently, Riceland Foods, the largest rice cooperative in the U.S. won its lawsuit against the Bayer Corporation after its natural long-grain rice was contaminated with Bayer’s unapproved genetically engineered rice. It was just one of about 3,000 similar lawsuits filed against Bayer in recent years. In April of last year, Bayer CropScience was also ordered to pay a dozen Arkansas farmers nearly $50 million “for allowing a genetically altered strain of rice to escape into the commercial market, damaging rice prices in 2006,” a Bloomberg Law article reported.
As a result of the contamination with Bayer’s unapproved experimental GM rice, countries within the European Union refused to purchase U.S. long grain rice, and American rice farmers and cooperatives lost $389 million in projected sales, not to mention the clean-up costs.
The jury determined that Bayer caused “tremendous harm to Riceland and the entire industry,” awarding Riceland $11.8 million in compensatory damages and $125 million in punitive damages.
In this case, the genetically engineered rice, known as LibertyLink, was never actually approved for commercial planting. It’s an experimental crop, meant to be sown for research purposes only. However, it’s a perfect example of just how impossible it is to contain genetically engineered crops once they’re in the ground.
Biotech corporations have tried to convince everyone that their genetically altered crops pose no danger to the environment and other nearby crops, and that the issue of contamination is an insignificant one. Clearly, the reality is very different from what they’ve projected. There’s simply NO way to avoid contamination! Genetically modified (GM) seed crops can, and most certainly do, spread beyond their designated fields.
GM Contamination Spreading Like Uncontained Wildfire
Contamination can occur in a number of different ways. Pollen drift from field to field via insects and wind is just the beginning.
In August of last year, the Food Freedom blog reported that the Irish government discovered they’d accidentally planted banned GM maize, originating from Monsanto. In this case, the contamination originated from the seed supplier, Pioneer Hi-Bred Northern Europe, a subsidiary of DuPont. Random tests by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), discovered that three out of 1,000 plants were contaminated by Monsanto’s illegal GM maize, NK603. The crop was subsequently destroyed to protect organic farms in the area.
But the full extent of the contamination is uncertain, as it was only discovered through random testing. The seed had already been verified as “GM-free” by Pioneer Hi-Bred itself.
Other recent cases of widespread contamination include:
- 2010: Monsanto’s GM corn was discovered across 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) in seven German states. Since Germany doesn’t allow GM corn to be planted, the farmers had to destroy their crops. These farmers had to “eat” their losses, as the seed companies refused to accept liability for the contamination.
- 2007: Pollen drift from GM maize (MON810) fields were found to have contaminated hundreds of conventional and organic farmers in Spain, the only country in the EU that allows GM maize to be cultivated.
In the latter case, a 2009 Greenpeace report documents the profound socioeconomic and human impacts the contamination has had. Part of the summary reads:
“The farmers’ stories tell of an alarming reduction in the amount of organic maize being grown and the direct negative impacts that genetically modified organisms have on the population. These organic producers have voluntarily opted out of the conventional or GM farming model, many out of dedication to the principles of sustainability.
Now, they face contamination from neighboring GM crops, even when they take measures to try to avoid cross pollination of the plants. For an organic farmer, genetic contamination is an unmitigated disaster. This report tells the stories of real people who have experienced losses not of their own making. Adding insult to injury, they often have to pay for testing or other protection measures themselves.
… There are no safeguards for MON 810 cultivation, and co-existence of GM and non-modified crops is impossible.” [Emphasis mine.]
That’s the reality of the situation, and this is precisely why we must fight against the approval of each and every new genetically engineered crop. They simply cannot be contained. And the same will be true for other genetically engineered foods, such as salmon. All genetically engineered foods absolutely WILL contaminate their conventional and organic counterparts, and destroy diversity.
This is also what makes the recent approval of GM alfalfa in the U.S. so incredibly dangerous. The release of GM alfalfa quite literally threatens the entire organic industry, including organic meat, as alfalfa is the fourth most grown crop in the US, and is used to produce forage seed and hay to feed cows and other livestock.
Protecting Our Food Supply is Everyone’s Business!
It’s quite clear that genetically engineered foods threaten not only biodiversity and the environment, it can also pose potentially serious threats to animal and human health when consumed. Unfortunately, the revolving door between the biotech industry and the agencies in charge of industry legislation makes it very difficult to stop the ongoing madness.
That does not mean it’s impossible, however. But it does require your active participation.
First and foremost, avoid buying GM foods! Since the industry has successfully squelched every attempt at getting genetically engineered foods labeled, avoiding them requires you to be an educated consumer.
- Print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
- Better yet, always buy USDA 100% Organic products when possible as these do not permit GM ingredients, or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers. The majority of the GMO’s you’re exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you’re not inadvertently consuming something laced with GM ingredients.
- When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients.
- For ongoing updates, follow our Non-GMO’s page on Facebook.
We CAN shift the balance by simply voting with our pocketbooks. Europe successfully did this over a decade ago, without any government assistance, and Americans can drive GMO’s out of our food supply as well, but it requires educating the public about what GM foods are.
Important Action Item: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!
In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.
Fortunately, 24 U.S. states have (as part of their state governance) something called the Initiative Process, where residents can bring to ballot any law they want enacted, as long as it has sufficient support. California has been busy organizing just such a ballot initiative to get mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state. The proposed law will be on the ballot for 2012.
Michigan and Washington are also starting similar campaigns.
Since California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a win for the California Initiative would be a huge step forward, and would affect ingredients and labeling nation-wide. Last month, a coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals submitted the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act to the State Attorney General. Now, they need 800,000 signatures to get the Act on next year’s ballot.
I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can.
If you live in California, volunteer to gather petition signatures. If you live outside of California, please donate to help support this Initiative and spread the word to everyone you know in California. Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S. states, so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
Og Link www.youtube.com Quick clip taken from Generation Rx 10starmovies.com Prozac Leaking in Ocean Making ‘Shrimp’ Suicidal! – Alex Jones Tv www.youtube.com Health authorities claim vaccines are safe and that they prevent infectious diseases. Yet these claims are contradicted by statistics and medical studies. www.naturalhealthstrategies.com www.thinktwice.com The side effects of vaccines include many disorders such as autism, brain damage, learning disabilities, dyslexia, epilepsy, seizures, ADHD, ADD, crib death, allergies, cancer, asthma, diabetes, obesity, etc. Vaccines contain many toxic substances including mercury, aluminium, formaldehyde, methanol, MSG, antifreeze, latex, aborted foetal tissue, animal blood, animal viruses, foreign DNA, bacteria, etc. www.vaccination.inoz.com www.informedchoice.info Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative has been used in vaccines since the 1930′s. Mercury is the most toxic element after plutonium. Thimerosal has been linked to many physiological and neurological disorders, including autism and Alzheimer’s. www.thimerosal-autism-symptoms.com www.autismmedia.org Due to public concerns was Thimerosal removed from most childhood vaccines, but it is still used in other vaccines, including flu shots. Vaccines contain increasing amounts of aluminium, another toxin. Aluminium hasn’t received much attention, therefore most parents don’t realize it is a major health risk. mercola.fileburst.com articles.mercola.com www.mothering.com Many <b>…</b>
By Dr. Mercola
CBS News, one of the most-watched news programs in the world, recently ran a report questioning whether animal fat is as bad as ‘conventional wisdom’ would have you believe.
It most certainly is not.
The vilification of fats go back to the early 1950′s, when Dr. Ancel Keys published an influential paper comparing fat intake and heart disease mortality in six countries.
Americans, who ate the most fat had the highest heart disease mortality rate, while the Japanese, who ate the least amount of fat had the fewest heart disease deaths.
However, this was a perfect case of statistical cherry-picking to support a position.
Statistics were actually available for 22 countries, and when all 22 were analyzed and included, the link between fat consumption and heart disease was nonexistent.
The Danger of Turning a Misguided, Unproven Hypothesis into Dogma…
Unfortunately, the hypothesis presented by Dr. Keys quickly turned into the dogmatic belief that saturated fats increase your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
Today, it’s been well-established that the only really dangerous fat out there is trans fat (margarine, vegetable oils), which initially, and ironically, were touted as the answer to that heart-harming saturated fat.
Despite this, the general belief that fat is bad for you lingers even in the highest echelons of medicine.
The truth is that your body requires saturated fats, and the ‘substantiating evidence’ pointing toward saturated fats being harmful is flimsy at best.
Gary Taubes discussed this lack of evidence in an interview I did with him a few months ago. Taubes is a science and health journalist, and author of several books, including Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, and Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. In that interview, he argued against the notion that the saturated fat-heart disease hypothesis has any scientific merit:
“Those previous studies never actually confirmed the hypothesis,” he says. ”… I lectured at the NIH a couple of years ago and… talked to a guy who ran an NIA-funded childhood obesity research program. He said their primary concern with obese kids is to keep their saturated fat content down… He said there are thousands of studies… confirming the evils of saturated fat.
I said to him, ‘The difference between you and I is I actually spent a significant portion of my life reading those studies and ‘getting’ them all.’
In 1984, when there was a consensus conference by the NIH saying every American over the age two should eat a low-fat diet, there were actually about eight or nine studies… [but] they could never show that eating a reduced saturated fat diet would make you live longer. It might reduce heart disease rates; it did in some studies, but it increased cancer rates… When you look at the meta-analyses that have been done looking at these issues, and a couple of them came out in the last two years, the results are always the same.
There is not enough evidence to say that saturated fat is bad for you, and there has never been that evidence.”
Most of us (including most doctors and health professionals) do not have the scientific training and/or the time to read and digest large amounts of scientific research, which is what makes the likes of Gary Taubes so valuable. Reading and really understanding the research was and still is his primary job. And what he and many other well-versed health experts are telling us is that saturated fats are good for you, and that shunning fats can cascade into a number of health problems.
Why Your Body Needs Saturated Fat
Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as meat, dairy, certain oils, and tropical plants like coconut) provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances that are essential to your health. Fats also slows down absorption of your meal so that you feel satiated longer.
In addition, saturated fats are also:
- Carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes
- Useful antiviral agents (caprylic acid)
- Effective as an anticaries, antiplaque and anti fungal agents (lauric acid)
- Useful to actually lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)
- Modulators of genetic regulation and prevent cancer (butyric acid)
Fats also provide a highly concentrated source of energy in your diet—a source of energy that is far more ideal than carbohydrates, which is why I recommend increasing healthy fat consumption in combination with severely restricting refined carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains).
There is emerging evidence that your diet should be at least half healthy fat, and possibly as high as 70 percent. Part of the reason for this is that there are powerful adverse hormonal changes that typically occur when your body burns non-vegetable carbohydrates like grains and sugars. This does not occur when you consume fibrous vegetables or healthy fats. This likely explains the mountain of scientific evidence showing that calorie restricted diets extend lifespan. Mostly likely it is not a calorie issue per se, as it is the type of calories, specifically non-vegetable carbohydrates.
As a general rule, when you cut down on carbs, you need to increase your fat consumption. Replacing it with more protein is not a wise choice as it will also have similar problems. And, while this also works in the opposite way; meaning when you cut fat, you need to replace that lost energy source with carbs, this strategy has the unfortunate effect of promoting fat storage and weight gain.
Nearly 10 years ago, I published one of Taubes’ articles on this site, in which he expounded on the misguided dietary advice to “eat less fat and more carbohydrates,” stating that this advice just might be the cause of the skyrocketing rates of obesity in America. Today, there’s no shortage of evidence supporting the claim that excessive sugar and carb consumption is indeed the primary driving factor behind obesity. Many of my articles touch on this each and every week. Another puzzle piece is the lack of healthful fat (or simply the wrong kinds of fats) in many people’s diet.
For more information, I recommend viewing one of his lectures on “Why We Get Fat,” below.
Not All Saturated Fats are the Same…
It’s unfortunate, but in today’s world of processed food-like products, it’s more important than ever to really understand what “real” food is, and not fall for the idea that you can substitute real foods with “new and improved” alternatives. Doing so can have severe health consequences. Trading naturally-occurring saturated fats for trans fats is just one example. Not understanding the inherent nutritional differences between grass-fed, organically-raised meats and that from cattle raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) is another.
They’re simply not interchangeable. Neither are organic vegetables and conventionally grown—or worse, genetically modified—varieties…
That said, let’s get back to fats.
As I just mentioned, when you cut carbs, you need to replace those calories with healthy fats. Both are sources of energy, but healthy fats are far more ideal than carbs. (In fact, saturated fat is the preferred fuel for your heart.) However, not just any kind of fat will do. The Atkins Diet is one popular example of a low-carb, high-fat diet that has helped many shed unwanted pounds. Unfortunately, Dr. Atkins didn’t pay much attention to the QUALITY of the fats, so while his recommendations worked in the short-term, many who tried it ended up experiencing long-term problems.
It’s important to understand that not all saturated fats are the same. There are subtle differences that have profound health implications, and if you avoid eating all saturated fats, your health will likely suffer as a result.
There are in fact more than a dozen different types of saturated fat, but you predominantly consume only three: stearic acid, palmitic acid and lauric acid.
It’s already been well established that stearic acid (found in cocoa and animal fat) has no adverse effects on your cholesterol levels, and actually gets converted in your liver into the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. The other two, palmitic and lauric acid, do raise total cholesterol. However, since they raise “good” cholesterol as much or more than “bad” cholesterol, you’re still actually lowering your risk of heart disease.
So, What is “Healthy Fat,” and How Much Do You Need?
Sources of healthy fats include:
|Olives and Olive oil||Coconuts and coconut oil||Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk|
|Raw Nuts, such as, almonds or pecans||Organic pastured egg yolks||Avocados|
|Grass fed meats||Palm oil||Unheated organic nut oils|
Another healthful fat you want to be mindful of is animal-based omega-3. Deficiency in this essential fat can cause or contribute to very serious health problems, both mental and physical, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year. For more information about omega-3′s and the best sources of this fat, please review this previous article.
Personally, my diet consists of close to 70 percent fat. I recently published a discussion between Paul Jaminet, PhD., author of the book, Perfect Health Diet, and Dr. Ron Rosedale, an expert on insulin and leptin metabolism, which compares their individual low-carb, high-fat diet recommendations. While there is mild controversy whether or not you can safely include starches like rice and potatoes in your diet, both do recommend consuming somewhere between 50-70 percent fat.
This is in stark contrast to conventional dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government, which advises you to consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats!
Saturated Fat Does Belong in a Healthy Diet
Such a low recommendation is illogical when you consider the evidence available today, which supports saturated fat as a necessary part of a heart healthy diet. For example, as discussed in a recent article by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD, a number of indigenous tribes around the world are living proof that a high-saturated fat diet equates to low mortality from heart disease.
|Tribe||Primary Diet||Percentage Saturated Fat|
|Maasai tribe in Kenya/Tanzania||Meat, milk, cattle blood||66 percent|
|Inuit Eskimos in the Arctic||Whale meat and blubber||75 percent|
|Rendille tribe in NE Kenya||Camel milk, meat, blood||63 percent|
|Tokealu, atoll islands in New Zealand territory||Fish and coconuts||60 percent|
And then there’s human breast milk, which contains 54 percent saturated fat. Since breast milk is the most perfect diet in existence for developing infants, the presence of high amounts of saturated fat cannot easily be construed as a “mistake.”
- A meta-analysis published last year, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.
- In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, stated:
“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict…We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
- Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates.
When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.
I believe that last point is very important, and is likely a major key for explaining the rampant increase in obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And once you can pinpoint the problem, turning it all around becomes that much easier.
By Dr. Mercola
The U.S. government has awarded a $433-million contract to pharmaceutical company Siga Technologies for 1.7 million doses of an experimental smallpox drug called ST-246 (Tecovirimat).
In this time of limited resources and heavy budget deficits, the decision to spend nearly half a billion dollars to stockpile a drug of questionable safety and effectiveness, for a strictly theoretical danger, is puzzling — and that is an extreme understatement.
Smallpox Drug Given FDA “Fast-Track” Status, Despite No Imminent Risk
Siga’s ST-246, which reportedly works by blocking the ability of the smallpox viruses to spread to other cells, has been granted “fast-track” status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Under this accelerated approval process, experimental drugs are brought to market sooner, even though they’ve only been tested on a small number of people and their effects and safety risks are not clearly understood.
Unfortunately, there are serious, and sometimes fatal consequences of bringing drugs to market without adequate safety testing — and it is unclear why there is an urgent need for this drug that would warrant “fast-track” approval.
Even Siga’s Web site notes smallpox is “no longer found in the natural environment.”
The U.S. government is claiming the need to stockpile the drug in order to strengthen U.S. preparedness should the virus be used as a biological weapon in a terrorist attack.
But, reportedly, smallpox is not in the hands of a terrorist group; in all probability, only the U.S. government and a Russian science institute have the virus.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times:
“Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox.”
The U.S. Government Already Has $1-Billion Stash of Smallpox Vaccine
The U.S. government began stockpiling vaccines and drugs, ostensibly to protect Americans from potential bioterrorist attacks in 2004, when Project BioShield was signed into law by then President Bush.
This includes about 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine, one of the major selling points of which is that it can supposedly protect against smallpox even if given up to 7 days after infection.
There are many complications associated with the smallpox vaccine, which uses a live virus, not the least of which is the possibility of infecting those around you after vaccination. So its use for anything other than a full-fledged attack is extremely concerning (and even this is questionable).
But the question that comes to mind is “Why is the U.S. government investing in an unproven smallpox drug when it has has already spent $1 billion to stockpile a vaccine against smallpox?” Last year, Randall Larsen, CEO of the non-profit Weapons of Mass Destruction Center, told USA Today in regard to the smallpox vaccine stockpile:
“In effect, we have eliminated smallpox from the category of weapons of mass destruction …”
Again, why then is the government now insisting it is necessary to double-up on a drug for the same purpose, in the name of smallpox preparedness?
What’s more, Siga’s ST-246 only has a “guaranteed effective” shelf life of 38 months, which means if it’s not used in just over three years, it will be worthless. Of course, I use the term “effective” loosely, since no one actually knows if it will work in humans — and because researchers cannot ethically infect test participants with smallpox, there’s no real way to find out. As recently as May 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that FDA officials stated “there was “no clear regulatory path” for approving antiviral drugs for smallpox” — again because of the uncertainty surrounding proof of safety and effectiveness.
The Government Eliminated All Competitors, Gave Siga a No-Bid Contract
Siga was the only company that the U.S. government asked to submit a proposal for the antiviral smallpox drug, even though its price of $255 per dose is far higher than what Department of Health and Human Service negotiators wanted to pay.
The LA Times noted:
“Negotiations over the price of the drug and Siga’s profit margin were contentious. In an internal memo in March, Dr. Richard J. Hatchett, chief medical officer for HHS’ biodefense preparedness unit, said Siga’s projected profit at that point was 180%, which he called “outrageous.”"
Rather than allowing companies to compete for the contract, government officials “completed a required ‘justification for other than full and open competition,’ which said an antiviral against smallpox was needed within five years and Siga was the only company able to meet that timetable,” the LA Times reported.
Siga’s most prominent shareholder is Ronald O. Perelman, a billionaire who donates to the Democratic party. Siga also counts as its chief executive, Dr. Eric A. Rose, who served on the U.S. National Biodefense Science Board advising on such matters as how to respond to biological terrorism.The company has also spent $800,000 on lobbying efforts over the years, focused on Project BioShield and, according to the LA Times, “‘issues related to homeland security and HHS,’ along with ‘government procurement of vaccines.’”
“In June 2010, Siga further heightened its presence in Washington by naming to its board Andrew Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union and a frequent visitor to the Obama White House. The union is a wellspring of campaign money and volunteers for Democratic candidates.”
The federal government has already invested a reported $115 million in the development ST-246, and that’s without the $433-million contract.
Be Aware of the Problem-Reaction-Solution Process …
There is a process that some refer to as Problem-Reaction-Solution, in which you create or manufacture a problem, which is followed by a public reaction, and then you provide an answer designed to further your own agenda.
With respect to ST-246, the problem created was the imminent threat of “bioterrorism” using the smallpox virus. Similar Problem-Reaction-Solutions have been created in recent history, such as anthrax and the anthrax vaccine. Predictably, people react to the implied threat of further attacks with widespread panic, and the solution offered up in response to these threats is, ultimately, a drug or vaccine.
This obviously creates a massive opportunity for drug and vaccine makers, as it allows them to produce highly profitable new products, that are approved with little testing due to fast-track status, under the guise of protecting homeland security and public health.
By Dr. Mercola
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nerves in your brain and spinal column, caused through a demyelization process.
Myelin is the insulating, waxy substance around the nerves in your central nervous system.
When the myelin is damaged by an autoimmune disease or self-destructive process in your body, the function of those nerves deteriorate over time, resulting in a number of symptoms, including:
- Muscle weakness
- Imbalance, or loss of coordination
- Astigmatism and vision loss
MS may progress steadily, or acute attacks may be followed by a temporary remission of symptoms.
In the video above, Dr. Terry Wahls tells the inspiring story of how she reversed multiple sclerosis after seven years of deterioration on the best conventional treatments available — simply by changing her diet!
Nutrition for Your Brain and Central Nervous System
Through her research into MS, Dr. Wahls discovered that, for some unknown reason, in addition to the commonly known symptoms, MS patients’ brains also tend to shrink. This roused her curiosity, and led her to research other diseases that have similar brain shrinkage, namely Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. One common denominator is poorly functioning mitochondria. Mitochondria are like little ‘batteries’ in your cells that manage the energy supply to the cell, and unless you consume the correct nutrients, eventual mitochondrial malfunction is the obvious result.
She discovered that three nutrients in particular are essential for proper mitochondrial function:
- Animal-based omega-3 fat
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or better yet the reduced version known as Ubiquinol
Just by adding those three to her diet, her decline began to slow. But she wasn’t improving, so she continued sleuthing through the medical research in search for an answer. When she discovered the Institute for Functional Medicine, Dr. Wahl began to find more clues.
As mentioned earlier, myelin is an insulating, waxy substance that sheathes the nerves in your central nervous system. Your myelin also needs specific nutrients to function properly, such as:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
- Animal-based omega-3 fat
Furthermore, the neurotransmitters in your brain need sulfur and B6 for optimal functioning. Eventually, Dr. Wahls designed her own eating plan, based on the nutrients she now knew she needed for optimal mitochondrial-, myelin-, and neurotransmitter function, because while your body can create some nutrients, others must be provided through your diet.
A Paleo Diet Success Story
The majority of Americans eat high amounts of processed foods, which are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, grains, and harmful chemical additives of all kinds, such as MSG, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Unfortunately, this kind of diet is a near-foolproof prescription for chronic disease… Not only are you getting lots of what you don’t need, you’re quite simply not getting enough real nutrients!
While two-thirds of American adults are now either overweight or obese, many if not most of them are also, simultaneously, malnourished.
According to the graph shown during Dr. Wahls speech, less than half of all Americans get enough vitamin B6 and magnesium in their diet. More than 70 percent do not get sufficient amounts of iodine, and a whopping 80 percent do not get enough omega-3 fat from their diet. This, by the way, is why animal-based omega-3 is one of the few supplements I recommend to virtually everyone. In comparison, ancient peoples and natives around the world who have not significantly altered their diet over time, consume anywhere between two-fold to 10-fold the amount of today’s recommended daily allowances (RDA) of nutrients!
Dr. Wahls altered her diet to reflect the Paleo-style diet of the hunter-gatherers of old as follows:
- 3 cups daily (equal to one dinner plate, piled high) of green leaves, such as kale, which are high in vitamins B, A, C, K, and minerals
- 3 cups daily of sulfur-rich vegetables from the cabbage- and onion- families, mushrooms and asparagus
- 3 cups daily of brightly colored vegetables, fruits and/or berries, which are a good source of antioxidants
- Wild fish for animal-based omega-3′s
- Grass-fed meat
- Organ meats for vitamins, minerals and CoQ10
- Seaweed for iodine and selenium
She eliminated processed foods, grains, and starches (which includes potatoes and corn). Amazingly, she began to notice significant improvement in just three months, and at the nine-month mark of her new diet, she was able to go on an 18-mile bike ride! This is astounding when you consider that over the past seven years her condition had deteriorated to the point that she had to sit in a reclined zero-gravity chair and could only walk short distances using two canes.
That is the power of nutrition!
I’d like to add a few suggestions though. Two factors in particular that can have a profound impact are vitamin D and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Vitamin D deficiency can play an important role in MS, and aspartame toxicity has been known to mimic diseases such as MS, so addressing these two items should be at the top of your list—in addition to improving your diet, of course; not in lieu of dietary changes.
The Links Between Lack of Sun Exposure, Epstein-Barr Virus, and MS
Optimizing your vitamin D levels, which is one of the best things you can do for your health in general, is also one of the best preventive strategies against autoimmune diseases like MS.
A large number of studies have confirmed that your risk of MS increases the farther away you live from the equator. In fact, a lack of sunlight was identified as a risk factor for MS as early as 1922. Within the United States, your risk of developing MS roughly doubles if you spend your childhood—up to the age of 15—in northern states than if you live in the south.
Another previously established risk factor is the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever. Over a decade ago, German researchers demonstrated the association between EBV and MS, showing that in contrast to control populations, 100 percent of MS patients had antibodies against EBV! The authors suggested that EBV might play an indirect role in MS as an activator of the underlying disease process.
In one recent study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers assessed the relationship between ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) exposure in British MS patients.
Using English national Hospital Episode Statistics, they obtained the prevalence of MS and infectious mononucleosis (caused by the Epstein-Barr virus) during the seven-year period from 1998 to 2005. The UVB intensity data was collected from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. After evaluating the relationships between these three variables: MS prevalence, Epstein-Barr virus prevalence, and UVB intensity, they found that UVB exposure alone could explain 61 percent of the variations of MS cases across England.
When they combined UVB exposure and incidence of glandular fever, 72 percent of the variations could be explained.
“UVB exposure and infectious mononucleosis (IM) together can explain a substantial proportion of the variance of MS. The effect of UVB on generating vitamin D seems the most likely candidate for explaining its relationship with MS. There is a pressing need to investigate the role of vitamin D and EBV and how they might interact to influence MS risk to identify potential prevention strategies.”
Guidelines for Optimizing Your Vitamin D Levels
Ideally, you’ll want to optimize your vitamin D levels by getting regular sun exposure (either outdoors or using a safe tanning bed) as your skin also creates vitamin D sulfate, which is water soluble and can travel freely throughout your body. As Dr. Wahls mentions, sulfur is one of the essential nutrients missing in MS, and according to research by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, vitamin D supplements are unlikely to provide the identical benefits that you get when exposing large amounts of skin to the sun, as oral vitamin D supplements are unsulfated.
Still, studies using oral vitamin D supplements have had positive results, so if you don’t have access to regular sun exposure, taking a supplement would definitely be wise. One such study, published in 2004, found that women who took vitamin D-containing multivitamin supplements were 40 percent less likely to develop MS than women who did not supplement. Keep in mind that this study was based on FAR lower vitamin D dosages than what we now know are needed, so if you optimize your levels, you’re likely to reduce your risk by more than 40 percent…
From my point of view, there’s simply no question that one of the most important physical steps you can take to control your health is to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized to between 50-70 ng/ml year-round for general health, and between 70-100 ng/ml when treating autoimmune diseases such as MS, heart disease, or cancer.
As for dosage, if you’re taking an oral supplement, it’s important to understand that there’s no dosage at which “magic” happens. The most important factor is your serum level, so you’ll want to get your level measured regularly to determine if you need to take more or less than the general recommendation to stay within the optimal range. That said, based on the most recent research by GrassrootsHealth—an organization that has greatly contributed to the current knowledge on vitamin D through their D* Action Study—it appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day.
The Dangers of Aspartame
According to some experts, such as Dr. Russell Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, the damage caused by ingesting excessive amounts of aspartic acid from aspartame can cause serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate.
Dr. Wahls mentions the importance of antioxidants for proper cell- and brain function. The aspartate and glutamate in aspartame have the opposite impact. Too much aspartate or glutamate in your brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. This is why aspartate and glutamate are referred to as “excitotoxins,” as they “excite” or stimulate your neural cells to death. Aspartame also rapidly metabolizes to methanol, another potent neurotoxin.
Aspartame toxicity often reveals itself through central nervous system disorders and compromised immunity, and can mimic the symptoms of and/or worsen several diseases that fall into these broad categories.
|Multiple sclerosis||Parkinson’s disease|
|Arthritis||Multiple chemical sensitivity|
|Chronic fatigue syndrome||Attention deficit disorder|
|Panic disorder||Depression and other psychological disorders|
|Lupus||Diabetes and diabetic complications|
How to Treat Multiple Sclerosis Without Dangerous Drugs
The conventional treatment plan for MS includes extremely toxic medications, such as:
- Prednisone, a steroid hormone that can significantly impair your immune system, and cause diseases like osteoporosis and cataracts
- Interferon. This drug is quite deceptive, because even though it’s a natural substance, it’s typically given in a dose that shuts down your body’s natural feedback loop. As a result, it tends to do more harm than good.
It is my strong recommendation to not use these drugs, as they are some of the most toxic drugs used in the field of medicine. Dr. Wahls is a poster-child for the complete lack of benefit gleaned from such drug treatments, and the profound healing that can be achieved using nutrition, and her dietary recommendations are spot-on.
Below is a summary of my lifestyle recommendations for MS. Many are identical to the general-health principles I’ve been teaching for years, but a few stand out as being specifically applicable to the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as MS.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels – This is an essential step, and while the optimal level for general health lies between 50-70 ng/ml, when treating diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases, your level should ideally be somewhere between 70-100 ng/ml. The preferred method to raise (and maintain) your vitamin D levels is by regularly exposing large amounts of your skin to sunshine, or by using a safe tanning bed. If neither is available, you can use an oral supplement of vitamin D3.
As a general guideline, vitamin D experts recommend 8,000 IU’s per day for adults, and about 35 IU’s per pound for children, but you should take as much as is necessary to elevate and maintain your blood levels within the optimal range.
- Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats – Secondly, make sure you’re getting a good supply of animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. You also need to avoid damaged, processed fats found in most all processed foods. Especially damaging are the omega-6 fats found in soy-, canola-, and corn oil. These are usually highly oxidized and also contain trans fats and cyclic fats that imbed themselves into your cell membranes, distorting the cellular functions. The majority of these three oils are also genetically engineered, which can have its own set of health ramifications.
- Eliminate sugar, particularly fructose – Another crucial element is to eliminate as much sugar and fructose as possible from your diet. Cutting out processed foods and sweetened beverages will go a long way to reduce excess fructose, in addition to eliminating the majority of damaging fats in your diet. You simply must keep your daily total fructose intake below 25 grams.
If you haven’t yet grasped the toxic nature and profound health dangers of fructose, now’s the time to get with it. Sugar can contribute to the development of a number of autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis. It also increases uric acid levels, which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation, which has far-reaching consequences for your health.
- Eliminate pasteurized milk and dairy—This is another critical element. Studies have shown that cow’s milk consumption is correlated with MS prevalence (Neuroepidemiology 1992;11:304-12, and Neuroepidemiology 1993;12:15-27).
- Avoid aspartame and commercial fruit juices. Aspartame rapidly metabolizes to methanol, a potent neurotoxin. Additionally fruits and vegetables are also loaded with methanol but when they are consumed fresh it is bound to pectin and your body does not have the enzymes to break it down. However when fruits and vegetables are processed and put into glass jars or cans the methanol dissociates and can be liberated in high quantities.
- Eat plenty of raw food – This is an important principle for optimal health that I normally recommend for everyone. However, I’ve found that for people with severe autoimmune disease, it’s even more important. Some of the most dramatic improvements we’ve seen in patients using nutritional changes have come about as the result of eating a majority of their food raw instead of cooked.
- Check your iron levels-- Excess iron can cause damage to the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels as well as create massive amounts of free radicals. It can also damage your DNA. Therefore, if you have MS it is very important to check your blood for iron overload, a process that is easily done through a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test. The healthy range of serum ferritin lies between 20 and 80 ng/ml. Below 20, you are iron deficient, and above 80, you have an iron surplus. Ferritin levels can go really high. I’ve seen levels over 1,000, but anything over 80 is likely going to be a problem. The ideal range is between 40-60 ng/ml.
If you find that your iron levels are high, simply donate your blood. Normally a person would require 1-3 blood draws per year, up to as many as one per month if your system can tolerate it, until your ferritin levels have been sufficiently lowered.
- Low-dose Naltrexone and alpha lipoic acid – One of the newer treatment strategies for MS is low dose Naltrexone (LDN), along with alpha lipoic acid. Naltrexone (generic name) is a pharmacologically active opioid antagonist, conventionally used to treat drug- and alcohol addiction – normally at doses of 50mg to 300mg. As such, it’s been an FDA approved drug for over two decades.
However, at very low dosages (3 to 4.5 mg), naltrexone has immunomodulating properties that may be able to successfully treat cancer malignancies and a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis. As explained on the informative website www.lowdosenaltrexone.org, when you take LDN at bedtime — which blocks your opioid receptors for a few hours in the middle of the night — it is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving immune function.
Dr. Bert Berkson is an expert on this regimen. For more information about his findings and successes using this combination, please review this previous article.
- Mercury detox – Mercury is clearly a neurotoxic poison that should be avoided, so avoiding fish and refusing or removing mercury dental amalgams are also important aspects. Certain supplements can also help eliminate mercury from your system, such as chlorella, and OSR (Oxidative Stress Reliever) developed by Dr. Boyd Haley.
- Address early childhood emotional traumas—Last but certainly not least, in my experience with MS patients, there is nearly always a precipitating traumatic emotional event that causes your immune system to crash, leading to the disease. Just as vitamin D deficiency seems to be present in most cases of autoimmune disease, there is also typically an emotional element involved. More often than not, some form of hidden emotional wound can be found in patients suffering with autoimmune diseases like MS.
Typically, this wounding occurred at a very young age, almost always before the age of seven; often before the age of five. Issues related to this event need to be addressed by using an effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but only with the help of an experienced practitioner.