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Monthly Archives: January 2012
By Dr. Mercola
The government of India has made it very clear that they will not tolerate Monsanto’s attempts to commercialize on their indigenous knowledge, a practice known as biopiracy.
India’s National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), a government agency, is suing Monsanto, the world leader in genetically modified (GM) crops and seeds, and their collaborators, the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, for using local varieties of eggplant to develop a genetically modified version.
Quite simply, the biotech giant did not get prior approval to use the naturally occurring breeds for the purposes of genetic modification, and in so doing violated the country’s Biological Diversity Act (BDA), enacted in 2002.
India Stands Up Against Corporate Control of Their Food Supply
India’s BDA requires that any entity attempting to use a native plant for commercial or research purposes must first get approval from the NBA; the Act is in force specifically to protect the nation’s biodiversity.
Monsanto, however, neglected to do this opting instead to essentially steal the native plants in order to modify them for their own commercial gain.
“American seed giant Monsanto and its Indian collaborator, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) are to be prosecuted for allegedly ‘stealing’ indigenous plant material for developing genetically modified brinjal variety known as Bt brinjal.
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), a statutory body set up under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, has decided to initiate legal proceedings against the two companies and their collaborators for using indigenous brinjal germplasm without necessary permission. Taking plant material without any permission and using it for commercial purposes is considered an act of biopiracy.”
The Environment Support Group, which filed the initial complaint against Monsanto with the NBA, stated that Monsanto and their collaboraters used six local varieties of brinjal [eggplant] for the development of Bt brinjal. Monsanto has fired back, stating they are not to blame for the development of GM eggplant, other than supplying their Cry1Ac gene, a type of Bt toxin. The Indian media called this a “half truth,” noting:
“When contacted Monsanto tried to distance itself from the case by saying that it had not developed Bt brinjal, but it had been ‘developed by Mahyco, with the Cry1Ac gene accessed from Monsanto, in collaboration with multiple public sector institutions’. This is a halftruth because Monsanto owns 26 percent of Mahyco, and also has a separate joint venture Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Limited which handles its business related to Bt.”
Finally, A Country Stands Up to Monsanto for its Indigenous Rights
The case marks the first time a government has accused Monsanto of biopiracy, and the results could set an important precedent for the future of the food supply. In essence, will we continue to allow corporations like Monsanto to steal, profit from, and patent native plants without compensating the native country from which it came?
As stated in The Ecologist:
“The issue of granting intellectual property rights (IPRs) to life forms—such as seeds, plants, or animals—is a contentious one worldwide. Critics say it’s impossible to define when the creation of such a thing took place, and that granting patent rights for a crop such as brinjal negates generations of farmers who, using conventional plant breeding techniques, have managed to develop successful cultivars.”
Monsanto has long been trying to establish control over the seeds of the plants that produce food for the world, with little regard for farmers’ rights or even basic levels of morality. They have already patented a number of genetically altered food crops, which can only be grown with proper license and the seeds for which farmers must purchase anew each year or face legal prosecution. They have even developed terminator technology—which they hope to deploy soon.
These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.
The implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply are disastrous: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile. If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply!
Why Bt Eggplant is a Disaster in the Making
There’s more reason than biopiracy to thwart the development of Bt eggplant, and that has to do with the technology itself. Some GM crops, such as GM sugar beets and certain varieties of GM corn and soy, are engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Other GM crops, such as Bt eggplant, are designed to produce their own pesticide internally.
In 2011, Cry1Ab, a type of Bt toxin from GM crops, has for the first time been detected in human and fetal blood samples. It appears the toxin is quite prevalent, as upon testing 69 pregnant and non-pregnant women who were eating a typical Canadian diet (which included foods such as GM soy, corn and potatoes), researchers found Bt toxin in:
- 93 percent of blood samples of pregnant women
- 80 percent of fetal blood samples
- 69 percent of non-pregnant women blood samples
As you may know, chronic inflammation is at the root of many increasingly common diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. According to Jeffrey Smith:
“There’s already plenty of evidence that the Bt-toxin produced in GM corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses. The fact that it flows through our blood supply, and that is passes through the placenta into fetuses, may help explain the rise in many disorders in the US since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996.
In government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses. Their elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, for example, are typically associated with allergies and infections. The mice had an increase in cytokines, which are associated with “allergic and inflammatory responses.”
Monsanto Quickly Falling From Grace
In the grander scheme, India’s suit against Monsanto for biopiracy is yet another nail in the coffin for this corporate giant. Along with being named the worst company of 2011 by Natural Society — for “threatening both human health and the environment” — genetically engineered seeds are banned in Hungary, as they are in several other European countries, such as Germany and Ireland. Peru is also following the precautionary principle, and has even passed a law that bans genetically modified ingredients within the nation for 10 years.
The cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and it is now becoming common knowledge why Monsanto is top on list of immoral and destructive corporations. Here are just several examples:
- Suing small farmers for patent infringement after Monsanto’s GM seeds spread wildly into surrounding farmers’ fields contaminating their conventional crops
- Secretly discharging PCB-laden toxic waste into an Alabama creek, and dumping millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills for decades after PCBs were banned in the US for being a possible carcinogen.
- Being found guilty of bribery to bypass Indonesian law requiring an environmental assessment review for its genetically engineered cotton.
- In 2007, the South African Advertising Standards Authority also found Monsanto guilty of lying when advertising that “no negative reactions to Genetically Modified food have been reported.”
- According to one EPA scientist, Monsanto doctored studies and covered-up dioxin contamination of a wide range of its products. She concluded that the company’s behavior constituted “a long pattern of fraud.”
Unfortunately, in the United States Monsanto still has undue influence. Certain states are passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion. To date, 14 states have passed such legislation and Michigan’s Sen. Bill 777, if passed, would make that 15. The Michigan bill would prevent anti-GMO laws and would remove “any authority local governments may have to adopt and enforce ordinances that prohibit or regulate the labeling, sale, storage, transportation, distribution, use, or planting of agricultural, vegetable, flower or forest tree seeds.”
Bills like these are obviously music to Monsanto’s ears, which spends millions of dollars lobbying the U.S. government at the federal level for favorable legislation that supports the spread of their toxic products.
How to Take Back Some of Monsanto’s Drive for Power…
It’s quite clear that genetically engineered foods threaten not only biodiversity and the environment; they can also pose potentially serious threats to animal and human health when consumed. Unfortunately, the revolving door between Monsanto and the biotech industry as a whole 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 so far 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, as well as toxic herbicide residues.
- For ongoing updates, follow our Non-GMO’s page on Facebook.
We CAN shift the balance by simply voting with our pocketbooks and forks. 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 US 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., so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
healthypets.mercola.com Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian discusses giardia parasite in pets.
By Dr. Mercola
Paula Deen’s rise to fame is built on scrumptious high-sugar, highly processed foods with a distinct Southern flare.
Her latest show, “Paula’s Best Dishes,” is a hit on the Food Network, and she also has several popular cook books to her name.
While no doubt tasty, the meals Ms. Deen promotes can easily lead to weight gain and diabetes, so her recent admission on the Today Show that she’s been living with type 2 diabetes for the past three years did not come as a great shock.
Her decision to become the spokesperson for a dangerous diabetes drug however, did, and has raised the ire of many.
In fact, if her plan was to become a role model of healthy living, it has backfired in a dramatic way, as most people are suddenly (and wisely!) shunning the notion that you can just pop a pill to address a diet-related health problem.
“There is something slightly unsavory about the fact that Deen has continued to advocate the type of unhealthy, fattening foods that contribute to obesity and, therefore, to Type 2 diabetes, only to step forward now as the pitchperson for a drug that is designed to treat that disease, which she herself has had in secret for years.”
Is a Drug Really the Answer to Type 2 Diabetes?
Many are questioning Ms. Deen’s decision to keep quiet about her diagnosis for so long, while continuing to promote her signature high-sugar meals. According to Time Magazine:
“Deen said that she decided not to make her diagnosis public until she could “bring something to the table when I came forward. I’ve always been one to think that I bring hope.” For her, that hope apparently comes in the form of Victoza, a diabetes medication made by Novo Nordisk.
Deen is now the spokeswoman for the drug. Deen and her sons, Jamie and Bobby, have also partnered with the drugmaker to promote the new Diabetes in a New Light program, which provides food tips and stress-management techniques as well as medical interventions for controlling diabetes. “I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life,” Deen said in a statement about the launch of Diabetes in a New Light.”
Clearly, Ms. Deen did not spend the last few years investigating the underlying causes of diabetes. If she had done so, she would have discovered that you cannot successfully cure type 2 diabetes with drugs and/or insulin.
Because type 2 diabetes arises from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance. It is therefore a fully preventable condition that can be controlled or reversed by recovering your insulin and leptin sensitivities. However, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through a proper diet and exercise. There is NO drug that can accomplish this – a fact that makes the current disease paradigm even more tragic, as diabetes continues to skyrocket, and the conventional treatments are needlessly killing diabetics prematurely.
In Ms. Deen’s case, her drug of choice, Victoza, is a non-insulin diabetes medication that has some very disturbing potential side effects, including cancer! It’s certainly not something I would perceive as a “positive approach”…
It is important to know that there is NO pill to cure or even control diabetes that addresses the fundamental issue, insulin resistance. Most of them tend to lower blood sugar, which is why they are called oral hypoglycemics. The problem with most physicians is that they believe high blood sugar is the problem. However, the real problem is insulin resistance, which these drugs do not address in any way.
Victoza—A Potentially Dangerous Option for Diabetics…
According to the prescribing information for Victoza (Liraglutide), there are a number of important warnings you need to be aware of, including a black box warning—the strongest warning issued by FDA—which states that:
“Liraglutide causes thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in rodents. It is unknown whether Victoza® causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans, as human relevance could not be determined by clinical or nonclinical studies.”
Furthermore, the web site for Victoza includes the following important warnings:
“It is not known whether Victoza® causes thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) in people which may be fatal if not detected and treated early. Do not use Victoza® if you or any of your family members have a history of MTC or if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). While taking Victoza®, tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) may be severe and lead to death. Before taking Victoza®, tell your doctor if you have had pancreatitis, gallstones, a history of alcoholism, or high blood triglyceride levels since these medical conditions make you more likely to get pancreatitis. Stop taking Victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have pain in your stomach area that is severe and will not go away, occurs with or without vomiting, or is felt going from your stomach area through to your back. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.”
Ads for the drug feature a smiling Deen with the caption, “Live a life that’s delicious.” But just how “delicious” will life be if you end up getting cancer? Other common side effects associated with the drug include:
The Diabetes Drug that Probably Should Not Be On the Market…
As discussed by Tom Philpott, writing for Mother Jones, Victoza has only been on the market for two years, gaining FDA approval in January 2010, but the drug barely made it through due to the strong link to thyroid cancer.
“In April 2009, the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 12-1 that rodent data linking the drug to thyroid cancer could apply to humans. The committee got hung at 6-6 (with one abstention) on whether the cancer risk was ground for FDA rejection. The drug eventually won approval anyway,” Philpott writes.
Furthermore, Philpott reveals that, in 2010, Novo Nordisk was publicly reprimanded for breaching no less than seven clauses of the British ABPI Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry with regards to its promotions of Victoza:
- Clause 2 – Bringing discredit upon and reducing confidence in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Clause 3.1 – Promoting a medicine prior to the grant of its marketing authorization.
- Clause 7.2 – Making misleading claims.
- Clause 7.3 – Using misleading comparisons.
- Clause 7.9 – Failing to provide information about side-effects and reflect available evidence.
- Clause 9.1 – Failing to maintain high standards.
- Clause 12.1 – Disguising promotional material.
Would You Risk Cancer for No Benefit at All?
Yes… there’s actually compelling evidence that drugs designed to reduce your blood sugar do not provide you with ANY kind of health benefit, and may in fact be far more dangerous than the disease itself. For example, a recent meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials involving more than 33,000 people showed that this kind of treatment is not only ineffective, it’s also dangerous. In fact, the review showed that treatment with glucose-lowering drugs actually increase your risk of death from heart-related ailments, and all other causes. The researchers noted that:
“The overall results of this meta-analysis do not show a benefit of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality or cardiovascular death. A 19% increase in all cause mortality and a 43% increase in cardiovascular mortality cannot be excluded.”
Nortin Hadler, a University of North Carolina professor of medicine is another vocal critic of diabetes drugs. In a 2008 paper published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, he declared such drugs “useless,” because lowering your blood-sugar levels does not provide any tangible benefits. Dr. Ron Rosedale has also discussed this for many years now.
To top it all off, the drug hawked by Deen costs a whopping $500 per month! Yes you read that right; FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS a month, or about $17 a day.
Lessons Learned from Avandia: Diabetes Drugs Can be Deadly
Avandia (rosiglitazone) is the poster child for what is wrong with the drug treatment of type 2 diabetes. After hitting the market in 1999, a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked it to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack, and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared to patients treated with other methods!
It took nearly 10 years of the drug being on the market for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action and restrict access to this dangerous drug. The European Medicines Agency banned it altogether. Meanwhile, millions of people have taken Avandia and have been exposed to these unacceptably high-risk side effects, for a drug that in no way treats the underlying causes of diabetes. More than 80,000 diabetics have suffered from strokes, heart failure or other complications including lethal heart attacks from this dangerous drug.
Again, the only thing drugs like Avandia do is to help lower blood glucose, which has virtually no influence on the long-term damage due to type 2 diabetes. Most of the damage is caused by elevated insulin levels, which can be remedied with an optimal diet and exercise program alone, if you’re compliant.
Other studies have also confirmed that most drugs given to type 2 diabetics are at best worthless and at worst harmful or even deadly. Last year the New England Journal of Medicine featured not one, not two, but FOUR studies backing up the conclusion that the path of conventional medicine is leading diabetics astray, and doing far more harm than good.
You Don’t have to Be a Statistic…
Amazingly, one in four Americans have some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. If this is not a clear sign that conventional health recommendations are flawed, I don’t know what is.
I too have personal experience with this disease. I developed it myself at one time, and most of my paternal relatives (my dad included), have, or have died from, diabetes. My personal experience with diabetes and subsequent review of the literature made it VERY clear to me that virtually every case of type 2 diabetes is reversible… And the cure for type 2 diabetes has NOTHING to do with giving insulin or taking drugs to control your blood sugar. In fact, giving insulin to someone with type 2 diabetes is one of the worst things that can be done. Any physician still doing this suffers from profound ignorance of insulin physiology.
It’s important to understand that many of the conventional recommendations for treating diabetes are not only flawed but dead wrong, and I discussed the reasons why in this previous article. If you need a refresher, please review it again. Once you understand that type 2 diabetes is a fully preventable condition that arises from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance, the remedy will become clear. To reverse the disease, you need to recover your body’s insulin and leptin sensitivities!
How do you do that?
As mentioned earlier, the ONLY way to accomplish this is through proper diet and exercise. There is NO drug that can correct leptin signaling and insulin resistance… Adhering to the following guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity; help normalize your weight; and normalize your blood pressure:
- Severely limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet, especially fructose which is far more detrimental than any other type of sugar. Following my Nutrition Plan will help you do this without too much fuss.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, and without it, you’re unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. If you’re unsure of how to get started, I recommend reviewing my exercise program for tips and guidelines. It is also critical to work your way up to include some Peak 8 exercises.
- Avoid trans fats.
- Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high quality, animal-based source.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. Recent studies have revealed that getting enough vitamin D can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure and that low vitamin D levels may increase your risk of heart disease.
- Optimize your gut flora. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall. Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by eating fermented foods (like natto, raw organic cheese, miso, and fermented vegetables) or by taking a high quality probiotic supplement.
- Address any underlying emotional issues and/or stress. Non-invasive tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique/Meridian Tapping Technique can be extremely helpful and effective.
- Get enough high-quality sleep every night.
- Monitor your fasting insulin level. This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is.
By Dr. Mercola
Calcium is one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market, largely because of the widely circulated mantra that mega-doses of this mineral are essential for building and maintaining healthy bones.
As a result, many people believe that taking a calcium supplement is a simple way to prevent bone fractures associated with osteoporosis.
What they have not been told is that while you can force increased bone mineral density with calcium supplements, you cannot be sure that this will result in greater bone strength.
Be Careful In Interpreting Bone Tests Results
Bone density, while an excellent measurement of compressive strength, does not reveal tensile strength, i.e. whether or not your bone will resist breaking from being pulled or stretched, as commonly occurs in a fall or similar trauma.
Moreover, “osteoporosis,” as presently defined by bone scans (DXA scan) using the T-score, inappropriately defines “normal bone density” according to the standard of a 25-year old, young adult.
In other words, if you are 40, 50, or even 100, the T-score-based system says your bones are not normal, or even diseased if they are not as dense as they were when you were a young adult.
If in fact they used the age-appropriate Z-score, most cases of “osteopenia,” and many cases of “osteoporosis,” would suddenly disappear because they were inappropriately classified from the start.
Do Calcium Supplements Predispose You to Breast Cancer?
Ultimately, the “calcium is good for your bones” mantra is yet another example of a good theory gone wrong, and represents how broadly deluded the mainstream medical community is about bone health and the nature of osteoporosis, and its highly fabricated twin condition “osteopenia.”
There are actually a number of studies indicating that mass market calcium supplements increase your risk for cardiovascular incidents and other problems, while offering little benefit to your bones. Only because something can increase your bone density: eating what amounts to chalk or pulverized bone meal, or worse, chemicals like the drugs Fosamax and Evista, does not mean this will translate into improved health for your bones, or any of your other organ systems.
Indeed, before jumping off the lemming-like cliff of conventional medical wisdom, consider there is a solid body of research indicating that higher bone density may actually increase the risk of malignant breast cancer by 300% or more! Considering that close to 1 in 4 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives, with breast cancer top on the list, isn’t the neurotic fixation on increasing bone density with calcium supplements misplaced, especially when it may increase the overall risk of dying from cancer and, as we will see, cardiovascular disease (the #1 killer), as well?
Taking Calcium Might Increase Your Heart Attack Risk
Heart attacks may be caused by supplemental calcium from elemental sources, which include limestone, oyster shell, and bone meal, according to two meta-analyses of available research (a meta-analysis is a review and summary of the results of many clinical studies on the same subject).
The first, conducted in 2010 and involving over 8,000 people, showed that taking this kind of inorganic calcium supplement in amounts of 500 mg or more would increase your relative risk of heart attack by 27 percent.
Critics of the study pointed out that it only looked at calcium supplementation without vitamin D administered at the same time (vitamin D helps you absorb and utilize calcium). However, the second analysis showed that even when co-administered with vitamin D, elemental calcium still increased heart attack risk by 24 percent, with researchers concluding:
“Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D modestly increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially myocardial infarction … A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in osteoporosis management is warranted.”
In fact, the second analysis was even more disturbing, as it found the calcium supplementation (in addition to vitamin D) increased the composite risk of heart attack and stroke by15%!
Calcium Can be Beneficial or Deadly Depending on Where it Ends Up in Your Body
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body, necessary for not only bone health but also regulating your heartbeat, conducting nerve impulses, clotting blood and stimulating hormone secretions. Your body does not make calcium, and in fact loses calcium daily through your skin, nails, hair, sweat and elimination, which is why you must replace it via your diet.
It has been estimated, however, that your body excretes as little as 100 mg a day, making the current recommendations by the National Osteoporosis Foundation for women over 50 to take 1200 mg a day, a bit troubling. When we compare our calcium-rich diet to the traditional calcium-poor Chinese peasant diet, which was free of cow’s milk and calcium supplements, approximately 250 mg a day of plant-based calcium was all that was needed to fulfill their bodily needs – and this is a culture with no word for “osteoporosis” in its 3,000+ year old language!
Due to the fact that about 99 percent of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, if you don’t get enough calcium, your body will take calcium from your bones to perform necessary functions. This is where the idea that supplementing with calcium could prevent calcium loss from your bones comes from — but it is an overly simplified theory that lacks solid evidence to back it up, especially in Western, modernized cultures which consume unprecedentedly large amounts of dairy-derived, fortification-based and supplemental calcium.
For instance, one 2010 article presented evidence for a total lack of support in the research for calcium supplements reducing fracture risk!
Moreover, in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, a review tracking 78,000 nurses for 12 years found that the relative risk of hip fracture was 45% higher in those women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day versus those who drank one glass or less. Indeed, in countries where both dairy consumption and overall calcium levels in the diet are the lowest, bone fracture rates are also the lowest; conversely, in cultures like the United States where calcium consumption is among the highest in the world, so too are the fracture rates among the highest (see: The China Study).
The truth is that taking any calcium in excess or isolation, without complementary nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2, which help keep your body in balance, can have adverse effects, such as calcium building up in coronary arteries and causing heart attacks. Even taking calcium with vitamin D does not appear to be enough to prevent these types of adverse effects.
So when you take a biologically foreign form of calcium (such as limestone, oyster shell, egg shell and bone meal (hydroxylapatite), or when your body’s ability to direct calcium to the right places becomes impaired (as when you are deficient in vitamin K2), calcium may be deposited where it shouldn’t be, which can lead to multiple health problems.
Often, much of the burden of removing the excess calcium falls on the kidneys, which is why it has been proven on numerous occasions that calcium carbonate rapidly calcifies arteries in those with compromised kidney function, especially hemodialysis patients. Calcium deposits are, in fact, major contributors and even causative factors in many conditions, including the following:
|Cellulite and scar tissue||Coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis||Dental plaque and gum disease||Hypothyroidism|
|Obesity and diabetes||Alzheimer’s disease||Breast cancer and cysts (fibrocystic breasts)||Gallstones, colon cancer and Crohn’s disease|
|Kidney stones||Ovarian cysts||Cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration||Bone spurs, stiff joints, osteoarthritis, tendonitis and bone cancer|
Too Much Calcium May Create Mineral Deficiencies that Promote Disease
Robert Thompson, M.D. wrote a book on this subject called The Calcium Lie, which explains that bone is comprised of at least a dozen minerals, and the exclusive focus on calcium supplementation is likely to worsen bone density and actually increase your risk for osteoporosis. Dr. Thompson believes overconsumption of calcium creates other mineral deficiencies and imbalances that will increase your risk of heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
If your calcium supplement is being turned into “little rocks” that are being deposited in your soft tissues and arteries, you can begin to understand how this could be increasing your risk for a heart attack, stroke or other health condition.
Many believe that arterial plaque is simply a buildup of cholesterol. But in reality, more than 90 percent of these fatty plaques are calcified. Cholesterol is soft and waxy and does not impair the elasticity of your arteries. But calcium deposits are like concrete, “hardening” your arteries and impairing their ability to expand. It is calcium — not cholesterol — that induces arterial stiffness and makes the plaque less stable and more prone to chipping off and subsequently inducing a life-threatening clot.
This is particularly important for postmenopausal women because hormone balance is necessary for proper calcium signaling — directing your body to deposit calcium into your bones. When hormones fall out of balance, this signaling causes calcium to slowly exit your bones and become deposited in your arteries instead. Simply taking a calcium supplement will not solve the problem because if your body cannot direct the calcium to the right spot, it will cause far more harm than good.
Why Vitamin K2 is Crucial if You Take Vitamin D and Calcium …
Vitamin K2 engages in a delicate dance with vitamin D; whereas vitamin D provides improved bone development by helping you absorb calcium, there is new evidence that vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it — i.e., your organs, joint spaces, and arteries. As mentioned, a large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”
Vitamin K2 has also actually been found to decalcify certain tissues undergoing pathological (also known as ectopic) calcification.
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. In other words, without the help of vitamin K2, the calcium that your vitamin D so effectively lets in might be working AGAINST you — by building up your coronary arteries rather than your bones. This is why if you take calcium and vitamin D but are deficient in vitamin K, you could be worse off than if you were not taking those supplements at all.
Food is the Best Source of Calcium
In order for calcium to do your body good, it must be in a bioavailable form and balanced out with vitamins D and K and other important trace minerals, as part of a total nutritional plan.
It’s more likely your body can use calcium correctly if it’s food-based calcium. Good sources include raw milk and cheese from pasture-raised cows (who eat the plants), leafy green vegetables, the pith of citrus fruits, carob, sesame seeds and wheatgrass, to name a few. It’s worth mentioning that the studies done about calcium from dairy products are all done with pasteurized dairy, rather than raw dairy products that have more of their nutrients intact, and this muddies the results of these studies.
Calcium from dietary sources is typically better absorbed and utilized than calcium from supplements, which is why studies involving calcium from natural food sources have shown favorable results, including a 25 percent lower risk of dying from all causes, and a 23 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.
You also need sources of silica and magnesium, which some researchers say is actually enzymatically “transmuted” by your body into the kind of calcium your bones can use. This theory was first put forth by French scientist Louis Kevran, a Nobel Prize nominee who spent years studying how silica, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals are related and transmutable into one another through low-energy nuclear transformation only found within living systems.
His theory explains how cows and chickens produce far more calcium in their milk and eggs than is found in their diet, or why, workers exposed to extremely high temperatures (130 degrees F) in the Middle East are known to consume salt tablets, which their bodies convert to potassium (as measured by their excreta), resulting in a reduction in their bodily temperature.
Good sources of bone-strengthening silica are cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and a number of herbs including horsetail, nettles, oat straw, alfalfa, and raw cacao, which is also extremely rich in highly bioavailable magnesium.
Dr. Thompson recommends the use of natural unprocessed salt as a far better alternative to calcium supplements because it provides the trace minerals you simply cannot get from food grown in today’s mineral-depleted soils. My favorite source of trace minerals is pure, unprocessed Himalayan salt, which contains 84 elements needed by your body.
The bottom line is, optimize your vitamin D levels through sun exposure and consume a variety of fresh, local organic whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, organic meats and eggs, unprocessed salt, and raw organic unpasteurized dairy, which will give you the bioavailable calcium your body needs along with the trace minerals and other cofactors it needs to be absorbed and properly utilized by your body.
Im Going To Change My Eating Habits & Step Up My Exercise Routine In Order To Free My Self Of High Blood Pressure. If You Or Anyone That You Know Has High Blood Pressure Please Check Out Dr. Mercola And Get Off Your Medication For Good!
By Dr. Mercola
On October 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued the recommendation that Merck’s vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), Gardasil, be given to males between the ages of 11 and 21.
They further recommend the vaccine series can be given to boys as young as nine, as well as to men up to the age of 26, especially if they engage in homosexual sex—allegedly to offer partial protection against genital warts, and cancers of the penis and rectum.
Another key part of the recommendation is the claim that reducing HPV in men will reduce transmission to girls and women, and thereby prevent cervical cancer deaths.
But according to a recent study, which is based on a mathematical study of HPV transmission, this is not an effective strategy.
Rather, the authors concluded that:
“Increasing vaccine uptake among preadolescent girls is more effective in reducing HPV infection than including boys in existing vaccination programs.
As a rule, directing prophylactic immunization at the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence results in the largest reduction of the population prevalence.”
“Because many countries have started vaccinating girls against HPV, these countries should stick to vaccinating girls, said study researcher Johannes Bogaards, of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. Only once most girls are vaccinated should efforts begin to vaccinate boys, and even then, only if there will be an added benefit to male vaccination, Bogaards said.”
There’s NO Evidence that Gardasil Reduces Cervical Cancer Incidence
Despite Merck’s claims, the question of whether Gardasil will reduce cervical cancer deaths in real-world conditions has actually never been answered. The company-sponsored studies on the subject looked at cervical changes that aren’t indicative of cervical cancer in the first place.
“Merck says that in males, the vaccine is 89 percent effective against genital warts and 75 percent effective against anal cancer. On closer inspection, some of the numbers don’t just deflate, they evaporate … So how did the HPV vaccine become a multi-billion-dollar winner for Merck? Well you might not be surprised to hear that the company happily lavished money on doctors, professional societies, and over 100 legislators.”
Vanishing Efficacy Rates
In her Discover article, medical investigative journalist Jeanne Lenzer goes on to expose how misleading Merck’s stated efficacy rates really are:
“On May 10, 2007, Merck published the results of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that claimed an astounding 98 percent efficacy in preventing changes in the cervix used as a marker for cervical cancer.
But…[to] achieve the 98 percent efficacy claim, Merck excluded from analysis anyone who “violated” the study protocol. In other words, all real-world problems that arose were excluded from analysis. Problems like girls who refused to take a second or third shot after they became sick and (correctly or incorrectly) blamed the vaccine…
To Merck’s credit, they reported that when all women in the study were analyzed, the vaccine’s efficacy dropped to 44 percent… [But the] 44 percent benefit included only those women with the two specific cancer-causing HPV strains found in the vaccine… [W]hen the researchers looked at negative cervical changes from any causes, they found that changes occurred in unvaccinated women at a rate of 1.5 events per 100 person-years, while vaccinated women had 1.3 events—dropping the benefit to 17 percent.
Moreover, most of the cervical changes tracked by the researchers weren’t even indicative of cervical cancer in the first place. Most were innocent cellular abnormalities that either disappear entirely on their own, or never progress to cancer. In fact, when they looked more closely at advanced cervical changes most likely to progress to cancer versus more innocent changes that go away spontaneously, it was the innocent changes that accounted for the decline.” [Emphasis mine]
Gardasil has already proven to be a reactive vaccine with potentially devastating side effects. In order to accept a high level of risk to your child’s health, don’t you think you deserve some pretty overwhelming proof that it is in fact worth this risk? Ultimately you need to carefully review the risk/benefit ratio of this vaccine and carefully consider this important decision.
Why Expose Millions to Potential Harm in Order to Save a Handful?
According to a recent CNN report, the cost to vaccinate 11- and 12-year old boys would be $38 million. How can this in any way be justified as cost-effective, when anal cancer, for example, has so far stricken a mere 5,820 men and women this year. The annual death rate from anal cancer is 770 individuals—300 men and 470 women!
Gardasil is claimed to be 75 percent effective against anal cancer in men, so crunch the numbers… This is nothing short of crazy. They actually want to place millions of people at risk with this dangerous vaccine in order to reduce anal cancer deaths that claims less than 300 men per year? That’s incredible! Likewise, cervical cancer accounts for less than ONE percent of all cancer deaths, so this vaccine is certainly not aimed at any major health threat, no matter which way you look at it. But it gets worse. As explained by Lenzer in the featured article:
“First off, let’s define the problem: The annual number of deaths from anal-rectal cancer among all men in the U.S. is 300. And how did Merck get its happy statistics on efficacy? Once again, they reported an idealized benefit by excluding from analysis 1,250 study violators out of 4,055 total test subjects. When the real-world analysis was conducted, the numbers plunged—right down to plum nothing. After evaluating tissue changes in male genitalia that were suggestive of a cancer precursor, Merck reported that vaccine efficacy against such lesions “was not observed.”
Believe me, this is a health emergency in the making. Please do not be deceived into giving this dangerous vaccine to your kids, regardless of their gender. As Angela Raffle, a specialist in cervical cancer screening, told the New York Times three years ago:
“Oh, dear. If we give it to boys, then all pretenses of scientific worth and cost analysis goes out the window.”
Gardasil Sorely Lacking in Safety
While cost-effectiveness is an important concern, I believe safety would certainly trump it. It’s important to realize that while Gardasil has not been proven to actually prevent cancer in the long term, there is mounting evidence showing it carries tremendous long-term health risks, including:
|Bell’s Palsy and Guillan-Barre syndrome||Seizures||Cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer|
|Blood clotting and heart problems, including cardiac arrest||Miscarriages and fetal abnormalities amongst pregnant women who received the vaccine||Sudden death|
“… Nizar Souayah, MD, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, says he and his colleagues found “clear evidence from our database of an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the first six weeks, especially the first two weeks, after [HPV] vaccination.”
There’s also another important factor to take into account when discussing the potential risks versus alleged benefits of the HPV vaccine, and that is the effect the vaccine will have on other cancer-causing HPV strains. Might it actually promote more aggressive cancers? No one knows… This issue was however raised in the September issue of New Scientist:
“[W]hat effect will the vaccine have on the other cancer-causing strains of HPV? Nature never leaves a void, so if HPV-16 and HPV-18 are suppressed by an effective vaccine, other strains of the virus will take their place. The question is, will these strains cause cervical cancer?
Results from clinical trials are not encouraging. Vaccinated women show an increased number of precancerous lesions caused by strains of HPV other than HPV-16 and HPV-18. “
Why Risk Your Life to Prevent an Avoidable Disease?
Deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and “sudden death due to unknown causes” have all occurred in girls shortly after they’ve received the Gardasil vaccine. These are atrocious risks to potentially prevent cervical cancer someday down the road. And for boys, these are profound risks to prevent the spread of HPV to girls, and to potentially prevent 300 anal cancer deaths a year…
According to the CDC more than 6 million women contract HPV annually, yet less than 3,900 women will die from cervical cancer out of those 6 million. This is because, in 90 percent of all cases, your immune system can clear up the HPV infection on its own. Furthermore, the infection is primarily spread through sexual contact, so it is behaviorally avoidable.
The bottom line is that Gardasil is largely ineffective, potentially very dangerous, both for girls and boys, and a major waste of money. Of course, you need to do your own careful research, but I simply cannot recommend this vaccine for anyone. There are far better ways to protect yourself and your sons and daughters against HPV infection, and all potentially related cancers.
- Talk to your kids about HPV. The infection is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact. Its main mode of transmission is sexual (genital-to-genital contact), so for sexually active persons, condoms can reduce the risk of HPV by 70 percent. Since condoms cannot offer 100 percent protection, it’s important to understand that other factors that increase your chances of getting HPV include having multiple sex partners, having a low immune system, having other sexually transmitted diseases, and using hormonal contraceptives.
Also, be aware that the vaccine doesn’t work if you’ve already been exposed to the viruses against which it protects. Health officials know this – in fact, both HPV vaccine manufacturers say this in their prescribing inserts for physicians.
- Keep your immune system strong. A healthy immune system is better able to handle a heavier emotional and physical stress load. The ideal healthy habits to keep your body and mind strong are detailed in these 12 changes that will cut your cancer risk in half.
Keep Educating Yourself on Vaccines
It is becoming increasingly necessary to continue to educate yourself and your family on the issues surrounding vaccinations of all kinds. There are so many problems; no one article can possibly cover them all. You can find and search all vaccine related articles on my Latest Vaccine News page. I also recommend you familiarize yourself with the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) web site. As a leader for vaccine safety, the NVIC offers information on everything from laws to informed consent to late-breaking vaccine news.
For information about Gardasil and HPV infection, please see this fact page.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems “old-fashioned,” the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don’t let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what’s really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the “real life” experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.
By Dr. Mercola
Bees have been dying off around the world for more than a decade now, a phenomenon that has been named “Colony Collapse Disorder,” or CCD.
The die-offs have spread to China and India, in addition to many other countries.
A third of the U.S. food supply requires the assistance of the honeybee.
The collapse of bee colonies is probably multifactorial, rather than a response to one type of toxic assault.
Although experts don’t yet understand all of the underlying factors and how they interact to cause our pollinators to disappear, they agree about one thing: if we allow this to continue, our already-limited global food supply is at risk, which means more than 7 billion humans occupying this planet are at risk as well.
The common honeybee pollinates 130 different crops in the U.S. alone, including fruits, vegetables and tree nuts.
Without our bees, almonds, pumpkins, watermelons and other varieties of melon, and even vanilla, could completely disappear.
Haagen-Dazs donated $250,000 to research into bee colony collapse disorder because it says the honeybees are responsible for 24 of its 60 ice cream flavors, including strawberry, toasted pecan and banana split.
As usual, at the core of the problem is big industry, which is blinded by greed and enabled by a corrupt governmental system that permits the profit-driven sacrifice of our environment. Unfortunately, this motivation reflects an extreme shortsightedness about the long-term survival of the human race, as well as of our planet. Not only are commercial agricultural practices harming honeybee colonies, but your own health is being compromised by deceptive marketing practices about the “honey” you buy, some of which isn’t really honey at all, despite what it says on the label.
Honey: Nectar of the Gods
Pure, natural, unfiltered raw honey has an abundance of medicinal and nutritional uses, including the following:
|A bounty of nutrition, including enzymes, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals||Promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract||Good for your skin|
|Helps with occasional sleeplessness||Promotes heart health by reducing homocysteine levels||Tames allergies|
|Can help fight viruses, such as herpes, and bacteria, such as that present in chronic sinusitis||Helps sooth a cough||Helps prevent tooth decay|
A special kind of honey that has healing benefits far exceeding that of ordinary honey is called Manuka honey. Manuka honey is made by bees that feed off the flowers of the Manuka bush, a medicinal plant native to New Zealand. Fake honey is unfortunately common in this era of food manipulation and control. Some Chinese brokers sell a mixture of sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery, barley malt sweetener or other additives, and label it “honey”. A recent report by Food Safety News reveals just how often they get away with this trickery.
Is Your Honey Fake?
In a new report by Food Safety News, more than 75 percent of the honey on American supermarket shelves may be ultra-processed—to the point that all inherent medicinal properties are completely gone—and then smuggled into the country by the barrel drum. Nearly all of this fake honey is made in China. Some of these brokers will even create bogus country of origin papers. All 60 jars of “honey” tested by FSN came back negative for pollen (including Sue Bee and Winnie the Pooh brands), which is a clear sign of ultra-processing.
According to FSN:
“The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others have also ruled that without pollen, there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.”
Millions of pounds of honey that have been banned by the European Union are being smuggled into the U.S. from China. Much of this honey is tainted with illegal antibiotics, including chloramphenicol, which can cause DNA damage and cancer, and heavy metals like lead. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen IS NOT honey.
In their investigation, FSN discovered the following:
- 76 percent of honey samples bought at grocery stores (such as TOP Food, Safeway, QFC, Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.) were absent of pollen
- 77 percent of the honey from big box stores (like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target) were absent of pollen
- 100 percent of the honey sampled from drug stores (like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS Pharmacy) were absent of pollen
The good news is, all of the samples from farmers markets, co-ops, and natural stores like Trader Joe’s had the full, proper compliment of pollen, as did organic brands from common grocery stores. But fake honey—the sorry substitute that it is—might be the ONLY thing even remotely resembling honey that you’ll be able to get if we don’t find a way to save our honeybees from total global collapse.
HUMANS are Casing the Demise of the Bees
Each year, commercial beekeepers have reported unprecedented losses. Steve Ellis, secretary of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board and a beekeeper for 35 years, had so many abnormal bee die-offs that he’ll qualify for disaster relief from the USDA.
- Malnutrition of the bees due to destruction of their food supply, causing irreparable damage to their immune systems, which makes them more vulnerable to toxic exposures and pathogens, like viruses and fungi
- Toxic pesticides, especially the newer systemic pesticides, insecticides, and genetically engineered crops, are a massive source of toxic exposure to the bees
- Microwaves from cellular phones have been shown to cause CCD within 10 days, apparently by affecting the bees’ communication with the hive and disrupting their navigational ability
- Changing global climate, drought, and migratory stress brought about by moving bee colonies long distances to provide pollination services
The EPA claims that new systemic pesticides are safer for humans because farmers can use less of them. However, experiments show that agricultural chemicals that are safe for bees when used alone are lethal in combination. Farmers increasingly combine sprays. They also destroy nearly all flowering weeds, depriving bees of essential nutrients from different kinds of pollen.
Bee Very Afraid…
While much has been made over the “mystery” surrounding CCD, the problem began shortly after neurotoxic pesticides, which are known to be particularly toxic to honeybees, took over the global insecticide market. These relatively new pesticides are called neonicotinoids. Two prominent examples, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are used as seed treatments in hundreds of crops.
Virtually all of today’s genetically engineered Bt corn is treated with neonicotinoids. A Purdue University study found multiple sources of pesticide exposure for honeybees living near agricultural fields, including high levels of Clothianidin in agricultural machinery exhaust, in the soil of unplanted fields near those planted with Bt corn, and on dandelions growing in those fields. The chemicals were also found in dead bees near hive entrances and in pollen stored in the hives.
Bee colonies began disappearing in the U.S. shortly after EPA allowed these new, toxic insecticides to be used. Even the EPA itself admits that “pesticide poisoning” is a likely cause of the collapse of bee colonies.
These insecticides are highly toxic to bees because they are systemic, water soluble, and very pervasive. They get into the soil and groundwater where they can accumulate and remain for many years and present long-term toxicity to the hive. They enter the vascular system of the plant and are carried to all parts of it, as well as to the pollen and nectar.
These chemicals affect insects’ central nervous systems in ways that are cumulative and irreversible. Even minute amounts can have profound effects over time. Foraging insects may become disoriented and unable to find their way back to the hive.
Jim Frazier from Penn State sampled hives from across the U.S. and found an average of six different pesticides in each hive, with one hive testing positive for 31 different pesticides, some of which are of the systemic varieties. Beekeepers everywhere are concerned for their own livelihood, in addition to being fearful of the broader implications of CCD. But one small Colorado beekeeper has served as a one-man sting operation in exposing the EPA’s negligence on this issue.
Courageous Beekeeper Battles Negligent Regulators on Behalf of Bees
Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald became concerned about the effects systemic pesticides were having on his bee colonies. Theobald discovered that EPA allowed Bayer Crop Science, manufacturer of Clothianidin, to market its pesticide for public use without safety studies. Clothianidin has been used commercially for eight years now, with no good safety studies to back it up. Theobald uncovered the documents proving that Congress gave Bayer a thumbs-up to market their product while awaiting the results of a safety study, promised to be complete within 18 months.
And guess who conducts and funds honeybee studies?
The pesticide companies themselves… the fox is again guarding the henhouse. The EPA merely receives the report from the pesticide company, has its scientists make a recommendation, and then EPA administrators make a decision about product safety, supposedly based on good science. In this case, there is NO good science to be found—at least coming from Bayer.
The supposedly scientific research by Bayer proved to be woefully inadequate. Bayer performed the study on one 2.5-acre plot of land planted with canola seed. However, this is a mere fraction of the area foraged by a typical bee colony. In fact, the average area foraged by such a colony is 28,000 acres! Theobald called Bayer’s study a “mockery of science” because it was nowhere near an accurate representation of the bees’ natural habitat.
So, Theobald wrote an article for the July 2010 issue of Bee Culture, which created quite the buzz. The EPA changed their tone in response to his article, admitting the Bayer study was deficient. Nevertheless, they haven’t pulled Clothianidin from the market. According to the Pesticide Action Network:
“Governments in Italy, Germany, France and elsewhere have already taken action against neonicotinoids to protect their pollinators. And beekeepers there are reporting recovery. Yet regulators in the U.S. remain paralyzed, apparently captive to industry-funded science and a regulatory framework that finds chemicals innocent until proven guilty.”
No Simple Answers—Persistence is Key
Saving the honeybee will require much more than removing one or two pesticides from the market. It will require a complete change in the mindset and values of industry, and the regulators they hold captive. There is no force for change greater than that fueled by public outrage, so I encourage you to spread the word. Educate your friends, your family… your grocery bagger!
If the goal of pesticides is to increase food yield to more easily feed 7 billion human beings, this goal falls flat on its face if it leads to the collapse of our food chain.
As Tom Theobald says, we can eliminate this one product, maybe, but that won’t solve the problem. In a year or two, there will just be another equally dangerous chemical, unless we can change the conditions that lead to the problem. And this means we must yell loud enough to awaken our government from its stupor.
Some folks are doing just that. Honeybee sanctuaries are springing up everywhere, as the award-winning documentary Queen of the Sun shows. Many city dwellers are becoming smalltime backyard beekeepers. If you are interested in supporting the cause, you can check out some of the following websites to guide you in how you can help.
- Prevent Disease November 22, 2011
- Daily Camera November 24, 2011
- Daily Green August 18, 2008
- Bee Culture July 2010
- Grist January 13, 2012
- PLoS One 2010
Krupke CH , Hunt GJ , Eitzer BD , Andino G , Given K , 2012 Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29268. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029268
By Dr. Mercola
In 2011, it was estimated that nearly 1.6 million people would be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 570,000 would die of the disease.
With an epidemic such as this, virtually every safe preventive strategy available deserves attention.
But when a simple, and virtually free, strategy emerges that shows promise in reducing rates of not one, not two, but potentially dozens of different types of cancer, it needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
So open your ears — such a strategy does exist: Sun Exposure and Vitamin D!
Sunlight Protects Against Cancer by Stimulating the Production of Vitamin D
New research just in confirms that if you want to slash your risk of cancer, it’s essential that you spend adequate time in the sun or a safe tanning bed, or at the very least supplement with proper amounts of vitamin D3.
Specifically, researchers found that, consistently, the higher the solar UVB, the lower the incidence of 15 different types of cancer, including:
|Rectal||Renal||Vulvar||Hodgkin’s lymphoma||Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma|
The review, based largely on three studies from the United States, one each from Australia, China, France, Japan, and Spain, and eight multi-country studies of cancer incidence rates that collectively examined more than 100 countries, concluded:
“The evidence for the UVB-vitamin D-cancer hypothesis is very strong in general and for many types of cancer in particular.”
Further, they noted that weaker evidence exists that solar UVB also leads to lower rates of cancer of the following types:
More Than 200 Studies Show Vitamin D Plays a Role in Cancer
Theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies, according to epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Here are just a few highlights into some of the most noteworthy findings:
- Some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased, according to previous research by Dr. Garland and colleagues. And that’s just counting the death toll for two types of cancer.
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels could help you to prevent at least 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers.
- A large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled study on vitamin D and cancer showed that vitamin D can cut overall cancer risk by as much as 60 percent. This was such groundbreaking news that the Canadian Cancer Society has actually begun endorsing the vitamin as a cancer-prevention therapy.
- Light-skinned women who had high amounts of long-term sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer (cancer that spreads beyond your breast) as women with lower amounts of regular sun exposure, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
- A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths — which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States — could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D.
On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 70-100 ng/ml—would be beneficial. Vitamin D’s protective effect against cancer appears to work in multiple ways, including:
- Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which, if allowed to replicate, could lead to cancer)
- Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells
- Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation)
- Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous
What are You Waiting For? Why Not Start Optimizing Your Levels Now?
Many Americans simply are not getting enough vitamin D to even maintain healthy bones, much less getting enough to fight off diseases like cancer. There are two primary reasons for this, one being that many people are still worried that going out in the sun will lead to skin cancer. It’s important to understand, however, that the risk of skin cancer from the sun comes only from excessive exposure.
When used properly, sunlight exposure will help you prevent cancer.
To optimize your levels, you need to expose large portions of your skin to the appropriate amounts of sunlight. And, contrary to popular belief, the best time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is actually as near to solar noon as possible. During this time you need the shortest exposure time to produce vitamin D because UVB rays are most intense at this time. Plus, when the sun goes down toward the horizon, the UVB is filtered out much more than the dangerous UVA.
Just be cautious about the length of your exposure. You only need enough exposure to have your skin turn the lightest shade of pink. Once you reach this point your body will not make any additional vitamin D due to its self-regulating mechanism. Any additional exposure will only cause harm and damage to your skin.
Vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the BEST way to optimize your vitamin D levels. Safe tanning beds have electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, which helps you avoid unnecessary exposure to health-harming EMF fields. They also have less of the dangerous UVA than sunlight, while unsafe ones have more UVA than sunlight. The second primary reason so many are vitamin-D-deficient, aside from lack of sun exposure, has to do with misinformation about supplementation.
If You Use a Vitamin D Supplement, You Need to Know This …
First, let me repeat that sun exposure or the use of a safe tanning bed are the best options to optimize your vitamin D levels. You cannot overdose when getting your vitamin D from sun exposure, as your body has the ability to self-regulate and only make what it needs. If these options are not available, a supplement can be used, but keep the following in mind:
- According to the most recent findings by Carole Baggerly, founder of GrassrootsHealth, her research of nearly 10,000 people shows the ideal adult dose appears to be 8,000 IU’s a day to get most into the healthy range.
- When you do supplement with vitamin D, you’ll only want to supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Do NOT use the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2, which is the one most doctors will give you in a prescription most of the time unless you ask specifically for D3.
- Get your vitamin D blood levels checked! The only way to determine the correct dose is to get your blood tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D status. I recommend using Lab Corp in the U.S.
- The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.
- As an aside, 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 aggravated by vitamin K2 deficiency. So if you take oral vitamin D, ideally you should take vitamin K2 as well or use organic fermented foods that are high in vitamin K2, as you need about 150 mcg per day.
- The “normal” 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is between 20-56 ng/ml. But, this conventional range is really a sign of deficiency, and is too broad to be ideal. In fact, your vitamin D level should not be below 32 ng/ml, and any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency states, increasing your risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.
The OPTIMAL value that you’re looking for is explained in the chart below. Remember that if you were in the sun nearly every day with large amounts of your skin exposed and not taking any oral vitamin D, your level would be around 100 ng/ml.
This range applies for everyone: children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Remember, unless you get a deep dark tan, which is a pretty good gauge that your vitamin D levels are where they need to be, it is wise to get your blood levels checked; that is the only way to know for certain you have reached therapeutic levels.
Given that optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the simplest and most profound steps you can take to improve and maintain your health, including helping you to prevent cancer, this is information that could, quite literally, save your life.
By Dr. Mercola
In the 1900s, Dr. Weston A. Price did extensive research on the link between oral health and physical diseases.
He was one of the major nutritional pioneers of all time, and his research revealed native tribes that still ate their traditional diet had nearly perfect teeth and were almost 100 percent free of tooth decay.
But when these tribal populations were introduced to refined sugar and white flour, their health, and their perfect teeth, rapidly deteriorated.
The implication is, of course, that a traditional diet is superior to a “modern” one, a statement that in many cases is true.
However, it does not reveal the entire picture, nor explain the real point Price was trying to make.
As written in an intriguing article by Chris Masterjohn on the Weston A. Price Foundation web site:
“It can be tempting for us to simplify this observation into the easily digestible message that tooth decay and other degenerative diseases are simply a result of the transition to modern life and diet, but if we do this, we wind up missing the overwhelming emphasis that Price placed on what he called primitive wisdom.”
Why Primitive Wisdom Reigns Supreme
You might be surprised to learn that despite my outstanding diet, which has me grain and sugar free most of the time, and my devoted exercise program, I have struggled with dental plaque for some time. Likewise, the truth is that there is evidence of tooth decay in ancient populations, long before there was exposure to refined sugar and white flour.
In fact, even wild animals suffer varying degrees of dental decay and “caries-like lesions” — even dolphins, which generally eat no carbohydrates whatsoever, only fish, squid, and crustaceans.
We now know, of course, that eating junk food and sugar certainly causes, and worsens, dental decay in humans … but obviously there is more to the story, as in some cases even eating a 100-percent traditional diet is not enough to prevent it. Then again, in some native people it was.
What Price found, and documented in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is that certain native tribes who were eating their traditional diet were almost 100 percent free of tooth decay — and they did not have toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, or root canals and fillings. Clearly simply following a traditional diet is not enough to explain this phenomenon, or else there would be no dental decay in ancient records, or among wildlife.
The difference, Price reasoned, came not in eating a traditional diet, but in the accumulated wisdom enjoyed by certain populations, which allowed them to enjoy optimal health.
As Masterjohn explained, Price wrote:
“In my studies of these several racial stocks I find that it is not accident but accumulated wisdom regarding food that lies behind their physical excellence and freedom from our modern degenerative processes, and, further, that on various sides of our world the primitive people know many of the things that are essential for life—things that our modern civilizations apparently do not know.
These are the fundamental truths of life that have put them in harmony with Nature through obeying her nutritional laws.
Whence this wisdom?
Was there in the distant past a world civilization that was better attuned to Nature’s laws and have these remnants retained that knowledge? If this is not the explanation, it must be that these various primitive racial stocks have been able through a superior skill in interpreting cause and effect, to determine for themselves what foods in their environment are best for producing human bodies with a maximum of physical fitness and resistance to degeneration.”
How Accumulated Wisdom Allowed Me to Solve My Plaque Problem
As I mentioned, despite eating a very healthy diet, I have struggled with dental plaque for some time. The plaque required monthly visits to the dental hygienist. This has frustrated me for many decades, as despite regular brushing, flossing and using a dental irrigator there has been no improvement in the plaque.
Well, after speaking at the Weston Price Wise Traditions event in Dallas in November, I was introduced to fermented vegetables and have been consuming them regularly since then. This is the only change I made in my health habits … and my plaque was reduced by over 50 percent and was much softer. I then added oil pulling with coconut oil for 30 minutes twice a day in addition to the fermented vegetables and the plaque reduced another 50% so now I am down to every other month cleanings.
There is little doubt in my mind that the beneficial bacteria in the vegetables have altered the flora in my mouth and help reduce the plaque. This is a perfect example of the type of accumulated wisdom that can serve to drastically alter your health for the better, and almost always it will involve reverting back to a lost tradition, a wise piece of advice from generations past. As Masterjohn wrote:
“To Price, it was not primitiveness itself that proved protective, but the wisdom that the successful groups had accumulated over time.”
The most successful groups health-wise were those who paid attention to and integrated such knowledge and dietary wisdom into their lives. Examples cited by Price in his book, as reported by Masterjohn, include:
- “The natives often went to great lengths to nourish their soil. After heavy rains, the Swiss villagers would collect runaway soil by hand and return it to their pastures and fields (page 388). Their milk products were several times higher in fat-soluble vitamins than the equivalent milk products from most European and American sources, including lower Switzerland (page 25). The Gaelics of the Outer Hebrides collected the residue of the smoke of peat fires to fertilize their soil, which Price confirmed to be highly effective using a laboratory experiment (page 57).
- The natives of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory knew of scurvy, and prevented it by using the vitamin C-rich adrenal glands of moose (page 75). These natives also had a plant product that they used for the prevention and cure of type-one diabetes (page 266). Price cited evidence that Canadian natives of the sixteenth century also knew that a drink made from the roots of spruce trees could also prevent scurvy (page 279). He cited another case in which a native cured xerophthalmia with vitamin A-rich flesh behind fish eyes (page 278).
- The natives of the Andes, central Africa, and Australia all carried knapsacks with balls of clay that they would use to dip in their food to prevent “sick stomach.”
- The natives he studied practiced systematic child spacing of two and one-half to four years, and used special diets for pregnancy, lactation, and pre-conception, always for the mother and sometimes for the father (pages 397-8, 401).
- Many of the groups would wrap newborns in an absorbent moss that was changed daily but would not wash the baby until several weeks after birth, which prevented irritation and infection of the skin (page 399).
- In some of the Pacific Islands, inland-dwelling groups relying mostly on plant products understood their need for shellfish and thus engaged in trade with the coast-dwelling populations to obtain these foods (page 109).
- Natives of the Andes knew of goiter, and used kelp to prevent it (page 265). Some African groups also knew of goiter and treated it with various iodine-rich plant foods (page 402).
- Price noted that “probably few primitive races have developed calisthenics and systematic physical exercise to so high a point as the primitive Maori. . . . This has a remarkably beneficial effect in not only developing deep breathing, but in developing the muscles of the body, particularly those of the abdomen, with the result that these people maintain excellent figures to old age” (page 214). Price considered not only their diet but their “system of social organization” to be responsible for their development of “what was reported by early scientists to be the most physically perfect race living on the face of the earth.”"
How Can You Use This Ancient Wisdom to Your Advantage?
While we may consider ourselves to be at the pinnacle of human development, our modern food manufacturing processes have not created a race of super-humans in possession of great health and longevity. Quite the contrary…
Humans today suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before. And there can be little doubt that our food choices play a major role in this development.
During the Paleolithic period, many thousands of years ago, people ate primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots and meat—and a wide variety of it. And many are finding that by reverting to this simpler “Paleo” way of eating, by eating foods that are concordant with your genetic ancestry and ancient wisdom, you can avoid many of the diseases associated with our modern diet, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
While you wouldn’t be able to find many of the wild varieties of plant foods eaten by cavemen even if you wanted to, you can certainly mold your diet around the principles and ancient dietary wisdom of Paleo people rather easily by following my nutrition plan.
I believe it to be one of the most profound interventions for the 21st century, and it is the culmination of more than 20 years of work and collaborative knowledge. Quite simply, we’ve strayed too far from the foods we are designed to eat, so going back to basics and refocusing your diet on fresh, whole, unprocessed, “real” food can improve just about anyone’s health. The full details are outlined in my nutrition plan, but generally speaking a “healthy diet” is qualified by the following key factors:
- Unprocessed whole foods
- Often raw or only lightly cooked (ideally, try to eat at least one-third of your food raw, or as much as you can manage)
- Organic or grass-fed, and free from additives and genetically modified ingredients
- Comes from high-quality, local sources
- Carbohydrates primarily come from vegetables (except corn and potatoes, which should typically be avoided)
Perhaps most importantly of all, listen to the innate wisdom in your own body. You can trust your body to provide you with a better indication of what is good and healthy for you than just about any other source — as long as you are willing to listen, and are honest about what you hear.