Monthly Archives: February 2012

What Mystery Disease is Killing Thousands in Central America?

By Dr. Mercola

The United States imports one-fourth of its raw sugar from Central America, a region known as much for its sandy beaches and lush rainforests as its many acres of sugar plantations.

In Central American countries like Nicaragua, finding employment is a challenge, and many residents begin working in the sugar fields when they are still children, as young as 10 years old.

It’s labor-intensive work, requiring long hours of manual labor under hot sun and high temperatures, often with few or no breaks in between.

Now, chronic kidney disease is claiming the lives of many of these young workers — to the extent that some are labeling the condition “Sugar Cane Kidney Disease” –  and researchers are scrambling to uncover the cause as the death toll steadily rises.

“The Island of the Widows”

In the United States, chronic kidney disease is typically caused by diabetes and high blood pressure, conditions that are generally not impacting the young victims in Central America.

Still, the rate of chronic kidney disease in Nicaragua is 10 times higher than in the U.S.

Furthermore, while the condition is considered treatable if detected early, in rural Central America access to medical care such as dialysis or kidney transplants is limited, and so the kidney disease advances quickly and is almost always fatal.

Daniel Brooks, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, who has been investigating the mystery, told Fox News Latino:i

“Once someone gets it, it’s basically a death sentence.”

According to an analysis of health data by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, more than 2,800 men have died from kidney failure in Central America each year from 2005-2009. As iWatch News reported:ii

“In El Salvador and Nicaragua alone over the last two decades, the number of men dying from kidney disease has risen fivefold. Now more men are dying from the ailment than from HIV/AIDS, diabetes and leukemia combined.

… The surge of kidney disease is overwhelming hospitals, depleting health budgets, and leaving a trail of widows and children in rural communities. In El Salvador, CKD is the second leading cause of death for men. In the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the regional hospital had to start a home dialysis program because it was overwhelmed with so many CKD victims that it began running out of beds to treat patients with other ailments. So many men have died in some parts of rural Nicaragua that … [one] community, called The Island, now is known as the Island of the Widows — La Isla de las Viudas.”

Why are so Many Young Men Dying from Chronic Kidney Disease in Central America? This is the burning question and also the heart of the mystery, because no one knows for sure. There are several plausible theories, though. In a report by Brooks and colleagues, which reviewed 22 epidemiological studies looking into hypotheses about potential causes of chronic kidney disease in Nicaragua, it’s stated:iii

“Taken together, these studies reported fairly consistent positive associations for

(1)   agricultural work

(2)   pesticide exposure

(3)   dehydration

(4)   hypertension

(5)   lija consumption (lija is a type of rum)

(6)   family history of CKD.”

To date, no one cause has emerged as a concrete explanation, but the two theories receiving the most attention are exposure to agricultural chemicals and repeated bouts of dehydration. The sugar plantation workers are exposed to toxic pesticides on a daily basis, and it’s known that even the so-called inert ingredients in certain pesticides may cause kidney failure.iv Dehydration, also linked to kidney disease, is also a major concern, especially amidst reports that the workers may be subjected to poor working conditions. As ABC News reported:

“Nicaragua’s highest rates of chronic kidney disease show up around the Ingenio San Antonio, a plant owned by the Pellas Group conglomerate, whose sugar mill processes nearly half the nation’s sugar.

… According to one of Brooks’ studies, about eight years ago the factory started providing electrolyte solution and protein cookies to workers who previously brought their own water to work. But the study also found that some workers were cutting sugar cane for as long as 9 1/2 hours a day with virtually no break and little shade in average temperatures of 30 C (87 F).

In 2006, the plantation, owned by one of the country’s richest families, received $36.5 million in loans from the International Finance Corp., the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to buy more land, expand its processing plant and produce more sugar for consumers and ethanol production.”

Why Fructose Combined with Dehydration May be the Deadly Hidden Culprit

Fructose metabolism is quite different from glucose (dextrose) metabolism in that it places the entire burden on your liver, and this accounts for many of its devastating health effects. However, it appears that the Central American workers may be engaging in the “perfect storm” of activities for fructose to cause devastating damage to their kidneys.

As explained by Dr. Richard Johnson, chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado, in his upcoming book The Fat Switch, this mystery illness likely starts with dehydration and is then made worse by the fact that many workers drink sugar-sweetened pineapple or mango juice or soft drinks (all high in fructose) to rehydrate.

Let me explain …

When you consume fructose, some of it is filtered in your kidneys and taken up into your tubules. Indeed, studies have linked soft drinks and high-fructose diets with kidney disease and accelerated kidney damage. But there is another, even more sinister, effect that appears to be harming young men working in the sugar cane fields.

Your body is capable of converting glucose into fructose via a mechanism known as the polyol pathway. This is especially common among people with diabetes or those who are severely insulin resistant, but the polyol pathway is also activated by dehydration.

So as the Central American workers become dehydrated, the polyol pathway is activated in their kidney tubules, converting glucose to fructose. Meanwhile, the workers take in even more fructose in the form of fruit juice and soda during their workday. This leads to a massive increase in fructose that is, in turn, metabolized by a “killer” enzyme known as fructinase C. This enzyme actually leads to energy loss in the cell and is thought to play a role in numerous diseases, including kidney disease and injury.

Dr. Johnson explains:

” … when fructose is metabolized by fructokinase, the fructose is so rapidly metabolized that there is an initial loss of energy in the cell before energy is produced … Fructokinase is like a run-away train, or a speeding truck coming down the mountain that is out of control. The degree of cell shock induced by fructokinase will relate to the amount of fructose it sees and the level of fructokinase present in the cell. … Sugar Cane Kidney Disease may be another disease of fructokinase. Severe dehydration can activate the polyol pathway that will convert glucose to fructose and provide ammunition for fructokinase to cause injury to the tubules.”

Are the Central American Workers Just More Victims of the Sugar Industry?

Interestingly, World Bank, which has issued more than $100 million in loans to Nicaragua’s sugar industry,v is funding the Boston University project, with Brooks as the principal investigator, to search for causes of the long-term epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Nicaragua. Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, the largest employer in the area and owner of many of the plantations where the illnesses are occurring, denies any connection to the epidemic, which isn’t surprising.

The sugar industry is a shrewd, savvy, well-oiled machine that is also denying any connection between their product and the obesity and diabetes epidemics going on in the industrialized world. They also have access to immense power and give generously to both political parties in the United States to ensure that their products are protected.

While sugar consumption continues to contribute to premature deaths in the developed world in the form of an untold number of cases of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic diseases, the Central American workers on the sugar plantations may be victims in another sense, succumbing to kidney disease from years of hard labor, dehydration, and fructose ingestion — or a mix of these and other factors combined.

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Make Your Own MREs Part 1: Gathering Food

First part in our Homemade MRE series: Buying Food I don’t know about you, but I like variety even when the world is in a tizzy around me. If you’re a little food-adventurous also, be creative when buying food for your MREs. We found these foods on sale at Cost Plus World Market and local grocery stores while keeping our eye on chemical free food. Did we eliminate all, probably not, but getting the "cleanest" food possible is important to maintaining good health. Dr. Mercola’s site: www.mercola.com Mike Adam’s site: www.naturalnews.com Here’s a good article on the most common chemicals found in our grocery store foods www.naturalnews.com

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The One and Only Way You Can Tell if a Food is GMO-Free

By Dr. Mercola

A bill has recently been introduced in the Vermont state legislature that would require food to be labeled as genetically engineered if it is entirely or partially produced with genetically engineered ingredients.

If passed, the bill, H.722, also known as the ‘VT Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act’ i, will take effect in 2014.

The bill also forbids any such food from using advertising or promotional material that states or implies that the food is:

  • “natural”
  • “naturally made”
  • “naturally grown”
  • “all natural,” or
  • Any words of similar meaning

According to the language of the bill, it would require:

“… in the case of a raw agricultural commodity, on the package offered for retail sale … the clear and conspicuous words, ‘genetically engineered’ on the front of the package … [or] on a label appearing on the retail store shelf or bin in which such commodity is displayed for sale.

… in the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package … the words, ‘partially produced with genetic engineering’ or ‘may be partially produced with genetic engineering’”. ii

More U.S. States Starting to Demand Labeling of GM Foods

Finally we’re starting to see some real opposition against genetically engineered foods in general, and unlabeled GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) in particular, in the U.S.! Aside from this Vermont bill, California, Michigan and Washington are also working on ballot initiatives to get mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods in their states. Vermont takes it a step further though, as the legislation would effectively also end phony “all natural” claims for products that in actuality contain wholly unnatural, GMOs.

Personally, I believe GM foods must be banned entirely, but labeling is the most efficient way to achieve this. Since 85 percent of the public will refuse to buy foods they know to be genetically modified, this will effectively eliminate them from the market just the way it was done in Europe.

Sheer ignorance on the part of American consumers has allowed Monsanto and other biotech companies to saturate the market with their genetically altered wares. And misuse of the “all natural” label has only made matters worse. According to a 2010 Hartman Group poll, more than 60 percent of consumers erroneously believe that the “natural” label implies or suggests the absence of GM ingredients, but that is sadly NOT the case… In fact, at the current time, the ONLY label that can protect you against GM ingredients is the USDA 100% Organic label.

After reading the Cornucopia Institutes’ 2011 report Cereal Crimesiii, many, including myself, were shocked to discover some of their favorite natural and even some organic brands were using GM ingredients! For example, natural products that contained 100 percent genetically modified grains included:

Kashi®

Mother’s®

Nutritious Living®

General Mills Kix®

GoLean®

Bumpers®

Hi-Lo®

 

Two breakfast cereal products that are currently enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, Barbara’s Bakery’s Puffins and Whole Foods’ 365® Corn Flakes, contained more than 50 percent GM corn. Meanwhile, the control, Nature’s Path® USDA certified organic corn flakes, contained only trace amounts of GM contamination (less than 0.5 percent). Another sign that American consumers are getting fed up with being stonewalled on the GMO labeling issue is the fact that lawsuits are starting to crop up, accusing food manufacturers of deceptive and misleading practices over their “all natural” claims. Here are just a couple of recent examples:

  • Frito-Lay is being sued by a New York consumer over their ‘all natural’ snacks that are actually made using GM ingredients, such as Tostitos and SunChipsiv
  • On August 31, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kellogg/Kashi® for allegedly misleading consumers with its “natural” claims. One Kashi® product in particular, GoLean® Shakes, is composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients, according to the plaintiff

Why We MUST Insist on Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods

As I said earlier, mandatory labeling may be the only way to stop the proliferation of GM foods in the U.S. because while GM seeds are banned in several European countries such as Hungary, Germany and Ireland, in the United States, certain states are passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion! At present, no less than 14 states have passed such legislation. Michigan’s Senate Bill 777v, 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.”

While this type of legislation sounds like crazy nonsense to normal people, such bills are essentially bought and paid for through the millions of dollars Monsanto and other biotech companies spend lobbying the U.S. government each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government — a drop from a year earlier, when they spent $2.5 million during the same quarter.

Their efforts of persuasion are also made infinitely easier by the fact that an ever growing list of former Monsanto employees are now in positions of power within the federal government.

Learn More about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

Due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what GM foods are. We have a plan to change that, and I urge you to participate and to continue learning more about GM foods and helping your friends and family do the same.

To start, please print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

Your BEST strategy, however, is to simply buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever 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.

To learn more about GM foods, I highly recommend the following films and lectures:

Your Opportunity to Eliminate Genetically Engineered Foods from the U.S.

In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.

Labeling of genetically engineered food is way overdue… Here’s how you can get involved to rectify the situation:

  • Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort
  • Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
  • Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. 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.
  • For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
  • Look for in-depth coverage of the issue at the Institute for Responsible Technology, subscribe to Spilling the Beans, and check out their Facebook or Twitter.

In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid genetically engineered foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use genetically engineered organisms, must be produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and come from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed genetically engineered corn feed, although now that genetically engineered alfalfa is approved, grass-fed will not always mean they animals have not consumed genetically engineered feeds.vi

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!

Donate Today!

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Safe Squat Techniques

fitness.mercola.com Mercola.com personal trainer and life coach Darin Steen talks about the benefits of squatting exercise.

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“Harmless Procedure” Can Cause Narcolepsy, Muscle Weakness

By Dr. Mercola

High-risk patients with chronic, underlying health conditions that increase the risk of severe illness and death after influenza infection are among the first of all groups that public health officials target to receive flu vaccinations.

This population is targeted for vaccination despite the fact that very few studies have ever examined the efficacy – or safety – of vaccinations in this high risk group…

One recent study on the effectiveness of the 2009-2010 season’s H1N1 vaccine provides solid evidence against the effectiveness of vaccinating persons at high risk for complications from influenza infection. 

The study found that, although hundreds of thousands were vaccinated, hospital admissions due to H1N1 influenza virus did not diminish.

The Danish study included more than 388,000 people under the age of 65 with a diagnosis in the past five years of at least one underlying chronic disease expected to increase the risk of complications and severe illness from influenza infection.

According to the study, published in the British Medical Journali:

“… [T]his vaccine … only offered non-significant protection against influenza related hospital admissions confirmed as H1N1 infection. This finding is of public health relevance because the population of chronically ill people is a major target group for pandemic vaccinations”.

H1N1 Vaccine was Not Only Ineffective, But Unusually Dangerous…

As you may recall, the fast-tracked pandemic 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu vaccine turned out to be particularly reactive—far more reactive than previous seasonal flu vaccines. One of the most disturbing side effects of some of the pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccines marketed in Europe – which contained squalene adjuvants – was narcolepsy; a very rare and disabling neurological disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. About 70 percent of narcolepsy cases also involve cataplexy — the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control – along with vivid hallucinations and total paralysis at the beginning or end of the narcoleptic attack.

One of the H1N1 vaccines identified as a culprit was GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix vaccine, which was licensed by European government regulators and sold in a number of European countries (but not in the U.S.). The Pandemrix package insertii actually states that “somnolence”, although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.  

This is a perfect example of how dangerous it can be to blindly trust government health authorities and vaccine makers, and how badly things can go wrong. As you know, health authorities around the globe fiercely maintain that vaccines are safe, regardless of what’s happening in the real world. Time and again, serious side effects from vaccines are overlooked and swept under the rug as being “coincidental.”

Not so in this case.

Here, there’s no discussion about whether or not narcolepsy was caused by the vaccine; it’s been proven to be a vaccine injury by experts in multiple countries. 

For example, according to Swedish findings, children and adolescents vaccinated with Pandemrix during the 2009-10 season had a close to 660 percent increase in risk for narcolepsy. Finland also noticed a dramatic increase in the condition following vaccination with Pandemrix. There, an interim report issued in January of last year found that the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine increased the risk of narcolepsy by 900 percent in children and adolescents below the age of 19iii. France, Germany and Norway also reported cases of the rare sleeping disorder, causing the EU to launch an investigation as well.

Children Struggle with Vaccine-Induced Narcolepsy

Now, a number of European parents, whose children developed narcolepsy following their Pandemrix swine flu vaccination, say their children are beginning to fall behind at school.  According to a recent report in The Herald, an Irish paper:

So far, 22 children in this country have been diagnosed with narcolepsy after vaccination with Pandemrix and a further nine are waiting for tests and test results. The children and young adults range in age from five to 21 and come from all over Ireland. They developed the condition after vaccination with Pandemrix in late 2009/2010.

… The parents have asked that a centre of excellence be established and that where family doctors see children with day-time sleepiness who had been vaccinated with Pandemrix, they should refer these children to the centre

The special needs section of the Department of Education responded with a letter “merely setting out supports already in place which parents/schools can apply for on an individual basis”… Much of this letter referred to ‘disability’ and ‘special needs’ — narcolepsy (and cataplexy) is not legally classed as either. … It is vital for our children’s futures that their new needs are accommodated within the school environment, otherwise they cannot hope to have the same future we looked forward to prior to their diagnosis.”

This brief article actually highlights the real-life ramifications of a failed vaccination policy promoted by public health officials using an influenza vaccine that was not tested in large clinicial trials before widespread use. The lives of these children have been irrevocably altered and, yet, will anyone be held accountable? In most countries, including the U.S., public health officials recommending vaccines and doctors giving vaccines and vaccine manufacturers marketing vaccines are not held liable in a civil court of law when vaccines injure or kill people. In Europe, parents of children injured by Pandemrix vaccine are now struggling against bureaucracy to receive help for their vaccine-injured children.

Only one country’s government, so far, has stepped forward and is taking financial responsibility for the lifelong medical expenses the affected children will accrue. In October of last year, after finding a conclusive link between the Pandemrix flu vaccine and narcolepsy, the Finnish government and major insurance companies announced they will pay for lifetime medical care for children stricken with narcolepsy as a result of getting the H1N1 vaccine.

Other Harmful Effects of 2009/10 H1N1 Vaccines Around the World

The 2009/10 pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccines clearly appear to have been more reactive than past seasonal flu vaccines and different brands had different effects. While Europe saw a dramatic increase in narcolepsy with the vaccines they used, Australia temporarily suspended its seasonal flu vaccine program for children under the age of five after detecting an abnormal number of side effects within 12 hours of vaccination, compared to previous years.

The pandemic H1N1 vaccine in question in Australia was Fluvax, manufactured by CSL Limited. Side effects included high fevers and seizures. One infant also lapsed into a coma. However, after a three-month long investigation, the Australian Department of Health resumed seasonal flu vaccinations for young children, stating that “the higher than usual occurrence of fever and febrile convulsions appears to be confined to the vaccine Fluvax,” and advised parents to continue vaccinating their children with another brandiv

In August of 2010 the Korea Herald also reported that nearly 2,600 side effects had been reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in association with the pandemic swine flu vaccine.v There, side effects included fevers, headaches and allergic responses, and 10 deaths.

In the US, the pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccine has been statistically linked with abnormally high rates of miscarriage and stillbirths. As reported by Steven Rubin, PhD, who developed and operates MedAlerts on NVIC.org, the U.S. pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine was 60 times more likely to be reported to VAERS to be associated with miscarriage than previous seasonal flu vaccines!vi

Why Do Vaccines Cause Reactions?

It is very clear that vaccines do not cause problems for everyone who receives them but, when they do, it can be an unmitigated disaster. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has identified a brilliant strategy to help assess children who may be at higher risk for developing side effects from vaccines of all kinds. In her clinical experience, vaccine complication risks are often related to gut flora, which is typically transferred from the mother who was compromised due to poor diet, antibiotics and/or birth control pills. She maintains that children with compromised gut flora are at the highest risk for developing vaccine complications and suffering neurological damage.

Dr. Campbell-McBride suggests there are simple tests that can be done to evaluate whether a child has compromised gut flora or other risk factors BEFORE they are vaccinated. If they are at risk, then a comprehensive protocol may help reverse the problem before any vaccines are administered (although even perfectly healthy children can suffer vaccine reactions or injuries). Dr. Campbell-McBride’s protocol is carefully described in her wonderful book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia.

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

Flu Vaccines Proven Ineffective for Seniors Again and Again

When you start looking around, you’ll realize that the lack of evidence that flu shots are effective and safe is actually fairly robust, and rapidly mounting.  In recent years, we’ve seen a number of studies published in the medical literature that debunk the myth that the influenza vaccine actually prevents the flu but most of these studies have been completely ignored by mainstream media, of course.

Below is a sampling of studies demonstrating the ineffectiveness of flu vaccines in the elderly, which is another group heavily targeted for seasonal flu vaccination. Some of these studies also explain that earlier positive results appear to have been due to various types of bias and, when the bias is removed, the touted benefits of getting annual flu shots disappear.

This is not an exhaustive list of influenza vaccine studies. For additional studies demolishing the claim that the flu vaccine is an effective prevention strategy, see this previous article about the Flu-Zone High Dose vaccine. (In it you will also find a comprehensive list of alternative therapies that can help you combat colds and common respiratory infections without drugs.)

Functional status is a confounder of the association of influenza vaccine and risk of all cause mortality in seniors. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Apr;35(2):345-52 According to the authors: “… disability indicators tended to be associated with both a higher risk of death and a decreased likelihood of vaccination. Consequently, adjustment for the functional status indicators moved the estimate of the association of influenza vaccination and risk of death closer to the null…”

Influenza vaccination and risk of community-acquired pneumonia in immunocompetent elderly people: a population-based, nested case-control study. Lancet. 2008 Aug 2;372(9636):398-405.

The authors concluded that “… influenza vaccination was not associated with a reduced risk of community-acquired pneumonia during the influenza season”

Evidence of bias in estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness in seniors. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Apr;35(2):337-44 The authors concluded that, “The reductions in risk before influenza season indicate preferential receipt of vaccine by relatively healthy seniors. Adjustment for diagnosis code variables did not control for this bias. In this study, the magnitude of the bias demonstrated by the associations before the influenza season was sufficient to account entirely for the associations observed during influenza season. ”

Benefits of examining influenza vaccine associations outside of influenza season

Comment on: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep 1;178(5):527-33. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep 1;178(5):439-40. The authors explain how their approach “show that the lower risks of all-cause mortality and pneumonia hospitalization consistently observed in studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated community-dwelling seniors during influenza season are largely, or perhaps entirely, due to bias…”

Mortality benefits of influenza vaccination in elderly people: an ongoing controversy. Lancet Infect Dis. 2007 Oct;7(10):658-66 According to the authors: “Recent excess mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza-related mortality since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%… We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits. The remaining evidence base is currently insufficient to indicate the magnitude of the mortality benefit, if any, that elderly people derive from the vaccination programme.”

Relation of study quality, concordance, take home message, funding, and impact in studies of influenza vaccines: systematic review. BMJ. 2009 Feb 12;338:b354 According to the authors: “Evidence is of poor quality, and studies with conclusions in favor of vaccines are of significantly lower methodological quality. Influenza vaccines studies sponsored by industry are published in journals with higher impact factors and are cited more but are of similar size and quality to the others.”

Final Thoughts

It’s worth keeping in mind that scientists and doctors are regularly shocked and confused when they are faced with new complications of licensed drugs, vaccines and chemicals in consumer products they recommend people use. These days, unforeseen consequences seem to be more the norm rather than the exception when it comes to the dangers of prescription drugs and vaccines.

Here’s a perfect example:

According to recent research published in JAMA, the more children are exposed to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), the less likely they are to have a good immune response to vaccinationsvii. The finding suggests that these chemicals can affect children’s immune system enough to make them more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Isn’t that something!  Who knew?! PFCs can be found in nonstick coatings, stain-resistant fabrics, and food packaging, and are known to persist in the environment for many years. According to a January 24 NPR reportviii:

“Normally, a vaccine causes the production of lots of antibodies to a specific germ. But … the response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccines was much weaker in 5-year-olds whose blood contained relatively high levels of PFCs … The health effects of PFCs are still poorly understood. But in the past decade, government scientists have become increasingly concerned about possible links to developmental problems in children.”

The results were actually quite striking. According to the study:

“In a structural equation model, a 2-fold greater concentration of major PFCs in child serum was associated with a difference of −49 percent in the overall antibody concentration.  A 2-fold increase in PFOS and PFOA concentrations at age 5 years was associated with odds ratios between 2.38 and 4.20 for falling below a clinically protective level of 0.1 IU/mL for tetanus and diphtheria antibodies at age 7 years.”

What that means, in plain English, is that when you double the presence of these nasty fluoride chemicals in your blood, the effectiveness of the vaccine (tetanus/diphtheria) was reduced, on average, by 350 percent. You and your children are exposed to literally thousands of artificial chemicals, most of which have been introduced into the environment only in the last 70 years or so.  The vast majority of people have no idea that very few of these chemicals have been tested for safety, and that almost none have been tested to see how they interact with all the other chemicals.  

With all of those untested interactions occurring, it’s inevitable that there are going to be adverse effects. Yet public health officials have not stopped to consider the synergistic effects of chemicals and other toxins in the environment interacting with vaccines and prescription drugs. In this case, chemicals that children are commonly exposed to are interfering with vaccine effectiveness. In the case of the pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix, the insistence by European public health officials that the vaccine was proven safe before licensure did not prove to be accurate.

Vaccine Choices

Let’s face it, the more vaccines you are injected with, the more drugs you take, and the more synthetic chemical products you use, the more likely it is that some of them are going to interact with each other in unknown and harmful ways.

So please, do your homework. Weigh the risks against the benefits for each and every drug and vaccine you take. Remember, knowledge is power. Arm yourself with accurate information about vaccination and health. Do your own research and talk to one or more trusted health care professionals before you make any health care decision.

Become an educated consumer and you will be empowered to defend your right to freely make voluntary choices about health, including vaccination, for yourself and your children. If you arm yourself with accurate information about vaccines and health, you will be prepared to intelligently and rationally discuss your vaccine choices with your family, friends, colleagues, doctors, elected officials and others in your community.

For more information on informed consent and vaccine exemptions in state public health laws, please see this important article by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center.

If you conclude that you want to avoid certain vaccinations,  then fortunately 18 states allow  personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination, and 48 states allow a religious exemption. Barbara Loe Fisher gave the best discussion of how to obtain a religious exemption that I have ever heard, and if that is something that interests you I encourage you to view the following video.


Download Interview Transcript

Unfortunately, vaccine exemptions are currently under attack in a number of states. This should be of great concern to Americans everywhere. Non-medical exemptions to vaccination, including the religious and conscientious belief exemptions, are necessary because one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates, such as the flu shot mandate currently being proposed for all health care workers, violate informed consent rights. The ethical principle of voluntary, informed consent to medical risk-taking is a human right.

Ultimately, our goal is to change the health paradigm so that everyone has the unobstructed freedom and legal right to make informed, voluntary choices about medical procedures, pharmaceutical product use and options for healing and staying well.

What You Can Do to Make a Difference

While it seems “old-fashioned,” the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the legal right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions in state public health laws, 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 to be a user of NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. When national vaccine issues come up, you will have the latest information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.

With one click of a mouse on your computer or touch on your Smart phone screen, you can be in touch with YOUR state legislator IMMEDIATELY when NVIC emails you an Action Alert about threats to vaccine exemptions and choices in your state. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Contact Your Elected Officials

NVIC will help educate you about how to write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. You might even want to 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.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I also 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

Last but not least, 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 for making independent vaccine choices is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment. Never stay in an abusive doctor/patient relationship.

If you are treated with disrespect or are harassed in any way by a doctor (or government official), do not engage in an unproductive argument. You may want to contact an attorney, your elected state representatives or local media if you or your child are threatened.

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.

REFERENCES



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All About Krill Oil – Dr Mercola

Dr Mercola on krill Oil www.lifeaura.com There are many krill oil supplements available to buy from online stores, we, at Lifeaura.com reviewed one of the best supplements available. Check the full review here www.lifeaura.com

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Vermont Parents Fight to Save Philosophical Exemption

By Dr. Mercola

Non-medical vaccine exemptions are under serious attack across the United States, with the latest assault happening in Vermont.

It is extremely important that Vermont residents, who want to protect their right to obtain a philosophical exemption to vaccination for their children, IMMEDIATELY contact their state representative and senator and ask them to vote “NO” to S. 199 and H. 527.

Legislators in other states may soon follow Vermont’s lead and try to restrict your right to make voluntary vaccine choices.

You can help fight for the right to make voluntary decisions about vaccination in Vermont and every state by becoming a user of the National Vaccine Information Center’s (NVIC) Advocacy Portal and taking action today.

Using the online NVIC Advocacy Portal is free and you are quickly put in touch with your elected state representatives and senators with the click of a mouse or a touch of your Smartphone screen so you can make your voice heard.

Why is Protecting Your Right to Vaccine Exemptions so Important?

As of 2011, all 50 states have enacted vaccine laws that require proof children have received certain vaccines in order to attend daycare, middle school, high school and college.

However, in most states citizens currently have the legal right to opt out of using vaccines. The issue of protecting your right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself or your child in the United States is about defending human rights. As Barbara Loe Fisher, president of NVIC, states:

“While the State may have the legal authority to mandate use of vaccines, nobody has the moral authority to FORCE you to get vaccinated or vaccinate your child without your voluntary, informed consent.”

This — the right to choose what is injected into your body or your child’s — is a decision that is a matter of life and death for some individuals, as the current one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination does not take into account differences among children’s genetic profiles or immune responses based on factors such as age, weight, personal and family medical history and overall health status.

Each and every vaccine carries an inherent risk of causing a reaction, injury or death that can be greater for some individuals than others — and many do not know they are at increased biological risk until it is too late. This is why I often remind readers that, ultimately, it is your responsibility to exercise due diligence and do your own research to decide for yourself which vaccines you do or do not want your child to receive, if at any at all. As Fisher continues:

“More than $2 billion dollars has been awarded to children and adults in America, who have been seriously injured by vaccines … We are not all the same. People are injured or die from vaccination because vaccine risks are greater for some than others and sometimes vaccines fail to work at all. That is a big reason why there are vaccine exemptions in state public health laws for medical, religious and conscientious or philosophical beliefs.”

What is a Philosophical Vaccine Exemption?

In Vermont, State Senator Kevin Mullin and State Representative George Till are working with the Vermont Health Commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen and medical trade organizations funded by pharmaceutical companies, to take away philosophical exemption to vaccination with two bills before the state House and Senate — S. 199 and H. 527.

Vermont parents, including a mother and father whose seven year old daughter died within 92 hours of a routine flu shot, are urging Vermont legislators to oppose the bills that would strip Vermonters of their right to exercise philosophical belief exemption to vaccination (see VIDEO)

As it stands, Vermont is one of 18 states that allows conscientious, personal or philosophical exemptions to vaccination. These include:

Arizona California Colorado
Idaho Louisiana Maine
Michigan Minnesota New Mexico
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Rhode Island Texas Utah
Vermont Washington Wisconsin

These states come the closest to protecting a citizen’s right to exercise voluntary, informed consent to vaccination in America. However, this exemption, like the religious exemption, is under attack by proponents of inflexible one-size-fits all mandatory vaccination laws, who want to eliminate all non-medical exemptions to vaccination in America.

As you are probably well aware, the vaccine industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it does NOT want you to have the choice to refuse the use of their products! So you can expect that the philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions will remain under attack.

It is shocking, but a fact that, since 1986, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (which, by the way, receives millions of dollars from vaccine manufacturers) have eliminated almost every medical condition that qualifies as an officially recognized medical reason for withholding vaccination (contraindications). Today, almost no medical condition qualifies for a medical exemption to vaccination. In most states, a medical exemption to vaccination written by a medical doctor can be denied by schools and public health officials if the medical reason given does not strictly conform to CDC and AAP contraindication guidelines. Even children, who have suffered previous vaccine reaction symptoms or are vaccine injured can be forced to be re-vaccinated!

So, this is not simply an issue of being for or against vaccination; it’s a matter of protecting your legal and human right to abstain from risky medical interventions for yourself and your children. Vaccination  is a medical procedure, and virtually every medical procedure comes with risks attached, risks that can be greater for some than others. As a parent, do you really want this decision to be taken out of your hands completely, and forced upon you and your child even if use of one or more vaccines conflicts with your reasonable, sound judgment, your conscience or your spiritual beliefs?

How Many More Vaccines Will Soon be Forced Upon Your Child?

The U.S. government recommends children get 69 doses of 16 vaccines from the day of birth to age 18, most of which are required in order for children to attend public school or daycare. This may sound like a lot, and it is, but it has certainly not reached its upper limit as far as the vaccine industry is concerned. Not even close.

Each new vaccine public health officials add to the government recommended vaccine schedule is a guaranteed cash cow, as it means nearly every child in the United States will be legally forced to use multiple doses of each vaccine. And if all vaccine exemptions are stripped from public health laws, they can push those numbers to nearly 100% of U.S. children.  At that point, there will be no unvaccinated populations and it will be impossible to compare the long term health outcomes of children, who remain unvaccinated or use fewer vaccines, with the health of highly vaccinated children. This will eliminate the opportunity to document which populations are healthier – the highly vaccinated or the unvaccinated.

Just imagine the money at stake … the base cost for a child to get every government-recommended vaccine in a private pediatrician’s office has increased from $80 per child in 1986 to a whopping $2,200 per child in 2011! And it’s estimated that by 2013, the global market for vaccines will be worth more than $36 billion.i  As it stands, there are hundreds of new vaccines in the pipeline, many of which will be federally recommended to children. As Fisher states:

“In the future, the state of Vermont could add 10, 20, 30 or more vaccinations to state public health laws. Should every vaccine that Big Pharma creates and doctors want legislators to mandate be legally required for all children without parents being informed and allowed to make a voluntary choice?”

Here’s an example of just 16 new vaccines being developed. Would you want your child to be forced to receive these, with no say in the matter whatsoever?

Syphilis Vaccine Gonorrhea Vaccine Genital Herpes Vaccine Hepatitis C Vaccine
E. Coli Vaccine Salmonella Vaccine Chlamydia Vaccine Cytomegalovirus Vaccine
HIV/AIDS Vaccine Tooth Decay Vaccine Anti-Smoking Vaccine Anti-Cocaine Addiction Vaccine
Bad Breath Vaccine Diabetes Vaccine Asthma Vaccine Norovirus Vaccine


Fisher explains
:

“The only barrier left to unlimited vaccine profit-making is the freedom for Americans to choose whether or not to use every new vaccine Pharma creates and wants mandated. Freedom of choice is something Big Pharma and the medical lobby does not want you to have.

They know that many educated consumers in America and around the world are dissatisfied with the old pharmaceutical-based health care paradigm … And we are questioning why we and our children should be required to get a long list of expensive vaccines that carry serious risks and sometimes don’t work at all.

… So Pharma is funding medical organizations profiting from mass vaccination policies to press politicians into quickly passing laws that force Americans to buy and use dozens of doses of vaccines. The goal is to demand that everyone salute smartly and obey doctors’ orders to get vaccinated or be barred from getting an education, health insurance, medical care or a job. The goal is to, in effect, brand unvaccinated citizens as enemies of the state, so they can be fined or imprisoned. Can this really be happening in America? Yes, it can.”

Do You Think the U.S. Vaccine Schedule Has Been Safety Tested?

It would seem like a no-brainer that the federally recommended vaccine schedule would be rigorously safety tested to protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children — but sadly, it is not.

There is no system of “checks and balances” when it comes to vaccine safety. Vaccines come no where near being adequately tested for safety before they are licensed using methodologically sound scientific studies. The long-term side effects and potential negative impact on individual and community health of using multiple vaccines in childhood remains largely unknown because it has not been fully scientifically investigated.  Moreover, the effects of multiple vaccines given simultaneously on the same day have not been adequately tested. And pharmaceutical companies have financed nearly all vaccine research to date, which introduces enormous bias.

Large studies comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children have not been a priority for vaccine researchers. Most vaccine studies are about developing more vaccines for children and adults to use. And many health officials, reluctant to compare the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, claim that studies cannot be done because it would be “unethical” to leave children participating in the study unvaccinated or partially vaccinated in order to do the comparison.

Adding insult to injury, quite literally in this case, vaccine manufacturers are totally shielded from liability and accountability in civil court for vaccine injuries and deaths. In February 2011 – unbelievably – the U.S. Supreme Court gave drug companies making and selling vaccines TOTAL immunity from civil lawsuits- even if it could be shown they could have made a vaccine less toxic – because the Court said “vaccines are unavoidably unsafe.” .

Well, if vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” – how many people are being hurt by those “unavoidably unsafe” vaccines? Where are the methodologically sound studies to demonstrate that the long term health of highly vaccinated children is superior to the long term health of unvaccinated children? How do we know that the use of many more vaccines in this century than were given to children in the last century is not causing more and more children to become chronically ill and disabled?

In August 2011, an important vaccine safety review was issued by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee. According to their review of over 1,000 vaccine studies published in the medical literature, the IOM Committee was unable to determine whether or not vaccines are a causative factor in over 100 serious adverse health outcomes reportedly associated with eight routinely used childhood vaccines.  In short: the published research presently available is insufficient and cannot be used to confirm or reject causation for many poor health outcomes associated with many vaccines routinely given to children.

Grassroots Efforts, Lawsuits to Protect Vaccine Exemptions on the Rise

About 13 percent of parents are now using an “alternative” vaccination schedule for their young children, and 2 percent of parents are refusing vaccines altogether for their children.ii  Parents are losing faith in one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and doctors, who push them. A growing number of vaccine educated parents, both those with vaccine-injured children and those with healthy children, are fed up with the attack on their right to voluntary, informed consent to vaccination — and now they’re fighting back.

It is happening in West Virginia, one of only two states that allows only medical exemption to vaccination (and where regulators are increasingly denying even that). Along with residents spear-heading efforts to pass Senate Bill 50, which would allow philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccinations, a lawsuit has been filed against the state Health Department, alleging the agency’s mandating of vaccinations is in violation of constitutional rights.

WTRF 7 News reported:iii

“Some believe the way the Health Department is mandating vaccinations is violating our constitutional rights. On February 6th, local attorney’s from Harris Law Offices filed suit in front of Judge Irene Keeley in Clarksburg, asking for this to be ruled unconstitutional. In 2004 and 2005, the Health Department went to the state representatives and asked to have more immunizations required under statutory code. They were denied both times

“West Virginia code requires six immunizations for children, mandatory to attend school,” says Shawn Fluharty, of Harris Law Offices. “The Health Department has bypassed the State Legislature and said ‘we need you to have upwards to nine’.”  Which leaves many asking, how did they do that? “They have been using a thing called interpretive rule,” says Grindley. By bypassing that process, Fluharty says “they’re really going at the heart of democracy.”"

Act Now to Protect Vaccine Exemption in Vermont and Elsewhere

You can help fight for the right to make voluntary decisions about vaccination in Vermont, West Virginia and every state by visiting the NVIC’s Advocacy Portal and taking action today. There you will find urgent action items needing to be taken to protect vaccine choices in states across the U.S., from California to New York.

While it may seem “old-fashioned,” the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and legal 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 online 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 and state, but when national vaccine issues come up, too, 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 even 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.

REFERENCES



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Mercola Scam

jamesalive.com

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Almost Everyone Eats it, But it’s a “Breeding Ground” for Disease

By Dr. Mercola

Evidence is mounting that sugar is the primary factor causing not just obesity, but also many chronic and lethal diseases.

Dr. Robert Lustig, one of the leading experts on childhood obesity, and arguably the number one enemy of the sugar lobby, has published a well written article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature arguing that sugar is a poison.i

He believes that the negative health effects of sugar consumption can no longer be ignored, any more than the health effects of tobacco and alcohol could.

According to Dr. Lustig, via the website Diet Doctorii:

“The problem with sugar isn’t just weight gain … A growing body of scientific evidence is showing that fructose can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases.

A little is not a problem, but a lot kills — slowly.”

For the first time in history, “lifestyle” diseases — diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers — are killing more people than communicable diseases. And treating these entirely preventable illnesses costs more than one-seventh of the U.S. GDP. It stands to reason then that simply preventing these diseases could save the US health care system around one trillion dollars a year.

One of the primary, and likely most effective ways of preventing these diseases would be to curb the outrageous over-consumption of sugar.

Dr. Lustig rightfully argues that sugar used to be available to our ancestors only as fruit or honey—and then only for a few months of the year—compared to today, when sugar (primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is added to virtually all processed foods and drinks; even items you normally would not think of as being high in sugar. Tragically, many infant formulas even contain more than 50 percent sugar! “Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy,” Dr. Lustig says.

Fructose is NOT the Same as Glucose

Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium — and in fact, every living thing on the Earth — uses glucose for energy.

glucose, fructose, sugars

Fructose is not the same molecule. Glucose is a 6-member ring, but fructose is a 5-member ring. Sucrose (table sugar) is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, and HFCS is 42-55 percent fructose.

If you received your fructose only from vegetables and fruits (where it originates) as most people did a century ago, you’d consume about 15 grams per day. Today the average is 73 grams per day which is nearly 500 percent higher a dose and our bodies simply can’t tolerate that type of biochemical abuse. Furthermore, in vegetables and fruits, the fructose is mixed in with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all of which help moderate the negative metabolic effects. So it’s not that fructose itself is “poisonous”—it’s the biologically inappropriate doses you’re exposed to that make it hazardous to your health and well-being.

How High Fructose Corn Syrup has Decimated Human Health

We now know, without a doubt, that it’s the excessive sugar content in the modern diet that is taking such a devastating toll on people’s health. According to GreenMedInfo.com, scientific studies have linked fructose to about 78 different diseases and health problemsiii. Select the hyperlinks provided to review how fructose may:

Raise your blood pressure, and cause nocturnal hypertension Insulin resistance / Type 2 Diabetes Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Raise your uric acid levels, which can result in gout and/or metabolic syndrome Accelerate the progression of chronic kidney disease Intracranial atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries in your skull)
Exacerbate cardiac abnormalities if you’re deficient in copper Have a genotoxic effect on the colon Promote metastasis in breast cancer patients
Cause tubulointerstitial injury (injury to the tubules and interstitial tissue of your kidney) Promotes obesity and related health problems and diseases Promotes pancreatic cancer growth

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was invented in Japan in 1966 and introduced to the American market in 1975. Food and beverage manufacturers quickly began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup when they discovered that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) could save them a lot of money. Sucrose costs about three times as much as HFCS. HFCS is also about 20 percent sweeter than table sugar, so you need less to achieve the same amount of sweetness.

In the mid 1970s, dietary fats were blamed for heart disease, giving rise to the “low-fat craze,” which resulted in an explosion of processed nonfat and low fat convenience foods—most of which tasted like sawdust unless sugar was added. Fructose was then added to make all these fat-free products more palatable. Yet as the low-fat craze spread, rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity skyrocketed…

Clearly, there was a major flaw in the plan, and it’s not difficult to see that trading fat for sugar is not a wise move.

The problem is that excessive fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance appears to be the root of many if not most of the diseases listed above. Insulin resistance has even been found to be an underlying factor of cancer.

How Fructose Increases Insulin Secretion and Worsens Your Insulin Sensitivity

Interestingly, recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that fructose can activate taste cells found on your pancreas, a reaction that can increase your body’s secretion of insuliniv. And, while this is of particular concern for people prone to diabetes, if statistics are any indication, this could include virtually everyone.

At present, one in four Americans already have either pre-diabetes or some form of diabetes, and type 2 diabetes is directly linked to your diet, so anyone on a high-fructose diet can be at risk.

In this study, the researchers were able to demonstrate that fructose activates the same proteins in your pancreatic cells that your tongue uses to taste sweets. And when these cells are exposed to both glucose and fructose, they secrete more insulin than they do when exposed to glucose alone. According to Science Newsv:

“Most sugars join the [metabolic assembly line] at a point where a supervisory enzyme can control the flow of goods. But fructose comes in farther down, where it can lead to an overproduction of fat. And because fructose … doesn’t stimulate the same insulin response that glucose does, the hormone isn’t doing the other regulatory things it usually does, like moderating appetite.”

Limiting Sugar is Also Vital for Longevity

By increasing your insulin and leptin levels (and subsequently decreasing receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones), excessive sugar/fructose consumption not only increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, it also accelerates aging in general. In fact, limiting sugar in your diet is a well-known key to longevity, because of all the molecules capable of inflicting damage in your body, sugar molecules are probably the most damaging.

Two years ago, the journal Nutrients published an excellent report on the impact of fructose on aging.vi Fructose is a particularly potent pro-inflammatory agent that creates advanced glycation end products, commonly known as “AGEs.”

AGEs are a complex group of damaging compounds that form when sugar reacts with amino acids. Besides oxidation, glycation and the subsequent formation of AGEs is one of the major molecular mechanisms causing ongoing damage in your body, which leads to disease, (premature) aging and, eventually, death. According to the authors:

“[T]he data are supportive that endogenous AGEs are associated with declining organ functioning. It appears that dietary AGEs may also be related… As of today, restriction of dietary intake of AGEs and exercise has been shown to safely reduce circulating AGEs, with further reduction in oxidative stress and inflammatory markers.”

In short, if you want to live a long healthy life, you need to restrict your consumption of sugar, particularly fructose. As a standard recommendation to limit glycation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.

Most people would be wise to limit their fructose to 15 grams or less however, especially if you have elevated uric acid levels, which can be used as a predictor for fructose toxicity. This includes keeping track of your fructose intake from whole fruits. To evaluate the fructose content of many common fruits, please see this helpful fructose chart. I recommend this lower level of 15 grams a day simply because if you consume processed foods or sweet beverages at all, you’re virtually guaranteed to consume “hidden” sources of fructose that can have a major impact on your health.

When I have mentioned this in the past many people have strongly disagreed with me as they believe fruit is fine because it is natural. And it may be ok for some people, especially those doing long and intense exercise sessions. However, there is an easy way for you to find out your risk. If your uric acid is above 5.0 would be wise to follow the rule. The higher above 5.0 your uric acid is, the worse your risk for damage. If your uric acid is between 3.5 and 5 you should be fine. I believe I must have a genetic polymorphism for uric acid as mine is always above 5.5 even with intense exercise and less than five grams of fructose a day, so I nearly always avoid fruit.

The authors of that paper offer an in-depth review of the many health hazards of fructose, due to its pro-inflammatory actions:

“Accumulation of AGEs has been found in healthy aging persons, and this accumulation is higher during high glucose concentrations. Microvascular and macrovascular damage, seen in diabetes, is attributed to the accumulation of AGEs in tissues, but it is also associated with atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, end stage renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcopenia, cataracts, and other degenerative ophthalmic diseases, Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia and several other chronic diseases. For instance, Bar et al. have demonstrated differential increases of AGEs products in Alzheimer’s dementia and vascular dementia compared to controls. It has also been suggested that AGEs are involved in the loss of bone density and muscular mass associated with aging.”

How to Tame Your Sugar Cravings

If you’re struggling with sugar addiction, I recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many “soda addicts” kick their sweet habit. If you still want to use a sweetener occasionally, here’s what I recommend in lieu of sugar:

  1. Use the sweet herb stevia.
  2. Use organic cane sugar in moderation.
  3. Use organic raw honey in moderation.

Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose. Agave syrup has been touted as a healthy alternative by many, but don’t fall for it. It’s a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose, and should therefore be avoided.

References:



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The Silent Time Bomb on Your Plate – When Will Your Moment of Truth Arrive?

By Dr. Mercola

The “faster, bigger, cheaper” approach to food is slowly draining dry our planet’s resources and compromising your health.

The Earth’s soil is depleting at more than 13 percent the rate it can be replaced.

The documentary “FRESH” celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.

The film demonstrates how we can collectively transform the current “industrial agricultural paradigm” into a healthier, more sustainable way of feeding the world, while restoring the health of our ailing planet.

I hope you will set aside the time to watch it, as it will be time well spent.

We have already lost 75 percent of the world’s crop varieties over the last century.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve had 100 million tons of herbicides dumped onto our crops, polluting our soil and streams.

The agriculture industry now tries to convince us that housing 110,000 to more than one million chickens or 20,000 hogs in a warehouse is a necessary practice to feed the masses.

The quality of our food is in free-fall, and disease is rampant. Not to mention that the quality of life for those animals is so horrid that many people cannot bear to look. Meanwhile, the human population on our little blue globe continues to rise, recently topping 7 billion souls. We simply cannot sustain this growth with our current model. If we continue along the present path, world hunger will continue to escalate without a viable way to meet the need.

Forging more sustainable alternatives is imperative if we hope to survive.

As illuminated in the film, one of the major issues is that farmers have been forced into the practice of monoculture, or monocropping, which is detrimental to our soil, water, plants, and animals—and therefore detrimental to us.

Playing “Chicken” with Mother Nature

In the words of Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and a number of other bestsellers: “Mother Nature destroys monocultures.” What is a monoculture? Monoculture (or monocropping) is defined as the high-yield agricultural practice of growing a single crop year after year on the same land, in the absence of rotation through other crops. Corn, soybeans, wheat, and to some degree rice, are the most common crops grown with monocropping techniques. In fact, corn, wheat and rice now account for 60 percent of human caloric intake, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

By contrast, polyculture (the traditional rotation of crops and livestock) better serves both land and people. Polyculture evolved to meet the complete nutritional needs of a local community. Polyculture, when done mindfully, automatically replenishes what is taken out, which makes it sustainable with minimal effort.

Some critics of monocropping claim it even contributes to unsustainable population growth and mass starvation. According to an article on GreenFudge.org, monoculture is detrimental to the environment for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • It damages soil ecology by depleting and reducing the diversity of soil nutrients
  • It creates an unbuffered niche for parasitic species to take over, making crops more vulnerable to opportunistic pathogens that can quickly wipe out an entire crop
  • It increases dependency on chemical pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • It increases reliance on expensive specialized farm equipment and machinery that require heavy use of fossil fuels
  • It destroys biodiversity

The Most Famous Monoculture Disaster: The Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s

Monoculture farming practices have sadly resulted in a widespread shift away from sustainable family farms and local foods, and toward industrialized agriculture, massive farming complexes, and confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), all driven by large corporations whose chief motivation is maximizing profit. Countless small independent family farms have been squeezed out by “Big Ag” and replaced by massive monocultural operations.

Thousands of animals in small spaces means large quantities of antibiotics are needed to prevent rampant disease. Outbreaks of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), salmonella, E. coli, avian flu, and campylobacteriosis are all products of industrialized food production. Antibiotics are fed to livestock and poultry to ward off low-grade infection. Weak strains of pathogens are killed off, allowing strong strains to mutate and become even stronger. You consume these bacterial strains in your meat, which then contribute to the spread of infections that are increasingly resistant to the antibiotics your physician prescribes…

The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s is a perfect example of how monocropping can lead to disaster.

Lack of genetic variation in Irish potatoes was a major contributor to the severity of the famine, allowing potato blight to decimate Irish potato crops. The blight resulted in the starvation of almost one of every eight people in Ireland during a three-year period. But the greatest shortcoming of monocrops may lie in the compromised quality of those foods, and the long-term effect that has on your health.

There’s No Such Thing as Cheap Food

Food is most nutritious in its whole, fresh form. This is why local food is more healthful. Freshness means better taste AND better nutrition. The more you process food, the less nutritional it is. The greater the variety in your diet, the better nourished your body will be. Supermarkets are full of processed foods whose nutrients have been expunged in the name of “convenience.”

Michael Pollan said it best:

“Cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food. The real cost of the food is paid somewhere. And if it isn’t paid at the cash register, it’s charged to the environment or to the public purse in the form of subsidies. And it’s charged to your health.”

In other words, pay now or pay later. Consider organic eggs, for example. They cost more, but they’re WORTH more. Organic free-range eggs are far richer in omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, and vitamins A and E—a 79-cent cage egg just can’t compete. Grass-fed beef contains three to five times as much CLA as cheap, conventional corn-fed beef.

But there are people who cannot afford high quality food at these prices. In today’s environment, organic food is expensive to put on the dinner table because it’s expensive to produce. And millions of Americans live in “food deserts” where fresh produce is hard to find but processed food is available everywhere. You can find Ramen noodles, but you can’t find an apple.

Enterprising Farmers Show the Impossible is Possible

Virginia farmer Joel Salatin, featured in the films “FRESH” and “Food, Inc.,” is a living example of how incredibly successful and sustainable natural farming can be. He produces beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, rabbits and vegetables. Yet, Joel calls himself a grass-farmer, for it is the grass that transforms the sun into energy that his animals then feed on. By closely observing nature, Joel created a rotational grazing system that not only allows the land to heal but also allows the animals to behave the way the were meant to—expressing their “chicken-ness” or “pig-ness,” as Joel would say.

Cows are moved every day, which mimics their natural patterns and promotes revegetation. Sanitation is accomplished by birds. The birds (chickens and turkeys) arrive three days after the cows leave—via the Eggmobile—and scratch around in the pasture, doing what chickens do best.

No pesticides. No herbicides. No antibiotics. No seed spreading. Salatin hasn’t planted a seed or purchased a chemical fertilizer in 50 years. He just lets herbivores be herbivores and cooperates with nature, instead of fighting it. It’s a different and refreshing philosophy.

Instead of making 150 dollars per acre per year from a crop that produces food for three months, but lays fallow for the rest of the year, he’s making $3,000 per acre by rotating crops throughout the year, thereby making use of his land all 12 months—and maintaining its ecological balance at the same time. This generates complimentary income streams. But can the entire world be fed this way?

Monocropping is More Productive and More Profitable… WRONG!

Proponents of monocropping argue that crop specialization is the only way to feed the masses, that it’s far more profitable than having small independent farms in every township. But is this really true? Recent studies suggest just the opposite!

Studies are showing that medium sized organic farms are far more profitable than ANY sized industrial agricultural operation.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (results published in 2008 in the Agronomy Journal) found that traditional organic farming techniques of planting a variety of plants to ward off pests is more profitable than monocropping. The organic systems resulted in higher profits than “continuous corn, no-till corn and soybeans, and intensively managed alfalfa.”

Rotational grazing of dairy cows was also shown to be more profitable. The researchers concluded:

“Under the market scenarios that prevailed between 1993 and 2006, intensive rotational grazing and organic grain and forage systems were the most profitable systems on highly productive land in southern Wisconsin.”

The research team also concluded that government policies supporting monoculture are “outdated,” and that it’s time for support to be shifted toward programs that promote crop rotation and organic farming.

As it turns out, when you eliminate the agricultural chemicals, antibiotics, veterinary treatments, specialized machinery and multi-million dollar buildings, fuel costs, insurance costs, and the rest of the steep financial requirements of a big industrial operation, your cost of producing food makes a welcome dive into the doable. And did I mention… the food from organic farms is better? So, if small to medium-scale organic farming is more profitable, why aren’t all farmers doing it?

Government Subsidies and Food Processing Monopolies have a Chokehold on American Farmers

The government is subsidizing the makers of high fructose corn syrup but doing nothing to subsidize the growers of healthy, fresh produce. That’s issue number one. The second issue is that a very small number of very large companies control the food chain, from seed to plate. Farmers are held captive by huge food processing companies you may have never heard of, because they sell very few products directly to the general public.

Two major players are ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Company) and Cargill, each having ENORMOUS power in agriculture. Current.com reports Cargill has greater interests in soybean production and trade than any other company on the planet. Cargill is responsible for more than 75 percent of Argentina’s grain and oilseed production and has partnered with the Gates Foundation to introduce similar soybean monoculture to Africa.

So, here’s how it works…

Food processors, like ADM and Cargill, sell the farmers seed, fertilizers and pesticides. Then when the crops come in, those food processors turn around and buy the corn and soy, processing it into high fructose corn syrup and soybean oil that they then sell to huge food industry clients, like fast food chains. They also own feedlots. According to “FRESH,” 83 percent of commercial beef in the U.S. is processed by just three meat processors.

These players tell the farmers that, if they want to play the game, they play by their rules or not at all. These food-processing monopolies also promote GMOs. In 1998, Monsanto partnered with Cargill to develop and distribute genetically modified food and feed products. We need to level the playing field.

Growing a Movement

Farmers and lovers of real food, such as those portrayed in this film, show us that change IS possible. But your help is needed! As was suggested in the documentary, if each of you purchased only 10 dollars of food each week from your local farmer’s market or organic food stand, the market impact would be tremendous. There are “10 FRESH actions” you can take in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle:

  1. Buy local products whenever possible. Otherwise, buy organic and fair-trade products.
  2. Shop at your local farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to selling local foods.
  3. Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food.
  4. Avoid genetically engineered (GMO) foods. Buying certified organic ensures your food is non-GM.
  5. Cook, can, ferment, dry and freeze. Return to the basics of cooking, and pass these skills on to your children.
  6. Drink plenty of water, but avoid bottled water whenever possible, and do invest in a high quality water filter to filter the water from your tap.
  7. Grow your own garden, or volunteer at a community garden. Teach your children how to garden and where their food comes from.
  8. Volunteer and/or financially support an organization committed to promoting a sustainable food system.
  9. Get involved in your community. Influence what your child eats by engaging the school board. Effect city policies by learning about zoning and attending city council meetings. Learn about the federal policies that affect your food choice, and let your congressperson know what you think.
  10. Spread the word! Share this article with your friends, family, and everyone else you know.

Please show your support for FRESH by ordering a copy for only $15. The proceeds will go back to the producers of this film so that they can continue to spread the word.

Order Now!

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