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Monthly Archives: March 2012
By Dr. Mercola
After years of assurance that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the answer to pesky pest problems, corn rootworm is now turning into a nightmare for America’s agricultural biotech companies.
These insects have developed resistance to an inserted gene in the genetically altered corn crop that is designed to kill them.
In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 22 of the nation’s top experts on corn pests are calling for the agency to take action “with a sense of some urgency.”i
The researchers want seed companies to stop routinely inserting anti-rootworm genes into their corn lines.
Overuse of the gene increases the chances that insects will become resistant to it.
According to the NPRii:
“The researchers are calling on farmers in some parts of the country to stop planting corn with anti-rootworm genes altogether, or to plant such corn only intermittently …
If the recommendations in this letter were, in fact, put into practice, it would compel wrenching changes in the way that major seed companies like Monsanto and DuPont breed and market their corn seed.”
Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup
The issue of resistance is a growing problem, not only is there growing resistance of pests, but also of weeds. There are now a number of different types of genetically engineered crops. Some are genetically altered to produce internal pesticides to ward off insects while others are altered to withstand otherwise deadly doses of weed killer.
Each is virtually guaranteed to eventually produce resistance.
In the U.S., the majority of all soybeans, cotton, and corn planted yearly are genetically engineered to be herbicide-tolerant and/or “stacked” with one or more genes to kill insectsiii. Such crops receive numerous applications of Roundup each and every year. As a result, glyphosate resistance is on the rise, and has produced super-hardy weeds that are nearly impossible to get rid of. It’s estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40 U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant. In an effort to keep on top of the growing weed problem, farmers are applying ever increasing amounts of toxic herbicides to their crops.
Logic will tell you this is not a solution; it’s only deepening the problem. Surprisingly enough, Monsanto’s scientists were atrociously ignorant and did not believe or predict that weeds would become resistant to glyphosate, the weed-killing chemical in their herbicide Roundupiv.
In 1993, when they were requesting government approval for the herbicide, they claimed that “glyphosate is considered to be an herbicide with low risk for weed resistance,” and that several university scientists agreed that “it is highly unlikely that weed resistance to glyphosate will become a problem.” Today, the errors of their conclusions are obvious. According to NPR:
“Monsanto began a “massive effort” to figure out how the weeds withstand glyphosate. Some weeds … appear to keep glyphosate from entering the plant at all; others sequester the herbicide in a spot where it can’t do much damage. Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops use a different technique entirely.”
Can Genetically Engineered Foods Destroy Your Kidneys?
According to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, low doses of the Bt biopesticide CryA1b, and the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, kill human kidney cellsv. The Bt biopesticide, which confers insect resistance, and the glyphosate tolerance trait tied to the use of glyphosate herbicides, can be found in nearly all genetically engineered crops grown worldwide.
Researchers tested the effects of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac proteins as well as their combined effects with the herbicide Roundup. They found that Cry1Ab caused cell death at concentrations of 100 parts per million. Glyphosate at 57.2 parts per million — 200 times below agricultural use – killed half the cells. According to the Institute of Science in Societyvi:
“This study indicates that Bt toxins are not inert on human cells, and may indeed be toxic … Bt crops have previously been shown to induce hepatorenal abnormalities … as well as immune responses that may be responsible for allergies”.
This is in addition to previous evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically engineered corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses… Disturbingly, Bt-toxin has been detected in the blood of 93 percent of pregnant women tested; 80 percent of babies; and 67 percent of non-pregnant women. 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 U.S. since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996.
Why We MUST Insist on Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods
Mandatory labeling may be the only way to stop the proliferation of genetically engineered foods in the U.S., because while genetically engineered seeds are banned in several European countries, several U.S. states have passed legislation that protects the use of such seeds and allows for unabated expansion!
Such legislation is 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.
Fortunately, 24 U.S. states have (as part of their state governance) something called the Initiative Process, where residents can bring to ballot any law they want enacted, as long as it has sufficient support. California has been busy organizing just such a ballot initiative to get mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state. The proposed law will be on the 2012 ballot. Michigan and Washington are also starting similar campaignsvii.
Proof Positive that GMO Labeling WILL Change the Food Industry
Many don’t fully appreciate the strategy of seeking to have genetically engineered foods labeled in California. The belief is that large companies would refuse to have dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be very expensive and a logistical nightmare. So rather than have two labels, they would simply not carry the product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. This is why we are so committed to this initiative as victory here will likely eliminate genetically engineered foods from the U.S.
Powerful confirmation of this belief occurred in early 2012 when both Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. chose to alter one of their soda ingredients as a result of California’s labeling requirements for carcinogensviii:
“Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label. The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.”
This is a PERFECT example of the national impact a California GMO labeling mandate can, and no doubt WILL, have. While California is the only state requiring the label to state that the product contains the offending ingredient, these companies are switching their formula for the entire US market, rather than have two different labels. According to USA Today:
“A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and as a result may be found in trace amounts in many foods. “While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Garza-Giarlante said in an email.”
Learn More about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods
Due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what GM foods are. 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:
Important Action Item: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!
In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GMO labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired, but we aim to make it happen!
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. A coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals has already 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 this year’s ballot.
I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can. Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S. states, so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
- 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.
- i EPA Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0922,
- ii NPR March 11, 2012,
- iii USDA Data Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S.,
- iv NPR March 11, 2012,
- v Journal of Applied Toxicology February 15, 2012,
- vi Institute of Science in Society March 13, 2012,
- vii http://gmolabeling.webs.com/
- vii USA Today March 8, 2012,
www.epigeneticsandnutrition.com There’s many bases used for protein shakes as well, that’s where you have to be careful. There’s milk, whey, egg, soy, brown rice, hemp, pea protein and more. The one you choose should be based on quality first, taste second. Each type of protein will act slightly differently in your body, not all have benefits. For example, milk is actually too big of a protein for the human body to absorb effectively and leads to disease, the same with casein and whey protein. Protein shakes containing soy have a lot of health concerns linked to it, Click Here for a more in depth explanation on the dangers of soy. www.mercola.com These types of protein usually are highly processed, loaded with chemicals and added hormones and lead to excess gas and bloating. That’s not normal! The other ingredient you need to pay attention to is "sugar". Most of the major brands of protein shakes will be loaded with added sugar, stay away from these. And be careful, if these major brands advertise "no sugar" be wary because they replace the sugar with something just as bad if not worse, "artificial sweeteners" such as sucralose, sucrose, aspartame, glucose syrup and the list goes on. Protein shakes that contain added sugar and these artificial sweeteners are all crap, do not waste you money! There is very little to no nutritional value in these processed protein shakes. Everyone needs good quality protein and protein shakes are a good way to get what you need daily, just <b>…</b>
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By Dr. Mercola
If you’re an “average” 65-year-old (or older) adult living in the United States, you fill more than 31 prescriptions per year.
Those aged 19 to 64 take more than 11 prescription drugs per year, while even children take an average of 4, according to statistics from the Kaiser Health Foundation.i
It is also important to realize that this does not take into account over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, which would easily push these numbers significantly higher.
In 2010 alone, U.S. retail sales of OTC drugs reached $17 billion (and that excluded sales from Wal-Mart),ii and that is set to go through the roof if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plans to reclassify several prescription drugs to OTC status come to fruition.
OTC Medications for Chronic Disease May be Coming Your Way …
The FDA is holding a two-day meeting to discuss whether medications for numerous chronic diseases should be made available without a prescription. This includes drugs for:
- High blood pressure
The idea is that people would be able to access the drugs more quickly and without having to make a visit to their doctor’s offices, which would save patients (and insurance companies) time and money by reducing overall health care costs.
Since 1976, 106 ingredients or medications have been switched from prescription to OTC status, and this is a trend many Americans appear to support. A survey sponsored by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) revealed that 80 percent of U.S. consumers had used an OTC medicine in the last year, and 86 percent believe OTC drugs help them lower health care costs.
Further, 89 percent said OTC medications are an “important part of their overall family health care,” while 81 percent use them as a “first response” to minor ailments.iii Why are these statistics, and the FDA’s plan to make even more drugs available over the counter, concerning?
Because the majority of Americans are already taking too many drugs, and easier access makes it likely that people will take even more — even though many chronic conditions, like elevated cholesterol, are best treated without drugs, and there are many serious health risks to self-medicating. As pointed out in Current Drug Safety:iv
“Potential risks of self-medication practices include: incorrect self-diagnosis, delays in seeking medical advice when needed, infrequent but severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, incorrect manner of administration, incorrect dosage, incorrect choice of therapy, masking of a severe disease and risk of dependence and abuse … some of the most important dangers related to self-medication practices, particularly [include]: polypharmacy and drug interactions, medications abuse or dependence, misdiagnosis and incorrect choice of treatment.”
The Dangers of Polypharmacy
Anyone taking more than one drug increases their risk of experiencing harmful side effects. The word ‘polypharmacy’ simply means “many drugs,” but refers to instances where an individual is taking too many drugs — either because more drugs are prescribed (or taken over-the-counter) than clinically indicated, or when the sheer number of pills simply becomes a burden for the patient.
According to the CHPA survey, the majority of Americans (92%) believe that OTC medicines are safe and effective. But deaths due to unintentional drug overdoses have increased roughly five-fold since 1990v– and the risk of all adverse reactions, including serious and even life-threatening complications, goes up dramatically the more drugs you take.
This applies directly to many of you reading this, as nearly 40 percent of Americans take four or more prescription drugs, along with an untold number of OTC medications. While the drug label will contain some safety information, it cannot possibly warn you about the risks of every medication combination. For one thing, oftentimes the risks are not yet known; there are more than 100,000 OTC medications on the U.S. market alone, making the combinations virtually endless, and a detailed risk assessment equally unreachable.
But make no mistake about it, when you combine medications you are essentially acting as the guinea pig in your own science experiment. Many are lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to OTC drugs, but the side effects and risks are just as severe as those for prescription medications.
For instance, acetaminophen (Tylenol type products) is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States.
This happens so often because people take multiple OTC Tylenol-containing products without realizing it, which leads to unintentional, and sometimes fatal, overdose. Another example is antihistamines, which are commonly taken for cold symptoms. If you combine these with sedatives, tranquilizers, or drugs for depression, it may increase the depressant effects (such as sleepiness), impacting your concentration level and ability to drive a car. Or, taking antihistamines with a prescription drug for high blood pressure (which may soon become over-the-counter) may cause your blood pressure to increase and may also speed up your heart rate.
Common Signs of OTC and Prescription Drug Reactions
Common signs and symptoms that may be indicative of a detrimental interaction between two or more drugs include:
Tiredness, sleepiness or decreased alertness Confusion (chronic or intermittent) Weakness Anxiety or excitability Constipation, diarrhea or incontinence Dizziness and/or falls Tremors Skin rashes Loss of appetite Depression or lack of interest in your usual activities Hallucinations — seeing or hearing things Decreased or altered sexual behavior
Keep in mind that symptoms of drug side effects can occur very quickly after starting a new medication, or it may take a while. Many factors can come into play, so do not dismiss new symptoms as unrelated to a drug reaction just because you’ve been on the drug, or drugs, for a few weeks or even months. The bottom line is, if you’re on a prescription drug, and answer yes to ANY of the questions below, you may be at increased risk of polypharmacy:vi
- Do you take herbs, vitamins or OTC products?
- Do you have to take medicine more than once a day?
- Do you suffer from arthritis?
- Do you use different pharmacies to fill your prescriptions?
- Do you have poor eyesight or hearing?
- Do you live alone?
- Do you sometimes forget to take your medication?
Ironically, another significant problem of polypharmacy is that it leads to … more prescriptions! Yes, the side effects of polypharmacy are oftentimes confused with symptoms of yet another disease or health problem, setting into motion a vicious cycle of decreasing health followed by more drugs rather than fewer.
Many Chronic “Diseases” Can be Managed and Even Reversed with Lifestyle Changes
The idea that “easier access to drugs” is the answer to the nation’s failing health is, from my point of view, clearly misguided. There is a dangerous misconception in the United States, among both patients and physicians, that when you’re sick you need a drug to feel better. This is precisely why 81 percent of Americans reach for an OTC drug as a “first response” to minor ailments.
Clearly there are some cases when properly prescribed medications can and do save lives or relieve pain. But in the vast majority of cases, drugs are overused and overprescribed, even in cases where the risks far exceed any potential benefits.
This is not only my opinion — it’s fact! A study from the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found absolutely no correlation between spending more on drugs and improved patient outcomes, which is really no surprise. So one of the most important questions to ask yourself and your health care practitioner before deciding to take any drug is:
Do I really need it?
Oftentimes you’ll find the answer is no. So I hope that you will view drugs as a last resort instead of a first choice, and will instead embrace the massive shift in thinking to realize that your body can often heal itself if you give it the proper “tools.” Maintaining good health as you age, without the use of drugs, IS possible, and this is true even if you have certain “chronic diseases.” Examples of health problems that typically don’t require drug intervention include:
Diabetes Heart disease High blood pressure High cholesterol Insomnia Obesity
If you start with just the five steps listed below, you will be embarking on a journey to outstanding health and drug-free wellness. You may even be able to reverse some of your chronic conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure:
- Eliminate sugar, especially fructose and most grains from your diet.
- Eat unprocessed, high-quality foods, organic if possible. If you haven’t reviewed my comprehensive free nutrition program, please do so when you have a moment.
- Get sufficient amounts of sun exposure on large areas of your skin to optimize your vitamin D levels.
- Consume enough high-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil.
- Exercise regularly, including high-intensity burst exercises like Peak Fitness.
- i Kaiser State Health Facts, Retail Prescription Drugs Filled at Pharmacies, 2010
- ii Consumer Healthcare Products Association, OTC Medicines/Dietary Supplements Facts and Figures
- iii StrategyOne for CHPA, November 24, 2010
- iv Curr Drug Saf. 2010 Oct;5(4):315-23.
- v Unintentional Drug Poisoning in the United States
- vi University of Chicago, Polypharmacy in Older Adults
By Dr. Mercola
All across the United States, people are fighting for their right not to be injected with vaccines against their will.
Currently, the Colorado Board of Health has been holding hearings on whether or not to adopt a new rule that would mandate healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine — with NO religious or personal exemption, while a federal vaccine advisory committee has recently voted to encourage hospitals and medical facilities to require health care workers get an annual flu shot as a condition of employment.
Other states are faring a bit better.
In New Jersey, Governor Christie recently pocket vetoed a bill that would mandate flu vaccines for the state’s health care workers.
(When a bill is “pocket vetoed” it is not returned to the legislature for a possible vote to override the veto.)
And in West Virginia, where residents can currently only obtain a medical exemption for vaccination, a new bill has been introduced that could expand exemptions to religious and conscientious reasons.
Parents in Kansas are also fighting for more vaccine exemption rights, along with those in Florida and Mississippi.
This is good news.
But in the state of Vermont, there are bills in the House and Senate to strip the right to exercise a philosophical exemption to vaccination from state public health laws.
Parents are opposing the legislation that is being supported by state public health officials and medical trade associations.
In this video commentary, Barbara Loe Fisher examines the threat to philosophical exemptions to vaccination by interviewing the parents of seven-year old Kaylynne. Kaylynne was a healthy seven year old living in Vermont who died within 92 hours of a routine flu shot in December 2011.
Kaylynne’s parents are pleading with the Vermont legislature to oppose proposed bills that would strip philosophical exemptions from state vaccine laws. But the Vermont Health Commissioner and the drug industry-backed American Association of Pediatrics are pressuring legislators to take away parental informed consent rights.
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.
In Arizona, public health officials and medical trade groups are pushing bills to require doctors to sign off on religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccination, which is similar to a law that passed in Washington state last year..
At present, all but two states (West Virginia and Mississippi) allow religious exemption to vaccination.
In the video above, Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), discusses this important exemption, and why it’s so vital we defend our right to opt out of vaccinations for medical, religious, or conscientious belief reasons.
All Americans need to know their options for legally opting-out of vaccinations, and you also need to know why it’s so important to protect this legal option, whether you choose to use every federally recommended vaccine for yourself and your children or not.
Forced Vaccinations for Health Care Workers—A Real Threat to Health and Liberty
The right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice for yourself (or your child) should be an inalienable human right because it involves taking a risk with a pharmaceutical product that could cause harm or even death. There is no guarantee that taking a vaccine (or any other drug) will not cause a complication and lead to serious injury. Yet we’ve seen time and again how government tries to take away our human right to say ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ to potentially hazardous medical interventions like vaccination.
In response to the proposed federal recommendations for flu shot mandates for health care workers[i], the NVIC sent a public comment to the National Vaccine Program Office, US Dept. of Health and Human Services[ii] stating in part:
“The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has historic standing in representing the vaccine injured and vaccine consumers concerned about vaccine safety and the critical need to protect the legal right to informed consent to vaccination in America. NVIC co-founders worked with Congress to insert vaccine safety and informed consent provisions in the historic National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
… NVIC does not advocate for or against the use of vaccines but defends the human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking, including the right for everyone to have access to full information about infectious diseases and vaccines and the freedom to make voluntary decisions about vaccination.
Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of injury or death, which can be greater for some than others.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a landmark report in 2011, Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality, and acknowledged increased susceptibility for individuals, who have unidentified genetic or other biological high risk factors for adverse responses to vaccination that can lead to permanent injury or death. In addition, out of the 27 adverse events reported to be associated with influenza vaccination, for which the IOM committee reviewed evidence in the medical literature to try to determine causation, the committee was unable to make a determination for 23 of the 27 adverse events because there was either an absence of studies or the studies were not methodologically sound enough to prove or disprove causation.
Therefore, a mandatory, one-size-fits all approach to vaccination punishes those at greater genetic and biological risk for suffering harm from vaccines.
Mandatory vaccination policies without exemptions also penalize those holding religious or conscientious belief objections to vaccination. It is unfair, irresponsible and unethical for employers to force health care workers to choose between their health, their deeply held spiritual or conscientious beliefs or their job. In the past two years, we have seen an increase in the number of harassment reports made by health professionals to NVIC. They are reporting they are being threatened and fired from their jobs for declining influenza vaccination even though:
(1) they have already suffered previous vaccine reactions that their employers refuse to recognize as serious enough to qualify for a medical exemption because those reactions to not adhere to strict CDC contraindication guidelines; or
(2) they have a personal or family history of severe allergies, vaccine reactions, autoimmune or neurological disorders that employers reject as qualifiers for a medical exemption because the CDC does not list those medical conditions as a reason to defer vaccination; or
(3) they have deeply held spiritual or conscientious beliefs that oppose vaccination but the employer refuses to grant an exemption because the health care worker does not belong to an organized religion or church with a tenet opposing vaccination, which is a violation of constitutional rights.
As a result, these health care professionals – some of them with decades of experience on the front lines caring for patients – find themselves on the street with no job or income during these hard economic times. This should not be allowed to happen in America.”
OSHA Opposes Mandatory Flu Shots
The largest national nurses union opposes mandatory flu vaccination as a condition for employment, eNews Park Forest recently reported. The National Nurses Union (NNU) is also calling for members of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee who are also pharmaceutical representatives from Pfizer and Novartis to recuse themselves from voting on this issue. These companies will make millions of dollars from the flu vaccine sales that a mandate would create. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also issued a statement opposing mandatory flu shots for health care workers without exemptions, stating[iii]:
“While we are supportive of the Healthy People 2020 goal of a 90 percent vaccination rate, we have seen no evidence that demonstrates that such a high rate is in fact necessary. Furthermore, the current influenza vaccine is no magic bullet.
The current state of influenza vaccine technology requires annual reformulation and revaccination and the efficacy is quite variable. Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all.
The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program.”
Understand the Risks You Take Before You Take Them…
If you want a clear illustration of what could happen to you or someone you love, should the seasonal flu vaccine become mandated for all health care workers without exemptions, take a look at this video profile of a former professor of nursing, who was left completely disabled after a seasonal flu shot. This is a risk every single health care worker would have to take in order to keep their job, should this federal recommendation go through…
Is that really reasonable?
Is Your Doctor Breaking the Law?
The seasonal flu vaccine is not the only vaccine the U.S. government is trying to mandate. The HPV vaccine is another, and it has been associated with many reports of serious injuries and deaths, just like the flu vaccine. In September of last year, California passed bill AB499[iv], permitting minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease vaccines like Gardasil without parental knowledge or parental consent.
This could be a disaster in the making… Informed consent is especially important when it comes to vaccination because no one can predict whether your child will be one of the children who has a devastating vaccine reaction, such as brain inflammation, paralysis, immune dysregulation, permanent brain damage, or even death. Furthermore, doctors have been notoriously lax when it comes to providing patients with full disclosure of potential side effects. And even if they did inform minor children of vaccine risks, are pre-adolescent children really cognitively and emotionally mature enough to understand them and fully weigh the risks and benefits appropriately? And what about the minor child, who is given one or more vaccines without the knowledge of a parent, and suffers a serious vaccine reaction but the parent, who has been kept in the dark, doesn’t even know what is happening?
Lack of disclosure is now coming back to bite at least three Canadian doctors, who are being sued by the parents of a 14-year old girl, Annabelle, who died following her second Gardasil shot[v].
Linda Morin, Annabelle’s mother, claims she was not informed by anyone of the side-effects linked to Gardasil, and that the doctors were negligent in their treatment of her daughter, as she suffered apparent side effects of the vaccine right after her initial dose. The symptoms: vomiting, confusion, incoherence and inability to speak or walk, was simply dismissed as a migraine attack. Two weeks after her second inoculation, Annabelle was found dead in the bathtub…
All Americans should know that if your doctor does not provide the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) sheet, or directly discuss the potential symptoms of side effects of the vaccination you or your child is about to receive BEFORE vaccination takes place, it is a violation of federal law.
You have a right to know!
In addition, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 requires doctors and other vaccine providers to:
- Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given and the manufacturer’s name and lot number
- Write down serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths that occur after vaccination in the patient’s permanent medical record
- File an official report of all serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
If a vaccine provider fails to inform, record or report, it is a violation of federal law.
Together We Can Change this Assault on Your Health Liberty
Non-medical exemptions to vaccination, including the religious and conscientious belief exemptions, are necessary because one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates, such as the one currently being proposed for health care workers violate the ethical principle of voluntary informed consent to medical risk-taking, which 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 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 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 iPhone 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
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.
- [i] NVAC Adult Immunization Working Group, Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination Subgroup, Recommendations on Strategies to Achieve the Healthy People 2020 Annual
- Goal of 90% Influenza Vaccine Coverage for Health Care Personnel, 15 December 2011
- [ii] Re: Public Comment on Draft Recommendations of The Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination
- Subgroup (HCPIVS) of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC),
- [iii] OSHA position statement to NVAC, Certified minutes, Appendix B, page 25,
- [iv] Assembly Bill
- [v] Parents sue after Quebec teen dies following Gardasil vaccination, Lifesitenews.com February 2, 2012,
By Dr. Mercola
Aspartame is the most popular artificial sweetener in the United States, but I think a more apt description would be the most dangerous food additive on the U.S. market.
Used in more than 6,000 products (often sugar-free or “diet” versions), millions of people consume this toxin, believing it to be a healthy alternative to sugar.
But people would likely stop using it in droves if they only knew the truth, which is that since its discovery aspartame has been linked to brain tumors.i
And just this month, research was published in Drug and Chemical Toxicology showing yet another route by which aspartame damages your brain …
Long-Term Consumption of Aspartame Leads to Oxidative Stress, and Imbalances in Your Brain
A new study investigated the effect of long-term intake of aspartame on the antioxidant defense status in the rat brain.
Male rats that were given a high dose of the artificial sweetener exhibited a lowered concentration of reduced glutathione (the active, antioxidant form of glutathione), and reduced glutathione reductase activity.
Glutathione deficiency has been linked to age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Examination also revealed mild vascular congestion — an obstruction of the normal flow of blood within the brain — in these rats. Researchers concluded:
“The results of this experiment indicate that long-term consumption of aspartame leads to an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain, mainly through the mechanism involving the glutathione-dependent system.”
A Sweet-Tasting Neurotoxin
Aspartame is composed of three ingredients — two amino acids (phenylalanine and aspartic acid) and a methyl ester bond. In typical proteins like meat, fish or eggs, phenylalanine and aspartic acid comprise 4-5 percent each of the total amino acid profile. This is how nature intends the human body to encounter these two amino acids and there is nothing wrong with these substances if they occur naturally in a proper balance with other amino acids.
But in aspartame the ratio of these two amino acids is 50 percent phenylalanine and 40 percent aspartic acid (with 10 percent methyl ester bond, aka wood alcohol). In other words, on a percentage basis this is a massive quantity of two unnaturally isolated amino acids that are simply not found in this ratio in nature, bonded together by a known poison. The result of this chemical cocktail is a sweet-tasting neurotoxin.
Excess Aspartame May “Excite” Your Brain Cells to Death
As a result of its unnatural structure, your body processes the amino acids found in aspartame very differently from a steak or a piece of fish. The amino acids in aspartame literally attack your cells, even crossing the blood-brain barrier to attack your brain cells, creating a toxic cellular overstimulation called excitotoxicity. MSG is also an excitotoxin, and works synergistically with aspartame to create even more damage to your brain cells.
Aspartic acid, also known as aspartate, acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate in your brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death.
Adding to the problem, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, a retired neurosurgeon:
“Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis. In fact, one aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile … “
The blood-brain barrier, which normally protects your brain from excess aspartate, as well as toxins, is not able to adequately protect you against the effects of aspartame consumption because it:
- Is not fully developed during childhood
- Does not fully protect all areas of the brain
- Is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions
- Allows seepage of excess aspartate into the brain even when intact
That excess aspartate slowly begins to destroy neurons, and the large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. Then, when they do occur, they may or may not be associated with aspartame consumption, even though examples of chronic illnesses that are made worse by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) ALS Memory loss Hormonal problems Hearing loss Epilepsy Alzheimer’s disease and dementia Parkinson’s disease Hypoglycemia AIDS Brain lesions Neuroendocrine disorders
If It’s So Dangerous, How Did Aspartame Get Approved?
This is the first question that springs to many people’s minds, as most would rather not believe that brain-damaging food additives are allowed on the market. The truth of the matter is the FDA rejected aspartame not once but multiple times. The scientific data just did not support it as a safe product. But the FDA is a federal agency subject to the political winds, and the people in charge of the agency have repeatedly and notoriously been accused of many conflicts of interest, both economically and ethically.
In 1975 the FDA came to the conclusion that aspartame should not be allowed on the market. They requested that further studies be conducted. The FDA’s next move was to set up a public board of inquiry composed of outside experts to investigate the safety of aspartame, and in 1980 that board unanimously rejected aspartame’s request for approval. Another internal FDA panel convened in 1980 also rejected aspartame for approval.
So it was three strikes against aspartame at this point, four strikes if you count the Bressler Report. This report was compiled in 1977 after FDA scientists looked into the field studies conducted on aspartame. The Bressler Report uncovered fraud and manipulation of data so serious that the FDA forwarded their files to the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution.
For more details on the story of how aspartame made it through the FDA approval process despite warning signs of potential health hazards and alleged scientific fraud, please watch the 60-Minutes report below, as Wallace does a nice job of summarizing an otherwise long story.
Basically the results of the scientific data were fairly clear up until 1980: Aspartame was a dangerous, brain-tumor-causing man-made poison and the company trying to get it into the food supply was recommended for prosecution by the FDA. You would think that would be the end of aspartame, right?
Not by a long shot.
It is no coincidence that the FDA Chairman who stood in the way of aspartame’s approval was removed from office the day Ronald Reagan took office. His replacement (Dr. Arthur Hill Hayes) was in part planted there by Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G.D. Searle (aspartame is produced by G.D. Searle Company), in order to allegedly get a friendly rubber stamp on aspartame’s approval.
But even with a friendly new FDA Chairman in place, the agency still rejected aspartame for approval by a 3-2 margin. What reprehensible, bordering on criminal action did Chairman Hayes do next? He added a sixth member to the approval board, who voted in favor of aspartame. Then, with a 3-3 tie on the issue, Chairman Hayes himself broke the deadlock with his own vote of approval for aspartame.
So he packed the board and then used his own vote as a tie-breaker. All apparently perfectly legal …
And one of Hayes’ last acts in office before he left the FDA in1983 amid accusations that he was accepting corporate gifts for political favors, was to approve aspartame for use in beverages. Does this sound to you like a man-made synthetic chemical that should have never been allowed into the world’s food supply?
Are You Suffering Health Problems from Aspartame?
You might not realize you’re having a reaction to aspartame. In fact, most people don’t make the connection, and a tremendous amount of time and money is spent by aspartame “reactors” (people sensitive to the chemical), trying to find out why they are sick. Some of the most common reactions include:
Headaches/migraines Nausea Abdominal pains Fatigue Sleep problems Vision problems Anxiety attacks Depression Asthma/chest tightness
To determine if you’re a reactor, take the following steps:
- Eliminate all artificial sweeteners from your diet two weeks. (Note: If you typically consume aspartame in caffeinated drinks, you may want to gradually reduce your intake in order to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms.)
- After two weeks of being artificial sweetener-free, reintroduce aspartame in a significant quantity (about three servings daily) and avoid other artificial sweeteners during this period.
- Do this for one to three days and notice how you feel, especially as compared to when you were consuming no artificial sweeteners.
- If you don’t notice a difference in how you feel after re-introducing aspartame, it’s a safe bet you’re able to tolerate aspartame acutely, meaning your body doesn’t have an immediate, adverse response. However, this doesn’t mean your health won’t be damaged in the long run by this chemical and its breakdown products.
If you experience an adverse reaction to any aspartame product, I urge you to call the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area. Also please forward this article to your friends and loved ones who are still drinking diet sodas and poisoning themselves. You can make a difference on this issue by helping to spread the word.
Tips for Ditching Aspartame (and Other Artificial Sweeteners)
First off, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT works to overcome food cravings and helps you reach dietary success. If diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short amount of time.
Avoiding sugar is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, but, instead of consuming a naturally low-sugar diet based on whole foods, some people are still trying to have their cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, the belief that artificial sweeteners can allow you to have the best of both worlds is a carefully orchestrated deception. So if you’re still consuming artificially sweetened foods, snacks and beverages because you think it’ll help you manage your weight, please understand that you’ve been sorely misled.
In reality, “diet” foods and drinks destroy your body’s ability to count calories and actually promote weight gain. For example, drinking diet sodas has been found to double your risk of obesity! Complicating matters further, artificial sweeteners also appear to be highly addictive. It’s important to understand that craving sugar is typically a sign that your body needs fuel. Using artificial sweeteners will NOT trick your body into thinking it has had its fill. Instead, artificial sweeteners can increase sweet cravings because your body didn’t get the energy boost it was expecting from that sweet taste.
If you’re determined to sweeten your foods and beverages, I urge you to consider using stevia extract — a safe and natural sweet herb. Stevia is my sweetener of choice. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using it in moderation, just like sugar. I prefer to use it in its liquid flavored form and my favorite flavors are English Toffee and French Vanilla.
Most all sweeteners increase your insulin sensitivity but interestingly stevia has actually been shown to have an insulin-releasing effect, and actually INCREASES insulin sensitivity, so it appears to be safe to use. But it is probably best to avoid highly processed stevia-based sweeteners like Truvia and PureVia, as these do not contain the whole stevia plant, which may compromise its safety.
By Dr. Mercola
Hungry for Change is a 90-minute film from the creators of Food Matters, the documentary that expertly showed the basics of how food is your true medicine and the key to good health.
Hungry for Change continues the story about how you can create vibrant health, abundant energy, and achieve your ideal body weight without dieting.
If you enjoyed Food Matters, you will love this important sequel, as the film’s creators expose deceptive tactics the food industry employs, but would rather you not know about… ways they create products that actually CAUSE cravings and keep you coming back for more.
The film features bestselling authors and leading medical experts on the cutting edge of nutritional science, plus several powerful testimonials by individuals who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight.
What You Can Learn from this Film
In the film, you’ll discover which dietary choices could be keeping you stuck, what’s keeping you from having the healthy body you deserve, and how to escape the diet trap forever.
You will learn:
- How to overcome food addictions and cravings
- Why fad diets don’t work
- Which food additives to avoid and how to read labels, including the real truth behind “DIET,” “SUGAR-FREE” and “FAT-FREE” products
- What fat is, and how you can get rid of it for good
- The most effective strategies for detoxifying and cleansing
You aren’t Eating FOOD Anymore—You’re Eating Food-Like Products
The foods eaten by most Westerners today bear little resemblance to the foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. And our lifestyles are equally non-reflective of our roots. Our bodies evolved to weather the cycles of feast and famine; to accumulate body fat easily in order to make it through times when food was scarce. But the famine never comes now, so all we have is the feast. And feast upon feast upon feast adds up to a LOT of extra body fat.
The documentary points out that 68 percent of U.S. adults are now overweight or obese.
Hunter-gatherers consumed foods with high nutrition and low calories. Today, most Americans are getting the converse—high calories and low nutrition. Many are overfed, yet starving to death. Their bodies are accumulating fat and pollutants from intentional AND unintentional contaminants in our food supply, causing their biological systems to shut down and be vulnerable to a variety of chronic diseases.
Adding to the caloric excess is an exercise deficit.
As a culture, we’ve gotten away from farms and moved to cities, adopting an indoor lifestyle that expends far fewer calories. Instead of walking, we ride in cars. Instead of running from tigers, we chase cursors around a screen. We have completely lost touch with where our food comes from and what goes into creating it. Our very relationship with food has changed, and not for the better.
Are You Addicted to Additives?
Processed food has become a multi-billion dollar industry that dangles the carrot of “convenience.” However, the price you pay for convenience is your very health and vitality. Hungry For Change exposes the dark side of the food industry’s marketing plan—namely, the addition of certain chemicals that secretly can get you addicted and make you a perpetual customer (they hope). You can probably already see the parallels with the tobacco industry that, in the 1960s, began increasing the nicotine level in cigarettes, which kept smokers coming back for more.
One example of an addictive food additive is MSG (monosodium glutamate), which is added to 80 percent of all flavored foods. MSG excites the part of your brain that’s in charge of your fat programs. MSG is what’s known as an excitotoxin, but it’s also used to fatten up mice for scientific study. Yes, MSG is the perfect obesity drug. If you want to achieve your ideal body weight and health, avoid MSG at all costs.
Artificial Sweeteners: The Worst of the Worst
Sweeteners, both artificial and sugar-derived, top the list of addictive additives. But artificial sweeteners are the absolute WORST things you can put in your body. Consider aspartame, sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal. Diet cola, which often combines aspartame and caffeine, is the perfectly addictive beverage. These two agents create a very unique but deadly combination of excitotoxins that kill off your brain cells. However, before they do so, they go out with a bang by giving you something akin to a buzz. It’s the perfect plan to get you to go back to the store to buy another soda. And maybe a supersized soda—after all, it has ZERO calories, no matter how much you consume!
But not so fast. You are sipping your way into a trap.
Studies now show that, in spite of their zero-calorie status, many artificial sweeteners actually cause weight GAIN because they stimulate your body to crave carbohydrates. But weight gain may be the least of your worries. Aspartame causes formaldehyde to build up in your brain, which results in all sorts of potentially serious medical problems, including:
Frontal lobe inflammation Visual disturbances Migraines A syndrome similar to multiple sclerosis Seizures Cognitive problems Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia Symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease Symptoms similar to attention deficit disorder
In fact, pilots’ associations are aware of the visual disturbances and caution pilots to avoid using aspartame due to its potential to compromise their ability to pilot a plane.
The food industry claims that aspartame is safe. However, if you look at the studies that claim to support aspartame’s safety, you will see that 90 percent of them were funded by the food and beverage industry. When you examine independent aspartame studies, it’s a totally different story. Ninety percent of those have found serious health problems related to aspartame. The FDA merely evaluates the studies that the industry submits—it doesn’t have a team of researchers conducting those studies itself, contrary to what you might think.
Feeding Your Child Sugar Can Be a Highly Addictive Habit
American children are consuming about ten times as much sugar as they were a century ago, especially in the form of fructose (primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup). Fructose is the average American’s largest source of calories. This comes as no surprise, as it’s highly addictive. The prevalence of fructose in the Western diet is a very significant factor driving today’s obesity epidemic.
Much of the fructose in processed foods and beverages is in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
You’ll find high fructose corn syrup in an alarming number of everyday products—bread, salad dressing, pasta sauce, infant formula, and nearly all processed foods. In these highly concentrated, highly refined forms, fructose can have some very serious metabolic effects that wreak havoc on your body and make it difficult to escape the addictive cycle. Because it’s so energy-dense, putting HFCS in your body is like putting jet fuel into an automobile engine—you’ll burn it out.
When you consume something so high in sugar, your pancreas must secrete large amounts of insulin to bring down your bloodsugar level. And all of that sugar is turned into fat so it can be stored. Insulin is in fact a fat-producing hormone. But the problems from sugar don’t stop there.
Sugar is a drug. It causes a beta-endorphin rush in your brain, stimulating the production of morphine-like chemicals. When you’re feeling down or under stress, it’s natural to want to eat foods that lift your mood. Sugar fits the bill as a “comfort food,” given its morphine-like physiological effects. And like any drug, your body can become habituated, meaning you will require more sugar over time to get the same sugar high.
Sugar is actually is similar to cocaine in many respects.
Both are highly refined, chemically manipulated agents that are derived from natural, harmless plants—it’s the extremely concentrated forms that are dangerous and addictive to your body. Cocaine is made from coca leaves, which are not in and of themselves harmful and have been used nutritionally for hundreds of years in South Americai. If you want to be healthy, you MUST take control of your sugar intake so that it doesn’t take control over you.
Diets Don’t Work
Diets really don’t work. Although most people have heard this admonition before, many are still unable to resist the temptation. “Dieting” is a multi-million dollar industry itself and does some powerful marketing to lure you in. However, studies are clear that 90 to 95 percent of dieters gain back the weight they lose, and THEN some. Dieting is a temporary fix… do you want to be temporarily healthy? Of course not! You want to be permanently healthy. So, you have to make some permanent lifestyle changes.
Every time you lose weight by dieting, your body will be triggered into trying to protect you from the effects of another “famine” in the future, so it will add some extra body fat as insurance. You may lose 10 pounds on a diet, but you’ll gain back 15 or 20. Dieting is a physiologically flawed concept and sets you up for failure.
Fake-Foods of the Western World
People of vastly different cultures and environments thrive on all sorts of diets, from high fat and high protein to high carbohydrate; some mostly animal products and others largely vegetarian. Yet, as varied as native diets are, most native populations have very low rates of chronic disease when compared with Americans and other Western cultures. Eskimos thrive on diets rich in animal fat and muscle and organ meats, but tropical natives thrive on abundant fresh plants, fish and fruit. Yet both cultures are healthy!
So what’s the common denominator?
Native diets consist mostly of natural, whole foods (whether plant- or animal-based) rather than processed foods that come in a box or a can. Americans are eating overcooked, overprocessed and chemically manipulated fake foods, instead of REAL foods.
Native diets, in general, are largely made up of whole vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meats. Not cooked down, refined, dehydrated and reconstituted, boxed-up pretend foods that aren’t really foods at all. Eating wisely requires a gradual transition toward the consumption of natural, whole foods that are unaltered by a lab. The closer to nature a food is, the more nutritious it will be. A change away from the cultural “norm” won’t be accomplished over night. Start gradually. As good foods are added into your diet, bad foods will eventually be crowded out.
Four Other Critical Factors for Achieving Optimal Health
Choosing which foods to eat is important, but other lifestyle factors must be addressed as well. Besides making better food choices, there are four other key factors you must consider if you want to achieve your optimal level of health.
- Exercise: Exercise creates the same mood-elevating chemicals that sugar does—but with positive metabolic effects. Exercise helps metabolize your stress hormones, reduces hunger, improves sleep, strengthens bones and joints, and causes your body to release growth hormone—and many other health benefits.
- Detoxification/Cleansing: As you burn off body fat, you must also detoxify, because most chemicals are lipophilic (fat-loving) and are lodged in fat cells. If you don’t do something to remove these toxins from your body while losing weight, toxins can be reabsorbed into your bloodstream and potentially cause health problems.
Fortunately, your body will detoxify itself if there is no toxicity coming in. Chlorophyll-rich foods such as organic green vegetables, gelatinous plant foods like aloe and chia seeds, seaweeds, chlorella, cilantro and parsley can help with this. Make sure to drink plenty of pure water, as this is essential to your body’s cleansing processes. Juicing may also be of benefit. Avoid all chemicals, additives, and preservatives. If a product’s shelf life is longer than your life, don’t eat it!
- Sleep: Sleep allows your body to repair and rebuild. Deep sleep is a great way to neutralize stress hormones. Stress increases fluid retention—you can gain two pounds in body fluids just from one night of poor sleep due to stress.
- Stress Management: Stress changes your body chemistry, and will prompt you to eat, out of your body’s not knowing what else to do. It’s one of your body’s ways of protecting you. Stress raises your levels of cortisol and epinephrine, which can result in weight gain. If you don’t believe this, just talk to anyone taking prednisone, a pharmaceutical steroid similar to cortisol. They often gain 20 to 30 pounds, no matter what they’re eating.
My favorite overall tool to manage stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which is like acupuncture without the needles. It’s a handy tool for unloading emotional baggage quickly and painlessly, and so easy that children can learn it. And it’s FREE! Also free, laughter is great medicine because it decreases stress chemicals and pain.
Another powerful tool for creating positive change in your life is visualization, which is the “language” of the subconscious. When you create a visual image of how you’d like to look or feel, your subconscious will understand and begin to help you by making the needed biochemical and neurological changes.
These are just some of the suggestions that will help you along your way. I recommend taking the time to watch Hungry for Change, which offers you even more information than what I’ve presented above. Remember that if you treat your body well, it will return the favor.
www.Health-Reviewer.com mercola.com – Mercola Video Review – Get Your Site Reviewed For Free! Natural Health Information Articles and Health Newsletter by Dr. Joseph Mercola Great source of health articles, optimal wellness products, and free natural health newsletter of top medical news by Dr. Joseph Mercola From the site In 1997 I started my web site, Mercola.com, that is now the most visited natural health site in the world. By 2006 we had over 800000 subscribers and over 5 million page views every month. I created this site with no outside investors or advertising. Do you want a free video review of your site? Please leave your message in the comment box below.. I’ll produce a video review of your site to introduce your site to my viewers in the next few days, I’ll also publish a page with the video on it, on my site, with a link back to your site. Your site needs to be about Health, Beauty or Fitness and be well taken care of. Minimum age: 1 year old. Thank you for watching, please share the video with your friends!
In this video, Djcandy0605 gives you important information to think about and asks that you have an open mind while watching this video. Special thanks to TheAlexJonesChannel for daily infomation and to Michael Jackson for the beautiful song in the background. Rest In Peace to everyone who is named in this video, anyone who has died from prescription drugs, and to my dear Uncle Chester Arthur Simmons 8.12.57-06.15.02 I Love you all. Links to website I got information from: 1.) www.youtube.com 2.)articles.mercola.com 3.) drugwarfacts.org Please go to these websites and look at the information for yourselves!!!!!!!! Leave your suggestion in a comment below. Sorry for the blurr and Thank you for watching!!!!!!!
By Dr. Mercola
Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the ocean.
They are plentiful; packed with nutrients, and, according to some, might be a possible fix for world hunger.
A U.N. report has predicted worldwide starvation by the year 2050 if we do not alter how and what we eat, and a growing number of people are looking to krill as the solution.
Krill have already served as a food source for many years in Russia, Korea and Japan.
They are a rich source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fats, and because of their huge numbers and short lifespan, krill is a nearly endless renewable source of protein.
“These benefits, along with sky-high antioxidant levels, have earned krill the nickname the ‘magicians’ of the ocean.
Meanwhile, the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization notes that as other food resources shrink, ‘there will be greater emphasis on harvesting species such as krill’ and that ‘developments in food technology may result in more rapid cost-effective forms of krill for human consumption.’”
However, not everyone agrees. Some have raised concerns that over harvesting krill, which is at the bottom of the food chain, could have dire repercussions for wildlife. Fortunately, such concerns are largely unfounded, and, as you will see, measures are firmly in place to prevent the possibility of over harvesting. If anything, sport fishing poses a much greater threat than supplement makers and any eventual restaurants serving krill dishes…
Could Krill Replace Other Seafood?
Of the global krill catch, about 45 percent is used for sport fishing bait, 43 percent for aquaculture feed, and only 12 percent of the global catch is used for human consumption, primarily in the form of supplements. There are about 85 species of krill, but the species found in the Southern Ocean off of Antarctica, Euphausia superba, is the one being harvested for human consumption.
In terms of nutrition, krill does pack a wallop. One 2007 study published in Nutrition Reviews found that:
“Krill is a rich source of high-quality protein, with the advantage over other animal proteins of being low in fat and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidant levels in krill are higher than in fish, suggesting benefits against oxidative damage. Finally, the waste generated by the processing of krill into edible products can be developed into value-added products.”
The downside is that, with few exceptions, krill has not been a traditional staple of the human diet, and many may therefore resist it. The tide could turn, however, as the success of one restaurant has shown. Eon Coffee in Hayward, California claims to be the sole eatery in the United States serving krill; adding the tiny crustaceans to wraps, salads and Panini’s. According to the manager, krill is “just like a tiny shrimp, but without much flavor.” As such, it’s an easy way to amp up the nutrient content of most meals.
But, if you consume krill, whether on a sandwich or in the form of a supplement, are you endangering the welfare of hundreds of birds and marine animals by ‘stealing’ their primary food source?
Could turning krill into a staple in the human diet deal a devastating blow to the rest of the food chain? If I thought this was true, my conscience would not allow me to promote krill. But based on the evidence, the chance of over harvesting krill is extremely slim, even if harvesting was increased rather dramatically. There’s a very big margin built into the current regulations.
Why Chances of Over-Harvesting Krill are Slim
First of all, krill is the largest biomass in the world. If you were to weigh the population of any animal on earth — any fish, whale, insect, bird, rat, or even humans — krill would still weigh the most. There are simply more krill on the planet than any other creature, so they are in no danger of over harvesting anytime soon. Secondly, krill harvesting is one of the best regulated on the planet, using strict international precautionary catch limit regulations that are reviewed regularly to assure sustainability.
Krill can be found in all oceans, but Antarctic krill is by far the most abundant.
The Antarctic krill biomass is under the management of an international body of 25 countries called the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This is the ONLY official and reliable international organism involved in the management of sustainable krill fishery and the monitoring of krill stock, and no shortage of krill has ever been forecasted by CCAMLR.
Likewise, declines in krill catches, such as reported in 1992, have all been due to economic factors, and had nothing to do with an actual decline in the stocks of krill available for fishing. For example, at that time, many krill fisheries shifted over to finfish fisheries, and the break-up of the Soviet Union, which had dominated the krill fishing industry, resulted in reduced krill catches. In 1998 the economic crisis in Asia also reduced the demand for krill.
Krill Harvesting is Eco-Friendly
To assure sustainability and minimize risks associated with harvesting practices in conditions of uncertainty, the CCAMLR implemented a strict precautionary approach. It’s an ‘ecosystem approach,’ meaning it takes into account ecological links between different species and natural variability, such as the natural, cyclical rise and fall in reproduction of a species, for example.
Studies show the biomass of Antarctic krill ranges from 170 million to 740 million tons, averaging around 420 million tons; a standing stock with an annual reproduction rate of several hundred million tons. Antarctic krill harvesting began in 1961, and the mean annual catch rate from 2002 to 2007 was less than 120,000 tons a year.
This ensures a very large standing stock of renewable krill for both natural predators and human use.
To put this into further perspective, the precautionary catch limit for 2008 set by the CCAMLR, based on recent surveys of krill stock, was 6.6 million tons. This catch limit takes into account the ecosystem as a whole to protect the environment, but even at that, less than two percent of the precautionary catch limit has actually been harvested on any given year!
Since there are about 4,000 times more krill than is being harvested, it should be comforting to know that harvesting is taking a very small fraction of the total amount of krill available. So harvesting does not pose a threat to whales and other animals that depend on krill for sustenance. With the estimated baleen whale consumption being approximately 85 million tons per year, the actual mean total annual catch equals a mere 0.14 percent of the whales’ consumption.
Krill Oil is Your BEST Source of Omega-3s
While you may not relish the idea of eating krill whole, krill oil most certainly has a valuable role to play in your diet in the form of a supplement. In my view, krill oil is by far your best option when it comes to obtaining the important high quality animal based omega-3 fats you and your family needs. In a perfect world, you would be able to get all the omega-3s you need by eating fish. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our fish supply is now so heavily contaminated with industrial pollutants and toxins like mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and radioactive poisons that I just can’t recommend it any longer.
So, that leaves you with fish oil or krill oil supplements as options to get your animal-based omega-3 fats—unless you embrace the idea of using whole krill in your cooking.
When compared to fish oil, krill oil is a clear winner as it has many benefits fish oil cannot compete with. For example, krill oil contains:
- Essential EPA and DHA in a double chain phospholipid structure that makes it far more absorbable than the omega-3s in fish oil. Recent studies show that krill oil is absorbed 10-15 times as well as fish oil, which means you need far less. You may only need one 500 mg capsule per day to reap the benefits.
- Vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
- Astaxanthin, which is a potent carotenoid antioxidant that is exponentially more effective in quenching dangerous free radicals than beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, lycopene and lutein, for example. Research has shown the anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is, in terms of ORAC values, 48 times more potent than fish oil.
Astaxanthin protects your cells, organs and body tissues from oxidative damage. The presence of astaxanthin in krill oil is also important because omega-3 fats have highly perishable double bonds that are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage from heat, pressure, or oxygen in the air. It doesn’t take much to damage these fragile double bonds, and when they are damaged the oil goes rancid and becomes biologically useless.
So, while many fish oils are rancid by the time you open the bottle, krill oil is naturally protected from rancidity. You also need to have sufficient antioxidants to ensure that the omega-3 oils don’t oxidize and become rancid inside your body, as oxidation leads to the formation of unhealthy free radicals, and with krill oil, this protection comes ‘built-in’ so to speak.
- Very minimal mercury contamination, as krill are so small they don’t have the chance to accumulate toxins before being harvested.
For more information about the differences between krill oil and fish oil, and how to evaluate the quality of the products available on the market, please see my interview with Dr. Rudi Moerck.