- Dr Mercola on the Real Causes of Acid Reflux 2
- Dr Mercola Interviews David Wolfe on Healthy Habits Part 7 of 8 2
- Dr. Mercola Interviews Sharyl Attkisson About Media Obstruction
- Wholistic Kafe Radio Show (Dr Mercola – Effortless Healing) 12th Episode 4-2-15
- Dr Mercola Interviews David Wolfe on Healthy Habits Part 3 of 8
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Monthly Archives: July 2012
1 odd trick to lose fat: sixpackshortcuts.com Hey y’all! In this video I’m going to give you one WEIRD trick that I discovered to make healthy food taste delicious. I have to be honest…this trick has been a huge KEY for me staying lean over the past year or so. Most people are SHOCKED that I do this…because basically, I throw some a spoonful of pure fat on every meal I eat! How can this keep me lean? Let me explain… My trick to make healthy food taste good is to add a spoonful of virgin COCONUT OIL to every meal. Since a lot of healthy food (like chicken breasts, vegetables) naturally tastes dry…this helps to improve the taste of my food my A LOT. It makes it much more moist and flavorful, and the taste of the oil is very subtle and doesn’t overpower the flavor of the food. And not only that, but coconut oil is actually a very healthy fat that’s good for you! Here’s why: Coconut oil is a great source of medium-chain fatty acids, or MCFAs. Unlike most fats, MCFAs are easily broken down by your body for energy. While most fats are usually hard to digest and and stored as fats, MCFAs provide you with a sustained energy boost, and do NOT spike your insulin like carbohydrates do. There are many other benefits of coconut oil as well…if you’re a fitness nerd like me and you’d like the full breakdown. Dr. Joseph Mercola gives you the details in this article: www.huffingtonpost.com So buy so coconut oil, and try adding it to your healthy meals! And drop me a comment <b>…</b>
By Dr. Mercola
Celebrex is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) known as a COX-2 inhibitor.
Basically, it works by blocking COX-2 enzymes, which become overly active in your body when it becomes inflamed, and is widely used as a form of pain relief; in 2011, 2.4 million Americans received prescriptions for this drug.i
They may have thought twice, however, if they knew the truth behind how this drug came to be … a story that involves cherry-picking of data in attempts to make the drug seem superior to others on the market, when in fact it was not.
Also concerning: Celebrex is the only selective COX-2 inhibitor left on the market, as its close “cousins” were all pulled due to either their killing tens of thousands of people or to their unacceptably high heart risks …
Internal Memos Reveal Deception Surrounding Celebrex Data
New evidence in a lawsuit against Pfizer alleges that the drug company cherry-picked data on its drug Celebrex. Its claim to fame when it came on the market in 1998 was that it relieved pain without causing the gastrointestinal side effects common to other pain-relief drugs like ibuprofen.
Studies showed it didn’t necessarily relieve pain any better than the other drugs on the market, so Pfizer was counting on the gastrointestinal “ticket” to propel the drug into blockbuster status, and, in fact, used its easiness on your stomach as its primary selling point.
The problem was, Celebrex only appeared to be easier on the stomach because Pfizer, and its partner Pharmacia, only released the first six months of data from a year-long study. When the entire data set was looked at, the stomach “benefit” disappeared.
Folks this is what is called a blatant lie of omission and these companies do it on a regular basis. The system even encourages it. Contrary to what many people believe the FDA does no testing of drugs that are to be approved. Nor is there an objective third party that does tests. Rather the system the FDA employs has the drug company pay for and do the studies, and they only submit the studies that support the release of their drug. They are not required to submit failed ones.
That Pfizer withheld the critical data has been known for years, but newly unsealed documents showed this was all part of a carefully calculated plan by Pfizer and Pharmacia execs. While medical directors and scientists at the company expressed feeling uncomfortable with the “data massaging” and “cherry picking” of data, the powers that be moved full steam ahead with their deceptive marketing blitz.
Another reason that you might not be surprised about this report is that Pfizer purchased Monsanto and spun it off as subsidiary called Pharmacia in 1997.ii Most readers of this newsletter will instantly recognize that the bastion of evil, Monsanto, would not be out of place with this type of behavior.
The New York Times reported:iii
“The documents suggest that officials made a strategic decision during the early trial to be less than forthcoming about the drug’s safety. They show that executives considered attacking the trial’s design before they even knew the results and disregarded the advice of an employee and an outside consultant who had argued the companies should disclose the fact that they were using incomplete data.
… The documents show that in February 2000, Pharmacia employees came up with a game plan on how they might present the findings once they were available … Another document, a slide, proposed explaining poor results through “statistical glitches.””
Do You Still Trust Celebrex?
Celebrex is still being widely used, often by arthritis patients who are desperate for pain relief. But even if you overlook the fact that it’s made by a company that clearly puts profits ahead of patients, it’s much harder to shrug off the very real risks it poses to your heart.
Remember, Celebrex is in the same class of drugs as Vioxx and Bextra, both of which were pulled from the market because of serious heart risks or killing tens of thousands of people. Celebrex may still be on the market, but it is not immune to these risks!
In 2006, the New England Journal of Medicine released a study that discussed “a significant increase in adjudicated serious cardiovascular events with the use of celecoxib [Celebrex] … an increase in risk by a factor of two or three for … myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, or cardiovascular-related death.” The risk was so severe that it “prompted suspension of the administration of celecoxib …”iv
Pfizer actually has a trial that’s ongoing right now that’s supposed to compare the heart risks of Celebrex to those of ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). But though it was started in 2005, it’s not slated to be completed until 2014 … the same year the Celebrex patent expires (at which point the company’s profits for the drug will dwindle … making negative study results far less impacting).
It’s widely known, however, that this painkiller has been linked to increased risks of stomach bleeding, kidney trouble, and liver damage – along with other adverse reactions that can range from mild to deadly. And it’s not at all unusual for a drug company to play up the “fabulous benefits” of their products while conveniently glossing over the fatalities they’ve caused … what would be unusual is if they didn’t.
Common Diabetes Drugs Associated with Increased Risk of Death
New studies regularly reveal the true risks of many medications, including popular varieties that are used by millions of people. For example, an analysis of nearly 24,000 patients with type 2 diabetes found that three diabetes drugs — glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride – caused a more than 50 percent greater risk of death compared to another diabetes drug, Metformin.v The three drugs are known as sulfonylureas, which work by spurring your body to produce more insulin.
The drugs not only increased the risk of death among all patients, but among those with heart disease (which is common among those with diabetes), glipizide increased the risk of death by 41 percent, and glyburide by 38 percent compared to Metformin.
But simply switching to metformin, a drug that makes your body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin, is not the answer here, as type 2 diabetes can be effectively treated without medications in the vast majority of cases. In fact, drugs can’t cure diabetes, as they do nothing to address the underlying cause. To learn about the drug-free methods that can prevent, and reverse, diabetes, we published a report on this last month.
The Medical Industrial Complex Top 10 Marketing Settlements
Case in point, if it seems like the number of lawsuits that Big Pharma is settling―many of them out of court without going to trial―are rising, they are. From Merck’s $950 million Vioxx deal to the latest announcement that Pfizer has made an $896 million settlement with Prempro victims, the deals show no signs of stopping. Most of the lawsuits are being filed in conjunction with, or aided by, the U.S. Department of Justice, many of them originating with former employees-turned-whistleblowers who divulged marketing misdoings by their employers.
The litigation and settlements are starting to rattle the drug industry, which is becoming no stranger to billion-dollar settlements. Most likely near the end of 2012, Johnson & Johnson reportedly will settle for as much $2.2 billion for its fraudulent marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
That amount rivals what was the largest health care fraud settlement to date — $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009, also for illegally promoting uses of four of its drugs. However, now it’s come out that GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to a whopping $3-billion settlement – the largest in U.S. history for health care fraud — with the U.S. government, again for advertising drugs for unapproved uses, along with using gifts to persuade doctors to prescribe the drugs.vi
To get a picture of what’s been going on, FiercePharma compiled a list of top marketing settlements that the industry has made in the past 10 years. In total, drug makers have agreed to pay more than $11 billion so far for their misdoings. But the worst may yet be ahead: more than 900 whistleblower lawsuits were filed in the last year alone. Some of the most notable in history include:vii
- 2012: GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion for illegal marketing of Paxil, Welbutrin and downplaying safety risks of Avandia
- 2009: Pfizer pays $2.3 billion for marketing fraud related to Bextra, Lyrica and other drugs
- 2012: Johnson & Johnson will pay anywhere from $1.5 to $2.2 billion for illegal marketing of Risperdal
- 2012: Abbott Laboratories settles for $1.6 billion for aggressively promoting their seizure drug Depakote for off-label use in elderly dementia patients, despite lacking evidence of safety or effectiveness.
- 2009: Eli Lilly pays $1.4 billion for promoting Zyprexa for off-label uses, often to children and the elderly.
- 2011: Merck settles for $950 million to resolve fraudulent marketing allegations related to Vioxx.
- 2005: Serono (now Merck Serono) paid $704 million after pleading guilty to two felony charges for fraudulent marketing related to a growth hormone to treat wasting in HIV patients.
- 2007: Purdue Pharma paid $634.5 million for fraudulently misbranding Oxycontin, and suggesting it was less addictive and less abused than other painkillers.
- 2010: Allergan paid $600 million for aggressively pushing Botox for unapproved uses.
- 2010: AstraZeneca settled for $520 million for trying to persuade doctors to prescribe its psychotropic drug Seroquel for unapproved uses ranging from Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD to sleeplessness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- 2007: Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $515 million for illegally promoting its atypical antipsychotic drug Abilify to kids and seniors.
You’re Smarter Than This
If Big Pharma’s annual global market was compared to the GDP—the market value of all the output produced in a nation in one year—then they would rank # 15 on a list of 183 nations.viii That’s how BIG the pharmaceutical industry is!
Americans are disproportionally supporting this behemoth of an industry. Americans, including children, are the most drugged people in the entire world, with the average adult taking 11 prescription drugs—each of which comes with an average of 70 different potential side effects that are then typically addressed with yet more drugs…
The situation has gotten out of hand, especially since there’s a mountain of evidence supporting the use of alternatives, and there’s very strong evidence that some “alternative” treatments, such as diet and exercise, are FAR more effective than any of the drugs currently in use.
My site is chock full of free comprehensive recommendations that can serve as an excellent starting point to break free. The tools I provide on this site will help you to reduce your reliance on the broken health care system, including its overuse of drugs and provide you with the tools and resources to Take Control of Your Health.
Anyone planning a pregnancy . . please download for free chapter 12 of the book ‘while Science Sleeps – A must read to keep your baby safe. This is about Joy – a sad story about a birth defect caused by Diet Drinks during pregnancy. FDA withheld information about birth defects caused by Aspartame for 30+ years. Even with permission to view all the data held by the FDA, they deliberately withheld memos that would have alerted Prof. Monte before his sad encounter with the Mom of Baby Joy. www.whilesciencesleeps.com Aspartame NutraSweet – "60 Minutes" News Segment – December 29, 1996 video.google.com Aspartame, Brain Cancer & the FDA Approval Process (Nutrasweet AminoSweet Sucralose Diet Coke www.youtube.com Aspartame was first ‘discovered’ in 1965 by Searle, a drug company based in Chicago. The FDA finally approved aspartame in 1981, even though scientific research had clearly shown that aspartame caused brain cancer in lab animals. naturalnews.com The tests that Searle used to determine the so-called safety of aspartame were severely flawed. Searle used unscientific lab practices, falsified data and withheld crucial information during the FDA approval process. Because aspartame caused brain tumors in laboratory animals, it poses a real cancer risk to humans as well. Cancer is increasing in western countries and will soon be the leading cause of death. medicalnewstoday.com wnho.net Aspartame (E951) is now being used in over 6000 products and millions of people worldwide use <b>…</b>
By Dr. Mercola
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among American women between the age of 40-55, and the high prevalence has spawned a very lucrative industry; from mammography and other dangerous or invasive testing methods, to “preventive” double mastectomies and cancer drugs.
Much effort is placed on trying to detect cancer at an earlier stage. Unfortunately, the conventional recommendation to get regular mammograms has shown to be more harmful than helpful, as research shows ten times as many women are harmed in some way compared to those whose lives are spared by annual mammograms.
Breast Thermography – A Physiological Test to Help You Monitor Your Breast Health
Gaea Powell is a Board Certified Medical Thermographer and film maker with a passion for educating women about breast cancer screening and prevention. She previously served as Chief of Staff for Arnold Schwarzenegger prior to him becoming governor of California, and she also spent a number of years working in the film industry.
Gaea lost her mother to breast cancer in 1991. Her mother was only 49. Losing her mother, and being told she was now at high risk of getting breast cancer herself, led her to Breast Thermography—first as a patient, and then as a practitioner.
Thermographic breast screening is brilliantly simple and completely harmless. It’s as safe as having your photograph taken. It measures the infrared heat emitted by your body and translates this information into thermal images. Thermography does not require mechanical compression or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of physiological changes due to inflammation and/or increased tumor related blood flow approximately 8-10 years before mammography or a physical exam can detect a mass.
“[O]nce my mom passed away, my doctor was basically trying to scare me to death, letting me know I was at high risk and needed to have mammograms early,but I was determined to help myself prevent breast cancer in the first place,” says Gaea.
“I did a lot of research at that time… almost 20 years ago. What I realized is that a mammogram would just let me know I already had cancer. I was also concerned about the repeated radiation year after year, and then the compression [of the breast tissue]…
Luckily, in 1995, I discovered thermography.
Thermography is a physiological test, so it allows you to look for physiological changes at an early stage. As we know, when you go to the doctor’s office, the first thing they want you to do is be weighed, have your blood pressure taken and have your temperature taken. Those are physiological tests that can be monitored for stability over time. It’s the same type of process. Every single person has their own unique thermal vascular roadmap, and thermography allows us to watch that roadmap over time.
That was just a much better path for me. I wanted to be able to be empowered and be alerted to physiological changes, so I could try to make changes in an effort to help myself prevent disease,” Gaea explains.
From a Career in Film, to being a Champion for Women’s Health…
In 1995, Gaea was fortunate to locate a doctor in her local area who provided thermography screening. She began having annual Thermograms, just like others would have their annual mammograms. Each time, her doctor would review the results and recommend dietary changes or stress management, for example, to address any troublesome changes that were noticed.
After utilizing thermography for 17 years, she ended up becoming a Board Certified Thermographer four years ago, after she moved to the central coast of California where thermography was rarely utilized. She knew firsthand how empowering her annual Thermograms had been to her and she wanted to make certain other women had access to thermography.
“I couldn’t believe it, most women haven’t even heard of the technology. It was like an epiphany in my life. I changed careers. I got trained, did extensive research and became a specialist in medical thermography,” she says.
She began offering thermography in the San Luis, Obispo area.
“I wasn’t anti-mammography or pro anything else. I just wanted women to be informed that they had another option, which is available to women of all ages, and not restricted by breast density, implants, or reconstruction.
Once I began imaging women, they started sharing these incredibly disturbing stories about their experiences with the more traditional option…Their stories were alarmingly common and similar.
I knew starting with a physiological screening like thermography was a much wiser option, and just made good sense. I was determined to educate women and doctors regarding its proven benefits.
As I continued down this path, I began sharing my Thermogram comparative case studies with doctors, who now utilize the technology. These case studies clearly prove that women who were alerted to physiological risks at an early stage could lower their risk, some within just a few months, after they were given an opportunity to take action by partnering with a progressive doctor and utilizing preventative strategies.
I also have Thermogram case studies indicating the highest risk of cancer being present, confirmed by MRI then biopsy. These patient’s mammograms failed to detect their cancers year after year.
The culture that we’ve created is, basically cross your fingers and hope your mammogram doesn’t tell you that you already have cancer. To me, that’s insane.” says Gaea
Furthermore, it’s important to realize that a negative mammogram cannot be equated with a clean bill of health. All a negative mammogram means is that IF you do have cancer, it hasn’t grown large enough yet to be detected. Making matters worse, each dose of ionizing radiation from the mammogram in and of itself raises your risk of getting breast cancer!
How the Density of Your Breast Impacts Effectiveness of Mammograms
Another important weakness of mammography that needs to be taken into account is the fact that it’s very challenging for a mammogram to get a clear reading on denser breast tissue. So it’s really crucial to know the density of your breasts.
Women with denser breasts tend to be younger, healthier women, which means healthier women are actually at an increased risk of getting a false result—either a false positive or false negative. As explained on AreYouDense.orgi , dense breast tissue is comprised of more connective tissue than fat, which appears white on a mammogram, just like cancer. Therefore, tumors can easily hide behind the dense tissue, evading detection despite regular screenings. For more information about breast density, and how you can improve your chances of early detection of cancer if you have denser breasts, please check out their website.
“[About] 40 to 50 percent of women have dense breasts,” Gaea says. “They really need to know that they should be utilizing an adjunctive imaging option to mammography. To me, it just makes sense that all women should start with a Thermogram, a physiological test first, which you can utilize in your 20s. If you’re at a low risk, maybe have a Thermogram every three years or so. But if you have family history or you already have fibrosis, sore breasts, or other symptoms… [such as] a hormonal imbalance… you can come more often.
My whole goal in doing this is to get women to engage early; don’t have a wait and see attitude. Inflammation leads to disease, so why wouldn’t we want to know about that inflammation years before structural changes occur? Most of the time, with a mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI, the cancer has been growing there for many, many years.”
Again, the reason why thermography is so effective as a preventive tool is because it can detect the potential for cancer, and can detect already formed cancers at a far earlier stage than a mammogram. Essentially, it detects areas of high inflammation, which can be viewed as a “hot-spot” with cancerous potential.
“Obviously, inflammation is going to cause heat, so we’re looking for symmetry and stability overtime [in the images],” Gaea explains. “In layman’s terms, if one of your breasts starts to develop a fever, it’s going to let us know at a very early stage, so that we can hopefully do something about it; work with a healthcare practitioner that respects your values, learns about who you are, and helps educate you on what you can do to change your path and eliminate inflammation. Being that inflammation leads to all disease, we want to catch it early.
The human body is absolutely amazing. If you break a bone, it can heal itself… If you are alerted to a possible “fever” in a specific region of your body – but we’re talking about breasts today – you can actually do something about it and help your body heal via vitamin D, which is so important, or lymphatic massage, or drainage, depending on your specific issue.
What’s really great about Thermograms is that they actually speak for themselves… [Women] can see their own Thermogram, and they can tell if one of their breasts looks a lot different than the other… But even if it’s an overall inflamed, very prominent thermal vascular pattern, they can work with their doctor, and I’ve seen results in three to five months, where [the inflammation] is eliminated…”
What Thermography Can and Cannot Tell You
As mentioned earlier, thermography can indicate the presence of potential cancer nearly 10 years before it would ever show up on a mammogram. However, it’s important to understand that thermography does not diagnose cancer. It allows you to track your unique temperature data over time, and changes in temperature and symmetry can alert you that changes are taking place, for better or worse.
Higher temperature readings indicate higher levels of inflammation, which can lead to cancer. So, if your Thermogram shows areas of high inflammation, it doesn’t mean you have cancer, but it lets you know you need to address that inflammation to avoid deterioration, and in some cases that the area needs further evaluation.
“I have a spot in my breast, which I have been able to watch all these years that is about three degrees higher than it should be compared to the other side,” Gaea says, “but it hasn’t changed. So that’s just me… Maybe I injured my breast while I was developing. Everyone’s unique.”
One of the main things your evaluating doctor will look for is stability and symmetry over time, which is why Gaea recommends getting Thermograms at regular intervals. That way, you’re collecting data that can be analyzed and evaluated over the years.
Gaea is pushing to get thermography recognized and used in adjunct to other screening methods, and to have it be as universally transparent as some of the other modalities. For example, if you were to have a mammogram, an ultrasound, or an MRI, you can then send it to another location—say another doctor or specialist—and it can be evaluated. She’s hoping thermographic images will at some point be accepted and used in the same way. At present, most doctors’ are misinformed and their familiarity with thermography is poor, so they automatically dismiss it.
One of the problems with the traditional thermography report is that it is not standardized and the infrared images cannot be read by other physicians due to different software. Gaea has started to address this by creating an elegant interactive report that provides both the rainbow and gray scale thermal images for easier understanding. This system also allows any doctor with the software, anywhere in the world to engage the temperature data and evaluation tools, so they can interact with the uploaded image.
“It’s an interactive approach,” she explains. “Because I believe it’s very important to be open and transparent, so that anyone can give a second opinion, and the doctors can work together and help evolve the technology.”
Strategies that Can Help Reduce Breast Inflammation
If your thermographic image indicates that you have inflammation in an area of your breasts, what can you do about it? Ideally, you’ll want to work with an experienced integrative practitioner who can guide you and make recommendations for the most appropriate lifestyle changes, depending on your situation. For example, the following strategies may be helpful for clearing inflammation. Many, if not most of the strategies I list at the end of this article will also help reduce chronic inflammation throughout your body:
- Balancing your hormone levels
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels
- Lymphatic drainage
- Lymphatic massage
While you can do lymphatic massage on yourself, if you have a high-risk Thermogram, you’d be wise to see a therapist trained in lymphatic drainage. You can locate trained therapists through any of the lymphedema organizations, such as The National Lymphedema Networkii, and certified massage therapists.
Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure…
While mammography can only tell you that cancer is already present, thermography can offer you up to a decade’s-worth of time to take control of and address your health. This can be profoundly empowering, as opposed to getting a cancer diagnosis when it’s already too late to expect a few lifestyle changes to fully address your situation…
“I know how fear-based the [cancer] industry is,” Gaea says. “I was there with my mother when she was diagnosed… They’re expecting women to make decisions when they’re basically being chased by a lion. You’re in the most incredibly stressful situation than you’ve ever had in your life. Most likely because you are fighting for your life, fearing for your life, and now you are being pressured to make all of these life-altering decisions.
Well ladies, nobody wakes up with those decisions but you. Not your doctor. Not your oncologist, radiologist, or surgeon. It’s about taking a breath and not being forced into anything you’re not comfortable with—be it having a mammogram, a Thermogram, or anything that you’re not comfortable with.”
How to Find a Thermographer
Gaea recommends locating a Board Certified Thermographer through a not-for-profit thermography organization, such as the International Academy of Clinical Thermography (IACT). Non-profit schools do not endorse specific IR cameras, software or require their students to utilize exclusive evaluation services. This allows thermographers the opportunity to do their own research in regard to equipment and software, and to interview and select their evaluation doctors, which is important.
IR camera technology is constantly evolving and high resolution cameras are recommended, thereby offering higher quality images for easier evaluation. For-profit schools may require their students purchase a specific equipment package from them, which can be limiting and may or may not be the latest technology available.
“It’s also very important to be able to pick up the phone if you have a serious problem, and talk to the doctor that actually evaluated your Thermogram,” Gaea says. “Try to find out who’s actually evaluating your images so that you can speak to the evaluating doctor directly if needed.”
7 Lifestyle Strategies to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
- Radically reduce your sugar/fructose intake. Normalizing your insulin levels by avoiding sugar and fructose is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or apply this knowledge today. The Cancer Centers of America is one of the few exceptions, where strict dietary measures are included in their cancer treatment program. Fructose is especially dangerous, as research shows it actually speeds up cancer growth.
- Optimize your vitamin D level. Ideally it should be over 50 ng/ml, but levels from 70-100 ng/ml will radically reduce your cancer risk. Safe sun exposure is the most effective way to increase your levels, followed by safe tanning beds and then oral vitamin D3 supplementation as a last resort if no other option is available.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising using high-intensity burst-type activities, which are part of my Peak Fitness program. It’s important to lose excess weight because estrogen is produced in fat tissue.
- Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.
- Watch out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. So if you are a post-menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
- Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.
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‘Sweet Misery’ reveals one of the most pervasive, insidious forms of corporate negligence since tobacco. The toxic long-term effects of aspartame are often dismissed as a hoax by the sweetener industry; however this new documentary thoroughly unravels something infinitely more alarming than merely a hoax. ____________________ Please support the film, buy it at www.mercola.com About 200 times sweeter than the refined sugar it is meant to replace, Aspartame is the artificial sweetener used in such brands as Equal and Nutrasweet. Not long ago, aspartame was on a Pentagon list of biowarfare chemicals submitted to Congress — yet this lethal product remains on grocery shelves and continues to be highly touted in the media. Most people interested in natural health will understand that artificial sweeteners are not healthy for you. But nearly everyone of us leads busy lives that limits us from reading all we would like to, especially about things that may not be that much of a problem anyway. After all, millions of people drink diet sodas every day and they arent dropping dead like flies, and the government did approve this sweetener as safe so it cant be too bad. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong If you believe the above you are in for a sorry surprise. The beautiful aspect of this movie is that in a short ninety minutes you will easily in the relaxed comfort of your own home finally understand why aspartame is a toxic poison and needs to be avoided. _____ drey.orgfree.com – Visit the Ocular <b>…</b>
By Dr. Mercola
A number of articles underscoring problems within the vaccine industry have recently circulated in the news.
While the fear of a mutated virus turning into a pandemic is flouted virtually every year to some degree, perhaps a greater concern is the potential for an engineered bioweapon somehow escaping the confines of our top level bioterror labs—a possibility that seems increasingly credible, when you consider the astounding safety “snafus” that occur at these labs from time to time.
The recent incident at the bioterror germ lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta is just the latest scare, and it highlights the fact that seemingly unbelievable errors can and do occur, despite all guarantees to the contrary.
Bio Lab Safety Questioned
According to The Federal Timesi:
“A $214 million bioterror germ lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has had repeated problems with airflow systems designed to help prevent the release of infectious agents, government documents and internal emails show.
While the agency says no one has been infected, a biosafety expert says the problems appear to be major violations of laboratory operating standards.
The area of the building with problems involves Biosafety Level 3 labs that can be used for experiments involving anthrax, dangerous strains of influenza, the SARS coronavirus, monkeypox and other microbes that have the potential to be used as bioweapons.” [Emphasis mine]
Apparently, air from a research lab in one of the Biosafety Level 3 buildings was being vented into a so-called “clean” area, where visitors are not required to wear protective gear, rather than being filtered and re-circulated. While it’s being reported as an isolated incident, CDC engineers appear to have raised questions about the design of the vented air flow as early as two years ago.
“According to the minutes, CDC safety manager William Howard said: “Bottom line is we can’t continue to operate the building the way it is … if (a bioterror lab inspector) finds out air is moving this direction they will shut this place down.”
The CDC refused to grant interviews or answer any questions submitted in writing about the problems inside the high-containment labs and animal-holding area of the agency’s 11-story Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, also known as CDC Building 18,” The Federal Times reports.
…The records show that other CDC staff have expressed safety concerns. The CDC “will do anything… to hide the fact that we have serious problems with the airflow and containment in this whole building” wrote CDC animal resources biologist Kismet Scarborough in an April 9 e-mail to several agency officials, including CDC Director Thomas Frieden. Scarborough’s CDC voice-mail greeting describes her position as a high-containment lab manager for the agency’s Animal Resources Branch.”
Vaccine Lab Researcher Dead from Lethal Pathogen
According to a recent CNN reportii, a congressional investigation will be launched to investigate the safety breach at the Atlanta facility. But beware that despite assurances that chances of contaminant release is virtually non-existent, it certainly can occur, and you could just as easily chalk it up to pure luck that no lethal pathogens escaped at the CDC lab.
As you may recall, back in April, a reportedly well-trained lab researcher at the Northern California Institute for Research died shortly after being infected with the Neisseria meningitides bacteriaiii. He was working on a vaccine against the pathogen, and according to the site chief was following required precautions for working with the deadly pathogens. While that sounds all well and good, it actually makes the situation all the MORE dire, as it obviously means there must be serious flaws in the system if he actually followed all precautions and still got infected.
The young man died a mere 17 hours after initially falling ill.
I mention these incidents because as the vaccine industry is getting more aggressive in their promotion of fast-tracked vaccines, incidents such as these, and many others, really highlight the dangers inherent in the system overall, and why you cannot blindly believe the official story that drugs and vaccines are somehow created under pristine conditions and that nothing can go wrong. Because they most certainly do…
Other Near Fatal BioSafety Level 3 Errors
We saw that when Baxter “accidentally” sent vaccines contaminated with LIVE deadly avian (bird) flu to a research facility in Europe, for example. That was February 2009, and the mistake originated in a Baxter plant that was also operating under Bio Safety Level 3 (BSL3) status — meaning that high-level precautions are supposed to be in place to make sure an accident like this never happens. The company blamed the incident on human error, again demonstrating that apparently, it takes just one absent-minded dingbat to circumvent the highest level biosafety system currently in existence!
How is this acceptable?
Besides the fact that they nearly unleashed a potentially lethal pandemic under very suspect circumstances, Baxter has had over 40 Class I recalls since 2003. These are the types of recalls that, according to the FDA’s definition, is “a situation in which there is a reasonable probability” that the use of, or exposure to, the product in question “will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”
Yet Baxter still received a contract to create and manufacture the 2009 pandemic swine flu vaccine, which ALSO turned out to be far more reactive and dangerous than any previous flu vaccine.
Bird Flu Pandemic in the News Again
While safety breaches at top level bioweapons labs are occurring, we’re also hearing renewed fears about the H5N1, aka “bird flu,” and its potential to cause widespread death and destruction, and the need to stock up on pandemic vaccines. Perhaps if they stopped having so many top level biolab “accidents” we wouldn’t have to fear such lab-created killersiv… These renewed calls for fast-tracked pandemic bird flu vaccines are no doubt in response to the publication of two studies detailing the successful mutation of the H5N1 virus into a more virulent, and airborne, strain. Both studies were published in the June 22 issue of the journal Sciencev, vi.
According to the USA Todayvii.
“Knowing that the H5N1 bird flu can mutate into a form that can be easily transmitted, researchers have redoubled efforts to quickly create a vaccine should a pandemic strain emerge. The good news is that there now exists technology that makes creating vaccines much faster than in the past, says Rino Rappuoli, global head of vaccines research for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, in Siena, Italy.
… Fast and increasingly inexpensive machines allow the genomes, or genetic blueprints, of newly evolved flu varieties to be quickly sequenced.
Instead of needing to ship live virus to vaccine manufacturers, today researchers only need to e-mail a computer file containing the genetic code. Scientists can then simply buy short strands of genetic code from commercial DNA synthesis companies and stitch them together in the correct order to synthesize a copy, creating a virus “seed.” This can quickly be grown in cell cultures to produce vaccines. It is a process that is much faster than the current one, which involves injecting the actual virus into chicken eggs to grow.
“The hurdle will be only to change the regulatory process,” Rappuoli says.”
There are tremendous hazards inherent with fast-tracking vaccines, and US regulations already place ALL the risk on the public receiving the vaccine, regardless of whether the vaccine is mandated or voluntary. Vaccine makers can more or less create a deadly vaccine and get away scot free at this point; they’re that well protected against liability for adverse events of pandemic vaccines.
Questions Raised About Purpose of HPV Vaccine Trials in India
Most likely, you believe that each vaccine is carefully evaluated and tested for safety and efficacy before being brought to market, and that such trials are conducted under the highest professional standards and ethics. Sadly, there are so many scandals littering the landscape of vaccine trials, anyone who takes the time to review them will likely end up more jaded and distraught than reassured.
A recent study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicineviii brings the issue of highly questionable vaccine trial standards to the fore yet again. It’s worth noting that the HPV vaccine was yet another fast-tracked vaccine, which has devastated the lives of thousands of young women and their families since its premature release in the US.
Back in April 2011, India called a halt to trials of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil after four young girls died and 120 suffered serious adverse effects. The decision was the result of a civil society-led investigation that highlighted serious ethical violations. In India, civil society groups have long been voicing their concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the two HPV vaccines, along with the aggressive promotion of the vaccines and the need to investigate reported deaths and adverse events post-vaccination.
Ethics violations, such as enrolling unsuspecting patients into trials without their informed consent, seems to be more the rule than the exception when it comes to overseas drug- and vaccine trials. India in particular has seen an upsurge of clinical pharmaceutical studies, and the questionable practices employed are becoming increasingly apparent.
The halted trials were post-licensing observational studies undertaken by the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), a USA-based not for profit non-governmental organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the studies should never have been undertaken in the first place, as it would clearly be impossible to evaluate the vaccine’s safety or efficacy.
The authors write:
“Currently, PATH and the Indian government are investigating whether to implement a HPV vaccination program. PATH claims that ‘in raw numbers, India has the largest burden of cancer of the cervix of any country worldwide’ and that the two states were selected ‘based on cervical cancer disease burden […] and uptake of other vaccines being in the middle range for certain variables (e.g., immunization coverage)’.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that the epidemiology of the disease should be known and be of sufficient importance to justify its prioritization, and that surveillance systems should be capable of assessing the impact of a vaccine intervention following its introduction.”
The problem is, the surveillance, registration and monitoring of cancer in India is sorely lacking—especially in the two regions selected for the two trials—which means it would be impossible to deduce whether or not the vaccine can actually reduce the incidence of cervical cancer or not. So why do two trials, involving 23,000 young women, when you cannot even get any valuable—or shall we say accurate—data from it? Making matters worse, the cancer data that does exist, although spotty, shows that the incidence for cervical cancer in India is low, and has already dropped by nearly 50 percent between 1982/83 to 2004/05.
According to a report in the Medical Xpressix:
“[Lead researcher] Professor Pollock explained: “This trial has clearly raised serious concerns for the people and government of India. The aim of our study was to look at whether data on cervical cancer in the country justify the introduction of HPV vaccination.
“We found that current data on cervical cancer incidence do not support PATH’s claim that India has a large burden of cervical cancer or its decision to roll out the vaccine program. The lack of information is important because it means that World Health Organization criteria for monitoring the effectiveness of the vaccine cannot be fulfilled. Neither the epidemiological evidence nor current cancer surveillance systems justify the general rollout of an HPV vaccination program in India or in the two states where PATH was conducting its research.”
Professor Pollock continued: “It’s important to compare the burden of cervical cancer in India to other major health concerns, such as primary care, malaria, maternal anemia and malnutrition, and consider best use of financial resources. HPV vaccine, which is among the most expensive vaccines on the market, is not justified as a health care priority for India.”
Former Employees Sue Merck for Overstating Effectiveness of Mumps Vaccine
Rounding out the vaccine news, two former Merck virologists have filed a federal lawsuit against their former employer, alleging Merck overstated the effectiveness of their mumps vaccine, which may have cost the US government hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade.
According to Nasdaq.comx:
“Merck–which stressed that none of these allegations relate to the safety of its product–said the lawsuit is ” completely without merit”, and that it plans to “vigorously defend itself.” The Whitehouse Station, N.J., drug maker also noted that the U.S. Department of Justice has thus far declined to participate in the case after its own two-year probe.”
Merck’s mumps vaccine was originally introduced 45 years ago. Since the 1970s, it’s been part of the trivalent measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is part of the recommended childhood vaccination schedule. According to the lawsuit, Merck has defrauded the US government for more than a decade by hiding the fact the mumps vaccine had lost effectiveness and is not living up to its claims.
“The lawsuit seeks a judgment against Merck equal to three times the damages suffered by the U.S., plus the maximum allowable award for the former employees under federal whistleblower laws,” Nasdaq reports.
If the preceding information has any impact at all, I hope it is to make you aware of the fact that more, and certainly deeper, questions need to be asked when it comes to vaccine safety and efficacy; vaccine trials; and the scientific evidence backing up current claims and recommendations.
Remember that for the most part, most all of the conventional media portrays the entire vaccine process as something heroic and vital to the health of our culture, and they will be reluctant to ever promote any news that contradicts this belief.
I believe we also need to consider the financial motives behind the promotion of pandemics and the vaccines that go along with them. It is vital for you to carefully research ALL sides of the vaccine issue and not merely trust federal public health authorities, most physicians, and the media, as they are largely influenced by massive conflict of interest and collusion. Seek other independent and objective views like those at NVIC before you make any important decisions about deciding to vaccinate.
By Dr. Mercola
An Illinois beekeeper whose bee hives were stolen and allegedly destroyed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his questions on why the state did this, and most importantly, what they did with his bees.
The state claims the bees were destroyed because they were infected with a disease called foulbrood.
But when the 58-year apiary keeper had his hearing—three weeks after the removal of his bees without his knowledge—the state’s “evidence” had disappeared, leaving more questions than answers about the raid on the beekeeper’s hives.
Some people, including the beekeeper, Terrence Ingram, suspect the raid has more to do with Ingram’s 15 years of research on Monsanto’s Roundup and his documented evidence that Roundup kills bees, than it does about any concerns about his hives.
Interestingly, the state’s theft targeted the queen bee and hive he’d been using to conduct the research.
The Ingram Case
A recent article by Tom Kocal in the Prairie Advocate retells the full story of how Terrence Ingram’s bees and hives wound up being taken by the Illinois State Department of Agriculture (IDofAG)i.
While the state claims the removal of the property was due to Ingram’s failure to comply with the Department’s notice instructing him to burn the affected hives, they have been less than open about why the inspectors came in and took the bees and hives without due process.
At a time when the Ingram’s were absent from the property. Ingram claims the Department also conducted three out of four inspections on his private property while no one was home.
While Department inspectors claim his hives had foulbrood—an allegedly highly contagious disease—Mr. Ingram believes he could prove that this was not the case. As reported by the featured Prairie Advocate article:
“Ingram knew that the inspectors could not tell what they were seeing and had warned the Department that if any of them came back it would be considered a criminal trespass. Yet they came back when he was not home, stole his hives and ruined his 15 years of research.”
Ingram initially reported the missing bees and hives as having been stolen on March 14, unaware that they’d been removed by the IDofAG. News of the theft was published in the Prairie Advocate on March 21.
As a result of that article, an area County Farm Bureau manager called the reporter, stating he knew the equipment hadn’t been stolen, but that it had been “destroyed” by the Department of Agriculture because they were infected with foulbrood and Ingram hadn’t disposed of them as instructed.
The most nonsensical part of this story is that Ingram didn’t get a hearing to determine whether his hives were affected by the disease until three weeks after they were removed and destroyed.
Kocal quotes Mr. Ingram as saying:
“I own four businesses. I am here all the time. Yet they took our bees and hives when we were not home. What did they do, sit up on the hill and watch until we left? We had not yet had our day in court to prove that our hives did not have foulbrood!”
Making matters worse, during that April 4 hearing, the Department couldn’t produce any evidence of what they’d done with the bees and the hives. Meanwhile, Ingram ended up being ordered to pay the $500 fine for violating Sections 2-1 of the Illinois Bees and Apiaries Act. According to Kocal:
“There are 2 questions that Ingram wants answered:
1) Did the IDofA, a state agency, have the right to enter Ingram’s property and confiscate a suspected “nuisance,” before Ingram had his day in court?
2) Where are his bees? The “evidence” has disappeared, and the IDofA refuses to tell Ingram where they are, before, during, and after the hearing.
”I have been keeping bees for 58 years,” Ingram said during an interview at his home and apiary. “I am not a newcomer to beekeeping, and I definitely know what I am doing. I have been teaching beginning beekeeping classes for 40 years…” At the April 4 hearing, Ingram said he felt he was able to show the court that the inspector could not tell the difference between “chilled brood” and foulbrood. He also proved to the court that the inspectors did not know the symptoms of foulbrood.”
15 Years of Research Destroyed
Ingram believes the destruction of his bees and hives is more likely to be related to his research into the effect of Roundup on honey bees. He claims some 250 of his colonies have been killed off over the years by Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide, used in large quantities on both conventional- and genetically engineered crops. Ingram’s research shows that Roundup can lead to what’s called chilled brood, which is an entirely different scenario.
According to Ingram, quoted from Kocal’s article:
”When Round-Up kills the adult bees there are not enough bees left in the hive to keep the young bees (brood) warm, and the young bees die from the cold (chilled brood). I tried to prove that just because foulbrood can be detected once the hive has been disturbed, doesn’t mean the hive has foulbrood.
Inside a honeybee hive is one of the cleanest places you can find. Anything that is a problem, if the bees can’t remove it, they cover it with propolis, which is an antiseptic… When you go into the comb and cut it up, disturb it like the investigators did, then send it to a lab, it exposes foulbrood to the world. In the beehive, it’s covered up. The bees aren’t affected by it. But you can find it by sending it in to a lab.”
Ingram has studied the effects of Roundup on honeybees for the past 15 years, and he believes he had built up sufficient amount of data to show that the herbicide causes not just bee die-offs, but also Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—a mysterious phenomenon that has decimated an estimated one-third of all honey bees since 2006. While some bees inexplicably die, many simply vanish and never return to their hives. Ingram told Kocal that:
“CCD is a calamity that is affecting honeybee colonies across the nation. In fact, I had one queen, which had survived three summers of spraying and three winters. I was planning to raise daughters from that queen to see if she may have had some genetic resistance to Roundup. But she and her hive were taken during the theft. I don’t even know where the bees and my equipment are. They ruined 15 years of my research.”
… “I asked Rep. Sacia to take the teeth out of the current law, preventing untrained inspectors from doing sneak inspections without the beekeeper present, killing their bees and burning their equipment, or forcing organic beekeepers out of business, telling them that they have to use chemicals to keep bees in Illinois. Are the chemical companies really running our food supply?”
… “Is Illinois becoming a police state, where citizens do not have rights?” Ingram asked in desperation. “Knowing that Monsanto and the Dept. of Ag are in bed together, one has to wonder if Monsanto was behind the theft to ruin my research that may prove Roundup was, and is, killing honeybees. Beekeepers across the state are being threatened that the same thing may be done to their hives and livelihood. I was not treated properly, I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else in this state, and I want this type of illegal action to end.”
Monsanto is the New Owner of Leading Bee Research Firm
Ingram is quite correct about chemical companies like Monsanto—they are seeking to take nearly full control of the food supply by controlling virtually every aspect of crop production. So he has cause to be suspicious when it comes to the question of who ordered the theft and destruction of his bees. It wouldn’t be the first time the biotech giant has used questionable tactics to get rid of its adversaries. And research implicating Monsanto as the cause of CCD could definitely cause some harm to the company’s bottom line.
One of the forerunning theories of colony collapse disorder (CCD) is that it’s being caused by genetically engineered crops—either as a result of the crops themselves or the pesticides and herbicides applied on them, such as Roundup. Ingram’s research could potentially have strengthened this theory. Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is one of the most widely used herbicides there is. As a result, Monsanto has received increasing amounts of bad publicity over their potential role in the devastating demise of bees around the globe.
There’s no doubt that CCD is a serious problem. To get an idea of the magnitude of the importance of bees, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that without bees to act as pollinators, the United States alone could lose $15 billion worth of crops.ii Research into the phenomenon is therefore absolutely crucial, to identify the sources of the problem.
Monsanto however, keeping true to form, appears to have taken measures to control the direction of the research into their products’ effect on bees. As I recently reported, Monsanto has purchased one of the leading bee research firms – one that, conveniently, lists its primary goal as studying colony collapse disorder! Monsanto bought the company, called Beeologics, in September 2011, just months before Poland announced it would ban growing of Monsanto’s genetically modified MON810 maize, noting, poignantly, that “pollen of this strain could have a harmful effect on bees.”iii
The ongoing blight of genetically engineered crops has been implicated in CCD for years. In one German study,iv when bees were released in a genetically engineered rapeseed crop, then fed the pollen to younger bees, scientists discovered the bacteria in the guts of the young ones mirrored the same genetic traits as ones found in the GE crop, indicating that horizontal gene transfer had occurred.
But Roundup is not the only herbicide that has come under scrutiny. Newer systemic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, two prominent examples of which include Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are also frequently used on both conventional- and genetically engineered crops and have been implicated in CCD. In fact, bee colonies started disappearing in the U.S. shortly after the EPA allowed these new insecticides on the market. Even the EPA itself admits that “pesticide poisoning” is a likely cause of bee colony collapse as these pesticides weaken the bees’ immune system.
What Can You do to Help the Honeybees?
If you want to learn more about bees and CCD, I highly recommend watching the documentary film Vanishing of the Bees. The film recommends four actions you can take to help preserve honeybees everywhere:
- Support organic farmers and shop at local farmer’s markets as often as possible. You can “vote with your fork” three times a day. [When you buy organic, you are making a statement by saying "no" to genetically engineered foods]
- Cut the use of toxic chemicals in your house and on your lawn, and use organic pest control.
- Better yet, get rid of your lawn altogether and plant a garden. Lawns offer very little benefit for the environment. Both flower and vegetable gardens provide good honey bee habitats.
- Become an amateur beekeeper. Having a hive in your garden requires only about an hour of your time per week, benefits your local ecosystem, and you can enjoy your own honey!
If you are interested in more information about bee preservation, the following organizations are a good place to start.
By Dr. Mercola
Asthma, hay fever, eczema, food allergies, lupus, multiple sclerosis and other immune- mediated afflictions are all on the rise.
According to some estimates, allergies and diseases of the immune system have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the last few decades, with some studies indicating that more than half of the U.S. population has at least one clinically diagnosable allergy.i
At an alarming rate, people’s immune systems are over-reacting to substances that should be harmless, leading to allergies; in others, their immune systems are malfunctioning and attacking parts of their own body – the very definition of autoimmune disease.
What’s causing all of this strife to our immune systems may sound like an unlikely culprit, but in fact it makes perfect sense…
Your Body is Crying Our for “Dirt”…
Writing in the New York Times, Jeff Leach uses the example of the simple farmer’s market as an analogy of what’s missing from so many of our lives. In a word: dirt. The heads of lettuce and bunches of carrots of yesteryear were awash in various microorganisms, and no one even considered that to be a problem. Today much of our food is pasteurized, irradiated, sterilized and made so that bacteria – even the good kind – can no longer survive.
When there are outbreaks of food poisoning, the blame often falls on federal agencies to make the food supply cleaner, but what is overlooked is why our own immune systems failed to protect us from what should be normal bacterial exposures.
“ … by asking why an individual’s natural defenses failed, we insert personal responsibility into our national food safety strategy and draw attention to the much larger public health crisis, of which illness from food-borne pathogens is but a symptom of our minimally challenged and thus overreactive immune system.”
Ironically, the very advances that represent all that is modern in the world – hand sanitizers, treated water, refrigeration — have created their very own set of diseases.
“Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established “normal” background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies.
… In a world of hand sanitizer and wet wipes (not to mention double tall skinny soy vanilla lattes), we can scarcely imagine the preindustrial lifestyle that resulted in the daily intake of trillions of helpful organisms.
For nearly all of human history, this began with maternal transmission of beneficial microbes during passage through the birth canal — mother to child. However, the alarming increase in the rate of Caesarean section births means a potential loss of microbiota from one generation to the next.
And for most of us in the industrialized world, the microbial cleansing continues throughout life. Nature’s dirt floor has been replaced by tile; our once soiled and sooted bodies and clothes are cleaned almost daily; our muddy water is filtered and treated; our rotting and fermenting food has been chilled; and the cowshed has been neatly tucked out of sight. While these improvements in hygiene and sanitation deserve applause, they have inadvertently given rise to a set of truly human-made diseases.”
The Rise of “Sterile Environment” Diseases
The hygiene hypothesis – the theory that early exposure to dirt and germs programs your immune system to properly identify and countermand threats – has been gaining slow but steady support over the past decade. According to this theory, if you’re healthy, exposure to bacteria and viruses can serve as “natural vaccines” that strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.
You’re not meant to exist in a bubble, isolated from life. You’re designed to spend time outside, play in the dirt, be active — and to get dirty and encounter and develop lasting immunity against potentially infectious agents.
This would seem like common sense, but in today’s world of obsessive sterilization and savvy marketing, many have been brainwashed into treating dirt as enemy number one, to be eliminated at any cost. There’s an antibacterial solution for every area of your life and if you’re not wiping down your counters and cleaning your hands with antibacterial soap, you’re taking antibiotics, which are grossly overused.
Your diet, too, is probably largely devoid of the natural bacteria that makes food – and you – healthy, as most of what is consumed is highly processed, refined and pasteurized. This over-zealous avoidance of bacteria and viruses comes at a steep price, the rise of numerous related diseases, including:
- Asthma and allergies
- Immune system diseases (autoimmune disorders, etc.)
- Heart disease
Neuroscientist Charles Raison explained:ii
“Since ancient times benign microorganisms, sometimes referred to as ‘old friends,’ have taught your immune system how to tolerate other harmless microorganisms, and in the process, reduce inflammatory responses that have been linked to the development of most modern illnesses, from cancer to depression.”
Quite simply, if you’re “too clean,” you deprive yourself of the exposure to bacteria that your body needs in order to program itself to keep inflammation at bay, as well as to respond properly when a threat does occur. The answer is not to eat “dirty” food … but food that has been grown in healthy soil and contains beneficial bacteria is incredibly important.
This is One Reason Why Fermented Foods are So Important
Establishment of normal gut flora in the first 20 days or so of life plays a crucial role in appropriate maturation of your baby’s immune system. Babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems, and then they are typically vaccinated, which can be a recipe for disaster. Vaccinations were originally developed for children with perfectly healthy immune systems, but according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, children with unbalanced gut flora are not fit to be vaccinated according to the standard vaccination protocol.
The end result is increasing numbers of children with autism, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, immune disorders, and digestive problems, all because of a lack of exposure to the proper bacteria in early life.
Many women of reproductive age are deficient in beneficial bacteria—a deficiency that transfers to their babies and may set the stage for any number of problems. The solution is simple: nourish your gut flora with a probiotic-rich diet. Some examples of naturally fermented foods that are outstanding sources of beneficial bacteria include:
- Various fermented vegetables, including cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots
- Lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
- Yogurt made from organic raw milk
- Fermented milk such as kefir (a quart of unpasteurized kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotics supplement, and it’s simple to make at home)
- Natto (fermented soy)
Eating fermented foods like these regularly will help to “reseed” your body’s beneficial bacteria, which is under constant assault from antibiotics, chlorinated water, antibacterial soap, the metabolic byproducts of stress, and poor diet, especially sugar consumption. Eating sugar actually nourishes the bad or pathogenic bacteria yeast and fungi in your gut. So, tending to the bacteria in your gut is an ongoing process, much like tending to a flower garden.
If you do not consume traditionally fermented foods on a regular basis, a high-quality probiotic supplement is one of the few I do recommend – but one of the major results of eating a healthy diet like the one described in my nutrition plan is that you stimulate your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish naturally.
More Tips for Living “Dirty”
It’s high time for many to get reacquainted with some “old friends,” those beneficial bacteria that have been a part of civilization for eons. This is important not only for you, but also for your children, as the future of your child’s immune system is in your hands. You can help your child’s immunity build up the natural resistance it needs by:
- Letting your child be a child. Allow your kids to play outside and get dirty.
- Avoiding the use of antibacterial soaps and other antibacterial household products. Simple soap and water is all you need when washing your hands.
- Avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, including not only medically (for instance, taking antibiotics to target a viral infection, for which they are useless) but also in your food, which is a major source of antibiotic exposure
- Serving locally grown or organic meats that do not contain antibiotics
- Educating yourself on the pros and cons of vaccines, which further manipulate your immune system, and making informed decisions about their use
One final piece of advice that I’d like to echo comes from Leach, who points out that a simple visit to your local farmer’s market may help you get back in touch with your more down to earth roots:
“As we move deeper into a “postmodern” era of squeaky-clean food and hand sanitizers at every turn, we should probably hug our local farmers’ markets a little tighter. They may represent our only connection with some “old friends” we cannot afford to ignore.”