Category Archives: Mercola RSS

Pfizer ‘Cherry-Picked’ Celebrex Data, Memos Say

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

  1. 2012: GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion for illegal marketing of Paxil, Welbutrin and downplaying safety risks of Avandia
  2. 2009: Pfizer pays $2.3 billion for marketing fraud related to Bextra, Lyrica and other drugs
  3. 2012: Johnson & Johnson will pay anywhere from $1.5 to $2.2 billion for illegal marketing of Risperdal
  4. 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.
  5. 2009: Eli Lilly pays $1.4 billion for promoting Zyprexa for off-label uses, often to children and the elderly.
  6. 2011: Merck settles for $950 million to resolve fraudulent marketing allegations related to Vioxx.
  7. 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.
  8. 2007: Purdue Pharma paid $634.5 million for fraudulently misbranding Oxycontin, and suggesting it was less addictive and less abused than other painkillers.
  9. 2010: Allergan paid $600 million for aggressively pushing Botox for unapproved uses.
  10. 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).
  11. 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.

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gaea Powell on Safer Breast Cancer Screening

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.

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Are We Being Set Up for Another Fabricated Pandemic Like the Swine Flu?

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

What’s Behind Illinois Stealing Local Hero’s Bee Hives?

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.

  • Pesticide Action Network Bee Campaignv
  • The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Beesvi
  • American Beekeeping Federationvii
  • Help the Honey Beesviii

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dirtying Up Our Diets

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.

Leach writes:

“ … 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.

Leach continues:

“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
  • Eczema
  • Immune system diseases (autoimmune disorders, etc.)
  • Heart disease
  • Depression

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.”

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Major Drug Company to Pay at Least $1.5 Billion Over Fraudulent Risperdal Marketing

By Dr. Mercola

Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreed to pay more than $1 billion in a civil settlement involving fraudulent marketing of their antipsychotic drug Risperdal – but federal prosecutors decided to hold out for more.

Now their illegal marketing of Risperdal for unapproved uses is set to cost them at least $1.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, and sources say the final amount could end up exceeding $2 billion.

The amount could end up rivaling the largest health care fraud settlement in history — $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009, also for illegally promoting uses of four of its drugs.

Risperdal Aggressively Promoted for Unapproved Uses for More Than a Decade

Risperdal was heavily promoted for unproven off-label uses for more than a decade, even after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings against the misleading claims. Doctors are well within their legal rights to prescribe a drug for off-label use; it’s actually a common, albeit sometimes dangerous, practice. However, drug companies may not promote them for uses other than those that are FDA-approved.

Research has shown that up to two-thirds of prescriptions for Risperdal were for unapproved uses that had little or no scientific support.i How did this happen? Simple — J&J sent out an army of salespeople to doctor’s offices, nursing homes, Veteran’s Administration facilities, and jails to tout Risperdal as a proverbial miracle drug for mental illness and dementia.

The FDA told the company to stop the false and misleading marketing claims not once, not twice, but three times from 1994-2004, but J&J reportedly continued to include marketing the drug for unapproved uses right in their business plan.

In the years to follow, the FDA did eventually approve Risperdal for bipolar disorder and autism symptoms, but it was never approved for dementia, even though it was heavily marketed as a dementia drug. Outrageously, elderly dementia patients who were prescribed Risperdal for off-label uses were found to increase their chances of death by 54 percent within the first 12 weeks of taking it!ii

Another off-label use for which Risperdal was marketed was post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – even though research in JAMA found Risperdal is no more effective than a placebo,iii and is associated with a long list of potentially devastating side effects, some of which may be permanent, including those in the chart below. J&J, of course, is not unique among drug companies when it comes to questionable advertising campaigns…

Somnolence and fatigue Increased appetite and weight gain Upper respiratory tract infection
Restlessness Metabolic disorders Muscular tics, tremors, muscle stiffness
Vomiting, coughing, fever Indigestion Urinary incontinence

Merck Using Cartoon Movie Characters to Promote Children’s Claritin – Prompting Calls for a Federal Investigation

Eleven advocacy groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Merck’s marketing campaign for the over-the-counter allergy drug Grape-Flavored Children’s Claritin, which uses characters from the animated movie Madagascar 3. Not only are the characters also used on packages for candy and fruit snacks, giving the impression that the drug is candy, but Merck has been offering free movie tickets and stickers with the purchase of the drugs and has a Facebook page that offers free Madagascar games.

But it gets even more egregious than that, as Merck has “mom crews” that are holding movie-viewing parties where attendees can get popcorn, stickers, DVDs… and a sample of Claritin. CBS News reported:iv

“Other evidence submitted by the [advocacy] group states that Merck told its “Children’s Claritin Mom Crew” bloggers to hold Madagascar-themed viewing parties, with one blogger writing that Merck distributed “full size Claritin product featuring ‘Madagascar 3,’ product samples and coupons to share with my mommy friends, stickers for the kids, popcorn boxes and Madagascar 1 and 2 DVDs.””

The advocacy groups are calling for the FTC to take action to stop child-directed marketing of over-the-counter medications, stating it is “unfair and deceptive and violates longstanding FTC precedent.”

It Gets Worse as Even Cereal Companies are Targeting Your Kids

It’s a close call as to which is worse – grape-flavored allergy medications being pawned off as a “fun” treat, or hooking kids on sugar-laden breakfast cereals, which are among the worst foods you can eat.

A study from Yale researchers revealed that spending to promote child-targeted cereals was $264 million in 2011, up more than 30 percent from 2008. During that period, kids’ exposure to TV ads for Froot Loops cereal increased 79 percent, to ads for Reese’s Puffs by 55 percent and to Pebbles by 25 percent.v The very cereal products that score lowest on nutrition and the highest on added sugar are among the most aggressively marketed directly to your kids.

“It is obvious that industry regulating itself is a failure. If there is to be any hope of protecting children from predatory marketing, either public outcry or government action will be necessary to force the companies to change,” said study co-author Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center.vi

How to Stay Safe (and Sane) in an Era of Fraudulent, Aggressive Marketing

When it comes to making money, many industries throw ethics and integrity out the window. Whether it’s J&J illegally promoting Risperdal for dementia, Merck making kids equate its allergy medication with candy, or Kellogg targeting your kids and making them crave junk food like Froot Loops for breakfast, it’s a buyer beware world out there.

In most cases, a billion-dollar (or more) fraud settlement would be a death-sentence for a business, but for the drug industry, it’s just another cost of doing business.

You cannot trust that the companies making your medications have your best interest at heart any more than the makers of your sugary breakfast cereals do. While medications remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States, processed foods, which contain few nutrients and plenty of disease-promoting sugar and poorly tested chemicals, are at the heart of the obesity epidemic and promoting chronic disease in millions of people.

But if you thought the federal government was really going to do something about all of this, think again, as the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry are two of the biggest lobby groups around – and you can often follow the corporate money trail directly to the front door of Congress.

As discussed by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who served 3.5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to corrupting public officials, tax evasion and fraud, our current political system basically runs on bribes. So one necessary step to have any chance of quelling this out-of-control corruption, fraud, and criminal activity is to prohibit all members of Congress and their staff from ever becoming a lobbyist after their service on the Hill is over.

The good news is that increasing numbers of people are now waking up to these harsh realities, and you, being among those who are informed, can help share this knowledge with others. Remember that the definition of fascism is a government system that has complete power in regimenting all industry and forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism. What we have here is a hybrid—a sort of corporate fascism, where industry has powerful control over government, and forcefully suppresses anything that threatens their monopoly on profits.

But, this doesn’t mean that you have to buy into their agenda.

The ultimate goal is to reach a critical mass of people who refuse the unnecessarily dangerous and counterproductive solutions currently offered by all of these industries, and demand that our public servants serve the public rather than corporate interests. That will serve as the powerful stimulus to generate authentic change. More than 1.6 million people receive this newsletter, and together we can make a huge difference.

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Warning: Cell Phones May Trigger ADHD and Other Behavior Problems

By Dr. Mercola

If you’re pregnant, there is compelling evidence that you should use extreme caution when using a cell phone, and at least take care to keep it as far away from your developing baby as possible.

The latest animal study suggests that the increasingly prevalent neurobehavioral disorders in children — conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — may be related to exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cell phones while in utero.i

Hyperactivity, Impaired Memory Linked to In Utero Cell Phone Exposure

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine positioned a cell phone above a cage of pregnant mice. The phone was transmitting an uninterrupted active call for the entire 17 days of gestation.

When the offspring were later tested, they showed signs of ADHD, including reduced transmissions in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. As researchers noted:

“The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is responsible for executive functions by screening distractions and maintaining attention in goal-oriented behaviors. Impairment of the PFC leads to dysregulated behavior/emotion such as ADHD.”

They further explained:

“Mice exposed [to cell phone radiation] during pregnancy had impaired memory, were hyperactive, and had decreased anxiety, indicating that in-utero exposure to radiofrequency is a potential cause of neurobehavioral disorders. …The exposure to cellular telephones in pregnancy may have a comparable effect on the fetus and similar implications for society as do exposures to other common neurodevelopmental toxicants.”

It’s widely known that children, due to their thinner skulls, smaller brains, softer brain tissue and far more rapidly dividing cells, are even more susceptible to damage from cell phone use than adults, which suggests that babies in the womb, who are perhaps the most vulnerable population of all, may be at similar or greater at risk. The researchers expand:

“During critical windows in neurogenesis the brain is susceptible to numerous environmental insults; common medically relevant exposures include ionizing radiation, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and stress. The effects of these agents are dependent on dose and timing of exposure. Even small exposures during periods of neurogenesis have a more profound effect than exposure as an adult …environmental exposures occurring in fetal life can lead to persistent neurological deficits.”

Cell Phones May Cause “Certain Harm” to Fetal Rat Brains

This was the conclusion of a study in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine,ii which sought to evaluate the intensity of oxidative stress and the levels of neurotransmitters in the brains of fetal rats chronically exposed to radiation from cell phones.

Four groups of pregnant rats were exposed to different intensities of cell phone microwave radiation — one group that was left unexposed, and three groups that were irradiated three times daily for either 10, 30, or 60 minutes at a time. After three weeks, the fetal rats were examined for changes in their brains. Studies on humans have corroborated these findings. All of the irradiated groups exhibited significant neurological differences, with researchers noting:

“Through this study, we concluded that receiving a certain period of microwave radiation from cellular phones during pregnancy has certain harm on fetal rat brains.”

Studies Involving Human Children Show Increased Behavioral Problems With In Utero Cell Phone Exposure

In 2008, researchers analyzed data from nearly 13,000 children and found that exposure to cell phones while in the womb, and also as children, was linked to more behavioral difficulties.iii Pregnant women using handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age — and the risk became even greater if the children also used the phones themselves before age 7.

The 2008 study revealed that mothers who used mobile phones were 54 percent more likely to have children with behavioral problems. When the children also later used the phones themselves by age 7, they were:

  • 80 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behavior
  • 25 percent more at risk from emotional problems
  • 34 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers
  • 35 percent more likely to be hyperactive
  • 49 percent more prone to problems with conduct

Then, in 2010, the researchers looked at a larger group of children — nearly 29,000 — and also considered additional variables that could be swaying the results, and the association was found once again.iv In that study, children whose mothers used cell phones while pregnant were 40 percent more likely to have behavioral problems and this rose to 50 percent when the children also used cell phones themselves. The researchers even accounted for family history of behavioral problems, inattention of the mother, breastfeeding and time spent with the child — and the association still remained.

If You’re Pregnant, Is Cell Phone Use Safe?

That’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself after considering the evidence, such as the studies noted above. I do believe there is more than enough evidence to warrant everyone limiting their cell phone use and taking precautions, and I have long recommended that, barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. A fetus is even more vulnerable than a child, so take that into consideration as well. As a parent you have a responsibility to protect this young life.

Many government agencies across the globe are taking these risks very seriously. The European Parliament has called for schools to be wireless free, in addition to hospitals, day care and retirement living facilities.v And in a report published by Mobilewise, a UK charity, medical experts and Mobilewise call on government and industry to provide warnings and advice on ways to reduce the risk of health damage when using mobile phones, especially in order to protect children.

The report “Mobile Phone Health Risks: the case for action to protect children” warns that children’s health is being put at risk by the failure of government and phone companies to respond to the growing body of evidence linking mobile phone use with health hazards.vi It includes a chart of more than 200 peer-reviewed studies from numerous research institutions that link mobiles to serious health problems.

These include brain tumors and impacts on fertility, genes, the blood-brain barrier and melatonin production, as well as other biological effects thought to have a role in the development of cancer.

The telecommunication industry is much larger than the medical industrial complex, and they have far more influence than the drug companies. They’re also mirroring many of the same tactics as the tobacco industry to pedal their wares. There is already robust scientific evidence that cell phones and other wireless devices pose significant health risks to all of us, and especially to children and pregnant women. So while these findings are not being widely publicized in mainstream media, it makes sense to take action now to protect yourself and your children.

Understand the media has significant conflicts of interest, given the millions of dollars in advertising dollars they receive from the wireless industry. ElectromagneticHealth.org has estimated telecom ad revenues might total as much as $6-60 million annually at U.S. newspapers and business magazines, based on a sampling of ad space in major papers and magazines. The average percentage of telecom ad space during the sample period was applied to the published print ad revenues of the publications, as a gauge of the magnitude of potential telecom revenues to these publications.

Camilla Rees of ElectromagneticHealth.org says:

“Not only are several large media organizations sitting on the fence on this subject, shirking their responsibility to the public (though many are following the subject closely), but some of them, it appears, may intentionally be supporting the interests of the telecom industry, as is also the case with some universities. In both cases it appears protecting important sources of revenue is what is most important to them. “

Rees co-led a detailed analysis of an Economist article last Fall that was endorsed by over 30 leading international scientists, portraying the Economist article in question as riddled with “technical errors and misleading statements.”

The Economist critique stated:vii

“With this unsigned opinion piece (which appeared to be a news article) containing so many technical errors and misleading statements, The Economist has undermined its reputation for independent and probing analysis. The Economist owes its readers a better accounting of the science on this important public health issue.”

So, until the damn of denial is broken regarding media coverage of the hazards of microwave radiation, look to the independent science, and independent reporting sources, that have not been influenced by commercial interests.

Top Steps for Safer Cell Phone Use

You can help to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:

  • Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children’s brains are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you’re pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use is especially important.
  • Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers a portable number via your computer that can plug into any Ethernet port while traveling.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom, as the electric, magnetic and microwave fields can significantly interfere with the quality of your sleep.
  • If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. There is a new Siemens Eco DECT phone on the market, where if only one handset is activated, it can be set to only radiate during a call as opposed to 24/7. However, since many people have multiple portable phone handsets this is not, as of yet, a practical solution. And, unless one knows to deactivate the radiation through putting the phone into Eco Mode Plus mode, it will still be continually emitting microwaves.

    Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won’t help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.

    Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren’t talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may not be as damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call.

    Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed. You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at www.emfsafetystore.com. But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology, unless you are using the new Siemens Eco DECT phone, with only one handset active, and the phone set to only radiate during conversations through the Eco Mode Plus feature.

  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
  • Also Seek to Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man’s pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility and sexual function.
  • Don’t Assume One Cell Phone is Safer Than Another: There’s no such thing as a “safe” cell phone.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area. Most people are surprised that cell phone manuals themselves specifically state to not place the phone against your body!
  • Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others’ cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor’s office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the ‘second hand radiation’ effects. This would especially apply to places where reflections would be high, such as in a metal elevator, train car or automobile. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
  • If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept ‘Off’ except for emergencies.

  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded — and most of them are not — the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.
  • Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded. The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Lies You’re Told about Genetically Engineered Foods

By Dr. Mercola

The Atlantici recently reported on the findings of new research into the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically engineered foods.

The authors of the report GMO Myths and Truthsii took a science-based approach to evaluating the available research, and came to the conclusion that most of the scientific evidence regarding safety and increase yield potential do not support the claims made at all. In fact, the evidence demonstrates that the claims for genetically engineered foods are not just wildly overblown; they simply aren’t true

The featured article summarizes the evidence presented, which shows that genetically engineered (GE) crops:

  • Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GE crops
  • Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
  • Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
  • Do not increase yield potential
  • Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
  • Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
  • Have mixed economic effects
  • Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
  • Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
  • Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
  • Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on

The authors of this critical report include Michael Antoniou, PhD, who heads the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College at London School of Medicine in the UK. He’s a 28-year veteran of genetic engineering technology who has himself invented a number of gene expression biotechnologies; as well as John Fagan, PhD, a leading authority on food sustainability, biosafety, and GMO testing.

If you want to get an in-depth understanding of genetically engineered foods, I highly recommend reading their reportiii, which covers the ins-and-outs of genetic engineering and the disturbing findings of a large number of scientific studies.

Three Sources of Adverse Health Effects from Genetically Engineered Foods

According to their reportiv, there are three potential sources of adverse health effects from genetically engineered foods:

  1. The genetically modified (GM) gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops – may be toxic or allergenic
  2. The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value
  3. Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism (GMO) may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops

I’ve already written quite extensively on all three of these. You can locate all previous articles written on genetically engineered foods on my dedicated GMO page. To give you an example of these adverse health effects, when Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt corn was approved, Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assured everyone that only insects would be hurt by the Bt toxin produced by these plants. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact at all.

They were proven wrong when doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found the toxin circulating in the blood stream of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant womenv. Shockingly, the toxin was identified in 93 percent of pregnant women, 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67 percent of non-pregnant women tested.

The Bt crop varieties were first introduced to the market in 1996, and since then, many of the disorders that have subsequently been linked to Bt crops have risen exponentially. The fact that the toxin is flowing through our blood supply and passes through the placenta is a potent indicator that the Bt crop varieties cannot be considered harmless at all. For example, government-sponsored research in Italyvi showed a wide range of immune responses in mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were elevated are also found to be higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders as indicated in the following chart.

Elevated interleukins Associations
IL-6 Rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, various types of cancer (multiple myeloma and prostate cancer)
IL-13 Allergy, allergic rhinitis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
MIP-1b Autoimmune disease and colitis.
IL-12p70 Inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis

Syngenta Charged for Covering up Livestock Deaths from GE Corn

Over the years, genetically engineered crops have proven disastrous for animals, although the conventional media has done a remarkable job of keeping such details from the public. Most recently, the Swiss biotech company Syngenta had criminal charges filed against it by a German farmer. Sixty-five of his cows died after he fed them Syngenta’s genetically modified Bt corn. He alleges the company not only knew the corn could be lethal to livestock, but was also covering up deaths that occurred during clinical trials.

According to a recent press release by GM Watchvii, the lawsuit asserts that Syngenta committed a grave criminal offense by deliberately withholding the results of a feeding trial in which four cows died in two days. The deaths prompted the company to halt the test. No health problems or deaths were reported in the control group, which was not fed the genetically engineered Bt 176 corn.

Other health ramifications from the Bt 176 corn have also been found. In April 2004, Spain banned Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn on the grounds that it may confer resistance to the antibiotic ampicillinviii. As of December that same year, the EU decided to prohibit genetically engineered crops with antibiotic resistance genes, and cultivation of Bt 176 crops were subsequently discontinued in the EU in 2007. However, similar varieties, such as Bt 11 sweet cornix are still cultivated for both animal and human consumption…

The Health Effects of GE Feed on Livestock

As reported by Institute of Science in Societyx, mysterious animal deaths are not limited to Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn. Thousands of livestock deaths have been reported across India as a result of grazing on genetically engineered Bt cotton, for example.

“Shepherds’ own observations and post-mortem analysis carried out in the laboratory revealed abnormal liver, enlarged bile ducts and black patches in the intestine. The shepherds said that the sheep became “dull/depressed” after 2-3 days of grazing, started coughing with nasal discharge and developed red lesions in the mouth, became bloated and suffered blackish diarrhea, and sometimes passed red urine.

Death occurred within 5-7 days of grazing. Sheep from young lambs to adults of 1.5-2 years were affected.

One shepherd reported getting diarrhea from eating the meat of an affected sheep. The vets declared that the toxicity could be due to the Bt toxin but this could not be proven as results were confounded by additional pesticides used on the fields. The shepherds were however, advised against letting the sheep graze on any more Bt cotton plants,” Institute of Science in Society writesxi.

The Philippines have also reported cases of villagers suffering health effects from surrounding Bt crop fields. In 2006, the blood of 38 individuals was analyzed and all tested positive for antibodies specific to Cry1Ab, suggesting an immune reaction to the Bt toxinxii.

GE Crops Seriously Threatens Reproductive Health

According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert on the toxicity of genetically engineered plants, a new organism linked to GE crops appears to be the cause of high reproductive failure in livestock. The organism was initially identified by veterinarians around 1998—about two years after the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans, which is one of the staple feeds. The vets were puzzled by sudden rates of miscarriages. While sporadic at first, the phenomenon has continued to increase in severity.

In an interview last year, Dr. Huber stated:

“We [recently] received a call from a county extension educator, indicating that he has a dairy that has a 70 percent [spontaneous] abortion rate. You put that on top of 10 to 15 percent of infertility to start with, and you’re not going to have a dairy very long. In fact, a lot of our veterinarians are now becoming very concerned about the prospects for being able to have replacement animals.”

According to a recent report by the European GM Watchxiii, Russian scientists have also jumped into the fray, proving the existence of “very serious health risks for animals given genetically modified (GM) feed.” This announcement was reportedly made during a press conference of the National Association for Genetic Security (NAGS). As a result of the findings, the Russian Parliament is considering a new veterinary law, which could potentially include a ban on genetically engineered animal feed.

“According to the authors; a number of pathological changes were discovered in the experimental animals that consumed the GM feed,” GM Watch reports. “A delay in development and growth was detected, plus a distortion of the sex ratio in breeds with an increase in the proportion of females, reducing the number of pups per litter, up to their complete lack in the second and third generation…


According to the President of NAGS Alexander Baranov, the main negative impact of GM feed, which was discovered during the investigation, is a “ban on reproduction,” making it almost impossible to obtain third-generation animals.”The results of our study confirmed the findings of European scientists who pointed out the negative impact on the health of animals from the GM ingredients in feed of animals,” Baranov, said. “We used soybean meal, which is widely used in Russia for fattening livestock. Soya of the line 40-3-2, contained in extracted meal, which is allowed in Russia. It is also for use in human food.” he added.”

Engineering Washington Politics

Why do American politicians and government health, environmental, and agricultural officials seem to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to all these concerns? In short, they’ve sold their souls and the future of this planet. They’re paid to not give a damn…

A recent article in the GMO Journal addresses the profound influence of biotech lobbying on our political processxiv. The article lists a number of facts showing how companies like Monsanto manipulates Washington to pass laws and regulations wholly in their favor. This includes preventing much-needed legislation to label genetically engineered foods. Thousands of ingredients must be listed on food labels, and yet genetically engineered ingredients, which have never been proven safe, do not need to be specified. Certainly, it is NOT because they are proud of their product and convinced it is superior to conventional or organic products. And it’s not because it would be cost-prohibitive.

Again, countless other ingredients and health claims have been added to labels through the years, without sending prices soaring. I’m not sure what it’ll take to make them grow a conscience and realize the dangers they’ve unleashed, and continue to support. As suggested in the GMO Journalxv, it’s time to realize that this industry is based on profit alone, at the expense of everything and everyone else.

“To borrow a phrase from Bill Maher, here’s a New Rule: anytime a GMO advocate gushes about the benefits and safety of genetically engineered products, someone must recite the following statistics from Food & Water Watchxvi:

  1. Since 1999, the 50 largest agricultural and food patent-holding companies and two of the largest biotechnology and agrochemical trade associations have spent more than $572 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.
  2. Lobbying expenditures for food and agricultural biotechnology more than doubled between 1999 and 2009, rising 102.8 percent from $35 million in 1999 to $71 million in 2009.
  3. Food and agricultural biotechnology PACs made more than $22 million in campaign contributions since 1999.
  4. Food and agriculture biotechnology firms employ more than 300 former congressional and White House staff members as lobbyists.
  5. In addition to in-house lobbyists, the food and agricultural biotechnology firms employed more than 100 lobbying firms in 2010.”

How to Protect Your Health

Until genetically engineered foods are labeled, your BEST strategy is to buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, as these do not permit genetically engineered ingredients, or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers.

The majority of the genetically engineered ingredients 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 altered 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.

Please Continue Supporting California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!

Due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what genetically engineered foods are. We now have a great opportunity to change that, and I urge you to participate and to continue supporting the California ballot initiative—which will require labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and ban the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as “natural”—in any way you can. The voting takes place in November, so we still have a few more months to go, and we need “all hands on deck,” so to speak, until then.

Since California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a win for the California Initiative would be a huge step forward, and would likely affect ingredients and labeling nationwide, as large companies are not likely going to label their products as genetically engineered when sold in California, but not when sold in other states. Doing so would be a PR disaster.

But it’s an enormous ongoing battle, as the biotech industry will outspend us by 100 to 1, if not more, for their propaganda.

Needless to say, the campaign needs funds. So if you have the ability, I strongly encourage you to make a donation.

They also need more volunteers, because that’s how we’re going to win this battle. The biotech industry may outdo us in funding ability, but we as consumers still outnumber them. Pamm Larry, the California grandmother who created the initiative, is correct when she says we need to reach every single California community—large and small. 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!

  • If you live in California and want to get involved, please contact LabelGMOs.org. They will go through all volunteer requests to put you into a position that is suitable for you, based on your stated interests and location.
  • No matter where you live, please help spread the word in your personal networks, on Facebook, and Twitter. For help with the messaging, please see LabelGMOs.org’s “Spread the Word!” page.
  • Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort, either through the Organic Consumers Fund.
  • 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.
  • For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

Donate Today!

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

Diet, Doctor- and Drug-Avoidance Can Help You Live Longer

By Dr. Mercola

In an unusual story of Rosario Schielzeth, a woman who turned 104 in June, newspaper reporters wanted to know her secret for a long lifei. Her answer consisted of just two simple rules that she’s always lived by:

  1. Watching what she eats, and
  2. Staying away from doctors

Before you assume that this lady lives in some far-off country where her life principles can’t be questioned or proven, know that she lives in Sarasota, Florida. She needs a walker as an aid in moving around, but other than that she has perfect vision since her cataract surgery, and doesn’t need a hearing aid.

And she still manages to go to the movies, the mall, and the beach for ice cream. Another amazing thing about her is that she’s the round-the-clock care-taker of her 87-year-old daughter, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Rosario and her daughter with Alzheimer’s serve as a powerful harbinger of what is to come for future generations. It has long been predicted that the youth will not live as long as their parents. The subtle unstated implication however is that this also includes chronic degenerative diseases that will prematurely kill or cripple you.

That is why it is SO VITAL that you and your children embrace the health principles taught on this site that could easily prevent this from happening in your family.

Apart from vitamins, Rosario reportedly only takes one pill a day, a mild blood-pressure medication. This is in stark contrast to the average American senior who is on more than 31 medications per person, according to recent statistics.ii

While one can argue about the many factors involved with making it past the 100-year mark, I believe Rosario’s advice really does cover the basics. Your diet accounts for about 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle, and it’s become quite clear that avoiding drugs is a good idea if you want to live a long and healthy life. While many still have trouble grasping this idea, the statistics tell a powerful story when it comes to pharmaceutical drug use.

My mom is now 77 and my dad is 82 and neither of them take any drugs, and I am certain many reading this are older and also avoiding drugs, so it is doable.

Prescription Pain Killers are Now the LEADING Cause of Accidental Death

According to the latest data collected by the National Center for Health statistics, poisoning, primarily by prescription drugs, has now surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In 2008, 41,000 Americans died from poisoning, compared to 38,000 lethal car accidents. The data, which can be found on the CDC’s web siteiii, shows that:

  • In 2008, poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in the United States and nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs.
  • During the past three decades, the number of drug poisoning deaths increased six-fold from about 6,100 in 1980 to 36,500 in 2008.
  • Opioid analgesics (prescription pain killers) were involved in more than 40 percent of all drug poisoning deaths in 2008, up from about 25 percent in 1999.
  • During the most recent decade, the number of drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics more than tripled from about 4,000 in 1999 to 14,800 in 2008.

While the drug poisoning death rate has risen among all age groups in the last decade, the death rate among adults between 45-54 is now the highest. Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America’s “war on drugs” is clearly directed at the wrong enemy when you consider that prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. In fact, prescription drugs are now the preferred “high” for many, especially teens, as they are typically used legally, which eliminates the stigma of being a “junkie.”

Americans Consume 80 Percent of the Global Supply of Pain Pills!

The skyrocketing rate of prescription drug addiction has also led to a
massive increase in robberies, which has led some pharmacies to quit
stocking the sought-after drugs. Meanwhile we’re seeing ever-increasing
amounts of legislation popping up designed to increase the use of drugs while preventing you to seek alternative non-drug treatments, especially for pain. To put these statistics into even further context, consider this:

According to an article in Mail Online published last monthiv:

Americans consume 80 percent of the world’s supply of painkillers — more than 110 tons of pure, addictive opiates every year — as the country’s prescription drug abuse epidemic explodes. That’s enough drugs to give every single American 64 Percocets or Vicodin. And pain pill prescriptions continue to surge, up 600 percent in 10 years, thanks to doctors who are more and more willing to hand out drugs to patients who are suffering.” [Emphasis mine]

Rampant Conflicts of Interest Fuel Drug Use and Deaths

Take Florida for example. Under the 2012 PIP reform law, Floridians will no longer be able to seek massage therapy or acupuncture treatments after a car accident, as these services will no longer be covered under Florida PIP insurancev. The primary treatment option left for those who suffer from pain as a result of a car accident is then—you guessed it—pain killers! This despite the fact that the most common auto accident-related injury is soft tissue damage, which is ideally treated through massage, not pain killers that can potentially add addiction and liver damage to your misery…

The bill was signed into law on May 4, 2012. The majority of the bill’s content will take effect on 1 July 2012, while the rest will not take effect until 1 January 2013. In a nauseating example of how financial conflicts of interest drive this health-harming trend, Florida governor Rick Scott has more than one link to Big Pharma, and the promotion of pain killers in particular:

  • In 1997, Scott was implicated in the biggest Medicare fraud case in US history. According to a 2011 Mother Jones articlevi, he “stepped down as CEO of Columbia/HCA after the hospital giant was fined $1.7 billion and found guilty of swindling the government.”
  • Then, last year, as he became Florida’s new governor, he initially tried to repeal an anti-fraud database designed to track fraudulent distribution of addictive prescription drugs in Florida. Only after public outcry and months of picketing, Scott announced the database would not be repealed after all.vii
  • In 2001 Scott co-founded Solantic, which has 32 walk-in clinics. He reportedly remained involved in its operations until 2010, when he placed the $62 million investment into a trust under his wife’s name. The Tampa Bay Times reported on the scandal last year, statingviii:
  • “Scott has aggressively pursued policies like testing state workers and welfare recipients for drugs, switching Medicaid patients to private HMOs and shrinking public health clinics. All these changes could benefit that $62 million investment, but Scott sees no legal conflict between his public role and private investments. And, experts say, under Florida law he is correct. A few days before he took office in January, Scott moved his shares in Solantic Corp., a chain of 32 urgent care centers, to the Frances Annette Scott Revocable Trust.”

  • The 2012 PIP reform law was strongly promoted by Rick Scott—changes which will undoubtedly benefit his wife’s clinics. Under the revised PIP law, only medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, dentists, physician’s assistants or advanced registered nurse practitioners are approved for PIP reimbursement. Chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists are specifically excluded. By removing the option to treat post-accident pain with chiropractic adjustments, massage, and/or acupuncture, accident victims are left with but one option: pain killers and antidepressants.

Stunning Statistics

A previous article on The American Dream website offers an eye-opening list of US drug use statisticsix. For the full list, please see the original article. Here are but a handful of the 18 statistics listed:

  • More than 25 percent of all children and teens in the United States take prescription drugs on a regular basis
  • More than 1 in 5 American adults, and 1 in 4 women, take at least one drug for “psychiatric” or “behavioral” disordersx
  • Approximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug. Many children in foster care are prescribed as many as five different psychotropic drugs
  • The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is the highest in the world
  • Prescription drugs cost about 50 percent more in the US than they do in other countries. Meanwhile, tens of billions of dollars are spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the United States each year, and more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies each made over a billion dollars in profits during the year of 2008 alone

In related news, an excerpt from the book, Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomasxi raises another disturbing issue, namely that of fake doctors. According to the authors, Ezell and Bear, the number of fake PhD’s in the US outnumber real, earned PhD’s. In fact, more than HALF of all people claiming to have a PhD in the US have a fake degree! Unfortunately, this problem is not restricted to academics, who, hopefully, would not be able to inflict too much bodily harm. Fake medical degrees are also “an urgent problem,” according to the authors.

“Twenty-five years ago, a Congressional committee calculated that there were over 5,000 fake doctors in the United States, and there are many more now. People have died because of these fakes,” they write.

Furthermore:

“There are more than 3,300 unrecognized universities, worldwide, many of them outright fakes, selling bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, law, and medical degrees to anyone willing to pay the price. No nation is immune from the problem. One international diploma mill, with offices in Europe and the Middle East and mailing addresses in the United Kingdom, run by Americans, has sold more than 450,000 degrees—bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, medicine, and law—to clients worldwide, who did nothing more than write a check.”

How Can You Avoid Being Killed by a Prescription Drug?

So what’s the answer?

First of all, it’s imperative that you understand the risks you take each time you opt for a drug treatment, and that those risks are exponentially increased when you take more than one drug. No one (except for those who intentionally overdose) expects these medications to injure or kill them, but they can do just that, and as you can see, it happens quite frequently. As you just learned, you’re at greater risk of accidentally dying from a side effect of a drug—especially pain killers—than you are behind the wheel of your car.

In a study released last year by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationxii (SAMSHA), officials emphasized that people should assume there IS risk in prescribed medicines.

The truth is, the only way to avoid all risk, including death, from prescription drugs is to not take them at all. Which brings us back to where we started. Rosario, at the age of 104, is a perfect example that your health is not at all dependent on drugs. Rather, it is the result of a healthy, active lifestyle. Remember, it is your body, not your doctor’s and not your pharmacist’s, so it is up to you to make the decision of what drugs to take, if any. Be SURE you are aware of the risks of any medication prescribed to you, and weigh them against any possible benefit. Then you can make a well-informed decision of whether it’s a risk you’re willing to take.

Staying well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care, is not only possible, it may be the most successful strategy you can employ to increase your longevity. If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need medications in the first place.

This includes:

  1. Proper Food Choices: For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (organic vegetables, grass-fed meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home. For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw. Personally, I aim to eat about 75 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised pastured organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).
  2. Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose. When consumed in excess, sugar acts as a toxin and drives multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.

  3. Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness: Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I’ve discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information, please review this previous article.
  4. Stress Reduction and a Positive Attitude: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. The Emotional Freedom Technique, meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
  5. Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D: We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you’re getting out in the sun on a daily basis. There is preliminary evidence suggesting that oral vitamin D may not provide the identical benefits, although it’s still better than none at all.
  6. Take High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats: Animal-based omega-3 fat is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived race on the planet.
  7. Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
  8. Avoid Prescription Drugs. Do you homework. You can start on this site by using the search engine at the top of every page, which links to previous articles we have written over the past 15 years. Just type in the name of the drug or condition you are taking it for, and you will likely come up with dozens if not hundreds of pages of information that will help you develop a strategy to stop using the drugs by changing your lifestyle to take control of your health

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment

How Diet Foods and Drinks Can Actually Cause, NOT Prevent Diabetes

By Dr. Mercola

Many people equate eating sugar with the development of type 2 diabetes, and in an attempt to be healthier choose sugar-free diet products instead.

Imagine the irony if those diet products actually contained substances that cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels and contribute to the onset of diabetes.

Now stop imagining, because this isn’t just a fantasy … it’s the disturbing result of a newly published study.

Two Toxic Food Additives Common in Diet Foods May Cause Diabetes

A new study using mice as models showed that two additives often put in everyday foods to enhance flavor and reduce calories can actually cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels, and contribute to the onset of diabetes. The toxins in this startling new study are aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), and the evidence is stacked against them both.

The research showed that aspartame alone can cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels and reduced insulin sensitivity. But when the two additives get together, they become partners in crime and cause an elevation in both weight and fasting glucose levels.

This is the first study ever to show the hyperglycemic effects of chronic exposure to a combination of these common food additives. Indeed, the consumer must exercise caution, as many mass-market foods contain both aspartame and hidden MSG – the perfect combination for diabetes development.

Researchers noted:

“Aspartame (ASP) and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) are ubiquitous food additives with a common moiety: both contain acidic amino acids which can act as neurotransmitters, interacting with NMDA receptors concentrated in areas of the Central Nervous System regulating energy expenditure and conservation.”

What You Need to Know About Aspartame and MSG

Many conventional nutritionists will actually recommend artificial sweeteners like aspartame as a smart choice over sugar, especially for people with diabetes, but you should know that, as a result of its unnatural structure, your body processes the amino acids found in aspartame very differently from those in a steak or a piece of fish.

Largely due to the unnaturally high ratio of this amino acid resulting in relatively dangerous levels, the amino acids in aspartame literally attack your cells, even crossing the blood-brain barrier to attack your brain cells, creating a toxic cellular environment of overstimulation called excitotoxicity. MSG is also an excitotoxin, and works synergistically with aspartame to create even more damage to your brain cells.

This is one of the major reasons why I do not recommend taking isolated amino acid supplements. But the damage does not stay confined to your brain, as food additives like artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and MSG can lead you down a path of food addiction, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, while increasing your risk for numerous chronic diseases.

Consider MSG, which is added to 80 percent of all flavored foods. MSG excites the part of your brain that’s in charge of your fat metabolism and storage, and has even been shown to scar the hypothalamus gland, inducing what is known as hypothalamic obesity.i So while MSG is most known for its excitotoxic properties, it’s also used to fatten up mice in scientific studies. Yes, MSG is the perfect obesity drug.

Aspartame and MSG Can Make You Fat

It’s speculated that the hormone leptin may be involved in weight gain, as those who consumed more MSG also produced more leptin.ii Researchers noted that MSG consumption may cause leptin resistance. The way your body stores fat is a highly regulated process that is controlled, primarily, by leptin. If you gain excess weight, the extra fat produces extra leptin that should alert your brain that your body is storing too much fat and needs to burn off the excess.

To do this, signals are sent to your brain to stop being hungry and to stop eating.

It is very important that your brain is able to accurately “hear” the messages leptin sends it, as otherwise you will continue to feel hungry and will likely continue to eat and store more fat. Leptin resistance occurs when your body is unable to properly respond to leptin’s signals, which means your body can no longer hear the messages telling it to stop eating and burn fat — so it remains hungry and stores more fat.

This will not only contribute to your weight gain, but also increase your risk of many chronic illnesses, as leptin resistance plays a significant, if not primary, role in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate of aging itself. How does this all happen? By overexposure to high levels of the hormone, which is triggered by the typical American diet full of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods — including those that contain MSG.

Animal studies have also shown that dietary MSG induces markers of insulin resistance,iii a direct cause of type 2 diabetes, while prior research by Ka He and colleagues found the additive may increase your likelihood of being overweight by three-fold.iv

Similarly, one reason for aspartame’s potential to cause weight gain is because phenylalanine and aspartic acid – the two amino acids that make up 90 percent of aspartame — are known to stimulate the rapid release of insulin and leptin, which are both intricately involved with satiety and fat storage. Insulin and leptin are also the primary hormones that regulate your metabolism.  So even though you’re not eating calories in the form of sugar, aspartame can still raise your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels, in turn, are two of the driving forces behind obesity, diabetes, and a number of our current chronic disease epidemics.

Why Our Food is Making Us Fat

It’s likely that the cumulative effects of food additives in a highly processed diet are in large part to blame for the rising rates of obesity in the United States and other developed countries. This includes not only MSG and aspartame, which the featured study showed work synergistically to cause even more health damage, but also other ubiquitous food additives like corn and sugar.

Indeed, corn’s weight-promoting property is highly prized in animal husbandry where it is used to fatten up cattle before slaughter. Corn oil is commonly used in fried foods, which are notorious for their ability to pack on the pounds. But corn’s main deleterious effects come from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is used in so many processed foods that it’s now almost impossible to avoid thanks in large part to the collusion between the food industry and government that serves to provide lavish subsidies to grow corn, which manipulate normal market forces.

Ultimately, sugar in all forms (including fructose, date sugar, molasses, coconut sugar, agave syrup, HFCS, etc.) increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones, and this is another major factor in premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as a leading cause of the climbing rates of overweight and obesity in developed countries. So while MSG and aspartame in diet foods should certainly be avoided, the answer isn’t to simply swap them out for sugar-laden processed alternatives…

Number of Kids Hospitalized With High Blood Pressure Doubles in 10 Years

This startling statistic is another product of our increasingly nutrionally devoid, food-additive-laden processed diets. The number of kids treated in U.S. hopsitals for high blood pressure nearly doubled from over 12,660 in 1997 to more than 24,600 in 2006.v The researchers speculated that the biggest factor behind the massive increase is the corresponding rise in childhood obesity.

Unfortunately, children often mimic their parents, and without a positive role model for healthy diet and exercise, may fall into the same traps that many adults are finding themselves in. But the key to remember is that swapping out your child’s regular soda for diet soda is not the answer… swapping out most processed foods for pure, healthy, whole foods is.

Rising Diabetes Rates Worldwide May Have Unforseen Consequences…

Also an interesting study came out last month that showed rising rates of type 2 diabetes in Africa could actually encourage the spread of malaria. As diabetes rates rise, so do cases of hyperinsulinemia, or high levels of insulin in your blood. Insulin actually suppresses mosquito’s immune systems, which means that as more insulin enters the mosquito, their imune systems become less able to fight off the malaria infection, which means they are much more likely to spread malaria among humans.

Every year, malaria results in about 1 million deaths—which is half as many people as are killed by HIV/AIDS annually. It is such an enormous problem in Africa that each African child has, on average, between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever every year, so the fact that it could get even worse — because of the ill effects of eating a poor diet, which is increasing rates of type 2 diabetes — is an alarming prospect.

Did You Know Type 2 Diabetes is Nearly 100 Percent Preventable… and Reversible Without Drugs?

It’s important to understand that many of the conventional recommendations for treating diabetes are not only flawed but dead wrong, and I discussed the reasons why in this previous article. To reverse the disease, you need to recover your body’s insulin and leptin sensitivities – the ones that are so badly upset by eating a poor diet. So the ONLY way to accomplish this is through proper diet and exercise. There is NO drug that can correct leptin signaling and insulin resistance…  

Adhering to the following guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating, and reversing, diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity, help normalize your weight, and normalize your blood pressure:

  • Severely limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet, especially fructose, which is far more detrimental than any other type of sugar. Following my Nutrition Plan will help you do this without too much fuss.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, and without it, you’re unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. I recommend reviewing my exercise program for tips and guidelines. It is also critical to work your way up to include some Peak Fitness exercises.
  • Avoid trans fats.
  • Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high quality, animal-based source, such as krill oil.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Recent studies have revealed that getting enough vitamin D can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure.
  • Optimize your gut flora. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall.
  • Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by eating fermented foods (like natto, kefir, raw organic cheese, miso, and fermented vegetables) or by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.

  • Address any underlying emotional issues and/or stress. Non-invasive tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be extremely helpful and effective.
  • Get enough high-quality sleep every night.
  • Monitor your fasting insulin level. This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is.

References:



Continue reading

Posted in Mercola RSS | Tagged | Leave a comment