Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This is another great article posted by our partner in TeamSizzle forum.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Genetically modified (GM) crops, some of which contain their own built-in pesticides that split open the stomachs of the insects that consume them, are having serious health consequences on humans, according to this excellent article by Jeffrey Smith, the leading U.S. expert on GM foods.
Of particular concern is the pesticide called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), which is produced in some GM crops. Though organic farmers have used solutions containing this natural bacteria for years as a method of insect control, GM plants produce about 3,000-5,000 times the amount of toxin as these sprays.
When GM crops are treated with Liberty (derived from a natural antibiotic), enzymes convert it to NAG (N-acetyl-L-glufosinate), a substance that accumulates every time a plant is sprayed. And, once NAG invades your digestive system, some portion of it may reappear as that same toxic herbicide.
The Japanese are setting a great example and are leaps and bounds ahead of the United States in terms of recognizing the devastating potential of GM crops.
You may not realize this but the United States leads the world in GM crop acreage (with 123 million in 2006), followed by Argentina (42 million) and Brazil (23 million).
In fact, outside of the United States much of the world has been slow to accept the idea of GM foods. However, this is all changing. Ever since GM crops were first planted, their acreage has been growing each year at double-digit rates.
They’re even expanding heavily in Europe, where advocacy groups have long pointed out the environmental risks of GM crops.
In the past year alone, GM crops in Europe increased by 77 percent. In 2007, over 270,000 acres of GM crops were harvested in Europe, compared with just over 153,000 acres in 2006.
If you live in the United States, you should know that 75 percent of all processed foods now contain ingredients from GM crops.
You, of course, would have no way of knowing this because these foods are not required to be labeled. Do you think the food industry is worried that you wouldn’t buy their products if you could read right on the label that it was GM?
Of course they are.
They don’t want you to know that GM crops have not been proven safe. They don’t want you to know that these unlabeled GM foods carry a risk of triggering life-threatening allergic reactions.
And they certainly don’t want you to know that GM foods have been linked to cancer.
The problem with GM foods is bigger than simply avoiding it in the foods you eat. This is important, but the potential impacts of GM crops are much larger.
Folks, when you introduce an altered organism into the environment, it is virtually guaranteed to mingle with the rest of the natural world. There is really no way to stop it.
In time, this means that the entire United States, and eventually the entire world, could be contaminated with GM plants and animals. This would be a permanent change, and one that could bring with it unforeseen devastation.
And this process has already begun.
A genetic modification known as “terminator technology” is now being used to create seeds that “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year (as opposed to using the seeds from their harvest to replant the following year, which is the traditional way).
This, of course, means bigger profits for the food companies that are patenting GM seeds, and more money shelled out from farmers. Worse still, this practice could actually threaten the entire food supply because the sterile seeds may spread to nearby fields.
What Can You Do?
There is an incredibly important documentary on this topic that I urge you to watch yourself and then pass on to ALL of your friends and family.
You may also be interested to know that I am actually working strategically with Jeffery Smith, the leader of the anti-GM movement in the United States, to facilitate the end of GM foods in the United States within the next two years.
In the meantime, you can use your wallet to voice your opinion about GM foods. In other words, don’t buy GM foods, and support those companies that are producing GM-free choices.
You can use this GMO Food Guide to decipher which foods contain genetically engineered ingredients and which do not.
Along with using the Food Guide, you can also follow these tips to avoid GM ingredients:
* Examine produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.
* Buy organic produce as often as you can. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms. You can also buy your produce locally and ask the farmer whether the crops are GM or not.
* Stay away from processed foods. Most of these contain corn and soy products, and most corn and soy are genetically modified.
The more I read, the more convinced I am that we need a voice in what is being done to our food. The world needs to be fed, but efforts don't seem to focus on "organic" farming with proven increase in nutrient and crop yeild, just more powerful and disruptive chemicals.
Cheers, Joy Ray
Bill & Joy Ray
Monday, March 10, 2008
(You can find Joy Ray and Bill's website that specially talks about Prostate here: www.bounties-of-nature.com , feel free to visit it for more details)
After seeing the widely advertised "get a little prick" campaign on TV, we asked our doctor what it was about. He stated that in his opinion the test was not reliable on it's own, and he had tried to find out who was running the campaign, but it was not clear who was doing the advertising. I decided to find out a little more on what PSA means.
PSA - what is it?
PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein which is secreted into ejaculate fluid by the healthy prostate. One of its functions is to aid sperm movement. Normally, only very low levels of the enzyme are able to enter the blood stream. However, because in cancer the normal structure of the tissue is disrupted, considerably more PSA is able to leak into the blood stream, and for this reason, a raised level of PSA in blood (or serum) can indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
How good is the PSA test?
When we take any test, it is preferable to get a definite answer: "yes, you have the cancer" or "no, you don't".
Unfortunately the PSA test is not that good.
At best, it is an indicator of the probability or risk that you have prostate cancer. This can be very helpful, because it guides the decision about whether you should have further tests. However it does mean that the interpretation of PSA levels is not necessarily straight forward.
What conditions other than cancer cause the PSA level to rise?
The prostate typically enlarges as men grow older, and because small amounts of PSA are produced by the healthy prostate, its blood level tends to rise.
Benign prostate enlargement (a condition which causes urinary symptoms such as poor flow, getting up at night), is a common non-cancer condition causing PSA levels to rise. The percentage Free to Total PSA also gives an indication whether raised PSA is due to benign enlargement.
A temporary rise in the PSA can be caused by a number of conditions ¹.
prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), or a
biopsy of the prostate can cause large rises
while small rises can be caused by ejaculation and even bicycle riding.
Because of these non-cancer causes of PSA rises, it is not surprising that if you have an abnormally high test result, it may not be due to prostate cancer.
The chance that you have prostate cancer is only about one in three.
If, in addition to the PSA test, you have a rectal examination, and it also is abnormal, your chances of having prostate cancer are higher, (one in two).
Other ways of measuring PSA have been developed in an effort to make the test more specific for prostate cancer.
One of these is called the "Free to Total" PSA.
This is a ratio, expressed as a percent.
Much of the PSA in the blood is bound to protein, including that produced by cancer cells
. But men with benign prostate enlargement have higher levels of free (unbound) PSA and so a higher Free to Total ratio.
If the total PSA level is abnormal, the Free to Total PSA ratio will give an idea of whether the rise is due to benign disease or cancer.
Cancer is more likely if the Free to Total percentage is below 10% ².
This test is available and widely used throughout Australia.
What is a normal PSA level?
Most authorities agree that if you have a PSA greater than 4 ng/ml, you should have further investigations.
Some suggest that if your PSA is greater than the 'normal for age' range shown in Table 1, or if it is rising rapidly, it should be investigated.
Depending on your age and family history, your doctor may then refer you directly to a Urologist, or may repeat the test before referring you for further investigation.
If cancer is present, the level of PSA in the blood rises as the tumour grows. This means that small rises in PSA are found in association with small tumours which may be still confined to the prostate gland (localised). PSA levels of 10ng/ml or less have the best chance of being localised ³. The PSA level and the cancerous characteristics of the tumour cells themselves (called "grade") can indicate the risk that a tumour has grown beyond the prostate.
If cancer is present, the rate at which the PSA level increases over a series of tests (called PSA velocity) also gives information about the risk that cancer will recur after treatment 4.
How fast do cancers grow?
Most (but not all) prostate cancers grow slowly. It can take 5 -10 years after the PSA rises above 2.5ng/ml, for it to "appear clinically", that is, cause symptoms. The median survival time (period for which 50% of men survive with treatment) after the PSA starts to rise, is reported to be 17 years 5. For this reason, a PSA which starts to rise in an older man, say 75 - 80 years, is usually not considered to be a threat. In a man just over 50, however, it is significant. These figures are presented as a guide only - the outlook for anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer depends on many clinical factors such as the nature of the tumour cells, or tumour grade, the stage of the disease, other illnesses and so on.
Listed alphabetically the following substances, commonly found in food, have particular benefit for men's health.
If you are a man concerned about your health, or a woman concerned about a man's health, print this list out and stick it on the refrigerator. Try to incorporate more of these foods into your diet.
Allicin, Allylic sulfides: found in chives, garlic, leeks, onions, shallots. Benefit: active sulfur compounds may inhibit development of prostate tumors.
Beta-carotene: found in cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes. Benefit: studies suggest that consuming beta-carotene may be effective in reducing the risk of prostate cancer in men who have low blood levels of beta-carotene.
Beta-sitosterol: found in corn oil, soybeans, wheat germ. Benefit: may decrease symptoms associated with BPH, and may also help to increase urine flow. Studies have linked beta-sitosterol with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Calcium: found in leafy green vegetables (collard greens, kale), low-fat dairy products. Benefit: helps to protect against osteoporosis, which strikes more than 2 million men in the U.S. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one in five victims of osteoporosis is male and one in eight men over age 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture.
Catechins: found in chocolate, grapes, green tea, wine. Benefit: studies suggest that a particular catechin found in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may be good for the prostate by suppressing growth of tumors as well as inhibiting enzymes that are involved in the spread of cancer cells.
Complex carbohydrates: found in beans, breads, cereals, grains, legumes, pastas, potatoes, whole grains. Benefit: promote energy and are particularly good for athletic types because complex carbohydrates are stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen, the storage form of energy that is used when your body requires it.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts. Benefit: reduces symptoms of BPH such as painful and frequent urgency to urinate; may also improve blood flow to the penis; possibly may help to prevent prostate cancer.
Fiber-both soluble and insoluble: found in fruit, oatmeal, vegetables, whole grains. Benefit: fiber helps your digestive system to run smoothly and may be helpful in managing diabetes; most men in the U.S. (according to the ADA, 50% of men) do not eat enough fiber.
Flaxseed oil. Benefit: flaxseed oil seems to have cancer-fighting properties and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer; the oil has also shown promise against male infertility and prostate problems. In addition, flaxseed oil protects against heart disease by lowering cholesterol and may prevent angina and high blood pressure.
Folate: found in dried beans, okra, peas, spinach. Benefit: helps to protect against heart disease and stroke.
Genistein: found in soy products (with isoflavones). Benefit: good for prostate health by reducing PSA levels in men; believed to inhibit tumor growth.
Indoles: found in cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, rutabaga, turnip greens, and turnips). Benefit: good for maintaining prostate health by blocking enzymes that may produce changes in cells that lead to cancer; a recent study found that men who consumed a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer.
Isothiocyanates: found in cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, rutabaga, turnip greens, and turnips). Benefit: good for lowering prostate cancer risk because they boost the immune system and deactivate carcinogens.
Lentinan: found in shiitake mushrooms. Benefit: because it may activate and raise cancer-fighting immune cells, lentinan may have an anti-cancer effect against prostate cancer. Clinical studies are assessing its efficacy as a prostate cancer treatment in larger doses.
Lignans: found in berries, cereal bran, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals, and fibrous vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, squash, whole legumes (including soy). Benefit: by exerting a mild phytoestrogenic effect upon hormone metabolism, lignans may be helpful in combating the onset of hormone dependent prostate cancer.
Lutein: found in collard greens, corn, egg yolks, kale, spinach, yellow corn. Benefit: may be protective against prostate cancer because studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin work together as antioxidants, blocking damaging free radicals and carcinogens.
Lycopene: found in apricots, guava, pink grapefruit, red peppers, red watermelon, tomatoes (cooked). Benefit: studies suggest that lycopene may be a helpful dietary agent that protects against prostate cancer.
Magnesium: found in almonds, beans, peas, seafood, spinach, sunflower seeds. Benefit: helps to maintain energy production and muscle activity.
Manganese: found in egg yolks, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, pineapples, pumpkinseeds, whole grains. Benefit: some studies have shown low levels of manganese in men who are impotent.
Omega-3 fatty acids: found in halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna, walnuts. Benefit: improve cardiovascular health by lowering triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Parsley (leaf, root). Benefit: used traditionally for diseases of the prostate.
Phytoestrogens: found in soy products. Benefit: may reduce risk of prostate cancer by blocking or reducing testosterone levels. Asian men experience lower rates of prostate cancer than do their Western counterparts. Researchers speculate that it may be the protective compounds such as phytoestrogens in soy products that may be responsible for lower prostate cancer rates in Asian countries.
Protein: found in amaranth, egg whites, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, quinoa, skinless chicken, soy products. Benefit: due to their greater muscle mass, men need adequate amounts of protein; the amino acids that form protein are required to form muscles.
Resveratrol: found in peanuts, red grape juice, red grapes, red wine. Benefit: preliminary research suggests that resveratrol may inhibit the cancer causing activities associated with androgen receptors. Resveratrol may reduce androgen-stimulated cell growth and gene expression associated with prostate cancer.
Selenium: found in Brazil nuts, grains, poultry, pumpkinseeds, seafood. Benefit: may protect against benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as well as heart disease; may prevent oxidative damage to lipids, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes involved in normal prostate functioning; preliminary studies have shown that pumpkinseeds (high in selenium) may reduce hormonal damage to prostate cells, thus possibly reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer; the linolenic acid in pumpkinseeds may help to prevent hardening of the arteries, reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Scientists believe that the phytosterol content of pumpkinseeds improves urine flow among men with enlarged prostate glands. Selenium is also believed to be good for sperm motility and mobility; nearly 50% of the selenium in a man is in the testes and seminal ducts; men lose selenium in their semen.
Silymarin: found in artichokes. Benefit: may protect against prostate cancer because studies suggest silymarin may inhibit tumor formation.
Sulphorophane: found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, turnips. Benefit: boosts the immune system's ability to detoxify carcinogens that may cause cancer; sulforaphane increases synthesis of cancer-fighting enzymes and helps fight tumors; studies are underway to assess its effectiveness against prostate cancer.
Vitamin B6: found in bananas, corn, eggs, lean meat, nuts, peanuts, wheat germ, potatoes, seeds, whole grain cereals and breads. Benefit: helps to metabolize protein and essential fatty acids, important for the maintenance of almost all of the body's functions; recent surveys show that men in the U.S. do not get proper amounts of vitamin B6.
Vitamin C: found in cabbage, citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes. Benefit: may lower blood pressure according to clinical studies; because of its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, vitamin C may be useful for prostate cancer and prostate problems.
Vitamin E: found in eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, vegetables oils, whole grain breads and cereals. Benefit: recent surveys show that men in the U.S. do not get proper amounts of vitamin E; vitamin E may also protect against prostate cancer.
Zinc: found in lean red meat, legumes, oysters, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grain foods. Benefit: helps to maintain semen volume and adequate levels of testosterone; helps to maintain sex drive and keeps sperm healthy, good for the libido; the prostate gland contains the highest concentration of zinc in the body; foods high in zinc may relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Taken from wholehealthmd.com Nutrition frontier
Cheers, Joy Ray,
What causes PSA levels to increase after prostate removal due to benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Prostate surgery is one treatment for noncancerous prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). The surgery reduces the amount of prostate tissue around your urethra by removing some — but not all — of your prostate. Following surgery, it's possible for the prostate gland to regrow, which can cause an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. You may also experience elevated PSA levels if not enough of your prostate is removed.
In addition, elevated PSA levels can indicate:
* Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis). Infection or inflammation of the prostate gland can cause your PSA levels to increase. Once prostatitis is treated with antibiotics, PSA levels should return to normal.
* Recurrent BPH. Despite prostate surgery, BPH can recur and cause your PSA levels to increase. Some men may need a second surgery after a number of years.
* Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer cells — in your prostate or in other parts of your body — may be secreting PSA.
* Recent ejaculation. Recent ejaculation can cause a temporary increase in PSA levels. In order to get the most accurate reading, you should avoid ejaculation for two days before undergoing a PSA test.
Sometimes an elevated PSA reading doesn't indicate a problem. It's possible for adult men with healthy prostates to have higher than normal PSA levels. In fact, PSA levels normally increase in all men as they age. It's important that PSA levels be interpreted by a doctor experienced in prostate disease.
There are a lot of natural treatments for prostate cancer offered on the web,and most natural treatment options are based on herbs or antioxidants.
In studies advocating the use of natural methods for treating prostate cancer, saw palmetto is often highlighted. This herb is primarily known for its anabolic properties and is more commonly used in treating benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The herb operates by inhibiting the synthesis of growth-stimulating dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and promoting DHT elimination through the lowering of estrogen levels.
According to several clinical studies, saw palmetto is actually more effective in treating enlarged prostate than the prescribed drug, Proscar.
These studies also argue that using the herb is better than using Proscar since the latter is more expensive and is associated with several side effects that include erectile dysfunction.
Another popular herbal remedy promoted by a number of studies is pygeum. Pygeum is an indigenous African remedy derived from tree bark.
This herbal remedy contains chemicals that inhibit DHT synthesis and is often used to treat enlarged prostate.
Aside from saw palmetto and pygeum, in some parts of the world, the herb stinging nettle is also used to cure prostate disorders.
This herb is marketed in the Europe under the name Bazoton.
Most herbal remedies or antioxidant-based cures are marketed as supplements since absolute confirmation of their ability to cure cancer has yet to be issued by medical and health authorities.
Sorry this one is so long, but there is a mountain of information out there!
Cheers, Joy Ray
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Anxiety found to increase risk of heart attacks by up to 40%!
We all know that people with a Type A personality and an off-the-charts hostility level may be courting a heart attack. But this might come as a surprise: New research shows that their nervous, socially withdrawn neighbors also have reason to worry.
The research, published in the January 15, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), shows that longstanding anxiety markedly increases the risk of heart attack, even when other common risk factors are taken into account.
“What we’re seeing is over and beyond what can be explained by blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, age, cigarette smoking, blood sugar levels and other cardiovascular risk factors,” said Biing-Jiun Shen, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The role of anxiety in hiking heart attack risk also goes beyond the effects of depression, anger, hostility, Type A behavior and other negative emotions. “These psychological factors are important in predicting the risk of heart disease, but anxiety is unique,” Dr. Shen said. “Older men with sustained and pervasive anxiety appear to be at increased risk for a heart attack even after their levels of depression, anger, hostility and Type A behavior are considered.”
For the study, Dr. Shen and his colleagues analyzed data from the Normative Aging Study, which was designed to assess medical and psychological changes associated with aging among a group of initially healthy men. Each of the 735 men participating in the new analysis completed psychological testing in 1986 and was in good cardiovascular health at the time.
Although most people think of anxiety as intense worry, Dr. Shen and his colleagues looked much deeper, examining four different measures of anxiety. The first anxiety scale measured psychasthenia, or excessive doubts, obsessive thoughts and irrational compulsions. The second anxiety scale measured social introversion, or anxiety, insecurity, and discomfort in interpersonal and social situations. The third anxiety scale measured phobias, or excessive anxieties or fears about animals, situations or objects. The fourth anxiety scale, manifest anxiety, measured the tendency to experience tension and physical arousal in stressful situations.
Separate sections of the psychological test measured hostility, anger, Type A behavior, depression, and negative emotions. Study participants also completed questionnaires about health habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption and daily diet, and had a medical exam every three years over a follow-up period that averaged more than 12 years.
The investigators found that men who tested at the highest 15th percentile on any of the four anxiety scales, as well as on a scale combining all four, faced an increase in the risk of heart attack of approximately 30 to 40 percent. Those who were found to have even higher levels of anxiety on psychological testing faced an even higher risk of heart attack. This finding held true even after the findings were adjusted for standard cardiovascular risk factors, health habits, and negative psychological and personality traits.
“The good thing about anxiety is that it’s very treatable,” said Dr. Shen. “If someone is highly anxious—if they’re suffering from panic attacks or social phobia or constant worry—we recommend therapy. Although more research is needed, we hope that by reducing anxiety, we can lower the future risk of heart attack. This is one more reason to seek help.”
Dr. Shen said the new research does not address the role of anxiety in provoking heart attacks in women. He and his colleagues are considering such a study in the future.
Source: American College of Cardiology
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The study examined 374 postmenopausal women who had developed breast cancer, and an additional 374 healthy women who were used as controls. An increased acrylamide hemoglobin level doubled the risk of breast cancer.
Acrylamide is a carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted, fried or toasted. It was found to cause cancer in laboratory rats in 2002.
Sources: FoodNavigator.com January 11, 2008
International Journal of Cancer January 8, 2008 [Epub ahead of print]
Dr Mercola Comments
I first warned readers of the dangers of acrylamide nearly six years ago in April of 2002. Since then many other studies have been published, confirming the initial findings that acrylamide can cause cancer in humans.
For example, this study adds to last year’s findings by Janneke Hogervorst and co-workers from the University of Maastricht, who examined data from more than 62,500 women and found that increased dietary intakes of acrylamide could raise your risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer by 29 and 78 percent respectively.
How is Acrylamide Created?
Acrylamide, a “probable human carcinogen,” is formed in several foods as a result of a reaction between specific amino acids, including asparagine, and sugars found in foods when they reach high temperatures during cooking or processing.
This reactive process is known as the Maillard reaction, and occurs at temperatures above 212°F (100°C). As a general rule, acrylamide is formed in vegetable-type foods when you heat them enough to produce a fairly dry and brown/yellow surface.
Hence, it can be found in many common foods that are baked, fried, roasted or toasted, such as:
• Potatoes; chips, French fries and other roasted or fried potato foods
• Grains; bread crust, toast, crisp bread, roasted breakfast cereals and various processed snacks
• Coffee; roasted coffee beans and ground coffee powder. Surprisingly, coffee substitutes based on chicory actually contains 2-3 times MORE acrylamide than real coffee
Acrylamide is Not the Only Danger
However, acrylamide is not the only dangerous genotoxic compound formed when food is heated to high temperatures.
A three-year long EU project, known as Heat-Generated Food Toxicants (HEATOX) -- whose findings were published at the end of 2007 -- found there are more than 800 heat-induced compounds, of which 52 are potential carcinogens.
In addition to their finding that acrylamide does pose a public health threat, the HEATOX scientists also discovered that you’re far less likely to ingest dangerous levels of the toxin when you eat home-cooked foods compared to industrially or restaurant-prepared foods.
Additionally, the HEATOX findings also suggest that although there are ways to decrease exposure to acrylamide, it cannot be eliminated completely. According to their calculations, successful application of all presently known methods would reduce the acrylamide intake by 40 percent at the most…
For more in-depth information regarding their findings and consumer guidelines, I recommend reading their online report Heat-generated Food Toxicants, Identification, Characterization and Risk Minimization.
How to Protect Yourself from Acrylamide and Other Toxic Compounds
Most of the problems with cancer-causing by-products stem from factory farmed, highly processed foods in general. Ideally, you should consume foods that are minimally processed, and come from local, environmentally sustainable sources.
At the same time, over half of the foods you eat should be uncooked and eaten in the raw state. It may take you awhile to get to that point, but in the meantime, you can start by avoiding processed foods, which simply have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, such as doughnuts, all sodas, French fries, and potato chips.
In addition, you can reduce your exposure to these cancer-causing chemicals by throwing away your Teflon-coated cookware
The Dangers of Over-Cooking Your Food
Finally We Know Why Cooking Grains Can Poison Your Food
How Many Toxins Are in Your Potato Chips?
Source: Dr Mercola Newsletter #1068 – 5 February 2007
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Their analysis of 134 patients found that nearly half of those with stomach, rectal and colon cancer were regular consumers of Chinese food from middle- or low-end restaurants. Most of them also had ulcers, which were also linked to MSG.
In 2004, the World Health Organization declared MSG unsafe for human consumption, but it is still widely used.
• Sources: Times of India December 31, 2007
Dr Mercola Comment
Chinese food is usually the first cuisine that comes to mind when anyone mentions MSG, and this is because it was commonly added to Chinese dishes to enhance flavors and make foods taste fresher. Even MSG Symptom Complex, which is a term used to describe short-term reactions to MSG, was called “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” for some time in the United States.
It is, however, completely unfair to only point the finger at Chinese restaurants when it comes to MSG.
This food additive, which I can confidently say is one of the absolute worst on the market, is used in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners and much, much more. It’s found in your local supermarket and restaurants, in your child’s school cafeteria and, amazingly, even in your baby’s food and infant formula (another reason why breastfeeding is vastly superior).
One of the best overviews of the very real dangers of MSG comes from Dr. Blaylock, author of the highly recommended Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. He explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means that it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, acting as a poison.
Aside from harming your brain, MSG has also been linked to:
• Eye damage
• Fatigue and disorientation
Is There MSG in YOUR Food?
Food manufacturers are not stupid. They’ve caught on to the fact that people like you want to avoid eating this nasty food additive. As a result, do you think they responded by removing MSG from their products? Well, a few may have, but most of them just tried to “clean” their labels. In other words, they tried to hide the fact that MSG is an ingredient.
How do they do this? By using names that you would never associate with MSG. Fortunately, you can get a full list of ingredients that contain MSG at MSGMyth.com. For instance, the ingredients below all contain MSG:
• Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
• Yeast Extract
• Malted Barley
• Rice Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
In general, if a food is processed you can assume it contains MSG. So if you stick to a whole, fresh foods diet like the one in my nutrition plan, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll avoid this toxin.
The other place where you’ll need to watch out for MSG is in restaurants. You can ask your server which menu items are MSG-free, and request that no MSG be added to your meal, but of course the only place where you can be entirely sure of what’s added to your food is in your own kitchen.
But to be on the safe side, here is a list of ingredients that ALWAYS contain MSG:
Autolyzed Yeast Calcium Caseinate Gelatin Glutamate Glutamic Acid
Hydrolyzed Protein Monopotassium Glutamate Monosodium Glutamate Sodium Caseinate Textured Protein
Yeast Extract Yeast Food Yeast Nutrient
And a list of ingredients that OFTEN contain MSG:
Barley Malt Bouillon Broth Carrageenan Enzyme- modified Substances Flavoring
Flavors / Flavoring Malt Extract Malt Flavoring Maltodextrin Natural Flavor / Flavorings Natural Pork / Beef / Chicken Flavoring
Pectin Protein- fortified Substances Seasonings Soy Protein Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate Soy Sauce and Soy Sauce Extract
Stock Vegetable Gum Whey Protein Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate
Why You do NOT Want to Eat Processed Foods
The Shocking Dangers of MSG You Don’t Know
The Danger of MSG and How it is Hidden in Vaccines
Source Dr Mercola Newsletter #1056 – 17 January 2008
Contact me Marilyn Vine www.teamsizzle.com/marilynvine
Thursday, January 17, 2008
FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK - http://www.FluorideALERT.org
FAN Bulletin 925: Fluoride: Top 10 Scientific Developments of 2007 - January 17, 2008
Today, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) posted a new review of the "Top 10 Scientific Developments" in 2007. To access a copy of the review, click here.
As detailed in the review, 2007 was another important year in fluoride research, with studies not only questioning long-held views about fluoride's purported benefits, but raising new concerns about its impact on human health. We have posted an excerpt of the review below, detailing some of the new research on fluoride's effect on the brain. (Our review does not include the 19 Chinese studies on fluoride's brain effects that FAN translated in 2007. Many of these will be appearing in an upcoming volume of the journal Fluoride sometime later this year.)
While some toxicologists might be willing to ignore such a large body of literature if they were looking at an additive to motor oil, or dealing with a drug designed to prolong the life of someone with a terminal illness, it would be utterly reckless, in our view, to do so when dealing with a substance added to the drinking water of every man, woman and child. And yet, that is what is happening with water fluoridation. Those who do not have an invested interest in defending fluoridation can see this and that is why so many are signing the Professionals' Statement calling for an end to water fluoridation worldwide.
p.s. If you know of a science or medical professional who may be interested in signing the Professionals' Statement, please send them the Statement and FAN's latest review of the research.
1) New Evidence on Fluoride & the Developing Brain
In 2007, the question of how fluoride affects the developing brain gained renewed attention from researchers around the world. Research teams from Brazil, China, India, Italy, Mexico, and the United States conducted important new analyses, including 3 new studies investigating fluoride's impact on childhood IQ (1a,b,c), and several new animal studies investigating fluoride's effects on learning, memory, and behaviour (1d,e). The studies, which strengthen the concerns expressed by the US National Research Council in 2006, further highlight that it's not just the teeth, but the brain, that may be impacted by too much fluoride during infancy and childhood. As noted in a review presented this fall by Harvard scientists Philippe Grandjean and Anna Choi:
"In humans, only five substances have so far been documented as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. From this evidence, including our own studies on some of these substances, parallels may be drawn that suggest that fluoride could well belong to the same class of toxicants, but uncertainties remain" (1f). While uncertainties remain -- as is common in science -- several of the studies published this year made important advances in addressing some of the shortcomings of previous research. In particular, a study (1a) linking high-fluoride (5 ppm) water to reduced IQ among a group of Mexican children made important steps in the right direction by simultaneously controlling (via multiple regression analysis) for other key factors known to affect IQ, including parent's education, income, and childhood lead exposure. In addition to controlling for these factors the Mexican researchers helped eliminate a source of bias by "blinding" the psychologist conducting the IQ tests so that the examiner did not know which children had, or did not have, high fluoride exposures.
According to the authors:
"We found that exposure to F (fluoride) in urine was associated with reduced Performance, Verbal, and Full IQ scores before and after adjusting for confounders. The same pattern was observed for models with F in water as the exposure variable.... The individual effect of F in urine indicated that for each mg increase of F in urine a decrease of 1.7 points in Full IQ might be expected."
In addition to assessing the effect of fluoride on IQ, the Mexican team studied the effect of arsenic as well and found similar results. Based on their data, the authors conclude that
"fluoride and arsenic in drinking water have a potential neurotoxic effect in children. It is urgent that public health measures to reduce exposure levels be implemented. Millions of people around the world are exposed to these pollutants and are therefore potentially at risk for negative impact on intelligence. This risk may be increased where other factors affecting central nervous system development, such as malnutrition and poverty, are also present. The risk is particularly acute for children, whose brains are particularly sensitive to environmental toxins. Furthermore, it would be advisable to re-examine the benefits of fluoride given the documented health risks."
While some pro-fluoride supporters may attempt to dismiss the results of this study -- since the levels of fluoride in the water (~5-6 ppm) are higher than the levels added to water in fluoridation programs (0.7-1.2 ppm) -- it would be short-sighted to dismiss such important findings on this basis. After all, the study was able to detect a statistically significant effect within a rather small (n=155) group of children. Since individuals vary widely in their sensitivity to chemicals, it is plausible, and indeed likely, that -- if fluoride can cause IQ loss at 5 ppm in a small group of children (e.g. hundreds) -- it could also cause IQ loss at lower levels in a much larger group of children (e.g. many millions).
Moreover, as noted by Dr. Kathleen Thiessen, a panelist from the National Research Council's review of fluoride, there is "almost certainly overlaps" in the daily doses ingested by some of the Mexican children in the study and the daily doses ingested by some American children - especially when considering the myriad other sources of fluoride exposure now available in the US.
1a) Rocha-Amador D, et al. (2007). Decreased intelligence in children and exposure to fluoride and arsenic in drinking water. Cadernos de Saude Publica 23(Suppl 4):S579-87.
1b) Wang SX, et al. (2007). Arsenic and fluoride exposure in drinking water: children's IQ and growth in Shanyin county, Shanxi province, China. Environmental Health Perspectives 115(4):643-7.
1c) Trivedi MH, et al. (2007). Effect of high fluoride water on intelligence of school children in India. Fluoride 40(3):178-183.
1d) Bera I, et al. (2007). Neurofunctional effects of developmental sodium fluoride exposure in rats. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 11(4):211-24.
1e) Chioca LR, et al. (2007). Subchronic fluoride intake induces impairment in habituation and active avoidance tasks in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology Oct 25; [Epub ahead of print]
1f) Choi A, Grandjean P. (2007). Potentials for developmental fluoride neurotoxicity. XXVII Conference of the International Society for Fluoride Research, October 9-12, 2007, Beijing, China.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
So why is the European Commission planning to ban thousands of supplements when it has already admitted that most of them are safe?
Evidence increasingly suggests that vitamin and mineral deficiencies are widespread in the European Union. A recent report, for example, suggests that up to 3.6 million people in the UK now suffer from malnutrition. As a result, according to the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, malnutrition currently costs the UK's National Health Service more than £7.3bn (€10.8bn / US $14.8bn) a year.
With the estimates suggesting that up to 6% of the UK population could be suffering from serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and UK hospital figures showing malnutrition to be found in all age groups, including newborn babies, one has to question the wisdom of an upcoming proposal from the European Commission – the European Union's executive body – that threatens to ban thousands of vitamin and mineral supplements from being sold in Europe.
After all, it's not as if the problem of nutritional deficiencies was only confined to the UK.
In 1997, for example, a report by the European Commission into nutrient intake in European Union Member States concluded that "for almost all vitamins, minerals and trace elements, there exist one or more population groups with intakes below nationally recommended levels." People thought to be particularly at risk included: women; adolescents or children (particularly "picky" ones); the elderly; women during the peri-conceptual period; people on a diet for losing weight; people on vegetarian diets; people having allergies to foods; persons eating a high proportion of "fast foods" or "junk foods" and others.
The nutrients found to be most often deficient included iron, iodine and vitamins B2, B6 and D; and this despite the fact that in many cases, with the exception of iodine, they were already being added to some foods as mandatory fortificants.
Restrictions on permitted nutrient levels in supplements
Given the widespread nature of nutrient deficiencies in Europe, naturopathic doctors, natural health experts and millions of consumers are currently up in arms over the fact that the European Commission is preparing to propose, before the end of this year, restrictions on the maximum permitted levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements.
Ignoring independent studies showing that the nutrient content of our food has fallen substantially over the past few decades, as well as an abundance of knowledge and scientific data on vitamins and nutrition that has been available for 50, 60, 70 even 80 years, it is widely expected that the levels the Commission is planning will be highly restrictive and far below those that are necessary to achieve and maintain optimum health. If these expectations are correct, therefore, the legal enforcement of such levels will result in the enactment of Europe-wide bans upon literally thousands of food supplement products, some of which have been sold and consumed safely for decades.
European Commission admits that most supplements are safe
Not for the first time, however, the European Commission's plans are openly at odds with some of its previous assurances.
In 2002, for example, during the run-up to the adoption by the European Parliament of the controversial Food Supplements Directive, the then European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, David Byrne, published a message on the internet, on behalf of the Commission, in which he claimed that "The aim is not to ban food supplements, as some have alleged."
Byrne's message was published in response to the large number of letters that the Commission had received from citizens who were concerned about the Directive and who were opposed to its adoption. Notably, therefore, Byrne specifically stated in this message that: "There is no doubt that most of the products marketed today are safe and of the expected quality."
As such, if the maximum levels for vitamins and minerals that the Commission proposes turn out to be as low as some observers are claiming they will be, many consumers of food supplements will quite reasonably conclude that the Commission knowingly intends to ban products that it considers to be safe.
Perhaps mindful of the large numbers of European citizens who oppose the Food Supplements Directive, Byrne chose to end his message as follows: "I can assure you that your interests and those of consumers in general were at the top of our concerns when we proposed the Directive. I believe that you have every right to have a wide choice of safe and appropriately labelled food supplements available, to buy if you so wish. And I remain convinced that the Directive that will be shortly formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will ensure that."
When the maximum levels are eventually announced, therefore, European citizens will finally discover whether Byrne and the Commission were telling the truth, or whether – as some have alleged – their real aim was to ban supplements and they were lying all along.
© 2007 by Dr. Rath Health Foundation
Source Alliance Health Freedom Australia – 30 October 2007
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
After reviewing about 700 studies, the scientists concluded that people are exposed to levels of BPA in excess of those that have harmed lab animals. Among the most vulnerable are infants and foetuses, who are still developing.
BPA is used to make hard plastic that’s used in numerous products including:
• Polycarbonate plastic baby bottles
• Large water-cooler containers and sports bottles
• Microwave-oven dishes
• Canned-food liners
• Some dental sealants for children
The statement appeared alongside five accompanying scientific reviews and a new study by the National Institutes of Health that found newborn animals exposed to BPA suffered from uterine damage. The damage could indicate that the chemical causes reproductive disorders in women ranging from fibroids to endometriosis to cancer.
While studies have yet to be conducted to directly examine BPA’s influence on humans, past animal studies have found low doses of the chemical to be associated with early-stage prostate and *** cancers and decreased sperm count.
No governmental agency worldwide has restricted the use of BPA, but a U.S. expert panel is meeting to discuss whether the chemical should be declared a human reproductive toxin, which could lead to regulatory action.
The chemical industry maintains that BPA is safe, and has called the scientists’ statement “alarmist and biased.”
Reproductive Toxicology July 2007
Seattle Times August 3, 2007
Dr Mercola Comment
The use of BPA has clearly spiralled out of control, and now we are having to face the dire consequences. The scientists found that 95% of the people tested had levels of BPA in their bodies that could be harmful.
Perhaps the biggest victims in all of this are foetuses and infants, who may be exposed to the chemical in utero or quite literally “fed” the chemical via plastic baby bottles and toys (which they often put in their mouths).
The problem with BPA is that it doesn’t stay in the plastic. It leeches into whatever food or beverage you put in a plastic container, canned good, or plastic baby bottle. And if you microwave the containers or bottles, you are likely increasing the amount of BPA that leaches into your food.
Another point worth noting is that BPA supposedly does not hang around in your body long after you’re exposed. Yet, this chemical is so pervasive that the scientists think people are simply being continually exposed to it from food, air, dust, and even just by touching items that contain BPA.
BPA mimics the sex hormone estradiol, which can trigger major changes in your body. The problems associated with even small amounts of BPA include:
• Structural damage to your brain
• Abnormal sexual behaviour
• Increased fat formation and risk of obesity
• Early puberty and disrupted reproductive cycles
The potential risks of BPA have been being debated for years. Meanwhile, people just keep on ingesting this toxin -- at levels that are anyone’s guess.
Several readers have commented that, even if BPA does eventually get restricted, there are countless other dangerous chemicals still out there. This is, sadly, very true. The EPA approves new chemicals to the tune of some 700 every year! Still, every step you take toward eliminating a toxin from the products you use is a good one.
Of course, I personally would not wait for a government restriction to begin reducing my exposure to this toxin. The evidence that has amassed thus far is enough to convince me. To be fair, you probably can no longer completely eliminate your exposure to BPA (since it’s likely in our air, water, and food, too) but you can certainly reduce it. The following tips will not only reduce your exposure to BPA, but also to many of the other dangerous plastics chemicals as well.
Ten Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to BPA
1. Only use glass baby bottles and dishes for your baby
2. Give your baby natural fabric toys instead of plastic ones
3. Store your food and beverages in glass -- NOT plastic -- containers
4. IF you choose to use a microwave, don’t microwave food in a plastic container
5. Stop buying and consuming canned foods and drinks
6. Avoid using plastic wrap (and never microwave anything covered in it)
7. Get rid of your plastic dishes and cups, and replace them with glass varieties
8. If you opt to use plastic kitchenware, at least get rid of the older, scratched-up varieties, avoid putting them in the dishwasher, and don’t wash them with harsh detergents, as these things can cause more chemicals to leach into your food
9. Avoid using bottled water; filter your own using a reverse osmosis filter instead
10. Before allowing a dental sealant to be applied to you, or your children’s, teeth, ask your dentist to verify that it does not contain BPA
In the event that you do opt to use plastic containers for your food, be sure to avoid those marked on the bottom with the recycling label No. 7, as these varieties may contain BPA.
Containers marked with the recycling labels No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 do not contain BPA (however they may contain other unsavoury chemicals that you’re best off avoiding by using glass instead).
Common Plastics May Increase Your Child's Obesity Risks
How Safe is Your Food Container?
Our Oceans are Turning Into Plastic
Source: Dr Mercola Newsletter #994, 25 August 2007