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jimmyg 10-12-2012 07:03 AM

Vaccine Madness Pt #2
 
Now, I don't necessarily disagree with their recommendation to reduce the frequency of PAP testing, .....

"The FDA has licensed the vaccine as safe and effective. This vaccine has been tested in thousands of females (9 to 26 years of age) around the world. These studies have shown no serious side effects. The most common side effect is brief soreness at the injection site."

It does not even hint at the many thousands of serious adverse events reported after Gardasil vaccinations to the government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) since its approval, including 26 deaths in the past 12 months alone!

Furthermore, the death rate from cervical cancer in the United States is a mere 3 per 100,000. Your daughter has a much higher risk of dying in a car accident than she does dying from cervical cancer. Cervical cancer rates are even lower in some European countries. The reason why the mortality rate is so low is because the immune system's of the vast majority of women is usually strong enough to clear up this kind of infection on its own, and does so in more than 90 percent of all cases. The CDC even admits to this fact on their website.

For the "Greater Good" – At What Price?


.........

Keep in mind that to this day, we have NO reliable data indicating just how many children are truly being harmed by any particular vaccine, as adverse event reporting is completely voluntary. Many people are still unaware that the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) even exists, or that you can file a report yourself if your doctor fails to make a report..

The CDC itself admits that only a small fraction of hospitalization, injuries and deaths after vaccination are ever reported. In one 1993 article .....

In an ideal world scenario, any and all adverse events would be reported following vaccination, and health outcomes would be evaluated long-term. Today, many doctors and health authorities simply dismiss adverse events as "unrelated" to the vaccine.

But on what do they base their conclusions?

I urge you to take the time to watch The Greater Good, and start to think about some of the profound questions raised in the film. ...

When our government recommends doctors give children 69 doses of vaccines and many of those vaccines are mandated, safety MUST become the FIRST priority for public health officials, and doctors giving vaccines. It is essential that the appropriate studies be done to find out if the current vaccine schedule is doing far more harm than good.

Money and Ideology Influencing Vaccine Policy & Law: How Parental Rights are Being Threatened in America

There's ample evidence showing that the US government, through the CDC, has an enormous, well-coordinated plan to mass-vaccinate with as many vaccines as possible.1 This plan has been ongoing for years, and has grown exponentially. They've covered all their bases by enjoining numerous legislative groups, such as Women In Government2 (whose sponsors3 include Merck, Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline), and physicians' groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics. These are just two examples – there are literally dozens, and possibly more, groups and individuals that are collectively pushing vaccines.

Churches are one of the latest additions to the ever-growing list of organizations to be pulled into the fold of vaccine pushers. For example, last year, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, along with the U.S. Health and Human Services, the Office of Minority Health, and the CDC, began reaching out to faith-based organizations, urging them to sponsor flu clinics with Walgreens. The reason they're doing this, health officials said, is that they've found that non-traditional settings such as worship services can be highly effective in influencing people's decisions...

Pushing matters even further, in Indiana, a new law now requires churches with day care centers to make sure each child has received "age appropriate" vaccines as determined by the state department of health4 – effectively removing a parent's right to change their child's vaccine schedule. The old law only required parents to inform the church day care center that they objected to vaccines for religious reasons. It did not make churches the enforcers of the state vaccine schedule.

When you follow the money, you realize that vaccine makers are the ones pulling the political strings to eliminate vaccine exemptions. Eliminating this right nationwide would be a major coup de gras in terms of making sure everyone is vaccinated with as many vaccines as possible. Make no mistake about it, it's the Pharma-funded medical trade associations and state and federal health agency employees that are lobbying in state legislatures for non-medical vaccine exemptions to be removed, and it has everything to do with maximizing profits, and nothing to do with protecting people's health from every disease under the sun. The (ultimately unsuccessful) efforts to strip citizens in Vermont of their right to non-medical exemptions earlier this year is but one example of what is happening, and what the ultimate plan for the entire nation is...

video...

Profit Before Safety

Naturally, there's BIG money driving all this. The pharmaceutical industry and its cohorts have been really creative about how to influence vaccine uptake. Positive and negative reinforcement strategies are simultaneously employed, from strong-arming physicians with the threat of a bad health grade if they fail to have a good vaccine rate in their practice, to monetary gifts and other ego-boosting incentives.5

Another strategy to increase vaccination rates and coverage is to push combination vaccines.6 This saves money and increases vaccination rates at the same time. Never mind the fact that most drug company pre-licensure studies do not study new combination vaccines given simultaneously with all the other vaccines licensed and recommended to demonstrate that giving children multiple doses of vaccines at the same time is actually safe.

The government is heavily funding the vaccine plan, in a number of different ways. As just one example, the federal government had $1,575,000 in grants available through June 15, 2012 to "increase adult immunization rates through healthcare provider partnerships."7 And then there's the "317 grant program," which funnels hundreds of millions of dollars toward vaccinations. ....

"...in 2005, CDC awarded $431 million in federal grants to state, local, and territorial health agencies for program operations and vaccine purchase. Currently there are 64 grantees: all 50 states, six large cities, and eight territories and former territories."

At the same time, the CDC is now accepting handouts from, and encourages "partnerships" and "sponsorships" between vaccine makers and private physicians – which really is a form of conflict of interest – to further boost vaccine coverage. To that end, incentives such as cash and grocery gift cards have also been designed to give to parents so they'll want to vaccinate without any fuss.9 In 1994, the CDC also formed a foundation that that has numerous vaccine programs, many of which are sponsored by major pharma funds.10

And then there's Big Pharma's lobbying, which seems almost small compared to the "big incentive guns" that the CDC has pulled out in this effort... It all ties in to the Health and Human Services (HHS) updated National Vaccine Plan.11

What You Can Do to Make a Difference

While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.

Vaccine Awareness WeekTHINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.

Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!

It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More


I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:

NVIC's Quick Fact Information on Diseases & Vaccines: Learn more about the 16 diseases and vaccines licensed and recommended by doctors for children and adults. Find out what the vaccine manufacturers, government and medical trade groups say, along with independent analyses and live links to references, so you can do your own research.

NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.

If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.

Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care


If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.


At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. .........

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

jimmyg 10-13-2012 06:44 AM

Suicide
 
Suicide Overtakes Car Accidents as Leading Cause of Injury-Related Death

By Dr. Mercola

link: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...1011_DNL_art_1

A recent report on causes of death shows that suicide has now overtaken traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the US. One reason for that is because car accident occurrences are down. But even so, the rate of suicide rose by an unhealthy 15 percent between 2000 and 2009, and poisoning (the number one cause of which is prescription drugs) rose by a whopping 128 percent.

Fatal prescription drug overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in 2007, according to the Department of Health. Many of the overdoses (36 percent) involve prescription opioid painkillers, which were actually the cause of more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

Some authorities believe many of these drug poisonings may actually be intentional suicides, even though they may have been classified as accidental. According to the study's author:

"Suicides are terribly undercounted; I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe. There may be 20 percent or more unrecognized suicides."

If his estimation is correct, we may be looking at upwards of a 35 percent rise in suicide between the years of 2000-2009... It's estimated that a person commits suicide every 15 minutes in the United States.

For each of these suicide deaths, an estimated 8-25 people made suicide attempts.1 Taken together, the latest preliminary 2010 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists intentional self-harm, or suicide, as the 10th leading cause of all death in the United States.

Whatever means they use to commit suicide, the rapid increase of people reaching that level of desperation leave us wondering: Why?

Is a Crumbling Economy to Blame?

There's clearly evidence suggesting that economic recessions and financial hardships can be a significant contributing factor.2 According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates tend to rise and fall along with recessions and economic booms. For example, during the 1932 Great Depression, as many as 22 people per 100,000 committed suicide. The current economic collapse has also led to a well-documented rash of suicides across Europe.

According to the New York Times:3

"Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling 'suicide by economic crisis.'

...In Greece, the suicide rate among men increased more than 24 percent from 2007 to 2009, government statistics show. In Ireland during the same period, suicides among men rose more than 16 percent. In Italy, suicides motivated by economic difficulties have increased 52 percent, to 187 in 2010 – the most recent year for which statistics were available – from 123 in 2005.

...In Ireland, the phenomenon has been linked to what some therapists call Celtic Tiger depression, the period after 2008 characterized by an influx of middle-aged male patients who complained about sleeplessness and a lack of appetite in the aftermath of that nation's destructive boom-and-bust real estate market."

Other Contributing Factors to Rising Suicide Rates


As one person is quoted as saying in the New York Times, people don't kill themselves because they have debts, rather it's a combination of factors that lead to desperation. .......

However, the primary risk factor for suicide is depression in combination with substance abuse, and this could include alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. It's estimated that more than 90 percent of those who end up taking their own lives fit into this category.4

Another important factor that cannot be overlooked is poor health, which can stretch already strained finances, family and living conditions to the very limit. .....

Common signs and symptoms that may be indicative of a detrimental interaction between two or more drugs include:Tiredness, sleepiness or decreased alertness, confusion (chronic or intermittent), Weakness, Anxiety or excitability, Constipation, diarrhea or incontinence, Dizziness and/or falls Tremors, Skin rashes, Loss of appetite, Depression or lack of interest in your usual activities, Hallucinations - seeing or hearing things, Decreased or altered sexual behavior.

Antidepressants May Be Fueling the Problem

Sadly, the knee-jerk conventional treatment for depression and suicidal tendencies is almost exclusively prescription antidepressants. Every year, more than 253 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled in the United States, making them the second most prescribed drug class in the United States (second only to cholesterol-lowering drugs).5 But how effective are antidepressants in alleviating the symptoms of depression?

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that antidepressants are no more effective than a placebo, and in some case less effective. A study published in the January 2010 issue of JAMA concluded there is little evidence that SSRIs (a popular group of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft) have any benefit to people with mild to moderate depression.6

The researchers stated:

"The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo... may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms."

SSRIs were found to be 33 percent effective, just like a sugar pill – but with far more adverse effects, including violence and suicidal thoughts and actions. Exercise actually outperforms antidepressants, but many still overlook this option.

video...

There is much evidence that antidepressants intensify violent thoughts and behaviors, both suicidal and homicidal, especially among children. .......

Add to this a faltering economy and many literally feeling like they're "fighting for their livelihoods" and the safety of their family, and the use of antidepressants may very well be pushing people over the edge rather than keeping them from it... It all depends on how you react to them.

Red Flags: Is Someone You Know Teetering on the Edge?

If someone close to you has recently endured a hardship, or you have noticed a change in their behavior, how can you tell when ordinary stress or sadness has progressed to a potentially suicidal level? Besides straightforward or "sideways" comments about not wanting to live any longer, some of the red flags that a person has a high risk for self-harm include: Acquiring a weapon - Hoarding medication - No plan for the future - Putting affairs in order - Making or changing a will - Giving away personal belongings - Mending grievances - Checking on insurance policies - Withdrawing from people.

If you think someone is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Most suicide attempts are expressions of extreme distress, not harmless bids for attention. A person who appears suicidal needs immediate professional help. Help the person to seek immediate assistance from their doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential suicide aids, including unsupervised access to medications.

Are You, or Someone You Know Currently Struggling With Depression or Feeling Suicidal?

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department.

I know firsthand that depression and suicide is devastating. ....

It's impossible to impart the will to live to somebody who no longer possesses it. No amount of logic, reasoning, or reminders about all they have to live for will put a smile back on the face of a loved one who is seriously contemplating suicide.

If you are currently the one struggling in a dark place, realize that oftentimes you cannot change your circumstances. You can, however, change your response to them. I encourage you to be balanced in your life. Don't ignore your body's warning signs that something needs to change. Sometimes people are so busy taking care of everybody else that they lose sight of taking care of themselves. Know that it's okay to take care of yourself. Putting yourself last is a serious mistake, as you need to find ways to "refill" and replenish your own energy stores or else you'll eventually burn out.

There really are no easy answers – especially when the troubles are related to crumbling finances, joblessness, or tumultuous family and living situations. ..........

Long-Term Strategies for Improving Your Mental Health

You can't make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in a crisis, so clearly, the following recommendations are not meant to get you out of an acute situation. Rather, I invite you to take these lifestyle recommendations to heart as a preventive measure, before depression and other troubles set in.

Optimizing your health may actually be one of the most important things you can do to help you make it safely through financially hard times, as faltering health in combination with poverty can lead even the most level-headed people to the limit of what they can endure. My top tips to support positive mental health are as follows:

Energy psychology is one of the most powerful tools for resolving emotional issues – specifically a technique called EFT. For serious problems like depression you do NOT want to perform EFT on yourself, you need to seek guidance from a skilled professional, ideally someone who is also trained in conventional methods. The effectiveness of any energy psychology technique will be significantly improved if you combine it with the tips that follow.

Dramatically decrease your consumption of sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods. (In addition to being high in sugar and grains, processed foods also contain a variety of additives that can affect your brain function and mental state, especially artificial sweeteners.)

Adequate vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to depression and affects one in four people.

Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally through regular sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important for your mood. One study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels.

The best way to get vitamin D is through exposure to SUNSHINE, not swallowing a capsule. Remember, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that we know is related to sunshine deficiency, so it would make sense that the perfect way to optimize your vitamin D is through sun exposure, or a safe tanning bed if you don't have regular access to the sun.

Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are crucial for optimal brain function and mental health, and most people don't get enough from diet alone. So make sure you take a high-quality omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.

Evaluate your salt intake. Sodium deficiency actually creates symptoms that are very much like those of depression. Make sure you do NOT use processed salt (regular table salt) however. You'll want to use an all natural, unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt, which contains more than 80 different micronutrients.

Adequate daily exercise. Exercise is one of the best-kept secrets to preventing and treating depression.

Make sure your cholesterol levels aren't too low for optimal mental health. I have been educating the public about the underreported, adverse effects associated with lowering cholesterol through drugs like statins for many years, but what many still do not know is that low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide and parasuicide, as well as aggression towards others.

This increased expression of violence towards self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain (which is approximately 30% cholesterol by weight). Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence towards self and others.7

jimmyg 10-14-2012 06:42 AM

Even Pet Foods
 
Dr. Mercola Talks with Dr. Becker about the Pet Food Industry

Link to full article & video: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...1013_DNL_art_2

By Dr. Mercola

I recently interviewed Dr. Karen Becker, who has been in charge of our Healthy Pets site for the past four years.

........

Just as we're trying to improve health for humans here with the Mercola.com newsletter, Dr. Becker is doing the same for pets.

In our interview above, ...

And just as there's massive deception, fraud, and misinformation in the human food industry, there's an equal if not greater amount of misinformation and deception in the pet food industry.

90 Percent of Pet Foods May Cause Disease in Your Pet

As you might suspect, the driving force behind the pet food industry is not to create a nourishing, species-appropriate diet for your pets; the focus is on making a profit, unfortunately often at the expense of your dog's or cat's health.

Dr. Becker explains:

" … 90 percent of pet foods out there contain totally inappropriate ingredients that are not nourishing and actually create low-grade inflammatory processes, diabetes and obesity. ..........

For example, the scrap meat that is deemed unfit for human consumption (because it contains tumors, abscesses, diseased tissues, etc.) is often rendered and used as "protein" in pet food.

Bottom line – if you feed a mass marketed commercial pet food, your dog or cat is typically getting a low grade concoction of rendered, leftover animal parts (including not only diseased tissues but can often include beaks, feathers, snouts and feet) and other inappropriate ingredients like genetically modified (GM) corn or soy, as well as wheat and rice.

Your Dog or Cat Wasn't Meant to Eat All Those Carbs

Another biologically inappropriate ingredient found in plentiful supply in the vast majority of commercial pet foods are grain-based carbohydrates.

"Dogs and cats are by nature carnivores. Kitties are obligate carnivores. Dogs are scavenging carnivores. These two carnivore species don't even have a carbohydrate requirement. We are putting into their bodies a bunch of foods that are metabolically unnecessary, that are setting up the same degenerative processes that are occurring in human bodies," Dr. Becker said.

If you've ever wondered why dog and cat foods contain so many grains if they're not nutritionally necessary, it comes down to profits once again. Grains are cheap fillers, and this is why they're added to most pet foods – not because they have any nutritional benefit for your dog or cat. To create a truly meat-based food costs more, and it is far less expensive, and easier, for pet food manufacturers to load their foods with corn, rice and wheat than it would be to figure out how to make a competitively priced food that would actually be species-appropriate.

"Grain-Free" Doesn't Mean Carb-Free


Even many of the higher end pet foods marketed as "grain-free" contain carbohydrate fillers like potato or pea fiber. And adding to the problem is the fact that many veterinarians will tell you these and other carb fillers are "good sources of energy," which could not be further from the truth.

Dr. Becker continued:

"It's interesting that veterinarians have started marketing some of these carbohydrates as a good source of energy. But absolutely, we know that dogs and cats are not requiring any of these grains – they break down into sugar.

Sugar, of course, causes an insulin release. Insulin then causes blood sugar to drop. Cortisol is then released to rebalance blood sugar. So dogs and cats are dealing with this whole cycle of carbohydrate ingestion, insulin release, and cortisol release. The metabolic syndrome that's occurring in people – leptin resistance – is absolutely occurring in pets as well. We're seeing diabetes in dogs and cats, most certainly, and obesity that leads to musculoskeletal issues and secondary organ degeneration. The whole cycle is occurring in pets."

Your Vet Probably Doesn't Know Much About Dog and Cat Nutrition

Shocking? Yes. But true nonetheless. Many nutrition courses offered at U.S. veterinary schools are not taught by nutritionists… they're taught by representatives of major pet food companies. It's obviously a major conflict of interest, and as a result most veterinarians graduate without having any unbiased nutrition information.

The "education" being offered by pet food companies can quite blatantly promote their products. Dr. Becker remembers being given a laminated chart in veterinary school that listed nationally known dog and cat food brands as the "prescription solutions" to various pet conditions like liver failure or kidney failure. Vet students weren't taught what to look for in terms of nutrients to support health and healing… they were taught to "prescribe" a certain brand of food.

She continued:

"Veterinarians are graduating totally incompetent and unable to effectively talk about foods outside of what they learned from pet food manufacturers. If they did receive any nutritional counseling, it was archaic…" They are graduating not only with a lack of knowledge about pet nutrition, but also with a skewed perception of what whole nutrition really means."

This could explain why your veterinarian may have told you to only feed your pet a certain grain-heavy "prescription" diet, or to avoid offering "people food" (even if it's healthy, species-appropriate food for your pet). And if you've ever tried to discuss thinking "outside the box" regarding your pet's diet, as in providing fresh, whole foods instead of highly processed kibbles or canned varieties, there's a good chance your vet was not impressed.

"Veterinarians, oftentimes, become pretty defensive – as do medical doctors – when they're confronted with these issues, because they don't have enough knowledge to be able to confidently defend their position. They weren't given a whole lot of nutrition training," Dr. Becker said.

A Homemade Diet is Best – IF You Do it Right

Your veterinarian may try to discourage you from cooking whole foods for your pet, or feeding raw foods, but if done properly, this is almost always the healthiest way to nourish your pet (just as it's the healthiest food for you, too). The whole debate about feeding pets raw food (and many veterinarians will discourage you from feeding raw) doesn't make a lot of sense considering dogs and cats have consumed living, raw meats for thousands of years; it's what they're designed for.

"I'm a big proponent of people home cooking or home preparing food for their pets," Dr. Becker said. "And really, homemade food's the best and worst food you could possibly feed your pet."

What Dr. Becker means by best AND worst is… you must remember that simply feeding your pet some raw beef or chicken will in no way meet his nutritional requirements. And if that's all you feed him, it can be even more dangerous than offering an inexpensive commercial pet food.

Skeletal issues, organ degeneration and endocrine abnormalities are just a few examples of what can occur due to dietary deficiencies of essential fatty acids, calcium, trace minerals and other nutrients from an improperly prepared homemade diet. Well-meaning pet parents are trying to feed species-appropriate food to their dogs and cats, but what many are missing is the need for nutritional balance.In the wild, animals do not just eat the muscle meat of their prey – they consume organs, glands, bones and other body parts that provide for their nutritional needs.

According to Dr. Becker:

"Wild dogs – wolves, coyotes, dingoes, and African wild dogs – have all been documented to sample their environment. They may eat some berries and some grasses. Kitties, certainly, will occasionally nibble on grasses. But hands down, 95 percent of their diet is whole prey. That means skin and fur for fiber; tendons, muscles, and ligaments for additional fiber; whole protein in terms of muscle for energy source.

The contents of the GI tract of prey provides predigested vegetable sources, as well as an abundant source of gastric juices, plus vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

But also remember the head is consumed… They eat the pineal gland, pituitary, liver, spleen, heart, and kidneys. All of those glands provide a whole food source that makes a perfect nutritional package for that particular species. Canis lupus, the wolf, is 99.9 percent genetically identical to the domestic dog. There really is no genetic differentiation between a wild wolf and a domestic dog… That gives us some idea how we should be nourishing our pets."

If you're interested in preparing a homemade diet for your pets, see Dr. Becker's cookbook Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats. ........

For example, to mimic the gut contents of prey animals, Dr. Becker recommends adding a mixture of pureed vegetables and probiotics to your dog's or cat's meals. This mixture provides highly beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients not found in muscle meats. There are actually four main categories of balanced nutrition for pets. These are:

Meat, including organs
Veggie and fruit puree
Homemade vitamin and mineral mix
Beneficial additions such as probiotics, enzymes, super green foods that aren't required to balance the diet, but can enhance the vitality of your pet

Dr. Becker's recipes for dogs are based on 75 percent meat/organs/bone and 25 percent vegetables/fruits. For cats it's 88 percent meat/organs/bone and 12 percent veggies. These are the ratios that seem to work well for most healthy pets. That said, if you decide to use a commercial pet food, Dr. Becker offers some helpful guidelines for selecting a quality food, such as avoiding the toxic preservatives ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT. In addition she notes:

"Home cooking is the best thing you can do. Second best is to know the company you're purchasing from really well so you're able to discern that the ingredients it uses are U.S.-sourced, human-grade, preferably organic, and of course, species-appropriate – meaning, carbohydrate-free.

These are usually very small companies. The majority of commercially prepared pet foods I can truly wholeheartedly recommend are brands no one has ever heard of. You will never find them at the grocery store. You will not find them at big-box stores like Petco or any of the PetSmarts around.

…Needless to say, you've got to really read the labels very, very well. My rule of thumb is this: when you read the label on a dog or cat food, if you can't pronounce an ingredient or wonder what it is, if you're not able to clearly discern exactly what it is, don't put it in your pet's mouth."

Should You Let Your Indoor Kitty Out?


Aside from diet, exercise and emotional health are two of the other cornerstones of good health for your pet, and Dr. Becker believes that all living creatures deserve to get outside in the sunshine, breathe fresh air and move their bodies. Unfortunately, letting cats outdoors poses a number of risks, including exposure to disease and human and animal predators, not to mention outdoor cats who hunt have been linked to diminishing songbird populations.

Is there a happy medium?

Cats with free access to the outdoors are much more likely to be exposed to viruses and other disease-causing agents... not to mention poisons, predators, and speeding traffic. So while keeping your cat a primarily indoor kitty, you can still give her the outdoor adventures that are so essential for her physical and emotional health.

This means taking your cat outside, supervised, on a harness (yes, you can take your cat for a walk), on an enclosed porch, or using outdoor caging.

"Oftentimes, pets in the U.S. end up overweight, super bored, and even – I think – borderline depressed, because they're just kind of held captive in our homes," Dr. Becker said.

"Now, I'm not advocating that all house cats be released to the outside, ....


Supporting the Efforts of the Holistic and Integrative Veterinary Community


The Healthy Pets site has partnered with the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Foundation (AHVMA), a non-profit organization. .........

........

Every day at Mercola Healthy Pets, Dr. Becker shares her passion for the benefits of proactive, integrative, and wellness-oriented pet healthcare, .....

Sev 10-14-2012 07:15 AM

[QUOTE=jimmyg;3812130]Dr. Mercola Talks with Dr. Becker about the Pet Food Industry

Link to full article & video: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...1013_DNL_art_2



I passed this along to the Feline Diabetes Message Board (FDMB). Its a great site for anybody that is dealing with a diabetic animal.

jimmyg 10-15-2012 05:59 AM

Cherries
 

Cherries May Help Reduce Risk of Gout Attacks


http://media.mercola.com/ImageServer...r/cherries.jpg

October 15 2012

Link to article & video: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...1015_DNL_art_2

By Dr. Mercola

Story at-a-glance:

In a study of over 600 people with gout, those who ate a ½-cup serving of cherries a day, the equivalent of about 10 or 12 cherries, or consumed cherry extract, had a 35 percent lower risk of a subsequent gout attack.

Those who ate more cherries, up to three servings in two days, had an even lower, 50 percent reduction in risk.

Cherries contain powerful compounds like anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which are known to fight inflammation and may help lower your uric acid levels; gout occurs when the metabolic processes that control the amount of uric acid in your blood fail to do their job effectively. The stiffness and swelling are a result of excess uric-acid-forming crystals in your joints.

If you have gout, it’s very important to restrict your fructose intake to below 25 grams a day, including from fruit, as fructose drives up uric acid levels in your body.


Painful, stiff and inflamed joints are a few of the characteristic symptoms of gout, which is a type of arthritis that is typically, but not always, located on your great toe.

When an attack occurs, the pain can be debilitating, with sufferers often describing it as being burned by a flame or skewered with a hot poker.

Gout symptoms usually go away within three to 10 days, and the next attack may not occur for months, or even years, if at all. However, oftentimes gout becomes a lifelong problem, with attacks occurring with increasing frequency and severity. In time, this can permanently damage your joints and surrounding areas.

Needless to say, preventing gout attacks is essential to maintaining your quality of life – which is why new research showing cherries might do the trick is worth shouting from the rooftops.

10-12 Cherries a Day Can Reduce Gout Attack Risk

In a study of over 600 people with gout, those who ate a ½-cup serving of cherries a day, the equivalent of about 10 or 12 cherries, or consumed cherry extract, had a 35 percent lower risk of a subsequent gout attack.1 Those who ate more cherries, up to three servings in two days, had an even lower, 50 percent reduction in risk.

It might seem strange that cherries would lower your risk of gout, as this condition is often associated with sugar, fructose and fruit juice consumption. But you only need to eat a small amount of cherries to get the benefit, meaning the sugar contribution is small. Plus, they contain powerful compounds like anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which are known to fight inflammation. They may also be beneficial because of their impact on your uric acid levels.

Gout occurs when the metabolic processes that control the amount of uric acid in your blood fail to do their job effectively. The stiffness and swelling are a result of excess uric-acid-forming crystals in your joints, and the pain associated with this condition disease is caused by your body’s inflammatory response to the crystals. Past studies have found:

Eating two servings of cherries after an overnight fast lead to a 15 percent reduction in uric acid, and lower nitric oxide and C-reactive protein levels (which are associated with inflammatory diseases like gout.)2 The researchers noted the study supports “the reputed anti-gout efficacy of cherries” as well as “evidence that compounds in cherries may inhibit inflammatory pathways.”

Consuming tart cherry juice daily for four weeks may lower your levels of uric acid3

Fructose and Uric Acid: If You Have Gout, You Need to Know The Connection

Drinking just one soda or 6-ounce glass of orange juice a day has been linked to a significant increase in gout – 74 percent and 41 percent, respectively – compared to drinking these only rarely.4 We believe the primary culprit is fructose, which typically generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion. You probably already know that fructose is a sugar, but you may not realize is that it’s distinctly different from other sugars as it’s metabolized through very specific pathways that differ from those of glucose, for example, and through its distinct metabolic action, uric acid is generated.

For those of you who maintain that "a sugar is a sugar is a sugar," fructose -- and fructose ALONE -- drives up uric acid. And elevated uric acid levels are not only a factor in gout, they’re a factor in many other health conditions, including hypertension, insulin resistance/diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. Not coincidentally, may of these conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, also increase your risk of gout (as does the use of thiazide diuretics, which are commonly used to treat hypertension).

The connection between fructose consumption and increased uric acid is so reliable that a uric acid level taken from your blood can actually be used as a marker for fructose toxicity. I now recommend that a uric acid level be a routine part of your blood screening. According to the latest research, the safest range for uric acid is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter, and there appears to be a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, even down to the range of 3 to 4 mg/dl. As you probably know, two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight, and most of these people likely have uric acid levels in excess of 5.5. Some may even be closer to 10 or higher (this may explain why being overweight also increases your risk of gout). Dr. Richard Johnson, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, suggests that the ideal uric acid level is probably around:

4 mg/dl for men
3.5 mg/dl for women

You can find out more about how uric acid in your blood can cause not only gout but also wreak havoc on your blood pressure, insulin production and even kidney function in the interview with Dr. Johnson below.

video....


What are the Top Tips for Preventing and Managing Gout?


Be careful not to overdo it on cherries. I know from personal experience because they are my favorite fruit and I could easily eat a pound of them in one sitting. They key is moderation, as large amounts of fructose on a regular basis are not a good strategy for health. Fortunately, they have a relatively short harvest season and are not a temptation for too long.

According to Dr. Johnson's research, a quarter of the U.S. population consumes a whopping 134 grams of fructose a day. This is a staggering amount of fructose when you consider the fact that you need to restrict your fructose intake to below 25 grams a day in order to maintain good health.

If you have gout, this is extremely important, and you must take into account the fructose you consume from fruit. For instance, if you eat cherries for their therapeutic value, 10 sweet cherries or 1 cup of sour cherries contain about 4 grams of fructose. The fructose level of other fruits are listed in the graphic below.

So if you had no other sources of fructose 25 cherries would put you at 10 grams of fructose. You would need to eat more than 60 cherries to put you over the limit. My guess is that if you only did this occasionally and did not have insulin resistance this would likely not be a problem. However, you would activate your fat switch and put on some storage fat. But that is ok as you have the metabolism designed to burn it, especially if you are not consuming cherries every day.

Limiting fructose in your diet is one of the most important parts of managing and preventing gout attacks, and you can find a simple guide for doing so using my nutrition plan. You’ll want to be sure to cut out soda, fruit drinks and other sweetened beverages, as these types of drinks are a primary source of excessive fructose. Instead, drink plenty of pure water, as the fluids will help to remove uric acid from your body.

Alcohol in general, and beer specifically, may also raise the levels of uric acid in your blood, so this should also be limited or avoided.

jimmyg 10-16-2012 06:26 AM

More Vaccine Madness Pt #1
 
New Evidence Demolishes Claims of Safety and Effectiveness of HPV Vaccine

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October 16 2012

By Dr. Mercola

Story at-a-glance:

A systematic review of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine shows that its effectiveness is not only overstated (through the use of selective reporting or “cherry picking” data) but also completely unproven

As of mid-August 2012, VAERS has received 119 reports of death following HPV vaccination. Reported adverse events also include: 894 reports of disability and 517 life-threatening adverse events

Adverse events reports of cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer are occurring four to five years after HPV vaccination, and have rapidly increased between 2011 and 2012

A large-scale HPV study reported HPV vaccine reduced HPV-16 infections by a mere 0.6% in vaccinated versus unvaccinated women

High-risk HPV infections were diagnosed in vaccinated women up to more than 6% more frequently than in unvaccinated women, and the increased rate of infections by carcinogenic HPV types in vaccinated women has been found to be 4-10 times higher than the reduction of HPV 16/18 infections


There are currently two HPV vaccines on the market, but if there was any regard for sound scientific evidence, neither would be promoted as heavily as they are.

The first, Gardasil, was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. It is now recommended as a routine vaccination for girls and women between the ages of 9-26 in the US. On October 25, 2011, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also voted to recommend giving the HPV vaccine to males between the ages of 11 and 21. The second HPV vaccine, Cervarix, was licensed in 2009.

Were it to be discovered that the HPV vaccine, in fact, does not effectively prevent cancer, then young women (and now boys) are being exposed to clearly unacceptable health risks. And that's precisely what a recent study has concluded...

Review of HPV Trials Conclude Effectiveness is Still Completely Unproven


Published online on September 24,1 a systematic review of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine by a Canadian team shows that its effectiveness is not only overstated (through the use of selective reporting or "cherry picking" data) but also completely unproven.

The summary states it quite clearly:

"We carried out a systematic review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. We find that HPV vaccine clinical trials design, and data interpretation of both efficacy and safety outcomes, were largely inadequate. Additionally, we note evidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications).

Given this, the widespread optimism regarding HPV vaccines long-term benefits appears to rest on a number of unproven assumptions (or such which are at odd with factual evidence) and significant misinterpretation of available data.

For example, the claim that HPV vaccination will result in approximately 70% reduction of cervical cancers is made despite the fact that the clinical trials data have not demonstrated to date that the vaccines have actually prevented a single case of cervical cancer (let alone cervical cancer death), nor that the current overly optimistic surrogate marker-based extrapolations are justified.

Likewise, the notion that HPV vaccines have an impressive safety profile is only supported by highly flawed design of safety trials and is contrary to accumulating evidence from vaccine safety surveillance databases and case reports which continue to link HPV vaccination to serious adverse outcomes (including death and permanent disabilities).

We thus conclude that further reduction of cervical cancers might be best achieved by optimizing cervical screening (which carries no such risks) and targeting other factors of the disease rather than by the reliance on vaccines with questionable efficacy and safety profiles." [Emphasis mine]

It is truly mindboggling, and a true testament to the conflicts of interest manipulating public health guidelines, that the HPV vaccine has received such robust backing by health officials and legislators alike.

Back in 2007, just a year after Gardasil's introduction to the market, Texas Governor Rick Perry went so far as signing an executive order mandating sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against HPV. Not surprisingly, Perry's former chief of staff was then a Merck lobbyist. Fortunately, the Legislature subsequently overturned his order.

It's important to realize that the HPV vaccine only protects against a small select set of HPV viruses that can lead to cell abnormalities that in some instances can cause cervical cancer, if the abnormalities are not identified and treated. So in reality, it's a misnomer to call it an anti-cancer vaccine. And it's massively misleading, if not a deliberate deception, to claim it "will" save lives.

Today, six years after licensure, we STILL have absolutely no proof, not a shred of actual evidence, indicating that Gardasil actually prevents cancer in the long-term and/or reduces cervical cancer mortality. What we have instead, is tens of thousands of adverse event reports and 122 deaths, as of mid-August.

Media Reports on Merck Study, But Ignores Canadian Review

What makes this issue so infuriating is the complete lack of transparency about the potential risks of the vaccine. Just days after the online release of the featured Canadian review, which obliterates claims of both safety and effectiveness, the Wall Street Journal2 reported that:

"A new study of Merck and Co's Gardasil cervical-cancer vaccine showed it was associated with fainting on the day of inoculation and skin infections two weeks afterward, but no link with more serious health problems was found. ...The Gardasil study – led by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, California – was required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to provide an additional look at the vaccine's safety in a large group of people. It was funded by Merck.

...More than 200 categories of illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, nervous-system disorders and medical conditions such as attention deficit disorder, back pain and other injuries were reviewed. In most cases the condition existed before the vaccine was given. There were 14 deaths recorded among girls and women in the study but the causes, including car accidents, congenital heart problems, suicide, lupus and pneumonia, weren't linked to the vaccine..."

There's not a single mention of the Canadian review. Likewise, WebMD's HPV page,3 which was reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 13, 2012, plainly states:

"No serious HPV vaccine side effects have been found, although fainting spells following injection have been reported in teens and young adults. Sometimes soreness occurs at the injection site."

This kind of blatant hiding of potential adverse effects leaves me speechless... Where is the journalistic integrity and accountability? WebMD is the second most visited health web site on the entire web (Mercola.com is fourth), so to say they have an influence over the health choices made by the average US citizen would be an understatement. The general belief is that it's a first-rate, trustworthy source of "independent and objective" information about health, but as I reported two years ago, the site is in fact heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry.

The HPV Vaccine Risks You're Not Being Told About


As of August 13, 2012, VAERS has received 119 reports of death following HPV vaccination,4 as well as:

894 reports of disability
517 life-threatening adverse events
9,889 emergency room visits
2,781 hospitalizations


And WebMD had the gall to misinform the public by stating that there have been NO serious side effects associated with HPV vaccination! What parent would not consider even the remote potential for permanent disability and/or death worthy of at least a brief mention?

Recent data pulled by VAERS research analyst Janny Stokvis5 also show a dramatic and recent increase in abnormal pap smears, cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer following HPV vaccination.

Bear in mind that cervical cancer typically does not strike until your late 40's. According to 2005 -2009 data by the National Cancer Institute,6 the median age at diagnosis for cervical cancer in the US is 48. Only 0.2 percent of those diagnosed with cervical cancer were under the age 20, so it's quite rare in this age group. It is estimated that 12,170 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012,7 so statistically only 2,434 women under the age of 20 would be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Because we're dealing with relatively low numbers to begin with, it makes the rapid increases detailed below all the more worrisome – especially when you consider that the vaccine is supposed to REDUCE cancer incidence.

The following data is for girls ages 14 to 26.8 According to Stokvis, some of the reports of cervical abnormalities are occurring four to five years after HPV vaccination, so we're just now starting to see some of the longer-term ramifications, since the vaccine has only been on the market for six years.

March 2011 March 2012 % increase in 12 months

Abnormal pap smear 384 479 24.74 %

Cervical dysplasia 138 190 37.68 %

Cervical cancer 41 50 21.95 %

This new data supports previous suspicions that the HPV vaccine might actually increase your risk of cervical cancer. I wrote about this two years ago. The information came straight from Merck and was presented to the FDA prior to approval.9 According to Merck's own research, if you have been exposed to HPV 16 or 18 prior to injection and take the vaccine, you increase your risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6 percent...

Additionally, since Merck's research indicates Gardasil may also 'provide cross-protection' against other strains of HPV that are closely related to HPV 16 and 18 (two of the four strains included in the vaccine), this would mean prior exposure to these additional strains (which are not included in the vaccine itself) may pose an additional increased risk for cervical cancer when combined with vaccination.

As of August 13, 2012, more than 27,023 adverse event reports10 have been filed with the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS),11 including 918 reports from boys and men between the ages of nine and 44, who were given HPV shots. Keep in mind that it is estimated that only between one and 10 percent of serious events, which occur after vaccination, are ever reported to VAERS.12, 13

In addition, FDA researchers revealed in 2009 that nearly 70 percent of Gardasil vaccine adverse events reported to VAERS came from Merck, which indicates that the majority of doctors are reporting vaccine-related injuries and deaths directly to Merck instead of to VAERS.14 Who knows how many of the Gardasil-related injuries and deaths never make it from Merck's files to the VAERS database. .....Continued in Pt #2......

jimmyg 10-16-2012 06:27 AM

More Vaccine Madness Pt #2
 
Adverse events reported to VAERS post-HPV vaccination include: Bell's Palsy - Guillain-Barre Syndrome - Seizures - Paralysis - Blindness - Pancreatitis - Speech problems - Short term memory loss - Ovarian cysts - Blood clotting and heart problems - Miscarriages15 and fetal abnormalities - Cardiac arrest16 and sudden death.

Large-Scale Study Shows HPV Vaccine is Ineffective and Increases Rate of Carcinogeic HPV Types in Vaccinated Women

The featured study alone is big news, but that's not all. Other damning studies have also been completely ignored by media and public health officials alike. As reported by menstruationresearch.org in June:17

"In January 2012, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published the ATHENA HPV study18 announcing the results of a large cervical cancer screening trial, enrolling 47,208 women 21 years of age or older at 61 clinical sites throughout the United States. The authors reported that in a sub group of 12,852 young women, the HPV vaccine reduced HPV-16 infections only 0.6% in vaccinated women vs. unvaccinated women.

Most disturbing are the data that showed other high-risk HPV infections were diagnosed in vaccinated women 2.6% to 6.2% more frequently than unvaccinated women. In fact, the study reported that the increased rate of infections by carcinogenic HPV types in vaccinated women (other than those targeted by Gardasil®) is four to 10 times higher than the reduction in HPV 16/18 infections."

Yet another recent British study19 published in the journal Vaccine on May 14, 2012, states:

"Estimates of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine impact in clinical trials and modeling studies rely on DNA tests of cytology or biopsy specimens to determine the HPV type responsible for a cervical lesion. DNA of several oncogenic HPV types may be detectable in a specimen. However, only one type may be responsible for a particular cervical lesion.

Misattribution of the causal HPV type for a particular abnormality may give rise to an apparent increase in disease due to non-vaccine HPV types following vaccination ('unmasking')... There could be an apparent maximum increase of 3-10% in long-term cervical cancer incidence due to non-vaccine HPV types following vaccination...Unmasking may be an important phenomenon in HPV post-vaccination epidemiology, in the same way that has been observed following pneumococcal conjugate vaccination." [Emphasis mine]

Talk to Your Kids about HPV and Gardasil

There are far better ways to protect yourself or your young daughters against cervical cancer than getting Gardasil or Cervarix vaccinations, and it's important you let your children know this. Remember, in more than 90 percent of cases, your immune system can clear up the HPV infection within two years on its own, so keeping your immune system strong is important.

In addition, HPV infection is spread through sexual contact and research20 has demonstrated that using condoms can reduce your risk of HPV infection by 70 percent, which is far more effective than the HPV vaccine! Be sure your kids know that this infection is sexually transmitted, so the risk of infection can be greatly reduced by lifestyle choices, including the use of condoms. Also let them know that, even if they get vaccinated, it is important that girls and women are screened every few years for cervical changes that may indicate pre-cancerous lesions because there is little guarantee that either Gardasil or Cervarix will prevent cervical cancer..

Jerry Brown Signs Bill Requiring Signatures for Those Opting Out of Vaccinations

Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that allows minor children as young as 12 years old to be given Gardasil, Cervarix, hepatitis B vaccine and future vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases without a parent's knowledge or consent.

Last month, the Sacramento Bee21 reported that Governor Brown signed legislation (AB2109) that requires parents seeking a personal belief exemption to vaccination for their children to pay for an extra office visit to obtain the signature of a medical doctor or other state designated health care worker that confirms the parents have reviewed information about risks and benefits of vaccines. The new law will take effect in January 2014. Wouldn't it be nice if parents choosing to vaccinate their children were given truthful information about vaccine risks and benefits rather than complicating the process for those, who have already done their homework and have decided a vaccine is not in the best interest of their child?

According to the Sacramento Bee:

"Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento proposed the measure, Assembly Bill 2109, which requires the statement to be signed by the parents and by a health care practitioner.

In signing the bill, Brown said that he will direct the state Department of Health to provide a way for people whose religious beliefs preclude vaccinations from having to seek a health care practitioner's signature. Brown noted that AB 2109 does not eliminate parents' current right to exclude their children from vaccinations but attempts to ensure that they have important health information in making that choice."

Why We Must Protect Vaccine Exemptions


Your right to vaccine exemptions is increasingly under threat. All across the United States, people are fighting for their right not to be injected with vaccines against their will. These threats come in a variety of guises like California bill AB499,22 which permits minor children as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated with sexually transmitted disease vaccines like Gardasil without parental knowledge or parental consent!

In light of the evidence that HPV vaccines have not been proven safe or effective, how wise is it to allow a young child to be vaccinated without her parents even knowing about it? It's nothing short of insanity.

I cannot stress enough how critical it is to get involved and stand up for your human right to exercise informed consent and your legal right to obtain non-medical vaccine exemptions. This does not mean you have to opt out of all vaccinations if you decide that you want to give one or more vaccines to your child. The point is, everyone should have the right to evaluate the potential benefits and real risks of any pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, and opt out of any vaccine they decide is unnecessary or not in the best interest of their child's health. Every child is different and has a unique personal and family medical history, which may include severe allergies or autoimmune and neurological disorders, that could increase the risks of vaccination.

It is your parental right to make potentially life-altering health decisions for your own children. Why wouldn't you want to keep that right – even if you want your child to receive most or all vaccinations currently available? Tomorrow there might be a vaccine you don't want your child to receive, but if you've failed to support informed consent rights and the legal right for all Americans to take medical and non-medical vaccine exemptions, you've given away your own freedom to choose in the future...

What You Can Do To Make a Difference


While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and legal vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community. Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!

It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More


I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:

NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.

If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.

Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors, employers or school officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

jimmyg 10-17-2012 07:18 AM

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
 
Guilt-Free Comfort Food: Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

http://www.stopagingnow.com/content_img/5054

October 14, 2012
Posted by Maggie Spilner

This is a comfort food you don’t have to feel guilty about! And now that fall is upon us, isn’t that what was all want? The turmeric in the curry powder has anti-inflammatory and brain-protecting properties, and the squash provides lots of beta-carotene. The coconut milk does make this soup rich, but the saturated fats it contains are medium-chain triglycerides, which are less likely to be stored as fat than other saturated fats. For less fat, you can use nonfat half-and-half or water.

Makes about six 1-cup servings.

1 large butternut squash (about 4 c. cooked, cubed)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 T. curry powder
1 14 oz. can of reduced-fat coconut milk
1 c. water (or more to taste)
¼ tsp. salt (or less to taste)
Cinnamon and cayenne to garnish (optional)

Roast the squash. To do so, wash the whole squash, cut in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds, and place cut-side down in an oiled baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the squash is soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.

Allow squash to cool, remove skin and cut into cubes.

In a large pot, sauté onion in olive oil. Reduce heat to low, add curry powder and mix into a paste. Add squash and coconut milk and continue to mix. Add water ¼ c. at a time until soup reaches the consistency you want. (We like it thick.)

Reduce heat to barely simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing flavors to mingle. Taste, add salt if you’d like, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne as garnish.

Nutritional Information per Serving: 170 calories, 2.3 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat (8 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 5.7 g fiber, 110 mg sodium.

jimmyg 10-18-2012 07:23 AM

Asian Farmed Fish Fed Feces
 
The farmed seafood you're eating may have been raised on animal feces

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

http://www.naturalnews.com/gallery/d...afood-Fish.jpg

(NaturalNews) More than 85 percent of the seafood consumed by Americans is imported, with much of it coming from China, Vietnam, and various other Asian countries that have a not-so-consistent track record of food safety. And as it turns out, conditions at many of the foreign facilities where imported seafood is processed before getting shipped to the states are so filthy and contaminated that if consumers knew just how bad things really were, they would likely think twice before buying that pack of scallops or shrimp from the grocery store.

As reported by Bloomberg, workers at Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Trading & Processing Export Enterprise in Vietnam were recently seen hauling plastic baskets of shrimp through the company's filthy, trash-ridden, and bug-infested facility. Containers full of the shrimp were loaded up with ice made from questionable, and often contaminated, tap water that the government recommends boiling before use, which has become the norm rather than the exception when it comes to seafood processing.

Many Chinese seafood farmers feed their fish animal waste
Similar unsanitary conditions are common throughout China as well, which is a major exporter of tilapia and scallops. According to Bloomberg, many seafood farmers in China actually feed their fish feces from pigs, geese, and other cattle, even though the practice is extremely unsafe. Not only does this exposure to animal waste tend to make the fish sick, but it also contaminates their water environments with excrement, which is often polluted with harmful bacteria like salmonella.

"Those conditions -- ice made from dirty water, animals near the farms, pigs -- are unacceptable," said Mansour Samadpour, a microbiologist, to Bloomberg Markets magazine about the dirty secrets of the seafood trade. Samadpour's company, IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, specializes in testing the cleanliness of water for the shellfish farming industry.

Since the seafood industry is relatively cutthroat these days, certain unscrupulous seafood farmers, particularly in Asian countries, are cutting corners to boost profits, which puts consumers at high risk. In the case of Chinese fish farming, many operators have altogether stopped purchasing safer commercial feed, and have instead turned to exclusively feeding their fish potentially deadly animal waste.

"The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes and salmonella," says Michael Doyle, Director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety, about the larger problem of China's seafood farming industry.

FDA dropping the ball in protecting Americans against contaminated seafood
And while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to be in charge of regulating the safety of imported seafood, the agency only inspects about 2.7 percent of all imported food, according to available data. The FDA is apparently too busy raiding raw milk dairy farms and imprisoning innocent farmers to bother with protecting the American public against potentially contaminated seafood.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.bloomberg.com

http://www.fishwatch.gov/farmed_seaf...ide_the_us.htm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com

jimmyg 10-19-2012 07:09 AM

Lies and Fraud
 
Misdeeds, Not Mistakes, Behind Most Scientific Retractions
October 17 2012

By Dr. Mercola


Story at-a-glance:

A review of retracted biomedical and life-science research papers found that only 21 percent were retracted due to errors.

The most common reason for retraction, in over 67 percent of cases, was misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%).

The more respected or influential the journal was, the more likely its retractions were to be attributed to fraud or suspected fraud!

Our current medical system has been masterfully orchestrated by the drug companies to create a system that gives the perception of science when really it is a heavily manipulated process designed to boost their profits.


The medical and health fields are absolutely riddled with dogmatic beliefs that defy both commonsense and scientific truth. And yet they prevail because they are supposedly backed by "science."

But what if that science was not actually trustworthy, but rather a carefully orchestrated product... the result of massive conflict of interest, perpetuated by self-interested groups and industries that push unfavorable research findings under the proverbial rug, or even tweak their studies to have the "right" results?

Would it change the way you feel about your diet, your lifestyle and even your medical decisions if it turned out the research upon which your prior choices were made was actually not science at all, but fraud?

67 Percent of Research Retractions Made for "Misconduct," Including Fraud

Much like a potentially dangerous product can be recalled from the market, journals have the right to retract research papers if they turn out to be seriously flawed.

You might assume that most of those flaws would be due to simple human errors, but a review of over 2,000 biomedical and life-science research papers that have been retracted through May 2012 found that only 21 percent were retracted due to errors.1 Instead, the most common reason, in over 67 percent of cases, was misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%).

...And the more respected or influential the journal was, the more likely its retractions were to be attributed to fraud or suspected fraud! The study reveals a disturbing epidemic of deception going on in the research world, which has largely been downplayed, according to the researchers. In reality, scientific fraud has been on the rise for decades:

"Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ~10-fold since 1975." 2

While previous studies have looked into this issue, they typically used the study's retraction notice to determine the cause of the retraction. This is problematic in and of itself, however, because the study authors often write the announcements, and they're certainly not going to say they fabricated the data!

NPR pointed out the case of a 1993 study in Science,3 in which the data was found to have been falsified. But the retraction notice said only that "some experiments have not been reproducible."4 To get around these misleading announcements, the researchers for the current study independently verified the retraction reasons using information from the Federal Office of Research Integrity and independent media reports – and their results speak for themselves.

I wish I could say this is not a widespread issue... but a survey published in the BMJ earlier this year revealed that 13 percent of scientists or doctors had actually witnessed colleagues intentionally changing or fabricating research data in order to get a study published, while another 6 percent said they are aware of possible research misconduct at their institution that was never properly investigated...5

Drug Research May be Even Worse

The study above focused on retracted biomedical and life-science research papers, whereas a study earlier this year reviewed retracted studies in the drug and biomedical literature.6 The highest number of incidents of misconduct occurred in the drug literature, as compared to general biomedical literature. Nearly 75 percent of the retracted drug studies were attributed to scientific misconduct, which includes:

Data falsification or fabrication
Questionable veracity
Unethical author conduct
Plagiarism

The most unfortunate thing about this is that these are the types of studies many health care professionals rely on to make treatment recommendations. Large numbers of patients – potentially millions – can be affected when false findings are published, as the average lag time between publication of the study and the issuing of a retraction is 39 months. And that's if it's ever caught at all.

It's important to understand that our current medical system has been masterfully orchestrated by the drug companies to create a system that gives the perception of science when in reality it is a heavily manipulated process designed to deceive you into using expensive and potentially toxic drugs that benefit the drug companies more than it benefits your health. Across the board, drugmakers do an excellent job of publicizing the findings they want you to know, while keeping very quiet about the rest.

You see, all research is NOT published. And it should come as no surprise that drug studies funded by a pharmaceutical company that reaches a negative conclusion will rarely ever see the light of day... What this means is that even if you scour the medical literature to determine what the consensus is on any given medical topic, what you'll find is an overwhelming preponderance of data in favor of the drug approach that in no way, shape or form reflects the reality of the scientific investigation that went into that specific drug.

Ex-FDA Chief Says J&J Broke the Law Promoting Risperdal

Of course, it's not only in the research realm that drugs are fraudulently promoted; it occurs all the time in the marketing realm, too. Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) antipsychotic 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.

How did this happen? Simple – J&J's Janssen unit 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 in the elderly, as well as for unapproved uses in children and adolescents. Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, a pediatrician, said in an October trial report that the companies were in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act when they promoted Risperdal for non-approved uses in children and adolescents. He noted:7

"The promotion of non-approved uses by a manufacturer, because it undercuts the system and safeguards of drug regulation, is concerning... The promotion of non-approved uses by a manufacturer of powerful drugs is more concerning... The promotion of non-approved uses in the most vulnerable children of powerful drugs is most concerning. Janssen's promotion of Risperdal, a powerful drug, for non-approved uses in the most vulnerable children is deeply troubling."

Drugs in Search of a Disease: Pharma Targets Women


And if they're not promoting a drug for unapproved uses, the drug companies are actively developing drugs based on entirely questionable – some might even say fictional – diseases. Women are often the targets for these drugs, as statistics show U.S. women use nearly 65 percent more drugs, on average, than men8 – making them a more lucrative market for the drug companies. Drug and biotech companies are currently testing or awaiting FDA approval for more than 850 different drugs for diseases that "disproportionately affect American women."9

Writing in Scientific American, Judy Stone, MD, recently highlighted the almost comical pursuit to classify what were once ordinary feelings into unique woman-centered diseases:10

" ...women still are the primary targets for pharmaceutical advertising, in part because they can be captured for multiple products – if not quite from the cradle, at least from puberty, through pregnancy, to menopause and to grave. What are some of the consequences of this relentless focus on women's hormones and common symptoms? For one, it seems to promote a nation of hypochondriacs. It is extremely profitable for pharmaceutical companies, but it is not so good for the target of this attention, women... be wary of innocent sounding offers of drugs to relieve all of your discomforts."

Among some of the more curious diseases she included are:

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): "In my day, it was moodiness at 'that time of the month,' more typically known as *****iness. We didn't have an ICD-9 or DSM code. We had uncomfortable days but knew that this, too, would pass. Now cyclical hormones are a disease," Stone writes. Now women are being treated with antidepressant drugs, which might increase the risk of suicide, to avoid these symptoms.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD): Otherwise known as lack of libido, various pills and "female Viagras" are clamoring to get to the market. Interestingly, lack of libido is often a side effect of antidepressant use.

The Solution is Within Your Hands...

The take-home message here is that even if a drug or treatment is "backed by science" or marketed as the miracle cure you've been waiting for, this in no way guarantees it is safe or effective. Likewise, if an alternative treatment has not been published in a medical journal, it does not mean it is unsafe or ineffective.

You've got to use all the resources available to you, including your own sense of common sense and reason, true experts' advice and other's experiences, to determine what medical treatment or advice will be best for you in any given situation. I advise you to remain skeptical but open – even if it is something I'm saying, you need to realize that YOU are responsible for your and your family's health, not me, and certainly not drug companies trying to sell their wares and convince you to take dangerous "symptom-cover-ups" disguised as science-based solutions.

If you're facing a health challenge it is best to identify a qualified natural health consultant – someone who really understands health at a foundational level and has had extensive experience in helping others resolve their health care challenges. Just make sure to see a competent regular physician to make certain any serious disorders like cancer are ruled out as well. In the meantime, do all you can to take control of your health so you stay healthy, and drug-free, in the first place.

jimmyg 10-20-2012 05:44 AM

Microwave Popcorn
 
Buttered Popcorn Flavoring Linked to Alzheimer’s
October 18 2012

By Dr. Mercola


Story at-a-glance:

Diacetyl is an artificial butter flavoring added to microwave popcorn and other snack foods; many microwave popcorn factories have already stopped using the synthetic diacetyl because it’s been linked to lung damage in people who work in the factories

New research shows diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health and may trigger Alzheimer’s disease

Not only can diacetyl pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is intended to help keep toxins out of your brain, but it can also cause brain proteins to misfold into the Alzheimer’s-linked form known as beta amyloid

Diacetyl also inhibits mechanisms that help to naturally clear the dangerous beta amyloid from your brain


If you like to snack on the occasional bag of microwave popcorn, it's probably the buttery flavoring that you crave.

This comes from an artificial flavoring called diacetyl, which is a natural byproduct of fermentation found in butter, beer and vinegar... and also a chemical made synthetically by food companies because it gives foods that irresistible buttery flavor and aroma.

Many companies who manufacture microwave popcorn have already stopped using the synthetic diacetyl because it's been linked to lung damage in people who work in their factories.

But now a new study at the University of Minnesota shows that diacetyl is not only a risk to workers' lungs... it may also pose a risk to your brain.

Microwave Popcorn Chemical Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

Researchers conducting test-tube studies revealed that diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health. Not only can it pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is intended to help keep toxins out of your brain, but it can also cause brain proteins to misfold into the Alzheimer's-linked form known as beta amyloid. It also inhibits mechanisms that help to naturally clear the dangerous beta amyloid from your brain.1

It's not known at this time whether eating diacetyl-containing foods (it's used not only in microwave popcorn but also in other snack foods, baked goods, pet foods, some fast foods and other food products) increases your risk of Alzheimer's, but the finding that it may contribute to brain plaques linked to Alzheimer's at very low concentrations is concerning, to say the least.

How many other synthetic chemicals have we been told are perfectly safe, only to find out over time that they aren't. MSG and aspartame come to mind... but there are countless others as well.

Removing Diacetyl from Microwave Popcorn Doesn't Make it Safe...


As mentioned, diacetyl is known to cause serious, sometimes life-threating respiratory illness in microwave popcorn-plant and flavoring plant workers. Many companies therefore began to stop using the chemical in their products, replacing it with another ingredient called 2,3-pentanedione (PD), which is also used to impart a buttery flavor and aroma.

Now researchers have revealed that PD, too, can lead to respiratory toxicity similar to that caused by diacetyl.2 The chemical was also capable of pathologically altering the gene expression in rat brains, leading to neurotoxicity. The study's lead researcher noted:

"Our study is a reminder that a chemical with a long history of being eaten without any evidence of toxicity can still be an agent with respiratory toxicity when appropriate studies are conducted."

Not to mention, perfluoroalkyls (PFCs), which are chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through food wrappers, are widely used in microwave-popcorn packaging. These chemicals migrate into your food and are processed by your body, where they can disrupt your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. PFCs have been linked to infertility, thyroid disease, cancer, immune system problems, and more.

Most US Corn is Genetically Modified

About 86 percent of all corn crops grown in the United States are genetically modified (GM), which brings a new set of health concerns to your microwave popcorn. Interestingly, none of the popcorn is genetically engineered, however just about all the other corn is, which is a great reason to avoid it. Additionally, as a grain it will typically not promote good health for most people.

So-called "Bt corn" is equipped with a gene from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces Bt-toxin – a pesticide that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. This pesticide-producing corn entered the food supply in the late 1990's, and over the past decade, the horror stories have started piling up.

Monsanto and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore that the toxin would only affect insects munching on the crop. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact on animals and humans. The biotech companies have doggedly insisted that Bt-toxin doesn't bind or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals, and therefore humans.

However, the corn's Bt-toxin has been detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women. Specifically, the toxin was identified in 93% of pregnant women, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67% of non-pregnant women tested.3 And there's plenty of evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically modified Bt crops like corn is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses. For example, in government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto's Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses, such as:4

Elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, which are typically associated with allergies and infections

An increase in cytokines, which are associated with allergic and inflammatory responses. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were found to be elevated are also higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, to MS and cancer

Elevated T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases.

Rats fed another of Monsanto's Bt corn varieties called MON 863, also experienced an activation of their immune systems, showing higher numbers of basophils, lymphocytes, and white blood cells.5 These can indicate possible allergies, infections, toxins, and various disease states including cancer. There were also signs of liver and kidney toxicity.

How is Popcorn Popped?


Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_7Qi...layer_embedded

If you've ever wondered how a corn kernel turns into popcorn, the video above may give you a clue. A kernel of corn contains both moisture and oil, along with a hard, dense starch inside. As the kernel is heated, the moisture in the kernel gets turned into steam, which is held inside of the strong hull.

This turns the dense starch into a soft, pliable material, and as the steam continues to build pressure and heat, the hull ruptures suddenly and the starch expands into an airy foam that sets into the popcorn you're familiar with.

If you love popcorn and can't imagine giving it up, make your own at home using organic popping corn and coconut oil or butter. Place the oil or butter in a large pot, turn it on to medium heat and add your kernels. When the popping slows to one or two "pops" every few seconds, you're all done. Add your own natural seasonings like grass-fed, raw butter and Himalayan salt for a natural popcorn snack without all the artificial ingredients and chemicals that are inevitable with the microwave variety.

jimmyg 10-21-2012 07:10 AM

Melatonin
 
Melatonin Helps Patients With High Blood Pressure To Sleep

http://media.mercola.com/ImageServer.../melatonin.jpg
October 18 2012

By Dr. Mercola

Link: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...1018_DNL_art_2

About 22 million Americans are on long-term treatment with beta-blockers, a class of drugs frequently prescribed to manage high blood pressure and as cardioprotection after a heart attack.

Having difficulty falling or staying asleep, or insomnia, is one of the most common side effects of beta-blockers, as they suppress nighttime melatonin secretion. Melatonin is a hormone your body produces at night, and one of its primary roles is to help you sleep.

This may also explain why they are also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, as this is another well-known complication of beta-blockers and sleep impairment has been strongly correlated with insulin disturbances.

So, researchers decided to see what would happen if they supplemented people on beta-blockers with melatonin each night to help them sleep…

Melatonin Improved Sleep for People With High Blood Pressure

Hypertensive patients being treated with beta-blockers were given either 2.5 mg of melatonin or a placebo supplement nightly for three weeks. Researchers assessed their sleep patterns during two four-day sleep lab sessions – one before the supplements were given and one after.

The melatonin group not only saw their melatonin levels rise, but they also enjoyed a 37-minute increase in their amount of sleep, along with an 8 percent improvement in sleep efficiency (meaning they spent more time asleep while they were in bed), and a 41-minute increase in "stage 2" sleep, which is the longest sleep stage during the night.1

Plus, those taking melatonin fell asleep 14 minutes faster than the placebo group. The study's lead author added:2

"Melatonin reduced their time awake from about 20 percent to just 12 percent, almost halving their wake time during the night."

Why Not Just Take Sleeping Pills?


Insomnia takes a heavy toll on your quality of life. Sleep deprivation is linked to chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as obesity.

It can also make you moody and unable to concentrate and put you at serious risk of a traffic accident. Insomnia has even been blamed for causing 274,000 workplace accidents and errors every year, at a cost of $31 billion!3 So there's no arguing with the fact that quality sleep is important.

That said, you may want to think twice before filling a prescription for sleeping pills, as they not only fail to address the underlying reasons why you can't sleep, but research shows they're linked to a nearly four-fold increase in the risk of death, along with increased cancer risks.

Research involving data from more than 10,500 people who received drugs for poor sleep (hypnotics) showed that "as predicted.

Patients prescribed any hypnotic had substantially elevated hazards of dying compared to those prescribed no hypnotics" and the association held true even when patients with poor health were taken into account – and even if the patients took fewer than 18 pills in a year.4

The study suggested that those who take such medications are not only at higher risk for certain cancers, but are nearly four times more likely to die than people who don't take them.

Sleeping pills linked to these risks included benzodiazepines (such as temazepam), non-benzodiazepines (such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata), barbiturates, and sedative antihistamines.

There are other downfalls, too, like their well-known tendency to impair your function the following day. This is sometimes described as a sleeping pill "hangover" that may cause confusion, sleepiness and increases in falls and automobile accidents.

Also, treating sleeping troubles with drugs is a risky bet because they can be addictive, which means that once you want to stop taking them, you'll likely suffer withdrawal symptoms that could be worse than your initial insomnia.

It's worth noting that those in the melatonin study developed no tolerance and had no rebound sleep disturbances when the melatonin was withdrawn. They did, however, have a positive "carryover effect" of improved sleep even after they stopped taking the melatonin.

Melatonin Might Help Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease

Here's another "side benefit" of melatonin: ..........

"…melatonin plus physical exercise may exert complementary, additive, or even synergistic effects against a range of disturbances present in AD [Alzheimer's disease]," the researchers said.

Normally, your brain produces melatonin in a daily rhythm that peaks at night, around 9 or 10 p.m. This makes you sleepy, and it is these regularly occurring secretions that help regulate your sleep cycle. If you're not getting enough sleep, there's a good chance your melatonin production is not up to par either, and this could have far-reaching impacts on your health, even accelerating the aging process of your brain.

Past research has shown artificially aged mice treated with melatonin had reduced oxidative stress and markers of cerebral aging and neurodegeneration, indicating the melatonin offered both neuroprotective and anti-aging effects.6 Melatonin actually has antioxidant properties that may help explain its important anti-aging role, as it helps to suppress harmful free radicals in your body and even slows the production of estrogen, which can activate certain cancers.

Melatonin's immediate precursor is the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a major player in uplifting your mood. And, like serotonin, melatonin plays important roles in your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that insufficient melatonin production can set you up for: Decreased immune function - Accelerated cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth (including leukemia) - Blood pressure instability - Decreased free radical scavenging - Increased plaques in the brain, like those seen with Alzheimer's disease - Increased risk of osteoporosis - Diabetic microangiopathy (capillary damage) - Depression and/or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

How to Optimize Your Melatonin Production Naturally


Melatonin production is stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light, which is why your levels should be highest just prior to bedtime. ..........

Your body produces optimal levels of melatonin under two conditions: one, enough darkness at night that activates your pineal gland, but just as importantly, exposure to brilliant light, ideally sunshine, during the day. It is the combination that actually causes your body to produce healthy levels of melatonin.

Therefore, if you are having trouble sleeping, a signal that your melatonin production is off, I suggest you make sure you're sleeping in total darkness (use blackout drapes and a sleep mask) and also turning lights down prior to bedtime.

Even very small amounts of light, such as the glow from a clock radio or streetlights shining through your bedroom window, can disrupt your melatonin production. TVs and computers emit significant blue light, which will tend to decrease your melatonin if you work past dark, so ideally you'd want to turn these items off once the sun goes down.

For use in the evening, you can purchase "low blue lights," which emit an amber light instead of the blue that suppresses melatonin production. Therefore, .......

Additionally, the quality of light you're exposed to during the day also matters when it comes to maintaining a healthy rhythm. While most of us are over-exposed to light in the evenings, most of us are also under-exposed to optimal light during the day!

Most incandescent and fluorescent lights emit very poor-quality light. What your body needs for optimal functioning is the full-spectrum light you get outdoors, but most of us do not spend much time outside to take advantage of this healthy light. Nor.......... One thing that may ameliorate this lack of high-quality sunlight during the day is using full-spectrum light bulbs in your home and office.

If you're having even slight trouble sleeping, I suggest you review my 33 Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep for even more helpful guidance on how to improve your sleep-wake cycle and get restful sleep.

If you've made the necessary changes to your sleep routine and find you're still having trouble sleeping, a high-quality melatonin supplement may be helpful. For instance.......

Researchers believe this may explain why many older adults occasionally experience disrupted sleep patterns. With less melatonin in their blood, the stimulus to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake feeling rested can potentially be compromised, which is why some older adults may benefit from extra melatonin – likewise if you perform night shift work, travel often and experience jet lag, or otherwise suffer from occasional sleeplessness due to stress or unexplained reasons.

If You're Having Trouble Sleeping Due to Taking Beta-Blockers for High Blood Pressure…


Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a very serious health concern that can lead to cardiovascular disease and increased risk for stroke. It's estimated that high blood pressure affects 90 percent of Americans at one time or another. Like statin drugs, blood pressure drugs are pervasive, with one in three Americans taking them. Of those, an estimated 25 percent are falsely diagnosed! They have what we call "white coat hypertension," meaning they suffer temporary anxiety when at the doctor's office, and as a result, their blood pressure goes up. However, they don't truly suffer from hypertension. If you're given a drug to treat a condition you don't have, it can only cause you harm...

Beta-blockers actually prevent your heart muscle from fully contracting by blocking the beta receptor's response to catecholamines (stress hormones), and they are not always selective enough to target only heart muscle receptors; often, your brain's beta receptors are blocked by this drug, resulting in a depressive state where the natural "highs" of life are blunted, and while the blood pressure may drop precipitously, so does the quality of your life. While life-saving in times of crisis, it is well known that even the clinical research indicates that beta-blockers significantly raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as heart attack and cardiac mortality itself.7

I believe very few people really need them. In fact, it is likely that they contribute to the weakening of the heart muscle's ability to contract fully over time, which further depresses the circulation and oxygenation of the entire body – ironically, even that of the heart itself.

Natural strategies are absolutely crucial to address the underlying cause of high blood pressure, which almost always involve endothelial dysfunction, or, the inability of the lining of the blood vessels and arteries to fully dilate. This may be caused by a number of factors, but generally follows from injury to the endothelium induced by chemicals (e.g. smoking), stress (e.g. chronic elevated adrenaline) and nutrient deficiencies (e.g. lack of adequate folate) and incompatibilities (e.g. excess fructose).

No matter the cause, make sure you're getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega 3-fats, such as krill oil. Research suggests that as little as 500 mg may lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides, and will likely increase your HDL cholesterol. You'll also want to dramatically reduce grains and sugars in your daily diet, especially fructose, replacing it with healthful fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, organic pastured eggs, and grass-fed meats.

Getting the right amount of regular exercise is another key factor.

If you are currently taking any medications to control your blood pressure, please understand that these drugs are not placebos and most work very effectively to lower your blood pressure. But they don't do it in a way that addresses the cause. So if you stop them, there is a chance your blood pressure will rise very high, and sometimes high enough to cause a stroke. So only begin to wean off of your blood pressure medications while under careful professional supervision.

For more information relating to hypertension, from how to reduce your blood pressure by effectively addressing stress… exercising… normalizing your weight… and which foods to eat and which to eliminate, and much more, please see: ....

jimmyg 10-22-2012 07:31 AM

Gluten
 
Say goodbye to gluten: Over 200 clinically confirmed reasons to avoid wheat


http://www.naturalnews.com/gallery/d...Farm-Crops.jpg

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by: PF Louis

(NaturalNews) This title is the same as a recent GreenMedInfo.com. It contains a list of over 200 health problems, with celiac disease at the top and including many more not normally associated with gluten intolerance.

The author and founder of GreenMedInfo.com, Sayer Ji, prefers the term gluten toxicity to gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance... "in order to shift the focus away from the victim back to the aggressor, the gluten itself."

Sayer Ji's GreenMedInfo.com article lists all the disorders linked to gluten. They are hyperlinked to articles and abstracts of clinical studies recorded in MedLine since 1971.

Explaining the attack on wheat and other grains
Negative reports on wheat and other grains have risen considerably in the past decade. The dramatic rise of celiac disease, a chronic gut inflammation that destroys intestinal villi (tiny tubes) responsible for absorbing nutrients, has been a major focus.

The gluten toxicity that brings on Celiac disease and other autoimmune reactions is mostly from peptides contained in gluten known as gliadin proteins, which damage the intestinal tract.

In addition to Celiac disease, which if undetected leads to malnutrition that creates other diseases, gluten toxicity can result in several other manifestations of poor health, including chronic fatigue and mental disorders.

Lectins, sticky proteins common to all plants for self defense, are a prominent feature of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). In addition to flattening out intestinal villi and causing Celiac, they can penetrate gut linings and create leaky gut.

Once lectins get into the blood stream, they can bind to leptin receptors, blocking the leptin sensitivity that lets you know you've had enough to eat, creating a sluggish metabolism, and disrupting insulin balance. In other words, it leads to obesity and diabetes.

So how did the "staff of life" become a weed of disease?

For starters, wheat is not the same today. It has been hybrid over time to resist fungus, grow more quickly, and be more pliable for industrial bread baking. 50 years or so ago, wheat contained only five percent gluten. Today, it is 50 percent gluten.

The food industry's concern for production efficiency and perception of consumer demands has focused on the bottom line with the usual disregard to the negative health consequences of fellow humans. Breads and other baked goods are hastily produced with additives and short cuts that are actually toxic.

In the UK, some of Europe, and North America, slightly different high speed methods of baking evolved over time. By adding "improvers" with usually toxic additives and mixing the dough violently, loaves of bread could be baked, cooled, and packaged within a few short hours.

Agricultural resources then sped up the hybrid process for wheat to accommodate the baking industry's mechanical requirements of pliable proteins, leading to the 10-fold increase of wheat's gluten since that time.

This situation has permeated almost all nations. There are some exceptions; for instance, most of Europe doesn't permit chemically bleaching flour to produce white bread. They use sunlight to "bleach" wheat.

Having your cake and eating it too
Not all of us are prepared to go strictly Paleo and exclude all grains and legumes. Some of us still prefer not to eat animals, and if the food supply bottom falls out, many aren't ready and able to kill and skin deer or other animals to survive.

Grains such as rice and dried legumes are easy to hoard and use for survival if the store shelves become empty overnight. The common concern for rice and legumes is phytates or phytic acid, which can block minerals from being absorbed in our bodies.

Overnight soaking, a prerequisite for cooking dry beans, has been known to minimize phytates, or phytic acid. Rice can be soaked overnight as well. The process of cooking itself reduces phytic acid.

Using sprouted wheat flour can ameliorate some of WGA's toxicity. Baking with sourdough starters instead of normal baker's yeast can help also, while combining both may be optimum (http://www.foodrenegade.com). It appears Whole Foods bakery does so.

Wheat's gluten toxicity is reduced by sourdough starters properly fermented for 24 hours or more. A University of Alberta Canadian cereal microbiologist, Michael Gaenzle, suggests that sourdough bread, homemade or from a trusted bakery, may be at least a solution for gluten toxicity.

He referred to a study where recovered Celiac patients suffered no consequences from eating fermented (sourdough) wheat bread for two days. Those who ate regularly produced wheat bread did have a relapse.

The demand for continuing at least a partial grain diet safely has inspired one company, Vitamin Research Products to offer a natural supplement called Lectin Lock, which they claim will help reduce WGA gummy lectins.

Chronic health issues may or may not be from WGA toxicity. Katherine Czapp, whose WATF article is linked below, suggests testing for Celiac disease with Enerolab. (https://www.enterolab.com/default.aspx)

Sources for this article include:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com

http://www.westonaprice.org/digestiv...inst-the-grain

http://www.realfooduniversity.com/re...ealthy-grains/

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co...d-lectins.html

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037575_gl...#ixzz2A2PgTfAx

jimmyg 10-22-2012 07:45 PM

Diet Soda
 
Diet Drinks: The Biggest Marketing Scam of All Time?

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October 18, 2012
Posted by Joshua Corn

Diet drinksWe are surrounded by junk foods and beverages. They’re everywhere – in our grocery stores, in our restaurants and even in our schools. While I have a strong distaste for such artificial, highly processed goods, at least many of them are typically recognized for what they are. Most people know that Twinkies, Slim Jims and Mountain Dew are not healthy choices. What makes me really angry is when something that is bad for you is marketed as good for you. Why? Because it’s a scam, it’s unfair and it often has negative effects on the people who are most vulnerable – namely children.

Diet Drinks: Marketed as Safe, but Far From It

At the top of my list are diet drinks that contain artificial sweeteners. Decades from now, this will be one of those “what in the world were we thinking” topics. But today, we have to contend with the fact that the vast majority of the public considers diet drinks “good for you.”

Whose fault is this? Well let’s start with the global corporations that market these toxic concoctions as “healthy” alternatives to sugary drinks that can actually promote weight loss. I can’t help but draw comparisons to the big tobacco companies that marketed their “light” cigarettes as healthier alternatives.

Next, we can blame our leaders and policymakers for being duped into thinking that promoting diet drinks is a good strategy to getting people to drink less sugary soda. Given the multiple scientific studies that prove that diet drinks (and soda in general) have numerous negative health consequences, this strategy is seriously flawed. An example of such policy is New York’s ban on large-sized sugary drinks that excludes diet drinks.

Lastly, we have ourselves to blame. There is always a level of individual responsibility with any social issue. We allow these drinks to be sold and, in my opinion, are not nearly vocal enough in terms of educating people about their dangers.

Sadly, Consumption of Diet Drinks Is Increasing

What inspired me to write this article was a study I read about in USA Today, which showed that the consumption of diet drinks has been steadily rising over the past decade. The worst part about this study is that almost 20% of girls aged 12 to 19 consume a diet drink on any given day. On many occasions, I’ve cringed to see kids under the age of 10 drinking diet sodas – their parents naïvely thinking they are making a smart choice for their children.

Let’s Talk About Some of the Dangers

The dangers of diet drinks are numerous and well documented. While Live in the Now has reported extensively on these dangers, I’ve provided links to 3rd party sources below to avoid creating the perception that this is simply our opinion.

Some studies show that diet drinks can actually make you 70% fatter.

The artificial coloring used in diet drinks is a carcinogenic.

Aspartame and Neotame (Equal and NutraSweet) are also known carcinogens, even in low levels.

Sucralose (Splenda), alters the microflora in the intestine and “exerts numerous adverse effects, according to a Duke University study.

Diet sodas in general are linked to a 61% increase in strokes and heart attacks.

What To Do If You Really Like Soda


If you currently drink diet sodas, I hope you consider stopping. In my 20s, I used to drink a lot of diet drinks thinking they were harmless. But then I uncovered the truth, and once you know the facts, it’s easy to quit. I do, however, enjoy drinking carbonated beverages. Here’s my advice for you if you do too

1. Avoid diet drinks like the plague!

2. If you must drink soda, one sweetened with corn syrup is probably better than an artificially sweetened drink, but remember this is just the lesser of two evils – neither is good for you.

3. More and more sodas are sweetened with cane sugar, which is a better choice than high fructose corn syrup. Still, please remember that any drink containing sugar provides “empty calories” and should be avoided.

4. If it’s just the carbonation you like, try good ol’ fashioned sparkling water. Just be careful because a lot of sparkling water (especially club soda) is made from unfiltered municipal water, so keep an eye on the water source. If it has lemon, lime or other fruit juice added, try to pick a drink that uses natural instead of artificial flavoring. Note: Some experts say that excessive consumption of carbonated beverages – even water – may leach minerals from your bones, so don’t overdo it.

5. My favorite solution is using a SodaStream machine to add carbonation to high quality filtered or spring water or organic juice. I bought mine on Amazon.com, but they are widely available online and in stores. My kids (and I) love it because we can make all types of drinks that are refreshing and healthy. My only tip would be to upgrade to the glass bottles so you can avoid using plastic!

One parting comment – please spread the word about the dangers of diet drinks. I think if more people knew about the mounting evidence showing the numerous health consequences of diet drinks, very few people would consume them. The best way to mitigate the negative effects of a bad product on the market is to speak with our wallets and simply not buy it!

jimmyg 10-23-2012 10:45 AM

Tomatoes
 
Eating tomatoes is shown to slash stroke risk in half

http://www.naturalnews.com/gallery/d...1-Tomatoes.jpg

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by: John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Stroke continues to rank as the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., permanently disabling and needlessly taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of adults every year. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of stroke can be lowered by following simple lifestyle changes including regular physical activity, limiting or eliminating trans and hydrogenated fats and sugars from the diet and consuming a variety of antioxidants from natural foods or supplemental sources.

A research team from the University of Eastern Finland, reporting in the journal, Neurology has determined that eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, due in large part to high concentrations of the potent antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene is a well studied compound that gives tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables their deep red color. In prior studies, lycopene has been associated with a significant risk reduction in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

To conduct this study, scientists considered medical data from 1,031 Finnish men between the ages of 46 and 65. Baseline lycopene levels were taken at the outset of the study, and the participants were followed for a period of 12 years. During this period, 67 men experienced a stroke event.

Lycopene from tomatoes and tomato-based foods dramatically lowers stroke risk in men

After determining the amount of lycopene consumed by the participants, researchers found that 9.7 percent of those men with the lowest intake of lycopene experienced a stroke. 4.2 percent of the men with the highest lycopene consumption had a stroke over the study period. The study team determined that people with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than people with the lowest amounts of lycopene in their blood.

When the researchers further broke down the results, they found that those with the highest levels of lycopene were 59 percent less likely to have an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot, the most common type of stroke) than those with the lowest levels. Lead research author, Dr. Jouni Karppi concluded "This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke... the results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research."

Interestingly, the scientists reviewed blood levels of the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and retinol, but found no association between the blood levels and risk of stroke. This provides further support for consumption of a varied diet from a wide array of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds supplying a rainbow of antioxidant compounds and omega-3 fats to prevent disease. Health-conscious individuals will want to include one to two daily servings of tomatoes and tomato-based foods to dramatically lower stroke risk.

Sources for this article include:

http://aan.com/press/index.cfm?fusea...w&release=1107
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Strokes/35207
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1008161746.htm
http://www.nutraingredients.com


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