Health & Wellness
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Bacon n Eggs

New study finds no association between high levels of dietary saturated fat and heart disease

© www.primalbody-primalmind.com
In February the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) submitted its 2015 Scientific Report1,2,3 to the US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS).

This report serves as the foundation for the development of US dietary guidelines.

In a surprise twist, the DGAC not only suggested eliminating warnings about dietary cholesterol, it also reversed nearly four decades of nutrition policy by concluding that dietary fats have no impact on cardiovascular disease risk.

Unfortunately, the DGAC didn't set the record straight with regards to saturated fats, as it makes no firm distinction between healthy saturated fats and decidedly unhealthy trans fats.

For decades, healthy fat and cholesterol have been wrongfully blamed for causing heart disease, but over 70 published studies overwhelmingly dispute this.4

Comment: Eating a diet high in healthy fats while restricting carbohydrate intake can help to alleviate many diseases. You will have more energy, less inflammation and be much less susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections.


Red Flag

Another scientist's growing doubts over GMO safety

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© Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA).
The protestor is right: GMOs are indeed a science experiment. And we are the guinea pigs.
Are GMOs safe? Up to a point, writes Jonathan Latham - provided you're not eating them. That's certainly not proven to be safe, indeed the hazards are numerous: protein encoding viral DNA fragments, herbicide metabolites, biotoxins whose operation is not understood, poorly conducted experiments ... and those are just the ones we know about.

By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD.

Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.

I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in the complex world of biology and of scientific research.

Another reason was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten. So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.

Comment: 'GMOs should ever have been let out of any lab': Everything you wanted to know about GMOs but were afraid to ask


Bulb

Good Medicine: Do as much nothing as possible

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''The delivery of good medical care is to do as much nothing as possible''
~ Samuel Shem, The House of God
Medicine is undergoing an existential crisis today. Its core value proposition - to help and not hurt - is failing to manifest. Patients are suffering. Doctors are suffering. The only exuberant party on the battlefield against disease is the pharmaceutical industry. An industry whose annual causalities far exceed the death total from our two decade long involvement in the Vietnam war.

The entire system is on the precipice of a collapse, if not for economic reasons alone, then certainly for ethical and intellectual ones. The irony is that the system has become so ineffective and dangerous that avoiding medical treatment (excluding perhaps emergency care) has become one of if not the best healthcare strategy you can implement to protect your health and well-being.

Info

The benefits of probiotics: What is Lactobacillus Gasseri?

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Are probiotics really that good for you? Is yogurt the best source of probiotics? I regularly hear these and many other questions about probiotics. Probiotics is a subject that is pretty straightforward, but confusion still persists regarding these beneficial microbes. The fact that there are so many different types of probiotic strains doesn't help. Let's start by discussing Lactobacillus gasseri, one of the beneficial microorganisms that assist with digestive health and against harmful organisms.

The Benefits of Probiotics

There are many benefits of probiotics you probably already know, and some that may surprise you. Your digestives system depends on microorganisms called "probiotics" to work properly. [1] Probiotic bacteria helps the body get the nutrients it needs, stimulates your immune system, and protects your intestines from harmful toxins and organisms. [2] When you have a healthy balance of bacteria in your system, metabolism, digestion, and your natural detoxification process all run smoothly. The cardiovascular system, bones, blood sugar, and mental health are also connected to probiotic status. [3]

These wide-reaching effects stem from your digestive tract's role as a gateway to the rest of your body. The healthier your gut, the more it can withstand the assault from today's most common germs and toxins. These include pesticides, herbicides, and the artificial sweeteners found in many processed foods.

Comment: Learn more about the gut microbiome and probiotics. Listen to the SOTT Radio Health and Wellness Show - Gut Health - Monday April 13, 2015


Apple Red

Is buying organic veggies a waste of money?

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© pbs.org
Organic carrots: not worth your whole paycheck
It has happened to all of us. You're standing in the produce aisle, just trying to buy some zucchini, when you face the inevitable choice: Organic or regular?

It's a loaded question that can mean many different things, sometimes all at once: Healthy or pesticide-drenched? Tasty or bland? Fancy or basic? Clean or dirty? Good or bad?

But here's the most important question for many customers: Is it worth the extra money?

The answer: Probably not.

Comment: Back in 2012 the same 'debate' was being discussed and argued. The author above makes some good points about the turn 'organic food' has taken and how it has become a 'luxury', that being said, it is important to note that pesticide and herbicide laden industrial agriculture still raises cause for concern, the devil is in the details:

Whoa, Is Organic Food No Healthier Than Non-Organic? Controversy Erupts Over Study
There are shelves' worth of studies documenting the health dangers of pesticide exposure. A study published last year found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides - which are often sprayed on crops and in urban areas to control insects - can lower children's IQ. A follow-up investigation into prenatal pesticide exposure concluded that boys' developing brains appear to be more vulnerable than girls' brains. A study by Colorado State University epidemiologist Lori Cragin found that women who drink water containing low levels of the herbicide atrazine are more likely to have low estrogen levels and irregular menstrual cycles; about three-quarters of all US corn fields are treated with atrazine annually. British scientists who examined the health effects of fungicides sprayed on fruits and vegetable crops discovered that 30 out of 37 chemicals studied altered males' hormone production.

I think you get the point: many synthetic herbicides and pesticides are dangerous to humans and should be avoided. And the best way to avoid putting those chemicals into our surroundings is to buy organically grown foods.



Health

Oysters serve as reservoirs and vectors for human norovirus transmission

© AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
Oysters not only transmit human norovirus; they also serve as a major reservoir for these pathogens, according to research published August 28 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. "More than 80 percent of human norovirus genotypes were detected in oyster samples or oyster-related outbreaks," said corresponding author Yongjie Wang, PhD.

"The results highlight oysters' important role in the persistence of norovirus in the environment, and its transmission to humans, and they demonstrate the need for surveillance of human norovirus in oyster samples," said Wang, who is Professor in the College of Food Science and Technology, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China.

Attention

6.5 million Americans in 27 states drinking water tainted by byproduct of Teflon manufacturing

© Unknown
When you drink a glass of water, you expect it to be clean and pure, not contaminated with invisible toxic chemicals. But nationwide testing has found that 6.5 million Americans in 27 states are drinking water tainted by an industrial compound that was used for decades to make Teflon.

The chemical, known as PFOA, has been detected in 94 public water systems. The amounts are small, but new research indicates that it can be hazardous even at the tiniest doses. PFOA and closely related fluorinated chemicals - including PFOS, once used to make Scotchgard - can cause cancer, birth defects and heart disease and weaken the immune system.

Even the lowest level of PFOA detected by the water testing, which was mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency, was about five times higher than what's safe to drink, according to the new research.


Comment: What's the "safe" amount for a toxic compound like this, anyway? The amount that companies can pollute the water without the people overtly noticing by dying?


This means that even if the EPA has not reported finding PFOA in your drinking water supply, it could still be contaminated.

Want to know whether the testing found PFOA, PFOS or any one of four other highly fluorinated chemicals in your drinking water? EWG's interactive map below shows every U.S. county where the chemicals were detected. Click on your county to see if your water utility found any.

Comment: These aren't the only toxic compounds in water:


Arrow Down

Long term exposure to small amounts of Roundup herbicide changes gene expression leading to kidney, liver damage

© Jared Rodriguez; Adapted: IRRI Images, Libertinus)
Long-term intake of the Monsanto's most popular Roundup herbicide, even in very small amounts lower than permissible in US water, may lead to kidney and liver damage, a new study claims.

The research, conducted by an international group of scientists from the UK, Italy and France, studied the effects of prolonged exposure to small amounts of the Roundup herbicide and one of its main components - glyphosate.

In their study, published in Environmental Health on August 25, the scientists particularly focused on the influence of Monsanto's Roundup on gene expression in the kidneys and liver.

Comment: Glyphosate is so prevalent in the food system, that it's difficult to avoid exposure. The International Agency for Research on Cancer reports:
Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides.The largest use worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate has increased sharply since the development of crops that have been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications. Glyphosate has been detected in the air during spraying, in water, and in food. The general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use, and diet, and the level that has been observed is generally low.



Syringe

'Leaky Vaccines': Spreading more disease?

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© healthimpactnews.com
In 2001, Andrew Read, evolutionary biologist at Penn State University, and colleagues published a paper stating that imperfect vaccines, which protect the host from death but allow infection and disease transmission to other hosts, may actually trigger the evolution of more virulent forms of the disease.1

"Vaccines rarely provide full protection from disease," the study's abstract begins... and those that are imperfect or "leaky" may protect the host from succumbing to the disease while still allowing them to shed the virus into the community.

Ordinarily, a particularly lethal or "hot" virus is self-limiting because it will kill those it infects relatively quickly, before they have a chance to spread the virus to those around them. With leaky vaccines, this is no longer the case, as infected hosts may spread the lethal virus for weeks or more. In 2001, they wrote:2
The subsequent evolution leads to higher levels of intrinsic virulence and hence to more severe disease in unvaccinated individuals. This evolution can erode any population-wide benefits such that overall mortality rates are unaffected, or even increase, with the level of vaccination coverage."

Comment: Be aware: The forgotten history of vaccinations


Pills

'Smart pill' approved by FDA for healthy people with little to no scientific evidence of improved cognitive function

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© Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters
A stimulant drug successfully used to help people with sleep disorders stay awake can boost cognitive functions in healthy people, according to a new study. The 'smart pill' has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Researchers reviewed 24 studies on the drug modafinil which were carried out between 1990 and 2015 and found that it appeared to improve cognitive function. Some of the studies also showed gains in flexible thinking, increasing ability to combine information or cope with novelty. The drug didn't seem to influence creativity either way.

However, researchers found that improvement wasn't seen every time, on every test, or for every person. They also found that the studies failed to show any enhancement in the areas of attention, learning, and memory.


Comment: Is that improved cognitive function? Its seems to be another method of drugging up and dumbing down the population and creating energizer bunnies who can work, work, work and think a bit.


The meta-analysis was recently published in European Neuropsychopharmacology.

"What emerged was that the longer and the more complex the task ... the more consistently modafinil showed cognitive benefits," said Anna-Katharine Brem, a neuropsychologist at Oxford and one of the paper's authors, in an email to the Atlantic.

Modafinil, like Adderall and Ritalin, is increasingly being used by college students and adults who don't suffer from ADHD or sleep disorders, but are searching for greater productivity. The drugs work by increasing the brain's level of dopamine and norepinephrine to boost concentration and alertness.


Comment: All in pursuit of the illusory American dream.