Health & Wellness

Life Preserver

Vitamin B5 or Pantothenate (Pantothenic Acid): The "anti stress" factor

Vitamin B5, otherwise known as pantothenic acid or pantothenate is a water soluble B-vitamin that is critical for normal function of the human body. This vitamin is also commonly called the anti-stress nutrient because it plays a role in the production of stress hormones by the adrenal glands. Deficiency of B-5 contributes to the inability to cope with stress. Additionally, pantothenic acid plays vital roles in energy production from foodstuffs. Pantothenate is a component of coenzyme A, which is necessary for energy production from carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and other compounds, as well as synthesis of fats, cholesterol, steroid hormones, porphyrin and phospholipids.

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Former EPA scientist speaks out against GMOs

A former senior scientist from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been speaking out against GMOs, but his voice is especially noteworthy among the many scientists who talk about genetically modified organisms. Why? Because he studied the impacts of altered crops on the environment. Read on to find out what this expert has to say about a genetically modified world and the 'pesticide treadmill' that biotech has us all running on.

Dr. Ramon Seidler's credentials are nothing to sneeze at. He was a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University for 16 years before he worked at the EPA. He holds many honors, too, including being listed by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England as one of the 2,000 outstanding World Scientists of the 20th Century.

During Seidler's tenure at the EPA, he (along with other scientists) conducted GMO experiments that were contained in indoor environments. The experiments were meant to mimic what happens outside, just as if a farmer had planted a GM crop in Idaho, Michigan, or California. The gene transfer capabilities and survival rates of genetically modified seed were observed. He also observed transgenic DNA and Bt toxin products in agricultural ecosystems.

What he and his scientific peers found was that GE bacteria survived for years in soil, even after it was removed from the plants.


Deadly de novo melanoma, mole not always the culprit

© Credit: Skin Cancer Foundation
A photo of a thick melanoma tumor.
It's a good idea to keep an eye on your moles, to see if any of them are changing, which can be a sign of skin cancer, experts agree. But a new study finds that the sometimes-deadly skin cancer melanoma usually arises in normal skin, where there is no dark spot or sign of cancer until the melanoma suddenly shows up.

Moreover, melanomas that arise in non-mole areas of the skin tend to be more aggressive and deadly than those that do arise from moles, the study found.

"We find that the ones without a [mole] appear to be more aggressive," said Dr. David Polsky, the study's lead researcher and a professor of dermatology, pathology and dermatologic oncology at New York University School of Medicine. "We think that there are biological differences" between melanomas that develop within moles and those that develop elsewhere on the skin, and it's possible that these differences underlie the difference in aggressiveness, he said. [10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer]

Comment: Know your body. Check regularly for changes in moles, tumors, and uneven skin. Check out these articles on diet and how to keep healthy:


Tens of thousands of teen girls suffer serious illnesses after HPV cervical cancer jab

TENS of thousands of teenage girls have fallen seriously ill and even been left wheelchair-bound after taking the routine cervical cancer vaccination.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announced that 8,228 young girls had suffered debilitating side effects from the HPV injection.

However, the number is estimated to be only ten per cent of the true number of teens struck down with severe side effects after taking the vaccine.

The jab has been routinely administered to 12-year-old and 13-year-old girls in Britain since 2008. The injection blocks the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus which leads to most cervical cancer cases.

Otherwise healthy school-aged girls have reportedly suffered chest and abdominal pains, exhaustion, breathing difficulties, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which triggers an abnormally high heart rate, and fibromyalgia, which causes chronic pain throughout the body.

In more than a quarter of the cases, the effects have apparently been so severe that they were considered 'life-threatening' and required immediate medical treatment.

Comment: Considering all the information available and the extent of the scientific negligence, the HPV vaccine does seem to qualify as torture:
"Medical care that causes severe suffering for no justifiable reason can be considered cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if there is State involvement and specific intent, it is torture." [ United Nation's 2013 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment]
Doctors, lawyers and people in general should keep this in mind. Not convinced? Check out:


Why is the most hazardous drug still legal?

Hundreds of millions of people indulge in one of the most dangerous drugs which is sold right over the counter. When it comes to harm done to other people and the users themselves, not heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana or even tobacco come close to the health and safety hazards caused by this one depressant.

Drug harms fall into two broad categories: those that affect you, and those that affect others. The personal ones include death, health problems (including mental health), accidents, addiction, relationship breakdown and legal trouble. Harms to other people include violence, financial problems, crime and environmental damage -- both at home and where the drugs are produced.

Comment: Alcohol gravest threat to society, claims sacked scientist


Syracuse, Utah: E.coli found in tap water, boil alert issued

© unknown
For the second time in as many months, Utah is facing a municipal water crisis. Back in April, the community of Nibley was unable to use the water from the taps due to a chemical spill. This time, the city of Syracuse, Utah has issued a boil order due to E. Coli and Coliform contamination in the water supply.

It seems that across the country, more and more water crises are occurring, underlining the need for all households to possess an emergency water supply.

The contamination was discovered after residents complained that the color of the water coming from their taps was "off." Testing was performed and the following advisory was issued:


Ebola virus found in the eye of American doctor declared free of virus

© New York Times
Ian Crozier
American doctor Ian Crozier was treated for Ebola in Atlanta last year and declared free of the virus in his blood. But he had no way of knowing it still lurked in his eye.

At the time, his eyes were the least of his worries.

"There were lots of things sort of higher on the food chain," he told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360." "I was struggling to learn to walk again."

But not long after, mild burning and light sensitivity afflicted his eyes.

Less than two months later, he was back at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta; testing showed the virus was still living in his eye.


His case has left doctors stunned and highlighted the need for eye checkups for Ebola survivors.

Crozier, 44, was hospitalized at Emory University Hospital for more than a month in September after contracting the disease in Sierra Leone, where he worked at a hospital.

At the time, the hospital said he was the sickest of all the four Ebola patients treated there.

Crozier was discharged in October, and about two months later, he developed eye problems and returned to Emory. Doctors stuck a needle in his eye and removed some fluid, which tested positive for the virus.

Comment: "It wouldn't be surprising, in a very severe infection that is spread all over the body, to have some long-term damage to sensitive tissues like nerves," In addition, after a patient is cured, the virus may also persist in some parts of the body, including the eyes, and cause inflammation and vision problems, Goodman said.

After the 1995 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 15 percent of survivors developed eye problems, such as eye pain and vision loss. In the most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there have also been reports of survivors with vision problems, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These eye problems typically respond well to treatment, but if left untreated, they can lead to blindness, Goodman said.

Long term effects of Ebola?


Buyer beware: Tom's of Maine natural care products are not so natural

Tom's of Maine has become a mainstream brand among health-conscious consumers. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of these consumers are unaware of who owns Tom's of Main and what ingredients Tom's products contain. This might be shocking to some but Tom's of Maine isn't owned by Tom and is not from Maine. In fact, it's owned by a well-known corporate giant — Colgate-Palmolive of New York. In the United States alone, Colgate-Palmolive's 35% share mostly relies on a patented gingivitis formula which contains triclosan, a toxic chemical substance that reacts with the chlorine in tap water to become chloroform — a deadly chlorinated aromatic.


Can low-carb diet protect you from Alzheimer's?

Dr. Michael Noonan
It has been known for some time that diabetics are prone to a host of problems: poor circulation, vision, even back pain.

But it seems a new one has been added to the list: dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. According to one review of the published literature, diabetic patients had a 46 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer's and a whopping 250 percent increased risk of dementia caused by problems with blood supply to the brain. This is why these problems sometimes are called "Type 3" diabetes.

It appears the chronic high blood sugar associated with Types 1 and 2 diabetes is hard on the blood vessels. This, in turn, affects the tissues that rely on the oxygen and fuel these vessels' supply, including the brain.

I did not write this column to add to the woes of diabetics. But during my work with nutrition, I am amazed at how many diabetics, Types 1 and 2, still are eating carbohydrate-based diets, even if they are avoiding processed sugar.

Comment: Adopting a ketogenic diet could be the best thing you do for your brain and overall health.


Zika who? Costa Rica on alert following first confirmed cases of the virus in the Americas

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus are found throughout the world, meaning outbreaks could spread to new countries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has stated.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an epidemiological alert on the potential spread on the continent of the mosquito-borne viral disease Zika, which is similar to dengue and Chikungunya, but with milder symptoms.

Costa Rica's Health Ministry reported that the alert was prompted by the confirmation last month of the first cases of Zika in Brazil and on Chile's Easter Island.

"The island's proximity to the Polynesian Triangle prompted alerts for the Americas," Roberto Castro, from the ministry's Health Surveillance Department, said.

A Zika infection may go unnoticed or be misdiagnosed because like dengue and Chikungunya it causes fever, rashes, swelling of joints, headaches and red eye. Symptoms appear within three to 12 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms are usually mild and last from two to seven days.

The virus, also known as ZIKV, was first found in the Aedes africanus mosquito and later in the Aedes Aegypti and Aedes polynesiensis mosquitoes. There are also documented cases of transmission by other Aedes species including Albopictus, currently found in Costa Rica and which also carry Chikungunya.