Health & Wellness


How Berberine may benefit diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more

Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid compound found in several different plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.

Berberine has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties. It's effective against a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. It can be used topically on cuts and other wounds, and it's perhaps most commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including traveller's diarrhea and that from food poisoning.

However, what newer research is uncovering (and what traditional medicine has likely known for centuries) is that the benefits of berberine extend far beyond its antimicrobial properties. As reported in the Natural Medicine Journal:1
"In recent years, the botanical extract berberine has been pushed from relative obscurity to front and center on our supplement shelves due to newly published research. Over a third of the approximately 2,800 studies on berberine listed on PubMed were published in the last 5 years. These studies reveal that berberine may have clinical applications in a range of conditions."


BPA alternative disrupts normal brain-cell growth, is tied to hyperactivity

© David McNew/Getty Images
In a groundbreaking study, researchers have shown why a chemical once thought to be a safe alternative to bisphenol-A, which was abandoned by manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups after a public outcry, might itself be more harmful than BPA.

University of Calgary scientists say they think their research is the first to show that bisphenol-S, an ingredient in many products bearing "BPA-free" labels, causes abnormal growth surges of neurons in an animal embryo.

The same surges were also found with BPA, though not at the same levels as with BPS, prompting the scientists to suggest that all structurally similar compounds now in use or considered for use by plastic manufacturers are unsafe.

"A lot of the alternative chemicals have not been adequately tested because they don't have to be," said lead author Deborah Kurrasch. "A compound is considered safe (by the Food and Drug Administration) until proven otherwise."

The disruption of prenatal cellular activity in zebra fish, which share 80 percent of their genes with humans and are considered a good model for studying human brain development, seemed to result in hyperactivity, according to the Canadian study, which was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Comment: In short, BPA-free plastic can be worse than BPA plastic.


Why most doctors are dead wrong about osteoporosis

What if everything your doctor told you about osteoporosis and osteopenia was wrong?
What if osteoporosis were not the primary cause of fractures in aging populations? What if both the definitions of osteoporosis and osteopenia used to justify pharmaceutical treatment were both misleading and age inappropriate?

These are questions we explored in a previous exposé titled, "Osteoporosis Myth: The Dangers of High Bone Mineral Density," wherein we explored evidence showing the so-called "osteoporosis epidemic" is not an evidence-based concept but a manufactured one designed to serve the interests of a growing industrial medical/pharmaceutical complex.

Now, a powerful new paper published in the Journal of Internal Medicine titled, "Osteoporosis: the emperor has no clothes," confirms that the primary cause of what are normally labeled "osteoporotic fractures" are falls and related modifiable lifestyle factors and not osteoporosis, i.e. abnormally "porous" or low-density bones.

Comment: Important information, considering that popular osteoporosis drugs triple the risk of bone necrosis!


FDA approves OxyContin prescriptions for children as young as 11

© Getty Images
OxyContin is a pain medicine that can be deadly if abused.
The infamously untrustworthy Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has furthered its reputation as one of America's most beloved hypocrites with its latest motion. It was reported on Thursday that the FDA has just approved OxyContin prescriptions for children between the ages of 11 and 16 years-old.

For those unfamiliar, OxyContin is an opiate-based pharmaceutical painkiller used to ease severe pain. Aside from being known for its powerful effects on users, it is also notorious for its widespread abuse. Its effects on the mind and body are strikingly similar to heroin, making it dangerously addictive. It typically contains anywhere between 40-160 milligrams of OxyCodone, which lasts around 12 hours thanks to its extended release. However, abusers generally crush the pills to inhale or inject them with a syringe by mixing it with water, thus receiving a dose that is meant to stretch over a 12-hour span almost instantly.

After a 2004 study was abandoned due to an apparent lack of monetary resources, the FDA announced that pediatric studies on the effects of OxyContin would be underway in order to establish whether or not this pharmaceutical version of heroin should be available for children. After a very short period of trials and research, the FDA has concluded that three years is enough time to evaluate the long-term effects of extended use of a highly potent drug in children. Keep in mind that the FDA is the same government organization that has lumped marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms into the same category as Schedule 1 narcotics, deeming them to have zero medicinal value and heightened potential for abuse (because we all know a handful of people addicted to psychedelic mushrooms, right?).

Comment: Without real long-term effect studies showing the risks involved with prescribing such powerful opiates to children, the FDA is essentially gambling with these children's lives!

See also: The "institutional corruption" of Psychiatry: A discussion with the authors of 'Psychiatry Under the Influence'

Arrow Down

Drinking water is becoming increasing scarce and toxic

© redOrbit
Drinking pure water every day is a key component of optimal health, yet more than one billion people on Earth do not have access to safe, clean drinking water.

Not only is much of the water for the one billion contaminated with infectious organisms, but more than likely the vast majority of the planet has toxins in their municipal drinking water.

Two of the primary water polluters are large-scale monocrop farms and confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US states with high concentrations of CAFOs report 20 to 30 serious water quality problems each year.

These operations are also depleting aquifers of valuable drinking water. Agriculture actually uses 70 percent of the world's fresh water.

Comment: For more information on why you should be filtering your drinking water, see:


Microbial companions of both humans and animals are highly specialized

© Credit: © University of Basel
Microorganisms like these bacteria on the skin of a small crustacean are the constant companions of humans and animals. Researchers at the University of Basel were now able to show, that these microbial communities are dominated by species that are highly specialized to their host.
Humans and animals are never alone. Everyone is host to over two thousand different species of microbes, of which most colonize our bodies only after we are born. One would assume that the generalists among them have an advantage. Zoologists have now shown that the opposite is the case. Microbial communities living on humans and animals are mostly dominated by specialists.

It has long been known that almost all organisms have microbial companions. However, only about ten years ago did researchers find out that these bacterial communities are extremely rich in species. Humans and other mammals are often hosts to several thousand species, and even minute organisms like water fleas can carry over one hundred species. This knowledge only became available by the use of genetic methods, that allowed researchers to sequence all genes of a single ecosystem (for example of the human intestine) at once. Data resulting from this method was also analyzed for the new study of the research group of Dieter Ebert, Zoologist from the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Basel.

Comment: MIcrobes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, pandemic. New studies show our pets are colonized with greater relative abundances of Proteobacteria, while people were colonized with greater relative abundances of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Humans in households without pets were more similar to each other than humans in pet-owning households, suggesting that companion animals may play a role in microbial transfer.

The human microbiome has the potential to uniquely identify individuals much like a fingerprint. We are our bacteria. Every person is host to about 100 trillion bacterial cells which outnumber human cells 10 to one and account for 99.9 percent of the unique genes in the body. When they go awry they are thought to contribute to chronic diseases and chronic conditions. Every adult body carries two to five pounds of bacteria, and half of the contents of the intestines is microbial biomass.


India finds toxic lead in Nestle Maggi noodles

© Agence France-Presse photo
India is pursuing a $100 million case against the Swiss food giant Nestle over "unfair trade practices." Despite high levels of lead found in Nestle's popular Maggi noodles, a court overturned a national ban, insisting on fresh tests before sales resume.

The official complaint against Nestle involves damages caused by misleading advertisements related to the Maggi noodles product. The lawsuit was filed with the country's top consumer court, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), requesting damages of 6,400 million rupees ($98.6 million).

"Our complaint is over their unfair trade practices and the court will now issue them notices to hear their response," AFP quoted Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, G. Gurcharan, as saying. The food safety regulator banned Maggi noodles in June, citing unsafe levels of lead, which were found during laboratory tests ordered back in April. The tests also revealed that the flavor enhancing chemical monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is not listed in the product's ingredients.

Comment: See also:


The "institutional corruption" of Psychiatry: A discussion with the authors of 'Psychiatry Under the Influence'

What does psychiatry have in common with the US Congress? "Institutional corruption," concludes Psychiatry Under the Influence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which investigates how drug company money and psychiatry's own guild interests have corrupted psychiatry during the past 35 years.

Coauthored by investigative reporter Robert Whitaker and psychologist Lisa Cosgrove, the foreword for Psychiatry Under the Influence is written by Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig, who helped create Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics' lab on institutional corruption (where both Whitaker and Cosgrove served as fellows).

Whitaker and Cosgrove - as does Lessig - distinguish between "individual" versus "institutional" corruption, between a "bad apple" versus a "bad barrel." In individual corruption, a politician takes an illegal bribe. But in institutional corruption, nothing illegal may be occurring when, for example, politicians raise campaign money via special interest political action committees (PACS). And just as elected officials develop dependency on special interests and become beholden to these funders instead of the citizenry, Whitaker and Cosgrove conclude, the same thing has occurred in psychiatry, which has had its social mission subverted by drug companies as well as by the psychiatry guild's self-preservation and expansionism needs.

Comment: Once again we see how Dr. Andrew M. Lobaczewski's seminal book, Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes is applicable to ALL fields of endeavor, not just the political. Authors Whitaker and Cosgrove seem to be approaching a similarly constructive approach to identifying the underlying structural causes for corruption in Psychiatry.

See also: Medical insider: "science has taken a turn towards darkness"


Much of world's food supply contaminated by highly-acidic mycotoxins from cereals and other grains

Many people are familiar with black mold and certain fungi, but did you know that being exposed to them can have serious side effects - including cancer? What's more, these fungi could be lurking in some common, everyday places that may surprise you.

But, now, let's focus on the concept of mycotoxins and how these poisons can increase your risk of cancer. Mycotoxins are substances produced through the metabolic processes of certain micro fungi. According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, the most common forms of mycotoxins relevant to humans and animals are: aflatoxin, citrinin, ergot akaloids, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, patulin, trichothecenes, and zearalenone (ZEA).

Comment: Both conventional and organic grain products are equally susceptible to mycotoxin contamination and cooking contaminated grains does not appear to reduce their concentrations. This, in addition to the toxic effects of gluten is yet another reason to avoid cereal grains, altogether.


'Urgent' investigation launched into effects of cosmic rays on airplanes

© Alamy
The Government has ordered Public Health England to conduct an 'urgent' investigation into the repercussions of increased radiation caused by a huge explosion of high energy particles from the surface of the sun
Airline passengers could be vulnerable to the effects of cosmic rays from the sun during a massive solar storm, a new report has found.

The Government has ordered Public Health England to conduct an 'urgent' investigation into the repercussions of increased radiation caused by a huge explosion of high energy particles from the surface of the sun.

This comes as a report into the UK's Space Weather Preparedness outlines what needs to be done to cope with a major burst of 'space weather.'

The document produced by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) states: 'The direct impact on public health from the increased radiation environment, which is most likely to affect the general public if they are travelling by air on trans-oceanic routes during the storm, is assessed to be small.

'However, the work on this area being led by Public Health England needs to be completed urgently.

'That will lead to a report that sets out recommendations for protecting public health from solar radiation.'

Comment: Given increased cosmic rays and radiation, could there be a link to increasing rates of cancer? Are there other health hazards and/or DNA mutations that changing quantities/qualities of cosmic rays are capable of producing? See also:

Solar-system-wide-'climate' change: More galactic cosmic rays are reaching Earth than normal

Cosmic rays: Growing peril for astronauts?