Health & Wellness


Will big food control nutrition "Science?"

A new report details how Big Food appears to have captured yet another key nutrition group, the American Society of Nutrition.

You may remember that a few weeks back we reported on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' (AND) ill-fated partnership with Kraft Foods. Kraft was permitted to place the AND's "Kids Eat Right" logo on their Kraft Singles synthetic "cheese product." After the story broke, AND backpedaled.

This week saw the release of another report, this time exposing the ties between the American Society of Nutrition (ASN)—whose membership includes some of the nation's leading nutrition scientists and researchers—and junk food giants like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Monsanto, McDonald's, and Mars.

Comment: Even comedians can see how big food endlessly peddles it's processed junk food: Jon Stewart slams Big Food for 'Death menu of artificial chemicals, antibiotics and cool ranch carcinogens'

Arrow Up

France bans the sale of glyphosate

France is the latest country to ban the private sale of Monsanto's favorite carcinogen - glyphosate. France has been in the alternative news quite a bit lately, asking the makers of Nutella to stop using palm oil, insisting all new rooftops be covered in solar panels or plants, and mandating the donation of all supermarket food waste. This new move by their Ecology Minister is the latest result of their forward thinking.

The French aren't the only people around the world waking up to the effects of Roundup. Governments are now more likely to look for independent research to explain the uptick in the rates of diseases like cancer. Monsanto continues to bleat about the safety of glyphosates and their inability to harm humans, claiming that "the dose makes the poison." With the levels of glyphosates on the rise in our food, our soil, our air, and water, at what magic point does the saturation of our environment turn from harmful to poison? Are we willing to wait until that switch has been flipped with no hope of going back?

Comment: Monsanto herbicide faces global fallout after World Health Organization labels it a probable carcinogen

Eggs Fried

Vitamin K2: Essential nutrient for cardiovascular health and bone restoration

Most everyone, including many conventional physicians, have begun to appreciate the importance and value of vitamin D. Few, however, recognize the importance of vitamin K2, which is nearly as important as vitamin D.

Dr. Dennis Goodman,1 who was born in South Africa and trained at the University of Cape Town, has multiple board certifications in cardiology (and several subspecialties) and holistic integrative medicine.

After his internship at the Grootte Schuur Hospital—where Dr. Christian Barnard did the first heart transplant in 1967—he came to the US, where he did his cardiology fellowship at the at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where Dr. Michael DeBakey performed the first bypass surgery.


Study shows recurrent depression shrinks area of brain responsible for forming new memories

© decade3d - anatomy online/Shutterstock
The hippocampus, the part of the brain most associated with forming memories, appears to be smaller in people with major depressive disorder according to a new study.
Brain damage is caused by persistent depression rather than being a predisposing factor for it, researchers have finally concluded after decades of unconfirmed hypothesising.

A study published in Molecular Psychiatry today has proved once and for all that recurrent depression shrinks the hippocampus - an area of the brain responsible for forming new memories - leading to a loss of emotional and behavioural function.

Hippocampal shrinkage has long been linked to depression but previous studies haven't been conclusive. Small sample sizes, varying types of depression and treatment levels, as well as variance in methods for collecting and interpreting results, have together led to inconsistent and often conflicting findings.

Now, with the help of what co-author Ian Hickie from the Brain and Mind Research Institute has called "a new spirit of collaboration" a global, cross-sectional analysis of brain scans of 9,000 people has conclusively linked brain damage to depression.

Comment: As research has found links between depression and inflammation, learning to identify and avoid dietary and toxic exposures and modulate stress may help to prevent depressive episodes.

Black Magic

Monsanto to spend $1B to produce Dicamba, yet another toxic herbicide

A billion dollars would feed a lot of people for a very long time, but instead, Monsanto will spend this absurd amount of money to build a new plant in Luling, Louisiana to produce weed-killing, and health-damaging dicamba.

In an effort to expand its business after glyphosate was declared likely carcinogenic by the WHO, Monsanto has announced that it will focus on an alternative herbicide - dicamba. While the EPA only considers dicamba to be 'mildly toxic' thus far, and it has been used since the 1960s, research does link the chemical to colon cancer and lung cancers.

It is also very similar in its chemical make up to 2,4-D, another herbicide which was recently called 'possibly carcinogenic' by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Comment: Farmers and ranchers opposed to the use of dicamba and 2, 4-D herbicides have stated that these are both are likely to drift, posing serious threats to non-target crops, can be highly mobile in soil and easily contaminate water. According to the Center for Food Safety, epidemiology studies have tentatively linked exposure to dicamba to increased incidence of colon, lung and immune system cancers in pesticide applicators. Other pesticide applicators exposed to dicamba exhibited a 20% inhibition of an enzyme critical to brain function. This is hardly a benign pesticide!

Pesticide drift: USDA says "Yes" to Dicamba -tolerant crops

Tune in to this episode of the Health and Wellness show for more on environmental toxins.


Particulate matter from modern gasoline engines is harmful to our airways

© Frank Reiser/Paul Scherrer Institute
Smog chamber at the PSI with researchers involved in the study.
Particulate matter from gasoline engines is harmful to our airways, regardless of whether the engines are a bit older or comply with recent EU standards. Fine dust particles allow pathogens to enter the lungs easier. Researchers at the University of Bern and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have shown this conducting a realistic laboratory experiment.

According to the latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO), 7 million worldwide died early of the consequences of air pollution in 2012. Studies have shown for more than a decade that particulate matter (PM) in the air adversly affects health.

Besides primary particles, i.e. those emitted directly by the source, secondary particles, which are photochemically produced altered by sunlight, are of crucial importance: They are ubiquitous and can make up to 90 percent of the total particulate matter.

One important source of particulate matter are emissions from gasoline engines and it has only recently been discovered that these produce significant amounts of secondary particulate matter. However, their toxicity has largely not been investigated to date.

Comment: Air pollution kills 3.2 million people around the world every year


High consumption of fructose can lead to cardiac enlargement and heart failure

© ETH Zurich/Peter Mirtschnik and Tatiana Simka
High consumption of fructose can lead to uncontrolled growth of cardiomyocytes and heart attack.
'Walk through any supermarket and take a look at the labels on food products, and you'll see that many of them contain fructose, often in the form of sucrose (table sugar)' -- that's how Wilhelm Krek, professor for cell biology at ETH Zurich's Institute for Molecular Health Sciences, summarises the problem with today's nutrition. Prepared foods and soft drinks in particular, but even purportedly healthy fruit juices contain fructose as an artificial additive -- often in high quantities. In recent decades fructose spread throughout the food market, due to a reputation as being less harmful than glucose. In contrast to glucose, fructose barely increases blood glucose levels and insulin secretion. This avoids frequently recurring insulin spikes after any glucose consumption, which are judged harmful. In addition, fructose is sweeter to the taste.

But there's a downside: the liver converts fructose very efficiently into fat. People who consume too much high-fructose food can in time become overweight and develop high blood pressure, dyslipidaemia with fatty liver and insulin resistance -- symptoms that doctors group together under the name metabolic syndrome.

Comment: Fructose is so prevalent in the food system now, that it might be difficult for people eating the standard diet to avoid, or even to be aware how much they are consuming. It is important to carefully read labels and avoid processed or packaged foodstuffs to avoid consuming toxic sugar and fructose.

Bacon n Eggs

SOTT Radio Health and Wellness Episode #17 - The Mood Cure

The Health and Wellness show on the SOTT Radio Network covers topics of health, diet, science, homeopathy, wellness culture, and more. Tune in weekly!

Today we'll be discussing mood and mood-stabilizing supplements, four syndromes that affect mood, carbohydrate addiction, the gut brain connection and some possible solutions to neurotransmitter imbalances.

Included, as always, is the pet segment.

Here's the transcript of the show:


Florida man, 26, dies from bacterial infection he picked up in the Gulf

A Lake County man died from a bacteria more than a week ago and there is still no warning from the Health Department.

According to the victim's mother, the group was swimming about 2 miles south of Pine Island Beach in Hernando County in waist-deep water when her 26-year-old son, Cason Yeager, contracted the Vibrio Vulnificus. Now, she wants to put a warning out to everyone even a healthy man can fall victim to this bacterium.

"This has been a nightmare for me to say the least and nobody should have to go through this," said Karen Yeager, talking about the death of her son, who was swimming on June 14. Cason died two days later.

"He coded out again and then they worked on him for about 45 minutes and they could not bring him back," said Karen Yeager.

Yeager died on June 16, but his doctor at The Villages Regional Hospital didn't sign the death certificate until June 23 -- a full week later. Now, it's up to the state to notify the public.

"I think it's sad. I think it's very irresponsible," said Harold Young.


Only two weeks of inactivity causes a loss of one third of muscular strength

New research reveals that it only takes two weeks of not using their legs for young people to lose a third of their muscular strength, leaving them on par with a person who is 40-50 years their senior. The Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen conducted the research.

Time and again, we are told that we need to stay physically active and exercise daily. But how quickly do we actually lose our muscular strength and muscle mass if we go from being averagely active to being highly inactive? For example when we are injured, fall ill or simply take a very relaxing holiday. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have examined what happens to the muscles in younger and older men after a period of high inactivity, by way of so-called immobilization with a leg pad.

Comment: Those who are forced into inactivity due to injuries might consider engaging in visual exercise. Research has demonstrated that imagery exercises could be a valuable tool to prevent or slow muscles from becoming weaker when a health problem limits or restricts a person's mobility.

Mind over matter: Thinking about exercise can regulate muscle strength