Health & Wellness

Life Preserver

Virus might be the cure for deadly honeybee disease

Honeybees lives may depend on a beneficial virus.
For honeybees losing their babies to a deadly disease, help may soon be on the way in the form of a virus that attacks bacteria and self-replicates until the job is done.

The disease is called American Foulbrood, a bacteria that kills bee larvae and is highly contagious. Its presence in a hive doesn't harm adult bees, but they can still spread it from hive to hive. Over time, as larvae die and bee populations can't replenish themselves, the whole colony can collapse.

Losses to the beekeeping industry to this disease can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and its presence drastically cuts the number of bees that are able to pollinate plants.

There may be no choice but to destroy the hive.
Beekeepers can try to cure the hive with antibiotics, but that's not a perfect solution: The bacteria can and often do come back stronger, more resistant to the treatment. When that happens, the beekeepers have to seal up the hive and burn it.

Or, they may be able to try sending phages on search and destroy missions to eradicate American Foulbrood.

The bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that tracks down specific bacteria. Bryan Merrill, an undergraduate at BYU, got the idea to treat American Foulbrood using phages after enrolling in a class that dealt with phage identification exclusively.
phage and bacterium
© Lee D. Simon, photo researchers
Phages (orange) prey on a lone bacterium.
He approached Sandra Burnett, BYU professor of microbiology and molecular biology, who agreed to supervise Merrill on his research into a natural way to get rid of American Foulbrood.

"Phages are the most abundant life form on the planet and each phage has a unique bacteria that it will attack," explained Burnett in a release. "This makes phage an ideal treatment for bacterial disease because it can target specific bacteria while leaving all other cells alone."

Comment: What viruses are beneficial to humans? Certainly we must be able to utilize phages for some of the "illnesses" to which we are afflicted.

Phages are the most abundant organisms on Earth and thrive wherever bacteria grow, constantly evolving to keep up with mutating bacteria strains. They are a normal part of the human environment and are commonly consumed via foods and drinking water. Phage therapy applications (in research and development) will include food safety, vet applications for bacterial infections that cause animal morbidity/mortality, environmental sanitation especially for hospitals, and human therapeutics for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Phage therapy was first used in Paris 90 years ago but abandoned by Western medicine for antibiotics. The advantages to phages are: specificity, exclusive locality, no side effects, bacterial resistance is futile, and the development process is rapid. Antibiotics target all microorganisms, do not concentrate at the site of infection, produce multiple side effects, have multi-resistant strains with no effect, and development of new antibiotics is expensive and takes several years.

Only six clinics in 5 different countries offer phage therapy. Hopefully it will make its way into mainstream treatment, but big pharma is running the show and they will squeeze every penny out of the antibiotic cash cow for as long as possible.

Arrow Up

Laughter: Better than pharmaceuticals & affects the body like exercise

It's no secret that laughter is good for you and, even when indulged in liberally, is gloriously free of side effects. Laughter is a simple stress reducer, a kind of natural Valium, but is also allows us to connect to other people in such unique ways, that it cannot be duplicated through any other method. A body of evidence shows that laughing not only works better than medication, but stimulates hormonal levels in ways similar to exercise.

One pioneer in laughter research, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. He wasn't kidding. There is no doubt that laughter improves health.

Norman Cousins first suggested the idea that humor and the associated laughter can benefit a person's health in the 1970s. His ground-breaking work, as a layperson diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, documented his use of laughter in treating himself -- with medical approval and oversight -- into remission. He published his personal research results in the New England Journal of Medicine and is considered one of the original architects of mind-body medicine.

Comment: Laugh your way to better health:

Light Saber

Regular strength training enhances cognitive performance and helps fight dementia

resistance exercise1
The fear of losing cognitive ability tends to overshadow the fear of physical disability; 60 percent of American adults say they are "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about memory loss.1

Chances are, you're among this majority. The good news is that your brain is a dynamic organ, constantly adapting and changing, for better or for worse.

While some activities, such as lack of sleep, can have a detrimental effect on your memory and brain function, a healthy lifestyle will support your brain health over the long haul, and can even encourage your brain to grow new neurons - a process known as neurogenesis or neuroplasticity.

This phenomenon was not known when I was in medical school. Back then, we were taught that the loss of brain cells was an irreversible condition and there was nothing you could do to change it.

Study reveals two strains Ebola virus remain infectious on surfaces for almost two months

ebola virus
Study revealed virus remains infectious for extended periods of time

The deadly virus can survive for more than seven weeks on certain surfaces according to research conducted by the UK's Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.

Tests performed prior to the latest Ebola outbreak in 2010 showed the Zaire strain lived in samples in low temperatures on glass for nearly two months.

The results were published in a paper by Sophie Smither and her colleagues at the laboratory. Titled "The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol," the study details the results of tests on two filovirus strains, the Lake Victoria marburgvirus and Zaire ebolavirus.

The viruses were placed into guinea pig tissue samples and tested for their ability to survive in different liquids and on different surfaces at various temperatures. Three samples stored at 39 degrees Fahrenheit were recovered after 26 days from glass and plastic surfaces. The Zaire strain of Ebola was active after 50 days.

Comment: While the CDC is still trying to convince people that the PTB have everything under control, it is becoming more obvious to those who are paying attention, that the virus poses more risks than they are willing to concede and that hospitals are woefully unprepared to deal with the crisis. Taking responsibility for your own health is of paramount importance. If you begin to implement changes to your health regime now, you will have a much better chance of fighting off infection.

Cupcake Pink

Pretty sweet: John Oliver's takedown of the sugar industry

Last night, John Oliver's Last Week Tonight got a jumpstart on this week's news: SUGAR!!! (Brought to you by the makers of Halloween™.) And instead of making fun of obese, diabetic, candy-gobbling Americans - which is easy, considering that we'll spend a total of $2.2 billion on the stuff this Halloween - he slammed the high-powered industry behind those spooky diabetes and obesity rates.

For a treat, Oliver offers up a video clip of the sleepy president of The Sugar Association, for instance, arguing that there's been "plenty of science that exonerates sugar, that clarifies sugar does not contribute to obesity or diabetes." Problem is, as Oliver points out, what little of such science there is usually comes from researchers who are paid gobs of money by totally unbiased groups like the Corn Refiners Association.

These kinds of groups are precisely the ones battling a new FDA proposal for an "added sugar" label, too, given how freaking much sugar is snuck into regular, non-Halloweeny foods. ("Look at Clamato juice," Oliver says. "'The Original Tomato Cocktail With Clam.' They clearly thought, 'Let's improve the taste by adding sugar.' Instead of thinking, 'Let's improve the taste by removing the clam.'")

Point is, this clip is awesome, and we heart you, too, John Oliver - especially for that brutally honest description of the circus peanut.

The mysterious polio-like disease affecting American kids

Columbus, Ohio - More than 100 cases of a polio-like syndrome causing full or partial paralysis of the arms or legs have been seen in children across the United States in recent months, according to doctors attending the annual meeting of the Child Neurology Society.

Symptoms have ranged from mild weakness in a single arm to complete paralysis of arms, legs, and even the muscles controlling the lungs, leading in some cases to a need for surgery to insert a breathing tube, doctors said.

The outbreak, which appears to be larger and more widespread than what has largely been previously reported by medical and news organizations, has neurologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scrambling to find out what is causing these cases and how best to treat it.

"We don't know how to treat it, and we don't know how to prevent it," said Keith Van Haren, a child neurologist at Stanford University School of Medicine. "It actually looks just like polio, but that term really freaks out the public-health people."

'Fluids, rest and prayer' are the only things a hospital can offer an Ebola patient, says ER doc

A severely botched Ebola case (which resulted in at least two more cases) has turned a Dallas, Texas hospital into a virtual ghost town, with its ER visits dropping 50% and revenue dropping 25% since it happened. When I called the place, the woman in the ER who answered the phone refused to even tell me what the wait time would be if I showed up in the ER (per what she said was hospital "policy"); must be a new policy, because when ABC News asked a few days before me, they got an answer of "zero wait time" in a hospital where it used to be an hour.

People are realizing that going to the hospital in the case of Patient Zero Thomas Eric Duncan did not make his situation any better and by the second time, only prolonged the inevitable while putting other people in harm's way.

Why? Because, per the nurses' own statement on the shocking events that went on in that hospital during Duncan's care, the facility was not even remotely prepared.

Comment: For more information on strengthening your immune system and not having to mistakenly rely on Big Pharma to keep you safe from Ebola see:

Pestilence, the Great Plague, and the Tobacco Cure

Natural treatments for Ebola virus exist, research suggests

Natural allopathic treatment modalities for Ebola virus

The Ketogenic Diet.


Monsanto's pharmaceutically "enhanced" GMO foods

We have all been concerned about the implications of Genetically Modified (GM) foods. And one company that has received much controversy is Monsanto; established in 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Their involvement in countless controversial endeavors is nothing short than an attack on humanity!

As a refresher, let's briefly take a look at some of Monsanto's accomplishments.
  • Artificial Food Substitutes such as Saccharin (artificial sweetener) - blamed for many health issues including cancer.
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) - One of the Greatest Pollutants to Air, Water, and Soil, partially banned in 1973 due to serious health complications including cancer.
  • Dayton Project & Manhattan Project - The development of Atomic and Nuclear Weapons
  • Partnered with Bayer - a chemical and pharmaceutical company
  • Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) - Widely used Insecticidal, later banned in 1972 due to serious health complications including cancer as well as the near extinction of many birds including the Bald Eagle.
  • Herbicide Orange (Better Known as Agent Orange) - Used during the Vietnam War, nearly 1,000,000 people were either killed or permanently damaged by its use (including US soldiers). Reportedly over 4.5 million people were exposed, and an estimated 500,000 children were later born with defects. Today, health problems continue to persist due to environmental changes resulting from the extensive use of Agent Orange.
  • First to develop the Genetically Modified Plant in 1982
  • Bought G.D. Searle & Company (Searle) - a pharmaceutical company which focuses on agriculture and life sciences.

How to improve your gut health

We've all heard the saying, "listen to your gut." And while that advice often refers to our intuition, it should also speak to our digestion. Your gut guides your overall well-being. Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. Yet it's all too common to experience lots of digestive issues that make a huge impact on our strength and vitality. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health.

I know it may seem like there's always something we could be doing better. And frankly, our quest for getting well can be downright exhausting! Sometimes our health issues can feel so big and daunting. This is especially true when it comes to serious chronic diseases. I remember getting frustrated many times. I thought to myself, for gosh sake, I'm doing everything I can to heal this disease and though I'm grateful it's still stable, why won't the sucker just go away? I give up! Then I decided to take it down a notch and focus on healing areas of my life and my body that I actually could control. My digestion had always been really weak. I got colds every year and had a list of health problems stemming from my gut. That's when the light bulb went off.I decided to forget about cancer and focus my energy on my digestive health instead. Finally, improvements I could see, feel and measure!

By supporting this mighty system, you'll see chronic health issues (like fatigue, fogginess, colds, aches and pains) diminish, and you'll feel abundant energy return. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really isn't. I've experienced these results, and I've seen hundreds of readers do the same. Now it's your turn.

Today, we're going to cover the basics of digestive health. You'll learn what your gut does and why it's so important to keep it healthy. Then, we'll discuss how to care for your wonderful gut so that it continues to take care of glorious you. Let's dive in!

Comment: Learn more about how diet can effect the intricate balance of gut flora composition: The best approach to balance gut flora is by dietary changes and nutritional supplements like probiotics. For more information, please visit the diet and health forum.


The evils of High Fructose Corn Syrup: It really is that bad for you

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an insidious chemical that has crept into our food supply over the past few decades. Today HFCS represents1 more than 40 percent of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages.

HFCS can contain anywhere from 55 to 90 percent fructose and is derived from corn, a heavily subsidized (read: cheap) crop. Manufacturers love HFCS because, especially when compared to regular sugar, it's cheaper, sweeter and produced in abundance.

Not surprisingly, HFCS's ubiquity in the 1980s correlated with the beginning of the obesity epidemic. Other factors, including increased portion sizes, certainly play a role, but the inclusion of HFCS in soft drinks and other sweetened beverages merits serious consideration as an important cause of the obesity epidemic.

Comment: The Dirty Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup...