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Depression is an allergic reaction to inflammation - new research discovers

© American Heart Association
New research is revealing that many cases of depression are caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation. Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: "Inflammation is our immune system's natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines." Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and other causes.
Hotdog

Is the junk-food era drawing to a close?

© Keith Homan/Shutterstock
Not long ago, the great processed-food companies like Kraft and Kellogg's towered over the US food landscape like the high hat that adorned the head of Chef Boyardee, the iconic canned-spaghetti magnate whose empire is now owned by ConAgra.

But now, Big Food has fallen on hard times. Conagra, which owns Hunts, Reddi Whip, Ro-Tell, Swiss Miss, and Orville Redenbacher along with Chef Boyardee, recently slashed its 2015 profit projections and sacked its CEO. Kraft—purveyor of Oscar Mayer deli meats, Jello, Maxwell House coffee, and Velveeta cheese—also recently shook up top management and reported sluggish sales in 2014. Cereal titan Kellogg's has seen its sales plunge 5.4 percent over the past year, Ad Age reports.
Health

Here's what happens to your brain when you give up sugar

© Shutterstock
Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a huge sweet tooth. I always have. My friend and fellow graduate student Andrew is equally afflicted, and living in Hershey, Pennsylvania - the "Chocolate Capital of the World" - doesn't help either of us.

But Andrew is braver than I am. Last year, he gave up sweets for Lent. I can't say that I'm following in his footsteps this year, but if you are abstaining from sweets for Lent this year, here's what you can expect over the next 40 days.

Sugar: natural reward, unnatural fix

In neuroscience, food is something we call a "natural reward." In order for us to survive as a species, things like eating, having sex and nurturing others must be pleasurable to the brain so that these behaviours are reinforced and repeated.

Comment: Sugar is not worth it. For more information, see:

Beaker

More scientists blame Fluoride: Underactive thyroid issues, depression, weight gain

© Jenny Downing
A new study out of the UK shows once again just how dangerous water fluoridation is.

This time, a look at 98 percent of GP practices found that high rates of underactive thyroid were 30 percent more likely to show up in areas with, surprise surprise, the greatest degree of water fluoridation.

Via Fluoride Action Network:
[The study] found a relatively strong and statistically significant effect, with General Practice (GP) areas being 62% more likely to have high rates of diagnosed hypothyroidism if their drinking water fluoride levels were above 0.7ppm compared to areas with fluoride levels below 0.3ppm. This was after researchers had accounted for key confounders, which are other factors that influence hypothyroid rates.
Via The Telegraph:
...new research from the University of Kent suggests that there is a spike in the number of cases of underactive thyroid in high fluoride areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England...

It could mean that up to 15,000 people are suffering needlessly from thyroid problems which can cause depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles.

Comment: Fluoridation is the Ultimate Deception:

Magnify

The GMO propaganda campaign in Africa that's full of lies and fabrications

According to Mathew Holehouse in the UK's Telegraph newspaper (here), former UK Environment Minister Owen Paterson will this week accuse the European Union and Greenpeace of condemning people in the developing world to death by refusing to accept genetically modified crops. Speaking in Pretoria, South Africa, on Tuesday, Paterson will warn that a food revolution that could save Africa from hunger is being held back and that the world is on the cusp of a green revolution, of the kind that fed a billion people in the 1960s and 1970s as the world's population soared.

After talking about a growing global population and the pivotal role of GMOs in feeding it, Paterson will assert:
"This is also a time, however, of great mischief, in which many individuals and even governments are turning their backs on progress. Not since the original Luddites smashed cotton mill machinery in early 19th century England, have we seen such an organised, fanatical antagonism to progress and science. These enemies of the Green Revolution call themselves 'progressive', but their agenda could hardly be more backward-looking and regressive... their policies would condemn billions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment. And their insistence on mandating primitive, inefficient farming techniques would decimate the earth's remaining wild spaces, devastate species and biodiversity, and leave our natural ecology poorer as a result."
Instead of parroting the corporate spin of the pro-GMO lobby, Paterson would do better to consider more viable options that he likes to denigrate as 'backward-looking and regressive' by listening to what Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated in April of last year:
"We don't have a goal of developing GM products here or to import them. We can feed ourselves with normal, common, not genetically modified products. If the Americans like to eat such products, let them eat them. We don't need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food." (see here)
Or maybe Paterson would benefit from heeding a Statement signed by 24 delegates from 18 African countries to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in 1998:
"We strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia, and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves."
Beaker

Water fluoridation linked to 30 percent higher than expected rates of hypothyroidism

fluoride poison
© unknown
Water fluoridation above a certain level is linked to 30 per cent higher than expected rates of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) in England, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The findings prompt the researchers to call for a rethink of public health policy to fluoridate the water supply in a bid to protect the nation's tooth health.

In England, around 10 per cent of the population (6 million) live in areas with a naturally or artificially fluoridated water supply of 1 mg fluoride per litre of drinking water.

The researchers looked at the 2012 levels of fluoride in the drinking water supply, using data provided by the Drinking Water Inspectorate for individual postcodes.

And they looked at the national prevalence of underactive thyroid diagnosed by family doctors in England in 2012-13 and recorded in their national quality and incentive scheme (QOF) returns. Complete data were provided for 7935 general practices out of a total of 8020.

Comment: There have been many studies showing the deleterious effects of fluoride. In addition to under-active thyroid, fluoride has been shown to be a neurotoxin and disrupts DNA repair enzymes. Thus it prematurely ages the body, mainly by distortion of enzyme shape which results in collagen breakdown, tissue damage, skin wrinkling, genetic damage, and immune suppression. The fact that this poison is still added to drinking water supplies in spite of research consistently showing its dangers, should make everyone think about why government officials have not mandated its removal. If you still think they have your best interests in mind, perhaps it is time to reconsider.

Arrow Down

Big pharma is America's new Mafia

Big Pharma
© iStockphoto
Pharmaceutical companies have more power than ever, and the American people are paying the price—too often with our lives.

By now you have probably seen John Oliver's comic take on the pharmaceutical industry's influence on doctors' prescribing habits. Media outlets from Mother Jones to the Wall Street Journal commented admiringly, and even the American Medical Association felt compelled to declare they were "committed to transparency" around drug company payments to doctors.

But satire will do very little to focus on the real problem if we're distracted by the humor inherent in self-important doctors being bought off by a steak. What's not funny is that America is the most medicated nation on earth, with some 70 percent of Americans taking prescription drugs—yet we have worse health outcomes than other industrialized countries. Part of the problem may be the drugs themselves. As Slate's devastating expose on the fraud in clinical drug trials shows us: We don't know much about the drugs we prescribe.

But as physicians, we have very little good information to go on. Even our most prestigious journals publish research based on falsified studies, according to Charles Seife, a journalism professor whose class spent a semester trying to figure out why the data don't get corrected once research fraud comes to light. "As a result," Seife writes, "nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses."

If no one knows which data is bogus, we obviously have a big problem in conventional medicine. Perhaps we shouldn't be so focused on marketing shenanigans, and more concerned about the original study data before something becomes standard of care. Standard of care, of course, is driven by "research" that is incorporated into academic guidelines and is the basis of customer demand.

Understanding consumer demand takes very little study—just turn on the TV. Every year pharmaceutical companies spend over $3 billion on direct-to-consumer ads. These ads work: a patient who requests a specific drug will get it most of the time. (We are, by the way, the only country besides New Zealand that allows this.) But the question of how something becomes part of a recommended guideline is less obvious—and has a lot to do with pharmaceutical money paid to academic physicians in research and consulting fees.
Magic Wand

More healthy reasons to come to the yoga mat

© ethnichealthtips.com
Long revered for its spiritual and mental benefits, yoga is fast becoming equally valued for its benefits in reversing the effects of modern chronic diseases.

For more than 5,000 years humans have practiced the ancient Indian art of yoga. Long revered for its spiritual and mental benefits, yoga is fast becoming equally valued for its benefits in reversing the effects of modern chronic diseases.

A new study from Harvard University finds that yoga has particular benefits for your heart.

In a meta-analysis of 32 randomized controlled trials, researchers concluded that a yoga practice lowers heart disease risks as well as the risks of metabolic syndrome.[i]

Metabolic syndrome is defined as having at least three of the following metabolic risk factors - increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excess body fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels. It greatly increases the chance of cardiovascular problems.[ii]

Comment: Why Yoga? Healing research:

Airplane

Warning over toxic fumes in plane cabins

Richard Westgate
© Cascade
Richard Westgate died in 2012 after claiming he had been poisoned by toxic cabin fumes.
Toxic fumes in cabin air pose a health risk to frequent fliers and aircrew, a coroner has said in a landmark report.

Stanhope Payne, the senior coroner for Dorset, said people regularly exposed to fumes circulating in planes faced "consequential damage to their health".

Mr Payne, who is inquiring into the death of Richard Westgate, a British Airways pilot, called on BA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to take "urgent action to prevent future deaths". Most airline passengers, who fly only occasionally, will not be affected by the problem, but some frequent travellers who are genetically susceptible to the toxins could fall ill.

Mr Payne's call for urgent action is likely to be welcomed by campaigners who have raised similar concerns for a number of years.

His report, obtained by the Telegraph, is the first official UK recognition of so-called "aerotoxic syndrome", a phenomenon long denied by airlines but which is blamed by some for the deaths of at least two pilots and numerous other incidents where pilots have passed out in flight. Co-pilots can normally take over, but campaigners claim the syndrome is a suspected cause of some mid-air disasters.

Frank Cannon, the lawyer for Mr Westgate's case, said: "This report is dynamite. It is the first time a British coroner has come to the conclusion that damage is being done by cabin air, something the industry has been denying for years."

Mr Cannon said he was acting for approximately 50 other aircrew allegedly affected by the syndrome, working for airlines including Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Thomas Cook and EasyJet. He is also representing two passengers.

Commercial passenger planes have a system which compresses air from the engines and uses it to pressurise the cabin. But it can malfunction, with excess oil particles entering the air supply.

In a confined space, with the air recirculated, the cumulative effect on frequent fliers, especially aircrew, can be harmful, the coroner said.

Comment:
U.S. Airways Flight Attendant Says: Toxic Airplane Cabin Air Sickening Flight Crews

Aerotoxic Syndrome - Toxic Airline Cabin Air Could be Making You Sick

Airplane Cabin Air Filled with Toxic Chemicals

Airlines are ignoring studies revealing toxic effects of contaminated air entering the cabin and cockpit

Is cabin air making us sick?

Apple Red

More mad science! Feds approve GMO apple

© nytimes.com
A new genetically modified apple that doesn't brown when cut open or bruised finally has been cleared to be grown in the U.S.

An arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday — after a three-year wait — that the Okanagan Specialty Fruit's Arctic Apple in Golden and Granny varieties doesn't pose any harm to other plants or pests. The apple won't be at grocery stores yet, though this was its last major regulatory hurdle. The company is still waiting on the conclusion of a voluntary review by the FDA before the apple can enter the market place.

Comment: As the debate over the health and safety of GMO foods continues and concerned consumers continue the push for GMO labeling, this new revelation by the feds to push yet another mad science experiment on the American public isn't really surprising!

It is becoming more and more obvious that American consumers are being bombarded with more products they don't want or need! Notice how the author states in the final portion of this article that based on the 'regulatory environment' in the U.S. these 'mad science projects' are being exported to countries like Brazil where they may be more openly excepted! For more information on GMO apples read the following:

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