Health & Wellness


Oh, great! GMO tomatoes are making a comeback

The beloved tomato is the one fruit many still think is a vegetable. Few also realize that tomatoes were one of the first commercially available genetically modified (GM) crops ever. Under the guise of incorporating healthier and concentrated natural compounds, GM tomatoes are about to make a comeback on new research that aims to pack in the same amount of resveratrol as 50 bottles of red wine into one tomato.

Earlier forms of this GM crop included the transgenic tomato (FlavrSavr) which had a "deactivated" gene. This meant that the tomato plant was no longer able to produce polygalacturonase, an enzyme involved in fruit softening. The premise was that tomatoes could be left to ripen on the vine and still have a long shelf life, thus allowing them to develop their full flavour. Normally, tomatoes are picked well before they are ripe and are then ripened artificially.

These GM tomatoes, however, did not meet their expectations. Although they were approved in the US and several other countries, tomatoes with delayed ripening have disappeared from the market after peaking in 1998.

Comment: GMO or not, try avoiding nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant may trigger arthritis and pain conditions in some people.


Psychiatry, Big Pharma and the State-sanctioned drug cartel

"I just think it is time we try something new," said the doctor to his patient, "It's called Abilify."

"But I've been doing well," the patient pleaded, "I have had no problems for over six months and I am feeling fine."

"Well, you are on an involuntary (civil) commitment and I would hate to have to extend that 18 months," said the doctor, "You understand that the court will always do what the doctor recommends, and I think that you are in need of a switch to Abilify."

This is a conversation that I overheard when I first started working at a county hospital. I was new and trying to learn from these wonderful doctors that I believed were there to help people. This facility saw the "sickest" patients in the county, and I thought this would give me an incredible opportunity to learn. As this was one of the first conversations I heard, I was certainly learning... and slowly discovering that the label of "sick" is being placed on the wrong individual in this context.

Comment: Trapped by psychiatric drugs
Excessive diagnoses, over-medication, industry corruption, social stigmas, and moral decline are heavy fines the public now pays for easy access to psychiatric drugs. But research indicates long-term physical effects may present the hardest bill to pay. They stem from the action of psychotropics within the body's central nervous system.

Red Flag

Beauty product myths: Is there really such thing as "100% preservative-free"?

In the wake of the great escape from parabens, it's getting a little confusing out there.

You may already know how to read beauty labels. And have read about the risks associated with parabens, a group of preservatives used in many mainstream beauty products. So when you see natural beauty labels touting "100% preservative-free," it sounds great, right?

Not so fast, say experts. If you're talking about a product with any water in it, for example, a world without preservatives is a world with mold, bacteria, and microbial growth.

"I worry about a lot of those products that say [they're] preservative-free,"says California-based cosmetic chemist Bruce Akers, who works with natural and organic brands to create clean formulations. "If it's oil-based that's fine, but if it's water-based it's made by someone who's either lying or doesn't have the knowledge needed to describe what's happening."

Comment: The Ugly Side of Beauty, Some Cosmetics Can Be Toxic

Book 2

The Ultra Mind Solution: How nutritional deficiencies cause mental illness

Understanding the connection between the body and mind is incredibly important, particularly in today's fast-paced society where our brains are constantly on overdrive. This can cause what author M.D. Mark Hyman considers a "broken brain."

Western medicine characterizes broken brains as a form of mental illness, prescribing synthetic drugs in an attempt to "normalize" our brain chemistry. However, not only is this the wrong approach, it even causes more harm than it helps.

Comment: Read more about the connection between nutritional deficiencies and a broken brain: Primal mind: A talk on nutrition and mental health by Nora Gedgaudas


WHO furthering depopulation agenda? Declares contraceptive safe despite its numerous adverse side effects

© Shutterstock
The controversy that has been swirling since late October around the World Health Organization's (WHO) sudden about-face on the safety of the Depo-Provera injectable contraceptive is a mystery begging to be solved.

Countries rely on the WHO to give impartial advice on the safety of medicines. The expectation is that the agency will carefully scrutinize the available scientific evidence for and against a drug before it makes a policy recommendation, but in the case of Depo-Provera, the WHO appears to be forsaking science for the sake of special interests.

Depo-Provera has long been the subject of scientific debate. Produced by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the progestin-only hormonal shot is given to women at three month intervals. While it's highly effective in preventing pregnancy, Depo-Provera has a number of troubling side effects. These include prolonged and irregular bleeding, suppression of immune response, loss of bone mineral density in young women, significant weight gain, depression and loss of libido. Many women discontinue use because of these side effects. There are clear racial disparities in how Depo-Provera has been promoted. In the US, family planning providers mainly give it to young women of color. Globally, sub-Saharan Africa is a primary target.

For more than 25 years, scientific studies have provided compelling evidence that Depo-Provera significantly increases the risk of women and their partners becoming infected with HIV. A growing number of contraceptive researchers and epidemiologists now question the wisdom of promoting Depo-Provera, especially in places with a high HIV/AIDS incidence. A petition currently before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requests that a warning about possible HIV risk be added to prescribing information about Depo-Provera. In South Africa, where about one-third of young women are HIV-positive, the government is taking steps to phase out Depo-Provera from its national family planning program.

Comment: As the second largest donor to the WHO, The Gates Foundation undoubtedly has a huge influence on the organization's decisions. Given that Bill Gates has been linked with global population reduction efforts, it's not difficult to see this decision as furthering the eugenics depopulation experiment.


The role of the shaman versus the psychiatrist

Medicine healers would be appalled at how we approach mental health in our culture.

Nowhere is the disconnect between science and spirit felt more intimately than in matters of mental health.

We can speak empirically on this by saying things like, "America spends over $113 billion a year on mental health treatment," or "depression affects over 14.8 million adults," but, cold data marginalizes actual human experience, so if you're suffering, this doesn't really help much.

The statistical view does, however, tell us that mental illness is epidemic in our culture, that an enormous economy has risen around the mainstream medical approaches to treating mental illness, and that this industry does not appear to be effective in reversing the growing epidemic of mental illness.

Comment: See more:
  • Face life with Éiriú Eolas, a stress relief program
  • The fascinating ways meditation transforms your brain - and why it makes you feel better


AMA admits medical over-diagnosis, over-treatment is common and causing more harm than benefit

What if millions of medical diagnoses, procedures, and treatments were based on, at best, questionable scientific evidence, but still performed daily, the world over, in the name of saving patients lives or reducing their suffering? A new JAMA review indicates this may be exactly what is happening.

A concerning new review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association online ahead of print on the topic of overuse of medical care, i.e., health care for which "risk of harm exceeds its potential for benefit," finds that many commonly employed medical procedures, to which millions are subjected to each year, are based on questionable if not also, in some cases, non-existent evidence.

According to the review, which was co-authored by researchers from some of the country's most esteemed medical institutions, medical overuse can also be defined as a health care practice that patients would forego consenting to if fully informed. They elaborate further on the definition of medical overuse:
[Medical] Overuse encompasses overdiagnosis, which occurs when "individuals are diagnosed with conditions that will never cause symptoms," and overtreatment, which is treatment targeting overdiagnosed disease or from which there is minimal or no benefit."



World's largest honey bee, the Himalayan Cliff Bee produces rare honey

Near the peaks of the Himalayan Mountains, a harsh region in which no human settlements are found, lives the world's largest honey bee, the Himalayan Cliff Bee which can grow as large as three centimeters in length. The red honey produced by these bees is unlike any honey you'd find on a supermarket shelf as it possesses fascinating psychoactive properties that are prized by the locals of Nepal and China for its ability to help those with diabetes, poor sexual performance, hypertension, and more.


Three ways hair analysis can be more accurate than blood tests

© datcs
Hair is very important biomaterial within our bodies and primarily composed of protein, notably keratin. Cosmetically it gives many the perception of beauty, identity and also happens to be a multibillion-dollar industry. But hair in all its variability, also has the ability to mirror our metabolic system and give us incredible insight into our health.

On a healthy head, 80 to 90 percent of the hair follicles are in the anagen phase where the hair is actively growing, and materials are deposited in the hair shaft by cells found in the follicle. It is during this phase where hair can tell us a great deal about our body.

During the telogen phase, the hair is anchored in the follicle only by the root, which is club-shaped. The germ cells below the club-shaped root will give rise to the next generation of an anagen hair. 10 to 18 percent of hair follicles are in the telogen phase. Once the hair reaches this phase, the follicles have achieved a mature, stable stage of quiescence.


The Western Diet has derailed our Evolution: Burgers and fries have nearly killed our ancestral microbiome

© Katherine Diemert
For the microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg, that career-defining moment—the discovery that changed the trajectory of his research, inspiring him to study how diet and native microbes shape our risk for disease—came from a village in the African hinterlands.

A group of Italian microbiologists had compared the intestinal microbes of young villagers in Burkina Faso with those of children in Florence, Italy. The villagers, who subsisted on a diet of mostly millet and sorghum, harbored far more microbial diversity than the Florentines, who ate a variant of the refined, Western diet. Where the Florentine microbial community was adapted to protein, fats, and simple sugars, the Burkina Faso microbiome was oriented toward degrading the complex plant carbohydrates we call fiber.

Comment: Learn more about the microbiome and the role microbes play in protecting and regulating the human immune system: