Health & Wellness


Across the world: Poor diet is the biggest cause of early death

  • Poor diet had the greatest cumulative effect on worldwide deaths in 2013
  • Unhealthy eating leads to more deaths through heart disease and diabetes
  • Top risks for early deaths globally were high blood pressure and smoking
  • Next top risks were high body mass index and high blood sugar levels

Poor diet contributes to 21 per cent of global deaths, a study found. Researchers said the deaths can be attributed to diets high in red meat and sugary drinks, and lacking in fruit, vegetables and wholegrains

Comment: Poor diet causes more disease than lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol combined, say doctors


Holistic treatments for your lymphatic system

© Natural Design Studios
Chronically ill? Your lymph might be to blame. Clean up your lymphatic system with these 10 tricks and tools to get you back on track...

A complicated network of fluid-filled nodes, vessels, glands and organs, the lymphatic system touches almost every part of the body. Although we may not feel or see it, it's one of the most important (and often forgotten) systems of the human body. Just like the liver, kidneys, and mouth, it's important to give the lymph the attention it deserves.

The lymphatic system's main function is to cleanse toxins and protect against harmful invaders. It works by carrying our body's waste away from the tissues and into the bloodstream. It tackles toxins that are introduced to the body from both external means (food, air, personal care products, water) as well as internal ones (damaged proteins and cellular/metabolic waste), making it a key detoxification pathway. Once the toxins enter the bloodstream, they are purified through the largest lymphatic tissue in the body, the spleen. The spleen is our main immune defense, fighting infection, holding a reserve of red and white blood cells and destroying worn-out red blood cells in the body.


Skin Science: Debunking propaganda from the cosmetic industry

Most consumers assume that because a product is on a shelf, it must be safe. To explore this common assumption, let's have a closer look at the cosmetic industry and the biology of the skin.

During the last half-century, the cosmetic industry has created the illusion that it is possible to apply toxic chemicals to their skin without poisoning their body. This allows the consumers to feel safe by wrongly believing that the skin is impermeable.

The fact is, the skin is a dynamic, living, multilayered bio-membrane which is porous at the microscopic level. The basic functions of the skin are respiration, absorption and elimination, all of which involve a dynamic exchange between the internal and external environments (nutrition in and wastes out).

Comment: Comment: 'Since your skin is absorbent, ingredients should be as pure as the foods we eat. If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin!'


Australian government prepares to punish parents who don't vaccinate children

© Natural Society
The Australian government is set to pass a law that would withhold child care and other benefits from parents who opt out of vaccinating their children.

Under the "No Jab, No Pay Bill" introduced to Parliament, the "conscientious objector" category would be removed, making parents ineligible for full government benefits for not immunizing their children. Youngsters would only be exempt due to medical reasons.

If the law is passed, families could lose up to 15,000 Australian dollars ($11,000) per child per year in tax and child care benefits starting January 1, 2016, if their children are not inoculated. [1]

There has been a rise in unvaccinated children under age 7 in Australia, due to parental concern over the potential side effects of vaccines, and worse. Over the past decade, the number of children under 7 who aren't vaccinated has increased from 24,000 to 39,000. There are reasons for it, too. Encephalopathy, febrile seizures, anaphylaxis and hardening of the brain are two devastating conditions associated with measles immunization. And there are many reported adverse vaccine effects reported (and many more unreported) to the CDC and FDA - known as VAERS.

No matter; Australian legislators are adamant that moms and dads "jab" their kids, despite their well-founded fears.
"The choice made by some families not to vaccinate their children is not supported by public policy or medical research, nor should such action be supported by taxpayers in the form of family payments," Social Services Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament.

Arrow Up

Massachusetts police department fed up with Big Pharma's role in creating addiction through prescription painkillers

Ready for a positive police story? Where will it lead - you decide.

Yesterday, I reported at Natural Blaze that a Gloucester, Massachusetts police department fed up with Big Pharma posted the top 5 CEO salaries and emails online. Their Facebook status erupted with cheers in the comments and many shares. The department bemoaned the city's drug problem and took aim at Big Pharma's role in creating addiction through prescription opioid painkillers.

The Big Pharma salaries were as follows:

5. Eli Lilly - John Lechleiter $14.48 million [email protected] 317-276-2000

4. Abbott Labs - Miles D. White $17.7 million [email protected] 847-937-6100

3. Merck - Kenneth C. Frazier $25 million + cool private jet. [email protected] 908-423-1000

2. Johnson & Johnson - Alex Gorsky $20.38 million [email protected] 732-524-0400

1. Pfizer - Ian Read $23.3 million [email protected] 212-573-2323

Comment: Health advocates target Big Pharma to combat opioid epidemic
Many in Gloucester said they would follow the police department's lead in contacting the executives of the pharmaceutical companies. "The war on drugs should always have been against big Pharma," said one commenter. "They are the real drug dealers but they line too many pockets with too much."


Melatonin may give relief to patients with multiple sclerosis

Melatonin shows potential to regulate relapses in multiple sclerosis.
Insomniacs and world travelers alike use melatonin—a hormone that regulates the body's internal clock—to help them fall asleep and get some extra shuteye. Now, a new study shows that the "sleep hormone" may also give relief to patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating neurological disorder that can quickly morph from remission into attacks that last days, months, or even years.

MS is a rare disease in which the body's own immune cells attack neurons by eating away at their protective, fatty layer. This layer—the "myelin sheath"—insulates the part of the neuron that transmits signals, just like flexible plastic protects telephone cables. In MS patients, the damaged sheath disables cell-to-cell communication, knocking out vision, balance, and muscle coordination, while impairing thinking and memory. The root cause of MS is still unknown, and scientists suspect that environmental factors like low vitamin D, obesity, and viral infections could contribute.

Comment: The Importance of Melatonin:


Concerns rise that Corporate interests might take over USDA's organic certification process, is it really organic?

Some organic food experts are worried that the term used to describe non-genetically modified crops and produce may soon become nearly meaningless, thanks in large part to undue (read corporate) influence on the Department of Agriculture.

According to Jerome Rigot, PhD, writing in a blog posted at the National Organic Standard Board backed by science, it may no longer be accurate to rely on the USDA's "organic" labeling as remaining "true to its mandate of assuring consumers that food under this label is truly healthy and grown or raised with minimal impact to the environment," as well as respecting "the health and well-being of the workers and animals involved."

Rigot notes that, among other concerns, Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, recently downgraded its rating of the Agriculture Department's organic seal and label. The director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Center for the magazine, Dr. Urvashi Rangan, testified to the National Organic Standards Board in late 2014: "Organic is slipping. And as a result, we have downgraded its rating from highly meaningful to meaningful." He further noted that the rule of the magazine "is to help educate people about what organic means as well as what it doesn't mean."

Comment: More info:


Indoor pesticides associated with 47% increased risk for childhood leukemia

According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, children exposed to indoor insecticides have a higher risk of developing childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma. With pesticides being used inside homes, preventive measures should be considered to reduce children's exposure to these deadly carcinogens.

In a recent meta-analysis consisting of 16 previous studies of children exposed to indoor and outdoor pesticides, researchers found that indoor insecticides were associated with a 47 percent increased risk for childhood leukemia. Indoor residential pesticides, including professional pest control services, indoor flea foggers, flea and tick pet collars, and various roach and ant sprays, were also associated with a 43 percent increased risk for childhood lymphomas.

Although outdoor pesticides used as weed killers were associated with a 26 percent increased risk for brain tumors, the association did not reach statistical significance.

Comment: Number one cause of childhood death in U.S.? Cancer


Humans may now be identified by their own unique microbial cloud

© Viputheshwar Sitaraman, of Draw Science
We each give off millions of bacteria from our human microbiome to the air around us every day, and that cloud of bacteria can be traced back to an individual. New research focused on the personal microbial cloud -- the airborne microbes we emit into the air -- examined the microbial connection we have with the air around us. The findings demonstrate the extent to which humans possess a unique 'microbial cloud signature'.

To test the individualized nature of the personal microbial cloud, University of Oregon researchers sequenced microbes from the air surrounding 11 different people in a sanitized experimental chamber. The study found that most of the occupants sitting alone in the chamber could be identified within 4 hours just by the unique combinations of bacteria in the surrounding air. The findings appear in the September 22 issue of the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PeerJ.


Gene expression reveals annual differences in human immunity and physiology

© Spencer Platt/Getty Images News
Do you ever wonder why stiff joints are more common on winter or why it's more difficult to lose weight during this season? While you can blame the latter on the holidays, science says it's all because of your genes.

A large research conducted by Professor John Todd of Cambridge University and his team discovered that some of the immunity genes tend to be more active in certain seasons such as the winter. There are also times when they tend to be "off."

The basis of the study was a chance discovery. A PhD student under him learned that white blood cells, the type of blood cell that is responsible for fighting infection and building immunity, tend to have more active immunity genes once the season gets a lot colder.

From this, they analyzed more than 20,000 different types of genes from over 15,000 people around the world who provided samples of their tissues and blood. The diversified sample is presumably because of the varying season patterns.

Upon their analyses, the team discovered that those who lived in a region where seasons tend to be more consistent such as Iceland, the degree of changes in their genes is pretty low. However, in countries that experience significant seasonal changes such as the UK, immune genes become more active when it's winter. In areas where seasons are limited, such as in Asia where they have only dry and wet season, there's more gene activity once the rainy season came along. Overall, at least 25% of the studied genes showed response to the changing seasons.

Researchers have no clear explanation why this happens except that it may be related to evolution or the genes simply react to environmental cues like light or temperature. Nevertheless, it's possible that the body increases the body's immunity as a way of preparing it from the possible diseases that can occur within a season.

The increased immunity may also be the reason why inflammatory diseases such as arthritis are more common during winter. As the immune system is increased, there's a good chance it can go into a hyperdrive, attacking instead of protecting the body.

The study is available in Nature Communications.