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Fri, 02 Dec 2016
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Health & Wellness


Stress-induced changes in maternal microbiome may negatively impact offspring for life

Prenatal exposure to a mother’s stress contributes to anxiety and cognitive problems that persist into adulthood
Prenatal exposure to a mother's stress contributes to anxiety and cognitive problems that persist into adulthood, a phenomenon that could be explained by lasting -- and potentially damaging -- changes in the microbiome, according to new research in mice.

When pregnant mice were exposed to stress in the study, it appeared to change the makeup of the bacteria in both their guts and placentas, as well as in the intestinal tracts of their female offspring, researchers at The Ohio State University found. And those microbial changes lasted into adulthood.

On top of that, the mice with stressed mothers struggled in tests aimed at gauging anxiety and cognitive health compared with female offspring of mice that were not stressed during pregnancy. And markers of inflammation increased in the placenta, the fetal brain and the adult brain of the offspring while a supportive protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) decreased.

"More and more, doctors and researchers are understanding that naturally occurring bacteria are not just a silent presence in our body, but that they contribute to our health," said Tamar Gur, the lead researcher and assistant professor of psychiatry & behavioral health, neuroscience and obstetrics & gynecology at Ohio State.



Doctor cautions against the use of virtual reality headsets for children

© Andri Koolme
It's expected to be the hot holiday gift of the season: virtual reality headsets. We know it's a cool new experience but there's still a lot we don't know about the technology, especially when it comes to kids.

The headset completely immerses users in a new 3D virtual world. "I felt like I was actually there." said one first-time user. "There's no age limit to this," said another virtual reality fan.

But there actually is an age limit. Many of the top selling brands warn against kids using the device. Oculus Rift and Samsung VR Gear say it's not for kids under 13. Sony PlayStation is recommended for kids 12 and up. And the HTC Vive is less specific, just saying it's not for young children.

"This is a big area of both interest and some concern," said Dr. Joseph Rizzo of Mass Eye and Ear. Dr. Rizzo told us the research is still out on VR. "There's a legitimate question about whether that much exposure to artificial visual stimuli will alter the way the brain accepts and processes visual information. It's an unknown."


British Medical Journal declares the war on drugs has been a failure

© The Telegraph
The war on drugs has been a failure, declares leading medical journal
Nick Clegg and Baroness Molly Meacher say the UK's drug policy has been irrational for 55 years

The war on drugs has been declared a failure by the British Medical Journal. Prohibition laws have failed to curb either supply or demand, reduce addiction, cut violence or reduce profits for organized crime, the journal argues.

It says the ban on the production, supply, possession and use of some drugs for non-medical purposes causes huge harm.

The paper's editor in chief Dr Fiona Godlee, and features and debates editor Richard Hurley point to the fact drug use has grown substantially worldwide, with a quarter of a billion adults worldwide having potentially taken illegal drugs such as cannabis, cocaine or heroin in 2014.

In the UK, a quarter of 15-year-olds may have taken illegal preparations of unknown quality and potency.

Comment: Surgeon General is speaking up for the first time ever about the violent failure of the drug war

Alarm Clock

Popular American foods loaded with alarming levels of Monsanto's glyphosate

© Food Democracy Now! / The Detox Project report
Independent tests on an array of popular American food products found many samples contained residue levels of the weed killer glyphosate. The nonprofit organizations behind the tests—Food Democracy Now and The Detox Project—released a report Monday that details the findings. The groups are calling for corporate and regulatory action to address consumer safety concerns.

According to the report, the herbicide residues were found in cookies, crackers, popular cold cereals and chips commonly consumed by children and adults. The testing was completed at Anresco, a U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) registered lab and used liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), a method widely considered by the scientific community and regulators as the most reliable for analyzing glyphosate residues.

The announcement of the private tests comes as the FDA is struggling with its own efforts to analyze how much of the herbicide residues might be present in certain foods. Though the FDA routinely tests foods for other pesticide residues, it never tested for glyphosate until this year. However, the testing for glyphosate residues was suspended last week.

Comment: Not really surprising that the testing for glyphosate was suspended last week! The American public really doesn't know how much glyphosate is in their food and regulatory industries are working overtime to keep the facts from the public! Read the comments in the following article for more information: Shocking! The FDA is going to start testing for Glyphosate in food?

Life Preserver

Strategies to detoxify & heal the lymphatic system

© Medical News Today
The lymphatic system
We've all heard of the lymphatic system, but few understand how it works or why and how a properly working lymphatic system is vital to the body. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that transport lymph throughout the body. Its responsibilities include cleaning the cellular environment, returning proteins and excess tissue fluids to the blood, providing a pathway for the absorption of fats into the bloodstream, and the production and transportation of antibodies (white blood cells called lymphocytes) throughout the body to fight infection.

Our blood contains red blood cells that deliver oxygen around the body, white blood cells that fight infections, platelets that help you stop bleeding if you get a cut, and plasma.

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood. It's a yellowish liquid in blood that suspends the red blood cells and carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Plasma contains water, salt, enzymes, immunoglobulins (antibodies), hormones, clotting factors, and plasma proteins.

Interstitial fluid, also known as tissue fluid, was plasma before it entered tissue. Interstitial fluid is a solution that bathes and surrounds the tissue cells.

Red Flag

Your brain on aspartame

© Underground Health
Controversy continues to rage over the artificial sweetener aspartame. Since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981, aspartame has made its way into more than 6,000 food items.

The FDA claims aspartame is safe but has set an acceptable daily intake of no more than 50 mg per kilogram of body weight. In other words, an adult weighing 165 pounds should consume no more than 3,750 mg of aspartame a day. A can of diet soda typically contains about 180 mg of the chemical. That means the FDA's "safe" limit equates to about 21 cans of diet soda per day.

But is any level of aspartame really safe?

For decades researchers have claimed aspartame is responsible for headache, memory loss, mood changes, and depression. Consumer complaints back them up. Over 75% of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA concern aspartame. Reported problems include headaches, migraines, vision problems, tinnitus, depression, joint pain, insomnia, heart palpitations, and muscle spasms.

Recently researchers from the University of North Dakota wanted to test the safe limits of aspartame over a short period of time. They found that at just one half of the FDA's "safe" acceptable daily intake, aspartame caused serious neurobehavioral changes including cognitive impairment, irritable moods, and depression.[i]

Comment: More information about how toxic aspartame is to human health:


'Nay-sayers will understand soon': Trump on the vaccine-autism link

President-elect Donald Trump believes vaccines are responsible for the autism epidemic and he has promised to find out the truth and "save our children and their future" when he takes office in January.

Trump dismissed the official claim that there is no link between vaccines and autism, claiming there has been a cover up to suppress the truth and that "nay-sayers will understand soon."

"[W]e've had so many instances, people that work for me. Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic."

Comment: Those are certainly refreshing words coming from a politician, though it will certainly put him under fire with Big Pharma and the CDC.


Rain, temperature, sunshine or pollution? Which matters most for mental health?

There's no denying that nature - and our exposure to it - has a profound effect on our mental well-being.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is only considered a disorder because of how many people are deeply impacted by rain and winter. After all, the winter months are said to be the busiest for therapists.

Recently, Brigham Young University researchers wanted to figure out which of these factors affects mental and emotional health most: rain, temperature, sunshine or pollution.

Before we reveal the results, we invite you to take this quiz and guess. Below are more details on the results.

Comment: For more on SAD and beating the winter blues see this episode of the Health and Wellness Show:
The Health & Wellness Show: Connecting the Dots: Fighting the winter blues, mental health, and the coming vaccine season


More lawsuits against Monsanto's Roundup®

When I published the article, "Glyphosate Contaminates the Global Ecosystem: The Damning New PAN Report," I mentioned a law firm as a resource because of the lawsuits it has filed on behalf of persons damaged by the use of Monsanto's herbicide Roundup. Roundup's prime active ingredient is glyphosate, a chemical that the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] designated a "probable human carcinogen."

That law firm is Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, California. The firm's Director of Public Relations and Marketing emailed a thank you for mentioning that lawsuit. Robin McCall's email prompted me to want to know more about their clients and the lawsuits, so I asked her some questions about the firm's glyphosate case load.

Incidentally, there is a Spanish language link "Demanda Monsanto Roundup" for folks who may want to access the law firm's information in that language.

What follows are the questions I asked that Ms. McCall so graciously answered, which I think ought to give readers some "food for thought," especially if you have used Roundup and have contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Comment: Surprise! Monsanto CEO lying through his teeth: "Roundup is not a carcinogen"


Antidepressants deplete crucial nutrients for the brain

If you try to cheat nature, it will backfire.

By managing symptoms with synthetic man-made drugs, you may feel better for a while. But once you stop those drugs, you will end up with more symptoms than you started with.

I experienced this firsthand.

When I took antidepressants, I felt better initially.

But then something just didn't feel right.

I started suffering from cognitive decline, something I hadn't experienced before.

I eventually got fed up with the medication and tried getting off them.

But then I felt remarkably worse - much worse than I did before starting the medication.

Doctors simply told me I was experiencing a relapse of my depression and anxiety.

But that couldn't be it, because not only were my symptoms much worse, but I also had new symptoms - symptoms I didn't experience before I went on medication.

So, I did some research and discovered something called "drug-induced nutrient depletion".