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Thu, 24 Jan 2019
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Should you take probiotics if you need to take antibiotics?

Your intestinal bacteria are part of your immune system, and researchers are discovering that microbes of all kinds play instrumental roles in countless areas of your health. For example, beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics, have been shown to:
  • Modulate your immune response1 and reduce inflammation2
  • Produce vitamins,3 absorb minerals4 and break down indigestible dietary fiber, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids5
  • Eliminate toxins6 from your body
  • Benefit your mood and mental health
  • Boost weight loss7,8,9
Beneficial bacteria also control the growth of disease-causing bacteria by competing for nutrition and attachment sites in your colon. This is of immense importance, as pathogenic bacteria and other less beneficial microbes can wreak havoc with your health if they gain the upper hand.

Comment: While the above information seems contradictory, given what we've been told about probiotic supplementation, the science of the microbiome is still in its relative infancy, and clearly there is much more for us to learn.

See also:

Eiffel Tower

France becomes first country in Europe to ban all five pesticides killing bees

bee flower
France has taken a radical step towards protecting its dwindling bee population by becoming the first country in Europe to ban all five pesticides researchers believe are killing off the insects.1 The ban has been met with the applause of beekeepers and harsh criticism by farmers.

Neonicotinoid pesticides sometimes called "neonics," have been found to pose a risk to wild bees and honeybees according to assessments released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in early 2018. EFSA's review of "a substantial amount of data" found that "in many cases bees foraging on the treated crop in the field as well as in its vicinity are likely to be exposed to harmful levels of the neonicotinoid pesticides. This is because pollen and nectar of the treated crop contain pesticide residues, and plants in the vicinity can also be contaminated by dust drifting away from the field."2

Comment: The cycle continues - invent a pesticide, proliferate widely, find out after damage is done that it's harmful, ban it, rinse, repeat.

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The 'dream team' for the cold and flu season

© Fourfoldhealing
As we are in the midst of the annual cold and flu season, I want to share the basic plan I use to support my patients during this time. It includes three supplements I use for people of all ages when they feel an acute illness coming on.

First, it is important to remember that even though it is common to blame all acute illnesses on microbes, fundamentally, viruses and bacteria are scavengers in nature. Bacteria digest debris in nature, and viruses are intracellular parasites that "infect" cells that demonstrate some type of weakness. In other words, the infectious nature of acute illness is only one side of the story; the other side is the "terrain," or the condition of the person who gets sick. The three supplements I predominantly use for most acute illnesses address both sides of this equation.


NY Times editorial on vaccines is a pseudoscientific mess!

vaccination graphic
(Note: My wife vetoed my initial headline: Failing New York Times Op-Ed Full of Fake Vaccine News. She claims that my sense of humor does not translate to all.)

The lead New York Times (NYT) editorial today is titled, "Know The Enemy." According to the NYT, the "enemy" is anyone who questions the safety and efficacy of any vaccine.

I guess that makes me the enemy. I thought I was a board-certified physician trying to read and decipher the research on vaccines to help guide my patients on how to make their best health care decisions.

The NYT states, "Leading global health threats typically are caused by the plagues and perils of low-income countries - but vaccine hesitancy is as American as can be." Both parts of that sentence are correct.

In the early 20th Century, infection was the number one killer of Americans and it killed a high percentage of our youth. However, by the 1950's infection rates for nearly every childhood vaccine - preventable illness (as well as other infectious illnesses like scarlet fever) had drastically declined-BEFORE vaccines were developed and mandated. In fact, for the major vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles, mumps, diphtheria, and pertussis, the death rate declined well over 90% BEFORE vaccines were mandated. How did that occur? The death rate from infectious diseases declined not by vaccination, but by public health measures. This includes providing clean water to our houses and safely removing waste products.


EAT-Lancet's plant-based planet: 10 things you need to know

plant based planet
© Suzi Smith
An important new study about global nutrition was published this week that deserves everyone's full attention: "Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems." [Don't let the pretentious title intimidate you: you need to know what's inside.] This paper was commissioned and published by The Lancet - one of the world's oldest and most respected medical journals - and penned by an international group of 37 scientists led by Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University.

The product of three years of deliberation, this 47-page document envisions a "Great Food Transformation" which seeks to achieve an environmentally sustainable and optimally healthy diet for the world's people by 2050. Its core recommendation is to minimize consumption of animal foods as much as possible, and replace them with whole grains, legumes and nuts:

Comment: The "experts" are pushing harder and harder the assertion that all of us must absolutely go vegan in order to save the planet and for our own health, despite the fact that there exists little to no evidence to support this assertion. As a greater number of people move to 'do the right thing' by switching over to a more plant-based diet, we will undoubtedly see an increase in malnutrition and chronic illness.

See also:

Light Saber

Mitochondria play an unexpected role in killing bacteria

Mitochondria drive cell survival in times of need
© Facility for Electron Microscopy Research/McGill University Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The energy-producing organelles also send out parcels with antimicrobial compounds to help destroy pathogen invaders in macrophages.
According to biology textbooks, a macrophage engulfs a bacterium, internalizes it in a toxin-filled vesicle called a phagosome, then shuttles the cellular remains to a lysosome for degradation. But killing microbial invaders turns out to be a lot more complex, with other organelles such as mitochondria-the main sites of energy production in the cell-participating in the process.

One piece of evidence for mitochondria's role surfaced in 2011, when researchers curtailed the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) - highly destructive molecules that are byproducts of metabolism - in mouse macrophage mitochondria, and found that the immune cells became less effective at killing bacteria. Four years later, immunologist Mary O'Riordan of the University of Michigan Medical School uncovered another piece of the puzzle when she exposed mouse macrophages to the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. This appeared to activate a particular stress pathway in the cells' endoplasmic reticulum, which in turn revved up production of ROS.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:

Arrow Up

Costco is pulling Roundup from their stores and will no longer sell the carcinogen

Another blow to Bayer (formerly Monsanto) and a win for us and the environment: it's been confirmed that Costco will stop selling RoundUp and glyphosate-based herbicides this Spring! (Hopefully, stores like Lowe's and Home Depot will be next.)

We know that Moms Across America and other equally huge organizations have had petitions signed by hundreds of thousands (total) to get big brand stores to stop carrying Roundup. Now the well known founder Zen Honeycutt has announced it to tens of thousands of her readers/viewers on a Facebook live.

Be patient, our numerous sources tell us those up top at Costco will be pulling the product sooner than later.


Brain hacking: Heavy use of wireless devices changes brain structure in children

cell phones
Most people today live in a sea of radio frequencies emitted from wireless technologies of all kinds, from routers to smartphones, tablets, baby monitors, TVs, appliances, smart meters and many more.

According to many experts, chronic, heavy exposure could have severe repercussions for our health, especially that of children, who are now exposed even before birth. Research also suggests interaction with social media, games and apps online produces a number of effects, both physical and psychological.

In the largest long-term study1,2,3 of brain development and youth health in the U.S., the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study,4 reveals the brains of the most prolific users of electronic devices look different compared to those who use smartphones, tablets and video games less frequently.

Comment: Glow Kids: The growing issue of childhood screen addiction


The high cost of hormone-disrupting chemicals

hormone disrupting chemicals
The diseases caused by exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our food, environment and household and personal care products cost the U.S. $340 billion a year, says children's environmental health expert Dr. Leonardo Trasande.

Trasande is the author of Sicker, Fatter, Poorer, featured on a recent CBS News segment. The book highlights the potentially harmful effects of thousands of endocrine disruptors, also known as hormone mimickers, which can interfere with the body's endocrine system and cause adverse developmental, reproductive and neurological effects.

Comment: Endocrine Disruptors: What are they & how you can avoid them

Monkey Wrench

Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal: MiRNAs from GMO foods could affect gene expression patterns in humans

Stop GMOs
An international group of toxicologists from the UK, Russia, the Republic of Korea and Greece have published a review of research papers on the fate of the DNA derived from genetically modified food and feed entering the human body and animals. The article has been published in the prestigious journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

According to the review data, the DNA from GM foods can survive harsh processing and digestive conditions. The authors stated that there is strong evidence that plant-food-miRNAs can survive digestion, enter the body and affect gene expression patterns.

Comment: The dark and light side of food as information - how dietary RNAs directly impact gene expression
MicroRNAs are used by cells to modify many processes, including how cells grow and die, as well as restore balance in cell function. Many researchers feel that delivering the right microRNAs offer tremendous potential in the treatment of virtually every human disease.

Until recently scientists thought microRNAs were only made by our own cells, but new research shows that microRNAs from plants are absorbed from the diet and affect cell function just like the microRNAs transcribed from our own DNA. In other words, the microRNAs that we ingest from plants can influence the expression of our genetic code and cell function. Since microRNAs affect the expression of up to 30% of our genes, these results are extremely thought-provoking and provide another avenue that plant foods may be influencing our health and reducing our risk for certain diseases.