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Tue, 17 Jan 2017
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Health & Wellness

Life Preserver

Vitamin K: An often overlooked nutrient critical for the health of your heart, bones and metabolism

There's been a lot of discussion about certain essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. But lately, researchers are beginning to recognize that one often-misunderstood vitamin goes unnoticed.

In fact, a large percentage of the population is deficient in this essential nutrient. What is it? Vitamin K. Rather than being a single nutrient, vitamin K is a group of vitamins of similar composition; principally vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone).

One of the world's leading authorities on vitamin K, Cees Vermeer, Ph.D., a renowned vitamin K2 scientist in the Netherlands, says inadequacy in this vitamin is the rule rather than the exception, especially one form, called menaquinone-7 (MK-7), a form of vitamin K2.

A number of studies in recent months have determined that vitamin K, a rather complex nutrient because it comes in so many parts, is responsible for some very important jobs in your body, especially your bones and your heart.

Comment: More about Vitamin K:

Life Preserver

A simple technique to correct your posture and improve your health and mood

Modern life doesn't support ideal posture, but a bit of focus and intention can help lengthen the spine and, in effect, one's life.

Believe it or not, posture matters. Just ask chiropractor and speaker Dr. Paula Moore. The health expert specializes in fixing peoples' posture and relays in the video below how a spine out of alignment can contribute to disastrous health problems down the road.

In fact, Dr. Moore suggests that by remedying poor posture, one can experience anti-aging benefits as well as a longer life. An additional benefit is that proper posture is known to improve one's physical appearance.

Comment: See also:


Unmotivated to exercise? Dopamine could be to blame

© unknown
New research links a deficit in dopamine to the lack of physical activity in mice.
Perhaps you have told yourself many times that, as of next week, you will start exercising more. Perhaps next month. Maybe even next year. For many of us, however, sticking to a disciplined program of physical exercise is one of the hardest New Year's resolutions. New research offers clues as to why finding the motivation to exercise can be so difficult.

The benefits of physical activity are well known. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of severe illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Exercise can also improve one's overall physical and mental health, as well as increase longevity.

If you are looking to control your weight, the advantages of exercise are numerous. Not only has physical activity been shown to reduce metabolic syndrome - which means that it is good for regulating one's metabolism - but it also burns calories, and in combination with a healthful diet, exercise can help to maintain weight over a long period of time.

Comment: See also:


Experts call for official guidelines on child screen use

Educationalists, psychologists and authors also call for a minister for children to try to address 'toxic' nature of childhood

© Alamy
Many parents worry about the effect of screen-based technology on their children.
A group of leading authors, educationalists and child-development experts is calling on the government to introduce national guidelines on the use of screens, amid concern about the impact on children's physical and mental health.

It is one of a series of measures outlined in a letter to the Guardian, highlighting what it describes as the increasingly "toxic" nature of childhood, and signed by 40 senior figures, including the author Philip Pullman, the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the psychotherapist Susie Orbach and the childcare expert Penelope Leach.

The letter urges the government to create a cabinet-level minister for children, with specific responsibility for auditing all government policies in order to assess their impact on children's health and wellbeing.

Comment: See also:


India: The Dirty Secret About Your Clothes

© Esha Chhabra. India, 2016
Vijayakumar Varathan has been working at Colours of Nature dye house for 15 years. Here he's seen standing in front of indigo Image by
Auroville, India — In the Colours of Nature dye house, Vijayakumar Varathan is busy prepping a vat of indigo. At 51, he looks frail, with a tanned body made mostly of bones, but he runs to and fro, setting up an open fire where he'll brew cauldrons of natural colorants made from plants.

He's worked here for 15 years. But until his early 30s, Varathan mixed chemicals in a conventional clothing factory in the same region of southern India. There he developed a disease that caused layers of his skin to peel off. Even today, it is discolored. "It was pretty bad," he says, in his fragmented English. "But I didn't have a choice."

Conventional textile manufacturing is tough on both the people who work in it and their land. Issues arise at almost every stage of the process — the ubiquitous genetically modified seeds that strain farmers' budgets, the pesticides used in cotton fields, the harsh chemicals used in dyes, the toxic waste that pollutes rivers, and the chemically treated clothing that ends up in landfills. The problems are exacerbated in the low-price, quick-turnaround segment of the market known as "fast fashion," which encourages cheap production and a throwaway mind-set.

A new crop of small businesses are investing in organic farming, natural dyes and a transparent supply chain that encourages shoppers to think about the effect of their purchases — and they're selling their products online and in a small but growing number of U.S. stores, from small trendy boutiques to Target.


The dirty secrets of surgical instruments

The BBC documentary, "Surgery's Dirty Secrets," which originally aired in 2011, investigates the sources of surgical tools, and highlights flaws in British safety regulations.

If you're like most, you probably assume that surgical instruments are made to the very highest, exacting standards. The reality of where and how these tools are made is downright shocking.

According to BBC reporter Samantha Poling, who spent a year investigating this topic, there are significant problems in the industry — problems that can, and have, caused severe illness and death.

An estimated 30 million operations are carried out in British hospitals each year. In order to perform, surgeons need the right tools for the job, and these tools must be made to exact specifications and be of the highest quality.

Poorly made or non-functioning surgical tools can mean the difference between a successful surgery and the loss of a limb or organ, or death of the patient.

For example, for each fraction of a second a surgical assistant is struggling with a poorly functioning arterial clamp, the patient is losing blood, compromising the success of the surgery.


The war on natural medicine - the beginning of the end

For nearly 100 years, there has been a serious war going on between the proponents of allopathic (conventional) medicine and those who support natural or functional medicine. Functional medicine in the form of herbal,1,2 Ayurvedic, and Chinese medicine was dominant around the world for hundreds of years.3-5Then, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the germ theory6,7 of disease began to take over, along with technological advances such as x-rays,8 the electron microscope,9 and the use of antibiotics.10,11

A new breed of medical school emerged to teach future doctors how to utilize these new diagnostic tools, medicines, and operating procedures to defeat the external invaders of the body. Doctors became thoroughly convinced that most diseases were caused by germs, bacteria, viruses, or rogue cells that needed to be cut out, killed, or controlled by these new medical breakthroughs.11

Natural medicine was dismissed as being outdated and unscientific. Medical schools stopped teaching this form of medicine and medical licenses were given only to those who graduated from the new medical schools that had been established across the country. Naturopathic doctors were branded as quacks, as were chiropractors, nutritionists, acupuncturists, and all of the other so-called natural medical practitioners.


'Beverage of choice' on battlefield puts US troops at risk

© Rip It
Rip It can label
US military health officials have warned energy drink-obsessed troops of the potential dangers of chugging excessive amounts of the highly-caffeinated beverages. US troops relied heavily on energy drinks during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they became the "beverage of choice" for many, according to an army press release.

Now, service members are being warned to avoid consuming more than 200 milligrams of caffeine every four hours, says Dr Patricia Deuster, director of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences (USU).

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research studied data collected in 2010 during 'Operation Enduring Freedom' and found that nearly 45 percent of deployed service members consumed at least one energy drink per day, with nearly 14 percent admitting to drinking three or more daily.

Aside from concern over the excessive amounts of sugar loaded into energy drinks, and the worrying common ingredient 'taurine' - an amino acid found in animal tissue, Deuster says drinking energy drinks to stay awake during shifts often leads to sleep and performance issues.

"Lack of sleep can impact memory and a service member's ability to pay attention when it matters most," read the release. "Research indicates service members who drank three or more energy drinks each day also had difficulty staying awake during briefings or on guard duty." Deuster is advising troops to add up the caffeine content in every drink they consume throughout the day, including coffee, soda, and energy drinks: "If it's got more than 200 milligrams of caffeine, don't use it."

Comment: The booming energy drink business has addicted the military for big profits, compromising both performance and health, keeping soldiers 'healthy and satisfied' (craving and at risk) on taxpayer money.

Side Effects of Rip It Energy Drink
Ingredients of Rip It Energy Drink

Here is the list of the main ingredients:
  • Carbonated water
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Taurine
  • Citric acid
  • Natural flavor
  • Sodium citrate
  • Inositol - sugar alcohol (also used in explosives manufacturing and as a cutting agent for cocaine, meth, heroin)
  • Caffeine
  • Sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives)
  • Salt
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Guarana seed extract
  • Ester gum
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)
  • Yellow 5
  • Folic acid
  • Yellow 6
  • Cyanocobalamin (bitamin B12)
On the average one serving of Rip It Power energy drink, it gives 130 calories. It contains 66 Grams of sugar per 16 ounces.

1) Still too much caffeine
The main side effect of Rip It energy drink is the heavy amount of caffeine which can cause many cardiac issues including rapid palpitation, strokes, heartbeat, etc. The caffeine when taken in without proper medication can cause death in some persons. Also, Caffeine, when taken in excess amounts, can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure, lack of sleep and inability to focus.

2) You may feel tired when the positive effects ends
Caffeine blocks your receptors for neurotransmitters in the brain, which send fatigue signals to the body. Therefore, you feel energetic after consuming the Rip It energy drink, but when the drink is eroded from the system, all of the receptors are flooded with the neurotransmitters, making you sleepy and lethargic.

3) Synthetic Taurine may induce serious addictions
Although taurine is good for the cardiovascular system, But in energy drinks synthetic taurine is used which can be very harmful. Some of the common side effects of synthetic taurine include high blood pressure and even a heart attack. If nothing else, long term use of taurine causes a serious case of dependency.

4) HFCS is really dangerous
First of all, sugar is harmful; secondly, its the worst form of sugar i.e. HFCS. All of the sugar contained in the Rip It energy drink, including the high fructose corn syrup is extremely bad for your body because not only it causes you to be obese and unhealthy, but it also increases the level of "bad" cholesterol, thereby leading to cardiovascular problems.

Sugar is 25 gram per 250 ml, it is not too much but its still not something you should ignore. Unless you go for the sugar-free versions of Rip It energy drinks, you are bound to intake a huge amount of sugar with every sip.

Nausea, flatulence and other gastric problems can be encountered if the user is sensitive to inositol.

5) May affect motor functions if combined with Alcohol
In a recent research, scientists found out that whatever taurine content reaches the brain, it has a sedative effect, that is, it makes you drowsy. As a result, the Rip It energy drink should never be consumed with alcohol because it can easily double the effect, impairing your impulses, motor functions and vision.

Daily use limit:
It is suggested that one should not consume more than three cans of the Rip It energy drink during a single day.

Death News
So far, there have been news about the deaths caused by other energy drinks but no death has been reported by the use of Rip It energy drinks.


2016's top pharmaceuticals are a sign that the standard American diet is making us sick

Our food supply is being compromised and bastardized by corporations who profit handsomely by feeding the American public ever-more processed, modified, and chemical-laden foods. As if this were some kind of revolving door conspiracy, when food makes us sick, we spend more money on healthcare, and a look at the most prescribed medications of 2016 make it clear there is a direct link between poor food and poor health in America.

The 2016 list of the 50 most prescribed medications in America, as reported by Lowest Med, includes among the top ten, nine medications used to address health problems that can be primarily associated with an unhealthy diet.

The list includes the following:

Medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart problems:
  • Atorvastatin Calcium
  • Lisinopril
  • Amlodipine
  • Simvastatin
  • Metoprolol ER
  • Losartan


Teenage violence spreads like a contagious infection among friends

© The Korea Herald
Adolescents who engaged in violent activities were more likely to have friends - and friends of friends - who had been violent, a new study shows.

"Violent acts tend to cluster through social networks, and they spread like a contagious disease spreads from one person to another," the study's senior author Brad Bushman said in a phone interview.

A psychology and communications professor at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Bushman analyzed interviews from the 1990s with nearly 6,000 American students in grades seven through twelve.

Compared to students whose friends had never hurt anyone, kids with a friend who had badly hurt someone were themselves 183 percent more likely to report having badly hurt someone, too, the report in the American Journal of Public Health shows.

If a friend had pulled a weapon on someone, the youth were 140 percent more likely to have pulled a weapon, and if a friend had been involved in a serious fight, the youth were 48 percent more likely to have been in a serious fight.