Category Archives: General Health

How To Deal With Open Wounds When Help Is Not On The Way

injury

If there is one area that I feel singularly unprepared for it is with dealing with physical trauma following a disruptive event.  Basic first aid?  Sure, I can handle that and have a decent first aid kit to back me up.  But serious wounds, broken bones, and other physical traumas? Not so much.

The thing about physical traumas, and especially open wounds, is that they can occur anytime including right in your own home.  An accident in the kitchen or the yard can begin with a bloody mess and end with an unwelcome infection.  Who wants that?

As far as I am concerned, the moment is now.  It is time to become educated and to start learning how to deal with more serious medical matters. To help us along, I welcome contributing author Joe Alton who is allowing me to share his expertise on how to deal with open wounds.

The Open Wound

Years ago, we held the first suture class for non-medical people in the preparedness community. Our purpose in doing this was to provide education that might be useful in a post-apocalyptic setting. We felt that teaching people medical skills may save some lives in long-term survival scenarios. To us, any unnecessary death in times of trouble is one too many.

Nowadays there are a lot of folks that put on these classes.  The main goal, however, is not simply to learn the mechanics of throwing a stitch but to develop the judgment necessary to understand when a wound should be closed and, more importantly, when it should be left open.

When the medically-responsible person evaluates a wound, the following question must be asked:  What am I trying to accomplish by stitching this wound closed?

Your goals when performing wound closure are simple.  You close wounds to:

  • Repair the defect in the body’s armor
  • Eliminate “dead space” that can lead to infection
  • Promote healing.
  • Provide a pleasing cosmetic result (less scarring).

Sounds like every wound should be closed, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that.  Closing a wound that should be left open can do a lot more harm than good, and could possibly put your patient’s life at risk.

Take the case of a young woman injured in a “zipline” accident.  She was taken to the local emergency room, where 22 staples were needed to close a large laceration.  Unfortunately, the wound had dangerous bacteria in it, causing a serious infection which spread throughout her body.  She eventually required multiple amputations.

We learn an important lesson from this tragic case: Namely, that the decision to close a wound is not automatic but involves serious considerations.

Infected Cut

The most important of these is whether you are dealing with a clean or a dirty wound.

Most wounds you will encounter in a wilderness or collapse setting will be dirty.  If you try to close a dirty wound, you sequester bacteria and dirt into your body.  Within a short period of time, the infected wound will become red, swollen, and hot.  An abscess may form, and pus will accumulate inside.

Here’s an article I wrote about infected wounds: Infected Wounds

The infection may spread to the bloodstream and, when it does, you have caused a life-threatening situation.  Leaving the wound open will allow you to clean the inside frequently and observe the healing process.  It also allows inflammatory fluid to drain out of the body.  Wounds that are left open heal by a process called “granulation”; that is, from the inside out. The scar isn’t as pretty, but it’s the safest option in most cases.

Other considerations when deciding whether or not to close a wound are whether it is a simple laceration (straight thin cut on the skin) or whether it is an avulsion (areas of skin torn out, hanging flaps).

If the edges of the skin are so far apart that they cannot be stitched together without undue pressure, the wound should be left open.  If the wound has been open for more than, say, 6-8 hours, it should be left open; even the air has bacteria, and the injury may already be colonized.

IF you’re certain the wound is clean, you should close it if it is long, deep or gapes open loosely. Also, cuts over moving parts, such as the knee joint, will be more likely to require stitches.

Remember that you should close deep wounds in layers, to prevent any un-approximated “dead space” from occurring.  Dead spaces are pockets of bacteria-laden air or inflammatory fluid in a closed wound that may lead to a major infection.  An exception to this is a puncture wound from an animal bite.  These are loaded with germs and should never be sutured.

If you are unsure, you can choose to wait 72 hours before closing a wound to make sure that no signs of infection develop.  This is referred to as “delayed closure”.  Some wounds can be partially closed, allowing a small open space to allow the drainage of inflammatory fluid.  Drains, consisting of thin lengths of latex, nitrile, or even gauze, should be placed into the wound for this purpose.  Of course, you should place a dressing over the exposed area as it can get messy.

Improvised Butterfly Closure with Duct Tape

If you must close a wound, use the least invasive method.

If you can approximate the cut edges of skin with butterfly closures, it is better than puncturing the skin again and again with sutures or staples. Use an adhesive such as tincture of benzoin to hold the tapes in place. Even Super-Glue may be a better option in certain cases, and is used routinely in underdeveloped countries like Cuba with good effectiveness.

Irrigating the Wound

The safest method, though, is to leave that questionable wound open.

Using a 60-100cc irrigation syringe, flush the area aggressively with a dilute solution of Betadine (Povidone-Iodine) or sterilized saline solution. If you don’t have commercial sterile solutions, studies show that clean drinking water can keep a wound clean in an austere environment.

Place a sterile moist (not soaking wet) dressing in the wound and then cover with a dry sterile gauze dressing. Replace the dressing at least daily, more often if possible.

If you have antibiotics, this may be a good time to use them. Check out the link in this article about infected wounds to see which are most useful.

About hydrogen peroxide, undiluted Betadine, or Alcohol as a cleaning agent for open wounds:  If it’s all you have, it’s ok for the first cleaning before you place the dressing.  These substances, however, tend to dry out newly forming cells and may actual hinder healing.  As such, stick with milder solutions or clean drinking water for long-term wound care.

Learning how to suture is a useful skill. Knowing when to suture, however, is much more important.

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones “Doom and Bloom” Survival Medicine

Takeaway: Many Wounds Should Be Left Open

Before now, I was under the false impression the all serious wounds should be closed up or sutured to prevent infection. Little did I know that closing a wound, especially while out in the field, should be carefully evaluated if there is any hint of dirt or bacteria. Sometimes, closing a wound will foster an infection and make it worse.  Who knew?

Here is the takeaway for determining whether a wound should be left open:

1.  If the wound has been open for longer that 6 to 8 hours, leave it open.  During that period, bacteria will have had time to work its way through the body, potentially causing a massive infection.

2.  If the flaps of the wound cannot be closed without using a lot of pressure, leave it alone.

3.  To repeat: dirt and bacteria will cause an infection if allowed to fester in a closed up wound.  If there is any suspicion of such, leave the wound open!

The Final Word

After digesting Joe’s advise on open wounds,  I pulled out my copy of his book, The Survival Medicine Handbook (written by Joe and his wife, Amy) to see what else it had to say on the subject.

Note: this is a big fat book of over 500 pages.  I keep in next to my desk and use it as a reference, but I have not read it cover to cover.

In chapter six, I found lot of information on open wounds including photos and extensive details on the use of commercial hemostatic agents (such as Quickclot and Celox) and suture instructions for those hopefully rare times when suturing will be needed.

The book also mentions something I already knew and that is that it is a good idea to apply some triple antibiotic ointment to a healing wound or, as I prefer, raw honey, lavender oil or to Melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil.  Lavender, especially, is something I always carry with me in my portable survival kit (see 8 Essential Items: The Perfect Portable Survival Kit).

At the end of the day, I am more than a little bit discouraged by how ignorant I am about wound control and other physical traumas.  That said, as with everything preparedness related, there is always something new to learn and of course, it is never too late to start.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.

5 Reasons Breastfeeding Is Awesome

Child-breastfeeding

Many mothers choose breastfeeding because of the close bonding experience and the fact that it’s the most nutritious option for their baby. Commercial formulas, even the organic ones, simply can’t compare. Let’s take a look at 5 proven reasons why breastfeeding is just plain awesome.

  1. Breastfeeding Provides the Best Nutrition

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests the best strategy for nutrition and health protection is “exclusive breastfeeding […] for the first 6 months of life” and “breastfeeding with complementary foods from six months until at least 12 months of age.” [1] Breastfeeding your child during the first few months of life could also influence the makeup of the gut microbiome—making the transition to solid foods easier. [2]

  1. Breastfeeding Shapes the Immune System

But breastfeeding does more than just help your baby with that transition to solid food. A recent study suggests breastfeeding your baby could even influence a developing immune system by, once again, influencing the microbiome. This, in turn, could also lessen your child’s chances of developing allergies or asthma. [3]

  1. Breastfeeding Promotes Healthy Gut Flora

Preventing allergies (and asthma) is just the tip of the iceberg. Many studies have already suggested children who are breastfed also have a “lower incidence of obesity […] diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease later in life.” (4) Because babies are born without gut bacteria, they need help developing a healthy microbiome. [4] Recent evidence suggests breastfeeding could help with that.

     4. Breastfeeding Makes Kids Smarter and Richer

OK, that’s probably one bold statement, but it’s not quite far off. One study out of Brazil found babies who were breastfed actually had higher IQs, went to school longer, and made more money as adults. [5] But it’s more than just breastfeeding–the amount of time a child is breastfed could be very important as well: “for example, an infant […] breastfed for at least a year gained a full four IQ points, had 0.9 years more schooling […], and a higher income of 341 reais”—about 112 dollars—“per month at the age of 30 years, compared to those breastfed for less than one month.”

  1. Breastfeeding Makes the Best Economic Sense

Let’s look past the immediate health benefits for a moment. When it comes to the economy, breastfeeding could save countries millions in future health costs—and those savings make a lot of sense. [6] A UK research team figured out that savings from “reducing the incidence of common childhood diseases and curbing the subsequent risk of breast cancer” in mothers “all of which have been linked to low rates of breastfeeding” could save the equivalent of close to 60 million dollars each year!

One Final Thought

Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for you as a mother, and your child’s health can only benefit. Make sure that you are getting enough nutrients during pregnancy and while lactating. In addition to a daily multi-vitamin, you also want to make sure that you are getting enough iodine: “the addition of 150 mcg of iodine in all prenatal vitamins will ensure that the developing brain of the baby during pregnancy and early infancy will have sufficient iodine to develop to its maximal potential.” [7]

Do you know of any other health benefits of breastfeeding? Tell us about them in the comments!

References:

  1. Lessen, R. & Kavanagh, K. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 115 (3).
  2. Thompson, A. L. Milk- and solid-feeding practices and daycare attendance are associated with differences in bacterial diversity, predominant communities, and metabolic and immune function of the infant gut microbiome. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.
  3. Henry Ford Health System. Breastfeeding, other factors help shape immune system early in life. ScienceDaily.
  4. Bergström, A. et al. Establishment of Intestinal Microbiota during Early Life: a Longitudinal, Explorative Study of a Large Cohort of Danish Infants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 80 (9).
  5. Victora, C. G. et al. Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil. The Lancet Global Health. 3 (4).
  6. Pokhrel, S. et al. Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. Archives of Disease in Childhood.
  7. Public Health Committee of the American Thyroid Association. Iodine supplementation for pregnancy and lactation-United States and Canada: recommendations of the American Thyroid Association. Thyroid. 16 (10).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

4 Toxins That Are Destroying Your Gut Health

exercise-for-a-healthy-gut

Many people don’t realize just how important gut bacteria is for their health. Your gut is home to about one trillion bacteria, and in order to keep things running smoothly those bacteria need to stay healthy. But there are many, many things out there that can upset that balance.

4 Toxins That Destroy Gut Health

Keeping your body healthy relies heavily on the health of your gut. Here are just 4 toxins that are destroying your gut health and, subsequently, your overall wellbeing.

  1. Antibiotics

Studies suggest certain antibiotics can affect gut flora—even changing “the microbial and metabolic patterns of the gut.” [1] When you take a common antibiotic like penicillin or erythromycin, for example, the diversity of those bacteria could decrease. [2] Even if levels will likely return to normal over time, these drugs disturb your gut’s health, and that could be a factor in future health problems.

  1. Pesticides

One of the main ingredients in the weedkiller Roundup, glyphosate is often used by farmers. Residues from the toxin then go on to contaminate our food supply. With gluten intolerance and celiac disease on the rise, a recent study suggests glyphosate is the culprit and that it destroys gut health and kills off healthy gut bacteria. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease can, in turn, lead to other health issues. [3] However, thanks to assurances from Monsanto, glyphosate’s creator, the EPA still doesn’t recognize the threat of this toxin to humans.

    3. Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers keep the ingredients in processed food from separating. They’re also used to improve the shelf-life of items, or to help the texture. If you’re buying processed food, it’s likely you’re also buying emulsifiers. New research shows these toxic additives could also be adding to the obesity epidemic ”by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract.” [4] There’s even evidence suggesting emulsifiers could be a factor in other serious health issues like inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

  1. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners could even change the way your body processes sugar—leading to high blood sugar, a possible precursor to diabetes. [5] Because they contain no calories, these sweeteners aren’t digested, but they still have to make their way through the gastrointestinal tract. That same study also strongly suggests artificial sweeteners could, if nothing else, contribute to weight gain—that they “may favor the growth of bacteria that make more calories available to us, calories that can then find their way to our hips, thighs and midriffs.” [6]

One Final Thought

Gut health does more than just affect physical health; there’s evidence suggesting levels of certain gut bacteria could be linked to autism and depression. [7] Another report suggests probiotics could help autistic children. [8] So remember, keeping your gut healthy could go a long way to improve your entire state of being.

What do you do to maintain your gut health? Tell us about it in the comments.

References:

  1. Perez-Cobas, A. E. et al. Gut microbiota disturbance during antibiotic therapy: a multi-omic approach. Gut. 62.
  2. Hassan, T. Pharmacologic considerations for patients taking oral contraceptives. CONNECTICUT DENTAL STUDENT JOURNAL.
  3. Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy. 15 (4).
  4. Chassaing, B. et al. Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome. Nature. 519.
  5. Suez, J. et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 514 (7521).
  6. Shell, E. R. Artificial Sweeteners May Change Our Gut Bacteria in Dangerous Ways. Scientific American. 312 (4).
  7. Kang, D. et al. Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children. PLoS ONE.
  8. Patterson, P. et al. Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cell. 155 (7).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Why Laptops Should Be Renamed To Protect Consumers

laptop

Recent research published in the journal Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health concluded that the “Laptop is paradoxically an improper site for the use of a LTC [laptop computer], which consequently should be renamed to not induce customers towards an improper use.” [emphasis added]

What lead these reseachers to reach such a seemingly drastic conclusion?

In the study referenced above and titled “Exposure to electromagnetic fields from laptop use of “laptop” computers,” researchers found that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by laptop computers likely induce currents within the adult body, and the bodies of developing fetuses exposed by proxy, to unsafe levels.  They found that in the laptop computers analyzed EMF values were “considerably higher than the values recommended by 2 recent guidelines for computer monitors magnetic field emissions…”

Furthermore:

When close to the body, the laptop induces currents that are within 34.2% to 49.8% ICNIRP recommendations, but not negligible, to the adult’s body and to the fetus (in pregnant women). On the contrary, the power supply induces strong intracorporal electric current densities in the fetus and in the adult subject, which are respectively 182-263% and 71-483% higher than ICNIRP 98 basic restriction recommended to prevent adverse health effects.
— Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, 2012 Jan; 67(1): 31-6

The fact that laptop computers may have adverse health effects was confirmed late last year (Nov. 2011) in the journal Fertility and Sterility, which we reported on in this article.  In summary, researchers discovered that laptops connected to the internet through Wi-Fi decrease human sperm motility and increase sperm DNA fragmentation. This was the first human clinical study of its kind to establish that laptop-associated radiation can cause substantial harm to male fertility.

Laptop computers are far more convenient than desktops and difficult to avoid, especially if your livelihood is in any way connected to computer work and the internet. An effort should be made to use them cautiously and to avoid putting them directly on your lap. When circumstances make such exposures unavoidable it is possible that natural substances like turmeric, and propolis, along with other radioprotective substances, can reduce the adverse effects associated with exposure to harmful electromagnetic fields.


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

4 Surprising Health Benefits Of Red Wine

red wine

Do you know about the secret ingredient in red wine? Resveratrol can do things like help lower bad cholesterol and combat obesity, but it has the potential to do so much more! In fact, another study recently suggested it can even reduce heart disease by limiting the “formation of inflammatory factors”—possibly slowing it down before it becomes a problem, so to speak. [1] Don’t think resveratrol will make you instantly healthy, and always make sure you get all the heart-healthy benefits by exercising (not while drinking, of course). [2] But it’s not just red wine’s “wonder drug” that has people reaching for a wine glass.

Surprising Benefits of Red Wine

Red wine isn’t just a sophisticated alcoholic beverage; it’s a powerful food that, in moderation, could provide numerous health benefits. Here are 4 surprising health benefits of red wine.

  1. Fights Cavities

Just about all of us would agree that good dental health is a priority. While many communities still fluoridate water for supposed dental health, the effects are limited and also harmful. So it’s great to hear that a little red wine could have the same effect. A new study even suggested it could even help fight cavities by preventing bacterial growth. [3]

  1. Makes You More Attractive

A study suggested a glass of red wine could lead to a happier, more relaxed mood and could also increase facial flushing. [4] Sort of a no brainer, right? Well, here’s where it gets interesting. These things can make you more attractive in the eyes of your partner. While not a physical health benefit, I think most of us would agree that’s a definite emotional perk.

  1. Eases Depression

Let’s head back to the “wonder drug” resveratrol. One recent study suggested its anti-inflammatory properties could even help with depression. [5] With almost 148 million people in the U.S. battling some form of depression, this news could be huge—maybe even leading more scientists to study the connection between natural anti-inflammatories and depression.

  1. Cancer Fighting Properties

We all know that drinking alcohol damages cells in the body; well, resveratrol can actually attack and kill those damaged cells. [6] In a recent study, resveratrol in red wine counteracted the effects of alcohol, leading to a lower cancer rate. Anything that can help in cancer prevention is definitely a beautiful thing!

One Final Thought

Remember how I mentioned earlier that resveratrol could help combat obesity? There’s recent evidence suggesting a glass of wine a day could help overweight people burn fat faster. [7] That’s not to say red wine is a total freebie. You can’t just drink all you like; there will always be risks with that kind of behavior, but red wine in moderation (1 to 3 drinks per day) has the potential to do a lot of good. [8] Remember though, red wine is not the only source for resveratrol; you can also find it in things like certain nuts and berries, white wine—even dark chocolate.

How do you get your resveratrol? Tell us in the comments!

References:

  1. Bollmann, F. et al. Resveratrol post-transcriptionally regulates pro-inflammatory gene expression via regulation of KSRP RNA binding activity. Nucleic Acids Research. 42 (20).
  2. European Society of Cardiology. Wine only protects against CVD in people who exercise. European Society of Cardiology.
  3. Muñoz-González, I. et al. Red Wine and Oenological Extracts Display Antimicrobial Effects in an Oral Bacteria Biofilm Model. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62 (20).
  4. Van Den Abbeele, J et al. Increased Facial Attractiveness Following Moderate, but not High, Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol and Alcoholism.
  5. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Component of red grapes, wine could help ease depression. ScienceDaily.
  6. Shrotriya, S. et al. A Perspective on Chemoprevention by Resveratrol in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.
  7. Okla, M. et al. Ellagic acid modulates lipid accumulation in primary human adipocytes and human hepatoma Huh7 cells via discrete mechanisms. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 26 (1).
  8. Larsson, S.C. et al. Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 64 (3).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The Ideal Ratio Of Omega 6:3 Fats – And How Both Can Stop Cancer

omega-6-cancer-cure-preventer

We’ve been told why omega 3 fats are important, but healthy omega 6 fats are more crucial. Learn the correct ratio of omega 6:3, and how they can both stop cancer.

Omega 6 fats, derived from natural healthy sources, have been somewhat demonized or at least forgotten in the world of natural health and nutrition. A lot of focus has gone towards highlighting the importance of omega 3 fats – and rightly so, because omega 3 fats do play a vital role in boosting the health of your heart and brain, and preventing inflammation and diseases like arthritis, Crohn’s, ADHD and cancer. However, the downside has been that people have over-compensated for this by taking excess omega 3 supplements (usually fish oils) and have thrown their omega 6:3 ratio – and body – out of balance. However, both omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids offer potent health benefits which are so powerful that they actually act as a cancer preventer and/or cancer cure.

The Ideal Ratio of Omega 6:3 Fatty Acids in the Body

So what then is the best ratio of omega 6:3 fats for optimal health? For this answer we turn to Professor Brain Peskin, one of the true experts in this field of nutrition. Peskin is a scientist who specializes in studying parent EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids). He noticed that the term “EFA” was being widely misused – people were using it to describe secondary derivatives of EFAs such as EPA, DHA and GLA. To counter this, Peskin actually coined a new term (Parent Essential Oils or PEOs) to describe the 2 true essential or critical fatty acids which are the foundations of all the others. These 2 are LA or linoleic acid (another name for omega 6 fatty acid) and ALA or alpha-linoleic acid (another name for omega 3 fatty acid). Your body can make all the other fatty acids from these 2 “parent” oils.

To determine the ideal omega 6:3 ratio for the human diet, Peskin studied the composition of fat inside human tissue. He found that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 was much higher in the body than you might believe. In the brain and nervous system, it is 100:1; in the skin, 1000:1; in the organs, 4:1; in the adipose tissue (fat), 22:1; and in muscles, 6.5:1. Most of the human body is made of fat and muscle, so you could say the average ratio – as found in the composition of the human body – is around 10:1. Much higher than you may have thought!

Based on this, Peskin recommends “a ratio of greater than 1:1 up to 2.5:1 of parent omega-6 to parent omega-3. With this ratio, a suggested use is 725 mg per 40 lb of body weight (e.g. a 160-lb person requires 3 g on a daily basis).”

But Weren’t We Told We Were Eating Too Much Omega 6?

Yes, we were told that, but you have to look at the type of fat or oil. I have previously written about the dangers of plastic oils or plastic fats, and how we must learn to differentiate between healthy fats (that come from a farm or field and have not been adulterated) and hydrogenated fats (the plastic fats which Big Pharma and Big Agra chemical companies have been pushing). One of the main problems with eating too much omega 6 is that, for the average person, the omega 6 they are getting are trans fats or hydrogenated fats; they are part of margarine, Crisco or some other adulterated vegetable oil, rather than raw olive oil, walnuts or sunflower seeds. We are not necessarily eating too much omega 6; we are eating too much unhealthy omega 6.

Epigenetics, the Environment of the Cell, is Far More Reponsible for Health/Disease than Genetics

Another thing I like about Peskin is how he has sought to scientifically prove that the state of health (or disease) of a cell or body is overall not due to genetics. This busts the Big-Pharma promoted propaganda that people are destined to get disease due to their genes, and there’s nothing they can do about it. The idea that you are completely controlled by your genes is an insidious, disempowering lie which can strip you of your confidence, will and responsibility. It can also lead you to undergo insane operating procedures, such as Angelina Jolie’s decision to have her breasts cut off because they might – might – one day develop a malignant tumor. Yet in today’s upside-down world, such as decision was greeted with admiration and painted by mainstream women talkshow hosts as “brave”, when “insane” or “masochistic” may be better adjectives to describe it.

Epigenetics is the new field of science that explores why some genes are expressed and some are not. We now know that every cell membrane has receptors that pick up environmental signals. In other words, your cells can choose whether or not to read their genetic blueprint, depending upon the signals they get from the environment. Even if you do have a so-called “cancer gene”, if there is definitively such a thing, it does not necessarily have to get expressed. You are not controlled by your genes; which genes are turned on or off, expressed or not expressed, is primarily determined by your thoughts, attitudes and perceptions!

Peskin wrote an article in 2011 entitled “Good News: It’s Not Genetic“. In it he shows the science of why “your DNA sequence does not determine your entire genetic fate” and why “mutations are caused by epigenetic adulteration (environmental causes altering the behavior of genes but not necessarily the structure).” To those who have always intuitively felt that we humans are more powerful than we generally think or have been taught to believe, it provides scientific evidence showing why genes can be overcome and why free will can be more powerful than determinism.

Both Omega 6 and 3 Are Cancer Preventers and Cancer Cures

Coming back to omega 6 and omega 3 fats, Peskin has also extensively studied the direct relationship of EFAs and PEOs to cancer and cardiovascular disease, the 2 leading causes of death in the US. His research shows that both omega 6s and omega 3s can actually act as cancer preventers and cancer cures. Remember the 1931 Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg, who discovered that hypoxia (lack of oxygen reaching the tissues) could result in cancer? And conversely that cancer could be cured by getting enough oxygen to the weakened cells? Many healing protocols and products (such as Vital Ion) are based on the idea of deep oxygenation of the body – of getting enough oxygen into the cells, knowing that parasites cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment.

Healthy PEO omega 6 and omega 3 fats can solve the oxygen problem, and thus the cancer problem. They both build cells and contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, such as precursors like prostaglandin and the body’s powerful “natural blood thinner” prostacyclin (a platelet anti-aggregate and anti-adhesive). In Peskin’s report Anti-Aging Therapeutics Volume XII, he explains how he conducted an experiment by feeding mice a PEO blend (comprised of healthy omega 6 and omega 3 fats). The mice fed the most PEO fats faed the best, with highly significant tumor reduction. Peskin concludes that “my experiment conclusively shows that PEO-based oils are able to modify the internal structure of cells in an epigenetic fashion, thus making them more cancer resistant; the desired anti-cancer/increased cellular oxygenation solution is accomplished per Warburg’s findings.”

Sources:

http://www.brianpeskin.com/BP.com/reports/PEO-Info.pdf

http://www.brianpeskin.com/BP.com/reports/NotGeneticCAMB.pdf

http://www.brianpeskin.com/BP.com/publications/2011-anti-aging-therapeutics,pdf.pdf


Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of the global conspiracy, from vaccines to Zionism to false flag operations and more, and also including info on natural health, sovereignty and higher consciousness.

Tylenol Kills Emotions As Well As Pain, Study Reveals

tylenol emotions

For decades Tylenol has been used as a pain-killer, but new research reveals it has psychiatric side effects including dulled emotional responses to both positive and negative stimuli. 

The public is beginning to understand that many over-the-counter painkillers do more than just kill pain, but sometimes kill those taking them.

For instance, A 2013 review of 754 clinical trials published in Lancet found that NSAID use was associated with roughly double the heart failure risk. Ibuprofen, in particular, has been estimated to cause thousands to die of cardiovascular events each year, and according to the lead researcher of the Lancet review, equally as dangerous for long-term users as the drug Vioxx which was estimated to cause 30,000 excess heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999-2003 alone.

Popular over-the-counter painkillers include acetaminophen (Tylenol) , ibuprofen, napoxen (Alleve) and aspirin, and many pop them like candy to reduce pain and inflammation without ever looking to identify and resolve the root causes of their symptoms.

Now, a new study finds that not only does the Tylenol affect the body, but it also dulls the emotional responses of users as well.

(click image to enlarge)

tylenol

The groundbreaking new study published in the journal Psychology Science titled, “Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike: Acetaminophen Blunts Evaluation Sensitivity to Both Negative and Positive Stimuli“”, found that:

“Participants who took acetaminophen evaluated unpleasant stimuli less negatively and pleasant stimuli less positively, compared with participants who took a placebo.”

In the study, participants were randomly assigned to take either an acute dose of 1,000 mg of acetaminophen or a placebo, both in a liquid form. As a double-blind study, neither the experimenters nor the participants were aware of which they received. After a 60-minute waiting period to allow the Tylenol to enter their brain, participants were shown pictures depicting positive and negative events to ascertain the intensity of their responses.

The researchers discussed the implications of their findings:

“Across two studies, we demonstrated that acetaminophen attenuates individuals’ evaluations and emotional reactions to negative and positive stimuli alike. These results build on recent psychological research illustrating that acetaminophen can blunt the intensity with which individuals experience negative events that originate from physical, social, or cognitive sources (DeWall et al., 2015; DeWall et al., 2010; Randles et al., 2013). Further, these findings expand on the research to date to show that acetaminophen blunts positive evaluations in like fashion.”

They noted that their research has significant implications for Tylenol’s psychotropic properties:

“That a drug purported to relieve negative evaluations of pain also reduces positive evaluations of pleasant stimuli suggests the existence of a common evaluative psychological process that influences a wide range of thoughts and behaviors. This might mean, for instance, that certain methods designed to specifically alter individuals’ reactivity to negative stimuli (e.g., treatment of phobias) could, if too broadly applied, potentially change their sensitivity to emotionally evocative stimuli more generally, including positive events (e.g., causing them to feel less joy at a wedding). It is interesting that such diminished evaluation sensitivity could also presumably cause people to feel less conflicted, indecisive, or uncomfortable when they experience ambivalence toward individuals or experiences that elicit both negative and positive reactions (e.g., Priester & Petty, 1996; Rydell & Durso, 2012).”

Clearly, this study opens up a disturbing possibility that commonly used pain-killers, work both physically and emotionally, to blunt the intensity of both physical and psychological experiences. Were these drugs safe, and not causing thousands of deaths a year, perhaps this ‘side effect’ could be considered justifiable. But considering that they do indeed have lethal side effects, it is important for consumers to know that they also may come with psychiatric ones.

Considering it took the FDA 32 years after its own expert panel told the agency in 1977 that it was “obligatory” to put on the warning label of Tylenol products that it caused “severe liver damage,” we are doubtful that this information will be disseminated widely any time soon.

For more information on the dangers of Tylenol, read the recent ProPublica expose titled, “Use Only As Directed,” or review our Tylenol and NSAID databases for hundreds of articles linking these drugs to dozens of serious health problems.

Also, for those looking for natural alternatives, you can review the following articles on the topic:


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

Can Vitamin D Levels Predict Depression?

depression

You probably know that vitamin D plays an important role in the human body, helping to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. It’s also possible that you have heard that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health problems, including rickets, breast cancer, heart disease, and weight gain. But what you most likely haven’t heard is that in addition to these serious issues, certain experts believe that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to clinical depression.

Vitamin D and Depression

A recent study may confirm the link between low serum levels of vitamin D and depressive symptoms. [1] The study assessed 185 healthy young women over four weeks, measuring their vitamin D levels and symptoms of depression. Researchers found that nearly half of the participants had vitamin D deficiency, and over a third had symptoms of clinically significant depressive symptoms.

When examining data from the study, investigators took factors such as season, body mass index, diet, exercise, and race into account. They found that lower vitamin D levels across the month-long period predicted symptoms of depression, and the only other factor that could predict such symptoms was the use of antidepressants.

Vitamin D: A Potent Fighter for Depression?

Though more research is needed to establish and understand the relationship between vitamin D and depression, the recent study certainly strengthens widespread suspicions that the two are linked. But what does this really mean?

No one is saying that vitamin D should be used to replace antidepressants or other types of depression treatments, but there is certainly no harm in using it as a supplement to such treatments as it is relatively inexpensive and low-risk. Whatever role vitamin D plays in depression, it’s highly advisable to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D regardless to promote bone growth and reduce the risk of other health problems.

References:

  1. David C. R. Kerr, et al. Association between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in young healthy adult women. Psychiatry Research. February 25, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.02.016.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

4 Reasons To Be Skeptical Of Products From China

made in china

Much of China is heavily polluted and the air quality is especially terrible. Pollution levels in Beijing can sometimes get up to 20 times the limit set by the World Health Organization! [1] All this pollution could certainly be a dangerous factor when it comes to the products you buy, but it’s more than just toxic air. Many of the herbal and nutritional supplements you might get from China are produced in questionable conditions, and these products can potentially do more harm than good.

  1. Air Pollution in China is Off the Charts

Back in January of this year, Beijing’s air quality was so poor that a certain pollutant (PM2.5) measured beyond index levels. [2] As particulates, PM2.5 can be serious because they are tiny enough to enter the lungs and blood stream directly. To put that level in perspective, the current air quality system defines anything above 150 as unhealthy; Beijing’s level was well over 500, but can’t even compare to the 755 that was recorded in the city a few years ago. [3]

  1. Food Produced in China Contains Questionable Additives

If you’re buying food from China, you’re likely getting more additives than you think. The Chinese food industry currently uses about 2,000 food additives. [4] Most of those are, unfortunately, completely legal. Recently, tainted tofu was sold to local markets. [5] While the food didn’t make it to the U.S., tons of tofu sticks were bleached with the industrial toxin Rongalite to appear brighter and chewier. With a possible link to cancer, Rongalite is banned from food production for a reason!

     3. China Has Insane Levels of Mercury Pollution

But PM2.5 and other “traditional” pollutants aren’t the only things you have to watch out for; after centuries of mining, mercury levels can often be off the charts as well. [6] The toxic metal builds up in the air, in the soil, in the water, and, unfortunately, also in our bodies. In one province where a mercury mine was closed in 2001, almost 300 former miners suffered from mercury poisoning.

  1. The Water in China is Tainted with Antibiotics

Antibiotic run-off in the water supply is also becoming a concern, with one of China’s largest drug producers and poultry farmers painted as the culprits. [7] This contamination could cause antibiotic resistance in humans and damage to the ecosystem. [8] To top it off, regulations aren’t strictly monitored by local agencies, so a bad situation just becomes worse. Those farmers are also dumping bird feces! What does this mean for any herbs or produce that are given this water?

One Final Thought

The lax standards in China sometimes allow for some suspect items. Toys with higher levels of lead and chromium can make their way over to the U.S., but there’s a glimmer of hope as some legislation has sought to catch polluters. As you can read above, though, China still has a long way to go, so think about these things the next time you pick up a Chinese product. Certainly, there are a lot of Chinese products that are fine, but just as with anything you buy, you need to make sure you’re getting a safe item.

Have you eliminated China-made goods from your life? What tips can you offer?

References:

  1. World Health Organization. WHO Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. World Health Organization.
  2. Embassy of the Unites States: Beijing, China. U.S. Embassy Beijing Air Quality Monitor. Embassy of the Unites States: Beijing, China.
  3. West, J. Beijing’s toxic air is literally off the charts. Grist.
  4. Jia, H. China’s war on food additives a difficult task. Royal Society of Chemistry.
  5. Hongyi, W. Tougher regulation urged on use of additives. China Daily.
  6. Zhang, L. & Wong, M.H. Environmental mercury contamination in China: sources and impacts. Environment International. 33 (1).
  7. Sha, L. High levels of antibiotics in China’s rivers. Global Times.
  8. Ouyang, W. Y. et al. Increased levels of antibiotic resistance in urban stream of Jiulongjiang River, China. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

7 Things Expecting Mothers Need To Know

Being Pregnant

Maybe you’re a new mother and are expecting a new bundle of joy. Of course, you want to make sure things are just right for your baby, and part of that starts with the choices you make right now. Making sure you are limiting (or preferably avoiding altogether) toxic exposure is a great first step. One avenue to consider is traffic pollution. Cutting that out of your life completely might not be practical, but there’s recent evidence that suggests it could be harming your unborn child. In fact, women who are exposed to high traffic pollution during the second trimester are at a greater risk of giving birth to a child with fragile lungs. [1] [2]

7 Things to Watch Out For

Unfortunately, today’s world is rife with toxic contaminants, and traffic pollution is just one thing you need to reduce when expecting. Here are 7 more things for you to think about during your pregnancy and beyond.

  1. Watch Out for Household Chemicals

Found in many common products, triclosan is a pretty nasty endocrine disruptor that could be harming your baby. [3] The germ-killer triclocarban—found in some bar soaps—is also a concern. While it’s not completely clear what these endocrine disruptors can do, studies have linked triclosan to liver cancer, and more children are being exposed to both of these toxins in the womb. [4]

     2. Beware of BPA and BPS Products

Used in lots of plastic goods, BPA is bad news for the endocrine system, and its substitute BPS really isn’t much better. You probably get more BPA exposure than you think from those thermal receipts that are so popular nowadays, and if a company uses BPS…well, they can label that item as BPA-free. Pregnant women might want to be especially wary of endocrine disruptors, since a recent study suggests both BPA and BPS could cause “real and measurable changes in the development of a brain region that plays a key role in fear, impulse-control, obesity and early puberty.” [5] It’s also a smart idea to check with your hospital about the BPA status of medical equipment. [6]

  1. Phthalates Can Harm Your Baby’s IQ

A recent report suggests children exposed to high-levels of phthalates in the womb are more likely to have lower IQs—possibly by as much as seven points. [7] One of the researchers commented a drop like that could have a significant impact on academic achievement. But, unfortunately, phthalates are all around us. One of the toxins (di-n-butyl phthalate) could even be used in pill coatings. [8] So while avoiding exposure might be impossible, reducing it definitely can’t hurt.

  1. That Glass of Red Wine Might Not Be as Safe as You’ve Been Told

Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant in red wine that’s said to do everything from combat obesity to help with heart disease. Just one glass of red wine can’t hurt, right? Well, recent evidence suggests this ‘health food’ in a glass could damage your unborn baby’s pancreas. Just keep in mind, however, that what might be healthy for the mother may not be that great for the developing fetus. [9]

  1. A New Nursery Can Be the Source of Harmful Toxins

When waiting for your new arrival, your instinct is to create the perfect nursery. Often, that could involve installing new flooring, but a recent study suggests that might not be the best idea. [10] Toxins like styrene and ethylbenzene can be used in carpet glue and in laminate. We know these toxins are bad news, but they can be even worse for developing lungs—both before and after birth—potentially causing wheezing and other breathing problems.

  1. Antidepressants Can Cause Autism

While you should never just stop taking your medication without a doctor’s consent, a recent study suggests a pregnant woman’s use of antidepressants could slightly increase the risk for autism in her child. [11] These findings are still new and more research is needed, but the trick for researchers will be balancing the mental health of mother and child. The good news, though, is taking prenatal vitamins could reduce the autism risk by half. [12]

     7. Don’t Let Your Kid Put Toys in Their Mouth

While 6 phthalates are banned in children’s toys in the U.S., unbanned—and sometimes even banned—ones can show up in toys. Studies reveal that early exposure to phthalates can harm male reproduction and influence early puberty. [13] One study found higher than legal limits of lead and chromium in certain toys. So, for health’s sake, make sure to keep those toys away from little mouths.

One Final Thought

Toxins can be such a danger to our children; unfortunately, many doctors don’t talk about these things with new and expecting mothers, so you need to educate yourself. Let this be one step towards learning as much as you can about what toxins can potentially harm your baby.

Do you want to know more for your baby’s sake? Please feel free to leave you thoughts or questions in the comments.

References:

  1. Morales, E. et al. Intrauterine and early postnatal exposure to outdoor air pollution and lung function at preschool age. Thorax. 70.
  2. Sly, P. D. Traffic-related air pollution: an avoidable exposure to improve respiratory health. Thorax. 70.
  3. Pycke, B. F. et al. Human fetal exposure to triclosan and triclocarban in an urban population from Brooklyn, New York. Environmental Science & Technology. 48 (15).
  4. Dinwiddie, M., Terry, P. & Chen, J. Recent Evidence Regarding Triclosan and Cancer Risk. International Journal of Environmental Responsibility and Public Health. 11 (2).
  5. Kinch, C. et al. Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (5).
  6. Mallow, E. B. & Fox, M. A. Phthalates and critically ill neonates: device-related exposures and non-endocrine toxic risks. Journal of Perinatology. 34.
  7. Factor-Litvak, P. et al. Persistent Associations between Maternal Prenatal Exposure to Phthalates on Child IQ at Age 7 Years. PLOS ONE.
  8. Kelley, K. et al. Identification of Phthalates in Medications and Dietary Supplement Formulations in the United States and Canada. Environmental Health Perspectives. 120 (3).
  9. Roberts, V. et al. Beneficial and cautionary outcomes of resveratrol supplementation in pregnant nonhuman primates. FASEB. 28 (6).
  10. Franck, U. et al. Prenatal VOC exposure and redecoration are related to wheezing in early infancy. Environment International. 73.
  11. Harrington, R. et al. Prenatal SSRI Use and Offspring With Autism Spectrum Disorder or Developmental Delay. Pediatrics.
  12. Schmidt, RJ. Prenatal vitamins, one-carbon metabolism gene variants, and risk for autism. Epidemiology. 22 (4).
  13. US Public Interest Research Group. Trouble in Toyland. US Public Interest Research Group.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Does ADHD Exist?

ADHD

Did you catch my entry about 6 toxic causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? In it, I mentioned that I’d look at the other side of the argument. Is this a true neurological disorder that needs life-long medical treatment, or is the ADHD diagnosis simply an overgeneralization of a underlying condition? So, let’s get down to what those folks believe: does ADHD actually exist?

The Truth about ADHD

With a 53 percent increase in ADHD cases over the last 10 years, many think that there’s an extreme overdiagnosis out there—that many primary care physicians tend to diagnose without looking at other factors. [1] The CDC notes that poverty is actually the biggest factor in an ADHD diagnosis. These children are often victim to environmental factors, but, rather than getting the help they need to cope with these, are just given a diagnosis and a pill. So now we have an explanation for at least some of the influx. What else?

Other Factors that Influence an ADHD Diagnosis

According to Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, some of the diagnoses could have something to do with the amount of time our children have to sit still. [2] Take the case of a 6-year-old boy who was labeled as having ADHD simply because he couldn’t sit still for the entire day. Does anyone else see the lack of logic in this situation? I’m sure a lot of children (and some adults) have trouble keeping their seat for eight hours straight.

Still, others think the over diagnosis is also caused by simple misdiagnosis; “the symptoms of ADHD are also the symptoms of some learning disabilities, of depression, of having been mistreated, or of a chaotic classroom. ADHD too often can be a convenient label to describe problems that have other origins.” [3]

Going along with this idea is the theory that pharmaceutical companies are blowing the ADHD problem way out of proportion. Why? Money, of course. The sales of stimulants were up to $9 billion in 2012; that’s up from $1.7 billion a decade ago. [4] And marketing for these drugs is usually fairly extreme, with one ad even citing a stimulant as “safer than aspirin.” The FDA even had to get in on policing this issue, citing every major drug for ADHD as misleading consumers with false advertising multiple times since 2000.

What to Consider with ADHD

Nutritional factors for ADHD are very real, and you can’t expect one to be focused during the day on a junk-food diet. Lack of exercise and sunlight are also important factors, as physical exercise–particularly outside–can support mood and release excess energy. Certainly, these are things to think about, but then again, if you or your child have ADHD, you might have a decidedly different opinion.

So what do you think? Is ADHD a real condition, or is it something entirely different? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Findings: Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosis and Medication Treatment for ADHD: United States, 2003—2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Strauss, V. Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today. The Washington Post.
  3. Healy, M. The ADHD explosion: A new book explores factors that have fueled it. The LA Times.
  4. Schwarz, A. The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder. The New York Times.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

9 Facts Everyone Should Know About Vitamin D

vitamin d

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining your health, but many people don’t know just how important it is. Almost all of us at one point or another have experienced low vitamin D levels, whether we have realized it or not. Symptoms often manifest as poor energy, insomnia, compromised immune system, and mood imbalance. That’s why I want you to know these 9 facts about D. Everyone needs to know these, so let’s dive right in!

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

You probably already know that the best source of vitamin D is the sun, something all of us rarely get access to on a daily basis. Without appropriate sunlight exposure, our vitamin D status decreases and our health follows. Here are a few things you should know about vitamin D:

  1. Most of Us Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D

In the U.K., not only is the recommended daily allowance (RDA) much lower than in the U.S., but also many people don’t realize how important this vitamin is for bone health. [1] Because of this, many kids and adults there don’t get enough. [2] But while U.S. RDA can sometimes be as high as 4000 IU, a higher guideline doesn’t mean all Americans will get enough either. Since you get Vitamin D from both diet and sunlight, make sure you’re getting enough.

  1. Vitamin D is Insanely Good for Your Health

Some experts say Vitamin D not only helps in bone health but can also aid in heart, brain, and immune system function, even noting that lower levels can be associated with asthma. [3] Some suggest it could even protect against certain forms of cancer. [4] It’s fairly well established, though, that maintaining proper levels can stave off infections and prevent bone brittleness. [5] [6]

     3. Vitamin D Can Cut the Risk of Breast Cancer

I’m not saying a vitamin D supplement will cure or prevent breast cancer but a recent study suggests spending some time in the sun each day can reduce your risk for breast cancer. This exposure stimulates Vitamin D production in your skin, and that alone could cut your risk for breast cancer in half. [7] Opt for around 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure per day without sunscreen.

  1. Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of MS

In Scotland, where sun exposure is typically low, there’s a push to supplement the nation’s food with Vitamin D. One source of Vitamin D is from the sun. Because of this, much of the population is deficient, and some experts blame that deficiency for a high rate of multiple sclerosis—one of the highest in the world. Studies suggest there could be a link between the two, and that Vitamin D could offer some neuroprotective effects. [8]

  1. Vitamin D Supports Verbal Communication

I wouldn’t have thought about this unless I’d read the study but a recent report suggests pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels are two times as likely to have children with language difficulties. [9] It’s important to remember that a developing baby relies entirely on the mother for vitamin D. This makes it doubly important for expectant mothers to get enough of the vitamin!

  1. Vitamin D Deficiency is Linked to Autism

With sunlight as a main source for Vitamin D production, increased sunscreen use, declining vitamin levels, and rising autism rates have had many wondering if there could be a connection. [10] While one study noted that autistic children do, in fact, have lower vitamin D levels than non-autistic children, more studies must be done before drawing a conclusion of any kind. [11] Regardless, it certainly seems to show how important Vitamin D can be to brain health.

  1. Low Vitamin D is Linked to Premature Death

In a worrisome discovery, low vitamin D levels have been linked to premature death. [12] Research has found that individuals with low blood levels of vitamin D had a doubled risk of premature death compared to those with a higher level. If you’re curious, your doctor can do a simple blood test so you can know your current levels of Vitamin D.

  1. Low Vitamin D Boosts Risk of Dementia

I’ve already mentioned vitamin D’s suspected role in brain health. A recent study even suggests low levels can boost a person’s risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. [13] As we age, our skin becomes less able to convert vitamin D from sunlight, so while it’s too early to draw conclusions, these findings could lead to updated guidelines for vitamin D levels in those over age 65.

     9. Fears of Skin Cancer May Lead to Vitamin D Deficiency

More evidence is stacking up for Vitamin D’s influence on health: one study even suggests it could protect us from high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke. [14] But fear of skin cancer is keeping people out of the sun, and that is leading to low levels of D. Consider getting your sun exposure in the morning or evening when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong.

One Final Thought

Vitamin D is crucial for the healthy body, but getting enough can be tricky as there aren’t too many foods that naturally contain the nutrient. With all we’ve heard about milk and healthy bones, you’d think dairy products would be a great source. While milk does contain Vitamin D, it might be time to rethink all you know about milk and bone health. One study suggests it’s not as helpful as originally thought when it comes to preventing bone fractures. [15] Since finding the right amount in foods can be tough, a vegan-friendly supplement is an easy way to always make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need to support your health.

References:

  1. Multiple Sclerosis Trust. Factsheet: Vitamin D. Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
  2. Department of Health and Food Standards Agency. National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Department of Health and Food Standards Agency.
  3. Sutherland, E.R. et al. Vitamin D Levels, Lung Function, and Steroid Response in Adult Asthma. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
  4. Garland, C. F. et al. The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention. American Journal of Public Health. 96 (2).
  5. Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Journal of Investigative Medicine.
  6. Cranney, A. et al. Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D in relation to bone health. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment. 158.
  7. John, E. et al. Sun Exposure, Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms, and Breast Cancer Risk in a Multiethnic Population. American Journal of Epidemiology. 166 (12).
  8. M. Cadden, N. Koven & M. Ross. Neuroprotective Effects of Vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis. Neuroscience & Medicine. 2(3).
  9. Whitehouse, A. et al. Maternal Serum Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Neurocognitive Development. Pediatrics.
  10. Grant, W.B. & Soles, C. M. Epidemiologic evidence supporting the role of maternal vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for the development of infantile autism. Dermato-endocrinology. 1 (6).
  11. Mostafa, G. & AL-Ayadhi , L. Y. Reduced serum concentrations of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in children with autism: Relation to autoimmunity. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 9.
  12. Garland, C. et al. Meta-analysis of All-Cause Mortality According to Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. American Journal of Public Health. 104 (8).
  13. Littlejohns, T. J. et al. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Neurology.
  14. Liu, D. et al. UVA Irradiation of Human Skin Vasodilates Arterial Vasculature and Lowers Blood Pressure Independently of Nitric Oxide Synthase. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 134.
  15. Michaëlsson, K. et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 349.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Do You Know These 6 Causes Of ADHD?

adhd

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is on the rise, and the ‘disorder’ is now affecting many adults. [1] With such an influx of new diagnoses each day, many people might be wondering what is causing it. As with any disorder there is a likely contributor, or a multitude of contributors. While it could be any number of things, chemicals could be a very likely factor in ADHD diagnosis. Let me share these 6 toxic causes of ADHD with you, and you can decide for yourself.

6 Contributors to ADHD

Children and adults are being diagnosed with ADHD at a quickening rate. Know these 6 contributors and see if any of them ring true in your own diagnosis.

  1. Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy

A recent study suggests pregnant women might want to avoid acetaminophen. Children born to mothers who take the over-the-counter medication could have an increased risk of ADHD. [2] While the increase in risk is small—less than ten percent—is taking acetaminophen really worth it? [3]

     2. BPA Exposure

Found in some plastic, BPA is a fairly well-known endocrine disruptor that so many manufacturers have turned to making BPA-free products. Studies suggest its substitute bisphenol-S, or BPS, could be just as bad for your health. One study looked at brain development after BPA/BPS exposure in zebrafish embryos and found a link to hyperactivity. [4] [5] While still very new, the findings suggest these chemicals could cause similar symptoms in humans.

  1. Lead Poisoning

Exposure to lead is bad news, as this toxic compound can cause poisoning. The highly toxic metal can affect anyone at any age, but young children are especially vulnerable: Lead has a devastating effect on the developing brain, sometimes causing long-term damage. [6] The developmental effects can be devastating, with low-level exposure linked to low IQs and ADHD in children. [7]

  1. Mercury Exposure

Many pregnant women tend to cut fish out of their diet completely in order to avoid mercury exposure. Like lead, mercury is a neurotoxin that should be avoided, but don’t give fish the boot just yet. While mercury could be linked to a higher risk of ADHD symptoms in children, eating more fish could possibly lower that same risk. [8] It’s all about balance and finding fish that carry a low mercury burden.

  1. Smog and Air Pollution

One study suggests prenatal exposure to air pollution can increase the risk for ADHD in kids. [9] Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are emitted by burning fossil fuels, so completely avoiding them can be quite difficult. But limiting your exposure could be the answer since “children born to mothers with higher levels of PAH during pregnancy had five-fold increased odds of showing symptoms of ADHD than those who were born to mothers with lower levels.”

  1. Consuming Food Dyes

For some children with ADHD, switching to foods without artificial coloring has helped manage symptoms, leading some researchers to believe there could be a link. [10] Unfortunately, products in the U.S. are not required to have a disclaimer connecting attention problems in children and dye consumption; however, some companies are shaping up when it comes to dyes. Kraft has already moved forward to get rid of yellow dyes from some of its character-shaped macaroni-and-cheese products in Europe and the U.S. [11]

 What Other Factors Contribute to ADHD?

There are some that just think our kids are too restrained, that ADHD is just a by-product of our generation. That’s something I’ll address in another entry, so be on the lookout! Toxic foods and ingredients like fluoride have definitely been implicated in ADHD symptoms, so it is best to go all natural or organic when trying to manage hyperactivity and poor focus. Doing something active that is also enjoyable could also be a great way to manage overactive energy levels and support concentration.

As for toxic exposure and ADHD, what do you think? Do you think there’s a connection? Tell us about it in the comments.

References:

  1. Getahun, D. et al. Recent Trends in Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. JAMA Pediatrics. 167 (3).
  2. Cooper, M. et al. Antenatal Acetaminophen Use and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. JAMA Pediatrics. 168 (4).
  3. Liew, Z. et al. Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders. JAMA Pediatrics. 168 (4).
  4. Bilbrey, J. BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous. Bilbrey, J.
  5. Kinch, C. D. et al. Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish. PNAS.
  6. Liu J. et al. Blood lead levels and children’s behavioral and emotional problems: a cohort study. JAMA Pediatrics. 168 (8).
  7. Schwartz, J. Low-level lead exposure and children’s IQ: a meta-analysis and search for a threshold. Environmental Research. 65 (1).
  8. Sagiv, S. et al. Prenatal Exposure to Mercury and Fish Consumption During Pregnancy and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder–Related Behavior in Children. JAMA Pediatrics. 168 (12).
  9. Perera, F. et al. Early-Life Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and ADHD Behavior Problems. PLOS ONE.
  10. Arnold, L. E. et al. Artificial Food Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms: Conclusions to Dye for. Neurotherapeutics. 9 (3).
  11. Center for Science in the Public Interest. Kraft Takes Food Dyes out of Some, But Not Most, Macaroni and Cheese. Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Taking Calcium Supplements Causes Brain Lesions

brain_lesions_calcium_supplements

Taking calcium supplements — even at low doses — linked to brain lesions in the first study of its kind. 

Most calcium supplements are just plain bad news. The idea of taking calcium in pill or tablet form to “keep the bones strong” just doesn’t make that much sense given, first, that we are designed to get our calcium from food. Second, our bone is a living tissue, which requires vitamin C, amino acids, magnesium, silica, vitamins D and K, etc., not to mention regular physical activity, just as much as it does calcium. Taking calcium to the exclusion of these other critical factors doesn’t make sense; nor does it make sense to look at osteoporosis as a deficiency of calcium supplements!

As we have reported on extensively in the past, not only is consuming limestone, bone, and the shells of oysters and eggs not a good idea because the calcium can deposit in our soft tissues leading to heart attacks and strokes, but even the goal of maintaining bones as dense as a 25-year old late into life (known as the T-score) is fraught with danger, including a far higher breast cancer risk for those with the highest bone density. Instead of pathologizing aging, and focusing on making the bone denser by any means necessary, the focus should be on bone quality and agility and bodily self-awareness late into life, which helps the elderly prevent the falls that lead to fracture in the first place. In other words, simply having a gait or vision disorder can be at least as an important factor in fracture risk as bone mineral density.

The problem with poor quality, inorganic, calcium supplements, however, does not stop with their contribution to cardiovascular disease risk. A combination of factors including low magnesium, vitamin K2 and the presence of fluoride in the water and diet can lead to pineal gland calcification, as well as the calcification of other brain structures, which recently has been hypothesized to be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

(click image to enlarge)

bjn

A truly provocative study on this topic published last year in the British Journal of Nutrition somehow slipped through the cracks, because not only did we miss it but we do not recall it being reported elsewhere. Titled, “Elevated brain lesion volumes in older adults who use calcium supplements: a cross-sectional clinical observational study,” the study looked at the possibility that since calcium supplements have now been linked in multiple studies with vascular pathologies associated with cardiovascular diseas they may also be associated with the occurrence of brain lesions (known on MRI scans as hyperintensities) in older adults. These brain lesions, visible as brighter spots in MRI scans, are known to be caused by lack of blood flow (ischemia) and subsequent neurological damage.

brain lesions

According to the study,

“Brain lesions,also known as hyperintensities, are areas of damage observed on brain MRI (See Above). These lesions are common in older adults and increase the risk of devastating health outcomes, including depression, cognitive decline, dementia, stroke, physical disability, hip fracture and death. Postmortem studies have determined that these lesions form primarily due to ischemia, especially larger lesions (.3mm) and lesions found in depressed individuals.”

The observational study enrolled 227 older adults (60 years above) and assessed food and supplemental calcium intakes. Participants with supplemental calcium use above zero were categorized as supplement users. Lesion volumes were assessed with MRI scans.

Key findings were:

  • Greater lesion volumes were found among calcium supplement users than non-users

  • The influence of calcium supplements was of a magnitude similar to that of the influence of high blood pressure (hypertension), “a well-established risk factor for lesions.”

  • The study found that the amount of calcium used was not associated with lesion volume and that “even low-dose supplements, by older adults may be associated with greater lesion volumes.”

  • Even after controlling for food calcium intake, age, sex, race, years of education, energy intake, depression and hypertension, the association between calcium supplement and lesion volumes held strong.

The study details were summarized as follows:

“In the present cross-sectional clinical observational study, the association between Ca-containing dietary supplement use and lesion volumes was investigated in a sample of 227 older adults (60 years and above). Food and supplemental Ca intakes were assessed with the Block 1998 FFQ; participants with supplemental Ca intake above zero were categorised as supplement users. Lesion volumes were determined from cranial MRI (1.5 tesla) scans using a semi-automated technique; volumes were log-transformed because they were non-normal. ANCOVA models revealed that supplement users had greater lesion volumes than non-users, even after controlling for food Ca intake, age, sex, race, years of education, energy intake, depression and hypertension (Ca supplement use: β = 0.34, SE 0.10, F(1,217)= 10.98, P= 0.0011). The influence of supplemental Ca use on lesion volume was of a magnitude similar to that of the influence of hypertension, a well-established risk factor for lesions. Among the supplement users, the amount of supplemental Ca was not associated with lesion volume (β = – 0.000035, SE 0.00 015, F(1,139)= 0.06, P= 0.81). The present study demonstrates that the use of Ca-containing dietary supplements, even low-dose supplements, by older adults may be associated with greater lesion volumes. Evaluation of randomised controlled trials is warranted to determine whether this relationship is a causal one.”

What is the mechanism beneath this association?

The researchers discussed the already established link between calcium supplementation and increased ischemic stroke risk, indicating that calcium supplementation may contribute to calcium deposits in the vasculature (i.e. arterial calcification), mainly in the fatty deposits (atheromas) that contribute to blocking the opening (lumen) of the blood vessels. They state that this process can lead to lack of blood flow and subsequent oxygen deprivation (ischemia), ultimately leading to the development of brain lesions. Another mechanism by which excess calcium may have a direct neurotoxic effect on the brain is the influx of excess calcium into brain cells, which lead to cell death. This possibility is greatly increased if the blood-brain barrier is compromised.

The researchers also highlighted the importance of the finding that calcium supplementation may have as significant a deleterious effect on brain lesions as high blood pressure (hypertension):

“If this finding is confirmed in longitudinal studies, it could have important health implications – because it is obviously much easier to cease Ca supplement use than to medically manage hypertension.”

In other words, hypertension is often caused by toxic antihypertensive drugs that may actually increase the risk of cardiac mortality. Why not remove one of the modifiable causes: calcium supplementation, which would strike to one of the root causes of the problem and resolve it.

The researchers concluded their study as follows:

“The use of Ca [calcium] -containing dietary supplements by older adults was found to be associated with greater brain lesion volumes, even after controlling for the usual amount of dietary Ca intake. Interestingly, neither the amount of supplemental Ca nor the duration of supplemental Ca use was associated with lesion volume. These findings indicate that adverse biochemical effects of supplemental Ca use may exist in older adults, regardless of the dose.”

So, what do we do instead of taking calcium supplements?

First, consider why you think you need calcium supplements. Is it because of the dairy industry promoting for decades the concept that we need calcium (from milk)? Or, is it because your doctor is throwing around terms like osteopenia and osteoporosis carelessly, without explaining to you that the present day bone mineral density (BMD) reference ranges assume that aging is a disease and even if you are 60 or 100 for that matter you are still supposed to have the BMD of a 25-year old young woman; an absurd and dangerous idea. Please read the expose, “Osteoporosis Myth: The Dangers of High Bone Mineral Density,” in order to understand how millions of healthy women were made to believe that aging is a disease, with worse health outcomes as a result of overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Now, when it comes to calcium, focus on food sources. The site NutritionData.com lists about 1,000 of the highest calcium-containing foods, categorized by food group: ​Foods highest in Calcium. Also, remember that the accelerated bone loss that occurs later in life in women, is triggered by hormonal changes associated with the exhaustion of the ovarian reserve. Nature, however, provides ‘back up’ support for the ovaries in the form of pomegranate. Other hormone-modulating foods include the fermented soy food miso, prunes, and even vitamin C, which has recently been found to regenerate steroid hormones.

For a far more extensive research resource on bone health, you can view our page dedicated to the topic here: Bone Health.


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

Is BRCA (“Breast Cancer Gene”) A Death Sentence?

breast cancer gene

What we think we know about the BRCA (Breast Cancer Susceptibility Associated) genes causing cancer is patently false, according to a new meta-analysis on the extant literature on the subject of these gene variations on breast cancer survival prognosis.  

A groundbreaking new meta-analysis published in PLoS titled,”Worse Breast Cancer Prognosis of BRCA1/BRCA2 Mutation Carriers: What’s the Evidence? A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis“, calls into question the value of using BRCA1/2 gene status to determine breast cancer survival prognosis, as is common practice today. This implications of this research may have wide-ranging effects as the present climate, following Angelina Jolie’s high profile decision to have prophylactic breast, ovary and fallopian tube removed due to her perceived “genetic inheritance,” is to equate BRCA status with bona fide and mathematically calculable disease risk certainty.

Jolie’s decision to subject herself to multiple prophylactic organ removal was based on the premise that her BRCA mutations would result in an 87 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and up to 54 percent chance of ovarian cancer, as prognosticated by her doctors. The notion that BRCA genes have full or near full penetrance (the ability of a mutation to cause clinically identifiable disease) has profound implications for the health of millions of women who rely on these predictions to make life and death medical decisions.

Because of a wide range of conflicting conclusions on the subject of BRCA’s role in determining cancer risk and prognosis, researchers in the new study attempted a systematic and quantitative synthesis of evidence using the following method:

“Eligible publications were observational studies assessing the survival of breast cancer patients carrying a BRCA1/2 mutation compared to non-carriers or the general breast cancer population. We performed meta-analyses and best-evidence syntheses for survival outcomes taking into account study quality assessed by selection bias, misclassification bias and confounding.”

They summarized their findings:

“Our review shows that, in contrast to currently held beliefs of many oncologists and despite 66 published studies, it is not yet possible to draw evidence-based conclusions about the association between BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation carriership and breast cancer prognosis. We only found sufficient evidence for a 10% worse unadjusted recurrence-free survival for BRCA1 mutation carriers. For all the other outcomes the evidence was judged to be indecisive.”

In their concluding remarks, the researchers state, “In contrast to currently held beliefs of some oncologists, current evidence does not support worse breast cancer survival of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers in the adjuvant setting; differences if any are likely to be small. More well-designed studies are awaited.”

In order to fully appreciate the implications of these findings one must understand the difference between using breast cancer diagnosis and breast cancer survival as a study end-point. Breast cancer is highly overdiagnosed and overtreated, with recent estimates indicating that about 1.3 million US women were wrongly diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in the past 30 years. And so, previous studies on BRCA1/2 gene variations and the incidence of breast cancer have not taken this massive statistical inflation of non-cancerous “breast cancer diagnoses” into account, further feeding the illusion that having an identified BRCA mutation equates to having a inexorably higher risk of a deadly cancer, when in fact, in cases where BRCA was linked to so-called early stage or ‘stage zero’ lesions such as Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), this condition was recently determined to be intrinsically benign by a NCI-commissioned expert panel and therefore should not be lumped together with other truly deadly forms of breast cancer, as is still common practice today despite the growing body of evidence against it.

The same goes with BRCA-linked ovarian tumors, such as Borderline Ovarian Tumors (BOTs), which are also benign and highly overdiagnosed and overtreated. In fact, a JAMA study found that 5 times more women are diagnosed and treated with ovarian cancer than actually have it — indicating a massive problem that is not being taken into account by most literature on the role of BRCA mutations in cancer risk because these studies accept diagnosed cancer uncritically as actual cancer which is simply not the case due to the still largely unaccounted for issue of overdiagnosis. Furthermore, prophylactic removal of the ovaries before age 45 (Jolie is 39) has been linked to 67% increased mortality risk, according to a 2006 study published in Lancet Oncology, indicating that organ removal as a generic form of “cancer prevention” may be doing the opposite of ‘saving lives’ as widely claimed.

And so, what do we take away from this? First, BRCA gene status, based on this recent extensive meta-analysis on the topic, does not necessarily determine your health destiny when it comes to breast (or ovarian) cancer survival. The study found at best, sufficient evidence for a 10% worse unadjusted recurrence-free survival for BRCA1 mutation carriers, but nothing like the oft-quoted ‘personalized estimate’ of an 87% increase in mortality Jolie received from her doctors and which now many women think is far more common than is the case.

While BRCA gene ‘mutations’ (technically known a single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, a much less derogatory sounding descriptor) can result in dysfunctional or inactive BRCA protein production, which can prevent our body from healing DNA damage, they also ironically confer certain advantages as far as making the body susceptible to conventional chemotoxic treatments. Also, there is evidence that some of these ‘mutations’ confer survival advantage, as we addressed in our article, “Did Angelina Jolie Make A Mistake By Acting On The ‘Breast Cancer Gene’ Theory?“:

“BRCA1 variation K1 183R is related inversely to cancer risk, leading the authors of a review on the topic titled, “The case against BRCA1 and 2 testing,” to conclude: “It seems that some polymorphisms may actually have a protective effect.”

And therefore, what do we really understand about BRCA gene ‘mutations’ when there are over 500 that have been identified, and whose complexity and role in health and disease are still not yet understood? The truth is that the linear and deterministic gene > trait > disease risk/prognosis way of thinking is archaic, and reflects the type of hubris that should have been sloughed off after the first draft of the human genome project in 2005 found that the ‘holy grail’ of molecular biology was not to be found in the genome, but in the interstitial space of its interactions with the myriad factors ‘beyond the control of the gene,’ the realm of epigenetics, which involves everything from the food your mother ate, your in utero exposures, to your breast feeding duration, the toxins and toxicants you were and are exposed to, your way of thinking, attitudes and beliefs and the downstream physiological effects they have, ad infinitum.

Ironically, the notion that genes determine destiny is more than just an idea but a reality for those who believe it and act on the meme, putting ideology into practice in their biology and medical decisions. This is why acknowledging the research that calls into question biological determinism and medical fatalism is so powerful and why we hope our readers continue to explore the primary literature itself as it expands and transforms the often out-dated knowledge base that conventional practice is still under the illusion is reflective of the truth.


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

6 Ways You Put Yourself At Risk For Skin Cancer

indoor tanning

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and over 3.5 million new instances occur every year in the U.S. alone. Many people still believe that skin cancer won’t happen to them, but the fact remains that it can happen to anyone. There are actually three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma. Surprisingly enough, skin cancer is not just a result from too much sun.

Six Avoidable Risk Factors

While melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, squamous cell cancer also spreads and causes issues. Aside from the obvious, there are six avoidable ways in which you may be increasing your risks of skin cancer.

  1. Nail Salon Lamps

Manicures can be a great way to keep your nails in shape but if you frequent the nail salon once a week or even more, you might be putting yourself at risk. Exposure to the lamps used to dry nails could potentially increase your risk of skin cancer due to the way the rays emitted from the lamps damage your skin. [1]

  1. Indoor Tanning Beds

Many people still believe that indoor tanning beds are a healthier solution to regular sunlight, but the same rays that cause skin cancer in sunlight are also present in tanning beds. Some argue that indoor tanning is fine in moderation, but keep in mind that it can still potentially increase your risk of developing one of the three types of skin cancer. [2] Despite this, the ubiquity of tanning beds is so widespread that even college campuses offer tanning bed facilities for students. [3]

     3. Facial Peels

Many people indulge in the benefits of facial rejuvenation in the form of facial peels, but if you are going to do so, you must be aware of the increased risk of skin cancer associated with these procedures. [4] The chemical TCA can act as a carcinogen increases a person’s risk for cancer, though there have not been human studies as of yet. An alternative to TCA chemical peels would be a salicylic acid peel or something similar.

  1. Cheap Swimwear

Not all swimwear is created equal. Some of the more affordable options might seem like a good deal, but in a random inspection of brands, one quarter of the swimwear tested failed to meet quality standards. [5] The presence of excess formaldehyde is one thing that can cause a garment to fail inspection. Formaldehyde has been linked with causing allergies and certain forms of cancer.

  1. Smoking

Everyone is, by now, aware of most of the health dangers associated with smoking cigarettes, cigars, hookah, etc. Risk factors include an increased risk of lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and more. As early as 2012, smoking has also been linked to a 52% increased risk for squamous cell skin cancer. [6] Though it’s not deadly like melanoma, a disease that kills 9,000 to 12,000 people a year, it is still a significant increase to a person’s risk for skin cancer and something we should all be aware of.

  1. Limited Sunscreen

Even if you do have proper sunscreen habits for repeated sun exposure, sunscreen does not protect you fully from harmful UV rays. [7] Many people think that once they apply one coat of sunscreen, they are completely protected. This is false since sunscreen does melt away due to sweat, can wash off in water, and also wears off after a certain amount of time. Not to mention that chemical ingredients in conventional sunscreen can often do more ham than good. New ingredients could be added to enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen, but the FDA has not acted on approval despite pleas from dermatologists and skin cancer groups. [8]

How to Further Decrease Risk for Skin Cancer

From all of this evidence, one might think the only way to avoid skin cancer is to completely avoid the sun! This wouldn’t work out very well either since sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. It’s also been noted that people with mild symptoms of hypertension have lower blood pressure in the summer in comparison to the winter, [9] which suggests a correlation with sunlight and relieving symptoms of mild hypertension. While avoiding the sun and harsh artificial lighting is certainly not always practical (or healthy), it is important to find a balance. Also, be sure to consume a diet high in antioxidants, as these compounds can support skin health and combat free radicals associated with disease.

References:

  1. Seaman, Andrew M. Are nail salon UV lamps a skin cancer risk? Reuters. 2014.
  2. Tavernise, Sabrina. Indoor Training Poses Could Be Hazardous. New York Times. 2015.
  3. Bruzek, Alison. Campuses play host to tanning beds, despite skin cancer risk. NPR. 2014.
  4. KPRC. Are chemical peel users putting themselves at risk for cancer? KPRC (click2houston.com). 2014.
  5. Yue, Ma. Cancer chemical 4 times national standard found in swimwear. ShanghaiDaily.com 2014.
  6. Joelving, Frederik. Smoking tied to one type of skin cancer. Reuters. 2012.
  7. Briggs, Helen. Skin cancer: Sunscreen ‘not complete protection’. BBC News. 2014.
  8. Tillman, Jodie. Dermatologists and skin cancer groups urge FDA to act on new sunscreen ingredients. Tampa Bay Times. 2014.
  9. Medew, Julia. Skin cancer fears blinding people to health benefits of sunlight, say scientists. Fairfax Media. 2014.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

What The “Cure Cancer” Cult Isn’t Telling You (VIDEO)

cancer cure cults

Cancer rates continue to skyrocket across the globe…but don’t worry! According to the cult of the cancer cure, that’s a good thing! Do you ever wonder why the foundation-funded research industry and its Fortune 500 corporate members never want you to examine the causes of this rise in cancer? Well wonder no more as James Corbett shines some light on the carcinogenic chemicals that are increasingly polluting our environment thanks to the same Big Ag / Big Pharma / Big Foundation cronies who are pushing the slash-and-burn “cure” research in the first place.


James Corbett