Category Archives: General Health

New Report Ranks U.S. Poorly For Maternal Health

maternal health

According to a new report conducted by the State of the World Mother’s, the United States ranks 33 out of 179 countries surveyed for maternal health. [1] Just last year, the U.S. was at 31. How can a country so developed be drastically behind other countries in taking care of mothers and their newborns? Could it be the medical establishment in the country that is driving the maternal health crisis, or something far more hidden and obscure?

Maternal Health Even Worse in United States

One out of 1,800 women each year dies during or following childbirth, representing the worst maternal death rate of any developed nation. The U.S. also ranked 42 out of 179 for children’s wellbeing, and 89 out of 179 for political status. Washington, D.C., seems to have the highest rate of infant mortality at about 7.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. To put this into a comparable perspective, cities like Oslo and Stockholm rank below 2.0 deaths per 1,000.

Could a Simple Nutritional Factor Be the Culprit?

The requirement for iodine increases over 50% for pregnant mothers, but many still fail to receive enough through food. [2] Even physicians may overlook this crucial nutrient need. We know, based upon current meta analyses, that iodine deficiency increases infant mortality. [3] Research also shows that low iodine intake during pregnancy may also harm a baby’s IQ. [4] These findings suggest that, if we increase our awareness around iodine in medicine and the media, we may perhaps see a drop in infant mortality and increase in maternal health.

Were you aware of the state of maternal health in America? What do you think, other than iodine supplementation, could help improve it? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!

References:

  1. Eliana Dockterman. U.S. Ranks Worst Developed Country for Maternal Health. TIME.
  2. Zimmermann MB. The effects of iodine deficiency in pregnancy and infancy. Paediatr Pernat Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;26 Suppl 1:108-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2012.01275.x.
  3. Paolo Vitti, MD. Iodine deficiency disorders. UpToDate.
  4. Sarah C. Bath, PhD, Colin D Steer, MSc, Prof Jean Golding, FMedSci, Pauline Emmett, PhD, Prof Margaret P Rayman, DPhil. Effect of inadequate iodine status in UK pregnant women on cognitive outcomes in their children: results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). The Lancet. Volume 382, No. 9889, p331-337, 27 July 2013.

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 Vitamin D Toxicity Exist?

vitamin-d

Vitamin D is one of the most important and most misunderstood vitamin of our time, and many people simply aren’t receiving enough. Most people are deficient in vitamin D due to lack of sunlight exposure. We’re modern-day cavemen, trapped in our offices and homes, rarely ever exposing our skin to the life-giving energy of the sun. Vitamin D supplementation is perhaps the most viable alternative, but many people are concerned over taking too much, fearing that excess vitamin D can lead to toxicity. While it’s true you should have your vitamin D levels checked to ensure optimal supplementation levels, the truth is that vitamin D toxicity may hold no clinical relevance in current scientific research.

 The Myth of Vitamin D Toxicity

A common concern regarding vitamin supplementation is toxicity. Taking too much of a good thing is never a good thing, and this holds true for most nutrients. The good thing about vitamin D, however, is that no evidence has conclusively shown vitamin D toxicity exists. What’s more, a recent study has concluded that there is probably no risk to taking vitamin D over 10,000 IUs. [1] This study echoes previous research that has revealed similar findings.

According to the Vitamin D Council, 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation can be helpful for getting your vitamin D to its optimal level. [1] Keep in mind that this amount is for individuals who know their current vitamin D status. Without knowing your actual blood levels of vitamin D, you’re more or less grasping at straws and could be supplementing with far less than you need. Consult with your doctor to determine your level and supplementation needs.

Do you get enough vitamin D? What type of supplementation do you implement, if any? Please let us know your thoughts about vitamin D in the comments!

References:

  1. Rachael Rettner. Can Too Much Vitamin D Be Toxic? Live Science.
  2. Vitamin D Council. How do I get the vitamin D my body needs? Vitamin D Council.

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.

Is Soy Good Or Bad For You?

soy

Soy milk, soy cheese, soy crisps–there is a booming market for vegan soy-based foods and a lot of supposed health authorities touting its alleged benefits. What if soy was actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing and only called a health food because its supply was so abundant? What if soy was actually not as healthy as the marketing wizards tell us? As it turns out, that’s exactly what the data suggests. Let’s pull back the curtain and shine a light of truth on soy.

Is Soy Good or Bad for You?

Soy is said to benefit everything from heart disease to menopause. But is soy a true “miracle food,” or just a bunch of hype? Many products in the United States contain soy because soy is subsidized by the US government. Soybean oil, soy protein, and soy lecithin are common ingredients in processed foods due to the sheer volume and availability of soy. It turns out that conventional soy may actually harm reproductive health, according to some studies.

Why Fermented Soy is Better

Soy is also believed to play a role in the long, healthy life span enjoyed by the Japanese people. However, this doesn’t take into account other factors such as green tea, more regular exercise, and smaller food portions. Not to mention the fact that the Japanese largely consume fermented soy, which is very different from the soy found in the modern American diet. Fermented soy milk, tofu, miso, soy sauces, tempeh, and natto can actually offer a lot of health benefits.

Fermentation reduces enzyme inhibitors and makes soys nutrients more available. [1] Soy milk that has been fermented may also have a positive effect on blood lipids. [2] Unfermented soy products in America are deficient in isoflavones and rather loaded with toxins that can block the enzymes needed for protein digestion.

Soy is GMO

Most soybeans today are also genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides. This introduces a plethora of toxins that block the healthy absorption of essential minerals.

How to Avoid Conventional Soy

As mentioned earlier, soy is in everything. Switch to a whole foods diet and eliminate processed food, as much as you can. Watch out for products that contain lecithin, MSG, or “natural flavors” as that’s often a code word for soy. Avoid soy milk, especially if you are male. Do not feed soy-based infant formulas to your children; breastfeeding is a much better choice. Be careful of the foods that you purchase: soy meat substitutes might be obvious, but soy can be found in unlikely places like salad dressings, mayonnaise, and margarine. Read your labels carefully.

Are you concerned about the ill effects of soy? Have you taken steps to remove it from your life? Leave a comment and share your experience with us.

References:

  1. Hurrell RF, Juillerat MA, Reddy MB, et al. Soy protein, phytate, and iron absorption in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Sep;56(3):573-8.
  2. Kim Y, Yoon S, Lee SB, et al. Fermentation of soy milk via Lactobacillus plantarum improves dysregulated lipid metabolism in rats on a high cholesterol diet. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 10;9(2):e88231. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088231.

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.

Can Wheat Drive More Than Your Digestive System Crazy?

your brain on gluten

Wheat could be driving more than your digestive system crazy.

While wheat is well known to wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal health of genetically susceptible folks, such as those with celiac disease, and more recently, irritable bowel syndrome, new research published in the journal Psychiatry Research indicates that sensitivity to one of the components in wheat known as gliadin could be driving some into states of acute mania:

“The relationship of the antibodies to the clinical course of mania was analyzed by the use of regression models. Individuals with mania had significantly increased levels of IgG antibodies to gliadin, but not other markers of celiac disease, at baseline compared with controls in multivariate analyses.”

“Among the individuals with mania, elevated levels at follow-up were significantly associated with re-hospitalization in the six month follow-up period.”1

While correlation does not equal causation, it is interesting to note that there is already robust supportive research on the link between wheat consumption and schizophrenia. Seven such studies can be viewed on our open source wheat database, for those inclined to explore this connection further. You will also find listed there over a dozen neurological conditions linked to wheat consumption.

For an additional explanation for why wheat may exhibit neurotoxic, if not also psychotropic properties, the excerpts from our essay series The Dark Side of Wheat are provided to shed light on the topic:

Gliadin can be broken down into various amino acid lengths or peptides. Gliadorphin is a 7 amino acid long peptide: Tyr-Pro-Gln-Pro-Gln-Pro-Phe which forms when the gastrointestinal system is compromised. When digestive enzymes are insufficient to break gliadorphin down into 2-3 amino acid lengths and a compromised intestinal wall allows for the leakage of the entire 7 amino acid long fragment into the blood, glaidorphin can pass through to the brain through circumventricular organs and activate opioid receptors resulting in disrupted brain function.

There have been a number of gluten exorphins identified: gluten exorphin A4, A5, B4, B5 and C, and many of them have been hypothesized to play a role in autism, schizophrenia, ADHD and related neurological conditions.   In the same way that the celiac iceberg illustrated the illusion that intolerance to wheat is rare, it is possible, even probable, that wheat exerts pharmacological influences on everyone. What distinguishes the schizophrenic or autistic individual from the functional wheat consumer is the degree to which they are affected.

Below the tip of the “Gluten Iceberg,” we might find these opiate-like peptides to be responsible for bread’s general popularity as a “comfort food”, and our use of phrases like “I love bread,” or “this bread is to die for” to be indicative of wheat’s narcotic properties. I believe a strong argument can be made that the agricultural revolution that occurred approximately 10-12,000 years ago as we shifted from the Paleolithic into the Neolithic era was precipitated as much by environmental necessities and human ingenuity, as it was by the addictive qualities of psychoactive peptides in the grains themselves.

The world-historical reorganization of society, culture and consciousness accomplished through the symbiotic relationship with cereal grasses, may have had as much to do with our ability to master agriculture, as to be mastered by it.   The presence of pharmacologically active peptides would have further sweetened the deal, making it hard to distance ourselves from what became a global fascination with wheat.

An interesting example of wheat’s addictive potential pertains to the Roman army. The Roman Empire was once known as the “Wheat Empire,” with soldiers being paid in wheat rations. Rome’s entire war machine, and its vast expansion, was predicated on the availability of wheat. Forts were actually granaries, holding up to a year’s worth of grain in order to endure sieges from their enemies. Historians describe soldiers’ punishment included being deprived of wheat rations and being given barley instead.   The Roman Empire went on to facilitate the global dissemination of wheat cultivation which fostered a form of imperialism with biological as well as cultural roots.

The Roman appreciation for wheat, like our own, may have had less to do with its nutritional value as “health food” than its ability to generate a unique narcotic reaction. It may fulfill our hunger while generating a repetitive, ceaseless cycle of craving more of the same, and by doing so, enabling the surreptitious control of human behavior. Other researchers have come to similar conclusions. According to the biologists Greg Wadley & Angus Martin:

“Cereals have important qualities that differentiate them from most other drugs. They are a food source as well as a drug, and can be stored and transported easily. They are ingested in frequent small doses (not occasional large ones), and do not impede work performance in most people. A desire for the drug, even cravings or withdrawal, can be confused with hunger. These features make cereals the ideal facilitator of civilization (and may also have contributed to the long delay in recognizing their pharmacological properties).”

WHEAT PEPTIDES EXHIBIT MOLECULAR MIMICRY

Gliadorphin and gluten exporphins exhibit a form of molecular mimicry that affects the nervous system, but other wheat proteins effect different organ systems. The digestion of gliadin produces a peptide that is 33 amino acids long and is known as 33-mer which has a remarkable homology to the internal sequence of pertactin, the immunodominant sequence in the Bordetella pertussis bacteria (whooping cough). Pertactin is considered a highly immunogenic virulence factor, and is used in vaccines to amplify the adaptive immune response. It is possible the immune system may confuse this 33-mer with a pathogen resulting in either or both a cell-mediated and adaptive immune response against Self.

WHEAT CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF EXCITO-TOXINS

John B. Symes, D.V.M. is responsible for drawing attention to the potential excitotoxicity of wheat, dairy, and soy, due to their exceptionally high levels of the non-essential amino acids glutamic and aspartic acid. Excitotoxicity is a pathological process where glutamic and aspartic acid cause an over-activation of the nerve cell receptors (e.g. NMDA and AMPA receptor) leading to calcium induced nerve and brain injury.   Of all cereal grasses commonly consumed wheat contains the highest levels of glutamic acid and aspartic acid. Glutamic acid is largely responsible for wheat’s exceptional taste. The Japanese coined the word umami to describe the extraordinary “yummy” effect that glutamic acid exerts on the tongue and palate, and invented monosodium glutamate (MSG) to amplify this sensation. Though the Japanese first synthesized MSG from kelp, wheat can also be used due to its high glutamic acid content.   It is likely that wheat’s popularity, alongside its opiate-like activity, has everything to do with the natural flavor-enhancers already contained within it. These amino acids may contribute to neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzhemier disease, Huntington’s disease, and other nervous disorders such as epilepsy, attention deficit disorder and migraines.

1 Markers of gluten sensitivity in acute mania: A longitudinal study.  Psychiatry Res. 2012 Mar 2. Epub 2012 Mar 2. PMID: 22386570

For Additional Research Visit Our Wheat & Gluten Education Center

A critically acclaimed internet classic, The Dark Side of Wheat is now available to own as a downloadable document exclusively from GreenMedInfo.com. It includes two hard-hitting essays that represent a change in the way wheat intolerance is comprehended; no longer a rare, strictly genetically-based disease, wheat is revealed to be a species-specific intolerance, whose role in health and disease has been greatly misunderstood since ancient times. The downloadable document also includes a 90-page quick reference guide containing hyperlinks to research on the National Library of Medicine on over 120 diseases that have been linked to wheat consumption.

The Dark Side of Wheat has changed many minds about the exalted status of wheat among secular and sacred institutions alike.

As Dr. Ron Hoggan, co-author of “Dangerous Grains” puts it in the foreword: “Sir Isaac Newton’s famous metaphor (perhaps quoting others) said something to the effect that we see further, not because of any special endowment of our own, but because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. After reading Sayer’s work on wheat, I felt as if I had just been boosted to a higher plane from which I could see and understand much, much more. Sayer’s insights continue to shape and inform much of my effort to understand the various impacts of grains on human 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.

Smoking Is 36 Times Worse Than Working At A Nuclear Reactor

smoking

It is well-established that 25-30% of all cancer are caused soley by tobacco consumption – a completely avoidable cause.

But what if the tobacco itself were not actually the primary cause of the cancer, but something else contaminating it? And what if it the tobacco industry knew this lethal contaminant was in their product, and even knew how to remove it, but did and said nothing for over 30 years in order to conceal this deadly secret from the public?

In 1998, major tobacco industries’ internal secret documents were made available online by the Master Settlement Agreement, revealing that the industry was aware of the presence of a radioactive substance in tobacco as early as 1959.

It was discovered in 1964 that the cancer-causing radioactive substance was Polonium 210, which millions still inhale in their cigarette smoke, unwittingly. Polonium 210 is a byproduct of the decay of uranium daughter isotopes, which, while occurring naturally in the environment, are primarily found within our soil as a result of pollution from various industries. Uranium mining is one source, as are the nuclear and coal-fired power industries. In fact, “fly ash” produced from coal-fired power carries 100 times more radiation into the surrounding environment than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.1 This is, of course, when nuclear power plants properly contain their radioactive fuel and waste and don’t release massive, irretrievable quantities of radioisotopes into the environment, as occurred in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Nuclear weapons and munitions (depleted uranium), are another well-known source of global contamination.  No matter where the uranium comes from, tobacco plants selectively absorbs and concentrates the byproduct of its decay, Polonium 210, to dangerous — if not lethal — levels. The relatively high levels found within tobacco are rather consistent over time and geographical area.2

A recent review published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research summarized this disturbing fact of history as follows:

“…[T]he industry was not only cognizant of the potential “cancerous growth” in the lungs of regular smokers but also did quantitative radiobiological calculations to estimate the long-term (25 years) lung radiation absorption dose (rad) of ionizing alpha particles emitted from the cigarette smoke. Our own calculations of lung rad of alpha particles match closely the rad estimated by the industry. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the industry’s and our estimate of long-term lung rad of alpha particles causes 120-138 lung cancer deaths per year per 1,000 regular smokers.

These findings indicate that the tobacco industry’s relationship to their consumer base was (and still is) homicidal, in the worst, premeditated sense of the word. Moreover, the industry actually knew how to mitigate the problem, but realized it would interfere with the addictive power of their product (and therefore profitability) to do so:

“Acid wash was discovered in 1980 to be highly effectively in removing (210)Po from the tobacco leaves; however, the industry avoided its use for concerns that acid media would ionize nicotine converting it into a poorly absorbable form into the brain of smokers thus depriving them of the much sought after instant “nicotine kick” sensation.”

Polonium 210 is extraordinarily toxic when ingested or inhaled. In fact, it is 4500 times more toxic than radium 226  — a startling fact considering that during the Manhattan Project (1944), the “tolerance dose” for workers was set at 0.1 microgram of ingested radium. When incorporated into the body, radioisotopes like  Polonium 210 emit alpha particles, which are the radio biological equivalent of howitzers on a cellular level, profoundly damaging, mutating and destroying DNA, as well as causing other forms of irreparable damage to the cell. Because of the fact that the dominant radiation risk model does not acknowledge the profoundly detrimental effects of low-dose, internalized radioisotope exposure (largely because it was developed before the discovery of DNA in the early 50’s and was based on external exposures to the type of gamma-radiation associated with atomic bomb blast), the true dangers associated with Polonium 210 have been largely concealed or discounted.

According to a review published in the journal Health Physics in 2010, smoking tobacco has resulted in “443,000 deaths and 5.1 million years of potential life lost among the U.S. population each year from 2000 through 2004.” Furthermore, the review estimated that the associated collective radiation dose from smoking is “more than 36 times that to the workers at all the U.S. nuclear power plants, U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities, and crews of all the vessels in the U.S. Nuclear Navy.” It is no surprise then that it has been suggested that tobacco products should carry a radiation-exposure warning label.3

View the Polonium abstracts from the National Library of Medicine indexed on GMI.

1Hvistendahl M. Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste. Scientific American. 2007. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste
2 Polonium-210 and lead-210 in the terrestrial environment: a historical review. J Environ Radioact. 2011 May ;102(5):420-9. Epub 2011 Mar 5. PMID: 21377252

3 Waking a sleeping giant: the tobacco industry’s response to the polonium-210 issue. Am J Public Health. 2008 Sep ;98(9):1643-50. Epub 2008 Jul 16. PMID: 18633078


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.

Everything You Wanted To Know About The Pineal Gland

brain-and-pineal-gland-jpg

The famous philosopher Descartes described the pineal gland as the “principal seat of the soul.” You’ve probably heard of this gland being the “third eye,” a mystical chakra point residing right in the middle of your eyebrows. It turns out these ideas aren’t too far off. The small, rice-sized, pinecone-shaped endocrine organ known as the pineal gland sits alone in the middle of the brain and at the same level as the eyes.

What Does the Pineal Gland Do?

How you think and feel every day depends on the pineal gland. As the producer of the hormone melatonin, the quality and duration of your sleep relies on how well it produces this hormone. This tiny organ regulates your daily and seasonal circadian rhythms, the sleep-wake patterns that determine your hormone levels, stress levels, and physical performance.

4 Ways to Activate the Pineal Gland

Activating your pineal gland may be helpful for regulating mood, sleep, and energy levels. Here are 4 ways to get started.

  1. Get Out and Into the Sun

Sun exposure kick starts the pineal gland and stimulates the mind. Any type of light exposure, either directly or indirectly, activates the pineal gland, prompting it to produce serotonin; the neurotransmitter responsible for mood and energy levels. This is why it’s crucial to avoid light after the sun goes down, because you need your pineal gland to produce melatonin and suppress serotonin. This process can only be accomplished by reducing light from electronics and lightbulbs as much as possible.

  1. Sleep in Complete Darkness

A dark environment ensures your pineal gland produces enough melatonin to ensure good, restful sleep. Make sure you avoid backlit devices like phones, tablets, computer monitors, or TV right before bed. The lighting of these devices stimulates serotonin production, tricking your pineal gland into thinking it’s daytime, confusing your wake/sleep cycle.

  1. Sun Gazing

Sun gazing is perhaps one of the most controversial exercises you can do to activate the pineal gland. Here’s the basics of the practice: within the first 15 minutes of sunlight at the beginning of the day and then the final 15 minutes of sunlight at the end of the day, you gaze into the sun for a couple of seconds, but only a couple of seconds. Again, sun gazing has its risks. Simply getting out in the sun and having your eyes exposed to light indirectly can help stimulate the pineal gland without having to stare directly.

  1. Meditation

The pineal gland responds to the bioelectric signals of light and dark, and meditation activates this bioelectric energy. With practice, you can learn to direct this energy to this highly-sensitive organ.

Modern Problems with the Pineal Gland

Calcification is the biggest problem for the pineal gland. Fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland more than any other organ and leads to the formation of phosphate crystals. As your pineal gland hardens due to the crystal production, less melatonin is produced and regulation of your wake-sleep cycle gets disturbed. [1]

Research also reports fluoride hardening accelerates sexual development in children, particularly in girls. [2] And this is a serious problem as a study from 30 years ago reported 40% of American children under 17 were found to have pineal calcification in process. Since then, we’ve see children, especially girls, experience the early onset of puberty. [3]

In addition to fluoride, halides like chlorine and bromine also accumulate and damage the pineal gland. Calcium supplements can also cause problems. Without enough vitamin D–64% of Americans are vitamin D deficient–calcium does not become bioavailable and calcifies human tissue, including the pineal gland. [4]

Eliminating fluoride may be the best first step for reducing health concerns. Use fluoride-free toothpaste, avoid tap water, and drink filtered water. For the best filtered water, use a reverse osmosis water filter. Eat calcium-rich foods rather than taking calcium supplements if you can get plenty of vitamin D.

5 Ways to Decalcify Your Pineal Gland

If you’ve been exposed to fluoride, your pineal gland has some degree of calcification preventing it from working well. Here are a few ways you can decalcify:

  1. Tamarind Fruit

The fruit from the African tamarind tree is extremely effective at removing fluoride from the body. One study found children given tamarind excreted significantly more fluoride in their urine compared to the control group and may halt or even reverse the effects of skeletal fluorosis. [5] [6]

  1. Borax

Mix one teaspoon of borax (or boron) in a liter of water and take it in small quantities over the course of a day or two. Consult your doctor before using this method.

  1. Zeolites

These volcanically-produced crystals have recently been discovered as a powerful way to detoxify your body. They break down hardened calcium that forms around toxic metals in tissue and removes these heavy metals from the body.

  1. Cleanses

Regular cleansing enables the body to naturally remove toxins and heavy metals from the body, including fluoride.

  1. Iodine

Halides like fluoride, chlorine, and bromine accumulate in your tissue if you’re iodine deficient, which is an increasing problem around the world. If you’ve cut back on salt and don’t eat a lot of seafood, there’s a good chance you may be deficient. Symptoms of iodine deficiency include chronic fatigue, thyroid disease, feeling cold or a low body temperature, and hormone imbalance. To get more iodine, eat foods rich in iodine, [link to article on sources of iodine] or take a colloidal iodine supplement for the best result.

References:

  1. Schmid H.A. Decreased Melatonin Biosynthesis, Calcium Flux, Pineal Gland Calcification and Aging: A Hypothetical Framework. Gerontology 1993;39:189 199.
  2. Jennifer Anne Luke. The Effect of Fluoride on the Physiology of the Pineal Gland. Excerpts from pages: 1-9; 51-53; 167-177. 1997.
  3. Zimmerman RA, Bilaniuk LT. Age-related incidence of pineal calcification detected by computed tomography. Radiology. 1982 Mar;142(3):659-62.
  4. Mitchell DM1, Henao MP, Finkelstein JS, Burnett-Bowie SA. Prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency in healthy adults. Endocr Pract. 2012 Nov-Dec;18(6):914-23. doi: 10.4158/EP12072.OR.
  5. Khandare AL1, Kumar P U, Shanker RG, Venkaiah K, Lakshmaiah N. Additional beneficial effect of tamarind ingestion over defluoridated water supply to adolescent boys in a fluorotic area. Nutrition. 2004 May;20(5):433-6.
  6. Khandare AL1, Rao GS, Lakshmaiah N. Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jan;56(1):82-5.

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.

Magnesium’s Importance Far Greater Than Previously Imagined

magnesium-type-fb

Calcium deficiency is a common nutritional concern, but how many folks consider the vital importance of magnesium in human health and disease?  

New research published in the journal BMC Bioinformatics indicates that magnesium’s role in human health and disease is far more significant and complicated than previously imagined.

While it is well known that all living things require magnesium, and that it is found in over 300 enzymes in the human body, including those enzymes utilizing or synthesizing ATP (the molecular unit of currency for energy transfer), the new studied titled, “3,751 magnesium binding sites have been detected on human proteins,” indicates that a deficiency of magnesium may profoundly affect a far wider range of biological structures than previously understood.[i]

The proteome, or entire set of proteins expressed by the human genome, contains well over 100,000 distinct protein structures, despite the fact that there are believed to be only 20,300 protein-coding genes in the human genome.

The discovery of the “magneseome,” as its being called, adds additional complexity to the picture, indicating that the presence or absence of adequate levels of this basic mineral may epigenetically alter the expression and behavior of the proteins in our body, thereby altering the course of both health and disease.

Indeed, modern medicine and nutrition fixates primarily on calcium deficiency (due, in part, to the WHO’s highly unscientific definition of osteoporosis), even in the face of accumulating peer-reviewed research indicating that excess calcium consumption can greatly increase cardiac morbidity and mortality.

Magnesium Research

Research relevant to magnesium has been accumulating for the past 40 years at a steady rate of approximately 2,000 new  studies a year. Our database project has indexed well over 100 health benefits of magnesium thus far.  For the sake of brevity, we will address seven key therapeutic applications for magnesium as follows:

  • Fibromyalgia: Not only is magnesium deficiency common in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, [ii] [iii] but relatively low doses of magnesium (50 mg), combined with malic acid in the form of magnesium malate, has been clinically demonstrated to improve pain and tenderness in those to which it was administered.[iv]
  • Atrial Fibrillation: A number of studies now exist showing that magnesium supplementation reduce atrial fibrillation, either by itself, or in combination with conventional drug agents.[v]
  • Diabetes, Type 2: Magnesium deficiency is common in type 2 diabetics, at an incidence of 13.5 to 47.7% according to a 2007 study.[vi]   Research has also shown that type 2 diabetics with peripheral neuropathy and coronary artery disease have lower intracellular magnesium levels.[vii] Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce plasma fasting glucose and raising HDL cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.[viii] It has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects.[ix]
  • Premenstrual Syndrome: Magnesium deficiency has been observed in women affected by premenstrual syndrome.[x] It is no surprise therefore  that it has been found to alleviate premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention,[xi] as well as broadly reducing associated symptoms by approximately 34% in women, aged 18-45, given 250 mg tablets for a 3-month observational period.[xii] When combined with B6, magnesium supplementation has been found to improve anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms.[xiii]
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.[xiv]  There are a wide range of ways that magnesium may confer its protective effects. It may act like a calcium channel blocker,[xv] it is hypotensive,[xvi] it is antispasmodic (which may protect against coronary artery spasm),[xvii] and anti-thrombotic.[xviii] Also, the heart muscle cells are exceedingly dense in mitochondria (as high as 100 times more per cell than skeletal muscle), the “powerhouses” of the cell,” which require adequate magnesium to produce ATP via the citric acid cycle.
  • Migraine Disorders: Blood magnesium levels have been found to be significantly lower in those who suffer from migraine attacks.[xix] [xx] A recent Journal of Neural Transmission article titled, “Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium,” pointed out that routine blood tests do not accurately convey the true body magnesium stores since less than 2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, “67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellularly.”[xxi] The authors argued that since “routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.” Indeed, oral magnesium supplementation has been found to reduce the number of headache days in children experiencing frequent migranous headaches, [xxii] and when combined with l-carnitine, is effective at reducing migraine frequency in adults, as well.[xxiii]
  • Aging: While natural aging is a healthy process, accelerated aging has been noted to be a feature of magnesium deficiency,[xxiv] especially evident in the context of long space-flight missions where low magnesium levels are associated with cardiovascular aging over 10 times faster than occurs on earth.[xxv] Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reverse age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans.[xxvi] One of the possible mechanisms behind magnesium deficiency associated aging is that magnesium is needed to stabilize DNA and promotes DNA replication. It is also involved in healing up of the ends of the chromosomes after they are divided in mitosis.[xxvii]

Best Sources of Magnesium In The Diet

The best source of magnesium is from food, and one way to identify magnesium-containing foods are those which are green, i.e. chlorophyll rich. Chlorophyll, which enable plants to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy, has a magnesium atom at its center. Without magnesium, in fact, plants could not utilize the sun’s light energy.

Magnesium, however, in its elemental form is colorless, and many foods that are not green contain it as well. The point is that when found complexed with food cofactors, it is absorbed and utilized more efficiently than in its elemental form, say, extracted from limestone in the form of magnesium oxide.

The following foods contain exceptionally high amounts of magnesium. The portions described are 100 grams, or a little over three ounces.

  • Rice bran, crude (781 mg)
  • Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg)
  • Chives, freeze-dried (640 mg)
  • Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg)
  • Seeds, pumpkin, dried (535 mg)
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg)
  • Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
  • Seeds, flaxseed (392 mg)
  • Spices, cumin seed (366 mg)
  • Nuts, brazilnuts, dried (376 mg)
  • Parsley, freeze-dried (372 mg)
  • Seeds, sesame meal (346 mg)
  • Nut, almond butter (303 mg)
  • Nuts, cashew nuts, roasted (273 mg)
  • Soy flour, defatted (290 mg)
  • Whey, sweet, dried (176 mg)
  • Bananas, dehydrated (108 mg)
  • Millet, puffed (106 mg)
  • Shallots, freeze-dried (104 mg)
  • Leeks, freeze-dried (156 mg)
  • Fish, salmon, raw (95 mg)
  • Onions, dehydrated flakes (92 mg)
  • Kale, scotch, raw (88 mg)

Fortunately, for those who need higher doses, or are not inclined to consume magnesium rich foods, there are supplemental forms commonly available on the market. Keep in mind, for those who wish to take advantage of the side benefit of magnesium therapy, namely, its stool softening and laxative properties, magnesium citrate or oxide will provide this additional feature.

For those looking to maximize absorption and bioavailability magnesium glycinate is ideal, as glycine is the smallest amino acid commonly found chelated to magnesium, and therefore highly absorbable.


Resources


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.

What Is COPD? 7 Facts You Need To Know

COPD

As the third leading cause of death in the United States, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, probably affects–or will affect–someone you know. While COPD may not be highly profiled as heart disease or cancer, it’s still one of the most prevalent and deadly conditions today. In order to fight against the development of COPD and support your lung health, you should educate yourself on its facts, causes, and symptoms.

7 Facts You Should Know About COPD

In order to reduce COPD in our world, along with every other disease known to man, awareness around the issue is crucial. Prevention is the lock, and knowledge is the key.

  1. What is COPD?

Two conditions make up what we commonly refer to as COPD: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema damages the air sacs in the lungs, causing shortness of breath. Chronic bronchitis is very similar, and also impairs breathing ability. Other conditions grouped under the COPD umbrella include non-reversible asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis, a condition defined by the widening, stretching, and scarring of the airways in the lungs.

  1. Who is Affected by COPD?

COPD is estimated to affect 24 million people in the United States, with 3 million new cases every year. It primarily hits adults 40 years and older who have been exposed to lung irritants, like tobacco smoke or heavy air pollution. Many people who suffer from COPD are in the early stages and may not know they have it.

     3. Causes of COPD

COPD has a number of causes, many of which are avoidable. Here’s a quick rundown on the main contributors. First, smoking cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, as well as exposure to secondhand smoke, is the most common causes of COPD. Inhaling harmful fumes, chemicals, and dust, especially from work environments, are also contributing factors to many people. A genetic condition known as AATD, or Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, increases the risk. Individuals with these genes have white blood cells that attack lung tissue and cause the deterioration observed in COPD.

  1. The Effects of COPD On Your Body

Healthy lungs have strong, well-shaped airways called bronchioles. The bronchioles of COPD patients become weak, lose their shape and get clogged with mucus. Lungs also have numerous air sacs, and the walls of the air sacs in COPD patients deteriorate, subsequently becoming less efficient.

  1. Symptoms of COPD

Persons with COPD suffer from difficulty breathing, a symptom that carries a heavy toll on quality of life. Flare-ups may occur and include frequent coughing, hyperventilation, frequent respiratory infections, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Coughs may produce mucus, or they may be dry and hacking.

  1. The Outlook for COPD

The damage caused by COPD cannot be reversed; however, if it’s caught early enough, its progression can be slowed. Patients are more susceptible to diseases that affect the lungs, such as the flu and pneumonia. For this reason, patients have to be carefully monitored by their doctor in order to catch these secondary conditions early.

  1. 3 Natural Remedies for COPD

Although it cannot be cured, there are a few ways to make yourself feel a little better. Vitamin D deficiency is common among COPD patients. Studies have shown increasing vitamin D levels reduces the frequency and occurrence of flare-ups. [1] [2] I recommend supplementing with at least 2000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily; however, specific recommendations can only be determined after getting your vitamin D levels tested. Studies suggest this easy-to-find supplement eases coughing and tightness. [3] The research recommends 1,200 mg taken daily for the best effect. Magnesium improves the ability of muscles to relax, so supplementing with magnesium may help with opening the airways. Take 500mg of magnesium up to twice daily, depending on your needs.

One Final Thought

If you’re suffering from COPD or know someone that is, you can support your health by following the above recommendations. As mentioned previously, be sure to use these strategies alongside the advice of your doctor. Don’t replace medications with any supplements; instead, look at supplement regimens as a complementary approach to your medical treatment.

References:

  1. Adrian R Martineau, Wai Yee James, Richard L Hooper, et al. Vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (ViDiCO): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(14)70255-3.
  2. Berg I1, Hanson C, Sayles H, et al. Vitamin D, vitamin D binding protein, lung function and structure in COPD. Respir Med. 2013 Oct;107(10):1578-88. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2013.05.010.
  3. Tse HN1, Tseng CZ1. Update on the pathological processes, molecular biology, and clinical utility of N-acetylcysteine in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2014 Aug 6;9:825-36. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S51057.

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 Ways To Protect Your Placenta

pregnant-belly-rgbstock-bies

Not many women consider the health of their placenta a top priority when they become pregnant, as many choose to focus solely on the health of the baby. This is by no means a bad choice, but the health of your placenta is just as important to the health of your baby as taking prenatal vitamins, getting enough rest, and avoiding things like caffeine and cigarettes.

Protecting Your Placenta: Things You Can Do

Many women unknowingly endanger their unborn babies by exposing themselves to several substances, sometimes on a daily basis. New studies have suggested that the wrong combinations of bacteria can even lead to premature births. [1] Some of these substances include receipt paper, antibacterial soaps, and more.

  1. Avoid BPA, and Even BPA-Free Items

All of us, by now, are sure to know about the dangers BPA can cause, but what about those replacements for BPA? [2] BPF and BPS, commonly used to replace BPA in BPA-free products, are just as dangerous as BPA, if not more so. They’re wrong; both of these are linked with neurodevelopmental issues. Things like BPA, BPS, and BPF can be carried across the placenta to your baby. [3] Studies suggest that pregnant women should avoid both plastic and receipts, if at all possible, for the health of their unborn babies.

  1. Limit Exposure to Flame Retardants

Many things we use every day contain toxic flame retardants that pose threats to us and our children. Fire safety is always a top priority, but should we value that over near-constant exposure to toxins that affect neurological development? [4] With these kinds of threats almost completely ubiquitous in everyday life, taking precaution to safeguard your unborn child against flame retardants is even more important. Common sources of flame retardants are furniture, clothing, and car seats.

  1. The Placenta Might Not Protect Against Lyme Disease

By now we know that certain foods and beverages a pregnant mother consumes will be passed onto the baby in some form, but can you really pass along diseases, too? The placenta acts as gateway and all kinds of bacteria are able to traverse that gateway. Unfortunately, we can now add the bacteria that causes Lyme disease to that list. A woman lived with undiagnosed Lyme disease for over three decades and gave birth to her daughter whilst affected by the disease. [5] Her daughter has had a host of issues all her life due to this undiagnosed disease she obtained while in the womb of her mother.

  1. Antibacterial Soaps Can Harm the Placenta

Some people might be wary of antibacterial soaps because of the fact that they kill bad bacteria, but they also kill the good bacteria, too. Now there is another reason to avoid antibacterial soap: triclosan. Triclosan is an ingredient used in antibacterial soaps that have seen a lot of press in recent years. The FDA had this to say on the matter: “Further, some data suggest that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.” [6] While they also say that it is “not known to cause hazardous effects,” the long-term effects of triclosan exposure could be devastating, especially for a newborn baby.

  1. Balance Your Good:Bad Bacteria Ratio

While we’re on the subject of bacteria, let’s talk about harmful bacteria that can affect your baby if it travels through the placenta. Many studies are now being conducted to discern how much effect the microbiome of the placenta can have on the baby. [7] Once thought sterile, new evidence has shed light on the placenta and the bacteria that inhabit it. According to research, the amount of harmful toxins and bacteria pregnant women are exposed to will affect the overall health of the placenta and the overall health of the baby. [8] The best thing expectant mothers can do is to balance their good:bad bacteria ratio in their gut by taking a high-quality probiotic. Always consult with your doctor before taking any supplement during pregnancy.

  1. Reduce Mercury Exposure

More than half a century ago, Minamata, Japan, was devastatingly affected by a severe mercury leak. [9] In 1956, there had been documented cases of a strange illness that befell people and animals in the town. Because of the way it made the cats who contracted it twitch, many called it “The Dancing Disease.” It was only later than scientists discovered that the mercury leak caused increases in neurological issues and even many cases of cerebral palsy, especially as a congenital disease for children born in or around 1956 in the town. In order to avoid mercury during pregnancy, don’t consume fish or high-fructose corn syrup, and do not receive any mercury amalgams.

  1. Be Safe with Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

The final threat the placenta and your baby face are drugs that you take which can affect your baby’s overall health. It’s known that whatever drugs you have in your system at term or near full term will be transmitted to your baby, but did you know that this also happens with drugs you take as early as your first trimester? Perhaps more than harmful drugs, you must ensure a safe and healthy environment for your baby during the developmental stages. Even though studies have shown that babies were affected in the womb by the mother’s drug use, those same studies suggested that, with the proper attention and education, these children would perform regularly in comparison to healthy children. [10]

Protect Your Placenta–Protect Your Baby

The health of your unborn baby is at the top of the list for every expecting mother and father, so there’s never such a thing as “too careful.” Avoid plastics, flame retardants, and high levels of mercury to ensure the health of your baby stays intact. Again, before taking any supplement, including probiotics, be sure to consult with your doctor.

References:

  1. Grady, Denise. Study sees bigger role for placenta in newborn’s health. New York Times. 2014.
  2. Vandenburg, Lara and Wendy Hessler. BPA crosses the placenta, remains active in the fetus, show rat and human studies. Environmental Health News. 2010.
  3. EHN staff. New study suggests ‘universal fetal exposure’ to BPA. Environmental Health News. 2013.
  4. Alderman, Nancy. Forum: Risk from flame retardant exposure often outweighs risk from fire. Middletown Press. 2015.
  5. Lavelle, Marianne. Catching Lyme disease in the womb? Daily Climate. 2014.
  6. Howard, Brian Clark. Avoid antibacterial soaps, say consumer advocate. National Geographic. 2013.
  7. Biospace.com. Placenta Harbors Harmful Bacteria, May Impact Fetal Health, Baylor College of Medicine Study. Biospace.com. 2014.
  8. Nierenberg, Cari. How environmental toxins harm women’s reproductive health. Live Science. 2013.
  9. Kessler, Rebecca. The Minamata Convention on mercury: A first step toward protecting future generations. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2013.
  10. Fitzgerald, Susan. Crack baby’ study ends with unexpected, but clear result. Phill.com. 2013.

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.

5 Ways Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health

sleep apnea

With over 25 million sufferers, sleep apnea is on the rise in the U.S. [1] The disease can put you at risk for many health issues, so it’s crucial you keep it in check. Some people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even know they have it; it’s only when health concerns pop up do most people learn they’re suffering from this far-too-common sleep disorder.

5 Ways Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that may be associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even hearing loss. If you catch it early, you could be saving yourself from a host of medical issues later on. Here are 5 reasons to take action now if you’re suffering from sleep apnea.

  1. Sleep Apnea Leads to Hearing Loss

A recent study suggests there could be a link between sleep apnea and hearing loss. [2] Most of the participants were not under treatment for sleep apnea, so make sure you’re on top of a plan to control it. If your ears could talk, they might just thank you.

  1. Sleep Apnea Weakens Your Bones

Bone turnover is a process that replaces old bone with new growth, essential for maintaining bone health. Normally with this process there aren’t any problems, but when bone mass is lost, osteoporosis can occur. Sleep apnea, according to recent research, could be a missing link in some causes of osteoporosis. [3] While it sounds farfetched, the idea is catching on. It could be because “sleep duration and quality, oxygen levels, inflammation” and other health issues impact bone metabolism.

  1. Sleep Apnea Affects Your Fitness Levels

Sleep apnea could even be making it more difficult to do the fitness activities you love. A recent study suggests “predicted peak oxygen uptake, a measure of aerobic physical fitness, was significantly lower in people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.” [4] Since exercising for weight loss is one thing that can help sleep apnea, this news is troubling, to say the least. [5]

  1. Sleep Apnea Speeds Up Kidney Disease

Many sleep apnea sufferers also have type 2 diabetes, a disease marked by too much sugar in the blood. [6] Sometimes, those with type 2 diabetes can develop chronic kidney disease (CKD), which means the kidneys aren’t working as well. In the case of CKD, sleep apnea could even “accelerate kidney function decline,” leading to weaker and weaker kidneys. [7]

  1. Sleep Apnea Raises Blood Pressure

Because sleep apnea can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, this one’s very important. [8] One recent study suggests sleep apnea could raise your blood pressure even if taking blood pressure medications. [9] If you have high blood pressure and think you might have sleep apnea, make it a point to talk with your doctor.

One Final Thought

An important thing to remember is that the disease can also have a mental toll, weakening blood flow to the brain and possibly leading to brain damage. [10] Again, if sleep apnea is affecting you, don’t ignore it. Get a sleep study done, and, if deemed appropriate, consider a CPAP machine. There’s recent evidence that suggests airway pressure therapy (usually a CPAP machine) over time can actually reverse the brain damage caused by sleep apnea. [11]

What do you currently do for your sleep apnea? Tell us about it in the comments.

References:

  1. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Rising prevalence of sleep apnea in U.S. threatens public health. ScienceDaily.
  2. American Thoracic Society. Sleep Apnea Tied to Hearing Loss in Large Study. ScienceDaily.
  3. Swanson, C. M. et al. Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Metabolic Bone Disease: Insights Into the Relationship Between Bone and Sleep. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 30 (2).
  4. Beitler, J. R. et al. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Associated with Impaired Exercise Capacity: A Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 10 (11).
  5. Dobrosielski, D. A. et al. Effects of exercise and weight loss in older adults with obstructive sleep apnea. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 47 (1).
  6. Investigación y Desarrollo. Poor sleep causes weight gain, susceptibility to diabetes. ScienceDaily.
  7. American Society of Nephrology. Sleep apnea may contribute to kidney disease progression. ScienceDaily.
  8. Walia, H. K. et al. Association of Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Elevated Blood Pressure Despite Antihypertensive Medication Use. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 10 (8).
  9. Marshall, N. S. et al. Sleep Apnea and 20-Year Follow-Up for All-Cause Mortality, Stroke, and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the Busselton Health Study Cohort. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 10 (4).
  10. Macey, P. M. et al. Global Brain Blood-Oxygen Level Responses to Autonomic Challenges in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. PLoS ONE. 9 (8).
  11. Castronovo, V. et al. White Matter Integrity in Obstructive Sleep Apnea before and after Treatment. SLEEP.

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 Cheapskate’s Guide To Making Cleaning Products That Won’t Kill You

diy household cleaning supplies

One of my favorite parts of spring is scrubbing down the entire house, throwing open the windows so the breeze can come through, and hanging rugs and bedding outside.  Maybe it’s weird but I just love spring cleaning. However, what I don’t love is the expensive, chemical-laden cleaning products from the store.  That’s why I spend some time making my own, from simple, non-toxic ingredients. I order most of my basic supplies

However, what I don’t love is the expensive, chemical-laden cleaning products from the store.

Many of the chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis never leave our bodies, but accumulate in fat and bone marrow.  There’s little oversight and testing on those chemicals.  We’re living in a toxic civilization that seems sparkling clean and sanitary, but is actually poisoning us.

Cleaning products are rife with corrosive substances, irritating artificial fragrances, and petrochemicals.  They can cause immediate symptoms like skin irritation, respiratory issues, allergic reactions, and eye irritation.  Even worse, they can cause long-term issues like hormone disruption, brain cell death, permanent lung damage, and cancer. (You can learn more about the potential dangers of cleaning products in this article.)

It’s quick, frugal, and easy to make non-toxic cleaning products.

That’s why I spend just a few moments of extra time making my own cleaning products, from simple, non-toxic ingredients. I order most of my basic supplies online in bulk and keep them on hand so I can always whip them up as needed.  Not only are you sparing your health, but you’ll save a lot of money with DIY products!

Here’s what you need for a clean home:

You can make everything you need from those items.

5 DIY Cleaning Product Recipes

Scouring powder:

  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 part borax
  • Essential oil of choice

In a mason jar, mix the baking soda with the borax.  Sprinkle in some essential oil. (I like citrus or mint smells for the fresh clean fragrance.)  Combine the mixture well, and put it in a sunny windowsill for a week to let the powders absorb the scent of the oils.  If you aren’t concerned about the fragrance you can use this right away.

Spray surface cleaner #1:

  • 2 parts white vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • Essential oil of choice

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and water. Add your favorite essential oils to cover the vinegar smell. This works on non-wood surfaces and glass.

Spray surface cleaner #2:

This one is good for wood surfaces. Mix this up as you go along, because the oil can go rancid.

  • 3 parts unscented cooking oil
  • 1 part vinegar
  • Essential oil of choice

Yes, basically, it’s salad dressing.  I like to add sandalwood essential oil to this because it’s…well, woody. Lots of folks use citrus oil to get that lemon fresh fragrance.  Spray this on wooden furniture and work with the grain.

Hardwood floor cleaner:

Your hardwoods will gleam with this cleaner. If you use it on laminate it will be slippery. This is only for real wood floors.

  • 16 parts hot water
  • 1 part cooking oil
  • 1/2 part lemon or lime juice
  • Citrus essential oil

Other floor cleaner:

  • 16 parts hot water
  • 1 part borax
  • 1/2 part Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap
  • A few drops of tea tree essential oil
  • A few drops of other essential oil for fragrance

If your floor is particularly greasy you can replace half of the water with white vinegar.

Resouces:

Find more natural household product recipes here

50-pound bag of baking soda

Essential oils

Dr. Bronner’s liquid Castille soap (We use this for personal care products as well)


Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

Got Chronic Health Issues? Maybe It’s Time To Go Against The Grain

no grains

I really hate food labels, food pyramids, the USDA, and the FDA.

All of the stuff that they say are good for you are bad for you. And the things they say are bad for you are actually good for you.

Here’s why: of course, it all boils down to money. As usual.

It’s all a weird shell game to get you to purchase highly subsidized Big Agri crops like corn, soy, and wheat. Big Agri is there to sell these crops to Big Food, and Big Food is there to add chemicals that make these things easy to eat, and Big Government (in the form of agencies like the USDA and the FDA) is there to tell you this stuff is good for you.

What is promoted as “good for you” is actually just good for corporate interests.

Take the “Choose My Plate” grain recommendations, for example.

According to this, adults should have between 6 and 8 servings of grains per day.

First, keep in mind that they consider an ounce to be a serving, which is also very misleading.  Who on earth just eats an ounce of rice ( approximately half a cup cooked)? But people take this as carte blanche to load up all day long on grains to get their “recommended servings” and they think that they’re being healthy.  You can see what the recommended servings look like HERE.

Speaking of “healthy,” this is a word that is closely guarded by the FDA.  Recently, Kind Bars were forced to remove the word from their labels because they contain nuts, and nuts have fat.  Meanwhile, “Healthy Whole Grains” is now an industry buzzphrase to encourage people to purchase items filled with wheat, corn, and other high density, inexpensive filler.  By declaring something “healthy” and encouraging people to eat lots of it, Big Food and Big Agri are getting rich, while the people who trust them are getting sick. This, of course, has the added benefit of putting money in the pockets of Big Pharma. It’s nothing but WIN if you happen to be part of an incestuous corporate conglomerate.

Grains are actually making you less healthy.

But here’s the thing: grains actually aren’t a healthy part of your day.

There’s a movement afoot of rebellious physicians who are loudly proclaiming that grains are not necessary at all, and that they are  actually detrimental.  There is a body of evidence that suggests grains cause everything from heart disease to obesity to diabetes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. More and more people are discovering that they are very sensitive to grains.

Dr. Jack WolfsonDr. William Davis, and Dr. David Perlmutter are all in agreement. Grain is killing us.

Of course, just like Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who first suggested the links between childhood vaccines and autism, these doctors are being tried in the court of public opinion, via insulting articles, quotes taken out of context, and ad hominem attacks. This doesn’t make what they’re saying any less relevant. Going completely against the indoctrination of the AMA and searching for answers that don’t include Big Pharma prescriptions should actually be applauded.

There’s an enormous uptick in grain-related illnesses.

How many people do you know who are gluten intolerant or suffering from celiac disease?  How many people did you know with these issues when you were growing up? An article from the Mayo Clinic confirms that there is a definite rise in cases of people who don’t do well with wheat. Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist from the famous clinic, has been researching celiac disease since the 1970s.

Celiac disease is becoming a public health issue. Studies show four times the incidence compared to 1950, with fatal complications if it goes untreated.

“Celiac disease was rare, but it’s now more common in all age groups,” Dr. Murray says. Although the cause is unknown, celiac disease affects about one in 100 people. What’s more, Mayo has found a fourfold higher death risk for people with undiagnosed gluten intolerance.

Many people are pointing the finger at farming practices that include harvesting conventional wheat by dousing it in cancer-causing Round-up. Others feel it is an under-the-table modification of the crop itself. Truthstream Media uncovered an old USDA film where scientists talked about “fixing” the gluten in flour.

But it isn’t just issues with wheat. Cardiologists like Dr. Jack Wolfson and Dr. William Davis both recommend a diet that is free of grains and far lower in carbohydrates than the SAD (Standard American Diet).  Wolfson recommends the Paleo diet, which excludes grains, dairy, corn, and soy.  Davis created the Wheat Belly diet which focuses on the elimination of gluten and careful management of carbohydrates.

Both doctors suggest that our grain-fueled, high-carbohydrate lifestyles are sending Americans down the path of poor health and can be linked to things like heart disease, diabetes, gut issues, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

If you take a look at standard medical advice for NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), it’s recommended by most doctors that people all but eliminate dietary fat. They suggest that patients become  vegetarian, cut out dietary fat, and eat lots of grains and vegetables.

But some rebel physicians say that the issue isn’t actually the fat in the diet, it’s the transport of that fat to the liver. The vehicle upon which those fat molecules hitch a ride is high glycemic index carbohydrate molecules. Because of this, a more logical approach to reducing the fat in the liver was not to cut out the healthy fats required for brain function, but to eliminate their mode of transportation.

Dr. Terry Simpson wrote:

Fatty liver disease has less to do with dietary fat, and a lot to do with how the liver processescarbohydrates, and more to do with obesity. While “The Doctors” took basic biochemistry in medical school, it is difficult to explain biochemical pathways like the Kreb’s Cycle.

The cause of fatty liver disease is not fats -as easy as that would be to guess. The deposition of fat into the liver comes primarily from carbohydrates.

Here is the evidence: 

When giving patients high glucose in their intra-venous fluids, surgeons discovered that their liver enzymes continued to rise. When the livers were biopsied they discovered that the patients had fatty liver.  Ultimately, when surgeons then added lipids to the intra-venous nutrition, the liver enzymes stopped rising. Ultimately it was discovered that to PREVENT fatty liver disease, there must be a BALANCE, where lipids are added to the intra-venous solution. High glucose alone gave fatty liver disease.

Dr. David Ludwig of Children’s Hospital Boston concurs that carbs are the culprit:

Millions of children are at elevated risk of getting full blown liver disease in adulthood, said Ludwig, who called it a “silent but dangerous epidemic”.

“Just as type 2 diabetes exploded into our consciousness in the 1990s, so we think fatty liver will in the coming decade,” he added.

High GI foods include white bread, white rice, most processed grains such as breakfast cereals, and concentrated sugar. They raise blood sugar quickly because the starch is broken down into sugar quickly. These are also called rapidly absorbed carbohydrates (RAC).

Ludwig said the French delicacy “pâté de foie gras” (literally “pâté of fatty liver”) was made by feeding ducks and geese on a diet rich in high GI grains.

He and his team have just lauched a clinical trial involving overweight children aged from 8 to 17 who will be randomized to either a high GI or a low GI diet. They hope to show that a low GI diet can reverse fatty liver in overweight children.

Ludwig explained that the current standard treatment for being overweight involves putting children on low fat diets, but that doesn’t work for many children with fatty liver:

“We think it’s a misconception that the fat you’re eating goes into the liver,” he said.

Ludwig has a theory that obesity, sedentary lifestyles and eating too many refined carbohydrates are “synergistically” driving a fatty liver epidemic in children.

The irony, said Ludwig, is that low fat diets only make things worse, because they replace fat with sugar and starch (mostly high GI) that increases fat deposits in the body.

“Two low fat Twinkies, billed as a health food, contain the same amount of sugar as an oral glucose tolerance test, a test used to determine how much sugar someone can digest,” said Ludwig.

There are numerous studies supporting ketogenic/low carb diets for the treatment of NAFLD.

Symptoms that can indicate a negative reactions to grains include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Mental “fog”
  • Skin conditions like rash, psoriasis, and eczema
  • Gastrointestial problems like constipation, diarrhea, and pain
  • Bloating
  • General inflammation

It’s important to note that the presence of these issues doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s related to the consumption of grain. However, many people who have switched to a grain-free lifestyle have noted that these symptoms disappeared along with the daily sandwich.

Paleo vs. Primal

My family has been largely gluten free for a couple of years now, but after reading these recommendations we decided to kick all of the grains to the curb.  For us, it has resulted in the loss of some very stubborn fat, an easy-to-maintain reduced carbohydrate intake, increased energy, and greatly improved triglycerides over a period of 3 months.

I looked at two different lifestyles: paleo and primal.

The main difference between the two is the role of fat.   Both are based on ancestral diets that avoid grains, corn, soy, and legumes.

Mark Sisson of the website  Mark’s Daily Apple and the author of The Primal Blueprint explains:

The Paleo Diet and Primal Blueprint, it’s true, are based on similar evolutionary science. The story goes something like this. Our modern Western diet bears little resemblance to the eating habits of early humans throughout 100,000+ years of evolutionary history. Instead, since the agricultural revolution some mere 10,000 years ago, we’ve adopted a nutritional regime that our physiology wasn’t and still isn’t adequately adapted to. When the basics of our diet return to the patterns of our pre-agricultural ancestors, we’re operating with, instead of against, our natural physiology.

Both diets recommend getting rid of grains, monitoring carbohydrate intake, and basing your diet on protein and vegetables. But there, the similarities end. More from Sisson:

A fundamental difference? The role of saturated fats. … many within the paleo community continue to harbor a fear of saturated fats as the bogey that raises cholesterol and instigates heart disease instead of a critical source of nutrients for neurological functioning and other essential physiological processes. Partaking of only lean meats, eschewing butter and coconut oil (two Primal Blueprint favorites based on health benefits supported by extensive research), restricting egg consumption – this is not your Granddaddy Grok’s diet.

Also at issue is the role of diet sodas … and other artificial sweeteners. The opinion of many in the paleo community is that as long as it’s not sugar, it’s acceptable. Working around the problem like this seems to be nothing more than a manipulation.

Adherents of the Paleo lifestyle avoid dairy products, while the Primal advocates enjoy full-fat dairy, particularly cultured, raw, and grass-fed.

We opted to go more towards the Primal lifestyle for several reasons.

  • It is more flexible, with a recommendation of 80/20. (If you stay on-plan 80% of the time, you’ll have good results)
  • We have an abundant source of raw milk and make our own yogurt and cheese from it.
  • We have had no digestive issues relating to dairy products
  • Fat is satiating and delicious, a must when you’re trying to convert kids.

When we initially converted our kitchen, it was rough. We had the so-called “low-carb flu,” a set of symptoms experienced by many when they make a dramatic change in their carbohydrate intake.  People complain of headache, muscle pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal upset, and brain fog.

I know I keep quoting Mark Sisson, but he explains things so well! Here’s why these unpleasant symptoms occur.

For many people, it takes about two to three weeks to move beyond the temporary fog and fatigue. Studies following the physical performance of low carbers showed that initial disadvantages were erased after this window of time. If your body is used to employing easy glucose carbs and now must create glucose from fats and protein (a slightly more complex but entirely natural mode of operation), it can take some time to get up to speed. Rest assured that our bodies can and are doing the job. It simply takes time to work efficiently. The transition actually shifts metabolic related gene expression, increasing fat oxidation pathways and decreasing fat storage pathways. (That’s nothing to shake a stick at!) Within a few weeks, the body should be fairly efficient at converting protein and fat for the liver’s glycogen stores, which provide all the glucose we need for the brain, red blood cells, muscles, etc. under regular circumstances.

Just a note, cheating doesn’t help. It basically puts you back to square one and you start up all of the symptoms again. Stick with it, and within a week or two, you’ll be feeling much better.

Another thing that I’ll briefly touch on is this:  When you eliminate grains it is far, far easier to stick to a more local diet. More on that in Part 2.

Part 2, coming soon.

Watch for Part 2, for tips on switching your family to a grain-free lifestyle.

If you’ve gone grain-free, please share your story in the comments. I’d love to hear about your results, whether positive or negative.

Recommended Reading:

The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series)

The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat


Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

4 Things You Should Do If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes wordcloud

If you have type 2 diabetes, you already know your blood sugar levels can get too high. Your body develops a problem called insulin resistance where it doesn’t use insulin normally. While your pancreas can create insulin to offset the issue, that only works so well. And while the rate of diabetes seems to be levelling off in the U.S., this is still a very serious issue. [1] If you have type 2 diabetes, here are some things you should really know (and do).

  1. Get Mental Health Coaching

For those living with type 2 diabetes, depression is more common than you think. Depression is a serious issue that can interfere with the ability of people to take care of themselves, reducing the motivation to exercise, eat healthy, or even take medications. [2] Many times, these things are crucial to managing the disease. That’s why mental health coaching can be so important; it could not only help with depression, but also reduce blood sugar levels. Your body and mind will thank you!

  1. Eat a Better Diet

Another easy thing you can do is change your eating habits. A recent study suggests eating better over time—choosing more fruits and vegetables or eating whole grains, for example—could reduce your chances for Type 2 diabetes by about 20 percent. [3] No idea where to start? Here are some diet choices you might like, but remember to always talk with your doctor before making any changes—especially if you’re taking medication or insulin:

Since diabetes is associated with carbohydrate intolerance, a low carb diet could be a great option for reducing blood sugar and lowering the risk for heart disease. [4] Some evidence suggests lowering your salt to lower your risk for heart disease by half. [5] Unless you’re a vegan, eating more eggs could be a great way to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. [6] Adding beneficial herbs like rosemary and oregano to your meals could work in much the same way as medications used to control blood sugar. [7]

  1. Exercise

When a person already has type 2 diabetes, excess sugars and fats in the blood make cardiovascular risks higher. While exercise has always been a popular common-sense prescription, one study suggests exercise might be most effective after a meal. [8] But it’s not just adults that can benefit, of course! Why not take time as a family for some after-dinner exercise? And kids should also think about putting down those digital distractions, too. One study suggests “heavy use of electronic media […] especially watching too much TV and videos, was linked to higher levels of (cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes) risk factors in children.” [9]

  1. Reduce Your Stress Levels

Are you facing lots of deadlines at work? Workplace stress could even be a factor for type 2 diabetes. For the first time, researchers have found a possible connection between the two with the latest study suggesting people under high stress levels at work are almost 45 percent more likely to develop type 2. [10] Looking into meditation can be a great help.

One Final Thought

Remember, you can make changes in your life to get your type 2 diabetes under control, but act now to protect your overall health! One study suggests people with type 2 could perform worse on “cognitive tests measuring abilities involved in the control of emotions, behaviors and thought.” [11] Another comments “women with diabetes may be predisposed to more advanced stage breast cancer.” [12]

So what do you do for your type 2 diabetes? Tell us about it in the comments.

References:

  1. Geiss, L. S. et al. Prevalence and Incidence Trends for Diagnosed Diabetes Among Adults Aged 20 to 79 Years, United States, 1980-2012. JAMA. 312 (12).
  2. American Association of Diabetes Educators. Mental health coaching improves outcomes for people with diabetes, depression. ScienceDaily.
  3. American Diabetes Association. Improving diet quality reduces risk for type 2 diabetes. ScienceDaily.
  4. Feinman, R. D. et al. Dietary Carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base. Nutrition. 31 (1).
  5. Horiakwa, C. et al. Dietary Sodium Intake and Incidence of Diabetes Complications in Japanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes – Analysis of the Japan Diabetes Complications Study (JDCS). The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 99 (10).
  6. Virtanen J. K. et al. Egg consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  7. Bower, A. L. et al. Bioactive Compounds from Culinary Herbs Inhibit a Molecular Target for Type 2 Diabetes Management, Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62 (26).
  8. Heden, T. D. et al. Post-dinner resistance exercise improves postprandial risk factors more effectively than pre-dinner resistance exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology. 118 (5).
  9. Väistö, J. et al. Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in relation to cardiometabolic risk in children: cross-sectional findings from the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 11 (1).
  10. Huth, C. et al. ob Strain as a Risk Factor for the Onset of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Findings From the MONICA/KORA Augsburg Cohort Study. Psychosomatic Medicine. 76 (7).
  11. Corita, V. & Hall, P. A. Executive Function in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychosomatic Medicine.
  12. Lipscombe, L. L. et al. The association between diabetes and breast cancer stage at diagnosis: A population-based study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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 Terrible Facts About Energy Drinks

energy drinks

Usually marketed with the lure of more energy or a mental or physical boost, energy drinks usually feature a cocktail of caffeine and vitamins (and maybe something like ginseng or taurine). Sales in the U.S. are on the rise, with a 10 percent increase from 2008 to 2012. This is a global concern—yes, concern. Energy drinks are quickly becoming a public health crisis since high caffeine levels could lead to caffeine intoxication, a condition that can lead to “heart palpitations, hypertension, nausea and vomiting, convulsions, psychosis, and in rare cases, death.” [1] That alone sounds like reason enough to stay far away from those evil energy drinks.

Energy Drinks Facts

Energy drinks aren’t just geared toward college students looking to add an extra jump to their all nighters. In fact, many people of all ages are consuming energy drinks as a mere substitute for water, soda, and coffee. Here are some of the facts about energy drinks you should know.

  1. Energy Drinks Are Marketed to Kids

No matter how old you are, energy drinks are just awful for your body! The Academy of Pediatrics even advises kids and teens to avoid them altogether because of the possibility of serious health risks. [2] But even that warning won’t stop advertisers. A recent study suggested energy drinks are more heavily marketed on TV channels geared to teens and kids. [3] As kids get older, this marketing suggestion could even lead to binge drinking. With energy drinks a common mixer for alcohol, teens that mix the two are 4 times more likely to binge drink. [4]

  1. Energy Drinks Are Portrayed as Buzz-Producing Drugs…and Kind of Are

Do you just have to start your day with a cup of coffee (or two—maybe even three)? Unless you’re drinking decaf, you’re likely craving the caffeine. Well, energy drinks are packed with it, and some are concerned what that high-caffeine content will do in the mix of other ingredients. [5] So if scientists still aren’t sure about the caffeine issue, do you really want that drink in your body? One study even suggests kids who drink energy drinks are 66 percent more likely to be “at risk for hyperactivity or other attention problems.” [6] Is that buzz really worth it?

  1. Energy Drinks Ruin Athletic Performance

After drinking an energy drink, “athletes felt they had more strength, power and resistance,” but that’s really only the high caffeine providing that edge. [7] Those other ingredients in energy drinks provide no more energy than you’ll find in a soda. What you could get instead is increased “insomnia, nervousness and level of stimulation in the hours following competition,” and, in the long run, that could sabotage your athletic performance.

  1. Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Heart

There are lots of reasons energy drinks are evil, but this one might take the cake. Energy drinks are a popular choice during exercise and when out at a club, and so many people drink them one after another. [8] Not only could this lead to caffeine intoxication as mentioned earlier, but recent research suggests possible heart problems: “angina (chest pain), cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)”—“even sudden death.”

One Final Thought

Energy drinks could even be contributing to the downfall of society, a fact that is recognized by some. A recent study suggests “boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately four additional hours per week playing video games.” But it’s more than just playing video games; teens that drink energy drinks are more likely to participate in other negative behaviors like smoking or, returning to my first point from above, binge drinking. [9] [10]

What do you think about energy drinks? Tell us in the comments.

References:

  1. Breda, J. J. et al. Energy Drink Consumption in Europe: A Review of the Risks, Adverse Health Effects, and Policy Options to Respond. Frontiers in Public Health.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Clinical Report–Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate? American Academy of Pediatrics.
  3. Emond, J. A. et al. Patterns of Energy Drink Advertising Over US Television Networks. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 47 (2).
  4. Emond, J. A. et al. Energy Drink Consumption and the Risk of Alcohol Use Disorder among a National Sample of Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of Pediatrics. 165 (6).
  5. Institute of Food Technologists. Energy drinks raise new questions about caffeine’s safety. ScienceDaily.
  6. Schwartz, D. L. et al. Energy Drinks and Youth Self-Reported Hyperactivity/Inattention Symptoms. Academic Pediatrics.
  7. Salinero, J. J. et al. The use of energy drinks in sport: perceived ergogenicity and side effects in male and female athletes. British Journal of Nutrition.
  8. European Society of Cardiology. Energy drinks can cause heart problems, study suggests. ScienceDaily.
  9. Larson, N. et al. Adolescent Consumption of Sports and Energy Drinks: Linkages to Higher Physical Activity, Unhealthy Beverage Patterns, Cigarette Smoking, and Screen Media Use. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 46 (3).
  10. Droste, N. et al. Combined Alcohol and Energy Drink Use: Motivations as Predictors of Consumption Patterns, Risk of Alcohol Dependence, and Experience of Injury and Aggression. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 38 (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.

4 Reasons To Get Sugar Out Of Your Life

sugar

Are you eating a diet high in sugar? If so, consider two of many health costs. As you chew on that sugary snack, those empty calories could be increasing your waistline and lead to a fatty liver (one thing that could lead to permanent damage). [1] Sugar is in practically everything these days, from your peanut butter to a loaf of bread. What’s worse, high fructose corn syrup has quickly replaced pure sugar, leading to even further complications. Could cutting sugar out of your life completely be the answer to your health concerns? Well, there’s one thing–it certainly might help.

Why You Should Sugar ‘Detox’ Your Life

Reducing or cutting out sugar consumption could do wonders for your lifestyle. Not only could it support your energy levels, but it may also support healthy aging. Here are just 4 reasons you need to get sugar out of your life.

1. Sugar Causes Obesity

With the way many Americans drink sugary beverages, it’s no surprise the latest report suggests sugar is a factor in the obesity epidemic–especially when it comes to kids. The Obesity Society estimates Americans consume about 6 to 7 percent of their calories in sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). [2] SSBs are brimming with empty calories, and cutting these out of your diet can only make a change for the better.

2. Sugar Causes Cardiovascular Disease

It’s not just weight gain that’s a possible concern, though; sugar could even add to your risk for heart disease. [3] In a recent study, sugar was linked to changes in blood pressure and in the body’s lipids. This latest finding only adds to evidence that continues to suggest there’s no such thing as a “safe sugar habit.”

3. Sugar is as Addictive as a Drug

The latest research even suggests sugar could be as addictive as a drug. [4] Sugar addiction could be a throwback to a distant time when food supplies were scarce, and people weren’t worried about empty calories. They were just eating enough to survive. At the time, our brains might have been wired to overload on carbohydrates, mostly fruit and grains, in order to maintain an energy storage during times of famine. In this day and age, however, finding food isn’t the problem: it’s mindlessly eating sugar.

4. Sugar Affects Memory

Certainly SSBs could be doing more harm than good to our physical health, but a recent finding even suggests they could be damaging the memories of kids and teens. [5] Drinking SSBs in excess before adulthood leads to metabolic changes, affecting the “brain’s ability to function normally and remember critical information.” That’s one more reason to cut sugar out of your life!

One Final Thought

Sugar can be bad news for our bodies, but sugar substitutes aren’t really that much better. The brain perceives artificial sweeteners as overly sweet, and this perception can still lead to overeating, just like the kind mentioned in point three. [6] So we’re back to square one, it seems. With the rising sugar crisis, some have even suggested sugary foods need a warning label. [7]

What do you think? Is cutting sugar a step in the right direction? Tell us in the comments.

References:

  1. Koopman, K. E. et al. Hypercaloric diets with increased meal frequency, but not meal size, increase intrahepatic triglycerides: A randomized controlled trial. Hepatology.
  2. Skinner, A. C. & Skelton, J. A. Prevalence and Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Children in the United States, 1999-2012. JAMA Pediatrics.168 (6).
  3. Te Morenga, L. A. et al. Dietary sugars and cardiometabolic risk: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effects on blood pressure and lipids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 100 (1).
  4. Nieh, E. H. et al. Decoding Neural Circuits that Control Compulsive Sucrose Seeking. Cell. 160 (3).
  5. Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages during adolescence impairs memory, animal study suggests. ScienceDaily.
  6. Antenucci, R. G. & Hayes, J. A. Nonnutritive sweeteners are not supernormal stimuli. International Journal of Obesity.
  7. Capewell, S. Sugar sweetened drinks should carry obesity warnings. BMJ. 348.

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 Is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

highlighted-liver

You are probably well aware of the symptoms of liver toxicity due to a poor lifestyle. Liver disease, on the other hand, is commonly prescribed to people who consume too much alcohol. Recently, another type of liver disease has been on the rise. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a different type of liver disease that is not affected by alcohol intake. [1] Instead, it is caused by the high level of accumulated fat within the liver. A normal liver is about 5 – 10% fat. Anymore than that can be harmful and lead to NAFLD or, the more threatening and harmful version, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). At its worst, NAFLD or NASH can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.

Who Is at Risk for NAFLD?

The liver acts as a filter for the body by separating helpful nutrients and discarding harmful substances. Consequently, the liver encounters many hard-to-handle toxins, as well as lipids or fat cells. Since NAFLD is affected by the amount of fat in the liver, individuals who are overweight or obese are often at risk. Also, people with diabetes or high blood pressure can develop the disease. NAFLD has also been seen in people who undergo rapid weight loss. It has been discovered that 25% of Americans are affected by NAFLD. [2] It is more common in women than in men and is also most prevalent in people ages 40 – 60.

What Are the Symptoms of NAFLD and What Does it Do?

Typically, NAFLD presents with few or no symptoms, [3] but possible signs include: fatigue, weakness, weight loss or loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice. NAFLD is usually confirmed via blood tests and ultrasounds. The disease affects the body negatively by causing inflammation in the liver. This inflammation can lead to scarring of the liver tissue which can affect liver functions. If left unchecked, the inflammation and scarring can lead to the escalated form of NAFLD which can, as mentioned above, lead to liver failure.

How Can I Prevent NAFLD?

The best way to avoid developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is by leading a healthy lifestyle. If you eat healthy foods, especially ones that support your liver, get regular exercise, and limit your alcohol intake, you should be able to lower your risks of developing NAFLD or NASH. [4]

Has NAFLD affected you or someone you know? Leave a comment and share your experience with us.

References:

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Mayo Clinic. 2014.
  2. American Liver Foundation. NAFLD. American Liver Foundation. 2015.
  3. ACGI. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. ACGI. 2012.
  4. Pullen, Lara C. Exercise Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Medscape. 2015.

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 4 Most Disturbing Facts About ADHD

Lettered cubes arranged to spell the abbreviation ADHD

Kids (and adults) with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulties staying on task or finishing things, and while there are other problems associated with it, these two symptoms alone can make life tough. There are facts you should know about ADHD and here are the four most disturbing.

  1. ADHD Can Result from Trauma

People who have ADHD likely wonder, just what caused this? Well, a recent report suggested it could be environmental and that an ADHD diagnosis could be connected to childhood trauma. [1] For example, things like the death of a parent or domestic violence are termed ‘adverse childhood events (ACEs).’ The more ACEs in a child’s life, the more likely it is that child has (or will be diagnosed with) ADHD.

  1. ADHD Can Cause Premature Death

Recent evidence suggests that the implications of an ADHD diagnosis can be far more serious than simply not completing tasks. In a multi-decade study following almost 2 million people, those with ADHD (about 32,000) were twice as likely to die earlier. [2] If that wasn’t bad enough, those deaths were often from unnatural causes—usually accidents. The risk of dying also went up based on a person’s age at diagnosis, and women and girls with ADHD were at a higher risk of early deaths than men and boys.

     3. ADHD Could Be Something We Give Ourselves

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that a major factor for ADHD could be toxin exposure. Tobacco use, especially during pregnancy, or even being around cigarette smoke, can put your child at a greater risk for ADHD. [3] Fluoridated water could be tied to ADHD; in one study, scientists “found that states with a higher portion of artificially fluoridated water had a higher prevalence of ADHD.” [4] It’s even been found that pesticides have a huge impact on ADHD. [5]

  1. ADHD is Being Treated with Dangerous Drugs and Little Else

This is probably the worst… only about a quarter of U.S. children with ADHD are treated with behavioral therapy. [6] The rest rely solely on dangerous stimulants. And some think that the over reliance on drugs has less to do with medicine and more to do with big business. [7] Pharmaceutical companies really push these medications–often with extreme marketing tactics. This leads many to believe that when it comes to ADHD, our society is over medicated. Take into account that safety testing is pretty spotty—and, well, they could be onto something. [8]

One Final Thought

But with all the disturbing facts out there surrounding ADHD, keep in mind that you might not even have it. There are a lot of conditions that can mimic ADHD—thyroid disorders or certain allergies, for example. But if you are completely certain it’s ADHD, there is research out there that suggests ADHD symptoms can be avoided through exercise. [9] Another report suggests living at higher altitudes leads to fewer ADHD cases. [10] Still, many children just “outgrow” ADHD symptoms, but there are many adults that still experience difficulties. [11]

What do you think about ADHD? Tell us about it in the comments.

References:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Study finds ADHD and trauma often go hand in hand. ScienceDaily.
  2. Dalsgaard, S. et al. Mortality in children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide cohort study. The Lancet.
  3. Holz, N. E. et al. Effect of Prenatal Exposure to Tobacco Smoke on Inhibitory Control. JAMA Psychiatry.
  4. Malin, A. J. & Till, C. Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association. Environmental Health. 14 (7).
  5. Richardson, J. R. et al. Developmental pesticide exposure reproduces features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The FASEB Journal.
  6. Gellad, E. F. et al. Geographic Variation in Receipt of Psychotherapy in Children Receiving Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications. JAMA Pediatrics..
  7. Conrad, P. & Bergey, M. R. The impending globalization of ADHD: Notes on the expansion and growth of a medicalized disorder. Social Science & Medicine.
  8. Bourgeois, F. T. et al. Premarket Safety and Efficacy Studies for ADHD Medications in Children. PLoS ONE. 9 (7).
  9. Hoza, B. et al. A Randomized Trial Examining the Effects of Aerobic Physical Activity on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in Young Children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 43 (4).
  10. Huber, R. S. et al. Association Between Altitude and Regional Variation of ADHD in Youth. Journal of Attention Disorders.
  11. Mattfeld, A. T. et al. Brain differences between persistent and remitted attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Brain. 137.

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.