Friday, August 29, 2008

Fix your Genes--here's how


Well, if someone accuses you of having crummy genes, you can be nicer to your body and fix them. From NaturalNews, here's some really interesting work by Dr. Dean Ornish:

Dr. Dean Ornish, head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, is a well-known author advocating lifestyle changes to improve health. Dr. Ornish is also affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco. He recently reported on the Gene Expression Modulation by Intervention with Nutrition and Lifestyle (GEMINAL) study. This study indicated that making positive changes in one's diet, exercise, and stress management can affect more than a person's weight. Dr. Ornish's study was published in the June 16, 2008 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study followed 30 men who had opted out of conventional treatment for low-risk prostate cancer. The men decided, before they were recruited to take part in the study, not to undergo treatments such as surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy normally advocated for the disease. The men were closely monitored for tumor progression through the duration of the study.

Instead, for three months, they made changes in their lifestyle: They ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products. They exercised moderately, walking for half an hour a day. Each day they spent an hour practicing stress management methods such as meditation. Additionally, the men participated in support group sessions.

As the study progressed, the men lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol, and generally saw improvements in their health. Previous studies gave evidence of lowered prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels with dietary changes.

Biopsies taken at the beginning and end of the study demonstrated some more significant changes. About 500 genes evidenced changes in activity at the end of the study. 48 disease preventing genes were turned on. 453 genes which promote disease, like breast and prostate cancers, were turned off.

Dr. Ornish expressed excitement over the results in a Reuters interview. The implications of this study go beyond men and prostate cancer. People are not doomed by their genetics. They can make positive changes fairly quickly. In three months, genetic changes can be made through the choices we make in food, exercise, and the way we handle stress.





Thursday, August 28, 2008

Treatment for Eye Disease can HARM Vision

The side effect of decoding the genome is that now everyone can -- simplistically -- blame our genes, when it's actually TOXINS that can turn on and off genes. Rachel Carson wrote all about it way back then...

But in case anyone you know is looking into this treatment for macular degeneration. From Newswise, the journalists'-only news source:

Newswise — Having discovered a genetic trigger for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50, researchers report that an experimental state-of-the-art therapy for treating eye disease could adversely affect the vision of some patients with the “wrong” genetic makeup.

In the August 28 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a multi-institutional team, including an interdisciplinary contingent from Johns Hopkins, reports that a mutation in toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), a protein known to help cells fight some types of infection, is associated with protection from geographic atrophy. Geographic atrophy, also known as the “dry” form of macular degeneration, is the progressive shriveling of retinal cells in the central part of the tissue called the macula where cell loss equates to irreversible vision loss.

The new study implies that there could, in fact, be adverse consequences in some individuals who undergo a new treatment using a method called RNA interference to silence genes in the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), where growth of abnormal blood vessels causes vision loss.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Non Toxic Sun Block

So everyone's going on vacation this week, it seems. We were on vacay last week at the beach. If you've been reading this blog for a while you know that I don't use sunscreen 1. because of toxins and 2. because I like to get my vitamin D the natural way (did you know that RICKETS is making a comeback?). People don't spend enough time outdoors, so instead of getting people outside, the gov. just puts cheap vitamin D in milk. Eeek.

But I understand that some people need sunscreen, say if you're going to be on a boat all day. So I searched and searched to find a sunscreen//sunblock that doesn't have any hormone disrupting chemicals or crap like that. It wasn't easy.

Miessence is a company out of Australia, where they know their sun protection. I like their REFLECT Outdoor balm. Generally having a literal mineral block, like titanium dioxide, is preferable to some chemical like oxybenzone. This stuff is great in that uses ZINC OXIDE. Plus no parabens and crap like that.

The good/bad of this is that, well, it works well but it leaves a trace of a whitish sheen. To me, this shows that it's made of simple, good stuff and the zinc oxide stays on the OUTSIDE rather than all the weird nano particles and the chemical sunblocks absorbing into your skin. I have a good base tan, so I tried this on my pale tan lines, and it protected it really well.

But back to the Mother Nature thing--make sure you get SOME SUN. If you're out in the middle of the ocean at noon, then, this sunblock is a great product to have around.

Check out this article from the Environmental Working Group on how most sunscreens are toxic crap that dont' even work (hm, what else does this sound like?):

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has attacked leading sunscreen brands for offering inadequate protection against UV rays or containing potentially hazardous ingredients.

The consumer group said the top selling products were some of the worst offenders in its survey of the safety and effectiveness of 1,000 branded sunscreen products.

read more

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ban on unmarried adoptions cleared for Ark. ballot

Argh, this is the reason I had to quit my official blogging job at is so silly and sad:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A proposal aimed at effectively banning gays and lesbians from becoming foster or adoptive parents was cleared Monday to appear on this fall's ballot in Arkansas.

The measure would prohibit unmarried couples living together from fostering or adopting children, and Arkansas doesn't allow gays to marry or recognize gay marriages conducted elsewhere.

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels certified the proposed initiated act for the Nov. 4 ballot after verifying that the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee had submitted 85,389 valid signatures of registered voters. Supporters needed to turn in at least 61,974 valid signatures.

"Arkansas needs to affirm the importance of married mothers and fathers," Family Council President Jerry Cox said. "We need to publicly affirm the gold standard of rearing children whenever we can. The state standard should be as close to that gold standard of married mom and dad homes as possible."

From the AP, read more here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stand on Your Head for Fewer Wrinkles

Doing headstands is also good for our attitude--makes you feel like a kid again!

From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) It is very rare that we are able to see the world upside down, and regularly viewing the world from this angle can bring a variety of amazing benefits to our life. Turning ourselves upside down is not only an amazing practice for health... but for beauty as well.

Headstand and Yoga for Skin Care

A headstand can reduce facial wrinkles, and if practiced regularly, is a natural 'face-lift'. This is because it reverses the effects of gravity and allows the skin to rest in the other direction.

Furthermore, yoga for skin care increases the circulation to the face, which brings much needed nutrients and oxygen to rejuvenate and remove wrinkle causing toxins. The result is smoother, clearer, brighter and glowing skin.

read more here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

If you can't buy organic...

Wow, I'm amazed at how the price of food is shooting up--yikes! And it's not as if organic food starts out cheap, either. Ideally, an all-organic diet is best. But if you can't, our buddies at Environmental Working Group did tests of pesticides in foods and decided these are the lowest:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion
P.S. some alternative med types think PEAS are NOT GOOD for fertility, FYI. I don't eat them anyway because they make my lips numb--a strange reaction but I know other people get that, too.

P.P.S. remember to check the PLUs for GMOs!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arsenic and Diabetes

Any kind of insulin-dependent condition is baaaad for fertility, and these things can lead to polycystic ovarian disease, etc. Not to mention that diabetes shorten life, is related to Alzheimer's, etc.

Here's a piece from Newswise not related to carbs, but ARSENIC. You might want to get a reverse osmosis filter if you use well water (forget the Britta, that doesn't DO anything) and, you might be interested to know, non-organic producers are allowed to feed ARSENIC to CHICKENS.

Bon apetit:

Newswise — Inorganic arsenic, commonly found in ground water in certain areas, may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study found that individuals with diabetes had higher levels of arsenic in the urine compared to individuals without diabetes. The results are published in the August 20, 2008, issue of JAMA.

“Our findings suggest that low levels of exposure to inorganic arsenic may play a role in diabetes,” said Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and assistant professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. “While prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal, these findings add to the existing concerns about the long-term health consequences of low and moderate exposure to inorganic arsenic.”

Inorganic arsenic is found naturally in rocks and soils. In the U.S., most exposure to inorganic arsenic comes from contaminated drinking water. Foods such as flour and rice can also provide small quantities of inorganic arsenic, particularly if grown or cooked in areas with arsenic contamination in soil or water. Seafood is a source of organic arsenic compounds that have little or no toxicity.

Researchers examined randomly selected urine samples taken from 788 U.S. adults 20 years or older that participated in a 2003—2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The results were adjusted for diabetes risk factors, including body mass index and for organic arsenic compounds found in seafood.

In the U.S., approximately 13 million people live in areas where the concentration of inorganic arsenic in the public water supply exceeds standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, primarily in the West, Midwest and Northeast regions. Dietary intake of inorganic arsenic in the U.S. ranges from 8.4 to 14 micrograms per day for various age groups.

The authors concluded that given widespread exposure to inorganic arsenic from drinking water worldwide, clarifying the contribution of arsenic to the diabetes epidemic is a public health research priority with potential implications for the prevention and control of diabetes.

“Arsenic Exposure and Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Adults” was written by Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD; Ellen K. Silbergeld, PhD; Roberto Pastor-Barriuso, PhD; and Eliseo Guallar, MD, DrPH.

The researchers were funded in part by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center in Urban Environmental Health.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Man 40 years older than age--check out his sperm

From the BBC, a video series on how a guy's hard partying life made him not only look older on the outside, but also on the inside. A note from the text:

Extensive tests

Every inch of Stewart's body was examined and his vital organs were tested.

The sperm one was shocking, really bad - I was close to tears
Stewart Burton

He even had a fertility test, though he felt confident about the outcome.

"I know I've got no problems," he said.

"I've got a daughter already. I know everything is working properly."

At his "living autopsy", Stewart was laid out and the first "incision" was made in front of girlfriend Donella, Stewart's mother and his brothers.

It was a demanding and emotional time for all involved as presenter George Lamb and Dr Andrew Curran revealed Stewart's results.

One of the most shocking moments for Stewart, Donella and his family was when his brain age was revealed, following a series of cognitive function tests.

Stewart is only 25 but all his hardcore partying resulted in a brain age of 68.

Donella's shock at him "having the brain of a pensioner" was something his entire family shared.

Fertility under threat

But for Stewart the greatest surprise was the state of his sperm.

Due to his excessive partying lifestyle, Stewart's fertility test showed his sperm had 91% deformed heads.

This left a serious question mark over his fertility as normal fertility allows for less than 70% deformed heads.

Stewart was left stunned by the news. "The sperm one was shocking, really bad," he said. "I was close to tears."

watch the video here.

A Way to Identify GMOs

In Europe they ban GMOs because they think they might not be safe. Here, the US won't label them so's if they turn out not to be safe, we won't know! And also won't be able to sue. This was driving me nuts.

The first thing you can do to protect youself is BUY ORGANIC.

However, you may already have noticed that the PLU (bar code like thingie on the sticker) for organic produce always starts with a 9. Well, guess what, the PLUs for GMOs start with an 8. STAY AWAY!

You can get the whole guide to food PLUs here: (http://www.plucodes .com/docs/ IFPS-plu_ codes_users_ guide.pdf

Monday, August 18, 2008

Viagra May Render Men LESS Fertile

It's hard not to notice the news recently that so many drugs actually cause what they are meant to treat, e.g., statins causing heart attacks, Fosamax (osteoporosis drug) causing fractures, etc., etc. So it's not surprising that messing with the stuff "down there" has some unexpected (expected?) side effects:

(NaturalNews) The anti-impotence drug Viagra actually reduces men's fertility by decreasing the ability of their sperm to fertilize an egg, according to a study conducted by researchers at Queen's University Belfast and published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Researchers carried out two different experiments to determine what effect the popular drug might have on sperm cells. In the first study, human sperm samples were bathed in weak Viagra solutions, intended to approximate the blood concentration acquired from taking a single 100-milligram Viagra pill. They found that while the Viagra-bathed sperm became more active, they also suffered damage to the structure at their heads known as the acrosome. This portion of the cell contains enzymes that help break down the membrane around an egg so that the sperm can penetrate it.

To determine if this cell damage actually affected fertility rates, the researchers compared the fertility of two groups of male mice, one of which had been given Viagra. They found that mice in the Viagra group produced 40 percent fewer fertilized embryos than mice that had not been given any drugs.

Researcher David Glenn noted that the many fertility clinics that prescribe Viagra in order to increase sperm counts may actually be harming the fertility of their clients.

"I think it is worrying that some in-vitro fertilization clinics are using Viagra in order to boost fertility results," Glenn said. "Couples that go there for treatment are, by definition, already having problems getting pregnant. Giving male partners something that could make the problem worse is scarcely the right approach."

Glenn also expressed concern over the long-term effects that recreational Viagra use might have on people's fertility.

"Viagra has become a widely used recreational drug," Glenn said. "It is mixed with cocaine, for example, and is sold in clubs. Our work leaves open the possibility that there could be a cumulative effect from taking Viagra, however, which could pose serious fertility problems in later life."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feds:Common pesticides jeopardize salmon survival

So what's the point of banning pesticides for household use and having us EAT them? I think WE should be worried if salmon are dying...From the AP:


GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Three pesticides commonly used on farms and orchards throughout the West are jeopardizing the survival of Pacific salmon, the federal agency in charge of saving the fish from extinction has found.

Under the settlement of a lawsuit brought by anti-pesticide groups and salmon fishermen, NOAA Fisheries has issued a draft biological opinion that found the way chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion get into salmon streams at levels high enough to kill salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The chemicals interfere with salmon's sense of smell, making it harder for them to avoid predators, find food, and even find their native spawning streams.

Banned from many household uses, tens of millions of pounds of the chemicals are still used throughout the range of Pacific salmon on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, forage crops, cotton, fence posts and livestock to control mosquitoes, flies, termites, boll weevils and other pests, according to NOAA Fisheries.

read more here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Get Nonstick out of your Life

Do you want to kill this bird?

Do you need any more encouragement to throw out our teflon stuff? Don't let these birds' deaths be in vain. From the BBC:


Fumes given off by cancer-causing chemicals used to make non-stick frying pans are killing hundreds of pet birds every year, environmentalists say.

The Worldwide Fund for Nature says it is hearing reports that many US caged birds are being killed by the fumes.

It says the chemicals, perfluorinated compounds, are also contaminating both people and wildlife with grave effects.

The chemicals industry says it doubts that birds exposed to ordinary levels of the compounds could die from them.

Guilty till proved harmless

In a report, Causes For Concern: Chemicals and Wildlife, WWF says the compounds, also used in some textiles and food packaging.

read more here.

Learn about Le Creuset here. It almost cooks like nonstick.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bernie Mac Another Casualty of Conventional Medicine?

The following from Natural News is interesting because I've been studying homeopathy and some other alternative forms of medicines like Scheussler's cell salts and Bach Flower remedies, and the underlying thread of these therapies is that you don't want to squash the symptoms and make them go back IN and attack vital organs, you want them to come OUT. I read in Dr. Weil's book about someone with a skin hardening disease for which they used strong steroids...and the disease did in fact go inside and harden her organs, which was much more serious.

At our house when we see a symptom, we try to respect it and treat it gently, not force it and pharma it away. So far so good.

NaturalNews) The number of famous people dying at the hands of conventional medical doctors is increasing at an alarming rate. Today comedian Bernie Mac (best known for appearing in Oceans Eleven and The Bernie Mac Show) died following hospitalization and treatment for pneumonia. At the young age of 50, Bernie Mac joins an increasing roster of other notable celebrities who have died while being treated with conventional pharmaceuticals or chemotherapy: Heath Ledger, Peter Jennings, Tim Russert and many more.

Pneumonia is the name given to a common infection that fails to be properly handled by the body's own immune system. Bernie Mac's immune system, it turns out, was suppressed by pharmaceuticals due to treatments for an autoimmune disorder he was previously diagnosed with, called sarcoidosis.

The most common treatments for sarcoidosis are dangerous steroids (like Prednisone) or immune system suppressing drugs like Methotrexate. Following his treatment with one or both of these pharmaceuticals, Bernie Mac was described as having his sarcoidosis go into "remission." That's conventional medicine's code word for masking symptoms with dangerous chemicals while ignoring the underlying cause of the disease.

"Sarcoidosis," meanwhile, is just a fancy-sounding name for an out-of-control autoimmune response caused by an imbalanced immune system which is disrupted by dietary imbalances and exposure to toxic chemicals through processed foods, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and other environmental sources (like pesticides or cleaning solvents). Bernie Mac didn't really have sarcoidosis; he was merely given that label by doctors who attached a fancy name to a pattern of symptoms that Bernie Mac expressed.

How doctors destroyed Bernie Mac's immune system

Rather than addressing the underlying causes of his autoimmune disorders, doctors pumped him up with more chemicals that suppressed his immune system. From there, Bernie Mac was a pneumonia case just waiting to happen, because at that point he was walking around with a suppressed immune system.

In my opinion, this is why Bernie Mac has now passed away: Because his doctors destroyed his immune system and called it "treatment" for a disease, practically guaranteeing that he would be vulnerable to infections. Meanwhile, doctors completely ignored the underlying lifestyle factors that Bernie should have been told were causing his symptoms in the first place.

Bernie Mac was a brilliant comedian. He was wildly entertaining in Oceans Eleven, Oceans Twelve and other movies in which he appeared.

He radiated a likeable charm and possessed a captivating wit both on and off the screen. Sadly, conventional medicine's dangerous medications have hastened his death and taken from us an uplifting artist who could have lived another 20 - 30 years if he had not has his life stolen from him by modern medicine.

Modern medical treatments are the leading cause of death in the western world, surpassing even the number of people killed by cancer. That's because most cancer deaths, of course, are actually "deaths by medicine." It is the chemotherapy that kills the patient before the cancer! Individuals who put their faith in modern medicine are playing roulette with their lives, and many of them pay the ultimate price for that misplaced faith.

So what should Bernie Mac have done instead? It's simple: Visit a naturopath, get off all the chemicals and medications, eliminate all the junk from his diet (processed foods, etc.) and transition to a mostly plant-based diet rich in superfoods and living foods.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Diabetes During Pregnancy Tied to Birth Defects

It's just recently that the medical community has recognized diabetes as an autoimmune disease...and now they're thinking pre-empclampsia during pregnancy might be one as well. Anyway, diabetes in any form, type I or II is not only bad for you, it can be bad for your baby. Check it out here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Prenatal Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk of Asthma, Allergies in Children

At the very least, the Mediterranean diet is delicous...

(NaturalNews) Women who eat a Mediterranean diet while pregnant appear to reduce their children's risk of developing allergies and asthma, while those who eat more red meat appear to increase it, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Crete, Greece, and published in the journal Thorax...

Prior studies by the same researchers have shown that children who eat a Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop allergies and asthma than their peers who eat a more Western diet. But while the protective benefits of a Mediterranean diet appear to be less significant by six years of age, the effects of the maternal diet are still strong.

read more here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

HPV Vaccine Blamed for Teen's Paralysis

I've gotten a lot of questions about whether to HPV or not. I cannot tell you what to do, only that you should educate yourself, weigh the risks and benefits, and then make an informed decision.

Our extremely wise neurologist said to us, "It's difficult to build a house, easy to knock it down." I tend to the idea of respecting the immune system.

This is from the site:

A month after 13 year old Jenny Tetlock was vaccinated against the HPV virus, she missed the lowest hurdle in gym class. It was the first sign of a degenerative muscle disease that 15 months later left her nearly completely paralyzed.

Her father, Philip Tetlock, a professor at UC-Berkeley, has embarked on an odyssey to find out whether the vaccine, Gardasil, is to blame.

Tetlock is not the only one concerned. The public watchdog group Judicial Watch has been periodically obtaining adverse event reports on Gardasil from the FDA. 10 deaths have been linked to Gardasil since September 2007, and there have been 140 reports so far this year of serious side effects such as miscarriage and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Soy Foods and Male Fertility

I just received an email asking about this. Here you go, from the BBC (note also the comment about Asian males and soy--in Asia people don't eat boca burgers, it's all fermented soy, and not usually as a main course btw):

A regular diet of even modest amounts of food containing soy may halve sperm concentrations, suggest scientists.

The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found 41 million fewer sperm per millilitre of semen after just one portion every two days.

The authors said plant oestrogens in foods such as tofu, soy mince or milk may interfere with hormonal signals.

However, a UK expert stressed that most men in Asia eat more soy-based products with no fertility problems.

read more here.