Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The greatest wealth is health.
Health is the condition of being sound in body, mind, and spirit, and being free from physical disease and pain. It includes the not only the physical, but mental and spiritual. Stress, overwork, abuse, and spiritual and mental despair can lead to both mental and physical breakdown.
We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Someone said to me the other day, “I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’m getting old.”
It’s true there are certain things we cannot change, such as age and gender, but there are many more risk factors that predispose us to certain illnesses that we can change. Poor nutrition, inactivity, smoking, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse (including abuse of caffeine and prescription drugs), and stress all contribute to and exacerbate disease processes, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, neurological disorders, cancer, liver and kidney disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and diseases of the immune system.
In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
A friend of mine was fond of saying, “Nothing changes, if nothing changes.” So, it goes, and in order to change, we have to change our way of thinking. When one decides to “own” one’s health and destiny, change will follow. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding.
Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue, due to its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters – it is truly a family issue.
Men’s health issues change with the aging process. Concerns men face in their 20′s and 30′s may be related to fitness, in their 40′s and 50′s heart health, and in their 60′s men face worries such as weight gain, prostate health, impotence and chronic health problems.
Cancer is an enormous issue in Houston and along the Gulf, where there is a high concentration of chemical and petrochemical plants. These areas are sometimes referred to as “the cancer belt”. Environmental exposure to toxins is a serious problem leading to higher incidences of cancer rates making prevention through early detection and proper nutrition of the upmost importance. See your doctor once a year or if you experience any changes in your health. Deal properly with stress which is a known factor in increased incidence of cancer.
Testicular cancer is relatively rare compared to other cancers, and most commonly seen in men ages 15-34, and is more common in Caucasian men but can occur at any age. My youngest patient was 21 when diagnosed and approximately one in 25 of my patients has had testicular cancer. Self exam beginning in mid teens and continuing throughout a man’s lifetime is extremely important. Testicular cancer is most easily treated in it’s early stages when it is confined to the testicles or lymph nodes. Testicular cancer usually metastasizes to the lungs, liver, bones and brain, so early detection is crucial. The signs and symptoms include: swelling in the testicle or a lump that feels “stuck” to the testicle, a feeling of heaviness or sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum, a dull ache in the abdomen or groin, unexplained fatigue, breast enlargement or tenderness. Pain is usually a late sign. If you have any of these signs or symptoms see your doctor immediately.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer affecting 1 in 6 American men. While it is primarily a disease which affects men over 65, prostate cancer rates increase drastically in men over the age of 40 as compared to younger men. Risk factors include: age, family history, diet, and race, with African American men having a 61% higher incidence of prostate cancer than Caucasian men. Nutrients important for prostate health include (but are not limited to) Boron and Indol-3-Carbinole which may induce apoptosis in prostate as well as breast, cervical, and pancreatic cancers according to studies at the Linus Pauling Institude Oregon State University.
According to one study, men who consume 10 or more servings of tomato products per week reduce their risk of prostate cancer by about 35%. The American Cancer Society in August 2001 reported that 32 (largely African-American) patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and awaiting radical prostatectomy were placed on diets that included tomato sauce, providing 30 mg a day of lycopene. After 3 weeks, mean serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentrations fell by 17.5%, oxidative burden by 21.3%, DNA damage by 40%, while programmed cell death increased threefold in cancer cells (Holzman 2002). Part of lycopene’s protection involves the ability of carotenoids to counteract the proliferation of cancer cells induced by insulin-like growth factors (Agarwal et al. 2000a).
I cannot possibly say enough about the importance of good nutrition. The saying, “we are what we eat” is very true and I have done a lot of research on nutrition for 40 years to help people understand weight gain as we age and have hormonal shifts. (See Nutrition page) I work with groups and individuals with diet and lifestyle changes.
While certain issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a problem at any age, ED usually affects men over the age of 65. ED is usually caused by damage to the soft tissue, smooth muscles, fibrous tissues, or nerves which innervate the penis. Diseases such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease, atherosclerosis, MS, or other neurologic disorders can cause ED. Other causes of ED include smoking, chronic alcoholism, being overweight, lack of exercise or low testosterone. Taking certain medications such as drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and ulcers can contribute to ED. Stress, anxiety, depression, guilt and low self-esteem can cause ED or be secondary symptoms experienced by men with ED.
Treatment for ED varies from pharmaceutical therapies, or natural supplementation with L-arginine, Asian ginseng, DHEA, to surgical implants if ED is due to nerve damage. Although I have not found any negative side effects with the administration of the amino acid L-arginine, it should be noted that serious adverse side effects have been reported in people taking DHEA and ginseng. DHEA is known to cause heart palpitations and arrhythmias, and ginseng hypertension and headache. If you are taking L-arginine and have a history of cold sores you should supplement with Lysine to prevent outbreaks.
Although breast cancer strikes less than 2000 American men each year, it is possible for men to succumb to the disease. For that reason, it is important while doing testicular self exam to include self breast exam. The breast self exam is the same for a man as it is for a woman. Signs and symptoms include a change in how the breast of nipple feels. You may experience nipple tenderness or feel a lump in the breast or underarm. Dimpling of the skin, ridges or pitting resembling an orange peel, redness, scaling, or swelling are abnormal. Discharge from the nipple is also abnormal.
Ask any woman and she’ll tell you: health care for women is more expensive than it is for men. In fact, during their reproductive years, women spend 68% more on health care than men do.
Women have the same health issues that men do, but they can affect women differently. For instance, women can present with different symptoms when experiencing a heart attack and often exhibit different symptoms of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. For that reason women have to be assertive when contacting a health care practitioner or entering the health care system. Incidence of heart disease and outcome can be improved by controlling risk factors such as smoking, blood pressure, weight, inactivity, diabetes, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Women also tend to have a higher incidence of certain health issues such as osteoporosis/osteoarthritis, obesity, depression and sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Changes such as pregnancy and menopause have effects on health. Pregnancy induced hypertension or preeclampsia, and hyperglycemia are relatively common issues which can affect the health of both mother and fetus.
Practice preventive medicine. See your doctor once a year and get a PAP smear and other recommended tests. Thermograms should be performed instead of mammography which causes cancer due to radiation exposure, but the best intervention is still PREVENTION through diet including LIMU nutrition products, exercise, intake of iodine/iodide (Lugol’s solution), and decreasing exposure to toxins such as but not limited to: chlorine (found in sucralose and used in “decontamination” of foods such as chicken, fruits and vegetable, bromine (found in foods such as bread) and fluoride which is being illegally placed in municipal water supplies. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a leading cause of death in women. 200,000 women in the US are diagnosed each year and 40,000 die of the disease. Breast self exam should be performed once a month.
Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of abusive behavior and a serious issue in women’s health. While victims of domestic violence are not limited to women, the prevalence of reported cases are women. One in three women has been the victim of rape, sexual coercion, or violence. On average, more than three women are murdered by their intimate partners every day. Pregnant or recently pregnant women are more likely to be the victims of homicide than to die of any other cause. According the the Journal of the American Women’s Medical Association, of all maternal deaths, the preponderance is due to homicide, followed by cancer, acute and chronic respiratory infections, motor vehicle accidents, drug overdose, peripartum and postpartum cardiomyopathy, and suicide.
The pattern of domestic violence includes not only violence and verbal abuse. Dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, denial and blame are also hallmark signs of an abusive relationship. The abusive relationship may also include sexual and financial abuse.
Domestic Violence sees no color. It does not care how much money you make, where you live or where you choose to worship. It is an issue that affects not only those involved, but also their families and the community that surrounds them.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Justice; U.S. Department of Justice, 1 in 4 women have reported experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, 8 million days of paid work are lost due to domestic violence, and $5.8 billion is spent on health related costs of the issue. Annually, two million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused as a result of domestic violence. I was one of those women and in more than one relationship in my lifetime, but I was not a victim. I moved across an ocean to protect myself and my children.
There are signs to alert those that need to know there are entering a danger zone. Some include:
• Checking your cell phone or email without permission
Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) for help.
• Constantly putting you down
• Extreme jealousy or insecurity
• Explosive temper
• Isolating you from family or friends
• Making false accusations
• Mood swings
• Physically hurting you in any way
There is a way out of these dangerous relationships. The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers steps to keep you and your family safe until you are able to get out of the situation:
There is a direct correlation between domestic violence and missing person’s cases.
• Identify your partner’s use and level of force so that you can assess danger to you and your children before it occurs.
• Try to avoid an abusive situation by leaving.
• Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and there are ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
• Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.
• If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target; dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
• If possible, have a phone accessible at all times and know what numbers to call for help. Know where the nearest pay phone is located. Know the phone number to your local battered women’s shelter. Don’t be afraid to call the police.
• Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you need help.
• Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Plan a code word to signal to them that they should get help or leave the house.
• Call a domestic violence hotline periodically to assess your options and get a supportive ear.
If you are in danger or there are ANY of these warning signs you need to have an emergency bag packed and hidden that included cash, ID, medications, and anything you would need in an emergency. Have a plan ~ save your life~! Tell someone because that is the first step.
If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who is it is important to leave. First, have a support system and know where to go once you leave; have a plan, pack bags containing clothes and emergency items including cash, credit cards and medicines in case you have to leave in a hurry. Have an escort to and from your car at work. Vary your schedule if possible. Protect yourself and your children.
Moving on after any breakup is challenging, but healing after an abusive relationship can be especially difficult. All breakups may have their aftermath of sadness and loss, but for someone transitioning from victim to survivor, the fallout may include continued harassment or attacks. The resulting ongoing mental trauma and emotional stress can make a survivor question, “Was leaving really worth it?” YES. Yes, leaving is worth it. I can attest to that fact! Yes. YOU are worth more. Why is moving on after abuse so difficult? Abuse is rooted in power and control, and an abusive partner holds that power by minimizing their victim’s self-esteem and breaking their spirit. If you’re leaving an abusive relationship, rebuilding your life can be a hard process, but with time and space, finding closure and peace is possible. A violence-free life is waiting, and you are so very worth it.
- Cut off contact with your ex
- Surround yourself with support
- Take care of yourself
- Remember that you’ll get better with time
- Consider counseling
Every child in America deserves high-quality health care.
~Nancy L. Johnson
Children’s health is a very big concern. From the moment of conception a child’s health should be protected. If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant proper nutrition is of great importance. Taking a prenatal vitamin is necessary throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, however do not take additional supplements without consulting your physician. Adequate folic acid is crucial during the first trimester to avoid birth defects. Taking extra Vitamin C, can deplete stores of folic acid and endanger the fetus.
Smoking or use of alcohol during pregnancy leads to low birth weight babies and fetal alcohol syndrome. Drug use or abuse can also have detrimental effects.
In the 70′s, the danger of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) to newborns was identified. Approximately 30% of the population are carriers of GBS and testing is usually done during pregnancy. Newborns who contract GBS can suffer from sepsis, shock, pneumonia and meningitis. Each year approximately 2000 newborns die from GBS infection and large numbers suffer brain damage, birth defects, loss of sight and hearing, mental retardation and lung damage causing permanent handicaps.
GBS also poses health risks to the mother including pelvic inflammation and incisional infection following cesarean delivery. Screening and administration of intrapartum antibiotics can minimize the risk of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality.
Safety is an important issue throughout infancy and childhood. Accidents are by far the leading cause of death in children, adolescents and teenagers, so be vigilant. Internet safety is a relatively new issue that must be addressed by parents. Children must be taught safety through each developmental stage.
ONE Decision ~ To PREVENT ~ To HELP ~ To SAVE~! BEWARE VIDEO IS CHILLING~!
Kids need a lot of attention, praise and encouragement. They need to know they are worthwhile. Building esteem is one of the most important aspects of parenting. Take the time to give your child sincere compliments and positive reinforcement. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in children between the ages of 10 and 19. Know the risk factors, signs and symptoms. Always take signs and symptoms seriously and never ignore threats of suicide. Suicide is preventable.
Obesity is rampant among children and continues to grow at an alarming pace. Children are now at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and early heart disease. They are more likely to be predisposed to other health hazards such as diabetes, insulin resistance, joint problems, precocious maturation, liver and gallbladder disease, and depression. Prevention is imperative.
If possible, do breastfeed during infancy. Start good eating habits early. Do encourage children to be physically active every day. Limit TV, computer and video game time. (See more on Happiness page regarding sleep interruption and electronic devices.)
Remember that children experience stress, too. Crying in infancy isn’t designed to irritate you; it’s a sign that something is wrong: hunger, pain, tiredness, over-stimulation. Respond to your children’s cries. There is more than likely a reason. Not too long ago a friend of mine told me her baby was crying all the time and waking up frequently in the middle of the night. When I suggested a change in feeding, the crying stopped and the baby slept through the night. Both parents were elated. Recently a friend whose baby was teething asked for my advice. I recommended LIMU for both her, because she had just had some teeth pulled and was still having problems with her gums and for the baby. She called the following night to thank me. Both she and the baby got a good night sleep and he actually slept through the night. She also said according to her dentist her gums were healing remarkably well. She mentioned what was in LIMU and he went to research the studies on wounds and fucoidan, then asked how to purchase the product for himself and his wife.
From infancy to young adulthood children need routine and discipline. The most rapid period of brain growth occurs between birth to age five. Parents need to be aware of hidden dangers. Even electronic devices can be hazardous and cause issues with development. Parenting can be frustrating, especially when there are other stressors. Balance is always the key. If you seem to be playing chauffeur all the time perhaps your kids are involved in too many activities. The pre-teen and teenage years can be particularly challenging. Communication is crucial. Safety remains a big issue. Bullying and school shootings seem to be on the rise. Peer pressure can entice kids to experiment or act out in order to be part of a group. Again, communication is vital. Know your children’s friends and parents. I believe a parent’s intuition is usually right. Remember who is the adult and who is the child. If you think there’s a problem, ask your child. Don’t fall prey to pressure to put your child on a drug for hyperactivity, attention deficit, or any other label. Before drug therapy became the norm we actually used play, church, and family interaction as “therapy”. Educate, communicate, and participate! Your children will one day thank you I promise.
BEFORE you allow your child to be labeled and drugged with medications for ADHD read how the “Father of ADHD” committed fraud!
Escape Fire – Health Care Video
We live in a capitalist society driven by consumerism. It is the same with Medicine. Most doctors will tell you they went into medicine to treat the sick (and if honest for the money). So, let that sink in for a moment. Whether consciously, or not, it is in their behalf to treat patients who are not well, in order to have a frequent and life-long relationship. Physicians believe what they are taught UNLESS they learn to think for themselves and do research beyond what they are told by a pharmaceutical representative. It is in the pharmaceutical drug manufacturer’s best interest to have residual sales. Do you see a pattern?
Drugs do NOT help people. They make them sicker. One drug causes a new symptom which leads to multiple pharmaceutical drug use over time. That is a FACT.
Further, do you believe your doctor reads everything about a drug he’s given to sample to his patients before he doles them out to unsuspecting patients? And do YOU as a responsible consumer, read everything that drug is supposed to do and what it may do that is not desirable? Or, do you trust your doctor to have done his homework and research?
I have been asked why doctors are so averse to alternatives or even adjuncts with regard to their patient’s health choices. There are multiple reasons. Most have a mind-set of illness, NOT wellness. Most only know what they learned in an already biased medical school. Most, do not take the time to do the research, whether because of laziness or ego. Most see no benefit certainly in you being well.
However, ask what THEY do. Doctors typically choose a different course of treatment for themselves than they do for patients! Sad, but true; and I have many friends who are doctors.
I am a patient advocate, an educator, and believe in INFORMED CONSENT! TO NOT INFORM A PATIENT OF HIS/HER RIGHTS IS AN ETHICAL AND CRIMINAL VIOLATION OF YOUR PATIENT RIGHTS!!!!
Information for patients
You have the right to accurate and easily-understood information about your health plan, health care professionals, and health care facilities. If you speak another language, have a physical or mental disability, or just don’t understand something, help should be given so you can make informed health care decisions.
You have the right to choose health care providers who can give you high-quality health care when you need it.
If you have severe pain, an injury, or sudden illness that makes you believe your health is in danger, you have the right to be screened and stabilized using emergency services. You should be able to use these services whenever and wherever you need them, even if they’re out of your network, without needing to wait for authorization and without any financial penalty.
You have the right to know your treatment options and take part in decisions about your care. You have the right to ask about the pros and cons of any treatment, including no treatment at all. As long as you are able to make sound decisions, you have the right to refuse any test or treatment, even if it means you might have a bad health outcome as a result. You can also legally choose who can speak for you if you cannot make your own decisions.
You have a right to considerate, respectful care from your doctors, health plan representatives, and other health care providers that does not discriminate against you based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or source of payment.
You have the right to talk privately with health care providers and have your health care information protected. You also have the right to read and copy your own medical record. You have the right to ask that your doctor change your record if it’s not correct, relevant, or complete.
You have the right to a fair, fast, and objective review of any complaint you have against your health plan, doctors, hospitals, or other health care personnel. This includes complaints about waiting times, operating hours, the actions of health care personnel, and the adequacy of health care facilities.
In a health care system that protects consumer or patients’ rights, patients should expect to take on some responsibilities. For instance, patients must tell their health care providers about any medicines they are taking, and about health conditions and medical or surgical problems in the past or present. Patients must ask questions or request further information from health care providers if they do not completely understand health information and instructions.
Patients must also take responsibility for their lifestyles to help improve their own health (for instance, following a treatment plan, exercising, and not using tobacco). Patients are expected to do things like treat health care workers and other patients with respect, try to pay their medical bills, and follow the rules and benefits of their health plan coverage. Having patients involved in their care increases the chance of the best possible outcomes and helps support a high quality, cost-conscious health care system.
Other bills of rights
The above bill of rights focuses on health insurance plans, but there are many others with different focuses. There are special kinds, like
- Mental health bill of rights
- Hospice patient’s bill of rights
- Rights of people in hospitals
With regard to administration of medication you, the patient have the following rights when receiving drugs, and nurses are supposed to explain what medication and effects to expect.
- Right patient
- Right medication
- Right dose
- Right time
- Right route
- Right documentation
In addition every nurse has the right to refuse to administer a medication. I have had to exercise that right many times in my nursing career, especially working in teaching hospitals.
Know your rights whether as a patient or a health professional.
Pharmaceutical drugs and over the counter medicines (OTC) kill over 106,000 people annually according to the CDC. However, other sources such as Dr. Mercola, Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, and Dorothy Smith PhD have put together in a two part expose, “Death by Medicine” frightening statistics on the actual numbers of injuries and deaths due to medications and medical errors, which may be as high as one million annually. (Part 1 – Part 2)
1. Sleeping pills – (zolpidem (e.g., Ambien), temazepam (e.g., Restoril), eszopiclone (e.g., Lunesta), zaleplon (e.g., Sonata), other benzodiazepines such as triazolam (e.g., Halcion) and flurazepam (e.g., Dalmane), barbiturates, and sedative antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (e.g., Benadryl))
Sleeping pills may seem helpful and even innocuous; however, your chance of dying if you use sleeping pills is 4.6 times higher than people who do not take sleeping pills. In addition, sleeping pills have been shown to cause cancer in animal studies and there is evidence that sleeping pills cause cancer in people.
According to Daniel F. Kripke, M.D. author of The Dark Side of Sleeping Pills Mortality and Cancer Risks, Which Pills to Avoid and Better Alternatives, “I first became interested when I saw the work of Dr. E. Cuyler Hammond at the American Cancer Society. In 1975, I went to visit The American Cancer Society, starting a collaboration which lasted for many years. American Cancer Society data from over 1 million people showed that use of sleeping pills was associated with more deaths within 6 years, but insomnia by itself was not associated with any death risk.
As of January, 2012, there were 24 published studies of the mortality risks of sleeping pills. Of the 22 studies which reported either greater or lesser mortality associated with sleeping pills, 21 studies showed that people taking sleeping pills died sooner. (The 22nd study found no mortality risk of sleeping pills but did find sleeping pill usage associated with increased cancer deaths.)
A strange new finding from researchers at Scripps Clinic is that people who take sleeping pills such as eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem have about a 44% higher risk of developing infections which include sinusitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infections, influenza, herpes, and so forth.. Although there has been essentially no discussion of this risk in the medical literature, it is statistically extremely convincing, based on studies which the manufacturers submitted to the FDA and some of their published controlled trials of increased risk of infection. Zolpidem (and probably other sleeping pills) relax the stomach sphincter and cause gastro-esophageal regurgitation. The acid irritation may lead to infection. Incidentally, acid regurgitation may also lead to esophageal cancer, which is one of the cancers most greatly increased among sleeping pill users.
In a study of over 10,000 patients who took sleeping pills and over 20,000 matched patients who did not take sleeping pills the patients who took sleeping pills died 4.6 times as often during follow-ups averaging 2.5 years. Patients who took higher doses (averaging over 132 pills per year) died 5.3 times as often. Even those patients who took fewer than 18 pills per year had very significantly elevated mortality, 3.6 times that of patients who took no hypnotics.”
There are other dangers as well with the use of sleeping pills, especially if someone has sleep apnea. Because sleeping pills risk making sleep apnea worse, many experts recommend that people with apnea not be given sleeping pills.
A risk for the elderly includes a decreases tolerance to medication, decreased clearance of drugs due to possible kidney issues and risk of falls.
Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that “people who take sleeping pills on a regular basis are 50 percent more likely to die in accidents. Drowsiness accounts for 200,000 – 400,000 automobile accidents every year, and it is responsible for two thirds of all industrial mishaps, most common among shift workers in the early morning hours.”
Another consideration according to Dr. Kripke is impairment of daytime thinking. “The side effects of the prescription sleeping pills are much like their benefits. At night, we want our brain cells to stop working (unless we need to get up in the middle of the night), so sleeping pills make the brain less active. If the sleeping pill is in the blood during the day, it will make the daytime brain less active and less functional. The problem is that no sleeping pill remains in the blood all night, impairing consciousness, and then suddenly evaporates at the moment of awakening. Besides, a large percentage of people who take sleeping pills do often get up at night, at a time when the sleeping pill could cause falls or confusion. Most of the marketed prescription hypnotics, when taken at bedtime, will remain in the blood with at least half strength when morning comes.” Sleeping pills generally make function worse the next day.
Not only are sleeping pills carcinogenic, lead to an increase in deaths due to use in people with apnea, and cause more tiredness and a decrease in function with use, they cause depression according to studies cited by Dr. Kripke and people who use sleeping pills have an increased risk and incidence of suicide.
Balch claims that “sleeping pills are the third most commonly used means in suicide and are implicated in one third of all drug-related suicide attempts and deaths.”
Addiction to sleeping pills is another major concern. “All prescription hypnotics (with the exception of ramelteon and the new drug Silenor) may be physically addicting drugs, and all are sometimes attractive to drug addicts. By addicting, we mean that these drugs have two properties. First, when we take addicting drug such as narcotics or barbiturates, we develop tolerance so that a given dosage has less and less effect or “stops working.” People who develop tolerance are prone to increase their dosage more and more. I frequently see this problem with long-term users of sleeping pills. Second, addicting drugs cause physical withdrawal symptoms when they are stopped abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms of hypnotics such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines are very well known. They include shakiness and tremor, nervousness and anxiety, panic, hyperactivity and increased reflexes, rapid heart rate, and epileptic seizures and death in the most severe cases. In one sense, the withdrawal syndrome with hypnotics can be worse than withdrawal from heroin, because while the heroin addict experiences withdrawal as a terrible anguish, it is rare that addicts do not survive even the most severe heroin withdrawal. Severe withdrawal of sleeping pills can produce death. The risk of seizures and death is probably more severe with withdrawal of barbiturates than with benzodiazepines. On the other hand, zolpidem (Ambien) seems less prone to cause withdrawal symptoms than the barbiturates or benzodiazepines. As compared to heroin, the withdrawal syndrome may be more lasting with the hypnotics, perhaps more than a month in some cases, though too little controlled experimentation has been done to be really sure.”
In recent years there have been several incidences of amnesia and bizarre behavior reported in people using sleeping pills. Recently in Houston, Texas a woman was found sleeping in her car in the drive thru at a McDonald’s. The last thing she remembered was taking a sleeping pill. I have a friend who woke up 60 miles from home in her car, not knowing how she got there; the night before she had taken a sleeper. Other more serious cases have been reported in those taking sleeping pills, including a case in which a man murdered his sister yet had no memory of doing so. There have been so many other cases that the phrase ‘Ambien defense’ has been coined and defendants are sometimes called ‘Ambien zombies’.
Concomitant use of sleeping pills with other drugs or alcohol increases the effects and should be taken into consideration when using or prescribing.
2. Cholesterol lowering statin drugs (Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor, Baycol)
Cholesterol has been demonized. Yet the more it’s demonized, the more heart disease we’ve seen. Obviously, something’s wrong with the theory. Unfortunately, entrenched interests won’t let it go without a fight. There’s simply too much money riding on this false hypothesis that cholesterol if BAD. So, more and more details are discovered, resulting in more and more distinctions in so-called types of cholesterol—in spite of how obviously absurd the concept is. There is one, and only one, type of cholesterol, but because it is insoluble it must have a carrier, thus high and low density lipoproteins. (HDL & LDL).
Cholesterol, a sterol, is critically important for survival. It is an essential structural component of cell membranes and serves as a precursor in the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D3. Cholesterol is vitally important in brain and nerve function. Without it, you can’t form memories, so it’s no wonder that statins, which interfere with cholesterol formation, can harm memory. Cholesterol is required to form corticosteroid, testosterone, and estrogen. We need cholesterol, and interfering with it results in devastating health effects.
If you value your health, you will ignore the warnings about high cholesterol levels. Unless you suffer from hypercholesterolemia, a congenital defect, the chances of having excess cholesterol are slim. In addition, in 2004, the threshold defining ‘high cholesterol’ was lowered arbitrarily without even one study being done. Remember there were NO STUDIES in making this decision and new guidelines mean millions more patients on statins, and billions more in sales for drug companies.
If you have a problem with lipoproteins, reducing cholesterol isn’t going to help, and taking statins, could do terrible things to your health. Just remember that cholesterol isn’t measured by blood tests. Lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) are, and they aren’t cholesterol; nor are triglycerides.
Did you know cholesterol lowering medications increase your risk for diabetes by 50%?
Probably not. Medications to control high cholesterol are BIG business. In fact, the drug companies sell roughly $25 billion cholesterol lowering statin drugs annually under various names such as Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor, and Baycol.
That is why despite evidence determined by researchers at Harvard University that statin drugs increase the risk of diabetes in women over 45 by 50% they continues to be promoted and sold. The risk of diabetes is so profound that Eric Topol, a top cardiologist and professor of Genomics at Scripps Research Institute writes: “We’re overdosing on cholesterol-lowering statins and the result could be a sharp increase in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.”
An increased risk of diabetes is only the tip of the iceberg. Statins have a long list of side effects like muscle weakness, memory loss, cataracts, loss of appetite, belly pain, liver failure, acute kidney failure, and in rare cases a potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis, where muscles break down and cause kidney failure. Baycol was linked to 50 deaths.
Statin drugs also diminish essential stores of CoEnzyme Q10, a compound which is necessary for heart function. Statins inhibit the enzyme HMG CoA which is required for the production of CoEnzyme Q10. The depletion of this enzyme leads to side effects such as fatigue and muscle pain. The irony is that we are giving people a drug to reduce cholesterol, which probably doesn’t even have that much to do with heart disease and, in fact, is necessary for brain function, and inhibiting formation of CoQ10 which is most necessary for a healthy heart.
Does administration of a cholesterol lowering drug that has so many negative side effects, actually causes diabetes, may lead to dementia, and depletes molecules essential for heart function really make sense?
3. Anti-hypertensive drugs (8 classes of blood pressure drugs)
1. Ace Inhibitors (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) - inhibitors prevent your body from making Angiotensin II, a natural substance our bodies produce that among other things, can cause our blood vessels to narrow, thicken and stiffen. Angiotensin II also triggers the release of a hormone associated with increased water and sodium in the body.
Side effects: Most common - Dry cough. Less common – light headedness, dizziness, rash, reduced appetite, increased blood potassium level, changes in the flavor of food and swelling. ACE inhibitors are associated with birth defects. Some pain relievers reduce the effectiveness of ACE inhibitors.
2. Alpha Blockers - stop the hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline) from constricting the muscles that surround the veins, smaller arteries, and other muscles throughout the body.
Side effects: Include “first dose effect” – when first taking Alpha Blockers, some people get dramatically reduced blood pressure, dizziness, and feel faint when sitting or standing up. Additional side effects include headache, pounding heartbeat, nausea, weakness, and weight gain.
3. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers - block the action (not the production) of Angiotensin II.
Side effects: Diarrhea, dizziness, headache, light-headedness, back and leg pain, sinus congestion, kidney failure, liver failure, allergic reaction, lowered white blood cells, swelling and is also associated with birth defects.
4. Beta Blockers (Beta adrenergic blocking agents) - block adranaline (epinephrine) causing the heart to slow and blood vessels to open.
Side effects: Cold hands, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, depression, reduced libido, insomnia, shortness of breath, severe asthma attacks, may block signs of low blood sugar in diabetics (like racing pulse), and can affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Stopping the drug abruptly may lead to increased risk of heart attack. Some physicians see a link between Beta Blockers and INCREASED heart disease.
5. Calcium Channel Blockers (calcium antagonists) - Inhibit calcium ions from getting into the cell walls of the heart and the muscles surrounding blood vessels, causing them to relax (for a muscle to contract, it needs calcium ions Ca2+ to cross its cell membrane).
Side effects: Constipation, drowsiness, flushing, headache, nausea, and swelling of the lower legs and feet. Some calcium channel blockers react with grapefruit and foods that contain grapefruit by blocking the liver from properly removing them from the blood – resulting in dangerous concentrations.
6. Central Acting Agents (also called central adrenergic inhibitors; central alpha agonists; central agonists) work directly in the brain, blocking signals that speed up the heart rate or constrict blood vessels, This class of drugs is less commonly prescribed due to strong side effects.
Side effects: Constipation, depression, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, impotence, headache, impaired thinking and weight gain. Abrupt discontinuation can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure (rebound hypertension) especially when taken with a beta-blocker.
7. Diuretics – (3 classes – Thiazide Diuretics, Loop Diuretics, Potassium Sparing Diuretics) - Diuretics work by causing the kidneys to excrete sodium and water in the urine, resulting in less in the blood and hence lower blood pressure.
Side effects: Increased urination (most common with loop diuretics), high potassium levels (with potassium sparing diuretics) that could lead to arrhythmia and death, too little potassium in the blood (thiazide diuretics), gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men), increased blood sugar, increased cholesterol, erectile dysfunction (ED), rash, gout, and menstrual irregularities and increased risk of heart disease.
8. Vasodilators - Cause blood vessels to open (their precise mechanism is not fully understood).
Hydralazine is though to interfere with calcium ion release in the muscles that surround blood vessels, causing them to relax.
The Minoxidil molecule contains a nitric oxide element that may trick blood vessels into opening.
Side effects: chest pain, dizziness, flushing, headache, fluid retention, heart palpitations, nausea, sinus congestion, racing pulse, vomiting, excessive hair growth.
So, what’s the number one most dangerous blood pressure medication side effect?
COMPLACENCY and a FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY! Blood pressure medications treat the symptoms but do nothing for the CAUSE of high blood pressure.
There are many causes of high blood pressure:
- Lack of Exercise
- High intake of salt (>1500-2000mg) Watch for hidden sodium in processed foods **Also note do NOT use processed salt which contains silica and can cause damage inside blood vessels leading to plaque formation.
- Low potassium levels (Potassium food sources are apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, lima beans, milk, oranges, potatoes, prunes, spinach, squash and tomatoes)
- Heavy Metals (Lead, Cadmium, Mercury)
- Refined Carbohydrates (Sugar)
- Not enough sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to cardiovascular issues.
- Deep Breathe!
- Unhealthy diet (try to eat balanced diet of organic fresh foods, low fat/high protein, limit sugar and dairy)
DASH Diet - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension In one study of people using DASH diet there was an average drop in BP of 11.4mmHg Systolic and 5.5mmHg Diastolic.
4. Alzheimer’s drugs – Aricept 23 (Donepezil)
Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease disguised as “normal aging” and “forgetfulness”. Roughly 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and half of people age 85 or older have the disease already. Alzheimer’s is characterized by the build-up of neurotoxic proteins called Beta Amyloid in the brain which kill brain cells by forming plaque within the vessels and tissues. This build-up occurs slowly and the more brain cells are killed the worse the symptoms and effects of Alzheimer’s.
One drug used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Aricept 23 was approved by the FDA despite warnings by the agency’s own researchers.
Dr. Thomas Finucane, professor of medicine in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and staff physician at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, stated that “Cholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept have gained multibillion-dollar success due primarily to two factors: the understandable desperation of those who care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and a relentless promotional campaign by drug companies.” Finucane is a co-petitioner with Public Citizen to ban Aricept 23.
The LA Times reported that according to Dr. Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz of Dartmouth Medical College….”Aricept was devised to serve commercial claims and was approved by the FDA despite poor showings in company sponsored tests.”
Side effects of Aricept 23 include: slow heartbeat (bradycardia), fainting, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, fatigue, dizziness, agitation, confusion, and loss of appetite. Vomiting — which occurred more than 3.5 times as often in patients taking the 23-mg dose than in those taking the 10-mg dose — is a particularly dangerous side effect for patients with Alzheimer’s disease because it can lead to pneumonia, massive gastrointestinal bleeding, esophageal rupture, and even death.
“There is NO EXCUSE for manipulating vulnerable patients, desperate family members and their doctors to use a product that is most likely to cause net harm,” say Drs. Woloshin and Schwartz.
5. NSAIDS - According to the warning label, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin, Bextra, Naproxen, Celebrex) may cause ulcers, bleeding, perforation of the stomach and DEATH, do nothing to treat arthritis and only mask symptoms.
The side effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) are not fully appreciated by the average consumer. Wolfe et al (1999) helps put the problem into perspective for one such problem – gastrointestinal toxicity. According to conservative figures “…the annual number of hospitalizations in the United States for serious gastrointestinal complications is estimated to be more than 103,000. At an estimated cost of $15,000 – $20,000 per hospitalization, the annual direst costs of such complications exceed $2 Billion.”
The emphasis of cost fails to recognize the more important mortality rate for patients hospitalized for NSAID-induced upper gastrointestinal bleeding which Wolfe estimates as about 5 to 10 percent.
The report further reports, “It has been estimated conservatively that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and considerably greater than the number of deaths from multiple myeloma, asthma, cervical cancer or Hodgkin’s disease.”
6. Diabetes Drugs – (Metformin, Actos, Avandia, Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, Bydureon, Victoza, and others)
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations and the seventh leading cause of DEATH! When your body does not produce enough insulin or is resistant to insulin, sugars can’t move into your cells, in order to be utilized for energy. Your blood becomes saturated with sugar. ATP production is altered, and the brain is the first organ to suffer.
Yet, the costly drugs used to treat diabetes are potentially MORE dangerous that the disease itself. Diabetes drugs such as Avandia, Actos, Byetta, Metformin and others not only have dangerous side effects, many are the hotbed of wrongful death lawsuits or have been removed from the market after the realization that NO LONG TERM STUDIES which would have confirmed these negative and life-threatening effects were included in the decision making process the FDA uses to approve marketing a drug.
Startling information has recently surfaced regarding certain diabetic drugs and cancer. Dr. Peter Butler, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), released details of this UCLA Diabetes Study which caused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take a hard look at certain diabetic drugs. The findings of Dr. Butler’s study suggest that there may be a significantly higher risk of pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, and thyroid cancer when using some diabetic drugs.
Many of the drugs mentioned are relatively new to the diabetic drug market, and many doctors and clinicians regret their introduction to the market as they believe that some of the more traditional diabetic drug treatments like metformin may be as effective while limiting the diabetic drug cancer risks.
Actos has been in the center of wrongful death lawsuits. Finally the FDA issued a warning that it is associated with increased risk of heart disease as well as bladder cancer.
Surprisingly, the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer was actually acknowledged before Actos was introduced to the market in 1999. Actos’ manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, had done the required clinical trials for Actos which actually discovered a high rate of bladder tumors among male rats.
Rather than stopping the production of Actos, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed Takeda to proceed in selling Actos. Several years after the acceptance of Actos the first human studies of Actos bladder cancer began. In 2007, Takeda acknowledged that there were fairly substantial data suggesting that there may be a link between Actos and bladder cancer.
Despite this knowledge the drug remains on the market. WHY? Actos, generates over $4 billion in sales annually.
7. Anticholinergics – (Excedrin PM, Tylenol PM, Nytol, Sominex, Unisom, Benedryl, Dramamine)
Examples of common anticholinergics:
- Anti-Muscarinic agents
- Benztropine (Cogentin)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
- Dicyclomine (Dicycloverine)
- Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Sominex, Advil PM, etc.)
- Doxylamine (Unisom)
- Glycopyrrolate (Robinul)
- Ipratropium (Atrovent)
- Oxitropium (Oxivent)
- Oxybutynin (Ditropan, Driptane, Lyrinel XL)
- Tolterodine (Detrol, Detrusitol)
- Tiotropium (Spiriva)
- Anti-Nicotinic agents
- Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin) – Ganglion blocker
- Dextromethorphan - Cough suppressant and ganglion blocker
- Doxacurium - Nondeplorizing skeletal muscular relaxant
- Hexamethonium - Ganglion blocker
- Mecamylamine - Ganglion blocker and occasional smoking cessation aid
- Tubocurarine - Nondeplorizing skeletal muscular relaxant
Plants of the Solanaceae family contain various anticholinergic tropane alkaloids such as scopolamine, atropine, and hyoscyamine.
Physostigmine is one of only a few drugs that can be used as an antidote for anticholinergic poisoning. Nicotine also counteracts anticholinergics by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Caffeine (although an adenosine receptor antagonist) would counteract the anticholinergic symptoms by reducing sedation and increase acetylcholine activity, thereby causing alertness and arousal.
Anticholinergic drugs block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. Drugs with anticholinergic effects are sold over the counter and by prescription. Older adults commonly use over-the-counter drugs with anticholinergic effects as sleep aids and to relieve bladder leakage. Drugs with anticholinergic effects are frequently prescribed for many chronic diseases including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Research from the Regenstrief Institute, the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, and Wishard-Eskenazi Health on medications commonly taken by older adults has found that drugs with strong anticholinergic effects cause cognitive impairment when taken continuously for as few as 60 days. A similar impact can be seen with 90 days of continuous use when taking multiple drugs with weak anticholinergic effect. They also found taking multiple drugs with weaker anticholinergic effects, such as many common over-the-counter digestive aids, had a negative impact on cognition in 90 days.
These findings are particularly important in the geriatric population who tend to be polypharmic, may have multiple health issues and may be a fall risk due to other factors.
Possible side effects of anticholinergics include:
- Ataxia; loss of coordination
- Decreased mucus production in the nose and throat; consequent dry, sore throat
- Xerostomia or dry-mouth with possible acceleration of dental caries
- Cessation of perspiration; consequent decreased epidermal thermal dissipation leading to warm, blotchy, or red skin
- Increased body temperature
- Pupil dilation (mydriasis); consequent sensitivity to bright light (photophobia)
- Loss of accommodation (loss of focusing ability, blurred vision – cycloplegia)
- Double-vision (diplopia)
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- Tendency to be easily startled
- Urinary retention
- Diminished bowel movement, sometimes ileus (decreases motility via the vagus nerve)
- Increased intraocular pressure; dangerous for people with narrow-angle glaucoma
Possible effects in the central nervous system resemble those associated with delirium, and may include:
- Euphoria or dysphoria
- Respiratory depression
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Wandering thoughts
- Incoherent speech
- Mental confusion (brain fog)
- Wakeful myoclonic jerking
- Unusual sensitivity to sudden sounds
- Illogical thinking
- Visual disturbances
- Periodic flashes of light
- Periodic changes in visual field
- Visual snow
- Restricted or “tunnel vision”
- Visual, auditory, or other sensory hallucinations
- Warping or waving of surfaces and edges
- Textured surfaces
- “Dancing” lines; “spiders”, insects; form constants
- Lifelike objects indistinguishable from reality
- Phantom smoking
- Hallucinated presence of people not actually there
- Rarely: seizures, coma, and death
- Orthostatic hypotension (sudden dropping of systolic blood pressure when standing up suddenly) and significantly increased risk of falls in the elderly population.
A common mnemonic for the main features of anticholinergic syndrome is the following:
- Hot as a hare (hyperthermia)
- Blind as a bat (dilated pupils)
- Dry as a bone (dry skin)
- Red as a beet (vasodilation)
- Mad as a hatter (hallucinations/agitation)
- The bowel and bladder lose their tone and the heart goes on alone (ileus, urinary retention, tachycardia)
8. Acetaminophen – (Tylenol, Panadol, Excedrin, Tylenol #3
Even when used as directed, acetaminophen can lead to liver toxicity or death and each year accounts for an astounding 100,000 calls to poison control centers, 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and more than 450 deaths from liver failure alone. In fact, Acetaminophen causes more cases of acute liver failure than all other medications combined.
Unfortunately, this hit all too close to home. In 2012, a good friend of mine went to the doctor for what he thought was back strain. He was prescribed Tylenol 3. Within days he began showing symptoms of confusion which we later realized was hepatic encephalopathy. He went into liver failure and entered the hospital nine days after being prescribed the drug. He was moved to the Intensive Care Unit almost immediately where his condition continued to deteriorate, and three days later, died.
Acetaminophen also has potential teratogenic effects. In a long term study published in JAMA (Feb 2014, findings link Acetaminophen use during pregnancy to increased incidence of ADHD. When taken in the last trimester the probability of the child developing ADHD severe enough to require medication was about 28%. The probability increased to 63% when his or her mother took acetaminophen during the last two trimesters of pregnancy. These are significant findings and are based on more than 64,000 Danish mothers and their children. Researchers gathered details on pregnant subjects’ acetaminophen use long before problems in their children’s learning or behavior would have become evident, allowing the study authors to avoid a problem called “recall bias.”
The research was designed to avoid many of the pitfalls of studies that find an association between an environmental exposure and the appearance of a specific outcome many years later.
Researchers tracked the study’s pediatric subjects from their first trimester in utero for as long as 15 years. In addition to surveying parents about their children’s strengths and weaknesses, the study’s authors used comprehensive and reliable databases – Denmark’s registries of physician diagnoses and of dispensed pharmacy prescriptions – to glean an accurate measure of ADHD in the population. In fact, an editorial published alongside the study praised its “notable methodological strengths”.
9. Chemotherapy - one of the most deadly drugs on the planet. Chemotherapy ravages your body, killing healthy cells, and has horrendous side effects including death and secondary cancers.
Cancer isn’t what kills most cancer patients! It’s what’s behind cancer.
The real killer behind 3 out of 4 cancer deaths is not cancer but a syndrome called cachexia or extreme malnutrition which is totally preventable. Why else do you think doctors ATTEMPT to prevent the syndrome by inserting feeding tubes BEFORE you begin chemotherapy? The problem is the energy needs of your body are increased during chemo treatment and yet the side effects such as anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea as well as malabsorption issues make it impossible to get the nutrition your body needs. The patient may also experience difficulty swallowing, changes in taste and even mouth sores that make taking nutrition difficult, unpleasant, or even painful.
Tumor cells need even more energy than normal cells so what nutrition you are able to take in is being used up by the cancer cells while YOU are essentially starving.
Chemotherapy drugs are toxins and are highly toxic to healthy cells, tissue, blood, bone marrow and can cause secondary cancers. That’s why special handling procedures are provided to nurses and other medical personnel who will be preparing or administering the drugs. Chemo drugs must also be properly disposed of including their packaging and anything that comes in contact with chemo like IV tubing and even the gloves nurses wear.
Chemotherapy targets cells that are actively growing and dividing. Although this is a defining characteristic of cancerous cells, it is also a feature of some actively growing normal cells, such as cells in the blood, mouth, intestines, and hair. Side effects occur when the chemotherapy damages these healthy cells that maintain the body’s function and appearance.
Doctors and scientists are continually working to identify new drugs, methods of administering (giving) chemotherapy, and combinations of existing treatments that have fewer side effects. As a result, many types of chemotherapy are easier to tolerate than medications used even a few years ago. In addition, doctors have made major strides in recent years in reducing pain, nausea and vomiting, and other physical side effects. Your health care team will work with you to prevent or manage many of these side effects. This approach is calledpalliative or supportive care and is an important part of cancer treatment.
Common side effects of chemotherapy:
Different drugs cause different side effects. Although specific side effects may be predictable for certain classes of drugs, each person’s experience with chemotherapy is unique. Talk with your doctor about specific side effects you may experience or are experiencing. With most types of chemotherapy, the presence and intensity of side effects are not measures of how well the treatment is working. However, some side effects of targeted therapy do, in fact, indicate the medication’s effectiveness. Learn more about targeted therapy.
Common side effects caused by traditional chemotherapy drugs include:
Pain: Chemotherapy can cause pain for some people, including headaches, muscle pain, stomach pain, and pain from nerve damage, such as burning, numbness, or shooting pains (most often in the fingers and toes). Pain usually diminishes over time, but some people may have symptoms for months or years after chemotherapy has finished due to permanent damage to the nerves. Doctors can manage pain by treating the source of the pain; changing the perception of pain, usually with pain-relieving medications; or interfering with pain signals sent to the brain through spinal treatments or nerve blocks. Learn more about cancer pain and how to manage it.
Sores in the mouth and throat: Chemotherapy can damage the cells that line the mouth and throat. The sores (also called mucositis) usually develop five to 14 days after receiving chemotherapy. Although the sores may become infected, they usually heal completely when treatment is finished. Patients receiving chemotherapy who have unhealthy diets and/or poor dental hygiene increase their risk of mouth and throat sores. Learn more about managing mucositis and oral health during cancer treatment.
Diarrhea: Certain chemotherapy causes loose or watery bowel movements. Preventing diarrhea or treating it early helps a person avoid becoming dehydrated (the condition when the body does not get the amount of fluids it needs) or developing other problems. Learn more about managing diarrhea.
Nausea and vomiting: Chemotherapy can cause nausea (an urge to vomit or throw up) and vomiting—a risk that depends on the type and dose of chemotherapy. With appropriate medications, nausea and vomiting can be prevented in nearly all patients. Learn more about nausea and vomiting and about ASCO’s guideline for preventing these side effects.
Constipation: Chemotherapy—as well as some drugs to treat nausea and vomiting, pain, depression, diarrhea, and high blood pressure—may cause constipation (the infrequent or difficult passage of stool). Patients may also increase their risk of constipation by not drinking enough fluids, not eating balanced meals, or not getting enough exercise. Learn more about managing constipation.
Blood disorders: Chemotherapy affects the production of new blood cells in the bone marrow, the spongy, inner mass of the bone. Symptoms and complications arising from low blood counts are among the most common side effects of chemotherapy.
A second type of test, called a platelet count, measures the number of platelets (blood cells that stop bleeding by plugging damaged blood vessels and helping the blood to clot) in your blood. People with thrombocytopenia (a shortage of platelets) bleed and bruise more easily.
These conditions can be treated with medications that stimulate the bone marrow to make more blood-forming cells that develop into RBCs, WBCs, and platelets. Learn more about managing anemia, infection, and thrombocytopenia.
Nervous system effects: Some drugs cause nerve damage, resulting in one or more of the following nerve- or muscle-related symptoms:
- Weakness or numbness in the hands and/or feet
- Weak, sore, tired, or achy muscles
- Loss of balance
- Shaking or trembling
- Stiff neck
- Visual problems
- Walking problems
- Difficulty hearing
These symptoms usually improve when the chemotherapy dose is lowered or treatment is stopped; however, in some cases, the damage is permanent. Learn more about managing nervous system side effects.
Changes in thinking and memory: Some patients experience difficulty thinking clearly and concentrating after chemotherapy. Cancer survivors often refer to this side effect as “chemo brain,” while doctors may refer to it as cognitive changes or cognitive dysfunction. Learn more about managing Attention, Thinking or Memory Problems (ATMP).
Sexual and reproductive issues: Chemotherapy can affect sexual function and fertility (a woman’s ability to conceive a child or maintain a pregnancy and a man’s ability to father a child). Talk with your doctor about the possible sexual and reproductive side effects before treatment begins. Learn more about managing sexual and reproductive side effects. In addition, chemotherapy is capable of harming a fetus (unborn baby) during pregnancy, particularly if given during the first trimester of pregnancy when the fetus’ organs are still developing. Women should take precautions to avoid pregnancy during treatment and tell their doctor if they become pregnant. Learn more about pregnancy and cancer.
Appetite loss: People receiving chemotherapy may eat less than usual, not feel hungry at all, or feel full after eating only a small amount. Ongoing appetite loss can lead to weight loss, malnutrition, and loss of muscle mass and strength, which can hinder the body’s ability to recover from chemotherapy. Learn more aboutmanaging appetite loss.
Hair loss: Patients receiving chemotherapy may lose hair from all over the body, gradually or in clumps. This side effect most often starts after the first several weeks or rounds of chemotherapy and tends to increase one to two months into treatment. Learn more about managing hair loss.
Long-term side effects: Most side effects of chemotherapy disappear at the end of treatment. However, some side effects may continue, come back, or develop later. For instance, certain types of chemotherapy are associated with permanent organ damage to the heart, lung, liver, kidneys, or reproductive system. In addition, some people find that cognitive functions (such as thinking, concentrating, and memory) remain a challenge for months or years after treatment. Nervous system changes can also develop after treatment, and children who have received chemotherapy may experience late effects (side effects that occur months or years after cancer treatment). Cancer survivors also have a higher risk of developing second cancers later in life.
Follow-up care is essential for all cancer survivors and may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor recovery in the months and years after cancer treatment. ASCO offers cancer treatment summary forms to help keep track of the cancer treatment you received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.
Did you know that virtually every single cell in the body makes, and more importantly, needs cholesterol? Cholesterol is a major component of brain and nerve tissue and is essential for proper hormonal functioning. Aside from people with a genetic condition like familial hypercholesterolemia, diet has long been focus of how we can lower our cholesterol.
The idea that saturated fat can clog your arteries by lowering cholesterol was first proposed in the 1950′s by an American nutritionist and physiologist Ancel Keys. He became intrigued by the soaring rates of heart disease after WWII. He compared the rates of heart disease and fat consumption in Japan, Italy, England, Wales, Canada, Australia, and the US. He found an almost perfect correlation between the amounts of fat consumed versus the rate of heart disease, except he withheld data from 16 other countries (Austria, Ceylon, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland) that would have disproved his theory. His bad science only focused on evidence to support his theory and ignored evidence that was contrary to his personal belief and his hypothesis.
Dr. Michael Eades, a prominent cardiologist and author, as well as a leader in the field of bariatric medicine, is critical of the way Ancel Keys excluded countries in his study which skewed the results to fit his hypothesis. Dr. Eades points out that “correlation does not mean causation. In science you have to prove your theory not manipulate data which so often happens.”
Dozens of later studies refuted Keys results, yet somehow the myth persisted that fat in the diet caused heart disease.
The American Heart Association was initially reluctant to lend credence to Keys theory, but, somehow Keys managed to secure a seat on the advisory board where he pushed for acceptance of his theory and managed to change the panel’s minds despite his faulty science.
Later, two studies costing over $250 million were conducted, with hundreds of thousands of patients, both failed to prove Keys position that lowering saturated fat could reduce a person’s risk of dying from heart disease.
The response to these results was that they must have done the studies wrong and Keys erroneous science held fast.
The National Heart Foundation of Australia defends these trials saying that nutrition studies are just too complex. Dr. Robert Grenfells of the National Heart Foundation of Australia states that when looking at nutrition it is impossible to rule out saturated fat as a risk factor in heart disease because there are other factors to consider.
However, the following studies all refute the idea that fat raises cholesterol:
The Bololusa Heart Study
Evans Country Study
Israel Ischemic Heart Study
Health Professionals Follow Up
Western Electric Stud
Japanese Living in Hawaii Study
The American Heart Association states, “the data is complex” and cited one study that showed that only certain types of saturated fat could raise bad (LDL) cholesterol but also raised good cholesterol (HDL). Their only concession was to say, “We agree that we are limited by the evidence base available at this time.”
Cardiologist Dr. Ernest N. Curtis says that dietary fat has very little influence on cholesterol in the long term. “The reason for that is that the body manufactures 80-90% of your cholesterol and very little comes from the diet. Most people seem to have a genetically preset level for their cholesterol and generally their bodies try to stay within that preset range. So, if someone cuts out all the cholesterol in their diet, the body will simply start making more to compensate and bring it back up into a healthy range.”
In the 60′s, British physician, John Yudkin challenged Keys theory claiming that sugar was the culprit in heart disease, not saturated fat, and wrote a book “Pure White and Deadly – The Problem of Sugar”. But, Keys was politically powerful and publicly discredited Yudkin’s theory.
According to science writer Gary Taubes, by the early 1970′s Ancel Keys was ridiculing John Yudkin and his theory and papers saying, “It is clear that Yudkin has no theoretical evidence to support his claim for a major influence of dietary sucrose etiology of CHD.”
Keys won the diet war, helped by his rise to fame after appearing on the cover of TIME magazine, and because of his notoriety his theory became dogma, influencing public opinion, political policy, and the way doctors practice medicine today.
One of the most influential and important studies being conducted began in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1948 and it still going on today. It is the longest observational study of its kind involving over 5,000 residents. The study pointed out that certain habits such as smoking did influence cardiovascular disease, yet some people were living longer than others. When researchers began to examine the data 30 years later, they found that after a certain age it didn’t matter what your cholesterol level was. Cholesterol did correlate with heart disease, but that disappeared by the time you reached your late 40′s and that after the age of 47, cholesterol is probably protective.
According to the Framingham study, “The people who had higher cholesterol levels lived the longest, much to the amazement of the researchers. People, who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most fat, actually weighed less and were the most active.”
One of the researchers, Dr. Mann, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University College of Medicine, wrote a follow up “Coronary Heart Disease – Doing the Wrong Things”. It states, “A generation of citizens has grown up since the Diet/Heart Hypothesis was launched as official dogma. They have been mislead by the greatest scientific deception of our times, the notion that the consumption of animal fat causes heart disease.”
Hundreds of articles published in medical journals refuting the cholesterol hypothesis have since been published, yet they rarely are publicized by mainstream media.
In 1977, the US government stepped in when Senator George McGovern, an advocate of Keys theory, headed a committee hearing intending to end the debate once and for all.
According to Dr. Eades, “This committee is really who put us in the nutritional mess we’re in today because based on virtually zero scientific evidence they decided that a low fat diet was the best thing for us all.”
Eminent scientists at the time disagreed with the committee report stating that further study needed to be done before making any announcements regarding fat consumption and heart disease to the American public, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The senators argued that they did not have the luxury of waiting on research. An article in TIME magazine “Cholesterol and Now the Bad News” along with a magazine cover picturing an image of eggs on a plate and a piece of bacon forming a frown, put the final nail in the coffin for saturated fat and cholesterol and for a time the egg industry.
This senate hearing led to the creation of the Food Pyramid which formed the basis of our dietary advice in the following four decades. It advised us to eat less saturated fat mainly found in meat and dairy and recommended a diet rich in carbohydrate foods like bread, rice, grains and cereals. McGovern, who was from a big wheat growing state, was not hurt politically by his recommendations.
One study, “The Mediterranean Diet, Traditional Risk Factors, and the Incidence of Cardiovascular Complications After Myocardial Infarction Final Report of the Lyon Heart Study” contraindicated the committee’s recommendations. This study found that after several years on the Mediterranean Diet, subjects had a 76% lower risk of death from heart attacks.
According to nutritionist, Dr. Johnny Bowden, “Here’s the part no one talks about, the subjects in the group that had the double digit improvement in risk of death, had the same cholesterol levels as the control group. Same cholesterol levels except one group just stopped dying.”
Atherosclerosis begins when plaque starts building up within the arteries. But contrary to popular belief, neither saturated fat nor cholesterol deposit on the artery wall as suspected. Damage to the artery wall and inflammation must first be present. The body responds by recruiting cells called macrophages to fix the problem and clean up the debris which consists of things like bacteria, calcium and cholesterol. A fibrous cap forms over the area of damage trying to conceal the inflammation. If the cap bursts, the contents are released and a clot forms which may cause a heart attack.
Dr. Curtis has a theory on what initiates the damage that begins atherosclerosis. “Arteries branch off and at these branch points is a very common place to find these plaques.” This is an area where the artery experiences the most stress from the tremendous force of pulsation of blood at high pressure. Veins don’t have the same pressure as arteries and therefore are not subject to plaque formation. Veins return the used up blood to the heart to get reoxygenated and are not under the same stress and veins don’t develop atherosclerosis unless you put them in a situation where they have to function as arteries such as in the use of veins in heart bypass surgery.” In this circumstance the vein is under the same blood flow pressure as the artery, the same stress, and therefore subject to plaque formation and will develop atherosclerosis very quickly. This is NEVER seen in their native state.
Because cholesterol is found in the plaque it is often blamed for causing the plaque formation.
According to Dr. Eades, if you autopsy people with coronary artery disease, and you cut open the coronary arteries and they are filled with cholesterol the assumption is that dietary cholesterol is the culprit. However, that is not how it works.
Dr. Steven Sinatra, Cardiologist, says that “blaming cholesterol for forming plaque is like blaming firemen for causing fires just because they are always at the scene. Cholesterol is not the villain, it’s part of the repair process. He stated that after four decades of practicing medicine cholesterol is very low on his list of risk factors.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that doesn’t dissolve in the blood so it has to be ferried around by proteins, mainly LDL and HDL. LDL is said to deliver cholesterol to the tissues, hence it’s bad, while HDL is said to remove cholesterol from the plaques, therefore is good.
But when Dr. Sinatra has his annual checkup and blood tests he says he’s not that concerned with cholesterol level. Even when asked about LDL he says laughingly that LDL is not dangerous unless it is oxidized and then is inflammatory meaning that if there is free radical stress involved that is the condition in which LDL poses a health issue as part of the cascade for inflammation.
Dr. Curtis states “the inflammatory theory of heart disease is accepted more and more now. I think the general cardiovascular community is still focusing on cholesterol. However, they need to focus more on inflammation, emotional stress, and sugar. With sugars in the diet you get more insulin response and we know that insulin is the number one indicator for inducing what we call inflammation of blood vessels.”
Dr. Bowden states that sugar is far more dangerous than cholesterol ever was and we’re beginning to see this now. The focus on cholesterol has been incredibly destructive because it’s taken the focus away from the real promoters of heart disease such as inflammation, oxidative damage, sugar in the diet and number one above all stress.
Dr. Grenfell of the Australian Heart Foundation says that these theories are plausible but untested, despite evidence to indicate inflammation is a definitive risk factor in cardiovascular disease.
Other physicians including Associate Professor David Sullivan M.D. (Lipid Expert RPAH Sydney) now concede that an aspect of the food pyramid, replacing fats with carbohydrates was a mistake and a contributing factor to the rising problem of obesity.
Newer dietary guidelines from the American Heart Foundation recommend replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in order to lower the risk of heart disease.
What we now know is that butter is not as damaging as margarine, which is a perfect example of the worst nutritional swap in history. Margarine is laden with trans fat, which causes inflammation. In addition, according to Dr. Curtis switching to polyunsaturated fat such as vegetable oil or other processed oil was also bad advice because they contain Omega 6 oil which is inflammatory because it is very prone to oxidation. When vegetable oils are manufactured into margarine they undergo a process called partial hydrogenation which results in the formation of industrial trans fats. Junk foods such as fast foods are riddled with trans fat and are very unhealthy.
Dr. Eades maintains that the public has been given the wrong advice for decades and agrees with Dr. Curtis that vegetable oil is a health risk due to the cooking quality and chemical structure. Dr. Eades states, “Polyunsaturated fats have a lot of double bonds which are prone to free radical attack and causes it to become rancid, while saturated fats have no double bonds and are incredibly stable and are not subject to free radical damage or oxidation. He recommends butter and coconut oil at staples in the diet.
The difference in the Mediterranean diet is that it is high in Omega 3 found in foods such as fish, which counters the inflammatory process of Omega 6. The Mediterranean Diet is also low in refined processed foods such as sugar and is rich in anti-oxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
According to cardiologists who are aware of the history and problems associated with removing saturated fats and cholesterol from the diet we have created the issues of cholesterolemia and therefore had to create new drugs to attempt to neutralize the disease.
We’ve been told that medications to lower cholesterol will save lives, and some doctors take it a huge step forward telling patients that if they don’t take cholesterol medicine they will die. I’ve heard it from several of my friends and patients.
There are over 40 million people world wide who take drugs to lower their cholesterol, yet new evidence suggests that these drugs to nothing to lower a person’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or heart attack. This amounts to scientific fraud.
Statin drugs, (Zimstat, Lipitor, Crestor) used to treat high cholesterol are the most widely prescribed drug in the history of medicine. They were ushered into use in the 80′s.
According to Dr. Curtis they were heralded in as nirvana, the next great thing in the treatment of high cholesterol with reductions of 30-40% in cholesterol. This was great news to the drug companies who were pushing the drug. Marketing was also wide spread in both print and television media using popular actors in TV commercials. But the truth is, lowering cholesterol is not a guarantee you won’t have a heart attack and cholesterol is actually necessary.
Dr. Rita Redberg, Professor of Cardiology at the University of San Francisco states that cholesterol is just a lab number and lowering it has no value for the patient.
According to Dr. Curtis statin drugs are the most profitable class of drugs in the history of world with profits over $25 billion dollars per year. Lipitor is the best selling drug in history with a profit of about $140 billion since it came on the market in 1996.
Statin drugs work by disabling a critical step early in the formation of cholesterol. There is a pathway in the formation of cholesterol in the body. You can think of it like a tree.
HMG CoA > Mevalonate > Mevalonate Pyrophosphate > Farnesyl Pyrophosphate > (Farnesyl, Dolichol, CoEnzyme Q10, Squalene>Cholesterol, Protein-Geranyl Geranylation)
Statins inhibit the enzyme HMG CoA which is also required for the production molecules essential to cardiac function like CoEnzyme Q10 according to Dr. Bowden. The depletion of this enzyme is what we believe leads to so many side effects such as fatigue and muscle pain. “The irony is that we are giving people a drug to reduce something (cholesterol) which probably doesn’t even have that much to do with heart disease that also reduces one of the molecules that’s most necessary for heart health. How insane is that?”
Dr. John Abramson, Harvard Medical School – Public School of Health poses this illustration: “Let’s assume that cholesterols are toxic substances in your body and getting it as low as you can is a good thing. Cholesterol is the organic molecule that is the most common substance in your brain, it’s in every cell wall, it’s the precursor of many of the hormones in our bodies and it’s an enormously complex molecule. To think that you can radically pull this out of the body and not have consequences is ridiculous. It’s such bad science.”
Professor Rita Redberg is a world renowned cardiologist who believes the only people who benefit from taking a statin are those who have already had a heart attack or stroke and of that group only 1 – 2% will benefit which means 98 out of 100 people get no benefit at all. She says these drugs are being widely prescribed to relatively healthy people without diagnosed heart disease and Dr. Redberg warns most of them won’t benefit. “For healthy people, even those with risk factors such as smoking or diabetes the data is not there that those people are better off taking a statin. No, I don’t think it’s a wonder drug.”
However, some doctors disagree. Dr. David Sullivan believes all risk factors, even cholesterol should be considered equally.
In 2012, Cholesterol Treatment Trialists (CTT) Collaborators re-analyzed all of the old data with different methods and concluded that statins were effective for the wider population. This conclusion was met with harsh criticism that “The new analysis of old data does not support a modification of current guidelines for statin use in low risk primary prevention.”
Mainstream media jumped on board with the sensational report that “Everyone over the age of 50 should be taking statin drugs to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.”
This was published despite data to the contrary and data that shows an increase in the incidence of diabetes among statin drug users.
Dr. Abramsom is concerned that cardiologists are so focused on how statins affect the vessels that they overlook other problems caused by statins. “People are more than their cardiovascular system and what we really want to do is improve people’s overall health, longevity and their risk of serious illness. If you look at overall health we haven’t done anything for them. Now, do people want to take a statin to trade a cardiovascular event for some other serious illness, in other words, no net benefit and expose themselves to the risk of harm from the statins? Do you want to do that? I think it’s a bad deal. There may be someone who has such a fear of cardiovascular disease that they say, “I don’t care if I get diabetes. I don’t care if I have muscle pains. I can’t exercise the way I want to exercise. I do NOT want to have heart disease.” Fine, take a statin but understand that’s why you’re taking a statin but not because it’s going to improve your overall health.”
Cardiologist Dr. Ernest Curtis says the absolute benefit of statins is so minor that it’s unlikely to be because of their ability to lower cholesterol. He believes statins probably work through other mechanisms. “It’s seems very likely that the amount of reduction that they saw with statin agents could easily be due to its effect on the blood clotting and possibly the anti-inflammatory effect. It may have nothing to do with the cholesterol.”
Dr. Beatrice Golomb, Professor of Internal Medicine University of California at San Diego, and statin researcher has scrutinized the data and she’s even more skeptical about these drugs, especially in woman. “Right now the evidence has not supported benefit to women, even if they have heart disease in terms of lowering mortality, of lowering morbidity. It has not shown benefit to elderly even if they have heart disease. In fact, in the 4 s trial, there is a 4% increase in mortality in women who were assigned a statin rather than a placebo. So, the evidence really doesn’t support that the benefit is the same for women as for men, and on top of that women are at higher risk for complications from statins.”
Dr. Golomb feels that in general women should not take statin medications although there may be some exceptions as medicine does have an element of art, so that if a patient is from a family with a severe familial hyperlipidemia, where a lot of people are dying from heart disease in their 30′s and 40′s, that is a group where I would say there is an art.”
Dr. Golomb also feels it should be necessary for a patient to sign a consent in order to be prescribed statins especially for women, the elderly and people at low risk. The consent should state they are receiving a drug that will not extend their life but will only shift the cause of death. I think patients have a right to know that before they agree to take a drug that has potential harmful side effects.
Which begs the question: Shouldn’t ALL drugs being given to patients require a signed consent?
The National Heart Foundation of Australia agrees that people are being prescribed statins unnecessarily. Dr. Robert Grenfell states, “I would agree that there are people in Australia today who are being treated for cholesterol when their risk is not high and you have to question whether they should in fact be on that (drug).”
One report estimated that around 75% of people taking statin medications are in the low to moderate risk category, and according to these researchers, that means up to 30 million people are taking a drug that won’t offer them the benefit of living any longer.
One patient, Edward stated, “My doctor pointed out that my cholesterol levels were high and I should take some sort of medication to reduce the cholesterol level.” This advice was given despite the fact that there was nothing wrong with Edward’s health or heart from his high cholesterol. He took his doctor’s advice and began a statin. “After about two weeks I was having a difficult time walking in the daytime and at night I had trouble sleeping because my legs ached. I was definitely experiencing memory loss. I couldn’t recall things as clearly as before I was taking the statin.”
Statins have a long list of side effects like muscle weakness, memory loss, loss of appetite, belly pain, liver failure, and in rare cases a potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis, where muscles break down and cause kidney failure.
Edward decided to stop taking his medication. “I started feeling better in about 3 to 4 weeks, but it took about 6 months in order to feel 100% better.”
According to Dr. Redberg some patients feel like they are in a fog, they can’t get out of their chair, side-effects that go away when they stop their statins. I have patients come in and tell me they’d rather be dead than keep taking the statin.”
Dr. Golomb states that some patients she sees tell her that their doctors threaten to fire them as patients if they discontinue their statin medication. People that we hear from also say that their doctor didn’t believe them, that their problem couldn’t be due to statins and badger or bully them into resuming or continuing the medication. That’s not an acceptable as a system to be run.”
Dr. Golomb makes a stunning accusation about why she believes some doctors in the US may push their patients to take statin drugs. “I think they often intentionally hide those risks because there are often physician incentives that benefit the physician for having more patients on statins. So, it pits physician self-interest against patient benefit. This particular woman contacted me and she had left the practice that she was at because they insisted that at least, I believe it was 80% of her patients be on statins. This has actually been written up in media, as something that has been considered legal and acceptable. I can’t see any way in which that’s acceptable.”
“Drug Makers Battle a U.S. Plan to Curb Rewards for Doctors” by Robert Pear published December 26, 2002, in The New York Times, outlines a plan by the Bush Administration to limit or stop entirely gifts or rewards given by pharmaceutical drug companies as incentives to doctors and insurance companies to encourage the prescribing of certain prescription drugs.
“H.M.O.’s and pharmacy benefit managers said they typically received money from manufacturers of a drug if sales of that drug reached a certain level ~ say 40 percent of all prescriptions for cholesterol lowering agents. The manufacturer may agree to a higher payment if the drug achieves a larger share of the market.
While describing such arrangements, the drug companies, doctors and insurers did not divulge who received how much for promoting a specific drug, nor did they provide details of individual marketing campaigns.”
Dr. Golomb goes on to say, “I’m literally the only researcher I know who studies this class of drugs who has a policy not to take money from the industry.”
Statins are meant to be life-long medications, but Dr. Curtis says we don’t know about long-term side effects. “The studies that have been done have been generally just a few years in duration. The long-term effects may not show up for many years. It may take many years for a cancer that develops to make itself manifest. Because cholesterol is so important in the brain, could it contribute to dementia when someone gets older if you lower their cholesterol. We don’t know. Again, how would be we able to tie that to the drug? So, all of these concerns about the unknown long-term side effects are very serious in my opinion.”
Harvard Dr. John Abramsom is an expert in litigation against the drug companies. He says we’re not being told the whole truth about the dangers of these drugs. “We’re told over and over again that statins are extremely safe, and when you look at the results of the clinical trials, you would conclude that they are safe. The problem is that the clinical trials are not designed to pick up all the side effects.
The CTT Collaboration, for example, used mostly drug company data, and report very low levels of muscle side effects from statins, but when you look at the side effects in the general population, it’s 100 times higher.
“Are the trials lying? No.” says Dr. Abramsom, “I just don’t think they ask the right questions. Why don’t they ask the right questions? It’s not in the interest of the drug companies to ask the right questions. So, it’s creating the impression that the drugs are safe.”
Another complication with clinical trials is that drug companies don’t recruit volunteers that reflect the typical patient on statins.”
Dr. Grenfell states, “The problem with the study design is that we exclude people with chronic disease or other co-morbidities. We exclude people who are very old or very young and we certainly exclude people with other types of risk factors or diseases that may interfere with the metabolism of the drug. So, we often get a skewed picture of what the side effect profile really is.”
“The fraction of the people with problems in my sort of real world on multiple medications, etc. clinic is far higher and I would say on that order is really more like a third of patients that develop problems.” says Dr. Golomb.
Dr. Redberg states, “There are a lot of ways that one can manipulate data in a trial. Trials do what they call a ‘washout period’. What that means is that before they choose the people that are going to be in the trial, they give everybody the drug, and the people that have side effects get excluded from the trial. They say that’s so people aren’t uncomfortable when they’re in the trial, but of course it takes out all the people who have side effects and that’s very commonly done in drug trials. So, the side effects would be grossly underestimated.”
Dr. Golomb also states, “It’s a fact it’s organized fraud and it’s a fact it’s organized crime. It’s always difficult to allege intent, but it is clear that manipulation of evidence subjects many people to treatments that those people should never have been subjected to.”
Dr. Abramsom agrees. “I think there is criminal activity that goes on and I think when drug companies act in ways that misrepresent information, that leads to harm, they ought to be held responsible just like any other individual or organization that conducts itself in a way that leads to harming other people.”
Drug companies have a history of illegal activity from fraud, to illegal marketing to violating antitrust laws, bribery, illegal kickbacks and pay fines sometime in the billions of dollars in any given year.
In the 80′s when President Reagan came into office and slashed funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it left a gaping hole for private industry to move in. Now around 85% of trials are funded by drug companies. A review concluded that if a drug company paid for a trial, it was 24% more likely to report the drug was effective and 87% less likely to report a drug’s side effects.
“There is a sense that science is science,” says Dr. Abramsom, “so it doesn’t matter who pays for it, and yet, because the research is privatized, the fundamental purpose for which it’s conducted has changed. It’s not to improve the public’s health, it’s to fulfill the fiduciary obligations of the sponsors and create an opportunity to maximize profits instead of improve the public’s health. To say it’s a cynical view that commercial sponsorship of science taints the science is just totally naive, it’s silly. Businesses are in business. Their job is to make money. We ought to be clear in our public discourse that to say we have a bias in commercially sponsored research is not cynical, nor paranoid, nor impolite. It’s a fact. So, let’s just accept it as a fact and stop being naive at our own expense.”
But, if Big Pharma doesn’t pay, it will have to be the taxpayer.
A drug now costs 2 billion dollars to develop. The success rate is low, so, who is going to be willing to shell out that kind of money on a drug they don’t know the likely outcome of?
Arguably the biggest ethical issue with science is when drug companies withhold unflattering results, so, in the end what we’re presented with is a distortion of the data.
Two of the three major drug companies, Pfizer and Merck, declines to comment, while AstraZeneca denied these allegations stating that all their trials are publicly available. But, in 2010 AstraZeneca reportedly paid a half a billion dollars to settle a class action suit after being accused of burying about the increased risk of diabetes seen with their widely prescribed anti-psychotic drug, Seroquel.
Dr. Abramsom states, “I spend a lot of time as an expert witness in pharmaceutical litigation and one thing you learn is that you can’t possibly know what’s going on with that drug, unless you have access to the corporate hard drives. If you want to know the truth about a drug you need to have subpoena power or litigation discovery that gets you into those corporate hard drives because without that it’s impossible to know what the real benefits and real risks of those drugs are.”
Even the definition of high cholesterol keeps changing. In 2004, a U.S. panel of experts decided to lower the threshold of cholesterol which sparked outrage among many doctors.
Dr Redberg states, “More and more people THINK they have high cholesterol even though they don’t (due to the new definition) have high cholesterol.”
By changing the definition of high cholesterol from 6.5mmol/1 to 5.0mmol/1 it meant that millions more people became eligible for statins and these thresholds were adopted by many countries around the world.
Dr. Curtis asks, “Has this (change) been on the basis of any scientific data? Absolutely not. No evidence whatsoever, just the theory that less is better. You’re creating more patients. You’re creating more people that now have something to worry about, where they didn’t have anything to worry about before.”
But, Dr. Sullivan insists that the new recommendation was a good decision. “I think what we started off with was maybe appropriately conservative targets which were really not in the patient’s best interest.”
The decision to lower the threshold of cholesterol was a controversial one and investigation into the latter revealed 8 out of 9 panel members had a direct conflict of interest after declaring financial ties to the companies that manufactured statin drugs.
“We don’t have independent reviewers evaluating the data and making independent recommendations.” states Dr. Abramsom. “You might ask, am I accusing these people of selling their opinion, because they’re getting paid by the drug companies? No, I’m not. I’m not accusing anybody of bad faith. But the people the drug companies choose to pay are people who advocate the use of their drugs and have standing and presence and reputation that will enhance the sales of their drugs. Drug companies clearly seek out what’s called, ‘key opinion leaders’. These are people with a national reputation who can create the street knowledge for practicing physicians that this is the way things should be done.”
There is ample published literature showing that doctors who receive money from drug companies have more favorable attitudes and prescribing habits toward that drug.
Dr. Abramsom is adamant that, “There’s no question that doctors are influenced by drug companies and I hate to say it but drug reps showing up in nice suits and fancy women’s clothes without much medical education plays a significant role in what doctors think. Now, there’s no reason for doctors to be getting their information from drug reps. My goodness, the drug reps job is to increase the drug sales of the drugs they represent. Doctors need to take some responsibility. They need to do their best to get independent knowledge and they need to put political pressure on their governments to get the clinical trial data unsealed so they can know what the clinical trials really showed.”
Many doctors feel obliged to follow the guidelines, even if they don’t agree with them.
Dr. Curtis states, “They (the doctors) have to worry about malpractice suits if they don’t follow the guidelines. An opposing attorney could make them look very bad in court by saying, “Well, doctor, do you think you’re smarter than this group of nationally recognized experts? And this is a factor that is compelling doctors to follow the guidelines.”
A push to lower cholesterol in the wider population continues. A group of doctors published an article claiming that statins could counter the effects of eating a burger. They suggested that statins be handed out as free condiments just like ketchup.
“It gives people that false reassurance that it’s ok if you eat this food that is not good for your health because then you’re going to take this pill that’s going to make it ok, and that’s very attractive but it’s a fallacy. It’s just not true and it’s still bad for your health to eat processed foods, to eat trans fats, and have a regular diet of fast food hamburgers.”
And the absurdity doesn’t stop there. Here in the U.S. it was even suggested that statins be put in the public water supply.
Dr. Curtis is appalled and states, “I think this business of handing out statins willy nilly to everybody is totally irresponsible. You’re talking about a drug with potentially toxic side effects and a drug whose, “beneficial side effects” is extremely small and whose benefit can be achieved with much less toxic drugs and even with some non-drug treatments.”
“We’re missing the message that health rarely comes out of a bottle. Exercise and a Mediterranean style diet is the best way to prevent heart disease. I think virtually everybody agrees with that. Now, it’s very clear that when you look at the effects of exercise, they’re far more powerful than statins. Moderate exercise, exercising the equivalent of two hours of brisk walking a week adds about two years to your life. Two years! Now, statins for low risk people – no benefit in longevity. So, do you want to exercise which is going to add two years to your life or do you want to take a pill that’s not going to lengthen your life and has the risk of side effects? It’s craziness.” says Dr. Abramsom.
Until the science of clinical trials can break free from commercial interest then decisions about our health rest in the hands of big business.
A drug resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (staph). Centers for Disease Control/Wikimedia Commons
It’s flu season. And we’re all about to crisscross the country to exchange hugs, kisses and germs. We’re going to get sick. And when we do, many of us will run to our doctors and, hoping to get better, demand antibiotics and sadly probably get them.
And that’s the problem: Antibiotics don’t cure the flu (which is viral, not bacterial), but the over-prescription of antibiotics imperils us all by driving antibiotic resistance. This threat is growing, so much so that in a recent widely read Medium article, Wired science blogger and self-described “scary disease girl” Maryn McKenna painted a disturbingly plausible picture of a world in which antibiotics have become markedly less effective. That future is the focus of McKenna’s interview this week on the Inquiring Minds podcast:
“For 85 years,” McKenna explains on the show, antibiotics “have been solving the problem of infectious disease in a way that’s really unique in human history. And people assume those antibiotics are always going to be there. And unfortunately, they’re wrong.”
Here are some disturbing facts about the growing problem of antibiotic resistance:
1. In the US alone, 2 million people each year contract serious antibiotic-resistant infections, and 23,000 die from them.
These figures come from a new CDC report on antibiotic resistance that, for the first time, uses a blunt classification scheme to identify “urgent,” “serious,” and “concerning” threats from drug-resistant bacteria. The CDC currently lists three “urgent threats”: drug-resistant gonorrhea, drug-resistant “enterobacteriaceae” such as E. Coli, and Clostridium difficile, which causes life-threatening diarrhea and is often acquired in hospitals. Clostridium difficile kills at least 14,000 people each year.
2. We’ve been warned about antibiotic resistance since at least 1945. We just haven’t been listening.
From the very first discovery of antibiotics, scientists have known that resistance is a danger. Alexander Fleming himself, credited with the discovery of penicillin, warned us as early as 1945 that antibiotics could lose their effectiveness. His eerily prescient Nobel Prize speech cautions that “there may be a danger, though, in underdosage [of penicillin]. It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body. The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”
3. Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria are on the rise.
Clearly, antibiotic resistance is not a new phenomenon. Nonetheless, the frequency of these “antibiotic resistance events” is increasing. For example, from 1980 to 1987, cases of penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (the bacteria that causes pneumonia) remained steady at about 5 percent of all strains. By 1997, 44 percent of strains were showing resistance. Similarly, Enterococci bacteria can cause urinary tract infections and meningitis (among other diseases), and in 1989, fewer than .5 percent of strains found in hospitals were resistant to antibiotics. Four years later, though, that number was at 7.9 percent, and by 1998, some hospitals reported levels as high as 30 to 50 percent. “The more antibiotics are used, the more quickly bacteria develop resistance,” says the CDC.
4. There has been a steady decline in FDA approvals for new antibiotics.
And even as more bacteria are becoming resistant and our treatments are becoming less effective, we’re also producing fewer new drugs to combat infections. One figure says it all—a clear downtrend in FDA approvals for antibiotics began in the 1980s:
Decline in FDA antibiotic approvals. CDC; data from FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Why has this happened? “There’s a kind of curve to antibiotic development,” says McKenna, noting that there was a boom in the 1950s, when Eli Lilly collected samples of biological materials from all over the world in order to capture antibiotic properties in natural substances. By the 1980s, though, much of the low-hanging antibiotic fruit had been harvested. Now, the development of new treatments is becoming increasingly difficult and costly, even as pharmaceutical companies are cutting R&D budgets and outsourcing drug discovery more and more. “The faucet from which [antibiotics] come has been turned down and down and down and now it’s just a drip,” McKenna says.
5. As many as half of all antibiotic prescriptions either aren’t needed or are “not optimally effective.”
A huge part of our problem is that we’re misusing and abusing antibiotics. “Resistance is a natural process,” says McKenna, but “we made resistance worse by the cavalier way that we used antibiotics, and still use them.” Sick patients pressure their doctors for drugs, and doctors too often yield and dash off a script. Indeed, a recent study found that doctors prescribed antibiotics 73 percent of the time for acute bronchitis, even though, as Mother Jones‘ Kiera Butler reports, “antibiotics are not recommended at all” for this condition.
Adding to the evidence of misuse is another statistic: According to the CDC, almost one in five ER visits resulting from adverse drug events are caused by antibiotics. Children are the most likely victims. Despite the fact that antibiotics are generally safe, they can cause allergic reactions and can also interact with other drugs, harming patients who are vulnerable because they already suffer from other medical conditions. So if we stopped over-prescribing antibiotics we’d not only head off resistance; we’d also lessen adverse drug effects.
6. And it’s not just human medical misuse—a large volume of antibiotics is inappropriately used in livestock.
Antibiotics are also often used in the agricultural industry; in fact, there is reason to think that more antibiotics are used to treat animals than to treat people. And these livestock drugs are not just used to fight off infections, but are often fed to animals in smaller doses to encourage weight gain and growth—a practice, the CDC says, that is “not necessary” and “should be phased out.” A recent draft document from the FDA similarly states that “in light of the risk that antimicrobial resistance poses to public health, the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals for production purposes does not represent a judicious use of these drugs.” For now, though, the FDA’s approach to curbing this threat has been limited to issuing voluntary guidelines.
7. Before antibiotics, death rates were much higher from very common occurrences like skin infections, pneumonia, and giving birth.
In her Medium article, McKenna gives some disturbing stats. Just giving birth could be deadly: Five out of every thousand women who had a baby died. Pneumonia killed 30 percent of its victims. And “one out of nine people who got a skin infection died, even from something as simple as a scrape or an insect bite.” If we run out of antibiotics, our future looks rather bleak.
8. The next major global pandemic may involve an antibiotic-resistant superbug.
For millennia, infectious diseases have reshaped civilization, culled our species, and spread fear, superstition and death. But over the last century, we haven’t seen anything as devastating as the 1918 global flu pandemic, which killed some 50 million people around the world.
But with drug-resistant bacteria, the threat rises. “Plagues still really have power and almost a hundred years later, we shouldn’t think that we’re immune to them because we’re not,” warns McKenna. For instance, tuberculosis kills over a million people a year, and it is becoming increasingly drug resistant, according to the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, although the 1918 flu was of course caused by a virus rather than a bacterium,recent research suggests that most victims actually died from bacterial pneumonia. Viruses can weaken our immune systems just enough to allow bacteria to take hold and, often, death results from secondary bacterial infections that, at least until recently, were largely curbed by effective antibiotics.
So are we doomed to recede back into a time when infections were the most significant health threat that our species faced?
According to McKenna, it is not clear that we can fully curb antibiotic overuse. So the better approach is to get the drug industry research engine firing again. “There’s a really active discourse around what’s the best way to get pharmaceutical companies back into manufacturing antibiotics,” she says.
Our future, then, once again lies in the hands of scientists, whose quest to find new treatments for drug-resistant bacteria is now of the utmost importance.
BEFORE you allow your doctor to convince you that you NEED a flu vaccine, do some research.
Why the Flu Vaccine is Dangerous and Why Fucoidan Works Better!
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23376164 This is a study about the benefits of fucoidan protection against the flu.
Johns Hopkins Scientist Slams Flu Vaccine
A Johns Hopkins scientist has issued a blistering report on influenza vaccines in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Peter Doshi, Ph.D., charges that although the vaccines are being pushed on the public in unprecedented numbers, they are less effective and cause more side effects than alleged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further, says Doshi, the studies that underlie the CDC’s policy of encouraging most people to get a yearly flu shot are often low quality studies that do not substantiate the official claims.
Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013
Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Headline/influenza-virus-flu-vaccine-Peter-Doshi-Ph-D-/2013/05/16/id/504942#ixzz2iB0SfAda
Your thyroid gland is just one of many hormone glands in your body. Hormones are everywhere and control virtually every facet of your body. Your thinking, digestion, sugar maintenance, weight control, muscles, bones, fluid balance, even your moods and personality are controlled by hormones. Every cell in your body has a receptor for every hormone your body makes.
Hormones are manufactured by glands. In addition to your thyroid gland, other glands (called endocrine glands) are located in your adrenal glands, pancreas (maker of insulin and other digestive hormones), intestine (makers of digestive hormones), liver (converter of hormones), kidneys (another hormone converter), thymus (immune hormone), and the brain is full of hormones. Let’s not forget that your sexual organs are full of hormones and hormone-producing glands.
The brain is especially interesting when it comes to hormones. Not only do parts of the brain manufacture hormones (pituitary gland and pineal gland), but it also monitors their activity in the blood stream and controls the release of “pre-hormones” called releasing factors that induce other glands to make their hormones.
There are undoubtedly many more hormones than we know. Many have yet to be discovered.
The power of hormones is incredible. If you don’t think hormones are powerful, just remember what pregnancy does to you. Your hormones are in complete control and make massive changes to your body. You are just along for the ride.
If you understand the following two points, then you know as much about hormones as any endocrinologist:
- Hormone production peaks around the age 25 and then declines by 1-3% annually thereafter.
- All hormones are related and interact with another.
Restated, the older you are, the fewer hormones you have and this is why your body tanks as you get older. There are some cliffs you can fall off along the way – like menopause for women and “andropause” for men.
Because hormones are inter-related with each other, when one hormone is deficient, then this can affect the proportion of the other hormones. Many hormones have feedback mechanisms on each other so that if one is up, the other is down. Similar classes of hormones can share protein carriers in the bloodstream. Relative amounts of one hormone can affect the protein binding of another hormone.
When you start supplementing one hormone, you frequently find yourself supplementing several hormones at the same time because of the hormone interaction. It is very rare to simply supplement one hormone (for example, thyroid) by itself. We almost always end up supplementing some progesterone (and occasionally estrogen) with it.
So what are the major hormones that we deal with?
- Adrenal hormones (cortisol, DHEA, pregnenolone)
- Growth hormone
- Vitamin D
Of course, we will begin with thyroid. The bottom line is that almost the entire planet is deficient in iodine. Due to over farming our soil is leached of essential minerals. It takes years for Mother Nature to replenish the soil. In addition, even with “organic foods” due to industrialization and environmental toxins our foods are not only nutrient deficient, but are also contaminated. Toxins and chemicals further deplete our bodies of nutrients. From there, it doesn’t take much to start developing symptoms consistent with low thyroid output (hypothyroidism).
However, there are certain varieties of brown seaweed called limu muoi that do contain vital nutrients including iodine and as a whole food, organic supplement are safe sources of iodine, especially that found off the island of Tonga. In the last few years have we stumbled upon the logical conclusion that since the thyroid is absolutely dependent on iodine to make thyroid hormone, and if there is a deficiency of iodine in your body – then don’t be surprised if you don’t have enough thyroid hormone as a result!
So the obvious remedy is to start taking iodine. This is so simple and it so works.
In some parts of the world Iodine where complimentary medicine is more accepted doctors are scrambling to get patients off the prescription thyroid hormone drugs. If you are not already taking thyroid hormone prescription, life is much simpler. Just take the iodine or an iodine containing natural whole food like LIMU MUOI and start feeling better in a month or too.
That is not to say that some people will still require some thyroid hormone prescription in addition to their iodine.
Women will always require higher doses of iodine than men. Why? Breasts.
Breast tissue requires more iodine than the thyroid, actually. This is why fibrocystic breast disease responds so well to iodine supplementation.
Another thought about the iodine supplement: You may notice that the minimum recommended amount (12.5 mg) is about 100 times the RDA recommendation. This is true – and necessary (and well tested).
Some background on the RDA levels of 150 ug (that’s micrograms, not milligrams) per day: This began about 75 years ago with the observation of large amounts of the population walking around with big goiters. (A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland that is the extreme form of iodine deficiency.)
It was determined that a small amount of iodine – 150 ug – was sufficient to keep the thyroid gland from turning into a goiter. However, there is a big difference from the absolute minimum to stave off a goiter and the necessary amount to supply your thyroid with enough iodine to produce thyroid hormones for normal long term function.
Progesterone is by far, the most common hormone deficiency in women. This deficiency is probably responsible for most of the long-term “female” problems including ovarian cysts, fibroid uterus, endometriosis, migraine headaches, PMS, depression, mood swings, blood clots, infertility, heart disease, painful or prolonged periods, etc.
Birth control pills have destroyed a woman’s ovarian production of progesterone, in my opinion. Exposure to “xenoestrogens”, which are synthetic chemicals in the environment that have estrogen-like effects, have also suppressed ovarian production of progesterone.
Nearly 100% of women who are hypothyroid are also progesterone deficient. Thyroid deficiency and progesterone deficiency march in lockstep with one another.
Estrogen deficiency accounts for the symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido, and absence of periods.
ADRENAL HORMONES (Cortisol, DHEA, Pregnenolone)
The adrenal hormones of cortisol, DHEA and pregnenolone are not understood very well. They are also difficult to manage, hence the reason why supplementation is not done as often.
Cortisol is the hormone responsible for energy boosting and immune regulation. Many people exposed to chronic long-term “stress” will burn out their adrenal glands. Hence they become deficient in cortisol and end up with a chronic fatigue syndrome. This is closely related to hypothyroidism, too.
There is a big overlap of chronic fatigue syndrome with fibromyalgia. Some doctors believe they are a continuum of the same disorder and closely related. Both involve rather severe hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency. There are also some energy metabolism issues that deal with some nutritional deficiencies as well.
DHEA is an androgen. This is a precursor to testosterone. DHEA production falls off a cliff around age 21.
We recommend DHEA highly because it helps with libido and also hope that some of it converts to testosterone for bone building and muscle building. For women, the daily dose is 25 – 50 mg/day. It is pretty cheap and you can get it at any drugstore.
The only caveat with DHEA for women is that it can cause some acne and facial hair if the dose is too high. This is completely reversible by stopping it. Lower doses work just fine for the intended purpose.
Testosterone is wonderful. Men need it to survive and be a manly man. Seriously, all men over the age of 40 should take testosterone. Why do you think men die so young and are overweight with big bellies and have erectile dysfunction? Yes, they have bad habits, but mainly because their testosterone production falls off a cliff when they hit 40.
Women need testosterone, too – just not in big quantities. A little bit of testosterone goes a long way in women. It is great for the brain – generating self-confidence, self-esteem and initiative (not to mention great for memory function). Also, it strengthens bones, muscles, libido, reduces heart disease and eliminates incontinence.
Growth hormone is incredible and everyone should have it. It is very similar to testosterone in that it works wonders on your muscles and energy levels. However it is highly regulated by the FDA.
Two other major drawbacks are the fact that it requires a daily injection and it is very expensive. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it and most people can’t do it.
Growth hormone is severely limited by the time you are 20 – 25 years old. As a kid your body made incredible amounts of it. As an adult your own production decreases as you age.
Growth hormone can be naturally stimulated by supplementing with L-Arginine, which is best taken at night to stimulate your pituitary to secrete HGH.
Believe it not, Vitamin D is a true hormone. An incredible amount of research has been done on Vitamin D and it has been called the “Wonder Vitamin”.
If you thought that the whole world was deficient in iodine, Vitamin D is even worse. Everyone is deficient. The New England Journal of Medicine said in a big headline, “Vitamin Deficiency is Pandemic”.
Vitamin D suppresses inflammation. Inflammation is what kills you slowly. Almost all chronic diseases are caused by inflammation. Think heart disease, cancers and lupus-like diseases. Vitamin D reverses this process. It all has to do with Vitamin D’s effects on NF-kappaB. NF-kappaB is the primary facilitator of inflammation. Because Vitamin D shuts down NF-kappaB, it therefore does some wonderful things.
There’s more: Vitamin D is also a wonderful acute pain pill (and long term pain pill). Powerful studies show how Vitamin D makes pain go away from people with a range of pain from acute injuries to chronic back pain.
Hint: mix 10,000 IU’s (International Units) of Vitamin D with 2 fish oil gel caps and you have a better, more effective remedy for pain than Motrin of Alleve.
Otherwise, Vitamin D should be taken by all men, women and children. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending Vitamin D be given to newborns and infants in the first days of life and supplementing forever.
Current guidelines say that you should take 5000 IU’s of Vitamin D daily – forever. This is simple and cheap, too.
Melatonin is the third hormone that drops off rapidly after age 20 or 21. DHEA and Growth hormone are the other two.
Melatonin is most known for its sleep inducing properties. This is true. It has also been marketed as a means to avoid jet lag. It does help. It also plays a role in suppressing inflammation.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
These are the essential fatty acids:
- DHA – docosahexaenoic acid
- EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid
- ALA – alpha linolenic acid
- GLA – gamma linolenic acid
- Oleic acid
Essential fatty acids are not hormones, although they are probably just as powerful. Without them you die.
Many people think of essential fatty acids as omega-3 or fish oil. That is true, but there are more essential fatty acids then just confined to the omega-3 class. There are also omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, too.
By the way, the “essential” means that your body cannot make them by itself. It must come from external sources, like your diet – or supplements since very few people consume enough dietary sources of these ingredients.
The fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids are DHA and EPA (docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid), primarily.
ALA (alpha linolenic acid), found in flaxseed oil, is another omega-3 that is almost always omitted in common omega-3 formulations. It should be included.
Recently, I discovered that excessive intake of DHA and EPA can lead to a GLA (gamma linolenic acid) deficiency. Additionally, GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that is important for its anti-inflammatory properties. GLA is found in borage oil or primrose oil.
Finally, oleic acid, is an omega-9 essential fatty acid that is found in olive oil. This should be part of your supplementation, too. When cooking with oils, try to use olive oil rather than hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Everyone should take DHA, EPA, ALA, GLA and oleic acid, every day. Be careful about taking just DHA and EPA without paying attention to ALA and GLA.
Minimum dosage of total essential fatty acids should be 2000 mg per day.
THYROID AND YOUR WEIGHT
Your thyroid is one of the most powerful glands in your body. It lives in your neck, just below your Adam’s Apple. You can feel it by placing your thumb and fingers over the front surface, just beneath the Adam’s Apple and if you swallow, you can feel the gland move along with the Adam’s Apple.
SO WHAT DOES THE THYROID DO?
The thyroid gland manufactures four different basic compounds, only one of which is the active thyroid hormone. This hormone, called T4, or thyroxin, travels to all parts of your body and affects every one of your trillion or so cells.
But your thyroid cannot make any thyroid hormone unless sufficient levels of iodine are present. You can have the healthiest thyroid in the world, but if your body is starved of iodine, it will be impossible for your thyroid gland to make the necessary thyroid hormones.
Or if you are continuously exposed to iodine leeching agents like fluoride, chlorine or bromine, then your thyroid will not work. Fluoride is in the water supply. Chlorine is found in thousands of chemicals, swimming pools and is even used in the food industry. Bromine is present as a food additive in wheat products like pasta.
Fluoride, chlorine and bromine displace iodine from the body. It is simple chemistry that these other chemicals (called halides) kick out iodine from chemical reactions leaving your body devoid of iodine.
WITHOUT IODINE YOUR THYROID GLAND BECOMES USELESS
The thyroid controls many body functions. One of the primary functions of the thyroid is metabolism regulation. It does this by affecting the mitochondria inside cells. The more thyroid hormone that circulates, the more your metabolism increases. Your metabolic rate determines whether you gain or lose weight.
Think of your body as an engine. Metabolic activity generates heat – the higher your metabolic rate, the warmer your engine. Too much activity leads to overheating. Too little activity leads to a cold engine.
BODY TEMPERATURE IS THE KEY
This is why Dr. Jonathon Lee many decades ago recommended that you measure your body temperature. Body temperature is a fabulous way of determining your metabolic status – and therefore, your thyroid status. If your body temperature is low, then almost by definition, you are hypothyroid (under active thyroid).
Simple physiology dictates that if you are having trouble losing weight or continuously gaining weight despite what appears to be good habits on your part – diet and exercise; then it is reasonable to conclude that the problem lies with your thyroid gland.
If your thyroid cannot function properly because it does not have the necessary fuel (iodine) to manufacture thyroid hormone then your body metabolism slows down, your body gets cooler, you feel “cold-natured”, frequently get cold hands and feet, require blankets to sleep (even in the summer), get muscle cramps at night and worst of all – gain weight.
SUPPLEMENT WITH IODINE
This is not rocket science. Give your body what it needs – iodine. Most of the world’s population has been proven to be deficient in iodine. It is likely you are, if you haven’t started gaining weight yet.
The good news is that the process is reversible and solvable. Simply supplement with iodine. If your body is merely deficient in iodine, supplementation will work. If your body has an overabundance of fluoride, chlorine and bromine, iodine (in sufficient doses) will overcome the halide chemicals.
So start revving up your metabolism and get on the iodine train. This is the safe and effective way of getting your thyroid back on track. There is basically no upper limit on the amount of iodine you can take. And you don’t have to worry about prescription thyroid hormones getting out of control which potentially could have serious adverse effects.
FIBROCYSTIC BREAST DISEASE
One of the little known benefits of iodine supplementation is that it is extremely effective in treating and eliminating fibrocystic breast disease.
WHAT IS FIBROCYSTIC BREAST DISEASE?
Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition where your breasts develop numerous (oftentimes painful) cysts within the breasts. Nearly two-thirds of women suffer from fibrocystic breast disease.
The cysts within fibrocystic breast disease are hormonally influenced and change size and shape according to your menstrual cycle. They literally enlarge and swell up and become most painful just prior to menses and are part of the PMS paradigm of symptoms.
Usually fibrocystic breast disease is thought to be a benign condition although there is some concern about them being a pre-malignant condition. Breasts with extensive fibrocystic breast disease make it very difficult for radiologists to interpret mammograms to screen for breast cancer. Their presence can hide suspicious pre-malignant lesions from being discovered until a much later date.
Estrogens are known to increase the size and proliferation of fibrocystic breast disease.
FIBROCYSTIC BREAST DISEASE CAUSED BY IODINE DEFICIENCY
What is not known – in fact, virtually unknown in mainstream medicine – is that fibrocystic breast disease is almost always associated with significant iodine insufficiency. Furthermore, supplementation with iodine can completely reverse and eliminate fibrocystic breast disease!
What is also unknown is that the female breast requirement for iodine is actually as much or more than your thyroid’s requirement. It is not a coincidence that women who are hypothyroid usually have fibrocystic breasts. Iodine deficiency is a body-wide condition. If your thyroid is lacking in iodine, so are your breasts.
BREASTS NEED A LOT OF IODINE
This also explains why women seem to be affected more often than men by hypothyroid symptoms. The physiologic fact is that a woman’s breasts require nearly twice the amount of iodine supplementation on a daily basis than the average man.
Another organ that requires a lot of iodine is the ovary. One observation I have made over the years is why do women seem to develop a rapid presentation of hypothyroid symptoms just after childbirth?
IODINE USED UP DURING PREGNANCY
The reason ovarian consumption of iodine goes way up during pregnancy is because Nature is so intent on preserving the fetus at all cost, iodine gets drained from other sources during pregnancy. Once you give birth, then the body is totally depleted of its iodine stores. Add on a nursing mother’s breast (which have greatly expanded during pregnancy) demand for iodine and bingo – overt hypothyroid symptoms develop.
You can now see the complex interaction of female physiology on something as simple as iodine. If you start out with minimal stores of iodine to begin with, fail to add sufficient iodine over the years and then navigate the female requirements for iodine to thyroid, breast and ovarian tissues, then it should not come as a surprise that most women are moderately to severely deficient in iodine. We now know that supplementation of Iodine completely reverses fibrocystic breast disease and more.
Keep in mind that most men are deficient in iodine, just not as severe as women.
One more thing: It is impossible to induce hyperthyroidism even with massive iodine supplementation. Why? Because your body can only use so much iodine for its needs.
Anything above that and your body merely washes it away and out it goes via your urine.
So with iodine supplementation you are better off taking too much than too little.
ALREADY TAKING PRESCRIPTION THYROID HORMONE?
Are you taking Synthroid, Levothroid, Thyrolar, Levoxyl, Unithroid, Cytomel, Armour Thyoid, NatureThroid?
None of the above thyroid hormone prescriptions are bio-identical or in correct human proportions. Doctors don’t know this. Synthroid, by far the most popular prescription, is T4 – but the wrong dimer. It is a backwards molecule to the real T4 that you are supposed to have. Think of it as a mirror image (and backwards) to the real human T4.
This is why Synthroid fails so often. If you are taking Synthroid and reading this article – now you know why.
Even my favorite, Armour Thyroid (and its cousin NatureThroid), are indeed the exact same human T4 and T3 hormones, but the proportions are wrong. Human T4 to T3 ratio is 10:1 (or 15:1 depending on your source of information). Pig thyroid (the source of Armour and Nature) is 4:1.
GO SLOW WITH IODINE INCREASES
Slow changes are more critical if you are already taking a prescription thyroid hormone. Because now you are looking at TWO items: the iodine and the prescription hormone at the same time. The iodine can’t hurt you but the prescription hormone sure can.
Almost always, people who are already taking prescription thyroid hormones will need to reduce those prescription amounts when their thyroid gland starts seeing iodine.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO REDUCE YOUR THYROID PRESCRIPTION?
Don’t do this alone. Get your physician involved on tapering your thyroid prescription doses once you get on iodine. There are certain signs to look for if your prescription dose is too high.
- When your heart rate is too high when at rest (like over 85 beats per minute and you are doing nothing). (Your resting heart rate should be around 70 – 80 beats per minute). An elevated resting heart rate is probably the first indicator that your prescription thyroid hormone dose is too high. You have about 3 weeks to take action here before you get in trouble.
- Blood pressure goes up
- Feeling “shaky”
- Feeling weak
- Tremors in hands
- Irritability, excitability
- Can’t sleep
- Feeling hot (warm body temperature)
If in doubt, stop taking your thyroid and consult your doctor IMMEDIATELY.
Don’t stop your iodine, however. You may be finding out that iodine is all your thyroid really needed – not prescription thyroid hormones.
Your doctor will probably start checking frequent blood tests. Unfortunately, blood tests are just not a good indicator of your thyroid state. This is why most doctors are confused on thyroid dosing to begin with. The good news is that most doctors tend to underdose rather than overdose.
Expect your doctor to try to talk you out of taking iodine supplementation. Mainstream medicine is fairly clueless on supplements in general and knows nothing about iodine supplementation.
In fact, your doctor was probably fed erroneous information about iodine safety decades ago that turned out to be completely wrong. Nevertheless, mainstream medicine continues its bias against iodine.
Hold your ground. Your iodine is not negotiable. But prescription drugs that can cause harm need to be reduced or removed if you don’t need them.
Too much iodine can’t harm you. But too much prescription thyroid hormone sure can.
THE THYROID IS SLOOOOOOOOOW
Physicians already know this. Thyroid hormones can circulate around in your bloodstream for a week or two. This is unlike virtually all other pills that come and go within a matter of hours. Thyroid is SLOW. Think in terms of weeks, not hours or days.
Any dosage changes affecting the thyroid should be done in monthly intervals. In other words, anytime you do anything that might affect the output of the thyroid gland, allow a full month for a response. Don’t change anything for a month.
Even though iodine is completely harmless, even in huge doses, we still allow a month to see what the effects will be before you start increasing the dose. Why? It is not because it can harm you (it can’t). But the actions are soooooo slow that it takes that long to observe a response.
SIDE EFFECTS OF IODINE?
The following are some side effects of iodine supplementation that can occur in 1-3% of patients. These side effects are found in people taking the extremely high doses of iodine and are easily rectified by adding magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 or just lowering the dose. This is not an allergy and these side effects are not life threatening.
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Increased salivation
- Coryza (runny nose)
- Frontal sinus headache
Another thought about “iodine allergies”:
Many people have been told by their doctors that they are “allergic to iodine” when they had some reaction from eating shellfish or received a medical imaging procedure that had contrast dye in it. The truth is: You are not allergic to iodine. And never will be.
It is virtually impossible to be “allergic” to iodine in reality. This is like being “allergic” to magnesium or copper or any other essential element. Every cell in your body processes iodine. If there was a true allergic reaction to iodine you would not survive one day.
It is my belief that allergies to shellfish are allergies to something in shellfish that is not iodine. How many thousands of different compounds are in a shellfish? How many other ingredients (none of them natural) are in radiological contrast dye?
Fluoride was introduced in the 1940′s. Initially it was widely accepted as a great medical innovation and was regarded as safe. Now, however, many are realizing Fluoride is not what we have been led to believe.
D. Dean Burke, Former Chief Chemist Emeritus, U.S. National Cancer Institute quotes:
“In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer deaths than any other chemical.”
“When you have power you don’t have to tell the truth. That’s a rule that has been working in this world for generations. And there are a great many people who don’t tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions.”
“Fluoride amounts to public murder on a grand scale.”
“It is some of the most conclusive scientific and biological evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field of cancer research.”
What is fluoride?
Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Silicofluoride and Fluorosilic Acid are all chemicals used in water, dental procedures and toothpaste.
These chemicals are the byproduct of the creation processes of manufactured fertilizer, steel, aluminum and nuclear waste and should not be used or consumed by humans
Contrary to popular belief, fluoride used in water fluoridation practices is not a pharmaceutical grade substance but instead industrial toxic waste. Naturally occurring fluoride is NOT: Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Silicofluoride or Fluorosilic Acid.
When these industries were faced with the problem of how to legally dispose of the excessive amount of toxic, bio hazardous waste they were producing at the time, ALCOA, the Aluminum Company of America, the largest producer of fluoride at the time, enlisted the services of renowned scientist, Gerald J Cox to discover whether fluoride could be beneficial in preventing tooth decay.
Gerald Cox, with vested interest, concluded that since the natural fluoride element can help in preventing tooth decay, these poisonous chemicals can also.
NOTE: Naturally occurring fluoride is NOT used in ANY fluoride practices. ONLY toxic waste is used. There is NO data or scientific evidence that show Sodium, fluoride, Fluorosilic acid or Sodium Silicofluoride prevent tooth decay.
After the release of Cox’s claims, the fluoride waste these industries produced began being trapped in the smoke stacks of these industries, collected, put into barrels and sold to municipalities to add to their drinking water.
Before these industries were trapping fluoride emissions from the smokestacks of the factories, the fluoride pollution was scorching vegetation, killing crops and crippling livestock which were exhibiting unexplained bone diseases and cancers.
Despite a statement by the Unites States Department of Agriculture saying “Airborne fluorides have caused more worldwide damage to domestic animals than any other air pollutant” the practice of using these toxic chemicals in municipal water supplies continues. Fluoride is ingested by millions of people each day through public water supplies.
While these industries solved their waste problems and began profiting, communities began ingesting fluoride toxic waste.
You most commonly hear of fluoride being used in the dental office or in toothpaste as it is believed to help prevent tooth decay. The unproven theory behind the use of fluoride on teeth is that it combines with teeth enamel to make the teeth harder and more resistant to acid attacks. Hydroxyacetite, a form of calcium deposits on the teeth is susceptible to acid and will break down leaving the teeth susceptible to decay. It is assumed that fluoride creates a shield for the Hydroxyacetite, and with fluoride being more resistant to acid, helps protect the teeth. All of these methods apply to fluoride being use topically. We also find the systemic use of fluoride through adding it to public drinking water. In theory, putting fluoride in the water will allow the fluoride to be ingested, passed through the body and find its way to the teeth so that tooth enamel will be hardened. It is believed that since the use of fluoride, dental and oral health has increased greatly and it should all be credited to the use of fluoride.
CDC statement: “Fluoridation of community drinking water is a major factor responsible for the decline in dental caries (tooth decay) during the second half of the 20th century.”
Further, although fluoride is recognized as a highly toxic poison by regulation boards, it is still approved and nominated as one other the top 10 medical innovations of our time by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Possible Symptoms of Fluoride Poisoning
Please Note: Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are fluoride poisoned. This page is offered only as a guide, which can help you determine whether fluoride poisoning is a possibility. Only your doctor can diagnose and treat you.*
- Arthritis – stiff, painful joints with or without swelling; painful feet in morning
- Asthma – especially after showering in chlorine-filtered water
- Bony, painful lumps where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. Calcifications of connective tissue on X-ray, especially with pain and reduced range of motion
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – especially if it lifts when you spend time in an unfluoridated city or switch to distilled water for drinking and cooking
- Cold – temperature below normal, feeling cold all the time, feeling cold soon after a hot bath or shower
- Colic in bottle-fed babies or colic developing when breast-fed babies start solids or are weaned
- Dental fluorosis (white or brown spots on teeth
- Diabetes – worsening symptoms
- Diabetes insipidus (a kidney ailment) – excessive thirst, increased water consumption that does not relieve thirst, dry throat and irritated eyes, and frequent, dilute urine, especially at night, with normal blood sugar findings
- Eyes – moving black spots (scotoma, or floaters)
- Fatigue, weakness and brain fog after bathing or showering in chlorine-filtered water
- Fibromyalgia (severe muscle weakness and/or pain with extremely sore spots on various bony areas)
- Food intolerances that seem to come and go
- Gastrointestinal problems – irritable bowel, nausea, diarrhea without apparent cause, heartburn and upper bowel pain especially after drinking a full glass of water
- Gum disease – irritated or bleeding gums despite good hygiene and diet; gums heal when you use unfluoridated toothpaste
- Heart palpitations and increased heart rate without exertion
- Kidney disease – worsening symptoms, kidney stones
- Skin – hives, blisters, rash on stomach or back within an hour of drinking fluoridated water or after bathing or showering in chlorine-filtered water
- Tea drinking – causes upset stomach, gastric pain, heart palpitations or “the jitters” similar to strong coffee
- Teeth – loosening or needing to be extracted despite good hygiene and diet
- Thyroid diseases – underactive (hypothyroid), overactive (hyperthyroid or Graves disease), goiter and nodules
Fluoride Science is BAD Science!!!!
According to Christopher Bryson, author of the book The Fluoride Deception, “Fluoride science is corporate science, fluoride science is DDT science, it’s asbestos science, it’s tobacco science.” Simply put, fluoride science is not scientific at all, it’s distorted science made up by political officials who have a completely different agenda in mind than public health.
In fact, the information we’ve been fed about fluoride’s effectiveness and purpose is all highly in question.
Fluoride was added to drinking water in the late 1940′s in an attempt to lower the rate of cavities as oral health was not up to par. When fluoride was added to drinking water it wasn’t long after that dental records began to show improvement in the rates of dental caries, however, even in countries where the water was never fluoridated, the amount of cavities dropped at the exact same rate or better.
According to Dr. Hardy Limeback, B.Sc., Ph.D., in 1999, “Here in Toronto, we’ve been fluoridating for 36 years. Yet Vancouver – which has never fluoridated has a cavity rate lower than Toronto’s.”
If we look even further into ingesting fluoride in our drinking water, data shows it has no benefit to the teeth whatsoever. 98% of Europe is completely opposed to having fluoride added to their drinking water, versus a great percentage of North America being fluoridated. The dental records in Europe show fewer cavities and tooth decay than what occurs in North America.
To put the nail in the coffin of fluoridated drinking water, in Kuopio, Finland water was fluoridated from 1959 – 1992. Three years after fluoridation was discontinued, researchers found no increase in dental caries rates. In fact, when Kuopio was compared to a similar never-fluoridated Finnish town cavity rates in both towns either remained the same or decreased six years after fluoridation was stopped in Kuopio.
The warning label on a bag of Sodium Fluoride says dangerous poison, toxic by digestion – target organs: heart, kidneys, bones, central nervous system, and teeth.
Even fluoride use in toothpaste is suspect and data shows it actually causes teeth to rot rather than preventing tooth decay.
Studies show that proper brushing and flossing alone to remove harmful acids that cause erosion are enough to prevent cavities.
Teeth rot when the enamel on the outside of the teeth becomes compromised and acid begins to eat away at the inside of the tooth. If acid sits on the outside of the tooth, over time it begins to kill the adenosine diphosphotase and the enamel weakens. The problem with fluoride is once it comes in contact with teeth it kills the adenosine diphosphotase, compromising tooth enamel.
Scientist Dr. Gerard Judd stated, “Numerous scientists over the past 60 years have discarded the theory that fluoride helps teeth or is a nutrient helpful to man.”
When looking at the dental records of Americans and Ugandans, Judd found the following: 30% of American youth ages 8-10 have no cavities; 100% of Ugandan youth ages 6-10 have no cavities. Dr. Judd’s explains “The reason Uganda youths have 3 times better teeth than American youths is because they do not consume as many acid foods, do not have fluoride in their water, have regular meals rather than sipping on acid drinks all day, have more calcium and phosphate in their diet, and have fewer dentists to “work on” their teeth.”
So, not only is there no evidence to show that fluoride helps prevent tooth disease, there is a bounty of evidence that shows fluoride is responsible for much more than just tooth decay. Dental fluorosis is a process by which fluoride deposits into the tooth and causes not only brown discoloration but weakening, breakage and pitting of the tooth enamel. Dental fluorosis is typically caused by exposure to fluoride from birth up to about the age of eight. As a direct result of the use of fluoride, the CDC estimates that “according to the NHANES Survey, there is an overall rate of dental fluorosis of 32% among school age children ages 6 – 19.”
In fact the effect that fluoride can have on teeth is so immense that both the American Dental Association and the CDC state that “if using a product that has to be reconstituted, parents and caregivers should consider using water that has NO of low levels of fluoride.”
Those with evidence of dental fluorosis should also count on having excess amounts of fluoride in other areas of the body as well. Skeletal fluorosis is also common when bones become over fluorated. Having too much fluoride in the body poses risks to organs and greatly increases the rate of cancer.
Environmental Protection Agency scientist, Dr. Robert Carton, Ph.D. states, “Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud in this century, if not of all time.”
We understand that the fluoride we use in toothpaste, water, and at the dentist is all toxic poison. We understand that there is no science that proves that these chemicals prevent tooth decay, but that they in fact harm teeth by causing rot and damage. Safety boards in our government know these facts very well.
So, why do they continue to pump this toxic chemical into our drinking water?
The story of fluoride starts in 1939 when ALCOA the Aluminum Company of America, then the world’s biggest producer of sodium fluoride and the DOW Chemical Company transferred their technology to Germany. At the end of WWII, the US government sent Elliot Perkins, a research worker in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology, to take over the chemical plants in Germany.
Perkins quickly learned from the German scientists that they had devised a scheme during WWII using fluoride to medicate water in order to mind control the population of cities they had taken over. It was found that fluoridation causes damage to specific areas of the brain and neurotransmitters making it more difficult for the persons affected to defend his freedom and causing the individual to become more docile toward authority.
Hitler’s eugenics program was no secret to anyone. The CIA quickly picked up where he left off making chemical control of an entire nation a main part of their research. According to the Roosevelt Report, “The drug program was part of a much larger CIA program to study possible means of controlling human behavior.”
Fluoride is found in 25% of major tranquilizers and if often called “The Chemical Lobotomy”.
Charles Perkins, the government researcher, is quoted as saying, “I say this with all the earnestness and sincerity of a scientist who has spent nearly 20 years research into the chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology of fluorine. Any person who drinks artificially fluoridated water for a period of one year of more will never be the same person, mentally or physically.”
Lead and arsenic are considered highly toxic heavy metals. Dr. John Yiamouyianni states, “We would not purposefully add Arsenic to the water supply. We would not purposefully add Lead. But we do add Fluoride. The fact is that Fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than Arsenic. When I began to realize that Fluoridation was a problem, one of the first things I did was to look at my tube of toothpaste. It says, “Drug facts”. I know it’s a drug. If I were to give it to you it would have to be a prescription. That’s for swallowing. When it comes to toothpaste it also says, “Don’t swallow” and if you do swallow contact the Poison Control Center. Well, the amount of fluoride they’re talking about is a pea sized amount of Fluoride. You don’t see that in advertisements. Usually what I see looks more like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone. A pea sized amount of Fluoride is about one quarter milligram (mg) and that is the same amount of Fluoride as we find in 8 ounces of water. Remember the recommendation is if you ingest one quarter mg of fluoride you are supposed to call the poison control center.
Says Dr. Russell Blaylock, “We’re developing a society exposed to all of these different toxins known to affect brain function. We’re seeing a society that not only has a lot more people of lower IQ, but a lot fewer people of higher IQ. In other words we’re seeing a chemical dumbing down of our society, so that everyone is just sort of mediocre. That leaves them dependent on government because they can’t excel. We have these people of lower IQ who are totally dependent, then a mass of people who are going to believe anything they’re told, because they can’t really think clearly, and very few people of high IQ who have good chiattic function who can figure this whole thing out, and that’s what they want. So, you can piece it together as to why they are so insistent in spending so many hundreds of millions of dollars of propaganda money to dumb down society.”
The hard to swallow truth is that fluoride is used to chemically control human beings. Not only does fluoride cause issues for the teeth and mental health, but it is highly linked and sometimes the direct cause of cancer, kidney disease, thyroid disease, bone disease, arthritis, immune deficiencies, lowering of IQ, dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, calcification of the pineal gland and more.
In fact, 18 separate human studies have been conducted in China, India, Iran, and Mexico that all conclude the Fluoride is the cause of lowering of IQ.
“We found that exposure to Fluoride (F) found in urine was associated with reduced performance, verbal and full IQ scores before and after adjusting for confounders. The same results were observed for models with F in water as the exposure variable….The individual effect for F in urine indicated that for each mg increase of F in urine, a decrease of 1.7 points in full IQ might be expected.” Source: Rocha-Amador D, et al (2007).
You are now fully aware that Fluoride is not what it seems and you want to do something about it. So, what can you do?
When it comes to drinking water, it can be quite difficult to avoid fluoride at times as it is found in the majority of bottled water as well. Find out if your city water is fluoridated. If not fluoridated drinking tap water as opposed to bottled will allow you to avoid the fluoride. But this still isn’t ideal as tap water still contains chlorine and other chemicals that aren’t good for the body.
The ideal situation is to purchase a water filtration system that filters both chlorine and fluoride. Some are better than others and more expensive, but make sure the filter is capable of filtering out fluoride.
In terms of toothpaste, there are many types of toothpaste that do not contain fluoride such as Tom’s all natural or you can use baking soda and coconut oil with flavoring added such as peppermint oil. You can even use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap to brush your teeth.
At the end of the day, fluoride is so heavily defended by people and some professionals because they are simply going by what they have taught. They assume that there is actual evidence that fluoride is good for us and that it’s safe to use. This is the same mentality we have taken toward many issues in our current world.
Use materials to educate your friends about the danger of fluoride. Gently approach your dentist with this information as well. Most professionals have no intention of harming anyone; they’re only practicing what they’ve been taught. Many dentists have quickly changed their minds about fluoride once they have learned the truth about it.
Finally, really think about why those in charge, knowing full well what this chemical does are putting it in our water. Use this same questioning when looking at other deceptions we have been fed. If you have yet to notice we are in the midst of mass awakening on this planet. Many are beginning to uncover truths about this world and why things are the way they are.
http://fluoridealert.org/ http://nofluoride.com/ Link to resources to help fight bureaucracy. The Benefits of Oil Pulling Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that basically involves you swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Unrefined coconut oil is best because it has the highest content of lauric acid. This process pulls toxins out of your body through your mouth. I know the concept sounds pretty strange but it does work and there is valid science behind the idea. Since the oil is “sticky” when you swish it around in your mouth bacteria gets stuck in the oil.
While organic coconut oil is preferred, in a pinch you can use sesame, walnut or almond oil but you will have the most benefits with coconut because it also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, & anti-inflammatory properties. Use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil (depending on what you can handle) in your mouth, swish for 20 minutes, pulling the oil through your teeth. One friend of mine said she gags over strange textures in her mouth and wanted to know if it was okay to melt the oil first. The answer is YES. Just microwave for about 10 seconds. DO NOT SWALLOW and be sure to spit in the trash so the accumulation of oil does not mess up your plumbing.
I’ve been researching and writing a lot about the need for Iodine (organic iodine found in LIMU) for some time now and why most people don’t get enough Iodine and suffer from so many disorders due to that deficiency. Here are a few of the reasons:
- Without Iodine the Essential Hormones that Regulate Core Body Functions Cannot be Produced
- Iodine Boosts your Metabolism, Increases Testosterone, Increases Energy and Stamina
- Iodine Raises Low pH and Reduces Risk of Breast, Prostate and other Cancers
- Iodine Lowers Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Strengthens Your Immune System
- Iodine is not Readily Available by Diet Alone Because the US Food Supply Lacks the Iodine We Need
As our food supply of iodine has waned due to over-farming, and since the RDA of iodine was lowered in the 60′s and Bromide replaced Iodine in our flour and breads, the incidence of thyroid, breast, prostate and other cancers has increased. This is NOT a coincidence….it is due to Iodine deficiency. In addition, the use of Fluoride causes depletion of protective Iodine. These halogens (Bromide, Fluoride and Chlorine - also found in our water and food supply) cause the body to excrete Iodine and exacerbate already deficient levels. To make matters worse Bromine is used as a fire retardant in mattresses, clothes, carpets and many other household items.
I wanted to share a link I ran across today while doing research. I have mentioned before the importance of the Iodine Loading test and Bromide Toxicity test but, there is also a Fluoride toxicity test. These are available from Hakala Research Lab and possibly other independent labs. If you use a compounding pharmacy they sometimes sell the kits for these specific tests and the compounding pharmacy I use also offers many other tests such as progesterone and testosterone levels. I would suggest doing a Thyroid Symptom Survey (below) and discussing these tests with your doctor (who should offer them) and having a complete thyroid panel test before beginning any supplementation with Iodine (whether as Lugol’s solution or Iodoral) so that you have an accurate baseline.
There is a good explanation of Iodine and how our bodies level off uptake and excrete what is not needed on the link I’ve provided. Read Dr. David Brownstein‘s book “Iodine Why We Need It, Why We Can’t Live Without It” for a complete explanation. Another good source of information is Dr. Steven Hotze’s book, “Hypothyroidism, Health, and Happiness“.
Here is a list of symptoms of Iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism. Do you or anyone you know have any of these symptoms?
Allergies, brain fog/cloudy thinking, dementia, dry or cracking skin, cysts and nodules, fatigue, thyroid problems, ovarian problems, cognitive problems, menstrual irregularities, weight gain, breast pain/fibrocystic breast disease, feeling cold, gum infection, psoriasis, type 2 diabetes, hair thinning, puffy face, fertility problems, depression, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, scars, infections, genital herpes, miscarriages, fibromyalgia, elevated blood pressure or cholesterol, hearing loss, tinnitus, prostate disease, lung conditions, constipation, fertility problems in women, vaginal infections, eye problems, neck pain, GERD, eczema, frequent colds and viruses and other infections, low testosterone, or decreased libido?
If so, iodine deficiency could be the real underlying cause.
Do you feel that you lack the energy you need? Do you have symptoms that your doctor cannot explain? Iodine deficiency may be the cause. Iodine is your body’s front line defense against disease. Our immune system cannot function effectively without it. The anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties of iodine have no known substitute, yet there is a serious lack of iodine in the U.S. food supply. There is a direct link between iodine deficiency, breast and prostate health, fibromyalgia, cancers and many other diseases.
Iodine is stored in the thyroid, breasts, and the prostate and in every cell in the body and is critical to maintaining good health because our thyroid uses iodine to create the hormones which control metabolism, weight gain and all core body functions. Over the past 30 years our average daily iodine intake has decreased by over 50% while the incidence of disease has increased.
Iodine raises saliva pH and reduces our risk of cancers by neutralizing the low pH environment where cancers thrive, while strengthening our body’s defenses. In a recent survey of 1478 cancer patients, 93% had a low saliva pH. The RDA in the US is 150 micrograms per day. In contrast, the average Japanese consumes 12 milligrams per day, 83 times higher. The incidence of breast cancer in Japan is half that of the U.S. while the general cancer rates were about one third of ours. There is a direct link between iodine deficiency and increased incidence of disease. With adequate iodine you will boost your metabolism, increase your energy and stamina, lose weight and, in many cases, reduce your dependency on other medications.
Friends and family on LIMU are already correcting their thyroid issues through better nutrition as LIMU contains organic iodine, but if you are still having symptoms of hypothyroidism you may want to do a little more investigation into why and if you are not on LIMU I cannot possibly recommend a better nutritional source since LIMU contains not only iodine but 77 bio-identical vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids and other nutrients essential to optimal function of our bodies.
Without getting too technical, this is, in layman’s terms, what Fucoidan found in LIMU, does in the body according to independent research studies.
Fucoidan, which comes from the brown seaweed, limu moui, builds up the immune system, and is a natural antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic agent. In addition, it prevents the transition of PRE-cancerous cells to cancer.
If someone already has cancer, Fucoidan, a large polysaccharide very similar in chemical composition to lymphatic fluid and comparable in immune building capability to colostrum, works in several ways to eradicate cancer cells.
- Increases killer T cells
- Encapsulates the tumor cells and cuts off blood flow (anti-angiogenesis)
- Causes the tumor cells to die in a process called apoptosis in as little as 72 hours according to studies. Cancer cells do not have a normal cell cycle. They are present in everyone’s bodies until an upset in homeostasis such as poor nutrition, exposure to toxins, tissue damage, immune system dysfunction or inflammation cause them to begin to proliferate and grown out of control.
- Protects healthy cells from having the tumors attach and metastasize by repairing cell walls and DNA.
- Promotes stem cell growth http://www.google.com/patents/WO2013029034A1
- Boosts immunity giving the patient the reserve to fight the invading cancer
The first study on cancer and Fucoidan was done on lung cancer in 1995 by the Japanese. Since then 1119 studies have been done all over the world and can be seen at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=fucoidan
I have reviewed cancer treatments that have been FDA approved with as little as 7 studies, none long term.
Prescription drugs kill over 106,000 Americans every year, and t hose are the people taking the drugs correctly. This figure can be found at the CDC and does not include those patients who die from chemotherapy.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product or information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Do you know who the President of GD Searle, maker of aspartame was when aspartame was approved for human consumption? Read on.
Aspartame is a dipetide or 2 amino acids stuck together. One of those amino acids is Phenylalanine which is a building block for an important neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. When you ingest aspartame you increase the availability of one amino acid, or biogenic amine, and decrease the availability of the other and when you do that you change the ratio of norepinephrine and serotonin, which can lead to mood disorder, panic symptoms, anxiety, and even seizures. When ingested with carbohydrates aspartame affects the production of seratonin by decreasing the availability of tryptophan.
Aspartame is a poison that affects protein synthesis, how synapses operate in the brain, and changes the structure of DNA as well as affecting the entire endocrine system which is controlled by the brain. It has been found to cause brain tumors, holes in the brain, retardation, dizziness, fibromyalgia, blindness, decreased ability to think and has been linked to MS, Grave’s disease, Lupus, and birth defects. This compound lowers the seizure threshold and may cause psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder. According to pathologist, Dr. Adrien Gross, since aspartame was approved in 1983, the incidence of brain tumors has increased dramatically without any explanation other than the use of aspartame. The National Cancer Institute recorded a 10% increase in brain cancers beginning in 1985, and possibly as early as 1984, coinciding with the increase in the consumption of aspartame.
Dr. H J Roberts, Director for the Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research found trend disturbing. The increase was considered by most doctors to be the result of better diagnostic tools yet, they had been available for the previous 10 years without seeing a rise in brain tumors. Dr. Robert’s conclusion was that more people were consuming aspartame and that was the reason for the drastic increase.
Despite an increase in brain tumors beginning in 1985, between 1983 and 1987 incidence of other cancers remained the same and in some types of cancers declined.
So, why was there an increase in the incidence of brain tumors?
That question was posed in a published study by neuroscientist John W. Olney, MD, Nuri B. Farber, MD, Edward Spitznagel, PhD and Lee N.Robins, Phd – Increasing Brain Tumor Rates: Is there a Link to Aspartame?
In 1983, 6,900,000 pounds of aspartame, a new “diet” sweetener was consumed and increased to 14, 400,000 pounds the following year and continued to grow.
According to biochemist Dr. Jim Bowen, by 1984 the rate of brain tumors has increased by 10%, the rate of diabetes by 30% and the incidence of brain lymphoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer increased by 60%.
Dr. H.J Roberts, a board certified Internist states that “By 1988, that of the reported cases of illnesses attributed to food and additives, THAT WERE VOLUNTEERED, and REPORTED by the FDA, 80% had to do with aspartame.” This does not take into account UNREPORTED CASES.
Aspartame is a chemical made of three components: two are amino acids, Phenylalanine and aspartic acid, and the third component is methyl ester (wood alcohol – methanol). When the body breaks down Aspartame you wind up with about 10% methanol which is then broken down into formaldehyde which is 5000 times more poisonous than ethanol (sipping alcohol) and cannot be excreted by the body so that is has a CUMULATIVE TOXIC EFFECT! Ingestion of methanol is life threatening and is treated by the intravenous administration of ethanol, the administration of sodium bicarbonate to correct acid base imbalances due to formic acid, dialysis to remove formic acid (formic acid is in the venom of ants and produces blisters), ventilation support, assessment of ocular damage than can lead to blindness, management of seizures, and palliative measures such as pain control.
The defense by the makers of Aspartame is that methanol is found naturally in fruit, BUT, what they DO NOT say is that this methanol is bound to pectin and the human body does not have the enzyme needed to split the methanol from the pectin so that it passes through the body without doing any damage.
Methanol with 1 carbon molecule, even in small amounts is deadly. In fruit you have methanol but also ethanol with 2 carbon atoms. The presence of ethanol counteracts the effect of the methanol.
Searle’s second defense was that these chemicals cannot get through the blood brain barrier (BBB), however, according to Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a board-certified Neurosurgeon, there are numerous conditions that will cause a breakdown of the normal blood brain barrier.
1. Aging - As we age the BBB becomes porous allowing chemicals to pass from the blood to the brain
2. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
4. Exposure to pesticides/herbicides
7. Free Radical generation due to diabetes or extreme exercise (MS, Lupus Erythematosis, auto-immune diseases all associated with breakdown of BBB)
8. Excitotoxins such as MSG and Aspartame also break down the blood brain barrier.
Aspartame also breaks down into a compound called diketopiperzine which is closely related to a carcinogen that causes cancer.
According to Arthur Evangelista, former FDA inspector, GD Searle the maker of aspartame withheld studies that showed aspartame caused brain tumors in mice in order to obtain FDA approval.
113 studies on aspartame were done between 1970 and 1975. However, a completed report done by the FDA in 1976 ignored the previous studies. The FDA hired a group of pathologists to do a study on aspartame (NutraSweet) but, allowed Searle to pay for the study. Searle was later sued for fraud and withholding of studies that showed negative effects.
Searle offered high paying jobs to the litigators responsible for the prosecution. In the meantime, the statute of limitations ran out and they were never prosecuted. FDA inspectors were promised obscene amounts of money to go to work for Searle if they passed aspartame.
Donald Rumsfeld was the President of Searle from 1977 until aspartame was approved.
Although in 1980 the Public Board of Inquiry ruled unanimously against allowing Searle to market aspartame due to the results of the studies, Searle quickly put together a team of scientists and politicians (lobbyists). When Ronald Reagan took office, one of his first acts as President was to give an executive order suspending the commissioner of the FDA’s rights to take any action against Searle and replaced him a month later with a new commissioner.
In January 1981, 1 day after Ronald Reagan took office as President of the United States; GD Searle reapplied for FDA approval of aspartame, submitting several “new” studies which have since been recognized as being scientifically skewed. 3 of 5 FDA scientists responsible for reviewing brain tumors issues advised against the approval of aspartame. Under the watch of the new FDA commission, Arnold Hall Hayes, the panel assigned a new panel member to eventually achieve a 3-3 split vote over aspartame. On July 18, 1981, Arthur Hull Hayes overruled the Public Board of Inquiry allowing the use of aspartame in dry foods.
Furthermore the FDA empanelled its own panel to review the Public Board of Inquiry findings on studies that showed findings of cancer and denied Searle the ability to market aspartame. Three of the FDA senior scientists met with Arthur Hull Hayes the night before the decision and begged him not to allow approval of aspartame. According to these investigators, “Animals normally just do not get brain tumors and these studies showing fast growing brain tumors in mice should have been enough to disallow the approval of aspartame.”
However, in 1983, the use of aspartame was expanded to include the use in beverages. Soon after, under charges of impropriety, Arthur Hall Hayes, left the FDA and was hired at $1000 per day by GD Searle’s public relations firm.
Thanks to the efforts and courage of Jerome Bressler, a researcher at the FDA who blew the whistle on the illegal activities of the FDA in the Bressler Report, we now know exactly the lengths the FDA and GD Searle went to in order to make BILLIONS of dollars on a dangerous chemical that causes a plethora of health problems.
Dr. Virginia Welson of Monsanto states that aspartame is the most studied chemical ever approved by the FDA and not just by the FDA, but by more than 70 regulatory bodies around the world. (Yet the studies were ignored or manipulated to obtain FDA approval.)
Dr. Betty Martini of Mission Impossible, an organization which helps victims of aspartame toxicity, states that “other countries such as England wanted Searle indicted for fraud and negligence. However, Searle made a business deal with Professor Paul Turner, who was part of the regulatory agency in England. Turner approved the use of aspartame without anyone knowing. The British Parliament was enraged yet did not rescind the order. There were no studies done in the UK.”
Due to US and UK approval other European countries followed suit.
The American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American Medical Association all promoted aspartame after receiving large monetary sponsorship and paid advertising by Searle.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted an investigation but never approved the use of aspartame or its safety. The CDC presented a 146 page document detailing the effects of aspartame including cardiac arrest, liver and kidney problems, diabetes, mood alteration and death. Their final conclusion stated that more studies needed to be done. The full report was never released to the public. Instead a summary contradicting their findings was placed on the CDC website.
The full 146 page summary can be found at www.dorway.com. Barbara Martini stated that in one day she had 12,000 emails from people who had symptoms due to aspartame use.
The FDA considers that if only 1 in a million peoples dies of an approved additive which equated to between 200-300 people a year that it is safe.
Arthur Evangelista states, “With all the technology we have today, despite advances in medicine and science people are getting sicker, requiring more pharmaceutical drugs to cure the very things that these chemical companies have placed into our food supply. From the womb to the tomb, you are going to be paying money to these pharmaceutical companies, and they are going to be manipulating the politics so that you get to consume all of their poisons, all of their toxins, things that are totally untested and we are going to see 5 or 6 years from now we are going to see new diseases we have never heard of before.”
Barbara Martini suggests that individuals have to take some responsibility for what they put in their mouths but in this case the public was lied to by the FDA and the CDC.
“Doctors only know what they’re taught and the only believe what they’re allowed to believe.”
Quoting Dr. Bowen, “Many of these things (exposures to MSG and Aspartame) have prolonged effects and of course if a physician sees a child with a seizure they’re not going to connect it to MSG or Aspartame because they don’t know about this research, they’re not familiar with it. They’ll just tell the mother they don’t seen how something they drank when they were pregnant can be related.”
In 2000, Chuck Fleming, a seemingly healthy, athletic 37 year old man, died. He had been using creatine mixed in Gatorade as a nutrition supplement. The day of his death he began having shortness of breath, disorientation and having chest pains. Upon arrival to the hospital he became disoriented and combative and was given Ativan and transferred to the ICU, did not wake up and was determined to have gone into a coma. His wife reported he had been complaining of shortness of breath for several weeks and was evaluated for cardiac problems.
While in the hospital, a toxicology report showed he had a high level of methanol. He was treated with ethanol, dialysis and ventilation support. A CAT scan showed he has suffered a major brain hemorrhage.
The doctors told his wife that she needed to report his condition to the police because they suspected poisoning, which she did. However, she was later arrested for his murder despite the physician’s belief that the amount of aspartame consumed in the form of diet drinks along with the combination of creatine was the cause of death.
Diane Fleming was convicted of murdering her husband by ethanol poisoning and sentenced to 50 years in prison, yet her attorney failed to mention that her husband consumed a large amount of products containing aspartame which breaks down into ethanol.
Our government regulartory bodies create many illusions as to their having the “best interests” of the American public, yet that is exactly what they are, illusions. Please do your own research and own your health.
My 22 year old son Jake spent Monday night and all day Tuesday in the ICU with his heart stuck in atrial fibrillation for 25 hours. Monday morning he drank a coffee and a Monster energy drink and that triggered it. Now he may have a genetic component and sensitivity to caffeine but his Dr. says he has several patients on pacemakers because of energy drinks.
~Laura J Smith (Jake’s mother)
The Doctors Show (Video clip of above story)
I have lost 2 friends who died due to Energy drinks – one was drinking MONSTER and the other Rockstar. One was with family driving cross country from Mississippi to California. He had a heart attack in the Arizona desert. The other had both heart and kidney issues. Another friend lost a baby at 5 months because she had cardiac damage due to energy drinks…she was diagnosed 3 days after finding out she was pregnant with major pericardial damage. If you drink energy drinks, READ LABELS and understand what you’re reading.
My kid KNOWS she’s not allowed to drink Monster, Rockstar, 5 hour energy or any other “energy” drink because they are FULL of bad ingredients. Most contain sugar, unless they contain artificial sweeteners, and are high in sodium. And what most people don’t know is that 1 can is NOT 1 serving and may be as many as 3 servings – which means that whatever the ingredients you must multiply by the servings. For example….if a Monster is 3 servings and the label says sodium is 1200mg you have to multiply by 3 to get the total mg in a can which would be 3600mg!! That’s a HUGE amount of sodium!!!
Energy Drinks have been found to cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel and detrimentally affect the contraction of the heart. According to an ongoing study reported at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the popular drinks consumed by millions not only increase contractility of the heart, but they may cause long-term health risks.
At the annual Chicago meeting Jonas Dorner MD from the University of Bonn’s cardiovascular imaging section, who is working on the study, said that until now, no-one had worked out the exact effects of energy drinks on heart functioning.
Citing concerns over possible adverse side effects of energy drinks on heart function, especially in adolescents and young adults, Dorner said there was “little or no regulation” of the US market.
A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth–specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.
3 Times Higher Caffeine
Noting that caffeine levels in energy drinks are up to three times higher than in other caffeinated drinks including coffee or cola, Dorner said known side-effects included a rapid heart rate, palpitations, a rise in blood pressure “and in the most severe cases, seizures or sudden death”.
Manufactured by the chemical industry, synthetic caffeine is big business in many drinks that contain the drug.
NATURAL CAFFEINE: Natural, real caffeine comes from various plant species. Caffeine content within these plants will vary throughout the year depending on weather, soil conditions, time of year harvested, etc. So caffeine content is impossible and impractical to determine for labeling on products like coffee or tea. They have constantly changing amounts. Naturally caffeinated products will not have caffeine as an ingredient or measurement on the label.
SYNTHETIC CAFFEINE: The first sign the caffeine in your drink is synthetic is it is listed on the label & has an exact measurement. This is the cheapest & most common added caffeine source. The processes & compounds may vary between chemical companies, but they are all disturbing.
FORTIFIED CAFFEINE: Still usually synthetic, caffeine can be obtained from the coffee decaffeination industry, although it is substantially pricier & rarely used. This will also note caffeine on the label with a measurement. Caffeine supplies from this industry use methylene chloride, formaldehyde or ethyl acetone for it’s removal. There is no such thing as removing the caffeine with just water. Significantly Higher Peak Strain
Dorner and colleagues used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the effect of energy drink consumption on heart function in 18 healthy volunteers — 15 men and three women with an average age of 27.5 years.
Each subject was given one cardiac MRI before consuming an energy drink containing taurine (400mg/100ml) and caffeine (32mg/100ml), and another one hour after consumption.
The second MRI scan showed significantly higher peak strain and peak systolic strain rates (measures of ‘contractility’ or level of heart contraction) in the heart’s left ventricle.
This receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the aorta, which then distributes it throughout the rest of the body.
Toxic Preservatives and Sweeteners
All energy drinks including Nos, Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, Full Throttle and several others all contain many of the following toxic ingredients.
SUCRALOSE Splenda/sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar; a chlorocarbon. Common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethelene and methylene chloride, all deadly. Chlorine is nature’s Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 11 to 27 percent of ingested sucralose is absorbed by the human body (FDA 1998). Research published by the manufacturer of sucralose (Roberts 2000) shows that when 8 healthy male adults where given sucralose (in 1 mg/kg amounts), between 10.4% and 30.6% of the sucralose was absorbed. In addition, 1.6% to 12.2% of the sucralose accumulates in the body.
ASPARTAME Aspartame is a multi-potential carcinogen, even consumed daily at 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That is a lower quantity than the maximum recommended by the FDA (50 mg/kg of body weight) and the European Union (40 mg/kg).
It increases the incidence of malignant tumours in rats. In the females it increases leukaemia and lymphomas, as well as cancerous cells in the pelvis and urethra. In the males, it especially increases the incidence of malignant tumours in peripheral nerves. How Deadly is Aspartame?
ACE-K Acesulfame-K(Potassium) represents one of the food additives used for sweetening aliments and drinks. It is approved by the FDA, but there are several potential problems correlated with consumption of this food additive. Even though there are many studies that attest its safety, acesulfame potassium is still suspected of causing benign thyroid tumors. In rats, the development of such tumors took only 3 months, a period in which the concentration of this additive in the consumed food was between 1 and 5 percent. This is a very short period of time, so the substance is believed to have significant carcinogenic properties. Methylene chloride, a solvent used in the manufacture of acesulfame potassium, is the substance that may give the food additive its potential carcinogenic characteristics.
POTASSIUM BENZOATE Benzoate damages an important area of DNA in the “power station” of cells known as the mitochondria. This chemical has the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether. It is an artificial color and considered a carcinogenic poison used to make foods and other products more visually appealing or appetizing.
POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE There are dozens of different phosphate-containing food additives used in hundreds of processed foods.Studies show that even among healthy adults, people with higher phosphate levels have higher mortality rates. Phosphates cause a more rapid progression of the specific ailments such as chronic kidney disease. Phosphate additives have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and they’re linked to accelerated aging and interfering with the way your body activates vitamin D.
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP High fructose corn syrup causes insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, increased weight gain, and not to mention is manufactured from genetically modified corn.
Results recently presented at the 2013 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting showed that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) also cause behavioural reactions similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine.
Increased consumption of HFCS also results in depletion of chromium in the body, which is important is helping glucose pass from the bloodstream into the cells.
According to two recent U.S. studies, almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.
POTASSIUM SORBATE Food and chemical toxicology reports have labeled potassium sorbate as a carcinogen, showing postive mutation results in the cells of mammals. Other studies have shown broad systemic and toxic effects on non-reproductive organs in animals. No long term studies have ever been initiated on either animals or humans, so there is simply not enough evidence to theorize what could happen after years of ingesting this preservative. However, based on short-term carcinogenic and toxic effects, is it worth the risk to find out?
Long-Term Health Risks ‘Unknown’
Dorner said further studies are needed to understand how higher heart contractility affects daily activities or athletic performance, and to discover how long the effect of the drink lasts.
Dorner said that the long-term heart health risks linked to energy drinks are unknown, but advises that children and people with known cardiac arrhythmias, and says new studies are needed to assess the risk posed by energy drinks in tandem with alcohol.
Heart Foundations are refusing to comment on the unpublished research or whether greater heart contractility is necessarily a bad thing.
The RSNA represents 53,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists and publishes two peer-reviewed journals, Radiology and RadioGraphics.
Sources: preventdisease.com prnewswire.com preventdisease.com wnho.net sciencedaily.com Energy Drinks Cause of Kidney Failure in 14 Year Old Sunday, March 23, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer Learn more at Natural News
“I was playing Call of Duty. Then everything went dark and I passed out. When I woke up I was terrified.”
These are the words of 14-year-old Henrik Eide Dahl, who had downed 8 liters of energy drink in a 16-hour period during a video game marathon party. He fell into a coma and was in kidney failure.
Dahl, who was flown immediately to a Norwegian hospital in Lillehammer, quickly fell into a coma. His kidneys began to fail. Kept alive by a respirator and a drip, the teenager was practically on his death bed. The doctor who treated him, Anne Duns, spoke about his condition, saying, “It was life-threatening. The central nervous system, cardiovascular system, lungs and kidneys were affected.”
She continued, “We find no underlying disease in Henry, so for now we are attributing this to the consumption of large amounts of energy drink.”
The 14-year-old remembers waking up for the first time after the incident: “The first thing I remember from the hospital is that my brothers were sitting at the edge of the bed and crying.”
After spending almost two weeks in the hospital, recovering from the effects of the energy drink binge, Dahl said the incident was “very scary” and that he learned “it is not good to drink that much energy drink.” Dahl is currently being treated for high blood pressure.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s Helle Meltzer commented on the issue, stating that Dahl’s collapse could be from more than just caffeine overdose; he may have collapsed due to an overdose of artificial sweeteners and other acidifying substances in the energy drinks. People seek caffeine boosts because they are not utilizing real nutritional energy of whole foods
Those with poor digestion, who lack the proper enzymes and good bacterial balance in the gut, show poor nutrient absorption and utilization. This can be due to eating a diet full of processed and chemically “dumbed down” foods. Many simply aren’t receiving the energy from the food they eat, so they turn to energy jolts from sodas, coffee or energy drinks.
Teenagers living on a diet of fast food may rely on these quick-fix jolts of energy like using performance enhancing drugs. These commercial energy drinks, like Red Bull, can contain a host of artificial colorings and sweeteners that create an acidic state in the human body, ultimately working against cellular health.
Caffeine isn’t necessarily the problem – it’s the way these energy drinks are marketed and consumed
A doctor who specializes on the topic, Dr. Dr. David Agus, said that the availability and lax attitude toward energy drinks practically encourages teens to take these as “performance enhancing drugs.”
And it’s not the amount of caffeine in the drinks that makes them harmful. Commercial energy drinks usually contain between 80 mg and 215 mg of caffeine per can. A small 12-ounce Pike Place Roast Starbucks Coffee contains way more — 260 mg. It’s the way these energy drinks are consumed that makes them dangerous. Coffee is consumed in a slow process, allowing caffeine ingestion to occur slowly. Energy drinks are marketed and consumed as “shots,” while delivering caffeine faster — all at once. The way the drinks are marketed doesn’t help. In the US each year, at least 2,500 caffeine overdoses are recorded at hospitals for those 19 and under.
Energy drinks create an acidic state in the body and are made from junk vitamin science.
Energy drink manufacturers often boast health claims on their labels, listing B vitamin ingredients as “healthy” additives. “Vitamins are essential micronutrients that are required for maintaining normal body functions,” Red Bull claims on its website. What Red Bull and other energy drink manufacturers fail to mention is that these drinks are made with ingredients that make the body’s pH more acidic, compromising cells to be more susceptible to cancer. The added vitamins really come from synthetic sources and are basically fractionated isolates that cannot be properly absorbed by the body. As a matter of fact, when you check out this chart and research, energy drinks are found to be one of the most acidifying substances when introduced into the human body.
Sources for this article include: http://www.nydailynews.com http://www.ibtimes.co.uk http://www.huffingtonpost.com http://www.corehealthproducts.com http://energydrink-us.redbull.com http://science.naturalnews.com
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