Saturday, July 30, 2005
A state study suggests two farm sprays may raise chances of having a child with the disorder.
By Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
July 30, 2007
Women who live near California farm fields sprayed with organochlorine pesticides may be more likely to give birth to children with autism, according to a study by state health officials to be published today.
The rate of autism among the children of 29 women who lived near the fields was extremely high, suggesting that exposure to the insecticides in the womb might have played a role. The study is the first to report a link between pesticides and the neurological disorder, which affects one in every 150 children.
But the state scientists cautioned that their finding is highly preliminary because of the small number of women and children involved and lack of evidence from other studies.
"We want to emphasize that this is exploratory research," said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health. "We have found very preliminary data that there may be an association. We are in no way concluding that there is a causal relationship between pesticide exposure of pregnant women and autism."
The two pesticides implicated are older-generation compounds developed in the 1950s and used to kill mites, primarily on cotton as well as some vegetables and other crops. Their volumes have declined substantially in recent years.
Friday, July 29, 2005
This week we're going to take a break from our series on the cardiovascular system and discuss a dairy study released earlier this month. According to the results of the study conducted out of the University of Cardiff in the UK and as promoted in media throughout the world, drinking a pint of milk a day may protect men against diabetes and heart disease.
The 20-year study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analyzed how the rates of metabolic syndrome were affected by dairy consumption.
Metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome) is a cluster of conditions including obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides that increase the risk of heart disease. Metabolic syndrome is said to be the fastest growing disease entity in the world. On the other hand, although it does predict vascular disease and diabetes quite powerfully, it is probably not a true syndrome and should be thought of more as an elaborate risk formula—increasing the risk of death by some 50%.
According to the study, which tracked 2,375 men between the ages of 45 and 59 over a 20 year period, eating dairy products reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome. The more they consumed, the lower the risk. At the start of the study, 15% had metabolic syndrome and had almost double the risk of coronary artery heart disease and four times the risk of diabetes of those without the syndrome. But the researchers found that men were 62% less likely to have the syndrome if they drank a pint or more of milk every day and 56% less likely to have it if they regularly ate other dairy products.
The more dairy products the men consumed, the less likely they were to have the syndrome.
In fact, although the study tracked a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome with increased dairy consumption, it found little actual correlation between dairy consumption and the incidence of diabetes itself. There were only 7 more cases of diabetes among the lowest consumers of dairy versus the highest. The incidence of heart disease was not tracked.
Also, people who had diabetes at the start of the study were excluded from the results so that we don't know if their condition improved or deteriorated while drinking milk. That would be significant information in determining the overall health value of dairy when it comes to metabolic syndrome.
Why it means nothing
There are a number of problems with the study, but let's start with the two most obvious.
- What were the non milk drinkers drinking?
- What does drinking milk say about the overall diet of the participants?
If not milk, what?
The study only references the amount of milk and dairy products people were consuming— nothing else—not, for example, what else they were drinking or eating. The simple fact is that people only drink so much liquid in a day. If they're drinking more milk, they're drinking less of something else. Conversely, if they're drinking less milk, they're drinking more of something else. If that something else is soda pop or sugared energy drinks, that's a problem. Each ounce of soda contains almost a teaspoon of sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup. That's a major factor in the onset of metabolic syndrome. Tea and coffee drinkers don't necessarily escape scot-free either. Six cups of coffee a day with 2 teaspoons of sugar in each cup still works out to 40 lbs (18.4 K) of sugar a year.
In other words, the so called health benefits attributed to milk in the study may have nothing to do with milk at all. They may instead be a reflection of lowered consumption of more harmful highly-sugared beverages.
A question that occurs to me is: why are men in their forties and fifties drinking milk every day? Is it because they want something to drink with their cookies and cake at lunch like children (probably not), or is it because they are making what they consider to be a conscious health choice (even if misguided)? If so, what does that say about the rest of their diet? We know that people who drink lots of soda pop also tend to be high consumers of fast foods and snack foods. In fact, they're usually sold in tandem, not only in fast food restaurants (KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, for example, are owned by Yum! Brands, a spin-off of PepsiCo) but also in grocery store power aisles. So if the drinking of milk was the result of an attempt by some of the participants to avoid fast foods and sodas, were those men also more likely to have eaten whole grain foods and fresh produce as opposed to fast foods and sugared snacks? We know that fast food diets are more likely to contribute to the onset of metabolic syndrome, and that whole foods are more likely to keep it at bay? It sounds likely that the men drinking milk were eating an overall better diet, but the study doesn't tell us either way. In any case, without that information, the study is meaningless. You could probably come up with the same results (maybe even better) by doing a survey on how much water the men drank— the more water, the lower the incidence of metabolic syndrome.
Heck, why didn't the researchers just cut to the chase and ask about the participant's sugar intake in foods and beverages?
What do we actually know?
When it comes to dairy, we actually know quite a lot. For example:
- Consumption of cow's milk in children has been linked to a threefold increase in Type 1 diabetes.
- Consumption of milk has been associated with insulin-dependent diabetes in numerous studies.
- Milk consumption is repeatedly promoted as lowering the incidence of obesity, and yet numerous studies indicate that it does just the opposite.
Then, of course, all the Cardiff study looked at were the triggers for Metabolic Syndrome. Perhaps milk is implicated in other problems such as cancer, allergies, arthritis, infection, and toxicity. And it is!
In Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, I talk about a number of the health problems associated with dairy consumption. Those are actually only highlights; there's much more. First of all, the following two sites might be of interest.
- The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. www.pcrm.org
- The NotMilk homepage www.notmilk.com
To summarize some of the things that you will find there, there are many, many problems associated with consuming dairy. Many of these are probably conditions you are already noticing in your own body—particularly those that relate to allergies, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. For example:
- Galactose - Ovarian cancer rates parallel dairy-eating patterns around the world. The culprit seems to be galactose, the simple sugar broken down from the milk sugar lactose.
- Pesticides - concentrate in the milk of both farm animals and humans. A study by the Environmental Defense Fund found widespread pesticide contamination of human breast milk among 1,400 women in forty-six states. The levels of contamination were twice as high among the meat-and-dairy-eating women as among vegetarians.
- Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria - Joseph Beasley, M.D., and Jerry Swift wrote in The Kellogg Report (The Institute of Health Policy and Practice, 1989) that even "moderate use of antibiotics in animal feed can result in the development of antibiotic resistance in animal bacteria - and the subsequent transfer of that resistance to human bacteria."
- Vitamin D Toxicity - Heavy consumption of milk, especially by small children, may result in vitamin D toxicity. Records show that dairies do not carefully regulate how much vitamin D is added to milk. (Milk has been "fortified" with vitamin D ever since deficiencies were found to cause rickets.) A study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine (April 30, 1992) showed that of forty-two milk samples, only 12 percent were within the expected range of vitamin D content. Testing of ten infant formula samples revealed seven with more than twice the vitamin D content reported on the label; one sample had more than four times the label amount.
- Growth Hormones - Recently, cows have started to receive growth hormones to increase their milk production, although the long-term effects on humans are unknown.
- Casein - Perhaps the biggest health problem with cow's milk arises from the proteins in it: Cow's milk proteins damage the human immune system. Repeated exposure to these proteins disrupts normal immune function and may eventually lead to disease. Cow's milk contains many proteins that are poorly digested and harmful to the immune system. Fish and meat proteins are much less damaging, while plant proteins pose the least hazard.
Removing dairy from the diet has been shown to shrink enlarged tonsils and adenoids, indicating relief for the immune system—even more so if you are lactose intolerant.
Similarly, doctors experimenting with dairy-free diets often report a marked reduction in colds, flu's, sinusitis and ear infections. In addition, dairy is a tremendous mucus producer and a burden on the respiratory, digestive and immune systems.
- Colic and Ear Infections - One out of every five infants in the United States suffers bouts of colic. Another common problem among infants receiving dairy, either directly or indirectly, is chronic ear infections. You just don't see this painful condition among infants and children who aren't getting cow's milk into their systems.
- Allergies, Asthma and Sinus Problems - Poorly digested bovine antigens (substances that provoke an immune reaction) like casein become "allergens" in allergic individuals. Dairy products are the leading cause of food allergy, often revealed by diarrhea, constipation and fatigue. Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy. The exclusion of dairy, however, must be complete to see any benefit.
- Arthritis - Antigens in cow's milk may also contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. When antibody-antigen complexes (resulting from an immune response) are deposited in the joints, pain, swelling, redness and stiffness result; these complexes increase in arthritic people who eat dairy products, and the pain fades rapidly after patients eliminate dairy products from their diets.
- Childhood Anemia - Cow's milk causes loss of iron and hemoglobin in infants (one reason the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants not drink cow's milk) by triggering blood loss from the intestinal tract. Some research also shows that iron absorption is blocked by as much as 60 percent when dairy products are consumed in the same meal.
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Lung Cancer - A 1989 study in Nutrition and Cancer linked the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with the consumption of cow's milk and butter. High levels of the cow's milk protein beta-lactoglobulin have also been found in the blood of lung cancer patients, suggesting a link with this cancer as well.
Concluding that dairy is good for you while ignoring these issues hardly makes sense.
Incompletely digested large dairy proteins, such as casein, become antigens (substances that provoke immune reactions) once they enter the bloodstream in individuals who are sensitive to them. Plus, the milk you buy in the store is not raw milk. If you must drink milk, be smart about your choices:
- Raw organic, if you can find it, avoids many of the problems—but presents health issues of its own unless you can be sure of the source.
- Organic pasteurized is better than non-organic, but because of the heat used in pasteurization, it presents significantly higher allergy problems than raw.
I do not recommend non-organic, pasteurized, homogenized dairy products under any circumstances.
- And while whey eliminates the casein problem, it still contains the two main allergenic proteins, alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactaglobulin— the two most heat sensitive proteins.
- Soy milk, of course, is not an effective alternative, since it is high in allergens itself, blocks the absorption of important minerals such as calcium, and contains high levels of phytoestrogens, which although beneficial in moderate amounts, can be counter-productive in large amounts— particularly for children.
- Are there any health benefits to drinking raw milk? According to the FDA, no. And if all you measure are protein and fat content and added vitamin D, they are correct. But if you consider that pasteurization involves heating milk to approximately 1450 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or longer and therefore kills all enzymes and beneficial bacteria in the process, then the answer is not so obvious. Heating the milk to pasteurize it "denatures" dairy proteins making some of them much more allergenic than they are in their natural state. Consider that many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved, and even eliminated, by simply cutting out dairy. And if you toss in the fact that pasteurization makes calcium insoluble and unavailable to the body (a key reason countries with the highest pasteurized dairy consumption have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world), the health benefits swing decidedly in favor of raw milk.
- Can raw milk become contaminated? Yes, absolutely—but not often. Most raw milk dairies tend to run extremely clean operations because of the liability issues. And keep in mind that in this recent outbreak only 8 illnesses were reported. We see far more E. coli contamination in meat each year than in raw dairy—even as a percentage of users. And in fact, we regularly see contamination of pasteurized dairy too, but the FDA never seems to propose that people stop eating meat and pasteurized dairy. It seems raw milk just doesn't have a big enough lobby supporting it.
So am I advocating drinking raw milk?
Not necessarily. I still have issues with some of the proteins in dairy that tend to trigger allergic reactions, whether that dairy is raw or pasteurized. But if you are going to drink milk, raw organic milk is a healthier option than the pasteurized, homogenized moo-cow juice you find in the supermarkets.
I know that peer reviewed studies are the sine qua non of the medical world, but in reality many of them are so much less than they appear. As I have repeatedly pointed out in the past, you can get a study to prove any point you want—even contradictory points. And once a flawed study is published, it's then cited by other studies over and over again, until utter nonsense becomes incontrovertible "fact." Here are some examples.
Bottom line, when it comes to the current dairy study, pay no attention; it's decidedly flawed.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I f you have ever sabotaged your own chances of success... felt your emotions control your reasoning... or been unable to get yourself to do things that you told yourself you must do, then your 'executive' brain wasn't playing its proper leadership role. The executive brain regulates the primitive reactions and impulses we all experience. Here's how to put it in charge...
PUT A PROBLEM IN ITS PLACE
Start by viewing negative habits, impulses and thoughts simply as parts of your larger self. When you do this, you'll realize that you can observe these old 'default' reactions and exercise your executive brain's unique ability to consciously choose how to act.
Example: If you're struggling to quit smoking, notice the part of you that says, 'I want a cigarette,' and think, Yes, a part of me wants a cigarette. I, as the leader of my life, have a responsibility to protect the parts of me that are vulnerable to addiction. I have a commitment to keep my body and brain healthy. I can choose to find a healthy alternative to deal with stress.
LET YOUR HIGHER SELF RULE
The executive part of your brain is in charge of organizing the primitive parts into a cohesive team that serves your goals and challenges.
Example: Let's say you need a root canal. Fear of pain is a natural primitive response. Tell the fearful part of your brain, "Yes, that could hurt and you're afraid. I'm not asking you to face this fear alone. I will take the proper action to save the tooth and promote health."
STAY IN THE MOMENT
Focus your attention on what you can do now. Dwelling on the past or anticipating the future can lead to anxiety and self-doubt. Don't wait until you feel confident or motivated before you start a project. With your executive brain in charge, the other parts of you will follow the leader.
Example: A part of you doubts that you have prepared enough to give a presentation at an important sales meeting. You recognize your old habit of perfectionism. Say to your primitive brain, "Yes, there's the old habit again. I realize that no amount of preparation will feel like enough, so I choose to do the presentation with what I know now."
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Fatigue is a common problem for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). My friend who was diagnosed five years ago is able to continue having an active life, but she tells me there are days she is too tired to move -- so it may be startling to learn that researchers have recently concluded that regular exercise is one of the few things that may help her feel better.
Researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, recently did a review to coalesce findings of 162 studies on this subject from a period of 20 years. The studies reviewed were mostly small, but they consistently demonstrated that aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling and jogging, may help people with MS beat fatigue. It may also be helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus too -- both also autoimmune disorders. Optimally, the exercise regimens should include both aerobic and resistance training, and occur at least three times weekly, for 15 to 30 minutes as tolerated. Exercise program intensity should be low initially and gradually increase.
I called Aaron Miller, MD, medical director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, to get his advice on this topic. It's important for all MS patients, at every stage of the disease, to participate in some kind of exercise program because it has been consistently shown to reduce fatigue, he told me. Physical activity in general helps to stabilize blood sugar, reducing inflammation. It also gives patients a psychological boost, and increases endorphins and other brain chemicals that may affect fatigue. He agrees that aerobic exercise should be primary (and says even running is fine for many people), but that resistance exercise and other types are also worthwhile. For patients in more advanced stages, with limited mobility, exercise works to strengthen the muscles that still function, thereby easing the body's overall work load. Although there is no evidence (at present, anyway) that exercise makes any difference in the course of the illness, it may help the patient to tolerate some symptoms better.
Dr. Miller offers one cautionary note: Exercise elevates body temperature, which is problematic for some people with MS. Dr. Miller says the increase in body temperature does nothing to worsen the disease, but it can exacerbate uncomfortable symptoms. However, this can be considered an annoyance, and not dangerous, and is not a reason to stop. My friend often wears a cooling neckpiece during tennis for just that reason. Other options might include setting up fans in front of your treadmill, or limiting workouts to air-conditioned environments. (For information from the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America about such devices, go to http://www.msaa.com/programs/cooling.html.)
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
"Thinking doth make it so," wrote Shakespeare, poetic words to be sure, but also a perfect description of the placebo effect. In clinical studies, people in "the placebo group" unknowingly take a fake form of the item being tested (often a sugar pill), usually having been told it is real medicine that will make them better -- and often, they do indeed get better. Some consider it one of science's many mysteries, but I think it is a powerful statement of our ability to heal ourselves. Now, that's taken to a whole different level in research that involved hotel housekeepers and weight loss.
In a study involving 84 female housekeepers, ages 18 to 55, psychologist Ellen J. Langer, PhD, a professor at Harvard, told half the women that their regular work -- cleaning about 15 rooms a day, for 20 to 30 minutes each -- was enough to meet the guidelines for healthy exercise. She said nothing about this to the other women, although their workload was identical to the first group.
The results just four weeks later were fairly amazing. The control group -- which, remember, had heard nothing that equated their work with exercise -- did not show any physical changes. The women in the informed group, though, had lost an average of two pounds... their systolic blood pressure (the top number) had dropped by 10%... they had decreased body fat by 0.5%... and reduced their body mass index number by .35% of a point. You might argue that these are not dazzling drops or changes -- until you consider the fact that these women did nothing different from the other group -- and did not change their habits at all -- and yet they achieved results.
When I spoke with Dr. Langer, I asked if the women might have brought new vigor to their work, thinking if it was so good for them they'd add some extra zip. But no, she told me, she investigated that possibility and found it not to be true. She attributes the physical changes in the women strictly to alterations in their thought process -- simply that they thought they were achieving healthy exercise patterns, and so they did. Our thoughts are part of our physiology, she says, not at all separate from our bodies. To illustrate, she describes how some people flinch visibly at the sight of a snake or other situation they fear or find loathsome. How would the body know to do that, other than because of the mind's action on it?
This study was one in a series Dr. Langer has undertaken on mindfulness -- which she defines as "actively noticing new things that keeps us in the present." The mind and body are not separate entities, she says, and her expectation is that these experiments will help show that. In the meantime, she says, all of us can accrue additional health benefits by being mindful about how each and every physical motion, not just formal exercise, helps us be healthier.
Ellen J. Langer, PhD, professor of psychology, Harvard University, Boston.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Removing Unnatural Chemicals
By Patricia Michael
Copyright © 2005, Patricia Michael. Permission to reproduce is granted provided the work is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.
This paper, originally a talk at a Feng Shui conference, is in response to a disturbing article that appeared on the internet:
American Babies Born Polluted, Study Says
July 27, 2005
Reported by Roddy Scheer
According to a report released last week by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), American babies are born with an average of 287 chemical contaminants in their bloodstreams. The findings are based on tests of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross across the country. The most prevalent chemicals found in the 10 newborns were mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA.
"Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical-cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests," the report said.
"These 10 newborn babies ... were born polluted," said House Democrat Louise Slaughter of New York, who is leading the charge in Congress to hold chemical producers more accountable to higher standards. "If ever we had proof that our nation's pollution laws aren't working, it's reading the list of industrial chemicals in the bodies of babies who have not yet lived outside the womb," Slaughter added.
Slaughter also had similar tests done on her own blood, which she found to contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were banned decades ago as well as chemicals like Teflon that are currently under federal investigation. "I have auto exhaust fumes, flame retardant chemicals, and in all, some 271 harmful substances pulsing through my veins," she said. "That's hardly the picture of health I had hoped for, but I've been living in an industrial society for more than 70 years."
If unborn babies are full of such chemicals, how much more so must adults be? This article prompted me to list the methods I have discovered for removing unnatural chemicals from my body and from the environment. Please note that these are what work for me, but I am not diagnosing any illness nor prescribing any thing as a remedy. These suggestions are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
FLUORIDE, THE SILENT KILLER
by: Yiamouyiannis, John, Ph.D.
Dr. Yiamouyiannis received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Rhode Island and served his post-doctoral fellowship at the Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He then became editor at Chemical Abstracts Service, the world's largest chemical information center, where he first became aware of the health damaging effects of fluoride. He is the former science director of the National Health Federation; he is the executive director of Health Action and president of the Safe Water Foundation. He is a world-leading authority on the biological effects of fluoride and is responsible for ending the use of fluoride in many areas of the United States and abroad.
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF FLUORIDE Fluoride is used as an insecticide and a roach killer. Even at the level they use to fluoridate your public water supply, usually at the rate of about 1 part fluoride for every million parts of water (1 ppm) by weight, it causes severe problems. As little as one-tenth of an ounce of fluoride will cause death. It is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. No one will die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, but it is the long term chronic effects of drinking fluoridated water that affects health. Dental fluorosis is one of the earlier signs of fluoride poisoning, appearing in mild cases as a chalky area on the tooth, and in more advanced cases, teeth become yellow brown or black and the tips break off. Fluoride in the drinking water leads to fluoride levels in tissues and organs which damage enzymes. This results in a wide range of chronic diseases. Fluoride weakens the immune system and may cause allergic type reactions including dermatitis, eczema and hives. It causes birth defects and genetic damage. Fluoride is likely to aggravate kidney disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism. The amount consumed in drinking water has been shown to lower thyroid activity in humans. It also causes the breakdown of collagen which results in wrinkling of the skin and the weakening of ligaments, tendons and muscles. There are a number of ways that fluoride can be administered. The most insidious way is through the drinking water. Some of you have it in your mouthwashes, or in your toothpaste, or you may take a fluoride supplement which is dispensed in pills or drops.
FLUORIDE A BY-PRODUCT OF INDUSTRY Fluoride is an industrial waste product, a by-product of the aluminum industry and the phosphate fertilizer companies who have mountains of fluoride that is polluting the ground water. They have to get rid of it, and the old solution to pollution is dilution - just put it in the drinking water. People living in the vicinity of aluminum, phosphate, steel, clay, glass and enamel plants are exposed to high levels of fluoride in the air. For instance, the Hamilton area shows extremely high lung cancer rates that decrease as you get away from the downwind plume of the steel mills. If fluoride was left with the phosphate and sold to farmers, it would kill their crops. That is what originally happened when they used this high fluoride phosphate, and the farmers said they were going back to manure.
FLUORIDATED TOOTHPASTE Unless it says on the package does not contain fluoride, you are using fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste contains 1,000 ppm fluoride. There is enough fluoride at 1,000 to 1,500 parts per million to kill a small child if they consume the entire tube. If a child consumes just part of it, it could result in either acute or chronic toxicity. A four to six year-old child will swallow 25 to 33% of the toothpaste they put on their toothbrush. Don't let them put it in their mouth unless when they swallow it, it is good for them. People ask me where they can get non-fluoridated toothpaste. They have many brands of non-fluoridated toothpaste in health food stores, so pick up your toothpaste there, and make sure it doesn't have fluoride, because some health food stores have a couple of brands of fluoride toothpaste. Not everything in a health food store is safe. Always read the labels. Pepsodent toothpaste also doesn't have fluoride. If you want something inexpensive, use baking soda and sea salt, but make sure you dissolve the salt crystals in water before you brush your teeth; otherwise the salt crystals will score the enamel.
GUM DAMAGE Fluoride actually causes gum damage at the concentrations used in fluoridated toothpaste at 1,000 ppm. Fluoride poisons enzyme activity and slows down the ability of the gums to repair themselves. If you brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, you will suffer gum damage.
FLUORIDE GELS AND SOLUTIONS Some schools have weekly fluoride mouth-rinse programs in which the children swish fluoride solutions around in their mouths. The fluoride comes in a sugar size packet, and on the outside of the packet it says fatal if swallowed. If your child is in any of these programs at school, get them out of it. We have testimonials one after the other of children who come home with a stomach ache because they had actually accidentally swallowed part of it, and children do accidentally swallow. Fluoride treatments at the dentist's office are equally hazardous. In the typical fluoride treatment, 10,000 parts per million fluoride, which comes in a flavoured gel to make it taste good, is left on the teeth for about five minutes. Then the child spits it out, though invariable he swallows some. The child cannot rinse, eat or drink for at least half an hour afterward. Children have died after swallowing fluoride topically applied on their teeth. In one well publicized case, the dental hygienist neglected to tell the child to wash his mouth out and spit out the solution. The child began vomiting and sweating and died the same day. Over 6% of children receiving fluoride treatments at the dental office suffer gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain either immediately or within one hour after treatment. According to scientists at the U.S. Public Health Service, topical fluoride is practically ineffective in reducing tooth decay, and damages gum tissue. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, "the high concentrations of some products (gels, mouthwash, tablets, toothpaste, etc.) may be neither biologically desirable nor clinically necessary".
FLUORIDE SUPPLEMENTS Tablets and drops are another means of administering fluoride. The Canadian Dental Association has admitted in the last couple of years that children under the age of three should not be given fluoride supplements. And yet dental practitioners and pediatricians who haven't kept up to date are still giving fluoride supplements to young children. I advise against fluoride supplements for anyone.
ADDITION OF FLUORIDE TO PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS The addition of fluoride to the public water supply is the most insidious way of chronically poisoning hundreds of millions of people around the world. Dr. Dean Burk was former chief chemist of the National Cancer Institute, and has co-authored studies with many Nobel prize winners including Otto Warburton, and he is the co-author of the most cited paper in the entire field of biochemistry - the Lineweaver-Burk Enzyme Kinetics. In the 1970s, Dean Burk and I conducted a number of studies which linked fluoride and cancer. There was already scientific evidence from the 1950s that fluoride was causing cancer, and a 1963 study by Driscowitz and Norton showed that increased fluoride concentrations in the media of experimental animals increased tumour incidence from 12% at the lowest concentrations up to 100%. Taylor and Taylor published a study in 1965 at the University of Texas in all the mainline medical journals showing that 1 ppm or even 0.5 ppm increased tumour growth rate by 25%. These studies bothered me and around 1975 I found that we had enough data to compare the cancer death rate before and after fluoridation of fluoridated communities and compare them to non-fluoridated communities. Based on millions of subjects, the study showed a 5 to 10% increase in cancer death rate within three to five years after fluoridation was put into the water after correcting for various demographic factors like age, race and sex. All the variables were controlled. We followed this by a series of other studies. In 1977 we had full blown Congressional Hearings, and Congress stated: "We can no longer assure the American public that fluoride does not cause cancer". Dean Burk and other well-known scientists were there, and on the opposing side was the American Dental Association. Ten years later, Proctor and Gamble, makers of Crest toothpaste found that fluoride was causing precarcinogenic changes in cells.
HOW FLUORIDE AFFECTS THE DNA REPAIR MECHANISM Epidemiological evidence shows that fluoride causes cancer. It does this in several ways. It can actually cause the original lesion. In each one of our cells we have genetic material called DNA, and this DNA is double stranded, it has a helix shape and these two strands of DNA are held together by semi strong bonds called hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonds also hold proteins together. Fluoride goes in and breaks those hydrogen bonds, and consequently destabilizes DNA. It can't cause a lesion in the DNA itself, but if it is in a site of the cell that regulates cell growth, it will cause uncontrolled cell growth. A few minor modifications will give you first a tumour, and secondly an invasive tumour or cancer. So fluoride has the ability to actually cause the cancer. We have a marvelous system of repair and rejuvenation. Even if we go out in the sun, even if we have a lesion by fluoride itself, we have what is called a DNA repair enzyme system. So any lesion caused by the sun or ultra-violet light will be repaired. The DNA repair enzyme system will cut off the ends and use the complementary strand to repair itself and make intact genetic material. The unfortunate thing is that one part per million fluoride, the amount of fluoride that they use in the public water system, depresses the DNA repair system by 50%. So they have attacked us on the first defense of damage to our genetic material. Since people can get cancer from so many different causes, fluoride is just increasing our chances of getting cancer.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM Even if the cancer cell starts dividing and invading surrounding tissues, if our immune system is strong enough, it will kill those cancer cells without any remedies, without chemotherapy, without anything and will destroy the occasional cancer that maybe all of us have had at one time or another. Once in a while cancer breaks through when the immune system is low or the DNA repair enzyme system is down, and we will get cancer. Fluoride causes the lesion; it inhibits the DNA repair enzyme, and then inhibits our immune system by 30 to 70%. And that occurs at only one part per million. How does it do that? Our immune system is composed of white blood cells including phagocyte cells that are carried in the blood system. If there is an infection or cancer or some foreign agent, these phagocytes will go to that area and start engulfing and destroying this bad agent whether it is a cancer cell or a bacterium or virus. It engulfs it in a little pocket called a lysosome which squirts enzymes and breaks down the bad agent into little pieces. They have other things called peroxisomes which burn that agent with free radicals and either destroy it or use it for building new and healthy cells. These phagocytes will actually eat up bacteria or viruses, and toxic substances are just thrown off. Studies from the University of Glasgow show that fluoride inhibits these white blood cells. Fluoride at levels below one part per million causes a chronic release of these free radicals from the white blood cell out into the blood stream where it starts slowly damaging your body by increasing free radicals. This is one of the reasons why we call fluoride the ageing factor.
NON-FLUORIDATED WATER Industrial quality reverse osmosis water brings the total dissolved solids down to less that one part per million for all the pollutants that might be in there. Distilled water will remove 99% of the fluoride all of the time. I also recommend a pre-charcoal filter on a distiller to remove volatiles so that you are not getting noxious gases in your home. These are worse when you inhale them than when you drink them, because they go right into your blood stream and into your lungs. You can buy your water at the supermarket, but quite frankly you don't know what the quality of the water is. You must take care that the fluoride concentration is less than 0.2 ppm. Some spring waters like Vichy (which contains 8 ppm) are notoriously high in fluoride. Avoid beverages such as soft drinks, beer and fruit juices from concentrate that have been bottled in fluoridated areas. Teas, even brewed in fluoride-free water will contain about 1.2 to 2.4 ppm fluoride. Some people drink 8 to 15 cups of tea a day, and these amounts are large enough to cause dental fluorosis and other harmful effects.
MINERALS IN WATER If you want to get minerals, you must get them in the proper balanced ratio. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals must be in a ratio that is acceptable to a living organism. Get your minerals from healthy living organisms like vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, and if you are not a vegetarian, like meats, bones or bonemeal. Beet greens are at the top of the list as a mineral supplement. I don't recommend milk or dairy as a calcium source; cow's milk has a very different constitution than human milk.
DETOXIFICATION If you stop taking fluoride, your body will get rid of it eventually. The fluoride that gets stuck in your bones gets stuck there for life pretty much, but that is not necessarily bad. Where fluoride has adverse effects is in the soft tissues. If you take over 200 mg of vitamin C per day that is all you really need for removing fluoride. In three to six months you should have about 99% of it out which is good enough.
GOOD DIET, NOT FLUORIDE, IS NECESSARY FOR HEALTHY TEETH Many primitive societies whose drinking water contains negligible amounts of fluoride go through life without tooth decay because they eat very little sugar and other refined carbohydrates.
DOES FLUORIDE REDUCE TOOTH DECAY? Numerous attempts have been made to show that the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water systems reduces tooth decay under laboratory conditions. Still no laboratory study has ever shown that this amount of fluoride is effective in reducing tooth decay. Further, there are no epidemiological studies on humans showing that fluoridation reduces tooth decay that meet the minimum requirements of scientific objectivity such as the double blind design.
Exercise Grows New Brain Cells
By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 28 June 2007 12:25 pm ET
Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells, a new study on rats finds. The new cells could be the key to why working out relieves depression.
Previous research showed physical exercise can have antidepressant effects, but until now scientists didn’t fully understand how it worked.
Astrid Bjornebekk of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and her colleagues studied rats that had been genetically tweaked to show depressive behaviors, plus a second group of control rats. For 30 days, some of the rats had free access to running wheels and others did not.
Then, to figure out if running turned the down-and-out rats into happy campers, the scientists used a standard “swim test.” They measured the amount of time the rats spent immobile in the water and the time they spent swimming around in active mode. When depressed, rats spend most of the time not moving.
“In the depressed rats, running had an antidepressant-like effect after running for 30 days,” Bjornebekk told LiveScience. The once-slothful rodents spent much more time in active swimming compared with the non-running depressed rats.
The researchers also examined the hippocampus region of the brain, involved in learning and memory. Neurons there increased dramatically in the depressed rats after wheel-running.
Past studies have found that the human brain’s hippocampus shrinks in depressed individuals, a phenomenon thought to cause some of the mental problems often linked with depression.
“The hippocampus formation is one of the regions they have actually seen structural changes in depressed patients,” Bjornebekk said.
Running had a similar effect as common antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on lifting depression.
The research is published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Friday, July 01, 2005
In case you didn't know it, the White House since 9/11 has called for spending $44-billion on biological warfare research, a sum unprecedented in world history, and an obliging Congress has authorized it. Thus, some of the deadliest pathogens known to humankind are being rekindled in hundreds of labs in pharmaceutical houses, university biology departments, and on military bases. An international convention the U.S. signed forbids it to stockpile, manufacture or use biological weapons. But if the U.S. won't say what's going down in those laboratories other countries are going to assume the worst and a biowarfare arms race will be on, if it isn't already. Sunshine says failure to disclose operations also puts corporate employees involved in this work at risk. Only 8,500, or 16%, of the 52,000 workers employed at the top 20 U.S. biotech firms work at an NIH guidelines-compliant company, Sunshine says.
Francis Boyle, an international law authority at the University of Illinois, Champaign, says pursuant to national strategy directives adopted by Bush in 2002, the Pentagon "is now gearing up to fight and 'win' biological warfare without prior public knowledge and review." Boyle said the Pentagon's Chemical and Biological Defense Program was revised in 2003 to endorse "first-use" strike in war. Boyle said the program includes Red Teaming, which he described as "plotting, planning, and scheming how to use biowarfare."
Besides the big pharmaceutical houses, the biowarfare buildup is getting an enthusiastic response from academia, which sees new funds flowing from Washington's horn of plenty. "American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agenda, researchers, institutes and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA," Boyle says. What's more, the Bush administration is pouring billions in biowarfare research while some very real killers, such as influenza, are not being cured.In 2006, the NIH got $120 million to combat influenza, which kills about 36,000 Americans annually but it got $1.76 billion for biodefense, much of it spent to research anthrax. How many people has anthrax killed lately? Well, let's see, there were those five people killed in the mysterious attacks on Congress of October, 2001 --- attacks that suspiciously emanated from a government laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md.
n a recent finding elevated ozone levels were associated with spikes in the number of deaths in 95 areas around the country. People ages 65 to 74 had a slightly higher risk of death from pollution than younger people. Self-defense: Check pollution forecasts at www.epa.gov/airnow. On days with high ozone concentrations, avoid congested streets, where car emissions cause ozone buildup, and don't exercise outside.