Uncategorized, Health and Disease, Foods, Diets and Weight Loss

3 Foods to Throw Away If You Want to Lose Weight

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

3 Foods to Throw Away If You Want to Lose Weight

 

Diet experts often say that you should clean out your pantry, your cupboards, and your refrigerator when you start a new weight loss plan. I completely agree. It’s important to set up your kitchen for success if you’re really serious about slimming down. But often, dieters don’t have the time for a complete kitchen overhaul.

If you are short on time but committed to getting lean and fit, here’s the quick-start plan for kitchen clean-up.

Grab your trash can, open the refrigerator door and dump these three items to decrease your calorie intake and lose weight faster.

1) Salad Dressing

Salad sounds like the perfect diet food. Fill your lunch plate full of healthy veggies and you’ll lose weight, right? Wrong! In many cases, your salad is a diet disaster. And many times, the salad dressing is what adds the most fat and calories. In small amounts, salad dressing isn’t too bad. But when is the last time you measured the amount that you poured on your salad? The calories in salad dressing can ruin your energy balance for the day.  Even fat-free dressings have a downside. Often, these products are full of sugar and still very high in calories. A better option is to add spicy, flavorful ingredients like peppers or radishes to your greens and go dressing-free. Or dress your salad with lemon.

 

2) Flavored Coffee Creamer

If you can’t live without the sweet, milky taste of flavored creamer in your morning coffee, I feel your pain.

I used to be addicted to hazelnut creamer. But I got over it when I realized the health impact it had on my diet. If you read the nutrition facts label, the calorie and fat content of flavored creamer doesn’t look too bad. But when you read between the lines, the story isn’t so pretty. Flavored creamers are one of the most common foods we overeat.

If you multiply your actual portion size times the calorie count per serving, you might be surprised. Think the fat-free creamers are better? Nope. Non-dairy fat free creamers are one of the most common sources of hidden fat. A better option is to learn to make healthier flavored coffee drinks at home.

3) Juice

Again, juice sounds like it should be part of a healthy diet-friendly breakfast. In fact, some dieters make juice the entire meal. But the bottom line is that when you drink fruit juice you are drinking a glass full of sugar. Fresh juice does contain vitamins that are good for you, but why not just eat a whole piece of fruit?  You might be surprised to find that when you compare the calories in an orange to the calories in a glass of orange juice the fruit fares better. And whole food is more satisfying than sipping your calories through a straw.

The one thing that these foods have in common is that many dieters believe they are healthy because they contain a healthy ingredient or because they have a healthy looking label. We often overeat foods that carry that “health halo” and we end up consuming excess fat, calories and ingredients that aren’t good for us  Of course, dumping these foods is just the beginning of a full kitchen clean-up, but if you can trash these three things, you’ll be on your way to a healthier diet and a slimmer physique.

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

How to Make Your Own Sunscreen

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

How To Make Your Own Sunscreen

Organic Lifestyle Magazine published an article exposing the ingredients commonly found in sunscreens, even going so far as to say that they have not found any ingredients in conventional sunscreens which they consider safe. Another of the dangers reported is that sunscreens give users a false sense of security by preventing sunburn – while actually doing little or nothing to prevent skin cancer or the accelerated aging of the skin caused by sunlight.

Sunburn usually occurs when the amount of UV rays exceeds the melanin’s ability to protect our skin. It is often characterized by symptoms like tender and red skin as well as blisters. The affected skin areas usually begin to peel a couple of days later. In severe cases, patients may suffer from nausea, chill, fever and rash. Constant exposure to the sun can cause skin damage which ranges from sunburn to cancer. Further research reveals that it may trigger the occurrence of many premature aging symptoms which include wrinkles and leathery appearance of the skin.

Did you know that some pure, natural ingredients have a natural SPF (sun protection factor) of up to 30? It’s true. These natural substances include raspberry seed oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil, wheat germ oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, sesame oil and hemp.

We have discovered an amazing homemade sunscreen recipe that is made using natural ingredients which are known for their SPF properties.

Note that the formula also uses zinc oxide – typically not a natural ingredient. Zinc oxide does occur naturally as the mineral zincite but most of the zinc oxide used in products is produced synthetically. [3] The formula avoids all the other chemicals often found in sunscreens. If you are opposed to the use of zinc oxide (somewhat controversial), you can simply omit it from the recipe but be aware that your safe time of exposure will be reduced.

Ingredients that Naturally Protect Us from the Sun

There are natural ingredients, some may be found in our kitchens, that work to protect us from over exposure to the sun. Many are oils that contain SPF properties such as:

  • Raspberry Seed Oil. The highest of all natural ingredients, contains an estimated SPF of 30-50.
  • Shea Butter. An excellent skin protectant with an SPF of approximately 6-10.
  • Carrot Seed Oil. Carrot seed oil is an essential oil and has been estimated to contain SPF levels of 30.
  • Wheat Germ Oil. While super nourishing for the skin, it too possesses a natural SPF of 20.
  • Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp oil, Avocado oil, Soybean, and Peanut Oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

However, none of these ingredients are necessarily adequate on their own to provide us protection for an all day experience…say, out on the lake.

In order to make your own sunscreen you really should add the natural mineral zinc oxide (and possibly titanium oxide) to your recipe. This will give you real power to reflect the sun’s ray, with minimal negative effects.

 

Ingredients that Naturally Protect Us from the Sun

There are natural ingredients, some may be found in our kitchens, that work to protect us from over exposure to the sun. Many are oils that contain SPF properties such as:

  • Raspberry Seed Oil. The highest of all natural ingredients, contains an estimated SPF of 30-50.
  • Shea Butter. An excellent skin protectant with an SPF of approximately 6-10.
  • Carrot Seed Oil. Carrot seed oil is an essential oil and has been estimated to contain SPF levels of 30.
  • Wheat Germ Oil. While super nourishing for the skin, it too possesses a natural SPF of 20.
  • Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp oil, Avocado oil, Soybean, and Peanut Oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

However, none of these ingredients are necessarily adequate on their own to provide us protection for an all day experience…say, out on the lake.

In order to make your own sunscreen you really should add the natural mineral zinc oxide (and possibly titanium oxide) to your recipe. This will give you real power to reflect the sun’s ray, with minimal negative effects.

Method

The Recipe

Ingredients
Customize this recipe based on your budget and what you have available.

-1 ounce oil blend (use any combination of the oils listed above)
-1 ounce beeswax (adds waterproof properties)
-1 ounce butter blend (i.e. Shea butter, mango butter, or cocoa butter)
-1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
-0.36 ounces zinc oxide powder
-30 drops essential oils, optional

1. Gather ingredients and kitchen tools. Note: Many of the oils listed above can be found in the grocery store or health food store.

2. In a double boiler, over low heat, melt the oils, beeswax, and butters.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly prior to adding the vitamin E oil, zinc oxide powder, and essential oils. Note: Wear a mask when working with zinc oxide. Although it has not been proven harmful when used topically, inhaling the substance can be dangerous.

4. Stir until zinc oxide is dissolved.

5. Pour into a push-up or roll-up dispenser. This recipe will produce a product similar to a lotion bar or sunscreen stick. You could easily clean out and re-purpose a used deodorant or lip balm container.

6. Allow to cool and harden on the counter overnight and then you’re good to go! During times of heavy sun and swim exposure be sure to reapply often for the best coverage.

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Ingredients for Recipe Two

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup sweet almond oil

  • 2 TB shea butter
  • 1/4 cup beeswax pellets
  • 4 TB zinc powder non-nano
  • 20-25 drops carrot seed essential oil

Instructions

  1. On the stove-top, add 1 cup of water to a small saucepan. Place a heat-resistant glass bowl on top of the saucepan. Bring the water in the saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. This creates a homemade double broiler to keep ingredients from over-heating.
  2. In the glass bowl add: coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Melt the ingredients, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat, add to the coconut oil mixture: almond oil, carrot seed oil, and zinc powder. Stir.
  4. Once removed from the heat the beeswax will begin to set

The sunscreen will solidify after about five minutes. The final result will be a spreadable lotion

 

 

-Beneficial, sun protecting essential oils include lavender, myrrh, carrot seed oil, and peppermint.

Along with homemade sunscreen I also include foods in our summer diet which aid in sun protection, such as: dark leafy greens, berries, carrots, egg yolks, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

 

Don’t shun the sun completely! Our fear of the sun has precipitated a societal vitamin D deficiency that is unfortunately taking us by storm — potentially producing an increase rate of cancers, autism, asthma, heart disease, and mental illness, just to name a few.

 

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Dr Gail Gray DPH

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

ShamanicViewMentalIllnessFeature-720x377

 

Looking Through a Different Lens

I am reprinting this from an email I received from Malidoma Some, a West African Shaman whom I’ve had the privilege to meet, drive around Boulder with, and work for. Since I am going through what I believe to be a spiritual emergence, I am reading a lot on the topic. I want to continue to educate others. That what we sometimes call depression, bi-polar, psychosis, schizophrenia, might actually be a significant transformation in consciousness and a necessary stage on the path of human development. While this is a long article it’s well worth the read for those interested in the subject. Particularly if you have suffered from a mental illness or treat those with a mental illness. You might also like to read this short post Beyond Medication, Holistic Psychiatry.

 

What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

 

What those in the west view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. Dr. Somé comments:

“Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field”

Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field.

These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

 

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study, was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to ‘nervous depression,’ Dr. Somé went to visit him.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village. “

What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself:

“So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the west are not trained in how to deal with, or even taught to acknowledge, the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for, and assistance, in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

 

In the mental ward, Dr. Somé saw a lot of ‘beings’ hanging around the patients, ‘entities’ that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see. “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says. It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process. “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people. They were really fierce about that. The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said. He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

 

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–“the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with the information and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains.

 

“More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world. The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted. The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

Drugs.jpg

Medication only compounds the problem and prevents the integration of the spirit.

 

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé.

“Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention. They have to try harder.”

The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized. “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as over sensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive . In the west, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

Schizophrenia and Foreign Energy

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé.

 

“When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy”

 

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a ‘sweep’) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura. With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world, and give birth to the healer. The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems. “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes.

 

“When it is blocked, it just burns up the person. It’s like a short-circuit. Fuses are blowing. This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people. Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket. That’s a sad image.”

 

Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, ‘fuses’ aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing. There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura. In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies.

 

Alex: Crazy in the USA, Healer in Africa

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in Indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village. He says:

“I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world”

 

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14. He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression. He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping. “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé. “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa. “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal,” Dr. Somé reports. “He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients… He spent about four years in my village.” Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing. He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people. “He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied. But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé. The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world. Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point). The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology. He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard. No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about: “He was reaching out. It was an emergency call. His job and his purpose was to be a healer. He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the west as in his community in Africa.

 

“Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer. There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.”

 

Dr. Malidoma Patrice Somé.

Dr. Malidoma Patrice Somé.

Longing for Spiritual Connection

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental”  disorders in the west is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.” His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is. In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.”  What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.” Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because:

“Most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past. You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it”

 

The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting. “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension. Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.” They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the ‘mountain energy’ are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them. They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual  and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them. “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé.

 

“They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

 

When it is the ‘river energy,’ those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says. That’s not usually the case. Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

HoldingRock

Simply connecting with a mountain or river spirit through an artifact helps us align.

 

A Sacred Ritual Approach to Mental Illness

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking. “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating. From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community.

“To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement. We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the west, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture. Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are “called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.” Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation. In Indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age. The lack of such initiation in the west is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé. He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals… It might be the issues of anger  and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains.

“If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process ‘trigger enlightenment’ in participants. These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors. Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be “ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” Dr. Somé says.

 

“The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors. If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy  will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.”

 

The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past. Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness, rather than regarding the person as a pathological case, gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states Dr. Somé.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Toxic Weed Killer Found in Most Foods Sold in the US

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

menmeeting

Toxic Weed Killer Found in Most Foods Sold in the US

 

Earlier this year, researchers from University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported there’s been a dramatic increase in glyphosate exposure in recent decades and, subsequently, the level found in people’s bodies.1 As one would expect, the introduction of so-called “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered (GE) crops led to a massive increase in the use of Roundup, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate.

 

Glyphosate has also become a popular tool for desiccating non-GE grains, legumes and beans, which has further spurred the use of the chemical. Between 1974 — the year glyphosate entered the U.S. market — and 2014, glyphosate use in the U.S. increased more than 250fold.2,3 Globally, glyphosate use has risen nearly fifteenfold since 1996, two years after the first GE crops hit the market.

 

Farmers now apply nearly 5 billion pounds (over 2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate to farm crops each year, worldwide.4 Approximately 300 million pounds are applied on U.S. farmland. According to the researchers, few people had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine in 1993 when the study began.5 By 2016, 70 percent had detectable levels.6 Overall, between 1993 and 2016, the glyphosate levels in people’s bodies increased by 1,208 percent.

 

Food Testing Reveals Widespread Glyphosate Contamination

While Monsanto still argues that Roundup (and glyphosate in general) is perfectly safe, mounting research tells a very different story, which is why it’s becoming increasingly crucial to assess just how much glyphosate is in our food. Unfortunately, while both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) measure pesticide residues in foods, neither of them includes glyphosate in their official testing.

 

The USDA promised to begin glyphosate testing in 2017, yet mere days before the testing was scheduled to begin, the plan was called off. The reason has never been disclosed. The only time the USDA tested for glyphosate was in 2011, when 300 soybean samples were tested and all were found to be contaminated.

 

Meanwhile, the FDA began a limited testing program for glyphosate in 2016, in which high levels of glyphosate was found in oatmeal products and honey, but the agency did not release the results publicly. Now, internal FDA emails obtained by investigative journalist Carey Gillam7 through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal Roundup has been found in virtually all foods tested, including granola and crackers. Gillam writes:

 

“[T]he internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide. ‘I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,’ FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote to colleagues in an email last year regarding glyphosate … broccoli was the only food he had ‘on hand’ that he found to be glyphosate-free …

 

Separately, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found ‘over-the-tolerance’ levels of glyphosate in corn, detected at 6.5 parts per million [ppm], an FDA email states. The legal limit is 5.0 ppm. An illegal level would normally be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but an FDA supervisor wrote to an EPA official that the corn was not considered an ‘official sample.’”

 

Independent Testing Also Highlights Massive Glyphosate Problem

The Health Research Institute Labs (HRI Labs) is an independent laboratory that tests both micronutrients and toxins found in food, and is often hired to test foods claiming to be non-GMO, “all natural” and/or organic. One of the toxins HRI Labs is currently focusing on is glyphosate, and the public testing being offered (see below) allows them to compile data on the pervasiveness of this chemical in the food supply.

 

HRI was recently tasked with testing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which was also found to contain glyphosate. The samples were provided by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Regeneration Vermont, which are concerned about the environmental impact Ben & Jerry’s dairy producers are having in Vermont. Using sensitive state-of-the-art testing equipment to look at the quality of the ingredients, 10 of the 11 ice cream samples were found to contain substantial levels of glyphosate.

 

HRI Labs has investigated a number of other foods as well, including grains, legumes and beans. Most if not all of these types of crops need to dry in the field before being harvested, and to speed that process, the fields are doused with glyphosate a couple of weeks before harvest. As a result of this practice, called desiccation, grain-based products, legumes and beans contain rather substantial amounts of glyphosate. Quaker Oats, for example, was found to contain very high levels.

 

Orange juice also contains surprising amounts of glyphosate. As it turns out, weeds in orange groves are managed by spraying glyphosate, which ends up in the oranges as the roots of the orange trees pick it up through the soil. A similar situation is occurring in vineyards, which is why many wines are contaminated.

 

HRI Labs has also analyzed more than 1,200 urine samples from U.S. residents. This testing is being done as part of a research project that will provide valuable information about the presence of glyphosate in the diet and how lifestyle and location affects people’s exposure to agrochemicals. Here are some of their findings to date:

 

76 percent of people tested have some level of glyphosate in their system

Men typically have higher levels than women

People who eat oats on a regular basis have twice as much glyphosate in their system as people who don’t (likely because oats are desiccated with glyphosate before harvest)

People who eat organic food on a regular basis have an 80 percent lower level of glyphosate than those who rarely eat organic. This indicates organic products are a safer choice

People who eat five or more servings of vegetables per day have glyphosate levels that are 50 percent lower than those who eat fewer vegetables

How Is Glyphosate Affecting Human Health?

Glyphosate mimics glycine (hence the “gly” in glyphosate), a very common amino acid your body uses to make proteins. As a result, your body can substitute glyphosate for glycine, which results in damaged proteins being produced. According to research published in the journal Entropy in 2013, the main toxic effects of glyphosate are related to the fact that it:8,9

 

Inhibits the shikimate pathway, found in gut bacteria in both humans and animals

Interferes with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes, required for activation of vitamin D in the liver, and the creation of both nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate, the latter of which is needed for red blood cell integrity

Chelates important minerals, including iron, cobalt and manganese. Manganese deficiency, in turn, impairs mitochondrial function and can lead to glutamate toxicity in the brain

Interferes with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, which results in shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate

Disrupts sulfate synthesis and sulfate transport

Glyphosate also disrupts, destroys, impairs or inhibits:10

 

The microbiome, thanks to its antibiotic activity

Sulfur metabolism

Methylation pathways

Pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism

The chemical has also been linked to certain cancers. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization, reclassified glyphosate as a Class 2A probable carcinogen11 based on “limited evidence” showing the weed killer can cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” linking it to cancer in animals.

 

Since then, more than 3,500 individuals have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, claiming the weed killer caused their Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Many of the cases in this multidistrict litigation are being handled in federal court in San Francisco under one judge. Internal documents obtained during discovery have been released by plaintiff attorneys, and have become known as “The Monsanto Papers.”

 

Disturbingly, some of this evidence reveals the EPA has protected the company’s interests by manipulating and preventing key investigations into glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential.

 

According to toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Services, even minor exposure could have a detrimental effect on human health. “Even with low levels of pesticides, we’re exposed to so many, and we don’t count the fact that we have cumulative exposures,” she told Gillam.

 

Monsanto Sued for Misleading Consumers

In addition to the lawsuits against Monsanto over Roundup’s cancer-causing effects, the company is also being sued for false and misleading labeling.12 The lawsuit, which accuses Monsanto of falsely claiming glyphosate “targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets” on the Roundup label was filed in April 2017 by the OCA and Beyond Pesticides.

 

As noted above, glyphosate affects the shikimate pathway, which is involved in the synthesis of the essential aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. While the shikimate pathway is absent in human and animal cells, this pathway is present in the gut bacteria of mammals, including humans.

 

So, by way of your gut bacteria, it still wields a significant influence on human health. Aside from a probable cancer link, Roundup’s effect on gut bacteria also suggests the chemical may play a significant role in digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases and many other chronic health problems.

 

Monsanto filed a motion to have the case dismissed, saying the label is accurate because “the enzyme targeted is not produced by the human body or found in human cells,” but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected the motion.

 

In his May 1 ruling, Kelly stated “The court concludes that Plaintiffs have adequately pleaded a claim that the statement at issue was false or misleading,” and that “defendants cannot dispute that the label’s statement that the enzyme at issue is ‘found in plants, but not in people’ is, at least on one reading, literally false.”

 

How Much Glyphosate Do You Have in Your Body?

According to Gillam, the FDA should publish its glyphosate test results sometime toward the end of this year, or early 2019. Time will tell whether this actually happens or not. The good news is you no longer need to rely on the government when it comes to glyphosate testing. You can test your own levels, thereby assessing your own individual exposure. As mentioned earlier, HRI Labs has developed home test kits for both water and urine.

 

If your levels are high, you would be wise to address your diet and consider buying more organic foods. You may also want to consider some form of detoxification protocol, and take steps to repair the damage to your gut caused by glyphosate and other agrochemicals. Chances are, if your glyphosate levels are high, you probably have a number of other pesticides in your system as well.

 

Fermented foods, particularly kimchi, are potent chelators of these kinds of chemicals. Taking activated charcoal after a questionable meal can help bind and excrete chemicals as well. Remember to stay well-hydrated to facilitate the removal of toxins through your liver, kidneys and skin.

 

Using a sauna on a regular basis is also recommended to help eliminate both pesticides and heavy metals you may have accumulated.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Mercola

312-972-9355

Healthwellnessassocaites@gmail.com

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Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Do Not Take a One-A-Day-Vitamin

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Why One-A-Day Vitamins are Not The Healthy Way To go

pills (1) 

If you’re currently taking or considering taking a multivitamin with a recommended serving size of only one pill a day, you’re pretty much wasting your time.

 

Why?

 

It’s very doubtful can pack enough vitamins and minerals to truly make any real difference in complementing your healthy diet.

 

Producers of multivitamins have come up with some pretty amazing ways to compress ingredients, but not to this extreme… not down to where a single tablet provides you the vitamin and mineral levels you need on a daily basis.

 

And speaking of minerals, many producers of one-per-day vitamins don’t even bother including essential minerals like potassium or magnesium in adequate enough amounts to really make a difference.

 

What about other nutrients from sources like vegetables, fruits and herbs? Shouldn’t they be blended into your multi as well? I certainly think so.

 

But it’s also vitally important to know when to take your multivitamin. To maximize your multivitamin’s benefits, you should take a few tablets first thing in the morning and with lunch, or with an early dinner to help optimize your nutrient absorption.

 

Before we jump further into all the nutrients I believe should go into a multi, let’s first take a closer look at why all multivitamins are not created equal.

 

Some may in fact have little impact on your health. So remember, you must be very cautious when choosing a product to ensure that your multivitamin really benefits you.

Why You Should Avoid Synthetic Forms of Certain Vitamins Like the Plague…

 

In my opinion, if you shop for your supplements at discount stores, you may be seriously shortchanging yourself because many of those products typically use cheap synthetic isolate forms for certain important vitamins.

 

Instead of seeking a good multivitamin, millions of people take certain forms of vitamins, which may do less to support their optimal health.

 

You see, certain synthetic forms of vitamins are partial vitamins, combined with other chemicals. They’re completely different than vitamins from whole, real food.

 

When you remove a part from the whole, you get “synthetic,” “isolated” or “fractionated” pieces of the whole, but it’s simply not the same.

 

Here are four major problems with these kinds of vitamins…

 

Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health.

Your body only absorbs a percentage of some forms of vitamins and minerals – and it utilizes even less. You get the best bioavailability in combination whole food form.

Certain synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others.

You may experience side effects of certain synthetic vitamins because the form of the vitamin is not the natural form.

You’ve heard me say it before… Fast food and a sedentary lifestyle can be a disaster for your health. Don’t let your multivitamin add to the collateral damage.

 

In fact, you want to be sure your multivitamin benefits you and offers a real and significant contribution to your health, especially if you’ve already adopted healthy lifestyle practices.

Many people who suffer from allergies can not take some vitamins and minerals, and then they can not take some brands.  Especially children!

 

Who Doesn’t Want to Feel Great All the Time?

 

One thing you can do to optimize your health and feel great is to maximize your immune system’s capabilities.

 

Because face it – everybody wants to feel good all the time, don’t they?

 

Now is the time to start moving toward a healthier diet and lifestyle. Start today, by adding just one raw vegetable per day to your diet… a small, doable step toward your better health.

 

Why make these changes today?

 

Because, ideally, it is best to receive all your nutrition from high-quality unprocessed foods. In fact, before focusing on finding a good multivitamin, I highly recommend first evaluating your diet and your lifestyle.

 

If you are eating a wholesome diet composed of raw fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and raw dairy from reliable sources, then you may have less need for a multivitamin.

 

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you may find it impractical or impossible to eat right all the time.

 

Therefore, even when you take the steps of adding raw veggies to your diet, getting some exercise and obtaining vitamin D from sunshine, you still might want to supplement with a high-quality multivitamin every day – just to be sure you’re getting well-balanced and optimal nutrition.

 

Plus, even if you do well with your diet choices, there is another important factor that involves the actual food supply itself…

 

Up to 50% of the Nutrient Value of Your Food May Be Lost From the Start

 

A number of carefully controlled studies have provided startling evidence that by the time food reaches your table, serious nutrient content could already be lost.

 

Some estimates report the nutrient value lost at over 50%!

 

This is largely the result of conventional farming methods that rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which deplete the soil of nutrients… nutrients that must be absorbed by plants in order to be passed on to you.

 

And it does not necessarily end there.

 

In many cases, it’s likely you unknowingly further deplete the nutrients in your food – just by the way you prepare it. For many foods, cooking will seriously impair the nutritional value.

 

So, realizing that you cannot always obtain the whole unprocessed foods you need – and knowing how easy it is for valuable nutrients to be destroyed – you now know why I believe adding a good multivitamin to complement your diet is a sound move.

 

What Can a High-Quality Multivitamin Do for You?

 

While I cannot endorse taking a supplement in place of living a healthy lifestyle, it is true that a good multivitamin benefits your optimal health.

 

A high-quality multivitamin helps promote your strong immune system, building up your body’s defenses.*

 

If you need help if adding the correct vitamins and minerals to your personal healthcare plan, contact us and we will be happy to go over this with you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Gemma Carney FACP

312-972-WELL

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes Linked

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes Linked

 

New research links lack of sleep with heightened risk for type 2 diabetes in youth

 lackofsleep

A new review of scientific literature on the importance of sleep in youth suggests that a lack of sleep can lead to decreased appetite control and body weight regulation, all of which can raise risks for the development of type 2 diabetes.

 

The largest decline in sleep duration and poor sleep quality over the past decades has been seen in children and adolescents, a trend that earlier studies say may contribute to weight gain, increased risks for cardiovascular disease and poor mental health.

 

This new review of evidence, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has looked at 23 studies on the topic of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and sleep variables to try and elucidate the mechanisms that may explain the association between the two.

 

Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, in Canada, reviewed studies that not only assessed risks from inadequate sleep, described as sleeping less than six hours per night – a two-hour or so sleep deficit compared to standard advice for children – but also sleep architecture.

 

A healthy sleep architecture refers to having the right number of restorative sleep cycles and rapid eye movement phases to feel sufficiently well-rested. An out of whack sleep architecture has been associated in past studies with insulin resistance.

 

In terms of sleep duration, researchers have found that the lowest risk for type 2 diabetes is observed, similar to the figure given for adults, at a minimum sleep duration of seven to eight hours per day.

 

Drawing from the findings of the different studies evaluated, they have identified a number of mechanisms by which the lack of sleep can elevate risks for type 2 diabetes among children.

 

One of them, perhaps the most prominent one, is the increased exposure to the stress hormone cortisol due to short sleep duration. This may contribute to the accumulation of visceral fat and subsequent increased insulin resistance.

 

The reason for this is that the authors also noted that the association between sleep quality and insulin resistance was not independent of the level of adiposity – the increase in the number of fat cells.

 

There may also be another phenomenon implicated that has to do with the nervous system which, in response to the stress of not sleeping, negatively influences the hormone leptin.

 

While we sleep, leptin usually rise to control appetite. However, when sleep is restricted, leptin gets inhibited. The inhibition of leptin leads to an increase in hunger and a decrease in satiety. These effects can translate into progressive weight gain.

 

Sleep is a modifiable lifestyle habit associated with the prevention of type 2 diabetes. One randomised trial that was part of the review conducted among children aged 8 to 11 years showed that increasing sleep duration by just 1.5 hour per night over a week resulted in lower food intake and lower body weight.

 

Although more studies are needed to shed light on the mechanisms linking insufficient sleep with type 2 diabetes risk, there’s no possible risk in children and teens improving their sleep and getting enough of it on a regular schedule each night.

 

If you need help, have concerns or just want a healthcare plan for YOU, then contact us and we will help you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. Mark Williams DPsych

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessASsociates@gmail.com

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Salmonella Poisoning Alert, the Worst Chicken You Can Eat

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

salmonella

 

Salmonella Poisoning Alert, the Worst Chicken You Can Eat

 

 

 

50-Year Cover-Up Killing Millions

Antibiotic-resistant infections affect 2 million Americans annually, leading to the death of at least 23,000.1 Even more die from complications related to the infections, and the numbers are steadily growing.

According to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), just one organism — methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA — kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide.2

A 2017 report3,4 commissioned by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron estimates that by 2050, the annual global death toll from antibiotic-resistant disease will reach 10 million, and the global cost for treatment will be around $100 trillion.

Experts have been warning about the implications of antibiotic resistance for years, but as their warnings have largely been ignored, the number of strains developing resistance to even our strongest antibiotics has been allowed to grow unabated.

While overuse of antibiotics in medicine and widespread use of antibacterial household products (items containing triclosan5) are part of the problem, the inappropriate use of antibiotics in farming bears the heaviest responsibility for creating the antibiotic-resistant superbug crisis of today.

An estimated 80 percent of total antibiotic sales in the U.S. end up in livestock. For example, commercial chicken producers have a history of treating each egg with gentamicin, an antibiotic listed as “essential” to human medicine. One chicken producer has seen the light though, and has abandoned this risky practice.

 

 

 

Perdue Proves Meat Production Can Prosper Without Drugs

 

Perdue Farms no longer uses gentamicin. In fact, according to a recent report by Mother Jones,6 the only antibiotic remaining in use at Perdue is narasin, an antibiotic not used in human medicine, and only about one-third of its chickens ever get it. (It’s used to treat a parasitic intestinal condition called coccidiosis.)

Any other antibiotics are administered to sick birds only (about 4 percent of all birds). According to Mother Jones:

“Perdue … the country’s fourth-largest poultry producer, has set out to show that the meat can be profitably mass-produced without drugs.

In 2014, the company eliminated gentamicin from all its hatcheries, the latest stage of a quiet effort started back in 2002 to cut the routine use of antibiotics from nearly its entire production process.”

Interestingly, Perdue fared the best in a 2010 Consumer Reports test7 checking for the presence of the foodborne pathogens salmonella and campylobacter in commercial chicken meat. Fifty-six percent of Perdue’s chickens were free of both pathogens.

Its main competitors, Tyson and Foster Farms, both had 80 percent of their chickens tested positive for one or both bacteria. Organic store brand chickens had no salmonella at all, but 57 percent still harbored campylobacter.

According to Consumer Reports, “This is the first time since we began testing chicken that one major brand has fared significantly better than others across the board.” Even back then, Perdue’s exemplary success was attributed to its more stringent policies on antibiotics.

 

 

 

Why Use Antibiotics in Food Production?

In food production, antibiotics are used for two purposes: 1) to combat disease brought on by overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, and 2) to promote speedy growth. The growth promoting ability of antibiotics was discovered by American Cyanamid (now part of Pfizer) in the 1950s.

It revolutionized livestock farming, allowing farmers to grow bigger chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows faster, without having to feed them more.

The main problem with using antibiotics in food production is that when microbes are exposed to repeated low doses of antibiotics, they quickly develop resistance. This possibility was highlighted by biologist Dr. Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin.

He noted that unless all of the microbes are killed, remaining survivors pass their resistant genes on to the next generation of bacteria, and so resistance becomes stronger and stronger, until the bacteria becomes completely impervious to the effects of the drug. As noted in the featured article:8

 

“When you treat thousands of chickens in a huge enclosed barn with, say, steady doses of tetracycline, you risk generating an E. coli bug that can resist the antibiotic you threw at it, and that bug’s new superpowers can also jump to a strain of salmonella that happens to be hanging around.

Now, two nasty pathogens that plague humans have developed tetracycline-resistant strains.”

 

 

 

The 50-Year Cover-Up

 

 

 

In the U.S., use of antibiotics in food animals rose six-fold between 1960 and 1970. It didn’t take long before scientists started warning that this practice had the potential to create a public health crisis.

By the end of the 1960s, British scientists found that feeding antibiotics to animals produced resistant bacteria that could be transmitted to humans. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) taskforce came to a similar conclusion in 1972.

At that time, the FDA stipulated that drug manufacturers had to prove their products did not contribute to resistance or risk losing their drug approval. So, the drug industry set out to prove antibiotics in animal feed would not pose such problems.

As reported by Mother Jones, rather than settle the question, their efforts resulted in a 50-year long cover-up of the facts:

“[T]he Animal Health Institute, a trade group of animal-pharmaceutical manufacturers, contacted Dr. Stuart Levy, a young Tufts University researcher who specialized in antibiotic resistance.

The group wanted Levy to feed tiny, daily doses of antibiotics to chickens and see if the bacteria in their guts developed resistance … Levy found a family farm near Boston and experimented on two flocks of chickens.

One got feed with small amounts of tetracycline. The other went drug-free. Within 48 hours, strains of E. coli that were resistant to tetracycline started to show up in the manure of the birds fed drugs.

Within a week, nearly all the E. coli in those birds’ manure could resist tetracycline. Within three months, the E. coli showed resistance to four additional anti­biotics the birds had never been exposed to: sulfonamides, ampicillin, streptomycin, and carbenicillin.

Most striking of all, researchers found that E. coli resistant to multiple antibiotics was appearing in the feces of the farmers’ family members — yet not in a control group of neighbors.

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were so stunningly clear that Levy thought they would prompt the industry to rethink its profligate antibiotic use, or at least inspire the FDA to rein it in. But the industry rebuffed the study it had bankrolled, questioning the validity of the data …

In 1977, the FDA proposed new rules that would have effectively banned tetracycline and penicillin from animal feed, but the House agriculture appropriations subcommittee, led by agribusiness champion Rep. Jamie Whitten (D-Miss.), ordered the FDA to wait, ‘pending the outcome of further research.’”

 

 

 

FDA Complicit in the Antibiotic Cover-Up

An internal FDA review on the safety of feed additives belonging to penicillin and tetracycline classes of antibiotics, which began in 2001 and ended in 2010, revealed that 26 of the 30 drugs under review did not meet the safety guidelines set in 1973, and none of them met current safety guidelines.

However, this information only came to light after the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FDA to obtain the documentation. The FDA is supposed to look at three factors when determining the safety of an antibiotic-based feed additive:

 

Are antibiotic-resistant bacteria being introduced into the food supply?

 

Are people likely to be exposed to those bacteria?

The consequences of what happens when people are exposed to those bacteria — would they still be able to get treated with human antibiotics?

Based on these three factors, the NRDC’s report9 concluded that virtually ALL feed additives containing penicillin and tetracycline antibiotics pose a “high risk” to human health and should not be permitted in animal feed, yet about half of the total sales for these two antibiotics are used for that purpose.

The FDA knew this for well over a dozen years, yet did nothing to curtail the unsafe use of these drugs. The NRDC report also found that as far back as the 1970s, when many of the antibiotics now used in feed were being reviewed for FDA approval, 18 of the 30 antibiotics were already considered “high risk” for human health, but were approved for use in animal feed anyway.

Over the years, as warnings about dire human health effects mounted, farmers started using more antibiotics, not less. Between 2009 and 2014, agricultural antibiotic use in the U.S. increased by 23 percent.

Finally, in December 2013, the FDA issued its long overdue guidance on agricultural antibiotics. Alas, it only went so far as to ask drug companies to voluntarily restrict the use of antibiotics that are important in human medicine by excluding growth promotion in animals as a listed use on the drug label.10

The rule goes into effect in January 2017. However, farmers can still use antibiotics for therapeutic purposes, and this loophole allows them to continue feeding their animals antibiotics for growth promotion without actually admitting it, since enforcement is lax at best.

 

 

 

Why Most Commercial Chicks Are Treated With Vaccines and Antibiotics Before Hatching

 

Getting back to Perdue and poultry production, chickens are not just fed antibiotics in their feed. As mentioned earlier, most hatcheries also dose the egg with gentamicin. Why? Mother Jones explains:

“About 40 years ago, a herpes virus called Marek’s disease began to attack chickens, and vets discovered that vaccinating the chicks while they were still in their shells could inoculate them for life. But when you penetrate eggs with a needle … the tiny hole … (allows) bacteria in.

To solve this problem, hatcheries added small amounts of gentamicin to the vaccine … This method was so efficient that, decades later, the hatchery ended up being the trickiest place for Perdue to remove antibiotics from production.

The company gets its eggs from contract breeders, and in the past eggs often arrived covered in bacteria-laden manure. Now Perdue requires its breeders to deliver clean eggs. Perdue also used to mix its Marek’s vaccines in the middle of a less-than-pristine hatchery.

Today the company mixes the drugs under sterile laboratory conditions and injects clean, antibiotic-free vaccines into clean eggs. It took a while, but by March 2014 the company had banished antibiotics from all 16 of its hatcheries.”

 

 

 

How Poultry Vaccine Created a Lethal Supervirus

 

What Mother Jones does not delve into is the story of how this vaccine created a supervirus. As previously reported by PBS,11 vaccinated chickens spread Marek’s disease to unvaccinated birds, and research shows the vaccine actually makes the disease spread faster than it normally would.

Compared to a sick, unvaccinated bird, a vaccinated bird sheds 10,000 times more viruses. Scientists have also found the vaccine made the virus more virulent, with exceptionally rapid lethal consequences for unvaccinated birds, which can catch the virus via contaminated dust.12 According to PBS:

“This is the first time that this virus-boosting phenomenon, known as the imperfect vaccine hypothesis, has been observed experimentally … [T]he vaccine is ‘leaky.’ A leaky vaccine is one that keeps a microbe from doing serious harm to its host, but doesn’t stop the disease from replicating and spreading to another individual …

[T]he results … raise the questions for some human vaccines that are leaky — such as malaria, and … avian influenza, or bird flu … Vaccines for HPV and whooping cough can leak too …

‘Previously, a hot strain was so nasty, it wiped itself out. Now, you keep its host alive with a vaccine, then it can transmit and spread in the world,’ [co-author Andrew] Read said. ‘So it’s got an evolutionary future, which it didn’t have before’ … The vaccination of one group of birds leads to the transmission of a virus so hot that it kills the other birds …

Like Marek’s vaccines, vaccines for avian influenza are leaky. For this reason, they’re banned from agricultural use in the U.S. and Europe. When bird flu breaks out in these western chicken populations, farmers must cull their herds.

However, Southeast Asia uses these leaky vaccines, raising the possibility for virus evolution akin to what’s happened with Marek’s disease. ‘In those situations, they’re creating the conditions where super hot avian influenza could emerge, ‘Read said. ‘Then the issues become what does that mean when it spills over into other flocks, into wildlife or into humans. Avian flu is the setting to watch for evolutionary problems down the line.’”

 

 

 

Probiotics and Oregano Take the Place of Antibiotics at Perdue Farms

 

So what is Perdue using to keep its birds plump and healthy in lieu of antibiotics? The answer is natural remedies like probiotics and oregano. As in humans, by keeping the chickens’ intestines “well-seeded” with healthy bacteria, pathogens are suppressed and immune function is boosted. Certain strains of probiotics (which Perdue guards as a trade secret) have also been shown to boost the chickens’ growth rate. Moreover, as noted by Mother Jones:

“After Perdue bought an organic chicken company called Coleman Natural Foods in 2011, it adopted another unorthodox therapy: oregano. The fragrant herb … has anti­microbial properties that, when added to feed, help the birds stave off infections. But, I ask Stewart-Brown, won’t bad microbes develop resistance to oregano, too? Likely yes, he says, so Perdue only uses oregano to prevent particular infections, not as a constant additive.

Moving away from antibiotics, Stewart- Brown says, has forced him to think about the birds’ overall well-being … Perdue even turns off the lights in the chicken houses for four hours a night so the birds can rest. In the past, lights were left on 24 hours per day on the theory that chickens kept awake eat more and thus get fatter faster.

Reducing stress by letting the birds rest … makes them healthier — and since healthy birds grow faster, the extra sleep has the same effect as constant feeding.”13

Another alternative warranting further investigation would be colloidal silver, which has a history of use that stretches back thousands of years. As noted in a 2013 study,14 which assessed silver’s ability to reduce or prevent post-surgical infections, its bactericidal activity is well established. Researchers have also demonstrated that silver makes antibiotics thousands of times more effective!15

 

Know This: Your Actions Make a Big Difference!

Why did Perdue make all of these changes when regulations don’t require them to do so? Turns out Perdue listens to consumers. Starting in 2002, the company started noticing an increase in queries about its use of antibiotics. According to Perdue, “You can drown them with science to suggest they shouldn’t be worried, but the worry is real.”

A few years earlier, in 1998, the company began an experiment to evaluate the impact of antibiotics on growth. Three years later, the results were in, and they were not favorable for the continued use of the drugs. Nearly 7,000 chickens raised on 19 farms were included in the trial.

Half were given growth promoting antibiotics, and the other half got none. Before slaughter, each bird was weighed. The difference was minuscule. Antibiotic-free birds weighed on average a mere 0.03 to 0.04 pounds less than the antibiotic-fed chickens. That doesn’t amount to much when you consider an average chicken weighs between five and six pounds.

The results proved you can eliminate the drugs without harming profitability, and armed with this knowledge, Perdue decided to address people’s concerns by moving the operation away from antibiotics. Interestingly, a 2015 scientific review found that antibiotics don’t promote growth the way they used to.

Before 1980, antibiotics boosted growth by about 15 percent. By 2000, that effect had dropped to 1 percent. The reason for this has been attributed to improved nutrition and hygiene, and better breeding methods. All in all, it seems clear that use of antibiotics — at least in chicken farming — has virtually NO benefits anymore over and beyond the occasional use to treat a sick animal.

Perdue’s actions are a perfect example of what happens when enough people take the time to share their views and concerns with food companies. Your actions made the difference here, and it’s important to recognize this fact. Even if you don’t contact a company directly, each time you buy a product you vote with your pocket book, and your choices drive the food system. So be conscious of the system you choose to buy into.

Tell Sanderson Farms and KFC to Follow in Perdue’s Footsteps

Remarkably, despite all the evidence pointing out just how dire the antibiotic-resistant disease situation has become, there are companies out there that still pay it no mind. Sanderson Farms is one of them. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is another16 According to its CEO, Joe Sanderson, Perdue’s shift away from antibiotics is nothing more than a marketing ploy, and one he doesn’t care to imitate. As noted in the featured article:17

“Sanderson … has held to the old-school party line, maintaining that ‘there is no evidence that using these antibiotics for chickens leads to resistant bacteria.’ Cost is the No. 1 decision maker when people go to the grocery store to buy chicken, he says, and using antibiotics remains the cheapest way to produce a lot of meat fast. ‘We believe the majority of chicken sold in grocery stores will continue to be grown with antibiotics,’ he says.”

No, Mr. Sanderson. While cost certainly plays a role, at this point in the game it’s no longer the determining factor. Literally millions of lives are at stake if we do not address the elephant in the room that is agricultural antibiotics. Paying a few pennies more per pound of chicken is a small price to pay for a clean bird, and I’m certainly not the only person who feels this way.

The fact that Perdue has been growing faster than any of its competitors is evidence of this fact. The fact that the other top poultry producers, with the exception of Sanderson, are also transitioning over to antibiotic-free is another tipoff. If you agree, I urge you to contact Sanderson and tell him antibiotic-free does matter. You can use their online Contact Page to write them an email, or better yet, call them at 1-800-844-4030, or write a letter to:

 

 

 

Sanderson Farms

 

Attn: Joe Sanderson, CEO

 

PO Box 988

 

Laurel, MS 39441.

KFC is another major food company that has so far failed to take the situation seriously. While many restaurant chains, including McDonald’s, Subway and Taco Bell have vowed to limit or discontinue use of chicken raised with antibiotics, KFC has made no move in that direction. You can reach KFC by calling 1-800-CALL-KFC, or fill out their feedback form, available on the KFC website.

 

 

 

Antibiotic-Treated Pork May Contain Carcinogenic Residue

 

Eating antibiotic-treated foods is like taking a small amount of antibiotic on a daily basis, and this is exactly what you don’t want to do if you’re concerned about your health and well-being. It can disrupt your gut flora, and predispose you to drug resistant infections.

It may also expose you to potentially dangerous drug residues. The veterinary antibiotic carbadox is one example. This drug has been used by American pork producers for nearly 40 years. Besides controlling swine dysentery and bacterial swine enteritis, it also boosts growth like many other antibiotics.

 

In April, the FDA announced it has conducted a preliminary risk characterization, which suggests pork derived from animals treated with carbadox may contain trace amounts of carcinogenic residue. This is particularly true for pork liver, found in lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages. According to Politico:18

“‘The agency clarified that it isn’t recommending people make changes in their food choices while it works to remove carbadox from the market.’ Potential cancer risks are based on an assumed lifetime of consuming pork liver or other pork products containing carbadox residues, and short-term changes in diet are unlikely to affect a person’s lifetime risk … ”

This just goes to show how little we know about the safety of the drugs used in food animals. And it’s yet another warning signal that we really need to clean up our food supply. There are safe alternatives, so why not use them? The cost may (or may not) be a little higher, but I’m certain the 2 million Americans struck with a drug resistant infection each year would argue that the extra cost is worth it.

Family and friends of the tens of thousands who die from drug-resistant infections are likely to agree with this sentiment as well. At what point does public health begin to trump corporate profits? Aren’t 23,000 deaths per year enough? How high must the death toll get before factory farmers like Sanderson wizen up to the seriousness of their obligation to create safe and healthy food?

 

 

 

Where to Find Healthy Food

 

 

 

In my view, buying antibiotic-free meat is an important step if you value your health. Ideally, opt for organically raised grass-fed or pastured meats and animal products such as milk and eggs. If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.

 

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund19 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.20 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at http://www.OrganicPastures.com. Other organizations that can help you locate wholesome farm-fresh foods include:

 

 

 

EatWild.com

 

EatWild.com provides lists of certified organic farmers known to produce safe, wholesome raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other organic produce.

Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.

 

Weston A. Price Foundation

 

Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass-fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

 

Grassfed Exchange

 

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

 

Local Harvest

 

This website will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

 

Farmers’ Markets

 

A national listing of farmers’ markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

 

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

 

FoodRoutes

The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

 

 

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you need help with your personal health care plan, or have any questions, please call us.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr A Sullivan, Oncology

Archived JM

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

312-972-Well

Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 Holy Basil Benefits: Tulsi Helps Anxiety, Acne & More

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS Teleheatlh

 

10 Holy Basil Benefits: Tulsi Helps Anxiety, Acne & More

 

Holy basil, otherwise known as tulsi, is known for its therapeutic power. It has a rich history dating back 3,000 years ago to ancient Indian uses. Historically used as medicine due to its widespread therapeutic power, holy basil leaves are now regarded by most countries as adaptogens (anti-stress agents) and have been used widely to promote health throughout the entire body.

 

It’s suspected that holy basil is native to tropical Asia, although it now grows in many tropical climates across the globe. Today, tulsi is commonly consumed in supplement form or as tulsi tea. It’s used as a natural remedy for anxiety, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, unbalanced blood sugar and as a home remedy for acne.

 

In modern medicine, in the last few decades, several Indian scientists and researchers have studied the pharmacological effects of various parts of the tulsi plant on the immune system, reproductive system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, gastric system, urinary system and blood biochemistry.

 

Researchers described the therapeutic significance of holy basil in the management and relief of various ailments, and they established a scientific basis for the therapeutic uses of tulsi. It helps protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. (1)

 

Holy Basil Nutrition Facts

Holy basil is an aromatic shrub in the basil family (Lamiaceae) that’s thought to have originated in north central India and now grows native throughout the Eastern world tropics. Also known as tulsi, it’s a perennial that has a light lemon scent and purple-pink flowers. The leaves are oval-shaped with a slightly sharp tip, and the edges are slightly toothed.

 

There are two common types of tulsi: Rama tulsi has a white stem and green leaves. Shyam tulsi has a dark pinkish-purple stem and leaves. Both types are similar in smell and benefits.

 

One-quarter cup of fresh holy basil leaves (six grams) includes the following: (2)

 

1 calorie

No cholesterol

0.2 grams of sodium

0.2 grams of carbohydrates

25 micrograms vitamin K (31 percent DV)

317 IU vitamin A (6 percent DV)

.1 milligrams manganese (3 percent DV)

10 Holy Basil Benefits

  1. Fights Acne

Holy basil helps kill bacteria and infections, so it’s a great natural home remedy for acne and other skin irritations. Holy basil is believed to benefit the skin and help to treat skin infections both internally and externally.

 

The primary active compound of holy basil oil is eugenol, also the active ingredient in the powerful antimicrobial clove oil, which is widely believed to help combat many skin disorders. Holy basil also contains other therapeutic components, including gamma-caryophyllene and methyl eugenol. Research published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science shows that holy basil may be a natural acne treatment. (3) When used with coconut oil as a carrier, holy basil absorbs into the skin even better and could be even more effective.

 

  1. Protects Against Diabetes

Holy basil benefits appear to include the ability to control blood glucose levels as demonstrated by several test tube and animal experiments, as well as human clinical trials. A randomized placebo-controlled, single blind trial of holy basil leaves points towards holy basil’s anti-diabetic activity. In this trial, patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes experienced decreases in fasting blood sugar levels, postprandial (after a meal) blood sugar levels, urine blood sugar levels as well as mean total cholesterol levels during the holy basil treatment period. Overall, the researchers conclude that holy basil may be prescribed as part of a treatment plan for people with mild-to-moderate non-insulin dependent diabetes. (4)

 

  1. Helps Fight Cancer

In general, holy basil may not only possibly work as a natural cancer treatment, but another of the many holy basil benefits include that it may also help to prevent it. Research shows that people who regularly consume tulsi are less likely to be immunocompromised and less susceptible to developing cancer cells. According to research published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, tulsi and its phytochemicals (including eugenol, rosmarinic acid, apigenin, myretenal, luteolin, β-sitosterol, and carnosic acid), in some cases, may help prevent chemical-induced lung, liver, oral and skin cancers because they increase antioxidant activity, alter healthy gene expressions, induce cancer cell death, prevent blood vessel growth contributing to cancer cell growth and stop metastasis — which is the spread of cancer from one organ to another. (5)

 

Holy basil benefits also appear to help protect the body from radiation poisoning and help treat damage from radiation treatment, according to research published in 2016 in the the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics. It selectively protects the normal tissues against the destructive effects of radiation. (6)

 

In fact, the journal Nutrition and Cancer published an interesting review outlining the important research involving tulsi’s ability to help fight against cancer that we’ve seen in the past several years. The doctors involved in this research agree that conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments used during the past three decades haven’t been able to contain the disease, plus they have serious side effects. Many natural agents — especially holy basil leaves and extracts from other plants — prove to be nontoxic, easily available and have proven anticancer properties. (7)

 

  1. Balances Hormones and Lowers Stress

Holy basil benefits include the amazing ability to keep hormone levels balanced naturally. Tulsi has a positive physical effect on the body and mental benefits as well. By drinking tulsi tea, or adding tulsi to your meals, you help calm your system and keep your body running smoothly.

 

According to a scientific article published in 2014 in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, there is increasing evidence that shows holy basil benefits can improve physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress. More specifically: (1)

 

Tulsi has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties.

 

Some other evidence of this stress-lowering effect includes the ability of holy basil to improve reaction times and error rates in human subjects compared to placebo. (8)

 

Holy basil includes three phytochemical compounds that help achieve these results. The first two, ocimumosides A and B, have been identified as anti-stress compounds and may lower blood corticosterone (another stress hormone) and create positive alterations in the neurotransmitter system of the brain. (9) The third, 4-allyl-1-O-beta-D-glucopyronosyl-2-hydroxybenzene is also able to lower stress parameters in lab studies. (10, 11)

 

  1. Relieves Fever

Holy basil is often recommended as a natural fever treatment, especially by practitioners of Ayurvedic Medicine. Holy basil leaves are thought to act as antibiotic, germicidal and disinfectant agents, which means they can protect us from bacteria and viruses. (9) When we have a fever, it’s proof that our bodies are fighting against an infection. Therefore, with its infection-fighting properties, tulsi may help to fight a fever and restore your health quickly.

 

  1. Helps Improve Respiratory Disorders

Holy basil benefits are found in the components of tulsi leaves, including camphene, eugenol and cineole, which help provide relief from congestion and other symptoms of respiratory disorders. Scientific studies have confirmed that holy basil possesses impressive anti-asthmatic abilities and may make breathing easier, which is why it’s a commonly recommended herb for respiratory issues in Ayurvedic medicine. (1)

 

  1. Good Source of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone health and heart health. It’s one of the main vitamins involved in bone mineralization and blood clotting, but also helps maintain brain function, a healthy metabolism and cellular health. One cup of tulsi leaves has more than your daily recommended value of vitamin K, making it a perfect source to prevent vitamin K deficiency. Plus, vitamin K can be beneficial to your bone density, digestive health and brain function.

 

Animal studies published in the Alternative Medicine Review also demonstrate that holy basil benefits include cardio-protective properties. In other words, it appears to boost heart health. (10)

 

  1. Dental Care and Oral Health

Tulsi has the power to fight bacteria in your mouth that lead to dental issues, such as cavities, plaque, tartar and bad breath. Tulsi leaves serve as a mouth freshener because they kill the bacteria and germs hiding in your mouth. (11)

 

Holy basil benefits include helping to diminish ulcers in the mouth, and in vitro studies demonstrate it can stop the growth of oral cancer cells. (12) For natural dental care, try adding a drop of tulsi essential oil to your toothpaste or drinking one cup of tulsi tea every day.

 

  1. Relieves Headaches

Practitioners of Ayurveda recommend holy basil as a natural headache remedy that can help relieve migraine pain. (13) Some believe this is due to its ability to relieve sinus pressure, and recommend diffusing holy basil essential oil or making tulsi tea to reduce headache symptoms.

 

  1. Supports Eye Health

Our eyes are susceptible to viral, bacterial and fungal infections that can be very dangerous. Thankfully, holy basil benefits include helping to fight these detrimental infections. Tulsi is prescribed in Ayurveda to fight against conjunctivitis — also commonly known as pink eye — thanks to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. (14)

 

Tulsi may also help prevent a range of eye issues, including cataracts. According to Dr. S.K. Gupta of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, topical administration of an herbal eye drop mixture containing turmeric and holy basil extracts helps to counter the oxidative stress and insoluble protein formation that lead to cataracts. (15)

 

History & Interesting Facts

Holy basil, or tulsi as it’s known in the various Indian languages, is an important medicinal plant in many traditional and folk systems of medicine in Southeast Asia. Tulsi is a medicinal herb that’s considered a sacred plant by the Hindus in the Indian subcontinent.

 

‘The Queen of Herbs’

In traditional systems of medicine, different parts of tulsi — the leaves, stem, flower, root, seeds and even the whole plant — have been recommended for the treatment of bronchitis, bronchial asthma, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, skin diseases, arthritis, painful eye diseases, chronic fever, snake bites and scorpion stings. (16)

 

In fact, of all the herbs used within Ayurveda, tulsi is preeminent, and scientific research now confirms holy basil benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there is mounting evidence that tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. (1)

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest medical system. It has a holistic approach to health and disease that focuses on preserving and promoting good health and preventing disease through healthy lifestyle practices — including regular consumption of adaptogenic herbs that have the power to enhance the body’s ability to maintain balance in a world with a ton of stressful components. For this reason, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the regular consumption of tulsi tea as an essential lifestyle practice.

 

How to Use & Cook Tulsi

Tulsi plants are grown in almost every Hindu household. The leaves have a sweet, aromatic smell and a minty taste; they’re used in garnishing food, sauces and soups. They’re also commonly used to make juices, flavored water and tulsi tea. In India, people eat tulsi leaves raw in order to fight off a cough or cold.

 

You can buy and care for a tulsi plant, or you can purchase tulsi leaves and powder from a health food store. If you buy fresh holy basil, look for leaves that are vibrant and green, without any holes or dark spots. To prepare tulsi leaves, clean them thoroughly, and then chop them coarsely with a kitchen knife. It’s best to use fresh tulsi leaves within a day or two, but they can be stored in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for five days or so.

 

Tulsi tea is a popular beverage in India that’s consumed in place of coffee. You can find tulsi tea at many health food stores; it comes in boxes of tea bags. You can also buy dried tulsi leaves in bulk and use a tea ball to make this beneficial and tasty tea. If you’d rather have an iced tea, it’s simple to let the tea cool, add ice, and even some stevia or lemon for flavor. You can also prepare tulsi juice, which includes five tulsi leaves that have been infused in water.

 

Holy basil/tulsi essential oil can be found in many health food stores or online. The essential oil is extracted from the holy basil plant and is used in lotions, soap, perfume, shampoo and conditioner. You can also diffuse the oil in your home; the calming and immune-boosting properties can be inhaled as well.

 

Finally, holy basil is often available in supplement form. It’s usually in capsules and sometimes offered in fermented options, which some sources suggest make it more easily digestible.

 

Recipes Using Tulsi

One tablespoon of fresh, chopped tulsi leaves would be a great addition to my Green Tea Chicken Soup Recipe. The tulsi addition brings the health benefits of this soup up a notch by adding infection-fighting and stress-relieving properties.

 

Fresh tulsi leaves or tulsi powder can add an interesting and unexpected flavor to your everyday salad recipe. Try adding tulsi to my Egg Salad Recipe or this great Quinoa Tabouli Salad recipe that already has a mint flavor. Quinoa is a grain that’s higher in protein, fiber, magnesium and folate, so you get a ton of health benefits.

 

Adding tulsi tea to your bath is an awesome way to enhance organ function and kill bacteria or fungal infections. Check out my 10 Detox Bath Recipes; try adding tulsi tea to my Homemade Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts. Adding holy basil essential oil to your skin care regimen is also a great way to improve acne. Try my invigorating Homemade Honey Face Wash for Clear Skin.

 

 

 

Possible Side Effects

Researchers have found that holy basil is safe for regular consumption and topical use.

 

One note to keep in mind is that holy basil (tulsi) may slow blood clotting, so taking tulsi along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications that slow blood clotting include include aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine and warfarin. Due to its influence on blood clotting, you should discontinue use of holy basil two weeks before any scheduled surgery. (17)

 

Final Thoughts

The main benefits of holy basil (tulsi) include:

 

Fights acne

Protects against diabetes

Helps fight cancer

Balances hormones and lowers stress

Relieves fever

Helps improve respiratory disorders

Good source of vitamin K

Dental care and oral health

Relieves headaches

Supports eye health

Holy basil is referred to often in Ayurvedic medicine as an herb to treat a large number of conditions. Used for thousands of years, holy basil has very few side effects and many benefits to offer the body.

 

This herb is available in leaf, powder, supplement and essential oil form. By taking advantage of many of these varieties, you can reap the full holy basil benefits and make this medicinal plant part of your normal routine.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Gail Gray DPH

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What’s in Your Chicken Nuggets?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

What’s in Your Chicken Nuggets?

 

 

 

Do you ever think about what’s really inside your favorite chicken nugget?

 

Experts suggest that most of the ingredients that these tiny chicken bites

 

contain are used by industries and not in foods for human consumption. They

 

contain other ingredients that are distinctly unhealthy, reading about them

 

might make you reconsider your decision to eat chicken nuggets. Let’s have a

 

more detailed look into such ingredients:

 

According to the official McDonald’s website their chicken nuggets contain

 

hydrogenated

 

soybean oil with TBHQ, citric acid for preservation, and dimethylpolysiloxane

 

as an anti-foaming agent. These ingredients are all chemicals that are

 

artificially synthesized for industrial use.

 

Dimethylpolysiloxane is a commonly used industrial agent in

 

preparation of sealants. It’s made of silicone and used as an anti-foaming

 

agent in caulking. It has various safety concerns associated with it. It is

 

also used in breast implants as a filler and an important component in Silly

 

Putty.

 

TBHQ is a petroleum derivative which is added to perfumes

 

and oil field chemicals as a stabilizer. It can create tumors in the stomach.

 

In experiments conducted on lab animals it was found that these ingredients,

 

especially TBHQ, when given in high dosages cause severe damage to DNA. TBHQ is

 

also linked with carcinogenic effects in various studies. Other problems that

 

can be caused by TBHQ include nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, collapse,

 

delirium, and feelings of suffocation. It may also lead to liver damage and

 

hormonal imbalance.

 

McNuggets also contain sodium aluminum phosphate and baking powder. Research

 

has associated these ingredients with Alzheimer’s disease because of the

 

presence of aluminum. The soybean oil used to prepare chicken nuggets is

 

altered chemically to make it more stable and has been associated with numerous

 

heart diseases.

 

Canola oil and corn oil are also some of the more harmful ingredients in

 

nuggets. These oils are extracted from some of the most widely genetically

 

modified crops. The oils are heated at very high temperatures during manufacturing

 

therefore cause inflammation and harm to the body.

 

Nuggets also contain ingredients like calcium sulphate which is used in plaster

 

of Paris, it’s certainly not something that should be used in food items.

 

Chicken nuggets do not decompose even after several days which makes it clear

 

these are not real food but processed chemicals. Decomposition of wholesome

 

real foods that promote health is inevitable. Studies find that only 50% of

 

McNuggets is actual chicken, the other half is made of sugars, corn derivatives,

 

synthetic ingredients, and leavening agents.

 

In an article by Dr. DeShazo and Dr. Bigler’s published in the American

 

Journal of Medicine, the authors looked into Chicken McNuggets under the

 

microscope and their findings were shocking. The majority of the nuggets are

 

FAT rather than lean muscles and this product contains substantial amount of

 

bone, intestine, skin, and nerve tissues.

 

The way of obtaining chicken by fast food giants has been highly debatable

 

and various concerns have been raised regarding their production of chicken and

 

ways of processing it. There are bitter truths associated with other fast foods

 

such as French fries and hamburgers.

 

It is quite disturbing to know that toxic oils, harmful chemicals and

 

genetically modified ingredients are part of chicken nuggets. All the

 

information mentioned above is only about nuggets. It doesn’t say a word about

 

the sauce that comes with it and its simple to make out how unhealthy they are.

 

No matter how much you like them you need to say goodbye to them if you want to

 

stay healthy and keep your children healthy.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Healthcare

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

312-972-9355

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Tea and Coffee

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

teaandcoffee

 

Health Benefits of Tea and Coffee

 

For the first time, a government advisory committee included a mention of caffeine in its recommendations for the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

 

Rather than suggesting it be eliminated, however, the report said Americans could safely consume up to five cups of coffee a day, or approximately 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, with no detrimental effects.1

 

It’s a definite sign of the times. Coffee shop chains have been growing more than 10 percent annually, compared to 2 percent a year for fast food chains. There are about 20,000 coffee shops in the US, although 75 percent of the coffee brewed daily is actually consumed at home.2

 

Overall, more than 75 percent of US adults drink coffee, and 58 percent do so daily.3 Most coffee drinkers, however, did not start drinking coffee because they believed it was good for their health. In fact, many probably drink it assuming it is not.

 

If you’re a coffee drinker, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. There is one less dietary habit you have to worry about, as it turns out coffee may be good for you after all.

 

Even the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans may soon reflect this, a recommendation that was based on an evaluation of multiple meta-analyses and other studies evaluating the link between coffee and chronic diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

 

The more research that comes out, the more it seems clear that coffee – in its organic, black, and unadulterated form – is a beverage you can enjoy while benefitting your health.

 

Coffee May Be Good for Your Heart

 

The coffee plant and its seeds (coffee beans) contain a natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants (including chlorogenic acids), bioflavonoids, vitamins, and minerals that all work together to offer some impressive health-promoting benefits, and even help neutralize the harsher effects of the caffeine that coffee naturally contains.4

 

The first slew of studies has to do with coffee and heart health. One meta-analysis that included data from 11 studies and nearly 480,000 people found drinking two to six cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of stroke.5 That study noted:

 

“The phenolic compounds in coffee possess antioxidant capacity and can inhibit the oxidative modification of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, thereby reducing the atherosclerotic process.

 

…moderate coffee consumption (1–3 cups/day in the United States or 3–4 cups/day in Europe) was associated with a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease in women… Ample evidence also indicates that coffee consumption is inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

 

Further, in a study of more than 25,000 people, those who drank a moderate amount of coffee – defined as three to five cups daily – were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than those who drank no coffee or more coffee daily.6

 

A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.” Coronary artery calcium can be a significant predictor of future heart disease risk.

 

In addition, one study showed moderate coffee drinking reduces your chances of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems.7 Another study found it may trigger a 30 percent increase in blood flow in your small blood vessels, which might take some strain off your heart.8

 

Could Coffee Lower Your Risk of Cancer?

 

While a number of individual studies have suggested coffee consumption might increase your cancer risk, when multiple studies are analyzed, such as is the case with meta-analyses, the association disappears, and, in fact, becomes protective.

 

For instance, one 2007 meta-analysis found an increase in consumption of two cups of coffee per day was associated with a 43 percent reduced risk of liver cancer9 — a finding that has been confirmed by more recent research.

 

Not to mention, coffee appears to have additional benefits for liver health, slowing down the progression of liver disease to cirrhosis, improving responses in people with hepatitis C, and lowering the risk of death in people with cirrhosis.10

 

The potential benefit of coffee for liver health appears so strong that researchers have stated daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in people with chronic liver disease.11

 

Another meta-analysis involving 59 studies revealed an increase in consumption of one cup of coffee per day was associated with a 3 percent reduced risk of cancers.12 According to the researchers, “coffee drinking was associated with a reduced risk of bladder, breast, buccal and pharyngeal, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, hepatocellular, leukemic, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.”13

 

There’s even research showing coffee consumption could lower your risk of skin cancer. Drinking four cups of caffeinated coffee daily might reduce your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.14

 

According to researchers, “coffee constituents suppress UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis, induce cell apoptosis, protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage, reduce inflammation in epidermal cells, and inhibit changes in DNA methylation.”15

 

Women who consumed more than three cups of coffee a day had a significantly lower risk of basal cell carcinoma (non-melanoma skin cancer) than those who consumed less than one cup per month.16

 

Coffee Has Multiple Potential Anti-Cancer Pathways

 

How might coffee lower cancer risk? Researchers noted in the journal BMC Cancer:17

 

“Roasted coffee is a complex mixture of more than a thousand chemicals. Many constituents in it could potentially alter cancer risk through several biological mechanisms. Coffee is the major source of caffeine which has been reported to both stimulate and suppress tumors, depending upon the species and the phase of administration.

 

There are two specific diterpenes in coffee, cafestol and kahweal, which produce biological effects compatible with anticarcinogenic properties, including the induction of phase II enzymes involved in carcinogen detoxification, specific inhibition of the activity of phase I enzyme responsible for carcinogen activation, and stimulation of intracellular antioxidant defense mechanisms.

 

Polyphenols are an important ingredient in coffee, such as lignan phytoestrogens and flavonoids and polyphenols are found to exhibit anticarcinogenic properties in several studies.

 

Caffeic acid has the ability to inhibit DNA methylation in cultured human cancer cells and is associated with inactivation of various pathways involved in the tumorigenic process, including cell cycle regulation, inflammatory and stress response and apoptosis.

 

Coffee is also a major source of the chlorogenic acid that contributes to its antioxidant effect. Intake of chlorogenic acid has been shown to reduce glucose concentrations in rats and intake of quinides, degradation products of chlorogenic acid, increases insulin sensitivity.

 

Chronic hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are confirmed markers of high risk for some cancer sites.”

 

Coffee Might Benefit Your Brain Health and Lower Your Risk of Premature Death

 

In addition to the news that coffee might be good for your arteries, your liver, and your risk of cancer, several other studies have also yielded promising results regarding coffee and chronic disease. For instance:18

 

Multiple Sclerosis: Drinking four to six cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis, as is drinking a high amount of coffee over five to 10 years. According to researchers, “Caffeine has neuroprotective properties and seems to suppress the production of proinflammatory cytokines.”19

Dementia: Caffeine also promotes production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, and triggers the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, thereby improving your brain health.

Among people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), those with higher blood levels of caffeine (due to coffee consumption) were less likely to progress to full-blown dementia.20 “Caffeine/coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of dementia or delayed onset, particularly for those who already have MCI,” the researchers said.

 

Parkinson’s Disease: Higher coffee and caffeine intake are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.21

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has even shown that coffee consumption is inversely associated with premature death. In other words, the more coffee drank, the lower the risk of death became, including deaths from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.22

 

Tea Consumption Might Lengthen Your Life, Too

 

While there are more coffee drinkers than tea drinkers in the US (about 183 million compared to 173.5 million, respectively),23 many still enjoy sipping on tea …and this is another healthy habit. In fact, many centenarians around the world drink tea frequently, according to the Blue Zones project, which is documenting lifestyle habits of communities with high numbers of centenarians.24 As described in Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones Solution, in Okinawa, Japan, jasmine tea and green tea are popular.

 

On the island of Ikaria, another concentrated area for centenarians, tea is brewed daily using fresh-picked herbs, such as rosemary, wild sage, oregano, marjoram, mint or dandelion. When Buettner had the tea analyzed, he found anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.25 Tea has been enjoyed for close to 5,000 years.

 

It was reportedly discovered in 2737 BC when tea leaves accidentally blew into Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung’s pot of boiling water.26 Tea has been used traditionally as a beverage and healing tonic ever since. Like coffee, modern-day research has also confirmed tea’s myriad of health benefits:

 

Reduced Mortality and Chronic Inflammation

 

Drinking green tea is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, as well as mortality due to heart disease. Research also shows holistic benefits to green tea consumption, including lower blood pressure, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation.27

 

Heart Health

 

Green tea improves both blood flow and the ability of arteries to relax, with research suggesting a few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease.28 Study results also show EGCG can be helpful for the prevention of arterio­sclerosis, cerebral thrombus, heart attack, and stroke—in part due to its ability to relax your arteries and improve blood flow.29

 

Type 2 Diabetes

 

One study found people who consume six or more cups of green tea daily had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed less than one cup per week.30

 

Weight Loss

 

There is some evidence that long-term consumption of green tea catechins is beneficial for burning fat and may work with other chemicals to increase levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis.

 

Bone Health

 

Green tea polyphenols combined with a form of vitamin D called alfacalcidol could boost bone structure and strength, according to a new study in mice. The mixture may reverse damage to bones caused by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced chronic inflammation, which could in turn reduce the risk of osteoporosis.31

 

Vision Health

 

Catechins in green tea could help protect you against glaucoma and other eye diseases, as research found that the compounds travel from your digestive system into the tissues of your eyes. During the study, the catechins found in green tea were absorbed into various parts of the eyes anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours after rats were given tea.32

 

Cancer

 

Green tea components have been shown to downregulate the expression of proteins involved in inflammation, cell signalization, cell motility and angiogenesis, while an association between green tea intake and decreased risk of cancers (including ovarian and breast33) have been reported.34

 

Previous research has shown that green tea polyphenols act on molecular pathways to shut down the production and spread of tumor cells.35 They also discourage the growth of the blood vessels that feed the tumors. EGCG even acts as an antiangiogenic and antitumor agent and helps modulate tumor cell response to chemotherapy.36

 

If You Drink Tea, Be Careful of Contaminants

 

Green tea plants are known to be especially effective at absorbing lead from the soil, which is then taken up into the plants’ leaves. Areas with excessive industrial pollution, such as China (where nearly 90% of the world’s green tea is produced),37 may therefore contain substantial amounts of lead.38

 

While the lead in the tea leaves is not thought to leach very effectively into the tea you end up drinking, if you’re consuming Matcha green tea (which contains the entire ground tealeaf), one of my favorites, it’s especially important that it comes from Japan instead of China.

 

Both black and green teas are also naturally high in fluoride, even if organically grown without pesticides. This is because the plant readily absorbs fluoride thorough its root system, including naturally occurring fluoride in the soil.

 

According to fluoride expert Jeff Green, who sadly passed away unexpectedly last year,39 there are reports of people who have developed crippling skeletal fluorosis from drinking high amounts of iced tea alone.40 If you live in an area with fluoridated drinking water, as the majority of Americans do, then you could be getting a double dose of fluoride when you drink tea.

 

When selecting tea of any kind, it should preferably be organic (to avoid pesticides) and grown in a pristine environment because, as mentioned, tea is known to accumulate fluoride, heavy metals, and other toxins from soil and water. A clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea. Another quick tip? Add a squirt of lemon juice to your cup. Previous research has demonstrated that vitamin C significantly increases the amount of beneficial catechins available for your body to absorb.

 

On the other hand, while adding lemon juice is beneficial, adding milk is not. The proteins in milk may bind to and neutralize the antioxidants in tea, such that its health benefits are significantly reduced.“41

 

The Healthiest Coffee Is Black and Organic

 

For many people today, “coffee” has become synonymous with heavily sweetened, chocolate-, vanilla-, or caramel-flavored beverages. But if you are dousing your cup of Joe in creamer, non-dairy creamer, sugar, and other sweeteners and flavorings, you are missing out on the therapeutic benefits and potentially harming your health. The natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants are part of what makes coffee so healthy.

 

However, some research suggests that adding dairy to your coffee may interfere with your body’s absorption of beneficial chlorogenic acids.42 Meanwhile, if you add sugar to your coffee you’ll spike your insulin levels, which contributes to insulin resistance.

 

If you’re interested in the health benefits, drink your coffee black, without sugar, non-dairy creamer or cream, or flavorings. If you really can’t stand your coffee black, you could try adding non-dairy alternatives like coconut milk or a natural sweetener like stevia.

 

As for buying organic, do so whenever possible. Coffee beans are one of the most heavily pesticides-sprayed crops. So, you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Remember, you will obliterate any positive effects if you consume coffee that’s been doused in pesticides or other chemicals.

 

Whenever possible, purchase sustainable “shade-grown” coffee to help prevent the continued destruction of our tropical rain forests and the birds that inhabit them. There are many who say shade-grown coffee tastes better as well. In addition, you’ll want to purchase whole bean coffee that smells and tastes fresh, not stale; if your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid.

 

Grind it yourself to prevent rancidity, as pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you get it home. If you use a “drip” coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones are chlorine-bleached, and some of this chlorine will leach from the filter during the brewing process.

 

Bleached filters are also notoriously full of dangerous disinfection byproducts, such as dioxin. Finally, while it appears coffee in moderation is beneficial, be careful not to overdo it, as some studies have found adverse effects when about 10 cups a day or more are consumed. When referring to a “cup” of coffee, most research considers it to be five to eight ounces with about 100 mg of caffeine.

 

In contrast, a small cup at many coffee houses starts at 12 ounces while a large cup may hold 20-24 ounces. Finally, pregnant women should probably not drink caffeinated coffee. Public health agencies suggest pregnant women limit daily caffeine to 200 mg (or about two cups of coffee a day).

 

However, caffeine can significantly impact the growing fetus. It is able to freely pass through the placenta, and since caffeine does not provide any benefits to your baby, only potential hazards, I strongly recommend pregnant women avoid ALL forms of caffeine.

 

Remember that some of these suggestions do not work for everyone.  Most research is done with a 37 year old males.  So, Green Tea is not recommend for women at all.  Too many women drink green tea for energy and end up with cardiac problems.  So please check with us if you are not sure what is right for your body, with your supplements, with your prescriptions with you age.

 

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