Monthly Archives: May 2016
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 2015 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:
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 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.
The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.
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.
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.
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
Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Wraps – juicy seasoned and grilled chicken topped with tart pineapple, and tangy teriyaki sauce all wrapped in soft pita bread. A perfect quick and tasty summertime dish!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American / Asian
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 sliced pineapple rings (or 1 cup chopped pineapple)
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce (my favorite store-bought brand is Kikkoman, or use the recipe below!)
- 4 pita wraps
- optional: sesame seeds, lettuce, mayo, tomatoes
homemade teriyaki sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Preheat grill to medium heat. Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 5-8 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through.
- Assemble wraps by placing a grilled chicken breast, onions, pineapple, and any other desired toppings on each pita. Top with teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro if desired. Serve immediately.
- For the homemade teriyaki sauce whisk all ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Stir constantly while bringing to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl to serve.
*Homemade teriyaki sauce adapted from Add a Pinch
Does Herbal Tea Interfere With Iron Absorption?
I’ve heard that drinking black tea with meals may have an effect on iron absorption. Does drinking herbal tea (chamomile, anise, green mint, etc.) with meals have the same effect?
Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea naturally contain compounds called tannins. Tannins give tea their color and characteristic astringent taste.
Tannins can also inhibit the absorption of iron, however, especially iron from plant sources, such as peas, beans, nuts, leafy green vegetables, enriched pastas and breads, and fortified cereals.
Plant sources of iron are called non-heme iron.
The absorption of iron from animal sources, such as red and dark meat, is generally not affected by tannins.
Herbal teas often contain tannins, so they could potentially reduce the absorption of non-heme iron if it’s taken together with a meal. A cup of chamomile tea or peppermint tea contains far fewer tannins, however, than a cup of black tea.
Adding lemon, which is rich in vitamin C, may partially counteract this effect.
You may notice that the longer you leave a teabag in water, whether it’s black tea or herbal tea, the more of an astringent, bitter taste it takes on due to the tannins. Being careful not to over-steep tea. Quickly removing the tea bag or leaves after steeping can reduce the amount of tannins in tea.
But keep in mind that unless a person has iron-deficiency anemia or does not eat meat, one cup of herbal tea should be acceptable.
Health and Wellness Associates
Looking for a fruity fix? This simple recipe will satisfy for under 100 calories.
Slice the stem ends off 5 large strawberries, about 1/2 inch, revealing an opening in each berry. Use a narrow spoon handle to remove half of the flesh inside each berry, allowing room for filling. Combine 2 tbsp. light/low-fat ricotta cheese, 1 no-calorie sweetener packet, and 1 drop vanilla extract; mix well. Spoon mixture into the bottom corner of a plastic bag; snip off the tip to create a small hole, and squeeze the mixture into the strawberries. Top with 1 1/2 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
96 calories, 3.5g fat
Health and Wellness Associates
Fruits that Fight Heart Disease
The next time you are at the grocery store, seek out a selection of colorful berries to add to your shopping cart. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are an easy, delicious way to protect your health. Berries can be found year-round, either fresh or frozen – you can even grow your own, and including them in your diet is effortless. They taste great and can be eaten for breakfast in oatmeal or added to a smoothie, tossed into a salad at lunch, or blended into a nutritious “nice” cream for dessert after dinner.
These vibrant, health-promoting fruits are rich in fiber and cardioprotective antioxidant phytochemicals. Antioxidants, both from the diet and naturally produced by the body, are critical for your health as they protect against oxidation and minimize damage to your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules with unpaired electrons that can potentially damage genetic material and other cellular components. Accumulated free radical damage over time ages the body and contributes to chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants slow or stop the reactions of free radicals, neutralizing them.
Berries: More than Antioxidants
Some dietary antioxidants, like vitamin C, work in the body primarily as antioxidants. The antioxidants in berries are different: The major antioxidant phytochemicals in berries are anthocyanins, in the class of flavonoids. These phytochemicals are concentrated in the skins of berries, give rise to their deep colors, are thought to have a number of benefits that are unrelated to direct antioxidant effects.
Flavonoids do have antioxidant activity; however, their most powerful health benefits are thought to be due to their other biological effects. Berries and their flavonoids have been found to decrease oxidation of LDL cholesterol which helps prevent the production of atherosclerotic plaque, increase blood antioxidant capacity, decrease adhesion of inflammatory cells to vessel walls, and improve blood pressure regulation.
Higher anthocyanin and berry consumption is associated with lowering an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein, suggesting that berries may curb inflammation. The phytochemicals in berries also may enhance nitric oxide production in blood vessels, which helps to properly regulate blood pressure. Studies have shown that high flavonoid intake is associated with an up to 45 percent reduction in risk of coronary heart disease. Nurses’ Health Study II data showed that young and middle-aged women who ate three or more weekly servings of blueberries or strawberries had a 34 percent reduction in heart attack risk compared to those who consumed a smaller amount of berries over the 18-year follow-up period. Furthermore, berries also have anti-cancer effects and provide protection against diabetes and cognitive decline with aging.
Berries Are Superfoods
Long-term studies measuring berry or flavonoid consumption suggest that all these cardiovascular benefits of berries add up to longevity value, according to the reduced risk of all-cause mortality observed in these studies.
Berries are the fruits with the highest nutrient-to-calorie ratio and an important component of a high-nutrient diet; I consider them to be superfoods. Along with greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, and seeds, berries . These are foods you should eat every day, and they should make up a significant portion of your diet to promote health and longevity and to fight chronic disease.
One thing is for sure: It is clear these small packages of sweetly tart fruits have an amazing capacity to benefit our health. They are an important component of a high-nutrient diet. Eat some berries daily to provide your body with protection against free radicals, inflammation, heart disease, and cancers.
Health and Wellness Associates
Compelling evidence: Slathering on toxic sunscreen and avoiding the sun could jeopardize your health and shorten your life
According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.
The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”
Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.
That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.
In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer.
Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome.
According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.”
Please call us for using Vitamin D correctly for YOU. Everyone of us is different than everyone else, and you need a personal healthcare approach to your healthcare,
A dissident dermatologist
Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks.
Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:
The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma.
A 2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.
Sunscreens: Cancer-Causing Biohazards
Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well.
Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).
Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”
Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations. Meaning that the chemicals in sunscreens are damaging your DNA, and you are passing down this DNA break to your children. Many children who use sunscreen are developing life threatening diseases, and life long medical problems by the age of 30.
Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood!
Please share with family and loved ones. If you have concerns about your personal healthcare, please call us.
Health and Wellness Associates
KEEP IT COOL
A striking new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that simply blasting the air conditioner or turning down the heat in winter may help us attack belly fat while we sleep. Colder temperatures subtly enhance the effectiveness of our stores of brown fat—fat keeps you warm by helping you burn through the fat stored in your belly. Participants spent a few weeks sleeping in bedrooms with varying temperatures: a neutral 75 degrees, a cool 66 degrees, and a balmy 81 degrees. After four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the subjects had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. (And yes, that means they lost belly fat.)
Call us for your personalized healthcare plan. Each body is different, and all suggestions are not for all people.
Health and Wellness Associates
GET YOURSELF SOME FISH OIL
Need a little help jump-starting your weight loss (or fending it off entirely) this holiday season? Your best bet may be to turn to the sea. It may sound a little unappetizing, but fish oil is one of the best nutrients for the human body. According to NIH, fish oil (which can be consumed by eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines or by taking supplements – whichever fits best into your lifestyle) lowers triglycerides in those with diabetes and heart problems by as much as 20 to 50 percent. That’s not all these fish can do for your figure. Research suggest fish oil can also help boost weight loss and decrease blood sugar.
If you need help figuring out what is best for you, please call us for a personalized health plan.
Health and Wellness Associates
SHOWER BEFORE BED
If you normally bathe in the A.M., listen up. “A hot shower is great for ensuring a good night’s sleep because it can help relieve tension and relax sore muscles. Additionally, it can increase the level of oxytocin—a “love” hormone released by your brain—which can be very soothing,” says Falamas. The heat from the shower also gives your body temperature a lift, resulting in a quick drop in temp when you get out and towel off, a dip that helps relax your entire system. A hot bath will also have the same effect.
Health and Wellness Associates