CELINE DIJON CHICKEN
LOW FAT RECIPE
LOW FAT RECIPE
The struggle with weight gain and obesity is a common and costly health issue, leading to an increase in risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, just to name a few.1
Obese individuals also have substantially higher medical expenses and indirect costs associated with lost productivity, transportation and premature mortality, and obesity is the reason why 1 in 3 fail to qualify for military service in the U.S.2
According to the 2019 State of Obesity report,3 18.5% of American children (ages 2 to 19) and 39.6% of adults are now obese, not just overweight. Between the 1988-1994 and 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, the adult obesity rate rose over 70% and the childhood obesity rate rose by 85%, and there are no signs of this trend slowing or reversing.4
While the food industry has become notorious for funding anti-obesity programs that focus on physical activity, research clearly shows that processed foods, sugary beverages and high-carbohydrate diets are a primary concern. Sure, inactivity certainly contributes to the problem, but you cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet.
Processed vegetable oils, which are high in damaged omega-6 fats, are yet another reason why processed food diets are associated with higher rates of heart disease and other diseases.
Soybean oil, which is the most widely consumed fat in the U.S.,5 has been shown to play a significant role in obesity and diabetes, actually upregulating genes involved in obesity.6 Remarkably, soybean oil was found to be more obesogenic than fructose. It’s also been shown to cause neurological changes in the brain.7,8
Processed junk food destroys your metabolism and promotes obesity through a variety of mechanisms. Among them is the way these kinds of foods affect your appetite control. Several studies have also demonstrated that processed foods are addictive.
As detailed in “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” your body is designed to naturally regulate how much you eat and the energy you burn. Food manufacturers have figured out how to override these intrinsic regulators, engineering processed foods that are “hyper-rewarding.”
According to the food reward hypothesis of obesity, processed foods stimulate such a strong reward response in our brains that it becomes very easy to overeat. One of the guiding principles for the processed food industry is known as “sensory-specific satiety.”
In a 2013 New York Times article, investigative reporter Michael Moss described this as “the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm your brain.”9 The greatest successes, whether beverages or foods, owe their “craveability” to complex formulas that pique your taste buds without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain’s satiety signals.
Potato chips are among the most addictive junk foods on the market, containing all three “bliss-inducing” ingredients: sugar (from the potato), salt and fat. And while food companies abhor the word “addiction” in reference to their products, scientists have discovered that sugar, in particular, is just that. In fact, sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine.
Research10 published in 2007 showed 94% of rats allowed to choose between sugar water and cocaine chose sugar. Even cocaine addicted rats quickly switched their preference to sugar once it was offered as an alternative. The rats were also more willing to work for sugar than for cocaine.
The researchers speculate that the sweet receptors (two protein receptors located on your tongue), which evolved in ancestral times when the diet was very low in sugar, have not adapted to modern times’ high-sugar consumption.
As a result, the abnormally high stimulation created by sugar-rich diets generates excessive reward signals in your brain, which have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms and thus lead to addiction and overeating.
Most recently, Australian researchers found a single week of bingeing on fast foods impaired appetite control, making the volunteers more likely to desire more junk food, even if they’d just eaten.11 They also scored lower on memory tests, thus confirming previous findings12 showing a Western-style diet impairs learning and memory. As reported by Science Alert:13
“The findings suggest something is amiss in the hippocampus — a region of the brain that supports memory and helps to regulate appetite. When we are full, the hippocampus is thought to quieten down our memories of delicious food, thereby reducing our appetite. When it’s disrupted, this control can be seriously undermined.”
For this eight-day experiment, healthy volunteers between the ages of 17 and 35 with a body mass index14 between 17 and 26 (slightly underweight to mildly overweight) were instructed to eat:
On days 1 and 8, the volunteers were given a toasted sandwich and milkshake for breakfast at the lab. The control group were given the same breakfast at the start and end of the study, but were instructed to eat normally during the remainder of the week.
On days 1 and 8, participants also completed pre- and post-breakfast “wanting and liking tests,” in which they were first presented with six sugary breakfast foods and asked to rate how strong their desire to eat the food right now was. Next, they were instructed to consume the samples and rate how much they liked it, and how much more of it they thought they would be able to eat right then. As reported by the authors:15
“One week’s exposure to a WS-diet [Western-style diet] caused a measurable weakening of appetitive control, as measured by the two key ratings on the wanting and liking test.
Prior to the intervention, participants viewed palatable breakfast foods and judged how much they wanted to eat them, and then how much they liked their actual taste. This test was repeated after participants had eaten to satiety.
Across these pre- and post-meal tests, wanting ratings declined far more than ratings of taste liking. This manifestation of appetitive control — that is the expectation that food is less desirable than it actually tastes — changed in participants following the Western-style dietary intervention.”
If you eat a fast-food burger, you can easily take in close to half your daily caloric requirements. Add in fries and a soda and you may be nearing an entire day’s worth of required calories. However, you have not received the vitamins and minerals, the live enzymes and micronutrients, the healthy fats or high-quality protein that your body needs to function, let alone thrive.
This was recently demonstrated in a Swedish study,16,17 which found that the more added sugar your diet contains, the lower your micronutrient intake (i.e., vitamins and minerals).
To examine this relationship, the researchers examined dietary data collected in two Swedish population based studies (the National Swedish Food Survey and the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study).
Each individual’s added sugar intake was estimated by subtracting naturally-occurring fructose from the total sugar content of the diet as a whole. Energy intake for added sugar was then stratified into six groups:
|Less than 5% of energy intake from added sugar||5% to 7.5%|
|7.5% to 10%||10% to 15%|
|15% to 20%||Greater than 20%|
They also calculated the intake of calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc, finding an inverse relationship between added sugar intake and intakes of all nine micronutrients. According to the authors:18
“These findings suggest that in two Swedish populations the higher the intake of added sugar in the diet, the more likely it is that the intake of micronutrients will be compromised …
However, although the trends are significant and consistent with those obtained in other studies on the subject, future studies are needed in order to build the necessary scientific knowledge to establish a threshold of added sugar intake based on micronutrient dilution.”
When fast food meals are consumed day in and day out, for months and years on end, weight gain is virtually guaranteed, yet your body may still be starving and malfunctioning for lack of essential nutrients.
Aside from promoting obesity, processed food and fast food diets have also been strongly linked to depression, especially in teens. In a 2019 study,19 researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked into the role diet plays in symptoms of depression.
To do that, they analyzed the excretion of sodium and potassium in the urine of 84 urban, low‐income adolescents. Higher levels of sodium in the urine can be an indication of a diet high in sodium, such as processed foods and salty snacks. A low level of potassium, meanwhile, is indicative of a diet lacking in fruits, vegetables and other healthy potassium-rich foods.
As expected, higher sodium and lower potassium excretion rates were associated with more frequent symptoms of depression at follow up 1.5 years later. “This study was the first to demonstrate relationships between objective indicators of unhealthy diet and subsequent changes in depressive symptoms in youth,” the authors wrote.20
It’s possible that eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium may lead to depression by negatively influencing neurotransmitters and neural function during a time that is particularly vulnerable.
“Given the substantial brain development that occurs during adolescence, individuals in this developmental period may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of diet on the neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation and depression,” the researchers said.
In addition, poor diet could influence depression by disturbing the gut microbiome, which could further influence brain function. Past studies have also confirmed the diet-depression link among children and teens.
For example, a systematic review21 of 12 studies involving children and adolescents also found an association between unhealthy diet and poorer mental health. Conversely, those with healthier diets had better mental health. The consumption of junk food has also been linked to a higher risk for psychiatric distress and violent behaviors in children and adolescents.22
Adults may also suffer mentally from a diet based on unhealthy foods. A 2016 study23 found women who ate a pro-inflammatory diet (which can include one high in processed foods), were more likely to have recurring depressive symptoms, and a 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis,24 which looked at data from 101,950 participants, also found an association between a pro-inflammatory diet and risk of depression.
Unfortunately, Americans not only eat a preponderance of processed food, but 60% of it is ultraprocessed25 — products at the far end of the “significantly altered” spectrum, or what you could typically purchase at a gas station.
Any food that isn’t directly from the vine, ground, bush or tree, is considered processed. Depending on the amount of change the food undergoes, processing may be minimal or significant. For instance, frozen fruit is usually minimally processed, while pizza, soda, chips and microwave meals are ultra-processed foods.
The difference in the amount of sugar between foods that are ultraprocessed and minimally processed is dramatic. Research26 has shown 21.1% of calories in ultraprocessed foods come from added sugar, compared to just 2.4% of the calories in processed food and none in unprocessed foods.
In addition to obesity, depression and other chronic health problems, ultra-processed foods will also shorten your life span. French researchers found that for each 10% increase in the amount of ultraprocessed food an individual consumed, the risk of death rose by 14%.27
This link remained even after taking confounding factors such as smoking, obesity and low educational background into account. The primary factors driving the increased death rate was chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
In my view, eating a diet consisting of 90% real food and only 10% or less processed foods is an achievable goal for most that could make a significant difference in your weight and overall health.
Ultraprocessed foods should be kept to an absolute minimum and consumed only rarely. As noted in a 2016 study,28 “Decreasing the consumption of ultraprocessed foods could be an effective way of reducing the excessive intake of added sugars in the USA.” To get started, consider the following basics. For more detailed guidance, see my nutrition plan:
•Focus on fresh foods, ideally organic, and avoid as many processed foods as possible (if it comes in a can, bottle or package and has a list of ingredients, it’s processed).
Severely restrict carbohydrates from refined sugars, fructose and processed grains, and increase healthy fat consumption. Examples of healthy fats include grass fed butter, ghee, lard, coconut oil and coconuts, avocados, nuts and seeds, raw cacao butter, extra virgin olive oil, organic pastured eggs.
You can eat an unlimited amount of nonstarchy vegetables. Because they are so low in calories, the majority of the food on your plate should be vegetables.
•Replace sodas and other sweetened beverages, including fruit juices, with pure, filtered water.
•Gradually reduce your eating window to six to eight hours with your last food intake at least three hours before bedtime.
•Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store where most of the whole foods reside, such as meat, fruits, vegetables, eggs and cheese. Not everything around the perimeter is healthy, but you’ll avoid many of the ultra-processed foods this way.
Stress creates a physical craving for fats and sugar that may drive your addictive, stress-eating behavior. If you can recognize when you’re getting stressed and find another means of relieving the emotion, your eating habits will likely improve.
We are in this Together!
To lessen the chances you’ll get bored and feel tempted to stop exercising, it’s important to occasionally revisit your routine and make any necessary changes. It’s easy to fall into a rut, doing the same exercise program over and over again, while realizing few benefits.
Eventually, you’ll lose your enthusiasm and very likely start making excuses for why you no longer exercise. Now is a good time to check out 10 tips and proven techniques, presented by Health.com,1 designed to help you burn more calories when you work out.
By incorporating one or more of them into your routine, you may become more enthused about exercising regularly. As you know, regular exercise is a vital aspect of achieving optimal health.
Music and exercise have long been paired together. You may be among those who believe a pair of high-quality earbuds is nearly as essential to your workout as a good pair of athletic shoes. If that’s the case, then you’ll be happy to know listening to music is an easy and fun way to fuel your calorie burn.
Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison2 revealed students who listened to music while exercising on a stationary bike achieved more health benefits compared to those who biked in silence.
Additionally, music with a fast (160 beats per minute) or medium (100 beats per minute) tempo was shown to fuel the participants’ exertion more than music with a slow tempo (60 beats per minute).
Specifically, researchers found students who listened to music during an eight-minute biking workout increased their average heart rate by 10 beats per minute, increased their exertion by 5 percent and burned 7 percent more calories than the non-music group.
A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports3 also demonstrated cyclists worked harder when listening to fast music as compared to music with a slow tempo. However, music that is too fast was also shown to detract from the workout.
Researchers concluded songs with tempos between 120 and 140 beats per minute seem to benefit exercisers the most.
Exercise has long been as much of a social outlet as it is a means through which to achieve optimal health. Identifying an “exercise buddy” adds a level of accountability to your workout program. If you plan to meet a friend at the gym but wake up feeling like you’d rather not go, chances are you will be more motivated to honor your commitment because your friend will be waiting for you.
Research conducted at Kansas State University (KSU) revealed you are more likely to achieve greater benefits from exercise when you work out with someone you think is fitter and stronger than you.
In fact, study participants increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200 percent when exercising with a partner they perceived as better!
Brandon Irwin, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology at KSU and principle investigator in the study, designed various exercise scenarios to determine if individuals engage in more intense physical activity when alone, paired with a virtual partner or engaged in team competition. Said Irwin:4
“People like to exercise with others and make it a social activity. We found that when you’re performing with someone who you perceive as a little better than you, you tend to give more effort than you normally would alone. …
By the last session, participants in the team group were exercising almost 160 percent longer than those in the partner group, and nearly 200 percent longer than those exercising as individuals.”
The goal of any exercise is to involve as many muscles as you can. You will burn more calories by involving as much of your body as possible in your workout. If you go for a brisk walk, for example, move your arms in a motion that helps propel your legs forward.
If you work out using an elliptical, Stairmaster or treadmill, you can strengthen your core by only using the rails for balance. This means no leaning on the rails! Your core muscles are strengthened when you engage them to keep your body upright and in motion while using these machines.
Maintaining good posture and correct form also will help you avoid injury. As much as possible, keep your head up and your eyes facing out. Resist the temptation to hunch your shoulders, slump on the rails or stare at your feet.
If you find yourself frequently leaning on the rails, you may need to temporarily slow the pace of your workout, shorten your workout or take occasional breaks.
Whenever your exercise is focused on your legs, see if there is a way to also involve your arms. As mentioned above, when you go for a walk, pump your arms and your feet will follow.
A study5 published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport demonstrated exercisers use more fat-burning oxygen when involving their arms while using an elliptical machine than when using their legs alone.
While it may feel strange and will likely draw some curious looks at the gym, walking on the treadmill with your arms raised above your head will intensify your workout.
Certified personal trainer Sandra Hahamian, who works with clients employed by businesses such as Facebook and Google, told Shape:6 “You may look a little funny, but bringing your arms up really raises your heart rate.”
I’ve mentioned high-intensity interval training (HIIT) many times before and, more recently, variable-intensity interval training (VIIT). Both programs are a great way to reduce the time you spend working out while dramatically increasing the benefits you receive from exercise.
A 2016 study7 involving three groups of exercising men — a control group, a group doing sprint interval training (SIT) and a group doing moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) — underscored the value of brief intervals of high-intensity exercise. After 12 weeks of workouts, researchers concluded brief strenuous activity performed during shorter exercise sessions is as effective as working out for longer periods of time at a moderate pace. The study authors stated:8
“[W]e report that a SIT protocol involving three minutes of intense intermittent exercise per week, within a total time commitment of 30 minutes, is as effective as 150 minutes per week of MICT for increasing insulin sensitivity, cardiorespiratory fitness and skeletal muscle mitochondrial content in previously inactive men.”
As with all types of exercise, HIIT and VIIT also trigger mitochondrial biogenesis, which is important for longevity. By reversing age-associated declines in mitochondrial mass, you slow down the aging process. As noted in a 2011 review9 published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, increasing evidence suggests “exercise can induce mitochondrial biogenesis in a wide range of tissues not normally associated with the metabolic demands of exercise.”
As explained in my book, “Fat for Fuel,” because mitochondrial dysfunction seems to be at the core of most chronic disease, activities like HIIT and VIIT that support mitochondrial biogenesis will strengthen your body and help it fight back. Be sure to allow ample recovery time between workout sessions because as intensity increases, frequency diminishes.
Adding weights to your workout can be an effective means of not only creating more intensity, but also burning more calories. Walking outdoors or on a treadmill while carrying hand weights works well if you are in reasonably good shape.
If you are new to this, I recommend you start with a 1-pound (0.45 kilogram) dumbbell in each hand. Focus on swinging your arms naturally and bending your elbows slightly, while keeping your arms close to your body.
You’ll be more likely to stress your joints and risk injury if you use overly heavy weights or swing your arms too high or unnaturally. Another option for adding bulk during exercise is to wear a special garment that gives you control over how much additional weight you carry.
A 2016 study10 sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) proposes that wearing a weighted compression shirt that holds additional weight close to your body’s core can increase your calorie burn by 7 percent during a typical workout.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, led by John Porcari, Ph.D., professor of exercise sport science. Porcari offers the following cautions you should keep in mind when using weights during exercise:11
Regarding the popularity of wearing weighted clothing during exercise, ACE chief science officer Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., states:12
“Weighted compression shirts or vests … place the load more centrally on the body, making them likely a more comfortable and safer choice. Another potential benefit associated with adding weight in the form of a compression shirt is it allows for greater freedom of movement with the hands and arms during a wide variety of exercises and physical activities.”
The video featured below, produced by SixPackFactory, shows you how to add weights and inclines when doing pushups.
Leveraging the effects of gravity during your workouts is another useful tool to burn more calories. After all, your body must work exponentially harder to counteract the forces of gravity when you bike, run or walk on an incline. Exercising on an incline not only intensifies your workout, but it also forces your body to activate more muscle groups beyond those used when you are walking on level ground.
Research performed at the University of Colorado13 looked at muscle activity for the calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads when study participants walked at varying inclines and rates of speed.
They found muscle activity increased significantly with the introduction of inclines of just 3 degrees, with hamstrings displaying 635 percent and glutes 345 percent of the muscular activity of level walking. Muscle activity increased even more when higher rates of speed were introduced with inclines. The study authors concluded:14
Caffeine has been shown to boost your metabolism and can help enhance exercise performance. Caffeine gives you a “lift” because it blocks the normal action of adenosine, which normally slows down your brain’s activity and induces sleepiness. Adenosine forms from the breakdown of ATP or adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that provides cellular energy.
Research by Ori Hofmekler, author of “The Warrior Diet: Switch on Your Biological Powerhouse — for High Energy, Explosive Strength and a Leaner, Harder Body” and “Unlocking the Muscle Gene: Trigger the Biiological Mechanisms That Transform Your Body and Extend Your Life,” showed coffee increases your metabolism by up to 20 percent and can be quite beneficial if consumed before exercise.
In addition to providing you with a temporary metabolic boost, other functional benefits of a preworkout cup of coffee include:
When used before exercise, coffee will give you a good boost. Because coffee affects your muscles, you do not want to drink coffee immediately after exercising.
Also make sure it’s organic, and drink it black (sans sugar or milk). While it may be a bit confusing, coffee, like exercise, inhibits one of your body’s inherent mechanisms called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). mTOR increases protein synthesis and builds muscle — after exercise. (Remember, you do not build muscle while exercising; but rather, muscle building occurs afterward.) Says Hofmekler:15
“[T]he timing of coffee is very important. Before exercise, it will work with the exercise itself. It really inhibits the mTOR, but at the same time, it will stimulate energy production, burning fat and increasing performance. After exercise, it’s not time for coffee. It’s time for a recovery meal … good-quality whey protein.”
As you know, pure, clean water is essential for your survival. If you are an athlete or exercise regularly, you must get your fluid/water replacement issue right to avoid the possibility of becoming dehydrated. On the other hand, you also do not want to overhydrate. As a general rule, drink to thirst.
While severe dehydration can be life threatening, even mild dehydration is problematic — causing cramping, headaches, irritability and impaired cognition. Lack of adequate hydration will most definitely affect your sports performance and diminish the effectiveness of your workouts. As reported by CNN, sports dietitian Amy Goodson said:16
“A 2 percent dehydration level in your body causes a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance. [T]he more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.”
A lack of proper hydration during exercise diminishes blood circulation, which can make muscles cramp up. If you’ve ever had them during exercise, muscle cramps can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Keep in mind changes in your potassium and sodium levels due to sweat loss may also contribute to cramping.
Although you may be tempted to drink sports drinks before your workout to boost your energy, or afterward to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, you’re better off sticking to regular water or coconut water.
Sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas as well as many artificial flavors, food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup — all of which are bad for your health. Remember that low-calorie and sugar-free versions most likely contain artificial sweeteners, which are even worse for you than fructose.
You can easily make your own rehydration beverage by simply adding a small pinch of natural, unprocessed salt to your water. I recommend Himalayan sea salt which, unlike processed salt, contains 84 unique minerals and trace minerals your body needs for optimal functioning.
While it may be tempting to flip through a magazine, read a book, text or watch TV while walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, you may realize more benefits if you tune in to your body during exercise. Daniel Frankl, Ph.D., kinesiology professor at California State University, Los Angeles, told Health.com:17
“[These activities] take your attention away [from] your workout so you may not be giving it your best effort. Paying attention to your effort — your heart rate, your breathing, the sensation in your muscles — helps you maintain a steady effort so you can burn more calories.”
One concern I have about distractions during workouts is the potential risks for accidents and injuries that accompany them. For example, while focusing on a book or screen, you may inadvertently stumble or trip, not notice your shoelace has come untied, or begin slouching or slumping on the equipment.
As told to Outside Online,18 Dr. John Higgins, chief of cardiology and director of exercise physiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston, Texas, says there are benefits to turning off certain distractions while you work out: “Exercise can often help clear your mind and help you solve problems. If you’re now focused on the movie, you may lose that valuable benefit.”
Having been an avid exerciser for nearly 50 years, I wholeheartedly believe a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. No matter your level of physical activity, it’s important to make a realistic evaluation of your situation and continually motivate yourself to greater levels of achievement with respect to your personal exercise program.
Listen to your body and be willing to modify, or completely change up, your routine as your life and health circumstances change. To be successful, you must be willing to change and experiment to find what works best for you, and to continue experimenting as time goes on. Start today by choosing one or more of the tips suggested above and incorporate them into your current routine.
We are in this Together!
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are some of the most harmful and underappreciated threats to your health these days. Chronic exposure has been linked to a number of serious consequences, including a heightened risk for heart problems such as arrhythmias, neurological problems such as depression, autism and Alzheimer’s, and reproductive problems such as infertility, especially in men.
Recent research1 also reveals prenatal exposure to power-frequency fields can nearly triple a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarriage.
Dr. De-Kun Li,2 a lead author and senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente’s research division, told Microwave News,3 “This study provides fresh evidence, directly from a human population, that magnetic field exposure in daily life could have adverse health impacts,” adding his findings “should bring attention to this potentially important environmental hazard to pregnant women.” According to Li, there are at least six other studies, in addition to two of his own, showing this link.
While such evidence is unlikely to put an end to the ongoing controversy over EMF exposure, Li’s research was praised by Dr. Anthony B. Miller,4 Professor Emeritus of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, who called the study “important” and “well-conducted” in an interview with Microwave News.
Even David Savitz, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University School of Public Health,5 who remains critical of the study’s findings, conceded to the publication that it’s “a very nicely designed study.”6
During Li’s 2017 study,7 the team sought to estimate pregnant women’s exposure to EMFs as accurately as possible, based on exposures encountered during a typical day. Data from 913 pregnant women were included. Magnetic fields were measured with a meter registering fields from 40 hertz (Hz) up to 1,000 Hz. The health risks were then evaluated based on peak exposures, opposed to averages over a 24-hour period (which has so far been the norm).
In the end, the researchers determined that women exposed to magnetic fields greater than 2.5 milligauss (mG) or 0.25 microtesla (uT) on a typical day were 2.72 times more likely to suffer a miscarriage compared to those whose peak exposure was below 2.5 mG. Women with peak exposures above 2.5 mG had a miscarriage rate of 24.2%, while the control group (which had exposures below 2.5 mG) had a miscarriage rate of just 10.4%.
In 1998 — the most recent data available — an estimated 26% of the U.S. population was exposed to magnetic fields above 4 mG for more than one hour a day.8 Li did not find a dose-response in his study, however. He postulates the absence of a dose-response may be attributed to a threshold effect, meaning just about any exposure above 2.5 mG — be it just slightly over, double, or more — confers the same level or risk.
The team also found the risk of miscarriage was independent of the actual source of the magnetic fields. In other words, whether the exposure came from household appliances or nearby powerlines, the risk was the same. A 2002 study by Li showed that women with a max peak exposure of 16 mG or higher within a 24-hour period could have anywhere from two to six times the risk of miscarriage.9
At the time, he noted that “The association was stronger for early miscarriage (<10 weeks of gestation) and among ‘susceptible’ women with multiple prior fetal losses or subfertility.” In an effort to obtain a more stable measurement this time around, Li did not use the absolute maximum reading for the day but rather the 99th percentile, defined as the highest level of exposure sustained in a 24-hour period.
In addition to his own studies, Li also cites six other studies showing a link between magnetic field exposure and a heightened risk of miscarriage. These include:
In related news,15 the California department of public health (CDPH) issued a warning16 about EMF exposure in mid-December of 2017, urging people to decrease use of wireless devices and keep them as far away from your body as possible to minimize exposure.
Former CDPH director Dr. Karen Smith is quoted saying, “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cellphones.”
The public announcement appears to be the result of a 2016 lawsuit filed by Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, who sued the CDPH for suppressing the release of its 2010 guidance document on the health effects of cellphone radiation.
The CDPH argued that releasing the document might cause confusion and undue alarm. They even claimed that as “a portion of the public,” the wireless industry and cellphone manufacturers would “likely have no interest in the dissemination of [a] cellphone guidance document.”17
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang overruled most of the CDPH objections,18 ultimately directing the agency to release the document,19 which notes that studies have linked long-term, high use of cellphones to health problems such as:
Moskowitz told KCRA News, “The cellphone manufacturers want you to keep a minimum distance away from your body and you should find out what that distance is. If you keep the device by your body you will exceed the safety limits provided by the FCC [Federal Communications Commission].”20 To minimize exposure to cellphone radiation, the CDPH guidance document recommends:
EMFs have been shown to cause harm through a number of different mechanisms. As explained by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, one of my long-time mentors and founder of the Sophia Health Institute,21 the radiation affects your microbiome, turning what might otherwise be beneficial microbes pathogenic. Research by Martin Pall also shows that microwave radiation activates your voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) — channels in the outer membrane of your cells.
Once activated, the VGCCs open up, allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions into the cell. This increased intracellular calcium and the accompanying increase in calcium signaling appears to be responsible for a majority of the damage that occurs. For more details on this, please see my previous interview with Pall.
For this reason, natural calcium channel blockers such as magnesium can be helpful against EMF exposure, and it’s important to make sure you’re not magnesium deficient. Magnesium threonate appears particularly beneficial, because in addition to acting as a natural calcium channel blocker it also acts as a potent anti-retroviral agent. Klinghardt combines it with 12X calcium phosphate (calcium phosphoric), a homeopathic that helps modulate the calcium channels.
According to recent research, sperm concentration and quality has dramatically declined in the past few decades. One meta-analysis22 of 185 studies, the largest of its kind, showed sperm counts around the world declined by 50% to 60% between 1973 and 2011, with no signs of reversing or even slowing down. Lead author Dr. Hagai Levine, who called the results “profound” and “shocking,”23 believes human extinction is a real possibility, should the trend continue unabated.24
Testicular cancer is also on the rise. While endocrine disrupting chemicals are suspected as being the primary culprits, EMF exposure may also play a significant role in both testicular cancer and male infertility.
In May 2011, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified radiofrequency EMF — such as the radiation from cellphones — a class 2B carcinogen, meaning it is possibly carcinogenic to humans.25
When a man places a cellphone in his front pocket or a laptop in his lap, he’s radiating his testes, which — along with your brain and the pacemaker in your heart — have the highest density of VGCCs. What this suggests is that excessive EMF exposure can be a direct contributor to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility.
Other studies have linked low-level electromagnetic radiation exposure from cellphones to an 8.1% reduction in sperm motility and a 9.1% reduction in sperm viability.26,27
Wi-Fi equipped laptop computers have also been linked to decreased sperm motility and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation after just four hours of use.28 So, if you care about your reproductive health, avoid carrying your cellphone in your pockets or on your hip, and avoid using portable computers and tablets on your lap.
Prenatal EMF exposure may also raise a woman’s risk of having an autistic child. In 2012, Klinghardt conducted a pilot study in which he evaluated the EMF present in the bedroom where the mother slept during pregnancy. It turned out the average exposure of an autistic child to high frequency EMFs from household currents and microwaves from cellphones and other wireless technologies was twentyfold higher than that of the nonautistic children.
Unfortunately, the study never made it into publication, but it convinced him that EMFs were an unacknowledged factor that contributes to autism. Other research has also shown that microwave radiation from cellphones, Wi-Fi routers and similar devices concentrate twentyfold in the womb, meaning whatever the reading is outside the womb, the measurement will be 20 times higher inside the mother.
As noted by Klinghardt in my 2017 article, “Unfortunately, the membranes around the womb have that strange effect in significantly concentrating the ambient EMFs that the mother is in, reaching levels that are not sustainable for human development.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that EMF exposure is a significant health hazard that needs to be addressed if you’re concerned about your health. You can read about many ideas for shielding yourself in my article, “The No. 1 Thing to Do to Protect Yourself From EMFs,” plus, here are several suggestions that will help reduce your EMF exposure:
|Connect your desktop computer to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection and be sure to put your desktop in airplane mode. Also avoid wireless keyboards, trackballs, mice, game systems, printers and portable house phones. Opt for the wired versions.|
|If you must use Wi-Fi, shut it off when not in use, especially at night when you are sleeping. Ideally, work toward hardwiring your house so you can eliminate Wi-Fi altogether. If you have a notebook without any Ethernet ports, a USB Ethernet adapter will allow you to connect to the internet with a wired connection.|
|Shut off the electricity to your bedroom at night. This typically works to reduce electrical fields from the wires in your wall unless there is an adjoining room next to your bedroom. If that is the case you will need to use a meter to determine if you also need to turn off power in the adjacent room.|
|Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light. I use a talking clock for the visually impaired.29|
|If you still use a microwave oven, consider replacing it with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food as quickly and far more safely.|
|Avoid using “smart” appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling. This would include all new “smart” TVs. They are called smart because they emit a Wi-Fi signal, and unlike your computer, you cannot shut the Wi-Fi signal off. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as they don’t emit Wi-Fi.|
|Refuse smart meters as long as you can, or add a radiation shield to an existing smart meter.|
|Consider moving your baby’s bed into your room instead of using a wireless baby monitor. Alternatively, use a hard-wired monitor.|
|Replace CFL bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Ideally remove all fluorescent lights from your house. Not only do they emit unhealthy light, but more importantly, they will actually transfer current to your body just being close to the bulbs.|
|Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body unless in airplane mode and never sleep with it in your bedroom unless it is in airplane mode. Even in airplane mode it can emit signals, which is why I put my phone in a Faraday bag.30|
|When using your cellphone, use the speaker phone and hold the phone at least 3 feet away from you. Seek to radically decrease your time on the cellphone. I typically use my cellphone less than 30 minutes a month, and mostly when traveling. Instead, use VoIP software phones that you can use while connected to the internet via a wired connection.|
We are in this Together!
Small respiratory droplets produced while talking can hang in the air for at least eight minutes and perhaps even longer, researchers report.
The finding could explain why new coronavirus infections are more common in nursing homes, cruise ships and other confined locations with limited ventilation, the Washington Post reported.
As reported previously, always make sure that staff in a Nursing home are wearing masks, not necessarily needed by patients. Also Staff must change into their scrubs or work clothes at the institution they are working at, not dressing from home and coming to work in their scrubs. Covid adhere to clothing.
The researchers used laser light to assess levels of small respiratory droplets that leave people’s mouths when they speak. The study was published May 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Highly sensitive laser light scattering observations have revealed that loud speech can emit thousands of oral fluid droplets per second,” the researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the University of Pennsylvania wrote.
It’s been suspected that small droplets can spread the new coronavirus, but there are conflicting opinions among experts. There is widespread agreement that the virus is typically spread through large respiratory droplets, the Post reported.
This new study did not involve the coronavirus or any other virus, but instead just looked at how people generate respiratory droplets when they talk, the Post reported.
The experiment focused on small droplets that can linger in the air much longer. These droplets could contain enough virus particles to infect someone, the authors said, the Post reported.
Louder speech produces even more droplets, the scientists added. Just one minute of “loud speaking” could generate almost 1,000 virus-containing droplets that stay in the air for more than eight minutes.
“This study is the most accurate measure of the size, number and frequency of droplets that leave the mouth during a normal conversation and shower any listeners within range,” Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, told the Post.
The research “doesn’t directly test whether the virus can be transmitted by talking, but it builds a strong circumstantial case that droplets produced in a normal close conversation would be large enough and frequent enough to create a high risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 or any other respiratory virus between people who are not wearing face masks,” Neuman told the newspaper.
Andrew Noymer, a University of California at Irvine epidemiologist, told the Post that, “speech creates droplets that breathing alone does not. That much is clear. Big mouths of the world, beware. You’re putting the rest of us at risk.”
We are in this Together!
( WARNING THAT THE LANGUAGE IS STRONG)
THE QUESTION IS WHY?
Anyone who thought the US military was preparing to force vaccinate every American with a coronavirus vaccine has just found strong evidence to confirm the plan. According to a press release from the US Dept. of Defense, featuring an announcement from Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, the DoD is partnering with HHS to acquire 500 million ApiJect vaccine injection devices, with deliveries expected to begin in October of this year.
According to the press release:
Spearheaded by the DOD’s Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF), in coordination with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the contract will support “Jumpstart” to create a U.S.-based, high-speed supply chain for prefilled syringes beginning later this year by using well-established Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS) aseptic plastics manufacturing technology, suitable for combatting COVID-19 when a safe and proven vaccine becomes available.
The ApiJect syringes come with an optional RFID tag so that health care workers can track the GPS location and identity of the individual being injected. Via the Apiject.com website:
With an optional RFID/NFC tag on each BFS prefilled syringe, ApiJect will make this possible. Before giving an injection, the healthcare worker will be able to launch a free
mobile app and “tap” the prefilled syringe on their phone, capturing the NFC tag’s unique serial number, GPS location and date/time. The app then uploads the data to a government-selected cloud database. Aggregated injection data provides health administrators an evolving real-time “injection map.”
Yes, you will be tracked, tagged, bagged and injected, most likely against your will.
Don’t forget that this is being married with President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” which aims to bypass all the usual protocols of vaccine safety testing and clinical trials, delivering up to 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses before the end of calendar 2020.
The $138 million contract aims to achieve, “the ultimate production goal of over 500 million prefilled syringes (doses) in 2021.”
Notably, there are only around 327 million people living in the United States. That means this DoD / HHS project will produce enough coronavirus vaccine doses to cover every man, woman and child in America.
The only reason they would need so many doses is if there is a plan under way to force vaccines on everyone.
If coronavirus vaccines were planned to be optional — respecting the vaccine choice of individuals — not more than 100 million doses would be needed. The fact that 500 million doses are being manufactured is an admission that the DoD and HHS plan to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory.
Present-day vaccines that claim to treat measles, mumps, chicken pox, HPV and other infectious diseases are deliberately manufactured with a bizarre list of toxic and unethical ingredients, including:
Which ingredients are going to be formulated into the coronavirus vaccine?
And if the coronavirus vaccine is going to be produced without any real quality control or clinical trials, how will drug companies or government agencies know whether the vaccine is safe?
With LA County recently announcing a plan to keep its residents locked down for another three months, and with the FDA and CDC conspiring with Big Pharma to grant “emergency approval” to vaccines which could not possibly go through the required safety trials, it’s abundantly clear that safety is not the issue.
Even Bill Gates now admits that 700,000 people could experience side effects from a coronavirus vaccine, and some of those side effects no doubt include death.
The real goal here is to corral human beings like cattle and subject them to a “kill switch” vaccine injection, which will obviously be engineered with infertility chemicals (soft kill) and engineered elements that cause a cytokine storm death upon a subsequent infection (hard kill). Depopulation has been the goal all along. That’s why they need all the RFID tracking technology: to make sure they’ve injected everyone while tracking now “refuseniks” to be arrested and injected at gunpoint.
And that’s why vaccine mandates are going to be aggressively resisted by the “human resistance” members, who are already aware that the US military is being prepared for a vaccine mandate deployment mission on US soil. President Trump, meanwhile, has become the “vaccine president” and has apparently gone all-in with Big Pharma, pushing his “Operation Warp Speed” project that makes a mockery of the very idea of “evidence-based medicine” or vaccine safety.
Resistance against coronavirus vaccines is already accelerating. It looks like even mainstream conservatives are going to fight to resist the coming vaccine mandates, while so-called “pro choice” progressives are going to claim the government owns your body and can forcibly inject you with anything they want, including experimental, unproven vaccine cocktails. One thing that has emerged from all this is how conservatives are now more skeptical of vaccines than ever before… and the battle for medical choice is rapidly gaining awareness.
It’s clear that any effort by Trump or various governors to push mandatory vaccines on the public is likely to be met with determined resistance.
The vaccine wars may be coming to America very soon.
From a human rights perspective, a mandatory vaccination is an assault with a deadly weapon and a violation of basic human dignity and the rights of personhood. This is self-evident from the fact that vaccines kill people every year in America, a verified fact that’s openly admitted by the government in its quarterly vaccine damage reports (VAERS.HHS.gov).
If vaccines kill and maim people — which they do — then forcing an especially fast-tracked vaccine on someone against their will is a form of violence and a clear felony assault against that person.
If someone is attempting to assault you with a deadly weapon, you have every right to defend yourself under US law. No emergency declaration nullifies your exclusive ownership over your own body. And no legitimate government would ever attempt to claim the right to penetrate your body with dangerous substances without your consent.
This argument is even stronger when you realize that there are many ways a person can boost their immunity against an infectious disease, including having good nutrition (vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, etc.) and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that avoids toxic prescription medications such as blood pressure drugs. For a vaccine zealot to claim that vaccines are the one and only way to protect public health, while denying the effectiveness of all other strategies, is a horrifying example intellectual fraud.
The fact that vaccines can and do spread other diseases under certain circumstances — such as polio, chickenbox and even the measles — reveals that vaccines may actually harm more people than they help. Because vaccines present the risk of harm, the choice of whether to agree to a vaccine injection must rest with the patient, not the doctor nor the government. This is a basic principle of western medicine: Informed consent. (And “First, do no harm.”) In fact, it is codified under medical ethics rules of the American Medical Association.
Without informed consent, we don’t have a system of medicine at all. In its place, we have a system of authoritarian medical tyranny — essentially a medical police state.
We are in this Together!
About the author: Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger“) is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called “Food Forensics“), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics. Follow his videos, podcasts, websites and science projects at the links below.
Mike Adams serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation. He has also achieved numerous laboratory breakthroughs in the programming of automated liquid handling robots for sample preparation and external standards prep.
The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams patent NO. US 9526751 B2 for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. Adams has pledged to donate full patent licensing rights to any state or national government that needs to manufacture the product to save human lives in the aftermath of a nuclear accident, disaster, act of war or act of terrorism. He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs. No independent scientist in the world has done more research on the removal of radioactive elements from the human digestive tract.
Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and American Indians. He is of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his “Health Ranger” passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.
Adams is the author of the world’s first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.
In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams
developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed “strange fibers” found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health “gurus,” dangerous “detox” products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.
Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.
You probably already know that cardio, or “aerobic,” exercise — the kind that gets your heart pumping — is good for your ticker. It lowers your resting pulse and strengthens your heart muscle. That’s why, as you slowly lengthen your cardio workouts, you’re able to go for longer time and distance. But your heart isn’t the only part of your body that benefits.
Cardio may be good for your shut-eye. Scientists know that it can help you keep an even mood, wind down at bedtime, and set up a healthy sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). The exact brain effects aren’t always clear, but people who exercise more tend to get more of the deep “slow wave” sleep that helps renew the brain and body. But try not to exercise too close to bedtime, which disrupts sleep for some people.
The first COVID-19 test using saliva samples that patients collect at home has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The emergency use authorization was issued to Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory for the diagnostic test using home-collected samples. Patients return their sample to the New Jersey-based lab in a sealed package for analysis.
The screening is the only authorized test that uses saliva samples to check for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It is available only with a prescription.
Last month, the FDA gave emergency authorization for the first at-home COVID-19 test using a sample taken from the patient’s nose with a nasal swab and saline.
“Authorizing additional diagnostic tests with the option of at-home sample collection will continue to increase patient access to testing for COVID-19,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in an agency news release. “This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site.”
At-home saliva testing has several advantages over traditional nasal testing, in which a health care worker inserts a swab deep into the patient’s nose and rotates it to extract a sample.
Besides being invasive and uncomfortable, the nasal test requires a potentially contagious patient to leave home and the person administering the test to don personal protective gear.
Since the start of the pandemic, Hahn said FDA has authorized more than 80 COVID-19 tests, and adding more options for at-home sample collection is an important advance.
“It is important to note that this is not a general authorization for at-home collection of patient samples using other collection methods, saliva collection devices, or tests, or for tests fully conducted at home,” the FDA news release said.
Do know that you are giving your DNA over to the government to own. You are sending you DNA, to a government supported genomics laboratory. If you have no symptoms, you do not need a test.
We are in this Together!
Traces of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been found in the semen of some severely infected men, raising the possibility that the virus might be sexually transmitted, a new study from China claims.
Researchers found evidence of the virus in six men out of a group of 38 COVID-19 patients at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in China who provided samples.
The six men included four who were still infected and two who were recovering, the researchers said.
The study was led by Dr. Weiguo Zhao of the People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, and findings were published May 7 in the journal JAMA Network Open.
It’s not surprising that the virus was found in semen samples, since it’s also been found in stool and other body fluids, said Dr. Ryan Berglund, a urologist with the Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute.
Infectious viruses commonly are found in semen, with Zika being one recent notable example. The Chinese researchers noted that 27 different viruses have been detected in human semen.
However, Berglund and infectious disease experts warn that this does not constitute concrete evidence that COVID-19 can be sexually transmitted.
“I think that’s premature,” Berglund said. “You have to look at this as a sign that semen, as along with a number of other body fluids, can contain the virus.”
The new paper comes on the heels of another study from China that found no traces of coronavirus in 34 men with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. That study was published in late April in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, said “the fact that the novel coronavirus’ genetic material is found in the semen of male patients is an important finding that will need follow-up study.”
Agreeing with the need for further research is Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
“To me, it raises a warning, and now we have to attend to that warning and do the research,” Poland said.
But both Adalja and Poland have doubts about the potential for COVID-19 to be sexually transmitted.
“We know the virus is transmitted efficiently through the respiratory route and we have not seen any documented cases of sexual transmission, therefore this may not necessarily represent proof of sexual transmissibility via the male genital tract,” Adalja said.
That being said, there is more we do not know than know, and we need to heed on the side of caution.
Poland noted that the new study relies on testing that only detects traces of genetic material from the coronavirus.
“It doesn’t tell you that it’s whole, viable, infectious virus,” Poland said. “If I ground up the virus and performed this test, it would be positive even though that virus has no infectious potential.”
Even so, the World Health Organization, in February 2020 advised that everyone sleep in their own bedrooms, and abstain from sex.
We are in this Together!
The virus that causes COVID-19 typically strikes the lungs with full force, but new research shows it can also cause frostbite-like patches on the hands and toes, and rashes on the body.
The condition has recently been dubbed “COVID toes.” Fortunately, it isn’t serious and the lesions usually disappear on their own, said Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
“One of the more surprising findings in this epidemic has been the lesions that we’re seeing on people’s toes and hands,” she said.
Freeman noted that COVID toes aren’t caused by exposure to cold, as is frostbite or chilblains. Rather it seems to be an inflammation of the circulatory system that shows up as a skin rash.
“It’s really important to reassure the public that most of our patients who are developing COVID toes are doing very well, so they’re often patients who have a benign clinical course. They either are having mild disease or often their only symptom might be their toes,” she said.
Freeman said that COVID toes don’t just happen to children, as some have believed — adults also get them.
Should you develop COVID toes, you’re not likely to end up in an intensive care unit. “That’s not what we’re seeing in the data,” said Freeman.
Skin rashes aren’t always associated with viruses, but measles, herpes and chickenpox are conditions where skin eruptions are the main symptoms, so it’s not unheard of, Freeman noted.
She can’t say how common COVID toes are because the data that would include the number of cases of COVID-19 and COVID toes doesn’t exist. Freeman is compiling a registry of known COVID toe cases.
Anecdotally, she’s seeing a lot more cases than usual. “In addition to running the registry, I see patients myself through tele-dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and I have seen more toes in the past two weeks than I have in the rest of my career,” Freeman said.
If you have what you think might be COVID toes, don’t panic, Freeman said. Don’t rush off to the emergency room, but don’t ignore it either. The best thing to do is contact your doctor or dermatologist, she added.
Also, don’t try to get a COVID-19 test. “You should talk to your health care provider and decide the risks and benefits for your particular case. It’s important to go by local testing guidelines. It’s not as simple as a yes-no, but I think that it should be considered a COVID-19 infection,” Freeman said.
Dr. Raman Madan is a dermatologist at Northwell Health Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. He said, “COVID toes is the most common finding I have seen in patients via tele-dermatology. It is a fairly new symptom that we usually do not see with a lot of viruses.”
Traditionally, the condition would result from being out in the cold for a long time or having a rheumatologic problem, he said.
“With COVID-19, I have been seeing it in a lot of young, healthy people. There is still a lot to be learned,” Madan said.
A lot of patients have been asymptomatic aside from the toes and have been testing negative on their viral culture, but positive on their antibody test, Madan said.
“This has led me to believe that this may occur at the convalescent stage of illness, meaning after the body has cleared the virus. We are still working on the best guidance to give patients,” he said.
Two recent reports detail cases of COVID-19 and show that hands and toes aren’t the only places rashes appear.
In one, researchers described a patient in Wuhan, China, with COVID-19 who developed a rash on the torso. The researchers believe the rash was caused by an immune response to the virus and the patient tested positive for the Epstein-Barr virus, which has been tied to COVID-19. The rash disappeared within a week, but the patient died from COVID-19.
In the second case, a Spanish man suffering from COVID-19 developed a rash on his thighs and buttocks. The rash went away after five days and the patient left the hospital after 12 days. The researchers assume that the rash was a reaction to the virus.
We are in this Together!