Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Toxic Chocolate

childeatingchocolate

Toxic Chocolate

 

Consumer health watchdog As You Sow released results today showing that 35 of 50 chocolate products tested, including chocolate bunnies and eggs, expose consumers to lead and cadmium above levels set by California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

Testing commissioned by As You Sow, and conducted at independent laboratories, indicates that the chocolate products contain lead and/or cadmium, and they fail to provide the legally required warning to consumers.

 

As You Sow has filed legal notices against chocolate manufacturers, including Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s, Green and Black’s, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See’s Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics, and more, for failure to warn of lead and/or cadmium in their chocolate products.

 

“Lead exposure is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and decreased IQ, even at very low levels. In fact, there is no safe level of lead for children,” said Eleanne van Vliet, MPH, As You Sow’s Environmental Health Consultant.

 

“As underscored by the Flint disaster, humans have contaminated our environment with lead, and now we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and children, who are the most vulnerable of us, from every possible exposure,” said Sean Palfrey, MD, a pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine. “Young children and pregnant women especially should avoid exposure to lead.”

“Lead and cadmium accumulate in the body, so avoiding exposure is important, especially for children,” explained Danielle Fugere, As You Sow President. “Our goal is to work with chocolate manufacturers to find ways to avoid these metals in their products.”

 

Scientists have linked chronic cadmium exposure to kidney, liver, and bone damage in humans. Children are more susceptible to especially susceptible to even from low doses over time. Animal studies associate cadmium exposure with decreased birth weight, neurobehavioral problems, and male reproductive harm.

 

Recent revelations of lead contamination in water in Flint, Michigan raised awareness that lead is irrefutably linked to neurological impacts in children.

 

Since 1992, As You Sow has led enforcement actions resulting in removal of lead from children’s jewelry and formaldehyde from portable classrooms.

The brands involved are:

Bissinger’s

Bissinger’s All Natural 60% Dark Chocolate Whole Almonds Lead

Earth Circle Foods dba River Canyon Retreat Inc.

 

Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs Cold Pressed Cadmium

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

 

Ghiradelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Chocolate Bar Cadmium

Ghiradelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Lead & Cadmium

Godiva

 

Godiva Chocolatier 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lead

Godiva Chocolatier 85% Cacao Extra Dark Chocolate Lead & Cadmium

Godiva Chocolatier 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead & Cadmium

 

The Hershey Company

 

Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (62% cacao) Cadmium

Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (82% cacao) Cadmium

Dagoba

 

Organic New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate (74% cacao) Lead & Cadmium

Lake Champlain Chocolates

 

Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate (57% cocoa) Lead & Cadmium

Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc.

 

Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Excellence Extra Dark Lead & Cadmium

Mars, Incorporated

 

Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar Cadmium

Mondelez International, Inc.

 

Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Bar Lead & Cadmium

Moonstruck Chocolate Co.

Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado (68% cacao) Lead

See’s Candies, Inc.

 

See’s Candies Premium Extra Dark Chocolate (62% cacao) Cadmium

The Kroger Co.

 

Private Selection 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Swiss Bar Lead & Cadmium

Theo Chocolate Theo

 

Organic Fair Trade Pure 85% Dark Chocolate Cadmium

Trader Joe’s Company

 

Trader Joe’s Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar – Toffee With Walnuts and Pecans 70% cacao Lead

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Lead

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus, 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 73% Cacao Super Dark Lead & Cadmium

Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar (85% cacao) Lead & Cadmium

Vosges, Ltd. Wild

 

Ophelia All Natural New Orleans Chili – Dark Chocolate Bar (70% cacao) Lead

Whole Foods Market, Inc.

 

365 Everyday Value Organic Dark Chocolate (56% Cacao) Lead & Cadmium

 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us for help.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Dr Anna Killarney

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Shilajit Supplement Found to Contain High Levels of Lead and Arsenic

shilatjsupreme

 

Ayurvedic shilajit supplement found to contain alarmingly high levels of LEAD and ARSENIC heavy metals

 

Recent tests in my internationally accredited science laboratory (ISO 17025 accreditation, the “gold standard” of analytical excellence) revealed a shilajit supplement to contain an astonishing 2,700+ ppb (parts per billion) of lead, a toxic heavy metal linked to cognitive damage.

 

This is the same toxic heavy metal found in the Flint, Michigan water supply which resulted in government scientists being charged with felony crimes. The EPA’s limit on lead in the water supply is 15 ppb. The shilajit product we tested was over 180 times higher.

 

The same shilajit supplement was also found to contain over 600 ppb of arsenic, another toxic heavy metal. Alarmingly, it was also found to contain these concentrations of yet more elements and metals that may be toxic at high concentrations:

 

Copper: 4,200+ ppb

Nickel: 4,900+ ppb

Aluminum: 1,380,747 ppb (or 1,380 parts per million)

 

According to the heavy metals grading scale I developed and published at Low Heavy Metals Verified, this concentration of lead would earn this shilajit supplement an “F” grade.

 

As a result of the metals composition found in shilajit, I am issuing a consumer alert to avoid shilajit supplements unless you know for certain that they are significantly clean of toxic heavy metals. (Grade “A” or better at LowHeavyMetalsVerified.org.)

 

Personally, not only would I never eat anything containing 2700+ ppb of lead, I would never sell such a supplement in the first place. In my opinion as a scientist, author and superfood formulator, it is highly unethical to sell supplements to the public when they contain such high levels of lead, copper, arsenic, nickel and aluminum.

 

What is shilajit?

 

Shilajit is a black, fulvic acid-rich mineral substance that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It’s currently sold as an Ayurvedic dietary supplement, along with some rather dicey claims that it promotes sexual function, brain function, immune function and even detoxification. It is difficult to fathom how shilajit can be claimed to be so healing when it is contaminated with such high concentrations of heavy metals and toxic elements.

 

Lead, of course, damages cognitive function and harms neurodevelopment in children. It is exhaustively linked to lowered IQ in humans, making it very difficult to grasp how a product with such high concentrations of lead could claim to support “brain function.”

 

And here’s a link to the Healthforce Shilajit web page which describes this dietary supplement as a “thick, resinous material that oozed out of cracks in the … cliffs” and was eaten by monkeys. That same page explains that the metals and elements found in shilajit are “highly bioavailable minerals.” (Just what I wanted for Christmas… highly bioavailable lead, arsenic, nickel and aluminum!)

 

Other claims on the website seem to wildly contradict the known toxic effects of the heavy metals the product contains. For example, the product is claimed to “supports memory, learning, and healthy brain function” even though lead is known to damage memory, learning and healthy brain function.

 

Perhaps most shockingly, the Healthforce web page explains: “We test our shilajit for identity, pesticides, microbials, heavy metals, irradiation, GMOs, solvent residues, and fulvic acid content to assure the high level of purity and potency that our customers deserve.” This means, quite obviously, that the Healthforce company is aware of the lead, arsenic, aluminum and other potentially harmful elements found in their shilajit product, but they continue to sell it anyway.

 

That’s truly shocking to me. Healthforce is bluntly admitting that even though they test their products for heavy metals, they do not stop selling them when concerning high levels of those heavy metals are found in their products. So what, exactly, is the point of testing them in the first place? Do they test them just so they can say on their website that “we tested for heavy metals?”

 

For the record, shilajit supplements have been banned in Canada for the very reason you might suspect: The substance is so high in heavy metals that Health Canada has long since determined it is too dangerous for human consumption.

 

Canada’s ban on shilajit due to toxic levels of lead and other heavy metals

 

Via this Canadian government archive page:

 

Health Canada is warning consumers not to use certain Ayurvedic medicinal products because they contain high levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and/or arsenic. Health Canada is taking action to remove these products from the market and to prevent further importation into Canada.

 

Ayurvedic medicinal products are used in traditional Indian healing and are often imported from India. According to the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, heavy metals may be used because of their reputed therapeutic properties. However, improper manufacturing processes may result in dangerously high levels of heavy metals remaining in the final product.

 

Heavy metals pose a particular health risk because they may accumulate in vital organs. Children are most susceptible to the toxic effects of heavy metal poisoning. For example, arsenic poisoning can cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle cramps, heart abnormalities, liver damage, anaemia and reduced motor nerve function. Lead poisoning can cause weight loss, insomnia, dizziness, swelling of the brain and paralysis. Mercury poisoning can cause tremors, insomnia, memory loss, slowed sensory and motor nerve function, and reduced mental function.

 

As a precaution, Health Canada advises Canadians not to use any other Karela, Safi, Maha Sudarshan Churna, Yograj Guggul, Sudarshan or Shilajit products unless they have the required market authorization.

 

Testing protocol

 

As you know if you’ve followed my work for very long, I am the founder and lab science director at CWC Labs. There, I’ve spent several years pioneering heavy metals research into foods and dietary supplements through ICP-MS instrumentation. (The U.S. Patent Office has just awarded me two ICP-MS-related patents, by the way, which have been pending for almost three years. They will be published by the government in just a few weeks.)

 

My laboratory has also been awarded this Certificate of Excellence for outstanding analytical work, achieving “100% acceptable data” while producing analysis data for water samples that was off by only 0.3 ppb (0.0003 ppm). I’m also the author of the widely acclaimed book Food Forensics, which achieved the Amazon.com #1 Best selling SCIENCE book ranking before it was even launched.

 

To test this shilajit supplement, I used our accredited in-house method, based on EPA 200.8, a published scientific method for elemental analysis. The internal standard I mapped to lead for this determination was Bismuth-209, widely known to be the heaviest stable nucleus in existence, with a half life that is more than a billion times longer than the age of our universe.

 

Today, I am routinely testing dietary supplements for many commercial customers. Since launching this commercial testing service at CWC Labs, I have only seen one health product with a more disturbing heavy metals profile than this shilajit dietary supplement: powdered zeolite (which is usually extremely high in lead and aluminum, beyond anything else in the entire industry).

 

How can it “detox” you when it’s so high in toxic elements?

 

Over the years of being involved in the raw food industry, veganism, nutrition and forensic laboratory science, I have come to reluctantly discover that many companies that manufacture and sell dietary supplements are run by people who are scientifically illiterate.

 

You’d be amazed to learn just how many so-called “detox supplements” are actually loaded with toxic heavy metals. It’s beyond belief, and if you ran a world-class laboratory like I do, you’d be shaking your head in amazement at the number of “detox” supplements that still exist in the marketplace today, often sold with what can only be called a degree of carnival hucksterism.

 

Shilajit is no exception. It’s been found to contain such high concentrations of toxic lead that Canada banned shilajit supplements, citing high lead content as a threat to public safety. Yet here in the United States, many of the very same people who wouldn’t dare eat GMOs or swallow pesticides are literally eating shilajit (or other similar substances) by the spoonful. (Yes, you can scratch your own head in wonderment at all this…)

 

My official shilajit health warnings

 

WARNING #1) Shilajit supplements may contain very high levels of toxic heavy metals. In fact, many medicinal herbs from India and China (both for Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine) are very heavily contaminated with lead and other toxic elements. See my recent coverage of the FDA’s recall on turmeric for another example.

 

WARNING #2) Some companies that sell shilajit have a long history of selling other dietary products containing very high levels of toxic heavy metals. As you’ve seen in this article, even when some companies are fully aware of the high heavy metals their products contain, they are willing to keep selling them anyway!

 

WARNING #3) Do not trust any shilajit product unless you have it tested by a competent, accredited laboratory. If you want my laboratory to test products for you, you may purchase these heavy metals test kits to have us test your dietary supplements, soils, water or even your own hair composition. (Our test is conducted via ICP-MS and analyzes your sample for 20 elements, including the toxic heavy metals.)

 

Finally, do not eat rocks or inorganic minerals that might ooze out from between rocks. I know it sounds almost stupid to say “don’t eat rocks,” but you’d be amazed how many products I’ve seen in the industry which are basically just ground up rocks. Nearly all cheap calcium supplements, for example, are just compressed, powdered oyster shells or cheap calcium sources often contaminated with lead. If you’re taking cheap, low-grade calcium supplements, you are actually causing yourself serious health damage (which is why cheap calcium pills are linked to serious health problems).

 

As I’ve warned people again and again, get your minerals from living plants wherever possible, not from rocks or rock derivatives. And do not believe the quack science of the fringe supplement pushers who claim things like “lead is a mineral, so it’s good for you!” There’s no such thing as healthy lead, by the way. For decades, they put it into gasoline to improve engine performance. What we got as a result is nationwide cognitive decline and a huge rise in mental retardation. Go figure…

 

And yes, for the record, there are great many people in the so-called “raw food” movement who are mentally deranged and seriously brain damaged from heavy metals, recreational drugs or a bizarre combination of the two. If they tell you to eat something because it’s amazing, awesome, ancient or popular, think twice about what you’re doing. If you consume shilajit, you’re basically licking nasty black crap out of the side of a cliff like a bunch of monkeys. You’d be better off growing sunflower sprouts in clean water enhanced with ocean minerals, quite frankly.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Mike Adams

Archived

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Reduce your chance of Alzheimers

alzheimer2

New research suggests aluminum exposure contributes to dementia, but there is plenty you can do to lower your risk.

Aluminum is one of the most widely used metals in the world. Consider your morning commute: You hop into your car, where you’re protected from the elements by aluminum body panels. You sip your morning coffee from an aluminum travel mug. You arrive at your desk and pry open your laptop’s aluminum case to check your email.

All of this exposure to aluminum, however, may come at a cost. Research suggests that the metal — a known neurotoxin — builds up in the brain over time, contributing to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Writing in a recent issue of The Lancet, neuroscientist Chris Exley made an impassioned case that the modern Aluminum Age, as he calls it, plays a significant role in neurodegenerative diseases. We overlook these risks because aluminum is so common, Exley argued. But there are several explanations for how aluminum may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. For one, aluminum encourages proteins called amyloids to clump together in the brain, which is a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease. This accumulation may block signals between nerve cells or lead to changes that destroy brain cells.

Aluminum is toxic to the brain, just like mercury, lead, and arsenic, said neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain and the Grain Brain Cookbook, in an interview with Yahoo Health. “Over the past 20 years there have been several important research publications that have drawn conclusions relating Alzheimer’s disease to aluminum exposure,” he added. Studies have linked higher aluminum content in drinking water to higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease, for example. And one of the most promising Alzheimer’s therapies involves removing aluminum from the body, providing evidence that the two are closely connected, according to a research review in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Five Tips to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Because aluminum is so pervasive, it’s nearly impossible to avoid completely. But taking certain steps can significantly lower your risk of developing dementia. “The truth of the matter is that there is no treatment for dementia now or at any time in the foreseeable future, and yet dementia, for the most part, is strongly related to lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and even preventing head trauma,” said Perlmutter. “This is powerful information as it puts dementia into the same category as heart disease, for example, in which everyone seems to be very aware of the fact that there are things we can do to prevent that issue.”

If you’re looking to keep your dome healthy, lowering your exposure to aluminum is one course of action, but it’s not the most important one. “These studies on aluminum are intriguing but are in no way as significant as other important and modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease for which there is profound support in the medical literature,” Perlmutter said.

Follow these tips to reduce your risk for dementia and keep your brain healthy as you age:

  • Watch your blood sugar. “Even mild elevations of blood sugar, well below the threshold for making a diagnosis of diabetes, have now been demonstrated to significantly correlate with the risk of developing dementia,” said Perlmutter. To keep blood sugar under control, limit the amount of carbohydrates you consume and choose healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds. If you choose to eat meat, pick grass-fed beef and wild fish, which are higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

2) Keep up with cardio. “Physical activity is a wonderful brain activity,” Douglas Scharre, MD, director of the division of cognitive neurology at Ohio State University, told Yahoo Health. Aerobic activity can make your brain more resilient against developing dementia, studies suggest. Perlmutter recommended at least 20 minutes of sustained aerobic activity each day, such as running, brisk walking, or bike riding.

3) Protect your noggin. Even mild head trauma early in life — a hard knock during a high school football game or a rough crash while rollerblading — can set the stage for dementia later on, Perlmutter said. The simple fix: Always wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading.

4) Sip mineral water. Silicon is a common mineral in tap and bottled water. It also chemically counteracts aluminum and is given to patients to treat acute aluminum poisoning. A 2013 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that drinking mineral water with silicon helped flush aluminum from the body. Check the label on your bottled water, which should list the minerals it contains.

5) Lower your cholesterol. If your cholesterol levels are high, getting them under control may reduce your risk for dementia. “In studies where large groups of people were followed for many years, people in midlife who were taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs reduced their risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by about 60 to 70 percent compared to those who weren’t taking statins for elevated cholesterol,” said Scharre. Keep your heart and head happy with these five tips to lower your cholesterol levels.

6.)  What pots and pans are you cooking in?  Which deodorant or anti-persperant are you using ( look for the words aluminum chloride) , check to make sure your cans of food have a white liner coating the inside of your cans.