Ancient Black Seed May Hold the Secret to Fighting Cancer and Reversing Diabetes

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Black Cumin Seed

By Adam

For thousands of years, cultures residing in the far east have learned how to use their natural surroundings to both feed themselves and to take care of medical issues.

In fact, most of the natural, plant-based therapies we use today for health issues originated in the far east.

One of their favorite plants for health has now become quite popular in the U.S.; as this ancient black seed may hold the secret to fighting cancer and reversing diabetes.

3 Ways Black Cumin Seed Could Help Treat a Host of Health Issues

Black cumin seed is unlike the cumin the average person has in their spice rack.

Black cumin seeds come from the Nigella sativa plant.

This flowering plant is traditionally found in south and southwest Asia.

Growing to a maximum height of 12 inches, the delicate flowers come in pale blue and white and the seeds of the plant are numerous.

For more than 2000 years, traditional cultures have used black cumin seed to treat conditions like headaches and to increase energy levels.

It was so popular and so effective that researchers found that King Tut even used it (it was found in his tomb).

Today we know that black cumin seed truly is a miracle of nature as ‘it’s been shown to help modulate immune function (and may prevent cancer) as well as enhance how the body responds to insulin while also improving inflammatory response.

Here’s exactly how it works.

1 – Black Cumin Boosts Immune Function:

Black cumin seeds have been shown to help two critical kinds of immune cells called macrophages and helper T-cells.

Macrophages and helper T-cells suppress biological threats that could make you sick.

In research from the journal, Ethnopharmacology researchers injected mice with an extract of black cumin seed oil to see how it helped the immune system protect the body against viruses.

Their findings were that yes, black cumin seed extract, did help battle viral infection.

What caused the boost in immune function?

The researchers think a substance called thymoquinone “specifically boosts the survival rate and activity of other key cells in the immune response… this activity, known as ‘conditioning’ amplifies the effectiveness of these vital immune system cells against possible threats.”

And while this was an animal study, human studies show something similar.

Life Extension writes: “These effects appear in humans treated with black cumin seed oil as well, according to a study presented at a recent international conference.

That study reported a 55% increase in the activity of T-helper cells, and a 30% increase in natural killer cell function, following black cumin seed oil supplementation.”

By boosting immune function, it could help your body fight cancer formation.

2 – Boosts Insulin Sensitivity:

One of the best ways to get rid of Type 2 Diabetes is to get blood sugar under control.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that comes from a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. When those two factors coalesce, the body can’t manage insulin well and blood sugar becomes elevated, which eventually leads to compromised insulin function.

But as Healthline writes; there are several studies supporting the use of black cumin seed oil to help treat Type 2 diabetes.

  • A 2016 overview in the British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, indicated that the role of N. sativa seeds in treating diabetes is substantially important (enhancing insulin production, glucose tolerance, and beta cell proliferation). The overview concluded that the seeds also can play a significant role in the treatment of diabetes complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy, and atherosclerosis.

  • A 2013 study concluded that high doses of N. sativa oil significantly elevated serum insulin levels in diabetic rats, providing a therapeutic effect.

  • A 2017 study concluded that black cumin seed oil over time reduced HbA1c — the average blood glucose levels — by increasing insulin production, decreasing insulin resistance, stimulating cellular activity, and decreasing intestinal insulin absorption.”

Essentially black cumin seed oil can help to balance blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity which allows for the normalization of blood sugar and insulin.

When insulin and blood sugar fall in line it can help to reverse and even cure type 2 diabetes.

3 – Black Cumin Seed Helps Fight Chronic Inflammation:

One of the leading factors in the development of the common disease of civilization (cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, etc.) is unchecked inflammation.

When chronic inflammation is allowed to exist in the body, the out of control immune response that takes place disrupts essential systems.

This can lead to cell mutation (cancer), overproduction of amyloid plaques (Alzheimer’s), high blood pressure (cardiovascular disease) and more.

By fighting inflammation, you can help to reverse or stop many of these deadly diseases.

Fortunately, black cumin seed has been shown to help fight inflammation.

Not only does it have antioxidant properties (Life Extension writes that black cumin seed oil “contains powerful antioxidants that reduce intracellular products of oxidation, boost natural cellular antioxidant systems, and scavenge free radicals before they can do harm“), black cumin seed also suppresses one of the worst pro-inflammatory molecules in the body.

Studies show that black cumin seed helps to suppress the activity of the “master inflammatory regulator” complex known as NF-kappaB.

By suppressing NF-kappaB the amount of inflammation in the body may never reach dangerous levels which would prevent the formation of many diseases.

Black Cumin Seed, Easy to Find, Easy to Take

Because it’s an ancient seed and grows all over Asia, black cumin seed is very easy to find.

You can find it in whole form (it’s often used as an ingredient in many meals), in oils, or in capsules.

Always select an organic variety as to be sure of the purity and the fact it’s free of dangerous chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.

Beware of the Hidden Dangers Behind Eating Some of the Healthiest Vegetables

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Vegetables

By Adam

The rationale behind building a diet based on plenty of vegetables is sound nutritional advice.

This is because vegetables are rich in a multitude of health-boosting compounds; from cancer-fighting antioxidants to heart-healthy fiber.

And while it’s impossible to argue that vegetables aren’t needed for excellent health, the average person should beware of the hidden dangers behind eating some of the healthiest vegetables.

Namely, some vegetables contain potentially harmful compounds that can lead to serious health issues down the road.

Why Vegetables Are Dangerous in The First Place

Oxalic acid is a potentially dangerous substance that you’ll find in vegetables like broccoli, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables.

Before we discuss what makes it dangerous, let’s go over why a dangerous compound like oxalic acid is in vegetables in the first place.

Plants, by their very nature, want to thrive and survive.

And in order to survive, they need to have mechanisms built-in that deter animals or parasites from eating them or destroying them from the inside.

Thus, plants form all kinds of toxic compounds to ward off becoming lunch for a deer, or a grub.

Most plants are unsuitable for human consumption, that’s why you can’t go out into your backyard and start snacking on an elm tree.

And the few plants that we can eat still contain toxic elements.

For instance, blueberries contain precursors to cyanic acid (which forms the structure needed to make cyanide).

Nightshades of all varieties have substances called alkaloids in them which are potentially harmful.

While many of the edible plants we eat have low levels of dangerous toxins, some of them contain higher amounts, and a diet built on oxalic acid could result in oxalic acid build-up which can cause severe issues down the road.

How Oxalic Acid Found In Leafy Greens Could Damage Your Body

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines oxalic acid as “a poisonous strong acid (COOH) that occurs in various plants (such as spinach) as oxalates and is used especially as a bleaching or cleaning agent and as a chemical intermediate.”

While we make it in labs by blending sugar and nitric acid (so we can sterilize products and clean dirty surfaces), it’s also found in vegetables.

Oxalic acid is strong enough that it can burn the skin and eat away at porous surfaces.

The average person doesn’t need to worry about oxalic acid because our bodies are equipped to metabolize it and expel it through urine and stool.

However, this is assuming a person doesn’t consume too many foods containing oxalic acid.

If, on the other hand, a person eats a diet filled with foods containing high levels of oxalic acid toxic levels of oxalate (the metabolized form of the acid) may begin to form, and when that happens, it may begin to affect the function of various systems in the body.

Jillian Levy, CHHC, provides a summary of the possible side effects:

  • Kidney stones — when crystals combine together to form a kidney stone, they can stick to the lining of the kidneys and cause lots of pain
  • Bladder problems
  • Worsened fibromyalgia symptoms (muscle pains, chronic fatigue, brain fog, hormone imbalance, insomnia, and headaches)
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Vulvodynia (chronic inflammation and pain for women throughout the female genitalia)
  • Potentially higher risk for development of certain cancers, including breast cancer

Because oxalic acid is first filtered by the kidneys, kidney stones, and kidney issues are two of the most common health issues a person might expect to have when dealing with an abundance of oxalic acid in their diet.

How to Enjoy Healthy Vegetables and Not Worry about Oxalic Acid Poisoning

The best way to avoid oxalic poisoning isn’t as simple as “not eating too many leafy green vegetables.”

While that may seem like a suitable course of action to take, avoiding those kinds of foods could come at the expense of your health.

You can safely enjoy leafy greens in copious amounts and not worry about oxalic poisoning provided you do the following things:

>> Drink plenty of fluids: Your kidneys need plenty of fluids to filter out toxins like oxalate properly. Most people who deal with kidney stones are chronically dehydrated.

>> Eat foods rich in calcium. Oxalate binds to calcium so it can be excreted from your body. If you have low calcium levels, it means oxalate may end up reaching the kidneys where it can help to form the structure for kidney stones. Eating enough calcium (but not too much) keeps oxalate levels in check.

That being said, if every single meal of yours contains oxalic rich foods, it may be time to dial back.

 

Modern Agriculture Is Killing Vegetables

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Vegetables

Is your carrot today less nutritious than the one you ate in the 1970s?

Sadly yes.

That does not mean that it is unhealthy and it’s certainly better for you than any processed foods, but because of the way we do modern agriculture, we are producing less nutritionally dense food.

Why is this?  Well, when you don’t rotate plants, never let the soil rest and use chemical fertilizers, the amount of minerals in the soil slowly gets depleted and so the plants have fewer to draw into itself.

The landmark study on just how big of an effect this is having was done in 2004 by the University of Texas.

Dr. Donald Davis looked at 43 common fruits and vegetables and showed that we needed to lower our nutritional tables on nearly every single one of these vegetables and fruits.  (Source:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15637215)

For instance, when the USDA created their list of micronutrients in vegetables, they did this back in the 1950s.  When these were updated 50 years later the results were very different.

Six of the 13 nutrients the government tracks changed substantially.

Dr. Davis also said that his concern was that big ag was working to increase yields of different plants and not concerned about the nutritional content of the food.

As a result, we are getting less magnesium and iron than we thought we were getting.

Protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C have all dropped over the last fifty years.

While our crops get bigger, they are less and less nutritionally dense.

The Kushi Institute tracked some vegetables for 25 years and saw a stark drop in vitamins and minerals in our food.

According to their study, calcium dropped by 25%, iron 37% and vitamin C dropped 30% from 1975-1997.  One would expect that this trend is only getting worse.

It all boils down to soil quality and the plant varieties selected by the farmers.

And please note, just because vegetables produced by be agriculture are not as healthy as they used to be, doesn’t mean that they are not healthy.  You still get a great deal out of eating your vegetables.

But it is a good reason to look for locally sourced vegetables from organic farmers.

You might find them at a farmer’s market or look for a co-op.

You take the time to find a mechanic you like and trust to take care of your car, isn’t your body worthy of the same type of research?

When you investigate and find farmers who invest in their soil and produce highly nutritious food products, you are giving your health the greatest gift you can give it.

The same also goes for meats and eggs.

Free-range eggs produced by a small local farm near me use chickens who eat bugs and other critters that greatly improve the nutritional content of the eggs.

Surprisingly because the farmer doesn’t pay for government regulation, shipping, marketing or other costs, the overall cost of the eggs is not much higher than a premium egg at the supermarket.

You will immediately notice better richer colors in the food and often better taste.

Some raw milk supporters have found they can get it by purchasing a part of a cow with others.  And farmers who are willing to raise grass-fed and finished beef and pork produce fantastic meat products.

So, there is no doubt that we are getting fewer nutrients from our produce than we used to, but that does not make them bad.  And there are some possible strategies to find better sources of food.

 

 

Did This Small Study Find the Fountain of Youth?

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Most great scientific discoveries seem to happen by accident.

Insulin was discovered because ants were attracted to dog urine where the dogs were diabetic for example.

It seems to have happened again.  Scientists were trying to figure out how to restore the thymus but may have stumbled into a way to reverse our biological aging.

The thymus gland is located between the lungs.  It matures our T-lymphocytes or T-cells.  T-cells are vital for your immune system and a vital part of your white blood cells.

It’s what causes your growth spurt during adolescence.  It was thought to turn into a blob of fat after adolescence is over.

The T-cells are vital to a healthy immune system.  When they are low you are much more vulnerable to certain types of cancers and infections.

Thankfully for most people, the thymus does its work and slowly wastes away.

But Dr. Steve Horvath from UCLA wanted to see if he could restore the thymus using a chemical cocktail of three drugs.

When he did follow up with the people in the trial, he found they were on average 2.5 years biologically younger than they were before they took the drugs.

It also rejuvenated the participant’s immune system.

Dr. Horvath told Nature:

“I’d expected to see slowing down of the clock, but not a reversal.  That felt kind of futuristic.”

While this study only included 10 participants and is only considered preliminary, this opens a whole new area in our battle against aging.

It was particularly striking that it affected every participant in the study.

This is the first time that scientists were able to reverse aging.

Aging is measured using what is called the epigenetic clock.  This is a complex formula using several biomarkers which are important for maintaining the function of your genes.

In other words, as you get older your body starts to break down and fall apart because your genetic code starts getting mudded.

The ten study participants were healthy men from 51-65.

The participants were given a form of human growth hormone to start.  Then they received a testosterone hormone precursor called DHEA and then the diabetes drug metformin.

The researchers found that they could indeed restore the thymus using these three drugs.

But what was shocking was just how much the combo reversed aging.

Dr. Horvath is a geneticist known for his highly accurate readings of epigenetic clocks. Dr. Horvath studied the blood samples of the participants and found that the men were “younger” than they were at the start and had an increased life expectancy.

It is not as if the study participants were hurting before the study began.   They were healthy and biologically younger than their chronological age suggested.

But it was significant that their biological age started to reduce the longer the study went on.  After a year it was as if their internal clock went backward 2.5 years.

Imagine what it would be like if your next birthday you felt younger, not older.

You would be better able to fight cold, flu, pneumonia as wells as being stronger and more vigorous.

Hopefully, this study will be followed up soon with a larger trial.  Since all the drugs are approved by the FDA it could be on the market in the next few years and not decades.

 

 

 

Could Eating This Reduce Your Prostate Cancer Risk?

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There will be an estimated 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2019 in the US.

Eating this might prevent some of them.

What is it?  Mushrooms.

Japanese researchers found an associated link between eating mushrooms and lowering your chances of prostate cancer.

It’s not a strong link, nor does it promise to protect everyone, but if it does reduce the risk of developing it by only a few percentage points, that’s thousands of men who won’t have to go through the pain of this disease.

Right now, there are more treatment options than ever for prostate cancer, but there isn’t a cure nor way to prevent it.

Since mushrooms are cheap and taste good to most people, throwing them in your salad or meals is inexpensive insurance.

Mushrooms have been shown to be effective to help fight other cancers.

When scientists grow cancer cells in Petri dishes, they find that certain compounds in mushrooms seem to slow down tumor growth.

What type of mushrooms seem to be best?  The standard powdered white button types.

Participants in the study had their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels checked.  These went down as mushroom use increased.

Eating mushrooms one or two times a week decreased relative risk by 8%.  Three or more times a week had a 17% drop in their relative risk.

The study did control for smoking, family history, and coffee intake.

The study did not find that being a vegetarian helped.

Now let’s look at this in terms of real numbers.  If you don’t eat mushrooms, your chances of developing prostate cancer at 3.42 out of 100 people.  If you eat mushrooms several times a week, that drops to 3.11.

But when you think of the thousands of men who get this every year, you can start to see the benefit.

There were some limitations to the study.

The number of mushrooms consumed was self-reported, the participants were not placed in a dietary lab where they were followed every day to make sure they ate their mushrooms.

And they only asked what they ate in the last week.  Our diets can fluctuate widely over a decade.

So, this is only a limited observational study, not a double-blind study.  But it might be a good reason to throw in some mushrooms in with your regular diet.

While there is no prescription for eating a certain number of mushrooms with each meal, there isn’t anything specific you can do at the moment.

But as research continues into mushrooms and cancer this is an area where you may want to start adding mushrooms into your meals.

As of now, there is no downside risk.  Mushrooms are low in calories and tend to magnify the flavor of the foods they are cooked with.

You can eat a whole cup of mushrooms and only consume 15 calories, 6% of your potassium and fewer than 2 grams of carbohydrates.

To find out more about this study go to: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.32591

Does Barometric Pressure Really Worsen Migraines

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Migraines

By: Annie Morgan

To those of us who suffer from migraine headaches – we know all too well how the pain can literally bring us to our knees.

But throw in a change in barometric pressure – and it’s like an icepick in our skull.

One might not think the weather can make a headache worse – but as it turns out changes in barometric pressure, however small they are, can trigger a massive headache.

As if normal headaches aren’t enough – the added drama from a pressure change causes even more suffering and pain.

Why Does This Happen?

Headaches can cause pressure not just in the skull – but in the sinus cavities too.

Healthline reported:

“When the outside barometric pressure lowers, it creates a difference between the pressure in the outside air and the air in your sinuses. That can result in pain. The same thing happens when you are on a plane. As the pressure changes with the altitude on takeoff, you might experience ear popping or pain from that change.”

So this change in pressure is affecting more than just your head – it’s causing your sinus cavities to feel congested and pressure, which then puts pressure on your temples and causes a chain reaction until your head is throbbing.

In addition, the National Institutes of Health did their own study on people with migraines and had them track their symptoms in a headache diary.

As it turns out, even the slightest change in pressure targeted a migraine.

NIH reported:

“All of patients with migraine maintained a headache diary to record atmospheric pressures when they developed a migraine. The standard atmospheric pressure was defined as 1013 hPa, and with this value as the criterion, we investigated slight fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure when they developed a migraine. It was found that the atmospheric pressure when the patients developed a migraine was within 1003–1007 hPa in the approach of low atmospheric pressure and that the patients developed a migraine when the atmospheric pressure decreased by 6–10 hPa, slightly less than the standard atmospheric pressure.”

What It Does To The Body

Some people have been known to simply “feel” when a storm is coming.  No, they aren’t psychic, it has to do with the fall in the barometric pressure.

To those who have chronic ailments like migraines (and even arthritis) – their body can sense a drop in the pressure.

In addition – temperature could also trigger a migraine in those who suffer (hence why when it’s hot many people get headaches).

Migraine Again reported:

“Dr. Cynthia Armand explains, “Our head is made up of pockets of air that we call sinuses. Usually, those pockets of air are at equilibrium with the atmospheric pressure. When there’s a change in that atmospheric pressure, it creates a change in what you’re experiencing in your head and what’s going on in the air around you. That shift is a Migraine trigger.”

The temperature changes that tend to come with changing barometric pressure are another Migraine trigger. “Any temperature change, warm from cold or cold to warm can bring on a migraine attack,” says Dr. Armand.”

To make things even worse – the pressure change amplifies migraines and makes them even more painful.

In addition to being sensitive to noise and light – migraine sufferers who develop a migraine due to the weather could also feel extreme pain in the temples, and even dizziness or nausea.

Think of it like a typical migraine – but with 10x as much pain.Ouch.

Be Proactive

If you suffer from migraines – don’t wait until you have developed a full-blown migraine to take action.

To those with medication – whether over the counter Excedrin or prescribed migraine pills – make sure you have your pills with you when you leave the house at all time.

The last thing you want to do is develop a migraine and have no medication to stop the pain.

Ladies keep a stash in your purse and fellas you can buy a tiny pillbox that will fit in your pocket.

Also, dehydration can cause headaches and make them worse – so make sure you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day.

You also might want to consider carrying around peppermint oil to rub on your temples and breathe in if you start to get a headache – the cold and soothing oil can provide relief.

As a friendly reminder, make sure you are applying peppermint oil that has been properly mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba before you touch your skin – never apply essential oils directly to your skin as they can cause severe burns.

And to find out if the weather is severely affecting your headaches, make sure to keep a health journal so you can document your symptoms.

If you are one of the ones who has always claimed the weather makes your headaches worse — turns out research backs you up!

Does a drop in the barometric pressure cause your migraines to get worse?

What are some proactive measures you take to help find relief from migraine headaches?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how a drop in the barometric pressure can actually worsen migraine headaches!

I’m Not Napping, I’m Helping My Heart

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Napping

By Kennedy Shelley

As a kid I hated nap time, but as I crept toward middle age, I find they are well deserved and the result is that naps actually make me more productive.

Now there is new evidence that an afternoon nap twice a week actually helps keep your heart in better shape.

This isn’t just some opinion, this is from the British Medical Journal, recognized as one of the top medical sources in the world.

Napping twice a week is good medicine, resulting in a 48% drop in stroke and heart attacks in the study participants.

The study looked at 3462 Swiss nappers with no history of cardiovascular disease and followed them for over five years.

Those who napped once or twice a week had the lowest incidents of cardiovascular events (i.e. heart attacks).

They adjusted for people with things that put you at higher risk of heart problems such as sleep apnea and high blood pressure.

This doesn’t mean that the science is settled.  There is some evidence that you can nap too much.

People who nap all the time do have a higher risk of a heart attack, but this is one of those “Which came first, the chicken or the egg” dilemmas.

No one has looked at the question “Do people with heart disease tend to nap more often?”

And that makes sense because a diseased heart is not as efficient and is going to cause people to get more tired.

By screening out those with known heart disease, the researchers were able to see if there were positive benefits for otherwise healthy people.

Nadine Häusler, Ph.D., from the department of internal medicine at Lausanne University Hospital, in Switzerland, was the first author on the study.

She noted that previous studies on napping showed some had fewer heart attacks and some had more.

She hoped that this study would help settle the controversy.

The research team had access to the vast medical database of the Swiss health care system.

Participants were between 35-75 and didn’t have a history of cardiovascular disease.

They found out the number of naps taken each week, and how long the nap took.

More than half didn’t take a nap during the week, 20% reported two naps, 12% 3-5 and 12% said 6-7.

They found that the more naps you took meant you were more likely to be older, sedentary and overweight.

Those who napped 1-2 a week had 48% fewer cardiovascular events.

That’s a significant reduction in the world’s largest killer and the top cause of permanent disability.

The study was not without critics.

One scientist noted that there is “no standard definition of nap.”

And while no one can say why this seems to help people and reduce the risk of heart attack, it is really tough to argue with the results.

There doesn’t seem to be a downside of 1-2 naps a week.  People who nap protect their hearts.

And other studies have shown that they often make people more productive when the nap is between 20-30 minutes in the afternoon.

So, quit feeling guilty about one or two naps a week.  You are probably doing your heart some good.

World Health Organization: Bad Nutrition Is Killing Us

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World Health Organization

By Kennedy Shelley

The World Health Organization released a new report with worrying trends about nutrition around the planet.

If you believe that a good diet is the core foundation for good health, then many are in great danger.

There are two disturbing trends in the UN report – #1 Global hunger continues to rise, and #2 Global obesity continues to rise.

There are over 821 million chronically malnourished people on the planet at any given time in 2018, 10 million more than in 2017.

But at the same time, the number of children who are overweight continues to grow at an alarming rate.

Both of these trends are dangerous and threaten to bring down any nations health care system.

Malnourished people have lower IQ’s and are susceptible to a host of infections, stunted growth, and diseases.

While overweight people tend to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General at the WHO said:

“In order to provide quality health services and achieve Universal Health Coverage, nutrition should be positioned as one of the cornerstones of essential health packages.”

The problem with the report is that it tended to focus on specific nutrients and not the diet itself.

For instance, the recommendations included supplementing iron and folic acid.

It is really impossible to supplement your way out of an inadequate or bad diet.

On the plus side, they did finally come out against sugar.  They emphasize the need to reduce added sugar consumption in the world.

But for some reason, they continued to emphasize the need to reduce the amount of salt.  Freedom Health News has called into question this idea.

The study brought up this alarming trend too:

Among adults, the most recent data available from 2014 indicate that 462 million are underweight, while 1.9 billion are overweight, and 600 million of those (or approximately 13% of the world’s population, a rate that doubled between 1980 and 2014) are obese. Adult overweight, obesity, and diabetes are rising in nearly every region and country.”

Why is this happening?  The western diet is spreading.

We have parts of the planet where you can’t get clean water, but you can get a sugary soft drink.

Processed foods are taking over traditional diets.

There was an interesting study of the Maasai tribe in Africa which shows their diet is almost entirely made up of milk and meat.

They are remarkably healthy, lean and have no heart disease.

Until they leave the tribe to go to the city and start eating processed foods.

Then they start to gain weight and have heart problems.  (See this article in Freedom Health News for more information)

The World Health Organization is a huge bureaucracy that tends to get caught up in the weeds, while missing the bigger picture.

They also tend not to want to pick fights with global food companies like Nestle, Coke, and Pepsi who fund a great deal of their private research.

So, while the World Health Organization is absolutely correct in their concerns about global nutrition and why it needs to be prioritized, its specific recommendations and targets are actually not solving the root problem which is processed foods and sugar flooding the planet.

Another Reason Why Antibiotics Are Not Working

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Antibiotics

By Kennedy Shelley

There was no doubt that for years antibiotics were too widely prescribed.

Even if a doctor knew you had a viral infection, they would often prescribe an antibiotic “just in case.”

The result was a growing number of germs that were becoming more resistant to the antibiotics that used to kill infections.

It is possible for most of us to overlook the importance of antibiotics in keeping us alive.

A simple cut or scrape could easily turn into a life-threatening injury.  Common sexually transmitted diseases would cause madness and death.  Blood infections could turn into fatal illnesses.

In 1934 when Dr. Fleming introduced the world to penicillin all that changed.  For nearly a hundred years life expectancy continued to grow as we were able to beat many infections that used to kill people by the millions.

Without antibiotics, doctors are forced with the choice of cutting out the infected tissue or just isolating the patient to keep the infection from spreading to others and allowing them to die on their own.

And lack of antibiotics will make surgeries like hip replacements very dangerous procedures.

In short, we can’t afford to look at antibiotics as cheap commodities that we can just take without any thought to the future.  We are not really creating any new antibiotics, the ones we have are becoming less effective and the germs are fighting back.

BACTERIA EVOLVES

New research that was unveiled in the respected journal Nature shows that some of the so-called “Super Bugs” are getting more antibiotic-resistant despite our efforts.

These scary germs are adopting and mutating to avoid our best antibiotic treatments.  In short, they are getting resistance genes.

The bugs also seem to be acquiring new genetic material to avoid eradication.

They will even hide by going dormant during antibiotic treatments in order not to be destroyed.

Just how big is the problem?  In the US nearly 2 million will develop some antibiotic-resistant infection this year.  It will kill 23,000 of them.

Darwin described the idea of survival of the fittest, we are seeing that happening quickly in the germ world.

ANTIBIOTIC CONTROL MAY NOT BE ENOUGH

The mechanism germs use to get around our antibiotic treatments is a small piece of DNA called “plasmids.” These small fragments of genetic material are not only spread to other species of the same germ, but they are also picked up by other germs.

That means that a resistant germ may be helping to create the next generation of superbugs.

“By exploiting their persistent host bacterium, the resistance plasmids can survive for a prolonged period in one host before transferring into other bacteria,” explains co-senior author Wolf-Dietrich Hardt, a professor at ETH Zurich.

With this new knowledge, scientists are now developing new strategies to use probiotics, building up the immune system and avoiding infections altogether.

As one of the professors, Médéric Diard, of the study said:

“Restricting the use of antibiotics is important and […] indeed the right thing to do, but this measure alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of resistance.”

Antibiotics are not a “get out of jail free” card.  They are important tools, but we have to realize that nature does fight back against our best efforts to stop infections.

They do work wonders at stopping infections that may kill us unless treated, but they also kill helpful bacteria that are good at keeping us healthy.

It is almost impossible to medicate ourselves out of a bad lifestyle, so the more you can do to maintain your own healthy immune system, the better off you are in the long term.

Bad News for Bread Lovers As Breads With This In It Could Be Linked to Cancer

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Bread

By Adam

Bread is under attack. What was once assumed to be a staple of the American diet is now a controversial food choice.

First, it was the gluten in the bread that got all the negative press.

Now the bad news for bread lovers is that bread with this in it could be linked to cancer.

Yes, it really is that serious.

In fact, the ingredient you’re about to learn about is so dangerous that much of Europe prohibits bakers from keeping it in their bakeshops or warehouses.

And yet, here in the “land of the free,” corporations are driven forward with profits as their only concern are still allowed to put generous amounts of this carcinogenic ingredient in their products.

Environmental Working Group Urges Bread Lovers to Check The Ingredients On Their Bread

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), one of the leading health advocacy organizations in America is urging Americans to check and see if the bread they eat has potassium bromate in it.

While still accepted as safe to use by the USDA and the FDA, the EWG warns that even trace amounts of potassium bromate could cause health issues, including the development of certain cancers.

Bread makers put potassium bromate in their flour mix for several reasons. It helps to accelerate how quickly ingredients mix while also making a stronger dough.

The FDA is aware that potassium bromate could cause health issues. After all, it’s been more than 30 years since potassium bromate was discovered to be a risk to human health.

In the EWG’s report, they detailed just how risky it is to add potassium bromate to food.

They wrote, “In tests on lab animals, exposure to potassium bromate increased the incidence of both benign and malignant tumors in the thyroid and peritoneum – the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. Later research confirmed and expanded these findings, concluding that ingesting potassium bromate resulted in significant increases in cancer of the animals’ kidneys, thyroid, and other organs.”

The FDA insists that potassium bromate isn’t a risk to human health.

According to them, when food makers use the ingredient correctly, potassium bromate will convert into potassium bromide during baking. Potassium bromide, they conclude, is harmless and shouldn’t pose a threat to consumers.

Thus, there is no ban on potassium bromate, and the FDA says it should be up to the manufacturer as to whether or not they will continue or cease using the ingredient.

According to them if the levels of potassium bromate they use don’t exceed .0075 parts for every 100 parts of the weight of the flour or 750 parts per million, then it’s fine to use.

It’s scary to think that the FDA would let them continue using bromated flour given the substantial risk associated with the ingredient.

Fortunately, Consumers Do Have Options

The good news is that even though potassium bromate might be in the majority of store-bought bread products, there are plenty of companies who’ve decided to discontinue using bromate in their bread.

More than 100 large bread makers nationally have sworn not to use the product anymore knowing the health concerns it poses.

If you’re concerned about the risk all you need to do is check the ingredient list on the bread you buy to see if it’s in your bread or bread products.

The companies who use it are required by law to disclose this information so consumers can make informed decisions regarding their products.

Low Fat Still Not a Cure All

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Low Fat

By Kennedy Shelley

The authors of the most expensive health study ever done in the US still has not been able to produce any substantial health recommendations or diet changes that stand up to long term scrutiny.

The Women’s Health Initiative is an ambitious program designed to see if reducing fat from the diet would lead to longer healthier lives.

Over 49,000 women enrolled in the study.

The idea was to keep half of the group on their standard American diet, and half were encouraged to eat more fruit, vegetables, and grain while cutting down on fat.

Though the study was started in 1993, they did not really give advice as to whether the women should cut back on meat or plant-based fats.

The results were disappointing to the study authors.

They hoped to prove that the government’s food pyramid would prove to be the healthier way of eating.

The results were quite the opposite.

There was no drop-in cancer in the group who ate less fat.  They also gained more weight than those on the standard diet (defined as people who got more than 38% of their calories from fat).

The study only included post-menopausal women.

After eight years, the results showed that a major reduction in fat calories did nothing to improve the health of these women.

This week the WHI released a follow up study where they interviewed the women who took part in the study and tried to make the case that some of the women who lowered their fat intake survived breast cancer more than those on a standard diet, but nothing else seemed to be a positive benefit.

This study actually shows what other studies have shown…using the government guidelines actually increases your chances of early death.

The best study was done from 1968-1973 called the Minnesota Coronary Experiment.

It was a brilliant double-blind study where people who were in institutions were either fed a “healthy” government diet with skim milk, corn oil, and margarine, or one with whole milk, butter, and regular oil.

The results showed that while cholesterol did drop in the low-fat group, they tended to die much earlier.

Despite the fact that this was a government funded study, they did not release the results because they were disappointed that the results didn’t match their expectation.

The whole debacle wasn’t released until 2016 when an enterprising researcher found all the original research material and looked at it again.

All this begs the question: “When is the government going to drop the idea that a low-fat diet is good for us?”

You may be on a keto diet and really don’t care about the government’s recommendations, but it does impact a significant part of the US population.

All kids taking part in the school lunch program, or people in the military, or in government institutions are subject to the guidelines.

And the government propaganda does seem to have an impact on eating patterns in the US.

When the food pyramid came out, egg and meat consumption decreased dramatically.  McDonald’s even changed the fat in made its fries in.

The result was an epidemic of obesity and diabetes that is costing billions of dollars a year to treat.

But still the low-fat believers keep pushing this agenda and their latest rehash of the Women’s Health Initiative shows again just how wedded they are to this idea.

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Drink Decaf Coffee

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Decaff Coffee

By: Annie Morgan

Most adults depend on a strong cup of coffee to survive the day…

… then there are those who willingly choose to drink decaf coffee.

It’s still a mystery why some people request decaf – but as further research is completed, it turns out decaf coffee is not only strange, it’s not even good for the body.

So if you know someone who thinks decaf is the way to go – here are 3 reasons why you should stay far away from this faux product

It Actually Does Have Caffeine

People order decaf coffee thinking they’ve eliminated all caffeine from their diet – but the truth is decaf actually does have a small trace of caffeine.

Sure, it’s less than regular coffee, but it’s still there.

According to Healthline, a 12-ounce cup of decaf joe could contain up to 5.4mg of caffeine.

And if a person who isn’t used to drinking coffee tries decaf, even this small amount of caffeine can still cause them to feel jittery.

Chemicals Galore!

Coffee naturally has caffeine.

So how do you think they get the caffeine out of coffee?

Yep, you guessed it – they dose it in chemicals.

While there are different methods to extract the caffeine – many places use the solvent-based process – which uses all kinds of chemicals like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate.

Consumer Reports stated:

“There are three key methods for removing caffeine from regular coffee beans: The most common uses a chemical solvent, another uses liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), and the last simply uses water.

All take green, unroasted coffee beans, soak or steam them until the caffeine is dissolved or their pores are opened, and then extract the caffeine.

While the CO2 and water methods are considered chemical-free, the solvent method relies on synthetic chemicals such as ethyl acetate (naturally found in some fruits) and methylene chloride (commonly used in industrial applications such as in adhesives, paints, and pharmaceuticals).”

Researchers have continued to debate the risk of decaffeinated coffee, and while experts generally agree the water and CO2 method are okay – there is still debate about the methylene chloride.

The FDA claims the “trace amounts” are “too minuscule” to cause health problems, but many health experts still aren’t convinced.

Consumer Reports continued:

“When inhaled in small doses it can cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. At higher doses, it can cause headache, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue, and has been found to cause liver and lung cancer in animals.”

Let’s put it like this – anytime chemicals are used on food it’s not a good thing.

And using the same chemical industries use with paints and adhesives to strip the majority of caffeine from coffee sounds like an unnecessary health risk.

It Doesn’t Even Taste Good

After having your coffee go through a process of extracting the caffeine and throwing chemicals on it – it’s expected the taste is altered.

The smell and taste are radically different, and you are drinking basically brown water.

One of the pleasures of drinking coffee is inhaling the sweet aroma and savoring the taste of a strong cup of good quality coffee.

Sure, the caffeine is a plus, but the experience is part of the fun too.

Decaf takes away all of these – there’s barely any caffeine – it doesn’t smell good – it doesn’t taste good – and surely there are better things to drink other than putrid-smelling brown water!

Stick To The Good Stuff

If you’re worried about too much caffeine – make sure you are drinking coffee during the day when it’s okay to have an extra burst of energy – instead of in the evening when you are trying to sleep.

Bulletproof coffee is a fantastic breakfast idea – as it has MCT or coconut oil and butter all blended together for a smooth creamy taste.

Of course – stick to the organic stuff and skip the pumpkin spice filled lattes.

Truly good coffee doesn’t need to be laced with sugar and heavy cream – it’s perfect black.

And as for decaf coffee…

Sure it does exist… but there really isn’t even one good reason why you should even consider it.

Plus, if you are “that person” who orders decaf in a restaurant and forces the wait staff to make (waste) a whole pot of coffee just so you can feel better – you won’t win many friends.

Do you drink decaf coffee?

What surprised you most about how decaf coffee is produced?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how the amazing ways a good night’s sleep helps the brain!

Will This Drug Help PTSD Sufferers

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PTSD

By Kennedy Shelley

A novel approach to the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) has combined the powers of fear reducing pharmaceuticals with talk therapy.

The hope is that by reducing anxiety, patients are able to confront the issues that cause many of them to get stuck in negative mental loops.

Nearly half of all Americans will be exposed to some traumatic event that is significantly beyond daily stressors.

These involve violent assaults, sexual assaults, violence, and disasters.  Not everyone develops PTSD from these events.

Those that do find their mood and sleep suffer.  The event begins to define them hurting their important relationships.

According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 3.6% suffer from PTSD.

About one-third of sufferers have severe impairment from PTSD.

It affects the ability of nearly 3.2 million Americans to live their lives and do their jobs.

Prolonged Exposure therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for dealing with PTSD.

Once sufferers are able to break through their memories and deal with the issues, they are able to heal.

But there are often mental barriers to deal with the memories.

In order to protect ourselves we often cover up traumas and as a result, we don’t really process them like we do other emotions and instead get stuck.

In other words, our fears of dealing with these issues stop us from dealing with it.  That’s why Prolonged Exposure therapy doesn’t work for everyone.

Now there is a new trial where doctors are using fear reducing medicines to help the PTSD sufferers break through their own mental barriers.

This is happening as Johns Hopkins University is working with so-called psychedelic medications to help people suffering from terminal diseases as well as PTSD to overcome these mental blocks.

In this case, the drug works on the endocannabinoid system to control fear.

Basically, this is the same cannabis system everyone has to control fear, stress, and anxiety.

This drug blocks fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme and increases anandamide.

It was initially tested with the hope that it would reduce pain without the use of opioids, but it turns out that it was much better at reducing anxiety.

The study was announced in the journal Biological Psychiatry.  The Swedish research team is very hopeful that this will help PTSD.

“We have used a medication that blocks the way the body breaks down its own cannabis-like substances, or ‘endocannabinoids’. Our study shows that this class of medications, called FAAH inhibitors, may offer a new way to treat PTSD and perhaps also other stress-related psychiatric conditions. The next important step will be to see if this type of medication works in patients, particularly those with PTSD”, says Leah Mayo, a lead researcher in the study.

The FAAH inhibitors show great promise in helping the body use its own anti-anxiety centers in the brain to help the mind heal itself from damaging trauma.

The study was randomized, double-blind and controlled which means it is more likely to become an approved treatment option.

Is Vaping Now Killing People

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Vaping

By Kennedy Shelley

A rash of lung injuries has regulators blaming vaping for nearly 400 people going to the hospital in recent weeks.

The serious pulmonary issues have spread to several states, but most notably New York.

Since vaping also known as e-cigarettes have been used for 16 years without this problem, regulators should be looking at a more elicit cause.

Most of the people affected have been young and healthy before having to go to intensive care.

What was surprising to many of the doctors involved is that the lung function was diminished with no underlying infection.

The Center for Disease Control has confirmed 53 cases where young people reported using some form of electronic vaping in the last 90 days, most of which was using THC e-liquids.

If you don’t vape, you may not know how these systems work.

Basically, an e-liquid (Propylene Glycol, food-grade flavoring, Vegetable Glycerin, and Nicotine FDA approved chemicals) is heated to its vapor.

Because these are heated to a vapor point and not to combustion, they don’t change into new substances like when they are smoked the chemicals are stable.

In short, vaping is dramatically different from smoking.

Because there is no combustion there is no carbon monoxide, no tar nor the chemical changes that occur when you burn vegetable matter.

Tobacco smoke contains over 7000 chemical compounds, 70 of which are known to cause cancer.

It also contains formaldehyde, cyanide, ammonia, nitrogen oxide and arsenic.

Vaping clouds only have the original four chemicals.

In an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, a professor from Harvard urged people not to vape because of the 5 deaths they think may be associated with vaping.

To put this in perspective, during the same period over 60,000 Americans died.

But according to the CDC, approximately 1300 Americans die each day from smoking.

That’s 13,000 people who died while this alleged vaping “death epidemic” is taking place.

The reason why this is so important is vaping has been shown to be the number one-way people have used to quit smoking.

According to an unpublished study that Freedom Health News has acquired, half of Oklahoma’s former smokers have quit thanks to vaping between 2006 and 2013.

If that trend is constant in the US, that means that vaping would save 650 people per day.

Great Britain has embraced vaping as a means of getting people to quit.  They believe that while vaping can’t be considered harmless, they estimate it is at least 95% safer than continuing to smoke.

But this latest scare might have nothing to do with regular vapers who are using it for nicotine replacement, but instead a THC problem.

There seems to be a mixture of THC and vitamin E that may be the cause of this particular problem.

Because the federal government officially won’t recognize marijuana sales it doesn’t really investigate these products and relies on state regulation.

It looks more and more like there was a contaminate batch of THC oil sold illegally in some states that is causing most of this problem.

Basically, this is a problem with street drugs and not the vaping industry.

But it seems that government regulators are trying to expand their war on illegal drugs to a war on legal vaping.

It makes sense that people really watch the sources of their vaping liquids.

How Gargling Kills Your Workout

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Gargling

By Kennedy Shelley

Using mouth wash before going to the gym might kill some of the benefits you would get if you went with morning breath.

Specifically, it is antibacterial mouthwashes that kill some of beneficial bacteria that help create life-giving compounds that are especially important for blood pressure management.

Most people realize that there is a link between oral health and other issues.

Cardiovascular health can be negatively affected by gum problems that allow bacteria and viruses into the bloodstream.

Some bacteria in the mouth have been linked to certain cancers.

Yet not all microbes are harmful.

When you exercise you release nitric oxide which expands the arteries and blood vessels.

When dilated, blood flow is easier and blood pressure is lowered.  And this allows more oxygen to get to the muscles.

This effect continues for a while after the exercise is done.

Nitric oxide breaks down into nitrite.

This gets into your bloodstream, which helps dilate the circulatory system and continue the benefit of the exercise.

How does this get into the bloodstream?

The new research shows it gets in through the mouth.

“Some species of bacteria in the mouth can use nitrate and convert [it] into nitrite — a very important molecule that can enhance the production of nitric oxide in the body.” Raul Bescos, a lecturer in dietetics and physiology at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, lead author of the study.

Just swallowing nitrate helps keep your blood pressure lower following exercise.

The study then took the next step to see if antibacterial mouth wash wiped out nitrates that would help keep blood pressure low following a workout.

In a double-blind experiment, the scientist had people do 30 hard minutes on a treadmill.  They were then monitored to track changes in their blood pressure.

Some swished out their mouths with mint-flavored water and some had antibacterial mouth wash.

The results showed that you lose 60% of the blood pressure lowering benefit of exercise by killing the bacteria in your mouth with the mouth wash.

What this points out is that the nitric oxide and the resulting nitrites continue to lower your blood pressure hours after working out and disrupting your mouth’s microbiome takes away this benefit.

This means that your body has more than one source of nitric oxide.

It used to be thought that only the nitric oxide in the blood vessels counted, but now we have evidence that all sources count.

In other words, your mouth is the source of the nitrites that help lower your blood pressure, especially after exercise.

Once you remove the nitric oxide, your mouth can’t get the nitrites that lower your blood pressure.

Scientists have known for years that regular exercise can lower your blood pressure from 5-8 points.

That may be the difference between paying for medicine you must take the rest of your life or not.

Thirty minutes of walking a day is a much cheaper alternative.

When Antibiotics Quit Working Make Sure to Have this Coconut Product On Hand

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Coconut Oil

By Adam

One of the crowning achievements of modern medicine is the invention of antibiotics.

Conservative estimates are that more than 200 million people have been saved by antibiotics since they were invented in 1928.

Sadly, the over-prescription of antibiotics is rendering them ineffective; and if antibiotics quit working make sure to have this coconut product on hand,

Coconuts are probably one of the world’s most versatile foods.

Not only do they deliver heart-healthy fat, great-tasting milk, and tons of gut-friendly fiber, coconuts can even protect you from getting sick with viruses and bacteria.

That’s because coconuts contain a special kind of medium-chain fatty acids that help prevent bacteria and viruses from growing unchecked in the body.

And not that long-ago scientists figured out how to isolate that short-chain fatty acid and turn it into a supplement that could keep fighting disease long after antibiotics stop working.

Hidden Coconut Ingredient Has Bacteria-Fighting Power

What most people don’t realize is half the reason coconut oil is included in topical health and beauty products is that it has natural antibacterial properties.

That hidden ingredient is lauric acid.

Lauric acid is one of the primary medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) in coconut oil.

Lauric acid doesn’t just help to fuel the body but can also help aid the immune system in fending off pathogenic invaders.

But here’s the exciting thing about how lauric acid helps keep your immune system healthy.

Instead of existing in a state of isolation, our bodies take dietary lauric acid and convert it into something known as monolaurin.

And monolaurin is the end-stage form lauric acid must take if it’s to exert its full effect of boosting immune function.

Only when lauric acid is converted into monolaurin will a person be able to resist the onset of various forms of sicknesses.

Monolaurin is so effective at keeping us well that the prominent Internet-health website, WebMD, listed the following as benefits associated with monolaurin use.

They write, “Monolaurin can help to treat colds (the common cold), flu (influenza), swine flu, herpes, shingles, and other infections. It is also used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and to boost the immune system.”

A few decades ago, researchers discovered that by processing lauric acid, they could isolate the molecules our bodies use for immune health and render it consumable in a supplement form.

While you can undoubtedly increase dietary intake of lauric acid to make more monolaurin, scientists don’t know the exchange rate of lauric acid to monolaurin conversion.

This is why supplemental monolaurin is used in medical settings as an exact amount can be administered and a net effect calculated from the prescription.

And that’s the good news about monolaurin, it’s been tested in controlled settings, and researchers found that it’s quite effective at keeping the immune system well enough that sickness and disease were kept at bay.

In one study, researchers tested how 15 different compounds (including monolaurin), would perform against the two strains of bacteria known to cause Lyme Disease.

After rigorous testing, they concluded that monolaurin, along with baicalein (which comes from skullcap) were the most effective at preventing bacterial proliferation.

These results led to them conclude that monolaurin might be one of the best natural products used for inhibiting antibacterial activity.

Another study that the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology published similar results.

As Dr. Weston Saunders noted in a blog post about monolaurin.

“Samples of skin cultures were taken from patients that had some bacterial overgrowth issues going on. The scientists exposed all the skin cultures (and bacteria) to 6 different forms of antibiotic as well as monolaurin.

The researchers noticed that the various forms of bacteria present on the skin did not have much resistance to monolaurin. That is to say, monolaurin proved helpful at preventing the bacteria from growing anymore and the bacteria couldn’t “make it past” monolaurin.

The researchers were impressed enough to recommend that future investigation into monolaurin’s antibacterial use be pursued.”

2 Proven Ways to Get More Monolaurin In Your Body

As stated before, your body converts lauric acid from coconut into monolaurin.

While we don’t know how much coconut oil it takes to form 1 gram of monolaurin, it’s safe to say that if you eat several grams of coconut oil a day, you’ll be making more monolaurin in a day than you would if you didn’t eat coconut oil.

If you’re looking for a regimented amount to take, consider adding a supplement to your diet.

There are various supplement manufacturers who produce high-quality monolaurin.

If you decide to supplement with it the generally recommended amounts are 750-1,500 mg 2-3 a day.

The DIY Test for Plaque in Your Heart

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Plaque

BY KENNEDY SHELLEY

Is plaque in your arteries blocking blood flow in your body?

This is an important question because this is the biggest killer in the United States.

It seems to be that plaque might be the biggest cause of stroke which causes more long-term disability than any other cause.

And high blood plaque has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Yet, if you ask your doctor, do I have high plaque, most of the time you can’t get a straight answer.

The most common test for plaque in the arteries is usually a stress test, but the results are usually inconclusive.  Remember Tim Russert had a good stress test two days before he died of a heart attack.

Other tests are:

  • Calcium CT heart scans which will give you a good indication of the amount of calcium that has built up in your heart. But it also uses radiation which means you can’t use this on a regular basis.
  • CIMT’s (carotid intima-media thickness test) is a great indicator of the amount of plaque in your system by measuring your carotid arteries using ultrasound. But this is not done everywhere, and it can be a challenge to find a provider.
  • Angiograms are a great test, but it involves putting a catheter in the artery in your groin and threading it up your body to your heart.

But if you have your own blood pressure machine, you can do a simple test at no cost which will get you the same results at no cost.

It is called the Ankle Brachial Index (ABI).  It involves taking your blood pressure at your ankle as well as your arm.  If the two numbers are the same, then you are fine.

In order to do this, you need to lay down for five minutes (and don’t talk during this five minutes of getting settled in).

Measure your arm blood pressure three times and average the numbers together.

Then do the same at your ankle.  If you are using an automatic machine, you can do this fairly easily.

Then get out your calculator…Ankle Blood Pressure/Arm Blood pressure.

If the ratio is 1 to 1.4 you are fine.  There isn’t any sign of blockage.

If it drops to .91-.99 then you are at risk and anything below .9 you have serious blockage.

If you notice that you are losing hair on your legs or have sores that won’t heal on your legs, then you have blockages in arteries that are keeping your legs from getting the oxygen it needs.

If your score is above 1.4 then this test isn’t for you because your arteries have become too hardened for this test too work effectively.

This is just a screening test, but it’s an effective one.

Make sure you have a blood pressure cuff big enough.  If the bladder does not cover more than 75% of your ankle it’s too small.

If you really need another reason to give up smoking or make other lifestyle changes, this may provide you with the motivation to finally do that New Year’s resolution.

Taking This Blood Pressure Med Twice a Day Can Create a Big Change

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Blood Pressure

By Kennedy Shelley

Lisinopril is the second most prescribed drug in the US.

It is an ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor.  Basically, it lowers blood pressure by widening your arteries.

In short, the bigger the tunnel, the less pressure on the liquid in it.

Lisinopril is popular because it’s low cost and works for more people than most.

The only problem with the drug is that it only has a half life of 12 hours.

That means that if you are taking it at the same time every day like you are supposed to, your blood pressure is going to be rising as you get closer to your dose time.

Most doctors just give you more of the drug to compensate for the drop in your system.

But this can lead to other complications such as lightheadedness and other problems with low blood pressure.

Scientists at Oregon State University wanted to see if you could split the same dosage but take it twice a day and keep blood pressure normal.

The results were actually better than expected.

Their article in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension showed that twice daily use of the lisinopril actually was better at lowering blood pressure without any increase in side effects.

This goes along with other recent studies that show that less is better when it comes to blood pressure medicine.

In 2017, The American Heart Association released a study that showed that low doses of different blood pressure meds actually worked better than increasing the dosage of just one medication.

The lower the dosage, the fewer side effects occur, which means patients are more likely to take their medications.

Managing high blood pressure is a lifelong problem.

There are limits to what lifestyle can do.  It’s a horrible fact that as we age most people are going to have high blood pressure problems.

And high blood pressure is dangerous.

It stresses the body, damages the kidneys an increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

But blood pressure medications have side effects.

ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril cause annoying dry coughs.

For many, these drugs can lead to lightheadedness, which can create falling problems for some.  And then there are the sexual side effects.

So, these studies suggest that lower doses of these drugs in combination, or spread out over the day may give you lower blood pressure without all the problems.

The reason why more doctors are reluctant to prescribe twice daily medications is that they believe that it will reduce patient adherence.

The suspicion among many doctors is they have a rough time getting people to take a drug once a day, doing it twice a day will make it less likely that people will make it happen.

But what if the reason why people quit taking their medication is because of negative effects of taking the drug?

It stands to reason that if people are getting the beneficial effects of the medication, without problems then they are more likely to continue taking the medication.

The evidence is becoming more and more clear that with some people and medications, lower doses spread out may be more effective at controlling blood pressure.

With smartphone reminder programs, it is easier than ever to remind yourself to take your medications.

So, talk to your doctor about going lower on your dosage and spread it out instead of just taking more.

Two of These a Day Can Increase Your Chance of Dying

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Soda

By Kennedy Shelley

People who drink two sodas a day have a significant chance of dying earlier than they should.

According to this new study, it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a diet soda or one full of sugar.

The study was an observational study, not a double blind one so just seeing a link between these two things does not prove that the soda caused the premature death, but the link was significant.

The study looked at 415,000 people from several European countries from 1992 to 2000.

The study originally looked to see if there was a link between cancer and consumption of fizzy soft drinks.

There was no link discovered, but the authors noted that all cause mortality was higher for people who consumed 16 or more ounces of soda a day.

The scientists dug deeper into the data to see if soda drinkers were more likely to be overweight or if they had something else to put them at higher risk of early death, but they could not find any link.

So, this remains a bit of mystery.  Why does soda consumption seem to cause early death?

The study authors hypothesize that soda drinkers might have an overall unhealthy diet.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US have noticed that people who drink the most sugary soda tend to have the worst diets for healthy living.

In a Reuters story on this study, the lead author, Neil Murphy, Ph.D., was quoted as saying “high soft drink consumption may be a marker of overall unhealth[ful] diet.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and released on September 3, 2019.

The studies authors suggest until a clear link is discovered it is better for people to avoid artificial beverages and stick with water.

It doesn’t seem to matter what type of fizzy drink people drink; the results were the same.  People who like Red Bulls have the same problem as those who are drinking a diet Shasta.

This is the third big study showing a link between drinking sugar-free soft drinks and all-cause mortality risk.

Note, this study was only dealing with so-called soft drinks and did not include fruit juices.

Even when you factor in major risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and education level, just drinking two sodas a day increased your chances of premature death by 17%.

They did note that if you were drinking sugar-free drinks, you have a greater chance of cardiovascular death, and if your soda has sugar you are more likely to have digestive diseases.  Both groups have higher risks of Parkinson’s.

People who had less than two soda’s a day did not have this problem.  So occasionally enjoying a soda doesn’t seem to have this effect.

One glass according to the study was defined as 250 ml or 8.5 ounces.  But a Big Gulp at 7/11 is 32 ounces and 16-ounce plastic bottles would give you significantly more than this.

No one knows with certainty why this link exists.  But the prudent thing to do is to skip the soda and go with water.

Buyer Beware: New Fake Meat Burgers Could Be Worse Than Real Meat Burgers

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Fake Meat

By Adam

The appeal of trying to improve health by altering diet is one of the biggest trends in healthy living today.

In the past few years, the rise of vegetarian and vegan specific foods has created a billion-dollar industry that sells the promise that a plant-based diet is the key to perfect health.

However, there is a reason not to believe the hype. Buyer beware: these new fake meat burgers could be worse than real meat burgers.

Here’s the Reason Fake Meat Burgers Aren’t All That Healthy

The argument about fake meat burgers being unhealthy comes down to 1 simple truth.

Research indicates the more processed a food is, whether it’s a meat-based product or a plant-based product, the unhealthier it is.

This has been confirmed in multiple research studies (and is the reason a french fry fried up in vegetable oil is worse for your health than a regular old potato.

In the case of the Impossible Burger from Burger King, the list of ingredients Burger King used to make their product is 21 ingredients long.

That amalgamation of all those ingredients to create an imitation patty might give vegetarians and vegans an alternative when they dine out, but the health benefits probably aren’t as significant as one may believe.

John Mackey, the CEO of the nation’s #1 natural-foods grocery store was recently quoted saying that even though his company sells almost all of the popular meat alternatives on the market, he doesn’t necessarily believe these kinds of foods offer the health-benefits the companies claim they impart.

In an interview with NBC, Mackey sounded off on the fake meat market.

“I don’t think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods,” Mackey says. “As for health, I will not endorse that, and that is about as big of criticism that I will do in public.”

“The [brands] who are capturing the imagination of people — and I’m not going to name these brands because I’m afraid I will be associated with the critique of it,” says Mackey, “but some of these that are extremely popular now that is taking the world by storm, if you look at the ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods.”

“I don’t think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods,” Mackey says. “As for health, I will not endorse that, and that is about as big of criticism that I will do in public.”

Mackey’s opinion isn’t just a personal opinion; dieticians specializing in plant-based diets tend to agree with Mackey’s assessment.

Many of them point out that in addition to offering a combination of ingredients that aren’t healthy when processed, there are additional problems with fake meat burgers.

Pea protein is one of the main ingredients in many of the fake meat burgers sold today. The problem with pea protein isn’t necessarily that it isn’t healthy, but it may introduce a deadly pesticide into a person’s diet.

Dr. Andrew Weil wrote about that recently when addressing the dangers of fake meat burgers.

On his blog, he wrote “Another concern I have about these products has to do with glyphosate, the active ingredient in the pesticide Roundup, which is used on soy and pea protein, ingredients in the fake burgers.

‘he Detox Project, a research organization that tests foods for glyphosate, reports finding high levels in organic pea protein than in conventional versions. (In general, however, glyphosate is much higher in conventional foods than organic.)

One of its directors has been quoted in news reports as saying “we can hardly find a clean pea protein source anywhere.” In 2015 the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, and in 2017 California did the same and also required that products containing glyphosate carry warning labels on their packages.”

That’s a general problem with fake meat products.

When it comes to Burger King specifically, their decision to offer an option for vegetarians and vegans comes with a major drawback.

The Impossible Whopper may consist of vegan ingredients, but the burger is fried in the same fryer as the rest of the meat products Burger King offers, which obviously isn’t vegan-friendly.

On top of that, the initial climate-based concerns that sparked the rise of the fake meat market aren’t necessarily addressed with fake meat burgers.

Detractors note that the amount of energy devoted to processing plants to make the fake meat burgers isn’t as climate-friendly as people are led to believe.

Should You Eat a Fake Meat Burger?

At the end of the day, eating a fake meat burger from Beyond Meat or Burger King comes down to what you’re looking to achieve by making the decision.

If you’re seriously trying to protect the Earth, a fake meat burger might not be as good a choice as you were led to believe.

And, if you’re eating them to benefit your health, that may not necessarily happen here either.

However, if you’re looking to try something new, or, you’re vegetarian vegan and simply can’t stomach the idea of eating meat then a decision to eat a fake meat burger will prove beneficial for you in ways a regular meat burger wouldn’t be.