Natural Cures Not Medicine: 08/03/13

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Rate of Chronic Disease Increasing Exponentially

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A growing global epidemic of chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, will cause at least 35 million deaths this year, costing the world economy billions of dollars, even though medical science has identified the principal causes and knows ways to prevent it, experts said at a AAAS seminar in Washington, D.C.

 Speakers at the first Philip Hauge Abelson Advancing Science Seminar said that twice as many premature deaths are caused worldwide by chronic diseases as by all infectious diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions and nutritional deficiencies combined. And while the toll from infectious diseases is declining globally, deaths from chronic disease are expected to increase by 17 percent in the next 10 years.

The 8 December seminar included speakers from the World Health Organization (WHO), from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and from university research labs. It was the inaugural event in a series named for Abelson, a researcher in physics, biology and other sciences, and the editor for 22 years of Science, which is published by AAAS. Abelson died last year at the age of 91.

Alan I. Leshner, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of Science, said the seminar series would address major societal challenges and focus on the frontiers of science and technology.
Robert Beaglehole, WHO's director of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion, said in the keynote address that the toll of premature death from chronic disease is increasing worldwide principally because of unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and the use of tobacco and the aging of populations in almost all countries.

Diet and the lack of physical activity is contributing to a growing pattern of obesity, a key risk factor for diabetes and early heart disease. And it's not just happening in the rich countries, such as the United States and South Africa, where recent reports show that 75 percent of women aged 30 and over are overweight. A "very frightening statistic," said Beaglehole, is that in countries both rich and poor, about 22 million children worldwide under the age of five are already obese.

"We've done a lot to observe the emergence of this problem," he said. "We have done practically nothing to solve it."

Beaglehole said that common misunderstandings about chronic disease have affected policy decisions and slowed the worldwide response to the emerging epidemic.
For instance, he said it's widely believed that premature heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases are mostly a plague among the elderly and among the rich in high-income countries.
Actually, said Beaglehole, 80 percent of deaths from chronic diseases are in low- and middle-income countries. A WHO report found that poor people, in all but the least developed countries, are more likely than the rich to develop chronic diseases and are more likely to die early. And it is not just the elderly who are victims. The WHO report found that almost half of the deaths from chronic diseases occur in people under 70 years old.

"A very dangerous misunderstanding is that chronic disease is the result of unhealthy lifestyles under the control of individuals," Beaglehole said. "The reality is that poor people and children have very limited choices, and it is unfair to blame them for the environmental conditions in which they suffer."
There's also the belief by many that chronic diseases and premature deaths cannot be prevented.
"The reality is that approximately 80 percent of premature heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes is preventable, as are 40 percent of all cancers -- many of which result from tobacco consumption," said Beaglehole. "A few known risk factors explain the vast majority of premature chronic disease deaths."

A global effort to attack the causes of chronic disease could reduce death rates by 2 percent a year and save 36 million lives within a decade, he said. Ninety percent of the lives saved, said Beaglehole, would be in low- and middle-income countries. Slowing the epidemic of premature death from chronic diseases will have to involve policy issues beyond the health field, he said. For instance, farm subsidies often affect the type of food available in some countries. An example: The consumption of full fat milk is encouraged in schools in some European countries because of subsidies, said Beaglehole. Excessive fat, sugar and salt in the diet lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Other specialists at the Abelson seminar reported recent findings that offer new hope for treatment and management of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Eric J. Topol, provost of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, said studies of families with heart attack have demonstrated specific genes that are causative or induce susceptibility. This will allow strategies of lifestyle and individualized therapy early in life to prevent heart attacks decades later.

The battle against the growing epidemic of obesity will require fundamental changes in attitudes toward food and exercise, said Holly Wyatt, the program director at the Centers for Obesity Research and Education at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In American society, she said, "we've had a lot of pressures to not expend more energy than we have to and we had a lot of pressure to eat more than we need."

To change the behaviors that lead to obesity will require encouragement from virtually every element in society -- employers, schools, churches, community centers and retail stores, she said. Such programs have worked in the past to discourage tobacco use and encourage using seat belts in cars. Without such an effort, Wyatt said that by 2008 about 75 percent of Americans will be at a body weight that negatively affects health.

Basic research on how the kidneys regulate salt in the body has given medical science a new understanding of the causes of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, said Rick Lifton, Sterling Professor and chairman of Genetics atYale University School of Medicine. He said there are biological pathways and gene mutations that cause the kidneys to sequester sodium, leading to increases in blood pressure. Drugs to counter these effects could lead to dramatically improved treatments for hypertension, a disorder that affects a billion people world wide and is linked to about 5 million deaths annually.

Dr. Gerald I. Shulman, an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor of internal medicine and cellular & molecular physiology at Yale University, said that new, non-invasive studies using magnetic resonance spectroscopy have demonstrated that the development of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes is directly related to the build-up of fat inside muscle and liver cells where it disrupts normal insulin signaling and action in these organs. Studies in transgenic and knockout mice as well as in humans have shown that removing this excess intracellular fat can restore insulin sensitivity and cure type 2 diabetes. The results from these studies provide new targets for novel therapies that might be developed to reduce intracellular fat levels and reverse insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes, said Shulman.

Copyright 2005. American Association for the Advancement of Science


Country of Belize Destroys GMO Soybean Crops

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There’s been trouble in the tropical paradise of Belize.

Despite the fact that the federal government of Belize has banned all GMO seeds from the country’s borders, a field of GMO soybeans was found growing in the northern portion of the country.  (Two weeks ago, an errant field of unapproved GMO wheat was discovered in Oregon – these examples make it clear that Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry have no regard for the regulations that disallowed these crops to be planted.)

This discovery in Belize comes, rather ironically, just months after a very successful  national awareness campaign called  ”GMO Awareness Month”.

    GMO Awareness Month was conducted in response to a recent push by the newly-formed Belize Grain Growers Association to gain Government approval for the importation of GMO corn seed. This GMO v.s. NON-GMO conflict pits the Mennonite and other commercial grain farmers against the cultural natives, the Maya, who first brought corn to the world. Throughout the entire month of March, members of the social network Facebook group Belizeans Against GMOs (BAGMO), now numbering over 1,700, orchestrated a GMO educational campaign which included weekly full-page educational advertorials and letters-to-the-editor in the national Amandala newspaper. (These can be reviewed at: ( BAGMO members not only appeared on Belizean TV/radio talk shows but they also promoted a GMO writing contest with cash prizes for students in secondary schools throughout Belize. (press release)

The lovely Central American country is a popular eco-tourism destination, and perhaps this is the reason that they are so environmentally conscious.  The government of Belize appears to be adamant about keeping GMO crops out of the country.  The following press release was issued by the Government of Belize Press Office on June 7.

    “On May 24, 2013 the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize.  As a result, samples of the suspected soybean seeds were submitted to BAHA’s Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening.  The screening tests were conducted on May 28 and all the samples tested positive indicating that the seeds were genetically modified.

    A further set of samples were then sent to Eurofins Genescan Laboratories in the United States on May 30 for a confirmatory test using Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR technology. On June 5th, BAHA received results of the confirmatory test, which verified the results of previous tests conducted by BAHA on the soybean seeds.Since the sowing of GMO seeds is prohibited in Belize, BAHA has placed the seeds under quarantine, and will render the seeds non-viable by milling. The milled soybean seeds will be used for the production of animal feed which contains genetically modified soybeans. Belize currently imports animal feeds which contains genetically modified soybeans.”  (source)

(Author’s note: Although the government of Belize is to be sincerely applauded for supporting the ban on GMO seeds, feeding livestock GMO crops is dubious because it still introduces the genetically modified material into the food chain.)

Back in 2011, outrage in Belize resulted in the public burning of GMO corn seeds.  BAGMO wrote, “Central America is the birth place of corn. Belize is known for its magnificent biodiversity, astounding natural resources, and tremendous cultural heritage. The introduction of genetically modified corn would negatively affect biodiversity, natural resources and the cultural heritage of the Maya.”

Thus far Belize has been steadfast in the fight against GMO crops.  They don’t want corn fields that require Kevlar tires on the vehicles to drive through them scattered in amongst the ancient ruins and rain forests of their pristine environment.

This find, along with the unapproved GMO wheat that made it’s appearance in Oregon, makes it very clear that  Monsanto and their ilk have no interest in respecting the wishes and regulations of the nations who have banned their biotech corruptions or in waiting for approval from their yes-men in government agencies..   They are breaching the gates by throwing around money, hiring disinformation agents, and when all else fails, arrogantly disregarding the laws and having their seeds planted anyway.

In Belize, the fight against GMOs in paradise goes on.  Denise Frank, the spokesperson for BAGMO, requests support.”BAGMO members ask the rest of the world to stand with them in solidarity in their efforts to keep Belize GMO-free and to help fight this recent criminal action to the fullest extent of the law.”

Source: The Organic Prepper

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at

A Solution To Factory Farming

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Photo: Getty Images
With Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) wreaking havoc on public health and the environment, what is the alternative to this industrial method of meat and dairy production?

“Mob grazing” or intensive rotational grazing is an advanced method of raising livestock on pasture that is based on the patterns of grazing animals in nature. It produces more pounds per acre than traditional pasture farming and has many holistic benefits while avoiding the negative consequences of factory farming.  There is little input, there is no need for antibiotics, the animals feed on their natural diet instead of GMO crops, and manure is used to improve the soil instead of polluting the water and air.


Studies Show That These Prescriptions Make Your Brain Stop Working

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Drugs commonly taken for a variety of common medical conditions negatively affect your brain, causing long term cognitive impairment. These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter.

They include such common over-the-counter brands as Benadryl, Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM, and Unisom.

Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil, Detrol, Demerol and Elavil are available only by prescription.

Physorg reports:

“Researchers … conducted a six-year observational study, evaluating 1,652 Indianapolis area African-Americans over the age of 70 who had normal cognitive function when the study began … ‘[T]aking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk.’”

Many view over-the-counter (OTC) drugs as safe because they don’t require a prescription. Well nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, many OTC drugs were previously carefully monitored prescription drugs. Many people are not aware that while I was in college in the 1970s, I worked as a full time pharmacy apprentice and helped sell drugs to patients all day long.

Motrin was the first non-salicylate prescription NSAID. Now it is a popular OTC ibuprofen option. Similarly, anti-ulcer drugs like Tagamet, Zantec, and Prilosec used to be carefully controlled. Now they can all be easily purchased in a smaller “OTC strength” that nearly doubles the number of pills required to equal the prescription dose.

Just because a drug is available without a prescription does not make it any less dangerous. It is still a chemical, which in no way, shape, or form treats the cause of the problem and can lead to complications that can seriously injure, if not kill, you or someone you love.

So this is clearly important information that can help you or someone you love reduce your risk of dementia as you get older. Based on the findings of this study, I would strongly recommend that seniors in particular avoid all anticholinergic drugs, like Benadryl (generic is diphenhydramine) which is a pervasive and commonly used in virtually all of the OTC sleeping pills.

Researchers will continue studying the matter to see whether anticholinergic-induced cognitive impairment can be reversed, but don’t hold your breath. Avoidance is really the best solution.

What are Anticholinergic Drugs?Anticholinergic drugs block a nervous system neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease typically have a marked shortage of acetylcholine.

Anticholinergic drugs are available both over-the-counter and by prescription, as medications used for a variety of symptoms can have this effect. Examples include night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, and other sleep aids, such as:

    Excedrin PM
    Tylenol PM

Prescription drugs with anticholinergic effects include certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.

Examples of prescription meds in these categories include:


A Special Note for Aspartame ‘Reactors’

Many of the drugs listed here, as well as a long list of additional ones, contain diphenhydramine. As an important side note, you need to beware that chewable tablets and rapidly disintegrating tablets that contain diphenhydramine may be sweetened with aspartame

If you have the genetic disease phenylketonuria (PKU), you must be particularly careful to avoid these types of drugs and all other types of aspartame-sweetened foods and beverages in order to prevent mental retardation.

But many other people also suffer detrimental health effects from aspartame, so you should know that this is yet another potential source of this toxic sweetener.

Anticholinergic Drugs Increases Dementia in the Elderly

I’ve previously written about the health dangers of many of these individual drugs. Paxil, for example, is an addictive antidepressant that is well known to increase the risk of suicide in children and teens. It is also known to increase violent behavior.

Benadryl and Sominex have previously been found to cause hallucinations in the elderly, and a number of the drugs on the list also promote dental decay.

The results of this study indicate that drugs with anticholinergic effects may be yet another piece of the puzzle that might explain the sharp rise in dementia and cognitive decline.

According to the University of Michigan, dementia strikes about 50 percent of people who reach the age of 85. Of those, about 60 percent go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

In this study, the researchers tracked the intake of anticholinergic drugs and monitored the cognitive abilities of 1,652 African-American seniors, aged 70 and older, for six years. All of the participants had normal cognitive function at the outset of the study.

Fifty-three percent of the participants used a ‘possible anticholinergic,’ and 11 percent used a ‘definitive anticholinergic’ drug.

They found that those who took drugs classified as ‘definite anticholinergics’ had a four times higher incidence of cognitive impairment.

In those who were not carriers of the specific gene, APOE ε4 allele, the risk was over seven times higher. (The APOE ε4 gene is known to influence many neurological diseases, and is considered a high risk factor for Alzheimer’s.)

Taking two of these drugs further increased the risk of cognitive impairment.

PhysOrg reports:

“Simply put, we have confirmed that anticholinergics, something as seemingly benign as a medication for inability to get a good night’s sleep or for motion sickness, can cause or worsen cognitive impairment, specifically long-term mild cognitive impairment which involves gradual memory loss.

As a geriatrician I tell my Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center patients not to take these drugs and I encourage all older adults to talk with their physicians about each and every one of the medications they take,” said Malaz Boustani, M.D., IU School of Medicine associate professor of medicine, Regenstrief Institute investigator and IU Center for Aging Research center scientist.”
Even More Reasons to Ditch the Sleep Meds

In 2008, Americans filled more than 56 million prescriptions for sleeping pills and spent more than $600 million on over-the-counter sleep aids. But anticholinergic sleep medications in particular may be causing far more harm than good, especially long term, without providing any benefit at all.

In a recent article, CBC News reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had data for 15 years which shows that over-the-counter sleep aids like Tylenol PM and Excedrin PM do not offer any significant benefit to patients.

There’s no explanation for why the FDA took 15 years to evaluate the industry’s research, but upon final analysis “the data suggests the combination products are statistically better than a placebo but not by much,” CBC News reported.   

I guess it can be chalked up as yet another vibrant example of how industry research frequently amounts to little more than corporate wishes and good PR fodder.

Another analysis of sleeping pill studies from 2007 (financed by the National Institutes of Health) found that sleeping pills like Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata reduced the average time to go to sleep by just under 13 minutes compared with fake pills — hardly a major improvement.
Yet, the participants believed they had slept longer, by up to one hour, when taking the pills.

This may actually be a sign of a condition called anterograde amnesia, which causes trouble with forming memories. When people wake up after taking sleeping pills, they may, in fact, simply forget that they had been unable to sleep!

You would be far better off putting your money toward authentic solutions to help you sleep than on sleeping pills, as it’s now clear that they do next to nothing to help you sleep – in fact, they may actually make it more difficult for you to get a good night’s rest naturally – and may significantly increase your risk of dementia.

Sleeping Pills are NOT a Safe Solution for Sleepless Nights

Understand that resorting to sleep medications is risky business, and that these pills do not address the underlying reasons why you’re having trouble sleeping in the first place.

In addition to the long-term problems already discussed, there are other serious, not to mention bizarre, risks involved.

For starters, these pills are notorious for being addictive, which means that once you want to stop taking them, you’ll likely suffer withdrawal symptoms that could be worse than your initial insomnia. Some, such as Ambien, may also become less effective when taken for longer than two weeks, which means you may find yourself needing ever higher dosages.

Ambien may also make you want to eat while you’re asleep — and I don’t mean sneaking down to grab a piece of fruit. The sleep eating can include bizarre foods such as buttered cigarettes, salt sandwiches, and raw bacon.

Sleeping pills, and again Ambien in particular, are also known to increase your risk of getting into a traffic accident. Ambien actually ranks among the top 10 drugs found in the bloodstreams of impaired drivers, according to some state toxicology labs.

Among the elderly, using sleeping pills may increase the risk of nighttime falls and injuries, and anyone who takes them may find they wake up feeling drowsy if the effects of the drug have not worn off yet.

You’re far better of finding safe and natural solutions that will actually address the underlying causes of your sleepless nights instead of just cover up the resulting symptoms.

Source: Raw For Beauty



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