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Fetal Exposure to Pollutants Produces Childhood Obesity

Fetal Exposure to Pollutants Produces Childhood Obesity

Have you ever wondered why some infants seem to be naturally heavier than others, even though they may not necessarily be eating more? New research is confirming this may have something to do with a baby’s exposure to certain pollutants within the womb.

Research from Spain’s Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology has confirmed that exposure to certain environmental pollutants in the womb produces a greater incidence of obesity and rapid growth among infants and children.

In the most recent study, the researchers followed over 4,600 infants between 2003 and 2008 who were between the age of six months and fourteen months. Within this population they identified 1,285 children who had experienced rapid growth during their first year and 1,198 overweight babies by the time they were 14 months of age.

During the last trimester of pregnancy the mothers’ blood was collected and analyzed for a number of pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB).

The researchers then collected data relating to the body mass index of each child – measuring that at six months and then again at 14 months.

The researchers found that DDE and HCB were both associated with rapid growth among the infants as well as being overweight at fourteen months.

The researchers concluded:

“Prenatal exposure to DDE and HCB may be associated with early postnatal growth. Further research is needed to evaluate the persistence of these associations at older ages.”

Other research finds similar results for older children

This study confirms an earlier study done by some of the same researchers. This study, however, focused upon children who were older – with an average age of 6.5 years.

This study followed 344 Spanish children between 1997 and 1998, comparing their body mass index at 6.5 years old with their exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and/or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) within the womb.

This study again found that the incidence of obesity among the children was significantly higher for those with higher exposures to PCBs and DDE. The increased obesity rate among th

Will Resveratrol Really Prevent Aging?

Will Resveratrol Really Prevent Aging?

Will Resveratrol Really Prevent Aging?

It’s almost impossible to avoid those internet ads urging you to buy resveratrol.  They claim it’s the fountain of youth in supplement form. News stories tout resveratrol as a cure for various diseases as well as a preventative against aging. Is it true or just hype?

Researchers from the University of Florida reviewed the available research and concluded that it may be some of each. Study authors say that the polyphenol compound known as resveratrol may not prevent old age, but it might make it more tolerable.

While acknowledging the search for an anti-aging cure in a pill, the researchers admitted that it doesn’t exist. But they did find that resveratrol may lessen many of the “scourges and infirmities of old age.”

Reviewing the body of human clinical research on resveratrol, they found it has “anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”  But the authors admitted that more research is needed to determine its specific benefits.

The study, which appeared online in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, also examined results from thousands of laboratory studies with enzymes, cultured cells and laboratory animals.

The researchers found that despite numerous clinical studies on resveratrol’s beneficial effects on animals, there is little evidence that it benefits human health.  That’s because there haven’t been as many studies on humans.

Resveratrol is a chemical compound found in certain plants that acts as an antibiotic to fight off both bacteria and fungus.

Although red wine is the best known dietary source of resveratrol, it is also found in raspberries, mulberries, blueberries, and cranberries. Few people realize that resveratrol is also found in peanuts, pine trees and in Japanese knotweed, from which most resveratrol supplements are derived.

Scientists began exploring the potential health benefits of resveratrol in 1992 when it was first found in red wine.  It was thought to be a possible explanation of the “French Paradox,” or the observation that the French eat a high saturated fat diet and drink red wine, but do not suffer the same rates of heart disease as Americans.

Others disagree, attributing the cardiac health of the French to the very saturated fats that Americans fear. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, saturated fat has never really been proven to be linked to heart disease, despite the government’s consistent vilification of animal fats.

We do know that resveratrol acts as a powerful antioxidant. Oxidation causes cells to lose electrons and form “free radicals” that can cause cell damage.  That in turn leads to various diseases.

Resveratrol and Breast Cancer

Various clinical trials have indicated that as a polyphenol – an antibiotic substance produced by plants as a defense against microorganisms – resveratrol prevents the growth of some cancers in mice.

A team of American and Italian scientists have suggested that this “healthy” ingredient in red wine also stops breast cancer cells from growing by blocking the growth effects of estrogen.

In a study published in The FASEB Journal, researchers found that resveratrol inhibits the proliferation of hormone resistant breast cancer cells. This has important implications for the treatment of women with breast cancer whose tumors eventually develop resistance to hormonal therapy.

The researchers treated different breast cancer cell lines with resveratrol and compared their growth with cells left untreated. They found an important reduction in cell growth in cells treated by resveratrol, while no changes were seen in untreated cells. Additional experiments revealed that this effect was related to a drastic reduction of estrogen receptor levels caused by resveratrol itself.

The Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal called the findings exciting and said that “scientists haven’t finished distilling the secrets of good health that have been hidden in natural products such as red wine.”

Resveratrol and Alzheimer’s Disease

There are no human studies backing up the claim that resveratrol might extend life.  Many believe it may have anti-aging properties based on studies showing that it increases the life-spans of yeast, worms, fruit flies, fish and mice.

But it may help avoid some diseases associated with aging.  Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that resveratrol has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  It shows that resveratrol selectively targets and neutralizes clumps of peptides or proteins that are bad and have been linked to Alzheimer’s, but leaves alone those that are benign.

Other research shows that resveratrol may:

Reason enough to enjoy a glass of red wine.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/will-resveratrol-really-prevent-aging

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A Reflection On Antibiotics

A Reflection On Antibiotics

A Reflection On Antibiotics

As you can see here, scientists are running out of options. Many drug resistant micro-organisms are no longer responding to the older drugs, and there are less and less new ones being developed. The only solution is to stop the rampant use of these largely unnecessary drugs.

ANTIBIOTICS

Antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals are among the most abused and overused pharmaceutical agents that contribute to human disease.  Louis Pasteur became famous for his “discoveries”, and his contribution to the idea that germs could or should be killed.  The problem with this paradigm is that while germs do exist and can be killed, it is not the way to create a healthy living environment.  Most people are unaware that Pasteur was a political-celebrity pseudoscientist, who lifted much of his information from Antoine Bechamp, his contemporary, and true scholar.  Pasteur had a very poor understanding of the gestalt of living systems and in his hijacking of Bechamps information, which he couldn’t have understood enough to even take credit for, he made some incorrect assumptions.  Nevertheless, like today, celebrity doctors and scientists, even then, made headlines and were adorned with respect that was wholly undeserved. For more information on Bechamp and Pasteur please read “Bechamp or Pasteur.  A lost chapter in the history of biology” by Ethel D Hulme.  You will be surprised and entertained by the information that was withheld from your history and science books.

Antibiotics contribute to the killing of many commensal organisms that are important for proper bodily homeostasis, immunity, digestion, metabolism and organ health.  Our bodies are dependent on a rich mixture of micro-organisms both inside and outside.  Sterilization is neither possible nor necessary.  The conventional approach to an imbalance of micro-organisms is to kill the “invader.”  Sometimes this will appear to give temporary success, but most often the trouble will recur if there is no intervention into the whole system.

Sometimes the problem with antibiotics is painfully obvious, e.g. when a fungal infection or intestinal infection with “c-diff” takes hold after a course of antibiotics.  But the truth is, every course of antibiotics weakens the constitution and, if the beneficial micro-organisms that died off do not grow back or are not replaced, all sorts of degenerative diseases, including cancer, can evolve. Are you aware that approximately 70% of immunity lies within the bowels?  Now imagine the consequences of wiping out populations of micro-organisms from the intestines, as a “side effect” of antimicrobial use.

Antibiotics can permanently kill off beneficial gut flora, which amongst other things, leads to far worse bacterial infections than the one being “treated” in the first place.  Antibiotics are infamous for creating superbacteria which then turn and potentially bite everyone, including those who don’t use antibiotics. For this reason, Dr Humphries will not prescribe antibiotics and would not recommend them except under dire, truly life-threatening circumstances.  Instead, creating a healthy background where infection cannot take hold is the aim.  Disease cannot live in healthy terrain.  This is a truth that has been demonstrated time and again in plant and animal life. Most doctors are unaware of this problem because it is denied in the conventional medical system.  Instead, drugs are prescribed to try to rectify the problems that later occur after a seemingly successful course of antibiotics are completed.

There are myriad ways to deal with imbalances that lead to altered bacterial and fungal balance in the body such as urinary tract infections, chronic diarrhea, sinusitis and just about all seeming infections.  Often the cure does not happen overnight like the apparent effect of an antibiotic, but with the approach of strengthening the whole body, the infection will retreat on its own.  This approach often takes discipline and willingness to give up addictive habits.

Strengthening the bowels in people who have had antibiotics in the past is also possible.  If you would like a holistic approach to an issue diagnosed as an infection, please schedule a consult.  Chances are, there are many things you can do to bring yourself back to a higher state of health.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/reflection-antibiotics

 

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Fake Food (GMO) and Pesticides Making You Gain Weight?

Fake Food (GMO) and Pesticides Making You Gain Weight?

Written By:

Anne Gordon, RN

Fake Food (GMO) and Pesticides Making You Gain Weight?

Frankly, there is a frightening coincidence glaring at us, right before our eyes. Obesity has become pandemic in the past 30 years, paralleling the use of genetic engineering, and increased pesticide use. More than 60% of Americans are overweight, and obesity has doubled in the past 20 years, globally. Our intestines may be colonized with new microbes, making us very sick. Something is seriously wrong here and has not been seen before.

It doesn’t matter how much we wash an ear of corn. We’re eating pesticides, chemicals, and new ‘foods’. Some people truly believe, that the food source of today is the safest it has ever been. They embrace Genetically Modified (GM) food wholeheartedly, accept irradiation of food, and blindly stuff themselves with the latest food experiment….That is, the human food experiment.

Everyday, the average American is exposed to 10 to 13 different pesticides through food, beverages and drinking water. Nine of the 10 most common pesticides are endocrine-disrupting, which have been linked to weight gain.

Genetic engineering has produced bizarre toxins, and those toxins are in the GM food that we dish up. It has increased the level of allergens, altered the composition of protein and other nutrients, increasing the GM crop’s absorption of pesticides and other chemicals.

A study in the International Journal of Obesity from researchers at 10 different universities, found that the use of hormones in factory meat production could be a possible contributor to the obesity epidemic. It is known that many toxins preferentially accumulate in fat cells. Fat-soluble pesticides are attracted to the fat stores in the body.  In the United States, 88 percent of the corn, 93 percent of the canola, and 94 percent of the soybeans are genetically-modified, and are heavily sprayed with biocides such as glyphosate.  So, when eating the tofu, or drinking the soy milk, think about what you’re consuming.

Chillingly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. MSG has also been linked to obesity, and it is ubiquitous in sauces, and processed foods. Then there are the Pthalates (used in many plastics) also linked to obesity. Endocrine disrupting pharmaceuticals and meds have shown up in ‘tap’ water.

As the Washington Post reported in 2007: Researchers studied the effects of bisphenol A on estrogen function for more than a decade. “These in-utero effects are lifetime effects, and they occur at phenomenally small levels” of exposure, Vom Saal (researcher) said.

What can you do to dodge the bullet? Learn as much as you can.  Eat ‘grass fed’ meat instead of corn fed. Use glass instead of plastic as often as possible. Avoid canned food unless it states BPA free. Eat yogurt or other food containing probiotics  to help restore  healthy intestinal flora.  Suggest to your grocery store that you will only purchase real food that doesn’t contain BPA, Pthalates, Hormones, Antibiotics, canola, etc.  If we collectively stop buying what they are selling, the fat cats might loose weight.

Sources

Medline: Obesity

Natracare: Pesticides

PLoS: Low dose organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls predict obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance among people free of diabetes.

You can read this great article and others at:http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/fake-food-gmo-and-pesticides-making-you-gain-weight

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The Power of Peppermint: 15 Health Benefits Revealed

The Power of Peppermint: 15 Health Benefits Revealed

Written By:

Sayer Ji,

The Power of Peppermint: 15 Health Benefits Revealed

A favorite herbal medicine of the ancients, peppermint leaves have been found in Egyptian pyramids dating back to 1,000 BC. Modern scientific investigations have now confirmed that this remarkable plant has over a dozen healing properties.

In our continuing effort to educate folks to the vast array of healing agents found in the natural world around us, we are excited to feature peppermint, a member of the aromatic mint family that you may already have squirreled away somewhere in your kitchen cupboard. While most have experienced peppermint as a flavoring agent, or perhaps as a comforting cup of herbal tea, few are aware of its wide range of experimentally confirmed therapeutic properties.

The ancients certainly were aware of the mint family’s medicinal value, having been used as herbal medicines in ancient Egypt, Greek and Rome thousands of years ago.[i]  Dried peppermint leaves have even been found in several Egyptian pyramids carbon dating back to 1,000 BC.

Today, modern scientific investigations are revealing an abundance of potential health benefits associated with the use of different components of the peppermint plant, including aromatherapeutic, topical and internal applications.

Most of the human research on peppermint performed thus far indicates this plant has great value in treating gastrointestinal disorders, including:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Since the late 90’s it was discovered that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are safe and effective in the treatment of this increasingly prevalent disorder.[ii]  This beneficial effect extends to the pediatric community. In one children’s trial 75% of those receiving peppermint oil had reduced severity of pain associated with IBS within 2 weeks.[iii] Another 2005 trial in adults concluded that “Taking into account the currently available drug treatments for IBS Peppermint oil (1-2 capsules t.i.d. over 24 weeks) may be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea to alleviate general symptoms and to improve quality of life.”[iv]  In another 2007 trial 75% of patients receiving peppermint oil saw an impressive 50% reduction of “total irritable bowel syndrome score.”[v] Most recently, a study published January of this year found that peppermint oil was effective in relieving abdominal pain in diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome.[vi]
  • Colonic spasm – Peppermint oil has been studied as a safe and effective alternative to the drug Buscopan for its ability to reduce spasms during barium enemas.[vii] [viii]
  • Gastric Emptying Disorders – Peppermint has been found to enhance gastric emptying, suggesting its potential use in a clinical setting for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.[ix]
  • Functional dyspepsia – A 2000 study published in the journal Ailment Pharmacology and Therapy found that 90 mg of peppermint oil and 50 mg of caraway oil resulted in 67% of patients reporting “much or very much improved” in their symptoms of functional dyspepsia. [x]
  • Infantile Colic: A 2013 study found that peppermint is at least as effective as the chemical simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic.[xi]

Other studied applications include

  • Breastfeeding Associated Nipple Pain and Damage: A 2007 study found that peppermint water prevented nipple cracks and nipple pain in breastfeeding mothers.[xii]
  • Tuberculosis: A 2009 study found that inhaled essential oil of peppermint was able to rapidly regress tuberculous inflammation, leading the authors to conclude: “This procedure may be used to prevent recurrences and exacerbation of pulmonary tuberculosis.”[xiii]
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever): A 2001 preclinical study found that extracts of the leaves of peppermint  inhibit histamine release indicating it may be clinically effective in alleviating the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis.[xiv]
  • Shingles Associated Pain (Post-Herpetic Neuralgia): A 2002 case study found that topical peppermint oil treatment resulted in a near immediate improvement of shingles associated neuropathic pain symptoms; the therapeutic effects persisted throughout the entire 2 months of follow-up treatment. [xv]
  • Memory problems: A 2006 study found that the simple aroma of peppermint enhances memory and increases alertness in human subjects.[xvi]
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: A 2013 study found that peppermint oil was found to be effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at reduced cost versus standard drug-based treatment.[xvii]
  • Prostate Cancer: Preclinical research indicates that peppermint contains a compound known as menthol which inhibits prostate cancer growth.[xviii] [xix]
  • Radiation Damage: Preclinical research indicates peppermint protects against radiation-induced DNA damage and cell death.[xx]  [xxi]
  • Herpes Simplex  Virus Type 1: Peppermint has been found to have inhibitory activity against acyclovir-resistant Herpes Simplex virus type 1.[xxii] [xxiii]
  • Dental Caries/Bad Breath: Peppermint oil extract has been found to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine inhibiting Streptococus mutans driven biofilm formation associated with dental caries.[xxiv] [xxv] This may explain why powdered peppermint leaves were used in the Middle Ages to combat halitosis and whiten teeth.

Peppermint is actually a hybridized cross between Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata),[xxvi] the latter of which has also been researched to possess remarkable therapeutic properties, such as the ability to exert significant anti-androgenic effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome[xxvii] and ameliorating the related condition of mild hirsutism, marked by excessive hair growth in females.[xxviii]

Like all plant medicines, extreme caution must be exercised when using extracts and especially essential oils.  Also, remember that more is not always better. A recent study on the use of rosemary in improving cognitive performance in the elderly found that a lower ‘culinary’ dose (750 mg) was not only more effective in improving cognition (as measured by memory speed) than a higher dose, but the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant memory impairing effect.[xxix] This illustrates quite nicely how less can be more, and why an occasional nightly cup of peppermint tea may be far superior as preventive strategy than taking large ‘heroic’ doses of an herb only after a serious health problem sets in.

You can read this article and others at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/power-peppermint-15-health-benefits-revealed

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