Friday, October 7, 2011

IN THE NEWS

  Simple suggestions for parents:





Here’s Why Japanese Children Are the Healthiest in the World

When it comes to living a long and healthy life, let's learn from the best, shall we?

http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/why-japanese-children-are-the-healthiest/1/


         STOP EATING ANIMALS



I’ve just finished reading “Eating Animals:  Would George Ohsawa and Michio Kushi Be Vegan Today?  I don’t usually recommend books, but this one’s important and right now it’s free with a $25 subscription to the East Coast macro quarterly called “Amberwaves.”  (Editor Alex Jack, 413-623-0012)  Martha C. Cottrell, M.D., who wrote the foreword, calls it “powerful, scholarly, and comprehensive,” but my experience with it was more on the line of informative, interesting, and intimate.  
You probably know that most reads on veganism focus on things like animal rights,health and nutritional deficiency – a fraction of the topic.  But what Sylvia’s has done here is to look at things through a macroscope, i.e., through the lenses of Ohsawa’s 7 levels of analysis/judgment.  In this way, the booklet functions as a review of several macrobiotic principles, as well as a great intro to the far-reaching impact of our food choices. Well done, Sylvia!













694

     THE IMPORTANCE OF GERMS









For decades, we’ve been a culture obsessed with avoiding germs, convinced that getting dirty is dangerous. But some health professionals insist that exposure to a range of bacteria is not only safe, it’s essential to human health and immunity.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere these days — in schools, gyms, and offices of all kinds. Most parents feel compelled to carry a bottle of the stuff on their person or risk appearing irresponsible. Antibacterial substances are added to children’s toys and adult workout clothes. Yet, from my point of view as an immunologist and microbiologist, this growing fear of microorganisms is unnecessary and alarming. In fact, my research has led me to believe that what we need today isn’t less dirt — it’s more.
Because of some common misunderstandings about how illness works, we’ve begun to mistake any and all microbes for public enemy No. 1. But if bacteria itself were the problem, we’d all be long gone by now.
The healthy human body harbors some 90 trillion microbes, outnumbering cells by about 10 to one. The majority of these organisms are beneficial; they compete with harmful microbes for space, aid in the function of the digestive system, and even produce factors to clot blood after an injury. Their presence keeps the immune system tuned and strong (a process I will explain later). Our societal obsession with destroying them is counterproductive to our well-being.
Problems with the war on bacteria were first identified in the 1980s by medical professionals who noticed a surge in the number of children diagnosed with asthma and food allergies. They hypothesized that the modern obsession with cleanliness, along with an increasing tendency to stay indoors in germ- and parasite-free environments, was leading to weaker immune systems and an increase in autoimmune disorders.
The formal name for this line of thinking is “the hygiene hypothesis.” I’ve spent 30 years teaching students about its scientific underpinnings, and demonstrating how reasonable exposure to dirt and germs is the shortest route to immune strength for just about everyone, but especially children.
The immune system is like an athlete: To become strong and adept, it needs training and practice. Hyper-sanitized environments deny it that opportunity and keep it sedentary and out of shape.
The best way to protect our health is to stabilize its foundations. And building a robust immune system is a whole lot easier than trying to kill every last germ. Here’s what you need to know to keep the right germs on your side, and to stop worrying about the dirt that won’t hurt you.

RULE 1: THE CHILD WHO EATS THE MOST DIRT WINS

Dismayed first-time parents often watch their crawling youngsters roll through life like little vacuum cleaners, sampling every piece of debris they can find. Much of this behavior is teething related, but its other, more critical role is to help stimulate development of the naive immune system.
Immune development starts in the thymus, a large gland located between the heart and the sternum of the child where “T” cells are produced. (This gland shrinks and largely disappears by puberty, which is why early immune training is so critical.) The first thing young T-cells learn is to differentiate between those tissues that belong to the body and those that don’t.
It’s as if the T-cells are learning to identify the uniform of the home team. The harmless organisms that find their way into the child’s system through those taste-testing forays provide recognizable examples of “away” team uniforms, thereby helping the system learn which cells to protect and which to vanquish.
This “self/nonself” discrimination is the basis for a well-trained immune system, one that does not attack its own cells. The absence of this ability is “autoimmune” disease, or “self-immunity,” where the body goes after its own tissues.
Upon recognition of an invader, T-cells multiply wildly. If all goes well, the invader is wiped out and the immune guardians go back to their original surveillance role, a little wiser for the next invasion.
Since every exposure provokes the multiplication of T-cells, the more frequent the exposure, the more powerful the standing immunological army, and the larger our immunological reserve. Over a lifetime of this challenge-and-response dynamic, a healthy person’s immune system grows so well-trained that it can knock out invasion attempts before a single symptom becomes noticeable.

RULE 2: AN IDLE IMMUNE SYSTEM BREEDS ALLERGIES

Modest illnesses help build the immune system; this is not true of allergies. In fact, allergies don’t protect us from anything; they just make us miserable. It can be helpful to recognize that allergies are simply a good immune response gone awry, a response that dates to a time when all humans were exposed to parasites on a regular basis.
The body has a set of reserve weapons for large invaders like parasites. Because a worm is too big to be wiped out by immune cells, Mother Nature’s compromise is the IgE cell (for “immunoglobulin E”), also known as the “flamethrower” cell: It fires caustic chemicals on a parasite to encourage it to move elsewhere. The flamethrower is a powerful weapon but not especially precise, and it damages surrounding cells. This is acceptable when the body is trying to rid itself of life-sucking parasites and has no alternatives, but when the IgE response is mounted against harmless substances like dust and pollen, the damage is unnecessary and unpleasant.
If you’re prone to allergies, it means you’re adept at the IgE response and would be at a strong selective advantage in environments where parasites are common. Unfortunately, in a relatively parasite-free society like the one most of us live in today, that advantage becomes a decided disadvantage.
One 2010 University of Nottingham study found that children infected with intestinal parasites are less likely to develop allergies. Of course, this is no reason to go in search of a tapeworm, but it does illustrate the connection I’m describing. In fact, other studies have successfully used parasites as a treatment for allergies.
It’s also known that children raised in rural and farm environments tend to have fewer allergies, even though (or perhaps because) their exposure to potential allergens like pollen, dust and animals is greater than that of children who grow up in urban environments.
What all of this suggests is that reasonable exposure to normal outdoor environments is likely to keep the immune system exercised and occupied. Giving it the opportunity to practice on largely harmless targets like dirt, dust, pollen and animal dander can help you avoid the risk that immune cells will become bored and start making mischief.

RULE 3: STICK WITH PLAIN OLD SOAP AND WATER

When healthy, our skin, hair and mucous membranes are normally covered with bacteria, and our bodies need a lot of this healthy flora to function properly. The good bugs compete with dangerous bugs for space and nutrients. That’s why a body with a good balance of natural flora makes a poor host for pathogens. And it’s why overzealously sanitizing our bodies and environments can be dangerous: It leaves pathogenic organisms no competition, and they grow.
In addition to killing the competition by over-cleaning, we make more trouble by medicating minor infections with antibiotics. This spurs unhealthy flora to mutate in the effort to protect itself. The worrisome bacterium MRSA, a staph infection that spreads through skin contact, is actually an acronym for “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” It’s now resistant to the last drug left to treat it, vancomycin.
The presence of drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA is enough to send anyone running for the strongest antiseptics, but this only compounds the problem. When it comes to fending off dangerous microorganisms, a healthy immune system and plain old soap and water are still your best defenses.
Hand washing physically removes dirt and germs from skin. The foaming action of the soap helps the process along by loosening debris and dissolving skin oils, and then friction helps rinse the germs away. Good hand washing doesn’t kill all bacteria or sterilize the skin, but it keeps the numbers manageable. It gets rid of the worst offenders and leaves a healthy balance of flora in its wake, one that gives your immune system a chance to flex its muscles.
Using antibacterial soaps, on the other hand, not only kills all the good bacteria, it leaves traces that make it harder for them to recolonize. Most antibacterial soaps and sanitizers contain triclosan, a dangerous chemical that’s inappropriate for everyday use. In hospital settings, it’s used in concentrations high enough to kill bacteria across the board, but the much lower concentrations found in products made for consumer use are just right for creating resistance to it. The mechanisms that bacteria develop to resist the triclosan in antibacterial soaps are identical to those that make bacteria resistant to other antibacterial drugs.
Finally, while cleaner hands undoubtedly transmit fewer bacterial illnesses, most common bugs are caused not so much by bacteria as by viruses. Antibacterial soaps (or toys, or mattresses, or any of the other places triclosan is found) have no effect whatsoever on the viruses that cause colds, flu and many intestinal upsets. Such products don’t slow the spread of such illnesses and do contribute to the problem of drug resistance.
Bacteria reproduce very rapidly, and they evolve quickly to adapt to their environment. We can kill some of them, but the ones that are left will be those that have the skill to resist our efforts. That’s why hand washing with simple soap and water is a better strategy for avoiding illness.

RULE 4: LET MINOR ILLNESS RUN ITS COURSE

Let’s face it: Illness is not fun, but it’s usually best to let small health challenges play themselves out. Listen to your body and it will tell you what it needs: rest and fluids. Employing a quick pharmaceutical fix that masks symptoms and allows you to carry on as normal (if a little more miserably) simply increases the likelihood of spreading the illness to others. It also delays your ability to mount a protective immune response.
Most of the unpleasant symptoms of an illness are the body’s way of evicting invaders. Signs of inflammation like swelling, redness, heat and pain indicate that the body has called in white blood cells to fight infection. Coughing, sneezing and runny noses mechanically expel disease agents from the respiratory tract. Similarly, diarrhea and vomiting quickly clear the digestive tract of germs and toxins before they’re absorbed by your system at large.
Suppressing these natural defenses with over-the-counter medications can actually slow the speed of recovery.  The immune system can take care of most bugs on its own as long as it has the raw materials to do so:  lots of rest, plenty of fluids and appropriate nutrition. That’s why, if you’re sick, one of the best things you can do is stay home and take care of yourself.
Nature has given you an incredibly elaborate and powerful immune system, but you have to train it well and exercise it often — with a lifetime of exposure to plenty of dirt and even the occasional bout of illness.
A healthy immune system is like a savings account for a healthy retirement. If you constantly make withdrawals and live with an overdrawn balance due to too much stress, too little rest, and too few nutrients, you’ll arrive at a point where you won’t have any reserves for a rainy day. But when you’ve built up a good balance in your health account with plenty of quality food, rest, exercise and play (preferably outside!), you’ll be ready for whatever is to come.










like reading subscription ad













WHAT DR. SPOCK HAD TO SAY ABOUT FEEDING YOUR BABY OR CHILD: 
Ever since I wrote my first edition of Baby and Child Care in 1946, I have always put the emphasis on the need for eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain cereals. But due to the fact that dairy products and meats have been considered ideal foods for so long, I was hesitant to talk about their hidden disadvantages. What changed my mind was an episode in my own medical history.

My Bout with Heart Disease

In 1988, I fainted crossing the lobby of a hotel and spattered the marble floor with blood. After a week’s hospitalization it was concluded that my condition was partly due to the irregular rhythm of my heart (atrial fibrillation), a familial condition I’d had for several years. Also, I had a supposed narrowing of arteries in my brain from arteriosclerosis, which had stopped or interfered with the heartbeat enough to allow blood to clot in my heart. A piece of the clot presumably broke off and plugged an artery of my brain long enough to cause the faint. Not long afterward, I had a brief episode of speaking gibberish instead of English. I was put on a digitalis medication to slow and steady the heartbeat and given a pacemaker to substitute for my heart if it decided to stop again. Since my mother and two sisters died of strokes, that was enough to remind me that I am mortal like all humans, a fact that I had ignored until then.
Without any particular intention on our part, my wife, Mary, and I were introduced to a macrobiotic counselor. Macrobiotics is a form of vegetarianism that was originally formulated in Japan on the basis of their traditional diet and brought to the West by George Osawa. It consists of a strong emphasis on whole grains, vegetables, and legumes and an avoidance, not only of meats and poultry, but of dairy products too. 
I had a miserable year before this episode, with almost constant bronchitis requiring antibiotics, as well as a further weakening and loss of coordination in my legs, which had made walking and standing increasingly difficult in my late eighties. My neurologist said there was no cure and that it would be progressive.

I Lost 50 Pounds

So we said, “Let’s give the diet a try.” In the four years since then, I have had only a couple of respiratory infections and a very gradual improvement in my legs instead of a further progression of the symptoms. Involuntarily, I lost 50 pounds in three months from the lack of fat in my diet.
Since this change, I have been thrown in with a number of cardiologists, oncologists (tumor specialists), internists, neurologists, pediatricians and their patients, who have become converted to various forms of a vegetarian diet. Not all of these diets are macrobiotic, yet they are conducive to health in general and serve to inhibit, and even in some cases reverse coronary heart disease, strokes, and certain forms of cancer. I’ve met a few people whose coronary heart disease and cancer were reversed even though, despite surgery, they had been close to death. Such arrests of fatal disease are extremely impressive.

The Problem with Animal Fat

It was assumed by many people in the past that a vegetarian diet, which is essentially a diet without meat and sometimes without dairy products (which, of course, are also animal in origin) was merely an obsession of a few people with an exaggerated sentimental love of animals or a fear of being poisoned by meat.
In recent years, we’ve discovered that a high-fat diet, which means eating relatively large amounts of meat, dairy products, and fried foods, is the main cause of arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, certain forms of cancer and obesity. In the days before this was discovered, nutritionists, professionals and parents worried that a diet low in dairy products and meats might bring about malnutrition, especially in regard to calcium, protein, and the growth needs of children. But careful studies have shown that if diets are planned sensibly, as all diets should be, protein, calcium, and growth needs will be well covered by a diet of varied whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits. (A much greater danger is that of heart disease, stroke, and cancer, when children learn to love an animal-based diet and want it for the rest of their lives.)
What’s the answer? The overall aim in early childhood should be to steer away from an animal-based diet and favor a largely plant-based one, so the child will become used to foods at an adaptable age. Even if the child rebels in adolescence there is a good chance of coming back to a plant-based diet in adulthood, especially if the parents set the example.
This article has been adapted from New Century Nutrition, a former health internet site and publication developed under the leadership of Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
Image Credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr


Meet America’s First School District to Serve 100% Organic Meals     Aug 2015      Marin Schools

school_lunches-organicWhen schools in California’s Sausalito Marin City District return to session this August, they will be the first in the nation to serve their students 100 percent organic meals, sustainably sourced and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
More than 500 students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy in Marin City and Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito will eat fresh, local food year-round, thanks to a partnership with the Conscious Kitchen, a project of the environmental education nonprofit Turning Green.
“Students everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins,” Turning Green founder Judi Shils said on Tuesday.“Not only does this program far exceed USDA nutritional standards, but it ties the health of our children to the health of our planet. It’s the first program to say that fundamentally, you cannot have one without the other.”
The organization says meals will be accompanied by nutrition and gardening education. The Conscious Kitchen previously served 156 students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy, where it first tested the program starting in August 2013. Over the course of two years, the founders said, disciplinary cases decreased and attendance increased.
Moreover, the program will address the controversial issue of GMOs in school food. As environmental news outlet EcoWatch reports:
“This program is the first to take a stand against GMOs. While the long-term effects of GMOs are still uncertain, a growing body of evidence links them to a variety of health risks and environmental damage. An estimated 80 percent of items on most supermarket shelves contain GMOs, and they are ubiquitous in school food programs.”
Nutritional experts have long pointed out that food and beverages in schools have a long-term impact on children’s health and well-being. The 2010 Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act required schools in the U.S. to update their meal provisions to meet new USDA nutritional standards and offer more whole wheat products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins to children who receive subsidized school lunches.
But as the Berkeley-based nutritional nonprofit The Edible Schoolyard Project explains, it is equally important to prioritize food education.
“Schools that incorporate an integrated approach to edible education—combining local, seasonal food procurement strategieswith hands-on lessons taught in the classroom, kitchen, and garden—are far more likely to sustain healthy school meal initiatives,” said Liza Siegler, the organization’s head of partnerships and engagement.
As Justin Everett, consulting chef with the Conscious Kitchen, explained on Tuesday, “By embracing fresh, local, organic, non-GMO food, this program successfully disrupts the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, heat and serve meals that dominate school kitchens.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scientists Blow The Lid on Cancer & Sunscreen Myth

sunbathing-sunscreen
According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.
The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”
Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.
That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.
In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer.
Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome.
According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.”

A dissident dermatologist

Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks.
Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:
The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma.
2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.

Sunscreens: Cancer-Causing Biohazards

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well.
Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).
Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”
Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations.
Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood!
Dr. Plourde’s book also has a chapter on the importance of vitamin D3 to health, and she posits that the widespread vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to overuse of sunscreen combined with sun avoidance in general.
- See more at: http://theunboundedspirit.com/scientists-blow-the-lid-on-cancer-sunscreen-myth/#sthash.lGRAY6o1.dpuf



How a Vegan Diet Affects Your Child’s Heart Health

  • February 18, 2015
  • 9:00 am
How a Vegan Diet Affects Your Child’s Heart Health
Written by Katherine Martinko
Obesity levels are very high among American youth. Over the past thirty years, the rate of obesity has doubled in children aged 6-11 and tripled in those aged 12-19. With it comes health problems and greater risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Changing one’s diet, however, can go a long ways toward reducing those risks and maintaining a healthier body weight. It’s just a question of finding which diet is most effective – something that doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recently set out to find.
Michael Macklin, a staff pediatrician at the clinic, led a four-week study to compare the effects of the American Heart Association (AHA) diet against a plant-based, no-added-fat vegan diet. The results were published last week in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Dr. Macklin took 28 obese children with high cholesterol between the ages of 9 and 18, as well as one parent for each child. Half were put on the American Heart Association diet, which allowed them to eat whole and non-whole grains, vegetables, fruits, limited sodium, low-fat dairy, moderate amounts of lean meat and fish, and some plant oils. Less than 30 percent of total calories consumed came from animal fat, including no more than 7 percent from saturated fat. No more than 1500 mg of sodium and 300 mg of cholesterol were allowed daily.
The other half followed a vegan diet, which included whole grains and plants, with limited amounts of nuts and avocado, no added fat, and no animal products. Consumption of animal-based protein went from 42 grams to 2.24 grams daily, and percentage of fat-derived calories went from 18 percent to 3.6 percent.
At the end of four weeks, the children who followed the vegan diet already showed tremendous improvement in nine areas: body mass index, systolic blood pressure, weight, mid-arm circumference, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, myeloperoxidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (these latter two are common indicators for heart disease).
By contrast, those on the AHA diet showed improvement in only four areas: mid-arm circumference, waist circumference, weight, and myeloperoxidase.
These findings have led the researchers to believe that following a plant-based diet could protect obese children in the long run by reducing or reversing their risk of heart disease. Dr. Macklin commented:
“Cardiovascular disease begins in childhood. If we can see such significant improvements in a short four-week study, imagine the potential for improving long-term health into adulthood if a whole population of children began to eat these diets regularly.”
It’s not surprising it all begins with diet, and whether or not parents buy, prepare, and insist that their children eat healthy whole foods. One serious and persistent issue, though, is accessibility to those ingredients. Macklin’s team found that, while participants were able to manage for the duration of the study, they did have difficulty purchasing the food necessary for a plant-based diet. Perhaps if healthy food were more widely available, a greater number of U.S. children wouldn’t even become obese in the first place.
This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.

Studies Prove Without Doubt That Unvaccinated Children Are Far Healthier Than Their Vaccinated Peers

A study from the 1990s has come to light, proving that compared to unvaccinated children, vaccinated children were more likely to suffer from asthma, eczema, ear infections, hyperactivity and many other chronic conditions.
Furthermore, the study identified that there was a ten-fold increase in the incidence of tonsillitis in the children who were vaccinated, and a total lack tonsillectomy operations among the children who were unvaccinated. In 1992, the Immunization Awareness Society (IAS) conducted a survey to examine the health of New Zealand’s children.
Unsurprisingly, the results of their study indicated that unvaccinated children were far healthier than vaccinated children. Questionnaires were given out to IAS members, their friends and their associates asking various health questions. A total of 245 families returned their questionnaires, giving the researchers a total of 495 children surveyed. Of these children, 226 were vaccinated and 269 were unvaccinated.

Healthy Children and Ethics

The ages of the children ranged between the ages of two weeks – 46 years (obviously some friends were older with older children). Of the children studied, 273 were males and 216 were females. (Six children were unclassified.) Sue Claridge, who reported on the study, wrote:
“Respondents were asked to provide the year of birth, gender, vaccinations received, whether or not the child suffered from a range of chronic conditions (asthma, eczema, ear infections/glue ear, recurring tonsillitis, hyperactivity, diabetes or epilepsy) whether or not he or she needed grommets, had had a tonsillectomy, or were shown to develop motor skills (walking, crawling, sitting-up etc.). Parents also provided information on breastfeeding and bottle feeding and when a child was weaned if breastfed.”
During the study, another interesting fact emerged. Researchers discovered that 92 percent of the children requiring a tonsillectomy operation had received the measles vaccination, indicating that the vaccination for measles may have made some of the children more susceptible to tonsillitis. The study also revealed that 81 of the families had both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Many of these families had vaccinated their older children but had grown more reluctant to vaccinate their younger children, due to their growing concerns regarding vaccine safety. Researchers concluded that:
“While this was a very limited study, particularly in terms of the numbers of unvaccinated children that were involved and the range of chronic conditions investigated, it provides solid scientific evidence in support of considerable anecdotal evidence that unvaccinated children are healthier that their vaccinated peers.” [1]
Although governments from around the world have continually stated that studying vaccinated versus unvaccinated children would be unethical, the New Zealand researchers are not the only group of researchers to study comparisons.

Vaccinated Children 5 Times More Likely To Suffer From A Range Of Diseases

In September 2011, German researchers carrying out a longitudinal study surveyed a total of 8000 unvaccinated children from the ages of 0 –19. As with the New Zealand study, researchers collected their data by conducting a survey using questionnaires. [2]
Results showed that vaccinated children were up to five times more likely to suffer from a variety of diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children. Their results were compared to another German study (KiGGS), which examined a larger sample group consisting of 17,461 participants between the ages of 0 –17. Dr. Andreas Bachair, a German classical homeopathic practitioner, responsible for collecting the results of the survey from the website vaccineinjury.info stated that:
“Asthma, hay fever and neurodermatitis are seen very frequently today. A recent German study with 17461 children between 0-17 years of age (KIGGS) showed that 4.7% of these children suffer from asthma, 10.7% of these children from hay fever and 13.2% from neurodermatitis. These numbers differ in western countries, i.e. the prevalence of asthma among children in the US is 6% whereas it is 14-16% in Australia (Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW).
The prevalence of asthma among unvaccinated children in our study is around 2.5%, hay fever, 3%, and neurodermatitis, 7%. According to the KIGGS study more than 40% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 years were sensitized against at least one allergen tested (20 common allergens were tested) and 22.9% had an allergic disease. Although we did not perform a blood test, around 10% stated that their children had an allergy.” [3]
(As this study is a longitudinal study, the number of children being studied has since risen to 13,222. To join the study, you can fill in the questionnaire provided by clicking on the link listed as the third reference at the end of this article.) Although there were four cases of autism reported among unvaccinated children, Dr. Bachair reported that:
“Of these 4 children one tested very high for metals (mercury, aluminium, arsenic); in another case the mother was tested very high for mercury.”
However, this number pales into insignificance when we compare it to the 1 in 88 children currently being reported as autistic by the CDC. [4]

Other Conditions Found To Be Almost Non-Existent In Unvaccinated Children

Dr. Andreas Bachair continued her report by stating that their study found the prevalence of sinusitis, warts, skin problems and middle ear infections were also much lower in the unvaccinated children, as were the cases of diabetes and epilepsy. She went on to say that the results demonstrated that the prevalence of many conditions in the unvaccinated children were also significantly lower. These were:
“Other disorders and diseases
As we included open questions in our survey we evaluated the prevalence (of the first 10,070 participants) of some other disorders and illnesses. Unvaccinated children show very low prevalences of the following disorders:
  • Dyslexia: 0.21%
  • Speech delay/articulation problems: 0.38%
  • Sensory Processing disorder: 0.28%
  • Anxiety: 0.25%
  • Depression: 0.12%
  • Bedwetting: 0.12%
  • Celiac disease: 0.12%
  • Gluten sensitivity: 0.41%
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease): 0.06%
Dr. Bachair concluded her amazing and intuitive paper by adding a number of statements from parents, which I believe really added weight to her overall findings.

Conclusion

I find it amazing that despite mainstream media and leading government agencies stressing repeatedly that studies comparing vaccinated children to unvaccinated children cannot take place for ethical reasons, groups around the world are taking it upon themselves to do these studies anyway.

References

Marcella shared: "Did you know children living in the United States are the most highly vaccinated children in the world? Did you know the United States ranks below every other country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) when it comes to the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)?
Did you know that infants born in the United States are almost THREE TIMES as likely to die before their first birthday than infants born in Finland, Japan, and Sweden?
Did you know that FULL TERM, BIG BABIES born in the U.S. are twice as likely to die as infants in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway, and that those healthy, full-term infants are at increased risk of dying between 1 month and 1 year of age? - This is not about preemies. It's not about infants born too early and at low birth weight and low APGAR scores. This is about healthy, robust babies who are dying at double the rate of other developed countries before their first birthday.
Did you know that infants in those other countries receive less than 50% of the number of vaccines in their first year of life when compared to infants in the United States?
Did you know those infants born in other countries (Sweden, Norway, Japan, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark), who have a greatly increased probability of living past their first birthday, DO NOT RECEIVE THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE?
Why are we vaccinating American babies on the first day of life, and again at 2 months and 4-6 months of age with a vaccine for a sexually-transmitted disease? A vaccine that contains 225 micrograms of aluminum; which is nearly 10 times the amount allowed by the FDA to be given to ADULTS over a 24-hour period in IV medications? Think about it. "

PLEASE DON'T TRASH THE VEGETABLES
The GOP, along with Food Service Directors across the country, are moving to exclude vegetables from school lunches, saying kids don't like vegetables and they end up in the trash can. I wrote this letter included today in The San Francisco Chronicle! - Michael
UPDATE:Good news on the School Lunch front as Republicans seem to be giving up their fight to allow school districts to file wavers to avoid serving vegetables in the school cafeterias across the country.Kudos to Michelle Obama who said " It is our job as adults to see that kids eat what they need, not what they want. If I let my kids dictate what we have for dinner every day, it would be french fries, chips and candy. But we don't run our households like that and we can't run our schools like that." Meanwhile school districts in Texas are opposed to feeding kids vegetables and are backed by junk-food giants Domino Pizza, Pepsico and Coca-Cola. - Michael

This from the SF Chronicle, June 18, 2014:

House Republicans have repeatedly delayed votes on a controversial waiver of school lunch nutrition rules amid leadership turmoil and a fierce pushback from first ladyMichelle Obama.
Democrats suspect that the delay indicates Republicans have concluded they're on the losing side of the school lunch fight, which has touched off a firestorm in Washington and schools across the country.
The waiver would grant schools that are losing money on their lunch programs a yearlong reprieve from requirements to serve more fresh produce, more whole grains and less sugar, trans fat and salt.
Under the rules, children are required to take at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable with their lunch. The rules were passed by Congress in 2010 and championed by the first lady as a key part of her campaign to end childhood obesity in a generation.
The waiver poses a big test for Bakersfield Republican Rep.Kevin McCarthy, who is working to solidify his all-but-guaranteed election Thursday to become the majority leader, following the surprise primary defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.
The delays on the waiver vote are reminiscent of several miscalculations that have occurred under McCarthy's watch as the GOP whip, when he was responsible for rounding up votes to ensure passage of farm and budget legislation, only to come up short.
"I think they pulled the bill because they didn't know if they had enough of their own votes," said Rep. Sam Farr of Carmel, the top Democrat on the House Appropriationsagriculture subcommittee, who is leading the fight against the waiver. "Members go home, they pick up from the newspapers the feedback of what's happening in Washington, and I think the longer this issue is on front pages the more difficulty they have in passing their provision."
The press offices of the majority leader and the agriculture subcommittee did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Bay Area schools

Many Bay Area schools have already added salad bars, scratch cooking, whole grains and other nutrition improvements to school lunches and are meeting the new rules. While their lunch directors are sympathetic to complaints that the standards are tough, they generally do not support waivers.
"The last thing I want Congress to do is reverse the standards," said Miguel Villarreal, director of food and nutritional services at Novato Unified Schools.
The School Nutrition Association, which represents school lunch administrators and food industry vendors such as Domino's Pizza, Coca-Cola and Pepsico, urged Republicans to insert the waiver into the agriculture spending bill. The group argued that the rules are too rigid and that children are tossing tons of fresh fruits and vegetables in the trash every school day.
"What good is healthier food if children will not eat it?"Michael Rosenberger, director of food services at Irving Independent School District in Texas, said on a conference call for reporters last week arranged by the School Nutrition Association. He argued that the rules were raising costs and forcing his district to eliminate entree salads and whole lean meats.
Sally Spero, director of child nutrition for Lakeside Union School District in San Diego County, said on the same call that wasting fresh produce is unaffordable during California's drought. The state grows more than half the nation's fresh produce, she said, and 80 percent of its water goes to agriculture.
"When you eat fruits and vegetables, you are taking a drink of California water," Spero said, "and when you throw it away you are wasting a valuable resource that California cannot currently replace."

First lady's foray

But Republicans met loud resistance from the first lady, who made her first major foray into a Capitol Hill legislative battle. She has been backed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the United Fresh Produce Association, the Parent-Teacher Association and numerous public health and healthy-food advocates, including Berkeley restaurateurAlice Waters.
The White House has threatened to veto the agriculture appropriations bill if Congress sends it to President Obama with the waiver included.
Michelle Obama argued in an MSN interview Monday, "It is our job as adults to make sure that our kids eat what they need, not what they want. ... If I let my kids dictate what we have for dinner every day, it would be french fries, chips and candy. But we don't run our households like that, and we can't run our schools like that."

Bill pulled back

The House debate on the agriculture spending bill began June 10, the day of Cantor's primary loss. As the election result roiled House Republicans, the bill was debated again Wednesday, but then was pulled unexpectedly by Republican leaders.
A vote was promised the following day, and then again this week, but now it has vanished from the legislative calendar.
Tom Stenzel, the head of United Fresh Produce Association, said the way out of the fight is to accept a Senate compromise that would give flexibility to schools on the tighter whole grain and sodium requirements set to take effect this summer.
"We think it's a smart compromise," Stenzel said. "That's what schools need. They need help. They don't need to blow up the standards."
THE DANGERS OF FLOURIDE


More Benefits From Sun Exposure Come To Light

Cosmic rays of love from the Universe! - Michael


For the first time, a study reports the timing, intensity, and duration of your light exposure throughout the day is linked to your weight. A team from Northwestern Medicine led the study which was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The study found people who had the majority of their daily sun exposure to brighter light in the morning had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI) than those who had light exposure later in the day.
Study senior author Phyllis C. Zee, MD said, “Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance. The message is that you should get more bright lightbetween 8 a.m. and noon. Those with the study believe around 20 to 30 minutes is enough to impact BMI.
Morning light exposure was found to be independent of an individual’s physical activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age, or the season of the year. It also accounted for about 20 percent of an individual’s BMI.
“If a person doesn’t get sufficient light at the appropriate time of day, it could de-synchronize your internal body clock, which is known to alter metabolism and can lead to weight gain,” Zee said. She added that the exact way light affects body fat needs to be examined in further research.
Study co-lead author Kathryn Reid said, “Light is a modifiable factor with the potential to be used in weight management programs. Just like people are trying to get more sleep to help them lose weight, perhaps manipulating light is another way to lose weight.”
Those behind the study suggest getting more light exposure during the day, such as sitting near a window at work or school, if possible. Also, go outside for lunch or on a break. The weather is getting nice since spring is here again, so why not go out and enjoy it?
Light may not be the big weight loss secret, but surely getting a little extra sunshine can be nothing but good.
   GRASS-FED BEEF IS NOT ECO



From Science News: "People are looking to grass-fed beef as a possible eco-alternative to commercial operations, but the grass is no greener for grass-fed animals. In fact, pasture raised animals require more water than their factory farmed cousins, because they have a higher activity level and spend more time in the sun, especially during the summer months. Grass-fed beef can also produce 50 to 60 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than their grain-eating counterparts, sometimes producing as much as four times more methane emissions than feedlot cattle."




Berkeley Ecology Center Supports 


Cooking & Gardening Program! 


Join us in Supporting the Healthy Child Initiative
The Ecology Center is excited to support the Healthy Child Initiative, a ballot measure for a Berkeley sugar-sweetened beverage tax. This is a community-driven effort to link the health epidemic that is a national concern to long-term solutions here in Berkeley. We are joined by many allies, including the Berkeley chapter of the NAACP, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees, the Berkeley Dental Society, Alice Waters and Michael Pollan. We are spreading the word now so that our community members may learn about this effort early in the election year, and get involved.

On February 11, 2014, supporters will urge the Berkeley City Council to place a sugary drink tax on the November 2014 ballot. The ballot measure would institute a one-cent-per-ounce excise tax on drinks that have added caloric sweeteners, such as sodas, sports drinks, coffee drinks, energy drinks and iced teas. The tax would be levied on distributors and does not apply to diet drinks, milk products or drinks such as Ensure that are taken for medical reasons.

The revenue generated from the tax is intended to fund community health and nutrition programs for children and youth, including Berkeley public schools' award-winning Cooking and Gardening Programs, which recently lost federal funding.

Stay tuned for more details and ways to get involved in the coming weeks. Look for petitions to sign on your support at our Farmers' Markets or at the Ecology Center.






                                NEW!


Macrobiotic Home-Cooking Facebook Page!

by Chuck Lowery and Michael Bauce




https://www.facebook.com/pages/Macrobiotic-Home-Cooking/702462283100145


Please like us!


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                From the SF Chronicle January 7, 2014





Modern medical science is starting to recognize how 

important food really is. - Michael


Soon-to-be moms may be able to lower their child's risk of developing allergies to peanuts or tree nuts by simply eating more nuts during pregnancy, or within a year before or after giving birth, according to new research.
The study, published last month in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, followed 8,205 children who were born between 1990 and 1994 and whose mothers reported their diets before, during and after pregnancy. By 2009, 140 of the people studied, or 1.7 percent, had developed allergies to peanuts or tree nuts, including walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias and Brazil nuts.
The kids whose mothers ate the most nuts were the least likely to develop nut allergies, the study found. As long as the mothers weren't allergic to nuts, eating five or more servings a week seemed to give their children a higher tolerance for nut allergens, said the researchers, who were based in Boston.
The findings are of interest to pediatricians and public health advocates because the prevalence of childhood peanut allergies has been rising in the United States in recent years. In 1997, 0.4 percent of children were affected by peanut allergies; that rate had tripled to 1.4 percent in 2010, according to the study.
But for people who don't have allergies, there was some pretty good news for nuts in 2013. An April study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that nuts are a good source of fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. And, despite their high calorie count, eating nuts does not increase body weight or waist circumference, the study found.
Another study published November in the New England Journal of Medicinefound that eating about an ounce of nuts a day could lengthen life and reduce the chances of dying of cancer or cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEEF: THE KING OF THE BIG WATER FOOTPRINTS


In the face of the CA drought, it makes sense for Americans to give up their love-affair w/ beef. It takes 2500 gallons of water (conservative estimate) to produce 1 pound of beef. Another reason why a grain-vegetable-based diet is the most ecological. - Michael

When a Prince talks farming, you listen. This is nothing new for the GRACE food program folks, but as the "water guy," that’s all I could think about shortly after reading Chris Hunt’s roundup (or "knowledge dump") of the speakers and themes from May’s Future of Food conference. The "Prince" in question is sadly not his Purple Majesty but rather, Charles, the Prince of Wales, who issued a stern warning –and in the process stirred up a long simmering debate among Americans – that resonated with me because of its virtual water conservation message: Beef production and consumption are water intensive and a drain on our world water supplies.
According to His Royal Highness:
In a country like the United States, a fifth of all your grain production is dependent upon irrigation. For every pound of beef produced in the industrial system, it takes two thousand gallons of water. That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand.
Quite resounding, old chap! While it’s a well-established fact that meat production requires more water than fruits, vegetables or grains, an average water footprint of 2,000 gallons per pound of beef is enormous indeed. You might be wondering how the water footprint of meat – using Prince Charles’s statistic – compares to the water footprints of other agricultural products
Water required to produce one pound (1 lb.) of:
  • Pork = 576 gallons of water
  • Chicken = 468 gallons of water
  • Soybeans = 206 gallons of water
  • Wheat = 138 gallons of water
  • Corn = 108 gallons of water
Compared to the water footprint of almost any other agricultural product, the water footprint of beef is orders of magnitudes greater. Beef is truly the "king" of big water footprints.
About that 2,000 gallons of water figure: How did Prince Charles arrive at that hotly contested number, anyway?
Since the water (and resource) requirements for beef can be so enormous, it makes sense that people want to get to the bottom of the aforementioned debate. This decades-long cold war of sorts in the agricultural and natural resource arenas has pitted Big Ag supporters against sustainable farmers, environmentalists and various academics against one another, each armed with their own numbers and studies. With the addition of big money from big industry, we've ended up with quite the grudge match over America’s second favorite meat.
To get an idea of the wide range of numbers presented as the true water footprint of beef, see the partial list below:

Table 1. Water required to produce one pound (1 lb.) of boneless, conventionally raised beef

Gallons of WaterSource (individual or organization)
441Jim Oltjen et al. 1993. "Estimation of the water requirement for beef production in the United States." Journal of Animal Science. (UC-Davis professor at the behest of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association)
840Alan Durning. 1991. “Taking Stock: Animal Farming and the Environment.” Worldwatch Paper #103. (Calculations based on Oltjen’s figures.)
1,799Mekonnen and Hoekstra. 2010. "The green, blue and grey water footprint of farm animals and animal products." Water Footprint Network.
2,464Marcia Kreith.  1991. “Water inputs in California food production.” Water Education Foundation.
5,214Herb Schulbach et al. 1978.Soil and Water. no. 38, fall 1978.
12,008David Pimentel. 2001. "Environmental Sustainability and Integrity in the Agriculture Sector."Ecological Integrity: Integrating Environment, Conservation and Health.
Compounding the difficulty of the many players weighing in with their statistics, some from peer-reviewed studies and others not, is the practical problem of tracking down the original study sources from the perpetual thread of Internet copying and pasting. I'm not the first to commenton this.
Why can’t a consensus around a definitive, average water footprint of beef statistic be reached?
The problem rests on two fundamental issues: 1 ) A significant difference in research methods; and 2 ) The many variables and differences involved in raising and producing beef (this is true whether they be produced within the conventional, organic or grass-fed systems). My focus here is on conventional, or industrial, beef production, since the vast majority of beef consumed in the U.S. comes from industrial production.

Water Footprint Research Methodology

The water footprint concept was developed in 2003, whereas most of these studies were conducted in years prior. The conceptual framework that includes such components as virtual water and blue, green and grey water footprints, wasn’t available. Consequently, researchers had to devise their own methods. Because there was no water footprint framework, there was no standard methodology for accounting, a process that is even now just underway.

Beef Production Methods

Given the many steps and variables involved in raising and feeding beef, this is the major impediment to finding a definitive water footprint number. Conventional beef production takes roughly the same path from calf to plate, presented here as a simplistic overview of the three-part conventional beef cattle production process:
  1. Calves are weaned at around 6-10 months.
  2. They are then brought to pasture or rangeland to feed on grasses and other "forage" (whole plants from pasture) until around 12-16 months.
  3. Conventional beef cattle then enter a feedlot and are fed a grain-based diet consisting of a mix of corn and soy and occasionally wheat and/or barley, until they are around 18-22 months or approximately 1,200-1,400 pounds.
Industrial livestock production is also known to have significantadverse impacts on water quality.  Unfortunately, this damage is not factored into any water footprint analysis model for animal production; this omission remains a serious hindrance to the creation of a truly comprehensive life cycle analysis.
By far, the largest component of beef’s water footprint is the huge volume of virtual water consumed by cattle through their feed, in this case both forage and grain. There are three primary factorsassociated with feeding practices and techniques that contribute to the water footprint calculation
  • Since beef cattle eat such massive quantities of feed and are quite inefficient in converting that feed to meat (relative to a chicken or pig, for instance) it raises the water footprint. More feed = more water.
  • The type of feed consumed contains more or less water because grains contain much more water than "roughage" or forage. Also, the more energy concentrated in the food (corn kernel vs. corn husk), the more water that’s embedded in the feed.
  • Grain grown in more arid locales like the Western United States depend more on irrigated fields compared to wetter regions like the Great Lakes and the East. Cattle feed produced from regions that have higher precipitation levels relies less on irrigation and, therefore, has a lower water footprint. Similarly, in regions where cattle feed crops are locally produced, there is a lower water footprint because there is a lower virtual water content associated with transportation fuels used to import feed.
When all the variables are accounted for, it makes sense that arriving at an average water footprint of beef has been so daunting. Any change in beef production practices, such as shortening or lengthening the duration of each stage or changing the feed inputs or intensity, can significantly alter the volume of water used for that beef product. Therefore, any single figure based on an average can be scrutinized and questioned when held up to a specific beef production facility.
So the question remains: Is there one figure that seems most accurate and useful? I lean towards the Water Footprint Network’s (WFN) 1,799 gallons of water per pound of beef figure for two reasons. First, they have created and standardized the rigorous methods behind water footprinting. Second, they use large, global data sets that incorporate many beef production systems from numerous countries. (Also, in the interest of statistics, it’s reasonable to discard the two extremes within the range [the outliers]—12,008 and 441.)
The bottom line is that it takes a lot of water to produce beef, especially when just a fraction of that water can be used to produce much more food with much lower water footprints.
Regarding the Prince and his 2,000-gallon figure—His Royal Highness appears to be fairly close to the WFN’s mark. And to his larger point of beef’s stampede for resources – water, energy, grain – he couldn’t be more correct: Eating the amount of beef that American’s do, at over 60 pounds annually, is exhausting our resources and is unsustainable, especially when considering growing consumption patterns around the world.
In the end, the actual number is not what’s important. The bottom line is that it takes a lot of water to produce beef, especially when just a fraction of that water can be used to produce much more food with much lower water footprints. Instead of simply accepting that beef consumption will soar and hold the world’s overstressed freshwater resources for a king’s ransom, where Prince Charles is concerned, a meal with little or no beef is meal fit for a prince.




-----------------------------------------------


I like the term "whole-grain-vegetable-based" better. A plant-based diet still includes refined foods and simple sugars.  Either way, this is good news. -Michael



Kaiser Permanente Endorses Plant-Based Diets

It’s hard to believe, but Kaiser Permanente has endorsed a plant-based diet! Why does this matter?
Kaiser Permanente is the largest HMO in the United States with 182,000 employees, including 17,000 physicians.” –J. Morris Hicks, Healthy Eating Healthy World
And they could potentially be helping lead the way towards a plant-based revolution in healthcare.
Excerpts from the Spring 2013 Kaiser Permanente Journal:
“Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity)
—-
Of all the diets recommended over the last few decades to turn the tide of these chronic illnesses, the best but perhaps least common may be those that are plant based…Despite the strong body of evidence favoring plant-based diets, including studies showing a willingness of the general public to embrace them, many physicians are not stressing the importance of plant-based diets as a first-line treatment for chronic illnesses. This could be because of a lack of awareness of these diets or a lack of patient education resources.
—–
Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.”*
– (Bolding throughout excerpts, mine) – To read the full article follow link at the bottom of this page.

Kaiser Permanente’s decision to endorse a plant-based diet could have huge implications for preventative care and potentially the cost of healthcare overall (for those covered under their company.) As Hicks put it in his blog about this announcement:
“Although our medical doctors receive little if any nutritional training in med school, they are the primary gatekeepers when it comes to advising patients about what they should be eating. And since most of the doctors eat the Standard American Diet (the S.A.D.) themselves, naturally that is what they advise their patients to eat. That practice has resulted in the sickest nation on Earth with by far the highest cost of healthcare. But things are finally beginning to change.” (Bolding mine)
Change is indeed coming and it looks like it may come in the form of a giving a WHOLE foods plant-based diet and perspective a chance.
* While the Kaiser Permanente Journal article mentioned in this blog features a good endorsement of a whole-foods plant-based diet, their section on “protein” is a bit misleading. Although the author mentions that you can get all the amino acids (protein) you need from a plant based diet, the wording they choose to use seems to inadvertently perpetuate the myth about needing to “compliment plant proteins” (combine two plant foods together to make perfect protein). To understand more plant-based sources of protein check out 10 Protein Packed Plants.

Researchers Identify Protein Linking Sugar to Cancer


February 13, 2013




Close-up of sugar wiith black background
Image courtesy of Hemera / thinkstock

A Madrid-based research team has determined that prolonged levels of high blood sugar "increase the activity of a gene widely implicated in cancer progression."

What They Found


While it is well accepted that sugar plays a dangerous role in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, sugar's relationship to cancer has been far less clear up to this point.

The team of scientists, led by Dr. Custodia Garcia Jimenez at Madrid's University Rey Juan Carlos, was analyzing the relationship between sugar in the intestine and the release of insulin by the pancreas. They found that, whenexcess sugar causes the intestine to release the hormone GIP, it simultaneously increases the activity of a protein that can transform normal, healthy cells into immortal, cancerous cells. This protein is known as beta-catenin.

How it Happens


Excess sugar triggers a harmful, three-part chain reaction:

  1. First, excess sugar (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) works its way into the intestine.
  2. To regulate the level of sugar in the blood, the intestine releases the hormone GIP to instruct the pancreas to produce insulin.
  3. Beta-catenin, which "strictly" relies on sugar levels, regulates the intestine's production of GIP. As sugar levels increase, so does the activity of beta-catenin.

Simply, a sustained high blood sugar level increases the activity of a mechanism that  helps cancer progress.

"We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk," Dr. Garcia Jimenez told the Science Daily. "We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk. Changing diet is one of easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money."

What We Already Knew


For more than a decade, beta-catenin mutations have been linked to the progression of several types of cancer, including ovarian, prostate and colon cancer. Similarly, sugar has been shown to suppress immune function, increase inflammation and actually fuel viruses, bacteria and cancers. Cancerous cells actually have eight times more sugar receptors than oxygen receptors (healthy cells, conversely, thrive on oxygen).

Excess sugar levels greatly increase beta-catenin activity. To fight inflammation and the development of disease, dietary sugar consumption should actively be controlled.


The Sour Facts About Milk: What Every Parent Needs To Know
Over the past 40 years, the dairy industry has poured billions of dollars into advertising campaigns designed to mesmerize, lure, and frighten individuals into consuming their products. Their frosted fingers have steadily tightened their steely grip of influence over educational institutions, retirement homes, hospitals, and doctor’s offices; permeating magazines, books, journals, and commercials with biased information that promotes their agenda. After years of mind-numbing “mustaches” of manipulation, we now assume that dairy products are a natural and normal part of the human diet. However, this is far from the truth.
Like all female mammals (including humans) who produce milk for their young, a female cow secretes milk that is intended to nurse her baby calf for about one year. This fatty hormonal secretion (containing over 60 hormones and growth factors) is designed to take her 65 pound newborn calf and turn him into a 700-pound cow in less than one year — quite a feat!
During pregnancy, a cow's estrogen level skyrockets over 30 times higher than when she’s not carrying a calf. Since today's factory dairies pump milk from female cows continually to increase profits, higher hormone levels (both naturally occurring and those created by agribusiness) are found in dairy milk, which also happens to be disastrously high in fat; a critical factor further exacerbating increased estrogen levels in humans.
When children are handed this hormonal cocktail masquerading as a magical health elixir, their undeveloped bodies are flooded with milk's massive amount of estrogen, leading to an epidemic of precocious puberty. Additionally, children end up consuming sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics in every glass of milk.
A cow's udders can become unnaturally distended from being forced to produce thousands of extra gallons of milk per year, making them drag on the ground. Most concrete dairy lots are paved with piles of bacteria-laden manure. The fecal matter contaminates her udders, causing infections (mastitis), and is one of the reasons antibiotics are routinely administered to dairy cows.
Another dangerous constituent in cow milk is insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). When humans consume this hormone, their IGF-1 levels also increase, accounting for the “growth” effects of cow’s milk. Unfortunately, if breast cancer cells or prostate cancer cells are exposed to IGF-1, they proliferate like weeds, leading to disease at an alarming rate. Curiously, this critical information is never included in dairy promotional literature.
Since the beginning of time, countless cultures have thrived without a drop of “ivory syrup.” How did the native populations of Hawaii survive without cow milk before the introduction of cattle in 1793? The same way that native people of Mexico did before cattle was introduced in 1521. Many people around the world have never seen a cow, let alone drank her hormonal secretions. Large populations worldwide have been flourishing without bovine milk for eons. Consuming cow milk is highly unnatural; there is no animal in nature (other than humans) that drinks the milk of another species naturally. Giraffes don’t hound lactating goats for a sip of milk, and horses don’t run to nurse on pigs' teats; the mere thought seems ludicrous.
Leading pediatricians such as Dr. Benjamin Spock (also an influential and best-selling author of parenting books) and Dr. Jay Gordon have been strong proponents of a dairy-free diet for children. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit organization whose members include 150,000 health professionals, has always been adamantly opposed to cow milk consumption.
When the Journal of Clinical Nutrition surveyed all accredited medical schools in the US in 2006 about their nutritional curriculums, they found that of the responding 106 schools, on average, medical students received close to 24 hours of nutrition education. Some received none.Their conclusion was that the amount of nutrition education in medical schools was “inadequate.” That’s quite an understatement. A hair dresser receives more training before cutting clients' hair professionally, yet parents are taking advice from individuals with hardly any unbiased nutritional education?
Medical schools are highly influenced by the agribusiness industry. Agribusiness continues to target pediatricians offices with marketing campaigns designed to push their highly manipulative ideology, so it’s hardly surprising that many well-meaning pediatricians are ill informed about the dangers of dairy products. Expecting to receive meaningful, objective, and impartial nutritional advice in an environment influenced by dairy and agribusiness interests leads to predictable recommendations to consume dairy at all health costs.
Thankfully, many parents are waking up to the truth about dairy products and seeking healthier alternatives. Rice, almond, hemp, and coconut milks are good choices for many kids and adults. These can be easily enjoyed with whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and creamy soups. One of my favorite methods of boosting kids' (and adults') nutrient consumption is to use nut or rice milks in smoothies; adding sweet, fresh, juicy whole fruits and greens such as kale, spinach, or leafy lettuce, and blending them for a tasty drink. Leafy greens are better sources of minerals than dairy products. The dietary fiber found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans also assists with escorting estrogen out of the body. Many greens contain not just generous amounts of calcium, but additional nutrients critical for building bone health, such as magnesium, boron and vitamin C. Being physically active is also important for building bones, and is one more reason to get the kids off the couch and on the playground.
Just as no loving parent would allow her small child to play on busy highways, dairy products should be approached with extreme caution given the amount of information readily available about their dangers. As parents, we have the responsibility to research and educate ourselves about the food choices we offer our children. They count on us wholeheartedly for looking out for their best interests. Helping children avoid dairy products is one of the most loving, caring, and responsible actions a parent can take for their child, themselves, and for building a healthier world.












Woman Heals STAGE 4 Terminal Cancer with Diet
This TV newscast was originally produced by Channel 8 in Cleveland Ohio. Janet was diagnosed with stage IV, so-called "incurable" cancer. After 6 months of following the macrobiotic regimen, her condition had improved markedly. After less than 2 years she was disease-free. A remarkable recovery testifying to the healing power of the macrobiotic cancer-prevention diet.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Turning the Corner on Alzheimer’s
Researchers from the Chicago Health and Aging Project analyzed the diets of thousands of people over years, and have begun to identify ways to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. The findings are groundbreaking: Saturated “bad” fat—found in milk, cheese, and meats—increases risk more than threefold. Trans fats increase risk fivefold. Foods rich in vitamin E, such as broccoli, whole grains, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds, reduce dementia risk by as much as 70%. The brain-healthy diet is almost identical to the diet that helps prevent stroke, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic disease: a low-fat diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
Source: “Can We End Alzheimer’s?” GOOD MEDICINEmagazine, Spring 2013, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, www.pcrm.org


Dirty Secrets of the Natural Food Industry  - April 2013


By Mike Adams, Natural News
Many people don't investigate what's really in the products they swallow. When something is sold as an herb, vitamin, superfood or supplement, they think it's automatically safe. And while the natural products industry has a truly remarkable safety record, especially in contrast to the massive number of deaths caused by pharmaceuticals, it still suffers from a lot of hidden toxins that are routinely used throughout the industry.


After reviewing this list, you will probably throw out quite a few products in your refrigerator and pantry. Very few people are willing to tell you the truth revealed here, so some of this may come as a complete shock (see #1 and #2, below).

1. Maltodextrin (from GM corn)
If you pick up a natural product and the ingredients list says "maltodextrin," chances are very high that the maltodextrin in the product is derived from Monsanto's GM corn.
Virtually all the maltodextrin used throughout the natural products industry is genetically modified. Products that are certified USDA organic, however, are not using GMO maltodextrin.
The non-GMO, non-corn replacement for maltodextrin derived from GM corn is tapioca maltodextrin, and you'll find tapioca starch / maltodextrin in many certified organic, non-GMO products. Corn maltodextrin should be avoided unless it's certified USDA organic. Look for tapioca maltodextrin instead (or no maltodextrin at all).



2. Hexane-Extracted Soy and Rice ProteinsNearly 100% of the "natural" soy proteins and rice proteins sold in the USA are extracted in China using a hexane extraction method. This is true for brown rice protein superfoods as well as the soy protein used in nearly all so-called "protein bars."Hexane is a highly explosive chemical. It is not only extremely hazardous to the environment, there may also be trace amounts of hexane left remaining in the resulting protein products. My understanding is that hexane extraction is not allowed in certified organic proteins, so if you have a choice, go for certified organic instead of just "natural" (which means nothing anyway).Hexane extraction, by the way, is also used in the manufacture of textured vegetable protein (TVP). 


3. High Levels of Aluminum in Detox Products
Natural News helped expose high aluminum levels (over 1200ppm) in a popular detox liquid, causing the main U.S. distributor to issue a "recall" notice and provide over $1 million in refunds to customers. 
The manufacturer of this product, Adya Clarity, intentionally and knowingly deceived consumers by mislabeling the product and not mentioning the 1200ppm of aluminum it contained. The FDA seized some of the products and ran its own lab tests, confirming the high aluminum level as well as identifying multiple labeling violations.
Adya Clarity is just one of many so-called "detox" products containing alarming levels of aluminum and other metals. Ingesting these in order to "detox" your body may be harmful to your health. This experience also proves you can't always trust health products sold through online webinars, where manufacturers can ignore labeling laws and fabricate false claims. Buyer beware when it comes to metals in detox products that claim seemingly magical results.


4. Lead and Arsenic In Herbs From China
China is one of the most polluted nations on the planet, yet many fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown in China and exported to North America for use in natural products. 
High levels of lead and arsenic are routinely found in various food, supplement and herbal products from China. I'm not concerned about 1ppm or lower, by the way, of heavy metals like lead and mercury. Even aluminum isn't necessarily a problem when found organically grown inside foods that test at higher levels such as 150ppm. But when lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium get to high saturation levels (or are present in inorganic forms), it makes the products potentially a source of heavy metals poisoning for consumers.
Astonishingly, many of the small and medium-sized companies that import and retail products from China conduct no metals testing whatsoever. I know this as a fact because I've talked to people doing this.
For the record, everything packed under my own brand name (Health Ranger Select) and sold at the Natural News Store is independently tested by us to ensure full product safety and regulatory compliance.


5. Inorganic Minerals In Cheap Vitamins
Would you eat iron filings and call it nutrition? The majority of people don't know that most of the cheap vitamins sold today are made with iron filings. "Scrap metal," almost.
The calcium found in cheap vitamins is often just ground-up seashells, and magnesium is often sold as cheap magnesium oxide which may be completely useless to your body's cells. If you're buying mineral supplements, you may be wasting your money unless the minerals are in the right form: Magnesium orotate or malate, for example.
When it comes to mineral supplements, you'll often find trace levels of scary things like barium and lead in liquid supplements, but these are typically at such low levels (ppb) that they are no real concern. 
But the No. 1 best source for all minerals is, not surprisingly, fresh plants. If you really want to boost your minerals, feed 'em to sprouts or garden plants, then eat or juice those plants. Your body wants "organic" minerals from plants, not inorganic minerals from rocks.


6. Carrageenan
The Cornucopia Institute recently published a warning about carrageenan in foods. Cornucopia says carrageenan is linked to "gastrointestinal inflammation, including higher rates of colon cancer, in laboratory animals."
It goes on to report:
Given its effect on gastrointestinal inflammation, Cornucopia urges anyone suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms (irritable bowel syndrome/IBS, spastic colon, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, etc.) to consider completely eliminating carrageenan from the diet to determine if carrageenan was a factor in causing the symptoms.
For the record, I definitely don't consider carrageenan to be anywhere near as worrisome as, say, aspartame, GMOs or MSG.


7. Acrylamides
Acrylamides are cancer-causing chemicals produced during the cooking of carbohydrates. Fried snack chips, for example, contain acrylamides. They don't have to be listed on labels because they are technically not "ingredients." They are chemicals produced during cooking or frying. Consuming acrylamides increases kidney cancer risk by 59 percent.
The FDA has published an extensive reference guide on acrylamide levels in foods, revealing that french fries have the highest levels of all. But they are also present in prune juice and even breakfast cereals.
A bag of organic snack chips can have just as many acrylamides as a bag of conventional snack chips. This is why fried snack chips should be eaten only sparingly, or never at all. 
Interestingly, it turns out that vitamin C blocks acrylamides from causing damage to your body. But if your vitamin C is from a GMO source (see above), you may want to rethink that strategy. Natural citrus juice, rose hips or even camu camu berry powder is a much better choice of natural, full-spectrum vitamin C.
If you eat fried foods of any kind, make sure you ingest a lot of vitamin C, astaxanthin and chlorella before and after your meal or snack.

8. Hidden MSG / Yeast Extract
Hidden MSG is a huge issue across the natural products industry. Pick up almost any veggie burger, and you'll find it's made with yeast extract, a hidden form of MSG (monosodium glutamate).
Yeast extract is unbelievably prevalent in the food industry because it looks nicer on the label than "MSG." Most people are trained to avoid MSG, but yeast extract slips by, so food manufacturers put it into canned soups, dip mixes, snack chips, microwave dinners and especially in vegetarian products, many of which are so loaded with chemicals and additives that I won't dare touch them. Just because a food says "vegetarian" doesn't mean it's healthy.
Hidden MSG is also labeled as "autolyzed yeast extract" or "torula yeast" or even "hydrolyzed vegetable protein."

9. Fluoride in Green Tea
Green tea is famous for being contaminated with high levels of fluoride. This is frustrating, because green tea is phenomenally good for your health. It has been proven to lower "bad" cholesterol levels, and it may even help prevent cancer and neurological disorders. It's probably one of the healthiest beverages you can ever drink.
The tea plant that produces green tea just happens to uptake a huge amount of fluoride from the soils. So when there's fluoride present in those soils, the green tea will have a surprisingly high concentration, sometimes as much as 25ppm.
While this fluoride in green tea might not be a health hazard all by itself, the governments of the world seem insistent on pumping even more synthetic, chemical fluoride into the water supplies, thereby creating a high risk for fluorosis. Adding green tea to the fluoride consumption you might experience from tap water is a recipe for disaster: brittle bones, discoloration of teeth and even cancer.

The Final "dirty little secret" of The Natural Products Industry
Finally, there's one more secret you need to know about. Most importers, packers, vendors and retailers of natural products foolishly trust the lab results provided by the manufacturers and exporters!
So a typical U.S. company that sells, for example, pomegranate powder on the internet may never conduct their own tests for lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum. They will simply take the lab tests provided by the manufacturer and consider those to be absolute fact!
This is extraordinarily foolish. Growers and exporters routinely lie about their lab tests in order to pull the wool over the eyes of importers, formulators and retailers. The lab tests are easily faked or simply bought off in their home country. Contaminated products can be easily sold and exported because the FDA doesn't routinely check imported raw materials for heavy metals contamination.
But I also know of smaller retailers who absolutely do not test anything and are far more interested in moving boxes than knowing what's really in them. I also know that some operations are claiming to sell "organic" products even though they do not have any kind of organic certification, and that's an irresponsible practice that should be rectified. (Look for the USDA organic logo when you buy "organic" products. If they don't have the logo, they aren't really organic.)
So once again, buyer beware. You need to be asking for lab test results on anything from China, and it's good to ask for them on just about everything else as well. 
Source Link: http://www.naturalnews.com/


Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' 


Published time: March 28, 2013 19:04 
Edited time: March 30, 2013 04:11
US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowsky)
US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowsky)
On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the Missouri-based Monsanto Company from litigation.United States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.

With the president’s signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers.

In light of approval from the House and Senate, more than 250,000 people signed a petition asking the president to veto the spending bill over the biotech rider tacked on, an item that has since been widely referred to as the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

“But Obama ignored [the petition],” IB Times’ Connor Sheets writes, “instead choosing to sign a bill that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place, explains a little more thoroughly just how dangerous the rider is now that biotech companies are allowed to bypass judicial scrutiny. Up until it was signed, he writes, “the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer.”

If the president’s signature isn’t all that surprising, though, consider the genesis of the bill itself. According to an article published Monday in the New York Daily News, US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) “worked with Monsanto to craft the language in the bill.”




ORGANIC BEEF?


Americans love to be told good things about their bad habits whether it's wine, chocolate or beef.  The choice to eat beef regularly, organic or not, is certainly a bad habit that adversely affects not only personal health, but  planetary health as well.  It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef and only 25 gallons to produce 1 pound of wheat. Our continued love affair with beef has many unintended consequences. -Michael


GMO Crops Continue To Spread Worldwide

"Despite persisting concerns over genetically modified crops, a new industry report (PDF) shows that GMO farming is (still) taking off around the world. In 2012 GMO crops grew on about 420 million acres of land in 28 countries worldwide, a record high according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, an industry trade group.

If all the world's GMO crop fields in 2012 were sewn together, it would blanket almost all of Alaska. As the chart from the report shows, globally GMO farming has been on an uninterrupted upward trend. What's especially noteworthy is the growth of GMO farming area in developing nations (see red line), which surpassed that in industrial nations for the first time in 2012. ISAAA's report doesn't project into the future, but we may see this upward trend continue as "a considerable quantity and variety" of GMO products may be commercialized in developing countries within the next five years, according to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Organisation forum (PDF)."

More info: http://tinyurl.com/anwb8gn

------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------


Inflammatory Foods: Nightshades

Updated info

http://haydeninstitute.com/additional-resources/additional-resources-diet-and-nutrition/inflammatory-foods-nightshades/

    Most individuals have never heard the term “nightshades,” much less make the connection to a food group that ignites pain and inflammation. Nightshades are a botanical group known as solanaceae – making up over 92 varieties and 2,000 species
The connection of nightshades and arthritis-type disorders was brought to the forefront largely by the efforts of Dr. Norman F. Childers, former Professor of Horticulture at Rutgers University. Dr. Childers knew first-hand the affects of severe joint pain and stiffness. He discovered that after consuming a meal containing any tomatoes, he experienced severe pain. As his interest in the inflammatory responses to nightshades grew, he observed livestock kneeling in pain from inflamed joints – the livestock had consumed weeds containing a substance called solanine. Solanine is a chemical known as an alkaloid, which can be highly toxic.
An enzyme present in the body called Cholinesterase originates in the brain where its responsible for flexibility of muscle movement. Solanine, present in nightshades, is a powerful inhibitor of cholinesterase. In other words, its presence can interfere with muscle function – the cause of stiffness experienced after consuming nightshades. All people are not sensitive to nightshades in the same degree. Research has proved that when an inflammatory condition exists, consuming nightshades is like adding “fuel to the fire”. That said, there is no scientific evidence that for those not afflicted with inflammation that nightshades will cause it.
Dr. Childers, through his research, proved that 74 – 90% of people who ache and hurt, regardless of their diagnostic “label,” have a sensitivity to nightshades.
      Potatoes, one of the nightshades, especially those stored improperly or aged, have been known to cause toxic symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization – symptoms range from gastrointestinal and general inflammation, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness to migraines. It is believed the reason for the toxicity in potatoes is the presence of solanine in and around the green patches and the eyes that have sprouted.
            Nightshades – Avoid in order to decrease inflammation:       
  • Potatoes, all varieties (sweet potatoes and yams are NOT nightshades. Beware of potato starch used in many seasonings and as a thickening agent)
  • Peppers (red, green, yellow, orange, jalapeno, chili, cayenne, pimento)
  • Tomatoes, all varieties (including Tomatillos)
  • Paprika
  • Eggplant
      Foods that contain solanine although not directly in the nightshade family:
  • Blueberries & Huckleberries
  • Okra
  • Artichokes
      Other Substances to Avoid:
  • Homeopathic remedies containing Belladonna (known as deadly nightshade)
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications containing potato starch as a filler (especially prevalent in sleeping and muscle relaxing medications)
  • Edible flowers: petunia, chalice vine, day jasmine, angel and devil’s trumpets.
  • Atropine and Scopolamine, used in sleeping pills
  • Topical medications for pain and inflammation containing capsicum (in cayenne pepper)


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Study Suggests Breast Cancers May Go Away On Their Own



Neuroblastoma, a rare childhood breast cancer tumor, sometimes goes away on its own, and researchers were examining whether invasive breast cancers might also regress.Is it possible for breast cancer tumors to regress without medical intervention? A controversial new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that in some cases the answer may be yes.
For several years cancer researchers have known in rare cases it was possible for some cancers to go away on their own. There were occasional instances of kidney cancers and melanomas vanishing.
But several experts are not convinced.
“Their simplification of a complex issue is not only alarming, but overreaching,” said Robert A. Smith, director of breast cancer screening at the American Cancer Society.
While others are persuaded by the findings and find them encouraging, said Dr. Robert M. Kaplan, chairman of the department of health services at the School of Public Health at the University of California.
If the findings are replicated, it could be possible for some women to choose “watchful waiting,” monitoring a breast tumor to see if it grows. “Never before have has breast cancer been considered in this way,” he added.
“If the findings are found conclusive, it should lead to a major re-evaluation in the approach of breast cancer research and treatment,” said Dr. Kaplan and his colleague, Dr. Franz Porzsolt, an oncologist at the University of Ulm.
The study compared (2) groups of women between the ages of 50 to 64 in two consecutive six-year periods.
One group followed more than 109,000 women from 1992 to 1997. Mammography screening was first initiated in Norway in 1996. In 1996-97, all participants were offered a mammogram and most of them accepted.
More than 119,000 women were followed in the second group from 1996-2001. All of them were offered regular mammograms and most accepted.
Researchers report the women who opted for regular screening had 22 percent more cancers. For every 100,000 regularly screened women, 1,909 were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer over the six years, compared with 1,564 who chose against regular screenings.
While there may be other explanations, researchers say they are less likely than the conclusion that the tumors disappeared.
“The most plausible reasoning, said Dr. Welch, is that “some women had cancer at some point and later didn’t have cancer.”
The findings do not suggest mammograms caused the cancer. Mammograms save many lives. Although, they come with a downside – most notably the risk that a woman might undergo an unnecessary biopsy to check an abnormality that turns out to be cancer-free – “the balance of benefit versus harm still weighs in favor of screening for breast cancer.”
One alternate explanation for the study findings is that the women having regular scans were using hormone therapy for menopause. But researchers say hormone use would only account for 3 percent of the effect.
Another possible explanation is mammography could have been more sensitive in group two and test was able to detect more tumors.
Or, the screened women may have had a higher risk of cancer at the start. But, researchers say, both groups were remarkably a like in terms of risk factors.
Donald A. Berry, chairman of the department of biostatistics at M.D. Anderson Center in Houston, said the findings have increased his concerns about early detection screenings. There needs to be some sort of understanding of the natural history of cancers – which cancers are most harmful and those that are not – the results can easily be more treatment of cancers that, if left treated would cause no harm, he said.
“While very early detection may be beneficial, huge costs may be attached and not monetary costs,” Dr. Berry said. “It’s possible that all of us host cancerous cells that grow some before the body disposes of them. What then, would be the consequence? Prophylactic removal of organs in the masses, that’s a startling thought.”
“I see a real chance to determine why some cancers go away,” says Dr. Laura Esserman, professor of surgery and radiology at University of California. #


Read more: http://news.legalexaminer.com/study-suggests-breast-cancers-may-go-away-on-their-own.aspx?googleid=252168#ixzz2De0i3KY1


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where the drug profits go:


  • Biofuel Not What It's Cracked Up To Be
  • (http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/feb08/biofuel_and_non-gmo_organic_production.php):
  • GMO Corn is the Industry's preference in promoting biofuel. Land that could be used for growing food for impoverished and starving people around the globe is increasingly used for growing GMO plants for fuel instead.  This means higher prices for food and less availability. Michael

    No comments:

    Post a Comment