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Scientific Links Between Processed Foods And Depression

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Scientific Links Between Processed Foods And Depression
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Joseph MercolaGuest Writer

Research shows that the food you eat can have a profound effect on your mental health. So, regardless of your mental health problems, the importance of addressing your diet simply cannot be overstated.

In a very real sense, you have two brains — one in your head, and one in your gut. Both are created from the same tissue during fetal development, and they’re connected via your vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem to your abdomen.

It is now well established that the vagus nerve is the primary route your gut bacteria use to transmit information to your brain, which helps explain why mental health appears to be so intricately connected to your gut microbiome 1 — the bacteria and other microbes living in your gut.

For example, researchers recently found that fermented foods helped curb social anxiety disorder in young adults.2,3 Another study4 found that mice engaged in obsessive-compulsive repetitive behaviours were pacified when given a strain of the bacterium Bacteroides fragilis.

Gut bacteria also produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin is found in your intestines, not your brain.

At the end of the day, if you’re trying to address your mental state, optimizing your gut health should be toward the very top of your list.

The Strong Link Between Sugar and Depression

A number of food ingredients can cause or aggravate depression, but the number one culprit is refined sugar and processed fructose, which feed pathogens in your gut, allowing them to overtake more beneficial bacteria.

Sugar also suppresses the activity of a key growth hormone in your brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia.

Diets high in sugar also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation, which over the long term disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system and wreaks havoc on your brain.

Last but not least, refined sugar and processed fructose and grains are key contributors to insulin and leptin resistance, which also plays a significant role in your mental health.

One recent study5,6 found that high-glycemic foods (including those high in refined grains and added sugar) were associated with higher odds of depression.

Added sugar in particular was strongly associated with depression, reconfirming what William Dufty said in his classic best-selling book, Sugar Blues, first published in 1975. Sometimes it takes a while for science to catch up — in this case 40 years!

Other Processed Food Ingredients That Promote Depression

Other processed food ingredients that can contribute to depression and/or other mental health problems include:

  • Genetically engineered (GE) ingredients can significantly alter your gut flora, thereby promoting pathogens while decimating the beneficial microbes necessary for optimal mental and physical health.
  • Glyphosate the most widely used herbicide on food crops in the world with nearly 1 BILLION pounds applied every year — has been shown to cause nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals, which are critical for brain function and mood control. It also causes systemic toxicity, and was recently declared a Class 2A probable human carcinogen. Roundup, in which glyphosate is the active ingredient, has also been shown to increase the antibiotic-resistance of E. coli and Salmonella.
  • Artificial food additives, especially the artificial sweetener aspartame, can wreak havoc with your brain function. Both depression and panic attacks are known potential side effects of aspartame consumption. Other additives, such as artificial colorings, are also known to impact mood.
  • Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, may negatively impact mood and brain health. In fact, a number of studies indicate that wheat can have a detrimental effect on mood, promoting depression and even more serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia. Most non-organic wheat is also treated with glyphosate in a pre-harvest processed called desiccation, which adds to its problematic effects (see glyphosate above).
To Heal Depression, Heal Your Gut

As noted by The Epoch Times:7

“In the last 20 years or so, scientists have developed a new respect for bacteria, and the paradigm is turning from a strategy of war, to one of co-existence. Science now considers a robust, diverse bacterial colony to be essential to good health.”

Indeed, the bacteria residing on and in your body outnumber your cells 10 to 1, and viruses in turn outnumber bacteria 10 to 1. In many respects, you are your microbiome.

As Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told The New York Times:8

“We are, at least from the standpoint of DNA, more microbial than human. That’s a phenomenal insight and one that we have to take seriously when we think about human development.’’

Rapidly mounting research reveals that many of these little microbes have very specific functions, and as a whole play a profound role in your biological processes and overall health — including your brain health.

“According to Dr. Raphael Kellman, a New York City-based physician who specializes in treating the microbiome…the microbiome not only influences our mood, but it also has a lot to do with how the brain functions and develops over time,” The Epoch Times9 notes.

‘By improving the microbiome we can actually see positive changes in mood, cognitive function, and executive function,’ Kellman said…

‘The microbiome communicates with the brain through a number of mechanisms… These pathways include direct neurotransmitters that the microbiome produces.

It communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve, and also via the endocrine system in the stress pathway — the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal axis.’

Current treatment for neurological disorders focus on direct changes to brain chemistry, tweaking levels of neurotransmitter chemicals in hopes of tuning in the right balance. But the future of mental health treatment may focus much more on the gut than the brain, and more on food than drugs.”

The fact that improving your microbiome can affect your cognitive function means it’s also important to nourish your gut to stand a better chance against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Interestingly, researchers have also found that recurring depression is associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, the area of your brain associated with memory formation,10 and depression itself appears to be a risk factor for dementia.

Here, it’s important to take your vitamin D levels into account, as both depression and Alzheimer’s disease are associated with vitamin D deficiency.

The Birth Of A More Holistic Model For Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are typically treated with antidepressants, despite the fact studies have shown them to only be on par with placebos in terms of effectiveness. They’re also associated with a slew of side effects, including the progression into more severe and/or chronic mental health problems. Recent research may in part explain why antidepressants can worsen the situation rather than making it better.

The ‘chemical imbalance’ theory states that depression and anxiety disorders are due to low serotonin levels. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by making more serotonin available for use in your brain, which is thought to improve your mood. Alas, recent research reveals that people with social anxiety do not have low serotonin; they have higher than normal levels. So further boosting serotonin with an SSRI will only make the anxiety worse…

The new focus on gut health is a welcome departure from the synthetic drug model. As discussed in The New York Times,11 researchers are listing and investigating psychoactive compounds found in feces, and are experimenting with fecal transplants in animals to assess its effect on neurodevelopment:

“Anxiety, depression, and several pediatric disorders, including autism and hyperactivity, have been linked with gastrointestinal abnormalities. Microbial transplants were not invasive brain surgery, and that was the point: Changing a patient’s bacteria might be difficult but it still seemed more straightforward than altering his genes. When Lyte began his work on the link between microbes and the brain three decades ago, it was dismissed as a curiosity.

By contrast, last September, the National Institute of Mental Health awarded four grants worth up to $1 million each to spur new research on the gut microbiome’s role in mental disorders, affirming the legitimacy of a field that had long struggled to attract serious scientific credibility… It seems plausible, if not yet proved, that we might one day use microbes to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, treat mental illnesses and perhaps even fix them in the brain.”

Abnormal Gut Flora Fosters Abnormal Brain Development

Researchers have also begun experimenting with fecal transplants in autistic children,12 and while such investigations are still in its infancy, there’s plenty of cause for optimism. There does in fact appear to be a close connection between abnormal gut flora in infancy and abnormal brain development — a condition Dr. Campbell-McBride calls Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). GAPS is the result of poorly developed or imbalanced gut flora and may manifest as a conglomerate of symptoms that can fit the diagnosis of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD) without hyperactivity, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, just to name a few possibilities.

Dr. Campbell believes autistic children are born with perfectly normal brains and sensory organs, but once their digestive system becomes a major source of toxicity instead of being a source of nourishment, they start to develop autistic symptoms. This theory fits in well with more recent research13 published by the American Society for Microbiology, which identified a bacteria (Sutterella) that is unique to the intestines of children with autism. According to the authors:

“Many children with autism have gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances that can complicate clinical management and contribute to behavioural problems. Understanding the molecular and microbial underpinnings of these GI issues is of paramount importance for elucidating pathogenesis, rendering diagnosis, and administering informed treatment.

Here we describe an association between high levels of intestinal, ucoepithelial-associated Sutterella species, and GI disturbances in children with autism. These findings elevate this little-recognized bacterium to the forefront by demonstrating that Sutterella is a major component of the microbiota in over half of children with autism and gastrointestinal dysfunction (AUT-GI) and is absent in children with only gastrointestinal dysfunction (Control-GI) evaluated in this study.”

Nourishing Your Gut Flora May Boost Your Mood and Protect Your Mental Health

All things considered, it seems quite clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important to support a positive mood and stable mental health. To do so, I recommend the following strategies:

  • Avoid sugar and processed, refined foods in your diet. Remember eating real food is one of the most powerful and simple strategies you can implement to take control of your health. If you need help doing this, read through my nutrition plan for a simple, whole-food based diet. There is simply no question that eliminating refined sugars is the most powerful intervention the average person can make to improve their gut flora.
  • Eat traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods. Fermented foods are the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Ideally, you want to eat a variety of fermented foods to maximize the variety of bacteria you’re consuming. Healthy choices include fermented vegetables, lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented milk like kefir, kimchee, and natto (fermented soy).
  • Take a high-quality probiotic supplement. If you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis, do consider taking a broad-spectrum probiotic. Research has shown that certain probiotics may help alleviate anxiety by modulating the vagal pathways within the gut-brain, affecting GABA levels, and lowering the stress-induced hormone corticosterone.

In summary, foods have an immense impact on both your body and your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan is the best way to support your mental and physical health. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or you’ve been struggling with poor mood for a while, the best remedy is likely not found in your medicine cabinet but right in your pantry or refrigerator.

Article Sources
  1. The Atlantic June 24, 2015
  2. Psychiatry Research April 28, 2015 [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Psych Central June 12, 2015
  4. New York Times June 23, 2015
  5. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 24, 2015 DOI: 10.3945
  6. Time June 29, 2015
  7. Epoch Times July 1, 2015
  8. New York Times June 23, 2015
  9. WebMD June 30, 2015
  10. Epoch Times July 1, 2015
  11. New York Times June 23, 2015
  12. New York Times June 23, 2015
  13. MBio January 10, 2012, vol. 3 no. 1 e00261-11
Recommended Articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola
About the Author

Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.

In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”

Visit Mercola.com for more information, or read Dr. Mercola’s full bio and resumé here.

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Health

Serrapeptase: An Enzyme That Treats Inflammation, Arthritis, Scar Tissue And More

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

The use of enzymes therapeutically is not a new concept, and has been widely accepted for its healing properties in both traditional and modern medicine.

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme, which means that it breaks down protein into smaller components (peptides and amino acids) that the body can re-use. It is derived from the digestive system of the silk worm, which regurgitates serrapeptase to break free from its cocoon.

Scientists in India first began to research the enzyme to see how it could be used therapeutically in the human body. From the start, they were astonished to realize that serrapeptase is a very powerful anti-fibrotic enzyme, with applications for the treatment of inflammation, arthritis, scar tissue and much more.

Although the Serrapeptase enzyme was discovered in silk worms, no silkworms are actually used in the manufacturing process of commercially available Serrapeptase supplements. The enzymes are extracted from Serratia bacteria, and grown in controlled environments without the use of a silkworm host.

What Does Serrapeptase Do?

Realizing that serrapeptase is anti-fibrotic was an interesting discovery because many health conditions are the result of abnormal thickening or scarring of fibrous connective tissue, a condition known as fibrosis.

Fibrosis is any disease where excess fibrous growth is present. This includes a wide range of conditions and health issues, including the following:

  • Plaquing of the arterial walls (atherosclerosis)
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Uterine fibroid tumours
  • Scarring after injury
  • Scarring after surgery
  • Cystic Fibrosis; affecting the exocrine glands (secreting glands; mucus, hormones, etc.) of the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines.
  • Blood clots; due to the fibrin in blood

The action of serrapeptase doesn’t stop there. It is an effective enzyme against inflammation in all its forms. In other words, inflammation of the joints, the digestive system as well as other organs.

This is because serrapeptase breaks down the dead tissues and excess fibrin, thus eliminating the body’s defines mechanism which is known as inflammation.The body is then able to clean out the burdensome dead tissues and fibrin growths, allowing for the healing process to begin more effectively.

Inflammatory health conditions that serrapeptase is effective against are:

  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Serrapeptase, by helping the body eliminate dead tissues and fibrin growths, is extremely beneficial to those suffering from autoimmune disorders such as:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Allergies
  • Cancer

Serrapeptase in these cases, not only breaks down the dead fibrin tissues, but also serve as a healthy alternative to NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen), and powerful steroids that are sometimes used for pain control.

Conditions That Have Been Helped by Serrapeptase
  • Pain (of all kinds)
  • Arthritis
  • Arterial plaque
  • Headaches caused by inflammation
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  • Asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Eye conditions caused by inflammation
  • Injuries and trauma
  • Post operative scarring
  • Inflammatory bowels diseases
  • Cystitis
  • Fibroid tumours
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fibrocystic diseases
  • Varicose Veins
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Subclinical chronic inflammation; premature aging
Dosages

Regarding the conversion of mg and IU for serrapeptase, the answer is not that easy. There appears to be a different standard of conversion depending on what company you choose to buy from. There is some research that has used the ratio of mg of serrapeptase which equals 20,000 units of activity, however not exclusively.

There has also been research done with 200 mg or 20,000 IU.

With this in mind, it would be best to not try to compare the two, but rather stick to one measurement or another.

The dosage varies depending on the condition you are trying to address or if you are simply using the enzyme for maintenance purposes.

Dosages range from:

  • 30 mg – 1000 mg
  • 10,000 IU – 100, 000 IU

In either case, taking 1 – 2 per day is typical for maintenance or for minor ailments. The therapeutic dosage can be as high as taking the max dosage (either 1000 mg or 100,000 IU. Keep in mind that this does not mean that they are equivalent) for up to 30 pills per day for the lower potency and dosages taken 1 -2 times per day for the higher range.

There doses seem to be the concern regarding the “blood thinning” properties of serrapeptase, so let’s clarify what is really meant by blood thinners.

Technically, the blood cannot get “thin”. What happens when you take something that acts to “thin the blood”, like an Aspirin or something stronger such as Coumadin, is that the blood becomes less sticky, so the blood can then flow more freely. The blood itself has not changed, but rather the mechanism that allows (or disallows) for free flow has. This is a subtle concept, but an important one.

There are many things that can impede blood flow such as:

  • Platelets sticking together
  • Clotting
  • Plaquing
  • Inflammation

See: Serrapeptase: Carotid Artery Blockage

With the use of serrapeptase, any of the above can be remedied and the research has proven it. However, the question is…will serrapeptase interfere with a drug therapy being used to “thin the blood”?

There appears to be no concerns with taking serrapeptase at the lower dosages. The really cool thing about this enzyme is that whether you take lower doses or higher doses, you will ultimately achieve the same effect. One just takes a bit longer than the other.

If you are concerned regarding any interactions, please consult a knowledgeable doctor. I say knowledgeable because this enzyme has a great deal of research supporting it, so if your current doctor dismisses the idea of trying serrapeptase, he/she is giving an opinion without having read the research. If that is the case, please seek out a healthcare professional who is open to all methods of healing — especially non-pharma methods that have been shown to be effective for your overall health!

Remember, there is only one you… it is your right to be in control of your health!

If you want to give this supplement a try, it’s widely available here.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

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Health

Natural Cure For Depression Silenced?

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Depressed woman
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

Depression affects over 25 million Americans a year. But did you know there is a highly effective natural treatment? Inositol – or Vitamin B8.

Inositol Deficiency Linked to Depression

1995 study found amazing results treating depression with inositol. As reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 152, No. 5) “the overall improvement in scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was significantly greater for inositol than for placebo at week 4. No changes were noted in hematology or in kidney or liver function…  Inositol had a significant antidepressant effect in this study.”

2001 study continued to find impressive results, and “continuing reports of inositol’s efficacy in the treatment of depression, panic disorders, and OCD should stimulate replication studies”. Yet conventional medicine (in all its wisdom) continues to treat depression with big pharma medications, despite the findings of  a 2010 study that  “the benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo may be minimal or non-existent in patients with mild or moderate symptoms”.

My guess is, even if you suffer from depression, you haven’t heard about this study. And I’d even go further to guess that most of you have never heard of inositol.

Well if this is you, don’t feel bad. Far too many doctors are also unaware of this vital substance – and that is truly the travesty! The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that nearly 15 million American adults suffer from a major depressive disorder, and sadly that number does not include or reflect undiagnosed mild depression or the depression that occurs in children. But each year, doctors are prescribing increasing amounts of anti-depressants, which translates to a multi-billion dollar profit (per year) for big pharma companies.

Naturally, any of the numerous antidepressants prescribed today come with a lengthy side-effect sheet including the increased risk of suicidal thoughts, especially in younger patients. Other common side-effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin rash
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Insomnia or prolonged sleep
  • Irritation
  • Anxiety

Whew!

Antidepressants Causing More Harm

Where does a person turn when prescription drugs are causing more problems than they are “fixing”? Especially when medical doctors advocate against the use of nutritional solutions, let alone acknowledge that we live in a nutrition deficient country?

Sadly, the answer is that many people opt to finally try the natural route only to find that it didn’t work. This is often due to following reasons:

  • They didn’t take the nutrients long enough to experience a change.
  • They needed to take the nutrient in a higher dosage, but didn’t for fear of “toxicity”.
  • They became confused because of contradictions and misinformation regarding the natural method and simply gave up; now even more depressed than when they started!

All of the above listed reasons are unnecessary. Despite the extensive positive research on many natural treatments, our “healthcare” dictators insist on only recognizing drugs and profit, and patients have come to expect a quick fix instead of a lifestyle change. And the responsibility for this rests largely on the lap of the FDA and AMA.

Your Welfare is Not in the Best Interest of The FDA and AMA

It is interesting that the medical establishment boasts a nearly 95% safety rate regarding antidepressants. However this is a dangerously skewed percentage, giving the patient a false sense that the drug they are taking is actually safe.

Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, author of ‘Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? said the following of  the alarming correlation between antidepressant use, human behavior and health conditions:

“We have witnessed no decrease in suicide, but increases in murder/suicide, suicide, unwed pregnancies, domestic violence, manic-depression, MS, hypoglycemia, diabetes, bankruptcies, divorce, mothers (parents) killing children, road rage, school shootings, cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and fibromyalgia since these serotonergic drugs have become so popular and I relate it directly to the effects of these drugs.”from the  article, “The Aftermath of Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Fen-Phen, & Many Other Serotonergic Drugs”

Overdose is also a problem, according to a 2013 press release from the United States Centres for Disease Control:

In 2010, nearly 60% of the drug overdose deaths (22,134) involved big pharma drugs….  The researchers also found that drugs often prescribed for mental health conditions were involved in a significant number of big pharma overdose deaths. Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) were involved in nearly 30% (6,497) of these [big pharma overdose] deaths; antidepressants in 18% (3,889), and antipsychotic drugs in 6% (1,351) ~

More Regarding So-Called “Safe”Antidepressants

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has treated patients with Prozac and discovered significant safety issues. He wrote “Personal Review: Prozac Backlash: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Other Antidepressants with Safe Effective Alternatives” to bring to light the true darkness of how drugs are approved by our “respected” FDA. An absolute must read!

Of course, any potential treatment depends upon FDA approval. And if a claim is made regarding a vitamin, mineral, or some other natural supplement without the FDA stamp of approval, you could be looking at a serious fine and/or jail time. However, even when the required research is done and the results prove positive, conveniently they often get buried or only partial results are allowed to surface; strategically placed negative studies appear; the cry from the sceptics and the pro-drug community is that the study did not have a significantly large enough trial group or that the long term effects are still unclear.

Well, the following shows the problem with “ethical and unbiased” research. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen found that congress had allowed itself to be manipulated by Big Pharma – and this is no big secret. Shockingly, drugs are routinely approved without long-term confirmation of safety! And short term studies (6-8 weeks) were often designed for only one purpose: market approval.

If a study is designed for specific outcomes, just how unbiased are the result? Do you think the results are skewed? You bet they are. And if you are one who trusts in the FDA stamp of approval, think again for the sake of your own health!

Magic Mushrooms
Magic Mushrooms May Hold Key To Long-Term Relief From Anxiety And Depression. Click here to read the article.
Think Again!

When studies find a natural substance is effective against depression, without the horrific side effects, and is something the body actually needs, why isn’t it given any attention?

If the FDA truly have our health at their forefront of their priorities, why then aren’t they putting their stamp of approval on inositol as fast as they do for drugs such as Prozac?

If a natural substance helps bring balance to our biochemistry, wouldn’t the next logical assumption be that we, as a nation, are possibility nutritionally deficient? 

Doesn’t bringing the body back into balance sound more like the intelligent approach to health and wellness, rather than taking a chemical drug with serious side effects that does nothing more than mask the symptoms?

Where is the media, if they are truly unbiased?

And more importantly, why are we the public – or should I say the “FDA guinea pigs” – outraged and demanding the truth?

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Anti-Aging

Natural Detox: Detoxing As A Way Of Life

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Strawberry photo
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Marie Be, Guest Writer

The link between increased toxicity and a range of diseases is now becoming well recognized by medical authorities. Many studies describe a general health decrease as well as specific ailments that occur in the body with increasing levels of toxins.

In toxin-free conditions, the body is efficient at detoxifying and eliminating free radicals, but the rising quantities of toxic compounds we breathe in, ingest or absorb daily demand more of the body’s resources, and drastically impede the body’s optimal performance. That’s why detoxing needs to be a way of life. As the environment around us, the foods we consume and the water we drink become more and more toxic, the body’s natural detoxification systems become overloaded. And as the body cannot perform optimally, toxicity slowly increases over time, reducing the body’s natural capabilities to maintain good health. That’s when disease occurs.

The equation is simple; the less toxins that accumulate in tissues and organs, the stronger the body’s natural healing capabilities.

When the body is clean from toxins, it doesn’t have to invest a lot of energy in combating toxic compounds, and has extra energy to invest in building and running its natural defence mechanisms, fighting diseases and dealing more efficiently with new toxins as they inevitably enter the body. Detoxing the body of accumulated toxicity and reducing environmental and dietary exposure strengthens the function of the immune system, benefits the cardiovascular system, and increases overall vitality.

Other Health Benefits Include
Improved Liver Function

Detoxing improves the function of your liver which can have a positive influence on regulating your blood cholesterol level, a key predictor connected with heart attacks, strokes and premature death in many individuals.

Improved Digestion

By eliminating waste materials, parasitic infections and built-up contaminants from the digestive track, a ‘detox’ lifestyle improves the body’s digestive functions. This enables proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Cleansing the digestive track also has the potential to re-establish flavour appreciation of healthy and balanced natural food products, as well as reduce food cravings.

Reduced Inflammation

Detoxing the body reduces inflammation of the muscles and joints by eliminating toxic pockets in these areas, and reducing the body’s self protective response (which is what typically causes inflammation in the first place).

Rebalanced Hormones

By getting rid of agrichemicals absorbed from “enhanced”foods contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, insecticides, antibiotics and growth hormones, a detox can assist the body to naturally rebalance hormone levels.

Improved Mood

When toxins circulate through the body, they inevitably reach the brain and your central nervous system. Such toxins will negatively affect mood, sleep, cognitive function and the ability to concentrate. Toxicity also increases stress, anxiety, lethargy and even depression. Eliminating toxins can improve your mood and overall sense of wellbeing.

Reduced Effects of Skin Aging

When the body is overloaded with toxins, the body tries getting rid of them through the skin, a main component of the body’s elimination system. Toxicity can lead to premature aging, poor complexion, pimples and blemishes. Reducing the body’s toxic load can result in significantly younger looking skin.

Detox as a Way of Life

The human body is designed to constantly gather and remove toxins from its cells and organs. Ideally, detoxing the body should be more than an occasional cleansing diet – it should be a way of life – especially with the unprecedented levels of toxicity to which we are exposed each day.

Avoid cosmetics, body lotions and skin-care products made with chemical ingredients. To find more tips on natural daily detox products, as well as safe cosmetics and skin care products, checkout EarthSun. Or why not try out my Skin and Body Detox Cream easy make-at-home recipe?

To maintain a cleansed body, it is also important to minimize your exposure to chemical toxins. Toxins are present in many foods, water supplies and cosmetics. To learn more about foods that create toxicity in the body, check out my recent article: Preventative Detox: 6 Foods to Avoid for a Clean Healthy Body

Resources
  1. David O Carpenter, Kathleen Arcaro, and David C Spink, Understanding the human health effects of chemical mixtures. Environ Health Perspect. Feb 2002; 110(Suppl 1): 25–42.
  2. Environmental toxins and health–the health impact of pesticides.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18075622
  3. Chemical Exposures: The Ugly Side of Beauty Products  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253722/
  4. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/
About the Author

Marie Be’s inspiration comes from her mom who always challenged common assumptions and sought to understand for herself the major issues concerning her family and the choices she made on their behalf. She raised Marie and her brother in a rural environment, feeding them the best organic foods, and focused on building strong immune systems in her children through the use of natural plants, herbs and minerals.

As a fiery teenager, Marie travelled the world in search of purpose and dreamed of positively influencing our society. While earning her first two degrees, in architecture and sustainable development, she worked for Greenpeace and many other organizations of change. Her experience taught her that change cannot be imposed; she now aims at inspiring individuals through education and awareness.

Marie moved to Vancouver to undertake a Masters in Regenerative Sustainability under the supervision of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Teaching workshops on well-being, she started observing a widespread desire in our society for both physical and environmental health and sustainability. Feeling the winds of change, Marie founded EarthSun. By tuning into nature as our source of life, and acquiring knowledge of ancient herbal traditions as well as new technologies, Marie believes it is possible to use nature’s intelligence to create simple and effective health products.

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Awareness

The Sun And Skin Cancer: Examining The Truths, Pseudo-Truths And Lies Of Mainstream Science

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Sun bathing
Photo Credit: https://medium.com/@lisatunstall12

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

So we hear the sun is good for you… and then the sun is bad for you… and then later the sun is good for you again. Or is it bad for you now? … I just can’t keep it straight. Isn’t this game of ‘good-bad-good’ played on just about every topic under the sun? (Terrible pun, I know… sorry about that)?

We are a society immersed in fear… fear… and more fear. So the sun being another object of fear isn’t any big surprise.

The notion that we, people that live on the surface of this planet, should cover-up and stay out of the sun as much as possible has always struck a strange chord with me. I could believe something like this if we, in fact, lived underground and were nocturnal cave dwellers; only to come out at night to work and play.

But we are not nocturnal by nature. We sleep at night and are active during the day. Did nature get this wrong? Could this perhaps be nature’s biggest joke on us? Or are we the ones who are confused? To find out, let’s take a look at how our bodies interact with natural sunlight…

There are reasons why we are active during the day rather than at night, and our physiology proves it:

  1. The pineal gland provides melatonin at night and serotonin during the day.
  2. We have excellent day vision and poor night vision.
  3. Vitamin D is a vitamin-like hormone that our body makes only with direct sun exposure.
  4. Not to mention that we are “programmed” to be drawn to the sun. Don’t we all just love that warm sunny day?  Doesn’t it do absolute wonders on your state of mind?

Nonetheless, we’ve been told to stay out of the sun, cover up, and lather on the sunscreen on. And aren’t we totally brain washed regarding sunscreen? We are told that if we don’t put on the sunscreen, we’ll get wrinkles and/or get skin cancer. Right? Sound familiar?

And now the latest myth about being out in the sun… it is becoming more dangerous due to the shrinking ozone layer causing the sun rays to be stronger than ever before, of course causing more skin cancer. But that’s another topic altogether.

UVA and UVB Rays:

Before we go into more detail, here’s a little refresher on UVB and UVA rays.

UVA rays:
  • Passes through window glass.
  • Is always present despite changes in altitude or weather.
  • Penetrates deep into skin layers
  • Totals 5% of the sun’s rays
  • Are 20 times more abundant than UVB rays
UVB rays:
  • Do not pass through window glass
  • Cause the skin to burn and tan
  • Are responsible for normal vitamin D production
  • Vary in intensity with the weather conditions, altitude, season and time of day
  • Totals 0.5% of the sun’s rays
Truth, Pseudo-Truth, and Lies

So let’s take a good look at what is truth, what is pseudo-truth, and what is a flat out lie.

Truth: There has been an increase in skin cancer rates in the United States, as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Question: Why would there be an increase of skin cancer despite our use of sunscreen?

Pseudo-truth: While most sunscreens advertise that they protect against UVB rays, they actually do little to protect from UVA rays. There are, however, sunscreens that do protect against UVA rays, such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide as well as products that contain mexoryl.

Flat out lie: So instead of asking the question as to why skin cancer is on the increase, we continue to slap on the sunscreen or worse, stay out of the sun altogether. But is it the sun that is really so dangerous or is there another cause that is conveniently overlooked?

The answer is surprising, and it comes straight from the FDA as well as The American Skin Cancer foundation (believe it or not).

In one word: photosensitivity

The Truth About Sunscreens

A report from the FDA states the following:

The FDA reports that the following list of substances cause photosensitivity or have photo-reactive agents in them, and that chronic Sun exposure while using these chemicals can cause Skin Cancer:

  • Medications
  • Food additives
  • Deodorants
  • Antibacterial soaps
  • Petroleum products (including Vaseline)
  • Antihistamines
  • Cold and allergy medicines
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (including aspirin (Amigesic), ibuprofen (Motrin), Aleve (naproxen sodium), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine))
  • Antibiotics (including the tetracyclines and sulfonamides)
  • Sunscreens (containing bergamot oil, sandalwood oil, benzophenones, PABA, cinnamates, salicylates, anthranilates, PSBA, mexenone, and oxybenzone)

Know anybody that uses any of these products? You perhaps? Can we really say that only the sun that causes skin cancer?

Isn’t it interesting there are no warning labels on any of these products? Especially sunscreens?!Makes you wonder doesn’t it? But wait… it gets better.

The FDA states, in the same report, that chronic exposure to photo-reactive chemicals (like those listed above) can cause:

  • Premature skin aging: Due to the sun…. or chemicals?
  • Stronger allergic reactions: Why are human beings seemingly allergic to Earth?
  • Cataracts: Visual disorders?
  • Blood vessel damage:  Cardiovascular Disorders?
  • Weakened immune system: Autoimmune Disorders?
  • Skin cancer: Is this really a surprise?

You don’t have to be a scientist to put some logic to the test here: Sunscreens cause photosensitivity, and those with photosensitivity are more likely to develop cancer than those with “normal”skin.

Referring to the FDA’s report on the substances that cause photosensitivity, an article in Science Daily ‘Medications May Increase Sensitivity to Sunlight reported:

“Though these drugs do not directly increase the risk of skin cancer, serious sunburns, particularly in children, have been associated with an increased incidence of skin cancers later in life

If you take another look at that list, we are talking about a lot more than just drugs! Food additives, deodorants and soaps all appear on that list.

It amazes me that we continue to be told that the solution to this problem is to simply put on sunscreen! But wait, oops… sunscreen is on that list too!

Why aren’t there warning labels on the sunscreen informing us that it can cause photosensitivity and cancer? Sounds a little counter-productive to me.

Sun Exposure

Flat out lie: Those who spend more time in the sun are more likely to get skin cancer. Thus, the reason it is so important to cover up and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

A must read is the latest report out of the United Kingdom, “Sunlight Robbery”. An excerpt states the following [I have bolded areas for emphasis]:

“…there are real doubts about the way in which sun exposure causes melanoma. Adults who work outdoors and children who play outdoors are regularly exposed to the sun and are less likely to develop melanoma than those who work or play more indoors. While people who have irregular exposure to the sun and those who recall being sunburnt have a higher risk of melanoma, especially if they have a fair skin type. Occasional exposure of skin to sunlight appears to carry the greatest risk of melanoma, while regular exposure of skin to sunlight appears to protect against melanoma, probably because it provides higher levels of vitamin D which are protective against cancer in general.”

Of course, sunscreen does a great job of protecting us from UVB rays, but there is a problem. It’s the UVB rays that our body needs for vitamin D production. And if Vitamin D is protective against cancer… well…

So What Are We To Do?

Firstly, use natural alternatives of the products listed in the FDA report.

Sure, there are some substances in nature that cause photosensitivity as well. But if the only interest of the FDA, and other groups such as The American Skin Cancer Foundation, is to protect the general public, then why aren’t  they looking at the chemical ingredients that are in the products which are known to cause photosensitivity? Why isn’t more interest being given to alternative treatments that could prevent these photosensitive reactions from medications? Not to mention all the other side-effects?

Instead, mainstream science stands steadfast in its ideology against alternative treatments. Puzzling, isn’t it?

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

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