By Dr. Mercola
Welcome to a new year! If 2013 is anything like 2012, we're in for a wealth of valuable breakthroughs that can help you and your family live healthier, happier, and longer lives.
We discussed many downright revolutionary topics during this past year, from the remarkable health benefits of high intensity interval training, to shocking new evidence of harm from consuming genetically engineered foods, to the avalanche of rapidly-mounting evidence supporting vitamin D and probiotics for optimal health — both physical and mental — and much more.
In case you missed any of our most engrossing headliners, here's a list of the Top 10 most viewed articles from 2012.
- Allowing various gut contents to flood into your bloodstream where they wreak havoc on your health, causing bloating, gas and abdominal cramps as well as fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, allergies, psychological symptoms, autism and more. Stop eating it now...
Grains contain anti-nutrients and lectins that can damage your gut, and humans did not historically consume them until relatively recently. We're often told whole grains are healthy, but the high-fiber bran portion of the grain — the part that makes a whole grain — actually contains many of the anti-nutrients.
There's a sizeable body of scientific evidence showing that grains, as well as legumes, can cause leaky gut and associated symptoms. Eliminating grains (and sugars) from your diet, while introducing traditionally fermented foods, can help prevent leaky gut as well as other health conditions.
- It's popular, controversial, and now a breaking story from France proves it to be a cancer trigger. (Even though its backers still say it's fine.) If this food can give healthy rats cancer, why would you want to bring that risk on yourself?
A two-year long French feeding study designed to evaluate the long-term health effects of a genetically engineered (GE) corn found that rats fed Monsanto's maize developed massive breast tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems. The major onslaught of diseases set in during the 13th month. Rats only live a few years while humans live around 80 years, so naturally we will notice these effects in animals long before we see them in humans.
The gigantic human lab experiment is only about 10 years old, so we are likely decades away from tabulating the human casualties. This is some of the strongest evidence to date that we need to exercise the precautionary principle ASAP and avoid these foods.
Female rats that ate genetically engineered corn died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly, while the male GE-fed rats had tumors that occurred up to a year-and-a-half earlier than rats not fed GE corn. I believe it is crucial that we implement the precautionary principle as rapidly as possible as this study confirms it is difficult to predict precisely what GE foods might do to the youths of today, as many are eating a fair amount of GE ingredients practically from day one.
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- They may contain hidden ingredients that have been the source of several outbreaks of food poisoning in recent years. Here's the best way to ensure you avoid eating this "rubbery" substance that could poison you...
Most people are well aware that fresh conventionally-grown produce is more or less contaminated with pesticides. Less known is the now-common practice of coating fresh fruits and vegetables — including organic varieties — with edible plastic coatings to increase shelf life.
So-called modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) involves controlling or modifying the atmosphere surrounding the product to slow spoilage. This can be accomplished by coating the food with an edible film. Four basic materials used for edible films are lipids, resins, polysaccharides and proteins, to which a variety of antimicrobials, plasticizers and texturizers are added. These types of coatings present several potential health hazards, the most severe of which is the potential to promote the growth of foodborne pathogens if misapplied.
- Free range eggs may be an ideal food, being one of the least expensive and best proteins you can eat. But cook them like this and it'll oxidize the cholesterol in the yolk, which could cause damage to your body and be problematic if you have high cholesterol.
Eggs generally come from one of two sources: confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's), where the hens are typically kept caged indoors, or smaller farms where the hens are not confined but rather allowed to pasture freely. Hens' natural diet consists of seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. CAFO birds are primarily fed a diet of corn and soy-based feed; most of which is genetically engineered.
The difference in diet makes the eggs they produce vastly different nutritionally.
You can tell the eggs are free range by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you're getting eggs form caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet. Free range eggs are truly an ideal food; it's not only one of best proteins you can get, it's also one of the least expensive. They're best eaten raw, or soft-boiled. Scrambled eggs are the most damaged, and will not provide the same health benefits as raw or partially cooked eggs.
- You may be innocently making this mistake - sometimes with your doctor's blessing. It can mean the difference between a 6% lower mortality risk and a 2% higher risk.
Optimizing your vitamin D levels may be one of the most important steps you can take in support of your long-term health, but it's critical to understand the differences between the two types of vitamin D available in supplement form.
A meta-analysis of 50 trials looking at mortality rates for "doctor recommended" synthetic vitamin D2 supplements versus natural vitamin D3 shows a six percent risk reduction among those who used D3, compared to a two percent increased risk among those who used D2. Research has also shown that vitamin D3 is approximately 87 percent more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2. D3 is also converted into its active form 500 percent faster.
Plant-based food sources that contain vitamin D provide vitamin D2. Only animal-based food sources, such as fish, egg yolk, and raw milk, contain D3. Keep in mind that the IDEAL way to optimize your vitamin D levels is by exposing large amounts of skin to sunlight or a safe tanning bed, but if you choose to use an oral supplement, make sure you're taking vitamin D3.
Also be aware that if you take high doses of supplemental vitamin D, you also need to make sure you're getting enough vitamin K2, as these two nutrients work in tandem. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. While the ideal or optimal ratios between vitamin D and vitamin K2 have yet to be elucidated, Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, suggests that for every 1,000 IU's of vitamin D you take, you may benefit from about 100 micrograms of K2, and perhaps as much as 150-200 micrograms (mcg). The latest vitamin D dosing recommendations, which call for about 8,000 IU's of vitamin D3 per day if you're an adult, means you'd need in the neighborhood of 800 to 1,000 micrograms (0.8 to 1 milligram/mg) of vitamin K2.
That said, the most important factor is not the dosage but rather your vitamin D serum level, which should ideally be between 50-70 ng/ml. When taking an oral vitamin D supplement, you should take enough to reach and maintain this therapeutic level.
- Instead of a growth hormone spurt, you get a Cortisol spurt - reversing all your effort. Plus, it decreases your insulin sensitivity, thus increasing your flab. If that's not bad enough, it shrinks your muscle and hypes up aging. Don't let your valuable time and energy go to waste like that...
Dr. Doug McGuff, M.D., an emergency room physician, is also an expert in one of my passions of exercise, namely high-intensity interval training. He's a proponent of high-intensity interval training using weights as opposed to cardio equipment, which can achieve many of the same results.
High-intensity exercise, which engage your fast-twitch muscle fibers, is required if you want an effective aerobic workout, and can cut your workout time from an hour on the treadmill down to as little as 12-15 minutes.
Your fast-twitch fibers are largely glycolytic and store a lot of glucose. When these muscles are recruited, it creates the stimulus needed to grow muscle. At the same time, it enlarges the glucose storage reservoir in the muscle, which enhances your insulin sensitivity. Long, slow, distance-type of exercise can actually cause your intermediate and fast-twitch fibers to begin to atrophy. Aside from losing muscle mass, this also promotes onset of loss of insulin sensitivity. Overall, conventional cardio has repeatedly been shown to be one of the least effective forms of exercise.
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- Eating these four foods FEEDS cancer cells... Deny it by refusing to supply it these cancer-promoting foods. Then layer these three supplements, which each individually slash your cancer risk at least 50%. Combining these strategies could get your risk to near zero - what's not to like about that?
In this interview, Dr. Christine Horner, a board certified general- and plastic surgeon, shared her extensive knowledge about breast cancer — its causes and its cures, and the pro's and con's of various screening methods. There are many all-natural cancer-prevention strategies, and research shows that most of them can cut your risk in half! Consequently, by implementing multiple strategies, you can virtually eliminate your risk of cancer as well as other chronic disease.
Your diet is the one of the best ways to either feed or prevent cancer. Processed foods, soft drinks, red meat from CAFO-raised animals, trans fats, all forms of sugar, and any food containing or contaminated with xenoestrogens promote cancer growth. Meanwhile, plant foods, particularly cruciferous vegetables and flax seed as well as many herbs and spices, are cancer-preventive. Healthy fats of particular importance for cancer prevention are omega-3 and omega-9, which effectively slow down tumor growth in estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast-, prostate- and colon cancers.
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- The importance of sending correct messages and feeding this organ with vitality-promoting foods cannot be overstated, it's so profound. Yet for most people this balance is dramatically skewed - negatively. Here's how to reverse course and see a dramatic jump in your health starting today...
The importance of your gut flora and its influence on your health cannot be overstated. It's truly profound. Your gut serves as your second brain, and even produces more serotonin — known to have a beneficial influence on your mood — than your brain does. It is also home to countless bacteria, both good and bad. These bacteria outnumber the cells in your body by at least 10 to one, and maintaining the ideal balance of good and bad bacteria forms the foundation for good health — physical, mental and emotional.
Most disease originates in your digestive system. This includes both physical and mental disease. Once you heal and seal your gut lining, and make your digestive system work properly again, disease symptoms will typically resolve.
The Gut and Psychology Syndrome (as well as Gut and Physiology Syndrome — both referred to as GAPS) Nutritional Program, created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a Russian-trained neurologist with a full-time medical practice in the UK, is designed to restore the integrity of your gut lining by providing your body with the necessary building blocks needed for healthy enterocyte reproduction, and restoring balance to your gut flora.
Dr. McBride has made the important connection between damaged gut flora in women and developmental problems in their children, especially autism. These GAPS children, who are born with damaged gut flora, are also far more prone to vaccine damage. I believe this may be a major driving force behind our skyrocketing autism rates. Fortunately, there's a solution. Restoring proper gut function to pregnant mothers and their babies is really one of the most profound interventions one could have for having a non-brain-damaged child.
In terms of Gut and Physiology Syndrome, we're talking about all forms of autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases and conditions, such as:
||Type 1 diabetes
||Chronic skin conditions
||Allergic and atopic conditions
|Chronic fatigue syndrome
||Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)
||Inflammatory bowel diseases
If you're suffering from any of these conditions, or virtually any other health challenge, you'd be wise to implement the GAPS program. While Dr. McBride's book is called Gut and Psychology Syndrome, the nutritional protocol for addressing physiological and psychological conditions is identical.
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- If you're in the habit of tucking your phone in a pocket, or on your belt, heads up - you'll be appalled when you view this new 2-minute video... Seeing is believing if you still harbor any doubt that cell phones can potentially cause cancer.
If you think the jury's still out on whether cell phones can be dangerous to your health, then you might want to take the time to listen to this video from the Environmental Health Trust. Dr. Devra Davis, author of "Disconnect--The Truth About Cellphone Radiation," has been researching the safety hazards of radiation emanating from your cell phone.
The biological impact of your cell phone is not related to its power, which is quite weak, but rather to the erratic nature of its signal and its ability to disrupt resonance and interfere with DNA repair. Serving as an illustrative warning of the potential for your cell phone to cause cancer is the case of a young woman with no other predisposing risk factors for cancer who developed multi-focal breast cancer directly beneath the area of her breast where she'd been tucking her cell phone into her bra. Earlier research has shown that wearing a cell phone on your hip may weaken an area of your pelvis, and cell phone radiation has also been found to affect men's sperm count, and the quality and motility of their sperm.
As a general rule, you'll want to avoid carrying your phone anywhere on your body. The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna, especially when it is put next to soft tissue such as in your pants or shirt pocket, or worse yet, in a woman's bra.
- While this German physician made this stunning observation over 40 years of treating terminal cancer patients, it sheds light on cancer. You or a loved one may be affected as this dangerous procedure is done 41,000 times a day in the US. The good news is... there's a fix.
Do you have a chronic degenerative disease? If so, the root cause of your illness could possibly be traced back to your mouth. Nearly every dentist will tell you getting a root canal is completely safe, despite the fact that scientists have been warning of its dangers for more than 100 years.
During a root canal, there is no way to sterilize your tooth; after the root canal, dangerous bacteria can hide out in the tooth and are unreachable with antibiotics. Root-canaled and filled teeth harbor bacteria that can morph into very toxic forms, which then can migrate to other tissues in your body and cause serious medical conditions, including diseases of your heart, kidneys, bones, and brain.
There is no other medical practice that permits leaving a dead body part inside your body, because it triggers your immune system to attack. If you have a diseased tooth, or if you've already had a root canal, I highly recommend consulting a biological dentist about have it extracted.
How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health
Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.
Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. It is showing how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.
In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This was an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.
To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)
As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."
Join the Fight to Get Fluoride Out of Drinking Water
There's no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a "chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you're stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it's very difficult to filter out of your water once it's added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the United States and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.