Most Americans Still Believe They Use Only 10% Of Their Brain, Plus 4 Other Brain Myths.


brain

A new survey reveals that most Americans are in the dark about brain disease, upholding a number of brain myths. justin warrington, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that when you consider your most valuable organ, the one you decide on is, in fact, the one that suggested that answer. The brain is a puzzling body part if you devote enough attention to it. It’s aware of itself, and it knows that science can’t study it too precisely; but it also has identity issues. A recent survey shows that most Americans still believe they only use as much as 10 percent of their brain in daily life. Conducted on behalf of the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), the survey also reveals four other myths people believe about the brain.

The survey included 2,013 American adults above the age of 18, and was fielded by Harris Interactive.

Myth # 1: We only use 10 percent of our brain.

This myth is perhaps the most widely touted, but also disastrously incorrect. Humans may only use 10 percent of their brains while they rest or perform unconscious, menial actions. But throughout the day, your motor functions and cerebral demands require full use of just about every component scattered around your brain.

“It turns out…that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time,” neurologist Barry Gordon told Scientific American. “Let’s put it this way: the brain represents three percent of the body’s weight and uses 20 percent of the body’s energy.”

Simple acts such as going outside to fetch the morning paper make the brain light up like a lightning storm. The strings negotiating the occipital and parietal lobes, motor sensory and sensory motor cortices, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and frontal lobes each feel a cerebral “tug” at some point in the act. Coordinating the fluid transitions between balance, cognition, and motor skills demands far more than a paltry 10 percent.

How many believed the myth?: 65 percent.

Myth #2: Mental skills decline with age.

It’s easy to imagine a senior citizen withering away in a nursing home, her vision failing and memory clouding. While old age is often thought of as an inexorable decline — thanks to gradual memory loss and decreased ability to pick up certain new skills — psychologists argue that certain mental faculties only get stronger with age.

When it comes to rote memorization or quick thinking, younger adults do tend to perform better. In tests of social savvy and language retention, the sages triumph. People in old age showed greater ability to resolve conflicts, retain an extensive vocabulary, and make character assessments based only on biographical sketches.

“Older people are more satisfied with their social relationships than are younger people, especially regarding relationships with their children and younger relatives,” wrote Laura L. Carstensen, noted expert on socioemotional selectivity theory (SST) — a phenomenon that says people in old age use their limited time to direct energy toward positive ends. “They are more likely to invest in sure things, deepen existing relationships, and savor life,” she added.

Studies have also shown that, while the elderly lack the same skill for memory, they are able to pick up mnemonic tools that elevate their capacity for memory back to younger levels.

How many believed the myth?: 74 percent.

Myth #3: Men and women are at equal risk for brain disease.

To make the claim that men and women face the same risk for developing brain disease suggests that all brain diseases are created equal. In fact, there is a raft of differences between men and women that say a person may face a greater risk for one disease, but not another, simply because of the individual’s gender.

Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disease of the nervous system, typically affects males, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some theories say that this is because estrogen may have neuro-protective effects. Alternatively, the gene that predisposes a person to Parkinson’s could find its link on the X chromosome. Multiple sclerosis (MS), by contrast, is between two to three times more common in women than in men. The gender gap is strongest, in fact, among people who develop MS at a young age.

Both diseases are characterized by deficiencies in the nervous system’s ability to function properly. While each gender may face greater risk for certain diseases, the specific diseases each bear unique risks that apply to one sex more than the other.

How many believed the myth?: 71 percent.

Myth #4: Brain disease is uncommon.

In addition to debunking several common myths, the MJFF survey shed light on important misconceptions Americans had about brain health. One of the more illuminating was the country’s overall perception that brain disease doesn’t pose a great threat to people’s health.

In Europe, 35 percent of the total disease burden was attributed to brain disorders.

The MJFF finding is alarming primarily because of the vast range of duties the brain is called upon to perform day after day. Its purpose is paramount; if anything, the misconception should err on the side of caution and overestimate the danger of brain disease. However, the MJFF’s data revealed that Americans undercut the true risk by nearly half, pegging the average risk at 36 percent.

The actual risk: 60 percent.

Myth #5: Loss of smell can’t predict brain disease.

As it turns out, losing your sense of smell is associated with all major brain diseases, and a full 95 percent of Parkinson’s sufferers have reported losing their sense of smell to some degree. The full loss of the sense is called anosmia, although many patients simply report cases of impaired olfaction, known as olfactory dysfunction.

“Olfactory testing has become a new focus of attention in neurology as well, mainly because many patients with neurodegenerative diseases-including the majority of those with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease-have olfactory loss early on in the course of their disorder,” researchers from the University of Cologne wrote in January.

“Olfactory dysfunction is thus regarded as an early sign of neurodegenerative disease that may allow a tentative diagnosis to be made years before the motor or cognitive disturbances become evident.”

(The MJFF is currently leading a major research study recruiting people over age 60 without Parkinson’s who have lost some ability to smell.)

How many believed the myth?: 50 percent.

Other Findings

Past the myths, a number of misconceptions were unveiled as a result of the survey. Despite overwhelming portions of the population agreeing medical breakthroughs in treating brain disease are necessary, only 31 percent believed they could help on their own. According to a press release, younger people were more optimistic than older people, as 41 percent of people 18-34 believed they could personally help find cures, but only 24 percent of people 55+ said they could.

“There are many ways patients and their loved ones can help accelerate the search for cures,” said Deborah W. Brooks, co-founder and executive vice chairman of the MJFF, “such as participating in clinical (human) research studies: providing a one-off blood or saliva sample for genetic testing, or even just completing a survey.”

WHO Reports Uptick in MERS


Experts in Europe and Africa are racing to develop resistant grain varieties as university researchers predict the likely spread across continents of the air-borne spores of the fungus.

Scientists are warning that wheat is facing a serious threat from a fungal disease that could wipe out the world’s crop if not quickly contained. Wheat rust, a devastating disease known as the “polio of agriculture”, has spread from Africa to South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with calamitous losses for the world’s second most important grain crop, after rice. There is mounting concern at the dangers posed to global food security.

Experts have been aware of the threat since a major epidemic swept across North America’s wheat belt in the 1950s, destroying up to 40 per cent of the crop. Since then, tens of millions of pounds have been invested in developing rust-resistant varieties of the grain. However, an outbreak in Uganda in 1999 was discovered to have been caused by a virulent mutation of the fungus. There has been alarm at the speed at which further mutations have subsequently developed and spread across continents.

Plant scientists in Britain estimate the latest developments mean that 90 per cent of all current African wheat varieties are now vulnerable to the disease.

Last year, Germany witnessed its first outbreak of stem rust in more than 50 years. The outbreak was spurred by “a period of unusually high temperatures and an unusually late development of the wheat crop due to cold spring and early summer temperatures”, explained Kerstin Flath, of Germany’s Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants.

A further outbreak occurred in Ethiopia last November, with farmers losing on average 50 per cent of their wheat crop; the worst affected lost up to 70 per cent. Experts met in Mexico last month to discuss the threat. Work is under way to examine the different strains, to identify similarities.

According to Dr David Hodson, of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Addis Ababa, the disease’s threat lies in its ability to cause “large- scale destruction in a very short period of time over very large cultivated areas”. Rust epidemics could be compared to a forest fire, Dr Hodson said. Once it manages to gain ground it can very quickly spread out of control. The fungus reproduces millions of wind-borne spores, each of which is capable of starting a new infection.

Fazil Dusunceli, of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, said that the fungal disease, along with drought, are major challenges to wheat production globally.

He warned that countries need to react quickly to counter the new fungal varieties: “Production of new seed varieties is critical.” He said the UN was looking to countries such as the US, Britain and other European nations to lead the fight. “Developed countries have well-established institutions, programmes and capacities that developing countries lack. The developing countries are not sufficiently prepared to fight against these diseases and so when epidemics occur they encounter significant losses,” he said.

British scientists from the Sainsbury Laboratory, together with those from the world-renowned John Innes centre, both in Norwich are in the vanguard of efforts to combat the outbreaks. The UK teams are trying to control the disease with genetics rather than develop more powerful chemical fungicides. The work currently includes cloning new sources of resistance from wild grasses and from barley, which they think is essentially completely resistant to wheat rust.

Academics at Cambridge University, led by Professor Christopher Gilligan, are using sophisticated mathematical models to help predict the likely spread from outbreaks. “The project is designed to develop and test mathematical models that can be used to improve understanding of when, where and how disease spreads, which regions are most at risk and how to control epidemics,” Professor Gilligan said.

Using models from the UK Meterological Office, the Cambridge team were able to predict the likely spread of the Ethiopian outbreak. “The results helped to direct sampling teams to find further outbreaks, from which it became apparent the epidemic was more severe and widespread than had been previously reported.” Further work by the modellers has identified which of the countries surrounding Ethiopia in Africa, and the Middle East, are most at risk. “The current evidence suggests that the risk of direct spread to the Indian subcontinent is small during the winter months,” Professor Gilligan said.

“The models show, however, that the fungus could spread in stages, by first infecting wheat crops in the Middle East and then spreading to other major wheat-growing areas.”

According to scientists, climate change is in part behind the threat. The aggressive spread of two forms of the fungus is widely believed to be linked to its rapid adaptation to warmer conditions. Dr Hodson said this is resulting in outbreaks in countries not previously affected, with epidemics in several countries from North Africa to South Asia.

“The result has been large-scale epidemics in many parts of the world and stripe rust appearing in areas that were not considered favourable environments for the disease. Conditions this year were extremely favourable for rust development. In Ethiopia more than 600,000 hectares of wheat were affected – about one-third of the total area under wheat cultivation. Farmers suffered considerable production losses.

“Precise effects are difficult to ascertain. Certainly climate change is having an influence, and will have an influence on pests and diseases in terms of shifts in distribution patterns and shifts in the timing of their appearance.”

Pests and diseases are a major threat to agriculture around the world, producing blights that  cost farmers millions in lost production.

Black stem rust (Puccinia graminis) on bearded (awned) wheat stemsBlack stem rust (Puccinia graminis) on bearded (awned) wheat stems

Signs of blight

Wheat rusts (yellow, leaf and stem rust) are fungal diseases that affect wheat in almost every country in which it grows, as infectious spores are transmitted by wind and through soil. Seven to 15 days after infection, small red dots called uredinia begin to form on the leaf or stem surface. The stem rust fungus, Puccinia graminis, attaches to another organism to survive, killing the host in the process.

Phytophthora infestans on potatoPhytophthora infestans on potato

Kill list

Pests and diseases are a major threat to agriculture around the world, producing blights that cost farmers millions in lost production.

Asian soybean rust affects the soya crop in Brazil – the world’s biggest producer. There are more than 244 confirmed cases this year. Industry spending on insecticides and fungicides is expected to reach $11bn (£6.6bn).

Cocoa pod borer disease Cocoa bean production in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest producer, is likely to dip 2 per cent to 410,000 tonnes for 2013-2014, according to the International Cocoa Organisation. The fall is in part due to a tiny, mosquito-sized moth which attacks the plant.

Potato blight is a fungus-like organism (above) that thrives in damp, humid conditions. The speed with which blight infection occurs and the devastating impact on the crop make it the biggest threat to the six million tonnes of potatoes produced in the UK each year.

Coffee leaf rust is an orange-coloured fungus that has swept through coffee fields from Mexico to Panama. The epidemic is affecting the livelihoods of more than two million people and causing the loss of 500,000 jobs.

Banana fungus (TR4) This soil-borne disease is threatening banana crops in North America, Europe, South-east Asia, the Middle East and Africa; the value of traded bananas worldwide totals $8.9bn.

NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs.


New pair of legs means the experimental Robonaut, now stuck on a pedestal, will be able to perform chores for the human crew

Robonaut Nasa
‘Legs are going to really kind of open up the robot’s horizons,’ said Robert Ambrose from Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Photo: Bill Stafford, James Blair /AP

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs.

For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot, now stuck on a pedestal, is going mobile at the International Space Station.

With legs, the 8ft Robonaut will be able to climb throughout the 260-mile high outpost, performing mundane cleaning chores and fetching things for the human crew.

The robot’s gangly, contortionist-bending legs are packed aboard a SpaceX supply ship that launched Friday, more than a month late. It was the private company’s fourth shipment to the space station for Nasa and is due to arrive Easter Sunday morning.

The unmanned capsule, Dragon, holds about 2 tons of space-station supplies and experiments, including Robonaut’s legs.

“Legs are going to really kind of open up the robot’s horizons,” said Robert Ambrose from Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Robonaut 2 (R2 for short) has been counting down the days.

“Legs are on the way!” read a message Friday on its Twitter account, @AstroRobonaut.

Until a battery backpack arrives on another supply ship later this year, the multimillion-dollar robot will need a power extension cord to stretch its legs, limiting its testing area to the US side of the space station. Testing should start in a few months.

Each 4ft 8in leg has seven joints. Instead of feet there are grippers, each with a light, camera and sensor for building 3D maps.

“Imagine monkey feet with eyes in the palm of each foot,” Ambrose said.

Nasa engineers based the design on the tether attachments used by spacewalking astronauts. The legs cost $6m to develop and another $8m to build and certify for flight. The torso (with head and arms delivered by space shuttle Discovery in 2011 on its final flight) cost $2.5m, not counting the untold millions of dollars spent on development and testing.

Nasa’s space station program manager, Mike Suffredini, cautioned on Friday that there was still “quite a ways to go” before future Robonauts make spacewalk repairs like the computer replacement job coming up Wednesday for the two US space station astronauts. Software is the biggest challenge, he said, but “these are great first steps”.

“They won’t ever replace the crews, but they could do a lot of the jobs,” Suffredini said.

Robonaut

 

How to Diagnose an Unhealthy Relationship .


Once I ran to you, now I’ll run from you
This tainted love you’ve given,
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Tainted love.   — “Tainted Love,” Ed Cobb, 1964

 

When someone says they’ve fallen in love with you, it can be hard to tell if they love you in a healthy way, or if their love is tainted. Here are six key differences:

1. Giving freely vs. giving to get. Real love is based on a desire to give to the other when the need arises, without expecting something in return. You trust each other to have one another’s back, and to be there for each other. Tainted love seldom gives without a price—giving is only a way to get something back, not a way of caring.

2. Knowing each other vs. changing each other. People who love in a healthy way work to know each other by building maps of each other and working hard to discover more and more of who each other are. Tainted love demands that you change into what someone else wants you to be. It doesn’t care who you are, just that you conform to its demands.

3. Privacy vs. exposure. A healthy love creates areas in the relationship that are private, where no one else can enter in. Real love protects the time the two of you share, your knowledge about each other, and the unique things the two of you do with each other. Tainted love provides no privacy—your weaknesses become the butt of jokes; details of private events like kissing are shared with anyone who will listen; and time together is given away to anyone but you.

4. Repair vs. revenge. If your partner really loves you, fights become ways to learn more about each other. You will see a genuine effort to repair conflicts through turning toward each other and sincere listening to feelings. Tainted love is vindictive. Each argument turns into an opportunity for payback. You’ll see fights produce blaming, coercion or rejection.

5. Shared goals vs. selfishness. Real love places two people into a joined life-space, where they create shared goals that promote each other’s well-being. Your partner should want your your hopes and dreamsto come true. Tainted love takes for itself, it doesn’t give. Unhealthy love asks you to sacrifice your dreams, not fulfill them. Tainted love is self-interest, not other interest.

6. Desire vs. guilt. Healthy love creates a desire to care for each other’s needs. You want the other person to be in your life, and you care about their needs. Tainted love, instead, demands things and uses guilt to get what it wants. Your partner will tell you why you’re bad or uncaring, and compare you to others to make you feel bad—and then deliver the message: “But, sweetie, if you do what I tell you to, then maybe I’ll forgiveyou.” You don’t give because you want to, you give because you have to.

There are other ways to identify the difference between unhealthy and healthy love, but these six contrasts provide some key distinctions. If you want to learn more about healthy love, the Gottman Institute provides many useful materials and books on the topic—all supported by research. Remember: Healthy love leaves you better off at the end of the day, but tainted love hurts an awful lot of the time.

Resources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQ8hYnayqM

http://www.gottman.com/7-principles-value-packages/

http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2010/02/sci-brief.aspx

http://www.beckinstituteblog.org/2007/07/love-is-never-enough/

Four Habits That Make Relationships Happy

Cleaning up depleted uranium with fungi | Cosmos Magazine


http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/cleaning-depleted-uranium-with-fungi/

From the desk of Zedie.

“We Are Living In The Most Important Time In The History Of The Universe” Dolores Cannon Discusses Our Current Paradigm | Collective-Evolution


Dolores Cannon’s career has spanned over 4 decades, during which she has worked with thousands of clients in regressive hypnotherapy sessions. With over 17 published books on the subject, Dolores Cannon can easily be considered one of the world’s most sought after professionals in the field. Popular subject matter touched upon in her numerous books include: past lives, extra-terrestrials, life on other planets, energy healing, famous historic figures such as Nostradamus and Jesus, abductions, and the list goes on. Each book has the tendency to “bend the reader’s mind like a pretzel,” Dolores explains.

One of her latest books, titled The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth, is an ensemble of regressive hypnotherapy client sessions which narrates a ‘behind the scenes’ look at Earth’s current paradigm shift. During the sessions, Dolores hypnotizes her clients bringing them into the ‘super-conscious’ brainwave state, one of the deepest trances one can experience. Dolores elaborated on her technique in an interview with The Edge:

Dolores Cannon has over 40 years of regressive hypnotherapy experience from which she's acquired remarkable information about life in the Universe.

“I developed my own technique down through the years. It’s not like any other hypnosis technique out there. We are able to contact what I call the greatest force there is, and it’s a source of all knowledge. I found the way to have it come through every single person that I work with, and I’ve worked with thousands of people.”

The results of her technique are astounding to say the least. Through the years Dolores began to notice a correlation among her client sessions, one that bridges the journey of the souls incarnating on the planet at this time.

“When you see thousands and thousands of clients, as I do as a therapist and a counselor, you begin to see a common thread going through many of the cases. Earlier on, it used to be that everybody would go back to a past life and I’d find some of the answers there, and then I’d explore the source of all knowledge to answer all of their questions and do the healing. Just in the last five years or so, I began to see clients who weren’t all going into a past life on Earth. I began to find they had never been on Earth before and that they had come here directly from God, from the Source, from other planets, other dimensions, where they were light beings. That’s the common thread that I have been finding, and that’s where I came up with the theory of the three waves of volunteers.”

Dolores’s theory proposes that a series of souls are traveling from other planets and dimensions to assist Earth at this time. Many of these souls, which are of a higher vibration than the resident Earth souls, are incarnating on the planet for the first time. She affirms that the souls that have spent many lifetimes reincarnating on Earth are stuck in a karmic cycle, repeating the same patterns of mistakes and lessons which is ultimately leading to the destruction of the planet. Thus, there has been a calling for purer souls to come to Earth to cleanse and raise the planet’s vibration.

newearth3

But now in body, these people don’t have any memory of why they came. “They come in and an amnesia descends on the person, losing the memory of why they are here. But this group has an energy that they have to project. It is a loving energy that will change the mindset here on Earth. It will change history, just them being here.”

Throughout her clients’ journeys, Dolores discovered that Earth is one of the densest planets in the entire universe. A soul that incarnates here is considered brave because life on Earth is a very challenging experience to come into, especially for souls coming from higher realms and planets of a higher vibration. Nevertheless, all of her clients have the same answer when asked about their reason for coming to Earth, they simply “heard the call.”

The Earth is going through a major transformation, one that Dolores’s clients state has never happened before.  For the first time, an entire planet is shifting it’s vibration into a new dimensional frequency. Many souls or groups of souls have experienced a shift like this in the past, (i.e., the Mayans) but never has an entire planet shifted at once. Therefore, Dolores explains, the entire Universe has front row seats to one of the grandest shows ever seen. However, help is needed, because man has polluted the planet with a vibration so dense that it threatens the survival of the planet as a whole. Dolores reveals that if the planet blows itself up, it will reverberate throughout the universe affecting and disturbing all beings. Therefore, the call for help was made, and the souls quickly jumped on the wagon to assist.

In The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth, Dolores elaborates on the three different classes of souls incarnating on Earth:

  1. The First Wave: Now in their late 40s to early 60s, these volunteers are disturbed by the violence, anger and hate that they experience on Earth. They have had the hardest time adjusting to life as humans, and many of them try to commit suicide.
  2. The Second Wave: Now in their late 20s and 30s, these volunteers are more comfortable in bodies and are said to be beacons or channels of energy who can affect others just by being near them. Their mission of just sharing their energy with others means they don’t have to do anything but just be.
  3. The Third Wave: The new children, many of whom are now teenagers, have all the knowledge needed to exist on the planet after the dimensional shift and transformation takes place. Their DNA is more advanced, and the greatest challenge they face is being misunderstood by humans as having a condition (ADHD) that needs to be medicated.

Interestingly, through her many client sessions Dolores has also written extensively on the lost civilization of Atlantis. She discovered that, like Atlantis, there have been numerous civilizations that have been destroyed in the past.

“Each time when people got to the point when they were using energy in the wrong way and couldn’t control it, they had to be stopped. And every time, everything would be reset on this planet. The civilization would go back to the primitive stages and start all over again. That’s why they don’t want to have it happen this time. They don’t want to start over with the planet and begin life for humanity one more time.

During a hypnotherapy session, a woman went back to Atlantis and was telling me the prime reason for Atlantis being destroyed. I was told that there were scientists at the time of Atlantis. There were others who were fooling around with what they called Dark Matter. I was told that this is the same thing scientists are doing now when they are fooling around with what we call Anti-Matter. They said we have to know this, because the scientists are doing the same thing now.

The Large Hadron Collider experiment in Switzerland is the same thing. They are messing around with Anti-Matter. The scientists who are now fooling around with the Collider experiment don’t have any idea what they are really doing, and it’s very dangerous.

If those experiments had continued at that time in Atlantis, it would have broken down the grid of the planet, causing an implosion of the Earth, and it would have reverberated to the point where it would have broken the grids down of the entire Universe. But they stopped it before it got to that point, but destruction took place.”

When asked about people’s criticism of her work, Dolores says she finds humor in people’s remarks stating she is a ‘great science fiction writer’.

“There’s no way on Earth I could make this stuff up. I have [17] books out there now, and all of it has come through the cases I have worked on with the average person just walking in off the street. I did not know these people until they came through the door of my office, from every walk of life you can imagine: CEOs of companies, professors of colleges, priests, shamans, and many ordinary people. I have not found anyone who has not had a past life. When I began writing The Convoluted Universe series, I wondered if anybody out there would be able to understand it, because I said that book is for people who want their minds bent like pretzels. People when they read it say, ‘I know this and I don’t know how I know it, but I know it and I know it’s true’.”

In the final segment of her interview with The Edge, Dolores was asked if there were any final thoughts she wanted to leave people with regarding the shift in consciousness.

“We are moving into a new frequency, a new dimension where it is going to be the New Earth, and it’s going to be extremely beautiful. They have described it in the books – the beautiful colors, that everything is total love.

We’re moving away from the negativity of the Old Earth, and it’s going to be a complete turnaround, beyond belief, and we’re all going there now. The New Earth is where it’s at. The Bible in the Book of Revelations talks about the New Heaven and the New Earth. That’s the same thing we’re having now. It’s just that St. John, when he had the vision on the Isle of Pathos, didn’t realize it was going to take another couple of thousand years before it was going to happen.

The most important thing is that we are living in the most important time in the history of the Universe, and it’s very important to be here now. There are thousands of souls who want to be here to experience this – even if they can just be here for a few hours. They say even if they’re born and die right away, they can say, “I was there when this occurred.” This is how important this is to the entire Universe. So, you’re living in a very wonderful time that will never be repeated again.”

For a fascinating read, check out Dolores’s book The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth as well as herConvoluted Universe series.

References:

1.)    Cannon, Dolores. The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth. Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc. (Sept. 15 2011)

2.)    Cannon, Dolores. The Convoluted Universe: Book Four. Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc. (Nov. 7 2011)

3.)    http://www.edgemagazine.net/2011/08/the-three-waves-of-volunteers-part-one-with-dolores-cannon/

4.)    http://www.edgemagazine.net/2011/08/the-three-waves-of-volunteers-part-two-with-dolores-cannon/

Why your detox is making you sick.


I can’t tell you how many people have told me that a “detox” protocol made them feel extremely ill. They take detox supplements, pills or tinctures, and within a few hours they suffer dizziness, diarrhea, chills, outbreaks or even vomiting. These symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on the person and what they’ve taken. Such is the legacy of what I’m calling “extreme detox supplements” that seem to be designed to cause as much suffering as possible while framing it all as a “healing crisis.”

detox

I’ve always had a problem with the idea that such symptoms are routinely explained away as a healing crisis; as if you must suffer before you can heal. In this must-read article, I’m going to blow away detox myths and reveal why many people suffer such extreme illness during a detox. I’m also going to teach you how to detox safely and get away from the serious health risks found in extreme detoxing protocols.

Also, I urge anyone reading this who is considering a liver detox, kidney detox or heavy metals detox to pursue such activities only under the supervision of a licensed naturopath or integrative medicine M.D. who can guide you with a personalized protocol that’s right for you. Don’t “wing it” when it comes to the serious business of an aggressive detox.

Detox basics: Your liver dumps toxins into your small intestine

To understand why an extreme detox can make people feel so sick, you first have to understand how detox really works. This is an oversimplified explanation, but the fundamentals are correct: Your liver filters toxins out of your blood, including pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, ammonia and chemicals.

Your liver then dumps these toxins into your upper GI tract as part of a bile mixture used for digestion. Importantly, this reintroduces these toxins into your digestive system, where they can be quickly reabsorbed through intestinal walls and cause acute toxicity where you are essentially being “re-poisoned” with the same exact toxins your liver just pulled out of your blood.

(Note: Your kidneys also remove many toxins and flush them out of your body through urine. This is why kidney function is so crucial to your health. The heavy metals cadmium and mercury cause severe kidney damage, by the way.)

If you are eating a holistic, whole-food diet at the same time your liver is dumping toxins into your GI tract, then food fibers will tend to capture those toxins and trap them, ultimately transporting them out of your body through bowel movements. But if you aren’t eating any fiber — for example, you’re on a “juice fast” or a “juice cleanse” — then you have a potentially huge problem: You have no fibers to trap the toxins your liver is dumping into your small intestines! So those toxins get reabsorbed right back through your intestinal walls and into your blood.

I’ve also done pioneering food science research on identifying which natural foods can absorb dietary heavy metals. Click here to read my article on how strawberries naturally bind with dietary mercury.

All this helps explain why drinking nothing but fiber-less juice (i.e. “jucing detox”) during an aggressive supplement detox can be disastrous. If you aren’t eating fiber during your detox, what you are really doing is:

1) Collecting all the heavy metals, toxins and poisons from your body’s cells, tissues and organs.

2) Concentrating them in your liver (and bile).

3) Dumping them back into your small intestine all at once where they can now cause acute toxicity and poisoning.

This is all made even worse when the detox supplements you’re taking are more effective at pulling toxins out of your body’s tissues because then your liver is concentrating more heavy metals into bile and dumping them into your intestines. In effect, your body is concentrating the toxins, making them even more dangerous than they were before.

Fiber-less juice fasting while taking detox supplements may be a really bad idea

What makes all this worse is the fact that many detox protocols demand that you drink only fiber-less juice such as wheat grass juice, celery juice, carrot juice, etc. at the same time you are taking aggressive detox supplements. The lack of fiber in these juices means that many of toxins pulled out of the blood by the liver will be reabsorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, possibly at acutely dangerous concentrations.

After the diarrhea and cramping finally stops, people will often say, “I feel SO much better now! The detox worked!” Except for the fact that everybody feels better after diarrhea stops. Feeling better after making yourself sick is not exactly my definition of getting healthier.

As part of a daily diet, of course, juicing can be incredibly healing. I’m a long-time advocate of daily juicing or even short-term juice fasts, but juicing is by definition a fiber-less diet, and as a result it should never be used in conjunction with aggressive supplements that are going to increase the toxin load in the GI tract.

In other words:

* If you are juicing, don’t take aggressive detox supplements at the same time.
* If you are taking detox supplements, make sure you are eating whole foods with plenty of natural fiber.

Sometimes feeling like you’re poisoned means you are actually being poisoned

I believe it is extremely unfortunate that detox participants who suffer extreme symptoms are always told those symptoms are, in effect, “GOOD!”

Sometimes that’s simply not true. Many participants in James Arthur Ray’s sweat lodge spirit journeys were also told that their extreme dehydration and hallucinations were “good” as well, but it turned out they were on the verge of death. Indeed, three people died in his sweat lodge experiences, and James Ray was convicted of negligent homicide. (He was released from prison last year.)

Even as they were on the verge of death, these people were told that their symptoms were all part of the “spiritual journey” from which they would emerge as stronger people. This is nearly identical to the extreme detox message told to many consumers, in which even serious illness is excused away as part of the healing journey.

As I’ve examined this issue more closely over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that the detox supplement industry is in a worrisome state of denial about the safety of its more aggressive products. This is probably why the FDA banned cascara sagrada in 2002 for use in laxative products (but it’s still legal to use in herbal supplements).

Although it sounds bizarre, customers of extreme detox supplements made with cascara sagrada are actually taught that diarrhea is a sign of healing and is therefore something to be sought after when taking detox supplements.

I strongly disagree with this: diarrhea is never a sign of good health, and removing toxins from the body should never need to involve extreme suffering, nutrient loss or the kind of dehydration and cramping that comes with diarrhea.

Anyone who tells you a detox has to hurt to be effective should not be trusted.

Skip the extreme supplements and detox with real food

The longer I’ve examined the detox industry, the more confident I have become in the fundamental idea that your everyday diet is the only detox you really need.

Every food item you eat every single day, in other words, should be part of a cleansing and toxin elimination lifestyle. My view on this has evolved over the years, of course, and today I no longer believe we need to suffer through “detox” regimes to experience lasting health. A healthy, whole foods diet that’s rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and plenty of clean water is, all by itself, a “daily detox.”

Truth be told, your daily diet is either helping you eliminate toxins or accumulate toxins depending on what you eat. A diet of processed foods and contaminated supplements will increase your toxic burden, but a diet of fresh whole foods will naturally and automatically eliminate toxins.

Engaging in regular exercise that causes you to sweat will greatly magnify your body’s detox capabilities, by the way. Many toxins are released in your sweat, and that explains why people who exercise regularly (or who use saunas as therapy) tend to be far healthier and less toxic than those who never sweat.

People who drink plenty of fluids also tend to be healthier: water helps your kidneys eliminate toxins with high efficiency.

Bottom line: Detox should never be a crisis

My bottom line in all this? As one of the most widely-read voices in the natural health industry, I want to encourage us all to think in a more clear-headed manner about detox supplements and detox experiences. I have become increasingly convinced that extreme detox supplements may actually be causing more harm than good. Diarrhea is not healing, and the explanation that you need to suffer through a “healing crisis” just doesn’t hold water.

In truth, every glass of clean water you drink is a “detox” elixir. Every stalk of celery you chew and swallow is a detox food. Every glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice you drink is a detox beverage. Every algae superfood you eat is a “detox” superfood. Every exercise that produces sweat is a detox exercise, and every hike into nature where you are surrounded by trees is a detox hike.

Your body is already programmed to detox itself automatically (which is why you have a liver and kidneys), so if you embrace a healthful lifestyle, your body will automatically detox itself with every breath, every heartbeat and every bowel movement.

Healing shouldn’t hurt. If it does hurt, something’s probably wrong with your approach.

FDA Greenlights Another Weekly GLP-1 Agonist


The FDA has approved albiglutide (Tanzeum), a once-weekly GLP-1 agonist for type 2 diabetes, the agency announced.

The drug is indicated for improving glycemic control along with diet and exercise, and can be used alone or in combination with existing diabetes drugs, FDA said in a press release.

The drug will, however, carry a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) to inform healthcare providers about the “serious risks associated with Tanzeum,” according to the release.

It will also have a boxed warning on thyroid C-cell tumors (including medullary thyroid carcinoma) that have been observed in animal studies of some of the GLP-1 agonists, and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will have to conduct three postmarketing studies:

  • A case registry of at least 15 years’ duration to identify any increase in medullary thyroid cancer
  • A cardiovascular outcomes trial in patients with high baseline risk of cardiovascular disease, now being required for all type 2 diabetes drugs
  • A trial in pediatric patients

Approval follows eight clinical trials in the HARMONY program that enrolled more than 2,000 patients with type 2 diabetes and looked at the drug as both a standalone agent and in combinations including metformin, glimepiride (Amaryl), pioglitazone (Actos), and insulin.

The FDA cautioned that the drug shouldn’t be used in type 1 diabetes, in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis, or as a first-line therapy in patients who don’t respond to diet and exercise.

It is also contraindicated in patients with a history of medullary thyroid cancer and in those with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2.

In the trials, the most common side effects were diarrhea, nausea, and injection site reactions.

Only one other weekly GLP-1 agonist is currently on the market. Bydureon, or extended-release exenatide (Byetta), was approved in January 2012 after years of back-and-forth with the FDA. Initially submitted for approval in 2009, delays ensued after concerns about potential cardiovascular side effects, pancreatitis, and thyroid cancer.

Carl Sagan on the Meaning of Life .


“We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock.”

Carl Sagan was not only one of the greatest scientific minds in modern history, he was also an unrelenting humanist with profound insight on spirituality, psychology, and even literature. From The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here (public library) — the same wonderful 1991 anthology that gave us timeless meditations on existencefrom such luminaries as John Cage, Annie Dillard, Stephen Jay Gould, Arthur C. Clarke, and Charles Bukowski — comes a remarkable contribution from Sagan, an anchoring reminder that rings with exquisite timeliness:

In the past few decades, the United States and the Soviet Union have accomplished something that — unless we destroy ourselves first — will be remembered a thousand years from now: the first close-up exploration of dozens of other worlds. Together we have found much out there that is magnificent, instructive and of practical value. But we have found no trace, no hint of life. The Earth is an anomaly. In all the solar system, it is, so far as we know, the only inhabited planet.

We humans are one among millions of separate species who live in a world burgeoning, overflowing with life. And yet, most species that ever were are no more. After flourishing for one hundred fifty million years, the dinosaurs became extinct. Every last one. No species is guaranteed its tenure on this planet. And humans, the first beings to devise the means for their own destruction, have been here for only several million years.

We are rare and precious because we are alive, because we can think. We are privileged to influence and perhaps control our future. We have an obligation to fight for life on Earth — not just for ourselves but for all those, humans and others, who came before us and to whom we are beholden, and for all those who, if we are wise enough, will come after. There is no cause more urgent than to survive to eliminate on a global basis the growing threats of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe, economic collapse and mass starvation. These problems were created by humans and can only be solved by humans. No social convention, no political system, no economic hypothesis, no religious dogma is more important.

The hard truth seems to be this: We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock. The significance of our lives and our fragile realm derives from our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We would prefer it to be otherwise, of course, but there is no compelling evidence for a cosmic Parent who will care for us and save us from ourselves. It is up to us.

The Meaning of Life is superb in its entirety. Pair it with Sagan’s reading list, hisgentle warning to future Mars explorers, and his superb advice on mastering the vital balance between skepticism and openness.

Wakame: an iodine-rich seaweed with impressive fat burning properties


Wakame is an edible brown seaweed native to the cold and temperate coastal areas of Korea, China and Japan. It has a delicate flavor and a slippery texture. Dried or salted wakame is often incorporated into a variety of East Asian dishes, including miyeok guk, miso soup and tofu-based salads.

Though wakame’s popularity remains confined to East Asia, many natural food stores in the West have started stocking it as a supplement because of its nutritiousness.

wakame

Health benefits

Fat burning properties — Researchers at Hokkaido University found that fucoxanthin, a compound found in wakame, could reduce the accumulation of fat in mice. This compound, which gives wakame its characteristic brown color and helps the seaweed to photosynthesize, seems to stimulate the liver into producing an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, which helps to lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol responsible for obesity and heart disease.

Additional weight loss properties — There are other reasons why wakame is a good weight loss food aside from its fucoxanthin content. One hundred grams of raw wakame, for instance, provide us with only 45 calories, 9 grams of cholesterol and a single gram of fat. Sadly, wakame contains almost no dietary fiber, which is unusual for a seaweed (arame, bladderwrack and agar, for example, are comprised of between 20 and 40 percent fiber).

Iodine — Due to ongoing soil depletion, sea vegetables have long overtaken land vegetables in the iodine department, and wakame is no exception. One hundred grams of it contains approximately 790 micrograms of this essential trace mineral, which regulates the thyroid (which, in turn, regulates the metabolism). Moreover, a 2003 study in the Breast Cancer Research journal confirmed that iodine can inhibit, and even eliminate, mammary tumors. This fact might help to explain why breast cancer is rare in men and women in Japan, where seaweed is regularly incorporated into meals.

Eicosapentaenoic acid — Wakame is one of the richest plant-based sources of eicosapentaenoic acid in the world. Between one and two tablespoons of wakame provides us with between 15 and 30 milligrams of this important omega-3 fatty acid, which is normally found in fish and can guard us from depression, anxiety, age-related memory issues and even rheumatoid arthritis.

Calcium and magnesium — Two of the many minerals found in wakame include calcium (15 milligrams per 100 grams, or 15 percent of our RDI) and magnesium (107 milligrams per 100 grams, or 25 percent of our RDI). Calcium is, of course, needed for strong teeth and bones, while magnesium helps our body to absorb the calcium. Consequently, wakame is an excellent food to eat for preventing osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Protein and iron — Sea vegetables are some of the best, if not the best, plant-based sources of protein and iron. One hundred grams of wakame provide us with approximately 3 milligrams of protein (6 percent of our RDI) and 2.2 milligrams of iron (12 percent of our RDI).

The radiation issue

Since the Fukushima disaster of 2011, several reputable seaweed suppliers, such as Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, have started monitoring their products for radiation contamination. If you don’t trust these results, however, then stick to seaweed sourced from the North Atlantic Ocean (particularly the pristine waters around Scandinavia) rather than those from the Pacific Ocean. Clean, high-quality seaweed is actually the best food to consume when exposed to radiation, since seaweed (including wakame) contains properties that neutralize radioactive isotopes.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X05009575

http://phys.org/news77201733.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314438/

http://science.naturalnews.com/wakame.html