Why Thyroid Health Is Completely Dependent on Selenium


The thyroid is essential to some of the body’s most critical processes, including the development of the nervous and skeletal systems.[1] For the thyroid to function normally, it must receive the right nutrition, and that means getting enough selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral[2] and being deficient can lead to serious health problems such as Keshan disease[3], myxoedematous cretinism[4], Graves’ disease[5], and even thyroid destruction.[6]

Why Thyroid Health Is Completely Dependent on Selenium

Although the body requires selenium, it does not produce selenium and you must get it through your diet. For most people, this isn’t a problem since many common foods are a good source of selenium. Additionally, selenium is available as a nutritional supplement.

Regardless of the source, selenium is a critical nutrient for the body and nowhere is this more evident than the thyroid. In fact, the thyroid has more selenium content per gram than any other organ. It’s also home to certain proteins called selenoproteins[7] which contain selenium-based amino acids.

Before I discuss why this is so important to thyroid health, let’s first understand exactly what the thyroid does.

The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders and What You Need To Know

What Is a Thyroid?

Your thyroid is part of your endocrine system and one of the most crucial glands in your body. Located at the base of your throat, the thyroid produces the hormones that play a major role in your body’s growth, maturation, and metabolic processes.[8, 9, 10]

The thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid are triiodothyronine (T3)[11],tetraiodothyronine (T4)[12], and calcitonin.[13]T3 and T4 are critical for a normal metabolism.[14] T4 also supports normal brain function[15], while calcitonin promotes normal bone growth.[16]

How to Support Thyroid Health

There are a few simple steps you can take to support your thyroid. It is imperative that you minimize your stress levels. Stress is actually a hormone response that may negatively impact thyroid function.[17] Exercise is a natural and extremely effective way to combat stress.[18] Exercise can also help stimulate the secretion of thyroid hormones.[19]

Getting enough sleep also helps support a healthy thyroid.[20] Thyroid hormones can directly impact sleep quality.[21]Avoiding toxins like BPA, fluoride, and pesticides is also a smart strategy as they can have a detrimental effect on the thyroid.[22, 23, 24]

Following a balanced diet is one of the easiest ways to support your thyroid. Eat selenium-rich foods, as well as iodine-rich foods, as both are necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.[25] While you’re at it, don’t forget about vitamin A, which also helps support normal thyroid health.[26] When considering your diet, incorporate gluten-free grains since gluten has been associated with autoimmune thyroid diseases.[27]

What Selenium Does for the Thyroid

The importance of selenium for your thyroid cannot be overstated. Most people know that iodine is critical to thyroid health. Selenium is less famous but equally important. Along with iodine and vitamin A, selenium helps remove thyroid-harming substances and supports normal thyroid structure.[7]

Thyroid hormone metabolism is impaired without selenium because iodine-based enzymes, called iodothyronine deiodinases, cannot be synthesized.[28] Iodothyronine deiodinases exist in several forms and are not yet fully understood, but do seem to play a role in preventing hypothyroidism.[29] These enzymes are essential for the activation of thyroid hormones. So, while iodine tends to get most of the credit for thyroid health, it cannot actually carry out its function without help from selenium.

Your body does not produce its own selenium. All selenium must be obtained through food or supplements. Once ingested, the element is broken down into enzymes called selenoproteins.[30] These enzymes exist in many forms, but two of the best understood are glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and thioredoxin reductase (TRx). The GPx and TRxenzymes promote antioxidant abilities on a cellular level.[31] TRx also aids in cell growth and helps process dehydroascorbic acid into vitamin C.[32] None of these vital enzymes could exist without selenium.

Selenium has also been shown to combat several thyroid-debilitating conditions.

The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders and What You Need To Know
Also see: The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders and What You Need To Know

How the Thyroid Relies on Selenium to Ward Off Disease

Common thyroid maladies can be caused by low selenium intake, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.[33] With this condition, the thyroid first becomes inflamed and secretes excessive amounts of hormones. Then, over time, it starts producing far less than it needs.

Conditions like thyroiditis can lead to an imbalance of hormones and that can be the start of major disruptions in the body’s normal processes. Hypothyroidism, which is one such potential consequence, is a condition in which the thyroid fails to provide a sufficient level of thyroid hormones.[34] The outcome can be serious and include abnormal heartbeat[35], low body temperature[36], and nervous system disorders.[37] It can even disrupt the body’s ability to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.[38] What can contribute to hypothyroidism? You guessed it, selenium deficiency

Role of Selenium in Nutrition

If thyroid health is important to you, you cannot overlook the importance of selenium. The body is made up of many parts that work together. Each part must be fueled with essential nutrients like selenium. In addition to supporting thyroid health, selenium also plays a role in combating free radicals. To learn more about how selenium supports your body, check out how selenium plays a role in human nutrition.

Rob Schneider’s Uncensored Press Release On Vaccination


Rob Schneider’s Uncensored Press Release On Vaccination

“The most basic of all human rights is the ability to have control over your own body and be able to exercise informed consent when making medical decisions that can harm you or your child.” -Rob Schneider

The year was 2014 and California just passed Assembly Bill 2109 in the face of widespread opposition. The bill was designed to make it harder for parents to receive vaccine exemptionsfor their children. During this time, the slippery slope of forced vaccination in the state was just getting started. Few communities, parents and advocacy groups were fighting for health freedom. Dr. William Thompson had just come forward admitting research fraud within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the film Vaxxed wouldn’t be released for two more years. Meanwhile, politicians and medical trade groups — funded and directed by pharmaceutical company money — were racing behind the scenes to fulfill an agenda in the absence of widespread public push back. The pharmaceutically-funded mainstream media waited like guard dogs with hair triggers to assassinate the character of anyone in the public eye that had the courage to side with parental rights and common sense. Enter Rob Schneider.

“Schneider has guts and intelligence.” – Journalist Jon Rappoport

Commanding a solid grasp on the reality of the pharmaceutical company power grab and dismal vaccine facts, Schneider’s voice has been an essential addition to the global awakening of health freedom. As California families stare into the abyss of endless vaccinations, a common thread of resistance has united all walks of life. As one of very few public figures in the entertainment industry who had the courage to tell it like it was, and continues to be, Schneider’s points over the years have been concise and on target. You can listen to him speak out about vaccines in the video below:

In retrospect, the mainstream media hit pieces that have attempted to nullify his message can now be seen for what they really were — malicious attacks to stifle essential discussion.

In September 2014, Schneider was dropped from his contract as a voice and face for State Farm Insurance directly after he chose to make his views on mandatory vaccination known through Twitter. Racing to capitalize on his dismissal, mainstream news stories continuously popped up like to attack his character like an unethical, villainous game of whack-a-mole. While the mainstream media is busy running articles with titles like “Dear Rob Schneider, Please Shut Up About Vaccines”, Schneider has chosen the independent media to release his press statement onvaccination. His statement is printed below in full and uncensored.

Rob Schneider
Statement on Vaccination
June 7, 2016

The most basic of all human rights is the ability to have control over your own body and be able to exercise informed consent when making medical decisions that can harm you or your child.

There is a concerted effort by the pharmaceutical industry, medical trade groups and their lobbyists and our paid elected representatives in state and federal government to

persuade legislators to abolish rights that individuals and parents have in making informed choices about what is best for their health and their children’s health.

In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and declared that government licensed and recommended vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court said the same thing when they shielded vaccine manufacturers from vaccine injury lawsuits: vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” Their words.

All pharmaceutical products, like prescription drugs and vaccines, carry a risk of permanent injury or death. No drug or vaccine is 100 percent safe or effective 100 percent of the time. It is also true that, as individuals, we do not all respond the same way to drugs and vaccines.

When there is a risk of permanent injury or death from any drug or vaccine, we must have a choice. If choice is taken away and people are forced to use any drug or vaccine licensed and mandated by our government, then we are no longer a free people but live in state sponsored medical tyranny.

There is also a problem with vaccine failures and waning vaccine immunity. Public health officials, medical trade groups and pharmaceutical companies admit that vaccine immunity is only temporary and sometimes they give no protection at all. In other words, vaccines don’t always work! In the case of the pertussis vaccine, whooping cough outbreaks often occur in individuals who are completely up to date with the CDC’s schedule of recommended shots.

Over THREE BILLION DOLLARS has been paid out to vaccine injured children and adults by the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) under the 1986 Vaccine Injury Act. Because so few parents know about deadlines for filing vaccine injury claims in the VICP, most vaccine injured children never get their day in “Vaccine Court” and, even when they do, the government rejects compensation for two out of three vaccine injury claims.

The fact that Congress and the Supreme Court have given pharmaceutical companies and doctors COMPLETE IMMUNITY from product liability and personal injury lawsuits is a big red flag for parents being pressured to give their children dozens of doses of “unavoidably unsafe” vaccines. Parents look around and see so many chronically ill children in America, even though most children have gotten the CDC recommended 49 doses of 14 vaccines before age six. That is twice as many vaccinations as children got in the early 1980’s and three times as many vaccinations as children get in Europe.

While our children today have gotten more vaccines than any other generation before them, there has been an explosion in the numbers of chronically ill children in the U.S. Over 50 percent (actually 54%) of our nation’s children now live with these chronic diseases in numbers that were unheard of just a few short decades ago: ADHD and learning disabilities, peanut allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, childhood diabetes and obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and children who suffer brain swelling (encephalitis) and seizures and are diagnosed with autism.

Instead of having a real discussion about why the most precious members of our society are suffering from this new onslaught of chronic illnesses and brain injuries, anyone who raises questions about vaccine safety and dares question the (paid) medical and pharmaceutical industrial complex is labeled and ridiculed as an “Anti-Science Anti- Vaxxer.”

The media fueled hysteria over the reporting of measles cases at Disneyland last year, when only 189 children and adults in a country with over 320 million people got measles, was used as an excuse to hammer through legislation in California that removed the personal belief vaccine exemption, including for religious and conscientious beliefs. Only 2.5 percent of children attending kindergarten in California had a personal belief exemption on file but those children will be blocked from getting a school education starting in the fall.

Now there is a concerted effort by public health officials to mandate vaccines for adults, too. Health care workers are being fired if they don’t get an annual flu shot, which CDC admits is a vaccine that doesn’t work half the time!

With hundreds of new vaccines being developed by industry and government, it is very important that we protect our legal right to exercise informed consent to vaccination for ourselves and our children because our civil rights also are being threatened if vaccination is tied to our ability to get an education, a job or medical care.”

Liposomal vitamin C could help protect against ischemia-reperfusion-mediated oxidative stress.


Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.

Abstract:

Intravenous administration of vitamin C has been shown to decrease oxidative stress and, in some instances, improve physiological function in adult humans. Oral vitamin C administration is typically less effective than intravenous, due in part to inferior vitamin C bioavailability. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of oral delivery of vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes. On 4 separate randomly ordered occasions, 11 men and women were administered an oral placebo, or 4 g of vitamin C via oral, oral liposomal, or intravenous delivery. The data indicate that oral delivery of 4 g of vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes (1) produces circulating concentrations of vitamin C that are greater than unencapsulated oral but less than intravenous administration and (2) provides protection from ischemia-reperfusion-mediated oxidative stress that is similar to the protection provided by unencapsulated oral and intravenous administrations.

Natural Herbal HPV “Cure” Discovered


Despite the widespread belief that HPV infection is a lethal force against which we only have vaccination and watchful waiting to defend ourselves, both ancient herbal medicine and our body’s inherent immune defenses have newly been confirmed to have significant power against it.

A groundbreaking study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, titled, “Clearance of Cervical Human Papillomavirus Infection by Topical Application of Curcumin and Curcumin Containing Polyherbal Cream: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Study,” reveals that vaccination and watchful waiting are not the only recourse against HPV infection.

The study is believed to be the first of its kind to find an effective and safe therapeutic intervention for the clearance of established cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Moreover, the study confirmed that HPV infection is self-limiting and clears on its own in 73.3% of the untreated placebo group within 37 days.

The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of two herbal interventions in eliminating HPV infection from the cervix of women who were determined to have HPV infection through Pap smear and HPV DNA tests (PCR), but whose condition had not yet progressed to high grade cervical neoplasias (i.e. cervical pre-cancer).

The first intervention used was a polyherbal vaginal cream containing containing extracts ofcurcumin, reetha, amla and aloe vera, known by the trade name Basant. The second intervention was a curcumin vaginal capsule. The other two placebo groups received either a vaginal placebo cream or a placebo vaginal capsule.

All 287 subjects were instructed to use one application of the assigned formulation daily for 30 consecutive days except during menstruation. Seven days after the last application they were recalled for repeat HPV test, cytology and colposcopy.

The results were reported as follows:

“HPV clearance rate in Basant arm (87.7%) was significantly higher than the combined placebo arms (73.3%). Curcumin caused higher rate of clearance (81.3%) than placebo though the difference was not statistically significant.”

Vaginal irritation and itching, mostly mild to moderate, was significantly higher after Basant application. No serious adverse events were noted.

While both of the herbal formulations clearly increased the rate of HPV clearance, it is noteworthy that the placebo group also experienced a 73.3% clearance rate, as it confirms that majority of HPV infections will clear from the body as a result of the immune system doing its job correctly. The researchers acknowledged that this is not a novel finding:

Natural Herbal HPV "Cure" Discovered

“It is already documented that the majority of HPV infections are self-limiting and cell-mediated immunity is responsible for spontaneous clearance.”

Indeed, we addressed this under appreciated fact in a previous article titled, The HPV Vaccine Debate: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

[I]n 2004, Lancet published a study which found that low-grade squamous intra-epithelial cervical lesions (LSIL) commonly associated with HPV infection spontaneously regress in 61% of females within 12 months and 91% within 36 months.[i] LSIL is considered a mild form of cervical dysplasia (CIN), but is nonetheless often subject to more aggressive measures such as a colposcopy with biopsy,[ii] which sometimes leads to surgical treatment.

Another 2010 study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology found that at the end of 12 months of follow-up, the CIN 2 regression rate was 74% (31/42), progression rate to CIN 3 was 24% (10/42) and in one case CIN 2 persisted (2%).  Finally, a 2011 study in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Diseases found At 12 months, 70% of CIN 1 and 54% of CIN 2 lesions spontaneously regressed (p<.001).[iii]

The odds therefore are clearly in the favor of HPV-associated abnormal cell changes (so-called ‘precancerous’ lesions) regressing naturally like most self-limiting viral infections. Vaccines are clearly not responsible for the ‘protection’ conferred by our inbuilt immunity; nor is the HPV virus some inevitable force of lethality that only universal HPV vaccination campaigns can effectively countermand.

Given the widespread belief that HPV infection is a lethal force against which we have only vaccination and watchful waiting to defend ourselves, this latest encourages us to recognize both the power of the human body and natural plant allies to help us maintain our health, despite the constant threat of infection.

In actuality, the results of the intervention are not surprising, given the established body of research indicating curcumin’s value as an anti-cancer agent. Not only has this powerful turmeric polyphenol been extensively researched for its anti-cancer properties in over 100 difference cancer cell types, the GreeMedInfo database contains 11 studies specifically on curcumin’s anti-cervical cancer properties, which can be viewed here.

Extreme Anticancer Potential of Propolis


Propolis has been used for thousands of years by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for its multiple medicinal properties and remarkable safety profile, while science only recently started to rediscover its powerful healing potential. Propolis is collected by honeybees from buds and exudates of conifer trees and plants and is known to contain a variety of chemical compounds with significant antioxidant potential, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. The composition of propolis in the various compounds depends on the geographic area and therefore the different types of plants from which it is collected from. One of the well-studied compounds of propolis is caffeic acid phenethyl ester, abbreviated as CAPE.

CAPE has great medicinal properties, but its anti-cancer capacity is of particular interest. A study from the “Journal of Radiation Research” shows that just within 2 days after treatment with CAPE, 46% of lung cancer cells had been destroyed and the cancer growth was reduced by 60%. Three days after the treatment 67% of cancer cells were dead. A similar study published in the journal “Anticancer Drugs” in 2006 found that CAPE prevents colon cancer cells from multiplying and induces programmed cell death of the malignant cells without affecting healthy cells. These impressive results have been replicated in more types of cancer cells, such as breast, gastric, skin and pancreas cancer and glioma cells, a type of inoperable brain cancer. The available data show that CAPE can selectively stop the cell cycle and destroy cancer cells, prevent angiogenesis and block cancer growth. Luckily, it is not just CAPE having this impressive ability. The same anti-cancer properties are even more pronounced and superior in propolis as a whole food.

Perhaps the most exciting discovery about the healing effect of propolis and CAPE comes from a recent study published in the journal “Cancer Science and Therapy” in 2014, which shows that treatment with propolis can actually change the expression of DNA. Propolis and CAPE have a dramatic effect on specialized enzymes (called histone deacetylases), which are responsible for regulating the expression of DNA, preventing epigenetic modifications.

Epigenetic changes refer to alterations of the DNA expression without changing its sequence, and therefore in the absence of mutations. Modifying enzymes (histone deacetylases) can switch off entire DNA regions and block expression of the genes there. This has been shown to be a powerful way to interrupt normal cellular metabolism and lead to uncontrolled replication, which is certainly involved in cancer growth and metastasis. To prevent these problems, all cells have in their DNA specialized genes, called tumour suppressor genes, which are expected to be activated if a cell becomes cancerous and either promote healing or induce programmed cell death, if the genetic damages are beyond repair. Conveniently, these protective genes are usually deactivated in cancer cells, allowing them to bypass the security mechanisms built in the DNA. This is exactly where propolis acts; by restoring the functions of DNA, it re-activates the ability of the cell to fight off the malignancy and regulate its replication, therefore blocking tumour growth. According to the authors, this study proves that

“CAPE and propolis are naturally occurring epigenetic therapeutic agents.”

The scientific and commercial implications of these findings are so important that an international patent application on this finding was published in January, 2013 by the group, Omene C, O’Connor OA and Frenkel K.

This mode of action has been successfully mimicked by pharmaceutical drugs for unresponsive cancers. Histone deacetylase inhibitors are a class of drugs designated as epigenetic agents that modulate the activities of tumour suppressor genes, among others. These drugs were originally used for mood disorders, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. However, since 2006 they have been approved (Vorinostat and Istodax) for specific lymphomas which are unresponsive to other treatments. A study published in the journal “Experimental Hematology” in 2005 reports that these drugs can

“profoundly decrease proliferation of human lymphoid cancer cell lines.”

Just like propolis naturally does with many other types of cancer cells…

Scientists Find Out What Killed Millions of Starfish


A new study shows warmer ocean temperatures are likely responsible for the mass die-off, threatening the biodiversity of marine life from Alaska to Mexico.
 
A sea star suffering from sea star wasting disease.

An epidemic swept across North America’s West Coast three years ago, but most people hardly noticed.

That’s because the disease targeted starfish—millions of starfish.

ADVERTISEMENT

From Alaska to Baja California, starfish populations have been decimated by sea star wasting syndrome, a disease that turns the darlings of the tide pool world into heaping piles of goo within days of exposure.

Scientists have observed wasting events hitting coastal starfish populations before, but nothing like this epidemic, which researchers are calling the single largest, most geographically widespread marine disease ever recorded.

Sea stars, or starfish, are what’s known as a keystone species, important to maintaining biodiversity in marine environments. But an epidemic that swept across the West Coast killed millions of the multi-limbed animals—wiping out up to 95 percent of populations in some regions. Now, a new study is showing warming ocean temperatures might make mass die-offs more severe.

Without starfish to keep mussel populations in check, the sharp-shelled bivalves would push out other marine species, damaging the biodiversity of habitats along the West Coast.

“Warmer water temperatures might not have been the catalyst for the disease, but our findings show that if the water hadn’t been so hot that year, the impact would most likely have been less,” said Drew Harvell, study coauthor and a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University.

For the study, researchers looked at the ochre sea star. The species is the West Coast’s most prevalent starfish, known for its purple or orange coloration, five-limbed body, and voracious appetite for mussels.

The team analyzed water temperature records taken before, during, and after the wasting episode at locations around the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound in Washington state. They found that as water temperatures rose across the region, so did the risk of infection for sea stars. Sites where water temperatures rose the most left sea stars at highest risk of infection.

Researchers also placed sea stars in aquarium tanks set to temperatures ranging from 54 degrees to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter the tank, the more quickly starfish succumbed to wasting, Harvell said.

“That confirmed that water temperature can affect mortality,” she said.

With ocean temperatures steadily increasing thanks in part to human-induced climate change, the future of sea stars could be threatened.

The sheer size of this latest wasting event has scientists concerned. Melissa Miner, a marine biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said sea star populations are still decimated across nearly all of the West Coast.

“We’ve got about nine sites, out of the 70 or so we monitor between Washington, Oregon, and California, where we have seen good recruitment of baby sea stars coming back,” Miner said. She’s cautiously optimistic that those nine sites could be the source populations that help reestablish sea stars in regions still decimated by the disease.

But in Southern California, sea star survival has been low. Miner said no sites south of Point Conception are showing much improvement.

On a walk amid tide pools in Newport Beach’s Crystal Cove State Park last week, this reporter did not spot a single starfish. In October 2014, scientists found 191 starfishalong the same rocky reef. Now, there appeared to be an abundance of mussels lining the rocks—the ochre starfish’s favorite meal.

“We don’t have the data yet to back this up, but my gut feeling is that we’ll see an increase in mussel cover across many sites—especially in the lower intertidal zones where they are typically controlled by sea stars,” Miner said.

With the study findings limited to a small region of starfish, Harvell wouldn’t hypothesize what climate change might mean for the species, but she said it would be better for all starfish in the region if the water got cold, quick.

“Alaska is where the action is now,” Harvell said. “They’re experiencing incredible warm temperature anomalies in the northernmost range, and that’s the next region to see how sea stars react there.”

7 Conditions Masquerading As Dementia


More than 40% of dementia diagnoses have been shown to be wrong.  Here’s what may really be going on.  

Imagine this nightmare. For the last few years your mother has had serious memory problems.  She gets lost driving.  She repeats the same question to you over and over again.  She can’t process new information.  She loses her train of thought in mid-sentence.  A CT scan comes back with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease.  The doctors offer a prescription with little encouragement it will work.

Do you despair?

A new program from UCLA and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging offers new hope.  In the first study of its kind, researchers have proved that natural therapies can not only slow the progress of dementia but can actually reverse it.

In a paper titled “Reversal of Cognitive Decline: A novel therapeutic program” Dr. Dale Bredesen showed how 9 out of the 10 subjects diagnosed with dementia got their minds back.[i]

Dr. Bredesen is a professor of neurology at The Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA, as well as a professor at the Buck Institute.  The study was supported by multiple entities including the National Institutes of Health.

Cognitive decline is a major fear as we age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association “dementiais a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life.” Alzheimer’s disease – just one of many forms of dementia – accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.  It affects about 5.4 million Americans and 30 million people around the world. By 2050, it’s expected to grow to 160 million people globally, including 13 million Americans.  There is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s and it is already the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Dr. Bredesen believes that multiple factors influence the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  In a small study, he and his colleagues designed personalized and comprehensive protocols to reverse memory loss in 10 patients.

The results were remarkable. Nine of the 10 participants showed improvement in their memories within three to six months of starting the program.

Six patients had had to discontinue working or were struggling with their jobs at the time they joined the study.  ALL were able to return to work or continue working with improved performance.

The subjects included five patients with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  The others had amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and subjective cognitive impairment.

Only one patient, diagnosed with late stage Alzheimer’s, did not improve.

Doctors used a “systems approach” in treating the patients.  They developed a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that includes comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimization of sleep, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry.

In a press release Dr. Bredesen stated:

The existing Alzheimer’s drugs affect a single target, but Alzheimer’s disease is more complex. Imagine having a roof with 36 holes in it, and your drug patched one hole very well—the drug may have worked, a single “hole” may have been fixed, but you still have 35 other leaks, and so the underlying process may not be affected much.

Dr. Bredesen’s approach is based on extensive testing of each patient to determine what is affecting the signaling network in his or her brain. The protocol is then personalized for the patient.  A sample protocol for one of his patients in the study included:

  • eliminating all simple carbohydrates;
  • eliminating gluten and processed food;
  • increasing vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish;
  • reducing stress with yoga and meditation;
  • taking melatonin each night;
  • increasing sleep from 4-5 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night;
  • taking methylcobalamin (vitamin B12), vitamin D, CoQ10, and fish oil each day;
  • optimizing oral hygiene using an electric flosser and electric toothbrush;
  • hormone replacement therapy;
  • fasting for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast;
  • fasting for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime; and
  • exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-6 days per week.

Although the downside to the program is the complexity and the number of lifestyle changes required, Dr. Bredesen noted that the only side effect of the protocol was “improved health and an optimal body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.”

7 Conditions Masquerading As Dementia

What can you do when faced with a diagnosis of cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease?

The UCLA protocol recognizes that dementia can have many causes and those causes are often reversible.

Sharp Again Naturally (www.sharpagain.org) is a non-profit organization formed in 2012 to educate the public and the medical community about the reversible causes of dementia.

Here are seven areas Sharp Again Naturally suggests you investigate before accepting a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis. These are conditions that may cause memory loss and dementia but can be reversed:

1. Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. Deficiencies of omega 3s, vitamin B12, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, probiotics, and other nutrients frequently cause symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Adhering to a balanced Mediterranean-style diet is associated with slower cognitive decline.  It’s also linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

Studies also show low vitamin D levels are linked to Alzheimer’s. Low folate (vitamin B9)may also lead to cognitive decline.

Adding coconut oil may rescue a brain from Alzheimer’s.  And turmeric is known to boost working memory in just one dose.

2. Artificial food colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Artificial additives of all kinds may cause dementia symptoms.

Studies show the artificial sweetener aspartame impairs cognitive function and leads to memory loss.

3. Prescription medication side effects. Drugs, especially pain medications, and psychotropic drugs can severely disrupt cognition.

Statins are particularly harmful.  In one study from the University of California – San Diego, 90 percent of patients who stopped taking statin drugs reported improvement in cognitive problems in a matter of weeks.  In some of the patients a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s was reversed.

Another study showed that the sleep drug Ambien increased the risk of dementia in elderly patients.

4. Inflammation from low-level infections, mold, food allergies, and Lyme Disease.Inflammation is the body’s attempt to get rid of a toxic element or organism, and so it occurs in many different situations, even root canals and urinary tract infections.

Studies suggest that mental disorders result from neuroinflammation.

5. Stress and stagnation/inactivity. Stress elevates cortisol levels, leading to inflammation, and in turn to hormone imbalances, cognitive impairment, heightened blood sugar levels, hypertension, delayed healing time, and susceptibility to disease. The body’s self healing mechanisms depend on unimpeded flow of lymph, blood, and other fluids, all of which are promoted by exercise. Inactivity, by contrast, allows cellular shutdown and blockages, taxing the whole system and interfering with healing on every level.

One study showed that in patients younger than 65 years-old, 41% of dementia diagnoses were incorrect.  Misdiagnosis occurred most frequently in patients with depression or alcohol abuse.

6. Thyroid and other hormonal imbalances. Many people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia simply have low levels of T3 thyroid hormone. However, standard thyroid tests completely miss T3 levels, and Synthroid (T4) doesn’t help. It is estimated that 10 to 15% of all nursing home residents may be there because of low T3.

7. Mercury and other heavy metal poisoning. So-called silver amalgam fillings contain 50 percent mercury, and that mercury is neither stable nor inert. It off-gasses, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and destroys neurons even without contact. Removing these fillings is hazardous unless done with mercury-safe protocols.

Annual flu shots are another source of these toxins.  Research shows that people who took the flu shot for five consecutive years had 10 times or 1000 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease than people who only had one or two flu shots due to the accumulation of mercury and aluminum in the vaccines.

Most doctors are not expert in these causes of dementia or how to treat them.  Sharp Again Naturally is building a medical advisory board and a database to get the word out.  It also offers help finding functional medicine specialists, naturopaths, or doctors who practice integrative medicine who are familiar with these areas.

Futuristic Nano Fabric May Eliminate the Need to Do Laundry, But at What Cost to Human and Environmental Health?


Standard methods of laundering clothing are rife with environmental problems, such as excessive water and electricity usage, as well as significant pollution. So when researchers develop innovative new fabrics that resist stains and soil — or do away with the need to launder altogether — it really does seem as if technology can rescue us from many of the ecological problems we face today. And yet, there’s usually a hidden drawback for every technological leap. In the case of futuristic and self-cleaning fabrics, a range of health and environmental consequences come into play.

Self Cleaning Futuristic Fabric Eliminate Laundry, Cost Human Environmental Health - Nanotechnology

The problem with modern laundry practices

Even with notable advancements in clothes washers and dryers, there’s still much to be desired in terms of wastefulness. A new, high-efficiency washer uses about 12 gallons of water per load and 25% less electricity than standard models. Older top-loading machines can require up to 45 gallons of water, whereas newer models use around 27 gallons. About 90% of total energy usage for any kind of washer is due to heating the water. However, the biggest energy drain comes not from a washing machine, but the dryer.

According to Grist, the appliance has made little improvement in energy efficiency, to the point where “even a new one can consume as much electricity as an efficient new clothes washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher combined.” In the United States we spend $9 billion a year on electricity used to dry our clothes. If Americans embraced the best models available in Europe, Australia and Asia, the cost would drop to $5 billion. Even in the best case scenario, that’s still a massive amount of energy. Not to mention commercial laundry detergents contain a slew of toxic chemicals that endanger human, aquatic and environmental health. Which is where fabric technology comes in with the promise of reducing — or downright eliminating — the need to wash our clothes.

Technological breakthroughs with futuristic fabric

Imagine a day when, instead of washing clothes with water and detergent, we simply expose our laundry to sunshine or a lightbulb — and enjoy thoroughly clean clothing from the process. We may be closer to this reality than you think.

Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have developed a fabric woven with nanostructures of silver and copper that release a burst of energy when exposed to light, which in turn degrades organic matter like stains and grime. The team hopes to expand on their development by creating antibacterial textiles that would destroy superbugs.

Says lead researcher Dr. Rajesh Ramanthan:

“Because the nanostructure is metal-based they can absorb visible light, what that does is it basically excites the metal nanoparticles which are present on the surface. And because of this energy, it’s able to degrade organic matter which is present on it so that’s how it’ll get rid of stains.”

To date, only consumer-related products, like wine or food stains, have been tested. Moreover, the researchers found that the copper coating finished its reaction in three minutes when exposed to visible light, the silver coating in 30. However, after 15 cycles of removing organic matter with light, the silver coated fabric was more resilient and performed better.

Self Cleaning Futuristic Fabric Eliminate Laundry, Cost Human Environmental Health - Nanotechnology
Close-up of the nanostructures grown on cotton textiles. Image magnified 150,000 times. (Image © RMIT University)

All the same, it’s important to note that high levels of copper in the body is associated with various nervous system dysfunctions — depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, violence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, phobias, Tourette’s syndrome and schizophrenia. The metal has also been linked to epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, autism and developmental delays. It remains to be seen whether the nanostructures of copper present within the fabric could be absorbed through the skin, but it’s an important consideration.

Another advance in fabric self-cleaning capabilities is coating cotton shirts with titanium oxide particles (N-TiO2). Similar to the copper and silver fabric, when exposed to light, stains dissolve. Robert Gonzales explains in i09:

“By coating their fabric with nanoparticles made from this new N-TiO2, the researchers have created a fabric that self-cleans in the presence of a very broad spectrum of light. What’s more, they found that further dispersing additional silver iodide nanoparticles in the fabric accelerated the N-TiO2‘s stain-fighting properties.”

Unfortunately, there’s a major issue with this technology. Simply put: brain and kidney damage. Researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis discovered that carbon nanoparticles where able to pass into kidney cells. The team found this to be particularly troubling because “The human body needs intact barriers, whether it be skin, airway linings, gut walls or the kidney cells we looked at in this study. We need to gain a better understanding of how CNPs modify and change characteristics of barriers as these tiny particles become more common in the air we breathe.”

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles also present serious health risks. Scientists at the University of Plymouth found N-TiO2 caused brain damage in rainbow trout. One researcher feels this damage is comparable to what happens with mercury poisoning, “which suggests that accumulation of the particles could have some damaging long term effects to wildlife and possibly people as well.” And a study at UCLA found that N-TiO2 caused DNA damage and inflammation in test animals.

This is worrisome, especially since fabric manufacturers aren’t the only industry utilizing the technology — nanoparticles are found in everything from cosmetics and sunscreen, to paint and vitamins — even medical procedures. Once within the body, N-TiO2 permanently accumulates in tissues and organs since the body is unable to eliminate the particles.

Self Cleaning Futuristic Fabric Eliminate Laundry, Cost Human Environmental Health - Breathing Hand Washer
Breathing Hand Washer

Alternatives to High-Tech Fabric

Needless to say, the jury is still out regarding the safety of these fabrics. In the meantime, we can choose natural materials like cotton, wool and hemp for our clothing — and take active measures to reduce our environmental impact by adopting eco-friendly laundering methods. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Skip the washing machine altogether and use a “Breathing Hand Washer“, galvanized washboard, or pressurized “Wonder Wash.” Use cold water to further save on electricity.

A high velocity spin dryer will remove more water from clothing than a traditional washer’s spin cycle in only three minutes — a perfect compliment to a drying rack or clothes line.

Finally, ditch standard laundry detergents like Tide, Gain, Wisk, etc. and opt for green products. Better yet, make your own.

Amalgam Fillings Release Mercury Vapor Into Your Body 24/7


Research at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine and other prominent medical schools, have demonstrated that mercury vapor continuously escapes from dental amalgams and 80 percent of this vapor is immediately absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, mercury vapor enters into the cells almost immediately.

Amalgam Fillings Release Mercury Vapor Into Your Body 24-7

Mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings is the primary source of mercury contamination. 80 percent of adults, specifically baby boomers, currently have amalgam fillings that will release from 4 to 40 micrograms of mercury vapor per day, depending on factors such as the number of fillings, filling size, teeth grinding and the presence of other metals in the mouth.

Every day, we do things to encourage the release of mercury vapor from amalgam fillings: chewing gum, eating, drinking hot tea or coffee, having dental work done and getting your teeth cleaned. Effects of exposure can vary significantly depending on the tissues and/or organs involved as well as other genetic and health factors.

According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, mercury can damage many bodily systems, although the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems seem to suffer the most adverse effects of chronic exposure. He also states that there is growing evidence that mercury toxicity plays a vital role in a significant number of Alzheimer’s cases along with other neurodegenerative diseases.

Protecting yourself from mercury exposure

An article published in the British Dental Journal (2001) stated that in 15-20 percent of dental offices, the mercury vapor concentration levels were 10 times higher than the current safety limit set by OSHA.

When you visit a traditional dentist, you increase your risk of mercury exposure from someone else’s procedure, since even a simple dental cleaning will release mercury vapor into your dentist’s office. So if you are not ready to replace your amalgam fillings, you should consider finding a biological dentist in your area to reduce your mercury exposure during your dental visits.

Safe amalgam extraction

If you have any amalgam fillings, get them replaced. Your dentist should be following a safe protocol as outlined by The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology:

  1. Use of a rubber dam to prevent any amalgam debris from being swallowed or inhaled.
  2. Covering the face of the patient with a barrier to prevent spattered amalgam particles and mercury vapor from coming in contact with the skin and eyes.
  3. Administration of nasal oxygen.
  4. Use of high volume suction in the operating area.
  5. Use of a saliva ejector behind the dam to evacuate any mercury vapor that passes through the dam.
  6. Rinsing of the dam thoroughly during amalgam removal to remove any stray amalgam particles.
  7. Using water on amalgam during removal to cool the amalgam and reduce the amount of vaporization of mercury.
  8. Sectioning the amalgam fillings into large chunks for removal in order of reducing the disbursement of amalgam particulate aerosol.
  9. Thorough rinsing of the mouth area after removing rubber dam.
  10. Proper office and air filtration system in dental office.

If you have chemical or environmental sensitivity and are removing amalgam fillings, work with a nutritionist or naturopath to come up with a health plan based on your specific needs, to avoid any negative reactions.

Beginner’s Guide to Edible Mushrooms as Medicine


Beginner's Guide to Edible Mushrooms as Medicine

Although mushrooms get good press as a low-calorie, high fiber, low-cholesterol, low-sodium decoration for your pizza, there is much more to the mushroom story than that.

Mushrooms have been valued for their culinary and medicinal properties for thousands of years and the Egyptians reserved them by law for the pharaoh.  Hieroglyphics dating back 4,600 years depict their royal ancestry as well as their association with immortality.

In ancient times, mushrooms were not cultivated but grew wild, and always carried the risk that the wrong (i.e., poisonous) variety had been gathered intentionally or unintentionally, as the Roman Emperor Claudius found when his mushroom dinner became his last meal.

Ancient Asian civilizations believed that mushrooms, especially the shiitake and maitake varieties, support health generally and the immune system in particular. Today there is a wealth of scientific research attesting to the health benefits of mushrooms.

Selenium-Rich Mushrooms

Often lumped together with vegetables, mushrooms are actually a type of fungus with no roots or leaves or seeds. Despite their lack of the vibrant colors that we have been trained to associate with antioxidants, mushrooms are actually a good source of selenium, which is necessary for the functioning of the entire antioxidant system.

Selenium is also the chemical element that the body needs to efficiently use oxygen, detoxify the body, promote heart health and maintain healthy skin.

Crimini mushrooms, the brown mushrooms that are sometimes called “baby bellas,” provide over 52% of the daily recommended value of selenium.  They also provide almost 30% of the daily value of niacin (vitamin B3) which forms enzymes needed to convert sugars into energy.  Niacin is also helpful in lowering cholesterol and preventing osteoarthritis.

Mushrooms and Vitamin D

Because they are grown in the dark, it is a little odd that mushrooms are a good source ofvitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. In fact, mushrooms are one of the few “vegetarian” sources of vitamin D, which is otherwise available naturally in cod liver oil, fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna, or eggs and liver. It is estimated that 10 mushrooms provide 10% of the daily value of vitamin D.

In the future, mushrooms may become an even richer source of vitamin D since, like humans, they produce vitamin D when exposed to sunshine. Recent research suggests that exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet rays for just 5 minutes could increase their vitamin D content to 100% or more of the recommended daily value. For many of us this is a more palatable choice than cod liver oil.

Other nutritional benefits of mushrooms include:

  • the highest levels of a potent antioxidant called L-ergothioneine that activates the immune system and acts as a free radical scavenger;
  • high levels of the trace mineral copper as well as iron, both of which are needed for hemoglobin synthesis; an
  • more potassium per serving than a small banana, aiding in the maintenance of proper blood pressure as well as proper functioning of nerves and muscles.

Varieties of Mushrooms

Although the Japanese have been cultivating shiitake mushrooms for the past 2,000 years, other varieties have been cultivated only in the past 200 years. The French began to cultivate mushrooms commercially in the late 19th century and American immigrants cultivated the first mushrooms in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania in 1896.

The most common cultivated edible mushroom in the world is the button mushroom which was for many years believed to have no nutritional or medicinal value. Recent studies, however, have established that the lowly button, as well as crimini and portobello, contain as much anti-oxidant power as their Asian counterparts that have been prized for centuries for their disease prevention and healing properties.

In Asian medicine, shiitake and maitake mushrooms, now widely available in U.S. markets, have proven so successful in boosting the immune system and fighting cancer, that they are now being tested against HIV.

Reishi mushrooms are also a staple of Chinese medicine. Although they are not edible, they are available in teas, extract and capsules and are used to improve immunity and reduce inflammation.

Edible mushrooms are versatile and easy to incorporate into your daily diet. All it takes is a one-half cup serving to start to get the benefits.  Add them to soups, stews, grains and greens or toss them into your salad.

Here are some varieties to try.

White Button  These white mushrooms are far and away the most popular variety in the U.S. and constitute 87% of sales. They have a mild flavor, can be cooked or eaten raw and come in a wide range of sizes from tiny to large stuffing caps.

Crimini  These brown mushrooms resemble the button except that they are darker, ranging from light tan to dark brown. They have a more intense flavor but are still relatively mild and can be prepared and used interchangeably with the button variety.

Portabello  These large mushrooms are the mature version of crimini and in fact, until the mid 1980’s, were considered a waste product because they had grown too big to maintain the uniformly domed shape of the crimini. When Phillips Mushroom Farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania began giving portabellas away to chefs along the East Coast, consumers started to demand them and today they are available in most supermarkets. They are much more robust than the button or crimini and their meaty texture allows them to stand up to grilling, broiling and roasting.

Shiitake  These dark brown mushrooms have a distinctive umbrella shape, earthy flavor and chewy texture. The stems of these mushrooms should be removed before cooking because they are too tough for eating.  Shiitake have been studied extensively for their cancer prevention abilities.

Enoki  These delicate white clustered filaments with tiny caps are very mild and crunchy and serve as garnishes for soups and salads.  Enoki also have proven immune system benefits.

Maitake Also known as “hen of the woods” these dark brown wavy clusters can be simmered or grilled and have a much more woodsy flavor than other varieties.  Maitake are also known for their healing properties and immunity protection in eastern cultures.

Oyster  Shaped like soft oyster shells, these light gray colored mushrooms need to be cooked only briefly.  Studies suggest they may have therapeutic value in the treatment of diabetes.

Pom-Poms  These soft white balls have a mild taste and no stem. They are prepared without washing by slicing and sautéing, and have been compared to lobster or veal in taste. They have been claimed in eastern medicine to help with digestive and nervous system problems as well as many other conditions.

No longer reserved for pharaohs and emperors, Americans consume almost one billion pounds of mushrooms annually, or 4 pounds per capita each year.

Are you are eating your annual 4 pounds of mushrooms?  What’s your favorite way to get mushrooms into your menu?

%d bloggers like this: