- A drug treatment that mimics fasting can also provide the same benefit, study finds
- Age-related declines in stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study. Biologists found fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice.
As people age, their intestinal stem cells begin to lose their ability to regenerate. These stem cells are the source for all new intestinal cells, so this decline can make it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infections or other conditions that affect the intestine.
This age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study from MIT biologists. The researchers found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice.
In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, a change that stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers say.
“Fasting has many effects in the intestine, which include boosting regeneration as well as potential uses in any type of ailment that impinges on the intestine, such as infections or cancers,” says Omer Yilmaz, an MIT assistant professor of biology, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and one of the senior authors of the study. “Understanding how fasting improves overall health, including the role of adult stem cells in intestinal regeneration, in repair, and in aging, is a fundamental interest of my laboratory.”
David Sabatini, an MIT professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, is also a senior author of the paper, which appears in the May 3 issue of Cell Stem Cell.
“This study provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat,” Sabatini says. “Interestingly, switching these cells to fatty acid oxidation enhanced their function significantly. Pharmacological targeting of this pathway may provide a therapeutic opportunity to improve tissue homeostasis in age-associated pathologies.”
The paper’s lead authors are Whitehead Institute postdoc Maria Mihaylova and Koch Institute postdoc Chia-Wei Cheng.
For many decades, scientists have known that low caloric intake is linked with enhanced longevity in humans and other organisms. Yilmaz and his colleagues were interested in exploring how fasting exerts its effects at the molecular level, specifically in the intestine.
Intestinal stem cells are responsible for maintaining the lining of the intestine, which typically renews itself every five days. When an injury or infection occurs, stem cells are key to repairing any damage. As people age, the regenerative abilities of these intestinal stem cells decline, so it takes longer for the intestine to recover.
“Intestinal stem cells are the workhorses of the intestine that give rise to more stem cells and to all of the various differentiated cell types of the intestine. Notably, during aging, intestinal stem function declines, which impairs the ability of the intestine to repair itself after damage,” Yilmaz says. “In this line of investigation, we focused on understanding how a 24-hour fast enhances the function of young and old intestinal stem cells.”
After mice fasted for 24 hours, the researchers removed intestinal stem cells and grew them in a culture dish, allowing them to determine whether the cells can give rise to “mini-intestines” known as organoids.
The researchers found that stem cells from the fasting mice doubled their regenerative capacity.
“It was very obvious that fasting had this really immense effect on the ability of intestinal crypts to form more organoids, which is stem-cell-driven,” Mihaylova says. “This was something that we saw in both the young mice and the aged mice, and we really wanted to understand the molecular mechanisms driving this.”
Further studies, including sequencing the messenger RNA of stem cells from the mice that fasted, revealed that fasting induces cells to switch from their usual metabolism, which burns carbohydrates such as sugars, to metabolizing fatty acids. This switch occurs through the activation of transcription factors called PPARs, which turn on many genes that are involved in metabolizing fatty acids.
The researchers found that if they turned off this pathway, fasting could no longer boost regeneration. They now plan to study how this metabolic switch provokes stem cells to enhance their regenerative abilities.
They also found that they could reproduce the beneficial effects of fasting by treating mice with a molecule that mimics the effects of PPARs. “That was also very surprising,” Cheng says. “Just activating one metabolic pathway is sufficient to reverse certain age phenotypes.”
The findings suggest that drug treatment could stimulate regeneration without requiring patients to fast, which is difficult for most people. One group that could benefit from such treatment is cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy, which often harms intestinal cells. It could also benefit older people who experience intestinal infections or other gastrointestinal disorders that can damage the lining of the intestine.
The researchers plan to explore the potential effectiveness of such treatments, and they also hope to study whether fasting affects regenerative abilities in stem cells in other types of tissue.
- Maria M. Mihaylova, Chia-Wei Cheng, Amanda Q. Cao, Surya Tripathi, Miyeko D. Mana, Khristian E. Bauer-Rowe, Monther Abu-Remaileh, Laura Clavain, Aysegul Erdemir, Caroline A. Lewis, Elizaveta Freinkman, Audrey S. Dickey, Albert R. La Spada, Yanmei Huang, George W. Bell, Vikram Deshpande, Peter Carmeliet, Pekka Katajisto, David M. Sabatini, Ömer H. Yilmaz. Fasting Activates Fatty Acid Oxidation to Enhance Intestinal Stem Cell Function during Homeostasis and Aging. Cell Stem Cell, 2018; 22 (5): 769 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.04.001
- A study of hundreds of years of family trees suggests a man’s genes play a role in him having sons or daughters. Men inherit a tendency to have more sons or more daughters from their parents. This means that a man with many brothers is more likely to have sons, while a man with many sisters is more likely to have daughters.
A Newcastle University study involving thousands of families is helping prospective parents work out whether they are likely to have sons or daughters.
The work by Corry Gellatly, a research scientist at the university, has shown that men inherit a tendency to have more sons or more daughters from their parents. This means that a man with many brothers is more likely to have sons, while a man with many sisters is more likely to have daughters.
The research involved a study of 927 family trees containing information on 556,387 people from North America and Europe going back to 1600.
“The family tree study showed that whether you’re likely to have a boy or a girl is inherited. We now know that men are more likely to have sons if they have more brothers but are more likely to have daughters if they have more sisters. However, in women, you just can’t predict it,” Mr Gellatly explains.
Men determine the sex of a baby depending on whether their sperm is carrying an X or Y chromosome. An X chromosome combines with the mother’s X chromosome to make a baby girl (XX) and a Y chromosome will combine with the mother’s to make a boy (XY).
The Newcastle University study suggests that an as-yet undiscovered gene controls whether a man’s sperm contains more X or more Y chromosomes, which affects the sex of his children. On a larger scale, the number of men with more X sperm compared to the number of men with more Y sperm affects the sex ratio of children born each year.
Sons or daughters?
A gene consists of two parts, known as alleles, one inherited from each parent. In his paper, Mr Gellatly demonstrates that it is likely men carry two different types of allele, which results in three possible combinations in a gene that controls the ratio of X and Y sperm;
- Men with the first combination, known as mm, produce more Y sperm and have more sons.
- The second, known as mf, produce a roughly equal number of X and Y sperm and have an approximately equal number of sons and daughters.
- The third, known as ff produce more X sperm and have more daughters.
“The gene that is passed on from both parents, which causes some men to have more sons and some to have more daughters, may explain why we see the number of men and women roughly balanced in a population. If there are too many males in the population, for example, females will more easily find a mate, so men who have more daughters will pass on more of their genes, causing more females to be born in later generations,” says Newcastle University researcher Mr Gellatly.
More boys born after the wars
In many of the countries that fought in the World Wars, there was a sudden increase in the number of boys born afterwards. The year after World War I ended, an extra two boys were born for every 100 girls in the UK, compared to the year before the war started. The gene, which Mr Gellatly has described in his research, could explain why this happened.
As the odds were in favour of men with more sons seeing a son return from the war, those sons were more likely to father boys themselves because they inherited that tendency from their fathers. In contrast, men with more daughters may have lost their only sons in the war and those sons would have been more likely to father girls. This would explain why the men that survived the war were more likely to have male children, which resulted in the boy-baby boom.
In most countries, for as long as records have been kept, more boys than girls have been born. In the UK and US, for example, there are currently about 105 males born for every 100 females.
It is well-documented that more males die in childhood and before they are old enough to have children. So in the same way that the gene may cause more boys to be born after wars, it may also cause more boys to be born each year.
How does the gene work?
The trees (above) illustrate how the gene works. It is a simplified example, in which men either have only sons, only daughters, or equal numbers of each, though in reality it is less clear cut. It shows that although the gene has no effect in females, they also carry the gene and pass it to their children.
In the first family tree (A) the grandfather is mm, so all his children are male. He only passes on the m allele, so his children are more likely to have the mm combination of alleles themselves. As a result, those sons may also have only sons (as shown). The grandsons have the mf combination of alleles, because they inherited an m from their father and an f from their mother. As a result, they have an equal number of sons and daughters (the great grandchildren).
In the second tree (B) the grandfather is ff, so all his children are female, they have the ff combination of alleles because their father and mother were both ff. One of the female children has her own children with a male who has the mm combination of alleles. That male determines the sex of the children, so the grandchildren are all male. The grandsons have the mf combination of alleles, because they inherited an m from their father and f from their mother. As a result, they have an equal number of sons and daughters (the great-grandchildren).
The first human corneas have been 3D-printed by scientists. It means the technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas.
The first human corneas have been 3D printed by scientists at Newcastle University, UK.
It means the technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas.
As the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision.
Yet there is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant, with 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder.
In addition, almost 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease.
The proof-of-concept research, published today in Experimental Eye Research, reports how stem cells (human corneal stromal cells) from a healthy donor cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, a ‘bio-ink’.
Using a simple low-cost 3D bio-printer, the bio-ink was successfully extruded in concentric circles to form the shape of a human cornea. It took less than 10 minutes to print.
The stem cells were then shown to culture — or grow.
Che Connon, Professor of Tissue Engineering at Newcastle University, who led the work, said: “Many teams across the world have been chasing the ideal bio-ink to make this process feasible.
“Our unique gel — a combination of alginate and collagen — keeps the stem cells alive whilst producing a material which is stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer.
“This builds upon our previous work in which we kept cells alive for weeks at room temperature within a similar hydrogel. Now we have a ready to use bio-ink containing stem cells allowing users to start printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately.”
The scientists, including first author and PhD student Ms Abigail Isaacson from the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, also demonstrated that they could build a cornea to match a patient’s unique specifications.
The dimensions of the printed tissue were originally taken from an actual cornea. By scanning a patient’s eye, they could use the data to rapidly print a cornea which matched the size and shape.
Professor Connon added: “Our 3D printed corneas will now have to undergo further testing and it will be several years before we could be in the position where we are using them for transplants.
“However, what we have shown is that it is feasible to print corneas using coordinates taken from a patient eye and that this approach has potential to combat the world-wide shortage.”
- Inactivity is the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, responsible for 9 percent of premature deaths. Walking more, ideally daily, can go a long way toward reducing this risk
- Walking for 20 to 25 minutes per day has been found to add anywhere from three to seven years to your life span. Smokers may also increase their life span by nearly four years by walking regularly
- Walking can be tremendously beneficial for those struggling with chronic diseases such as obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease
- Walking has also been shown to lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, hormonal imbalances, arthritis, PMS, thyroid disorders, fatigue, varicose veins and constipation
- British research suggests that when it comes to weight management, regular walking can be just as beneficial, or more, than working out in a gym
By Dr. Mercola
While a regimented fitness routine is certainly part of a healthy lifestyle, what you do outside the gym is equally important. Most adults spend 10 hours or more each day sitting, and research1,2 shows this level of inactivity cannot be counteracted with a workout at the end of the day. To maintain health, you really need mild but near-continuous movement throughout your waking hours.
One strategy that has been shown to have a positive impact is simply to stand up more. Increasing your daily walking is another key strategy that pays significant dividends, both short term and long term. According to the World Health Organization, inactivity is the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, responsible for 9 percent of premature deaths,3 and walking more could go a long way toward reducing this risk.
Walking Produces Beneficial Biochemical Changes in Your Body
The short video above reviews what happens in your body while walking. For starters, when you take your first few steps, your body releases chemicals that give your body a quick boost of energy. Once you get going, your heart rate will increase, from about 70 to about 100 beats per minute. This boost in blood flow will warm up your muscles. As you move, your body will also increase production of fluid in your joints, thereby reducing stiffness.
Walking for six to 10 minutes can raise your heartbeat to about 140 beats per minute and trigger your body to start burning up to six calories per minute. While your blood pressure will rise from the exertion, this increase is counteracted by chemicals that help expand your blood vessels, such as nitric oxide. This expansion in turn allows greater amounts of oxygen-rich blood to reach your muscles and organs, including your heart and brain. Over time, taking regular walks will help lower your blood pressure if it tends to be high.
Walking for 11 to 20 minutes results in an increase in body temperature and sweating as blood vessels closer to the surface of your skin expand to release heat. At this point, you start burning about seven calories per minute. The increase in heart rate also causes you to breathe deeper. Epinephrine (adrenaline) and glucagon also begin to rise at this point to boost muscle activity. Epinephrine helps relieve asthma and allergies, which helps explain why walking and other exercises tend to have a beneficial impact on these ailments.
At 21 to 45 minutes, you’ll start burning more fat, courtesy of a drop in insulin. This is also when you’ll start experiencing greater physical and mental relaxation as your brain starts to release “feel good” endorphins. Walking has also been shown to boost memory and creative problem-solving,4 so taking a walk when you’re puzzling over a problem may allow you to come up with better solutions. One Stanford University study found walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent, compared to sitting still.5
After 30 to 45 minutes, you’re really oxygenating your whole body, burning more fat, strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system, and boosting your immune function. Provided you’re walking outdoors and the weather complies, an hour of sunshine will also help boost your mood and provide a number of beneficial health effects associated with vitamin D production.
Those struggling with depression would do well to get out of the concrete jungle and into nature, as nature walks have been found to be particularly beneficial for your mood by decreasing rumination — the obsessive mulling over negative experiences.
Walking Boosts Health and Longevity
Several studies have confirmed that walking boosts health and longevity. For example:
• In one, walking for 20 to 25 minutes per day (140 to 175 minutes per week) was found to add anywhere from three to seven years to a person’s life span.6
• Research7 published last year found that as little as two hours (120 minutes) of walking per week may reduce mortality risk in older adults, compared to inactivity. Meeting or exceeding the activity guidelines of 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of moderate activity per week in the form of walking lowered all-cause mortality by 20 percent.
• Research published in 2012 found brisk walking improved life expectancy even in those who are overweight.8
• Smokers may also increase their life span by nearly four years by engaging in physical activity9 such as walking. Former smokers who kept up their physical activity increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years on average, reducing their all-cause mortality risk by 43 percent.
Smokers who were physically active were also 55 percent more likely to quit smoking than those who remained inactive, and 43 percent less likely to relapse once they quit. A Norwegian study10 also showed that regular exercise is as important as quitting smoking if you want to reduce your mortality risk.
About 5,700 older men were followed for about 12 years in this study, and those who got 30 minutes of exercise — even if all they did was light walking — six days a week, reduced their risk of death by about 40 percent. Getting less than one hour of light activity per week had no effect on mortality in this study, highlighting the importance of getting the “dosage” right if you want to live longer.
Walking Is Good for Whatever Ails You
Other studies have shown walking can be tremendously beneficial for people struggling with chronic diseases such as obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease. In one, COPD patients who walked 2 miles a day or more cut their chances of hospitalization from a severe episode by about half.11,12
Another study13 found that daily walking reduced the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60. Walking for an hour or two each day cut a man’s stroke risk by as much as one-third, and it didn’t matter how fast or slow the pace was. Taking a three-hour long walk each day slashed the risk by two-thirds. Walking has also been shown to lower your risk of:14,15
|Type 2 diabetes||Depression and anxiety|
|Dementia and Alzheimer’s||Arthritis|
|Hormonal imbalances||PMS symptoms|
So, while walking might not seem like it would be “enough” to make a significant difference in your health, science disagrees. It makes sense that walking would be an important health aspect considering humans are designed for walking. And, in our historical past, before conveniences such as automobiles and even the horse and buggy, humans walked a lot. Every day.
Walkers Generally Weigh Less Than Other Exercisers
Research16 from the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that when it comes to weight management, regular walking can be just as beneficial, or more, than working out in a gym. To reach this conclusion, the researchers assessed the effects of a number of different workouts, comparing health markers in more than 50,000 adults who were followed for 13 years. Activities were divided into:
- Brisk walking
- Moderate-intensity sports (examples: swimming, cycling, gym workouts, dancing, running, football, rugby, badminton, tennis and squash)
- Heavy housework and/or walking with heavy shopping bags
- Heavy manual work (examples: digging, felling trees, chopping wood, moving heavy loads)
The big surprise? People who regularly walked briskly for more than 30 minutes generally weighed less than those who hit the gym on a regular basis and/or exclusively did high-intensity workouts. According to the press release, these results were “particularly pronounced in women, people over 50 and those on low incomes.”17 According to the authors:
“Given the obesity epidemic and the fact that a large proportion of people … are inactive, recommending that people walk briskly more often is a cheap and easy policy option. Additionally, there is no monetary cost to walking so it is very likely that the benefits will outweigh the costs.
It has also been shown by the same authors that walking is associated with better physical and mental health. So, a simple policy that ‘every step counts’ may be a step toward curbing the upward trend in obesity rates and beneficial for other health conditions.”
Indeed, walking has been a longstanding recommendation to meet fitness guidelines, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association have all recommended getting 30 minutes of brisk walking several days a week for general health and disease prevention.18,19
Walking Can Also Be a High-Intensity Exercise
While taking daily walks forms a great foundation upon which to build your health, research also shows that to really maximize health and longevity, higher intensity exercise is called for. Based on two large-scale studies20,21 the ideal amount of exercise to promote longevity is between 150 and 450 minutes of moderate exercise per week. During the 14-year follow up period, those who exercised for 150 minutes per week reduced their risk of death by 31 percent, compared to non-exercisers.
Those who exercised for 450 minutes lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent. Above that, the benefit actually began to diminish. In terms of intensity, those who added bouts of strenuous activity each week also gained an extra boost in longevity. Those who spent 30 percent of their exercise time doing more strenuous activities gained an extra 13 percent reduction in early mortality, compared to those who exercised moderately all the time.
Besides doing high-intensity exercises on an elliptical, bike or treadmill, super-slow strength training is another excellent high-intensity exercise worth considering. That said, if you’re out of shape and/or overweight, the idea of high intensity interval training can seem too daunting to even attempt. The elderly may also shy away from high intensity exercises for fear of injury. My recommendation? Don’t allow such concerns to overwhelm you and prevent you from getting started.
Once you’re walking on a regular basis, you can easily turn this activity into a high-intensity exercise simply by intermittently picking up the pace. Japanese researchers, who developed a walking program designed specifically for the elderly, have shown that a combination of gentle strolling and fast walking provide greater fitness benefits than walking at a steady pace.22,23
The program they developed consists of repeated intervals of three minutes of fast walking followed by three minutes of slow strolling. Completing five sets of these intervals, totaling 30 minutes of walking, at least three times a week, led to significant improvements in aerobic fitness, leg strength and blood pressure.
Everyone Can Benefit From Walking More Each Day
As mentioned, walking can be an excellent entry into higher intensity training, regardless of your age and fitness level. Personally, I typically take an hourlong walk on the beach every day that I’m home. As you’ve probably heard by now, chronic sitting is the new smoking — it actually has a mortality rate similar to this toxic habit.24 It even raises your risk of lung cancer by over 50 percent. What’s worse, it raises your risk of disease and early death independently of your fitness and other healthy lifestyle habits.
According to Dr. James Levine, codirector of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and Arizona State University, you need at least 10 minutes of movement for every hour you sit down. I recommend limiting your sitting to less than three hours a day, and to make it a point to walk more every day. I suggest aiming for about 10,000 steps per day, over and above any other fitness routine you may have.
A fitness tracker can be a very helpful tool to monitor your progress and ensure you’re hitting your mark. Just be sure that you are using one that does not have Bluetooth enabled (the Oura ring and Apple Watch are the two that I know of that allow you to turn off the Bluetooth). Tracking your steps can also show you how simple and seemingly minor changes to the way you move around at work can add up. For example, you can:
- Walk across the hall to talk to a co-worker instead of sending an email
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park your car further away from the entrance
- Take a longer, roundabout way to your desk
- Take a walk during your lunch hour (importantly, this habit has been shown to reduce work-related stress25).
Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/A7vk13pOn4s
- Between 1974 — the year glyphosate entered the U.S. market — and 2014, glyphosate use in the U.S. increased more than 250fold
- Few people had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine in 1993, but by 2016, 70 percent had detectable levels. Between 1993 and 2016, the glyphosate levels in people’s bodies increased by 1,208 percent
- While both the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) measure pesticide residues in foods, neither include glyphosate in their official testing
- Internal FDA emails reveal Roundup has been found in virtually all foods tested, including granola, oatmeal products, crackers and honey
- Independent testing has found significant amounts of glyphosate in a wide range of foods as well, including grains (especially oats), legumes, beans, orange juice, wine and ice cream.
By Dr. Mercola
Earlier this year, researchers from University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported there’s been a dramatic increase in glyphosate exposure in recent decades and, subsequently, the level found in people’s bodies.1 As one would expect, the introduction of so-called “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered (GE) crops led to a massive increase in the use of Roundup, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate.
Glyphosate has also become a popular tool for desiccating non-GE grains, legumes and beans, which has further spurred the use of the chemical. Between 1974 — the year glyphosate entered the U.S. market — and 2014, glyphosate use in the U.S. increased more than 250fold.2,3 Globally, glyphosate use has risen nearly fifteenfold since 1996, two years after the first GE crops hit the market.
Farmers now apply nearly 5 billion pounds (over 2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate to farm crops each year, worldwide.4 Approximately 300 million pounds are applied on U.S. farmland. According to the researchers, few people had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine in 1993 when the study began.5 By 2016, 70 percent had detectable levels.6 Overall, between 1993 and 2016, the glyphosate levels in people’s bodies increased by 1,208 percent.
Food Testing Reveals Widespread Glyphosate Contamination
While Monsanto still argues that Roundup (and glyphosate in general) is perfectly safe, mounting research tells a very different story, which is why it’s becoming increasingly crucial to assess just how much glyphosate is in our food. Unfortunately, while both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) measure pesticide residues in foods, neither of them includes glyphosate in their official testing.
The USDA promised to begin glyphosate testing in 2017, yet mere days before the testing was scheduled to begin, the plan was called off. The reason has never been disclosed. The only time the USDA tested for glyphosate was in 2011, when 300 soybean samples were tested and all were found to be contaminated.
Meanwhile, the FDA began a limited testing program for glyphosate in 2016, in which high levels of glyphosate was found in oatmeal products and honey, but the agency did not release the results publicly. Now, internal FDA emails obtained by investigative journalist Carey Gillam7 through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal Roundup has been found in virtually all foods tested, including granola and crackers. Gillam writes:
“[T]he internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide. ‘I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,’ FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote to colleagues in an email last year regarding glyphosate … broccoli was the only food he had ‘on hand’ that he found to be glyphosate-free …
Separately, FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found ‘over-the-tolerance’ levels of glyphosate in corn, detected at 6.5 parts per million [ppm], an FDA email states. The legal limit is 5.0 ppm. An illegal level would normally be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but an FDA supervisor wrote to an EPA official that the corn was not considered an ‘official sample.’”
Independent Testing Also Highlights Massive Glyphosate Problem
The Health Research Institute Labs (HRI Labs) is an independent laboratory that tests both micronutrients and toxins found in food, and is often hired to test foods claiming to be non-GMO, “all natural” and/or organic. One of the toxins HRI Labs is currently focusing on is glyphosate, and the public testing being offered (see below) allows them to compile data on the pervasiveness of this chemical in the food supply.
HRI was recently tasked with testing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which was also found to contain glyphosate. The samples were provided by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Regeneration Vermont, which are concerned about the environmental impact Ben & Jerry’s dairy producers are having in Vermont. Using sensitive state-of-the-art testing equipment to look at the quality of the ingredients, 10 of the 11 ice cream samples were found to contain substantial levels of glyphosate.
HRI Labs has investigated a number of other foods as well, including grains, legumes and beans. Most if not all of these types of crops need to dry in the field before being harvested, and to speed that process, the fields are doused with glyphosate a couple of weeks before harvest. As a result of this practice, called desiccation, grain-based products, legumes and beans contain rather substantial amounts of glyphosate. Quaker Oats, for example, was found to contain very high levels.
Orange juice also contains surprising amounts of glyphosate. As it turns out, weeds in orange groves are managed by spraying glyphosate, which ends up in the oranges as the roots of the orange trees pick it up through the soil. A similar situation is occurring in vineyards, which is why many wines are contaminated.
HRI Labs has also analyzed more than 1,200 urine samples from U.S. residents. This testing is being done as part of a research project that will provide valuable information about the presence of glyphosate in the diet and how lifestyle and location affects people’s exposure to agrochemicals. Here are some of their findings to date:
- 76 percent of people tested have some level of glyphosate in their system
- Men typically have higher levels than women
- People who eat oats on a regular basis have twice as much glyphosate in their system as people who don’t (likely because oats are desiccated with glyphosate before harvest)
- People who eat organic food on a regular basis have an 80 percent lower level of glyphosate than those who rarely eat organic. This indicates organic products are a safer choice
- People who eat five or more servings of vegetables per day have glyphosate levels that are 50 percent lower than those who eat fewer vegetables
How Is Glyphosate Affecting Human Health?
Glyphosate mimics glycine (hence the “gly” in glyphosate), a very common amino acid your body uses to make proteins. As a result, your body can substitute glyphosate for glycine, which results in damaged proteins being produced. According to research published in the journal Entropy in 2013, the main toxic effects of glyphosate are related to the fact that it:8,9
- Inhibits the shikimate pathway, found in gut bacteria in both humans and animals
- Interferes with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes, required for activation of vitamin D in the liver, and the creation of both nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate, the latter of which is needed for red blood cell integrity
- Chelates important minerals, including iron, cobalt and manganese. Manganese deficiency, in turn, impairs mitochondrial function and can lead to glutamate toxicity in the brain
- Interferes with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, which results in shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate
- Disrupts sulfate synthesis and sulfate transport
Glyphosate also disrupts, destroys, impairs or inhibits:10
- The microbiome, thanks to its antibiotic activity
- Sulfur metabolism
- Methylation pathways
- Pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism
The chemical has also been linked to certain cancers. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization, reclassified glyphosate as a Class 2A probable carcinogen11 based on “limited evidence” showing the weed killer can cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” linking it to cancer in animals.
Since then, more than 3,500 individuals have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, claiming the weed killer caused their Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Many of the cases in this multidistrict litigation are being handled in federal court in San Francisco under one judge. Internal documents obtained during discovery have been released by plaintiff attorneys, and have become known as “The Monsanto Papers.”
Disturbingly, some of this evidence reveals the EPA has protected the company’s interests by manipulating and preventing key investigations into glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential.
According to toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Services, even minor exposure could have a detrimental effect on human health. “Even with low levels of pesticides, we’re exposed to so many, and we don’t count the fact that we have cumulative exposures,” she told Gillam.
Monsanto Sued for Misleading Consumers
In addition to the lawsuits against Monsanto over Roundup’s cancer-causing effects, the company is also being sued for false and misleading labeling.12 The lawsuit, which accuses Monsanto of falsely claiming glyphosate “targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets” on the Roundup label was filed in April 2017 by the OCA and Beyond Pesticides.
As noted above, glyphosate affects the shikimate pathway, which is involved in the synthesis of the essential aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. While the shikimate pathway is absent in human and animal cells, this pathway is present in the gut bacteria of mammals, including humans.
So, by way of your gut bacteria, it still wields a significant influence on human health. Aside from a probable cancer link, Roundup’s effect on gut bacteria also suggests the chemical may play a significant role in digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases and many other chronic health problems.
Monsanto filed a motion to have the case dismissed, saying the label is accurate because “the enzyme targeted is not produced by the human body or found in human cells,” but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected the motion.
In his May 1 ruling, Kelly stated “The court concludes that Plaintiffs have adequately pleaded a claim that the statement at issue was false or misleading,” and that “defendants cannot dispute that the label’s statement that the enzyme at issue is ‘found in plants, but not in people’ is, at least on one reading, literally false.”
How Much Glyphosate Do You Have in Your Body?
According to Gillam, the FDA should publish its glyphosate test results sometime toward the end of this year, or early 2019. Time will tell whether this actually happens or not. The good news is you no longer need to rely on the government when it comes to glyphosate testing. You can test your own levels, thereby assessing your own individual exposure. As mentioned earlier, HRI Labs has developed home test kits for both water and urine.
If your levels are high, you would be wise to address your diet and consider buying more organic foods. You may also want to consider some form of detoxification protocol, and take steps to repair the damage to your gut caused by glyphosate and other agrochemicals. Chances are, if your glyphosate levels are high, you probably have a number of other pesticides in your system as well.
Fermented foods, particularly kimchi, are potent chelators of these kinds of chemicals. Taking activated charcoal after a questionable meal can help bind and excrete chemicals as well. Remember to stay well-hydrated to facilitate the removal of toxins through your liver, kidneys and skin.
Using a sauna on a regular basis is also recommended to help eliminate both pesticides and heavy metals you may have accumulated. For guidelines on how to improve your gut health and repair damage done, see “Go With Your Gut,” and “The Case Against Lectins.”
Did you know that despite the invention of sunscreen, cases of skin cancers are on the rise every year? Elizabeth Plourde, Ph.D., is a California-based scientist who has shown that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. Sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).
So why so much faith in sunscreen? What’s going on here? Sunscreen is a product we’ve been sold that we cannot live without. But just think about what we did for the thousands of years before it’s invention. The sun has been a source of life since the beginning of human existence and has many benefits to the human body.
The Sun Doesn’t Harm Us
Firstly, the sun doesn’t harm us. It only nourishes us. There’s even really good science to prove this. One of the latest major studies was published by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden in 2014.
They conducted a study that found women who avoided lying out in the sun were actually TWICE as likely to die compared to those who make sunbathing a daily ritual.
This wasn’t a small study either. It looked at 30,000 women for a period of 20 years!
The A’s And B’s Of Sun Rays
We often hear about the different types of sun rays, so here’s the low down.
Ultraviolet B rays (UVB) are the primary cause of sunburn and non-melanoma skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma. The chemicals that form a product’s sun protection factor are aimed at blocking those UVB rays.
Ultraviolet A rays (UVA) penetrate deeper into the skin and are harder to block. Scientists know less about the dangers of UVA radiation and this could potentially be very dangerous. The general consensus now is that whilst UVA ray damage is much less obvious than UVB, it is probably a lot more serious!!
False Sense Of Security
A sunscreen lotion’s SPF rating has little to do with the product’s ability to shield the skin from UVA rays (this is because UVA and UVB protection do not harmonize). High-SPF products suppress sunburn from UVB but not other types of sun damage. Therefore they tend to lull users into staying in the sun longer and overexposing themselves to both UVA and UVB rays.
Since people think they are ‘protected’ they tend to extend their time in the sun well past the point when users of low-SPF products or natural oils head indoors. As a result, while the users of conventional sunscreen may get less UVB-inflicted sunburns as unprotected sunbathers, they are more likely to absorb more damaging UVA radiation (which studies are still inconclusive as to cancer-causing effects).
Philippe Autier, a scientist formerly with the International Agency for Research on Cancer and part of the World Health Organization, has conducted numerous studies on sunbathers and believes that high-SPF products spur “profound changes in sun behavior” that may account for the increased melanoma risk found in some studies. We can now spend the whole day at the beach without having to retreat to cover.
More Chemicals Than You Bargained For
High SPF products require higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals than low SPF sunscreens or natural oils. Some of these ingredients may pose health risks when they penetrate the skin. They have been linked to tissue damage, potential hormone disruption and may trigger allergic skin reactions.
If studies showed that high SPF products were better at reducing skin damage and skin cancer risk, then perhaps this extra chemical exposure might be justified. But since they don’t offer any benefit, then choosing alternative sunscreens really start to look a whole lot more appealing.
Natural Sun Protection
When we are outside the light that comes into our eyes sends signals to the pituitary gland which triggers hormones to be released for skin protection.
The more we try to fool nature with chemicals the more cancer and other sickness shows up. Often the stress surrounding these health concerns is more detrimental than the issue itself. Health is simple and always has been.
At least let kids go out and play in the sun to develop enough Vitamin D before slathering all those chemicals on them.
Enjoy the life-giving amazing sun rays you are so blessed to have! Build a tan slowly, be smart and you will live a long healthy happy life.
- Depression is a widespread global problem, with over 300 million people dealing with this severe mood disorder today
- Depression does not discriminate between gender, race or social status — anyone can be predisposed to it
It’s normal for people to sometimes feel sad, disappointed or disheartened, especially when they experience low points in their life. However, these “blues” usually go away when any happy circumstances occur.
But in some people, this low mood becomes persistent and lasts a long time — for weeks, months or even years. And if it comes with other hallmark symptoms, such as lack of interest in enjoyable activities, a feeling of hopelessness or thoughts about self-harm or even suicide, then watch out: You may be suffering from depression.
Depression Defined: Know the Facts
The Mayo Clinic defines depression, also called clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” This debilitating condition affects you entirely — how you behave, think and feel — and paves the way for emotional and physical problems to arise. Depressed individuals usually struggle with completing their day-to-day tasks, feeling as if there’s no more point in living.1
According to the Australian nonprofit organization Beyond Blue, there are different subtypes of depression depending on the symptoms, the intensity and their triggers. Some of the most common ones include manic depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or “the winter blues” and antepartum and postpartum depression (occurs specifically in pregnant women and new mothers).2
Depression is a widespread global problem, with over 300 million people dealing with this severe mood disorder today.3 Even in developed, industrialized countries, depression is rampant. In fact, in the United States, between 2013 and 2016, 8.1 percent of Americans who were 20 years old and older suffered from depression in a given two-week period.4
This Disorder Is Now a Prevalent Problem
Depression is not a simple condition that you can “snap out of.” If not addressed immediately, it can damage your physical health, leading to low immunity and worsened pain, or worse, substance abuse. According to a study published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry, up to 33 percent of people suffering from clinical depression are prone to drug or alcohol problems.5
Even more alarming is the link between depression and suicide. According to the American Association of Suicidology, depression is the psychiatric diagnosis that is most commonly linked to suicide.6 It’s said that 30 to 70 percent of people who commit suicide suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder.7,8
Keep an Eye Out for the Signs — Before It’s Too Late
Depression does not discriminate between gender, race or social status. Anyone can be predisposed to it. Given its potentially dangerous effects, it’s only wise to take the necessary precautions to address and treat this disorder before it spirals out of control. But a word to the wise: Antidepressants and other medications are NOT the best solution for depression, and may even have more debilitating and long-term side effects.
Read these articles and learn important facts about depression, including its hallmark symptoms, devastating effects and how to avoid it. Plus, learn natural yet useful remedies that will help alleviate this disorder but will not put you at risk for side effects, unlike conventional antidepressant medications. Stay informed now, so you can avoid or address this mental disorder immediately.
Are you hankering for fresh potato salad but find it too painstaking to make? This Creamy Keto “Potato” Salad from Ruled.me is the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings! This recipe swaps starchy potatoes for hearty cauliflower, drenching it in a creamy salad dressing made from wholesome ingredients.
It’s absolutely quick and easy to create. What makes it even better than a real potato salad is that it has fewer carbohydrates but is still rich in valuable nutrients. You can enjoy it on its own or serve it as a refreshing side dish to a savory main course. Either way, it’s a dish that you and your family will surely enjoy.
Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad Recipe
- Prepare the cauliflower by cutting the head into bite-sized florets and steaming until the cauliflower is only slightly tender, about five to seven minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Peel the eggs and reserve two yolks; dice the remainder and set aside.
- Make the dressing by whisking together sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, celery seed and salt.
- Mash the two reserved yolks in the cream mixture and whisk until very smooth.
- Add the cooled cauliflower, diced eggs, celery, onion and dill. Stir to coat.
- Refrigerate for about one hour to completely cool the cauliflower and allow the flavors to meld together. Garnish with green onions and serve cold.
The Nourishing Power of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that can be used in almost every type of dish, whether it’d be for crunchy snacks or quirky desserts. Aside from its versatility, cauliflower also boasts an impressive array of nutritional content, some of which include:
A 100-gram serving of cauliflower provides 77 percent of your recommended daily intake for vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that’s known for its antioxidant effects.
Vitamin C may also help promote good heart health, strengthen the immune system and prevent a variety of diseases, such as asthma, common cold and osteoarthritis.
Cauliflower contains a good amount of vitamin K, which is essential for your skeletal and cardiovascular system, as it helps direct calcium into your bones and prevents it from going into your heart.
Cauliflower is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. These B vitamins may help improve your brain health and cognition.
They may also help reduce your risk of developing psychiatric problems and mood disorders.
A hundred grams of cauliflower provide approximately 4 percent of your recommended daily intake for magnesium.1
This mineral is vital for numerous physiological processes, including the relaxation of blood vessels, formation of bones and teeth, creation of energy molecules and stabilization of heart movement.
Consuming 100 grams of cauliflower provides 9 percent of your recommended daily intake for potassium,2 a mineral that plays an essential role in the chemical and electrical processes of your body.
Potassium also helps maintain proper muscle contraction, regulate body fluids, balance blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure.
A cup of cauliflower contains 3 grams of fiber,3 which may help improve your gut microbiome, boost your immune health and curb your appetite.
Consuming high amounts of fiber may also help prevent digestive problems, such as constipation and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Cauliflower is also rich in indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which may help inhibit the development of cancer of the prostate, ovaries and cervix, based on several studies.4
The Merits of Celery and Its Seeds
You’re probably familiar with celery leaves and stalks, since they’re often added to different dishes for their aromatic flavor. But did you know that celery seeds taste similar to the other edible parts of this plant and may be used as an ingredient too?
While these seeds are not well-known for their culinary uses, they’re a popular therapeutic plant in Ayurvedic medicine, since they’re believed to help improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure levels, relieve inflammation and reduce muscle spasms, among others. Whichever part of celery you decide to incorporate into your meal, rest assured that you’ll get plenty of vitamins and minerals from it, such as:
Celery is also an excellent source of the flavonoids zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene, all of which may be beneficial for your eye health and immune function. It contains high amounts of fiber as well, which helps improve your digestive health.
Check Out the Other Health Benefits of This Salad
In addition to cauliflower and celery, here are some of the other valuable ingredients in this salad and their benefits to your well-being:
- Dill: This herb contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, folate and iron. It’s also a good source of flavonoids, particularly kaempferol and vicenin.
- Onions: Onions are rich in allium and allyl proply disulphide, which are phytochemicals that may help fight cancer and diabetes. Onions also contain quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid that may help prevent cancer and diabetes, as well as inflammation.
- Mustard: This condiment is made from mustard seeds, which contain a cancer-fighting compound known as allyl isothiocyanate (AITC). This compound turns into glutathione once it’s absorbed by the liver, which in turn maximizes the performance of other antioxidants in your body, including vitamin C and E, CoQ10 and alpha-lipoic acid.
When It Comes to Eggs, Free-Range Are Your Best Bet
Eggs contain healthy fats, carotenoids and essential amino acids, all of which may help improve your overall health from the inside out. It’s important to note, though, that not all eggs are the same. Those that come from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are usually inferior in terms of nutrition, not to mention they’re at a higher risk of being contaminated with salmonella.
If you want to reap all the flavors and health benefits that eggs have to offer, make sure you get them from trusted organic sources. You can easily find organic, pastured eggs in farmers markets and local health food stores.