Archive for October, 2008

Avoid dyes used in treats that play tricks on kids

October 31, 2008

Avoid dyes used in treats that play tricks on kids

As a child, on a night of serious trick-or-treating, I never cared for those “sensible” houses whose owners handed out erasers, rulers or nickels. It’s Halloween, for goodness sake, and some candy was the optimal demand of choice.

As a parent, I, too, turned a blind eye to healthy eating on Halloween, stocking up on mini Snickers bars or packets of M&M’s. I allowed my boys a good share of their Halloween loot, excusing the indulgence as a once-a-year folly.

Even as a mother who normally valued nutritional snacks and a balanced diet of fresh fruits and veggies, I would make the exception for this special night of treats. I didn’t want to be a spoiler and always felt a little indulgence in the way of candy and other treats wouldn’t harm either of my sons.

The evidence today counters my thinking and suggests that the dyes used in some candy are linked to serious behavioral problems. In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has petitioned the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to ban these dyes altogether, calling these dyes the “secret shame” of the food industry.

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Dr. Jim Stevenson, a professor at the University of Southampton and the lead researcher of a British study on artificial food dyes, has concluded that these dyes may not only cause hyperactivity and attention disorders but may deleteriously affect children’s IQ levels as much as gasoline!

This is nothing new to parents of children with disorders ranging from autism to ADHD. They have long-claimed that preservatives worsen the symptoms and exacerbate the condition. CPSI suggests the purpose of these dyes is to increase the appeal of low-nutrition products to children. According to the CPSI, Americans consume twice as much food dye as they did 50 years ago.

Amazingly, due to a large push in Great Britain, food manufacturers have removed artificial dyes from their foods. Mars uses only natural colorings in its Starburst and Skittles candy and McDonald’s has removed synthetic dyes from its strawberry milk shakes; the color for its strawberry sundaes is derived from strawberries, but in the States, it comes from Red Dye # 40!

Although the dyes are listed on the labels of food products in America, the FDA does not engage independent testing of artificial dyes but leaves it to food manufacturers to do testing. Not surprisingly, the food industry remains skeptical of any linkage between synthetic dyes and behavioral problems.

Indeed, a Columbia University study on the linkage between hyperactivity and food dyes found that domestic production of artificial dyes had quadrupled between 1995 and 1998. The number of American children diagnosed with Attention Deficit and hyperactivity disorders has also increased exponentially.

I’m not sure I’d leave it to the candy manufacturers to restrict potentially harmful food additives before making a decision about their impact on our kids. It’s been said that parents can achieve the results of reducing hyperactivity in their kids by cutting out artificial dyes from the diets of their children.

To be cautious, take a look at the fine print on the candy wrappers. If items such as Yellow #40, Red # 40 or Blue #2 are listed, avoid giving them to children. You will be side-stepping potential danger associated with these artificial dyes.

This Halloween, you may wish to think twice before handing out candy with artificial dyes in them. You also may wish to scrutinize your kids’ haul of goodies and engage in some negotiation over what your children can consume.

You may be telling yourself, but it’s only Halloween — a once-a-year extravagance — so what’s the harm? Fair enough and even dentists understand this holiday puts a strain on normal dental hygiene practices. But with a little creativity, you don’t have to take all the fun — or candy — out of Halloween.

Just try to exercise some prudence and a little restraint by being aware of the risks these chemical additives have. With a little planning, you can still make your little goblins enjoy their special treats without the real scare of dangerous dyes lurking in their goodies.

Metro Parent offers more suggestions for a safe, additive free Halloween on its Web site, www.metroparent.com.

Taken From: Detnews

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Financial Crisis

October 29, 2008
A Pakistani money changer counts Pak rupees in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday, Oct. 24, 2008. Pakistan.

Emerging Economies Hit Hard by the Financial Crisis

A Pakistani money changer counts Pak rupees in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday, Oct. 24, 2008. Pakistan.
Shakil Adil / AP

Earlier this year, one of the great hopes for the world economy dodging the bullet of America’s subprime mortgage meltdown was the robust growth in developing economies — and the hope that the consumer markets they generated at home would take up the slack as Western consumers were forced to tighten their belts. But the financial crisis that started with homeowners walking away from mortgages on Main Street, U.S.A., has begun to roil the teeming bazaars of Islamabad, the old-world neighborhoods of Budapest and the gleaming office towers of São Paulo. Countries are now lining up, tin cups in hand, seeking bailouts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And the line is lengthening. Iceland got $2 billion; Ukraine, $16.5 billion. Hungary needs $12.5 billion, and then there’s nuclear-armed Pakistan, perhaps the world’s most combustible country, which needs up to $15 billion to stave off potential financial collapse. So dangerous is the situation in Pakistan that the government has to hold negotiations with IMF officials in Dubai — the IMF declared Pakistan off-limits for its personnel after a bomb ripped through the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last month. Pakistan has just six days before its dwindling foreign-exchange reserves run out, the Foreign Minister told his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on Tuesday. Steinmeier helpfully suggested that because the situation in Pakistan was so difficult, the IMF ought to expedite negotiations over the bailout that are set to conclude next month.

The massive global flight from anything but the safest investment — if, in this market, such a thing exists — started late in the summer, and has now crippled emerging markets. The speed with which this has happened has been extraordinary, and it took the IMF very much by surprise, fund insiders say. “A year ago, it was the emerging markets that were carrying the world,” says an IMF official. “Boy is that over.” In fact, countries like Russia and Kazakhstan that just six months ago were fat and happy on a diet of petro dollars are now burning through national “rainy day” funds and bailing out banks that had only peripheral exposure to subprime mortgages. Their problem now is foreign-equity investors — hedge funds in particular — stampeding for the exits.

But it’s not only sophisticated investors driving the crisis as they unwind their positions all over the world in order to repatriate dollars and meet margin calls. Consider the so-called yen carry trade, in which anyone could borrow money in the Japanese currency at extremely low interest rates (the key policy rate at the Bank of Japan is still just 0.5%) and invest in higher-yielding currencies like the New Zealand dollar, where interest rates were 6% or higher, and then pocket the difference. Unfortunately, the allure of the low-yielding yen also appealed to prospective home buyers in Hungary, where in the first quarter of this year, according to Budapest’s central bank, 5% to 10% of all new mortgages were yen-based loans. (You read that correctly: 5% to 10% of all mortgages written in Hungary earlier this year were yen-based loans.) Since then, the yen has soared in value against the dollar — reaching a 13-year high on Monday — as well as against most other currencies. That’s because investors all over the world are repaying yen loans or, in Wall Street’s jargon, “unwinding the yen carry trade,” as the flight to cash continues. That in turn has made the cost of a yen-based mortgage much higher for Hungarians, whose salaries are paid in forints, the local currency that has plunged more than 15% against the yen in the past six months, to produce a classic example of financial-sector turmoil trickling down to the real economy.

The financial crisis is now beginning to slow real economic activity — in some cases quite dramatically — all over the world. Consumer sentiment in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has plunged to its lowest level in eight years, as the won, the local currency, has weakened sharply and stocks have plunged. Park Yung Tae is an office worker who was laid off earlier this year and invested his severance pay in the KOPSI, the Korean stock market. Big mistake. His life savings of $50,000 has been trimmed to just $10,000. Ship owners in Hong Kong say the rates for hiring the large container vessels that ship consumer electronics, toys and clothes to the West have fallen 40% in the past two months, amid a drastic slowdown in international trade. And across what had been the booming economies of Eastern Europe, growth has slowed sharply, economists say.

The real economic pain in emerging markets matters immensely to the economic prospects of the U.S. and other developed countries. Indeed, to the extent that that there was growth in the U.S. earlier this year, it was buttressed by strong exports. Now that prop underneath the world’s economy has buckled. Jonathan Lipsky, first deputy managing director at the IMF, says 100% of the global growth forecast by the fund for 2009 was to have occurred in emerging markets. “Now,” he says, “we have to make sure that potential is protected.” That’s plainly going to be an expensive proposition. The IMF is now ladling out cash as fast as suddenly bankrupt economies line up for it. The fund has $200 billion on hand and access to about another $50 billion to manage the intensifying global emergency. Chances are it will need all of those funds, and a lot more besides, before this is over.

With reporting by Stephen Kim / Seoul and Andrew Downie / São Paulo

From: Time

Sugar: The biggest impediment to good health

October 28, 2008

Sugar’s effect on your health

The average American consumes an astounding 2-3 pounds of sugar each week, which is not surprising considering that highly refined sugars in the forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are being processed into so many foods such as bread, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and a plethora of microwave meals.
sugar

In the last 20 years, we have increased sugar consumption in the U.S. 26 pounds to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year! Prior to the turn of this century (1887-1890), the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year! Cardiovascular disease and cancer was virtually unknown in the early 1900’s.

The “glycemic index” is a measure of how a given food affects blood-glucose levels, with each food being assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the absorption and digestion process, which provides a more gradual, healthier infusion of sugars into the bloodstream. On the other hand, a high rating means that blood-glucose levels are increased quickly, which stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.

One of sugar’s major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease.

An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body’s blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar, you’re making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels.

Sugar depresses the immune system.

We have known this for decades. It was only in the 1970’s that researchers found out that vitamin C was needed by white blood cells so that they could phagocytize viruses and bacteria. White blood cells require a 50 times higher concentration inside the cell as outside so they have to accumulate vitamin C.

There is something called a “phagocytic index” which tells you how rapidly a particular macrophage or lymphocyte can gobble up a virus, bacteria, or cancer cell. It was in the 1970’s that Linus Pauling realized that white blood cells need a high dose of vitamin C and that is when he came up with his theory that you need high doses of vitamin Cicon to combat the common cold.
sugar and lymphocytes

We know that glucose and vitamin C have similar chemical structures, so what happens when the sugar levels go up? They compete for one another upon entering the cells. And the thing that mediates the entry of glucose into the cells is the same thing that mediates the entry of vitamin C into the cells. If there is more glucose around, there is going to be less vitamin C allowed into the cell. It doesn’t take much: a blood sugar value of 120 reduces the phagocytic index by 75%. So when you eat sugar, think of your immune system slowing down to a crawl.

Here we are getting a little bit closer to the roots of disease. It doesn’t matter what disease we are talking about, whether we are talking about a common cold or about cardiovascular disease, or cancer or osteoporosis, the root is always going to be at the cellular and molecular level, and more often than not insulin is going to have its hand in it, if not totally controlling it.

The health dangers which ingesting sugar on an habitual basis creates are certain. Simple sugars have been observed to aggravate asthma, move mood swings, provoke personality changes, muster mental illness, nourish nervous disorders, deliver diabetes, hurry heart disease, grow gallstones, hasten hypertension, and add arthritis.

Because refined dietary sugars lack minerals and vitamins, they must draw upon the body’s micro-nutrient stores in order to be metabolized into the system. When these storehouses are depleted, metabolization of cholesterol and fatty acid is impeded, contributing to higher blood serum triglycerides, cholesterol, promoting obesity due to higher fatty acid storage around organs and in sub-cutaneous tissue folds.

Because sugar is devoid of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and has such a deteriorating effect on the endocrine system, major researchers and major health organizations (American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association) agree that sugar consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease.

A good source of supplies for diabetics is diabeticdrugstore.com. They offer healthy eating diabetic food, hard to find sugar free candy and medical alert jewelry for diabetes care.

Honey is a simple sugar

There are 4 classes of simple sugars which are regarded by most nutritionists as “harmful” to optimal health when prolonged consumption in amounts above 15% of the carbohydrate calories are ingested: Sucrose, fructose, honey, and malts.

Some of you may be surprised to find honey here. Although honey is a natural sweetener, it is considered a refined sugar because 96% of dry matter are simple sugars: fructose, glucose and sucrose. It is little wonder that the honey bear is the only animal found in nature with a problem with tooth-decay (honey decays teeth faster than table sugar). Honey has the highest calorie content of all sugars with 65 calories/tablespoon, compared to the 48 calories/tablespoon found in table sugar. The increased calories are bound to cause increased blood serum fatty acids, as well as weight gain, on top of the risk of more cavities.
sugar and honey

Pesticides used on farm crops and residential flowers have been found in commercial honey. Honey can be fatal to an infant whose immature digestive tracts are unable to deal effectively with Botulinum Spore growth. What nutrients or enzymes raw honey does contain are destroyed by manufacturers who heat it in order to give it a clear appearance to enhance sales. If you are going to consume honey, make sure it is raw, unheated honey. Good to use in special cures, but not as an every day food. It is not much better than white or brown sugar.

Here is a list of ways sugar can affect your health:

  • Sugar can suppress the immune system.
  • Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.
  • Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
  • Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  • Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  • Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
  • Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
  • Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
  • Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
  • Sugar can cause kidney damage.
  • Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
  • Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
  • Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  • Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
  • Sugar can promote tooth decay.
  • Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
  • Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
  • Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
  • Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
  • Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
  • High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  • Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  • Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.
  • Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
  • Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
  • Sugar causes food allergies.
  • Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
  • Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  • Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  • Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
  • Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
  • Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
  • Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
  • Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
  • Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
  • Sugar can cause depression.
  • Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
  • Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
  • Sugar can cause hypertension.
  • Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  • Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly.
  • Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.
  • Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
  • Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.

Source: www.nancyappleton.com

Sugar and cancer

Of the over 4 million cancer patients being treated in the U.S. today, almost none are offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy other than being told to “just eat good foods.” Many cancer patients would have a major improvement in their conditions if they controlled the supply of cancer’s preferred fuel: GLUCOSE. By slowing the cancer’s growth, patients make it possible for their immune systems to catch up to the disease. Controlling one’s blood-glucose levels through diet, exercise, supplements, meditation and prescription drugs – when necessary – can be one of the most crucial components to a cancer treatment program. The saying “Sugar feeds cancer” is simple. The explanation is a little more involved.

German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., the 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. The gist of his Nobel thesis was this: malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in “anaerobic glycolysis” – a process whereby glucose is used by cancer cells as a fuel with lactic acid as an anaerobic by-product – compared to normal tissues.(1) The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from the cancer cells is then transported to the liver. This conversion of glucose to lactate creates a lower, more acidic PH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid build-up.(2,3) Therefore, larger tumors tend to exhibit a more acidic PH.(4)
anaerobic glycolysis

Hence, cancer therapies should attempt to regulate blood-glucose levels through diet, supplements, exercise, medication when necessary, gradual weight loss and stress reduction. Since cancer cells derive most of their energy from anaerobic glycolysis, the goal is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates entirely from the diet but rather to control blood-glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer cells and boost immune function.

Source


Yacon- The Enemy of Diabetes

October 27, 2008

I thought it would be helpful to post about this little root which has helped my grandparents, aunts and uncles lower their blood sugar and blood pressure.

Diabetes Natural Treatment
based on Yacon (smallantus sonchifolius)

Natural treatment for Diabetes and Liver Problems as well to reduce high blood pressure.

The Yacon roots its an excellent natural product actually used for the Diabetes and Liver treament.

Yacon Leaves are actually used for Hypertension natural treatment as well as a powerful antioxidant natural source learn more green teas.

The Peruvian Yacón (Llacon) grows at altitudes under 9,300 feet high, in climates that are warmer and more humid than those in which other tubers usually grow. Yacón usually grows in small farm orchards in mountains valleys. The area of the crop has not expanded much in recent decades. In some Andean valleys, yacón is sold at market fairs

The Peruvian Yacon has a crunchy texture like a water chestnut and is,refreshingly sweet and juicy. Left in the sun, its sweetness intensifies, and it can be eaten as a fruit, consumed in drinks, syrups, cakes or pickles or instir-fries.Though packed with sugar, its principal appeal to the health conscious lies in the fact that the sugar in question is mainly oligofructose, which cannot be absorbed by the body.That means yacon is naturally low-calorie — a jar of yacon syrup contains half the calories as a same-sized jar of honey — and its sugar does not raise blood glucose levels. In addition, oligofructose promotes beneficial bacteria in the colon. Certain modern health products, such as so-called bio-yogurts, have oligofructose added to achieve the same effect, but yacon already has that quality naturally. “It’s a diet food and a diabetic food.

Yacon — the root of a tall, leafy plant with tiny yellow sunflowers that Inca “chasquis,” or messengers, pulled from the pathside to slake their thirst is thought to have originated in a Andean region of Peru.

The root contains 86-90% water and only traces of protein and lipids. It is high in oligofructose (also called fructo-oligosaccharide), a dietary sugar, which the human body does not metabolize, hence its potential use for diabetics and in body weight control. Moreover, increased intake of oligofructose has been associated with improved gut health because of the stimulation of (beneficial) bifidus bacteria in the colon.
Uses. Yacón can be eaten raw, just like a fruit. Once the roots have been dried in the sun, they become sweeter. In Cusco, Peru, during the Inti Raymi festivities in June, yacón is traditionally sold under the name of “cocashka.”

Varieties. This root has little variability. It mainly has white or yellowish transparent flesh. Peru has the greatest number of varieties, and is the world’s biggest producer with an estimated 1,480 acres under cultivation.

Yacon is the ideal product for diabetics. The fructose in in the Yacon root consist of 35% free and 25% bonded fructose. Thus carbohydrates can be supplied even when the concentration of blood sugar is low. That prevents diabetics from hyperglycaemia (over-activity).

That means yacon is naturally low-calorie — a jar of yacon syrup contains half the calories as a same-sized jar of honey — and its sugar does not raise blood glucose levels.In addition, oligofructose promotes beneficial bacteria in the colon (prebiotics). Certain modern health products, such as so-called bio-yogurts, have oligofructose added to achieve the same effect, but yacon already has that quality naturally.“It’s a diet food and a diabetic food,” said yacon expert Michael Hermann, Research Project leader of the Andean roots and tubers

The effects :

The yacon’s oligofructose properties were discovered. by ancient peruvians but the modern medicine found out that if the leaves are used in tea, it has the effect of avoiding the peaks that you have when eating sugary or starchy food, when your blood sugar level goes up violently, one of the biggest problems of a diabetics person. who have high blood sugar levels and whose bodies do not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that would normally be released to process food.

It appears that the tea lessens the (sugary) peaks.

Benefits:

Research has proven that is beneficial for those with hypertension. By thinning the blood Yacon can lower blood pressure by 5 to 10 percent. It can also lower cholesterol and discourage clot formation. Unfortunately, Yacon has a reputation for being a Diabetes but it is also excellent to reduce the hypertension problems..

Dr. H Brams said yacon roots themselves had not been proven to have the same palliative effect as the Yacon leaves. Even so, yacon is now popularly associated in Peru with diabetes, though other benefits such as its laxative quality and ability to help prevent colon cancer and osteoporosis are less well known.

Contents:

Several carbohydrates: fructose, glucose, sucrose, low polymerization degree (DP) oligosaccharides (DP 3 to 10 fructans), and traces of starch and inulin (Asami et al. 1989; Ohyama et al. 1990). Oligofructans with a lower DP (average 4.3) may account for up to 67% of the dry matter content at harvest (Asami et al. 1991). Oligosaccharides purified from yacon have been identified as beta-(2 1)-fructooligosaccharides with terminal sucrose (inulin type oligofructans; Goto et al. 1995).

The root contains 86-90% water and only traces of protein and lipids. It is high in oligofructose (also called fructo-oligosaccharide), a dietary sugar, which the human body does not metabolize, hence its potential use for diabetics and in body weight control. Moreover, increased intake of oligofructose has been associated with improved gut health because of the stimulation of (beneficial) bifidus bacteria in the colon.

A jar of yacon syrup contains half the calories as a same-sized jar of honey and its sugar does not raise blood glucose levels. In addition, oligofructose promotes beneficial bacteria in the colon.

Certain modern health products, such as so-called bio-yogurts, have oligofructose added to achieve the same effect, but yacon already has that quality naturally.It’s a diet food and a diabetic food, said yacon expert Joel Kirsh,Research leader of the Andean roots and tubers project at the Potato Research Center.

showed potent free radical-scavenging activity and inhibitory effects on lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenate. The most potent antioxidative activity focused on the 50% MeOH-eluted fraction on DIAION HP-20 column chromatography. The structure of the major component in the fraction was identified as 2,3,5-tricaffeoylaltraric acid (TCAA). The antioxidative activity of TCAA is superior to that of natural antioxidants such as (+/-)-catechin, alpha-tocopherol, and ellagic acid,. As the hypoglycemic activity of Yacon extract was described in a previous report, the present results showing that the aerial part of Yacon has strong antioxidative activity may encourage its potential use as a food supplement to prevent type II diabetes.

Radical scavenging and anti-lipoperoxidative activities of Smallanthus sonchifolius – yacon – leaf extracts.
J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jul 13;53(14):5577-82.
Radical scavenging and anti-lipoperoxidative effects of two organic fractions and two aqueous extracts from the leaves of a neglected Andean crop- yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius Poepp. & Endl., Asteraceae) were determined using various in vitro models. The extracts’ total phenolic content was 10.7-24.6%. These results make yacon leaves a good candidate for use as a food supplement in the prevention of chronic diseases involving oxidative stress.

Subchronic 4-month oral toxicity study of dried Smallanthus sonchifolius (yacon) roots as a diet supplement in rats.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2005 Nov;43(11):1657-65.
The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of subchronic (4-months) oral consumption of dried yacon root flour as a diet supplement using normal Wistar rats. Two daily yacon intake levels were used, equivalent to 340 mg and 6800 mgFOS/body weight, respectively. Yacon administered as a diet supplement was well tolerated and did not produce any negative response, toxicity or adverse nutritional effect at both intake levels used. Yacon root consumption showed no hypoglycemic activity in normal rats and resulted in significantly reduced post-prandial serum triacylglycerol levels in both doses assayed. Conversely, serum cholesterol reduction was not statistically significant. Cecal hypertrophy was observed in rats fed only the high dose. Our results indicating lack of yacon toxicity and a certain beneficial metabolic activity in normal rats warrant further experiments with normal subjects and patients suffering metabolic disorders.

The effect of Smallanthus sonchifolius ( yacon ) leaf extracts on rat hepatic metabolism.Cell Biol Toxicol. 2004 Mar;20(2):109-20.
Smallanthus sonchifolius ( yacon ), originating from South America, has become popular in Japan and in New Zealand for its tubers which contain beta-1,2-oligofructans as the main saccharides. The yacon plant is also successfully cultivated in Central Europe in the Czech Republic in particular. Its aerial part is used in Japan and in Brazil as a component in medicinal teas; while aqueous leaf extracts have been studied for their hypoglycemic activity in normal and diabetic rats. We have already demonstrated the high content of phenolic compounds in yacon leaf extracts and their in vitro antioxidant activity. In this paper, we present the effects of two organic fractions and two aqueous extracts from the leaves of S. sonchifolius on rat hepatocyte viability, on oxidative damage induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BH) and allyl alcohol (AA), and on glucose metabolism and their insulin-like effect on the expression of cytochrome P450 (CYP) mRNA. All the extracts tested exhibited strong protective effect against oxidative damage to rat hepatocyte primary cultures in concentrations ranging from 1 to 1000 microg/ml, reduced hepatic glucose production via gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis at 1000 microg/ml. Moreover, the effects of the organic fractions (200 and 250 microg/ml) and to a lesser extent, the tea infusion (500 microg/ml) on rat CYP2B and CYP2E mRNA expression, were comparable to those observed with insulin. The combination of radical scavenging, cytoprotective and anti-hyperglycemic activity predetermine yacon leaves for use in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases involving oxidative stress, particularly diabetes.

Yacon is a tender perennial, meaning that it lives for many years but needs to be protected from frost. Other tender perennials are potatoes
(which, along with Yacon, originates from the high Andes) and Dahlias.
Yacon is grown in nearly the same way as Dahlias, and if you’ve ever grown them before you’ll know how easy that is.

Yacon. It is a root vegetable looks like a Potato, that grows underground, and it has a very high inulin content..the Inulin is a non-assimilable sugar so products sweetened with yacon are suitable for diabetics.

Yacon is intensely sweet, with as much as 4,000kg of inulin resulting from a hectare of production. ‘We extract the inulin mechanically, then heat the extracted juice for five or six hours at 70°C,’

From:

Sweet and Dangerous

October 26, 2008

The Sugar-Coated Truth
Posted on Friday 24 October 2008

It is believed that cane sugar was discovered before the birth of Christ. As early as 500 B.C., India was said to have a “reed which gives honey without bees.” This reed would later become known as sugar cane.

The invasion of Arabs into India nearly 1,000 years later in 642 A.D. led to the spread of sugar cane to the rest of the world. The Arabs discovered sugar cane and learned how it was processed by the Indians. They brought the cane with them as they conquered much of Europe, introducing it to lands such as North Africa and Spain. For many years, however, the rest of Europe was stuck with honey, because sugar did not make it to the west until the crusades. The first record of sugar in England occurs in the year 1099.

Sugar was brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus. At the time, sugar was processed by boiling the cane juice and then harvesting the crystals left behind after the water evaporated. These crystals contained protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While they were calorie dense, they provided essential nutrients. It was not until a few centuries later that the process of refining sugars, and stripping out many of these nutrients, was perfected and sugar became a profitable industry.

It is interesting to note that raw sugar is already refined. Only evaporated cane juice is truly “raw” sugar (of the cane variety – sugars can come from other sources as well, such as beets and fruit). Once the cane juice crystals are harvested, they are washed, boiled, centrifuged, filtered, and dried. The purpose of this is to remove all of the original plant materials (stalk, fiber, etc.) to produce the pure sugar. This process removes most of the fiber and nutrients that existed in the original crystals. The sugar then becomes refined, and is now a food high in calories with little nutritional value.

Several centuries ago, refined sugars were expensive to produce, and were also taxed at a higher rate. Therefore, only the affluent could afford them. Refined goods became a symbol of status. People who had access to these foods were called “refined” people. Interestingly, this affluent sector of the population also had a disproportionate rate of disease and illness as compared to the lower classes that only had access to unrefined, natural foods. There appear to be references to the evils of sugar as early as the 1800s when rations in the military were compared to standard civilian meals and it was determined that refined foods had a potentially negative impact on health.

Sugar has received a bad reputation lately – not just refined sugars, but all sugars. Many people go out of their way to avoid sugar in the diet, without understanding how sugar affects health. Artificial sweeteners are a common substitute for sugars, but are these synthetic chemicals truly safe? For many people, sugar-free and fat-free food is an artificial “crutch” – comforted in the knowledge that their food contains no sugar or fat, they over consume this “safe” food. In the end, sugar may not turn out to be the enemy that many people claim it is.

There are a few reasons why sugar has a bad reputation. For one, refined sugars provide easy food for oral bacteria, and can promote cavities and the accumulation of plaque. There is also a prevalent belief that all simple carbohydrates are bad. In reality, the digestive system is very complex and there is more to consider than just the number of molecules chained together in a food – one must consider enzymes, where the food is processed in the body, and what changes take place to the food before the body utilizes it.

All carbohydrates are technically sugar. Before your body will use the carbohydrate in table sugar, a baked potato, or a green bean, it must break this carbohydrate down to glucose, the form of sugar that your body can “burn” for energy. Glucose is also stored as glycogen in the muscle cells. So, since all carbohydrates eventually end up as a sugar, the mere fact that they begin as sugars is irrelevant. So what is relevant? The rate at which the sugar enters the bloodstream, which is exactly what the glycemic index measures.

Another concern some people express is the “ease” at which sugars are converted to fat. I read one “system” for getting into shape that did not offer scientific evidence, but claimed that in working with extremely lean body builders, the author figured out that sugars cause fat to be stored quickly and easily. Other books simply state that sugar is quickly and easily converted to fat. Again, we have to understand our biological systems to analyze those statements. How does a sugar get stored as a fat? The liver processes the glucose molecule and turns it into a triglyceride, or fat molecule. This, again, complicates matters: whether or not you eat table sugar or a green bean, guess what? By the time your liver “sees” it, it has been broken down to a glucose molecule. There is no practical way that your liver somehow “knows” that the glucose molecule came from a green bean instead of a grain of table sugar, except that your entire body benefits from additional nutrients when you consume the green bean.

The only real way the sugar may be more readily stored as fat is if it impacts blood sugar or creates some environment that would promote the conversion of glucose to triglycerides. Theoretically, a huge surge in blood sugar due to a rapidly ingested carbohydrate would cause the liver to convert most of that sugar to fat, regardless of whether or not you required it for energy.

The glycemic index demonstrates that refined sugars are indeed dangerous – they have some of the highest indexes on the list. Many manufacturers use a “complex carbohydrate” called maltodextrin to sweeten shakes. They can state “no sugar” or “low sugar” on the nutrition label because maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate, but it will impact blood sugar more than table sugar (table sugar is sucrose, which, by the way, is not a simple sugar – it is two molecules, glucose and fructose, bonded together). How do natural sugars fare? Fructose, the type of sugar commonly found in fruit; lactose, the sugar found in milk; and honey, the sugar produced from nectar by bees, all fare very well. In fact, if you are simply concerned about blood sugar, these three sugars will affect it less than brown rice, whole wheat bread, and baked potatoes!

We’ve determined that simply avoiding a sugar because it is a sugar has no real scientific foundation. One problem with sugars, however, is that many products add an extremely high amount of sugar to sweetener the products. This, in turn, causes the product to be higher in calories. Because consuming more calories means you must expend more calories to reduce or manage your weight, this can be of concern. The alternative to using a natural or refined sugar is to use a reduced calorie sweetener. There are five major reduced calorie sweeteners on the market today. These are Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame-K), Aspartame, Saccharin, Stevia, and Sucralose. Are these products the answer to your woes?

Acesulfame-K was introduced in 1967. It is 200 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). According to studies, this sweetener is not absorbed in the body but passes through unchanged. How many studies? Around 90 studies have been conducted on this sweetener, with no documented health risks. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), however, reports that the product can break down to acetoacetamide. This chemical has been shown to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits, and dogs. Administration of 1% and 5% acetoacetamide in the diet for three months caused benign thyroid tumors in rats.

Aspartame was introduced in 1965. It is a low-calorie sweetener that is also 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Aspartame is made from two amino acids (the building blocks of protein): L-phenylalanine and L-aspartic acid. More than 200 studies have been performed and the only documented health risks are to people who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), who cannot metabolize the L-phenylalanine. This is why there is a PKU warning on any product that contains aspartame. While there are no conclusive, formal, documented cases of adverse health affects, many people report headaches after consuming products that contain aspartame. Other adverse affects that consumers have reported (but have not been independently verified) include seizures, dizziness, tremors, migraines, memory loss, slurring of speech, confusion, fatigue, depression, nausea, and worse. Because children lack a “barrier” of protection that prevents the wrong nutrients from entering the brain (which adults have), some doctors have recently suggested that aspartame should not be given to children.

Saccharin was discovered 100 years ago. It is a low calorie sweetener. It is one of the most studied ingredients in the food supply. More than 30 human studies have been conducted with saccharin, and no adverse health effects have been reported. In 1997, a study using rodents reported a rise in bladder tumors, although this may be related to an increase in sodium and other products that were contained in the experimental diet. The CSPI reports several studies that may indicate a rise in tumor activity that correlates to saccharin intake.

Stevia is a plant that originated in the rainforests of Paraguay. It is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, does not impact blood sugar and has zero calories. The leaves have been used for over 1,500 years by the Guarini Indians of Paraguay. It was discovered and introducd to Europe by M. S. Bertoni in 1899. While Stevia has since become a very popular sweetener because it is “natural,” the FDA has yet to approve it as a food source – it remains classified as a dietary supplement.

Sucralose is a non-caloric sweetener made from sugar. It was discovered in 1976. A sugar molecule is modified to replace a hydroxyl (water) group with a chloride (chlorine) group. This creates a product on average 600 times sweeter than table sugar, which theoretically will pass through the body without being metabolized. Over 100 studies have been conducted using sucralose in order to approve it as a food additive.

Are these sweeteners really worth it? While there are many anecdotal reports of negative side effects, none of these have been confirmed through scientific investigation. In contrast, there is no anecdotal evidence whatsoever linking consumption of natural sugars such as fructose, honey, lactose, etc. with cancers, tumors, headaches, or other problems other than diabetes. Many diabetics use the glycemic index to control their food intake, and virtually many natural (unrefined) sugars fall within acceptable ranges for consumption based on those guidelines.

Do sugar free foods really help to control calories? I know many people who will avoid sugar like the plague, then purchase a box of sugar-free brownies and eat the entire box. What are they trying to achieve? Sugar-free may imply “reduced calorie” but when you over consume reduced calorie foods, you still create a problem! Do sugar-free brownies fit into a lifestyle, or are these a quick fix?

Adding one teaspoon of natural sugar to a bowl of oatmeal will add four grams of sugar or 16 calories and barely impact the rate at which that food is digested and released to the bloodstream (remember, your liver won’t know if the glucose molecule it is processing came from the oatmeal or the teaspoon of sugar). Remember the glycemic load? This would have a low load! Adding one teaspoon of an artificial sweetener won’t add any calories – but will introduce a new realm of possible side effects. On the other hand, if you avoid healthy food choices such as fruit due to the sugar content, you also miss out on thousands of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that don’t exist in any tablet or pill on the market – and have documented health benefits rather than risks! Oranges can reduce the risk of stroke. Bananas promote heart health by providing a tremendous amount of natural potassium. The list goes on and on.

What sugars are considered natural? A few natural sweeteners include: stevia (a herbal extract that is naturally sweet with no calories), barley malt, evaporated cane juice before it is refined (refined sugar is derived from cane juice, but is extremely processed with many of the natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and fiber removed), fruit juice (fructose), rice syrup, honey, and sugar alcohols. All-natural maple syrup is not only flavorful, but rich with iron and other micronutrients. Sugar alcohols have a “sweet” taste but are processed by the body as alcohol. This means that they are typically burned for energy and have a minimal impact on insulin and blood sugar, according to the latest studies. They are not known to be toxic like non-sugar alcohols.

I also recommend a product called Sucanat® that contains sugar cane molasses.

There is some confusion about what high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) actually is. You will find that the majority of processed foods contain this as a main ingredient. It is difficult to find bread in the supermarket that isn’t made with HFCS, and most sodas, treats, and non-natural juices contain this as well. HFCS is much sweeter than table sugar, which is one reason for its popularity in the food industry. HFCS can be misleading to consumers who are aware of natural sugars and the glycemic index. Knowing that fructose is a natural fruit sugar and low on the glycemic index, they may assume the HFCS falls under the same category. HFCS is actually hydrolyzed cornstarch, which means that cornstarch is mixed with enzymes and broken down. A chemical in the cornstarch converts some of the sugar in glucose form to fructose. The end result only contains 14% fructose – the rest is dextrose and other sugars and carbohydrates (so it is hardly “high” fructose, it is only “higher” in fructose than other corn products). HFCS has a glycemic index of 89, which is only slightly less than that of table sugar (92). In contrast, milk sugar (lactose) is 65 and natural fructose is 32, or almost 1/3 that of HFCS.

Sugar is certainly not your enemy. Refined and processed sugars are! Consume a protein and a whole, unprocessed carbohydrate with every meal, and add healthy fats to your diet. If these meals happen to contain some natural honey or cane juice, don’t sweat it! Eat 4 – 5 servings of fruit and or vegetables each day – there are far too many healthy compounds in these foods to pass them up out of fear of the natural sugar contained within. Make your own choice about artificial sweeteners, but keep in mind that you can easily control your portion sizes and use natural sweeteners instead. Are the potential risks worth the small benefit you may or may not be receiving from artificial sweeteners? Learn to let sugar work with you, not against you!
EzineArticles Expert Author Jeremy Likness

Jeremy Likness is an International Health Coach and motivational speaker. After losing 65 pounds of fat, he discovered his true vision to coach thousands around the world to better health. A Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Jeremy is the author of the internationally-selling e-Book, Lose Fat, Not Faith and the companion 5-CD set. Jeremy has been published in major online publications including Tom Venuto’s Fitness Renaissance and Bodybuilding.com. Jeremy’s approach is unique because he focuses on fitness from the inside out. Visit Jeremy online at Natural Physiques.

From:

Waiting your life away… for Doctors

October 24, 2008

Waiting for the doctor… and waiting and waiting


By Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Medical Correspondent
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To kill time in the obstetrician’s waiting room, Lora Jacobsen and her husband, Dustin, discuss names for their future child. Then they read old parenting magazines left in the waiting room. As the minutes tick by — 30 then 45 then more than 60 — they play games and check e-mail on their cell phones.
Dustin and Lora Jacobsen (with Maya) endured long waits at their OB’s office but chose to stay with the practice.

Dustin and Lora Jacobsen (with Maya) endured long waits at their OB’s office but chose to stay with the practice.

“One day I got so bored I took a video of myself circling around in the chair,” says Dustin, who posted the video and blogged about his wait.

“Really, what else are you going to do?”

His daughter Maya recently celebrated her first birthday, but Jacobsen, who lives in Leawood, Kansas, can still recall in vivid detail how maddening it was to spend so much time, month after month, waiting to see the doctor — and he isn’t the only one seething at the doctor’s office. Others have posted videos of their long waits, like one woman who documents her three-hour wait in an exam room, and this man who declares, “This sucks. I hate doctors’ offices.”

Long waits are also a common complaint on our weekly Empowered Patient “sound-offs.”

“Why has it become routine to make patients wait two to three hours to be seen?” asked one Empowered Patient reader.

“First, you wait in the main waiting area, then the nurse takes you into a small room, takes your vitals, and you are left in a holding pattern for another hour. You are treated rudely if you even dare to utter a complaint.”

“Am I seriously supposed to believe that every single one of my doctors have so many ’emergencies’ during the day that they are forced to be late seeing me?” asked another Empowered Patient reader. “Get real. It’s called over-booking.”
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* Empowered Patient archive

One patient got so mad he even sued his doctor for being late — and won $250 in small claims court. By being four hours late, Aristotelis Belavilas says, his physician was giving the message that “I’m God and you’re not and I do whatever I want.”

It’s probably fair to say none of us ever wants to sit so long in a doctor’s waiting room that we resort to filing a lawsuit or videotaping ourselves. But there are strategies you can use to try and prevent frustrating waits. Video Learn how to avoid long waits at the doctor’s office »

1. Stage a revolt

“I ended up waiting two hours to see my gynecologist once, and I just went nuts,” says Joanna Lipari, who lives in Santa Monica, California. “I’m a New York Italian, and we don’t go well for this kind of stuff. I was so irritated that I gathered together the other eight ladies in the room and joked, ‘Let’s stage a revolt.’ ”

The other women took her seriously, and wrote letters to the doctor. “I told her she’s a wonderful doctor, but this really wasn’t cool. I told her it was inconvenient, uncomfortable and spoke badly for an otherwise exceptional medical practice,” says Lipari. “I was trying to change her behavior, and it worked. They changed the way they scheduled appointments.”

Lipari, a psychologist who herself works in a large medical practice, says sometimes doctors don’t even realize how long their patients have been waiting. She adds that her gynecologist still is late sometimes (after all, she does deliver babies), but when she is, the office calls Lipari ahead of time to alert her.

A letter from you might be the wake-up call your doctor needs, Dr. L. Gordon Moore, a family practice doctor in Seattle, Washington. “We’ve seen hundreds of practices turn things around,” says Moore, who’s on the faculty of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which has some of these “improvement stories” listed on their Web site.

2. Ditch your doctor

Ditch your doctor and try one on this map from the Ideal Medical Practices Project. Moore is the director and says the physicians on this map are working towards being on time for their patients.

Unfortunately, there’s a limited number of doctors on this site, but you can always ask your friends if they have a doctor who doesn’t make them wait.

3. Don’t wait more than 15 minutes

When you’re in the waiting room, speak up sooner rather than later. “After 15 minutes, max, ask the receptionist what’s happening and if you’ve been forgotten,” Moore says.

4. Be a smart scheduler

Sean Kelley has diabetes and spends more than his fair share of time in doctors’ waiting rooms. In a recent blog for Health magazine, he offered these scheduling tips:

• Book the first appointment in the morning, or the first appointment after lunch

• Ask the scheduler to book you on the lightest day of the week (Kelley says for some reason his doctor’s office is nearly empty on Wednesdays).

• Avoid school holidays if your doctor or dentist sees kids.

For some more scheduling strategies from Lipari, read her blog.
Health Library

* MayoClinic.com: Health library

Kelley’s pet peeve: Drug reps who waltz into the doctor’s office when he’s been waiting for two hours. “They just wave at the receptionist and walk right in. And you can always spot a drug rep because they’re dragging luggage behind them and they’re always cute,” Kelley says. “They can see the doctor whenever they want. How’d they get the keys to the kingdom?”

5. Shut up and wait

This was the Jacobsens’ decision. They liked their obstetrician and didn’t want to switch in the middle of her pregnancy.
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During my third pregnancy, I made the same decision. I had several ridiculously long waits for my obstetrician, and learned to bring a good book and my laptop computer.

To their credit, during one three-hour-long wait, a nurse came out and apologized, explaining the doctor had run to the hospital to deliver a baby. Not wanting to incur the wrath of a roomful of hungry pregnant women, she brought us granola bars and bottles of water. I forgave them instantly, and went to him again for baby number four.

Hidden dangers in your food

October 23, 2008

Hidden Dangers in Food – Buyer Beware
Linda Hegstrand, MD, PhD

The evidence is compelling and conclusive that at least two specific food additives are poisons. Russell Blaylock, MD, a neurosurgeon, has dedicated his life to educating the public on the dangers of food additives. His book Excitotoxins The Taste that Kills is electrifying and well-researched – a must read to understand fully the impact of poisonous food additives on ourselves and our children. The two food additives I am speaking about are monosodium glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame – NutraSweet/Equal. Glutamate and aspartate are naturally occurring amino acids used in building proteins and also function as excitatory neurotransmitters. When they are present in excessive amounts, they stimulate neurons until they die which is why they are called excitotoxins.

MSG is a flavor enhancer causing cravings that contribute directly to obesity and diabetes. Worse yet it can damage your child¹s brain by effecting the development of the nervous system so that years later they may have learning and emotional difficulties (ADD/ADHD/Autism), and/or hormonal problems.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that may cause brain tumors and causes sugar cravings. It breaks down to form aspartate, an excitotoxin that can cause the same brain damage as MSG.

Furthermore excitotoxins can aggravate and possibly precipitate many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer¹s, Parkinson¹s, ALS, and Huntington¹s. These excitotoxins are a risk if you have ever had a stroke, brain injury, brain tumor, seizure, or have suffered from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis, or viral encephalitis.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our children? There are Natural Solutions:
1. Read food labels. MSG is often present in foods that are not labeled as containing MSG, but do. Examples are hydrolyzed protein, gelatin (yes, commonly served in hospitals as a healthy dessert), yeast extract, textured protein, and more. For more information, go to http://www.truthinlabeling.org. If a food is labeled low fat, it almost certainly contains MSG in some form for flavor. Low carbohydrate processed foods most likely contain Aspartame.
2. Minimize consumption of processed foods – canned, boxed, bagged, and frozen.
3. Minimize restaurant foods, not just Chinese. They often contain MSG even though the waiter/waitress is not aware of it because MSG is often present in items listed that do not appear to contain MSG. When eating out tips: choose broiled, grilled, or steamed foods with butter, herbs, lemon, etc; oil and vinegar or lemon juice for salad dressing; and fresh fruits or sorbets for dessert.
4. Use stevia as a natural low calorie sweetener rather than Aspartame. Stevia can be purchased at health food stores as liquid or powder.
5. Increase your body¹s defense against excitotoxins.

Ways to defend against excitotoxins include:
1. Increasing cellular energy, ATP, improves the ability of specialized cells to take up excess glutamate and aspartate preventing these excitatory neurotransmitters from causing nerve cell death. ATP production is facilitated by supplementing with both carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine.

2. Vitamin B6 lowers brain and blood glutamate. Glutamate receptors are blocked by Vitamin B12, pyruvate, and malate. The latter two also increase cellular energy.
3. Essential omega 3 fatty acids improve the health of mitochondria, the energy producing subcellular organelle, and cell membranes.
4. Antioxidants fight against this increase in free radicals formed by excess excitotoxins. There are three classes of antioxidants that form a network, all of which are essential in defending against free radicals: 1.) The Vitamin, Mineral, Flavonoid Network which includes Carotenoids; Vitamins C, D, E, and K; manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and plant flavonoids. 2.) The Enzyme Network which includes superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. 3.) The Thiol (sulfur containing) Antioxidants which include albumin, alpha-lipoic-acid, and glutathione.
5. As Linus Pauling said: ³You can trace every illness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.² Having an appropriate blend of absorbable minerals including essential trace minerals is protective.
6. The ill effects of MSG and aspartate can be blocked by specific energetic frequencies.

Chronic conditions or symptoms may be MSG and/or Aspartame related. If the above suggestions do not improve your health, a visit to your natural health care provider is apt to help you optimize your health.

Continuing to allow MSG and Aspartame to be added to our foods with all the research that documents their ill effects is disturbing. It is clear that we must be conscientious in our food choices for ourselves and for our families.

From: Complete Wellness Center

Health, How to Naturally Boost Energy Levels

October 22, 2008

Health, How to Naturally Boost Energy Levels
October 22nd, 2008 by admin

Eat Across the Color Scheme of Fruits and Vegetables – The beneficial color pigments in fruits and vegetables protect these living foods from oxidative stress. When we consume these fruits and vegetables, these same pigments protect our bodies form oxidative stress and provide a natural energy boost. Become aware of the color schemes you are eating in fruits and vegetables and eat as many different colors as you can every day. Some of the most powerful colors are your reds [organic apples, red peppers, berries], greens [broccoli, spinach, green vegetables], purples [blueberries and other purple-toned berries], and oranges [oranges, peppers]. There is also now just starting to be scientific evidence that shows organically grown fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of these powerful color pigments. This makes sense if you think about it. Organically grown fruits and vegetables encounter greater oxidative stresses, particularly in the form of insects (no herbicides and pesticides used). To combat these environmental stresses they have developed higher levels of these defensive compounds, which ultimately benefit us when we eat organic fruits and vegetables. Eat Organic – An excerpt from Kevin Trudeau’s book The Weight Loss Cure says it best, “If food is not 100% organic, the food is loaded with herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, and over 15,000 man-made chemicals. This is unique to America. American produced food absolutely, positively, 100% will make you fat” and adversely affect your health. Many experts believe all of the artificial additives, hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides we put in our food are responsible for everything from cancer, depression, obesity, and a multitude of other degenerative diseases. So how do you protect yourself from these dangerous poisons? It’s not as difficult as you might have thought. Change where you shop and know what you’re putting into your body. Consider shopping at grocery stores like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe’s. These grocers have made a name for themselves by carrying exclusively all natural and organic products. 12 Short Food Rules from Michael Pollan – 1. Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. 2. Avoid foods containing ingredients you can’t pronounce. 3. Don’t eat anything that wouldn’t eventually rot. 4. Avoid food products that carry health claims. 5. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket; stay out of the middle. 6. Better yet, buy food somewhere else: the farmer’s market or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). 7. Pay more, eat less. 8. Eat a wide diversity of species. 9. Eat food from animals that eat grass. 10. Cook and, if you can, grow some of your own food. 11. Eat meals and eat them only at tables. 12. Eat deliberately, with other people whenever possible, and always with pleasure. Anthony DiClementi is an internationally recognized health and fitness expert and the co-creator of SociaTropin – The Social Wellness Nutritional Supplement. For more articles from Anthony DiClementi including the most current information on natural energy boosters and herbal supplements for stress relief visit www.sociatropin.com.

From Health Or Disease

Taipei Times: Are health officials fumbling again?

October 21, 2008

EDITORIAL: Are health officials fumbling again?

Monday, Oct 20, 2008, Page 8
News that the toxic chemical melamine was discovered in yet another food product imported from China, although shocking, should come as no surprise to consumers, given that country’s track record on food safety.

In light of this latest scare, in which imports of ammonium bicarbonate — a leavening agent used in cookies and pastries — were found to contain worryingly high levels of the industrial chemical, health authorities should take quick and effective action.

Instead of asking which other products may be contaminated, health authorities should be asking which products aren’t affected and how many other dangerous industrial chemicals in foodstuffs imported across the Taiwan Strait are being unwittingly consumed by shoppers.

A chemical industry report by Dutch company DSM states that China is one of the world’s largest producers and the world’s biggest exporter of melamine. There is a serious surplus of the chemical in China, the report notes, so it should come as no surprise that unscrupulous food manufacturers — of which there are obviously many — are coming up with innovative ways to use it.

The Chinese government clearly has little or no control over domestic food safety standards and cannot guarantee the safety of products its manufacturers export overseas.

It is therefore up to the Department of Health to guarantee the safety of imported foods from Chinese manufacturers. If it cannot do so, then all such imports from China should be banned regardless of the cost to local companies. Public health must be the first priority.

The government’s reaction to the tainted-milk scandal was woefully inadequate, but this was partly dictated by its new, low-key approach to the cross-strait relationship.

Hamstrung by its desire to curry favor with Beijing and its policy of denying Taiwanese statehood, it has been afraid to criticize China outright. Instead it has resorted to shady company-to–company dealings at the behest of Beijing, while holding meaningless international conferences to set non-binding and effectively useless “action levels” on safe quantities of melamine in food.

Speaking on the melamine scandal, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) recently said “it is absolutely impermissible to sacrifice people’s lives and health in exchange for temporary economic development.”

It comes to something when it is the Chinese premier, rather than the Taiwanese president, who says what people here have been waiting to hear: that companies should not put profits before people. But then five months in, this is what people have come to expect from our increasingly fumbling and unpopular administration.

Baking industry sources have said that health authorities knew about this latest scandal for several days before releasing the information. If this is true, this means the new administration has already lowered itself to the level of the Chinese communists, notorious for holding back news of health scandals.

The government has been in the news recently over its apparent attempts to limit the Central News Agency’s negative reports about China.

Any process that involves a democratically elected government holding back crucial information at the expense of its own people is a sign that the authorities are in dire trouble and need to rethink their priorities.

Summary of American Legal Actions Regarding Mobile Phones and Health Effects

October 20, 2008

Summary of American Legal Actions Regarding Mobile Phones and Health Effects– quite an interesting video to watch here. Very insightful that’s for sure.