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Saturday, January 31, 2015

3 Ancient Traditions For Healthy Bread: Natural Leavening, Sprouting, Soaking - Julie Koyle

As much as we all love a good piece of toast, it’s no secret that grain isn’t always easy on our digestive systems. Dr. David Perlmutter, MD., believes that we should nearly cut all grain from our diets. Although his science is compelling, cutting grains would eliminate some of the most important nutrients that our bodies need.

That’s why our choice of grain is so important today. Einkorn is easier to digest and more nutritious, which is why we love it so much (not to mention the delicious flavor).

Yes, grain does do some really good things for our health. If only there were a way to get the benefits without the assault on our digestive systems. Oh, there is. Besides the type of grain we choose, there are some very cool (and even ancient) methods for giving our breads a health boost.

In her book , Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon discusses studies by Dr. Weston A. Price. He studied groups of people untouched by civilization. These people have striking health and longevity. This is due, in part, to the fact that they have preserved ancient traditions for food preparation.

Dr. Price found that these groups of people – across the board – prepared their with grains in one of the following ways: Natural Leavening (sourdough), Sprouting, and Soaking. The following information is an introduction to each method. We’ll be doing a series of posts with more detail about each method, including the health benefits and how-to information.

As you probably guessed, this is referring to sourdough, also known as natural fermentation or natural leavening. Sourdough is a bread that rises without the use of packaged yeast. You’re probably aware that the way this works is the bread dough undergoes a fermentation that causes it to rise. It begins with a start that is fed and ferments. Then it can be used leaving a little behind to be fed and used again. There are many health benefits to natural leaven. Watch for the follow up post for a more in-depth look at this ancient techinque. Here are a couple brief reasons why we should consider natural leavening (More to come).

Natural leavening makes wheat much easier to digest because the fermentation begins the digestion process before it ever hits the mouth.

Natural leavening enables nutrient absorption in the body. The phytic acid is broken down so that our bodies are better able to absorb the nutrients found in grains.

As we know, grains are seeds that have the ability to develop new growth. There are protections in grains that keep them from growing until conditions are perfect. If we provide those conditions, grains will crack open and begin to sprout. Here is where we stop the process and use the grain as we usually do. Again, you may be asking, “Why would we do that?” Sprouting also has some great health benefits that improve the track record of the grains that make up such a large part of our diets.

Grains that are barely on their way to becoming a new plant are easier to digest. It makes sense considering that the toughness is being broken down in favor of a new, tender plant.

Catching a plant at this stage means catching all the nutrients necessary for growth. Not only that, the process makes those nutrients more accessible for our bodies. Another important factor is that there are many nutrients that aren’t available in grains until they germinate. An important one is vitamin C.

For a list of studies done on the health benefits of sprouting go here.

Soaking is another process that improves the healthiness of grains. This provides the conditions for germination that alters the grain enough to make it better for our bodies. Grains can be soaked in water or water mixed with things like salt or something acidic like yogurt, whey or lemon juice.  Again, why?

Soaking breaks down gluten which is one of our digestive system’s main enemies. It’s another example of how we partially digest the grain before consuming it. It also has the power to neutralize toxins that clutter our colons.

Soaking is another way that phytic acid can be broken down so that our bodies are able to have full access to the nutrients found in grains.Also, this process that directs the grain towards germination facilitates the creation of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that our body needs to function properly.

Well that was a very brief introduction so look forward to our upcoming series of posts with more detail about each method.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Make Your Own Probiotic Yogurt

How to Make Yogurt
Yes, you can make your own yogurt at home! Doing it at home is cost-effective, and you are in control of every ingredient that goes in. Make rich and creamy yogurt, without unnecessary additives, with whatever dairy milk you desire.

Tools and Ingredients Required:

  • Slow cooker
  • ½ Gallon raw grass-fed milk from cows, sheep or goat
  • *Mesophilic yogurt cultures
  • Glass jarsThermometer
  • 2 Towels
*Can substitute pasteurized milk if desired

Note: This is a 2-day process

1. First, test the temperature of slow cooker. Add ½ gallon tap water to your slow cooker, and turn on low for 2 ½ hours. Use your food thermometer to check temperature. If the water is above 115 degrees F, it is too high, and it will essentially kill the raw milk's healthy bacteria. If you are not using raw milk, above 115 degrees F is okay.
*If the heat of the water is between 110-115 degrees F, you are free to proceed!

2. Unplug the slow cooker, and allow to cool to room temperature. Dump out the water, and dry. Add the dairy milk (at or near room temperature) of choice, cover with the lid, and turn on low. Set a timer for 2 ½ hours. Turn off slow cooker, and unplug it. Do not remove the lid to peek! Allow milk to remain in the slow cooker, lid in place, for 3 hours.

3. Remove 2 cups of the milk to a stainless bowl, and add the starter culture according to the instructions. Mix thoroughly and pour back into the crock, and replace lid. Immediately wrap the unplugged crock in towels (warmed in the dryer if the room temperature is low), and let set for 18-24 hours undisturbed. This is the culturing period.

4. After 18-24 hours, remove from the slow cooker by filling clean, dry jars. Seal and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours. While cooling, the yogurt will continue to thicken. Yogurt made from raw dairy will not be as thick as conventionally made yogurt available in the store.

Girl, 5, dies from flu strain she was vaccinated against

A five-year-old girl from the Las Vegas area died Tuesday after coming down with the strain of flu she had been vaccinated against earlier this year.

Kiera Driscoll started showing symptoms including a cough and fever on Jan. 18,according to KVVU. Her family took her to a walk-in clinic on Monday, and she was given a nebulizer and steroids.

However, Kiera collapsed later that day. Her mother performed CPR while they waited for the ambulance.

The little girl's health worsened after she was hospitalized and she passed away on Tuesday from influenza A, her family said.


The above advertisement really surprises me given that the flu vaccine product literature itself actually states "there have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination". There is a disconnect between generating antibodies for an infection (which is what is used to claim that a vaccine is effective) and protection against the infection. In some cases, vaccine activation of the immune system can cause a more severe response to the primary infection.
Published in the journal Immunity in March, 2011, and titled, "B cell maintenance of subcapsular sinus macrophages protects against a fatal viral infection independent of adaptive immunity," researchers found that mice infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) can suffer fatal invasion of their central nervous system even in the presence of high concentrations of "neutralizing" antibodies against VSV. 
The researchers found that while B-cells were essential for surviving a systemic VSV infection through the modulation of innate immunity, specifically macrophage behavior, the antibodies they produce as part of the adaptive immune response were "neither needed nor sufficient for protection."  These findings, according to the study authors, "…contradict the current view that B cell-derived neutralizing antibodies are absolutely required to survive a primary cytopathic viral infection, such as that caused by VSV." 
Immunity. Mar 23, 2012; 36(3): 415–426. 
The researchers vaccinated piglets that were younger than 6 months old and hadn't been exposed to flu before against H1N2 to explore whether vaccine-induced antibodies might play a role in exacerbating respiratory symptoms. They found some of the piglets got sick with severe pneumonia and had severe lung damage after they were infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus, suggesting that cross-reactive antibodies triggered by the flu vaccine made symptoms worse after infection with a different flu strain.
Sci Transl Med 28 August 2013:  Vol. 5, Issue 200, p. 200ra114 

According to CDC records, there has not been a single death attributable to measles in the past ten years. However, according to records kept by the government created and funded Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), over the past ten years there have been one-hundred and eight (108) deaths related to measles vaccines.

Use of Hormonal Contraceptives Linked to Brain Cancer

An association between hormonal contraceptives and an increased risk for glioma in younger women has been found in a Danish nationwide case–control study.

That risk increases with the duration of use, David Gaist, MD, from Odense University Hospital and the University of South Denmark, and colleagues report in their study, published today in the print edition of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

"A nearly two-fold increased risk of glioma was observed among long-term users of hormonal contraceptives," they write.

However, "it is important to keep this apparent increase in risk in context," Dr Gaist said in a statement.

"While we found a statistically significant association between hormonal contraceptive use and glioma risk, a risk/benefit evaluation would still favor the use of hormonal contraceptives in eligible users," he explained.

He added that although the findings of this study must be interpreted with care, "we feel it is an important contribution and we hope that our findings will spark further research on the relationship between female hormonal agents and glioma risk."


15 Plants and Herbs That Can Boost Lung Health - PreventDisease

"A wave of viral and bacterial infections is sweeping across the Northern Hemisphere and people are taking longer to heal from an array of symptoms within the respiratory system. If you are resorting to conventional medicine to address these infections with antibiotics, you are not only adding to the problems associated with antibiotic resistance, but you're also doing little to address the healing mechanisms within your body to address the cause. Herbal remedies not only boost lung health, but they can heal infections and even repair lung damage. Here are 15 of the best herbs to boost lung health.


Licorice is one of the more widely consumed herbs in the world. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it occurs in more formulas than any other single herb because it is thought to harmonize the action of all other herbs. Licorice is very soothing and softens the mucous membranes of the throat and especially the lungs and stomach and at the same time cleanses any inflamed mucous membrane that needs immune system support. . It reduces the irritation in the throat and yet has an expectorant action. It is the saponins (detergent-like action) that loosen the phlegm in the respiratory tract, so that the body can expel the mucus. Compounds within this root help relieve bronchial spasms and block the free radical cells that produce the inflammation and tightening of the air ways. The compounds also have antibacterial and antiviral effects to them as well which helps fight off viral and bacterial strains in the body that can cause lung infections. Glycrrhizins and flavonoids can even help prevent lung cancer cells from forming which means they can even prevent lung cancer.


Coltsfoot has been traditionally by Native Americans for thousands of years to strengthen the lungs. It clears out excess mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes. It soothes the mucus membranes in the lungs, and has been shown in research to assist with asthma, coughs, bronchitis, and other lung ailments. Coltsfoot is available in dried form for tea or as an alcohol extract known as a tincture.


The toxic breakdown of therapeutic compounds in cannabis from burning the plant are totally avoided with vaporization. Extraction and inhaling cannabinoid essential oils of the unprocessed plant affords significant mitigation of irritation to the oral cavity that comes from smoking. Cannabis is perhaps one of the most effective anti-cancer plants in the world shown in study after study to stimulate cannabinoid receptor activation in specific genes and mediate the anti-invasive effect of cannabinoids. Vaporizing cannabis allows the active ingredients to stimulate the body's natural immune response and significantly reduces the ability of infections to spread. Vaporizing cannabis (especially with very high amounts of cannabinoids) opens up airways and sinuses, acting as a bronchodilator. It is even a proven method to treat and reverse asthma.


Osha is an herb native to the Rocky Mountain area and has historically been used by the Native Americans for respiratory support. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds which make it one of the best lung-support herbs in America. One of the main benefits of osha root is that it helps increase circulation to the lungs, which makes it easier to take deep breaths. Also, when seasonal sensitivities flare up your sinuses, osha root which is not an actual antihistamine, does produce a similar effect and may be help calm respiratory irritation.


Thyme is very powerful in the fight against chest congestion. It produces powerful antiseptic essential oils which are classified as naturally antibiotic and anti-fungal. Thyme is a well known to zap acne than expensive prescription creams, gels and lotions. Thyme tea has the power to chase away and eliminate bacteria and viruses so whether your infection is based on either, it will work. Thyme has been used as a lung remedy consumed since antiquity and is used extensively to day to prevent and treat respiratory tract infections and bacterial infection pneumonia.


Although oregano contains the vitamins and nutrients required by the immune system, its primary benefits are owed to its carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow. Oil of oregano fights off the dangerous bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, better than the most common antibiotic treatments. Oregano has so many health benefits that a bottle of organic oregano oil should be in everyone's medicine cabinet.


Did you know that horses given lobelia are able to breath more deeply? Its benefits are not limited to equestrians. It has been used as "asthmador" in Appalachian folk medicine. Lobelia, by some accounts, is thought to be one of the most valuable herbal remedies in existence. Extracts of Lobelia inflata contain lobeline, which showed positive effects in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tumor cells. Lobelia contains an alkaloid known as lobeline, which thins mucus, breaks up congestion. Additionally, lobelia stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, in effect, this relaxes the airways and allows for easier breathing. Also, because lobelia helps to relax smooth muscles, it is included in many cough and cold remedies. Lobelia should be part of everyone's respiratory support protocol!


Elecampane has been used by Native Americans for many years to clear out excess mucus that impairs lung function. It is known as a natural antibacterial agent for the lungs, helping to lessen infection particularly for people who are prone to lung infections like bronchitis. Herbal practitioners often recommend one teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water, drunk three times daily for two to three weeks but elecampane is also available in tincture format for ease.


Native to Australia, eucalyptus isn't just for Koala bears! Aborigines, Germans, and Americans have all used the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus to promote respiratory health and soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups and its effectiveness is due to a compound called cineole. Cineole has numerous benefits -- it's an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion, and soothes irritated sinus passages. As an added bonus, because eucalyptus contains antioxidants, it supports the immune system during a cold or other illness.


Both the flowers and the leaves of the mullein plant are used to make an herbal extract that helps strengthen the lungs. Mullein is used by herbal practitioners to clear excess mucus from the lungs, cleanse the bronchial tubes, and reduce inflammation that is present in the respiratory tract. A tea can be made from one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiled water. Alternatively, you can take a tincture form of this herb.


Lungwort is a tree-growing lichen that actually resembles lung tissue in appearance. However, this natural remedy doesn't just look the part. As early as the 1600s, lungwort has been used to promote lung and respiratory health and clear congestion. Pulmonaria selections come in all kinds so seek an herbologist for direction. Lungwort also contains compounds that are powerfully effective against harmful organisms that affect respiratory health.


Chaparral, a plant native to the southwest, has been appreciated by the Native Americans for lung detoxification and respiratory support. Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants that resist irritation and NDGA which is known to fight histamine response. NDGA inhibits aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (the energy-producing ability) of cancer cells. Chaparral is also an herb that fights harmful organisms. The benefits of chaparral are most available in a tincture extraction but chaparral tea may support respiratory problems by encouraging an expectorant action to clear airways of mucus.

13. SAGE

Sage's textured leaves give off a heady aroma, which arises from sage's essential oils. These oils are the source of the many benefits of sage tea for lung problems and common respiratory ailments. Sage tea is a traditional treatment for sore throats and coughs. The rich aromatic properties arising from sage's volatile oils of thujone, camphor, terpene and salvene can be put to use by inhaling sage tea's vapors to dispel lung disorders and sinusitis. Alternatively, brew a strong pot of sage tea and place it into a bowl or a vaporizer.


Peppermint, and peppermint oil, contains menthol -- a soothing ingredient known to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Dried peppermint typically contains menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate, menthofuran and cineol. Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene. Paired with the antihistamine effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant. Many people use therapeutic chest balms and other inhalants that contain menthol to help break up congestion. Additionally, peppermint is an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms.


Plantain leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease cough and soothe irritated mucous membranes. Many of its active constituents show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic. Clinical trials have found it favorable against cough, cold, and lung irritation. Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs. 

Seek the advice of an herbologist or Naturopathic Doctor on the preparation, appropriate dosages and frequency according to your condition. Many of the herbs above may also be combined for cumulative effects. All of the above are available in various forms, as nutritional supplements, tea blends and prepared oils. You can always grow your own as well to ensure your herbs are organic and ethically harvested."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fatal peanut allergies could be cured by probiotic bacteria, say Australian doctors

A strain of probiotic bacteria could offer a cure for potentially fatal peanut allergies, according to scientists in Australia.

The breakthrough followed a trial in which a group of children were given increasing amounts of peanut flour, along with a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, over an 18-month period. About 80 per cent of the children who had peanut allergies were subsequently able to tolerate peanuts.

Mimi Tang, the lead researcher, said the families involved believed the treatment had "changed their lives".

"These findings provide the vital first step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly for all food allergies," she told Melbourne's Herald Sun.

Vitamins to Heal Your Acne

Vitamin A

What is it?

Vitamin A is an antioxidant that belongs to the class of compounds called retinoids. The active alcohol form of vitamin A is  known as retinol.  Vitamin A, commonly known as Retin-A, has been prescribed for decades by dermatologists to treat acne topically. Accutane, a prescription oral medication, has been used to treat severe nodular acne by dermatologists for years as well and is also a form of vitamin A. Low levels of this vitamin have been associated with inflammation and acne. In the body, vitamin A is responsible for red blood cell production, immune system support, healthy skin, normal vision, and overall growth and development of the body. Food sources include orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, spinach and cod liver oils.

Why is it of value for treating acne?

Vitamin A is essential to the normal shedding of dead skin cells that build up inside the pore and ultimately cause acne- this sticky build up and excess production of skin cells is one of the main causes of acne! Click here to read about other causes of acne. This vitamin functions by preventing this build up that would have otherwise caused a clogged pore. In addition, the antioxidant properties of vitamin A act as an anti-inflammatory for the skin and help to calm swollen, red and sore acne breakouts.

Who should increase their Vitamin A intake?

It is highly recommended that individuals with inflammatory acne on the face and/or body should be eating foods high in vitamin A and supplementing with 10,000 iu’s of vitamin A per day. I have had great success with the Vitamedica Healthy Skin supplement and Clear Skin Formula Daily Packs. If you are pregnant, please consult a physician before starting on vitamin A supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

What is it?

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and seafood, particularly oily, ocean fish such as mackerel, sardines and anchovies. It is arguably the best anti-inflammatory found in nature.

Why is it of value for treating acne?

Inflammation is at the core of acne (externally and systemically), therefore an anti-inflammatory supplement is key to clearing acne. The inflammation process is triggered at the systemic level and then, with many other factors, causes acne at the skin level. An important side note, inflammation is also connected to nearly all chronic disease such as  diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, etc.

Omega-3 fatty acids work to clear acne by inhibiting two inflammatory chemicals that are responsible for acne breakouts, they are called PGE2 and LTB4. One way to inhibit the production of these two chemicals is with the drug Accutane and the other way is, naturally, with EPA omega-3 fatty acids. To find out if you have inflammatory acne click here. EPA Omega-3 supplements and foods are the best way to put out the flame. Research shows that people consuming diets higher in omega-3 fatty acids, such as in Japan, the coastal regions of North Carolina and Papua New Guinea all have a low rate of acne.

Who should increase their Omega-3 intake?

It is highly recommended that individuals with inflammatory acne on the face and/or body should be eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and supplementing with 2 grams (2,000 mg) of EPA omega-3’s per day. I have had great success with the Vitamedica Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil which contains 800 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA per serving (two soft gels) and the Flax Seed Oil. Be sure to check your labels, as you want to have a minimum of 1,000 mg of EPA per day. This is because EPA is the better anti-inflammatory over DHA. Most Fish Oil supplements will contain more DHA than EPA so be sure to check your labels. If you are pregnant, please consult a physician before starting on fish oil supplements.

In addition to supplements, oily fish such as anchovies, sardines and mackerel as well as oils such as flax, walnut and canola oil are fantastic resources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 enriched eggs are also recommended. Soybean, peanut, sunflower, palm oil and other vegetable oils should be strictly avoided as these will make acne worse by stimulating the PGE2 chemical that causes acne.


What is it?

Zinc is a mineral that is responsible for contributing to many, many functions within the body. To name a few: growth and develepment, brain function, reproduction and immune function. In food, zinc is in beans, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, whole grains, lean meats and oysters.

Why is of value for treating acne?

Zinc has many important functions for acne clearing. One, zinc assists with the metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids. Two, zinc is an important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory for the skin. Three, zinc helps break down substance P, the nerve chemical that causes sebum production when the body is stressed. Four, zinc is responsible for transporting Vitamin A. an antiacne nutrient, from the liver. Recent studies have shown that people with acne have low levels of zinc in their system.

Who should increase their Zinc intake?

As you can see, Zinc is an important supplement to take with Vitamin A and Omega-3 Fish Oils. Zinc is highly recommended if taking either of these supplements to assist in the uptake and metabolism. It is also recommended as part of a basic supplement regimen for non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne. Approximately 40 mg per day is the therapeutic dose of zinc. Check all your supplement labels as zinc is often added to a multi-vitamin and the Vitamedica Healthy Skin. If taking the Healthy Skin, no additional zinc is needed.


What is it?

Selenium is a minor mineral as well as an antioxidant that works to protect other antioxidants. In can be found in grains, nuts, seafood salmon and halibut.

Why is it of value for treating acne?

Selenium has been proven to work synergistically with as well as preserve the levels of other antioxidants, such as zinc. Selenium functions in glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme which is very important in preventing the inflammation of acne. This selenium-dependent enzyme that controls glutathione is low in acne patients, and low levels of blood selenium have also been documented.  Small amounts of selenium and vitamin e have been shown to improve acne, particularly in those with low baseline glutathione enzyme activity. In addition, research has shown that a deficiency in selenium may play a role in inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Who should increase their Selenium intake?

Selenium should be taken along with other antioxidants as well as zinc supplements. The Vitamedica Healthy Skin contains 48 mcg of Selenium per dose.


Monday, January 26, 2015


Zinc is important for absorption and action of B-complex vitamins. It is required for protein synthesis, collagen formation, healthy immune system, and the ability of the body to heal from wounds. Zinc is absorbed in the small intestine and is stored in the liver, eyes, kidneys, pancreas, bones, muscles, prostate gland, sperm, nails, skin, hair, and white blood cells. Zinc inhibits 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) a form of testosterone that promotes prostate growth. Zinc increases testosterone, and sperm count. If a zinc deficiency exists sex drive is reduced in order to conserve the zinc (zinc is concentrated in semen). Zinc is involved in protein synthesis, muscle contraction, formation of insulin, maintaining acid-base balance, synthesis of DNA, brain functions. Excessive sweating leads to loss of up to 3 mg per day.

Foods containing zinc: Beans, beef, bilberry fruit, black strap molasses, brewer's yeast, buchu leaves, capsicum fruit, chicken heart, crab, egg yolk, fish, herring, lamb, legumes, liver, maple syrup, meats, milk, oysters, peanuts, pork, poultry, pumpkin seeds, skullcap herb, seafood, sesame seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, turkey, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole grains, yeast. Supplements: Zinc aspartate, zinc gluconate, zinc oxide, zinc picolinate, zinc sulfate.

It [deficiency] used to only occur in underdeveloped countries, but today it occurs in regular folks who take 'drug muggers' of zinc (drugs that reduce zinc levels in the body). These include antacids, antibiotics, birth control pills, hormone replacement drugs for hot flashes, acid blocking drugs (Nexium, Prilosec, Tagamet, Zantac, etc), furosemide, Lotensin, Enalapril, Atacand HCT, HCTZ (Hydrochlorothiazide) and cholestyramine (Questran).


1. Pumpkin seeds –
1/2 cup: 8.4 mg (57% DV)
2. Grass-fed Beef – 4 oz: 5.2 mg (32% DV)
3. Lamb
– 4 oz: 5.2 mg (32% DV)
4. Cashews –
1/2 cup: 3.8 mg (25% DV)
5. Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) –
1 cup cooked: 2.5 mg (17% DV)
6. Mushrooms –
1 cup cooked: 1.9 mg (13% DV)
7. Chicken –
 4 oz: 1.6 mg (12% DV)
8. Kefir or Yogurt
 – 1 cup: 1.4 mg (10% DV)
9. Spinach –
1 cup cooked: 1.4 mg (9% DV)
10. Cocoa powder –
 1 Tbsp: 0.4 mg (2% DV)


FDA could set millions of genetically modified mosquitoes loose in Florida Keys | Fox News

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.

Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

They patented a method of breeding Aedes aegypti with fragments of proteins from the herpes simplex virus and E. coli bacteria as well as genes from coral and cabbage.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why You Need Essential Fatty Acids - GreenMedInfo

Fatty acids are the building blocks of the fat that is in our bodies and in the food we eat. During digestion, the body breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can then be absorbed into the blood. Fatty acid molecules are usually joined together in groups of three, forming a molecule called a triglyceride. Triglycerides are also made in our bodies from the carbohydrates that we eat.

Fatty acids have many important functions in the body, including energy storage. If glucose (a type of sugar) isn't available for energy, the body uses fatty acids to fuel the cells instead. Burning fat for energy is actually preferable and more sustainable for health. Essential fatty acids means that the body cannot produce the fatty acid itself, it has to be consumed in food. Strictly speaking, there are two essential fatty acids:
  1. LA – Linolenic acid (Omega-6)
  2. ALA – Alpha Linolenic acid (Omega-3)
But because conversion rates can be poor (especially in GAPSters), there are also conditionally essential fatty acids:
  1. DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid (Omega 3 that can be a derivative of ALA. The fatty acid that best serves brain health)
  2. EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid (Omega 3 that can also be a derivative of ALA and a good anti-inflammatory)
  3. AA – Arachidonic acid (an Omega-6 fatty acid that is also good for membrane flexibility and permeability, can be derived from LA)
  4. GLA – Gamma linolenic acid (an Omega-6 fatty acid, the human body produces GLA from LA. Food sources are black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage and hemp seed oil)
3. What Happens When You Are Deficient?

Today Healthy Fatty Acid Deficiency is Epidemic.
Deficiency leads to:
  1. Musculoskeletal issues
  2. Endocrine issues
  3. Cardiovascular issues
  4. Immune issues
  5. Allergies and asthma
  6. Depression and other mood disorders
4. What Do Fatty Acids Do In The Body?
  • Provide a source of energy (fats are the longer lasting fuel, the "logs" with carbs being the "kindling")
  • Are important in the makeup of cell membranes (as you can see in the graphic ... the lipids, the cholesterol, the fatty acid tails ...)
  • Are necessary for healthy liver function: building healthy cholesterol and bile
  • Are required for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K
  • Are required for the adequate use of proteins
  • Serve as a protective lining for the organs of the body
  • Play a role in slowing the absorption of food for proper energy regulation
  • Are imperative to managing the inflammation process

Sunscreens ... protection from cancer?

Comprehensive scientific reviews indicate that 83% of 785 sunscreen products contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. Only 17% of the products on the market block both UVA and UVB radiation which is the intended purpose by manufacturers of sunscreen, so what's the point? The assessment by the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database was based on a review of nearly 400 scientific studies, industry models of sunscreen efficacy, and toxicity and regulatory information housed in nearly 60 government, academic, and industry databases.

At least 50% of products on the market bear claims that are considered "unacceptable" or misleading under sunscreen safety standards. An analysis of marketing claims on hundreds of sunscreen bottles shows that false and misleading marketing claims are common. They give consumers a false sense of security (based on myths) with claims like "all day protection," "mild as water," and "blocks all harmful rays" which are completely untrue, yet are found on bottles. Consumers might assume that, because researchers have implicated ultraviolet light in skin cancer development, sunscreen automatically thwarts skin cancer. They play on this consumer bandwagon of fear and hope on an issue shouldn't even be an issue...blocking the sun!

Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives retinol and retinyl palmitate which accelerate tumor growth.

 Scientists have reported that particle size affects the toxicity of zinc oxide, a material widely used in sunscreens. Particles smaller than 100 nanometers are slightly more toxic to colon cells than conventional zinc oxide. Solid zinc oxide was more toxic than equivalent amounts of soluble zinc, and direct particle to cell contact was required to cause cell death. Their study is in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.

 Another common and toxic ingredient in sunscreens is titanium dioxide. New research published in ACS' journal, Environmental Science & Technology found that Children may be receiving the highest exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. The geometry of titanium dioxide (TiO2) based nanofilaments appears to play a crucial role in cytotoxicity having a strong dose-dependent effect on cell proliferation and cell death.


Yogurt's Health Damaging Ingredients - GreenMedInfo

Think eating yogurt is healthy? Not with these choices.
  • Yoplait Cherry Cheesecake Mousse Yogurt
  • Yoplait Thick & Creamy Cinnamon Roll Yogurt
  • Yoplait Red Velvet Cupcake Yogurt
  • Great Value Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt
  • Dannon Toasted Coconut Vanilla Yogurt

Don't kid yourself.
This is NOT healthy yogurt. This is artificially flavored dessert.

Many brands of yogurt in the grocery store are using highly processed ingredients:
  • Fructose
  • Dextrose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Caramel Color
  • Sucralose
  • Aspartame
  • Chemical preservatives
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Artificial food colors
  • Genetically modified ingredients
  • Carrageenan

Many of the ingredients in processed food yogurt damage health and cause behavioral or neurological problems
  • artificial food colors cause hyperactivity in children
  • caramel color is a potential carcinogen
  • high fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity and liver damage
  • genetically modified ingredients are likely (high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, dextrose) and linked to leukemia, gut flora imbalances, cancer in rats, gluten intolerance, and a host of other health problems.
  • artificial sweeteners cause neurological damage,  weight gain, and a long list of other health issues including digestive problems, damage to the spleen, damage to the thymus gland, migraines and hormone disruption. 
  • preservatives like potassium sorbate have been shown to be cytotoxic


Kegel Exercises - Dr. Axe

Who Should Perform Kegel Exercises?

If you experience any of these symptoms, you can benefit from regularly practicing some simple kegel exercises:
  • You have weak control over your bladder and sometimes you experience a “leak” when you do things like exercise, laugh, and strongly cough (this is called urinary incontinence) (2)
  • You suffer similar problems with bowel movements and tend to feel like you cannot control things when you need to go to the bathroom (this is called fecal incontinence)
  • You have been diagnosed with “urinary incontinence”, which is a strong and sudden sensation of having to urinate and then having little control over stopping it from happening
  • You had a pregnancy and delivery that left your pelvic floor feeling different and less strong than it felt prior to being pregnant
  • You are pregnant and want to work on strengthening your pelvis in order to prepare for the bodily stress of labor
  • You had surgery performed on any of the organs involved in the pelvic floor region, including the bladder, uterus, intestines, or rectum which make it difficult for you to control these organs and to properly eliminate waste
  • You are finding that as you age, you have less control over your pelvic floor than you used to have
  • Being overweight has limited the strength in your pelvic floor, resulting in unwanted symptoms
  • You are either a man or women who has trouble reaching orgasms and want to improve your sex life


Impotence - Dr. Axe

Top Foods for Impotence
  1. High fiber diet – High fiber foods like nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables support hormones and detoxification which can improve impotence.
  2. Vitamin E – A diet rich in vitamin E, such as wheat germ and green leafy vegetables will help improve blood flow.
  3. Foods high in zinc – Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, beef, lamb, and spinach are good sources of zinc that help improve testosterone.
  4. Watercress and sesame seeds – Both can improve libido, so try to consume some every day.
  5. Brazil nuts – These nuts are high in selenium which plays a role in testosterone levels.
Foods that Lower Libido
  1. Refined vegetable oils – These increase inflammation and can worsen underlying causes of impotence.
  2. Trans fats – Hydrogenated fats increase inflammation which can affect the underlying causes of impotence.
  3. Processed foods – Chemicals in these foods may affect sexual performance.
  4. Caffeine – Overindulgence in caffeine can affect sexual performance.
  5. Alcohol – Too much alcohol can cause impotence.
Top 5 Natural Remedies for Impotence
  1. L-arginine (1000 mg 2x daily) Helps with blood vessel dilation and improves blood flow.
  2. Ginkgo biloba (120 mg 2x daily) May improve blood flow.
  3. DHEA (25-50 mg daily) Best when taken under the supervision of a doctor, this hormone can help improve testosterone levels.
  4. Maca (500 mg 3x daily) Research shows this adaptogen herb helps increase sexual desire.
  5. Niacin (250 mg 3x daily) Vitamin B3 (niacin) vasodilator that helps improve blood flow.

What my chickens are eating

What my chickens are eating in addition to the bugs and insects ...

Organic Field Peas, Organic Corn, Organic Wheat, Organic Oats, Organic Barley, Fish Meal, Organic Rice Bran, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Organic Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Dried Organic Kelp, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, DL Methionine, Yeast Culture, Roughage Product (organic wheat middlings), Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,  Choline Chloride, Menadione Nicotinamide Bisulfite Complex,         D-Calcium Pantothenic Acid, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper  Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation  Extract, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Dried fermentation product of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Dried fermentation product of Lactobacillus casei, Dried fermentation product of Lactobacillus plantarum, Dried fermentation product of Enterococcus faecium, Dried
fermentation product of Bacillus coagulans, Dried fermentation product of Bacillus licheniformis, and Dried fermentation product of Bacillus subtilis.

Thanks Countryside.


Eczema - Dr. Weil

What is eczema?
 Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic allergic condition in which the skin develops areas of itchy, scaly rashes.

What are the symptoms of eczema?
 Eczema can occur on almost any part of the body but is most common on the face, scalp, inside of elbows, knees, ankles, and hands. It typically appears as extremely itchy patches on the skin. Eczema can get worse when scratched; in fact, itchy skin may appear normal until scratched; the irritating action may then cause the characteristic rash and scales to develop.

Other symptoms include:
  • Areas of dry, leathery skin
  • Blisters that ooze and crust over
  • Redness and inflammation in the affected area

Scratching can introduce infectious agents into the skin, leading to secondary complications including bacterial infection and permanent scars.

What are the causes of eczema?
 Eczema is caused by a reaction similar to that of an allergy and can promote chronic inflammation. The condition will often wax and wane and accompany other allergic conditions such as asthma. In some cases, a specific substance, such as certain soaps, detergents, or metals, dust mites, and animal dander, can trigger eczema. For many people, however, there is no known allergen that causes this reaction. Eczema can be worsened by dry climates, exposure to water, temperature changes, and stress.

Who is likely to develop eczema?
 Eczema is particularly common in infants and children. A person’s risk of developing the problem also increases if he or she has a family history of eczema or allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever.

How is eczema diagnosed?
 Physicians usually diagnose eczema by conducting a physical exam and asking questions about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, and habits.

What is the conventional treatment for eczema?
 Conventional doctors often recommend a combination of self-care techniques and medical therapies to treat eczema. First, people with eczema should avoid any potential triggers that appear to make symptoms worse. Take warm, not hot, showers or baths. Use soap as sparingly as possible, and apply a soothing, hypoallergenic moisturizer immediately after bathing. Physicians may also suggest using over-the-counter anti-itch lotions or low-potency steroid creams.

When these measures don’t alleviate eczema, the doctor may prescribe one or more of the following treatments:
•Steroids. Prescription steroid creams and ointments - and, in severe cases, oral steroid medications - can relieve the itching and inflammation of eczema, but they can have side effects such as skin thinning and are not recommended for long-term use.
•Immunomodulators. Newer prescription creams called calcineurin inhibitors (such as pimecrolimus and tacrolimus) work by modulating the body’s immune response. Although these drugs don’t have the same side effects as steroids, their long-term safety isn’t yet clear.

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for eczema?
 In addition to the self-care approaches mentioned above, Dr. Weil recommends considering the following natural treatments for eczema:
•Allergy is ultimately an inflammatory condition and diet can profoundly influence inflammation throughout the body. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet and avoid pro-inflammatory ingredients.
•Skin disorders are often strongly linked to psychological stress; conversely, stress-relieving techniques can often be extraordinarily effective in providing relief. Try visualization or hypnotherapy to take advantage of the mind/body connection in allergic skin disorders.
•Try aloe vera gel, calendula lotion or cream, and chaparral lotion on irritated skin.
•Take gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This unusual fatty acid is found in evening primrose oil, black currant oil and borage oil but is very hard to come by in the diet. GLA appears to have nourishing effects on skin, hair, and nails. Take 500 mg twice a day and expect to wait six to eight weeks to see results.
Eliminate milk and all milk products, which may irritate the immune system.
•In addition, therapies in both homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine have proven effective for many skin conditions and are worth exploring. See the websites of the National Center for Homeopathy and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to find practitioners.


7 Natural Remedies for Eczema

1. Coconut Oil
2. Sea Spray
3. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
4. Magnesium Baths
5. Probiotics
6. Additional Gelatin-rich Foods
7. Homemade Healing Salve


Friday, January 23, 2015

Chemicals blamed for male fertility decline

"This mouse model would suggest that here's actually a reason why these sperm counts would be falling," said Dr Hunt. "We're actually doing something to this process that's going to cause the death of more cells as they're trying to make sperm. They're going to get culled out by this quality-control mechanism and the upshot of that will be that if you do enough of this, you'll drop sperm counts."

BPA is widely used in the lining of food and drink cans, while estradiol passes untreated through sewage plants.
Dr Hunt, whose research is reported in the online journal Public Library of Science Genetics, fears that sperm counts will continue to fall with each exposed generation.
"We've seen effects over the course of several decades," she said. "What about several generations? Infertility is becoming more common. Are we creating the perfect storm?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

'Masked' mold toxins in food should be included in safety regulations - American Chemical Society

Government limits on mold toxins present naturally in grain crops should be expanded to include so-called "masked mycotoxins" that change from harmless to potentially harmful forms in the body, a new study concludes. It appears in ACS' journalChemical Research in Toxicology.
Chiara Dall'Asta and colleagues explain that molds growing naturally on wheat, corn and other plants produce toxic substances termed mycotoxins. Some health experts regard mycotoxins as the most serious chronic dietary risk factor, greater than the potential health threats from pesticides and insecticides. Government regulations thus limit levels of mycotoxins that are permissible in food and animal feed. Plants protect themselves by binding or "conjugating" glucose, sulfur or other substances to the mycotoxin, producing conjugated mycotoxins that are not harmful.
Dall'Asta explains that these "masked mycotoxins" are not included in current safety regulations because of uncertainty about what happens when people and animals eat them. The new study focused on two of the most widespread mycotoxin contaminants of grain crops — deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN). The authors say their results show, for the first time, that bacteria present in the large intestine in people deconjugate or "unmask" DON and ZEN, releasing the original toxic forms. "For this reason, masked mycotoxins should be considered when evaluating population exposure," the study concludes.

7 Factors to Consider if You’re Told Your Cholesterol Is Too High - Dr. Mercola

Focus on Boosting Your HDL

Replace processed foods (which are loaded with refined sugar and carbs, processed fructose, and trans fat—all of which promote heart disease) with whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods, ideally organic and/or locally grown.

Avoid meats and other animal products such as dairy and eggs sourced from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Instead, opt for grass-fed, pastured varieties, raised according to organic standards.

Eliminate no-fat and low-fat foods, and increase consumption of healthy fats. Half of the population suffers with insulin resistance and would benefit from consuming 50-85 percent of their daily calories from healthy saturated fats, such as avocados, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, raw dairy, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, raw nuts, and grass-fed meats. No- or low-fat foods are usually processed foods that are high in sugar, which raises your small, dense LDL particles.

Balancing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is also key for heart health, as these fatty acids help build the cells in your arteries that make the prostacyclin that keeps your blood flowing smoothly. Omega-3 deficiency can cause or contribute to very serious health problems, both mental and physical, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year. For more information about omega-3s and the best sources of this fat, please review this previous article.

You also need the appropriate ratios of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, and all of these are generally abundant in a whole food diet. To get more fresh vegetables into your diet, consider juicing.

Optimize your vitamin D level. Some researchers, like Dr. Stephanie Seneff, believe that optimizing your vitamin D level through regular sun exposure, as opposed to taking an oral supplement, may be key to optimizing your heart health. If you do opt for a supplement, you also increase your need for vitamin K2.

Optimize your gut health. Regularly eating fermented foods, such as fermented vegetables, will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria that may play an important role in preventing heart disease and countless other health problems.

Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol consumption.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is actually one of the safest, most effective ways to prevent and treat heart disease. In 2013, researchers at Harvard and Stanford reviewed 305 randomized controlled trials, concluding there were "no statistically detectable differences" between physical activity and medications for heart disease. High-intensity interval training, which requires but a fraction of the time compared to conventional cardio, has been shown to be especially effective.

Pay attention to your oral health. There's convincing evidence linking the state of your teeth and gums to a variety of health issues, including heart disease. In one 2010 study,7 those with the worst oral hygiene increased their risk of developing heart disease by 70 percent, compared to those who brush their teeth twice a day.

Avoid statins, as the side effects of these drugs are numerous, while the benefits are debatable. In my view, the only group of people who may benefit from a cholesterol-lowering medication are those with genetic familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a condition characterized by abnormally high cholesterol, which tends to be resistant to lowering with lifestyle strategies like diet and exercise.


9 Ways to Boost Glutathione

1. Milk Thistle
2. Whey Protein
3. Sulfur Foods
4. NAC
5. α-Lipoic Acid
6. Methylation Nutrients (Vitamins B6, B9, B12, and biotin)
7. Selenium
8. Vitamin C & E
9. Beef Liver

Vitamin C Foods, Signs of Deficiency, & Health Benefits - Dr. Axe

Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms

A deficiency in vitamin C shows itself in several common ways in the body. While the signs and symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are not too bothersome, the results of long-term low levels of vitamin C are very detrimental and worth making a priority. A severe vitamin C deficiency will result in scurvy, a disease resulting from the breakdown of collagen.

Scurvy will make you feel fatigued and lethargic. It affects bone and muscle strength and it stifles the immune system. Scurvy is rarely seen today, as only a very small amount of vitamin C is needed to prevent it.

Citrus was actually used in the 18th century in order to cure the two million sailors that were suffering from Scurvy. It is important to understand, however, that less noticeable signs of Vitamin C are still very serious such as:

  • Easy bruising
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Slow wound healing
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Dry red spots on the skin
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Nosebleeds
  • Weakened immune system
  • Digestive disorders like leaky gut and autoimmune disease
  • Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
  • Swollen and painful joints

Health problems related to a vitamin C deficiency can get much worse over time, and may lead to some serious health issues. Long Term Problems from Low Levels of Vitamin C include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers
  • Atherosclerosis

To get the most nutrition and Vitamin C from your fruits and veggies, there are a few easy tips to follow:  eat real foods that are uncooked and raw, make an effort to eat your fruits and vegetables soon after cutting them up, and steam fruits and veggies, instead of boiling them. As I always say, eating organic, raw fresh foods is your best possible source of nutrition.

Food in its natural state will provide your body with the most abundant source of nutrition, so even though many people choose to turn to supplements when looking to get more vitamins into their bodies, I want to emphasize that the best source of any vitamin, mineral, or nutrient is fresh, raw food sources.


Gluten and Fertility: Some Things You Might Want to Know - Dr. Aviva Romm

How Does Gluten Intolerance Interfere with Fertility?
There are 4 primary ways that gluten intolerance and celiac interferes with fertility (and also optimal pregnancy health):

1. Chronic Inflammation: Gluten intolerance and celiac cause inflammation not just in the gut, but as a result, throughout the body. The chemicals that are produced when your body is in a chronic state of inflammation tell your body that it’s in a danger zone and so not a great time to get pregnant. Chronic inflammation is also associated with conditions that can interfere with getting pregnant – for example, endometriosis, which has also been associated with celiac disease. Inflammation is also associated with pregnancy problems, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preterm labor, so it’s important to get a handle on it before you get pregnant. Going gluten free and healing your digestive system, as described later in this article, will help you to do this!

2. Nutritional deficiencies: Your digestive system keeps you healthy in numerous ways, perhaps most obviously, through the digestion of food to provide you with nutrition. When you have gluten intolerance, inflammation develops in the lining of the small intestine that interferes with nutrient absorption. When the lining of our gut is damaged, for example by irritation due to gluten intolerance, the body is less effective at absorbing nutrients, including the ones needed for healthy conception. This includes protein, fats, zinc, vitamin D, iron, and selenium – all important for conception and healthy pregnancy.

3. Gut “dysbiosis”: It’s amazing how much our bodies mirror the natural world. In the human body there are layers of gut lining that, like soil in a garden, provide a home that feeds and nourishes the optimal bacteria, our microbiome, that we need to metabolize our food, break down, and absorb our nutrients, as well as get rid of waste.

The health of the vaginal flora is also dependent on the health of the gut flora. Like in garden soil, healthy microorganisms keep down the “bad bacteria” and other bugs in the soil that can harm the plant’s roots, damaging the whole plant. In the vagina, the good flora keep the vaginal environment at the right pH and sugar level at conception to support the passage of the sperm, and thus, facilitate conception. When the good flora aren’t hanging around in adequate numbers, the not-so-good guys that can contribute to or cause fertility problems become out of control. The wrong kind of gut flora can prevent conception, might reduce the effectiveness of IVF, and can lead to preterm birth when you do get pregnant, so now’s the time to get those flora in order. If you get regular vaginal infections, this is a sure sign that things are out of order down there, but even without those, if you are struggling to get pregnant, take an oral probiotic with Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. You can additionally use these in the form of a vaginal suppository a few times weekly while trying to get pregnant. I recommend that my patients insert the capsules at night before bed; they will dissolve while you sleep. Several oral and vaginal suppository products are available on the market.

4. Autoimmunity: Because celiac disease is also an autoimmune condition, this can change the body’s ability to tolerate foreign cells including your partner’s sperm – or the baby. Additionally, celiac, both as a result of autoimmunity, and the selenium deficiency that it can cause, is associated with hypothyroidism, which can interfere with getting pregnant. If you have an autoimmune condition, gluten may be a culprit. Go gluten free, follow the 4R program below, and connect with a Functional or Integrative Medicine Doctor, or licensed Naturopath skilled in natural fertility treatment and gut health.


BPA, BPF, BPS, what's the deal?

Many of us have read the studies about bisphenol-A, and know the chemical is best avoided when it comes to drinking containers, baby bottles, canned foods and thermal paper.

The chemical, also known as BPA, has been linked to everything from obesity and diabetes to attention-deficit disorder and asthma. When a slew of new products branded "BPA-free" hit the market amid public outcry a few years back, many thought the problem solved.

But a damning new study from scientists at the University of Calgary has found that the supposed remedy -- a chemical similar to BPA called bisphenol-S -- may be just as bad for your health. The researchers, including corresponding author Dr. Deborah M. Kurrasch, end the paper urging for "a societal push to remove all bisphenols from our consumer goods."

Traces of BPA were found in 90 percent of urine samples taken from a group representative of the American population, the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a 2009 report, illustrating the widespread use of bisphenols in everyday products.

After several states imposed bans on the use of BPA in baby bottles, many companies voluntarily removed the chemical from their products. Some replaced it with an unknown alternative, later revealed to be bisphenol-S. Many consumers assumed products were safe after being stuck with a "BPA-free" label.

"Everybody thought it was a big victory," Kurrasch told The Huffington Post. "Maybe they didn't think they needed to look into it further."

But the study, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that BPS exposure affected prenatal neurodevelopment in zebrafish as much as BPA. The research suggests that pregnant women should be particularly mindful of their exposure to BPA and BPS throughout gestation. BPS itself is found in trace amounts in 81 percent of the U.S. population, the study says.

The American Chemistry Council has already raised objections to the study’s use of zebrafish -- which share 80 percent of their genes with humans -- and said we are exposed to only “trace levels” of BPA that our bodies effectively remove through natural processes, according to The Washington Post.

“Although the authors attribute great significance to their results, it would not be scientifically appropriate to draw any conclusions about human health based on this limited experiment,” said Steven G. Hentges of the council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.

Kurrasch said that despite ongoing coverage about BPA and its effects, the public's appetite to know if their products are safe is still strong, and more work needs to be done examining the long-term impact to humans after exposure to bisphenols.

Even though there is a growing opinion among some scientists that the chemical may be harmful to humans, the FDA reiterated its position late last year that BPA is safe to use in cans and beverage containers. The agency also rejected a complete ban in food packaging in 2012.



The results? Nearly every plastic product they tested leached EA (estrogenic activity) chemicals. Some BPA-free products actually released more EA than other plastics. That included eco-friendly plastics made from plant products, which apparently released EA due to the additives used.

The results showed abnormally timed growth of neurons in the embryos, the same growth surges found when embryos are exposed to BPA. The disruption of prenatal cellular activity appeared to result in hyperactive behavior. In fact, early abnormal growth of brain cells was specific to male hormones, perhaps indicating why more boys than girls are diagnosed with certain neurodevelopmental disorders.

Researcher Deborah Kurrasch was surprised by the results, especially since the dose used was “a very, very, very low dose, so I didn’t think using a dose this low could have any effect.” Another researcher in the study, Hamid Habibi, said “Finding the mechanism linking low doses of BPA to adverse brain development and hyperactivity is almost like finding a smoking gun.” They recommend pregnant women limit their exposure to products containing bisphenols and say this and other studies support removing bisphenols and structurally similar chemicals from consumer products.

Ninety percent of Americans show trace amounts of BPA in urine, breast milk, and umbilical cord blood. Why are potentially dangerous plastics used in toys, food packaging, and beverage cups (as well as in healthcare)? The  Food and Drug Administration considers compounds safe until proven otherwise

Cervical cancer was dismissed by doctors as 'growing pains'

A 20-year-old woman who for three years complained of stomach pains is now in a fight for her life after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Kirstie Wilson, who lives in the UK, claims that her doctors told her that the stomach cramps were growing pains, and that she had to beg to see a specialist, The Mirror reported.

“I was bleeding in between periods and I was in agony but doctors diagnosed me with thrush and growing pains,” Wilson told the newspaper.

“It took me four months of going back and forth to my GP (general practitioner) before I was given a [Pap] smear test,” she said.

“I wish I had been given a smear test when I first visited my doctor as it might have saved my life,” she told the news outlet.


Testing Your Water

Isn't it time to have the peace of mind that your water is free of the dangerous pesticides and herbicides common to urban runoff… PCBs… VOCs… heavy metals and minerals… trihalomethanes… and much more?

Your well water may not have been tested since you moved into your home or had the well dug – if then. Well water is either unregulated or under-regulated almost everywhere. Putting your trust in your well water without testing it is like playing Russian roulette with your health – especially considering the amount you need each day to sustain life.

But just because you're on a municipal water supply doesn't mean all is well… Surprises can and do happen… each year there are more than 200,000 violations to the Safe Drinking Water Act – involving over 20 percent of water treatment facilities.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) receives notification of more than 4,000 cases per year of illnesses that can be directly linked to drinking water. Bear in mind that when municipalities test, they're testing the water which leaves their facility -- not the water showing up at your kitchen sink.

Contaminated water is real – so the more you know about your water, the better you can protect your family.

Obviously, I can make no statement about how safe your municipal water supply or your well water is. If you want to ensure that your water supply is safe, my best recommendation is that you test it. That's true for BOTH well water and municipal water.

Because I think it's so prudent for you to know what your real water situation is – and have proof positive your filter is working hard to keep toxins out of your water – I offer these comprehensive tests to you at my cost. I do not make any money as a result of you using this valuable service.

But, knowing the facts is sure to give you tremendous peace of mind that your filter is working the way you expect and demand. I want you to know exactly how clean your water is -- and I firmly stand behind the superior quality of my Pure & Clear filters. So please – prove it to yourself today…


PE (for men with performance issues)

As a couples and sex therapist in private practice, I am often astonished at how many men and couples come to see me trying to fix premature ejaculation. Many men suffer with shame and embarrassment about feeling that they ejaculate too quickly, leading them to have anxiety about sex and their performance.

According to The Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of premature ejaculation isn't known. While it was once thought to be only psychological, doctors now know premature ejaculation is more complicated and involves a complex interaction of psychological and biological factors combined.
Psychological causes

Some doctors believe that early sexual experiences may establish a pattern that can be difficult to change later in life, such as:
  • Situations in which you may have hurried to reach climax in order to avoid being discovered
  • Guilty feelings that increase your tendency to rush through sexual encounters
  • Other factors that can play a role in causing premature ejaculation include:
  • Erectile dysfunction. Men who are anxious about obtaining or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse may form a pattern of rushing to ejaculate.
  • Anxiety. Many men with premature ejaculation also have problems with anxiety—either specifically about sexual performance or related to other issues.
  • Relationship problems. If you have had satisfying sexual relationships with other partners in which premature ejaculation happened infrequently or not at all, it's possible that interpersonal issues between you and your current partner could be contributing to the problem.
Biological causes
  • A number of biological factors may contribute to premature ejaculation, including:
  • Abnormal hormone levels
  • Abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
  • Abnormal reflex activity of the ejaculatory system
  • Certain thyroid problems
  • Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra
  • Inherited traits
  • Nerve damage from surgery or trauma (rare)

The GAPS Diet & Histamine Intolerance

Written By: Melanie Christner, CNP

Histamine intolerance is a growing concern today, and awareness is slowly growing amongst practitioners.

The GAPS Protocol is a digestive healing protocol that does wonders for nourishing and helping the body ... helping many families regain their health even when conventional medicine has failed to help them do so. The range of conditions GAPS™ can help address includes:

Autism, eczema, headaches & migraines, digestive issues (such as acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, gas & bloating), autoimmune disorders, fussy eating, acne, FPIES, poor immunity, candida, failure to thrive, OCD, aggressive behavior, anxiety, night terrors, dis-regulated hormones, etc.

However, for those with histamine intolerance amongst the GAPS community, it can be a troublesome issue. Many of the very foods that are used to heal and nourish on the GAPS Protocol are high in histamines.

The GAPS Protocol can be the very solution for balancing the human microbiome and the histamine issue in the long run. It is possible that the ill health of the gut may even turn the vulnerable genes "on" that contribute to histamine issues. The DAO enzyme system is located in the intestinal mucosa. What is one to do? This article will help you figure out how to juxtapose the GAPS diet with histamine intolerance. How does one get past the histamine intolerance symptoms? Let's start with a brief summary of what histamine intolerance is, as well as symptoms, and what causes histamine levels to build up.

What is Histamine?

Histamine is one of those chemicals that performs multiple jobs ... that we cannot do without. It's a bio-active chemical (useful and natural within the body), a neurotransmitter (messenger between cells), a mediator in inflammatory & allergic responses. It regulates access to the blood capillaries; also regulating stomach acid, muscle contractions, and even brain function. It defends against pathogenic viruses, bacteria, etc. In other words, we need it! "Normal" blood levels are 0.3 - 1.0 ng/mL, but individual tolerance is variable. So too, are the causes of one person's intolerance compared to another.

Symptoms of Histamine Excess
Sourced from Dr. Janice Joneja's 2010 paper:
  • Pruritus (itching especially of the skin, eyes, ears, and nose)
  • Urticaria (hives)
  • Tissue swelling (angioedema) especially of facial and oral tissues and sometimes the throat, the latter causing the feeling of "throat tightening"
  • Hypotension (drop in blood pressure)
  • Tachycardia (increased pulse rate, "heart racing")
  • Symptoms resembling anxiety or panic attack
  • Chest pain
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Conjunctivitis (irritated, watery, reddened eyes)
  • Some types of headaches that differ from those of migraine
  • Fatigue, confusion, irritability
  • Very occasionally loss of consciousness usually lasting for only one or two seconds
  • Digestive tract upset, especially heartburn, "indigestion", and reflux
Where Does Histamine Come From?

#1 - Food
All proteins contain the amino acid histidine. Through microbial action the histidine is converted to histamine. So all foods that are fermented during their production contain histamine and even foods that are not fermented will have more histamine if they are not fresh, such as leftovers. Histamine levels can also be high in certain non-fermented foods like oranges, spinach & cinnamon. The biggest culprits on the GAPS Protocol can be the bone broth, fermented foods, cultured dairy & nuts. Leftover meat can also be an issue as batch cooking is a helpful tool for GAPS.

High Histamine Foods:
  • Fermented foods (with the exception of properly fermented anaerobic ferments like those done in a Pickl-It)
  • Cow's milk and most cultured dairy (such as cheeses, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk ... there can be exceptions)
  • Shellfish (due to histamine producing bacteria remaining in gut of shellfish)
  • Fish (unless immediately gutted and very fresh)
  • Leftover meat
  • Processed meat (smoked, cured, or fermented like bacon & salami)
  • Dried fruits
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spinach
  • Tomato products (red tomatoes are higher histamine than yellow/orange)
  • Vinegar products (vinegar, pickles, ketchup, mustard)
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial preservatives
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee beans (that are fermented)
  • Alcohol
  • Long cooked bone broth
  • Wheat germ
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Tea (black, green, & mate)
  • Some spices (cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, anise, nutmeg, curry powder, cayenne)
#2 - Immune Cell Production (basophils, eosinophils, mast cells)
An important component of immune response, histamine is released by immune cells (below) in order to open up the capillaries for white blood cells to get in and do their work against pathogens or toxins.
  • Mast cells
  • Basophils
  • Eosinophils
#3 - Low Levels of One/Both of These Two (2) Enzymes
These two enzymes, especially DAO, bind & break down histamine, preventing excess histamine.
  • DAO - diamine oxidase
  • HMT - histamine N-methyltransferase
#3 - Gut Bacteria
Many of the bacteria that live in the gut, particularly the colon, produce histidine decarboxylase, which is the enzyme that's capable of converting histidine, which is an amino acid and protein, into histamine
Histamine-producing bacteria: Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecalis, and various types of E. coli
Histamine-degrading bacteria: Lots of bifidobacteria species, but particularly Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus Plantarum, and then Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and salivarius, and sporogenes, and Lactobacillus gasseri.
(See my probiotic recommendations below) If you have problems metabolizing and breaking down histamine then the histamine levels build up and give you symptoms.

How to Fit GAPS to Histamine Intolerance
All is not lost in fitting GAPS with histamine intolerance. Start with these important steps to fit histamine intolerance into your GAPS plan.

IMPORTANT - Only consume short cooked "meat stock," rather than long cooked bone broth, for at least 30 days. Bone broth that is cooked long and slow, will have much higher levels of histamine. See this article for the difference.
Ferment your sauerkraut with true anaerobic fermentation, in vessels like Pickl-It jars. Start with a two (2) week fermentation with a good soil based bacteria starter like Caldwell's.  If you are extra sensitive, move your ferment to the fridge for another 2 - 3 months before consuming.
Do regular coffee enemas (See Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride's FAQ on this)
Fresh pressed juices (include some raw beet which is naturally anti-histamine)
Take histamine-reducing or histamine-neutral probiotics (list below)
If you need to, take a break. Remove all high histamine foods for 30+ days and slowly re-introduce the GAPS healing foods that can be problematic with histamine intolerance.

Probiotics For Histamine Intolerance
All of these probiotics either contain histamine reducing or histamine neutral strains.
  • Prescript Assist (a 29 strain soil based probiotic)
  • GutPro
  • Peak Biotics
  • Pro-Biota 12
Other Histamine Resources:

#1 - DAO supplementation to supply the enzyme that breaks down histamine:

Histame (Cleanest & best for GAPS)

#2 - NAET - An Allergy Elimination Technique

#3 - Natural Anti-Histamines or Helpers:
Vitamin C
Holy Basil
Magnesium glycinate

#4 - Homeopathic Isopathic Phenolic Rings
By Energetix (30 drops 2x per day)

Helpful Low-Histamine Recipe Sources - Look For The Grain & Sugar Free Recipes
The Low Histamine Chef

A Note on Fresh Food According to Ayurvedic Tradition
"The body's inability to metabolize foods that are not fresh results in the formation of ama, or toxic undigested material," adds Shubhra Krishan, author of Essential Ayurveda: What It Is and What It Can Do for You. This substance clogs up the vital channels of the body, disrupting digestion and ultimately giving rise to everything from fatigue to disease. Since food begins losing prana the moment it's disconnected from its life source, it is important to create meals using only the freshest ingredients and to take care not to overcook them. Try not to cook meals ahead of time; if possible, make a few separate trips during the week to buy fresh produce. Yoga Journal

The GAPS™ Protocol is a nourishing and effective diet, detoxification, supplement, & lifestyle program. It is also adaptable to your individual needs ... its foundation is good, whole food! With a little tweaking, even those with histamine intolerance can gain many benefits from GAPS