Dr. Bray Links

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top 10 Headache Remedies - Dr. Axe

1. Magnesium
2. Gluten-Free Diet
3. Peppermint & Lavender Essential Oil
4. Chiropractic Care & Posture
5. Herbs: Feverfew & Butterbur
6. B-Complex Vitamins
7. Stay Hydrated
8. Detox Bath to Reduce Tension
9. Stretching and Moving
10. Cayenne Muscle Rub


Those medieval doctors may have been on to something

An ancient concoction for eye infections seems to really work. The potion, which contains cattle bile, kills the "superbug" methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, researchers at Britain's University of Nottingham report.

In fact, it worked better than the current gold standard for MRSA infections of the flesh, the antibiotic vancomycin, an expert at Texas Tech University found.

Now researchers are working to see just what's in the salve that kills germs so effectively.

It started with a joint project by two wildly different departments at the University of Nottingham.

Dr. Christina Lee, an Anglo-Saxon expert in the School of English, went to microbiologists in the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences with an ancient text — Bald's Leechbook. The 10th-century book has all sorts of remedies, detailed in Old English.

They picked a relatively simple eye salve calling for garlic, onions and cow bile, to be mixed with wine and aged in a copper vessel.

"We chose this recipe ... because it contains ingredients such as garlic that are currently being investigated by other researchers on their potential antibiotic effectiveness," Lee says in a video released by the university. "We also looked at a recipe that was relatively straightforward."

It didn't look exactly sanitary, even if onions and garlic are known to have some antimicrobial activity, and even if wine might kill some germs if the alcoholic content is high enough. Copper, also, has some antimicrobial properties. As for bile from a cow's stomach — maybe not so much.

Nonetheless, said Nottingham microbiologist Freya Harrison, "we recreated the recipe as faithfully as we could."

They even went to a vineyard that's been around since the 9th century for some wine, said the university's Steve Diggle.

They pounded together the ingredients and left them to stew for days, as directed. And the resulting mash seemed to kill germs pretty well. It even killed germs that had formed a sticky mess called a biofilm — something that's usually pretty hard to get at, even with modern antibiotics.

The researchers, who presented their findings this week to a meeting of microbiologists in Britain, sent some of the stuff off to Kendra Rumbaugh, an associate professor at Texas Tech, who tests antibiotics. She tried it against MRSA, one of the most common and vexing superbugs that's spreading rapidly.

"It certainly works as well as, if not better than, what we are using in clinics," Rumbaugh told NBC News. "The gold standard is vancomycin and it worked as well as if not better than vancomycin."

Rumbaugh tested the stuff in tissue taken from mice infected with MRSA. The salve will have to be made using more modern methods before anyone can test it in a living animal, she said.

"Usually we don't find very much that works that well, certainly not against MRSA," Rumbaugh said.

Individually, the ingredients did not kill the germs. "It wasn't until they put it all together that we saw this really nice antibacterial activity," Rumbaugh said.


Natural Ear Infection Remedies

Top Foods for Ear Infections

  • Water: Helps clear mucus.
  • Wild-caught fish: Omega-3 fats help reduce inflammation and improve allergies.
  • Non-dairy baby formula: If a baby drinks formula, switch to coconut or goat’s milk-based formulas which tend to cause fewer allergies.
  • Clean lean protein: Sufficient protein helps the immune system.  Aim for 3-4 ounces at minimum per meal. Shellfish can be problematic for some people; if so, avoid it.
  • Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C: Keeps immune system strong, which helps the body’s ability to ward off infection.

Foods to Avoid

  • Potential food allergens: Some common allergens include conventional dairy, gluten, shrimp and peanuts.
  • Conventional dairy: Pasteurized cows dairy products can be mucus-producing and worsen infection.
  • Sugar: Reduces immune functioning.
  • Processed foods: These foods may contain added chemicals and dyes that young children can be sensitive to.

Top 5 Ear Infection Remedies
#1 Garlic oil ear drops: (2 warm drops in ear daily)
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

#2 Zinc (10 mg 2x a day for those older than 2 years old)
Zinc boosts immune function and promotes healing.

#3 Vitamin C (1,000mg 3x a day for adults, 500 mg 2x daily for children 6-12 yoa)
Vitamin C enhances immune function and lowers inflammation.

#4 Echinacea (2 mL 4x daily for children)
Echinacea increases lymphatic drainage and stimulates immune function.

#5 Vitamin D3 (400 IU – 2000 IU daily ages 2-12)
Vitamin D3 helps support the immune system.


'Brain Fog' Study Finds Hidden Molecules In Cerebrospinal Fluid

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health used immunoassary testing methods to measure levels of 51 immune biomarkers, or cytokines, via the cerebrospinal fluid of 32 people with ME/CFS for a period of just about seven years. They also looked at 40 patients who had suffered from multiple sclerosis and 19 healthy controls.

The team observed how the immune molecule interleukin 1 was depressed in those with ME/CFS when compared to the other two groups. Furthermore, the cytokine eotaxin was found to be elevated in those with both the ME/CFS and MS groups, but not in the control group.

"We now know that the same changes to the immune system that we recently reported in the blood of people with ME/CFS with long-standing disease are also present in the central nervous system," said Mady Hornig, professor of Epidemiology and director of translational research at the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School, in a news release. "These immune findings may contribute to symptoms in both the peripheral parts of the body and the brain, from muscle weakness to brain fog."


"Our results indicate a markedly disturbed immune signature in the cerebrospinal fluid of cases that is consistent with immune activation in the central nervous system, and a shift toward an allergic or T helper type-2 pattern associated with autoimmunity."

"CSF, as a reflection of the microenvironment of the CNS, may provide unique clues to the pathogenesis of ME/CFS. Although increased CSF CCL11 and CXCL10 levels in ME/CFS subjects, along with dysregulation of IL1 signaling, suggest the possibility of an allergic process in central compartments, such patterns may also be seen in a wide range of CNS infections. Additional studies focused on delineating the relationships of clinical phenotypes of ME/CFS to immune profiles in both the CSF and the peripheral blood are of paramount importance to investigating potential causes and biomarkers for disease. Recent reports indicate regional changes in white matter volume and abnormalities in myelin in white matter tracts in ME/CFS. Accordingly, future work should also include comparisons with larger numbers of MS subjects representing different clinical subgroups, as well as additional control subjects with neurodegenerative disorders not primarily associated with white matter pathology such as Alzheimer disease or Parkinson disease. Better delineation of the neuroimmune signaling pathways that are specifically dysregulated in ME/CFS may accelerate discovery of effective treatments."


The CSF concentrations of the following immune molecules were determined using a magnetic bead-based 51-plex immunoassay: interleukin (IL)1 superfamily—IL2, IL4, IL7, IL13, IL15; type I IL/β chain family—IL5, GMCSF (CSF2); IL6 (gp130) family—IL6, LIF; IL12 family—IL12p40, IL12p70; IL10 family—IL10; IL17 family—IL17A, IL17F; type I interferons (IFNs)—IFNα2, IFNβ; type II IFN—IFNγ; tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily—TNFα (TNFSF2), TNFβ (TNFSF1), CD40 ligand (CD40L), sFasL (TNFSF6), TRAIL (TNFSF10); CC chemokines—CCL2 (MCP1), CCL3 (MIP1α), CCL4 (MIP1β), CCL5 (RANTES), CCL7 (MCP3), CCL11 (eotaxin); CXC chemokines—CXCL1 (GROα), CXCL5 (ENA78), CXCL8 (IL8), CXCL9 (MIG), CXCL10 (IP10); PDGF family/VEGF subfamily—PDGFBB, VEGFA; cell adhesion molecules—sICAM1 (CD54), VCAM1 (CD106); serine protease inhibitor—serpin E1 (PAI1); adipose-derived hormones—leptin, resistin; and neurotrophic/growth/cellular factors—TGFα, TGFβ, FGFb, βNGF, HGF, SCF, MCSF (CSF1), GCSF (CSF3) (customized Procarta immunoassay, Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA, USA).

Monday, March 30, 2015

Home Depot water testing and RainSoft

I have recently seen a significant uptick in people investing several thousand dollars in a whole house water "softener" system that is sold as a water "purifier". When you walk into Home Depot, you are practically assaulted by a sales force that tries to snare you into having your water "tested" for free. This testing is not true water quality testing - they are testing for TDS - total dissolved solids. TDS is something that you can easily find on the web for free and is basically reflective of how much calcium there is in the water (technically it's the sum of all the cations and anions in the water - calcium, magnesium, carbonates, chloride, etc). If you make the mistake of getting RainSoft to test your water for free, they will call you to tell you your water is full of impurities, but they will have no idea about any of the common water contaminants. Since we have relatively hard water here in Florida, the TDS test can be made to "look" quite alarming (however the TDS of our water is only slightly higher than some pristine spring waters from around the world).

After the call from RainSoft that informs you that your water is full of "impurities", they send a salesman to your house who will "test" your water right in front of your eyes. He will even test your bottled water for you for free. You will see the RainSoft water crystal clear and all the other water "full of impurities". However, again, the only thing they are testing for is TDS - which is basically calcium and magnesium (and their associated anions). If you ask the salesman "Wait a minute, I thought calcium and magnesium are good things, aren't they?" ... the response is "yes, but you can get that from your food - it doesn't need to be in your water." Then you might ask, "And sodium does belong in my water?" the salesman response is "We only add a little bit of sodium to purify your water." This reasoning is a little irrational - to pull out one Ca2+ ion, you must put in two Na+ ions.

A water softener is not a water purifier. It simply exchanges the calcium and magnesium in your water for sodium. Yes, this water "cleans" better and soaps work better. But there is something fundamentally wrong with drinking salt water instead of spring water with natural minerals. Just watch your blood pressure soar and your bone density decline. The good old fashioned carbon filter is still a pretty good water purifier. Reverse osmosis is also a good strategy for water purification.



Dr. Mercola's opinion:

"If you would like to have your water tested, the most comprehensive test kit I recommend is from National Testing Laboratories.  We have these test kits available at cost, a significant discount from the standard online price.  If you're interested, you can purchase a test kit for Well Water or for City Water.

 If you could only afford one filter there is no question in most experts minds that the shower filter is the most important product to buy for water filtration, even more important than filtering your tap water. This is because the damage you incur through your skin and lungs far surpasses the damage done by drinking water (which at least gives your body a fighting chance to eliminate the toxins through your organs of elimination).

An even better solution to the problem of harsh chemicals and toxins in your home's water supply is to install a whole house water filtration system. This not only protects your body, but also your appliances as well.

There's just one water line coming into your house. Putting a filter on this is the easiest and simplest strategy you can implement to take control of your health by ensuring the water and the air in your house is as clean as possible.

Just remember, if you are getting your water from a municipal source your indoor air quality, especially in the winter when your windows are closed, is likely atrocious. This is related to the chlorine and other toxins evaporating from all your toilet bowls, showers, baths, dishwashers and washing machines.

My advice for whole house filtration systems is as follows: Find a system that uses at least sixty pounds of filter media and can produce eight or more gallons a minute. When you are running two different showers, the dishwasher and the kitchen sink at the same time, you'll find our why these minimum levels are so important.

Now, this recommendation covers a home or apartment up to 3200 sq./ft, or in other words, a residence with about three and a half bathrooms. For more than that you will probably require two whole house water filtration systems.

You also need to look for a whole house water filter that has three separate stages of contamination removal:
•Stage one removes sediment.
•Stage two removes chlorine and heavy metals.
•Stage three should be a heavy-duty carbon filter for removing hormones, drug residues, chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides.

You want to look for granular carbon in the carbon filter, not a solid block of carbon. The granular carbon allows for better water flow, which translates to more water pressure and better filtering properties as well.

You also want to look for NSF certification, which ensures your water filter is meeting national standards. NSF certification is not given before a product can prove it removes everything it claims to remove. It's also good to makes sure all particles under .8 microns are being filtered out of the water. A lower number is actually better, but .8 microns is the standard I recommend because that covers most bacteria, viruses and VOCs."


What are MI and MCI and why are they in my hand soap?

Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) are two of the most common preservatives found in water-based personal care products and cosmetics. UK physicians have raised some concerns about their rampant use.



"A chemical used in hundreds of beauty products is being blamed for a massive rise in dangerous allergic reactions.

Cosmetic giant Johnson & Johnson says it is so concerned, it is taking the chemical out of its best-selling Piz Buin sun cream and other products.

Molton Brown is doing the same and big brands such as Nivea, L’Oreal, Clarins and Sanctuary are under pressure to take action as doctors say adverse reactions to the chemical have reached ‘epidemic proportions’.

Skin experts say manufacturers should urgently remove the chemical, a preservative called methylisothiazolinone (MI), from products that are left on the skin. It can cause rashes, lumps, blisters, itchy eyes and facial swelling.

In one case, a woman’s head and face swelled up so much that doctors feared she would have trouble breathing without urgent treatment.

In another, a British holidaymaker’s skin became so inflamed that she spent two days in a Spanish hospital and needed steroids and antihistamines to calm the allergic reaction.

MI is a preservative designed to extend shelf life, and has no useful properties for users of the products.

Experts say the scale of the allergic reactions to the chemical, which has been used increasingly since 2005, is alarming. Dermatologists expect an allergic reaction to a cosmetic product of 1 or 2 per cent, but clinics say the rate for MI has been more than 10 per cent.

Leading dermatologist Dr Ian White, from St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said: ‘The frequency of reactions to MI is unprecedented in my experience.

'We’ve never seen anything quite like it. Contact allergy to this permitted preservative is now of epidemic proportions. Immediate action needs to be taken by industry.’"


How safe is that PPD test for tuberculosis?

This article raises concerns about the possibility of a chronic low-grade mycobacterial infection after receiving the PPD (the skin test for tuberculosis screening). Consider using a TB release assay blood test (like QuantiFERON-TB Gold) if your school or employment requires TB testing.


The tuberculin skin test: How safe is safe? - the tuberculins contain unknown forms capable of reverting to cell-wall-deficient mycobacteria

Alexander P. Lysenko, Vladimir V. Vlasenko, Lawrence Broxmeyer, Artem P. Lemish, Tatiana P. Novik, Andrei N. Pritychenko

Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences, Vol. 2, 2014, no. 2, 55 - 73

"Tuberculin is made from proteins derived from tubercle bacilli that have been “killed” by heating. Yet in both Zwadyk’s 1994 study and Bemer-Melchior’s 1999 investigations ‘heatkilled’ tuberculosis and its related mycobacteria, whether in tuberculin, vaccination or otherwise, have dormant, practically indestructible cell-wall-deficient forms which can revert back to virulent TB bacilli “killed” ― by neither heat nor sterilization. The ability and actual preference of mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis to form filterable, multi-shaped cell-wall-deficient (CWD) forms and spores in order to survive unfavorable conditions has in fact been known for some time. But the possibility of PPD tuberculins for human use containing such potentially virulent CWD forms, even after autoclaving, sterilizing and ultrafiltration, has not. Autoclaved ultra-filtrates of the various mycobacteria used to produce tuberculin skin tests, consisting of M. Tuberculosis, M. bovis, and M. avium were investigated. All samples were mixed with growth stimulant, incubated, and placed on a special nutrient medium with a 1% agar base. Within 2-10 days after incubation colonies of a variety of non-acid-fast forms were noted, yet all of these proved, through PCR real time with FAM probe to still have antigens in common with their classic tubercular parent-form, from which they originated. Moreover, in true cell-wall-deficient fashion, the isolates, upon guinea pig inoculation, did not immediately produce visible lesions, but nevertheless persisted. However, tissue homogenates of the infected animals, once placed on a growth-enhancing medium showed cell-wall-deficient mycobacterial forms interspersed with classical acid-fast rods. And a repeated passage of such tissue homogenates back into non-infected guinea pigs, not only induced small mycobacterial granulomas in their livers, but a distinct increase in acid-fast rods. Moreover, similar cell-wall-deficient mycobacterial forms with acid-fast rods occurred when embryonated chicken eggs were inoculated with PPD tuberculins as well.

The autoclaved and supposedly “sterilized” purified protein derivative [PPD] used in tuberculin skin tests contain cell-wall-deficient forms capable of eventually reverting back to virulent acid-fast tuberculosis, both typical and atypical. "


Senate goes on 2 week vacation and leaves doctors with 21% salary cut

House passes permanent SGR fix, but Senate doesn't take up the bill.
by Joyce Frieden 
News Editor, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON -- Congress adjourned Friday for a 2-week recess without passing a repeal -- permanent or temporary -- of Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician reimbursement.

Despite pressure from the House and President Obama, the Senate adjourned early Friday morning for a 2-week recess without passing any kind of fix for the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician reimbursement, leaving doctors once again in limbo.

Without passage of a permanent SGR fix or another temporary "patch," physicians face a 21.2% cut in Medicare reimbursement on April 1.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Coffee Is Good For Your Liver

The researchers indicate, "Mechanisms that support a protective effect of coffee on liver cancer relate largely to studies in animals, although some human studies contribute to the evidence. Both coffee and coffee extracts have also been shown to reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammation, and the effects appear to be most pronounced in the liver."

However, it is also important to note that the study points out the effect of aflatoxins as well. This is a toxin produced by mold, and is often associated with various other foods you might eat.

"Aflatoxins are produced by inadequate storage of food, and are generally an issue related to foods from warmer, developing regions of the world," explains World Cancer Research Fund researchers. "Foods that may be affected by aflatoxins include cereals, spices, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, chillies, black pepper, dried fruit and figs."

So, basically, if you eat any of these foods, you may be at risk for consuming aflatoxins, but you could drink coffee to protect yourself from the risk!

Olive oil antioxidant naturally kills cancer cells

The health benefits of olive oil are often even greater in the leaves from the olive tree. Olive leaves (and leaf extract) have been used as a medicine for thousands of years. When olive oil is over-processed or cooked, much of the health benefits are lost. Keep in mind that olive oil is high in omega-9 (also found in avocado, macadamia nuts, apricot seeds, and almonds) and you should not neglect the beneficial anti-inflammatory omega-3 family of oils as well as keeping the often pro-inflammatory omega-6 family properly balanced.



A Rutgers nutritional scientist and two cancer biologists at New York City’s Hunter College have found that an ingredient in extra-virgin olive oil kills a variety of human cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

The ingredient is oleocanthal, a compound that ruptures a part of the cancerous cell, releasing enzymes that cause cell death.

Paul Breslin, professor of nutritional sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and David Foster and Onica LeGendre of Hunter College, report that oleocanthal kills cancerous cells in the laboratory by rupturing vesicles that store the cell’s waste. LeGendre, the first author, Foster, the senior author, and Breslin have published their findings in Molecular and Cellular Oncology.

According to the World Health Organization’s World Cancer Report 2014, there were more than 14 million new cases of cancer in 2012 and more than 8 million deaths.

Scientists knew that oleocanthal killed some cancer cells, but no one really understood how this occurred. Breslin believed that oleocanthal might be targeting a key protein in cancer cells that triggers a programmed cell death, known as apoptosis, and worked with Foster and Legendre to test his hypothesis after meeting David Foster at a seminar he gave at Rutgers.

“We needed to determine if oleocanthal was targeting that protein and causing the cells to die,” Breslin said.

After applying oleocanthal to the cancer cells, Foster and LeGendre discovered that the cancer cells were dying very quickly – within 30 minutes to an hour. Since programmed cell death takes between 16 and 24 hours, the scientists realized that something else had to be causing the cancer cells to break down and die.

LeGendre, a chemist, provided the answer: The cancer cells were being killed by their own enzymes. The oleocanthal was puncturing the vesicles inside the cancer cells that store the cell’s waste – the cell’s “dumpster,” as Breslin called it, or “recycling center,” as Foster refers to it. These vesicles, known as lysosomes are larger in cancer cells than in healthy cells, and they contain a lot of waste. “Once you open one of those things, all hell breaks loose,” Breslin said.

But oleocanthal didn’t harm healthy cells, the researchers found. It merely stopped their life cycles temporarily – “put them to sleep,” Breslin said. After a day, the healthy cells resumed their cycles.

The researchers say the logical next step is to go beyond laboratory conditions and show that oleocanthal can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors in living animals. “We also need to understand why it is that cancerous cells are more sensitive to oleocanthal than non-cancerous cells,” Foster said.



Food Cravings

When Your Body Craves Certain Foods, It Actually Is Looking For Nutrients
Dr. Colleen Huber

If you crave this…
What you really need is… - And here are healthy foods that have it:

Magnesium - Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits

Chromium - Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
Carbon - Fresh fruits
Phosphorus - Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
Sulfur - Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
Tryptophan - Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach

Bread, toast
Nitrogen - High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans

Oily snacks, fatty foods
Calcium - Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

Coffee or tea
Phosphorous - Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes
Sulfur - Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
NaCl (salt) - Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
Iron - Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries

Alcohol, recreational drugs
Protein - Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts
Avenin - Granola, oatmeal
Calcium - Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Glutamine - Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice
Potassium - Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens

Chewing ice
Iron - Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries

Burned food
Carbon - Fresh fruits

Soda and other carbonated drinks
Calcium - Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

Salty foods
Chloride - Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt

Acid foods
Magnesium - Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits

Preference for liquids rather than solids
Water - Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Preference for solids rather than liquids
Water - You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Cool drinks
Manganese - Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries

Pre-menstrual cravings
Zinc - Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables

General overeating
Silicon - Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tryptophan - Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Tyrosine - Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables

Lack of appetite
Vitamin B1 - Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats
Vitamin B3 - Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes
Manganese - Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Chloride - Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt

Silicon - Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tyrosine - Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables

"This chart was first published on my website and then in my book “CHOOSE YOUR FOODS: Like Your Life Depends on Them” in 2007.  Here is an excerpt:

Food cravings can seem strong enough to pick you up and carry you straight to the refrigerator or convenience store independent of your will and better judgment. For many women, cravings are especially intense in the week or so before menstruation. But many men, older women, teens and children can have strong cravings too. Let’s look at what is behind this force. Naturopathic physician Tori Hudson, ND, describes the condition as a mild malnutrition, certainly not with severe overt consequences as say scurvy or rickets. Rather, a great many people on the Standard American Diet (SAD in more ways than one) suffer from a milder malnutrition from eating only depleted, processed foods and not enough whole, nutrient-rich foods.

As a result, we end up craving the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that we lack. But while your body may know that you are missing for example potassium, your conscious mind is not aware of the flavor of potassium. Instead, because of familiarity, you can reminisce and feel hungry for the flavor of salty foods, which are high in another cation, sodium, and which have their appeal partly rooted in sodium and potassium. The salty foods that your conscious mind desires has its greatest ability to quench those cravings due to the salty foods’ high sodium content.

Sugar Cravings

As we have seen, cravings are actually the manifestation of a mild malnutrition, which is very widespread, even in well-to-do societies. We go into this at length in Chapter 11 of the book.  So we end up craving the vitamins and especially minerals that we lack.  The chocolate that your conscious mind desires has its greatest ability to quench those cravings due to chocolate’s high magnesium content.

Of course, the sugar in commercially prepared chocolate is another desperate desire when you have ridden the sugar-insulin roller coaster long enough to plummet to the abyss of hypoglycemia. The food cravings of PMS are due to poor glucose tolerance brought on by diets that are high in refined carbohydrates. Refined sugars deplete the body’s supplies of B-vitamins, chromium, magnesium, zinc and manganese, and the resulting deficiencies then manifest as cravings for other foods. What adds insult to injury here is that whole sugar cane is actually high in these minerals. In fact, of all known plants, the one with the highest known proportion of chromium is, of all things, sugar cane. Chromium is necessary for insulin function and to modulate blood sugar levels. Then the refining process strips out the minerals, so that the whole food, which nature put together so wisely, now becomes something that destroys our health, heaves our blood sugar and blood insulin into grotesque chaos, and leaves us craving what the refining process threw away.

This simply adds to the mountain of evidence that nature knew what she was doing when she made whole food. This is not to say that sugar cane or the minimally processed molasses should be consumed. The torture of the huge sugar-insulin assault on your pancreas and liver and brain is really not worth the minerals gained from eating it. Those minerals are available from healthier sources.

If you are interested in food and how it effects your body, read about our recent clinical study on sugar, and how we found that our cancer patients who eliminated all types of sugar and sweets from their diets had double the survival rate of cancer patients who ate sugar.  We have seen first hand at our natural cancer clinic the devastating effects of sugar on the human body, and as we recommend to all of our patients – the one food you should eliminate from your diet is SUGAR (in all of its forms).  You will lose weight, have more energy, and be healthier; and you will feel the effects almost immediately.  We feel this is the single most important thing that anyone can do with their diet to become healthier."


Problems with Triclosan

When you're buying soaps and body washes, do you reach for the bar or bottle labeled "antibacterial"? Are you thinking that these products, in addition to keeping you clean, will reduce your risk of getting sick or passing on germs to others?

Not necessarily, according to experts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Every day, consumers use antibacterial soaps and body washes at home, work, school and in other public settings. Especially because so many consumers use them, FDA believes that there should be clearly demonstrated benefits to balance any potential risks.

In fact, there currently is no evidence that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water, says Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., a lead microbiologist at FDA.

Moreover, antibacterial soap products contain chemical ingredients, such as triclosan and triclocarban, which may carry unnecessary risks given that their benefits are unproven.

"New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits," Rogers says. There are indications that certain ingredients in these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and may have unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern to FDA.


EWG’s Guide to Triclosan

Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical found in many consumer products.

Where is triclosan found?
It’s nearly ubiquitous in liquid hand soap and dishwashing detergent, but those aren’t the only products it’s in. Triclosan is also a common ingredient in toothpaste, facewash, deodorant, a host of personal care products, and even mattresses, toothbrushes and shoe insoles.

A U.S. FDA advisory committee has found that household use of antibacterial products provides no benefits over plain soap and water, and the American Medical Association recommends that triclosan not be used in the home, as it may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

What problems are associated with triclosan?
Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That’s especially unfortunate since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life.

Forgo antibacterial soap.
The American Medical Association says not to use it at home.

Watch for triclosan (and triclocarban) in personal care products.
Read ingredient labels or use Skin Deep to find products free of triclosan and triclocarban, its chemical cousin.

Avoid “antibacterial” products.
Triclosan is used in everyday products like toothbrushes, toys, and cutting boards that may be labeled “antibacterial,” or make claims such as “odor-fighting” or “keeps food fresher, longer.”

Triclosan may be in these products:

  • soap and dishwashing liquid
  • towels
  • mattresses
  • sponges
  • personal care products
  • shower curtains
  • toothbrushes
  • phones
  • kitchenware and plastic food containers
  • shoes
  • flooring and carpets
  • cutting boards
  • clothing and fabrics
  • toys

27 Coconut Flour Recipes - Dr. Axe

27 Coconut Flour Recipes
Dr. Axe

Whether you’ve gone gluten-free, have a nut allergy or simply are looking for a more nutritious alternative to traditional flours, coconut flour might be the solution you’re looking for.

Coconut flour contains absolutely no grains or nuts, great for those who are gluten-free or have nut allergies. Instead, it’s made entirely from ground and dried coconut meat, making it an extremely healthy option. Not only is coconut flour high in fiber, accounting for almost 61% of your daily intake, it also helps keep blood sugar levels in check — no spikes here! Coconut flour also aids in healthy digestion and can help keep your metabolism running smoothly.

There are a few things to keep in mind when baking with coconut flour. Coconut flour is super absorbent. You’ll often find you need less flour than when using traditional versions — you definitely won’t be able to stick with a 1:1 substitution.

Instead, the rule of thumb is to use about 1/4 to 1/3 a cup of coconut flour in place of grain-based flours. Because it’s more dense than wheat flours, adding extra moisture is necessary. Doubling or tripling the eggs in your favorite recipes will up the moisture content and ensure baked goods remain moist and delicious.

Coconut flour is becoming easier and easier to find, and you can now often find it alongside traditional flours in the baking aisle or the organic section of your local grocery store. And of course, you can also buy it online. My favorite is Tropical Tradition’s organic coconut flour. Or try your hand at making your own homemade version!


Whether you’re a coconut flour newbie or already a connoisseur, these 27 coconut flour recipes are guaranteed to make your mouth water. You won’t be able to stay away from coconut flour after trying these mouth-watering recipes!

1. Chocolate-Caramel Coconut Flour Brownies
I just love this recipe! Not only are the chocolate brownies easy to make and taste delicious, but they’re also drizzled with a homemade caramel sauce that’ll blow your mind. This will become a family favorite for sure!

2. Apple Coconut Crisp
If you want an apple treat that’s less labor intensive than apple pie, you’ll love this crisp. Loaded with fresh apples, flaxseeds (one of my favorite superfoods) and coconut oil, you’ll love adding this to your list of healthy coconut flour recipes.

3. Coconut Crust Pizza
You don’t have to forgo pizza if you’re eating gluten-free. This coconut flour recipe satisfies those delivery cravings in a much healthier way. In under 25 minutes, you’ll have a nutritious crust ready to be smothered with your favorite toppings. Toss out the takeout menus; you won’t be ordering out any longer!

4. Chicken Tenders
Skip preservative-laden chicken nuggets and make your own tenders instead. Seasoning the coconut flour “breading” imparts loads of flavor in this easy-to-make recipe. Bake the chicken on a cooling rack to give them an even crispier coating. You won’t believe these aren’t fried!

5. Chocolate Chunk Bars
These chocolate chunk bars will satisfy your sweet tooth with wholesome ingredients like honey, coconut oil and almond milk. Use your favorite dark chocolate and add in coconut flakes for a little extra oomph. Be sure to remove the bars from the oven once the edges are golden brown to avoid dry, over-baked bars!

6. Coconut Banana Crepes
Get your crepes fix with this nutritious, homemade version. With just six ingredients, you can whip these up banana crepes up in just minutes. Try serving them at brunch and wow your family with your coconut flour recipes skills!

7. Coconut Flour Biscuits
Biscuits are high on the comfort food list ­— and luckily, you can make a healthy version! Unlike frozen, processed versions, this recipe uses recognizable pantry staples to create biscuits to accompany any dish (or eat ‘em on their own!).

8. Donuts
Using coconut flour recipes means that healthy donuts aren’t an oxymoron. Now you can whip up your own nutritious donuts in a snap. Using just sea salt, eggs, vanilla and a few other ingredients, you’ll be making Krispy Kreme jealous. Be sure to grease your donut pan to make sure the donuts are easily removed.

9. Everything Bagel Cauliflower Rolls
It’s amazing how good for you these “bagels” are. Made with cauliflower, this coconut flour recipe uses all the toppings traditionally found in everything bagels for one of the best grain-free versions I’ve seen!

10. Grain-Free Coconut Almond Bread
If you’re looking for a versatile loaf of bread that’s totally grain-free, you’ll love this one. You’ll get the benefits of detoxing apple cider vinegar and bread that’s perfect for sandwiches, toast or anything else! It’ll become a staple in your coconut flour recipes cookbook.

11. Grain-Free Graham Crackers
Skip the boxes at the store and make your own graham crackers for s’mores, pie crusts and more. These are naturally sweetened with molasses and honey for a wholesome snack you can feel good about feeding your family.

12. Grain-Free Rosemary Garlic Flatbread
Delicious as an appetizer or side dish, this Paleo-friendly coconut flour recipe use fresh rosemary and garlic to create a simple, delicious flatbread that can double as a pizza crust, too. It’ll satisfy your carb cravings — with no grains!

13. Healthy Blueberry Cobbler
Get all the vitamin and antioxidant benefits of blueberries in this easy-to-make cobbler. It’s full of some of my favorite ingredients and tastes great. Serve it for dessert tonight!

14. Oat-Free Paleo Oatmeal
Paleo and grain-free eaters, take heart. You can still get your oatmeal fix with this breakfast porridge. It’s heavy on the coconut flavor because it uses coconut milk, flour and shredded flakes. If you prefer a bit less coco flavor, sweeten with a bit of honey instead.

15. Paleo Coconut Pecan Breakfast Bars
This is one of my go-to coconut flour recipes because of how easy they are. Eat these wholesome breakfast bars right away or store them in the freezer for hectic mornings: they’re great either way. With all-natural ingredients, you can feel good about serving these as an afterschool snack, too. Tip: add chocolate chips in addition to the pecans for a chocolatey twist!

16. Paleo Coconut Flour Brownies
While this requires a hearty helping of butter (you can also substitute ghee), these fudgy brownies are better than anything you could find at a store. They include only six ingredients, so they’re great for special occasions. File this one under “delicious dessert coconut flour recipes”!

17. Paleo Lemon Bread With Lemon Glaze
This easy-to-make lemon bread goes perfectly with a cup of tea or served as dessert. I love that the lemon glaze uses no processed sugars, but rather honey, to sweeten it up.

18. Paleo Meatloaf
Enjoy a healthier, more natural version of traditional meatloaf with this recipe. It includes no fillers or prepared sauces, but a lot of grass-fed, organic meats, veggies and fresh herbs. I suggest using parsley and thyme!

19. Paleo Pumpkin Raisin Cookies
These nutrient-rich cookies have all the comforting flavors of traditional pumpkin raisin cookies, minus the refined sugars, unhealthy fats, dairy and grains! Even the frosting is made from coconut butter, honey and vanilla. Bring these to your next cookie swap; I bet friends and family will want even more coconut flour recipes!

20. Pancakes
Start your day off right with these filling pancakes. They require no fancy ingredients but they’re so delicious! Make a huge stack on the weekends, because these will go quickly! Don’t skip the raw honey when making for the hint of sweetness it adds.

21. Pumpkin Bacon & Chive Biscuits
These drop biscuits are so easy to prepare and modify to your family’s tastes. They’re great for breakfast sandwiches or to serve with soup. Just be sure to use turkey or beef bacon and ghee or coconut oil as your fat.

22. Pumpkin Cream Donut Sandwiches
Freshly baked doughnuts with a coconut cream and maple syrup filling mean that these decadent-looking treats are actually pretty healthy! I love the use of medjool dates and pumpkin puree to give them a naturally sweet taste.

23. Pumpkin Muffins
One bowl, autumn ingredients like pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger, and just 30 minutes yield moist muffins that are great as an on-the-go snack or after-dinner dessert. You can also tweak these to your liking and use mashed banana, applesauce or even squash puree: go wild!

24. Tortillas
If you’ve been suffering a shortage of Mexican food because of a tortilla avoidance, you’re in luck. These grain-free tortillas will satisfy those food cravings and, like many coconut flour recipes, you can repurpose them for other meals, too. Load ‘em up with grass-fed beef, sautéed veggies, guacamole and your other favorite fixings.

25. Shortbread Cookies
These four ingredient cookies are great for bake sales, birthday parties or anytime you want (need?!) a cookie. They’re ready in under 20 minutes and, because of the simple prep work, are great for the kiddos to help out with.

26. Zucchini Bread With Crumble Topping
Don’t let the longish list of ingredients deter you: this zucchini bread is a must-make. While the loaf itself is delicious, the topping, crunchy from walnuts, takes this to the next level. This will become your go-to zucchini bread recipe!

27. Naked Chocolate Cake
A one-bowl chocolate cake that comes together in just minutes and is good for you? Make this chocolate cake today! It uses heart-healthy macadamia or coconut oil and can be topped with frosting or served without. It’s great either way!

Thermography - A Noninvasive Imaging / Screening Test

What Is Thermography?
With this early detection possibility, why aren't women lining up to get their annual Thermography exam instead of their annual mammogram? The reason has to do with education, plain and simple. Many women still do not know that this safe, effective breast health monitoring tool even exists.

Thermography offers the opportunity for much earlier breast disease detection than is possible through self-examination, doctor examination or mammography alone because the procedure can detect the subtlest of physiologic changes that accompany breast pathology, whether it is cancer, fibrocystic disease, an infection or a vascular disease.

Thermography uses an infrared scanning device to convert infrared radiation emitted from your skin's surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in color on the monitor.

This visual image graphically maps body temperature (the map itself is call a thermogram). The spectrum of colors on the screen indicate an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared radiation being emitted from the body surface. Since there is a high degree of thermal symmetry in a normal body, subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries can be easily identified.  Once identified, your doctor can then plan accordingly and lay out a careful program to further diagnose and /or monitor your progress.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Resiliency ... What's your ACE score?

There is a long-lasting change to the hormonal system, immune system, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis because of childhood stresses, trauma, or exposure to mental illness. Physicians really need to be aware of this, so we can better help our patients.


The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.


Prior to your 18th birthday:
  1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  6. Was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment, or other reason ?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  7. Was your mother or stepmother:
    Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?                        No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  10. Did a household member go to prison?
    No___If Yes, enter 1 __
Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score

RESILIENCE Questionnaire

Please circle the most accurate answer under each statement:
1.  I believe that my mother loved me when I was little.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

2.  I believe that my father loved me when I was little.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

3.  When I was little, other people helped my mother and father take care of me and they seemed to love me.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

4.   I’ve heard that when I was an infant someone in my family enjoyed playing with me, and I enjoyed it, too.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

5.  When I was a child, there were relatives in my family who made me feel better if I was sad or worried.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

6.   When I was a child, neighbors or my friends’ parents seemed to like me.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

7.  When I was a child, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or ministers were there to help me.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

8.  Someone in my family cared about how I was doing in school.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

9.  My family, neighbors and friends talked often about making our lives better.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

10.  We had rules in our house and were expected to keep them.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

11. When I felt really bad, I could almost always find someone I trusted to talk to.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

12.  As a youth, people noticed that I was capable and could get things done.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

13.  I was independent and a go-getter.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

14.  I believed that life is what you make it.
Definitely true         Probably true         Not sure         Probably Not True        Definitely Not True

How many of these 14 protective factors did I have as a child and youth? (How many of the 14 were circled “Definitely True” or “Probably True”?)   _______
Of these circled, how many are still true for me? _______

Resistance: The Movie That Will Make You Care About Antibiotic Misuse

This documentary is available on Netflix, VUDU, and iTunes. It's a great look at antibiotic overuse in the United States. Much of the problem involves big agriculture. The summary advice is to stop asking for antibiotics at your doctor's office unless you are very sick and are certain there is a bacterial cause. And stop buying animal-based food that uses antibiotics for growth promotion.


"A FEW YEARS ago I happened to get introduced to a pair of filmmakers, Michael Graziano and Ernie Park, who were starting to explore the topic of antibiotic resistance. They had the same questions about resistance that I obsess over, and the same shock about how enormous the problem is: according to a recent estimate, 700,000 deaths every year, likely to rise into the millions if nothing is done.

They recognized their disbelief as the creative spark for a project, and three years later, have brought out Resistance, a documentary now available on iTunes."


The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly.

Repeated exposure to antibiotics can lead germs to become resistant to the drugs, so that they are no longer effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses each year in the United States.

The World Health Organization said last year that bacteria resistant to antibiotics have spread to every part of the world and might lead to a future where minor infections could kill. Antibiotic resistance also threatens animal health, agriculture, and the economy.

In an interview with WebMD, President Barack Obama said over-prescribing antibiotics is a serious problem.

"Studies have consistently shown that a lot of America's antibiotic use is unnecessary," he said. He said he hopes his plan will create a system to show real-time rates of antibiotic use and where cases of drug resistance are being reported. "If we can see where these drugs are being over-prescribed, we can target our interventions where they're needed most."

The White House's overall goal is to prevent and contain outbreaks of infections at home and abroad. It's aiming to maintain the ability of current antibiotics to fight illnesses and develop new treatments.
The plan is the result of an order Obama signed in September forming a task force on the issue. Obama also has asked Congress to nearly double its funding to fight antibiotic resistance to $1.2 billion.

Critics say they wish the White House would go further, particularly in terms of the antibiotics used in animals processed for meat. The Food and Drug Administration has already successfully encouraged many drug companies to phase out the use of antibiotics used for animal growth promotion, but advocacy groups have called on the agency to limit other uses of animal antibiotics as well, such as for disease prevention when holding animals in crowded conditions.


Mycotoxins - a hidden source of indoor polution

People suffering with indoor allergies and more severe reactions to mycotoxins - some displaying symptoms of chronic fatigue and cognitive impairment - are reporting benefits from using some of the advanced air filters (in addition to maintaining a mold-free environment). Mycotoxins (including aflatoxin, citrinin, ergot akaloids, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, patulin, trichothecenes, and zearalenone) are fungal defense molecules that many people have a strong chemical sensitivity towards. This reaction is more disabling and subtle than typical "allergies". It's an under-recognized source of health problems. It is difficult to find labs that test for these mycotoxins in humans, but RealTime Laboratories does.



"Mycotoxicoses are examples of “poisoning by natural means” and thus are analogous to the pathologies caused by exposure to pesticides or heavy metal residues."


"Over the past 20 years, exposure to mycotoxin producing mold has been recognized as a significant health risk. Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB). This study was conducted to determine if selected mycotoxins could be identified in human urine from patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Patients (n = 112) with a prior diagnosis of CFS were evaluated for mold exposure and the presence of mycotoxins in their urine. Urine was tested for aflatoxins (AT), ochratoxin A (OTA) and macrocyclic trichothecenes (MT) using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). Urine specimens from 104 of 112 patients (93%) were positive for at least one mycotoxin (one in the equivocal range)."


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Human Metapneumovirus National Trends

This virus is causing a lot of problems right now (in addition to rotavirus). The flu virus gets a lot of attention, but not this very common one (estimated to be the #2 most common respiratory virus). It is not just in kids as some sources report.

"Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently identified member of a family of viruses. It was identified in 2001 in the Netherlands, but it most likely has been causing respiratory illnesses for at least 50 years worldwide. Human metapneumovirus can cause upper and lower respiratory tract infections in people of all ages. Upper respiratory tract infections include colds, while lower respiratory tract infections include pneumonia or bronchitis.

Most people with hMPV infection have mild symptoms. But some people have more severe illness, with wheezing, difficulty breathing, hoarseness, cough, pneumonia, and a flare-up of asthma."



In general, HMPV infection can not be distinguished from other respiratory viruses on clinical grounds only. Adult patients with an HMPV infection might be asymptomatic or might have symptoms ranging from mild upper RTI symptoms to severe pneumonia. Most patients present with cough, nasal congestion and dyspnoea. Purulent cough, wheezing, sore throat, fever, pneumonia, bronchi(oli)tis, conjunctivitis and otitis media are other reported symptoms. Li et al. described a HMPV infection in an immunocompetent adult presenting as a mononucleosis-like illness. Adults with HMPV infection were less likely to report fever in contrast to adults with RSV or influenza infection. In addition, adults with an HMPV infection presented more often with wheezing compared to adults with RSV or influenza [9]. Falsey et al. showed that this is mainly in the elderly population (>65 years). Elder patients also showed more dyspnoea compared to younger adults. Young adults with HMPV infection had greater complaints of hoarseness. In the frail elderly patients, the patients with pulmonary or cardiovascular disease and immunocompromised patients, infections can be severe.

Laboratory examination may show lymphopenia, neutropenia and elevated transaminases. Studies on imaging with chest X-ray and computed tomotography (CT) show initially signs of acute interstitial pneumonia (ground glass opacity and air-space consolidation) turning into signs of bronchiolitis/bronchitis (bronchial(ar) wall thickening or impaction).

Compared to RSV and influenza, similar rates of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, length of stay for hospitalization and length of stay in ICU were seen for HMPV infection in adults.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Monsanto's Round-up Is Probable Carcinogen - Monsanto Fights Back

The company said on Tuesday that the report, issued on Friday by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), was biased and contradicts regulatory findings that the ingredient, glyphosate, is safe when used as labeled.

A working group of the IARC, based in Lyon, France, said after reviewing scientific literature it was classifying glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"We question the quality of the assessment," Philip Miller, Monsanto vice president of global regulatory affairs, said on Tuesday in an interview. "The WHO has something to explain."

Monsanto officials have asked to meet with WHO and IARC members, and Miller said the company wants a retraction.


Food safety and environmental groups are asking EPA to “strongly weigh” a recent analysis by a World Health Organization (WHO) agency that labeled the widely used herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans in its upcoming review of the product.

The agency previously concluded that the product does not pose a risk to human health if used according to the label.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, Environmental Working Group and five other groups said last week's announcement by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was “extremely timely” considering that EPA is preparing to issue its preliminary risk assessment of the herbicide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.


Rapid Blood Test Could Help Differentiate Bacterial vs. Viral Infection

An in vitro rapid blood assay has been shown to differentiate between bacterial and viral infections with significant sensitivity and specificity, outperforming routine biomarker and laboratory tests. The diagnostic test is described online in the journal PLOS ONE.

Because bacterial and viral infections are often clinically indistinguishable from one another, this can lead to inappropriate use of antibiotics (both overprescribing for viral infections and underprescribing for bacterial ones). The ImmunoXpert diagnostic test extensively screens for immune system proteins in patients with acute infections to identify viral-induced host proteins and bacterial-induced proteins.


Additional testing determined that the optimal immune signature included three proteins: TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (IP-10), which were upregulated in viral infections; and C-reactive protein (CRP), which was upregulated in bacterial infections.

Respiratory viruses were responsible for most cases of community-acquired pneumonia among hospitalized children, and one in four children studied had multiple pathogens, according to a study published in the February 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The new findings may redirect clinical decisions and prescriptions, according to one expert.


Monday, March 23, 2015

The Nordic Diet

The "Nordic Diet" or the "Viking Diet" seems to be fairly popular in Europe, especially Germany, right now. Any diet that gets back to real food, whole food, unprocessed food is an excellent choice. This is a variant of the Paleo diet, with less emphasis on animal foods. What I see is all the traditional or "ancient" diets are better balanced and more nutritious than our current "SAD" - standard american diet.


The Mediterranean diet has long been a darling of nutrition experts as a proven way to prevent some chronic diseases. Heavy on olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish, the diet most recently has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and dying compared with a typical low-fat diet.

But in many regions, including Nordic countries like Denmark and Sweden, it's not easy to go Med. Olive oil, for one, is hard to find. And while obesity rates in the Nordic countries are much lower than in the U.S., there are still plenty of people at risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases who could use some dietary inspiration.

That's why a group of nutrition researchers in Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway set out to design a "healthy" Nordic diet around locally produced food items, like herring, rapeseed oil (also known as canola) and bilberries (a relative of the blueberry). To test whether it was actually healthy, they prescribed the diet to people with metabolic syndrome — a precursor to diabetes — and compared them to others on an "average" Nordic diet higher in red meat and white bread.

The study was randomized and lasted 18 to 24 weeks in 2009 and 2010, with 96 people in the healthy diet group and 70 in the control group. The healthy Nordic diet group ate mostly berries (currants, bilberries and strawberries), canola oil, whole grains, root vegetables and three fish meals (preferably fatty fish like salmon and mackerel) per week, and avoided sugar. The rest of the time, they could eat vegetarian, poultry or game, but no red meat. The researchers provided them with some of the key ingredients for their meals.

The control group, on the other hand, ate butter instead of canola, fewer berries and vegetables, and had no restrictions on red meat, white bread or sugar intake.

While the researchers didn't see changes in blood pressure or insulin sensitivity in the people on the healthy Nordic diet, their bad cholesterol/good cholesterol ratio improved significantly, as did one marker for inflammation, according to Lieselotte Cloetens, a biomedical nutrition researcher at Lund University in Sweden who co-authored the study. In the long run, Cloetens says, the change in the inflammation marker could result in a 20 to 40 percent reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes for people on the healthy diet.

The results appear this week in a European journal, the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The research coincides with a similar, but distinct movement in the region — "New Nordic" cuisine. Claus Meyer, the owner of the acclaimed Noma restaurant in Copenhagen, boldly defined New Nordic with a manifesto. His aim? To inspire chefs and highlight the culinary wealth of the Nordic region — foods like fungi, beech leaves, birch juice, reindeer, and chick weed. New Nordic has become "a mentality of sort of scientific and creative exploration," Ben Reade, head of culinary research and development at the Nordic Food Lab, told NPR freelancer Sidsel Overgaard last year.

While Meyer has collaborated with researchers at the University of Copenhagen to explore whether a New Nordic diet could help overweight people drop pounds, his diet places a special emphasis on seasonal, local foods, and on foraging. "It is more defined, from a culinary point of view," than the healthy Nordic diet in the recent study, says Cloetens.

So will the Nordic diet be competing with the Mediterranean diet in far-flung countries seeking to emulate svelte Europeans? Cloetens is confident in its healthfulness, but warns, "since it contains many local produced food items, it might not be easy to consume by people outside the Nordic countries."

And, she says, next she and her colleagues need to investigate whether the healthy Nordic diet can also help people lose weight and keep it off.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Monsanto's Round-up Is Probable Carcinogen, World Health Organization Says

Walking into the local grocery store this morning for some organic lemon juice, I saw shelves of Easter candy* on the left, flanked by shelves of bread and bagels on the right. Between them, was a large display for diabetes testing supplies which were available at the in-store pharmacy. The irony must not have been obvious to the staff or the rest of the customers. Then I visited the local big box home supply store and upon entering, I was greeted by stacks and stacks of Roundup on the left flanked by a sign about cancer awareness on the right. Again, the irony must have not been as obvious as I thought it was.



One of the world's most popular weed-killers — and the most widely used kind in the U.S. — has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The decision was made by IARC, the France-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, which considered the status of five insect and weed killers including glyphosate, which is used globally in industrial farming.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which makes its own determinations, said it would consider the French agency's evaluation.

"All labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health," said Monsanto's Phil Miller, global head of regulatory and government affairs.


"We are sympathetic with people who believe they have been injured and understand their concern to find the cause, but reliable scientific evidence indicates that Agent Orange is not the cause of serious long-term health effects." - Monsanto (Jill Montgomery, 2004)


* Why Pascha has morphed so entirely into the non-religious candy-fest of Easter, is unknown.

Wines cited in lawsuit as having high arsenic levels

List of wines cited in lawsuit as having high arsenic levels

The Associated Press
03/21/2015 6:12 AM
Los Angeles

The 83 bottles of wine cited in a lawsuit this week as having dangerously high levels of arsenic came from 28 California wineries and were bottled under 31 different brand labels. Some of the labels included several different types of wine, such as merlot, chardonnay, burgundy, rose, etc.
Those labels and the types of wine cited in the complaint:

— Acronym (GR8RW Red Blend).
— Almaden (Heritage White Zinfandel, Heritage Moscato, Heritage Chardonnay, Mountain Burgundy, Mountain Rhine, Mountain Chablis).
— Arrow Creek (Coastal Series Cabernet Sauvignon).
— Bandit (Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon).
— Bay Bridge (Chardonnay).
— Beringer (White Merlot, White Zinfandel, Red Moscato, Refreshingly Sweet Moscato).
— Charles Shaw (White Zinfandel).
— Colores Del Sol (Malbec).
— Glen Ellen by Concannon (Glen Ellen Reserve Pinot Grigio, Glen Ellen Reserve Merlot).
— Concannon (Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir).
— Cook's (Spumante).
— Corbett Canyon (Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon).
— Cupcake (Malbec).
— Fetzer (Moscato, Pinot Grigio).
— Fisheye (Pinot Grigio).
— Flipflop (Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon).
— Foxhorn (White Zinfandel).
— Franzia (Vintner Select White Grenache, Vintner Select White Zinfandel, Vintner Select White Merlot, Vintner Select Burgundy).
— Hawkstone (Cabernet Sauvignon).
— HRM Rex Goliath (Moscato).
— Korbel (Sweet Rose Sparkling Wine, Extra Dry Sparkling Wine).
— Menage A Trois (Pinot Grigo, Moscato, White Blend, Chardonnay, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Red Wine).
— Mogen David (Concord, Blackberry Wine).
— Oak Leaf (White Zinfandel).
— Pomelo (Sauvignon Blanc).
— R Collection By Raymond (Chardonnay).
— Richards Wild Irish Rose (Red Wine).
— Seaglass (Sauvignon Blanc).
— Simply Naked (Moscato).
— Smoking Loon (Viognier).
— Sutter Home (Sauvignon Blanc, Gerwurztraminer, Pink Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Chenin Blanc, Sweet Red, Riesling, White Merlot, Merlot, White Zinfandel