Monthly Archives: October 2009

Women Suffer Needlessly from Confusion about Hormones

Many women are so confused and frightened about hormone replacement that they have decided to forget about it. This reaction is not surprising because almost daily there is a new scare headline blaring at them about how hormone replacement causes cancer or even brain shrinkage. Women who were recently told they could regain their lost sexuality by using hormones are now being warned against it. All this confusion is a shame. As a result of it, women are losing out on feeling their best and getting the most from their lives.

When it comes to hormones, names mean very little

To understand hormone replacement requires the patience to look beyond the name. This is because the hormones produced naturally by the body, the hormone drug products made by pharmaceutical companies, and the bioidentical hormones offered by physicians who specialize in anti-aging medicine, are all referred to simply as hormones. When the headlines blare, there is little or no effort made to inform women about what type of hormones are being discussed. To add to this confusion, the names of the hormones most often replaced, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, have become generic terms. These terms are used freely and without regulation to describe the natural hormones produced by the body, hormone drug products, and bioidentical hormones.

To further confuse matters, all hormone replacement therapy, whether it involves hormone drug products or bioidentical hormones is referred to as HRT in most publications. Few physicians or journalists bother to make the distinction as to whether they are talking about hormone drug products or bioidentical hormones. Many may not even be aware of this distinction. The rare journalist willing to distinguish will refer to information regarding bioidentical hormone replacement asbHRT.

There are three kinds of hormones replacement therapies

Hormone drugs should really be referred to as hormone substitution drugs. While they are able to mimic some of the same effects as the body’s natural hormonesthey are unable to confer their full range of benefits. With the exception of conjugated estrogen, hormone drug products are not naturally occurring in nature, and as aresult the body’s immune system mounts an attack on them. This action compromises the immune system’s ability to do the job it was meant to do, and may be one reason cancer is associated with hormone replacement drugs.

The most often prescribed form of the estrogen hormone drug is advertised as a natural product, and technically it is. It is derived from naturally occurring horse urine. But it does not have the same molecular structure as the estrogen naturally made by the human female. There are side effects associated with its use that include endometrial cancer, stoke, and deep vein thrombosis. This product should not be referred to in literature as estrogen, but should be termed conjugated equineestrogen or at least conjugated estrogen.

When faced with a patient exhibiting a broad range of symptoms indicating hormone deficiency, some physicians will prescribe conjugated equine estrogen alone. Taking any kind of estrogen alone, without assuring there are adequate amounts of progesterone and testosterone present, is very dangerous because it creates a state of hormonal imbalance in the body that has been associated with huge increases in risk for breast cancer.

A physician who knows conjugated estrogen must be balanced may also prescribe what is generically called progesterone, but is in reality a progestin. Progestins are not progesterone, no matter what the pharmaceutical brochures say. They are synthetic replicas of progesterone with low compatibility in the human body. Progestins are associated with a horrible range of side effects and are the most dangerous of the hormone replacement drugs.

Because hormone drugs alter reality by creating substances that are unnatural in the body, the liver must detoxify them. Daily doses of toxic products over a period of time can result the liver being compromised to the point where it is unable to perform its duty of keeping the body detoxified. When that happens, hormone drugs and their metabolites recirculate in the body and wreck havoc. The wisdom of the body recognizes unnatural compounds and develops resistance to them so that hormone drugs lose any positive effect in the body after a few years.

The conjugated estrogen plus progestin sub-study of the famous Women’s Health Initiative Study reported highly elevated risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary emboli, deep vein thrombosis, and dementia from this combination. It is because of results such as these that it is recommended that women be given hormone drug products for the shortest period of time possible.

In the fully functioning female body, estrogen levels rise in the absence of progesterone for the first two weeks in of the cycle. Then estrogen levels taper off and progesterone kicks in to become the dominant hormone of the second two weeks in the cycle. When conjugated estrogen is prescribed with progestins, the health benefits that result from the natural rhythms of the body are lost. Since the prescribed pill contains both compound, a woman receives a constant dose of progestins throughout the whole month.

The hormone drug product that mimics some of the benefits of testosterone is often referred to as simply testosterone. In reality most hormone drug products that claim to be testosterone are actually methyltestosterone, an unnatural, synthetic creation. Methyltestosterone has been implicated in breast and liver cancers.

Following the one-size-fits all approach of hormone drug therapy, methyltestosterone is included in the same pill as conjugated estrogen. There is no way to adjust the dose to match it to the individual needs of the woman. As a result, most of the side effects of methyltestosterone reflect that the dose is too high or is being inappropriately converted into other hormones in the body. These include acne, high blood pressure, excessive and coarse facial and body hair, deepening voice, polycystic ovary syndrome, weight gain, and unstable blood sugar levels.

Hormone drug products are usually chosen to be prescribed by traditional doctors. Since they get most of their product information from drug companies, they were sold on hormone drugs as the solution for their patients’ complaining of symptoms that reflect declining hormone levels. Following the release of the Women’s Health Initiative, many women refused to continue taking hormone drugs and completely discontinued all hormone therapy. As pharmaceutical companies began to feel the pinch, they made the shift away from producing hormone drugs toward production of bioidentical hormones, although many hormone drugs are still widely available and the first choice of many doctors who have yet to learn about bioidenticals.

Natural hormone therapy is a term frequently used incorrectly to refer to bioidentical hormone therapy. Natural hormone therapy, which should be designated asnHRT, actually uses molecules that have some effects similar to those of the body’s own hormones, but do not have the exact same molecular structure as thehormones made by the body. These are naturally occurring substances, not drugs. Phytoestrogens are hormones naturally found in plants and fall into this category.

Natural hormone replacement products are widely available without a prescription. Some of the most well known are lignans, found in walnuts and other kinds of nuts, and flax seeds and flax oil. There are also isoflavones, such as the controversial genistein and diadzien, both found in soybeans. Red clover is well known for its high phytoestrogen content, as is vitex and black cohosh. There are many phytoestrogen preparations on the market that offer several of these compounds in one capsule.

Women use natural hormone therapy to help see themselves through the worst symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats. For some women, these products are effective and offer some relief of symptoms. However, because these hormones are very weak compared to the natural hormones produced by the human female, they are not particularly effective for many women. They do offer some protection from breast cancer and osteoporosis, but they are unable to provide the full range of health benefits that would come from being able to restore the body’s own natural hormones.

Bioidentical hormone therapy, which should be distinguished by the letters bHRT, uses hormones manufactured from soy or yam oils. Their molecular structure is identical to hormones made by the human female. Anyone looking at them under a microscope would not be able to tell the difference. The term bioidentical is not a marketing term, but a descriptive term, describing the difference between bioidentical hormones and all others not produced by the body.

Bioidentical hormones have been used for thousands of years. The first record of their use goes back to ancient China, where the aging female nobility routinely ingested dried young women’s urine to counteract problems associated with menopause. The urine of young women contains the metabolic waste products of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. There are many references throughout history to young women’s urine being used to help older women overcome the problems of aging.

Bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone have a right to be called by those names because that is what they are. They are identical to the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone found in the female body. Bioidentical estradiol (the dominant estrogen found in women), progesterone, and testosterone are FDA approved. Estradiol and testosterone are available only by prescription. Progesterone is available over the counter in a physiologic dose, a dose that replicates the levels normally found in the healthy young female.

Bioidentical hormones are commercially mass produced and are available at local pharmacies in tablet, patch, capsule and gel form. Examples include the Vivellepatch, ClimaraEstradermEstracePrometrium, and Androgel. Being mass produced, these products are standardized to specific doses, making them problematic for many women and physicians. To circumvent this problem, compounding pharmacies make bioidentical hormone products to fit the exact dose prescribed by a doctor who specializes in hormone replacement or anti-aging medicine. Compounding pharmacies dispense hormones in gels, creams, capsules, pellets, and as sublinguals.

The best way to get a prescription for bioidentical hormones is to ask your regular doctor to give you one. If he does not know about them or ties to prescribe hormones drugs, try to educate him. Many doctors are receptive to bioidenticals and just need their consciousness raised. If that does not work, find a doctor who specializes in hormone replacement or anti-aging medicine.

Bioidentical hormones have been shown repeatedly not only to be safe, but to be protective of health. When levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are restored to what they were when a woman was at her hormonal prime, bioidentical hormones have been shown to protect against breast cancer, heart attack, stoke, and cognitive impairment. Because bioidenticals are identical in molecular structure to the hormones produced by the body, the body accepts them as such. There is no immune response or development of resistance. When bioidenticals are prescribed in physiologic doses, there are usually no side effects. If side effects develop, it is an indication that dosages need to be adjusted.

Those troubling studies involved the use of hormone drug therapy

The study showing hormone therapy shrinks the brain used data collected as part of the Women’s Health Initiative Study. Data collection was completed before the startling results about the dangers of hormone drugs were made public. The women in the study were taking conjugated equine estrogen, the estrogen drug made from horse urine that is in no way identical to the estrogen made by the female body. Some of the participants were taking conjugated equine estrogen alone, and some were taking a combination drug that contained the equine estrogen and a synthetic progestin drug.

What about the study warning against use of the testosterone patch to boost female libido? Given the success of Viagra for men, it is not surprising that drug companies are falling over each other trying to produce a female equivalent. But the truth is that Intrinsa is just a fancy delivery system for a synthetic methyltestosterone hormone drug.

Women produce just one-tenth the testosterone produced by men, but that little bit is critical to libido and to overall health. Symptoms of declining testosterone levels in women are low sex drive, depression, weakness, fatigue, low energy, and panic attacks. If a woman suspects her libido is low, testosterone may not be the only hormone that needs to be replaced. Estrogen and progesterone levels must be assessed and replaced if they are inadequate. Bringing each of these hormones up to optimal levels with bioidentical hormone replacement gives a real boost to sagging libido while providing other health benefits to the body.

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Four Studies: Increased Cancer Risk in Immunity-Suppressed Organ Transplant Recipients

Organ transplants give many people a new shot at life, a second chance which they might not have had if not for this medical procedure. Life, though, is never quite the same again, and organ recipients have to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting their new organs. By having their immune systems suppressed, however, organ recipients become more susceptible to various health conditions, including infections. Unfortunately, they are also a lot more vulnerable to developing cancer, as various studies have repeatedly shown, including four recent ones highlighted here.

1. Kidney Transplant Recipients and Melanoma

In 2005, a study conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine looked at the data of 89,786 kidney transplant recipients and compared it to the general population. Led by Christopher S. Hollenbeak, PhD, the study team found that kidney transplant recipients were 3.6 times more likely to get melanoma when compared with the general population. They also found that the risk continued to escalate with each passing year after transplant, at about 5% per year.

Published in Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society, the study also revealed that men had higher risk than women, and that their risk increased with age. Blacks, on the other hand, were 7 times less likely to get the condition as compared to other races.

Melanoma is the deadliest of the various types of skin cancer. Typical risk factors are sunburns, a weak immune system and family history of abnormal moles. Previous studies drawing a link between organ transplants and melanoma risk had been inconsistent, possibly because it was more difficult to spot trends due to the relatively low incidence rates of this particular cancer.

2. Kidney Transplant Recipients and 20 Different Types of Cancer

An article published in The Lancet in mid 2007 revealed that HIV / AIDS patients and kidney transplant recipients had a higher risk of developing some 20 different kinds of cancer as compared to the general population.

For kidney transplant recipients, they were almost 4 times as likely to get Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and they also had significantly higher risks for developing cervical cancer as well as cancers of the mouth, penis and anus. In addition, kidney recipients were 208 times more likely to get Kaposi’s sarcoma. This sounds alarming, until we realize that HIV / AID patients were 3,640 times more likely to get this disease.

The key probably lies in compromised immune systems and the susceptibility of both groups of people to viruses. “The only thing that people with AIDS and transplant recipients share is immune deficiency, otherwise their risk factors for cancer differ markedly. In other cancers, which are not linked with viruses, such as breast and prostate cancer, both groups had similar rates to the general population,” said Professor Andrew Grulich from the University of New South Wales’ National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR), who led the study. Indeed, according to him, “this evidence suggests that immune deficiency is associated with risk of cancer”.

3. Liver Transplant Recipients and Various Types of Cancer

A study in Finland which was published in the October 2008 issue of Liver Transplantation found that liver transplant recipients were 2.59 times more likely to get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, while their risks for non-melanoma skin cancer and basal cell carcinoma were also significantly raised.

The study, led by Helena Isoniemi from Finland, examined 540 cases of liver transplant patients from Helsinki University Central Hospital who had received their new organs between 1982 and 2005. It also used data from the Finnish Population Register as well as the national Cancer Registry.

“Based on our data, one out of six liver transplant patients is estimated to develop some form of cancer by 20 years after transplantation. This study points out the importance of cancer surveillance after liver transplantation,” said the study team.

4. Liver Transplant Recipients and All Types of Cancer

Most recently, a population-based cohort study in Canada found that liver transplant recipients were at higher risk (about 2.5 times) for cancer, especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and colorectal cancer, when compared to the general population. It also found that the higher risk was more pronounced among younger recipients as well as during the initial year after the procedure.

The study team, led by Ying Jiang from the Public Health Agency of Canada, looked at information from the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry as well as databases of the national mortality and cancer incidences. Persons who had liver cancer and those who had been diagnosed with any kind of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) before or in the immediate 30 days after they received their new organs were excluded.

2,034 transplant recipients who had received new organs between June 1983 and October 1998 were tracked for up to 15 years, and it was found that their risk of any cancer was about 2.5 times that of the general population. According to the study team, this figure is lower than what previous studies had estimated, with a possible reason being that liver cancer and non-melanoma cancer patients were excluded.

“A striking finding in our study is the approximate twenty-fold increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among liver transplant patients relative to the general population. As a proportion of all cancers, it represented 55.8 percent of the absolute excess number of cancers among liver transplant patients,” said the study team. The increased risk for colorectal cancer could possibly be because of inflammatory bowel disease being more prevalent among transplant recipients.

Published in the November 2008 issue of Liver Transplantation, the study’s conclusion was clear. “Our findings firmly support an increased incidence of cancer in this patient population.”

The Bottom Line

The findings of these and other studies differ somewhat in that they point to different types of cancer and varying risk profiles for different groups of people. But for organ transplant recipients, the message is quite clear and coherent – there is the need for them to take even better care of their bodies than the average person in order to ward off diseases.

And for the rest of us, these research results also reaffirm the importance of the immune system in fighting off cancer – any type of cancer. Reducing our intake of substances which compromise this wonderful system – this includes both from our food and from chemicals found in everyday products such as soaps and shampoos, as well as investing in top quality immune-boosting foods and supplements would thus be important measures we can take to safeguard our health.

Main Source

ScienceDaily.com

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Capsaicin could stop a heart attack in progress, scientists find

The late, famed herbalist Dr. John Christopher was nicknamed “Dr. Cayenne” because he was constantly recommending the healing powers of cayenne, the substance found in chili peppers that produces a sensation of heat. He especially advocated using it for cardiovascular health and even made the claim that doses of cayenne could stop heart attacks in progress (http://www.naturalnews.com/026869_c…). Now science has come up with proof cayenne does have a remarkable ability to help the heart. University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists have found that capsaicin, the main component of cayenne, may literally stop a heart attack in its tracks when applied topically.

New research just published in the journal Circulation concludes that a common, over-the-counter pain salve containing capsaicin rubbed on the skin during a heart attack could serve as a cardiac-protectant — reducing or even preventing damage to the heart. The researchers found an amazing 85 percent reduction in cardiac cell death when capsaicin was used. This is the most powerful cardioprotective effect ever recorded, according to Keith Jones, PhD, a researcher in the UC department of pharmacology and cell biophysics.

Dr. Jones and his research team applied capsaicin to specific skin locations in mice that caused reactions in the nervous system. Specifically, sensory nerves in the skin were triggered to activate what the scientists call cellular “pro-survival” pathways in the heart. The result? The heart muscle was protected from injury.

The researchers also found that a tiny incision made in the abdomen of the lab rodents triggered an 81 percent reduction in the death of heart cells. “Both this and the capsaicin effect are shown to work through similar neurological mechanisms,” Dr. Jones explained. “This is a form of remote cardioprotection, using a skin stimulus that activates cardioprotection long before the blocked coronary artery is opened.”

Dr. Jones is currently working in collaboration with cardiologist Neal Weintraub, MD, director of UC’s cardiovascular diseases division, and other clinicians to test capsaicin’s heart protective abilities in people. “Topical capsaicin has no known serious adverse effects and could be easily applied in an ambulance or emergency room setting well in advance of coronary tissue death,” Dr. Jones said in a media statement. “If proven effective in humans, this therapy has the potential to reduce injury and/or death in the event of a coronary blockage, thereby reducing the extent and consequences of heart attack.”

The researchers think that by activating sensors in the nervous system through skin, a response to preserve and protect the heart is triggered. “This may be similar to the way certain acupuncture treatments work; there may be a neurological basis. In a broad sense, this work may provide a ‘Rosetta stone’ for translating alternative medicine techniques — like acupuncture — to Western medicine. Perhaps we can understand the biological mechanisms of how alternative treatments may be successful for patients,” Dr. Jones stated.

Editor’s note: NaturalNews is opposed to the use of animals in medical experiments that expose them to harm. We present these findings in protest of the way in which they were acquired.

For more information:

http://www.healthnews.uc.edu/news/?…
http://www.naturalnews.com/cayenne_…
http://www.herballegacy.com/Cayenne…

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David Rainoshek Part III: The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Juice Feasting

This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Rawkathon, which can be found at http://www.Rawkathon.com. In this excerpt, David Rainoshek shares on juice feasting.

Rawkathon with David Rainoshek. David Rainoshek is raw foodist and co-creator of juicefeasting.com.

Kevin: You’re the juice feasting guy. Tell more about juice feasting.

David: I’m one of the juice feasting guys. I’m one of the representatives of this thing out there, this entity that we call juice feasting. The person who discovered it was my good friend and colleague, John Rose, in Houston, Texas. He’d been doing it for about 10 years when I came onto the scene. John was calling it juice fasting, sometimes he’d use juice feasting as a descriptive term. They had coached several thousand people at the point they came in contact with me.

I was so sick; I was willing to hear anything. He said, “You need to eat raw foods and you need to go on this juice fast.” I said, “OK, tell me what to do.” He said, “You need to get a little press-style juicer and you need to drink about a gallon of juice a day, or more.” I said, “Whoa! I’ve juice- fasted in the past, but that was like a couple of quarts of juice, max. I mean, I didn’t really have any amounts.” So I started drinking a gallon of juice every day. In three months all my symptoms were gone, I’d lost 50 pounds; I felt amazing. I said, “I’ve got to teach other people about this.”

It took me about two-and-a-half years for it finally to [knock noise] dawn on me that we really needed to call this “juice feasting.” And the reason that I call it “juice feasting,” is because it’s really not a fast; it’s a cleanse. But you’re giving your body every calorie that it requires. You’re getting all the fat, all the protein, all the carbohydrate that you need, all the phyto-nutrients, probiotics and so forth. All the nutritional elements that we want out of our food, you’re getting from a juice feast, with the exception of fiber.

You’re not getting fiber for a very good reason. It’s because you actually turn your body onto houseclean, just as if you’re on a water fast or a juice fast. When your body doesn’t have to work very hard to access the nutrition, it will start to clean house. When there’s no fiber, or very little fiber going through your intestinal tract and your colon, all this other matter that’s been in there for a long time that’s caked onto the sides, starts to fall away. Stuff that’s in diverticuli that people may have in their colons start to come back out and leave the body. And because the colon and the intestinal tract empty out, the body realizes that, oh, hey, I can move more stuff down there, and so it will do that.

Four goals of juice feasting or any cleanse: You want to cleanse; you want to rebuild, re-hydrate and alkalize. We want to cleanse out the 65,000 toxins that are in the environment that humans have created–we want to get all of that stuff out of there. We want to cleanse out all of the toxic fats that are in our system. We want to cleanse ourselves of any other heavy metals that are there. We want to rebuild.

Rebuilding, what does that mean? You’ve got cells that are damaged from the diet that you’ve been eating, the fact that you’ve been dehydrated–which we’ll get to in a second; you want to rebuild all those. You want your body to shed the old cells and rebuild new ones. You want to save the cells that are kind of healthy, but they just need to be rebuilt a little bit. So you’ve got to rebuild in that way. Also you want to rebuild your musculature. A lot of us (have) been sitting at the computer for a long time–you know how that is–and so you want to feel good enough that you actually get out and exercise and start to build some muscle. Because the more muscle you have, the lower your blood sugar is going to be and that’s really good. About 1/3 of Americans right now are pre-diabetic and they don’t even know it. That’s about 100 million people, right now. So, strong body and active body, really good.

So cleanse, rebuild, re-hydrate–we’re about 90% water when we’re born. We’re closer to 50 or 60% water when we die. Being dehydrated, basically, compromises every function in the body: the ones that you’re going to see, the immune system function, mental functions.. Your joints are also going to dry up though, and they’re going to start to hurt.

So, a lot of people come to us to do juice feasting and they have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. That gets fixed. [snaps fingers] Just like that. They’ve got problems–in big joints, it even works. They’ve got acid reflux disease. That gets fixed, actually just by re-hydrating yourself. That’s what I had. I was just dehydrated, basically. I had low alkaline minerals.

So cleanse, rebuild, re-hydrate and alkalize. That’s the last one. The most important alkalizing mineral–organic sodium. Where’s a good place to get that? Bok choy or celery–two really good sources of it. We suggest on a juice feast you get in about a head of celery every day, enough to re-supply organic sodium. The reason it’s so important is because organic sodium lines the lining of the stomach to keep the stomach acid in your stomach from burning a hole right through the wall of your stomach. The other thing that it does is it serves to alkalinize the acid mixture coming from the stomach down in the small intestine. This may sound boring, but it’s really important because when that acid mixture comes down the small intestine if your body cannot alkalinize it, if it doesn’t have enough organic sodium, then it will line the intestinal wall temporarily with mucus. What that also means is you don’t absorb the nutrition from your food. This happens for a lot of people with the lower parts of the spectrum of diet. They’ve got a lot of mucus lining the small intestine, and they’re not accessing the nutrition they get.

How much nutrition comes through the wall of the small intestine? According to Dr. Richard Anderson who wrote “Cleanse and Purify Thyself”, about 90 percent of your nutrition comes through the wall of the small intestine, and it has to be alkaline first because your blood is alkaline. That’s one of the reasons that we know that we are herbivores. Our blood is alkaline. Our saliva is alkaline. Our urine is alkaline. Carnivores: acid blood, acid urine, acid saliva, all three.

Kevin: So what are three important qualities that you can develop in order to move up the spectrum?

David: So I like to talk about Roshi Philip Kapleau and the Three Pillars of Zen. He talks about these three things that you develop – faith, doubt and determination. Faith, faith in yourself. Faith in the diet that you’re eating, whatever level on the spectrum that you’re at. Faith in the people that are teaching you at that level of the spectrum. You’ve got to develop that. It’s got to be a rock-solid, unshakeable faith in what it is that you’re doing at the point that you’re at. That’s faith..

Doubt. Doubt that your current level of health, or your current reality, is the way it’s going to stay because everything is impermanent. You’ve got to doubt that. You’ve got to develop a strong doubt mass, is what they call it in Zen Buddhism, a doubt mass that what conventional society is telling you about the importance of food is not the case and that food is far more important than we’ve ever been told. We’re being sold information that’s not true. So a huge doubt mass. A doubt mass that you’re going to stay at the place that you’re at. You are actually going to transform and you doubt that things are going to stay the way they are.. When you feel really bad, like, “There’s no way I could possibly feel better,” not true. The possibility for healing is infinite. So find out how you get the spectrum of diet to access that.

Faith, doubt, the last one is determination. Determination comes from Vegan 2.0, getting out there with other people and seeing people’s success. That drives your determination. It also builds faith too. So doing that. Also, determination comes from knowledge. So reading the really important books out there at whatever level of the spectrum that you’re at and saying to yourself, “I’m determined not to stay at the place that I’m at.” Write down your goals and make sure that your goals are not just at an ego-centric level but they’re also socio-centric and world-centric. I eat as an act of love for the benefit of all beings. That’s it.

Those are the three things – faith, doubt and determination. Absolutely imperative.

Kevin: Wow, that’s great. Say that again, I eat for–

David: I eat as an act of love for all beings.

Kevin: Great. I want to thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

For more from this excerpt of the Rawkathon, plus 14 other amazing raw food interviews, please visit

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September Is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month — A time to highlight the issue of alcohol and drug use, and the hope that comes with recovery from addictions. “El DoradoCounty, like other places across the United States, has its share of people who are struggling with drugs and alcohol,” said Shirley White, program manager for El Dorado County Alcohol and Drug Programs. “The worsening economy has not helped, as people who are having a hard time financially may turn to drinking or substance abuse as a way to cope or escape.”

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration estimates that 23.2 million Americans aged 12 or older currently need treatment for a substance abuse disorder. Many baby boomers (Americans born between 1946 and 1964) are continuing to use illicit drugs as they grow older, causing the rate of illicit drug use to go up in the 50 to 59 year old age segment of the population. And although the rate of illicit drug use among youths aged 12 to 17 has declined in recent years, young people are starting to use substances at an earlier age.

Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Learn, Together We Heal is the theme for this year’s National Recovery Month. The campaign, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, emphasizes the need for communities to work together to educate people and their families about substance use disorders, and to support people in their recovery efforts. ”People experience recovery in different ways,” said White. “Some recover on their own; others recover through treatment and/or the assistance of self-help, mutual aid groups, or medication-assisted therapies. Addiction is a disease, and just like any other chronic illness, it can be recovered from. The support of family, friends, employers, and other concerned community members can help make recovery lifelong.”

In El Dorado County, there are a number of different substance abuse treatment options. El Dorado County is fortunate to have many recovery support networks and collaborative partners that offer a range of services such as residential treatment, individual and group counseling and community based support groups. Some of the programs are geared specifically for women or men, while others offer programs tailored to youth. These partners include:

* EDCA Lifeskills, (530) 622-8193
* New Morning Youth and Family Services, (530) 622-5551
* Progress House, (530) 642-1715
* Family Connections, (530) 626-5164
* Sierra Recovery Center, (530) 541-5190
* Tahoe Youth and Family Services, (530) 541-2445

El Dorado County also has programs such as Proposition 36 Drug Court, Dependency Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, DUI Drug court and other programs designed to give the individual the opportunity to access substance abuse treatment. “In addition to traditional treatment services, a well rounded recovery support network complements this process and is central for successful rehabilitation from substance use,” said White.

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House Urged To Pass Tobacco Legislation

The American Public Health Association strongly urges U.S. House members to vote in support of pending legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products.

Although tobacco use is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths each year and costs more than $155 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity, tobacco products remain virtually unregulated.

Despite decades of evidence of their damage, tobacco companies have marketed their deadly products to our children, deceived consumers about the harm theirproducts cause, and failed to take any meaningful action to make their products less harmful or less addictive. The Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act would finally end the special protection enjoyed by the tobacco industry and protect our children and the nation’s health instead.

The legislation meets the high standard established by the public health community for tobacco regulation and will give the FDA authority to effectively regulate the manufacturing, marketing, labeling, distribution and sale of tobacco products.

We call on our leaders to show their commitment to protecting the health of our nation, and particularly our children, by voting in favor of this legislation.

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Contraceptive Effectiveness

Fifty-three percent of unplanned pregnancies occur in women who are using contraceptives. When choosing a method of birth control women often consider the published success/ failure rates for the method they are considering. However, these rates are based on “perfect use” by women–that means using the method exactly as prescribed during every act of sexual intercourse.

The failure rates for a given method of birth control may actually be much higher during “typical use” than you might expect:

Typical Contraceptive Failure Rates

  • Implants and injectables
    2-4%
  • Oral contraceptives
    9%
  • Diaphragm and cervical cap
    13%
  • Male condom
    15%
  • Periodic abstinence
    22%
  • Withdrawal
    26%
  • Spermicides
    28%

Who is Most at Risk for Contraceptive Failure?

  • Cohabiting women.
  • Unmarried women.
  • Women who live below 200% of the poverty level.
  • Black women.
  • Hispanic women.
  • Adolescents.
  • Women in their 20’s.

The success or failure of various methods of birth control vary according to several factors. An example can be seen in a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that said “…adolescent women who are not married but are cohabiting experience a failure rate of about 47% during the first year of contraceptive use, while the 12-month failure rate among married women aged 30 and over is only 8%.”

The failure rate for Black women is about 20% and apparently does not vary with income, while Hispanic women experience a 12-month failure rate of 16% and white women about 11%–rates that do vary by income and which are significantly higher among poorer women and lower among financially secure women.

Why Does Contraception Fail?

The reasons for contraceptive failure are complex and vary according to method:

Oral contraceptives may fail if a woman forgets to take them every day at the same time or if 2 or more pills are missed during a cycle and an alternative method of birth control is not used.

Diaphragms and cervical caps can be moved out of place by the penis thrusting against the cervix.

Condoms can break and/ or semen can leak from them: Period abstinence, or natural family planning, can fail if a woman does not accurately predict her fertile period: IUDs can be dislodged.

Withdrawal can fail if pre-ejaculatory semen enters the cervix or if the man is unable to withdraw his penis before ejaculation.

Tips for Effective Contraception:

  • Practice your chosen birth control method consistently.
  • Carefully follow instructions for the use of your birth control method.
  • Use alternative method of contraception such as a condom, if you forget 2 or more birth control pills during your cycle.
  • Certain antibiotics and other drugs can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives–ask your pharmacist if this is a concern for you whenever you fill a prescription.
  • Take oral contraceptives at the same time each day.
  • Using a condom and spermicide with a diaphragm or cervical cap during your fertile period can result in almost 100% contraceptive success.
  • If you use an IUD, check for the string extending from your cervix monthly, if you can’t feel it use alternative contraception and call your physician.
  • Call your physician immediately for emergency contraceptives after unprotected sex.
  • If you have any questions about the use of your birth control method–contact your healthcare provider–clearly understanding the proper use of your contraceptive will increase your chance of successful pregnancy prevention.
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Contraception an Important Part of Climate Control

According to the United Nations 2006 revision of the world population prospects, the world population is likely to increase from the current 6·7 billion to 9·2 billion in 2050. Most of this increase will be in less developed regions of the world while the population in developed countries is expected to remain nearly unchanged.

Population growth is linked to changes in food and water supply and housing. Rapid increases in population growth is most likely to have negative effects – increasing food and water scarcity, environmental degradation, and human displacement.

There are more than 200 million women throughout the world who want, but lack access to modern contraceptives. This lack of contraceptive availability results in an estimated 76 million unintended pregnancies each year. This increase puts strain on regional environmental resources (water, food, housing) with increased disease if those resources aren’t sufficient.

Drought and desertification influencing population migration. Both have a tendency to affect migration into cities, increasing urbanization. This in turn stresses the socioeconomic conditions already exacerbated by high population growth. Urban slums often have poor drainage facilities in developing countries. This can increase health problems due to poor sanitation.

The Lancet editorial discusses the need for better contraception available to women around the world. “It is disappointing to see that there are still tensions between the population and some of the sexual and reproductive health and rights community.”

The editorial points out a case study from Ethiopia that trained people in sustainable land management practices, while increasing availability of family planning. The area saw an immediate improvement to the environment with better agricultural practices, which in the long term will be sustained and not eroded by a rapidly increasing population.

Thomas Wire, a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics, makes an economic case, Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost, in discussing family planning and the environment. He points out that family planning is five times cheaper than conventional green technologies to combat climate change.

Wire calculated that if present trends continue, the planet is on track to have 338 billion “people-years” lived between 2020 and 2050. But if contraception were available to every woman who wanted it then enough pregnancies would be averted that the number of people-years would fall to 326 billion.

The reduction of 12 billion people-years would save 34 gigatons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise cost at least $220 billion to produce. In other words, each $7 invested in contraception would buy more than 1 ton of carbon dioxide emissions.

Contraception is important to population control which is important to the health of our planet and global warming. It’s all linked.

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Kansas Reduces Healthcare-Associated Infections

For most Kansans, a stay in the hospital results in improved health, but that doesn’t always happen because of the growing trend of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

While these infections can cause serious illness, and sometimes death, they can often be prevented. A new initiative in Kansas aims to understand better how HAIs occur, and what can be done to stop them.

The initiative, to be funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will enable Kansas public health officials to develop a statewide, comprehensive plan to reduce HAIs. The planning effort will include launching a surveillance system to monitor HAIs statewide and a formal evaluation of existing programs to reduce their impact.

To start the project the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will receive approximately $576,000 from CDC. The money is part of $40 million in Recovery Act funding to help states fight HAIs, marking the first time that Congress has appropriated HAI prevention funds specifically to states.

“Healthcare-associated infections are a serious public health concern and are being increasingly recognized as contributing significantly to healthcare costs,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of Health for KDHE.

HAIs are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for another medical or surgical condition. They can occur in all settings of care, including hospitals and outpatient surgical centers, clinics and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

Efforts from the Recovery Act funding will focus on U.S. Health and Human Services priority targets such as bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and will address pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

CDC estimates that every year, Americans contract 1.7 million infections while being treated in hospitals. These infections are associated with approximately 99,000 deaths annually. In addition to the significant toll on patients’ lives, HAIs represent an estimated $30 billion in added healthcare costs.

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Probiotics prevent asthma

Did you know that probiotics help prevent asthma? It’s not one of those immediately obvious connections, but the more you look into it, the more you’ll see why it works.

Asthma is often the result of systemic inflammation caused by food allergies. Probiotics, it turns out, can help deal with food allergies, calming the inflammation and helping to eliminate many health problems (not just asthma, but also some skin conditions and intestinal disorders as well).

Below, we’ve published a short collection of research quotes about probiotics and asthma, gathered from some of the top health books in the world. Check out what they have to say about the benefits of probiotics:

Probiotics and asthma

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood and one of the most common causes of school absenteeism. Asthma is inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It causes obstruction of the airway, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. If probiotics are primarily in the intestinal tract, how would probiotics aid the lungs and help to fight asthma? Remember that probiotics have a great influence on the immune system.
– Probiotic Rescue: How You can use Probiotics to Fight Cholesterol, Cancer, Superbugs, Digestive Complaints and More by Allison Tannis

The intestinal microflora plays a role in immune system regulation. Probiotics promote healthy intestinal barriers and immune reactions. Lack of probiotics in infants may prevent proper immune maturation leading to allergies. Leaky gut allows allergens through the intestines and promotes allergies. Probiotics appear to prevent and treat certain atopic diseases (asthma, eczema). Eczema can be effectively treated with probiotics. Asthma may be prevented or treated with probiotics.
– Probiotic Rescue: How You can use Probiotics to Fight Cholesterol, Cancer, Superbugs, Digestive Complaints and More by Allison Tannis

Research shows that both asthma and eczema are linked to abnormal immune responses in newborns. Can probiotics be helpful to children who are at risk of developing allergic diseases such as asthma? Finnish researchers have found that children who were exposed to probiotics around the time of birth were 40% less likely to develop atopic eczema than children in a placebo group; however, exposure to probiotics did not have any protective effect against asthma. Lactobacilluscasei can reduce the rate of eczema in infants, but there has been no word yet on its ability to prevent asthma.
– Probiotic Rescue: How You can use Probiotics to Fight Cholesterol, Cancer, Superbugs, Digestive Complaints and More by Allison Tannis

If steroids/antibiotics have been taken for some time, probiotics friendly flora is needed for actions to boost your own auto-immune system. It is important to follow a starch-free and dairy-free diet. Drinking 6 large glasses of water per day is also critical. What Is Asthma? Asthma is a range of similar lung diseases that can have a variety of causes. It can be life threatening and so has to be taken very seriously. When you have asthma, it’s important to: 1. Take your asthma seriously. 2. Take your asthma medicines as prescribed.

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Avoid Food Borne Illness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), food-borne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,200 deaths in the United States each year.

There are ways to avoid food borne illness. “Consumers always want to know what they should do to avoid getting sick,” says Sarah Klein, lead author of the report. “Consumers can’t and shouldn’t avoid these foods,” she said.

The first step in avoiding food borne illness is to watch what you buy. Is it important to be sure the food you buy at the grocery store is the freshest available. Check the package expiration or “use by” dates, and when the date expires, throw the food away to be safe. Buying fresh at local farmers markets are one of the safer ways to shop for produce.

Fruits and vegetables can harbor some of the most deadly food-borne pathogens, particularly if they are washed or irrigated with water that is contaminated with animal or human feces. These germs can get into fruits and vegetables during processing or packaging. Therefore, always wash fresh fruits and vegetables even if they come in pre-washed packages or if you plan on peeling them anyhow. This includes washing melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew.

In order to avoid food borne illness in foods, be sure to cook foods to the proper temperatures (160 F for ground meat such as hamburger; 165 F for poultry). Use a food thermometer to check for doneness. Under cooking certain meats can cause food borne illness.

There are ways to protect you and your family from some of the hazards of these healthy but vulnerable foods. Don’t buy bruised or damaged produce. Place produce is a separate bag than meats and fish. Keep perishable produce at 40 degrees or below. Be sure to wash cutting boards and counter tops all the time. Do not buy canned goods that are dented, cracked or bulging this can possibly damage the food content.

Other helpful tips to avoid food borne illness include, thaw out food in the refrigerator or microwave, not on the kitchen counter and marinate food in the refrigerator. If you want to use marinade for sauce later, set some aside. Don’t use marinade for sauce once it has been on raw meat or poultry.

“In a relative scale our food supply remains quite safe,” says Craig Hedberg, a professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of MinnesotaSchool of Public Health. Avoiding certain food borne illnesses begins with simple awareness and creating new habits.

Materials from Chicago Tribune and Health Publications are used in this report.

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth

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Canada Considers HPV Vaccination For Males

With one human papillomavirus vaccine on the market and another on the way, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the FDA have several factors to consider in determining whether to extend the vaccine’s use to boys and men.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is expected to discuss use of the vaccine in young men at its next regular meeting and the FDA could make a decision by the end of the year.

Merck officials said at the ACIP meeting in June that they hope that data on Gardasil, approved for use in women since 2006, will convince both the ACIP and the FDA that the vaccine is effective for the prevention of the malignancies that HPV can cause in men, such as penile and anal cancers, and cancers of the mouth and throat.

CDC data indicate that about 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and another 6.2 million people become newly infected each year. Considering only new cases in men believed to be affiliated with HPV, the American Cancer Society expected almost 10,000 new cases of cancer in 2008.

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Moderate Exercise As Easy As Walking 100 Steps Per Minute

You’ve been told by your doctor to do 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day for at least five days a week. You were told this would help your tendency towards weight gain, improve your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart disease. But what is moderate intensity exercise?

By definition an activity is defined as moderate-intensity exercise if the heart rate during the activity reaches 60 to 70 per cent of the maximum rate. [See our article on Resting and Target Heart Rate]

A recent study by researchers at the San Diego State University shows that moderate exercise can be as easy as walking 100 steps per minute.

In the study, Simon Marshall and his colleagues monitored 58 women and 39 men walking on a treadmill at different speeds. They checked the participants oxygen uptake and heart rates during the exercise. The researchers found moderate-intensity exercise was achieved by women at counts between 91 and 115 steps per minute and by men at 92 to 102 steps per minute.

Moderate exercise can be as easy as walking 100 steps per minute. Back to the 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day – 3,000 steps in 30 minutes will achieve that goal. Using a pedometer to help with the counting can make that even easier.

Using a Pedometer as a Reality Check

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Senior Health And Fitness Day Walk With Mayor Dick Dickerson

Health And Fitness Day

The Active Aging Community Task Force is celebrating Senior Health and Fitness Day with a walk with Mayor Dick Dickerson at the McConnell Foundation’s Lema Ranch Trails on Wednesday, May 23 at 9:30 am.

The walk will start from the parking lot at Armando and Hemingway off Shasta View Drive, offering three distances to walk. The first 100 walkers will get a prize. Demonstrations on how to use dynabands and LEKI Nordic Walking poles will be offered by “Fun with Senior Fitness” instructors and by Torty’s Fitness.

The Preventive Health Care for the Aging program will offer free blood pressure screening. “This event is a great opportunity for seniors to experience the Lema Ranch trails and to celebrate health and fitness,” said Sara Sundquist, of Shasta County Public Health. The 14th annual Senior Health and Fitness Day encourages seniors of all fitness levels to participate, and brings awareness to fitness programs being offered in the community. This event will highlight the ongoing low-cost “Fun with Senior Fitness” balance and strength classes throughout Shasta County. Currently there are 21 classes, three of which are brand new: Redding Rancheria, Redding Pilgrim House, and Canyon School in Lakehead.

The Active Aging Community Task Force is made up of local residents and professionals in Shasta County who gather to promote and teach physical activity for seniors. The Task Force emphasizes strength, mobility, and balance building exercise classes. Contact Shasta County Public Health at 245-6457 for information or for a “Fun with Senior Fitness” class schedule. Participants in this year’s Senior Health & Fitness Day include Burch Physical Therapy, Home Health Care Management, Kirkwood Assisted Living, and Torty’s Fitness and Massage.

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I have sleeping problems, are there any herbs or foods that help with insomnia

A reader asks, “Are there any foods, vitamins, herbs, etc, that can help with insomnia? I’ve had sleeping problems for years, and I would really appreciate any kind of useful information.”

With insomnia, it all basically boils down to endocrine system imbalances. Sleep is a physiological function that is controlled by hormones, and these hormones are of course released by endocrine system glands according to a natural cycle. A person who is having trouble sleeping is merely experiencing a disruption in this natural cycle.

To answer this question, it is helpful to look at what promotes healthy sleep cycles in the first place. Perhaps the single most important influencing factor in setting these cycles is exposure to natural sunlight. In fact, simply getting natural sunlight during the day often corrects the problem outright. I know it sounds simple, but exposure to sunlight is fundamental to healthy sleep cycles.

A lot of this, of course, has to do with the production and suppression of melatonin, which is also called the sleep hormone. Melatonin levels normally rise at night, and peak during sleep. Once a person wakes up and goes outside to get natural sunlight exposure, melatonin levels are suppressed. This tells the body that daylight is here, and that we should be awake and alert during the day.

But when a person avoids sunlight — if they have an office job and only get fluorescent light or other forms of artificial light during the day — these melatonin levels are not suppressed during the day. They remain unnaturally high, and this tells the body that it may still be night. This is why a lot of people tend to feel drowsy during the day or have a lack of energy, and subsequently, they can’t sleep at night either. It’s all due to the unnaturally high levels of melatonin during the day which cause unnaturally low levels at night time as well.

So once again, the most effective strategy is to get sunlight — to suppress those melatonin levels during the day and let them come back strong at night. If you live in a climate where you can’t get a lot of natural sunlight, you can help yourself through the use of light boxes. However, light boxes are not a replacement for natural sunlight. In fact, nothing comes close to the intensity of light you receive from the sun. Even high-powered light boxes only provide a fraction of the light energy of natural sunlight. So make sure you get natural sunlight on your skin. And by the way, getting it through a window is not the same as getting it outdoors. Windows filter out ultraviolet light, so you have to expose your skin to direct sunlight.

(This is why many of the kings and queens in European history went mad, by the way: they wanted to keep their skin pale by avoiding sunlight. Nearly all royals were chronically deficient in vitamin D — and that causes schizophrenia, depression, aggression and other mental disorders…)

There could be other problems causing insomnia as well. You might have low melatonin production. Maybe you’re getting sunlight during the day, but at night your body isn’t producing melatonin in the way that it should. A shortcut to solving this is to take melatonin supplements. These are available at health food stores orvitamin shops online. Melatonin supplements should be taken an hour or so before bedtime, and they will typically help people sleep more soundly.

But understand this is just a stop-gap measure. If your body isn’t producing melatonin, there’s something imbalanced in your system, and you need to get back to the fundamentals of health in order to recreate an environment in which your body will naturally produce the required levels of melatonin that support healthy, sound sleep.

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Cottonseed extract may treat brain cancer like Kennedy’s

An experimental drug derived from cottonseed proved effective in hindering the growth of the type of brain cancer that caused Ted Kennedy’s death. The drug completed Phase II clinical trials under the direction of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

According to the University’s website, the cottonseed-derived drug, which is named AT-101, demonstrated the ability to retard the abnormal growth of tumor cells in glioblastoma multiforme, a rapidly growing type of brain cancer that is difficult to treat. The clinical trial included 56 patients with glioblastoma multiforme whose tumors had continued to grow despite treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Kennedy underwent all three treatments before his death.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with brain tumors. Of these about 10,000 are glioblastomas. A glioma is any tumor that forms in the glial brain cells, the most abundant cells in the central nervous system. Glioma is not a specific type of cancer but a category of brain tumor that includes glioblastoma multiforme, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and ependymomas.

The clinical trial involved once daily administration of the cottonseed extract drug in pill form for three of four weeks. In many of the patients the cancer stopped progressing. The lead researcher on the study, John Fiveash, MD, an associate professor in the UAB’s Department of Radiation Oncology, reported that some patients had no new growth of their tumors for many months.

The cottonseed-derived drug was well tolerated, and Dr. Fiveash noted that AT-101 may work well when combined with radiation and chemotherapy to enhance the cancer-fighting properties of the conventional treatments. Dr. Fiveash presented his findings at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, in May 2009.

Future research into the safety and efficacy of the cottonseed extract will hopefully lead to an effective treatment option for glioblastomas, which are the most common primary brain tumors. This form of brain cancer is typically diagnosed in people age 55 years and older, and it is common for a glioblastoma to recur after treatment. Generally, the median survival for people who have glioblastoma is 12 to 15 months after diagnosis. Ted Kennedy fought his battle for 15 months.

SOURCES:
American Cancer Society
University of Alabama at Birmingham news release May 28, 2009

Written by Deborah Mitchell
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth

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Bedbug Outbreak Sweeping Across America

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held its first ever bedbug conference in April, in the face of the nation’s largest outbreak of the insects since World War II.

Bedbugs are bloodsucking insects that live in the folds of sheets, mattresses and upholstered furniture such as couches. They remain concealed and sleep during the day, emerging to feed only at night. While the insects do not transmit any diseases, their bites may swell and itch fiercely, much like mosquito bites. Because they feed exclusively on blood, they cannot be eliminated with baited traps like roaches or ants can.

Bedbug extermination is expensive — between $400 and $900 — and of limited effectiveness, in part due to the animals’ ability to hide in tiny crevices. Often, complete extermination requires disposal of any infested furniture. This means that the poor, who cannot afford such measures, are hardest hit by outbreaks.

“I can’t tell you how many people have spent the night in their bathtubs because they are so freaked out by bedbugs,” said bedbug expert Dini Miller of Virginia Tech. “I get these people over the phone that have lost their marbles.”

Many of the insecticides that were formerly most effective at eradicating bedbugs have since been banned by the EPA due to their dangerous effects on human health and the environment. Even these banned chemicals are often infrequent nowadays, however, as their widespread use in other countries has caused bedbugs to evolve resistance to them.

The EPA is currently investigating safe methods of bedbug elimination.

“One of our roles would be to learn of new products or safer products,” said Lois Rossi of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. “What we are concerned about is that if people take things into their own hands and start using pesticides on their mattresses that aren’t really registered for that, that’s a problem.”

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Natural remedies for acid reflux disease (GERD)

What exactly is “acid reflux disease?” Health consumers are quite familiar with the term (and the symptoms, in many cases), but few have a solid grasp of its underlying causes.

For one thing, the term “disease” doesn’t really apply to this condition. Acid reflux isn’t something you “catch” (like malaria); it’s just a pattern of symptoms with an underlying biochemical cause that can be corrected. And here, in the quotes you’ll find below, we present a wealth of information about what really causes acid reflux (and how to reverse this “disease” by changing your eating habits).

Check out the quotes below and find out what you may have never known about acid reflux…

The causes (and cures) for acid reflux “disease”

In a phenomenon known as acid reflux, food and acid splash up into the esophagus, causing heartburn, chest pains, and belching. A person with severe symptoms may regurgitate stomach acid into the throat and the mouth. Sometimes the acid reflux leads to angina-like chest pains and spasms; the symptoms may be so intense that they are mistaken for a heart attack. Over long periods of time, the constant irritation of the esophagus can lead to inflammation, scarring, ulceration, hemorrhaging, and even esophageal cancer.
– Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Bodywork, and More by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

The reason I mention these things now is acid reflux disease is a perfect example of how the FDA and the drug companies worked together to create a monopoly and to create a “disease,” and to create billions of dollars in profits. Let me tell you how it works, and I will tell you the cure for “acid reflux disease.” Years ago there was no such thing as acid reflux disease. The reason that today we hear about acid reflux disease is because when the FDA passed the law that “Only a drug can cure, prevent, or treat a disease,” it set up a monopoly for the drug companies in treating diseases.
– More Natural Cures Revealed: Previously Censored Brand Name Products That Cure Disease by Kevin Trudeau

When people come up to me and say, “I have acid reflux. What can be done?” I then ask, “How many drugs are you on?” They are on one, two, three, four or more. The answer is, “I’ll tell you what. Get off all the drugs, do the Candida cleanse, and then come back in two months and tell me if you still have acid reflux.” If a person were to do that, their symptoms would be gone. They don’t understand that the reason they have acid reflux is because the root cause of it has not been addressed. The root causes of virtually all disease are nonprescription and prescription drugs.
– Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau

If you want to eliminate acid reflux, start eating more food that has living enzymes. Eat organic, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Go back to my book. Eat a raw organic apple a day. Eat a fresh salad with lunch and dinner consisting of raw organic vegetables. This will add living enzymes. This is a good start. Now let me give you some additional suggestions to help with acid reflux. 1. Raw apple cider vinegar. Take one tablespoon right before you eat each meal. This should eliminate any acid reflux.

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Disaster Management

The United States is widely perceived as the world leader, bearing responsibility for the world by taking a dominant role in providing humanitarian, economic and military aid to other countries. Some of the goals for such aid are to strengthen economies; promote peace, democracy and human rights; reduce famine; and halt nuclear proliferation. Critics suggest that the United States should not be the world抯 policeman.  It has also been suggested that the United States?extensive involvement in other countries, particularly through military intervention, is one cause of the current terrorist threat against the U.S.  This theory is known as 揵lowback.?nbsp; Supporters say that the U.S. should continue its aid and intervention with other countries for several reasons such as deterring terrorism, containing rogue states, ensuring the free flow of oil, and advancing human rights.

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Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Toxins

Imagine a polka-dotted postage stamp-sized sensor that can sniff out some known poisonous gases and toxins and show the results simply by changing colors.

Support for the development and application of this electronic nose comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The new technology is discussed in this month’s issue of Nature Chemistry and exemplifies the types of sensors that are being developed as part of the NIH Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI).

Once fully developed, the sensor could be useful in detecting high exposures to toxic industrial chemicals that pose serious health risks in the workplace or through accidental exposure. While physicists have radiation badges to protect them in the workplace, chemists and workers who handle chemicals do not have equivalent devices to monitor their exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. The investigators hope to be able to market the wearable sensor within a few years.

“The project fits into the overall goal of a component of the GEI Exposure Biology Program that the NIEHS has the lead on, which is to develop technologies to monitor and better understand how environmental exposures affect disease risk,” said NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. “This paper brings us one step closer to having a small wearable sensor that can detect multiple airborne toxins.”

The paper’s senior author is Kenneth S. Suslick, Ph.D., the M.T. Schmidt Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Suslick and his colleagues have created what they refer to as an optoelectronic nose, an artificial nose for the detection of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) that is simple, fast, inexpensive, and works by visualizing colors.

“We have a disposable 36-dye sensor array that changes colors when exposed to different chemicals. The pattern of the color change is a unique molecular fingerprint for any toxic gas and also tells us its concentration,” said Suslick. “By comparing that pattern to a library of color fingerprints, we can identify and quantify the TICs in a matter of seconds.”

The researchers say older methods relied on sensors whose response originates from weak and highly non-specific chemical interactions, whereas this new technology is more responsive to a diverse set of chemicals. The power of this sensor to identify so many volatile toxins stems from the increased range of interactions that are used to discriminate the response of the array.

To test the application of their color sensor array, the researchers chose 19 representative examples of toxic industrial chemicals. Chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, nitric acid and sulfur dioxide at concentrations known to be immediately dangerous to life or health were included. The arrays were exposed to the chemicals for two minutes. Most of the chemicals were identified from the array color change in a number of seconds and almost 90 percent of them were detected within two minutes.

The laboratory studies used inexpensive flatbed scanners for imaging. The researchers have developed a fully functional prototype handheld device that uses inexpensive white LED illumination and an ordinary camera, which will make the whole process of scanning more sensitive, smaller, faster, and even less expensive. It will be similar to a card scanning device.

“One of the nice things about this technology is that it uses components that are readily available and relatively inexpensive,” said David Balshaw, Ph.D., a program administrator at the NIEHS. “Given the broad range of chemicals that can be detected and the high sensitivity of the array to those compounds, it appears that this device will be particularly useful in occupational settings.”

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High-fat diet can disrupt our biological clock

Indulgence in a high-fat diet can not only lead to overweight because of excessive calorie intake, but also can affect the balance of circadian rhythms – everyone’s 24-hour biological clock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have shown.

The biological clock regulates the expression and/or activity of enzymes and hormones involved in metabolism, and disturbance of the clock can lead to such phenomena as hormone imbalance, obesity, psychological and sleep disorders and cancer.

While light is the strongest factor affecting the circadian clock, Dr. Oren Froy and his colleagues of the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, have demonstrated in their experiments with laboratory mice that there is a cause-and-effect relation between diet and biological clock imbalance.

To examine this thesis, Froy and his colleagues, Ph.D. student Maayan Barnea and Zecharia Madar, the Karl Bach Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry, tested whether the clock controls the adiponectin signaling pathway in the liver and, if so, how fasting and a high-fat diet affect this control. Adiponectin is secreted from differentiated adipocytes (fat tissue) and is involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. It increases fatty acid oxidation and promotes insulin sensitivity, two highly important factors in maintaining proper metabolism.

The researchers fed mice either a low-fat or a high-fat diet, followed by a fasting day, then measured components of the adiponectin metabolic pathway at various levels of activity. In mice on the low-fat diet, the adiponectin signaling pathway components exhibited normal circadian rhythmicity. Fasting resulted in a phase advance. The high-fat diet resulted in a phase delay. Fasting raised and the high-fat diet reduced adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) levels. This protein is involved in fatty acid metabolism, which could be disrupted by the lower levels.

In an article soon to be published by the journal Endocrinology, the researchers suggest that this high-fat diet could contribute to obesity, not only through its high caloric content, but also by disrupting the phases and daily rhythm of clock genes. They contend also that high fat-induced changes in the clock and the adiponectin signaling pathway may help explain the disruption of other clock-controlled systems associated with metabolic disorders, such as blood pressure levels and the sleep/wake cycle.

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Weight Loss: Is This Goal Holding You Back?

Create a weight loss goal focusing on what you want using positive words Unfortunately many people focus their goals on the weight they want to lose. Their written goal could look like this: “My goal is to lose 24 Pounds by December 25, 2009.”

This may be compromising the end result of weight loss we have in mind as we are focusing on what we do not want, that being weight and losing.

Those who have played golf will know that if we focus on the ball not going into the water the chance of the ball going where we do not want will increase. Alternatively we could focus on where we want the ball to land rather than where we do not want it to go. The same principle applies to our goal of achieving our ideal weight. Write it down, review regularly and visualize the results. A positive goal statement could be: “By December 25, 2009 I will be a fit and healthy 130 pounds.”

Write it down and commit this to your memory.

Be precise and visualize the end result. You can get creative with this step by doing things such as finding a photo of someone of a similar body type looking how you wish to look and even wearing the dress or swimsuit you would like to wear. Paste a photo of you face on the body. Keep this image with your written goal. Break the goal down to smaller portions and reward yourself after these are achieved. It is important to break larger goals down into smaller chunks or sub-goals. For example: Break down a goal with an annual time frame into monthly goals and reward yourself only when each goal is achieved. This will give you a sense of accomplishment along the way to achieving your ideal you. Using the example in this article the major goal would remain and sub-goals would be what you would need to achieve each month in order to reach your major goal. Choose a sensible program that will create lifelong healthy lifestyle habits The next step to take is to plan a course of action in order to achieve our goal. While the concept of achieving our ideal body is simple the application is often not. Therefore it is important to:

Choose a good diet and exercise program with sensible and easy to follow guidelines. It is vital that any program chosen should be focused on a long term achievement in order to create healthy habits that will last a life time. It is generally accepted that it takes six to twelve months to create a new habit, so one must be patient and persevere.

Be aware of programs that promise super quick results using obscure dieting methods or drugs that will leave you feeling lifeless and therefore tempted to revert back to old habits. The objective should be to maintain a leaner, healthier and fitter you for life.

For more free tips on weight loss and management visit http://simple-weight-loss-tips.blogspot.com/

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Lose Weight Fun, Creative Way In 2009

“Psych Yourself Skinny” is a creative, fun and brutally honest look at your FAT self, with a 28-day schedule of meditations, freestyle dance tips, meal ideas, daily “skinny” psych sessions, explicit visual motivators and blunt advice on how to make a big change, real fast.

This book will spark your creative psyche and help you cross over that bridge from your fat self to your skinny self, even if you’re not creative. This book has a five star rating and retails for $14.95 online at Amazon.com. It is also available in many bookstores. Read more testimonials at PsychYourselfSkinny.com .

“Psych Yourself Skinny started out as a weight loss program written for my eyes only,” says Sharon Geisen Hayes, the author, “but then it evolved into a funny littleentertainment book full of laughs that I wanted to share with others who face the same struggle with weight control. It has solid weight loss advice, but it’s also for those who can laugh at themselves and not take ‘the diet thing’ too serious.”

Nationally known for her contemporary figurative “sophisticatedly fun” oil paintings featuring abstract figures with eye- sharing faces, artist/author Hayes also has another humor book in the works for 2009 titled: “Bobbie” based on the actual accounts of a nanny who once hired by Hayes, reveals that she is a psychic. Hayes also discovers her many illnesses and ultimately becomes her caregiver and friend until Bobbie dies. “This story will make for a ‘laugh out loud’ movie,” says Hayes.

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No one Said Weight Loss Is Easy

Losing weight is not easy. No one should lull you into believing there is a quick way to lose weight. One important component of weight loss is that is takes time. There is no fast track to getting in better shape, but it is also never too late to start.

Obviously, some exercise programs are more interesting than others are. Interest is the keyword. If you start an exercise program, it has to be appealing. Exercise and weight loss (and maintenance) are lifelong commitments.

Weight gain is easy. Your body does not care if you put on some pounds. It has no real defense. Calorie laden foods and inactivity make the body hungrier. It sets off a chain reaction that leads to more hunger. When fat cells accumulate in the body, an unhealthy decline of the hormone leptin leads us to seek more food.

Multiple weight loss programs exist. No one size fits all. You have to find a satisfying weight loss and exercise program that suits your lifestyle and causes no distress. Anything less sets you up for failure.

Weight gain sneaks up on us. Once we reach a certain point, it is increasingly more difficult to lose weight. Modest weight gain is easiest to reverse. The message is if you put on a few pounds, start early to get rid of them. Once too much weight gain occurs, it is almost impossible to shed, thus the constant quest for better drugs to target weight loss, and increasing popularity of obesity surgery.

The core principles of weight loss, overall fitness and good health is to remain active. Decrease your calories and increase your activity.

Here are some tips that make weight loss easier:

· Choose a friend with the same weight loss goals and develop a plan together. Using a “buddy system” has been shown to increase the odds that you will stick with your weight loss and fitness goals.

· Vary the length and type of exercise that you choose. Doing so will prevent boredom and provide challenges.

· Start exercises every other day so as not to become discouraged from soreness or time constraints.

· Reduce your food portions. You really do not have to change your diet completely, but if you wish to do so, consider a Mediterranean diet. It is heart healthy and has endured as an overall beneficial diet that you can continue throughout life.

· If you are tired, or ill with a cold or flu, give yourself a break. Never engage in exercise when it does not feel right. Listen to your body.

· Consider the benefits of stretching. It may not seem like much, but it may be a beginning if you do nothing else to start. Stretching, in itself, can increase strength and endurance.

· Remember that anything goes. Incorporate daily activities into your exercise plan. Garden, clean, vacuum, and organize. Household activities do help with weight loss and fitness.

· Start a simple walking program. Take a pedometer to measure your fitness success.
Weight loss and fitness should be everyone’s goal in the New Year. Losing weight and getting in better shape can help with depression, and help manage existing illness. Never start a weight loss or exercise program without first speaking to your healthcare provider.

Resource: Leptin reverses weight loss–induced changes in regional neural activity responses to visual food stimuli.

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Bogus Science: Medical “Fact” About Aging Brains Shrinking is Wrong

As people age, the chance of dementia rises. The most dreaded form of this memory robbing condition is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Already the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S., the incidence of Alzheimer’s is expected to soar as the huge Baby Boomer generation ages. According to the National Institute on Aging, as Alzheimer’s progresses, the brain shrinks. So it is not a comforting thought to know that science has long stated aging brains shrink as we grow older, even if you don’t have AD. Having a brain that is going to atrophy with the passing years seems to indicate that some mental decline must be inevitable.

Well, guess what? That “fact” is looking more and more like another example of a bogus belief ingrained in the medical establishment that is not backed up by solid evidence.

According to new research just published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Neuropsychology, the studies that supposedly proved even healthy older brains are substantially smaller than younger brains did not screen out people who had undetected, slowly developing brain diseases that were killing off brain cells and shrinking gray matter. Bottom line: researchers overestimated atrophy in the brains of older adults and underestimated the normal size of older, healthy brains.

The new study tested participants in Holland’s long-term Maastricht Aging Study who did not suffer from any neurological problems such as stroke, Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, or Parkinson’s disease. Research subjects shown to be healthy then took neuropsychological tests, including a screening test for dementia, at baseline and then every three years for the next nine years. After three years, study participants were also given MRI scans to document measurements of seven different parts of their brains, including the hippocampus (an area important for forming and holding on to memories) and the frontal and cingulate areas of the critical cortex which are important for cognitive skills.

The study participants, who were all around 69 years old when the study started, were placed into two groups. One was comprised of 35 cognitively healthy people who stayed free of dementia throughout the time of the study and the other group was made up of 30 people who showed substantial cognitive decline as the study progressed, although they were not officially diagnosed with dementia. In contrast to the 35 people who stayed healthy, the 30 people whose cognitive health went into decline over the nine years showed significant changes in their brains. That means the brain shrinkage that previously would have been chalked up to aging was much more likely to reflect some pathology going on the brain — not the passing of years.

In fact, the authors of the study concluded that as long as people stay cognitively healthy, the gray matter supporting cognition might not shrink much at all. “If future longitudinal studies find similar results, our conception of ‘normal’ brain aging may become more optimistic,” lead author Saartje Burgmans, a PhD candidate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said in a statement to the media.

While there is at present no cure for many brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s, natural health strategies have been shown to help lower the risk of dementia. For example, the National Institute on Aging web site states research suggests a nutritious diet, exercise, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and AD.

Moreover, scientists are investigating associations between cognitive decline and heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity — all conditions that can often be prevented and even reversed through natural methods using exercise, diet, stress reduction (including meditation and yoga), nutrients and herbal therapies. As NaturalNews has previously reported, studies have also shown that vitamin D (http://www.naturalnews.com/026392_V…) and the Mediterranean style of eating (http://www.naturalnews.com/026011_m…) may prevent AD and other dementias and keep brain functioning healthy as the years pass.

References:
“The Prevalence of Cortical Gray Matter Atrophy May Be Overestimated In the Healthy Aging Brain,” Saartje Burgmans, PhD student, Martin P. J. van Boxtel, PhD, MD, Eric F. P. M. Vuurman, PhD, Floortje Smeets, PhD student, and Ed H. B. M. Gronenschild, PhD, Maastricht University; Harry B. M. Uylings, PhD, Maastricht University and VU University Medical Center Amsterdam; and Jelle Jolles, PhD, Maastricht University; Neuropsychology, Vol. 23, No. 5.

For more information:
http://www.apa.org/releases/older-b…
http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/P…
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health…

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