Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Fruit and Vegetable Supply

In 1936, a group of doctors sounded an alarm to the US Senate. It was a dire warning that the mineral content of the soil was eroding. Vegetables were losing their power and people were at risk. Congress did nothing and today we're feeling the effects.

Just look at the loss of vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables today compared to 1975.
Apples: vitamin A is down 41%
Sweet peppers: vitamin C is down 31%
Watercress: iron is down 88%
Broccoli: calcium and vitamin A are down 50%
Cauliflower: vitamin C is down 45%; vitamin B1 is down 48%; and vitamin B2 is down 47%
Collards greens: vitamin A is down 45%; potassium is down 60%; and magnesium is down 85%


These are the USDA's own numbers. The vitamin and mineral content of our fruits and vegetables has dramatically plummeted - in just 34 years!


Notice that minerals like iron and magnesium have dropped by more than 80 percent. That's from commercial farming and powerful fertilizers that practically sterilize the soil - leaving it with little to no mineral content.

If the soil doesn't have minerals, there's no way for vegetables to absorb them. And that leads to the big question…

How Can We Get the Vitamins and Minerals We Need?
It is important to purchase as many organics as you possibly can. This doesn't just mean USDA certified organic but the small local farmer in your area that you can trust when they tell you they do not add synthetic fertilizers or dangerous pesticides. Studies show that organic produce carries at least 50% more vitamins and minerals than that of conventional.

Another great way to get an abundance of nutrients is from spirulina, a "green food" with the nutritional power of 1,000 pounds of assorted vegetables! It's the oldest food on earth, arriving on this planet over 3.5 billion years ago.

Spirulina is a kind of blue-green algae. After 30 years of clinical study, researchers agree it's the world's richest source of vitamins, minerals, iron, protein and a host of other energizing and detoxifying nutrients.


It's so powerful in fact, that scientists at NASA consider it the perfect food for astronauts when they travel into space.


So don't rely on commercially grown fruits and vegetables alone. Start taking a green food supplement with spirulina to ensure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs.


Kombu
This powerful sea vegetable is a valuable mineral booster as well as gas reducer and the secret ingredient in speeding up the cooking process of your beans! I advise my clients to simmer a strip of kombu in a cup of chicken or vegetable broth for an additional mineral booster. Add to your soups, stews and chilis. Move over Beano, we have Kombu!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monsanto & Cancer: Crack for cows?

And if you currently trust that Aspartame is safe or anything Monsanto is responisble for, you're their puppet. It's just how they like it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard in my 10 year health quest "There's no scientific evidence that aspartame is dangerous" of course, word has it that scientists working for Monsanto have had un-explained, un-timely deaths. When you decide to work on improving your health or if that is your current journey, know that everything related to diet and nutrition in the mainstream is actually quite opposite than that of the truth.

The following video is in relation to the added synthetic growth hormones that are added to your dairy. Who consumes the majority of our dairy? Generally, your children. Yes, your little girl who you would never put on a birth control pill right? Your 3 year old sweetie on a birth control pill? Yes, that's essentially what is happening here. Your son, can store these hormones as excessive estrogen there by causing gender issues such as breasts, etc. This is only touching lightly as we only think that adults are at risk for cancers right? WRONG! Demand clean dairy. If you cannot afford organic, at the very least, do look for the label claiming "rBGH free" or you might also see "cows not treated with rBGH". You can check your favorite brand at:
http://www.purefood.org/rBGH/rbghlist.cfm


And the videos of interest:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1pKlnhvg0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GpqwZDbMHU

Your best option is always raw organic dairy. It is not available to everyone yet others have more access than they realize by visiting a campaign for real milk, a cow share program:
http://realmilk.com/

Do try to look for rBGH free, organic and/or raw dairy

Studies on Saturated Fat

There is so much mis-information out there on the subject of Saturated Fat and its relationship to poor health. When did the most natural fat on earth become the most dangerous in the last 100 years? Now reading this, do you all realize that we've been on this planet for quite a few more years than just 100? Think about it logically if you will. Michael Pollan of The Omnivores dilmena said in Food Inc. "The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000". I often reflect on my childhood and try to count the amount of people I knew with thyroid disruption, gall bladder removal, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the on slaught of auto-immune diseases out there. None of my grandparents took medications for cholesterol, in fact, I don't remember ever even discussing cholesterol as my Grandfather sat down to his bacon and german pancake breakfast! He lived well into his 90's by the way in quite excellent health. Fortunately, they did not discover spray butter until they were senior citizens.

So, getting back to fat....that macro-nutrient that apparently kills. Saturated fat has saved my life in so many ways. Focus, weight loss, improved blood work, satiety and so much more. I did my stint with McDougal, for a few weeks or so......until I felt the extreme hunger and the thought of gnawing my own arm off at several points sounded appetizing! Take fat away from a girl who has ADHD and absolutely no focus and you have a true recipe for disaster. I'm quite sure my neurotransmittors just became confused!

When advising my clients to increase their fat rather than reduce it, they are quite surprised. Now, we're not just talking any kind of fat, I"m talking about saturated fats from clean, animal proteins fed a species appropriate diet, raw butter and dairy, coconut and palm oils. These are the nurturing fats that will benefit you in the ways below:

You might see this repeated throughout my blog.......while it may seem redundant, redundancy I find assists the memory (as does coconut oil by the way)

Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50 percent of your cell membranes. They are what gives your cells necessary stiffness and integrity.

They play a vital role in the health of your bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into your skeletal structure, at least 50 percent of your dietary fats should be saturated.

They lower Lp(a), a substance in your blood that indicates proneness to heart disease.

They protect your liver from alcohol and other toxins, such as Tylenol and other drugs.

They enhance your immune system.

They are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids. Elongated omega-3 fats are better retained in your tissues when your diet is rich in saturated fats.

Saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are the preferred foods for your heart, which is why the fat around your heart muscle is highly saturated. Your heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.

Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect you against harmful microorganisms in your digestive tract.

Following is some great information on studies. Don't just believe me, check out the studies below!

A survey of 1700 patients with hardening of the arteries, conducted by the famous heart surgeon Michael DeBakey, found no relationship between the level of cholesterol in the blood and the incidence of atherosclerosis.

A survey of South Carolina adults found no correlation of blood cholesterol levels with "bad" dietary habits, such as use of red meat, animal fats, fried foods, butter, eggs, whole milk, bacon, sausage and cheese. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine.

Mother's milk provides a higher proportion of cholesterol than almost any other food. It also contains over 50% of its calories as fat, much of it saturated fat. Both cholesterol and saturated fat are essential for growth in babies and children, especially the development of the brain. Yet, the American Heart Association is now recommending a low-cholesterol, lowfat diet for children! Commercial formulas are low in saturated fats and soy formulas are devoid of cholesterol. A recent study linked lowfat diets with failure to thrive in children.

Numerous surveys of traditional populations have yielded information that is an embarrassment to the Diet Dictocrats. For example, a study comparing Jews when they lived in Yemen, whose diets contained fats solely of animal origin, to Yemenite Jews living in Israel, whose diets contained margarine and vegetable oils, revealed little heart disease or diabetes in the former group but high levels of both diseases in the latter. (The study also noted that the Yemenite Jews consumed no sugar but those in Israel consumed sugar in amounts equaling 25-30% of total carbohydrate intake.)

A comparison of populations in northern and southern India revealed a similar pattern. People in northern India consume 17 times more animal fat but have an incidence of coronary heart disease seven times lower than people in southern India.

The Masai and kindred tribes of Africa subsist largely on milk, blood and beef. They are free from coronary heart disease and have excellent blood cholesterol levels.

Eskimos eat liberally of animal fats from fish and marine animals. On their native diet they are free of disease and exceptionally hardy.

An extensive study of diet and disease patterns in China found that the region in which the populace consumes large amounts of whole milk had half the rate of heart disease as several districts in which only small amounts of animal products are consumed.

Several Mediterranean societies have low rates of heart disease even though fat-including highly saturated fat from lamb, sausage and goat cheese-comprises up to 70% of their caloric intake. The inhabitants of Crete, for example, are remarkable for their good health and longevity.


A study of Puerto Ricans revealed that, although they consume large amounts of animal fat, they have a very low incidence of colon and breast cancer.

A study of the long-lived inhabitants of Soviet Georgia revealed that those who eat the most fatty meat live the longest.

In Okinawa, where the average life span for women is 84 years-longer than in Japan-the inhabitants eat generous amounts of pork and seafood and do all their cooking in lard.

None of these studies is mentioned by those urging restriction of saturated fats.
The relative good health of the Japanese, who have the longest life span of any nation in the world, is generally attributed to a lowfat diet. Although the Japanese eat few dairy fats, the notion that their diet is low in fat is a myth; rather, it contains moderate amounts of animal fats from eggs, pork, chicken, beef, seafood and organ meats. With their fondness for shellfish and fish broth, eaten on a daily basis, the Japanese probably consume more cholesterol than most Americans. (Interestingly enough, Japanese men smoke heavily)


What they do not consume is a lot of vegetable oil, white flour or processed food (although they do eat white rice.) The life span of the Japanese has increased since World War II with an increase in animal fat and protein in the diet.

Those who point to Japanese statistics to promote the lowfat diet fail to mention that the Swiss live almost as long on one of the fattiest diets in the world. Tied for third in the longevity stakes are Austria and Greece-both with high-fat diets.

As a final example, let us consider the French. Anyone who has eaten his way across France has observed that the French diet is just loaded with saturated fats in the form of butter, eggs, cheese, cream, liver, meats and rich pat├ęs. Yet the French have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than many other western countries.

In the United States, 315 of every 100,000 middle-aged men die of heart attacks each year; in France the rate is 145 per 100,000. In the Gascony region, where goose and duck liver form a staple of the diet, this rate is a remarkably low 80 per 100,000.

This phenomenon has recently gained international attention as the French Paradox. (The French do suffer from many degenerative diseases, however. They eat large amounts of sugar and white flour and in recent years have succumbed to the timesaving temptations of processed foods.)

A chorus of establishment voices, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, claims that animal fat is linked not only with heart disease but also with cancers of various types. Yet when researchers from the University of Maryland analyzed the data they used to make such claims, they found that vegetable fat consumption was correlated with cancer and animal fat was not.

So, what does the above tell us? In my opinion, I believe we need more studies. We need to see a study of peoples currently practicing that of more traditional diets and monitor their health through that of blood work for a 10 or more year period. I once watched a great interview with Mary Enig, Phd., when asked why she or anyone else hasn't conducted such a study? Her words "No special interest groups in the field of health and natural food" Yes, it's SAD and when I say SAD, I mean that's our Standard American Diet.

Weight Loss, Type 2 Diabetes, and the Importance of a Diet That "Fits"

Researchers get caught up in this issue as well, particularly when it comes to chronic disease situations like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Many different approaches to diet can help us lose weight-at least in the short-term. But in type 2 diabetes, there is also a need to improve insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in the Bronx, NY put two very different diet approaches to the test in their study of 105 obese adults, mostly Hispanic and African-American, who were on medication for their type 2 diabetes. Half of the participants in this study followed a very low carbohydrate diet, based upon the Atkins diet. (In this diet, the participants were allowed only 20-25 grams of carbohydrate per day during the first 2 weeks. After that time, they were allowed to increase their carbs each week by a total of 5 grams.) The other group of participants followed a low-fat diet in which a maximum of 25% total calories were allowed from fat. (For example, if a participant were allowed to eat 1,600 calories of food, 44 grams of fat could come from fat. That amount is the same as 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus 1 ounce of walnuts.) Over the course of one year, all participants received regular nutritional counseling and assistance following their diet plans.

The results of this study were extremely interesting. Overall, participants in both groups lost weight over the 12-month study period. Their average weight loss was approximately 7 pounds, or 3.5% of their initial body weight. However, the low-carb group lost weight rapidly in the first three months (for a total of about 11 pounds) and then regained weight very slowly (at about one-half pound per month) over the rest of the study period. The low-fat group lost weight more slowly over the first three months (for a total of about 7.5 pounds), and then plateaued and just stopped losing weight. Neither group significantly improved their blood sugar levels (as determined by lab work measuring their hemoglobin A1C). In their discussion of the blood sugar results, the researchers noted that in previous studies, a total weight loss of about 10-15 pounds was required before significant changes could be observed in hemoglobin A1C levels.

The research team in this study concluded that very low carbohydrate and low fat diets could be helpful to obese individuals with type 2 diabetes who were trying to lose weight and control their blood sugars, but that the helpfulness of these diets might be limited unless practical aspects of the diets were made very familiar to the participants and could be followed closely for an extended period of time. In other words, they recognized the fact that very low carb diets and low fat diets can be very challenging to follow, and while potentially helpful might not turn out to be as helpful as expected due to practical difficulties in adherence.

We definitely agree that very low carb diets and low fat diets can present real difficulties as long-term, everyday approaches to eating. A daily intake of 20-25 grams of carbohydrate is a very unnatural food balance, which makes it impossible to enjoy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Additionally, 25% fat is likely to be a level that many people find unnaturally restrictive. If you use up 33% of your day's fat with one tablespoon of olive oil, your options with nuts, seeds, and cold-water fish become pretty limited.

So we would go one step further than these researchers in our interpretation of the study results. We would conclude that very low carb and low-fat diet approaches are probably not helpful to most individuals because they create a diet context that is just too unnatural. Most people are unlikely to stick with any diet that feels too unnatural, regardless of the diet. The world of food is diverse and rich in foods of all flavors and textures, and a diet needs to contain enough nutritional room for us to enjoy all of them!

From a long-term perspective, the only approach that makes sense to us is one that allows for complete individualization of a diet in a way that feels natural to the person following it. In most cases, that kind of individualization will mean more room for high-quality carbs and high-quality fats than was allowed in either of the diets featured in this study.

Misty Notes: This article came from whfoods.org a fabulous web site that provides information and recipes on whole foods. I would like to add that in working with folks with type 2 diabetes, a higher fat much lower carbohydrate level normalized A1C levels more quickly than my clients following a moderate carbohydrate diet. Unfortunately, unless Mary Enig is heading the study, we will not see fair and balanced studies with saturated fat and its positive effect on the healing of the cell wall. Our cells are lined with more than 55% saturated fat. When a diet is predominately polyunsaturated, you then have a compromised, floppy cell wall that is prone to damage and disruption. Unfortunately, the pull to lower fat is dogma though not scientifically sound advice to the detroment of the consumer and profit to soy as usual.

When faced with a potentially harmful degenerative disease, we must put aside our immature "taste bud choices" and work on healing our bodies. This can work two fold! You can heal your cells if you're not supplementing insulin and enjoy tasteful full fat foods at the same time. If you're a type 2 diabetic, your days of fun in the chip bag are over! You have two choices, chips or life! You won't look very attractive with bandaged feet, swollen ankles and rolling around in a wheelchair with that bag of chips in your lap!

Put the processed snack foods away and begin nourishing your body as it was intended! Feeling lean, young and vibrant far outweighs that of any snack!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Green Tea, a new weapon against prostate cancer?

Many medical “discoveries” have occurred quite by happenstance. For instance, consider the story of Green Tea which began some 5,000 years ago when, as Chinese legend has it, leaves from a nearby Camellia sinensis tree fell into an emperor’s boiling pot of water. The leaves turned the water a light-brown color and gave off a delightful aroma. The emperor, upon taking a sip, found it also had an excellent taste and proclaimed it as “heaven sent.” Since then, the delectable brew has been considered a health-promoting beverage in China; used to treat everything from headaches to depression.

Today, a wealth of studies has provided hard evidence for its positive effects on health. Drinking green tea is reputed to promote heart health, lower high cholesterol levels, lessen free radical damage to cells, fight obesity, inhibit the abnormal formation of blood clots, and slow the progression of age-related cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers now say that certain compounds in green tea may actually slow the progression of prostate cancer, a disease that kills more men each year in the United States than any cancer other than lung cancer.

Previous studies have shown that green tea may be linked to a reduced incidence of prostate cancer, and its polyphenols have been regarded as a potential cancer therapy. But last year, the FDA announced that the evidence for green tea benefits was inconclusive, because people consume relatively small quantities. So, Dr. James Cardelli, and his colleagues at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, carried out a clinical trial to determine the effects of short-term supplementation with increased amounts of the active compounds in green tea on the progression of prostate cancer.

The small study consisted of 26 men between 41 and 68 years of age who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and were scheduled for radical prostatectomy. The men were put on a daily dose of four capsules containing a total of 1.3 grams of polyphenon E, equivalent to about 12 cups of normally brewed concentrated green tea, for 12 to 73 days (with an average time of 34.5 days), until the day before surgery.

Blood tests showed a significant reduction in serum levels of three biomarkers associated with the growth and spread of prostate cancer: hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and prostate specific antigen (PSA). On an average, HGF decreased 18.9 percent, VEGF decreased by 9.9 percent and PSA dropped by 10.4 percent. Some patients demonstrated reductions of more than 30 percent.

The researchers said that in vitro, EGCG (the main catechin in polyphenon E) swiftly blocked the production of HGF, and the block “seems to be at the level of transcription.” EGCG also blocked the production of VEGF, which plays a critical role in the angiogenic process in cancer-associated fibroblasts, they noted. Age, race, and time on the drug did not have a significant effect on the changes in serum biomarkers.Previous studies have suggested that high levels of EGCG may have adverse effects on liver function, but in this study the liver function of the patients remained normal. “Our results show a significant reduction in serum levels of PSA, HGF, and VEGF in men with prostate cancer after brief treatment with EGCG (Polyphenon E), with no elevation of liver enzymes.

These findings support a potential role for Polyphenon E in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer,” the researchers concluded.Dr. Cardelli admits that the study is still in an early stage and that the findings need to be verified by larger, placebo-controlled trials. “Green tea can keep cancer from growing very fast, but it may not be able to shrink tumors,” he said. “But it can be a good addition to traditional therapies, like chemotherapy or radiation.”“We think that the use of tea polyphenols alone or in combination with other compounds currently used for cancer therapy should be explored as an approach to prevent cancer progression and recurrence," Dr. Cardelli said. “There is reasonably good evidence that many cancers are preventable, and our studies using plant-derived substances support the idea that plant compounds found in a healthy diet can play a role in preventing cancer development and progression.”

John Neate, chief executive of the Prostate Cancer Charity, says though there have been a number of studies into the potential benefits of green tea, there is no conclusive evidence. “The results of this study do suggest that there is merit in further research into the effects of extracts of green tea, both in relation to its impact on the prevention of prostate cancer and in controlling progression in men already diagnosed with the disease, as was investigated in this instance,” he said. “These initial positive findings could indicate that green tea could have a place in ‘active surveillance’, where a slow-growing, low risk tumor is monitored for changes and men want to take something which could help keep progression at bay.”

“Potentially, this could mean completely avoiding, in some cases, any of the more usual medical interventions and their associated side effects,” Neate said. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 192,280 men and will kill 27,360 in 2009. Men over 50 are urged to get tested for the disease annually, however very few do, putting them at risk of being diagnosed at a later stage rather than earlier in the cancer process.

The study is published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research

Misty Notes: There is a fabulous website I will encourage you to visit and learn the value of 6-8 cups of tea daily for health, energy and weight loss. The author is referred to as "Dr. Tea". Bookmark this site:
http://www.teagarden.com/ and start reading! You might be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ten Exercise and Nutrition False Beliefs

By Dr. Ellis
People Hold Many False Ideas About Nutrition and Exercise
Here are ten common ones:
1. You Can Change Your Metabolism or Metabolic Rate
This is a major false belief and it’s championed everywhere you look. Your resting metabolism relates to your body size. If you gain weight, metabolism increases a bit and likewise if you lose weight it decreases. But you do not have volitional control over your metabolism any more than you can control your temperature. These, and many other functions, are regulated features of life.

2. Add a Lot of Muscle and Become a Fat-Burning Machine
Adding muscle is not easy. Muscle at rest burns 5 calories per pound over 24 hours and fat burns 2 calories per pound. So, added muscle AT REST doesn’t do much to increase you calorie burn.

3. You Can Get Rid of Fat by Working Out and Changing It Into Muscle
Fat is fat and muscle is muscle — you cannot convert one into the other.

4. Eating Non-Fat Foods Means You Can Eat All You Want
Calories control your weight, so eating less fat and eating more carbohydrates and protein will increase your calorie intake and you’ll get fat.

5. You Can Target Specific Areas of Your Body to Lose Fat
There is no such thing as spot reduction of fat tissue. You accumulate fat in areas dependent upon your own body’s fat-storage pattern.

6. Eat Many Small Meals a Day to Increase Calorie-Burning
This is an old false belief as it has been around for years and forms the basis of many modern-day, popular weight loss plans. The idea is that it uses up calories to burn the newly consumed food. Research clearly shows that the digestion and processing of food uses about 10% of your total daily calorie burn. This is known as the Thermic Effect of Food.

7. Carbohydrate is the Preferred Fuel of Your Body
This is another major blunder that causes people many problems and makes most diet and weight loss programs ineffective. Fat is the preferred fuel and, in fact, 90% of your calorie burn at rest comes from fat. The body will burn what you feed it and if you eat more carbs then it’ll burn more of those but it’s really programmed to burn fat.

8. This Exercise Burns 3 Times More Calories Than This or That Exercise
This is another great marketing tool. You body can only burn so many calories per minute. You can train yourself to burn more per minute but there is still an upper limit. You burn more calories depending on the amount of muscle that is active during the exercise.
9. Running is Better Than Walking
You’ll burn more calories per minute running but walking is good enough to become very fit and you’ll enjoy it more.

10. The Fat You Eat Turns Into the Fat on Your Body
Actually, the body doesn’t very easily store the fat you eat as body fat unless you eat it with carbohydrates. It is the carbohydrates that you eat that get rapidly converted to body fat. This textbook biochemical fact is unknown and the promotion of the ‘fat to fat theory’ is the undoing of many people’s efforts to control body weight.

Misty notes:
I think the one thing that most do not understand is that a calorie is a measurement of energy and at 9grams per kcal, fat is your superior choice. It's what we refer to as nutrient density!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spriulina The Ultimate Multi Vitamin!

There are over forty thousand–yes, someone has actually counted them–types of single-celled microalgae which need only a drop of water and a sunbeam to make them prosper. But among those forty thousand varieties of little water-loving organisms, one species is clearly making the largest nutritional splash.

Weighing in at an impressive 60% protein content, Spirulina is a fresh water algae–more specifically, a form of bacteria–which rivals both red meat, at 27%, and soy, at 34%, on the ropes in terms of muscle-building potential. While soy is a good source of protein, it is not without its problems so spirulina is perfect for the vegetarian! And it brings with it, along with all that protein, a powerful combination of minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium, with a backup punch of all the vitamins to which the first five letters of the alphabet have been assigned. If only Spirulina were bigger; it might have been able to fit all the vitamins in. But a single Spirulina alga measures approximately .0196850394 inches in length.

If Spirulina wanted to get bigger, however, it probably could. How? By eating its relatives. The Chinese add Spirulina to the diets of commercially produced poultry and livestock to increase their growth rates.

Another growth rate which has definitely increased because of Spirulina is that of the Spirulina commercialization industry, which began with annual harvests of around one hundred tons in the 1970s. By the year 2020, according to BioNat.net, worldwide Spirulina production is expected to reach 220,000 tons.

The most avid believers in the health benefits of Spirulina are the Japanese, who both produce and consume more of it than anyone else. Some Japanese researchers claim that Spirulina, because of the high concentration of its nutrients, is useful in helping diabetics control their food cravings and decrease their insulin intake.

And, when France started its research on Spirulina in the 1970s, global scientists were looking at it as the inexpensive answer to the ages-old question of how to feed a protein-starved Third World.

Today commercially produced Spirulina powders and pills sell at health food stores for the equivalent of about $50 per pound, or some ten times what it costs to grow and harvest. The Third World is still waiting.

Spirulina Contains
vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin K, biotin, pantothenic acid, beta carotene (source of vitamin A), inositol.

calcium, manganese, iron, chromium, phosphorus, molybdenum, iodine, chloride, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium, selenium, germanium, copper, boron.
phycocyanin, chlorophyll, carotenoids.

myxoxanthophyll, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, echinenone and other xanthophylls.gamma linolenic acid, glycolipids, sulfolipids, polysaccharides.

isoleucine, phenylalanine, leucine, threonine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, valine, alanine, glycine, arginine, histidine, aspartic acid, proline, cystine, serine, glutamic acid, tyrosine.

As always, purchase clean safely farmed spirulina at your local health food store.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pfizer to pay record $2.3B penalty for drug promos

Does your Dr. have your best interest? The following is a disguisting account of what happens in the pharmaceutical industry. If Dr's. are receiving perks whether legal or not, your health is secondary to a Pismo Beach Golf Trip.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal prosecutors hit Pfizer Inc. with a record-breaking $2.3 billion in fines Wednesday and called the world's largest drugmaker a repeating corporate cheat for illegal drug promotions that plied doctors with free golf, massages, and resort junkets.

Announcing the penalty as a warning to all drug manufacturers, Justice Department officials said the overall settlement is the largest ever paid by a drug company for alleged violations of federal drug rules, and the $1.2 billion criminal fine is the largest ever in any U.S. criminal case. The total includes $1 billion in civil penalties and a $100 million criminal forfeiture.

Authorities called Pfizer a repeat offender, noting it is the company's fourth such settlement of government charges in the last decade. The allegations surround the marketing of 13 different drugs, including big sellers such as Viagra, Zoloft, and Lipitor.

As part of its illegal marketing, Pfizer invited doctors to consultant meetings at resort locations, paying their expenses and providing perks, prosecutors said.


"They were entertained with golf, massages, and other activities," said Mike Loucks, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.

Loucks said that even as Pfizer was negotiating deals on past misconduct, they were continuing to violate the very same laws with other drugs.

To prevent backsliding this time, Pfizer's conduct will be specially monitored by the Health and Human Service Department inspector general for five years.

In an unusual twist, the head of the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder, did not participate in the record settlement, because he had represented Pfizer on these issues while in private practice.

Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli said the settlement illustrates ways the Justice Department "can help the American public at a time when budgets are tight and health care costs are rising."

Perrelli announced the settlement terms at a news conference with federal prosecutors and FBI, and Health and Human Services Department officials.

The settlement ends an investigation that also resulted in guilty pleas from two former Pfizer sales managers.

Officials said the U.S. industry has paid out more than $11 billion in such settlements over the past decade, but one consumer advocate voiced hope that Wednesday's penalty was so big it would curb the abuses.

"There's so much money in selling pills, that there's a tremendous temptation to cheat," said Bill Vaughan, an analyst at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.
"There's a kind of mentality in this sector that (settlements) are the cost of doing business and we can cheat. This penalty is so huge I think consumers can have some hope that maybe these guys will tighten up and run a better ship."

The government said the company promoted four prescription drugs, including the pain killer Bextra, as treatments for medical conditions different from those the drugs had been approved for by federal regulators. Authorities said Pfizer's salesmen and women created phony doctor requests for medical information in order to send unsolicited information to doctors about unapproved uses and dosages.

Use of drugs for so-called "off-label" medical conditions is not uncommon, but drug manufacturers are prohibited from marketing drugs for uses that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They said the junkets and other company-paid perks were designed to promote Bextra and other drugs, to doctors for unapproved uses and dosages, backed by false and misleading claims about safety and effectiveness.

Bextra, for instance, was approved for arthritis, but Pfizer promoted it for acute pain and surgical pain, and in dosages above the approved maximum. In 2005, Bextra, one of a class of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors, was pulled from the U.S. market amid mounting evidence it raised the risk of heart attack, stroke and death.

A Pfizer subsidiary, Pharmacia and Upjohn Inc., which was acquired in 2003, has entered an agreement to plead guilty to one count of felony misbranding. The criminal case applied only to Bextra.

The $1 billion in civil penalties was related to Bextra and a number of other medicines.
A portion of the civil penalty will be distributed to 49 states and the District of Columbia, according to agreements with each state's Medicaid program.

Pfizer's top lawyer, Amy Schulman, said the settlements "bring final closure to significant legal matters and help to enhance our focus on what we do best -- discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines."

In her statement, Schulman said: "We regret certain actions taken in the past, but are proud of the action we've taken to strengthen our internal controls and pioneer new procedures."
In financial filings in January, the company had indicated that it would pay $2.3 billion over the allegations.

The civil settlement announced Wednesday covered Pfizer's promotions of Bextra, blockbuster nerve pain and epilepsy treatment Lyrica, schizophrenia medicine Geodon, antibiotic Zyvox and nine other medicines. The agreement with the Justice Department resolves the investigation into promotion of all those drugs, Pfizer said.

The government said Pfizer also paid kickbacks to market a host of big-name drugs: Aricept, Celebrex, Lipitor, Norvasc, Relpax, Viagra, Zithromax, Zoloft, and Zyrtec.

The allegations came to light thanks largely to five Pfizer employees and one Pennsylvania doctor, who will now share $102 million of the settlement money.

FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins praised the whistleblowers who decided to "speak out against a corporate giant that was blatantly violating the law and misleading the public through false marketing claims."

To rein in the abuses, the government's five-year monitoring will force Pfizer to notify doctors about Wednesday's agreement, encourage them to report any similar behavior, and publicly post any payments or perks it gives to doctors.

Under terms of the settlement, Pfizer must pay $1 billion to compensate Medicaid, Medicare, and other federal health care programs. Some of that money will be shared among the states: New York, for example, will receive $66 million, according to the state's attorney general, Andrew Cuomo.

When Pfizer originally disclosed the settlement figure, it also announced plans to acquire rival Wyeth for $68 billion. That deal, which would bolster Pfizer's position as the world's top drugmaker by revenue, is expected to close before year's end.
Shares of Pfizer dropped 14 cents to $16.24 in midday trading.

AP Business Writer Linda A. Johnson in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is Cheap Food Worth Risking Your Life?

We spend far too much money on our toys and far too little money on our most valuable asset ever, the human frame. When I tout the benefits of eating organically, I like to remind my clients to take a moment to commit to putting as much thought into their food decision making as they do their electronics. Pay now or pay later with pharmaceutical drugs, paind, illness and degenerative, even terminal disease.

(OrganicJar) While relying mainly on hard work, yield variations, composts, green manures, organic pest controls, and mechanical cultivation for a productive agriculture, the Organic community has managed to produce globally accepted crops and livestock even without resorting to synthetically made soil enrichers, chemical pesticides, plant growth enhancers, genetically modified organisms and alternative feeds. The organic market nowadays still continues to grow in a precipitous pace that their forty years of extensive labor and prowess enabled them to build a $25 billion a year market that provides the consumers in the U.S. a healthier alternative to the affordable yet perilous modernized or industrialized agricultural services in terms of food products.

According to the latest sales statistics, there are more than 75 million Americans who are sentient about their health and environment that they are more willing to pay more for all-organic products, despite the present economic state. These organic consumers are aware that healthy living is to eat organic, as fresh unpreserved organic foods contain more essential nutrients that aid in boosting the immune system and help prevent cancer. Buying organic also helps in reducing the greenhouse effect and can also be the solution to the imminent falling-off of global fuel reserve and the very costly healthcare services. Organic farming provides us all with a good quality of life.

On the contrary, Industrial agriculture offers nothing but health and environmental hazards and cruelty to animals such as hypertension, obesity, food poisoning brought about by pesticides, high risk for cancer because of the use of chemical, preservatives and radiation, water contamination, and climate change. The claim that industrialized foods and food products are cheaper compared to organic is actually not true. As a matter of fact, they are more costly if the hundreds of billions of dollars that the citizens pay for the annual taxes, health care and environmental maintenance are to be taken into account. Even the pandemic AH1N1 or the Swine Flu Virus can be directly ascribed to the poorly tended farming lands.

There are also products that claim to be “natural” however they’re not. Be sure to buy products that are certified by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). Certified food and other organic products are 95-100% purely organic. This means that the farmer or producer adhered to the strict regulation of the NOP in terms of organic agriculture and that no synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, irradiation or any forms of industrial agriculture is practiced.

The scary fact is that the organic and “natural” food industry is controlled by huge corporations and we all know what they care about: profits and market share. The UNFI and the WFM are but two of the biggest and most monopolizing wholesalers and retailers of the industry, selling mainly so-called “natural” but not organic products. Because of their vast grip of the market, the small coop and grocery owners find it hard to compete in selling their mostly organic products.
What matters most is we put the environment and our health first before anything else. Just think about it, is a cheap product worth risking your life for?