Go Organic

By Dr. Mercola

January 09, 2018

Story at-a-glance

Choosing organic foods lowers your exposure to pesticides linked to cancer, damage to children’s IQ and neurobehavioral development and other health problems.
Organic foods are produced without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the use of antibiotics for preventive purposes is prohibited — both major benefits to human health and the environment.

Organically grown foods contain significantly higher levels of antioxidants and healthy fats than conventionally grown varieties
Organic products are now available in close to 20,000 natural food stores and 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores in the U.S.

Many people want to lead a healthier lifestyle but aren’t sure where to start. In the realm of diet, in fact, most Americans (52 percent) believe it’s easier to calculate their income taxes than figure out what to eat to stay healthy.

It shouldn’t feel this hard, which is why I want to give you one tangible step you can take to overhaul your diet, and lifestyle, for the better: Go organic.

A survey by the Organic Trade Association revealed that, in 2017, Americans bought more organic foods and household products than ever, with sales reaching $47 billion in 2016 — an 8 percent increase from 2015.2 Katherine Paul, associate director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), said in a news release, “ … I think you are looking at a better-educated population that is connecting the dots between what they eat and their health.”

This is true, indeed, and organic products are now available in close to 20,000 natural food stores and 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores in the U.S. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledges their staying power in the marketplace, noting “Organic products have shifted from being a lifestyle choice for a small share of consumers to being consumed at least occasionally by a majority of Americans.”4 But despite the gains in popularity, organic sales account for only about 4 percent of total U.S. food sales.

Avoiding Pesticides Is the No. 1 Reason People Buy Organic
“Polling shows the No. 1 reason people go organic is to avoid pesticides, chemicals and all of those things that are not allowed in organics,” Paul said, and this is a primary reason why going organic is so important — for your health and the environment. Not only do these chemicals threaten the Earth as we know it, but they pose a direct risk to human health, including to developing babies.

In research presented at a 2017 Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) conference in Washington, D.C., it was demonstrated that women exposed to higher glyphosate levels during pregnancy had babies born earlier and with lower adjusted birth weights.7 What’s more, the chemical was detected in more than 90 percent of the mothers in the study.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, has made headlines because it’s the most used agricultural chemical in history and also because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined it a probable carcinogen. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has revealed that nearly 30 percent of the more than 3,000 foods they tested contain glyphosate.

This included nearly 37 percent of grain products, 47 percent of bean/pea/lentil products and more than 30 percent of infant food and cereal. Even 7 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables contained the residues. Eating nonorganic genetically engineered (GE) foods (the prime candidates for Roundup spraying) is associated with higher glyphosate levels in your body.

Pesticides Are Harmful to Children’s Brains, Farmworkers
The European Parliament commissioned a report on the human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture, which was co-written by Harvard Chan School’s Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health. A primary message of the report again centered on pesticides and the potential benefits of reducing their usage via organic agriculture.

In a Harvard School of Public Health news release, Grandjean said, “In conventional food, there are pesticide residues that remain in the food even after it’s washed. Organic foods are produced virtually without pesticides.”11 While U.S. regulators insist that set limits on pesticide residues in conventional produce are enough to protect the public’s health, the report found negative health effects may occur in children even at current levels of exposure. According to Grandjean:12

“[T]hose limits are based on animal studies, looking at the effect of one pesticide at a time. The human brain is so much more complex than the rat brain, and our brain development is much more vulnerable because there are so many processes that have to happen at the right time and in the right sequence — you can’t go back and do them over … Three long-term birth cohort studies in the U.S. suggest that pesticides are harming children’s brains.

In these studies, researchers found that women’s exposure to pesticides during pregnancy, measured through urine samples, was associated with negative impacts on their children’s IQ and neurobehavioral development, as well as with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] diagnoses.

Also, one of the studies looked at structural brain growth using magnetic resonance imaging and found that the gray matter was thinner in children the higher their mothers’ exposure to organophosphates, which are used widely in pesticides. I think that’s quite scary.”

One of the studies Grandjean refers to is the CHAMACOS Study, which followed hundreds of pregnant women living in Salinas Valley, California, an agricultural mecca that has had up to a half-million pounds of organophosphates sprayed in the region per year. The children were followed through age 12 to assess what impact the pesticides had on their development.13 It turns out the impact was quite dramatic, and mothers’ exposure to organophosphates during pregnancy was associated with:

Shorter duration of pregnancy
Poorer neonatal reflexes
Lower IQ and poorer cognitive functioning in children
Increased risk of attention problems in children

Farmworkers who are exposed to agricultural pesticides on a near-daily basis also suffer, as do their families. Up to 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides each year, although the actual number is likely far higher, as many of the workers may not seek medical care or may be misdiagnosed if they do seek treatment.

There is also no coordinated national incident reporting system to track such exposures. Despite this, pesticide exposures cause farmworkers more chemical-related injuries and illnesses than any other workforce nationwide.15 So when you choose organic, you’re helping to protect farmworkers as well as your own family.

Preventive Use of Antibiotics Is Restricted on Organic Farms
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, every year at least 2 million Americans acquire drug-resistant infections and 23,000 die as a result. Many others die from conditions that were complicated by antibiotic-resistant infections.16 What does this have to do with eating organic? The preventive use of antibiotics is restricted on organic farms, while the animals are typically given more living space, helping to reduce infection risk naturally.

“These techniques have been found to improve animal health, prevent disease and minimize antibiotic resistance,” Grandjean says.17 On the other hand, 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used by industrial agriculture for purposes of growth promotion18 and preventing diseases that would otherwise make their CAFOs unviable. Low doses of antibiotics are added to feed as a matter of course, not only to stave off inevitable infectious diseases, but also because they cause the animals to grow faster on less food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance on agricultural antibiotics in 2013, but it didn’t go anywhere near far enough. They asked drug companies to remove indications for “feed efficiency” and “weight gain” from the labels of their antibiotic products and required veterinarians to oversee any addition of these drugs to animal feed and water. Most companies have agreed to comply with these voluntary guidelines and state they no longer use antibiotics for growth promotion purposes.

Instead, they simply state they use the antibiotics for disease prevention and control, a use that is still allowed on nonorganic farms under the FDA’s guidance. In the U.S., when the FDA tests raw conventional supermarket chicken, they routinely find antibiotic-resistant bacteria to be present.19 So, reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is another significant reason for making sure you’re eating only grass fed, organically raised meats and animal products.

Eating Organic Means You’re Eating GMO-Free
The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products — another significant benefit. Importantly, not only are GE seeds prohibited but animals raised on organic farms may not be fed GE alfalfa or GE corn. Over the past two decades, the majority of the anti-GMO movement was focused on GMOs found in processed foods and a small number of whole GE foods. Yet that’s only 20 percent of the GMOs in the human food chain.

Twice as much (40 percent) goes into the making of animal feed for CAFOs. The only way to change that trend is by not buying CAFO animal products, be it poultry (including eggs), pork or beef. While fruits and vegetables are the top selling category of organically grown food,20 it’s important to choose organic and grass fed meat and dairy products as well. As noted by OCA founder Ronnie Cummins:

“[W]e need to stop talking about GMOs as if it’s some abstract technology that poses this kind of really-hard-to-understand danger, gene splicing, disruption of the genome and all that … There is no GMO crop that isn’t sprayed with large amounts of poisonous chemicals …

Or else it’s impregnated with a poison, like the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin in the plant that expresses itself in every cell of the plant. When we’re talking about pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, we’re talking about GMO plants. There’s no way to fight against GMOs unless we fight at the same time against chemical-intensive, energy-intensive agriculture and factory farms.”

In 2016 we saw, for the first time in nearly 20 years, a decrease in the amount of GE crops grown around the world, in terms of acreage. The market has started rejecting GMOs, and at current rates of growth, we could expect it to increase by about 50 percent over the next four years.

Instead, we need to quadruple sales of organic and grass fed. As noted by Cummins, by speeding up the rate at which we reach the tipping point where 15 percent of our food supply is organic or grass fed, the acceleration will multiply exponentially thereafter, with corresponding gains to human health and the environment.

Increased Nutrition and Other Benefits of Eating Organic
Many people choose organic because of what they don’t get — the pesticides, GMOs and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, for instance — but there are also important measures to be gained, like better nutrition. When cows are allowed plenty of access to forage, organic milk contains about 25 percent less omega-6 fats and 62 percent more omega-3 fats than conventional milk, along with more vitamin E, beta-carotene and beneficial conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).21

A British study also found that organically grown foods contain “significantly” higher levels of antioxidants than the conventionally grown variety, including beneficial compounds linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including heart and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.22 A Hungarian study reached a similar conclusion when they compared the chemical composition and nutritional value of organically and conventionally grown plant foods, with the organic variety again coming out on top:23

“Organic crops contain a significantly higher amount of certain antioxidants (vitamin C, polyphenols and flavonoids) and minerals, as well as have higher dry matter content than conventional ones. Moreover, there is a lower level of pesticide residues, nitrate and some heavy metal contaminations in organic crops compared to conventional ones.

There is a relationship between the different fertilization and plant protection methods of these two plant production systems and the nutritional composition of crops.

Consequently, it can be concluded that organically produced plant derived food products have a higher nutritional value, including antioxidants than conventional ones. Furthermore, due to the fact that there is a lower level of contamination in organic crops, the risk of diseases caused by contaminated food is significantly reduced.”

Beware of ‘Fake’ Organics, Including Hydroponics
When you see “organic” on a label, it’s still necessary to do your due diligence to ensure the product is truly produced with the highest organic standards. The Organic Trade Association and the hydroponic lobby, led by the Coalition for Sustainable Organics, are seeking to rewrite organic rules to include hydroponics, which are plants grown in a liquid medium without soil.

However, USDA organic regulations require that your crop rotation plan maintains or improves soil organic matter. Since hydroponics do not involve the use of soil, they do not qualify for organic certification, yet hydroponic operators have been certified organic by USDA accredited certification agencies, which is deceitful to the public. Hydroponics also use chemicals, which organic producers are barred from using.

Worse, commercial hydroponic growers will rarely reveal the fertilizers they use. Further, keep in mind that while growing food indoors does reduce the need for pesticides, it does not automatically mean hydroponic vegetables are pesticide-free. In addition, at least one study found hydroponically grown vegetables had lower levels of carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein than conventional vegetables.24 Further, if you buy organic dairy you should know that not all organic brands are created equal.

While some are offering truly superior milk that comes from grass fed cows raised on pasture, others are passing off industrially produced milk as organic — and pocketing the increased profits while small family farms struggle to survive. In short, cows produce more milk, faster, when they’re fed grain in the barn, as opposed to grazing on grass on pasture.

Industrialized organic dairies are capitalizing on this by skimping on grazing time, raising thousands of cows in veritable CAFOs, yet still gaining the USDA organic label that suggests a superior product.

Fortunately, the American Grassfed Association (AGA) recently introduced much-needed grass fed standards and certification for American-grown grass fed dairy,25 which will allow for greater transparency and conformity.26 I would strongly advise you to ensure your dairy is AGA certified as grass fed. Getting your raw milk from a local organic grass fed farm or co-op is best, but if you’re considering milk from another source, check out Cornucopia’s Organic Dairy Scorecard, which can help you make informed purchasing decisions.27

Ultimately, choosing organic products for yourself and your family is one more method you can use to take control of your health. If you must choose between which products to purchase organic, I recommend prioritizing organic animal foods and then using the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” list for produce, which are among the most heavily contaminated with pesticides and therefore the most important plant foods to buy organic. As of 2017, these include:28

Strawberries
Spinach
Nectarines
Apples
Peaches
Pears
Cherries
Grapes
Celery
Tomatoes
Sweet bell peppers
Potatoes

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

Article Source: Go Organic

© Copyright 1997-2018 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved.

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Walking Barefoot Maybe Essential to Good Health

By Dr. Mercola
Story at-a-glance

Walking barefoot outside or using conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into your body, known as Earthing or grounding, is emerging as an essential element to good health
Going barefoot allows you to “ground” with the Earth and absorb free electrons directly through the soles of your feet; this type of grounding has one of the most potent antioxidant effects we know of and may also reduce inflammation throughout your body
Research shows grounding may play a profoundly beneficial role in sleep disturbances, stress relief, pain relief, heart rhythm, immune response and much more
If you can’t walk outside barefoot due to weather or during air travel, a grounding pad can be used to harness the benefits of the Earth’s electrons even if you’re indoors.

When’s the last time you kicked off your shoes and reveled in the feeling of the Earth under your feet?

Been awhile?

It may sound hard to believe, but engaging in this simple pleasure could give your health a much-needed boost.

Often it is the case that engaging in activities that feel good on an intrinsic level really are good for your health — like the feeling of the afternoon sun warming your bare skin.

Walking barefoot outside, with the soles of your feet free to mesh with the surface of the Earth – an activity known as Earthing, or grounding — is another such case.

I have been personally intrigued with grounding for nearly seven years and have been seeking to ground myself most of the time.

This is a fascinating leading-edge concept, and I would strongly encourage you to carefully read the featured article for more details.

You are an Electrical Being, and the Earth’s Surface is Electrically Conductive
You are an electrical being — your body regularly produces positive charges, which can oxidize and harm you if it is excessive..

The Earth’s surface is electrically conductive; it maintains a negative charge with its free electron supply continually replenished by the global atmospheric electrical circuit.

As such, as reported in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health:

“It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons.

… Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth’s negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth’s potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion.”

There is growing research showing that this connection to the Earth’s surface plays a vital role in preventing disease and offers a host of benefits from improved sleep to pain relief. The problem, of course, is that while humans have historically spent much of their days with their bare skin next to the Earth (both while walking and sleeping, including on animal skins, which still allow electrons to enter the body), today this vital connection has been lost.

Researchers continue:

“Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground’s abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive. Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.

Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of Earth’s electrons. For example, since the 1960s, we have increasingly worn insulating rubber or plastic soled shoes, instead of the traditional leather fashioned from hides… Obviously, we no longer sleep on the ground as we did in times past.”

What Happens When You Absorb Free Electrons from the Earth?
The scientific theory behind the health benefits seen from this simple practice is that since the Earth has a greater negative charge than your body, you end up absorbing electrons from it. This is, in my understanding, one of the most potent antioxidants we know of and may have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect on your body. As written in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine:1

“It is well established, though not widely known, that the surface of the earth possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons as a consequence of a global atmospheric electron circuit. Wearing shoes with insulating soles and/or sleeping in beds that are isolated from the electrical ground plane of the earth have disconnected most people from the earth’s electrical rhythms and free electrons.

… A previous study demonstrated that connecting the human body to the earth during sleep (earthing) normalizes the daily cortisol rhythm and improves sleep. A variety of other benefits were reported, including reductions in pain and inflammation. Subsequent studies have confirmed these earlier findings and documented virtually immediate physiologic and clinical effects of grounding or earthing the body.”

To put it simply, it’s thought that the influx of free electrons from the Earth’s surface will help to neutralize free radicals and reduce both acute and chronic inflammation, which is at the root of many health conditions and accelerated aging.

A Review of Earthing Research Shows Significant Benefits
In a new article published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health2, researchers reviewed the Earthing research, revealing an impressive impact on a variety of health conditions. Most of the studies involved indoor testing methods that simulated being barefoot outdoors. This was found to offer improvements in the following conditions:

Sleep disturbances, including sleep apnea
Chronic muscle and joint pain, and other types of pain
Asthmatic and respiratory conditions
Rheumatoid arthritis
PMS
Hypertension
Energy levels
Stress
Immune system activity and response
Heart rate variability
Primary indicators of osteoporosis                                                                  Fasting glucose levels among people with diabetes

Another invaluable benefit is this: when your body is grounded, researchers write, “its electrical potential becomes equalized with the Earth’s electrical potential through a transfer of electrons from the Earth to the body.” This, in turn, offers an “umbrella” of protection against the electromagnetic fields that are now ubiquitous in our environment. The paper continues:

“The study confirms the ‘umbrella’ effect of earthing the body explained by Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism. Feynman said that when the body’s potential is the same as the Earth’s electric potential (and thus grounded), it becomes an extension of the Earth’s gigantic electric system. The Earth’s potential thus becomes the “working agent that cancels, reduces, or pushes away electric fields from the body.”

Most of the scientists working in this area now believe that the beneficial effects are mediated through reduction in inflammation and a thinning of the blood. In fact the blood thinning effect is so profound that if you are taking blood thinners it is recommended to immediately consult with your doctor, as most likely your blood thinner will need to be lowered.

Two Ways to Make Sure You Stay Grounded
The effects of grounding appear to be so profound that researchers suggest health practitioners prescribe outdoor “barefoot sessions” as the weather permits. This is as simple as it sounds – you kick off tyour shoes and socks and walk barefoot on the grass, the dirt, the sand or whatever “Earth” is available to you. Studies suggest that benefits such as pain relief and stress reduction may occur in just 30-80 minutes of barefoot time a day.

This can obviously be a challenge during the winter, or if you live in an urban area without easy access to parks or other barefoot-friendly surfaces, so the other option is to use a grounding or Earthing pad, which allows you to get the benefits of the Earth’s electrons even if you’re indoors, especially when you’re sleeping. I’ve been using one for several months now, especially when I travel by plane, as air travel is a suspected cause of weakening bio-electric currents.

So, like access to regular sun exposure, walking barefoot outside is a grossly neglected foundational practice that you can easily correct. In the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, researchers concluded:

“Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS [autonomic nervous system] dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV [heart rate variability], hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.

The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.”
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Article Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/20/barefoot-on-electron-deficiency.aspx
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Could your gut health be responsible for your high cholesterol?

Eat...Enjoy

You are probably aware if you have been reading my blog for a while and following likeminded people that it’s not as black or white as whether or not your high cholesterol level is a problem. Much as I get a bit on edge when I see plates of food without any colourful vegetables (I’m not going to lie to you!), I get a little bit twitchy when I see it professed everywhere that it’s no longer a problem to have a high cholesterol level. Not true. Now cholesterol is essential to life. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to make hormones, repair cell membranes and do 68 other things that require cholesterol. Your body makes 85% of the cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream even, meaning that, for most people, the cholesterol eaten by way of animal products (animal protein, eggs, cream, butter, cheese) will have very little impact on…

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Mango Chia Seed Pudding \ Sweet Laurel

Nothing like a simple and refreshing recipe to start off the new year! This is one of our favorite takes on the classic chia seed pudding.

Mango Chia Seed Pudding  Sweet LaurelMango Chia Seed Pudding  Sweet LaurelMango Chia Seed Pudding  Sweet LaurelMango Chia Seed Pudding 

Serves 2


Ingredients:

1 cup coconut cream (fat solids from coconut milk)

1/2 cup fresh mango, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

3 tablespoons chia seeds


Directions:

In a bowl whisk together all ingredients until well mixed. Pour into two 4 ounce glass jar and cover with lid. Store in fridge overnight. Enjoy within 3 days!

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curry-spiced sweet potatoes w/ mango mayo

girlmeetspaleo

Oh my gosh, these fries.

Last week, CJ and I hit up McMenamin’s East 19t St Cafe, one of our most favorite joints from our campus days.  We used to live dangerously close to this place… like two blocks close.  I can’t guess how many times tater tots were ordered after midnight and ciders were drank on sunny afternoons (why is the past tense of drink soooo weird? I’ve googled it about ten times and still can’t figure out if “drank” is correct.   Apologies to my past English teachers).  Anyways, we had plans to munch a few baskets of happy hour cajun tots when we ventured back down there last week, but then I saw the specials menu.  Two words: Bollywood Fries.  I die! CJ wasn’t too thrilled with the thought of curry-spiced fries and mango mayo, but let’s be honest; his food insecurities have never stopped me…

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GMO Truths and Myths

GMO Truths & Myths – Watch Video Here

Story at-a-glance

Genetic engineering enables DNA to be transferred not only between different kinds of plants, but even between different kingdoms. You can take DNA from an insect or animal and insert it into the genome of a plant.
It’s an imprecise process that disrupts the genome of the plant. By so doing, unintended and unexpected effects, such as toxicity, can arise. An unscientific claim to justify use of GMOs is that Americans have eaten hundreds of millions of GMO meals with no ill effects. But no one assesses or tracks side effects, and a connection cannot be made since GMOs are not labeled in North America. 

By Dr. Mercola

Many of us have become convinced that genetically engineered (GE) foods and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are harmful to health and the environment. But how can you effectively respond to friends and family who have fallen for the oft-repeated fallacies and myths about GMO safety and efficacy?

Claire Robinson is the editor of GM Watch, which is based in the U.K.. Together with genetic engineers Drs John Fagan and Michael Antoniou, she also co-authored the book “GMO Myths and Truths,” which can be a very helpful resource.

I was really impressed with Steven Druker’s landmark book, “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth,” which decimates most of the GMO proponent arguments. Sadly most proponents fail to ever read his book.

Steven’s book is longer and a more challenging read for most, while “GMO Myths and Truths” is very concise and to-the-point, and it does a great job of providing you with strong arguments to effectively counter nonsensical GMO propaganda.

Robinson has been involved in the GMO debate since 1999. Her initial concerns were not incited by environmental groups, but rather by scientists.

“I knew some genetic engineers in the 1990s,” she says. “They were warning about the possible effects on health and the environment of genetically modified foods. At the time, I just didn’t want to think about it because there were too many other things to worry about.

But it became increasingly urgent that we do something, because before we knew it, there was talk about Monsanto wanting to genetically engineer every food crop on the planet, and I thought, “This is something we should be concerned about.”

The scientific voices did not die away. They were still warning about the possible effects of these foods. That’s really how I got involved…

[My co-authors and I] noticed there was this rumor out there that activists against GE crops had no science on their side, that they were uneducated, and that they were irrational. We knew that that wasn’t the case.”

That’s what led to the creation of the book. In fact, it was written for the explicit purpose of arming people with facts to counteract claims that there is no scientific basis for concern.

Myth: GMOs Are Just an Extension of Natural Breeding Techniques
Many GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is just an extension of natural breeding methods, and just as safe. Nothing could be further from the truth — on both counts.

Genetic engineering is radically different from conventional breeding techniques used to improve a crop. For starters, it’s a laboratory-based technique allowing scientists to create a food that could never be created by nature. As explained by Robinson:

“Genetic engineering enables DNA to be transferred not only between different kinds of plants, but even between different kingdoms. You can take DNA from an insect, an animal, a virus or a bacterium, and insert it into the genome of a food crop plant.

This is actually a very imprecise process. The truth is that the genetic engineering process disrupts the genome (organization and function of genes) of the plant. As a result we found time and time again that there are unexpected effects on the plant that is genetically engineered.

They tell us that it’s exactly the same, except for the inserted gene that’s been deliberately put in…But this isn’t the case. The genome is very complex. It’s not like Lego; you can’t just take out one bit, put in another bit, and expect there to be no knock-on effects.”

Unintended and Unforeseeable Side Effects Abound
There have been many occasions where the GE crop has been unexpectedly toxic or allergenic when the non-GE crop had no such issues. The reality is that scientists really don’t know what they’re doing in terms of what side effects are produced by DNA tampering. The effects are very unpredictable.

Genetic engineers are just now starting to admit this. Ironically, many of the drawbacks of genetic engineering, including the fact that it’s imprecise, were not openly admitted until they came out with a new technique, called genome editing and using, for example, CRISPR technology, which is said to be far more precise than earlier methods.

Alas, even genome editing techniques such as CRISPR create off-target effects, according to Robinson. So we’re still far from knowing all there is to know about genetic manipulation.

Why CRISPR Technology Will Not Remove Concerns
While the use of CRISPR-cas 9 allows more precise genetic engineering in one respect, in that you can target a genetic alteration including foreign gene insertion to a specific area of the genome, the potential for unintended effects remain, for the simple fact that when you alter one or two genes in a genome the side effects ripple through the whole genome.

In addition, just as with conventional genetic engineering, genome editing involves using plant tissue culture (plant cells grown under laboratory conditions), which has a wide-scale DNA mutagenic (damaging) effect in its own right. This too can dramatically alter the function of multiple gene functions.

Thus the off-target effects of genome editing and plant tissue culture-induced mutations can combine to bring about alterations in plant biochemistry.

One or more new proteins could be created in the process, which could be toxic or allergenic, or you could change the biochemical pathways of a plant, making it less nutritious or more toxic.

“In addition, most genetically engineered plants are engineered to either express an insecticide or to tolerate being sprayed on by an herbicide (weedkiller).

That means you’ve got the potential toxic effects of the herbicide residues that are sprayed on the plant or of the insecticide that is engineered into the plant,” Robinson notes.

The risk of unintended consequences is so high that even if scientists restricted the genetic engineering to the alteration of just one or two host plant genes or the insertion of genes into a plant into the very same species, say from corn to corn, these problems still would not disappear. As Robinson explains:

“The important thing when you’re genetically engineering a plant is the new context of the gene that you’re putting in. Even if you were to take a gene out of apples and put it into apples, you don’t really know what that’s doing, because all of a sudden the gene is in a new context.”

GMO Creation Is a Cruel and Wasteful Enterprise
Genetic engineering is also a very wasteful process. You create an enormous number of plants that are deformed, infertile, or otherwise not viable, so there’s a lot of waste. When it comes to the creation of GE animals there’s also the moral aspect of creating so many non-viable life forms.

“One of the scientists who I’m in contact with happened to see some GE salmon that were created in the research and development phase. He said it was really shocking, because there were salmon that were green in color. There were salmon that had lumps all over their bodies. All these had to be thrown away… I think it’s a very cruel process, because you’re creating so many non-viable animals, and you have to dispose of them.”

Long-Term Safety Studies Are Sorely Lacking
“GMOs are proven safe,” is the oft-repeated refrain. But where is the actual evidence for this? And what’s the strength of that evidence? While few in number, longer-term animal feeding studies have been published over the past several years showing there’s definite cause for concern. Liver and kidney toxicity and immune reactions tend to be the most prevalent. Digestive system, inflammation and fertility problems have also been seen.

“I think we’re all concerned about the state of people’s immune systems these days. Obviously it is a huge concern. I think any substance you feed to a laboratory animal and get an immune response [from], you really have to ask more questions about it,” Robinson says.

A major part of the problem is that safety studies conducted for regulatory purposes to gain market approval for a GE product are too short to show the damage that could occur from life-long consumption of the GE food. Some independent studies looking at lifetime consumption of GMOs have found rather dramatic health effects, whereas the safety studies used to promote GE foods as safe have all been short-term.

As noted by Robinson, there seems to be an agreement among biotech scientists to not test GE foods longer than 90 days in rats, which is only about seven to nine years in human terms. That’s nothing when you consider the average lifespan is somewhere in the 70’s, and the current generation is fed GMO food from day one.

“Typically, even in industry tests for 90 days in a rat, you can see signs of liver and kidney toxicity, and immune responses… What happens is they just dismiss the findings. They say, ‘These are not biologically relevant findings. We don’t need to do longer testing.’ This is a really an unscientific, worrying phenomenon. We should be doing long-term testing and multigenerational testing as well with all GE foods to get to the bottom of what is going on.”

Making matters worse, carefully calculated barriers have been erected by the GE industry to prevent independent researchers from ever doing those kinds of studies in the first place. Anyone purchasing GE seeds must sign a contract that forbids them from supplying them to researchers who do research, and in most cases the companies refuse to provide seeds to independent researchers.

Myth: Hundreds of Millions of GMO Meals Served With No Adverse Effects
Another completely unscientific and dishonest claim used to justify the use of GMOs is that Americans have eaten hundreds of millions of GMO meals with no ill effects. But who’s actually checking? No one is assessing and keeping tabs of potential side effects. You can’t even make that connection since GE foods are not labeled.

Despite that lack of traceability, health statistics clearly show Americans have been getting increasingly sicker over the past few decades. Chronic diseases are definitely increasing, and children are increasingly coming down with diseases that in the past did not arise until much later in life. No one can say for sure that there’s a link to GMO consumption since they’re not labeled and therefore cannot be tracked, but you certainly cannot ignore the possibility of a link either.

Myth: Without GE Crops We Cannot Feed the World
Another common claim is that we need GMOs because without them we don’t stand a chance to feed our growing population. This is nothing but a flawed fantasy, and there are at least half a dozen truths that dispel it.

Part of the myth is that GE crops provide greater yield, but they don’t. There is no gene for high yield. The GMO genes inserted are for creating herbicide tolerance or to produce internal insecticide. There is no way of genetically engineering high yield into a crop as it is dependent on complex multi-gene interactions, which GE cannot deliver.

However, conventional breeding methods are helpful for increasing yield as they can introduce the required multi-gene families into the crop. So a high-yielding GE crop is simply a crop that has been conventionally bred to produce high yields. Then the genetic engineers inserted an herbicide-tolerant gene or an insect-resistant gene into that plant.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) even admits that yield is dependent on the background genetics of the crop; it is not dependent on the genetic engineering. In some cases the GE crop ends up yielding less than its non-GE equivalent.

That is certainly the case with GE soy, where there is what is known as a yield drag. It yields less than the non-GM soy. Exactly why is still unknown, but Robinson suggests it may be caused by the disruptive effect of the GE transformation process, or perhaps the GE plant’s energy is somehow used up in resisting herbicide, for example, and therefore has less energy left over for growth.

Soil Destruction Promotes Food Scarcity
GE plants — courtesy of the herbicides used — also destroy the microbial health of the soil. Ultimately, you need the microbes in the soil to nourish the plant, and it’s this symbiotic relationship that provides good yields.

From a long-term strategic perspective, destruction of topsoil is the greatest threat to the future of food, and if we continue in this way, people will starve no matter what GE plants they come up with. It’s a prescription for disaster. Once you implement regenerative agriculture you almost automatically create far greater yields, as these time-honored traditions nourish and build soil health.

“There’s some very good long-term research done at the Rodale Institute which shows that year upon year, the yields with organic systems can go up and up and up, because the soil fertility and health, including microbial life, is being built. Also, organics yield better in drought conditions, because there’s more organic matter in the soil, which acts like a sponge and it can hold water.

If we’re thinking about resilient agriculture that’s going to tide us through climate change and everything else the future can throw at us, it’s really all about agroecology, organic, and building soil. We certainly don’t want to be killing soil by putting glyphosate or other pesticides on it.

We do know that putting glyphosate herbicide on the soil actually ties up trace metal nutrients within the soil. It makes them less available to the plant and less available to us when we eat those plants,” Robinson says.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has also classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Over 80 percent of GE plants are engineered to tolerate being heavily doused with glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup.

Worryingly, laboratory tests have shown that commercial formulations such as Roundup, which are complex mixtures of chemicals, are up to 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate in isolation. Roundup gets incorporated into the entire plant and cannot be washed off, so when you eat those plants, you’re eating a general toxin and potential carcinogen.

Myth: GMOs Reduce the Need for Herbicides and Insecticides
Genetic engineering was sold as a means to reduce the amount of herbicides and other chemicals being used, but the reality is quite the opposite. GE crops have increased the use of pesticides, mostly because of herbicide-tolerant crops designed to survive huge amounts of herbicide. As weeds have developed resistance, farmers are forced to use ever-greater amounts of chemical mixtures.

Research by Dr. Charles Benbrook shows that because of GE crops, we have sprayed 7 percent more pesticides than we would have done had those same acres been planted with non-GE crops. That amounts to 404 million pounds of additional pesticides.

In addition to that, as of 2012, more than 61 million acres of U.S. farmland was covered with glyphosate-resistant super weeds. To address these weeds, even more toxic chemicals are being employed, such as Dicamba and 2,4-D (which is an ingredient of Agent Orange). So not only are we using more herbicides, we’re also using increasingly toxic ones.

“Also, there’s a UN report1 called the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), which was published in 2008 by over 400 world scientists. It was on the future of food and the future of agriculture. They did not endorse the idea that GE crops were needed to feed the world.

They pointed out that the yields of GE crops were ‘variable,’ as they put it. In some cases, a GE crop might yield more; but in other cases, they don’t. Also there were lingering safety concerns over them. They said that the key to feeding the world and future generations will be agroecology.”

Who Benefits From GE Crops?
The answer is the companies that patent and own them. Profit is the real reason why GE crops are pushed so relentlessly in spite of the fact that they don’t yield more and they don’t reduce pesticide use. When you patent a GE crop, you not only own the rights on the particular crop, you also own the breeding rights.

Every crop bred from that GE crop, as long as your proprietary patented genes are in that progene, you own the progene as well as the original crop. So patenting GE seeds is a means of consolidating control over the food supply by a few big companies.

The U.S. government does nothing to prevent this, and the reason for that is because there are perpetually revolving doors between the industry and the government. It’s gotten to the point where the USDA is in practical reality a mere extension of Monsanto and other chem-ag giants, implementing and enforcing the industry’s recommendations.

“Michael Taylor is a case in point. He was an attorney for Monsanto. He crafted the biotech policy that enabled these foods to be marketed onto world markets from the USA. Michael Taylor oversaw the creation of that policy. He was basically an attorney for Monsanto, and still is. People often think that Europe is somehow better. Unfortunately, our own European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been absolutely infiltrated by industry-linked people.

There’s a body called the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), which is basically funded by Monsanto, Bayer, DuPont, and these big GMO companies. They’re this kind of scientific lobbying-style organization.

They are involved in crafting rules, regulatory rules to judge the safety of GE crops. They actually help to design them. A lot of these rules have now gone into the European regulatory process to judge whether a GE crop is safe. Basically, we can say the industry helped to write its own examination.”

Public Scientists Are Also Motivated by Greed
As revealed in Steven Druker’s book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth”, the collusion between the industry and the government would never have been possible had it not been for the early molecular biologists who collectively agreed to allow genetic engineering of plants to proceed, and intentionally insulated the public from the risks. Still to this day, many public scientists have jumped on the bandwagon to support GMOs because they see it as a way to get funding from the industry.

“I’ve actually quizzed some of them about the animal feeding studies with GE crops. Not only have those scientists never read an animal feeding study on GE crops – I’m not talking about all of them here, just a few examples who I’ve met – but they see no reason why they should.

One of them said to me, ‘Why should I read those studies?’ I said, ‘Because you’re genetically engineering our plants.’ ‘Oh, what harm can possibly come of it,’ he says. ‘It’s just a matter of moving around a few genes. It’s nothing very scary.’ Again and again, we see this arrogant attitude.”

GMO Research Is Being Aggressively Thwarted
Not only do independent researchers rarely get access to GE seeds to perform their research, they also have few means of funding since they’re not interested in bending to the will of the industry. Industry funds most research, and they have a long history of “motivating” their scientists to reach certain conclusions.

Without funding, there’s not much a concerned scientist can do. Even if you manage to get funding from some government agency, they will often demand you have an industry partner to put up part of the money.

Moreover, those who have somehow managed to get around all of these obstacles to do these kinds of studies and reach negative conclusions typically end up being ostracized by the scientific community. Many have lost their jobs, and have had their entire scientific careers go up in flames. As noted by Robinson:

“It certainly is true that if you are a scientist who draws attention to risks of GE crops or whose research shows such risks, you are in danger of losing your job. You are in danger of never getting funding from anybody ever again. I’ve seen this happen now so many times that it is predictable.

Scientists have basically entered a cage voluntarily, if you can use that word “voluntarily” of this situation. Basically, they don’t ask the awkward questions. They don’t do the awkward research that may show the problems with GE crops. They stay clear of it.

A friend of mine actually got together some independent funding for GMO risk research in the form of an animal feeding study. They approached a university and said, ‘Here, we’ve raised some money. Please, can your scientists research the safety of this GE crop when fed to animals?’ The scientists would not touch that money because they were frightened of losing their jobs. This is a very, very serious situation.

If we’re seriously interested in finding out the truth about GE crops, if we’re interested in finding out more than we already know, it’s going to come down to the public putting up the money and finding scientists who somehow will never need to worry about industry funding ever again. Probably they have to be retired or they have to be very, very unusual people.”

Article Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/24/gmo-myth-truth.aspx

More Information
In this interview, we’ve only touched upon a few aspects covered in great depth in “GMO Myths and Truths.” I highly recommend picking up a copy to help you dispel the many myths circulating about GMOs. It’s really an invaluable reference if you’re seeking to learn the facts behind the arguments presented.

© Copyright 1997-2018 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved.

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Chakra Maintenance 101 – A Simple Guide

Chakra translates to wheel in the ancient language of Sanskrit. This is a word used to describe the energy centers (vortices) in our bodies that control the energy in our aura, meridians, and in our multidimensional energy grid. There are seven main chakras and twenty one minor chakras, situated over major organs/glands and affect how we feel, and our overall state of wellbeing.

When we are energetically clear and centered, we feel grounded, peaceful, vital, and free from anxiety and fear. However, when we are operating under a state of chronic stress, over time our chakras become depleted and disrupted, which leads us to emotional and physical imbalances and disease.

Balancing and clearing our chakras through self care practices such as meditation, spending time in nature, a healthy diet and mind-body exercise, helps to restore our energy levels, and to shift us into a state of relaxation and wellness.

The seven major chakras and their corresponding predominant colors are:

Root chakra – Red
Sacral chakra – Orange
Solar Plexus chakra – Gold
Heart chakra – Green
Throat chakra – Blue
Third eye chakra – Indigo
Crown chakra – Purple

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The root chakra is physically located at the base of our spine. This energy center is where our energy connected with the material world and our survival is situated. When this center is not working to capacity, we often experience challenges with our finances, career, our home, grounding and manifesting our dreams into physical reality. We also may experience lower back issues.

The sacral chakra is located in our pelvic area, just three fingers below the navel. This is the energy center that is connected with our sexuality, our tribe, and creativity. Any childhood or adulthood wounding related to physical and emotional trauma are held with in this center. Problems with our sexual organs/reproductive system, and experiencing a lack of passion, creativity and vitality, are common symptoms that this energy center is not functioning properly.

The solar plexus is the energy center that focuses is located thee fingers width above the navel. This energy center that controls our will, our ambition and our personality. If you are having digestive problems, there could be disturbance within this chakra.

The heart chakra located in the center of our chest, is the center that pertains to our capacity to feel interconnection between all things, to give and to receive unconditional love, and to have empathy for all kind. Heart problems can signal there is a blockage or contraction of this chakra.

The throat chakra is located at the base of our throat. This energy center is our communication hub. How freely and clearly we are able to communicate and express our true feelings and needs are traits of this center. When we are experiencing ears, nose or throat or thyroid problems, it could be that we having challenges expressing our needs or speaking up for ourselves.

The third eye chakra is located in the center of our eyebrows. This is the energy center of our sixth sense. Our intuition. It is within this center records our life experiences, and helps us to communicate psychically what we perceive outside the range of of our physical eyes. When this chakra is partially or completely blocked, headaches or migraines may start occurring.

The crown chakra, located at the crown of our head, is connected to spirituality (our higher consciousness). Our perceptions about the universe and your part in it are found within this energy center. Problems with tightness or pressure at the top of our head can signal a blocked crown chakra.

A Simple Daily Practice for Chakra Clearing and Balancing

This practice when completed at least once daily, will help to keep our chakras clear and balanced.

Begin by taking at least several deep breaths.

Then say aloud or think quietly to yourself several times, “I release all energies that are not mine”.

Place your hands over the root chakra, and imagine that you are sending the corresponding color of that chakra into the chakra center with your hands. Continue sending the color for about one or two minutes, then gently shake off your hands off and move onto the next chakra until all seven have been cleared.

Joy Jackson is a professional psychic/medium and intuitive in the Pacific Northwest.

www.backyardmystic.com

https://www.facebook.com/thebackyardmystic/

Chakra Maintenance 101 – A Simple Guide

Homemade Kombucha {Step by Step}

Nutrition on a Mission

Preparing my first batch of kombucha was a long ordeal. Like…quadruple the amount of time it would take a pokey, middle-aged granola bum who stops every so often to flip through Birds&Blooms and water her cucumber plants, long time. I’m talking about a solid two hours just filling a big jar with hot tea, making sure everything was well sterilized, and painfully measuring out ingredients, all for about two bottles of liquid.

But it was totally worth it, and with some practice, the prep is now considerably less time consuming. The process can seem intimidating at first, but after a couple batches, you’ll be a pro.

The Basics

  • Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic tea that has been around for about two thousand years and originated in China.
  • The fermentation occurs when a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) digests the sugar and tea.
  • Health Benefits:
    • rich in antioxidants
    • improves

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Cannabis May Help Rejuvenate the Aging Brain and Ward Off Dementia

By Dr. Mercola

May 25, 2017

THC has a beneficial influence on the aging brain, reversing the aging process and improving cognitive function, raising the possibility it might be useful for the treatment of dementia in the elderly
18-month-old mice given THC at 2, 12 and 18 months demonstrated cognitive skills equal to 2-month-old controls, while the placebo group suffered cognitive deterioration associated with aging
Previous research has also shown low-dose THC directly impedes buildup of beta amyloid plaque in the brain (a hallmark of Alzheimer’s) and enhances mitochondrial function in the brain
By Dr. Mercola

Regardless of your views on the pros and cons of recreational marijuana, the body of scientific evidence about its medicinal value is getting more compelling as additional research is done. The cannabinoids in cannabis — cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — interact with your body by way of naturally-occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body.

In fact, scientists now believe the endocannabinoid system may represent the most widespread receptor system in your body.1 There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more, and both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor.

Your body actually makes its own cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana, albeit in much smaller quantities than you get from the plant. The fact that your body is replete with cannabinoid receptors, key to so many biological functions, is why there’s such enormous medical potential for cannabis.

The whole plant also contains terpenes that have medicinal properties. More often than not, medicinal marijuana is made from plants bred to have high CBD and low THC content. While THC has psychoactive activity that can make you feel “stoned,” CBD has no psychoactive properties. However, recent research shows THC should not be written off completely just because it’s psychoactive. It has valuable therapeutic potential in its own right.

THC May Reverse Aging Process in the Brain
According to recent animal research,2 THC has a beneficial influence on the aging brain.3,4 Rather than dulling or impairing cognition, THC appears to reverse the aging process and improve mental processes, raising the possibility it might be useful for the treatment of dementia in the elderly.5

To test the hypothesis, mice were given a small daily dose of THC over the course of one month at the age of 2 months, 12 months and again at 18 months of age. It is important to understand that mice typically live until 2 years old. The dose was small enough to avoid any psychoactive effects.

Tests assessed the animals’ learning, memory, orientation and recognition skills. Interestingly, 18-month-old mice given THC demonstrated cognitive skills equal to 2-month-old controls, while the placebo group suffered cognitive deterioration associated with normal aging.

According to one of the authors, neurobiology professor Andreas Zimmer, University of Bonn, “The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals. We repeated these experiments many times. It’s a very robust and profound effect.” Even more remarkable, gene activity and the molecular profile in the brain tissue was that of much younger animals. Specifically, neurons in the hippocampus grew more synaptic spines — points of contact necessary for communication between neurons.

According to Zimmer, the THC appeared to have “turned back the molecular clock” in the THC-treated animals. (Previous research has also shown that the brain ages much faster in mice who do not have functional receptors for THC, suggesting THC may be involved in the regulation of the aging process.6) The team is now planning tests to see if the same holds true in human subjects.

Cannabinoids Maintain Homeostasis
Your endocannabinoid system has homeostatic properties, meaning it helps balance your body’s response to stress. This helps explain some of the individual variations in response to cannabis.

In your brain, cannabinoids modulate neural activity. In younger people, in which endogenous cannabinoids are already plentiful, cannabis will not have the same effect as in older people, in whom activity of the endogenous cannabinoid system is much lower. The effects of THC in particular appear to vary significantly depending on age. As noted by Forbes:7

“[Y]ounger animals excelled at the tests when ‘sober’ but tended to struggle significantly under the influence of THC. ‘Mature’ and ‘old’ mice, on the other hand, struggled with tasks as consistent with their brain ages at first, but saw a huge increase in performance with THC infusions …

Overall, the results seem to support researchers’ belief that the benefits for older mice are a result of stimulating the brain’s endocannabinoid system, a biochemical pathway in both mice and human that grows less active over time.”

In other words, in young mice (and probably people as well), THC can easily have an overly stimulating effect, resulting in a decline in memory and learning (albeit temporary, while under the influence). In older mice, a small amount of THC basically restored levels to a more youthful optimum.

Similarly, one of the reasons cannabis is so effective for seizures is because of this ability to regulate neuronal activity and reestablish homeostasis. If there’s too much neuronal activity, the cannabis suppresses activity, and if activity is low, it raises it.

Cannabis for Pain (VIDEO)

Dr. Mercola and Dr. Gedde Talk About Medical Cannabis

Polls show older Americans are becoming increasingly converted to marijuana use.8 Between 2006 and 2013, use among 50- to 64-year-olds rose by 60 percent. Among seniors over 65, use jumped by 250 percent.9 Pain and sleep are among the most commonly cited complaints for which medicinal marijuana is taken.

Considering the high risk of lethal consequences of opioid painkillers and sleeping pills, medical marijuana is a godsend. It’s really unfortunate that we’ve been so successfully indoctrinated to view marijuana as a dangerous gateway drug that will lead to illicit drug use.

The reality is that prescription drugs have far greater potential to turn you into a “junkie.” Legal drug addiction is also taking lives in record numbers. There’s absolutely no doubt that cannabis is safer than most prescription drugs — especially opioids. As noted by Dr. Margaret Gedde, an award-winning Stanford-trained pathologist and founder of Gedde Whole Health, there’s enough scientific data to compare the side effects of cannabis against the known toxicities of many drugs currently in use.

This includes liver and kidney toxicity, gastrointestinal damage, nerve damage and, of course, death. Cannabidiol has no toxicity and it’s virtually impossible to die from marijuana. It’s also self-limiting, as excessive doses of THC will provoke anxiety, paranoia and nausea.

Such side effects will disappear as the drug dissipates from your system without resulting in permanent harm, but it’ll make you think twice about taking such a high dose again. Make the same mistake with an opioid, and chances are you’ll end up in the morgue.

Cannabis Often Works Where Drugs Fail
Gedde also notes that cannabis products often work when other medications fail, so not only are they safer, they also tend to provide greater efficacy.

In 2010, the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) released a report10 on 14 clinical studies about the use of marijuana for pain, most of which were FDA-approved, double-blind and placebo-controlled. The report revealed that marijuana not only controls pain, but in many cases, it does so better than pharmaceutical alternatives.

When cannabis is inhaled, smoked or vaporized, its effects are rapid and short-lasting. Orally, it’s the most unpredictable and delayed. When ingesting it, it can take up to two hours to take effect, but if dosed appropriately, you can achieve once-a-day dosing with an edible medicine.

As for the psychoactive effects of THC, a dose of 10 milligram (mg) or more of an oral (edible) THC product is required to produce a high.11 Taking 50 to 100 mg of oral THC could result in a serious case of paranoia, with or without nausea and vomiting.

Other Common Ailments Treated With Cannabis
Aside from pain and sleep, other common ailments being treated with cannabis include:

• Degenerative neurological disorders such as dystonia

• Multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune issues

• Parkinson’s disease

• Mood disorders, anxiety and post-traumatic distress disorder (PTSD).12,13 Marijuana suppresses dream recall, so for those having nightmares, it can be transformative. Marijuana is also reported to help individuals stay focused in the present, which is beneficial for those experiencing flashbacks.

In January 2017, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies14 began the first federally-approved study in which the subjects — combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD — will ingest marijuana by smoking. It’s also the first whole-plant marijuana study, as opposed to an extract

• Seizure disorders such as Dravet syndrome,15 also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy in Infancy, a form of intractable, life-threatening epilepsy in which a child can suffer upward of 100 seizures a day. Certain varieties of cannabis offer the only real hope for children with this type of disorder, as Dravet syndrome does not respond well to standard epilepsy drugs

Cannabis even appears to be a natural chemotherapy agent. Dozens of studies point to marijuana’s effectiveness against many different types of cancer, including brain cancer, breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, colon and pituitary cancer, melanoma and leukemia.

It fights cancer via at least two mechanisms, making it difficult for a cancer to grow and spread. It’s proapoptotic, meaning it triggers apoptosis (cellular suicide) of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched, and antiangiogenic, meaning it cuts off a tumor’s blood supply.

Could Cannabis Offer New Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients?
Getting back to where we started, with THC rejuvenating the aging brain, this actually wasn’t the first time THC has been shown to provide benefits against dementia.

In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of South Florida and Thomas Jefferson University found that low-dose THC directly impedes the buildup of beta amyloid plaque in the brain,16,17 which is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s, and unlike so many pharmaceutical drugs, it produces no toxicity. THC was also found to enhance mitochondrial function in the brain. Lead author and neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, Ph.D., wrote:

“THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation and enhancing mitochondrial function.”

Cannabis is also known to reduce some of the non-memory-related symptoms typically experienced by Alzheimer’s sufferers, including anxiety, irritability and rage,18 so cannabis may well have multiple benefits for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Where to Find Reputable Information About Medical Cannabis, Its Uses and Benefits
If the idea of using medical cannabis (provided it’s legal in your state) still makes you cringe, I recommend delving deeper into the research to educate yourself on the matter, especially if your alternative is an opioid pain pill or some other dangerous drug.

One reputable source where you can find research relating to the use of cannabis is cancer.gov.19,20 This is the U.S. government’s site on cancer. Simply enter “cannabis” into the search bar. You can also peruse the medical literature through PubMed,21 which is a public resource (again, simply enter “cannabis” or related terms into the search bar).

The Journal of Pain,22 a publication by the American Pain Society, has a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of cannabis and would certainly seem worth the effort for anyone with chronic pain to utilize.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,23 which also has information relating to the medicinal aspects of marijuana, preclinical and clinical trials are underway to test marijuana and various extracts for the treatment of a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, pain and mental disorders.

I also recommend listening to my previous interviews with Gedde and Dr. Allan Frankel, in which they discuss the clinical benefits of cannabis. Frankel is a board-certified internist in California who has treated patients with medical cannabis for the past decade.

Awareness is starting to shift, and many are now starting to recognize the medical value of cannabis. Even the former U.S. Surgeon General has spoken out in favor of medical marijuana. His statement echoes a growing sentiment in the medical and scientific communities that the health benefits of marijuana should no longer be ignored. Murthy was replaced this month by his deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams.

US Surgeon General – Marijuana Can Be Helpful

The New Year is traditionally a time for resolutions but change can be overwhelming. To help turn this year’s resolutions into a permanent lifestyle I am providing one health tip each day in January.

I chose this approach because the most complex tasks can be made easy if you just take one step at a time. These daily tips are an empowering and invaluable resource for beginners and experts alike. Together, these 30 tips will form a comprehensive guide that will allow you to take control of your health. Just a few of the topics addressed are:

Article Source – https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/05/25/cannabis-help-aging-brain-dementia.aspx

This article was brought to you by Dr. Mercola, a New York Times bestselling author. For more helpful articles, please visit Mercola.com today and receive your FREE Take Control of Your Health E-book!
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A Day In the Life – Nutritious Movement

6D6F318D-E571-4843-8419-0FFED8E2397CFeatured Author Katy Bowman 

Original Source: https://nutritiousmovement.com/a-day-in-the-life/

What is a movement-based lifestyle?

We currently live in a world where “life” is mostly sedentary, and “exercise” is the one or two hours a day we set aside to fit in some movement. Research is showing, more and more, that this approach doesn’t meet our bodies’ need for movements.

A movement-based lifestyle is one that keeps all of you moving—from your arms and legs to your microbiome—gives you large doses of “Vitamin Nature,” and “Vitamin Community.” It is the addition of movement back into life.

1. I get movement in first thing in the morning.

I walk with a friend, so that my “movement time” is also my “coffee with a friend” date. Stacking my life this way — getting movement and something else I need/love to do — is key to a movement-based lifestyle.

I always wear minimal shoes. A wide, flexible, and totally flat shoe means when I move, more of me is moving!

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2. Our family uses low tables and the floor instead of sitting in couches and chairs.

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3. I have a dynamic workstation (I don’t work in the same position all the time), and take movement breaks at my desk.

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4. I use objects in and around my home to facilitate movement.

 

5.  I break up my workday with chores.

 

6. I take calls and do errands on foot, often at the same time.

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7. The bulk of our family time is outside, moving (on this day we went to a park; other days we’ll go to the woods or the mountains, and we have fun exploring the cities we visit in our travels).

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8. Some of my work can be done via my smartphone, and I make sure that when I am calling or emailing from my mobile, I’m doing it on the move.

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9. We typically walk wherever we go—if we’re not going to walk the whole way there, then we park at a distance and walk the rest of the way.

 

Take a Tour of My Dynamic Living Space

About Katy Bowman, MS

Part biomechanist, part science communicator, and full-time mover, Katy Bowman has educated hundreds of thousands of people on the role movement plays in the body and in the world. Blending a scientific approach with straight talk about sensible, whole-life movement solutions, her website and award-winning podcast, Katy Says, reach hundreds of thousands of people every month, and thousands have taken her live classes.

Her books, the bestselling Move Your DNA, Movement Matters, and Dynamic Aging, Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief, Diastasis Recti, Don’t Just Sit There, Whole Body Barefoot, Alignment Matters, and Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief, have been critically acclaimed and translated worldwide.

Passionate about human movement outside of exercise, Katy volunteers her time to support the larger reintegration of movement into human lives by providing movement courses across widely varying demographics and working with non-profits promoting nature education. She also directs and teaches at the Nutritious Movement Center Northwest in Washington state, travels the globe to teach Nutritious Movement courses in person, and spends as much time outside as possible with her husband and children.

Source: A Day In the Life – Nutritiousv Movement