Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eating Wheat & Cow's Milk Disrupt DNA Expression & Antioxidant Status

Green Med Info | Oct 27, 2014 | Sayer Ji

Could two of the Western world's most popular foods - wheat and cow's dairy - be depleting you of your antioxidants and altering your DNA expression in a harmful way? 

A fascinating new study sheds much needed light on the topic of why a diet free of wheat gluten and the cow's milk protein known as casein have commonly been reported to have such a wide range of health benefits, particularly when it comes to gastrointestinal distress and neurological disorders; Or, said oppositely, the study reveals why the centerpiece of the Western dietary pattern -- a gluten and casein-rich diet -- may participate in an extraordinarily wide range of health problems, many of which we have been documenting extensively on our open access database: gluten harms and casein harms. We also featured the neurotoxicity of gluten and casein in three previous articles you can review below for a more in depth perspective on their intrinsically harmful nature:
There has been no lack of controversy and debate in recent years as to why a wheat and gluten containing grain-free diet has been found anecdotally as well as in an increasing number of published case studies to have such remarkable benefit for those suffering with autism spectrum disorders and even schizophrenia.  Also, many have questioned why cow's milk-based formula fed infants are at so much higher risk of hundreds of disorders versus breast-fed children? Could something yet to be fully identified within these omnipresent Western foods being harming those who consume them?

While the addictive and/or neurotoxic properties of casein and gluten peptides likely play a role, a new mechanism of action has recently been identified that may help to explain these concerning associations...

Wheat (Gluten) and Milk (Casein) Deplete Our Antioxidant System & Alter Our DNA Expression


Published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and titled, "Food-derived opioid peptides inhibit cysteine uptake with redox and epigenetic consequences," researchers discussed the emerging evidence pointing to systemic oxidative stress and inflammation as an underlying factor in neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Since the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) is often found at significantly lower levels in those suffering from these disorders, and owing to the fact that GSH synthesis depends on the availability of the amino acid cysteine, the researchers pointed out the possible role of cysteine deficiency in these conditions.

The new study found that gluten and casein peptides released following the digestion of foods containing wheat and milk reduce cysteine uptake, "with subsequent effects on cellular redox and methylation status leading to global changes in DNA methylation and gene transcription," i.e. they increase oxidative stress and alter gene expression in such a way that may lead to imbalances/disease. In an already weakened body, the addition of glutathione-depleting  and gene regulation altering-gluten/casein to the diet could further interfere with the cellular detoxification process necessary to maintain health.

Many environmental exposures, including heavy metals found in vaccines such as thimerosal (still found in the multi-dose flu shot) and aluminum, directly impact our glutathione system, significantly contributing to its depletion and subsequent ill affects on a wide range of bodily systems, most noticeably the neurological system.  Perhaps the addition of a cysteine-depleting gluten and casein heavy diet represents the 'dietary straw that broke the camel's back,' adding to an already overburdened bodily toxic load caused by a tsunami of modern environmental exposures and biological incompatible synthetic 'foods' that we are presently all inundated with.

The researchers hypothesized that,
"Epigenetic programming, including CpG methylation and histone modifications, occurring during early postnatal development can influence the risk of disease in later life, and such programming may be modulated by nutritional factors such as milk and wheat, especially during the transition from a solely milk-based diet to one that includes other forms of nutrition."
 CpG methylation, a form of silencing of gene expression, and histone modifications, a mechanism of altering gene expression, are  forms of genetic inheritance that do not affect the primary nucleotide sequence of our DNA but, rather, influences the expression of our genes from the 'outside in,' as it were, by turning on the expression of some and turning off the expression of others. The result can be exactly the same as a 'hard coded' change in the DNA, with the critical difference that some of these 'epigenetic' changes can sometimes be reversed through dietary modification, lifestyle changes and/or removal of environmental exposures.
The study found that the digestion of casein (a major milk protein) and gliadin (a wheat-derived protein) releases proline-rich peptides with opioid activity which down-regulate cysteine uptake in cultured human neuronal and gastrointestinal (GI) epithelial cells via activation of opioid receptors. The subsequent decrease in cysteine uptake was associated "with changes in the intracellular antioxidant glutathione and the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine." S-adenosylmethionine is a primary mechanism through which the cells of our body silence the expression of genes in a process known as methylation.  When S-adenosylmethionine levels are low, it can interfere with methylation and this has been observed in many pathological states, including numerous cancers, e.g. 'global hypomethylation' is observed in cells whose cancer genes (oncogenes) have been turned on.

The experimental results, however, were complex. The peptides also induced increased methylation (gene silencing) in important gene regions associated with oxidative stress and the optimal functioning of the methylation system in general:
"Bovine and human casein-derived opioid peptides increased genome-wide DNA methylation in the transcription start site region with a potency order similar to their inhibition of cysteine uptake. Altered expression of genes involved in redox and methylation homeostasis was also observed."
The study concluded:
"These results illustrate the potential of milk- and wheat-derived peptides to exert antioxidant and epigenetic changes that may be particularly important during the postnatal transition from placental to GI nutrition. Differences between peptides derived from human and bovine milk may contribute to developmental differences between breastfed and formula-fed infants. Restricted antioxidant capacity, caused by wheat- and milk-derived opioid peptides, may predispose susceptible individuals to inflammation and systemic oxidation, partly explaining the benefits of gluten-free or casein-free diets."
These study results, while preliminary, are provocative. As we continue to unravel the role that foods play in modulating gene expression in the body – nutrigenomic considerations – we come to appreciate how profoundly foods are not only just 'our medicine,' but represent informational vectors, capable of 'informing' – literally, 'putting form into' – our bodies, down to the molecular level of affecting the expression of our genes and the proper conformational folding patterns of gene products, e.g. proteins. Eons of hard-wired biological practices like breast-feeding and the consumption of ancestral foods (which excluded grains and cow's milk for at least 99% of our evolution as homo sapiens) has produced our present-day body. When we dramatically alter the types of foods we use as 'energy' and 'material building blocks' for our bodies, we are also profoundly altering the informational backbone of our genetic and epigenetic blueprint. It may be time to remove wheat/cow's milk altogether, going back to the foods that have nourished our bodies and minds for millions of years before the advent of the agrarian revolution and animal husbandry. In fact, it is my belief that this may be required to return to optimal health, our birthright.

Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, an author, educator, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation.

Study Tracking Over 100,000 People Finds The More Pasteurized Milk People Drink, The More Likely They Are To Die

© Prevent Disease
Prevent Disease | Oct 29, 2014 | Natasha Longo

Milk is the only beverage still aggressively pushed on children as a health promoting food when it is the exact opposite - a disease promoting food. Drinking pasteurized milk is not nearly as good for general health or bones as the dairy industry has made it out to be. In fact, this fairy tale of "milk doing a body good" is being exposed more frequently by many independent scientists and researchers who have had just about enough of the propaganda. According to a large scale study of thousands of Swedish people, cow's milk has a deteriorating effect on health when consumed in the long-term. The research was published in The BMJ.

The study, which tracked 61,433 women aged 39 to 74 over 20 years, and 45,339 men of similar age for 11 years, found that the more cow's milk people drank, the more likely they were to die or experience a bone fracture during the study period.

The risks were especially pronounced for women, a group advised to drink milk to help avoid bone fractures that result from osteoporosis.

Women who said they drank three or more glasses of milk a day had almost double the chance of dying during the study period as those who reported drinking only one. A glass is defined as a 200 millilitre serving. They also had a 16 percent higher chance of getting a bone fracture anywhere in the body.

Why Does Milk Cause Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures


The dairy industy has been hard at work the last 50 years convincing people that pasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese increases bioavailable calcium levels. This is totally false. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process actually causes osteoporosis.

Pasteurized dairy contains too little magnesium needed at the proper ratio to absorb the calcium. Most would agree that a minimum amount of Cal. to Mag Ratio is 2 to 1 and preferably 1 to 1. So milk, at a Cal/Mag ratio of 10 to 1, has a problem. You may put 1200 mg of dairy calcium in your mouth, but you will be lucky to actually absorb a third of it into your system.

Over 99% of the body's calcium is in the skeleton, where it provides mechanical rigidity. Pasteurized dairy forces a calcium intake lower than normal and the skeleton is used as a reserve to meet needs. Long-term use of skeletal calcium to meet these needs leads to osteoporosis.

Dairy is pushed on Americans from birth yet they have one of the highes risk of osteoporosis in the world. Actually, people from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

The test for pasteurization is called the negative alpha phosphatase test. When milk has been heated to 165 degrees (higher for UHT milk) and pasteurization is complete, the enzyme phosphatase is 100 percent destroyed. Guess what? This is the enzyme that is critical for the absorption of minerals including calcium! Phosphatase is the third most abundant enzyme in raw milk and those who drink raw milk enjoy increased bone density. Several studies have documented greater bone density and longer bones in animals and humans consuming raw milk compared to pasteurized.

The message that estrogen builds fracture-resistant bones (prevents osteoporosis) has been hammered into women’s minds over the past 4 decades by the pharmaceutical industry, selling HRT formulas, such as Premarin and Prempro. Food also raises estrogen levels in a person’s body--and dairy foods account for about 60 to 70% of the estrogen that comes from food. The main source of this estrogen is the modern factory farming practice of continuously milking cows throughout pregnancy. As gestation progresses the estrogen content of milk increases from 15 pg/ml to 1000 pg/ml.

The National Dairy Council would like you to believe, "There is no evidence that protein-rich foods such as dairy foods adversely impact calcium balance or bone health." But these same dairy people know this is untrue and they state elsewhere, "Excess dietary protein, particularly purified proteins, increases urinary calcium excretion. This calcium loss could potentially cause negative calcium balance, leading to bone loss and osteoporosis. These effects have been attributed to an increased endogenous acid load created by the metabolism of protein, which requires neutralization by alkaline salts of calcium from bone."

The More Milk You Drink, The More Inflammatory Molecules

The most likely explanation of the negative health effects of milk are the damaging inflammation caused by galactose, a breakdown product of lactose, the main sugar in milk. In a separate group of people, the team found that the more milk that people drink, the more inflammatory molecules were present in their urine.

What's more, women who reported eating a lot of cheese and yogurt had a lower chance of fracturing a bone or dying during the study than women who ate low amounts of the dairy products. This supports the inflammation hypothesis because yogurt and cheese contain much less lactose and galactose than milk.

Cancer Fuel

Of the almost 60 hormones, one is a powerful GROWTH hormone called Insulin- like Growth Factor ONE (IGF-1). By a freak of nature it is identical in cows and humans.

The foods you eat can influence how much IGF-I circulates in the blood. Diets higher in overall calories or in animal proteins tend to boost IGF-I, and there seems to be an especially worrisome role played by milk.

Consider this hormone to be a "fuel cell" for any cancer... (the medical world says IGF-1 is a key factor in the rapid growth and proliferation of breast, prostate and colon cancers, and we suspect that most likely it will be found to promote ALL cancers). IGF-1 is a normal part of ALL milk... the newborn is SUPPOSED to grow quickly! What makes the 50% of obese American consumers think they need MORE growth? Consumers don't think anything about it because they do not have a clue to the problem... nor do most of our doctors.

Studies funded by the dairy industry show a 10% increase in IGF-1 levels in adolescent girls from one pint daily and the same 10% increase for postmenopausal women from 3 servings per day of nonfat milk or 1% milk.

IGF-1 promotes undesirable growth too--like cancer growth and accelerated aging. IGF-1 is one of the most powerful promoters of cancer growth ever discovered. Overstimulation of growth by IGF-1 leads to premature aging too--and reducing IGF-1 levels is "anti-aging."

A review published by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research in 1997 found that cancer risk paralleled milk consumption in numerous studies.

Pasteurization Masks Low-Quality Milk and Destroy Nutrients and Enzymes

Why do humans still drink milk? Because they think it's safe due to pasteurization. However, heat destroys a great number of bacteria in milk and thus conceals the evidence of dirt, pus and dirty dairy practices. It’s cheaper to produce dirty milk and kill the bacteria by heat, that to maintain a clean dairy and keep cows healthy. To combat the increase in pathogens milk goes through ‘clarification’, ‘filtering’, ‘bactofugation’ and two ‘deariation’ treatments. Each of these treatments uses heat ranging from 100-175 degrees Fahrenheit. Dairies count on many heat treatments to mask their inferior sanitary conditions: milk filled with pus, manure and debris. Consumer Reports found 44% of 125 pasteurized milk samples contained as many as 2200 organisms per cubic centimeter (fecal bacteria, coliforms)

Pasteurization also destroys vitamin C, and damages water soluble B vitamins diminishing the nutrient value of milk. Calcium and other minerals are made unavailable by pasteurization. The Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between proteins and sugars, occurs at higher heats and causes browning, discoloring the milk.

Milk enzymes, proteins, antibodies as well as beneficial hormones are killed by pasteurization resulting in devitalized ‘lifeless’ milk. Milk enzymes help digest lactose and both enzymes and milk proteins help to absorb vitamins. Protective enzymes in milk are inactivated, making it more susceptible to spoilage.

Overall, pasteurized milk is not a beverage that can be recommended to either maintain or advance health. It has no significant nutritional value and there is a far greater risk in consuming it than not. There are also plenty of alternatives including coconut milk, nut milks (i.e. almond, cashew), and hemp milk which far exceed conventional cow's milk in terms of nutrition and health promoting properties.

Sources:

aicr.org
pcrm.org
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
drmcdougall.com
pgtv.ca
bmj.com

Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

GMO salmon's future in question after producer fined over violations

AFP Photo
RT | Oct 29, 2014

Panama fined a US biotechnology company’s local facility that “repeatedly violated” the nation’s permitting and regulatory laws as it worked to develop the world’s first genetically-modified salmon. The 2012 infractions were first made public on Tuesday.

AquaBounty Technologies, a company licensed by the US government to foster what could be the world’s first genetically-modified (GM) meat, is carrying out GM-salmon research in Panama. Neither Panama nor the US has given clearance to sell GM salmon, but, if regulators approve its application, AquaBounty may become the first to sell GM meat in the US.

“AquaBounty is really out front on this – the current case will set an important precedent,” Dana Perls, a food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth, told Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.

“From what we know, there are about 35 other genetically modified species in the development pipelines in other companies. So depending on what happens in this case, we’ll likely either see a flow of other permits or this will demonstrate that there isn’t room on the market for GM meat or seafood.”

The company’s breeding facility in Panama, however, has come under scrutiny from local regulators, IPS reported, casting doubt on GMO meat’s future in the US.

A 2012 investigation of AquaBounty’s Panama facilities found that the company, in working to develop GM salmon, did not attain required permits for water use and pollution of the surrounding environment, which is important based on the possible ramifications of GM species invading natural ecosystems.

The company “repeatedly violated” Panamanian regulations, authorities said, and problematic practices continued into 2013. The violations yielded the maximum fine allowed against AquaBounty.

The decision to fine AquaBounty was made in July 2014 and was first announced to the public on Tuesday, IPS reported.

AquaBounty insisted that the violations were mainly administrative and that all problems have been corrected by now.

“It is important to emphasize that none of the issues in the Resolution questioned the containment, health of the fish, or the environmental safety of the facility,” the company said in a statement to IPS.

“When AquaBounty was informed of issues at our Panama facility, we immediately contacted Anam, the Panamanian agency for the environment. We initiated a program to remedy the deficiencies and the issues were formally resolved in August of 2014.”

AquaBounty added that its Panama facility “continues to operate with no sanctions or restrictions.”

It is yet unclear how these infractions will affect AquaBounty’s application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A spokesperson for the agency noted that the violations occurred in 2012, and that the FDA would “consider all relevant information as part of the decision-making process.”

Without offering an estimated conclusion date, the spokesperson said the FDA is in the process of reviewing AquaBounty’s application.

The regulatory infractions stoked frustration and concern among groups dissatisfied with the FDA’s regulatory structures.

“This decision is also even further proof that FDA is dangerously out of touch with the facts on the ground, advancing AquaBounty’s application based on its promises, not reality,” George Kimbrell, a senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety, told IPS.

The FDA’s review of GM salmon is based solely on AquaBounty’s development in Panama, according to Perls.

“The FDA is going forward with its review based on the premise that this facility will be in compliance with regulations, yet now we’re seeing it’s not,” she said.

“It is increasingly clear that there is inadequate regulation: the FDA is trying to shoehorn this new genetically engineered animal into a completely ill-fitting regulatory process.”

Many environmentalists are concerned about the introduction of GM species into the wild, where the genetically-engineered crop could dominate the natural population or usher in new diseases. Anti-GMO and consumer advocates are worried that regulators are moving too fast, echoing the GMO-labeling debate in the US.

There is currently no GMO-labeling requirement in the US, though major biotech and food manufacturing groups are working feverishly to stem the tide of state-based labeling laws, such as the one passed but still pending in Vermont.

A poll conducted by the New York Times last year found that 93 percent of respondents want GMO ingredients to be properly labeled. Seventy-five percent of respondents also said they would not eat genetically-engineered fish.

Meanwhile, around 60 major US retailers, according to Friends of the Earth, have said they will not carry genetically-engineered salmon if and when approved. That list includes Safeway, the second-largest US grocer, which said in February that “should [genetically-engineered] salmon come to market, we are not considering nor do we have any plans to carry GE salmon."
 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10 Factors Affecting Your Metabolism

© Prevent Disease
Prevent Disease | Oct 27, 2014 | April McCarthy

In spite of all the information and all the prescriptions offered by modern diets, people just keep getting fatter. This suggests that our knowledge about metabolism is missing something -- perhaps some of the old wisdom that kept hundreds of generations of people slender and strong. Of course, having access to modern scientific knowledge is enormously helpful too. The key lies in integrating these two bodies of wisdom, and then applying them to get a better understanding of our entire physiological landscape.

1) Level of Toxicity


If you are like most people, you probably haven't spent much time thinking about how many toxins you're absorbing from your car upholstery or your Mountain Dew. But toxicity is a definite danger from some surprising sources, and it can wreak havoc on your health.

Many toxins like bromines are common endocrine disruptors, and are part of the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine and chlorine. What makes them so dangerous for our metabolism is that they compete for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine.

In our everday world, these toxins are found in pesticides, plastics, bakery goods (dough conditioners), soft drinks, medications, fire retardants and many other commericial products.

Eat organic as often as possible. Wash all produce thoroughly. This will minimize your pesticide exposure. Avoid eating or drinking from (or storing food and water in) plastic containers. Use glass and safe ceramic vessels. Look for organic whole-grain breads and flour. Grind you own grain, if possible. Look for the "no bromine" or "bromine-free" label on commercial baked goods. Avoid sodas. Drink natural, filtered water instead. Look for personal care products that are as chemical-free as possible. Remember -- anything going on you, goes in you. When in a car or a building, open windows as often as possible, preferably on opposing sides of the space for cross ventilation.

2) Diet and Nutrition

Food supplies us with nutrients that are critical for healthy metabolism, and for health in general. Vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and probiotics are all essential nutrients, many of which cannot be produced by the body and must therefore be ingested from an outside source. Missing even one essential nutrient from your diet could have a devastating effect on your metabolism and overall health, so it’s important to understand how they work.

3) Minerals

Minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc) are critical for all tissue structures, including bones, skin and hair. They also play vital roles as electrolytes, which regulate the body’s electrical charge. That electrical charge is necessary for all cellular metabolic functions, but especially for the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of toxins.

Proper mineral balance helps moderate our body’s sodium levels, preventing water-retention, inflammations and bloating. It also maintains our body’s proper acid/alkaline balance (overacidity leads to sluggish metabolism and makes the body more vulnerable to infection and disease). Minerals even help protect the body from radioactive toxins.

Because mineral deficiencies are related to serious metabolic problems (with symptoms such as indigestion, headaches, nervousness, depression, exhaustion and impotence), it is wise to eat plenty of mineral-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables grown in mineral-rich soil, as well as seafood and especially sea vegetables.

4) Proteins

Proteins - and the essential amino acids they contain are the body’s chief building material. Adequate protein is absolutely necessary for healthy metabolism. However, to be useful, it must be properly digested and assimilated by the body (we’ll address this point in more detail later).

Good sources of complete protein (protein that includes all nine essential amino acids) are animal foods such as chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, fish and seafood. In times of short meat supply, ancient people traditionally used the combination of grain and legumes (such as rice and beans) to produce a complete-protein meal. All through the Roman Empire, in fact, beans were considered to be the “poor man’s meat” and were also the gladiators’ main food.

Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are vital for all bodily functions, and particularly important as building blocks for prostaglandins (hormones that regulate blood pressure, control inflammation and pain and support energy production, including fat burning).

EFA deficiency may cause insulin insensitivity, which negatively affects the conversion of carbohydrates into energy. Many nutritionists recommend eating fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna and mackerel) as a natural source of EFAs. However, that recommendation tends to ignore the fact that most cooking methods (including frying, poaching and baking) destroy most or all of the fish’s sensitive oils.

Taking supplemental EFA oils (such as flaxseed and primrose) is therefore highly recommended.

5) Probiotics

Probiotics, such as lactobacilli, are the friendly flora (i.e., bacteria) that live in your intestines. They assist with digestion and, at the same time, inhibit all sorts of dangerous, unfriendly organisms that would otherwise take over your digestive tract.

Probiotics help digest proteins. They also neutralize toxins in the colon. When protein isn’t fully digested, it may reach the colon and bloodstream in a toxic form. When that happens, metabolism is compromised. Allergic reactions, irritable bowel symptoms and other pathological complications can result.

Naturally fermented foods (such as yogurts with acidophilus) are a good source of friendly bacteria. Probiotic supplements are another option.

6) Enzymes

Enzymes are involved in all metabolic processes. These protein compounds work as catalysts to break down foods into nutrients that can then be assimilated or converted into energy. They also work systematically as mediators and catalysts to other hormonal, glandular and sexual functions.

In the presence of adequate and balanced nutrition, the body produces its own enzymes. However, enzyme deficiencies often occur, most often as a result of too much processed and cooked food and too little live, raw food present in the diet.

Some enzyme deficiencies are also related to aging. The older you get, the fewer enzymes your body produces. Conversely, there is some evidence that supporting your body with enzymes may actually help slow the aging process.

In the blood, enzymes work as antioxidants and also as anti-inflammatory agents. Some believe that protease enzymes (enzymes that digest protein) have anti-cancerous properties. Studies show that lipase (an enzyme that breaks down fat) may help accelerate fat burning.

There is a rule of nature that raw foods contain all enzymes necessary for their own digestion. Therefore, natural sources of the fat-burning enzyme lipase can be found in high-fat raw foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds. Those who want to maximize their enzyme intake can also take plant-enzyme supplements.

Vitamins

“Vita,” in Latin, means life. Vitamins, as the root word implies, are life carriers. They are involved in all metabolic processes, including energy production and assimilation of nutrients for the regeneration of tissues. One of the main functions of vitamins is to protect the body from harmful free radicals and toxins that are the natural byproducts of metabolism.

Vitamins and minerals work together synergistically in a precise biological balance. Vitamin deficiencies or imbalances may force the body to compromise all metabolic processes. Vitamin deficiencies also leave the body vulnerable to the damage of free radicals, which can in turn lead to tissue breakdown, disease and aging.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients, including chlorophyll, polysaccharides, sterols, saponins and lactones, are part of a huge variety of plant compounds that actively support certain metabolic processes. There are thousands of known phytochemicals, and a great deal of current research on the potential uses of these natural substances for medical purposes.

Herbs, a rich source of phytonutrients, have been used for thousands of years as metabolic enhancers and as tonics to help people recover from disease. While it would take pages to even begin to address the different functions of common herbs, let me briefly mention just a few things. Certain herbs, such as panax or Siberian ginseng, may help balance metabolic disorders and help alleviate stress-related and sexual problems. Other herbs, such as ephedra, have traditionally served as energy enhancers and fat burners.

Coffee and black tea are the most popular stimulant substances in the world. Green tea is a milder stimulant, but it contains highly potent antioxidants (polyphenols).

Before using any herbs, do your own research on processing, potency, standardization and possible side effects.

Fiber

Fiber plays a critical role in digestion, elimination and energy production. Besides helping detoxify the body through elimination of waste and toxins, fiber influences certain metabolic processes, including the conversion of carbohydrates and fats to energy. In short, fiber slows the absorption of simple sugars, thereby helping to stabilize blood sugar, regulate insulin activity and supply a steady stream of energy to the body. Certain fibers (such as mucilage and pectin) work like sponges, pulling toxins and fat away from the body so they can be more quickly eliminated as waste. For people who don’t know when to stop eating, fibrous foods can also be helpful in triggering a full, satiated feeling.

Although fiber cereals and supplements are a good way to enhance your fiber intake, consider whole foods your first line of defense. Our bodies are built to metabolize whole foods, which are naturally rich in fiber and essential nutrients. Serious metabolic problems, including excessive fat gain, are often the result of chronic consumption of over-processed, refined food. Diets deficient in fiber and minerals make people crave for the missing nutrients, which leads to a near-constant sense of hunger, and sometimes to compulsive binging.

Exercise

Exercise is the most effective method for instantly boosting metabolism. Combining exercise and proper diet naturally leads to maximum metabolic efficiency.

Both are absolutely essential. That said, I believe that diet should be your No. 1 priority. Here’s why: Both your ability to exercise and your exercise results will naturally accelerate in the presence of proper nutrition. Without proper diet, you won’t be able to effectively access energy stores, nor will you be able replace nutrients lost during exercise. When that happens, metabolism declines.

Naturally, genetics are a key factor. But so is metabolism, and metabolism is inherently dependent on how you treat your body. If you attempt to exercise intensively without supporting your body’s nutritional needs, you won’t get very far.

If you want to live in a young, vigorous, lean body, just give your body what it needs in order to reach a peak metabolic state: Eat well, exercise intensely, get enough rest. Most importantly, get to know your body from the inside out. Enjoy its power, respect its complexity, and it will repay you richly.

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

U.S. Sends Planes Armed With Depleted Uranium to Middle East


Washington's Blog | Oct 28, 2014 | David Swanson

The U.S. Air Force says it is not halting its use of Depleted Uranium weapons, has recently sent them to the Middle East, and is prepared to use them.

A type of airplane, the A-10, deployed this month to the Middle East by the U.S. Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing, is responsible for more Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination than any other platform, according to the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). “Weight for weight and by number of rounds more 30mm PGU-14B ammo has been used than any other round,” said ICBUW coordinator Doug Weir, referring to ammunition used by A-10s, as compared to DU ammunition used by tanks.

Public affairs superintendent Master Sgt. Darin L. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing told me that the A-10s now in the Middle East along with “300 of our finest airmen” have been sent there on a deployment planned for the past two years and have not been assigned to take part in the current fighting in Iraq or Syria, but “that could change at any moment.”

The crews will load PGU-14 depleted uranium rounds into their 30mm Gatling cannons and use them as needed, said Hubble. “If the need is to explode something — for example a tank — they will be used.”

Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told me, “There is no prohibition against the use of Depleted Uranium rounds, and the [U.S. military] does make use of them. The use of DU in armor-piercing munitions allows enemy tanks to be more easily destroyed.”

On Thursday, several nations, including Iraq, spoke to the United Nations First Committee, against the use of Depleted Uranium and in support of studying and mitigating the damage in already contaminated areas. A non-binding resolution is expected to be voted on by the Committee this week, urging nations that have used DU to provide information on locations targeted. A number of organizations are delivering a petition to U.S. officials this week urging them not to oppose the resolution.

In 2012 a resolution on DU was supported by 155 nations and opposed by just the UK, U.S., France, and Israel. Several nations have banned DU, and in June Iraq proposed a global treaty banning it — a step also supported by the European and Latin American Parliaments.

Wright said that the U.S. military is “addressing concerns on the use of DU by investigating other types of materials for possible use in munitions, but with some mixed results. Tungsten has some limitations in its functionality in armor-piercing munitions, as well as some health concerns based on the results of animal research on some tungsten-containing alloys. Research is continuing in this area to find an alternative to DU that is more readily accepted by the public, and also performs satisfactorily in munitions.”

“I fear DU is this generation’s Agent Orange,” U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott told me. “There has been a sizable increase in childhood leukemia and birth defects in Iraq since the Gulf War and our subsequent invasion in 2003. DU munitions were used in both those conflicts. There are also grave suggestions that DU weapons have caused serious health issues for our Iraq War veterans. I seriously question the use of these weapons until the U.S. military conducts a full investigation into the effect of DU weapon residue on human beings.”

Doug Weir of ICBUW said renewed use of DU in Iraq would be “a propaganda coup for ISIS.” His and other organizations opposed to DU are guardedly watching a possible U.S. shift away from DU, which the U.S. military said it did not use in Libya in 2011. Master Sgt. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing believes that was simply a tactical decision. But public pressure had been brought to bear by activists and allied nations’ parliaments, and by a UK commitment not to use DU.

DU is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and evidence of health damage produced by its use is extensive. The damage is compounded, Jeena Shah at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) told me, when the nation that uses DU refuses to identify locations targeted. Contamination enters soil and water. Contaminated scrap metal is used in factories or made into cooking pots or played with by children.

CCR and Iraq Veterans Against the War have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in an attempt to learn the locations targeted in Iraq during and after the 1991 and 2003 assaults. The UK and the Netherlands have revealed targeted locations, Shah pointed out, as did NATO following DU use in the Balkans. And the United States has revealed locations it targeted with cluster munitions. So why not now?

“For years,” Shah said, “the U.S. has denied a relationship between DU and health problems in civilians and veterans. Studies of UK veterans are highly suggestive of a connection. The U.S. doesn’t want studies done.” In addition, the United States has used DU in civilian areas and identifying those locations could suggest violations of Geneva Conventions.

Iraqi doctors will be testifying on the damage done by DU before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commissionin Washington, D.C., in December.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration said on Thursday that it will be spending $1.6 million to try to identify atrocities committed in Iraq . . . by ISIS.

World’s Biggest GMO & Pesticide Safety Study Ever to Be Conducted: $25 Million

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Oct 27, 2014 | Christina Sarich

A $25 million international study on GMO and pesticide safety is slated to occur at the launch of The Farmers Club in London, UK this coming November 11. This enormous study will investigate the health effects of genetically modified crops that have been used in our animal feed for years, and shows up on our grocery store shelves now without a label.

Hopefully, such a massive study will be able to authoritatively state that GMO foods and the pesticides and herbicides used to grow them are NOT safe for our environment and human health once and for all.

In a media release that Sustainable Pulse received, it was stated:
 “Farmers, retailers, governments, scientists and consumers have been involved in a heated international debate since GM foods were introduced in 1994. However, there has never been a scientific study that is comprehensive enough to give them a clear answer regarding the safety for human health of any one GM food – until now.”
 For now, the study is being titled the ‘Factor GMO’ and it is being touted as the largest and most comprehensive long-term investigation on GMOs and pesticides to date. The scientists who are involved in Factor GMO supposedly come from a ‘neutral’ background, and are not bought out by biotech interests. They also will have no connections to the anti-GMO movement. The writers of the media release state that this should add to the credibility of its findings.

Read: Top 10 Companies Killing the Natural World with Pesticides

All scientists involved are esteemed international experts in their respective fields – from Russia, Italy, and the U.S.

The release goes on to state:
“Factor GMO’ will also add valuable data of unprecedented power to enable regulators, governments and the general public of every country to answer the question: Is the GM food and associated pesticide tested safe at real-world levels of consumption and exposure? Factor GMO is the first long-term combined GMO/pesticide safety study that has involved full multi-generational, toxicology and carcinogenicity arms.”
GMO activists are hopeful about this study because most of us are already quite clear about what the report will state – that GMOs and pesticides are causing untold damage to the natural world while eradicating a long-term, sustainable food supply – all without accountability.

Henry Rowlands, Sustainable Pulse’s Director, stated:
“It is with optimism that I welcome this opportunity to find out the full truth about the possible harm caused by GMOs and pesticides to human health. This is the Ultimate Study that we have all waited 20 years for. I have always supported ‘neutral’ science.”
Be sure to check back soon with Natural Society as this massive report is released and our conclusions about GMOs are updated.