Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vermont poised to enact toughest US GMO-labeling law yet

AFP Photo / Robyn Beck
RT | Apr 24, 2014

Vermont lawmakers have passed legislation that requires food made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, to be labeled as such. The law, the first of its kind in the US, must now get approval from Gov. Peter Shumlin, who has supported the bill.

The state House of Representatives approved the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 114-30. The state Senate passed the legislation last week by a vote of 28-2.

The bill would require any foods containing GMOs sold at retail outlets to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with “genetic engineering.” The law would go into effect on July 1, 2016.

Gov. Shumlin must now sign the bill to cap the process. He again expressed support for the measure on Wednesday.

"I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food. The Legislature has spoken loud and clear through its passage of this bill," Shumlin said. "I wholeheartedly agree with them and look forward to signing this bill into law.”

Anticipating lawsuits from industry, legislators established a fund of up to $1.5 million to help the state pay for defense against any legal action. People can contribute voluntarily to the fund, and settlements won in other court cases can be added to the fund by the state attorney general, the Burlington Free Press reported.

The bill also makes it illegal to call any food that contains GMO ingredients “natural” or “all natural.”
Maine and Connecticut are the only US states that have passed GMO labeling laws, though their proposals would only go into effect if and when surrounding states also pass similar laws. GMO labeling is required in 64 countries, including the European Union.

The Center for Food Safety says dozens of states are considering GMO labeling laws on some level, as there is no federal labeling standard. Polling suggests over 90 percent of Americans would prefer GMO ingredients in consumables to be labeled to some extent.

Powerful food industry and biotechnology players are currently banding together on many fronts to protect their investment in GMO technology despite national and international pushback. Their main effort in the US is seen in federal legislation that would block states from passing mandatory GMO labeling measures like Vermont’s despite the “right to know” movement’s rising popularity.

The claim that genetically-engineered food poses no risk to human and environmental health is far from settled, despite the industry's assertions.

In October, 93 international scientists said there was a lack of empirical and scientific evidence to support what they called false claims made by the biotech industry about a so-called “consensus” on GMO safety. They said more independent research is needed, as existing studies that say GMOs are safe are overwhelmingly funded and supported by biotech companies.

The US Department of Agriculture recently voiced concerns over the potentially devastating environmental effects of GMOs.

A recent study found that global classification of GMO foods is fundamentally flawed and “has failed miserably” at protecting public health.

GMOs have been in the food supply since the 1990s, and are included in roughly 70 to 80 percent of products available to American consumers, according to food manufacturers. The most widely-used GMO crops in the US are corn, soybeans, and canola.

‘Editing DNA’ to eliminate (or contaminate) genetic conditions now a reality

Christine Daniloff / MIT
RT | Apr 22, 2014

Scientists have employed a revolutionary genome-editing computer technique that accurately identifies one faulty genetic “letter” among billions and effortlessly repairs a genetic condition in animals, paving way for human trials.

The success, by MIT in Boston, is the latest achievement in the field of genome editing that has been catapulted into the spotlight through a technology that can pinpoint genetic faults in chromosomes and literally fix them by changing tiny segments.

To test their success, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team targeted a single mutated bit in the genetic makeup of mice, which accounts for a crucial function of liver metabolism.

“What’s exciting about this approach is that we can actually correct a defective gene in a living adult animal,”
study leader Daniel Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson’s reasons for using the particular gene and condition in mice in the test are not accidental. In humans, the same condition is created by the same genetic mutation. It manifests itself in a buildup of a particular amino acid, whose accumulation inevitably leads to liver failure if not constantly kept at bay with drugs and dieting. This is why the team is excited to be able to offer the technique to humans within a few years.

“This work shows that CRISPR can be used successfully in adults, and also identifies several of the challenges that will need to be addressed moving forward to the development of human therapies,” said Charles Gersbach, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, whose comments appear on the university’s statement.

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats) relies on “cellular machinery” used by bacteria in defense against viruses. This machinery is copied and altered to create specific gene-editing complexes, which include the wonder enzyme Cas9. The enzyme works its way into the DNA and can be used to alter the molecule from the inside. The combination is attached to an RNA guide that takes the gene-editing complex to its target, telling Cas9 where to work its magic.

But that is not all. Included in this operation is also a template DNA strand. It replaces the one just damaged by the Cas9 and its material is used to create a new copy with replacement genetic material.

Markedly different from any other approach, the technique doesn’t cure the condition – it edits the actual DNA, as if the condition never existed in the first place, much like you alter a file and hit 'Save'.

The technique works by administering the developed CRISPR components by way of a high-powered syringe into a vein. And while new methods of delivery are necessary for human tests, Anderson believes it’s not unreasonable to expect their development in the near future.

For now, high-pressure injections are seen as too dangerous to be used on humans, but delivery remains the only real obstacle, aside from the work that will need to be done to identify other genes, mutations and conditions to target. Anderson’s team is currently working to develop new delivery methods.

Although the discovery of CRISPR sequences dates back to 1987, when it was first used to cure bacteria of viruses, its successes in higher animals and humans were only achieved in 2012-13, when scientists achieved a revolution by combining the resulting treatment system with Cas9 for the first time.

On April 17, the MIT’s Broad Institute announced that has been awarded the first-ever patent for working with the Crisp-Cas9 system.

The institute’s director, Eric Lander, sees the combination as “an extraordinary, powerful tool. The ability to edit a genome makes it possible to discover the biological mechanisms underlying human biology.”

The system’s advantage over other methods is in that it can also target several genes at the same time, working its way through tens of thousands of so-called 'guide' RNA sequences that lead them to the weapon to its DNA targets.

RELATED:

Report: Ebola Suspected In Europe: “Broken Through All Containment Efforts”

image
SHTFPlan.com | Apr 20, 2014 | Max Slavo

Though officials at the World Health Organization are feverishly working to stop the spread of the Ebola virus in what is now seven African nations, their efforts may be for naught. In Guinea, a hot spot for the deadly contagion, government health officials have said that the outbreak is nearly under control. Yet, Reuters reports that the government “planned to stop publicly releasing the death toll to avoid causing unnecessary panic.”

But panic may be in order.

Despite the best efforts of emergency health workers it appears that virus may have crossed out of Africa into Europe.
The outbreak of Ebola Virus in seven west African countries has broken through all containment efforts and is spreading like wildfire.  According to Christian Relief groups working in Guinea and Liberia, the number of confirmed infections jumped 15% in just the last 24 hours. In addition, 40 illegal alien migrant workers from the outbreak area, who came ashore in Pisa, Italy, are showing signs of Ebola infection and are being isolated in Pisa Italy because of fever and “conjunctivitis” (bloody around the eyes).  According to the World Health Organization, this strain of Ebola is entirely new and although it is close to the Zaire strain, it is different, thus accounting for false-negative test results . . . . . for weeks!

Those false-negative results meant people who were actually infected with Ebola, were returned to their families and neighborhoods to recover from what they believed was the Flu or a case of food poisoning, only to spread the Ebola further. 


The result has been a complete loss of containment of this Ebola outbreak.  

With the likely arrival of Ebola in Pisa, Italy, the European continent is now at severe risk.
Italian officials deny the reports, but alternative media in the country suggests this is the reason for a complete lock down of a hospital in Pisa, where it is believed to have infected some 40 individuals. Other reports trickling in from various sources like social media indicate the virus may have also appeared about 50 miles from Pisa in Tuscany, Italy.

Alarmingly, a story that appeared about the outbreak on national news wires was reportedly removed by the Italian government for “national security reasons,” suggesting that there is more to the reports than Italian officials are willing to express to the public at this time.

Though they have denied that the Pisa hospital was locked down due to Ebola, they seem to be bracing for the possibility of a severe epidemic in Rome and Milan.
(Google Translation via Italy’s Vnews24)

And ‘mystery about forty hypothetical cases of Ebola registered in our country. The virus is particularly common on the African continent – the cases “official” were recorded in Senegal, Mali and Ghana - may have arrived in Italy “thank you” to the massive exodus of immigrants to our shores. A first “bell” d ‘alarm was launched by Lampedusa. According to a report appeared in the network (and immediately removed for reasons of “national security”), in fact, April 16 would be recorded on an epidemic ‘island, never confirmed nor refuted by our Ministry of Health.

A new ”SOS” about the spread of the virus’ Ebola in the Bel Paese is, this time, from Tuscany. Means of dissemination of the news shock is always the network: blogs, social networks, websites dedicated highlighted the “Curious Case of St. Flushing,” reception center site in Pisa, closed to the public due to the presence, all ‘inside of it, forty non-EU nationals which are to some strange symptoms. Capuzzi Sandra, Councillor for Social Policies of the Municipality of Pisa, he would have dismissed the alarmism of his countrymen, by classifying the health status of the refugees in the structure in these terms: “They have just a little bit fever, caused by stressful travel conditions under which the children were subjected. “

Fear, meanwhile, remains. The forty possible carriers of the virus’ Ebola have been subjected to all the tests required in high-risk situations. The Italian population, however, does not feel the climate of reassurance that high institutional positions and subjected try to transmit information through various channels, official and unofficial. The tension increases, although the Ministry of Health said that, in the unlikely event of an outbreak, Rome and Milan would be ready to face the ‘epidemic.
According to Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief group actively working with hospitals and health officials in Guinea and Liberia, what makes Ebola so dangerous is that it can be transmitted through human contact and may take weeks before symptoms appear:
The initial Ebola outbreak in Guinea is believed to have started when hunters came in contact with infected fruit bats. The Ebola virus is spread between humans through direct contact. Once infected, it can take up to 21 days for symptoms to appear, which include high fever, headaches, and fatigue. At that point, the infected person is contagious.
With details lacking and health officials opting to keep reports of infections from the public, it is impossible to know exactly how far the virus has spread.

As noted above, this new strain was not identified immediately, thus blood tests of people showing possible symptoms may have shown false-negatives even though those individuals may have been carrying the virus. Once returned to the general population and assuming they did not contract the virus, it is certainly possible that it was then transmitted to others.

If Ebola has taken hold in Italy, then we can expect more reported cases all over the continent in coming weeks, with the real possibility that the virus could make its way to U.S. shores via hundreds of international flights arriving on a daily basis.

It’s understandable that government officials do not want to overreact and cause panic, especially insofar as global air travel is concerned, because doing so would lead to a lock down of airports worldwide.

The panic would be unprecedented.

As noted by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, even if the public became aware that a pandemic was in progress, many would remain in denial about such a prospect and would remain oblivious to the long-term repercussions. She notes that the effects of a pandemic could be swift and drastic, leading to societal upheaval :
Understanding that our lives will change drastically if the population is faced with a pandemic and being prepared for this can help you make better choices toward the well being of your family. Some changes could be:
  • Shut downs of business commerce
  • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
  • Payroll service interruptions
  • Staffing shortages in hospitals and medical clinics
  • Interruptions in public facilities – Schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings such as sporting events or worship services may close temporarily.
  • Government mandated voluntary or involuntary home quarantine.
(Source: Pandemic Preparedness)
Given the continued spread of the virus to numerous countries in Africa, and now possibly Europe, we urge readers to remain vigilant and have, at the very least, their basic essentials in place.

This virus is incurable and is believed to have a mortality rate of up to 85% of those infected.

If it is spreading outside of Africa, then it is only a matter of time – perhaps several weeks – before it becomes apparent in developing nations.
These posted probabilities are in no way authoritative, and should be considered a “best guess” only.

Probabilities of unchecked infection at this point, based upon a method of travel, times and frequencies of airline flights to various cities, also including certain assumed volumes of “mixed maritime” traffic between north Africa and southern Europe -  the Probability that Ebola will strike is:

63% in Italy within 8 days
44% in Spain within 15 days
77% in Riyadh/Saudi within 21 days
40% in Libya within 25 days
29% in the US within 28 days
37% in Egypt within 33 days

By the time we get to 35 days, it can be in 25 countries on 4 continents.


(Source: TRN)
In the United States, the CDC has issued a travel alert to airlines and set up emergency quarantine stations at domestic airports, though there are no specific guidelines in place at this time according to BD Live:
The US is well prepared to handle infected patients on its soil with 20 CDC quarantine stations in place at US airports that are designed to deal with anyone who has symptoms of a wide range of infectious illnesses, including Ebola, according to spokeswoman Christine Pearson. Despite the outbreak, there are no special requests or guidelines to airlines about Ebola, though the CDC has issued a travel alert, she said.

“The time it takes to travel from rural Guinea to anywhere in the US is more than enough time to incubate the virus and be symptomatic,”
Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Laurie Garrett said in New York.
If in the next month we see Ebola popping up in North America then we may have a serious problem on our hands.

This is a developing report and is in no way conclusive. Official statements from the WHO, CDC and European governments have yet to confirm Ebola’s crossover into Europe or the United States. Updates will be provided as details become available.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bought - Your Health Is Being Brought To You By Wall Street

Prevent Disease | Apr 23, 2014 | Dave Mihalovic

Most of our audience falls between either very well informed or at least skeptical about vaccines, genetically modified foods and Big Pharma. The film Bought - The Truth Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma and Your Food, has combined all three of these topics into one very well organized presentation, while delivering powerful messages on the issues of our health being sold out through big pharmaceutical companies, dangerous vaccinations and a food supply chain contaminated by the use of GMOs.


Bought - Your Health Is Now Brought To You By... by PreventDisease

Bought is a film dedicated to uncovering, exposing and highlighting the facts all individuals have a right to know. Andrew Wakefield may have been credited for the global awakening of the potential relationship between MMR vaccinations and autism, which has been highly controversial and debated heavily, but Bought is committed to uncovering the facts so each person can make the decision that is right for him or her.

Landmark cases have been won this year in U.S. Vaccine Court, granting families of autistic children financial awards for the damage caused to their children by vaccinations. For the first time ever, several of these families have agreed to be interviewed on camera, and let their stories be heard publicly.


“Andrew Wakefield has a role in this film because there is new evidence that has been uncovered that suggests his findings were correct. The media has tried him and virtually ruined his reputation. I’m here to expose the facts because I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, it appears much of the medical / industrial / governmental machine is about sacrificing a few, for the supposed greater good of others,” said Jeff Hays, producer of Bought. “We intend to ignite a national conversation that involves parents nationwide and stirs the curiosity of millions. I want to ignite that innate portion of our human instinct that is designed to question and ultimately protect each of us from harm. I know this is controversial, and it should be. The days of just accepting what the medical community, the media and the government say should be gone.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that vaccines work, that vaccines are safe, and that vaccines are necessary. Yet:

Over 5,000 cases alleging a causal relationship between vaccinations and autism have been filed under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the US Court of Federal Claims between 2001 and 2009.

The US Court of Federal Claims Office of Special Masters, between 1988 and 2009, has awarded compensation to 1,322 families whose children suffered brain damage from vaccines

Over $2 billion dollars has been awarded to families who have been injured or killed by vaccine reactions by this “Vaccine Court.”

About 30,000 cases of adverse reactions to vaccines have been reported annually to the federal government since 1990, with 13% classified as serious, meaning associated with permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness or death.

“I was warned not to include Andrew Wakefield in the production of this film.” said Jeff Hays. He’s a lightening rod, and can automatically draw criticism to a project that has just begun. But this film isn’t about defending Andrew, the facts are going to vindicate Andrew Wakefield. This film is to help people determine what kind of country we want to live in: either one where we each have personal medical freedom...or one where the government decides what’s best for our children.”

Parents are bombarded with tons of information and Jeff is dedicated to providing one source of education and to create a portal where answers can be found. Experts are being interviewed and never before information is being revealed.

Jeff Hays and Bobby Sheehan decided to enlist the public in the fund raising activities and are hosting their campaign on the popular Indigogo site, at http://www.supportboughtmovie.com. They are one-third of the way to the fund-raising goal, which is further evidence of the power of crowd funding, especially with such a controversial topic as this.

Jeff’s parting comment, “Just look at the fact that it wasn’t until 1998 that the U.S. Public Health Service Group determined that thimerosal could give children a dose of mercury that exceeded the limit considered safe by government standards. Every person has the right to know what they are consuming or being given by the medical community.”

The film also examines the ongoing threats of genetically modified foods which are now being widely spoken against by even former pro-gmo scientists. The world is awakening to all of these health threats and Bought give us an incredible perspective on where we stand as a planet on these issues.

What experts are saying:


Toni Bark, M.D.: "What we see today is frightening and it needs to wake everybody up. We've gone from looking at things scientifically to looking at what's best for the industry. We didn't used to see all these chronic debilitating diseases. It's time for a change."

Barbara Loe Fisher: "We've tripled the numbers of doses of vaccine we're giving our children. We have seen this increase in chronic immune and brain dysfunction. A mother must have the right to make a decision."

Gayle Delong, Ph.D.: "We need to have the vaccinated vs unvaccinated study. That study has never been done. They have so many conflicts of interest. My only interest is to get my two daughters well."

Sherri Tenpenny, D.O.: "By 2014, hospitals need to have a vaccination rate for flu shots of 95 percent or greater or they're going to have a reduction in their Medicare reimbursements. It's a business."

Mary Holland: "We have a pipeline of hundreds of vaccines. It's a $30 billion a year industry. The government has said, we want all children to be vaccinated. They're safe and effective for everybody. Now, the evidence doesn't suggest that."

James Chestnut, M.Sc., D.C. "The policy comes from government and where does the government get their data? From the people who make the drugs or the vaccines. That's dangerous."

Gordon Schnell: "Our clients were directed to falsify the data. If one of the major vaccine manufacturers in this country is not being forthright with efficacy, then this is something that needs to come forward."

Allen Jones: "I encountered improper payments by the pharmaceutical industry to key state officials to implement a drug protocol at a state level. These drugs were not nearly as efficacious or safe as the drug companies were pretending they were. I was told, back off."

Schnell: "Part of the explanation was the words, 'business decision.'"

Dawn Loughborough: "Drugs that get approved through the FDA, fifty percent of them get pulled off the shelf because they do in fact fail. We have deep pockets marketing how things are going."

Bill Maher: "Obama said in 2007, we would label genetically modified food."
Video insert of Obama saying, 'Because Americans should know where their food comes from."

Bark: "Genetically modified food is the next big thing for share holders, for investors, for the industry. It is one big experiment that the industry wants you to be a part of."

Tara Cook-Littman: 'The number one argument that we heard was that labeling would confuse consumers.

Jayson Catton: "GMOs are banned in multiple countries across the world. We created genetically modified food, so are we going to ban it here? Of course not. Monsanto is an American company. Their goal is to dominate the seeds globally."

Patrick Gentempo, D.C.: "Just the idea that we shouldn't label something what it is because people might not buy if we do, it's horrific, it's unethical. It's sickening."

Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D.: "Diabetes, obesity, kidney failure, Alzheimer's Disease, autism--all of these diseases are matched with the use of Roundup on GMO corn and soy. I would think Monsanto would be terrified for people to find out how bad their product is on our health."

Loughborough: "You see honey bees disappearing in the environment because of pesticides. It's very much a mirror of what's going on in the environment."

Bark: "Agriculture and pharma, they're really one consortium. We've allowed organizations to become so big that there's no way there could be a moral compass there. We have to demand better."

Cook-Littman: "The politicians have to listen to their constituents."

Loe-Fisher: "Until we get active in this country and fight for our right to be able to make informed choices, we're going to be in handcuffs."

Cook-Littman: "This is about taking back the legislative process. Who better to do it than people fighting for their children's futures?

Please help promote this film to give it the audience it deserves.

Bought - The Truth Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma and Your Food

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

The Netherlands Say NO to Glyphosate, Monsanto’s RoundUp Herbicide

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Apr 22, 2014 | Christina Sarich

First Russia, Tasmania, and Mexico say no to Monsanto and now, the Netherlands have passed a similar ban, determined to keep Glyphosate-laced herbicides away from the general public for good.

Starting from the end of 2015, the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides to private parties will be prohibited due to a recent decision by the Dutch Parliament. People who spray RoundUp on their gardens and lawns will have to find another form of pest control since glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, has been linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, nervous system damage, and kidney disease.

Several years ago, the Dutch Lower House wanted to ban glyphosate aside from agricultural use (it is unclear why they wouldn’t want to ban it altogether, aside from Monsanto’s influence), but the ban is just now passing with parliamentary approval. This is due, in part, to the Dutch cabinet making all sorts of exceptions to the requested ban that was then proposed.

The Party for Animals motion has been adopted by the cabinet, making it increasingly difficult for them to ignore environmental issues, like the heavy use of glyohosate. Political parties PvdA, CU, 50+, GroenLinks, SP, and PVV support the motion by Esther Ouwehand - one of the two Members of Parliament for the Party for the Animals - which she has submitted together with Gerard Schouw (D66).

Study: Sick People Have Higher Levels of Toxic Glyphosate

Citizens of the Netherlands have been expressing their concern over glyphosate chemicals at Gifkikker.nl, a notification centre launched last April by the Party for the Animals and a foundation called Bollenboos. The Dutch Health Council praised this initiative, because until this forum was set up, communities had no formal body to express their concerns to.

Hopefully, the Dutch government is more transparent than our own. Millions have expressed their desire to ban GMOs in the US, but the FDA, USDA, and President do absolutely nothing. Michelle Obama even completely ignored the issue in a recent discussion on the new FDA food label changes. You can sign a petition here, to tell her that you want GMOs labeled.

The Netherlands are adding their name to what will soon be a long list of countries that are saying ‘NO’ to Monsanto.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Scary Truth About the New York City Flu Vaccine Mandate

Photo Credit
VacTruth | Apr 21, 2014 | Missy Fluegge

This year, 150,000 children will be added to the list of victims of forced vaccination. The leaders of New York City have mandated that all children under the age of six years old who attend day care or preschool must be vaccinated with the flu vaccine.

The official requirement mandates that all children between the ages of six months and five years who will be attending day care or preschool in New York City must be vaccinated between July 1 and December 31 of any given year. One health official claims that the rule won’t officially be enforced until the end of 2014, and a press release from the New York City Board of Health states that they will begin issuing violations on January 1, 2016. [1] [2]

New York City already mandates that children must be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, chicken pox, and tetanus. The new mandate is expected to affect 150,000 children under the age of six. Daycare and preschool facilities will be required to enforce the mandates or face they will face fines. [3]

Reason #1: It Interferes with Parental Choice

Regardless of people’s views about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, many people would agree that it should be an individual’s right to choose – or, in the case of a minor, a parent’s right to choose – which substances are injected into their body.

Well-known groups comprising large numbers of employees in New York are already opposed to vaccine mandates, including the New York State Public Employees Federation and the New York State Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). [4]

In its own statement regarding vaccination, even the American Medical Association (AMA) grants approval for medical personnel to receive exemptions for vaccines  due to a “recognized medical, religious, or philosophic reason,” exemptions which are more lenient than those granted to babies and preschool children affected by the NYC mandate.

Also in question is whether or not the city government has the authority to mandate vaccines. City officials claim that their Health Department has “authority over all matters concerning health in New York City” through the City Charter.

Recently, many Americans were outraged by the decision of officials from United Arab Emirates to mandate forced breastfeeding for the first two years of a child’s life. We knew that forcing someone to breastfeed, regardless of the benefits of breastfeeding, infringed on their personal right to make choices about their own bodies. Yet, some people fail to recognize that vaccination, the injection of foreign substances into one’s body, should also be a choice. [5]

Reason #2: The Flu Vaccine is Ineffective 

The most recent statistics, based on scientific studies published by well-known media channels such as USA Today and The Huffington Post, demonstrate the flu vaccine’s inability to prevent the flu. Contrary to what vaccine manufacturers want us to believe, the flu vaccine will not make us healthier.

An article published on the website for USA Today stated, “This season’s flu vaccine was almost completely ineffective in people 65 and older.” One source from Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine stated, “Everyone at CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting was scratching their heads over this.” [6] A similar article published by The Huffington Post reported an overall effectiveness rate of only 59 percent. [7]

Older adults are not the only group of people who experience few benefits from the flu vaccine. The CDC itself, when answering the question “How effective is the flu vaccine in children?” on its website, admits that “reduced benefits of flu vaccine are often found in studies of young children,” especially those under two years of age, the very age group targeted by this vaccine mandate. [8]

Influenza and similar illnesses can be caused by over 200 to 300 viruses, and some research indicates that vaccines may be most effective against combating influenza A and B, which comprise a mere ten percent of circulating viruses. Often, people mistake flu-like symptoms for influenza, and they don’t actually have the flu.
Furthermore, if you win the “flu lottery,” by actually contracting one of the three strains of flu that happens to be in this season’s flu vaccine, the vaccine will be worthless if your body hasn’t fully responded to the vaccine (which takes two weeks) or if too much time (more than three months) has passed between vaccination and viral exposure. [9] [10]

Reason #3: The Flu Vaccine is Dangerous 

According to the CDC, the flu vaccine contains thimerosal, aluminum, antibiotics, egg protein, aborted human fetal cells, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Our immune systems may be unable to combat these foreign, toxic substances, especially while under the influence of very common conditions such as high sugar intake, low vitamin D3 levels, and damaged gut lining.

According to a search of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website, in the past five years,  (during the period from January 2009 until February 2014) there were 55, 578 adverse events reported to VAERS related to the flu vaccine. Of these adverse events, 7,904 affected children under the age of six. [11]

Most disturbing among these numbers are the reported 47 children age five and under who died after receiving the flu vaccine during the past five years alone.

Keep in mind, vaccine injuries and deaths are grossly under-reported. Less than ten percent of vaccine injuries are actually reported, which brings the likely death toll from the flu vaccine to over one hundred children per year. [12]

Are There Exemptions for This Mandate? 

Yes, although options for parents who don’t wish to vaccinate their children are limited. New York State allows medical and religious exemptions, although philosophical exemptions against vaccines are not granted. Fortunately, children who attend family day cares in people’s homes are currently exempt from the flu vaccine mandate. [13]

Conclusion 

Families should not be forced to inject their child with toxic substances. They should not be forced to receive a vaccine that is ineffective and dangerous. They should not be forced to give up their preferred choice for quality, early childhood education and care programs in order to avoid forced vaccination. Families should be allowed to make the choices for their health and well-being that are best for their family.

If your child attends day care or preschool in New York City, we urge you to contact your elected officials and tell them you are against forced vaccination for your child. In addition, you may exercise your right to choose a religious exemption from the flu vaccine mandate, or enroll your child in a family day care, where they will be exempt from mandatory vaccination against the flu.

Finally, whether or not your child is affected by the latest NYC vaccine mandate, we urge you to learn about vaccine legislation where you live and research vaccine ingredients. You can download a free vaccine research guide right now to protect your child from unwanted, toxic substances contained in vaccines.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Stumped About How to Eat? Yale Scientist Compares All Diets and Finds REAL Food Best

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Apr 20, 2014 | Christina Sarich

What should you do to get back in shape this Spring? Try a paleo-diet, go vegan? How about the Mediterranean diet, or even experiment with a low-carb diet? It turns out, according to a study recently published in Annual Reviews by a highly credentialed medical expert, Dr. David Katz, that the best food – is REAL food.

Forget about infomercials, questionable advice from your trainer at the gym, or the latest diet craze. All you need to do is put away the processed, non-food, junk you’ve been eating and you can expect to loose weight, feel better, and actually be – here’s a novel idea – healthier.

Credible nutritionists have been saying it forever, and even foodies know that nothing can take the place of real food – not GMO, not chemical laden biotech food, or things filled with artificial preservatives, colors flavorings, and more non-food stuff that our bodies don’t want or need. It can get confusing because one expert will tout the benefits of lowering carbs, and another or minimizing calories, then another will convincingly argue that you just need to combine certain foods for the best overall effect. It turns out that all of this, and your conscience probably already knows this –that real food is the answer.

We all have had inclinations of eating better – whether it was to cure ourselves from a serious disease like cancer or diabetes, or for more superficial reasons, like wanting to look better in a bathing suit, but real, and dramatic changes can happen in lifespan, and the reduction of chronic illness when we eat right. Study after study has compelled us to eat more nutritious foods, and now the latest compares all the ‘popular’ or ‘fad’ diets, and finds, unequivocally, that real food still wins.

—the data in favor of optimizing our diets are even more compelling. No one is arguing that diet is less than extremely important to health and well-being, but seemingly everyone is arguing as to what constitutes the best diet.

Dr. David Katz works at Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, and he rebels against a sea of disinformation about what people should eat to be healthy. He looks down on of-the-moment diet fads and dangerous crazes that many of his contemporaries – even other doctors promote without sound reason.

Katz compared the medical evidence for every mainstream diet around right now, and said, ‘he didn’t have a dog in the fight right now,’ meaning his research was largely without bias because he isn’t selling a diet pill or some other special fad-diet in a get-rich scheme. In a recent interview, he said”

“I don’t care which diet is best. I care about the truth.”

Katz published his findings with colleague, Stephanie Meller in a paper titled, “Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?” They compared all the trend diets of the day: Low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic, vegan, and elements of other diets.

Katz says that despite the prevalent promotion of these diets in mainstream media, there are few studies proving they actually work:

“There have been no rigorous, long-term studies comparing contenders for best diet laurels using methodology that precludes bias and confounding. For many reasons, such studies are unlikely.”
Conversely, he found that:
“A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”
Among the important points made by the article are these:
  • Plant-based diets (non-GMO,organic, real plants, I might add) are nutritional powerhouses which support a wide variety of favorable health outcomes. These include lower rates of heart disease and cancer. These diets don’t just include fruits and vegetables, but real grains, nuts and seeds.
  • Katz and Meller found that ‘low-fat’ diets are no better than diets high in real, healthful fats (not fake, man-made ones). The Mediterranean diet is only successful because it contains a lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than the typical American diet. Americans also rely far too much on unhealthy fats like trans-fats.
  • Moderating meat intake, and alcohol improves health.
  • Increasing natural fiber improves health, including, “defense against neurodegenerative disease and preservation of cognitive function, reduced inflammation, and defense against asthma.”
  • Carbohydrate-selective diets are better than simply low-carb diets. Attention to glycemic index is important, but not the most important thing – since carrots, for example have a high glycemic index, but can cure cancer. Again, it goes back to eating real food.
  • One of the most important points of the study was this one: “if Paleolithic eating is loosely interpreted to mean a diet based mostly on meat, no meaningful interpretation of health effects is possible.”
Katz is frustrated with the misinformation about how diet affects health:
“It’s not just linguistic, I really at times feel like crying, when I think about that we’re paying for ignorance with human lives . . . At times, I hate the people with alphabet soup after their names who are promising the moon and the stars with certainty. I hate knowing that the next person is already rubbing his or her hands together with the next fad to make it on the bestseller list.”
It’s a radical notion in today’s GMO-promoted, FDA-ignorant, pharmaceutical-pushing world, but real food can cure you. You may want to try eating some.

Leave parents free to choose vaccines

© Sott.net
Sott.net | Apr 13, 2014 | Barbara Loe Fisher USA Today

The public conversation about vaccine safety and choice began after Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, shielding drug companies from product liability and doctors from vaccine-injury lawsuits. Under that law, $3 billion has been paid to the vaccine injured while liability-free drug companies enjoy profits from a multibillion dollar market.

U.S. health officials now recommend 69 doses of 16 vaccines for every child. States mandate up to 15 of them - twice as many as 30 years ago.

With 95% of U.S. kindergarteners fully vaccinated and one child in six learning disabled, one in 10 asthmatic and one in 50 living with autism, educated parents and health care professionals are asking legitimate questions about why so many highly vaccinated children are so sick. They're examining vaccine science shortfalls and wondering why Americans are coerced and punished for declining to use every government-recommended vaccine while citizens in Canada, Japan and the European Union are free to make choices.

Vaccines carry two risks: a risk of harm and a risk of failure to prevent disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admit that U.S. pertussis outbreaks are not due to a failure to vaccinate but failure of the vaccine to confer long-lasting immunity.

The Institute of Medicine acknowledges major gaps in scientific knowledge about how and why vaccines cause injury and death and who will be more susceptible to suffering harm. Vaccine risks are not shared equally by all because "no exceptions" vaccine mandates discriminate against and penalize those vulnerable to vaccine complications.

Public health officials and pediatricians are not infallible. What is considered scientific "truth" today may not be true tomorrow. When doctors cannot predict who will be harmed by a vaccine and cannot guarantee that those who have been vaccinated won't get infected or transmit infection, the ethical principle of informed consent becomes a civil, human and parental right that must be safeguarded in U.S. law.

Non-medical vaccine exemptions immunize individuals and the community against unsafe, ineffective vaccines and tyranny.

About the author

Barbara Loe Fisher is co-founder and president of the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC.org).

Source: Examples of 'vaccine science shortfalls'

Doctor Calls for Truth on Vaccines
Parents Distrust, Delay Vaccines, Survey Finds
Historical Data Shows Vaccines are Not what Saved Us
Lead vaccine developer comes clean so she can "sleep at night"
Vaccines Have Serious Side Effects - The Institute of Medicine Says So!
"Police State" - Registry system being set up to track your vaccination status
Dr. Suzanne Humphries, practicing nephrologist, on the safety and efficacy of vaccines
Vaccines Are Causing Mutations That May Jeopardize The Health of Future Generations
A finer order of control: Monitoring system to globally track 'false social media claims on dangers of vaccines'

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Psychoneuroimmunology—How Inflammation Affects Your Mental Health

Mercola.com | Apr 17, 2014 | Dr. Kelly Brogan MD

Psychoneuroimmunology. This is what I aim to practice. Medical terms of this length command our respect for the interconnectedness of different subspecialties, for the futile segmentation and compartmentalization of the body into different organ systems.

As discussed in this previous article I wrote for Dr. Mercola, deconstructing the serotonin model of depression, psychiatry is in a crisis. It can no longer stand on its own, throwing more and more medications at its perceived target. 

It seems, therefore, fitting that psychiatry would follow the investigative path of other lifestyle-triggered chronic diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and heart disease. There already exists a bidirectional relationship between all of the major chronic diseases and psychiatric diagnoses (patients who struggle with chronic diseases are more likely to be depressed and vice versa). 
The role of inflammation, across these disease states, is better elucidated each day. Let's deconstruct what is known as it applies to mental health.
Inflammation and Depression
In this model, depression is a non-specific fever that tells us little about what is actually causing the body to react and protect itself in this way. The body is "hot" and we need to understand why. Depressive symptoms are the manifestation of many downstream effects on hormones and neurotransmitters, but if we swim up to the source, we will find a river of inflammatory markers coursing by.

The source itself may be singularly or multiply-focused as stress, dietary, and toxic exposures, and infection, as we will discuss here. As explored in the medical literature,1 inflammation appears to be a highly relevant determinant of depressive symptoms such as flat mood, slowed thinking, avoidance, alterations in perception, and metabolic changes. We understand this relationship based on:

Biomarkers 

Psychiatrists have longed to be legitimized in their role as science-based physicians. Despite this, there are no diagnostic tests that are validated for the assessment of psychiatric pathology. In the practice of functional medicine, however, the diagnosis becomes secondary to the individual's personalized interplay of factors and the "biomarkers" that can light the way toward healing.

Cytokines in the blood, or inflammatory messengers, such as CRP, IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-alpha have taken the stage as predictive2 and linearly3 correlative with depression. 

Researchers have validated4 that, in melancholic depression, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express pro-inflammatory genes leading to secretion of cytokines, while simultaneously leading to decreased cortisol sensitivity, the body's stress hormone and inflammatory buffer – a feedforward cycle.

Once triggered in the body, these inflammatory agents transfer information to the nervous system, typically through stimulation of major nerves such as the vagus, which connects5 the gut and brain. Specialized cells called microglia in the brain represent the brain's immune hubs and are activated in inflammatory states.

In activated microglia, an enzyme called IDO (indoleamine 2 3-dioxygenase) has been shown6 to direct tryptophan away from the production of serotonin and melatonin and towards the production of an NMDA agonist called quinolinic acid that may be responsible for symptoms of anxiety and agitation.

These are just some of the changes that may conspire to let your brain in on what your body may know is wrong.

Animal Models

While an animal model of depression may seem like an absurd idea, currently, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin produced by gram-negative bacteria, is used to induce these clinical models in rodents.

Mice that lack IL1-B7 (a cytokine that mediates inflammatory response), however, are protected against these LPS-mediated "depressive symptoms" (i.e., as demonstrated by loss of interest in sugar water), supporting the critical role of inflammatory messengers in the depressogenic cascade.

Pharmacology

One of the most predictable side effects of interferon therapy for Hepatitis C is depression. In fact, 45 percent of patients develop depression8 with interferon treatment, which appears to be related to elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF.

A number of trials have examined the role of anti-inflammatory agents in the treatment of depression. In one recent trial,9 a subset of patients resistant to antidepressant treatment and identified by serum markers of inflammation, most notably C-reactive protein >3mg/L, were responsive to treatment with the TNF-alpha antagonist (anti-inflammatory) infliximab (Remicade).

The pain-killer celecoxib (Celebrex) has been found in randomized, placebo-controlled trials10 to be superior to placebo in antidepressant augmentation. In the setting of psoriasis treatment with etanercept (Enbrel), mood was improved11 independent of psoriatic relief.

There has even been suggestion that the mechanism of action of antidepressants is through an anti-inflammatory effect, particularly on IL6. However, these observational studies have been largely inconclusive.12
The Gut-Brain Dance
What is driving this inflammation? How does it get kicked off? And how does it induce depression? With the limited clinical applications and revelations that came with the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2002, we have begun to focus on where we have outsourced our physiologic functions.

The microbiome has become an important consideration, and particularly, the gut, which houses at least 10 times as many human cells as there are in our bodies, and 150 times as many genes as are in our genome. These microbes control many vital operations and are responsible for synthesis of neuroactive and nutritional compounds, for immune modulation, and for inflammatory signaling.

Our greatest interface with the environment is the 70+ percent of your immune system housed in your gut wall. Disturbances in gut microbiota, autoimmunity, head injury, childbirth, and infection can all trigger systemic inflammation. This immune activity takes the form of a TH1 dominant cellular response in which macrophages produce ILI, IL6, and TNFalpha, all of which have been shown to be elevated in the setting of depression.

The communication between our guts and brains appears to rely, in part, on the vagus nerve, and is bidirectional in nature as reported in this 12-year prospective study13 that looked at relationships between gut problems like irritable bowel disease, anxiety, and depression.
The stage is set for the microbiome when we descend the vaginal canal and are breastfed. Unfortunately, the rate of cesarean sections doubled from 1990-2008, comprising one-third of US births. Maternal inflammatory states and diseases such as type 1 diabetes can increase risk of surgical birth, as can interventions such as ultrasound, 14 monitoring, and the epidural.15 Without vaginal transfer of mom's flora, the baby misses out on the most important inoculation.

A study16 of 24 Canadian babies at four months demonstrated that elective section resulted in the most diminished bacterial diversity. Surgically born babies had significantly less Bacteroides and Escherichia-Shigella species. In this cohort, formula-fed babies had overrepresentation of Clostridium difficile, Peptostreptococcaceae, and Verrucomicrobiaceae. Excitingly, research is being done on "vaginal swabs" for inoculation in the setting of C-section.17
The Importance of Breast Milk
In our nationwide departure from physiologic birth and breastfeeding, less than one-quarter of women can be expected to be nursing by 12 months postpartum. Breast milk18 contains unique nutrients for beneficial bacteria called oligosaccharides, but importantly, it is the vital follow up to the mother's vaginal flora, designed to support the baby's immune system during its infancy marked by an "anti-inflammatory" phenotype. During these first few months, the baby relies on the mother's breast milk to help inform its immune system of what is dangerous.

Over the course of lactation beginning with colostrum, the makeup of these bacteria and growth factors changes.19 A recent study20 confirms that mom's gut bacteria are vertically transferred through breast milk and that this "entero-mammary" connection is what helps to develop the baby's immune system. This is the beginning of natural immunity, which is so much more complex than vaccinologists would have you believe.

One of the many problems with formula is the glaring omission of these microbes leaving the baby susceptible to colonization by inappropriate strains, suboptimal diversity, and stimulation of the immune system by many of the toxic compounds in this synthetic food. In fact, infants fed breast milk had an anti-inflammatory cytokine milieu throughout infancy.21 Here22 is a stunning analysis of formula shortcomings.

Interestingly, this rat study23 demonstrated that the types of bacteria in the guts of these rat pups determined their response to stress on a physiologic level, and that it was more difficult to correct later in their rat-infancy. The gut bacteria influenced behavior and brain growth in these animals. I speak about some of the impediments to adequate milk supply here,24 but formula feeding25 in the hospital and "supplementation" is a major offender.
Gluten Promotes Depression
Often processed with genetically modified oils in high glycemic foods, gluten is a brain and body poison. Its havoc begins in the gut, where it promotes intestinal permeability by upregulating a compound called zonulin. Local gut inflammation (often lectin-induced) precedes more systemic inflammatory responses accompanied by antibodies to the different components of gluten (gliadin and glutenin), complexes with enzymes called transglutaminase, and to tissue in the brain, gut, and thyroid through a process called molecular mimicry.

The neurologic effects of gluten intolerance include depression, seizures, headaches, multiple sclerosis/demyelination, anxiety, ADHD, ataxia, neuropathy as discussed here and here. Independent of the brain effects already discussed, gliadin peptides may travel through the blood stream and can stimulate opiate receptors in the brain, resulting in their being termed gliadorphins, accounting for temporary withdrawal symptoms! Get the full scoop in my anti-gluten missive.
The Impact of Unnatural Foods: GMOs
In the past year, there has been an explosion of terrifying information on the impact of herbicides like Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) on our gut microbiome. As it turns out, this chemical is very active in slaughtering beneficial bugs in your intestines via its impact on the "shikimate pathway" previously assumed not to exist in humans.

By imbalancing this flora, pesticides/herbicides also disrupt the production of essential amino acids like tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, and promote production of p-cresol, a compound that interferes with metabolism of other "xenobiotics" or environmental chemicals, making the individual more vulnerable to their toxic effects. Even vitamin D3 activation in the liver may be negatively impacted by glyphosate's effect on liver enzymes, potentially explaining epidemic levels of deficiency.

We also have evidence26 that insecticidal toxins such as “Bt” are transferred into the blood of pregnant women and their fetuses, and that glyphosate herbicide transfers to breast milk. Delve27 into this fascinating analysis of what we are learning about these chemicals in our food supply. Genetic modification of foods, in addition to guaranteeing exposure to pest and herbicides, confer risks of gene transference to human gut bacteria, even after a singular exposure.
The Hazards of NSAIDs
Most people think of ibuprofen as an innocuous, over–the-counter comfort for aches and pains. Some are so lulled into a sense of safety and efficacy, that they keep these pills in their purses and nightstands for even daily use. In addition to other known risks, its effects on the small and large intestine may be best summarized by this statement:28
"The initial biochemical local sub-cellular damage is due to the entrance of the usually acidic NSAID into the cell via damage of the brush border cell membrane and disruption of the mitochondrial process of oxidative phosphorylation, with consequent ATP deficiency"
For anyone who recognizes the role of brush border integrity and energy production in health, this is quite a damning assertion. We need the gut lining to keep the gut contents away from the blood stream. Resulting increases in permeability allow for luminal factors (intestinal contents) to access the immune system and to set off autoimmune and inflammatory processes. More recent evidence29 suggests that unbalanced gut bacteria set the stage for NSAID-induced permeability through neutrophil stimulation. These changes occur within three to six months. There are no ways to mitigate these negative effects, which argues for getting to the root of why one is experiencing pain and resolving it through lifestyle change rather than suppressing it with medications that will whack-a-mole their way to new, chronic, and potentially more debilitating symptoms.
The Role of Stress
The monoamine hypothesis of depression has very little to say about brain/hormone interplay. The majority of studies30suggest that depression is associated with high cortisol states, and potentially from responses of this stress-system that were ingrained at birth or before. In the context of inflammation, however, cortisol, prolactin, and sex hormones are often dysregulated; in this model, depression is thought to represent a hypercortisolemic state which may result from elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. 

Peripheral glucocorticoid resistance may exacerbate this elevation in cortisol (by interfering with feedback mechanisms) and immune response, simultaneously, which would also drive changes in sex hormones progesterone, insulin, and androgens31 ultimately affecting mood states. Sleep is often compromised in states of stress, and sleep difficulties can also beget stress. The inflammatory effects of insufficient sleep were quantified in a study32 that deprived participants of sleep (just under six hours) for one week resulting in expression of genes associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.
How to Resolve It—You Feel What You Eat
Restoring optimal gut flora requires a variety of interventions, but beginning with a grain- and dairy-free diet, eliminating sugar, and genetically modified foods is a good place to start. Remember the role of LPS in depression? How depressive patients are more likely to have intestinal permeability allowing for toxic intestinal agents to circulate in their bodies? A traditional/ancestral diet may be an important modulator, according to Selhub et al. who state:33
"Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations."
For some, a FODMAPs diet may be indicated, and for others, a GAPs or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This dietary approach will also confer the insulin stabilizing benefits of a high-fat, slower burning metabolic shift which protects cortisol, thyroid, and sex hormones. Increasing natural fats may also serve to protect the 60 percent lipid content of the central nervous system, precursors to hormones, and cell membrane composition while stabilizing blood sugar. I discuss three changes to make here.34

Herbs and spices may also play a palliative role in depression through their anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin, a polyphenol in the Indian spice turmeric with elaborate anti-inflammatory mechanisms was recently found to be as effective as Prozac in small a randomized study I discuss here.35 Fermented foods, a part of traditional cultural diets, would also play a beneficial role, in this paradigm of microbiome-oriented, diet-supported mental health in ways stated here:36
"'This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself.' In this way, we use bacteria to modify our own bacteria and subsequently dampen inflammatory signals."
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers an excellent guide to pesticide-free shopping,37 and a guide38 to avoiding genetically modified foods.
Psychobiotics
In a brilliant review entitled "Psychobiotics: A Novel Class of Psychotropic," Dinan et al tour us through the role of probiotics (therapeutic live organisms ingested as a supplement or as part of a fermented food) in mental health. Acknowledging the data for inflammatory cytokines influencing mood states, and the role of gut bacteria in triggering these cytokines, they review the available literature supporting antidepressant effects of probiotics. There is speculation that anti-inflammatory signaling through IL-10 may underpin probiotic efficacy.

For example, "germ-free" mice exposed to stress experienced normalization of their cortisol response after inoculation with Bifidus infantis. In a related experiment testing the stress of maternal separation, adult rodent behavior was normalized with this inoculation despite persistent cortisol changes. Lactobacilli, on the other hand, improved both parameters. In human adults with irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety symptoms improved with administration of Bifidus, and in the setting of chronic fatigue, subjects experienced improvement in anxiety with Lactobacillus casei, relative to placebo. 

In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study, subjects receiving B. longum and L. helveticus for 30 days experienced improvement on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, with decrease in urinary free cortisol. A probiotic-containing yogurt was also found to improve mood within 20 days in elderly volunteers. Intriguingly, a three-arm study39 looked at women consuming a fermented milk beverage three times a day vs milk vs nothing, found that those in the probiotic group had MRI-based changes related to midbrain emotional processing.
The Benefits of Meditation
Activating the relaxation nervous system – the one that allows us to "rest and digest" – is an effective means of easing symptoms and restoring an anti-inflammatory state. You can start with something as simple as listening to a guided meditation for several minutes a day and working up to 20 minutes twice a day for a therapeutic effect.

The interconnectedness of your gut, brain, immune, and hormonal systems is impossible to unwind. Until we begin to appreciate this complex relationship, we will not be able to prevent or intervene effectively in depression, slated to become the second-leading cause of disability in this country, within the decade. For true healing, and meaningful prevention, take steps every day toward sending your body the message that it is not being attacked, it is not in danger, and it is well nourished, well supported, and calm.

As a society, we can begin to think about protecting the microbiome by demedicalizing birth and infant nutrition, and as individuls, by avoiding antibiotics, NSAIDs, grains, genetically modified and non-organic food. Promising interventions for depression from a gut-brain perspective include probiotics, fermented foods as part of a high natural fat diet, and relaxation response for optimal digestion, anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing effects. No antidepressant medication required!

www.kellybroganmd.com

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The Truthseeker: Koch Brothers' $67M Trolling Climate Denial

© RT
RT | Apr 20, 2014 | CHANNEL

Worldwide 'Biblical' disasters predicted by new UN study; successive global catastrophes served by a small sinister network of 'institutes'; and corporate-funded gangs trained to troll web users. Seek truth from facts with Merchants of Doubt co-author Professor Naomi Oreskes; As You Sow chief executive Andrew Behar; and science writer John Gibbons.