Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SNAP Decisions: Pushing for Changes in Food Assistance Program

By Dr. Mercola About 23 million U.S. households receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, amounting to an average of $253 a month, which can be used to buy "any food or food product for home consumption.”1,2 This $74-billion federal food assistance program is intended to help alleviate hunger among those at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty line,3 but, as with many federal programs, there’s vast room for improvement. While the program has succeeded in fighting hunger, it has largely failed in providing adequate, much less optimal, nutrition. As Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, put it, “The problem is it provides calories, not healthy food.”4Soda Is the No. 1 Purchase Made by SNAP Households The U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA), which oversees SNAP, published a detailed analysis of what typical households using the SNAP program purchase at t

Safe Solution for Fabric Softeners

By Dr. Mercola Most people do their cleaning with as little muss and fuss as possible, but in recent years it's begun to enter the mainstream consciousness that the "easy" way may also be the toxic way. Incredibly damaging chemical mixtures make up the active ingredients in a staggering number of products many people use on a daily basis. Fabric softener can be included in this category. Body creams, scented candles, air fresheners and bathroom cleaners are just a few additional items most Americans throw into their shopping carts as a matter of course, rarely thinking for a moment that it might as well be rat poison they're sprinkling onto their carpets, spraying onto their upholstery and massaging into their skin. Fabric softeners may top the list as one of the worst offenders, and may be one of the products environmentalists had in mind when the term "indoor pollutants" was coined. Alarmingly, many of these toxins are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).1 Fab

How to Improve Your Failing Ability to Read Clearly as You Age, With the Help of Sunshine

By Dr. Mercola Nearsightedness is incredibly common, affecting an estimated 40 percent of Americans and up to 90 percentof young adults in Asian countries.1 According to research published in 2009, rates of nearsightedness in the U.S. have risen by 66 percent since the early 1970s.2 A 2015 study estimated up to one-third of the world's population may be nearsighted by the end of the decade — that's 2.5 billion people.3 The following year, a meta-analysis of 145 studies predicted nearly half of the world will be nearsighted by the year 2050.4 Just what might be causing this rapid mass-deterioration of vision? One longstanding theory was that excessive reading at close distance (particularly in poor lighting) could lead to nearsightedness by altering growth and shape of the eyeball. As computers and smartphones grew in popularity, squinting at computer screens has received a majority of the blame. The "bookworm theory" first emerged centuries ago when German astronomer Johannes Kepler

Monday, January 30, 2017

Smoking Gun on EPA's Secret Collaboration With Monsanto

By Dr. Mercola The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is once again facing scrutiny over its dealings with Monsanto, the maker of Roundup herbicide. In 2015, glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, was determined to be a "probable carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO). The EPA, rather than taking immediate steps to protect Americans from this probable cancer-causing agent, decided to reassess its position on the chemical and, after doing so, released a paper in October 2015 stating that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.1 In April 2016, the EPA posted the report online, briefly, before pulling it and claiming it was not yet final, and had been posted by mistake. The paper was signed by Jess Rowland (among other EPA officials), who at the time was the EPA's deputy division director of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and chair of the Cance

Big Sugar and Coke Conspiracy

By Dr. Mercola The rise of chronic metabolic disease in the U.S. follows the growth of the U.S. sugar industry and increases in per capita sugar consumption. Today, we consume about 20 times more sugar than our ancestors did, and we have very little control over the amount since what was once a condiment has now become a dietary staple added to countless processed and fast foods.1 Yet, if you were to visit with a conventional nutritionist, you'd likely still hear rhetoric that's been parroted since the 1950s — incorrect and misleading rhetoric at that — that "a calorie is a calorie" and obesity is the result of consuming more calories than you expend. Gary Taubes, co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative and the author of "The Case Against Sugar," wrote in The New York Times:2 "When it comes to weight gain, the sugar industry and purveyors of sugary beverages still insist, a calorie is a calorie, regardless of its source, so guidelines that single out sugar as a dietary evil

Is There an Anti-Vaccine Shadow Network?

By Dr. Mercola In the wake of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. telling reporters that President Trump asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the media is angling to shame and ridicule vaccine safety and informed consent proponents, be they physicians, scientists or parents with the ability to read and think for themselves.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Importance of Enzymes for Health, Longevity and Chronic Disease Prevention

By Dr. Mercola As the name implies, digestive enzymes are important for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. But their functions and benefits do not end there. Enzymes are actually necessary for most cellular functions and biological processes. Enzymes — proteins composed of amino acids — are secreted by your body to catalyze functions that normally would not occur at body temperature, making them vital to good health and longevity.1,2 Science has identified more than 3,000 different enzymes, yet we've likely only scratched the surface. Some believe we may have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 enzymes in our bodies.3 Each organ has its own set of enzymes, and each enzyme has a different function. In essence, they act like specialized keys cut to fit specific locks. In this analogy, the locks are biochemical reactions. Enzymes Do More Than Aid Digestion Over the years, researchers have discovered enzymes for all sorts of uses, from boosting athletic endurance by optimizing dige

Eight Kitchen Staples That Don't Go Bad for Years

By Dr. Mercola Food waste is a major problem in the U.S., not only on the farm, where produce may be dubbed unfit for sale because it's too lumpy, too small or otherwise not aesthetically perfect, but also in U.S. homes. It's estimated that, overall, about 40 percent of U.S. food is wasted, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average U.S. family of four wastes more than 2 million calories, which equates to $1,500 worth of food, every year.1 Reducing food waste by just 15 percent could provide food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year, according to the USDA, and would also benefit the environment, since food waste is the largest component of municipal solid waste (composting food scraps in your backyard is one way to reduce this). Unless you carefully plan your meals, it's easy to overbuy fresh foods and end up having them spoil before use. There are, however, a number of healthy staples you can stock up on in your kitchen without worrying about

Surprising Health Benefits of Fish Sauce

By Dr. Mercola Long before probiotic supplements hit the shelves, people have been eating fermented vegetables and meat for their high nutritive and health value. In many areas, fermented foods are also a delicacy, taking on the flavor of the culture, such as Japanese kimchi or German sauerkraut. Hundreds of years ago, fermentation was used to preserve foods, and later came to be valued for medicinal and nourishing properties. In the U.S., the art of fermenting foods was largely lost, as many were unaware nearly 85 percent of your immune system resides in your gut and fermented foods improve the diversity of your gut microbiome. When the bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract are not properly balanced, it can trigger allergies, autoimmune diseases and even impact your weight. With increasing media attention on the importance of nutrition for overall health, more people are becoming weary of processed foods and the dubious health claims that go along with them. These changes are

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Green Energy-Boosting Smoothie Recipe

Recipe From James McLoughlin

The Microbiome Solution — Healing Your Body From the Inside Out

By Dr. Mercola By now, you’re probably aware of how important a balanced gut microbiome is to your overall health, but how do you go about optimizing your gut flora? And what steps can you take to protect and nourish your baby’s microbiome, even before and during birth? In this interview, Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in the gut) and author of the book, “The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body From the Inside Out,” will guide you through the details. Chutkan finished medical school in 1991. Like most conventionally trained doctors, she whole-heartedly endorsed pharmaceutical intervention “whenever possible, as frequently as possible.” Over the course of several years, however, she began to investigate alternative routes to health. “My area of expertise is inflammatory bowel disease,” she says. “I trained in New York, at Columbia for medical school and residency, and then at Mount Sinai Hospital … Never once

Friday, January 27, 2017

Water Supports Health in Ways You May Never Have Suspected

By Dr. Mercola The TEDx Talk above, featuring Gerald Pollack, Ph.D., and the two videos that follow, all address the importance of water for biological function and optimal health — and there's a lot more to this than you might expect. You're probably well aware of the fact that your body is composed mostly of water, which is needed for a number of physiological processes and biochemical reactions, including but not limited to blood circulation, metabolism, regulation of body temperature, waste removal and detoxification. Once your body has lost 1 to 2 percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty. Using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is one obvious way to ensure your individual needs are met, day-by-day. But did you know there are different KINDS of water? And that a certain type of water is more beneficial, indeed critical, than regular H2O?

Urine Test Can Determine Your Level of Health

By Dr. Mercola How healthy is your diet? Have you ever wondered if recording what you eat on a day-to-day basis might be helpful in determining how your eating habits might be affecting your health, and maybe even your long-term well-being? Well, now there's a test for that, or there will be within two years, according to a study published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.1 It's a urine test developed in collaboration by Aberystwyth University in Wales, Newcastle University in the U.K. and Imperial College London. Scientists say the test could be used to "unlock the biological markers" to help improve your nutritional profile, using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to analyze urine samples and detect the structure of the chemicals produced in your body as it processes food. Medscape says: "The analysis can reveal whether we have eaten red meat or fish and indicate whether we are eating fruit and vegetables. The test is sensitive enough to indicate some specific f

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Many Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked

By Dr. Mercola Can sleeping naked improve your sleep and health? Evidence suggests that, yes, ditching your sleepwear may in fact have a number of benefits, including better sleep. Interestingly enough, a mere 8 percent of Americans admit to sleeping naked.1 Many of these health benefits result from the fact that sleeping naked helps prevent overheating, which can have a significant impact on your sleep quality. As you fall asleep, your body temperature drops, and this drop in core temperature actually helps you sleep better. As you wake, your body temperature rises, which is why it's much more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep when you're hot. Many keep their homes too warm to begin with, and wearing pajamas to bed will make you even warmer, which can lead to restless sleep and frequent waking. Ideally, keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees F. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees. One study showed a surface skin t

Essential Oils Can Help ADHD

By Dr. Mercola About 11 percent of U.S. children (or 6.4 million) have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),1 which is characterized by a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that interferes with learning, daily functioning and relationships. Rates have been increasing by about 5 percent a year.2 Among very young children (2 to 5 years), behavior therapy is the first-line treatment recommended for ADHD, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). However, data from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that about half of preschoolers with ADHD were taking medication, and 1 in 4 were being treated only with medication.3 Further, only half of 4- to 5-year-olds with ADHD received behavior therapy, despite it being the recommended go-to treatment. By age 6, the so-called "best practice guidelines" for ADHD include treatment with both medication and behavior therapy. It's a sad state of affairs on mul

Calming Chamomile: Learn More About This Timeless Essential Oil

Before venturing out into war, Ancient Roman soldiers were said to rely on Roman chamomile oil to give them the courage and mental clarity they need in the battlefield. Today, this calming essential oil is still known to provide a wealth of benefits to people. In this article, let’s discuss the many uses of Roman chamomile oil. What Is Roman Chamomile Oil? A popular herb in the Western world, there are actually two varieties of chamomile: German chamomile (Matricaria chamomile) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Also known as English chamomile, Roman chamomile, the plant used to produce this essential oil, hails from northwestern Europe and Northern Ireland. Roman chamomile is a perennial herb plant that grows close to the ground, with a hairy stem, feathery gray-green leaves and flowers that appear like miniature daisies, with yellow centers surrounded by white petals.1 The fragrant, apple-like scented flowers are used to produce the essential oil. Roman chamomile oil is des

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How the Affordable Care Act Wastes Billions and Harms Tens of Thousands of Women Each Year

By Dr. Mercola On January 10, 2017, the Huffington Post reported the Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially known as "Obamacare," has helped many poor women get mammograms, as it eliminates out-of-pocket costs for certain cancer screening procedures.1 Among female Medicare patients over the age of 70 who were due for a mammogram, screening rates increased by 2 percent after the implementation of the ACA, from 5 to 7 percent each month. Screening rates also rose among other age groups, and the rate differences between the wealthiest and the poorest shrunk after the ACA went into effect. According to the featured article, if the ACA were to be repealed, fewer women would get screened for breast cancer. The question is, would that actually be a bad thing? Conventional wisdom states cancer screening is the best "prevention," as catching cancer early increases your chances of successful treatment. However, studies have repeatedly negated the idea that mammograms lower death rates, noting

Aspartame Use Surges in Children's Drinks

By Dr. Mercola While many may think it must be a typo or at least an exaggeration, it's not: The use of low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) has skyrocketed by 200 percent in children living in the U.S. More than a few parents think it's a terrible idea for kids to be ingesting these artificial sweeteners, but 25 percent of U.S. kids do. George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health recently reported this staggering statistic from a national survey, revealing that while the consumption of artificially sweetened foods and beverages jumped by 54 percent among U.S. adults during the study period, there was an even greater jump among kids — a 200 percent increase.1 The low-calorie sweeteners they're referring to include aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, among others, and the study took place between 1999 and 2012. Twenty-one percent of children and 41 percent of adults already reported they used these substances regularly. Allison Sylvetsky, Ph.D., an assistant profe

Is Histamine to Blame for Your Headache, Hives and Heartburn?

By Dr. Mercola If you’ve ever had allergies with hives, nasal congestion, headaches or coughing, you may already know histamine, a chemical neurotransmitter your body produces, is what drives the most common allergy symptoms. However, in around 1 percent of the population, histamine overload may lead to symptoms such as constipation and/or diarrhea, migraines, rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure that are serious enough to cause discomfort, but vague enough for a doctor to have trouble diagnosing. Histamine intolerance is a disorder that causes a wide range of symptoms, and it’s often confused with a host of other ailments. Many doctors have never heard of this common but misunderstood condition and keep treating symptoms without understanding the actual cause. Whatever the trigger — everything from allergies and leaky gut to enzyme deficiency and high intake of histamine-rich foods can lead to high histamine levels — it’s no exaggeration to say histamine intolerance can m

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dirty Dairy Is in Panic Mode

By Dr. Mercola The industrial dairy industry is in crisis mode in the U.S. after Dannon Company announced in April 2016 that it would be committing to non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) agricultural practices over the next three years. “Because consumer preferences are continuing to evolve and Dannon puts consumers at the center of every decision it makes … new yogurts with non-GMO ingredients are available for the first time from Dannon,” the company wrote in July 2016.1 The company said this was only the beginning of a transformation of its Dannon, Danimals and Oikos brands of yogurt to all non-GMO ingredients. In addition, by the end of 2018, Dannon pledged to ensure the cows that supply milk for its three flagship brands will be fed non-GMO feed — “a first for a leading non-organic yogurt maker.”2 The latter change alone will require the conversion of about 80,000 acres of farmland to produce non-GMO crops for the feed. In addition, the company stated that it wou

Trump Sets Off Media Firestorm With Creation of Vaccine Safety Review Panel

By Dr. Mercola Only nine days away from his swearing-in as president, Donald Trump held his first press conference since the election and announced that the pharmaceutical industry was "getting away with murder" and that during his presidency he would do something about high drug prices with more competitive bidding for federal contracts. His remarks sent drug stocks into a sudden nosedive.1 As noted by Brad Loncar, manager of Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF: "When somebody that high-profile says something that negative, people do not want to invest in it." According to Reuters:2 "Trump's campaign platform included allowing the Medicare healthcare program to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which the law currently prohibits. He has also discussed making it easier to import drugs at cheaper prices. 'We are going to start bidding. We are going to save billions of dollars over time,' Trump said." Trump's comments came only one day after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told reporters that T

What Does Roundup Do to Your Liver?

By Dr. Mercola If you started your day with a bowl of oatmeal, Cheerios or even organic cage-free eggs, there’s a good chance you consumed a small amount of glyphosate residue along with it. Likewise, if you’ve recently snacked on popular brands of crackers, tortilla chips and pita chips, or consumed beer or wine.1 As the results of increasing numbers of independent tests come in, it’s becoming increasingly clear that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is showing up virtually everywhere — in our food, water and even in baby food and women’s breastmilk. It’s not altogether surprising — glyphosate is the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in history — but it is incredibly concerning. The health risks of glyphosate, though downplayed by the chemical’s makers, are accumulating daily.Roundup Causes Liver Disease at ‘Ultra-Low’ Doses What happens when you expose rats to an extremely low dose of Roundup for two years? It’s a ques

Sunday, January 22, 2017

More Reasons Why You Need to Eat Organic

By Dr. Mercola While the controversy over whether organically grown food is healthier lingers, scientific research continues to demonstrate the health benefits to both humans and the environment of growing and consuming organic foods.

A Little Zinc Goes a Long Way

By Dr. Mercola Zinc is an essential trace mineral, probably most widely known for the integral role it plays in your immune system and the prevention and treatment of the common cold. Aside from iron, zinc is the most common mineral found in your body, necessary for the function of every one of your cells. Zinc is used in the production of white blood cells, helping your body to fight infection, and plays a key role in regulating the way your heart muscle uses calcium to trigger the electrical stimulus responsible for your heartbeat.1 It's also one of the building blocks for approximately 3,000 proteins and 200 enzymes in your body. Recent research has now identified the role zinc plays in protecting your DNA.2 However, while essential, your body does not store zinc, so it is important you get enough from your dietary intake every day. Moreover, regularly getting too much can be just as hazardous as getting too little. Zinc May Reduce DNA Strand Breaks DNA is in every cell of your bod

How Sun Exposure Improves Your Immune Function

By Dr. Mercola Mounting research confirms that sun avoidance may be at the heart of a large number of health problems. Not only does your body produce vitamin D in response to sun exposure on bare skin, but sunlight also produces a number of other health benefits that are unrelated to vitamin D production. In fact, humans appear to have a lot in common with plants in this regard — we both need direct sun exposure in order to optimally thrive, and while artificial lighting sources offering specific light spectrums may be helpful for various problems, ideally we need the full spectrum of light that natural sunlight offers. Most recently, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) published a laboratory study using cells in petri dishes, showing that exposure to blue and ultraviolet (UV) light increases T cell activity — white blood cells involved in immune function and fighting infections.1,2,3Sunlight Is a Natural Immune Booster This is thought to be the first study

Saturday, January 21, 2017

How to Safely Bring Wheat Back Into Your Diet

By Dr. Mercola Is it ever appropriate to eat wheat or grains? John Douillard's book "Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back Into Your Diet" would seem to be in direct conflict with my first book, the New York Times Best Seller "The No-Grain Diet: Conquer Carbohydrate Addiction and Stay Slim for Life." Interestingly, our views are nowhere near as conflicting as you might think. About 90 percent of our views are actually in agreement. But the devil's in the details, so I thought it would be interesting to have a dialog about this perceived conflict. To Wheat or Not to Wheat Douillard, who began his health career as a chiropractor, went to India for a two-week vacation in 1986. He ended up staying for a year and a half, studying traditional Ayurvedic medicine. During that stay, he met Deepak Chopra, and ended up running The Chopra Center for eight years upon his return to the U.S. "What I write about in my newsletter every week is t

Heart Healthy Kale Tortilla Recipe

Recipe by Pete Evans

Friday, January 20, 2017

Why You Shouldn't Use Cotton Swabs to Clean Your Ears

By Dr. Mercola Guidelines have recently been submitted that support something you probably already knew, that using cotton swabs to clean your ears isn't a good idea. The latest counsel was published in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, authored by the American Academy (AAO-HNS) advisory panel of the same name.1 You may remember the mantra that's been repeated since you were a kid: Never put anything in your ear that's smaller than your elbow. But why? We all want clean ears; further, being able to hear what's being said at the dinner table is usually a good thing, so if there's wax buildup, getting rid of it somehow seems logical. Dr. Seth Schwartz, chairman of the guideline update group for the Academy, said doctors aren't the only ones paying attention to such guidelines. They're aware that, especially in recent years, more people have been opting for self-care. Incidentally, while one wouldn't think such a document would be especially sought after, apparently it is

Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Be Far More Harmful Than Previously Thought

By Dr. Mercola According to a recent report1 by the U.S. surgeon general, substance abuse is skyrocketing in the U.S., and that includes alcohol. In fact, substance abuse in general has eclipsed cancer in terms of prevalence. According to this report, more than 66 million — nearly 25 percent of the total adolescent and adult population — reported binge drinking at some point in 2015. In terms of healthcare costs, alcohol abuse is racking up a price tag of $249 billion a year. Drinking has become so common you might not give it much thought. Researchers have even stated that moderate alcohol consumption may have certain health benefits, which may serve as a comforting justification for some. However, there's still plenty of controversy on this issue, and I would not use it to justify chronic drinking, regardless of the amount. As demonstrated in the BBC investigation above, drinking tends to do far more harm than good, even if you're within guidelines for "moderate" alcohol consump

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Restless Quest for Sleep

By Dr. Mercola On any given night, about half of Americans toss and turn, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep.1 Lacking in this fundamental human necessity takes a heavy toll, raising the risk of chronic diseases, obesity and premature death while costing the U.S. economy up to $411 billion a year in lost productivity alone.2 Needless to say, a tried-and-true solution to the epidemic of not sleeping, especially one that doesn't involve taking risky and often-addictive sleeping pills, could yield immeasurable benefits to society. Tech devices are among the newest additions in the battle against insomnia, but they're also increasingly popular — and expanding. There's Sense, the product of a 2014 Kickstarter campaign that raised $2.4 million, which uses sensors to collect your tosses, turns and other sleep data, which are then analyzed via a smartphone app to give you personalized insights into your sleep.3 Other tech-based devices to help people get more of the elusive "shut-eye" inc

Could Living With Less Make You Happier and Wealthier?

By Dr. Mercola Are you happy? Do you feel your life has meaning and purpose? If the answer is not a resounding yes, have you given thought as to what might be blocking your sense of happiness and purpose? Could it be that you have too much STUFF? I've written a number of articles about the health benefits of happiness and offered many different strategies shown to increase your happiness level, but I've never approached the subject from the angle of re-evaluating your material possessions. While there's no wealth of scientific data to show that living with less stuff will increase your happiness, a growing number of people insist that this is in fact part of the equation. Over the past few years, a trend best known as "minimalism" has sprung up, with converts hailing the elimination of excess material trappings as the answer to their growing sense of unhappiness and discontent. "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things," which is available on Netflix, has helped spread tha

Here’s Why You Can Count on Calendula Oil

Marigold has much value today and in traditional cultures as a homeopathic remedy, but the oil extracted from the flowers, called calendula oil, is not far behind in providing benefits. Learn more about this oil distilled from the petals of the pot marigold or Calendula officinalis, and how you can harness its health and practical everyday uses. What Is Calendula Oil? Marigold is a genus of about 15 to 20 species of plants in the Asteraceae family.1 This flower is native to Southwestern Asia, as well as Western Europe and the Mediterranean. The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, with whom it has been associated since the 14th century, when it was included as an ingredient in an English recipe for fighting plague.2 Apart from also being used to honor Mary during Catholic events, marigold was also considered by ancient Egyptians to have rejuvenating properties.3 Hindus used the flowers to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as to color their food, fabrics and

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Do You Know How to Get Rid of Your Headache?

By Dr. Mercola You've probably heard of studies showing how healthy it is for you to get plenty of sunlight and, in the absence of that, how using a high-quality tanning bed or taking vitamin D supplements can help supply what your body needs. But there are just as many studies that report how extensively a vitamin D deficiency can damage your health in ways you've probably never even imagined. One of those adverse effects is an increased risk of headaches. A study1 from Finland addressed this point, as it analyzed data from about 2,600 men between the ages of 42 and 60 from 1984 to 1989. According to Live Science, from the men's blood samples, 69 percent of them were found to have low vitamin D levels, which were defined as below 20 nanograms per milliliter, or ng/ml (50 nanomoles per liter). This is actually a serious deficiency state, as optimal levels are between 40 and 60 ng/ml.2 The researchers wrote, "Chronic headache occurring at least on a weekly basis was reported by 250 men

Busy Roads Are Damaging Brains

By Dr. Mercola There are several reasons why some people choose to live in the country or in less-congested areas rather than along a busy highway or in the thick of things in the city. There’s not as much noise, less pollution in the air and generally better scenery. Now there’s another reason, and probably a more important one: A study1 published in The Lancet now says living close to a major roadway may increase your risk of developing dementia. “Develop” is the operative word, as it denotes something that accrues over time, and in this case, that’s accurate. Researchers who put together the study defined a road as “major” depending on traffic volume, such as an interstate highway in the U.S. The closer you live to major thoroughfares, the higher the dementia risk. Co-study author Dr. Ray Copes, chief of environmental and occupational health at Public Health Ontario (PHO), said, “There is a gradient of increased risk as you get closer to major roadways. By the time

Updated Guidelines Call for Introduction of Peanuts During Infancy to Reduce Risk of Allergy

By Dr. Mercola While nuts generally receive top marks for being a healthy addition to your diet, there are a few factors to consider. Peanuts — which despite the name are not actually a nut but a legume — are among the most allergenic of foods. In 1999, less than 0.5 percent of American children had a peanut allergy. A decade later, that number had risen to 2 percent. This despite the fact that during that time, parents were warned to avoid all peanut products before the age of 3. Clearly, the advice was not having an impact. The avoidance recommendation has been further challenged by a number of recent studies. Research actually suggests that exposing children to peanuts early on can help reduce their risk of developing an allergy, while strict avoidance actually heightens the risk. Moreover, giving trace amounts of peanuts to children with peanut allergy has been shown to de-sensitize their immune systems and boost their tolerance over time. Naturally, if your child has a known

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Next Food Frontier: Recycling

By Dr. Mercola Many Americans dutifully recycle their plastic bottles and newspapers, but when it comes to food and yard waste may toss them directly in the trash. While it may seem like a banana peel here and pile of spoiled greens there would do little in the way of environmental harm, food waste is actually the second largest component of waste sent to U.S. landfills, making up 18 percent of the waste stream, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).1 Yard trimmings make up another 7 percent. When combined, this organic waste makes up the largest share of U.S. trash, more than any other material, including paper and plastic. In all, the food waste alone amounts to more than 30 million tons of waste entering U.S. landfills every year. This is particularly tragic since food and yard waste is easily recycled, though not by placing it in a recycling bin at your curb. It’s actually quite simple to “recycle” these types of organic materials right in your own back

What Actually Happens to Your Donated Clothing?

By Dr. Mercola Most Americans have closets overflowing with clothing — some of which may rarely if ever be worn. Inexpensive clothing — so-called "fast fashion" — has become so common, it's not unusual for people to throw away clothes worn only once or twice. In fact, Americans buy 500 percent more clothing today than we did in the 1980s.1 But the low price tag is deceptive. Upon further scrutiny, each item of clothing exacts a significant toll on the environment, and on human health across the globe. Each year, Americans buy an astounding 22 billion items of clothing, and only 2 percent of these items are made in the U.S. Transportation alone, since each item has been shipped numerous times from country to country by the time it ends up in a retail store, creates an enormous amount of air pollution. In an apparent reaction to decades of excess, recent years have seen a revival of "minimalism" and more environmentally-conscious fashion. Bestselling books like Marie Kondo's "The

Sit Down Science

By Dr. Mercola Industry funded 'science' has tainted our world and turned science based evidence into science biased propaganda.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Can Capsaicin in Chili Peppers Help Beat Cancer?

By Dr. Mercola The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 there will be 1.68 million new cancer cases and over 600,000 deaths.1 This means three new cases and one death every minute of every day. The top five cancers diagnosed are estimated to be breast, lung, prostate, colorectal and melanoma, in that order. The link between obesity and cancer, and the high number of insulin receptors on cancer cells2 make sugar and a high-carbohydrate diet a significant risk for developing cancer. A recent study from Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center demonstrated a significant link between sugar and some cancers, especially breast cancer.3 As it is estimated that breast cancer will be diagnosed more than any other cancer in 2017, and the amount of sugar in a standard Western diet only continues to grow, it is very important to evaluate your dietary choices to reduce your risk and improve successful treatment. Interestingly, a recent study from Ruhr University in Germany has identified a positi

Why the Mediterranean Diet Is so Successful

By Dr. Mercola The Mediterranean diet is one that has managed to maintain popularity through changing fads, and for good reason. A number of studies have confirmed its health benefits — most of which are likely due to it being low in sugars, moderate in protein and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats. Contrary to popular belief, there’s actually no single "Mediterranean diet.” At least 16 countries border the Mediterranean Sea, and dietary habits vary from country to country due to differences in culture, ethnic background, religion and agricultural production. That said, a primary hallmark of a Mediterranean-style diet is a focus on whole, minimally processed foods. The emphasis on fresh vegetables alone makes it far healthier than the standard American diet, which is very high in processed foods. Health Benefits Associated With a Mediterranean-Style Diet Eating a Mediterranean-style diet has been linked to a number of health benefits, including: • Pr

Is Magnesium the Missing Link in Your Heart Healthy Routine?

By Dr. Mercola Magnesium is a mineral important to the health of every cell and organ in your body, especially your heart, kidneys and muscles. Symptoms of a deficiency can include unexplained fatigue or muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, eye twitches and muscle spasms. Unfortunately, determining a deficiency of magnesium from a simple blood sample isn’t possible, as only 1 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your blood stream. Instead, most of your magnesium will be found stored in your bones and organs. It is quite possible to be unaware of a deficiency, which is why it has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency.” Some researchers estimate that up to 80 percent of American do not get enough magnesium from their diet to replace the magnesium lost.1 Studies have also demonstrated that only 25 percent of U.S. adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 mg for men.2 Even more concerning to your overall h

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Simple and Delicious Nutrient-Packed Avocado Snack

Recipe From Susan Luschas, Ph.D. If you’re in a pinch, this delicious and healthy recipe, submitted by Susan Luschas, Ph.D., can be made quickly. What I love about this snack is that it combines one of the best fermented foods available, raw sauerkraut, with avocado. Avocados are a personal favorite of mine, and I eat one almost every day for their many health benefits. Meanwhile, sauerkraut (I recommend making your own) will provide you with beneficial bacteria. Try this nutritious recipe the next time you need a quick snack. Even picky kids have been turned on to eating fermented foods, thanks to this simple and delightful treat. Ingredients: 1 avocado ½ cup raw sauerkraut

The Role of Selenium in Cellular Health and Cancer Prevention

By Dr. Mercola Micronutrients are incredibly important and vital to your health, but are you getting enough, and perhaps even more importantly, the right form? Mark Whitacre, Ph.D., is a leading expert on one of the most important micronutrients, selenium. Selenium is a trace element a Swedish chemist, Baron Jöns Jacob Berzelius, discovered almost 200 years ago. Today, modern scientists recognize it as an essential mineral for human health, with potent anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-cancer activity. There are fewer than 100 selenium Ph.D. biochemists in the world. Whitacre received his master’s degree in nutrition at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1970s — a time when selenium was quickly becoming a hot topic. “After I finished my master’s degree at Ohio State, I went to Cornell University to get my Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry and to study under Dr. Gerald F. Combs Jr. [who] was probably the leading authority in selenium research, and probabl

Friday, January 13, 2017

California Charges Man With Caffeine DUI

By Dr. Mercola Some cases are interesting, and some are downright weird. Reports of a man arrested on charges of driving under the influence of caffeine definitely fall into the second category. It started on August 5, 2015, when Joseph Schwab was driving home from work and got pulled over in Fairfield, California, by Agent Ott from the California department of alcoholic beverage control, who was driving an unmarked vehicle. The agent said she was suspicious because Schwab was "weaving in and out of traffic, almost causing several collisions," exhibiting "erratic and reckless driving," including cutting her off in traffic. Schwab was booked on a DUI charge, more specifically, driving under the influence of caffeine. Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams said Schwab "seemed very amped up, very agitated, very combative and she thought he was under the influence of something."1 She added that they were sure Schwab was on something because of the officer's statement. When the 36-

Life Lessons From 100-Plus-Year-Olds

By Dr. Mercola Age is just a number, and this is clearly evident in the lives of the three centenarians interviewed in the LifeHunters video above. Each has his or her own story — Clifford Crozier, born in 1915; Emilia Tereza Harper, born in 1913; and John Millington Denerley, born in 1914 — but you'll notice a certain "je ne sais quoi" that they all seem to share. Positivity and strength are certainly apparent, along with a will to live and a continued interest in and curiosity about the world around them. Even as times changed, these people kept on living, adapting to and welcoming the new phases of their lives. It's this fortitude and emotional resilience that has likely played a major role in their longevity. Emotional Resilience and Optimism Help You Stay Young at Heart Each of the centenarians in the video look far younger than their chronological years, and they certainly don't act their age (who knows how a 100-year-old is "supposed" to act anyway). Their positive attitude

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jasmine Absolute Oil Gives Off a Romantic Vibe and Immense Health Benefits

What Is Jasmine Absolute Oil? Jasmine absolute oil can be extracted from different jasmine species, such as common jasmine (Jasminum Officinale) and Spanish jasmine (Jasminum Grandiflorum). They belong to the Oleaceae family, which has more than 200 species under its genus. Jasmine absolute oil is extracted from the white flowers of the plant, which can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet, and bears dark green leaves. Its flowers usually blossom at night,1 but the plant grows from summer until fall.2 Due to its powerful fragrance, Pakistan has named jasmine its national flower. In India, it is regarded by the Hindus as a holy flower. Uses of Jasmine Absolute Oil Jasmine absolute oil is known to be an important ingredient in making perfumes such as Chanel No. 5 and Eau de Sauvage from France. In culinary, it is used to add flavor to alcohol, confectionery (candies) and desserts. It is also added to body lotions, shampoos and soaps. In South India, jasmine flowers are used in garland prepar

Are Saunas Good for Your Brain?

By Dr. Mercola In the U.S., many Americans use a sauna only occasionally, perhaps while at the gym or on vacation — if at all. In Finland, in contrast, 99 percent of Finns take at least one sauna a week,1 and some far more often than that. Known as a "poor man's pharmacy," Finns value saunas for stress relief, above all else, but the simple act of sitting quietly in a heated room, with or without steam (or as it's known in Finland, löyly), offers proven health benefits that virtually everyone can enjoy, including a boost to brain health. Not surprisingly, much of the research on saunas' health benefits comes from Finland, a country with about 5.5 million people and 3.3 million saunas (they're as common as television sets).2 There, saunas are commonly found in private homes, offices and even factories, and regular use is an integral part of Finnish life. According to the Harvard Health Blog:3 "Saunas are accessible to Finns of every walk of life … [and] the very nature of the Finn

Yes, You Can Die From a ‘Broken Heart,’ and Optimism Makes You Live Longer

By Dr. Mercola On December 27, 2016, actress Carrie Fisher, aged 60, died from a heart attack. The very next day, her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds died from a stroke. In the wake of the loss of these two popular Hollywood icons, many have asked whether you can actually die from a broken heart.1,2,3 The short answer to that question is yes. Broken heart syndrome (formally known as stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy) is a real medical condition, triggered by acute, major stress or shock — such as the death of a loved one. Indeed, your heart and mind are closely interlinked, and your mental states can have a distinct influence on your heart health and overall longevity.Symptoms and Risks of Broken Heart Syndrome Symptoms of broken heart syndrome are very similar to those of a heart attack, including chest pain and shortness of breath. The difference is there's no actual damage to the heart to trigger it. Extreme shock or stress may also trigger a hemorrhagic stroke by

Monday, January 9, 2017

Meningitis Vax Tied to Bell’s Palsy Risk

By Dr. Mercola The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends meningococcal conjugate vaccines (brand names Menactra and Menveo) for all 11- to 12-year-olds along with a booster dose at 16.1 Menactra and Menveo vaccines (MCV4) contain four strains of meningococcal (A, C, W-35, Y) and are intended to help prevent invasive meningococcal disease, which is a bacterial infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis, or meningococcus, when the bacterium enters the blood stream. Meningococcal organisms are naturally present in the throat and nasal passages of humans and the majority of children develop antibodies to the bacteria without having any symptoms. There is a very low incidence of meningococcal disease in the U.S. but, rarely, individuals who are genetically or biologically susceptible to developing invasive meningococcal disease are at risk for severe injury and death, including loss of limbs. Symptoms may start out similar to influenza and can progress to nausea,

Industrial Farming Threatens Food Security in the US

By Dr. Mercola It is indisputable that we are negatively affecting our air, soil and water in a way that is drastically impacting the earth itself. If you look down while on an airplane, you can't help but notice the vast exposure of soils into perfectly-carved squares below. These exposed soils are a tragic sign of an unsustainable practice that leads to erosion, runoff pollution and lack of vegetation to cleanse our air and keep a proper balance of carbon in the ground. Agriculture has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair. Yet today, we're faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity. For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. We now see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem. Fortunately, we alr