Sunday, April 30, 2017

Does This Herb Help in the Bedroom?

By Dr. Mercola Of all the questions you've been asked today, the title isn't likely one you anticipated. But it's an intriguing concept, isn't it? One reason is because of the instant connotation it puts out there, and another is because it's a matter of interest as well as concern for a fair number of people. Because there's fascinating science behind it and not just a titillating concept, we'll get straight to it. You may never have heard of horny goat weed, but the heart-shaped herb is found in the wild in China, as well as Asia and Europe. First mentioned in traditional Chinese medicine texts at least 2,000 years ago, horny goat weed was given the botanical moniker Epimedium and the ancient Chinese name of yin yang huo after a (very) sexually active mythical creature. But there are other uses, including for nerve pain, fatigue, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, hay fever, premenstrual symptoms and the traditional distinction of increasing libido in both men and women and solving erec

Your Body Is a Power Grid

By Dr. Mercola Mitochondria are small, specialized structures within your cells and are the power generators of your cells. They work by transferring electrons from fat and sugars to oxygen in the process of generating ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy “currency” of your cells.1 Mitochondria are unique in that they have their own genetic code largely for proteins unique to their electron transport chain (different than nuclear DNA), they divide and replicate on their own timetable (different from that of the cell) and have two membranes — an inner and outer — that are used to produce ATP. The membranes allow your mitochondria to store energy, similar to a battery, and use it for oxidative phosphorylation, a process the mitochondria use to generate energy in the form of ATP. In 2015, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, revealed that mitochondria not only use the stored energy to create ATP, but also as a primary energy

Beets Boost Brain Health and Much More

By Dr. Mercola There's a lot to be said for the humble beet, an easy-to-grow garden vegetable. Whether juiced raw, cooked, pickled or fermented, beets have a wide range of health benefits. The nutrients they contain fight inflammation, lower blood pressure and help you detoxify. Beets have also been shown to lower your risk for heart failure and stroke, and may even help combat cancer. Recent research also shows beets have powerful benefits for your brain, especially when combined with exercise, courtesy of their high nitrate content. Your body transforms nitrates into nitic oxide, which enhances oxygenation and has a beneficial impact on your circulatory and immune systems. I include about 1 to 2 ounces of raw beets in my smoothie each day, in addition to taking a fermented beet root powder supplement. However, if you have diabetes or are insulin resistant, carefully monitor how raw beet juice affects your overall health, as 36 percent of each beet is simple sugars. This high sugar c

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Enjoy the Flavors of the Sea With This Ceviche Recipe

Recipe by Dr. Mercola

The Connection Between Insulin Resistance and the High-Carb, Low-Fat Diet

By Dr. Mercola Dr. Tim Noakes, a well-respected scientist, researcher, physician and professor at the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is one of the world's foremost experts on low-carb diets. In fact, he was instrumental in getting the low-carb diet revolution off the ground. He's also an accomplished athlete. As a long-distance endurance runner with 70 marathons under his belt, he had long promoted high-carb diets, himself consuming 400 grams of carbs a day or more when preparing for a race. Eventually, he discovered this wasn't the best way to improve athletic endurance and health, and ended up writing a number of popular books on low-carb diets. From High to Low Carb Noakes graduated from medical school in 1974. At the time, he was also running, and this was when the high carbohydrate diet really started to become popularized. Following the advice of one of his professors at the cardiology unit where he worked, he chang

Friday, April 28, 2017

Scientists Have Turned Spinach Into Beating Human Heart Tissue

By Dr. Mercola Packed with nutrients but low in calories, spinach is a healthy addition to salads, smoothies and vegetable juice. Similar to other dark-green leafy vegetables, spinach is packed with vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E and K, as well as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium and manganese. Studies have shown spinach supports your cardiovascular health, eyesight and immune system, as well as numerous other bodily functions. While it’s long been known the magnesium in spinach can help lower your blood pressure, thereby benefiting your cardiovascular health, until recently, scientists may have vastly underestimated the benefits of spinach to your heart. In surprising new research, scientists have successfully grown beating human-heart cells on decellularized spinach leaves. This work represents a first step toward potentially developing a plant-based patch surgeons could one day use to help repair damage caused by a heart attack. As unusual as this research sounds, spinach leaves contai

New Technologies Offer Hope in Creating a More Transparent and Sustainable Food System

By Dr. Mercola Modern-day food practices are reliant on a series of unsustainable methods — including fossil fuels and chemical-dependent genetically engineered (GE) organisms — that pollute Earth's valuable resources such as our air, soil and water, as well as damage public health. Our current food system, heavily treated with crop chemicals, is linked to myriad health problems including food allergies, gluten intolerance, gut and neurological dysfunction, immunodeficiency disorders and more. Making healthy food choices is incredibly important, but can be a daunting task due to the extreme disconnect many of us have with the food we eat, as illustrated in the featured documentary "Digital Food." 'Food has Become a Black Box' Food journalist Michael Pollan, who's authored many books and articles explaining how nature and culture intersect on our plates and in our farms and gardens,1 says not knowing where our food comes from creates a vicious cycle of unhealthy choices that result

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What's so Great About Oregano?

By Dr. Mercola You may already know that oregano is the "secret" herb that takes tomato sauce to a new level of savory and can even put flavor in butter sauces and chicken dishes that have people begging you for your recipes. Oregano is an ancient, perennial herb, being an integral cooking ingredient in what is now known as Eurasia for thousands of years. The entire Mediterranean is well acquainted with this food-enhancing spice, but it's probably no surprise that Greece and Italy are noted as the regions where it most likely originated. Because it's related to mint, which is from the menthe family of plants, you may detect a similarly cool but distinctive essence when you crush a leaf from the oregano plant between your fingers. Oregano has many of the same therapeutic qualities as mint, and the scent may also remind you of thyme. Strolling through a garden that includes oregano, you may not be overwhelmed by the scent and aroma nearly as much as when the herb is dried. Greek oregano

How to Grow Tasty Bell and Chili Peppers in Your Garden

By Dr. Mercola Bell peppers and chili peppers are common staples that add flavor and color to your meals. They're also easy to grow, even in small spaces. The heat of peppers is measured in Scoville heat units. A green pepper scores a zero on the scale, jalapeño peppers earn around 2,500 to 4,000 and Mexican habaneros, 200,000 to 500,000 units. There are many different types of peppers, from sweet to flaming hot, making more than one variety useful in a single dish, adding complexity to the flavors. Popular pepper varieties include bell, Chile, banana, Hungarian, cayenne, jalapeno, Serrano, habañeros and others. Below, I'll summarize growing tips for bell peppers1,2,3 and hot chili peppers,4,5 both of which are useful additions to a well-stocked home garden. I personally grow red bell peppers, habaneros and Thai chili peppers and love them all.Uses and Medicinal Value of Peppers Sweet and mild-tasting bell peppers can be sautéed with onions or diced into salads, soups and casserole

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Many Wonders of Calming Sandalwood Oil

An essential oil obtained from steam-distilling chips and billets from the heartwood of the Santalum album tree, sandalwood oil is popularly used in perfumery, cosmetics and sacred unguents (soothing or healing salve). But beyond these practical uses are the time-tested calming and therapeutic properties for which it is used in aromatherapy. Learn more about the uses and benefits of sandalwood oil in this article. What Is Sandalwood Oil? Sandalwood essential oil is derived from the heartwood of the sandalwood, which is a heiparasitic evergreen that grows by joining the root system of other trees.1 The tree belongs to the Santalaceae family and is also known as East Indian sandalwood.2 Sandalwood oil has been used since over 4,000 years ago, making it among the oldest-known materials used for its exotic scent. It has found its way into fragrances, cosmetics and personal care products and meditative/spiritual practices. This essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of piece

Insulin Resistance Speeds Up Cognitive Decline

By Dr. Mercola We are facing a tsunami of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s often said that the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease are unknown, but there are numerous theories. For example, research suggesting that an infectious component is at play is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. In addition to viruses, bacteria and fungi, an infectious protein called TDP-43, which behaves like infectious proteins known as prions — responsible for the brain destruction that occurs in Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting Diseases — has been linked to the disease. Research presented at the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference revealed Alzheimer's patients with TDP-43 were 10 times more likely to have been cognitively impaired at death than those without.1 Due to its similarities with Mad Cow Disease, investigators have raised the possibility that Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to eating meat from animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Mounti

Being a Night Owl Is Linked to Depression

By Dr. Mercola Everyone has a chronotype that dictates when they are naturally predisposed to sleep and wake. For people with evening chronotypes, otherwise known as night owls, new research suggests your mental health could be influenced by the associated staying up late and sleeping in. The study, which was presented at the Endocrine Society's 2017 annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, analyzed data from nearly 500 people with type 2 diabetes.1 Those with a later chronotype had more symptoms of depression compared to those who go to bed early and wake early,2 a finding that could also influence their diabetes outcomes, since depression is linked to diabetes complications.3,4 It could be possible, then, that strategies to regulate your circadian rhythm, like exposure to sunlight during the day and avoidance of blue light at night, could also benefit your mental health. However, some people may have a hard time trying to live out of harmony with their chronotype. In this case, if you're

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Is Your Sunscreen Doing More Harm Than Good?

By Dr. Mercola Vitamin D, often referred to as "the sunshine vitamin," is different from other vitamins in that it influences your entire body. And, while scientists refer to vitamin D as a vitamin, it is actually a steroid hormone obtained from sun exposure, food sources and supplementation. Vitamin D receptors have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your bones. Unfortunately, dermatologists and the media do the public a great disservice by recommending avoiding the sun to decrease skin cancers.1,2 This is because these "experts" fail to realize that vitamin D deficiency not only raises your risk of skin cancer3 but many of the most common cancers as well, which claim far more lives than the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma. Breast4 and prostate5,6 cancers are just two examples where low vitamin D renders you more vulnerable to more aggressive forms of the disease. Low vitamin D also raises your risk for heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other ch

Half the World Is Drinking Contaminated Water

By Dr. Mercola The 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act was supposed to ensure clean water for swimming, fishing and drinking.1 Unfortunately, after more than four decades of regulations, American waterways are in serious jeopardy. Toxic runoff from industries, improper disposal of medications and agricultural runoff from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and large factory farms all contribute to a severe water pollution problem. Not only are groundwater aquifers rapidly depleting, but much of the world's water supply has become too contaminated to drink or bathe in. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly two billion people don't have safe drinking water.2 Forced to drink contaminated water, hundreds of thousands of people die from preventable diseases each year. Not only a problem for developing countries, water across the world is contaminated with pollutants that treatment plants are not prepared to filter. Water Pollution Threatens Your Health Pollution is not

Can Spinal Adjustments Relieve Lower Back Pain?

By Dr. Mercola The American Chiropractic Association states at any one time, nearly 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain.1 In 2012, the American Physical Therapy Association surveyed and found more than one-third of adults were affected, but two-thirds of them chose not to seek treatment.2 As the population of the U.S. was nearly 313 million at the time of the survey,3 an estimated 103 million were suffering lower back pain, and both national and state level estimates of the prevalence of lower back show it's rising. On any given day, 2 percent of the U.S. population is disabled by back pain.4 Chronic back pain may occur consistently, or you may experience times of remission when the pain dissipates and you move about freely without discomfort. Chronic back pain, defined as being present for 12 weeks or more,5 occurs in approximately 20 percent of people.6 Most cases of lower back pain are related to a mechanical issue. In other words, the pain is related to a musculoskele

Monday, April 24, 2017

Smithfield Is Engineering Pigs for Use in Human Transplants

By Dr. Mercola The world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, is branching out from ham and bacon toward the business of organ transplantation. The CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) giant has even created a new bioscience unit for this purpose, in the hopes of growing pig organs that could one day be transplanted into humans.1 In 2013, Smithfield was bought by WH Group (formerly known as Shaunghui), the largest meat processing company in China.2 At $7.1 billion — 30 percent above its estimated market value — it was the largest-ever Chinese buyout of an American company. Smithfield is now part of a public-private tissue engineering consortium, along with pharmaceutical and other health care companies, that's being funded via an $80 million U.S. Department of Defense grant.3 The move isn't surprising. Reuters reported that "materials" from 16 million Smithfield pigs, including pancreases, intestinal membrane and thyroid glands, are sent for medical uses every year.

Study Shows Slashing Pesticides Won't Hurt Production

By Dr. Mercola "The reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health," according to recent research published in Nature Plants,1 and I couldn't agree more. Even many farmers are interested in cutting their usage, especially in the midst of growing lawsuits alleging that the most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), may be causing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in farmers. In some ways the cards are stacked against them, however, as the people who often advise farmers on pesticide usage are agrochemical company employees, working on commission. Reducing pesticide usage is not in their, or the companies', best financial interest, which only encourages overuse. Without knowledge of how to reduce pesticide usage, and how it might affect yields, many farmers are reluctant to try. The Nature Plants study is a major step forward, however, as it found most farmers can reduce their pesticide usage without decreasi

Modern Agriculture Drives Hunger, Obesity and Disease While Simultaneously Threatening Food Chain and Worsening Water Crisis

By Dr. Mercola "Regenerative food, farming and land use can provide a solution to the health crisis, the water crisis, environmental degradation, climate change, rural poverty, hunger and war." ~ Ronnie Cummins, Founding Meeting of Regeneration International, June 9, 2015, Finca Luna Nueva, Costa Rica If you'd walked up to a farmer 100 years ago and told him farming would one day threaten life on Earth, he probably would have laughed in your face, saying such a thing simply isn't possible. Agriculture is necessary for food production, and therefore for life, the farmer would have said with firm conviction — and farming the land or raising cattle is not going to unduly harm anything or anyone. Today, however, such an impossible scenario is precisely what we're facing. Virtually every growing environmental and health problem can be traced back to modern food production. This includes but is not limited to: Food insecurity and malnutrition amid mounting food waste Rising obesity and ch

Sunday, April 23, 2017

An Avocado a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

By Dr. Mercola Sometimes people have more than one serious health complication. If those problems happen to be three or more of the most prevalent risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides and a large waistline, they merge into a single disorder known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome represents one very serious illness, affecting 40 percent of the U.S. population over age 40. Scientists from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), conducting a review of 129 scientific studies on the topic of avocados and metabolic syndrome, now call this malady "the new silent killer."1 Dr. Charles H. Hennekens says: "The major factor accelerating the pathway to metabolic syndrome is overweight and obesity. Obesity is overtaking smoking as the leading avoidable cause of premature death in the U.S. and worldwide."2 Parvathi Perumareddi, doctor of osteopathic medicine and assistant professor of integrate

Lower High Blood Pressure With More Potassium-Rich Foods, Less Sugar

By Dr. Mercola Americans struggle with high levels of certain diseases like cardiovascular disease and related high blood pressure. In fact, the World Health Organization ranks this malady, also known as hypertension, as playing the leading role in heart disease.1 Conventional medicine says eating too much sodium is one cause of high blood pressure, but more studies are revealing that it's actually an imbalance between your sodium intake and your potassium levels that may be the problem. According to one study: "Findings suggest that public health efforts directed toward increasing consumption of K+ [potassium]-rich natural foods would reduce BP [blood pressure] and, thus, cardiovascular and kidney disease."2 Potassium deficiency, known as hypokalemia, can be so serious that it could be fatal. One sign that you may be deficient is high blood pressure, but other things to look for include: Fatigue Muscle weakness Abdominal pain and cramps Abnormal heart rhythms Muscle paralysis Potassi

Burning Fat for Fuel Increases Quality and Quantity of Life

By Dr. Mercola Humans suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases today than ever before; more than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illness, and 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. are obesity-related. These discouraging statistics are largely the result of an inappropriate diet. Most of us eat far too much sugar and grains, and far too little healthy fat. Many also eat too much protein, and most of it of poor quality processed food to boot.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Breathing Program to Improve Mental and Physical Health in Two Weeks

By Dr. Mercola It may be hard to believe, but 9 out of 10 adults breathe incorrectly, thereby impairing their health and exacerbating anxiety and depression. Fortunately, learning to breathe correctly is not a complicated affair. In this interview, Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and author of "Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health," shares a breathing program she developed that can help improve your physical and mental health in a short amount of time. Psychologists do not typically focus on breathing. As is often the case with health pioneers, it was her personal health problems that led Vranich onto this path. "What happened is that one year in New York, I woke up and had this dull throbbing pain in my jaw. I went to the dentist and found out I was not only grinding my teeth, I was pulverizing them because of stress …

Crisp and Spicy Avocado Wasabi Salad: Sweet and Fiery in Every Bite

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Back to Eden — How Simple, Natural Methods Can Take the Work Out of Gardening, and Boost Your Harvest

By Dr. Mercola The featured documentary, "Back to Eden," reveals a simple organic gardening method that not only can transform your personal garden, but may even be part of the food solution needed on a global scale. Far from being life sustaining, our modern, large-scale, chemical-dependent farming methods strip soil of nutrients, destroy critical soil microbes, contribute to the creation of deserts where nothing will grow, and saturate farmlands with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that then migrate into ground water, rivers, lakes and oceans. This video really inspired me and, after watching it, I called my local tree cutting service and was able to get three truckloads of wood chips dropped on my driveway for free. I then wheelbarreled them onto my landscape. The great thing about the wood chips is that they are waste and most companies will give you all you want. I plan on adding more every few months. One important aspect I learned, though, is that the wood chip pil

What Happens to Your Leftover Bar of Hotel Soap?

By Dr. Mercola Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease and reduce your risk of infectious illness. In the U.S. and other developed countries, it's easy to take a bar of soap for granted, but not everyone has ready access to this life-saving commodity. This is particularly atrocious because in the U.S., where one-third of the world's soap is used, there are 4.6 million hotel rooms. And what comes with each of those hotel rooms? At least one bar of soap. Most people do not use up the entire bar of soap during their hotel stay and simply leave the unused portion behind. Have you ever wondered what happens to that leftover soap? It often gets thrown away. The Global Soap Project estimates that the U.S. hotel industry throws away 2.6 million bars of soap daily.1 It's an unspeakable waste but one that the charity Clean the World, which partners with the Global Soap Project, is making a dent in via their soap recy

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sleep Deprivation Costs Billions and Makes People Rude

By Dr. Mercola Did you get enough sleep last night? If your answer is no, you're in good company. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests 35 percent of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.1 When you consider that some people probably need closer to eight hours to be optimally healthy, that percentage jumps even higher. What's at stake when you skimp on sleep, either by choice or consequence? Your emotional and physical health can suffer, and this has steep ramifications for your work life, too. Lack of Sleep May Lead to Arguments at Work If you've noticed fellow employees acting unusually quick to anger, their sleep schedule could be to blame. Research conducted by Laura M. Giurge at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands, found that even one night of too little sleep may lead to unwanted behavior at work the next day.2 Giurge conducted the study by sending out text messages to

Gear Up for Improved Health With Galbanum Oil

When it comes to purchasing essential oils, there are a lot of factors that affect your decision to buy them or not: value for money, freshness, effectiveness or all of the three. There are oils that can give you all of these qualities with just a few drops, and galbanum essential oil happens to be one of them. What Is Galbanum Oil? Galbanum essential oil comes from the plant of the same name (Ferula galbaniflua).1 The plant is native to countries in southern Europe, North Africa and West Asia, particularly in Iran, where it's said to have originated. Typically, the Levant or soft variety of the plant is used when making the essential oil, and not the Persian variety,2 because the Levant produces more essential oil during extraction.3 Galbanum oil has a pale yellow color, thick consistency, and a fresh scent reminiscent of green bell peppers.4,5 Uses of Galbanum Oil Galbanum oil's capabilities did not take a long time to get noticed, with ancient civilizations putting this oil to use

Science Reveals Why Nature Sounds and Deep Breathing Are so Relaxing

By Dr. Mercola Many feel an intrinsic pull to spend time in nature and this makes perfect sense. Your brain and body are largely hard-wired to sync with nature — the rising and setting of the sun and the changing of the seasons, for example. I personally find my 90-minute daily beach walks, where I can hear the ocean surf, capture the sunshine on my skin and practice deep breathing exercises in the clean ocean air, to be one of life's gifts that I am most grateful for. It's no wonder then that when our senses get to take in nature at its finest — the sounds of a babbling brook, the scent of lush earth in a forest preserve or even the sight of a green oasis in the middle of a city — it sets off a cascade of physical and psychological benefits. Nature sounds are frequently used for meditation, as the sounds of insects, birds, wind and flowing water are known to induce a state of calm. Now, science explains the "how" behind this influence. How Nature Sounds Help You Relax Researche

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Light at Night Damages Your Health and Potentially Future Generations

By Dr. Mercola There is a significant cost to your health from light pollution resulting from living in a 24/7 society. A growing number of street lights and lit signs obscure the night sky, and your bedroom is likely dimly lit from street lamps, digital equipment or alarm clocks. It’s not possible to “feel” the changes in your brain and body from outdoor street light that seeps in around your bedroom curtains or the dim glow from your alarm clock. Yet, even a dim light at night affects your natural sleep cycle and produces biological changes which, in turn, may affect your risk for health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and depression. I have been a long-time advocate of sleeping in complete darkness. Even a small amount of light is enough to make a difference in your health. And now, recent research demonstrates your exposure to light pollution may affect the health of your children. Light Exposure at Night May Alter Immunity of Future Generations In a study at Oh

Drug Overdoses Are the 9th Leading Cause of Death in the US

By Dr. Mercola According to the U.S. surgeon general, more Americans now use prescription opioids than smoke cigarettes.1 This makes sense when you consider prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose by 300 percent between 2000 and 2009,2,3 and Americans now use 80 percent of all the opioids sold worldwide.4 In Alabama, which has the highest opioid prescription rate in the U.S., 143 prescriptions are written for every 100 people.5 A result of this over-prescription trend is skyrocketing deaths from overdoses.6,7 The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths, specifically, include8 methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®). As noted by Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently."9 There are safe options to treat pain, but education — both among doctors and patients — is sore

Diabetes Taking a Higher Toll on Life Than Suspected

By Dr. Mercola In a time when information travels at the speed of the internet, there continues to be a staggering amount of misinformation shared about type 2 diabetes. The distortion of the truth contributes to the growing epidemic across the world, with estimates that 422 million have been diagnosed with diabetes.1 Just as overwhelming are the numbers of people who suffer from prediabetes, a condition where your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. An estimated 38 percent of Americans have prediabetes2 and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90 percent of them don't know they have it. Unfortunately, even your own physician may share outdated information with you that won't help to stabilize or reverse the condition. Despite the growing prevalence of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), the fact is that type 2 diabetes is completely preventable with a few simple, inexpensive lifestyle adjustments. Impaired

Monday, April 17, 2017

Toxic Pesticides Found in Drinking Water — and Other Pesticide-Related News

By Dr. Mercola Modern agricultural practices have led to ever-increasing amounts of chemicals being used on our food, and whether we're talking about pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, most have deleterious effects on health. According to the latest report on pesticide residues in food by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a mere 15 percent of all the food samples tested in 2015 were free from pesticide residues. In 2014, over 41 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues on them.1 That just goes to show how quickly our food is being poisoned. At that trajectory, we may eventually find out none of the non-organic food sold in 2016 or 2017 was pesticide-free. Recent news has highlighted a number of problems associated with this out-of-control use of agricultural chemicals, starting with atrazine.Atrazine, the 'Forgotten' Toxin Atrazine, the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. after glyphosate, has been linked to many disturbing health effects. Despit

Thyroid Cancer Rates Are Skyrocketing From Flame Retardants

By Dr. Mercola It’s estimated that nearly 57,000 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, a far lower number than many other adult cancers, like colorectal, lung, breast and prostate.1 However, the number is noteworthy because it has risen significantly in recent years. Rates of thyroid cancer have tripled in the last decade, making it — papillary thyroid cancer in particular — the most rapidly increasing cancer in the U.S.2 While part of this rise is blamed on the increased use of thyroid ultrasound detecting small thyroid nodules that may otherwise have gone undiagnosed, environmental factors may also be playing a role. In fact, a study published in JAMA in March 2017 revealed that the overall incidence of thyroid cancer increased 3 percent annually in the U.S. from 1974 to 2013, representing a true increase.3 Dr. Julie Ann Sosa, chief of endocrine surgery at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, led a recent study on the topic, which sugg

Antibiotics Increase Bowel Cancer Rates

By Dr. Mercola When you take antibiotics, there are both short- and long-term risks, the latter of which may not become evident until long after you've stopped taking the drugs (making it next to impossible to connect the two). One of their greatest risks is also their mechanism of action: wiping out the bacteria in your gut. When this occurs, the infection-causing bacteria should be eliminated, but so, too, are all of the other bacteria making up your microbiome. In 2014, researchers linked antibiotics use to a slightly increased risk (8 percent to 11 percent) of developing colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, possibly because of alterations to the gut microbiome.1 Likewise, past research has also shown that people with less bacterial diversity in their gastrointestinal tracts are more likely to develop colon cancer.2 The latest research further suggests altering your microbiome via antibiotics also reduces your resistance to bacteria that could increase the development of

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Astaxanthin Is a Longevity Promoter

By Dr. Mercola Discovering the fountain of youth has been one of the world's most sought-after but elusive endeavors. New information suggests that enhanced metabolism may be a valuable key for improved health and longevity. Scientists at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and the life sciences company Cardax collaborated on a study aimed at evaluating a naturally occurring chemical with promise for anti-aging therapy. FOXO3 is a gene that's been proven to improve longevity, and the astaxanthin compound CDX-085 was instrumental in this venture. Dr. Bradley Willcox, director of research at the Department of Geriatric Medicine for the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program, and Richard Allsopp, Ph.D., associate professor and researcher with the Institute of Biogenesis Research, were principal researchers on the study. The 'Longevity Gene' and How It's Activated According to Willcox everyone has the FOXO3 gene, which is associated with aging in humans, but 1 in 3 individua

Vitamin C Doubles Effectiveness of Chemotherapy and Radiation

By Dr. Mercola Each day, more than 1,600 people prematurely die from cancer in the United States. Worldwide, an estimated 20,000 succumb to cancer on a daily basis. For a time, the war on cancer initially waged by Richard Nixon in the '60s, and the promise of targeted cancer drugs, gave hope. Alas, they've all failed to live up to expectations, and have done nothing to improve cancer death rates. Globally, $91 billion was spent on cancer treatments in 2013. In 2014, no cancer drug was approved costing less than $100,000 for a course of treatment. Yet, despite their exorbitant price tags, they offer little in terms of survival. Tarceva, for example, increases the median survival for pancreatic cancer patients by a mere 10 days. Meanwhile, there are inexpensive, non-patentable therapies available that could be truly game changing. One such therapy is high-dose vitamin C. Another is nutritional ketosis — and oncologists in Turkey have presented evidence showing the combination of these

Can This Banned Condiment Boost Brain Function?

By Dr. Mercola Perhaps you first heard about Vegemite in the early 1980s from the Men at Work song, "Down Under." The Australian sandwich spread, described by the Telegraph as a sticky, gloopy, salty spread made from yeast extract, may be the flavor that embodies the entire continent, as 23 million jars are purchased in Australia every year.1 Vegemite's first cousin, Marmite, is the British version of the controversial condiment. Both are considered an acquired taste, but it's the latter that's been scrutinized in scientific circles and found to contain some very impressive properties for the human body. In fact, several studies show it contains vital nutrients, including 40 percent of the reference daily intake (RDI) for vitamin B12, 50 percent for folic acid and 36 percent for niacin, helps to protect against antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as MRSA and boosts gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels to restore optimal brain balance.2 Invented in the late 1800s, Marmite came first,

How to Grow Great Lettuce

By Dr. Mercola If you're growing your own vegetables, now is the right time to start your lettuce. Lettuce of all kinds thrives in cool temperatures and consistently moist soil, so spring and fall, when temperatures are between 45 and 75 F, are the best times to grow them. Popular lettuce types include: Loose-leaf varieties — Fast-growing delicate leaves that grow from a central stalk; cutting the outer leaves rather than pulling the whole head will allow the plant to keep growing new leaves to replace what you harvested Butterhead (Boston) — Soft, tender leaves with white heart; requires cool weather and optimal soil quality to thrive Mesclun blends — Spicier greens such as radicchio and mustard add flavor and color to your salads Romaine — Heat-tolerant with crunchy long leaves. Use red or red-speckled varieties to add color to your meal Crisphead (iceberg) — Heat-hardy with thick, crunchy leaves, high in fiber but low in overall nutrition When and What to Plant for Spring

How to Grow, Harvest and Enjoy Fennel at Home

By Dr. Mercola Fennel is an herb with a mild but distinctive licorice flavor, popular in foods in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Every part of the plant can be eaten, including the seeds once the plant has flowered. Part of the carrot family, the plant is a perennial. Although classified as an herb, many chefs use the lower part of the plant, or the bulb, as a vegetable, adding it to salads, soups and stews. Although the bulb is layered, the stems of the plant are hollow. Fennel is cultivated in many parts of the world, but it also grows wild along roadsides and open pastures. It propagates well each fall by seed and is considered an invasive species of weed in Australia.1 The fronds that grow on the top of the plant may also be used in salads or as a garnish, much like dill. Interestingly, it is one of the main herbs used in the preparation of absinthe, an alcoholic beverage referred to as "spirits," as no sugar is used in the distilling process. The preparation of abs

Would You Choose to Stay Awake During Your Surgery?

By Dr. Mercola Staying awake during surgery is the norm for certain procedures, like some cesarean sections and brain surgeries. However, most people expect that they’ll be under general anesthesia should they require surgery. This may soon change, as increasing numbers of patients are opting to take control of their surgical experience and stay awake during the procedure. It’s a decision that comes with both benefits and risks — to the patient and the surgeon. Not every surgery is appropriate for staying awake, but if you’re given the option, here’s what you should consider. During Which Types of Surgery Can Patients Stay Awake? Not every hospital offers patients the “awake” option, even in surgeries for which it’s conducive, because it requires a customized experience. The surgeon must also be willing and the patient must be able to handle the procedure without becoming overly stressed or anxious. Assuming all of this lines up, orthopedic procedures, such as hand, kn

Chasing the Dragon — America’s Struggle With Opioid Addiction

By Dr. Mercola If you or someone you know is hooked on prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, or street drugs like heroin, you'll connect with "Chasing the Dragon," a raw 2016 documentary about the horrors of drug addiction. Produced by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the film features ordinary Americans sharing personal stories of danger and destruction that characterized their lives prior to recovery from hard-core drug addiction. Because the documentary is filled with harsh language and disturbing images, parental discretion is advised. In 2015, 52,404 Americans died from drug overdoses; 33,091 of them involved an opioid and nearly one third of them, 15,281, were by prescription.1,2,3 Meanwhile, kidney disease, listed as the 9th leading cause of death on the CDC's top 10 list, killed 48,146.4 The CDC does not include drug overdoses on this list, but if you did, drug overdoses (63 percent of which are opioids), would replace kidney disease as the 9th leadi

Succulent Vanilla Chia Custard

Recipe from Jennafer Ashley of PaleoHacks

How Environmental Conditioning Helps You Tap Into Your Evolutionary Strengths

By Dr. Mercola Effortless comfort has made us fat and sick. In this interview, Scott Carney, an investigative journalist, anthropologist and author of "What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength," The book reveals how environmental conditioning can improve your health by boosting your metabolic efficiency. A large portion of the book focuses on Dannish fitness guru Wim Hof's philosophies.1 Hof does not lead a healthy lifestyle and does not optimize his diet or other healthy lifestyle strategies, which makes these accomplishments even more impressive. Please understand this interview is not an endorsement of Hof's lifestyle. Hof, perhaps better known as "The Iceman," has gained a fair amount of notoriety for his ability to withstand extreme cold — an ability he attributes to a specific set of techniques involving breath work and extreme temperature conditioning. Conquering Mount Kilimanjaro Carne

Depression Is Now No. 1 Cause of Illness and Disability Worldwide

By Dr. Mercola According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,1,2 affecting an estimated 322 million people worldwide, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.3 According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.4 In addition to the human suffering, the financial impact of depression is also severe. WHO estimates the global economic loss by households, employers and governments is at least $1 trillion annually. Depression is also strongly linked to an increased risk for substance abuse, diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and suicide. In the video above, James Chau, a news presenter and WHO goodwill ambassador for sustainable development goals and health, opens up about his personal

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Tiny Spot in Mouse Brains May Explain How Breathing Calms the Mind

By Dr. Mercola Controlled, purposeful breathing plays an important role in some of the most calming experiences on Earth — like meditation and yoga. You may also find yourself taking a long deep breath almost instinctively as a way to relax and center yourself, particularly just prior to or during stressful situations. It's clear that the way you breathe — whether fast or slow, shallow or deep — sends messages to your body that affect your mood, your stress levels and even your immune system. New research has revealed, however, that breathing may directly affect your brain activity, including your state of arousal and higher-order brain function.1 How Controlled Breathing May Lead to Mental Calm Breathing is initiated by a cluster of neurons in your brainstem. In an animal study, researchers were attempting to identify different types of neurons (out of a group of nearly 3,000) and identify their role in breathing function. They were focused on the pre-Bötzinger complex (or pre

What Benefits Can You Derive From Patchouli Oil?

For many people, a whiff of patchouli oil brings to mind the hippie movement of the '60s and '70s. But beyond this oil's unique aroma that's associated with the "flower children" is a wealth of benefits that can soothe and heal you inside out. Discover more interesting facts about patchouli oil below. What Is Patchouli Oil? Patchouli oil is derived from a large evergreen perennial that is a member of the Labiatae family, and a close relative of mint, lavender

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One-Third of Your Pillow Weight May Be Dust Mites and Bug Droppings

By Dr. Mercola Dust mites are curious tiny creatures that feed off your dead skin cells and thrive in warm, humid environments. They don’t bite, and they don’t spread disease, but they are responsible for allergic symptoms and have been linked to the development of asthma in children.1 An estimated 10 percent of the population are allergic to the dust mite’s fecal pellets and body parts. Your pillow is one of the more common places to find large numbers of mites, as the environment is exactly what they need to grow and multiply. In fact, pillows and down comforters can become a dust mite reservoir. And, though you may think you’ve finally found the perfect pillow for a great night of sleep, it may be time to pitch the one you have and get a new one. Ideally, your pillow should fill the gap between your head and shoulders when you lie down. Your pillow will serve two functions — support for your neck and upper back and provide a level of comfort you wouldn’t experience with

How Monsanto Buys Science and Promotes Cancer

By Dr. Mercola Monsanto has managed to saturate the global environment with toxic chemicals and genetically modified seed. Glyphosate is the major component in its flagship product, Roundup, used both in residential gardens and on farms. The chemical is so pervasive that tests by the Organic Consumers Association found 93 percent of Americans have glyphosate in their urine.1 By comparison, no glyphosate was detected in tap water, which means the chemical is being ingested through food products. It is in fact, the most heavily used weed killer in history. While much media attention has been levied at glyphosate for the association with cancer, in lower doses the chemical is also a strong endocrine disrupter.2 The health costs associated with exposure to hormone disrupters in Europe are estimated to be over $188 billion annually.3 Corporate spokespeople continue to say glyphosate is safe for use around humans, but recent revelations are beginning to completely unravel the well-orchestra

Coca-Cola Caught Undermining Public Health Initiatives

By Dr. Mercola Soda and other sweetened beverages have been identified as a major contributor to the obesity1,2 and diabetes epidemics around the world,3,4 and in light of the scientific evidence, many public health organizations have started recommending daily sugar limits. At least 10 countries have implemented or are working toward implementing taxes on soda in an effort to reduce consumption and improve public health. One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains on average between 8 and 10 teaspoons of sugar, far exceeding 100 percent of your recommended daily sugar allotment of 6 teaspoons (25 grams). Considering sugar is as addictive as cocaine5 and has downright toxic effects on your body when consumed in excess,6 it's no wonder obesity has become such a health crisis. Previous research conservatively suggests sugary beverages alone are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths and 44,000 heart disease deaths.7 What's worse, the death

Monday, April 10, 2017

Does Informed Consent Truly Exist?

By Dr. Mercola Informed consent is a basic human right in which a person has the ability to voluntarily accept or reject a treatment or medical procedure, including use of pharmaceutical products, after being fully informed of all possible risks and benefits. “The most important goal of informed consent,” according to the University of Washington School of Medicine, “is that the patient has an opportunity to be an informed participant in her health care decisions.” It seems a simple premise, but throughout history we’ve seen cases where informed consent was not only challenged but completely ignored — a trend that exists to this day. In an era when your legal right to informed consent is increasingly under attack, it’s important to review some tragic historical mistakes and outright assaults on freedom and ensure that they’re not repeated. For example, decisions made by judges sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court more than 100 years ago are sti