Additives Are Additive
New research on common food additives confirms our claim that additives are additive in their effects. Combinations of neurotoxic additives were up to four times as damaging combined than administered singly, according to a study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences. Researchers at the University of Liverpool examined the toxic effects on nerve cells of aspartame, MSG and the artificial colorings brilliant blue and quinoline yellow. The team found that mouse nerve cells exposed to MSG with brilliant blue, or aspartame with quinoline yellow, in concentrations that theoretically reflect the amounts that enter the bloodstream after a typical children’s snack and drink, stopped nerve cells growing and interfered with proper signaling systems. The testing protocol was the same as those applied when testing combinations of pesticides for toxicity. Additives are tested for approval only one at a time but examining their effect in combinations gives a more accurate picture of how they are consumed in the modern diet. “Although the use of single food additives is believed to be relatively safe in terms of development of the nervous systems. . . . We think there are signs that when you mix additives, the effect might be worse,” said Vyvyan Howard, a toxicopathologist and expert in fetal development who led the study. Representatives of the food processing and aspartame manufacturing industries dismissed the study as lacking “any meaningful information” (The Guardian, December 21, 2005).
Vaccinations contain at least four neuro-toxins: mercury, formaldehyde, MSG and aluminum hydroxide. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have been looking at the possible effects of the fourth item in this list. They injected mice with anthrax vaccine containing aluminum hydroxide. After 20 weeks studying the mice, the team found statistically significant increases in anxiety (38 percent); memory deficits (41 times more errors than the sample group); and allergic skin reaction (20 percent). On autopsy, brain tissue samples showed that 35 percent of the cells were in the process of destroying themselves. According to Chris Shaw, lead researcher for the project, his research shows a link between aluminum hydroxide and symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. “No one in my lab wants to get vaccinated,” he said. “This totally creeped us out. We weren’t out there to poke holes in vaccines. But all of a sudden, oh my God–we’ve got neuron death!” (www.straight.com/content/cfm?id=16717).
General Motors posted a $1.1 billion loss for the first quarter of 2006, its largest quarterly loss in over a decade, which was largely attributed to the increased cost of providing health care coverage for employees. Health expenditures increase the price of each GM car by $1525, more than the cost for steel. This may explain why GM sales were down 19 percent and Toyota’s sales jumped 23 percent in the year. GM’s health-care costs are $4 billion more than Toyota’s because almost all health care in Japan is provided by government rather than employers. The answer to this crisis is not to shift the burden of health care costs from General Motors to the general taxpayer, but to provide corporations with accurate information on nutrition so their employees stay healthy and productive (Health and Stress, July 2006).
New EPA regulations allow fluoride levels in foods that dwarf the maximum 4 ppm allowed in tap water. The new tolerances were requested by Dow AgroSciences following the firm’s promotion of its pesticide sulfuryl fluoride, trade name ProFume–used to fumigate food processing facilities and storage areas. For example, the EPA is allowing 900 ppm in dried eggs and 125 ppm in wheat flour. “How can the EPA consider 900 ppm in eggs safe while the Food and Drug Administration directs parents to call poison control centers if their children consume more than a pea-sized portion of toothpaste with fluoride at 1000 ppm?” asks Paul Connett, executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). “Unlike toothpaste, eggs are meant to be eaten, not spat out” (NutraUSA, August 8, 2001). A comment letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson can be accessed at http://actionstudio.org/?go=2367.
Another reason to boycott farmed fish emerges from a report published in Environmental Microbiology, July 2006. The report highlights the use of antibiotics in the rearing of fish leading to bacterial resistance and the evolution of resistant strains of bacteria in humans as well as in the fish themselves. The antibiotics used are often non-biodegradable and remain in the aquaculture environment for long periods of time. “If we don’t curb the heavy use of prophylactic antibiotics in aquaculture, then we will ultimately see more and more antibiotic-resistant pathogens emerging, causing increased disease to fish, animals and human alike,” said Dr. Felipe Cabello, author of the study. Today more than 70 percent of the bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics most commonly used to treat them. According to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly two million in the US get an infection in the hospital each year and about 90,000 of those patients die each year as a result, up from 13,000 patient deaths in 1992 (www.nutraingredients.com).
What is the average life expectancy of Americans? For a long time it has been the low seventies for men and upper seventies for women. So it comes as a shock to learn that the average life expectancy for Americans has dropped to 69.3 years, according to the America’s Health Rankings report, issued at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting. This figure is exceeded by 28 other countries, including Britain, France and Germany and is about five years less than the life expectancy in Japan. According to Dr. Reed Tuckson, this dismal number reflects increasing obesity, fewer people quitting smoking (although only 20.8 percent of Americans smoke today, down from almost one-third in 1990), and increasing numbers of people without health insurance. Officials made no mention of the increasing consumption of processed foods containing refined sweeteners, processed vegetable oils and toxic additives, and certainly did not allow even a whisper about the almost complete absence of nutrient-dense foods such as organ meats, shellfish and butterfat and eggs from grass-fed animals from the American diet (Reuters, December 13, 2005).
Formula for Long Life
It’s very convenient to blame our declining longevity on obesity, but urging everyone to be extra-slim may be counterproductive. A new study indicates that people who are a little overweight are likely to live longer than people who are underweight. Data from three US surveys about health and nutrition carried out in the 70s, 80s and 90s indicate that people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 25 but lower than 30, which according to today’s definition means they were moderately overweight but not obese, did not have a reduced life expectancy. (A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered normal.) The people who lived the longest of all were those with BMIs of 25, which lies between the ideal and overweight margins (BBC News, April 21, 2005). Two other recent studies on life-span provide scientific validation to Weston Price’s findings. Research published in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences indicates that lack of specific nutrients increases the risk of becoming frail–those nutrients being, in order of importance, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C and folic acid (2006 Jun;61(6):589-93). Further, two researchers from the University of Chicago’s Center on Aging presented the results of a study on centenarians to the Chicago Actuarial Association this spring. Their findings: You are more likely to reach the age of 100 if you are a first born child of a mother under age 25, especially if you grew up in the western part of the US and spent part of your childhood on a farm (Reuters, June 25, 2006). Connect the dots and the formula for a long life adds up to superior nutrition during childhood years and the enjoyment of a hearty, nutrient-dense diet throughout life.
News reports from a variety of sources paint an ominous picture of the health of America’s children, starting with the growing problem of premature babies. One baby in eight is now born before 37 weeks, according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine, a rate that has increased more than 30 percent in the last twenty years. Efforts to keep these fragile infants alive cost the nation at least $26 billion a year, and that doesn’t include the financial burden for long-term health problems such as cerebral palsy, retardation, learning disabilities, asthma and other conditions that are more common in children born prematurely (Associated Press, July 13, 2006). Birth defects are also increasing, including a particularly horrible one called gastroschisis, a condition in which babies are born with their intestines outside their bodies. Since the early 1990s, the rate of gastroschisis has increased from one in 10,000 to almost five per 10,000. One doctor in Denver reported four babies born with gastroschisis at one time in the Children’s Hospital intensive care unit. The rate is highest in babies born to mothers under the age of 20 (Denver Post, July 25, 2006). Learning disabilities and emotional problems have reached epidemic proportions. A report from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health found that one child in 200 is autistic and about 20 percent of all children have learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder. The consequences for these children and their families are catastrophic. “Children with developmental problems had lower self-esteem, more depression and anxiety, more problems with learning, missed more school, and were less involved in sports and other community activities. Their families experienced more difficulty in the areas of childcare, employment, parent-child relationships and caregiver burden” (Pediatrics Vol 117 No 6 June 2006). Other news reports describe children lining up for morning medications–including Zoloft for depression and a host of medications for attention deficit–while at summer camp (New York Times, July 16, 2006); bans on games of tag, touch football and soccer at elementary schools because children are getting injured too easily (USA Today, June 27, 2006); and a doubling of cheerleading injuries since 1990 (Associated Press, January 3, 2006). Vaccinations and calorie-counting are not going to solve these problems, only nutrient-dense diets starting before conception.
The USDA has approved the release of Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready alfalfa, claiming that the potential for cross pollination with non-GMO plants is remote “since the ideal time to harvest alfalfa is prior to alfalfa going to seed.” “This is hog wash,” writes one of our members, “as I have 100 acres of alfalfa in full bloom right now. It won’t be cut for two to four weeks and it won’t be grazed.” As for the effects of contamination on organic producers, the USDA concluded that since organic certification was “processed based,” GMO contamination of forage was irrelevant as long as the organic dairy and beef producers did not knowingly feed it to their livestock–insinuating that the organic certification has nothing to do with product integrity and is only valuable for the extra revenue it generates. The National Family Coalition has filed suit against USDA demanding that the agency conduct a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement. Such an investigation is urgently needed in light of recent deaths of sheep and goats in India after eating genetically engineered cotton (organicconsumers.org).
More Weight with Trans Fats
Research on monkeys carried out at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine indicates that weight gain is accelerated by consumption of trans fats compared to other fats. “Diets rich in trans fat cause a redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen and lead to a higher body weight even when the total dietary calories are controlled,” said Lawrence L. Rudel, PhD, head of the Lipid Sciences Research Program. “What it says is that trans fat is worse than anticipated. I was surprised.” Monkeys given trans fats rather than monounsaturated fat deposited 30 percent more fat in their abdomen, even though both diets contained the same amount of calories (sciencedaily.com, June 2006). Maybe we should abandon the expression “beer gut” and refer to abdominal overweight as “trans fat gut” instead.
While health officials continue to rail against the dangers of raw milk, we like to point out that since 1999, Organic Pastures dairy of Fresno, California has sold over 30 million servings of raw milk without one health incident. During the same period, the state of California issued at least 20 recalls of pasteurized milk products. In one example, bacteria in pasteurized milk was blamed for a recent outbreak of gastroenteritis that struck 1300 inmates in 11 California state prisons. Twenty-five thousand half-pint cartons of pasteurized milk produced between May 8 and May 18 were thrown out but officials could find no problems at the dairy from which they were shipped (Associated Press, June 6, 2006). Other recent outbreaks of food poisoning were caused by raw oysters on the West Coast and Cadbury’s chocolate in Great Britain. The biggest source of food-borne illness is fresh produce (causing 554 outbreaks totaling 28,315 cases between 1999 and 2003) and poultry (blamed for 476 outbreaks with 14,729 cases) during the same four-year period. Another 812 outbreaks totaling 23,126 cases were traced to multiple-ingredient foods, such as pizza and salads (cidrap.umn.edu, December 1, 2005).
Junk Food for Sea Lions
One theory on the demise of Steller sea lions in the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands places the blame on a “junk diet,” namely the overconsumption of lean fish like pollock rather than fattier fishes such as herring, which are becoming scarce. Scientists in Canada tested this hypothesis by feeding six captive Steller sea lions only pollock or herring. All sea lions gained mass while eating herring but eating only pollock for short periods caused the animals to lose body mass. According to the study report, “The loss of body mass while eating pollock was due to the lower gross energy content of the pollock versus herring, the higher cost of digesting pollock and the increased energy loss from digesting the larger quantity of fish needed to compensate for the lower energy content of pollock. . . . Results from our captive-feeding studies are consistent with the junk-food hypothesis and have serious implications for Steller sea lions that have been eating primarily [lowfat] pollock in the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.” The study authors refrained from speculating on the implications for humans that have been eating primarily lowfat food in the United States, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Hawaiian Islands. Most interesting is the observation that the lower-fat fish is harder for sea lions to digest.
Against All Odds
Three men are alive and healthy after drifting almost three months in the Pacific Ocean after a strong wind swept them out to sea. They survived on raw fish, raw birds and rainwater. Two companions, who couldn’t bring themselves to eat raw animal food, died of starvation. “We never had a headache or a stomachache,” said one. “The raw food didn’t hurt us. We drank rainwater that tasted like gasoline.” The men attributed their survival to prayer, but the diet of raw food certainly helped (Associated Press, August 23, 2006).
Go to http://www.askapatient.com and click on ratings and then Lipitor, where you will find almost 700 comments on the cholesterol-lowering drug. What is interesting is the very high number of patients reporting side effects, including severe fatigue, joint pain, digestive problems, craving for fatty foods, difficulty breathing, thinning hair, depression, lack of concentration, memory lapses, thoughts of suicide, nightmares, peripheral neuropathy, paralysis, dizziness, painful charley horses, weight gain, blurred vision, headaches, insomnia, difficulty walking, rashes, blisters, slurred speech, eczema and “itching all over.” Yet most of the ratings are positive, with patients expressing satisfaction at bringing their cholesterol levels down, and persevering in spite of the debilitating side effects. Such is the level of cholesterol anxiety engendered by the phony lipid hypothesis. Perhaps “complete decline in the power of reason” should be added to the list of side effects from cholesterol-lowering drugs.