Country Crock, a Unilever brand, has changed the recipe for its vegetable oil spread in response to rising consumer preferences for more simple, natural foods. The new “simple recipe” contains just ten ingredients: purified water, soybean oil, palm kernel and palm oil, salt, lecithin (soy), vinegar, natural flavors, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (for color) and vitamin D3. “It is the most foul margarine I’ve ever had the displeasure of eating,” said one customer. “When it melts it leaves a hardened film that feels like plastic,” complained another. “. . . literally gagged when I tasted it,” was the comment of a third (countrycrock.com/product/detail/91770/original). Seems like the executives at Country Crock have been unable to distinguish between the changing preferences of the general consumer—who wants more simple, natural foods—and those of their Country Crock customers. When consumers realize the importance of simple, natural foods, they stop eating garbage like Country Crock because they know it can’t be fixed. Maybe the company’s executive brains need some butter!
VACCINES AND SALICYLATES
WAPF board member Kim Schuette, CN, has made a disturbing discovery. The package insert for the chickenpox vaccine warns against exposure to medicines containing salicylate for at least six weeks after receiving the vaccine: “For anyone under 18 years old: Do not take a salicylate medicine (such as aspirin, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate, and others) for at least six weeks after receiving a varicella virus vaccine. Salicylates can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children or teenagers with chickenpox, and the varicella virus exposes you to a small amount of this virus” (drugs.com/mtm/varicella-virus-chickenpox-vaccine.html). Salicylates also occur in many common fruits, such as apricots, plums, pineapple, apples, grapes and all dried fruit. How many doctors are aware of this danger and adequately warn their patients? And how many parents would allow the chickenpox vaccine knowing they had to avoid most fruit for six weeks after the shot?
YOUNGER AND YOUNGER
An article in Surgical Neurology International (2015; 6 (1): 123) reveals that dementia and other neurological brain diseases are striking people at younger and younger ages. The researchers compared the rates of neurological brain diseases in twenty-one western countries from 1989 to 2010. They found that the average age of onset for dementia was ten years earlier in 2010 than in 1989. “The rate of increase in such a short time suggests a silent or even ‘hidden’ epidemic, in which environmental factors must play a major part, not just aging,” said lead researcher Colin Pritchard. “Modern living produces multi-interactional environmental pollution but the changes in human morbidity, including neurological disease is remarkable and points to environmental influences.” The most likely environmental influences? Could it be three generations of cholesterol-robbing vegetable oil instead of animal fat, and the assault of mercury, aluminum and other neuro-toxic additives in the ever increasing number of vaccines?
It’s hard to believe the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said something we agree with, but it’s true! According to CDC, many women aren’t taking enough time between the birth of a child and the conception of another, and we couldn’t agree more. Based on birth certificate data from thirty-six states, or 83 percent of live births in 2011, nearly 30 percent of women got pregnant again less than eighteen months after giving birth. White women had the shortest overall birth intervals at twenty-six months, followed by African American women at thirty months and Hispanic women at thirty-four months The younger the mother was, the more likely she was to have a short interval between birth and pregnancy and more than two-thirds of teenagers had a short interval. Short between-birth intervals “may affect the risk of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, low birth weight and small gestational age” (cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_03.pdf). However, long intervals of sixty months or more were also associated with health risks for the baby. Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy, and failure to progress during labor were among the associated risks, according to a 2008 study by the University of Florida Maternal Child Health and Education Research and Data Center ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/quality_management/mrp/contracts/med062/repeat_birthsaverage_interbirth_interval_among_participants.pdf). The study found that short birth intervals also affect the mother’s health, both mentally and physically. “Pregnancies that occur before a woman has time to regain her health status, replenish her maternal stores (particularly of folate and red blood cells), restore her hormonal balance, or to establish strong bonds with her previous newborn create physical and mental stress that can lead to serious medical complications for both her and her next newborn,” the University of Florida study stated. All this validates the findings of Weston Price, who noted that so-called primitive peoples waited until the child was at least two years old before attempting another pregnancy. A longer interval allows a mother to recover her nutritional stores, thus increasing the odds for a healthy subsequent baby.
GUT FLORA AND MOOD
Several studies during the last decade have shown the relationship between the gut flora, stress and anxiety-like behavior. The findings clearly suggest that changing the gut flora can affect behavior, making mice more or less anxious. Even more interesting are animal studies suggesting that the microbial colonization of the gut during a critical window in early life shapes adult neural circuitry and signaling with a longterm effect on adult behavior. In humans, giving a probiotic fermented dairy drink to healthy female participants caused changes in brain activity. All this fascinating research adds up to the conclusion that anything that interferes with the microbial colonization process early on can set the scene for trouble down the road, and that robust and heathy gut flora can determine depression-free moods throughout life. Maternal stress, infections, antibiotic use in the mother and cesarean birth can jeopardize the baby’s disposition and even mental health throughout life (JAMA 2015;313(17):1699-1701). In fact, researchers at Ohio State University found that toddlers with the most genetically diverse types of bacteria in the gut more frequently exhibited positive mood, curiosity, sociability and impulsivity. Lack of microbiome diversity is associated with greater indications of stress, such as tantrums, especially in boys (https://ccts.osu.edu/news-and-events/news/toddlertemperament-could-be-influenced-gut-bacteria). What used to be treated with the strap or the psychiatrist’s couch now calls out for lacto-fermented food!
ANTIBIOTIC USE AND DIABETES
Rates of diabetes are rising throughout the world, with a 45 percent increase from 1990 to 2013, most of it type 2. Blamed on “more people living longer,” the causes are certainly more complex—from a sugary or high-carb diet to lack of vitamin D (needed for insulin production) to statin use. A new study points to yet another cause—antibiotic use. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania looked at the number of antibiotic prescriptions given to more that two hundred thousand diabetics in the UK at least one year before they were diagnosed with the disease, and compared this to the number of prescriptions given to an equally large group of controls. Patients who received at least two prescriptions for antibiotics were twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of diabetes (Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Jun;172(6):639-48). Scientists have also found that exposure to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria causes hallmark symptoms of type 2 diabetes in rabbits–namely insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and systemic inflammation (MBio. 2015 Feb 24;6(2):e02554). Overgrowth of a pathogen like Staph. aureus is a likely consequence of frequent antibiotic use.
A TURN TOWARDS DARKNESS
“Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science had taken a turn towards darkness.” So declares Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, the world’s most prestigious medical journal. During a closed-door seminar held at the Wellcome Trust in London, Horton stated bluntly that major pharmaceutical companies falsify or manipulate tests on the safety and effectiveness of their products by taking samples too small to be statistically meaningful or hiring test labs or scientists where the lab or scientist has blatant conflicts of interest. At least half of all such tests are worthless, claims Horton (journal-neo.org/2015/06/18/shocking-report-frommedical-insiders/).
WORSE THAN WORTHLESS
“We have provided a critical assessment of research on the reduction of cholesterol levels by statin treatment to reduce cardiovascular disease. Our opinion is that although statins are effective at reducing cholesterol levels, they have failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes.” This statement, by David M. Diamond and Uffe Ravnskov, was published in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology (2015 Mar 8(2):201-210). The authors also describe how statin pushers use deceptive statistical tricks to create the false appearance that cholesterol reduction results in reduction of heart disease. “We have described the deceptive approach statin advocates have deployed to create the appearance that cholesterol reduction results in an impressive reduction in cardiovascular disease outcomes through their use of a statistical tool called relative risk reduction (RRR), a method which amplifies the trivial beneficial effects of statins. We have also described how the directors of the clinical trials have succeeded in minimizing the significance of the numerous adverse effects of statin treatment.” These adverse effects include greater risk of cancer, cataracts, dementia, diabetes and muscular-skeletal diseases—all for “benefits” that are trivial or worthless. In the same issue (pages 189-199) Japanese researchers present evidence that statins may cause coronary artery calcification and “can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A’, and thereby ATP generation.” According to the authors, statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification. Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of selenium-containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase serving to suppress peroxidative stress. An impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis may be a factor in congestive heart failure, reminiscent of the dilated cardiomyopathies seen with selenium deficiency. “Thus,” they conclude, “the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.”