Friday, February 5, 2016

Death By Prescription

This article is by Herbalist Wendy Wilson, who write for the International Forecaster. This article was written for the 30 January 2016 newsletter and originally titled "CAUSE OF DEATH BY Rx IS 52%"

It is astonishing that out of the reported deaths caused by prescription medicines we find that the death rate is 52%. This statistic reflects only the reported cases by hospital doctors and or coroners performing autopsies. Are patients overdosing on purpose or are these deaths accidental? For the most part, the prescription drug-related deaths are from patients taking their medications as prescribed. Drugs accumulate in the body and cause a toxic condition. After a while the organs fail to clear the toxins under the strain and death can occur. There are also metabolic changes created by prescription drugs. If patients are on more than one medication, doctors and pharmacists do not know what those changes will be. The risk is high using life-long prescriptions in an attempt to stabilize function. In the long run, the drugs create worse conditions.

TWO KINDS OF AUTOPSY

An autopsy is a medical examination of a deceased person. It is done to confirm the cause of death or to provide evidence that can point to a cause of death. There are two kinds of autopsies in the US:

(a) Hospital or a clinical autopsy requested by family or physicians
(b) medico-legal autopsy ordered by legal officials.

Coroners across the country have what is called their Cause of Death Quick Fact Sheet. This tool is supposed to help medical examiners arrive at the proper cause of death. In many cases the medications predispose patients to a perfect storm of demise. According to the National Vital Statistic System, the statistic of 52% mortality due to prescribed drugs is their best guess over a thirty-five year period. It is most likely a low estimate because according to the CDC, over 20% of Americans are taking more than one prescribed medicine. The number of autopsies are down as well, dropping over 50% since 1972, which means only a fraction of drug deaths are being investigated.

“Research from 1976 to 2006 showed that 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths, were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. ” Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2010.

MOST VULNERABLE

According to existing data, the elderly are more vulnerable to die due to prescribed medications because doctors put them on multiple drugs. Add to that the complication of a poor memory or onset of dementia and the elderly can mismanage their medications further increasing their risk of death. According the nursing home staff, the elderly have many chronic illnesses which require strong drugs. Although staff won’t admit it, they understand that the elderly in their care are “medicated to death.”

WHO TOP TEN

According to the World Health Organization, the top ten causes of death globally are:

1. Heart Disease
2. Stroke
3. COPD (emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)
4. Pneumonia
5. Bronchitis
6. HIV/AIDS
7. Diarrhea
8. Diabetes
9. Road Injury/trauma
10. High Blood Pressure

DOCTOR HEAL THYSELF

According to the CDC, the US has a prescription drug epidemic. A few reasons why this problem will get worse before it gets better are:

Free healthcare ensures more people will be taking drugs and more of them, and....

Doctors and other health professionals often self-medicate and become drug addicts causing them harm.

DRUGS Vs DRUGS

According to the CDC and reported in the Los Angeles Times, prescription drug deaths out number illegal drug deaths. Other alarming statistics in the CDC report were:

Drugs kill more people than car accidents.
The number of teenagers killed by drugs doubled.
The number of deaths for patients over 50 tripled.
Pain medications killed more people than traffic fatalities.

Dr. Joseph Mercola calls the excessive and unnecessary drug use in America “Pharmageddon.” People seem to have lost their desire to heal themselves and rather take the easy route and hope drugs are their answer. I spoke with a lady the other day who said her doctor prescribed a medication to lessen her symptoms but admitted there was no cure modern medicine could offer her for chronic nerve pain. The lady refused the drugs and went to the Internet to research her condition. She found numerous natural therapies and she tried them one-be-one until she found the one that helped. She states it was her diet making her sick and since making dietary changes she was able to return to work. The adverse drug reactions are a big problem especially when several medications are being taken in varying doses. In addition, some drugs should not be taken with certain foods, supplements or herbs and the combo complexity magnifies.

THE BIG PLAYERS

The pharmaceutical companies are well aware of the influence they are having on mankind. They employ two lobbyists for every member of Congress. We often look at the voting record of politicians, but do we look at the pharmaceutical company track record?

Merk - $5.5 billion in legal judgments.
Baxter - $1.3 billion in criminal fines and civil penalties
Pfizer - $2.3 billion payout to make criminal and civil cases settle out of court and $430 million false claims
GlaxoSmithKline - $3 billion criminal, $2 billion civil and $750 million poor manufacturing practices
Johnson & Johnson - $2.2 billion in false claims
AstraZeneca - $355 million in fraud

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The unfortunate corruption influencing the medical system is proving that crime pays drug companies in the billions of dollars. If a drug company conducts themselves in a deceptive and criminal capacity, why would you trust their products?

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Child Obesity an 'Exploding Nightmare' in Developing World

MyAchingKnees comment: This is going to piss some people off when I say this, but I get agitated when I see a large fat woman dragging a little fat 8 year old up to the counter at the gas station or convenience store and buying a Big Gulp soft drink and potato chips. By the time that child has a clue, he/she is often too fat, too unhealthy and a pariah at school and with other children - talk about a low self system builder.. Bad nutrition only degrades their immune system will also not allow the body, joints, soft connective tissue and even their young brains to develop correctly.

If you were some rolly polly 8 year old you wouldn't feel like running and playing if your gosh darn knees hurt, now would you! Shame on these parents.

I think that often this cycle is not broken and perpetuates obese, unhealthy children. There are certainly some factors outside the control of some parents but making the best choice available is not one of these limiting factors.

Childhood obesity has reached alarming rates globally and become an “exploding nightmare” in the developing world, including Africa where the number of obese and overweight children under five has nearly doubled since 1990, a WHO commission said Monday.

The authors of the report from the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity stressed that the epidemic has historically not been treated as a grave public health issue and was regarded by some as a product of lifestyle choices by individuals and families.

But following two years of research in more than 100 countries, the authors underscored that governments and global public health bodies were central to reversing the scourge.

“What’s the big message? It’s not the kid’s fault,” commission co-chair Peter Gluckman told reporters.

Biological factors, inadequate access to healthy foods, a decline in physical activity in schools and the unregulated marketing of fattening foods are among the drivers of a worsening epidemic that requires a coordinated global response, the report said.

If not reversed, “the obesity epidemic has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to the increased longevity observed in the world,” added the report, commissioned by the UN’s World Health Organization.

Gluckman conceded that the commission’s policy recommendations – which range from promoting healthy lifestyles to higher taxes on sugary drinks – may seem like common sense.

But, the commission noted, common sense strategies have not been adequately implemented anywhere in the world, with the number of obese and overweight children under five growing from 31 million to 41 million between 1990 and 2014.

“To date, progress in tackling childhood obesity has been slow and inconsistent,” the report said.

Lower-Income Communities. Child obesity “is an exploding nightmare in the developing world,” Gluckman said.

The figures have surged in Africa, with the number of overweight or obese children under five nearly doubling from 1990 to 2014, from 5.4 million to 10.3 million.

The rate of increase in Asia was difficult to quantify, Gluckman said, but Asia currently accounts for nearly half (48 percent) of young children categorized as overweight or obese.

The report notes that in wealthier countries, poorer children are more likely to be obese, partly due to the relative affordability and abundance of fatty fast foods and high-sugar snacks.

Conversely, in poorer countries the children of wealthier families are more likely to be obese, including in cultures where “an overweight child is often considered to be healthy.”

Biology, Solutions. The report outlines biological pathways that can expose children to an elevated risk of obesity once they are born.

The first, called the “mismatch” pathway, results from even subtle malnutrition during pregnancy and early childhood, which can impact gene function and make a child far more likely to excessively gain weight.

The second, the developmental pathway, can occur when a mother entering pregnancy is obese or has pre-existing diabetes.

This “predisposes the child to increased fat deposits associated with metabolic disease and obesity,” the report said.

The report’s recommendation call for an integrated response among governments, global health institutions and individuals, with Gluckman stressing that urging individuals to eat well and keep fit was not enough.

“Dieting and exercise alone is not the solution,” he said. “We have responsibilities on behalf of the world’s children to stop them from being overly obese.”

Article originally posted on Yahoo! Health


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

10 Discoveries That Made Us Healthier in 2015

This is one of the most interesting article you will read this year,...especially since 2015 has passed.......It was written by Max Lugavere and posted on Yahoo! Health. You can follow Max on his facebook page, this is the link.

I am perpetually on the hunt for the latest scientific insights into what we can do for better health and cognitive performance. (I’m making a documentary about the role of diet and lifestyle on brain health, and I often post my findings to my Facebook page.) And 2015 proved to be a big year for us health-obsessed wonder junkies, with a number of incredible studies published that further elucidate how our choices affect our health — in ways both large and small.

One area of major focus over the past year has been the microbiome — the universe of 100 trillion microorganisms that take up residence in our gastrointestinal tracts, modulating our health in profound ways. While we’ve known about the bacteria living in and on us for decades, it is only recently that we’ve begun to understand the scope of the role these little symbionts play in our health. This year bookshelves were lined with offerings shedding light on how we might better utilize this burgeoning field for optimal health. A few standouts: The Good Gut, Brain Maker, and Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ.

But studies about the microbiome were just the start. Below are more fascinating things learned about health over the past year, in no particular order, that you ought to pay attention to if you value things like feeling vibrant, boosting brainpower, and living longer!

1. Your brain is directly connected to your immune system

Unbelievably, in the same decade that humanity can take credit for having put a robot on the surface of Mars, we also located an anatomical feature hiding out in our own brains. And an important one at that. In a stunning discovery that overturned decades of textbook teaching, researchers determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by lymphatic vessels previously thought not to exist. The finding, validating the importance of reducing inflammation in the body, and therefore the brain, could have profound implications for the treatment and prevention of many neurological diseases including depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia, multiple sclerosis, and autism.

2. Using an iPhone before bed screws up your sleep

Thanks to this study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science back in January, we now know that using light-emitting e-readers (aka tablets and other backlit mobile devices) in the hours before bed acutely suppresses melatonin production in the brain. That’s a hormone that not only is responsible for helping regulate your circadian clock to help you fall asleep, but is also involved in the expression of many genes, some of which may keep cancer at bay.

In fact, totally blind people have lower cancer rates than the fully sighted, and it’s thought that one key mechanism is that their melatonin levels are never suppressed. Participants given an e-reader to use before bed took longer to fall asleep, had worse sleep, and were less alert the next morning. This led study authors to conclude that the “electric light to which we are exposed between dusk and bedtime has profound biological effects.” Put it away, or try blue-light-blocking night glasses.

3. Eating spicy food may help you stay alive longer

Observational studies are great at finding interesting links between variables such as specific dietary patterns or components and health — a great starting place for further inquiry. This study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that people who ate spicy foods almost every day had a 14 percent lower risk of death during a seven-year follow-up compared with those who consumed them less than once a week. The active ingredient in chili pepper, capsaicin, has been shown to have a range of health-promoting effects, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.

4. Even diet soda makes you fat

We know that regular, sugar-laden soda is detrimental to health. (We do know that, right?) But the verdict on diet soda hadn’t been rendered until very recently. It turns out that many artificial sweeteners, aside from being metabolized into compounds that could be potentially neurotoxic, have similar hormonal effects in the body to consuming the real thing — sugar. On top of that, our humble microbes, as mentioned before — key players in our metabolic health — don’t take kindly to the fake stuff either. After following about 400 people for about 10 years and tracking their diet soda consumption, this study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in March, found that “in a striking dose-response relationship, increasing DSI (diet soda intake) was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, a potential pathway for cardio-metabolic risk in this aging population.”

5. Saturated fat isn’t bad for us. Sort of.

It’s become clear in recent years that labeling saturated fat as implicitly unhealthy is a fallacy. The truth is, it’s more complicated than that. It’s not healthy or unhealthy — the health quality of it depends largely on its context in your diet. But, using death as the worst possible health outcome, this study, published this year in the British Medical Journal, found no association between saturated fat intake and death from all causes. Consumption of trans fat — that horrific, industry-created franken-sludge — was associated with a 34 percent increase in death from all causes.

In fact, over the past year the FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe.” (Shamefully, trans fat is still found on many supermarket shelves, though legally food manufacturers have another year and a half to remove it from their products.) So saturated fat may have been exonerated, but assuming we are interested in more than simply not dying, we must assess a given nutrient (micro or macro) on how our microbiota feel about it as well … and the jury on how our microbes (and their site of domicile, our GI tract) deal with saturated fat is still out.

Additionally, increasing saturated fat intake in the context of a nutrient-poor, high-carbohydrate, high-sugar, low-fiber diet is still probably bad news — in fact, it’s saturated fat and sugar combined that is often used in nutrition studies to mimic the “obesogenic, diabetogenic” Standard American Diet.

6. The thinking that caused us to fear fat was flawed

National dietary guidelines to limit fat intake were introduced in 1977 and 1983 by the U.S. and U.K. governments, respectively. Deaths from heart disease were at an all-time high and people were looking for a dietary villain. If you want to really dig into this topic, I highly recommend Nina Teicholz’s landmark book The Big Fat Surprise. As health lore has it, avoiding all things buttery led to the widespread recommendation to eat more grains, which has since been associated with skyrocketing rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic, noncommunicable diseases.

A meta-analysis (study of studies, often considered the top of the evidence pyramid) performed this year and published in the British Medical Journal asked a very simple but important question — what was the evidence for these recommendations to begin with? The finding: “Dietary recommendations [to reduce fat intake] were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence.”

7. Lowering carb intake could likely reduce heart disease

A brand-new meta-analysis published this year looked at 17 randomized control trials (the gold standard of nutrition research) and found that low-carb diets were superior to low-fat diets for reducing cardiovascular risk and promoting weight loss in overweight adults. In fact, using the National Institute of Health’s own heart risk calculator, a low-carb diet was 98 percent more effective at reducing risk of a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) versus a low-fat diet. The researchers found no advantage of following a low-fat diet.

8. It’s smart to give cognitive decline the FINGER (study)

This year was a huge year for the brain. Thanks to the stunning work of Miia Kivipelto and colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, we now know that for adults who adhere to a lifestyle protocol that includes dietary advice, social support, and physical exercise, even the most at-risk among us can delay their own cognitive decline, regardless of age. And, as announced just this month at a conference in Barcelona, those in the FINGER study with a common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease actually benefited more from these interventions. The bottom line: Genes are not destiny.

9. Your biological age is more important than your chronological age

Have you been to a high school reunion? Did you wonder why, despite all being of the same class, people seem to have aged at vastly different rates? Here’s why: You actually have two ages — your chronological age, determined by your birth year, and your biological age, determined by your lifestyle choices. Your biological age is the one you should really be concerned about — it’s the one you have control over.

This year, scientists tracked markers for aging in healthy people in their 20s and 30s and found that some people do seem to age faster than others, and that this biological age (independent of —though correlated to — chronological age) is reflected in physical appearance. So, insofar as there is an association between physical appearance and biological age, those who look younger actually are younger, according to these biomarkers. And here’s the kicker — the biomarkers measured in the study are all modifiable, as this video I made about the study elaborates on.

10. Extra-virgin olive oil is a brain-health rock star

Following the Mediterranean diet seems to provide cardio- and neuro-protection, at least when looking at large populations and their health outcomes. No one really knows why it’s protective, and there seems to be a nebulous idea of what, exactly, it’s made up of. But we do know it’s a diet that is higher in wild fish consumption (which assumes an adequate intake of omega 3 fats), includes moderate consumption of red wine (a source, albeit a tiny one, of polyphenols such as resveratrol), and makes use of copious amounts of extra-virgin olive oil (rich in polyphenols and oleocanthal).

The Mediterranean diet is also followed in tandem with a specific lifestyle, so it’s hard to suss out what is working and what isn’t. However, one study pitted a standard, still widely recommended low-fat diet against two versions of the Mediterranean diet — one supplemented with added fat from nuts, and one supplemented with added fat from extra-virgin olive oil. The group of older adults that adhered to the Mediterranean diet supplemented with added olive oil showed the greatest retention of cognitive function after six years.

That’s it! Share this article to spread the word that our health really is in our hands, and to acknowledge what an amazing time we live in for nutrition science. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016, full of exciting new insights that will bring us even closer to optimal health!



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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Garlic - The Hidden Health Secret

This article is from My Central Health and I for one believes in using Garlic to enhance your immune system especially right at the onset of an illness, but this article pretty much advocates taking garlic, on a daily basis, and on an empty stomach. While use garlic on alot of meals, I also keep a bottle of Garlic tabs in the cabinet just for colds.

Not everyone thinks that eating garlic on an empty stomach is beneficial. You may often hear people say that it is only your grandmother and her friends who think that this home remedy is really beneficial. However, it is actually quite effective in preventing and treating many diseases.

Scientists have conducted many studies and the results showed that when you consume garlic before you eat or drink anything will only increase its power, making it an extremely strong natural antibiotic. Why is it more effective when you it eat before the breakfast? The bacteria are overexposed, so they can not defend against its power.

Why is it Good to Eat Garlic on an Empty Stomach

Many people have found that garlic can actually relieve the symptoms of hypertension. It not only regulates the circulation, it also prevents various heart problems and stimulates the proper function of your liver and bladder.

Garlic is also efficient in treating stomach problems, such as diarrhea. Some people even claim that garlic is an amazing remedy for nerve problems, but only when it is consumed on an empty stomach.

As we already mentioned, garlic is really effective in treating stomach problems — it stimulates proper digestion and good appetite. Garlic will also help you to control your stress, and thus stop the production of stomach acid that your body produces every time you get nervous.

Garlic is popular for its health benefits in every part of the world. That is the main reason why people started calling it “a healing food” long ago.

Garlic And Alternative Medicine

In alternative medicine garlic is considered to be one of the most efficient foods when it comes to detoxification. Medical practitioners in this branch say that garlic is so powerful that it cleanses the body from parasites and worms, prevents diseases like diabetes, typhus, depression, and even some cancer types.

If you are allergic to garlic, take two important things into consideration: never eat it raw, and if you still get any skin outbreak, high body temperature, or a headache, stop consuming it.

Some studies have shown that the consumption of garlic can sometimes have side-effects in patients that take medications for HIV/AIDS. Pay special attention to this health conditions and be extremely careful. Make sure garlic is safe for you before you start consuming it.

Its strong smell and taste should not stop you from using all its health benefits. Garlic supplements are a great substitute for raw garlic and even in that form you can still take advantage of its benefits.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

ADHD Diagnoses Soar 43 Percent in United States

This article came from AFP, and addresses the growing trend of diagnosing children and the pre-disposition for medical professionals to only look at treating children with the ADHD label with prescription drugs which can have negative side effects.  It is a damn shame that these children are not first treated as having nutritional deficiencies before these drugs are considered. I have several friends and acquaintances who were told their children had ADHD and those kid's did much, much better after addressing daily nutrients with a quality nutritional supplement and including Omega 3 essential fatty acid into the diet as well.    

The prevalence of ADHD diagnoses soared 43 percent in the United States in the first decade of the century, with more than one in 10 youths now diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, researchers said Tuesday.  ADHD is the most commonly identified mental disorder in the United States, often treated with psychological therapy and prescription stimulants like Ritalin to improve behavior and focus.

Its precise causes are unknown, though some research has pointed to difficulties during pregnancy, exposure to toxins and family history as playing a role.

The findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry show that 12 percent of American children and teens had ADHD in 2011, a significant rise over the 8.4 percent reported by parents in the same survey taken in 2003.

When researchers looked specifically at teenagers, they found the diagnoses had risen 52 percent since 2003.  “This analysis suggests that 5.8 million US children ages five to 17 now have this diagnosis, which can cause inattention and behavioral difficulties,” said lead researcher Sean Cleary, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

While ADHD has traditionally been more common among boys than girls, researchers found that parent-reported prevalence for girls diagnosed with ADHD rose 55 percent in eight years – from 4.3 percent in 2003 to 7.3 percent in 2011.  Among boys, it rose 40 percent.  The data for the study came from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We found rising rates of ADHD overall and very sharp jumps in certain subgroups,” Cleary said.
Hispanics in particular reported an 83 percent rise in ADHD diagnosis during the eight-year study period.  The rate of ADHD rose 107 percent among non-English speakers, and 71 percent among children with parents in so-called “other” parent marital situations – such as living with a single father, legal guardian, or grandparent, the study found.

Study authors said their research was not designed to look for the underlying reasons for changes in prevalence. However, past studies have suggested the recent rise in US prevalence of ADHD may include changes in special-education policy or increased public awareness of ADHD.

Other studies have suggested that there has been no objective rise in ADHD since the 1960s, but rather changes in definition and diagnosis that account for more cases being recognized.
According to Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, the latest data is “not surprising” and “supports the general impression that more children and adolescents are being diagnosed with ADHD.”  However, Adesman – who was not involved in the study – said that while the statistics are convincing, “it does not help us understand why these increases are being observed.”

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Detoxing Your Liver

This article, originally titled "15 Tips for Detoxing Your Liver", is from Healthy Diet Base. I am a believing in doing what you can for liver health, after all you only have one liver and you need it to live. I have a friend who was infected with Hep C after a blood transfusion in Europe following a car accident. Later on in his mid 50's he started drinking quite a bit and his monthly liver function tests starting getting even worse. He asked me what he could do, beside quit drinking (Ha! the power of our addictions!). I had him take the same supplement that I take for my liver, which is a combination of many of the ingredients listed below. His liver function tests started getting better and importantly he started feeling better - I remember thinking if only I can get him to cut way back on drinking.

I take the Liver De-Tox supplement because of my abuse of Motrin over decades from knee and back pain. In my daily does of this liver de-tox supplement, I am getting 225 micrograms of Biotin, 375 mg of Choline Bitartitrate, 240 mg of Milk Thistle, 225 mg of N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, 200 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid, 75mg of Broccoli Concentrate, and 45mg each of Green Tea extract, Olive Oil extract and Turmeric extract.   

 I still remember the first week I started talking the liver health supplement as I felt better and had more energy. I had no reason to believe it was from anything but that product. So the Motrin is bad history with me and I was and am concerned with the damage I did to my liver. Today, I do not take anything stronger than Aspirin and then only for headaches. If people could incorporate some of the foods below into their diet I think they would feel better overall and feel better about optimizing the health of their liver.

The liver is an essential organ that helps to keep the human body free of toxins. It performs important functions in almost every part of your body, from balancing your cholesterol levels to filtering your blood. Painkillers, prescription medications, alcohol, and other toxins can overload the liver and reduce its ability to function. Detoxing your liver helps to flush out toxins and improve the health of your liver. Here are 15 tips for detoxing your liver.

1. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat diseases of the liver and gall bladder. It’s been used by Europeans to heal various liver-related ailments as far back as 2,000 years ago! The plant got its name from the milky fluid that oozes from the leaves when they are crushed.

One of milk thistle’s active compounds is called, silymarin, a potent antioxidant that is several times more effective than vitamin C and vitamin E. It is used to reduce inflammation, inhibit the production of toxins, and prevent further damage to the liver. Of all the silymarins found in milk thistle, silybin has been found to be the most effective in the promotion of liver health. This is why milk thistle supplements contain high doses of silybin.

Milk thistle’s detoxifying and cleansing properties are so potent that it’s even believed to slow down the progression of severe liver damage or liver cirrhosis. Apart from acting as a detoxifier to the liver and preventing alcohol-related liver diseases, milk thistle is also used to treat other conditions that affect the liver including chronic hepatitis, acute viral hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis, as well as hepatic toxicity due to frequent steroid usage.

Milk thistle is available as a tincture that can be used to aid the process of liver detoxification. It is also available in extract form as supplements. In general, the more silymarin it contains, the better the supplement. Recommended doses for milk thistle supplementation vary among individuals, but are usually between 140 mg and 300 mg taken 2 to 3 times daily.

If the supplement contains phosphatidylcholine complex, less of it may be consumed since it promotes better absorption of these liver-detoxifying agents. In which case, you only have to take 100-200 mg once or twice a day. The presence of artichoke, boldo, dandelion, licorice, and turmeric decreases the recommended dosage to 100-140 mg which should be taken 2 to 3 times daily.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments and illnesses. It is thought to improve the function of the stomach, colon, liver, bladder, and kidneys. Make your own apple cider vinegar by crushing some fresh apples and filtering the liquid, before allowing it to cure into vinegar. Alternatively, you can buy bottled apple cider vinegar at most health food stores and supermarkets. Use the vinegar to make a warm cleansing drink for your liver by adding 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm water.

Here’s another recipe you might want to try. You will need:

•Apple cider vinegar
•1 quart filtered water
•½ pc. lemon, thinly sliced
•¼ pc. cucumber, thinly sliced
•2 sprigs mint

Place the mint leaves and slices of lemon and cucumber in a quart-sized bottle or mason jar. Fill the jar with water, and leave enough room for 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Place the vinegar last and if you like, add more to taste. Seal the jar, refrigerate it overnight, and you have a detox drink you can consume the next day!

While apple cider vinegar is usually easy and safe to use, there might be some things you’ll want to keep in mind. Since undiluted apple cider vinegar can be harmful to the esophagus and other parts of the digestive tract, you’ll want to be sure to dilute the vinegar. Try to keep your apple cider consumption to under eight ounces a day as anything over that could potentially decrease your potassium levels. Also, if you are allergic to apples, you will not want to use apple cider vinegar to detoxify your liver.

If you have been prescribed certain medications, especially drugs like cardiac glycosides, diuretics, insulin laxatives, and diabetes or blood pressure medications, you will want to be careful when using apple cider vinegar for detoxification. If you are taking these types of medications, it is always a good idea to check with your health care provide before beginning a regimen that could potentially have harmful effects. Even though apple cider vinegar is made from natural sources, it could still interfere with these types of medications.

3. Garlic

Garlic contains nutrients and Allicin, a compound that helps to aid the process of liver detoxification. Garlic helps to flush heavy metals, nitrogen, and excess hormones from the liver. Cooking garlic can reduce the potency of the nutrients, but the strong flavor of raw garlic can be off-putting for many people. One solution is to try taking garlic capsules, preferably 2-3 times a day while you are performing your liver detox.

When ingesting the garlic capsules, it is best that they are coated so they have a less chance of upsetting your stomach. If your stomach still gets upset when taking a capsule, you can try to take an antacid along with it.

Garlic which is an herb, is normally completely fine for you to use in your detoxification process. However, as with other herbs, there may be some things to keep in mind when using garlic. Although it is not very common, some people have been known to have had an allergic reaction to garlic.

You might want to double check with your health care provider if you are taking certain medications especially for tuberculosis (TB) or HIV/AIDS as garlic can interfere with the absorption of certain kinds of medications specifically for these illnesses. Also for women taking birth control pills, garlic may actually decrease the effectiveness of the pill.

4. Grapefruit seed extract

Grapefruit seed extract contains powerful antioxidants that help to flush toxins from the body, including the liver. Grapefruit seed extract can be expensive, but you only need a few drops 2-3 times a day. If you don’t want to spend money on grapefruit seed extract, try eating a couple of whole grapefruits every day during your liver detox. The results may not be as powerful as using the extract, but grapefruits contain antioxidants that can help to cleanse your liver.

Grapefruit seed extract is processed from grapefruit seeds and pulp and is a byproduct of producing grapefruit juice. In order to reduce the acidity and bitterness of grapefruit juice and extract, vegetable glycerin is added to the final product.

Grapefruit has long been known to interfere with certain medications so it is good to use caution when taking grapefruit seed extract in the detoxification process of your liver. Grapefruit juice has been known to decrease how quickly certain medications are broken down by the liver which can actually increase the side effects of certain medications. You’ll want to be especially cautious if you are taking medications for the following conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction and also if you are taking any kinds of sedatives. Other kinds of medications that may have an altered effect when taken with grapefruit are blood thinners such as Coumadin and also medications that contain caffeine.

5. Dandelion Root

Dandelions are flowering weeds with a wide range of medicinal uses. The roots and leaves of dandelion plants have long been used to make herbal remedies, tinctures and tonics to help cleanse the liver, improve digestion and purify the blood. Dandelions are packed with important nutrients, including calcium, potassium and a variety of vitamins. Dandelion root contains properties that increase the production of bile, which helps to eliminate toxins from the liver.

Dandelion root is available as a tea, tincture, supplement and powdered extract. You can also buy dried dandelion root, which can be prepared in a similar way to fresh coffee. As dandelion root is a powerful diuretic, you must drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. Dandelion root can also produce a mild laxative effect, making it ideal for flushing out your whole system.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a popular spice that gives curried dishes their striking yellow color. Turmeric is also commonly used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a wide range of health conditions including coughs, colds, viruses, infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, high cholesterol levels, excess mucous, nasal congestion, and various skin complaints. Turmeric contains powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, as well as several health-enhancing nutrients including iron, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and fiber. These powerful properties combine to improve liver function, protect and regenerate liver tissue, aid digestion, reduce digestive gas, reduce cholesterol, boost the immune system, improve circulation, and purify the blood.

Turmeric is also an effective aid for detoxing the liver. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have made it to this list! Curcumin, the very thing that gives turmeric its bright yellow color, is a phytochemical responsible for its detoxifying effects. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which helps to eliminate liver toxins and repair damaged liver cells. Liver detox is made more effective when turmeric is combined with ginger, which helps to boost circulation and reduce congestion.

Turmeric is available as a supplement, extract, or tea. To make turmeric tea, you need:
•2 tsp. fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
•1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
•½ to ¾ tsp. powdered cinnamon
•1 pinch powdered black pepper
•½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
•1 tsp. pure raw honey or preferred sweetener
•¼ cup coconut milk or preferred milk

Boil some water and use it to fill a mug halfway. Add the turmeric and ginger and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, add the cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla extract, and honey and stir. Fill up the rest of the mug with coconut milk and stir. Now you have a tasty turmeric tea to cleanse your liver!

What makes this tea great is that many of ingredients aid in liver detoxification. Black pepper and coconut milk allow the body to better absorb the turmeric. Cinnamon is a known anti-inflammatory. And lastly, raw honey is rich in antioxidants that promote digestive health.

7. Lemon

Lemons are packed with vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, phosphorous, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. The juice, fruit, and peel of lemons are often used in natural remedies and herbal infusions due to their potent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Lemon is commonly used to treat sore throats, tickly coughs, fever, colds, blocked sinuses, indigestion, constipation, tinnitus, and rheumatism. Lemon is also thought to help prevent kidney stones, high blood pressure, and chronic stomach problems.

Lemons contain powerful antioxidants, known as bioflavonoids, which help to cleanse the liver, purify the blood, and strengthen the immune system. Adding the juice of half a lemon to a cup of warm or cold water gives you a cleansing drink to help flush toxins from your liver and digestive system. Have a glass of this every day to keep your liver happy. Below is a more effective way of preparing lemon water for liver detoxification. For this you will need:

•1 pc. lemon, preferably organic
•¼ liter hot water
•¾ liter cold water
•Salt

Juice the lemon in a large glass jar. Chop the remains of the lemon into quarters and add to the jar. Fill the jar with water and salt to taste then let it soak for 10 minutes. Leave the lemon slices to increase the potency of the drink, but be aware that the longer it soaks, the more bitter it will be. You can also add raw honey to sweeten the lemon water. Alternatively, you can buy lemon tea or dried lemons to make a refreshing drink.

8. Green Tea

Lauded as one of the world’s healthiest beverages by both nutritionists and research scientists, green tea is also helpful for detoxing the liver. Green tea originated in China and has long been known in Asia for its many health benefits. Green tea comes from the leaves of the plant called Camellia sinensis. The leaves of the plant are not fermented when being made into green tea which leaves the antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols completely intact. Because green tea is one of the least processed beverages, all of its amazing antioxidants called catechins are nearly poured right into your cup. These catechins which are crucial components when it comes to protecting cells from damage, are also helpful in assisting the liver with the detoxification process.

When you use green tea to detoxify your liver, it is recommended that you drink four to five cups a day. Some people don’t like the taste of green tea and if you still want to experience the powerful detoxification effects of the beverage, you can opt for capsules or liquid supplements. Something to keep in mind regarding green tea is that it does contain caffeine. If you are trying to detox your body from caffeine, you can try drinking decaffeinated green tea. Also, if you take the capsules or supplements, they contain caffeine. It is always best to get the capsules or supplements from a reputable source and you might want to check with your health care provider to ensure they are safe for you to take.

9. Avocados

Considered a super-food, avocados are rich in nutrients and help the body to produce a compound called glutathione which is necessary for the liver to get rid of harmful toxins in the body. If you have chronic liver disease, your body is probably low on glutathione. Eating avocados can help increase this important compound and help to heal the liver.

Avocados, which are technically a fruit since they grow on a tree and reproduce with a seed, may get a bad rap at times because of their high fat content. However, the fat contained in avocados is monounsaturated and is the healthy fat good for maintaining health cholesterol levels. Avocados also provide about 20 vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimum health. If you consume avocados, you are also helping your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Avocados are a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E and antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals in the liver which can further protect liver cells and keep this vital organ free from harm.

Avocados are eaten in a variety of ways and can replace foods that aren’t so good for you like mayonnaise, sour cream and butter. They taste great on sandwiches, in salads or topped with fresh salsa. Whether you mash them, whip them, slice or dice them, avocados are a great food to eat during the liver detoxification process. They are one food you will want to keep on eating after your detox to help protect and heal the liver.

10. Cabbage

Eating cabbage, which is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, contains glucosinolate that helps to stimulate the activation of important detoxifying enzymes known to flush out toxins from the liver. There are many foods in the cabbage family including Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower that can also be good when detoxing the liver. These foods contain sulfur which is known as a cleansing mineral. More importantly, cabbage and the other foods in its family are full of sulfur-containing amino acids. These amino acids, including taurine, methionine and cysteine are essential when it comes to clearing the pathways during a liver detox. If you are eating a lot of cabbage and other vegetables that contain sulfur, you may want to note that eating a lot of fruit might cancel out those benefits since eating fruit can interfere with sulfur metabolism.

While a variety of cabbage can be eaten during a liver detox, only green cabbage contains high amounts of chlorophyll which is known to be important for strengthening the liver. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable which also contains Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate and Omega 3 fatty acids which are all beneficial for optimum health. In order to get the best benefit, be sure to eat organic, raw cabbage. You can also drink raw cabbage juice as a way to detox your liver. If you juice the cabbage yourself, you will want to be sure to drink the juice right away or else it will lose pertinent vitamin content.

11. Walnuts

You might not think of eating nuts as a way to help detox your liver but they contain high density lipoproteins that help to protect against fatty liver disease. These lipoproteins also reduce levels of C-reactive protein that helps to lower inflammation in the liver. This is important because inflammation of the liver is often a precursor to liver damage.

Some nuts, especially walnuts, contain large amounts of the amino acid known as arginine which help to rid the liver of harmful toxins like ammonia. Walnuts also contain high amounts of glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids which are both necessary for effectively detoxifying the liver. One important thing to remember about eating walnuts during a detox is that you want to chew them well, turning them into liquid before swallowing. Because walnuts are a food with low levels of toxicity, extracts from the hulls of walnuts are often used in special formulas made to cleanse the liver from toxins. Protein, antioxidants and healthy unsaturated fats can also be found in walnuts and are all essential for liver health and function. Unsaturated fats are especially important as they help to protect the liver against fat accumulation and aid in building healthy cell membranes around liver cells.

Other nuts that can be healthy for the liver include Brazil nuts, pecans and almonds. Peanuts are usually not a good food when it comes to liver health. When eating nuts for health benefits, make sure to only eat them unsalted and in their rawest form.

12. Seaweed

If you think seaweed is strictly reserved for dieters or health nuts, then you will never look at this superfood the same way again. Not only is seaweed high in nutrients and low in calories, it also contains hardcore detox properties that cleanses the liver. In fact, a study from McGill University concluded that seaweed is an effective detox agent against radioactive chemicals like strontium. Seaweed, kelp, in particular, contains a high concentration of algin, which helps rid the body of radioactive particles in the body.

Of course, unless you live near a melted down nuclear power plant, seaweed’s radioactive detox properties is useless. But the goodness of seaweed doesn’t stop there. Seaweed is also helps flush out heavy metals like cadmium and lead in the body. Green seaweed is rich in chlorophyll, one of nature’s most potent detoxifier. Chlorophyll contains a special kind of fiber that binds and flushes out toxic chemicals from the body, especially unwanted substances in the liver. To round up, seaweed is the only food that contains the broadest range of minerals, around 10 or 20 times more than any vegetable.

But before you go and start hoarding seaweed from the local grocer, make sure you’re getting the highest quality seaweed from a reputable source so you can take full advantage of its detoxifying properties.

13. Onions

The liver is without a doubt one of the most abused organs in the body. The liver filters out all the unwanted substances in the body so if you’re serious about taking care of it, then you might want to start adding more onions to your diet. You see, apart from containing a long list of essential vitamins and minerals that protect the body from free radicals, onions also contains sulphur, a compound that not only purifies the liver from toxic chemicals and environmental toxins, but also helps flush out a wide range of poisons ranging from pesticides to alcohol.

Onions are also one of the best sources of anticancer compounds including phenolics and flavonoids. Research shows that shallots, yellow onion, and Northern red onions inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body. Onions are believed to cut the risks of developing colon and liver cancer. It also contains a higher level of special antioxidants that protect the body from certain types of cancers. That said, not all onions offer the same level of anticancer and liver-detoxifying properties. Western Yellow onions contain 11 times more antioxidants than the Western White so it’s important to research which varieties offer the highest anticancer properties.

There are several ways to incorporate onions into your diet. Onions are quite versatile and can be a part of any meal. You can caramelize them in low to medium heat and add them to omelets, salads, sandwiches, and pretty much any vegetable ditch. Chopped raw onions can be combined with tomatoes, cucumber, and toasted pita bread to create a Mediterranean salad. Don’t forget to drizzle it with olive oil and lemon juice! You can also make an Italian salad by mixing sliced onions, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Finish it off by drizzling it with olive oil. Maximize the detoxifying properties of onions by using garlic-infused olive oils when preparing salads.

14. Artichoke

Another of nature’s heavy-duty liver detoxifier is artichoke. Artichoke is known to boost bile production in the liver. This in turn helps normalize health and digestive function and prevent the development of certain types of cancer.

Artichoke as a liver-friendly detoxifier is actually old news. In Europe, most doctors prescribe artichoke extracts to those suffering from liver-related diseases since the 18th century. Most holistic practitioners are also turning to artichoke to cleanse the liver from toxic chemicals.

Recent studies prove the benefits of artichoke on liver health. In 2010, a study featured in the Biological Trace Element Research links consumption of artichoke leaf extract with reduced fat and cholesterol levels in liver. An earlier study that appeared in Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology shows that consuming artichoke extract before being exposed to liver-damaging toxins prevent injury to the liver. An Italian research published in Nutrition and Cancer revealed that artichoke extract demonstrated a capability to protect liver cells from damage, mainly due to their antioxidant effects. They also discovered that artichoke extract prevented the growth of cancerous cells in the liver.

Artichoke belongs to the milk thistle family. Apart from being a hardcore liver detoxifier, artichoke also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and is rich in phelonic acid compound known as cynarin. Cynarin is believed to be responsible for artichoke’s cholagogue and choleretic properties. Cholagogue is a substance that promotes the discharge of bile from the system while choleretic stimulates the liver’s bile production.

Cholagogue and choleretic are extremely important in the overall health of the liver. How? People suffering from liver problems tend to excrete inadequate amounts of bile and most times, the bile is not properly transported to the gallbladder. This causes an increased risk of liver damage. By adding more artichoke to your diet, you supply the body with helpful compounds that repairs, reinvigorate and detoxifies the liver.

15. Fennel and Fennel Seeds

Fennel for better liver health? You better believe it! Fennel and fennel seeds are not only high in essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, they are also used traditionally to detox the liver from harmful chemicals.

Fennel is used to treat a wide range of health problems ranging from a simple case of indigestion to chronic flatulence. It also helps dissolve kidney stones and neutralize uric acid in the tissues, making it a great herbal treatment for those suffering from gout or arthritis. This carminative herb helps aid in removing mucus and phlegm buildup in the lungs, and even removes mucus from the intestinal tract. It contains natural cleansing properties for the colon, liver, and gallbladder. It’s one hardworking superfood if we ever saw one!

Fennel seeds, on the other hand, have been used for decades to treat a wide range of liver diseases. In fact, fennel seeds are often taken as tea because it helps disengage any blockages in the liver, spleen, and biliary bladder. Fennel seeds are not only potent liver detoxifiers but they also dissolve kidney stones.

Fennels contain a multitude of phytonutrients that give it its antioxidant properties. Perhaps the most important of these when it comes to liver health is anethole. Anethole has been shown in many studies to prevent cancer and protect the liver from injury. The fennel bulb, which is rich in fiber, can decrease cholesterol levels and removes cancer-causing toxins from the colon, which reduces your risk for colon cancer.

Fennel and fennel tea are used to treat jaundice and reverse the ill effects of alcohol consumption on the liver. And to wrap up the amazing, wonderful nutritional value of fennel and fennel seeds, they prevent water retention and improve the body’s metabolic rate leading to… you guessed it – weight loss!

You can use all parts of the fennel including its base, stalk, and leaves to detoxify your liver. Here are some ideas on how to prepare it:

•Sauté fennel and onions and serve as a side dish
•Toss fennel with avocados and orange slices for a fresh salad
•Braise fennel and eat them with scallops
•Add slices of fennel into your sandwiches

Prepare plain yogurt with mint leaves and top with thin slices of fennel.

BTW - I recently re-connected with my heavy drinking, Hep C friend.  He is now 62 years old and a new Grandpa. He has quit drinking and been sober for that last two years, but still takes his supplements. 


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

GNC and Military Base Exchanges stop selling USPlabs products

GNC has ordered its 5,000 retail stores, including those located on military bases, to stop selling products made by USPlabs after the Dallas-based company’s executives were charged with allegedly lying to government regulators and the public about ingredients of at least two products.

GNC officials said Nov. 19 that while the criminal charges are not related to current products on the market, they were suspending sales of all products made by UPSlabs “in the best interest of our customers."

“While ... we have no reason to believe there are any health and safety issues with respect to any USPlabs products currently sold by GNC, it is in our best interest … to suspend the sale of the company’s products pending further review,” Michael Archbold, CEO of GNC, said in a news release.

After GNC made the announcement, the Marine Corps Exchange stopped selling a reformulated version of the workout booster Jack3d, according to a spokesman from the Marine Corps Non-Appropriated Funds Business and Support Services Division.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which carries the USPlabs workout supplement Jack3d Micro, is “evaluating the situation and will decide soon on whether the product will continue to be stocked," a spokeswoman said.

Navy Exchange spokeswoman Kristine Sturkie said USPlabs products were carried by GNC stores and not sold in the service's exchanges.

USPlabs and its top executives face criminal charges following a Justice Department investigation that alleges key ingredients in workout boosters such as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro are synthetic stimulants rather than natural ingredients as claimed.

An 11-count indictment handed down in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in mid-November charges USPlabs, S.K. Laboratory and five company executives with unlawful sale of dietary supplements, conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstructing an FDA proceeding, wire fraud and food mislabeling.

The supplements Jack3d and OxyElite Pro contained 1,3 dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, or other ingredients the company claimed were naturally derived from plants, including geraniums or bael, a fruit common in India.

But the Justice Department said the two companies conspired with Chinese manufacturers to create a paper trail claiming the ingredients were natural in an effort to ensure U.S. retailers would sell the products, while the substances actually were synthesized chemical compounds.

The Defense Department removed products containing DMAA, including Jack3d, from base stores and on-base GNCs in 2013 after the supplements were implicated in the deaths of at least two soldiers who suffered heart attacks during physical training.

A follow-on investigation found insufficient evidence to prove the supplements caused the deaths, but investigators still decided that the ingredient posed enough of a health risk to keep it off the shelves of military stores.

In 2012, the FDA told companies selling products containing DMAA to stop using the ingredient.

USPlabs voluntarily destroyed $8 million worth of Jack3d and OxyElite Pro after the FDA move, but then reformulated the products, which made their way back to store shelves.v According court documents, the reformulated OxyElite Pro contained aegeline, which the company claimed was a natural extract but investigators allege is also a synthetic stimulant.

The company also added another ingredient, labeled as cynanchum auriculatum root extract, to OxyElite Pro to promote weight loss.

When the new formula went on the market in October 2013, more than 50 residents of Hawaii, including some military family members, developed acute hepatitis and liver failure. At least one person died and three required liver transplants.

According to the Justice Department, four defendants were arrested Nov. 17 and two agreed to self-surrender.

Article from Military Times

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