Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Toothpaste Carcinogens

Is Your Toothpaste Full Of Carcinogens? Check this list…

I do everything I can to take really good care of my teeth – brushing, flossing, regular dental cleanings, and avoiding sticky, sugary candy and soda. Bad teeth and gum health are linked to all sorts of health issues. Not taking care of your mouth can even affect your cardiovascular system, possibly leading to clogged arteries and strokes. So taking care of your teeth is more important than just having a gleaming white smile – which is an awesome bonus of course. 
When it comes to toothpaste, I’ve tried many different brands and switched it up a lot over the years as I learn more about the ingredients that are allowed for use in cosmetics and personal care products. This is especially the case when it comes to toothpaste, as this is something that we are putting in our mouth at least twice a day and even if we don’t swallow it, the mouth is one of the most absorbent parts of the body. Essentially, whatever is in your toothpaste is getting a free pass into your bloodstream – and once you see the types of chemicals that you’ve been brushing your teeth with, you might start to think twice about the brand you’ve been buying.


If you thought the processed food industry was bad, cosmetics are even worse!
The cosmetic industry, which toothpaste is part of, is one of the least regulated industries in the U.S.
Just like our food, they’ve been bastardized in America with ingredients that are banned overseas and self-regulated by the industry. They don’t even need to list all the ingredients on the label! It’s pretty scary and disgusting what some cosmetic companies are getting away with while raking in billions of dollars. 
Don’t believe for one minute that the FDA is protecting you from toxic ingredients in your toothpaste – in fact they are part of the problem!
Case in point: Colgate has been selling “Colgate Total”  for nearly 2 decades – and the FDA has just now FINALLY gotten around to banning its active ingredient triclosan… from hand and body soaps… but NOT from toothpaste.
The FDA says it is not okay to wash our hands with triclosan and rinse it off, but it’s perfectly safe to put in our mouth??? That makes no sense and some dentists are calling them out too. Why are they protecting Colgate – the only brand approved to sell toothpaste with triclosan? The FDA is clearly not watching out for consumers and are more interested in protecting the bottom line of some big corporations.
If the FDA isn’t protecting us, how do we know our toothpaste is safe?
If you’ve read the list of ingredients on a box of toothpaste lately, you’ll know that it takes a lot of research to seek out the safest brands. Even if you’ve become an expert food label reader, the ingredients in toothpaste are a whole new animal! You can’t trust the claims like “Natural” the package either, since anyone can just slap that on a toothpaste box.
That’s why I often rely on EWG’s Skin Deep Database to help me pick out safe products – and the nonprofit watchdog group Cornucopia Institute just came out with a Toothpaste Report and Scorecard, ranking toothpaste brands from best to worst, which I found very helpful… and it’s got some BIG surprises!
Check your toothpaste for these hazardous ingredients:
Artificial colors: Toothpaste can contain colors that are considered too toxic for food. The main colors I found in toothpaste were Red #30, Red #33, Blue #1, Yellow #5  – and the brands targeting children are almost always brightly colored! Made from petroleum, these artificial colors are contaminated with carcinogens and can also contain heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. Do you really care what color your toothpaste is?
Carrageenan: This additive is linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer, even in small doses! According to Cornucopia, “there is no restriction on the amount of carcinogenic poligeenan in the grade of carrageenan used in toothpastes”
DEA (diethanolamine): This foaming agent interacts with other common ingredients in toothpaste to form nitrosamines, which are strongly linked to cancer in humans. You’ll even find this one in some “natural” toothpastes!
Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: There is a long list of toothpaste preservatives that release small amounts of formaldehyde right into your mouth. This carcinogen is easily absorbed through the mucosal lining of the mouth. Europe and Canada have strong restrictions on formaldehyde, but that’s not the case in the U.S.! No one is checking toothpastes to see how much formaldehyde they contain, companies are not required to test them for formaldehyde and aren’t even required to disclose to customers that it might be in their product. Preservatives to watch out for on the label: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bromopol), 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3 dioxane (Bronidox), and glyoxal.
GMOs: Unless it is certified organic or non-GMO verified, you might be supporting Monsanto with your toothpaste. Some GMO ingredients to look out for and the GMO crops they are usually derived from: Glycerin (GMO soy, cotton, or canola oil), Citric Acid (GMO sugar), Xanthan Gum (GMO sugar), Xylitol (GMO corn), and Lecithin (GMO soy).
Parabens: These endocrine disrupting chemicals mimic estrogen and can lead to cancer, which is why they are restricted overseas in other countries. That’s not the case in the U.S. where they are very widely used as a preservative in toothpastes, shampoos, lotions, deodorants, and cosmetics.
PEGs (polyethylene glycols) and Propylene Glycol: These ingredients make it easier for the other chemicals in toothpaste to penetrate the skin and get into your bloodstream, exposing you to more toxins. PEGs are notoriously contaminated with 1,4-dioxane (a carcinogen), and although there is a way for companies to remove this impurity from their products – many choose not to.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These foaming agents break down the protective lining in the mouth. SLES is another ingredient contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane.
Should your toothpaste have Fluoride in it?
I have not personally used toothpaste with fluoride for years and have not noticed any negative affects on my teeth. It’s been drilled into us since childhood that applying fluoride to the surface of your teeth is supposed to prevent cavities – but its effectiveness is hotly disputed (sources: 1, 2, 3). Just taking a read about why two-thirds of our U.S. public water supplies are now “fortified” with manufactured fluoride (that’s riddled with arsenic) should be enough to give you pause.
Fluoride itself is highly toxic and when it accumulates in your body can lead to skeletal fluorosis, bone cancer, and thyroid disorders. New research links it to type 2 diabetes. This is a bigger risk for children who typically swallow more toothpaste than adults, where it can affect cognitive function and can cause yellow and brown stains on the teeth.
Most people in America are already getting doused with fluoride in drinking water, packaged beverages and soups (made with fluoridated tap water), and from naturally-occurring sources like nuts and fruit – you’ve got to question whether your toothpaste really needs it too or if this is just another big myth perpetuated by the chemical industry.
Popular Toothpaste brands to avoid all costs:
These toothpastes are filled with several of the toxic ingredients listed above and got the worst ratings on Cornucopia’s scorecard. The sad thing is these are the most popular ones that fill up mass-market grocery store shelves and spend big money on advertising! I’m sure many of you grew up brushing with these…
  • Crest 
  • Colgate 
  • Arm and Hammer
  • Plus White Whitening





Watch out for some “natural” toothpastes too…
Desert Essence, Tom’s of Maine, Jason, Honest, Spry, Nature’s Gate and Kiss My Face toothpastes did not rank well at all… and they are sold in natural food markets everywhere. This surprised me a little bit, and I even personally have used some of these in the past when I didn’t know the risks associated with some of the ingredients. Some of these toothpastes contain carrageenan, foaming agents, possible toxic contaminants or potential GMOs. There are safer ones on the market (see a list below!).

Below are my top toothpaste picks, based on taste and the analysis from Cornucopia:
Top toothpaste picks for Children (although many of the above will work too):
If you don’t see your brand listed, check out Cornucopia’s scorecard for their complete rankings or compare the ingredients in your toothpaste to what’s listed in their report.
Cornucopia also provides easy recipes to make your own homemade toothpaste in their report. I haven’t personally tried to make my own, but if you have please let me know in the comments below how yours turns out!
If you have friends and family who brush their teeth with carcinogens, please share this post with them! When more people start demanding and buying safer products, companies will take notice and better options will be made available to us all. 
Xo, 

Vani

Birkeland Currents In Smoke -The Universe is Electric

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

SINS OF THE FATHER

Cannabinoids can successfully kill leukemia cells, reveals groundbreaking new study

Cannabinoids can successfully kill leukemia cells, reveals groundbreaking new study
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by: Russel Davis
Tags: blood cancer, cancer, Cannabinoids, cannabis
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(Natural News) A recent study published in International Journal of Oncology revealed that cannabinoids, the active chemical in cannabis, can destroy leukemia cells either alone or in combination with other cancer treatments. The scientific community has long-established that cannabinoids may show potential in cancer treatment, with certain varieties known to promote cell death, curb cell growth, and inhibit tumor-inducing blood vessel development. In order to evaluate the compound’s efficacy against leukemia, a team of researchers at the St George’s, University of London studied cancer cells in a laboratory and tested various combinations of cannabinoids and chemotherapy drugs such as cytarabine and vincristine.
The study revealed that the cannabiniod varieties cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) eliminated leukemia cells when used alone. The research team also found that combining the two cannabiniod variants resulted in increased treatment potency. In addition, the study revealed that adding cannabinoids following an initial dose of chemotherapy lead to better overall outcomes against the blood cancer. This means that a similar effect can be achieved by using lower chemotherapy doses, the researchers said. Lower doses of chemotherapy may equate to lower risk of treatment-related side-effects in patients, the experts added.
According to the research team, combining chemotherapy with cannabinoid treatment fared better than either chemotherapy alone or cannabidiol/THC combination. However, the experts noted that greater treatment potency was observed only when cannabinoid treatment was added after the initial chemotherapy, but not the other way around.
“We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment. These extracts are highly concentrated and purified, so smoking marijuana will not have a similar effect. But cannabinoids are a very exciting prospect in oncology, and studies such as ours serve to establish the best ways that they should be used to maximise a therapeutic effect,” lead researcher Dr. Wai Liu said in ScienceDaily.com.
Cannabinoids show efficacy against leukemia in previous study
The current findings were reflective of a 2013 study, also carried out by Dr. Liu, which demonstrated the compound’s potential in combating leukemia. As part or research, the oncologist tested six cannabinoid variants, either independently or in conjunction with each other, against leukemia cells. The researcher found that the compounds spurred significant declines in cancer cell viability and simultaneously inhibited all phases of the cell cycle.
“There’s quite a lot of cancers that should respond quite nicely to these cannabis agents. If you talk about a drug company that spent billions of pounds trying to develop these new drugs that target these pathways, cannabis does exactly the same thing – or certain elements of cannabis compounds do exactly the same thing – so you have something that is naturally produced which impacts the same pathways that these fantastic drugs that cost billions also work on. By using these drugs in combination with each other we can actually get an enhanced effect, and what that means is that we can – after doing some further studies – take this into the clinic and hopefully get the medication that can be used in patients in the next 12 to 18 months,” study author Wai Liu said in USNews.com.
However, the health expert cautioned that the compounds may not work on all types of cancer. According to Dr. Liu, it is currently unclear whether smoking marijuana will produce similar benefits in patients. He also noted that he will not recommend smoking marijuana to treat leukemia as it remains uncertain how various chemicals interacts inside a patient’s body. (Related: Cannabis oils found to naturally treat certain types of cancer)
Sources include:

5G etc EMF what to do

Smart cities, 5G and EMF pollution: How this ‘new’ technology will INCREASE our exposure to microwave radiation
Posted by: Jeromy Johnson in EMF Pollution June 18, 2017


(NaturalHealth365) Across the country, we are beginning to see the rise of so-called “Smart Cities.” The city of the future may include 5G wireless antennas on most utility poles, self-driving vehicles whisking us from place to place, and “Internet of Things” sensors everywhere. But, most people remain uninformed about the dangers of this new technology and the increase in EMF pollution.
We are told that the wireless smart city will bring us into a sustainable future of convenience and ease. However, cracks are appearing in this dystopian vision. At the very time that the smart city is being pushed upon us, our best science now shows how detrimental wireless technology is to our health.
EMF warning: Should we move forward with smart cities if they are ultimately harmful to our health?
In this article, you will learn about the key elements of the smart city and understand the steps to protect your family and community from the health risks of these developing technologies.
What Is 5G?
5G stands for “5th generation” wireless technology. Our devices currently run on 3G and 4G technology, which utilize a limited range of the microwave spectrum. 5G will greatly expand the amount of spectrum used and include high gigahertz range frequencies that have never been used before in consumer devices.
These high frequencies, between 14 GHz and 73 GHz, do not travel as far or penetrate building as easily. However, they will allow for incredibly fast download speeds. This will enable 5G devices to download a movie in a few seconds and will allow companies like AT&T to deliver HBO programs wirelessly, rather than via a cable.
The biggest issue with 5G is that wireless antennas will be placed on most light and utility poles within our neighborhoods. It is estimated that the 5G network will require each of the four major wireless carriers to install one million new base stations. To show you the scale of this expansion, AT&T currently has approximately 70,000 cell sites. This will exponentially increase the amount of microwave radiation in our communities, creating an electromagnetic environment unlike anything humans have ever experienced.
The wireless industry is planning YOUR future in a ‘secret’ way
Our current laws actually make the rollout of the 5G network difficult for the wireless companies. This is why the industry is now pressing for weaker regulations. Senator John Thune has recently introduced SB 19, which is called the Mobil Now Act.
SB 19 would take away any remaining ability that communities have to regulate the placement of cellular antennas. It would allow a wireless company to put a 5G antenna right outside your bedroom window. Call your Senator today and ask them to put a hold on this bill so that you have more say in your health going forward.
Cellular antennas like this (pictured below) are currently being placed on utility poles throughout major cities. These antennas will eventually be part of the 5G network unless we start to speak out.

Why you should care about the “Internet of Things”
The lower frequencies of the 5G spectrum, around 700 MHz, will allow wireless companies to reach any “smart” device that can be connected to the internet. This will enable cities to better control infrastructure, which can benefit society.
However, this technology will also make its way into our homes and fill them with appliances and devices that pulse microwave radiation. The smart home will include wireless toothbrushes, coffeemakers, toasters, thermostats, and security systems. These items will pulse hundreds of thousands of times each day, greatly expanding the amount of EMF pollution in homes.
Rather than convenience or energy efficiency, the true reason for rolling out this technology is the immense personal data that the Internet of Things devices will give industry. This data will be worth billions to marketers and will only erode person privacy for individuals.
There is also a bill currently in the Senate that will reduce regulations on Internet of Things technologies. I encourage you to call your Senator to put a hold on SB 88, also known as the DIGIT Act. It is simply unwise to allow these technologies into the homes of unsuspecting families when there is so much science showing harm.
The “Smart” Home and the “Internet of Things” may be highly profitable for technology companies, but include health, privacy and internet security risks for families. {the image below illustrates this point)

Image Credit: Take Back Your Power
Are we safe with self-driving vehicles?
The self-driving car is a major component of the smart city. The promise of autonomous cars is that people will be chauffeured by artificial intelligence on wheels while they sit back and watch 5G videos. This technology may also reduce accidents caused be people who are currently distracted by their phones, but there is a major downside for society.
Self-driving cars require at least seven different types of wireless technology to operate. They include Lidar, radar, DSRC, infrared cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 4G/5G cellular connections.
The truth is that self-driving cars will bathe passengers and nearby residents in microwave radiation. As you will now see, the health impact of this technology may outweigh any benefits from self-driving cars and other elements of the smart city.

Image Credit: Karsten Neglia/Shutterstock.com
The health impact of wireless technology
Scientific developments the past few years have shown the inadequacy of our safety regulations for wireless technology. It had always been assumed that if microwave radiation does not heat you, it can’t possibly hurt you. However, our best science now shows this to be patently false.
The most important research to do this is the $25 million National Toxicology Program (NTP) study. This federal government study was designed to prove, once and for all, that cell phone radiation is safe.
Instead, it showed that 2G cell phone radiation causes brain cancer and DNA damage in rats. This study is the gold standard of science and the results were so shocking that the researchers released their findings early to the public so that we could start to make better decisions.
In the coming years, there must be a change in public policy (like there once was with tobacco) if we are to have a healthy society. To this end, the American Cancer Society has said that the NTP results mark a “paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk.”  We are also starting to see medical organizations around the world, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), issue guidelines for reduced wireless exposure for children. Change is already happening as I hear of more groups of parents that have successfully eliminated Wi-Fi from their children’s schools.
Furthermore, while cancer risk is important, it is not even the primary risk with electromagnetic field (EMF) pollution. If you search “EMF science” you will find abundant research that shows sperm damage and negative effects on immune, endocrine, cardiac, and nervous system functioning. This is why many people are now experiencing symptoms, such as headaches, tinnitus, and sleep disturbance, when overexposed to wireless technology.
While the mainstream medical community is not yet acknowledging this problem, many medical doctors are now well aware that people are being affected and are advising their patients to avoid EMF pollution. Often, this is a primary solution to help their patients heal.
Solutions you can implement today
The good thing about this issue is that there are solutions – both at the personal and community level. I encourage you to call your senators to have them put a hold on SB 19 and SB 88 mentioned above. This will help stall bills that are a complete give-away to wireless companies and that take away your rights to a healthy environment.
Also demand that your city leaders delay implementing smart city technology because there is simply too much science showing harm. This will ultimately be more wise and economical than dismantling an expensive system in the future.
Furthermore, if a wireless company wants to install an antenna on a light pole near your home, band together with your neighbors to protest the placement. A knowledgeable community working together is more powerful than any wireless company. I have seen dozens of communities successfully stop cellular base stations from being built.
On a personal level, here are key solutions that will help you develop a healthier relationship with technology:
  • Be wise how you use your smartphone. The owner’s manual warns you never to put the phone within ½” to 1” of your body. Never put the phone to your head, in a bra strap or your pants pocket, unless it is turned off or on Airplane Mode. For calls, use the speakerphone feature or a headset.
  • Avoid Bluetooth headsets. They are powerful microwave transmitters right next to your brain. The phone is also radiating in your pocket, near reproductive organs. When at the gym, use an iPod with a wired headset or download podcasts to your phone that is on Airplane Mode.
  • Move toward wired technology. Ethernet and a wired router are the healthiest and most secure option for data. I use fiber optics and Ethernet in my home. If you must use Wi-Fi, put the router on a timer so that it is off at night. This is when you want to eliminate exposure to blue light and EMF pollution.
  • Replace cordless phones and wireless baby monitors. Wired landline phones are the healthiest option for long calls. Search “safe baby monitor” to find a good wired option online.
  • Request an analog meter from your utility company. In California, nearly 100,000 families have switched back to analog meters because of the health and privacy risks of smart meters.
  • Demand that your child’s school utilize wired Internet access. Forward-thinking, health-conscious parents are now working to make schools safer by eliminating Wi-Fi. A growing number of schools are going back to wired computing, which is actually the future.
  • Measure your home for EMF pollution. With a few measurement devices or the help of a professional consultant, you can learn what is happening in your home and make the changes that will greatly reduce your EMF exposure. Contact me and I’ll connect you to a consultant.
The coming years will undoubtedly see an expansion in wireless technology as the smart city is pushed upon us. However, more and more people are waking up to this issue as the science showing harm becomes clear and awareness grows.
Society will eventually have to find safer alternatives and realize that the public simply should not be exposed to certain technologies. Until that day comes, hopefully the above solutions will help you and your community reduce your exposure to EMF pollution so that you are healthy for many years to come.

About the author: Jeromy Johnson has an advanced degree in engineering and worked in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades. You can watch his TEDx talk, “Wireless Wake-up Call” and learn how to create a low-EMF home at EMFAnalysis.com.

Coconut Oil Rebuttal to USA Today



In Defense of Coconut Oil: Rebuttal to USA Today
Posted on: Tuesday, June 20th 2017 at 6:15 am

By now, I'm sure you've seen the USA Today article entitled, "Coconut oil isn't healthy. It's never been healthy". Fear-mongering, attention-grabbing headlines certainly sell copy, but do not make for evidence-informed, high quality science reporting.
As I expressed in my recent post on social media,
"The internet is full of erroneous claims. Science writers who forgo the nuances of empirical findings in the interest of sensational headlines.
False extrapolations made by people unequipped to interpret the research. Speculations by bloggers who missed the correlation-does-not-equal-causation lesson in epidemiology.
Over-generalizations from poorly designed, low quality in vitro and animal studies and studies that failed the test of statistical significance. Industry-funded, conflict-of-interest ridden rhetoric.
From eating for your blood type, to saturated fat causing heart disease, to heart-healthy whole wheat, to coffee causing gluten cross reactivity---in the natural and mainstream health communities alike, people take an idea and run with it without once going back to the primary and secondary literature to verify its scientific veracity.
The lack of scientific rigor that abounds in many corners of natural medicine is part of the reason that alternative medicine is marginalized by mainstream medicine. However, conventional medicine is equally culpable when it comes to its standards of care lacking a firm evidence-base.
I hope to fill this void, apply a scientific eye, and impart credence to therapeutic nutrition and holistic medicine by substantiating all my claims with high quality scientific data---instead of pulling statements out of thin air, which sadly is commonplace with headline-grabbing, yet substantive discussion-lacking online articles."
The USA Today article, written in response to an American Heart Association (AHA) statement advising Americans to replace saturated fat with omega-6 rich polyunsaturated fatty acids from vegetable oils, exemplifies the lack of journalistic integrity, rushing to conclusions, and flagrant misrepresentation of the data to which I was referring.
The Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratio Determines Inflammatory Potential
Contrary to the implications of this USA Today piece, the evidence has elucidated that omega-6 fatty acids, which occur in the corn, cottonseed, canola, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oil that the AHA was recommending, promote carcinogenesis, whereas omega-3 fatty acids inhibit cancer development (Seaman, 2002). Hence, the Standard American Diet, rich in omega-6 fatty acid consumption, generates the pro-inflammatory state that facilitates tumorigenesis (Rose, 1997).
 The detrimental effects of omega-6s are articulated by Fernandes and Venkatraman (1993), with,
“The increased consumption of many vegetable oils particularly of the n-6 series is…viewed as pro-inflammatory and is suspected as one of the possible causes for the rise in certain malignant tumors, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases primarily due to the increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines” (p. S19).
In contrast, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from wild-caught fatty seafood, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can modify dynamics of the lipid bilayer, including elastic compressability and membrane permeability, promote membrane fluidity, and favorably modify membrane-bound protein activity (Stillwell & Wassall, 2003).
Thus, DHA is preventive in many inflammatory disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease (Stillwell & Wassal, 2003). Specifically, DHA mitigates neuro-inflammation as it facilitates more efficient nerve cell communication (Crawford et al., 2013). The brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are deficient in DHA, and loss of structural and functional integrity of the brain correlates with loss of DHA concentrations in cell membranes in these patients (Seaman, 2002).
DHA and its long chain omega-3 precursor, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are likewise involved in modulation of immune responses. In one study, supplementation of these fatty acids prolonged remission of systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) (Das, 1994). In another autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, omega-3 supplementation was found to suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids involved in the pathogenesis of the disease (Morin, Blier, & Fortin, 2015). Mechanistically, long chain omega-3 fatty acids suppress proliferation of pathogenic T cells and inhibit synthesis of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) (Das, 1994).
The dietary balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which compete for incorporation into the phospholipid bilayer of cellular membranes, is integral for restoration of immune health and for prevention of long-latency, chronic, and degenerative diseases. 
In order to generate optimal ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, ditch the toxic industrialized vegetable oils, and moderate consumption of grains and seeds as well, since they contain linoleic acid, the precursor to the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid.


As I illustrated above, arachidonic acid is processed by the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) to produce pro-inflammatory signaling molecules called eicosanoids, including leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and thromboxanes. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, promote the production of less inflammatory mediators. Therefore, USA Today’s recommendation to increase consumption of pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, amidst an epidemic of inflammatory chronic diseases, is negligent and irresponsible.
Applying an Ethnographic and Evolutionary Biology Lens
Of all the diets, an ancestral paleolithic diet reminiscent of ancient foragers has the most optimal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, of 1:1 (Simopoulos, 1991). Traditional hunter-gatherer cultures whose diets are composed of grass-fed game, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, wild-caught seafood, organic, local fruits and vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts and seeds are virtually free of the long-latency, degenerative diseases that plague Westerners.
Eskimos, for instance, who eat a high fish-based diet replete in omega-3s and very low in omega-6s, do not suffer from any of the diseases of modernity, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, appendicitis, gallstones, or autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or ulcerative colitis (Sinclair, 1981; Nettleton, 1995; Calder, 1998).
In contrast, the Standard American Diet, customary in Western cultures where non-communicable chronic diseases reach epidemic levels, has an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio ranging from 10:1 to 25:1 (Simopoulos, 1991). This is largely due to the inclusion of pro-inflammatory, high-heat processed vegetable oils, which are subject to chemically-laden processes such as caustic refining, bleaching, and degumming, and then have to be chemically deodorized to negate rancidity. 
In addition to minimizing vegetable oil intake, incorporating plenty of wild-caught, cold-water fatty fish, including mackerel, salmon, herring, caviar, and sardines, can enhance omega-3 levels. Crawford (1968) also demonstrated that wild animals eating their native diets have significantly more omega-3s compared to domesticated livestock. Grass-fed meat, for example, is replete in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin E compared to its conventional corn-fed counterparts, so incorporating grass-fed meat into your diet can restore balance in your fatty acid ratio (Daley et al., 2010).
Busting the Cholesterol Myth
Of note, is that the USA Today article vilified coconut oil on the basis that it raises LDL cholesterol. However, the most recent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) removed dietary cholesterol as a nutrient of concern, given that there is "no appreciable relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol or clinical cardiovascular events in general populations,” so cholesterol content should not deter you from consumption of saturated fat (Mozaffarian & Ludwig, 2015, p. 2421).
Low total cholesterol, formerly believed to be protective against cardiovascular disease, has been demonstrated to have a litany of ill effects. In particular, women with a total cholesterol below 195 mg/dL have a higher risk of mortality compared to women with cholesterol above this cut-off (Petrusson, Sigurdsson, Bengtsson, Nilsen, & Getz, 2012).
Low cholesterol has been correlated with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, suicide, homicide, accidental deaths, and morbid depression (Boscarino, Erlich, & Hoffman, 2009; Morgan, Palinkas, Barrett-Connor, & Wingard, 1993, Mielke et al., 2005; Seneff, Wainwright, & Mascitelli, 2011).

In a group of men 50 years and older, researchers found depression to be three times more common in the group with low plasma cholesterol (Morgan, Palinkas, Barrett-Connor, & Wingard, 1993). Shockingly, men with total cholesterol below 165 m/dL were also found to be seven times more likely to die prematurely from unnatural causes, including suicide and accidents (Boscarino, Erlich, & Hoffman, 2009).
In fact, Morgan, Palinkas, Barrett-Connor, and Winged (1993) articulate this with, “In several clinical trials of interventions designed to lower plasma cholesterol, reductions in coronary heart disease mortality have been offset by an unexplained rise in suicides and other violent deaths” (p. 75).
In essence, in progressive circles, the cholesterol-demonizing, artery-clogging model of heart disease has been redacted in favor of one where inflammation leads to endothelial and vascular smooth muscle dysfunction as well as oxidative stress. Like firefighters at a fire, cholesterol is present at the scene of the crime, but it is not the perpetrator---rather, it is a protective antioxidant element that repairs damage to arteries.
Moreover, cholesterol is an important precursor to our steroid hormones and bile acids, a membrane constituent that helps maintain structural integrity and fluidity, and an essential component for transmembrane transport, cell signaling, and nerve conduction.
Saturated Fat is Not Bad For You
Further, the recommendations of the AHA are especially surprising in light of the results of the Minnesota Coronary Experiment performed forty years ago, where the saturated fat in the diets of 9000 institutionalized mental patients was replaced with polyunsaturated fats in the form of corn oil. A 2010 re-evaluation of the data from this experiment was published in the British Medical Journal (Ramsden et al., 2016).
According to this re-analysis, these patients experienced a 22% higher risk of death for each 30 mg/dL reduction in serum cholesterol (Ramsden et al., 2016). Thus, although substituting saturated fat for omega-6 fats led to reductions in cholesterol, these patients suffered poorer health outcomes, highlighting that cholesterol is not the villain it was formerly construed to be.
What's more, although the USA Today article declares the dangers of saturated fat, a recent meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which compiled data from 21 studies including 347,747 people that were followed for an average of 14 years, concluded that there is no appreciable relationship between saturated fat consumption and incidence of cardiovascular disease or stroke (Siri-Tarino, Sun, Hu, & Krauss, 2010).
Another meta-analysis published in 2015 in the British Journal of Medicine concluded that there is no association between saturated fat and risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, type 2 diabetes, or all-cause mortality (the risk of death from any cause) (de Souza et al., 2015).
Along similar lines, a trial published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2016 showed that eating a high fat diet, and deriving a large proportion of calories from saturated fat, improved biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk and insulin resistance, such as insulin, HDL, triglycerides, C-peptide, and glycated hemoglobin (Veum et al., 2016). The researchers conclude, "Our data do not support the idea that dietary fat per se promotes ectopic adiposity and cardiometabolic syndrome in humans" (Veum et al., 2016).
In actuality, saturated fat has been demonstrated to exert beneficial effects on levels of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), the latter of which has been characterized as the "good cholesterol” that scavenges or transports cholesterol deposited in the bloodstream back to the liver (Mensink, Zock, Kester, & Katan, 2003). Saturated fat has also been shown to elicit minimal effects on apolipoprotein B, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, relative to carbohydrates (Mensink, Zock, Kester, & Katan, 2003).

In addition, in a recent article in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, an expert panel held jointly between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed the relationship between saturated fat and coronary heart disease (CHD) (FAO/WHO, 2009).
From their examination of epidemiological studies, they found that saturated fatty acid intake was not significantly correlated with coronary heart disease events or mortality (FAO/WHO, 2009). Similarly, from their investigation of intervention studies, which are more powerful in that they can prove causality, they found that incidence of fatal coronary heart disease was not reduced by low-fat diets (FAO/WHO, 2009).
According to Mozaffarian and Ludwig (2015), "The 2015 DGAC report tacitly acknowledges the lack of convincing evidence to recommend low-fat–high-carbohydrate diets for the general public in the prevention or treatment of any major health outcome, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, or obesity" (p. 2422).
Part of this reversal in guidelines is based on the fact that replacing protein or carbohydrates with healthy fats in excess of the current 35% of the daily caloric fat limit reduces risk of cardiovascular disease (Appel et al., 2005; Estruch et al., 2013).
In a similar vein, "The 2015 DGAC report specifies that, ‘Consumption of ‘low-fat’ or ‘nonfat’ products with high amounts of refined grains and added sugars should be discouraged’" (Mozaffarian & Ludwig, 2015, p.2422). Despite new guidelines, the Nutrition Facts Panel still employs the outdated 30% limit on dietary fat, which Mozaffarian and Ludwig (2015) remark has been "obsolete for more than a decade" (p.2422).
Coconut Oil Doesn’t Negate Health---It Engenders It
Not only do these meta-analyses put the nail in the coffin as far as saturated fat causing heart disease, but a plethora of health benefits have been elucidated in the scientific literature regarding coconut oil consumption. For instance, the following studies, as catalogued in the GreenMedInfo database, have revealed metabolic, immunomodulatory, and cognitive benefits of the dietary inclusion of coconut oil.
For instance, extra virgin coconut oil consumption has been demonstrated to significantly reduce body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) and produce significant increases in concentrations of HDL cholesterol in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) (Cardoso et al., 2015). Another study by Liau in colleagues (2011) concluded that virgin coconut oil is efficacious for the reduction of waist circumference, especially in a male cohort. Likewise, a study by Assunção and colleagues (2009) demonstrated that dietary coconut oil reduces visceral adiposity and elevates HDL cholesterol in women, thus improving both anthropometric and biochemical risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
In rodent models, dietary virgin coconut oil improves glycemic control in high fructose fed rats, and is postulated to be “an efficient nutraceutical in preventing the development of diet induced insulin resistance and associated complications possibly through its antioxidant efficacy” (Narayanankutty et al., 2016). Research supports the use of coconut oil for obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, and pathologically elevated LDL, all of which constitute risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s, the last of which is being re-conceptualized as type 3 diabetes (Fernando et al., 2015).
In addition, in a prospective study of patients with Alzheimer’s, improvements in cognitive function were observed for patients administered extra virgin coconut oil, since “medium chain triglycerides are a direct source of cellular energy and can be a nonpharmacological alternative to the neuronal death for lack of it, that occurs in Alzheimer patients” (Yang et al., 2015). Notably, the hormones, or cytokinins, and phenolic compounds found in coconut may prevent aggregation of amyloid-β peptide into plaques, thus arresting a critical step in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s (Fernando et al., 2015). Research also suggests that coconut oil may directly stimulate ketogenesis in astrocytes and provide fuel to neighboring neurons as a consequence, thus improving brain health (Nonaka et al., 2016). On a different note, coconut oil mitigates amyloid beta toxicity in cortical neurons by up-regulating signaling of cell survival pathways (Nafar, Clarke, & Mearow, 2017).
Lastly, studies have illuminated anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, and anti-pyretic properties of virgin coconut oil (Intahphuak, Khonsung, & Panthong, 2010; Ogbolu et al., 2007). Thus, unless you are part of the minority of the population that carries the APOE4 allele, a polymorphism that confers increased risk with saturated fat consumption, there is no reason to avoid coconut oil or saturated fat (Barberger-Gateau et al., 2011). Thus, instead of trashing your coconut oil, do yourself a favor and eat an extra helping---your body will thank you.

For evidence-based reseach on coconut oil, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.
References
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Ali Le Vere holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Human Biology and Psychology, minors in Health Promotion and in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society, and is a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine candidate. Having contended with chronic illness, her mission is to educate the public about the transformative potential of therapeutic nutrition and to disseminate information on evidence-based, empirically rooted holistic healing modalities. Read more at @empoweredautoimmune on Instagram and at www.EmpoweredAutoimmune.com: Science-based natural remedies for autoimmune disease, dysautonomia, Lyme disease, and other chronic, inflammatory illnesses.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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