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The Scary Truth about Lyme Disease

The Scary Truth About Lyme Disease
BY BILL GIFFORD Friday, July 29, 2016, 12:59 pm

Michael Radonich remembers the day he got Lyme disease: It was late August 2012, the beginning of his first semester at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. He and his classmates had boarded buses for a day of ropes courses and bonding activities at a campground in the Pennsylvania woods.
Related: The Men’s Health Better Man Project—2,000+ Brilliant Tips for Living a Happier, Healthier Life

About two weeks later, Radonich suddenly awoke to shooting pains in his scalp, as if someone had clipped electrodes to his temples. His heart rate began fluttering between 60 and 140 beats per minute. His experienced severe double vision, and then the left side of his body went numb. He was 28 years old, much too young to be having a stroke.

The doctors at the student health center couldn’t figure it out, so Radonich went to his family doctor in Connecticut, who couldn’t figure it out either. In all, Radonich saw 15 doctors, including specialists in four states, and not one could explain his symptoms.
“One told me I had developed a cardiac problem overnight,” he says. Another was convinced he had “classic multiple sclerosis.” He spent six months searching in vain for the cause of what ailed him. He took medical leave from school before Thanksgiving.
Finally, in early 2013, he saw a doctor who ran some tests that came up positive for Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection that afflicts more than 300,000 Americans every year. A tick had bitten him that day in the woods.
Long story short, Radonich spent the next two years on intravenous antibiotics—having powerful drugs pumped into his body on a daily basis—and living with his parents as a virtual invalid.
But even though Radonich lost those two years and spent tens of thousands of dollars on treatments not covered by insurance, he’s now doing better and hopes to one day say he’s cured. He got engaged in March, graduated from Wharton in May, and is working at a private equity firm in Boston. But not everyone who tangles with ticks is so lucky.
Lyme is the most common vector-borne disease in America, dwarfing West Nile, Zika, and chikungunya. More than 40,000 cases of diagnosed Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, but the true number of new infections, the agency estimates, could be as high as 376,000.
Since it first appeared in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, where people started suffering from a mysterious outbreak of arthritis, the disease has spread along the Northeast coast, with other clusters in the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin and Minnesota and along the coasts of California and Oregon.
I live in a wooded area in central Pennsylvania, where Lyme is common. Many of my friends and neighbors have gotten the disease. For most, it was straightforward: a tick bite, the classic bull’s-eye rash, some joint pain and flu-like symptoms, and then two to four weeks of antibiotics until it went away.
These are the sorts of cases envisioned under the treatment guidelines of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). But not every case fits into this shoebox.
Take, for example, Fred Long. Now an attorney in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Long was a 24-year-old just entering law school when he started to feel bad, with severe knee pain and a lack of energy. Then his jaw locked up, and some days he could barely get out of bed. Long eventually persuaded his doctor to test for Lyme. (The doc was reluctant because Long had never had the rash and couldn’t remember being bitten by a tick.) “My test came back negative,” he says.
It took him 11 more months of feeling terrible before he finally saw another doctor, a Lyme specialist. This time he tested positive for Lyme antibodies. But the disease was now well advanced. He spent a year on antibiotics. Now 30, he’s feeling better, but he’s still not 100 percent.
That’s because the longer you go without treatment, the worse the symptoms can become. A delay of a few months can turn a relatively easy-to-treat infection into a serious, systemic problem. Long was initially misdiagnosed because his case didn’t fit the IDSA guidelines.
“If you’re lucky, you’ll see the rash and your doctor can start treatment. If you don’t, then your treatment could be delayed,” says Brian Fallon, M.D., director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University.
Indeed, several physicians have been brought up on disciplinary charges for not following the guidelines. This has a chilling effect, some Lyme survivors say, making doctors more reluctant to diagnose the disease.
“In my opinion, an enormous amount of harm has come to a great many patients from doctors’ strict observance of the IDSA guidelines,” says Steven Phillips, M.D., a Connecticut-based specialist in tick-borne diseases. The guidelines not only blind doctors to the likelihood of disease but also are cited by insurance companies to justify their denial of coverage for long-term antibiotic treatments.
There’s a popular Internet conspiracy theory that goes like this: Lyme disease was created by scientists on Plum Island, off the Long Island coast, in a secret government laboratory devoted to germ warfare. While there’s no truth to this rumor, the way the disease works is just as diabolical.
Most people think deer are the main spreaders of Lyme; after all, we know the disease mostly comes from the bite of the common deer tick, and deer are everywhere Lyme cases occur. But the true villains are much smaller and more numerous.
On a Thursday morning in May, I follow researcher Kelly Oggenfuss into the forest on the grounds of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Stopping at an orange flag, she picks up a footlong metal box. With a gloved hand, she extracts a terrified-looking rodent. “These guys,” she says, pinching the mouse between the shoulder blades, “are really good at passing along Lyme disease to ticks.”
This one, Mouse E7243, is particularly efficient. Oggenfuss quickly discerns that the field mouse is pregnant and lactating. Even though it’s only May, it’s on its second litter. It is also carrying a tick. “See it? Between the tips of my tweezers?”
Actually I don’t, until I do; it’s a smudge the size of a poppy seed. The tick is a nymph, a juvenile. According to research by Oggenfuss’s colleague, Richard Ostfeld, Ph.D., some 35 percent of nymphs in this area are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria behind Lyme.
And if this young tick weren’t already carrying burgdorferi, it probably would be soon: 75 percent of the mice in these woods harbor the disease. “They’re the reservoir,” says Ostfeld later in his office. “Their bloodstreams are crawling with these bacteria, but they feel no ill effects.”
Blowing on the mouse to ruffle its fur, Oggenfuss quickly discovers two larvae as well. They’re barely visible, smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. The good news is that larval ticks aren’t infected with Lyme (yet), so if one bites, you’re probably okay.
The bad news: After dining on the blood of Mouse E7243, it has a 75 percent chance of picking up Lyme bacteria. Which means that within a few days, there will probably be three more Lyme-infected ticks in these woods—along with yet another litter of field mice to carry and transmit the disease to still more ticks.
What’s more, these small wooded areas are especially conducive to the spread of Lyme. “Intact nature protects us,” Ostfeld says. “It’s only when we chop it up and make it uninhabitable for predators, the hawks and foxes, that we increase risk. What we’ve found is that small forest patches, 1 to 2 acres, are the riskiest places for Lyme disease. And that’s where we put our houses.”
It doesn’t take long before I start to wonder: Are Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria swimming around in my bloodstream?
I spend a lot of time outdoors walking my dog and riding my mountain bike. I’ve picked ticks off of my body, although I’ve never found one that was engorged, which is lucky.
According to Ostfeld, there’s a grace period of about 24 hours between when the tick attaches itself to you and the burgdorferi start flowing.
Still, I worry. Ticks are everywhere: On my dog, on the furniture, even on the inside windshield of my car. I’ve never had any of the classic symptoms, but I often feel fatigued and my brain sometimes gets foggy, which are two more typical (if subjective) symptoms of long-term Lyme. I often feel achy too—but that could simply be because I’m 49 years old.
When I return home from a bike ride and find yet another tick embedded in my leg, I make an appointment to get tested. My doctor scrutinizes the spot, quizzes me thoroughly, and then reluctantly agrees to do the test.
Under the IDSA guidelines, which he follows exactly, in the absence of a rash a Lyme disease diagnosis requires two positive blood tests.
The first is a screening test called an ELISA to determine whether antibodies are present. If that’s positive or inconclusive, part two is a Western Blot, a standard analysis that searches for evidence of antibodies associated with the Lyme disease bacteria.
You’d think a bug this potent would be easy to detect. It’s not; Lyme disease tests are notoriously inaccurate in the early stage of the infection. In patients with a recent bull’s-eye rash, the ELISA turns up positive less than half the time, according to Elitza Theel, Ph.D., an expert in blood testing at the Mayo Clinic. “If you’ve noticed that you have a tick bite and a rash, you really don’t need to be tested,” she says. You’re infected.

It’s when you don’t recognize the rash, or there isn’t one, that problems arise. Experts say it’s important to treat Lyme as early as possible. But the antibodies take a couple of weeks to show up in your bloodstream.
This, in part, is because of another evil-genius feature of burgdorferi: As it sits in the tick’s mouthpart waiting to dive into your bloodstream, it tricks its host into creating a chemical disguise that renders it invisible to your immune system. Meanwhile, even though you won’t test positive for at least two more weeks, the infection is progressing.
On the plus side, a positive ELISA is more likely in patients who have established Lyme disease. But when they go on to the confirming Western Blot, more problems can arise.
For one thing, although the test covers 13 antibodies that are almost all unique to Lyme, the guidelines require multiple hits before a diagnosis can be made. Also, research reveals wide variation among the many different labs that offer Lyme testing.
One study found that some labs failed to detect Lyme antibodies via Western Blot in a few people with confirmed Lyme disease. It also found that some patients with Lyme bacteria test positive even though they’re fine.
So it’s small comfort when my initial Lyme test comes back negative. I get tested again, this time with another, more sensitive ELISA known as the C6. This time it comes back positive—slightly.
So there are Lyme antibodies in my body, potentially. The doctor also orders a Western Blot, and it shows only one antibody out of 13. Officially, I am negative. But there is a whiff of Lyme exposure—and a whole lot of uncertainty.
Once it’s made its way inside the human body, burgdorferi hides in plain sight. It enters by way of the tick’s salivary secretions and then quickly migrates into the skin. From there it travels through the bloodstream to other “fixed tissues,” such as your joints, heart, and brain, explains Peter Krause, M.D., a senior research scientist at Yale School of Public Health. “It doesn’t stay in the blood very long.”
Scientists believe this partly explains why Lyme is so hard to detect and treat. Two places where burgdorferi especially like to hang out are the brain and central nervous system, says Amiram Katz, M.D., a former professor of neurology at Yale. “They feel comfortable in those places because the immune system there is weak,” he says. “It’s a less hostile environment.”
No wonder the neurological symptoms of Lyme are so intractable. Around 20 percent of diagnosed Lyme patients—and perhaps many more—say they continue to have symptoms of the disease long after treatment. But this, too, is controversial.
“There is no such thing as ‘chronic Lyme,’” points out Gary Wormser, M.D., chief author of the IDSA guidelines. The official term is “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.”
Is it a distinction without a difference? Perhaps. The problem arises because antibiotics don’t kill all the burgdorferi; it’s not like spraying kitchen counters with disinfectant. Some of the bacteria appear to withstand antibiotics and survive, at least for a time. In fact, burgdorferi were found in Otzi the Iceman, who was frozen into a glacier in Europe 5,000 years ago.
Are these latent Lyme bacteria alive? They may be, according to an experiment carried out by a team of researchers led by Adriana Marques, M.D.,of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The scientists recruited volunteers who’d been infected with Lyme in the past, and then placed laboratory-raised, disease-free ticks on their bodies. The ticks ended up harvesting live burgdorferi from two of the 23 volunteers, meaning those study participants still had remnants of the disease in their bodies.
Some doctors believe this may explain why some people continue to experience symptoms after treatment.
Add to this the recent discovery of so-called “persister” forms of Lyme bacteria. “They change form and essentially become unrecognizable, and more resistant to stress and antibiotics,” says Ying Zhang, M.D., a microbiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and one of the first researchers to study the connection between Lyme and these types of bacteria.
This may explain why long-term antibiotic treatment, favored by many Lyme specialists, has mixed results. It works for some patients, such as Michael Radonich, but not for others.
So the symptoms reported by “chronic” Lyme patients must have some other cause—perhaps an autoimmune reaction or even a co-infection. “The majority of people I see who have been diagnosed with chronic Lyme have similar symptoms but don’t have any evidence of ever having had Lyme disease,” says Dr. Wormser.
Some physicians who treat Lyme patients believe that the remnant bacteria secrete substances that make people continue to feel sick.
“There’s an inflammatory response in the body, molecules called inflammatory cytokines that have been shown to be present in Lyme and fibromyalgia,” says Richard Horowitz, M.D., who has 30 years of experience treating the disease. “They make you tired. They give you headaches, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, numbness, neuropathy. Your moods go off and you can’t sleep at night.
You can have migratory muscle pain, joint pain, and nerve pain. Those are the hallmarks of Lyme.”
It can even affect libido. “Men don’t like to talk about those symptoms,” he adds.
The problem boils down to knowledge. Because there’s so much variation in diagnosis and treatment, patients can end up in limbo—and vulnerable to practitioners selling dubious, unproven, and expensive cures, such as “chelation therapy” and electromagnetic “Rife” machines.
Indeed, the doctor who tested me insisted that I come in and be put on antibiotics immediately. His fee for an initial consultation was $2,000. As in any war, truth is the first casualty and also the last.
“If you think about disease and treatment, the first thing you need to do is identify the bug or bugs that are causing the disease. Next you have to be able to reliably test for those bugs.

And only then can you start testing the effectiveness of a given treatment,” says Adam Sussman, a 43-year-old firefighter who has been battling the disease for more than two years, spending thousands of dollars of his own money. “How can you say if a given treatment regimen works if they can’t even determine if you have it?”

The Pros and Cons of Colonoscopies

The Pros and Cons of Colonoscopies
By Erin Elizabeth - October 28, 2016

By Dr. Mercola
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 135,000 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2012, and more than 51,500 died from it.

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Men and women over the age of 50 at average risk of colorectal cancer are typically recommended to get tested either by:
  • Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) on an annual basis, to check for signs of blood in your stool
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
Despite the fact that there are three acceptable screening methods, most doctors simply recommend colonoscopy, and researchers have found that in most instances, doctors completely fail to review all the options and the benefits and drawbacks of each with their patients.
In essence, most doctors simply choose for their patients, without going through the steps of informed consent, and most often they choose colonoscopy.
When Given Options, More People Go Through with Testing
Interestingly, recent research shows that when patients are allowed to choose the screening method, more people end up going through with the test. As reported by Reuters:
“About 1,000 patients were divided into three groups and randomly assigned to get either FOBT or colonoscopy, or given a choice between the two options.
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Over three years, 42 percent of participants given a choice between the tests followed through with screening and 38 percent of people assigned to get colonoscopies did so. Just 14 percent of the patients assigned to FOBT got the test done each year.”
Side Effects and Drawbacks of Colonoscopies You Need to Be Aware Of
As noted in the video above, narrated by Dr. Michael Greger, about 1 in every 350 colonoscopies end up doing serious harm. Death from colonoscopy, while rare, also does occur.
The death rate is about 1 for every 1,000 procedures, and with 15 million colonoscopies being done each year in the U.S., that means about 15,000 Americans die as a result of this routine procedure.
Sigmoidoscopies tend to have 10 times fewer complications, yet most doctors still recommend colonoscopy nearly 95 percent of the time.
Interestingly, other developed countries favor the FOBT stool test. Part of the reason for this is that in other countries doctors do not get paid for procedure referrals.
In the U.S. however, doctors typically do get financial kickbacks when referring patients for various procedures, and as noted by Dr. Greger, “it’s estimated that doctors make nearly a million more referrals every year than they would have if they there were not personally profiting.”
Unfortunately, most doctors also fail to inform their patients of the risks of colonoscopy, which include:
    • Perforation of the colon (people at higher risk include those with diverticulitis, diseases of the colon, and adhesions from pelvic surgery)
    • Dysbiosis and other gut imbalances, caused by the process of flushing out your intestinal tract before the procedure with harsh laxatives
    • Complications from the anesthesia. Many experts agree you should opt for the lightest level of sedation possible, or none at all, as full anesthesia increases risks
    • False positives. According the Prostate Cancer Foundation, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of men treated for prostate cancer have harmless tumors that would never have caused problems in their lifetime.
As noted by to Jessica Herzstein, a preventive-medicine consultant and member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, “you’re going to die with them, not of them.”
False positives lead to unnecessary treatments that are nearly always harmful, in addition to the anxiety a cancer diagnosis brings.
For example, incontinence and erectile dysfunction are two common side effects of radiation therapy, and hormone therapy has been linked to osteoporosis and depression.
  • Infections caused by improperly disinfected scopes If You Still Decide to Get Tested, BE CAREFUL, As 80 Percent of Instruments Are NOT Properly Sterilized

  • Dr. Mercola Interviews David Lewis About Endoscope Sterilization

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    Click HERE to watch the full interview!
    Download Interview Transcript
  • The primary tools used to screen for colon cancer are sigmoidoscopes and colonoscopes. These devices are not disposable, so they must be sterilized between each use. This, it turns out, poses a very significant problem that most patients are not aware of.
    According to Lewis, a retired whistleblower microbiologist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 80 percent of endoscopes are cleaned using Cidex (glutaraldehyde), which does NOT properly sterilize these tools, potentially allowing for the transfer of infectious material from one patient into another.
    As Lewis explains in this recent interview (included above), flexible endoscopes have several basic components. One is a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end, which allows the doctor to view the inside of your colon. There are also two internal channels in this tube, a biopsy channel and an air/water channel.
    When the physician sees evidence of a tumor, he or she can insert a little claw through the endoscope, into the patient, and grab a piece of tissue and pull it back out through the biopsy channel. The air/water channel allows the doctor to clean the lens of the camera, which frequently gets covered with blood and other patient material.
    The air/water channel is much smaller in diameter than the biopsy channel, and this is where the greatest risk of contamination originates, because while the biopsy channel is large enough to be scrubbed clean with a long brush, the air/water channel is too small to accommodate a brush.
    About 80 percent of the time, flexible endoscopes are simply submerged in a 2 percent glutaraldehyde solution (Cidex) for 10 to 15 minutes to disinfect them between patients, and this simply isn’t sufficient to clean out the air/water channel that’s been contaminated with tissue, blood, and feces.
    As a result, this material can get flushed out into subsequent patients. So, the problem, in a nutshell, is that doctors are re-using devices that are impossible to properly clean. So if, for whatever reason, you are compelled to get a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, then it is IMPERATIVE that you contact the office before the procedure to make sure they are decontaminating the scope properly with peracetic acid.
    When Getting a Colonoscopy, Make Sure Peracetic Acid Was Used to Clean the Scope
    Lewis launched a study with a university in which he looked at the internal channels, the air/water channel, and the biopsy channel, and collected samples of patient material from those channels. He then tested various ways of treating that layer of patient material to determine what was required to remove it from the inner channels.
    As mentioned, submerging a flexible endoscope in a 2 percent glutaraldehyde solution (Cidex) for 10 to 15 minutes did not clean out the internal channels. In fact, Lewis demonstrated that you can submerge those devices for two hours and there’s still infectious material, such as HIV, trapped inside those internal channels.
    What’s worse, not only does Cidex not sterilize the devices, it actually complicates the problem, because glutaraldehyde works like formaldehyde (it’s just a smaller molecule) — it preserves and embalms tissue, allowing the trapped material to build up over time.
    There is a safer cleaning alternative however, and knowing this could very well save your life. About 20 percent of flexible endoscopes in the U.S. are cleaned with peracetic acid between patients rather than Cidex. Peracetic acid (which is similar to vinegar) is used in organic chemistry labs to dissolve proteins, and it does a FAR better job than glutaraldehyde.
    The reason nearly 80 percent of clinics still use glutaraldehyde is because it’s cheaper. Even pennies per procedure add up when you’re doing them by the thousands each year, and hospitals are under pressure to save money wherever they can.
    However, when your health and life is at stake, saving pennies becomes inconsequential, and you’d be wise to forgo any hospital that still uses Cidex to clean their endoscopes. How will you know how any given facility cleans their scopes? You have to ask. If you’re having a colonoscopy or any other procedure using a flexible endoscope done, be sure to ask:
    • How is the endoscope cleaned between patients?
    • Specifically, which cleaning agent is used?
    • How many of your colonoscopy patients have had to be hospitalized due to infections?
  • If the hospital or clinic uses peracetic acid, your likelihood of contracting an infection from a previous patient is very slim. If the answer is glutaraldehyde, or the brand name Cidex (which is what 80 percent of clinics use), cancel your appointment and go elsewhere. As for the third and last question, the answer you want is zero.
    Prepping for Your Colonoscopy
    Getting a colonoscopy requires preparation to clean out your colon. Typically, this includes skipping dinner and breakfast before the procedure, and drinking 2 to 4 liters of a foul-tasting liquid containing laxatives and electrolytes. However, recent research suggests you may not have to go through the rigors of fasting — a step that dissuades many from getting a colonoscopy in the first place.
    As reported by The Washington Post:
    “[T]he first glimmer of an alternative way of preparing for the procedure emerged … at the Digestive Disease Week conference, where Levy presented the results of a study on 10 people that involved the same generally-used laxative and a carefully prepared diet of solid foods and liquids.
    The patients, aged 46 to 73, were given measured portions of cereal, pasta salad, pudding, juices, chicken consomme, a vanilla smoothie, and a pina colada type drink spread across a normal lunch-dinner-breakfast eating schedule. Eight of the first 10 patients ate it all, and the other two consumed 95 percent of it. None reported bloating, nausea, vomiting, or cramping. When they examined the patients, doctors rated 9 of the 10 cleansings ‘good’ and 1 ‘excellent.’”
    Peppermint Oil May Make a Colonoscopy Less Painful

    What to Take Before a Colonoscopy

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    Dr. Greger at presents yet another alternative: peppermint, which helps relax the muscles and reduce spasms in your colon. The use of peppermint during colonoscopy was suggested over three decades ago, but was never implemented. As noted by Dr. Greger in the video above:
    “[C]olon spasm can hinder the progress of the scope and cause the patient discomfort. So, they tried spraying some peppermint oil at the tip, and in every case, the spasm was relieved within 30 seconds. Thirty seconds is a long time though when you have this snaking inside of you; so, the next innovation would be to just use a hand pump to flood the whole colon with a peppermint oil solution before the colonoscopy.
    [It’s a] simple, safe, and convenient alternative to injecting an anti-spasm drug, which can have an array of side effects …”
    Mixing peppermint oil into barium enemas has also been shown to be effective. Even taking a few peppermint oil capsules orally, four hours before the procedure, helped speed up the procedure by reducing spasms and pain.
    Should You Have Routine Colonoscopies Starting at 50?
    I’m 61 and I’ve never had a colonoscopy and have no plans of ever getting one. While I believe they can be valuable as a diagnostic tool, I feel confident that with my diet (which includes daily amounts of raw turmeric) and lifestyle it’s highly unlikely I would develop colon cancer. But for many people who are at higher risk, colonoscopies may be an effective strategy. Colon cancer grows very slowly, and it’s one of the top leading cancers that kill people, so early detection is important.
    Certainly, you could opt for an annual guaiac stool detection test — which checks for hidden blood in your stool — but this test also produces many false positives, and the latest evidence suggests this test doesn’t work very well. Another alternative is to get tested by flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years. It’s similar to a colonoscopy, but uses a shorter and smaller scope, so it cannot see as far up into your colon.
    On the upside, it’s associated with fewer complications, although you still need to check with the hospital or clinic to make sure they’re using peracetic acid to clean the device. Ultrasounds have also proven to be of value.
    Overall, visual inspection is the most reliable way to check for colon cancer, and this is what the colonoscopy allows your doctor to do. If polyps are found in their early stages, your doctor can simply snip them off right then and there. So a colonoscopy is not only a diagnostic tool, it can also serve as a surgical intervention. They take a picture of the polyp, clip it, capture it, and send it to biopsy. So it could save your life, and it’s definitely something to consider.
    However, you don’t want to risk complications or infections by having the procedure done with a contaminated piece of equipment! So please remember, asking what they use to clean the scope could save your life. Only agree to the procedure in a facility that uses peracetic acid as a cleaning solution.
    This is a very simple strategy that will not only protect your health, but as more people get wise to this and start demanding the use of peracetic acid, we can improve the safety for all patients undergoing these procedures.

*Article originally appeared at Mercola.

Which Berries Are Best For you?

Which Berries Are Best?
By Erin Elizabeth - December 14, 2016

By Dr. Mercola
What would the world be like without the fresh, delicious flavors, colors and textures that berries provide to your diet?
More specifically, what would it be like if berries tasted good but didn’t provide all the nutrients they do? Chances are we wouldn’t be as healthy and, surprisingly, many of their health benefits come as a package deal with their flavors and even their vibrant colors.
Berries are loaded with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that impart a host of health advantages. Some of these benefits are fairly recent scientific discoveries, and some of the berries themselves are relatively unfamiliar on the North American landscape.
All berries contain similar amounts of vitamin C, but a single cup of strawberries has 150 percent of the Dietary Reference Intake (RDI). Additionally, berries are relatively low in calories; one cup of strawberries contains 49, while blueberries have 84.
Nearly anyone can eat berries in moderation, including those on a vegetarian, vegan, paleo or Mediterranean diet, provided it’s actually fruit with no additives such as sugar, and you pay attention to the fructose amounts you’re ingesting.
Super Antioxidant Power in Berries
One of the most game-changing properties of berries is their antioxidant power, which helps keep free radicals in check and fights inflammation. Authority Nutrition explains:
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“Free radicals are unstable molecules that occur as a normal byproduct of metabolism. It’s important to have a small amount of free radicals in your body to help defend against bacteria and viruses.
However, free radicals can also damage your cells when present in excessive amounts. Antioxidants can help neutralize these compounds.”
One study identified nutritional stress as one of the most significant negatives in terms of your health. The lack or complete absence of some nutrients depends on several factors, but it will definitely influence your physiological condition.
The damaging effects of insufficient nutrients can involve your adrenal gland function and increase release of catecholamines in your blood with a simultaneous inhibition of insulin production in your pancreas.
( says catecholamines are neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and dopamine, which affect the nervous system.)
Some of the most important antioxidants in berries are anthocyanins, flavonols, ellagic acid and resveratrol, which studies say help protect your cells and fight off disease.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries, for instance, are known as some of the world’s best dietary sources of bioactive compounds, aka BAC.
These antioxidant compounds can be heart-protective in your body (when you eat them in beneficial amounts) and can be thanked for helping to alleviate and prevent such diseases and disorders as neurodegeneration, diabetes, inflammation and even cancer.

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Black, Red and Blue Berries Fight Oxidative Stress
Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries have been tapped for their ability to lower oxidative stress, which News Medical calls “an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.” One study says:
“Oxidative stress is a normal phenomenon in the body (which) can also be viewed as an imbalance between the pro-oxidants and antioxidants in the body.
…The harmful effect of free ROS (reactive oxygen species) and RNS (reactive nitrogen species) radicals causing potential biological damage is termed oxidative stress.
The primitive steps in development of cancer, mutation and ageing are the result of oxidative damage to the DNA in a cell. A list of oxidized DNA products has been identified currently which can lead to mutation and cancer.”
Another study indicated that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries exert the most antioxidant energy of the most common fruits, with the exception of pomegranates.
Further, blueberries are an example of a food that contains antioxidants associated with cognitive improvement, along with reductions in neurodegenerative oxidative stress.
One study in Italy revealed that about 2 cups of blueberries can protect against DNA damage. Ten young volunteers were given that amount of blueberries (or a “placebo” of sorts). Blood tests done before and afterward were evaluated, and the blueberry group showed significantly reduced DNA damage within one hour.
In another review, 31 healthy people ate about the same amount of strawberry purée daily for 30 days, and their oxidants and anti-oxidants leveled out. One pro-oxidant marker was reduced by 38 percent.
Berries Have Multiple Benefits for Your Whole Body
There are numerous advantages to eating berries, as clinical studies demonstrate:
They may improve your blood sugar and insulin response, even with high-carb foods.
One study involved females who ate bread (which causes high glucose and insulin responses) with strawberries, bilberries or lingonberries, versus raspberries, cloudberries or chokeberries, resulting in a 24- to 26-percent drop in insulin levels.
Berries come with lots of fiber, including insoluble fiber, which slows the rate at which food moves through your colon and in turn diminishes hunger. This may decrease calorie intake and help you absorb up to 130 fewer calories per day.
They’re potentially therapeutic for your skin, reducing wrinkles and skin damage from free radicals (particularly ellagic acid) and may block the production of enzymes that break down collagen.
Berries may protect against cancer, due to the anthocyanin, ellagic acid and resveratrol content. Studies showed raspberries to have a positive effect on colon cancer patients, and strawberries to have beneficial effects against liver cancer cells.
Better heart health and artery function are additional benefits. Endothelial cells, which line your blood vessels, help control blood pressure and prevent blood from clotting. Inflammation can damage them, but berries were shown to improve endothelial function in healthy and unhealthy patients.
Cranberries, acai berries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are the ones identified as being the healthiest for women’s hearts in particular, as they contain high amounts of polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Less Familiar Berries Also Have Benefits
There are arguably hundreds of varieties of berries throughout the world, and the majority have amazing health benefits, as shown below:
Tart and full of flavor, tiny maqui berries are found growing wild in southern Chile.
They have also been used for millennia therapeutically, mostly to combat inflammation, which modern studies have supported.
They’re noted for containing anthocyanins and polyphenols, as well as vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium.
Tangy camu camu berries, the size of large grapes, are grown on a bush in the Amazon.
They’re known for fighting colds and flu due to their plentiful vitamin C content; reportedly as much as 60 times more than an orange.
Studies show they’re good for your eyes, skin, gums and brain function and have multiple other benefits.
Goldenberries are named for their color and usually come in the dried variety rather than fresh in the U.S.
They’re known for being filling, possibly helping you to eat less, and regulating your metabolism.
Rich in fiber as well as protein and B vitamins, they also contain lots of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Besides being associated with cardiovascular health, acai berries from the Amazon rainforest have 10 times the antioxidant vitamins as grapes and twice that of blueberries.
Acerola cherries are found in regions such as South America, Southern Mexico and Asia.
They contain high amounts of vitamin C — nine times the amount found in an orange and more than any other food source.
They’re low calorie and contain high amounts of beta-carotene and flavonoids when they remain intact.
Pacific Island noni berries have a long history of traditional medical uses, from urinary tract infections to menstrual cramps and diabetes to liver disease.
It contains vitamins C, B3 (niacin) and A, calcium, iron and potassium.
Boysenberries, a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry or loganberry, have their own set of nutritional advantages.
While they have a fair amount of carbohydrates in every 1-cup serving, they’re loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins and 2.5 grams of protein.
Recent reports have put acai berries in the superfood category, as they too, are rich in anthocyanins, and are known for having high antioxidant activity and cell-protective qualities.
They also contain 19 amino acids and fatty acids making them good for your heart and neuron protective.
Bilberries are smaller than blueberries but are otherwise similar, and they contain impressive amounts of  antioxidant anthocyanins.
They’re known for their ability to fight diabetes and enhance night vision, as well as protect your vision and even improve symptoms of cataracts and macular degeneration.
The aronia, aka black chokeberry, is native to the eastern U.S., as well as Europe.
About the size of a large blueberry, it contains five times the amount of flavonoids and anthocyanins compared to cranberry juice, with action related to cervical tumor cells.
While aronia is not palatable due to its bitter flavor (hence the pseudonym), it’s popular as a tea and dessert ingredient nonetheless.
Bright red goji berries (aka wolf berries) are grown in Nepal and Tibet and have had a long run in traditional medicinal therapies linked to longevity, strength, mood and sexual vigor.
Studies show goji berries may be beneficial for diabetes, be heart protective, improve sexual function and benefit both your brain and vision.
Gooseberries, known for their puckery-sour taste, were a favorite for the tart pies your grandmother used to make.
Visually unlike most other berries, with their translucent skin and ribbed flesh, gooseberries contain lots of fiber, potassium and 70 percent of the vitamin C you need in one day.
One study found them to be potentially useful in cancer treatment and prevention.
Keep in Mind the Fructose Contained in Berries
Fruit can be advantageous for your health, but it’s important to bear in mind that excess amounts of fructose are anything but good for you. The health benefits are available only when it’s the whole fruit (even if it’s pureed) and nothing but the fruit. It should go without saying, but fruit juices, canned varieties and snacks such as fruit roll-ups are more often than not laced with loads of sugar, or even worse, high-fructose corn syrup.
Check food labels to make sure you’re not bringing a toxic substance into your home for your family to consume, and limit your intake of fructose, including that from fresh fruit, to 15 to 25 grams per day, depending on your current health status. Whenever possible, choose organic, whether you’re buying berries or other fruits and vegetables.

*Article originally appeared at Mercola.

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

The Connection Between Insulin Resistance and the High-Carb, Low-Fat Diet
April 30, 2017 | 62,249 views

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By Dr. Mercola
Dr. Tim Noakes, a well-respected scientist, researcher, physician and professor at the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is one of the world's foremost experts on low-carb diets. In fact, he was instrumental in getting the low-carb diet revolution off the ground.
He's also an accomplished athlete. As a long-distance endurance runner with 70 marathons under his belt, he had long promoted high-carb diets, himself consuming 400 grams of carbs a day or more when preparing for a race.
Eventually, he discovered this wasn't the best way to improve athletic endurance and health, and ended up writing a number of popular books on low-carb diets.
From High to Low Carb
Noakes graduated from medical school in 1974. At the time, he was also running, and this was when the high carbohydrate diet really started to become popularized.
Following the advice of one of his professors at the cardiology unit where he worked, he changed to a high-carb diet and began promoting it in his writings, including the book, "Lore of Running," which was widely read.
"There it says that you must eat lots of carbohydrates for both health and performance. I continued to do this for 33 years until 2010," Noakes says.
One day in 2010, he went for a run and had one of the worst runs of his life. He also admitted he was overweight, which didn't help. By chance, that same day he received an advertisement for Dr. Eric C. Westman's book, "The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great."
It claimed you could lose 6 kilos (13 pounds) in six weeks, which he didn't believe because he'd tried many diets and none worked. Despite that, he bought the book, and within two hours of reading, he realized he'd had it all wrong all this time.
"I decided then and there that I was going to go low-carb. I started at lunchtime on that day. I've been on that diet now for the last six years. I've dropped 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in weight. My running returned to what it had been 20 years earlier," he says.
"I subsequently discovered that I have type 2 diabetes because of a strong family history and all these carbohydrates. But I'm glad to say today all my blood tests are within the normal range. I am taking medication. But … in six years with diagnosed diabetes, I have not worsened.
In fact, I'm probably slightly better than I was six years ago, which is completely contrary to what would happen if you followed conventional advice. Anyway, I decided that I'd start reading. I read all your work. I read all the books. I started doing research.
That convinced me that this is a really important change that we need to promote throughout the world. Clearly, the diabetes and obesity epidemics started in 1977. It's caused by the dietary guidelines. I slowly began to understand [how] industry has driven the bad guidelines …
I also do intermittent fasting. I only eat between lunchtime and … 8 p.m. … I found that that's been really helpful. It's about a 16-hour fast and an eight-hour period where I eat."
Diet Revolution Leads to Legal Wrangling
In 2013, Noakes published "The Real Meal Revolution: Changing the World, One Meal at a Time," which turned into the best-selling book ever in the history of Southern African literature. The success of this book produced major changes in dietary understanding in Southern Africa.
Alas, its success also led to legal action being taken against him by the Health Professions Council of South Africa, which is a professional medical licensing and regulatory board. The action came after he posted low-carb advice to a pregnant woman on Twitter.
As a result, the president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa wrote a long letter to the Health Professions Council, challenging his ability to practice medicine.
"It is so bad that my own university dissociated itself from me," Noakes says. "At my hospital, Groote Schuur Hospital, you are not allowed to prescribe a low-carbohydrate diet for any condition. You're not allowed to discuss the diet among the doctors.
If you do practice it or if you were to prescribe it, something would happen to you. That's how strong the movement against it is. It's absolutely astonishing. The worst bit for me actually wasn't the trial and being accused of malpractice and so on. The worst bit was my university.
The dean of medicine wrote to the local newspaper and said they dissociated themselves from my views and all those who support the low-carbohydrate diet.
Of course, they had no evidence for it, but here I'd worked at this university for 35 years or so, and was one of the better-known scientists. That they could do that was absolutely astonishing. But … it does seem that industry was strongly involved."
Overwhelming Evidence
During the hearing, he presented five and a half days of testimony about the low-carb diet. He was also cross-examined for three and a half days. Then for another three days, expert witnesses were heard, including Nina Teicholz, Zoe Harcombe and Caryn Zinn, all three of whom presented a remarkably sturdy case for its use.
"For example, when Nina — [who] wrote the book 'The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet' — when she finished, the lawyer for the prosecution could not cross-examine her.
He just threw up his hands and quit. He didn't have anything to say. Zoe Harcombe was the same. She has just completed her Ph.D., showing there was never any proven evidence to change the dietary guidelines in 1977.
She presented her Ph.D. thesis. Again, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming. The end result is that we've had 23 days in court so far, and we won every single moment for 23 days.
We won everything. They have not been able to pin one thing on me. I think it's the first time in history that a diet has been put before a legal jury to decide whether or not it's true."
The final decision, more than three years after the Tweet was posted, was that Noakes was found not guilty of misconduct.
It remains to be seen whether the health professional council, the statutory party that took action against Noakes, will have to change their nutritional guidelines and update all nutrition and dietetics teaching in South Africa. As noted by Noakes, "That could be a huge moment for South Africa and perhaps for the rest of the world."
Corporate Influence
At the request of CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, investigative journalist Russ Greene visited Noakes in South Africa. He went through all the transcripts of the trial, and then began digging into the backgrounds of all the expert witnesses testifying against Noakes. Most of them turned out to be linked to an organization called the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), which is a Coca-Cola funded organization.
ILSI is basically a front-group for the beverage industry, and has links to Monsanto, Pfizer, Unilever and, in the past, the tobacco industry. Green wrote an exposé, "Big Food vs. Tim Noakes: The Final Crusade," which is posted on his website,
"It's an amazing exposé, which suggests there was a coordinated effort in South Africa to bring me [down] and that it was driven by industry. The reason was we were getting too close to questioning the role of sugar and carbohydrates in ill health. We haven't proved it, but there's enough evidence out there to suggest there were things behind the trial that one would not have thought about," Noakes says.
Beverage Industry Hurt Athletes With Manipulated Science
This isn't the first time Noakes has taken on big industry. In 2010, he published "Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports," a book exposing how industry influences science, and how the beverage industry has influenced the drinking guidelines for athletes.
He wrote the book because he was angry about people being hurt as a result of these manipulated guidelines. While rarely discussed, exercise-associated hyponatremia — drinking too much or overhydrating — actually contributes to many unnecessary deaths. Noakes explains:
"When I started running marathons in the 1970s, we didn't drink during races. In fact, I ran a 56-mile race and I think I had four drinks. You'd have a drink every hour and you would literally swirl your mouth out with water and that would be about it. No one came to any harm. Then in about 1974 I began actively to promote drinking during marathon races. I became very active in South Africa saying there was not enough fluid available to marathon runners …
By 1981, the race … had a drinking station every mile. They had 56 drinking stations in a 56-mile race. At the end of that race, a lady was unconscious. She was hospitalized ... Her blood sodium concentration had fallen. She wanted to know what had happened. She said, 'Maybe I took too little sugar or salt during the race. What should I do about it?' I said, 'I have no idea.'
I then decided to investigate. Over the next 10 years, we were able to show that … she had overdrunk fluids. She'd retained the fluids, [which] caused her brain to swell, [causing] her to go unconscious. She'd remained unconscious for four days. We provided definitive evidence that it was overdrinking that caused the problem."
In 1993, the first American marathon runner died from overhydration. Still, in 1996, the American College of Sports Medicine, funded by Gatorade, produced new drinking guidelines stating that dehydration is the killer when you exercise, and you should drink "as much as tolerable" during exercise.
Other deaths followed, all of which were completely unnecessary. In 2002, a young female runner died shortly after completing the Boston marathon. Cause of death: water intoxication. As recently as last year, two American football players died from overhydration. An estimated 3,000 athletes have also been hospitalized for hyponatremia, but fortunately almost all have survived. Yet, there have been at least 16 completely unnecessary deaths of which we are aware.
How Industry Controls Information
Finally, in 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine revised their guidelines to what Noakes had suggested, which is that you should drink to thirst.
"It took a lot of time to change. The only reason we could change was because two scientific journals in the entire world were independent of the sports drink industry. [The] industry … makes sure its key opinion leaders, who have funds to do research, also happen to be the people who draw up the guidelines, whether they be dietary, cholesterol or drinking. In addition to that they are the main reviewers of journal articles.
Over a 10-year period, we would submit papers and I knew they went to exactly the same reviewers every time. It didn't matter which journal we sent them to … But there were two journals that were independent, the British Journal of Medicine and the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. They published our work. I always knew that if there were two journals open to our papers … we would win in the end. In the end, we did win, because in the end all that matters is the truth.
But if those two journals had also been controlled, if they'd had the same editorial boards, we wouldn't have ever done it. That was how I learned that is how industry controls information. They actively do it. They actively support people to make sure that only guidelines that benefit industry are ever published."
With Fewer Carbs, You Don't Need Insulin
One of the absolute worst things conventional medicine does is treat type 2 diabetics with insulin. This only exacerbates the problem. The key to treating and reversing type 2 diabetes is to cut down on net carbs, replacing them with high amounts of healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein. Noakes has researched reversal of type 2 diabetes in South Africans, coming to the same conclusion.
"It seems to me that provided you remove the carbohydrates, you don't need the insulin," he says. "We're looking at the whole body … [W]e're looking at every organ in the body that we believe has been influenced by type 2 diabetes.
We're seeing how they differ in people who reversed their type 2 diabetes on this diet, versus those who continue to be treated with standard therapy, including insulin … [This has] not been done anywhere else in the world. It's just the most exciting work I can think of."
Removing net carbs is only one side of the equation, though. That will reverse the insulin resistance, but equally important is having the ability to burn fat as your primary fuel. Paradoxically, driving your insulin level too low can result in a rise in blood sugar. The reason this can happen is because the primary function of insulin is not to drive sugar into the cell, but to suppress the production of glucose by the liver (hepatic gluconeogenesis).
In situations like this, eating a piece of fruit, for example, will actually lower your blood sugar. This is what happened to me, as I went a bit too extreme in my ketogenic approach. That got me to explore this whole process, eventually concluding that continuous ketosis may not be a wise long-term approach.
You actually need this cycling, where you go through a one-day-per-week fast and one or two days a week of feasting, where you eat maybe 100 or 200 grams of carbs. Noakes is planning clinical trials with type 2 diabetics where they will be looking at these kinds of variations.
Are Carbs Bad for All Athletes?
It's worth noting that some athletes may not perform at their best on a ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb diet). I believe that if you're doing ultra-endurance events like marathons, the ketogenic diet is the way to go. But for high-performance spurt, interval types, it might not be your best bet. It'll help you from a health perspective, but it may not optimize your performance like it will for long-distance running. Noakes weighs in on the topic, saying:
"I say the ideal diet for sports is the one that's ideal for life as well … I spent 20 years of my life studying glucose metabolism in the body during exercise. The question I want to know is, how can adding a little bit of carbohydrate make you run faster? For example, if you ingest carbohydrate during exercise, because you've got plenty of fat on board, why would you need a little bit of carbohydrate?
To some extent, I think the carbohydrate effect is a drug effect, particularly during exercise. If you're taking carbohydrates, I think it's acting like a drug, because metabolically, I can't see how it would make any difference. It's really interesting.
When we do these studies, we take people on high-carbohydrate diets and we put them on a high-fat diet. The performance does come down. But I wonder to what extent, as to the withdrawal of the drug effect as much as a metabolic effect … I think even if you're cycling the Tour de France, you don't need more than 200 grams of carbohydrate a day."
Insulin Resistance Is the Real Killer
According to Noakes, "[I]nsulin resistance is the real killer and … we need to understand that … [the] main driver [of chronic disease] is insulin resistance and a high-carbohydrate diet."
Unfortunately, most medical schools around the world still do not teach medical students about insulin resistance, and one of the primary reasons for this is because medical schools are strongly influenced by the food industry, which wants you to believe that eating fat is dangerous and eating sugars and grains (net carbs) is healthy.
Neither is true, but these ideas are driven by financial motives. We need to remember that diabetes is one of the greatest growth industries in the world. If it can be reversed or prevented by a relatively simple dietary change, then that industry collapses.
"What I would like to dedicate the rest of my time to is trying to get medical schools to change the focus of the teaching of nutrition and to admit that we failed by telling people to eat a high-carbohydrate diet, and that we have to replace that with an understanding that carbohydrates and insulin resistance are the problem. The broad range of diseases that we see is linked to that," Noakes says.
"There's a paper in the Journal of American Medical Association … Chinese people with diabetes were compared to Chinese people without diabetes. The risk for all the common chronic diseases was two to three times greater. It was frightening. There wasn't a condition that wasn't listed there.
We have to realize we're heading toward a disaster because we don't understand that you must treat insulin resistance with a low-carbohydrate diet. Unless we do that, we're not going to address the health of our nations … We used to be very lean. That's what we're designed to be. We have to somehow get back to that original state, because humans are … not designed to be fat."
Sugar Addicts Are Particularly Intolerant to Carbohydrates
While I believe limiting protein is just as important as cutting carbs, Noakes believes restricting carbs is the primary key for diabetics. As for how much carbohydrate is too much, we agree that an ideal limit for health is 25 grams of net carbs per day. My recommendation for diabetics is stricter than his, however, as I recommend a maximum of 15 grams of net carbs per day until your insulin resistance is resolved.
Noakes suggests a range of 25 to 100 grams, depending on your levels of exercise and of insulin resistance, with 25 grams being the maximum for those with marked insulin resistance/Type 2 diabetes. He also notes that people with sugar addiction or carbohydrate addiction who are morbidly obese tend to be incredibly intolerant to carbohydrates, and need to be particularly mindful not to exceed 25 grams of net carbs.
"The people that I've helped lose 80, 100 kilograms, that's 160 to 200 pounds, they literally cannot eat 26 grams of carbohydrates. They have to stick to 25. Once they get up to 50 grams … they move back toward the addictive nature," Noakes says.
"They start to eat more carbohydrate, and very quickly, they're eating 100, 200, back to 400 grams. People don't understand that if you have a real weight problem and you're morbidly obese, you've really got to be strict 25 grams and no more. I think it's the same with type 2 diabetes. You've got to stick to 25 grams."
Dr. Noakes was one of the experts I sought to help edit my new book "Fat for Fuel" for accuracy. Unfortunately, he was in the middle of his trial and could not edit it. However, there is little doubt in my mind that "Fat for Fuel" is the finest resource you can obtain to give you the practical details of how to implement the strategies that Noakes discusses.
To Learn More, Join Me at My Upcoming Live Lectures
There are many professionals or others who would like to dive deep into the details and if you fall in that category, I want to offer you some opportunities to learn more. On June 14 and 15, 2017, I will be in Colorado Springs for the SopMed’s third medical ozone and ultraviolet light therapy training. The 14th I will be giving a three-hour course that goes into many of the details that are not discussed in my new book “Fat for Fuel,” either because I learned of them later or there was not room to fit them in the book.
If you are specifically interested in nutritional ketosis, there will be a large number of experts lecturing at the Low Carb USA event in San Diego August 3-6. I will be one of the speakers along with Gary Taubes and Stephen Phinney. You can see the entire list of invited speakers lower on the page. The Early Bird Special, which saves you $100 on the ticket price, ends on April 30.
I am also speaking in Florida in November. If you are a physician and are interested in learning about how you can use the ketogenic diet and other therapies for cancer, heart disease, Lyme and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, please be sure and come to our ACIM conference in Orlando, Florida on November 2 through 4 at the wonderful Florida Conference and Hotel Center.

If you are a patient, there will be a separate and less expensive track on the same date and location.  However, you will need to come back to this page in a few days as the registration page for the event is still not up. The Early Bird Special, which saves you $100 on the ticket price, ends on April 30.

The Health Benefits of Taking Spirulina Daily The Health R


Health benefits of taking spirulina daily
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by: Yanjun

---------------------------- (NaturalNews) We hear so much about superfoods these days. There are hundreds of superfood options on the market, and most of them contain a wide range of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and various other disease fighting components. But there's only one superfood that stands out among the rest, and you should take it every single day to ensure your health: spirulina.

It's a unique blue green algae that is rich in chlorophyll and many other life-giving nutrients.

Let's have a close look at various health benefits of spirulina
• Spirulina is rich in various infection-fighting proteins that help in increasing various disease-combating antibodies within your body. It has more than 70 percent protein, which is highest among all foods, and helps in boosting the production of white blood cells that fight and prevent infection.

• In a 2005 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, it was found that high doses of spirulina also help in inhibiting many allergic reactions in the body, particularly among those who suffer from allergic rhinitis.

• Spirulina is also effective in the treatment of anemia. In his book Healing with Whole Foods - Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, Paul Pitchford explains how spirulina boosts the production of red blood cells, particularly when taken in combination with vitamin B12.

• Rich in chlorophyll and phycocyanin, spirulina is also a powerful blood purifier. Aside from promoting blood cell growth, these two vital nutrients also rejuvenate the existing blood supply. In fact, the structure of chlorophyll is nearly identical to hemoglobin, an important molecule responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells and cleaning the blood.

• Spirulina is also rich in all eight essential amino acids, 10 non-essential amino acids, B complex vitamins, zeaxanthin, the antioxidants beta carotene, the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid, beneficial probiotic bacteria, dozens of trace minerals and pathogen-targeting proteins. Spirulina also has unmatched ability to boost your immune system.

• All these nutrients also detoxify the body and cells of various heavy metals and toxins. In fact, spirulina is a good chleating agent that reaches deep into the body tissues and roots out various toxins such as arsenic, mercury, radiation, pesticides, cadmium, environmental carcinogens and synthetic food chemicals.

• In a 1988 study carried out in Japan, it was found that spriulina also lowers cholesterol levels and reduces underlying inflammation due to cholesterol accumulation in the bloodstream.

• All those who are obese can lose weight taking spirulina on daily basis. This is due to its ability to induce weight loss and promote development of lean muscle mass.

If you want to experience all the benefits of spirulina, it's necessary that you consume several grams of this nutrient-dense superfood per day. Interested in buying the best spirulina? For maximum benefits, consider only top brands such as Cyanotech's Nutrex-Hawaii Spirulina Pacifica, because it is cultivated, harvested, and packed in such a way as to avoid any contamination due to toxic microcystins.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:

Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments,health insurance, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cilantro Detox Cleanse Foot Bath

The Cilantro Cleanse Detox Foot Bath is a method of detoxification for pesticides, insecticides, solvents, chemicals, and heavy metals
Cilantro essential oil (Coriandrum sativum L.) is steam distilled from the leaves of the same plant as Coriander essential oil, which is distilled from the seeds. Cilantro essential oil binds to toxins and flushes them out of the body. It’s also rich in antioxidants and will help remove heavy metals from your system. It promotes cleansing of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and skin.

Cilantro essential oils benefits
  • Helps with Cardiovascular Health: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, cilantro can help lower bad cholesterol and can also aid in eliminating cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
  • Detoxes the Body: With the ability to remove toxins and heavy metals from cells and organ, cilantro essential oil is a great detoxifier.
  • Helps with Digestion: Encouraging the production of digestive enzymes, cilantro also contains fiber, which is key to improved digestion. Cilantro may even ease upset stomachs.
  • Helps with Anxiety: Containing B vitamins, the oil is known to have relaxing properties, calming the nerves and reducing anxiety. Drinking a mix of cilantro and cucumber juices is a great way to combat stress.
  • Reduces Oxidative Stress: Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant. It  protects your body’s cells from free radicals—a key contributor to the aging process.
The Cilantro Cleanse Detox Foot Bath is a method of detoxification for pesticides, insecticides, solvents, chemicals, and heavy metals
*1/2 cup Epsom Salts
*1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (use this one)
*7 drops cilantro essential oil (where to find)


  1. Mix essential oils and carrier oil in empty tub
  2. Pour in epsom salts or bath crystals.
  3. Fill your foot bath with as warm of water as you can stand.
  4. Slowly pour the apple cider vinegar
  5. Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes.
  • 1.

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