The Power Of Touch: Cuddling Your Baby Impacts Your Family Genes For Generations To Come

By David Nield | Science Alert

The amount of close and comforting contact that young infants get doesn’t just keep them warm, snug, and loved.

A 2017 study says it can actually affect babies at the molecular level, and the effects can last for years.

Based on the study, babies who get less physical contact and are more distressed at a young age, end up with changes in molecular processes that affect gene expression.

The team from the University of British Columbia in Canada emphasises that it’s still very early days for this research, and it’s not clear exactly what’s causing the change.

But it could give scientists some useful insights into how touching affects the epigenome – the biochemical changes that influence gene expression in the body.

During the study, parents of 94 babies were asked to keep diaries of their touching and cuddling habits from five weeks after birth, as well as logging the behaviour of the infants – sleeping, crying, and so on.

Four-and-a-half years later, DNA swabs were taken of the kids to analyse a biochemical modification called DNA methylation.

It’s an epigenetic mechanism in which some parts of the chromosome are tagged with small carbon and hydrogen molecules, often changing how genes function and affecting their expression.

The researchers found DNA methylation differences between “high-contact” children and “low-contact” children at five specific DNA sites, two of which were within genes: one related to the immune system, and one to the metabolic system.

DNA methylation also acts as a marker for normal biological development and the processes that go along with it, and it can be influenced by external, environmental factors as well.

Then there was the epigenetic age, the biological ageing of blood and tissue. This marker was lower than expected in the kids who hadn’t had much contact as babies, and had experienced more distress in their early years, compared with their actual age.

“In children, we think slower epigenetic ageing could reflect less favourable developmental progress,” said one of the team, Michael Kobor.

In fact, similar findings were spotted in a study from 2013 looking at how much care and attention young rats were given from a very early age.

Gaps between epigenetic age and chronological age have been linked to health problems in the past, but again it’s too soon to draw those kind of conclusions: the scientists readily admit they don’t yet know how this will affect the kids later in life.

We are also talking about less than 100 babies in the study, but it does seem that close contact and cuddles do somehow change the body at a genetic level.


Biological Dentistry: What Teeth Tell You About Your Character, Body & Health

By: Life4FitMama

white teeth smiling

Even the slightest damage to the tooth is a problem in an equivalent organ in the body. The upper and lower incisors (first and second) reflect the state of the kidneys, bladder,ears and canine teeth – of the liver and gall bladder.

Information about the lung and colon carry a small root 4 and 5, for the stomach, spleen and pancreas – the big root 6 and 7, and so-called “Wisdom teeth” – may predict the state of the heart and small intestine.

Of course, not always internal diseases are accompanied by damage to the teeth, which are found in a review of the dentist.

Sometimes the patient complains of discomfort in the perfectly healthy in appearance tooth, and often ached on the places where teeth have long been removed. This is the so called. Phantom pain – the most accurate signal that the body submitted.

This happens because signals from diseased organs enter the reflex area of a corresponding tooth. If you know about these relationships can easily detect the diseased organ.

Related Article: Gum Disease Opens The Body To A Host Of Infections

Between internal organs and the mouth there is a close connection. Diseased teeth often cause headaches. If the inflammatory process is in the root of the tooth, the pain may be in the parietal region.

The lesions of maxillary incisor teeth cause pain in the frontal temporal area and diseased canines.

Diseases of the teeth of the lower jaw may occur with pain “spilled” character.

And there is no other salvation from migraine, unless examination by dentist.

Pain in the first and second incisor (upper and lower) testify to chronic pyelonephritis, cystitis and otitis. If you worry first incisor, may be thinking about tonsillitis, osteochondrosis, prostatitis, disability to the hip joint. In cholecystitis or hepatitis canine teeth signaled a constant dull pain.

For pains in the fourth and fifth teeth root, the reasons may be chronic pneumonia, colitis, long flowing dysbacteriosis, allergic reaction (asthma, rhinosinusitis, respiratory allergy).

If have the pain in fourth teeth, top and bottom, the patient probably has the weakness of the connecting device (knee joints, shoulder, elbow, beam-ring), it may be suffering from inflammatory processes with chronic nature of the type of arthritis, diseases of the colon – polyposis , diverticulosis.

Related Article: “No Drill Dentistry’ Shows Fillings Are Not Needed In Many Cases

The sixth and seventh teeth ache in chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, long flowing anemia, chronic pancreatitis.

The sixth upper teeth “call” in sinusitis tonsillitis, diseases of the pharynx in mastopathy, tumors in the thyroid gland, inflammation of the spleen and ovaries. And six lower teeth give a signal that there is a problem with the arteries, atherosclerosis.

The following seven lower teeth, which are responsible for problems with veins (varicosis, hemorrhoids), lung (chronic pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchial asthma), signaled of polyps in the colon.

If the “Wisdom teeth” do not give you resting better, not delay the review in cardiology. Coronary heart disease, congenital defect and other cardiac diseases are areas of the sages. Tartar can direct attention to the doctor endocrine system to gastric ulcer disease.

There is an opinion that the appearance of the teeth can be judged not only for human health, but also for the character.

Read the rest of the article…

Study Finds Cannabis Reverses Aging Processes in the Brain

Alex Pietrowski | Waking Times

The movement to free up the weed is growing, thanks in large part to an ever-growing body of scientific research disproving the U.S. government’s assertion that cannabis has no medical value. Research has proven that medical cannabis has a positive effect in the prevention and treatment of cancer, as well as having a clear benefit for seizure patients.

The benefits of cannabis on the human brain are still being outlined by medical research, and in a recent study, scientists at the University of Bonn concluded that it can help reverse the aging process in the brain.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who has ‘extensive research experience in the fields of aging, cancer, nutrition.’ Her research and work is largely devoted to nutrition rather than the study of cannabis specifically, offering an impartial look at the health benefits of cannabis.

“Low dose THC from cannabis reverses the aging process in the brain. 12-and 18-month old mice that were given a low dose of THC daily for 4 weeks performed as well as 2-month old control mice on learning and memory tests. The THC treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals.

The mechanism is still unclear. Other studies have found that THC helps clear away amyloid beta plaques from the brain. Additionally, cannabinoids bind to specific receptors called cannabinoid receptors in neurons as well as on immune cells. It is possible that there are multiple mechanisms at play.” [Source]

The study examined the effects of THC on certain mice, noting that aging mice saw a return the brain function of their much younger counterparts:

“This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient.” [Source]

Read the rest of the article here.


Nursing Home No More: The New Trend Is Aging With Your Friends

Source: Fabiosa

We know that the world’s population is aging. It is predicted that by 2050, the number of people over 60 years old will triple. One can deal with aging in many different ways in order to live well and have a good quality of life.

As we become older, there are different options for living. Some people need to be taken care of by their children, while others go to a nursing home. However, there are still some bold ones who do not want to live alone and choose to live with their friends.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Schemata Workshop (@schemataworkshop)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Schemata Workshop (@schemataworkshop)

This is a kind of private village where each resident or couple has their own home, and there are also common spaces for coexistence, leisure, etc.


Awesome Research-Backed Bio-Hacks for Tapping Into More of Your Brain’s Power


Video Source: Mercola

By Dr. Mercola

Can you biohack your brain to get sharper, smarter and work faster? According to Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founder and CEO of bulletproof.com, and author of “The Bulletproof Diet” and “Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster — in Just Two Weeks,” the answer is a resounding yes.

In addition to being early internet adopters, Dave and I share similar interests with respect to optimizing brain function — something we both discuss in our respective books. I had the opportunity to preview “Head Strong” and really enjoy Dave’s approach.

It’s different from my book, “Fat for Fuel,” but the two books complement each other quite well. Dave approaches the subject of optimizing brain function from the perspective of having suffered serious health problems and seeking options for recovery, because the conventional route simply did not work.

At one point, he weighed 300 pounds, couldn’t lose weight, and was suffering the effects of multiple toxic exposures, including Lyme disease. He’s an inspiring example of someone who, despite not being a trained physician, is able to sift through the medical literature to unearth important health truths.

The Life Altering Impact of Brain Fog

Dave was a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur in the early days of the web. Then, he suddenly started gaining a lot of weight, and despite working out every day, six days a week, the weight gain continued. After going on a low-fat diet, he started experiencing severe brain fog — so much so, he feared losing his career.

“I ended up spending $1 million and 15 years fixing my body and getting all of the data. I lost 100 pounds. I ended up running an anti-aging, non-profit research group. Here I am, a formerly obese computer hacker by training, who realized I could hack my own biology.

When you’re taking over a computer system, you don’t know what’s inside it. You just need to know enough to change the system. I looked at my body and I said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on in there. The doctors … barely know what’s going on in there.

Maybe I can use these techniques about managing a system even if you don’t know everything.’ It really changed my life. Years later, I have a deep knowledge of how the system of the body works and how the environment changes it.

You were one of the first guys to talk about epigenetics — this idea that your environment changes your gene expression. Like, whoa, wouldn’t it be easier to just change my environment instead of doing something? That’s where I was led to.”

It’s All About the Mitochondria

Health ultimately boils down to mitochondrial function, Dave realized. Both weight loss and improved brain capacity are byproducts of simple lifestyle changes that optimize your mitochondria.

Mitochondria are tiny organelles in your cells that can be viewed as cellular battery chargers. The mitochondria charge the structured water, which in turn operates much like a battery, thereby producing the energy (ATP) your body needs to function.

Disturbingly, research suggests half of people under the age of 40 have early onset mitochondrial dysfunction, and this phenomenon appears to be at the heart of most illness and chronic disease.

“That means their battery is weak before it’s supposed to be weak. Everyone over age 40 has mitochondrial dysfunction. It’s called aging,” he says.

“If you can hack those little mitochondria to make them leak [fewer] electrons, to make them more effective and efficient in creating energy, to make them [create] less inflammation when they make energy, you’re probably going to live a lot longer.

But however long you live, you’re going to … have more energy every day. That makes you a nicer person because you can regulate your emotions better … I’m calmer, more grounded and more focused because my battery is fully charged most of the time.”

Environmental toxins, be they natural, such as mold, or synthetic, such as agricultural chemicals and food additives, all have the ability to impede mitochondrial function and hence stifle your body’s ability to create energy.

The plan Dave describes in “Head Strong” revolves around reducing exposure to toxins that lower the efficiency of your mitochondria, and increasing exposures and activities that give you energy. As your disease risk goes down, the quality of your thinking goes up, quite literally making you more “headstrong.”

“What used to be a struggle stops being a struggle. It just feels kind of effortless and joyful,” he says. One aspect of his work that stands out is the importance of sun exposure. Not only does it provide your body with vitamin D, sun exposure also charges your mitochondria.

Sunlight ‘Charges Your Batteries’

In a nutshell, the near-, mid- and far-infrared light in sunlight can directly add electrons to these internal power plants, your mitochondria.

Infrared light — which is the part that provides warmth — actually changes the structure of the water in your cells, making it more structured, thereby increasing the efficiency of your mitochondria.

In simplified terms, you could say you can actually “charge” yourself with sunlight. In the absence of sunlight, you can also use near- and mid-infrared light bulbs. Groundbreaking science now also shows the near-infrared range is particularly important for your brain function. Dave explains:

“There are basically three different types of beneficial infrared ranges that humans have been able to recreate. There’s really a spectrum that’s unending of all these electromagnetic frequencies. We’re just talking [about certain ranges].

What I’m recommending in “Head Strong” is to go outside, take off your sunglasses or prescription glasses [because] that UV filter is actually filtering out [light] that your brain needs.

You need a little bit of ultraviolet light even in your eyes. It can help to fix near-sightedness. Take off your hat. You’re not going to get wrinkles in 20 minutes of sunshine. It’s OK. Don’t put on sunscreen. Take off your shirt and go for a walk in the sun.”

Near-Infrared for Brain Health

For nearly 10 years, Dave has been using an infrared LED emitter in the 810 to 850 nanometer (nm) range that can be placed on an injury or on your head to treat your brain. As discussed in my interview with photodynamic therapy researcher Michael Hamblin, Ph.D., such devices could be revolutionary in the treatment of dementia and other neurological problems.

“Most think that light is just light. Can I see or not see? What we’re discovering is that light is a drug. You can have the corn syrup of lighting, which is basically … blue LED light bulbs. We’ve allowed these into our environment the same way we allowed corn syrup into our food supply.

[Blue light from LED light bulbs] makes your mitochondria weak. It causes macular degeneration over time, which is a mitochondrial disorder. What I’m talking about here is the LEDs that replace your incandescent light fixtures so you can read, so you can watch TV and cook. You don’t want those [light bulbs] in your environment.

But red and infrared in targeted spectrum LEDs are actually game-changing. One of the reasons this works is because your mitochondria are semi-conductors. This was not well-established until maybe eight years ago. [A semi-conductor] conducts electricity at a lower speed than it would normally go. What this means is that one of the functions of mitochondria is to create photons.

They’re called biophotons. One of the primary functions of mitochondria is to receive photons. They’re actually able to communicate, we believe, with each other using photons. But certainly, they listen to the light around you, the same as they listen to what you put in your mouth.

Having these quadrillion little sensors in your body that are light sensitive means what you expose them to is going to change the state of your body. The recommendation in “Head Strong” is have less of these LED lights for vision, and to use LED therapeutically with red and infrared, or even ultraviolet. There are ultraviolet LEDs now. Go back to more natural spectrums.”

The Importance of Cyclical Ketosis and mTOR Activation

Another critical message “Head Strong” gets right is the importance of not remaining in continuous ketosis. This is part of the message I focused on in “Fat for Fuel” as well, because virtually no one is talking about this. Once you’re at the point where your body is efficiently burning fat as its primary fuel, you need to start cycling in and out of ketosis. This mimics the ancestral pattern of going through periods of feast and famine.

“It’s almost like doing interval training,” Dave says. “You don’t have to be in one state forever. In fact, your body doesn’t like to be in one state forever. That’s why we sleep and we wake up. We have all these different activities, why should you always be in one metabolic state?”

Another common problem is that people in ketosis are eating far too much protein, and often poor quality protein, which can fan the flames of inflammation. When you limit protein to only what your body needs, you suppress an important metabolic pathway called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), thereby lowering your risk of cancer.

However, as with nutritional ketosis, you don’t necessarily want to suppress mTOR all the time either. You need to activate mTOR now and then to retain muscle mass. Dave explains:

“The three things that suppress mTOR … are intermittent fasting … exercise … and coffee … These push mTOR down. Then, as soon as you feed again (especially with protein), mTOR comes bounding back. This is when you’ll put muscle on really rapidly.

This cyclical approach to ketosis and protein consumption will activate mTOR when you need it (ideally on days when you’re strength training), so you get more return on the time spent exercising. You also lower inflammation and your cancer risk.”

Put another way, the “metabolic magic” in the mitochondria actually occurs during the refeeding phase, not during the starvation phase. Alas, you cannot get to that magic unless you first go through the starvation phase. Another part of the protein and mTOR conversation is collagen, which can provide you with the benefits of protein without the drawbacks. Dave explains:

“Collagen is the connective tissue in your face and your skin [and] also throughout your body, your bone matrix. It holds the fascia of your muscles together, and your organs. This is a protein we don’t eat very much of, unless you’re eating bone broth the way your grandmother did.

Muscle meat, [opposed to] organ meat, has amino acids that raise mTOR and insulin … When you consume collagen or bone broth with a meal, and you increase the percentage of protein that comes from that, you can actually get more collagen protein without hitting these protein limits, which has been really helpful for me. I might have an extra 10 or 20 grams of collagen without getting all the amino acids that are causing some of the inflammation.”

How to Regain Mental Clarity

Reduced hunger and food cravings, and significantly increased mental clarity are all welcomed side effects of nutritional ketosis. To understand the reasons for this, you need to understand the interplay of cholecystokinin (CCK), a satiety hormone, and ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Once you’re in ketosis, where you’re burning fat as your primary fuel, the ketones created go a long way toward warding off hunger.

Not only is fat a more slow-burning fuel than sugar, allowing you to feel energized longer, once your ketone level goes up, ghrelin, the hunger hormone, will reset itself. As your ketone level rises, CCK, a satiety hormone, is also activated. As a result, food cravings and hunger pangs vanish. Ketones are also a preferred fuel for your brain; hence, the improved mental clarity.

“If you don’t have ketones, you’ll always have the ghrelin, the hunger level, of whatever your maximum weight was. When I weighed 300 pounds, I had the hunger of a 300-pounder. If I went on a low-calorie diet and got down to 250 pounds, I still had the hunger of a 300-pound person … Resetting ghrelin [and CCK] with ketosis matters.”

While your body will produce ketones internally, you can also consume exogenous ketones. Bulletproof CoffeeⓇ is a well-known product these days, made from coffee free of mitochondrial-inhibiting mold toxins, Brain Octane Oil (a more concentrated form of MCT oil) and grass fed butter.

Others add butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil to black coffee, but it doesn’t raise ketones as much. Another intriguing mitochondrial supplement is good old-fashioned apple cider vinegar. It’s actually chock-full of acetic acid, which is a short-chained fat. Dave explains:

“This acetic acid is used in the mitochondria. There is a class of people [with] mitochondrial inefficiencies [in whom] acetic acid … turns their mitochondria back on. These people will take some apple cider vinegar … [and] it’s like the lights come back on. There are other people who have different inefficiencies in their mitochondria. They’ll take apple cider vinegar [and] don’t feel any energy difference whatsoever.

When your gut works really well, when you eat fermented vegetables … or perhaps resistant starch … your gut bacteria will make a lot of these short-chain fatty acids — things like butyric acid, which is one of the reasons butter is in bulletproof coffee … You also get propionic acid, which protects your gut from toxins made by bacteria.

Then you get acetic acid, which is from vinegar. Just by adding vinegar to your diet you may get a mitochondrial upgrade. You’re certainly helping your gastrointestinal tract [with] these really short-chain fats.”

Other Biohacks to Optimize Mitochondrial Function

Aside from cyclical ketosis and intermittent fasting, which Dave also touches on in this interview, other simple biohacks that boost mitochondrial function include:

Cold thermogenesis. Exposure to cold temperatures (65 degrees F or lower) triggers fat burning and raises mitochondrial density. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which can have a mood-boosting effect, and stimulates collagen production and tissue healing. A simple way to incorporate cold thermogenesis is to take a cold shower in the morning. I like jumping into my non-heated pool after working out. Alternatively, cycle hot and cold in the shower, ending with cold.

High-impact, high-intensity and/or resistance exercises and whole body vibration. Certain materials make electricity when bent or otherwise stressed. This is known as the piezoelectric effect.

Turns out your bones are piezoelectric, which means when your bone is flexed or stressed, an electrical signal is created, triggering the creation of bone morphogenic protein (BMP). This is why strength training and other high impact exercises are so good for strengthening and healing your bones.

Walking or rebounding on a trampoline. Your cell membranes are also piezoelectric. What this means is that every time you take a step, the shock reverberates throughout your body. In addition to being light-sensitive, your mitochondria are also vibration- and pressure-sensitive. So anytime you flex your cell membranes, you’re making a little bit of extra electricity that your body can harness.

A fancier and more expensive alternative is to use an atmospheric pressure chamber. You will sometimes find them in high-end athletic clubs. The chamber alters the air pressure in your body, imitating the effect of going to an altitude of about 5,000 feet for about 10 seconds and then back to sea level. The cyclic pressure changes help clean and charge your cells.

Neurofeedback. According to Dave, you can actually train the mitochondria in your brain to maintain a higher voltage than normal, and the way you do this is through neurofeedback. You can also train the neurons in your brain to fire faster. He does this at his neurofeedback facility in Seattle, 40 Years of Zen.

“You can tell the mitochondria in the brain to become more efficient at creating lots of power or getting power quickly,” Dave says. “For me, this has been really game-changing.” Breathing exercises and certain meditation techniques may also produce similar effects.

“We know the mitochondria in the brain can be trained. The neurons can be trained. Anytime you’re increasing voltage, you’re making the mitochondria stronger, and you’re exercising the mitochondria just by thinking and focusing on what matters,” he says.

Radiant barrier to block cellphone radiation. Cellphone radiation, which has a range of adverse effects, can be reduced by using a radiant barrier between the phone and your body when carrying the phone on your body. A radiant barrier is simply a thick piece of aluminum foil, which you can cut to the size of your pocket. Placing the face of the phone toward your body, with the radiant barrier in-between, will further minimize your radiation exposure.

Demo of Radiant Barrier


Join the Bulletproof Conference to Learn More

If you’re intrigued and want to learn more, I recommend picking up a copy of “Head Strong.” You can read the first chapter for free on OrderHeadStrong.com. It’s a great complement to my new book, “Fat for Fuel,” which delves into the practical implementation of cyclical ketosis to optimize your mitochondrial function.

If you’re ready to take it to the next level, join Dave and me at the Bulletproof Conference 2017. The event, which features eight speakers including yours truly, takes place October 13 through 15 in Pasadena, California. It’s an interesting and a bit unusual conference in that it’s very experiential and hands-on learning-based. You get plenty of time to meet and talk with vendors and exhibitors to learn about the latest, cutting-edge biohacking technologies and techniques available.

As you can see, there are many ways to biohack your brain, and become sharper and smarter with age. So, don’t settle for brain fog and declining mental acuity. Such signs are really a wakeup call to address some fundamental lifestyle choices. Dave himself is proof positive you can completely transform your health and mental clarity if you’re willing to make some changes.

Why Fasting Is Such a Powerful Treatment Strategy for Diabetes


Video Source: mercola

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

We have an epidemic of diabetes in the United States. An estimated 30.3 million Americans, nearly 1 in 10, have Type 2 diabetes.1Another 84 million American adults — about 1 in 3 — are prediabetic, and most are unaware of this fact. Prediabetes2 is defined as an elevation in blood glucose over 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) but lower than 125 mg/dl, at which point it formally becomes Type 2 diabetes.

However, any fasting blood sugar regularly over 90 mg/dl really suggests insulin resistance, and seminal work by the late Dr. Joseph Kraft, author of “Diabetes Epidemic and You: Should Everyone Be Tested?” suggests that 80 percent — 8 out of 10 — Americans are in fact insulin resistant,3 which means they’re already on their way toward developing diabetes.

That’s the bad news. The good news is Type 2 diabetes is curable, and the cure is less than free. It actually saves you loads of time and money. In his book, “The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally,” Dr. Jason Fung details how to address this exceptionally common problem.

Fung is a nephrologist (kidney specialist) with a practice in Toronto. Two years ago, I interviewed him about fasting, which is one of the most powerful interventions for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fung was also one of the experts who peer reviewed my book, “Fat for Fuel,” which integrates some of his work.

Why Identifying Insulin Resistance Is so Important

There are two types of diabetes, Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes, which is lifestyle related. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases and is the topic of this particular discussion. Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes started to rise in the 1980s, at a time when obesity had yet to become a significant trend. However, as obesity became more prevalent, so did Type 2 diabetes.

“But the fundamental underlying problem of Type 2 diabetes, which is insulin resistance, is actually much more widespread than that,” Fung says. “And the innovative thing Kraft did was that he took a standard glucose tolerance test, and measured blood insulin levels instead of blood glucose. Because if you think about what’s happening, when you ingest 75 grams of glucose [the amount administered prior to the test], your blood glucose may stay normal.

But, your body may be producing a huge amount of insulin to really shove that glucose into the cell. Because one of the functions of insulin is to move the glucose from the blood into the cell. Insulin resistance refers to the fact that blood glucose is simply not getting in there. So, if your body needs to produce two, three, four, five times the amount of normal insulin to get that glucose in there, you have a problem, which is not detectable if you just measure blood glucose.

Because, yes, you are shoving all that glucose into the cell, but it took you a huge amount of effort to do so. And by [using the] Kraft assay, which looks at how much the insulin goes up, you can detect [insulin resistance] at a much earlier stage. This is important because there are things we can do about reversing … insulin resistance, and the sooner we get to it, the sooner we can get on the path to wellness.”

Ultimately, diabetes is just one symptom. Insulin resistance, which results in mitochondrial dysfunction, is also at the heart of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases, and it all starts because your body is unable to burn fat as a primary fuel. When your body relies primarily on sugar instead, more reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated, which damage the mitochondria in your cells.

Why Fasting Resolves Insulin Resistance, the Cause of Diabetes

Fasting has been used for thousands of years to keep us well. Once you understand what insulin resistance actually is and what Type 2 diabetes is, then you’ll understand why something so simple as abstaining from food for a period of time can be such a powerful intervention. Contrary to infectious diseases, you cannot treat metabolic disease with a pill, because metabolic diseases such as diabetes are predicated on lifestyle, primarily diet. As explained by Fung:

“You have to use metabolic treatments, which is why using fat for fuel is so important. It really gets to the point that you cannot follow this old paradigm [of drug treatment] because you’re going to fail … Remember, the glucose goes into the cell, and insulin resistance is when the glucose doesn’t go out of the cell. So, for years we’ve used this paradigm of lock and key.

That is, the cell is sort of gated off. Outside the cell there’s blood, and when insulin comes around it turns the key, opens the gate and glucose goes in. So, if insulin is there, why is the glucose not going in? … You can measure the insulin and the insulin level is high. You can look at the insulin receptor, the gate is completely normal.

So, [conventional medicine] said something like, ‘Well, maybe there’s something gumming up the mechanism. It’s stuck in the lock so it doesn’t open properly, therefore the glucose can’t get into the cell. There’s a huge problem with this sort of paradigm, because if that is happening, the cell has no glucose and should be starving.

You should be losing lots of weight; you’d have a very thin liver. All your fat should just melt away, because if you think about untreated Type 1 diabetes, where you don’t have enough insulin, that’s exactly what happens. The cell literally starves and everything just wastes away … But that’s not what’s happening here.

In Type 2 diabetes you see that people are generally obese, they have large abdomens … What’s happening instead is that it’s actually an overflow syndrome. The cell can’t accept any more glucose because it’s jam packed full of glucose already. That’s the reason you have insulin resistance. Insulin is trying to move glucose into the cell but the cell is full … So, it’s really an overflow mechanism …

That’s also why your liver is full — it’s a big fatty liver. The liver is busy trying to get rid of all this glucose by turning it into fat … Now, if Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance are the same sort of thing, it’s really about too much sugar. That’s the bottom line.

And if you understand that the whole problem is too much sugar, then the solution is not to use more insulin to jam more glucose into an already full cell. The key is to get rid of it all. So, what you want to do is: 1) Don’t put more sugar into your system, because you have too much sugar in already, and 2) Burn it off.”

Why Exercise Cannot Replace Fasting

To avoid adding sugar into your body it is important to adopt a cyclical low-carb, high-fat diet, which I detail in “Fat for Fuel.” Then, to burn off the sugar already in your system, intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating is a powerful tool. Exercise is not the solution for diabetes, and cannot replace fasting.

Remember, you can’t out-exercise your mouth. The reason for this is because you not only have insulin resistance in your muscles, but in all your tissues and organs, and to eliminate the excess glucose in your organs you need to temporarily “starve” the cells. Clearly, you should exercise, but that will only burn the glycogen in your muscles. It’s not going to address your fatty liver. As noted by Fung, fasting “gets rid of all the sort of excess nutrients.

That’s why, historically, people called it a cleanse or a detox, because that’s really what it is.” In his practice, Fung has used fasting for many years and can attest to the dramatic turnarounds possible. “We have people coming in with the most severe diabetes; they’re taking hundreds of units of insulin a day, and within three to four weeks we have them off everything.” Oftentimes, a severe diabetic can revert back to being nondiabetic within as little as two months.

Taking Insulin Worsens Type 2 Diabetes

This is not to say it’s easy. Fasting can be difficult when you’re used to eating multiple times a day. But it’s a natural way that will allow your body to heal itself. Meanwhile, taking insulin for Type 2 diabetes is about the worst thing you can do. As explained by Fung:

“What happens when you give insulin is that insulin lets your body use all that glucose, and when there’s too much glucose, it’s just going to [turn it into] fat. So, all these patients gain weight. And they always come back and say, ‘Whoa doc, you’ve told me I need to lose weight, then you give me insulin and I’ve gained 20 pounds. How is that good?’

And the answer is that it’s not. As you gain more weight your diabetes gets worse, which means you need to take more insulin, which means you’re going to gain more weight. They can see themselves spiraling down the drain, and the doctors do nothing but give them more insulin. It doesn’t even make any sense because the underlying issue is the hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. That is, if you look at Type 2 diabetes, insulin levels are very high.

So [why give] more insulin in a situation where you have too much insulin already? If you have hyperthyroidism, if you have too much thyroid hormone, you don’t give more thyroid hormone. If you have an alcoholic, you don’t give more alcohol. It’s the exact wrong thing to do. In fact, if your levels of insulin are too high and that’s your disease, you need to lower insulin. By giving insulin, you’re actually making the fundamental problem much worse.”

How Fasting Benefits Your Mitochondria

Fasting is the most profoundly effective metabolic intervention I’m aware of. It’s like getting a free stem cell transplant, and it massively upregulates autophagy and mitophagy. It also stimulates mitochondrial biosynthesis during the refeeding phase, which allows your body to naturally regenerate. For these reasons, fasting is not only beneficial for Type 2 diabetes and obesity but also for health in general, and likely even longevity.

There’s even evidence to suggest fasting can help prevent or even reverse dementia, as it helps your body clean out toxic debris. As noted by Fung, “It’s fundamentally one of the keys of wellness.” By lowering insulin, you also increase other important hormones, including growth hormone (aka the fitness hormone), which is important for muscle development and general vitality.

Other ailments that can benefit from fasting include polycystic ovaries, polycystic kidneys and fast growing cancer cells. The reason for this is because when autophagy increases, your body starts breaking down old protein, including fast growing cells. Then, during the refeeding phase, growth hormone increases, boosting the rebuilding of new proteins and cells. In other words, it reactivates and speeds up your body’s natural renewal cycle.

Getting Started

Most people fear being hungry and avoid it like the plague. Here, intermittent fasting can make the process a lot easier. Before I tried my first five-day water fast, I increased my intermittent daily fasting to the point that I was fasting for 20 hours a day for a few months, but one month is likely sufficient.

At that point, going several days without food was easy, since my body had had gained metabolic flexibility and was able to burn fat as my primary fuel, Most people get really hungry by Day Three on a water fast, yet I had no hunger at all. Fung agrees, saying:

“That’s a great point. If you are fueling yourself primarily with carbohydrates, then you can’t use fat very well … So, when you transition from a predominantly carbohydrate diet to a predominantly fat-based diet, your body can’t store glycogen, because those are chains of glucose, it needs to burn body fat (or dietary fat). To your body it’s sort of the same thing, they’re just triglycerides.

When you biopsy muscle over a period of several weeks, you can actually see the that the machinery necessary to burn triglycerides for fuel increase. You see expression of genes increasing that are able to use the fat. So, if you go from a standard 50 or 60 percent carbohydrate diet to fasting … your muscles are going to be weaker, because they’re used to glucose. They’re like, ‘Where’s my glucose?’

You have triglycerides [but] you can’t use it at first. Some people call it keto flu. But, over a period of about two weeks or so, your body gets used to it. So, an easy transition is to switch over to a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, so that your body is used to using fat.

You’re not fasting per se, but your body gets used to burning fat for fuel. The other thing is you can start lengthening your period of fast. You should be fasting every day … Whether it’s 12 hours or 14 hours. There should be a period in there that you’re fasting. Then you extend it, so that you gradually go to 16 hours, 18 hours, 20 hours and then 24 hours, and then kind of go into it from there. Those are two ways to ease the transition and make the fasting easier …

Even shorter periods of fasting of 24 to 36 hours have a lot of benefits. You start to get into that period where you’re depleting your glycogen and you’re getting into fat burning. You start to see autophagy start around 24 to 30 hours as well. One of the other benefits people talk about nowadays is this sort of bio-hacking.

People, especially in Silicon Valley, are fasting because it gives them more mental capacity. Their brain works better; they find they’re clearer and they can think better. So, this is a free way to boost your brain power. So yeah, there’s all different regimens, and there’s all different ways to ease into it. But the key is to just get started.”

How to Minimize Side Effects

Gradually easing into longer fasts will naturally minimize most side effects associated with fasting, as will transitioning over to a high-fat, low-carb diet, to help your body to adjust to using fat as a primary fuel. The so-called “keto flu” is often related to sodium deficiency, so it’s recommended to take a high-quality unprocessed salt each day. I typically pour salt in my hand and lick it throughout the day when fasting, as I obviously can’t put it on food. This will also help reduce the likelihood of intractable muscle cramps at night.

Headaches are also common when you first start water fasting. These too can often be minimized by taking salt. An alternative to eating salt straight, or putting it in water, is to add it to a bit of bone broth. Another important mineral is magnesium. It’s particularly important if you are diabetic, as magnesium deficiency is very common among Type 2 diabetics. This is another possible culprit if you’re getting muscle cramps.

There are several types of magnesium, some of which are more poorly absorbed than others. During water fasting, your best bet is to use Epsom salt baths, as this allows your body to absorb the magnesium through your skin rather than your digestive tract. Magnesium has a laxative effect in high doses, and when you’re not eating anything, oral magnesium can easily result in “disaster pants.” Multivitamins can also be useful during extended fasts, especially if you’re doing them regularly.

It is also important to understand that if you are on a multiday water fast you will liberate many toxins from your fat stores, so using an infrared sauna and taking effective binders, like chlorella, modified citrus pectin, cilantro or even activated charcoal can help eliminate these liberated toxins from your body and prevent their reabsorption.

Work With a Knowledgeable Physician if You’re on Any Medications

While fasting is a profoundly effective intervention for Type 2 diabetes, you do need to use caution if you’re diabetic. If you are taking medication, especially for your blood sugar, you have to make sure you talk to your doctor, because there’s a risk your blood sugar may end up dipping too low. If you’re taking insulin, and keep taking insulin while fasting, you could get into trouble.

“Some people say that for that reason, Type 2 diabetics should never fast. But that’s not true,” Fung says. “What’s true is that you need to adjust the medication in anticipation of [your blood] sugar going down … So, if you’re on these medications for diabetes, you need to make sure you monitor very closely and make sure that your blood sugar doesn’t go too low.

Remember, the fasting is going to drive your blood sugars down, and your insulin or your medications will drive your blood sugars down, so you’ve got kind of two things driving your blood sugars down. All of a sudden you go low, you can have seizures, you can wind up in the emergency room and you could absolutely die.

And that’s one of the things you have to be very careful of. So yes, you can do it, but you have to make sure you do it in a supervised setting with somebody who knows what they’re doing.”

Why You Need Not Fear Starvation

Last but not least, one of the greatest fears people have about fasting is the concept of starvation and the loss of lean muscle mass. In his book, Fung explains why such fears are overblown. Your metabolic rate is the energy your body uses to generate body heat and keep your organs working. Your body basically needs a certain number of calories a day. People have a tendency to think that skipping a meal means your metabolic rate will decrease.

In reality, the exact opposite occurs. In studies looking at basal metabolic rate, people’s metabolic rate is actually 10 percent higher at the end of a four-day fast than at the beginning. So, your body is not shutting down, it’s actually ramping itself up. The reason for this has to do with counterregulatory hormones. As insulin drops, counterregulatory hormones go up.

Some of these activate your sympathetic nervous system (the so-called fight or flight response). “So, as you fast, all these hormones are going up, your sympathetic nervous system is going up, your adrenaline is going up, your growth hormone’s going up,” Fung says.

“Obviously, if you’re pumping your body full of adrenaline, your basal metabolic rate is not going down. In fact, it maintains itself, which is in distinction to calorie restriction diets where, if you just try and cut a few calories a day, your metabolic rate will go down. The growth hormone is also important because of [its] protein sparing effect …

When you study people fasting, you don’t see an increase in burning of protein. There is a normal turnover. But at the end of it, because your growth hormone is so high, when you eat again, you will make up these new proteins. So, it’s actually much healthier for you because you’re getting rid of all protein and you’re bringing new protein.”

More Information

If you’re among the 80 percent of people who are insulin resistant, get yourself a copy of Fung’s brand-new book that comes out April 3, “The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally.” Fung’s book, “The Complete Guide to Fasting,” is another excellent resource. As Fung says, we’ve known that fasting is beneficial for thousands of years. We just strayed away from it, and we need to re-embrace this foundational aspect of health.

“[A few years ago] somebody was telling me about fasting and I thought, ‘Well that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.’ And then I thought, why? Why was this so silly? I dug into the research and then I just started doing it.

I probably have more clinical experience, truthfully, than anybody in the world, and that’s not hard because nobody was doing it a few years ago. And now it seems so obvious that [fasting is] the solution … You don’t eat, then your blood sugar comes down, you lose weight and your diabetes gets better. There’s the solution right there.”

Read more great articles at mercola.com

Ngankari Healers: 60,000 Years Of Traditional Aboriginal Methods Make Headway In Medical Clinics

PHOTO Healer Cyril Mckenzie at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after being called for an appointment.

By Sowaibah Hanifie | ABC News

Ngangkari healers were considered the treasure of Aboriginal communities, and now their 60,000-year-old tradition has made its way to South Australia’s Royal Adelaide Hospital and rural clinics.

Eighteen registered Ngangkari healers set up the Anangu Ngangkari Tiutaky Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC) more than seven years ago.

Chief executive Francesca Panzironi heads a team visiting major hospitals and rural clinics in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

“It all started with friendly chats, a cup of tea and kangaroo tails,” she laughed.

Francesca Panzironi ( behind) CEO of ANTAC with Anangu woman and healer Debbie Watson (front)

PHOTO Francesca Panzironi heads ANTAC with 18 Aboriginal healers like Debbie Watson from the APY Lands. ABC RIVERLAND: SOWAIBAH HANIFIE

More recently they have been working in regional clinics across country SA and the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“I think about 95 per cent of the Australian population doesn’t know this knowledge system exists,” Ms Panzironi said.

Getting recognition in mainstream health

ANTAC’s objective is to provide a platform for Aboriginal healers to be recognised in the mainstream healthcare system as a form of complementary alternative medicine.

While she was a university lecturer, Ms Panzironi identified a gap in literature on Australian Aboriginal healing.

She said the most comparable form of alternative medicine to Ngangkari healing was reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction.

Depending on a client’s problems, Ngangkari healers offer three main techniques — a smoking ceremony, bush medicines or spirit realignment.

“The healer identifies where the issues are and, through a specific method of healing, which is called panpooni, they take away whether it’s pain, a blockage, or some kind of obstruction, with their hands,” Ms Panzironi said.

“The most unique method of healing they use is the realignment of the human spirit.

“They see the spirit as the core component of the human body.

“If it’s not in the right place it can cause problems, whether physically, emotionally, mentally. With their healing touch they push it back in the right place.”

Complementary treatment for clients

Anangu healers working with non Aboriginal client.

PHOTO Anangu healers working in city hospitals and regional clinics have gained popularity with people of all backgrounds. FACEBOOK: ANTAC

The Ngangkari healers are popular with clients of all backgrounds.

Ms Panzironi said some people who used the healing technique for pain management experienced relief of their symptoms.

But for Indigenous people especially, the healers have been making a world of a difference by improving attendance rates at medical appointments.

Ms Panzironi said the treatment did not replace the role of mainstream medicine, but it could be used in conjunction with other treatments.

“I remember once the manager of the hospital said to me ‘Oh my god, I have never seen so many Aboriginal people in the hospital smiling and being so happy to be here’,” she said.

image of kelly (left) and Lyn (right ) together in Lyn's home.

PHOTO Indigenous women Kelly Matthews (L) and Lyn Ackerman are happy to see a healer because it connects them to their culture. ABC RIVERLAND: SOWAIBAH HANIFIE

Riverland Community Health has been inviting the Aboriginal healers to its clinic for only a few months, and the results have been life-changing for some.

Aboriginal health consultant Kelly Matthews said before the healers’ involvement, it was a struggle to get Indigenous clients to see a conventional doctor.

“It’s a fear. It’s how a doctor communicates. The first thing is to listen and not be judgemental,” she said.

“Sitting in the sitting room they feel self-conscious. I hate it myself and my skin is pale.

“I’d rather go to the Aboriginal clinic where you sit back, can have a yarn, catch up with family and friends.”

Since the healers have been involved with the clinic, appointments have been completely booked.


10 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating Ginger (With Recipes)

By: Trinity Bourne | Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen


Ginger is a well loved, tried and tested, flavoursome spice that has been revered for a myriad of health benefits throughout the aeons. It is mentioned in ancients texts and has been prized by many different cultures as long as mankind can remember. Ginger is zingy and warming, with a distinctive zesty flavour and aroma. It comes in yellow, white and red varieties; we use the underground rhizome part of the plant…

Gingers’ incredible healing effects put it right at the top of my list of go-to plant-foods for medicinal purposes. However, apart from being good for detoxification and cleansing, it can also turn salads, desserts, bakes and juices into delicious, lively culinary delights. In this article, we are going to look at why ginger is so good for us and how you might incorporate it into your daily diet with a few healthful recipe ideas.

Related Article: Study Shows Ginger 10,000 Times More Effective Then Chemotherapy

So why is ginger so good for us?

Exceptional antioxidant content
An antioxidant is a molecule that is able to inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation often produces free radicals which, then instigate a chain reaction that can damage cells. In extreme cases, leading to cancer. Antioxidants intervene by eliminating these free radicals and preventing damage. Ginger is literally loaded with antioxidants!

Excellent remedy for nausea and motion sickness
Ginger is an excellent natural remedy for travel sickness, morning sickness or nausea; and with good reason. It has a long history in this area, having consistently proven its effectiveness at reducing dizziness and nausea. The active ingredients in ginger are potent, so you don’t need very much of it either. It has a reputation for being safe for pregnant women too, making it a great remedy for morning sickness.

Relieves flatulence and acts as a great digestion aid
Ginger acts as a carminative (prevents flatulence) and an intestinal spasmolytic (which means that it soothes the intestinal tract). This makes it excellent at soothing digestive disorders and calming down flatulence.

Anti-cancer benefits
Studies strongly suggest that gingerols, the active phyto-nutrients in ginger are beneficial against cancer cells. The major down side, is that most of the studies involve animal testing.

Powerful anti-inflammatory
Various studies on people with inflammatory disorders and diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis have shown that ginger has a powerful anti-inflammatory action. Gingerols are the primary active anti-inflammatory agent within ginger and are said to have very potent effects when ginger is consumed regularly.

A natural expectorant to help coughs
Regular consumption of ginger encourages the release of mucus.

Promotes healthy circulation
Ginger stimulates the tissues with the body, whilst lowering the blood pressure. This all encourages healthy circulation. Furthermore, ginger prevents platelets from clumping together in the bloodstream, which thins the blood, reducing risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots.

Helps warm you up when you are cold
Gingers circulatory, perspiration-inducing and stimulation properties mean that it can also warm you up when you are cold. So, when your body wants to start shutting down during the winter chill, bring more ginger into your daily cuisine and enjoy the naturally warming effect.

Effective detoxification aid
Ginger is known to promote healthy sweating, which encourages the release of toxins. Add in it’s exceptional antioxidant qualities and other benefits, then you have a top detoxification food.

Other benefits of healthy sweating from ginger
As well as the natural detoxification benefits of healthy sweating, scientists have recently found that sweat contains a substance called dermicidin – a powerful germ fighting agent. Dermicidin is said to be deposited on the surface of the skin to protect against invading micro-organisms.

How to use ginger in your daily life…

How to make fresh ginger tea

Home made ginger tea is more potent and helpful than shop bought tea bags.

The most basic way to make ginger tea is this:

  • Steep some fresh chopped ginger in hot water.

My favourite method for ginger & lemon tea is:

  • Finely grate a heaped teaspoon of fresh ginger.
  • Boil up in a pan with 2 to 3 cups of water.
  • Add a dash of maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon and enjoy through out the day.

Related Article: Ginger And Honey Kill Superbugs Better Then Pharmaceutical Meds 

Healthy ginger recipe ideas

Carrot & Ginger Wellness Soup

With a healthy infusion of ginger this soup leaves you with a well satiated feeling. It is also jam-packed full of high quality nutritional goodness with it’s carrots, lentils and coconut. As always, I recommend that you use organic produce to give yourself (and the planet) an extra infusion of goodness.

Ginger Beet Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

A super-healthful salad recipe, because you can never eat too many healthy salads. This is the sort of thing I eat regularly for lunch. It serves well as a side dish with rice, potato wedges, millet or quinoa; or as part of a salad buffet medley along with a delicious dip.

Ginger Power Detox Juice

This is my recipe for a deliciously vibrant, detoxification juice using ginger, beetroot, carrots, celery and apple. Ideal as part of a detox or cleansing program or as part of your weekly juicing rhythm.

Get the recipes here…

Learn How The Earth’s Energy Field And Your Human Aura Encode Biological Data Connecting All Living Beings

By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

Science has recently shed light on the fact that what we used to perceive as ‘human’ aura is actually real. All of our bodies emit an electromagnetic field, and this fact plays a very important role far beyond what is commonly known when it comes to understanding our biology, and the interconnectedness we share with all life.

For example, did you know that the heart emits the largest electromagnetic field of all the body’s major organs? These fields and the information encoded into them can change based on how we are feeling, what we thinking, and different emotions we take on. The heart even sends signals to the brain through a system of neurons that have both short-term and long-term memory, and these signals can affect our emotional experiences. The emotional information that’s modulated and coded into these fields changes their nature, and these fields can impact those around us. As Rollin McCraty, Ph.D, and director of research at The HeartMath institute tell us, “we are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.”

Research findings have shown that as we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave into the local field environment that facilitates social coherence, whether in the home, workplace, classroom or sitting around a table. As more individuals radiate heart coherence, it builds an energetic field that makes it easier for others to connect with their heart. So, theoretically it is possible that enough people building individual and social coherence could actually contribute to an unfolding global coherence. (1)

The quote above comes from Dr. Deborah Rozman, the President of Quantum Intech.  We are living in exciting times when it comes to science, and although not emphasized and studied in the mainstream as much as we’d like, science is acknowledging that we are all part of a giant web of connections that, not only encompasses life on this planet, but our entire solar system and what lies beyond it.

So, what exactly is heart coherence? Well, it implies order, structure, and as Dr. Rozman puts it, “an alignment within and amongst systems – whether quantum particle, organisms, human beings, social groups, planets or galaxies. This harmonious order signifies a coherent system whose optimal functioning is directly related to the ease and flow in its processes.” Basically, feelings of love, gratitude, appreciation and other ‘positive’ emotions not only have an effect on our nervous system, but they have an affect on those around us, far beyond what we might have previously thought.

It’s similar to the studies that have been conducted regarding mass meditation and prayer. As far as their effects on physical systems, numerous publications have yielded statistically significant results. For a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles reporting studies of this type of phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century, you can click here.

Another point that illustrates the importance of coherence is the fact that several organizations around the world have conducted synchronized meditations, prayers, intention experiments, and more. A number of studies have shown that collective meditations, prayer or focused intention directed toward a certain positive outcome can have measurable effects.

For example, one study was done during the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s. Two Harvard University professors organized groups of experienced meditators in Jerusalem, Yugoslavia, and the United states with the specific purpose of focusing attention on the area of conflict at various intervals over a 27-month period. During the course of the study, the levels of violence in Lebanon decreased between 40 and 80 percent each time a meditating group was in place. The average number of people killed during the war each day dropped from 12 to three, and war-related injuries fell by 70 percent. (1)

Another great example is a study that was conducted in 1993 in Washington, D.C., which showed a 25 percent drop in crime rates when 2,500 meditators meditated during a specific periods of time with that intention.

Every individual’s energy affects the collective field environment. The means each person’s emotions and intentions generate an energy that affects the field. A first step in diffusing societal stress in the global field is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own energies. We can do this by increasing our personal coherence and raising our vibratory rate, which helps us become more conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that we are feeding the field each day. We have a choice in every moment to take to heart the significance of intentionally managing our energies. This is the free will or local freedom that can create global cohesion. – Dr. Rozman (1)

The Global Coherence Initiative (GCI)

The GCI in an international cooperative effort to help activate the heart of humanity and facilitate a shift in global consciousness.  It’s primary focuses are to invite people to participate by actively adding more heart-coherent love, care, and compassion into the planetary field. The second is scientific research on how we are all energetically connected with each other and the planet, and how we can utilize this interconnectivity, which is very real, to raise our personal vibration to assist in creating a better world.

The hypotheses of the researchers and scientists behind this process are as follows:

  • The Earth’s magnetic fields are a carrier of biologically relevant information that connects all living systems
  • Every person affects this global information field. Large numbers of people creating heart-coherent states of love, appreciation, care, and compassion can generate a more coherent field environment that benefits others and helps off-set the current planetary discord and incoherence
  • There is a feedback loop between human beings and Earth’s energetic/magnetic systems
  • Earth has several sources of magnetic fields that affect us all. Two of them are the geomagnetic field that emanates from the core of the Earth, and the fields that exist between Earth and the ionosphere. These fields surround the entire planet and act as protective shields blocking out the harmful effects of solar radiation, cosmic rays, sand, and other forms of space weather. Without these fields, ice as we know it could not exist on Earth. They are part of the dynamic ecosystem of our planet

Think about the current state of our planet. We are definitely not in coherence, with all of the violence, war, hate, and greed that still plague our planet, we have a lot of work to do. We do not yet know how these thoughts, emotions, and feelings are affecting the entire planet, and what type of information these experiences are encoding into once electromagnetic fields, and how it is interacting with that of the Earth’s. Things are changing, however. There is definitely a shift within people who are desiring a better experience here on planet Earth.

These energetic fields are known to scientists, but there are still many unknowns. Solar activity and the rhythms taking place on Earth’s magnetic fields have an impact on health and behaviour. This is firmly established in scientific literature. (source)(source)

Scientific literature also firmly establishes that several physiological rhythms and global collective behaviours are not only synchronized with solar and geomagnetic activity, but that disruptions in these fields can create adverse effects on human health and behaviour. (source)(source)(source)


B Vitamins May Protect Against Damaging Effects of Air Pollution, and Improve Cognition and Psychiatric Health

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

B vitamins are important for cognition and mental health, but recent research suggests they may have other important functions as well. A small-scale human trial1found B vitamins may help protect against air pollution.2,3

At high doses, B vitamins were actually able to “completely offset” damage incurred by fine particulate matter.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report released last year, only 8 percent of people worldwide are breathing air that meets WHO standards.4 This means 92 percent of the world population are breathing polluted air, and toxic environments are responsible for at least 1 of every 4 deaths reported worldwide.5

Poor air quality can cause serious damage to your lungs, heart and other organ systems. One of the most dangerous air pollutants is very fine particulate matter known as PM2.5, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers — about one-thirtieth the width of a human hair — in diameter.

B Vitamins Help Prevent Damage From Air Pollution

The featured trial,6 the first of its kind, involved just 10 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60. In the first round, they were exposed to clean air and given a placebo to establish a baseline. In the next round of tests, they inhaled concentrated smog for two hours. Blood samples were collected after each test.

In the next stage of the experiment the participants received a daily supplement of 2.5 milligrams (mg) of folic acid (B9), 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1 mg of B12 for four weeks before inhaling “hazardous levels” of PM2.5 pollution (PM2.5 concentrated to more than 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air).

It’s worth noting the dosages used in this study were very high. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of just 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate (B9), 1.3 to 1.7 mg of B6 and 2.4 mcg of B12.7

Related Article: 9 Signs of Vitamin B-9 Deficiency & How to Reverse It

This isn’t the first time much higher than normal doses of B vitamins have been shown to have distinct health benefits. Interestingly, four weeks of high-dose supplementation:

  • Reduced the genetic damage incurred in 10 gene locations by 28 to 76 percent
  • Protected mitochondrial DNA from the harmful effects of PM2.5
  • Helped repair some of the genetic damage caused by pollution

According to lead researcher Jia Zhong:8,9

“Where we quantify the effect, it is almost close to a complete offset on the epigenome of the air pollution. On the mitochondrial DNA side, it also offset a big proportion of it …

Biologically, B vitamins in the diet are expected to have the same effect on the epigenome as pill-based supplements … I would suggest maintaining a healthy, balanced diet with sufficient sources of B vitamins.”

B Vitamins Are Also Important for Psychiatric Health

Several vitamin B deficiencies also have the ability to produce symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders and can be a valuable adjunct in the treatment of everything from attention deficit disorder (ADD) and anxiety to schizophrenia and dementia. This includes vitamins B1, B2, B6, B8 (inositol), B9 and B12.

For example, recent research10,11,12 suggests high doses of vitamins B6, B8 and B12 in combination were very effective for improving schizophrenic symptoms — more so than standard drug treatments alone, and particularly when implemented early on. Low doses were ineffective.

Previous research and work by Dr. Abram Hoffer have linked psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia with severe and chronic niacin (B3) deficiency or niacin dependency — a state that necessitates far more niacin on a regular basis than normal.

Aside from schizophrenia, researchers have found niacin can be successfully used in the treatment of ADD, general psychosis, anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. B12 deficiency can also trigger mania, psychosis and paranoid delusions.13,14

Why B Vitamins Are so Important for Mental Health and Wellbeing

One of the reasons for B vitamins’ effect on a wide range of mood disorders and neurological and psychiatric conditions relates to the fact that these vitamins have a direct impact on the methylation cycle, and are required for the production and function of neurotransmitters and the maintenance of myelin, the fatty sheath surrounding your nerve cells.

Without this protective coating, nerve signals become slow and sporadic, which can lead to motor function problems, cognitive losses and changes in mood. B8 also aids in cell communication, allowing your cells to properly interpret chemical messages and respond accordingly.15

Related Article: Vials of Hope: How Vitamin B6 Saved the Life of a Desperate Couple’s Son

Meanwhile, B6, folate and B12 (in combination with S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe) regulate the synthesis and breakdown of brain chemicals involved in mood control, including serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Hence, a deficiency in one or more of these B vitamins can also play a role in depression.16

B Vitamins Also Protect Against Dementia

Vitamins B6, B9 (folate, or folic acid in its synthetic form) and B12 have also made headlines for their powerful role in preventing cognitive decline and more serious dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, mental fogginess and memory problems are two of the top warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

One of the mechanisms of action here is the suppression of homocysteine, which tends to be elevated when you have brain degeneration. High homocysteine levels are associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 help convert homocysteine into methionine — a building block for proteins.

If you don’t get enough of these B vitamins, this conversion process is impaired, causing your homocysteine level to rise. Conversely, when you increase intake of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, your homocysteine levels decrease.

One study confirming this was published in 2010.17 Participants received either a placebo or 800 mcg of folic acid, 500 mcg of B12 and 20 mg of B6. The study was based on the presumption that by controlling homocysteine levels you might be able to reduce brain shrinkage, thereby slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Indeed, after two years those who received the vitamin-B regimen had significantly less brain shrinkage compared to the placebo group. Those who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the trial experienced brain shrinkage at half the rate of those taking a placebo.

A 2013 study18 took this research a step further, showing that not only do B vitamins slow brain shrinkage, but they specifically slow shrinkage in brain regions known to be most severely impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Moreover, in those specific areas the shrinkage is decreased by as much as 700 percent! As in the previous study, participants taking high doses of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 lowered their blood levels of homocysteine, and brain shrinkage was decreased by as much as 90 percent.

Vitamin B-Rich Foods

I recommend getting most if not all of your nutrition from real food, ideally organic to avoid toxic pesticides, and locally grown. Depending on your situation and condition, however, you may need one or more supplements. Ideally, select a high-quality food-based supplement containing a broad spectrum of B vitamins. As you can see, being deficient in one or more of them can trigger a range of problematic neurological effects.

Also, considering over 90 percent of people breathe polluted air, getting plenty of B vitamins could be a simple way to ameliorate the harmful effects. To start, review the following listing of foods high in B vitamins. If you find that you rarely or never eat foods rich in one or more of these nutrients, you may want to consider taking a supplement.

Also consider limiting sugar and eating fermented foods. The entire B group vitamin series is produced within your gut provided you have a healthy gut microbiome. Eating real food, ideally organic, along with fermented foods will provide your microbiome with important fiber and beneficial bacteria to help optimize your internal vitamin B production as well.

Nutrient Dietary Sources Supplement Recommendations
Thiamine (B1) Pork, dark leafy greens, wheat germ, green peas, lentils and nuts.19 Adult men and women need 1.2 and 1.1 mg respectively each day.
Riboflavin (B2) Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, ideally made from raw organic grassfed milk, are high in B2.

Other sources include: asparagus, dark leafy greens like spinach, fish, chicken and eggs.20

Suggested daily intake is about 1.1 mg for women and 1.3 mg for men.
Niacin (B3) Liver, chicken, veal, peanuts, chili powder, bacon and sun dried tomatoes have some of the highest amounts of niacin per gram.21

Other niacin-rich foods include baker’s yeast, paprika, espresso coffee, anchovies, spirulina, duck, shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce.22

The dietary reference intake established by the Food and Nutrition Board ranges from 14 to 18 mg per day for adults.

Higher amounts are recommended depending on your condition. For a list of recommended dosages, see the Mayo Clinic’s website.23

For pellagra, discussed above, doses range from 50 to 1,000 mg daily.

Vitamin B6 Turkey, beef, chicken, wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, potatoes, sunflower seeds, pistachios, avocado, spinach, banana, papaya, oranges and cantaloupe.24,25,26 Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins, especially B6.27

One serving (2 tablespoons) contains nearly 10 mg of vitamin B6, and the daily recommended intake is only 1.3 mg.

Not to be confused with Brewer’s yeast or other active yeasts, nutritional yeast is made from an organism grown on molasses, which is then harvested and dried to deactivate the yeast.

It has a pleasant cheesy flavor and can be added to a number of different dishes.

B8 (inositol/biotin) Meat, egg yolks, fish, liver, poultry, nuts and legumes.28 B8 is not recognized as an essential nutrient and no recommended daily intake has been set.

That said, it’s believed you need about 300 mcg per day.

Vitamin B8 is sometimes listed as biotin on supplements. Brewer’s yeast is a natural supplemental source.29

Folate (B9) Fresh, raw, organic leafy green vegetables, especially broccoli, asparagus, spinach and turnip greens, and a wide variety of beans, especially lentils, but also pinto beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy and black beans.30 Folic acid is a synthetic type of B vitamin used in supplements; folate is the natural form found in foods.

(Think: folate comes from foliage, edible leafy plants.)

For folic acid to be of use, it must first be activated into its biologically active form (L-5-MTHF).

This is the form able to cross the blood-brain barrier to give you the brain benefits noted.

Nearly half of the population has difficulty converting folic acid into the bioactive form due to a genetic reduction in enzyme activity.

For this reason, if you take a B-vitamin supplement, make sure it contains natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid.

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source.31 Adults need about 400 mcg of folate per day.

Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, including foods like beef and beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry, eggs and dairy products.

The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs that block the uptake of true B12.

Nutritional yeast is also high in B12, and is highly recommended for vegetarians and vegans.

One serving (2 tbsp.) provides nearly 8 mcg of natural vitamin B12.32

Sublingual (under-the-tongue) fine mist spray or vitamin B12 injections are also effective, as they allow the large B12 molecule to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.

Beware of Colon Cancer Scare: For Many, the Screening Is Riskier Than the Cancer Itself

Video Source: GutSense

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

Colorectal cancer, which includes both cancers of the colon and rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

An estimated 135,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year (about 95,500 cases of colon cancer and 39,900 cases of rectal cancer1), and more than 50,000 die from it.

Historically, colon cancer has been confined to those over the age of 50, but that’s changing. According to a recent report2 by the American Cancer Society, prevalence among younger people is rising.3,4,5 As reported by STAT News:6

“Among adults between the ages of 20 and 39, colon cancer has increased by 1 percent to 2.4 percent a year since the mid-1980s. This rise has been so dramatic that those born in 1990 and afterward have rates of colon cancer not seen since 1890.”

The findings made headlines and, not surprisingly, younger people are now urged to consider colon cancer screening, which is typically done by colonoscopy.

What the study and many news sources fail to mention, however, is that if you’re in your 20s and 30s, your mortality risk from colonoscopy is FAR greater than your risk of colon cancer! This is a vitally important consideration that simply isn’t given the proper attention.

It’s a mistake to equate screening with prevention and, if anything, the findings are a wakeup call to Gen-Xers and Millennials that they really need to reassess their lifestyle choices, as the ramifications of poor diet and sedentary behavior are catching up to them at an increasingly younger age.

Colon and Rectal Cancer Rates on the Rise Among Young Adults

According to the featured report, while colon cancer incidence is on the decline overall, we’re seeing a rather rapid rise of incidence in 20- and 30-somethings. Rectal cancer is also on the rise. Some statistics revealed in the report include the following:7

  • Since the mid-1980s, rates of colon cancer in adults between the ages of 20 and 39 increased by 1 percent, now affecting 2.4 percent of the population in this age-group annually
  • Since the mid-1990s, colon cancer rates in adults between the ages of 40 and 54 have risen by 0.5 percent, now affecting 1.3 percent of this age group
  • In adults aged 20 to 29, rectal cancer incidence rates increased 3.2 percent annually between 1974 and 2013
  • In adults under the age of 55, rates of rectal cancer doubled, from 14.6 percent in 1990 to 29.2 percent in 2013
  • An estimated 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in adults under the age of 50 this year

According to the authors: “Consequently, compared with adults born circa 1950, those born circa 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer.”

Based on these findings, the American Cancer Society is reassessing its colon cancer screening guidelines, which currently recommend screening to begin at age 50.

Comparing Your Risk of Cancer With Risks of Screening

While all of that may sound frightening, let’s take a deeper look at your risk, and compare that to the risks of colonoscopy screening. The rate of colon cancer mortality among young adults has risen by about 1 death per 100,000 among young adults, to a 3-in-100,000 risk.

However, the risk of death from colonoscopy is anywhere from 1 out of every 16,318 procedures,8 to 1 for every 1,000 procedures,9 depending on the source!

With some 15 million colonoscopies being done each year in the U.S.,10 that means as many as 15,000 Americans die as a result of this routine screening test, and numbers are likely to increase further if guidelines are changed to encourage people under 50 to get tested.

Again, an estimated 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in adults under the age of 50 this year, and if you extrapolate the potential number of deaths at 37 percent (the average death rate for all age groups), then less than 5,000 individuals under the age of 50 will die from colorectal cancer.

Related Article: Oleander Extract: Traditional Turkish Remedy Successfully Fights Cancer

This means you may be three times more likely to die from the screening procedure than the disease itself. Serious complications for colonoscopy also occur at a rate of about 1 per 20011 to 35012 procedures, again depending on the source of the data.

According to the report “Complications of Colonoscopy in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System,” the combined injury and kill-rate of colonoscopy-related complications is 0.5 percent, or about 70,000 per year.13

Recall, for comparison, 50,000 die each year from colon cancer and rectal cancer combined, so in the final analysis, if you’re still young, your risk of serious harm and/or death from colonoscopy is FAR greater than your risk of colorectal cancer.14

Other large studies have found that 1.5 to 3 colon cancer deaths are prevented for every 1,000 people screened once every 10 years, while 2.5 per 1,000 people screened are severely harmed or killed.15

That seems like a toss-up in terms of risk, but at least if you’re older and are in a higher risk category, screening becomes a more reasonable risk.

Also beware that X-ray exposure from virtual colonoscopy raises your lifetime risk of all forms of cancer by 20 percent. As noted by GutSense.org,16 “Virtual colonoscopies are now recommended every five years.

By age 70 one’s risk of developing any other form of cancer grows to 100 percent. Killing you with another form of cancer before the colon gets affected is one hell of [a] way to ‘prevent’ colon cancer.”

Other Side Effects of Colonoscopies

Aside from the chance of death, other risks of colonoscopy include the following:17,18

Perforation of the colon, which occurs at a rate of 1 in 80019 (people at higher risk include those with diverticulitis, diseases of the colon and adhesions from pelvic surgery). Research20 shows the risk of death subsequent to perforation is nearly 52 per 1,000 colonoscopic perforations and 64.5 per 1000 sigmoidoscopic perforations

Dysbiosis and other gut imbalances, caused by the process of flushing out your intestinal tract before the procedure with harsh laxatives21

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

Infections caused by poorly disinfected scopes

False positives. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation,22 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 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.

Sigmoidoscopies Are Far Safer but Not Used as Often

Sigmoidoscopies tend to have 10 times fewer complications, yet most doctors still recommend colonoscopy 95 percent of the time. Moreover, while there are three acceptable methods to screen for colon cancer,23 colonoscopy — which is the riskiest of the three — is still most commonly recommended by doctors and chosen by patients.

Aside from getting a colonoscopy every 10 years, colorectal cancer can also be diagnosed using fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) on an annual basis (to check for signs of blood in your stool), or a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years. Researchers have found that in most instances, doctors fail to review all of these options — and the benefits and drawbacks of each — with their patients.

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 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.”

A Simple Pre-Procedure Question That May Save Your Life


As discussed in my previous interview with David Lewis, Ph.D., a retired microbiologist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), non-disposable tools used for colonoscopies and flexible sigmoidoscopies carry serious risks for patients. Since these tools must be reused, they require careful cleaning and sterilization before each use.

However, these kinds of tools cannot be autoclaved (heat sterilized), and testing reveals the disinfection techniques and agents used 80 percent of the time are grossly inadequate. As a result, the tools can spread all manner of infections from one patient to another.

Considering multi drug-resistant bacterial infections are on the rise, this is a tremendous concern. The good news is you CAN protect yourself and dramatically reduce your risk of infection by asking the right questions before you schedule your appointment:

How is the endoscope cleaned between patients?

Specifically, which cleaning agent is used?

If the hospital or clinic uses peracetic acid, your likelihood of contracting an infection from a previous patient is slim

Glutaraldehyde, or the brand name Cidex (which is what 80 percent of clinics use), does NOT properly sterilize these tools. If glutaraldehyde is used, cancel your appointment and find a clinic that uses peracetic acid

How many of your colonoscopy patients have had to be hospitalized due to infections?

Asking these questions, specifically which type of cleaning agent the clinic or hospital uses, could literally save your life. And, if you’re a health care professional, I urge you to start addressing this issue from the inside. You really need to be aware of how improper disinfection is placing your patients at risk for serious — and potentially untreatable — infections.

What Causes Colon Cancer and How Can You Prevent it?

Your colon, also known as your large intestine, plays an incredibly important role in your health. As food passes through your colon, liquid and salt are removed to prepare it for elimination. Aside from helping to form, store and eliminate waste, your colon contains billions of bacteria, a healthy balance of which is essential for optimal health.

While colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., evidence suggests many of these cases are preventable using simple lifestyle changes. Generally speaking, researchers have concluded anywhere from 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. As noted in a 2008 study, “Cancer Is a Preventable Disease That Requires Lifestyle Changes,”24 some of the most prominent lifestyle factors contributing to cancer are:

  • Smoking and environmental pollutants
  • Diet
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Inactivity

In terms of diet, fried foods, excessive amounts of protein, processed meats, alcohol, lack of fruits and vegetables and excess caloric intake have all been linked to an increased cancer risk. Processed meats such as hotdogs, sausages and lunch meats, have been linked to colorectal cancer specifically, being classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (meaning it is considered carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015.25

Related Article: Here’s What Coconut Oil Can Do to Colon Cancer Cells in Just Two Days

The institute explicitly warns that that “there is no safe threshold” for eating processed meats, as it poses the same cancer risk as cigarette smoking and asbestos. It also recommends limiting red meat to a maximum of 18 ounces per week, to avoid raising your risk for colorectal cancer.

Common-Sense Tips to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Below are several diet and fitness suggestions that may significantly lower your risk of colorectal cancer, regardless of your age:

Eat more vegetables

Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else, like magnesium. Results from one meta-analysis indicated that for every 100-milligram (mg) increase in magnesium intake, the risk of colorectal cancer was lowered by 12 percent.26

The researchers noted magnesium’s anti-cancer effects may be related to its ability to reduce insulin resistance, which may positively affect the development of tumors.

Beyond magnesium, plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA.

Vegetables are also one of the best forms of dietary fiber. Studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have lower rates of cancer.27

Cruciferous vegetables may be particularly beneficial due to the sulforaphane they contain. If you’re healthy, consuming fruit in moderation may also be beneficial. According to one study, dried plums (i.e. prunes) may lower your risk of colon cancer.28

Eat more fiber

For optimal health, I recommend getting about 50 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories. If you follow the tip above and eat more vegetables, you’ll naturally be eating more fiber from the best possible source.

Psyllium seed husk, flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds also provide valuable sources of soluble and insoluble fiber that nourish healthy gut bacteria, promote healthy bowel movements and lower your risk of colorectal cancer.

Optimize your vitamin D level

Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for colorectal cancer. According to one recent study:29“Evidence suggests protective effects of vitamin D and antitumor immunity on colorectal cancer risk.

Immune cells in tumor microenvironment can convert 25-hydroxyvitamin D to bioactive 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, which influences neoplastic and immune cells … High plasma 25(OH)D level is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer with intense immune reaction, supporting a role of vitamin D in cancer immunoprevention through tumor–host interaction.”

Sensible ultraviolet exposure, ideally from the sun, and/or vitamin D3 supplementation can get your vitamin D levels into the optimal range of 45 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). You’ll need to monitor your level to be sure you stay within this target range.

Lower your protein intake and avoid processed meats entirely

Most Americans eat far more protein than they need, thereby raising their risk for cancer. A more ideal protein intake is likely around one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

The quality of your animal protein and mode of cooking should also be considered. When it comes to beef, I recommend eating organically raised grassfed meats only, and cooking your steak only lightly (rare, not well-done), to avoid heat-generated toxins.

Avoid processed meats of all kinds, i.e., those preserved by smoking, curing, salting or the addition of chemical preservatives. This includes bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, some sausages, hamburgers (if preserved with salt or chemical additives) and more.

Get regular exercise

There’s convincing evidence that regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer.30 For instance, one study31 revealed physically active men and women have about a 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer compared with inactive persons.

Exercise drives your insulin levels down, and controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risk. It’s also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die.

Exercise also improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body, as well as destroy precancerous cells before they become cancerous.

The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at defending itself against infections and diseases like cancer.

Maintain a healthy weight and control belly fat

A number of studies have linked obesity to an increased risk for about a dozen different cancers, including colon cancer. If you’re overweight or obese, even a modest amount of weight loss can lead to significant benefits for your health.

In terms of cancer prevention, losing excess belly fat is particularly important, as belly fat is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer regardless of your body weight.

Limit alcohol and quit smoking

Both excessive alcohol intake and smoking are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. When it comes to alcohol, I generally define “moderate” alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day.

As you progress further in the nutrition plan, I recommend eliminating all forms of alcohol. If you’re a smoker, you can find tips for quitting here.

Eat more garlic

Research has shown that women who regularly ate garlic (along with fruits and vegetables) had a 35 percent lower risk of colon cancer.32 Another study also found that those who consume high amounts of raw garlic have a lower risk of stomach and colorectal cancers.33

When you add raw garlic in your diet, the fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin.

Allicin, in turn, rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, chop it finely to add to a salad, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.

Latest Perk for Coffee Drinkers: A Boost of Beneficial Enzymes

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

A recent study has revealed even more evidence to indicate coffee has more to offer than just a boost of energy. Caffeine offers much more, actually, as it may help protect against the development of dementia.

Researchers at Indiana University discovered that caffeine and 23 other compounds kick-start an enzyme known as nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferase 2, or NMNAT2, and it’s this compound that scientists say may block the effects of neurodegenerative disorders.

To identify substances with the potential to produce the NMNAT2 enzyme in the brain, the scientists screened over 1,280 compounds, including existing drugs, in order to identify 24 compounds that could potentially increase the enzyme’s production.

The study,1 led by Hui-Chen Lu of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, followed research done by Lu’s team in 2016,2 which found that the NMNAT2 enzyme not only protects neurons in the brain from stress but binds to tau proteins via the “chaperone function.”

The enzyme prevents tau, which is similar to plaques that accumulate in the brain due to aging, from misfolding and causing subsequent cell death.

Misfolded proteins are implicated in such neurodegenerative disorders as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Related Article: This Is What Happens To Your Body After Drinking 1 Cup of Coffee [Watch]

Dementia, Alzheimer’s and How They Might Be Prevented

Dementia is a group of symptoms, not a disease in itself, associated with diminished cognitive skills such as memory, reasoning and communication, severe enough to interfere with daily activities.3

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, which worsens over time, and accounts for as much as 80 percent of known dementia cases. It affects more than 5.4 million people in the U.S., and the number of people affected is expected to triple by 2050.4 Medical News Today notes that:

“Though researchers are still unclear on the precise causes of Alzheimer’s, it is known that the condition arises as a result of brain cell death. The formation of ‘tangles,’ which are misfolded strands of a protein called tau, is believed to play a role in brain cell death.”5

Science is still at a loss in regard to what causes Alzheimer’s, but the fact that it stems from brain cell death due to the “tangling” of tau proteins is an important clue in getting to the bottom of how to keep it from happening, reversing it or lessening its effects.

The Significance of NMNAT2 for ‘Blocking’ Dementia

The Epoch Times noted:

“Lu’s earlier research found that mice altered to produce misfolded tau also produced lower levels of NMNAT2.

To confirm the effect of caffeine, researchers administered caffeine to mice modified to produce lower levels of NMNAT2. As a result, the mice began to produce the same levels of the enzyme as normal mice.6

Other compounds also gave NMNAT2 a production boost, such as rolipram, an “orphaned” antidepressant discontinued since the mid-1990s, a few other drugs and retinoic acid, which is derived from vitamin A. However, caffeine was found to be one of the most effective at increasing NMNAT2 production.

Significantly, 13 other compounds were identified that actually lowered this important enzyme’s production. They’re important, Lu says, because they help researchers understand how they might contribute to dementia. According to Lu:

“This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this enzyme in the brain, creating a chemical ‘blockade’ against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorder.

Increasing our knowledge about the pathways in the brain that appear to naturally cause the decline of this necessary protein is equally as important as identifying compounds that could play a role in future treatment of these debilitating mental disorders.”7

How Your Morning Brew Might Benefit Your Health

As previously mentioned, coffee was one of the 24 substances that increased NMNAT2 formation to effectively inhibit neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia.

While Lu says knowing this information will help other scientists create drugs to increase levels of the NMNAT2 enzyme for the purposes of combating dementia, coffee has been identified as having other substances that are useful. A plethora of studies indicate that coffee offers benefits in cancer prevention and treatment.

One study showed that drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily lowered the risk of colon cancer recurrence or death by 52 percent.8 A meta-analysis on coffee and cancer risk published in 2016 concluded with the statement:

“Our study demonstrates that coffee intake can reduce the risk of oral, pharynx cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer and melanoma by 31 percent, 13 percent, 54 percent, 11 percent, 27 percent and 11 percent respectively for the highest versus lowest coffee intake.

Furthermore, coffee intake could reduce the risk of liver cancer, prostate cancer and endometrial cancer by 27 percent, 3 percent and 12 percent with an increment of 2 cups of coffee intake.”9

Related Article: Men, Coffee Really Does Keep You Up: Study Says It May Be As Good As Viagra

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reversed its longtime position that coffee may cause cancer, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that coffee consumption may actually help reduce chronic disease.10

Another study reported that drinking at least five cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of some brain cancers by as much as 40 percent.11

A 2009 study showed that coffee increases the growth of beneficial gut bacteria called Bifidobacterium.12 Other diseases and conditions caffeine has been shown in clinical studies to positively impact include:

Type 2 diabetes Parkinson’s disease Liver, prostate, kidney and colorectal cancers
Heart rhythm problems Stroke Beneficial gut bacteria

It’s What You Put in Coffee That Causes Problems

If you haven’t heard how damaging fake creamers and artificial sugars are — in some peoples’ minds, the only way to make it palatable — you may want to sit up and take notice. Another way of saying it is: You know what’s in your coffee, but do you know what’s in your creamer?

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), implicated in mitochondrial malfunction Dipotassium phosphate, often used in fertilizer and cosmetics
Partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which contains trans fats, known to cause inflammation Mono- and diglycerides may be synthetic, derived from partially hydrogenated oils or both
Sodium stearoyl lactylate is an additive often used as a cleanser, foaming agent and emulsifier in cosmetics Sodium caseinate, often treated with the chemical sodium hydroxide, which can damage or suppress nutrient absorption

Raw, organic cream from pastured cows is a far better creamer in your coffee because it’s natural and contains a healthy amount of “good” fat, but your best option is to drink your coffee black.

Sweeteners for Your Coffee: Best Left Out

Then there’s artificial sweeteners, another popular item in coffee circles, which can be worse for you than sugar and fructose. Aspartame, for instance, is shown in numerous studies to increase weight gain, worsen insulin sensitivity and even cause cancer and neurological problems.

While natural sweeteners such as honey and agave syrup may seem to be much healthier than chemically contrived sweeteners, they contain high amounts of fructose and may be highly processed.

If you like your coffee sweetened, you can try the herb stevia, which doesn’t raise your blood glucose level like sugar does. It may be one of the safest alternatives for sugar. Luo han guo, also known as monk fruit, is another natural sweetener with this attribute and some say it has a superior flavor.

The Importance of Choosing Organic Shade-Grown Coffee

Conventionally grown coffee is one of the most chemically contaminated foods in the world. In contrast, organic coffee contains no chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. The beans have a richer flavor and come with natural antioxidants. It’s healthy for you, more sustainable for the farms that grow it and vastly better for the planet.

Additionally, coffee is a shade-loving plant, but growers often strip forests to make growing and harvesting easier. This destroys the ecological habitat of many natural pest deterrents, such as birds and lizards, while the pests flourish, resulting in additional pesticide use.

The downward spiral to the environment involves chemical run-off, erosion and potentially contaminated water supplies. Organic shade-grown coffee is available at numerous retail markets, but you can also order it online.

Dr. Mercola: The Big Bad Flu Data — What You Need to Know About Vaccine Effectiveness and Alternatives

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

How effective is the flu vaccine, and will getting vaccinated reduce the severity of your illness even if the vaccine is a poor match to circulating influenza virus strains? While public health officials insist vaccination is the best way to prevent the seasonal flu, the evidence calls this assumption into question, and most health care professionals won’t even get the flu shot if it’s voluntary.1

In its 2014 meta-analysis2 of the available research on inactivated influenza vaccines, the Cochrane Collaboration (which is considered by many as the gold-standard for scientific meta-reviews), reviewed evidence related to influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) that people experience during flu seasons and stated:

“Over 200 viruses cause ILI, which produces the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches, pains, cough and runny nose) as influenza. Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot distinguish between ILI and influenza because both last for days and rarely cause serious illness or death. The types of virus contained in influenza vaccines are usually those that are expected to circulate in the following influenza seasons, according to recommendations of the World Health Organization (seasonal vaccine).”

The Cochrane researchers concluded that:

“Injected influenza vaccines probably have a small protective effect against influenza and ILI (moderate-certainty evidence), as 71 people would need to be vaccinated to avoid one influenza case, and 29 would need to be vaccinated to avoid one case of ILI. Vaccination may have little or no appreciable effect on hospitalizations (low-certainty evidence) or number of working days lost.”

If 71 people have to be vaccinated in order for a single case of influenza to be avoided, this means that flu shots have a rather abysmal effectiveness rating. And it isn’t surprising that flu shots have “little or no appreciable effect on hospitalizations or number of working days lost,” considering its ineffectiveness at preventing illness. Similarly, while many assert that getting vaccinated will render flu symptoms less severe — should it fail to protect you after all — there’s really no good evidence for this either.

Interim Estimates of Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Are In

On February 16, the CDC published interim estimates of the 2017/2018 seasonal influenza vaccine’s effectiveness for the U.S.3 Based on data from 4,562 children and adults enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network between November 2, 2017 and February 3, 2018, the CDC reports the overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against “influenza A and influenza B virus infection associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness” was 36 percent. More precisely, vaccine effectiveness is estimated to be:

  • 25 percent effective against the A(H3N2) virus
  • 67 percent effective against A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses
  • 42 percent effective against influenza B viruses

In 2015, a CDC analysis4 revealed that, between 2005 and 2015, the flu vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time, so this year’s low effectiveness rating (36 percent) comes as no great surprise. However, there’s a significant problem with how this effectiveness rating is attained. As in previous years, the 4,562 individuals upon which this statistic is derived were all diagnosed with an acute respiratory illness. No healthy people were included.

To be eligible for inclusion, they had to have developed an acute respiratory infection with cough at least seven days prior to admittance. They also could not have been treated with antiviral medication. Participants were interviewed about their health status, symptoms, and flu vaccination status.

Swabs were taken to identify the virus responsible for the infection. In all, 38 percent of subjects tested positive for influenza virus (the rest had respiratory symptoms that looked like influenza but were actually caused by other types of viruses or bacteria).

The percentage of patients who were vaccinated ranged between 45 and 59 percent, depending on which of the five study sites they belonged to. Of those who tested positive for influenza, 43 percent had received the 2017/2018 seasonal flu vaccine. Of those whose illness was related to another type of viral or bacterial organism, 53 percent had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza.

Ironically, CDC officials continue to “recommend influenza vaccination because the vaccine can still prevent some infections with currently circulating influenza viruses,”5 completely ignoring that simple vitamin D supplementation has greater efficacy and none of the risks associated with flu shots.

If preventing “some” infections is good enough for vaccines, why isn’t preventing more of them with vitamin D a viable alternative? I’ll discuss this further toward the end of this article, as research clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of vitamin D when it comes to prevention of illness during the flu season.

Related Article: Details About Flu Vaccine And Its Effectiveness

Does Vaccination Really Lessen Flu Symptoms?

While health officials are fond of saying that getting a flu shot will lessen your symptoms should you contract influenza, French researchers disagree, noting that “very few studies have addressed the question of whether the vaccine mitigates influenza severity among those who develop the illness despite being vaccinated.”

Vaccine researchers in France decided to test the hypothesis by looking at data from vaccinated and unvaccinated elderly patients diagnosed with influenza. The results were published in April 2017.6 What they found was a rather insignificant lessening of symptoms, limited to a reduction in initial headache complaints among those who had been vaccinated:

“Compared to non-vaccinated influenza patients, those who had been vaccinated had a slightly reduced maximum temperature and presented less frequently with myalgia, shivering and headache. In stratified analyses, the observed effect was limited to patients infected with A(H3) or type B viruses. After adjusting by age group, virus (sub)type and season, the difference remained statistically significant only for headache, which was less frequent among vaccinated individuals.”

How and Why the Flu Shot Might Make You More Susceptible to the Flu

Not only is substantial scientific evidence for symptom alleviation lacking, there’s reason to suspect influenza vaccine may actually have the ability to make you more vulnerable to infection, and there are plenty of anecdotal reports that for some people it can be more severe than infection acquired from exposure to influenza viruses in the environment.

In a September 2017 Medium article,7 Andre Angelantoni counters claims made by Carol Lynn Curchoe, Ph.D., who in an earlier article8stated that “Getting the flu shot ‘primes’ your body to recognize and fight all strains of the flu.” This, apparently, has become a commonly accepted myth, even among some health professionals but, as explained by Angelantoni, the vaccines don’t work that way:

“[Your] immune system is being programmed by the flu shot making it ready for the exact strains in the shot. It does not protect against other strains but instead opens you up to other flu strains and infection from other pathogens. It’s called heterologous immunity … an extension of basic immunology. 

After all … Prevnar is superseded by Synflorix and Prevnar 13 because the body was not ‘primed’ to handle all strains of pneumococcus. It’s not clear where [Curchoe] got the idea that the flu vaccine has this magical ability that other vaccines do not and [she] provide[s] no reference for [her] assertion; it appears to be a completely made up ‘fact.’”

Heterologous Immunity and Directional Programming of Your Immune System

Angelantoni goes on to cite research I’ve covered on a number of occasions, such as the 2010 Canadian study9 that found people who were vaccinated against seasonal influenza were more susceptible to the pandemic H1N1 strain; the 2014 ferret study10 in which these effects were replicated; as well as a 2012 Chinese study11 that found a child’s chances of contracting a respiratory infection after getting the seasonal flu shot rose more than fourfold.

“Heterologous immunity roughly means ‘unequal immunity’ and it’s the concept that the immune system is programmed in a directional way,” Angelantoni writes. “This can sometimes work in the body’s favor if a subsequent antigen is similar enough to the one for which antibodies have just been made.

In this case, the directionality means that the body is already prepared to some degree because it has encountered a pathogen ‘similar enough’ to the new one. However, often it works against the body, too, as in the case of the flu vaccines. The body learns how to protect against the strains given in the shot and thereby — by design — becomes less able to handle other strains and other invaders.”

As noted in a 2014 paper on heterologous immunity:12

“Immunity to previously encountered viruses can alter responses to unrelated pathogens … Heterologous immunity … may be beneficial by boosting protective responses. However, heterologous reactivity can also result in severe immunopathology. The key features that define heterologous immune modulation include alterations in the CD4 and CD8 T cell compartments and changes in viral dynamics and disease progression.”

In other words, while influenza vaccine may offer some level of protection against the three or four viral strains included in the vaccine, depending on whether the vaccine used is trivalent or quadrivalent, it may simultaneously diminish your ability to ward off infection by other influenza strains and other types of viral or bacterial infections.

Heterologous immunity is also addressed in a 2013 paper,13 which notes that “vaccines modulate general resistance,” and “have nonspecific effects on the ability of the immune system to handle other pathogens.” It also states that:

“… [O]ur current perception of the immune system is … simplistic. It was, to a large extent, shaped in the 1950s with the formulation of the clonal selection hypothesis. This line of thinking has emphasized the adaptive immune system and the specific antigen recognition and specific memory, which have been crucial in vaccine development, perhaps at the expense of examining cross-reactive features of the immune system as well as the memory capacity of the innate immune system.

Although tens of thousands of studies assessing disease-specific, antibody-inducing effects of vaccines have been conducted, most people have not examined whether vaccines have nonspecific effects because current perception excludes such effects.”

Poor Immune Response Blamed for Low Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Poor influenza vaccine effectiveness is often blamed on viral mutations occurring while the selected influenza viruses are grown in the lab but, according to a team of researchers from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, poor immune responses in individuals appear to be a more likely reason. In their study,14 the flu vaccine failed to elicit a strong immune response in most participants. As explained in the press release:15

“What’s at play seems to be a phenomenon known as ‘original antigenic sin.’ Flu vaccines are designed to get the immune system to produce antibodies that recognize the specific strains of the virus someone may encounter in a given year. These antibodies target unique sites on the virus, and latch onto them to disable it.

Once the immune system already has antibodies to target a given site on the virus, it preferentially reactivates the same immune cells the next time it encounters the virus. This is efficient for the immune system, but the problem is that the virus changes ever so slightly from year to year. The site the antibodies recognize could still be there, but it may no longer be the crucial one to neutralize the virus.

Antibodies produced from our first encounters with the flu, either from vaccines or infection, tend to take precedence over ones generated by later inoculations. So even when the vaccine is a good match for a given year, if someone has a history with the flu, the immune response to a new vaccine could be less protective.”

Related Article: Study Shows Your Gut Microbes Fight Flu Infections When Combined With the Right Foods

Philip Morris to Produce Next GMO Flu Vaccine Grown in Tobacco Plant

The fact that most flu vaccine viruses are grown in eggs, which allows the influenza virus to mutate ever so slightly, does contribute to mismatches between the vaccine and the most prevalent circulating influenza A and B strains in a given flu season, however. In a study published last year, egg adaptations were found to have caused mismatches in the most commonly used influenza vaccine during the 2016/2017 season. It may be a factor in this year’s low vaccine efficacy rating as well.

Some flu vaccine manufacturers are now starting to switch to vaccine strain viruses grown without eggs, using either genetically modified insect cells or canine kidney cells. The Canadian biotech company Medicago — owned by Philip Morris and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma — has also begun stage 3 clinical trials on a genetically engineered flu vaccine manufactured in Nicotiana benthamiana, a type of tobacco plant known for its ability to make proteins at a high rate of speed.16

Medicago is also using “virus-like particles” in lieu of inactivated influenza viruses. The particles have “the structure of the influenza virus but not its full genetic code.”

The company theorizes that these virus-like particles will “mobilize special immune cells to eliminate flu-infected cells, regardless of the subtype they may have mutated into.” This combination of factors allows Medicago to produce a vaccine in as little as six weeks, compared to the six months it normally takes to produce an egg-based vaccine.

As reported by Forbes,17 “The vaccine is produced by introducing genetic material from the flu virus into the plants, which are then incubated for four to 10 days. The plants act like mini-bioreactors, producing the [virus-like particles] in their leaves.”

Optimizing Vitamin D Effective During Flu Season

One can only speculate, at this point, what the side effects of injecting a genetically engineered tobacco plant-based flu vaccine into your body might be. Fortunately, you don’t have to pin your hopes on such developments — studies have repeatedly demonstrated the excellent track record of vitamin D for preventing respiratory infections. Most recently, a 2017 scientific review18,19 of 25 randomized controlled trials found that vitamin D supplementation cuts rates of acute respiratory infections among all participants.

The studies included nearly 11,000 individuals from more than a dozen countries, and showed that people who regularly took vitamin D supplements were less likely to contract acute respiratory tract infections compared to those who did not take supplemental vitamin D. Those with blood levels below 10 ng/mL, which is a serious deficiency state, cut their risk of infection by half.

People with higher vitamin D levels reduced their risk by about 10 percent. According to this international research team, vitamin D supplementation could prevent more than 3.25 million cases of cold and flu each year in the U.K. alone.20 Another statistic showing vitamin D is a very effective strategy in preventing respiratory illness during the flu season is the NNT.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Cochrane Collaboration concluded in 2014 that the NNT for the flu vaccine is 71. In this 2017 respiratory infection study, the NNT for vitamin D was 33, meaning one person would be spared from acute respiratory infection for every 33 people taking a vitamin D supplement.

Among those with severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline, the NNT was 4. If you’re going to gamble, which odds would you rather have — a 1 in 71 chance of being protected against respiratory infection, or a 1 in 33 chance (or 1 in 4 should you be severely vitamin D deficient)? In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available.

Tamiflu or Quercetin?

Should you or your child get sick and a doctor or pediatrician recommends Tamiflu,21 please understand that this antiviral drug shortens the duration of flu symptoms by less than 17 hours.22,23 It also does not reduce viral transmission and does not lower your risk of complications, such as pneumonia.24,25

Some scientists have also warned that Tamiflu’s serious risks outweigh the benefits.26 These risks include convulsions, brain infections, psychosis and  other neuropsychiatric problems.27,28 The drug is particularly risky for children, and more than half of all children taking Tamiflu suffer side effects from the drug.29,30

Considering Tamiflu’s risks and limited effectiveness, quercetin is safe and effective. Quercetin, a plant flavonol found naturally in applesplumsred grapesgreen tea, elder flower and onions, packs a powerful antiviral punch.31 Some of its mechanisms of action include inhibiting the ability of viruses to infect cells and inhibiting replication of already infected cells. A number of studies have confirmed quercetin’s effectiveness against viral infections, including the following:

A 1985 study found quercetin inhibits infectivity and replication of herpes simplex virus type 1, polio-virus type 1, parainfluenza virus type 3 and respiratory syncytial virus.32
A 2010 animal study found that quercetin inhibits both influenza A and B viruses. Two other important discoveries were made. Firstly, the viruses were unable to develop resistance to quercetin and, secondly, when used concomitant with antiviral drugs (amantadine or oseltamivir), the effect was significantly amplified — and it prevented drug-resistance from developing.33
A 2004 animal study investigating quercetin’s effect on influenza used a strain of the H3N2 virus. According to the authors:34

“In the mice, instillation of influenza virus A/Udorn/317/72(H3N2) intranasally resulted in a significant decrease in the pulmonary concentrations of catalase, reduced glutathione and superoxide dismutase … These effects were observed on the 5th day after viral instillation.

Oral supplementation with quercetin simultaneous with viral instillation produced significant increases in the pulmonary concentrations of catalase, reduced glutathione and superoxide dismutase … 

It is concluded that during influenza virus infection, there is ‘oxidative stress.’ Because quercetin restored the concentrations of many antioxidants, it is proposed that it may be useful as a drug in protecting the lung from the deleterious effects of oxygen derived free radicals released during influenza virus infection.”

In 2014, researchers noted that quercetin appears to be “a promising treatment for the common cold,” caused by the rhinovirus, adding that “Quercetin has been shown to reduce viral internalization and replication in vitro, and viral load, lung inflammation and airways hyper-responsiveness in vivo.”35

By attenuating oxidative damage, it also lowers your risk of secondary bacterial infections, which is actually the primary cause of influenza-related deaths. Importantly, quercetin increases mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle, which suggests part of its antiviral effects are due to enhanced mitochondrial antiviral signaling.

A 2016 study found quercetin offered protection against influenza A virus H1N1 by modulating protein expression. More specifically, the regulation of heat shock proteins, fibronectin 1 and prohibitin was instrumental in reducing viral replication.36
A second study published in 2016 found quercetin inhibited a wide spectrum of influenza strains, including H1N1, H3N2 and H5N1. According to the authors, “This study indicates that quercetin showing inhibitory activity in the early stage of influenza infection provides a future therapeutic option to develop effective, safe and affordable natural products for the treatment and prophylaxis of [influenza A viruses] infections.”37

Prevention of Respiratory Infections Shouldn’t Be so Risky

Aside from vitamin D and quercetin, maintaining good levels of vitamins B1 and C may go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,38 and vitamin C also boosts the effectiveness of quercetin. Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Read more great articles at mercola.com

How to Boost Your Brain and Prevent Dementia Using No-Cost (or Low-Cost) Strategies


Video Source: Mercola

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

Alzheimer’s is an epidemic, currently affecting an estimated 5.4 million Americans. Unless there are radical changes, many experts project half of us will eventually acquire it.

Since diet is one of the root causes, diet is also a foundational prevention and treatment strategy. This is an important point, considering there are no meaningful conventional treatments for this devastating disease. Eliminating wheat, refined carbs and sugar from your diet would be a wise start due to the toxic effects they can have on your body, including your brain.

Drugs like Namenda or Aricept, which are commonly prescribed for Alzheimer’s, have very limited effectiveness, and come with potentially serious side effects. But other healthy lifestyle strategies also need to come into play for a truly holistic approach.

In this interview, Dr. David Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist and author of The New York Times best seller “The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health,” shares his insights into core strategies that will help boost brain performance and dramatically reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.

“The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan” is an extension and continuation of his previous book, “The Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers.” Perlmutter’s own father died from Alzheimer’s — a death he has since realized was preventable, which has acted as a driving force for his work.

“To be clear, no one inherits Alzheimer’s. Some of us who have relatives [with] Alzheimer’s … are at increased risk. We certainly know there are some genes, the apoliprotein E (ApoE) 3, 2 and 4 genes that are playing a role in carrying the ApoE-4 allele. It does increase a person’s risk.

But this is not a determinant that you will or won’t get the disease. It does indicate that you have a higher risk for that disease. But the beauty of what we are talking about is you can offset that risk. You can change your destiny,” Perlmutter says.

Related Article: How to Reduce Your (or a Loved One’s) Risk of Alzheimer’s — Now, Before It’s Too Late

Primary Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

According to Perlmutter, your diet is by far the greatest contributing risk factor. To prevent Alzheimer’s, you need to focus on a diet that powers your brain and body with healthy fats, not net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

Perlmutter’s book centers around the notion that your body prefers burning fat because it’s efficient, and it minimizes production of free radicals and reduces inflammation.

Becoming an efficient fat burner not only helps prevent Alzheimer’s but also Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic health conditions.

“It’s a broad net that is thrown when we change our diet and finally get rid of the sugar and this bombardment of our physiology with carbs, the likes of which our gene array has never seen before,” he says.

“It’s very empowering, the notion that we can change the expression of our life code, our DNA, by making certain choices in our lifestyle, like our dietary choices, exercise, making sure we get adequate sleep, reducing stress and having good social relationships.

All of these epigenetic factors change the expression of your DNA, and can change our destiny even as it relates to Alzheimer’s risk.”

Why Nutritional Ketosis Is so Beneficial for Health and Brain Function

When your body burns fat as its primary fuel, ketones are created, which not only burn very efficiently and are a superior fuel for your brain, but also generate fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and less free radical damage. But that’s not all.

“It’s more than just the utility of powering our cells with fat that is the beauty of this type of diet. When you do cut your carbs and sugars, and you add in adequate amounts of healthy fat, your body does produce ketones, one of which is called beta hydroxybutyrate.

It turns out [that’s] not just an ideal fuel source for your cells to burn, but beta hydroxybutyrate is [also] an epigenetic player. It actually has huge effects on the expression of your DNA …

[W]hen you’re in mild ketosis and your body is availing itself now of this chemical beta hydroxybutyrate, it stimulates changes in the expression of your DNA, which is positive, reducing inflammation, increasing detoxification pathways and increasing your body’s antioxidant production.”

Beta hydroxybutyrate also stimulates specific receptors on cells called g-proteins. When these receptors are tagged by this beta hydroxybutyrate during mild ketosis, it helps reduce the activation of pathways that lead to inflammation, and inflammation is a driver in most all chronic diseases, be it Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

So it’s not merely about powering your cells with fat. This type of diet — high in healthy fats, moderate in protein and low in net carbs — also helps alter your metabolism, thereby paving the way for health.

The Case for Feast-Famine Cycling Opposed to Continuous Ketosis

To shift your body into fat-burning mode, you need to dramatically reduce your net carbs, as your body will typically use whatever glucose is available first. However, that doesn’t mean you can never have large amounts of carbs ever again. In fact, remaining in nutritional ketosis for years on end may be ill advised.

If your insulin level goes too low, you actually increase your liver’s production of glucose. If the liver’s production of glucose isn’t suppressed by insulin, you’ll end up with high blood sugar even if you’re eating virtually no carbohydrates.

In my new book, “Fat for Fuel,” I recommend feast-famine cycling instead of continuous ketosis for this reason. By periodically pulsing higher carb intakes, consuming say 100 or 150 grams of carbs, opposed to 40 to 60 grams per day, your ketone levels will actually dramatically increase and your blood sugar will drop.

In addition to that, insulin — while required for lipogenesis (the production of fat) — is also needed for the production of protein.

When you’re in extreme nutritional ketosis and drive your insulin level down to really low levels 24/7, you will not have adequate amounts of insulin to manufacture protein. This precedes wasting, as you start to lose muscle mass, which is not a healthy state.

Beware of Eliminating Healthy Carbs

Perlmutter also warns against abstaining from fiber-rich carbs. These prebiotic foods nurture the healthy bacteria in your gut, because when you eliminate these foods you can negatively affect your microbiome. This is why I continuously stress the importance of reducing your NET carbs, meaning only the sugar-based carbs that have little to no fiber. Remember, vegetables are carbohydrates, and those you can eat without limit.

Related Article: 5 Major Causes of Alzheimer’s (One of them is Contracted Through Food!)

“It’s important that those carbohydrates remain part of the program, especially fiber-rich foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber: jicama, chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, onions and leeks,” Perlmutter says. “I think that is a big player in terms of why people have such an issue when they go into full-blown ketosis.”

Exercise Rejuvenates and Regenerates Your Brain

“The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan” covers not only diet, but also an array of other lifestyle factors that are important for optimal neurological health, including exercise, sleep and stress management. Perlmutter recounts an event that showed him just how impactful stress and emotions can be — and conversely, the healing impact of positive emotions like gratitude. This personal story is also in his book.

Besides addressing your emotions and stress, exercise is another very important strategy. Certain exercises are particularly good for increasing brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which has potent rejuvenating effects on both your muscles and your brain. High BDNF levels have also been correlated to a dramatic reduction in Alzheimer’s risk. As noted by Perlmutter, BDNF “does nothing short of help you grow a new brain.”

“It turns out that any aerobic exercise will do this. This was just published several months ago — a new study done by Dr. Kirk Eriksen at UCLA. The conclusion was that regular participants in aerobic exercise, whatever their age have a 50 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. That’s an important statement. They can garden, they can walk, they can swim, bike — whatever it is that gets their heart rate up. They demonstrated these profound changes on brain scans … ”

Raising BDNF Through Natural Means May Be More Effective Than Stem Cell Therapy

Turmeric can also raise BDNF, as can the animal-based omega-3 fat DHA. DHA is not really a fuel like other fats but, rather, a structural component of your cells. It actually integrates into your cell membranes, and it’s the only fat known to do that and not burn as fuel like virtually every other fat that you eat.

When you consider that 50 percent of the fat in your brain is DHA, the importance of this omega-3 fat becomes more readily recognizable. DHA also acts as a COX-2 inhibitor and a powerful anti-inflammatory. According to Perlmutter, recent research also suggests whole coffee fruit concentrate (also called coffee cherry) is one of the most powerful ways of raising BDNF.

“When you pick a coffee bean, it’s not actually the bean you’re picking. It’s the berry. The bean is the center part. The seed is what you make your coffee out of. But the rest of the fruit then undergoes an extraction process and makes this whole coffee fruit concentrate that now has been shown to dramatically raise BDNF levels. You’ll be able to buy that, I suspect, in the health food store pretty soon,” he says.

“But I want to emphasize that the best thing you can do if you want to raise BDNF levels and therefore grow new brain cells, is to … buy a new pair of sneakers [and] become active … That turns on your body’s production of BDNF [and] helps you grow new brain cells …  

When we turn on the growth of our new brain cells by exercise and increasing BDNF, that increases the growth of stem cells exactly where they need to be in the brain’s memory center. There are companies that do stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative conditions around the globe … The challenge with stem cell therapy is getting those cells to where they need to be and then hoping they differentiate into the type of cells needed.

What we see with the endogenous stem cell therapy, in other words, BDNF brought on by exercise, coffee fruit and turmeric, is that that’s exactly what happens. Those stem cells grow where they are needed. They develop into fully functional brain cells and they migrate to areas where they are needed as well.”

Other Important Benefits of Exercise

Besides boosting BDNF and promoting neuroplasticity, exercise also increases an important metabolic signal called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator (PGC-1α), which increases mitochondrial biogenesis. The PGC-1α pathway regulates both mitochondrial activity and mitochondrial replication. This is important, as your brain is the most mitochondrially-dense organ in your body.

“It turns out that mitochondria do more than just help us produce energy and power our cells,” Perlmutter explains. “Mitochondria are actually involved in determining which cell lives or dies … This is mitochondrial therapy.

We’re now looking upon Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as acquired mitochondropathies or mitochondrial diseases that can be acquired by exposure to toxins, like we see with Parkinson’s, or just direct toxic effects on mitochondria based upon diet. For example, a high sugar diet is toxic to mitochondria.

Here is yet a third benefit to aerobic exercise that has just been published. It now looks as if those who engage in aerobic exercise have a wider diversity of gut bacteria. The more exercise you do, the more diverse are the organisms that live in your gut. That correlates with better health, reduced inflammation and a more balanced immune system. I think we’ve given out three very powerful reasons that people need to engage in aerobics.”

An important and fascinating side note here is the findings of Dr. Dale Bredesen, a UCLA researcher who, by leveraging 36 different healthy lifestyle parameters, was able to reverse Alzheimer’s in 9 out of 10 patients. This included the use of exercise, ketogenic diet, optimizing vitamin D and other hormones, increasing sleep, meditation, detoxification and eliminating gluten and processed food.

His work was published in the journal Aging in 2014. You can download the full-text case paper online, which details the full program.1 According to Bredesen, “The results … suggest that, at least early in the course, cognitive decline may be driven in large part by metabolic processes,” which is exactly what Perlmutter is suggesting.

How Light Affects Brain Function

Interestingly, research shows people living in northern latitudes have higher rates of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s than those living in sunnier areas, suggesting vitamin D and/or sun exposure are important factors. I recently interviewed Dr. Lew Lim about the use of near-infrared light as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, known as photobiomodulation.

About 40 percent of the rays in sunlight is near-infrared. I should be publishing that shortly, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. This is a truly fascinating area that appears very promising.

Near-infrared light is thought to work by interacting with cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) — one of the proteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane and a member of the electron transport chain. CCO is a chromophore — a molecule that attracts and feeds on light.

In short, sunlight helps your cells make the best use of whatever food they have, and improves the generation of energy (ATP). The optimal wavelength for stimulating CCO lies in two regions, red at 630 to 660 nm and near-infrared at 810 to 830 nm.

Photobiomodulation also improves oxygenation to your cells. One of the ways it does this is by releasing nitric oxide (NO) back into your body after being exposed to red and near-infrared rays. NO is a vasodilator that helps relax your blood vessels, lower your blood pressure and improve vascular health. When you deliver red and infrared light to the mitochondria, it also promotes synthesizing of gene transcription factors that trigger cellular repair, and this is as true in the brain as anywhere else in your body.

While daily sun exposure is likely your best option, followed by specialized technology such as near-infrared treatments, other devices emitting the near-infrared spectrum may also be beneficial. Lim has invented a photobiomodulation device for neurological health and the treatment of dementia, but if you’re on a budget, you could use a near-infrared (850 nm) security light from Amazon.

I position it over my head for brain health. As noted by Perlmutter, vitamin D is also crucial, and vitamin D is, of course, another important effect derived from sensible sun exposure.

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is another factor that can play a significant role in your brain health, as your brain can only detoxify and clean itself out during deep sleep.

“We look at the correlative studies that are really quite profound in showing that interrupted sleep, dropping out of restorative sleep, and even full-blown sleep apnea have strong correlations to risk for Alzheimer’s disease. There are multiple reasons for that. We know that, for example, if you measure inflammatory markers, like C-reactive protein and others, they correlate quite nicely to tumor necrosis factor alpha, with the degree of abnormality of a person’s sleep,” Perlmutter says.

“We recognize that the brain undergoes some fundamental housekeeping during the course of sleeping. It’s not like everything shuts down. That’s when the brain tidies up. That’s when we are activating what’s called the brain’s glymphatic system to help clear debris.

[Recent] research … [also] indicates that during sleep, the brain may undergo what’s called synaptic pruning. What that means is we spend our whole day making new connections between brain cells, but we rely upon the fact that during sleep, we reduce some of those connections because they may not be necessary. We don’t overrun the hard drive here with all these connections that are not necessarily important for us.

I talk about, in my new book, all types of ideas people can pursue to improve their sleep … So many watch the 11 o’clock news, which these days are enough to keep anybody awake, then wonder why they can’t sleep … Again, it’s trying to emulate the fact that we would go to sleep when the sun went down and wake up when the sun came up. It’s desperately important. It’s a very important lifestyle choice right there with eating and exercise.”

Not only will late-night TV watching prevent you from falling asleep quickly by shutting down the production of melatonin — a potent antioxidant and hormone that triggers sleepiness — the type of programming you choose to watch will also affect your brain health. As noted by Perlmutter, “if you bombard yourself with all the stuff going on around you, the world does look like a very dark and scary place. That raises your cortisol level. That’s toxic to your brain’s memory center. That sets the stage.”

You can somewhat mitigate the negative impact of artificial lights and electronic screens in the evening by wearing blue-blocking glasses. I put on my orange-colored glasses as soon as the sun sets.

“Again, it’s important from a genetic perspective because our ancestors’ genomes were honed to be perfectly responsive to that environment. We have that same genome today and we have to do our very best to emulate that [ancient] environment and cater to it — get enough sleep, be physically active, and eat a diet that doesn’t have much sugar or [net] carbs in it.”

Social Interaction

Besides exercise, sleep and sun exposure, another no-cost practical strategy that can benefit your brain health is improving your social interactions. There are so-called “blue zones” around the world where people have better health and live longer. What do they do differently than other folks? A healthier diet is one thing, but they also tend to be more physically active and socially involved.

“They have networks. These are societies in which the elderly, for example, are integrated and are valued and remain an active part of their communities,” Perlmutter explains. “This has, from a chemical perspective, a profound effect on lowering cortisol and raising other things in the body, for example like oxytocin, which happens to be called the love chemical.

I would suspect that in humans, there are probably even changes seen in the gut bacteria in the microbiome … [T]here was an interesting report [showing] … the level of beta-amyloid correlated with changes in gut bacteria. When there were no gut bacteria, there was actually less of the beta-amyloid produced in this genetically modified rodent, as opposed to when there was a standard gut bacteria.

The reason I mention it is because there is a big push to develop medications that can rid the brain of beta-amyloid … But how intriguing it is that those of us who are focused on the gut bacteria are now recognizing that it may play a role from such a fundamental level, in terms of the production of amyloid protein in the brain.”

Is it Advisable to Eat Wheat?

I recently interviewed John Douillard, author of “Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back Into Your Diet.” In that interview, I noted Perlmutter appeared willing to embrace many of Douillard’s notions, which center around the idea that there’s a significant difference between whole unrefined wheat and refined processed wheat, and that once gut dysfunction has been properly healed, eating whole wheat can be very healthy.

“Let me first say that I have known John Douillard for about 25 years … I love the guy,” Perlmutter says. “He’s dedicated to health. I interviewed him as well and I have to say that I don’t agree with him. His contention is that our ancestors ate wheat at certain times of the year, and that most people can eat wheat and some people cannot. Again, I give him every benefit of the doubt, but I told him in the interview that I don’t agree with him in the nicest way I could.

The thing about wheat and other gluten-containing products … is that gluten, because of its content of another protein called gliadin, is threatening to the lining of the gut. Dr. Alessio Fasano’s research at Harvard has made it quite clear that gliadin, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, causes increased leakiness or permeability in the gut of all humans … That’s a surefire way to imbalance the immune system and augment inflammation in the body …

I want to tell you something very interesting as an observation. After I did that interview with Douillard, the comments on the interview were so positive … because of the fact that we disagreed but we were respectful of each other. We heard each other’s side. We didn’t interrupt. That certainly seems to be pretty unusual these days. I’ll leave it at that. Again, I think he’s a terrific guy. It’s fine to disagree.”

Annual Symposium for the Institute for Functional Medicine

Perlmutter is chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine’s 2017 Annual International Conference, “The Dynamic Brain,” held in Los Angeles June 1 through June 3. The meeting will focus on neurogenesis and neuroplasticity allowing recovery from neural degenerative conditions.

Speakers include Bredesen, Michael Merzenich, the leading pioneer in brain plasticity research at the Buck Institute, Rudolph Tanzi, professor of neurology at Harvard, who will speak about how activity and lifestyle changes affect BDNF, Dr. Terry Wahls, who will speak about strategies to upregulate mitochondrial function and the PGC-1α pathway through diet and other lifestyle choices, and Dr. Joe Pizzorno, a naturopathic physician who will speak about toxicity and detoxification.

“I’ll do the opening keynote … But also, I will focus on the emerging science of the microbiome and how that relates to this so-called gut-brain connection,” Perlmutter says. Online registration for the event closes on May 30, 2017.

For more information about how to safeguard yourself against Alzheimer’s and other chronic disease, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Perlmutter’s book, “The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health.” He’s also written three other books on the topics of eliminating grains for optimal health and optimizing brain health: “The Grain Brain,” “The Grain Brain Cookbook,” and “Brain Maker.”

I also will be releasing a new book, “Fat for Fuel” in May, which will delve into the finer details of nutritional ketosis and its health benefits, which includes improved brain health. Incidentally, Perlmutter was one of over two dozen medical experts who helped edit the book, and I’m deeply grateful for his invaluable contributions.

“I’m really very excited for your new book. I had the opportunity to read it ahead of time and I will tell all your viewers that this is going to be a homerun. Not just in terms of being successful, but a homerun for everyone who reads it.

I want to close with a quote if I could. It’s from Ralph Waldo Emerson … ‘Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail’ … All of us are outliers clearly. You have really left a trail for so many people to follow that isn’t where the path may lead. I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve done this all these years and you continue to do it, because it’s a beacon for all of us.”

Fat for Fuel” is my 10th book, but it’s the only one I really had a strong desire to write. It emerged out of sheer passion and a deep-seated concern for those needlessly dying from cancer — and the same fundamental dietary intervention that treats cancer also treats Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity.

They all have the same fundamental problem, which is mitochondrial dysfunction. The good news is this metabolic dysfunction can be avoided and reversed using simple, no- or low-cost strategies, some of which have been covered in this interview.

9 Ridiculously Cheap & Easy Organic Recipes

By: Tiffany Gagnon | Eat Clean

organic fruits vegetables

We get it: Organic ingredients are effing expensive compared to their conventional counterparts. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a plate of food you feel shitty about putting in your body—just smarten up about meal planning, instead. For example, you can swap out pricey organic meat and dairy for more cost-effective protein-packed fare like lentils, black beans, and whole grains. And never overlook the value—and time savings—you can get with buying an organic frozen meal or premade ingredients, from time to time. As you’ll see from the nine dinners here, cheap and organic can actually go hand in hand: All our meals ring in at less than $5 per serving.
Related Article: Quick & Easy Recipe For Organic Kale Chips
1) Mango, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing
“Organic meats are going to be expensive; a pound of organic ground beef is roughly $7 at the supermarket,” says Libby Mills, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But a can of organic black beans is a mere $2. A bag of dried organic black beans? Even cheaper.”Serves 62 ripe but firm avocados, pitted, peeled, and cubed
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 ripe but firm mangoes, pitted, peeled, and cubed
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp sugar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15-oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained1. Gently toss avocado with 1 Tbsp of the lime juice in medium bowl. Add mango and jalapeño and gently toss to combine. Set aside.
2. Whisk remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice, cilantro, lime zest, salt, pepper, and sugar in large bowl. Whisk in oil until thoroughly combined to make thick dressing. Add avocado mixture and black beans and toss gently. Spoon salad onto plates, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.(Recipe via Whole Foods Market)2) Whole Grain Tabbouleh Salad  
No one thinks about whole grains as a protein source, but—surprise, surprise!—they are, with 1 cup of quinoa, oats, and even whole wheat averaging about 6 g of protein (the same amount found in an egg). Even better, organic grains are super budget-friendly. Organic quinoa costs, on average, $0.75 per 1/4 cup serving. “Buy bulk or store-brand organic grains, and prevent overbuying for a recipe by bringing your own measuring cups to the store to measure bulk ingredients,” suggests Mills.

Serves 4
Total Time: 35 minutes

1 c cooked quinoa, millet, or barley
1¾ c vegetable broth
1 lg ripe tomato, diced
½ c finely chopped cucumber
⅓ c chopped scallions
⅓ c chopped fresh mint
¼ c chopped fresh parsley and tender stems
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Rinse quinoa in fine metal strainer until water runs clear. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
2. Spread quinoa onto sheet pan to cool. (You can prepare quinoa a day in advance and keep chilled until ready to use.) Transfer cool quinoa to salad or mixing bowl.
3. Add tomato, cucumber, scallions, mint, parsley, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Cover and chill before serving.

(Recipe via Libby Mills)

3) Green Lentil Soup
Lentils are another plant-based protein and money-saving superstar. Organic large green lentils average about $2.49 per pound. “I love this recipe because it makes a light, yet substantial dinner in a pinch,” says Mills.

Makes 2 quarts

1 c green lentils
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lg stalks celery, diced
2 med large carrots, peeled and diced
1 lg onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 qt vegetable or chicken broth
Pinch red-pepper flakes

1. In large pot, bring 1 qt water to a boil. Add lentils and remove from heat. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain water and set lentils aside in bowl.
2. Return same pot to stove; add oil then celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables are tender and onion is translucent. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
3. Add lentils and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer over low heat, 1 hour. Ensure liquid covers lentils, adding more broth if needed. Discard bay leaf before serving.
4. Serve with red-pepper flakes and a dollop of sour cream.

For more summer flavor, add chard or spinach. Cut leaves into bite-size pieces, removing thick center veins. Add chard in the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time and the spinach in the last 5 minutes.

(Recipe via Libby Mills)

 4) Vegan Zucchini-and-Cashew-Nut Stuffing

“This recipe can be enjoyed as a main course casserole with a side of cooked asparagus and fresh garden salad,” says Mills. “Or used as a stuffing to baked tomatoes, baby artichokes, or mushroom caps.”

Serves 8 to 12

3 c oats
2 c peeled and shredded zucchini
2 c cooked quinoa
2 c diced tomatoes
2 c diced onions
2 c vegetable broth
1 c coarsely ground raw cashew nuts
1 c minced fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients and pour into 13″ x 9″ pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes.

(Recipe via Libby Mills)

Related Article: 8 Ways To Buy Natural Organic Food On A Budget

5) Shake and Eat Salads
All you need is a mason jar and a good grip to shake up this organic meal. Sub in 2 to 3 tablespoons of salsa for the Honey Lime Cumin dressing to cut down on prep time and switch up the flavor.

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp fresh lime juice
Pinch cumin

⅓ c cooked black beans or quinoa
⅓ c cooked corn kernels
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 c chopped romaine lettuce, washed and dried

Add all ingredients to mason jar. Start with dressing ingredients, then beans, corn, and tomatoes. Add lettuce last. Chill until ready to shake and eat.