Health tip of the day

Sodium has high affinity for water and can hold 50 times its weight in water within the body’s tissues. Potassium, on the other hand, helps to normalize the body’s degree of water retention. To increase your potassium intake, concentrate on eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

10 tips for staying healthy during the holidays

by Dr. Karen Syrjala, co-director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program

Surviving the holidays with one’s waistline, bank account and sanity intact can be challenging for everyone, but the season affords specific pitfalls—and opportunities—for cancer survivors who are mindful of staying healthy throughout the season and beyond.

If you’re a cancer survivor—or anyone who wants a healthier holiday and less stressful new year—try these tips:


1. Know your holiday stress points. Do certain family members put you on edge? Do you take on too much and then find you don’t have time for it all? Start by asking yourself what makes you feel most pressured or irritable, and then what choices do you have to make this stress more manageable? If you have to see a difficult relative, can you arrange something fun afterward? This way you can remind yourself that in a few hours you’ll be doing something that you enjoy. It will help you get through a potentially difficult time.

2. Are there holiday events or traditions you could live without? Can you gracefully bow out of gatherings or obligations you no longer enjoy? Do you really need to bake all those cookies? Can this be the year you send a Christmas email or a link to your Facebook page instead of all those cards?

3. Are there non-holiday events you could postpone for a week or two? If your holiday to-do list is longer than Santa’s, perhaps schedule your next routine CT scan or mammogram after the holidays.

 4. Remember your precious people. Schedule “together time” with those who may need you the most this holiday season, or those you most want to see. By scheduling ahead you can make sure you make time for what matters most to you. Our bodies and brains respond positively in lots of ways to time spent connecting with those we are close to; consider this important for your health during the holidays.
 5. Keep moving. Physical activity is the clearest step you can take to benefit your health during the holidays and any time of year. It is certain to make you feel good and help your body and brain to function better. It can even reduce your cancer-related risks. Make opportunities to walk or take stairs for at least 10 minutes at a time. If exercising alone is hard, check with your local gym to see if they have a program for cancer survivors. Always consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.
 6. Practice healthy nutrition. Know what foods help you feel and do your best, then focus more on giving your body what it needs (such as fruits and vegetables) and less on trying to avoid certain foods. Eat sweets in moderation and make sure you also get protein, fiber and healthful fats. Eat healthy food before going to a party so it is easier to indulge in moderation. Make an appointment with a nutritionist if you are unsure what is healthy for you or if you have digestion problems.

 7. Know how alcohol affects your health. Alcohol use has been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. If you drink, do so in moderation (one drink a day for women and two for men). Before a social event, plan ahead what and how much you’ll drink. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, such as sparkling water with lime, to help pace yourself and stay hydrated. If it’s hard to say no once you’ve started drinking, then plan to stick with non-alcoholic drinks.

 8. Relax your body and mind. When you are more relaxed you sometimes get more done—and feel better doing it. When you feel wound up or overwhelmed, take five minutes to breathe deeply and scan your body from head to toe. Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose to a count of four, hold your breath for a count of two, breathe out through your mouth for a count of four, and repeat. Check your forehead, jaw and tongue for tightness, relax; then check your neck and shoulders, stretch and move them to find a comfortable position, then continue with your arms, chest, abdomen and legs. You can even breathe and relax your body while driving—just don’t close your eyes!


9. Tend to your body’s needs. Notice if there are parts of your body that aren’t working well. Make a list and an appointment with your doctor for after the holidays. Talk with your doctor if you have fatigue that hasn’t improved with time; mental fog that makes it hard to work or remember things; neuropathy (numbness or pain in your feet, hands or elsewhere), incontinence or other problems that affect your quality of life. Knowing you have a plan for attending to these problems can ease your mind during the holidays and let you focus on other things.

10. Have a long-term plan for your survivorship care. Schedule an appointment to go over your survivorship needs if you aren’t sure about your risks for long-term problems or you aren’t sure what symptoms to watch for to maintain your health. Tap into a survivorship program to help you detail a survivorship care plan to share with your primary care provider. Make appointments now so you can forget about them during the holidays.


Originally published around 1950

BEFORE I realized the actual importance of raw vegetable food, my attitude was exactly the same as that of other doctors — to treat the symptoms of the disease without thinking of preventing it. It ought to be the duty of the medical profession in future to find means of preventing to a much higher degree than now, instead of having to cure later on.
That I, as a doctor, went in for exclusively raw vegetable food is due to the fact that I became ill, even seriously ill, myself. I developed cancer of the breast. The disease had, of course, been preceded bywrong nourishment and wrong habits in the course of my twelve years of hospital training, when I suffered from sluggish digestion and catarrh of the stomach all the time, disorders which are still of quite common occurrence among hospital staff members. Since that time, no change of the hospital diet has taken place in Denmark in this very important domain. On one occasion I was in a dying condition because of a bleeding gastric ulcer. This made me abandon meat and fish, and I became a vegetarian. Later, I took to eating a good deal of raw vegetable food. In this manner my digestion became regulated, and I felt better, though not completely well. In the winter of 1940 to 1941, I was exceptionally tired and dull, but I was unable to ascertain any specific disease. At that time I did not understand what was wrong with me, but in the course of the Spring I discovered a small node in my right breast.
Tired and dull as I was, I did not pay any attention to it until, five weeks later, I discovered that the node was the size of a hen’s egg. It had grown into the skin, a thing only cancer does. As a doctor, I had seen enough to be unwilling to submit to the treatment of cancer generally employed. I consulted my good friend, Dr. M. Hindhede, who dissuaded a trial microscopy. It would open up the blood streams and the cancer would spread; so I gave it up. And then I felt it as quite a natural thing that I would have to carry through a one hundred per cent raw vegetable diet.
I went in search of nature and lived for a time on a small island in the Kattegat, took sun-baths from four to five hours daily, slept in a tent, bathed several times a day, and lived exclusively on a raw vegetable diet. Later I introduced this habit of life at the sanatorium “Humlegarden.”
But I was still tired and continued to be so for the first two months, and during that period the node in the breast did not diminish; it remained unchanged.
But then the improvement came. The node diminished, my strength returned. Apparently I recovered and felt better than I had done for many years. When I had experienced good health in this manner for about a year, I tried by way of experiment (and urged to do so by Dr. Hindhede) to revert to a vegetarian diet supplemented by fifty per cent of raw vegetable food.
But it was no good. In three or four months I began to feel a stinging pain in the breast, in the sore-like tissue which the cancer had left where it had originally adhered to the skin. This pain increased much during the weeks that followed, and I realized that the cancer had begun to develop again.
Once more I reverted to a pure, raw food, which caused the pain to subside rapidly and the fatigue to become less pronounced. But, being a doctor, I realized that I would have to use the experience I had gained to help my sick fellow creatures. So I set up my home so that I could have four or five patients staying with me the next summer. We took a hundred per cent raw vegetable diet and all went well; but it was not satisfactory with so few patients. I understood that this cause would have to be advocated under quite different and larger conditions if any proofs were to be given. On my initiative, a joint stock company was then formed which bought a property, “Humlegarden,” well suited for the purpose; it was set up as a sanatorium, where I became the chief physician. Here, we eat only raw vegetable food, patients as well as employees, and the establishment is now in its sixth year.
Now, what is the reason why a one hundred per cent raw vegetable diet exerts such a beneficial effect on civilized individuals? First and foremost, because the raw food is live food as it is handed to us by nature. We all know that life on earth is completely dependent on our sun. If we had no sun, the earth would be without any life, dark and icy cold. Vital force is therefore identical with sun energy!
According to Dr. Hesselink, it is, however, only the plant with its widely unfolded thin green leaves, that is able to catch the sunlight and to deposit it in the form of roots and tubers, fruit and seeds. We human beings, and the animals, with massive bodies, are not able to utilize it to a sufficiently high degree. Therefore, both man and beast use plants as carriers between the sun and themselves. A fresh, raw vegetable diet is sunlight nourishment!
Dr. Bircher-Benner, of Zurich, realized this long ago. Dr. Hesselink, from Holland, believes that it is the atoms which are the carriers of the solar energy.
Fresh, raw vegetable food possesses the highest nutritive value, and this cannot be increased or improved; anything else, such as heating, drying, storing, fermentation or preservation, will tend to reduce and destroy its value. Boiled vegetables taste of nothing, so something must be done to make them palatable. We mix many different things together; we add salt, sugar, spices and butter. We remove the germ and the husk from the wheat to use the flour for baking. We polish the rice, we refine the sugar; we remove the skin, seeds, and cores of apples and pears, we peel the potatoes and scrape the carrots. Meat, fish, eggs and cheese supply us with an enormous surplus of animal protein. We make beverages of coffee and cocoa beans, and tea, which contain stimulating poisons.
We use the grapes for wine and brandy — intoxicating poisons — which first stimulate the gray cortex of the brain, and later paralyze it. We preserve food with chemicals, such as benzoic acid, salicylic acid, nitrates, boric acid and sulphurous acid in order that it may keep well, and look attractive. Further, we take anodynes, hypnotics, sedatives, and aperients–all strong chemical poisons — or at any rate, substances that are foreign to the organism. Among drugs which are misused to a great extent, tablets for headache, hypnotics, and aperients are much too predominant. In a small country like Denmark, the adviser on pharmacological matters of the Public Health Authorities is able to give us the following figures: consumption of drugs for headache 150 tons, aperients 15 tons, hypnotics 9 tons–annually.
Nicotine, too, is a ruinous stimulant, a still stronger poison than spirits; it causes sclerosis of the heart and the cardiac musculature to become undernourished. The heart becomes a flaccid bag instead of a firm muscle. Many busy men who die about the age of fifty years die of heart failure caused by chronic nicotine poisoning. Here, too, I have experienced that patients on a pure, raw vegetable diet gradually lose their taste for tobacco completely.
The ground, too, is wrongly cultivated when it is fertilized too much and too uniformly with chemical manure. We may run the risk that the ground becomes just as diseased as man — over-acidified, overnourished, and that it yields sick plants which are not fit for human food.
Raw food is termed live food by me, in contrast with such food as has been treated by heating, which I consider dead food. Care should be taken that the food does not include substances which counteract the chemistry of the organism, so that the waste products are not retained too long and putrefy in the large intestine. The best food is therefore completely natural food which has not been subjected to denaturation of any kind. To this must be added that live food is much easier to digest; it helps in the digestion itself just as the living baby co-operates in its delivery. Raw vegetables have been digested in the stomach and the intestines in an hour; boiled vegetables require almost three hours and leave more waste products, also offensive stools, impure blood, and poisoned and gradually impaired organs, whereas the raw food — live food — the sunlight nourishment, dissolves and excretes these poisons. Raw food is easy to digest, it spares and strengthens the organism in every respect because of its content of life, bases, and vitamins in their natural, living combination and relationship to one another. Everybody who can think, must be able to understand that our present nutrition is highly destructive — and is the most common and most serious cause of physical and psychic diseases and constitutional degeneration. We must seek more wholesome nourishment and more wholesome habits of life if we are to live better now and in the future.We cannot afford to compromise when life and health are concerned. We must follow the only right way — the one hundred per cent raw vegetable diet.
Let us consider for a moment how it influences our many different diseases. In the individual case it will always, on the one hand, depend on how good a constitution the patient has and how old he is, and on the other hand how poisoned, weakened and broken this constitution has gradually become because of preceding wrong nutrition and wrong habits. But it may be said, largely, that if, in spite hereof, the organism is fairly fit for work and able to utilize the exclusively raw diet, the latter will exert a curative effect on almost all our diseases, both those we have acquired during our span of life and those determined by hereditary predispositions.
Even the baby unborn may be injured in various ways. The impaired germ may determine both physical and psychic diseases. The baby may be injured by the wrong nutrition of the mother, because it is nourished through the impure blood of the mother. This may pave the way for disease so that the baby is born ill. After its birth the condition is aggravated, mostly because the mother’s milk is not as good, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Children all over the civilized world are born weaklings in a mild or severer degree, and who can estimate the future consequence thereof? Therefore, the sooner we go in for exclusively raw vegetable food, the sooner and better it will exert its effect. Children are assisted by nature, older individuals are rather opposed by nature. When a mother goes in for pure raw food, her milk secretion is immediately increased, the child thrives in all respects, the vitality is increased, and the mother can soon begin to give even young babies an addition of finely chopped fruit and vegetables; never, however, fruit and vegetables at the same time–always separately. It borders on the incomprehensible that a change can be effected so rapidly, just by giving the child wholesome mother’s milk, as much as it requires, and afterwards fruit and vegetables.
I have often experienced how a large family of brothers and sisters living exclusively on a raw vegetable diet became healthy, happy, lively and nice children in the course of a few months, so good is the effect of the exclusively raw vegetable diet in childhood, which is still assisted by nature and has not yet been ruined. The effect does not appear quite as soon in adults, but it is indisputable that raw vegetable food exerts a good effect on adults too, even psychically it brings about equanimity and harmony, kindnessand sympathy.
But what of the elderly sick or the very sick people who have gone in for this diet too late? How about them?
Well, they have to be patient, energetic, and very interested, and they must be able to rest much, at any rate to begin with. The first few days may be troublesome until they have become accustomed to this different food and habit of life. But they will soon do better; the bowels open regularly — two or three times daily — and this is a great encouragement to many. At the “Humlegarden” garlic has its great share in this improvement. Just one clove with every fruit meal is of effect, but it is, of course, better to eat a medium-sized garlic (from five to ten cloves) with the fruit meals. A number of works by various investigators have been published, dealing with the bactericidal effect of garlic, which people of former times guessed. According to investigations reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1944, a substance known as allicin, which exerts a great inhibitory effect on bacteria, has been found in garlic. This substance has been compared with penicillin in a number of experiments, and it appeared that allicin exerts its effects on practically all bacteria in contrast with penicillin, the effect of which is certainly stronger but much more limited. The use of garlic is rendered difficult because of its peculiar odor; therefore, people in Denmark often return to the “Humlegarden” to undergo a course of treatment with garlic. In the company of others who eat garlic themselves, the odor cannot be smelt at all.
Raw vegetable food, and in particular raw potatoes, exert an excellent effect on all forms of rheumatismand rheumatic arthritis when these diseases have not progressed too far. A good effect is also seen on the diseases related to those just mentioned and of the same causation, namely, loading with uric acid; it applies to psoriasis, hemicrania, stone-formation in the gallbladder, the renal pelvis and the urinary bladder. Almost all diseases of the skin are cured, in many cases even rapidly. Loss of hair, fat formation, and dandruff cease. All infectious diseases are cured or improve.
The garlic we eat exerts an excellent effect on putrefaction in the large intestine, and a clove of garlic in either side of the mouth, placed between the cheek and the teeth, will greatly accelerate the expurgation and cure of diseases in the upper respiratory tract, first and foremost ordinary colds if dealt with in time. Diseases such as catarrh of the nose, the throat and the larynx, bronchitis and tuberculosis of the lungs, inflammation of the frontal sinus or the maxillary sinus, chronic inflammation of tonsils and gums, inflammation of the middle ear, and others, are cured completely in most cases. Gastric catarrh, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, catarrh of the large intestine, and hemorrhoids too.
Women who carry through the raw diet during pregnancy feel well — delivery takes place readily and rapidly and almost without pain, the slender, healthy, strong baby cooperates. The raw food produces copious and good milk for the child during the first year if the mother continues with this diet.
When a person is on an exclusively raw vegetable diet, it will, as a rule, be easy to stop smoking and drinking. Liquor does not taste well with raw vegetables. Smoking does not agree with garlic. On an exclusively raw vegetable diet no stimulants of any kind will be needed any more.
When cancer occurs, the organism is, as a rule, thoroughly destroyed. Cancer is the terminal stage. Here a one hundred per cent raw vegetable diet may prove helpful, alleviate the pain, prolong the life to some extent, because it agrees well with the patient. In the most favorable cases, when the cancer is dealt with in time, it may perhaps also be checked even for many years in some cases. I am an example of this myself, but then the seat of the cancer must not be in vital organs, such as the lungs, liver or stomach. And the treatment with raw food should be commenced as soon as the cancer is discovered, and it is an absolutely necessary condition that it is carried through one hundred per cent.
I want now to tell a little about my own case from 1942 to the present year. Up to 1946 I was doing well on my exclusively raw diet — the cancer of the breast was completely quiescent, and my general health was good.
But in the spring of 1946 we got some dried fruit from Sweden (raisins, dates, prunes, and figs). I thought then that it would be all right to eat it; but it was not. These are fruits which have been treated with chemical poisons in order to preserve them and to make them look attractive. Having taken them for three or four months, I suddenly developed violent pains in the scar-like tissue in the breast, and on closer examination; I found a small node in the right breast, in the same place as before. Once more I reverted to the fresh raw food, and the node disappeared.
The last and most dangerous thing for me was, however, the trial microscopy against which I had been dissuaded by Dr. M. Hindhede. I had to let it be done because so many — doctors in particular — maintained that I had never been suffering from cancer. It was made at the Radium Center in Copenhagen, in January, 1948. This trial microscopy was positive; there were cancer cells in the scar-like tissue in the skin of the right breast, but it was a benign form called scirrhus. My originally malignant, rapidly growing form of cancer had thus, under the influence of raw food, been converted into a benign form of cancer, which remains quiescent. But still this interference was just on the point of stirring up the cancer so much as to frighten me seriously. For the first time I developed metastases (two small nodules) in the armpit; and about six months on the exclusively raw diet were required to make them subside again. But it went well this time. Since then I have been in excellent health — all through last summer I was up at sunrise, and in my garden where I have been working hard several hours daily. This was far more wholesome than sitting indoors working as a doctor. Not only had I the patients at the “Humlegarden,” but also a large practice and correspondence out of town; this was more than I could manage.
On January 1st, 1949, I stopped practicing and took up gardening again, which had always been my great interest. For this purpose I had acquired about half a hectare (about one-and-a-quarter acres) of land near the “Humlegarden,” and here I learned how right it was to grow both fruit and vegetables biologically, that is, according to the laws of life. For manure I use only compost, seaweed, straw or hay; no chemical manure, no dung.
In conclusion, just a few words about the practical conditions and the everyday use of raw vegetable food. I am glad to be able to refer to my book Live Food,* which has just been brought out by a Dutch publishing house and which gives a detailed picture of the procedure to be followed when changing to a pure raw vegetable diet. (* not available in English)
It would be of great consequence if the medical profession would acquire greater knowledge in this field to a higher degree than is actually the case. Doctors from Denmark and from foreign countries have visited the “Humlegarden” for shorter or longer periods and have utilized their experience in their practice. The “Humlegarden” is visited by about one thousand patients annually. Here the patients, as well as the members of the staff, live exclusively on food that has not been treated by heating, and our experience is that a transition diet is quite superfluous. The raw vegetable diet can only be varied according to the seasons, and consists of three meals daily. We get a fruit meal in the morning and in the evening, and a vegetable meal in the middle of the day. Fruit and vegetables are never mixed. If the condition of the teeth permits it, the raw food is taken whole, otherwise it must be grated and reduced to small particlesimmediately before the meal. Once the raw food has been grated or chopped, it will not keep because it loses its content of vitamins. The raw food should be carefully chewed, preferably so well that it passes down all by itself, and even the grated raw food should at any rate be mixed well with saliva. We drink raw whole milk with all our meals, from half a liter to one liter daily (one liter equals one-and-three quarter pints approx.). Germinating corn, or dried corn, crushed or ground immediately before the meal is taken with the fruit. Garlic is medicine and is eaten with fruit and milk, cut into small pieces in varying quantities. All kinds of nuts provide a good supplement. The vegetable meal consists of green leaves, roots and tubers, with an admixture of a spoonful of honey. Potatoes are eaten with the peel because of the presence of an element, fluorine, which preserves the enamel of the teeth. Similarly, all fruit is eaten with the peel. In the cases of diseases such as gastric catarrh, gastric ulcer and the like, care should, however, be taken during the initial stages.
If the exclusively raw food with its associated sound habits of life prevails, a variety of things will improve. Diseases will gradually be obviated. Obesity, the most dangerous of all diseases, will become a rarity.
The housewife’s work will be reduced to half the time–and the leisure hours thus gained will be an invaluable advantage and joy for husband, children and home. The slender build, the erect carriage, the supple gait, the fresh complexion, the white, sound teeth and the vigorous hair will dominate the picture. When the body is healthy, the result will invariably be a sound mind. Our negative thoughts will be changed into positive ones, and develop the great cultural progress which the world is waiting for. Only then will life be worth living.

How cancer feeds on sugar (and other big reasons to avoid refined sweets)

(NaturalNews) Not only is sugar the primary source of excess calories in the United States, but the latest research also shows that cancer cells lap up high-fructose corn syrup, adding yet another reason to avoid it.

A couple of years ago, researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles found that pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and reproduce, debunking earlier assumptions that all sugars were the same.

Tumor cells that were fed glucose and fructose used those sugars in two different ways, the research team said.

‘Major significance for cancer patients’

Their findings, which were published in the journal Cancer Research, could help explain earlier studies that have linked ingestion of fructose with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

“These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation,” Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote in 2010.

“They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth,” he said.

Americans, much more than people in most other industrialized nations, consume an incredible amount of fructose, mainly high fructose corn syrup, which is a mix of fructose and glucose used largely in sodas, bread and a host of other processed foods.

Incredibly, there is still no consensus among politicians, industry experts and some healthcare specialists over whether high fructose corn syrup and other sugary ingredients increase the nation’s collective belt line (though Natural News readers and most reasonable people who don’t grow corn for a living already know the answer to that “debate”). That’s likely why there hasn’t been more public education about the consequences of consuming fructose-heavy, processed foods.

Tumor cells thrive on all sugars

That said, some groups know the truth and have tried to speak it loudly. The American Heart Association, for example, says too much sugar of any kind will not only bust your belt but increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

And a number of states, including New York and California, have considered levying a tax on sugary sodas to help pay for patients suffering from obesity-related diseases and who are covered under government health insurance programs. But these taxes have been successfully opposed, for the most part, with the help of millions of dollars in lobbying money from interest groups who say sugar is sugar.

Heaney’s team found otherwise, Reuters reported. During trials, they grew pancreatic cancer cells and fed them both glucose and fructose.

The tumor cells thrived on both kinds of sugars but proliferated with fructose.

“Importantly, fructose and glucose metabolism are quite different,” the team wrote.

“I think this paper has a lot of public health implications. Hopefully, at the federal level there will be some effort to step back on the amount of high fructose corn syrup in our diets,” Heaney said in a statement.

Consumption of high fructose grew rapidly in the U.S. – by 1,000 percent – between 1970 and 1990, about the time the obesity epidemic began in earnest.

History of disease linked to sugary diets

High fructose corn syrup has also been linked to other medical conditions and diseases:

— A diet high in corn syrup causes the body to produce excess uric acid, which worsens gout – a condition caused by high levels of uric acid – according to a study published in the March 2012 Journal of Nutrition.

— Researchers at the Duke University in North Carolina said high fructose consumption can worsen non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by “depleting their store of critically important molecules called ATP, which provide liver cells (and other body cells) energy for important cellular processes, including metabolism,” Science Daily reported.

— A study published in the Journal of Nephrology found that ingestion of “dietary fructose” worsens kidney disease by inhibiting intestinal calcium absorption and inducing vitamin D deficiency.


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BPA-Free Products Still Contain Bisphenols of Equal Toxicity

By Dr. Mercola
Just when you thought you’d learned everything there was to learn about how to avoid bisphenol-A (BPA), the endocrine-disrupting plastics chemical, new research shows that there’s more hormone-disrupting bisphenols around you than you probably thought.
In answer to consumers’ demands to drop BPA from products, many manufacturers have simply switched to using a different—but equally toxic and perhaps even more toxic—chemical called bisphenol-S (BPS).

It May be BPA-Free, But What About BPS?

BPA, an estrogenic plastic by-product used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, can leach into food or drinks from the plastic containers holding them. BPA has been identified as an estrogen-mimicking compound since the 1930s, and is known to be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, infants and children. In fact, in the early 1930s BPA was used as an artificial estrogen to not only fatten poultry and cattle, but as a form of estrogen replacement therapy for women of the times. It was only in the 1940s that Bayer and General Electric used BPA to harden polycarbonate plastics and make epoxy resin.
It has since become one of the world’s highest production volume chemicals and has been widely reported in the media as being a suspected disruptor of your body’s hormones.
Canada, in September 2010, declared BPA as a toxic substance, but to date no other country has followed suit, although BPA has been banned in baby bottles in Europe and the US. As a result of the widespread consumer backlash, however, many companies have rolled out “BPA-free” plastic products, ranging from bottles and sippy cups to reusable water bottles, meant to appeal to those health-conscious consumers looking to avoid toxins.
Unfortunately, this may be just a ruse, as studies now show another bisphenol, bisphenol-S (BPS), is now showing up in human urine concentrations at levels similar to those of BPA.i This suggests that many manufacturers are simply swapping one bisphenol for another.

BPS May be Less Known, But That Doesn’t Make it Less Toxic

Similar to the way food manufacturers label a bag of gummy bears as “fat-free,” implying it’s good for you while staying silent about the massive amounts of sugar they contain, plastics manufacturers can legally make it appear their products are safe by labeling them BPA-free, even though they may contain BPS, or another similar toxic chemical, that they don’t mention. More corporate lies of omission that can and do hurt your health.
In the case of BPS, there’s reason to believe it is just as dangerous to human health, and possibly more so, than BPA, although the research is not nearly as abundant just yet. Writing in the journal Toxicology In Vitro, researchers stated:ii
“In 2011, the European Commission has restricted the use of Bisphenol A in plastic infant feeding bottles. In a response to this restriction, Bisphenol S is now often used as a component of plastic substitutes for the production of babybottles. One of the major concerns leading to the restriction of Bisphenol A was its weak estrogenic activity. By using two highly standardised transactivation assays, we could demonstrate that the estrogenic activity of Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S is of a comparable potency.”
Not only does BPS appear to have similar hormone-mimicking characteristics to BPA, but research suggests it is actually significantly less biodegradable, and more heat-stable and photo-resistant, than BPA. GreenMedInfo reports:
“… while regulators wait for manufacturers who promote their products with “BPA-Free!” stickers at the same moment that they infuse them with BPS to voluntarily reformulate,there isevidence now that BPS may actually have worse effects to environmental and human health, alike..
… BPS’ relative inability to biodegrade indicates: 1) once it is absorbed into the human body, it may accumulate there for longer periods of time. 2) it is more likely to persist in the environment, making external exposures to it, and its many metabolites, much more likely than the faster degrading BPA. In other words, its potential to do harm will worsen along the axis of time, not lessen, which is a common argument made for the purported “safety” of BPA.”

Just How Many Chemicals are Lurking in Your BPA-Free Plastic?

You would think labeling a product “BPA-Free” would be some measure of protection against ingesting toxic plastic by-products, but it turns out that tests on plastics using this label have not been conducted under real-world conditions like running the plastics through a dishwasher or heating them in a microwave.
In a study meant to simulate “real-world” use, 95 percent of all plastic products tested positive for estrogenic activity, meaning they can still disrupt your hormones even if they carry a BPA-free label. Even more disconcerting is the finding that BPA-free plastics in some cases leached more BPA than the non-BPA free plastics.iii
In some cases, instead of actually removing BPA from their products, manufacturers are only taking out a percentage of it, which means we’re still being exposed to it, only now in undisclosed amounts. The truth is there’s an alphabet soup of toxic chemicals in almost everything you come in contact with, from plastics to PVC water lines to canned goods, which are lined with BPA-containing plastic. Thermal receipt paper, all world paper currency and those sealants your dentists want to put on your and your children’s teeth also are primary sources of BPA exposure.
But again, BPA is not the only culprit; it’s simply the most highly publicized one. There’s also Bisphenol AB and AF, Bisphenol B and BP, Bisphenol C, Bisphenol E, F, G, M, S, P, PH, TMC and, yes, there’s even a Bisphenol Z. Any one of these can be in your BPA-free baby bottle or sippy cup, unfortunately.

Who’s Minding the “BPA-Free” Store?

Now that BPA-free products are beginning to flood the market, you may be interested to know that we actually know relatively little about what’s really in these new plastics, and what little we do know comes right from the manufacturers. The Atlantic reported:iv
” … because the U.S. system of regulating chemicals relies primarily on information supplied by a material’s manufacturer, we know relatively little about these new plastics.
“… Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. law that regulates chemicals in commerce, it’s entirely permissible to launch a new material into high-volume production without disclosing its precise chemical identity or any information about its toxicity. This makes it impossible for the public to assess product safety independently of manufacturer claims. And currently, despite EPA and FDA policies that support “safe” alternatives to a chemical of concern like BPA, neither federal agency conducts safety testing of new materials destined for consumer products before they come on the market.”
So it’s very much an anything goes attitude when it comes to the chemicals used in countless consumer products. Until the system changes – if the system changes – your safest bet is to avoid plastic products as much as possible.

Glass is One of the Best Alternatives

If you’re interested in avoiding any number of chemical toxins leaching into your food and beverages, choose glass over plastic, especially when it comes to products that will come into contact with food or beverages, or those intended for pregnant women, infants and children. This applies to canned goods as well, which are a major source of BPA (and possibly other chemicals) exposure, so whenever you can, choose jarred goods over canned goods, or opt for fresh instead. Another good idea is to ditch plastic teething toys for your little ones and choose natural wood or fabric varieties instead.
To be fair, you probably can no longer completely eliminate your exposure to BPA, BPS and similar toxins (since they’re likely in our air, water, and food, too) but you can certainly reduce your exposure dramatically by making informed choices like those described above.



By David DiSalvo, Forbes
Overeating, poor memory formation, learning disorders, depression  – all have been linked in recent research to the over-consumption of sugar. And these linkages point to a problem that is only beginning to be better understood: what our chronic intake of added sugar is doing to our brains.
How Much Sugar Are We Consuming?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes 156 pounds of added sugar per year. That’s five grocery store shelves loaded with 30 or so one pound bags of sugar each.  If you find that hard to believe, that’s probably because sugar is so ubiquitous in our diets that most of us have no idea how much we’re consuming.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) puts the amount at 27.5 teaspoons of sugar a day per capita, which translates to 440 calories  – nearly one quarter of a typical 2000 calorie a day diet.
The key word in all of the stats is “added.”  While a healthy diet would contain a significant amount of naturally occurring sugar (in fruits and grains, for example), the problem is that we’re chronically consuming much more added sugar in processed foods.
That’s an important clarification because our brains need sugar every day to function.  Brain cells require two times the energy needed by all the other cells in the body; roughly 10% of our total daily energy requirements.  This energy is derived from glucose (blood sugar), the gasoline of our brains. Sugar is not the brain’s enemy — added sugar is.
BNDF Explained
Research indicates that a diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, our brains can’t form new memories and we can’t learn (or remember) much of anything. Levels of BDNF are particularly low in people with an impaired glucose metabolism–diabetics and pre-diabetics–and as the amount of BDNF decreases, sugar metabolism worsens.
The Side Effects
In other words, chronically eating added sugar reduces BDNF, and then the lowered levels of the brain chemical begin contributing to insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which eventually leads to a host of other health problems.  Once that happens, your brain and body are in a destructive cycle that’s difficult if not impossible to reverse.
Research has also linked low BDNF levels to depression and dementia. It’s possible that low BDNF may turn out to be the smoking gun in these and other diseases, like Alzheimer’s, that tend to appear in clusters in epidemiological studies. More research is being conducted on this subject, but what seems clear in any case is that a reduced level of BDNF is bad news for our brains, and chronic sugar consumption is one of the worst inhibitory culprits.
Other studies have focused on sugar’s role in over-eating.  We intuitively know that sugar and obesity are linked, but the exact reason why hasn’t been well understood until recently.  Research has shown that chronic consumption of added sugar dulls the brain’s mechanism for telling you to stop eating.  It does so by reducing activity in the brain’s anorexigenic oxytocin system, which is responsible for throwing up the red “full” flag that prevents you from gorging.  When oxytocin cells in the brain are blunted by over-consumption of sugar, the flag doesn’t work correctly and you start asking for seconds and thirds, and seeking out snacks at midnight.
What these and other studies strongly suggest is that most of us are seriously damaging ourselves with processed foods high in added sugar, and the damage begins with our brains.  Seen in this light, chronic added-sugar consumption  is no less a problem than smoking or alcoholism. And the hard truth is that we may have only begun to see the effects of what the endless sugar avalanche is doing.

Nursing Your Sweet Tooth


Nursing Your Sweet Tooth
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