Colon polyps - Dr. Axe

Colorectal cancer —  now the second most common cause of cancer death in the U.S. — usually begins as a “polyp,” which is why another name for colon polyps is “colorectal polyps.” The type of colon polyp called an adenoma is a known precursor of colorectal cancer. While in some cases small colon polyps will develop into colon cancer over time, most colon polyps remain small, are non-cancerous and are generally harmless.

How common is it to have polyps in the colon? Polyps are considered “very common” in adults over the age of 60, who have about a 25 to 30 percent chance of having a polyp. However they are much less common among younger adults, such as those in their 20s or 30s. (1)

Doctors highly encourage adults over the age of 50 to visit their doctors for regular colorectal screenings, since finding a colon polyp in its earliest stages greatly limits the chances of complications. Certain lifestyle changes can also help to reduce your risk of developing colon polyps and colorectal cancer, or to support recovery — including eating an anti-inflammatory diet, quitting smoking, exercising, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, and maintaining a healthy weight.

What Are Colon Polyps?

A colon polyp (or colorectal polyp) is an extra piece of tissue, or a small clump of cells, that grows on the lining of the colon. (2) Colorectal polyps can grow in any part of the colon — also known as the large bowel or large intestine, which solid waste moves through before leaving the body — usually forming on the left side of the colon and/or in the rectum. (3) The rectum, where feces is stored before being excreted, begins at the end of the large intestine and ends at the anus.

Types of Colon Polyps:

There are two main types of colon polyps: non-neoplastic polyps and neoplastic polyps (which include adenomas/tubular adenomas). (4)

  • Non-neoplastic colon polyps usually do not become cancerous. These include hyperplastic polyps, inflammatory polyps and hamartomatous polyps.
  • Neoplastic polyps are more likely to become cancerous, although they don’t always. These include adenomas and serrated types.
  • Neoplastic polys are typically larger. Determining colon polyp size is an important part of diagnosis because larger polyps pose a greater risk of causing cancer.

An adenoma (a type of neoplastic polyp) is a tumor of glandular tissue. According to the American Cancer Society, “An adenoma is a polyp made up of tissue that looks much like the normal lining of your colon, although it is different in several important ways when it is looked at under the microscope.” (5) It’s estimated that two-thirds of colon polyps are the precancerous type called adenomas, and that only about 5 percent of adenomas progress to cancer. (6)

Adenoma polyps are not a type of cancer, but they are considered pre-cancerous (meaning that they can turn into cancers). However, most patients with adenoma polyps will never develop colon cancer.

Adenomas can have several different growth patterns, including: tubular and villous, or a mixture of both (called tubulovillous adenomas). Most are tubular adenomas that are small (less than one-half inch), while some are larger adenomas with a villous growth pattern that are more likely to have cancers develop in them.

When viewed under a microscope, polyps that are only mildly abnormal are said to have low-grade (mild or moderate) dysplasia, while polyps that are more abnormal and look more like cancer are said to have high-grade (severe) dysplasia. (7)

Colon Polyps Symptoms & Signs

Not everyone with colon polyps will be aware that they have them; in fact, most of the time colon polyps don’t cause any noticeable symptoms.

When they do occur, the most common colon polyps symptoms include: (8)

  • Rectal bleeding (which can also be caused by other conditions, not polyps, including hemorrhoids, or tiny tears in the tissue of the anus). You may notice blood on your underwear or on toilet paper after a bowel movement.
  • Blood in your stool or other changes in your poop color, such as dark red streaks or black stools.
  • Stomach pain, abdominal cramping and aching/tenderness near the bowels. Large colon polyps are more likely to cause pain because they may partially obstruct your bowel.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Developing anemia due to iron deficiency and prolonged bleeding. Bleeding from polyps can deplete your body of iron, making it difficult to produce red blood cells and carry oxygen throughout your body, leading to symptoms like fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath.

Colon Polyps Causes & Risk Factors 

Colon polyps develop when cells grow and divide in an abnormal way inside the colon or rectum, leading to a growth that may become big enough to obstruct the bowel. This can happen to due inflammation of the large intestine, or mutations in certain genes that cause cells to continue dividing when they normally wouldn’t.

Research suggests that colon polyps causes and risk factors that can increase your chances of developing colon polyps include: (9)

  • Being over the age of 50.
  • Being male. Studies indicate that men are more likely to have colonic neoplasms and twice as likely to have advanced lesions compared to women. Advanced neoplasia polyps affect about 2.9 percent of women in their 50s compared with 4.7 percent of men of the same age.
  • Having a personal or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer.
  • Suffering from leaky gut syndrome (aka intestinal permeability) or inflammatory gastrointestinal issues or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Metabolic syndrome and having type 2 diabetes.  Individuals with type II diabetes have a 3-fold increase in colon cancer compared with nondiabetic individuals.
  • Obesity or being overweight. Studies conducted in Germany, Japan and the U.S. have found a two- to three-fold increased incidence of colorectal neoplasms in overweight individuals.
  • Suffering from chronic inflammation, including having high circulating levels of glucose and lipids that create an oxidative environment.
  • Having high serum IGF-I (insulin like growth factor) concentrations than the general public.
  • Being a smoker.
  • High alcohol consumption.
  • Lack of exercise/a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Having a rare hereditary disorder that affects the intestines and can cause colon polyps to form, including: Lynch Syndrome (aka hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer), Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), Gardner’s Syndrome, MYH-Associated Polyposis (MAP), Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome or Serrated Polyposis Syndrome.
  • Being African-American (African-American are also at higher risk of developing colon cancer).
  • Being deficient in calcium and/or suffering from vitamin D deficiency.

Diagnosis of Colon Polyps

You should visit your doctor if you start noticing new symptoms like abdominal pain, bloody stools and unexplained changes in your bowel habits — especially if you’re at an increased risk of developing polyps or colorectal cancer (for example if you have a family history of colon cancer).

Because you can have colon polyps and not experience any symptoms at all, it’s important to have regular screening tests after the age of 50, such as a colonoscopy. Polyps are least likely to develop into cancer or cause other problems if they are removed when they are small and their in early stages. A study called The National Polyp Study found that colonoscopic surveillance was associated with a 76 to 90 percent reduction in cancer incidence. (10)

Screening tests used to diagnose colon polys include: (11)

  • Colonoscopy or virtual colonoscopy, a minimally invasive test that uses a CT scan to view the inside of your colon. A colonoscopy is an outpatient test in which a long, thin flexible tube with a camera and a light on the end are inserted into the colon.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, when a tube is inserted in your rectum to examine the last third of your large intestine.
  • Stool-based tests to look for blood.

If your doctor finds a colon polyp during a screening exam (an examination of your bowel), he/she will discuss whether the poly may be cancerous or pre-cancerous.

Are large colon polyps usually cancerous? When it comes to colon polyp size, the larger a polyp is, the more likely it is to be cancerous. This is especially true of especially with neoplastic polyps, including adenomas and serrated types (which look flat under a microscope). But to reiterate, having an adenoma does not mean you will definitely develop cancer.

How long does it take for a colon polyp to turn into cancer? It’s believed that it may take around 10 years for a small adenoma to transform into a cancerous polyp. (9) Because cancer can take a long time to form, this is why it’s so helpful to screen early and remove polyps before it’s too late.


Colon polyps treatment - Dr. Axe

Conventional Treatment for Colon Polyps

To help prevent cancer from potentially forming, doctors commonly remove colon polyps and test them. It’s most important to have a colonoscopy performed if in the past you’ve: had one or more adenomas within the previous 5 years, you’ve had more than two adenomas measuring 0.4 inches (about 1 centimeter) or larger, you’ve had more than 10 adenomas, or you’ve had a very large adenoma that was recently removed.

Colon polyps treatment typically includes:

  • Removal of adenoma polyps. If an adenoma is found during a colonoscopy, it is usually removed and biopsied to check for cancer. Polyps can be removed in several ways, such as witha wire loop (polypectomy) or a liquid that is injected into the tissue surrounding the polyp to make it separate. A laparoscopy can also be performed by inserting an instrument called a laparoscope into the bowel.
  • Surgery to remove a large adenoma. When an adenoma becomes too large to remove during colonoscopy, surgery may be needed to have the adenoma removed.

Unfortunately, it’s common for polyps that have been removed to come back. Around 30 percent of patients will develop new polyps after removal, which is why follow-up tests are recommended over the next 3–5 years. There’s some evidence that taking a daily aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce the risk of new polyps forming, but this is not a guarantee and may contribute to side effects.

4 Natural Remedies for Symptoms of Colon Polyps

1. Healthy, Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Prior to having screening tests done to look for colon polyps (including a colonoscopy), it’s recommended that you eat a low-fiber diet for four to five days to reduce the chances that fiber will remain in your colon wall and block the doctor’s view.

What type of diet is best if you’ve been diagnosed with colon polyps? A healing diet that includes plenty of antioxidants, fiber and essential nutrients helps to protect the large intestine and may be beneficial for fighting cancer.

  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Some of the best for protecting against cancer include: cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, leafy greens like kale and spinach, sea vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, mushrooms, carrots, beets, tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Incorporate other nutrient-dense and cancer-fighting foods into your diet such as: fresh herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, basil, parsley or oregano, herbal infusions, fresh green juices, green tea, matcha tea, cocoa powder, organic, grass-fed and/or pasture-raised meats, wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines or herring, olive and coconut oil, nuts, seeds and raw garlic.
  • Reduce consumption of added sugar, refined grains, foods with additives and preservatives, and alcohol. Have no more than two alcoholic drinks a day if you’re a man, or one drink a day if you’re a woman.
  • Eventually, increase your fiber intake. Replace processed grains with 100 percent whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat and rolled oats. Other high-fiber foods to have often include: avocados, berries, apples and pears, coconut flakes, figs and dates, artichokes, winter or acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, beans and legumes, flax seeds and chia seeds.
  • Increase your consumption of calcium (from foods, not supplements), which studies suggest can help prevent recurrence of colon adenomas. Foods high in calcium include: raw milk, yogurt, kefir, fermented cheeses, kale, sardines, broccoli, okra, kale beans and almonds.
  • Consider having more plant-based meals and eating less meat, especially processed meat like hot dogs, cold cuts, cured meats like salami, deli meats, etc. Some studies have found that people who eat diets high in meat (especially processed meat and red meat) have higher rates of colon cancer.

2. Treating Vitamin D Deficiency

Research has shown that vitamin D may be protective against colorectal cancer and is supportive of immune function in general. For example, a 2014 study published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology states that “several studies confirmed that increasing vitamin D3 lowers colon cancer incidence, reduces polyp recurrence, and that sufficient levels of vitamin D3 are associated with better overall survival of colon cancer patients.” (12)

In the past, if you were at an increased risk for colon polyps, your doctor might recommend taking 1,000 milligrams per day of calcium supplements for help with cancer prevention, depending on your age. However, recent studies suggest that calcium supplements and vitamin D supplements may actually raise your risk of colon polyps. (13)

Studies investigating the effects of calcium and vitamin D supplements on polyp prevention have yielded inconsistent results overall. Recently, a randomized clinical trial tested the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements over the course of 10 years in preventing colorectal polyps. Findings showed that 6–10 years after the start of supplementation, participants had a higher incidence of serrated polyps if they took calcium, either on its own or with vitamin D. However, no such link was found for vitamin D taken on its own.

Given this recent finding, it’s now suggested that adults who have, or have ever had, precancerous serrated polyps — particularly women and those who smoke — should avoid taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.

A better way to prevent vitamin D deficiency is by encouraging your body to naturally make its own vitamin D, which happens when you expose your skin to sunlight for about 15–20 minutes. If you live in a cold climate or don’t spend much time outdoors, discuss with your doctor whether you should be supplementing.

3. Staying Active & Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Stay physically active and getting regular exercise not only has helps you to maintain a healthy body weight, but also has anti-inflammatory effects.

Exercise may even be protective against colon polyps and colorectal cancer due to mechanisms like: reducing inflammation, improving circulation, supporting the immune system, improving digestive function, reducing stress, and helping to prevent diabetes and obesity. Certain studies have even found that getting regular exercise may reduce your colon cancer risk by a whopping 40 percent to 50 percent! (14)

A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight or obese have been linked to higher risk for colon and rectal cancer, so find some type of exercise that you enjoy and can stay consistent with — whether it’s waking, jogging, swimming, cycling, weight lifting, etc. You can work towards losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, managing stress, getting enough sleep and regularly exercising.

4. Reducing Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation of the bowel, which may or may not lead to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can increase your risk for polyps and growths that may become cancerous over time. Some steps you can take to reduce inflammation and improve digestive health include:

  • Eating a therapeutic diet. You may need to work with a dietician/functional medicine doctor if you have IBD in order to help heal your condition with a specific type of diet.
  • Managing stress and getting enough rest and sleep (7-9 hours per night for most adults).
  • Quitting smoking and drinking excessive alcohol.
  • Taking supplements, such as vitamin D, probiotics and omega-3 fish oil supplements.
  • Preventing nutrient deficiencies, such as in calcium.
  • Eliminating certain foods if necessary, such as: gluten, dairy, some FODMAPs, caffeine and alcohol.

To help control inflammation. your physician might recommend that you start taking aspirin daily to reduce your overall colon cancer risk. There have been mixed findings about how effective aspirin is in the situation. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using aspirin or an NSAID drug for added protection against colon conditions.

How to Prevent Colon Polyps

How do you prevent polyps in the colon from forming? While preventing them isn’t always possible, below are ways that research suggests you can help reduce your risk for colon polyps:

  • Quit smoking. For help quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about useful interventions; speak with a therapist; or start an online program that specializes in smoking cessation.
  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fiber and high-antioxidant foods.
  • Treat calcium and vitamin D deficiency by eating calcium-rich foods and exposing your skin to sunlight.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Limit the amount of processed meat and red meat you consume.
  • Take steps to maintain a healthy weight, such as by eating well, staying active, exercising and practicing mindful eating.
  • Talk to your doctor about preventative options and genetic screening tests if you have a family history of colon polyps or a hereditary disorder that causes colon polyps.

Key Points About Colon Polyps

  • A colon polyp (or colorectal polyp) is an extra piece of tissue, or a small clump of cells, that grows on the lining of the colon.
  • The type of colon polyp called an adenoma is a known precursor of colorectal cancer, however, most colon polyps remain small, are non-cancerous and are generally harmless.
  • Many people don’t experience any noticeable colon polyp symptoms, but when they do occur, they can include: rectal bleeding, bloody stools, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.
  • Risk factors for colon polyps include: having a family history of personal history of polyps and/or colorectal cancer, being male, being over 50, smoking, being overweight or obese, having inflammatory bowel disease, experiencing chronic inflammation, and being African-American.

4 Natural Remedies for Symptoms of Colon Polyps:

  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
  2. Treat vitamin D deficiency
  3. Stay active and maintain a healthy weight
  4. Reduce Chronic inflammation, such as by quitting smoking and treating nutrient deficiencies

Read Next: Is a Colon Cleanse Actually Beneficial? What You Must Know …

The post Colon Polyps Symptoms + 4 Natural Remedies appeared first on Dr. Axe.

Source: dr axe

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

I know there are a lot of keto recipes out there today, but sometimes it can be hard to find ones that are loaded with flavor, healthy and easy to make. This roundup of quick keto chicken recipes definitely checks all of those important boxes.

The ketogenic diet is really popular theses days, but it’s actually been around since at least the 1920s. With its focus on reducing carbs while increasing healthy fats, it’s a diet plan that many people are finding extremely attractive whether they’re trying to lose weight, manage their blood sugar better or even address more serious health problems, ranging from neurological diseases to cancer. (1)

If you’re looking for the best keto chicken recipes, you’ve definitely come to the right place. From keto shredded chicken recipes to keto chicken breast recipes, you’re about to have so many new ideas that bring the keto diet into your home in the most delicious ways possible.

25 Quick Keto Chicken Recipes

1. Moo Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is one of those keto chicken breast recipes that isn’t just quick and easy to make (it takes 30 minutes tops), but it’s also loaded with flavor thanks to spices like ginger and fresh veggies like green onions and garlic. Whether you’re looking for a healthy lunch or dinner option, these lettuce wraps have you covered.

2. Keto Chicken Soup

If you’re in search of a keto chicken soup recipe that closely resembles that classic chicken soup you loved as a kid, this is the perfect recipe for you. You even get to keep the noodles, but make sure they’re a keto-friendly option like shirataki noodles.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

Photo: Keto Connect

3. Low Carb Easy Lemon Chicken

If you miss breaded chicken, try this recipe which coats the chicken pieces in coconut flour and cooks them up in coconut oil. This keto take on a classic only takes 30 minutes to make.

4. Keto Chicken Garam Masala

You really can turn all kinds of recipes into keto-friendly fare! To make keto chicken recipes Indian-style, you’ll definitely need to have some delicious, antioxidant-rich spices like turmeric and cardamom on hand. This keto version of chicken garama masala is loaded with protein and rich flavor.

5. Baked Garlic Chicken Thighs

Super simple yet really tasty, this keto chicken thigh recipe is loaded with garlic benefits. One simple change I recommend: use coconut aminos rather than soy sauce.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

Photo: The Healthy Foodie

6. Creamy Avocado “Pasta”

If you’re missing your pasta eating days of the past, this recipe is for you. Get ready for your mouth to start watering as you cover chicken strips and  zucchini noodles in a rich sauce made from healthy ingredients like ripe avocado, full-fat coconut milk, Himalayan sea salt, cracked black pepper and fresh thyme.

7. Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

In addition to being keto, this recipe is also gluten-free and dairy-free. With creative and delicious substitutions like spaghetti squash, coconut milk and nutritional yeast, this chicken broccoli alfredo is sure to impress your taste buds.

8. Grilled Chicken Skewers with Garlic Sauce 

If you’re looking to use the barbecue for your next keto culinary creation, try these grilled chicken skewers with bell peppers, zucchini and garlic sauce. With only eight ingredients total, this is a super easy recipe that is especially great for summer, but is delicious any time of year.

9. Keto Paprika Chicken

Some keto baked chicken recipes just make you want to put them on permanent rotation. You’ll likely feel that way about this savory paprika chicken that pairs really well with a keto-friendly spinach side dish.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

Photo: Peace, Love and Low Carb

10. Low Carb Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

This is yet another easy, crowd-pleasing one pot meal. It’s a perfect recipe to make in large quantities so you have  leftovers for the week ahead.

11. Chicken Breakfast Muffins

How about a chicken keto recipe for breakfast? What a great way to up your protein and healthy fat intake right at the start of the day (although, this recipe is great for any meal). I recommend opting for a healthy cheese like goat cheese for these tasty muffins.

12. Cheesy Keto Chicken Meatballs 

These meatballs are so easy to make that I won’t be surprised if you add them to your regular dinner lineup. Opt for high-quality buffalo mozzarella to create that cheesy goodness.

13. One-Pot Chicken Tinga

You usually know by the “one-pot” in a title that this is going to be one of those easy keto chicken recipes, and it’s definitely true here. This popular Mexican dish can also be made with grass-fed beef instead of chicken.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

Photo: Creme de la Crumb

14. One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus 

If you would prefer your next homemade keto meal involves little effort and loads of flavor, then you have to check this one out. Asparagus is so delicious in this recipe, but you can also try making it with another green veggie of your choice.

15. Bruschetta Chicken

Do you love bruschetta as an appetizer? Now you can turn that love into an amazing meal! Well-balanced and made in 20 minutes, this may easily become one of your go-to keto chicken recipes.

16. Garlicky Greek Chicken

Covering chicken in lemon juice, oil and garlic certainly sounds like a recipe for success to me. This dish is such a crowd-pleaser and is great with veggies like zucchini and asparagus.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

17. Cajun Blackened Chicken

Let’s be honest, some easy keto chicken breast recipes are just plain boring. But that’s certainly not the case with this recipe! With tons of flavor yet minimal effort, this delicious cajun blackened chicken breast can be ready for your enjoyment in just 25 minutes.

18. French Garlic Chicken

Sometimes decadent French recipes can feel intimidating … Not this one. This French garlic chicken recipe is something you could easily order at a French restaurant, but you can just as swiftly prepare it in your own kitchen.

19. Instant Pot Cool Ranch Chicken

Nothing cooks quite as fast as a pressure cooker. In just 15 minutes, you’ll have fully cooked, tender and flavorful chicken waiting for you to enjoy after a long day of work. Paired with Paleo and keto ranch, what more could you ask for?

20. Avocado Chicken Soup with Lime & Cilantro

I don’t know about you, but I personally love a delicious soup any time of year. If you have the time, opt to make your own homemade chicken bone broth for this yummy chicken- and vegetable-centric recipe.

21. Quick and Easy Paleo Chicken Pepper Stir-fry 

This is definitely one of the easiest keto chicken recipes. Basically, all you have to do is combine cooked shredded chicken with some sliced peppers in coconut oil and cook it all up. I recommend upping the vegetable content and adding in some broccoli and onions too.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

Photo: Low Carb with Jennifer

22. Crispy Chicken Thighs

This chicken thigh keto recipe really couldn’t get much easier. You basically just throw on some tasty and nutritious herbs and spices, including smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano. Then you bake the thighs in the oven for an hour. So easy!

23. Keto Chicken Shawarma Salad

A salad made from romaine lettuce, cucumber, red onion and fresh parsley topped with spiced chicken pieces and a perfectly balanced dressing made from olive oil and lemon juice — doesn’t that sound delicious? Fresh, light, simple and satisfying, this is a great keto diet option for lunch or dinner.

24. Grilled Chicken With Chimichurri Sauce

This recipe is bursting with flavor thanks to its signature sauce. It’s a recipe that fits into so many diet plans too, including keto, Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free.

25 quick keto chicken recipes - Dr. Axe

25. Chicken Scarpariello With Sausage and Peppers 

Keto diet chicken recipes are low in carbs, but they shouldn’t leave you unsatisfied! This protein-rich dish contains both chicken breasts and chicken sausages and leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to flavor.

Read Next: 24 Keto Fat Bombs that Will Satisfy Your Hunger

The post 25 Quick Keto Chicken Recipes appeared first on Dr. Axe.

Source: dr axe

Yesterday, we took a look into how the 1st chakra, also called the root chakra, affects our sense of security […]

The post Chakra 2: Joyful Creation for the Sacral Chakra + Medley Diffuser Blend appeared first on Plant Therapy Blog.

Source: plant therapy Blog

1 Which of the following supports healthy thyroid function, boosts metabolism and helps normalize insulin and leptin function?

  • Trans fat
  • Vegetable oils
  • Margarine
  • Coconut oil

    Coconut oil supports thyroid function, normalizes insulin and leptin function, boosts metabolism and provides excellent and readily available fuel for your body in lieu of carbohydrates. Learn more.

2 How many carcasses per minute must USDA food inspectors inspect for signs of disease and fecal material in chicken slaughter lines?

  • 140

    Food inspectors visually inspect 140 carcasses per minute — between two and three chickens per second — for the presence of fecal material; they test for drugs and bacteria during spot checks only. Learn more.

  • 100
  • 50
  • 10

3 Chagas disease is contracted from and spread by which of the following insects?

  • Ticks
  • Triatomines, aka "kissing bugs"

    Chagas infection is contracted through a bite from a triatomine, a nocturnal insect that crawls around on your face while you're sleeping. It will typically bite around the lips or eyes — hence the nickname "kissing bug." Learn more.

  • Mosquitoes
  • Spiders

4 Which of the following placebo treatments or criteria has been shown to be the most effective?

  • Large placebo capsules
  • Small placebo tablets
  • Sham surgery

    The placebo effect taps into your body's own virtual pharmacy. Drugs work because your body has chemical receptors for the drugs, but you also have natural brain chemicals that act on those same receptors, effectively mimicking the results of drugs. Learn more.

  • Sham acupuncture or injections

5 Cumin has a warm, earthy flavor that plays a starring role in which popular spice blend:

  • Herbes de Provence
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Chili powder

    Cumin also features a starring role in many spice blends, including chili powder, garam masala, sofrito and bahaarat. Learn more.

6 The SAR value on your cellphone tells you:

  • How deeply the phone can heat tissue, and the distance from your body required to prevent overexposure that can result in heat-induced cell damage

    Cellphones have a safety limit, beyond which you may suffer heat-induced cell damage. This safety limit, known as the specific absorption rate (SAR), is typically buried in the legal section of your phone, will state the distance from your body required in order to prevent overexposure. Learn more.

  • How powerful the phone's reception is, and how clear your calls will be
  • How safe the phone is in terms of nonthermal, non-ionizing radiation emitted
  • How long you can safely talk on your phone without it causing any biological harm

7 Which of the following has NOT been scientifically linked to autism?

  • Excess vaccination
  • Low manganese levels

    Childhood vaccinations, electromagnetic field exposure and glyphosate exposure through contaminated foods are all pernicious, and all have been shown to contribute to autism. Heavy metal and manganese toxicity can also cause symptoms of autism. Learn more.

  • Electromagnetic field exposure
  • Glyphosate exposure


Source: mercola rss

By Dr. Mercola

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),1 potatoes hold the top spot for highest daily per capita consumption of vegetables in the American diet, edging out tomatoes. This means the average person consumes 48 pounds of potatoes annually, of which about 40 percent are frozen.

While commonly known as a vegetable, due to their nutritional composition, potatoes are better classified as a starch. On the positive side, potatoes are rich sources of fiber, vitamins B and C and minerals like iron and potassium. When cooked then chilled, regular potatoes become a resistant starch, making them easier to digest.

Sadly, the majority of potatoes sold and consumed in the U.S. and elsewhere are in the form of french fries and potato chips. You should avoid these potato types due to the lack of nutrition they provide and also as a way to reduce your exposure to a neurotoxic chemical called acrylamide, which is found in browned or charred foods.

Also, because potatoes are grown in soil, and soil conditions vary widely around the globe, you may be increasing your exposure to toxic pesticides and heavy metals every time you eat a tuber. For that reason, it’s best to purchase organic potatoes and moderate your intake, keeping in mind that even organic brands can be tainted with heavy metals.

The Origin of Potatoes

As a member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, regular potatoes are related to eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. As such, they are a potentially inflammatory food. Potatoes originated in South America, specifically in the Andes Mountains region, and 4,000 edible varieties are said to exist worldwide.2

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers introduced potatoes to Europe. Due to their vitamin C content, potatoes were used during sea voyages to help combat scurvy. In the 18th century, Irish immigrants brought the potato to the U.S.

Today, potatoes are cultivated worldwide, taking their place behind rice and wheat as the world’s third largest crop in terms of human consumption.3 Notably, due to their moderate-to-cool climates, the states of Idaho and Washington produce about half the potatoes consumed in the U.S.4

Each type of regular potato, as well as sweet potato, varies in shape, size, color, flavor and nutritional content.

What Makes Potatoes Healthy?

As mentioned in the featured video, a medium plain baked potato eaten with its fiber-rich skin contains just 160 calories per serving. It also contains about 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. In terms of nutritional benefits, potatoes are:

  • Rich in vitamin C
  • An abundant source of B vitamins, including vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, niacin, pantothenic acid and thiamin
  • Full of minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium
  • A source of phytonutrients, which have antioxidant effects, such as caffeic acid, carotenoids and flavonoids
  • A good supply of soluble and insoluble fiber, which may help prevent constipation and optimize your LDL cholesterol

About the potassium level in potatoes, Victoria Jarzabkowski, a registered dietitian nutritionist on the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, said, "All potatoes are potassium-rich. They have even more potassium than a banana, and a lot of it is found in the skin."5

In terms of the impact of potatoes on blood pressure, CNN noted, “Potatoes … offer vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron, and are an excellent source of potassium. A medium potato provides about 20 percent of the recommended daily value for potassium, an important mineral that may help blunt sodium's effects on blood pressure.”6

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 100-gram potato with its skin on also contains significant portions of calcium, niacin, phosphorous and folate.7

A very small 2013 study8 published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism suggested potatoes exert a greater influence on your satiety — in terms of their ability to reduce your appetite after being consumed — than other carbohydrate side dishes such as pasta.

Cautions About Potatoes: Watch Out for Heavy Metals

Despite their many beneficial properties, potatoes are best consumed in moderation due to their high starch content. Another reason to eat potatoes only occasionally has to do with the soil in which they are grown.

Given the amount of pesticides and heavy metals in ground soil worldwide, unless you grow your own, you cannot be certain of the toxin load you may be ingesting with your favorite tuber. To reduce as much toxicity as you can, it’s vital you choose organic potatoes to avoid the many chemicals routinely sprayed on conventional tubers.

The Pesticide Action Network North America’s “What’s on my Food?” website suggests 35 chemicals were found on potatoes by the USDA’s pesticide data program. Among the 35 chemicals noted are carcinogens and neurotoxins, as well as bee, hormone and reproductive disruptors.9

Even when you choose organic brands, keep in mind they likely contain heavy metals mainly because potatoes are grown in soil, which can be contaminated with metals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead.

Researchers behind a 2018 Consumer Reports’ analysis of 50 nationally distributed packaged baby food products for heavy metal toxicity, including several organic brands of sweet potatoes, stated:10

“Although foods certified as organic by the USDA do have benefits — including lower pesticide levels and less impact on the environment — avoiding heavy metals isn’t one of them. Twenty of the products in our test were labeled organic, and, as a whole, they were just as likely to contain heavy metals as the conventional ones.”

“Arsenic and lead, which have been used in the past as pesticides, are prohibited under organic regulations,” says Consumer Reports’ food labeling expert Charlotte Vallaeys. “Because these heavy metals are contaminants in the soil, there's no reason why organic baby foods would contain lesser amounts.”11

Clearly, if organic sweet potatoes sold in small amounts as baby food have ignited health concerns about heavy metals, you can imagine eating a whole sweet potato also carries some risks.

Choosing reputable sources and eating potatoes in moderation are key to leveraging the nutritional benefits of tubers while minimizing the health risks. Also, as mentioned in the video above, rotating potatoes and other foods known to absorb heavy metals (such as rice) in and out of your diet can also help lower your exposure.

Regular Potatoes Versus Sweet Potatoes: Which Is Better?

While there are a few similarities, regular potatoes are decidedly different from sweet potatoes. As mentioned, potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are part of the Solanaceae family, a plant group that produces a poisonous compound called solanine. For this reason, never eat the leaves or stems of nightshade plants.

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) take their place in the Convolvulaceae family, along with morning glory vines. Unlike regular potato plants, which are highly toxic, the leaves of sweet potato plants can be eaten safely and are quite nutritious.

Potatoes have white or pale-yellow flesh with brown, red or yellow skins. They are either smooth or rough. On the other hand, sweet potatoes can appear in various colors, including cream, pink, purple, orange and yellow.

Some consider sweet potatoes to be a healthier choice than regular potatoes due to their higher levels of nutrients like vitamins beta carotene and C. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets converted to vitamin A in your body and is important for healthy eyes and skin.

As the name suggests, sweet potatoes are indeed sweeter: They contain about seven times the sugar content of regular potatoes. Because of the carbohydrates they contain, both potatoes and sweet potatoes will fill you up, give you energy and leave you satiated for a long time.

The choice of regular or sweet potato is a matter of personal preference and totally up to you. My only recommendation is to moderate your consumption of tubers, regardless of the type you choose. I also advise you eat regular potatoes only after cooking and chilling them to boost your body’s ability to digest them.

The Benefits of Resistant Starch

Most potatoes contain digestive-resistant starch, which consists of complex starch molecules that resist digestion in your small intestine. These starches slowly ferment in your large intestine, where they act as prebiotics, feeding your healthy gut bacteria.12

Because they are not digestible, resistant starches do not cause spikes in your blood sugar. In fact, research suggests resistant starches help improve insulin regulation, reducing your risk of insulin resistance.13

Surprisingly, many leftovers contain resistant starch. After being cooked and cooled in the refrigerator, starchy foods like pasta, potatoes and white rice develop resistant starches. About resistant starches, Paul Arciero, professor of health and human physiological sciences at New York’s Skidmore College, says:14

“Cooking the carbohydrate starch alters the chemical bonds in the food. The ensuing structure of those bonds during the cooling process is what makes them resistant to then being digested in the small intestine.”

The resistant starch remains in the food even after reheating. While potatoes have more resistant starch than sweet potatoes, the total amount of resistant starch in any food depends on the amount of resistant starch found in its raw form, as well as the manner in which the food is prepared.

Learn more about resistant starch and how it helps your body by watching the video above, which was produced by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

Health Effects of Potatoes: Diabetes and Blood Pressure

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition15 observed an association between the consumption of potatoes and french fries and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. The research followed a large cohort of nearly 85,000 women over a 20-year period.

According to CNN,16 the positive association between potato consumption and the risk of Type 2 diabetes in the study was noted primarily in obese and sedentary women, “who are more likely to have underlying insulin resistance, which may intensify the adverse metabolic effects of higher-glycemic carbohydrates.”

A logical conclusion to draw from this research would be the need for moderation when it comes to potato consumption, especially fried potatoes. In general, it’s simply not wise to eat large amounts of potatoes unless you have the metabolic flexibility to burn fat as your primary fuel, get plenty of exercise and avoid long periods of sitting.

In terms of blood pressure effects, one group of scientists found eating six to eight small antioxidant-rich purple potatoes twice a day can have a positive effect on your cardiovascular system. The study authors said, “[P]urple potatoes are an effective hypotensive agent, and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke in hypertensive subjects, without weight gain.”17

In contrast, research completed in 2016, involving data extracted from three large cohort studies, associated the consumption of potatoes — most especially french fries — with an increased risk of high blood pressure.

The study authors asserted, “Replacing one serving a day of boiled, baked or mashed potatoes with one serving of a nonstarchy vegetable was associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension.”18

As you can see, the research results correlating potato consumption and blood pressure are mixed. So, much of how potatoes affect your health is going to depend on the types of potatoes you eat, how you prepare them and how often you eat them.

For certain, if you consume potatoes on a daily basis, I agree with the advice to replace one serving a day with a nonstarchy vegetable. Later in this article, I share recipes that use cauliflower and zucchini as substitutes for potatoes in two popular dishes.

Potatoes You Should Definitely Avoid

While plain baked potatoes can be good for you, potatoes that are fried in oil, such as french fries, hash browns and potato chips, are not healthy. As you may imagine, the process of frying potatoes significantly drives up their health-damaging potential.

One major reason to avoid fried potatoes is due to the unhealthy omega-6 vegetable oils involved in preparing them. Some of these oils, like canola and soybean oil, not only may be hydrogenated, but also genetically engineered.

Processed potato products may also contain trans fat and very often chemical additives and other processed ingredients known to contribute to chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease and obesity.

Some suggest roasting potato wedges tossed in olive oil and rosemary is a healthier alternative to fried potatoes. While that may sound tasty, remember olive oil does not tolerate high heat and can easily be damaged at high oven temperatures.

If you insist on roasting or frying potatoes, try using coconut oil because it is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. Or, better yet, check out my healthy tips on How to Bake Potatoes.

Why Fried Potatoes Are Particularly Bad for Your Health

While not immediately life-threatening, consuming fried potatoes also exposes you to a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical called acrylamide. Acrylamide is the byproduct of a chemical reaction between sugars and the amino acid asparagine at temperatures above 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

Carbohydrate-rich foods such as french fries and potato chips, which are heated to very high temperatures to produce a browned or charred surface, are likely to contain high amounts of acrylamide. Potato chips are, by far, the worst.

According to an analysis performed by the California-based Environmental Law Foundation, all potato chips tested exceeded the legal limit of acrylamide by a minimum of 39 times, and some by as much as 910 times!19

Data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveals that baked chips, which have been touted as healthier, may contain more than three times the level of acrylamide as regular chips.20

Use Zucchini and Cauliflower to Make Healthy Potato Alternatives

An easy way to reduce your starch intake from regular potatoes is to substitute cauliflower and zucchini in dishes that used to be reserved exclusively for potatoes. With respect to zucchini, you may want to try my Scrumptious Baked Zucchini Tots recipe.

Steamed and mashed cauliflower, also known as “caulitators,” has a consistency similar to mashed potatoes and is a healthier alternative to regular mashed potatoes. Below is a simple recipe that feeds eight and can be prepared in about 20 minutes. For the best results, be sure to use organic, grass fed dairy products.


  • 1 large head fresh cauliflower, or 1 to 2 pounds frozen
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, Parmesan cheese or sour cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper and other spices to taste


  1. Steam cauliflower until tender
  2. Place cauliflower in large mixing bowl or food processor
  3. Add other desired ingredients
  4. Blend until smooth and creamy
  5. Top with cheese, if desired, and serve warm

Should You Eat Potatoes?

Like most foods, potatoes can be either healthy or unhealthy depending on how you prepare them, as well as how much and how often you consume them. Eating an organic baked potato on occasion, as part of a balanced meal, can be healthy. On the other hand, consuming french fries and potato chips on a daily basis would not be a healthy choice.

Occasional consumption of sweet potatoes also can be beneficial because they contain just enough sweet to help curb your cravings for other sugary foods. Eating a sweet potato for dinner once in a while is far better than consuming a sugary dessert after the meal.

If you love potatoes, my advice is to take care how you prepare them, how you portion them and how often you add them to your plate. And, to avoid the concerns about potatoes and heavy metals, you might consider growing potatoes in your garden where you can ensure healthy soil.

Source: mercola rss

By Dr. Mercola

Turmeric, a yellow curry spice used in Indian cuisine, has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin is one of the most well-studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric,1 having over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and powerful anticancer actions.

Cancer has an incredible global impact and places a vast financial and emotional burden on the families it touches. Nearly 40 percent of American men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and over $125 billion is spent annually on medical treatment and patient care.2

The American Cancer Society estimated there would be over 1.6 million new cases diagnosed in 2017, equating to 4,630 new cases and 1,650 deaths every day.3 The most common types of cancer include breast, colon, lung and prostate.4

Despite advances in cancer treatment protocols, scientists realize prevention plays an essential role in reducing the number of people who die from the disease. After 30 years of testing more than 1,000 different possible anticancer substances, the National Cancer Institute announced that curcumin has joined an elite group that will now be used in clinical trials for chemoprevention.5

Curcumin May Play a Multitargeted Role Against Cancer Cells

In this interview, Dr. William LaValley discusses the interaction curcumin has on cancer and the multiple ways this molecule affects cancer growth. If you have ever been diagnosed with cancer, it may feel as if it grew overnight when, in fact, cancer cells take years to develop.

The progression of a cell from normal growth to cancer happens through several stages. Deregulation of physiological and mechanical processes that initiate and promote the growth of cancer cells makes use of hundreds of genes and signaling routes, making it apparent a multitargeted approach is needed for prevention and treatment.

Research has demonstrated that curcumin has a broad range of actions as it is able to effect multiple cellular targets.6 Studies have found, based on the activities of curcumin in the body, the spice could be an effective method of cancer prevention, or in treatment when used in conjunction with conventional treatment protocols.

The multifaceted action of curcumin has made it useful in the treatments of several different types of diseases, including colon cancer,7 pancreatic cancer8 and amyloidosis.9

Curcumin triggers a variety of actions that affect the growth, replication and death of cancer cells. Cancer cells lose the ability to die naturally, which plays a significant role in the hyperproliferation of cells common to cancer. Curcumin is able to turn on the apoptosis (cell death) signaling pathway, enabling the cells to die within a natural time span.10

Cancer cells thrive in an inflammatory environment. Although short-term inflammation is beneficial for healing, long-term inflammation increases your risk of disease. Curcumin is able to block the pro-inflammatory response at several points and reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the body.11

The strong anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may match the effect of some drugs.12 Early in development, cancer cells learn to replicate and grow in an environment cells normally find inhospitable. Curcumin may change the signaling through several pathways, and put a stop to this replication.13

Curcumin may also stop the ability of cancer stem cells from replicating and reduce the potential for recurrence after treatment. Curcumin also helps support your immune system, capable of seeking out and destroying early cancer cells naturally.

Curcumin May Enhance Cancer Treatment and Chemotherapy

Some of the same ways that curcumin works in your body are the processes used to enhance your cancer treatments and chemotherapy.

While some chemotherapy has been developed to target specific cells, most therapy drugs are nonspecific and affect all cells in your body. Some studies in the past decade have demonstrated exciting potential for curcumin in the fight against cancer.

In addition to changes to your cells mentioned above, researchers have found curcumin may help protect your body against the damage caused from chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and it may enhance the effect of these same treatments, making them more effective.

These effects have been demonstrated in animal models treating head and neck tumors,14 and in culture of human breast, esophageal and colon cancers.15,16

Patients treated for chronic myeloid leukemia with chemotherapy exhibited a reduction in cancer growth factor when curcumin was added to the treatment protocol, potentially improving the results of the chemotherapy over being used alone.17

Protection against radiation therapy was demonstrated in a study using breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.18 At the end of the study those taking curcumin had less radiation damage to their skin.

Curcumin has also been effective against angiogenesis in tumors, or the growth of new blood vessels to feed the overgrowth of cancer cells, and against metastasis.19

Curcumin is able to affect cancer cells through multiple pathways and has fulfilled the traits for an ideal cancer prevention agent as it has low toxicity, is affordable and is easily accessible. However, while effective, it has poor bioavailability on its own.20

Poor Absorption Has One Benefit

In my interview with LaValley, he discussed the poor bioavailability of curcumin in raw form. Only 1 percent of the product will be absorbed; even supplements that have a 95 percent concentration are absorbed at 1 percent.

This means, when the supplement is taken alone, it is a challenge to maintain a therapeutic level. However, in the case of colon cancer, this poor absorption into the bloodstream may be an advantage.

As there is poor absorption, higher levels of curcumin stay in the intestinal tract for longer periods of time, having an effect on gastrointestinal cancers. In one study, participants took a 1,080 milligram (mg) dose per day of curcumin for 10 to 30 days between their initial biopsy and surgical removal.

The patients taking the supplement experienced a reduction in blood levels of inflammatory agent, improvement in their body weight, and an increased number of dying tumor cells.21

A team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and at Pondicherry University, India, discovered the bioactive ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, can both prevent and cure bowel cancers.22 The team found the compound triggered cancer cell death by increasing a level of protein labeled GADD45a.23 Lead author Rajasekaran Baskaran, Ph.D., who has more than 20 years of experience in cancer research, commented:24

"Studies on the effect of curcumin on cancer and normal cells will be useful for the ongoing preclinical and clinical investigations on this potential chemopreventive agent."

As an increased bioavailability and absorption may also improve the actions of curcumin in the body, researchers have studied a variety of different delivery methods, including oral, intravenous, subcutaneous and intraperitoneal, as well as different formulations of the product.25

Bioavailability improved when curcumin was delivered as a nanoparticle, in combination with polylactic-co-glycolic acid, liposomal encapsulation26 and when taken orally with piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper.27

Multiple Types of Cancer Affected by Curcumin

Research demonstrates that while curcumin has multiple pathways through which it impacts cancer cells, the substance also has an effect on multiple types of cancer. Studies estimate that genetics may play a role in approximately 5 percent of all cancers, with the majority of cancer growth attributed to lifestyle choices.28

Research demonstrates curcumin exhibits activity against breast cancer and decreases the toxic effect against some of the chemotherapy agents commonly used.29 Mitomycin C is a potent antineoplastic drug. However, prolonged use may lead to kidney and bone marrow damage, with secondary tumor growth. Curcumin appears to reduce the side effects of Mitomycin C and improve the efficiency of the drug at the same time.30

Another study demonstrated that curcumin inhibited the growth and metastasis of lung cancer cells.31 One of the deadliest cancers worldwide, pancreatic cancer, also appears to respond to the use of curcumin in preclinical trials.32 The antiproliferative effects on pancreatic cancer appeared to be from a reduction in oxidative stress and angiogenesis and triggering apoptosis of cancer cells.

Apoptosis, anti-inflammatory actions, reduction in angiogenesis and reduction in the adverse effects of chemotherapeutic agents has also led researchers to consider curcumin an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of liver cancer.33 Curcumin also inhibited and slowed the development of bladder cancer in rats,34 stopped the formation of metastasis in prostate cancer,35 and when combined with ultrasound, increased death of cervical cancer cells.36

But not all scientists are convinced by the number of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating the multiple effects curcumin has on the inflammatory response and cancers, as well as the low toxicity profile.37 In one meta-analysis, researchers claimed curcumin could not meet the criteria for a good drug candidate.38

More Benefits to Curcumin

Curcumin offers additional benefits to your health. It may work as well as some anti-inflammatory medications to treat arthritic conditions.39 In combination with aerobic exercise, curcumin was found to improve endothelial cell function in postmenopausal women,40 and was also found to ameliorate arterial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the elderly.41

Disease processes may increase oxidative stress and free radical formation in your body. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant,42 but also may boost the function of your body's own antioxidant enzymes.43

Your brain can develop new connections powered by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).44 Reduced levels of this hormone may be linked to depression and Alzheimer's disease. However, curcumin can increase your levels of BDNF45 and effectively reduce your potential for suffering from age-related reduction in brain function.46

Researchers have also discovered that curcumin has an effect on several pathways in your body that may reverse insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.47 The reduced potential for metabolic syndrome and obesity is related to the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, which may also have an effect on heart disease, atherosclerosis and Type 2 diabetes.48

Genetic Regulation May Be One Powerful Way Curcumin Fights Cancer

It is becoming widely accepted that cancer is not a preprogrammed inevitability, but rather the result of the impact of your environment on genetic regulation that may trigger cancer cell growth. There are multiple influences that may damage or mutate DNA, and consequently alter genetic expression, including:

Nutritional deficiencies


Free radical damage

Toxins and pollution

Chronic infections

Infectious toxic by-products

Hormonal imbalances

Chronic inflammation

Researchers have demonstrated curcumin may affect more than 100 different pathways in your cells, helping to prevent hyperproliferation of cell growth characteristic of cancer, and aiding in the treatment of the disease. Through the reduction of inflammation, prevention of the development of additional blood supply to support cancer cell growth and destruction of mutated cells to reduce metastasis, curcumin has great medicinal and preventive potential.

Several studies have demonstrated an impact on transcription factors and signaling pathways, and have reviewed the molecular mechanisms curcumin uses to regulate and modulate gene expression.49,50,51 Overall, curcumin is powerful, cost-effective and has a low toxicity profile.52

Using a Curcumin Supplement

Turmeric is a wonderful spice used in Eastern culture cuisine. It is one spice I recommend for your kitchen as it works well with tomato sauces, soups, leafy greens, cauliflower, stir-fries and stews. Choose a high-quality turmeric powder instead of curry powder as studies have found some curry powders have very little curcumin.

If you are looking for therapeutic effects, you may want to consider a supplement. It is difficult to achieve a dose of curcumin used in research solely from your diet. Typical anticancer doses range between 1,200 and 3,000 grams of bioavailable curcumin extract.

You can increase the absorption by making a microemulsion, combining 1 tablespoon of curcumin powder with one or two egg yolks and 1 to 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil, as the curcumin is fat soluble. Then use a hand blender on high speed to emulsify the powder.

Absorption may also be increased through boiling. Add 1 tablespoon into a quart of boiling water. (If you add it to room temperature water and then boil, it doesn't work as well.) After boiling it for 10 minutes, you will have created a 12 percent solution and you can drink this once it has cooled down. The curcumin will gradually fall out of the solution over time, and in about six hours it will be a 6 percent solution, so it is best to drink the water within four hours.

Curcumin is a very potent yellow pigment and can permanently discolor surfaces if you aren't careful. To avoid inadvertently staining your kitchen yellow, I recommend you perform any mixing under the hood of your stove with the exhaust fan on to make sure no powder gets into your kitchen.

Alternatively, it is far easier to take curcumin in supplement form — just make sure it's a high-quality brand that is formulated to increase bioavailability. And, look for a turmeric extract with at least 95 percent curcuminoids. Just be aware that these are relatively rare and hard to find.

Source: mercola rss

By Dr. Mercola

What vegetable looks like a cross between a jalapeno, a mini cucumber and a star fruit, has enjoyed a long Southern tradition and was recently found to provide some really incredible benefits for your health? If your answer was okra, you get a thumbs-up, and if you or someone you care about struggles with their blood sugar, not to mention bouts of hunger that only exacerbates their blood sugar woes, listen up.

But first, a little okra history: Also called "ladyfingers," and closely related to both cotton and hibiscus, okra comes in more than one variety, so it can be tinged with red and have either a smooth or a rough and even prickly texture.

A favorite in the American South and areas of Africa and the Mediterranean, where it's usually cooked to reveal a slimy texture, there are (fortunately) serving alternatives; five possibilities, with a few twists, are inspired by Smithsonian Magazine:1

  • Fried okra is the traditional Southern way of serving okra, involving corn meal and so-called "vegetable oils," but it's not the healthiest. If you choose to eat fried okra, at least be sure you use a healthy cooking oil (mentioned below), perhaps with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese added, and cook it at a lower temperature.
  • Gumbo with okra2 for taste and as a thickening agent with the obligatory "holy trinity" of bell pepper, onion and celery is a Southern staple. In fact, the African name "gombo" is where the recipe was derived. It's often mixed with meat, tomatoes and bay leaves.
  • Pickled okra,3 especially the sweet and spicy variety, is another way to serve this little pod, often with dried chilies, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, hot peppers, vinegar, fresh dill, salt and rice wine vinegar.
  • Grilled or oven-roasted okra4 can be as simple as dousing clean, quartered okra pods with olive oil and sprinkling them with salt and pepper on a baking sheet, then cooking for 15 minutes. The best part: It's not slimy and actually becomes partially caramelized.
  • Stewed okra is a great way to add the nutrients but with stronger-flavored flavors, such as beef broth, lamb, balsamic vinegar, cloves, tomato paste, garlic, mint leaves and spices, like in the case of banya,5 an Egyptian meat and okra stew.

It should be noted that far healthier oils than the standard fare include coconut oil, avocado oil, organic grass fed raw butter, ghee and sesame oil, which are recommended when frying. Olive oil is good, but only at temperatures lower than 180 degrees F, as fumes emitted from cooking olive oils can potentially be carcinogenic; plus, the oil is easily damaged by high heat.

Study Shows Okra To Be a Viable Diabetes Fighter

An animal study conducted in 2014 revealed that okra extracts may help reduce oxidative stress and insulin resistance, and as a result, improve blood sugar levels.6 In another clinical study,7 roasted okra seeds, which people in Turkey have eaten for years to offset diabetes mellitus symptoms, were found to do just that.

Additionally, a large phytochemical analysis showed that okra seed extracts also had antistress (adaptogenic) and nootropic (cognitive enhancing) effects on volunteers.8 I also would like to remind anyone with high blood sugar tendencies that managing your ability to handle stress is an important factor in managing diabetes, as over the long term, elevated stress levels can take a toll on your ability to prevent spikes.

Diabetes.org observes that anything that triggers your fight-or-flight response can cause insulin to "pile up" in your blood.9 In the same vein, one reason listing the health advantages of okra consumption is so timely is that the instances of diabetes cases are steadily rising, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2014, it was reported, for instance, that while around 167,000 youth under age 20 had Type 1 diabetes in 2009, more than 18,000 new cases have been estimated for the same age demographic every year since then.10 Differences between the three types of diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes) and the problems each can cause are important to understand.

According to Medical News Today,11 the earlier reference to diabetes mellitus denotes a group of metabolic disorders that prevent your body from properly storing and using glucose, or blood sugar, as fuel; it can be because you don't produce enough insulin, your body's cells fail to respond properly to insulin, or both.

However, not just Type 1 diabetes (when your body fails to produce insulin) but Type 2 (when your body fails to produce enough insulin for proper function) and gestational diabetes (which affects pregnant women) are included in the kinds of diabetes that okra consumption may be able to help. While the research is said to still be in its early stages, okra has proven itself effective for diabetes sufferers.

Beneficial Nutrients in Okra and What They Can Do for You

Okra, aka Abelmoschus esculentus, a rather forgotten garden vegetable, provides a number of valuable nutrients, including fiber. Several of the most prominent of them must be obtained through food, and if you don't get enough of them, a deficiency can seriously compromise your health. Five of the most beneficial include:12

Potassium — A mineral as well as an electrolyte, meaning it conducts electrical impulses through your body, potassium helps normalize your muscle contractions, heart rhythm, blood pressure, digestion, pH balance and more. Because your body doesn't produce it, you must obtain an optimal amount of foods containing it, while making sure it balances your sodium intake.

Folate — One of several B vitamins, this one produces red blood cells and both makes and repairs your DNA, and a deficiency can lead to anemia, depriving your cells of oxygen. One of its most crucial functions is for pregnant women as it's involved with preventing birth defects.

Note: Although many people interchange them, do not confuse folate, which occurs naturally in foods, with folic acid, which is a synthetic form of vitamin B9 used as a supplement and an additive to processed foods.

Calcium — Stored in your bones, it works with vitamin D to ensure your body absorbs it properly to avoid brittle, prone-to-break bones. It also works with vitamin K2 to keep calcium from settling in areas it shouldn't be, such as your arteries and soft tissues, and directing it to where it should be, like your bones and teeth.

Vitamin K — A fat-soluble vitamin that plays critical roles in protecting your heart, building your bones, optimizing your insulin levels and helping your blood to clot properly, vitamin K can help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, multiple types of cancer and even Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin C — This powerful antioxidant lessens both the duration and severity of a cold and is necessary to produce collagen, the most abundant protein in mammals, which keeps your skin and tissues firm but flexible. A "C" deficiency weakens your immune system and is infamously known for causing the sailor's dread: scurvy.

Okra Contains Fiber, Antioxidants and Compounds That Fight Fatigue

Mentioned earlier as one of the many benefits of eating okra, dietary fiber is so important for your overall well-being, it really can't be overstated. Consuming high-fiber foods like okra help the other foods you eat move smoothly through your system and provide the bulk required to eliminate waste from your system. Eight 3-inch-long okra pods provide around 3 grams of fiber.

In one study,13 researchers separated the skin and seeds of immature okra pods to compare their polysaccharides, polyphenols, flavonoids, quercetin and similar compounds, as well as their antioxidant and anti-fatigue activities. It's interesting to note that the scientists wrote that the fairly small doses given to mice in the study are easily obtainable simply by eating okra itself.

The seeds won; the scientists found significantly more anti-fatigue effects because of reduced blood lactic acid and urea nitrogen, which enhanced hepatic glycogen storage and promoted antioxidant ability by lowering the level of malondialdehyde (a marker for oxidative stress14) while increasing superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels.

These results, according to the study, "proved okra seeds were the anti-fatigue part of okra pods and polyphenols and flavonoids were active constituents." Bulk fiber from eating okra has been shown to aid digestion by reducing your hunger cravings and keeping you feeling fuller, which is an important component for controlling diabetes symptoms.

Further, increasing your fiber intake is shown in clinical trials to encourage improved glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, and lower cardiovascular risk factors and chronic kidney disease in Type 2 diabetes patients.15 The Global Journal of Medical Research16 asserts more health benefits:

  • Okra's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action may help with digestive problems and irritable bowel syndrome
  • The seeds are a source of high-quality protein and can be ground and used as a noncaffeinated substitute for coffee
  • The mucilage in okra binds cholesterol and bile acids to aid the liver in carrying toxins out of the body, and even can be used as a plasma replacement or blood volume expander
  • Its polysaccharide content lowers cholesterol levels in the blood
  • It can help reduce asthma problems

In summary, the journal concludes:

"One of the better health advantages of consuming okra is definitely the powerful management of the body's high cholesterol level. This healthy vegetable is beneficial in slimming down and also reducing cholesterol … It is [also] a good vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted and suffering from depression ... [additionally it can be] used for ulcers, lung inflammation [and] sore throat."

Glutathione in Okra: One of the Most Dramatic Compounds for Your Health

One of the most dramatically game-changing compounds in okra is glutathione, which one study acknowledges has anticarcinogenic properties. According to Immune Health Science,17 foods containing glutathione fall into two categories: those containing the glutathione molecule and those that promote glutathione production and/or "upload" the activity of glutathione enzymes in your body.

However, it must remain uncooked; cooking glutathione foods diminishes its content. Storage methods can affect it, too. One study shows that dietary glutathione intake can lower your risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer,18 while an animal study19 observed that it protects against diabetic nephropathy (damage to kidneys due to diabetes) and neuropathy (damage to nerves and eventual renal failure).20

But here's the kicker: Among all the foods listed as having the highest glutathione content, one study reflected the "Glutathione in foods listed in the National Cancer Institute's Health Habits and History Food Frequency Questionnaire,"21 ranking okra fourth in milligrams (mg) per a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving. According to Immune Health Science,22 here's the breakdown:

  • Asparagus — 28.3 mg
  • Avocado — 27.7 mg
  • Spinach — 11.4 mg
  • Okra — 11.3 mg

Forms of Okra: Water, Peel and Powdered Seeds

Whether or not you're aware of this "craze," okra water has become a thing. In fact, drinking Bhindi juice (another name for it) is said to impart several health advantages besides those already mentioned. How it's prepared, however, can make all the difference. Diabetes Self-Management offers this recipe for making okra water:23

"Take two to four small pods, cut off the tips, puncture or slice the sides and soak them overnight in 8 ounces of water. Then take the pods and squeeze the goop into a new cup and water to that."

Shredded okra peel is how this veggie has been used in traditional medicine. Simply use a grater, and just one-half of a teaspoon is enough to provide nutritional benefits. When looking for okra pods to try a few culinary forays, look for bright green, unblemished pods to ensure freshness, and smaller pods, which are tastier and more tender, but still firm.

Store okra without washing it first; a paper bag will do just fine, but store it in a warmer part of your refrigerator as the colder it is, the faster it decays. To freeze it, simply flash-blanch it, trim it, dry it thoroughly on paper towels and store in freezer containers or reusable baggies.

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Chiropractic care and autism - Dr. Axe

by Dr. Brent Wells, DC

Millions of parents are seeking answers and assistance when their children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Parents are not often told that chiropractic care offer benefits for autism, even as autism rates continue to increase. Can a holistic chiropractor help autism? In short, yes, it can!

As you most likely know, the spectrum of cognitive issues and symptoms for those diagnosed with autism is a big area. There is no easily definable one plan helps most or even one description fits most!

Most parents looking for answers are told to not expect too much from their child and to see a therapist.

It’s true that early intervention can help tremendously, and those early measures should include chiropractic care, but often parents don’t hear about this choice until much later.

Common Signs of Autism

Most parents notice changes in early childhood, often by 6 months of age. Common signs of autism are:

  • speech delay or speech regression
  • sensitivity to sound or to certain noises
  • a delay in normal childhood markers, such as walking
  • no reciprocal gestures, such as not responding to peek-a-boo games
  • an infant 6 months of age or older that does not smile or has stopped smiling

These are just a few examples of some early signs of autism. 

What Causes Autism?

This can be a very volatile subject, but the fact remains that scientists don’t know the exact cause of this disorder.

Some believe this issue it is genetic, others that it is caused by toxins in the environment that the mother is exposed to while pregnant, while other researchers state it is a combination of reasons.

Scientists know that autism involves the brain and nervous system. Since chiropractic care involves uniting both, including relief from stress and pain, it only makes sense that a chiropractic care can improve quality of life for their patients.

Some doctors are quick to point out that almost every child with autism has digestive issues. Could it be that a mix-up or imbalance in the bacteria in the digestive tract plays a role? Is this the cause or another symptom? This is also an area that needs to be investigated and studied.

Most parents with autistic children have tried various diets, including restrictions on certain types of foods (such as the ketogenic diet, which puts strict limits on the consumption of carbohydrates, or gluten-free diets), vegan diets, all-natural diets, the removal of sugar, food dyes and dairy products. Almost all parents also report some type of improvement, regardless of which diet they have tried.   

Why Chiropractors Are Ignored in This Area

Chiropractors are generally ignored when it comes to children with autism for the same reasons some parents don’t bring their children to a chiropractor; most parents believe children don’t need or won’t benefit from chiropractic care. 

A great many people believe chiropractors only work with back and neck pain. They don’t understand how a holistic chiropractor can help any child, let alone help one with autism.(Read what Dr. Axe has to say about the researched benefits of chiropractic adjustments.) What does “cracking your back” have to do with children or autistic children?

The National Academy of Science suggested in one chapter that children would benefit from a minimum of 25 hours a week of therapy as soon as they are diagnosed with autism. (1) As stated in their report, starting therapeutic programs as early as 3 years of age have an immense benefit to children.

The Academy notes in their 2016 report that 80 percent of autistic patients are speaking by age 9. Compare this to 20 years ago when the number of autistic children able to speak and communicate effectively was less than 50 percent.

A Chiropractor’s Role in the Natural Treatment of Autism

You might still ask yourself what this has to do with chiropractic care and how can a chiropractor help a child with autism.

First, let’s talk for a minute about the what chiropractic work is. Most people think of “cracking” a back or popping your neck “back into place.” While this is partially true, it’s like saying that the only thing surgeons do is cut you open and stitch the wound closed.

Chiropractic care looks at the importance of the central nervous system and the spine that the nervous system runs through. Like a giant freeway system, the nervous system of the body controls every organ, every feeling and every thought process.

To give you a better idea of how this works, imagine that your brain is a warehouse and that all other parts of your body are stores that need supplies. Your nervous system is the roadway that trucks (electrical impulses) travel on. When one store is empty or is damaged, it sends the information down the road. The warehouse responds with proper action.

When the road is damaged, the information cannot be sent, or it cannot be understood and there is no response from the warehouse (the brain) or the signal is ignored because the brain does not understand.

Chiropractic care aligns the spine and joints so that proper communication can take place. Chiropractors are doctors, going to school for a minimum of eight years, and must pass several exams before they get a license. (Read “What Is a Chiropractor?” for more information.) Their specialized training allows them to find and correct spinal dysfunction.

What Benefits Can a Chiropractor Offer the Child with Autism?

Chiropractic care works by improving the function or communication between the spine and the central nervous system, thereby rectifying the function of every single organ and every single aspect of the entire body.

A chiropractor can help children with autism by improving neurological function. The autonomic nervous system of the body is designed to protect people with certain automatic responses. A common response is the “fight or flight” mode. When sensing danger, the body locks out all other stimuli to make the decision to fight or flee. Sometimes, due to a misaligned spine, the mind gets stuck in this mode, frozen, if you will, leaving the person unable to respond. 

Most sensory activity is located along the spinal column. Chiropractic care improves the processing of information, like the highway we mentioned earlier, by allowing communication to flow freely.

When you adjust the structure of the body, it often leads to very real, long-lasting results without drugs, without surgery. It’s why chiropractic adjustments are considered part of a natural treatment regimen for autism.

Coordination and balance are also sensory systems that are found in the inner ear and spine. Adjustments improve motor skills by allowing the body and mind to connect through improved pathways of communication.

Scientists note children with autism suffer from some type of neurological interference, which prevents the pathways from communicating. Chiropractic care isn’t so much about recovery, but more about improving the quality of life for these children. Chiropractic adjustments offer them an added source of release from pent-up frustrations and stress autistic children feel from their inability to communicate with others.

There is a wide variety of issues for which chiropractic care has been beneficial for children, including stopping recurrent ear infections, headaches, immune system improvement, nursing problems, migraines and asthma. A diagnosis of autism is simply another mind/health issue that chiropractors can treat.

At Anchorage Chiropractic, we don’t treat autism, per se. Chiropractic care cannot reverse autism. We do, however, treat children who have autism as a part of an overall holistic health program.

Other natural treatments that have helped autistic children involve a gluten-free diet, an all-natural diet high in fruits and vegetables, probiotics, Ayurvedic massage and acupressure

You can also speak with your chiropractor about detoxification and nutritional information and how it might benefit your child.

Chiropractic Autism Success Stories

Dr. Matthew McCoy published a study in 2013 in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research about a three-year-old girl with autism who suffered from a variety of symptoms, including headaches, vomiting, insomnia and delayed motor skills. (2) After one month of chiropractic care, this child had vast improvements in most areas, including autism-related issues, such as making eye contact and improved development.

The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics systematically reviewed literature involving 11 case studies that involved autistic children. (3) In their remarks, it was stated that chiropractic care had a positive impact on all subjects. This review was published in December 2016.

In May 2001, a study was discussed at the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress where a 5-year-old male child with autism was given chiropractic care. (4) The parents stated that they saw a tremendous improvement in their child after only two weeks.

Most success stories are anecdotal and can be found on popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, or in news stories, such as this blog featured in the Chicago Tribune.

How Long Before Results Show?

Everyone is different, including those with autism. Some children show improvement after just one adjustment. Other children, such as the 3-year-old listed above, took about 30 days. The 5-year-old listed in success stories? A mere two weeks.

Assisting Your Chiropractor

If you decide to try chiropractic care for your child, you can help the doctor by speaking with them first, without your child being present, so you can explain your concerns and ask questions without being worried about your child becoming upset.

You and the doctor should agree on some verbal cues or hand signals so you know what to expect and can have the doctor end the session if your child is becoming overly stressed.

Most autistic children thrive on routine, so it’s best to make appointments at the same time of day and at regular intervals.

Almost all children like the way they feel after an adjustment, which should make a return appointment an easy situation.

Only you can decide if chiropractic care is right for your child. If you are still unsure or have questions that this article did not answer, please do not hesitate to make an appointment and speak with a chiropractor.  

Dr. Brent Wells, DCDr. Brent Wells is one of the leading chiropractors in Anchorage who believes in treating people the way he would want to be treated. Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Wells received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada and his Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree from Western States Chiropractic College. He, his wife Coni, and their three children live in and enjoy the great outdoors in Alaska. Dr. Wells volunteers for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation and can be found hiking or rollerblading when he isn’t playing his guitar.

Read Next: Why Autism Rates Are Rising

The post Benefits of Chiropractic Care and Autism: the Untold Story appeared first on Dr. Axe.

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If you’re looking to bring more intentional, self-balancing practices to your self-care routine, stop right here! Aromatherapy provides powerful support […]

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By Dr. Mercola

In this interview, J.B. Handley, founder of Generation Rescue, discusses autism and what he believes can be done to help turn this tragic trend around. This is also the topic of his book, "How to End the Autism Epidemic."

A Parent's Worst Nightmare

Handley's son has autism, and his personal experience ultimately motivated him to write this book. He describes the family's experience, and what led them to take a nonconventional approach to their son's treatment:

"My wife and I were what I would characterize as very mainstream parents, which meant that when our second son was born in 2002, we basically handed him to our pediatrician and did whatever he told us to do, which meant following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended [vaccine] schedule.

We started to watch our son decline physically after every vaccine appointment at 2 months, at 4 months, at 6 months and at 12 months. He got eczema. His belly became distended. He had sleep disturbances. He had dark circles under his eyes. We kept going back into the doctor and saying, 'What's going on? What's happening with him? Where is this coming from?'

We could never get a plausible explanation for what was happening. Then, shortly after my son turned 1 year old, he started to decline neurologically. He lost his words. He lost many of his normal mannerisms. He started doing these really unusual behaviors.

He started craving certain foods — all these things that somebody like you knows are red flags for a child heading towards autism. But at the time, we were ignorant to this and our pediatrician didn't help us at all.

We were living in Northern California. We took our son to University of California San Francisco (UCSF) where they diagnosed him with severe autism. At the same time, we visited a Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) doctor in Pleasanton … Dr. Lynne Mielke.

We were presented with two completely different worlds. At UCSF, autism was genetic. It was lifelong. He was likely to be institutionalized. There was nothing we could do about it, except to prepare ourselves.

But in Pleasanton, thirty miles away, autism was triggered by vaccines. It was an environmental illness. If you vetted the diet and started to do things differently, some of these children recovered completely. Here's my wife and I, both educated at Stanford, both very mainstream, and we're put at these crossroads for what to do for our son …

In our case, we went to the facts. We went to the reality of how our son had declined after being on a normal path of development. We ultimately made a decision that we did believe that the vaccines triggered our son's autism. We did believe that biomedical interventions could work for him.

That opened a whole new door to us. Soon after that, in '05, my wife and I founded Generation Rescue. The reason that we founded it was to share the information that we had learned with other parents. That's where our journey began."

Recovery Is Possible

Today, Handley's son is 16, and has made dramatic improvement through biomedical intervention. He regained his speech, learned to read, and can go on long family trips without incident.

Still, he continues to be affected by autism, and this is a reality for many parents. While some children are able to make a complete recovery, others do not. Most, however, can make improvements. Even at 16, Handley's son continues to improve, and new biomedical interventions are becoming available. Prevention is key, though, and making vaccination decisions are an important part of that.

"I think, in many ways, that the jury is in on this. My book is bolstered by the fact that two of the titans of the mainstream autism medical community have changed their tune through depositions, and now support the things that parents have been saying for decades.

I think that those two scientists [Dr. Andrew Zimmerman and Dr. Richard Kelley], who people don't know about, and the way they've changed their tune are going to have a dramatic impact on this debate.

We're talking about scientists from the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University, arguably the pre-eminent institution in the country focused on autism, who are saying exactly what parents are saying — that in a vulnerable subset of children, vaccines are, in fact, the trigger of autism."

Autism Triggers Are Pernicious

Like Handley, I believe vaccines can play a role in autism, although it's certainly not the sole factor or trigger. In the last half of the 20th century, not only has the vaccine schedule grown, with many vaccines being added, but our food supply has also been inundated with glyphosate, and there's been a radical increase in the exposure to electromagnetic fields.

All three of these factors are pernicious, and there's evidence showing all three can play a role in autism development. Heavy metal exposure is another factor.1 That said, the connection between autism and the introduction of vaccines in many children is quite clear.

"The interesting science that's come about since the mid-2000s and beyond concerns this notion of an immune activation event in the brain of a child. We believe that immune activation events are actually what causes autism. The question is, 'What's the trigger for those immune activation events?' because there could be a myriad of triggers.

In the emerging science, which has largely been developed in other countries, it shows us how aluminum, specifically — aluminum, which the whole purpose of it being in a vaccine is to hyperstimulate the immune system — in certain vulnerable kids, can create a persistent immune activation event, sort of a simmering inflammatory event in the brain.

That simmering inflammatory event, if it happens during critical phases of brain development, can cause a child to head into autism. Those analysis models, unlike the epidemiology the CDC did that was not that helpful trying to discern causation, most analysis models are showing us, with some very specific data about the brain, just how a vaccine can trigger an immune activation event that then leads to autism," Handley says.

Aluminum Hyperstimulates the Immune System

Aluminum is a known neurotoxin, and in vaccines, the aluminum is in a nanoparticulate form, which when injected makes it all the more problematic. When injected, macrophages, which are part of your immune response, are sent to the injection site, where they gobble up some of that aluminum.

"The [macrophages] grab the aluminum that they don't know what to do with. Some portions of those macrophages end up in the brain. They sit there, and it's called biopersistence. The aluminum just sits in the brain and the body doesn't know how to get it out," Handley says.

There's also evidence that aluminum exposure may be, at least in part, responsible for the massive rise in autoimmunity among children as well. In short, the aluminum hyperstimulates the immune system, causing it to overreact to proteins that otherwise would not cause a reaction.

Vaccine Makers Are Not Liable for Harm

Today, children routinely receive 49 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6, and there are estimates that 1 in approximately 35 children develop autism. That's nearly 3 percent of the U.S. population. In 1985, children received 23 doses of seven vaccines: diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), oral polio (OPV) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR).

The autism rate was also vastly lower. Depending on the data source, the autism rate in 1985 was between 1 in 5,000 or 1 in 10,000. In 1986, in large part due to the brain damage being caused by the DTP vaccine, the National Childhood Vaccination Injury Act (NCVIA) was passed, which partially indemnified vaccine makers from liability for CDC recommended vaccines for children.

Later, in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court insulated vaccine manufacturers from all liability when someone is harmed or killed by a childhood vaccine.

"When you go to vaccine court in Washington D.C., the lawyers who are paid money to fight your claim are Department of Justice (DOJ) employees. The judge who's there to adjudicate your claim is a special master who has full control over the proceeding. You have no jury. You have no normal judicial process. That 1986 [law] ushered in a rapid introduction of many different vaccines.

Today, I would argue — and I do quite strongly in the book — we're simply giving too many vaccines for too many diseases that are not that dangerous. In return, we have this massive explosion in chronic disease. It's a trade. We're slightly reducing certain acute illnesses. We're having an explosion of many chronic illnesses.

I think the question for Americans and the question for parents is, 'Is it worth it? Is the reduction in disease worth the trade-off?' That's actually the conversation I wish we could have. We don't have a realistic risk-reward conversation. Vaccines are portrayed cartoonishly as offering you instant protection from whichever disease you get vaccinated for. The truth is more complicated than that."

Evaluate Risks Versus Rewards

Handley suggests that parents need to weigh the pros and cons, and ask themselves which health risks they're willing to take to protect their child against any given disease.

"Do I want [my child] to get a rotavirus vaccine if the risk is asthma? Do I want [them] to get a Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine if the risk is a lifetime of diabetes or some other autoimmunity and a much higher risk of autism?

By not acknowledging the very real risks of these vaccines, parents aren't in a position to make an informed decision about whether or not they're worth it for them," Handley says.

"I personally would support an immediate return to the 1985 schedule. Children were not dying in the streets. It wasn't the Dark Ages. We have to do something radical if we're going to change this chronic disease epidemic …

Autism, for a family, is devastating. I think one of the things that really frustrates me about this epidemic is the whitewashing of autism … The truth is most children with autism can't speak … [they] will never live alone … [they] will never have a job. Most children with autism require daily and hourly care [and] die early.

We can never look away from the severity of this epidemic or this disability for most of the children affected by it. It's because of the devastating nature of the disability that it puts such a strain on families.

My heart goes out to families that are lower income, work two jobs or they're struggling to make ends meet, and then autism gets dropped into their lives. It's simply devastating and untenable. We've got to do something about it."

Do Your Homework

One of the most questionable vaccines, in my view, is the hepatitis B vaccine, which is given on the day of birth. Not only does it contain aluminum, there's simply no real justification for administering it to all healthy newborns, as hepatitis B can only be contracted from IV drug abuse, sexual activity with an infected partner, a blood transfusion using contaminated blood, or from an infected mother.

It would be far more sensible to simply screen pregnant women for the disease, and only give the vaccine to infants whose mothers actually test positive for hepatitis B.

The Hib vaccine also contains aluminum, and it, too, is given very early on, the first dose usually administered at 2 months old. Handley points out that parents should do their own research and make an informed vaccination decision for their child.

"You need to gather data on each vaccine and decide for yourself, 'Is the risk-reward there for me?' If you do that research and you decide it's there for you, all the more power to you. This is a free country. I believe in medical freedom. I believe that everybody should use whatever intervention they think is appropriate for their child.

What I don't believe in is that a parent should walk into an office with a child who's 2 months old, having not done the research, hand your child over to the pediatrician and they stick the child with six vaccines and you can't name what any of them are. By the way, that's a mistake I made.

That's the message I try to send to other parents: 'Be way more informed. Be way more vigilant.' There are pediatricians in every market who are more open. Find those pediatricians and work with them. Focus on the health of your child, not on implementing the CDC's vaccine schedule.

Recognize that there are many pediatricians who are motivated by their insurance company to have really high vaccination rates. Because of that, they may not have your child's best interests at heart. They may have the bonus that they're getting from their insurance company at heart. That's really inappropriate but happens all the time …

I have is a singular motivation: to tell the truth and to save as many children as possible from the fate that befell my son … Guilt wrote this book, if you will. The two ways that I found to deal with that guilt is, one, to focus on my son in helping him get better, and, two, to warn as many parents as possible."

Vaccine Experts Call for Vulnerability Screening Prior to Vaccination

In depositions in a trial in Tennessee, Zimmerman and Kelley make it clear that children really should be screened before their first vaccine. If screening for individual susceptibilities were in fact done, many or most vulnerable children would be spared from being harmed by vaccines.

"They bring up specifically in their depositions things like the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) mutation, a gene that can limit the ability of the body to detoxify," Handley says. "They bring up maternal autoimmunity history as a potential risk. Any signs of food allergies, any signs of other illnesses, obviously.

But there's this list of screens that you could do in advance that might save a meaningful portion of these children from harm. What's so frustrating about that is, in order for those screens to be put into place, there has to be an acknowledgment of causation."

The Lies Being Told

Handley spends an entire chapter tackling the mainstream notion that the science on vaccines is "settled;" that the studies have been done and no harm could be found. "It's simply a lie," Handley says. To be convinced, however, you may need to actually read through the studies yourself. If you do, you'll find the "evidence" that vaccines don't cause autism is based on a single vaccine, the MMR, and they only looked at a single ingredient, thimerosal.

"Anybody with the willingness to spend a little bit of time on this topic will grow disenchanted with the things they're saying because they're unsupportable. They're lies. They're propaganda. I find it deeply disturbing that our public health officials will lie that blatantly," Handley says.

"When you have people like Zimmerman and Kelley from Kennedy Krieger, who are now supporting what the parents are saying, I think the lie falls down even further. I think they're going to really have to answer to this book and explain why they're saying the things they're saying …

[Three] of the scientists who've done some of the most amazing work on aluminum, and how it biologically causes autism, wrote letters to [the CDC] … [saying]:

'Based on the work that I have done with aluminum, I think that the words on your website saying vaccines don't cause autism [aren't] true. I encourage you to look closer at the aluminum science that I'm including here in my letter. This is a devastating crisis that I think we have answers for.'

These are international renowned scientists writing to our CDC and saying that, 'The things you're representing to the public aren't true. You need to look at this topic again.' This is not parents versus the CDC. These are esteemed international scientists. These are clinicians from Kennedy Krieger …

The gig is up. The truth is there for anybody willing to look. I really hope that groups of people will come together and say, 'Enough is enough. Enough with the lies. There is 1 in 36 children [with autism]. It's unacceptable. We have a clear answer for at least the primary trigger of what's going on. We need to start saving children, moving those with great risks out of harm's way to help end the autism epidemic.'"

A major part of the problem is the fact that the CDC has been captured by the drug industry. Not only is the CDC in charge of implementing and promoting the vaccine program, it also holds dozens of vaccine patents,2,3 while simultaneously being in charge of vaccine safety and tracking autism rates!

Add to that the revolving door between the CDC and the vaccine industry — the transition of Julie Gerberding from being director of the CDC to being an official in Merck's vaccine division is one of the most egregious ones — and you have a situation in which the agency charged with safety simply will not lift a finger to fulfill that responsibility.

Join Us at Generation Rescue's Autism Education Summit

Handley cofounded Generation Rescue with his wife in 2005. Actress Jenny McCarthy is the president. The organization assists parents who want to initiate biomedical intervention for their autistic child, and hold an annual Autism Education Summit. This year, it's held September 28 through 30 in Dallas. I'm scheduled to be keynote speaker.

This summit is a wonderful opportunity for parents to hear what's new directly from the cutting-edge doctors who are treating children with autism biomedically.

You can also learn more in Handley's book, "How to End the Autism Epidemic," which includes depositions from Zimmerman and Kelley — two pre-eminent members of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the leading autism institution in the country — in which they unequivocally state that vaccines are causing autism.

A third deposition covered in the book is by Dr. Stanley Plotkin, by many considered the godfather of the vaccine industry. Dr. Paul Offit brought him into Voices for Vaccines, a pharma front group, as an expert witness for a legal case in which a husband and wife were in disagreement as to whether or not to vaccinate their child.

"[Plotkin] sat through an eight-hour deposition [and] was destroyed by the opposing council. What was revealed was many of the tricks, false narratives and disturbing ways of thinking that people in the vaccine industry think through, because Plotkin was one of the thought leaders of that.

We learned everything from the fact that he tested vaccines on mentally retarded children — his words, not mine — babies in prisons and orphans. We learned the ugly history of vaccine trials.

But he clearly acknowledges that the DTP vaccine doesn't really work, and that the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine trials were in fact quite faulty, because they had no placebo group. They received an aluminum-containing vaccine … His conflicts of interest are also spelled out in detail.

He's literally making millions of dollars a year from vaccine makers, yet projects himself as this independent spokesperson for vaccines. He bailed on the trial the next morning after giving his deposition.

He refused to be an expert witness. Luckily, we were able to obtain that deposition in a public manner. It's not sealed. I think anybody who reads his words in that deposition will be blown away by how the, arguably, default leader in the vaccine industry actually thinks. It's very damning and very disturbing," Handley says.

More Information

Lastly, you can also follow Handley on his blog, JBHandleyBlog.com. Among his most recent articles is "Did Vaccines Save Humanity?" in which he reviews disease statistics and vaccine data to answer that question.

Between 1900 and today, there's been a massive decline in mortality, especially mortality from infectious diseases, and mandatory vaccination advocates are often quick to attribute that to the success of mass vaccination programs. However, scientists have identified a number of many other factors that contributed to lower mortality rates.

Things like improved standards of living, clean water, refrigeration, sewage, less crowded living quarters and so on have all contributed to fewer complications from infectious diseases. Importantly, the data show dramatic declines in mortality from infectious diseases occurred well before the introduction of vaccines against the disease in question. According to Handley:

"They estimate that vaccines' role in the overall decline in mortality from 1900 to today was somewhere between 1 and 3.5 percent of the total decline [in mortality] …

Facts are facts. Data is data. Anybody who tells you that billions of lives have been saved because of vaccines, or whatever number they try to use, or that it's the primary driver [of infectious disease reduction] is insane. Because the facts don't support them and say differently.

If you go to Africa, where they're still living in crowded conditions and still have horrible water, and they still don't have sanitation or refrigeration, and you vaccinate every kid, you might kill more children than you help because the other conditions haven't been bolstered.

We actually learned that through … a study4 by Dr. Peter Aaby, a renowned epidemiologist of vaccines. What he found is that in [Guinea-Bissau] … children who got the DTP vaccine were five times more likely to die than those who didn't.

The reason for that, as far as he could explain, was that it weakened their system so much that they were far more susceptible to other infections, because they were living in a highly infectious environment.

So, if you go after public health and you don't do it with totality, and you think vaccines are going to solve the problem, they're not going to solve the problem. There's no data that says they would."

Source: mercola rss