The artificial sweetener aspartame gained FDA approval in 1981, and was perhaps the most hotly contested FDA approval in history, for good reason. The toxic additive has been silently destroying people’s health ever since.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The first video above — which contains highlights of Cori Brackett’s documentary film Sweet Misery — is an excellent summary of the problems with aspartame. I strongly urge you to watch it, or read through the transcript, as it offers additional and supporting information to what I’ll discuss below. You can also obtain the entire DVD if you enjoy these clips.

Aspartame Consumption

By 1984, three years after its initial approval for use in tabletop sweeteners and dry food, US consumption of aspartame had already reached 6.9 million pounds per year. This number doubled the following year, and continued to climb well into the 90’s.

According to statistics published by Forbes Magazine[i] based on Tate & Lyle estimates, aspartame had conquered 55 percent of the artificial sweetener market in 2003. One of the driving factors behind aspartame’s market success is the fact that since it is now off patent protection, it’s far less expensive than other artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda).

2003 sales of artificial sweeteners by region

Today, the statistics on the aspartame market are being kept so close to the vest, it has proven to be virtually impossible to find current data on usage, unless you’re willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a market analysis reports and I felt there were better uses for the money than to purchase the answer to that question..

However, a 2009 FoodNavigator article[ii]cites the current global market for aspartame as being less than 37.5 million pounds and worth $637 million.

According to aspartame.org[iii], diet soda accounts for 70 percent of the aspartame consumed. A 12 ounce can of diet soda contains 180 mg of aspartame, and aspartame users ingest an average of 200 mg per day.

However, it can be quite difficult to calculate just how much you’re really ingesting, especially if you consume several types of aspartame-containing foods and beverages. Dosing can vary wildly from product to product. For example, the amount of aspartame will vary from brand to brand, and from flavour to flavour. Some can contain close to twice the amount of aspartame as others, and some contain a combination of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.

Interestingly, aspartame consumption now seems to have stalled, and there is some indication it may even be on the decline. Perhaps sufficient numbers of people are finally waking up to the unsavoury truth about this chemical sweetener.

It is my intention to educate you about the truth of this harmful and toxic ingredient and drive sales down even further. I have no ulterior motives other than to warn you so that you can protect your and your family’s health, and I sell no competing products.

The only alternative sweetener I recommend is natural stevia, especially the flavoured ones which avoid many of the aftertaste objections some people have about using stevia. It is interesting to note that the powerful food industry has made it illegal to sell natural stevia as a sweetener. If I recommended to use stevia as a sweetener and sold it, the government would immediately file criminal charges and confiscate our product.

On December 17, 2008, the FDA did grant GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status to rebaudioside , which is one component of the whole stevia plant, and this specific purified component of stevia may be used as a food additive and sold as an alternative sweetener. Examples of include Truvia and Purevia. The jury is still out, however, on whether consuming this one component of stevia is as safe as consuming extract from the whole plant, as all the synergistic, protective factors have been removed in these refined products.

Thankfully there is a loophole that allows vendors to sell extract of whole stevia as a dietary supplement. Since virtually everyone knows it is a sweetener it doesn’t have to say it on the label, so you can still bypass this industry initiated censorship.

Ajinomoto, one of the leading aspartame manufacturers in the world next to NutraSweet, actually rebranded aspartame to AminoSweet[iv] last year, in order to dissociate itself from the negative associations of aspartame.

It also wanted to “remind the industry that aspartame tastes just like sugar, and that it’s made from amino acids – the building blocks of protein that are abundant in our diet,” – as opposed to a concoction of chemicals never before consumed by man, some ingredients of which are more toxic than others.

They will probably deceive some consumers with this newer, more sweetly innocent name that does not bear the same controversial past as the word “aspartame.” But I sincerely doubt they’ll fool anyone even remotely aware of its dangers.

Aspartame can already be found in some 6,000 food products and beverages, and the list is about to get even longer, I’m sure, as Ajinomoto announced a global R&D alliance agreement with Kellogg Company[v] earlier this month.

Researchers Continue to Contest ‘the Most Contested’ FDA Approval in History

Concerned scientists and researchers fought and were successful in keeping aspartame out of the food supply for over ten years, ever since it was first considered as a potential food additive, and many of those still alive continue to speak out against it today.

If we fail to learn from history we are doomed to repeat the mistake we made. Many readers have long forgotten what the 60-Minutes’ correspondent Mike Wallace stated in his 1996 report on aspartame – available to view in this 2009 article – that the approval of aspartame was “the most contested in FDA history.” And for good reason.

At the time, independent studies had found it caused brain cancer in lab animals, and the studies submitted by G.D. Searle to the FDA for the approval were quickly suspected of being sloppy at best…

In that 60-Minutes video, former Senator Howard Metzenbaum states:

“According to the FDA themselves, Searle, when making their presentation to the FDA, had willfully misrepresented the facts, and withheld some of the facts that they knew would possibly jeopardize the approval.”

Metzenbaum’s staff investigated the aspartame approval process. He goes on to explain that:

“FDA officials were so upset they sent the file to the US Attorney’s office in Chicago for the purposes of presenting it to the grand jury as to whether or not there should be indictments.

But it wasn’t presented. It was delayed.”

Samuel Skinner, the US attorney who led the grand jury probe ended up withdrawing from the case when he entered into job discussions with Searle’s Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin – a job he later accepted. Subsequently, the investigation stalled until the statute of limitation ran out, at which point the investigation against Searle was dropped.

For more details on the story of how aspartame made it through the FDA approval process despite warning signs of potential health hazards and alleged scientific fraud, please watch the 60-Minutes report, as Wallace does a nice job of summarizing an otherwise long story.

There are a number of well-written books on the market that detail the twists and turns of this part of history. This Harvard law summary of the legal wrangling[vi] that took place is also a worthwhile read.

Those who claim that aspartame watch-dogs are somehow engaged in conspiracy theories, perhaps do not understand the word “conspiracy,” the simplest definition of which is: “a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act.”

In the case of aspartame, it sure does look as though it was a conspiracy — by G.D. Searle & Co., to get a tremendously profitable product to market, no matter what the potential cost in terms of human health.

The FDA itself suspected Searle had unlawfully produced “evidence” to support its claims of safety, and FDA officials were sufficiently disturbed by what they received to launch its first-ever criminal investigation .

A section in the Harvard Law School summary on the history of aspartame states:

“Another study that engendered severe criticism from the Department of Health Education and Welfare was the 46- week toxicity study performed on the hamster.

Although the data appears to be faulty and incomplete, Searle argues that any falsehood in the study is not material to the appraisal of the safety of aspartame.”

How’s that for assurance?

“.In addition to criticizing the study as a whole, the Department alleges that Searle violated Title 18, Section 1001 by falsifying data. The report alleges that the testing ran into problems and instead of correcting them, Searle covered the problem up.”

FDA toxicologist, M. Jacqueline Verrett, Ph.D., discussed what she knew about some of these concerns in her testimony before Congress on November 3, 1987 (S.hrg;100-567).

Verrett’s individual testimony is reprinted here, in which she states:

“From 1957-1977 I was employed as a Biochemist/Toxicologist in what is now designated the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration.

. In the early l970’s, I examined the animal studies submitted by G. D. Searle and Co. on aspartame prior to the initial approval by FDA in l974… these studies raised numerous questions in a number of areas that needed to be resolved before approval of aspartame for any food additive use.

In 1977 I served as a member of an FDA team. charged with examining three studies. to determine if they were ‘authentic’. I wish to emphasize at this point that we were specifically instructed not to be concerned with, or comment upon, the overall validity of the study, this was to be done in a subsequent review carried out at the Bureau level.

It is apparent that that review, on a point by point basis, discarded or ignored the problems and deficiencies outlined in this Team report, and concluded that, even in toto, these problems were insufficient to render the study invalid. It also appears that the serious departures from acceptable toxicological protocols that were noted in the reevaluation of these studies were also discounted.”

Verrett goes on to point out a number of the “deficiencies and improper procedures encountered” by her investigative team, which included but were not limited to:

  • Animals were not permanently tagged to avoid mix-ups
  • Tumors were removed and the animals returned to the study
  • Animals were recorded as dead, but subsequent records, after varying periods of time, indicated the same animal was still alive (almost certain evidence of mix-ups)
  • Many animal tissues were decomposed before any postmortem examinations were performed

“Almost any single one of these aberrations would suffice to negate a study designed to assess the safety of a food additive,” Verrett said, “and most certainly a combination of many such improper practices would, since the results are bound to be compromised.

It is unthinkable that any reputable toxicologist, giving a completely objective evaluation of data resulting from such a study, could conclude anything other than that the study was uninterpretable and worthless,and should be repeated.

This is especially important for an additive such as aspartame, which is equally vital since DKP is a major breakdown product of aspartame in liquid media.

Not only is aspartame being used in the absence of basic toxicity information, but there is also no data to assess the toxicity of the interactions of DKP with the excess phenylalanine generated, with any other metabolite of aspartame, and its interactions with other additives, drugs, or other chemicals which may be present simultaneously in persons exposed to high levels of DKP in presweetened liquids such as diet drinks.”

Many critics are using the lack of toxicity data as proof that aspartame is safe, when in fact aspartame appears to have been approved WITHOUT such data – which in my opinion is just another sign of aspartame’s inherent LACK of empirical safety record.

Which brings us to a crucial point.

If you do not know this fact, you may never be able to extract the truth, because the 200+ studies that form the basis of aspartame’s multiple FDA approvals DO exist. Those studies were published, and are quite easy to find as they’re cited by every single conventional health agency and every single aspartame peddler across the world. No one is trying to refute the fact that they exist.

However, they were ALL funded by the aspartame industry.

And guess what happens when you remove corporate interest and influence from the equation.

All Industry-Funded Studies Give Aspartame Clean Bill of Health, While Majority of Independent Research Find Indications of Hazards

A 1996 review of 165 studies[vii] [viii] believed to be relevant to human safety, by Dr. Ralph G. Walton, a professor of Clinical Psychiatry, showed a remarkable discrepancy between study results and their source of funding.

Of the 165 studies, 74 had industry related funding (such as Searle, Nutrasweet

mature woman on a weighing scaleOverweight women who experience the uncomfortable flushing and sweating symptoms known as hot flashes may be able to avoid the problem by losing weight.

In a new study, researchers re-analyzed data from a study that included about 150 overweight and obese menopausal women who were experiencing urinary incontinence as well as troublesome hot flashes.

Roughly two-thirds of the women were assigned to an intensive program designed to help them lose up to 9 percent of their body weight.

According to CNN:

“Six months later, the women who participated in the weight-loss program were more than twice as likely as the women in the control group to have experienced an improvement in their hot flash symptoms.

And it wasn’t enough to just get more exercise or cut calories — only weight loss itself was linked to fewer hot flash symptoms.

For each 11 pounds that a woman lost, she was roughly one-third more likely … to experience a decline in the severity or frequency of hot flashes.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Hot flashes are extremely common during menopause, impacting up to 75 percent of women. While not inherently dangerous to your health, they can be extremely uncomfortable and often interfere with your quality of life, especially if they occur frequently.

As their name implies, hot flashes involve intense feelings of heat that spread across your upper body and face. Flushing and red blotches may also occur, along with rapid heartbeat and perspiration.

Because hot flashes are so uncomfortable, they can interfere with sleep when they occur during the night, and over time may lead to chronic insomnia and related anxiety and even depression in some women.

Unfortunately, many women desperate for some relief are prescribed drugs, either synthetic hormones or even antidepressants, and gladly take them, thinking they’re the only options.

In reality, there are natural ways to lessen the severity of hot flashes and get relief without damaging your health with drug side effects.

Losing Weight Helps Hot Flashes

For every 11 pounds an overweight woman lost, she was one-third more likely to have improvements in her hot flashes compared to women who did not lose weight. Obviously, since losing weight takes time, this is one strategy that should be used proactively before you reach menopause.

By reaching a healthy goal weight prior to having hot flashes, you may be able to significantly reduce the likelihood of getting them, or the severity of those you do.

Plus, by leading a healthy lifestyle, one with regular exercise and a balanced diet, you’ll be able to naturally balance your hormone levels, which will help offer relief from just about every menopausal symptom.

A Hormone-Healthy Lifestyle

While it’s not known for sure why some women experience hot flashes and others don’t, it’s likely related to the fluctuating hormone levels that occur during menopause.

Both estrogen and progesterone are necessary in the female cycle, and their balance is key for optimal health. Many women have an imbalance of these hormones during their lifetimes, regardless of their age. And if you have insufficient levels of progesterone to counter excessive estrogen, this imbalance can be further exacerbated by chronic stress.

So in some cases, addressing your stress levels will help normalize your hormone levels naturally.

Likewise, eating right for your nutritional type and exercising regularly can go a long way to keeping your hormones balanced as you age.

Refined carbohydrates, processed and heated fats, empty foods — and too much of it — all serve to raise your estrogen to abnormal levels, as much as twice the normal, which are maintained for the better part of the adult lives of most American women. This is a MAJOR contributing cause of menopausal symptoms in the first place.

Additionally, natural phytoestrogens (plant-estrogens) found in plants like licorice, fermented soybeans, alfalfa, and many others, eaten before menopause will do much to moderate your day-to-day estrogen level so that when menopause arrives, there will not be such big drop.

Meanwhile, implementing a regular exercise regimen will optimize your insulin levels and balance your estrogen levels. Estrogen levels are much lower in women who eat little and perform strenuous physical work, as in locales with a non-industrialized lifestyle.

The opposite is true for American women who typically eat too much and get little exercise: abnormally high estrogen levels are the direct result of this kind of sedentary lifestyle.

I also advise optimizing your vitamin D levels and getting plenty high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Both of these strategies are essential for optimal health at every life stage.

Are Natural Hormones an Option?

The lifestyle changes noted above will help control symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, without doing anything else.

But if you’re still experiencing challenging symptoms, you can also use bioidentical hormones, which are natural hormones that are bioidentical to your own. Please note that I do not recommend using synthetic hormone replacement therapy for a variety of reasons you can read about here.

The bioidentical hormone that is prescribed 80 percent of the time is estriol. It’s natural, not a drug, and you get it at compounding pharmacies.

Estriol has been used safely for decades, and I believe it’s particularly useful when your ovaries have been removed or you’ve had a hysterectomy. Dr. Johathan Wright, who I’ve interviewed many times, is a pioneer in bioidenticals, and you can see what he has to say about their value in this short video.

Dr. Wright really is THE pioneer in bioidentical hormones, as he is the physician who initially helped bring them to the US. His new book is an absolute treasure and it’s HIGHLY recommended if you have any interest in this area to read his new book Stay Young and Sexy with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement.

We are actually planning on having an entire website devoted to this topic and Dr. Wright has tentatively agreed to head this site up. There are many logistical challenges to work through so it will not likely be up this year.

In the meantime, though, we do hope to post some of his great content on the site. One of his pearls that he taught me is that not only are bioidentical hormones important but the ROUTE of delivery is also crucial.

The worst way you can take them is to swallow them. Oral supplementation is perhaps your worst option, as your liver processes everything in your digestive tract first, before it enters your bloodstream. Any method that bypasses your liver will therefore be more effective.

Next down the list would be to apply them as creams to your skin as this will cause them to be stored in your epidermal fat and ultimately stop working well.

A better approach would be to use sublingual drops but Dr. Wright helped me understand that many patients wind up swallowing these so it winds up being not a good choice.

It appears the best route of delivery is a cream that is delivered trans mucosally in the vaginal or rectal mucosa.

Before embarking on any kind of hormone supplementation program, you’ll want to make sure you get your hormonal levels checked properly and then work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can guide you as this is clearly an area where you need an expert health coach.

Next year we do hope to provide some of this mentoring for free on our new site.

Three More Simple Solutions for Hot Flashes

With the lifestyle strategies mentioned above, along with bioidentical hormones if necessary, you should be able to find relief from hot flashes and other troublesome menopausal symptoms.

But in the event you’re still in need of help, try:

  • Acupuncture: This ancient therapy has been found to work better than the antidepressant drug Effexor, which is commonly used to combat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries, and studies continue to show its benefits for a wide variety of health problems.
  • Black Cohosh: Studies have shown that the herb black cohosh is nearly as effective as estrogen, and far more effective than placebo pills, at treating hot flashes, and is also useful in managing the mood swings and irritability that may accompany menopause.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): A study in The Lancet noted that dummy pills, or placebos, relieve hot flashes by at least half in 20 percent of the women who take them. What this means is that your mind, and your positive intentions, can make a difference in the severity of your hot flashes.

This is why EFT, which is based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture but without the needles, can be so effective. From a hot flash perspective, I have seen EFT work for many women where even synthetic estrogen did not help.

Again, if you have any interest in this area I could not more strongly recommend Dr. Wright’s new book. It is an absolute treasure and it’s HIGHLY recommended if you have any interest in this area to read his new book Stay Young and Sexy with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement.

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diabetic treatmentIn the fall of 1999, SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a competing pill. The study’s results were disastrous. Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart.

Instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up. The company did not submit the results to federal drug regulators, as is required by law.

The New York Times reports:

“The heart risks from Avandia first became public in May 2007 … But the latest documents demonstrate that the company had data hinting at Avandia’s extensive heart problems almost as soon as the drug was introduced in 1999, and sought intensively to keep those risks from becoming public.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

This drug is a classic example of most of what is wrong with the conventional medical paradigm.

Diabetes is an epidemic in the US as it currently affects nearly one in every four people in some form. Drug companies decided to produce a pill that in no way, shape or form treats the cause of the problem.

The ONLY thing this drug does is to help lower blood glucose, which has virtually no influence on the long-term damage due to type 2 diabetes. Nearly all of the pathology is caused by elevated insulin levels, and an optimal diet and exercise program can not only remedy that but virtually cure diabetes in 100% of people who are compliant with such a program.

But the drug does have two other major effects:

  • Makes boatloads of money for the drug company
  • Massively increases risk of heart disease and kills hundreds if not thousands who take it

To complete the story on why this is such a great example of what is wrong with the system, the manufacturer had massive conflict of interest and spent 11 years hiding information that they knew about the drug’s dangers as it would adversely affect their sales.

Sadly, this is not front-page news and is buried so virtually no one hears of it. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if this were a vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement that caused a FRACTION of a FRACTION of the damage or had a similar history of corporate ethical breeches it would be front page news on virtually every media.

Avandia — the Dangerous Diabetes Drug that Should NEVER Have Been Approved

Avandia hit the market in 1999 and following a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign it quickly became a blockbuster drug. By 2006 its annual revenue was $3.2 billion.

Sales plummeted to $1.2 billion in 2009, two years after a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that linked Avandia to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death compared to patients treated with other methods.

There were many articles and reviews published about Avandia following the New England Journal of Medicine study, but research from the Mayo Clinic revealed that 90 percent of scientists who wrote favorable articles about the drug had financial ties to Glaxo.

Unfortunately, a committee of independent experts still recommended that Avandia remain on the market, despite its risks, and an FDA oversight board voted 8 to 7 to accept the advice.

Now Avandia is making headlines once again, this time because it has come out that the drug’s maker went to great lengths to hide their deadly study results from the public eye.

Drug Maker Hid Avandia Heart Risks from Public, FDA

In 1999, drug maker SmithKline Beecham began a study to compare Avandia with another diabetes drug, Actos. The results showed that Avandia worked no better than Actos and had greater risks to the heart.

The study results were buried at the request of SmithKline executives and were not reported to federal regulators, as is typically required by law.

In documents uncovered by the New York Times, the company stated they could lose $600 million from 2002 to 2004 if Avandia’s heart risks were made public. The New York Times also obtained a sealed deposition that included testimony from Dr. Rosemary Johann-Liang, a former supervisor in the FDA’s drug safety office who “left the FDA after she was disciplined for recommending that Avandia’s heart warnings be strengthened.”

GlaxoSmithKline not only hid negative study data, they also manipulated study data to fit their agenda.

According to the Times:

“An F.D.A. reviewer who closely examined a landmark Avandia clinical trial called “Record,” found at least a dozen instances in which patients taking Avandia suffered serious heart problems that were not counted in the trial’s tally of adverse events, mistakes that further obscured Avandia’s heart risks.”

FDA Still Torn on Whether to Leave Avandia on the Market — Despite Advice of Expert Panel

Shockingly, the FDA has left this drug on the market providing you with another powerful demonstration that the government does NOT protect you but partners with big business to protect their profits.

Hundreds of thousands of diabetics take Avandia every year, despite the fact that a two-year long Senate investigation released earlier this year found Avandia causes about 500 more heart attacks and 300 more cases of heart failure than Actos (Actos may also damage your heart — just “not as much”).

Earlier this month, a federal medical advisory panel even recommended that Avandia either be withdrawn from the market or have sales severely restricted due to its increased heart risks.

The FDA also put the so-called TIDE trial – which was ordered by the FDA in 2007 to compare Avandia with Actos – on hold until they review the panel’s advice. While those already enrolled in the study can continue on, fortunately no one else will be able to sign up for the dangerous study – at least for now.

As FDA official Dr. David Graham said, given the known risks of Avandia, the study should be stopped immediately because it offers no benefit to participants and basically amounts to “human exploitation.”

Even so, the FDA is still considering its regulatory actions and has made no final determination either way.

Unfortunately, the FDA has known about Avandia’s dangers for years and ignored the concerns of their own experts before. The warning signs go back several years:

  • GSK completed a study in 2003 in which diabetics given Avandia suffered far more heart problems than those given a placebo.
  • Two months later, the World Health Organization alerted GSK that they’d also found a link between Avandia and heart ailments.
  • In a June 2004 company meeting, GSK’s Global Safety Board advised they needed to review all of Avandia’s clinical trials to check for more indications of heart problems caused by the drug. As a result, GSK completed two reviews of their own data. In both cases they discovered that Avandia increased the risks of serious heart problems by nearly one-third, which is very significant since two-thirds of diabetics die of heart problems!

In addition, according to an analysis done by the Institute for Safe Medication Practice, in the third quarter of 2009 Avandia ranked number one among ALL prescribed drugs in the number of serious, disabling and fatal problems!

Drugs Cannot Treat the Underlying Cause of Diabetes!

If you or someone you know is diabetic and taking medication for it, please understand that you cannot successfully treat the underlying cause of diabetes with drugs.

Avandia works by making diabetes patients more sensitive to their own insulin, helping to control blood sugar levels. In fact, most conventional treatments for type 2 diabetes utilize drugs that either raise insulin or lower blood sugar. Avandia, for example, lowers your blood sugar levels by increasing the sensitivity of liver, fat and muscle cells to insulin.

But you must understand that diabetes is NOT a blood sugar disease like your doctor may have led you to believe.

Type 2 diabetes is actually a disease caused by insulin resistance and faulty leptin signaling, both of which are regulated through your diet.

Conventional treatment, which is focused on fixing the symptom of elevated blood sugar rather than addressing the underlying disease, is doomed to fail in most cases.

Virtually 100% of Type 2 Diabetics Can be Cured if They are Compliant with Lifestyle Changes

Type 2 diabetes is virtually 100 percent avoidable, and can be effectively treated without medications in about the same percentage of cases.

Leptin, a relatively recently discovered hormone produced by fat, tells your body and brain how much energy it has, whether it needs more (saying “be hungry”), whether it should get rid of some (and stop being hungry) and importantly what to do with the energy it has (reproduce, upregulate cellular repair, or not).

In fact, the two most important organs that may determine whether you become (type 2, insulin resistant) diabetic or not are your liver and your brain, and it is their ability to listen to leptin that will determine this.

How is this done?

Well, that’s the kicker. The only known way to reestablish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through a proper diet and exercise!

There is NO drug that can accomplish this, but following these simple guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity, help normalize your weight, and naturally normalize your blood pressure.

As an aside, none of these will drastically raise your risk of a heart attack the way Avandia will . and in fact will have only positive benefits on your heart and your entire body:

  • Severely limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet, especially fructose, which is far more detrimental than any other type of sugar.

    Finding out your nutritional type will help you do this without much fuss.

    While nearly all type 2 diabetics need to swap out their grains for other foods, some people will benefit from using protein for the substitution, while others will benefit from using more vegetable-only carbohydrates. Therefore, along with reducing grains and sugars, determining your nutritional type will give you some insight into what foods you should use to replace the grains and sugars.

  • Exercise regularly — a must for anyone with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Typically, you’ll need large amounts of exercise, until you get your blood sugar levels under control. You may need up to an hour or two a day. Naturally, you’ll want to gradually work your way up to that amount, based on your current level of fitness.
  • Avoid trans fats
  • Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high quality, animal-based source.
  • Get enough high-quality sleep every night.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Recent studies have revealed that getting enough vitamin D can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure and that low vitamin D levels may increase your risk of heart disease.
  • Address any underlying emotional issues and/or stress. Non-invasive tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be extremely helpful and effective.
  • Monitor your fasting insulin level. This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 to 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin receptor sensitivity is.

The recommendations above are the key steps you need to achieve this reduction.

So please remember that a drug will never treat the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes the way these lifestyle changes will.

It looks like Avandia is set to go the way of Vioxx, which was also pulled from the market after killing 60,000 people. You don’t need to wait for the red tape to be removed to start looking out for your own health.

Diabetes runs in my family. About 15 years ago, I diagnosed my father with it and gave him these same guidelines to follow. He’s 81 years old and does two hours of exercise every single morning. He’s been able to keep his diabetes under control without taking a single drug by following these principles . and you can too.

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Here’s a video about a man with no arms? or legs, but the largest heart you’ve ever seen.

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This collection of videos offers a disturbing picture of what might be going on ‘behind the scenes’ in the Gulf of Mexico, and raises a number of questions:

  • Why is the press being restricted from seeing and reporting the news?
  • Is BP covering up the extent of the damage?
  • Why is the public not being warned of the toxic dangers?

Worse yet, ominous reports are indicating that the oil spill unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may lead to results much, much worse than you might have imagined.

Some scientists believe that 251 million years ago, an undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. Their theory is fifty-five million years later, another methane bubble ruptured, causing more mass extinctions.

Now, some scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events may be happening again — with no way to stop it. Some claim BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered a chain of events that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.

The drilling might just have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble.

According to Helium.com:

“The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe — of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it — would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water …

All three warning signs are documented to be occurring in the Gulf.”

Helium.com, incidentally, is not some crackpot site. It is a well-respected information hub that bills itself as a “knowledge co-operative where our writers are also our editors who read and rate every article on the site.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

According to the a BP press release, dated July 26, integrity testing on the MC252 exploratory well has been underway since July 15 and it’s still holding. The well is capped and the pressure inside the well is slowly rising. This rise in pressure is important, as if it does not increase, it could be a sign of a leak elsewhere, as discussed in a July 20 article by Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the first relief well had reached a depth of nearly 18,000 feet on July 18 th. Relief well activities were temporarily suspended on July 23 due to Tropical Storm Bonnie, but resumed on the 24th.

According to BP:

Although uncertainty remains, the first half of August remains the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will be completed and kill operations performed.”

Is Oil Still Flowing in the Gulf of Mexico?

I’m sure you, like I, drew a big sigh of relief upon hearing the news that the oil gusher had finally been capped after 87 days of unimpeded flow. But plenty of questions and suspicions about the veracity of BP’s claims still remain.

Just days later, oil started appearing some distance from the blown-out well. BP was quick to claim that it has nothing to do with their well.

Matt Simmons, founder of the Ocean Energy Institute, strongly disagrees.

In the first MSNBC video above, he goes on the record in a July 15 interview claiming that BP is covering up a massive open hole in the bottom of the ocean that is spewing 120,000 barrels of oil a day, miles away from the well head.

And that might not be the only, or even the biggest, problem we could still be facing in the Gulf.

Has Ruptured Well Unleashed Yet Another Unstoppable Mega Disaster?

As discussed in the Helium.com article above, scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of a massive methane gas deposit beneath the ocean floor. Methane is the main component of natural gas, which is highly combustible when mixed with air. Richard C. Hoagland also warns about this distressing possibility in a Coast to Coast interview that aired in June.

The ramifications of a methane deposit explosion are so staggering it can only be described as a planetary catastrophe en par with what some believed to be previous extinction events, as illustrated in the History Channel video, Mega Disasters, above.

And, according to a July 21 article in the St. Petersburg Times, methane readings in the area are definitely on the rise:

“Two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, scientists from SRI International took readings on the levels of methane in the Gulf of Mexico less than 10 miles from the rig. Last year, they went back and did it again.

Now, after the rig blew up and gushed oil for more than 80 days, SRI’s scientists from St. Petersburg have returned to the same area just northwest of the disaster and taken fresh readings.

They found levels of methane – a particularly potent greenhouse gas – are now 100 times higher than normal, SRI scientists said. They can’t say for sure it’s from BP, said SRI director Larry Langebrake, but “it is a sign that says there are things going on here that need to be researched.”

Scientists from Texas A&M found even higher levels of methane when they recently tested water within 5 miles of the Deepwater Horizon.

They found methane concentrations 100,000 times higher than normal.

But even if the worst-case-scenario doesn’t happen, raised methane levels can still cause significant environmental damage.

Methane is consumed by naturally occurring microbes in the ocean, and higher methane levels mean an increased microbe population. But these microbes also consume oxygen, which will expand the size of current dead zones in the Gulf and help to create new ones. No marine life can exist due to lack of oxygen in these dead zones..

Damage Already Incurred Will Take Many DECADES to Clean Up

It is probably obvious to all that the story is far from over just because the oil flow has decreased. After all, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of gallons of oil has poured into the Gulf. The Exxon Valdez disaster was “only” 12 million gallons of oil.

The second MSNBC video above offers a sobering report of the extent of the destruction already caused. A rare view from a helicopter makes the disaster painfully evident – rare since draconian measures have recently been implemented to limit media access and reporting on the disaster.

In the CNN video above, Anderson Cooper reports on the troubling new rule that prevents anyone, including reporters and photographers, from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms anywhere on the water or on beaches.

Violators face fines of up to $40,000 and class D felony charges.

It is easy to speculate on conspiracy explanations as it just doesn’t make any rational sense to restrict American media from showing the full extent of the damage. Is the US government in collusion with BP?  

Meanwhile, “BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation,” claims al.com, who also reports that “BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama University, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company’s lawyers.”

No doubt BP will need all the legal defense it can get its hands on.

Earlier this month, the Atlantic Wire reported on BP’s numerous shortcomings and wildly exaggerated claims on how much they’d be able to clean up, showing how their cleanup efforts “have fallen drastically short of its own predictions.”

There’s no doubt in my mind this disaster will take DECADES to clean up, if it’s at all possible.

Will BP really be around for the long haul?

Remember, at first, BP denied there was a leak at all. Only when that fact became painfully obvious did they fess up to it, estimating the leak at 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of oil a day. As of June 20, experts estimated the ruptured well was spewing out a staggering 4.2 million gallons of oil daily!

That level of low-balling must be a record in and of itself.

BP says it will make it right.

Time will tell if “making it right” is even within human capacity anymore.

The environmental disaster has since been significantly magnified by the reckless use of dispersants that are 4.5 times more toxic than the oil itself! These chemicals now pose a dire and direct threat not only to marine life, but to any human who comes too close to the waters of the Gulf.

To get more in-depth information about these dispersants and their environmental impact, please see this recent article.

Gulf Water Poses Direct Threat to Human Health, Toxicologist Warns

BP is using two dispersants: Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527A.

Corexit products were removed from a list of approved treatments for oil spills in the U.K. more than a decade ago after the agents were linked with human health problems including:

  • Respiratory
  • Neurological
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Blood disorders

People living near the Gulf of Mexico and those who have come in contact with its waters are now exhibiting these symptoms, according to toxicologist, Dr. Ricki Ott, in the video above.

She warns that the oil/dispersant mix can literally burn through your skin, through the subcutaneous layer, causing deep scarring. The dispersants break down your skin barrier, allowing the mix to penetrate deeply – far deeper than the oil could by itself.

“This is a huge problem,” Dr. Ott says. She goes on to say that people are describing it as invisible jelly fish.

The other concern is that it’s not just skin issues. It’s also a respiratory irritant, so people are experiencing respiratory problems, as well as central nervous system problems, such as:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Burning eyes and sore throat
  • Ear bleed
  • White spots in the back of the throat
  • Immune suppression

Dr. Ott is convinced that these ailments are linked to the oil and dispersant mix in the water and air in the area.

I agree, and strongly caution you to STAY OUT of the Gulf of Mexico. In my opinion, it’s simply not safe to swim there.

The MSDS for Corexit 9527A lists the human health hazard as “acute,” stating that:

“Excessive exposure may cause central nervous system effects, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects.”

According to Carys Mitchelmore, a researcher at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the detergent-like brew of solvents, surfactants and other compounds are known to cause a variety of health problems in animals, including:

  • Death
  • Reduced growth
  • Reproductive problems
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Immune suppression
  • Altered behavior
  • Carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic effects

Remember also that children are far more prone to experiencing health problems from this type of toxic exposure than adults. So please, keep your children safe. Do not allow your children to swim or play on the Gulf coast beaches.

In addition, if you can smell the crude oil, even if you’re miles inland, then you know you are being exposed to UNSAFE levels of toxins. Dr. Ott goes so far as to recommend all residents along the Gulf to acquire vapor organic respirators and keep them on hand at all times.

Take Action to Stop the Use of Toxic Dispersants

No matter where you live, you can still join the movement to stop the use of these dispersants by signing this petition.

This issue does NOT ONLY affect the Gulf States, or just the U.S.-it has global ramifications that grow with each passing day. I urge you to take action now, without delay, pressing your representatives to hold BP accountable.

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