Since then, the Foundation, in concert with many of the world?s leading researchers, has developed a scientific roadmap to transform the elderly to biological youth. Mr. Kekich is active in companies with proprietary stem cell and other technologies that target longevity and raises funds for life-extending research.
Mr. Kekich serves as a Board Member of the American Aging Association, Life Extension Buyers? Club, and Alcor Life Extension Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund, and is the author of ?Life Extension Express: 7 steps you can take now, to catch the emerging wave of medical breakthroughs? for a youthful, indefinite lifespan?, a how-to book for extreme life extension. He has also starred in two life extension documentaries and was featured in two others.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
I first met David Kekich several years ago. He's been a major influence in the field of life extension that we discuss here.
His journey began in the late 1970's. After successfully founding and running a large life insurance company, his life took a sudden turn when, 33 years ago, he suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the chest down. That fateful day at the gym began what was initially a search for solutions to his injury, but it eventually landed him on the path of longevity and anti-aging research.
Clearly, no one gets out of this life alive, but Kekich has pursued some really exciting strategies that can not only increase the length of life but also the quality of life.
The Manhattan Beach Project
To that end, he has developed a few companies, one of which is Maximum Life Foundation, which focuses on scientific conferences. They put together the Manhattan Beach Project that I participated in, back in 2009. It included many of the top biologists and anti-aging experts in the world.
That was the fifth conference put together by the Maximum Life Foundation since the first one in June of 2000, and what made that last conference so exciting was the fact that after thousands of hours of collaborations between anti-aging specialists and scientists, they were able to disclose a scientific roadmap for the reversal of aging.
Not only that; they also devised a plan for raising the money required to put the entire program into action.
"We put together a very spectacular board of directors, an amazing scientific advisory board and business advisory board, and a great management team and formed a company. We're on our way to raising, over the next few years, $100 million or so. It's going to be invested in these companies, in the technologies that we've been nurturing for almost 12 years."
Will 100 Be the New 50?
Dave is fond of saying that the age of 100 is going to be the new 50, and he firmly believes it will come true.
"That's the direction that we're going in right now," he says. "What we're talking about is actually looking and feeling and acting like you're 50 years old when you're 100. That's the future of what we're doing. In fact, we're getting very close to making that happen.
Instead of deteriorating with age and going into a slow steady decline, we're seeing the day where actually we're going to be getting better with age and not just our bodies, but also our minds. Our minds and bodies will continue to grow and evolve and eventually, we'll be talking about full rejuvenation ? body and mind rejuvenation."
Telomere Shortening?One of the Most Promising Age-Reversal Strategies
According to one theory, you age because your cells age. Hence if you can control the aging process in your cells, you should be able to control your aging.
Many anti-aging experts agree that the ability to alter telomere shortening is, without question, one of the most exciting methods that holds great promise to actually REVERSE aging.
So, what's a telomere, you ask?
The telomere is found at the very tip of each chromosome, which resides inside the nucleus in each of your 100 trillion cells. Researchers have now found that the telomere is a mechanism that controls your cell's rate of aging by shortening each time the cell divides. Once your telomeres have been reduced to about 5,000 bases, you essentially die of old age.
Telomere shortening can be accelerated by an unhealthy lifestyle, effectively speeding up your rate of aging. Obesity, lack of exercise, psychological stress and smoking, all cause production of free radicals that can cleave the telomere. Most age-related diseases can, in fact, be connected to telomere shortening.
Formerly, there was little that we understood abut how to slow down, stop, or even reverse telomere shortening. However, researchers are working on solutions to stop, or even reverse this telomere shortening, effectively reversing aging.
At the end of this article, I will also summarize some other exciting findings in this field because you can actually start taking advantage of this anti-aging mechanism TODAY, simply by exercising correctly!
The Promise of Age-Reversal?
This is a very controversial area. Naturally, we've all been conditioned to accept that aging is a normal part of life. However, even some of the world's leading gerontologists are now agreeing that age-reversal is possible?in fact, not only possible, but inevitable, courtesy of the speed of modern science.
"We've got stem cell, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence? and thought leaders rallying around this concept of age reversal and extended youth," Kekich says. " They believe it's going to be a reality. We've got people like Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey? They're all talking about indefinite open-ended youth some day.
We've got people like Michael Rose, an evolutionary biologist who set out to prove that aging cannot be stopped. He was the only researcher in 2000 that took the contrary end position. Recently, he came out with a book. While he was trying to prove it cannot be stopped, he concluded that, yes it can, and will be stopped!"
Interestingly enough, our life spans have already nearly doubled since the early 19th century, when the average life span was a mere 47 years old. People being born today are expected to live to nearly 80, here in the US, and in other countries the life expectancy is even higher.
The life extension technologies expected to arise over the next several decades do require you to stay alive long enough for them to be of benefit to you though. So taking good care of yourself in the now is still a given. If you're still in decent enough shape once they arrive, you may potentially be able to turn back the aging clock, and actually "grow younger," which is a truly extraordinary, mind-blowing concept.
The Law of Accelerating Returns Makes the Impossible Possible, Soon Enough
One point often brought up by skeptics is, "How could we reverse aging when we haven't even figured out how to cure cancer yet?"
In a word: acceleration.
According to the Law of Accelerating Returns, first identified by Ray Kurzweil, growth occurs not linearly, but exponentially. For example, if you take a one dollar bill and add a dollar to it every year, then at the end of two years you'll have $2, at the end of four years $4, and at the end of 10 years, $10. But if you double that dollar every year, then at the end of two years you'll have $2?same as linear growth?but after four years you'll have $8, and after 10 years, you'll have $1024!
"We are in an exponential growth mode right now," Kekich says. "We're just getting into that exponential curve with knowledge and progress in research. People don't recognize this generally because it looks like linear growth. It looks like what we've been used to all of our lives throughout the history of mankind. But we're advancing at an accelerated rate.
? The technologies that are driving the research we're talking about that we need to extend lives and cure cancer are doubling every single year."
Other people ascribe this type of acceleration to Moore's Law?the founder of Intel, who stated that computing power doubles every year to 18 months while the cost goes down by 50 percent. This has certainly turned out to be true for most of the technologies we use today, such as computers and wireless telephones. Remember those first portable phones? They were the size of a shoe and cost a small fortune!
Does Age Reversal Go Against the Law of Nature?
Some believe we as humans were more or less made to deteriorate and die, and that altering this means going against the laws of nature, perhaps even going against God's will, depending on your belief system.
"I hear that quite a bit," Kekich admits. "Is it against nature? Yes. Ever since man invented the wheel, we've been doing something counter to nature. The technology we're using today for this interview?talk about interfering with nature. This isn't natural. What's natural is going out and foraging? trying to wrestle an animal to death to eat it? We've gone way beyond.
? God gave us a brain and He gave us a way to figure out solutions to problems. I think if God didn't really want us to ? if you're religious, we got a lot of people saying, God doesn't want this to happen or that happen ? if He really didn't want us to make this progress, why would he have given us the ability to cure diseases, to make life more comfortable, to live longer? Why would he want to see us suffering and die unnecessarily?
I think that this kind of technology just could bring us closer to God? Is it interfering with nature? Absolutely. Everything we do interferes with nature. That's what makes us human instead of an animal."
The State of Current Research
Dave mentions a number of specific anti-aging advances.
Major advances are also taking place in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For example, researchers have been growing bladders from the patients' own cells and implanting them into humans for a few years now, with good results. They even successfully implanted engineered human tracheas.
"Researchers have also grown complete rat hearts; beating hearts," Dave says. "It won't be long before we're going to have spare parts, replacement parts built from our own cells, our own adult stem cells. If you need a new heart, we'll soon have hearts on demand, or lungs, kidneys, livers, or what have you."
What makes these organs ideal is that you don't have the problem of rejection?they're made using your own cells so it's a perfect match.
Another inventor is working on a treatment for Alzheimer's and has already treated about 100 patients, including his own mother, whose symptoms of mid-stage Alzheimer's were reversed. It also reversed her hearing damage, allowing her to get rid of her hearing aids.
Interestingly, this treatment is a supplement, not a drug.
"Drug companies are not going to like this, and it's going to be hard to market because you can't make claims with a supplement. But this is what the research has shown and we're going to be doing studies on this. It will be about a year of study. Hopefully, this supplement will be available pretty soon," he says.
Another exciting development in this area is plain old medium chain triglycerides, found in high amounts in coconut oil, which appears to be very beneficial for Alzheimer's patients when taken as a supplement.
Can the Earth Sustain Massive Life Extension on a Grand Scale?
If age-reversal becomes reality, then the question becomes, can we provide enough food, clean water and energy for this exponential population growth?
"That comes up a lot and it's a legitimate concern," Dave replies.
"However? First of all, the population is not exploding like most people think it is? In Asia, for example, the poverty level went down from something like 90 percent just 10 years ago to about 50 percent right now, thanks to technology; thanks to telecommunications and things like that. That's the trend. As people become more affluent and better educated, they have less and less children.
In this country, we are actually seeing a population decline, except for immigration. If you factor out immigration, we have a population decline. Europe, for the most part, has a population decline. Some countries like Russia are having a serious problem because their population is declining, not growing.
? Many years ago, Julian Simon the famous economist, showed that we really have enough resources. Forgetting about future technologies, just factoring all that out, we have enough resources on this planet to feed, house, and clothe twice as many people as we have living today.
It's not so much a resource problem. It's a political problem, and a distribution problem."
What Can You Do Now? Kekich's 7 Most Potent Anti-Aging Strategies
So, what can you do to maintain optimal health and youthful vigor right now?
Kekich recommends a seven step formula in his book Life Extension Express, which he is graciously giving out free of charge. These seven steps are:
- Appropriate diet
- Sensible supplementation
- Lifestyle habits such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight
- Seeing and Anti-Aging Physician
- Stress management
- Attitude/Positive thoughts
These are remarkably similar to my own anti-aging guidelines, which you can review here.
However, I would add to this what I now believe is an essential part of any anti-aging strategy, namely Peak 8 exercises.
The "Anti-Aging Exercise"
A recent study published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development confirms the "anti-aging" effect of high-intensity training. In fact, the results suggest there's a direct association between reduced telomere shortening in your later years and high-intensity-type exercises!
This is very exciting, as the prospect of being able to reduce telomere shortening?essentially stopping the cellular aging process that eventually kills you?is one of the most promising anti-aging strategies we know of to date.
High-intensity interval-type training also boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is also essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I've discussed the importance of HGH for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information, please review this previous article.
Age-Reversal Technology?Folly, or the Opportunity of a Lifetime?
As mentioned earlier, the Foundation needs an estimated $100 million to fund the full program. But where is that money going to come from?
"It's got to be private individuals, private investors," Kekich says. "That's the only way to get it started. A hundred million you mentioned is really getting us to lay a strong groundwork? We're going to count on wealthy individuals to come in and support it.
Once we have made certain demonstrable advances, then everybody is going jump on the bandwagon, just like they did for telecommunications, just like they did for all these hot new industries. But talking about a trillion dollar industry is an understatement. It's probably going to be a multi-trillion dollar industry. It's already over 200 billion."
12 Steps to Aging Younger
The Amazing Anti-Aging Discovery Experts Say Deserves the Nobel Prize...
Research has recently found that vitamin D has a protective effect against arterial stiffness and impaired blood vessel relaxation.
Study participants with reduced levels of vitamin D had increased arterial stiffness and vascular function impairment. However, among those whose vitamin D levels were normalized over a six month period, vascular health improved and blood pressure measurements declined.
Science Newsline Reports:
"The results add to evidence that lack of vitamin D can lead to impaired vascular health, contributing to high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease."
In related news, researchers have also found that high level of vitamin D could be protective against the development of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in adults.
In women younger than 75, those who had 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations lower than 38 nanomoles per liter were more likely to have age-related macular degeneration than women with concentrations greater than 38 nanomoles per liter.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
This isn't the first time vitamin D has been linked to improved heart health. In fact, there's overwhelming evidence that this nutrient is essential for your heart and cardiovascular system.
Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Stiffer Arteries and High Blood Pressure
Even if you're considered generally "healthy," if you're deficient in vitamin D, your arteries are likely stiffer than they should be, and your blood pressure may run higher than recommended due to your blood vessels being unable to relax. That's the conclusion researchers from the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute has reached. Their findings were recently presented at the annual American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.
According to researcher Dr. Al Mheid:
"We found that people with vitamin D deficiency had vascular dysfunction comparable to those with diabetes or hypertension."
That's a truly profound statement!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are severely deficient in vitamin D, regardless of race or nationality. In the United States, the late winter average vitamin D is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a very serious deficiency state. Overall, it's estimated that 85 percent of the American public are deficient, and as much as 95 percent of U.S. senior citizens.
Another recent study also confirms the link between vitamin D deficiency and high blood pressure. Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the study found that the disproportionately higher rates of hypertension among African Americans compared to Caucasians appears to be due to higher incidence of vitamin D deficiency. Life Extension Magazine quotes researcher Dr. Fiscella, professor of Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center:
"Our study confirms that vitamin D represents one piece of the complex puzzle of race and blood pressure, and since black-white differences in blood pressure represent thousands of excess deaths due to heart disease and stroke among blacks, we believe that simple interventions such as taking vitamin D supplements might have a positive impact on racial disparities."
The link between vitamin D status and heart health becomes even more apparent when you consider that only ONE out of 1,900 people evaluated meet the American Heart Association (AHA) definition of ideal cardiovascular health!
The AHA's definition of ideal cardiovascular health is the combination of the following seven factors:
- body mass index less than 25
- goal-level physical activity
- healthy diet
- untreated cholesterol below 200
- blood pressure below 120/80
- fasting blood sugar below 100
And out of 1,900 people, only one single person could claim this health status. Is it any wonder heart disease is one of the top killers in the US?
Raise Your Vitamin D Status to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Fortunately, it's been repeatedly shown that by increasing your vitamin D levels, you can improve your cardiovascular health and lower your blood pressure, and this latest research confirms this. Forty-two of the participants who raised their vitamin D to normal levels had an average drop in blood pressure of 4.6 millimeters mercury.
Keep in mind that "normal" is not the same as optimal, so increasing your levels to the recommended optimal levels as indicated in the chart below will undoubtedly impart an even more beneficial effect?not just for your cardiovascular health but also your health in general, from improving your immune function to cutting your risk of cancer in half.
But just how does vitamin D work in respect to your vascular health?
"Throughout the body, a layer of endothelial cells lines the blood vessels, controlling whether the blood vessels constrict or relax and helping to prevent clots that lead to strokes and heart attacks.
"There is already a lot known about how vitamin D could be acting here," Al Mheid says. "It could be strengthening endothelial cells and the muscles surrounding the blood vessels. It could also be reducing the level of angiotensin, a hormone that drives increased blood pressure, or regulating inflammation."
Vitamin D also improves your cardiovascular health through a number of other mechanisms, such as:
- Increasing your body's natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
- Suppressing vascular calcification
- Inhibiting vascular smooth muscle growth
A previous study found women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk of death from heart disease by one-third, and other researchers have found that people with the lowest average vitamin D levels had a 124 percent greater risk of dying from all causes and a 378 percent greater risk of dying from a heart problem.
Beware: 100 Million Americans May Be Unnecessarily Labeled as Having Abnormal Blood Pressure
As a side note, I want to quickly touch on two related items here here.
First, according to a study published in March in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, as many as 100 million Americans may currently be misclassified as having abnormal blood pressure! Looking at data for nearly 13,800 people who were followed for two decades, the researchers examined and compared the independent contributions of diastolic- (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) on mortality.
In those over the age of 50, having systolic blood pressure above 140, independent of DBP, significantly increased their risk of premature death. Meanwhile, in those under the age of 50, diastolic blood pressure above 100 was linked to significant increases in premature death. As a result, the authors strongly suggest revising the definition of "normal" blood pressure (i.e. below 120/80), using these alternative cut-off points.
Science Daily quotes lead researcher Dr. Taylor:
"Our findings highlight that the choice of approach used to define normal blood pressure will impact literally millions of Americans. If we cannot reliably see an effect on mortality in a large group of individuals followed for nearly 20 years, should we define the condition as abnormal? We believe considering this kind of approach represents a critical step in ensuring that diagnoses are given only to those with a meaningful elevation in risk, and targeted towards individuals most likely to benefit."
This is definitely important, because not only are tens of millions of people taking unnecessary blood pressure medication as a result, but it has now become more or less standard practice to also prescribe an antidepressant along with that blood pressure reducer! The thought is that high blood pressure is the result of stress, which is oftentimes the case.
However, antidepressants have no benefit on this kind of stress and can only put your health at even greater risk... so please, AVOID making the mistake of taking an antidepressant for high blood pressure! If your doctor recommends or prescribes one for your high blood pressure and not your depression, REFUSE it, as there is simply no justification for ever using these dangerous drugs for this purpose.
Vitamin D May Prevent Diabetes, and Helps Reduce Heart Disease Risk if You're Diabetic
Vitamin D is also an important factor in diabetes. First, having lower levels of vitamin D has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. After following more than 5,000 people for five years, the Australian research team found that those with lower than average vitamin D levels had a 57 percent increased risk of developing diabetes, compared to those within the recommended range. According to lead researcher Dr. Claudia Gagnon:
"Studies like ours have suggested that blood levels of vitamin D higher than what is recommended for bone health may be necessary to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes."
Low levels of vitamin D are also known to nearly double your risk of cardiovascular disease if you already have diabetes. A 2009 study shed light on why vitamin D has such a significant impact on diabetics' heart health.
Diabetics who are deficient in vitamin D cannot process cholesterol normally, so it builds up in their blood vessels, hence increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Vitamin D inhibits the uptake of cholesterol by cells called macrophages. Macrophages are dispatched by your immune system in response to inflammation and are often activated by diseases such as diabetes.
When you're deficient in vitamin D, your macrophage cells absorb more cholesterol, and can't get rid of it. The macrophages then get clogged with cholesterol and become what scientists call "foam cells," which are one of the earliest markers of atherosclerosis.
So, if you're diabetic it's even more important to maintain therapeutic levels of vitamin D.
High Vitamin D Status also Improves Survival Rates in Heart Failure Patients
The study, conducted at the University Medical Center in the Netherlands, also suggested that low levels of vitamin D are associated with activation of the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS ? a pivotal regulatory system in heart failure) and an altered cytokine profile.
According to the researchers, patients with lower concentrations had a higher risk of death or required re-hospitalization, whereas patients with higher concentrations had lower survival risks for these endpoints.
How Much Vitamin D do You Need to Decrease Arterial Stiffness?
In March of last year, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism looked at the effect of different dosages of vitamin D in relation to arterial stiffness in African American teens.
Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to receive either 400 IU of vitamin D per day (which is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics) or 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
Those who took 400 IU's a day did not achieve vitamin D sufficiency while those who took 2,000 IU's a day did, and consequently had a decrease in central arterial stiffness. As demonstrated in this study, there's no doubt that the current daily recommended allowances (RDA) for vitamin D are FAR too low to achieve optimal health benefits!
As of right now, the conventional RDAs are only:
- 400 IU for infants, children and adolescents
- 200 IU for adults up to age 50
- 400 IU for adults aged 51 to 70
- 600 IU for seniors over 70
Research has repeatedly shown you may need as much as ten times these amounts, depending on your current status!
According to vitamin D experts, the ideal vitamin D levels are actually far higher than the conventional "normal," so when you get your levels checked, don't be satisfied with a simple, "You're within the normal range." Instead, make sure your levels are within these ideal therapeutic ranges:
As you can see, anything below 50 ng/ml is now believed to be a deficiency state, and the optimal range to treat heart disease is between 70-100 ng/ml. Meanwhile, conventional medicine still considers 32 ng/ml to be the threshold for "optimal health." Please do not be fooled by that conservative recommendation!
Please note that levels over 100 ng/ml are likely only a problem if they are obtained by swallowing oral vitamin D3. If you raise your level to over 100 by sun exposure it is unlikely to be problematic. In the winter I live in the sub-tropics on the beach and typically get two hours of sun every day, which raises my levels to over 100 ng/ml. This is also typical for many healthy lifeguards in the summer.
Vitamin D Status and Your Vision
Another recent study has also implicated vitamin D deficiency in the development of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the US.
In women younger than 75, having vitamin D levels below 38 nanomoles per liter equated to higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Those whose vitamin D intake was among the top one-fifth of participants had a 59 percent lower risk of developing AMD compared to women whose intake was among the lowest fifth.
Take Action Before it's Too Late
Unfortunately, the most common symptom of heart disease is sudden death, so you simply MUST be proactive.
Typically, there are absolutely no indications of a problem, no signs like chest pain or shortness of breath. You simply have NO symptoms at all before getting struck by the chest pain that kills you. Sudden cardiac death strikes more than 300,000 people every year in the US alone.
This is a tragedy made even more upsetting as heart disease, just like type 2 diabetes, is one of the easiest diseases to prevent and avoid, if you're proactive! For example, vitamin D deficiency is incredibly easy to diagnose and fix, and can dramatically reduce your risk.
One of the first steps you should take is to watch my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D, which will tell you what your optimal vitamin D levels should be along with how to safely get them there.
Next, assess your heart disease risk factors.
Keep in mind that your total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease unless it's close to 300 or higher. And, perhaps more importantly, you need to be aware that cholesterol is not the CAUSE of heart disease. If you become overly concerned with trying to lower your cholesterol level to some set number, you will be completely missing the real problem.
The ratios you need to be concerned with when evaluating your heart disease risk are:
- Your HDL/Cholesterol ratio
- Your Triglyceride/HDL ratios
Your HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24 percent. Below 10 percent, it's a significant indicator of risk for heart disease. You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. Simply take your triglyceride level and divide it by your HDL level. That percentage should be below 2.
Fasting Insulin Levels: Another Important Risk Factor for Heart Disease
There's a reason why diabetes significantly raises your risk of heart disease. The factor that links these two diseases is insulin, so naturally, keeping your insulin levels low is imperative for preventing and treating both.
Further, studies have shown that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl had a nearly 300% increase higher risk of having coronary heart disease than people with a level below 79 mg/dl.
Normal fasting blood glucose is below 100 mg/dl, but for optimal health it should be closer to 80.
Any meal or snack high in unhealthy carbohydrates like sugar and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose, followed by insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. The insulin released from eating too many carbohydrates promotes fat and makes it more difficult for your body to lose fat, particularly around your belly, and this is one of the major contributors to heart disease.
Reducing your intake of fructose and grains, including corn-based foods and potatoes is perhaps THE most important strategy to help you lower your blood glucose and prevent insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.
Helpful Supplements for Heart Disease and Macular Degeneration
Emerging research is pointing to L-arginine, an amino acid, as a powerful player in your cardiovascular health. In the latest research, supplementation with L-arginine resulted in multiple beneficial vascular effects in people with multiple risk factors for heart disease.
L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide and is actually the only known nutritional substrate in your vessel lining available to endothelial cells (a layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels) for nitric oxide production. In other words, the lining in your vessels (endothelium) need L-arginine to create nitric oxide, which acts as a cellular signaling molecule in your body to help promote healthy blood vessel flexibility and dilation.
This is why a high-quality L-arginine supplement may be a simple way to enhance your body's supply, especially if you know you have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, excess weight, or high insulin levels (diabetes). You can also find L-arginine in dietary sources and may be able to somewhat enhance your levels by eating more:
- Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts)
- Sesame and sunflower seeds
- Dairy and meat
Additionally, chronic inflammation is a hallmark of everything I've covered in this article?diabetes, heart disease, and macular degeneration. A potent supplement to help keep inflammation in check is astaxanthin. This potent antioxidant exhibits VERY STRONG free radical scavenging activity, and protects your cells, organs and body tissues from oxidative damage.
What to Do if You're at Risk
If you find that you are at risk for heart disease, I urge you to get your vitamin D levels checked, and if you are deficient, take steps to increase your levels to the therapeutic range.
Then simply apply the Take Control of Your Health program. This will virtually eliminate your risk -- sometimes quite rapidly-- because it helps to significantly reduce inflammation in your body. And, keeping your inflammation levels low is key if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease.
An added boon of applying this program is that it will automatically also help you to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.
Does High Cholesterol REALLY Cause Heart Disease?
Heart Attack Triggers You Should Know
Monsanto's herbicidal chemical glyphosate could cause infertility or cancer. It may also be speeding the growth of super weeds and causing worrying changes to plants and soil.
The chemical, which has long been touted as a safe part of global food production, is now at a crossroads. Regulators in the United States and Canada are conducting a formal review of glyphosate's safety, even as lawsuits are pending and some groups are calling for a global ban.
According to Reuters:
"Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries are warning that heavy use of the chemical over the years is causing dangerous problems for plants, people and animals alike."
Monsanto is also only an FDA approval away from its latest monstrosity -- soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce omega-3 fats. That FDA approval is expected this year.
Monsanto plans to include GM soybean oil in every product it can -- baked goods, baking mixes, breakfast cereals, cheeses, frozen dairy desserts, pasta, gravies and sauces, fruit juices, snack foods, candy, soups, and more.
According to Forbes:
"Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google's first suggested search term for the St. Louis company is 'Monsanto evil.' Readers ... voted Monsanto the world's most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote."
Marie-Monique Robin, author of The World According To Monsanto, says that for all Monsanto's talk about the ecological and humanitarian benefits of its chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the solutions have never been delivered.
According to Robin's extensive documentation, this is because what really matters to Monsanto is control of the world seed market. To that end, they have genetically engineered seeds that are resistant to, and therefore dependent on, Roundup, Monsanto's herbicide, which nets them gigantic profits.
Green Left reports:
"GMOs and Roundup, says Robin, are amongst the 'most dangerous products of modern times', joining a list that is heavily populated by other Monsanto products such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and bovine growth hormones.
In all cases, Monsanto has been fully aware of their harmfulness yet has lied about their dangers with an impunity conferred by the collusion between the company and the public health and environmental authorities of successive U.S. governments."
You can click on the Green Left link below to read the full story of Monsanto's criminal history.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Glyphosate, the world's bestselling weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, is emerging as one of the most dangerous Monsanto products to date.
As the mastermind behind polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and bovine growth hormones, Monsanto is no stranger to toxic products -- PCBs alone have polluted the planet for decades and health risks remain to this day -- but the vast quantities of Roundup being poured over U.S. land could lead to damage of unprecedented proportions.
In a letter sent to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, retired Purdue University professor Don Huber warned that tests show glyphosate "could be contributing to spontaneous abortions and infertility in pigs, cattle and other livestock," Reuters reported. The chemical has also been linked to a growing army of superweeds that now cover about 11 million acres of farmland, up fivefold from just three years ago, according to Penn State weed scientist David Mortensen.
Today there are more than 750 products in the United States that contain glyphosate, and the problems to human health and the environment are only slated to get worse if drastic changes are not made in the massive use of Roundup herbicide across the United States.
How Did Roundup Become so Popular?
Millions of pounds of Roundup are used every year on U.S. gardens, lawns and farms. It works by inhibiting an enzyme called EPSP synthase, which is necessary for plants to grow. Without it, plants are unable to produce essential proteins so they slowly yellow and die.
Ordinarily, if you were to spray Roundup on crops, it would kill them . So Monsanto created genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready crops, which produce an enzyme that has the same function as EPSP synthase, but is not affected by Roundup. This allows farmers to liberally spray Roundup directly onto their Roundup Ready crops, killing only weeds and leaving the crops to grow unharmed.
However, this convenience comes at a steep price, as evidence shows that Roundup's active ingredient glyphosate is actually devastating crops and human and animal health around the world.
Cancer, Infertility and Plague Epidemics
GM expert Jeffrey Smith has reported that glyphosate promotes the formation of certain types of fungi that are dangerous to people and contaminate food and animal feed. One such fungi, the Fusarium fungus, has been linked to plague epidemics, cancer, infertility and animal diseases.
Residues of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide found in GM food and feed have also been linked to cell damage and death, even at very low levels. Researchers have also found it causes membrane and DNA damage, and inhibits cell respiration.
And in one animal study, rats given 1,000 mg/kg of glyphosate resulted in a 50 percent mortality rate, and skeletal alterations were observed in over 57 percent of fetuses!
It's also possible that glyphosate is significantly altering the nutrient content of our food, through its chelating mechanism, leading to widespread mineral deficiencies in animals and humans. Smith writes:
"The same nutrients that glyphosate chelates and deprives plants are also vital for human and animal health. These include iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, boron, and others. Deficiencies of these elements in our diets, alone or in combination, are known to interfere with vital enzyme systems and cause a long list of disorders and diseases ?
Glyphosate-induced mineral deficiencies can easily go unidentified and untreated. Even when laboratory tests are done, they can sometimes detect adequate mineral levels, but miss the fact that glyphosate has already rendered them unusable.
Glyphosate can tie up minerals for years and years, essentially removing them from the pool of nutrients available for plants, animals, and humans. If we combine the more than 135 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides applied in the US in 2010 with total applications over the past 30 years, we may have already eliminated millions of pounds of nutrients from our food supply."
A Threat to Future Food Crops (and the Food Chain That Depends on Them)
Monsanto's Roundup weed killer is thought to be contributing to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a deadly plant disease that causes plants to turn yellow and die.
Numerous studies have linked glyphosate to increases in SDS, including in crops that have never been sprayed with the herbicide but were planted in a field that received an application the previous season.
If an herbicide were actually weakening crops, wouldn't farmers know? Not necessarily, as the herbicide does not kill plants outright. Rather, it creates what Jeffrey Smith calls "a unique perfect storm of conditions" that ultimately weakens the plants and promotes disease.
- Acting as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function
- Destroying beneficial soil organisms that suppress disease-causing organisms and help plants absorb nutrients
- Interfering with photosynthesis, reducing water use efficiency, shortening root systems and causing plants to release sugars, which changes soil pH
- Stunting and weakening plant growth
- Promoting disease-causing organisms in soil, which then overtake the weakened crops
Roundup may actually be changing the makeup of soil and boosting the number of disease-causing organisms, a deadly recipe for crops around the globe.
As Don Huber stated:
"There are more than 40 diseases of crop plants that are reported to increase with the use of glyphosate, and that number keeps growing as people recognize the association between glyphosate and disease."
Superweeds are Getting Out of Control
More than 75 percent of soybeans, 65 percent of cotton, and 10 percent of corn grown in the United States contain the GM Roundup Ready gene -- and all of these crops receive numerous applications of Roundup each and every year. Even John Ramsay, chief financial officer of plant sciences company Syngenta, told Reuters:
"Glyphosate resistance has built up to quite concerning levels in the United States ? It is not surprising that with every single farmer pouring glyphosate over virtually every acre, plant life is going to have something to say about it."
Indeed, it's estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40 U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant. As a result, farmers are applying even more herbicides to crops. This is, in fact, the National Research Council's advice to farmers who are facing issues with superweeds:
"In particular, farmers who grow GE [genetically engineered] herbicide-resistant crops should not rely exclusively on glyphosate and need to incorporate a range of weed management practices, including using other herbicide mixes."
But applying even more chemicals to the soil is only adding to the problem, as Center for Food Safety analyst Bill Freese told Reuters.
"That is going to spell big problems... even larger problems with herbicide-resistant weeds ? It will just accelerate this toxic spiral of increased pesticide use."
Monsanto's in it for the Money
Monsanto long used the slogans, "It's Safer than Mowing," "Biodegradable," and "Environmentally Friendly" to describe Roundup -- until the real effects of this toxic herbicide were revealed and they were forced to discontinue their deceptive advertising. As always, their ultimate goal remains to protect their lucrative profits and virtual monopoly over GM crops and related herbicide use.
In 2010, glyphosate-based herbicides including Roundup brought in more than $2 billion in sales for Monsanto.
"All Monsanto's talk about the ecological and humanitarian miracles of its chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is so much hot air, says Marie-Monique Robin in The World According To Monsanto.
The reduction of pesticide pollution, the end of world hunger, plants producing biodegradable plastics, corn containing antibodies against cancer -- none of these promised GMO solutions have been delivered.
This is because what really matters to Monsanto, as Robin documents, is control of the world seed market and the genetic engineering of those seeds to be resistant to, and therefore dependent on, Roundup, Monsanto's herbicide with the real miracle; gigantic profits."
Unfortunately, as it stands Monsanto is set to introduce even more GM crops to the marketplace, with their latest creation -- soybeans genetically modified to produce omega-3 fats -- just one FDA approval away.
Will the EPA Take Action Before it's Too Late?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally looking into the damaging effects of glyphosate on humans and the environment and plans to make a decision regarding its future by 2015. At that time, Roundup could either continue to be used as it is now, be required to have some modifications to its use or be banned from use entirely in the United States.
Hopefully they will not continue their history of leniency with the chemical. As Reuters reported:
"Though the Food Quality Protection Act requires the EPA to use an extra tenfold (10X) safety factor to protect infants and children from effects of the pesticide, the agency determined there was adequate data available to show that the margin of safety for glyphosate could be reduced to only a 1X factor."
The potential health ramifications of these worldwide experiments with our food supply are frightening to say the least. And unfortunately the EPA will NOT be conducting its own studies for the glyphosate review, but rather will be reviewing data that comes from the agricultural chemicals industry, including Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Chemical and BASF. Industry-funded studies are notorious for being biased in favor of the corporate side, so only time will tell whether the EPA's review will be beneficial for public health and the environment -- or big business.
In the meantime, if you care about the health and future of your family, I strongly urge you to refuse to participate in this destructive trend and help to give Monsanto the boot.
By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto's GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.
Most people want to avoid GMOs but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.
However, Jeffrey Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information -- the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. You can also print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and give it to your friends and family.
By making your shopping choices according to this guide, you can help ensure that Monsanto will fall further and further from public favor, until one day perhaps they will disappear from the radar entirely.
Are Vitamin Supplements a Bad Idea for Cancer Patients?
The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure?
Vaccines can contain live or killed lab altered microorganisms, and also carcinogens, heavy metals, and mutated proteins. Recent news can give you an indication of the unsuspected results that can occur when you inject such a cocktail into your body.
Results from a Swedish study found a roughly 400 percent increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents vaccinated with Pandemrix. The results are similar to those found in a Finnish study.
According to the Swedish Lakemedelsverket:
?An ongoing case inventory study ... is expected to give further support to the results ... and will hopefully contribute with new knowledge on the clinical course of the disease and possible risk factors. These results are expected to be available this summer.?
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
As you know, health authorities around the globe fiercely maintain that vaccines are safe, regardless of what's happening in the real world. Time and again, serious side effects from vaccines are overlooked and swept under the rug as being "coincidental."
But just how many coincidences does it take before a pattern emerges, and how long do you stare at the pattern before you acknowledge that it's there?
It's all very convenient to ascribe all vaccine reactions to sheer chance; brushing them aside with comments like, "they would have gotten ill anyway due to predisposition."
However, once you take the time to truly investigate the information we already have at our disposal, in the form of medical studies and disease statistics, it's quite clear that a pattern is staring us right in the face. In a nutshell, this pattern could be summarized by saying that vaccines generally reduce health and worsen health outcomes.
Patterns of Vaccine-Induced Disease
There are all sorts of research showing that vaccines can, and do, cause or contribute to disease?either the disease the vaccine is supposed to protect against, or other diseases. Here's are but a few examples that I've covered in previous articles:
- Vaccinating children against chickenpox can increase the risk of adult shingles. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful blistering rash that is potentially dangerous in the elderly. According to researchers at Britain's Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), while vaccination might save thousands of lives over time, thousands of elderly people may also suffer the painful effects of shingles and even die prematurely from the complications of shingles.
Interestingly enough, instead of reconsidering the strategy of vaccinating against this typically harmless childhood disease, the pharmaceutical industry simply responded by creating a shingles vaccine for seniors. The vaccine, according to some studies, has been shown to prevent shingles about half the time.
- Of the children who contracted chickenpox in an outbreak in Maryland in 2001, 75 percent of the affected had been vaccinated against the disease.
- Similarly, last year the US experienced the largest outbreak of mumps since 2006. More than 1,000 people in New Jersey and New York fell ill, yet 77 percent of those sickened were vaccinated against mumps.
- In 2007, it became clear that the use of the vaccine Prevnar, used against pneumonia, meningitis, and deadly bloodstream infections in young children, has unleashed a superbug that is resistant to all currently available drugs.
In the U.S. Prevnar is given to infants as four shots between the age of 2 months and 15 months. It covers seven of the 90-odd strains of the strep bacteria, and although diseases from the seven covered strains have declined, one strain called 19A has developed super resistance and is now spreading.
- Certain vaccines have also been linked to a rise in type 1 diabetes in a number of studies. One such study, published in 2003 to further investigate this connection concluded that clusters of cases of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) may be linked to six different vaccines: the haemophilus influenza B (HIB), pertussis, MMR, and BCG vaccine. The authors stated:
"The identification of clusters of cases of T1DM occurring in consistent temporal time periods allowed a link between the hemophilus vaccine and T1DM to be established. The current findings indicate the there are also clusters of cases of T1DM occurring 2-4 years post-immunization with the pertussis, MMR, and BCG vaccine. The data are consistent with the occurrence of clusters following mumps infection and the progression to T1DM in patients with antipancreatic autoantibodies."
- In the late 1960's, an experimental vaccine in development, the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine killed two infants, and a staggering 80 percent of all children who received it were hospitalized with severe respiratory disease.
A report issued eight years later concluded that the reason for this abysmal failure was because the children's antibodies did not bind to the inactivated virus to produce a protective immune response, meaning their immune system could not recognize the infectious invader. Instead, the dead virus circulated throughout their bodies, triggering a massive immune system attack.
This last example is part and parcel of what many pro-vaccine-safety educators have been saying about other vaccines as well ? that they can create serious health problems for those who are injected with lab altered micoorganisms that can wreak havoc on immune function. And, when several vaccines are administered together, or in close succession, their interaction may completely overwhelm your child's developing immune system.
Narcolepsy?A Now Confirmed Side Effect of the Latest Flu Vaccine
Last year, Sweden and Finland sounded the alarm as a disproportionate number of youths suddenly developed narcolepsy after being vaccinated with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine. Other European countries, such as France, Germany and Norway, also reported cases of the rare sleeping disorder, causing the EU to launch an investigation.
In Sweden, the Medical Products Agency (L
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that more than half of U.S. adults use dietary supplements such as multivitamins, minerals or herbs. The number has risen from just 42 percent in 1988 to 53 percent in 2006.
The most popular supplements are multivitamins, which were used by 39 percent of U.S. adults in 2006. Some consumers may be viewing supplements as a way to make up for a poor diet, which is not the best approach.
According to CNN:
"While some are helpful, supplements can't entirely replace proper nutrition ... "Sources:
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Fifty-three percent of Americans now use dietary supplements, an increase of 11 percent in just under two decades, but the question remains, is this trend making people healthier?
In general, it doesn't appear so. Chronic disease rates are rising and the latest study published in Health Affairs revealed that the United States now ranks 49th for male and female life expectancy worldwide, a ranking that has fallen sharply from fifth place in 1950.
Supplements Cannot Make up for an Unhealthy Lifestyle
It has always been my belief and teaching that supplements are in addition to NOT in place of a good sound diet. You can't cover your nutritional or lifestyle "sins" by taking a handful of supplements. Biology doesn't work that way.
Your biological imperative to achieve good health is to eat the highest quality toxin-free foods you can possibly find or afford. Anything less will increase your risk for weight gain and accelerated aging.
A healthy diet based on food choices that are appropriate for your nutritional type, along with exercise, are the two bedrocks of optimal health. Typically supplements will not work nearly as well if these foundations are not in place, and they will certainly not replace these healthy habits.
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that multivitamins are the most popular supplements, taken by 39 percent of U.S. adults no doubt as an "insurance policy" to make up for poor diet.
Taking pro-active steps, including taking a multivitamin to help maintain and boost good health and wellness, is not a bad idea, but if you're taking a synthetic multivitamin (like the majority of those sold at discount stores or large chain stores) you may as well be flushing your money down the toilet.
Why Synthetic and Megadose Vitamins are a Waste of Money
Synthetic alternatives to whole foods are known as "isolates." Your body will only absorb a small percentage of an isolate form of vitamins and minerals -- and utilize even less (Your body absorbs much more of the whole food form.) On top of that, there may be side effects, depending on the quality of the isolate.
Synthetic nutrients are not natural in that they are never found by themselves in nature. Taking these isolated nutrients regularly, especially at the ultra-high doses found in formulas today, is frequently more like taking a drug.
When you take vitamins or antibiotics that are concentrated above what is found naturally, in nature, your small intestine actually forms defenses against the absorption of these excessively concentrated ingredients.
It does this by creating a biofilm -- a barrier that effectively blocks the absorption of nutrients -- as a form of self defense, if you will.
According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, who frequently monitors his patients' nutrient levels, oftentimes the more supplements you take the less your body actually absorbs. Further, studies show your body treats these isolated and synthetic nutrients like xenobiotics (foreign substances). This is why your urine will oftentimes turn some shade of glow-in-the-dark yellow when you take synthetic vitamins, as your body is simply flushing these foreign substances out.
So if you choose to take a multivitamin, you'll want to be sure that it is a whole food supplement.
Whole food supplements are what their name suggests: Supplements made from concentrated whole foods. The vitamins found within these supplements are not isolated. They are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, activators and many other unknown or undiscovered factors that work together synergistically, to enable this vitamin complex to do its job in your body.
Whole Food Nutrition vs. Supplements
Of course I believe in supplements but really only a handful. I far prefer whole food. Let me give you an example.
Many body builders want to gain muscle so they will take branched chain amino acids or glutamine to increase their muscle growth. While that may result in some benefit, it is my strong belief that the risks of isolated amino acid supplements far outweigh the benefits of whole food nutrition. In this case I prefer the use of a high-quality whey supplement.
Whey has all the amino acids in the right ratio to better optimize muscle growth compared to isolated amino acids. Similarly, many take glutathione for anti-aging or for detox and while that is helpful it is not as useful or less expensive than taking a high-quality whey protein
Notice I mention HIGH QUALITY. The reason I do that is that whey protein is processed and the majority of whey protein on the market is not high quality and should be avoided, as it will do more harm than good. Because it is a processed food, one needs to be ultra-careful in the details of the processing. So make sure you do your homework.
Another great example is animal-based omega-3 fats. Ideally the best source would be clean fish. Unfortunately, 20th century industrialization has contaminated virtually all waterways making this very difficult so one needs to rely on supplemental sources. I really don't consider these supplements but a food substitute for fish
Similarly most benefit from eating fermented foods, but if you are unable to do so then a high-quality probiotic becomes an imperative. This is not really a supplement but more of a food.
Be Wary of Supplement Additives
Aside from the issue of synthetic versus whole is the issue of what is added to your supplement aside from the active ingredient. Many supplement makers are adding flowing agents into their capsules, such as magnesium stearate. Previous research has shown that magnesium stearate suppresses your natural killer cells, which are a key component of your immune system.
Magnesium stearate is much like a chalk filler that stimulates your gut to form a biofilm -- a sort of sludge lining -- that acts as an effective barrier to the absorption of not only that particular vitamin but ALL the nutrients you'd normally get from food sources as well!
Which Dietary Supplements Might be Useful?
Vitamin D is the one that most people are deficient on. Ideally one should optimize their levels by safe and appropriate exposure of their skin to UVB, either from the sun or a safe tanning bed.
A poor, but important, second choice would be to take oral vitamin D3. When using oral vitamin D a blood test is important to make sure your levels stay in the optimal range as, unlike sun or a safe tanning bed exposure, your body can't self-regulate oral doses as it really was not designed to get vitamin D this way.
As I mentioned, another incredibly useful supplement is probiotics, which influence the activity of hundreds of your genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner.
You can get these healthy bacteria from eating fermented foods, and if you eat them enough you will keep your digestive tract well supplied with good bacteria, but there may still be times when a probiotic supplement is necessary, such as when you stray from your healthy diet and consume excess grains or sugar, if you have to take antibiotics, when traveling to foreign countries or when eating at suspicious restaurants.
I've found that using a high-quality probiotic every 30-60 days will typically help maintain a well-functioning digestive system.
There are other instances when supplements may be useful as well, such as in the case of CoQ10 if you're taking statin drugs, but their effectiveness depends largely on the quality of the supplement itself.
Once you have done that and you are looking for further improvement, odds are you would likely benefit from some supplements, like a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplement, probiotic, astaxanthin and a whey supplement. There are many others you could consider depending on your specific circumstances, but just about everyone would benefit from these four.
When choosing a supplement, do your homework first and use only those that come from a reputable manufacturer using whole-food, natural ingredients that are free from additives and have gone through a vigorous quality control process.
Related Articles:Why Taking Supplements Could be Hazardous to Your HealthComments (30)
Americans Still Depend Far Too Much on Their Supplements
If You Use Herbs and Supplements, You've Been Betrayed by Lawmakers. A HIGHLY URGENT Message...