By Dr. Mercola
Drisdol is the synthetic form of vitamin D2; the form of vitamin D typically prescribed by doctors.
But this is not the type produced by your body in response to sun or safe tanning bed exposure.
A recent meta-analysis by the Cochrane Database looked at mortality rates for people who supplemented their diets with D2 versus those who did so with D3, the form naturally produced by your body.
The analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 94,000 participants, showed:
- A six percent relative risk reduction among those who used vitamin D3, but
- A two percent relative risk increase among those who used D2
In an article posted on Live in the Now, Dr. John J. Cannell writes:
"Amazingly, this study somehow slipped under the radar...
You would think a paper that took a look at tens of thousands of subjects and analyzed the efficacy of prescription vitamin D (D2) and over-the-counter vitamin D (D3) would warrant a news story or two.
To my knowledge, these papers are the first to paint such a clear picture about the efficacy between D3 and D2."
The Two Types of Vitamin D
Supplemental vitamin D comes in two forms:
- Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2)
- Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)
They have long been regarded as equivalent and interchangeable+ especially since a recognized vitamin D expert, Dr. Michael Hollick, recoomended it. But that notion was based on studies of rickets prevention in infants conducted several decades ago. Today, we know a lot more about vitamin D, and the featured study offers compelling support for the recommendation to take vitamin D3 if you need to take an oral supplement?which is the same type of D vitamin created in your body when you expose your skin to sunlight.
According to the latest research, D3 is approximately 87 percent more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2. Regardless of which form you use, your body must convert it into a more active form, and vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind poorly with proteins, further hampering its effectiveness.
Unfortunately, vitamin D2?which is a synthetic version made by irradiating fungus and plant matter?is the form of vitamin D most often prescribed by doctors in the U.S. Hopefully this will change sooner rather than later.
"While there may be explanations for D3's superiority other than improved efficacy, for the time being, these papers send doctors a message: use D3, not D2."
The Incredible Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Optimizing your vitamin D levels may be one of the most important steps you can take in support of your long-term health. There's overwhelming evidence that vitamin D is a key player in your overall health. This is understandable when you consider that it is not "just" a vitamin; it's actually a neuroregulatory steroidal hormone that influences nearly 3,000 different genes in your body. Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your bones.
Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections, as well as chronic inflammation. It produces over 200 antimicrobial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic. This is one of the explanations for why it can be so effective against colds and influenza.
That said, keeping a close eye on your vitamin D levels is a wise move for most. The widespread vitamin D deficiency seen today is now thought to fuel an astonishingly diverse array of common chronic diseases, including:
|Diabetes 1 and 2||Multiple Sclerosis||Crohn's disease|
|Cold & Flu||Inflammatory Bowel Disease||Tuberculosis|
|Septicemia||Signs of aging||Dementia|
|Eczema & Psoriasis||Insomnia||Hearing loss|
|Muscle pain||Cavities||Periodontal disease|
|Osteoporosis||Macular degeneration||Reduced C-section risk|
What's Better than a Vitamin D3 Supplement?
While this article focuses on oral vitamin D supplementation, it's important to realize that the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels is through appropriate sun or safe tannig bed exposure. There are a number of reasons for this:
- When you expose your skin to the sun, your skin also synthesizes high amounts of cholesterol sulfate, which is very important for heart- and cardiovascular health. In fact, according to research by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, high LDL and subsequent heart disease may in fact be a symptom of cholesterol sulfate deficiency. Sulfur deficiency also promotes obesity and related health problems like diabetes
- When exposed to sunshine, your skin also synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate. This form of vitamin D is water soluble, unlike oral vitamin D3 supplements, which is unsulfated. The water-soluble form can travel freely in your bloodstream, whereas the unsulfated form needs LDL (the so-called "bad" cholesterol) as a vehicle of transport. According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, there's reason to believe that many of the profound benefits of vitamin D are actually due to the vitamin D sulfate. As a result, she suspects that the oral non-sulfated form of vitamin D might not provide all of the same benefits, because it cannot be converted to vitamin D sulfate
- You cannot overdose when getting your vitamin D from sun exposure, as your body has the ability to self-regulate and only make what it needs
Guidelines for Naturally Optimizing Your Vitamin D Levels
To optimize your levels, you need to expose large portions of your skin to the sun, and you need to do it for more than a few minutes. And, contrary to popular belief, the best time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is actually as near to solar noon as possible. During this time you need the shortest exposure time to produce vitamin D because UVB rays are most intense at this time. Plus, when the sun goes down toward the horizon, the UVB is filtered out much more than the dangerous UVA.
Just be cautious about the length of your exposure. You only need enough exposure to have your skin turn the lightest shade of pink. Once you reach this point your body will not make any additional vitamin D due to its self-regulating mechanism. Any additional exposure will only cause harm and damage to your skin.
Unfortunately, studies have shown only about 30 percent of Americans' circulating vitamin D is the product of sunlight exposure. This is a byproduct of public health agencies' misguided advice to stay out of the sun to avoid cancer (when in fact vitamin D from sun exposure will actually help prevent it).
The truth is, vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the BEST way to optimize your vitamin D levels. Safe tanning beds have electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, which helps you avoid unnecessary exposure to health-harming EMF fields. They also have less of the dangerous UVA than sunlight, while unsafe ones have more UVA than sunlight.
Vitamin D Dosage Recommendations
If appropriate tanning is not feasible, then you'll be wise to consider an oral vitamin D3 supplement. According to the most recent findings by Carole Baggerly, founder of GrassrootsHealth, her research of nearly 10,000 people shows the ideal adult dose appears to be 8,000 IU's a day to get most into the healthy range. Just remember to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly if you take an oral supplement.
Important: Your Serum Level is what Really Matters
While 8,000 IU's of vitamin D3 per day is a general recommendation that appears to be beneficial for most people, vitamin D experts from around the world are in agreement that the most important factor is your vitamin D serum level. There's no specific dosage level at which "magic" happens. So the take-home message is that you need to take whatever dosage required to obtain a therapeutic level of vitamin D in your blood.
At the time (in 2007) the recommended level was 40-60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Since then, the optimal vitamin D level has been raised to 50-70 ng/ml, and when treating cancer or heart disease, as high as 70-100 ng/ml.
The Wonder Vitamin That May Help You Prevent 16 Types of Cancer
Vitamin D is a Key Player in Your Overall Health
By Dr. Mercola
Astaxanthin?one of about 700 different carotenoids?is now believed to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature.
In terms of supplements, it's definitely one of the most beneficial I've ever learned about.
Astaxanthin is derived from the microalgae Haematoccous pluvialis.
It's the part that gives salmon and flamingos that eat the algae their orange or pink coloring.
It is produced when the algae's water supply dries up, forcing it to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation.
Essentially, astaxanthin is the algae's survival mechanism, and serves as a "force field" to protect the algae from intense sunlight.
One can't help to wonder if this might help explain why it also appears to have a protective effect against gamma radiation?the highly hazardous ionizing radiation produced by radioactive atoms.
Astaxanthin May Protect DNA against Gamma Radiation
A recent study sought to investigate the protective effects of astaxanthin against DNA damage induced by gamma radiation. Fifty mice were randomly divided into five groups. Three of the groups received astaxanthin in varying dosages. The remaining?one control group and one model group?received vegetable oil. All mice except the control group were irradiated with gamma-rays 30 days after receiving the astaxanthin or placebo. Four days after being irradiated, their liver cells were collected for analysis, to evaluate the integrity of the DNA, and other liver activities. Bone marrow was also evaluated.
The mice that received astaxanthin a month before being irradiated were found to suffer less damage than the controls.
"Astaxanthin might have some protective effect against oxidative impairment and DNA damage induced by ... gamma-rays".
Interestingly, vitamin D has also been shown to have similar protective ability against harsh forms of radiation. In fact, the protective mechanisms of vitamin D are so strong that the researchers suggested it should be considered among the prime (if not the primary) non-pharmacological agents to protect against sub-lethal low radiation damage and, particularly, radiation-induced cancer.
But back to astaxanthin? The authors of the featured study do not offer any theories as to the mechanism that might render astaxanthin a potential ally against radiation-induced damage, but based on other research, it's certainly clear that it is a remarkable antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory and DNA-protective capabilities, which could help explain this effect.
I personally use astaxanthin to help protect me from radiation damage when I am flying. This is more important in the day time as the radiation is typically far lower when flying at night. However, it does have to be taken for three weeks to build up levels to provide this level of protection.
Astaxanthin Protects Your Skin against UV-Radiation
We already know that astaxanthin can protect your skin against sun damage and photo aging effects, just like it protects the algae against the harmful effects of excess ultraviolet radiation. Bob Capelli discussed this in a previous interview, in which he provided some examples of the research in this area.
For example, initial animal studies in Japan had discovered that mice fed astaxanthin were able to remain under UV radiation longer without getting burned or experiencing deleterious damage to their skin, compared to mice that did not get astaxanthin.
In tests on human volunteers, it was found that taking 4 mg per day for just three weeks statistically increased the amount of time the subjects could stay in the sun without getting burned.
While it will not eliminate the risk of sunburn in everyone, it can definitely reduce your risk of developing severe sunburn and related skin damage. Getting sunburned not only causes photoaging, it may also contribute to skin cancers, so you should always take care not to get burned. You also need to be aware that it will take two to three weeks for it to sufficiently build up in your system to achieve UV protection and help improve your skin's overall moisture balance and elasticity.
What Makes Astaxanthin so Special?
Dr. Rudi Moerck is a drug industry insider and an expert on fats and antioxidants, such as astaxanthin, which he discusses in the video above. There are many properties that set astaxanthin apart from other carotenoids, including:
- Astaxanthin is by far the most powerful carotenoid antioxidant when it comes to free radical scavenging: astaxanthin is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene, and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E.
- Astaxanthin is far more effective than other carotenoids at "singlet oxygen quenching," which is a particular type of oxidation. The damaging effects of sunlight and various organic materials are caused by this less-stable form of oxygen. Astaxanthin is 550 times more powerful than vitamin E and 11 times more powerful than beta-carotene at neutralizing singlet oxygen.
- Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier AND the blood-retinal barrier (beta carotene and lycopene do not), which brings antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to your eyes, brain and central nervous system and reducing your risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, blindness, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
- It's a potent UVB absorber and reduces DNA damage.
- It's a very potent natural anti-inflammatory.
Two Additional Features that Make Astaxanthin Unique
Another feature that separates astaxanthin from other carotenoids (including beta-carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin) is that it cannot function as a pro-oxidant. Many antioxidants will act as pro-oxidants (meaning they start to cause rather than combat oxidation) when present in your tissues in sufficient concentrations. This is why you don't want to go overboard taking too many antioxidant supplements like beta-carotene, for example.
Astaxanthin, on the other hand, does not function as a pro-oxidant, even when present in high amounts, which makes it highly beneficial.
It's also unique in that it can protect the entire cell from damage. Again, while the astaxanthin molecule is in the same family as beta-carotene and other carotenoids like lutein and lycopene, it's also very different. This difference is due to the shape of the molecule, and the ends of the molecule.
"One end of the astaxanthin molecule [protects] the water soluble part of the cell? and the other end [protects] the fat soluble part of the cell. So it can protect the entire cell."
One Example of Astaxanthin's Antioxidant Potency
To illustrate just how potent an antioxidant astaxanthin really is, krill oil?which naturally contains a small amount of astaxanthin?remains undamaged by a steady flow of oxygen for an impressive 190 hours, according to tests conducted by Dr. Moerck. That's truly incredible when you consider just how fragile omega-3 fats are (both animal- and plant-based omega-3 fats).
Compare that to fish oil?an otherwise comparable animal-based omega-3 source?which goes rancid after just one hour. That makes krill oil nearly 200 times more resistant to oxidative damage compared to fish oil. A mere 0.2 mg of astaxanthin per gram of krill oil will protect it from rancidity.
Ideal Sources of Astaxanthin
Many carotenoids, such as zeaxanthin, are already abundant in your diet, provided you eat enough fresh, raw, vegetables and some fruit. Lutein, another important antioxidant, is found in egg yolks?just make sure they are organic eggs laid by free-range pastured hens.
Astaxanthin, however, is different in that you're probably not getting much of it in your diet, and certainly not enough to take advantage of all its benefits.
It's the most commonly occurring red carotenoid in marine and aquatic animals, especially salmon, giving it its characteristic pink color. Shrimp, lobster and crab are also sources of astaxanthin. However, you're unlikely to be able to consume enough salmon and shell fish on a daily basis to get a therapeutic dose? According to Bob Capelli, you'd have to consume three-quarters of a pound of wild-caught sockeye salmon, which contains the highest amounts of astaxanthin of all the marine foods, to receive the same amount of astaxanthin you'd get in a 4mg capsule if you were to take a supplement.
Complicating matters further is the fact that laboratory-made astaxanthin is now commonly used worldwide to supplement fish feeds in order to obtain the desired pinkish to orange-red color. This artificial astaxanthin is derived from petrochemicals and has a different molecular makeup. So if you're consuming farm-raised salmon, you may actually do your health more harm than good.
For these reasons, considering an astaxanthin supplement may be advisable. I recommend starting out taking 2 mg/day, and slowly increasing it to 4 mg/day. You can either use an astaxanthin supplement, or take krill oil, which contains it. Just make sure to check the label to determine how much astaxanthin you're getting in each dose.
Other Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
I've previously discussed several health benefits of astaxanthin in great depth, so for more information about its use for the following health problems, please see the hyperlinks provided:
- Eye health, including protection against cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness
- Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer?s disease, and more
- Sunburn and wrinkle prevention
- Improved athletic performance
- Better brain health
Astaxanthin, the Anti-Inflammatory Nutrient
Better than Vitamin E: One of the Easiest Ways to Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles
By Dr. Mercola
In Europe genetically modified foods and ingredients have to be labeled.
In the United States, they do not.
But the truth is, if and when GM labeling is finally required in the United States, you're going to see changes to the majority of food labels in your supermarket, as GM foods already widely appear in our food supply.
Most people are not aware that nearly EVERY processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label is filled with GM components.
This is due to the amount of GM crops now grown in the United States (over 90 percent of all corn is GM corn and over 95 percent all soy is GM soy).
As you might suspect, it's in the interest of the industry to keep the prevalence of GM ingredients quiet and they won't go down without a fight.
Biotech Industry Spends More Than Half a Billion to Influence Congress
In just over a decade, the food and agriculture biotechnology industry has spent more than $572 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, according to an analysis by Food & Water Watch.
Key among the goals of this intense lobbying effort is to prevent GM food labeling and keep Americans in the dark about the contents of their food.
The analysis states:
"The food and agriculture biotechnology industry has been flexing its financial political muscle to ease the regulatory oversight of genetically modified foods. Lobbying efforts for some of these firms and groups have included approval of cloned food and genetically engineered food, animals and livestock.
Companies are also fighting to eliminate or prevent labeling on genetically modified foods in the United States and preventing other countries from regulating genetically modified foods. These efforts have dovetailed with lobbying to tighten intellectual property law protections over patented seeds and animals in attempts to further benefit the biotech industry."
Over 95 percent of Americans polled said they think GM foods should require a label, stating it's an ethical issue and consumers should be able to make an informed choice. Like people in Europe, Americans are suspicious of GM foods, and a large part of why many continue to buy them is because they are unaware that they're already in the food. A prominent GM food label would be a death sentence to U.S. GM crops, which are right now enjoying a free for all when it comes to entering the food market.
"Why are there basically no genetically engineered foods or crops anywhere in Europe, while 75 percent of U.S. supermarket foods?including many so-called "natural" foods?are GE tainted?
The answer is simple. In Europe genetically modified foods and ingredients have to be labeled. In the U.S. they do not. Up until now, in North America, Monsanto and the Biotechnocrats have enjoyed free reign to secretly lace non-organic foods with gene-spliced viruses, bacteria, antibiotic-resistant marker genes, and foreign DNA?mutant "Frankenfoods" shown to severely damage the health of animals, plants, and other living organisms in numerous scientific studies.
Monsanto and their allies understand the threat that truth-in-labeling poses for GMOs.
As soon as genetically modified foods start to be labeled in the U.S., millions of consumers will start to read these labels and react.
They'll complain to grocery store managers and companies, they'll talk to their family and friends. They'll start switching to foods that are organic or at least GMO-free. Once enough consumers start complaining about GM foods and food ingredients; stores will eventually stop selling them; and farmers will stop planting them.
Genetically engineered foods have absolutely no benefit for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from ever getting a public discussion, much less coming to a vote in Congress."
Why the Approval of GM Alfalfa Could Mean the End of Organic
Industry lobbying is clearly working, as to date biotech companies have evaded mandatory labeling laws (although a new California initiative may change all of that). They also succeeded in getting GM alfalfa approved, which quite literally threatens the entire organic industry, including organic meat, as alfalfa is the fourth largest crop in the U.S., and is used to produce forage seed and hay to feed cows and other livestock.
Contamination would be disastrous for organic dairy- and cattle farmers as federal organic standards forbid them from using GM crops, and organic food manufacturers will reject a food ingredient if found to be contaminated with GM material -- not to mention Monsanto's history of suing both conventional and organic farmers for patent infringement should their crops be cross-contaminated.
Cummins noted in the above interview that any alfalfa growing within a five-mile radius of GM alfalfa will immediately become contaminated, and it's clearly evident that GM crops of all kinds cannot be contained. They absolutely WILL contaminate their conventional and organic counterparts, which will mean ultimately the entire food supply will contain GMOs.
Some, like Dr. Philip Bereano, professor emeritus at the University of Washington and an engaged activist concerning GM foods, believe contamination is actually an intentional strategy by both the government and the industry to weaken the organic industry to simply allow GM animal feed in organics.
Indeed, while USDA chief Tom Vilsack acknowledged alfalfa contamination concerns in an "Open Letter to Stakeholders" on December 30, 2010, stating that the USDA's environmental impact statement "acknowledges the potential of cross-fertilization to non-GE alfalfa from GE alfalfa," adding that cross-fertilization is "a significant concern for farmers who produce for non-GE markets at home and abroad," steps were not taken to address them.
Congress is the Puppet, Biotech is the Puppeteer
It takes only a flick of biotech's wrist to move Congress' regulatory arms, and the truth is the revolving door between the two is spinning so fast that the line between industry lobbyists and legislators is permanently blurred.
As the Food & Water Watch report noted:
"At least a baker's dozen of former members of Congress represent food and agriculture biotechnology interests as lobbyists. Of the companies surveyed, seven spent over $8.5 million to hire the firms of at least 13 former senators and representatives to represent these biotechnology interests to their former colleagues in the Congress. Many of these former legislators-turned-lobbyists have formidable legislative pedigrees.
For example, Former House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Charles Stenholm (D-TX) is currently a registered lobbyist for Syngenta, a seller of genetically modified plants in the United States and abroad."
Biotech giant Monsanto is a prime example of how the industry has infiltrated U.S. regulatory agencies like the FDA and the USDA with their previous employees who are still very loyal to Monsanto. Cummins pointed out the following connections as a start:
- Clarence Thomas, who did not withdraw himself from a Supreme Court decision on genetically engineered alfalfa last year, used to be the general counsel for Monsanto.
- Michael Taylor, who was formerly the vice president of Monsanto, is now the Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
- Roger Beachy, the former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center in Saint Louis, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
- Islam Siddiqui was vice president of Monsanto and Dupont's funded pesticide-promotion group CropLife. He is now the agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative. In other words, he is the enforcer for U.S. foreign policy that countries have to accept our genetically engineered exports.
- Rajiv Shah is the former Agricultural Development Director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation, who are frequently partnering with Monsanto. He served as Obama's USDA undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics.
- Elena Kagan has served as President Obama's Solicitor General. She took Monsanto's side against organic farmers on the roundup ready alfalfa case.
- Ramona Ramiro, corporate counsel to Dupont, another biotech bully, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as general counsel for the USDA.
This is not an issue of Republican versus Democrat. As Cummins noted, both parties are guilty:
"We must point that it's not just the Obama Administration that has served as a revolving door for Monsanto. We saw the same situation under Bush Jr., Clinton and Bush Sr. We have a corporation Monsanto that is not only out of control, but that places its people in high positions; that donates large sums of money to members of congress; and that basically gets its way every time there is a policy decision made in Washington."
It should not come as a surprise, then, that even the current secretary of the USDA, Tom Vilsack, is thoroughly entrenched in the industry. As the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) pointed out:
- Vilsack has been a strong supporter of genetically engineered crops, including bio-pharmaceutical corn.
- The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Biotech Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership.
- When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.
- The undemocratic and highly unpopular 2005 seed pre-emption bill was Vilsack's brainchild. The law strips local government's right to regulate genetically engineered seed (including where GE can be grown, maintaining GE-free buffers or banning GE corn locally).
- Vilsack is an ardent supporter of corn and soy-based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil fuel energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor.
- Overall, Vilsack's record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and promoting animal cloning.
I think this makes it a lot easier to understand why GM crops have proliferated the American landscape and food supply, despite public outcry and organized opposition.
GM Crops Failing Miserably, Threatening Public Health
Virtually all of the claims of benefit of GM crops ? increased yields, more food production, controlled pests and weeds, reductions in chemical use in agriculture, drought-tolerant seeds ? have not materialized. The Global Citizens' Report on the State of GMOs states:
- Contrary to the claim of feeding the world, genetic engineering has not increased the yield of a single crop.
- Herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) crops were supposed to control weeds and Bt crops were intended to control pests. Instead of controlling weeds and pests, GE crops have led to the emergence of super weeds and super pests ? Herbicide resistant crops such as Roundup Ready cotton can create the risk of herbicide resistant "superweeds" by transferring the herbicide resistance to weeds.
- Despite claims that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will lower the levels of chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) used, this has not been the case. This is of great concern both because of the negative impacts of these chemicals on ecosystems and humans, and because there is the danger that increased chemical use will cause pests and weeds to develop resistance, requiring even more chemicals in order to manage them.
- Monsanto has been claiming that through genetic engineering it can breed crops for drought tolerance and other climate-resilient traits. This is a false promise.
- Among the false claims made by Monsanto and the Biotechnology industry is that GE foods are safe. However, there are enough independent studies to show that GE foods can cause health damage.
At the same time, earlier this year, Cry1Ab, a specific type of Bt toxin from certain GM crops, has for the first time been detected in human and fetal blood samples. It appears the toxin is quite prevalent, as upon testing 69 pregnant and non-pregnant women who were eating a typical Canadian diet (which included foods such as GM soy, corn and potatoes), researchers found Bt toxin in:
- 93 percent of blood samples of pregnant women
- 80 percent of fetal blood samples
- 69 percent of non-pregnant women blood samples
There's now plenty of evidence that the Bt toxin may trigger an inflammatory response, and as you may know, chronic inflammation is at the root of many increasingly common diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Food allergies are also skyrocketing, as is infertility, which could also be a potential side effect of GM foods, based on results from animal studies. Monsanto insists that GM foods are no different from conventionally grown varieties, but the research does NOT support this claim. Here is just a sampling of the unsavory findings associated with GM foods:
|GM pea protein caused lung damage in mice||Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce|
|GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats||Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells|
|Bacteria in your gut can take up DNA from GM food||The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning|
|GM foods lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, specifically the kidney, liver, heart and spleen||Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties|
|Bt corn caused a wide variety of immune responses in mice, commonly associated with diseases such as arthritis, Lou Gehrig's disease, osteoporosis, and inflammatory bowel disease||Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products|
The Time is Ripe to Fight Back
All is not lost on the GM food front, as we now have a practical plan to end this disaster. By educating the public about the risks of GM foods through a massive education campaign, and launching a ballot initiative in California for 2012, which will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, our plan is to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past.
Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and even the Environmental Working Group are getting actively involved. But we do need your help.
Here's how you can get involved:
- If you live in California and are willing to attend a short training session and then start collecting petition signatures (you will be part of a team of 2-4 people) in early November for the California Ballot Initiative, sign up here. (For more information see: The California Ballot Initiative: Taking Down Monsanto.) Also remember to share this information with family and friends in California!
- Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort
- Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to have to label genetically engineered foods.
- Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
- For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
- You can also join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or Twitter
In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid GM foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed.
You can also look for foods that are "non-GMO verified" by the Non-GMO Project.
Why Aren't GMO Foods Labeled?
This Food Knowingly Causes Cancer in Rats - Are You Eating it?
By Dr. Mercola
During a Republican debate in Tampa, Florida, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) alleged that campaign contributions from drug company Merck?the maker of Gardasil?played "a pivotal role in Rick Perry's 2007 executive order that mandated teenage girls in Texas be inoculated against HPV," CNN reports.
The order did not go into effect, however, as it was later overturned by the legislature.
Still, it's hard to overlook the potential for undue influence and conflict of interest. Perry responded that the company gave only $5,000 to his campaign.
However, Merck has contributed:
- $28,500 to Perry's gubernatorial campaigns since January 2001, and
- $377,500 to the Republican Governors Association (one of the largest backers of Perry's campaigns)
Furthermore, CNN reported that:
"Perhaps more importantly, Perry's friend, former chief of staff Mike Toomey, spun through the revolving door to become a lobbyist for Merck in Texas, a position he held at the time of the HPV-related executive order.
? Perry's actions benefiting donors from the pharmaceutical industry don't appear to stop with Merck.
For instance, drug-maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals has also contributed handsomely to the Republican Governors Association and it has also benefited from Perry's support. Novartis has donated $700,000 to the RGA since January 2006, although it has only directly donated $5,000 to Perry's own campaign. In 2009, Perry signed a bill into law mandating meningitis vaccines for all college students, a requirement he expanded again earlier this year."
CDC Officially Recommends Gardasil for Boys
On October 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend giving the HPV vaccine to males between the ages of 11 and 21. They further recommend the vaccine series can be given to boys as young as nine, as well as to men up to the age of 26, especially if they engage in homosexual sex?allegedly to offer partial protection against genital warts, and cancers of the penis and rectum.Dr. Mercola Recommends...Every "Like" Helps Support This Cause
Interestingly enough, according to CNN Health, a large portion of the debate was focused on whether it would be cost-effective to vaccinate boys against HPV.
While cost-effectiveness is certainly an important concern, I believe reviewing the safety would certainly trump it. CNN reports that the cost to vaccinate 11- and 12-year old boys would be $38 million.
How is this cost-effective, when anal cancer, for example, has so far stricken a mere 5,820 men this year!
Deaths caused by anal cancer: 770. Gardasil is claimed to be 75 percent effective against anal cancer in men, so crunch the numbers? This is nothing short of insanity.
Why the push to vaccinate boys with Gardasil?
Because "girls aren't getting vaccinated in the numbers doctors had expected," CNN reports. "If the boys are also immunized, it reduces the transmission back and forth?" Folks, this is a health emergency in the making. Please do not be deceived into giving this dangerous vaccine to your kids, regardless of their gender.
What Effect Will Gardasil have on Other Cancer-Causing HPV Strains?
Such conflicts of interest can be dangerous in the extreme, especially when you're talking about mandating a vaccine that has not been proven to actually prevent cancer in the long term, and that appears to carry tremendous long-term health risks, including:
|Bell's Palsy and Guillan-Barre syndrome||Seizures||Cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer|
|Blood clotting and heart problems, including cardiac arrest||Miscarriages and fetal abnormalities amongst pregnant women who received the vaccine||Sudden death|
There's another important factor to take into account when discussing the potential risks versus alleged benefits of the HPV vaccine, which is discussed in a September issue of New Scientist:
"[W]hat effect will the vaccine have on the other cancer-causing strains of HPV? Nature never leaves a void, so if HPV-16 and HPV-18 are suppressed by an effective vaccine, other strains of the virus will take their place. The question is, will these strains cause cervical cancer? Results from clinical trials are not encouraging. Vaccinated women show an increased number of precancerous lesions caused by strains of HPV other than HPV-16 and HPV-18. "
High Time to Take an In-Depth Look at HPV Vaccine Risk/Benefit Profile
For those who are still unaware, the HPV vaccine only protects against two strains of HPV associated with cancer (HPV-16 and HPV-18), but there are MORE THAN 100 different strains of HPV in all, and about 15 of them are known to potentially cause cancer IF the infection persists. In more than 90 percent of all cases, however, the infection resolves on its own and does not lead to any health complications.
It's clear to me that this is another case where the precautionary principle needs to be applied, as currently no one knows exactly whether or not the vaccine will have any measurable effect as far as lowering cervical cancer rates. The results will not be fully apparent until a few decades from now, and in the meantime, countless young girls are being harmed, and we still do not know how Gardasil will affect their long-term health, even if they do not experience any acute side effects.
Sadly, Merck (the maker of Gardasil) is not erring on the side caution here. As recently reported by ActivistPost, the official Gardasil web site completely omits any mention of death as a possible side effect, despite the fact that Gardasil has been linked to 49 deaths. They also fail to mention any of the more serious side effects, many of which have been reported to VAERS, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, despite the fact that there are 213 reported cases of permanent disability as a result of the vaccine.
New Scientist points out that "one way forward is to build a mathematical model of the disease and use it to test the benefits of vaccination." However, this is far easier said than done, and one such modeling study included several highly optimistic assumptions that may or may not be accurate, including the assumption that:
- The vaccine offers lifelong protection
- The vaccine has identical effects on young girls and older women
- HPV-16 and HPV-18 will not be replaced by mutated and/or more potent cancer-causing strains
- Vaccinated women will continue to get cervical cancer screenings, and
- Vaccinated women's natural immunity against HPV will remain unaffected
Is it reasonable to hinge the future of millions of women on a set of assumptions? Two years ago, Dr. Diane Harper, one of the lead researchers for Gardasil blew the whistle on the vaccine, saying that girls and their parents need to receive more complete information before accepting the inoculation. Dr. Harper, who participated in the Phase 2 and 3 trials to get Gardasil approved and authored several papers on it, raised serious questions about the vaccine's risks-benefit profile. And, according to Dr. Harper, the available data suggests the vaccine's protective effects do not last beyond five years.
In a 2009 CBSNews interview, she stated:
"If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... we've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit. The benefit to public health is nothing; there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70 percent of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated."
She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings."
Why Risk Your Life to Prevent an Avoidable Disease?
Deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown causes" have all occurred in girls shortly after they've received the Gardasil vaccine. These are atrocious risks to potentially prevent cervical cancer one day down the road. Because let's not forget that the HPV vaccine has not yet been PROVEN to actually prevent any kind of cancer.
The benefit is just one big "maybe."
So, are the risks involved really acceptable, especially in light of these latest findings? With recombinant HPV DNA thrown into the mix, we now know even LESS about the long-term risks and benefits of this vaccine?
Of course, you need to do your own careful research, but I simply cannot recommend this vaccine.
There are far better ways to protect yourself and your young daughters against cervical cancer. According to the CDC more than 6 million women contract HPV annually, yet less than 3,900 women will die from cervical cancer out of those 6 million. This is because, in 90 percent of all cases, your immune system can clear up the HPV infection on its own. Furthermore, the infection is spread through sexual contact, so it is behaviorally avoidable. In fact, using condoms can reduce the risk of HPV by 70 percent, which is more than Gardasil can claim to do.
The bottom line is that Gardasil is largely ineffective, potentially very dangerous, and a major waste of money. In order to keep your daughter healthy, why not take these simple steps that can prevent HPV and cervical cancer far better than a vaccine ever could:
- Talk to your kids about HPV. This infection is sexually transmitted, so it is 100 percent preventable through lifestyle choices, including the use of condoms.
- Keep your immune system strong. A healthy immune system is better able to handle a heavier emotional and physical stress load. The ideal healthy habits to keep your body and mind strong are detailed in these 12 changes that will cut your cancer risk in half.
Keep Educating Yourself on Vaccines
It is becoming increasingly necessary to continue to educate yourself and your family on the issues surrounding vaccinations of all kinds. There are so many problems; no one article can possibly cover them all. You can find and search all vaccine related articles on my Latest Vaccine News page. I also recommend you familiarize yourself with the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) web site. As a leader for vaccine safety, the NVIC offers information on everything from laws to informed consent to late-breaking vaccine news.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.
The HPV Vaccine: Preventive Care or Human Sacrifice?
Prominent Scientist Warns of HPV Vaccine Dangers
By Dr. Mercola
Tens of millions of Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs - mostly statins - and some "experts" claim that many millions more should be taking them, including children as young as eight.
I couldn't disagree more.
Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase).
The enzyme that these drugs block is actually responsible for far more than making cholesterol.
It also makes CoQ10 which is vital for your mitochondrial health.
The fact that statin drugs cause side effects is well established - there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to diabetes, to birth defects and increased cancer risk.
Now you can add exercise-related muscle damage to the ever growing list of harmful side effects.
Statins Can Make Exercise Harmful to Your Health
A recent study examined the effects of statin drugs on the likelihood of exercise-related injury. The researchers measured myoglobin and creatine kinase levels in subjects who were running the Boston marathon. Elevated creatine kinase is a sign of damage to muscles.
Subjects being treated with statins, along with a similar number of nonstatin-treated controls, were examined the day before the race, immediately afterwards, and the day following. The researchers found that the exercise-related increase in creatine kinase 24 hours after exercise was greater in the statin users.
According to the study, published in The American Journal of Cardiology:
"In conclusion, our results show that statins increase exercise-related muscle injury."
The authors also state that their findings suggest susceptibility to exercise-induced muscle injury from statin use increases with age. This is tragic, to say the least, as exercise is imperative for optimal health, especially as you get older. I'm not surprised by this finding however, as we've long known about the harm these drugs do to muscles. They can even cause life-threatening muscle degeneration, a condition known as rhabdomyolysis.
Related to this latest finding are the revelations that statin drugs decrease heart muscle function, and increase your risk of stroke. I wrote about that this past summer. It should be quite clear that if you're running marathons, decreased heart function and increased risk of muscle injury is far from a desired combination. But as I mentioned earlier, the detrimental effects of this drug do not stop there. Other side effects may be even more troubling.
Statin-Induced Diabetes: A Hidden Epidemic?
Earlier this year, I published an article by Suzy Cohen, R.Ph., (widely recognized as "America's most trusted pharmacist") in which she discussed the hidden link between statins and diabetes.
A pattern has appeared where many who start taking a statin drug end up being diagnosed with diabetes several months later. Cohen's research into this hidden connection prompted her to write a book on the subject called "Diabetes Without Drugs." However, this diagnosis is incorrect. What many of these patients have is actually hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), caused by the medication. In essence, it is not genuine diabetes, and can be reversed simply by discontinuing the drug.
A recent meta-analysis confirmed that statin drugs are indeed associated with increased risk of developing diabetes.
The researchers evaluated five different clinical trials that together examined more than 32,000 people. They found that the higher the dosage of statin drugs being taken, the greater the diabetes risk. The "number needed to harm" for intensive-dose statin therapy was 498 for new-onset diabetes - that's the number of people who need to take the drug in order for one person to develop diabetes.
In even simpler terms, one out of every 498 people who are on a high-dose statin regimen will develop diabetes. (The lower the "number needed to harm," the greater the risk factor is.)
(As a side note, the "number needed to treat" per year for intensive-dose statins was 155 for cardiovascular events. This means that 155 people have to take the drug in order to prevent one person from having a cardiovascular event.) The following scientific reviews also reached the conclusion that statin use is associated with increased incidence of new-onset diabetes:
- A 2010 meta-analysis of 13 statin trials, consisting of 91,140 participants, found that statin therapy was associated with a 9 percent increased risk for incident diabetes. Here, the number needed to harm was 255 over four years, meaning for every 255 people on the drug, one developed diabetes as a result of the drug in that period of time.
- In this 2009 study, statin use was associated with a rise of fasting plasma glucose in patients with and without diabetes, independently of other factors such as age, and use of aspirin, ?-blockers, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. The study included data from more than 345,400 patients over a period of two years.
On average, statins increased fasting plasma glucose in non-diabetic statin users by 7 mg/dL, and in diabetics, statins increased glucose levels by 39 mg/dL.
How Do Statins Cause Diabetes?
Statins appear to provoke diabetes through a few different mechanisms. The primary mechanism is by increasing your insulin levels, which can be extremely harmful to your health. Chronically elevated insulin levels cause inflammation in your body, which is the hallmark of most chronic disease. In fact, elevated insulin levels lead to heart disease, which, ironically, is the primary reason for taking a statin drug in the first place!
It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and cancer.
Secondly, statins increase your diabetes risk by raising your blood sugar. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.
These drugs also rob your body of certain valuable nutrients, which can also impact your blood sugar levels. Two nutrients in particular, vitamin D and CoQ10, are both needed to maintain ideal blood glucose levels.
If You Take Statins, You MUST Take CoQ10
It's extremely important to understand that taking a statin drug without also taking CoQ10 puts your health in serious jeopardy. Unfortunately, this describes the majority of people who take them in the United States.
CoQ10 is a cofactor (co-enzyme) that is essential for the creation of ATP molecules, primarily in your mitochondria, which you need for cellular energy production. Organs such as your heart have higher energy requirements, and therefore require more CoQ10 to function properly. Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have devastating results.
As your body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure. Interestingly, heart failure, not heart attacks, are now the leading cause of death due to cardiovascular diseases. Coenzyme Q10 is also very important in the process of neutralizing free radicals. So when your CoQ10 is depleted, you enter a vicious cycle of increased free radicals, loss of cellular energy, and damaged mitochondrial DNA.
If you decide to take a CoQ10 supplement and are over the age of 40, it's important to choose the reduced version, called ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is a FAR more effective form - I personally take 1-3 a day since it has such far ranging benefits, including compelling studies suggesting improvement in lifespan.
Did You Know? Statins are FORBIDDEN in Pregnancy?
Like thalidomide and Accutane, statin drugs are a class X drug with regard to pregnancy, meaning they are contraindicated and should NOT be taken by pregnant women. They can cause significant damage to the nervous system of a developing embryo, and are associated with miscarriages and birth defects. A class X rating also indicates that the potential risks always outweigh the benefits, so pregnant women should never be on a statin drug.
This issue is particularly important as currently one in four Americans over 45 take statins, but there is a MAJOR push to start prescribing them to younger individuals under the pretext of "prevention. This is the very age group that is most likely to get pregnant.
Part of the problem is likely related to the fact that the drug reduces cholesterol, which is essential for proper fetal development. This is discussed in my interview with Dr. Stephanie Seneff (embedded below).
Babies also need cholesterol sulfate in utero, which is significantly reduced when you take a statin.
According to Dr. Seneff, a woman has about 1.5 units of cholesterol sulfate normally in her blood. When she gets pregnant, her blood levels of cholesterol sulfate steadily rise, and it also begins to accumulate in the villi in the placenta - which is where nutrients are transferred from the placenta to the baby. At the end of pregnancy the cholesterol sulfate in the villi rises to levels of about 24 units. Both cholesterol and cholesterol sulfate are needed for proper brain- and heart development and function.
Other Health Hazards Associated with Statin Drugs
GreenMedInfo.com has a list of 71 diseases that may be associated with statin drugs, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are actually over 900 studies showing the risks of statin drugs, which include:
|Sexual dysfunction||An increase in cancer risk||Pancreatic dysfunction|
|Immune system suppression||Muscle problems, polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), and rhabdomyolysis, a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition||Hepatic dysfunction. (Due to the potential increase in liver enzymes, patients must be monitored for normal liver function)|
Oftentimes statins do not have any immediate side effects, and they are quite effective, capable of lowering cholesterol levels by 50 points or more. This makes it appear as though they're benefiting your health, and health problems that develop later on are frequently misinterpreted as brand new, separate health problems.
It's also worth noting that, according to a review published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, adverse effects are dose dependent (the higher your dose, the greater your risk of harmful side effects), and your health risks are also amplified by a number of factors, such as:
|Drug interactions that increase statin potency||Thyroid disease||High blood pressure|
|Metabolic syndrome||Other genetic mutations linked to mitochondrial dysfunction||Diabetes|
Vast Majority do Not Need Statin Drugs
That these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high - greater than 100 to 1 - that if you're taking a statin, you don't really need it.
To understand why you don't need a statin drug, you first need to realize that cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease.
If your physician is urging you to check your total cholesterol, then you should know that this test will tell you virtually nothing about your risk of heart disease, unless it is 330 or higher. HDL percentage is a far more potent indicator for heart disease risk. Here are the two ratios you should pay attention to:
- HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio: Should ideally be above 24 percent. If below 10 percent, you have a significantly elevated risk for heart disease.
- Triglyceride/HDL Ratio: Should be below 2.
Your body NEEDS cholesterol - it is important in the production of cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps your brain form memories and is vital to your neurological function. For more information about cholesterol, and why conventional advice to reduce your cholesterol to ridiculously low levels is foolhardy, please listen to this interview with Dr. Stephanie Seneff.
Total Video Length: 1:29:57
Download Interview Transcript
How to Optimize Your Cholesterol Levels, Naturally
There's no doubt that statin drugs can wreak havoc with your health, and there's compelling evidence that most people who currently take them simply do not need them. The fact is that 75 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol!
By modifying your diet and lifestyle in the following ways, you can safely modify your cholesterol:
- Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your diet, replacing them with mostly whole, fresh vegetable carbs. Also try to consume a good portion of your food raw.
- Make sure you are getting enough high quality, animal-based omega 3 fats, such as krill oil.
- Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats as appropriate for your nutritional type.
- Exercise daily.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
- Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.
Unlike statin drugs, which lower your cholesterol at the expense of your health, these lifestyle strategies represent a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health - which includes a healthy cardiovascular system.
Why Do These Drugs Fail Miserably at Heart Attack Prevention?
New Bombshell of Disastrous Side Effects from Statins?