energy drinkThe Liquor Control Board of Washington state is contemplating a ban on alcoholic energy drinks. Not long ago, nine college students in Washington were hospitalized after drinking the beverages at a party.

The students were drinking the caffeinated malt liquor beverage Four Loko.

ABC News reports:

“The makers of Four Loko … point out the partygoers may have been drinking other types of alcohol. Washington is one of several states considering outlawing high-alcohol energy drinks while the Food and Drug Administration reviews their safety.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Alcoholic energy drinks have already been banned in at least four states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued warning letters to four manufacturers, stating that caffeine is an “unsafe food additive” when mixed with alcohol.

Major brands of the caffeinated alcohol drinks are expected to be off store shelves by mid-December, a move that has many critics stating the FDA has gone too far. 

But have they?

Health Risks of Alcoholic Energy Drinks 

Alcoholic energy drinks have become popular not only in bars and nightclubs but also on college campuses. They can either be mixed at a bar (combining a regular energy drink with alcohol) or purchased pre-made under brand names like “Four Loko.”

These drinks are proving to be dangerous, perhaps even more so than regular drinks, because the caffeine provides an energy boost that can lead to, as the FDA put it, “wide-awake drunk.”

Not being able to fully feel the depressing effects of the alcohol, people who drink alcoholic energy drinks may be more likely to suffer from alcohol poisoning, be involved in car accidents or commit assaults.

In fact, mixing alcohol with energy drinks doubles your risk of being harmed compared with drinking just alcohol, according to researchers from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

After surveying more than 4,000 U.S. students, the researchers found that compared with students who did not drink “energy drink cocktails,” those who did were twice as likely to:

  • Get injured
  • Require medical attention
  • Travel with a drunk driver
  • Take sexual advantage of someone
  • Be taken advantage of sexually

Quite simply, the caffeine masks the feeling that you’re drunk, even though your motor skills, visual reaction times and judgment are still impaired. This can lead you to not only engage in behaviors you should not be doing while intoxicated, but also allows you to drink more than you would ordinarily.

Researchers found that students who drank energy drink cocktails drank nearly 40 percent more than other students, and had twice as many episodes of “weekly drunkenness.”

Energy Drink Cocktails Can Even be Deadly

There is a major problem that occurs when you mix a powerful stimulant (an energy drink) with a powerful depressant (alcohol): some people’s bodies simply can’t take it.

The combination can, in fact, cause cardiopulmonary or heart failure, which can be deadly. Countries like France and Denmark have already banned sales of Red Bull following several reported deaths of people who mixed it with alcohol.

Even on their own these caffeine-loaded beverages may cause your blood to become sticky, a pre-cursor to cardiovascular problems such as stroke.

One hour after drinking the popular energy drink Red Bull, researchers found your blood system becomes abnormal, as might be expected from a patient with cardiovascular disease.

Further, a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that people who drank alcoholic energy drinks were at a 3-fold increased risk of leaving a bar highly intoxicated, as well as a 4-fold increased risk of intending to drive upon leaving the bar — a move that could easily be deadly for that person as well as others — compared to people who drank alcohol only.

You Don’t Need Energy Drinks to Get Energized

If you’re an energy-drink junkie, it is important to make a commitment to give up this habit.

Some energy drinks contain the equivalent caffeine of 14 cans of Coca-Cola!

It is very possible to suffer from caffeine intoxication when you drink caffeine at this level, which includes symptoms that mimic those of anxiety and other mood disorders, such as:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing)
  • In rare cases: death

Needless to say, when you drink large amounts of caffeine, or even an amount similar to that of drinking a cup or three of coffee, when the effect wears off you’ll also start feeling lethargic and will likely crave another can (or cup) to boost your energy once again.

As many of you likely know, it can become a vicious cycle of jolting and crashing.

It is fairly self-evident that children should never consume energy drinks, but due to the detrimental health impact of their contents, it would definitely be wise to avoid energy drinks if you:

  • Are pregnant or lactating
  • Are sensitive to caffeine
  • Suffer from anxiety
  • Suffer from high stress
  • Suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are predisposed to cardiovascular disease
  • Have any kind of blood clotting disorder

Anyway, in reality caffeine does not create real energy or alleviate tiredness. It is only a strong stimulant that provides a sudden, temporary jolt to your system, hence the feeling of alertness. For a real health boost, you’ll want to focus on the lifestyle habits that will raise your energy level for many hours, and include:

Really, when you read through all the risks, does it still sound like fun to toast your friends with an energy drink cocktail? I should think not.

While I don’t recommend drinking alcohol at all, if you do choose to at least turn down any caffeinated versions for the sake of your health, and use these tips to increase your energy levels naturally, without a dangerous dose of caffeine.

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fruits and vegetablesConsumption of fruits and vegetables has increased significantly in only one U.S. state during the past decade. And all 50 states continue to fall short of recommended daily intake.

Idaho alone had a significant increase in the proportion of residents who consumed fruits and vegetables, but even in that case, the absolute increases were small. And 10 states had small but statistically significant decreases.

ABC News reports:

“Overall, about a third of American adults ate at least two servings of vegetables daily during 2009, and about a fourth consumed at least three servings of vegetables daily.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Only about 26 percent of U.S. adults are eating three or more servings of vegetables a day. If you are in the majority who is not, you are missing out on major benefits, as consuming fresh vegetables is one of the key cornerstones to optimal health.

Although I have previously written that I am firmly convinced that not everyone should be a vegetarian, I do firmly believe that we all need to eat fresh high-quality vegetables every day to achieve high-level health. Some of us need far more than others.

There is little that compares to the nutritional value of organic, raw vegetables. Notice I have not yet mentioned fruits, as I believe most fruits are less important and actually better off avoided by many people. Certain low-fructose fruits like berries, which are also high in antioxidants, are one of the exceptions.

But when it comes to veggies, adding more to your diet is a simple yet powerful health strategy.

More Reasons to Eat Your Veggies

Your mom told you to “eat your vegetables,” and in this case her advice was correct. Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that you simply can’t get anywhere else.

Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens while others regulate the rate at which cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA.

And study after study shows that people with higher vegetable and fruit intakes have:

  • Lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease
  • Lower risks of certain types of cancer, eye diseases and digestive problems
  • Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss
  • Higher scores on cognitive tests
  • Higher antioxidant levels
  • Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress

Further, if you eat your veggies raw, you’ll also be receiving biophotons, the smallest physical units of light, which are stored in, and used by all biological organisms — including your body.

Vital sun energy finds its way into your cells via the food you eat, in the form of these biophotons. They contain important bio-information, which controls complex vital processes in your body. The biophotons have the power to order and regulate, and, in doing so, to elevate the organism — in this case, your physical body — to a higher oscillation or order.

The more sunlight a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is. Naturally grown fresh vegetables and sun-ripened fruits are rich in light energy.

Why Fruits are Less Important than Veggies

Eating an apple or pear is certainly a healthier choice than a candy bar, but it is not a replacement for vegetables, nor is it always a particularly healthful choice.

This is because fruits are a source of fructose, a type of sugar that can be detrimental to your health. If you are healthy you can likely eat some fruit with no issues at all, as whole fruits also contain vitamins and other antioxidants that reduce the hazardous effects of fructose.

But if you have insulin resistance, and three-quarters of the U.S. population does, you need to limit your consumption of fruit.

How do you know if you have insulin resistance? If you have any of the following conditions it is a safe bet you have it:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • High Cholesterol
  • Cancer

If you have insulin resistance it is strongly recommended that you limit your total grams of fructose from fruit to below 15 grams per day (see the table below).

If you find this an unusual recommendation I would encourage you to read the detailed explanation in the previous fructose article I wrote.

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Limes 1 medium 0
Lemons 1 medium 0.6
Cranberries 1 cup 0.7
Passion fruit 1 medium 0.9
Prune 1 medium 1.2
Apricot 1 medium 1.3
Guava 2 medium 2.2
Date (Deglet Noor style) 1 medium 2.6
Cantaloupe 1/8 of med. melon 2.8
Raspberries 1 cup 3.0
Clementine 1 medium 3.4
Kiwifruit 1 medium 3.4
Blackberries 1 cup 3.5
Star fruit 1 medium 3.6
Cherries, sweet 10 3.8
Strawberries 1 cup 3.8
Cherries, sour 1 cup 4.0
Pineapple 1 slice
(3.5″ x .75″)
4.0
Grapefruit, pink or red 1/2 medium 4.3

The Quality of Your Veggies is Also Important

If you are coming from a diet with few to no fruits and vegetables, then increasing your intake of virtually any fresh food will be beneficial. But once you are on the right track, it’s time to get serious about which veggies will be the healthiest.

Vegetables, in particular, begin to lose their nutritional value shortly after harvesting. If you have to choose between frozen or canned vegetables, frozen is better, but still cannot compare to fresh.

Ideally, look for fresh, non-GMO produce that is organically grown on a local farm in your area. Choose the vegetables that appear freshest first, and consume them raw shortly after purchase for optimal benefits.

But remember, if you can’t obtain organics, any vegetable is better than no vegetable! Just take extra care with non-organic vegetables by washing them thoroughly and removing peels and cores when possible to minimize your exposure to pesticides.

You can view my previous articles that detail which vegetables and fruits are more crucial to purchase organically and which ones are relatively safe to purchase conventionally for more details.

The Type of Veggies You Eat Matters Too

You can easily optimize the benefits from your dietary choices by determining your nutritional type, and selecting fruits and vegetables that are best suited for your unique biochemistry.

According to nutritional typing principles, if you are a carb type, vegetable juicing is highly recommended. Juicing is also beneficial for mixed types, whereas protein types need to follow some specific guidelines to make it work for them.

If you are a protein type, juicing needs to be done cautiously. The only vegetables that should be juiced are your prime protein-type vegetables that are lower in potassium:

  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • String beans
  • Cauliflower (including the base)

Regular lettuces and typically wonderful vegetables like collard greens, kale and Swiss chard are far too high in potassium for protein types and will tend to cause biochemical imbalances. Also, to make drinking vegetable juice compatible with protein type metabolism (which needs high amounts of fat), it is important to blend a source of raw fat, such as raw eggs, avocado or raw cream, into your juice.

Again, if you’re new to a healthy lifestyle this may seem overwhelming, so you can start with my nutrition plan for some basic tips to get started.

For instance, remember this important principle: vegetables are generally good, but not all vegetables are created equal. For example, increasing your vegetable intake with salads is a good start, but I would advise avoiding iceberg lettuce.

Why?

Because it has minimal nutritional value. Red and green leaf lettuce, along with romaine lettuce and spinach, are much more nutritious options.

My Recommended Vegetables List provides a guide to the most nutritious vegetables, and those to limit due to their high carbohydrate content. Typically, the greener the vegetable, the more nutritious it will be.

Want a Simple Way to Increase Your Veggies?

With a bit of planning, it’s relatively easy to get plenty of fresh vegetables into your diet. You can snack on celery filled with raw almond butter, nibble on asparagus, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or red peppers, and add leafy greens like spinach to just about any meal of the day.

Other vegetables, like zucchini and turnips, are mild tasting and can be blended into soups and sauces and you’ll never even know they’re there.

That said, one of the absolute easiest and most efficient ways to optimize your vegetable intake is to juice your vegetables.

Not only will juicing help your body absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables by making them easily digestible, but you’re also avoiding the risk of damaging any of their sensitive micronutrients through cooking. Cooking and processing food destroys micronutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition.

It also allows you greater freedom to add a wider variety of vegetables to your diet that you may not normally enjoy eating whole. This way, you’re working with the principle of regular food rotation, which will lessen your chances of developing food allergies.

For more in-depth guidelines and information about juicing, I recommend you review the juicing section of my nutrition plan and also learn your nutritional type.

But whatever method you choose, juiced or whole, raw or cooked, please make it a point to eat your veggies. This is one food group that is incredibly diverse, so there’s a wide variety to choose from and plenty to suit virtually everyone’s tastes.

Related Articles:

 Comments (6)

fruits and vegetablesConsumption of fruits and vegetables has increased significantly in only one U.S. state during the past decade. And all 50 states continue to fall short of recommended daily intake.

Idaho alone had a significant increase in the proportion of residents who consumed fruits and vegetables, but even in that case, the absolute increases were small. And 10 states had small but statistically significant decreases.

ABC News reports:

“Overall, about a third of American adults ate at least two servings of vegetables daily during 2009, and about a fourth consumed at least three servings of vegetables daily.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Only about 26 percent of U.S. adults are eating three or more servings of vegetables a day. If you are in the majority who is not, you are missing out on major benefits, as consuming fresh vegetables is one of the key cornerstones to optimal health.

Although I have previously written that I am firmly convinced that not everyone should be a vegetarian, I do firmly believe that we all need to eat fresh high-quality vegetables every day to achieve high-level health. Some of us need far more than others.

There is little that compares to the nutritional value of organic, raw vegetables. Notice I have not yet mentioned fruits, as I believe most fruits are less important and actually better off avoided by many people. Certain low-fructose fruits like berries, which are also high in antioxidants, are one of the exceptions.

But when it comes to veggies, adding more to your diet is a simple yet powerful health strategy.

More Reasons to Eat Your Veggies

Your mom told you to “eat your vegetables,” and in this case her advice was correct. Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that you simply can’t get anywhere else.

Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens while others regulate the rate at which cells reproduce, get rid of old cells and maintain DNA.

And study after study shows that people with higher vegetable and fruit intakes have:

  • Lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease
  • Lower risks of certain types of cancer, eye diseases and digestive problems
  • Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss
  • Higher scores on cognitive tests
  • Higher antioxidant levels
  • Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress

Further, if you eat your veggies raw, you’ll also be receiving biophotons, the smallest physical units of light, which are stored in, and used by all biological organisms — including your body.

Vital sun energy finds its way into your cells via the food you eat, in the form of these biophotons. They contain important bio-information, which controls complex vital processes in your body. The biophotons have the power to order and regulate, and, in doing so, to elevate the organism — in this case, your physical body — to a higher oscillation or order.

The more sunlight a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is. Naturally grown fresh vegetables and sun-ripened fruits are rich in light energy.

Why Fruits are Less Important than Veggies

Eating an apple or pear is certainly a healthier choice than a candy bar, but it is not a replacement for vegetables, nor is it always a particularly healthful choice.

This is because fruits are a source of fructose, a type of sugar that can be detrimental to your health. If you are healthy you can likely eat some fruit with no issues at all, as whole fruits also contain vitamins and other antioxidants that reduce the hazardous effects of fructose.

But if you have insulin resistance, and three-quarters of the U.S. population does, you need to limit your consumption of fruit.

How do you know if you have insulin resistance? If you have any of the following conditions it is a safe bet you have it:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • High Cholesterol
  • Cancer

If you have insulin resistance it is strongly recommended that you limit your total grams of fructose from fruit to below 15 grams per day (see the table below).

If you find this an unusual recommendation I would encourage you to read the detailed explanation in the previous fructose article I wrote.

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Limes 1 medium 0
Lemons 1 medium 0.6
Cranberries 1 cup 0.7
Passion fruit 1 medium 0.9
Prune 1 medium 1.2
Apricot 1 medium 1.3
Guava 2 medium 2.2
Date (Deglet Noor style) 1 medium 2.6
Cantaloupe 1/8 of med. melon 2.8
Raspberries 1 cup 3.0
Clementine 1 medium 3.4
Kiwifruit 1 medium 3.4
Blackberries 1 cup 3.5
Star fruit 1 medium 3.6
Cherries, sweet 10 3.8
Strawberries 1 cup 3.8
Cherries, sour 1 cup 4.0
Pineapple 1 slice
(3.5″ x .75″)
4.0
Grapefruit, pink or red 1/2 medium 4.3

The Quality of Your Veggies is Also Important

If you are coming from a diet with few to no fruits and vegetables, then increasing your intake of virtually any fresh food will be beneficial. But once you are on the right track, it’s time to get serious about which veggies will be the healthiest.

Vegetables, in particular, begin to lose their nutritional value shortly after harvesting. If you have to choose between frozen or canned vegetables, frozen is better, but still cannot compare to fresh.

Ideally, look for fresh, non-GMO produce that is organically grown on a local farm in your area. Choose the vegetables that appear freshest first, and consume them raw shortly after purchase for optimal benefits.

But remember, if you can’t obtain organics, any vegetable is better than no vegetable! Just take extra care with non-organic vegetables by washing them thoroughly and removing peels and cores when possible to minimize your exposure to pesticides.

You can view my previous articles that detail which vegetables and fruits are more crucial to purchase organically and which ones are relatively safe to purchase conventionally for more details.

The Type of Veggies You Eat Matters Too

You can easily optimize the benefits from your dietary choices by determining your nutritional type, and selecting fruits and vegetables that are best suited for your unique biochemistry.

According to nutritional typing principles, if you are a carb type, vegetable juicing is highly recommended. Juicing is also beneficial for mixed types, whereas protein types need to follow some specific guidelines to make it work for them.

If you are a protein type, juicing needs to be done cautiously. The only vegetables that should be juiced are your prime protein-type vegetables that are lower in potassium:

  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • String beans
  • Cauliflower (including the base)

Regular lettuces and typically wonderful vegetables like collard greens, kale and Swiss chard are far too high in potassium for protein types and will tend to cause biochemical imbalances. Also, to make drinking vegetable juice compatible with protein type metabolism (which needs high amounts of fat), it is important to blend a source of raw fat, such as raw eggs, avocado or raw cream, into your juice.

Again, if you’re new to a healthy lifestyle this may seem overwhelming, so you can start with my nutrition plan for some basic tips to get started.

For instance, remember this important principle: vegetables are generally good, but not all vegetables are created equal. For example, increasing your vegetable intake with salads is a good start, but I would advise avoiding iceberg lettuce.

Why?

Because it has minimal nutritional value. Red and green leaf lettuce, along with romaine lettuce and spinach, are much more nutritious options.

My Recommended Vegetables List provides a guide to the most nutritious vegetables, and those to limit due to their high carbohydrate content. Typically, the greener the vegetable, the more nutritious it will be.

Want a Simple Way to Increase Your Veggies?

With a bit of planning, it’s relatively easy to get plenty of fresh vegetables into your diet. You can snack on celery filled with raw almond butter, nibble on asparagus, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or red peppers, and add leafy greens like spinach to just about any meal of the day.

Other vegetables, like zucchini and turnips, are mild tasting and can be blended into soups and sauces and you’ll never even know they’re there.

That said, one of the absolute easiest and most efficient ways to optimize your vegetable intake is to juice your vegetables.

Not only will juicing help your body absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables by making them easily digestible, but you’re also avoiding the risk of damaging any of their sensitive micronutrients through cooking. Cooking and processing food destroys micronutrients by altering their shape and chemical composition.

It also allows you greater freedom to add a wider variety of vegetables to your diet that you may not normally enjoy eating whole. This way, you’re working with the principle of regular food rotation, which will lessen your chances of developing food allergies.

For more in-depth guidelines and information about juicing, I recommend you review the juicing section of my nutrition plan and also learn your nutritional type.

But whatever method you choose, juiced or whole, raw or cooked, please make it a point to eat your veggies. This is one food group that is incredibly diverse, so there’s a wide variety to choose from and plenty to suit virtually everyone’s tastes.

Related Articles:

 Comments (21)

botox treatmentAllergan, which manufactures the cosmetic medication Botox, has agreed to pay $600 million to settle a federal investigation into its marketing of the botulin-based drug.

The company will plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of “misbranding” – meaning the company’s marketing led physicians to use Botox for unapproved uses. These uses included treatment of headache, pain, spasticity and cerebral palsy in children.

According to ABC News:

“Allergan said it will pay $375 million in connection with the plea, which includes the forfeiture of $25 million in assets. Additionally, the company will pay $225 million in civil fines — $210 million to the federal governments and the rest to several states — related to the investigation, although the company denies liability for the civil claims.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The case of Allergan Inc. stealing taxpayer money and putting people’s health at risk through fraudulent marketing practices is just the last in a long line of such cases that have come to light in recent years.

Several major drug companies have recently been scrutinized and reached multibillion dollar settlements over their illegal marketing practices.

One notable example was Pfizer, who earlier this year got away with what amounted to a slap on the wrist because they were deemed “too big to nail.”

Allergan Taught Doctors to Scam the Government and Promoted Off-Label Uses of Botox

Most people are familiar with Botox Cosmetic, a botulin-based drug that temporarily paralyzes your facial muscles, which will smooth out wrinkles.

But the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved the drug Botox Therapeutic for a very limited number of therapeutic uses, such as cervical dystonia in adults.

ABC News quotes Sally Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia as saying:

“The FDA had approved therapeutic uses of Botox for only four rare conditions, yet Allergan made it a top corporate priority to maximize sales of far more lucrative off-label uses that were not approved by the FDA.

Allergan further demanded tremendous growth in these off-label sales year after year, even when there was little clinical evidence that these uses were effective.”

Some of the off-label uses Allergan is accused of directly promoting to doctors include the treatment of:

  • Headaches
  • Pain
  • Spasticity and cerebral palsy in children

The off-label use for pediatric patients is perhaps one of the more disturbing, as safety and effectiveness in children have never been established for this drug.

But no matter what your age, if Botox is used “off-label,” you’re taking unnecessary risks with your health.

This became clear six years ago, when Irena Medavoy, the wife of a Hollywood producer, sued Allergan after suffering “life-altering  intractable headaches, fibromyalgia, extreme neck weakness, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, and extreme fatigue,” after receiving Botox injections for her migraines – an off-label use — according to one report.

That was the first trial involving Botox, and Medavoy lost her case.

Fortunately, since then the promotion of off-label uses have started receiving more scrutiny, and when a company is found to actively educate doctors on these illegal uses, federal investigators have gotten better at clamping down.

According to ABC News:

“Allergan “paid kickbacks to induce physicals to inject Botox for off-label uses and Allergan also taught doctors how to bill for off-label uses, including coaching doctors how to miscode Botox claims leading to millions of dollars of false claims being to submitted to federal and state programs,” Assistant Attorney General Tony West said.”

In this case, Allergan will plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge of “misbranding,” and will pay $600 million to settle the case against them. This may sound like a lot of money, but it’s really peanuts when you consider the fact that the Botox brand brought in more than $1.3 BILLION last year alone.

More Illegal Activities.

Like so many other pharmaceutical companies, Allergan Inc. appears to have been more committed to illegal activities than protecting the health and welfare of patients.

In October 2009, another federal lawsuit against the company alleged that its sales representatives promoted the single-use vials for multi-patient use, which public health officials claimed contributed to a hepatitis C outbreak in the Las Vegas Valley.

Allbusiness.com reported that:

“The Botox business model “created an unacceptable and unreasonable risk of serious and debilitating injuries and illnesses, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C”.”

Company Officers May Also Be Sued

Another trend that appears to be taking form these days are class action lawsuits by investors against officers and directors responsible for allowing illegal activities to occur.

On September 2, the law office of Robbins Umeda LLP announced it was launching an investigation into “possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of the law” by Allergan’s directors, claiming the officers may have damaged the company by permitting “illegal tactics to promote Botox for these unapproved uses, including paying kickbacks to doctors.”

The law office is urging shareholders to jump on the class action bandwagon.

Regardless of whether anything comes of it, I truly believe that one of the more effective ways to begin to curtail this behavior of pandemic corruption and fraud is by forcing actual people to face the music.

When there is no risk whatsoever, the worst human inclinations tend to flourish, and there should be little doubt that greed has taken over most Big Pharma business models at this point.

The Pandemic of Medical Fraud and Illegal Activities

The corruption, fraud, and illegal activities of pharmaceutical companies appear to have reached a hitherto unprecedented high.

The False Claims Act Legal Center’s web site contains a long, nauseating list of criminal activities by Big Pharma. I urge you to take a look for yourself, to gain some perspective – these are the companies your doctor places his trust in. And by default, by listening to your doctor, you’re putting your life in their hands as well.

I challenge you to take a look at the list of criminal activities perpetrated by some of the biggest, most well-known companies in the world, and still come to the conclusion that your health is in good hands.

Another recent False Claims Act case is that of Seroquel. The maker of the atypical anti-psychotic drug, AstraZeneca, has also recently agreed to pay $520 million to settle charges that it marketed this dangerous drug for off-label uses.

But there are many, many more…

The situation has become so dire, I am currently in the process of writing a special report on this topic. Keep an eye out for it in a future issue of this newsletter.

The Illusions are Breaking…

Fortunately, more people are finally waking up to the illusion and deception of the drug industry as a whole, and starting to clearly see the truth.

The public is absolutely correct in their conclusion that drug companies manipulate or suppress negative clinical trials, promote their toxic products for unapproved uses, and focus on developing drugs that are no better than older ones.

But physicians must also, en masse, come to the realization that most often, drug reps cannot be trusted. This may be one of the most difficult areas to change, as the pharmaceutical industry has devised a highly effective system of indoctrination and very specific psychological techniques to manipulate, deceive and brainwash physicians.

Doctors usually believe they are immune to persuasion tactics, and drug reps know just how important it is to maintain that illusion — which is why it works so well.

Consider for a moment the in-depth report published in both The New England Journal of Medicine and PLoS Medicine, which admitted that pharmaceutical sales reps are trained in tactics that are on par with some of the most potent brainwashing techniques used throughout the world!

The idea that reps provide some kind of valuable, informative service to physicians is total fiction, created and perpetuated by the drug industry, to keep this deadly, but profitable, scheme going.

Watch the Pharma Fraud Show

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has put together a short documentary video about Big Pharma fraud that is well worth watching.

In it, they state that:

“The United States healthcare industry is the world’s biggest – with $300 billion a year spent on prescription drugs alone, and rising.

But recent months have seen health scandal after health scandal, with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies fined billions of dollars.

These cases are beginning to reveal vast corruption in the drug industry, with revelations of fraud, of cover-ups of fatal side effects and huge kickbacks paid to doctors.”

Until real change takes place, please don’t risk your money or your life on a paradigm designed to profit from your ill health. Take control of your health by adopting natural lifestyle strategies that will promote your body’s natural healing abilities without the need for potentially dangerous drugs.

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Two years ago, a study known as the JUPITER trial suggested the cholesterol-lowering statin drug might prevent heart-related death in many more people than just those with high cholesterol.

Now, however, researchers say that the JUPITER results are flawed — and that they do not support the benefits initially reported.

Not only is there no “striking decrease in coronary heart disease complications”, but a new report has also called into question drug companies’ involvement in such trials.

ABC News reports:

“… major discrepancies exists between the significant reductions in nonfatal stroke and heart attacks reported in the JUPITER trial and what has been found in other research … ‘The JUPITER data set appears biased,’ [the researchers] wrote in conclusion.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Tens of millions of Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs-mostly statins-and some “experts” claim that many millions more should be taking them.

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 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 increased cancer risk.

For starters, reported side effects include:

  • Muscle problems, polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), and rhabdomyolysis (a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition)
  • Anemia
  • Acidosis
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Immune depression
  • Pancreas or liver dysfunction, including a potential increase in liver enzymes
  • Cataracts

Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs’ adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and memory loss are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur. There is evidence that taking statins may even increase your risk for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Statins currently available on the U.S. market are:

Ninety-Nine Out of 100 People 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.

The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.

And, even more importantly, 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:

  1. HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio: Should ideally be above 24 percent. If below 10 percent, you have a significantly elevated risk for heart disease.
  2. Triglyceride/HDL Ratio: Should be below 2.

I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who were actually at low risk for heart disease due to their elevated HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen many people with cholesterol levels under 200 who had a very high risk of heart disease, based on their low HDL.

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.

There is also strong evidence that having too little cholesterol INCREASES your risk for cancer, memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, hormonal imbalances, stroke, depression, suicide, and violent behavior.

Parents Beware: Outrageous New Push to Put Kids on Statin Drugs!

In a bold attempt to increase profits before the patent runs out, Pfizer has now introduced a chewable kid-friendly version of Lipitor. Its US patent for Lipitor expires in November 2011, and seeking to boost sales of the drug, children have become the new target market, and the conventional medical establishment is more than happy to oblige.

Researchers and many doctors are now calling for universal school screening of children to check for high cholesterol, to find those “in need of treatment.”  In addition, older siblings, parents and other family members might be prompted to get screened as well, the researchers say, which would uncover additional, previously undiagnosed adults in need of the drug.

This is clearly NOT the way to improve public health. On the contrary, it could produce a new, massive wave of extremely dire health consequences in just a few years time.

So rather than improving school lunches, which would cost about a dollar a day per child, they’d rather “invest” ten times that for tests and drugs that in no way, shape, or form address the root cause, which is an improper, unhealthy diet!

All they’re doing is allowing all the industries to maintain or increase their profits: Big Pharma; Big Sugar; Big Corn and the processed food industry.

Who pays?

You, and your children! And in far more ways than one!

I will address this issue in depth in a future article, so please stay tuned.

If You Take Statins, You MUST Take CoQ10

If you take statin drugs without taking CoQ10, your health is at serious risk. 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, 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.

Physicians rarely inform people of this risk and only occasionally advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement. As your body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure.

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 is 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.

Optimizing Your Cholesterol Levels, Naturally

There’s really no reason to take statins and suffer the damaging health effects from these dangerous drugs.

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.

It follows, then, that my primary recommendations for safely regulating your cholesterol have to do with modifying your diet and lifestyle:

  • Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your diet. Eat the right foods for your nutritional type, and consume a good portion of your food raw
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of 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. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness exercises, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Address your emotional challenges. My favorite technique for stress management is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
  • 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.

 

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The Baycol Statin Recall and Safety Issue:

In August 2001, Bayer AG, the maker of Baycol (cerivastatin), a popular cholesterol-lowering drug used by about 700,000 Americans, pulled the medicine off the market after 31 people died from severe muscle breakdown, a well-recognized side effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Related articles follow:

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Baycol Pulled From Market as Numerous Deaths Linked to It
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The Baycol Recall: How Safe is Your Statin?
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Lipitor Tied to Liver, Kidney Injury, as Well as Muscle Damage
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Excerpts from Public Citizen’s Health Research Group’s Petition to Require a Box Warning on All HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (“Statins”):

” … Public Citizen, representing 135,000 consumers nationwide, hereby petitions the FDA pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 21, U.S.C. Section 355(e)(3), and C.F.R. 10.30, to add a black box warning and additional consistent bolded warnings about this serious problem to the label of all statins marketed in the United States.”

“Doctors and the public must be warned to immediately discontinue use of statin drugs at the onset of muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness or tiredness.”

“Prompt cessation of the use of statins at the first sign of muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness or tiredness and prompt evaluation by a physician including a blood test for creatine phosphokinase (a measure of muscle destruction) may avoid the progression to more extensive muscle damage, rhabdomyolysis and death.”

“Rhabdomyolysis has been reported with all statins currently marketed in the United States.”


About the Experts

Joseph Mercola, DO

Medical Director of the Natural Health Center and Mercola.com. Read about my complete background information.

Uffe Ravnskov, MD

Born 1934 in Copenhagen, Denmark Graduated 1961 from the University of Copenhagen with an M.D. 1961-1967: Various appointments at surgical, roentgenological, neurological, pediatric and medical departments in Denmark and Sweden. 1968-1979: Various appointments at the Department of Nephrology, and the Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden. 1975-79: As an assistant professor at the Department of Nephrology. 1973: PhD at the University of Lund. 1979-2000: A private practitioner. Since 1979 an independent researcher. A specialist in internal medicine and nephrology. Honored by the Skrabanek Award 1998.

For more information about him, see Dr. Ravnskov’s Web site.

Jay Cohen, M.D

Jay Cohen, M.D., is an associate professor of Family and Preventative Medicine and of Psychiatry at the University of California in San Diego. He is the author of two books and has numerous papers published in peer-reviewed journals. His book, Over Dose: The Case Against the Drug Companies, is an outstanding read.

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