Charlie and Spike are kittens with myotonia congenita, also known as ‘fainting goat’ syndrome. At the slightest sound or movement, the kittens respond by collapsing and falling into a rigid paralysis that lasts about a minute.

Best Mercola Articles of 2010Today, on the first day of 2011, all of us at Mercola.com wish you a Healthy, Happy New Year. 2010 was a year full of surprises and drama. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have gotten involved in all these health related causes and successfully helped steer public consciousness into a healthier direction.

Please share these important articles with your closest friends and family so they can have a Healthy 2011
  1. Sugar May Be Bad, But This Sweetener is Far More Deadly
    Research shows this sweetener can cause much more damage than table sugar to human metabolism, trigger early signs of diabetes and heart disease, and cause dangerous growth of fat cells around vital organs.

  2. The Major Exercise Mistake I Made for Over 30 Years…
    This is the exercise mistake most everyone makes – including me, for 30 years. Then I discovered the secret to getting a better workout while saving 2 or 3 hours every week. So how much of a workout can you get in just 20 quick minutes?

  3. The Chicken Which Should be Banned
    This chicken contains an anti-foaming agent made of silicone and a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you. In fact, Time Magazine even reported this prominent Judge questioning whether customers understand the risks of eating it…

  4. This Cooking Oil is a Powerful Virus-Destroyer and Antibiotic.
    Although blasphemed for 60 years by the medical press, this amazing oil is now gaining fame for its health-promoting benefits – heart health, antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, plus it is slimming. It’s even so nutritious it’s included in baby formulas. What’s not to like.?

  5. Why did the Russians Ban an Appliance Found in 90% of American Homes?
    Why didn’t the industry issue a gag order when scientists suggested this appliance could wreck your health? It’s said to cause ‘electrical whiplash’ and much more. So should you really use it for yourself and your family?

  6. Want a Good Night’s Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed
    These common mistakes disrupt your brain waves and cause you to toss and turn, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. What’s more, you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep. If you have difficulty sleeping, this is critical information you must have.

  7. New Warning About Olive Oil
    It may be well known for its health benefits, but you’re probably making this mistake with your olive oil which accelerates the oxidation of the unsaturated fats – causing it to do more harm than good. Here’s how to protect the oil and a little trick which tells you when it should be tossed…

  8. This “Miracle Health Food” Has Been Linked to Brain Damage and Breast Cancer
    The odds are good this “miracle health food of the 21st Century” is in your diet. Stop falling for the misleading propaganda and read this now because hard evidence has linked it to digestive problems, cognitive decline, heart disease and more…

  9. This Supermarket “Health Food” Killed These Baby Rats in Three Weeks
    Despite the fact more than half the baby rats in this experiment died within 3 weeks, you may be eating this health food on a daily basis. Yet the scientist was attacked and the study has not been repeated – even though it would only cost a few thousand dollars. More scary “cover ups” revealed inside…

  10. Flood Your Body With This “Youth Hormone” in Just 20 Minutes
    And it will stay in your body for two hours, going after those excess pounds like a heat seeking missile. This breakthrough program is so powerful that if you were to do it today and monitor your blood, it would look like you injected it into your body …

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Domino’s Pizza’s domestic sales were falling last year. Then an organization called Dairy Management offered to help. They developed pizzas for Domino’s that contained 40 percent more cheese, and then devised and paid for a $12-million marketing campaign.

But Dairy Management is not a private business — it is a creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA helps helm a government anti-obesity program that discourages some of the very foods that Dairy Management is vigorously promoting.

The New York Times reports:

“… [I]n a series of confidential agreements approved by agriculture secretaries in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Dairy Management has worked with restaurants to expand their menus with cheese-laden products.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

You’re likely familiar with the “Got Milk” advertising campaign that encourages you to drink more milk for its array of health benefits. Perhaps you also saw the ads a few years back stating that eating more dairy could help you lose weight.

Both of these marketing campaigns were created by a nonprofit corporation called Dairy Management — an organization that not only employs 162 highly skilled product developers and marketers but also is largely funded by the U.S. government.

As the New York Times reported, Dairy Management’s $140-million annual budget comes in large part from a government-mandated fee on the dairy industry along with several million a year from the Agriculture Department.

But this government-funded organization is not simply interested in getting the word out about the potential health benefits of dairy . they primarily appear to be interested in doing whatever it takes to sell more dairy, including using up the surplus of whole milk and milk fat that exists since many Americans have switched to low-fat products.

Their solution? Team up with fast-food giants to sell more cheese.

The U.S. Government is Working Alongside Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Other Fast-Food Giants

Dairy Management, which also includes the National Dairy Council, has been aggressively marketing cheese to restaurant chains in efforts to increase sales. Most recently, they took part in a $12-million marketing effort for Domino’s latest pizza creation, the Wisconsin, which has six cheeses on the pie and two in the crust.

Dairy Management not only generated and tested new pizza concepts for Domino’s, they’ve provided banners and special lighting at fast-food drive-throughs geared at promoting more cheese consumption.

They’ve also held development meetings with Pizza Hut and were instrumental in developing the chain’s 2002 “Summer of Cheese” promotion that sold an additional 102 million pounds of cheese.

As the Times reported, Dairy Management has also been involved in the development of:

  • Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bites pizza
  • Wendy’s dual Double Melt sandwich concept
  • Burger King’s Cheesy Angus Bacon cheeseburger and TenderCrisp chicken sandwich (both of which contained three slices of cheese plus a “cheesy sauce”)

Dairy Management even works with grocery store chains to advise grocers how to arrange their dairy aisles for optimum sales.

What are Dairy Management employees getting in return for acting as champions for the dairy industry? At least in the executive arm, they’re very well compensated . the organization’s chief executive earned over $633,000 in 2008 while other top officials earned more than $300,000 each.

Advertising Campaigns Continued Despite Flimsy Research

The dairy industry has been heavily advertising the weight loss benefits of drinking more milk for years . but the study upon which this claim was based was not supported by additional research.

In fact, Dairy Management actually paid another researcher to look into the effects of dairy consumption on weight, but when her study failed to produce any such evidence they threatened to audit her work and then proceeded with their advertising campaign anyway.

Years went by before the Federal Trade Commission put an end to the campaign until additional research could be conducted. But not to worry . Dairy Management has other tricks up their sleeve to keep dairy consumption up.

As the New York Times reported:

“Meanwhile, Dairy Management, which allotted $12.4 million for nutrition research in 2008, has moved on to finance studies on promising opportunities, including the promotion of chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink and the use of cheese to entice children into eating healthy foods like string beans.”

Do You See a Connection?

The U.S. government is clearly in cahoots with the commercial dairy industry . even going so far as to fund marketing campaigns for fast-food restaurants to increase sales.

Folks, this is likely one of the major reasons behind all the raids on the raw milk farms recently — they are viewed as a threat to the commercial dairy industry.

The FDA and CDC have been aggressively raiding raw milk dairies in their efforts to crack down on raw milk production. This is done under the pretense of public health safety — but the truth remains that not only is raw milk a health-promoting food, it is oftentimes safer and many times healthier than the pasteurized varieties both state and federal governments are rallying behind.

It is very apparent that the regulatory agencies have put blinders on to these statistics as they carry on with their ruthless crusade to ban raw milk and make it illegal for you to drink — all while dedicating millions to boosting commercial dairy sales, even in the form of fast-food!

Why?

Because they are looking out for the interests of Big Dairy produced in factory farms.

Raw milk has been gaining popularity for years now. The conventional dairy industry, realizing this, has redoubled their efforts to make sure that raw milk sales are not able to grow, and certainly not able to become mainstream, where they could begin to threaten their very own livelihoods.

If raw dairy really caught on, you would think that the dairy industry would simply follow suit and begin producing raw products to meet the demand. But this would be virtually impossible.

A factory farm cannot compete with a small organic, free-range farm because their entire business depends on the milk being pasteurized. They simply cannot afford to reproduce the conditions required to produce safe raw milk, such as allowing all the cows to pasture and graze on grass, for starters.

So, since big business can’t produce what consumers want, they’re simply seeking to eliminate the raw milk market altogether. This is why Big Dairy’s powerful lobbyists will stop at nothing to persuade government agencies to keep raw milk bans in full force — and agencies like Dairy Management will continue their brash crusade to push pasteurized, processed cheeses and milk upon the American public.

If You Want Truly Healthy Dairy, Choose Raw

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, what they completely overlook is the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk.

They make no distinction whatsoever between disease-riddled factory farmed milk that commercial dairy operations produce and the milk from clean, healthy, grass-fed cows. The former MUST be pasteurized in order to be safe for consumption. The latter does not.

Further, not only does raw milk contain good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, raw milk also offers protection against disease-causing bacteria!

Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures, the largest raw dairy in the United States, performed the following test: He inoculated pathogenic contaminants such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella into his raw milk, and into pasteurized milk.

In the raw milk, none of the pathogens survived because the natural bacteria were able to protect the milk. In the pasteurized milk, however — in which the bacteria and enzymes have been destroyed — the pathogens were able to take over.

To think that pasteurized milk is safer (even if you don’t believe it’s healthier) than raw milk from a healthy, grass-fed cow is simply not true.

Raw milk also contains vitamins, which are virtually eliminated by the pasteurization process of commercial milk. But it’s the presence of beneficial bacteria that make raw milk such an outstanding food source to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine, which in turn has a significant, beneficial impact on your overall immune function.

Other health-promoting ingredients in raw milk include:

  • Valuable enzymes that are destroyed during pasteurization. This includes phosphatase, an enzyme that aids and assists in the absorption of calcium in your bones, and lipase enzyme, which helps to hydrolyze and absorb fats.
  • Natural butterfat, which is homogenized or removed in pasteurized milk. Without butterfat, it becomes very difficult for your body to absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk. Butterfat is also your best source of preformed vitamin A, and contains re-arranged acids with strong anti-carcinogenic properties.
  • Healthy unoxidized cholesterol
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and may help reduce your body fat.
  • High omega-3 and low omega-6 ratios, which is the beneficial ratio between these two essential fats

So if you enjoy dairy products, do your health a favor and choose raw milk and raw milk cheese over the commercial varieties that are so heavily advertised. By joining the fight to make access to healthy raw milk a right for all Americans, you are not only standing up for raw milk; you’re taking a stand to protect your freedom of food choice.

You can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Web site. You can also look here to find out the legal status of raw milk in the U.S. state or country where you live.

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beauty sleepMany people assume that “beauty sleep” is a myth used to convince children to go to sleep. But a new study suggests there may be something to it.

The study looked at the effect that sleep deprivation has on the way other people perceive your attractiveness.  Study participants were asked to sit for photographs. The photos were identical, except for one thing — some of the participants had had a full night’s sleep the night before, while others had been awake for 31 hours straight.

According to Time Magazine:

“The photos were then shown to a group of 65 different people, who, knowing nothing about how tired the people in the photos were, rated their attractiveness. The observers rated the sleep-deprived as less healthy looking, less fetching and, obviously, more tired-looking.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Taking the time each and every night to get your “beauty sleep” may in fact make you more attractive. And this isn’t surprising when you consider that optimal health and beauty are side effects of an overall healthy lifestyle, which must include adequate, high-quality sleep.

How Much Does Lack of Sleep Impact Your Appearance?

A good night’s sleep may be one of the best-kept beauty secrets out there.

This reality was recently proven by John Axelsson of the Karolinska Institute, who took identically staged photos of 23 people. All of the participants had natural hairstyles, relaxed facial expressions and no makeup. The lighting for the sessions were the same, as was the subject’s distance from the camera.

The only difference was the amount of sleep the people had received the night before; one group got a full night’s sleep, the other slept just five hours after being awake for 31 hours straight.

When the photos were shown to a separate group of people, wouldn’t you know it . they rated the sleep-deprived group as less healthy, less attractive and more tired.

Chances are you have noticed this phenomenon yourself on more than a few occasions just by looking in the mirror. After a night of not enough or poor sleep you’re likely to wake up with dark circles under your eyes, sallow skin and a general look of being worn out and unrested.

Sleep is Essential for Your Body to Function

It’s no wonder that your appearance suffers when you lose sleep, as it’s an indicator of what is going on within your body as well.

Everybody loses sleep here and there, and your body can adjust for temporary shortcomings. But if you develop a chronic pattern of sleeping too little, then you’re increasing your risk of a number of health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cancer

Sleep deprivation also ages you. Lack of sleep interferes with metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory loss.

Too little sleep can even wreak havoc on your weight. Losing sleep raises levels of two hormones linked with appetite and eating behavior. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you’re satiated, and increases ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger.

No doubt about it, a sleep deficit can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health – and bags under your eyes are the least of it. Other effects include:

  • A single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
  • Good sleepers and poor sleepers experience about the same number of daily minor stressful events, but good sleepers are less disturbed by them. Poor sleepers experience life events as being more negative than do those who sleep well.
  • Sleep deprivation can cause changes in your brain activity similar to those experienced by people with psychiatric disorders.
  • Sleep deprivation puts your body into a pre-diabetic state, and makes you feel hungry, even if you’ve already eaten.
  • Interrupted sleep can dramatically weaken your immune system
  • Tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions.

If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or otherwise getting a restful night’s sleep, be sure to read through my top 33 tips for optimal sleep.

Beauty is More Than Skin Deep

Your outward appearance typically reflects your health on the inside on both a physical and emotional level.

For instance, research shows that people who have been through the stress of a divorce look nearly two years older than their married, single or even widowed twin. Those who use antidepressants also appear significantly older. The researchers attributed this to the drugs causing continued relaxation of the facial muscles, which led to sagging, but it could also be that those taking antidepressants were under some type of psychological stress.

This is why releasing negative emotions with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which balances your energy and improves your body and mind’s stress response, can actually improve your outward beauty along with your emotional health.

Likewise, eating a largely unhealthy diet of processed foods causes an accumulation of free radicals, or cell-damaging substances, in your body. Naturally, this type of cellular damage is most visible on your face, in the form of wrinkles, bags, droopy eyelids and loss of skin elasticity and glow.

So along with getting your beauty sleep, one way to decrease the speed at which signs of your real age show up is by consuming large amounts of whole, unprocessed, healthy raw foods that are loaded with antioxidants. If you’re still young, you will be less likely to develop wrinkles and other signs of age in the first place if you take a proactive, healthy approach now.

Another key to maintaining a youthful appearance and brighter, clearer skin is regular exercise. And, if you shift away from regular aerobics and use Peak 8 exercises instead, you will have a powerful way to naturally increase your growth hormone and radically reduce your aging rate. This will also be enormously beneficial in helping you sleep better. Just make sure you don’t exercise right before you go to bed.

Interestingly, sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, which is normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep and also during certain types of exercise, such as the Peak Fitness Technique. Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.

So good food, regular exercise, stress relief and, of course, beauty sleep all go hand-in-hand when it comes to giving you that youthful healthy glow you’re after.

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Ever wonder what your cat does when you’re not around? Find out by watching the first movie filmed entirely by cats!

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