fat guyThe World Health Organization projects that five years from now, in 2015, the number of overweight adults will increase to 2.3 billion, up from just 1.6 billion five years ago.

The Global Post lists the world’s top ten fattest countries, as measured by the percentage of the population with a BMI index of more than 25. Most are island nations, but the United States is also on the list.

  1. Nauru: 95 percent of the population

    Nauruans historically engaged in fattening ceremonies, where young women were kept inside and fed to excess. That legacy, plus the more recent transition to Western-style meals, has been devastating.

  2. Micronesia, 3. the Cook Islands and 4. Tonga: All three of these island nations weigh in at a 92 percent overweight population.
  1. Niue: 84 percent
  2. Samoa: 83 percent
  3. Palau: 81 percent
  4. United States: 79 percent
  5. Kiribati: 77 percent
  6. Dominica: 76 percent

Other overweight nations include Kuwait and Argentina (75 percent), Mexico (73 percent), Australia (71 percent), Egypt and Greece (70 percent), Belarus (67 percent) and the United Kingdom (66 percent).

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The 10 fattest countries in the world share several common bonds. They’ve seen increases in urban environments and significant reductions in strenuous labor, meaning the populations are more sedentary than ever.

Plus, they’re quickly adopting Westernized diets full of soda, potato chips and other junk foods in lieu of their more nutritious traditional fare.

As a result, many of the world’s island nations now have staggeringly high rates of overweight adults, reaching upwards of 80-95 percent of their populations.

And the United States, which ranks eighth out of the top 10 fattest countries, does not fare much better. Seventy-nine percent of the population is now overweight, as measured by a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25.

Obesity and Overweight Rates Keep Rising

Obesity is now a worldwide problem. Dubbed “globesity,” the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2015 there will be more than 2 billion overweight and 700 million obese adults worldwide.

The problem, aside from the wide prevalence already, is that the trend is showing no sign of stopping, which will have disastrous health effects on a worldwide scale.

A number of studies have demonstrated links between obesity and a whole host of serious medical conditions, such as:

  • Depression
  • Gastro esophageal reflux
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Dementia
  • Numerous cancers

Other statistics on the danger of obesity includes:

  • People who are moderately obese live two to five years less than people that have ideal weight.
  • The lifespan of those who are severely obese might be reduced by five to 10 years.
  • The biggest threat of obesity is heart disease, which is now the number one cause of death in the US.

Insulin resistance is also the underlying factor in a large number of diseases, and one of the signs that you’re a prime candidate for developing insulin resistance is obesity.

If you’re obese, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’re also insulin resistant, and this is directly linked to increased inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation is the hallmark of high cholesterol, heart disease, and many other chronic health conditions.

It’s quite clear that controlling your insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to optimize your health and is also the most potent anti-aging strategy at your disposal, and to do this you need to make changes to your diet and exercise programs . changes that will also typically cause you to lose weight.

A Major Cause of Obesity You Need to be Aware Of

There are a multitude of reasons for the dramatic rise in obesity since the 1970’s, including:

  • Increased consumption of highly processed food, especially fructose
  • Increased portion sizes of restaurant food and grocery products
  • Increased driving and computer use (sedentary activities)
  • Increased modernization and less physical activity
  • Lack of sleep
  • Certain medications
  • Endocrine disorders, changes in gut bacteria and genetics
  • Changing social perceptions of what is “normal” weight

All of these factors are possible contributors, but on a cultural scale it is the ingestion of fructose that is the primary variable contributing to the obesity epidemic.

This may sound overly simplistic, but I have studied this carefully for many years, and after evaluating many thousands of pages of documents I agree with the growing number of experts who have identified fructose as the most significant dietary factor that directly causes obesity, along with hypertension, diabetes, and a number of other related health problems.

In a recent article featuring an interview with Dr. Richard Johnson, I discussed compelling new evidence that links fructose consumption with increased uric acid levels, which is intricately linked to obesity and associated health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.

I strongly advise you to read that article and listen to the interview to get a more in-depth understanding of the fructose/uric acid connection and how fructose wreaks havoc on your health — and your waistline.

Thanks to Dr. Johnson’s research, we now know that fructose generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion. High levels of uric acid are normally associated with gout, but it has been long known that people with high blood pressure and kidney disease, and people who are overweight, often have elevated uric acid levels as well.

It was thought this increased uric acid resulted from the disease, but it appears now that it may have been CAUSING it!

If You’re Overweight, Get Your Uric Acid Levels Checked

When your uric acid level exceeds about 5.5 mg per dl, you have an increased risk for a host of diseases, including hypertension, kidney disease, diabetes, and fatty liver, along with obesity.

Dr. Johnson suggests that the ideal uric acid level is probably around 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women. Most people who are overweight likely have uric acid levels well above 5.5. Some may even be closer to 10 or above.

So I would STRONGLY encourage everyone to have their uric acid level checked to find out how sensitive you are to fructose. The higher your uric acid, the more you need to limit or even avoid fructose — including in fruits — until your uric acid level normalizes.

The key step to optimize your uric acid levels if they are too high is the same as for optimizing your insulin levels, which is to drastically reduce or completely eliminate fructose and other sugars from your diet.

A Weight Loss Plan You Can Live With

It may seem like the cards are stacked against you when it comes to losing weight, but in reality virtually anyone can get back to their ideal weight when given the proper knowledge and tools of how to do so.

This is true even if you have a family history of obesity, as lifestyle changes can actually override any “fat genes” you may possess.

In the vast majority of cases, obesity is a direct result of poor dietary choices, especially consuming too much sugar and fructose, and a lack of exercise.

When you start paying close attention to what you’re eating along with getting lots of physical activity, drastic beneficial changes often take place. So your first steps, if you’re interested in driving down your insulin and uric acid levels and losing weight, should be to follow these four tenets of long-term optimal health and weight:

  • Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type, paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down, primarily by avoiding fructose as much as possible
  • Exercise. It is particularly important that you integrate the newer Peak Fitness Techniques into your program for weight loss.
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Manage your stress

If you live in the Chicago area and would like some extra support and guidance in weight loss, you can visit my Natural Health Center. Those of you in other areas who need weight loss support can look for a holistic health care practitioner who specializes in weight loss in your area, as well as join in the Mercola.com Natural Health Community where you can share your weight loss challenges and successes with like-minded people.

No matter how many pounds you need to lose, today can be the first day on your journey back to your ideal weight. With each healthy change you make, and each milestone you reach, you’ll feel better, increase your energy and likely gain newfound confidence in yourself, both inside and out.

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  4 Dietary Tips for Fat Loss and Fitness

 Comments (49)

umbilical cordFor many years, the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics have advised against early umbilical cord clamping. But obstetricians have been reluctant to change their habits.

Although no clamping occurs in nature, cord clamping has become such an accepted norm that delayed clamping is generally considered a new or unproved intervention.

Basic teaching of physiology could be a factor — most textbooks state or imply that the cord circulation closes only because of the application of the cord clamp, which is not accurate.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr. David Hutchon argues:

“Clamping the functioning umbilical cord at birth is an unproved intervention. Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change. To prevent further injury to babies we would be better to rush to change.”

A separate review in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine also highlights the importance of delayed cord clamping, stating:

“Many clinical studies have revealed that the delayed cord clamping elevates blood volume and hemoglobin and prevents anemia in infants.

 Moreover, since it was known that umbilical cord blood contains various valuable stem cells such as hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial cell precursors, mesenchymal progenitors and multipotent/pluripotent lineage stem cells, the merit of delayed cord clamping has been magnified.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

In U.S. hospitals, the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord is typically performed within 30 seconds of birth, sometimes sooner. This is done because immediate cord clamping is generally believed to reduce the mother’s risk of excess bleeding and the baby’s risk of jaundice . but this practice may actually be detrimental to the baby’s health.

When a baby is born it must transfer from receiving oxygen from the placenta to receiving oxygen from its lungs. For this to happen, the baby’s lungs must first expand, and the burst of blood from the umbilical cord helps to get the newborn’s lungs to expand properly.

Without the burst of blood from the placenta, the infant suffers a drop in blood pressure as its lungs fail to open as they should, creating a chain reaction of effects that can include brain damage and lung damage. Immediate cord clamping can cause hypotension, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and infant anemia, resulting in cognitive deficits.

Some have even theorized that the rise in autism could be linked at least in part to premature cord clamping.

World Health Organization, Extensive Research Supports Delayed Cord Clamping

In the United States there is absolutely no consensus about the optimal time to clamp the umbilical cord after birth, yet research is increasingly revealing that clamping the umbilical cord prematurely, before two or even three full minutes have elapsed, robs your baby of much-needed blood and oxygen.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) policy supports delayed cord clamping, stating:

“The optimal time to clamp the umbilical cord for all infants regardless of gestational age or fetal weight is when the circulation in the cord has ceased, and the cord is flat and pulseless (approximately 3 minutes or more after birth).”

They continue:

“Clamping the umbilical cord immediately (within the first 10 to 15 seconds after delivery) prevents the newborn from receiving adequate blood volume and consequently sufficient iron stores.

Immediate cord clamping has been shown to increase the incidence of iron deficiency and anemia during the first half of infancy, with lower birth weight infants and infants born to iron-deficient mothers being at particular risk .

Waiting to clamp the umbilical cord allows a physiological transfer of placental blood to the infant which provides sufficient iron reserves for the first 6 to 8 months of life, preventing or delaying the development of iron deficiency .

For premature and low birth weight infants, immediate cord clamping can also increase the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage and late-onset sepsis.13 In addition, immediate cord clamping in these infants increases the need for blood transfusions for anemia and low blood pressure.”

Numerous research studies and experts are also confirming that waiting to clamp the cord offers significant benefits. Among them:

Why is Immediate Cord Clamping Routine?

This is a question many experts are now seeking to answer, but it seems this is another example of an outdated medical practice that has become routine before anyone stopped to consider if it was actually beneficial.

As David Hutchon, retired consultant obstetrician, said in BMJ:

“Cord clamping has become the accepted norm so much so that delayed clamping is generally considered a new or unproved intervention.

Thus, showing that immediate or early cord clamping offers no advantage to the baby is not enough; it has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that it is harmful. Other interventions such as routine episiotomy were quickly abandoned when it was shown that they gave no advantage.”

Very often cords are now also clamped early to collect cord blood and cord stem cells to be used for various medical and commercial purposes. But the evidence is clearly emerging that the most beneficial use for cord blood may be to allow it to transfer to the baby immediately at birth.

While most full-term babies have enough blood to establish lung function and prevent brain damage from early clamping, the process often leaves them pale and weak. For premature babies, the process can be even more devastating. And no matter what, immediate cord clamping will cause some degree of asphyxia and loss of blood volume because it:

  1. Completely cuts off the infant brain’s oxygen supply from the placenta before lungs begin to function.
  2. Stops placental transfusion — the transfer of a large volume of blood (up to 50% increase in total blood volume) that is used mainly to establish circulation through the baby’s lungs to start them functioning.

Keeping valuable oxygen and blood from an infant by clamping the umbilical cord prematurely increases the baby’s risk of brain hemorrhage and breathing problems. It has also been implicated as a contributing factor to:

  1. Autism
  2. Cerebral Palsy
  3. Anemia
  4. Learning disorders and mental deficiency
  5. Behavioral disorders
  6. Respiratory distress

Remember, You Have a Choice

As with many areas of medical care it’s easy to get swept up in the system once you enter a hospital setting. But if you are currently pregnant and weighing your birth options, it’s important to know that you have a choice.

First and foremost, you can choose a practitioner, such as a midwife or holistically oriented obstetrician, who is aware of the benefits of delayed cord clamping and will work with you on your desire to have this during your birth.

Next, be sure and make it known to your practitioner both before you go into labor and again when you enter the hospital that you desire delayed cord clamping. If you choose to give birth at home you should discuss this choice with your practitioner in advance as well.

If your practitioner tells you that he or she will only perform immediate cord clamping, and this is not in line with your beliefs, it’s time to find a new practitioner who will work with you on these potentially life-changing birth choices.

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 Comments (75)

Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, discusses the outcome of last year’s swine flu debacle, and the potentially harmful changes that are being made to this season’s flu vaccine as a result.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the swine flu pandemic officially over on August 9th. The swine flu, which we were warned would kill millions, if not tens of millions of people, turned out to be a complete “dud” as far as pandemics go, but health agencies and governments around the world still managed to create massive fear of this hybrid flu virus.

And, of course, vaccine makers made millions off their novel H1N1 vaccines.

For those in the southern hemisphere, like Australia, the flu season has already begun, and the health hazards of this year’s seasonal trivalent vaccine have already become evident.

For the rest of you, the flu season is nearing, and another round of advertisements for flu vaccines are about to hit the media.

Summary of a Failed Pandemic

Last year the United States contracted for the manufacture of over 170 million doses of swine flu vaccine. Probably the most significant accomplishment of this website was that we were able to contribute to the fact that only 90 million doses were used in the United States.

Armed with the facts, less than one-third of the US population fell for the fear mongering.

It quickly became very clear that this was in fact a very mild disease that was not going to kill people in large numbers. Yet the projected number of casualties in the US alone was declared to be between 60,000 to 90,000! And the campaign to hype up the fear and force the untested, unproven pandemic vaccine on the masses through any means reached previously unheard of proportions.

Within a week of Australia reporting that the virus appeared to be 40 times less lethal than originally feared, the WHO instructed countries to simply stop lab confirming suspected H1N1 cases, which meant that any and all flu-like symptoms were reported as pandemic influenza, padding the statistics.

STILL, despite this misrepresentation of the facts, last year’s flu season turned out to be one of the mildest in recent years!

Since 2003, the official government statistic on flu deaths has been an average of 36,000 deaths per year (although as previously reported, this number is also far from the truth as it includes pneumonia deaths, which account for most of these deaths), but last year the CDC reported only 12,000 flu deaths – a mere one-third of the average!

These cases were also not serologically confirmed to be influenza, but included pneumonia and other flu-like illness, which means the actual number of people who died as a direct result of the flu – let alone H1N1 — was even lower than that.

See, whenever you see flu mortality statistics, you need to beware that the number includes secondary respiratory complications such as pneumonia, which may or may not have been preceded by a bout of flu. This is sort of a catchall category that has been conveniently ascribed to influenza when, oftentimes, that’s just the precipitating trigger.

Now, typically, one of the common mechanisms of death as you get older is respiratory infections. The influenza doesn’t actually kill the person, the secondary pneumonia does, and it does so because their immune system is too compromised, whether due to age or underlying poor health.

Either way, the fact that last season’s flu mortality statistic was a mere one-third of the average should serve as a valuable eye-opener to anyone who may still be panicking at the mere thought of the H1N1 swine flu.

Key WHO Pandemic Advisors had Financial Ties to Vaccine Makers

This was perhaps suspected, but when the World Health Organization finally released a list of its pandemic advisors, it finally confirmed that at least five of the key players who influenced the phase six pandemic declaration indeed had financial ties to vaccine makers.

As we now know, our tax dollars were completely wasted on these nonessential pandemic vaccines, and it appears as though financial conflicts of interest between WHO pandemic advisors and the industry may have had a great deal to do with it.

Is it really wise to take advice from people who have a financial stake in the outcome of the decision to declare a worldwide pandemic?

I think recent history tells us the answer is clearly NO!

On June 24th, the European Parliamentary Assembly criticized the lack of transparency and “grave shortcomings” in the decision-making processes relating to the pandemic, stating:

The Parliamentary Assembly is alarmed about the way in which the H1N1 influenza pandemic has been handled, not only by the World Health Organization (WHO) but also by the competent health authorities at the level of the European Union and at national level.

It is particularly troubled by some of the consequences of decisions taken and advice given leading to distortion of priorities of public health services across Europe, waste of large sums of public money and also unjustified scares and fears about health risks faced by the European public at large.

The Assembly notes that grave shortcomings have been identified regarding the transparency of decision-making processes relating to the pandemic which have generated concerns about the possible influence of the pharmaceutical industry on some of the major decisions relating to the pandemic.”

They also remarked that:

“In Recommendation 1908 (2010) on lobbying in a democratic society (European Code of conduct on lobbying), the Assembly noted that unregulated or secret lobbying may be a danger and can undermine democratic principles and good governance.”

I believe the swine flu pandemic of 2009 was a perfect example of just how devastating such ‘secret lobbying’ can be.

Flu Vaccine Does Not Prevent Death in Elderly, CDC Director Admits

Clearly, what the pharmaceutical industry would love for you to believe is that the flu vaccine is going to somehow magically protect you from dying from the flu, when in fact the evidence couldn’t be more clear — It doesn’t work at all in the elderly! And the data is flimsy at best when it comes to children and adults.

In fact, in April, Michael Osterholm, director of the national Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publicly admitted that flu shots don’t work in the elderly.

We also know the flu vaccine is fraught with side effects and health complications, so many people are literally receiving zero benefit and all risk when getting this vaccine!

There is a massive attempt to defraud and deceive people to generate profits from flu vaccines. Fortunately, we are able to penetrate this veil of misinformation, as we did so effectively last year. And this year, we want to start early by warning people about the new plan…

WARNING: This Year’s Flu Plan

The news for this year is that the flu vaccine you’ll get this fall will be a combination vaccine that contains both the regular flu- and the swine flu vaccines – you will not be given the choice to take them individually.

Barbara Loe Fisher explains:

“In February of 2009, the CDC announced that every single American from the age of 6 months through the year of death should get an annual flu shot — every single one of us, whether we’re healthy or we’re sick.

In March of 2009, this mysterious H1N1 bird-pig-human hybrid influenza virus was discovered.

So here we are. Everyone is supposed to get a flu shot every year. We’re going into the flu season of 2010-2011.. [But] they have decided that in the annual influenza shot for this year, there will be three type A or type B viruses, and one will be H1N1.”

This is the same type of vaccine that Australia recently suspended for use in children under the age of five because it caused a surprisingly high number of reports of children suffering high fevers, vomiting and febrile convulsions.

But children aren’t the only group that seem to react more violently to the trivalent vaccine that contains the H1N1 component.

A special government committee has been created to investigate last year’s H1N1 monovalent vaccine for signs that it may be associated with a higher rate of certain kinds of reactions. What the committee found out provisionally is that there were three signs of trouble with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine used last year.

Fisher explains:

“One was Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which we know has been associated with influenza vaccine since 1976 when the first swine flu vaccine was used. There is [also] a sign of a blood disorder called thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is when your blood cannot produce enough platelets. It’s an autoimmune type reaction.

The other is Bell’s palsy. That’s a facial paralysis. It’s a neuroimmune reaction.

The government is saying they don’t know if these are true signals or not, but there were some red flags that were raised.”

So now we’re moving into the 2010-2011 flu season with a vaccine that may be very reactive.

“I am concerned,” Fisher says, “We have over 300 million people [in the US] which. are supposed to get this influenza vaccine. And we have a very aggressive push by the media and others who are following the lead of the government, so we could have a bad situation.”

Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Work for Seniors, So Their Dose is Quadrupled!

For seniors, the news may be even more dire.

When H1N1 first hit last year, the CDC explained that seniors weren’t included in the first round of shots because studies indicated the risk of infection in this age group was less than for younger groups.

But now that H1N1 is part of the seasonal shot, the CDC and WHO have some hefty plans for the same seniors who, last year, they said were less likely to get H1N1.

In the ACIP Provisional Recommendations for the Use of Influenza Vaccines, dated February 24, it states:

“A higher dose formulation of an inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, licensed by FDA on December 23, 2009) for use in people age 65 years and older will be available in the 2010-11 influenza season.

“Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the amount of influenza antigen compared to other inactivated seasonal influenza vaccines. .

Studies are underway to assess the relative effectiveness of Fluzone High-Dose compared to standard dose inactivated influenza vaccine, but results from those studies will not be available before the 2010-11 influenza season.” [Emphasis mine.]

Yes, you read that right: if you’re age 65 or older, the CDC wants you to take a flu vaccine this fall that not only contains an antigen they previously said you probably already have antibodies to (H1N1), but that is also four times as potent, with no safety evaluation whatsoever until AFTER the season is underway!

Again, the CDC is asking you to be a part of a large public health experiment.

This is why we’re warning you early, because for the most part, none of this is really known. It’s not been announced. It certainly has not received widespread publicity.

Another mind-bending irony is that unused or expired flu vaccines that contain the mercury preservative thimerosal can by law not be disposed of in regular garbage because it’s considered hazardous waste.

Yet it’s deemed to be safe to inject into your body – in the case of the flu vaccine, once a year, each and every year of your life!

Is the Vaccine Safe for Pregnant Women? Nobody Knows!

We now have the policy in place that every single American is supposed to get a flu shot this coming year, from six months of age through the year of death. That means every clinic; every doctor who has that flu vaccine is going to be pushing hard for it. Even in pregnant women.

“I am very concerned about the issue of pregnant women getting influenza shots, particularly this one,” Fisher says. “We don’t have enough scientific studies that have looked at the effects of giving influenza vaccine, particularly this H1N1 vaccine, to pregnant women.

Last summer the NIH announced that they were doing studies in children, adults and in pregnant women with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine. About 120 pregnant women were supposed to be enrolled in a study in early September. We have yet to see any announcement of what the results of those studies were.”

I agree. It’s shocking to think that pregnant women are advised to take a vaccine that has no scientific backing for its safety for either the mother or the unborn child.

Cradle to Grave Approach to Flu Vaccine – Is it Wise?

Fisher says:

“I think that we really need to take a hard look at this cradle to grave approach for influenza vaccine. We have to certainly demand that the proper scientific studies be done.

For those people who want to use influenza vaccine, they deserve no less. But we certainly shouldn’t be in the business of mandating the use of influenza vaccine in this country. It seems like every single time the CDC recommends a vaccine for universal use by children, and now by adults, there is this issue of whether or not it should be required.

I am very concerned about that because we should all have the right to make free choices about the kind of healthcare we want, and the kind of products that we want to use, and that should go for vaccines as well.”

Remember that products like vaccines that contain additives like mercury and aluminum can cause brain damage, or even death. If you happen to have certain genetics or biological high risk factors that put you at greater risk than others for suffering vaccine induced harm, you’re out of luck.

There’s also the issue of contamination, such as the rotavirus vaccine that was recently found to contain potentially dangerous pig viral DNA.

In truth, we have no understanding of what the acute implications are, let alone the long-term ramifications to the second and third generations.

Fortunately, we fought back and the H1N1 vaccine was not made mandatory last year. That was a major victory for the freedom to choose. So now, I encourage you to spread the word, to get educated, and to let your friends and relatives know about the flu plan for this year because they are not going to hear this from the conventional media.

In order to make an informed choice, you need to have the facts of what you’re up against; including all the risks and the benefits.

Your involvement can play a huge role in preserving you and your family’s freedom and protecting innocent children from undue harm. Let’s make sure that we are never in a position where we are forced to get an influenza vaccine that has not been proven safe, effective, or necessary.

One More Time – Vitamin D to the Rescue

I’ve written about the benefits of vitamin D to ward off the flu in the past, and I’m pleased to announce that more and more studies about how Vitamin D can prevent infections, disease, and flu are coming out.

For example, if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you’ll be pleased to know that an article published May 1 in the American Academy of Pediatrics News recommends pregnant women take 4,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily to fight infection and disease, to maintain good health, and to deliver healthier, stronger babies.

But even this seemingly large amount may be seriously inadequate in many women. Some may need more than 10,000 units per day and the only way to know for sure is to have your vitamin D level tested.

Then, take a look at this Japanese study from last year, which showed that a group of children taking Vitamin D3 was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. That’s a higher effectiveness than any flu vaccine can claim, and doesn’t come with a barrage of potentially devastating side effects!

Since we already know that most children and teenagers are Vitamin D-deficient, I urge you to get your children’s vitamin D levels tested, and if found deficient, follow my recommendations for optimizing their levels. Do this, and they’ll be far less likely to catch any cold or flu this year.

For more information, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour free vitamin D lecture along with my video on vitamin D’s role in flu prevention.

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In June, the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) released its first decennial report on the progress it’s made toward getting vaccines for children in Third World countries. Since its start-up a decade ago, GAVI’s vaccines have gone to 250 million children in developing nations.

In those 10 years, major industrialized countries, along with the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other agencies such as the US National Institutes of Health, have given GAVI nearly $4.5 billion.

But it’s not enough, GAVI says. To continue its work, GAVI wants a total of $7 billion by 2015, with $2.4 billion going toward vaccines for pneumococcal disease and $750 million for rotavirus.

Around 80 percent of GAVI cash comes from a handful of governmental donors – the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the US, Norway, Canada, and the Netherlands through direct contributions, support of an international finance fund, and something called Advance Market Commitments (AMCs).

With AMCs, donors give vaccine makers a guaranteed market and price for their products; in return, drug makers promise to sell the vaccines at low-ball prices to poor countries.

The pneumococcal vaccine is the first to be financed under an AMC. Also on the slate as AMCs are rotavirus, tuberculosis, and malaria. The HPV vaccine is on the list too.

The AMC vaccines target diseases that are severe killers in Third World countries, but not in developed nations. But so far, it’s children in developed nations who are being pushed first in line to get them — all in order to pay for those who actually may need them, in Third World Nations.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

I’m all for helping developing nations pull themselves out of poverty, sickness, and disease. But it takes more than just pouring money into vaccines to do it.

When you consider that the World Health Organization wants the power to impose worldwide taxes on Internet usage and banking transactions, so it can throw even more billions at vaccines, it makes me wonder if anyone remembers that the lack of clean water and proper sanitation facilities, not money for more vaccines, is the root cause of most disease in Third World countries.

Then again, maybe that’s one reason why the US told the WHO to put its taxation plan on hold for at least two years while a working group can study better ways to finance, develop, and produce vaccines for developing nations.

New Technology Makes it Easier for System to Force Vaccines on You

microneedle flu vaccine

A microneedle flu vaccine “patch” is in the works .

Image Source: Georgia Tech

Developing nations are not the only ones being subjected to increasing numbers of vaccines.

In the United States, researchers are trying to develop a vaccine patch with microneedles that you self-administer as though you’re putting on a Band-Aid. Worse still, the vaccine “patches” could one day be sent to you in the mail!

Since there are no sharp needles involved and you can stick the patch on right in your own home, researchers are hoping vaccine patches will catch on . and ultimately more people will get vaccinated.

Not surprisingly, the vaccine that’s slated for patch form first is the dangerous and completely unnecessary flu vaccine.

The U.S. Gives Billions to Finance Vaccines for Poor Countries

I recently posted an article on the Advance Market Commitments (AMC) concept, which was created to induce drug companies to develop vaccines for diseases that kill people mostly in Third World countries.

The idea is simple: “rich” nations sign legally binding commitments to purchase and/or finance an AMC vaccine once it’s ready for market. In return for the guaranteed market and income, drug companies promise to sell the new vaccine to “poor” countries at vastly reduced prices.

To speed up the process, the World Health Organization “prequalifies” AMC vaccines in an approval process that slices years off the time it normally takes a vaccine to make it to market.

The first AMC was the pneumococcal vaccine, which made its debut in 2009 with $1.5 billion coming from Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Granted, the United States is notably missing from this list. But that doesn’t mean the US didn’t contribute to GAVI or the global funding of vaccines, including the pneumococcal. That’s because there are three ways to help GAVI:

  • Pledges to AMCs
  • Long-term pledges to the International Finance Facility for Immunizations (IFFIm), which in turn gives grants to GAVI to purchase vaccines
  • Direct contributions to GAVI

So far, the U.S. has given direct contributions to GAVI totaling $569 million. And, according to GAVI, President Obama has promised GAVI another $90 million in 2011, up from last year’s $78 million.

But still, that’s not enough, GAVI says.

If you count what the US gives through health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, the total amount that ultimately goes from the US to poor countries for vaccines is staggering. In an update on efforts to increase vaccine availability in Africa, the G8 Summit of 2006 reported:

The United States . has provided nearly 25 percent of Global Polio Eradication Initiative funding; has pledged $362 million for countries to prepare for, detect, and rapidly respond to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza; has contributed over $1.5 billion over the past 5 years to save the lives of children under age 5 for support for childhood vaccinations and treatment for pneumonia and diarrhea .

. and supports additional work towards a successful launch of an AMC pilot project by the end of the year.”

That’s in addition to the $15 billion the US promised for HIV/AIDS programs and vaccine research, $1.2 billion to malaria programs and vaccine research, and $90 million in FY 2006 alone for tuberculosis programs and vaccine research.

But it’s still not enough, GAVI says.

When you figure in the 2008 law (which President Obama said he helped sponsor as an Illinois senator) that legislates continued GAVI funding through 2013, you’re talking billions of dollars funneled from the US to poor nations for vaccines.

But that’s not enough for GAVI, either — or, for Bill Gates who, in testimony at a Senate committee hearing this year, told legislators they should increase GAVI’s 2011 funding beyond the $90 million the president asked for.

H.R. 5501 — Foreign Aid for Malaria, TB, AIDS, and “Other Purposes”

If you read his testimony, it sounds like Mr. Gates isn’t aware that the President has already slipped in more funding for GAVI, through that 2008 law I mentioned above, which the president said he helped sponsor.

Better known as the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, H.R. 5501 requires the US to:

“. participate in negotiations for advance market commitments for the development of future vaccines,” and directs the secretary of the treasury to negotiate with world officials, including GAVI, “to establish advanced market commitments to purchase vaccines to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other related infectious diseases.”

So, although the US doesn’t have its name on the pneumococcal AMC, it does hold a promissory note, in the form of a federal law, on anything coming down the pipeline, such as rotavirus, HPV, malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis (TB), just to name a few.

If that’s still not enough for GAVI and Gates, then surely they can take comfort in knowing that this same law changes the nation’s TB vaccine fund to “GAVI Fund,” and allows the President to allocate unspecified, additional, amounts of money directly to GAVI for TB vaccines.

Are American Children Being Used as Guinea Pigs?

The cost for this, of course, will be borne by taxpayers — and by American children and those in other developed nations who end up getting the new vaccines, which are primarily meant to help Third World countries.

If you think that’s crazy, just look at the vaccines that have come out since GAVI was formed:

  • The first AMC, the pneumococcal vaccine, contains 13 pneumonia serotypes. As soon as it was ready in 2009, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all US children under age 5 now get this vaccine, instead of the previous 7-valent one.

    But why? The old vaccine contained the seven serotypes most commonly found in the US. The new vaccine adds 6 serotypes that are mostly found in Africa, and almost never found in developed nations.

    Statistics show that 90 percent of pneumococcal deaths occur in developing countries. So why do American children need this new vaccine – except to help create the high-dollar market that the advance market commitment promises?

  • The rotavirus vaccine is the one that GAVI has indicated should be the next AMC. It’s also on ACIP’s list for US children. But why? According to the CDC, in 1999 when the first rotavirus vaccine was withdrawn for safety issues, only 20 to 40 US children died annually because of rotavirus, compared to more than a half million in developing countries.

    So why is the rotavirus vaccine — which contains deadly pig virus — recommended for US infants, if not to support the vaccine being sold at low-ball prices in Third World countries under the next AMC?

  • HPV (human papillomavirus) statistics show that HPV causes 4,000 deaths from cervical cancer per year in the US, compared to 274,000 worldwide, 88 percent of which are in developing countries.

    So why were the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix — which have known safety issues — introduced in the US and Europe, first, instead of going straight to where they’re needed most, if not to help sell huge quantities of the vaccine at premium prices, in anticipation of it becoming an AMC?

I think you see the pattern: American children, and those in other developed nations, are basically being used as cash-cow guinea pigs, so that drug companies can smile all the way to the bank while they sell these vaccines later, at reduced prices, to countries that get the money to pay for them from the same countries whose children are being pushed in line to get them first.

At this point you probably don’t even want to hear that in the US and Europe, drug companies are doubly rewarded with six-month extensions on their patents when their products are targeted for children, or that additional subsidies in the form of grants pay for the research and development of these vaccines.

But it’s true on both counts.

If it sounds like an unending round-robin, it is, with drug companies winning the game in every hand.

Knowing this, I’m sure that you, like me, have no doubts about whose children will be the guinea pigs for the HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other AMC vaccines.

Vaccine Company Admits: Clean Drinking Water is Best Way to Save Lives

As I’ve said before, true immunity comes from good nutrition, and traditional health measures such as improved sanitation and plain old-fashioned good hygiene.

Even Bill Gates — who has pledged $10 billion over the next 10 years to research, develop, and deliver vaccines — has admitted that vaccines alone don’t eradicate disease. In a Wall Street Journal article about the resurgence of polio in African countries, Gates said that’s why he is revamping his disease fight to incorporate health, hygiene, and clean drinking water programs into vaccination programs.

I was disappointed that Mr. Gates didn’t say how much he would be channeling toward important disease-fighters like toilets. But it was encouraging to know that he was finally seeing the light – something that I’m sure didn’t go down so well with vaccine makers.

What’s really interesting is that at least one major vaccine maker does see the light, as evidenced on the front page of GlaxoSmithKline’s presentation to shareholders in June 2010:

“With the exception of clean drinking water, vaccines are the most cost-effective public health measure,” GSK said.

Did I read that right? Yes, it’s true. And that’s why I’m concerned that GAVI seems to be concentrating only on vaccines, rather than distributing some of those billions to what even a vaccine maker admits is the best help of all.

Others Agencies Want More Money Too

GAVI says it needs an additional $440 million a year to achieve its goals. But it’s not the only organization that wants more money: for example, UNICEF wants an extra $140 million in 2011.

It’s not like the US isn’t contributing to global health. In fact, according to a study commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US is the top funder of global health in the world. Just with polio alone, the cost of trying to eradicate it through vaccines from 1988 to 2009 was $6 billion, with nearly a quarter of that coming from USAID and the CDC.

But still, for GAVI — and, apparently, Bill Gates — it’s not enough.

When you consider that the first Global Vaccine Research Forum in June 2000 opened its meeting with an acknowledgement that vaccines were needed because easily treatable diseases had become resistant to inexpensive antibiotics that had been overused, and misused, I can’t help but wonder:

What if, just what if, the same amount of money that has been spent on vaccines over the past decade had been spent on sanitation facilities, toilets, and clean water?

Stay tuned, because we both know that the pneumococcal AMC is only the



beginning.

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chicken nuggetsIn response to reports that the ingredients may pose health risks, McDonald’s China claims that additives in its chicken McNuggets are “harmless”.

They said that the use of tertiary butylhydroquinone meets Chinese food safety standards. However, “the chemical is toxic to some extent,” according to Liu Qingchun, a nutritionist at the General Hospital of Armed Police Forces.

Bloomberg reports:

“McNuggets served in the U.S. also contain tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product, and dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent used in cosmetics and other goods.

McDonald’s Holdings Co. Japan also serves chicken with the additives”.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Most people don’t realize this, but McDonald’s fare, as unhealthy as it is in general, is even worse in some countries than others.

According to McDonald’s, the reason for the differences in ingredients is “local tastes.” For example, US McNuggets not only contain more calories and fat than British McNuggets, they and also contain chemical additives not found in the British nuggets, according to a recent CNN report.

And although Bloomberg made it sound like China’s McNuggets are tainted with questionable chemicals, it turns out the same chemicals are used in American McNuggets as well.  

The two chemicals in question are:

  1. Dimethyl polysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods
  2. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum-based product with antioxidant properties

According to CNN:

“Dimethyl polysiloxane is used as a matter of safety to keep the oil from foaming, Lisa McComb [who handles global media relations for McDonald’s] says. The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty.

A review of animal studies by The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethyl polysiloxane.

TBHQ [tertiary butylhydroquinone] is a preservative for vegetable oils and animal fats, limited to .02 percent of the oil in the nugget.”

Are these Food Additives Really Safe to Eat?

After searching for information about these two chemicals, I’m left with more questions than answers.

At its 19th and 21st meetings, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives determined that tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) was safe for human consumption at levels of 0-0.5 mg/kg of body weight.

More recently, the Codex commission set the maximum allowable limits up to between 100 to as much as 400 mg/kg, depending on the food it’s added to – chewing gum being allowed the highest levels of TBHQ.

However, according to CNN:

“One gram (one-thirtieth of an ounce) [of TBHQ] can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse,” according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives.”

So what IS TBHQ anyway?

TBHQ, although listed as an “antioxidant,” is a SYNTHETIC chemical with antioxidant properties, commonly used as a food stabilizer. It prevents oxidation of fats and oils, thereby extending shelf life of processed foods.

It’s used in a wide variety of processed foods, including:

  • Vegetable oils
  • Baked goods
  • Flavoring and spices
  • Margarine
  • Cereals and grains
  • Snack foods like potato chips

But you can also find it in varnishes, lacquers, resins, oil field additives, and pesticide products, and it is commonly used in cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.

So, I decided to check and see how the cosmetics industry rates the chemical.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates TBHQ as a “moderate hazard,” but most interestingly, Canada has prohibited and restricted its use in cosmetics.

Perhaps Canada decided to pay attention to the limited research available on this chemical. The EWG lists a number of health hazards associated with TBHQ, such as:

  • One or more animal studies show liver effects at very low doses
  • One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results
  • One or more animal studies show biochemical changes at very low doses where the human health implications are not yet well understood
  • One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at high doses

The good news is that it is not suspected to be a persistent toxin, meaning your body is probably able to eliminate it so that it does not bioaccumulate.

As for the anti-foaming agent dimethyl polysiloxane, although it “sounds” bad, it does not appear to have any known toxicity, although I have to wonder if it’s because it hasn’t undergone any significant safety studies in the first place.

Other Dangerous Ingredients Found on McDonald’s Menu

Whether or not TBHQ and dimethyl polysiloxane are necessarily worthy of significant concern, McDonald’s foods contain plenty of other ingredients that can seriously harm your health.

If you have not yet seen Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super-Size Me, I highly recommend it. It’s a real-life illustration of just how dangerous – life threatening, in fact – a fast food diet can really be! Morgan’s life; his physique and his health, dramatically changes in just FOUR WEEKS when he switches to a 100 percent Mickey-D diet.

It’s quite clear that fast food leads to obesity and insulin resistance – and just as Spurlock proved in his film, it doesn’t take long.

It also doesn’t take much: One 15-year study found that those who ate fast food twice a week or more gained 10 pounds more and were twice as likely to develop insulin resistance than those who ate it less than once a week, even after other lifestyle factors were accounted for.

But that’s not all.

Many of the foods on their menu, especially those that contain “natural flavors” or “hydrolyzed protein” as ingredients, contain MSG. Glutamic acid (MSG) is a toxic substance that literally kills your brain cells.

For more in-depth information about MSG, I highly recommend reading Dr. Russell’s Blaylock’s book, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills.

MSG makes the food taste good, no matter what it’s made of, and it’s inexpensive, making it the perfect processed food additive.

The bottom line is that if you want to stay healthy, and keep your children healthy, you have to avoid fast food and other processed foods, and invest some time in your kitchen, cooking from scratch.

Cooking for your children may actually have extremely far reaching benefits, because it is now well known that dietary changes can prompt epigenetic DNA changes that can be passed on to future generations. For instance, pregnant rats fed a fatty diet had daughters and granddaughters with a greater risk of breast cancer.

Could it be that we’re just now starting to see the generational effects of our grandparents’ and parents’ penchant for processed foods?

Perhaps.

But the good news is you can change the trend, and you can “override” genetic predispositions by choosing your foods wisely today.

Do You Suffer from Biophoton Deficiency?

The more I study nutrition the more I am convinced that we need to eat raw, uncooked, unprocessed food. Yet the average American spends 90 percent of their money on processed food.

In my mind, it’s no wonder we have an epidemic of chronic degenerative disease!

Part of the problem is related to the lack of live food.

I’ve written about biophotons a few times over the years, but it’s still an area that many people are unaware of, or have trouble “believing” in. But biophoton research clearly explains the underlying principles of why it’s so vital to eat a diet of mostly RAW food.

As you know, without the sun it is virtually impossible for most life forms to exist. For example, we now know that without appropriate sun exposure, you will become deficient in vitamin D, which will have very far ranging consequences for your health. Vitamin D influences up to 3,000 genes (that we know of), and without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, your body becomes susceptible to a staggering amount of diseases.

But you can absorb sun energy via your food as well as through your skin (although this should not be confused with being able to alter your vitamin D status).

Dr. Johanna Budwig from Germany has stated that live foods are electron-rich, and act as high-powered electron donors and “solar resonance fields” in your body to attract, store, and conduct the sun’s energy in your body.

The greater your store of light energy, the greater the power of your overall electromagnetic field, and consequently the more energy is available for healing and maintenance of optimal health.

Every living organism emits biophotons or low-level luminescence, and the higher the level of light a cell emits, the greater its vitality and the potential for the transfer of that energy to the individual who eats it. Hence, the more light a food is able to store, the more nutritious it is.

Naturally grown fresh vegetables, for example, and sun-ripened fruits, are rich in light energy.

The capacity to store biophotons is therefore a measure of the quality of your food.

That said, how much light energy do you think processed- and fast foods might have?

I can guarantee you it’s not much, if any at all.

I firmly believe it’s only a matter of time before these truths will become common scientific- and medical knowledge, but until then, you can help speed things up by sharing what you know with your family and friends.

Taking Control of what You Eat

Remember, taking control of your health requires you to pay close attention to what you eat. Ideally, you’ll want to consume as much whole, raw, organic and/or locally grown foods as possible.

That’s one of the major reasons why vegetable juicing works so well – you’re consuming living raw food!

Most vegetables also have very low carbohydrate levels that minimally disturb insulin metabolism – another important trait of a healthful diet — but there is something very special about vegetable juicing and eating live raw foods in general.

In addition, I believe optimal health is also largely dependent on eating the right foods for your nutritional type. I think it’s so important, in fact, I am now offering the entire Nutritional Typing program to you for free.

Once you’ve determined your nutritional type, you’ll know which foods to add to your diet, and which to limit or avoid when cooking. As I said earlier, reclaiming your kitchen is part and parcel of healthful living, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.

If you need help to get started, see Colleen Huber’s helpful tips on how to eat healthier organic food, free from many additives and preservatives, on a budget.

And if you’re “hooked” on fast food and other processed foods, please review my recent article How to Wean Yourself Off Processed Foods in 7 Steps. It’s one of the absolute most positive life changes you could ever make!

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