By Dr. Mercola

Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.1

Magnesium is also found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body, including some of those that help regulate blood sugar. This is one mechanism by which magnesium may keep diabetes at bay – a finding that's been gaining increasing scientific support.

Magnesium May Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

There have been several significant studies about magnesium's role in keeping your metabolism running efficiently—specifically in terms of insulin sensitivity, glucose regulation, and protection from type 2 diabetes.

Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans.2 Researchers stated, "Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk."

In addition, a meta-analysis of seven studies showed that for each 100 milligrams (mg) of magnesium consumed in a day, the risk of diabetes is decreased by 15 percent.3 Those researchers concluded, "Magnesium intake was inversely associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes."

A meta-analysis of 13 studies conducted in 2011 similarly found "further evidence supporting that magnesium intake is significantly inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes in a dose-response manner."4

Magnesium Has a Beneficial Effect on Insulin Resistance

Part of the benefit appears to be due to magnesium's effect on insulin resistance. For one study, overweight participants with insulin resistance received either 365 mg of magnesium daily or a placebo. After six months, those taking the magnesium had lower fasting blood sugar levels and less insulin resistance than the control group.5

Insulin resistance occurs when your body cannot use insulin properly, allowing your blood sugar levels to get too high. Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, as well as a risk factor in many other chronic diseases.

The mechanism by which magnesium controls glucose and insulin homeostasis appears to involve two genes responsible for magnesium homeostasis.6 Magnesium is also required to activate tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that functions as an "on" or "off" switch in many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors.

It is well known that people with insulin resistance also experience increased excretion of magnesium in their urine, which further contributes to diminished magnesium levels. This magnesium loss appears to be secondary to increased urinary glucose, which increases urinary output.7

Therefore, inadequate magnesium intake seems to prompt a vicious cycle of low magnesium levels, elevated insulin and glucose levels, and excess magnesium excretion. In other words, the less magnesium your body has, the less it appears to be able to "hang onto it."8

The Magnesium-Diabetes Link

The evidence is pouring in that if you want to prevent type 2 diabetes, proper intake of magnesium is crucial. Unfortunately, by some estimates up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient.

Other research shows only about 25 percent of US adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.9

Consuming even this amount is "just enough to ward off outright deficiency," according to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor. If you're deficient, you could be at risk of type 2 diabetes. Here's a snapshot of some recent research:

  • One 2013 study involving pre-diabetics found that most had inadequate magnesium intake. Those with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71 percent.10
  • In a large Japanese study (the Hisayama Study) published in Diabetic Medicine in 2013, researchers found magnesium intake was a significant protective factor against type 2 diabetes in the general Japanese population, especially among those "with insulin resistance, low-grade inflammation, and a drinking habit."11
  • In the Framingham Offspring Cohort (2006), higher magnesium intake improved insulin sensitivity and reduced type 2 diabetes risk.12

Magnesium Isn't Only Important for Diabetes Prevention…

Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys.13 If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. In addition, magnesium is necessary for:

  • Activating muscles and nerves
  • Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
  • Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis
  • Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin

Dr. Dean has studied and written about magnesium for more than 15 years. The latest addition of her book, The Magnesium Miracle, came out in 2014 and in it you can learn about 22 medical areas that magnesium deficiency triggers or causes, all of which have all been scientifically proven. This includes:14

Anxiety and panic attacks Asthma Blood clots
Bowel diseases Cystitis Depression
Detoxification Diabetes Fatigue
Heart disease Hypertension Hypoglycemia
Insomnia Kidney disease Liver disease
Migraine Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.) Nerve problems
Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, preeclampsia) Osteoporosis Raynaud's syndrome
Tooth decay

5 Factors Associated with Low Magnesium Levels

Certain foods can actually influence your body's absorption of magnesium. If you drink alcohol in excess, for instance, it may interfere with your body's absorption of vitamin D, which in turn is helpful for magnesium absorption.

If you eat a lot of sugar, this can also cause your body to excrete magnesium through your kidneys, "resulting in a net loss," according to Dr. Danine Fruge, associate medical director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida.15 The following factors are also associated with lower magnesium levels:16

  1. Excessive intake of soda or caffeine
  2. Menopause
  3. Older age (older adults are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age and the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption)
  4. Certain medications, including diuretics, certain antibiotics (such as gentamicin and tobramycin), corticosteroids (prednisone or Deltasone), antacids, and insulin
  5. An unhealthy digestive system, which impairs your body's ability to absorb magnesium (Crohn's disease, leaky gut, etc.)

Is It Possible to Get Enough Magnesium from Diet Alone?

Seaweed and green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard can be excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds. Avocados also contain magnesium. Juicing your vegetables is an excellent option to ensure you're getting enough of them in your diet. However, most foods grown today are deficient in magnesium and other minerals, so getting enough isn't simply a matter of eating magnesium-rich foods (although this is important too). According to Dr. Dean:

"Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now, we're lucky to get 200 milligrams."

Herbicides, like glyphosate also act as chelators, effectively blocking the uptake and utilization of minerals in so many foods grown today. As a result, it can be quite difficult to find truly magnesium-rich foods. Cooking and processing further depletes magnesium. If you opt for a supplement, be aware that there are a wide variety of magnesium supplements on the market, because magnesium must be bound to another substance. There's simply no such thing as a 100 percent magnesium supplement.

The substance used in any given compound can affect the absorption and bioavailability of the magnesium, and may provide slightly different, or targeted, health benefits. The table that follows summarizes some of the differences between the various forms. Magnesium threonate is one of the best sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally, it also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory.

Besides taking a supplement, another way to improve your magnesium status is to take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin. Magnesium oil can also be used for topical application and absorption. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure to avoid any containing magnesium stearate, a common but potentially hazardous additive.

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability, and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium, and has stool softening properties
Magnesium chloride / Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as laxatives. Be aware that it's easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed
Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind
Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties and is one of the better ones out there. Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, and may be the best magnesium supplement on the market

Magnesium Must Be Properly Balanced for Optimal Health

Anytime you're taking magnesium, you need to take calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2 into consideration as well, since these all work synergistically with one another. Excessive amounts of calcium without the counterbalance of magnesium can lead to a heart attack and sudden death, for instance. If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm, and this has consequences for your heart in particular.

"What happens is, the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don't have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm. Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They'd relax, contract, and create their activity," Dr. Dean explains.

When balancing calcium and magnesium, also keep in mind that these must be balanced with vitamins K2 and D. These four nutrients perform an intricate dance together, with one supporting the other. Lack of balance between these nutrients is why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and why some people experience vitamin D toxicity. Part of the explanation for these adverse side effects is that vitamin K2 keeps calcium in its appropriate place.  

If you're K2 deficient, added calcium can cause more problems than it solves, by accumulating in the wrong places, like soft tissue. Similarly, if you opt for oral vitamin D, you need to also consume it in your food or take supplemental vitamin K2 and more magnesium. Taking mega doses of vitamin D supplements without sufficient amounts of K2 and magnesium can lead to vitamin D toxicity and magnesium deficiency symptoms, which include inappropriate calcification that may damage your heart. Also, some are unable to achieve therapeutic levels of vitamin D with supplementation and this might be related to a magnesium deficiency.

Additional Steps for Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. What's worse, type 2 diabetes among children and teens has also skyrocketed. The good news is that not only is type 2 diabetes preventable, it's also curable, and in the vast majority of cases does not require any form of medication for treatment. The following nutrition and lifestyle modifications should be the foundation of your diabetes prevention and treatment plan.

Also, make sure to monitor your FASTING insulin level. This is every bit as important as monitoring your fasting blood sugar. You'll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the greater your insulin resistance and the more aggressive you need to be in your treatment plan, especially when it comes to altering your diet.

  • Swap out processed foods, all forms of sugar—particularly fructose—as well as all grains, for whole, fresh food. A primary reason for the failure of conventional diabetes treatment over the last 50 years has to do with seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Fructose, grains, and other sugar forming starchy carbohydrates are largely responsible for your body's adverse insulin reactions, and all sugars and grains—even "healthy" grains such as whole, organic ones—need to be drastically reduced.
  • If you're insulin/leptin resistant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or are overweight, you'd be wise to limit your total fructose intake to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has resolved. This includes about 80 percent of Americans. For all others, I recommend limiting your daily fructose consumption to 25 grams or less, to maintain optimal health. The easiest way to accomplish this is by swapping processed foods for whole, ideally organic foods. This means cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients.

    Processed foods are the main source of all the primary culprits, including high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, processed grains, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and other synthetic additives that may aggravate metabolic dysfunction. Besides fructose, trans fat (NOT saturated fat) increases your risk for diabetes by interfering with your insulin receptors. Healthy saturated fats do not do this. Since you're cutting out a lot of energy (carbs) from your diet when you reduce sugars and grains, you need to replace them with something. The ideal replacement is a combination of:

  • Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein. Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. When selecting animal-based protein, be sure to opt for organically raised, grass-fed or pastured meats, eggs, and dairy, to avoid potential health complications caused by genetically engineered animal feed and pesticides. Most Americans eat far too much protein, so be mindful of the amount. I believe it is the rare person who really needs more than one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.
  • Those that are aggressively exercising or competing and pregnant women should have about 25 percent more, but most people rarely need more than 40-70 grams of protein a day.

    To determine your lean body mass, find out your percent body fat and subtract from 100. This means that if you have 20 percent body fat, you have 80 percent lean body mass. Just multiply that by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. The chart below shows some common foods and their protein content:

    Red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood average 6-9 grams of protein per ounce.

    An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat or seafood (not 9- or 12-ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18-27 grams of protein
    Eggs contain about 6-8 grams of protein per egg. So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12-16 grams of protein.

    If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)
    Seeds and nuts contain on average 4-8 grams of protein per quarter cup Cooked beans average about 7-8 grams per half cup
    Cooked grains average 5-7 grams per cup Most vegetables contain about 1-2 grams of protein per ounce
  • As much high-quality healthy fat as you want (saturated and monounsaturated). For optimal health, most people need upwards of 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fats. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. (Remember, fat is high in calories while being small in terms of volume. So when you look at your plate, the largest portion would be vegetables).
  • As many non-starchy vegetables as you want
  • Exercise regularly and intensely. Studies have shown that exercise, even without weight loss, increases insulin sensitivity.17 High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a central component of my Peak Fitness program, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by as much as 24 percent in just four weeks.
  • Improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Today's Western diet has far too many processed and damaged omega-6 fats, and has far too little omega-3 fats. The main sources of omega-6 fats are corn, soy, canola, safflower, peanut, and sunflower oil (the first two of which are typically genetically engineered as well, which further complicates matters). The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is 1:1. However, our ratio has deteriorated to between 20:1 and 50:1 in favor of omega-6. This lopsided ratio has seriously adverse health consequences.
  • To remedy this, reduce your consumption of vegetable oils (this means not cooking with them and avoiding processed foods), and increase your intake of animal-based omega-3, such as krill oil. Vegetable-based omega-3 is also found in flaxseed oil and walnut oil, and it's good to include these in your diet as well. Just know they cannot take the place of animal-based omega-3s.

  • Maintain optimal vitamin D levels year-round. Evidence strongly supports the notion that vitamin D is highly beneficial for diabetes. The ideal way to optimize your vitamin D level is by getting regular sun exposure, or by using a high-quality tanning bed. As a last resort, consider oral supplementation with regular vitamin D monitoring to confirm that you are taking enough vitamin D to get your blood levels into the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml. Also, please note that if you take supplemental vitamin D, you create an increased demand for vitamin K2.
  • Get adequate high-quality sleep every night. Insufficient sleep appears to raise stress and blood sugar, encouraging insulin and leptin resistance, and weight gain.
  • In one 10-year-long study of 70,000 diabetes-free women, researchers found that women who slept less than five hours or more than nine hours each night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept seven to eight hours each night.18 If you are having problems with your sleep, try the suggestions in my article "33 Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep."

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. If you incorporate the diet and lifestyle changes suggested above, you will greatly improve your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and a healthy body weight will follow in time. Determining your ideal body weight depends on a variety of factors, including frame size, age, general activity level, and genetics. As a general guideline, you might find a hip-to-waist size index chart helpful. This is far better than BMI for evaluating whether or not you may have a weight problem, as BMI fails to factor in both how muscular you are, and your intra-abdominal fat mass (the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around your inner organs), which is a potent indicator of leptin sensitivity and associated health problems.
  • Incorporate intermittent fasting. If you have carefully followed the diet and exercise guidelines and still aren't making sufficient progress with your weight or overall health, I strongly recommend incorporating intermittent fasting. This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits, including improved insulin/leptin sensitivity, lowered triglycerides, and other biomarkers for health, and weight loss.
  • Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings. Keep up your intermittent fasting schedule until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (or your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). After that, you only need to do it "as needed" to maintain your healthy state.

  • Optimize your gut health. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall. Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by regularly eating fermented foods (like natto, raw organic cheese, miso, and cultured vegetables).

  • Sources:

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    By Dr. Mercola

    Your body is a complex ecosystem made up of more than 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa, collectively referred to as your microbiome, which must be properly balanced and cared for if you want to maintain good health.  

    These microbes are so numerous they actually outnumber the cells in your body 10 to one. With such a high prevalence of microbes in your system, it seems reasonable to suspect that they're of some major importance.

    And indeed, recent years have brought a scientific flurry of information demonstrating just how crucial your microbiome is to everything from genetic expression, immune function, body weight and composition, to mental health, memory, and the prevention of numerous diseases, from diabetes to cancer.

    For example, in one study,1 DNA analysis of diseased sections of intestine removed from patients suffering from Crohn's disease revealed that one particular bacterium, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, was lower than normal.

    While researchers have linked the overabundance of specific bacteria to various diseases, this finding suggests certain anti-inflammatory microbes may be actively involved in preventing certain disease states and when they're lacking, you end up losing this protection.

    Recent research also suggests that genes from microbes have become incorporated into human DNA, including some genes that help your immune system defend itself against infections.

    Modern Diseases Linked to Alterations in Intestinal Microflora

    The composition of the human microbiome varies from person to person based on factors such as diet, health history, geographic location, and even ancestry, and it's readily influenced by diet, chemical exposures, hygiene, and other environmental factors.

    In fact, it's become increasingly clear that destroying your gut flora with antibiotics and pharmaceutical drugs, harsh environmental chemicals, and toxic foods is a primary factor in rising disease rates.

    The reason for this is because your gut is actually the proverbial gatekeeper for your inflammatory response, and inflammation tends to be a hallmark of most chronic diseases.

    The inflammatory response starts in your gut and then travels to your brain, which subsequently sends signals to the rest of your body in a complex feedback loop. It isn't important that you understand all of the physiology here, but the take-away message is that your gut flora's influence is far from local. It significantly affects and controls the health of your entire body.

    Microbial Genes Are Passed from Parent to Child

    It's important to realize that the foundation of a person'sgut flora is laid from birth. Just like other genetic information, microbes (and their genetic material) are passed on from parent to child.

    A baby basically "inherits" the microbiome from its mother as it passes through the birth canal (provided it's a vaginal birth). This is why it's so important to address your gut health before, during, and after pregnancy.

    Microbes are also passed between mother and child via breast milk and close body contact in general. As noted in a recent article by Scientific American,2 all of these transfers are crucial for the child's health, but can easily be circumvented by medical interventions and modern "conveniences":

    "Because the critical issue is the intergenerational transfer of microbes and its timed assembly, three periods are relevant: before pregnancy, during pregnancy and in the child's early life.

    For all three periods, antibiotic use is relevant because it may directly change maternal microbes prior to transfer or the child's microbes afterward.

    Elective cesarean sections mean that the child misses the birth canal transit, and antibacterials in soaps and foods directly affect microbiota composition.

    Infant formulas have not been constructed with the benefit of millions of years of mammalian evolution, because breast milk contains nutrients that specifically select for the growth of preferred coevolved organisms and inhibit opportunists and pathogens."

    Unfriendly (or lacking) flora can predispose babies to Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), which can raise the child's risk of any number of health problems, including autism and autoimmune disorders.

    Babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems, which may turn out to be a crucial factor when it comes to vaccine-induced damage.

    As explained by Dr. Campbell-McBride, vaccinations were originally developed for children with healthy immune systems, and children with abnormal gut flora and therefore compromised immunity are not suitable candidates for our current vaccine schedule as they're more prone to being harmed. To learn more about this, please see this previous article.

    Microbe Genes Found in Human DNA

    Some of the latest research3 in this arena reveals that bacteria, fungi, and viruses may be part of the "missing link" in the progress of humans. As noted in a report by CNN:4

    "Though most of our genes come from primate ancestors, many of them slipped into our DNA from microbes living in our bodies, says British researcher Alastair Crisp. It's called horizontal gene transfer...

    Bacteria slip genes to each other, and it helps them evolve. And scientists have seen insects pick up bacterial genes that allow them to digest certain foods... Humans may have as many as hundreds of so-called foreign genes they picked up from microbes."

    The human genome consists of about 23,000 genes, whereas the combined genetic material of your microbiome is somewhere between 2-20 million. According to the researchers, these extra genes may have played a role in helping to diversify our own DNA.

    In this study,5 researchers at the University of Cambridge identified 128 "foreign" genes in the human genome, including the gene that determines your blood type (A, B, or O). This gene, and others—including some that help your immune system defend itself against infections—appear to have been transferred into the human gene pool from microbes.

    Microbes That Ferment Fiber Are Important for Health

    One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your gut health is via your diet, as the microbes in your body consume the same foods you do. The beneficial ones tend to feed on foods that are known to benefit health, and vice versa. Sugar, for example, is a preferred food source for fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis, whereas healthy probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables boost populations of health-promoting bacteria, thereby disallowing potentially pathogenic colonies from taking over.

    Fiber is also important for a healthy microbiome. Some of the microbes in your gut specialize in fermenting soluble fiber found in legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and the byproducts of this fermenting activity help nourish the cells lining your colon. Some of these fermentation byproducts also help calibrate your immune system, thereby preventing inflammatory disorders such as asthma and Crohn's disease.6,7

    Treg Cells More Fiber

    Source: Illustration by AXS Biomedical Animation Studio; Source: "Feed Your Tregs More Fiber," by Julia Bollrath and Fiona Powrie, In Science, Vol. 341; August 2, 2013.8

    Your intestine harbors over 500 different species of microbes, and research suggests virtually all of these have the ability to affect your health in one way or another, although we still do not fully understand all the mechanisms and pathways by which they do so. It is a quickly evolving field however, and we're learning more with each passing year. For example, research published a couple of years ago show that common bacterial metabolites—short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)—selectively expand regulatory T cells called Tregs, which are critical for regulating intestinal inflammation.9

    According to one of these studies:10 "Treg cells suppress the responses of other immune cells, including those that promote inflammation. This finding provides a new link between bacterial products and a major anti-inflammatory pathway in the gut." Other research11,12 has linked Tregs—which are fed by dietary fiber—to the prevention and reversal of metabolic syndrome, in part by stimulating oxidative metabolism in your liver and adipose tissue.

    Are You Getting Enough High-Quality Fiber?

    Dietary guidelines call for 20-30 grams of fiber per day. I believe an ideal amount for most adults is around 32 grams daily. Most people, however, get only half that, or less. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain bothsoluble and insoluble fiber. This is ideal, as both help feed the microorganisms living in your gut. The same cannot be said for grains (including whole grains) and processed foods, as the carbohydrates found in both can serve as fodder for microorganisms that tend to be detrimental rather than beneficial to your health.

    Gliadin and lectins in grains may also increase intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. So, to maximize your health benefits, focus on eating more vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The following is a small sampling of foods that contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber.

    Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds Berries Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts
    Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes, and jicama Almonds Peas
    Green beans Cauliflower Beans

    A simple tip to increase the amount of fiber and biodense nutrients in your diet would be to add sunflower sprouts to your meal. They work great in salads but can also be added to virtually any dish to radically improve its nutrition. Organic whole husk psyllium is another effective option. Taking it three times a day could add as much as 18 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) to your diet. Opting for an organic version of psyllium will prevent exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers, as conventional psyllium is a very heavily sprayed crop. I also recommend choosing one that does not contain additives or sweeteners, as these tend to have a detrimental effect on your microbiome.

    Optimizing Your Microbiome May Be One of Your Most Important Disease Prevention Strategies

    Optimizing your gut flora may be one of the most important things you can do for your health, and the good news is that this isn't very difficult. However, you do need to take proactive steps. To optimize your microbiome both inside and out, consider the following recommendations:

    Do Avoid
    Eat plenty of fermented foods.Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, natto (fermented soy), and fermented vegetables. If you ferment your own, consider using a special starter culture that has been optimized with bacterial strains that produce high levels of vitamin K2. This is an inexpensive way to optimize your K2, which is particularly important if you're taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotic supplement). And while some researchers are looking into methods that might help ameliorate the destruction of beneficial bacteria by antibiotics,13,14 your best bet is likely always going to be reseeding your gut with probiotics from fermented and cultured foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.
    Take a probiotic supplement. Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics is an exception if you don't eat fermented foods on a regular basis Conventionally raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains, which have also been implicated in the destruction of gut flora.
    Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts, and seeds, including sprouted seeds. Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water.
    Get your hands dirty in the garden. Germ-free living may not be in your best interest, as the loss of healthy bacteria can have wide-ranging influence on your mental, emotional, and physical health. According to the hygiene hypothesis, exposure to bacteria and viruses can serve as "natural vaccines" that strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease. Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil. Processed foods. Excessive sugars, along with otherwise "dead" nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria. Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.15

    Unless 100% organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate.
    Open your windows. For the vast majority of human history the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature. Today, we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages it has also changed the microbiome of your home. Research16 shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you. Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular.
    Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher. Recent research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and that eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system. Antibacterial soap, as they too kill off both good and bad bacteria, and contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistance.

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    By Dr. Mercola

    Folic acid supplements are most widely known for their benefit to pregnant women; folic acid has been found to reduce the risk of certain birth defects, including neural tube defects.

    A new study suggests that folic acid may have a benefit besides this, particularly for your heart. 

    While recent research indicates that supplementation with folic acid is particularly beneficial for your heart, I recommend adults increase your folate levels through your diet instead for heart and brain health support.

    Generally speaking, the ideal way to raise your folate levels is to eat plenty of fresh, raw, organic leafy green vegetables.

    Folic Acid Cuts Stroke Risk

    Stroke, which is akin to a heart attack in your brain, is the fifth leading cause of death in the US.1 Obstructed blood flow to your brain is known as an ischemic stroke, which represent about 75 percent of all strokes. When an artery that feeds your brain with blood actually ruptures, it's called a hemorrhagic stroke, and this is a far more lethal situation.

    Each year, about 800,000 Americans die from strokes, which amounts to about one person every four minutes.2 High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, so researchers tracked stroke risk in more than 20,000 adults with high blood pressure.

    All of the participants were taking a high blood pressure drug (enalapril or Vasotec). Half of them also received a daily folic acid supplement. After 4.5 years, those taking the folic acid supplement had a 21 percent lower stroke risk than those taking the medication alone.3

    According to the researchers, the benefit would likely be seen among people without hypertension as well. Further, the findings are in line with previous studies that have found benefits from folate use among adults with high blood pressure and low folate levels.

    Research published in 2007 also found that folic acid supplementation significantly reduced the risk of stroke by 18 percent.4 Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Medicine Net:5

    "If all that is required to prevent the greatest health threat worldwide is a vitamin, then we need to consider checking patients' blood levels of folic acid and supplementing if needed."

    How to Increase Your Folate Levels Naturally

    However, perhaps an even better strategy would be to increase your folate levels via your diet. There is good reason to consider getting your folate naturally from food. 

    Further, in order for folic acid to be of use to your body, it must first be activated into its biologically active form – L-5-MTHF. This is the form that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier to give you the brain benefits noted.

    However, nearly half of adults have difficulty converting folic acid into the bioactive form because of a genetic reduction in enzyme activity. For this reason, if you take a B-vitamin supplement, make sure it contains natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid.  Children seem to convert folic acid more easily.

    Dietary wise, vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate. My nutrition plan describes a naturally vegetable-packed and folate-rich diet. Asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli are all good sources, as are beans, including lentils and garbanzo beans.

    In addition to lowering your risk of stroke, folate can help keep your homocysteine levels in check. High blood levels of homocysteine may lead to blood clots in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Folate Is Beneficial for Your Brain Too

    Elevated homocysteine levels are also linked to brain shrinkage and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, which may explain why B vitamins, including folate, have been found to support brain health. In a 2010 study, participants received relatively high doses of B vitamins, including:7

    • 800 micrograms (mcg) folic acid -- US RDA is 400 mcg/day
    • 500 mcg B12 (cyanocobalamin) – US RDA is only 2.4 mcg/day
    • 20 mg B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) -- US RDA 1.3-1.5 mg/day

    The study was based on the presumption that by controlling the levels of homocysteine, you might be able to reduce the amount of brain shrinkage, which tends to precipitate Alzheimer's.

    Indeed, after two years those who had received the vitamin-B regimen suffered significantly less brain shrinkage compared to those who had received a placebo. In those who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the trial, their brains shrank at half the rate of those taking a placebo.

    Another study took this research a step further, showing not only that B group vitamins may slow brain shrinkage but that it may specifically slow shrinkage by as much as seven-fold in brain regions specifically known to be most impacted by Alzheimer's disease.8

    Among participants taking high doses of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, blood levels of homocysteine were lowered as was the associated brain shrinkage – by up to 90 percent. Again these studies used synthetic folic acid supplements, however folate from fresh vegetables is likely a better source.

    Other Dietary Considerations for Stroke Prevention

    Up to 80 percent of all strokes are preventable through lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, normalizing your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and quitting smoking.9

    For example, research published in 2013 found that if you're inactive, you have a 20 percent higher risk for having a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) than people who exercise enough to break a sweat at least four times a week.10

    Recent studies also highlight the importance of getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C and iron, as well as potassium, in your diet. Fiber is also important. Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by seven percent.11

    Fiber is the non-digestible parts of plants, which can be either soluble or non-soluble. Water-soluble fiber was found to reduce stroke risk the most, however, ideally your diet will have foods high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, such as:

    • Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds
    • Green beans
    • Cauliflower
    • Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts
    • Almonds and berries

    Most Strokes Can Be Prevented with a Healthy Lifestyle

    In short, your lifestyle has a direct impact on your stroke risk, and even small changes can make a difference. To lower your risk further, here's what you should know:

    • Exercise will go a long way toward improving your insulin and leptin receptor signaling, thereby normalizing your blood pressure and reducing your stroke risk. I recommend a comprehensive program that includes Peak Fitness high-intensity interval exercises along with super slow strength training, Active Isolated Stretching, and core work. If you've had a stroke, exercise is also very important, as research shows it can significantly improve both your mental and physical recovery.12
    • Processed meats. Certain preservatives, such as sodium nitrate and nitrite found in smoked and processed meats have been shown to damage your blood vessels, which could increase your risk of stroke. I recommend avoiding all forms of processed meats, opting instead for organic, grass-fed, or pastured meats.
    • Diet soda. Research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in 2011 showed that drinking just one diet soda a day may increase your risk of stroke by 48 percent. Ideally, strive to eliminate all soda from your diet, as just one can of regular soda contains nearly twice my recommended daily allowance for fructose in order to maintain good health and prevent disease.
    • Stress. The more stressed you are, the greater your risk of suffering a stroke. Research has found that for every notch lower a person scored on their well-being scale, their risk of stroke increased by 11 percent.13 Not surprisingly, the relationship between psychological distress and stroke was most pronounced when the stroke was fatal. My favorite overall tool to manage stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Other common stress-reduction tools with a high-success rate include prayer, meditation, laughter, and yoga, for example. For more tips, see my article "10 Simple Steps to Help De-Stress."
    • Vitamin D: According to research presented at the American Heart Association's (AHA) Annual Scientific Sessions in 2010, low levels of vitamin D—the essential nutrient obtained from sun exposure—doubles the risk of stroke in Caucasians.14 While many opt for vitamin D3 supplements to raise their vitamin D level, I strongly recommend optimizing your levels through appropriate sun exposure or by using a high-quality tanning bed (i.e. one with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields). Ideally, you'll want to maintain your vitamin D level within the range of 50-70 ng/ml year-round.
    • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills. If you're on one of the hormonal birth control methods (whether it's the pill, patch, vaginal ring, or implant), it is important to understand that you are taking synthetic progesterone and synthetic estrogen -- something that is clearly not advantageous if you want to maintain optimal health. These contraceptives contain the same synthetic hormones as those used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has well-documented risks, including an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer.
    • Statins. Statin drugs are frequently prescribed to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. However, research shows that these cholesterol-lowering drugs actually increase your risk of a second stroke if you've already had one. There are two reasons why this might happen: the drugs may either lower cholesterol too much, to the point that it increases your risk of brain bleeding, or they may affect clotting factors in your blood, increasing the bleeding risk.
    • Grounding. Walking barefoot, aka "grounding," has a potent antioxidant effect that helps alleviate inflammation throughout your body. The human body appears to be finely tuned to "work" with the earth in the sense that there's a constant flow of energy between our bodies and the earth. When you put your feet on the ground, you absorb large amounts of negative electrons through the soles of your feet. Grounding helps thin your blood by improving its zeta potential. This gives each blood cell more negative charge which helps them repel each other to keep your blood thin and less likely to clot. This can significantly reduce your risk of stroke.


    Related Articles:

      Foods That Can Trigger a Stroke

      Are You Using These Simple Lifestyle Strategies to Decrease Your Stroke Risk?

      Women Need Only Exercise at Moderate Intensity to Protect Against Stroke; Men Need More Vigorous Fitness Plan

     Comments (9)

    By Dr. Mercola

    Vaccine safety is certainly a highly controversial topic this year, and in this interview, Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic helps shed light on an important aspect of this discussion, which is how vaccine adjuvants can affect your brain.

    Dr. Tomljenovic is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she works in neurosciences and the Department of Medicine.

    "The reason why I got interested in this area is [because] there is a lack of research demonstrating safety," she says.

    "When one reviews most of the pharma-based trials on the safety of vaccines, you will see that they either use another vaccine as a placebo or the aluminum adjuvant, and neither of those constitutes a proper placebo.

    It's very easy to claim that the product is safe if you're using a comparator that inherently might be toxic."

    Another factor that triggered her skepticism about what was being reported in the peer-reviewed literature was her coming face to face with scientific corruption. A former boss actually asked her to falsify data on an experiment they were doing with statin drugs.

    They were testing a cholesterol-lowering medication in mice, and more mice were dying from the statin treatment than from the placebo treatment, which in this case was plain water.

    "When the result came, my boss told me to ignore the dead mice from the statistics, because it wouldn't look good on the drug. I thought to myself, 'I didn't get a PhD degree to lie to earn money,' so I quit my job," she says.

    “I started questioning what else have we been sold in sciences that were dodgy data...My boss was receiving money from the drug companies, and obviously they would have not given more money to a lab that published unfavorable reports about their drugs.”

    Aluminum Adjuvants Are Falsely Assumed Safe

    When asked about why researchers (and the peer-reviewed journals who review these studies) allow the use of improper placebos—meaning placebos that may be toxic rather than inert—when testing vaccines, she suggests increasing their sales as a primary motivating factor.

    It's sobering to realize that when the aluminum adjuvant was first approved for use in vaccines, some 90 years ago, it was approved because of efficacy. It was never actually tested for safety. Even the total allowable limit was based on efficacy data, not safety data. They just assumed it was safe.

    "I have a document from 2002 from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)... discussing the assessment of vaccine ingredients... and testing specifically in animal models," she says.

    Back then, the FDA stated that the routine toxicity studies in animals with vaccine ingredients have not been conducted because it was assumed that these ingredients are safe. When I read that I was kind of pulling my hairs out [thinking] ‘So, this is your indisputable evidence of safety?’ 

    These documents never made it to mainstream media. It's just a lie perpetuated over and over again; that we've been using these things for over nine decades and it's been proven safe. No, it's been assumed safe."

    This document is readily available. On pages 11 and 12 of this document, titled: Workshop on Non-Clinical Safety Evaluation of Preventive Vaccines: Recent Advances and Regulatory Considerations,1 it says: “Historically, the non-clinical safety assessment for preventive vaccines has often not included toxicity studies in animal models. This is because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic

    In contrast to most drugs and biological products that are predominantly developed to treat ill patients, vaccines primarily are given to large numbers of healthy people, oftentimes predominantly healthy infants and children. And this places significant emphasis on their safety.”

    So we see it is just empty talk. They say safety is of great importance, but then they go ahead licensing products that have not been adequately tested.

    Why Are Aluminum Adjuvants Used in Vaccines?

    You might wonder why aluminum is used in vaccines as an adjuvant in the first place. An adjuvant is an agent or compound designed to increase your immune response.

    Now, your immune response is subdivided into two immune responses: the humoral immune response and the cellular innate immune response. The adjuvant only increases your humoral immunity. It does not affect your cellular innate immunity.

    The challenge is that there's really no good testing system for the innate immune system, but they technically can measure antibody response. So that's what's being used.

    Aluminum is very effectively able to increase antibodies. But that doesn't appear to actually improve long-term immune responses to infections and disease, which is what most people imagine vaccines will do.

    What many fail to realize is that vaccines only work short-term for one aspect of the immune system, not the total immune system.

    When you get a wild, acquired infection, it does stimulate the innate immune system, which is how you end up with permanent life-long immunity once you've recovered. This never happens with a vaccine.

    "The problem is that people are being brainwashed into this idea that high antibody titers equal protection against diseases, and it's simply not true," Dr. Tomljenovic says.

    "Proof of that are cases where you get outbreaks of infectious diseases in fully vaccinated populations, where over 95 percent are vaccinated, and they still get the disease.

    The other side will always say, “We need to increase the boosters.” Does it ever occur to these people that these disease outbreaks might be [happening] because [the vaccine] is not doing what they think it should be doing?” 

    Rates of Autism Have Risen in Tandem with Vaccine Burden

    Together with Christopher Shaw, a professor in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UBC who also chairs the CMSRI's scientific advisory board, Dr. Tomljenovic has published a number of papers2,3,4,5,6 that suggest aluminum-containing vaccines may be unsafe.

    Not surprisingly, their work has been heavily criticized. The UBC, however, has defended and stands behind Shaw's and Tomljenovic's work on aluminum toxicity.7 So what does their research show that has everyone in such a tizzy?

    "In the original study we gathered data that's available from the US Department of Education about autism rates in the last couple of decades. We have done a similar analysis looking at autism rates in various other countries like UK and the Scandinavian countries.

    We found that the countries that have the heaviest vaccines schedule (the children are vaccinated with a great number of vaccines) have higher autism rates compared to countries that do not vaccinate children with as many vaccines.

    If you look at the temporal trend in the US, you see a significant correlation over the last three decades between the number of vaccines and autism rates. The autism numbers have been skyrocketing. They always say it's only because the diagnosis of autism is better. But that's a bogus argument because just in the last five years there's been about a 70 percent increase in autism. This is not due to better diagnostic criteria, and it sure isn't a genetic epidemic, because genes in a population do not change in a five-year span. These arguments are just silly," she says.

    Correlations such as these do not prove causation, however. To prove a plausible theory, you have to actually test it, to see if the theory holds. At present, the animal model is the best way to do this, as large-scale testing of toxic substances on humans is unethical. This kind of toxicity research on animals should have been done prior to approval, but it wasn't. There's also a large-enough pool of unvaccinated children that could be used to compare health outcomes. As noted by Dr. Tomljenovic, this kind of comparative research also should have been done but hasn't:

    "They should've tested vaccinated versus non-vaccinated, the population of vaccinated kids versus non-vaccinated kids, and assessed the health outcomes. But that study has never been done because it has been claimed that it's unethical not to give children vaccines. Well, again, that's an assumption. If you claim that, don't call me a quack scientist, because your science is quack also, because you're putting out assumptions. They're untested. The same goes for safety."

    Animal Study Demonstrates Harm of Aluminum Adjuvant

    In one of their studies,8 Shaw and Tomljenovic injected mice with aluminum at the equivalent dose given to American children through vaccines, and they spaced out the injections based on the mice's developmental stages. (On a side note, to find out how much aluminum you or your child actually receives from various vaccines, see this vaccine excipients list.9) What they found was that once the mice reached adulthood (which occurs at the age of six months), the treated mice had permanent behavioral impairments.

    There was a significant increase in anxiety and a reduction in exploratory behavior. There was also a reduction in social interactions between the mice. "That was a huge confirmation that our initial assumption or correlation [between the number of vaccines and rising autism rates] might be something more than just correlation," she says.

    After that, the duo went on to do some gene-based studies, specifically looking at the expression of genes in the mouse brain. They selected 17 candidate genes that are involved in neural function and immune response, and looked to see if there was any change in their expression either at the gene level or the protein level. Here, they discovered:10

    • A significant increase in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), and a chemokine called macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), which is a macrophage-attracting factor. These are indicative of an inflammatory response in the adult mouse brain
    • A significant decrease in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which is related to depression and anxiety

    When You Alter Your Immune System, It Affects Your Brain Function

    The changes seen at the genome level and the behavioral level are consistent with findings from studies done on deceased autistic patients, in which chronic brain inflammation was identified. It's important to realize that autism is not just a brain disorder; it's also an immune system disorder. Dr. Tomljenovic calls it an immune system brain disorder, as the two systems are connected.

    "The backbone of this research was done 30 years ago. We already knew that there is a significant connection between the immune system and the central nervous system. They communicate. You cannot influence the immune system at the periphery without changing something in the brain. Most of us know that from experience, because when you get the flu, your brain doesn’t function very well. That mental fogginess and chronic fatigue, they are clear neurobehavioral changes in response to an immune stimulus [infection].

    It's a neuroendocrine axis—basically, the immune system at the periphery and the central nervous system talk to each other. Again, if you increase an immune response artificially at the periphery, you are going to mess up the brain. They’ve done that artificially using what they call viral and bacterial mimics. I thought, “Oh, that spells like antigens in vaccines,” Because that’s exactly what’s being used. Commonly in this type of research strong adjuvants are added to exaggerate the immune response...

    There is a huge body of research that shows that if you overstimulate the immune system at the periphery, especially in the critical stage of early development, you are going to influence the brain in a negative way, and by doing so, you can create irreversible damage. Again, this is research that is rarely discussed, because it really shows that there is reason to question the safety of the burden of vaccines given to infants.”

    It’s frustrating to realize that the kind of research and the technology Dr. Tomljenovic incorporated to measure these neuroparameters, has been long available and could have been performed two or three decades ago—it’s that basic. And what the research reveals is that it is not just that aluminum is a neurotoxin, which it certainly is, but also, it is the exaggerated adjuvant-induced immune response that is causing trouble.

    What this means is that even if they replaced aluminum with another adjuvant, you’d still get the same problem. This is undoubtedly a problem of enormous proportions for the vaccine industry, which explains why this kind of research isn’t done on a routine basis, and why Shaw’s and Tomljenovic’s work is under such heavy fire.

    The pair has also investigated the cross-reactivity between the antibodies that are raised against vaccine antigens. As it turns out, some of them cross-react with our own tissues. Many viruses and bacteria share genetic similarities with human proteins.

    For example, there may be a peptide sequence in the wall of the virus that mimics the structure of a human protein. So, the antibody that is raised against the virus will then also recognize these epitopes in your own tissues that mimic the virus. This has the potential to cause severe harm, and can significantly raise the risk of autoimmune disorders.

    HPV Vaccine May Raise Your Risk of Autoimmune Disease

    For example, Tomljenovic in collaboration with the team led by professor Yehuda Shoenfeld (world expert in autoimmune diseases who heads the Zabludowicz Autoimmunity Research Centre at the Sheba Hospital in Israel) has demonstrated how the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can raise your risk of brain autoimmune disorders.

    This was done by vaccinating young mice with the equivalent of three doses of Gardasil, which is what young girls are receiving. As a result of these vaccinations, the mice developed anti-HPV antibodies, which were found to preferentially bind to a protein in the mouse brain. Dr. Tomljenovic explains:

    “[I]f you coat a plate with HPV antibodies and if you apply the serum [blood] from the mice to this plate, the serum from the mice that have been vaccinated with Gardasil and have concentrated antibodies in serum, you can detect the binding between the antibody fraction and the HPV fraction that’s on the plate. Now, if you apply a mouse brain protein extract, you get inhibition of binding of the anti-HPV antibodies to HPV. Why? Because they [the anti-HPV antibodies] are preferentially binding to the mouse brain protein extract. 

    The presence of cross-reactive anti-HPV antibodies in the blood of vaccinated girls will increases their risk for developing immune-mediated nervous system disorders, which incidentally appear to be the most commonly reported worldwide, following Gardasil. We have done the analysis on adverse events reported following HPV vaccination. It was published it in the Annals of Medicine. We took vaccines safety databases from various countries, and then we rated the adverse effects reported based on organ system. We found the most commonly reported adverse events following HPV vaccination are nervous system disorders of immune origin.

    What was interesting is that in 2013, Japan Institute of Pharmacovigilance picked up our paper. I had an email from a doctor saying, “Can you send us the raw data, because we would like to add our Japanese data to your set and see if they match,” and I said, “Yes, please do.” And the match was perfect. After that, the Japanese Institute of Pharmacovigilance and the Japanese government, and health authorities, held a hearing on concerns about the safety of HPV vaccines. Because again, they were introduced in Japan and universally recommended, and there were many adverse effects reported thereafter. Following the hearing, the Japanese government and health authorities decided to stop recommending the HPV vaccine.11"

    Japan No Longer Recommends Gardasil

    Japan issued the first suspension of the government's recommendation to get vaccinated against HPV in June 2013. The Japanese Government and Health authorities then organized a symposium on HPV vaccines,12,13 which occurred in February 2014. Important testimony was delivered by one doctor who had treated over 20 cases of MS after Gardasil vaccination. Pharmaceutical representatives were trying to say that such side effects are psychogenic, but how can a psychogenic disorder cause MS lesions in a person’s brain—and in a girl who was perfectly healthy prior to vaccination? “They didn’t have an answer to that,” she says.

    “All these problems started in temporal association with the vaccine. Just out of precautionary principle, you would think that they would have the common sense to at least halt the use of the vaccine until more research is done. But no, they just want to force it, and they parrot that it is safe. They do not have any proof of safety other than manipulated research.”

    This symposium was followed by a large press conference, attended by Dr. Tomljenovic and research colleagues from France and the US. Since then, attempts by the makers of HPV vaccines to reinstate active recommendation of HPV vaccination by the Japanese Government have all failed, and Merck—which manufactures Gardasil—warned investors that Japan's decision would have "a significant negative impact" on sales.14 GlaxoSmithKline's HPV vaccine Cervarix also saw a downturn in sales immediately following the original suspension.

    French Researchers Find Link Between Aluminum Adjuvant and Alzheimer's

    A team from Créteil and the INSERM Institute in France also presented data from animal experiments at the Japanese symposium, which show that if you inject the aluminum adjuvant, a portion of the aluminum is engulfed by macrophages. Some of these macrophages eventually find their way into the mouse brain.

    The transport in the brain is dependent on the same chemokine, MCP-1, macrophage chemoattractant protein that Shaw and Tomljenovic found increased in their aluminum-exposed animals. Part of the problem is that the aluminum accumulates, and it stays in the brains of mice up to one year after injection because there’s no recirculation to take it out.

    “This is a common problem with aluminum, because it’s got a strong positive charge, 3+,” Dr. Tomljenovic says. “What other research has found is that in Alzheimer’s patients, the chromatin fractions in the nucleus of the cell, where your genetic material is stored, accumulate aluminum. Because the DNA has a negative charge on the outside, it binds the positive aluminum.

    Thus aluminum disrupts the chromatin structure and in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients it was found that aluminum binds to selective promoter areas of genes that encode proteins that are essential for neural function. In this way aluminum inhibits the expression of these genes.

    Again, the problem is that once the aluminum gets into the nucleus of the cell, there is no way of getting it out. It just stays there. The finding by the French team is that even the aluminum you inject in the periphery can get into the brain, which is a concern...

    The fact is that the aluminum we get from vaccines is not rapidly excreted, and most of it does remain in your body because it bypasses the gastrointestinal system. If aluminum was rapidly excreted, as the health authorities would like us to believe, then it would be a pretty lousy adjuvant.”

    ANY Adjuvant Is Likely to Carry Risk of Autoimmune Disease

    I want to stress the point Dr. Tomljenovic makes about the harm produced by stimulating an exaggerated immune response, which is what vaccines are designed to do—this is the function of the adjuvant. The problem is, even if aluminum is removed from vaccines, the risk of immune system brain disorder remains even if the new adjuvant is non-toxic. As she explains, by the virtue of over-stimulating your immune system, you run the risk of breaking self-tolerance. Research supporting this was also presented in Japan during its governmental hearing on HPV vaccines.

    What the team of Japanese researchers led by Dr Shunichi Shiozawa found15 is that the repeated stimulation with the same antigen overcomes the genetic resistance to autoimmunity. At present, we’re giving children booster shots at regular intervals with the same antigen. And the research shows that when you do this—when you stimulate the immune system on a regular basis—you break the tolerance to autoimmunity. This is a really crucial piece of information that people need to become aware of.

    How Can Safety Be Proven When Proper Safety Studies Are Lacking and Health Statistics Indicate Otherwise?

    In light of these findings, it is not surprising that Shaw and Tomljenovic are under fire. However, the critics really do not have much to counter with, besides ad hominem attacks. One recent critic blasted the study saying it was irresponsible to publish this type of research because it might erode the confidence in vaccines. “I think the opposite is true because if you’re trying to enforce military measures, I think that erodes the confidence. Because a truly good product does not need military-type of enforcement,” Dr. Tomljenovic retorts.

    The primary and central issue here is that no properly performed safety studies have been done, and by that I'm referring to safety studies that are not corrupted by using toxic placebos, such as another vaccine, rather than a truly inert placebo. "We're not saying stop vaccinating, but stop selling lies, [stop saying] that these things are absolutely safe and that serious adverse risks are so rare that you don't have to worry about them. It's a lie because the proper type of research to answer that question has never been done," Dr.Tomljenovic says.

    I couldn't agree more, especially when you add the historical record, which Dr. Suzanne Humphries dissects in her excellent book, Dissolving Illusions. In it, she shows that most infectious diseases were nearly eradicated before the introduction of vaccines. In the end, basic nutritional and hygiene principles such as optimizing vitamin D and avoiding sugar has a far more dramatic preventative effect against illness, and with robust immune function, you can safely recover from virtually any infectious disease and come out the other side with lifelong immunity.

    “There is also a research showing how exposure to certain childhood diseases like chicken pox actually has prevented certain types of gliomas [a type of brain tumor],” Dr. Tomljenovic notes. “There are some others that decreased the risk of Parkinson’s. Cancer is also in part a disease of the immune system because a healthy immune system will detect abnormal cell growth. If you compromise your immune system early in childhood, there goes your anti-cancer defense...

    People need to do their own research on these things, because we have to make choices every day, and they should be informed choices. If I was to buy a new kitchen appliance I would spend some time researching, comparing prices, and looking at the quality. But when it comes to putting things into our children, we just blindly trust the medical authorities...

    You cannot go back on some of these things. I get a lot of emails from parents with vaccine injured children. It must be the most horrible thing for a parent to live with that because they truly believe they did the best for their child. I know many mothers whose girls have died following HPV, and they said, “If I only haven’t listened to that campaign, my daughter would still be alive.”

    Related Articles:

      HPV Vaccine Linked to Nervous System Disorder and Autoimmunity

      Documentary “Shots in the Dark” Delves into Catastrophic Vaccine Reactions

      Mercury In Vaccines Was Replaced With Something Even MORE Toxic

     Comments (111)

    By Dr. Mercola

    The flavor "umami," which means "delicious" in Japanese, is valued for making foods taste meatier and more satisfying. Umami is the natural flavor of glutamic acid, which, in your body is often found as glutamate; eating umami-rich foods may increase post-meal satiety, helping you eat less throughout the day and ultimately lose weight.

    Umami is valued for making foods taste better. When an umami-rich food like is added to soup stock, for instance, it makes the broth heartier, more "meaty", and more satisfying.

    Mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms in particular, are rich in umami flavor. This is why they're often used in place of meat in sandwiches. While I don't necessarily recommend cutting back on meat in your diet, particularly if it's organic and pastured, mushrooms do make an ideal meat "enhancer" for those trying to cut back.

    By adding a "mushroom base" to burgers, meat sauce, and more, you can cut the meat in your recipes by half or more, without sacrificing flavor and heartiness. This will certainly shave some dollars off your food budget and, at the same time, will add valuable nutrition to your meals.

    How to Make a Roasted Mushroom Base

    "At this year's Worlds of Health Flavors conference in Napa, Calif., Pam Smith, a culinary nutritionist, presented delicious recipes by the Chef Clifford Pleau featuring a finely chopped roasted mushroom mix (chefs refer to it as simply 'The Mix'), that she combined with beef for a delicious burger with half the meat…"  the New York Times reported.1

    The recipe that follows, posted by the New York Times,2 is your basic mushroom base to add to virtually any meat-based recipe. Try substituting half the meat called for with mushrooms, and adjust up or down accordingly.

    If you're in a hurry, pick up pre-sliced mushrooms, which will cut down on prep time. Even if you use whole mushrooms and slice them yourself, this recipe is simple and quick. Store leftovers in the fridge and you'll have a healthy meat substitute at the ready.

    Roasted Mushroom Base


    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
    • 2 pounds organic mushrooms, sliced, or quartered
    • Salt to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
    1. In a large bowl, toss mushrooms with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in an even layer on baking sheets and bake in the middle and lower racks of the oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, and switching pans top to bottom halfway through. The mushrooms should be tender and dry when done. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
    2. Grind in a grinder or pulse in a food processor fitted with steel blade until broken down into small pieces resembling ground meat. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    The mix will keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator.

    Mushrooms Are a Superfood

    There's good reason to add mushrooms to just about any recipe you can; they're excellent for your health. You really can't go wrong with any of the edible mushrooms, as they are rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and minerals, along with being excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Mushrooms contain polyphenols and selenium, which are common in the plant world, as well as antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms (like ergothioneine, which scientists are now beginning to recognize as a "master antioxidant").

    About 100 species of mushrooms are being studied for their health-promoting benefits, and about a half dozen really stand out for their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system. They've even been studied for their ability to prevent cancer.

    The compound lentinan in shitake mushrooms has been found to increase the survival rate of cancer patients.3 And extracts from maitake mushrooms, when combined with vitamin C, were shown to reduce the growth of bladder cancer cells by 90 percent, as well as kill them.4

    A previous study in the journal Nature5 discusses the importance of ergothioneine, which is fairly exclusive to mushrooms, describing it as "an unusual sulfur-containing derivative of the amino acid, histidine," which appears to have a very specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage.

    Which Mushrooms Are the Healthiest?

    If there's a certain type of edible mushroom that you enjoy, feel free to indulge, as they all have unique benefits. According to Steve Farrar, who has studied mushrooms professionally for the last three decades, Americans consume about 900 million pounds of mushrooms a year, but 95 percent of that is just one species: the common button mushroom and its relatives, the Crimini, and the Portabello mushrooms.

    Granted, the button mushroom is an excellent low-calorie food, especially for diabetics. It contains a number of valuable nutrients, including protein, enzymes, B vitamins (especially niacin), and vitamin D2.

    However, there are many other types of mushrooms worthy of consideration if you want to improve your diet, including shiitake, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, and Himematsutake. You can learn more about these four healthy mushroom varieties in the infographic below.

    Embed this infographic on your website:

    Click on the code area and press CTRL + C (for Windows) / CMD + C (for Macintosh) to copy the code.

    Try This Beet, Mushroom, and Beef Burger

    For a unique twist on a beef-mushroom burger, try this delicious recipe from the New York Times.6 It includes the mushroom base recipe above along with a couple of other healthy surprises, like beets, shallots, and chives. Each burger contains just two ounces of beef, but tastes so good you won't even miss it.

    Beet Mushroom Beef Burger


    • ¼ pound peeled roasted beets (1 medium)
    • ½ pound roasted mushroom mix (recipe above)
    • ½ pound organic grass-fed ground beef
    • 1 tablespoon minced chives
    • 1 shallot minced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (more or less to taste)
    • Salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • Olive oil [or coconut oil] for cooking (no more than 1 tablespoon)


    1. Grate beet on large holes of a grater.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the oil for cooking until well-combined. Shape into 4 patties. I like to pile the mixture into a 3-inch ring and pull the ring away. When I place the patties in the hot pan, I press them down with the back of my spatula so they are about 1-inch thick.
    3. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a small amount of olive oil, just enough to coat pan. Cook patties for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and serve. You can use a bun or not (I think they are fine without). Baby arugula, mizuna, or spicy microgreens make a very nice accompaniment.

    The burger mix will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator.


    Related Articles:

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      The Health Benefits of Mushroom Consumption

      Could Mushrooms Aid in the Treatment of Cancer?

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