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What Do The Labels Tell You?

26 Nov

Just taking a look at a couple of labels on toothpaste and an “organic” milk carton as examples, what can you find out?

The active ingredient in toothpaste is monofluorophosphate that aids in the prevention of cavities. If you swallow more than that used for brushing, “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” It is up to the consumer to weigh the risk and benefits of using toothpaste. Of note in the Wikipedia link is the fact that cavities are formed from the acid that plaque generates. And the production of plaque is fueled by the consumption of carbohydrates and sugar. Not that you would want to, or need to trash your toothpaste, but you might want to consider the impact of carbohydrates and sugar on your teeth.

In the case of the organic milk carton, what can be seen?

Certified Organic is produced without any artificial growth hormones, but what about that asterisk? rbST is an artificial growth hormone. The FDA has determined that “no significant difference has been shown”, between the milk produced using cows that have been treated with rbST and those that have not been treated with rbST.

Again, it is up to the consumer to determine if this is of any impact to their health. What is interesting in this statement on this milk carton is simply the fact that no mention is made to if the milk came from cows treated with rbST. The statement does provide the following insights :

  1. The consumer is now aware that there is an artificial growth hormone that apparently supersedes the definition of “Certified Organic”.
  2. Until “A significant difference between milk derived from rbST supplemented and non-brST supplemented cows” can be shown to the FDA, this approval will remain in effect.

Per FDA guidelines, milk produced from cows not treated with rbST can state on the label: “from cows not treated by rbST”, but this must also contain the statement: “no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.”

Therefore, we can conclude that the organic milk in this package has been produced with cows treated with rbST, or it would otherwise state “from cows not treated by rbST”. The regulation of such things is performed on a state by state basis, and Ohio has no legislated oversight, therefore the producer would have no way of verifying non-rbST treated cows anyway.

In Canada, Europe and Japan, the use of rbST is prohibited in the dairy industry, so there is no need to such labeling requirements.

Ref: TED Case study #399

Sugar Threw Tobacco Under The Bus

30 Oct

When you think about it, the tobacco industry is dwarfed by the food industry. If you were “Industry in America” and needed to choose between throwing sugar under the bus, or tobacco under the bus, which would you choose? The clear parallel in the business models between these two industries is becoming more and more clear, but the tobacco industry is no longer operating as “business as usual” due to the financial penalties they have been saddled with.


Evidence of the effects of sugar on the human diet has been around for years. In the early ’70s, John Yudkin wrote “Pure White and Deadly“. Although it is, even today, very sound evidence of the risk that sugar has to human health, it was met with an aggressive attack by The McGovern Report, and Ancel Keyes that resulted in the promotion of a low fat and low cholesterol diet. That low fat and cholesterol lowering diet has garnered billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry (statins) and allowed the food industry to substitute sugar for fat, in the name of public health.

Adding to the misuse and abuse of sugar in the US, recently it was revealed in the Columbus Dispatch how much active involvement the government has in the subsidizing of the sugar industry. The increased cost of sugar in the US not only increases the profits for the sugar manufacturers, but forces candy making jobs to foreign countries where sugar is cheaper.

You can read more about sugar In Michael Moss’ book, Salt Sugar Fat, or at Why Do You Use Sugar?

Breast Cancer Prevention Awareness

20 Oct

By the end of 2013, an estimated 232,340 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and an estimated 39,620 women will die from breast cancer. Much emphasis has been given to “Breast Cancer Awareness“, while very little attention has been paid to “Breast Cancer Prevention“, despite that a link between cancer and diet has been known for years. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1988; National Research Council, 1982, 1989)


Dr. Christine Horner had become a plastic surgeon and spokesperson for the American Cancer Society on the subject of breast cancer. After seeing breast cancer patients showing up in her office at earlier and earlier ages, she felt there must be a cause. It was then that she realized, being trained in Western medicine, that she had never been trained in nutrition. Western medicine’s focus on drugs and operations were not working to reduce the occurrence of breast cancer as far as she was concerned, so she now has a website to promote the available information on ways to prevent breast cancer.

Guidance about what foods to eat “if you survive breast cancer” should be followed in order to prevent it in the first place.

  • Get regular, intentional physical activity.
  • Reduce your lifetime weight gain by limiting your calories and getting regular physical activity.
  • Avoid or limit your alcohol intake.

You can see an interview done by Dr. Mercola with Dr. Horner in 2011 on YouTube here.

Antibiotics in the Food Supply

14 Oct

The Centers for Disease Control in the US Came out this year and confirmed that the proliferation of antibiotics in our food supply is creating dangerous bacteria. Those bacteria are outliving the drugs used to treat them.

Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.”

“In addition, almost 250,000 people who are hospitalized or require hospitalization get Clostridium difficile each year, an infection usually related to antibiotic use. C. difficile causes deadly diarrhea and kills at least 14,000 people each year.”


The effect that the overuse of antibiotics has on our health is reflected in the gut bacteria resident in each of us. In fact, it’s estimated that the human gut contains 100 trillion bacteria, or 10 times as many bacteria as cells in the human body. These antibiotics and the Bt toxins from genetically modified corn, affect the resident gut flora causing health problems. Bt is used to attack the digestive system of insects and is part of the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods, as over half of the corn in the US contains Bt toxin.

As pointed out before on this site, treatment to replace the gut bacteria in patients with C. difficile has been found to be quite effective although unappetizing.

You can reduce the impact of the antibiotics and Bt toxic affects by buying organic products and supporting the labeling of products that are genetically modified in the stores.

Three Researchers Say Avoid Sugar

11 Oct

In the world that we live in, sugar is ubiquitous. To completely eliminate consumption of sugar in all its forms is nearly impossible. For that simple reason alone, avoiding the foods that are known to have a basis in sugar is all that more important.


A few experts in the field have studied the effects of sugar on our health and have come to some amazing conclusions. They are expressed in the following ways:

Robert Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the country. In 2009, Robert gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” and followed it up with the YouTube video. The video is a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology. The New York Times posed the question : “Is Sugar Toxic?” based upon the research in 2011.

    “If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years.”

David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition who received his M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award. He wrote about the correlation of dementia to blood sugar levels in a Huffington Posts article : “You Can Prevent Alzheimer’s“.

    “They (The Lancet) reported that in diabetics …… , the risk of becoming demented was increased an astounding 37 fold.”

Peter Attia, M.D. from Stanford University spent 10 years following a diet where he consumed 80 percent of his calories from fat. He continuously monitored his metabolic markers, such as blood sugar levels, percent body fat, blood pressure, lipid levels and others and experienced improvement in every measure of health. An MRI confirmed that he had lost not only subcutaneous fat but also visceral fat, which is the type most detrimental. His use of this ketogenic diet where the body is trained to burn fat instead of carbohydrates has also been associated with the treatment for cancer.

The conclusions reached from these doctors is that for a healthy diet, you should reduce your carbohydrates immediately (sugar), and eat more fat (healthful fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, grass-fed beef, wild fish, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.

A reduction in the consumption of sugar (carbohydrates) should not be replaced with the use of Aspartame. Reducing carbohydrates may also lead to some amazing improvements like increasing your endurance, increasing your mental acuity, getting off your blood pressure and diabetes medicine or simply reducing your chances of getting dementia or diabetes.

To your health!

Cost of Pharmaceutical Drugs in the US

4 Oct

As pointed out on this site before, a couple of the reasons drugs are so expensive in the US are:

  1. Advertising on television for pharmaceutical drugs is only allowed in the US and New Zealand. The success of the advertising campaigns can be represented by the simple fact that drug companies spend 19 times more money on advertising than they do on research.
  2. There is an arrangement that seems a bit complicated, where drug companies can pay generic manufacturers to delay the release of a generic version that would reduce the cost, so that all of the companies involved can share in the increased cost. This process can be challenged in court, but it must be done on a case by case basis per the Supreme Court.

Solvay Pharmaceutical agreed to pay them $31 million to $42 million annually through 2015 (to generic manufacturers), at which point they could enter the market with generic versions…”


U.S. Drug Prices 3- to 6-Fold Greater Than Other Countries

In addition to these costs, there is a push to prescribe “specialty drugs” to commercially insured patients. The costs of some of these drugs can be staggering if you look at Gattex or Soliris.

Marketing of drugs in the US during 2012 meant that, on average, each American filled an average of 12 prescriptions. Considering that only 60% of Americans take a prescription drug in any given year, it would mean that the people getting prescriptions are getting much more than 12 per year. These customers are the target market for drug advertising, and as you might think, close to 100% of the “seniors” are on prescription medicine.

ObamaCare Impact on US Healthcare

30 Sep

It is clear that the intention of The Affordable Healthcare Act, for better or worse, is to bring healthcare services to more Americans. It is done through engaging more Americans into the healthcare system through the use of insurance companies and “exchanges“. It will be considered a success if everyone in the US has access to healthcare services. The AHA does not directly address the cost of that healthcare, nor the quality.


Given the direction that the US has taken (by choice), we can expect to see further increases in the cost of healthcare and no progress in terms of improving the quality of health, unless each individual takes responsibility for their own health. That personal responsibility, of course, is not a part of the AHA/ ObamaCare Program.

It would have been nice to see the US look at other countries’ healthcare programs and learn from them. The healthcare providers in the US are the best qualified to determine the treatment and healthcare to individuals, and should be empowered to do their job without the intervention of some “intermediary”.

Other countries in the world, with much more efficient healthcare delivery systems were not used as “best case comparisons”.

    “the world’s richest country spends more of its money on health care while getting less than almost every other nation in return.”

There are flaws in the existing AHA that need to be addressed. Hopefully there will be improvements made during the implementation process. Meanwhile, for your best health outcomes, a little individual responsibility goes a long way.