SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

March 31, 2012

Health-care & Supreme Court

Supreme Court’s conservatives are fixing to legislate from bench

E.J. DIONNE

Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office?

It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches.

Justice Stephen Breyer noted that some of the issues raised by opponents of the law were about “the merits of the bill,” a proper concern of Congress, not the courts. And in arguing for restraint, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked what was wrong with leaving as much discretion as possible “in the hands of the people who should be fixing this, not us.” It was nice to be reminded that we’re a democracy, not a judicial dictatorship .

The conservative justices were obsessed with weird hypotheticals. If the federal government could make you buy health insurance, might it require you to buy broccoli, health-club memberships, cellphones, burial services and cars? All of which have nothing to do with an uninsured person getting expensive treatment that others — often taxpayers — have to pay for.

Liberals should learn from this display that there is no point in catering to today’s hard-line conservatives. The individual mandate was a conservative idea that President Barack Obama adopted to preserve the private market in health insurance rather than move toward a government-financed single-payer system. What he got back from conservatives was not gratitude but charges of socialism — for adopting their own proposal.

  • The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words.

One of the most astonishing arguments came from Roberts, who spoke with alarm that people would be required to purchase coverage for issues they might never confront. He specifically cited “pediatric services” and “maternity services.”

Well, yes, men pay to cover maternity services while women pay for treating prostate problems. It’s called health insurance. Would it be better to segregate the insurance market along gender lines?

The court’s right-wing justices seemed to forget that the best argument for the individual mandate was made in 1989 by a respected conservative, the Heritage Foundation’s Stuart Butler.

  • “If a man is struck down by a heart attack in the street,” Butler said, “Americans will care for him whether or not he has insurance. If we find that he has spent his money on other things rather than insurance, we may be angry but we will not deny him services — even if that means more prudent citizens end up paying the tab. A mandate on individuals recognizes this implicit contract.”

Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to reject the sense of solidarity that Butler embraced. When Solicitor General Donald Verrilli explained that “we’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care,” Scalia replied coolly: “Well, don’t obligate yourself to that.” Does this mean letting Butler’s uninsured guy die?

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick called attention to this exchange and was eloquent in describing its meaning. “This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms,” Lithwick wrote. “It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another … the freedom to ignore the injured” and to “walk away from those in peril.”

This is what conservative justices will do if they strike down or cripple the health-care law. And a court that gave us Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology.

E.J. Dionne writes for the Washington Post Writers Group. ejdionne@washpost.com

Jan’s Comments:

(They tell me that this is par for the course for the current case before the Supreme Court – - the case relating to healthcare and it’s ultimate outcome – - NOT to be televised.   This seems a gross injustice to me because it very much concerns us all – every one of us.  

There are many who were privileged to be in that chamber and we are supposed to be grateful for the bits and pieces filtered down to us from other’s memory.

It is my opinion that we have a right to see the action taking place,  to judge for ourselves what is revealed about the justice’s  questions – the depth of their thinking and evidence of known biases.   (How can one forget Bush vs Gore?  - – the way the Supreme Court decided that election per their perception over the count of elected voting by the American populace whose concern it was.  .   or the famed Citizen’s United case which has all but turned our country upside down and off-kilter.)

It is hard to anticipate “justice” when all know what a biased, slanted, activist court this is and who heads it. Can three brilliant women overcome such odds?    Guess, we’ll just have to see. . . .    .        .    Jan)

Learn Sustainable Farming

Timely information delivered from Raymond Francis of Beyond Health. If I were just a bit younger, I might do this.   Worth reading. Jan

Young Farmers May Save the World!

. . . how about an organic farm in your neighborhood?

Picture yourself taking a leisurely stroll over to your neighborhood organic farm for fresh produce and a few pasture-raised eggs. Imagine knowing the people who grow your food as trusted friends and neighbors, and the satisfaction of eliminating wasteful transportation and packaging costs.

The future may hold just such a possibility as more and more young and not-so-young people become excited about farming as a rewarding means of right livelihood that allows them to work outdoors and serve the health of individuals and our planet.

According to a recent article in Ode Magazine, there are many options for someone interested in learning farming.

Although college degree programs in sustainable agriculture are on the rise, internships is another way to go.    Organizations like the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA at attra.ncat.org) has a database of 1,400 farms offering learning opportunities, from farm work days to weekend seminars to seasonal apprenticeships. Interestingly, this database has doubled in the past two years, indicating a burgeoning demand.

Unlike a college education, where costs are soaring, most of these learning opportunities are free to anyone willing to work hard. Room and board as well as learning opportunities are offered in exchange for labor.

  • Other websites to explore for opportunities to learn farming  from practicing farmers in the US and abroad are wwoof.org,   cropmob.org,   roguefarmcorps.org,   growfood.org,    helpX.net, and youngfarmers.org.   If you’re interested in biodynamic farming see demeter.net.

Daniel D. Farmers as change agents. Ode Magazine. June 2011, pp. 58-60.

We are always looking for your feedback on how we can help you improve your health or if you’d like to see something special in our newsclips.  If you would be so kind as to let us know how we can help you reach your Ultimate Health goals, send an email to us at mail@beyondhealth.com.

 
Sincerely,


Raymond Francis
Beyond Health

March 30, 2012

Gut is the Center of Health

GUT,   HEALTH and our IMMUNE SYSTEM

That’s right!   These three are interwoven in our health.  Our good hair, nails and skin are an evident and obvious manifestation of our health.  Whether our eyes are bright and clear, our skin – vibrant and alive – perhaps bearing the bloom of health.  The condition of our bones, muscles and the way they function and work together – - all manifestation of our health.

Our immune system has the lion’s share of a job in protecting us, keeping us going even as others may be dropping like flies with some affliction, cold or flu bug.    Good diet, stellar, organic food and some well chosen supplements is usually enough to have the best life.   It pays to remember however, that the intestinal tract is more than a dark place of  foul odors, it is the home of our immune system.  The volume and variety of intestinal flora in your gut tells that story.

You all know that I enjoy fermented veggies.  I make them, in quantity – periodically to sustain me for months at a time.    Of course, I juice.  But juicing is essentially nourishing my body to ensure that I get all that I really need. To add the fermented foods is guaranteeing that the gut is healthy, ergo – the rest of me can sustain almost anything which comes along.  Besides,  I like them a lot.  One of the major benefits is alleviating the old craving thing  (for me it was chocolate).  For any interested, can go up to FIND IT >  Jan’s Musings, look for How to ferment veggies.

Got a really fine article want to share with you from Donna Gates of BODY ECOLOGY today.   It is excellent and very informative.   It is also followed by a demonstration of her making fermented veggies.   Just click below and it will take you to her site.   Enjoy.                   Jan

Dr. Oz’s Gut Mistake on Better Elimination

While Dr. Oz may recommend a high-fiber diet to keep the gut clean, true digestive health goes much deeper. Populating the gut with healthy bacteria will prevent constipation and reduce the risk of chronic infection.

Cancer ‘research’ not reliable

Researcher: Many cancer ‘discoveries’ inaccurate

By Sharon Begley REUTERS

NEW YORK — A former researcher at Amgen Inc. has found that many basic studies on cancer — a high proportion of them from university labs — are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines.

During a decade as head of global-cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

The result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary published yesterday in the journal Nature.

“It was shocking,” said Begley, now senior vice president of privately held biotechnology company Tetra-Logic, which develops cancer drugs. “These are the studies the pharmaceutical industry relies on to identify new targets for drug development. But if you’re going to place a $1 million or $2 million or $5 million bet on an observation, you need to be sure it’s true. As we tried to reproduce these papers, we became convinced you can’t take anything at face value.”

Begley’s experience echoes a report from scientists at Bayer AG last year. Neither group of researchers alleges fraud, nor would they identify the research they had tried to replicate.

But they and others fear the finding is the product of a system of incentives that has academics cutting corners to further their careers.

George Robertson of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia previously worked at Merck on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. While at Merck, he also found many academic studies that did not hold up.

“It drives people in industry crazy. Why are we seeing a collapse of the pharma and biotech industries? One possibility is that academia is not providing accurate findings,” he said.

Begley once met for breakfast at a cancer conference with the lead scientist of one of the problematic studies.

  • “I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result,” Begley said. “He said they’d done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It’s very disillusioning.”

March 29, 2012

Genes? Vitamin D.. let’s see

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jan Turner @ 2:08 am

(My comments follow – Jan)

Gene may be body’s major flu-fighter

By Kate Kelland REUTERS

LONDON — A genetic discovery could help explain why flu makes some people seriously ill or kills them, while others seem able to bat it away with little more than a few aches, coughs and sneezes.

In a study published in the journal Nature yesterday, British and American researchers said they have found a human gene that influences how people respond to flu infections, making some people more susceptible than others.

The finding helps explain why during the 2009-10 pandemic of H1N1 flu, or “swine flu,” the vast majority of people infected had only mild symptoms, while others — many of them healthy young adults — got seriously ill and died.

In the future, the genetic discovery could help doctors screen patients to identify those more likely to be brought down by flu, allowing them to be selected for priority vaccination or preventative treatment during outbreaks, the researchers said.

  • It also could help develop vaccines or medicines against potentially more dangerous viruses such as bird flu.

One of the leaders of the study, Paul Kellam of Britain’s Sanger Institute, said the gene, called IFITM3, appeared to be a “crucial first line of defense” against flu.

When IFITM3 was present in large quantities, the spread of the virus in lungs was hindered, he said. But when IFITM3 levels were lower, the virus could replicate and spread more easily , causing more severe symptoms.

People who carried a particular variant of IFTIM3 were far more likely to be hospitalized with the flu than people who carried other variants, he added.

“Our research is important for people who have this variant, as we predict their immune defenses could be weakened to some virus infections,” Kellam said.

“Ultimately, as we learn more about the genetics of susceptibility to viruses, then people can take informed precautions, such as vaccination to prevent infection.”

The potential antiviral role of IFITM3 in humans was first suggested in studies conducted by Abraham Brass of the Ragon Institute and Gastrointestinal Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital. Using genetic screening, he found that it blocked the growth of flu and other viruses in cells.

Teams led by Brass and Kellam then took the work further by knocking out the IFITM3 gene in mice. They found that once these animals contracted flu, they had far more severe symptoms than mice with the IFITM3 gene.

In effect, they said, the loss of this single gene in mice can turn a mild case of influenza into a fatal infection.

The researchers then sequenced the IFITM3 genes of 53 patients who had been hospitalized with seasonal or pandemic flu and found that a higher number of them had a particular variant of IFITM3 compared with the general patient population.

(Jan’s Comment:

This article illustrates one of the particular activities of the medical profession to which I am especially opposed, and that would be  (by one means or another)  to isolate particular genes  of our species to blame as to why we can’t seem to manifest “health.”     Heroes to the rescue,  flying in with still one more important discovery with which they can usurp our resources and gain our further dependence on them. 

It would be highly productive and greatly appreciated by a sick and frustrated population if we could count on our doctors to be studying what a well body is, what it looks like,what it needs to be healthy and most of all what and how we should be feeding and caring for our bodies.    This blame the genes game , with rare  genetic-disorder exception,  is pure fabrication.  Heaven knows we have enough to worry about without the mystery of whether our genes are ready to jump into the game and do us in.

We have stuff that looks like food, but isn’t really -  – just chemicalized, medicated and contaminated with toxins and hormones and insecticides and even genetically engineered,   then further processed with dyes and fragrances to make it seem attractive like food. We are mal-nourished and starving to death.  Our world is toxic and we can’t escape it.  All of the above compels us to live with inordinate stress.  This horrendous combination pervades our organism causing changes in our gene expression,  diminishing some and overemphasizing others which further interferes with the overall systemic, organic harmony.  These are the things which are happening which causes our bodies to be out of balance and express symptoms which then are given labels by doctors known as diseases.

But if instead, we were to treat the body right;  give it wholesome, organic (read that as uncontaminated,   natural) whole foods with minimal cooking  (heat destroys so much of what our food can give us),  do a little exercise, play a little and love a lot – - we wouldn’t have a care in the world and probably would never have to see a doctor.

Let me close with one small example of giving the body what it needs so that it can do it’s job right.  I’ve told this before, so maybe you remember it.    I frequently would ask doctors why I was so prone to  respiratory infections; colds, pneumonia, the flu.  I even took the cure for TB once (less than three months) which turned out to be a very resistant pneumonia rather than tuberculosis.  I seemed to be healthy otherwise.  Never got a reason why. And I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong.    Until two years ago when the Vitamin D information was so prevalent.  Asked my doctor to test me and it turned out I registered 13.  It was stunning to me and to her.  She immediately put me on 50,ooo units weekly – prescription, once a week pill.   Quickly brought me up to around 40.  Acceptable.

But prescription D is always D-2 and I wanted D-3, so I quit her prescription and bought it myself.  But I wanted to be between 75 and 100 so I took 10K IU daily and I AM up to 80 now.  Happy as a lark.  When I can get back out in the sunshine properly, I’ll drop it down to 5K daily.  Why is this important?   I haven’t had a cold, flu or pneumonia since I started taking vitamin D-3.  It would be so easy to blame my genes for this, but Vit-D 3 is what was needed.  Perhaps my father’s people   (Norwegians) not having as much daylight as most of us, have evolved a weaker gene strain.  But, call me crazy -  I don’t think I needed a vaccination for this – just vitamin D as evidence would clearly so state.

Isn’t it wonderful that we live in the age of the internet?  Information is always at our fingertips.  We are blessed.  Take care all.  Stay happy and be well.           Jan )

March 28, 2012

FDA “lawbreaker” at will

March 27, 2012

Anibiotics-Superbugs-and-lIvestockThis week a judge told FDA to reverse course regarding antibiotic overuse in livestock and protect the effectiveness of the medicine for humans. Action Alert!

For the past 35 years the FDA has supposedly been reviewing the routine use of antibiotics in animal feed when in fact the agency was simply sitting on its hands. Then, last December, the agency caved to pressure and quietly withdrew any attempt to require the removal of antibiotics from animal feed.

The public was outraged, and a coalition of nonprofit organizations sued FDA to force the agency to reconsider and withdraw approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracycline in animal feed, unless drug makers can prove in public hearings that the drugs do not harm human health when used this way. The lawsuit was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Animals Concerns Trust, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

On March 23, a federal court ruled in their favor!

Back in 1977, FDA concluded that feeding animals low doses of certain antibiotics used in human medicine, namely, penicillin and tetracyclines, could promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people. Despite this conclusion—and in direct violation of laws requiring that the agency move on its findings—FDA failed to take action for the next 35 years.

  • “For over 35 years, FDA has sat idly on the sidelines,” said Avinash Kar, a health attorney for the NRDC. “In that time, the overuse of antibiotics in healthy animals has skyrocketed—contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that endanger human health….These drugs are intended to cure disease, not fatten pigs and chickens.”

As we reported in January, the so-called “preventive” use of antibiotics in livestock is routine and widespread—80% of all antibiotics sold in US go into farm animal feed. Factory farms use them to ward off illness in animals that are kept in overcrowded, filthy living conditions, which are a perfect environment for the spread of illness. These antibiotics are also used to promote increased growth in animals.

However, antibiotics given to animals are transferred to humans through direct contact, environmental exposure, and the consumption and handling of contaminated meat and poultry products—making humans vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant superbugs, which are now a global problem. Moreover, a study found that up to half of US meat was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant staph.

If FDA truly wanted to focus on food safety, it would address the filthy, toxic factory farm conditions rather than allowing healthy animals to be fed antibiotics preemptively.

Big Farma stridently opposes legislative and regulatory attempts to curtail antibiotic usage, making the absurd claim that the science is still inconclusive. So to avoid antagonizing Big Pharma and Big Farma on antibiotics, FDA’s has been issuing voluntary compliance standards. For example, in 2010 FDA issued a draft guidance proposing that farmers voluntarily stop the use of low-dose antibiotics in farms animals.

Now, as a result of the lawsuit, FDA is forced to take action on its own safety findings by withdrawing approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed, unless the industry can prove in public hearings that those drug uses do not affect human health. The judge also ruled that FDA must warn drug makers that the government may soon ban the agricultural use of antibiotics for animals that are not sick.

FDA is expected in the next few days to issue draft rules that ask drug manufacturers to voluntarily end the use of antibiotics in animals without the oversight of a veterinarian. But this is not good enough! Please write to FDA today, and tell the agency to stop creating ineffective “window dressing” standards, and finally complete the process they started 35 years ago. Tell them to withdraw approval of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in animal feed immediately, as ordered by the court. Take action immediately!

March 27, 2012

Bariatric? use eye, ear, brain First!

Am I Biased and Confused?

This post may suggest to you that I am biased,  prejudiced,  myopic  and don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

If any have come here to smokinchoices, surely  it is obvious by now that I AM biased toward natural health and all the ways that it can be achieved;  through nature’s  uncompromised bounty – - which is to say – without, pesticides, genetically modified construct, but rather - ORGANIC  from seed to food basket.  Animal protein of whatever sort or type – ditto, the way nature intended such to dwell – all profit us enormously, imparting health and broad-spectrum  nutrition to us.   Of course, this means staying as far away from all GMO’s, unlabeled foods of any sort and taking up a friendly relationship with one’s kitchen and the magic which can emerge from the simplest of efforts.

Leave cans, boxes, concocted or preserved stuff for the landfills – that’s all they are good for (and they are not even good for that).   Delete grains, dairy and any and all (especially HFCS)  sugars;    drink plenty of the best water you can provide to yourself and you’ll be home free.

Problem is, there are just to many millions of our species who aren’t getting the message.  They come from families who haven’t a clue about which end is up;  believe that government wouldn’t lie to us – - we have that pyramid thing which tells us what to eat.   And when we get fatter and sicker, we go to our doctors who give us all these medicines.   Yeah,. . . .how is that workin’ for us?    Well, the sad news is – - IT AIN’T WORKIN’ . . . . I’ll have a comment at the end, mean while,   see the following – this is why I am so disturbed today. 

Weight-loss surgery beats drugs for diabetes

By Denise Grady THE NEW YORK TIMES

For some people with diabetes, surgery may be the best medicine.

Two studies have found that weight-loss operations worked much better than the standard treatments to control Type 2 diabetes in obese and overweight people.   Those who had surgery to staple the stomach and reroute the small intestine were much more likely to have their diabetes go into complete remission, or to need less medicine, than people given the typical regimen of drugs, diet and exercise, the studies found. The surgery also helped many to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol.

The new studies, published online yesterday by The New  England Journal of Medicine, are among the first to rigorously compare surgery and medicine as ways to control diabetes. Doctors have noticed for years that weight-loss operations, also called bariatric surgery, (see below) sometimes get rid of Type 2 diabetes.

Better treatments are desperately needed for Type 2 diabetes, experts say. In the United States, the number of diabetes cases has tripled in the past 30 years and now number more than 20 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the cases are Type 2. The disease also is becoming more common in much of the world, with devastating complications such as heart disease, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. Type 2 diabetes, which causes high blood sugar and is linked to obesity, often becomes harder to manage as it progresses. Type 1, far less common, involves the immune system and is not linked to obesity.

The studies are part of a push by surgeons and obesity experts to establish a role for the operations in treating diabetes, not just obesity. Many surgeons now call the operations “metabolic” surgery to emphasize that they can affect more than weight.

One of the new studies, conducted at the Catholic University in Rome, looked at two types of bariatric surgery and compared them with medical treatment. After two years, the surgical groups had complete remission rates of 75 percent and 95 percent; there were no remissions in patients who received medical treatment.

The second study, at the Cleveland Clinic, also compared two types of surgery with an intensive medical regimen. The remission rates one year after surgery were lower than in the Italian study — 42 percent and 37 percent — at least in part because the U.S. study used a stricter definition of remission. The intensive medical treatment led to remissions in 12 percent of patients.

Heather Britton, 53, a computer programmer who lives in Bay Village, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, participated in the Cleveland study, and for her, it seemed to come in the nick of time.

Britton had been diabetic for five or six years and was taking two diabetes drugs, but her blood sugar was out of control and so were her cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides. Diabetes runs in her family. Relatives have had strokes caused by the disease, and her mother died from complications of diabetes.

“I only saw one direction in my life,” Britton said. “I wasn’t able to control it. It was controlling me.”

She saw the study as a way to get expert help and didn’t care which treatment group she wound up in. Still, when she learned that she had been picked at random to have a type of surgery called gastric bypass, she was frightened.

“It was kind of a shock, but I embraced it,” she said.

She had the operation in January 2009. Within a few months, she was off medications for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides. By May, she had lost about 80 pounds. As many people do, she gained some weight back, about 13 or 14 pounds. But her health has remained good.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” she said. “It’s been a total blessing.”

(Jan’s comment:

There is of course, no question what my reaction to this slanted article might be.  I am outraged.

Outraged that such a procedure is available – no of course not.

But outraged that the MEDICAL PROFESSION has continued to do the same ole, same ole INEFFECTIVE  treatment decade after decade while they watched people worsen and die and not have the wisdom to see that what they were prescribing was NOT WORKING!  They have seen this – they had to know.  Yet they questioned not what they were doing and trying to understand what the body was doing and why.   Can we assume that they just didn’t care?   Maybe didn’t want to know?  Because the profits are in all those meds and procedures . . . . . now we get to it.   Now here is one more procedure and by golly, it seems to be working.  By Golly, look at that.  Hey things are going to get even better.  The whole medical profession is coming out for it including the famed CLEVELAND CLINIC,  BIG  W O W  !

Where have the accolades been for the physicians, nutritionists and others who have actually broken ground and developed fool-proof plans to get the job done – Honestly, with integrity so as NOT to harm the body or cut it up and prevent it from doing the job NATURE intended.    Why must the medical profession always try to re-invent the wheel, when it obviously doesn’t really get how the wheel is “supposed” to work, and how effortlessly it can, when we allow it function by nourishing it with proper sustenance, fresh air and exercise.  No body ever broke down for lack of chemicals (pharmaceuticals), but it does diminish for lack of sustainable, whole nourishing foods and too many toxic compounds and agri-garbage labelled as “food”.

Last year the FOOD MATTERS people gave us “Raw for 30 Days”.  It worked.   Thousands did it and got better.  Now this year, it is “Hungry for Change”  Being very well received.    Many of the biggest names in the health industry have been espousing the natural approach for decades.   Here at smokinchoices, it would be hard to isolate a small handful of individuals, because that’s all any of us talk about, are committed to – - all for the reason, that it works!

My heart goes out to all those thousands of people who turn to bariatric surgery to get the job done which their physicians were supposed to take care of but didn’t.  I guess doctors cannot advise us because they just don’t know, nor do they want to know.  It’s all too confusing for them.  I get that.  We all struggle too.  Trouble is, medicine just gets in the way and often prevents us from getting what we really need.. . .   .   like someone who is actually trained in how the body manifests HEALTH.   What it is supposed to look like, feel like – understands what it needs to survive.  So they don’t know, but they also don’t want us to have access to those knowledgeable people they often call  “quacks”  because they DO profess to know.    So they beat their patients over the head criticizing them for not losing weight and taking care of their body.   Being sick, fat and ashamed and defeated – why wouldn’t people accept this insane procedure which carves up their inners into ways that anything can go wrong.  Why wouldn’t they accept It?  I say, because you’ll have a shortened life filled with obstacles that maybe you didn’t know you’d have.

Ergo,  I made a little trip over to Wikipedia (always go online – information is out there, all kinds.  Be informed) At the very least, take a look around.   Each of us has choice.  After all, it’s our life.  Do it the way you think best.   Jan)

Bariatric surgery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bariatric surgeryIntervention

Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) includes a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with an implanted medical device (gastric banding) or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

Long-term studies show the procedures cause significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and a reduction in mortality of 23% from 40%.However, a study in Veterans Affairs (VA) patients has found no survival benefit associated with bariatric surgery among older, severely obese people when compared with usual care, at least out to seven years. 

The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes.[1] However, research is emerging that suggests bariatric surgery could be appropriate for those with a BMI of 35 to 40 with no comorbidities or a BMI of 30 to 35 with significant comorbidities.

 Indications

A medical guideline by the American College of Physicians concluded

  • “Surgery should be considered as a treatment option for patients with a BMI of 40 kg/m2 or greater who instituted but failed an adequate exercise and diet program (with or without adjunctive drug therapy) and who present with obesity-related comorbid conditions, such as hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and obstructive sleep apnea. A doctor–patient discussion of surgical options should include the long-term side effects, such as possible need for reoperation, gallbladder disease, and malabsorption.”
  • “Patients should be referred to high-volume centers with surgeons experienced in bariatric surgery.”

Recently the International Diabetes Federation issued a position statement in which “Under some circumstances people with a BMI 30–35 should be eligible for surgery” International Diabetes Federation position statement on Bariatric Surgical and Procedural Interventions in the Treatment of Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes When determining eligibility for bariatric surgery for extremely obese patients, psychiatric screening is critical; it is also critical for determining postoperative success. In patients with a body mass index of 40 kg/m2 or greater, there is a 5-fold risk of depression, and half of bariatric surgery candidates are depressed.

Classification of surgical procedures

Procedures can be grouped in three main categories:[7] Standard of care in the United States and most of the industrialized world in 2009 is for laparoscopic as opposed to open procedures. Future trends are attempting to achieve similar or better results via endoscopic procedures.

 Predominantly malabsorptive procedures

Predominantly malabsorptive procedures, although they also reduce stomach size, these operations are based mainly on creating malabsorption.

Diagram of a biliopancreatic diversion.

 Biliopancreatic diversion

This complex operation is termed biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) or the Scopinaro procedure. The original form of this procedure is now rarely performed because of problems with malnourishment. It has been replaced with a modification known as duodenal switch (BPD/DS). Part of the stomach is resected, creating a smaller stomach (however the patient can eat a free diet as there is no restrictive component). The distal part of the small intestine is then connected to the pouch, bypassing the duodenum and jejunum.

In around 2% of patients there is severe malabsorption and nutritional deficiency that requires restoration of the normal absorption. The malabsorptive effect of BPD is so potent that those who undergo the procedure must take vitamin and dietary minerals above and beyond that of the normal population. Without these supplements, there is risk of serious deficiency diseases such as anemia and osteoporosis.[citation needed]

Because gallstones are a common complication of the rapid weight loss following any type of bariatric surgery, some surgeons remove the gallbladder as a preventive measure during BPD. Others prefer to prescribe medications to reduce the risk of post-operative gallstones.[citation needed]

Far fewer surgeons perform BPD compared to other weight loss surgeries, in part because of the need for long-term nutritional follow-up and monitoring of BPD patients.[citation needed]

 Jejunoileal bypass

Main article: Jejunoileal bypass

This procedure is no longer performed.

 Endoluminal sleeve

A trial study performed on rats involved placing a 10 cm long impermeable sleeve into the rat’s intestine to block absorption of food in the duodenum and upper jejunum. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and Gastrointestinal Unit found that rats who had the surgery ate 30% less food and lost 20% more weight than counterpart rats, while blood glucose levels returned to normal levels in all mice who had the surgery.

A study on humans was done in Chile using the same technique however the results were not conclusive and the device had issues with migration and slipping. A study recently done in the Netherlands found a decrease of 5.5 BMI points in 3 months with an endoluminal sleeve

 Predominantly restrictive procedures

Procedures that are solely restrictive, act to reduce oral intake by limiting gastric volume, produces early satiety, and leave the alimentary canal in continuity, minimizing the risks of metabolic complications.

Diagram of a vertical banded gastroplasty.

[edit] Vertical banded gastroplasty

Main article: Vertical banded gastroplasty surgery

In the vertical banded gastroplasty, also called the Mason procedure or stomach stapling, a part of the stomach is permanently stapled to create a smaller pre-stomach pouch, which serves as the new stomach.[citation needed]

Diagram of an adjustable gastric banding.

Adjustable gastric band

Main article: Gastric banding

The restriction of the stomach also can be created using a silicone band, which can be adjusted by addition or removal of saline through a port placed just under the skin. This operation can be performed laparoscopically, and is commonly referred to as a “lap band“. Weight loss is predominantly due to the restriction of nutrient intake that is created by the small gastric pouch and the narrow outlet.  It is considered one of the safest procedures performed today with a mortality rate of 0.05%.

 Sleeve gastrectomy

Main article: Sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (typically with surgical staples, sutures, or both) to leave the stomach shaped more like a tube, or a sleeve, with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach. The procedure is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.

This combined approach has tremendously decreased the risk of weight loss surgery for specific groups of patients, even when the risk of the two surgeries is added. Most patients can expect to lose 30 to 50% of their excess body weight over a 6–12 month period with the sleeve gastrectomy alone. The timing of the second procedure will vary according to the degree of weight loss, typically 6 – 18 months.

  • Stomach volume is reduced, but it tends to function normally so most food items can be consumed in small amounts.
  • Removes the portion of the stomach that produces the hormones that stimulates hunger (Ghrelin), although the durability of this removal has yet to be confirmed.
  • Dumping syndrome is less likely due to the preservation of the pylorus (although dumping can occur anytime stomach surgery takes place).
  • Minimizes the chance of an ulcer occurring.
  • By avoiding the intestinal bypass, the chance of intestinal obstruction (blockage), anemia, osteoporosis, protein deficiency and vitamin deficiency are significantly reduced.
  • Very effective as a first stage procedure for high BMI patients (BMI >55 kg/m2).
  • Limited results appear promising as a single stage procedure for low BMI patients (BMI 35–45 kg/m2).
  • Appealing option for people with existing anemia, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and numerous other conditions that make them too high risk for intestinal bypass procedures.

 Intragastric balloon (gastric balloon)

Intragastric balloon involves placing a deflated balloon into the stomach, and then filling it to decrease the amount of gastric space. The balloon can be left in the stomach for a maximum of 6 months and results in an average weight loss of 5–9 BMI over half a year.While not yet approved by the FDA the intragastric balloon is approved in Australia, Canada, Mexico, India and several European and South American countries. The intragastric balloon may be used prior to another bariatric surgery in order to assist the patient to reach a weight which is suitable for surgery, further it can also be used on several occasions if necessary.

 Gastric Plication

Basically, the procedure can best be understood as a version of the more popular gastric sleeve or gastrectomy surgery where a sleeve is created by suturing rather than removing stomach tissue thus preserving its natural nutrient absorption capabilities. The procedure is producing some significant results that were published in a recent study in Bariatric Times and are based on post-operative outcomes for 66 patients (44 female) who had the gastric sleeve plication procedure between January 2007 and March 2010. Mean patient age was 34, with a mean BMI of 35. Follow-up visits for the assessment of safety and weight loss were scheduled at regular intervals in the postoperative period. No major complications were reported among the 66 patients. Weight loss outcomes are comparable to gastric bypass.

The study describes gastric sleeve plication (also referred to as gastric imbrication or laparoscopic greater curvature plication) as a restrictive technique that eliminates the complications associated with adjustable gastric banding and vertical sleeve gastrectomy—it does this by creating restriction without the use of implants and without gastric resection (cutting) and staples.

 Mixed procedures

Mixed procedures apply both techniques simultaneously.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

[edit] Gastric bypass surgery

Main article: Gastric bypass surgery

A common form of gastric bypass surgery is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Here, a small stomach pouch is created with a stapler device, and connected to the distal small intestine. The upper part of the small intestine is then reattached in a Y-shaped configuration.[citation needed]

The gastric bypass had been the most commonly performed operation for weight loss in the United States, and approximately 140,000 gastric bypass procedures were performed in 2005, dwarfing the number of Lap-Band, duodenal switch and vertical banded gastroplasty procedures. The gastric bypass operation is considered the “gold standard” in the U.S.

A factor in the success of any bariatric surgery is strict post-surgical adherence to a healthier pattern of eating.

Diagram of a sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch.

 Sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch

A variation of the biliopancreatic diversion includes a duodenal switch. The part of the stomach along its greater curve is resected. The stomach is “tubulized” with a residual volume of about 150 ml. This volume reduction provides the food intake restriction component of this operation. This type of gastric resection is anatomically and functionally irreversible. The stomach is then disconnected from the duodenum and connected to the distal part of the small intestine. The duodenum and the upper part of the small intestine are reattached to the rest at about 75–100 cm from the colon.[citation needed]

 Implantable gastric stimulation

This procedure where a device similar to a heart pacemaker is implanted by a surgeon, with the electrical leads stimulating the external surface of the stomach, is being studied in the USA. Electrical stimulation is thought to modify the activity of the enteric nervous system of the stomach, which is interpreted by the brain to give a sense of satiety, or fullness. Early evidence suggests that it is less effective than other forms of bariatric surgery.

 Eating after bariatric surgery

Immediately after bariatric surgery, the patient is restricted to a clear liquid diet, which includes foods such as clear broth, diluted fruit juices or sugar-free gelatin desserts. This diet is continued until the gastrointenstinal tract has recovered somewhat from the surgery. The next stage provides a blended or pureed sugar-free diet for at least two weeks. This may consist of skimmed milk, cream of wheat, a small pat of margarine, protein drinks, cream soup, pureed fruit and mashed potatoes with gravy.

Post-surgery, overeating is curbed because exceeding the capacity of the stomach causes nausea and vomiting. Diet restrictions after recovery from surgery depend in part on the type of surgery. Many patients will need to take a daily multivitamin pill for life to compensate for reduced absorption of essential nutrients.[19] Because patients cannot eat a large quantity of food, physicians typically recommend a diet that is relatively high in protein and low in fats and alcohol.

 Fluid recommendations

It is very common, within the first month post-surgery, for a patient to undergo volume depletion and dehydration. Patients have difficulty drinking the appropriate amount of fluids as they adapt to their new gastric volume. Limitations on oral fluid intake, reduced calorie intake, and a higher incidence of vomiting and diarrhea are all factors that have a significant contribution to dehydration. In order to prevent fluid volume depletion and dehydration, a minimum of 48–64 fl oz should be consumed by repetitive small sips all day.

Effectiveness of surgery

Weight loss

In general, the malabsorptive procedures lead to more weight loss than the restrictive procedures however, have a higher risk profile. A meta-analysis from University of California, Los Angeles, reports the following weight loss at 36 months:[5]

  • Biliopancreatic diversion — 117 Lbs / 53 kg
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) — 90 Lbs / 41 kg
    • Open — 95 Lbs/ 43 kg
    • Laparoscopic — 84 Lbs / 38 kg
  • Vertical banded gastroplasty — 71 Lbs / 32 kg

More recent studies have demonstrated that the medium (3–8 years) and long term (> 10 years) weight loss results for RYGB and LAGB become very similar.[21] However, the range of excess weight loss for LAGB patients (25% to 80%) is much broader than that of RYGB patients (50% to 70%). Data (beyond 5 years) for sleeve gastrectomy indicates weight loss statistics similar to RYGB.

 Reduced mortality and morbidity

Several recent studies report decrease in mortality and severity of medical conditions after bariatric surgery.But long term effects are not clear. In the Swedish prospective matched controlled trial, patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 34 or more for men and 38 or more for women underwent various types of bariatric surgery and were followed for an average of 11 years. Surgery patients had a 23.7% reduction in mortality (5.0% vs. 6.3% control, adjusted hazard ratio 0.71). This means 75 patients must be treated to avoid one death after 11 years (number needed to treat is 77).

In a Utah retrospective cohort study that followed patients for an average of 7 years after various types of gastric bypass, surgery patients had 0.4% mortality while control patients had 0.6% mortality.] Death rates were lower in the gastric bypass patients for all diseases combined, as well as for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Deaths from accident and suicide were 58% higher in the surgery group.

A randomized, controlled trial in Australia compared laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (“lap banding”) with non-surgical therapy in 80 moderately obese adults (BMI 30–35). At 2 years, the surgically-treated group lost more weight (21.6% of initial weight vs. 5.5%) and had statistically significant improvement in blood pressure, measures of diabetic control, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Post surgical complications included 1 patient with an infected surgical site, 4 with lap band malpositioning requiring laparoscopic revision, and 1 patient with cholecystitis. In the non-surgical group, 12 patients declined or did not tolerate orlistat or diet restrictions, and 4 patients developed acute cholecystitis.[citation needed]

Bariatric surgery in older patients has also been a topic of debate, centered on concerns for safety in this population. One study of elderly patients undergoing laparoscopic bariatric surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, however, reported 0% conversion to open surgery, 0% 30-day mortality, 7.3% complication rate, and average hospital stay of 2.8 days.Post operative mortality from 0.1–2 %.

Given the remarkable rate of diabetes remission with bariatric surgery, there is considerable interest in offering this intervention to type 2 diabetes patients with a BMI of <35 kg/m2. Until high-quality, controlled trials are completed, appropriateness criteria (based on age, BMI, and the severity of eight obesity-related comorbidities) may be used to guide the careful selection of diabetes patients who may potentially benefit from bariatric surgery.

Laparoscopic bariatric surgery requires a hospital stay of only one or two days. Short-term complications from laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding are reported to be lower than laparoscopic Roux-en-Y surgery, and complications from laparoscopic Roux-en-Y surgery are lower than conventional (open) Roux-en-Y surgery.

 Adverse effects

Complications from weight loss surgery are frequent. A study of insurance claims of 2522 who had undergone bariatric surgery showed 21.9% complications during the initial hospital stay and a total of 40% risk of complications in the subsequent six months. This was more common in those over 40 and led to an increased health care expenditure. Common problems were gastric dumping syndrome in about 20% (bloating and diarrhea after eating, necessitating small meals or medication), leaks at the surgical site (12%), incisional hernia (7%), infections (6%) and pneumonia (4%). Mortality was 0.2%.[30] As the rate of complications appears to be reduced when the procedure is performed by an experienced surgeon, guidelines recommend that surgery be performed in dedicated or experienced units.

Metabolic bone disease manifesting as osteopenia and secondary hyperparathyroidism have been reported after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery due to reduced calcium absorption. The highest concentration of calcium transporters is in the duodenum. Since the ingested food will not pass through the duodenum after a bypass procedure, calcium levels in the blood may decrease, causing secondary hyperparathyroidism, increase in bone turnover, and a decrease in bone mass. Increased risk of fracture has also been linked to bariatric surgery.

Rapid weight loss after obesity surgery can contribute to the development of gallstones as well by increasing the lithogenicity of bile. Adverse effects on the kidneys have been studied. Hyperoxaluria that can potentially lead to oxalate nephropathy and irreversible renal failure is the most significant abnormality seen on urine chemistry studies.Rhabdomyolysis leading to acute kidney injury, and impaired renal handling of acid and base has been reported after bypass surgery.[citation needed]

Nutritional derangements due to deficiencies of micronutrients like iron, vitamin B12, fat soluble vitamins, thiamine, and folate are especially common after malabsorptive bariatric procedures. Seizures due to hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia have been reported. Inappropriate insulin secretion secondary to islet cell hyperplasia, called pancreatic nesidioblastosis, might explain this syndrome.

(I have deliberately deleted all the reference numbers relating to the analysis made in this article. If you want this, please go to Wikipedia – its easy to do, hey, I did it!  Jan)

March 26, 2012

Vaccines – know your rights

NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER

NVIC , the site we all depend upon for the latest on vaccines and the different issues which continue to arise, is of course headed up by BARBARA LOWE FISHER.  In this conversation below with Dr Mercola, she discusses the one, best argument any of us can use to protect ourselves and most of all, our children from this pervasive assault on the health and indeed, our children’s very lives.

Ms Fisher’s experience is a personal one starting with her own child’s result of autism many years ago and the struggle she has gone through in trying to understand what has happened and why.  She is not an unreasonable radical, but rather an intelligent, educated and passionate woman who is determined  to try to get the right things done for you, me and everyone who cares deeply about health, children and life and the freedom to choose for self.

This is truly worth listening to:

Tell Your Doctor: If You Don't Show Me This, You're Breaking the Law Tell Your Doctor: If You Don’t Show Me This, You’re Breaking the Law   Tell Your Doctor: If You Don't Show Me This, You're Breaking the Law
Your doctor is legally obligated to provide you with this sheet prior to this popular procedure, but many don’t. Here’s the nerve-shattering story of a couple who is suing 3 doctors and a clinic for failing to disclose these side effects which may lead to death…

March 24, 2012

Cleanse and Feed your body

(From the wonderful people at)

F O O D    M A T T E R S

How to Cleanse and Nourish Your Cells with Fresh Vegetable Juices

  by Dr Ben Kim

I’m often asked to name one thing that can be done right away to get healthier. With respect to food choices, the best suggestion I have is to begin drinking freshly pressed vegetable juices. Drinking just one freshly pressed juice each day is a reliable way of infusing your body with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that can protect your cells against premature aging and disease.

Almost everyone who has studied nutrition can agree that freshly pressed vegetable juices are highly beneficial to human health. But few people make time to prepare and drink them regularly.

Making time to drink vegetable juices isn’t a problem for most people. It’s the time that is needed to wash fresh vegetables, feed them through a good juicer, and clean the juicer afterward that prevents most people from making fresh juices a regular part of their lives.

So the first step to incorporating juicing into your life is to fully understand how good it is for your health and why making time to do it daily is one of the very best investments you can make.

The Right Ingredients

The key to making healthy vegetable juices is to make green vegetables the bulk of every serving. Green vegetables won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin level like fruits and sweet vegetables like carrots and red beets will.

This is not to say that you can’t juice fruits, carrots, and red beets. Fruits and sweet root vegetables can be healthy additions to your drinks, and they’ll definitely add sweetness and flavor. You just want to make sure that they never make up more than one-third of each glass that you drink.

And if you have a problem controlling your blood sugar level, you’ll want to use a blood sugar monitor to determine how much is acceptable for you. I’ve worked with dozens of diabetics over the years who haven’t been able to handle even an ounce of fruit, carrot, or red beet juice in their drinks without negative health consequences, so please consider this point before you select your ingredients for juicing.

Romaine lettuce is one of the best green vegetables that you can juice. You can also juice other types of green, leafy lettuce like red or green leaf lettuce.

For variety, try adding large handfuls of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, Bok Choy, and any other dark green vegetable that you might steam before eating.

For another layer of flavor, you can add a tiny slice of lemon (including the rind for its flavonoids) to your vegetable juices.

Some people enjoy adding a clove of raw garlic for even more bite.

Be creative and add any vegetables you crave. You really can’t go wrong as long as you make sure not to use too many carrots, red beets, or fruits.

Clearly, organic vegetables are better than non-organic vegetables. But my experiences have led me to believe that the health benefits of drinking juices made with well washed, non-organic vegetables far outweigh not juicing at all. If you are only able to juice non-organic vegetables due to financial or other life circumstances, it’s still well worth your while to do so.

Preparing to Juice

We like to fill up the kitchen sink with cold water and dunk all of our vegetables for a good five minutes. Before we pull all the vegetables out to sit in a colander to dry off a bit, we shake them around in the cold water to make sure that we’ve removed any dirt or even bugs that may be hiding in the vegetables, particularly in heads of celery and lettuce.

If we know that we need to make a few gallons of vegetable juice over several days, we store washed carrots and ribs of celery in containers full of water in the refrigerator.

We store leaves of lettuce spread out and stacked vertically in a container with layers of paper towel in between each layer of lettuce to help absorb excess moisture. Fresh lettuce can last a whole week or more when stored in this fashion.

If you’re really pressed for time and want to make enough juice to last three to four days, you can make a big batch and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator – not as good as drinking right after pressing, but still likely better than drinking store-bought fruit juices or even vegetable cocktails like V8.

The Art of Juicing

Juicing is, for the most part, quite easy to do. You make sure that your vegetables are small or crunch-able enough to fit through the feeding mechanism of your juicer, and you push them in one at a time.

It’s best to juice soft vegetables like leafy greens first, as they are a bit harder to push through the extraction mechanism than firmer vegetables like carrots and celery. Firmer vegetables like carrots and celery can actually help to push any bits of softer vegetables that are deep within the feeding tube of your juicer but not yet
completely through the extraction mechanism.

With leafy greens, we find that it is best to roll them up into small balls before feeding them through the juicer. This helps prevent a single leaf from getting stuck between the feeding tube of your juicer and the plunger that you use to push the vegetables down.

Fruits, like firmer vegetables, can be added near the end, as you are unlikely to have a problem with pushing them down and through the extraction mechanism with the plunger.

(Jan’s comment:

I love the advice given here and I simply wanted to add that I am indeed, sorry that I have not considered (before now)  that what I was offering in the past by relating what and how I did my juicing might not be entirely  proper for all my readers, specifically – diabetics.   I don’t have diabetes and never gave it a thought that my using a couple of pounds of carrots daily and a few apples to boot could not be beneficial, and maybe even hurtful.   A wake-up call for me. 

My health status has been improved through juicing.  I feel better and I miss it big time, when I don’t get my usual 2 – 3 glasses  in during the course of the day.  Admittedly, I juice a lot and I don’t mean to imply that all should try to do as I am doing.   At 82, I probably have a lot more sins to cleanse from my body than the average person who reads my blog.    So, on this front, I’m kind of a newbie and enthusiastically lovin’ it. As far back as I can remember, health and food have always been related in my mind.  I eat well, always have.  Don’t deny good ancestral genes for which I am grateful and blessed.  Seriously, when people are told my age, I can see them squinting down to find evidence of surgery which I surely must have had along with some vague utterance of I surely don’t look my age.  I see an old lady when I look in the mirror, but then, I still feel younger than many others my age “look”.  So is it luck, genes, good food,    I dunno – but it sure isn’t surgery.

Ever since I became aware of the “Gerson Therapy” and acquired Charlotte Gerson’s book, I have been determined to be the best I can be.  So What if I’m 82?    Am I not entitled to be as healthy as I possibly can be?  Well, I’m giving it a go.   Still haven’t done the coffee enemas – something keeps holding me back.  Drat!  But I plan to.  Jan)

March 23, 2012

Raw eggs are ‘safe’

 Experts don’t agree – eggs good or bad for us?

(Once again, I am spreading Dr Mercola’s message from his 3-19-12 Newsletter,  because this is a subject I can get behind and very much appreciate.   Have always liked eggs and still use them.  I do buy only eggs from chickens who are allowed to scratch for their own worms, and would not buy eggs from caged chickens.  I feel nobody should because it is so cruel and inhumane.  It drives the birds crazy.  If we really believe “You are what you eat” it shouldn’t even be a consideration – who wants to eat the poisonous vibration of deranged, sick birds?   But the question is – are eggs good for us or not?  I say they are and always have been. 

I’m remembering my son making his own omelets as a youth.  He used 6 eggs and maybe 1/4 pound  of cheddar cheese scrambled in.  Kid drove me nuts, wouldn’t heed my “too much” admonition.   Took him to my special chiropractor with the fairy-fingers and subtle-vision and explained the problem to her.  Her sweet demeanor engaged his rapt attention as she smiled at him “Mothers don’t always know everything, do they Jeff?”   I was never sat down so sweetly in my life.   I never got the “facts” behind what she said, but you know – - Jeff, like the rest in my family have all had low cholesterol numbers, so nothing to worry about.    The following article explains this, so I hope you will profit from the article and enjoy it.    It seems to start in the middle of something as I skipped a few pages of the beginning   .   .   .   .    .       . (Mercola espouses only  eggs from free-range chickens as well.)

Besides that, you can tell the eggs are free range by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you’re getting eggs form caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet.

How to Eat Your Eggs for Maximum Health Benefits

The CDC and other public health organizations will advise you to thoroughly cook your eggs to lower the risk of salmonella, but eating eggs RAW is actually the best in terms of your health. While this may sound like a scary proposition for many, it’s important to realize that salmonella risk comes from chickens raised in unsanitary conditions. These conditions are the norm for CAFO’s, but are extremely rare for small organic farms. In fact, one study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.

So, as long as you’re getting fresh pastured eggs, your risk of getting ill from a raw egg is quite slim. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of the 69 billion eggs produced annually in the United States, some 2.3 million are contaminated with Salmonella—equivalent to just one in every 30,000 eggsi.

While eggs are often one of your most allergenic foods, I believe this is because they are typically cooked too much. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and this distortion can easily lead to allergies. If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. I also believe eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements for age-related macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness.

Fresh raw egg yolk actually tastes like vanilla, in my opinion. The egg white is usually what most people object to when they say they don’t like the texture of raw egg.  If this is an issue, consider discarding the egg white, or simply blend the whole raw egg into a shake or smoothie. Personally, I eat just the raw egg yolksI have four nearly every morning. I remove the whites because it’s just too much protein for my challenged kidneys.

  • Beware of consuming raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white the avidin is not an issue. Likewise, if you consume the whole raw egg (both yolk and egg white) there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding.

If you choose not to eat your eggs (or just egg yolk) raw, soft-boiled would be your next best option. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

Cautionary Note for Pregnant Women

Please beware there’s a potential problem with consuming the entire raw egg if you are pregnant. Biotin deficiency is a common concern in pregnancy and it is possible that consuming whole raw eggs might make it worse. If you are pregnant you have two options:

  1. Measure for biotin deficiency. This is best done through urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (3-HIA), which increases as a result of the decreased activity of the biotin-dependent enzyme methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase
  2. Alternatively, take a biotin supplement, or consume only the yolk raw (and cook the whites)

Eggs Won’t Harm Your Heart

There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart. While it’s true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, this is not necessarily a health hazard. As I’ve discussed on many occasions, your body actually requires cholesterol, and artificially driving your cholesterol levels down is nearly always doing far more harm than good. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol. It helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function. In other words, dietary cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy.

Besides, numerous studies support the conclusion that eggs have virtually nothing to do with raising your cholesterol anyway. For instance, research published in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that, in healthy adults, eating eggs daily did not produce a negative effect on endothelial function, an aggregate measure of cardiac risk, nor an increase in cholesterol levels.

(Further comment – sorry,  

I wanted to mention something about the Salmonella thing.   This is a condition found on the outside of the egg – never the inside in the egg itself.  If one does not have free-range chicken eggs available to purchase, one can still enjoy eggs, but must go thru an extra step of decontamination of the exterior of the eggshell.  If, like I do, you happen to have the Vitamin C crystals handy — just put a small amount into a small cup or dish with water,  stir it up and submerge your eggs in this a minute or so.  (I do this same thing when I wash off my fruits – - you know how the farmers spray everything, especially the apples)  Then blot off or dry and then you can crack your eggs for use.    One more thing.  That egg carton is maybe the biggest concern of all.  So anytime you handle the carton and then put it away, be sure to carefully wash your hands in warm water and regular soap  (I don’t believe in the use of harsh germicides in the kitchen or on the body, and it’s not necessary)

A second little tidbit is due to the fact I’m such a pack-rat (or saver of everything imaginable)  This note says that the green ring around an egg yolk is seen when you chill a hard-boiled egg.  It’s sulfur, and not caused by chilling;  it comes from over-cooking the egg.  Cooking the egg more gently keeps it from happening.

To prevent, put eggs in pan and cover with cold water.  Bring it just to a rolling boil,  then turn off the heat,  cover the pan and let eggs stand in hot water for 17 to 18 minutes, or 20 minutes for extra large eggs.    Then rinse eggs under cold water or submerge in ice water.

That green is not harmful at all, just unsightly.   It is the hydrogen in the egg whites binding with the sulfur in the egg yolk.         Enjoy your eggs.           Jan)

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