SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

June 30, 2010

Gov’ts lag Vit D Science

Filed under: Vit D Council,Vit D usage — Jan Turner @ 1:15 am
Tags: , ,

Dr Cannell of the Vitamin D Council sent us this interesting but frustrating article, so here we go:

FINANCIAL TIMES, London

Why gov’ts are selling Vit-D short

By Sam Apple

Published: October 23 2009 16:56 | Last updated: October 23 2009

Oysters and shiitake mushrooms on a plate
Sunlight
10,000 IU from 15-20 minutes of midday summer sun
Oysters
270 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per half-dozen
Dried shiitake mushrooms
172 IU per 100g

Reinhold Vieth is frustrated. A thin, bald professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Patho-biology, Vieth is among the most knowledgeable people in the world on the subject of vitamin D. He began studying it as a graduate student in 1974 and hasn’t changed his focus since. “I stick with vitamin D and follow it where it goes,” he says.  In recent years, vitamin D has been going to some exciting places.

Reports of new and promising studies seem to emerge almost weekly. A 2007 analysis of vitamin D studies found that individuals with higher vitamin D levels are significantly – as much as 50 per cent – less likely to develop colorectal cancer. Another 2007 study found that women who took 1,100 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per day together with a calcium supplement reduced their overall cancer risk by 60 per cent. And the excitement is not only about cancer prevention. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, depression and rheumatoid arthritis, among other diseases. Perhaps not surprisingly, in light of the other studies, one recent review of the health records of more than 13,000 Americans found that individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels were 26 per cent more likely, in an eight-year period, to die than those with the highest levels.

So why is Dr Vieth so frustrated? You might think he’d have cause for celebration. But for him and other vitamin D researchers around the world, the good news comes with a bitter aftertaste. They believe they can prove vitamin D could help millions live longer and be healthier and yet they have not been able to convince their own governments.

In the US and Canada, official vitamin D policy is set by the Institute of Medicine. And in the opinion of Vieth, the current recommendations – 200 International Units per day for people under 50, 400 for people aged 51-70, and 600 for those 71 and older – are outrageously low. Bruce Hollis, professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, calls 400 IU a day “a joke”. That’s because the best research suggests that to achieve the higher vitamin D blood levels associated with disease prevention, most adults in the US would need to take 1,000-2,000 IU a day: five to 10 times more than the current official recommendation for adults.

In the UK, the government’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy has declined to set a “Reference Nutrient Intake” value for people “leading a normal lifestyle”, arguing that you can get the vitamin D you need from food and sunlight. But they fall in line with the Americans where they do make recommendations: for people confined indoors, the elderly and pregnant women, they suggest a daily intake of 10 micrograms a day. That’s equal to 400 IU.

Two mackerel and a tin of sardines on a plate
Mackerel
643 IU per 100g. Halibut gives you 230 IU per 100g, pickled herring 113 IU per 100
Tinned sardines
23 IU per 12g fish. Tinned salmon gives you 550 IU per 100g, tinned tuna 270 IU per 100g

Vitamin D was discovered in the early 20th century as scientists searched for a cure for rickets, a disease that softens the bones of children, leaving them bowlegged and deformed. It had been known for some time that children in cities were more likely to suffer from rickets than those in the countryside. But it wasn’t until the 1920s that scientists in the US and UK realized rickets was caused by a vitamin D deficiency, caused in city kids by lack of sunlight. We obtain our other vitamins from our food; but while it’s possible to get vitamin D from oily fish and some other foods, most of the vitamin D in our bodies doesn’t come from diet at all but from a chemical process that takes place when the sun’s ultraviolet light strikes our skin.In the 1950s and 1960s, when American and other dietary guidelines first specified vitamin D intakes of up to 400 IU for adults, nobody understood that vitamin D could do anything other than regulate calcium. And since 200 IU is enough to prevent rickets in children – assuming they have at least a moderate amount of calcium in their diet – it was assumed that 200 IU was sufficient. It was only in the following decades, as scientists came to understand how vitamin D works in our bodies, that the picture changed.

After it forms in our skin, vitamin D undergoes two critical transformations. First our liver metabolizes it, turning it into calcidiol. If you have your vitamin D blood levels checked, it’s the amount of calcidiol in your blood that will be tested. From the liver, calcidiol makes its way to the kidneys, where it is turned into calcitriol, arguably the most potent steroid hormone in the body. In other words, while vitamin D is lumped together with other vitamins, by the time our bodies are done with it, it has more in common with testosterone or estrogen than with vitamins A or C.

If you have only a small amount of D in your body, it will all be used by the kidneys to produce calcitriol and maintain blood calcium levels. But when there is more vitamin D available, something very different happens. As scientists have discovered in recent decades, it’s not only the kidneys that can make calcitriol from the calcidiol produced in the liver. Many tissues throughout the body can as well. These tissues use the hormone locally, within the cells, to regulate their behavior.

“Calcidiol is like a blank piece of paper,” Vieth explains. “And calcitriol is like the message written on to it. Calcitriol is needed by our bodies to convey many kinds of messages, and virtually every cell in our body has a receptor that can read and respond to it.”

The first real evidence for the cancer-fighting properties of vitamin D emerged in the early 1980s, when researchers found that if they added calcitriol to immature malignant leukemia cells, the cells would stop growing. They could only guess why this was, but scientists have since shown that vitamin D interacts with an unusually large number of genes and has the apparent ability to turn them on and off.

Milk, eggs and orange juice
Hard-boiled eggs
26 IU per egg; 25 IU per egg yolk
Fortified cows’ milk
250 IU per pint
Fortified orange juice
270 IU per pint

This new understanding of how vitamin D works in our bodies, together with a large quantity of evidence of the benefits of higher vitamin D levels, might make it seem like an obvious move for the world’s governments to adjust their recommendations for daily intake. But Vieth and other vitamin D advocates have good reason to think there will be minimal changes made to dietary guidelines. Last December, the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a 465-page report that concluded there was no need to raise vitamin D recommendations.The reason is not a lack of research but a lack of the right kind of research, say vitamin D skeptics. Most evidence for vitamin D and health is based on epidemiological surveys. Many of these studies, particularly early ones, were based on geography. Epidemiologists have found, for example, that multiple sclerosis – a disease of the central nervous system – and a number of cancers become more common the farther you move away from the equator. In the US, you are four times more likely to develop MS if you live in a state that borders Canada than if you live in the south. The theory is that as you move away from the equator, you receive less “UVB” ultraviolet sunlight (UVB is a subtype of UV light and the most important for vitamin D production), and thus fewer opportunities to make vitamin D in your skin.

This may sound like persuasive research to lay readers, but for scientists, such correlations aren’t generally convincing, as there could be plenty of other possible reasons why people living at higher latitudes are more likely to suffer from MS.

The more compelling evidence for the connection between vitamin D and disease onset comes from the wide range of studies in recent years that have actually measured vitamin D levels in blood. But even these studies only show correlations. They can demonstrate, as one Harvard School of Public Health study did in 2006, that the vitamin D status of healthy young adults can predict their future risk of developing MS, but they can’t definitively demonstrate that higher vitamin D levels prevent MS. It’s possible, for example, that there is another mechanism at work in the early stage of MS that causes vitamin D levels to drop during the first stage of a progressive disease (see box below for more on MS).

Multiple sclerosis is thought to be caused by a mix of environmental and genetic factors. And while scientists are still trying to unravel how these interact, a growing body of research points to vitamin D as a key environmental factor.

In people with MS, the immune system malfunctions and attacks the protective coating around nerve cells known as myelin sheaths. The disease can affect sight, balance, continence, speech and more, and reduces life expectancy. Vitamin D’s influence on MS – and other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes – is thought to be related to the vitamin’s ability to suppress autoimmune responses.

The link between vitamin D and MS was for many years thought to be wild speculation. Now more and more studies point in the same direction: people who have higher levels of vitamin D in their blood early in life are less likely to get MS later in life. Also, MS patients have been found to have low levels of vitamin D in their blood– and the levels appear to be even lower during relapses.

One small study published this year found that MS patients who took high doses of vitamin D – an average of 14,000 IU a day for a year – had significantly fewer relapses than those MS patients who took an average of 1,000 IU a day. Studies have also shown that vitamin D prevents experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mouse model of human MS.

Few mainstream researchers would disagree that a single correlation study should not be given much weight in determining public policy. It’s only when looked at in aggregate that these survey studies – together with the many small clinical trials and our new knowledge of how vitamin D works at the cellular level – begin to make a powerful case for increasing the current vitamin D recommendations.

And yet, if the WHO report of 2008 is any indicator, such a case isn’t always strong enough to sway a skeptical committee. All the recent research notwithstanding, vitamin D is still missing the gold standard of evidence-based medicine: large, randomized controlled trials which can demonstrate its ability to prevent major diseases. The WHO report concludes that “we should wait for the results of new randomized trials” before changing vitamin D recommendations.

It’s a position echoed in the UK by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (Nice), which advises the government on whether drugs should be paid for by the state. After reviewing the vitamin D literature, in 2003 Nice pointed to the absence of randomized clinical trials and suggested that there was no need even to recommend vitamin D to pregnant women – a conclusion that was overruled by the government’s chief medical officer after pediatricians objected.

For Britons, the most alarming aspect of these government responses is that people living in the UK have so much to lose. For much of the year, it is impossible in this country to obtain vitamin D from the sun – for the same reason it is impossible to suffer sunburn. There is simply not enough UVB ultraviolet radiation in our winter and autumn sunlight. And unless you happen to consume a lot of oily fish, it’s very hard to get much vitamin D from your diet. (In addition to oily fish, eggs and fortified foods have small amounts of vitamin D.) It’s no surprise, then, that a 2007 study of middle-aged British adults found that 90 per cent had less-than-optimal levels of vitamin D during winter and spring. In the US, by comparison, three-quarters of teenagers and adults are estimated to be deficient in vitamin D.

Advocates of changes to the vitamin D recommendations in the UK and elsewhere don’t disagree that large, randomized control trials are important. The trouble is, trials that could convince policymakers to advise an across-the-board increase to vitamin D recommendations for all children and adults might never take place.

There are a number of obstacles to the research, but the simplest, and biggest, is money. Vitamin D is not a proprietary compound. It’s cheap and easy to produce. A bottle of 180 1,000-IU capsules can be purchased online for about £9. No pharmaceutical company is going to put up the many millions of dollars necessary to conduct the trials.

Michael Gleimer, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School who has no connection to the vitamin D controversy, notes that it is easy for a medical research fellow to do a small-scale study on something like vitamin D. “It is non-controversial, easy to get approval for, and popular-sciency enough that it may land you in the science section of BBC news,” Gleimer says. “But to do a large, definitive, long-term study, one needs cash. This is something a pharmaceutical company could do. But why would they want to push vitamin D? It’s cheap and there is no patent for it.”

Vitamin D also has to overcome the baggage of other vitamins. Asked for his thoughts on the US and Canada’s current daily vitamin D recommendations, Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said that “similar ‘signals’ regarding other vitamins and nutritional supplements – suggesting that they decreased the incidence of certain cancers – have not been borne out in subsequent randomized clinical trials.”

The main culprit here is vitamin E, which caused a great deal of excitement in the early 1990s. The enthusiasm for vitamin E at the time was great enough to convince the US government to invest millions in just the sort of large clinical trials that have yet to be conducted for vitamin D. But E turned out to be a disappointment, showing no benefits whatsoever in preventing cancer.

There’s a third obstacle in the way of large clinical trials with vitamin D. Like other nutrients, it faces a systemic problem. A typical clinical trial follows what Vieth calls a “pharmaceutical drug company model”, where a group of sick people are given a carefully selected dose of a drug to see if it makes a difference to their condition, compared with a second group of sick people who receive a placebo.

Tofu, vitamin D  pills and cod liver oil capsules
Fortified tofu
120 IU per 80g
Vitamin D capsules
100-5,000 IU; most multivitamin pills contain 400 IU of vitamin D
Cod liver oil
450 IU per teaspoon; capsule amounts vary

The drawback of this model is that it doesn’t work nearly as well if the goal of the study is not to determine if a person gets better but to determine if the substance can prevent you from becoming ill at all. “It takes a great deal of time and huge population to look at healthy people and see what develops,” says Mariela Glandt, an endocrinologist and the former director of the Diabetes Clinical Trials Center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. “It’s just much more expensive and time-consuming.”

Not even the recent announcement of a $20m study by Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is enough to make Vieth optimistic. Funded by National Institutes of Health and other institutions, the research will look at vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (which have also shown disease-fighting promise) in the primary prevention of chronic disease in adults ages 60 and over. If the results are good, they could help make the case for raising vitamin D recommendations for older adults. But Vieth believes it would still be difficult to persuade policy-makers of the need to raise vitamin D levels for everyone. “‘If you start with people older than age 65 and do clinical trials with them’, policy-makers say, ‘Why should we impose this drug on everyone in society?’”

And if it remains challenging to raise enough money to study prevention in older adults, it’s nearly impossible to find the money to study younger people; a younger population is less susceptible to disease, so any convincing study would require an enormous number of participants.

Then there is a problem that is more specific to vitamin D. The latest research suggests that it takes 1,000 IU a day or more to achieve vitamin D’s anti-cancer benefits. But often when a smaller vitamin D trial does receive funding, it is conducted with the current lower vitamin D recommendation – and then fails to prove effective.

These failures, such as a highly publicized Lancet study in 2005 that found 800 IU of vitamin D and calcium given in prevention trials (trials in which many participants did not take the supplements regularly) did not prevent bone fractures, are then used by review committees as grounds for leaving the current vitamin D recommendations in place.

It was precisely such studies that convinced the authors of the WHO report that there was no need for action on vitamin D. The report concluded that vitamin D recommendations did not need to be raised because there was not yet evidence that supplementing with 400-840 IU of vitamin D could prevent cancer. What the conclusion left out, as though the authors couldn’t imagine anyone taking more than 840 IU, was a randomized clinical trial which found that 1,110 IU taken daily is effective in preventing cancer in women.

With so many factors weighing against a large vitamin D trial for anyone who is not old or sick with cancer or another serious disease, the best hope for advocates of higher vitamin D recommendations may be convincing the medical authorities and the public to take the epidemiology survey studies more seriously. (Even if a large trial did get off the ground, it would probably be at least a decade before there were results.)

It’s not an impossible task. In other instances, the medical community has been ready to recognize survey evidence: “The evidence favoring vitamin D is probably as good as the evidence that shows smoking is bad for you,” Vieth says, explaining that just as smoking is correlated with certain cancers, so are low vitamin D levels. “But when these government officials see the same kind of evidence that deals with vitamin D as they see with smoking they go, ‘Oh wait a minute. We can’t really trust this.’”

Vieth pauses, as though he can barely stand to talk about such a miserable state of affairs. “It’s easy to say ‘don’t do something – don’t smoke’. It’s very hard to say ‘take this. Take vitamin D.’”

Sam Apple is a regular contributor to the FT Weekend Magazine and founder and publisher of the news website TheFasterTimes.com

………………………………..

Can we overdose?

One of the debates surrounding vitamin D is whether too much can be toxic. The US’s Institute of Medicine’s recommendations – unchanged since 1997 – were influenced in part by a 1984 study concluding that 3,800 IU of vitamin D per day could cause hypercalcemia, or too much calcium in the blood. Symptoms include kidney stones, vomiting and muscle atrophy.

Reinhold ViethBut the 1984 study was flawed: it failed to measure the amount of vitamin D administered; based on the findings of other studies, it now looks as though subjects were given 100 times more vitamin D than intended.  Moreover, how could it be that 3,800 IU was toxic, when 20 minutes of midday sunbathing in the summer makes at least 10,000 IU of vitamin D in our bodies?

In 1999, Reinhold Vieth (pictured right) published a review of vitamin D research in response to the IOM conclusions. In it, he argued that there was no evidence that amounts lower than 20,000 IU a day could be toxic. “Throughout my preparation of this review, I was amazed at the lack of evidence supporting statements about the toxicity of moderate doses of vitamin D,” Vieth wrote.

Studies have since shown 10,000 IU a day of vitamin D to be safe. While any substance will become toxic in excess, vitamin D researchers today accept that the current vitamin D recommendations could be more than quadrupled with no fear of toxicity.

June 29, 2010

EFT helps Vets with PTSD

Filed under: EFT for PTSD — Jan Turner @ 12:23 am
Tags: ,

(I am happy to share this with those of you who have tried EFT and have shown an interest in it.  I as well as thousands of others, devoted to the blessing of EFT am so happy that Gary Craig has turned over the day to day operations of EFT to Dawson Church.  So the web site is running,  has the familiar structure and weekly news letter and is continuing to share contributors experiences with this practice which I found so very helpful in my own effort to learn EFT.  It was like a weekly shot in the arm.

Gary had spent much time in working with our veterans in effort to help them in overcoming the trauma of  PTSD  I can think of no group of people more deserving of all the help that can be given than these men and women who have given so much for all of us.  As this article indicates, Dawson is continuing with this important work.

Gary has made a documentary film which I understand will soon be available for viewing.    Jan)

EFT Helps Veterans With PTSD: Four years ago, with tens of thousands of veterans arriving back from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), members of the EFT community started the Iraq Vets Stress Project (www.StressProject.org). The Stress Project connects veterans with PTSD with a large international network of EFT practitioners, most of whom help the veterans without charge. Hundreds of veterans from these 2 wars, and Vietnam, have found help through the Stress Project. The program has produced two pilot studies and a full-fleged Randomized Controlled Trial, which found that 86% of veterans see dramatic reductions in their PTSD symptoms after EFT. Filmmaker Eric Huurre has produced a brilliant full-length documentary about the experiences of these veterans, including the group that was the subject of one of the pilot studies, called Operation Emotional Freedom. This movie is now available, and to order a copy, visit Eric’s web site, www.operation-emotionalfreedom.com. If you know of a veteran who needs help, please connect them to the resources on the www.StressProject.org web site, and if they want to join a new study and receive six free EFT sessions, they can phone Deb Tribbey at 707 237 6951, and she will connect them with a practitioner.


Meeting with Loree Sutton, Commanding General, Defense Center of Excellence

Loree SuttonRecently I had the opportunity to meet with Loree Sutton, Commanding General, Defense Center of Excellence for PTSD/TBI. She was speaking at a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) conference in San Francisco called The Brain at War, and I was one of the attendees. The conference brought together several hundred top researchers, academics, and military people. She was very warm and personable, though I don’t think she made the connection between me and the letters I’ve been writing to the Defense Center of Excellence describing our research into EFT and PTSD. I gave her a copy of the abstract of the Randomized Controlled Trial that’s currently in peer review at a top-tier journal. It shows that veteran PTSD and TBI symptoms reduce dramatically after EFT. Hopefully she’ll read it and take action.

The conference program was opened by Marine General Jim Lukeman, who passionately declared that the Marines are desperately in need of mental health solutions to flow from research into the field. As serendipity would have it, I then found him alone in the hall afterwards waiting for a TV interview, and had some time with him. I then passionately declared to him that we have the solution, and it’s EFT! He was very interested, and will look at the Stress Project web site as a resource for his marines.
Milena Fiore, a researcher at California Pacific Medical Center / CPMC was also at the conference, as was one of our wonderful veteran Stress Project coaches, Teri Pohl. I am collaborating with CPMC, which is a major research institution, on a NIH / National Institutes of Health grant application. We propose to study EFT versus cognitive therapy for PTSD and TBI in veterans, using genetic markers. On the way out of the conference, I joked to my friends that next year, EFT will be front and center at that conference, and they’ll have to rename it “The Brain at Peace!”

Dawson

June 28, 2010

Needless Suffering

END-OF-LIFE TREATMENT

Last-ditch efforts can drag out suffering

By Marilynn Marchione                                                                                                                                                               ASSOCIATED PRESS

The doctors finally let Rosaria Vandenberg go home.    For the first time in months, she was able to touch the 2-year-old who had been afraid of the tubes and machines in the hospital. She climbed onto her mother’s bed, surrounded by photos, toys and the comfort of home. They had a last tender moment before Vandenberg slipped back into unconsciousness.    Vandenberg, 32, died the next day.

That precious time at home could have come sooner if the family had known how to talk about alternatives to aggressive treatment, said Vandenberg’s sister-in-law, Alexandra Drane.    Instead, Vandenberg, a pharmacist in Franklin, Mass., had endured two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation for an incurable brain tumor before she died in July 2004. “We would have had a very different discussion about that second surgery and chemotherapy. We might have just taken her home and stuck her in a beautiful chair outside under the sun and let her gorgeous little daughter play around her — not just torture her” in the hospital, Drane said.

Americans increasingly spend more time in hospitals in their final days, trying last-ditch treatments that often buy only weeks of time and racking up bills that have made medical care a leading cause of bankruptcies. More than 80 percent of people who die in the U.S. have a long, progressive illness such as cancer, heart failure or Alzheimer’s. More than 80 percent of them say they want to avoid hospitalization and intensive care when they are dying, according to the Dartmouth Atlas Project, which tracks health-care trends.    Yet that’s not what is happening:

  • The average time spent in hospice and palliative care, which stresses comfort and quality of life once an illness is incurable, is falling because people are starting it too late. In 2008, one-third of people who received hospice care had it for a week or less, says the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
  • Hospitalizations during the last six months of life are rising: from 1,302 per 1,000 Medicare recipients in 1996 to 1,441 in 2005, Dartmouth reports. Treating chronic illness in the last two years of life gobbles up nearly one-third of all Medicare dollars.

“People are actually now sicker as they die,” and some find that treatments become a greater burden than the illness was, said Dr. Ira Byock, director of palliative care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “There are worse things than having someone you love die,” he said.

Gail Sheehy, author of the Passages books, learned that as her husband, New York magazine founder Clay Felker, spent 17 years fighting various cancers. On New Year’s Day 2007, they waited eight hours in an emergency   room for yet another CT scan until Felker looked at her and said, “No more hospitals.”    “I just put a cover over him and wheeled him out of there with needles still in his arms,” Sheehy said.    Then she called Dr. R. Sean Morrison, president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a doctor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.    “Nobody had really sat down with them about what his choices are and what the options were,” said Morrison, who became his doctor.      About a year later, Felker withdrew his own feeding tube, and “it enabled us to go out and have a wonderful evening at a jazz club two nights before he died” in July 2008, Sheehy said.

Doctors can’t predict how soon a patient will die, but they usually know when an illness has become incurable. Even then, many of them practice “exhaustion medicine” — treating until there are no more options left to try, said Dr. Martha Twaddle, chief medical officer of Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center in suburban Chicago.

Guidelines from leading cancer centers say patients whose cancer has spread should stop getting anticancer medicine if sequential attempts with three different drugs fail to shrink their tumors. Yet according to IntrinsiQ, a cancer-dataanalysis company, almost 20 percent of patients with colorectal cancer that has spread are on at least their fourth chemotherapy drug. The same goes for roughly 12 percent of patients with metastatic breast cancer and 12 percent of those with lung cancer. The analysis is based on more than 60,000 patients.    The American way is “never giving up, hoping for a miracle,” said Dr. Porter Storey, a former hospice medical director. Instead, he said, we should help patients accept death as part of life.

This is especially true, Storey said, when deciding whether to try one of the newer, very expensive cancer drugs such as Avastin, Erbitux or Tarceva. Some are touted as “improving survival by 30 or 50 percent” when that actually might mean living three weeks instead of two.


(Comment:  Anyone who has been through the loss of a dearly-loved family member, knows full-well what this article is about!  It is by varying degrees, difficult to excruciating exacting great tolls upon those of us left behind.

When my husband was ill with brain cancer, he tried with all he had in him to go through the chemotherapy, but suffered so, he found it preferable to just let it be and go as quietly as possible and with whatever serenity of mind he could muster.  Near the end,he wanted to go to the VA hospital which my son and I enabled.  Because I wasn’t with him when he died, I was left with remorse and emotional pain.  Consequently, I grieved more than two years.   That was my own pain however, nothing to do with his end story/choice.  I could barely accept that my world no longer would have Marty in it.

In my mother’s passing different circumstances were in play.  For 20 – 30 years, she had had DNR orders with her doctors.  She had enjoyed a wonderful life – done almost everything she wanted to do, leaving few stones unturned.  She had finally been in poor health and would welcome the end as a release from pain.  I demanded all heroics be stopped when I arrived at the hospital over the protests of the medical staff surrounding her when I walked in.  Was intimidated with the information that my actions would certainly hasten her death. That her system was shutting down.  When my eyes locked onto hers, I could see her tension dissipate.  We were rolled up to another floor to a private room and I sat with mother for about six hours, holding her hand and intoning the name of the lord and my love for her as my eyes held her face.  Her loving nature struggled to tell me how much she loved me – – but I knew that and she knew that I knew.   Her labor to gain air for her lungs was  hard, but as we continued, her breathing evened out and the serenity of this time transported us both through to the end of her journey.    She was peaceful, loved, safe and with the one person she loved more than any other.   I went to find hospital personnel to advise of her passing.   I missed her enormously, but I did not grieve.  It was a beautiful passing and we were both “at peace” with it.

It is fairly important that those decisions made at the end of a hard medical siege be for the benefit of the one who is ill and suffering, not out of any emotional “needs” of our own.  We all must learn, death is a part of life  Jan)

June 24, 2010

GMO’s, Gates/USAID, that’s Power!

Gates Foundation’s Rajiv Shah to Head USAID

Shah to Continue Gates-Monsanto Push for GMOs in Poor Countries

Despite the efforts of 5,497 Organic Consumers Association activists who sent letters to their Senators in opposition, the Senate confirmed Rajiv Shah to lead US foreign assistance as director of USAID.

On January 7, 2010, Shah was sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who gave a speech outlining USAID’s priorities. Sec. Clinton emphasized expanding partnerships with the private sector and NGOs and she highlighted the work Shah did with the Gates Foundation. She also referenced Bill Gates by saying that Shah had provided a list of people willing to go to bat for him in the Senate confirmation process that included “giants … in the foundation world.”

In his inaugural speech, Shah echoed Clinton, saying USAID needs “to better coordinate our work … with public, private and multilateral partners. … And we need to develop new capabilities to pursue innovation, science and technology…” Public-private partnerships promoting science and technology were what Shah specialized in when he worked at the Gates Foundation.

In an interview with NPR, Shah referred to his past employer as a future collaborator, saying, “We are also going to do things a little bit differently: bring in outside expertise and become more of a coordinating platform so that we can work with private sector innovators, like the Gates Foundation... so that women farmers trying to make – grow enough food for their family and their community can do that in places like Kenya or Senegal or Rwanda.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of Monsanto’s key non-profit partners, forcing hazardous Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on farmers and consumers worldwide. The multi-billion dollar Gates Foundation is helping Monsanto infiltrate markets in poor African countries by fraudulently claiming that GMOs can feed the world and reduce rural poverty with high-priced GM seed varieties that supposedly, but in fact do not, increase yields, resist drought and improve nutrition.

In a speech the day before Shah’s swearing-in ceremony, Clinton spoke specifically about biotech crops:

“We are expanding our direct funding of new research, for example, into biofortified sweet potatoes that prevent Vitamin A deficiency in children, and African maize that can be grown in drought conditions.”

Rajiv Shah, USAID director, on tackling global hunger and why women lead the way

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 7, 2010

The number of people suffering from hunger has now topped 1 billion globally — the highest since 1970, according to the United Nations. U.S. foreign-aid director Rajiv Shah, 37, recently presented the Obama administration’s strategy to tackle the food crisis.

“Feed the Future” will focus on improving the agricultural systems of at least 20 countries. It’s part of an international effort that could benefit 40 million poor people over a decade, officials say.

Shah, a medical doctor who heads the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, came to agriculture through a circuitous route. In a former job at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he analyzed high-impact ways to help the poor. That led him to focus on farming. He didn’t just crunch numbers, though; he spent time working on a Montana farm “to get my boots dirty.”

“I fell in love with it,” he said.

Q: What’s the main way in which Feed the Future differs from what the U.S. government did before?

A: Probably the most important is the level of political commitment and engagement across the entire federal government. In the past, we’ve done good projects but often small projects . . . that didn’t really tie together and lead to a real transformation of that country’s agriculture and its situation with respect to hunger.

Can you give an example of a country where you’re introducing this?

I just got back from Bangladesh [where there are] 160 million people . . . about 40 million of whom suffer from chronic hunger. . . . We worked for many months at a high level with their government, civil society and the private sector, as well as international donors and partners who could really help focus on this program. . . . It’s about following the lead of the countries we work in, as opposed to designing solutions from Washington or Rome or New York.

Farming sounds like something the U.S. government did back in the ’60s and ’70s. Why focus on it now?

(While the world is celebrating all this “help” coming to the “under-fed, under-priveledged” of the world, I sit here growing more hopeless of this struggle by the day.   It doesn’t seem possible to expect to sound the alarm and hope that anybody, let alone everybody will listen, take action and get something done to help save the world – – not just feed a few.  What good does it do to feed people with food that is going to mutate their genes, shorten their lives, cost them more while they still live?  Where is doing the right thing?  Letting true science lead the way – not some agribusiness’ bottom line?

It isn’t enough that our government funds (probably with borrowed dollars) this otherwise noble sounding cause – – who wouldn’t want to help the needy, the hungry?  But the Gates Foundation?  Does anyone realize how vast the fortune is of  Bill and Melinda Gates?. . . how deep the commitment of this charitable couple?  All this money and clout uniting with “MONSANTO” to spread the ” glory” of GMO’s to the entire world.

Has everyone gone mad?  Is it just me?   How does a beautiful, intelligent young doctor like Rajiv Shah throw his weight and essence in with a purpose like this?

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!     Jan)


Amazing Stem-Cell vision fix

Filed under: Vision restored — Jan Turner @ 1:05 pm
Tags: ,

Stem cells fixed vision, study says

June 19, 2010

Bloomberg News

SAN FRANCISCO — Patients blinded in one or both eyes by chemical burns regained their vision after healthy stem cells were extracted from their eyes and reimplanted, according to a report by Italian researchers at a scientific meeting.

The tissue was drawn from the limbus, an area at the junction of the cornea and white part of the eye.

It was grown on a fibrous tissue, then layered onto the damaged eyes. The cells grew into healthy corneal tissue, transforming disfigured, opaque eyes into functioning ones with normal appearance and color, said researchers led by Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

The stem-cell treatment restored sight to more than three-quarters of the 112 patients treated, Pellegrini said this week at the International Society for Stem Cell Research meeting.

The patients were followed for an average of three years and some for as long as a decade, she said.

June 20, 2010

Why “Shelve” Gulf Safeguards ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jan Turner @ 1:10 am

Feds still OK drilling with scant scrutiny

It seems promise of tougher rules isn’t being kept

Saturday, June 19, 2010  02:49 AM

By Shashank Bengali

McCLATCHY

WASHINGTON – Despite President Barack Obama’s promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis.

The Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service has signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since June 2, when the agency’s acting director announced tougher safety regulations for drilling in the Gulf, a McClatchy Newspapers review of records has discovered.

Three of the projects were approved with waivers exempting them from detailed studies of their environmental impact – the same waiver granted to BP for the ill-fated well that’s been fouling the Gulf with crude for two months.

In a May 14 speech in the Rose Garden, Obama said he was “closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews.”

Environmental groups, however, say the loophole is as wide as ever and that the administration is allowing oil companies to proceed with drilling plans that may be just as flawed as BP’s, which concluded that a major spill was “unlikely” and that the company was equipped to manage even the worst-case blowout.

“It’s just outrageous,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a coalition of conservation organizations. “The whole world is screaming and they’re just continuing to move this stuff through the system.”

The Obama administration has said it is cracking down on the oil industry with a six-month moratorium that prevents regulators from granting new permits for offshore wells deeper than 500 feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico. That, however, hasn’t stopped oil companies from submitting new drilling plans, which, as McClatchy reported earlier this month, routinely underestimate environmental risks and overestimate the companies’ ability to respond to a disaster.

According to the minerals agency’s records, since June 2, environmental exemptions – known as “categorical exclusions” – have been granted to three new drilling projects. Of those, an ExxonMobil site at a water depth of 1,000 feet and a Marathon Oil site at 775 feet are classified as deepwater; the third is a shallow-water project by Houston-based Rooster Petroleum.

Environmentalists say these approvals fly in the face of the June 2 order by acting agency director Bob Abbey that requires oil companies to submit additional safety information in their development plans. All three drilling plans were submitted to the Minerals Management Service before Abbey’s order.

The service also approved two other deepwater drilling plans – for a Chevron site 6,730 feet underwater and for an Exxon site at a depth of 6,943 feet – after subjecting them to environmental reviews, the records show.

When Obama’s ban is lifted, experts say these projects could form the basis for new, potentially flawed wells unless the government submits them to tougher oversight.



June 19, 2010

Blood Pressure, 2ndary causes

TO YOUR HEALTH                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Columbus Dispatch

Secondary causes affect blood pressure

Paul G Donohue

Q: About a year ago, I was told I had high blood pressure. I have taken medicine for it ever since. At first, it was one drug; then two; now, I am on three.

These medicines are making me groggy. Still, my blood pressure is high.

I am only 32. No one else in my family has high blood pressure. I am on a low-salt diet. I exercise regularly and am on the thin side. I have never smoked.

What’s going on with me?

A: Thirty-two is young for high blood pressure. Furthermore, you’re doing all the right things, but your pressure stays elevated. You could have secondary hypertension.

Most high blood pressure is essential hypertension. Essential here means that the high pressure is unexplainable. Much is known about what’s happening, but the basic cause remains a mystery.

Secondary hypertension indicates that the rise in pressure is due to a definite and separate disorder. Examples are tumors of the adrenal gland, kidney diseases, Cushing’s disease and a kink of the aorta (coarctation). If the secondary cause can be eliminated (it often can), the blood pressure returns to normal and medicines are no longer needed.

Discuss this with your doctor. If he or she thinks a search is justified, looking for secondary causes could explain many of the peculiarities in your story.

Q: Last month, I delivered my third and last child. During the pregnancy, I developed diabetes. The doctor thought I would have to take insulin, but I didn’t. I closely followed the diet given to me.

What are my chances of coming down with permanent diabetes?

A: Gestational diabetes — diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and leaves after delivery — happens to as many as 5 percent of pregnant women. The hormones of pregnancy upset sugar balance. Most women can cope with this, but some cannot adjust their insulin production and their blood sugar stays elevated.

A constantly elevated blood sugar leads to very large babies. Often, a cesarean section has to be performed to deliver the baby. An untreated mother can come down with high blood pressure and protein loss in the urine. Insulin is prescribed for gestational diabetes if diet doesn’t bring sugar down to the normal range.

Your chances for developing diabetes can be greatly lessened if you stay on the slim side. An obese woman who has had gestational diabetes has a 50 percent to 75 percent chance of contracting diabetes. A woman of normal weight has less than a 25 percent chance.

Dr. Donohue answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL,

Dr. Donohue is so welcome here for he  has this amazing ability to provoke stimulating thought processes in me. And it is true that I have a deep interest in the “blood pressure thing” having been so afflicted for a number of years now.    Mind you this is after a life time of  under-active thyroid and having low blood pressure.  Then all changed 15 years ago to over-active thyroid and high blood pressure.   My health picture was radically changed, permanently.

When my doctor recently gave me  a second prescription in effort to corral my escalating BP, she referred to it as   secondary hypertension which I found confusing – – even with her explanation.  I filled it, but have decided not to take it.    Started looking online,  Wikipedia is the first with some definitions of both essential and then secondary. Then Mayo Clinic with  “hydronephrosis” which in turn got me to thinking about Dr Clark,  so got the Cure for All Disease out and started reading.  First, the Mayo Clinic:

Hydronephrosis. In this condition, certain parts of one or both kidneys become plugged due to kidney stones, a tumor or other reasons. This blocks urine flow and raises blood pressure. Some blockages resolve without treatment, but others require drainage or surgery. Once the blockage is removed, blood pressure often returns to normal.

There are tons of references in the Cure For All Diseases regarding HPB, but most of them are part of the case histories which she is relating.   On page 210 High Blood Pressure is rather fully discussed and I will attempt to share some of that with you now:

“High blood pressure is one of the easiest problems to correct without resorting to drugs.  The most important change to make is to stop using caffeine (coffee, tea or carbonated beverages).  Don’t use decaffeinated either because of the solvent pollution in them.  Switch to hot milk or hot water if a hot beverage is desired or any beverage given in the  recipe section.  If being without caffeine leaves you fatigued, take an arginine tablet in the morning (500 mg).  (Well, I am on decaf, so I guess I’m due for a change. . . but not milk – – even tho I love her, I won’t start up with dairy)

Blood Pressure is mainly controlled by the adrenal glands which sit like little caps on top of the kidneys.  What ever is affecting the kidneys is probably affecting the adrenals, too,  since they are so close to each other.  You must find out what it is.  (She then goes on quite a bit about testing for the offender. .  .  .  but I never built the Synchrometer or Frequency Generator as most of the true followers of Dr Clark have done.  It was all I could do to build the Zapper and then had to have somebody else build it for me – better,  and eventually, bought one from them which I still use and treasure.)

The Toxicity of cadmium, in fact, the high blood pressure connection, has been known a long time.  After finding the cadmium, start on the Kidney cleanse.  You might miss the cadmium problem if you don’t attend to it first.  Also, remove all metal from your mouth.

All (100%) cases of high blood pressure I have ever seen could be easily cured by eliminating cadmium and other pollutants, followed by cleansing the kidneys.”

Well, I cannot tell you how I enjoyed skimming thru  the “Cure” book again.  It is tattered and underlined and so well worn and filled with copious notes to myself on things to do and check out.   Some of the isolated factoids I found are “Pain in the shoulders” – –  (and upper back), not arthritis.  She says it has a gallstone etiology and need to do a liver cleanse. . . from stuck gall stones in the bile ducts of the liver – Zapper doesn’t help shoulder pain  – this often has a fatty food trigger e.g. milk, butter, cream, ice cream etc.,

Overweight is a low energy condition. . . food is being turned into fat instead of energy. . . decision made by the liver mainly,  . .do the liver cleanse til no more stones come out (can do every two weeks if necessary) til obesity solved.

Arthritis:  Zap daily til pain is gone,   start with parasite program p 338;  follow with kidney cleanse p 549  Well, I sound like a salesman or something – – forgive me, just a little trip down memory lane.  I’ll get off This for now.

Okay, for the second querent above to Dr.  Donohue, – – the young mother who has developed diabetes with her third child/pregnancy.  This is not to argue with what Dr. Donohue’s has stated, but only to add some further thoughts.

Dr Mercola has had a guest  – Dr. Richard Johnson several times lately.  I was so impressed with him that I bought his newest book – The  “SUGAR FIX”. It is such a good book. Mercola and Johnson were dialoging over these issues and apparently in complete agreement on todays newsletter (6-19-10) (and knowing much of what Loren Cordain espouses as well) – I too, am in total agreement!  It all boils down to Fructose.  Most especially HFCS.

Fructose ingestion works differently in the body than say – whole fruit which does not harm one in the same way.  Of course, if one is overweight,  even fruits should be limited in quantity, but the problem, by and large does not come in with eating a few pieces of fruit daily.  It is the fructose hiding in everything you can buy at the super- market.  One has to be so vigilant, seriously.  Uric Acid levels raise with the action of fructose, which in turn (once raised sufficiently) raises blood pressure and sets up the whole metabolic syndrome thing, which in turn triggers diabetes.  These are diseases closely linked as they are all part of the metabolic-syndrome.  And let us not forget – GOUT!

Dr Johnson asserts that these things can be reversed and relates about the trials and work he has done.  You may or may not want to buy the Sugar Fix, but you owe it to yourself to run over to Dr Mercola and check out today’s article  and is really worth your time.     Til next time,    Jan

June 18, 2010

Whole Food “Multi’s” (more)

NaturalNews.com

Top whole food multivitamin supplements

Friday, June 18, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Multivitamin supplements can be a great way to get the extra vitamins and minerals that are lacking in everyday foods. Besides the fact that most prepared food is highly processed, cooked, pasteurized or otherwise depleted of its natural nutrient content, the overused soil in which most of our commercial food is grown is lacking in essential nutrients. Thus, multivitamin supplements help to fill the void in achieving proper nutritional levels.

Unfortunately, not all multivitamins are derived from natural sources like plants, fruits and vegetables. Many are synthetically-derived, laboratory simulations of real vitamins, including some common ones like vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (dl-tocopheryl acetate). These are the same types of “vitamins” used to enrich many processed foods, and they simply do not assimilate well into the body because they are not truly natural.

Whenever a vitamin is listed under “Supplement Facts” with its technical name, it is usually an isolated, synthetic vitamin unless otherwise specified. While not necessarily harmful in every case, these vitamin forms have the potential to be harmful at high levels and do not perform as well as those that are truly genuine.

Real vitamins are the living ones derived from whole foods and that are maintained in their natural states. These contain the necessary cofactors and enzymes which help the body to process and use them, and they provide the most benefit to the body.

There are several companies that produce high-quality, whole food multivitamin supplements that deserve mention. Natural News has no financial stake in any of these brands and I was not paid to endorse them. They are highlighted merely for our readers’ benefit because they are among the best in their class.

Garden of Life Living Multi

When it comes to producing high quality superfoods and supplements, Garden of Life is the cream of the crop. Its diverse array of nutritional products is impressive, including its line of multivitamins called ‘Living Multi’.

Available in a men’s, women’s and ‘Optimal’ formula, Garden of Life’s Living Multi contains an impressive array of superfood ingredients. Over 80 different fruits, vegetables, sea vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, spices and extracts are included, many of which are organic.

Probiotic microorganisms and enzymes are used in Living Multi blends to make the whole food vitamins easier to assimilate, providing the body with maximum absorption. All in all, Living Multi is a highly superior whole food supplement that is reasonably priced and readily available at many vitamin and health food stores.

To learn more about Garden of Life, please visit www.gardenoflife.com.

New Chapter Organics Whole Food Multivitamins

New Chapter is a highly-respected, high-quality whole supplemental food company. All of their products are superior and you really cannot go wrong with any of them. As far as multivitamins go, New Chapter’s men’s and women’s multivitamins are among the best available.

New Chapter’s multivitamins come on three varieties: ‘Every Man’, ‘Every Woman’ and ‘Perfect Prenatal’. Each one is uniquely cultured to deliver bio-transformed vitamins and minerals in their optimal form. Each multivitamin contains an array of certified organic foods and herbs that are specially designed for men, women and pregnant women. And because they are whole foods, they can be taken on an empty stomach.

The vitamins listed under “Supplement Facts” are specified as to their source, none of which are derived synthetically and all of which come from whole foods. New Chapter’s vitamin blends are superb, earning them a worthy mention in this category. (Sorry, this is one I forgot in a recent article on Whole Food supplements and this is one I truly admire and use – – Jan)

To find out more about New Chapter, please visit www.newchapter.com.

MegaFood One Daily Multivitamins

MegaFood creates premium artisan whole food supplements in small batches at its New Hampshire facility. The neat thing about this company is that it sources all of its whole food ingredients from local farm partners. All the food ingredients are processed using a unique method that does not apply any heat to them, preserving all of their delicate enzymes and phytonutrients. Each ingredient is tested to make sure it is free of pesticides, herbicides, gluten, soy and dairy as well.

MegaFood produces six different customized multivitamins that contain a diverse array of superfoods, fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs and enzymes. The blends also feature a unique, non-candida yeast called S. cerevisiae that is said to be one of the most nutrient-rich foods found in nature.

The MegaFood company is impressive both for its products and ethic. It may be lesser-known than the others in this category, but the company deserves mention because its vitamins are exceptional.

To learn more about MegaFood, please visit www.megafood.com.

June 16, 2010

OCA salutes Whole Foods

Filed under: Certified "Organic" — Jan Turner @ 12:31 pm
Tags: ,

Whole Foods to Remove Non-Certified, Mislabeled “Organic” Body Care Products from their Stores

Web Note: Although we are often at odds with the nation’s largest chain of natural and organic products, the Organic Consumers Association salutes Whole Foods Market for “doing the right thing” and announcing on June 8, 2010 that within one year all of the body care products sold in their stores will have to drop the word “organic” from their labels unless they are properly certified under National Organic Program or NSF/ANSI 305 standards.

“Organic” and “made with” claims must comply with NOP, and only the more restricted “Contains Organic Ingredients” claim can be made via NSF certification. We call on UNFI, Trader Joe’s, the National Coop Grocers Association, and independent natural products retailers across North America to follow WFM’s lead and “Come Clean” by removing mislabeled, bogus non-certified “organic” products from their shelves. In the meantime OCA’s boycott of these faux-organic products remains in effect. For more information on OCA’s Coming Clean Campaign, go to: http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/index.cfm

Ronnie Cummins, International Director

Organic Consumers Association

Greetings Vendor Partners,

It is with great excitement that I am sharing with you our official company policy & associated actions via our Quality Standards team related to Organic Personal Care:

Whole Foods Market’s policy on the use of the word “organic” on personal care products

We believe that the “organic” claim used on personal care products should have very similar meaning to the “organic” claim used on food products, which is currently regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Our shoppers do not expect the definition of “organic” to change substantially between the food and the non-food aisles of our stores. Accordingly, the following requirements apply to all personal care products which use the word “organic” in any way on the product label.

Scope: This policy applies to all cosmetic and personal care products sold at Whole Foods Market.

Timeline: We expect all products sold in our stores to be in full compliance by June 1, 2011. We expect each of our suppliers who are making an “organic” claim to submit their plans for compliance to us by August 1, 2010.

Please Note: Products for which “organic” is included as part of the brand name must be certified to the USDA NOP or NSF 305 standards.

Requirements & Examples:

  1. Products making an “Organic” product claim Examples: “Organic Jojoba Shampoo,” “Organic Sea Mineral Body Wash” Certification requirement: Must be certified to the USDA’s National Organic Program standard for organic (95%) products. Documentation required: Suppliers must present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate must name the specific products being evaluated.
  2. Products making a “Made with Organic ________” claim Examples: “Made with organic oils,” “Made with organic essential oils and botanical ingredients.” Certification requirement: Must be certified to the USDA’s National Organic Program standard for Made With Organic (70%) products. Documentation required: Suppliers must present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate must name the specific products being evaluated.
  3. Products making a “Contains Organic _______” claim Examples: “Contains organic oils,” “Contains organic aloe and rosemary.” Certification requirement: Must be certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 Organic Personal Care Standard. Documentation required: Suppliers must present certification documentation demonstrating current compliance with the NSF/ANSI 305 standard.
  4. Products listing an organic ingredient in the “Ingredients:” listing Example: “Ingredients: WATER, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE (ORGANIC ALOE VERA)..,” Certification requirement: Organic ingredient must be certified to the USDA NOP standard. Documentation required: Suppliers must present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate(s) must name the specific ingredient(s) being evaluated.

As noted above, we expect all products sold in our Stores to be compliant with these guidelines but June 1st, 2011. If you have additional questions or need further information please contact myself or Joe Dickson (joe.dickson@wholefoods.com ) in our Quality Standards department.

Thanks for your continued support of Whole Foods Market, Jeremiah

Jeremiah C. McElwee

Senior Whole Body Coordinator

June 15, 2010

Gene Map’s “unfulfilled promise”


A decade later, gene map’s promise unfulfilled

Sunday, June 13, 2010   The Columbus Dispatch

by Nicholas Wade

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Ten years after President Bill Clinton announced that the first draft of the human genome was complete, medicine has yet to see any large part of the promised benefits.

For biologists, the genome has yielded one insightful surprise after another. But the primary goal of the $3billion Human Genome Project — to ferret out the genetic roots of common diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s and then generate treatments — remains largely elusive. After 10 years of effort, geneticists are almost back to square one in knowing where to look for the roots of common disease.

One sign of the genome’s limited use for medicine so far was a recent test of genetic predictions for heart disease. A medical team led by Nina P. Paynter of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston collected 101 genetic variants that had been statistically linked to heart disease in various genome-scanning studies. But the variants turned out to have no value in forecasting disease among 19,000 women who had been followed for 12 years.

The old-fashioned method of taking a family history was a better guide, Paynter reported in February in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

In announcing on June 26, 2000, that the first draft of the human genome had been achieved, Clinton said it would “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.”

The pharmaceutical industry has spent billions of dollars to reap genomic secrets and is starting to bring several genome-guided drugs to market. But while drug companies continue to pour huge amounts of money into genome research, it has become clear that the genetics of most diseases are more complex than anticipated and that it will take many more years before new treatments might transform medicine.

“Genomics is a way to do science, not medicine,” said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who in July will become the director of the National Cancer Institute.

The past decade has brought a flood of discoveries of disease-causing mutations in the human genome. But with most diseases, the findings have explained only a small part of the risk of getting the disease. And many of the genetic variants linked to diseases, some scientists have begun to fear, could be statistical illusions.

The Human Genome Project was started in 1989 with the goal of sequencing, or identifying, all 3 billion chemical units in the human genetic instruction set, finding the genetic roots of disease and then developing treatments. With the sequence in hand, the next step was to identify the genetic variants that increase the risk for common diseases such as cancer and diabetes. *1

It was far too expensive at that time to think of sequencing patients’ whole genomes. So the National Institutes of Health embraced the idea for a clever shortcut, that of looking just at sites on the genome where many people have a variant DNA unit. But that shortcut appears to have been less than successful.

The theory behind the shortcut was that, because the major diseases are common, so, too, would be the genetic variants that caused them. Natural selection keeps the human genome free of variants that damage health before children are grown, the theory held, but fails against variants that strike later in life, allowing them to become quite common.

In 2002, the National Institutes of Health started a $138million project called the HapMap to catalog the common variants in European, East Asian and African genomes.

With the catalog in hand, the second stage was to see if any of the variants were more common in the patients with a given disease than in healthy people. Those studies required large numbers of patients and cost several million dollars apiece. Nearly 400 of them had been completed by 2009.

The upshot is that hundreds of common genetic variants have now been statistically linked with various diseases.

But with most diseases, the common variants have turned out to explain just a fraction of the genetic risk. It now seems more likely that each common disease is mostly caused by large numbers of rare variants, ones too rare to have been cataloged by the HapMap.

Defenders of the HapMap and genome-wide association studies say that the approach made sense because it is only now becoming cheap enough to look for rare variants, and that many common variants do have roles in diseases.

At this point, about 850 sites on the genome, most of them near genes, have been implicated in common diseases, said Eric S. Lander, director of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and a leader of the HapMap project.

“So I feel strongly that the hypothesis has been vindicated,” he said.

But most of the sites linked with diseases are not in genes — the stretches of DNA that tell the cell to make proteins — and have no known biological function, leading some geneticists to suspect that the associations are spurious.

(Observe the cost figures  in this article, the length of time involved and the disappointing end result.  This is not a tragedy, but  it would seem, misguided  to be looking in the laboratory for this arcane knowledge, supposedly hidden away inside the body by a very mysterious God (or power).  The Human Genome Project has majestically produced much new information.  There would be few if any who would disagree about the value of knowledge – – it is always better to know than not know.

So much is already known about causes of disease in the human organism.  A great deal is already known about what it takes to keep the human organism healthy, vital and productive.  This is not a wheel which needs to keep on being re-invented over and over again.    The theories, the information, the proof is already here.   A simple little blog like “smokinchoices” is devoted to disclosure and discussion thereof;   far more worthy professionals with degrees and titles are speaking loudly from every corner and roof top.    At the top of my list are names such as Dr. John McDougall,  Donna Gates @ Body Ecology,  Dr. Loren Cordain of the Paleo Diet,  Dr. Hulda R Clark tho deceased recently, nevertheless has left a body of work behind to serve any of us with all our various needs and a network of passionate people to carry her work on.  Dr. Joseph Mercola has been a beacon sometimes having to lead a rather lonely fight trying to educate people.  Most of these individuals have worthy and informative books which believe it or not, are telling pretty much the same story (with a few variations). This is good!  Humanity is diverse – we are not the same in our tastes and lifestyles, so differences are good.  There is no need to ascertain the only true “ONE” right way!

Essentially, we must give the body what it requires and it’s up to us to find these issues, face them and deal with it!  Sugar is a poison. . .we must be judicious regarding this.  Retrain your taste buds, get your sweets from limited amounts of fruits.  Teach yourself the joys of veggies, eat as many raw as you possibly can and discover how you can subsist on as close to 75 % – 80% of fresh fruits and vegetables as you can.  Do not consume refined anything!  Drink plenty of uncontaminated water (purify it by what ever means you prefer – just try to get the fluoride and chlorine out not only of your drinking water, but the bath/shower as well.   Eat eggs.  Use  Olive oil – the best, extra virgin, first pressed you can find. Use good Coconut oil.  Don’t use dairy.  Don’t need to take vitamins etc (with a few exceptions) Don’t consume sodas. Read labels carefully and do not buy anything with (HFCS) corn syrup in it.

It appears that Vitamin D is really helping people.  I encourage this.  Also, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy Many of us can’t ingest enough Magnesium in pill form to serve the body’s needs (we ALL need it)  Spraying it on my skin couple times daily was the answer for me.  Diarrhea disappeared.

Through diet one CAN get off most meds and even diabetes can be brought under control or made better.  And finally – – BUY ORGANIC.   You’ve no doubt read my emphasis on Fulvic Acid.  Just imagine if only a few of those millions of dollars could have been used to showcase the traditional way to farm and treat the soil (and the animals – letting them roam and be animals) – – that could have changed everything for the better.  Then use another few million to outlaw GMO anything – especially seeds!  And speaking of this, please go to Jeff Smith’s “Responsible Technology.org”    in case you haven’t already to see what people and corporations like Monsanto are doing to our planet – our people.   Jeff Smith is “the” leading expert on GMO’s in the world. Lectures, has videos, books – – has it all.

We were given a pristine planet and we’ve damned near destroyed it and the people and animals trying to live here.  All anyone has to do is just stand back and really look at nature see what lessons we can learn from truly looking at the simplicity and beauty of it all.  It is not complicated.  We have brought on the diseases with the infernal tampering with the laws of nature – trying to redesign it all over again.  A far wiser hand put it together in the first place and we have been shown the right way to do things.  We’ve always known.  Even the cave man knew and honored what he found.     Progress!. . . .   .   .   spell that P R O F I T.                                   Jan)

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