Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Cancer Risk: Are Parabens the New BPA?

Reposted from TakePart

by Melissa Rayworth

Here's a health question you'll likely hear more about in the coming months: How dangerous are parabens, and should we avoid them?

Women are likely getting a steady dose of parabens through the use of common personal care products such as body lotions, makeup, and cleansers, according to a new study. Babies and toddlers are likely to be absorbing even more.

Researchers examined samples of 170 personal care products, including 20 designed specifically for use on babies. Their results, published last month in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology journal, found parabens in 40 percent of rinse-off products and 60 percent of leave-on products.

Use of these products, by the researchers' analysis, would expose infants and toddlers to a maximum 766 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. That's about three times more than the amount adult women are believed to be exposed to—which is alarming because women were previously believed to be absorbing the highest levels of the chemical.

This comes in the wake of research published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology exploring the potential link between parabens and breast cancer; the research found traces of parabens in 158 of 160 breast tissue samples taken from 40 women being treated for breast cancer.

That research, released in 2012, noted that parabens were present in the breast tissue of every woman in the study—including those who did not use any "underarm cosmetics." That suggests that avoiding chemical deodorants and antiperspirants, once considered a useful way of keeping parabens from leaching into your body, isn’t enough.

And while the amounts of parabens found in these tissue samples weren’t huge, their levels were four times higher than the concentrations recorded in a similar but smaller study in 2004.

What Makes Parabens Scary?
No definitive link has been documented between parabens and cancer. But these preservatives have "estrogen-like properties," and estrogen plays a role in cancer growth.

The FDA's current statement on parabens, updated in November, is this: "FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area."

The Cosmetic Industry Review, a cosmetic industry–sponsored organization that reviews cosmetic ingredient safety, determined in 2005 that there's no cause for concern over the use of parabens by anyone, including infants.

Why am I not finding that even remotely comforting?

So parabens appear in a huge range of products. Scan your stash of makeup, lotions, cleansers, and shampoos: You'll probably see words like "methylparaben" and "propylparaben" in the ingredients lists.

Yet, avoiding them is becoming increasingly easy: Paraben-free skin-care options for grown-ups and babies are now common, and new ones are frequently hitting the market.

What’s Next?
Should these chemicals, which are sprinkled throughout so many people's medicine cabinets and makeup kits, be banished? Two of our nation's retail giants may be wading into the debate.
Target's "Sustainable Products Standard," announced in October, will use GoodGuide's UL Transparency Platform to look at the environmental and human health impacts of the products it sells. The company isn't promising to remove products containing chemicals that GoodGuide ranks as worrisome (including parabens). But Target's announcement of this new initiative does promise that the information it gathers will "inform Target’s merchandising and product-placement decisions."
Weeks earlier, Walmart announced its "Policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables," which involves "working with suppliers to reduce or eliminate the use of priority chemicals used in consumables products in favor of greener alternatives." The big-box retailer said it would share its list of those "priority chemicals" with suppliers but did not include the list in its public announcement.
We'll be chasing down more information on parabens for you in the new year. In the meantime, this could be the season to treat yourself and the friends on your last-minute gift list to some fabulous—and paraben-free—new skin products.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Surprising Effects of Probiotics Outside the Intestinal Tract

Reposted from Life Extension

By Michael Downey
Surprising Effects of Probiotics Outside the Intestinal Tract
Typically we think of probiotics as only benefitting intestinal health. We are now learning that having the proper balance of healthy gut bacteria plays a role in protecting against a wide range of common disorders.1-21
Modern Western culture can deplete good bacteria in our gut. Everything from diet to antibiotics to excessive hygiene creates an imbalance of good-to-bad bacteria. Once the good bacteria are destroyed, bad bacteria quickly multiply and open the door for degenerative diseases.
Fortunately, strong evidence demonstrates that taking the right mix of probiotics can restore your body’s natural protection against a host of diseases.1-20

How Intestinal Imbalance Affects the Entire Body

How Intestinal Imbalance Affects the Entire Body  
So why is it that an imbalance in gut bacteria affects areas of the body outside of the intestines?
The answer lies in the fact that the intestinal tract contains more chemical detection and signaling molecules than any other organ—molecules that affect many aspects of health.22
Your intestinal bacteria produce proteins that have a powerful influence on these chemical detectors—and as with any influence, this one can be positive or negative.23 Over time, an imbalance in the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria activates these many detectors in negative ways that can trigger the development of a host of diseases in many body areas—not just those associated with the gut.
Fortunately, using probiotic supplements to restore a healthy balance to your gut bacteria can reverse these disruptions to intestine-based signaling mechanisms. This in turn reverses the negative influence that triggers the development of chronic disease.24

Total Body Benefits

It has long been known that good gut bacteria have a number of beneficial effects on intestinal health.22 For example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, two of the most studied types of beneficial bacterial, have been shown to improve both diarrhea and constipation, while reducing symptoms of abdominal bloating.25-27 Probiotic supplements that increase levels of these beneficial bacteria have helped improve both the quality of life and symptom scores of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis, as well as those of generally healthy people.26,28-30
But compelling new evidence indicates that good bacteria also play a beneficial role outside the digestive tract as well.1-20 Scientific studies have demonstrated that different species of Lactobacillus (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus paracasei) increase HDL,31 improve metabolic syndrome,31 and reduce markers of inflammation, respectively.31
In addition, different Bifidobacterium species (Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium longum) improve blood sugar control,32 decrease liver inflammation,31 and reduce DNA damage that can trigger malignant cell development,33 respectively.

Probiotics Protect Against Chronic Diseases

Probiotics Protect Against Chronic Diseases
Numerous studies have confirmed that taking a probiotic supplement to restore the balance of gut bacteria helps protect against a number of specific diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections.34
Studies have shown that probiotics containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help improve diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In fact, both animal studies and human clinical trials have demonstrated improvement in insulin resistance and reduction in blood sugar concentrations.32,35,36 After just 6 weeks of consuming a probiotic yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis, type II diabetics significantly improved fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (a measure of blood sugar control).32
Animal and human studies have demonstrated that probiotics improve cardiovascular disease factors as well, including decreasing total cholesterol and LDL while boosting artery-cleansing HDL.35,37-44 Supplements of beneficial bacteria have been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption and the inflammation of fat stores.45,46 These changes contribute to a significant decrease in the formation of inflammatory, cholesterol-laden plaques observed in early atherosclerosis.45,47,48
In addition, studies have shown that probiotics can suppress respiratory infections such as the common cold and the flu—especially if you begin supplementing prior to cold and flu season. Studies show that people who supplemented with different strains of Bifidobacteria or Lactobacillus for 3 to 6 months ahead of the winter cold and flu season reduced the duration of symptoms by an average of one to two (or even more) days, with a similarly impressive reduction in symptom severity.49,50
Regular use of probiotics has been found to reduce colonization of the nose by potentially pathogenic bacteria by 19%.51 This effect could save the lives of those who are older, or who have diabetes, or who have undergone a major operation—all of whom have a higher risk of being overwhelmed by bacterial infection.

The Powerful Role of Probiotics in Cancer

Probiotics have been found to be incredibly potent against one deadly disease in particular: cancer. The risk of cancer, especially in the colon, can be reduced through the use of probiotics.52 Supplementation with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum significantly decreases the DNA damage that can trigger malignant cell development.33 Replenishing beneficial bacteria with supplements has been found to boost natural antioxidant and detoxification enzymes that prevent the activation of potential dietary carcinogens.52,53
Patients with colon cancer and those with pre-cancerous polyps had sharply reduced proliferation of abnormal colon cells and a significant decline in harmful Clostridium bacteria when supplemented with synbiotics (probiotic bacteria combined with prebiotics, which are substances that feed or promote the accompanying bacteria).54
In addition, scientists have demonstrated that probiotic organisms switch-on protective signaling mechanisms that play a role in preventing cancer, including:
  • Suppressing bacteria that convert harmless pro-carcinogen molecules into carcinogens.55,56
  • Binding to potential carcinogens, promoting their excretion.55
  • Down-regulating an enzyme that converts harmless molecules into carcinogens.55
  • Stimulating expression of liver enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.55
  • Boosting populations of cells that seek out and destroy cancers.56-58
  • Upregulating inflammatory cytokines during an acute stage of cancer or other threat.56,59
  • Suppressing the inflammatory response as the cancer or infection threat fades.56,59

Probiotics Help Reverse Obesity

An association between antibiotic overuse and obesity has been demonstrated, which can be reversed with appropriate probiotic supplementation.60 Studies of probiotic supplementation on both research animals and humans showed a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index (BMI).35,37-44 In one study, probiotic supplements were given to mothers prenatally (meaning from about five months before, and until one month after, birth), and excessive weight gain was subsequently reduced in the mothers—and in their children from birth right through to 10 years of age!61,62

Factors Behind Gut Imbalance

Factors Behind Gut Imbalance  
There are a number of factors that contribute to a dangerous imbalance of gut bacteria. The excessive use of antibiotics disrupts the optimum proportions of gut bacteria; excessive hygiene has drastically reduced our ability to naturally acquire certain key bacteria from our environment;63 and a number of modern medical treatments such as artificial ventilation, tubes and catheters, and frequent pharmaceutical use, are known to severely impair the proper balance of gut bacteria.64
The Western diet—high in animal proteins and fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates—causes a rise in undesirable bacteria. Even the modern use of infant formula instead of breast milk has interfered with mankind’s long history of transferring bacterial diversity from mother to child.63,65 Recent findings suggest that even aging itself disrupts the bacterial makeup of the gut.66-68
Although good bacteria can be found in small amounts in food, changing the entire ratio of gut bacteria requires substantial and consistent dosing with supplements providing potent levels of bacteria to enable their survival.
Also, while many supplements provide just one type of bacteria—the most popular being Lactobacillus—the combination of two different types delivers better odds of reversing the negative effects of dysbacteriosis, a condition where healthy gut bacteria are killed off leaving an imbalance between good and bacteria. Bifidobacterium is another potent bacterium that strongly supports microflora.


Scientists have shown that a prolonged imbalance in intestinal bacteria can do more than induce intestinal or digestive problems—it can trigger numerous chronic diseases outside the intestine!
The link between imbalanced intestinal bacteria and today’s most prevalent diseases is clear. However, today’s diet, lifestyle, medical practices, and other factors tend to disrupt gut bacterial balance.
Fortunately, supplementing with key bacterial strains counters these destructive influences—restoring your body’s natural, intestine-based protection against a host of non-intestinal diseases!
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.


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Autoimmunity and Wheat

Reposted from Wheat Belly

by Dr. William Davis

Autoimmunity occurs when your own immune system is no longer able to distinguish friend from foe. It means that antibodies, lymphocytes, killer T cells, macrophages and inflammation-mediating proteins can’t tell the difference between, say, the protein of a fungal wall from proteins in your liver or joints. It’s as weird as a mother not recognizing her children, sometimes as tragic as friendly fire.
Depending on which tissues in which organs are attacked, the misdirected immune attack of autoimmunity can express itself as autoimmune hepatitis (liver tissue), primary biliary cirrhosis (bile ducts), type 1 diabetes (pancreatic beta cells), uveitis (iris of the eye), skin (psoriasis), platelets (autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura), muscles (polymyositis), thyroid (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Grave’s disease), or just about any other organ or tissue.

Wheat consumption has now been confidently identified as both the initiating process in autoimmunity, as well as a perpetuating factor. Autoimmunity is just one way that tells us that this “food” was never appropriate for human consumption in the first place. First consumed in desperation 10,000 years ago, after not consuming grains for the preceding 2.5 million years, then altered by the efforts of geneticists and agribusiness, increased wheat consumption accounts for the increasing landscape of multiple autoimmune conditions, especially type 1 diabetes in children (and, now, adults), Hashimoto’s, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

So what is it about modern wheat that can cause such misguided immune responses? There are several reasons:

Increased intestinal permeability–Dr. Alessio Fasano and his team, working at the University of Maryland (now at Harvard) have worked out the complex path by which gliadin, when remaining intact, opens the “tight junction” barriers between intestinal cells, allowing foreign substances entry into the bloodstream and thereby organs. Among the substances that can enter: intact gliadin, gliadin-derived peptides, wheat germ agglutinin (a large and highly inflammatory protein), lipopolysaccharide from bacterial cell walls, and others.

Gliadin peptide toxicity–While some gliadin remains intact, some also gets degraded to peptides. Some of these peptides can enter the bloodstream to exert opiate effects on the brain, while other fractions are toxic to the intesinal lining.

Wheat germ agglutinin–Humans cannot digest the roots, stalk, leaves, or husk of wheat because it is a grass. For that reason, humans only consume the flour ground from the seed of wheat. We can only efficiently digest the amylopectin and amylose of the seed endosperm, the carbohydrates. Wheat germ agglutinin of the seed, a component of all wheat flour, is an example of another indigestible component of this grass. This large 4-part structure is highly toxic to the intestinal lining, causing complete denuding of the villi in experimental models. If it gains entry to the bloodstream, it is a potent activator of the immune system.

Molecular mimicry–As if this wasn’t already strange enough, there are amino acid sequences in the gliadin protein of wheat (and thereby the secalin of rye, the hordein of barley, perhaps the zein of corn) that look just like sequences in some human proteins. To date, human proteins that resemble gliadin include transglutaminase (in muscle, liver, many other tissues), synapsin (in nervous tissue), and calreticulin (ubiquitous). The gliadin sequence activates an immune response, which can then launch an attack on the organs containing these cross-reacting proteins.

Dysbiosis–Wheat changes bowel flora, not uncommonly causing dysbiosis, or changes in bowel flora characterized by decreases in healthy species, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, and increases in pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli and Clostridium difficile. Dysbiosis increases intestinal permeability, especially to the lipopolysaccharide component of bacterial cell walls, a powerful activator of inflammation.

Note that NONE of these phenomena leading to autoimmunity require the presence of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The abnormal intestinal permeability induced by gliadin, for instance, develops in 80-90% of people; the toxic effects of wheat germ agglutinin affect everybody.

Anyone diagnosed with an autoimmune condition should avoid wheat, as well as its nearly genetically identical brethren, rye and barley (identical gliadin and wheat germ agglutinin sequences), as well as corn (some overlap of corn zein with gliadin) and rice (identical wheat germ agglutinin).

Also, vitamin D restoration (e.g., achieve a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml or 150-180 nmol/L), omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, and correction of disrupted bowel flora (prebiotics, naturally fermented foods, prebiotics) are all crucial steps in maximizing your hopes of reversing your autoimmune condition.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top 10 Immune System Boosters: Simple Steps to Robust Health

Reposted from The Healthy Home Economist

By Melanie Christner, NTP, CHFS, CGP of Honest Body
Dear Mom,
Have you ever questioned your sanity as you nurse your child through another round of a miserable sore throat, hacking cough, or ear infection? As you swish out the throw-up bowl for another round? As you schedule another doctor’s appointment?
Some of life’s parenting questions are easy.
“Mommy, is lake spelled with a ‘c’ or a ‘k’?”
“Mama, what season comes after winter?”
Some questions are not as simple or straightforward … like how to keep your sanity and maintain a better-than-miserable experience for your child during cold/flu season.
Enter the practical and timeless wisdom of the GAPS Diet …
Robust health…
These are on my list of favorite words (and what I aim for with my family and practice).
Today I’ll be examining the first of the Top 10 Immunity Boosters. These are taken from the book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. And they are simple ways to have robust health.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with her work, Dr. Natasha is a neurologist with a masters in nutrition from the UK, who created a dietary protocol for healing autism, as well as other neurological, chronic and autoimmune issues. She has helped patients around the world and has trained other practitioners to do so as well. The GAPS Diet helps by healing and sealing the gut lining, reducing toxic burden on the immune system, and replenishing beneficial microbes. For more on GAPS you can visit
This list of Immune Boosters influence immunity for the better. They are not just for the winter season either…they influence the intricacies of the body in ways that only whole foods and natural practices can…working with our bodies and not against.
So … numero uno … drumroll please.
(Keep it light, health talk can get too serious!)

Immunity Booster #1 : Fresh animal fats (from meats and dairy), and cholesterol rich foods (especially raw egg yolk)

When I first began my journey into real foods and dietary healing, the most surprising aspect was the concept of animal fats and cholesterol as healthy and healing. Intuitively though, my cells were doing a happy dance (yay!).

Why animal fats and cholesterol?

Cholesterol is one of the most essential substances to the human body.
- The brain and nervous system is the most hungry for it. Our brain cells and memory depend on it.
- The second system most hungry for cholesterol is our endocrine system.
- The hormones, built with cholesterol by our endocrine glands, are responsible for important activities, such as:
  • Reproduction and sexual health
  • Emotions
  • Behavior
  • Bone, brain, and muscle formation
  • Energy production
  • Metabolism

Cholesterol is essential for our immune system to function

The human organism is composed of 100+ trillion cells
Immune cells are “star” cells…
  • Lymphocytes
  • Helper T cells
  • Natural killer cells
  • The “phils”, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils
  • Macrophages
  • Mast cells
  • Etc…
Immune cells depend on cholesterol to fight infections and repair themselves after defending and fighting for us. Animal and human studies have shown that folks with high levels of cholesterol have a higher protection against infection. They are four times less likely to get AIDS, they are less likely to pick up every cold, and they recover much quicker when they do get sick.
Those with low cholesterol are more likely to get sick, stay sick longer, and have more of a chance of an infection morphing into a dangerous and even deadly one.
Cholesterol is important in cell to cell communication. Since immune cells communicate with each other throughout the body it is important to have well-made cell membranes that have good cell receptor sites and messaging capabilities.
Diets high in poor quality fat, i.e. vegetable oils like canola oil, corn oil, cooking sprays, margarines, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated and trans fats, cause inflammation and lead to immune abnormalities.
Without cholesterol and saturated fats in its membrane, the immune cell cannot fulfill its tiny little destiny.
The ability of white blood cells to recognize and destroy foreign invaders such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria, is restricted without sufficient saturated fatty acids in them.

Saturated fats and cholesterol are what give every cell membrane their structure and stability.

Cholesterol is such an important part of physiology that the body has very tightly regulated mechanisms to keep blood cholesterol at a certain level. We give our bodies a hand if we consume foods rich in cholesterol.

Which foods are richest in cholesterol?

  1. Caviar (a whopping 588mg of cholesterol per 100g…baby making food)
  2. Cod liver oil (570mg of cholesterol per 100g)
  3. Fresh egg yolk (424mg per 100g)
  4. Butter (218mg per 100g)
  5. Coldwater fish and shellfish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, and shrimp, ranging from 173mg to 81mg per 100g)
  6. Lard (94mg per 100g, with other animal fats following, such as beef tallow, chicken, duck, goose fat)

Summation – with cholesterol and saturated fats, you too can fulfill your destiny :)

A few facts on fats and cholesterol with regard to immunity:
  • Caprylic acid (a fatty acid found in butter and other animal fats) is a powerful antiviral nutrient
  • Monolaurin, extract of lauric acid (fatty acid found in coconut and breastmilk) is also a potent antiviral
  • Old medical literature shows that infections like tuberculosis used to be treated with raw cream and raw egg yolk (high in cholesterol)
  • Native Americans and other peoples used bear fat as medicine (and for a lil’ baby making, if necessary)
  • Vitamin D (a dietary source high in D is fermented cod liver oil) is a steroid hormone and powerful immune and gene regulator. Apart from dietary sources, Vitamin D actually starts with cholesterol in your skin and, with the sun’s obliging kiss, undergoes several changes…first in the skin, then the liver, and finally the kidneys, before it is in the active form that regulates calcium metabolism and absorption, and strengthens immunity

Where can I get these healthy fats?

The best way to get animal fats and good quality eggs (that are pastured) is to get to know your local grass-based farmer. You can also find help from a local chapter of the Weston Price Foundation. Animal fats such as tallow, lard and poultry fats are not always readily available, but if you befriend your local farmers they can usually help you find them. There are also online sources for healthy fats.


  • Cod liver oil – I recommend fermented cod liver oil rendered the traditional way with no heat to denature nutrients and delicate omega-3 fats.
  • Caviar
  • Egg yolks – Ask around to find your nearest grass-based farmer or backyard enthusiast.
  • Coldwater fish and shellfish – wild caught.
  • Lard and other animal fats.

How we incorporate fats and cholesterol into our family’s diet

As a mother of four children I am keen on having healthy kiddos! Some ways in which we incorporate healthy fats and cholesterol are:
  • Liberal butter usage on grain free muffins (I make my own raw butter or use Organic Valley’s pastured butter)
  • Raw pastured eggs in smoothies, Russian custards, my homemade mayonnaise, and sometimes in soups
  • Shrimp weekly, sauteed in butter of course!
  • Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil daily – at least 1 tsp for the kids and 2 tsp for mom and dad
  • We saute’ plenty of vegetables in lard, butter, coconut oil, etc. and we add these fats liberally into any soup we make
Incorporate healthy fats and cholesterol into your family’s diet and those “mama nurse” moments will become fewer and farther apart. (Your cells will also do a happy dance)
- See more at:

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Vaccine Bubble

Reposted from Health Impact News Daily

Health Impact News Editor Comments:
Michael Belkin is an extremely gifted vaccine-victim advocate, and one of the co-authors of the book we feature below, Vaccine Epidemic. Michael lost his first child when she died at 5 weeks old after receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine. He is a gifted musician and writes his own music warning people about the dangers of vaccines. His music can be heard at, where he also runs a very successful and popular blog.

But Michael’s “day job” is earning a living from financial counseling. His advice is highly sought after and he has appeared and been interviewed on many of the financial networks. Therefore, if there is one person who can clearly articulate the business side of vaccine marketing, that person would be Michael Belkin.

Michael coined the term “Vaccine Bubble”, and in this article he clearly explains why the vaccine market parallels so many other false markets that were propped up by unsound economic principles, particularly government intervention that prevents normal free market financial swings based on consumer demand.

Could the vaccine bubble, and along with it the entire U.S. healthcare system, be the biggest financial bubble our country has ever seen? Is it doomed to fail?

The Vaccine Bubble

by Michael Belkin
My business involves advising portfolio managers about asset allocation in global financial markets. During my career, I have observed several extreme speculative bubbles, including the Japanese stock market in the late 1980s, the NASDAQ frenzy in 1998–2000 and the U.S. housing bubble from 2006–2008.

These bubbles all ended in tears. I see the same elements now in the pharmaceutical industry’s preoccupation with vaccines. I coined the term “vaccine bubble” (in the book Vaccine Epidemic) to describe the economic and psychological factors that are driving the obsession with and over-investment in vaccines. The psychology of making big profits is causing a lemming-like rush into vaccine research and production. Ultimately, many of these companies and vaccine products will likely turn out to be flash-in-the-pan nobodies and nothings that simply waste investment and get discarded on the ash heap of medical history. In the meantime, families and individuals need to educate themselves and make informed decisions about vaccine acceptance or refusal.

The business model of vaccine manufacturers relies on compulsion—you must take their product, or else.

Investing in Health
Taking pharmaceutical company advice about vaccine safety and efficacy is like trusting a stockbroker or real estate agent to tell you the market is in a bubble. As investors and homeowners have learned the hard way, those with corrupt financial or professional incentives cannot be relied upon to provide trustworthy advice.

From a financial and industry perspective, here is what you need to know. Vaccines are licensed by the FDA and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Vaccine manufacturers perform (or outsource) their own efficacy and safety studies, so there is plenty of wiggle room for juggling the data. Manufacturers can choose their own placebo to either flatter efficacy or safety. If you think vaccine safety studies use saline solution for a placebo, think again.
The Merck Manual (the pharmaceutical company’s best-selling series of medical textbooks) defines an adverse reaction to a vaccine“Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain that occurs when a virus directly infects the brain or when a virus or something else triggers inflammation…. Encephalitis can occur in the following ways: A virus directly infects the brain. A virus that caused an infection in the past becomes reactivated and directly damages the brain. A virus or vaccine triggers a reaction that makes the immune system attack brain tissue (an autoimmune reaction).”

Thus, an adverse vaccine reaction that causes brain damage (encephalitis) has the same result as a complication from an infectious disease like measles. In vaccine safety studies, manufacturers can disguise the neurological damage caused by the vaccine they are testing by using another vaccine (or another substance that contains an aluminum adjuvant) known to cause neurological adverse reactions as placebo. The standard language they use is: “Adverse reactions were no different than placebo.” They don’t mention that the placebo causes neurological adverse reactions.
Another trick they use is to compare adverse reactions to a fully vaccinated population that has neurological damage from those vaccines. They claim it is unethical to compare vaccine adverse reactions in their new product being tested to unvaccinated controls, because the unvaccinated would supposedly miss out on all the great benefits of vaccines. This is a cheap statistical trick to camouflage adverse neurological reactions from vaccines.

Products in the Pipeline
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) 2010 Report on Medicines in Development for Infectious Diseases boasts“Among the medicines now being tested are…145 vaccines to prevent or treat diseases such as staph infections and pneumococcal infections.” The report didn’t include “medicines in development for HIV infection,” and stated, “A 2009 survey by PhRMA found 97 medicines and vaccines are in testing for HIV/AIDS and AIDS-related conditions.”
The current CDC-recommended vaccine schedule contains 70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18. PhRMA obviously would love to double or triple that vaccine burden by cramming the new vaccines under development into the ACIP-recommended schedule.

A Government-Subsidized, Captive Market
ACIP vaccine recommendations are a godsend to pharmaceutical manufacturers. The simple ACIP recommendation that so many doses of such-and-such vaccine should be given at such-and-such age is transformed into public school attendance mandates by the alchemy of drug industry sales reps, state health officials and gullible state legislatures. The business model of vaccine manufacturers relies on compulsion—you must take their product, or else. Imagine you were in business selling something and you could snap your fingers and compel everyone to be your customer. Normal businesses have to attract customers with an attractive product and compete with other providers of that product. Compulsion is a nice way to capture an involuntary market, isn’t it?

Since most people won’t pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket for every vaccine, manufacturers must find someone to foot the bill. They have been very effective in coercing federal and state governments and health insurers into subsidizing their products. One little-noticed feature of the Affordable Care Act (the Obama administration’s healthcare reform program) is that health insurers must provide subsidized vaccines to their customers. Big Pharma’s vaccine business model consists of taking choice away from the individual and getting someone else to foot the bill.

Filling the Profit Void
Pharmaceutical companies are losing patent protection on about $140 billion of blockbuster drugs (such as Lipitor) over the next few years. Their research departments have produced few product replacements with blockbuster potential (sales greater than $1 billion/year). This pending loss of business is causing a wave of layoffs and restructurings within the industry. Also, disastrous drugs like Vioxx have caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks and about 40,000 deaths, according to FDA estimates cited by epidemiologist David Michaels, current head of OSHA for the Obama Administration, in his excellent book Doubt Is Their Product.

According to Michaels’ book, Merck exploited the FDA drug approval process by gaming the placebo and claiming that the higher rate of heart attacks observed in Vioxx clinical trials was due to the placebo (naproxen) preventing heart attacks. According to Michaels’ book, “Merck chose the interpretation that implausibly credited naproxen over the one that more plausibly indicted its own drug and it embarked on a four-year defense of this almost ridiculous hypothesis.” Incidentally, Merck is a primary manufacturer of U.S. vaccines. Its corporate behavior with Vioxx certainly discredits its ethical credibility with regard to pharmaceutical safety studies.

Pharmaceutical companies now tout vaccines as the Holy Grail that will help replace the lost revenues from expiring patents on blockbuster drugs that will face generic (cheap) competition. But the numbers don’t add up. Vaccines are currently about a $25 billion market. As previously mentioned, patent expirations amount to about $140 billion. Pharmaceutical companies desperately need to grow that $25 billion vaccine market in a hurry. Hence the big push to create, license and mandate new vaccines.

Informed Choice

Popping the Vaccine Bubble
Now, if you are in the pharmaceutical industry charity market, you can donate your body to Merck and other vaccine manufacturers by volunteering to be a human pincushion for every vaccine recommended by the ACIP or in development. That is your decision, and I fully support your right to vaccinate yourself into oblivion.

However, if you (like me) do not agree with forced medication using products that may have been approved using safety studies involving bogus placebos, then you probably face persecution by your allopathic doctor, public school or employer (flu vaccines are now mandatory for many healthcare workers). I fully support your right to refuse vaccines. In fact, the position of the American Medical Association (AMA) on informed consent states that with regard to patients, “He or she can make an informed decision to proceed or to refuse a particular course of medical intervention.” Please notice the word refuse. It is our right to refuse “a particular course of medical intervention.” Notice it doesn’t say “except vaccination.” Informed consent is the backbone of medical ethics. You have the right to say no. Doctors who assert that you do not have a choice about vaccines are violating this medical code of ethics.

Contrast that AMA official position on informed consent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) position on “terminating” vaccine refusers: “If, after discussion about the importance of vaccination and the risks of not vaccinating, the parent refuses, the pediatrician should document the discussion and have the parent sign a waiver affirming his/her decision not to vaccinate (i.e., AAP Refusal to Vaccinate Form). If the situation becomes such that you are no longer comfortable having the parent/patient in your practice, the AAP manual, Medical Liability for Pediatricians, Chapter 3, offers resources for risk communication and termination of the physician-patient relationship.”

The Basis for My Choice
My daughter Lyla died within hours after receiving her hepatitis B vaccine at the age of five weeks. We subsequently had two more children and I looked closely at the rate of vaccine adverse reactions contained in the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) versus the risk of contracting an infectious disease and the risk of complications from that disease. As a professional statistician who provides econometric forecasts for institutional investors, I am qualified to make decisions based on statistical models. That is what I do, day in and day out. My conclusion? I would have to be a total idiot to vaccinate my children.

Informed consent is the backbone of medical ethics. You have the right to say no.

If mainstream pediatricians are going to “terminate” patients like me (like a pest control company), then perhaps my family is better off not being a captive of such a totalitarian doctor in the first place. For others in favor of vaccine choice, I’ve written an article entitled “How to Terminate a Relationship With an Uncooperative and Combative Pediatrician.” Sadly, most pediatricians wouldn’t know what to do with themselves and their practices if they weren’t vaccine pushers. As mentioned above, they are simply the agents of a medical system that is addicted to a vaccine bubble. Vaccine refusers should find trustworthy medical professionals who support the AMA’s position on informed consent.

Ghosts in the Machine
Bubbles always have corruption hidden under the surface. Look how the mortgage and banking industries are now choking on lawsuits and destroyed reputations. Corruption in the vaccine bubble probably exists in ghostwritten medical journal articles (penned by pharmaceutical companies but supposedly authored by respectable doctors). Ghostwriting has recently become a huge issue in medical research. We have yet to find out which vaccine studies were ghostwritten by industry flunkies.

Another area of corruption is front groups. Front groups using straw-man citizens are a standard PR technique to hype a product. Full Frontal Scrutiny, a joint venture between Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy, describes the technique as such:

“A front group is an example of what is known in the PR trade as the “third party technique.” The idea behind the term is that when one person (the first party) wants to persuade someone else (the second party) to believe or do something that benefits the first party, it helps if the message comes from a seemingly disinterested, independent source. As Daniel Edelman, the founder of Edelman PR Worldwide, has stated, “A third party endorsement can position a new brand so that it’s poised for great success or, conversely, can blunt a serious problem before it gets out of hand and proves disastrous for a particular product or for a company overall.”…

“The best PR ends up looking like news,” bragged one public relations executive. “You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you’ll just find your views slowly shifting.”

When you see supposedly grassroots groups lobbying for vaccine mandates, you may be seeing the invisible hand of just such a PR agency.

A prime example of corruption in the vaccine bubble is Paul Thorsen, a Danish epidemiologist who is under federal indictment for fraud. Thorsen allegedly absconded with millions of dollars of CDC money.

Another prime example of corruption in the vaccine bubble is Paul Thorsen, a Danish epidemiologist who is under federal indictment for fraud. Thorsen allegedly absconded with millions of dollars of CDC money. Thorsen’s Danish data forms the backbone of several scientific studies the CDC uses to claim that vaccines and thimerosal (a mercury-containing vaccine preservative) do not cause autism. So far, no one seems to care that a principal author of those studies stands accused of fraud.
One other noteworthy fact with regard to vaccines and autism: In the DTaP package insert, autism and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are listed as “adverse events reported during post-approval use…. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting.” So much for CDC denials of a vaccine/autism link.

Vaccines are in a bubble. Pharmaceutical companies are working on hundreds of new vaccines that they are drooling to make mandatory to replace their vanishing blockbuster drug patents. If you choose to resist the vaccine bubble, many people (and doctors) will regard you as loony, in the same way people looked down at those who didn’t buy into the NASDAQ bubble in 2000 or the housing bubble in 2007. But look how those people turned out when the bubbles burst—postponed retirements, foreclosures and underwater home equity. Is that what you want?
Read full article here:

Michael Belkin is a world-renowned financial analyst. He was a financial forecaster and statistician uninvolved in medical policy until his infant daughter died after receiving a hepatitis B vaccine in 1998. Belkin has testified before Congress in opposition to forced hepatitis B vaccinations. Read more from Belkin in the book Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children. He’s also part of the rock band The Refusers, in which his 10-year-old son plays drums. Their album is called First Do No Harm, and is available at, along with a vaccine news blog. View article resources and author information here.

1) Michaels, David. Doubt Is Their Product, Oxford University Press, USA, 2008.
2) Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, 2010 Report on Medicines in Development for Infectious Diseases,
3) Rampton, Sheldon. “Front Groups: A History,” Full Frontal Scrutiny,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid slow decline in Alzheimer's disease patients

Reposted from Life Extension

Tuesday, December 3, 2013. The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease published the outcome of a recent trial conducted by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland which revealed that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and alpha lipoic acid slowed functional and cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease patients.
Lynne Shinto and colleagues randomized thirty-nine men and women with Alzheimer's disease to receive a daily regimen consisting of three grams fish oil concentrate (providing 975 milligrams EPA and 675 milligrams DHA), fish oil plus 600 milligrams R-alpha lipoic acid, or a placebo for one year. Blood tests and evaluations of cognitive and functional performance were administered before and after the treatment period.
In comparison with the placebo group, participants who received omega-3 fatty acids plus alpha lipoic acid demonstrated a lesser decline in the Mini-Mental State Examination, which is an evaluation of global cognitive function, and in the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) evaluation of functional ability. Those who received omega-3 fatty acids alone also showed less functional decline as indicated by IADL performance.
As possible mechanisms for omega-3 fatty acids and alpha lipoic acid, the authors remark that DHA has been shown in animal studies to help protect nerve cells, and that lipoic acid delayed cognitive decline in two studies involving Alzheimer's disease patients. The nutrients may also help reduce inflammation.
"Combining omega-3 with lipoic acid slowed both cognitive and functional decline in mild to moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease participants over 12 months, and the combination appears to be safe at the doses evaluated," the authors conclude. "A larger pilot trial is underway to further assess the benefit and potential mechanism of action of this novel combination for Alzheimer's disease."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Latest Scoop on Wonder Nutrient Vitamin K2

Reposted from The Healthy Home Economist

by Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

I had the privilege of meeting a number of people that I greatly admire at the recent Wise Traditions International Conference, one of whom wrote perhaps the most intriguing book I read last year- Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox.
Vitamin K2 is the wonder nutrient that modern science has only just started to understand. The reason this vitamin is so exciting to those of us who espouse traditional diet is because it was first identified by Dr. Chris Masterjohn as the elusive “Activator X” contained in all the foods considered sacred by Ancestral Societies and researched/written about by Dr. Weston A. Price in his nutritional classic, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Vitamin K2 along with the other fat soluble activators A and D are synergistically responsible for the vibrant health and extremely high resistance to aging and degenerative disease of Traditional Cultures and described in detail in Dr. Price’s groundbreaking book using both words and pictures.
The problem is that Vitamin K2 is extremely difficult to get sufficient quantities of in the diet.  One reason is the worrisome depletion of our soils which grassbased and organic farmers are valiantly turning the tide on, but which will still take several decades if not even a century or two to reverse on a widespread basis. Another is the modern, misguided avoidance of the typically high fat, high cholesterol foods containing this wonder nutrient.
Dr. Kate filled me in on the latest research on Vitamin K2 and the promise it holds for reversing chronic and degenerative disease.  Here are the latest studies for consideration.  Please note that MK-7 is the bacteria synthesized form of K2 while MK-4 is the form found in animal foods like grassfed butter.
180 mcg MK-7 daily (low dosage) for three years significantly decreases bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women (Osteoporosis International):
  • Decreased the age-related decline at the lumbar spine and femoral neck.
  • Improved bone strength.
  • Decreased the loss in vertebral height in lower thoracic region.
1.5 mg (1,500 mcg) of MK-4 daily for 12 months improved bone metabolism and prevented bone forearm loss in postmenopausal Japanese women (source):
Dr. Kate observed that this second study is important since it shows a benefit of MK-4 in doses much lower than the super high 45,000 mcg usually used in studies.
French research suggests that some types of blue cheese are high in K2 (source).
Unfortunately the researchers didn’t identify the brands of blue cheese studied, but the take-home message is that if you like blue cheese keep eating it and you might be getting bonus K2. Another message here is that there are more K2 rich foods are out there than we know. More research needs to be done to identify them.
While science continues to unravel the magic and mystery surrounding Vitamin K2, a nutrient so important to human health that Traditional Societies revered and considered sacred any foods containing it in plentiful amounts, it seems prudent to make sure that our diets include Vitamin K2 rich foods on a frequent basis.
As Dr. Kate has already noted, more research needs to be done on what foods are high in K2, but based on what we know right now, here are the foods to make sure you are consuming frequently.
  • Grassfed Butter: Local, pastured raw butter is best, but Vitamin K2 is not destroyed by heat, so if pasteurized grassfed butter is all you can source, that is fine.
  • Grassfed Ghee: If you are allergic to dairy, grassfed ghee is what to use instead of grassfed butter as the allergenic milk proteins have all been removed leaving only the nutrient dense oil.
  • Butter Oil: This is a wonderful supplement to take along with fermented cod liver oil or fermented skate liver oil (another source of K2).  The two oils work synergistically to even reverse tooth decay as researched and written about by renowned dentist Dr. Weston A. Price.
  • Gouda Cheese:  Gouda is one of the best aged cheeses to consume if you want lots of K2.  Even if the gouda is not grassfed (which is the best way to go if possible), it will still contain plenty of K2 (in the form of MK-7)
  • Goose Liver Pate:  This is not an easily obtained gourmet food, but if you love pate (who doesn’t? It’s so tasty!), pate from goose liver is going to give you the largest amount of K2.
  • Natto:  You can usually find natto (make sure it comes from nonGMO soybeans!) at Asian specialty stores in the freezer section for about $3 for a small container. Natto contains a whopping 1,103 mcg of K2 per 3 1/2 ounce portion which blows away every other food by a country mile.  If the taste of natto is something you just can’t stomach, try capsules of the MK-7 form of K2 extracted from nonGMO natto. I don’t recommend supplements of the MK-4 form of K2 as they are synthetically derived.
I will have more to say about Vitamin K2 in upcoming posts. In particular, there is a newly discovered food that is mind-blowingly high in MK-4 (the animal form of K2) that I am gathering information on and will be writing about hopefully quite soon.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Are You Still Using a Microwave Oven?

Reposted from Food Matters

We are always looking to discover new ways of making our lives easier through innovative inventions. What we often fail to understand however, is that not all inventions are good for our health. Microwave ovens are one such invention that have been widely mistaken as a healthy convenience.

Do you rely on the convenience of a microwave over a stove, to cook or heat your food? If yes, then you might want to stop and think again before placing your life in the hands on this so called “harmless” man-made invention.

Microwave Oven – Not Really Harmless?

The first microwave oven was invented by Raytheon after the World War II. Back then, it didn’t seem like such an important invention for home use. A few years later, microwave ovens gained a lot of popularity for reheating previously-cooked foods and cooking vegetables. Over the last couple of decades, microwave ovens have become a necessity, and now you will rarely find a kitchen without one!

Today, over 90% of homes in America, use microwave ovens for re-heating foods, and for daily meal preparations.  It is so easy to use as it just takes a few minutes to get the meal on the table “ready to eat”. However, as you may already know, a microwave oven essentially uses microwave radiations to heat polarized molecules in food. Unfortunately, these microwave radiations have been found to distort the molecular structure of foods. As a result, microwave preparations lack healthy nutrients as most of them are destroyed during heating!

Did you know that the Soviet Union banned microwaves in 1976? Why do you think they would do so and yet the American Government still hasn’t warned us anything about it? Microwave ovens continue to be used in every home, and the reason is simple – microwaves are convenient and energy efficient way of preparing food.

Is Microwaved Food Both Safe and Healthy?

Here, are a few studies and results that indicate why this may not be the case.

1. Microwaves Are Harmful For Baby Food

It has been found that cooking food in microwaves is an unhealthy and unnatural approach for preparing baby food. According to Young Families, the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota published in 1989, milk bottle heated in microwaves may cause harm to the baby who drinks it.
High milk temperature (often resulted due to overheating) could not only burn a baby’s mouth and throat, the steam all encapsulated in the bottle may also cause the bottle to explode due to the presence of radiation gases within it.

Maybe these effects can be ignored or averted, but the fact that milk heated in a microwavemay change the molecular structure of the milk is something that calls for attention.Microwave radiations can cause the essential nutrients in the baby foods to be lost, making them unfit for consumption. It’s just like feeding fake milk to the child with no real nutrients at all.

The study further confirmed that it may be better and much safer to heat the bottle by placing it under a tap of warm water for a few minutes than to heat it in a microwave oven.

2. Microwaves Can Destroy Your Blood

Another shocking discovery about microwave radiations came into the limelight when a nurse in an Oklahoma hospital used microwaves for warming the blood used for transfusion in a patient. The patient immediately died because of this transfusion. It was found that microwaves injected some kind of destructive substances in our blood when we heat it.

3. Microwaves Reduces Hemoglobin Levels

To understand why microwaves are dangerous for health, a study was carried out by Raum & Zelt in 1992 which showed some noticeable changes in the human build after consumingmicrowave heated milk and vegetables.

In this study, 8 volunteers ate different combinations of the same food cooked in different ways, which caused different changes in the blood of the volunteers. Hemoglobin, which is an important constituent of blood decreased while white blood cells and cholesterolincreased. Lymphocytes, which provide immunity to the body, also decreased which is quite an alarming sign. Bacteria also increased after eating the microwave heated food.

4. Microwaved Food Can Cause Cancer

A food scientist by the name of Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel who worked with one of the major companies of Switzerland carried out a research which showed striking discoveries about cooking food in microwaves. Dr. Hertel was fired from his company because of raising questions on how the food was prepared.  His famous research with a Lausanne university professor which showed that food cooked in microwaves has cancerous effects.
Dr. Hertel and Dr. Bernard H. Blanc collaborated on a clinical study at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry. Determined to study the physiology of the human body, Dr. Hertel carried out experiments to find out the effects of “microwaved” nutrients on human blood. He showed that microwave radiations completely destroy the nutrients in the food and could cause very bad effects on the human body. He also found out that microwaved food decreased hemoglobin in our body and could increase the cholesterol levels.

Comfort OR Health? The Choice Is Yours!

The FDA, the government and even the manufacturers themselves may never tell you these harmful effects of cooking food inmicrowaves. As it is evident, microwave ovens are not really the recommended method of cooking. You could either live in denial and keep on using it or give your life some value and start cooking food on stoves. Use the conventional and the safer way!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Safer Alternative for Pain Relief

Reposted from Life Extension

by Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

Approximately one person dies every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose,1 and the deaths have tripled since 1990.2 What gives?

About 75% of prescription overdoses are caused by opioids2 — a group of highly addictive drugs that reduce the perception of pain. Taking a high dose or using them along with alcohol or sedatives can stop your breathing and ultimately kill you.

But before you judge, please note that many of such victims aren’t “druggies” or misfits. A lot of them are everyday people like you and me who’ve become addicted after taking them for chronic pain.

Luckily, alternatives do exist. In fact, nature has given us a number of safe, non-addictive herbs for pain relief. Below, we’ll go over these along with a few non-herbal options as well.

Herbal Options for Pain Relief

Pain can drastically impact a person’s quality of life. It can be debilitating and even drive people to commit suicide.

Of course, we’re not advocating that people should suffer needlessly from pain, but rather that safer methods should be at least considered for managing it.

In fact, some people have been able to reduce or quit pain meds altogether by making the right nutritional and lifestyle changes.

Here are some herbal options that have been clinically shown to alleviate discomfort safely:

1. Curcumin

The yellow spice, turmeric, has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Much of its benefits are attributed to curcumin, one of its key components.

In a clinical study, curcumin was more effective than a leading anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, for arthritic pain. After eight weeks of use, participants taking the curcumin had a 60% reduction in pain scores.3

How does curcumin work? Unlike opioid drugs, curcumin works on multiple levels to ease inflammation,4 a major cause of pain.

2. Capsaicin

Capsaicin is extracted from chili peppers. It’s one of the most heavily studied extracts for the management of pain.

Research shows it’s effective against multiple types of pain, including joint,5 sinus,6 nerve,7 and even post-surgical pain.8

In one study, post-surgical patients experienced significant pain relief with topical applications of capsaicin. They took significantly less opioids for pain relief.8

One thing to note about herbals is that they take a certain period of time before you’ll experience significant pain relief. If you’re going to try them, give them a couple of months to start working. In general, a good time frame to give them is between 2–3 months.

Safe, Behavioral Options for Pain Relief

1. Yoga

A common reason that people take painkilling drugs is to treat lower back pain. This type of pain can literally cripple its victims. Fortunately, multiple studies show that yoga may help.

For example, researchers in Seattle conducted a three month study and found that yoga classes decreased back pain in chronic sufferers.9 The participants’ back function also improved.

Of course, before you start any program, consult with your doctor first.

2. Sleep

In pain? Then definitely make an effort to catch more Zzzzzs.

Research shows that sleep helps to diminish pain.10 Why is this? Well, it may have to do with melatonin, a hormone that’s released during sleep.

Researchers have found that melatonin is actually a natural pain reliever.11 It reduces pain-causing inflammation12 and it supports the release of endorphins,13 your body’s natural painkillers.

3. Diet

As a first step, make it a point to avoid inflammatory foods as much as possible.

Diet is very important for managing pain effectively. Limiting foods that contain arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fat, may help to prevent inflammation and pain.14
This can be found in red meat, eggs, white meat, and peanuts.

Instead, incorporate the following foods into your diet, as they can help to ease inflammation:

  • flax seeds
  • walnuts
  • pumpkin seeds
  • oily fish
  • seaweed
  • green tea
  • black tea
  • tart cherries
  • dark berries
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • grapes
  • basil

Have herbs or diet and lifestyle changes helped you manage your own pain? If so, please tell us about it in the comments.

Who knows? You may be able to help others by sharing what’s worked for you.


  1. Available at: Accessed December 5th, 2012.
  2. Available at: Accessed December 5th, 2012.
  3. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25.
  4. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Sep;52(9):1010-30.
  5. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011 May;50(5):911-20.
  6. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Aug;107(2):171-8.
  7. J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2012 May;17 Suppl 2:22-7.
  8. Clin Drug Investig. 2011 Dec 1;31(12):877-82.
  9. Available at: . Accessed December 5th, 2012.
  10. SLEEP. 2012 December;35(12):1667-1672.
  11. Clin Rheumatol. 2000;19(1):9-13.
  12. Life Sci. 2009 Apr 10;84(15-16):489-98.
  13. Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2001 Jan;36(1):5-9.
  14. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2011;25(1):49-54.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Holistic Approach to Cancer (And Heart Disease)

Reposted from Weston A Price

Written by Tom Cowan   
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 20:39

The Disease of Civilization

Let’s begin with a definition of cancer. Cancer is the situation that occurs when a certain type of cell out of the many different types of cells in our body—such as blood cells, pancreas cells, brain cells, liver cells, connective tissue cells—decides to grow in an uncontrolled way, in an excessive way, and at the expense of all the other types of cells in the body.
If you had one word or brief phrase to answer the question, “What causes cancer?” what might it be? You might respond with “emotions,” “toxins,” “fungus,” “stress,” or “bad terrain of the body.” Those are all great answers. But they are not my answer. In my twenty-five years of being a doctor and thinking about food and cancer and health issues for pretty much every day of those twenty-five years, I can say—and I don’t wish to say this in an arrogant way—that I have no doubt in my mind that I know what causes cancer. I have come to the conclusion that I have this one right. My answer in one word is “civilization.”


I’m not the first person to think this way. That is actually the title of one of my favorite books, a book by Vilhjalmur Stefansson called Cancer: Disease of Civilization? (1960). The idea started some time before Stefansson in a lecture given at a Paris medical society in 1842 by Stanislas Tanchou, a physician and one of Napoleon’s surgeons. At that time France was a primary center of science and medicine in the world. You have to remember where we were in the world at that time: it was the era of scientific discovery and manifest destiny; white people were going to conquer and civilize the world and make it safe for Christianity. Against this political backdrop Tanchou in his lecture claimed he could predict the exact incidence of cancer in all the major European cities over the next fifty years, and it was all dependent on the percentage of grain in their diets.
Tanchou’s numbers were all recorded and in time they came exactly true—a certain cancer percentage for Berlin, a certain percentage for Munich, and so on. The cancer incidence all depended on the amount of cereal grains in the diet. This set off a huge furor around the world since the great mission of the age was to civilize every inch of the globe. Here was somebody in a center of civilization who declared that these people who don’t eat grains, who have the more indigenous hunter-gatherer diet, never get cancer.
This provocative idea motivated many thinkers between 1842 to about 1950, as archaeologists, anthropologists, medical doctors, missionaries and explorers took up the challenge of answering the question. Whether he knew it or not, Weston Price’s research came as a result of Tanchou’s fundamental question. Price focused on dental health as a kind of proxy to the question, “Is it true that cancer is a disease of civilization?”
Another thinker who took up this challenge was George Caitlin, a mid-nineteenth century American lawyer and portraitist. Caitlin spent twenty years of his life living and studying with Native Americans in indigenous hunter-gatherer populations all over the western part of the United States. About the people with whom he lived, Caitlin noted: “I love a people who have always made me feel welcome to the best they had, who were honest without laws, who had no jails, no poor houses, who keep the commandments without ever having read them or heard them preached from the pulpit, never swear, never take the name of God in vain, love their neighbor as themselves, free of religious animosity. I love a people who have never raised a hand against me, or stole my property, when there was no law to punish them for either. I love a people who have never fought a battle with white men except on their own ground. I love a people who live and keep what is their own without locks and keys. And oh, how I love a people who don’t live for the love of money.”


The premise that we are examining is whether cancer is a disease of civilization, but I say that civilization is the cause of cancer. But first we need to define civilization. We know what cancer is: uncontrolled growth of one of the members of a community; that is, one cell type deciding to grow at an excessive rate compared to the rest of the community of cells. This civilization project, if you want to call it that, which started about ten thousand years ago, probably in the Tigris and Euphrates delta, is the process wherein humans decided to co-opt the natural resources of the land base and set off to grow themselves at the expense of the rest of the community. That is the definition of civilization, this co-opting of the resources of the land base, this mining of the resources which is essentially mining the soil. If you go on long enough, you turn productive soil into a desert, and the region of the Garden of Eden in the Tigris and Euphrates delta is now a desert. It took ten thousand years, which is the blink of an eye in the overall picture of humanity.
Civilization can also be seen as the process of extracting the resources from the earth in order to grow one particular species of the landed community, namely humans.
When I give that definition it might remind you of the cancer process. We believe deeply in growth. In order to grow we co-opt the resources from the rest of the earth’s community. Given enough time, the rest of the community withers and dies and this one particular species of the community grows more and more until it kills the land base or the person. That is the definition of civilization.
Think of the Great Plains—this once fertile region extending from Minnesota to Texas. According to early white explorers, the top soil on the Great Plains was twelve feet deep. Interestingly, by the 1930s, before chemical agriculture, before GMOs, before Monsanto, barely a hundred years of growing grains—and growing them organically—turned those twelve feet into a mere twelve inches, which in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s blew away to the Gulf of Mexico. That is what happened because of organic agriculture. For those of us who say the solution is to simply to go back to organic agriculture, remember that the Tigris and Euphrates Delta became the desert of Iraq solely through organic agriculture, and maybe some over-grazing.
But the point is that the hunter-gatherer indigenous populations that were dependent upon animals feeding on perennial grass-based environments lived free of cancer for literally thousands and thousands of years. Organic agriculture turned the soil into nearly a desert, and brought cancer to a people who had no cancer. Weston Price got in at the tail end of this inquiry in the 1930s and documented the health of these people from the standpoint of their teeth. But again whenever we look at the health of nonindustrialized peoples we see the same thing: these are people without cancer, and also without heart disease. Any anthropologist can tell you this bone was from a hunter-gatherer, a pre-grain eating person, and this bone, by contrast, from a grain-eating person, because the latter has holes in it and looks like it has arthritis and it not as thick and strong. You can see physical degeneration almost every place where people have switched from indigenous diets to primarily grain-based diets.


So the next step is to discover what these healthy people ate. As you know, Weston Price found healthy isolated peoples who were eating small amounts grains, usually prepared through a fermentation process. But the basic diet of these people was about 65 percent animal foods with a definite predominance of fats over protein. It was not a low-protein diet but a diet that included adequate protein, and then about thirty-five percent fermented grains, low-starch seeds, nuts and vegetables and perhaps a natural sweetener, such as honey.
Does that type of diet square with the human anatomy? I’m not against changing certain patterns of the diet based on what a person can tolerate. But when someone says this person because of their blood type needs to be an herbivore, a vegan, I think to myself well, yes, that would be fine if they had a rumen. Let me tell you, the first cancer patient who comes in with a rumen, I’m putting them on a vegetarian diet, I don’t care what blood type they are. If they have very long intestines and a rumen with bacteria to ferment cellulose, I’d put them on a vegetarian diet.


Interestingly, the primate that has the largest amount of plant food in the diet, the gorilla, has a very long digestive tract and the smallest brain of any primate. If you were in the jungle and had only leaves to eat, you would starve in the midst of abundance because you cannot digest leaves, at least most leaves. But the gorilla is so constructed that he can eat high-cellulose plant foods like leaves.
Remember that the herbivorous animals literally must eat all day to extract nutrients from grass, leaves and seeds. You, as the predator human, can get concentrated fats and protein from the herbivores, and you need only a short digestive system to get all you need to develop a healthy body and a healthier more robust brain to talk, think and create. You don’t have to eat all day long. When you revert to a more “gorilla-ish” way of life, you increase the number of times you have to eat, increase the size of your digestive apparatus, and shrink your brain, which is exactly what has happened to us over the last ten thousand years. I’m not so sure that this is the way we want to go.
I wish I had a dollar for every patient who walked into my office—usually a female patient— who has said, “My belly is bloated and I’m full of gas; I have digestive disturbance and a foggy brain.” Usually they end up with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. When you ask them what they eat, they tell me, “I’m mostly vegetarian.” They have gorilla syndrome.
The human anatomy is precisely designed for a hunter-gatherer diet of about 70 percent animal food, predominantly fat (as much as they could tolerate and digest) including organ meats and bones (usually in the form of broth), but not so much protein—something like two to four ounces of protein, two to three times a day was about the average of what people ate. The remaining 30-35 percent plant foods provides variety and additional amounts of vitamins and minerals. The protein and fat part is what builds a healthy body structure, the endocrine and immune systems, and, most importantly, the brain and nervous systems. People ate plants for balancing their pH, for accessing different minerals and phytochemicals. Because these plant foods were often fermented, they served as food for bacteria, which greatly increased their vitamin content for the benefit of humans.
This is the framework to the hypothesis that cancer is a disease of civilization. Taking these ideas as a basis, my cancer therapy is based on the GAPS diet, low-dose naltroxone (LDN), Iscador (mistletoe extract) and cardiotonics in order to create a “pre-civilization” milieu for the cancer patient.


The diet I use for treating cancer patients is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet, formulated by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in her book of the same name. Let me give a brief description of how the GAPS diet works. The healthy intestine contains millions of tiny absorptive villi. It also contains a layer of good bacteria, a diverse colony. We have, or should have, more microorganisms in our gut—five to seven pounds of them—than we have human cells in our body. These bacteria represent our immune system. Children with autism have holes in their intestinal walls that allow toxic proteins and other chemicals to leak through their porous guts into their blood stream. The two most serious are casomorphin and gluteomorphin. These leak into the blood stream and cause neurological symptoms.
Think of your intestines as soil and grass: the villi are like the soil, and the layer of good bacteria is like the grass covering the soil. If you go to a meadow or a perennial grass field and you overgraze or do something to strip the grass, the soil will become eroded. If this condition continues, you get further erosion of soil, you get cracks in the soil, and surface material starts seeping into the ground water. That is exactly the same process that happens in the human gut. People “strip their grass” with antibiotics, with vaccines, with processed foods, with not getting the right flora via the birth canal due either to a C-section or gut dysbiosis in the mother. Lastly, “civilized” people today are no longer eating probiotic foods. All these factors create an unhealthy gut ecology, a flattening of the villi, and actual holes in the gut wall.
The villi are a source of the enzyme disaccharidase, which digests disaccharides, just as lipase digests lipids and protease digests protein. As you lose the integrity of the villi you lose the ability to digest disaccharides because you lose the ability to produce the enzymes solely responsible for this function. If you continue to eat disaccharides, they cannot be digested, and instead feed fungus, yeasts, and toxic microorganisms that are present in the gut. These are like crab grass growing on the soil. Crab grass doesn’t protect the soil, it doesn’t make the good micronutrients, it doesn’t make the B vitamins, and it doesn’t protect the lining. Instead, it results in bloating and gas and all the other things that people with sickness experience. As the condition of the villi worsens, even less disaccharidase is produced, and we have a vicious cycle. Eventually you get ulcerative colitis—an erosion through the mucosa into the muscle layer, and that is like a bad crater in the soil. As a result of this leakiness of the gut you end up with these two predominant chemicals, gluteomorphin and casomorphin, getting absorbed into the blood stream. These substances are opiates, and opiates essentially paralyze your immune response.
So in the GAPS diet we eliminate all disaccharides including sugar, potatoes, sweet potatoes and grains; lactose is also a disaccharide so fluid milk, even raw milk, needs to be avoided. The diet emphasizes lots of healthy fats like butter, ghee and coconut oil, grass-fed meats and organ meats, wild seafood, fermented raw dairy products, low-starch vegetables, some fruit, bone broths and cod liver oil.
I should add that I also prescribe pancreatic enzymes, based on the work of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez (see review). I use lyophilized pancreatic enzymes from Allergy Research extracted from New Zealand pork, lamb and beef, all at one time. The dose is 10-15 capsules, three times per day, on an empty stomach.


Now let’s introduce low dose naltrexone (LDN) into this picture, and see what it has to do with the GAPS diet. We’ll also discuss what it has to do with cancer and civilization.
Naltrexone is a drug that was developed in the late 1960s to treat heroin overdose. It is an opiate receptor blocking agent. Three hundred milligrams of intravenous naltrexone would block the receptors of someone who had overdosed on heroin and save him from respiratory arrest and death.
Oral naltrexone in a fifty-milligram dose was next tried as a strategy to stop heroin addiction. Two interesting things happened. First, the fifty milligrams would block the opiate receptors all day and the heroin would have no effect. Addicts would stop using heroin because it wouldn’t make them high. But unfortunately, the people who took the fifty-milligram dose of naltrexone felt so lousy they said they’d rather be dead than take this stuff. The therapy completely failed as an addiction drug, but Bernard Bihari, a neurologist in New York City, had a lot of AIDS patients who were also heroin addicts. Bihari knew the story of naltrexone and this led to an attempt to discover why people taking naltrexone felt so lousy.
The answer is that heroin and morphine are identical to chemicals we make in our bodies called endorphins. These are the chemicals that make you feel good. If you block the body’s production of natural endorphins—which is an inadvertent effect of blocking the exogenous opiates, heroin and morphine—then this complete embargo on endorphins makes you feel worse than worse. The result is a lifeless life with no feelings of joy, since this is what endorphins are intimately associated with. If you feel miserable all the time, you probably suffer from a deficiency of endorphins.
The feeling of well-being is connected with your immune response. Endorphins are literally the fuel for the activity of your T cells; they have to do with your natural killer cells and the synthesis of tumor necrosis factor. All of this is clearly delineated in the medical literature.
The next step for Bihari was to test the heroin addicts who had AIDS and MS and other immune system problems to see whether they were actually low in endorphins. Bihari was the first to hypothesize that we can trick the body into making more endorphins by giving a very low dose of naltrexone. If fifty milligrams blocks the opiate receptors for a day, he reasoned, then three or four milligrams will block the receptors for about an hour. We give the dose at bedtime and the body says, “Hey, somebody blocked my endorphin sites! I need to make more endorphins.” Sometimes there is a ten-fold increase in the number of endorphins produced. The next thing you know you find a normal or even heightened response in endorphin production leading to improved immune function. In one survey, forty out of forty-two MS patients went into remission using LDN. Their autoimmune disease had been based on toxic opiates replacing healthy endorphins in their immune response. There are many classes of diseases that have been helped with this therapy and you can find much more information at
How does the use of LDN fit into our theory that cancer is a disease of civilization? First, the foods of civilization, especially the current lowfat (or wrong-fat) and low-cholesterol diet, impede the body’s production of natural endorphins; second, civilized peoples are addicted to substances that stress the adrenal glands, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar and stronger drugs—you might say that the process of becoming civilized takes us from the slow lane to the fast lane—and as the adrenals are involved in endorphin production, with so much stress and over-use, our innate feel-good mechanism breaks down. Finally, civilization puts millions of people into jobs they can’t stand, relationships that are stressful, activities they don’t enjoy. Civilization is interesting and challenging, but it is also stressful.
We often hear of a person diagnosed with cancer who says to himself, “Well, if I have only a few months to live, I’m going to do what I always wanted to do.” So he quits his work and plays the cello, or takes up oil painting. And lo and behold, his cancer goes into remission. Why? Because his body is finally producing and benefiting from endorphins, his immune system can finally work again, and he gets well.
It is interesting to compare this therapy to the GAPS diet, which eliminates the disaccharides found in grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet milk and a few other foods. The diet also avoids the exogenous opiates: casomorphins and gluteomorphins found in grains and unfermented dairy products. The GAPS diet mirrors the pre-civilized diet of 60-70 percent animal foods, with fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts as sort of “vitamin pill” supplement. The strategy is to get rid of toxic opiates, heal the gut, stimulate the production of healthy endorphins, and normalize the immune response. A significant number of people with autoimmune disease and cancer have a positive response to this combination.


The next modality in my approach to cancer treatment is mistletoe therapy, otherwise known as Iscador. This is the backbone of anthroposophical medical therapy and I’m a trained anthroposophical physician. This philosophy is associated with Waldorf schools and biodynamic farming, started by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s.
The mistletoe plant is made into a number of different cancer preparations, but the original one formulated by Rudolf Steiner is called Iscador. The formulation involves an extremely complicated pharmaceutical process using winter and summer sap from the Viscum album plant and mixing it in a gold-plated centrifuge rotated at the exact speed of the earth. It is an amazing process.
You may be surprised to learn that Iscador is the most prescribed cancer medicine in the world. At a conference I attended a few years ago, a German oncologist quoted 400,000 registered cancer patients in Germany, 310,000 of whom take some kind of mistletoe preparation. (Unfortunately, European doctors usually prescribe it in conjunction with conventional therapy.) You may have heard that the celebrity Suzanne Somers is an ardent proponent of Iscador, which has played a big part in her successful treatment of her breast cancer, along with a low-carbohydrate diet and hormones.
I’ve been treating cancer patients with Iscador for twenty-five years or so, and almost every patient I see is prescribed the diet that I have described, along with Iscador and LDN. That is the mainstay of my therapeutic protocol. How does it fit in with our “cancer is a disease of civilization” hypothesis? Rudolf Steiner was the first to describe Iscador, but he was by no means the first to describe the theory of Iscador. Twenty-five hundred years ago Hippocrates said, “Give me a medicine that can produce a fever and I can cure any disease.”
The way that I explain this to my patients is to note that the job of the doctor is to distinguish between the therapy and the illness. What I mean by that is if you get a splinter in your finger, and then your body makes pus to get the splinter out, is the pus the therapy or the disease? We know that pus indicates infection and the presence of microorganisms, and we learned in medical school that doctors should kill the pus. But I don’t think it is that far of a stretch to see that if you have a splinter in your finger, the pus is the therapy for the splinter. If you don’t take the splinter out, the pus will do it for you. If you mistakenly think that the pus is the disease and you destroy the pus, the splinter will stay and your body will attempt this process again. If you destroy the pus again, your body might repeat this process three or four more times. Then you have a chronic infection as the body keeps trying to remove the splinter. Eventually it will either succeed, or it will encapsulate the splinter, which is a tumor, a new growth. It is not a cancerous tumor but a benign cystic tumor of the splinter. The understanding that the pus is the therapy allows you to predict what is going to happen in the future.
Now think of this example. Joe Bloke is a smoker. In other words, he puts a bunch of splinters in his lungs every day. Twice a year Joe gets cough, fever, mucus—all to get the splinters out of his lungs. I prefer to say “cough, fever, mucus” rather than “bronchitis” because the word “bronchitis” separates you from the reality of the situation. His body is producing an inflammatory response—it is making a mucus-pus-fever response to cleanse his lungs of splinters. If Joe goes to a doctor who makes the mistake of thinking that the response is the problem, he will give drugs to stop the bronchitis—which is actually the medicine. So Joe will be left with the splinters. That scenario will happen twice a year for thirty years and then Joe has a big bag of splinters in his lungs, and we call that lung cancer.
We know that epidemiologically every culture that has embarked on aggressive prevention of infectious disease with vaccines and antibiotic treatment has seen infectious diseases diminish, but deaths from cancer increase. Every single one. This paradox is not unknown to the medical profession.
William Coley was a surgeon in New York City at the end of the nineteenth century and the inventor of a cancer therapy called Coley’s Toxins, which was basically just rotting meat. Coley knew of the apparent relationship between infection and cancer regression. His protocol was to inject terminally ill cancer patients with an agent to make them get really sick and produce a fever. Somewhere between 20-40 percent of the terminally ill cancer patients who received this treatment, especially with combinations of Streptococcus and Serratia, went into remission. The treatment produced high fevers for a week, a lot of mucus, and a lot of what we call sickness. It is also undeniably true that the thing we call sickness is the immune response. The bacteria and the viruses don’t actually make us sick. They trigger an immune response and the symptoms which we deem as unpleasant—fever, mucus and so on—those are the response to the foreign situation. With Coley’s Toxins, 20-40 percent of these patients, as written up by the New York Academy of Sciences, went into remission.
Unfortunately, another 20-40 percent died from sepsis; that is, from the therapy, and another 20 percent or so had no response. It was a toxic therapy, or you might say a last ditch effort, but the point remains that the fevers and the pus and the mucus—and the interleukin-2 and the interferon and all these tumor necrosis factors and natural killer cells that constitute our immune response—that is the therapy for cancer. As Hippocrates said, give me a medicine that produces a fever, that provokes an immune response, and I can cure any disease.
Rudolf Steiner was asked how Iscador works in the body. He replied that it simulates a bacterial infection. You get the warmth, the interferon, the interleukin-2 response, the natural killer cell response; you get everything you would get from an infection except the bacterial infection and the sepsis, which are the toxic parts. So instead of 20-40 percent of patients dying from Coley’s Toxins from sepsis, you have an activation of the immune response but no side effects. This response is demonstrated when you inject the Iscador, because the body temperature increases, and you see actual signs of an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response digests the tumor.
Then you can help the dead material out of the body with coffee enemas, hot baths and so on. This is one of the most effective therapies for all solid tumor cancers.


If you look at this process you might wonder how we got into this mess of so many people with a diminished cell-mediated inflammatory response. A cell-mediated inflammatory response— the part that we call “being sick”—is the activation of the white blood cells. Whenever we have a normal infection like chicken pox, two arms of our immune system get activated. First is the humoral immune response, or antibody-based response in the B cells, which make antibodies to remember what happened. Second is a cell-mediated activation, where the white blood cells chew up the invader and spit it out through fever, mucus, rash, achiness and sweating—all those things we call being sick. That is what happens with every naturally occurring infection. Is there something that we are doing that is somehow turning on the humoral immunity and deactivating the cell-mediated immunity?
A vaccine is a specific attempt to activate a humoral response—antibodies—and to deactivate the cell-mediated response. Why do I say that? If you get sick with fever, rash, mucus, after you had a vaccine, then that would be a bad vaccine. No one would want that vaccine. The whole point of a vaccine is to deactivate the cell-mediated response so you don’t feel sick, but to activate the humoral response.
This is exactly the same immune situation that you see with cancer and auto-immune disease. The cell-mediated response is the only way your body expels microorganisms and foreign proteins, and that response gets shut down with vaccinations. Everyone who is vaccinated ends up with an over-stimulated humoral antibody system and an under-stimulated cell-mediated system. Add to that the use of fever-suppressing drugs like aspirin and Tylenol, as well as antibiotics that kill the bacteria in our guts, and we have a recipe for cancer.
The incidence of cancer has skyrocketed with the introduction of vaccines and with the suppression of the acute sick response. Unlike the primitive man who accepts everything in nature and in the body as a natural process, the civilized man tries to suppress natural processes; he is afraid of them, or thinks they serve no purpose, and cancer is the result.


A fourth component of my cancer therapy involves cardiotonics. Cardiac glycosides are novel therapeutic agents belonging to a family of substances that come mostly from plants. They are a source of proteins (glycosides) that stimulate the metabolism of the heart. The two main cardiac glycosides are digitalis from the foxglove and a substance called ouabain—which I prefer to use—from the strophanthus plant. This African vine was originally used by tribes for hunting. They would dip their arrows into a substance taken from the seeds and it would cause a temporary stoppage of the heart in the animal they shot.
Researchers understood that this was a cardiac active substance and when they isolated it they found it was a hormone, which they called ouabain (through French from Somali waabaayo, “arrow poison”) or strophanthin. Until the 1990s, the very similar digitalis was the main treatment for heart problems. And there have been a number of studies over the years of women with breast cancer, and men with prostate cancer who have been put on digitalis for their heart problems. These patients have an incidence of cancer ten times lower than controls and if they already had cancer, digitalis lowers their recurrence rate seven- to twenty-fold.
Ouabain is an excellent medicine for the heart. I have a patient from Germany who has a doctorate in biochemistry. About twenty-eight years ago, he had three heart attacks, bypass surgery and stents. Nothing worked, and he was given up for dead. He had heard about ouabain as a medicine for heart attacks and angina. He found a source of it, started taking it, and he is still alive today. Recently he sent me what he hopes to be a published paper in the American Journal of Oncology on the entire world literature pertaining to the use and actions of ouabain (its trade name is Strodival).
I’ve been using Strodival for heart patients for five or six years. It’s been a great help for people with angina, heart disease and congestive heart failure. Many have better outcomes, less angina and better exercise tolerance.
But what does ouabain have to do with cancer and civilization? According to my biochemist patient, ouabain does two things: it flushes lactic acid from the cells, and it catalyzes the ability of the cells, particularly the heart cells, to metabolize fats into energy. He calls it the “insulin of the heart,” or the “insulin of fat metabolism.” Without the hormone ouabain you have a difficult time digesting fats, which may be why you temporarily seem better on a carbohydrate diet. If you don’t have enough ouabain, you can’t metabolize fats, and you can’t get energy from fats. We actually know the specific biochemical fat metabolism blockade that it overcomes. But the next question is: how could this substance from an African vine have anything to do with helping cancer patients in civilization?
What I have learned from this biochemist and others in studying the history of ouabain is an interesting revelation. Here is a chemical, a hormone that is found only in this one African vine, strophanthus. By an amazing quirk of nature we humans make the exact same chemical in our adrenal glands. You can radioactively tag precursors of this hormone and the precursors light up in the adrenal glands; ouabain also lights up the adrenal glands, proving that you actually make ouabain from this precursor. It goes into the blood, into the heart and all the other cells in the body, allowing you to use fats as fuel while also flushing out lactic acid from your cells.
The inability to metabolize fats is in some ways exactly the defect we have with cancer. The inability to use fat as fuel, and therefore the reliance on sugar, causes increased levels of insulin. Excess insulin stimulates growth, and an increase in lactic acid builds up because of the deficiency of ouabain. This leads to a state of acidosis which is essentially necrosis—it poisons the cells.
Cancer cells are cells in a state of acidosis. This is why people came up with alkalinizing diets for cancer patients; but these diets rarely work in the long run because your body doesn’t actually need more alkaline foods; what it needs is more fat. What you need to do is change your metabolism so that lactic acid doesn’t build up in your cells, and the adrenal hormone ouabain helps you do that.
By the way, ouabain is made out of cholesterol; or to put it another way, ouabain is made from animal fats. And since the widely used statin drugs inhibit the production of cholesterol, they also inhibit the production of ouabain. Here is yet another example of fear about one of nature’s vital processes—the use of cholesterol in the human body—that is so characteristic of civilized man.
Fear of cholesterol and saturated fat has led to a vicious cycle. Ouabain catalyzes the metabolism of fats, allowing you to eat them, so you eat more. If you don’t eat cholesterol and fats, or if you try to lower your cholesterol, you can’t make oaubain and then you can’t eat fats, and so you think you are doing better if you decrease the amount of fats in your diet. The next thing you know you have more insulin from increased carbohydrate consumption, and then you are in big trouble.


Steiner once said that for mankind to make progress, men and women would need to learn not to work for money. Of course you want to be paid for what you do, but you should not work simply for money. If you work every day in a job you don’t love, then you are going to put enormous stress on your adrenal glands. Eventually they will not be able to produce the cardiotonics and endorphins that you need to stay well, happy and cancer free.
In fact, everything we do should be enjoyable—our work, our leisure time, our family life, our food—yet even eating has become stressful today as we are hounded to stick to a soulless lowfat diet. The threat of cancer should challenge us to humanize our existence, to inject the stress-free attitude of primitive peoples into our stressful, goal-oriented civilized lives.
This is really our only choice because we can’t go back. Very few of us would want to go back to primitive tribal life, a life without electricity, without gadgets, without books and computers, a life, in fact, without the opportunity for personal choice that we have become used to. What we can do is choose to bring the village life back to civilization, by choosing not to work for money, by choosing to enjoy our food, by choosing to do the things we love to do, by reducing the pace, by socializing with friends, by taking naps, by doing as much for ourselves as we do for others, by supporting old-fashioned and sustainable agriculture, and above all by eating lots and lots of animal fats.

I sometimes say that having access to the Weston Price philosophy is a bit like taking a test and knowing the answer beforehand. When you wonder how to proceed with any subset of human endeavor, you can look backward to find (or remember) the right answer. Along with this, I’m sure you’ve heard about the “hundredth-monkey” effect. This phenomenon refers to the instantaneous, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned the new ability. When the hundredth monkey learned to wash sweet potatoes, then every monkey in the world was supposedly washing sweet potatoes as well via this process.
There are certain things that bubble up out of the culture at certain times. The thing that is bubbling up right now, for the obvious reason that we are poisoning and killing ourselves environmentally and in a lot of other ways, is this big question of how we should live. This question affects even very small, specific matters in our lives.
I read a book recently called Born to Run. The theory of this book is that human beings evolved running and walking barefoot. As soon as you run and walk with shoes on you will have injuries to your legs and back. In fact they point out a study from the American College of Orthopedic Medicine that seventy percent of all runners have a significant injury within a year, and the number one thing that correlates with the likelihood of having an injury is the price of your running shoes. The higher the price of your shoes the more likely you are to injure yourself. Because the foot craves to find a hard place to impact the ground, and the more expensive running shoes have more cushion in the heel and now even springs, you really have to grind your leg in order to find that hard place. That puts stress on your ankle and knee and then hip and then back. We even know the physiological mechanism of how that works. But as I said, you already know the answer to the question of what to put on your feet, because the healthiest people, the ones who didn’t have leg and back problems were these “uncivilized” people who walked and ran barefoot all the time. You already knew the answer to that conundrum; we just had to fill in the science.
This thinking process can be applied to shoes; it can also be applied to electromagnetic fields, to cell phones. If you look at the life of these “uncivilized” people, they didn’t have cell phones, they didn’t have electromagnetic fields. If you ask me when to go to bed at night, ask instead when did they do it? They went to bed when it got dark and woke up when it got light. If you have a serious illness like cancer and you know these people never had cancer, then you might want to consider emulating their lifestyle strategy not only in their diet but in every possible way: walk barefoot on the beach; when you wear shoes, wear shoes with flat soles; throw away your cell phone; live as far away from a cell tower as you can; go to bed when the sun goes down and don’t sleep near any electric appliances like alarm clocks, and certainly not under an electric blanket.
If you have cancer of your colon or liver, breast or prostate, and we want to know if the cancer has spread to any other part of the body, we can use a nuclear medicine imaging technique called PET (positron emission topography). This technique highlights any other nests of cancer cells and is the conventional approach for checking on the spread of cancer. The process involves radioactively tagged glucose that is injected into the body and then that glucose is selectively picked up by various cells in the body. We know that cancer cells love to eat glucose, so they actively pick up the tagged glucose. The highlighted nests of radioactive glucose therefore indicate areas of the strongest growth of cancer cells. In other words, cancer cells thrive on sugar. Cancer cells use an anaerobic respiration of sugar to form acids. That is the metabolism of cancer cells. The reason the cancer patient starves while the cancer cells grow is because they are much better at taking up the sugar than are normal cells. If we understand this selective metabolism of cancer well enough to diagnose its growth, then the next step is to withhold sugar and see what happens. The trouble is we need a backup fuel source. And there is a back up fuel source: ketones from fats. Cancer cells cannot metobolize ketones. Normal cells do fine on ketones; we know this from fifty years of successfully utilizing a therapeutic very high-fat ketogenic diet. Cancer patients on a ketogenic diet will often have their tumors shrink and will halt their cachexia—their physical wasting and weight loss. The cancer cells starve on a ketogenic diet, but normal cells thrive.
Now take a moment to think of these pre-civilized people 10,000 years ago before the cultivation of grains. I hope by now you are convinced they did not suffer from cancer. These people ate a ketogenic diet. Think about pre-grain, pre-potatoes, pre-milk—where were the carbohydrates? They ate seventy percent animal foods, a little bit of seeds and nuts, a few vegetables that they could find, honey when they could chase off the bees. And we know that they favored the animal fats rather than the proteins. Their main fuel was ketones. Our whole notion of the right diet for cancer patients today is backwards. The knee-jerk dietary prescription for cancer patients is a lowfat, high-carbohydrate diet. But the primary fuel for many human groups is ketones, and the backup fuel is glucose. Glucose as a fuel source would have been used in an emergency—to sprint away from a dangerous situation, for example. It is essentially an anaerobic backup system that produces lactic acid and acidosis and is only meant to be used for a brief period of time.
It is also important to note that with the ketogenic diet protein intake is kept low to moderate, with fat as the main fuel source. Protein consumption in excess of your actual needs will be metabolized like sugars, by the way. Insulin has long been implicated as the growth hormone, stimulating growth in cancer cells as well. We want to lower the insulin levels in the blood and by far the most reliable way to do that is to get rid of the sugar.
How does one achieve a diet that is 80 percent fat? It’s not as hard as you think, because by 80 percent, we mean 80 percent of calories, not 80 percent of weight or volume. Since there are twice as many calories in a gram of fat compared to a gram of carbohydrate or protein, and since fat contains no water but carbohydrate and protein foods can be up to 90 percent water, that means that if your diet is about 10 percent of fat by volume or weight, you will probably be eating 80 percent of your calories as fat. (For a detailed explanation see Adventures in Macronutrient Land at
Here are some ways to increase your fat intake:
• Take 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil in hot water before a meal.
• Add an extra yolk to scrambled eggs.
• Cook some fruit along with your bacon so you soak up some bacon fat into the fruit.
• Use plenty of butter in your oatmeal or on your bread—you should put enough butter on your bread to show teeth marks when you bite into it.
• Put lots of melted butter on your vegetables or even on your meat and fish.
• Use cream in sauces.
• Make gravy with pan drippings.
• Always consume whole dairy products—whole milk, whole yoghurt, full-fat cheese.
• Cook in generous amounts of lard, ghee, butter, goose fat or duck fat.
• Spreads like paté are a good way to consume extra fat.
If you are not used to eating a lot of fat, you will need to build up slowly. Start with 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil in hot water, small amounts of butter on your bread or vegetables, small servings of whole dairy products. Swedish bitters taken morning and evening (1 teaspoon in water) will help your liver produce bile for fat digestion. If you still have trouble with all that fat, you can take an ox bile tablet with your meal, or lipase enzymes. Eventually you will be able to tolerate and enjoy a diet full of healthy fats. You may also find that any cravings for carbohydrates subside once your body gets the fat it needs.
This study showed that complementary treatment with sME [a mistletoe extract] can beneficially reduce the side-effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients and thus improve quality of life (Anticancer Res 2004 Jan-Feb;24(1):303-9).
The results of this study show that sensitivity to IscadorQu [a mistletoe extract] treatment varies strongly between different cell lines. In sensitive cell lines, including tumor and endothelial cell cultures, IscadorQu caused early cell cycle inhibition followed by apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner (Int J Oncol 2004 Dec;25(6):1521-9).
Complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with lectin-standardized mistletoe extract (sME) proved to be a well tolerated optimization of standard tumor-destructive therapies, mainly improving quality of life and relapse-free intervals in defined UICC stages (Anticancer Res 2003 Nov-Dec;23(6D):5081-7).
Mistletoe extracts have immunomodulatory activity. We show that nontoxic concentrations of Viscum album [mistletoe] extracts increase natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing of tumor cells but spare nontarget cells from NK lysis (Eur J Biochem 2002 May;269(10):2591-600).
Results from the present study suggest that VA [an extract of mistletoe] extract-induced endothelial apoptosis may explain the tumor regression associated with the therapeutic use of VA preparations and support further investigations to develop novel anti-angiogenic compounds based on mistletoe compounds (Mol Med 2002 Oct;8(10):600-6).
These results demonstrate the presence of insulin-releasing natural product(s) in Viscum album [mistletoe] which may contribute to the reported antidiabetic property of the plant (J Endocrinol 1999 Mar;160(3):409-14).
Selective apoptotic effects of VAA-I [a mistletoe extract] may represent a novel approach for pharmacological manipulation of the balance between cell growth and programmed cell death. Appropriate combination of immunomodulatory and cytotoxic doses may open new clinical perspectives in the mistletoe therapy (Forsch Komplementarmed 1999 Aug;6(4):186-94).
Although I have pointed out the destructive nature of grain production—and, I should also add, of feeding grains to ruminant animals—and of the “civilized” attitudes that lead to cancer, please don’t think that I am against grains and against civilization. In every mythology, grains are said to be a gift of the gods. Steiner taught that grains were the gift of a great wise man named Zarathustra, and that along with grains he gave us one other gift: the knowledge of our mortality. With the knowledge of our mortality, we become individuals and can no longer participate in the group soul of the tribe or village. Instead we must build a civilization as individuals, and grains make civilization possible.
All this is as it should be: we need to make our way in the world and learn to understand the world as an individual. Along with this comes the scientific method and a rejection of anything that smacks of “intuition” or “superstition.” All this has created a feeling of alienation and loneliness in “civilized” men and women, but again, this is part of our spiritual evolution. Grains have played a role in moving us forward.
The challenge for any individual is to go forward on this great adventure of spiritual evolution without causing too much suffering to ourselves or to others. In the case of grains, this means raising them in a way that does not deplete the earth (which means cultivating grains in rotation with animal agriculture), eating them in moderation, preparing them properly so that they don’t cause health problems, and then consuming them properly, which means with plenty of fat. In fact, if you think of it, it would be hard to eat four tablespoons of butter alone, but very easy to eat four tablespoons of butter on a piece of sourdough bread—the bread makes the butter go down well and the butter makes the bread go down well.
When we are very sick with a disease of civilization—such as cancer, heart disease or arthritis—then we need to step back to a more hunter-gatherer diet, perhaps even avoid grains altogether for a time. But the goal should be to incorporate them into our diet, because we need grains to make spiritual progress, that is, to be healthy on all levels.
I had a patient who had many health problems and the GAPS diet helped her recover from them. But after recovery she continued on the GAPS diet and she started to go downhill—not with the old symptoms, but she just got more and more tired. I advised her to add more grains to her diet—soaked oatmeal and sourdough bread—and she immediately snapped out of it. So there is a time to go off grains and a time to reintroduce them!