Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Truth About Aspartame And Your Health

A quick online search of Aspartame will provide you with numerous opinions about this artificial sweetener.  Some claim it causes things like cancer, seizures, multiple sclerosis, lupus, memory problems and brain tumors.  Just about every governmental organization in the world, regulating food products, have deemed it safe for human consumption. (But, you know, just about every governing body in the world still gets the “sodium raises blood pressure” myth wrong, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, so let’s not take their word on the whole Aspartame thing!) In an attempt to provide some sanity to the controversy, let’s take an in-depth look at this sweet, supposed compound-of-death and see if we can’t make sense of the madness.
Aspartame was first developed by G.D. Searle and Co in 1965.  In 1974, it gained approval from the FDA as a food additive.  The benefit of using Aspartame over sugar is the result of how sweet it is.  Sugar and Aspartame both produce about 4 calories per gram.  Aspartame, however, is about 180 times sweeter than sugar.  Thus, you need much less to get the same perception of sweetness.  This is the reason it works so well as a low-calorie sweetener.
Aspartame is made of the two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, and the alcohol, methanol.  All of the health concerns regarding this sweet supplement are a result of what those three things can do to the body.
The question then becomes, do the three parts of Aspartame cause health problems?  The quick answer is yes, at high enough levels they do, but please don’t stop reading here- the quick answer isn’t the whole answer.
So if high doses of Aspartame are harmful, why are they allowed in our food?
It turns out, low doses aren’t harmful and we even need those amino acids to perform certain functions within the body.  In fact, phenylalanine and aspartic acid are either produced by our bodies from many other foods, or are already found naturally in our diets.
Methanol, more commonly known as wood-alcohol, is definitely not needed by our bodies.  If you’re wondering why it’s allowed in Aspartame, it’s because it’s already found in many drinks like wine, whiskey and beer.  As you might guess from the fact that humans have been ingesting these for ages, at low levels, it seems methanol has no long term consequences.
That said, anything we take into our bodies in high enough doses can be harmful.  Arguably, the most basic of human needs is water.  Even water in high doses can kill you, in what is being called water-intoxication.  An effect that leads to inadequate amounts of salt in your blood, called hyponatremia. While you may think this would never happen, over the course of my career as a paramedic, I’ve actually been on calls and seen people die as a result of drinking too much water.  Exactly how this can take place and more specifically what is going on in the body is a topic for another article, though, as this one’s already really long!
In the end, almost everything we take in needs to fall within a certain range to be beneficial, or at the least not overly harmful.  Some things even in miniscule doses can be deadly.  For many others, it takes large doses to have lasting negative effects.  The phrase, everything in moderation, comes to mind here.
Since we already have Aspartame’s three ingredients in many of the foods we eat, the question of Aspartame’s safety is more appropriately: are the levels found in Aspartame, and the dose you may be ingesting, high enough to cause unwanted health effects?
To answer that, I’ll need to go into a little more depth on the aforementioned three things that make up Aspartame.
Aspartic acid is one of the many amino acids that help make the numerous proteins our bodies use.  It helps the liver by aiding in the removal of ammonia, and is involved in the production of anti-bodies created by the immune system.  It can be found in many different types of foods like asparagus, avocado’s, sugar beets, sausages, and molasses.
Too much aspartic acid can be seen in several different disease processes like: Lou Gehrig’s disease, Epilepsy, and certain strokes.  Unfortunately for those fighting against Aspartame, the levels seen in these conditions are several fold higher than can be achieved by eating Aspartame at recommended amounts.   There has also never been a direct cause and effect shown between these diseases and increased aspartic acid intake.
Methanol, in general, does result in some unwanted reactions within the body.  Specifically, it’s taken up by the cells of the body and the production of formaldehyde and formic acid are the result.  Formaldehyde at high levels will cause proteins to form abnormally. The result is proteins that no longer function.
Formic acid, at high levels, will cause abnormal metabolic processes within cells, causing them to cease functioning.  The result is death to that cell due to a lack of energy.  This is because it disrupts the organelle responsible for a cells metabolism, known as your mitochondria.  Some cells within the body are extremely sensitive to formic acid, specifically the ones in the optic nerve.  This is why blindness is associated with methanol poisoning.
So does Aspartame produce enough methanol to harm people?  Probably not.  There are numerous other foods we eat every day that have the same, or higher, amounts of methanol than Aspartame.  Beer and wine aside, foods like tomatoes (and tomato juice), and citrus fruits and their associated juices are good examples here.
This brings us to the last ingredient of Aspartame, phenylalanine.  There is a rare disorder called Phenylketonuria affecting about 1 in 10,000 people.  This ailment leaves your body an inability to break down phenylalanine.  Left untreated, toxic levels of phenylalanine build up.  The results can be things like developmental disorders, cardiac rhythm problems, seizures and severe learning disabilities.
Fortunately, most babies born in the developed world are tested for this disorder and treatment usually involves diet control.  Diet control because there are many foods that contain higher levels of phenylalanine than Aspartame.  Specifically, the many different types of proteins we take in.  Knowing this disorder exists, the FDA requires that Aspartame products be labeled specifically for phenylketonuria patients.
Like any food additive evaluated by the FDA, there is an extensive process that takes place before manufacturers are allowed to put it in our foods.  When the FDA first approved Aspartame as an additive, there were numerous controversies surrounding its approval.  Those controversies revolved around the studies the FDA looked at, advocating Aspartame’s safety.  That said, since its initial distribution to the masses, there have been countless new studies performed looking at Aspartame’s safety.  Numerous other reviews of the research have been conducted by several agencies, including the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The most recent was conducted by the EFSA and issued on December 10, 2013.  That review looked at almost all studies performed on Aspartame, in animal and human alike.  Knowing there is such a large controversy surrounding the supplement, the EFSA’s independent panel of experts issued an open public call for any data, comments, or concerns on Aspartame.  According to Alicia Mortensen, chair of the EFSA’s panel, “This opinion represents one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of Aspartame ever undertaken.”
The panel concluded that Aspartame does not cause cancer at the levels consumed by humans, and it doesn’t cause problems during pregnancy.  Overall, “There were no safety concerns at the current ADI (acceptable daily intake) of 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.”
For your reference, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there are on average about 180 mg of aspartame in a typical 12 ounce can of diet soda.  So an adult weighing 165 pounds would need to drink about 16 cans of diet soda per day to exceed the recommended limit, which itself is set drastically below dangerous thresholds. Specifically, according to the ACS, the acceptable daily intake is set at “about 100 times less than the smallest amount that might cause health concerns, based on studies done in lab animals.”  Not that you’d be able to in reality, but if you actually managed to drink 1,600 cans of diet soda in a day (one every 54 seconds), you’ll have much bigger problems than aspartame intake.
Even though the EFSA’s extremely comprehensive review should have put this issue to rest, there are researchers who still think they didn’t go far enough.
Erik Millstone, a science and food policy expert at the University of Sussex, UK, wrote an open letter to colleagues in response to the EFSA’s review.  In it, he states the panel knowingly ignored studies showing negative effects of Aspartame and deemed them unreliable.   All while the studies showing no ill effects were deemed reliable.
The initial question then still remains.  Does Aspartame have negative health effects? Some studies say it can and some say it can’t.  However, every study I could find showing negative effects did so at levels not normally consumed by any human. (They were also all animal studies.)  Again, even water will kill you if you drink too much of it.
In response to the numerous animal studies that did show an increase in health problems at high levels, Dr. David Hattan, acting director of the Division of Health Effects Evaluation in the FDA, states:
The legitimate attempts that have been made to confirm and replicate allegations of adverse reactions from Aspartame ingestion have not been successful and the USFDA continues to consider this to be among the most thoroughly tested of food additives and this information continues to confirm the safety of Aspartame.
In the end, at levels recommended by health safety experts, Aspartame has never been shown to result in negative health effects.  Should you want to get those unwanted health problems, according to animal studies, just consume an unrealistic amount of diet soft drinks on a daily basis for several years.
Just remember, you would get the same problems should you continually take in excessive amounts of things like beer, wines, red meats, tomatoes, and sugar beets over those same few years.  If you did, however, manage to drink this much soda, whether you drank it with Aspartame or sugar, you’re in for an awful lot of other health problems which will most likely kill you well before anything like cancer from Aspartame.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Amazing New Paste From Japan Heals Cavities Without Drilling

An incredible breakthrough treatment for tooth decay is set to be unveiled shortly: A team of researchers in Japan led by Kazue Yamagishi, D.M.D. have come up with a special paste that regenerates the tooth enamel, causing teeth to self-repair. This is an astonishing discovery.

Did you know that 60% of dental therapy is said to be a retreatment of teeth that have already been treated? This is because dental filling materials such as resin or metal alloy are totally different from a tooth in composition and structure, and those differences cause tooth decay at the point where the two materials make contact.

Remineralization of teeth is a subject plagued by controversy, with “orthodox” dental theory holding that once teeth are decayed, there is simply no going back. But has this ever struck you as strange? If your skin or bones are damaged, they grow back. Why not teeth? Why is this “impossible”?

Alternative dental theory, such as that propounded by Dr. Westin A. Price, maintains that the problem with our teeth is actually caused by modern agriculture, which does not provide the body with the level of minerals that are needed to prevent decay or even for teeth to heal. Dr. Price examined the skulls of very ancient tribal people and found that they had excellent and even perfect dental health, despite living in an era before toothpaste, toothbrushes or dental fillings existed!

However, the “official position” on whether tooth enamel can regenerate “naturally” may soon be completely irrelevant, thanks to the work of Kazue Yamagishi – whose synthetic enamel treatment will (according to his website) be available to the public in 2016. He states on his website “We have succeeded in developing such therapy of dreams”.  Curiously, the method makes perfect sense:

Regrow the tooth using the exact crystalline minerals a tooth is made from, rather than attempting to patch it with another substance.

Enamel is the outer layer of the human tooth. It is approximately 1 to 1.5mm thick and composed of hydroxyapatite (HAP) crystals. Acid-forming bacteria in the mouth typically damage this enamel gradually over time and this effect is of course accelerated by poor dental hygiene, which allows the bacteria to grow in greater numbers. The new paste of Dr. Yamagishi “grows HAP crystals, which are exactly like those in natural enamel, at the affected site within 15 min”. The team reported their exact methods (including listing the exact substances used) in a scientific paper  and reported that the new enamel, when examined under a high power microscope, grew continuous crystals, with no discontinuous boundary being observed.

The treatment is currently in the clinical trial stage in Japan, but no trials are scheduled in EU or USA yet. Another great reason to visit Japan… but let’s show our support for introducing these possibilities to the rest of the world.

Note that this paste will require a dentist’s application and is reported unsuitable for home use due to the care which must be taken for the chemicals not to touch the gums at all. Also it is reported to work best on “microcaries” – the first stage of dental decay. However it really does seem that this treatment could prevent decay from ever getting hold and even bring us to the point where with proper treatment, tooth decay really becomes a thing of the past!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Essential Oils Might Be The New Antibiotics

The following plants and their essential oils have been found to be effective in fighting bacteria according to numerous studies:

1. Oregano. Its antibiotic properties have been proven to kill bacteria thriving in animal intestines. Many people also report success when using oregano leaf tincture against colds and taking oregano oil capsules in cases of bacterial stomach illness.
2. Chili peppers. The phytochemicals found in chili peppers possess immune-enhancing properties that protect animals against live coccidiosis.
3. Cinnamon. The use of cinnamon was related to antigen presentation and humoral immune response, and was found to boost the immune system against bacterial infections.
4. Turmeric. Turmeric also provides higher protective immunity against coccidiosis.
5. Rosemary. Rosemary essential oil has been found effective in killing salmonella.
6. Thyme. It also exhibits antibacterial properties beneficial to humans, and is found to be effective in bacterial vaginosis.
7. Tea tree oil. It effectively clears MRSA, an infection that has become resistant to most commonly-used antibiotics.
8. Lemongrass. Lemongrass oil also reduces MRSA when used as a component for hand gels and cleansers.

Another potent antibiotic spice is garlic, which has been found by studies to be 100x more effective than antibiotics against food poisoning bacteria.

Antibiotics And Livestock

In today’s drastically growing population, the demand for food supply is also enormously increasing. In the U.S. alone, poultry consumption has gone from 34.7 kilograms per capita to 46 kilograms per capita from the year 1990 to 2016.  With the increasing statistics, livestock farmers are also increasing their production to meet the consumers’ demands, resulting in overpopulated, unhygienic livestock farms.
Farmers have been using antibiotics on an ongoing basis to cure animal diseases, but the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention reported that the excessive / routine use of the drugs has resulted to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  This spells bad news for us because drug-resistant microbes could cause more than 10 million deaths by the year 2050.
Fortunately, numerous studies have been conducted by scientists to explore new alternatives for curing bacterial diseases among livestock. These studies have led to the use of essential oils – whether on their own or in combination with antibiotics – as a safer alternative in fighting numerous pathogens.
Researchers believe that essential oils weaken the cell wall of the resistant bacteria, killing the cell and allowing the antibiotic to work. The phytochemicals found in the plants where the essential oils are derived from also provide resistance to infectious diseases and promotes tumor killing, according to Dr. Cyril Gay, senior national program leader at the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service.

Source: herbal/

Saturday, April 8, 2017

How to Get Rid of Leg Cramps

In addition to causing you searing pain, leg muscle cramps can wake you up in the middle of the night and disturb your sleep. Research has found that these spasms tend to increase during the warmer part of the year. Most of the time, this is caused by dehydration and the loss of electrolytes, which can lead to spasms. Toxins from smoking and heavy alcohol consumption can also affect the balance of electrolytes in your body and increase the likelihood of cramping. 
This terrible pain associated with leg cramps can also occur due to muscle fatigue or mechanical stress on the muscles, especially if you stand for long periods or walk on hard surfaces. Sometimes the cramping is triggered by medication such as diuretics, statins, or beta-blockers.
Discuss alternative medications with your doctor to lessen this side effect. If the pain worsens and the problem continues to the point of debilitation, it’s best to consult with your physician as the condition could indicate a more serious problem.
how to treat leg cramps
While there are prescription drugs available, if the problem isn’t persistent, you can cure these aches with some home remedies. If you prefer to turn to the pharmacy for solutions, over the counter analgesic balms or menstrual cramp medication like Midol or Pamprin are effective. One to avoid is quinine, a commonly prescribed remedy, which is extracted from the bark of Cinchona, a rainforest tree. The FDA has found serious risks with this cure as large dosages can prove fatal.
1. Drink water or Gatorade before bed Heavy exercise and low fluid intake can cause dehydration. Doctors recommend drinking water or electrolyte filled drinks like Gatorade before retiring to sleep. Water naturally relieves cramps and hydrates the muscles, while the mineral filled drinks ensure your electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium are not depleted.
2. Place a bar of soap in bed This strange old wives’ tale is surprisingly effective and medical authorities even endorse it. Place a bar of soap between the mattress and bottom sheet. Experts speculate that it might be effective due to the emissions from the soap, or the gentle pressure that it puts on the muscle when you randomly toss and turn during the night.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Amazing Uses For Vicks you Never Knew


You will never look at that jar of Vicks the same way again. You’ll be so surprised at all the uses you will discover!

There are so many amazing uses for Vicks and you can make your own! Stop coughing by rubbing it on your feet and covering with socks. Try it for Toenail Repair, Healing Cuts and Splinters, to stop your cat from scratching and even toilet training your puppy. Scroll our wall and check out all the ideas and Pin your favourites.

12 Uses For Vicks Vaporub 

Vicke VapoRub 

Vicks Insect Repellant 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

How to Naturally Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is one of the leading concerns among health professionals today, as more and more individuals fall prey to this life-long and dangerous disease. It is caused when the blood sugar levels rise to an excess, which results in a resistance to insulin. Once this happens, the diabetic individual can no longer control their blood sugar levels, and they can rise and fall with serious consequences. Yet whether you are diabetic or know someone who is, it is important to implement measures to control blood sugar levels and to stop the spread of diabetes in its tracks.

1. Consume More Dairy Products

The protein and fat in dairy products helps blood sugar levels improve, and if the products are low in fat, it has been shown that they can also decrease the chances for developing insulin resistance.
2. Choose the Right Kind of Bread
Avoid white flour based products at all costs! These simple carbohydrates are full of sugar that spike up your blood sugar. Instead, you should consume whole wheat or rye products that are high in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates, which control blood glucose levels and keep you full for longer. 
3. Cardamom is Great!
Cardamom is a member of the ginger family of spices and comes from Asia as well as South America. The spice is known to regulate Type II diabetes and can be sprinkled on coffee, tea, yogurt and even cereal. The spice is known to help decrease blood glucose levels by eighteen to thirty percent.
4. Maximize the Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral known to help prevent the onset of Type II diabetes and should be consumed as much as possible. It is best to consume natural sources of magnesium such as spinach, fish, nuts, leafy greens and avocados. All of these foods have been proven to lower the risk of diabetes and can even aid in weight loss. 
5. Buckwheat
Buckwheat is an excellent source of fiber that you may have never heard of. It also does wonders for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Buckwheat comes in the form of soba noodles, which are a delicious substitute for rice or pasta, as well as in a number of powders that can be added to baked goods or even on top of a slice of (whole wheat) bread.
6. Drink in Moderation
Alcohol contains huge amounts of sugar, and anyone trying to watch out for their blood sugar should definitely moderate the amount of alcohol they consume. It is best to occasionally drink wine with dinner, and not after dinner when the same glass of wine could alter insulin levels in the blood.
7. Watch Fat Intake
It is important to watch the amount of saturated fats entering the body because these can seriously increase the chances of contracting diabetes. Saturated fats are usually found in fried food and junk food as they are cooked in unhealthy oils. 
8. Exercise Daily
Getting in exercise each day is critical to maintaining normal blood sugar levels, even if it's a brisk walk in the park. 

9. Laughing 
Yes, this really is one of the tips that will lower your chances of developing diabetes. It was found that those who laugh have lower blood sugar levels than those who don't laugh enough (which means that you should keep reading our jokes!)
10. Eat Grapefruit
Grapefruit has been proven to aid in weight loss as it affects the glucose metabolism, keeping insulin levels steady.
11. Do Resistance Training 
Building muscle mass is important for burning more glucose out of your system.  Training once to twice a week could significantly aid in preventing the occurrence of diabetes.
12. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can affect blood sugar and insulin levels so it is important to get enough sleep each night. It is also essential to stop snoring. According to some studies, those who snore are more likely to develop diabetes (because snoring is often tied to being overweight). 
13. Drink Decaf, Not Regular 
Decaffeinated coffee slows down the rate at which the intestines absorb sugars and speeds up the absorption of sugar by the muscles. 
May also interest you:
'Why Am I so Tired?' Here's What to Look out For
14. Eat Smaller Meals 
It is best to have a small meal and then another small meal (or a second half of the regular sized meal) later on (at half hour intervals). It is also important to eat regularly so that insulin levels don't spike, but remain stable throughout the day.
15. Learn Relaxation
Listen to soothing music or read an interesting book, whatever you need to do to relax. Meditation and yoga can also help if they are done properly and on a regular basis.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

10 Ways Beets Are Good for Your Health

Not only are they delicious, but beets are also packed full of vitamins and nutrients. Their rich nutritional content turns them into a powerful medicinal food with various beneficial properties. As early as the Middle Ages, they were used for treatment of digestion and circulatory issues. Beets are rich in antioxidants, fungicidal and anti-inflammatory agents. They are also well-known as a treatment for gall bladder stones and gout, and are even great for reducing cholesterol levels.
The 10 major medical conditions beets can help treat are:

beetroot, health benefits, recipe, video
1. Arthritis – In moderation, beets help prevent arthritis by dissolving deposits that accumulate around the joints thanks to their high alkaline content.
2. Anemia – The high levels of phosphorous, zinc, iodine, copper, calcium and potassium, combined with fat, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, P and niacin) help keep hemoglobin levels high.
3. Inflammation – Thanks to a moderate amount of choline, beets help maintain your muscles, memory and cognitive functions. Additionally, beets can help fight insomnia. Choline also helps sustain the structure of the cellular membranes and assists with impulse transmissions. Combine it with its ability to absorb fat, and beets become an effective anti-inflammatory.

beetroot, health benefits, recipe, video
4. Heart disease – Rich in nitric acid, beets help your blood vessels relax and remain dilated, which prevents heart diseases caused by insufficient blood flow.
5. Dementia – A recent study performed at Wake Forest University confirmed that raw beet juice helps the transfer of oxygen to the brain. This helps maintain the brain in a healthy state, preventing the onset of dementia.

6. High blood pressure – The nitrate in beets gets converted into nitric oxide – a key compound for relaxation and widening blood vessels. This process is highly beneficial to blood flow and circulation.

beetroot, health benefits, recipe, video
7. Arteriosclerosis – Nitric oxide’s benefits also help prevent and reduce the risk of arterial diseases like Arteriosclerosis.
8. Diabetes – Alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that lowers glucose levels, is abundant in beets. It is also effective at reducing stress-induced changes in diabetics.
9. Anti-carcinogenic – The beet’s distinct color comes from phytonutrients. These nutrients combat and help prevent the onset of cancer. Research has shown that in some cases, beet extract was effective in reducing multi-organ tumors. It is believed to be effective in treating breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
10. Low stamina – Raw beet juice helps the muscles oxygenate, helping to improve exercise tolerance. A regular intake of raw beet will help those with metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular issues.

Two beet juice recipes that aid in weight loss
beetroot, health benefits, recipe, video
1. Powerful detox juice Ingredients
•    1 beet - cubed
•    5-6 celery stalks
•    1 cup chopped spinach
•    1 handful cilantro
•    1 tsp. salt
•    Blend all the ingredients until they have a smooth consistency, and add some lemon juice.
2. System booster, rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene Ingredients
•    1 beet – cubed
•    2-3 large carrots – chopped
•    1 celery stalk
•    Blend all the ingredients until they have a smooth consistency and add a pinch of salt.