Sunday, March 29, 2009

Learn the truth about Splenda

How can it not be a good thing? You know, sucralose (Splenda) being substituted for all of that bad, blood-sugar raising, teeth-rotting sugar? It turns out that this artificial sweetener is even worse for your health than real sugar.

Making Splenda involves adding three chlorine molecules to a molecule of sucrose. So Splenda's advertising claim that it is made from real sugar is true. However, the finished product contains a fair amount of chlorine, which is toxic to your body. The sucrose ends up being a chlorinated fructo-galactose molecule as the end product. The human body is unable to metabolize this substance, which is why you can consume it without it affecting your calorie intake. In it's final form, Splenda is closer to the chemical makeup of DDT than sugar! It is chlorinated sugar that your body can't process.

But just because Splenda is not metabolized by your body does not mean it passes through without harm. It is still absorbed by your body, and an average of 15% of it is not excreted. So you're building up a toxic supply of chlorinated fructo-galactose in your body, which is a molecule that doesn't even occur in nature.

It is also important to realize that no long term human studies on the effects of Splenda have been done, and there are no independent human studies on sucralose. (meaning studies funded by someone other than the manufacturer of Splenda) Research performed by the manufacturer prior to FDA approval for its use as a food additive shows numerous side effects from its consumption, but the manufacturer did not make this information public, instead only publishing the studies that show Splenda in a positive light. (See reference here.)

Splenda Side Effects Hotline Established

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2007 - Citizens for Health (CFH), the national grassroots advocacy organization committed to protecting and expanding natural health choices, has announced the establishment of 1-888-774-CALL (2255), a hotline for consumers who believe they are suffering side effects from the use of the artificial sweetener, Splenda. In light of the complaints they have already received, the group is also renewing their call for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against McNeil Nutritionals, the manufacturer of Splenda.

Helpful Links & Resources

Here's a list of some useful places to go to learn more! I'll be adding more...

Dr. Mercola
The Whys and Hows of Sprouting
Citizens for Health - turning health education into action

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"The only safe vaccine is one that is never used." Dr. James R. Shannon, former director of the National Institute of Health

What does Dr. Shannon know about vaccines that has convinced him they're unsafe? Plenty! But wait a minute, you say, why would the government require schoolchildren to be vaccinated if it isn't safe? Why would respected researchers and physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, for crying out loud, be pushing vaccinations on our kids if they aren't safe?

To understand the complexity of this issue, the first thing to do is open your mind. Throw away your preconceived notions and move that mental roadblock out of your path. Consider the unthinkable, just for a moment, that not everyone has your kid's best interests at heart.

Has that sunk in yet? If not, stop reading and think about that some more. What if...just what if the government, the schools, the pediatricians, and the drug companies have some other motivation for wanting your child to be vaccinated, other than because they want your kid to live a long and healthy life? What sorts of reasons could they have for wanting our nation's youngsters to get their shots?

Let's fill in the blanks. Big Pharma wants big profits, and vaccinations are profitable, particularly when they're government mandated. Our children are nothing more than faceless beings swimming in a sea of dollar signs to the drug companies who manufacture vaccines. So it's good business for them to conspire with the medical establishment to keep folks coming back for more and, oh yes, paying to be injected with this stuff!

To say this is a highly charged issue would be an understatement, so perhaps if you're new to this debate it would help for you to reserve judgement until after you've done some reading on your own.

Do away with that collective belief in our value system that people in authority (take doctors, for example, or the government) are unbiased and altruistic toward the rest of us. Entertain the possibility that people and institutions could be wrong.

Here are two excellent articles to read, but please let this be just a start.
James Howenstein, MD.
Russell L. Blaylock. MD.

As a mother who used to vaccinate her kids and STOPPED a few years ago, all I can say is that "I was blind, but now I see!" The information is all out there for the taking. Get started!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup Inhibits Weight Loss

There's really no worthwhile reason to consume HFCS, despite the pricey ad campaign by the Corn Refiners Association to convince you it's perfectly safe. Let's not mince words here: HFCS is dangerous! HFCS is metabolized differently by your body than regular table sugar. It raises triglyceride levels, for one thing, and this is a huge predictor for heart disease.

The other product of HFCS breakdown in the body is adipose tissue. A 2008 study published in Science Daily offers proof of this mechanism.

"Our study shows for the first time the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose," Dr. Parks said. Fructose, glucose and sucrose, which is a mixture of fructose and glucose, are all forms of sugar but are metabolized differently.

"All three can be made into triglycerides, a form of body fat; however, once you start the process of fat synthesis from fructose, it's hard to slow it down," she said.

Read the article here

Much easier weight loss can be achieved by limiting HFCS, in addition to the more traditonal advice of counting calories and increasing exercise. Sweetened drinks are particularly worrisome in this regard because soda is the leading source of calories in the typical American's diet. HFCS has no doubt played a role in the ongoing obesity epidemic.

Anyone who still believes the hype about HFCS being the same as real sugar is simply in denial.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conventional vs. Organic Produce: Big Differences in Nutritional Content

There was a recent article in Time Magazine that caught the attention of produce farmers and consumers alike. This attention-grabbing quote is from the February 18, 2009, issue.

If you're still not buying the whole "organic-is-better" argument, this study might convince you otherwise.

The article explains how produce grown today is larger than that of 50 years ago, but contains drastically fewer nutrients. This is because varieties have been bred for size, rapid maturity, and tolerance to pesticides, rather than nutritional content. If it looks good on the store shelves, people will buy it, not knowing it is nutritionally inferior.

Read the entire article here.

Organic foods are the exception to this trend. They contain higher amounts of minerals and vitamins than their conventionally grown counterparts. Heirloom varieties are even more intriguing because they haven’t been bred to look impressive to customers in a grocery store. Organic produce has also not been treated with chemicals and therefore doesn’t contain dangerous pesticide residues.

Fruits and vegetables used to be just that – fruits and vegetables. But consumers nowadays have so much more to consider than their parents’ generation did. The price is no longer an accurate gauge of how much time or effort went into growing the crops, but could just as easily reflect high transport costs for produce grown far away from your local store. Now we also see that how a piece of produce looks in the store is no longer enough information to make a good decision on how nourishing it is. And with GMO produce appearing in stores on a regular basis now, many consumers are fed up and rejecting the whole system. Organics aren’t just for hippies anymore!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Dangers of Soda, Part Two

You may have heard how soda is a source of “empty” calories, or in other words, it’s a bunch of sugar water with no nutritional value. But what’s important to understand is that soda is far more than empty calories. Many of the substances present in your favorite soft drink, even in small amounts, are downright harmful.

Take phosphorus, for example, which is found in many sodas. It weakens bones by depleting them of calcium. Phosphorus and calcium do not mix! The more soda you drink, the higher your risk for osteoporosis. The problem is even worse for the younger crowd, children and teens who are in the prime years for calcium deposition in their growing bones. For this same reason, there’s also a correlation between soda consumption and bone fractures in kids and young adults. Who would have thought a can of Pepsi could lower your bone density?

Better yet, I’ll bet you’d think I’m kidding if I told you that one of the most toxic and carcinogenic substances on the planet is present in soda. Think again – this is no joke. Soft drinks use benzoate salt as a preservative, and this combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the drinks to form benzene. Years ago, when this problem became apparent, many manufacturers reformulated their products to avoid this chemical reaction. However, the FDA decided to let the industry regulate itself and correct the problem, so guess what happened next? No regulations whatsoever exist to prevent the combination of these two substances in soft drinks.

Nowadays, folks here and there have caught on that soda is awfully bad for you, and to combat this negativity, some manufacturers are trying to make the stuff appear healthy by adding vitamins. The issue of benzene was in the news a few years ago but the fuss has largely died down. With no regulation on the matter, manufacturers are free to tout their “healthy” soft drinks, loaded with stuff that can kill you, but fortified with vitamins and minerals. The reaction of benzoic acid and vitamin C is once again a problem, as benzene is back in a friendly soft drink near you.

Read this excerpt and pay attention to the word “only” in the first sentence.

ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2008)Only nine percent of 199 beverage samples had benzene levels above the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit of 5 parts per billion (ppb) for benzene in drinking water, according to a study by EPA and U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists.

(Read the entire article here.)

This is a prime example of a factual statement carefully crafted to try and overcome it’s own inherent negativity. In other words, USE YOUR BRAIN and read this study for what it is, not what the writer wants you to hear. If they omitted the word “only”, this statement would sound too alarmist, so “only” is used to tone it down a bit. Bottom line is that benzene was found in 9 percent of the samples tested, and an astute reader will see that’s 9 percent too much!

So to sum up, when you enjoy a frosty cold soft drink, you're consuming much more than empty calories. This toxic brew is loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup, mercury, Genetically-Modified organisms (GMO), phosphorus, and quite possibly benzene. Bottoms up!