Monday, October 4, 2010

The Warnings Keep Coming, But Is Anybody Listening?

Got a few things to talk about this week. The theme? We keep getting warned about potential issues with medications, the political underpinnings of health care, and dangers regarding products we use and consume, but the warnings are side-notes, buried in the back of the paper, confined to the pages on health books generally dismissed by the mainstream medical community, and on the web – if you know where to look. But, if you’re reading this, then you might want to know a couple of things. In no particular order:

When a new client joins our Center, we always ask if they ever (a) suffered from any form of chronic infection, such as ear infections, sinus infections, etc.; and (b) took antibiotics for extended periods of time. You’d be surprised to learn that the majority of our students answer these questions with a resounding “Yes!”

We ask for two main reasons. First, chronic infections often are a sign of a food allergy (or, if you prefer, a food “aversion”). Simply put, the student is eating something that is triggering an immune response and making them sick. But, food allergies are not the point of this blog -- that’s a whole ‘nother story.

It is the second reason that I’d like to address here. For years, we have known that antibiotics can wreak havoc on the digestive system. This can negatively impact the student’s immune system, since the vast majority (70% to 80%, depending on your reference source) resides in the digestive system. Your immune system, of course, has a direct impact on your overall health, but it also has a major impact on your mood and behavior.

Surprise, surprise. While everyone knows that antibiotic use can upset your stomach, a new study reveals that “repeatedly taking [antibiotics] can trigger long-lasting changes in all those good germs that live in your gut, raising questions about lingering ill effects.” Newsday, 9/14/10 at A33. The article noted that three healthy adults who had not used antibiotics in at least the past year where given low, five-day courses of the antibiotic Cipro, six months apart. The researchers found that the “bacterial diversity” of those three individuals “plummeted as a third to half of the volunteers’ original germ species were nearly wiped out, though other species moved in.”

How could this not affect your immune system?

Did you hear? The Food Pyramid may be “so politically influenced that it is ineffective.” (check out Newsday, 10/4/10 at A23). “This year, the meat lobby has opposed strict warnings on sodium that could cast a negative light on lunch meats. The milk lobby has contested warnings to cut back on added sugars, lest chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk fall from favor.” Really? You don’t say. And, here I thought the Food Pyramid was a totally objective, science-based guide to eating healthy . . .

So who says Frankenfood is bad for you? Well, a lot of people, actually. According to “This Supermarket ‘Health Food’ Killed These Baby Rats in Three Weeks,” written By Jeffrey Smith and Posted By Dr. Mercola on October 4, 2010, Biologist Arpad Pusztai; Irina Ermakova, a senior scientist at the Russian National Academy of Sciences; Embryologist AndrĂ©s Carrasco; Epidemiologist Judy Carman; prominent virologist Terje Traavik; and Ohio State University plant ecologist Allison Snow. In one way or another, these researchers and scientists proved that genetically modified foods can be quite harmful. But, each and every one of these individuals was put through a trial by fire. Some were fired from their positions, others had research funding withdrawn, some had their research blocked, and some were even subject to baseless rumors attacking their credibility. See

Really, if we can’t trust the companies that are genetically mutilating our food, who can we trust?

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