Soil depletion and the decline in nutritional content of fruits and vegetables

Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

Due to currents levels of soil depletion, genetic modification and pesticides, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. But what’s the nutritional difference between a carrot in 1950s and one today?

Higher antioxidant levels, lower pesticide loads, better farming practices all lead to a more nutritious end product when choosing organic over GMO foods. But the primary culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.

A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

Other findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that organically produced apples have a 15 percent higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples.

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,” reported Davis, “but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.” There have likely been declines in other nutrients, too, he said, such as magnesium, zinc and vitamins B-6 and E, but they were not studied in 1950 and more research is needed to find out how much less we are getting of these key vitamins and minerals.

The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal,found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.

Tomatoes grown by organic methods contain more phenolic compounds than those grown using commercial standards. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry analyzed the phenolic profiles of Daniela tomatoes grown either using ‘conventional’ or organic methods, finding that those grown under organic conditions contained significantly higher levels of phenolic compounds than those grown conventionally.

What can be done? The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. Alternating fields between growing seasons to give land time to restore would be one important step. Also, foregoing pesticides and fertilizers in favor of organic growing methods is good for the soil, the produce and its consumers. Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers.

UT’s Davis warns that just because fruits and vegetables aren’t as healthy as they used to be doesn’t mean we should avoid them. “Vegetables are extraordinarily rich in nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals,” he reported. “They are still there, and vegetables and fruits are our best sources for these.”

GMO Foods Are A Source of The Problem

Most nations in the world have no GMO-Free platform to protect their citizens and although this is slowly changing, most nations are far behind places like Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Egypt, Russia and others who have GMO-Free or national bans on GMOs. Nations such as The United States, Canada, China, UK, Australia, Mexico, and most of South America, Asia and Africa who have no formal GMO-free platforms so that they continue their unrestricted and widespread use in all foods.

The important thing to note in these deficiencies is that these are exactly the deficiencies in a human being that lead to susceptibility to sickness, disorders and cancer. People who have osteoporosis are low in calcium and magnesium, people who have cancer are low in manganese. The list goes on and on. A stunning report on GMO vs. organic corn posted on Moms Across America clearly showing the nutritional value difference between GMO corn and NON GMO corn.

  • Non-GMO corn has 6130 ppm of calcium while GMO corn has 14 — non-GMO corn has 437 times more calcium.
  • Non-GMO corn has 113 ppm of magnesium while GMO corn has 2 — non-GMO corn has about 56 times more magnesium.
  • Non-GMO corn has 113 ppm of potassium while GMO corn has 7 — non-GMO corn has 16 times more potassium.
  • Non-GMO corn has 14 ppm of manganese while GMO corn has 2 — non-GMO corn has 7 times more manganese.

Overall, non-GMO corn is 20 times richer in nutrition, energy and protein compared to GMO corn.

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The Silver Economy: Silicon Valley joins quest to ‘cure’ ageing

From earliest recorded history, a procession of emperors, alchemists and charlatans have searched in vain for the mythical elixir of life. So perhaps it should be no surprise that the hunt for a cure for ageing is the latest investment fad among the gods of our time: US technology entrepreneurs.

Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early Facebook backer, are among those to have poured personal wealth into the quest. They were joined last year by Google, whose secretive biotech start-up, Calico, is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the internet group to support its bid to unlock the secrets of ageing.

Some have mocked such ventures as Silicon Valley hubris. But others believe these west coast visionaries have accurately anticipated the next big breakthrough in medical science: a significant extension in healthy human lifespan.

Finding ways for people to live even longer might sound like the last thing needed in a world whose ageing population increasingly looks like a social and economic time-bomb. But what if life could be extended in such a way that allowed people to remain active and economically productive for longer?

This was the vision set out by Jay Olshansky, professor of public health at the University of Illinois, when he presented a paper to an audience including Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, two years ago.

“He was asking some interesting questions about what our health priorities should be,” recalls Prof Olshansky. “I told him a cure for cancer would create more problems than it solved because if you save people from one disease you are just exposing them to an increased risk of dying from something else. The aim should be to look at the underlying risk factors behind age-related diseases.”

2429cf14-5d45-11e4-873e-00144feabdc0.imgProf Olshansky cannot be sure that he influenced Google’s decision to create Calico – short for the California Life Company – but he says its push on ageing research has brought credibility to a field once associated with cranks and dreamers.

Google’s potential to use its powers of data analysis to advance medical science has made big pharma take notice. In September, AbbVie, the US drugmaker, agreed an alliance with Calico that will see the pair jointly invest up to $1.5bn to develop treatments for age-related conditions.

Arguably the most pressing medical challenge posed by an ageing population – and one of the biggest commercial opportunities – is Alzheimer’s disease. Worldwide incidence is projected to triple to 135m cases by 2050 but so far no drug has been found to slow the memory-erasing condition, less still cure it.

Companies have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in failed trials, leading some such as Pfizer and Sanofi to drop out of the race. Others have doubled-down. Eli Lilly, for example, last year embarked on its third late-stage trial after two failures. Trafford Clarke, managing director of Eli Lilly’s neuroscience research centre, says: “We’ll find out in two years whether that was the smartest decision we’ve made or whether we’ll be thinking ‘what possessed us to do that?’”

250bbdc0-5d45-11e4-873e-00144feabdc0.imgWhile an Alzheimer’s drug would be a big prize, a treatment for ageing itself would be even bigger. Calico is one of several start-ups exploring this frontier. Another is Human Longevity, founded by Craig Venter, the celebrated US geneticist, with the goal of “expanding a healthier, high performing, more productive lifespan”.

Some of the most promising science is in the field of regenerative medicine, which involves repairing or replacing malfunctioning cells and tissues.

Prof Olshanksy believes that, rather than trying to cheat death, the priority should be to “close the gap between when you die and when you get frail”. This could produce huge social and economic benefits in reduced healthcare costs and increased productivity and consumption.

Others are more explicit about their desire to extend life itself. “There is nothing built into our biological system that says we can only live for a certain number of years,” says Michael Kope, chief executive of the Sens research foundation, an anti-ageing research charity.

The oldest human on record was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 aged 122. What would be the social implications if such a lifespan became commonplace in future? Mr Kope says the world would adapt. “When we give vaccines to children we don’t say ‘what are we going to do with all those extra people?’ We do it because saving lives is the right thing to do.”

 

 

Source: ft.com

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The BHT Book

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Schizophrenia Research

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Real Salt, Celtic Salt and Himalayan Salt

SaltThis is what real salt looks like—we all know what regular white salt looks like—and we mistakenly think it is real salt when it is not. The fact is that refined white salt, such as commercial table salt is bad, very bad stuff. Unrefined natural salt on the other hand is good, very good stuff providing many health benefits.

Unrefined sea salt is healthy. The blood-pressure-raising effect of table salt can be due to its high content of sodium with not enough magnesium to balance it. This has a magnesium-lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure. Real salt (of various kinds) contains plenty of magnesium and other important minerals, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure in a negative way.[1]

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels for nerve signaling. Some sodium is needed in your body to regulate fluids and blood pressure, and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly.

Without appropriate amounts of sodium, your body may have a difficult time cooling down after intense exercise or activity. When the body is hot, you sweat. If you do not have enough sodium, your body may not sweat as much and you may then become overheated. This could result in a stroke or exhaustion as well as dehydration.

Sodium is an energy carrier. It is also responsible for sending messages from the brain to muscles through the nervous system so that muscles move on command. When you want to move your arm or contract any muscle in your body, your brain sends a message to a sodium molecule that passes it to a potassium molecule and then back to a sodium molecule etc., etc., until it gets to its final destination and the muscle contracts. This is known as the sodium-potassium ion exchange. Therefore, without sodium, you would never be able to move any part of your body.

Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine.[2] Most of the sodium in the body (about 85%) is found in blood and lymph fluid. Sodium levels in the body are partly controlled by a hormone called aldosterone, which is made by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone levels determine whether the kidneys hold sodium in the body or pass it into the urine.

Dr. David Brownstein weighs in heavily on this matter saying, “Nobody makes a distinction between unrefined and refined salt. They ‘lump’ all salt together as a bad substance. This is a terrible mistake. There are two forms of salt available in the market place: refined and unrefined. Refined salt has had its minerals removed and has been bleached to give it the white appearance that we are accustomed to seeing with salt. It is the fine, white salt that is available at almost any restaurant or grocery store. Refined salt has been bleached and exposed to many toxic chemicals in order to get it to its final product. It has aluminum, ferrocyanide, and bleach in it. I believe this refining process has made it a toxic, devitalized substance that needs to be avoided.”

“Unrefined salt, on the other hand,” Brownstein continues, “has not been put through a harsh chemical process. It contains the natural minerals that were originally part of the product. Its mineral content gives it a distinct color. The colors of unrefined salt can vary depending on where it is taken from. This is due to the changing mineral content of the various brands of salt. It is the minerals in unrefined salt that provide all the benefits of this product. The minerals supply the body with over 80 trace elements needed to maintain and sustain health. Furthermore, the minerals elevate the pH (correct acidity) and lower blood pressure. Our maker gave us salt to use in our diet—unrefined salt—with its full complement of minerals. It should be the salt of choice. It is a vital ingredient that needs to be part of everyone’s diet.”

In addition to sodium and chloride, Celtic Sea Salt® provides other nutrients that naturally occur in salt beds, including trace amounts of calcium, magnesium potassium, iron and zinc.

In accordance with standards set by The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, independent analysis indicates that levels of heavy metals are non-detectable (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, mercury) or well below published safe limits in Celtic Sea Salt®. Perhaps most importantly, Celtic Sea Salt® is not exposed to refinement and bleaching used to manufacture typical table salt and there are no additives. Celtic Sea Salt® is harvested from the ocean using the sun, the wind and shallow clay ionizing ponds, a method passed down through the generations.

Many Americans over consume refined salt by eating processed foods, fast foods and canned foods with salt added. Celtic Sea Salt® is a good alternative as part of a healthier diet. Recommended use is a half teaspoon per day.

Himalayan crystal salt that is mined 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan mountain range was subject to enormous pressure over millions of years and is over 99% pure. The higher the amount of pressure the more superior or excellent the state of order within the crystalline structure of salt. Many Himalayan salts are sold cheaply but are collected from higher up near the tops of the Himalayan Mountains instead of from the deeper mines. These salts contain more impurities, do not have the same structure and are not as easily assimilable by the body.

Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state and is a delightful pink color. People often state that they use less of this salt than of other types. Many sizes are available from 3 oz in a salt grinder to larger 1-kg bags (2.2 lb). Salt chunks are also available for making your own “sole,” which is a saturated solution of purified water with Himalayan salt. A specific recipe (see below) must be followed to make sole and results in a solution that has much less sodium than just adding salt to water would have. Daily use of sole is believed to stimulate the peristalsis of the digestive organs, balance the stomach acid, support the production of digestive fluids in the liver and pancreas, regulate the metabolism and harmonize the acid-alkaline balance.

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‘Evidence-Based’ Medicine: A Coin’s Flip Worth of Certainty

What if 90% of the peer-reviewed clinical research, the holy grail of the conventional medical system, is exaggerated, or worse, completely false?

A seismic shift is occurring in the field of evidence-based medicine that a rare few are aware of, but which will (and likely already does) affect everyone, as the standard of medical care today largely follows from this model.

The very life’s blood of ‘evidence-based’ medicine — peer-reviewed and published clinical research results – which legitimizes the entire infrastructure and superstructure upon which conventional medical knowledge and practice is erected, has been revealed as mostly and patently false.

Case in point: in a 2005 essay, “Why Most Published Research Findings are False,” and which is the most downloaded document of all time on PLoS, the Public Library of Medicine’s peer-reviewed, open access journal, John P. A Ioannidis explains in detail how “It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.” And that “for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”

The Atlantic published a piece on Ioannidis’ work, back in 2010, titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science,” well worth reading, and which opened with “Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors – to a striking extent – still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice?

Ioannidis’ work revealed that about half of the most highly regarded research findings within “evidence-based” medicine are either wrong, or significantly exaggerated:

[Ioannidis] zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years, as judged by the science community’s two standard measures: the papers had appeared in the journals most widely cited in research articles, and the 49 articles themselves were the most widely cited articles in these journals.

…Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. That article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Time magazine wrote about Ioannidis’ findings the same year with a piece titled “A Researcher’s Claim: 90% of Medical Research is Wrong” — the title of which speaks resoundingly for itself.

Keep in mind that the ‘gold standard’ of the multi-trillion dollar conventional, ‘evidence-based’ medical model is the very research that Ioannidis now says is mostly false.  This model, which apparently thrives despite, or even because of, its falsity, largely determines what drugs are used, what surgical procedures employed, or conversely, what treatments can not be used, e.g. vitamins, spices, etc in disease prevention or treatment.  It also shields those who practice this dominant and only truly legally-sanctioned form of medicine against the potential calamity of moral, criminal, and financial liabilities it is responsible for– that is, as long as the truth continues to remain buried.

How many folks, for instance, are aware that the Cochrane Database Review on preventing influenza in healthy children with flu vaccines shows that the evidence proving their safety and effectiveness in children under two (the population most susceptible to vaccine-induced injuries) is conspicuously lacking? Why would anyone question the rationality of vaccinating infants and young children against influenza when the CDC and FDA presents it as unequivocally safe and effective? As the review states:

It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months of age in the USA, Canada, parts of Europe and Australia. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.

Or, among the the tens of millions of Americans taking statin drugs for the primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, who among them realize that there are well over 300 adverse health effects documented in the scientific literature itself associated with the use of this chemical class of medications, including the weakening and damaging of the heart muscle?

Sadly, examples like these may be the rule and not the exception.

Evidence-based medicine (EBM), of course, is founded upon an epistemological power structure arranged hierarchally like a pyramid. The ‘quality of evidence’ determines whether or not something can be said to be true. On the lowest tier, the ‘base’ of this pyramid, is the Anecdote, considered worthless, encompassing many folk medical systems employing food and plant medicines and still used by the majority of the word as their primary care system, followed by: Cell Studies > Animal Studies > Human Studies > Clinical Trials > Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews of Clinical Trials.

This model assumes, in the characteristically Napoleonic style, that what it does not officially confirm as being true, is not true. Herbs and vitamins, for instance, are almost never considered to be “evidence-based” and credible because they have not run the gauntlet of prerequisite clinical trials required for them to be verified as therapeutic within this model. The fact that our bodies, for instance, require vitamin C in order to be alive, is not evidence enough to support the concept that it may be valuable to take it supplementally at doses beyond the recommended daily value (which may keep you only a few milligrams above starvation/deficiency values).

The fact is that human clinical trials can cost millions of dollars, and that in order to prove the value of a potential FDA-approved medicine, it must be taken through phase I, phase II and phase II clinical trials (which costs on average $804 million). The ‘gold standard’ of evidence-based medicine therefore betrays the aphorism: “those who own the gold make the standard.”  By principle, therefore, all natural substances, which do not lend themselves to being patented because they do not grant the manufacturer exclusivity, will never attain FDA approval as legitimate medicines.

While the conventional medical system can claim this is because they lack “evidence” for safety and effectiveness (despite the fact that Turmeric, for instance, has thousands of years of use by millions of folks as a food and medicine), the reality is that they only lack “evidence” because they cannot be effectively monetized and controlled as proprietary instruments of medical power.

Ultimately, Ioannadis’ findings reflect an inborn and potentially fatal error at the very heart of modern science itself: namely, a tendency towards scientism.

Scientism is the idea that natural science is the most authoritative worldview or aspect of human education, and that it is superior to all other interpretations of life. Furthermore, scientism accepts as real and valid only those things which it can confirm empirically; those things it does not or cannot confirm it is skeptical about, e.g. homeopathy, the existence of the soul, an innate intelligence in the body, or worse, outright denies as unscientific, or “quackery.”

For instance, a fundamental assumption of all scientific inquiry is that things are made of “real, hard objects,” i.e., the computer I am typing at is a conglomeration of atoms. But wait, quantum mechanics, which peers deeper into the illusion of materiality, revealed that what subtends the illusion of macroscopic things is a subatomic realm better described as comprised of fields of possibility, where particles can be at two places at once, or communicate faster than the speed of light (non-locality), etc, basically violating all the fundamental laws considered inviolable on our everyday level of macroscopic perception. So, in many ways, the deeper you take the scientific investigation, the less firm a footing you have on what really is real, and what you think you know.

Also, scientism – this false sense of certainty in knowing — leads inevitably to medical monotheism: the belief that there is only one true and right way to prevent and treat disease, and that all disbelievers are intrinsically inferior and treated as either uneducated, insane, or as heretics, to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

This is how we arrived at our present day pseudo-scientific medical dictatorship.  I say pseudo- because insofar as science means an attempt to discern the truth without bias, it is a human faculty, a yearning of the soul, a constant challenge we must meet each and every moment we try to figure something out.  Science is not a “brand,” a “possession,” an exclusive faculty of a caste of scientific elite, dispensed solely through monolithic institutions.  It can not claim to deny anything and everything it does not explicitly confirm without being an organ and instrument of fascism, control, divisiveness and institutionalized and compulsory ignorance and myopathy.

Natural medicine, by principle, will never attain legitimacy within the present power structure. The money simply will not flow in the direction of uncovering, or simply confirming its time-tested, multi-culturally confirmed and often obvious power to heal with food and otherwise natural substances and interventions — that is, beyond the sizable body of preclinical research which we have gone to great lengths to collect and index for you on Greenmedinfo.com.

These limitations, however, are being overcome as we speak. The revelation that the ‘evidence-based’ monopoly on the truthTM is itself not based on evidence, in perhaps a majority of cases, has world historical implications. Perhaps we must go back to using our intuition, drawing from ancient dietary and natural medical practices to take back control of our health. Is the evidence of our first-hand experience any less valid than a Merck funded, multi-million dollar drug trial? It is simply a matter of whether we choose to stand firmly in, or loosely give away our power in exchange for the narcotic of blind faith in a higher, worldly power, the modern-day physician, i.e. the “priest of the body,” and associated scientific clergy.

Source GreenMedinfo.com

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