A Recipe For Chronic Disease

The government’s new guidelines are topsy-turvy!

PROPOSED 2010 USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES -A RECIPE FOR CHRONIC DISEASE Weston A. Price Foundation Proposes a Return to Four Basic Groups of Nutrient-Dense Foods

WASHINGTON, DC, June 21, 2010: The proposed 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines are a recipe for infertility, learning problems in children and increased chronic disease in all age groups according to Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

“The proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines perpetuate the mistakes of previous guidelines in demonizing saturated fats and animal foods rich in saturated fatty acids such as egg yolks, butter, whole milk, cheese, fatty meats like bacon and animal fats for cooking. The current obesity epidemic emerged as vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates replaced these healthy, nutrient-dense traditional fats. Animal fats supply many essential nutrients that are difficult to obtain from other sources,” explains Fallon Morell.

“The revised Guidelines recommend even more stringent reductions in animal fats and cholesterol than previous versions,” says Fallon Morell, “and are tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. While the ship of state sinks under the weight of a crippling health care burden, the Committee members are giving us more of the same disastrous advice.  These are unscientific and grossly deficient dietary recommendations.”

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit nutrition education foundation with no ties to the government or food processing industries.  Named for Dr. Weston A. Price, whose pioneering research discovered the vital importance of animal fats in human diets, the Foundation has warned against the dangers of lowfat and plant-based diets.

“Basic biochemistry shows that the human body has a very high requirement for saturated fats in all cell membranes; if we do not eat saturated fats, the body will simply make them from carbohydrates, but excess carbohydrate increases blood levels of triglyceride and small, dense LDL, and compromises blood vessel function,” says Fallon Morell.  “Moreover, high-carbohydrate diets do not satisfy the appetite as well as diets rich in traditional fats, leading to higher caloric intakes and often to bingeing and splurging on empty foods, resulting in rapid weight gain and chronic disease.”

The proposed guidelines will perpetuate existing nutrient deficiencies present in all American population groups, including deficiencies in vitamins A and D found in animal fats, vitamins B12 and B6 found in animal foods, as well as minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which require vitamins A and D for assimilation. Moreover, low intakes of vitamin K2, are associated with increased risk of heart disease and cancer. The main sources of vitamin K2 available to Americans are egg yolks and full-fat cheese. Incredibly, the Guidelines single out cheese as an unhealthy food!

Fallon Morell notes that by restricting healthy animal fats in school lunches and diets for pregnant women and growing children, the Guidelines will accelerate the tragic epidemic of learning and behavior disorders.  The nutrients found most abundantly in animal fats and organ meats-including choline, cholesterol and arachidonic acid-are critical for the development of the brain and the function of receptors that modulate thinking and behavior.  Studies show that choline helps the brain make critical connections and protects against neurotoxins; animal studies suggest that if choline is abundant during developmental years, the individual is protected for life from developmental decline. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 375 mg per day for children nine through thirteen years of age, 450 mg for pregnant women and 550 mg for lactating women and men aged fourteen and older. These amounts are provided by four or five egg yolks per day-but that would entail consuming 800-1000 mg cholesterol, a crime by USDA standards. In their deliberations, the committee referred to this as the “choline problem.” Pregnant women and growing children especially need to eat as many egg yolks as possible-yet the Guidelines demonize this nutrient-dense food.

The Guidelines lump trans fats together with saturated fats-calling them Solid Fats-thereby hiding the difference between unhealthy industrial trans fats and healthy traditional saturated fats.  Trans fats contribute to inflammation, depress the immune system, interfere with hormone production, and set up pathological conditions leading to cancer and heart disease, whereas saturated fats fight inflammation, support the immune system, support hormone production and protect against cancer and heart disease.

The vitamins and fatty acids carried uniquely in saturated animal fats are critical to reproduction.  The Weston A. Price Foundation warns that the 2010 Guidelines will increase infertility in this country, already at tragically high rates.

“The 2010 proposed Guidelines represent a national scandal, the triumph of industry clout over good science and common sense,” says Fallon Morell. “It must be emphasized that the Guidelines are not based on science but are designed to promote the products of commodity agriculture and-through the back door-encourage the consumption of processed foods. For while the USDA food police pay lip service to reducing our intake of refined sweeteners, trans fats, white flour and salt, this puritanical low-fat prescription ultimately leads to cravings for chips, sweets, sodas, breads, desserts and other empty food-and-beverage-like products just loaded with refined sweeteners, trans fats, white flour and salt.”

The Weston A. Price Foundation proposes alternative Healthy 4 Life Dietary Guidelines, which harkens back to the traditional four basic food groups, but with a renewed emphasis on quality through a return to pasture-based feeding and organic, pesticide-free production methods:

Every day, eat high quality, whole foods to provide an abundance of nutrients, chosen from each of the following four groups:

ANIMAL FOODS: meat and organ meats, poultry, and eggs from pastured animals; fish and shellfish; whole raw cheese, milk and other dairy products from pastured animals; and broth made from animal bones.

GRAINS, LEGUMES AND NUTS: whole-grain baked goods, breakfast porridges, whole grain rice; beans and lentils; peanuts, cashews and nuts, properly prepared to improve digestibility.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: preferably fresh or frozen, preferably locally grown, either raw, cooked or in soups and stews, and also as lacto-fermented condiments.

FATS AND OILS: unrefined saturated and monounsaturated fats including butter, lard, tallow and other animal fats; palm oil and coconut oil; olive oil; cod liver oil for vitamins A and D.

AVOID: foods containing refined sweeteners such as candies, sodas, cookies, cakes, etc.; white flour products such as pasta and white bread; processed foods; modern soy foods; polyunsaturated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and fried foods.

Best-Food-Pyramid

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The Weston A. Price Foundation is a 501C3 nutrition education foundation with the mission of disseminating accurate, science-based information on diet and health. Named after nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price, DDS, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the Washington, DC-based Foundation publishes a quarterly journal for its 13,000 members, supports 450 local chapters worldwide and hosts a yearly International conference. The Foundation headquarters phone number is (202) 363-4394 highlighting (202) 363-4394 , www.westonaprice.org, info@westonaprice.org.

Down with jet lag

Journeys across several time zones make our internal body clocks go haywire. We feel exhausted and tense, and our sleep pattern is out of sync. As scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry have now succeeded in demonstrating for mice, the clocks associated with individual organs in the body adapt to the new time at different speeds. As a result, the body’s physiological processes are no longer coordinated. The adrenal gland plays a key role in this process. When the researchers switched off the adrenal clock or manipulated the synthesis of corticosterone by the adrenal gland with the help of metyrapone, the rodents adapted more quickly to the altered circadian rhythm. These insights could pave the way for a new approach to the hormonal treatment of the effects of jet lag and shift work. (Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 23, 2010).

Be they professional footballers on their way to the World Cup in South Africa or ordinary holidaymakers: people who cross several time zones by jet are prone to certain symptoms for a few days after the flight. During the day, they are crippled with exhaustion; at night they lie awake tossing and turning, unable to sleep, and many of the body’s functions are activated at the wrong time. What we have here is a clear case of jet lag. Our “internal body clock”, which still beats to our old rhythm of day and night, must adapt to the new external time. The process works, however: after a few days, we feel in sync with the outside world again.

The problems that arise with jet lag are a clear example of how external influences can disrupt our internal body clock. An entire network of molecular clocks found in the different organs coordinate the body’s various physiological processes ranging from the heart beat, temperature, sleep requirement and hormone balance to behavior. All of these clocks are controlled by the master pacemaker of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), which synchronizes all of the body’s “peripheral” clocks with the outside world. At molecular level, all of the clocks are based on a handful of “clock” genes and proteins that regulate each other interactively and thus generate a molecular time signal in the form of a circadian rhythm – a term which originates from the Latin for approximately (circa) and day (dies).

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry have for the first time systematically studied how individual “clock” genes and the internal clocks of the different organs synchronize with the new external time in the case of jet lag. The researchers were surprised by their findings. “The internal clocks and the ‘clock’ genes adapt to the altered external influences at varying speeds,” says Gregor Eichele, Director of the Institute’s Genes and Behavior Department. “When an organism suffers from jet lag, it would appear that the entire clock mechanism fails to tick at the right rhythm. As a result, numerous physiological processes are no longer coordinated.”

Adrenal clock stabilizes the status-quo

As the Gottingen-based researchers discovered, the adrenal clock plays a key role in the body’s adaptation to a new circadian rhythm. When the scientists switched off the adrenal clock in mice, the rodents adapted their behavior more quickly to the new time and made a more rapid return to their laps on the wheel in sync with the new external time. Therefore, a functioning adrenal clock keeps the organism in a temporally stable state and halts the excessively rapid adaptation of the central clock in the SCN. Physiologically, this makes complete sense. Sporadic light changes – a dark stormy sky or dark cinema – do not disrupt the entire clock mechanism. In the case of jet lag, however, this is precisely what causes the problem.

It is not necessary, however, to switch off the entire adrenal clock to enable the mice to better recover from jet lag. The experiments carried out by the researchers give reason to hope that a less drastic solution may be possible. The adrenal gland produces a series of important hormones, including adrenaline, noradrenaline and corticosterone (cortisol in humans). Completely switching off the adrenal clock would not, therefore, be advisable. “The time-dependent release of corticosterone was crucial in enabling our rodents to adapt more quickly to the new time,” explains Eichele. When the scientists administered the active agent metyrapone to the mice, their corticosterone rhythm changed as did their sleeping/waking rhythm. “If the mice were given metyrapone at the right time, they adapted faster to the disturbed circadian rhythm. While the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin, which is commonly used to treat jet lag, mainly acts by generating tiredness and is therefore more suitable for use when flying east than west, with metyrapone, the mice’s internal clock can be turned both forwards and back,” explains junior scientist Silke Kieling.

New treatment approaches

The insights of the Gottingen scientists could produce an entirely new approach to the treatment of jet lag in the future. Metyrapone is already approved as a medication for the treatment of the overproduction of glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids. However, it remains to be demonstrated in “field trials” and tests in the sleep laboratory whether the administration of metyrapone is suitable for the treatment of jet lag, and whether it has any side effects in humans. “Our results from the mouse model are not necessarily transferable to humans,” stresses Henrik Oster, who heads the research group “Circadian Rhythms”. “With our mouse mutants, we have an excellent system on which we can base our search for chronobiologically effective substances. However, it remains to be confirmed by clinical studies whether these are as effective in humans as they are in nocturnal animals like mice.”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 23, 2010 http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-06/m-dwj062510.php

16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That We Deserve Some Answers To

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a national nightmare that seems to have no ending.  Every day new details come out that are even more shocking than what we learned the day before.  The truth is that life will never be the same in the Gulf of Mexico or for those who live along the Gulf coast.  Now Barack Obama has made a big Oval Office speech and has tried to convince all of us that he is in charge of the crisis.  Well, perhaps if he had tried to take decisive action a month ago the American people may have rallied around him.  But right now the BP/government response to this disaster remains completely and totally chaotic.  Nobody seems to be able to stop the leak, and BP has made the environmental nightmare far worse by dumping over a million gallons of highly toxic dispersants into the Gulf.  U.S. government officials are running around holding press conferences and waiting for BP to do something.  Meanwhile oil is pouring ashore and toxic gases are being detected at very alarming levels.  The biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history is also quickly becoming one of the biggest economic disasters and potentially one of the biggest public health disasters.

The truth is that the American people deserve some answers about what in the world is going on down there in the Gulf.  BP does not own the Gulf of Mexico and they have no right to keep the American people from seeing what is happening.  There are some very serious health and environmental questions that have been raised in the media recently, but both BP and the U.S. government are not giving us any answers.

But we need some answers.  People are getting sick.  Crops are dying.  Wildlife is being devastated.  Birds are flocking north by the thousands.

But BP and the U.S. government continue to treat us as though we are on a “need to know” basis and that what we “need to know” is not much.

Actually, much of what they have decided to tell us throughout this crisis has turned out to be lies anyway.

The truth is that it is about darn time that someone started telling it to us straight.

The following are 16 questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that we really need some answers to….

#1) Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used “as needed” by state governors.  So what are all of these National Guard troops going to be doing exactly?  Are the troops going to be used to stop the oil or to control the public?

#2) Barack Obama has also announced the creation of a “Gulf recovery czar” who will be in charge of overseeing the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico region following the oil spill.  So is appointing a “czar” Obama’s idea of taking charge of a situation?

#3) Because it is so incredibly toxic, the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the UK’s North Sea, BP would not be able to use it.  So why is BP being allowed to use Corexit 9500 in the Gulf of Mexico?

#4) It is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:1o) is lethal to 50% of fish exposed to it within 96 hours.  That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish.  So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren’t they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?

#5) If these dispersants are so incredibly toxic to fish, what are they going to do to crops?  What are they going to do to people?

#6) If the smell of the oil on some Gulf beaches is already so strong that it burns your nostrils, then what in the world is this oil doing to to wildlife that encounter it?

#7) Is it a bad sign that birds from the Gulf region are flocking north by the thousands?

#8) Why is BP being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites?

#9) Why is BP openly attempting to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo?

#10) Why has the FAA shut down the airspace above the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?  What don’t they want the American people to see?

#11) Senator Bill Nelson of Florida says that there are reports that there are additional ruptures in the sea floor from which oil is leaking.  If there are quite a few of these additional ruptures, then how in the world does BP expect to completely stop this oil leak?

#12) Why are scientists finding concentrations of methane at up to 10,000 times normal background levels in Gulf waters?

#13) At some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico, levels of benzene have been detected at over 3000 parts per billion, and levels of hydrogen sulfide have been detected as high as 1192 parts per billion.  Considering that these levels would be highly toxic to humans, why hasn’t the general public been warned?

#14) Why are so many Gulf oil spill disaster workers showing up at local hospitals complaining of a “mysterious illness”?

#15) If “70% or 80%” of the protective booms are doing absolutely nothing at all to stop the oil, then what is going to stop the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf from eventually reaching shore?

#16) It is being reported that the deep sea oil plumes are creating huge “dead zones” where all creatures are dying as they are deprived of oxygen.  If this oil spill continues to grow could the vast majority of the Gulf of Mexico become one gigantic “dead zone”?

***UPDATE***

A reader named Stacy has posted a very alarming comment regarding what is happening in her area down in Florida that we wanted to share with everyone….

We live in the navarre, florida area and in the past week almost every family we know has had vomiting and diarreha. This could just be anecdotal – maybe we just have a stomach bug circulating, but it is strange. We had a huge storm the week before it happened that blew in from the gulf so who knows.

Also, the city of destin, florida has taken it upon themselves to close the destin pass with their own purchased boom and barges. This is an elite destination and they are not waiting around for bp and their hired prison workers to clean the beaches. Apparently, the coast guard was at the meeting and told the locals that they will face criminal prosecution, but they don’t care. They are protecting their million dollar properties.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/16-burning-questions-about-the-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-that-we-deserve-some-answers-to

Common Gene Variants Appear to Increase Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency

An international research consortium has identified four common gene variants that are associated with blood levels of vitamin D and with an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. The report from the SUNLIGHT consortium — involving investigators from six countries — will appear in The Lancet and is receiving early online release.

“We identified four common variants that contributed to the risk for vitamin D deficiency,” says Thomas Wang, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Heart Center, a co-corresponding author of The Lancet report. “Individuals inheriting several of these risk-associated variants had more than twice the risk of vitamin D deficiency as was seen in those without these variants.”

Vitamin D‘s essential role in musculoskeletal health is well known, and in recent years epidemiologic evidence has suggested that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Naturally produced in the skin in response to sunlight, Vitamin D has been added to many types of food and is available in dietary supplements. But studies have shown that from one third to one half of healthy adults in developed countries have low levels of vitamin D. While reduced sun exposure is clearly associated with lower vitamin D levels, environmental and cultural factors — including dietary intake — cannot completely account for variations in vitamin levels. The fact that vitamin D status tends to cluster in families suggests a genetic contribution.

The SUNLIGHT (Study of Underlying Genetic Determinants of Vitamin D and Highly Related Traits) Consortium involved a research team from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland who pooled data from 15 epidemiologic studies of almost 32,000 white individuals of European descent. Results of the comprehensive genetic screening were correlated with participants’ serum vitamin D levels. Statistically significant associations were found for four common variants, all in genes coding enzymes involved with the synthesis, breakdown or transport of vitamin D. The risk association was independent of geographic or other environmental factors; and the more variants an individual inherited, the greater the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

“It’s possible that these results could explain why some people respond well to vitamin D supplements and others don’t, but that needs to be studied further since we didn’t specifically examine response to supplementation,” Wang explains. “We also need to investigate how genetic background can modify response to sunlight, whether these associations are seen in other populations, and if these gene variants have an impact in the chronic diseases that appear to be associated with vitamin D deficiency.”

Co-corresponding authors of the Lancet report are Tim Spector, MD, King’s College, and Elina Hyppnen, PhD, UCL Institute of Child Health, both in London. Additional co-authors include Josee Dupuis, PhD, and Ramachandran Vasan, MD, Framingham Heart Study and Boston University; J. Brent Richards, MD, McGill University, Montreal; Douglas Kiel, MD, MPH, and David Karasik, PhD, Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston; Paul Jacques, ScD, and Sarah Booth, PhD, Tufts University; Jose Florez, MD, PhD, MGH Diabetes Unit; Bryan Kestenbaum, MD, University of Washington, Seattle; Myles Wolf, University of Miami; and John Todd, PhD, University of Cambridge, U.K. Funding agencies supporting this study included the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association, along with funding agencies in each of the countries involved.

ScienceDaily (June 9, 2010)

Green Tea Extract Appears to Keep Cancer in Check in Majority of CLL Patients

An extract of green tea appears to have clinical activity with low toxicity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who used it in a phase II clinical trial, say researchers at Mayo Clinic.

The findings were presented June 7 during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). They are the latest in a series of Mayo studies to show promise for use of the chemical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) — the major component of green tea — in reducing the number of leukemia cells in patients with CLL. Mayo first tested EGCG in a variety of laboratory assays about eight years ago, and it was found to reduce the survival of CLL leukemic cells. This laboratory finding was followed by a successful phase I clinical trial — the first time green tea extract had been studied in CLL patients.

“Although only a comparative phase III trial can determine whether EGCG can delay progression of CLL, the benefits we have seen in most CLL patients who use the chemical suggest that it has modest clinical activity and may be useful for stabilizing this form of leukemia, potentially slowing it down,” says Tait Shanafelt, M.D., a Mayo Clinic hematologist and lead author of the study.

“These studies advance the notion that a nutraceutical like EGCG can and should be studied as cancer preventives,” says Neil Kay, M.D., a hematology researcher whose laboratory first tested the green tea extract in leukemic blood cells from CLL patients. “Using nontoxic chemicals to push back cancer growth to delay the need for toxic therapies is a worthy goal in oncology research — particularly for forms of cancer initially managed by observation such as CLL.”

Drs. Shanafelt and Kay caution that EGCG is not a substitute for chemotherapy. All of the patients Mayo tested with EGCG were early stage, asymptomatic CLL patients who would not otherwise be treated until their disease progressed. The extract was supplied by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Polyphenon E International for these initial clinical trials.

CLL is a blood cancer that is a hybrid between leukemia and lymphoma. Progression of the disease is measured by the quantity of leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow as well as enlargement of lymph nodes due to infiltration by the leukemia cells. In the phase I study, published in May 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found that the blood lymphocyte (leukemia cell) count was reduced in one-third of participants, and that the majority of patients who entered the study with enlarged lymph nodes due to involvement by CLL saw a 50 percent or greater reduction in their lymph node size.

Using the highest dose tested in the phase I study, the researchers launched their phase II clinical trial in an additional 36 patients. The results presented at the ASCO meeting evaluate the effects in these 36 patients as well as the six patients from the phase I trial treated at the same dose (total 42 patients). Results from 41 patients who have completed the study show that 31 percent of patients had a 20 percent or greater sustained reduction in blood leukemia count, and 69 percent of patients with enlarged lymph nodes saw a reduction of node size of 50 percent or greater.

In all, 69 percent of CLL patients had a biological response to EGCG as evidenced by a 20 percent or greater sustained reduction in blood lymphocyte count and/or a 50 percent or greater reduction in lymph node size, the researchers say.

Because EGCG was being studied in patients who did not otherwise need treatment, the researchers took a rigorous approach toward studying side effects. Most clinical trials of therapeutic agents only report grade 3 and higher side effects, but the researchers looked at and reported grade 1 and grade 2 as well. While a number of patients had transient grade 1 or 2 side effects, only three of 42 experienced a grade 3 side effect during their six months of treatment.

“All in all, the treatment was well tolerated with very mild side effects in most patients,” Dr. Shanafelt says.

The researchers say that the prior publications on the effects of EGCG on CLL leukemia cells in the laboratory and the data from the published phase I study have been widely disseminated via the Internet by patient advocacy groups. Based on information from patients and colleagues throughout the country, the Mayo researchers have become aware that many CLL patients nationwide have started to use EGCG supplements, which are readily available over the counter.

“Without a phase III clinical trial, we cannot make a recommendation that EGCG be used by CLL patients, but those who want to take supplements should consult with their oncologists and need to receive appropriate monitoring using laboratory tests,” Dr. Kay says.

The study was funded by grants from the NCI, the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center and from donors and patient advocacy foundations.

ScienceDaily (June 4, 2010)