Health Cop: “Stop Soda Pop!”

soda popA world famous expert on alternative medicine, Dr. Maoshing Ni recently did a study on the health pros and cons of soft drinks. For the category of cons, he found a lot, for pros not so much.

First of all, they just about always contain little to no vitamins or other essential nutrients known in a healthy diet. And the caffeine, carbonation, simple sugars, sugar substitutes and other additives and preservatives which they do contain, can in fact do damage to one’s health.

In fact, tooth decay, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, nutritional depletion and obesity in young children is often caused by an unhealthy diet, consisting of a soft drink overdose.

Also, if you were thinking that diet or sugar-free soda is a better health choice, think again. While the sugar overdose risk is cut in half with diet drinks, the sugar substitutes used in them is equally unhealthy. For instance, saccharin has been found to be a carcinogenic.

Aspartame, or nutrasweet, tricks the brain into thinking that it is sweet. It breaks down into acpartic acid, or phenylalanine and methanol at 86 degrees. This is bad because your tummy is usually about 98 degrees.

Breaking it down:
Sugar: The USDA recommendation for sugar consumption is about 2,000 calories per day. Most soft drinks contain more than this.

Dr Mao says:

“When you drink sodas that are packed with simple sugars, the pancreas is called upon to produce and release insulin, a hormone that empties the sugar in your blood stream into all the tissues and cells for usage. The result of overindulging in simple sugar is raised insulin levels. Raised blood insulin levels beyond the norm can lead to depression of the immune system, which in turn weakens your ability to fight disease.”

Too much sugar also results in weight gain and increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid, which depletes the blood calcium level. This is bad for the bones and can eventually cause osteoporosis.
As for the risks incurred with overdosing on caffeine, well, you can probably make a nice educated guess.

Organic Water Treatment Cleaning up Lead and Zinc Pollution

When you have an abandoned mine that has been leaking lead, zinc, iron, nickel, and a whole other bunch of minerals for years, into a stream that feeds wildlife, you’ve got the perfect equation for what is called an environmental catastrophe. But design a natural way of filtering all that stuff out, and you have an organic water treatment system.

Tar CreekSo far, they’ve cleaned up one fifth of the problem in Tar Creek, located just north of Miami, Florida.

“One-fifth of containment is pretty significant,” said Robert Nairn, one of the directors of the project. “I believe it is a successful project but we will know more when we come back in five years.”

Here’s how it works. They’ve got ten ponds operating since November of last year, designed to remove 200 pounds of aluminum, 40 pounds of arsenic, 105,000 pounds of iron, and 6,000 pounds of zinc a year. In 30 years, they plan to clean the entire thing.

It is powered by solar panel and windmill, making no use of fossil fuels whatsoever. The system brings the mine water from a U-shaped pond, where it is so polluted it is bright orange. From there, the iron is filtered out, and the water flows to a pond filled with a foot and a half of limestone followed by the same thickness of organic material. These layers further filter out contaminants.

Then the water is put in another pond where it is aerated with oxygen produced by a windmill and solar panel. Filtered through two beds of gravel, the zinc is removed, and then the water is put into a tributary. The whole thing takes three weeks from start to finish, and the water is continuously moving.

And if it’s self powered, why not stick this then wherever old mines are found? I really think that the human race is starting to understand the importance of these little projects.

Did Michael Jackson’s Diet Kill Him

Although Michael Jackson’s autopsy reports have not been fully disclosed, what is becoming very evident is that the King of Pop may have literally “popped off” by gross abuse of his body due to a constant use of dangerous prescription drugs, as well as adhering to a diet of too many sugars (i.e. sweets) and not enough elemental nutrients. Pathological reports that have been made public (either directly or indirectly), indicate that Jackson’s stomach contained undigested medications; and that traces of various medications in his bloodstream and body tissues indicate a history of various drugs that the pop star had taken to get relief from almost constant pain, as well as to be able to sleep (he suffered chronic insomnia).

Michael Jackason DeadThis need for medications became so intense that his nurse, Cheryl Lee (who was with him when he died) said he had literally begged her to acquire for him a powerful anesthesia-like sedative called Diprivan that is normally only available in hospitals. This combination of physical self-abuse is what most likely caused the 50 year old pop star to suffer the embolism that killed him. Regarding the loss of bone mass, the reports also indicate that he suffered several broken ribs due to attempts made to apply cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at both his residence and later at the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead at 2:34 pm PDT.

Jackson’s history of health self-abuse goes back a long way though, and his love for a variety of sweets were also a factor, although the sugar in them is probably what helped to give him the energy he needed to perform like he did; which not only involved all kinds of singing routines, but dance acts as well.

Had Jackson heeded advice from nutritionists and natural food experts (instead of all the medical “experts” he constantly consulted) he might still be alive to day – and much healthier than he was at time of death. By simply absorbing more vitamin D (available from sunlight) his bone mineral situation would have been significantly improved. He also would have benefited from a diet of whole grains and plants, as well as by ingesting Omega 3 rich foods, especially fish. Whole grain granola, especially containing buckwheat, royal jelly and bee pollen, and nuts such as raw almonds and walnuts would have helped to give him the energy he constantly needed and had to “supplement” with large intakes of sweets. Of course, turning his Neverland ranch into a virtual ice cream parlor and candy shop for the large number of children who visited him there didn’t help, as Jackson indulged in these items along with his guests. And by drinking natural juices instead of carbonated soft drinks, he would have subjected his body (and his liver) to much less caffeine, aspartame, and other harmful ingredients found in them.

All this is now purely speculation, but it could be words for the wise to other entertainers who might be headed in the same direction. Medication abuse has also recently taken the lives of other celebrities, including actor Heath Ledger, and model Anna Nicole Smith, whose lives might also have been saved with some sound nutritional advice; and by shopping at whole foods stores, instead of eating junk foods. The bottom line is: being rich and famous is worthless if you don’t maintain good health –it’s better than wealth!

Should Three Year Old Get Cell Phones?

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but it now appears that specially made cell phones are now available for kids as young as age 3 (old enough to not be using the phone as a teething ring). A British cellular phone company has decided to make a marketing push towards an age group that is barely potty trained, let alone have even knowledge of numbers or written language. Called the Firefly, the phone is available in attractive “little kid colors” like pink for girls and blue for boys. The phones also have special rings to them that can be programmed with favorite kid’s tunes or nursery rhymes.

cell kidsOperating the device is very simple, with only for basic symbols beside the on/off button. The symbols are a male caricature to denote “Daddy” and a female one for “Mommy”. If Junior has a problem like wetting his pants in preschool, or just misses his parents, he simply pushes the button for either mom or dad and their cell or other chosen number will ring. The phone isn’t meant to be an actual cell phone, but up to 20 different phone numbers can be stored, and if the child is smart enough, he or she can be taught to push different “speed dial” numbers for other important people, including grandparents, and even emergency 911 type of numbers. Kids can also receive phone calls from the stored numbers, enabling parents, working ones, to be able to communicate with their children during working hours.

The phones are already a bit hit in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as in America, where they sell for around $100, and will undoubtedly be soon available in Europe. Many people in countries in which young children as young as age 5 or 6 already have personal cell phones see this new device as one that will get kids “hooked” on using cell phones at an even earlier age than they are now. Many parents who already have astronomically high cell phone bills because their kids simply use them too much are beginning to agree that these devices are causing more harm than good, despite their benefit as a “tracking device” to better know where their kids are.

“This is simply not healthy; why do kids this age have to be contacted by cell phone?” one British parent asked, when questioned about whether he planned to purchase this phone for his child. Maybe there is some logic in this, as kids (and adults) got along fine without these communication devices came into existence.

Now for the good stuff (

In January, the National Research Council in the United States also delivered a report – commissioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – that reviewed existing scientific studies around the world and urged further research on the impact of mobile phone use on children and pregnant women.

“This clearly is a population that is going to grow up with a great deal of larger exposure than anybody else because the kids use the phones all the time,” said Frank Barnes, a professor of engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who led the study. “And you’ve got growing bodies and brains, so if there is going to be an impact, that’s likely to be a more sensitive population.”

Every year, the average age of novice mobile phone users is dropping, reaching the age of 10 last year, according to Scott Ellison, an analyst at International Data Corp. He forecasts that the 9-and-under market will increase to nine million users in the United States and $1.6 billion in revenue by 2010.

Telephone use is also getting more precocious in Europe, according to a Eurobarometer survey of almost 1,000 children in 29 countries, most of whom had telephones after age 9.

Avoiding Soft Drink Monsters

The old saying “you are what you eat (and drink)” is certainly true in today’s modern society when diet drinks and junk food have become a large part of many people’s diets. Have you ever wondered why many carbonated beverages are simply not available in most “real” whole foods stores? And this also goes for all those “junk” snack foods like most potato and corn chips, candies, and “ding-dong” type cupcakes as well.

The reason is very simple: these foods not only put on plenty of excess weight, but also load up the body with excess sodium and sugars, plus a number of chemicals (including aspartame) that can cause cancer and other diseases. And drinking large amounts of cola, either regular of diet, can eventually result in kidney stones and other problems as well.

Scientific tests have proven that most soft drinks (except natural fruit drinks) not only clause obesity and kidney problems, but can cause a dangerous mineral imbalance in the body that can result in loss of bone mass and be miss-diagnosed as osteoporosis.

Diet drinks often contain aspartame, also used extensively in non-sugar sweetener in many homes and restaurants, the chemical causes a number of disorders, including a severe reaction to people suffering from a condition known as phenylketonuria or PKU. About one in every 20,000 people are inflicted with PKU in which their bodies are unable to metabolize an amino acid known as phenylalanine, one of two amino acids present in aspartame. If sufficient amounts of phenylalanine are ingested by PKU affected people, it can result in severe reactions, including mental retardation. Even in normal people, too much aspartame can result in physical symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis, dizziness, severe headaches, and menstrual problems. And excessive ingestion of aspartame is also said to be linked to early onset of Parkinson’s disease. And of course, many soft drinks contain large amounts of caffeine.

Soft DrinksThere are many natural flavored drinks, some of them carbonated; that do not contain ingredients such as caffeine and aspartame, and do not cause the body to lose calcium or are damaging to the kidneys. Best places to find these drinks are in quality organic and whole foods stores, which also offer healthier snack foods, including those made from bananas, beets, apples and other fruits and vegetables, and that are not fried in harmful oils.

All and all, you can still satisfy your desire for a cold beverage or snack without abusing you body. As the saying goes, you truly are what you eat.

Chemo Treatment Worse Than Cancer Itself?

One of the most painful decisions a parent must make is which treatment to authorize in order to save the life of cancer stricken child. Whether it be radiation isotopes, bone marrow transplants or various types of chemotherapy “cocktails”, subjecting a young person to them can be a very traumatic and painful experience and often doesn’t save the patient anyway, while subjecting them to substances that many consider to be a form of poison. Many people believe there are natural ways to treat various forms of cancer, and this direction appears to be becoming more popular than undergoing the normally prescribed ones endorsed by the medical profession.

Forced ChemoSuch is the case of 13 year old Daniel Hauser, whose parents have been refusing to have him undergo chemotherapy that they consider to be nothing short of lethal poison. The case reached its climax on Tuesday, when a Minneapolis judge agreed to return the youngster back to the custody of his parents, when they agreed to have him undergo the treatments.

Danny had started “chemo” in Janaury, due to the advancement of his malignancy, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which has resulted in a tumor reaching the size of an orange in chest. His parents, Coleen and Anthony, belong to a religious sect that considers all such medicines to be harmful to the body, and even tried to flee the US to Mexico to avoid subjecting Danny to the treatments.

Danny and his parents aren’t the only ones who consider chemotherapy treatments to be poisonous as the drugs often destroy normal tissue as well as tumors. Persons in the medical field, including prominent oncologists, have a different opinion, however as they claim that the boy has a “90% chance for recovery” if he completes the treatments, against only a 5% chance if he doesn’t. Anybody who has undergone chemotherapy, knows that the injection of these chemicals into the body results in a lot more discomfort that merely losing one’s hair or appetite. The adverse reactions to these treatments, including severe cramps, nausea and retching (often with the inability to keep any kind of food down at all), as well as other “side effects’ make these treatments worse than doing “cold turkey” to kick a heroin drug habit.

Danny’s parents only agreed to have their son resume the treatments, after they reached the conclusion that this would be the only way they could have custody of their son, who would anyway be subjected to the treatments by an order of the court. Whether or not the boy undergoes the remaining 4 treatments (or perhaps even five, since his tumor has enlarged further), may now depend on whether or not Danny himself agrees to receive the treatments. This is a dilemma that is very difficult for any family to make, as many people believe that there are natural remedies to the treatment of all forms of cancer including ones like Hodgkin’s Disease and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After all, there’s got to be something better out there for treating cancer, than poison.

The Hydroxycut Scare and The FDA

Dietary health supplements containing a nutritional health supplement called hydroxycut have been un increased pressure lately by the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA), with even the watchdog health administration calling for a full recall of all products containing in. Hydroxycut, manufactured and sold by a company named Lovate Health Sciences Inc. have been marketed as an ingredient alleged to enable people to lose weight by increasing their metabolic rate, and thus suppressing hunger pangs. The FDA got into the act regarding an attempt to curtail or ban the use of hydroxycut when reports began circulating that the substance causes liver damage, and that at least one death had resulted from its use.

All of this hoopla appeared to have occurred after tens of millions of doses of hydroxycut had occurred, and after hearing about one person dying from its use (if that was even the actual cause of death). The FDA decided that they did not want to expose members of the public from physical harm by taking it. When it first came on the market, the supplement was advertised as having the endorsement of both leading doctors as well as various health officials. The product has been especially used by obese persons, after being advertised to remove up the four times the fat a person would normally lose from diet and exercise alone. From a sheer vanity standpoint, overweight people are often interested in any kind of product that will make them lose a substantial amount of weight in a short period of time, causing them to turn to supplements such as Herbalife ® which contains both the supplements hydroxycut and hydroxygen plus (a powerful “free radical scavenger”).

Due to all the adverse publicity surrounding this product, dietary supplement companies using hydroxycut have undertaken a campaign to try to convince customers that taking it is actually much less harmful than a number of popular pharmaceuticals; including an inhibitor drug named COX-2, said to have been responsible for the deaths of as many as 60,000 people.

60,000 against 1? Maybe the FDA’s whistle blowing has been a bit too harsh, and may prevent people from using a preparation which in the long run may have far more benefits than harm. Even some very common analgesics (such as aspirin) and antihistamines are far more dangerous when used improperly. In the long run, however, there is no “magic bullet” for losing excessive weight, other than a healthy low-fat diet and an appropriate exercise program, based on a person’s age and state of health.

Quaker Oats Company Not Always Nice Guys

Quaker HistoryMany people often wonder if the Quaker Oats Company, the one with the logo of the smiling Quaker gentlemen, was really started by the Religious Society of Friends. Founded by a man named Henry Parsons Crowell, who would later be known as The Cereal King, the company was founded in 1901 when Crowell purchased a bankrupt grain company named Quaker Oat Mill company, located in Ravena Ohio, and used a conservatively dressed Quaker gentleman as its brand logo. The company began operating in Pennsylvania, where a lot of Quakers were living, and Crowell decided to retain part of name of the grain company he had bought out, as well as use the face of the kindly old gentleman that people are used to seeing as the logo and symbol (for honesty) of his company.

Brands of Quaker OatsQuaker expanded by purchasing other grain and cereal companies, and besides making it’s well know oatmeal, began to make other breakfast cereals too. The company also opened a major production facility in Petersborough, Ontario, Canada; and most of the Quaker Oats cereals were made there. Besides it’s various types of breakfast cereals, the company has branched out into other markets includes toys and games (owned Fisher Price from 1969 to 1991) as well as soft drinks and snack foods (Frito-Lay Company).

What brought Quaker to the forefront of scrutiny, however, was the incident during the 1950s when Quaker Oats, together with researchers from Harvard University and MIT conducted experiments on children in injecting radioactive calcium into the sample cereal the children were eating in order to trace the digestion process of the cereal through their bodies. The children in the experiment (and naturally their parents) were unaware that the substance, which causes serious forms of skin mutation and cancer, was being added to the cereal they were eating during the experiment. When this fact was discovered, the parents of the children sued the company, resulting in an eventual settlement, decades later for more than $1.85 million.

Quaker Oats was purchased by the Pepsi Cola Company in 2001. More recently Quaker has begun manufacturing a number of natural whole grain cereal brands including Mother’s Natural Foods, Quakers 100% Granola, and other brands. It also produces the Gatorade sports drink (one of the reasons Pepsi wanted to purchase them) as well as the Aunt Jemima pancake syrups and mixes.

Drinks Not Food May Cause Weight Gain Faster

Sweet DrinksPeople trying to prevent weight gain may be surprised to discover that what they drink may be a bigger factor in weight gain than food. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that weight loss is more associated with a reduction in liquid calorie consumption; and the liquid calorie intake had a bigger impact on weight gain than solid foods.

The results of the study, as published in the April 1 edition of the American Journal of clinical nutrition, found that although food and liquid drinks had an influence on weight gains, a reduction in liquid calorie intake was found to have a more significant influence on weight loss, than simply eating less. The study most noticed that in drinks containing sugar, a reduction of one serving resulted in a weight loss of 0.5 kg in six months and 0.7 kg in 18 months. The study was conducted on 810 adults aged 25-79, in an 18 month randomized, controlled behavioral intervention. The consumption by test subjects was measured by conducting unannounced interviews during various hours by telephone. Test beverages were divided in several categories, including soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, diet drinks with artificial sweeteners, whole and skim milk, coffee and tea sweetened with both sugar and artificial sweeteners, and alcoholic beverages.

Sugar sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks, were found to be significantly associated with weight at both the 6 and 18 month follow up periods. Although changes in the consumption of diet drinks and alcoholic beverages were inversely associated with weight loss the amounts were not statistically significant.

The conclusions of the studies were to encourage public health awareness programs to persuade people to reduce intakes of liquid calories, particularly from sugar sweetened beverages. It was also recommended that people significantly reduce the consumption of diet beverages containing aspartame and similar artificial sweeteners.

No doubt, drinking unsweetened bottled water instead of other types of beverages is better for one’s health in the long run.

High Caffeine Consumption and Hallucinations

Caffeine up close
Image by eyeore2710 via Flickr

A psychology research in Durham University, UK, has discovered a link between high caffeine consumption and a higher tendency to experience hallucinations. It was conducted by a PhD student by the name of Simon Jones.

People who consume the equivalent of 7 cups of instant coffee a day, are 3 to 4 times more likely to see and hear things that aren’t there.

The finding is not causal, meaning we can’t tell whether a high dose of caffeine is directly causing hallucinations, or whether people who hallucinate more often are avid consumers of caffeine.

Are we going to see underground coffee parties any time soon? Coffee arrests? Will it ever be illegal to pump up our veins with caffeine, adrenalin and cortisol?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]