An inspirational blog on health, life & spirit to support you in making educational decisions with awareness & love, to promote human life and the support of OUR Earth Mother, to support true community, law and sovereignty, the elimination of corrupt elitist control, force, manipulation & abuse of power, while dancing with elegance into our simply balance and True Divinity. TOGETHER WE CAN!


Friday, March 31, 2006

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The National Academy of Sciences has released a report indicating that the current legal levels of fluoride in drinking water are dangerous and should be lowered. Although the U.S. government states that only 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter of drinking water is necessary to help prevent tooth decay, up to four times that amount is present in some municipal water supplies. Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to weaken bones. The fluoride debate has raged on for over 60 years, with opponents pointing to data showing that it's effective when applied topically but not ingested. Consumers can learn how much fluoride is in their tap water by asking their local utility, and most of it can be removed through filtration.

CMJ: Vitamin C injections could prolong lives of cancer victims

High-dose vitamin C injections could prolong the lives of terminal cancer sufferers, scientists said in an article published Tuesday in Canada. Researchers at the US National Institutes of Health found three cases where terminal cancer patients had outlived their given life expectancy after receiving high-doses of vitamin C intravenously.

Lead researcher Sebastian J. Padayatty and colleagues call for a reassessment of the effectiveness of vitamin C as a cancer treatment, currently considered an alternative medicine, in an article published in the peer-reviewed Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Vitamin C is considered an alternative cancer therapy. Earlier studies by Nobel price laureate Linus Pauling suggested the treatment prolonged the life of terminally ill cancer patients, these findings were not confirmed by later controlled clinical trials.
Padayatty and his team argue that the concentration of vitamin C administered could make all the difference. In-vitro tests had shown high concentrations of vitamin C to be toxic to some cancer cells but not to normal cells. Such high levels of vitamin C in the blood can only be achieved through injections and not through oral intake, the scientists said.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Uh Oh Tom!

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Tom's of Maine, the popular maker of a variety of natural and organic body care products, has agreed to be bought out by the Colgate-Palmolive Company for $100 million. Although in past years Tom's of Maine has made negative comments about Colgate's use of artificial ingredients in its toothpastes, co-founder Tom Chappell claims "We have a commitment from Colgate that our formulas will not be tampered with." Colgate says it can help Tom's of Maine increase sales and distribution in the current fast-growing $3 billion US market for natural oral-care and personal products.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Uh Oh Wall Street Journal

WSJ Wrong on Vitamins

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The Case Against Vitamins, a March 20th article in the Wall Street Journal, suffers from tunnel vision. There is an understandable tendency for the media to embrace controversial stories, contributing to an environment where one single study is touted as negating every other study that has ever been done on a nutrient. The "several studies" cited in this report have been seriously criticized by experts, without these rebuttals generating any real media attention to counter the negative initial reports and set the record straight.

It is understandable why such provocative reports get wide coverage, but not why the subsequent, legitimate criticism of the studies doesn't. Our mass media has a collective amnesia. This leads to public confusion about supplements, fueling a growing public mistrust of the reliability of media reports on all nutrition topics. The public is given a false sense of what a study means, with dietary supplements frequently singled out as being harmful or useless (or both!), even when these accusations are not supported by good data.

But sometimes that one study is poorly designed and/or gets inaccurately represented in the press. Low fat diets, anyone? Vitamin E?

No wonder people are so confused about nutrition and diet, when even scientists can't figure out how to study and report on these topics accurately! The sensational headlines and stories promoting controversial - and often contradictory - science reports have dazed the public with far more impact than the rare correction or follow-up report.

This WSJ article singled out Beta Carotene as promoting cancer. That controversial study was recently revisited, with researchers looking instead at total antioxidant intake. They discovered that low antioxidant intake was the real culprit in that original cancer study, not beta carotene supplementation. Why hasn't this new information replaced the old conclusion that mistakenly blamed beta carotene?

Your article also mentioned that antioxidants may "promote some cancer and interfere with treatments". That published 'review' referenced only one study that directly looked at an antioxidant used with cancer treatment that found no difference in outcome, a far cry from the well-publicized conclusion that antioxidants should be avoided. Yet my rebuttal, published by the same peer-reviewed journal (CA) of the American Cancer Society and available online, documents in detail dozens of cases where specific vitamins and antioxidants enhanced cancer therapies. Forty percent of cancer patients die of malnutrition, a figure that can be increased if poorly substantiated science and sensationalist reporting stops people from taking essential and beneficial nutrients that are proven to save lives.

Why do media reports ignore cautions given in studies that their results are not applicable to other populations? Why is the normal process of science - a testing of theories and criticism of studies that corrects and refines the original results over time - being almost completely ignored in rushing to publicize these unrepresentative studies that show vitamins in a bad light? Why is evidence that the researchers and the WSJ admit is "inconclusive" used as an argument against Vitamin E safety? What part of "inconclusive" do you fail to understand?

The Vitamin E controversy should have been cleared up after the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a far more thorough review than the 19 studies used in the Annals of Internal Medicine review article, which itself has generated dozens of critical letters from scientists all over the world (my own comments are posted there, as well). The AJCN report, titled "Vitamins E and C are safe across a broad range of intakes", is far more authoritative than the Annals review and specifically considered their results. There is continuing research showing that various forms of Vitamin E may be useful for people suffering from Parkinson's, macular degeneration of the eyes, cataracts, cancer, reducing mercury toxicity, etc. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has set an upper tolerable intake level (UL) for vitamin E at 1,000 mg (1,500 IU) for any form of supplementary alpha-tocopherol per day.

The recent reports claiming that 'B-Vitamins don't lower risk for heart attacks' missed the point entirely. They do lower levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory substance, as well as reducing the number of non-fatal strokes. In reality, homocysteine has now been challenged as a theoretical cause of heart disease, but the B-Vitamins performed exactly as predicted. How does that translate into any kind of failure?

This type of reporting is really a game of 'blaming the vitamins'. It has nothing to do with the real science or the place of one study in the big picture. Rarely does a single study trump all previous science, but bad science generates big headlines by generating controversy. Review studies often create problems by lumping too many variables together. Population studies do not show cause-and-effect and are unreliable. Large doses of nutrients, taken separately, can be predicted to fail in almost any study because nutrients are inherently interactive. The problem is that you are playing this game with real human lives, and scaring people away from taking healthy nutrients can cause more pain and deaths than the theoretical "risks" shown in unsubstantiated studies.

It's time for more balanced reporting on vitamins and other nutrients. The Lewin Group has published studies proving that use of supplements can save health care costs by billions of dollars. The FDA has approved health claims for vitamins and minerals. The risk of getting ill from a vitamin is a tiny fraction of the risk from eating a meal, and the risk from taking a pharmaceutical drug is far greater still. It's time for the media to consider why they constantly attack nutrients, and figure out how to report these studies in a context that is far more accurate.

Neil E. Levin
Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Nutrition Education Manager, NOW Foods
Bloomingdale, IL

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Eau, No: Clean, healthy and pure? Hardly. Bottled water is killing the Planet .

And our thirst grows, with 154 billion litres drunk in one year.

By Jon Neale and Jonathan Thompson
12 February 2006

Bottled water, the designer-look drink that has become a near-universal accessory of modern life, may be refreshing but it certainly isn't clean. A major new study has concluded that its production is seriously damaging the environment.

It costs 10,000 times more to create the bottled version than it does to produce tap water, say scientists. Huge resources are needed to draw it from the ground, add largely irrelevant minerals, and package and distribute it - sometimes half-way around the world.

The plastic bottles it comes in take 1,000 years to biodegrade, and in industrialised countries, bottled water is no more pure and healthy than what comes out of the tap.

The new study comes from the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington-based environmental group which has previously alerted the world to melting ice caps, expanding deserts and the environmental threats of a rapidly industrialising China. It points out that the world consumed a staggering 154 billion litres of bottled water in 2004 - an increase of 57 per cent in just half a decade.

Emily Arnold, the report's author, said: "Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing - producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy." Leading activists and high profile environmentalists yesterday voiced their approval of the study, and concern over the effect our seemingly insatiable appetite for bottled water is having.

Bob Geldof said: "Bottled water is bollocks. It is the great irony of the 21st century that the most basic things in the supermarket, such as water and bread, are among the most expensive. Getting water from the other side of the world and transporting it to sell here is ridiculous. It is all to do with lifestyle."


Dr Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth's senior waste campaigner, said: "It is another product we do not need. Bottled water companies are wasting resources and exacerbating climate change. "Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and transporting water adds to that. We could help reduce these damaging effects if we all simply drank water straight from the tap."

According to the EPI report, tap water is delivered through an "energy-efficient infrastructure", whereas bottled water is often shipped halfway across the world, burning huge amounts of fossil fuels and accelerating global warming. In 2004, for example, Finnish company Nord Water sent 1.4 million bottles of Helsinki tap water to a client in Saudi Arabia. In the same year, producing the plastic bottles that delivered 26 billion litres of water to Americans required more than 1.5 million barrels of oil - enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year.

Peter Ainsworth, the shadow Secretary of State for Environment,said: "It doesn't take a huge leap of the imagination to work out that they're on to something here. It is obvious that there are big environmental issues around bottled water, and people need to be made more aware of them."

The UK is by no means the biggest consumer of bottled water - the average Briton drank 33 litres in 2004, a sixth of the amount drunk by the typical Italian - but sales are rocketing. Coca-Cola bought the Malvern brand in 1999, seeing it as a remedy to falling sales of soft drinks.

The US's second most imported brand, Fiji, which is shipped around the world from the middle of the South Pacific, has been gaining ground in the UK.

Fashionable London restaurant Nobu charges £5 for small bottles, and is even rumoured to boil its rice in it. It has been featured in popular TV series such as Sex and the City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is rumoured to be the choice of Tom Cruise, Ozzy Osbourne, Heather Graham, Jennifer Aniston and Renee Zellweger.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Press Release on Calcium and Vitamin D for fracture reduction

The Osteoporosis Education Project
A Division of Leading Edge Research, Inc.
501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Corporation
Susan E. Brown, Ph.D., CCN, Director

2-17-06 Press Release

Calcium and Vitamin D Really Don't Reduce Fractures?
Take a Second Look

Yesterday (Feb 16th) the New England Journal of Medicine published new findings of the Women's Health Initiative Study looking at calcium and vitamin D for hip fracture reduction (NEJM 354,7:684-96,2006). Headlines around the country read, "Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements Don't Cut Fracture". But, we at the Osteoporosis Education Project ask, "Is this true?"

Sure enough, a more careful look at the study suggests that the headlines are misleading and that calcium and Vitamin D are indeed helpful in preventing osteoporotic fractures.

In this study 36,282 postmenopausal US women were given the daily treatment of either 1,000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU vitamin D or "sugar pills".
After seven years there was no reported significant reduction in hip fractures in the group as a whole--thus the headline, "Calcium and Vitamin D Don't Cut Fracture". However, when researchers looked only at women over 60 years of age (those most likely to experience a hip fracture) they found there was a 21% reduction in hip fractures. Further, when researchers looked just at the women who actually took the calcium and vitamin D supplements on a regular basis over the seven year study they found a 29% decrease in hip fractures. Thus, just the simple addition of 1,000 mg
calcium and 400 IU vitamin D did help reduce hip fracture by almost one-third among older women.

Most important of all, however, is the issue of supplement doses. While the dose of calcium used in the study was appropriate (1,000 mgs), the dose of vitamin D (400 IU) used in the study was only half of the amount known to be needed to reduce hip fractures. Several good studies in the U.S. and Europe have recently shown that supplementation with 700 to 800 IU vitamin D (not 400 IU as used in this study) along with calcium reduced osteoporotic fractures by some 30 to 50 or even 60%.

So the byline of this $725 million study segment should be that an adequate amount of calcium (1,000 mg) plus half of the vitamin D necessary to reduce fractures was able to decrease hip fractures by 29% in those women using the supplements daily. Preventing nearly one in three hip fractures with calcium and low dose vitamin D is not bad. Further, we surely would have seen a much greater fracture reduction if the appropriate amount of vitamin D had been used in this study and had all the subjects really taken the supplemental nutrients.

Susan E. Brown, Ph.D., CNS, Director

The Osteoporosis Education Project, East Syracuse, NY 315-432-1676