"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860), German philosopher

Mammograms - to have or not to have

News image

Mammograms Key Points A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of...

The two-year loss-to-symptom syndrome

The two-year loss-to-symptom syndromeHow does all this information relate to chronic illness?  A combination of all these processes   - 20-second dips, unconscious decisions, the RAS (Reticular Activating System) – creates...

Different Types of Sugars

Which Sugars are Toxic? Recommended Maximum Dose: The World Health Organization recommends that we limit our intake of added sugars to no more than 10% of total calories. That comes...

Low Carb High Fat Diet

Do you want to eat real food (as much as you like) and improve your health and weight? It may sound too good to be true, but LCHF (Low Carb, High...

E-coli linked to cancer

"The research suggests that E.coli has a much wider involvement in the development of colon cancer than previously thought. It is important to build on these findings to understand why...

Causes of inflammation

Burns Chemical irritants Frostbite Toxins Infection by pathogens Physical injury , blunt or penetrating Immune reactions due to hypersensitivity Ionizing radiation Foreign bodies, including splinters, dirt and debris *Full...

Morphologic patterns

Specific patterns of acute and chronic inflammation are seen during particular situations that arise in the body, such as when inflammation occurs on an epithelial surface, or pyogenic bacteria are...

Cell vs Bacteria

Cell vs BacteriaFollow link to watch video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kIZ7PTRgVQ&NR=1

Cell derived mediators

Name Type Source Description Lysosome granules Enzymes Granulocytes These cells contain a large variety of enzymes which perform a number of functions. Granules can be classified as either specific...

Regulators and their role

The Skin Cancer Foundation $eal of approval. The Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) lends its logo to hundreds of sun protection products. SCF approval is easy: just document that your product...

Food Allergens

Food Allergens People who are allergic to some food need to be aware of the alternative and relatively unknown names on food packaging. Food allergens and common alternative names: Eggs Albumin,...

Leptin and Weight Management Supplements

Leptin is the single most important hormone that regulates your body weight. It is the boss of thyroid hormone, insulin, growth hormone, and adrenal hormones (like cortisol ). Understanding...

Treatment

The goal in treating hypertension is to reduce the risk of serious complications, including heart disease and stroke, by getting blood pressure under control. Ideally that means reducing blood pressure...

Cellular Component

Cellular componentThe cellular component involves leukocytes, which normally reside in blood and must move into the inflamed tissue via extravasation to aid in inflammation. Some act as phagocytes, ingesting bacteria,...

Preventive Care

Studies suggest that the following actions can help prevent hypertension: Maintaining a proper weight - According to several large-scale, population-based studies, being overweight is one of the strongest predictors that...

     

Various remedies

Which form of healing do you use most often?
 

Natural Healers' Association

Energy Medicine falls under the Natural Healers Association.

Established in February 1999, the Natural Healers Association, was founded by Dr H. Zungu, Katharine Lee Kruger and Chris Rall in Johannesburg . This national organization was registered as a Non Profit Organization on 22 May 2003 by the Department of Social Development. 

NHA aims to widen the window of opportunity to influence the development of healing legislation in South Africa to recognize the spiritual elements of International Traditional, Indigenous, Spiritual, Energy and Natural Healing Methods. By obtaining Government Recognition members will be able to provide a more cost effective and efficient healthcare service for all South Africans and others.

Read more
 
Triggers of ill-health
The truth about sugar PDF Print E-mail

What is sugar or sugars?

The word “sugars” describes the group of carbohydrates that help make our food sweet. These sweet carbohydrates have different names because of their chemical structures. For example, “glucose”, fructose” and “lactose” are different types of sugars.

When we say “sugar” we are usually talking about white or brown table sugar (or sucrose).

Carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, milk and fruit are made up of different sugars. For example, different fruits contain different combinations of sugars including fructose, sucrose and glucose; while milk is mostly lactose.

In your body, most of the sugar that you eat will eventually be broken down into glucose. Glucose is the sugar that provides energy for our organs and tissues. 

 

Read more at http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Carbohydrate/The-Truth-about-Sugar---FAQs.aspx

 

Dr Carolyn Dean also published an article about the scary truth of sugar. Please read Dr Dean's article on http://drcarolyndean.com/articles_scary_truth_about_sugar.html

Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2013 09:38
 
Different Types of Sugars PDF Print E-mail

Which Sugars are Toxic?


Recommended Maximum Dose: The World Health Organization recommends that we limit our intake of added sugars to no more than 10% of total calories. That comes to about 50 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar for a person eating 2000 calories a day. One tablespoon of granulated sugar is equal to about 12 grams. The American Heart Association would like to see this figure at 5% — no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar for most women, and no more than 150 calories a day for most men. That's about 2 tablespoons of added sugar for women and 3 for men.
The research* shows that sugary liquids in quantity, in a short period of time, are poison to the body. Drinking sugar forces your liver to convert the fructose to dangerous fats. And drinking just one can of soda is all you need to get your daily maximum requirement of sugar! So -- soda and sweetened (and un-sweetened!) fruit juices are now considered the new poisons. (See chart below) If you are going to imbibe, it is much better to eat your sugar, versus drinking it. In vegetables and fruits, the sugars are mixed in with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate any negative metabolic effects.
Table sugar is about 50% fructose, 50% glucose. These two simple sugars glucose and fructose are processed by our bodies differently. Glucose is metabolized by just about every cell of our body. Fructose is metabolized by the liver. So, consuming fructose is a lot more work for your liver than consuming starch (glucose). Plus, fructose metabolism is about twice as fast as glucose metabolism, thereby hitting your system faster and more furiously. And, what is hitting your system is triglycerides (fat in your blood), free fatty acids and LDL (bad) cholesterol. And unlike glucose, fructose does not cause the release of insulin from the pancreas, so it has no regulator. After eating 120 calories of glucose, one calorie is stored as fat. After 120 calories of fructose, 40 calories are stored as fat.(Link) Simply put liquid fructose = fat. Fructose (outside of whole fruits and vegetables) is bad! Watch the video 'Sugar: The Bitter Truth' below.
People who overindulge in sugar have fatty livers, high blood triglyceride levels, elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, high uric acid levels, may develop insulin resistance and a state of chronic inflammation and have a greater risk of heart attack, kidney stones, high blood pressure, low bone mineral density and cancer. Not to mention dental cavities and depletion of vitamins and minerals. Our body's need (but can also manufacture) glucose, but they do not 'need' fructose. 
So, how are we supposed to make the occasional pie or cake without feeling like we are poisoning our family? First the candidates:
Ends in "ose" = a sugar.
Ends in "itol" = a sugar alcohol
Disaccharide = two sugars joined together
Agave: The highly processed pulp of a desert-dwelling succulent plant. Agave is high in fructose, different brands range from 56-92% fructose. It is about 33 percent sweeter than sugar. Very high fructose - steer clear.
Aspartame: Sold under the names Equal, NutraSweet, AminoSweet. 100% artificial chemicals = poison! Artificial sweeteners = artificial reactions. Aspartame is now the most used artificial sweetener in the world. A University of Liverpool study showed that aspartame could be toxic to brain cells when mixed with yellow food coloring. Researchers have found that one harmful breakdown product of aspartame is formaldehyde.*
Barley Malt Syrup: Sprouted barley grains are dried quickly. Then the dried sprouts are slowly cooked so that they form a syrup. Digested slowly. About half as sweet as sugar. A molasses flavor.
Beet Sugar: Is derived from the refining of sugar beets. It is processed into sucrose. Beware of GM sugar beets.
Brown Sugar: Refined white sugar with a bit of molasses added back into it. 
Cane Juice and Cane Syrup: Produced from squeezed sugar cane juice. It’s less refined and so has a bit more color and flavor from the sugar cane.
Coconut Palm: Unrefined, organic best. Although imported, it is sustainable because coconut palms grow in bio-diverse ecosystems, rather than huge mono-crop farms like sugar cane. 15 calories per teaspoon. Low glycemic level of 35. Lots of micro-nutrients.
Confectioners' Sugar: Granulated white sugar ground into a fine powder, sometimes with a bit of cornstarch.
Corn Sweeteners and Corn Syrup: Made by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing with enzymes and acids to yield corn syrup. May contain between 20% and 98% glucose. Also called "glucose syrup." Still highly processed. HFCS is below.
Date Sugar: Derived from dates. Lots of fructose.
Demerara: Comes from pressed sugar cane that's steamed. The water is evaporated out, leaving large and coarse crystals.
Dextrose: Another name for glucose.
Erythritol: A ployol (sugar alcohol) resembles sugar in consistency and taste but has a caloric value near zero. Since the human body does not have any enzymes that can break down erythritol, it is not metabolized and is excreted unchanged in the urine. See more below under sugar alcohols. (Organic Zero a brand name)
Fructose: Fruit sugar that occurs naturally in honey, dates, raisins, grapes, apples, etc.. Now, most often fructose is produced from corn syrup. Fructose is 50% sweeter then cane or beet sugar. Fructose is metabolized by the liver. If liquid fructose is ingested quickly and in quantity the liver becomes stressed and therefore turns most all the fructose to fat. Fructose tends to promote an increase in triglycerides in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. Fructose also increases levels of uric acid in the body. Excess fructose causes a number of serious health issues. Dr. Robert Lustig calls fructose 'evil'!
Fruit Juice Concentrate: Syrups made by heating fruit juices to remove their water, then treating with enzymes and filtering, then re-adding fruit flavors. Lots of fructose!
Glucose: Also known as dextrose. A simple sugar that is metabolized by most every cell in the body. Also called blood sugar because it circulates in your blood. It fuels your cells. The body keeps blood glucose in a set range, through careful administration of insulin. The pancreas makes insulin. Our cells cannot use glucose without the help of insulin. Most all carbohydrates contain glucose, either alone, as in starch and glycogen, or together with another monosaccharide, as in sucrose and lactose. Glucose is 20% less sweet than sugar.
Glucose Syrup: Any liquid starch consisting of carbohydrates. Also called corn syrup when its main ingredient is cornstarch. Can be made from any source of starch; corn, wheat, rice and potatoes are the most common sources. The main benefit of this syrup over regular granulated sugar is its non-crystallizing properties.
Granulated White Sugar: Also known as table sugar, or pure crystallized sucrose, made by processing raw sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets.
High Fructose Corn Syrup: Also called glucose-fructose syrup. A combination of fructose and glucose made by processing corn syrup. Enzymatic processing converts some of the corn syrup's glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness. The resulting syrup is sweeter and more soluble. HFCS 55 (mostly used in soft drinks) is approximately 55% fructose and 42% glucose. A recent University of Southern California analysis of popular sodas (all sweetened with HFCS) found that the percent of fructose can be as high as 65 percent.(Link) As much as 60% of the sugar consumed in the US is actually HFCS. A very controversial product. More than one study has detected unsafe mercury levels in HFCS. In a Princeton study rats given HFCS gained 48% of their body weight in fat, a much greater weight gain than rats fed sugar. This is the equivalent of a 200 pound person gaining 96 pounds.(Link)
High Maltose Corn Syrup: A highly processed corn syrup with a high maltose content. Maltose is two bonded units of glucose. No fructose is present at all, and it is very easy for the body to break down. Our bodies create an enzyme, maltase that easily breaks down maltose into glucose. (Link)
Honey: A mix of glucose, fructose and sucrose created from nectar made by bees. Honey typically has a fructose/glucose ratio similar to HFCS 55, as well as containing some sucrose and other sugars. 
Invert Sugar: Used as a food additive to preserve freshness and create smoothness, this is sucrose broken down into its respective parts - fructose and glucose.  
Jaggery: Is unrefined sugarcane or palm sap heated to 200 °C. It comes in blocks, bricks, cups or pastes. It contains up to 50% sucrose, up to 20% invert sugars, up to 20% moisture, and the remainder is made up of other insoluble matter such as wood ash, proteins and fibers. It is called Palm Sugar when made from the date palm or sugar date palm. Known by many names throughout the world such as tapa dulce and rapadura.
Lactose: Sugar that occurs naturally in milk. Derived from whey. Lactose is about 20% as sweet as sugar.
MaltodextrinA highly processed powdered sweetener enzymatically derived from any starch, resulting in a mixture of Glucose, Maltose, Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides. In the US, the starch is usually corn, rice or potato; in Europe, it is commonly wheat. Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. A good thickener. 
Maltose: (aka Malt Sugar) Starch and malt broken down (mashed) into simple sugars and used commonly in beer, bread and baby food. Produced when amylase breaks down the starch of germinated seeds, such as barley. Maltose is a disaccharide where fructose is a monosaccharide. Maltose is one third as sweet as sucrose.
Maple Syrup: Boiled down maple tree sap. Barely processed, pure maple syrup is a good source of minerals like manganese and zinc. Keep your mind open to Grade B which could contain even more minerals than A. 17 calories per teaspoon.
Molasses: The thick, dark syrup that's leftover when sugar beets or sugar cane are processed into granulated sugar. Black strap is loaded with vitamins, minerals and trace elements naturally present in the sugar cane plant and is a good source of iron, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Muscovado: Unrefined. Made by pressing sugarcane and then cooking it slightly before allowing it to dry. Full of molasses and minerals. A good substitute for brown sugar, tends to be sticky. Store in tightly sealed jar.
Rice Syrup (Brown Rice Syrup): Derived by cooking down rice or rice flour with enzymes (usually from dried barley sprouts) to break down starches. The final product is 45% maltose, 3% glucose, and 52% maltotriose. The syrup breaks down rather slowly, providing more of a time-release energy flow than sugar. About 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Tastes like butterscotch or caramel.
Saccharin: aka Sweet'n Low. Artificial sweeteners = artificial reactions.
Sorbitol: Also known as glucitol, a sugar alcohol. See below...
Stevia Rebaudiana: Also known as sweet leaf, sugarleaf. Stevia plants are dried and subjected to a water extraction process. 300 times sweeter than sugar with zero calories. Too good to be true - yes, a bitter aftertaste. Caution as to the brand Truvia - it contains a chemically modified stevia.
Sucanat: (Brand, Sugar Cane Natural) Made by crushing sugar cane, extracting the juice and heating. Sucanat still contains the cane's natural molasses, it has a deep brown color and a molasses flavor. It can be substituted for brown sugar in any recipe.
Sucralose: (aka Splenda, SucraPlus, Candys, Cukren, E955 and Nevella) An artificial sweetener. 600 times as sweet as table sugar, twice as sweet as saccharin, and 3.3 times as sweet as aspartame. Lots of steps of chlorination in its processing.
Sucrose: The chemical name for granulated white table sugar which can be produced from either sugar cane or sugar beets. It is broken down during digestion into a mixture of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Each molecule of sucrose eaten means a molecule of glucose goes straight to the blood and one of fructose goes straight to the liver. Sulfur dioxide is added before evaporation to bleach the sugar.
Sugar Alcohols: Also know as polyols, derived from a plant sugar which is extracted by differing means, then reduced and then hydrogenated, then recrystallized. Part of their structure resembles sugar and part is similar to alcohol, yet they are neither sugar nor alcohol, they just resemble their molecular structure. Contain about 2.6 calories per gram. Occur naturally in plant products such as fruits, berries, starches, seaweeds.
Products which use sugar alcohols can be called “sugar free”
Each sugar alcohol acts differently in the body.
Forms of sugar alcohol:
Erythritol: Glucose is liquefied then fermented with a yeast, then crystallized. Erythritol is absorbed into the blood stream via the small intestine and then excreted unchanged in the urine. Erythritol has very small molecules and so passes directly through the system without metabolizing. Since it never makes it to the large intestine, this sugar alcohol does not cause the bloating and gas that are often associated with other sugar alcohols. 70% as sweet as sucrose. Heat-stable. People mix it with Stevia. (Organic Zero is a brand name)
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates: HSH is made from starches (wheat, corn, potato) and then by using hydrolysis, dextrin is created. Hydrogenation then coverts the dextrins into sugar alcohols. 40 - 90 percent of the sweetness of sugar. HSH do not crystallize and are used in confections, baked goods and mouthwashes. Adds texture and increases viscosity.
Isomalt: Is made from sucrose. It is a mixture of gluco-mannitol and gluco-sorbitol. Isomalt is only partially digested in the intestines and behaves much like fiber in the digestive tract. Is 45 - 65 percent as sweet as sugar and does not tend to lose its sweetness or break down during the heating process. Isomalt absorbs little water, so it is often used in hard candies, toffee, cough drops and lollipops.
Lactitol: Made from milk sugar (lactose). Lactitol is partially absorbed as glucose by the body and the remaining amount is fermented in the large intestine. Therefore may cause distress in the large colon. 30-40 percent as sweet as sugar, but its taste and solubility profile resembles sugar so it is often found in sugar-free ice cream, chocolate, candy, baked goods, preserves and chewing gums.
Maltitol: Made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch. 75-90% percent as sweet as sugar. It gives a creamy texture to foods. And since it is so like sucrose it is found often. Maltitol is slowly absorbed in the intestine and excessive consumption can have a laxative effect and produce intestinal gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Mannitol: Is mainly extracted from seaweed for use in food manufacturing. Has 50-70 percent of the relative sweetness of sugar. Mannitol lingers in the intestines for a long time and therefore often causes bloating and diarrhea. Mannitol is found in a wide variety of natural products, including almost all plants. Mannitol is extracted by utilizing ethanol, water, and methanol to steam and then hydrolyze the raw material. Mannitol does not absorb moisture and is used to dust chewing gum to prevent it from sticking.
Sorbitol: Is manufactured from corn syrup. 50 percent as sweet as sugar. It is often an ingredient in sugar-free gums and candies. Is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It has less of a tendency to cause diarrhea compared to mannitol but can also aggravate irritable bowel syndrome.
Xylitol: Is also called "wood sugar" and can be extracted from corncobs, birch wood, raspberries, plums, vegetables, mushrooms and some cereals. Xylitol has the same relative sweetness as sugar. It is found in chewing gums. Xylitol is produced by hydrogenation of the raw material, which converts the sugar into an alcohol. Tooth friendly.
Tagatose: Milk sugar - 92 % as sweet as sugar yet with about 1/3 of the calories. Is made via a patented two-step process. In the first step, lactose is hydrolyzed to glucose and galactose. In the second step, galactose is isomerized to D-tagatose by adding calcium hydroxide. D-tagatose is then further purified by means of demineralization and chromatography. The final product is a white crystalline substance that is greater than 99 percent pure. Only 15-20 percent of tagatose is absorbed in the small intestine. The major part of ingested tagatose is fermented in the colon by indigenous microflora, resulting in the production of short-chain fatty acids. The short chain fatty acids are absorbed almost completely and metabolized. Therefore tagatose has a minimal impact on blood glucose and is very low calorie.* Brand names Shugr, Sweet Fiber, and TheraSweet.
Turbinado Sugar: (Also known as Sugar in the Raw) Is made by crushing sugar cane to squeeze out the juice. The cane juice is evaporated and spun in a centrifuge, or 'turbine', producing large crystals. It retains a bit more of the natural “impurities” and a slight molasses flavor.
Resources:
Inspiration Green - http://www.inspirationgreen.com/all-the-different-sugars.html

Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2013 09:38
 
Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup PDF Print E-mail

How to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

Now that high fructose corn syrup is being added to an increasing variety of foods (breads, cereals, soft drinks, and condiments); some people are looking for ways to avoid it.

  1. 1
    Be clear about your reasons for avoiding high fructose corn syrup. Reasons cited for avoiding it are:

    • Beverages containing high fructose corn syrup have high levels of reactive carbonyls which are linked with cell and tissue damage that leads to diabetes[2], although there is no evidence so far that high fructose corn syrup consumption directly leads to diabetes. No significant metabolic differences exist between high fructose corn syrup and regular sugar.[3]
    • The corn from which high fructose corn syrup is derived may be genetically modified.
      The corn from which high fructose corn syrup is derived may be genetically modified[4][5][6]
    • There are increasing concerns about the politics surrounding the economics of corn production (subsidies, tariffs, and regulations) as well as the effects of intensive corn agriculture on the environment.[7]
    • Some people are allergic to products derived from corn.
    • Although the enzymatic process used to create high fructose corn syrup is a naturally occurring process, it is an additional processing step that sugar refined from beets does not undergo.[8] Some people prefer to avoid additionally processed foods and ingredients as much as possible.
    • Some people believe that sugar satiates, or creates the feeling of "full", faster than HFCS, which, if true, would likely lead to reduced caloric consumption.[9]
    • Some argue that sugar simply tastes better than high fructose corn syrup.[10]
  2. 2
    Avoid fast food. Fast food often contains high fructose corn syrup.
  3. 3
    Read food labels. This is the easiest and most sure-fire way to know if there is high fructose corn syrup in your food. High fructose corn syrup can be found even in products which aren't sweet, such as sliced bread and processed meats like sausage and ham.
  4. 4
    Understand what "natural" or "organic" means on labels with regard to HFCS. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate the use of the word "natural". Foods and beverages can be labeled as "natural" even though they contain high fructose corn syrup, because fructose is a naturally occurring sugar. The word "organic" is heavily regulated, and basically, only foods labeled as 100% organic can be assumed to be HFCS-free. For a more detailed explanation, see the Tips below.
  5. 5
    Avoid canned or bottled beverages. Soft drinks, sports drinks, lemonade, iced tea, and almost every sweet drink you can think of contains high fructose corn syrup.

    • Buy from small bottlers who use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Some smaller brands, such as Jones Soda and Dublin Dr. Pepper, have switched to pure cane sugar.[11]
    • Mexican soft drinks, HFCS-free
      Buy soft drinks from across the border. If you must have your fix of certain soda brands and you happen to live near Canada or Mexico, look into buying in bulk from those countries, which use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.[10]
    • Passover Coke has a yellow cap
      Check the Passover section of your supermarket. Some soda companies produce a sugar/sucrose-based version of their products around Passover for Jews who are restricted by custom from eating corn during this time. Coca-Cola produces a version of Coke without corn syrup[12] that can be identified by a yellow cap and is considered by some to taste better than Coke Zero, which is also free of corn syrup but contains artificial sweeteners, not sugar.[13]
  6. 6
    Lower your sweetener consumption altogether. It's been suggested that the supposed link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity is not due to the high fructose corn syrup itself, but to the increasing consumption of sweeteners in general, especially soft drinks.[8][14][15] In fact, where the fructose comes from doesn't seem to matter. The fructose found in fruits could be just as bad as that added to soft drinks. [16] The USDA recommends that a person with a 2000 calorie, balanced diet should consume no more than 32 g (8 tsp) of added sugar per day.[17] Here are some sweet foods and the percentage of the daily recommended amount of sweeteners they provide:[14]

    • typical cup of fruit yogurt - 70%
    • cup of regular ice cream - 60%
    • 12-ounce Pepsi - 103%
    • Hostess Lemon Fruit Pie - 115%
    • serving of Kellogg's Marshmallow Blasted Froot Loops - 40%
    • quarter-cup of pancake syrup - 103%
    • Cinnabon - 123%
    • large McDonald's Shake - 120%
    • large Mr. Misty Slush at Dairy Queen - 280%
    • Burger King's Cini-minis with icing - 95%
  7. 7
    Buy fresh produce and learn to cook it. The real problem is too much refined and processed food, not any one particular ingredient.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2013 09:41
 
The drugs aren't working PDF Print E-mail

The drugs aren’t working
Thirty years ago, antibiotics were miracle drugs, treating and containing even serious illnesses like TB.  But, as their reputation grew, so did our reliance on them – and that’s one of the reasons why they’re rapidly losing their efficacy. Toni Younghusband reports


Busy people like Helen Squires* who owns a Johannesburg logistics company demand antibiotics for even routine viral infections like cold and flu.  “I never get round to having the flu vaccine, and if I do get the flu, I get my doctor to prescribe antibiotics, because I simply cant afford to take time off work,” she says.   Yet flu, sore throat, coughs and the many other ailments we take antibiotics for usually need only symptomatic treatment; the more antibiotics for usually need only symptomatic treatment; the more antibiotics we use; the more resistant bacteria become.  And we as consumers are only part of the problem.  Development of “superbugs” in hospitals, careless treatment compliance, antibiotics in agriculture, international travel, and very little new drug development have contributed to bacterial resistance growing at a frightening rate. “The world is on the brink of losing these miracle cures,” the World Health Organization warned a year ago, and the problem is only getting worse.  The WHO estimates that up to 150 000 people are now dying annually from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.  This has significant implications for South Africa, which has the fourth-largest TB-infected population in the world.  We also have a particularly high burden of infectious diseases, including the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, which is threatening to spiral our of control.  In Durban, resistance to the most widely used gonorrheal treatment virtually doubled in a year.  And shigella – bacteria that infect the digestive tract and cause a wide range of symptoms, from diarrhea and vomiting to more serious complications and illnesses, particularly in young children consistently shows resistance to older antibiotics, up to 80% with some drugs.  Urinary tract infections, Candida, sepsis, pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis and even minor skin infections are becoming tougher to treat, so the likelihood of a chest infection ending in death is not as far-fetched as it seems.

The hospital connection
Last year, US tourist was hospitalized in Vietnam for a spinal ailment.  Back home several months later, doctors fount strains of resistant bacteria in her urine, which they believe she picked up while undergoing catheterization in Vietnam,  the bacteria proved resistant to 24 different drugs.  According to the Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistance in the United States costs an estimated $20 billion a year in excess healthcare costs, and more than 8 million additional days that people spend in hospital.  “the most dangerous places to acquire resistant organisms are hospitals, particularly in patients hospitalized for a long time, and those with chronic ailments,” says Dr Olga Perovic, principals pathologist at the South African Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections.  She blames excessive antibiotic use and poor infection control, which is often due to overburdened nursing staff, overcrowding and poor hygiene practices.  A study published in the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) says antibiotic resistance is high in for public and private hospitals, particularly among the so-called gram-negative bacteria responsible for pneumonia, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections and meningitis.  “The marker of this is the use of colistin, a drug that was retired from use several years ago, partly because of toxicity, and now is the only therapy available for certain multidrug-resistant infections.  When colistin fails, the patients may die”, warns Gary Kantor, an anaesthesiologist, health care improvement specialist and senior clinical consultant to Discovery Health.

Antibiotics in animals
Livestock production also relies heavily on antibiotics to prevent disease and as growth promoters, particularly  in intensively famed poultry and pigs, feedlot cattle and dairy cows.  “Tylosin, one of four growth promoters banned in Europe, was the most extensively sold antibiotic in South Africa,” noted the SAMJ.  About two-thirds of the antibiotics are mixed with the animals’ feed, but which antibiotics farmers are using and how much is difficult to assess in SA, where there is very little organized surveillance.

International travel
The growth of global trade and travel allows resistant bacteria to spread rapidly to distant countries and continents.  These bacteria have been identified in a number of countries usually in hospitalized patients.

No New Drugs
And as resistance grows, so drug development slows.  In fact, noted a representative from global pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Kline, the research pipeline for antibiotics is virtually dry.  “There has been a significant reduction in antibiotic research over the past 15-20 years, and only two classes of antibiotics have been developed and launched in the last 30 years,” said Brad Spellberg of the infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Availability task Force.  The easy to discover antibiotics have been discovered, and each new generation takes longer, costs more and is financially more risky for drug companies.  Antibiotics offer lower returns on investment than drugs needed to treat long-term chronic conditions, “There is a perceived lack of profitability in producing new antimicrobials,” agrees Kantor.  “We need to encourage drug companies to develop new antibiotics, and at the same time reward them for not overselling them.” It hasn’t helped that regulatory hurdles for testing and approbal of new drugs have got tougher.

The future
The only way to win the war against antibiotic resistance is for all stakeholders – governments, health organizations, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, pharmacists and individuals – to take responsibility for their part in the battle.  Governments need to invest in surveillance and monitoring and in vaccination programmes; healthcare institutions must have administrative and environmental policies in place to enable them to identify and isolate patients with multidrug-resistant bacterial infections – and must provide running water, soap and hand disinfectants as well as the personal protective equipment to prove against spread, says an editorial in the SAMJ.  Pharmaceutical companies must invest in new drugs; doctors must stop over-prescribing, and we, the patients, must understand and appreciate when antibiotics are necessary.  “It must be explained to consumers that infectious diseases are not all caused by bacterial organisms and that antibiotics don’t have an effect on viral infections.  Patients shouldn’t pressurize their doctors to prescribe antibiotics for nonbacterial diseases,” says Perovic.  “It is also important information about the spread and prevention of illnesses like TB, sexually-transmitted infections and malaria is widely and continuously disseminated.”  Unless we act now, we face a return to the pre-antibiotic era, warns the SHO, where infectious diseases become uncontrollable, more people die and healthcare costs spiral out of control.  The achievements of  modern medicine are at risk, and the success of treatments such as organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy and major surgery will be compromised.

*Name changed.

What can you do:
- Don’t expect an antibiotic to be given to you immediately for any minor infection related symptom, especially if you’re otherwise healthy, Kantor says.
- Try waiting out a fever with normal measures like paracetamol, fluids and rest.
- Check with your doctor whether an antibiotic is really needed and whether you couldn’t wait at least another 48 hours for the illness to resolve on its own.  Also ask about the side effects from antibiotics, which can be significant (allergic  reactions which are sometimes life-threatening, diarrhea, resistant infections now and in the future), and together with your doctor, weigh those up against any benefits you may get.
- If hospitalized, demand hygiene standards are adhered to – doctors and nurses should clean their hands before and after any patient contact.
- Teach your kids to wash their hand regularly
- Get vaccinated. Prevention is always better than cure.

Source – Discovery Health magazine

 

Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 13:07
 
Anti-depressants PDF Print E-mail
Antidepressants
When it comes to the use of antidepressant medication, Dr. Oz is still in somewhat of an allopathic mode—the idea that for nearly every disease or symptom there is a pill that will likely cure it. The conventional approach to treating depression is to prescribe an antidepressant (or two). I firmly believe that antidepressants do more harm than good in most cases of depression.
Dr. Oz seeks to apply natural alternatives like St. John's, SAMe, or tryptophan in lieu of more hazardous antidepressants, but while such supplements are certainly safer, and sometimes effective, you're still not treating the underlying cause of depression. Some will argue that if you're low in serotonin, you might benefit from some tryptophan. But while this may indeed help, you're still not addressing the reason for why you're low in serotonin. There are reasons for that, and once you eliminate the root cause, you won't have to take pills of any kind... I think it's really crucial to address these underlying issues.
As for antidepressants, there's startling evidence and countless research studies that strongly suggest antidepressant drugs simply do not work. Meanwhile, every year, psychiatric drugs kill an estimated 42,000 people—that's an astounding 12,000 more people than commit suicide due to depression
Rooting Out the Causes of Depression
There are a number of very powerful strategies to address depression. One that has been proven more effective than antidepressants in a number of studies is exercise. Exercise not only relieves depressive symptoms but also appears to prevent them from recurring. Unfortunately, since no one is going to be making tens of billions of dollars on encouraging you to exercise, it has not received the amount of funding for studies that antidepressant drugs have received. However when the studies are performed, exercise continually comes out on top, demonstrating benefits above and beyond what antidepressant drugs can achieve.
Three key mechanisms appear to be that exercise:
1. Improves insulin receptor sensitivity
2. Regulates serotonin and norepinephrine, two key neurotransmitters in your brain, and
3. "Switches on" genes that increase your brain levels of galanin, a neurotransmitter that helps lessen your body's stress response
Your diet is another key factor that must be addressed. There are well-documented studies showing that animal-based omega-3 fat (DHA) is very useful. I'm a firm believer in krill oil, which is far more effectively absorbed than fish oil. You also want to make sure to optimize your diet, meaning removing sugars, grains and processed foods, and replacing them with healthy fats. Why is your diet so important for your emotional and mental health?
The Gut-Brain Connection that Can Help Explain Many Cases of Depression
One of the reasons that dietary changes work is because it helps alter your gut flora in very beneficial ways. The beneficial bacteria in your gut have a profound influence on your health, including your mental health. They produce substances that your body needs. And, your gut actually produces more serotonin than your brain does!
Your gut is frequently referred to as 'the second brain,' and when you consider the fact that the gut-brain connection is recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, and that there's no shortage of evidence of gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases, it's easy to see how the balance of gut bacteria can play a significant role in your psychology and behavior as well. With this in mind, it should also be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, from cradle to grave, because in a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs its own vital nourishment.
Last but certainly not least, is finding a skilled psychotherapist who can help you work through some of the contributing emotional challenges. But optimizing your physiology with the physical approaches mentioned is probably the best marriage of an approach that has a high likelihood of success.
 
Read more at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/04/dr-mercola-on-the-dr-oz-show.aspx?e_cid=20120104_DNL_art_1
 
The 20-second dip PDF Print E-mail

The 20-second dip


Not every painful event leaves an emotion scar.  Specific processes need to occur for this to happen, and these depend on your brain-wave activity during the original event

Read more... [The 20-second dip]
 
The two-year loss-to-symptom syndrome PDF Print E-mail

The two-year loss-to-symptom syndrome


How does all this information relate to chronic illness?  A combination of all these processes   - 20-second dips, unconscious decisions, the RAS (Reticular Activating System) – creates a phenomenon called the ‘two year loss to symptom’ syndrome.


This syndrome refers to the widespread finding that in most chronic immune based diseases, there is a significant event involving loss about 18 months to two years before symptoms begin to develop.


This has been found in a wide range of chronic diseases, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes Type 1, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

Read more... [The two-year loss-to-symptom syndrome]
 
How the brain gives special resonance to emotional memories PDF Print E-mail

ScienceDaily (June 10, 2004) — DURHAM, N.C. -- If the emotional memory of a traumatic car accident or the thrill of first love are remembered with a special resonance, it is because they engage different brain structures than do normal memories, Duke University researchers have discovered.

Their new study provides clear evidence from humans that the brain's emotional center, called the amygdala, interacts with memory-related brain regions during the formation of emotional memories, perhaps to give such memories their indelible emotional resonance.

The researchers said their basic insights could contribute to understanding of the role that the neural mechanisms underlying emotional memory formation play in post traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040610081107.htm

Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011 19:46
 
How we remember traumatic events PDF Print E-mail

ScienceDaily (Oct. 29, 2008) — Neuroscientists at The University of Queensland have discovered a new way to explain how emotional events can sometimes lead to disturbing long term memories.

In evolutionary terms, the brain's ability to remember a fear or trauma response has been crucial to our long term survival.

However, in the modern world, when a similar type of fear response is triggered by a traumatic event such as being in combat; being exposed to abuse or being involved a major car accident, we do not want to repeatedly re-experience the episode, in vivid detail, for the rest of our lives.

During studies of the almond-shaped part of the brain called the amygdala – a region associated with processing emotions – Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) scientists have uncovered a cellular mechanism underlying the formation of emotional memories, which occurs in the presence of a well known stress hormone.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081028103111.htm

Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011 19:46
 
How you view sadness predicts depression relapse PDF Print E-mail

It is very common that a person recovering from depression or coming off anti-depressants will experience some feelings of sadness. A new study sheds some light on whether or not that feeling of sadness will balloon into a depression relapse or just be a passing emotion.

This study evaluated patients who were formerly depressed and those not depressed. The participants viewed sad and neutral film clips while undergoing imaging of their brains. They were then followed for depression relapse over the next 18 months. Those who relapsed into depression were those who activated brain regions dealing with excessive rumination and processing regarding the sadness. In other words, they tended to dwell on it. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 21:53
Read more... [How you view sadness predicts depression relapse]
 
Powerful and Simple Tips to Help Lower Your E-smog Risks PDF Print E-mail

Electrical Pollution Interferes with Your Body's Cells

Powerful and Simple Tips to Help Lower Your E-smog RisksEMF (E-smog) is as harmful an invader to your body, as any other environmental toxin. It interferes with your health at the cellular level because you are actually an electrical being.

Your body is a complex communication device where cells, tissues, organs and organisms all "talk."

More well-known biological impacts from electrosmog are the interruption of your brain wave patterns leading to behavior issues and the interference with your body's communication system (cytoskeleton) leading to abnormal neurological function, such as dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

At a cellular level, your cell membrane receptors (the brain of the cell) recognize electromagnetic fields at very low levels of exposure producing a stress response similar to that produced by exposure to heavy metals or toxic chemicals.

This can cause the cell membrane to go from an "active" or permeable state where it allows nutrients in and toxins out, to an "inactive" state where the cell membrane is impermeable.

During a normal day, your cells will change states thousands of time, but when under constant environmental stress, the membranes can be locked in the inactive state.  This is often referred to as "oxidative stress”. This state can have geno-toxic effects, meaning it can damage the DNA and prevent it from repairing, which can be the first step to cancer.

The chaotic and unpredictable patterns from electrosmog can create noise in your body and force your body out of harmony.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:23
Read more... [Powerful and Simple Tips to Help Lower Your E-smog Risks]
 
The terrible truth about plastic you never knew PDF Print E-mail

As plastic ages or is exposed to heat or stress, it can release trace amounts of some of its ingredients. Of particular concern are bisphenol-a (BPA), used to strengthen some plastics, and phthalates, used to soften others.

These chemicals are used in hundreds of household items; BPA is in everything from baby bottles to can linings, while phthalates are found in children‘s toys as well as vinyl shower curtains. They enter your body through the food, water and bits of dust you consume, or are simply absorbed through your skin.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:23
Read more... [The terrible truth about plastic you never knew]
 
Food Additives PDF Print E-mail

This following additives from The UK Food Guide are currently permitted in food within the European Union and their associated E Numbers. (As of Tuesday, 10th September 2002.) The additives are listed in groups for ease of reference.

This list is constantly being updated and added to.

This list does not in any way supplement the law , nor constitute legal guidance.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:17
Read more... [Food Additives]
 
Chemicals to avoid PDF Print E-mail

A number of home cleaning products are likely to contain toxic ingredients: bleach, brass or other metal polishes, drain cleaner, carpet cleaner, room deodorizer, dishwashing detergent, fabric softener, laundry detergent, anti-cling sheets, mould and mildew cleaner, mothballs and spot remover all usually contain irritating or toxic substances.

However, you will probably not find the ingredients on the labels, and if you do they will be disguised by category names that leave you none the wiser.

Toxic/harmful ingredients include:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:24
Read more... [Chemicals to avoid]
 


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