Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cod Liver Oil: A Forgotten Superfood

The use of cod liver oil as food and medicine goes back many centuries and is still used today in traditional diets. Cultures that depended on fish as a large part of their diet such as the inuit and scandinavian regions used cod liver oil with abundance. The oil contains 4500 IU of vitamin A in everyone teaspoon along with 1360 IU of vitamin D and is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The high amount of these vitamins in a natural food source makes cod liver oil the forgotten superfood.

Cod liver oil has been used in the treatment of anything from infectious to chronic diseases. Its high omega-3s and vitamin A content help in brain development and preventing infectious disease complications. Modern diets are often disproportionally high in omega-6s due to the amount of vegetable oil used and low in omega-3s. This leads to a deficiency then in turn adversely affects the brain, nervous system, hormones, dental health, and immune system and goes in parallel with the high level of chronic disease today. Historically, the discovery of vitamin D in cod liver oil prompted much research into its value and was used to prevent rickets in children (common in the early 20th century).

Its best to remember that vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin so its best obtained from animal foods like eggs and butter. The vitamin A from animal foods is considered preformed- meaning its the retinol type- with the vitamin A in cod liver oil considered to be preformed retinol. Its the easiest for of vitamin A for your body to use. Some recent research into cod liver oil has shown its value in preventing type 1 diabetes in children maybe through an anti-inflammatory affect and in another study it decreased childhood respiratory infections by at least 58%. Hopefully, in the future even more great use for cod liver oil is found.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Medicine or Healthicine?

I've been going through an interesting blog on the subject of healthicine and indeed its completely ignored by the pharmaceutical-controlled medical system. The concept of healthicine is based on measuring the health of a person rather than basing everything in terms of illness. Hopefully, I'm understanding it correctly. Its about using healthicines to improve your state of health rather than attacking disease with toxic medicines, but healthicines work in health and disease. Their not limited to simply attacking a disease.

Our medical system a.k.a Sickcare system focuses far too much on Disease Management instead of focusing on true prevention and keeping people in health to start. All the time we see charities obsessed with getting our money to find the "cure" while their simply coming up with more drugs to cover up symptoms. Of course, the whole idea of healthicine is a foreign concept to medical thinking as "science-based medicine" is only concerned with the creation of drugs that can treat a disease. Its a myth that medicines "cure" disease, they work to keep the symptons of an underlying illness from progressing (though sometimes nessecary). They don't even know how to return someone to a State of Health without the use of their toxic drugs. Neither does the Sickcare system or the doctors working for the Sickcare system. All of them are concerned with Disease Management only (though in some cases it may be necessary).

What is personal health freedom? The right to access healthicines that increase your level of health. One of the good examples of a healthicine is a vitamin. A vitamin can increase your health by getting rid of a deficiency (almost like a medicine) and keeps you in a State of Health. Really health is about coming back to a state of balance. Symptoms are simply an underlying physical problem caused by an imbalance (whether genetic, nutrient deficiency, etc.). But to our Disease Management system symptoms are considered the actual disease themselves.

Theres been much research over the last fifty years into biochemical intricacies, nutrition, and the affects of lifestyle, but still none of it has actually overturned the medical paradigm that relies on management of illness rather than creating lasting health. A move towards the healthy spectrum rather than relying on a disease spectrum.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

On Trust and Science

After years of reading about the massive fraud and corruption in the pharmaceutical-medical industry thats gained such a holy position in our society it makes me wonder just how much we should trust science? Actually I do have trust in the methodology called science, but not so much in the invested interests and special agendas running the science establishment. We should remember that the scientific method and whats presented in the media and on the internet as "science" is two different things. Sometimes the truth is actually never the real truth with the media misrepresenting a variety of topics from nutrition to genetically-modified foods.

A 2013 poll found that only 36% of Americans have alot of trust in scientists and with 6% having no trust at all. Are they just a bunch of gullible believers who reject the bastion of modern civilization? No, I don't think so. I actually believe many people are smart in their own way and have their reasons for distrusting science. People know theres a political or profit agenda behind the studies done on drugs, food, and supplements and have come to distrust the researchers and doctors behind these studies. Perhaps the fact that 67% of retractions in medical journals are due to outright misconduct and fraud justify the distrust in science. Thats not even counting the un-retracted studies!

What is one to do? Wisdom, intuition, accumulative knowledge, anecdotal evidence and common sense are all good alternatives to believing the shallow ivory towers. Of course, you should not disregard scientific studies, however, just know their not the final truth. Whats considered "impossible" or "quackery" by the conventional medical establishment is not necessarily so. The history of orthomolecular medicine (high-dose vitamin therapy) is one example of an affective therapy being outright denied and ignored. Its almost as if "scientific" medicine considers it an insult that what they treat with drugs is actually a problem caused by a vitamin deficiency.

The concept of scientific medicine is actually based in half-truths and an outdated paradigm that only looks at the human body in parts and ignores the real cause of dis-ease. What is disease afterall? A symptom of an underlying physical problem caused by the complex intricacies of biochemical imbalances and mind-body interplay (which modern medicine still doesn't even recognize). Nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, stress, genetic susceptibility, and environmental factors all play a part in disease and health.

So trust and science is a relationship of balance and questioning. The history of science reveals many previous paradigms being overturned and new ideas slowly embraced. The world is not a black and white place whatever the rabid internet quackbusters and believers may try to say as the "final truth".

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why Almost Half Of Americans Are Justified In Believing Medical "Conspiracies"

A recent study from JAMA Internal Medicine says that medical "conspiracies" are believed by half of Americans. The article starts out blaming television and celebrities for the general rise in conspiracy belief, calling them "uncorroborated". The study was conducted as an online survey by the University of Chicago that collected data from 1,351 adults for 2 months in 2013 (not a very big pool of the American population).

First, I'd like to say that their definition of a conspiracy theory is actually not a conspiracy at all. If you were to look over the history of FDA, AMA, or other alphabet agencies you would find numerous examples of conflicted interest and fraud. There is a history of the medical-pharmaceutical complex trying to suppress and even destroy inexpensive, safer natural therapies. I'll discuss these in more detail later on. The survey questions (which MNT does not allow article reproduction without permission) are a total of five. The first question goes along the line of "does the government block access to natural medicine?" The second question I'm not going to even bother answering as I admittedly am unknowledgeable on the topic and think it really is a conspiracy theory. The third question pertains to the autism-vaccine connection, which I also won't get into very heavily as this controversy has been addressed on many other sites. The fourth question pertains to the cell phone causes cancer topic. The last question has to do with the issue of water fluoridation.

So I'll address the first question and the last two (with a brief emphasis on number three). Before we go one, what was the response to the survey questions? Apparently, at least 49% of the people in the study agreed with one or more of the questions. People who believed in these "medical conspiracy theories" were more likely to take herbal supplements and avoid conventional medicine. Personally, I say the study doesn't acknowledge the still vast uncertainty in medicine and how it relates to human health and tries to blast people for believing that their not being told the complete truth by medical authorities. But people are not unjustified in their mistrust of medical authorities or the conventional medical establishment at all. Below I'll address the four questions.
  • "Does the government block access to natural medicine?" Actually yes or at least keeps it hidden from the public by favoring pharmaceutical medicine over natural medicine. The FDA for example requires billion dollar trials for a drug treatment to be considered "proven" and allowed for patent. Now vitamin supplements or natural therapies obviously don't make billions of dollars so they can't make up the cost of a billion-dollar trial. The FDA and conventional medicine has also persecuted alternative doctors repeatedly going back to the 20th century. Really the drug paradigm is what the FDA-medical establishment adheres to with its reductionary thinking (one-pill-for-one problem) instead of embracing a more open-minded approach to health. The use of supplements and natural therapies embraces a wider paradigm that addresses many symptoms not just one. The conventional medical establishment was actually built on racketeering and profit that all started with Rockefeller who gave large sums of money to the conventional medical schools of the time. This money is what led to conventional drug doctors monopolizing the whole American healthcare system while the safer therapies of the time, herbal medicine and homeopathic schools, didn't get large funding. The American Medical Association (AMA) was in the early 20th century led by a notorious medical authority, Morris Fishbein, who required payment for the AMA's approval for a product and he was the same authority who tried to destroy the Hoxsey therapy. Now we should never forget that the major medical journals used to advertise cigarettes without quarrel.

          The whole supposed "science-based medicine" is actually a code word for drug-only approach to health. The FDA regulates drugs and the medical monopoly only gives out drugs without ever paying attention to the vast fraud in the pharmaceutical industry that regularly skews studies in favor of the wanted positive result. They also declare that their drug medicine is the only way to "treat disease" and try to push out alternatives by either outlawing those alternatives or ruining the career of an alternative doctor. Not to mention the vast connections of the medical industrial complex to organizations and corporations that should never be trusted with reliable health information, think the quackbusters and chemical companies that produce known carcinogens. Really its no different than the witch hunts of the middle ages where those who cured people using herbs were declared witches while blood-letting barbers who never cured anyone were allowed to continue to practice "medicine".
  • Autism-vaccine connection. I'm not going to elaborate very much here as this topic is already addressed on many other alternative health sites. There are numerous theories on the cause of autism. However, one of the theories of autism is the epigenetic triggers such as environment and nutrition with one of the other triggers being vaccines (whether its the additives or the actual virus in the vaccine). Especially when you know that kids are far more susceptible to toxins than adults. Autism could very well be a multi-factorial condition thats environmentally-triggered.
  • "Cell phone causes cancer". Admittedly, I have never looked into this topic very deeply, however, there has been much controversy and conflicting reports on the theory of cell phones causing cancer. The mechanism behind the cell phone-cancer link is the electromagnetic radiation that goes into your head everytime you use a cell phone. Supposedly, electromagnetic radiation is a carcinogen due to its ability to disrupt cellular processes. Many in the alternative health community recommend either avoiding or minimizing electromagnetic exposure due to the studies showing higher rates of cancer with cell phone use.
  • Water fluoridation. The issue of fluoride in water comes from the very fact that inorganic fluoride is an industrial waste product and a member of the halide chemical family that competes with mineral absorption. Why the heck is it in the water supply then? Gary Null has an excellent article on the notorious history of fluoride as an industrial waste product that was originally dumped into public water supplies to save industry money on proper disposal. Not a conspiracy at all.
The takeaway is that the history of medicine and its vast political-economical connections are really the driving force for what people accept as normal and appropriate. A conspiracy theory is only a conspiracy if your too busy reading the conventional media to actually understand whats going on behind the scenes all these years. The fundamentalist pseudoskeptics would have you believe alternative medicine is useless yet so much of conventional medicine is full of corruption and fraud.

But then we hear the common argument that conventional medicine is the reason people live longer and make us healthier? Yeah, right. 200,000 Americans a year die from medical errors alone and probably more. What the medical mafia fails to realize is that many illness is actually caused by conventional medicine and the junkfood industries. Pharmaceuticals don't actually cure your illness they only cover up symptoms without addressing the real cause. How many illnesses are actually caused by years of junkfood addiction? Too many. While alternative medicine certainly isn't always perfect, its much closer to the truth than conventional as they actually get to the cause of the problem.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Symbiotic Bacteria and Viruses: Necessary For Good Health?

The contrary idea that germs like bacteria and even viruses can play a beneficial role in human health might slowly be gaining ground in the medical mainstream though its implications have already been applied in the natural health community. The consumption of healthy fermented vegetables and probiotic supplementation is the best example of this application. Other ways to maintain the healthy balance of microbes in the body is avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use either in medical or food area.

A recent article explains very well the connection between the gut microbiome and cancer susceptibility. The two biggest markers for cancer, inflammation and metabolism, are also associated with the gut microbiome and have the potential to influence overall health, too. Often the cancer susceptibility can be triggered by gut dysbiosis that allows harmful microbes to overgrow in the gut and with a few specific bacteria species that are linked to a cancer type (H. pylori in about 3% of gastric cancer cases for example).

Perhaps another important find from the research into gut microbiome and cancer association is that distant organs like the liver and pancreas are affected by gut microbes also. The most interesting question arises to how exactly the gut bacteria affects the susceptibility and development of cancer. When you consider that the human body contains trillions of more bacteria than it does human genes you realize how anything negatively impacting our microbe inhabitants also affects our health overall. The immune system, inflammation, and the importance of a healthy intestinal barrier that acts as a barrier between host and microbe interaction plays a role in cancer development. Similarly, these are the factors thought important in the area of alternative cancer therapies that seek to improve the immune system and its overall health.

Within the alternative health community there has long been the theory that colds and flus are the body's way of detoxing. When you get a cold or flu your body starts expelling toxic waste and a fever runs in an attempt to get rid of more toxic build-up waste. Perhaps the best way to manage these illness is to help the detoxing process along with vitamin C, herbs (licorice, lemongrass, burdock, etc.), and soaking baths that use epsom salt.

It does fascinate me to view an infectious disease as a method of bodily detox rather than some germ suddenly invading the body. The first is more of a symbiotic view of nature that may explain how humans evolved with germs for a reason. Even may explain the role of the immune system in overall health. In the 19th century a scientist by the name of Antoine Bechamp proposed that the inner terrain is actually more important than the germ. Looking back through history we find a few cures for infectious illness that have been buried or denied under the barrage of modern-day drug dogma. Many of these do not cause resistance like antibiotics do (less likely anyways) and are far less toxic.
  • Vitamin C. High doses of vitamin C can produce oxygen in the body making the inner terrain uninhabitable for germs of many kinds. Humans lack the ability to synthesize vitamin C.
  • Herbs. Licorice, lemongrass, yarrow, thyme all have antibacterial and antiviral properties and their essential oils.
  • Vitamin A. It was historically known as the "anti-infective vitamin".
  • Bacteriophage. A popular treatment used in Russia since WWll it utilizes beneficial viruses to attack a bacterial infection.
  • Colloidal silver. It does have a long history of use against bacterial and viral illness dating back to the middle ages.