Welcome to the
The H&L Newsletter features information about nutrition and health-related topics that you won't get in the mainstream media. I'm always on the lookout for information that not only is interesting, but will be of the most benefit to you, the reader.
Health & Longevity Newsletter
Suggestions Welcome! My goal in producing this newsletter is to share information that you can use to achieve better health. If you ever have a suggestion for a topic you want covered here, please let me know by using my Contact Form.
Feature Story: Swine Flu Vaccination Update. This month, I'll report on some developments on the swine flu vaccines that aren't being talked about very much — especially by the folks in charge. Eventually, you'll have to decide whether or not you're going to get vaccinated. This is not something you want to do without hearing all the arguments for and against them before you make your choice.
Health Myth of the Month. This month's myth is that regular cancer screenings are the best way to prevent cancer. There is a critical distinction between cancer prevention and early treatment of cancer — one that often gets lost in the conversation. I'll discuss the difference here, and present my argument that conventional medicine doesn't have a clue as to what disease prevention really means.
Swine Flu Vaccine Update
I've been monitoring the developments on the swine flu vaccine with great interest. I personally have no intention of getting one — I haven't had any vaccinations for at least 40 years, and I have this general distrust of the pharmaceutical industry. But whether or not you usually get vaccinations, I would encourage you to investigate all the data out there on this latest flu shot before you "just say yes" to governmental recommendations.
Swine Flu Vaccines to be Put on the Fast Track. The United States has committed to plans for a mid-October vaccination program. They really have no choice but to promote broad administration of vaccines; to do nothing means they could be accused of negligence somewhere down the road. You can't blame them for over-reacting, but you don't have to go along either — not yet, anyway.
The problem with mass immunizations is that creating vaccines in a such a short period of time leaves no opportunity for thorough testing. And to top it off... neither the government, nor the pharmaceutical industry or your doctor will have any liability should something go wrong.
Something did go wrong the last time there was a mass-vaccination for swine flu, back in 1976. Dozens of people died and many more were paralyzed from reactions to the vaccines. You can read about it here: Wikipedia-1976 Swine Flu Scare
All of this begs the question: How Safe and Effective Will These Vaccines Be? The FDA announced that a vaccine will be accepted if it creates antibodies in 4 out of 10 recipients (40%), with at least 70 percent of those 4 achieving an antibody level "believed to provide benefit."
This means that an acceptable vaccine would provide “protection” for 28% of vaccine recipients (70% of the 40%), or less than 3 in 10 recipients. The requirement drops to 18% efficacy for those over 65 years of age.
The proposed "safety trials" for the H1N1 vaccine will not be concluded until June, 2010, long after virtually everyone in the US has been injected. The adjuvants that will be in many of the final vaccines, including squalene (see below), are not being tested in this trial, nor are people with numerous health conditions allowed in the trial. And there may be a very good reason why: liability.
Are These Vaccines Any Different from Others? Many of these swine flu vaccines will contain a dangerous adjuvant, squalene, in addition to the other toxins that go into most vaccines: heavy metals such as mercury and aluminum, preservatives and emulsifiers, including formaldehyde. Adjuvants are added to vaccines to make them more “effective” and to reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose.
Squalene is proving to be among the most deadly of immune adjuvants. Victims of Gulf War Syndrome received anthrax vaccines which contained squalene, which was later found to be the primary cause of Gulf War Syndrome.
In Short, Don’t Assume Anything. Just because the government is promoting swine flu vaccines is not a good reason to think that they must be safe — no one will really know until well after millions are already inoculated. However, they're certainly going to downplay any potential risks, and do whatever is necessary to get as many people to participate as possible. It's your job to stay informed and make an intelligent choice.
What Else Can You Do to Prevent Swine Flu? If you're concerned about the swine flu, the safest strategy is to build up your natural immunity that your body needs to protect itself against infections. This includes a diet rich in immune-boosting antioxidants, adequate sunshine for vitamin D, regular exercise and sleep. Oh — and wash your hands frequently!
Is Vitamin D the Real Answer to Swine Flu? Numerous studies indicate that Vitamin D is perhaps the single most powerful nutrient for preventing influenza. Recent studies also show that well over half of the population has insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D in their blood. Yet no one in official circles is promoting the supplementation of vitamin D immediately, even in the face of a potentially devastating global pandemic. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Read more about the Health Benefits of Vitamin D here.
Health Myth of the Month
Regular Cancer Screenings
Are the Best Way to Prevent Cancer
If you're a typical "good patient" getting up in years, regular cancer screenings are part of your healthcare regimen. The cancer industry heavily promotes the use of regular mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies and even full-body CT scans as ways to "prevent" cancer.
All these procedures make a lot of money for the healthcare industry, which is a primary reason they're promoted so heavily. Think about it — why aren't they promoting vitamin D from sunshine, the most powerful anti-cancer therapy known? Is it because there's no profit to be made?
The Critical Difference Between Cancer PREVENTION and Cancer MANAGEMENT. Truth is, cancer screenings do not do anything to prevent cancer. The most they can do is to detect the disease in its early stages, when it is easier to treat.
This illustrates the very significant distinction between cancer prevention and cancer treatment. Prevention is a strategy designed to minimize the risk of cancer. Treatment is a strategy designed to maintain a revenue stream for the healthcare industry. Every year, millions of people who don't practice any sort of cancer-preventive measures line up for cancer screenings, thinking that they're being responsible for their health.
There's a small but growing band of medical experts who are beginning to speak out against the widespread use of these tests. One of them, H. Gilbert Welch, MD, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School, has laid out very persuasive arguments in his book, Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why. In his straightforward and well-referenced book, Dr. Welch raises many issues regarding cancer screening that you should know about.
Here is a brief rundown
of the major drawbacks of cancer screenings:
1. The Overwhelming Majority of Patients Who Are Screened Receive No Benefit.
That's because, despite all the alarming statistics you hear about, most people will not get cancer. Let's look at breast cancer as an example.
According to government statistics, the risk of a woman between the ages of 55 and 70 dying from breast cancer in the next 10 years is 9 in 1,000. Advocates of regular mammograms claim that doing so reduces the risk by one-third, so your odds fall to 6 in 1,000. Therefore, for every 1,000 women screened, three of them avoid death from breast cancer — and six die anyway. The other 991? They get no benefit because they weren't going to die from the disease in the first place.
Statistics show that undergoing regular cancer screening starting at age 40 only decreases a woman's risk of dying from cancer by 0.1 percent.
2. The Most Deadly Cancers Often Are Missed.
The most common reason that cancer is overlooked in regular screenings is due to the nature of cancer itself. The deadliest cancers grow very rapidly. Screening can detect slow-growing cancers in their early stages, but an aggressive cancer could develop just months after screening and be far advanced by the time the next test rolls around.
Other Drawbacks? Some people who are screened get cancer and die anyway. Test results aren't always accurate. Sometimes cancer is there, but it's missed (false negatives).
3. The Pitfalls of False Positives.
Far more common than false negatives are false positives, when you're told that your test is inconclusive and can't be verified. False positives lead to further procedures such as ultrasounds, CT scans, colonoscopies and even biopsies, which are far more invasive and could possibly even promote the spread of cancer.
Unfortunately, false positive rates are high. For mammography, it's close to 10 percent. If you repeat this screening test every year for 10 years, your cumulative risk of having at least one false positive goes up to 65 percent, increasing your risk of further procedures and their costs.
False positive rates are high for PSA screenings as well; about 75% of the men who have a prostate biopsy based on an elevated PSA level do not have cancer; false-positive risk for pap smears is about the same.
Another problem with false positives is the psychological trauma of being told you might have cancer, and then having to wait months for further testing to find out for sure.
4. Unnecessary Treatment.
Worse than the false positives is unnecessary treatment. Yes, some lives are saved due to early detection and treatment. But not all cancers are the same. Some are deadly, some aren't. Your body is typically full of pre-cancerous cells, all the time — but your immune system keeps them in check. Yet all too often, slow-growing or nonprogressive cancers (that you'd never know existed if not for screening tests) are needlessly treated, often to the overall harm of patients.
A prime example is prostate cancer. Since 1975, its reported incidence has more than doubled, due to heavily-promoted screening. However, the death rate from prostate cancer has held steady at 3 percent, because most of these cancers progress too slowly to be of concern.
And prostate cancer treatment is not benign. Complications from surgery or radiation are numerous. Many of these interventions are completely unwarranted.
5. Cancer Screening (and Other Medical Procedures) May Actually CAUSE Cancer.
A recent study found that as many as two-thirds of adults underwent a medical test in the last few years that exposed them to radiation and in some cases, a potentially higher risk of cancer.
The study did not directly address whether medical imaging is being overused, but some doctors are concerned that advanced tests like CT scans are being over-prescribed, and that there isn't sufficient evidence to support their benefit.
Some 83 million CT scans were performed in 2007. Doctors use them to get detailed views of the brain, chest, abdomen and pelvis.
A new report released by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement reveals that Americans' exposure to radiation has increased more than 600% over the last thirty years. Most of that increase has come from medical imaging such as CT scans and mammograms.
Most women undergoing mammograms have no idea that the radiation emitted by these machines can actually cause cancer by exposing heart and breast tissue to ionizing radiation that causes DNA damage.
What Tests Should You Get? There's no clear consensus among the experts. Cancer is certainly scary and the treatments for it are as just as bad. If you have symptoms of cancer, by all means see a doctor and discuss appropriate testing.
Otherwise, do some homework and make your own educated decision. If your doctor recommends a cancer screening test, don't just go along with his recommendation. Doctors sometimes suggest these tests for the wrong reasons: fears of malpractice, financial incentives, and even patient demand.
Next time you hear that some cancer victim who would have been saved if only they'd had regular screening, realize that's nothing more than a poorly-informed opinion. And, whatever you do, don't let anyone make you feel irresponsible if you decide not to undergo cancer screening.
How Can You Actually Prevent Cancer? Cancer is a disease that is mostly preventable — simply by following good nutritional practices and a healthy lifestyle. A diet high in antioxidants, especially one supplemented with known anti-cancer nutrients such as vitamin D, beta carotene, lycopene, quercetin and selenium, and foods such as broccoli, garlic, green tea and others, can virtually eliminate your risk of contracting cancer, even if you have inherited genetic traits that predispose you to that disease.
My website is full of information that you can use to implement your anti-cancer program. Start your plan today by visiting Antioxidants for Health and Longevity
Get Dr. Welch's Book at the Health & Longevity Book Store If you want to investigate the pros and cons of cancer screening more thoroughly, you may purchase Dr. Welch's book, Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why from my Health & Longevity Book Store.
What's New at
Antioxidants for Health-and Longevity.com
New Superfood Stores. I've added several affiliate partners that offer top-notch high-antioxidant superfood products — companies like Sunfood Nutrition, founded by David Wolfe, the authority on raw food nutrition.
I'm also offering products by Navitas Naturals, Amazing Grass and Superfood Snacks, as well as antioxidant juices by Brazil Botanicals and Genesis Today at my Health & Longevity Juice Store.
Spread the Word!
Know somebody who's interested in health and nutrition? If you think any of your friends might benefit from this newsletter, please do me a favor and forward this email to them.
If a friend forwarded this issue to you, and you want to receive it regularly, then visit my Home Page to subscribe for free.
If you have any comments, feedback or ideas, I'd love to hear from you. My website is here to help you, and I'd love to find out what I could do to improve it. Just use my handy Contact Form and let me know what you think. (You can't reply directly to this email).
Sign Up for My RSS Feed. Like many websites, antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com is constantly growing and changing. Signing up for my RSS Feed, which you can do from the top left corner of any page on the website, keeps you completely up-to-date with everything that's new.
That's all for this month! I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter, and found the information useful. Have a great month!