The Health & Longevity 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.
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.
In This Issue
Swine Flu Update. This month, I'll report on recent developments on the swine flu that aren't being talked about very much in the mainstream media. I've got some great resources for you to check out before you decide whether to get vaccinated or not.
Health Myth of the Month. This month's myth is that taking aspirin daily is the best way for healthy individuals to prevent heart disease. How wise is this, really?
Nutrition Joke of the Month. Not like "ha-ha" funny, but something so preposterous being fed to us by the food industry it can only qualify as a joke. It's called "Smart Choices" program. Don't be duped!
CDC Fails to Put 1 and 1 Together
on Swine Flu Deaths
According to the CDC’s statistics, the H1N1 flu has killed 36 children in U.S. Of those, almost two-thirds had either epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or some other neurodevelopmental condition like mental retardation.
What do all of these conditions have in common? They are all associated with childhood vitamin D deficiency, according to the founder of the Vitamin D Council, Dr. John Cannell. Vitamin D deficiencies could also have made these children far more susceptible to complications from the swine flu.
Unfortunately, Dr. Cannell has been unable to get anyone in authority at the CDC to investigate the potential use of vitamin D in preventing a flu epidemic.
Wintertime deficiencies of vitamin D, due to lack of strong sunlight, have been implicated in the seasonal increase in colds and flu, and previous studies have suggested an association between low blood levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of respiratory infections.
Don't keep your head in the sand like the folks at the CDC.
Supplement with vitamin D now to prevent swine flu.
Whatever you do, make sure you're fully informed about the swine flu vaccine before you decide one way or the other to get one. The CDC and medical community is not going to tell you everything you need to know to make a wise decision.
For the latest updates on the swine flu vaccines, try these websites:
Ask Dr. Sears
Dr. Mercola on the Swine Flu Vaccines
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
Dangers of Prescription Medicines
That They Don't Want You to Know
Recent figures have shown that prescription medications, even when properly administered, kill over 106,000 people. On top of that is another group who die from other drug-related problems. Between these two groups, about 250,000 people die every year. This makes the use of prescription drugs the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease, which kills about 800,000 and cancer, which kills about 500,000.
Some Ugly Truths About Drug Clinical Trials. Every year, more and more clinical trials of new drugs are conducted in third world countries, where patients are often mislead into participating in studies where they don't fully understand the risks. India has become one of the most common locations for these clinical trials. There are literally thousands of sites in India where trials are held. A story late last year in Florida's St. Petersburg Times found that the FDA had managed to visit just eight of them over a three year period.
In the process of investigating this story, a Times reporter visited one of the hospitals in India where clinical trials are regularly conducted. She found feces on the floor, signs warning against bribery, and a staff that simply couldn't keep up with the 4 million desperate patients they see every year, let alone conduct thoroughly-monitored clinical studies of new drugs. One of those trials at that same hospital ended with 49 children dead.
How Effective are Prescription Drugs Anyway? The pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe that prescription drugs work all of the time. The truth is that the chances of a positive response are simply not in your favor. One reason is that each of us responds uniquely to any given medication. Your liver and kidney function, overall health, treatment for other conditions, and genetics all play a role in how a drug affects you. Plus, to get a medication on the market, all the drug companies have to do is prove that it's better, on average, than a sugar pill. A drug that works 20 percent of the time, for instance, may be considered effective — even though it does nothing for 80 percent of patients.
Think about these facts the next time you consider using prescription drugs to treat any problem; don't just assume that the medication you're being given is hazard-free, effective and thoroughly tested. Often, there are safer, natural methods of treating your problem. You might want to explore them first.
Nutritional Joke of the Month
"Smart Choices" Labels
If you live in the U.S., you’ve no doubt seen the familiar government nutrition labels on most food products. Now some big food manufacturers are adding labels of their own.
A new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, created by and paid for by the nation's major food manufacturers, is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.” Included in the list of approved foods are Kellogg's Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies.
Critics say the program has a very different objective. “The object of this is to make highly-processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University.
Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board and the Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said the program’s criteria were based on government dietary guidelines and widely accepted nutritional standards.
“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”
I'll repeat — this is from the dean of the nutritional school at Tufts University!
Another member of the board, Dr. Celeste A. Clark (who is also a senior executive at Kellogg's), said that the program’s standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines that say that “small amounts of sugar” added to "nutrient-dense" foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better. That, in theory, will encourage people to eat more of them, which would increase the nutrients in their diet. Froot Loops is 41 percent sugar, measured by weight. That's more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies. What does that say about our federal dietary guidelines?
Companies signed up for the Smart Choices program so far include Kellogg’s, Kraft, ConAgra, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods. Companies pay up to $100,000 a year to participate in the program.
Following a "Smart Choices" diet will certainly lead to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other degenerative diseases that provide a healthy revenue stream for our healthcare system.
Source: New York Times
Health Myth of the Month
Aspirin Therapy for Heart Attack Prevention
Are you taking daily aspirin for preventing heart disease, as recommended by the medical community? Aspirin is so inexpensive and effective at preventing clots that many doctors are now recommending a daily dose to prevent heart disease. Aspirin can also significantly reduce the risk of dying when taken during and after a heart attack.
A daily, low dose of aspirin can help prevent heart attacks for people who already have coronary heart disease. But there’s no evidence that daily aspirin can prevent heart disease in people who are already healthy — and there's significant hazards in doing so.
The Problem with Daily Aspirin Intake. By taking aspirin daily, you can seriously increase your risk of a hemorrhagic stroke. You may also cause stomach irritation that leads to internal bleeding, or develop possible kidney problems, with no proven benefit to compensate for the risk.
See my page on Heart Attack Prevention to learn a far better way to prevent heart disease — using antioxidants.
CDC Survey Reveals
Severe Dietary Deficiencies
Do you have children who won't eat vegetables? You're not alone! The latest survey done by the CDC reported that fewer than 13% of high school students eat 3 or more servings of vegetables a day; only 32% eat at least 2 servings of fruit, and less than 10% eat a combined 5 servings a day, the minimum recommended amount for good health.
Adults fare slightly better, but are still falling way short of optimal levels. The CDC survey showed that only 27% of adults eat 3 or more servings of fresh vegetables a day, and 33% eat 2 or more servings of fresh fruit.
What's the solution? Amazing Grass SuperFoods! Amazing Grass Superfood Powders are certified organic nutritional supplements that combine more than 30 rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables in a variety of delicious flavors, including a chocolate or wild berry-flavored drink powder just for kids! Just one scoop gives you the nutritional benefits of at least 3 servings of fruits and vegetables.
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That's all for this month! I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter, and found the information useful. Have a great month!