Fracking Kills Baby

Fracking Kills Baby | fracking | Environment Parental Rights Special Interests Toxins

Parents-to-be beware: If you live in 10 of Pennsylvania’s most heavily fracked counties, your baby has a 29-percent greater risk of dying within the first 0 – 28 days of birth, than if you live elsewhere.

An epidemiological study published recently in the Journal of Environmental Protection revealed for the first time that fracking kills babies. The study examined early infant deaths 0-28 days before and after the drilling of fracking wells, using official data from the U.S. Centre for Disease Control to compare the immediate post-fracking four-year period (2007-2010) with the pre-fracking four-year period (2003-2006). According to the study:

There were about 50 more babies died in these 10 counties than would have been predicted if the rate had been the same over the period as all of Pennsylvania, where the incidence rate fell over the same period.

Think it’s about time to ban fracking? Or at the very least, regulate the chemicals that fracking dumps into local waterways? Sadly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still protecting the frackers—not the babies.

Read the study

Learn more

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The Dark Relationship Between Alcohol and the Liver

The Dark Relationship Between Alcohol and the Liver | alcohol | General Health Sleuth Journal Special Interests Toxins

The liver is one of the most robust and capable organs in the body. It has to be, its function is to process toxins that have entered the body. However, some toxins, like alcohol, can be too much for the liver to process in excessive amounts. Despite the fact that many people do consume alcohol without immediate repercussion, it’s important to understand the hardline facts of what alcohol is, what the liver does, and how one affects the performance of the other.

Alcohol is processed differently than food; the stomach and intestines do not contribute to the digestion of alcohol, the liver does. Alcohol is a small molecule and passes directly through the membranes of the digestive system into the bloodstream to the liver. The liver receives almost all the blood flow from the digestive tract; hence the quick effect that happens when you drink alcohol; it’s been absorbed directly and the liver is receives most of it. The highest concentration of alcohol are found in blood flowing through the liver.

How the Liver Metabolizes Alcohol

The liver is the only organ in your body that can metabolize alcohol. Enzymes secreted by liver cells recognize alcohol as a toxin. In an attempt to break it down, one enzyme in particular, acetate dehydrogenase, transmutes alcohol into a substance known as acetaldehyde. Unfortunately, acetaldehyde is even more toxic than alcohol and it’s damage is not limited to the liver. Acetaldehyde can combine with liver proteins to form toxic compounds that impair other cellular components and enzymes in the body. Eventually, acetaldehyde is metabolized into acetate which metabolizes into carbon dioxide and, finally, water. Your body then discharges this stuff through the lungs, urine, and perspiration.

How Alcohol Affects the Liver

The Liver Center of Excellence, Virginia Mason Medical Center doesn’t mince words in their analysis, stating that alcohol consumption is often a factor in chronic liver diseases and may exacerbate liver problems. Alcohol increases inflammation in the liver and accelerates fibrosis. Or, rather, scarring. To top it off, alcohol increases the risk for liver cancer and death from liver disease. [1] Although the liver is the primary target, to a degree, regular alcohol consumption irreparably damages nearly every organ. [2]

Alcohol offers no nutritional value to the body, yet it is high in empty calories which provide no nutritional benefit to the body. Alcohol is converted to fat that accumulates in the liver and, to a degree, all who consume alcohol will get fat deposits. Fatty liver can progress to alcoholic hepatitis which can progress to cirrhosis. [2]

Your Liver May Be Getting a Beating

Think it only happens to other people? Think again. It’s sobering to learn that alcohol-induced liver damage is usually not evident. The liver has the capacity to regenerate and surviving with only 10-20% of liver function isn’t unheard of. Liver efficacy on a constant decline can sometimes cause the symptoms of liver disease unnoticed until it has progressed substantially How many people probably thought their alcohol consumption was harmless- only to later be shocked by a liver disease diagnosis? Balancing the pleasures of today with the consequence of tomorrow is a delicate scale.

3 Things You Can Do Immediately

  1. Stop drinking alcohol.
  2. Eat foods that known to support the liver.
  3. Perform a full liver cleansing to combat the effect of toxins on your liver.





  1. Lee M, Kowdley KV. Alcohol’s effect on other chronic liver diseases. Clin Liver Dis. 2012 Nov;16(4):827-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2012.08.010. Review.
  2. Ströhle A, Wolters M, Hahn A. [Alcohol intake–a two-edged sword. Part 1: metabolism and pathogenic effects of alcohol]. Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2012 Aug;35(8):281-92; quiz 293-4. Review. German.

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Clean Your Kitchen: How to Trash the Toxins and Focus on Clean Food

Clean Your Kitchen: How to Trash the Toxins and Focus on Clean Food | clean-food | General Health GMOs Organics Special Interests Toxins

My kitchen is about 95% clean.

No, I’m not talking about the standards of hygiene or the crud that tries to take up residence in the grout – I’m talking about the contents of my pantry and refrigerator. Whole, clean food that isn’t processed is a major factor in getting well and staying well.

I’ve worked hard to banish GMOs, pesticides, and chemical additives from the premises.  With the proliferation of “dirty” food-like substances that fill the grocery stores, it can be a challenge to build a clean food supply, especially on a tight budget. Since we’ve just moved and are in the process of rebuilding our stores, I’m determined not to let the dirty stuff sneak back in.

What is “clean” food?

This is the food that we are naturally intended to eat, food that our bodies can process and turn into energy and muscle – nutrients we can use to provide us with glowing health – fuel that doesn’t make us fat.

Dirty food, on the other hand, is loaded with things that your body was not designed to process:  chemical additives to change the color or texture, preservatives to inhibit mold and kill off bacteria, modified genes, altered sugars, added hormones, and neurotoxins.  The lists of ingredients on processed foods read more like a chemistry textbook than a compilation of edible items.

Just because you can eat something and it doesn’t kill you immediately doesn’t mean you should.

A huge portion of the items available at your local Piggly Wiggly or Shop-n-Save just aren’t fit to eat anymore.

Here are a few of the things that clean food does not contain.

Neurotoxins: Our society is becoming dumber by the day, as they kill off brain cells, literally kill them, with the neurotoxins present in a bag of Doritos and a Diet Coke.  (And this effect is even worse when certain additives are combined with others.) Neurotoxins are things like artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose) and MSG.

HFCS: People are becoming fatter as they chow down on items loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup only to become hungry again a scant amount of time later as their bodies desperately seek satiation since HFCS doesn’t trigger the production of insulin and leptin (the hormones that make you feel full).

GMOs: I’m sure Monsanto’s internet troll army will find something to say about anything negative I write about genetically modified foods, but the problems are many, including:

  • There hasn’t been enough long-term testing to be assured they are safe
  • The rapidity and brutality with which dissent is silenced
  • The farming methods used with GMOs means far more pesticides are applied to the plants, and in some, the pesticide is engineered right into it.

Hormones and antibiotics in meat and dairy: We avoid any meat or dairy products in which the animal was raise on antibiotics or given hormones for faster production.

Undigestible chemistry project additives: I don’t want things laden with preservatives to make them last longer additives that make them taste or look more appetizing. (And good food doesn’t need to have the flavor enhanced!)

The very best way to clean your kitchen is to only eat food cooked from scratch.

You may feel pretty good about the clean and healthy foods stored in your freezer and pantry.  While the contents of your cupboards are probably healthier than those of many North Americans, there may still be a lot of sneaky culprits lurking there.

Personally, I discovered this a few years ago when I did a “Scratch Challenge.”  For one month, I made absolutely everything from scratch.  So, no seasoning mixes, no crackers, no tortillas, no pasta – nothing that came ready to eat.  If I purchased an item, it was a single ingredient, not a ready-made component. Initially, I thought the exercise would be a piece of cake.  After all, I baked healthy goodies

Initially, I thought the exercise would be a piece of cake.  After all, I baked healthy goodies for my daughter’s lunch box a couple of times per week.  I didn’t use any of the “just add hamburger” boxed meals.  I already cooked from scratch!

My eyes became opened quickly on Day 1, when I was scrounging around the kitchen looking for breakfast.  My usual breakfast of peanut butter on either toast or crackers, along with a piece of fruit, wasn’t going to happen, because a) I hadn’t made bread and b) the crackers weren’t from scratch.  I ended up cobbling together a big bowl of scrambled eggs with assorted veggies, eaten sans toast, out of a bowl.

Over the course of the experiment, of course, things improved.  I made bread, soft tortillas, nacho chips, salsa, pizza sauce, noodles, and many more items that I had formerly grabbed right from the cupboard. I realized that even in a fairly clean kitchen, there lurked a fair amount of potential for chemical bombs.

Here’s a quick list of things that may have breached your clean food supply:

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Wraps/Tortillas
  • Pitas
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hard cheese
  • Seasoning or spice mixes
  • Condiments

This doesn’t mean that you can absolutely never eat a premade food again. It just means you have to be very careful to find things with only pronounceable ingredients that you can easily visualize. These things are available at a cost. Often the best and most affordable option is just making your own.

I challenge you to clean your own kitchen.  You will be amazed at the increase in your health if you can kick the dirty foods out and nourish your body with pure, clean food. You can feel confident that the supplies you have stored will see you through whatever circumstances arrive in the future when you build your food stockpile for nutritious ingredients instead of toxins in a deceptively cheerful box.

You will be amazed at the increase in your health if you can kick the dirty foods out and nourish your body with pure, clean food. And don’t stop at just your kitchen. Extend this to your food stockpile as well.  (Check out my book, The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget, for more detailed advice on this.) You can feel confident that the supplies you have stored will see you through whatever circumstances arrive in the future when you build your food stockpile for nutritious ingredients instead of toxins in a deceptively cheerful box.

Here’s how to clean your kitchen.

Clean Your Kitchen: How to Trash the Toxins and Focus on Clean Food | g12week6019-1024x768 | General Health GMOs Organics Special Interests Toxins

Spend one week cooking from scratch.

You don’t have to do this for an entire month like I did (unless you want to). Just one week will highlight for you the places where you are using “foodish stuff” instead of “ingredients” to make your meals.

Use only single ingredients for one week: flour, rice, oats, organic milk and yogurt, grass-fed meat, organic fruits and vegetables, and basic pantry supplies (yeast, baking soda, etc.)  Include your kids in the process of making homemade pretzels, baking cookies and creating gourmet oatmeal flavors like maple syrup apple pecan.  (If they’re included in the preparations, it helps to lessen the complaining if they are craving foods that are more familiar.)

You may be just as surprised as I was when you discover that you have more of a reliance on packaged items than you thought.

Buy your dry items in bulk.

The cost of organic flour, wheat, cornmeal, sugar, and oats can be very prohibitive if your budget is tight like mine.  By purchasing these items in 25-50 pound bags and storing them properly, you can save about 30% off the price of grocery store purchased items, even when you tack on the price of shipping.  As well, you’ll make great inroads towards a well-balanced, nutritious, one-year food supply for your family.

Plant a garden.

Whether you have a few acres, a suburban back yard, a patio or a windowsill, begin now to take steps towards self-sufficiency.  No, you can’t grow enough food on a balcony to feed your family of 4 for a year, but you can cultivate some organic foods that aid in cutting your grocery bill while learning more about self-sufficiency.  You can sprout seeds and grow herbs year round in a sunny window.  You can, at the least, supplement your purchased groceries with a taste of nature brought forth by you.  In my 1/10 acre city lot a few years back, I grew enough beans and tomatoes that we were still enjoying them in January.  What’s more, I didn’t have to purchase produce from the store for 3 months straight – all of our veggie needs were met in our own back yard.

In my 1/10 acre city lot a few years back, I grew enough beans and tomatoes that we were still enjoying them in January.  What’s more, I didn’t have to purchase produce from the store for 3 months straight – all of our veggie needs were met in our own back yard.

Start searching for sources of real food near you.

The next best option to your own garden is making friends with a local farmer at the market. Often, you can purchase many things in bushels at a much better price than the 1-pint baskets.  (Check out Eat Local Grown for a farmer’s market near you.)

A few years back, I was fortunate to make friends with a nice older farmer, originally from Italy.  Not only did I get a lot of great tips for my own garden, after a while, he began to bring me bushel baskets of  “seconds” for canning at a greatly reduced price.  To make matters even better, he allowed me to go and pick my own “high-labor” foods like peas and berries.  This allowed him to charge me far less, since he didn’t have to pay pickers, and allowed me to learn a great deal about growing those items.

Don’t stop with produce though – find someone who raises cattle and chickens.  Check out for yourself the conditions the animals are raised in, see what they’re fed, and make a deal for purchasing in quantity.  You will be amazed at the difference in taste between grass fed, organic beef vs. feedlot grocery store beef.  When you buy a quarter of a cow, you pay an average price – this means you’ll pay a bit more for lesser cuts that end up as ground beef or stewing beef, but you’ll pay far less for prime cuts like steaks and roasts.

Free range chicken and eggs are also far tastier and healthier than their factory-farmed counterparts.  When you buy directly from the farm you can confirm for yourself that your version of free range and the farmer’s version coincide. We’ve also raised our own meat chickens, and there is absolutely no comparison between those and store-bought.

Learn to preserve food.

You probably know that the price of organic produce is sometimes double or triple the price of conventional fruits and vegetables, especially during the off-season.  One way to combat this by purchasing organic items that are near their expiration dates and preserving them immediately.

You can also preserve the bounty from my garden and bushel baskets purchased from local organic farmers when the items are in-season.  I can, pickle, freeze and dehydrate these foods to consume throughout the year.  One

Learn to preserve food by:

Then, you can consume your bargain-priced goodies throughout the year.

One fantastic benefit to canning is that you can put up entire meals in a jar, creating your own healthy convenience foods with nary a chemical in sight. (I have lots of recipes for this in my book, The Prepper’s Canning Guide.) While canning is initially time-consuming, you’re putting away numerous meals simultaneously, saving time in the long run.  This is especially handy for those busy days that would have once sent you to the closest drive-through, desperately seeking sustenance while in between piano lessons and soccer practice.

 Know how to spot GMOs.

Some people are unconcerned about GMOs, but for those of us who prefer not to consume them, avoiding them can be a minefield since they aren’t labeled.

Over 85% of soy and corn in North America is GMO.  That means that if an item is not labeled “organic” and contains one of those ingredients (in its many different disguises) that you are consuming somebody’s science experiment.  The corn industry, in particular, is incredibly deceptive about sneaking in its toxic yield under different names.

Know the aliases.

As well, neurotoxic “seasonings” made from MSG like to masquerade under seemingly harmless aliases.  Check out The Ingredients You Should Not Have in Your Pantry for more items to avoid.  Spend some time looking up the more scientific-sounding ingredients on the labels in your pantry.  Compile a list of items you no longer want to bring home and keep that in your wallet to cross-reference against the labels at the grocery store when you shop.

What are you waiting for?

The sooner you take steps to exclude the FDA-approved poisons from your lifestyle, the sooner you can begin to see the health benefits.  Clean foods can…

  • Help you to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Increase energy
  • Drop your risk for many different afflictions, including obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease
  • Improve your immune system
  • Aid in managing childhood “behavioral issues” like ADHD, ODD, and other acronyms short for “medicate kids into little zombies”

There really is no end to the benefits of cleaning up your kitchen and your food storage.  What do you have to lose, besides disease, illness and fat?

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Study Reveals Link Between Fluoride And ADHD

Study Reveals Link Between Fluoride And ADHD | drinking-water | Fluoride Toxins

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, has risen in dramatic proportions these last few years, leading many to speculate one or more environmental triggers are tied to the issue. Fluoride, a common chemical additive discussed frequently on this blog, has been implicated more than once in the shocking increase of ADHD cases. A new study reveals a very strong correlation between water fluoridation and ADHD; however, a correlation doesn’t always equal a causation. Still, it’s just one study out of a long line of many that have been contributing to the question for years: does water fluoridation increase behavioral disorders?

The Fluoride and ADHD Debate

The study revitalizing the fluoride-ADHD link reports a significant correlation between fluoride exposure and ADHD symptoms/diagnosis, even across six different years. [1] The authors of the study noted that states who received the most fluoridated water had more ADHD diagnoses even after controlling for socioeconomic status. Considering the fact that fluoride interferes with hormone balance, it’s no wonder why we should be wary of this potential toxin.

Fluorosilicic acid is the main form of fluoride added to drinking water and is a byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing. This form has been shown to leach lead from pipes which has been shown to elevate lead–a potent neurotoxin–in the body. [2] Lead has been directly linked to ADHD development. Fluoride may also impact thyroid health, which could also contribute to improper brain development. [3] What’s more, one study has shown that there is nine percent more cases of hypothyroidism in fluoridated areas than non-fluoridated areas in England. [4]

What You Can Do It is crucial you are consuming filtered or distilled water at all times in order to avoid the possible complications from fluoride ingestion. Whether you know it or not, you could be consuming fluoridated water through processed foods and beverages, too, so it may be best to reduce the consumption of these products. Consume more whole foods and make your meals using whole, fresh ingredients. Supplement with iodine to keep your thyroid health in check if you are in a situation where you must drink fluoridated water, or if you are eating or drinking certain things of questionable quality.


1.  Ashley J Malin and Christine Till. Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association. Environmental Health. 2015, 14:17. doi: 10.1186/s12940-015-0003-1.

2.  Coplan MJ, Patch SC, Masters RD, Bachman MS. Confirmation of an explanations for elevated blood lead and other disorders in children exposed to water disinfection and fluoridation chemicals. Neurotoxicology. 2007 Sep;28(5):1032-42.

3.  A. Strunecka, O. Strunecky, J. Patocka. Fluoride Plus Aluminum: Useful Tools in Laboratory Investigations, but Messengers of False Information. Physiol. Res. 51: 557-564, 2002.

4.  S Peckham, D Lowery, S Spencer. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. J Epidemiol Community Health.

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Dow’s Dastardly Deeds

Dow's Dastardly Deeds | dow-chemical | Agriculture & Farming GMOs Special Interests Toxins Trump

(image: Getty)

With Monsanto looking to be acquired by Germany-based Bayer, is Dow Chemical taking over Monsanto’s role of chief influence-buyer in Washington, D.C.?

Dow wasted no time wooing Trump—the poison-peddler ponied up $1 million for the new president’s inauguration festivities. Trump swiftly rewarded Dow by naming CEO Andrew Liveris to head a new White House manufacturing working group.

In February, after Trump signed an executive order aimed at rolling back regulations (including those on pesticides and GMOs), he handed the pen to Liveris. Fitting, given that Trump’s new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, was quick to overturn the Obama administration’s proposed ban on one of Dow’s moneymakers, chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide. (Pruitt’s move prompted a lawsuit by environmental groups).

Now, it seems, just banning organophosphates isn’t enough. A new report by the Associated Press (AP) says lawyers for Dow and two other manufacturers of organophosphates are asking Trump’s administration to throw out the EPA’s own studies on the dangerous effects of chlorpyrifos and other organophosphates, known to lower I.Q.s and cause neurological damage in children.

From the AP report:

Organophosphorus gas was originally developed as a chemical weapon by Nazi Germany. Dow has been selling Chlorpyrifos for spraying on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops since the 1960s. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States, with Dow selling about 5 million pounds domestically each year.

As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water. A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of chlorpyrifos.

OCA’s Alexis Baden-Mayer appeared on RT America this week to talk about Dow’s latest dastardly deeds.

Watch the video

Read Dow’s letter

Read ‘AP Exclusive: Pesticide Maker Tries to Kill Risk Study’

h/t: Organic Consumers Association

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What Are The Dangers Of The MMR Vaccine?

What Are The Dangers Of The MMR Vaccine? | vaccine | Autism Awareness Toxins Vaccines

The measles vaccine has initiated a grand debate about immunization. The United States has reignited the concern over an illness that, although relatively harmless in most cases, has been somewhat nonexistent in recent years. [1] Concerns over vaccines and autism appear to have resulted in the decline of vaccination rates, possibly contributing to outbreaks. But is this actually true? Or, as the research suggests, could the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine simply not be as effective as we’re being told? Or, could it even be dangerous?

What’s in the MMR Vaccine?

The ingredients contained in most vaccines are often unrecognizable terms that should, at first glance, appear worrisome. Injecting chemical ingredients–not to mention a live (albeit weakened) virus–into your bloodstream doesn’t sound like the wisest decision. Here’s a basic rundown of the ingredients in the MMR vaccine [2]:

Minimum Essential Medium

This is the medium that grows the Rubella virus and contains vitamins and amino acids and fetal bovine serum, which is produced from blood collected at commercial slaughterhouses.

Sodium Phosphate

Typically added to maintain pH balance and to keep active ingredients suspended in water. It can cause gastrointestinal problems but has also been linked with organ damage. In some instances, it can cause a severe allergic reaction that might include heart arrhythmia, seizure, and loss of consciousness.

Recombinant Human Albumin

Human albumin is a protein found in blood plasma and recombinant means it’s genetically engineered. In essence, the vaccine contains genetically-engineered human blood, and it’s uncertain as to the source. When this is injected, it’s been known to cause chills, fever, nausea, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing.


An antibiotic that’s been known to cause serious allergic reactions in some individuals. Anyone who has ever had a life threatening allergic reaction to neomycin (or antibiotics in general) should absolutely avoid the MMR vaccination! One of the scariest things about neomycin is that it can cause late reactions, sometimes 3-4 days after exposure, well into the time period when you may think you’re in the clear.


A synthetic sweetener often added to foods and beverages, sorbitol is used in vaccines as a stabilizer. Some people are allergic to sorbitol or fructose and should avoid it but even without the allergy, sorbitol can cause gastrointestinal issues and aggravate IBS.

Medium 199

Also used as a stabilizer. This medium contains vitamins, amino acids, and fetal bovine serum. Fetal bovine serum, again, is produced from the blood collected at commercial slaughterhouses.

Hydrolyzed Gelatin

Hydrolyzed gelatin is collagen collected from the bones of animals, including cows, fish, poultry, and rabbits. It contains free glutamic acid (MSG) and aspartic acid, two amino acids that can negatively affect neurological health. Even worse, injecting gelatin greatly increases the risk of infection from synthetic growth hormones and mad cow disease.

Chick Embryo Cell Culture

Derived from chick embryo, this cell culture is used to grow and store the live virus in the vaccine. When injected, the immune system is exposed and gets to work to build short-lived immunity against the illness.

WI-38 Human Diploid Lung Fibroblasts

WI-38 is a cell culture line obtained from aborted fetuses and used in the production of various vaccines. The purpose of this cell line is to culture and grow live viruses.

What About the Measles Booster Shot?

Following the initial dose of the measles vaccine, a booster shot is recommended at varying intervals to support immunity against the disease. The booster is the same vaccine containing a weakened version of the live virus that targets the immune system in an effort to elevate it back to a protective state. Since a vaccine, if effective, is said to wean after a few years’ time, receiving a booster every few years or so is supposed to rev up the body’s defense system by recharging the previous immunization.

Adults who missed out on the MMR vaccine in their childhood and those tested to show they are not immune to the disease are urged to receive a booster. The issue is that the MMR booster contains similar ingredients as the MMR vaccine, prompting the same health threats. While most people can receive a booster without any issue whatsoever, there is always a risk that reactions can occur following injection of the live virus.

Measles Vaccine and Autism: What’s the Connection?

It should be noted that the CDC advises pregnant women against receiving the MMR vaccine for fear that it may harm the developing fetus. This warning should tip most people off. While it’s not conclusive that the MMR vaccine–or any vaccine, for that matter–causes autism, we do know that a number of connections have been made. A now-refuted publication in the medical journal The Lancet reported that the MMR vaccine and autism were indefinitely linked. Despite the claims of the author, other reputable publications and mainstream media outlets continue to explore the possibility of the connection between neurological damage and immunization. [3]

A number of cases relating to the MMR vaccine and autism have been made public. The Italian Health Ministry in 2012 ruled that the MMR vaccine received by a nine-year-old boy caused him to develop autism. [4] The family was awarded with £140,000 in damages. According to the news report at the time, up to 100 similar cases were being investigated by lawyers in Italy. Health officials generally regard the development of autism immediately following vaccination a mere coincidence, but with more and more cases coming to light, it becomes increasingly difficult to support this theory.

The Full Story

The media is quick to blame the anti-vaxxers, as they’re calling them, parents who refuse to vaccinate their children on moral, religious, or health grounds, for pastmeasles outbreak in North America. This one-sided viewpoint isn’t investigating the numerous accounts of adverse reactions to vaccinations, or the fact that the measles vaccine isn’t always 100% effective at preventing the illness. Measles, like the chicken pox, is a relatively benign disease that, once infected and recovered from, provides immunity from future occurrences. This isn’t to say that infection with the illness is ideal or to downplay the negative complications that can arise, but it is a conversation worth having in today’s discussion on vaccines.

How are you approaching the news of the measles outbreak? What are your thoughts on the vaccine? We’d love to hear your voice in the comments!


  1. Walter A. Orenstein, Mark J. Papania and Melinda E. Wharton. Measles Elimination in the United States. J Infect Dis. (2004) 189 (Supplement 1): S1-S3. doi: 10.1086/377693.
  2. Centers for Disease Control. Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary. CDC Fact Sheet.
  3. Sharyl Attkisson. Vaccines, Autism and Brain Damage: What’s in a Name? CBS News.
  4. Paul Bignell. Italian court reignites MMR vaccine debate after award over child with autism. The Independent.

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Detoxing with Zeolites

Detoxing with Zeolites | zeolite-detox-cleanse | Natural Medicine Special Interests

One way to benefit your body in several ways is to detox with Zeolites. Zeolites are naturally occurring minerals, typically found in rocks and clay. Cultures around the world have consumed clay for health purposes prior to the rise of industrialized civilization and many animal species consume earth minerals as well.

Zeolites have a number of industrial, agricultural, and medical uses. Most commonly, they are used in advanced material preparation, water purification and in the agricultural and medical sectors. Of particular interest is how Zeolites can help make our bodies healthier.

Health Benefits of Zeolites

Large amounts of research have been done on all the possible benefits of detoxing with Zeolite and studies show that they appear to balance pH within the body, reduce allergies, act as antioxidants, and aid liver function [1]. Zeolites also appear to help with digestion and, most importantly, they may also help remove toxic metals from the body.

One natural Zeolite, Clinoptilolite, was discovered to assist in removing toxic metal toxins through urination without depleting the body’s store of essential electrolytes [2]. These studies are extremely encouraging, because they suggest Zeolites can help with alleviating accumulated toxic metals.

The benefits of Zeolite have been known in the medical community for many years. They have been used for blood purification, Zeolites supplements have been used to detox the body of lead and also known to fight diarrhea and harmful organisms. [3] [4]

How Do Zeolites Work?

The molecules in Zeolites contain a powerful magnetic energy, which can be used to attract and hold several types of toxins. The idea is that Zeolites pull the metals out of afflicted tissues and into themselves. This ability may be especially important for removing lead, aluminum cadmium, arsenic and mercury. These metals are then passed out of the body through urination and defecation.


  1. Dogliotti G, Malavazos AE, Giacometti S, Solimene U, Fanelli M, Corsi MM, Dozio E. Natural zeolites chabazite/phillipsite/analcime increase blood levels of antioxidant enzymes. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 May;50(3):195-8. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.11-63. Epub 2011 Nov 29.
  2. James L Flowers, Stewart A Lonky, Erik J Deitsch. Clinical evidence supporting the use of an activated clinoptilolite suspension as an agent to increase urinary excretion of toxic heavy metals. Dovepress Journal. 2009 November. Volume 2009:1 Pages 11 – 18 DOI:
  3. Beltcheva M, Metcheva R, Popov N, Teodorova SE, Heredia-Rojas JA, Rodríguez-de la Fuente AO, Rodríguez-Flores LE, Topashka-Ancheva M. Modified natural clinoptilolite detoxifies small mammal’s organism loaded with lead I. Lead disposition and kinetic model for lead bioaccumulation. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Jun;147(1-3):180-8. doi: 10.1007/s12011-011-9278-4. Epub 2011 Dec 7.
  4. G. Rodrigues-Fuentes, M.A. Barrios, A. Iraizoz, I. Perdomo, B. Cedre. Enterex: anti-diarrheic drug based on purified natural clinoptilolite (PDF). Elsevier Science Inc. 1997.

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Eat Organic to Limit Toxic Pesticide Exposure

Eat Organic to Limit Toxic Pesticide Exposure | organic-food | Environment Organic Market Classifieds Organics Special Interests Toxins

Although they are extremely toxic, organophosphate pesticides remain some of the most commonly used insecticides today. A variety of fruits and vegetables are regularly treated with organophosphates, including green beans, apples, grapes, and peaches.

The Dangers of Organophosphate Pesticides

This highly toxic type of pesticide has been linked to numerous health problems, including reduced testosterone, leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease. Organophosphate pesticide exposure may also be associated with attention and developmental disorders in young children.

According to a recent study, adults may greatly reduce their exposure to organophosphates by eating organic produce. [1] The study found that people who eat organic, even occasionally, tend to have significantly lower levels of pesticides in their system.

To conduct the study, scientists gathered data on the dietary habits of more than 4,000 people living in different cities in the US. They collected information on the frequency with which participants reported eating organic foods, as well as the different types and amounts of produce eaten. To calculate pesticide exposure, scientists compared typical consumption of certain produce items with their average pesticide residue levels.

After collecting this data, they compared the calculated pesticide exposure to levels of pesticides found in the urine of participants. Participants who occasionally ate organic produce had significantly lower levels in their urine, while people who frequently or always ate organic typically had around 65 percent lower levels than participants who seldom or never ate organic.

The study only reconfirms existing theories about the benefits of eating organic fruits and vegetables to reduce pesticide exposure. This is particularly important for fruits and vegetables that typically are treated with more pesticides. Produce such as apples, strawberries, celery, grapes, and bell peppers tend to contain a lot of pesticides, while avocados, pineapples, and sweet corn are generally lower in pesticides.

How to Avoid Pesticides

Buying organic foods can be pricey, making it difficult for those on a smaller budget; however, going organic can be more affordable if you shop at local farmers markets, join a Community Supported Agriculture program, and purchase produce in season. While you can limit the amount of pesticides you are consuming through your diet, there are some pesticides that linger in the air. In this case, you may want to try methods for supporting your lungs.


  1. Lindsey Konkel. Eating Organic Produce Can Limit Pesticide Exposure. Live Science.

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Why Energy Drinks Are So Bad For You

Why Energy Drinks Are So Bad For You | energy-drink | General Health Sleuth Journal Special Interests Toxins

Energy drinks are popular among gamers, students, athletes, professionals, and anyone who has to drive overnight from Milwaukee to St. Louis. They’re big business, too. Americans spent $12.5 billion on energy drinks in 2012. Market experts predict that number to climb to $21.5 billion in 2017.[1] It’s clear that these drinks are only growing in popularity. With so many people guzzling them down every day, can energy drinks really be that bad? The short answer is yes.

Energy drinks can be devastating for your health. They contribute to heart problems, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, insomnia, and a host of other health risks. In some rare cases, energy drinks have even proved fatal.

A Growing Public Health Concern

In 2011, 16-year-old Sara Milosevic went to a party where she consumed several pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks. A few hours later she was vomiting violently. Other partygoers just assumed she couldn’t handle her alcohol. At 11 pm, the teen called her parents to come pick her up. By 3 am, Sara was dead. An autopsy revealed that her blood alcohol content was only .04—not even enough to be considered legally drunk. Sara’s father, a chemist, believes the energy drinks caused her death.[2, 3]

In 2011, mere days before Christmas, 14-year-old Anais Fournier suffered a fatal heart attack. In the 48 hours before her death, she consumed four energy drinks. In total, Anais consumed 480 mg of caffeine—less than one-tenth the official fatal dosage of the stimulant, but almost five times more than the recommended limit for adolescents. Doctors speculate that the energy drinks agitated a pre-existing genetic heart condition.[4]

It’s not just teens who are affected. In 2015, 28-year-old Martin Bowling suffered a heart attack after consuming eight energy drinks at a pub. Bowling was rushed to a hospital and survived. He had been spending $150 a week on energy drinks.

“I’d been drinking them for about seven years, and it was like I’d become addicted,” said Bowling. “Now I see those drinks as death in a can.”[5, 6]

Even popular athletes can succumb to the toxicity of energy drinks. In 2003, professional wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was hospitalized with severe heart palpitations. He believes that his then habit of consuming 3-5 energy drinks every day was a primary cause of the health crisis.

“I think I’m dying, dying for sure,” Austin recalls of the event. “My heart’s beating so hard it feels like it’s going to crack a rib jumping out of my chest. My heart might be doing 160 or 180 beats per minute. My legs are shaking and I can’t make them stop. I’m sure I’m having a heart attack.”[7]

Between 2004 and 2014, energy drinks have officially been a factor in at least 34 deaths.[8] Unofficially, perhaps many more. Caffeine deaths are often attributable to other factors and may be severely underreported and undiagnosed. Some doctors suspect that the actual number could be much higher.[9] Thousands of people have been hospitalized with symptoms of energy drink overdose, including insomnia, anxiety, convulsions, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular complications. The wings that energy drinks give you might just come with a harp and halo.

How Your Body Reacts to Energy Drinks

We all need a little energy boost now and then, but there are healthier options. Energy drinks are a chemical cocktail of caffeine, refined sugar, and other ingredients. Some of which, like herbs and vitamins, may even sound healthy. What is it that makes energy drinks so dangerous?

One study looked at the effect that consuming just one 16-ounce can of a leading brand of energy drink had on basic, vital functions. The findings? Blood pressure jumped an average of 6.6 points within thirty minutes of consumption, and norepinephrine, a stress hormone, increased by 75%. Norepinephrine also enhances the production of cortisol, a fat-storing hormone, significantly increasing the risk of weight gain.[10]

Energy drink manufacturers maintain that their products are safe when consumed in recommended amounts. Do you know what the maximum recommended intake is? For most brands, it’s two or three cans per day. For some, it’s only one.

These warnings are easy to miss. Manufacturers usually hide them in small print on the back of the can with the other information that few people bother to read—that’s if the warning is on there at all. Make no mistake, beverage companies want you to drink as much of their product as possible.

There are two main health dangers of energy drinks—neurological and cardiological. In other words, your nervous system and your heart. These problems are caused by the very same ingredients that make you feel energized—staggeringly high levels of caffeine and sugar.

Energy Drinks Are High in Sugar

Energy drinks can contain up to 78 grams of sugar per serving. That’s 20 teaspoons of sugar every time you drink one.[11] Admittedly, that’s the high end of the scale, but these drinks average about 30 grams of sugar and 280 calories a can. That’s not health food. If staying trim is your goal, drinking just one energy drink makes your job 280 empty calories harder. That’s about 35 minutes of burpees.

Even if you work out enough to stave off diabetes and weight gain, sugar can still damage your health. Excess sugar is one of the leading contributors to heart disease. One study found that people who consumed 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar doubled their chances of dying from heart disease.[12]

Many companies have sugar or calorie-free versions of their product, but what are they using to replace sugar? Artificial sweeteners like aspartame may be even worse for your health. They can interfere with your gut biome, damage your metabolism, encourage obesity, and contribute to diabetes.[13, 14,15]

Energy Drinks Are a Source of Caffeine

Exact amounts vary, but the average energy drink contains about 70-100 mg of caffeine—about as much as a cup of coffee.[16] That doesn’t sound very dangerous, and to a healthy adult, it usually isn’t. Caffeine is toxic but generally safe in small amounts. The problem is the combination of caffeine and other stimulants in an energy drink, as well as lesser understood ingredients like taurine. This chemical cocktail can trigger existing health problems, including genetic disorders that you may not even know about yet.

This is likely what happened in the case of Anais Fournier. Anais had a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse, a relatively common condition that affects 1 in 20 Americans.[4] She consumed only two energy drinks in the 24 hours before her death. That doesn’t sound like much, but, when combined with her condition, it was enough to bring about tragic consequences.

Energy Drinks and Children

Fournier’s unfortunate case is unlikely to be the last. The use of energy drinks by young people is on the rise. Culture and media influence our diets in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Because of this, the youth are likely to see energy drinks as just sort of a cooler kind of soda. A 2014 study estimated that 68% of adolescents and 18% of children under 10-years-old consume energy drinks.[17]

While caffeine is safe in small amounts for healthy adults, it’s a proven health risk for children. Nearly 50% of the people who overdose on caffeine are under 19 years old.[18] Adolescents should limit themselves to no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day. Children age 4-6 should consume no more than 45 mg daily.[19] For children younger than that the number should be zero.

Unlike cigarettes and alcohol, there are usually no age restrictions when purchasing energy drinks in the U.S. Other countries have wised up. In Sweden, for example, most energy drinks can only be sold in pharmacies and selling to children is banned.[17] The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that energy drinks have a “proven negative effect on children.”[17] The bottom line is simple—children should never consume energy drinks.

Energy Drinks and Alcohol

Eager for new profits, energy drink companies started marketing to the bar crowd in the early 2000’s. They urged bartenders to promote mixed alcohol and energy drinks. Sorry to be a buzzkill, but combining energy drinks with alcohol substantially increases the dangers of both. Caffeine is a stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant. Combining the two can imbalance your system.

One way this manifests is as a “delayed drunk” feeling. The stimulant masks some of the sensory cues on which you normally rely to determine your level of intoxication. In other words, you’re drunk, with the same loss of cognition and motor skills as usual, but you don’t quite realize it. This means that you will likely drink far more, and far faster than you normally would.

I know that some people might think this sounds like a pretty good thing. You get to party longer, right? Well, that’s what energy drink marketers want you to think.

Caffeine doesn’t change your actual blood alcohol level, just your perception of it. That means that as you drink more to hit your buzz, all the usual dangers of drinking are magnified. One study found that people who mixed alcohol and energy drinks were more than twice as likely to drive drunk and far more likely to be a passenger in a car with a drunk driver.[20] As you feel the need to drink more to feel the same high you’re used to, your risk of alcohol poisoning also increases. If all that isn’t enough, your hangover will be worse, too.[21]

A few years ago, energy drink companies were eager to capitalize on a potential new revenue stream. They started selling pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks. The FDA warned consumers to avoid these dangerous drinks and sent warning letters to energy drink companies calling the concoctions a public health threat.[22] Pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks quickly disappeared from U.S. store shelves soon after. That won’t stop you from ordering a mixed energy drink in a bar or mixing your own, but I strongly caution against it.

The Effect of Energy Drinks on Athletic Performance

Energy drinks remain popular among athletes for their supposed performance-enhancing effects. Some people don’t care about side effects as long as it provides results. Well, if the idea of a heart attack in the middle of a kickboxing match doesn’t deter you, maybe this will: energy drinks ruin long-term athletic performance.

Studies on the actual performance-enhancing effects have revealed mixed results. Some studies find a minor, short-term boost, while others have found no performance-enhancing effects at all.[23] The truth is that there’s no magic potion for winning inside those cans. Any perceived performance-enhancing effects come from the simple formula of caffeine plus carbs, and there are healthier ways to get those.

Our bodies quickly build up a tolerance to substances like caffeine and sugar, and prolonged overuse tends to have undesirable side effects. Caffeine reactions frequently include bowel instability, mood swings, and anxiety. With sugar, it’s weight gain and diabetes. Both can cause insomnia and other sleep disorders. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that energy drinks significantly increased insomnia and anxiety in athletes.[24]

Aluminum: A Hidden Toxin

There’s another potential source of toxicity in energy drinks that you probably haven’t thought of—the can itself. Aluminum cans have been the standard beverage container for decades, but aluminum is toxic to the human body. Hopefully, no one is eating the can after consuming the beverage, but energy drinks are acidic, and trace amounts of aluminum break apart and contaminate the beverage itself. The average American ingests about 7-9 milligrams of aluminum per day in food and drink.[25]

If you ingest a tiny amount of aluminum, your body’s natural detoxification processes can usually filter the toxins out. Consuming an excessive amount of canned beverages over a prolonged period is a different story. When you ingest toxic material faster than your body can process it, that material accumulates, overwhelming your system. Those with existing kidney problems are especially at risk because of a reduced capacity to filter toxins.[25]

High levels of aluminum can cause disorders in the brain, bones, and nervous system including confusion, muscle weakness, brittle bones, and seizures. In children, aluminum toxicity can impair mental and physical development.[26]

Mixing your own fresh beverages at home is the best thing you can do to quench your thirst, but I understand that that’s not always practical. If you must buy pre-packaged drinks, only buy those in glass containers.

Energy Drink Alternatives

Without question, an overall healthy lifestyle with proper diet, plenty of rest, and regular exercise is the best way to feel fully energized. However, there are times when everyone needs that extra boost. If energy drinks are off the table, what are your best options?


Most energy drinks are advertised as containing ginseng. Ginseng itself is great, it improves energy, appetite, and sleep quality.[27] However, the ginseng used in energy drinks is cheap, processed, low-quality, and present in such tiny amounts that its therapeutic effect is practically non-existent.[28] When you factor in the health-ruining amount of sugar and toxic ingredients, ginseng’s potential benefits are more than wiped out.

Why not just cut out the chemical cocktail and go straight to the source? A ginseng supplement is far more active—if it’s high quality. In fact, ginseng effectiveness is completely dependent on quality, and quality varies considerably. Only purchase from reputable companies that are completely transparent about their sourcing and production and only invest in products that are completely natural and toxin-free, like Ginseng Fuzion™.

Vitamin B-12

If you feel drained constantly, you may be one of the 40% of Americans who are vitamin B-12 deficient.[29] B-12 deficiency leads to low red blood cell count—a type of anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating.[30, 31] Red meat, mollusks, and dairy are the richest sources of B-12. There are few non-animal sources, so those of us that follow a plant-based diet should consider a high-quality B-12 supplement like VeganSafe™ B-12.

Black and Green Tea

If you absolutely need that caffeine boost in the morning, at least obtain it from a better source than energy drinks. Black or green tea can provide a similar mental boost. Tea has less caffeine than energy drinks and causes fewer sleep disruptions.[32] According to two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies, tea improves attention and self-reported alertness.[33] The combination of theanine and caffeine, naturally occurring ingredients in tea, improves cognitive performance.[34]

I only recommend tea for adults and teens—it’s not for children. While tea has significantly less caffeine than energy drinks, any caffeine at all is a potential health risk to a developing brain and body.


If you need an energy boost fast, try a handful of nuts. Nutrient-dense nuts help your body sustain energy levels and they’re a good source of high-quality protein.[35] They also contain valuable phytochemicals like carotenoids, phenolic acids, phytosterols, and flavonoids. These nutrients encourage physical and mental well-being, helping the body sustain higher energy levels. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, and pistachios provide the best bang for your buck.


If you’re feeling irritable and tired, you may actually be slightly dehydrated. Studies show that even mild dehydration can cause drastic changes in mood and energy levels.[36] It’s important to stay properly hydrated, especially when exercising. Forget the brightly colored sports drinks—blue dye isn’t going to help you. Electrolytes are important, but in the context of energy drink marketing, it’s just a fancy word for potassium and salt. It is necessary to replace lost minerals after an intense workout, but you can get the same effect by adding a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt to purified water.


It may sound counterintuitive, but exercise will actually make you feel less tired. In fact, regular exercise is the best thing you can do for increased energy, weight control, and overall quality of life.[37] In a pinch, even five minutes of light, low-intensity exercise can boost your mood, concentration, and energy levels.[38]


Tired? Here’s a crazy suggestion: have you tried sleeping? Even a ten-minute nap will do wonders for your energy levels. For long-term success, you need to get the proper amount of sleep every night. Some people need more, some less, but the conventional wisdom of eight hours of sleep each night is a good starting point.

I know, who has time to sleep? Do you even know anyone who gets eight hours of sleep per night? You’re more likely to know someone who brags about only getting four hours. An unfortunate byproduct of the modern lifestyle is this bizarre idea that proper sleep equals weakness.

This mentality is pure self-destructive madness. You need sleep. No energy-boosting product is a substitute. Caffeine doesn’t give you energy; it fools your body into not noticing how tired it is. All you’re doing is biding a little extra time that you’ll pay for later.

What’s your opinion about energy drinks? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences with us.



References (38)
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  2. Taylor, Anja. “Energy Drinks.” Catalyst., 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 27 June 2016.
  3. Bucci, Nino. “NSW Review of Melbourne Teen’s Autopsy.” The Age. Fairfax Media, 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 27 June 2016.
  4. Teen Girl Dies of ‘caffeine Toxicity’ after Downing 2 Energy Drinks.” USA Today Health and Wellness. NBC News, 21 Mar. 2012. Web. 27 June 2016.
  5. Cutts, Daniel. “Man, 28, collapses and has a heart attack after downing two litres of energy drink.” News Limited, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 June 2016.
  6. Turner, Heidi. “Energy Drink Reportedly Linked to Man’s Heart Attack.”, 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 June 2016.
  7. Austin, Steve, Ross, Jim, and Dennis Brent. “The Stone Cold Truth.” New York: Pocket, 2003. N. pag. Print.
  8. Documents Link More Deaths to Energy Drinks.” Center for Science in the Public Interest. Center for Science in the Public Interest, 25 June 2014. Web. 27 June 2016.
  9. Cooley, Patrick. “Caffeine Overdose Deaths Rare, May Be Underdiagnosed.” Advance Ohio, 10 July 2014. Web. 27 June 2016.
  10. Svatikova, Anna, et al. “A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults.” JAMA, vol. 314, no. 19, 17 Nov. 2015, pp. 2079–2082. Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  11. Energy Drinks Survey 2015 – All Data.” Action on Sugar, 2015. Web. 27 June 2016.
  12. Corliss, Julie. “Eating Too Much Added Sugar Increases the Risk of Dying with Heart Disease.” Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School, 06 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016.
  13. Swithers, Susan E. “Artificial Sweeteners Are Not the Answer to Childhood Obesity.” Appetite 93 (2015): 85-90. PubMed. Web. 27 June
  14. Swithers, Susan E. “Artificial Sweeteners Produce the Counterintuitive Effect of Inducing Metabolic Derangements.” Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM 24.9 (2013): 431–441. PMC. Web. 27 June 2016.
  15. Suez, Jotham, et al. “Non-Caloric Artificial Sweeteners and the Microbiome: Findings and Challenges.” Gut Microbes 6.2 (2015): 149–155. PMC. Web. 27 June 2016.
  16. The Buzz on Energy-drink Caffeine.” Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports, Dec. 2012. Web. 27 June 2016.
  17. Energy Drinks Cause Concern for Health of Young People.” WHO Europe. World Health Organization, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016.
  18. Seifert, Et Al. “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults.” Pediatrics 127.3 (2011): n. pag. AAP Gateway. Web. 27 June 2016.
  19. Is Your Kid Over-Caffeinated?” Healthysd.Gov, South Dakota Department of Health. Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  20. Woolsey, Conrad L., Ronald D. Williams, Jeff M. Housman, Adam E. Barry, Bert H. Jacobson, and Marion W. Evans. “Combined Use of Alcohol and Energy Drinks Increases Participation in High-Risk Drinking and Driving Behaviors Among College Students.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 76.4 (2015): 615-19. PubMed. Web. 27 June 2016.
  21. Pennay, Amy, Dan I. Lubman, and Peter Miller. “Combining Energy Drinks and Alcohol – a Recipe for Trouble?” Australian Family Physician 40.3 (2011). Web. 27 June 2016.
  22. Serious Concerns Over Alcoholic Beverages with Added Caffeine.” FDA: US Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 17 Nov. 2010. Web. 27 June 2016.
  23. Kammerer, Maximiliano, et al. “Effects of Energy Drink Major Bioactive Compounds on the Performance of Young Adults in Fitness and Cognitive Tests: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11 (2014): 44. PMC. Web. 27 June 2016.
  24. Salinero, Juan J., et al. “The Use of Energy Drinks in Sport: Perceived Ergogenicity and Side Effects in Male and Female Athletes.” British Journal of Nutrition Br J Nutr 112.09 (2014): 1494-502. Cambridge Journals. Web. 27 June 2016.
  25. Toxic Substances Portal – Aluminum.” Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept. 2008. Web. 27 June 2016.
  26. Sedman, Aileen. “ Aluminum Toxicity in Childhood.” Pediatric Nephrology, vol. 6, 1992, pp. 383–393. Accessed 13 Feb. 2017.
  27. Yennurajalingam, al. “High-Dose Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) for Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Preliminary Report.” Integrative Cancer Therapies 14.5 (2015): 419-27. PubMed. Web. 27 June 2016.
  28. Clauson, Kevin A., Kelly M. Shields, Cydney E. Mcqueen, and Nikki Persad. “Safety Issues Associated with Commercially Available Energy Drinks.” Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 48.3 (2008) Web. 27 June 2016.
  29. McBride, Judy. “B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought.” United States Department of Agriculture., 2 Aug. 2000. Web. 27 June 2016.
  30. B12 Deficiency Anemia.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016.
  31. Vitamin B12.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2 Feb. 2015. Web. 28 June 2016.
  32. Hindmarch, I., U. Rigney, N. Stanley, P. Quinlan, J. Rycroft, and J. Lane. “A Naturalistic Investigation of the Effects of Day-long Consumption of Tea, Coffee and Water on Alertness, Sleep Onset and Sleep Quality.” Psychopharmacology 149.3 (2000): 203-16. PubMed. Web. 28 June 2016.
  33. Bruin, E.a. De, M.j. Rowson, L. Van Buren, J.a. Rycroft, and G.n. Owen. “Black Tea Improves Attention and Self-reported Alertness.” Appetite 56.2 (2011): 235-40. PubMed. Web. 28 June 2016.
  34. Giesbrecht, T., J.a. Rycroft, M.j. Rowson, and E.a. De Bruin. “The Combination of L-theanine and Caffeine Improves Cognitive Performance and Increases Subjective Alertness.” Nutritional Neuroscience 13.6 (2010): 283-90. PubMed. Web. 28 June 2016.
  35. Mattes, RD. “The Energetics of Nut Consumption.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 17 Suppl.1 (2008): 337-39. PubMed. Web. 28 June 2016.
  36. Armstrong, L. E., M. S. Ganio, D. J. Casa, E. C. Lee, B. P. Mcdermott, J. F. Klau, L. Jimenez, L. Le Bellego, E. Chevillotte, and H. R. Lieberman. “Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women.” Journal of Nutrition 142.2 (2011): 382-88. PubMed. Web. 28 June 2016.
  37. Puetz, Timothy W. “Physical Activity and Feelings of Energy and Fatigue.” Sports Medicine 36.9 (2006): 767-80. PubMed. Web. 28 June 2016.
  38. Parker-Pope, Tara. “The Cure for Exhaustion? More Exercise.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 29 Feb. 2008. Web. 28 June 2016.



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Sucralose’s (Splenda) Harms Vastly Underestimated: Baking Releases Dioxin

Sucralose's (Splenda) Harms Vastly Underestimated: Baking Releases Dioxin | sucralose_toxicity | General Health Toxins

A new, in-depth review on the synthetic sweetener sucralose (marketed as Splenda), published in the journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, is destined to overturn widely held misconceptions about the purported safety of this ubiquitous artificial sweetener.

Found in tens of thousands of products and used by millions of consumers around the world, sucralose’s unique ability to dissolve in alcohol and methanol as well as water, makes it the most versatile and therefore most widely used artificial sweetener in production today. And yet, its popularity is no indication nor guarantee of its safety, as is evidenced by the widespread use of other artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which while being safety approved in 90 nations around the world, has been linked to a wide range of serious health conditions including brain damage.

But the tide may be turning…

Already this year, the Center for the Public Interest in Science downgraded Splenda from “safe” to “caution,” citing their need to evaluate a forthcoming Italian study linking the artificial sweetener to leukemia in mice as a basis for their decision.

Another recent human study linked Splenda to diabetes-associated changes, calling into question its value as a non-calorie sweetener for those suffering with, or wishing to prevent, blood sugar disorders.

The new study, however, may be the most concerning yet to surface in the peer-reviewed literature. Titled, “Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues,” it reveals an extensive array of hitherto underreported safety concerns, not the least of which is the formation of highly toxic chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, when Splenda is used in baking, an application which its manufacturer, McNeil Nutritionals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), actively encourages it to be used for. [see: Cooking and Baking: SPLENDA®]

A Dizzying Array of Splenda (Sucralose) Safety Concerns That Have Never Been Adequately Tested

The study argues that, despite its widespread approval and use, further scientific safety research is warranted due the following significant findings:

  • “Sucralose alters metabolic parameters and its chronic effects on body weight are unknown”: both animal and human research indicates sucralose may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, indicating it may have diabetogenic properties.
  • “Sucralose alters P-gp and CYP expression”: While classified as a food additive, sucralose’s organochlorine structure indicates it interferes with a wide range of organochlorine class drugs, and activates detoxification pathways and enzymes, in a manner similar to these xenobiotic chemicals.
  • “The metabolic fate and health profile of sucralose metabolites are currently unknown”: Contrary to statements in the research literature that sucralose passes through the body in the feces ‘unchanged,’ metabolites have been detected in the urine and feces of both animals and humans, the nature and health consequence of which have never been studied
  • “Sucralose alters indigenous bacterial balancein the GIT”: Sucralose (delivered as Splenda) has been found to reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointesintal tract (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria), while  increasing the more detrimental bacteria (e.g., enterobacteria). One study found the adverse effects on flora did not return to normal (baseline) after a 3-month recovery period. Sucralose also altered the pH of the gastrointestinal tract.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly:

  • “Numerous toxicological issues regarding long-term exposure to sucralose are unresolved”: 1) DNA damage (genotoxicity), and possible adverse epigenetic alterations. 2) The generation of toxic compounds during baking, including chloropropanols, 1,6-DCF and dioxins. 3) The bioaccumulation of sucralose and/or its metabolites 4) The interaction between sucralose and/or its metabolites with drugs have not yet been studied or evaluated

Cancer-Causing Dioxins and Dioxin-Like Compounds Formed When Splenda (Sucralose) Is Cooked

As the reader can plainly see, the picture is a complex one, and there are more unresolved questions than answers. But perhaps the most concerning issue addressed in the report is the ‘Safety of Sucralose That Has Been Heated.’ According to the paper, historically, sucralose was reported to be heat stable at temperatures used in cooking. But they cite a number of reports from independent laboratories showing that sucralose undergoes thermal degradation when heated. One study showed that the stability of sucralose decreased as the temperature and pH increased, with the breakdown process commencing at 119 degrees Celsius and temperatures of 180 degrees Celsius causing its complete degradation at all pH levels with the release of chloride ions.  Additionally, they refer to research showing that sucralose can break down into the following concerning compounds when heated:

  • Chloropopanols are generated when sucralose was heated in the presence of glycerol. Chloropopanols are a group of contaminants that include known genotoxic, carcinogenic and tumorigenic compounds.
  • Other chlorinated compounds formed when sucralose is heated in the presence of food include dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, dioxin-like polychlorinated bisphenyls and polychlorinated naphthalenes.

Chlorinated compounds like dioxins and DDT are notorious for being both highly toxic and resistant to breaking down once released into the environment, which is why they are classified as ‘persistent organic pollutants.’ Splenda was launched in 2000 with tagline “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar,” until it retired this slogan in 2007 after settling with its rival, Merisant Co., the maker of Equal, who accused the makers of Splenda of intentionally confusing consumers into thinking its product was more natural and healthier than other artificial sweeteners. Long gone are the days that this artificial sweetener can be marketed as natural, safe and a healthy alternative to sugar. To the contrary, today’s research clearly indicates that sucralose is a toxic chemical that we should go to great lengths to avoid exposure to rather than something we should intentionally add to our food. You will also find a growing body of research that indicates that sucralose not only does not break down in the environment, but survives water treatment plant purification techniques, with the inevitable consequence that it is accumulating in concentrations in our drinking water and the environment that may adversely impact humans and wildlife alike.

The discovery that thermal breakdown through cooking can lead to the formation of highly toxic and equally persistent chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, should raise a series of red flags for consumers, manufacturers and regulators as the information becomes more widespread. A cursory perusal of the World Health Organization’s description of ‘Dioxins and their effects on human health,’ which lists it as belonging to the “dirty dozen” of the world’s most dangerous pollutants, will see what is at stake here. For more information on the formation of toxic chlorinated byproducts following the heating of sucralose read a 2013 study published in Scientific Reports titled, “Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans formed from sucralose at high temperatures,” which goes into the topic in greater depth.

The Acceptable Daily Intake of Splenda (Sucralose) May Have Been Set 100’s of Times Too High To Ensure Safety

Lastly, an equally concerning issue addressed by the paper is the problem of the acceptable daily intake (ADI). The FDA approved an ADI for humans of 5 mg/kg/day in 1998 based on toxicity studies in rats by determining a no-observed-effect level (NOEL) of 500 mg/kg/day, and then applying a 100-fold safety factor. Since then, research has emerged showing that the NOEL in the microbiome (‘gut bacteria’) of rats for Splenda is actually as low as 1.1 mg/kg/day – 454 times lower than first determined – and 3.3 mg/kg/day for changes in intestinal P-gp and CYP – 151 times lower than first determined. Therefore, if the biological effects of sucralose in rats and humans are the same, or similar, then significant effects would be expected in humans far below the ADI.

For additional research on sucralose’s adverse health effects, visit our research page that collates peer-reviewed research on its toxicological properties. Also, for research on natural sweeteners not associated with these adverse effects, take a look at the following alternatives:


© April 19, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

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The post Sucralose’s (Splenda) Harms Vastly Underestimated: Baking Releases Dioxin appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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