Mushroom found on birch tree holds promise as a potent anti-cancer tonic

NaturalNews) A little known mushroom is establishing a solid reputation in medical circles as a powerful defense against cancer. Although relatively unheard of in mainstream media, the chaga mushroom has been used in folk medicine for generations. Research has shown chaga to be extremely effective in protecting cellular DNA from damaging free radicals. It also has anti-tumor and immune stimulating benefits.

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungus that grows on birch and other hardwood trees. The variety that is found on birch is believed to be the most potent because of its high concentration of betulinic acid which is toxic to cancer cells. Chaga is unusual in the mushroom world as it resembles porous wood and is black and hard – similar to lumpy charcoal. Natives of China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland, and North America have all recognized chaga’s importance for centuries. Russian author and Nobel laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn is given credit for introducing chaga to the West where the principal character in his novel Cancer Ward is cured of his illness by the mushroom.

Healing properties

Several studies support chaga’s medicinal value. Researchers at Kyunghee University in Seoul, South Korea examined chaga’s effectiveness in protecting cellular DNA. Cells were treated with chaga mushroom extract then exposed to oxidative stress. The extract-treated cells had 40 percent less DNA mutation compared with the untreated cells. In another study, Japanese researchers discovered that chaga had higher levels of cell protective antioxidants than other medicinal mushrooms included in the investigation. Chaga has been shown to be effective against cancers of the liver, uterus, breast, colon, skin, cervix and lung. It also attacks tumor cells without disturbing healthy tissue. Additionally, this mushroom has been found to be antiviral and anti-inflammatory.

Chaga mushroom is nutrient rich. Sterols, flavonoids, polysaccharides, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals are just a few of the constituents found in chaga. Immune function is enhanced by the beta glucans present in the mushroom which activate T-cell activity and the production of antibodies.

Methods of consumption

Chaga can be taken as a tea, applied to the skin, consumed as a powder or inhaled as smoke. For a traditional tea, dissolve one teaspoon of the dehydrated mushroom in one cup of water. Recommended dosage for alcohol extract (1:5 tincture): 40-60 drops, two to three times a day.

Sources for this article include:

“Chaga Mushroom” Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved on July 26, 2012 from:

“Chaga mushroom health benefit, review of effect on immune system and cancer” Ray Sahelian MD. Retrieved on July 26, 2012 from:

“Benefits and Properties of Chaga Mushroom” Malja Haavisto, August 17, 2009, Natural Medicine at Suite 101. Retrieved on July 26, 2012 from:

About the author:
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.

Read her other articles on Natural News here:

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Unraveling food industry lies – That’s not real olive oil you’re using

NaturalNews) Considered by many to be one of the healthiest plant-based fats, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has gained considerable notoriety in recent years for its ability to lower heart disease risk and cholesterol levels, among other benefits. Unfortunately, much of the so-called olive oil sold in stores today is not actually olive oil, but rather a deceptive blend of inferior oils that may or may not include traces of actual olive oil.

As surprising as it might seem, as much as 50 percent or more of all the olive oil sold commercially in the United States does not pass the stringent testing standards used to qualify the authenticity of real olive oil. As it turns out, many high-volume, non-certified olive oils may contain various blends of rapeseed (canola) oil, soybean oil, flavoring chemicals, and colors that give the illusion of real olive oil — but in reality, these oils are nothing but frauds.

“As crazy as it sounds, olive oil piracy is one of the Italian Mafia’s most lucrative enterprises, to the extent that it appears that most olive oil on the market is either greatly diluted or completely forged by a massive shadow industry that involves major names such as Bertolli,” wrote Pauli Poisuo about the olive oil conspiracy in a piece for (

Earlier in the year, NaturalNews also reported on the new book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, in which olive oil expert Tom Mueller takes his readers down the rabbit hole of olive oil fraud. Authentic olive oil typically has a vibrant green color (though not always), is often stored in amber, glass bottles to protect its flavor and quality, and often has a vibrant, peppery taste. Most olive oils, it turns out, do not pass these basic authenticity criteria, and are often diluted olive oils at best. (

Tests conducted by researchers from both the University of California, Davis (UCD) and the Australian Oils Research Laboratory (AORL) back in 2010 also found that many major olive oil brands do not pass International Olive Council (IOC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authenticity tests for olive oil. The failing brands in this particular study included Bertolli, Mazzola, Pompeian, Carapelli, and Filippo Berio, among others.

How can you know if your olive oil is real?

There are a number of ways; however, by which you can test olive oil yourself to better determine whether or not it is authentic. Here are a few simple ways to decrease your risk of buying phony olive oil:

Look for the IOC label of authenticity on imported olive oils. Even though the IOC did not expressly agree with every tenet of the UCD study, the group has its own strict set of criteria by which it tests the authenticity of olive oils. Olive oils that bear official IOC labels of authenticity are very likely to actually be authentic.

Observe the texture, appearance of your olive oil when refrigerated. Authentic olive oil will typically become slightly cloudy and a bit thicker than normal when refrigerated. If your olive oil remains mostly the same consistency when refrigerated, it more than likely contains additive oils or is in some other way adulterated.

Check to see if your olive oil is flammable. Real olive oil is flammable, which means that it can essentially be used as a fuel source for an oil lamp. If your olive oil does not burn when lit with a match, it more than likely is an imposter.

To learn more about food secrets, be sure to check out the FREE NaturalNews report, 25 Amazing (and Weird) Facts About Food:

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Bentonite clay to remove toxic heavy metals, clear diaper rashes, stop stinky feet and more

NaturalNews) Bentonite clay has a very strong negative ionic charge. This negative ionic charge attracts things that have a positive charge, such as heavy metals, toxins, harmful bacteria, pesticides, and other pathogens. By divine design, bentonite clay does not attach to anything beneficial in the body. The clumping action of clay binds to heavy metals and pathogens to prevent them from passing through the intestines to the bloodstream. The clay binds with these toxins and then makes an exit via the colon and the kidneys.

Bentonite clay can help alleviate rashes, eczema, food allergies, food poisoning, colitis, viral infections, and parasites. It is effective in treating many digestive conditions and also aids in weight loss. Bentonite clay remineralizes cells and tissues, alkalizes the body and is also effective in protecting our bodies against radiation.

Bentonite clay for heavy metal detoxing

When the body absorbs a toxic heavy metal, the metal is distributed throughout the body by osmotic pressure. Osmosis takes tissues with higher levels of metal and redistributes the metals to tissues with fewer quantities. Drinking liquid bentonite clay from the health food store for a week at a time, every six months or so can help remove toxins and metals from the GI tract. By removing those metals from the GI tract first, before chelating the brain, you may avoid relocating metals to the central nervous system through osmosis. In the case of toxic metals in the brain or other organs, cleansing the colon of metals drops the gradient levels there and causes the metals to naturally begin to flow out of the body via the colon.

Bentonite clay can even remove radioactive uranium, cesium or plutonium from the skin and digestive tract. If exposed to any of these elements, administer clay baths and drink bentonite clay to remove radioactive particles from the body as quickly as possible.

Bentonite for treating rashes

Rashes that are not treatable with anti-fungal creams, zinc oxide or antibiotics are often due to metal toxicity.

Those ugly diaper rashes are often a reaction to the thimerosal in the diapers. Thimerosal is 50 percent mercury and used as a disinfectant in diapers, Kotex, bandages, gauze and other products. A clay bath will draw metals out of the skin and pores of the body helping to cleanse the body.

The cheapest source of bentonite clay is in fresh kitty litter which is made from dried and ground-up bentonite. Warning! Kitty litter may also contain toxic chemical additives to defeat odors so select the kitty litter with “ground clay” as the only ingredient.

Use an old pillowcase to make a sack and pour three to four pounds of clean kitty litter or other bentonite clay particles into the sack. Tie a knot in the top of the sack or tie a string around the neck of the sack. Throw the sack of clay into a tub that is filling with hot water for soaking the body. The pillow case will keep the clay particles from going down the bathtub drain and causing plumbing problems. Soak for as long as possible while re-heating the water as desired, leaving the sack of clay in the water the whole time. Two hours is a really good soak and 20 minutes would be a bare minimum.

This tub soak with bentonite clay can also get rid of nasty foot odors due to heavy metals in the feet. (Heavy metals tend to wick to moister and “gravitate” to the feet.)

There is a trace of aluminum in bentonite, but it cannot be assimilated and is hardly worth fretting about unless your body is intolerant to aluminum. Generally speaking, the bentonite will always pull out far and away more toxins than it will leave. If you are sensitive to aluminum it’s best to take Oxypowder instead of Bentonite Clay.

Sources for this article
Perry A~. 2006. Living Clay: Nature’s Own Miracle Cure. ISBN 1-887879-04-8

About the author:
Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. With 17 years of clinical experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his daily health blog at and his articles and radio show archives at

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Is Dentistry Finally Entering the 21st Century?

By Dr. Mercola

Dentists who use mercury fillings claim that amalgam is safe because it’s been used for 150 years. More accurately, dental amalgam is a Civil War relic, hardly a point in its favor. It is no better, nor safer,  than other discarded  medical practices like bleeding patients, administering calomel, and performing surgery with unwashed hands.

In fact, amalgam poses a whole swarm of problems at every stage of its lifecycle, including…

  • Releasing mercury during production: Mercury is released into the environment when amalgam is manufactured.
  • Endangering dental professionals: Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental office staff are exposed to mercury during and after amalgam preparation.
  • Deceiving dental patients: Most dental patients are not informed that amalgam is 50 percent mercury – many are told that amalgams are “silver fillings.”
  • Damaging healthy tooth structure: To place an amalgam, a significant amount of healthy tooth matter must be removed – permanently damaging the tooth structure.
  • Exposing patients to mercury: Amalgam continues to release mercury after it is implanted in your body, and can even cross the placenta to reach unborn babies.
  • Fracturing teeth: Amalgam expands and contracts over time, leading to cracked teeth and hefty dental bills.
  • Polluting the environment: Sooner or later, most of the mercury from amalgam ends up in air, soil, and water via numerous unsound pathways.
  • Contaminating fish: Once in the environment, amalgam can convert to methylmercury, contaminate fish, and wind up on your dinner plate.

The Shameful Past of the State Dental Boards

Amalgam simply has no place in 21st century dentistry.

Yet, a decade ago, as our century dawned, amalgam was riding high. Three powerful institutional forces combined, if not conspired, to keep primacy for amalgam in American dentistry.

One was in state government (the state dental boards), another in the federal government (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA), and the third, a private monopoly (the American Dental Association, or ADA).

The dental boards actually enforced a gag rule that prohibited American dentists from discussing mercury with their patients; in turn, FDA adamantly refused to do its legal duty to issue a rule on amalgam that would have undone the mercury secret; while the role of the ADA — with its gigantic PAC funds — was to keep much of Congress and many state legislatures in its hip pocket. Charlie Brown called these three forces — state dental boards, FDA, ADA — the “Iron Triangle.”

Consumers for Dental Choice Turns the Tide

Led by Consumers for Dental Choice, our cause unwound amalgam’s primacy a step at a time. First to go was the notorious gag rule: ordering dentists to stop telling the truth ran afoul of their Constitutional right of free speech. Once dentists and lawyers like Charlie stood up to the state dental boards, the gag rule wilted. Next Consumers for Dental Choice started working to inform consumers that amalgam is mercury. Their efforts led to some states adopting “fact sheet” laws mandating that dentists provide consumers information about amalgam.

Then came the challenge to the FDA: Charlie’s lawsuit, naming the great grassroots group Moms Against Mercury as lead plaintiff, insisted that FDA must issue a rule on amalgam – a duty it had been dodging for 30 years. The federal judge ordered the FDA to comply with the law by releasing an amalgam rule by the July 2009 deadline. Contrary to the media hype, the FDA’s 2009 rule did warn about amalgam use in children and pregnant women:

“The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor. Very limited to no clinical information is available regarding long-term health outcomes in pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and children under the age of six, including infants who are breastfed.”

Unfortunately – and intentionally – the FDA buried this information deep in the rule where it knows consumers and parents won’t find it. After multiple petitions for reconsideration, a scientific advisory panel review in 2010 concluded amalgam should not be used in children. After a grassroots uprising, the FDA promised to make an announcement on the amalgam rule by the end of 2011 – but did not. As it has done so adroitly for years, the agency has returned to inaction on amalgam.

Unprecedented Momentum Toward Mercury-Free Dentistry

Two years ago, as the mercury treaty negotiations loomed, Consumers for Dental Choice started highlighting the environmental harms caused by amalgam. This powerful approach is not only paying off at the mercury treaty sessions – it is shifting the ground under the feet of the pro-mercury dentists in the U.S.

The bastion for amalgam had long been America’s dental schools…until now. Citing the upcoming mercury treaty specifically, as well as amalgam’s devastating environmental impact, the New York University College of Dentistry announced a new amalgam policy to its students in July: NYU College of Dentistry has decided it will no longer recommend dental amalgam as the primary posterior tooth restorative…it will no longer require students to perform competency examinations for amalgam restorations…and it will no longer allow amalgam use in its own clinics unless students obtain faculty permission for specific cases. NYU and its faculty should be saluted for taking this visionary step to protect our environment from mercury.

Like NYU, communities around the U.S. are speaking out against dental mercury pollution. For example:

  • When Ohio cities demanded variances to allow them to dump wastewater with unsafe levels of mercury into Lake Erie, no one was talking about holding the pro-mercury dentists who released the mercury responsible…until Consumers for Dental Choice entered the picture. Its Ohio chapter organized comments and testimony for public hearings that called attention to the source of over half of mercury in wastewater: dental amalgam.
  • Citizens for a Better Spring Hill is a group of residents fighting to stop the construction of a mercury-emitting crematory in their Tennessee community. Consumers are increasingly aware that crematories emit significant amounts of mercury from amalgam fillings – atmospheric emissions from amalgam burden us with 50-70 tons of mercury pollution every year. And they are fighting hard to protect their children from this unnecessary mercury exposure.

Is Dentistry Finally Entering the 21st Century?

Thanks to the work of Consumers for Dental Choice and its allies, mercury-free dentistry is now starting to flourish in the United States. Probably half of America’s dentists have stopped using amalgam altogether.

I am honored to be invited to speak to the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM) about mercury at its annual meeting on October 20, 2012, in the Washington D.C. suburb of Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. This entire conference will be a great opportunity for health professionals to learn how to get their patients healthy – and keep them healthy. I look forward to this speaking opportunity.

Uniting to Defeat Mercury Fillings on the International Front

Mercury-free dentistry was once dismissed as mere dreaming, but now the goal of ending dental mercury on our planet is within sight worldwide.

Two years ago, Consumers for Dental Choice – led by Charlie Brown – faced the most amazing opportunity: the nations of the world would be drafting an environmental treaty to address all forms of mercury – mercury mining, mercury storage, mercury waste, mercury air emissions, mercury processes, as well as mercury products. Every nation would send representatives to five sessions, spread over three years. There, the world would wrestle with designing solutions to the global mercury pollution crisis.

The challenge was awesome. How to organize on a worldwide level so that all nations agree to address amalgam in the treaty? How to frame amalgam as an environmental issue that needs to be addressed in an environmental treaty (other environmental laws exempt amalgam because it is classified as health issue)? How to gain needed support from the world’s leading environmental organizations?

Consumers for Dental Choice met that challenge.

With the treaty’s first round of talks fast approaching, early in 2010 –and  at the suggestion of Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project — , leaders of environmental,  social justice, and dentalgroups assembled under a unified umbrella coalition, the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. At its first meeting, the leaders elected Charlie Brown  president of the coalition. Charlie  recruited a talented team of regional vice presidents and country chapter leaders – dentists, environmentalists, professors, physicians, international policy specialists, and non-profit leaders – from every region of the world from Africa to Europe to Asia to Australia to the Americas. From the first session through the fourth session, 2010-2012, the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has gone  toe-to-toe with the pro-mercury World Dental Federation at the mercury treaty sessions.

Making Progress at the Mercury Treaty Negotiations

The treaty process moved forward, and with it,  the cause of mercury-free dentistry. Those fighting for mercury-free dentistrystood alone at the first session,  in Stockholm in June 2010.  But the coalition reached out and build alliances, with environmental groups, with medical societies, and consumer groups. At the second treaty session in Japan, the third in Kenya, and the fourth in Uruguay, our side  outflanked, outworked, and outpointed the opposition.

Consumers for Dental Choice’s team just got back from the fourth treaty session. While their opponent was trying to turn the treaty session into a never-ending debate on health, Consumers for Dental Choice and its World Alliance allies succeeded in keeping amalgam in the draft treaty by emphasizing the known environmental harms caused by amalgam and offering practical solutions. They distributed the landmark economics report The Real Cost of Dental Mercury1 to delegates. This report shows that an amalgam filling can cost up to $87 more than a composite filling once the environmental cost of each material is taken into account.

As a result of this environmental strategy, support from government officials and influential organizations from around the world continues to grow.

Consumers for Dental Choice and its World Alliance colleagues have laid the groundwork for future success at the final mercury treaty session in Geneva in January 2013. There, the decision about amalgam (and virtually all other major treaty decisions), will be made. The challenge is great, but I believe we have found the right organization to lead us.

Bringing Change to the World Health Organization

In addition to their work at the treaty sessions, Consumers for Dental Choice, the World Alliance team, and their allies achieved a major breakthrough with the World Health Organization (WHO). It appeared that WHO’s traditional opposition to mercury-free dentistry would prevail when WHO staff released a paper in 2010 promoting amalgam as the “material of choice.” But Michael Bender  and Charlie Brown organized a worldwide protest that highlighted the glaring errors in the paper and called for an investigation.

Their efforts succeeded; WHO withdrew the paper.

In the wake of this worldwide protest, WHO released its final report on amalgam2. In a turn-around, WHO commits itself to “facilitate the work for a switch in use of dental materials” away from amalgam. The new WHO report concludes that “for many reasons restorative materials alternative to dental amalgam are desirable.” The report describes three of these reasons in detail, determining that amalgam:

  • Raises “general health concerns”
  • Releases a “significant amount of mercury” into the environment
  • “Materials alternative to dental amalgam are available” – citing many studies indicating that such alternatives  are superior to amalgam

Perhaps most importantly, WHO now acknowledges that “Alternative restorative materials of sufficient quality are available for use in the deciduous [baby] dentition of children,” the population whose developing neurological systems are most susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of dental mercury. There is no longer any excuse for subjecting this most vulnerable population to dental mercury exposure.

Organizing the Regions

While Consumers for Dental Choice is making a significant impact on the international scene, their work is also turning the tide toward mercury-free dentistry in individual regions and nations all around the world:

Africa: In 2011, Consumers for Dental Choice partnered with a non-profit group from the Ivory Coast, Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement (Young Volunteers for the Environment), to launch the Amalgam-Free Africa Campaign.

In a series of well-received workshops and other, press events in different African countries, the team was able to educate governments and the public about the dangers of dental mercury and the range of mercury-free alternatives. In response to opponents’ claims that mercury-free dentistry cannot be done in developing countries, they produced an excellent documentary on the feasibility – and the necessity – of mercury-free dentistry in Africa.

Thanks to the efforts of the Amalgam-Free Africa Campaign, the African region now vocally supports the phase-out of amalgam.

Australia: When the Australian government appeared to pose the most serious obstacle at treaty sessions, Consumers for Dental Choice launched an intense Australian campaign.

The volunteer force of dentists, dental patients, and a dental assistant that they organized held meetings with their government and started a major letter-writing campaign that was joined by 27 Australian health and environmental organizations. The new Australians for Mercury Free Dentistry  continues to monitor and reach out to the Australian government. Thanks to these efforts, Australia now supports addressing amalgam in the treaty.

Asia: Consumers for Dental Choice continues to work closely with a number of Asian non-profit allies like the Environment and Social Development Organization on a range of projects: from providing financial and media support for a national conference on mercury-free dentistry… to sponsoring scientists to attend meetings with government officials… to working with a major Asian environmental organization to approach national dental associations…to university campus programs…to petitioning governments.

Europe: In Europe, Consumers for Dental Choice has equally exciting news. The European Union hired a consultant to advise it on what to do about amalgam. The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry teamed with the well-regarded European Environmental Bureau (an environmental coalition of NGOs) and  and the excellent French group, Non Au Mercure Dentaire, to submit information and to testify.

The consultant  now recommends a total phase-out of amalgam in the 27 nations of the E.U. – for the same environmental reasons our team has been explaining. Much work remains to be done here (a consultant’s report can be adopted or discarded), but the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry is already mobilizing forces for that battle.

The Americas: The existence of that treaty is creating momentum to end amalgam at home in the Americas as well, but more on that to come in the coming week…

Heart Calcium Scan Most Effective in Predicting Risk of Heart Disease

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — Heart calcium scans are far superior to other assessment tools in predicting the development of cardiovascular disease in individuals currently classified at intermediate risk by their doctors, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.


The test, known as coronary artery calcium (CAC), uses a CT scan to detect calcium build-up in the arteries around the heart. The study findings are presented in the Aug. 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Current medical guidelines recommend classifying individuals as high, intermediate or low risk using the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), a cardiovascular risk-prediction model. However, doctors realize that the model isn’t perfect and that the intermediate group actually includes some individuals who could benefit from more aggressive drug therapy, as well as individuals who could be managed solely with lifestyle measures.

“We know how to treat patients at low and high risk for heart disease, but for the estimated 23 million Americans who are at intermediate risk, we still are not certain about the best way to proceed,” said Joseph Yeboah, M.D., assistant professor of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.

The Wake Forest Baptist study, which was funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, evaluated which of the top-tier assessment tools best identified people within the intermediate group who were actually at higher or lower risk. Determining the relative improvements in prediction afforded by various tests, especially when used in conjunction with the FRS, could help identify intermediate-risk people who may benefit from more aggressive primary prevention interventions, including the use of aspirin and the setting of lower targets for drug treatment of LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, Yeboah said.

Using data from the NHLBI’s Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study, the researchers did a head-to-head comparison of six top assessment tests for cardiovascular risk prediction in intermediate-risk people: CAC score, ankle-brachial index, brachial flow mediated dilation, carotid intima-media thickness, high sensitivity C-reactive protein and family history of heart disease.

Of the 6,814 total MESA participants from six communities across the country, 1,330 were considered at intermediate risk and were included in this study. The researchers determined that the CAC score proved the best in predicting which among the intermediate-risk people would go on to have heart disease in the ensuing 7.5 years (average) of follow-up observation.

“If we want to concentrate our attention on the subset of intermediate-risk patients who are at the highest risk for cardiovascular disease, CAC is clearly the best tool we have in our arsenal to identify them. However, we have to look at other factors such as costs and risks associated with radiation exposure from a CT scan before deciding if everyone in the intermediate group should be screened,” Yeboah said.

Additional research is needed to explore the costs, benefits and risks of widespread use of CAC screening in people at risk of heart disease, he said.

The study’s co-authors are: Robyn L. McClelland, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle; Tamar S. Polonsky, M.D., University of Chicago; Gregory L. Burke, M.D., Jeffery J. Carr, M.D., and David M. Herrington, M.D., Wake Forest Baptist; Christopher T. Sibley, M.D., National Institutes of Health; Daniel O’Leary, M.D., Tufts Medical Center; David C. Goff Jr., M.D., Ph.D., University of Colorado; and Philip Greenland, M.D., Northwestern University

A Mediterranean diet with plentiful extra virgin olive oil promotes bone health in seniors

NaturalNews) Past research studies have confirmed the healthy benefits of consuming a traditional Mediterranean style diet. Researchers have demonstrated that this type of diet consisting of healthy quantities of extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, fruits and leafy greens and largely void of excess calories from animal protein is beneficial in the prevention of developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke and dementia. Mediterranean-style foods are packed with antioxidants that aid cellular function and polyphenol-rich olive oil, shown to lower systemic inflammation and risk from many chronic diseases.

As people age, many suffer from reduced bone mass, as years of a poor diet causes excessive leaching of calcium from the bone. This leads to osteoporosis and a significantly increased risk of bone fractures, as well as a regimen of deadly pharmaceuticals so commonly prescribed by allopathic practitioners in a vain attempt to preserve remaining bone strength.

Researchers publishing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) have now shown that going on a two year Mediterranean style diet enhanced with olive oil can increase serum osteocalin concentrations, providing a protective shield against future bone loss. The lead study author, Dr. Jose Manuel Fernandez-Real commented “This is the first randomized study which demonstrates that olive oil preserves bone, at least as inferred by circulating bone markers, in humans.”

A Mediterranean diet with plentiful extra virgin olive oil promotes bone health in seniors

Researchers from Spain randomly selected 127 men, aged between 55 and 80 years who had lived in the community for a lengthy period of time. The elderly volunteers had never been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, but were diabetic and exhibited risk factors for heart disease such as family history, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Based on diet, each was assigned to a different intervention group based on consuming a low fat diet, a Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil, or a Mediterranean diet including mixed nuts.

The team reviewed critical biomarkers (glucose, osteocalcin, cholesterol, triglycerides) at baseline and again after two years to determine the effect of the Mediterranean diet on overall health. The measurements revealed that the Mediterranean diet with olive oil resulted in a large rise in the concentrations of total osteocalcin, as well as other bone-formation factors. Of equal importance, blood calcium levels in the Mediterranean group with olive oil remained constant, but declined significantly in the other two sub-groups.

Dr. Fernandez-Real concluded “It’s important to note that circulating osteocalcin was associated with preserved insulin secretion in subjects taking olive oil.” Based on extensive research over the past 20 years, there should be little doubt that a diet consisting of nuts, seeds, fruits and a generous serving of extra virgin olive oil can preserve health and support normal bone health as we age.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of ‘Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’, a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit
My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of ‘Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’.

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Johnson & Johnson owns up to deadly formaldehyde-containing products in wake of bacteria scandal

NaturalNews) After struggling to maintain its image following a barrage of product recalls and safety scares, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced that it plans to reformulate not only its entire line of children’s personal care products, but also many of its adult personal care products, to remove a number of chemicals and chemical byproducts that have been the topic of public concern in recent years.

By 2015, virtually all J&J consumer care products will be free of preservative chemicals that release methylene glycol, the alcohol form of formaldehyde, which has been identified as a cancer-causing agent. J&J also plans to remove preservative chemicals that produce 1,4 dioxane, a chemical also linked to causing cancer. (

“There’s a very lively public discussion going on about the safety of ingredients in personal care products, (and) it was really important that we had a voice in that,” said Susan Nettesheim, J&J’s Vice President for Product Stewardship. Though Nettesheim insists that the existing chemicals used in J&J products are safe, she also says her company is trying to respond to the concerns of its customers.

J&J has even created a website dedicated to this transition to new product formulations, many of which will take place even sooner than 2015, at least in products designed for children and babies. The site, entitled Our Safety & Care Commitment, explains how the company will eventually phase out phthalates, triclosan, parabens, fragrances, and many other questionable chemicals from its product lines in years to come.

“We’ve never really seen a major personal care product company take the kind of move that they’re taking with this,” said Kenneth A. Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), about J&J’s decision to be an industry leader in this particular area. Cook even expressed a bit of surprise that a company as large as J&J has decided to take on the incredible, and quite costly, task of reformulating even its signature formulas, to which many people have grown accustomed.

In the process of phasing out its questionable ingredients, J&J says it plans to conduct extensive research on potential alternative ingredients to ensure their safety. When all is said and done, only a few J&J products will still contain trace levels of formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane, as well as certain fragrance chemicals. Most J&J products; however, will eventually be free of phthalates, triclosan, parabens, and formaldehyde.

“We want to share our policies and plans in a forum that is designed to help consumers better understand what we do to ensure that the products they choose are as safe as can be,” added Nettesheim.

Sources for this article include:

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Vitamin D Supplementation Can Decrease Risk of Respiratory Infections in Children

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2012) — A study conducted in Mongolian schoolchildren supports the possibility that daily vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of respiratory infections in winter. In a report that will appear in the journal Pediatrics and has received early online release, an international research team found that vitamin D supplementation decreased the risk of respiratory infections among children who had low blood levels of vitamin D at the start of the study.

“Our randomized controlled trial shows that vitamin D has important effects on infection risk,” says Carlos Camargo, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the study’s corresponding author. “In almost 250 children with low blood levels of vitamin D during winter, we found that taking a daily vitamin D supplement cut in half the risk of a respiratory infection.”

Several recent investigations have suggested that vitamin D — best known for its role in the development and maintenance of strong bones — has additional important roles, including in immune function. Studies led by Camargo and other researchers have associated higher vitamin D levels with reduced risk of respiratory infections such as colds or flu, but such observational studies cannot prove that the vitamin actually protects against infection. That kind of evidence must come from randomized controlled trials comparing two similar populations that either do or do not receive an intervention such as vitamin D supplementation. The first such trial, in Japanese schoolchildren, had equivocal results, showing a reduction in the risk of one type of influenza but no effect on another type, so many organizations have called for further randomized trials to settle the issue.

Since vitamin D is naturally produced by the body in response to sunlight, maintaining adequate levels in winter is particularly challenging in areas such as the northern U.S. and Canada that have significant seasonal variations in daily sunlight. The current study analyzed data from the Blue Sky Study, conducted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, by a team led by Harvard investigators in collaboration with local health researchers. Mongolians are known to be at high risk for vitamin D deficiency, especially during winter, and the Blue Sky Study followed schoolchildren, all of whom were found to have low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), which is considered the best measure of vitamin D status, at the study’s outset.

In the current study, Camargo and colleagues compared the number of winter respiratory infections among a group of children who received daily doses of vitamin D added to locally produced milk with that of a control group receiving the same milk without added vitamin D. The supplement was undetectable so that children, teachers, and local researchers could not tell which group received vitamin D. While blood samples taken at the outset of the study revealed vitamin D deficiency in all participants, with average 25OHD levels around 7 ng/ml (17 nmol/L) in both groups, at the end of the seven-week treatment period, differences between the two groups were significant, with those receive vitamin D averaging 19 ng/ml (47 nmol/L), which although still low was significantly higher than at the start of the trial. Based on reports from their parents, the children receiving vitamin D had about half the incidence of respiratory infections that the control group had.

“Our study design provides strong evidence that the association between low vitamin D and respiratory infections is causal and that treating low vitamin D levels in children with an inexpensive and safe supplement will prevent some respiratory infections,” says Camargo, a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “The large benefit was undoubtedly related to the low baseline vitamin D levels of these children, so I would not expect the supplement to provide similar benefit in children who start with healthy levels of vitamin D. The key question for future research is at what initial vitamin D level would children no longer receive benefit from winter supplementation?”

The researchers note that while the vitamin D dosage used in this study (300 IU daily) was higher than the recommended daily dosage at the time the study was launched, since then the U.S. Institute of Medicine has raised the recommended dose for children to 400 IU, and other groups recommend daily dosages as high as 1,000 IU for children at risk for vitamin D deficiency. The authors also point out that, while Mongolia may appear to have little in common with the U.S., the low baseline vitamin D levels seen in study participants are relatively common in some groups of Americans, such as African-American children living in northern states.


Are onions healthier than many superfruits?

NaturalNews) Onions are not only a savory cooking staple to use as an inexpensive seasoning and flavoring agent in your favorite recipes. They also happen to be literally packed with beneficial compounds. So packed in fact, that they are actually healthier ounce for ounce than most “superfruits” like pomegranates, goji berries and blueberries.

Onions contain high amounts of quercetin

Quercetin is a polyphenol compound in the flavonoid family of antioxidants. Yellow or red onions are the best source of this nutrient while white onions are lacking. The general rule of thumb is the more pungent an onion tastes and smells the higher the overall antioxidant value. This means mild and sweet onions generally are not as beneficial.
The quercetin compound is also found in red wine, apples, citrust fruits, olive oil and blueberries to name a few. The compound is linked with lower rates of all types of cancer due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an excellent remedy for arthritis and other diseases caused by inflammation.
Quercetin is also thought to improve prostate health in men and therefore may be an effective weapon against prostate cancer. It has also displayed natural antihistamine properties thereby reducing allergic reactions and general allergies. Studies are being done on the potential benefits quercetin may have to help preserve healthy cholesterol levels (HDL) while suppressing unhealthy cholesterol (LDL).

Onions are rich in sulfur compounds

Sulfur compounds offer an array of health benefits not to be ignored. These odorous compounds are responsible for the pungent taste and smell of an onion as well as the release of eye-irritating gases when the flesh is cut. They are also responsible for the potent antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of the onion. In fact, onion can be used as a preserving agent for meat that needs to keep for a longer period of time.
Sulfur compounds have long been regarded as a cancer fighting nutrient. Like quercetin, they possess anti-inflammatory properties, which is why the onion is such a great combination of nutrients. There is also evidence that the sulfur compounds found in onions may improve the symptoms of asthma and other breathing problems related to inflammation.
Sulfur compounds also help to prevent blood clotting and therefore act as a superior naturalblood thinner. This can prevent cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Onions are rich in other important vitamins and minerals

Onions contain high levels of vitamin C, copper, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Vitamins A, E and C are all excellent antioxidants. Copper is a mineral that is important in the maintenance of bone and joint health and integrity and may help women especially to prevent osteoporosis. Additionally copper is excellent for maintaining firm skin.
As if all of this weren’t enough, onions also may help to ward off bowel and stomach disorders. High onion consumption has been linked to lower risk of bowel cancer. It has also been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancers. Organisms in the onion are thought to encourage healthy bacteria growth in the gut while inhibiting the growth of destructive bacteria.
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About the author: Danna Norek founded Aura Sensory All Natural Body, Skin and Hair Care. Visit the informative site to learn more about what chemicals & ingredients to avoid in your beauty and personal care products at Aura Sensory (just added a sulfate free, shine enhancing shampoo too!) Read more about how avoiding sulfates saves your skin and hair on NaturalNews. Product line includes a naturally antibacterial lemongrass, lavender and tea tree oil acne soap, Warm Citrus Natural Soap, (), a super emollient Natural Citrus Lip Balm made with all natural oils, and natural body lotions.
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