Archive for June, 2016
On this hot 4th of July weekend you might want to cool down with an icy soda (or soda pop, as we said when I was a kid in the Midwest). And if you’re weight conscious, it might be a diet soda with a certain calorie-free chemical in place of sugar. Bad idea.
Researchers have raised serious doubts about what this artificial sweetener really does to help you lose weight (sneak preview: nothing). And investigations into its effects on the body suggest it may make you vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and other neurological disasters. Keep reading for the deadly truth about. . .
Breast Cancer Survivor was told:
“You’ll be dead in a year”
(Pssst!! That was 12 years ago!)
Doctors didn’t give Wiltrude much hope when they diagnosed her with cancer in the year 2000. Wiltrude, a German psychologist, never thought cancer would happen to her. But it did. And it came as a big shock.
One doctor told her, “You’ll be dead in a year.” Late stage breast cancer is virtually incurable using conventional treatments. Even M.D.s admit it. They talk about “buying you more time.” (Don’t count on it. The evidence shows you’re better off doing nothing than chemo.)
When Wiltrude told her doctor she was going to try alternative treatments, he said, “You are committing suicide with what you’re doing.” But she was determined to find a way to beat her cancer.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this European woman came across a book by my good friend Bill Henderson, one of the smartest and wisest people I know when it comes to cancer treatment.
She tried Bill’s top, number one recommendation — a gentle treatment you can do at home for just $5.15 a day. What’s more, the cost goes down to $3.50 after six weeks because you just need a maintenance dose. And it even tastes good.
Not only has Wiltrude passed the five-year cancer survival mark, she’s survived for 12 years. We just interviewed her recently for this publication. The radiologist who tests her every year told her, “You’re the only one with this kind of result.”
You can find out more about Bill’s proven cancer treatment plan if you click here.
When I ask him about some of the treatments that top alternative doctors use, Bill sort of shrugs and says, “They’re fine, but why bother? My treatment works, you can do it yourself, and it costs practically nothing.”
He’s coached thousands of cancer patients with all different types and stages of cancer. Most of the people who follow the detailed, specific plan in this Special Report get over their cancer and live for years.
“Almost any kind of cancer is reversible,” says Bill. “I never give up on anyone.”
Aspartame is the ingredient’s technical name. But it has long been sold under the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal. It’s the sweetener in most diet soft drinks and in many other products that Americans down in large quantities. Most people think it’s been carefully tested and is “government approved.” So surely it must be okay, right? Well, no. . .
About those weight-loss claims. . .
Aside from possibly giving you cancer or dementia, aspartame doesn’t even achieve its main purpose of helping people lose weight. Research analyzing how artificial sweeteners affect your weight have produced troubling results.
For instance, a ten-year study in Texas showed that people who drank two or more aspartame-sweetened soft drinks a day end up, on average, adding five times as many inches to their waistlines as people who never drink diet soda.i And a lab test of the effects of aspartame on blood sugar shows that consuming this chemical increases blood sugar levels and can make you more vulnerable to diabetes.ii
So while the ads for diet soft drinks trumpet the fact that these drinks contain zero calories they neglect to add that the weight-loss benefits of these beverages are actually less than zero.
Crooked regulators and lying politicians
The story behind aspartame reveals serious weaknesses and outright corruption in the way food regulators judge the safety of the chemicals added to our food.
When aspartame was first submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval, the agency assigned an outside public board of inquiry the task of deciding if the additive was safe for human consumption. The doctors on that board unanimously recommended against approval. Later, an internal FDA panel came to the same conclusion.
Aspartame was approved anyway in one of the most obvious political fixes ever seen. A new president came into office, and a new man was appointed to head the FDA. Who chose the new chairman? Apparently the White House delegated the choice to the CEO of G.D. Searle, the drug company that owns the patent on aspartame. This drug company CEO was a powerful player on the president’s transition team.
Once in office – what a surprise — one of the new appointee’s first acts as FDA chairman was to grant approval to aspartame.
In theory, the FDA determines a food ingredient’s safety by way of tests on lab animals. This process is riddled with doubtful science – but the main flaw is obvious: Animals don’t always react to additives the way humans do. And aspartame’s critics argue that while the mice used to test aspartame possess physiological defenses that protect them from aspartame’s breakdown products, the humans who sip on diet soda flavored with aspartame lack those protections.
Chemically, aspartame is a combination of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine in the compound contains what is called a methyl group. This chemical group is what your tongue perceives as sweetness.
When you consume a soft drink sweetened with aspartame, the methyl group breaks off fairly quickly because it is only weakly bonded to the rest of the molecule.
Now, according to food chemists who work for the food manufacturers, the methanol you absorb is just as benign as the methanol you consume in fruits and vegetables. But what they don’t acknowledge is that the methanol in fruits and vegetables is linked to pectin, a substance that is extracted and often used in jellies and jams as a gelling agent. Pectin is natural and harmless – it’s the white stuff that lines the inside of grapefruit or orange peels.
When linked to pectin, methanol passes through the digestive tract harmlessly and is eliminated. But your body can’t easily discard the unbound methanol in an aspartame-flavored soft drink.
Problem is, unlike the lab animals that researchers use to test the safety of food additives, we humans do not have a detoxification pathway that converts methanol into innocuous formic acid.
Aspartame is metabolized into a carcinogen
According to Woodrow C. Monte, who has researched the human reaction to aspartameiii, both human and animal cells possess a substance called dehydrogenase that changes methanol into formaldehyde, a cause of cancer.
But while animal cells have access to enzymes that turn formaldehyde into benign formic acid, human cells lack these enzymes.
Monte argues that the resulting formaldehyde can cause serious damage to the human body. Methanol can cross the blood-brain barrier, be converted into formaldehyde there and degrade the myelin that is essential for neuron functions. That kind of destruction can lead to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and other brain problems.
Avoiding this sweetener is the only sensible thing to do.
If you’ve ever watched a crime show on TV, you’re familiar with psychological profiling.
This is the process where a detective uses behavioral clues to put together a criminal “snapshot” in order to better understand—and catch—the criminal.
In a way, Alzheimer’s disease is as dangerous and lethal a criminal as the ones we see on TV …
And the scientists at war with Alzheimer’s and dementia use a similar type of profiling, called metabolic profiling, in order to better understand this killer and thief of memory and independence.
What they’ve found so far is amazing …
Hidden Constipation Syndrome –
Have You Got It?
A recent study reports that more than half of patients – 62 percent – have colons plugged up with layers of filthy, decayed fecal matter. . .
. . .even though 80 percent had bowel movements every day without straining!
Colon autopsies show it and now studies have proven it. Even if you have a regular, daily bowel movement, you may possibly have pounds of hardened, toxic, bacteria-laden waste matter stuck in your intestines!
Breakthrough study results from the prestigious Department of Organ Surgery and Gastroenterological Clinic in Elsinore, Denmark, reveal that millions of people unknowingly have these large “fecal reservoirs” – which back up your entire colon and rectum.
And no synthetic laxatives or enemas can get this toxic, rotting mess out of you!
Click here for a FREE REPORT on how you
can get rid of this deadly threat to your health and well being.
This discovery may provide a clue why a “one size fits all” cure for Alzheimer’s has so far eluded the scientific and medical communities.
3 Distinct “Subtypes” of Alzheimer’s Disease Discovered
Researchers have uncovered three distinct subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease using the metabolic profiling process. There may be more.
It’s exciting, because – if the findings in this small study hold up — it helps explain the various different symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia… how the disease progresses in the brain… and why some patients have been misdiagnosed in the past.
Here’s how metabolic profiling works …
Every single cell in your body creates and uses energy — a massive, complex process that we generally refer to as metabolism.
Each metabolic process creates metabolites (waste products) which leave a unique chemical “fingerprint” in blood, plasma, and urine. Scientists analyze these metabolites to create the metabolic profile… and, hopefully, identify diseases early.
In a UCLA study published in Aging in August 2015, researchers took the metabolic profile of 50 people and measured the baseline against their conditions two years later.
Using this information, they identified three unique subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease.1
Each subtype affects different parts of the brain and exhibits specific symptoms, which may lead to earlier detection and more individualized treatment options in the future.
Subtype #1: Inflammatory
Not surprisingly, one type of Alzheimer’s disease is inflammatory — characterized by markers such as increased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and a higher ratio of globulin to albumin.
hs-CRP is an “acute-phase inflammatory reactant,” meaning it occurs after the body has become inflamed.
Globulin and albumin are important proteins, and elevated ratios likewise indicate the presence of inflammation in the body.
In a 2002 study, researchers found that people with hs-CRP levels in the highest three quartiles have a three-fold increased risk for dementia compared to those in the lowest quartile.2
In a way, this is good news.
There is an enormous body of science that proves you can significantly lower your systemic inflammation with simple lifestyle changes. And we can detect inflammation thanks to simple blood markers.
Subtype #2: Non-inflammatory
The second subtype is called non-inflammatory, in which the inflammation markers are unaffected but other metabolic abnormalities are present.
- Insulin resistance
- Vitamin D deficiency (to learn more about vitamin D and brain health see Issue #179)
- Elevated homocysteine, an amino acid that can damage arterial walls and cause clotting when there’s too much in the body
- Hormonal loss associated with early oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries)
There’s some good news here, too.
You can do a great deal to manage the first three markers with a diet based on fresh organic produce, regular exercise, and getting some sun or supplementing with vitamin D.
If you’ve had an early oophorectomy, consider asking your doctor about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (as opposed to synthetic HRT.)
Subtype #3: Cortical
This third subtype is distinct from the other two. It’s often misdiagnosed or labeled “atypical Alzheimer’s disease.”
In “regular” Alzheimer’s, neurodegeneration usually begins around age 65 or later and starts in the hippocampus, near the brain stem.
In this sub-type, scientists saw the disease in relatively young people and it was the cortex—the outer layer of the cerebrum—rather than the hippocampus that was affected early on.
Patients with cortical Alzheimer’s disease might be misdiagnosed, because their symptoms often have little to do with memory loss. The cerebrum is responsible for memory formation and storage as well as solving problems and planning.
Cortical Alzheimer’s symptoms include severe difficulty in understanding and calculating numbers, the inability to see and understand words, and losing the ability to understand or express speech.
This particular subtype also tends to afflict ApoE4-negative people, another reason it may be misdiagnosed, especially by doctors who over-rely on this genetic marker for Alzheimer’s risk.
Cortical Alzheimer’s is also associated with zinc deficiency.1 (See Issue #143 for more.)
These new subtypes start to explain why Alzheimer’s disease has been such a challenge to this day… and how a huge variety of lifestyle factors can make such a difference.
The closer scientists get to a complete profile of this “criminal,” the closer we get closer to arresting it, convicting it and putting it away for good.
By now just about everybody knows that being chronically over-stressed is generally bad for your health. That goes for brain health, too – perhaps even more than for cardiovascular health, where stress has been a focus of concern for decades.
Researchers have now found that stress can damage your brain in ways that make you more liable to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other problems that can wipe out your memory. Keep reading for these new discoveries. . .
A Special Message from Lee Euler, Editor
Could your blood sugar
use some quick help?
Before you answer, consider this: Blood sugar is the #1 factor for good health and long life.
Out-of-control blood sugar is linked to every serious degenerative disease on the Top 10 Killers list. It harms every important organ in your body, including your heart, brain, eyes, kidneys – even your sex life!
So today I’m excited to introduce a new natural solution to high blood sugar – and I’m not talking about changing the way you eat or shedding excess pounds. Of course, we all know we should do those things, but meanwhile, here’s a quick, easy way to support healthy blood sugar right now.
The problem originates in the body’s physiological stress response, according to scientists at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. Stress alters the function of your metabolic processes (the chemical reactions in your organs), makes your heart and arteries over-reactive, and inflames your immune system.
The sum total of those reactions is the atrophy (shrinkage) of the brain’s hippocampus, a brain area central for maintaining memory. Chronic stress also stunts activity in the prefrontal cortex, which contains the neurons that keep your thoughts organized, maintain your attention span, help you plan ahead and keep your personality intact.
Overstimulating the Wrong Part of the Brain
In lab tests, the Baycrest researchers found that stress over-stimulates the amygdala, a part of the brain that is linked to your emotions and anxious feelings.1 The scientists note that this produces a “see-saw” effect – as amygdala activity goes up, the cortex and hippocampal involvement goes down.
This leads to “structural degeneration and impaired functioning of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which may account for the increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and dementia,” says researcher Dr. Linda Mah.
It’s a kind of use-it-or-lose-it situation. Swamped with the emotional anxiety of stress, the rational parts of your brain retreat and shut down. As your emotional centers take over, you lose function in the neurons that can adequately maintain your memories and reasoning powers.
A System for Relaxing
A key way to offset the brain-damaging effect of stress is to incorporate mindfulness – with techniques like meditation – into your daily life.
Research at the Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh shows that mindfulness can help the brain by reducing the amount of interleukin-6 circulating in the body. Interleukin-6 is a protein that regulates immune cells and affects the function of brain cells.2 It is considered a “biomarker” of inflammation – the more of it your body produces, the higher your level of harmful immune reactions which can damage neurons and other cells.
“We’ve now seen that mindfulness meditation training can reduce inflammatory biomarkers in several initial studies, and (our) new work sheds light into what mindfulness training is doing to the brain to produce these inflammatory health benefits,” says researcher David Creswell, Ph.D., who’s with Carnegie Mellon.
According to Dr, Creswell, mindfulness meditation may help improve your
“… stress resilience (and boost) your brain’s ability to help you manage stress.”
Brief Meditation Yields Big Results
Dr. Creswell’s research shows that meditating to offset stress doesn’t have to be very time consuming. About 25 minutes a day can produce significant results.3
Research he performed at Carnegie Mellon found that less than half an hour daily of breathing exercises and meditation produces important benefits and can improve your physiological response to the anxious moments that we all frequently encounter.
If you want to learn how to practice mindfulness techniques, many local health practitioners offer short courses in the practice. Yoga can also help you ease stress with meditative poses.
And take heart – researchers believe that even if your hippocampus has already begun to shrink, you can probably reverse some of this loss. All you may need are a few calm, deep breaths and an inner, self-directed, meditative focus.
By the way, I practice what I preach. I’ve been meditating daily since 1976. I think I’d be six feet under already if it weren’t for this practice.
Today’s article deals with a fascinating new high-tech brain booster. If neuroscientists are right, in the not-too-distant future, charging stations won’t be limited to electric cars. They’ll be available for your brain, too.
Charging points could be located at shopping malls. You might be able to enter a special booth and choose what kind of improvement you would like.
A better memory? Sharper focus? Improved attention span? More creative thinking? All would be available within a single 20-minute session, with the effects lasting six hours or more.
It may sound like science fiction – or even like the Frankenstein monster being brought to life with electricity — but the results of early studies suggest that electrical brain stimulation could do all of these things.
Here’s the story so far. . .
Special Message From Lee Euler, Editor
The FDA’s advice for SAVING your heart
could DESTROY your brain!
For over 60 years, heart health experts have been warning us to eat less red meat.
But now a new discovery has turned that old advice upside down…
The latest research shows red meat contains AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT for keeping your mind and memory sharp…
For years, people’s consumption of red meat has gone down, down, down…and their brain and memory health has plunged at the same time. It’s no coincidence.
Click here to discover the little-known link between red meat and today’s epidemic of memory loss, brain fog and other forms of mind impairment…
Vietnam Vets Lead the Way
Although research into electrical brain stimulation or Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) goes back decades, the real breakthrough came with the 2007 to 2011 studies of Vietnam veterans who had suffered physical brain traumas.
The location and size of different wounds produced different effects on problem solving, planning, decision making, judgment, language and memory.
Neuroscientist Aron Barbey from the University of Illinois was able to match each problem to the brain’s anatomy, to create a brain atlas identifying each cognitive function with its underlying neural network.
To improve a patient’s performance at a particular task, the researchers just had to target the correct brain network with electrical stimulation while the person performed it.
When that was done, neurons become more excitable, more likely to strengthen and fire the synapses that connect them. This improves mental performance.
Improving Attention and Focus of Air Force Personnel
Prof. Barbey and his team collaborated with Dr. Andy McKinley at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.
The study involved Air Force personnel who have to view surveillance footage from drone aircraft searching for suspicious activity for up to 12 hours a day. After just 20 minutes their performance begins to decline.
Dr. McKinley, who’s been testing tDCS, says it “might be a tool to help the analysts when they start getting fatigued, to maintain their performance.”
In a series of studies the device seems to do just that.
While subjects sit at a computer looking at a screen, a weak electrical charge of just 1-2 milliamps flows into electrodes attached to their heads.
On the screen a red dot moves around. Very occasionally it skips. If the viewer notices that it jumps, he hits the space bar.
In the studies, some received the electrical charge while others did not. These were used for comparison. Some participants were given caffeine gum while others chewed on caffeine-free gum.
Doubles Brain Power
Results of studies found those receiving electrical stimulation were considerably more alert, energetic and vigilant, with less fatigue and better mood than those who didn’t receive the treatment.
Discussing one of the studies, Dr. McKinley said, “people who got the brain stimulation were still performing at the same level six hours later, while people who got caffeine and sham treatment, their performance declined rapidly.”
The tDCS group performed twice as well, scoring 60% on the test for vigilance compared to 30% in the group that received caffeine and sham stimulation.
Research groups outside of the military have also found the treatment can enhance the ability to think more creatively, and that a fortnight of daily use can result in months of improvement on a specific task.
Electrical Stimulation for Older People
Researchers are also looking to see if the results obtained in younger Air Force personnel apply to older people.
We don’t yet know, but the BBC sent 71-year-old reporter Angela Rippon to Wright Patterson to take the vigilance test. After brain stimulation her performance improved by a third.
She said “I feel like I’ve had a major shot of caffeine because I feel very alive and very alert.”
Within five years tDCS is expected to move out of the lab and into military control rooms. Not many years later, it’s just possible we could see civilians getting zapped at a charging booth before work or during a morning shopping trip, to keep them buzzing for the rest of the day.
As a regular reader of Natural Health Insiders, you know B vitamins are great for your brain …
Many studies have shown B vitamins* slow and reduce shrinkage of the brain’s grey matter, while decreasing inflammation and cognitive decline.1
Now, in most cases, the golden rule of nutrient studies is to test the effects of just one, isolated nutrient. But something unexpected happened when Oxford researchers observed how B vitamins interact with another brain-healthy nutrient.
Until recently, these two had never been studied together … and it turns out, B vitamins without this nutrient have little to no benefit for your brain.
Read on to find out which nutrient you should always take with B vitamins if you want to fight dementia …
Special Message From Lee Euler, Editor
The miracle mineral that
keeps your brain from
shrinking as you age
Prestigious medical journal Lancet reports this breakthrough “triggers a significant increase in brain volume and protection of billions of healthy new brain cells.”
It happens to everybody. As you age, your brain shrinks as much as 15 percent.
This may not seem like a huge amount, but…
…new research reveals a shrinking brain is linked to poor memory, depression and dementia.
Sadly, most people do nothing about this problem.
But now, you can grow new “gray matter” and boost your brain starting in just four weeks with a breakthrough mineral. Go here for a Free Special Report that reveals the whole story…
This report is especially hot if you’re worried that your memory problems are getting worse and worse.
Find out how this remarkable mineral safeguards you from the two main causes of brain failure. Click here for your Free Special Report…
It may come as no surprise that the ultimate partners for B-vitamins are omega-3 fatty acids.
The “long chain” omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA keep the membranes of your brain cells fluid and supple, allowing efficient nutrient intake and excretion of waste.
Plus, omega-3s are critical to the entire life cycle of neurotransmitters — including synthesis, effective communication, and breaking them down at the end of their lives.2
But a recent Oxford study showed that without omega-3 levels in the “upper normal” range, B vitamins can’t do their best, brain-boosting work. The two-year study followed 266 patients aged 70 or older with MCI (mild cognitive impairment).
In the beginning, the researchers tested the participants’ EPA and DHA levels, then split them into two groups. One received a B vitamin treatment. The other group received a placebo.
The groups were given tasks that measured cognitive performance, episodic memory, and clinical dementia rating.
After two years of receiving either treatment or placebo, they were retested and the results were compared.
In the placebo group – sadly — two-thirds of the participants continued to progress towards Alzheimer’s disease. They were twice as likely to be diagnosed Alzheimer’s.
But in the B vitamin group, two-thirds showed improvement over the two years.
Those with higher levels of omega-3s improved, too… especially those with higher levels of DHA. But among those with low levels of omega-3s, the B vitamins had little to no effect.3
Omega-3s Give B Vitamins the Boost They Need
The takeaway is that while B vitamins like B6 and B12 are essential to good health, you can only get the full cognitive benefits if you have a generous supply of omega-3s.
The researchers hypothesized that this is because B vitamins are a critical precursor to the creation of phosphatidylcholine … which is enriched by omega-3s … and is a major molecule used in creating cell membranes.
Think of cell membranes as the protective layer of an air bubble in water. Pierce it, and the bubble vanishes instantly.
To be sure your omega-3s are in the “upper normal” range, the recommendation is to eat fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon at least three times per week, and take a high quality fish or krill oil supplement. I’m wary of the mercury levels in these fish and I prefer to get most of my omega-3s from supplemental fish oil. My brand of choice is Carlson’s.
Blueberries are an excellent source of brain healthy B-vitamins. So are bell peppers, spinach, liver, and snapper. A high quality B complex vitamin can fill in the gaps.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
With the disheartening news that “cognitive enhancers” such as donepezil (trade name Aricept) and galantamine (brand name Razadyne) do not improve cognitive impairment4, these new results offer a simple and promising approach.
If you’re over 50, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to use nutrition to protect your most valuable treasure: your conscious mind.
* In another two-year study done at Oxford, participants received a B vitamin treatment of 800mg folic acid, 20mg of B6, and 500mg of B12. After two years, those on B vitamins had seven times less brain shrinkage than those on placebo.4
1 Hippocampus as a mediator of the role of vitamin B-12 in memory
2,4 New Research Shows Synergy with Omega-3 Fatty Acids and B Vitamins in Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
3 Beneficial Interactions Between B Vitamins and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Brain Atrophy and of Cognitive Decline in Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease