Photo by AngelsWings

Dr. Say He Cured Autism Through Gut Bacteria….So What’s Really Happening?

At 22-months Jackson was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. Doctors told his parents there was no hope of recovery. Over 2 years Mark Hyman, MD addressed his gut inflammation, mercury toxicity, and nutritional imbalances. Today, Jackson’s is a normally functioning little boy who loves baseball and playing with friends.

The question is, can a better understanding of the gut and brain connection be a window into the cure for autism? Do the chemicals produced in the gut affect or cause autism?

Many people have been critical of Dr. Hyman’s video, but it doesn’t dissolve the real question and science at play.

In an article on Autism Speaks, researcher Dae-Wook Kang elaborates:

“Most gut bacteria are beneficial, aiding food digestion, producing vitamins, and protecting against harmful bacteria,” says Dae-Wook Kang of the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University, an author on the new study. “If left unchecked, however, harmful bacteria can excrete dangerous metabolites or disturb a balance in metabolites that can affect the gut and the rest of the body, including the brain.”

There has been other research suggesting similar gut and autism connections. Research has shown that autistic kids have a different gut bacteria makeup.

In 2014, Kang and his team compared the bacterial waste products in stool samples from 23 children with autism. They compared these to samples from 21 typically developing children.

Overall, they found that children with autism had significantly different concentrations of seven of the fifty chemical compounds they detected.

“Most of the seven metabolites could play a role in the brain as neurotransmitters or controlling neurotransmitter biosynthesis,” Kang says. “We suspect that gut microbes may alter levels of neurotransmitter-related metabolites, affecting gut-to-brain communication and/or altering brain function.”

Research has also shown that abnormal and less diverse communities of gut bacteria exist in children with autism.

Does this mean we will find a cure? It seems the biggest obstacle in finding a cure exists at the pharmaceutical level where cures aren’t profitable. But maybe at some point, private funding makes headway. Autism Speaks started an initiative here.

It has been proposed that both antibiotics and vaccines alter gut bacteria. Could this be a window into the reality of the cause? The greater question is, will we ever really know?

Photo by AngelsWings

Photo by jess-sanson

7 Popular Tea Brands That May Be Toxic

Many people turn to tea as a healthier option. In many cases, people are avoiding coffee or sodas and are persuaded by others that tea is a less harmful caffeine infusion. But many of our most popular brands of teas are laden with pesticides and even fluoride. Less expensive teas are often the corrupted versions.

The core issue is that many tea leafs are sprayed with pesticides so that the tea leaf producer doesn’t experience losses. Often, those tea leafs simply aren’t washed before they are placed in tea bags. Once bagged, your options to wash it yourself have greatly dwindled. Pesticides have been linked to carcinogenic toxins.

Additionally, fluoride has been found to be present in these non-organic versions of tea as well. The tea leafs are exposed to the ground and soil, which is often where the fluoride originates from.

A list of compromised tea companies was disclosed by Canadian research team. Those teas were Signal, Tetley, King Cole, Lipton, Uncle Lee’s Legends of China, Twinnings.

Uncle Lee’s Legends of China contained 20 different types of pesticides.

The list of safe teas were as follows, Amazon links included: Organic Traditional Medicinals, Organic Tazo, Two Leaves, Choice Organic Teas, Organic Stash, EDEN Organic, Rishi Tea, Numi Tea, Red Rose.

Some tips on avoiding toxic teas.

White tea is made of younger tea leaves, making their exposure to environmental toxins much less than other teas that have aged more in the soil and air. Buying the tea leaves, rather than prebagged, is always helpful. Obviously, you want to go organic. You want to avoid added flavors (your tea shouldn’t need a flavor added unnaturally). Teas you purchase at restaurants is likely not a good source.

But all’s not bad when it comes to tea, so long as you know the facts and how to approach your tea experience. Teas can be incredibly beneficial to your health. For one, many teas, most notably green tea, contain an amino acid called L-Theanine. L-Theanine helps to take the edge off the caffeine. It is one fo the world’s most powerful mood enhancers. You can take it as a supplement directly (here’s L-Theanine on Amazon). Of, just drink green tea and get your fill. This is why green tea has a less edgy, harsh effect than coffee.

Tea is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals from wreaking havoc on the body. Because of this, tea may help in the fight against many degenerative diseases, including cancer. Tea has also been said to boost the immune system. I drink green tea daily. Coffee is simply too harsh and causes me anxiety and insomnia (even when I only drink it in the mornings). It is also an easy way to get fluids into your body. Green teas contain the highest amounts of polyphenols, and the main type, catechin, which is said to be a pretty good nutrient for weight loss.  This also means protecting the cells from damage. And THIS can mean less effects of aging in the human body.

There are also compounds in green tea which improve brain function. The caffeine mixed with the L-Theanine vastly improves people’s focus. L-Theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. It also pumps up your alpha waves, making your sleep pretty amazing (and sometimes weird). You can drink green tea, or purchase Sun Theanine (the only pure form of L-Theanine outside of green tea). It really is a game changer. I’d never go back to coffee, though some people say they take L-Theanine simply so they can have a better experience on coffee. I’m so used to green tea, I couldn’t imagine going back to coffee, though.

So all is not lost when it comes to drinking tea, you just need to be wise in your approach. Proceed with caution by knowing the facts about tea and you should be able to experience some powerful health benefits. The good news is that tea is very convenient and easy to make for yourself. You aren’t dependent on stores or cafes for it. You can make it in the safe, toxin-free confines of your own home.

Photo by jess-sanson

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How Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil Changed My Life

When I first told my friends I had been oil pulling, they looked at me as if I were crazy. “What’s oil pulling?” they’d say. “Is this another silly alternative health quackery thing?” You sort of have to expect that when you tell people you swish coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day.

But as time has went on, some friends (mostly with desperate dental issues) have tried it and now praise it. One of my friends had a case of bad receding gums, his Dentist told him that in 6 months, he needed a follow-up and likely he’d need further processing to resolve the matter. My friend instead asked me how to oil pull. He told me he’d try it and that the truth would reside in what the Dentist, who would not be told of the pulling, would have to say. Six months later, the Dentist told him his gums were all better. And my friend has pulled ever since.

So before I get to how oil pulling helped me, some of you might be wondering what the heck oil pulling is? That’s fair enough, folks.

Oil pulling means you swish oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day (typically first thing in the morning and typically people use cold pressed coconut oil). I put a teaspoon of coconut oil into my mouth. I swish it around the mouth and “pull” it by sucking it between teeth. I spit it out after 20 minutes (in the garbage, coconut oil can clog your drain). I then rinse my mouth with warm water. And then, well, I brush my teeth and the day begins. The purest will say it MUST be done in the morning, but I’ve never found that to be true. I do it at night sometimes as well and get wonderful results.

So what has doing this amounted to in terms of life improvements for me? Here’s a short, prioritized list.

I began to sleep better.

This was the most immediate effect. The day I started oil pulling, I noticed that I fell into a deep sleep at night. It took a week or so before I related my new found nightly deep slumbers to be related to oil pulling. I’m not here to tell you this will work for you, but I am here to say that it worked for me and it has worked this way for many others. I actually found myself having issues getting up in the morning I was sleeping so deeply, but once I was up, I was good to go: I was revived feeling. As someone commonly prone to restless nights, this unexpected benefit turned into my number one reason for oil pulling.

Plaque fell off my teeth.

I mean this in the literal sense of the description. After about 4 days, I began to notice when I’d spit the oil out that fragments were coming out as well. At first I didn’t realize what they were, but then it became clear. So I ended up getting a dental pick and prodding around, I found that plaque was falling off with relative ease. The oil pulling softens it up and it just unattached from the teeth. Having this happen caused my mouth (and piece of mind) to feel a whole lot better.

My bleeding gums stopped bleeding.

This was becoming a big issue for me. I went to the Dentist a lot over the matter. My gums hurt. Whenever I brushed my teeth, they bled (and hurt). It was tough to even floss due to the pain. I began brushing probably more than I should have. When I started oil pulling, I noticed that some parts of my mouth would bleed almost randomly, without instigation, during the middle of the day or night. At first I was concerned, but others called this a “side effect,” so I kept at it. After about two weeks, I not longer had bleeding gums or pain in my gums.

I felt more energized.

Maybe it was the better sleep, not sure, but I felt a lot more energized after oil pulling. Some say it helps balance blood sugar, which would definitely explain the effect, but I really can’t prove that as the reasoning. All I can say is that the effect was noticeable and defined.

My mouth felt way cleaner.

Brushing never caused my mouth to feel this good. Oil pulling feels like the high-powered car wash spraying every crevice while brushing feels like the bucket of soap and water with a hand-towel. Oil pulling gives your mouth this crazy ultra-clean feeling. I still brush, but I admit, if I had to choose between brushing or pulling, I’d choose pulling.

I broke out, got a flu (yeah, side effects, let’s talk about that).

The good with the bad? Yeah, things happen. I summed it up to a side effect. I got a flu about week into things and noticed acne in places I never have had acne. Could have been anything, of course, but it does seem odd that it happened right when I began oil pulling. Many claim it to be a side effect which happens in the beginning.

But side effect aside, I highly recommend everyone try oil pulling. I really consider it alternative health magic. And it doesn’t cost hardly a thing!

So which coconut oil did I use?

I use this version which is available on Amazon.

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It USED to be found at Costco, but I’m not sure why I never see it anymore. I also use Whole Foods. Here’s the tricky part, I make sure I use “Cold Pressed.” I’ve found that general grocery stores only carry expeller pressed. That means the coconut oil was exposed to heat. Whole Foods tends to have solid variety. Also, Trader Joes coconut oil is cold pressed and they only carry one brand, so you can’t go wrong. I like that one above because it’s so large. You go through it fast if you oil pull and cook with it.

Yes, you can use other oils. Traditionally, sesame oil was used. I didn’t prefer it, but I do use it in a pinch. Most of them are toasted or expeller pressed. Coconut oil seemed to have an almost magical effect.

Leave us a comment below if you oil pull, we’d love to have more stories so others can read them!

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WATCH: Are Your Tomatoes Healthy?

Concerned that you can’t tell the difference between GMO tomatoes and regular healthy tomatoes? Well, you are definitely not alone. But the good news is there is an easy way to tell the difference. And in learning how to tell the difference, we are also exposed to the nasty nature of GMO foods.

Our future is one that will have us unable to depend on appropriate, honest food labeling. So it is incumbent on us to be able to decipher good from bad when it comes to good. This video is a great start to that journey.

 

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Mom Says She’s Found Secret To Cutting Sugar Down In Kid’s Diets

Mom of 6 Leanne discovers the secrets to being more Sugar Smart and you won’t believe how easy it is. Watch as Leanne and her family tackle the challenges and see what changes they make with the help of Change4Life and the Sugar Smart app.

Maybe a good app to help monitor sugar in your kids during the New Year? Would you ever use an app like this?

So how much does sugar affect your children’s lives? Some experts have linked symptoms of ADHD to a high sugar diet in kids. Kids intelligence may suffer from high sugar loads as well, according to recent studies.

But in the end, the subject is polarizing amongst parents, teachers and the medical community. Some believe sugar has been unfairly demonized. In the end, it comes down to what you feel as a parent.

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This Guy Eats Nothing But Raw Meat

So you are thinking about going on the Paleo Diet, are you? Well how much heart do you actually have, folks? And seriously, by “heart,” I mean how much of it do you plan to eat? Vice has recently re-interviewed a guy that only eats raw meat. He’s insane. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I’m not judging at all, but in terms of what our culture is used to, the images in the article are incredibly shocking to “digest.” His name is Derek Nance and he’s from Kentucky. He’s traveled the world consuming local raw meats. He began consuming raw meats due to a “mystery stomach illness” which seemed to be impossible to deal with until he turned to eating a raw meat diet. The interview discloses how Derek is doing now (hint, he has a girlfriend it seems!). We encourage you to check it out.


So wait, is eating raw meat good for us?

Well, lets make a pretty important immediate point: Cooked food, in any case, is processed food. Cooking is processing. And yes, I understand that there is a point of being granular which we don’t want to slide into (such as washing meat or vegetables), however, cooking probably isn’t “too far.” We don’t want to group “cooking meat” in with “Toll House Cookies,” of course, but we also don’t want to assume that cooking meat has no effect on the meat at all. More than making it “safe,” it destroys nutrients (same with vegetables). Minerals, such as vitamins A, D, E and K are stable under heat. But fat soluble vitamins, such as B-vitamins and C tend to break down and suffer substantial losses, at the very least. Vitamin C, of course, is something we could all use more of and often times, people rely on worthless vitamin C pills which aren’t really, vitamin C. But at least vitamin C can be supplied by certain vegetables and fruits. Vitamin B is found in spinach and other items that people tend to eat raw.  But if someone is eating a diet limited to mostly cooked meat (think hard core low carbers), you might be running into some deficiencies.

There is also what’s known as the oxidation of fat. When the fat of meat is exposed to oxygen, it oxidizes. This happens even if you don’t cook it, but, it happens at a much expedited rate when you do cook it. Some believe that oxidized fats are inflammatory and should be avoided. Remember, even if you eat lean meats, they still have fat in them.

In some circles, it is believed that charred meat is cancerous. 

When meat—be it beef, pork, fish, or poultry—is cooked at high temperatures, it forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to the National Cancer Institute, HCAs and PCAs cause cancer in animal models (think: lab rats). So far it’s unclear if humans sprout cancer growths after exposure to HCAs and PHAs, but we aren’t volunteering for any trials to find out for sure.

Meat has long been associated with higher cancer risk, but many sources argue that correlation is not causation when it comes to the studies. A great many other factors, of course, exist, such as hormones / antibiotics found in the meat source and what diet the animal was subjected to while living its life.

But our common sense wisdom says that we cook meat to avoid bacteria and parasites that might do us severe harm. The CDC claims that meat is responsible for 22% of food-borne illnesses. And well, 29% of the deaths. That puts them behind leafy vegetables as the second most dangerous. But this claim, while valid, is wide ranging. It doesn’t dis-include pure, grass fed, organic meats. Any raw foodie is going to tell you that’s a huge difference maker, of course. In other words, maybe raw meat isn’t dangerous, but raw meat from poor sources is.

After this, we get into pretty much the basic premise of raw food eating in general: That’s how humans evolved. For some raw food advocates, cooking is a way of processing which relieves us of vital sources of vitamins and minerals while also putting us at risk for cancer, among other things. Raw, in their eyes, is always better, even when it comes to meat. But what if cooking HELPED humans evolve, rather than served as a detriment to their evolution. That’s exactly what one study from 2009 proposes.

This means that however sophisticated the non-thermal processing methods were, cooking would have conferred incremental energetic benefits. While much remains to be discovered, we conclude that the adoption of cooking would have led to an important rise in energy availability. For this reason, we predict that cooking had substantial evolutionary significance.

This isn’t to say that what Mr. Nance is doing isn’t helping him. He had an ailment which Doctors couldn’t resolve (we all most certainly understand that). He changed his diet and resolved it himself (boy, do we ever understand that). The key question is if it had to be raw meat, or if potentially some other variable exists. We all know that changing a diet is a complex matter. You leave out one item, you feel worse or better, you decide that item was the culprit. Then later you realize you also left out another item due to the complexity that is food and diet.

Many of us eat for various reason. Some are driven by animal ethics, while others are driven by cancer prevention. Some even eat for increased concentration or to help them have a baby. The list goes on. In the end and all things being equal, a diet, no matter how grotesque or shocking it may seem, is a pretty personal experience. This includes Mr. Nance and his vampire cocktail.

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Pesticide Found In Milk Linked To Parkinson’s

Milk. It does the body good, right? Not always. Dairy is constantly under health scrutiny anymore and this month’s study into a pesticide found to have been used in milk decades ago is reviving that scrutiny. The pesticide, heeptachlor epoxide, was used in the 1980’s. It’s first used on pineapples. It made its way into the milk supply when cows began eating remnants of pineapples in Hawaii.

The study showed that non-smokers who drank more than two cups of milk per day were significantly more likely to develop Parkinson’s. The study originally was supposed to monitor the effects of aging, hence the average age of each participant was 54.

For the study, 449 Japanese-American men with an average age of 54 who participated in the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study were followed for more than 30 years and until death, after which autopsies were performed. Tests looked at whether participants had lost brain cells in the substantia nigra area of the brain, which occurs in Parkinson’s disease and can start decades before any symptoms begin. Researchers also measured in 116 brains the amount of residue of a pesticide called heptachlor epoxide. The pesticide was found at very high levels in the milk supply in the early 1980s in Hawaii, where it was used in the pineapple industry. It was used to kill insects and was removed from use in the US around that time. The pesticide may also be found in well water.

The study found that nonsmokers who drank more than two cups of milk per day had 40 percent fewer brain cells in that area of the brain than people who drank less than two cups of milk per day. For those who were smokers at any point, there was no association between milk intake and loss of brain cells. Previous studies have shown that people who smoke have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

This isn’t dairy’s first run in with being linked to Parkinson’s. Here’s a study from 2007 that cited similar findings.

In this large observational study, we found that higher dairy consumption was associated with increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. The association was stronger in men and was mostly explained by milk consumption.

What’s further interesting is that the pesticide link isn’t full proof; in other words, the milk itself isn’t ruled out as the actual cause. The researchers were quick to point out that the study’s results could have been based on “chance.” And that the milk was never tested for the pesticide in question. In any case, heeptachlor epoxide isn’t used as a pesticide anymore.

Parkinson’s affects roughly 1 million people in the states and it has no cure.

 

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Lemon Water Is Flat Out Amazing

Did you know that adding lemon to water will actually help quench your thirst more efficiently than water alone? Wait, this isn’t me saying water isn’t the ultimate human resource for vitality (it is), this is just me saying that adding some lemon can make it an even better experience. Lemon infused water means the body is being nourished with minerals and vitamins. When you wake up in the morning, it is likely you are a little dehydrated. This is natural. Drinking water with lemon will help hydrate, nourish the body, help kidney function and make you feel way more energetic. I know many of you may start your morning off with coffee, but really, trading in at least one coffee for lemon water can be a huge life-changing experience.

I don’t like to write these articles without having an attached, real-experience. Meaning, I like to write about it as from my experience in doing it and not just what “everyone says should happen.” I’ve always had a propensity towards caffeine, namely coffee. I know there are a lot of articles out there citing coffee as healthy, I’m not going to debate the matter, but I will say that once I started replacing my morning coffee with water with lemon, I started feeling a lot better. I didn’t quit coffee, I just moved it. Instead of having it first thing in the morning, I moved it to the afternoon so that I could start my day off better. So in some ways, the great effects of water with lemon could be just the fact that I cut back on caffeine.

What have I noticed? I notice I am sick less than ever. I eat pretty well (I mean this is my site, so of course!), but the water with lemon seems to have really stimulated my immune system. I have also found that if I drink coffee first thing in the morning, it causes a delayed appetite. Meaning, around noon, I’m starving (more than just the normal lunch hunger). When I start with water infused with lemon, I feel way more stable. I feel less hungry and the food I do crave is on the healthier side. The reason? The lemon is providing nourishment causing my body to not crave bad things. The water with lemon makes me feel satiated and satisfied.

When you wake up in the morning, you want to hydrate the body AND add nourishment of vitamins and minerals. To me, coffee was accomplishing none of that and in fact, probably just dehydrating me more. The “first thing in the morning” spot is really huge for infusing the body with hydration and health. What better way to start the day?

Do what do you say, coffee drinkers? Why not try replacing that cup of joe? And those who don’t drink coffee first thing, try this anyways. You really can’t go wrong! I wrote a few good reasons to try it out.

Water with lemon means electrolytes. Electrolytes are a big deal, but not because Gatorade made them so. It is more because electrolytes are the key source for our body’s balance. Electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium are central to our body’s function.

It helps your digestion. The citric acid in lemons helps stimulate gastric acids which help get your digestion working. It helps to detoxify you.

It will cleanse your liver. Lemons in water cleanse the liver, which acts as a detoxification system for the body. Cleansing the liver is central to health and vitality.

Lemon is anti-inflammatory. It will help your immune function.

High levels of potassium can often mean lower occurrence of depression. The nervous system needs potassium for proper function. People with low levels of potassium often also report feelings of depression.

It can help lower blood pressure.

It’s a vitamin C load! Vitamin C is great for the immune system and preventing sickness. Want to always be fighting colds? Water with lemon is the solution.

It can help dissolve gallstones and kidney stones. 

Really, this is a win for anyone who tries it! You can’t go wrong!

 

 

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What One Can Of Coke Does To Your Body In Less Than One Hour

Hardly anyone these days is under the impression that drinking sodas is in any way, healthy. In fact, sodas may well be the very unhealthiest of all the unhealthy possible options available to us. Soda serves no health benefit. They have no fiber to help blunt the massive sugar loads they deliver. They aren’t a natural source of vitamins or minerals. They aren’t calorically dense. In fact, as you will see in the graphic below courtesy of the RenegadePharmacist, they add in chemicals to help you refrain from vomiting the poison sugar loads.

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And don’t think for a second that “diet” versions of these drinks are any better. In fact, many studies show them to actually be worse than their regular version counterparts. Sounds insane, right? Well often times the body treats fake sugar like real sugar, elicit an insulin response. Many people report huge weight loss and big health benefits just from ceasing consumption of sodas. If you still drink sodas, you might consider this.

image credit: pixabay