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Health Bits and Pieces

Introduction. We habitually think of our bodies as chemical factories, and don’t realize to what extent they are also electronic mechanisms. Over one-third of the oxygen we breathe and around half of the food we eat are used to maintain electric charges across cell membranes. Authorities have been telling the public for decades that the intense and widespread man-made electromagnetic radiation presents no health threat because there are no ionizing effects (like X-rays or nuclear radiation) and no thermal effects – in other words, it doesn’t heat body tissues (think microwave oven). The sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMF) particularly in the extremely low frequency (ELF) spectrum, are power lines, cell phones, Wi-Fi, and much more. This level of radiation is many times stronger than from natural sources.

By Dan Kenner, Ph.D, L.Ac.

Dan Kenner, Ph.D, L. Ac. writes a quarterly column for Health Freedom News called Health Bits and Pieces. This wisdom keeps you abreast of current developments in health and health freedom from a healer's perspective. If you'd like to receive this hot off the press, sign up for membership in the National Health Federation and enjoy a complimentary members-only copy four times a year.

And their hard teeth hurt when they bite

A recent Harvard University study has shown that water fluoridation can have a harmful effect on brain function. Children in high-fluoride areas were found to have significantly lower IQs than those who lived in no-fluoride or low-fluoride areas. The children researched in the study were up to 14 years of age, and there is some speculation that young brains may not be able to fully develop, especially if the toxicity caused damage at a very early age. Researcher Philippe Grandjean commented that “Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain. The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”

Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P, “Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Environmental Health Perspectives 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104912.

Drink and Be Merry

Ecclesiastes 31:35: “Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful.”

 

Traditional Medicine

Most of us have heard about the “healthy French heart,” also called the “French paradox.” It was observed that the French have a lower rate of heart disease than the U.S. despite levels of dietary fat consumption equal to the U.S. and other developed nations. Consumption of red wine turned out to be an important key to the puzzle. This observation and subsequent research has helped debunk the idea that the cause of heart disease is a high-fat diet and also the idea that wine consumption is harmful to our health. Within even the last few years, research on the powerful health benefits of wine polyphenols, especially the flavonoids (pigments found in numerous fruits and vegetables), has accumulated at an ever-increasing rate. But the tradition of wine as a medicine as well as a food has a long tradition.

Acupuncture in the Modern World

Acupuncture is the treatment method of stimulating points on the body, using thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation. The traditional Chinese theory is based on balancing the flow of qi, which is considered to be the force that animates life.

Blood Sugar and Spice.

Cinnamon may be useful in regulating glucose metabolism in diabetic patients. Cinnamon inhibits an enzyme that helps metabolize carbohydrates into simple sugars, which would prevent a blood sugar drop after eating. 

Shihabudeen HM, Hansi P, Kavitha Thirumurugan K, “Cinnamon extract inhibits α-glucosidase activity and dampens postprandial glucose excursion in diabetic rats,” Nutrition & Metabolism, 2011, 8:46 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-8-46.

Big Brother Loves You!

It’s that time of the year when the government shows its concern for our well-being by trying to terrify us into getting flu shots. In the Fall, the CDC goes into overdrive working in vaccine manufacturers’ interests by conducting campaigns to increase the rate of flu vaccination. The CDC has repeatedly used what has now become a well-known statistic of 36,000 Americans dying from the flu annually; but this statistic is inaccurate because the great majority of these cases were never tested for the presence of the flu virus. The statistics include death from “associated” pneumonia. It also ignores other factors that contribute to the incidence of pneumonia such as stomach acid-suppressing drugs, immunosuppressive drugs, and surgical anesthesia. According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), “influenza and pneumonia” took 62,034 lives in 2001 – 61,777 of which were attributed to pneumonia and 257 to flu, and influenza virus was only positively identified in 18 cases. The CDC states that the historic 1968-69 “Hong Kong flu” pandemic killed 34,000 Americans. At the same time, CDC claims 36,000 Americans annually die from flu. What’s up with that? Several years ago an article in the British Medical Journal soberly stated that, “If flu is in fact not a major cause of death, this public relations approach is surely exaggerated. Moreover, by arbitrarily linking flu with pneumonia, current data are statistically biased.”

And on the 7th day they rested

In recent years researchers in biotechnology have advanced genetic science to where it is possible to manipulate the DNA codes of all plants or animals. Monsanto has become the leader in this field and has re-coded the DNA of wheat, rice, soybeans, corn, and cotton. The DNA codes cause the plant to end the reproductive cycle so that there is no subsequent generation of seeds. This makes seeds for each year’s crop a new market cycle. The technology patent system turns the seeds into a patentable product that has to be re-purchased every year, making naturally-produced seeds obsolete.

The Japanese nuclear disaster should be of concern to us all for many reasons, including the fact that there are nuclear reactors in California built on tectonic faults.  So this issue’s column is adopting a slightly different format to present critical protective information to you.

Iodine is important for the period of time after exposure to radiation in which radioactive iodine is present.  Taking iodine in the form of potassium iodide is intended to saturate the chemical binding sites in the thyroid to prevent proteins in the thyroid gland from forming chemical bonds with radioactive iodine.  Iodine offers no protection from any of the other radioactive elements, all of which have much longer half lives than iodine, except for thyroid support in some cases.  There are several forms of iodine for oral use, such as iodoral and Lugol’s solution.  It is advisable to consult with your health-care provider before using iodine supplementation. 

Chemotherapy Spreads Cancer. The chemotherapy drug taxol causes cancer cell “micro-tentacles” to grow longer and tumor cells to reattach to a new site more rapidly. If treated with taxol before surgery to shrink the primary tumor, the number of circulating tumor cells increases by a factor of 1,000 to 10,000. This can potentially increase the likelihood of metastasis. Researchers at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center have discovered that these “microtentacles” appear to play a vital role in how cancer cells spread to distant locations in the body. For the reasons mentioned above, the research team found the popular chemotherapy drug to be counter-productive. [University of Maryland Medical Center (2010, March 15), “Microtentacles' on tumor cells appear to play role in how breast cancer spreads,” Science Daily, retrieved September 5, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­]

Radiation Exposure for Breast Cancer Protection.  The benefit of mammography in screening for breast cancer was questioned by a Danish study.  Researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Institute in Copenhagen were “unable to find an effect of the Danish screening program on breast cancer mortality.”  The same conclusion has been reached by similar studies in other countries.  A 2005 study suggested that screening had reduced breast cancer deaths by 25% in Copenhagen, but researchers Karsten Jørgensen and Peter Gøtzsche observed serious flaws in the study design that led to that conclusion and carried out a more comprehensive study.  The researchers found that breast cancer mortality declined twice as much in non-screened areas and they suggested that the reductions in breast cancer mortality are probably better explained by changes in risk factors or improved treatment than by screening mammography.  [Jørgensen KJ, Zahl P-H, Gøtzsche PC, “Breast cancer mortality in organised mammography screening in Denmark: comparative study,” British Medical Journal, 2010;340:c1241.]

Electromagnetic Hazards.. The safety of new wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and cell phones is evaluated by standards that are obsolete, based on a plethora of studies on the effects of electromagnetism on health. Old safety standards consider radiation to be safe if it is not ionizing like X-rays and nuclear radiation, or heat-producing like microwaves. Accumulating research evidence shows that these standards are far behind scientific progress in understanding effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF) radiation on health. Some of the most serious disorders associated with ELF and RF exposures include childhood and adult leukemia, childhood and adult brain tumors, and increased risk of the neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). There are also reports of increased risk of breast cancer, pathological leakage of the blood-brain barrier, altered immune function including increased allergic and inflammatory responses, miscarriage, and some cardiovascular effects and sleep disruption. [C. Sage, D.O. Carpenter, “Public health implications of wireless technologies,” Pathophysiology (2009), doi:10.1016/j.pathophys.2009.01.011]