Food Truth Freedom

Your food, where it comes from & what's in it


Common Medications Impair Brain Function & May Contribute To Alzheimer’s

Many OTC or prescribed medications may contribute to decreased brain function or Alzheimer's in older adults.

Many OTC or prescribed medications may contribute to decreased brain function or Alzheimer’s in older adults.

You might be taking some of the following medications for hay fever and allergies: Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl or Dimetapp.

Perhaps you’re on antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs: Zanax, Abilify, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Valium, Paxil or Seroquel.

Heartburn or GERD?  You might be taking:  Zantac, Tagamet or Librax.

Can’t sleep?  Unisom or any  over-the-counter antihistamines or sleep medications containing Diphenhydramine.

These and many other common medications used in treatment for high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, blood thinners and ulcers could contribute to a shrinking brain and possibly Alzheimer’s.

A recent study by the Indiana University School of Medicine, and published in JAMA Neurology, found that these medications inhibit an important brain chemical, acetylcholine, which is crucial to transmission in electrical impulses between cells.  PET scans were used to monitor brain metabolism of acetylcholine. MRIs measured brain shrinkage.  Nearly half of all Alzheimer’s patients receive medications which worsen their symptoms.

Acetylcholine also acts within the central nervous system which controls motivation, arousal and attention.  It has been shown that deterioration of pathways related to synthesis of acetylcholine could be a contributor to Alzheimer’s.

Anticholinergic drug users also showed lower levels of glucose metabolism — a biomarker for brain activity — in both the overall brain and in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory and which has been identified as affected early by Alzheimer’s disease.

When these drugs are taken or prescribed for those over the age of 50 and the elderly, increased episodes of confusion have been observed.  The more damaging drugs,  called anticholinergics, when taken continuously for 60 days or more, revealed higher instances of dementia and brain shrinkage.

CLICK HERE for the list of ratings of common medications.

An EASIER TO READ CHART is available in this article.


Teflon & Non-Stick Cookware: Is It Truly Safe?

DuPont swears teflon is safe. I've had my doubts over the years.

DuPont swears teflon is safe. I’ve had my doubts over the years.

I never felt comfortable with Teflon cookware since its introduction in the 1960’s.  Intuitively, something bothered me about Teflon and still does to this day. As a result I’ve never used it, favoring instead cast iron or stainless steel.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a polymerization aid originally used for many years in the manufacture of PTFE, also known as Teflon nonstick cookware. These fluorocarbons do not exist in nature.  For over 45 years DuPont hid evidence that PFOA was potentially harmful, causing higher incidences of thyroid, pancreatic, testicular and liver disease.   The EPA has ruled PFOA a “likely carcinogen.”

Ten years ago DuPont was fined 16.5 million by the EPA over the cover-up of its findings on C8, one of the chemicals used in the manufacture of Teflon. C8 is also found in other non-stick products: stain resistant coatings on furniture, carpets, clothing, household items, microwave popcorn bags, disposable paper plates, fast food wrappers and many other applications.  Additionally, DuPont was responsible for keeping its workers in the dark -and- literally poisoning the drinking water in the Ohio River Valley for decades.  Phase out of PFOA was ordered ten years ago.

Questions have been raised by the scientific community regarding the prevalence of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) which have been shown to break down little, if at all.  They are classed as “persistent chemicals” which means they stay in the body after ingestion or inhalation.

Research indicates that PFOAs are not metabolized by the body and are in the bloodstream of about 98% of the population.

A 2014 report commissioned by the European Food Safety Authority assessed numerous studies relating to the “oral toxicity of PFASs in humans”. The report’s authors concluded that many “PFASs appear to correlate with cytotoxicity,”meaning they are toxic to cells.

DuPont swears this stuff is safe.  There were warnings about earlier versions of Teflon flaking and dangers associated when heated at high temperatures.  The temperature warnings still exist: those exceeding 500 degrees, and DuPont doesn’t seem concerned about it. However, The Environmental Working Group studies find that preheated pans do top well over the 500 degree range, sometimes into 6 or 700 degrees.  Also to be considered – incidences of “teflon flu” – polymer fume fever – which causes coughing and tightness in the chest.  Pet birds are particularly sensitive to out-gassing of teflon and can die if exposed to fumes when pans are overheated.

Even though newer pans are marketed as PFOA-free there are still concerns that they may contain other PFASs.

My thoughts?  Why cook with something potentially dangerous?  I don’t care what DuPont says. You’re cooking on a surface made from a chemical polymer where tests have proven it to be an increased risk of absorbing chemicals.

A much safer bet would be to use stainless steel or, my personal favorite, cast iron.  A well-seasoned iron pan works just like teflon and is far healthier.  Here’s how to care for cast iron.  Simple!

RELATED:

Environmental Health Perspectives:  The Madrid Statement on Poly and Perfluoroakyl Substances (PFAS)

New York Times:  The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.


Eating Yogurt? Dannon’s Activia: A Total RIPOFF

Dannon's claim to have a "special" yogurt culture is nothing more than their patented name for "bifidus," something found in ALL yogurts.

Dannon’s claim to have a “special” yogurt culture is nothing more than their patented name for “bifidus,” something found in ALL yogurts.

I’ve been eating yogurt all my life and one yogurt I will never eat is Dannon’s Activia.  It’s far too expensive and it’s a rip-off.

Dannon touts their “bifidus regularis” as being unique.

It’s not.

It’s just a variation, bifidobacterium lactis DN-173010 which belongs to the common bacteria found in other yogurts bifidobacterium animalis – all of them much less expensive than Activia.  What Dannon has done is to patent the name, “Bifidus regularis” to make it seem like something really special.

It’s not.

Other patented names Dannon uses are:  Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, Bifidobacterium Lactis and its variants,  are marketing names Dannon for one of the specific bacteria it uses in its “Activia” range of yogurt products sold throughout the world.

I prefer to call their name, “Bifidus Bullshitus.”

Dannon was sued – and lost – for falsely claiming that Activia and Dan-Active yogurt drinks could be “clinically proven to help strengthen your body’s defenses.”   Their insistence that their yogurt products contained something magical, “L. casei Immunitas,” another name made up by Dannon, is actually Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 – and found in all yogurt.

So in other words, you’re really getting ripped off when you pay a lot of money for those little green containers versus a larger one of something like Stonyfield Farm – which BTW, is organic.

No artificial ingredients in this yogurt. READ LABELS!

No artificial ingredients in this yogurt.

 

The basic cultures used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Additional probiotics are often added. Common ones are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus.

READ LABELS! Many of Yoplait's brands have artificial ingredients and unnecessary ingredients.

READ LABELS! Many of Yoplait’s brands have artificial ingredients and unnecessary ingredients.

Many yogurts contain artificial ingredients. Yoplait is one of them. Read “What’s Under The Lid” from the Yoplait site. They admit to using these additives such as artificial sweeteners: “Some of our products contain artificial sweeteners. Sweeteners let us deliver an amazing taste without adding calories.”

Like Dannon, they also color their yogurt with something called “carmine,” an FDA legally allowed ingredient sometimes indicated on the label as “crimson lake,” “cochineal,” or “carminic acid.”

Dannon's Activia contains "carmine," and only says "active cultures," not "live cultures" which are more beneficial.

Dannon’s Activia contains “carmine,” and only says “active cultures,” not “live cultures” which are more beneficial.

It’s actually the skin of an insect called  cochineal beetles, used in cosmetics and other applications, and is in other foods for colors of red, pink and purple. It can also cause hives, itching, asthmatic reactions or, in extremely rare cases, anaphylactic shock.

READ LABELS! Those with “live & active cultures” are far more beneficial than products made with “active cultures,” which may have been heat-treated after fermentation which will kill beneficial bacteria. Make sure you buy yogurts containing “acidolphilus” and “bifidobacteria” that can withstand stomach acid and get to the colon alive – thus giving more benefit.

Thus the old adage proves true:  “less is more.”  Read labels, become informed and you’ll find all that hype is just that.  Don’t fall for Dannon’s “Bifidus Bullshitus.”

RELATED:

FDA “GRAS” (Generally Regarded As Safe)  List

Center For Science In The Public Interest:  “Berries Over Bugs.”


FDA Approves GMO Salmon

The FDA just approved genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

The FDA just approved genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

GMO salmon was just approved  for human consumption by the FDA as reported by the Center For Food Safety.  This is yet another breach of trust of the American people that the FDA has to offer.

As  I previously reported  on this site 2 years ago, “FDA Says Frankenfish No Different,”  the FDA has obviously ignored the millions of American people, over 40 members of Congress, as well as environmental, large sections of the fishing industry, animal rights activists and restaurant industry and food companies alike.

This is yet another travesty linking the FDA’s total lack of common sense and concern for the American people as well as the environment.

It has become very clear in the past few years that the FDA, along with other agencies designed to protect the people of this country like the EPA and USDA — have been bought and influenced by “Big Food,” Big Ag,” and the chemical and biotech industries.

This has got to stop!

Speaking on behalf of the Center For Food Safety, Executive Director Andrew Kimball said:

“The review process by FDA was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the salmon’s introduction, and lacked a comprehensive analysis. This decision sets a dangerous precedent, lowering the standards of safety in this country. CFS will hold FDA to their obligations to the American people.”

Continuing on,

“FDA has not acted in good faith with the American people. Rather than informing the public, FDA’s announcement appears to be intended to minimize public awareness.”

This is the latest in a string of approvals for federal agencies which will ultimately harm the environment and continue poisoning us.  In February, the EPA approved Dow Chemical’s “Enlist” herbicide:  a combination of glyphosate (Round-Up) and 2-4-D (Atrazine) to combat the weed-resistance CAUSED BY ROUND-UP!

I wrote extensively about this in 2012; the effects on human health of 2-4-D, which is a component of “Agent Orange.”

GMO salmon is just another step in the bastardizing and takeover of our food.

Where will it end?


Double Death Cocktail: Dow’s Enlist Duo – Roundup and 2-4-D

Skull-cossbones

Dow Agro Sciences is seeking approval for a new type of weed killer combining Round-Up and 2-4-D.  The EPA is considering approval of Enlist-Duo, a potent cocktail to help struggling farmers battle super weeds caused by Roundup.

This is a nightmare scenario.  Round-up and 2-4-D are already in widespread use by not only farmers but also homeowners.

We are slowly poisoning ourselves to death!

The major concern is children’s health.  As children absorb chemicals at a tenfold rate as compared to adults, this is particularly troubling. As shown on an interactive map, there are approximately 11,000 schools that are within 1,000 feet of corn or soy fields.  Another 5,600 schools are within 200 feet!

Dow Agro Sciences downplays the effects of their Round-Up and 2-4-D concoction, saying that the 2-4-D “is not your Granddad’s 2-4-D” meaning it doesn’t have as much potential for drift. Still, this is a potent mix of chemicals shown to have adverse health effects.  Numerous studies have shown a link between cancer and reproductive dysfunctions.  

I have a bad feeling about this.  Considering the EPA’s record of past approvals, and the fact that basically – let’s admit it, folks – the EPA is in the pocket of Dow Chemicals. It will not surprise me a bit if the pleas of over a half million people  went unheard and the EPA granted approval for this poison.

Mark my words:  I predict that in a few years this same concoction will be available in a lesser form, marketed to homeowners!

 RELATED:

Huff Post: Federal Support For Potent Weedkiller Raises Fears About Children’s Health

Wikipedia: Enlist Duo Herbicide


Roundup Is More Toxic Than You Think

roundup

You’ve got weeds.  You hate them because they wreck your picture-perfect lawn.  What do you do? You run to Home Depot or Lowe’s and pick up a container of Roundup.  Easy! Round Up will take care of your weeds.  You probably don’t give a second thought to it!

You should!

Roundup (glyphosate) is one of the top-selling lawn and agricultural chemicals in the world.  The United States uses 25% of  Round Up.

You’re probably eating a lot of Roundup, too.  The typical American diet consists of processed foods. 80% of the corn, soy and sugar beets, which are commonplace in a Western diet, are genetically modified. The plants themselves are made resistant to the effects of Roundup. It is a systemic herbicide meaning the plant absorbs it into all its cells. Because the plant has genetically modified organisms, (GMO) – repeated applications of Roundup will not kill it as it will non-GMO plants.

Contrary to what Monsanto will tell you, Round-Up is known to kill embryos, (miscarriages) placental and umbilical cord cells and cause low birth weight.  It is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor.  (read CANCER here!) It is shown to increase instances of cancer like non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast and myeloma – bone cancer.

The inert chemicals in it – which are NOT harmless, by the way – intensify its toxicity. One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was found to be more deadly to embryonic cells than the glyphosate alone!  This inert chemical is intended to let the Round-Up penetrate the plant’s exterior cells.

Roundup is designed to disrupt cells in a plant. It also does this in the human body.  Many studies have confirmed that Roundup causes disruption in benefits of beneficial gut bacteria and destroys the “good” gut bacteria which has been found to  correlate to the immune system and digestive system functioning.  Autoimmune disease, heart disease, autism, Alzheimer’s and leaky gut syndrome are other maladies caused by cell disruption.  The depletion of critical nutrients, which in turn protect us from an array of diseases like cancer and heart disease, is another indication of the effects of Roundup.

A study in Argentina in an area of  prolonged Round-up usage has found a high incidence of birth defects and cancers.  This is also the disturbing trend here in the United States in the Midwest where a lot of the (GMO) crops like corn and soy corn are grown.

Additionally, there has been a strong link to amphibian mutations as a result of contaminated groundwater.  Runoff from yards and fields where Roundup has been sprayed has led to a rise in birth defects in frogs.  There is a large amount of evidence that Roundup is also responsible for decline in the North American tadpole species.  It is also suspected that Roundup is responsible for decimating the Monarch butterfly population.

Monsanto has continuously derided all claims of its toxicity, despite numerous studies to the contrary.

For an in-depth look into the dangers of Roundup and GMO crops, watch this video by Jeffrey Smith.  It’s long but worth the watch!

 

RELATED

Monsanto Roundup: Impacts of Glyphosate Herbicide On Human Health – Pathways To Modern Diseases (by Anthony Samsell and Stephanie Sennef)

Monsanto Punishes Naysayers

http://www.ncparc.org/pubs/Herbicide%20Choices%20&%20Amphibian%20Conservation.pdf


The Insidious Damage Of Alcohol

I quit drinking – cold turkey – 30 years ago this year.  It was the vacant stare of my mother’s eyes that did it.  She was completely incapacitated following a number of strokes – could not speak or move;  trapped in her body.

I think that alcohol had something to do with it. She had been a heavy drinker for many years.

boozeShortly after she died, a friend mentioned to me that drinking alcohol was a major factor in hardening of the arteries of the brain.  All I could see was my mother’s distant stare; remember her making the three grunting noises that I later realized she was trying to say: “I love you.”

That statement made by my friend affected me so.  I didn’t want to end up like my mother – and it set me on the path to realization that I had a problem with alcohol.

I read somewhere that alcohol is not something that the human body cannot effectively metabolize.  It’s literally poison to us.  Still, because of societal pressure, we force ourselves to become accustomed to it. Any of us who have ever had a drink can probably remember when we first tried it – how sick it made us. That was our body trying to tell us not to drink it.

Alcohol permeates  all the cells in your body when you drink. Following are some of its effects:

CANCER~  Alcohol increases the chance of developing cancer of the breast, liver, pancreas, esophagus,  mouth, larynx and pharynx.  A study involving 1.5 million middle-aged women during 7 years found that drinkers are more likely to develop cancer of the colon, rectum, breast, liver, throat and esophagus.  It also concluded that with each drink, no matter how little or what kind of alcohol, the risk for cancer was substantially raised.  (Although men were not a part of this study, is it assumed that the risks would be about the same.)  In addition, the breakdown of alcohol causes the production of acetylaldehyde, which damages the genetic material in the cells and prevents them from repairing themselves. Acetylaldehyde also can allow the cells to grow at an increased rate; hence the connection to cancer.

LIVER~  Fatty liver, the earliest stage of alcoholic liver disease, causes the body to be ineffective in ridding itself of toxins. In its attempt to deal with the alcohol, the liver produces even more toxins, thus causing further damage.  Fibrosis, scarring of tissue in the liver, is the precursor of cirrhosis.  Cirrhosis of the liver means that it is unable to remove toxins, fight infections and absorb nutrients.  As liver function weakens, jaundice, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and even liver cancer are probable.

HEART~  Drinking is very hard on the heart.  It causes increased chances of developing cardiomyopathy, the stretching of the heart muscle which leads to decreased functioning. Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) as well as heart attack, elevated cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure) and stroke are other risks.  Heavy alcohol consumption also increases the production of stress hormones which causes blood vessels to constrict.

BONES~  Alcohol’s diuretic actions flush calcium from the bones which increases risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

PANCREAS~  Pancreatitis  is a serious inflammation of the pancreas and swelling of its blood vessels wherein the pancreas can no longer properly aid digestion.

BRAIN~  Alcohol shrinks and disrupts brain tissue; may inhibit new cell growth.  It can cause depression, agitation, memory loss and behavioral changes.

IMMUNE SYSTEM~  Consuming alcohol weakens the immune system, making an easier pathway for disease. (also see “cancer” above)

RELATED:

Beyond Hangovers:  Alcohol’s Effect On Your Health

Alcohol Dependence