How Excess Iron Raises Your Risk for Alzheimer’s

By Dr. Mercola

While dietary iron is essential for optimal health1 — being a key part of proteins and enzymes and playing an important role in energy production and the regulation of cell growth and differentiation, among other things — too much iron in your body can have serious ramifications.2 One of the most important roles of iron is to provide hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells) a mechanism through which it can bind to oxygen and carry it throughout your tissues.

Without proper oxygenation, your cells cannot function properly and eventually die. Common symptoms of insufficient iron include fatigue, decreased immunity or iron-deficiency anemia, which can be serious if left untreated. However, your body has a very limited capacity to excrete iron, which means it can build up in your tissues and organs. This is problematic, as iron is a potent oxidizer, capable of damaging tissues, including your vascular system and brain, thereby raising your risk for both heart disease and dementia.

Excess Iron ‘Rusts’ Your Brain

You’re probably familiar with the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a buildup of amyloid beta plaque in the brain. According to recent research3,4 from the Netherlands, buildup of iron, causing a rusting effect in the brain, also plays an important role and is common in most Alzheimer’s patients. As noted by the authors:

“In the presence of the pathological hallmarks of [Alzheimer’s disease], iron is accumulated within and around the amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, mostly as ferrihydrite inside ferritin, hemosiderin and magnetite.

The co-localization of iron with amyloid-beta has been proposed to constitute a major source of toxicity. Indeed, in vitro, amyloid-beta has been shown to convert ferric iron to ferrous iron, which can act as a catalyst for the Fenton reaction to generate toxic free radicals, which in turn result in oxidative stress.”

Addressing excess iron may therefore be an effective treatment option. A primary focus of conventional treatment so far has been to clear amyloid proteins, but while the approach seems logical, such attempts have met with limited success. Now, researchers suggest clearing out excess iron may be a more effective way to reduce damage and slow or prevent the disease process.

Previous Research Supports Rusty Brain Link

This is not the first time scientists have noted a link between excess iron and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In 2012, animal research5 suggested a link between abnormal iron metabolism and amyloid beta accumulation. When iron levels in the blood were reduced using an iron chelator, levels of beta-amyloid and phosphorylated tau protein — which disrupt the ability of neurons to conduct electrical signals — both reverted back to normal.

Interestingly, and unfortunately, this still did not reduce the generation of reactive oxygen species. Nor did it actually lower the level of iron in the brain itself. According to the authors:

“These results demonstrate that deferiprone [an iron chelating drug] confers important protection against hypercholesterolemia-induced AD pathology but the mechanism(s) may involve reduction in plasma iron and cholesterol levels rather than chelation of brain iron. We propose that adding an antioxidant therapy to deferiprone may be necessary to fully protect against cholesterol-enriched diet-induced AD-like pathology.”

In 2013, UCLA researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients tend to have iron accumulation in the hippocampus, and that the iron is responsible for the damage seen in that area. The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.6 According to the researchers, the damage that eventually results in clinical signs of Alzheimer’s really begin with iron’s destruction of myelin — the fatty coating around your brain’s nerve fibers.

This disrupts communication between neurons and promotes the buildup of beta amyloid plaque, which in turn destroys even more myelin. As explained by UCLA:7

“Myelin is produced by cells called oligodendrocytes. These cells, along with myelin, have the highest levels of iron of any cells in the brain … and circumstantial evidence has long supported the possibility that brain iron levels might be a risk factor for age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. Although iron is essential for cell function, too much of it can promote oxidative damage, to which the brain is especially vulnerable.”

A 2015 study8 showed that patients with higher iron levels deteriorated earlier and faster than those with low iron. Here, elevated cerebrospinal fluid iron levels were shown to be strongly correlated with the presence of the Alzheimer’s risk allele, APOE-e4. According to the authors, “These findings reveal that elevated brain iron adversely impacts on AD progression, and introduce brain iron elevation as a possible mechanism for APOE-e4 being the major genetic risk factor for AD.”

Research9 published last year in the journal JAMA Neurology also identified brain iron load “as a pathogenic mechanism” in Alzheimer’s, and again linked high iron with the presence of the high-risk genetic mutation APOE-e4. As noted by the authors, “The ?4 allele of APOE confers the greatest genetic risk for Alzheimer disease, and recent data implicate brain-iron load as a pathogenic mechanism because ?4 carriage elevates the level of cerebrospinal fluid ferritin.”

How Do You End Up With Excessive Iron?

While iron-deficiency or anemia is commonly checked for, many doctors are still misinformed about the dangers of iron overload, which is actually a far more common problem. In fact, most men and postmenopausal women are at risk for iron overload since blood loss is the primary way to lower excess iron. The following can also cause or exacerbate high iron:

  • Cooking in iron pots or pans. Cooking acidic foods in these types of pots or pans will cause even higher levels of iron absorption.
  • Eating processed food products like cereals and white breads fortified with iron. The iron used in these products is inorganic iron, which has more in common with rust than the bioavailable iron found in meat.
  • Drinking well water high in iron. The key here is to make sure you have some type of iron precipitator and/or a reverse osmosis water filter.
  • Taking multiple vitamins and mineral supplements, as both of these frequently have iron in them.

There’s also an inherited disease, hemochromatosis, which causes your body to accumulate excessive and dangerously damaging levels of iron. About 1 in 3.5 or an estimated 100 million people in the U.S. have the single gene for hemochromatosis.10 Approximately 1 million people have the double gene variant, considered the genotype most predictive of liver disease complications.

Iron Testing and Maintaining an Ideal Level

The serum ferritin test measures your stored iron. I strongly suggest most adults seriously consider getting a serum ferritin test on an annual basis to confirm you’re neither too high nor too low. Keep in mind that (as with many other lab tests) the “normal” ranges for serum ferritin are far from ideal.11 In some labs, a level of 200 to 300 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) falls within the normal range for women and men respectively, which is far too high for optimal health.

An ideal level for adult men and non-menstruating women is between 40 and 60 ng/mL. You do not want to be below 20 ng/mL or above 80 ng/mL. Maintaining a healthy iron level is also very important during pregnancy. Having a level of 60 or 70 ng/mL is associated with greater odds of poor pregnancy outcomes.12 That said, iron deficiency during pregnancy is equally problematic. The most commonly used threshold for iron deficiency in clinical studies is 12 to 15 ng/mL.13

Another valuable test is the serum liver enzyme gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) test. While typically used to assess liver damage, it’s also a screening marker for excess free iron and is a great indicator of your sudden cardiac death risk.

For women, a healthy GGT level is around 9 units per liter (U/L) whereas the high ends of “normal” are generally 40 to 45 U/L. According to Gerry Koenig, former chairman of the Iron Disorders Institute and the Hemochromatosis Foundation,14 women with a GGT above 30 U/L have a higher risk of cancer and autoimmune disease. For men, 16 U/L is ideal, while the normal lab range can go as high as 65 to 70 U/L.15

Last but not least, a percentage transferrin saturation test will also reveal elevated ferritin. Ideally, this value should be between 30 and 40 percent. Above 40 percent, you have iron overload that is likely damaging your mitochondria and really needs to be addressed.

Do’s and Don’ts to Lower Your Iron Level

If your iron level is high, the easiest and most effective solution is to donate your blood. If you’re an adult male, you’ll want to donate blood two to three times a year once your levels are back to normal. If you are unable to donate blood, ask your doctor to write a prescription for therapeutic phlebotomy.

Also avoid combining foods high in vitamin C with foods high in iron, as the vitamin C increases iron absorption. Alcohol will also increase the absorption of iron in your diet, and is therefore best avoided. On the other hand, calcium will bind to iron, thereby limiting absorption, so eating iron-rich foods with calcium-rich foods can be helpful if your levels tend to be high.

While researchers are looking at iron-chelating strategies, I don’t recommend this. For example, using phytate or phytic acid (also known as IP6) to prevent iron absorption and chelate iron out of your body can easily result in other mineral deficiencies, such as zinc deficiency. A far safer alternative is curcumin. It actually acts as a potent chelator of iron and can be a useful supplement if your iron is elevated.

As I have beta thalassemia that elevates serum ferritin, I have had to be assiduous about using therapeutic phlebotomies to keep my ferritin in a healthy range. For nearly two years now, though, I have not had any phlebotomies; I’ve merely relied on an optimized detoxification program and my ferritin is typically between 35 and 40 ng/mL.

I hope to write a book on this program but it will not be out until 2020 or possibly 2021, as I am working with some of the finest experts on the planet and the goal is to create the best program ever designed.

Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies

According to Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of “Grain Brain” and “Brain Maker,” anything that promotes insulin resistance will ultimately also raise your risk of Alzheimer’s. To this I would add that any strategy that enhances your mitochondrial function will lower your risk. In 2014, Bredesen published a paper that demonstrates the power of lifestyle choices for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

By leveraging 36 healthy lifestyle parameters, he was able to reverse Alzheimer’s in 9 out of 10 patients. This included the use of exercise, ketogenic diet, optimizing vitamin D and other hormones, increasing sleep, meditation, detoxification and eliminating gluten and processed food. You can download Bredesen’s full-text case paper online, which details the full program.16 Following are some of the lifestyle strategies I believe to be the most helpful and important: 

Eat real food, ideally organic

Avoid processed foods of all kinds, as they contain a number of ingredients harmful to your brain, including refined sugar, processed fructose, grains (particularly gluten), vegetable oils, genetically engineered ingredients and pesticides. Ideally, keep your added sugar to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you already have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorders.

Opting for organic produce will help you avoid synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Most will also benefit from a gluten-free diet, as gluten makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream where they sensitize your immune system and promote inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

Replace refined carbs with healthy fats

Diet is paramount, and the beauty of following my optimized nutrition plan is that it helps prevent and treat virtually all chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. It’s important to realize that your brain actually does not need carbs and sugars; healthy fats such as saturated animal fats and animal-based omega-3 are far more critical for optimal brain function.

A cyclical ketogenic diet has the double advantage of both improving your insulin sensitivity and lowering your Alzheimer’s risk. As noted by Perlmutter, lifestyle strategies such as a ketogenic diet can even offset the risk associated with genetic predisposition.

When your body burns fat as its primary fuel, ketones are created, which not only burn very efficiently and are a superior fuel for your brain, but also generate fewer reactive oxygen species and less free radical damage.

A ketone called beta hydroxybutyrate is also a major epigenetic player, stimulating beneficial changes in DNA expression, thereby reducing inflammation and increasing detoxification and antioxidant production. I explain the ins and outs of implementing this kind of diet, and its many health benefits, in my book, “Fat for Fuel.”

In it, I also explain why cycling through stages of feast and famine, opposed to continuously remaining in nutritional ketosis, is so important.

Pay close attention to the kinds of fats you eat — avoid all trans fats or hydrogenated fats that have been modified in such a way to extend their longevity on the grocery store shelf. This includes margarine, vegetable oils and various butter-like spreads.

Healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, butter, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, grass fed meats and raw nuts such as pecans and macadamia. MCT oil is also a great source of ketone bodies.

Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3

Lowering your insulin will also help lower leptin levels, which is another factor for Alzheimer’s. If your insulin is high, you’re likely consuming too much sugar and need to cut back.

Optimize your omega-3 level

High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help prevent cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing its progression and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. Ideally, get an omega-3 index test done once a year to make sure you’re in a healthy range. Your omega-3 index should be above 8 percent and your omega 6-to-3 ratio between 0.5 and 3.0.

Eat plenty of nitrate-rich foods

Beets and other nitrate-rich foods such as arugula provide powerful benefits for your brain and may be a powerful ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.17,18,19 Your body transforms plant-based nitrates into nitric oxide,20 which enhances oxygenation, has beneficial impacts on your circulatory and immune systems, and serves as a signaling or messenger molecule in every cell of your body.

The betanin in beets also helps prevent oxidation, particularly oxidation caused when the beta-amyloid is bound to copper. As noted by coauthor Darrell Cole Cerrato,21 “We can’t say that betanin stops the misfolding [of amyloid beta] completely, but we can say that it reduces oxidation. Less oxidation could prevent misfolding to a certain degree, perhaps even to the point that it slows the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptides …”

Previous research22 has also shown raw beet juice helps improve neuroplasticity, primarily by increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation. Nitric oxide, in its capacity as a signaling molecule, allows your brain cells to communicate with each other better. Importantly, the beets boosted oxygenation of the somatomotor cortex, a brain area that is often affected in the early stages of dementia.

Optimize your gut flora

To do this, avoid processed foods, antibiotics and antibacterial products, fluoridated and chlorinated water, and be sure to eat traditionally fermented and cultured foods, along with a high-quality probiotic if needed. Dr. Steven Gundry does an excellent job of expanding on this in his book “The Plant Paradox.”

Intermittently fast

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to jump-start your body into remembering how to burn fat and repair the insulin/leptin resistance that is a primary contributing factor for Alzheimer’s. Once you have worked your way up to where you’ve been doing 20-hour daily intermittent fasting for a month, are metabolically flexible and can burn fat as your primary fuel, you can progress to the far more powerful five-day water fasts.

Move regularly and consistently throughout the day

It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,23 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1 alpha. Research has shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1 alpha in their brains and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s.

Optimize your magnesium levels

Preliminary research strongly suggests a decrease in Alzheimer symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Keep in mind that the only magnesium supplement that appears to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier is magnesium threonate. 

Optimize your vitamin D, ideally through sensible sun exposure

Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s and, indeed, research shows people living in northern latitudes have higher rates of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s than those living in sunnier areas, suggesting vitamin D and/or sun exposure are important factors.24

If you are unable to get sufficient amounts of sun exposure, take daily supplemental vitamin D3 to reach and maintain a blood level of 60 to 80 ng/ml. That said, it’s important to recognize that sun exposure is important for reasons unrelated to vitamin D.

Your brain responds to the near-infrared light in sunlight in a process called photobiomodulation. Research shows near-infrared stimulation of the brain boosts cognition and reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including more advanced stages of the disease.

Delivering near-infrared light to the compromised mitochondria synthesizes gene transcription factors that trigger cellular repair, and your brain is one of the most mitochondrial-dense organs in your body.

Vitamin B12

According to a 2010 study published in the journal Neurology,25,26 people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years. For each unit increase in holotranscobalamin — the marker of vitamin B12 — the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 2 percent. Very high doses of B vitamins have also been found to reduce memory loss by preventing brain shrinkage.27


Recent research shows curcumin supplementation helped improve memory and focus in seniors already suffering mild memory lapses, and reduced amyloid and tau deposits associated with Alzheimer’s.28 Overall, the curcumin group improved their memory by 28 percent over the year-and-a-half-long treatment period.

PET scans also confirmed the treatment group had significantly less amyloid and tau buildup in areas of the brain that control memory, compared to controls.

Curcumin has also been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF),29 and reduced levels of BDNF have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Yet another way curcumin may benefit your brain and lower your risk of dementia is by affecting pathways that help reverse insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.30

Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body

Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.

Avoid and eliminate aluminum from your body

Common sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, nonstick cookware and vaccine adjuvants. For tips on how to detox aluminum, please see my article, “First Case Study to Show Direct Link between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity.” There is some suggestion that certain mineral waters high in silicic acid may help your body eliminate aluminum.

Avoid flu vaccinations

Most flu vaccines contain both mercury and aluminum.

Avoid statins and anticholinergic drugs

Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence and certain narcotic pain relievers.

Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10, vitamin K2 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

Limit your exposure to dangerous EMFs (cellphones, Wi-Fi routers and modems)

Radiation from cellphones and other wireless technologies trigger excessive production of peroxynitrites,31 a highly damaging reactive nitrogen species. Increased peroxynitrites from cellphone exposure will damage your mitochondria,32,33 and your brain is the most mitochondrial-dense organ in your body.

Increased peroxynitrite generation has also been associated with increased levels of systemic inflammation by triggering cytokine storms and autonomic hormonal dysfunction.

Optimize your sleep

Sleep is necessary for maintaining metabolic homeostasis in your brain. Without sufficient sleep, neuron degeneration sets in, and catching up on sleep during weekends will not prevent this damage.34,35,36 Sleep deprivation causes disruption of certain synaptic connections that can impair your brain’s ability for learning, memory formation and other cognitive functions. Poor sleep also accelerates the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.37

Most adults need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Deep sleep is the most important, as this is when your brain’s glymphatic system performs its cleanout functions, eliminating toxic waste from your brain, including amyloid beta.

Challenge your mind daily

Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Depression Spikes 33 Percent in 5 Years

By Dr. Mercola

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS),1 a major U.S. medical insurer, suggests more than 4 percent of commercially insured Americans, or roughly 9 million people, suffer from clinical depression. Moreover, they report depression rates have jumped by 33 percent in the past five years, steadily increasing across all age and gender groups — with the rates of incidence for adolescents and millennials being of notable concern.

The implications of this data are far-reaching, especially given the reality that most people struggling with depression are also dealing with one or more other chronic health conditions, BCBS says. If you suffer from depression, you may also be affected by anxiety, diabetes, heart disease or another chronic illness. As the rates of depression continue to rise, you may be wondering what can be done to treat it. The good news is a number of natural treatments exist that will do more good for you than pharmaceutical drugs ever could.

Health Insurer BCBS Reports Depression Rates up 33 Percent in 5 Years

Based on insurance claims filed by 41 million of its privately insured members, BCBS reports diagnoses of clinical depression — also known as major depression — have risen by 33 percent during the past five years.2 Given the reality most sufferers of depression also battle other health conditions, such as anxiety, chronic illness or substance abuse, BCBS says major depression ranks behind high blood pressure as “the second most impactful condition on the overall health of commercially insured Americans.” 3

According to the report,4 women of any age are more likely than men to be clinically depressed. Since 2013, depression diagnoses have increased across every demographic, with the most dramatic increase noticeable among younger Americans. In the past five years, depression diagnosis rates have spiked:

  • 65 percent among adolescent girls
  • 47 percent among adolescent boys
  • 47 percent among millennials

Depressed men and women may lose, on average, up to 9.6 years of healthy life, the report says. “Some of the literature is already starting to predict that by 2030 depression will be the No.1 cause for loss of longevity or life,” says Dr. Trent Haywood, chief medical officer for the BCBS Association.5

Does Where You Live Affect Depression Rates?

Although screening standards and environmental and socioeconomic differences vary across states and likely have some bearing on the BCBS data, where you live may be a factor for depression. (Keep in mind all of these numbers apply only to the group of privately insured Americans included in the BCBS claim sample. Rates of depression may be higher or lower in the general population.) With respect to geography, BCBS noted:6,7

  • Higher rates of major depression were observed in New England and the Pacific Northwest, as well as some pockets across the Midwest and South
  • Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Utah each have depression rates on the high side, around 6 percent
  • Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona have the lowest rates of depression at around 2 to 3 percent
  • From 2013 to 2016, 49 of the 50 states saw increasing rates of depression diagnoses, with only Hawaii showing a slight decline

Move Over Depression — Levels of Loneliness Also Increasing

BCBS is not alone in raising concerns about the increasing rates of mental illness in the U.S. As mentioned in the video above, based on an online survey with 20,000 adult respondents, health insurer Cigna suggests most Americans are lonely.8,9 Surprisingly, the highest rates of loneliness were not found among the elderly as you may expect but, rather, in Generation Z (ages 18 to 22) and millennials (ages 20 to 35).

By the way, loneliness is now considered to be a public health threat. It is thought to be as harmful to your health as obesity and nearly as bad as smoking. Below are some highlights from the Cigna survey:10

  • Nearly 50 percent of respondents said they sometimes or always feel alone or left out
  • Just 53 percent have meaningful in-person social interactions on a daily basis
  • 27 percent rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them
  • 2 in 5 sometimes or always feel their relationships aren’t meaningful and feel they are isolated from others
  • Social media use alone was not a predictor of loneliness because the loneliness scores were about the same for very heavy users (43.5) and nonusers (41.7)

About the potential health consequences of loneliness, David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, said, “There’s a blurred line between mental and physical health. Oftentimes, medical symptoms present themselves and they’re correlated with … issues like loneliness.”11

Anxiety Rates on the Rise; Women More Affected Than Men

Beyond loneliness, anxiety is also taking a toll. A poll12 of 1,004 adults conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes 39 percent of Americans report being more anxious this year than last year. Other outcomes from the survey included:

  • This year’s national anxiety score was 51, representing a 5-point jump from last year
  • Anxiety scores were up across age groups, with millennials reflecting more anxiety than baby boomers or Generation Z
  • Anxiety among baby boomers increased 7 points from 2017 to 2018 — the greatest increase recorded across all survey groups
  • While more Americans are anxious this year than last year in all five of the categories surveyed — finances, health, politics, relationships and safety — the most significant increase year to year was related to anxiety about paying bills
  • Women are more anxious than men: 57 percent of women ages 18 to 49 years reported being more anxious year to year as compared to 38 percent of men of the same age

With respect to the survey outcomes, APA president Dr. Anita Everett said:13

“This poll shows U.S. adults are increasingly anxious — particularly about health, safety and finances. Increased stress and anxiety can significantly impact many aspects of people’s lives, including their mental health, and it can affect families. It highlights the need to help reduce the effects of stress with regular exercise, relaxation, healthy eating and time with friends and family.”

Notably, the poll also investigated attitudes and perceptions about mental health and treatment, which reflected:14

  • 86 percent of Americans surveyed believe a person’s mental health impacts his or her physical health
  • 75 percent feel untreated mental illness has a significant impact on the U.S. economy
  • 50 percent said there is less social stigma related to mental illness than there was 10 years ago
  • 35 percent of the respondents would not vote for a candidate for public office who had been diagnosed with a mental illness, regardless if the person had received treatment
  • Just 12 percent thought mental health should be a top consideration for federal policymakers

Tending Your Behavioral Health Is as Important as Caring for Your Physical Well-Being

Given the prevalence of depression, loneliness, anxiety and other mental health conditions, it’s clear keeping up with your behavioral health is as important as taking care of your physical health. For years I have talked about the strong link between your mental and physical health, which is more commonly known as your mind-body connection. If you are not sure such a connection exists, consider the fact the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says depression has been linked to a higher risk of:15

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 2 diabetes

According to the BCBS survey,16 of the more than 9 million people diagnosed with major depression in 2016, 85 percent were diagnosed with both major depression and at least one other health condition. Nearly one-third of the people presented with four or more additional health concerns. Upon further exploration of the relationship between clinical depression and other conditions, BCBS said:17

“[P]eople diagnosed with major depression are twice as likely to also suffer from one or more other chronic diseases, three times as likely to suffer from pain-related disorders and injuries, and seven times as likely to suffer from alcohol or substance-use disorders than people who do not have major depression.”

NIMH states, “One factor with some of these illnesses is that many people with depression … may have a harder time caring for their health, for example, seeking care, taking prescribed medication, eating well and exercising.”18 Furthermore, NIMH says with respect to depression, scientists “have found changes in the way several different systems in the body function, all of which can have an impact on physical health.”19 Some of the physical signs noticeable in people with depression include:20

  • Heart rate and blood circulation changes
  • Increased inflammation
  • Metabolic changes
  • Stress hormone abnormalities

“They’re intertwined,” said Haywood. “You might start with a condition and then go on to have depression, or you might start with depression and go on to have a chronic condition. It’s bidirectional.”21

Antidepressant Medications May Do More Harm Than Good

After conducting a meta-analysis of 17 studies22 related to antidepressant drug-related deaths, researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, assert taking such medications increases your risk of death. After removing the people suffering from cardiovascular disease from their findings, the team noted the risk of death jumped by 33 percent for those taking antidepressants as compared to those who do not take them.

Beyond this, the researchers noted antidepressant users had a 14 percent higher risk of cardiovascular events, such as strokes and heart attacks. “We are very concerned by these results,” said lead study author Paul Andrews, Ph.D., assistant professor of evolutionary psychology at McMaster. “They suggest people shouldn’t be taking antidepressant drugs without understanding precisely how they interact with the body.” 23

Though many physicians think antidepressants are useful to reduce depressive symptoms, study co-author Marta Maslej, a Ph.D. candidate in the McMaster department of psychology, neuroscience and behavior, says not enough is known about the impact these drugs have outside your brain. “[W]hat we do know [about their effects on the rest of the body] points to an increased risk of death,” noted Maslej.24

On a positive note, the McMaster team found antidepressants to have no harmful effects on people suffering from heart disease, mainly because selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants have blood-thinning effects that are beneficial for cardiovascular conditions. About the results, the Daily Mail said:25

“The scientists think this is because antidepressants are also a blood thinner, which actually protects the health of people with heart disease because it stops blood clotting. But among people without heart disease, this is dangerous because it increases the risk of a major hemorrhage or internal bleeding.”

Natural Treatments to Help Address Anxiety and Depression

Given the increasing rates of anxiety and depression, as well as the potentially negative effects associated with psychiatric drugs, I urge you to consider natural treatments ahead of pharmaceuticals. Below are some alternatives you may want to consider:

Breathing exercises

The way you breathe is intricately connected to your mental state. I’ve previously published interviews with Patrick McKeown, a leading expert on the Buteyko Breathing Method, and I highly recommend the approach.

Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure

Exposure to microwave radiation from baby monitors, cellphones, cellphone towers, portable phones, smart meters and Wi-Fi routers may be influencing your mental health more than you know. At a minimum, turn off these gadgets or keep them at a distance when you are sleeping.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to use tapping to address depression.


Daily movement of some kind is necessary for optimal health and regular exercise is vital to your mental and physical well-being. Set a goal to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and consider cardio, stretching and weight training, too.

Gut health

Gastrointestinal abnormalities have been linked to a variety of psychological problems, including anxiety and depression, so be sure to eat a fiber-rich diet. Also consider eating fermented foods or taking a probiotic supplement.

Nutritional imbalances

A few of the nutritional imbalances known to contribute to mental health problems involve lack of animal-based omega-3 fats, B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin D.

Mindfulness training and/or a spiritual practice

Meditation (including mindfulness meditation), prayer and other spiritual practices are not only calming and soothing, but they also help enliven the connection among your mind, body and emotions.


Also known as magic mushrooms, psilocybin, though not yet legal in the U.S., may be a game changer in the treatment for severe anxiety and depression. Use it only under the guidance of a licensed medical professional.


You may realize sleep has a direct effect on your cognition, memory and mood and you probably know most adults need seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep each night. If you have trouble getting the sleep you need, check out my article 33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep.

Sugar and processed foods

Your diet plays a key role in your mental health and eating sugar-laden and processed foods does very little to feed your brain or balance your mood. A few small changes with respect to your food choices could make a huge difference in your mental health.


All sorts of helpful therapies exist that can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. A few you may want to consider are acupuncture, cranial sacral massage, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), nature sounds, talk therapy and yoga, to name a few. Any therapeutic activity that promotes relaxation and mind-body awareness is worth considering.

Toxic exposures

Toxic exposures can influence your health in huge ways. For example, a common symptom of toxic mold exposure is anxiety, so pay attention if your symptoms improve when you spend time away from your home or office. If you’ve been putting it off, now is the time to replace toxic products with natural alternatives for household cleaning and personal care.

Your mental health is as important as your physical health and it requires your attention. Take steps today to begin caring for yourself mentally and emotionally. Even if you have not received an official diagnosis, you are very likely affected by occasional bouts of anxiety and depression. As a preventative measure, you can benefit from taking up an item or two from the table above. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Nettle Oil: More Than Just a Backyard Weed

Nettle commonly grows in backyards and gardens, but did you know that this weed can also have profound benefits for your body? In fact, nettle is a popular herbal medicine in many parts of the world. Here’s one way to reap its benefits: Use nettle oil. Discover the uses of this lesser-known but equally versatile herbal oil.

What Is Nettle Oil?

Nettle oil or nettle extract comes from Urtica dioica, a creeping, fibrous perennial plant from the Urticaceae plant family.1 Nettle, also known as hemp nettle, white nettle or devil’s leaf, is native to Eurasia, but now grows wild across the U.S. and other parts of the globe. It can be found in temperate regions, from Japan to the Andes Mountains.2

Nettle can be identified by its creeping yellow roots, small green flowers, and ovate, pointed and toothed leaves that are covered with bristly stinging hair that can pierce the skin upon contact — hence, it’s more popular nickname, “stinging nettle.” In fact, the common name “nettle” actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “noedl,” which means “needle.” Its hairy, erect, single stalks grow in clusters, giving it a bushy appearance. The plant can grow as tall as 4 feet (1.2 meters).3

Nettle has a long history of use as food and medicine. Its fibers are even said to have been used to make cloth.4 However, don’t be so quick to touch it — the fine hairs all over the plant release formic acid, histamine and acetylcholine, chemicals that can cause pain and irritation when they come in contact with the skin.5

But here’s what’s unique about this plant: If the hairs come in contact with a part of your body that’s in pain, the original pain can decrease. It’s said to be so effective that it’s the primary material used in the process of urtication: deliberately stinging the skin with nettles.6

According to an article published by PennState Hershey, scientists believe this is because nettle can minimize your body’s levels of inflammatory chemicals. It can also interfere with the way pain is transmitted in your body.7 A 2013 study published in Phytomedicine found that nettle extract may be even more effective than traditional tinctures in easing inflammatory disorders.8

Nettle oil is usually extracted from the leaves and stems of the plant. Nettle oil is commonly added to many personal care products, such as soap and hair conditioner. It can also be taken in capsule form.9

Uses of Nettle Oil

According to Mother Earth News, nettle has been used for over 2,000 years to stop all kinds of internal and external bleeding. Many healers also considered it a good blood purifier. Nettle can be taken as a tea, to help clear mucus congestion, skin irritation, diarrhea and water retention.10 On the other hand, you can use nettle oil by:

Adding it to your shampoo and other hair products: Nettle oil not only promotes healthy hair growth, but can also help scalp conditions like psoriasis and dandruff. Massage it onto your hair and wrap a towel around your head. Leave the oil on your scalp overnight and then rinse out the next day.11

Mixing it with a safe carrier oil and massaging it on your skin: According to Stylecraze, topical application of nettle oil may help ease insect bites, eczema and chickenpox.12

Taking it in capsule form: Nettle oil, when taken orally, may work as a diuretic.13 It can also help ease prostate issues,14 gout and allergic rhinitis.

Composition of Nettle Oil

Some of the major components found in nettle include thymol, carvacrol, cymene, anisole, terpene, phenylpropene derivatives and eucalyptol.16 The leaves, which are commonly used to make nettle oil infusion, contain provitamin A, vitamins B1 and K, sistosterin and xanthophylls.17

Benefits of Nettle Oil

Stinging nettle is a useful herbal remedy, and is considered one of nature’s best nutraceuticals because it contains protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, making it an ideal all-around tonic.18,19 It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, antirheumatic, anticonvulsant, antihistamine, hypotensive and anti-anaphylactic properties.20 These beneficial effects can be passed on to the essential oil as well.

People who suffer from inflammation-related disorders like rheumatism, arthritis and osteoporosis can benefit from nettle oil.21 It has also shown promise in helping skin abrasions and burns to heal.22

How to Make Nettle Oil Infusion

If you want to reap the benefits of nettle oil, you can make a simple nettle oil infusion at home. Here’s a step-by-step procedure:23

How to Make Nettle Oil Infusion


1. Harvest fresh nettle leaves and stems (make sure you’re wearing protective gloves to avoid being stung) and pack them in a large glass container.

2. Immerse the leaves and stems completely with olive oil.

3. Cover with a lid tightly and leave on a sunny windowsill for two to three weeks. Make sure you stir it daily.

4. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. Store in a dark glass container, in a cool place away from sunlight.

How Does Nettle Oil Work?

Nettle and nettle oil contain biologically active compounds that suppress inflammation, which may be responsible for its many healing properties.24 When taken orally, products or extracts made from nettle’s aerial parts may also help interfere with the body’s production of prostaglandin, as well as other inflammation-causing chemicals.25 Please remember to consult a qualified physician prior to using nettle or nettle oil, especially when taking it orally.

Is Nettle Oil Safe?

Yes, it is. However, if you suffer from any allergy or sensitivity to nettle or plants in the same family, it’s better if you avoid using nettle oil, whether topically or orally.26 It is also advisable to avoid using nettle oil at full strength, and instead to dilute it in a safe carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil.

To ensure that you will not experience any allergic reaction to nettle oil, do a skin patch test before using the oil. It’s pretty basic: Just apply a drop of nettle oil on your arm. If any itchiness or reaction occurs, avoid using the oil. I do not recommend it for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms, as there are no studies that guarantee its safety for these conditions.   

Side Effects of Nettle Oil

Stinging nettle and its essential oil (when ingested) may result in mild side effects, such as rashes, stomach upset and fluid retention. It may also interact with sedatives and medications for blood clotting, diabetes and high blood pressure , so consult your health care practitioner before using it,27 particularly if you’re suffering from any type of ailment.

Links to Neo’s call recording

—– Original Message —–

Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:10 PM
Hi Paul
Here are the links there are two (2) for the edited call:

Here is the link for my website:

last here is my email address:

Thank you for all you are doing


"Tim White" With Egg All Over His Face —and More

By Anna Von Reitz

Today I got a very ugly email from “Tim White” whoever he really is, loudly announcing that Bruce Doucette has been sentenced to 38 years in Federal Prison —and accusing me for being at fault for this and purportedly misleading Bruce.

Here’s the truth published on my website, two years ago:

Article # 485

“The End of My Association with Bruce Doucette and Michael R. Hamilton”

In this article I fully explain the argument with Bruce and Byfeldt and Michael R. Hamilton, why I parted company with them, and all that I explained to them in my attempt to keep them in their own jurisdiction and out of trouble.

So now, they have reaped the whirlwind, and people like “Tim White” are out beating their chests — though it isn’t clear that “Tim White” ever actually knew Bruce or Michael R. or Stephen — or now has any cause to grieve as I do.

I actually knew these men. 

I never cared for Hamilton.  I had seen his kind before, usually Federal con men sent in to mislead patriots.  He was loud and brassy and opinionated and all pumped up and God forbid, he’d never listen to a woman about anything.

His first goal was to subvert The Continental Marshals Service and turn it into some kind of improper replacement for the state militias.  I opposed him, successfully, on that. 

He turned right around and started beating the drum about the “power of the Grand Jury” and how the Grand Jury had the right and ability to — according to him anyway— do whatever it wanted to do. 

In vain, I pointed out that no, a Grand Jury has to address its own jurisdiction.

Why Bruce and Byfeldt and the others listened to Michael R. Hamilton — a man with no training in law — and ignored me, is something I don’t pretend to understand.  It made no sense then and makes no sense now.

Just like “Tim White’s” attacks make no sense.

My opinion?  Tim White is yet another Federal Agent Stool Pidgeon “Sleeper” and Propagandist just like Michael R. Hamilton.  Another Pied Piper.  Another traitor sent in to spread disinformation and cause trouble and split the movement to finish the “Reconstruction”.

When I brought the truth to his attention and sent him a copy of the Article noted above, his response was to taunt me for accusing him of libel and slander and demanding a retraction and apology for his screed.

This is a man who doesn’t care about the truth — a willful liar.

Unfortunately, he has just dirtied the name “Tim White” but has an infinite variety of other names to choose from.  And photographs, too.  For all I know — or you know — “Tim White” might be “Michael R. Hamilton”. 

People really do need to wise up.  There are patriots who are just plain wrong, however well-intentioned they may be, but there are also Federal Agents, disguised as patriots — and these are the ones typically talking the loudest and urging violent actions and preaching incorrect legal theories. 

Why would any American betray other Americans to a 38 year stint in Federal Prison?  Often it is the result of a plea bargain.  Someone gets into trouble with the Federales in their own right, and as part of the plea bargain, they agree to do an undercover assignment as a snitch. 

Or they may be old line Tories, aligned with Britain and the European Bankers from the get-go, like Alexander Hamilton.  Maybe it’s no coincidence that the guilty party in this story is named Michael R. Hamilton?  You’d be surprised how long such affiliations last, especially when these same people continue to get money and benefits and privileges in return for their loyalty to the System.

For me, these extremely punitive sentences against Doucette and Byfeldt show the evil and ugly and violent nature of the “American Raj” decamped on our shores. 

These men did nothing whatsoever to deserve any such sentence. They did nothing violent.  They owed no actual allegiance that was betrayed. They just got confused and trespassed on federated State of State jurisdiction, something for which they should have surely been forgiven, considering the lengths that that same State of State organization has gone to, to obscure its true nature and identity.

This whole situation is also a matter of personal grief, as it was two years ago when I parted ways with Bruce.  He was a good and gentle and generous man who wanted to do good things for this country, like so many others who have made similar mistakes, and suffered similar consequences.  During our last conversation I shouted myself hoarse — and I almost never shout — trying to get through to him.  He wouldn’t listen.  The next day I sat down and wrote the article above. 

I already knew what would happen and why, but there was nothing more I could do.  You can lead a horse to water, and offer correct information and insight— but…..

Stephen Byfeldt is one of the greatest constitutional scholars I have ever known. He knows his constitution by heart, backwards and forwards. He has studied it from early on.  He knows its guarantees.  He was prepared to stand on it to the death. 

What he could not conceive was that the court he would be facing would not be a constitutional court.  What he couldn’t believe is that he was mis-identified as a Territorial United States Citizen, dba “citizen”—-and that such citizens have never had any rights or guarantees under any federal Constitution. 

I told them all of this, in fact, I told them a great deal more, but they were so deeply indoctrinated into what they thought they knew for sure about this country and its government that they didn’t believe me. 

Now, sadly, they know.

See this article and over 1000 others on Anna’s website here:
To support this work look for the PayPal button on this website.

It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, Because of a Clip of Mr. Rogers Calling Out Mainstream Media

It is no surprise that the mainstream media and news try to keep us locked in a state of fear. This is why we are constantly seeing and hearing about war, mass shootings, bombings, terrorism and any other particularly fearful or gruesome thing you can think of. Sure, they could just be trying to keep ratings up, but it seems that the programming that is put out in the mainstream news has a different agenda altogether and that is, quite simply to keep us in a state of fear.

Don’t you ever wonder why we don’t often hear about all of the incredible, good, positive, inspiring stories as much, specifically from the mainstream media ? There are a lot of really amazing things that are happening in our world lately, things that certainly deserve more mainstream media coverage, but instead it just feels like we are hit with more school shootings, more war, more bombs, more plane crashes and yes, more fear.

Mr. Roger’s, perhaps one of the most revolutionary television icons of our time, had an important piece of wisdom that was passed down to him by his mother when he would watch scary or more violent scenes in movies or on the T.V. Check it out,


So simple, yet so profound.

When we hear about all of the horrific things that are happening in the world, it can be easy to fall into a place of despair, we might say something like, “Well the world is messed anyways, there’s not much I can do about it.” Or you may just feel that it’s going down and it’s out of your control. The advice from Mr. Roger’s tells us that instead of focussing on the problem, and the fear, worry, sadness and despair, that we should instead be looking at the solution. To those who are doing their part to help those in need, the helpers, the fire fighters, the paramedics, all of the people who rush to the scene when someone is injured or hurt and trying to help. By doing this, as Mr, Roger’s says we won’t lose hope.

Despite all of the perceived “bad” or “evil” in this world, there is still a lot of “good,” and many people who are doing whatever they can to help ease these difficult situations. Always focus on the helpers, this way you will not lose hope.

Related CE Articles:

Declassified CIA Documents Shows Agencies Control Over Mainstream Media & Academia

50 Facts Illustrating Mainstream Media’s Relationship With The US Government

3 Popular Mainstream Media Journalists Come Together To Tell The Truth About Tell Lie Vision (Television)


Mueller Investigators Questioned Witnesses in Israel and Seized Computers, Report Says

The special counsel’s probe looks into ties between an Israeli social media expert and an adviser to UAE leaders, The New York Times reports

By Amir Tibon | 19 May 19 2018

HAARETZ — The investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. elections has included interviews and the questioning of witnesses in Israel, which focused on the work of a local company specializing in “social media manipulation,” The New York Times reported Saturday.

According to the report, Mueller’s team is looking into contacts between Joel Zamel, an Israeli social media expert, and George Nader, a special adviser to the leadership of the United Arab Emirates, who allegedly offered to help Trump defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Nader’s name has come up in a number of previous reports about Mueller’s investigation, mostly regarding his work on behalf of the UAE and the ties between the Emirates and Trump. This is the first time, however, that it has been directly reported that interviews related to the Mueller investigation were held in Israel.

The report, citing four sources, said that a company linked to Zamel, Psy-Group, was working on an online manipulation campaign that involved usage thousands of fake social media accounts to help Trump get elected. According to the report, Zamel himself was questioned by Mueller’s investigators and at least two FBI agents were sent to Israel to interview the company’s employees. Mueller’s team also worked with the Israel Police to seize computers of one of Zamel’s firms. The New York Times notes that there were concerns inside the company about the plan’s legality, since U.S. law prohibits non-Americans from being involved in the election. […]

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