Meta-analysis shows probiotics reduce colic in breastfed babies

(Natural News) A meta-analysis published in the journal Pediatrics, the flagship publication of the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), revealed that the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) may hold potential in reducing the frequency of crying in exclusively breastfed babies with colic under three months old. The analysis was carried out by researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia and 11…

Giuliani, Gingrich Scheduled to Speak Before an Iranian Opposition Group, as Trump Pressures Tehran

The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, formerly considered a terrorist group, seems to have deep ties to the Trump administration.

By Damir Mujezinovic | 29 June 2018

INQUISITR — President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and informal adviser Newt Gingrich are scheduled to speak before a controversial Iranian opposition group, Politico reports.

Giuliani and Gingrich’s address, at a conference to be held on Saturday, July 30, comes as Trump puts immense pressure on Iran, indicating movement toward outside-induced regime change in the Middle Eastern country. As Middle East Eye noted in May this year, the man running the show is John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser, who has been a part of the powerful, neoconservative section of George W. Bush’s administration; an administration which has waged infamous, expensive, and regime-changing wars of its own.

After abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration has, according to the Wall Street Journal, driven Iranian oil exports down, boosting the fortune of Iran’s adversary and American ally, Saudi Arabia. As the WSJ further noted, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also planning to increase oil production to a record high of nearly 11 million barrels a day, which is expected to further jeopardize Iran, a country which remains under U.S. sanctions. […]


Jewish Lobby United With Iranian Terrorist Group

27 February 2017

REAL IRAN — Paris-based Iranian terrorist group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) in cooperation with the Israel Projecthas succeeded in bribing several prominent pro-Israel  political and military personalities to lobby the White House against Iran.

Recently, the Israel Project supporters wrote a public letter to Donald Trump urging him to renegotiate the Iran deal included General James Jones, former Marine Corps commandant and National Security Advisory, Robert Joseph (Jew), former Under Secretary of State for Arms, ex-governors of Pennsylvania Edward Rendell (Jew) and Tom Ridge (Jew), former Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman United Against Nuclear Iran, Louis Freeh, ex-FBI Jew director who was involved in 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rabbi Michael Mukasey , ex-Attorney General, Gen. George Casey, and so on.

In December 2016, Lieberman also appeared at an event at the Capitol Hill organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. They have a long history of using violence and terror both against their own members as well as when they were serving as a military force for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. At the UANI event, Lieberman said the goal of increased pressure on Iran would be to elicit concessions from Iran by causing them to “begin to wonder about the survival of the regime.” […]

The post Giuliani, Gingrich Scheduled to Speak Before an Iranian Opposition Group, as Trump Pressures Tehran appeared first on The New Nationalist.

The Surprising Connection Between Bone Health and Heart Health

By Dr. Mercola

The suspected link between bone health and heart health is nothing new. In their attempts to uncover links between cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, for example, researchers have looked at several areas, such as biochemical processes, genetic factors and shared risk factors. On a parallel path, other scientists are investigating how certain vitamins and minerals interact and affect the human body, including their impact on your heart.

Again and again, the synergistic relationship among vitamin D, vitamin K2, calcium and magnesium, as well as the vital role of probiotics, continues to be highlighted. Given its universal importance, let’s take a closer look at the surprising connection between the health of your bones and the health of your heart.

A Healthy Gut = Strong Bones: Probiotics Shown to Influence Your Bone Mineral Density

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine1 put probiotics — specifically Lactobacillus reuteriATCC PTA 6475 (L. reuteri 6475) — to the test to evaluate its effects on human bone mineral density. Previously, scientists noted gut health positively influenced bone metabolism in lab mice.2 Seventy women aged 75 to 80 years old with low bone mineral density completed the study.

The women received an oral daily dose of 1010 colony?forming units of L. reuteri 6475 or a placebo. Those receiving the probiotic were found to suffer less bone loss (based on tibia total volumetric bone mineral density) than the placebo group. The study authors stated, “[S]upplementation with L. reuteri 6475 should be further explored as a novel approach to prevent age?associated bone loss and osteoporosis.”3

A Chinese study published in 20174 highlighted the important role healthy gut bacteria plays for women contending with postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO). The researchers suggested bone loss with respect to PMO is closely associated with the health of your immune system and your gut. They noted:5

“Probiotics prevent bone resorption by restoring intestinal microbial diversity, enhancing the intestinal epithelial barrier and normalizing aberrant host immune responses, as well as facilitating intestinal calcium absorption and the potential production of estrogen-like metabolites … Hence, the intestinal microbiota serves as a key factor in the pathogenesis of PMO and will also serve as a new target in the treatment of PMO.”

Probiotics Also Linked to Improved Heart Health

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine suggest your gut bacteria not only influence your immune responses, metabolism and mood, but also your heart health.6 Jennifer Pluznick, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology at the university, has been involved in a series of animal studies7,8,9 that suggest that during the process of eating metabolized chemicals from your gut bacteria activate receptors in your blood vessels to lower your blood pressure.

As such, Pluznick underscores the value of eating both probiotic and prebiotic foods. Yogurt, she notes, is a great example of a probiotic food. Foods high in prebiotics (nondigestible food ingredients that promote the growth of your beneficial gut bacteria) include asparagus, garlic, onions and sweet potatoes. While the blood pressure changes in mice have been significant, more research is needed to determine if the same effects take place in humans. Says Pluznick:10

“We know that there’s a symbiotic type of relationship between gut bacteria and their hosts … Certain chemicals the gut bacteria produce can alter blood pressure. We also know that when mice or rats or people have high blood pressure, the bacteria in their guts are different. Those things each reveal a piece of the puzzle. But we don’t have enough pieces to put the entire puzzle together yet.”

Research published in the European Heart Journal11 in July 2018 asserts a healthy gut microbiome may reduce the risk of arterial stiffness in women. Scientists from Kings College London, England, led by Cristina Menni, Ph.D., evaluated 617 women for arterial stiffness using carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). They also analyzed fecal samples to determine each participant’s gut microbiome composition.

Menni and her team noted a negative correlation between PWV values and the diversity of the gut microbiome both on an overall basis as well as for seven specific types of bacteria — two of which belong to the Ruminococcaceae family. The study authors wrote, “Specific microbes, which have previously been shown to relate to lower risk of obesity, are also associated with lower risk of arterial stiffness, after adjusting for metabolic syndrome covariates.”12

About the outcomes, Pluznick said, “[T]here have been a number of studies over the past few years … that have … argued there’s definitely some sort of connection between the gut microbiota and blood pressure control in general.”13 Added Menni, “Given the possibility of modifying the gut microcomposition via diet and probiotic supplementation, this opens therapeutic avenues for reducing arterial stiffness targeting the gut microbiome.”14

Higher Intake of Vitamin K2 Boosts Women’s Health, Reduces Fractures in Children

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin well-known for its role in blood clotting. As you may know, there are two different kinds of vitamin K — each type providing a unique set of health benefits. Vitamin K1 is primarily responsible for blood clotting, whereas vitamin K2 works synergistically with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to help maintain your bone, dental, heart and skin health, among other benefits.

Vitamin K2 also plays a role in supporting healthy immune function and suppressing genes that promote cancer, as well as boosting women’s health. About K2, Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, a naturopathic physician and author of “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life,” said:15

“For the prevention of everything from wrinkles to cancer, vitamin K2 is the missing nutrient for women’s health. Most women don’t need a calcium supplement, but vitamin K2 will channel dietary calcium to the right places. And everyone is taking vitamin D, but without K2 we’re not getting all the benefits of vitamin D, and even risking harm from it.”

With respect to bone health, a small 2018 Polish study published in the journal Nutrients16 found a correlation between increased levels of vitamin K2 and lower rates of bone fractures in children. The researchers also noted the importance of maintaining beneficial levels of calcium, vitamin D and K2, particularly the menaquinone-7 (MK-7) form of K2. The study participants included 20 children aged 5 to 15 years who were hospitalized with radiologically confirmed low-energy fractures.

The fracture group was compared to a control group of 19 children aged 7 to 17 years who did not have bone-related injuries but were hospitalized for other reasons. About the outcomes, the researchers commented, “Based on our pilot study, we hypothesize that besides vitamin D, vitamin K2 plays an important role in bone health in children. This indicates potential benefits of using supplementation of vitamin D and vitamin K2 in children to prevent low-energy bone fractures.”17

Why Vitamin K2 Is Important for Your Heart Health Too

It’s important to note vitamin K2 deficiency actually produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. This includes inappropriate calcification of your soft tissues that can lead to atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries.

The 2004 Rotterdam study18 was the first large clinical research known to suggest a role for vitamin K2 with respect to reducing cardiovascular events and mortality. The 4,807 adults aged 55 and older taking part in this population study that included dietary data had no history of myocardial infarction (heart attack) at baseline. They were followed for nearly a decade.

The goal of the research was to determine whether dietary intake of vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 were related to aortic calcification and coronary heart disease (CHD). Notably, the participants with higher intakes of vitamin K2 were shown to have a lower relative risk of CHD mortality, all-cause mortality and severe aortic calcification. The intake of vitamin K1 was not related to any of those outcomes. The study authors noted, “These findings suggest an adequate intake of [vitamin K2] could be important for CHD prevention.”19

A study published in 2009,20 involving more than 16,000 women, aged 49 to 70 years, who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline and followed for eight years, also validated vitamin K2 as a means to reduce heart disease risk. In fact, the risk of CHD dropped 9 percent for every 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K2 the women consumed. Again, the intake of vitamin K1 was shown to have zero effect on cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, a 2015 study published in the Journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis21 found taking 180 mcg per day of vitamin K2 (in the MK-7 form) for three years improved arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women, especially those who had a high degree of arterial stiffness.

How Much Do You Need and the Best Sources of Vitamin K2

Now that you realize how important vitamin K2 is to your health, you may be wondering how much to take. What is the optimal dosage of vitamin K2? Some studies — including the Rotterdam study — suggest as little as 45 mcg per day is sufficient. On the other hand, some recommend much higher dosing, such as 180 to 200 mcg per day. As a general guideline, I recommend you get around 150 mcg of vitamin K2 a day.

You can obtain healthy amounts of K2 by eating 15 grams (half an ounce) of natto each day, or a small serving of fermented vegetables. If you ferment them using a starter culture infused with vitamin K2-producing bacteria, 1 ounce will give you about 200 to 250 mcgs. Vitamin K2 will also be important if you are taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement. Although optimal ratios are not yet known, you may also need more vitamin K2 to maintain a healthy ratio to vitamin D3.

Rhéaume-Bleue recommends you take 100 mcg of vitamin K2 for every 1,000 IUs of vitamin D. That said, it can be difficult to get optimal amounts of vitamin K2 from diet alone and supplementation may be necessary. In the event you do not have access to fermented foods such as cultured vegetables, coconut or water kefir, natto or sauerkraut you will need to take a supplement.

Animal products such as beef liver and milk kefir, as well as organic, pastured butter, cheese and egg yolks are other great sources of K2. If you do opt for K2 in supplement form, make sure it’s MK-7. Also remember to take it with fat — avocado, coconut oil, grass fed butter and animal products are great choices. Taking vitamin K2 with fat is important because it’s fat-soluble and will not be absorbed otherwise.

Fortunately, you have little to worry about overdosing on K2 because it appears to be nontoxic. Even people given “overdose” levels for whole years showed no adverse effects. No matter how you consume it, keep in mind taking vitamin K2 won’t make you “feel better” in any noticeable way. Its internal workings are such that you won’t likely feel a physical difference regardless of whether you come by it through food or a supplement. That said, consume it anyway and keep doing so even if you can’t tell it is having an effect.

Don’t Forget Magnesium and Be Sure to Balance It With Calcium, D and K2

It’s well-known eating a healthy diet can still leave you short when it comes to balancing important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. Particularly when you rely on supplements, you will need to pay closer attention to how nutrients influence and interact with each other so you can achieve healthy ratios. For example, your body needs magnesium to convert vitamin D into its active form so it can turn on your calcium absorption.

Vitamin D and K2 also work together to produce and activate Matrix GLA Protein (MGP), which congregates around the elastic fibers of your arterial lining, thereby guarding your arteries against calcium crystal formation. Magnesium and vitamin K2 also complement each other because magnesium helps lower blood pressure, which is an important component of heart disease. Because K2 acts synergistically with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, it’s important to maintain balance among these four vital nutrients.

While no precise guidelines exist, magnesium helps keep calcium in your cells so they can do their job better, and most experts recommend a 1-to-1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Daily intake of K2 was mentioned above. As for how much vitamin D you need, I strongly recommend getting your level tested twice a year — in the summer and winter — to more effectively gauge your personal dosage.

While sensible sun exposure around high noon (or 1 p.m. if you live in an area that observes daylight saving time) is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels, if you opt for a supplement be sure to mind the dose. For optimal health, it’s important you take a sufficient daily dose that will enable your body to achieve the therapeutic range of 60 to 80 nanograms per milliliter. Not sure if you are getting enough of this vital nutrient? Check out my infographic titled 7 Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient.

While you may not think your bone and heart health are related, it’s clear you can care for these vital parts of your body in surprisingly similar ways. By ensuring you receive sufficient daily stores of calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D, as well as probiotics — through the foods you eat or in supplement form — you’ll be on your way to safeguarding your bone and heart health.

What Are the Signs of Vitamin B Complex Deficiency?

By Dr. Mercola

Traditional media often run stories about how supplements may cause problems. One of the problems with studies highlighting supplements is they typically use synthetic vitamins, and not whole food supplements. Your body was not made to process unnatural agents, often posing as equivalents to the real thing. The reality is they are frequently not the same and do not provide you with the same health benefits.

Vitamin deficiencies may lead to illness and disease, and contribute to chronic issues such as high blood pressure, dementia and cancer. One nutritional deficiency having the potential to wreak havoc on your health, your cognition and even your respiratory system is a deficiency in vitamin B complex. B vitamins also help your body to detoxify from chronic exposure to pollutants and chemicals.

Elderly Have Higher Rates of Deficiency

A large population study conducted in Ireland1 discovered a larger than expected number of adults over age 50 with vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies. Researchers from Trinity College Dublin2 analyzed information from over 5,000 adults to establish a general level of vitamin B12 and folate in a mature population.

Public health policies in many countries have suggested supplementing processed foods with folic acid and vitamin B12 may ensure the population at large has access to these nutrients. However, the present findings3 suggest official health policies may not be sufficient. The researchers noted both folate and vitamin B12 are crucial to brain health, red blood cell production and synthesis and repair of DNA and nerve functions.4

The data revealed as many as 1 in 8 older adults has low levels of vitamin B12 or a B12 deficiency, and 1 in 7 has low or deficient folate levels. As the age of the participants increased, the prevalence of inadequate folate levels seemed to increase. Percentages rose from 14 percent in people up to 60 years, rising to 23 percent in participants older than 80.5

Past studies have linked poor long-term health, especially in older adults, to low nutritional levels of folate and vitamin B12. The high rates of deficiency seen in older populations are cause for concern. Dr. Rose Anne Kenny, principal investigator in the study,6 believes since these deficiencies may be treated with food fortification, significant policy and practice implications are suggested for government and health services.

Fortification of food products in Ireland is voluntary, but some foods are enriched with micronutrients such as folic acid. In the U.S., folic acid fortification is mandatory, yet an estimated 3.2 percent of adults over 50 continue to demonstrate deficiency and another 20 percent have borderline deficient levels of vitamin B12, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).7

B-Vitamin Deficiencies Are Dangerous to Your Health

Vitamin B deficiencies are linked with a number of health concerns. B12 deficiency is a known cause for central and peripheral nervous system damage. One study demonstrated deficiency increased the prevalence of laryngeal hyper-responsiveness and subsequently lowered cough thresholds. After B12 supplements were given, patients found their symptoms significantly improved. According to the study,8 the results suggest a deficiency may contribute to chronic cough by favoring sensory neuropathy.

Central nervous system disorders are also associated with a deficiency in vitamin B, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. In the U.S., Alzheimer’s disease is at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans living with the disease and the number expected to jump to 16 million by 2050. In a study published in PNAS,9 researchers found vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, confirming and supporting previous studies.

All of the 156 study participants were over the age of 70 and diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. One group received a placebo and the other high-dose vitamin B supplementation consisting of B6, B12 and folic acid.10 The treatment demonstrated an effective slowing of the shrinkage of the whole brain volume over two years and reduced cerebral atrophy in brain regions particularly vulnerable to damage by Alzheimer’s.

Psychiatric conditions also respond significantly to vitamin B supplementation. Research has demonstrated it reduces symptoms associated with schizophrenia more so than standard drug treatments alone.11 When used together with antipsychotics, vitamin B supplements may restore nutritional deficits, reduce oxidative stress and modulate neurological pathways that exacerbate symptoms of psychiatric illness.

The late Dr. Abram Hoffer was a leading niacin researcher and world authority on the therapeutic use of niacin.12 He found certain people have what he termed a niacin dependency. This means they need far more niacin on a regular basis than normal and are essentially dependent in order to remain well.

This appears to be the case in some suffering specific disorders, including attention deficit disorder, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and general psychosis; deficiency may trigger mania, psychosis and paranoid delusions. Vitamin B deficiencies are also associated with:

Fatigue

Weakness

Anemia

Skin infections

Nausea

Mental confusion

Digestive issues

Nerve problems (numbness, tingling, trouble walking)13

Groups More at Risk for B-Complex Vitamin Deficiencies

While B12 is easily obtained from animal proteins such as meat, fish, milk and cheese, advancing age may diminish your ability to absorb the vitamin from food.14 Absorption depends on adequate stomach acid, pepsin and gastric intrinsic factor. Insufficient amounts of acid may also be present if you use acid blockers for heartburn. Individuals who regularly use a proton pump inhibitor may develop a B12 deficiency.15 Excessive intake of alcohol may result in reduced absorption rates as well.

Individuals who suffer other stomach or small intestine disorders, such a celiac or Crohn’s disease, may be unable to absorb vitamin B12 from their food.16 Those who have had surgical procedures in their gastrointestinal tract for weight loss or procedures resulting in removal of all or part of the stomach may also be at risk. Individuals who practice strict vegetarianism or are vegans are at greater risk than those who are lacto-ovo vegetarians, as natural food sources are limited to animal-based foods.

The B-group of vitamins is a collection of eight water-soluble vitamins,17 which are unable to be stored by the body and must be consumed regularly in your diet. Extended cooking times or food processing can destroy or reduce the availability of many of the B vitamins. In the featured study from Ireland, low or deficient vitamin B12 was more commonly found in smokers, those who lived alone and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.18

There are also groups of people who have an increased requirement, such as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those who have an autoimmune disorder or people with HIV infections. Frank vitamin B6 deficiency is relatively rare in the U.S., but some suffer from subclinical deficiency or suboptimal levels. People with poor renal function, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, or those who are alcohol dependent have greater difficulty in absorbing vitamin B6.19

Detoxify From Chronic Air Pollution

Chronic exposure to pesticides and air pollution may help deplete vitamin B complex. Adequate amounts of all eight vitamins are necessary to aid in your body’s nutritional demands during detoxification.20 According to the World Health Organization,21 92 percent of people worldwide breathe polluted air and live in toxic environments responsible for at least 1 in 4 deaths reported worldwide.

Poor air quality causes serious damage to your lungs, heart and other organ systems. However, maintaining optimal levels of vitamin B-complex may help to offset your exposure to toxic air pollution.22 In a study published in PNAS,23 researchers recruited 10 volunteers between 18 and 60 years of age. The participants were exposed to clean air and given a placebo to establish a baseline.

During the next round of testing, they inhaled concentrated smog for two hours, after which blood samples were collected. Next, participants received daily supplements of 2.5 milligrams (mg) of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1 mg of vitamin B12 for four weeks before inhaling hazardous levels of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) air pollution.

It is important to note the dosages used during the study were higher than those recommended by the Institute of Medicine. However, this was not the first time higher than normal doses of vitamin B vitamins have shown distinct health benefits. Following four weeks of supplementation the participants experienced a reduction in genetic damage in 10 gene locations, protected mitochondrial DNA from harmful effects and reparation of some of the genetic damage caused by the pollution.24

Neurological Benefits to Maintaining Optimal Levels of B Vitamins

Folate (vitamin B9) is one of the B vitamins needed to produce red and white blood cells in your bone marrow and to convert carbohydrates into energy. Although your body is capable of making folate in your gut,25 it requires specific probiotic bacteria, which may not currently populate your gut microbiome. Adequate amounts of folate are extremely important during periods of rapid growth, such as during infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.

For this reason, in the 1990s the U.S. mandated grain-based foods to be fortified with folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects in infants born to mothers who may not have consumed enough folate.26 Neural tube defects are complex congenital malformations that result when the neural tube closure during embryogenesis fails.

Although supplementation with folic acid has demonstrated a decrease in the prevalence of neural tube defects,27,28 other lines of evidence have suggested B12, choline and methylation metabolism are also involved.29

Optimal levels of vitamin B9 may also deter the development of psychosis and autism in children. In one study, researchers compared school-age children born before the fortification mandate against young people born after, finding an increase in utero folic acid exposure was associated with changes in later brain development, which in turn predicted a reduced risk for symptoms of psychosis.30

The team from Massachusetts General Hospital31 reviewed two sets of brain images taken between ages 8 and 18, revealing those born after full implementation of folic acid fortification had different patterns of cortical maturation. These differences were characterized by significantly thicker brain tissue and delayed thinning of the cerebral cortex, regions associated with the development of schizophrenia.

Folate may also mitigate the risk of pesticide-induced autism. As glyphosate disrupts your gut microbiome, it may lead to a decreased ability to produce folate and induce folate deficiency. Research by UC Davis finds taking a recommended amount of folic acid at the time of conception may lower your child’s risk of pesticide-related autism. In a press release, researchers wrote:32

“In the study, children whose mothers took 800 or more micrograms of folic acid (the amount in most prenatal vitamins) had a significantly lower risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — even when their mothers were exposed to household or agricultural pesticides associated with increased risk.

Mothers who took less than 800 micrograms and encountered household pesticides had a much higher estimated risk of having a child who developed an ASD than moms who took 800 micrograms of folic acid or more and were not exposed to pesticides. The associated risk increased for women exposed repeatedly.

Women with low folic acid intake who were exposed to agricultural pesticides during a window from three months before conception to three months afterward also were at higher estimated risk.”

Folate or Folic Acid?

While the terms folate and folic acid are often used interchangeably, it is important to realize there are significant differences between them. Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., writes in a Weston A. Price article about the differences between the two:33

“The folic acid supplement that’s added to flour is a synthetic version of the B vitamin, which is oxidized and missing the methyl group. The active form of the vitamin is technically called methyltetrahydrofolate. Folic acid is much more stable, whereas folate easily breaks down with aging or with heat … Folic acid is a (cheaper) synthetic molecule whereas folate is natural.

A definitive study from 1991 involving 33 centers in seven countries seemed to support the decision, suggesting a clear benefit from folic acid supplementation with little down side.

A bold assumption in supplementing with folic acid rather than folate was that the gut microbes would take care of reducing folic acid to folate (adding two hydrogen atoms and reducing double bonds) and then adding the all-important methyl group, prior to its absorption into the bloodstream. If this doesn’t happen, the folic acid is useless, and may even have toxic effects.

A much more recent study, from 2014, suggests that this assumption was wrong. Through direct measurements of folic acid metabolites in the hepatic portal vein, they discovered that the human gut can methylate folate but it can’t efficiently reduce folic acid, a step that is necessary prior to methylation. This means that the unreduced and unmethylated folic acid makes its way to the liver, which then is tasked with both reducing it and methylating it.

This costs the liver dearly, both in antioxidant capacity and in methylation capacity. In fact, it can be expected to drive the liver toward a hyperoxidized state, with a high ratio of oxidized-to-reduced glutathione and a depletion of an important compound called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and methionine, all of which lead to liver stress. Unfortunately, glyphosate does all of these things in the liver as well.”

Find These Valuable Nutrients in Your Food

As a rule, I recommend getting most, if not all, of your nutrition from real food. Ideally, this is from organically raised foods to avoid exposure to toxic pesticides. Depending upon your situation and condition however, you may need one or more supplements. Begin by reviewing the list of foods containing B vitamins in my previous article, “How B Vitamins Improve Brain Health, Cognition, Psychiatric Problems and Mood Disorders.”

If you find you rarely or never eat foods rich in one of these nutrients you may want to consider using a high-quality, ideally food-based supplement. Consider limiting your sugar intake and incorporating fermented foods to help improve your absorption and reduce damage to your mitochondria and metabolism.

As the entire B group of vitamins is produced within your gut, it is important to eat fermented foods and organically-grown whole food to provide your microbiome with important fiber and beneficial bacteria to optimize your internal vitamin B production.

Weekly Health Quiz: Ginger, Fitness and Energy

1 Which of the following has been shown to ease menstrual pain as effectively as ibuprofen?

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

    One of the most well-recognized health benefits of ginger is the easing of pain; research shows it can ease menstrual pain as effectively as ibuprofen. Learn more.

  • Bergamot oil

2 Which of the following statements is false?

  • Recent research found people, who had gotten seasonal flu shots and contracted influenza shed infectious viruses through exhaled breath; those vaccinated two seasons in a row had a greater viral load of influenza A virus
  • Research shows flu vaccinations may promote lung inflammation
  • Studies show annual vaccination leads to reduced protection against influenza
  • Recent research found people who had gotten seasonal flu shots and contracted influenza did not shed infectious influenza viruses, while unvaccinated people did

    Recent research found infectious influenza viruses in the exhaled breath of people who had gotten seasonal flu shots and contracted influenza, suggesting vaccination promotes greater shedding of influenza A viruses and may promote lung inflammation. Those vaccinated two seasons in a row shed a greater viral load. Other studies show annual vaccination lowers protection against influenza infection. Learn more.

3 Which of the following was the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency?

  • Whole Foods Market

    In 2013, Whole Foods became the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for the implementation of GMO labeling. The labeling policy was scheduled to take effect September 1, 2018, but May 18, the company announced the requirement is being pushed back, although no new deadline has been set. Learn more.

  • Publix
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Aldi

4 Which of the following requires the most energy out of all your internal organs, and is therefore more susceptible to age-related diseases?

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Eyes
  • Brain

    Your brain, which consumes up to 20 percent of the energy used by your entire body, is particularly susceptible to impaired energy production due to faulty mitochondria, and researchers now suggest this is what makes the human brain susceptible to age-related diseases in the first place. Learn more.

5 Which of the following has turned into the latest fitness craze in the U.S.?

  • Frog Ping-Pong
  • Horseback archery
  • Goat yoga

    Goat yoga, which got its start in 2016, has taken the U.S. by storm, with classes popping up around the country. Goats are said to bring an unexpected level of fun and laughter to traditional yoga sessions. Learn more.

  • Swimming with dogs

6 Every day, 115 Americans, on average, die from overdoses of this type of prescription drug:

  • Antidepressants
  • Opioids

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 115 Americans, on average, die of an opioid overdose every day. Learn more.

  • High blood pressure medications
  • Statins

7 Which of the following health treatments are you recommended to maintain on a regular basis throughout life, just as you maintain regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist?

  • Homeopathic treatment
  • Acupuncture treatment
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment

    Structure dictates function. If your spine is misaligned, your nervous system will be adversely impacted. Getting regular chiropractic adjustments is important for the maintenance of your spine and overall health and physical function. Learn more.

Why You Should Eat More Chlorophyll-Rich Foods

By Dr. Mercola

Photosynthesis is the process in which plants absorb light from the sun — along with water and carbon dioxide — and transform it into the food they need for growth.1 Oxygen, the nutrient that virtually all eukaryotic cells require to generate energy in their mitochondria, is a byproduct of photosynthesis.

At the heart of photosynthesis is chlorophyll,2 a pigment that absorbs blue and some red portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and gives the plant its green color. The deeper, darker the green, the more chlorophyll the plant contains.

Chlorophyll is also found in algae and cyanobacteria, both of which also use photosynthesis to create their own nourishment. You probably know that vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and while plant foods contain a wide variety of plant chemicals that promote health, chlorophyll is an important part of the health equation.

Biological Activity of Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll has a number of important biological activities, several of which offer protection against cancer. This includes:3,4

  • Binding to carcinogenic chemicals, allowing your body to safely eliminate them. This includes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from tobacco smoke, heterocyclic amines from cooked meat and aflatoxin-B1, a mycotoxin found in moldy peanuts and other grains and legumes
  • Antioxidant effects, decreasing cellular damage caused by carcinogenic chemicals and radiation
  • Inhibiting cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are required for the activation of procarcinogens. This is yet another way in which chlorophyll helps decrease your risk of chemically-induced cancers

Chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic sodium copper salt derived from chlorophyll (and the type typically found in chlorophyll supplements), has similar benefits. In addition to inhibiting cancer, it has also been shown to have deodorizing and healing effects. It’s been used topically for foul-smelling and/or slow-healing wounds such as vascular ulcers and pressure ulcers, and taken orally, chlorophyllin supplements have been shown to reduce urine and fecal odor in patients struggling with incontinence.

Topical application may also reduce signs of photoaging,5 in part by inhibiting the breakdown of hyaluronic acid in your skin, which is why chlorophyllin is sometimes found in antiaging remedies. Studies have also shown chlorophyllin-containing creams help reduce acne and minimize large pores. Other health benefits of chlorophyll include:6

  • Cleansing elimination systems such as your bowel, liver and blood
  • Improving transport of oxygen throughout your body
  • Relieving inflammation and pain
  • Stimulating your immune system
  • Boosting beneficial bacteria in your intestines

Chlorophyll Allows Your Body to Derive Energy From the Sun

A lesser-known effect of chlorophyll is its impact on energy production. As explained in a 2014 study7 published in the Journal of Cell Science:

“Sunlight is the most abundant energy source on this planet. However, the ability to convert sunlight into biological energy in the form of adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) is thought to be limited to chlorophyll-containing chloroplasts in photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that mammalian mitochondria can also capture light and synthesize ATP when mixed with a light-capturing metabolite of chlorophyll.

The same metabolite fed to the worm Caenorhabditis elegans leads to increase in ATP synthesis upon light exposure, along with an increase in life span. We further demonstrate the same potential to convert light into energy exists in mammals, as chlorophyll metabolites accumulate in mice, rats and swine when fed a chlorophyll-rich diet.

Results suggest chlorophyll type molecules modulate mitochondrial ATP by catalyzing the reduction of Coenzyme Q, a slow step in mitochondrial ATP synthesis. We propose that through consumption of plant chlorophyll pigments, animals, too, are able to derive energy directly from sunlight.”

Chlorophyll Helps Optimize Ubiquinol Production

In other words, the way chlorophyll helps modulate mitochondrial ATP is by capturing energy from sunlight and transferring that energy to reduce Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to its active biological form, ubiquinol — a finding supported by another study8 published in Photochemistry and Photobiology.

Here, they found that dietary chlorophyll, along with its metabolites and sunlight exposure, help maintain a healthy ubiquinol level in your body, which in turn helps regulate your plasma redox status — a factor that plays an important role in the aging process9 and can be used as an indicator of severity of disease in ill patients.10

The only problem I have with these studies is that they used 660 or 670 nm wavelengths, which is red. These wavelengths only penetrate a few millimeters into your body. Longer wavelengths like 850 nm (near-infrared) penetrate many inches into your body and would actually be able to charge the chlorophyll in deeper tissues. My guess is that it is likely the longer wavelengths would also work but they never studied them. As explained by the authors:11

“Ubiquinol is a plasma antioxidant. The mechanisms responsible for maintenance of plasma ubiquinol are poorly understood. Here, we show that metabolites of chlorophyll can be found in blood plasma of animals that are given a chlorophyll-rich diet.

We also show that these metabolites catalyze the reduction of plasma ubiquinone to ubiquinol in the presence of ambient light, in vitro. We propose that dietary chlorophyll or its metabolites, together with light exposure, regulate plasma redox status through maintaining the ubiquinol pool.”

Ubiquinol is the reduced version of CoQ10, one of the most popular supplements known to optimize mitochondrial health. It’s also the No. 1 supplement recommended by cardiologists for heart health. Anyone taking a statin drug really needs to be on this supplement to protect their heart. Ubiquinol is the electron-rich form of CoQ10 that your body produces naturally. In your mitochondria, ubiquinol facilitates the conversion of energy substrates and oxygen into ATP needed by your cells for life, repair and regeneration.

It also helps mop up reactive oxygen species — harmful byproducts of metabolism that can damage mitochondrial cell membranes. For these reasons, ubiquinol helps prevent diseases and conditions rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction, including heart disease and migraines. Low CoQ10 levels have also been detected in people with certain types of cancer,12 including lung, breast and pancreatic cancer, as well as melanoma metastasis.

Best Sources of Chlorophyll

As mentioned, dark green vegetables are a rich source of chlorophyll. Another excellent source, indeed one of the best, is chlorella, a green alga often recommended as a binder in heavy metal detoxification protocols. Chlorella has a particular affinity for binding and eliminating mercury, and can therefore be useful when eating a lot of fish. It’s also high in plant-based protein.

I typically take 12 of our fermented chlorella tablets twice a day with meals, which is 5 grams or about 150 milligrams (mg) of chlorophyll, equivalent to well over a pound of spinach. Spirulina,13 if you can tolerate it, is another algae, which due to its genetics and biochemical properties has been classified as a cyanobacteria, is also high in chlorophyll.

The following chart details the approximate amount of chlorophyll found in various food sources known to be rich sources.14,15,16,17,18 For ease of comparison, all serving measurements have been converted into grams, with a serving size being 10 grams. By doing this, you can clearly see how chlorella and spirulina are far superior sources to commonly cited chlorophyll-rich foods such as spinach, which contains the highest amounts of any green vegetable, beaten only by parsley, which is used far more sparingly.

Source Chlorophyll in milligrams per 10-gram serving

Klamath (Aphanizomenon flos aquae or AFA) spirulina

300 mg

Chlorella

280 mg

Barley grass

150 mg

Spirulina

115 mg

Wheatgrass

55 mg

Parsley

15 mg

Spinach (raw)

8 mg

Arugula

4 mg

Garden cress

3 mg

Endive

1 mg

Leeks

0.5 mg

Is Wheatgrass an Ideal Source of Chlorophyll?

Wheatgrass and barley grass are commonly recommended as sources of chlorophyll, and as you can see, they’re certainly among the richest sources. One drawback is that they can contain gluten,19,20 which can be a problem if you have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Sprouted wheat, barley and other common grains contain gluten, but since wheatgrass and barley grass are made from grasses harvested before the plant has actually seeded, they should theoretically be gluten-free.

The problem originates in cross-contamination that can occur during processing. Overall, the risk of having a gluten reaction from wheatgrass and barley grass is small, but it’s worth being cautious if you’re sensitive.

Processed foods such as bars and premade smoothies advertising wheatgrass or barley grass as an ingredient could potentially contain gluten if they were processed in a facility that also processes the grains. So, if you’re buying a premade product, do your research and make sure the manufacturing process is gluten-free throughout, with no possibility of cross-contamination.

If you’re making your own juice, or buy from a vendor that juices it fresh in front of you, which you can often find at farmers markets, make sure the grass has not started flowering or sprouting seeds. Once wheat starts to flower, it will contain gluten.

Wheatgrass should be no taller than 6 inches, or older than 10 to 14 days when you cut it to ensure its gluten-free status. Also make sure no rogue, unsprouted seeds from the soil accidentally make their way into the juice. A single juiced up wheat seed can actually cause the beverage to exceed the Food and Drug Administration’s limit on gluten for a gluten-free product.

Poll: Almost a Third of US Voters Think a 2nd Civil War is Coming Soon

By Ryan W. Miller | 27 June 2018

USA TODAY — A war may be brewing within the United States, almost a third of voters say in a poll released Wednesday.

Amid widespread political polarization on issues like immigration and recent public confrontations of Trump administration officials, 31 percent of probable U.S. voters surveyed said they think “it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years.”

Democrats at 37 percent were slightly more fearful of a second civil war than Republicans at 32 percent, the poll from Rasmussen Reports found.

While more than half thought it was unlikely the USA would see a second civil war soon, 59 percent of voters were still concerned that opponents of President Donald Trump’s policies would resort to violence.

During former President Barack Obama’s second year in office, a similar 53% of voters thought those who did not support his policies would turn to violence, according to Rasmussen[…]

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