An unhealthy weight can affect your body’s ability to use vitamin D

(Natural News) People who are overweight have a lot to worry about, from the way their clothes fit to their higher risk of health problems. Now researchers have added yet another motivation to shed some pounds as they’ve discovered that the effects of obesity on the liver can hurt overweight people’s ability to use vitamin…

Gabapentinoids linked to overdoses and suicide

Suicide rates are at an all-time high since World War II, and there are several different reasons for this. One of the factors that is often ignored is the influence many medications have on your mental stability. Antidepressants are perhaps the most well-known in this regard, but violent behavior and suicide are side effects of other medications as well.

Most recently, Swedish researchers have linked gabapentinoids — a nonopioid type of analgesic — to “suicidal behavior, unintentional overdoses, injuries, road traffic accidents and violent crime.”1

Two primary gabapentinoids are gabapentin and pregabalin, which are used for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain disorders. Pregabalin, such as Lyrica2 (which is increasingly associated with addiction and abuse3), is also prescribed for anxiety in Europe and fibromyalgia in the U.S. Globally, this class of drugs was among the 15 best-selling medications of 2016.4

Gabapentinoids are structural analogs of ?-amino butyric acid (GABA) that selectively block voltage-dependent calcium channels.5 Common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, visual disturbances and mental difficulties.6 However, these drugs have also been linked to a significantly increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Gabapentinoids linked to serious hazards, including suicide

The study,7,8 published online in April 2019 in the journal BMJ, examined data on 191,973 Swedish residents who filled gabapentinoid prescriptions in the years between 2006 and 2013.

In that time, 5.2% of them either received treatment for suicidal inclinations or died from suicide; 8.9% unintentionally overdosed, 6.3% were involved in a traffic accident or traffic-related offense; 36.7% were treated for a head or body injury due to an accident, and 4.1% were arrested for a violent crime. The researchers concluded gabapentinoids treatment was associated with:

  • A 26% increased risk for suicidal behavior and death from suicide
  • 24% increased risk for unintentional overdose
  • 22% increased risk for head or body injury due to an accident
  • 13% increased risk for traffic violations or accidents
  • 4% increased risk for violent crime offenses

Of the two gabapentinoids, pregabalin — which is the newer of the two9 — was clearly the worst, accounting for most of these adverse effects, while gabapentin — an older drug — showed “no statistically significant hazards.”

Stratified by age, the risks associated with these drugs were the highest among those aged 15 through 24, and the risks were dose-dependent, so the higher the dose, the greater the risk. According to the authors:10

“This study suggests that gabapentinoids are associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior, unintentional overdoses, head/body injuries, and road traffic incidents and offences. Pregabalin was associated with higher hazards of these outcomes than gabapentin.”

As is often the case, the risks associated with these drugs have only become apparent as their usage has increased. Dr. Derek K. Tracy of Queen Mary’s Hospital told Reuters that:11

“While it’s not clear why prescribing of gabapentinoids has grown so rapidly … anecdotally it appears that many doctors regarded them as relatively effective and with a low side effect profile.

As we accumulated more information over time, it has become clear that this is not the case, and most recently there has been a countering drive to try reduce their usage as their harm profile came more to the fore.

It is also becoming clearer with time that some people are becoming dependent (“addicted”) to gabapentinoids, though we still lack good information on exactly how common that is, or which groups of people might be more vulnerable to this.”

Concomitant opioid use magnifies risks

Opioids by themselves are associated with a high risk of death through unintentional overdosing, but when combined with other drugs, that risk is significantly magnified.

According to the featured BMJ study,12 research13 published in 2017 demonstrated that concomitant use of gabapentin and opioids raised the risk of death by 60% over and beyond the risk associated with either drug by itself.

Concomitant use of opioids and benzodiazepines or “benzos” — such as Valium, Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax — which are widely prescribed for anxiety and insomnia, also raises your risk of death by a significant margin.

Research14,15 published in the journal JAMA in 2018 found that, during the first 90 days of concurrent use, your risk of a deadly overdose rises fivefold, compared to taking an opioid alone. Between days 91 and 180, the risk remains nearly doubled, after which the risk tapers off, becoming roughly equal to taking an opioid alone.

The study also found that the greater number of clinicians were involved in a patient’s care, the greater the risk of overdose — a finding that highlights the lack of communication between doctors prescribing medication to the same patient, and the clear danger thereof.

Suicide is at a 20-year high

The influence of medication on suicide risk is an important consideration, as suicide rates have dramatically risen over the years. According to the latest statistics16,17 published in the June 2019 issue of JAMA, the suicide rate in the U.S. is now at a 20-year high, having risen 30% between 2000 and 2016 across all age groups.

A couple of groups have seen particularly sharp rises, namely Native Americans and Alaska Natives — among whom the suicide rate between 1999 and 2017 rose 139% among women and 71% among men18 — and teenagers, boys in particular.

Between 2014 and 2017, the teen suicide rate rose 10% per year. Here too, there’s a clear discrepancy between genders, with the annual suicide rate among teen boys, aged 15 through 19, rising 14% between 2015 and 2017, while the annual suicide rate among girls rose 8% between 2000 and 2017.

Lead investigator Oren Miron, a research associate at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told,19 “It really is an unprecedented surge. You can go back decades and you won’t find such a sharp increase.” Miron blames the rise on two primary sources: opioid abuse and social media.

“It’s much easier to bully. The apps are getting smarter and smarter at providing anonymity and hiding activity from grown-ups,” he told, adding “Parents and teachers need to be aware that the rates have reached their highest recorded level, and they need to be on the lookout for both boys and girls.”

Common contributors to teen suicide

Clinical psychologist and suicide prevention specialist Pamela Cantor, who was not involved in any of the studies mentioned, told that “kids are ‘intensely programmed’ to achieve and have too little time to just enjoy their youth.” Other influences identified by Cantor, which can raise a child’s risk of suicide, include:

  • Family instability
  • Social pressure
  • “Parents who try to smooth the way so that when their children hit a snag they do not know how to cope”
  • Exposure to violence, including school shootings and “socially sanctioned expressions of hatred”
  • Easy availability of drugs, alcohol and guns

Suicide among native populations

Among Native Americans, the shocking rise in suicides are thought to be related to20 high rates of poverty,21 lower educational achievements, and high rates of alcoholism. Among women, the extraordinary rise in suicide has also been traced back to unusually high rates of violence.

According to the Indian Law Resource Center, “More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence, and more than 1 in 2 have experienced sexual violence.”22

Alaska Native women have the highest domestic battery rate of any group in the U.S. — 10 times higher than the rest of the U.S. The murder rate of indigenous women is also more than 10 times the national average.23 Race discrimination worsens the tragedy, as a majority of these women never get any kind of justice. As reported by the Indian Law Resource Center:

“For more than 35 years, United States law has stripped Indian nations of all criminal authority over non-Indians. As a result, until recent changes in the law, Indian nations were unable to prosecute non-Indians, who reportedly commit the vast majority (96%) of sexual violence against Native women.

The Census Bureau reports that non-Indians now comprise 76% of the population on tribal lands and 68% of the population in Alaska Native villages. Many Native women have married non-Indians.

However, it is unacceptable that a non-Indian who chooses to marry a Native woman, live on her reservation, and commit acts of domestic violence against her, cannot be criminally prosecuted by an Indian nation and more often than not will never be prosecuted by any government.”

Children whose parents use opioids have greater suicide risk

In related news, recent research24 shows children and teens whose parents use opioids have more than double the suicide rate — 0.37% compared to 0.14% — of those whose parents do not use opioids. In a press release, senior author Robert Gibbons, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics and director of the Center for Health Statistics at the University of Chicago, stated:25

“We theorized such a link was plausible because parental substance abuse is a known risk factor for suicide attempts by their children. In addition, depression and suicide attempts by parents — which are known to be related to suicidal behavior in their offspring — are more common among adults who abuse opioids.”

Co-author Dr. David A. Brent, psychiatrist and chair of suicide studies at the University of Pittsburgh commented on the results:26

“These findings demonstrate that opioid use by a parent or parents doubles the risk for suicidal behavior by their children. The epidemics of adult opiate abuse and child suicidal behavior appear to be linked, and the disturbing upward trends in mortality due to opiates and due to child suicide may have common roots.”

Red Flags — Is someone you know suicidal?

If someone close to you has recently endured a hardship, or you have noticed a change in their behavior, how can you tell when ordinary stress or sadness has progressed to a potentially suicidal level? Besides straightforward or “sideways” comments about not wanting to live any longer, some of the red flags that a person has a high risk for self-harm include:27

Acquiring a weapon

Hoarding medication

No plan for the future

Putting affairs in order

Making or changing a will, or writing about feeling hopeless or suicidal

Giving away personal belongings for no apparent reason

Mending grievances

Checking on insurance policies

Social withdrawal

Sudden mood swings

Frequent and/or increased use of drugs or alcohol

Engaging in risky behaviors

If you think someone is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. A person who appears suicidal needs immediate professional help. Help the person to seek immediate assistance from their doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential suicide aids, including unsupervised access to medications.

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Fast-food shrinks your brain

Eating fast food — the epitome of highly processed “fake” foods — can have lasting ramifications on your brain health, so much so that researchers at Australian National University suggested you can cause “irreversible” damage by the time you reach middle age, just by eating a fast-food diet and not staying active.1

If you are middle-aged and haven’t been eating the best, don’t panic — you can start making healthier changes starting today. However, the new study is eye-opening, once again hitting home the importance of healthy eating when it comes to keeping your mind strong as you age.

Fast-food increases risk of Type 2 diabetes, neurodegeneration

In a review by the scientists in the featured study,2 they stated that people today are consuming about 650 Kilocalories more daily than they were in the 1970s — an amount equivalent to a fast-food meal consisting of a burger, fries and soft drink. (A Kilocalorie, or Kcal, is equal to 1 Calorie, with a capital “C,” while 1,000 calories with a lowercase “c” equal 1 Kilocalorie.) This amount is about one-quarter of the recommended daily food energy needs for men and just under one-third for women.3

“The extra amount of energy that people consume daily compared to 50 years ago means that many people have an unhealthy diet,” ANU professor Nicolas Cherbuin, lead author of the study, said in a news release, adding:4

“People eating too much of the wrong kind of food, particularly fast food, is the other big worry. As a society, we need to stop asking, ‘do you want fries with that?’, and the mindset that comes with it. If we don’t, then expect to see more overweight and obese people suffering from serious diseases.”

The review5 focused on “how normal but elevated blood glucose levels in individuals without T2D [Type 2 diabetes] contribute to neurodegenerative processes, and how the main risk factors for T2D diabetes, including obesity, lack of physical activity and poor diet, modulate these effects.” Often, “high normal” blood sugar levels progress to impaired fasting glucose and, eventually, Type 2 diabetes.

Impaired glucose metabolism is then associated with neurodegeneration that impairs cognitive function. What’s more, these factors begin not in old age but much earlier, such that following a healthy lifestyle in young adulthood may be protective against cognitive decline later. According to the study:6

“The notion that T2D is associated with neurodegeneration, cognitive impairment, dementia and mortality is not new. However, these associations are often thought to be mostly relevant in old age despite the availability of substantial evidence indicating that the pathological processes at play are initiated in mid-adulthood or before.

… It is of particular concern that the pathological cascade leading to higher FBG and ultimately T2D typically begins decades before and starts impacting cerebral health and cognition from its onset.”

Ultraprocessed foods lead to insulin resistance, neurodegeneration

Dr. Suzanne De La Monte of Brown University has also conducted research showing that systemic insulin resistance diseases linked to obesity and Type 2 diabetes promote neurodegeneration. She wrote in the journal Panminerva Medica:7

“Insulin resistance diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and metabolic syndrome are prevalent in modern high tech societies, and they are costly because they consume large percentages of healthcare budgets, lead to disability, and cause premature death.

The unrelenting appetite for highly processed, high starch, high fat, and high caloric content foods is literally eroding health status across all age groups in the United States. Thanks to the robust domestic and international research efforts over the past decade, it is now clear that insulin resistance can afflict any organ and tissue in the body.

The consequences include deficits in energy metabolism, increased inflammation and oxidative stress, and proneness to cellular degeneration and death. No thanks to commercial luring of the uninformed who seek the comfortable lifestyles of the West, insulin resistance diseases are quickly spreading throughout the world and beginning to bear their tolls on global health.”

Poor diet may shrink your brain

Worldwide, about 30% of the population is overweight or obese, but this percentage goes even higher in developed areas like Europe and the Americas, where prevalence is 50% to 60%.8 According to the featured study, “Diet and physical activity are the main determinants of adiposity [being overweight or obese].”9 Obesity, in turn, is associated with negative changes in your brain. The researchers noted:10

“As a whole the body of evidence presented … strongly suggests that persistently elevated FBG [fasting blood glucose] are associated with brain shrinkage, progressive loss of function across several cognitive domains, the development of dementia, and ultimately, premature death.

It is also clear that T2D’s main risk factors contribute in a major way to these effects and that clinical T2D represents the greatest risk to cerebral health.”

Both diabetes and higher fasting glucose levels are linked with lower total brain volume.11 Research published in Radiology also found that obesity may lead to alterations in brain structure, shrinking certain regions.12 Among men, higher total body fat percentage was linked to lower brain gray matter volume. Specifically, 5.5% greater total body fat percentage was associated with 3,162 mm3 lower gray matter volume.

Gray matter is the outer layer of the brain associated with high-level brain functions such as problem-solving, language, memory, personality, planning and judgment. In a study reported by Sci News,13 among men, 5.5% greater total body fat was also associated with 27 mm3 smaller globus pallidus volume, an association also seen in women.

In women, 6.6% greater total body fat percentage was associated with 11.2 mm3 smaller globus pallidus volume. According to Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, the globus pallidus is a brain region that plays a role in supporting a range of functions, including motivation, cognition and action.14 Obesity has also been associated with changes in white matter microstructure, which may be related to cognitive function.15

Researchers at Loughborough University in England have also revealed that carrying excess weight around your midsection may affect your brain health, even leading to a concerning decline in brain volume.16

This study involved 9,652 participants with an average age of 55.4, plus or minus 7.5 years, who received scores for both body mass index (BMI), a flawed formula that divides your weight by the square of your height, and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). (I believe your waist-to-hip ratio is a more reliable indicator of your future disease risk than BMI because a higher ratio suggests you have more visceral fat — a measure BMI tells you nothing about.)

As explained in Science Alert,17 participants with a BMI and WHR in a healthy range had an average gray matter brain volume of 798 cubic centimeters, but this dropped to 786 cubic centimeters among those with a high BMI and high WHR.

Eating sugar for breakfast could make you hungrier later

If you tend to start your day with a bowl of sugary cereal, a doughnut or a pastry, you could be further setting yourself up for a day of unhealthy eating. That’s because research suggests consuming a large amount of sugar in the morning could leave you feeling hungrier before lunch and dinner, as well as prompt you to eat more at these meals.18

What’s more, people who consumed greater amounts of snacks, desserts, fast food and candy bars are more likely to struggle with food addiction. Among those who ate fast food, in particular, the odds of food addiction were highest among study participants who consumed five or more servings of hamburgers, french fries and pizza a week.19

In the longer term, Health Promotion Perspectives found that frequent fast food consumption is linked to a host of problems, even beyond your brain health, including:20

  • Overweight and abdominal fat gain
  • Impaired insulin and glucose homeostasis
  • Lipid and lipoprotein disorders
  • Induction of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Increased risk of developmental diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease

Eating fast food three or more times a week is even linked to an increased risk of severe asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents and children.21

The sooner you start eating healthy, the better

It’s never too late to make positive changes to your diet. That being said, the sooner you start focusing your diet on whole, unprocessed foods, the better. The authors of the featured study even suggested that you may begin to lose neurons and neuron function early in life if you eat poorly, and such changes may be difficult, if not impossible, to counteract once the damage is done.

According to Cherbuin, “The damage done is pretty much irreversible once a person reaches midlife, so we urge everyone to eat healthy and get in shape as early as possible — preferably in childhood but certainly by early adulthood.”22 He continued:

“What has become really apparent in our investigation is that advice for people to reduce their risk of brain problems, including their risk of getting dementia, is most commonly given in their 60s or later, when the ‘timely prevention’ horse has already bolted.

Many people who have dementia and other signs of cognitive dysfunction, including shrinking brains, have increased their risk throughout life by eating too much bad food and not exercising enough. One of the best chances people have of avoiding preventable brain problems down the track is to eat well and exercise from a young age.”

What type of diet is best for your brain?

Just as processed fast foods can damage your brain, nutrient-dense whole foods can protect it. Even in terms of mental health, a good-quality diet is linked with better outcomes, whereas increased consumption of processed food increases the risk of anxiety and depression.23 As further noted in Nature Reviews, Neuroscience:24

“We now know that particular nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes that are vital for maintaining cognitive function. This raises the exciting possibility that dietary manipulations are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities and protecting the brain from damage, promoting repair and counteracting the effects of aging.

Emerging research indicates that the effects of diet on the brain are integrated with the actions of other lifestyle modalities, such as exercise and sleep.”

While reducing your intake of processed foods and eliminating added sugars is essential, I recommend going a step further and adopting a ketogenic diet for protecting your brain health. 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 (ROS) and less free radical damage.

A type of ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate is also an important epigenetic player, having significant effects on DNA expression, increasing detoxification pathways and your body’s own antioxidant production. Beta-hydroxybutyrate also stimulates specific receptors on cells called g-proteins.

When these receptors are tagged by this beta-hydroxybutyrate during mild ketosis, it helps reduce the activation of pathways that lead to inflammation, and inflammation is a driver in most all chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

For the best results, however, combine nutritional ketosis with intermittent fasting. The ketogenic diet provides many of the same health benefits associated with fasting and intermittent fasting, but when done together, most people will experience significant improvements in their health.

The details are provided in my book “Fat for Fuel,” but here is a summary of how to implement these two strategies as a cohesive health program. The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Beginner’s Guide is also excellent reading if you’re new to this way of eating. In addition, individual nutrients and foods such as animal-based omega-3 fats, pastured organic egg yolks, coconut oil and blueberries are also excellent brain-boosting foods.

It’s been found that people with cognitive impairments who improved their diet and exercised three times a week were able to improve their brain function after just six months.25 So, no matter what you’ve been eating up until now, it’s a great time to start eating better and get active — your brain will thank you for it.

Peanut oil: Is it good for cooking?

Warning: This oil comes with potentially damaging side effects due to either the ingredient it’s made from or the manufacturing process used to extract it. Because these negative effects overshadow the potential benefits, I do not recommend this oil for therapeutic use. Always be aware of the potential side effects of any herbal oil before using.

Many people have been awakened to the hidden health dangers lurking in vegetable oils like canola, soy and corn, and have now switched to healthful alternative oils like olive, avocado and coconut. Nut oils are also becoming popular, as are grapeseed, sesame and peanut oil — with peanut oil being a favorite when it comes to cooking. But is peanut oil ideal for your cooking needs? Keep reading and find out.

What is peanut oil?

Of the many kinds of oils1 peanut is a mildly sweet edible oil. Also called groundnut or arachis oil,2 it’s made from Arachis hypogea, a low-growing, annual plant that is a member of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family. Despite the word “nut” in its name, peanut is actually a legume and grows underground,3 as opposed to other nuts like walnuts and pecans, which grow on trees (hence are called tree nuts).

Peanuts originated in South America,4 and they have a long place in history. According to the National Peanut Board, peanuts were used as sacrificial offerings by the Incans of Peru, who placed them alongside their mummies to help them cross over into the next life.

Ancient tribes in Central Brazil made a beverage from ground peanuts and maize. This is also where Europeans first came across this plant, and then brought it back to Spain. From there, the humble peanut spread to Asia and Africa, and then eventually to North America.5 As of 2018 the top four producers of peanuts worldwide are China, India, Nigeria and the United States.6

Types of peanut oil

Peanut kernels are eaten boiled or roasted, or crushed or chopped for use in cooking and confectionery. They also can be transformed into other products like peanut butter, peanut flour and peanut oil. According to The Peanut Institute, there are several types of peanut oil sold today:7

Refined peanut oil — This is a processed product that’s largely used in the fast food industry. The refining procedure includes bleaching and deodorizing. Since the process also removes the peanut proteins, this oil is nonallergenic and safe for people with peanut allergies.

According to The Peanut Institute, the refining process also produces an oil that prevents it from absorbing the flavors of the foods cooked in it, making it a favorite for restaurants that need to cook multiple items in the same batch of oil without the foods picking up each other’s flavors.

Gourmet roasted peanut oil — This oil is not refined and is valued because it retains many of the peanut’s nutrients such as pytoesterols and vitamin E. Because it maintains its aromatic flavor, The Spruce Eats8 mentions that this type of peanut oil is often used for flavoring, rather than cooking, sometimes added into dressings, sauces and marinades or drizzled over a salad.

The Spruce Eats also mentions two other peanut oil products that some chefs might choose for certain recipes:

  • Virgin or cold-pressed peanut oil — Since it’s not refined, most of its natural flavors and aromas are still present. It has a light flavor that will not overpower the flavors of other ingredients.
  • Peanut oil blends — These are varieties that have been blended with cheaper oils like soybean oil. As a result, you can buy them at a lower price. The oil it’s blended with usually has a high smoking point as well.

For the best nutrients and unadulterated product, always look for packaging that says “100% peanut oil” on it. That way you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting soybeans in your oil, which may be tainted with pesticide or herbicide residues.

Uses of peanut oil

Peanut oil is currently one of the most popular oils used in the kitchen, as it can be used for frying, sautéing or simply adding a mild nutty flavor to dishes. Asian cultures, particularly China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, are fond of using peanut oil in their food preparation.9

Before you liberally use this oil for cooking, though, please remember that it has a high percentage of omega-6 fats, which can upset your omega 3 to 6 ratio, which can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.10 I advise you to limit your use of peanut oil for cooking or frying, and preferably use it without heating.

So what oil is best for cooking, then? Coconut oil is a much healthier choice. Not only it is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, but it also contains high amounts of saturated fats, which are essential to your health. Peanut oil can also be used for aromatherapy; Stylecraze gives a few other ideas on how to use it:11

  • Moisturize your skin by applying the oil to your face and washing it off after 20 minutes.
  • Apply to your hair to help boost growth, moisturize split ends and regenerate damaged hair.
  • Rub it on your scalp to help address dandruff and ease psoriasis.

Composition of peanut oil

The stability and shelf life of peanut oil are mainly brought on by its fatty acid composition.12 It is composed of 10.7% saturated fats, 71% monounsaturated fats and 20.9% polyunsaturated fats. The main fatty acids are oleic, palmitic and linoleic acids.13

Peanut oil has an extensive shelf life, provided it is stored properly. Unopened peanut oil can stay fresh for up to two years, but if opened, it only stays fresh for six months to one year. Store it in a cool, dry place, such as your pantry, away from sunlight. Make sure the bottle is closed tightly.14

Benefits of peanut oil

Peanut oil may have benefits against diabetes, as suggested by a 2006 animal study. The researchers studied the effect of groundnut oil on lipid profile, blood glucose, lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status among diabetic rats. They found that it “slightly but significantly decreases the blood glucose, HbA1c, lipid peroxidation and lipid profile, and increases antioxidant levels in diabetic rats.”15

Another study found that peanut oil, as well as other peanut products like peanut butter, contain phytosterols (PS), which help reduce the risk of cancer.16

Despite its wealth of uses and potential benefits, peanut oil is not safe for everybody, mainly because of its allergens, which account for the majority of severe food-related allergic reactions.17 They’re also contaminated with a potentially dangerous toxin — more on this below.

Is peanut oil safe?

Having a peanut allergy is no laughing matter, as it’s one of the most severe food allergies known, and can lead to fatal side effects. If you have (or suspect you have) a peanut allergy, I advise you to avoid consuming peanut oil, even in very small amounts — don’t even apply it topically.

Also, keep in mind that peanut oil is added to certain foods, so always read the label when grocery shopping. If you’re dining out, ask your server to check if your food contains or is cooked with peanut, arachis or groundnut oil.

I also advise pregnant women and nursing moms to use peanut oil with caution. Consult your health care provider to find out if it’s safe for you and your infant. If you have sensitive skin, do a skin patch test before using this oil topically.

Another reason why you should be cautious of peanut oil is that this plant is often heavily sprayed with pesticides and contaminated with a mycotoxin called aflatoxin.18 This is a toxic metabolite that comes from certain molds and fungi like Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.19 They thrive in soil and in moist environments.

Peanuts can become contaminated during preharvest, storage or processing. Aflatoxin may cause side effects such as leaky gut and may even increase your risk of liver cancer.20

Potentially dangerous side effects of peanut oil

Anaphylaxis is a dangerous and sometimes deadly side effect of peanuts and peanut oil. If you have a peanut allergy and have unknowingly ingested or used peanut oil, you may experience severe side effects, such as difficulty breathing, swollen lips and throat, fainting, dizziness and chest congestion. Seek emergency health care immediately, as this can be fatal.21

Do you keep echinacea on hand? Check out its many scientifically proven uses

(Natural News) You might have heard that echinacea is great at reducing colds. Although that’s an impressive feat on its own, its uses actually extend far beyond that. Here’s a look at the many scientifically-proven benefits of this plant. Part of the daisy family, echinacea is a flowering plant that grows wildly across the eastern…

Love is the Answer: What it Means, Feels Like, & Why it’s is the Key to Everything

By Michael Becker,

Love is all you need, and love is the answer. Though many may generally agree with this sentiment, from a spiritual perspective, what does it really mean? In our divine quest for reintegration with our Source, it is infinite, unconditional love by which we will return. In this article, I offer my understanding on what loving thyself, loving another, and I explain how love is the answer to solving the question of our existence within this Matrix experience.

What is Love?

Love is the name of the harmonic force which binds the entire universe together. Love is the label we give to describe the highest frequency available within Source, at Source itself, and at that blissful, euphoric, all-knowing state of consciousness, there is no degree of separation whatsoever between wisdom, knowledge, understanding, power, potential, light, and freewill creator ability. Love is the conscious energy which makes up the fabric of existence itself. If you like the term God, then Love is God and God is love.

While we’re here in the flesh, love could be thought of as the visceral sensation of pure, intimate self-knowingness and oneness.

Image result for what is love oneness

At your Source self-awareness, there is absolutely no difference between wisdom, love, and creation itself. To create something is to know everything about it is to love it completely. For another detailed and accurate perspective, here’s how Zingdad describes love during his channeling with his higher self and spirit team:

Source: The Ascension Papers, Ch. 11, by Zingdad

We are in the midst of a rapid, quantum leap in our spiritual evolution as a species. The awakening process sometimes offers a deeper understand that love is much more than a word or an idea: it is who we truly are at our core, at the highest level of existence.

Loving Thyself

Remember, at the highest level, you are Source. And since Source created everything and every-one (every other one or, literally, each other), self-love can and should be achieved by loving yourself and all other ones. All is one, and one for all!

If you want to love another, then love yourself. If you want to love yourself, then love another.

Self-love can only occur when we choose to see ourselves and others for who we really are — in the absence of ego, fear, and any residual belief of separation.

Love is really just a stark recognition of non-separation.

By piercing through the illusory constructs we decorate ourselves with on the outside, we can begin to more easily peer inside.

This process is about unconditional, unremitting, caring acceptance and admiration of who you are. It’s about giving up the exterior subconscious battle to convince the world you are who you create yourself to be with the props you attain or the feathers you flaunt.

Love, as a profound knowing of our spiritual essence, as a deep understanding of the self by the self, is immaterial. In following, if we want to love, we must learn to release superficiality, materialism, and related distractions as these attributes only keep us from seeing ourselves for who we really are. They’re serving, in fact, as intentionally-created diversions to test our ability to see through them and completely love our self for who we are — a non-physical essence.

When we can see past the illusory constructions — anything physical whatsoever — we can bring forth unconditional love and light.

The Soul Says ‘SO U Love’

Our soul knows that love is all that matters, but we forget this when we incarnate. Our human mind and resulting egoic propensity to accumulate “things” to boast our outward expression tries to convince us otherwise.

This brings us to another incredible truth:

The soul says, at all times and no matter what, “SO, U Love!”

Then, and only then, do you ever EVOLve.

In those (even fleeting) moments when we have glimpses of the only thing that truly matters, we invite our soul to take the drivers seat, and we become walking manifestations of it.

The deepest human emotion possible is a knowing of pure, unconditional love that can’t really be described. This emotion occurs when time seems to stop and our breath is taken away.

This kind of earth-shattering love brings about tears, shakes, or rippling chills throughout the body. In those moments, whether you know it or not, you:

  • Have absolutely no fear.
  • Align everything within yourself into perfect harmony.
  • Can’t be harmed, hurt, or distracted by anything — nor do you need anything whatsoever.
  • Merged your thoughts, beliefs, and actions all into one harmonious essence.
  • Choose to embrace God’s frequency — when we love, that is God, manifested.

The love vibration of 528hz can help us attune our natural frequency to be open to such feelings.

If these feelings of liberating self-knowledge and honest self-acceptance are reached with the help of an-other, it can then be said that you have seen the true reflection of the self within that other self. This feeling of true love might be described as your soul’s recognition of its counter-point in another.

Romantic Love

Our current Earth experience offers an opportunity where we can attract, via our vibration, a soul mate.

This self-love offers mutual and nearly perfect soul fulfillment since a soul mate is literally your “other half” (all Source players were split into both a feminine and masculine energy prior to physical incarnation). Soul mates offer that one missing piece that helps one to unlock a solemn, intrinsic knowing of the self. 

We’re getting into complicated territory, here, because love is a complex concept — we need nothing to love fully, yet we need another to love fully, too.

Image result for soulmate yin yang

In the case of soul mates:

Love has nothing to do with another; yet simultaneously everything to do with another.

Ever wondered why people call their soul mate “the one?”

When you find the one, you know The One.

These dichotomies and truisms are exactly what make the miracle of love so breathtaking! When in love, everything makes perfect divine sense while making zero sense whatsoever. This is why love is the highest vibration in the universe — everything becomes, absolutely, unequivocally miraculous.

Love is a figurative coming together of the entire puzzle beneath your very foundation. In some cases, this emotion may rock you to your core, forcing you to deal with unpleasant emotions before you can really embody the essence of the love.

Love is the Answer – Always and to Everything

The Beatles had it spot on — love is all that matters. Source Creator’s ultimate intention in this game was to know itself by creating and entering into an illusion in which it could divide and sub-divide its energy and then “fractalize” itself into individuated units of consciousness, enter into games where it could forget who it was, all in order to find itself. The only way reintegration is possible is by a process of self-remembrance, by self-love.

It’s with this acceptance — that of our ultimate reality, intention, and destination — that we can suddenly conceptualize and begin to actualize that, truly, love is all that matters.

When our Galactic Consciousness created the Earth and the blueprint of the human body, it engrained loving clues to remind us of who we are. For instance, when two human hands conjoin, they meld perfectly into one, filling the gaps and leaving no room for separation. Our body parts, reproductive organs, and sacred positions often resemble a heart in their appearance, such as the shape that the lips make when blowing a kiss. Of course, we can choose to see and embrace these clues or dismiss them as nonsense. But that’s our choice as free creator beings.

However, by holding ourselves back from love, all we’re really doing is prolonging the amount of time and energy we spend “doing the work” that’s necessary to refine ourselves enough to finally “get it.” But when you finally choose to commit to the cosmic agenda of love, you’ll know that all is one… all is won.