One can of fizzy drink a day increases Type 2 diabetes risk by 20%

Western lifestyles blamed as one in 20 UK adults now thought to suffer from the disease

Drinking a can of cola a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by a fifth, according to research.

The largest study of the link between soft-drink consumption and Type 2 diabetes in Europe has found that the sweetened beverages not only cause weight gain, which is associated with a higher rate of diabetes, but also increase the risk of the condition independently.

Almost one in 20 adults in the UK has diabetes, of which 2.6 million are diagnosed and 500,000 are undiagnosed. Rates are rising in this country and around the world, driven by Western lifestyles, and the number of cases is expected to exceed 4 million in the UK by 2025.

Researchers from Imperial College, London, led the study of more than 12,000 people with Type 2 diabetes whose diets were compared with 16,000 controls in nine European countries, including the UK.

The results showed that people who drank one can of sweetened soft drink a day had a 22 per cent increased risk of diabetes.

The risk remained almost as high, at 18 per cent, even after account was taken of how overweight the individuals were and how much they ate.

Sweetened soft drinks contain a lot of calories which contribute to overweight and obesity, which in turn is a cause of diabetes. But the drinks appeared to increase the risk separately from this effect, possibly by triggering insulin resistance, reducing the body's ability to use glucose.

Diet drinks, with artificial sweeteners, did not appear to increase the risk once account was taken of individuals' weight and calorie intake.

Dr Dora Romaguera, of Imperial College, who led the study published in Diabetologia, said: "There was an association in normal weight individuals, overweight and the obese. Even in normal weight individuals, those who drank a glass of soft drink a day were more likely to develop diabetes."

No link with diabetes was found for those who drank fruit juice. But the researchers were unable to distinguish between pure unsweetened fruit juice and the sweetened and diluted fruit juices known as nectars, because the data was collected in the 1990s and no distinction was made.

Dr Romaguera said: "The hypothesis for fruit juice is different. We know they naturally contain sugar but fruits are not associated with an increase in diabetes, rather they are protective. It may be the anti-oxidants they contain that counter the effect of the sugar."

Research Proves Wheat Can Cause Harm To Intestines

The myth that you need to have 'bad genes' to experience intestinal damage from consuming wheat was disproved years ago.

It is a common myth that wheat only causes immune-mediated intestinal damage within those with a rare genetically based aberration called celiac disease. Still relatively unknown research from 2007 clearly demonstrated that everyone's body likely experiences adverse intestinal effects from gluten (gliadin) exposure.

As far as celiac disease, the specific mechanisms by which wheat causes damage are well-known, and they go like this...

In celiac disease, an alcohol-soluble wheat storage protein known as gliadin is partially degraded (i.e. deamidated) by the enzyme tissue transglutaminase, the effect of which is to activate susceptible host T-cells to mistakenly identify and attack intestinal villi as if they were 'foreign' invaders.  This highly destructive autoimmune process can be verified through blood tests, or through the so-called "gold standard" of an intestinal biopsy that clearly reveals destroyed villi and/or flattened intestinal surfaces, the hallmark pathology of celiac disease.

The reality, however, is that one does not need to be celiac, or have a particular genetic mutation, in order to experience damage associated with exposure to wheat gliadin.
In a study published in the journal GUT in 2007, a group of researchers asked the question: "Is gliadin really safe for non-coeliac individuals?"   In order to test their hypothesis that an innate immune response to gliadin is common in both patients with celiac disease and without celiac disease, intestinal biopsy cultures were taken from both groups and challenged with crude gliadin, the gliadin synthetic 19-mer (19 amino acid long gliadin peptide) and 33-mer deamidated peptides.
Results showed that all patients with or without celiac disease, when challenged with the various forms of gliadin, produced an interleukin-15-mediated response. The researchers concluded:
"The data obtained in this pilot study supports the hypothesis that gluten elicits its harmful effect, throughout an IL15 innate immune response, on all individuals [my italics]."
The primary difference between the two groups is that the celiac disease patients experienced both an innate and an adaptive immune response to the gliadin, whereas the non-celiacs experienced only the innate response.

The researchers hypothesized that the difference between the two groups may be attributable to greater genetic susceptibility at the HLA-DQ gene locus (on chromosome 6) for triggering an adaptive immune response, higher levels of immune mediators or receptors, or perhaps greater permeability in the celiac intestine.


A Plant-Based Diet and Less Alcohol Reduce The Risk of Cancer

In multiple studies, cancer researchers have determined that a plant-based diet and less alcohol consumption significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer.

In the most recent study, researchers from Columbia University, Stanford University and UCLA followed 91,779 women for 14 years as part of the California Teachers study. The women were followed between 1995 and 2009.

The researchers tracked the number of breast cancers and tumors among the women during the women and matched these results with the respective diet patterns of the women. The researchers grouped the women into five basic diet patterns:

1) plant-based diet - high in fruits and vegetables
2) high-protein, high-fat diet - high in meats, eggs, fried foods, and fats
3) diet high in carbohydrates, processed and convenient foods, pasta, and bread products
4) ethnic diet - high in legumes, soy foods, rice, and dark-green leafy vegetables
5) salad and wine diet - high in lettuce, fish, wine, low-fat salad dressing, coffee and tea

Of these patterns, those who ate the most (highest quartile) plant-based diet pattern (1) had 15% less incidence of breast cancer and 34% less incidence of breast cancers that were estrogen receptor–negative and progesterone receptor–negative (ER-/PR-).

While the non-plant-based diets scored the lowest, the researchers also found that the "salad and wine diet" pattern produced a 29% higher incidence of estrogen receptor–positive progesterone receptor–positive (ER+/PR+) tumors.

With regard to the alcohol consumption, the researchers noted that alcohol was a contributing factor, but not the only contributing factor.
The researchers concluded that:
"The finding that greater consumption of a plant-based dietary pattern is associated with a reduced breast cancer risk, particularly for ER-/PR- tumors, offers a potential avenue for prevention."

Other studies have shown that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of breast and other cancers.

Specific to breast cancer, a study from France's INSERM scientists conducted a large study that followed 65,374 women for nearly 10 years (9.7 to be exact). Here the researchers divided the women into two primary eating patterns:

1) The Western diet – high in meat products, fried foods, cakes, mayonnaise, butter/cream and alcohol
2) The Mediterranean diet – high in vegetables, fruits, olive oil, sunflower oil and seafood
The Western diet plan resulted in a 20% greater incidence of breast cancer among those eating the most (highest quartile) of this diet, and 33% greater risk for ER+/PR+ tumors. Meanwhile, those eating the most of the Mediterranean diet plan had 15% incidence of all breast cancers.
This study also captured a difference of 6% greater breast cancer risk among those with greater alcohol consumption. This appears to be consistent with the new study as well.

Alcohol a greater factor in some breast cancers

Specific to alcohol, another study – this from Sweden's Karolinska Institute – followed 51,847 women for more than eight years. This study found that those women who drank more than 10 grams of alcohol per day had a 35% greater incidence of ER+/PR+ breast cancers. This was increased among women who were taking hormones.
The researchers noted that the ER+ relationship was important, as they stated in their conclusion:
"The observed association between risk of developing postmenopausal ER+ breast cancer and alcohol drinking, especially among those women who use postmenopausal hormones, may be important, because the majority of breast tumors among postmenopausal women overexpress ER."

Fiber content in diet critical in breast cancer

The relationship between diet and breast cancer becomes more evident as we examine a 2008 study of 51,823 Swedish women who were also followed for more than eight years. Here the researchers found that those women who had the highest quartile of total fiber intake had a 34% decreased incidence of breast cancer and a 38% reduced incidence of ER+/PR+ tumors.

This study also found that among those taking hormones, the reduction of breast cancer incidence was a whopping 50%.

The researchers also found that those eating more cereal-based fiber (grains) had an even greater reduction in breast cancer incidence. A plant-based diet is naturally higher in fiber because whole fruits, vegetables and grains contain various plant fibers.
So it seems that fiber is a critical issue, and plant-based foods maintain higher fiber content, while the Western diet maintains lower fiber content.

Certainly this is compounded by the increased content of numerous anti-cancer phytochemicals.


Link LB, Canchola AJ, Bernstein L, Clarke CA, Stram DO, Ursin G, Horn-Ross PL. Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk in the California Teachers Study cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 9.
Cottet V, Touvier M, Fournier A, Touillaud MS, Lafay L, Clavel-Chapelon F, Boutron-Ruault MC. Postmenopausal breast cancer risk and dietary patterns in the E3N-EPIC prospective cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Nov 15;170(10):1257-67. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp257.
Suzuki R, Ye W, Rylander-Rudqvist T, Saji S, Colditz GA, Wolk A. Alcohol and postmenopausal breast cancer risk defined by estrogen and progesterone receptor status: a prospective cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Nov 2;97(21):1601-8.
Suzuki R, Rylander-Rudqvist T, Ye W, Saji S, Adlercreutz H, Wolk A. Dietary fiber intake and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer defined by estrogen and progesterone receptor status--a prospective cohort study among Swedish women. Int J Cancer. 2008 Jan 15;122(2):403-12.


Using Garlic To Treat High Blood Pressure

A groundbreaking new study published in Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences has revealed that garlic is at least as effective as the blockbuster blood pressure lowering drug atenolol in reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients diagnosed with essential hypertension, a condition linked to the #1 cause of death in developed countries.[1]

Hypertension is called a 'silent killer,' as it often goes completely unnoticed, along with the decades long subclinical march of atherosclerosis that is largely the cause of elevated blood pressure, often culminating suddenly in a deadly cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers at the Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia gave test subjects either, one of five doses of garlic (300/mg, 600/mg, 900/mg, 1200/mg, 1500/mg) in divided doses per day, a tablet of atenolol, or a placebo, for 24 weeks. Blood pressure readings were recorded at weeks 0, 12 and 24.

The study results showed significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both dose and duration dependent manner in all the treatment groups. The results of the treatments on systolic blood pressure were reported as follows:

The results of the treatments on diastolic blood pressure were reported as follows:

As can be seen by the results, in each garlic treated group, a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were observed when compared with atenolol and placebo.



It is a rare thing to find a human clinical study comparing a natural substance with a drug. In pharma/farm comparisons like this, the stakes are often extremely high, as natural substances like garlic, which are commonly used as culinary spices, are relatively safe and affordable, whereas multi-billion dollar blockbuster drugs like atenolol are expensive, have many side effects, and are only acquired through a prescription from a physician. If the natural substance is found to be at least as effective as the synthetic compound, it undermines faith in the conventional, drug-based model of medicine which has asserted near totalitarian control of medical practice by requiring that statements of medical fact, including claims of drug or plant medicine effectiveness, be made only after running the multi-million-dollar gauntlet of repeated randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trials. As a result, the modern medical system obeys Napoleonic legal principles, namely, what it does not explicitly permit is forbidden. This means that unless a substance like garlic is confirmed through human clinical research to work for a particular health condition, its use could easily be construed as illegal by regulatory bodies like the FDA.

Overlooked in this, of course, is that natural substances like garlic have been used since time immemorial as both food and medicine, and therefore have the type of 'street' credibility – stretching back for thousands of years - that no modern drug by definition is capable of obtaining.

Given the results of this latest study, garlic has now been vindicated as an effective blood pressure lowering alternative to atenolol. This is especially good news, as an accumulating body of clinical and epidemiological research now indicates that beta-blockers, while undoubtedly effective at lowering blood pressure, actually increase cardiovascular mortality in doing so.[2] Garlic, on the other hand, has potentially life-saving cardiovascular benefits, which we explored in depth in a recent article titled, How Garlic Can Save Your Life.

Remember, garlic is a powerful substance and should be treated with great respect when used in higher than culinary doses. Nothing written here should be misunderstood to be medical advice, as we only refer to peer-reviewed research readily available in the public domain, and our aim is only to disseminate it. We encourage you to share this information with your integrative physician and/or medical herbalist.

We are truly living in remarkable times. Not only do we have the timeless evidence of cross-culturally verified culinary and folk medicine practice to substantiate garlic's many health benefits, we have the white-coat verified clinical trials of medical scientists.

[1] Rizwan Ashraf, Rafeeq Alam Khan, Imran Ashraf, Absar A Qureshi. Effects of Allium sativum (Garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2013 Sep ;26(5):859-63. PMID: 24035939

[2], Research > Problem Substances > Index: B's > Beta-Blockers


Is Brown Rice Really Better than White Rice?

Researchers from Japan's University of Tokushima Graduate School of Health Biosciences have proven what natural health proponents have been suggesting for decades: Brown rice is superior to white rice, not only nutritionally, but for glucose metabolism and for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.

The researchers ran multiple tests with healthy and obese volunteers, the first to analyze the effect of brown rice consumption on weight management and/or loss, body fat, abdominal fat and glucose metabolism. They also measured the effects of the two types of rice on the health of the arteries (endothelial function and dilation). These effects were also tested in patients who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

The researchers then randomized 27 male volunteers into groups and for 8 weeks they had the subjects eat various patterns of brown rice or white rice meals. The researchers also mixed the protocols to include a return to white rice consumption for those who ate brown rice for eight weeks.

After the series of tests, the researchers determined that those eating brown rice in their diets had greater weight loss during the eight weeks. Furthermore, most of that weight loss returned after they returned to white rice consumption.

The research also determined that the brown rice consumption resulted in slower glucose metabolism – lower postprandial glucose levels - as compared to white rice consumption.

The researchers also determined that consuming brown rice resulted in a greater dilation of the brachial artery – a measure of the arteries' endothelial health.

The research also found that two months of eating brown rice resulted in lower insulin resistance. Cholesterol levels (LDL-c and total) were also lower after 8 weeks of eating brown rice.
The researchers wrote:
"In conclusion, consumption of brown rice may be beneficial, partly owing to the lowering of glycemic response, and may protect postprandial endothelial function in subjects with the metabolic syndrome. Long-term beneficial effects of brown rice on metabolic parameters and endothelial function were also observed."

Metabolic syndrome and the role of whole foods

Metabolic syndrome is evidenced typically by an overweight status or obesity level of weight, glucose metabolism issues – with either glucose intolerance and/or insulin resistance. Rounding out the effects of these is evidence of coronary artery disease – which typically affects those with glucose metabolism issues due to the formation of free radicals in the blood stream from the greater levels of glucose in the blood.

This research and others has pointed to the fact that metabolic syndrome is often a factor of eating overly processed foods – and the avoidance of whole foods in general.

The reason for this is that whole foods typically contain greater fibers – in the form of husks, peels, seeds and segment walls. These are typically separated from the food during processing, leaving a mash of starches with limited nutrients. For some foods, a particular nutrient – such as sugar – is extracted from the food and the rest tossed.

The separated, mashed food is then typically heated to high degrees in order to sterilize it – which kills many of the remaining nutrients. This sterilized food is then packaged with preservatives and other chemicals to produce what natural health experts might call "fake food."

In the case of rice, white rice is milled, which means its germ, bran and hull (husk) removed. The remaining kernel is then typically polished and enriched with some of the vitamins it is now missing due to the bran and germ being removed - including folic acid and other important B vitamins.
But what about phytic acid?

There is a growing concern among the health community regarding phytic acid content in rice and other grains. Research has found that many unprocessed nuts and grains contain phytic acid. Phytic acid has been shown in multiple studies to potentially decrease the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, iron and zinc.

And uncooked and unsoaked brown rice has higher levels of phytic acid than white rice (0.84-0.99% vs. 0.15-0.60%).

However, it is not as simple as that. Phytic acid – also called inositol hexakisphosphate as well as phytate – is broken down into its soluble components (hydrolyzed) during soaking, cooking, fermentation and germination processes.

Phytates are also hydrolyzed by enzymes called phytases – which become available during the processes just mentioned. In the presence of a phytase, phytates are converted to inositolphosphates such as myo-inositol triphosphate, which do not block mineral absorption.

Phytases are available throughout nature. Upon germination, most grains will produce phytases to neutralize phytates. (Yes, nature is intelligent.)

And many bacteria also produce phytase – including intestinal bifidobacteria such as Bifidobacterium infantis – a bifidobacterium passed from mother to infant during birth and within breastmilk – and lactobacilli such as L. acidophilus, L. plantarum and L. paracasei – which are present in the guts of healthy persons. These and many other probiotic strains produce phytase, which in turn hydrolyze any remaining phytic acids not hydrolyzed during soaking, cooking, fermentation and/or germination.

Learn more about how probiotics and probiotic foods increase health.
Multiple studies have successfully tested the ability of these and other probiotic strains to hydrolyze phytic acid with their phytase content.

Brown rice: An ancient grain

Brown rice is an ancient grain that has nourished billions of people for thousands of years. The ancient Ayurvedic formula for consuming rice with meals is to include yogurt with the meal. Though the soaking and longer cooking style of Ayurvedic rice (curried with turmeric and other spices) naturally reduces its phytic acid content, the accompanying yogurt helps immediately jump start the fermentation process. This is followed up by the phytase produced by the intestines probiotics – leaving little if any phytic acid unhydrolyzed.

Other ancient cultures such as the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese also used fermented foods and sauces alongside their rice meals. The wisdom of these ancient cultures is an important consideration in our choice of foods.

Shimabukuro M, Higa M, Kinjo R, Yamakawa K, Tanaka H, Kozuka C, Yabiku K, Taira SI, Sata M, Masuzaki H. Effects of the brown rice diet on visceral obesity and endothelial function: the BRAVO study. Br J Nutr. 2013 Aug 12:1-11.
Sandberg AS. The effect of food processing on phytate hydrolysis and availability of iron and zinc. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1991;289:499-508.
Famularo G, De Simone C, Pandey V, Sahu AR, Minisola G. Probiotic lactobacilli: an innovative tool to correct the malabsorption syndrome of vegetarians? Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(6):1132-5.
Nalepa B, Siemianowska E, Skibniewska KA. Influence of Bifidobacterium bifidum on release of minerals from bread with differing bran content. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2012;75(1):1-5. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2011.615106.
Tang AL, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Shah NP, Ashton JF, Stojanovska L. Phytase activity from Lactobacillus spp. in calcium-fortified soymilk. J Food Sci. 2010 Aug 1;75(6):M373-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01663.x.
Lavilla-Lerma L, Pérez-Pulido R, Martínez-Bueno M, Maqueda M, Valdivia E. Characterization of functional, safety, and gut survival related characteristics of Lactobacillus strains isolated from farmhouse goat's milk cheeses. Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 May 15;163(2-3):136-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.02.015.
Tamayo-Ramos JA, Sanz-Penella JM, Yebra MJ, Monedero V, Haros M. Novel phytases from Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum ATCC 27919 and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC 15697. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jul;78(14):5013-5. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00782-12.
Sanz-Penella JM, Frontela C, Ros G, Martinez C, Monedero V, Haros M. Application of bifidobacterial phytases in infant cereals: effect on phytate contents and mineral dialyzability. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 28;60(47):11787-92. doi: 10.1021/jf3034013.


Millions Wrongly Treated for 'Cancer,' National Cancer Institute Panel Confirms

A devastating new report commissioned by the National Cancer Institute reveals that our 40-year long 'War on Cancer' has been waged against a vastly misunderstood 'enemy,' that in many cases represented no threat to human health whatsoever.

If you have been following our advocacy work on cancer, particularly in connection with the dark side of breast cancer awareness month, you know that we have been calling for the complete reclassification of some types of 'breast cancer' as benign lesions, e.g. ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), as well as pointing out repeatedly that x-ray based breast screenings are not only highly carcinogenic but are also causing an epidemic of "overdiagnosis" and "overtreatment" in US women, with an estimated 1.3 million cases in the past 30 years alone.

This week, a National Cancer Institute commissioned panel's report published in JAMA online confirmed that we all – public and professionals alike – should stop calling low-risk lesions like DCIS and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) 'cancer.'

There are wide-reaching implications to this recommendation, including:
  • Millions of women in this country have been diagnosed with DCIS, and millions of men with HGPIN, and subsequently [mis]treated. Are they now to be retroactively reclassified as 'victims' of iatrogenesis, with legal recourse to seek compensation?
  • Anyone engaged in a cancer screening will now need to reconsider and weigh both the risks and benefits of such a 'preventive' strategy, considering that the likelihood of being diagnosed with a false positive over 10 years is already over 50% for women undergoing annual breast screening.
  • The burgeoning pink ribbon-bedecked 'breast cancer awareness' industry will be forced to reformulate its message, as it is theoretically culpable for the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of millions of US women by propagating an entirely false concept of 'cancer.'
As reported by Medscape:
The practice of oncology in the United States is in need of a host of reforms and initiatives to mitigate the problem of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cancer, according to a working group sanctioned by the National Cancer Institute.
Perhaps most dramatically, the group says that a number of premalignant conditions, including ductal carcinoma in situ and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, should no longer be called "cancer."
Instead, the conditions should be labeled something more appropriate, such as indolent lesions of epithelial origin (IDLE), the working group suggests. The Viewpoint report was published online July 29 in JAMA.
Fundamentally, overdiagnosis results from the fact that screen-detected 'cancers' are disproportionately slower growing ones, present with few to no symptoms, and would never progress to cause harm if left undiagnosed and untreated.

As you can see by the graph above, it is the fast-growing tumors which will be more difficult to 'detect early,' and will progress rapidly enough to cause symptoms and perhaps even death unless treated aggressively. But even in the case of finding the tumor early enough to contain it through surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, it is well-known that the minority subpopulation of cancer stem cells within these tumors will be enriched and therefore made more malignant through conventional treatment. For instance, radiotherapy radiation wavelengths were only recently found by UCLA Jonnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers to transform breast cancer cells into highly malignant cancer stem-cell like cells, with 30 times higher malignancy post-treatment.

What this means is that not only are millions of screen-detected abnormalities not 'cancer' in the first place but even those which can be considered fast-growing are often being driven into greater malignancy by the conventional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery-based standard of cancer care itself.
Our entire world view of cancer needs to shift from an enemy that "attacks" us and that we must wage war against, to something our body does, presumably to survive an increasingly inhospitable, nutrient-deprived, carcinogen- and radiation-saturated environment, i.e. Cancer As An Ancient Survival Mechanism Unmasked.
When we look at cancer through the optic of fear and see it as an essentially chaos-driven infinitely expanding mass of cells, we are apt to make irrational choices. The physiological state of fear itself has been found to activate multidrug resistance proteins within cancer cells, explaining how our very perception of cancer can influence and/or determine its physiological status and/or trajectory within our body.


Using Honey and Coffee For Treating a Cough

A remarkable new study looking at natural alternatives to medications found that compared to a systemic steroid, a combination of honey and coffee was superior in reducing symptoms associated with a post-infectious cough (PPC).
PPC is a cough that remains after a common cold or an upper respiratory tract infection for more than three weeks, and in some cases as long as several months. Conventional treatment may involve any number of powerful drugs, many of which have serious side effects, including codeine and dextromethorphan (so-called centrally acting antitussives), antihistamines, narcotics, and bronchodilators.
The new study, published in Primary Care Respiratory Journal, was conducted by researchers at Baqiyatallah University Hospital, Tehran, Iran from 2008 to 2011.[i] 97 patients who had experienced PPC for more than three weeks were randomized in double-blinded fashion into three groups:
  1. A jam like paste was prepared which consisted of 20.8 grams of honey plus 2.9 grams of instant coffee for the first group ('HC').
  2. 13.3 mg of prednisolone for the second group (steroid, 'S').
  3. 25 mg of guaifenesin for the third group (control, 'C').
The researchers described the patient treatment protocol as follows:
"The participants were told to dissolve a specified amount of their product in warm water and to drink the solution every eight hours for one week. All the participants were evaluated before treatment and one week after completion of treatment to measure the severity of their cough. The main outcome measure was the mean cough frequency before and after one week's treatment calculated by a validated visual analogue cough questionnaire score."
The results of the study are summarized in the following table:

As you can see by the table above, the honey-coffee group saw their degree of cough frequency decrease from 2.9 before treatment to .2 after treatment, whereas the prednisolone group decreased only from 3.0 before treatment to 2.4 after treatment.
They detailed are as follows:
RESULTS: There were 97 adult patients (55 men) enrolled in this study with the mean of age of 40.1 years. The mean (+/- SD) cough scores pre- and post-treatment were: HC group 2.9 (0.3) pre-treatment and 0.2 (0.5) post-treatment (p < 0.001); steroid ('S') group 3.0 (0.0) pre-treatment and 2.4 (0.6) post-treatment (p < 0.05); control ('C') group 2.8 (0.4) pre-treatment and 2.7 (0.5) post-treatment (p > 0.05). Analysis of variance showed a significant difference between the mean cough frequency before and after treatment in the HC group versus the S group (p< 0.001). Honey plus coffee was found to be the most effective treatment modality for PPC. [emphasis added]
The researchers reflected on the implications of their findings:
"Each year, billions of dollars are spent on controlling and trying to cure cough while the real effect of cough medicines is not quite reliable.1,45 Even though PPC is reported to account for only 11–25% of all cases of chronic cough8 and it is not associated with disability and mortality, it can cause morbidity and is responsible for medical costs...13
Honey and coffee are natural edible substances that are safe, agreeable, less expensive than medicines, and easily available. Moreover, they have proved to be effective in a short period of time."
Given the relative safety and superior effectiveness of honey plus coffee versus prednisolone, this study adds to a growing body of biomedical research indicating that natural substances, including spices, vitamins and foods, are often superior in efficacy to synthetic drugs while often maintaining far higher levels of safety relative to them.

[i] Mohammad Ali Raeessi, Jafar Aslani, Neda Raeessi, Homa Gharaie, Ali Akbar Karimi Zarchi, Fereshteh Raeessi. Honey plus coffee versus systemic steroid in the treatment of persistent post-infectious cough: a randomised controlled trial.

Build a Solar Heating Panel with Soda Cans

If you’ve got good sun exposure on one side of your house, you can take advantage of free heat from the sun with this DIY solar heating panel, which uses old soda cans to collect and transfer the sun’s energy into your house.

Sometimes, low-tech solar devices are much better than high-tech ones for home use, as they not only tend to be cheaper to make, but will also last much longer before any repairs or maintenance are necessary.

And even better, they can be built in part from repurposed or recycled components, which is something you don’t see very often in new solar devices.

This solar space heater design uses old soda cans to increase the surface area for heat transfer inside of it, and in its most basic design, uses no external power to move the air.

Double-glazed glass or polycarbonate panels make up the front of the device, allowing the sun’s rays to enter it while restricting heat loss to the outside air, and the box is also insulated for more efficiency.

When exposed to the sun, the air inside the solar heater begins to warm, and as it does, it rises to the top of the box and can be ported directly into the house.

For more control over the system, small fans and thermostats can be added, so that warm air enters the house only after the temperature reaches a desired range, and installing adjustable air registers at the outlet lets the system appear almost invisible from inside the living space.

For an overview, and complete downloadable plans for this DIY solar space heater, see Greg’s Pop-Can Solar Space Heating Collector.


World's largest solar power plant opens in Abu Dhabi

  • 100-megawatt plant will power thousands United Arab Emirates homes
  • It is hoped that it will also displace 175,000 tons of CO2 each year
  • Plant covers 2.5 sq/km of desert, equivalent to 285 football pitches
You might think that as one of the world's top oil producing nations, the United Arab Emirates would have little use for solar energy.
But that hasn't stopped the Middle East state from unveiling the largest concentrated solar power plant in operation anywhere in the world.
The 100-megawatt solar-thermal project in Abu Dhabi will power thousands of homes in the country and, it is hoped, displace approximately 175,000 tons of CO2 per year.

 The world's largest: The Shams 1 concentrated solar energy power plant in Abu Dhabi features more than 258,000 mirrors mounted on 768 tracking parabolic trough collectors, covering an area of 2.5 sq/km

Powerful: In addition, the solar project uses a booster to heat steam as it enters the turbine to dramatically increase the cycle's efficiency

The $600million (£398million) project dubbed Shams 1 took three years to build.
Incorporating the latest in parabolic trough technology, the plant features more than 258,000 mirrors mounted on 768 tracking parabolic trough collectors, covering an area of 2.5 sq/km, or 285 football fields.

By concentrating heat from direct sunlight onto oil-filled pipes, Shams 1 produces steam, which drives a turbine to generate electricity.
In addition, the solar project uses a booster to heat steam as it enters the turbine to dramatically increase the cycle's efficiency.
The project also includes a dry-cooling system that significantly reduces water consumption - a critical advantage in the arid desert of western Abu Dhabi.

In the sweltering heat of the Arabian sun, Shams 1 generates electricity to power 20,000 homes in the UAE.
And because solar power is generated during peak demand the UAE is able to reduce the need for 'peak shaving' generators, which are expensive and idle most of the year.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, partnered with French energy company Total and Spain's energy infrastructure company Abengoa to build the plant.
'The Middle East holds nearly half of the world's renewable energy potential,' said Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar.
'The abundance of solar energy is an opportunity to integrate sustainable, clean sources of power that address energy security and climate change.
'The region needs more projects like Shams 1, and we look forward to pushing the boundaries of future energy.

10 Facts About Human Body

SOURCE - 9gag

How to Protect Yourself Against Cancer With Organic Food

The rise in cancer in the West has paralleled the rise in factory farming and the use of processed foods containing vegetable oils and additives.
Orthodox methods for treating cancer (radiation and chemotherapy) do not prolong life. The best approach to cancer is prevention.

Traditional diets, containing animal and plant foods farmed by nontoxic methods, are rich in factors that protect against cancer. Many of these protective factors are in the animal fats.
Vegetarianism does not protect against cancer. In fact, vegetarians are particularly prone to cancers of the nervous system and reproductive organs.

Nutrients in Whole Foods that Protect Against Cancer

Vitamin A: Strengthens the immune system. Essential for mineral metabolism and endocrine function. Helps detoxify. True vitamin A is found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil; fish and shellfish; and liver, butter and egg yolks from pasture-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin A than the typical modern American diet.

Vitamin C: An important antioxidant that prevents damage by free radicals. Found in many fruits and vegetables but also in certain organ meats valued by primitive peoples.

Vitamin B6: Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Contributes to the function of over 100 enzymes. Most available from animal foods.

Vitamin B12: Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Found only in animal foods.

Vitamin B17: Protects against cancer. Found in a variety of organically grown grains, legumes, nuts and berries.

Vitamin D: Required for mineral absorption. Strongly protective against breast and colon cancer. Found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil, lard, shellfish and butterfat, organ meats and egg yolks from grass-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin D than the typical modern American diet.

Vitamin E: Works as an antioxidant at the cellular level. Found in unprocessed oils as well as in animal fats like butter and egg yolks.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Strongly protective against breast cancer. Found in the butterfat and meat fat of grass-fed ruminant animals.

Minerals: The body needs generous amounts of a wide variety of minerals to protect itself against cancer. Minerals like zinc, magnesium and selenium are vital components of enzymes that help the body fight carcinogens. Minerals are more easily absorbed from animal foods.

Lactic Acid and Friendly Bacteria: Contribute to the health of the digestive tract. Found in old fashioned lacto-fermented foods.

Saturated Fats: Strengthen the immune system. Needed for proper use of the essential fatty acids. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats. Found mostly in animal foods.

Long-Chain Fatty Acids: Arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help fight cancer on the cellular level. They are found mostly in animal foods such as butter, organ meats, cod liver oil and seafood.

Co-enzyme Q10: Highly protective against cancer. Found only in animal foods.

Compounds in Processed Foods that Can Cause Cancer

Trans Fatty Acids: Imitation fats in shortenings, margarines and most commercial baked goods and snack foods. Strongly associated with cancer of the lungs and reproductive organs.

Rancid fats: Industrial processing creates rancidity (free radicals) in commercial vegetable oils.

Omega-6 fatty acids: Although needed in small amounts, an excess can contribute to cancer. Dangerously high levels of omega-6 fatty acids are due to the overuse of vegetable oils in modern diets.

MSG: Associated with brain cancer. Found in almost all processed foods, even when “MSG” does not appear on the label. Flavorings, spice mixes and hydrolyzed protein contain MSG.

Aspartame: Imitation sweetener in diet foods and beverages. Associated with brain cancer.

Pesticides: Associated with many types of cancer. Found in most commercial vegetable oils, fruit juices, vegetables and fruits.

Hormones: Found in animals raised in confinement on soy and grains. Plant-based hormones are plentiful in soy foods.

Artificial Flavorings and Colors: Associated with various types of cancers, especially when consumed in large amounts in a diet of junk food.

Refined Carbohydrates: Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white flour are devoid of nutrients. The body uses up nutrients from other foods to process refined carbohydrates. Tumor growth is associated with sugar consumption.


Cancer in a Can: The Shocking True Story of how ‘Pringles’ are Made

To understand the nature of Pringles and other stack able chips, forget the notion that they come from actual potatoes in any recognizable way.

The Pringles Company (in an effort to avoid taxes levied against “luxury foods” like chips in the UK) once even argued that the potato content of their chips was so low that they are technically not even potato chips.

So if they’re not made of potatoes, what are they exactly?

The process begins with a slurry of rice, wheat, corn, and potato flakes that are pressed into shape.

This dough-like substance is then rolled out into an ultra-thin sheet cut into chip-cookies by a machine.

According to io9:

“The chips move forward on a conveyor belt until they’re pressed onto molds, which give them the curve that makes them fit into one another.

Those molds move through boiling oil … Then they’re blown dry, sprayed with powdered flavors, and at last, flipped onto a slower-moving conveyor belt in a way that allows them to stack. From then on, it’s into the cans … and off towards the innocent mouths of the consumers.”

I suspect nearly everyone reading this likely enjoys the taste of potato chips. However, they are clearly one of the most toxic processed foods you can eat—whether they’re made from actual potato shavings or not.

Potato Chips are Loaded with Cancer-Causing Chemical

One of the most hazardous ingredients in potato chips is not intentionally added, but rather is a byproduct of the processing.

Acrylamide, a cancer-causing and potentially neurotoxic chemical, is created when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures, whether baked, fried, roasted or toasted. Some of the worst offenders include potato chips and French fries, but many foods cooked or processed at temperatures above 212°F (100°C) may contain acrylamide. As a general rule, the chemical is formed when food is heated enough to produce a fairly dry and brown/yellow surface.

Hence, it can be found in:

Potatoes: chips, French fries and other roasted or fried potato foods
Grains: bread crust, toast, crisp bread, roasted breakfast cereals and various processed snacks
Coffee; roasted coffee beans and ground coffee powder. Surprisingly, coffee substitutes based on chicory actually contains 2-3 times MORE acrylamide than real coffee

How Much Acrylamide are You Consuming?

The federal limit for acrylamide in drinking water is 0.5 parts per billion, or about 0.12 micrograms in an eight-ounce glass of water. However, a six-ounce serving of French fries can contain 60 micrograms of acrylamide, or about FIVE HUNDRED times over the allowable limit.

Similarly, potato chips are notoriously high in this dangerous chemical. So high, in fact, that in 2005 the state of California actually sued potato chip makers for failing to warn California consumers about the health risks of acrylamide in their products. A settlement was reached in 2008 when Frito-Lay and several other potato chip makers agreed to reduce the acrylamide levels in their chips to 275 parts per billion (ppb) by 2011, which is low enough to avoid needing a cancer warning label.

The 2005 report “How Potato Chips Stack Up: Levels of Cancer-Causing Acrylamide in Popular Brands of Potato Chips,” issued by the California-basedEnvironmental Law Foundation (ELF), spelled out the dangers of this popular snack. Their analysis found that all potato chip products tested exceeded the legal limit of acrylamide by a minimum of 39 times, and as much as 910 times! Some of the worst offenders at that time included:

Cape Cod Robust Russet: 910 times the legal limit of acrylamide
Kettle Chips (lightly salted): 505 times
Kettle Chips (honey dijon): 495 times
Beware: Baked Chips May Be WORSE than Fried!

If you think you can avoid the health risks of potato chips by choosing baked varieties, which are typically advertised as being “healthier,” think again. Remember that acrylamide is formed not only when foods are fried or broiled, but also when they are baked. And according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on acrylamide levels in foods, baked chips may contain more than three timesthe level of acrylamide as regular chips!

Interestingly, the same trend holds true for other foods, too, which suggests that baking processed potatoes at high temperature may be one of the worst ways to cook them. For instance, according to the FDA’s data, Ore Ida Golden Fries contained 107 ppb of acrylamide in the regular fried version and 1,098 when baked. So remember, ALL potato chips contain acrylamide, regardless of whether they are natural or not; baked or fried. Likewise, they will ALL influence your insulin levels in a very negative way.

Acrylamide is Not the Only Danger

Acrylamide is not the only dangerous genotoxic compound formed when food is heated to high temperatures.

A three-year long EU project, known as Heat-Generated Food Toxicants (HEATOX), whose findings were published at the end of 2007, found there are more than 800 heat-induced compounds, of which 52 are potential carcinogens. In addition to their finding that acrylamide does pose a public health threat, the HEATOX scientists also discovered that you’re far less likely to ingest dangerous levels of the toxin when you eat home-cooked foods compared to industrially or restaurant-prepared foods.

Additionally, the HEATOX findings also suggest that although there are ways to decrease exposure to acrylamide, it cannot be eliminated completely.

According to their calculations, successful application of all presently known methods would reduce the acrylamide intake by 40 percent at the most—which makes me wonder whether chip manufacturers have really succeeded at this point in reducing acrylamide levels to within legal limits… There’s no updated data as of yet, so there’s no telling whether they’ve been able to comply with the 2005 settlement.

For more in-depth information about acrylamide, I recommend reading the online report Heat-generated Food Toxicants, Identification, Characterization and Risk Minimization. In general however, just remember that cooking food at high temperatures is ill advised. A few of the most well-known toxins created in high-temperature cooking include:

Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs): These form when meat is cooked at high temperatures, and they’re also linked to cancer. In terms of HCA, the worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat blackened sections.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.

Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures (including when it is pasteurized or sterilized), it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. When you eat the food, it transfers the AGEs into your body. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
The Search for a “Healthful” Chip Continues…

Like a modern-day search for the Holy Grail, chip manufacturers keep searching for methods to improve the image of their health-harming but profitable snacks. For example, by the end of 2011, about half of Pepsi’s Frito-Lay brand snacks will be reformulated with all-natural ingredients. The switch is part of PepsiCo’s master plan to tap into the healthy foods market share. The Wall Street Journal recently reported the company hopes to boost their nutrition business from $10 billion to $30 billion by 2020.

The company will remove dietary hazards like monosodium glutamate (MSG), replacing it with natural seasonings, such as molasses and paprika. Artificial colors will be replaced with beet juice, purple cabbage and carrots. All in all, about different 60 snacks are scheduled to get an all-natural makeover.

This is certainly a good example of how consumer demand can alter the direction of food manufacturers in a positive way.

The reformulated chips may end up being less bad for you than the original formulations. However, chips will never be truly healthful. All-natural chips may be the lesser of two evils, but if consumed regularly, they will still push your health in the wrong direction… There’s no getting away from the fact that modern plagues such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes have a dietary component, and potato chips and French fries will always be a losing bet if you want to avoid becoming another disease statistic.

How to Avoid Heat-Induced Toxins in Your Diet

Ideally, you should consume foods that are raw or minimally processed to avoid these types of toxic byproducts—the more raw food, the better. My nutrition plan emphasizes the need for at least one-third of your foods to be consumed raw. Personally, I consume about 80 percent of my food raw, and I find it is one of the most important factors that help keep me healthy.

It may take you awhile to switch over to a less processed diet, but throwing out the most obvious culprits would be a great start.

These would include: French fries and potato chips, All sodas (both regular and diet, as artificial sweeteners may be more problematic than fructose, Doughnuts
Healthy Eating Made Easy

Aside from creating potentially toxic byproducts, cooking and processing also depletes the food of valuable micronutrients, which is another reason for eating as much raw food as possible. This includes protein sources such as eggs. Raw whole eggs from organic, pastured chickens are an incredible source of high-quality nutrients that many are deficient in. Raw milk is another good example of a food that is beneficial in its raw state but becomes harmful after it is pasteurized.

By opting for foods that will benefit your health, such as raw, preferably organic and/or locally-grown vegetables, organic grass-fed meats, healthy oils, raw dairy, nuts and seeds, you can change your health for the better. These are the foods that are truly natural, and quite easy to prepare once you get the hang of it.

For a step-by-step guide to make the transition to a healthier diet as simple and smooth as possible, simply follow the advice in my optimized nutrition plan.

Remember, eating fresh whole foods is the “secret” to getting healthier, losing weight and really enjoying your food. It’s unfortunate that so many are under the mistaken belief that it’s “next to impossible” to create a meal without processed foods. Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough tackle this issue head-on in their book Real Food Has Curves, which is a great starting point to “relearn” the basics of how to enjoy and prepare real food.

Once you get used to it, you’ll find you can whip up a healthful meal from scratch in the same amount of time it would have taken you to drive down the street to pick up fast food. The main difference will be greater satisfaction, both physically and mentally, and perhaps even financially, as processed foods typically end up being more expensive than cooking from scratch.


Dr. Mercola