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Trust us, we’re the experts…

This is the message that all companies are putting out there when they are creating a public image.  They want you to trust them and their products and believe that they only have your best interest in mind.

It would be nice if all that were really true.  But the cold hard reality of it all is big business is out to make a buck and if they can skimp a little on some of the ingredients to pad their profit margin, they will do it in a heartbeat.

It might not be their intention to produce dangerous, toxic supplements, but the fact that they cut a few corners  and buy the cheapest ingredients available can do just that – create inferior, toxic supplements that may (on the good end) not be effective or (on the bad end) may actually be making your health worse, not better.

Hopefully you have committed yourself and have come to the understanding that sometimes the old saying is true – “you get what you pay for”.  You have found a company that does the testing, the rigorous quality control, and the research and produces quality supplements you can trust.

You know their products maintain the highest purity, potency and deliver the best performance…

BUT…

You find yourself at your favorite local convenience store and you see the supplement bottle with the same supplement you always get.  Maybe you are almost out and its sooo convenient and it is cheaper – Maybe you find yourself thinking, “Here are the same supplements for less money.  Why shouldn’t I save myself a little hassle and some cash by just buying these supplements?  I am sure they must be safe and effective.  I mean if they store sells them they can’t be bad.  The government wouldn’t let unsafe, toxic supplements or products on the shelves.”

How bad could they be? – I mean really!

Well, I am here to tell you that the answer to the question is PRETTY DARN BAD.

Here is a perfect example that illustrates my point.

On March 2nd of 2010, the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation sued the makers and sellers of fish oil supplements in California.  The reason? – The companies were not telling consumers that their products contained toxic levels of PCB’s.

It was not the FDA or the Federal Government or even the State Government of California that started this action against the fish oil companies.  There was no recall to protect the health and wellness of consumers.

It took an environmental group, people like you and me, to try and stop this spread of toxins.  They basically found a loop hole that allowed them to sue the companies for not including PCB’s on the supplements labels.  A California law requires a warning label to be put on a product whenever it contains toxic ingredients.

At the time of the lawsuit, the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation had only tested 10 Omega-3 supplements and found PCB’s in all of them.  They are continuing their testing a plan on adding more companies to the lawsuit if their products are found to be contaminated.

The defendant currently listed in the lawsuit is Omega Protein, a company based out of Houston that is the world’s largest producer of Omega-3 fish oil.  They provide fish oil to many other companies such as: Rite Aid, CVS, GNC, Now Health Group, Pharmavite, Solgar and Twinlab.

What might be the scariest part of this incident is the fact that many of the labels on the fish oil supplements stated that the supplement had been treated to reduce or remove PCB’s from the Omega-3.  So not only did they not list PCB’s as being in the product, they said they had removed them.  As a consumer you would expected to believe that these products were safe.

So did the company set out to hurt consumers?  I would hope not.  But did they set out to really help consumers?  Again the answer is probably not.  They were just supplying a product that has become more and more in demand and doing it as cheaply as possible.

The manufacturing company and the companies selling the supplements probably never even tested or checked for PCB’s in the fish oil.  At least I hope that would be the case.  It would really be disturbing if they did test, found PCB’s, and then sold the supplement anyway knowing about the toxicity.

Another perfect example of not testing the basic ingredients showed up when the FDA had to issue a massive recall of all products containing textured vegetable protein because of Salmonella contamination.  The company who produced this product, Basic Food Flavors, could have saved a lot of headache if they had merely tested their product before shipping it out.  The companies who use this product to produce things like potato chips, dips, soups and snacks also could have done this testing.  But many companies are not doing these basic quality control tests because of the extra expense involved.  They are more worried about their bottom line then your health.

So now that you are standing there looking at the less expensive supplements at your local drug or grocery store maybe you are thinking, “I am glad I found a company that does tests on all its ingredients even if their suppliers say the products are safe.  I am glad I found a company that truly cares.  I think my health and my family’s health is important enough that I will spend a little extra time and a little more money to get safe and effective supplements.”

If you haven’t found that company yet, here are some things to think about when looking:

Look for an established company that has a good track record for producing products of the highest quality.

Find a company that has been around for years and has earned a reputation of integrity.

Do a little research and be sure the company does rigorous quality controls on their ingredients and their products.

Look for a company that uses pharmaceutical grade quality controls.

Check to see if they do clinical trials to prove the safety and effectiveness of the products they manufacture.

This may seem like a lot, but it’s your health you are playing with.  I always think of that commercial for women’s products that says “And I’m worth it.”

It’s something to think about!

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Acai Berry (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is a fruit that comes from the açaí palm tree. The fruit is small, round, black-purple in color and about 1-inch in diameter.  It is similar to a grape but with less pulp

Recently, the acai berry has been marketed as a dietary supplement and super supplement.

There have been many health claims associated with this new ‘super food’,

but is it all marketing hype or true scientific fact?

Companies produce and sell acai berry products in many forms including tablets, juice, smoothies, instant drink powders, and whole fruit.

Some of the claims and remedies that have been attributed to acai include:

  • increased energy levels
  • improved sexual performance
  • improved skin appearance
  • better heart health
  • improved digestion
  • and weight loss

There have even been more blatant claims that include:

  • reversal of diabetes and other chronic illnesses
  • expanding size of the penis
  • increasing men’s sexual virility
  • increasing sexual attractiveness to women.

So the million dollar question – “Is it really a Super Juice or Is it Junk?”

According to Susan Donaldson of ABC News, these products have not been evaluated by the FDA and they have questionable efficacy.  And as of March 2009 no scientifically controlled studies have been done to back up any of the claims being made about the acai berry.

Quackwatch, a non-profit group fighting health related fraud, stated that “acai juice has only middling levels of antioxidants—less than that of Concord grape, blueberry, and black cherry juices, but more than cranberry, orange, and apple juices.”

During my own research, I discovered a couple of articles that provided some interesting information about both the acai berry and the mangosteen fruit.  Both of these articles came from recent issue of Environmental Nutrition. (Oct and Dec ’09)

The scientific journal researched some of the claims and the scientific research that has been done related to the acai berry and mangosteen fruit.

Here is what they found:

For both cases, there has been very little scientific backing for any of the claims being made.  There was one clinical study done on the acai berry that showed when people consumed a single serving of the juice that they did show an increase in the antioxidant capacity of their blood for the 12 hours following the dose.

This might sound impressive, but the same thing happens when you consume a serving of blackberries, blueberries of raspberries.

There was a separate study done that showed extracts from acai berries destroyed cancer cells in a culture dish.  Again very impressive except for the fact that other fruits such as mangos, guavas and grapes have been shown to do the same thing in cell studies.  There is no evidence that shows any of the fruits, including the acai, having these effects inside the human body.

Mangosteen studies show many of the same results.  Cell culture studies show mangosteen extracts stopping bacterial growth and improved insulin resistance in cultured cells.  Many foods with high antioxidant properties also show these properties, but again none of these studies have shown any benefit within the human body.

So apparently acai berry and mangosteen fruit do have benefits for us as humans but these benefits don’t seem to be any better than those that can be found in most fruit of similar quality.  But there doesn’t seem to be any clinical evidence that backs up the claims being made throughout the internet and on store shelves around the country.

But what about all those amazing and fantastic testimonials that can be found alongside the products?

Beware of testimonials.  You never know their validity and there is this thing called the placebo effect.  Many times the belief that a “pill” will cure you actually helps you get better.  The power of the human mind is amazing.  If you have little kids you will understand because you have seen the power of ‘Mommy’s kiss’ and a well placed bandaid to instantly stop the pain.

Be sure there is scientific evidence backing up the testimonials.

In conclusion, there has been no clinical scientific evidence supporting the many claims being touted by acai berry producers, but there has also not been anything that shows any risk or danger consuming the products.

You can probably get the same benefits from consuming a variety of fruits from your local store and do it at a lot less cost.

The choice is yours.  But it pays to do a little research before jumping on the miracle bandwagon of the week.

It’s something to think about!

I believe supplements should complement your healthy diet and never serve as a replacement.  There really is no substitute for eating healthy unprocessed foods.  However, with the diets most of us truly eat supplementation has become a necessity.

There are even a few supplements that become necessary for even the best eaters because the body just isn’t able to produce certain elements that are required to maintain optimal health.  One of these is Coenzyme Q10, more commonly known as CoQ10.

As we age our bodies can no longer produce the amount of CoQ10 that is required.  This can start to happen as early as age 25 and is seen in pretty much all adults by age 40.

Although the human body can synthesize CoQ10, in some situations the body’s capacity to produce CoQ10 isn’t sufficient to meet its needs. CoQ10 levels can reach their peak in our bodies by age 20 and fall slowly thereafter. It has been shown that 60% of the population has a deficiency of CoQ10 when they reach their 50s and 60s. Some medicines can actually reduce the body’s production of CoQ10.

Supplements can help, but since most supplemental CoQ10 is poorly absorbed by the body, a supplement must be highly bioavailable to be effective.

One of the key elements in the aging process is free radical production. Free radicals are oxygen atoms deficient in electrons that become highly reactive. These free radicals can cause damage to your tissues and your DNA.

CoQ10 is one nutrient that can help to limit these free radicals.

CoQ10 also can help to boost your body’s energy production.

So even if you do your best to eat wholesome unprocessed foods, your body’s capability to produce Co Q10 and process it declines over time.

What you need is a smart way to reverse this process and keep your energy up as well as your free radicals down…

CoQ10 can help with some of the following problems:

  • Help you produce more energy for your cells*
  • Help to Boost your heart health*
  • Act as an antioxidant to help protect you from free radicals*
  • Help you reduce the signs of normal aging*
  • Help you maintain blood pressure levels within the normal range*
  • Provide a boost to your immune system*
  • Support your nervous system*
  • Help to Prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol*

Clinical studies have shown dietary supplementation with CoQ10 increases the concentrations of Vitamin E in both blood and LDL molecules.  Vitamin E is important in providing antioxidant protection for the body’s cells.

In fact, in a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study it was found that CoQ10 taken in supplemental form significantly lowered the rate of LDL cholesterol oxidation because of these antioxidant properties.

Eight Clinical studies done with CoQ10 show other strong evidence of the importance of supplementation.  The cardiovascular benefits of CoQ10 were shown when researchers concluded the CoQ10 promotes the heart’s ability to pump blood.

If you could combine the benefits of CoQ10 supplementation with those of Resveratrol you could increase these benefits even more.

Resveratrol possesses its own potent antioxidant properties and so when combined with CoQ10 it complements and the benefits for your body.

Researchers have demonstrated the antioxidant properties of resveratrol during laboratory studies. One particular study found that resveratrol inhibited LDL cholesterol oxidation by 70–80%.

Resveratrol may also help blood vessels relax and dilate.  These are both important functions for heart health and promoting optimal blood flow.

Combined with CoQ10, which does much of the same things, the supplement becomes even more powerful.

So I think you can see how we can benefit from supplementation as we get older.  The good news is there are literally hundreds of CoQ10 supplements available on the market today.  The BAD NEWS is there are only a few great ones.

Don’t settle for inferior quality when it comes to your health.  Choose a great company that takes the time to do things the right way and produce great supplements.

Some criteria you should be pretty strict on when selecting top-notch supplements like CoQ10 and the company that produces them are that they MUST

  • Deliver high-absorption bioavailable formulas (This means they get into your body when and where they need to be and the supplements don’t just take a nice ride through the digestive tract.)
  • Be all-natural with NO synthetic ingredients
  • Come from a highly reputable company with some of the strictest quality control and safety standard practices in place

Don’t ever settle for a supplement that is not completely backed by a manufacturer that maintains the highest quality standards.  This will ensure that you get consistent top-of-the-line quality each and every time you use the products.

The time for action is now.  All adult men and women can benefit from adding CoQ10 to their diet plan.  Combine that with all the benefits of resveratrol and you can’t go wrong.

It is something to think about!

The Flu, the Vaccine, and some Facts about each.

The flu is short for Influenza. It is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus.  Some symptoms of the flu could include the chills, fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and fatigue.  For most people these conditions usually get better after a few days with just some fluids and bed rest.

So why is there all this fuss about the flu virus? How dangerous is it really?

The flu can lead to some serious complications such as pneumonia but these conditions usually only affect high risk groups such as the elderly and people with preexisting medical conditions.  It is possible for severe complications from the flu to even lead to death.

Each year thousands of people catch the flu.  It is a mutating virus that changes from year to year and can be spread when people are in close contact.  But despite this fact very few actually develop any serious or fatal complications.

The Centers of Disease Control publically asserts that around 36,000 Americans die each year from the flu.  However, if you take a look that the CDC’s official records they show that the actual figures for flu deaths are in the hundreds and not the thousands.  To put this into perspective, in 2007, 457 people died because of the flu. That same year 3,355 people died of asthma (a disease that has been listed as a possible side effect of vaccines) and 2,600 died of malnutrition.  (MALNUTRITION!?! Is this possible in a country that has one of the highest standards of living ever known.) The numbers are very similar for every year you want to look at.  This is all a part of the public record and you can see it for yourself on the National Vital Statistics Report.

But even one death is really too much so having a vaccine to prevent the flu is a great thing; Isn’t it?

Well let’s take a look at the flu vaccine.

In the U.S. there are five different flu vaccines available.  Four are injections and one is a live virus that is squirted up your nose.  All 5 vaccines contain the same attenuated flu viruses.

To make the flu vaccine, scientists travel to Asia at the beginning of each year to see what strains of the flu virus are active.  They assume these same flu strains will arrive in the U.S. later in the year for our flu season.  All of the companies that make the flu vaccine are instructed to put these active flu strains into the new flu vaccines.

To get started, the different flu viruses are grown in chick embryos for a few weeks.  The virus is then inactivated using formaldehyde and preserved with thimerosal, a derivative of mercury. (It has been shown that some flu vaccines have as much as 25mcg of mercury per dose.) The vaccine producer also adds some other ingredients such as sodium phosphate, sodium chloride, and gelatin.

So basically your flu vaccine is a chick embryo based concoction of toxins and viruses with some preservatives mixed in to keep it from spoiling and becoming ‘dangerous’.

So we looked at the possible dangers of getting the flu virus, now let’s look at some of the possible side effects of the flu vaccine.

Some possible serious reactions to the flu vaccine include life threatening allergies and GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome).  GBS can occur within a few weeks after getting the flu vaccine and is fatal for around 1 out of every 20 of the people that contract the disease.  Other studies done on the flu vaccine have documented cases of encephalitis (brain inflammation), various neurological disorders and thrombocytopenia, a serious blood disorder.

Looking at the statistics for kids under 5 who died from the flu a major statistic jumps out.  From 1999 through 2002 (before the CDC suggested it was a good idea to vaccinate young children) there was an average of less than 20 flu fatalities per year.  In 2003, after the CDC recommended that these kids get the flu shot, the fatalities more than quadrupled for this age group (90 kids in 2003).

Here is a quote directly from the Fluvanol flu vaccine package insert for the 2009-2010 formula:

” FLULAVAL is an influenza virus vaccine indicated for active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. This indication is based on immune response elicited by FLULAVAL, and there have been no controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL.”

It bears repeating – “NO controlled trials demonstrating a decrease” in contracting the flu at all after vaccination!  It goes on to mention each dose contains 25 mcg of mercury.  This is 250 times the amount considered safe by the EPA.  So the company itself says the vaccine shows no decrease in your risk of getting the flu but it does have pages full of warnings and possible side effects.  It is very interesting reading if care about your health and your body… You can take a look here.

But again, most drugs and medicines have some sort of side effects, but if they are saving lives it might be worth the risk.

The problem, the flu vaccine has a disproportionate amount of problems compared to the possible benefits it could provide.

First, officials have to guess months in advance what flu virus strains will end up here in the U.S.  If they guess wrong the flu shot is totally worthless in preventing the flu.  It is only good for creating dangerous side effects.

Second, even if they guess right, the vaccine is not very efficient.  In a study done over the past 40 years researchers found that in healthy children over 2 years old the flu vaccine was only effective on 33-36% of those who received the vaccine.  And in children under 2 years old the same study found NO evidence that the flu vaccine had any effect at all at preventing the flu.

The study looked also looked at adults.  For adults under the age of 65 the research showed that getting the flu vaccine did not affect time away from work, length of hospitalization, or death from the flu virus or its possible complications.  For those adults older than age 65, the study again found that the flu vaccine was NOT effective against the influenza virus.

None of this data supports the need for a “universal immunization” of healthy adults.

So all the papers and research show that getting the flu shot really isn’t an effective way to prevent the flu.  But what do the people who are supposed to understand disease and sickness doing for themselves.

Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are supposed to be educated in disease prevention and so you would think if the flu vaccine was helpful, they would be the first to line up for the shot.  I mean they are exposed to sick people all the time and they would want to protect themselves.  But again the data doesn’t support this…

70% of doctors and nurses do NOT get vaccinated for the flu and 62% of all healthcare workers do the same.  They DO NOT get the flu shot and are among the least likely to get vaccinated.

So if the flu shot isn’t much help (and actually could be more dangerous than the flu virus) than what can people do to help them stay healthy and avoid getting sick.

First, there has been a study done in 2006 that showed a direct link between Vitamin D deficiency and a weakened immune system.  A less than perfect immune system creates susceptibility to the flu and really any viral or bacterial infection.

Second, a different study showed that interferon plays a key role in keeping your immune system working at peak performance levels.  It has been clinically tested and proven by four published human clinical studies that a combination of immune-strengthening plant extracts can strengthen your immune response by boosting your body’s natural interferon. Researchers have shown that interferon can prevent infection and illness when taken in the right form.  There is actually a supplement available that is proven to boost your immune system and strengthen your immune response to viral infections.

Of course I am not a doctor and I am not telling you what to do, I am just writing down facts that can be found by anyone.  Don’t think that just because something is reported by the 5 o’clock news or the ‘government’ that it is necessarily true.

Do some research, talk with your doctor and decide for yourself what is best for you and your situation.  There are varying shades of truth but if you care about your health and wellness it is worth it to get down to the black and white facts…

It is definitely something to think about!

A new study on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease has busted another popular heart health myth! I’m sure that most of you have heard the one about taking an aspirin a day to reduce the risk of heart attack.  Many Doctors have advised their patients to take an aspirin every day, but this recommendation has been repeated so often online, in the media and through self help information that many people have taken it on themselves to add a baby aspirin to their daily regimen without any advice from a hospital or a doctor recommendation.

Is this a good plan?  Does taking an aspirin a day really help reduce the risk of heart attack?

Instead of just self prescribing an answer, I read about this study done in Edinburgh Scotland by Dr. Gerry Fowlkes of the Wolfson Unit for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.

The study was recently presented at the European Society for Cardiology in Barcelona Spain.  Dr. Fowlkes and a few of his colleagues followed 3,000 men who had been diagnosed to be at very high risk for developing heart disease for an average of eight years.

This study was conducted like many others have been before where half of the study group was randomly chosen to take the test drug, in this case an aspirin a day, and the other half was given a placebo (This is a usually “sugar pill” or any dummy medication).

At the end of the eight year study the researchers looked back at the incidence of heart attack and stroke.  Guess what they found out…

There was no difference in the rate of heart attacks or stroke – or risk of death from any cause – between the two groups.

The simple conclusion of this study found that…

An aspirin a day did not decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke and had no discernable health benefits.

In fact, the group of 1500 men who were taking the aspirin a day had several health problems that either more common or made worse when compared to the 1500 men in the placebo group.

One example of this showed itself with major bleeds or internal bleeding.  There were 34 major bleeds in the aspirin group compared to only 20 in people taking the placebo.  And the number of cases of internal bleeding bad enough to require hospitalization was almost twice as many for the aspirin a day group compared to the placebo group.

The conclusion of this study was that for otherwise healthy people the risks of taking aspirin could outweigh the benefits, however the researchers also cautioned that for people who have already had a heart attack the benefits of taking an aspirin a day might outweigh the risks.  Most of these people, the ones who have already had a heart attacks, are under the care of a physician and have been prescribed the aspirin.  They are not self medicating.

But for those people interested in taking part in a preventative health care plan,  I would encourage them to look into natural alternates  to reduce their risk of heart disease, rather than relying on a man made chemicals and drugs.  Nature did a great job in creating this amazing thing we call our body.  I believe if we give our bodies what they need, they will maintain their health and if out of balance even heal themselves.

A good example of a natural approach to heart health is the use of omega-3 fatty acids.  Several recent clinical studies have shown that as little as 500 mg/day of omega-3 fatty acids, whether from fish or from supplements, can reduce the risk of a second heart attack in someone who has already had one heart attack by 30-40%.

Another study, the Landmark Nutritional Supplement Study showed that people who have used the Shaklee supplements for 20 years or more have 1/3 the incidence of angina, heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure as do people using other company’s multivitamins or no supplements at all.

Its something to think about!

The internet and the national media have exploded with report after report about the H1N1 (Swine Flu) viral infection that is supposedly sweeping through the country this cold and flu season. But there are a lot of misleading facts being thrown around. Is the Swine Flu really the big health scare the media and the government are making it out to be?

There has been a call for the swine flu vaccine to become a mandatory vaccine that we must all take. For me personally this is just one more case of the government overstepping its role and giving in to big money and big business. I have been researching this topic pretty heavily since I heard about the possibility of a mandatory vaccination requirement and I have not found anything that has led me to believe this is a deadly flu virus or that it would require any sort of extra vaccination effort.

In fact, my findings show that the swine flu vaccine might actually be more hazardous to your health than the actual infection from the swine flu virus.  I started out to write a small little blog post but I have been so shocked and amazed by the information I have uncovered that I feel I could write a huge term paper.  Not only does it seem that the Swine Flu is not the death monger it is being made out to be but it seems as though the cure could be the real killer.

Here are a few things I found about the viral infection that has been called the swine flu but is technically labeled the H1N1 Flu virus. (much of this statistical data was taken from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC)

  • Doctor visits for flu are down from the level of visits in April of 2009
  • The total flu hospitalizations are similar or lower than for a normal seasonal flu
  • The number of deaths secondary to flu and pneumonia is remained unchanged from a normal yearly rate
  • There is no evidence that the virus has mutated at all anywhere in the world
  • There have been 43,771 reported cases in the U.S., with 5,011 requiring hospitalization and 302 deaths. That means the death rate is 0.6 percent, an extremely low death rate for any flu.
  • The percentage of hospitalized patients who died was 6 percent, again a very low incidence of death.
  • Since the CDC estimates that one million people have been infected the actual death rate is in truth 0.03 percent, which means 99.97% of those infected will not die from this flu. Your chances of dying are incredibly low.
  • The Federal Government is saying 150 million Americans will be infected. That is 150 times as many as have now been infected, and represents a much larger figure than would be infected using an estimate based on a 6 to 6.5% infection of a localized population.
  • For the United States with a population slightly over 300 million, the government figures indicate a 50 percent infection rate. There is nothing to indicate such a high infection rate from the past 7 months of analysis. (It has been closer to a 6-7% infection rate)
  • The CDC’s own data indicates that the hospitalization rates and death rates are no higher; in fact they are significantly lower, than the previous two to three flu seasons.
  • The government is using “scare tactics” to promote vaccine use in the United States and that the pharmaceutical makers of vaccines are working in conjunction with these officials.

And now here are a few facts about the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine:

  • These vaccines are experimental, untested, toxic and extremely dangerous to the human immune system.
  • They contain squalene-based adjuvants that can cause a host of annoying to life-threatening autoimmune diseases.
  • What we really have with the swine flu vaccine is an untested, potentially dangerous cocktail of chemicals and viral fragments that could plausibly be linked to a devastating neurological condition.
  • Vaccines don’t always protect against diseases they’re designed to prevent and often cause them.
  • The WHO (World Health Organization) suggested the risks (from the swine flu vaccine) by stating “new technologies are involved in the production of some pandemic vaccines, which have not yet been extensively evaluated for their safety in certain population groups…” As a result, “post-marketing surveillance” and “post-marketing safety and effectiveness studies” are essential so that countries can adjust their vaccination policies
  • Independent studies of squalene used as a vaccine adjuvant indicates that it is associated with a very high incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as an MS-like neurological syndrome, rheumatoid joint disease and especially Lupus.

Here are some things found in a regular flu shot: (taken from an article by Dr. Russell Blaylock)

  • Egg proteins, which could include avian contaminant viruses
  • Gelatin, known to cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis reactions like those usually associated with sensitivity to egg or gelatin
  • Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™), which can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
  • Formaldehyde: a known carcinogen
  • Triton X100: a strong detergent
  • Sucrose (table sugar)
  • Resin, known to cause allergic reactions
  • Gentamycin, an antibiotic
  • Thimerosal: mercury is still found in multi-dose vials

The British science magazine, The New Scientist, recently polled 60 virologists to get their opinion about the swine flu virus and what they would be personally doing to avoid the infection. None of the 60 virologists mentioned anything about taking the vaccine. This is interesting because Virologists are scientists who study viruses — their classification, their genetics, methods of spread and their ability to cause disease. No one knows more about this virus than the virologists.

So if the viral spread of this Swine Flu infection doesn’t seem to be any worse than that of any normal “cold and flu” season and the vaccine we have to treat it could cause more potential harm than the viral infection why would any sane person want to mandate its use for the entire population.

Well… (and you probably could have guessed this), Behind the push to vaccinate the entire population are the pharmaceutical makers of the vaccines, who are working in conjunction with the government to make the vaccine mandatory.

Homeland security and FEMA are pushing for forced vaccinations and the medical experts, virologists and epidemiologists are calling for calm and resorting to voluntary vaccination only. The former have links with the vaccine manufacturers via political contacts. A great deal of money will be made by the manufacturers, should forced vaccinations be mandated.

In fact there was a 30 year study done and written up in a peer review journal that showed little or no reduction in hospitalization or death from the use of flu vaccines. This to me is just amazing! It bears repeating; little or no reduction in hospitalization or death from the use of these vaccines. Yet there is also written proof that the vaccines themselves contain viruses that could cause illness and infections within your body.

WHAT!!!! Doesn’t this just make you want to smack somebody? Highly educated people know these vaccines don’t really do much good, but they could do a lot of harm and yet we are still being brainwashed into thinking we need these chemicals to live a better life.

Check out this YouTube Video with Dr. Blaylock (it is part 2 of 4). It has some information that I was shocked to hear.

Vaccines are the bedrock of the pharmaceutical industry’s profit centers. Just think about it, no pharmaceutical company ever made any money off of creating healthy people.

There are alternatives.

First, read, become educated. Don’t just blindly let someone pump chemicals into you without you knowing the possible consequences. You should be able to make up your own mind and suffer or reap the consequences no matter what your choice.

Second, maintain your health. Everyone, from vaccine supporters to vaccine haters doesn’t disagree that healthy people are not affected badly by this or any other flu. The deaths from these viral infections come in the population of people who are in poor health already.

Our bodies are amazing pieces of machinery. They are wondrous things that science has not been able to duplicate. If you give your body the things it needs it will maintain itself and heal itself.

We also have an amazing little army that lives within us called our immune system. It naturally fights off hundreds of harmful viruses every year. The better equipped your little army (your immune system) is the better it can keep you healthy. One of the key components in keeping the immune system working effectively is interferon. By increasing the natural production of interferon you can boost your immune system and maintain a powerful little army.

It has been clinically tested and proven (which is more than the vaccine producers can say) by four published human clinical studies that a combination of immune-strengthening plant extracts can strengthen your immune response by boosting your body’s natural interferon.

Interferon plays a second important role in your body’s defense. It can also boost the immune system’s ability to recognize foreign invaders. It is because of this special role that interferon is used in drug form as an anti-viral agent to treat many different diseases. Researchers have shown that interferon can prevent infection and illness when taken in the right form.

So the choices are yours.

First, you can listen to the hype and fear mongering of the mass media, or do some reading and learn the real truth.

Second, choose the swine flu vaccine or choose to eat right and take supplements to boost your health. Don’t forget to add in the only supplement proven to boost your immune system and strengthen your immune response to viral infections.

I am just a regular guy who has done some research. Don’t take my word for anything anymore than you would other blog sources. I encourage everyone to do their own research and make up their own minds.

It is something to think about!

If you have ever had kidney stones you know how much of a painful and life changing week of you like it can actually be. It is something you hear about and think well that sounds like something I don’t want to go through but it really can’t be that bad. Well, let me tell you, once you get it you realize kidney stones really can “BE THAT BAD”!

If you have had them you know what I mean. But whether you have had them or not, you definitely don’t want to get them. That is why when I saw this research; I knew I had to get it out there. If it helps just one person in their prevention of kidney stones, it’s worth my time to get it on the ‘Net.

First, a little background on the study…

This was an independent study done to compare the effects of Shaklee Performance and Gatorade on the risk of kidney stone formation. Shaklee did not initiate the study and as far as I know neither did Gatorade. Like I said, it was an independent study and I don’t think either company knew it was done until it was published earlier this year (2009). When you are the leader in the natural food supplement industry, like Shaklee, or a big sports drink company, like Gatorade, people sometimes test your products without you even knowing about it.

The reason a study like this would even be done is because while kidney stones can be extremely painful, they can also damage the kidney especially if they form over and over again.  Therefore the prevention of kidney stones is very important.

Now the solution for many people is simple, just drink two liters or more of water every day.

That is hard to do for most people. 2 liters is a lot of water and you really, really, really have to like water to drink that much. Most people just won’t get it done.

In fact, previous studies had shown that even when patients had a previous kidney stone and were told by their urologist to drink two liters of water a day, the average result was an increase of only 0.3 liters a day of water.

When the group was asked what they were drinking instead of water things like sports drinks and energy drinks were shown to be on the increase. People were staying away from sodas and soft drinks so this should be good… BUT with no real scientific information to back it up, no one was sure if sports drinks increased or decreased the risk of kidney stones forming.

And so the study was put together to find out if people were doing good or did they still need to increase their water comsumption.

The study decided to look at two well know sports drinks, Shaklee’s Performance and Gatorade to answer the question of;

“Do sports drinks increase or decrease the risk of kidney stone formation compared to the consumption of an equivalent amount of water?”

The study focused on the effect of each sports drink on the amount of citrate in the urine and by how much they increased the pH of the urine because each of these decreases the risk of kidney stone formation.

They also looked at the effect of each sports drink on the amount of sodium and calcium in the urine because each of those increases the risk of kidney stone formation.

Performance significantly increased the amount of citrate and the pH of the urine, while Gatorade had no effect on either of them.

Neither Performance nor Gatorade had a significant effect on sodium or calcium levels in the urine.

Thus, they concluded that Shaklee’s Performance was superior to either Gatorade or water alone at decreasing the risk of kidney stone formation.

Now you might be tempted to say that this study was of more interest to urologists than the general public. But my guess is that if you have ever suffered through a kidney stone this study is of great interest to you.

But to me the more important conclusion is that, once again, independent clinical studies show the superiority of Shaklee products.

More and more the consensus is to not do animal testing.  It is usually cruel in some fashion or another no matter how kind or wonderful the researchers are.  That is just the nature of testing and research.  Quite often the researchers are testing drugs or new products that could cause or cure a disease.  So how could that ever be humane.

The problem: How do you test the validity and effectiveness of these new drugs and products before you put them on the market for humans to use.

Clinical studies have become the “Gold” standard for determining the effectiveness of these new drugs and nutrition products.  It was often difficult to achieve the goal without performing tests and so animals were nominated as test subjects.

This was the problem and one companies solution to the problem.

The Shaklee Corporation has made a commitment not to use any animal studies in the testing of their products.

Recently they had to come up with a very ingenious plan for there latest research project in order to maintain this commitment of no animal testing.  I thought it was pretty impressive, and if you are an animal lover you might think so too!

Shaklee has an immune boosting supplement called Nutriferon.  They wanted to do some basic research on how Nutriferon might work to prevent viral infections in the lungs.  They asked research scientists from Cornell University to help them conduct these experiments.

Cornell has some of the world’s top experts in the field of immunology and the development of model systems that can be used instead of relying on animal studies.  A perfect fit for what Shaklee wanted to have done.

In order to conduct the research properly, the scientists from Cornell asked Shaklee to support some of their research into developing a model system that would simulate the layers of cells that line the lungs and windpipe.  This would keep the research animal free while still allowing the research to see how cells would respond to viral infections.

Even though developing this model did not involve any Shaklee products and was really of no direct benefit to Shaklee, the company agreed to support its development.

Well, long story short, the Cornell scientists have already used this new model to show how the lungs respond to a particular type of parainfluenza virus that is responsible for croup and bronchitis in children.

So Shaklee, a health and wellness company, was indirectly involved in creating a model to further science that can help people (kids in this case) stay healthier.  This research didn’t do anything to sell more products or make more money, it was research for the good of people.  (I think that is pretty cool.)

Now of coarse the reason all this came up in the first place is because Shaklee was interested in performing research to determine how Nutriferon helps the lungs resist infection by flu viruses.

The final results of that study have not been published yet, but the study did show that Nutriferon activates “natural killer cells” when a flu virus infects lung tissue.

This is significant because natural killer cells are an important player when it comes to “killing” a flu virus.  Nutriferon had already been shown to help fight viral infections but it was never known how it did this.  This research is one more important piece of the puzzle that shows the Nutiferon is effective.

This is just one more example showing that large corporations can do well for themselves while doing good for the community and mankind.

It is something to think about!

The Vitamin D Study

The results from a Landmark Study on the benefits of supplements included an interesting finding related to blood levels of vitamin D. Long-term dietary supplement users had a blood levels well above the blood levels found in most Americans and well within the optimal range recommended by many vitamin D researchers.  But the general public – the average American – had less than adequate Vitamin D in their blood. 50%–78% of Americans had vitamin D blood levels less than a level thought to be adequate to support optimal health.

The higher vitamin D blood levels seen in the participants of the Landmark Study might be of great benefit because according to recent research, in addition to reducing the risk for osteoporosis, higher blood vitamin D levels have been linked to lower risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, all-cause mortality, infections, and more.

The Shaklee Corporation commissioned a follow-up to the Landmark Study. The new study was intended to compare vitamin D blood levels in long-term users, short-term users, and nonusers of vitamin D dietary supplements to compare and identify optimal vitamin D intakes, blood levels, and their impact on cardiovascular disease risk markers. In this cross-sectional study, blood samples were collected from 257 study participants in August 2008, and the results were certainly impressive.

Image 1 shows that increased vitamin D intakes from supplements are associated with increased vitamin D levels in the blood.

Image 2 shows that increased blood levels of vitamin D are associated with increased HDL cholesterol levels.

Higher HDL cholesterol levels have been associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Other results showed that increased supplemental intake of vitamin D also was also associated with decreased risk of metabolic syndrome and decreased waist circumference. (This sounds like fancy science speak for you might get skinnier!)

The results of these tests were presented earlier this year (May 2009).  If you would like to see the actual research results you can go here Shaklee/National Lipid Association Vitamin D Presentation (Its a little confusing, but if you are a doctor or research scientist you will probably understand it just fine)

You can also read more about the results in the August edition of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology(I was told that the research was accepted without any comments or revisions from the journal reviewers.  This is apparently a big deal and its is a nearly unprecedented event in scientific research publication.)

The study findings were so compelling that the Shaklee Corporation is already moving forward with the another study, a clinical intervention trial intended to confirm that specific vitamin supplementation can increase vitamin D status and HDL cholesterol levels.  By doing this it could be possible to decrease risk for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

So even if you are not into all the science and research or maybe you just find it a little confusing, but it is very impressive that a nutrion company, a company that is selling vitamins, goes to this much trouble to create the best available products.

So when people ask me what brand of vitamins I take I don’t hesitate to answer Shaklee.  In fact, part of the Shaklee corporate stategy for the past 30 years has been sound scientific research.  This research has resulted in the publication of over 100 scientific papers, 90 of them in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  This is unprecedented in the world of Vitamin and Nutrition companies.

Its something to think about!

This is an excerpt from a study that was sponsored by the Shaklee Corporation.  They recently sent me an email with this information

Meal Replacement Drink and Exercise Study

After age 35, adults may lose 3%–8% of their muscle mass per decade, and higher rates are commonly observed after age 60. Middle-aged men and women seem to be particularly prone to muscle loss, forfeiting about one-half pound to one pound of muscle every year of life. The ability to preserve or regain muscle mass and strength is an important factor with respect to aging, health, and quality of life. Research confirms that post-exercise protein intake benefits both muscle mass and strength. This study, conducted at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., was designed to examine the effects of a strength-training program—with and without a protein-carbohydrate meal-replacement drink—on body composition in healthy adult men and women.

Forty-six middle-aged men and women participated in a supervised, 23-week strength and endurance training program with a frequency of two to three days per week. Twenty-four participants consumed a meal-replacement drink following their training session, and 22 subjects did not receive the supplemental meal replacement. The drink provided about 270 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbohydrate, and 24 grams of protein, and was fortified with free l-leucine.

Meal Replacement Drinks

Meal Replacement Drinks

After 23 weeks, all 46 exercisers showed improvements in body composition, including a 4.7-pound gain in lean (muscle) weight and 7-pound loss in fat weight. Subjects who ingested the post-exercise drink increased their lean weight by 5.5 pounds and decreased their fat weight by 9 pounds. Those who did not receive supplemental protein increased their lean weight by 3.9 pounds and decreased their fat weight by 4.9 pounds. Published in Fitness Management, Research Update: Protein and Body Composition showed that exercise participants who consumed post-exercise protein added 1.6 pounds more lean weight and lost 4.1 pounds more fat weight than the subjects who exercised without the benefit of the post-exercise meal drink.

I use meal replacement and protein shakes especially if I am doing a lot of working out.  I know they help me recover more quickly.  After reading this study I might try to add it into my diet a little bit more.  Can’t argue with Science and research…

It is definitely something to think about.

If you want to know what shakes I drink just send me an email or leave a comment and I will get back with you ASAP.

~Mike

Since I wrote this story, I found another health focused blog that was talking about soy protein and its benefits.  Many of the better meal replacement shakes are using soy protein so you might be interested on reading it…