Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why Fish Oil Fails to Prevent or Improve Cardiovascular Disease

In May 2013, The Risk and Prevention Study Collaborative Group (Italy) released a conclusive negative finding regarding fish oil for those patients with high risk factors but no previous myocardial infarction. Fish oil failed in all measures of CVD prevention—both primary and secondary. This study was so conclusive that Eric Topol, MD, editor-in-chief of Medscape and Medscape’s Heartwire for cardiologists, issued a new directive to patients to stop taking fish oil, i.e., long-chain EFA metabolites of EPA/DHA. Fish oil’s failure is shown to be consistent with known physiology and biochemistry: there should never have been any expectation of success. To the contrary, true EFA's, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, termed Parent Essential Oils (PEO's), fulfill fish oil’s failed promise. Fish oil supplements contain supra-physiologic amounts of EPA/DHA. Recommendations are often paramount to pharmacologic overdose.

Unlike fish oil, which failed to decrease 19 markers of inflammation, PEO's do decrease inflammation. The first screening experiment comparing fish oil with Parent EFA oils, the seminal IOWA experiment utilizing pulse wave velocity, demonstrated unequivocally that fish oil contributes to hardening of the arteries, aging subjects by nearly 4 years (P < 0.0001). To the contrary, PEO's increase arterial compliance, making subjects’ arteries “biologically younger” (increased arterial compliance) by more than 11 years compared to subjects taking fish oil fish (P < 0.001). 

Read the full article at Natural Healing Tools (starts on page 34). 

Copyright © 2013 Brian Scott Peskin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 

Purchase Yes PEO supplements, based on Brian Peskin's formulation and research at Natural Healing Tools. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

DVD: Take Back Your Power

The 2013 NSA spying scandal exposed vast programs to monitor personal communications. Now, utilities and governments are reaching into your own home, through fast-tracked "smart" meters and spy-ready technology. But what if you have a choice? At stake is in-home surveillance, skyrocketing bills, emerging health risks and hacking vulnerabilities.

With compelling insight from whistleblowers, government agents, lawyers, environmentalists & doctors, the award-winning Take Back Your Power takes us on a journey to expose corruption and erosion of rights in the name of "smart" and "green." What you'll discover will surprise, unsettle and empower you.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

China's babies at risk from soot, smog

Staff Writer

April 17, 2014
China’s smoke-belching coal plants and heavy traffic may be signs of a bustling economy but health experts fear the country’s dirty air is hurting its babies.
Evidence is mounting that coal and car emissions in China, as well as other developing countries, are raising the risks of premature babies, low birth weights and neural tube defects.
Their cities are in big trouble and so are their babies,” said Richard Finnell, a professor at the University of Texas, Austin, who has studied birth defects in North China.
Spurred by sweeping economic gains, a thick layer of soot often hangs over China's cities. Its fine particle pollution is “the worst in the world,” said Angel Hsu, a project manager at Yale University’s Environmental Performance Measurement program. People in China are exposed to the world's highest levels of fine particles known as PM2.5, according to Yale’s rankings. India is close behind.
Scientists say that the dangers begin in the womb.
“Their cities are in big trouble and so are their babies.” –Richard Finnell, University of Texas, AustinIn a study published in February, fine particles were linked to more low-weight babies in 22 developing countries, including China, India, Nigeria, Nepal and Peru. In China, preterm births also were linked to the pollutant, said the lead author, Nancy Fleischer, a University of South Carolina professor.
Low birth weights were twice as likely and preterm births were 2.5 times more likely among babies born in areas of China where particle pollution was highest, compared with areas where the pollutant complied with World Health Organization standards, according to the study. About 7 percent of China’s babies are born preterm, while 6 percent are classified as low birth weight, or less than 5.5 pounds.
Preterm babies, born before 37 weeks of gestation, are the leading cause of newborn deaths worldwide. These infants are often troubled with a lifetime of developmental and physical disabilities, said Tracey Woodruff, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the effects of environmental contaminants on babies.
Preterm babies, born before 37 weeks of gestation, are the leading cause of newborn deaths worldwide and these infants are often troubled with a lifetime of developmental and physical disabilities. –Tracey Woodruff, University of California, San Francisco  Experts say air pollutants can trigger an immune response in mothers, which produces antibodies that reduce the amount of folic acid that travels through their placentas to their fetuses. Lack of folic acid can lead to birth defects.
“We’ve looked at placentas from babies that had bad outcomes and compared them to babies with good outcomes and the placentas from babies with bad outcomes have far more antibodies,” Finnell said.
Birth defects have increased about 70 percent in China over the past two decades, now reaching about 900,000 per year, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. There likely are many factors involved. But regional differences suggest pollutants may be contributing: Birth defect rates more than doubled in urban areas compared with 22 percent in rural areas.
China’s Shanxi Province “mines a lot of coal, smelts a lot of steel and has the highest rate of neural tube defects on the planet,” Finnell said.
Neural tube defects, which are serious brain and spinal cord disorders such as spina bifida, spiked to about 13 per 1,000 births in the province a decade ago. That is 13 times higher than the rate in the United States.
Mothers’ obesity and diabetes are known triggers for neural tube defects, Finnell said, but “coal pollution might play a role, too."
The same year of the spike – 2003 – Shanxi produced 300 million tons of coal and had the highest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions in China, largely due to coal burning. PAHs are formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels.
In a study of 130 women in rural Shanxi, those with elevated PAH levels in their placenta were more than four times as likely to have babies with neural tube defects, according to a 2011 study led by Peking University researchers that Finnell was involved in. A smallerstudy reported that the risk was eight-fold.
Staying indoors won’t necessarily protect the unborn: Indoor air pollution is often even worse. An estimated 3 million people in developing countries cook indoors and heat their home with charcoal, kerosene, biomass, coal or other dirty fuels. Women and children are most exposed.
“It’s hard to tease out which [air pollutant] is to blame when we know to a certain extent they’re all bad.” –Amy Padula, Stanford University  When pregnant women are exposed to a suite of chemicals, it’s hard to figure out which one may be causing their babies’ problems, said Amy Padula, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University who has studied birth defects and air pollution.
“We do know one of the more critical periods for birth defects is early on in pregnancies, during rapid fetal development,” Padula said. “It’s hard to tease out which one is to blame when we know to a certain extent they’re all bad.”
In Shanghai, preterm births have been linked to several pollutants: larger particulates known as PM10, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and ozone.
Because PM2.5 is a mix of many different contaminants, Woodruff said it is unclear which ones might be linked to lower birth weights. “Researchers have looked at different components, we’ve looked at different geographies, and no one’s found the smoking gun,” she said. “We just don’t know.”
Woodruff said PM2.5’s ingredients could adhere to the placenta and alter the development of the placenta bed, which would prevent the fetus from getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Pollutants also can alter hormones and disrupt the blood flow across the placenta, Fleischer said.
China’s air pollutants mostly come from vehicles, biomass burning and coal, Hsu said. “Eighty-five percent of their electricity is coal-fired,” she added.
Cookstoves are a major indoor pollution source in developing countries.
National Cancer Institute
Recently, after citizen protests, a government report declared a “war on pollution,” pledging to shut down 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces and remove 6 million old vehicles from the road.
There is some evidence that these efforts are working. Eight toxic metals from coal plants, including mercury, have been declining since 2006. Also, after a coal-fired plant closed in southwest China’s Tongliang County a decade ago, children had fewer signs of exposure and DNA damage, and performed better on developmental tests. 
Hsu said public access to air quality information remains a problem.
“Most of the air pollution monitoring is Western Europe and America,” Hsu said. “We need better ground level data, because that’s where the people are breathing in the pollution.”
Follow Brian Bienkowski on Twitter via @BrianBienkowski

Friday, April 18, 2014

China’s ban on GMO corn costs US up to $2.9 billion, grain association says

“It obviously is a significant cost when you add up the producer losses and the cost to exporters and others in the value chain,” NGFA President Randy Gordon said about the rejections in a telephone interview.
The NGFA and North America Export Grain Association unsuccessfully lobbied Syngenta to halt sales of corn seed containing MIR 162 and another unapproved variety called Agrisure Duracade.
Syngenta did not immediately respond to questions about NGFA’s estimates.
Since mid-November, China has turned away 1.45 million metric tons of U.S. corn because of the presence of MIR 162, topping a Chinese government estimate of 908,800 tons, according to NGFA. The corn was diverted to other buyers, who “almost assuredly would have negotiated a discount,” the report said.
(Rueters) China’s rejections of a banned variety of genetically modified U.S. corn have cost the U.S.
agriculture industry up to $2.9 billion, a grain group said on Wednesday in the first estimate on losses from the trade disruptions.

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) estimated in a report that rejections of shipments containing Syngenta AG’s Agrisure Viptera corn resulted in losses of at least $1 billion, based on an economic analysis that included data supplied by top global grain exporters.
China, the world’s third-biggest corn buyer, in November began rejecting corn containing Viptera, known as MIR 162, after previously accepting the grain. The variety, which has been cleared by the United States and other importers, has been awaiting approval by Beijing for four years.
Costs to U.S. corn exporters like Cargill Inc and Archer Daniels Midland Co total an estimated $225 million, not the estimated $427 million reported last week by the Wall Street Journal, according to NGFA. [ID:nL6N0N32PA]
Cargill, the top exporter of U.S. grains, last week said rejections of U.S. corn shipments by China contributed to a 28 percent drop in earnings for the quarter ended February 28.
The rejections have depressed U.S. corn prices by an estimated 11 cents per bushel, accounting for projected losses of $1.14 billion for U.S. corn farmers for the last nine months of the marketing year that ends on August 31, according to NGFA. It is unknown whether China will approve the trait before the marketing year ends.
Karl Setzer, grain solutions team leader for MaxYield Cooperative in Iowa, said he had heard estimates that China’s rejections had reduced U.S. corn prices by 10 cents to 20 cents per bushel. He expects more shipments to be turned away because China has an ample supply of corn.
“How do you put a dollar figure on it?” he said. “I expect everything they have with us to be washed out.”
Potential losses from trade disruptions for the next marketing year, which begins on September 1, could range from $1.2 billion to $3.4 billion due to the introduction of Agrisure Duracade into the supply chain, according to NGFA. Duracade will be planted in the United States for the first time this spring.

Smart Meters: The Opposite of Green

Link to the pdf of the article: Smart Meters, The Opposite of Green.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thirdhand Smoke Causes DNA Damage, ‘May Cause Cancer’

(Natural Society) Smoking causes health problems—we know this; it’s common knowledge. The dangers of secondhand smoke are similarly understood, but when we start to talk about thirdhand smoke, there is much that we need to learn. recent talk at the 247th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society indicated that thirdhand smoke isn’t only dangerous, but could lead to DNA changes and even cancer.   
The talk was presented by Bo Hang, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who published a study on the topic, “Thirdhand smoke causes DNA damage in human cells”, in a 2013 issue of the journal Mutagenesis.
According to Hang, thirdhand smoke—or the residue from smoking found on surfaces and in dust in a room or area where someone previously smoked—can produce toxicants that undergo chemical changes when they encounter compounds in the air. One of these compounds created by thirdhand smoke is 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-4-(3-pyridyl)-butanal, or “NNA”.
NNA and another compound known as NNK break down DNA, damaging it in such a way that leads to uncontrolled cell growth and the possible formation of tumors.
While Hang’s research is still in its early stages, he says we have only begun to understand the full damage that thirdhand smoke can cause. Babies and toddlers may be most at risk of these dangers because they are still developing and because they are most likely to swallow, touch, and inhale these compounds as they crawl around, touching everything in their path and frequently putting their hands in their mouths.
This isn’t the first such troubling research on the topic. A previous study said that secondhand smoke isn’t the only culprit in sickening children with parents who smoke. Thirdhand smoke, researchers from the University of California-Riverside said, could be as dangerous as firsthand smoke.
“In detail, the thirdhand smoke increased lipid levels and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a forerunner to cirrhosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. It also increased collagen production and inflammatory cytokine levels in the lungs, which has implications for fibrosis, pulmonary disease and asthma.” MedicalNewsToday
Just as it took decades for us to understand the risks of smoking, and decades more to discover how dangerous secondhand smoke was, it will take time for the real effects of thirdhand smoke to become apparent.