Not only has the summer been a busy one for yours truly, it's been a busy one for alternative and natural health advocates, who have made some real breakthroughs in promotion.
A major study came out last week about Alzheimer's and juicing. Turns out anti-oxidant therapies weren't really doing the trick, but when the focus went on to polyphenols--the concentrated anti-oxidants found in the skins of fruits and vegetables--the rewards were found. I can hear the cheers of raw fooders now...
A shocking expose has been brewing about the control tobacco companies have over nicotine content in their products. Apparently, to combat the prevalent non-smoking activism over the past several years, the cigarette manufacturers have purposely raised the level of nicotine in their products. It's in court now, with judges coming down heavy against them...
I've always wondered why the infamous Placebo Effect was not ever seriously researched. It seemed to me the knowledge gained from exploring the possibilities of the mind's control over the body would be nothing short of revolutionary. Well, it's finally starting to happen...
Anyone who has tried to recycle a computer or cell phone knows to what lengths they have to go to, to do it. Now Green Peace has begun publishing their evaluations of the best and worst electroncs companies environmentally. Many companies have "take back" programs you may not be aware of, and others haven't done a damn thing...
In a victory for environmentalists, major cosmetics companies have removed the worst of the worst chemicals from their formulas. It's legally required in the EU, but the FDA has done nothing...
Baseball and Subtle Energy
I love this article in the Phoenix newspaper sports pages. The team psychologist waxes positively metaphysical about the reality and power of subtle energy. Refreshing!
Olives - Superfood!
Raw food expert, David Wolfe, was once asked if he had to choose just one food to eat for the rest of his life what would it be. He said, OLIVES! One of Nature's most complete foods, olives have 13 reasons why you should make them a regular part of your diet.
As always, we love to hear back from you about the newsletter, and especially love to hear about your experiences with our unique products. Have a great rest-of-the summer...we'll see you again in a couple of weeks!
In vibrant health,
Pure Energy Rx
F.Y.I. - Interesting Health News Tidbits
Juicing and not losing your mind...
The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease was dramatically reduced for older people who drank fruit or vegetable juices regularly in a 10-year study, researchers report. The incidence of Alzheimer's was 76 percent lower for those who drank juice three or more times a week than for those who drank juice less than once a week. It was 16 percent lower for those drinking juice once or twice a week, according to the report.
It's not the general kind of antioxidants in fruit juices that produce the benefit, said Dr. Qi Dai, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and lead author of the report. Rather, he attributed the effect to polyphenols, a particularly strong antioxidant. "That is why we chose to look at fruit and vegetable juice," Dai said. "They [polyphenols] are found in the outer sections of fruits and vegetables, only in the peel or skin. When you process the whole fruit, they go into the juice."
Studies of the biochemistry of Alzheimer's disease have focused on deposits of beta-amyloid proteins that form in the brain and the potential for antioxidants in the diet to prevent those deposits, Dai said. But studies looking at antioxidants such as beta carotene have been disappointing, "so we thought maybe some other components in fruits and vegetables account for the reduced risk," he said. High levels of polyphenols can generally be found in the fruit skins with some of the highest percentages in grape skin, apple skin and orange skin.
Summing up, the conclusion is: "If you like juice, this is a good reason to drink it. But we'd be a little careful not to drive people down the road, saying, 'If I drink orange juice in the morning, I don't have to do anything else.'" >>>> SOURCE
How tobacco companies fight non-smoking...
The amount of nicotine in most cigarettes rose an average of almost 10 percent from 1998 to 2004, with brands most popular with young people and minorities registering the biggest increases and highest nicotine content, according to a new study.
Nicotine is highly addictive, and while no one has studied the effect of the increases on smokers, the higher levels theoretically could make new smokers more easily addicted and make it harder for established smokers to quit. The trend was discovered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which requires that tobacco companies measure the nicotine content of cigarettes each year and report the results.
The study, reported by the Boston Globe, found that 92 of 116 brands tested had higher nicotine yields in 2004 than in 1998, and 52 had increases of more than 10 percent. Boxes of Doral lights, a low-tar brand made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., had the biggest increase in yield, 36 percent. Some of this may have been the result of an increase in the total amount of tobacco put in that brand's cigarettes, one expert said.
The nicotine in Marlboro products, preferred by two-thirds of high school smokers, increased 12 percent. Kool lights increased 30 percent. Two-thirds of African American smokers use menthol brands. Not only did most brands have more nicotine in 2004, the number of brands with very high nicotine yields also rose.
"The reports are stunning," said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "What's critical is the consistency of the increase, which leads to the conclusion that it has to have been conscious and deliberate." In a 1,653-page opinion released last month in a landmark suit against the major tobacco companies by the federal government and several anti-smoking organizations, the judge found that cigarette makers adjusted nicotine levels with great care.
"Using the knowledge produced by that research, defendants have designed their cigarettes to precisely control nicotine delivery levels and provide doses of nicotine sufficient to create and sustain addiction," wrote U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler.
The only way the companies were able to secretly increase nicotine levels without anyone knowing about it is because no federal agency regulates tobacco products," he said. >>>> MORE
Mind over medication...
For years, scientists have looked at the placebo effect as just a figment of overactive patient imaginations. Sure, dummy medications seemed to curb epileptic seizures, lower blood pressure, soothe migraines and smooth out jerky movements in Parkinson's --but these people weren't really better. Or so scientists thought.
Now, using PET scanners and MRIs to peer into the heads of patients who respond to sugar pills, researchers have discovered that the placebo effect is not "all in patients' heads" but rather, in their brains. New research shows that belief in a dummy treatment leads to changes in brain chemistry. "There have always been people who have said that we could make ourselves better by positive thinking," says Dr. Michael Selzer, professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "After pooh-poohing this for years, here are studies that show that our thoughts may actually interact with the brain in a physical way."
Meanwhile, at Stanford University, scientists figured there must be a way to harness the placebo response to help patients soothe their own pain. The researchers rigged up an MRI so that people could watch real-time images of their brains, while lying in the scanner. The idea was to use the images to teach study volunteers to consciously pump up activity in parts of the brain activated by the placebo effect, says Dr. Sean Mackey, associate director of Stanford's pain management division and director of its neuroimaging and pain lab.
One of those volunteers, Laura Tibbitts, signed up for the study in hopes that she might be able to find a way to quiet the constant, permanent pain that descended after her right shoulder and arm were smashed in a riding accident eight years earlier. Through trial and error, Tibbitts determined which kinds of thoughts fired up and turned down the brain regions that Mackey said were linked to her pain. The mental pictures had an impact. And the newfound control over pain levels was empowering, Tibbitts says.
"I think the most incredible thing was to see that scan of my brain constantly producing pain," she adds. "And then to actually gain control over the pain, to see that I had that power--even when I was making myself feel worse--was amazing to me." >>>> MORE
Green electronics guide...
With a goal in mind of cleaning up the electronics industry (or more to the point, cleaning the environment of electronics waste), Green Peace has released its new "Green Electronics Guide." It ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers. Companies are ranked solely on information that is publicly available.
Companies are rated on a 1 to 10 scale (1 being positively deadly to the environment, and 10 being environmentally transparent). Here's a sample:
- 7.0 = Nokia - Good but room for improvement on amounts recycled.
- 7.0 = Dell - Points lost for not yet having models without the worst chemicals. Strong support for takeback.
- 5.7 = Hewlett Packard - Timelines only to provide plan for toxics phase out. Good on amounts recycled.
- 5.3 = Sony Ericsson - Some models without some of the worst chemicals, but bad on precautionary principle and take back.
- 5.0 = Samsung - Points for toxic phase out but not good on take back and recycling.
- 4.7 = Sony - Some models without the worst chemicals, but bad on precautionary principle and take back.
- 4.3 = LGE - Points for toxic phase-out date, but bad on take back.
- 3.3 = Panasonic - Only good on chemicals management.
- 3.0 = Toshiba - Some models without the worst chemicals, but no timelines for elimination, and poor on takeback.
- 3.0 = Fujitsu-Siemens - Points for some models free of worst chemicals, but poor on takeback.
- 2.7 = Apple - Low scores on almost all criteria.
- 2.3 = Acer - Should do better on all criteria.
- 1.7 = Motorola - Points for chemicals management. Recently broke clean-up promise.
- 1.3 = Lenovo - The lowest score of all companies.
The guide is updated every 3 months. The current version was published August 25, 2006. For more information on how each company was scored -->>>> www.greenpeace.org
>>>> MORE INFO
A victory for women's faces...
In response to a push by environmentalists, Del Laboratories Inc., maker of Sally Hansen, OPI and Orly nail polishes, will remove dibutyl phthalate (DBP) from those products. Also removed from Sally Hansen products will be formaldehyde and toluene (an industrial solvent used in paints and glues). The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says DBP, also present in vinyl products such as toys and shower curtains, is a reproductive toxin and its absorption by mothers results in underdeveloped genitals and other complications in newborn boys. Other brands, including Avon, Estee Lauder, Revlon and L'Oreal, have stopped using DBP, which is banned from cosmetics products in the European Union. The FDA has taken no such action in the United States.
Subtle energy and baseball...
Eric Leskowitz, staff psychiatrist at Harvard's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and co-creator of the forthcoming documentary film, "The Joy of Sox," takes a look at the science behind the metaphysical and religious experiences of Fenway fandom. He says we should keep the faith, think happy thoughts, and cheer long and loud for our favorite team. Apparently, invisible interactions between fans and players work in subtle but profound ways. And science proves it.
"Invisible forces matter," says Leskowitz. "There's a lot of research from physics, electromagnetism, and holistic medicine that invisible forces, or what they call light energy, is a really important ingredient in human performance. While the idea that certain states of consciousness can affect physical reality has been around in religious traditions for thousands of years, now that we have electronic devices and computers and software, we can analyze just about everything."
"We can measure the magnetic fields around someone to prove that you don't end at your skin," says Leskowitz. "Your thoughts and your emotions influence what's happening in the space around you."
And in a nod to HeartMath, Leskowitz notes that the heart is the organ of the body that has the most electrical activity. "When your heart is beating in what they call a coherent rhythm, it actually sets up an influence on your brain and makes you function better. It also spreads out to affect the person next to you."
"Of course," nods Leskowitz, "The subtle energy stuff can only get you so far when you've got half the team out with injuries, but it could help. It could definitely help." >>>> MORE
Olives the superfood...
Olives are quite possibly the world's most perfect food! David Wolfe has written in his book The Sunfood Diet Success System if he had to pick one fruit to live on for the rest of his life, it would be the olive.
The Romans believed the olive to be an incredibly sexual fruit--an aphrodisiac--especially when eaten in large quantities. Once you delve into the olive, you will become privy to the great Mediterranean secret of health, happiness, and longevity. The olive is a magical fruit! But the olive remains a mystery...to almost everyone.
Consider the power and benefits of the olive. The raw olive is: (1) The highest fruit in minerals! (2) The highest fruit in calcium. Olives contain twice as much calcium as oranges by weight. (3) High in magnesium. (4) High in amino acids, including: leucine, aspartic acid, and glutaminic acid (5) An alkaline fruit. (6) A fatty fruit (mostly monounsaturated fat). (7) An alkaline fat source. (8) Loaded with beneficial omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. (9) High in vitamins A and E. (10) In possession of many antioxidant properties. Antioxidants deactivate free radicals allowing us to live longer, overcome illness, and maintain more acute mental and muscular faculties. (11) Available in different varieties, which fruit all year around. (12) Pressable into a powerful oil, usable in a limitless number of ways all year around. (13) Able to soothe the mucous membranes with its oil. In addition to all this, olives have the greatest propensity of any fruit to dissolve toxic mucus in the system! Check out Wolfe's favorite olives...
RECOMMENDED SITE OF THE WEEK
www.peacefulmind.com - New York acupuncturist and herbalist, Andrew Pacholyk, has developed this wonderful site with authoritative information on an amazing array of alternative and natural health modalities--from Chinese Medicine to yoga to music therapy, there are hours and hours of deep surfing on this sage resource. Andrew lays out the purpose of the site: "Peaceful mind focuses on a place for you to come, relax, and become a centered, more powerful human being. A place where you can discover information, learning tools and products to assist you in living a more natural, balanced lifestyle...more peace, more health, more happiness." Check it out! (We'll be featuring Andrew in our next issue).