The Earth may not be flat nor is it the center of the universe, but that doesn’t mean old-world intellectuals got everything wrong. In fact, in recent years, modern science has validated a number of teachings and beliefs rooted in ancient wisdom that, up until now, had been trusted but unproven empirically. Here are eight ancient beliefs and practices that have been confirmed by modern science.
HELPING OTHERS CAN MAKE YOU HEALTHIER.
In their never-ending search for the best way to live, Greek philosophers argued over the relative benefits of hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. Hedonic well-being sees happiness as a factor of increased pleasure and decreased pain, while eudaimonic (“human flourishing”) happiness has more to do with having a larger purpose or meaning in life. A recent study from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychologist Barbara Fredrickson may reveal which form of happiness is more beneficial for health and well-being.
The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, found that while both types of happiness can make you feel good, the latter could promote physical health and longevity as well. Using phone interviews, questionnaires and blood samples, the study explored how the two forms of happiness affected individuals on a genetic level. Participants with more hedonic and less eudaimonic well-being were found to have a lower production of virus-attacking antibodies, while those with more eudaimonic well-being experienced an increase in antibody production.
ACUPUNCTURE CAN RESTORE BALANCE TO YOUR BODY.
The traditional Chinese medicine technique is believed to address imbalances in a person’s qi (pronounced chi), the circulating energy within every living thing. Whether or not you believe in the existence of this energy flow, a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that the age-old practice may be an effective way to relieve migraines, arthritis and other chronic pains.
Analyzing previous research data from approximately 18,000 subjects, researchers found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture and standard western care when treating various types of pain, including migraines and chronic back pain.
WE NEED THE SUPPORT OF A COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO THRIVE.
Traditional Buddhist teachings suggest that community is a key component in any happy, fulfilled life. A 2010 study conducted by Brigham Young University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers confirmed this belief, concluding that a healthy social life promotes longevity.
In analyzing the 148 studies — involving more than 300,000 individual participants — available on the subject, the researchers discovered that those with stronger social relationships maintained a 50 percent increased likelihood of survival. The effect of social relationships on mortality risk is even greater than the effect of exercise or obesity.
Researchers at the University of Southern California have announced that fasting for as little as three days, can regenerate the entire human immune system for a very healthy living. The researchers described their study as “remarkable and a major breakthrough” in finding natural methods to boost the immune system. In the past, fasting diets have …
The researchers described their study as “remarkable and a major breakthrough” in finding natural methods to boost the immune system.
In the past, fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy. However, this new study by the Americans suggests that starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. The researchers said their discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. Elderly people, too, are said to benefit greatly from the study.
As people grow, their immune system becomes weak, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. As per this study, fasting could help them get their immune system back on track.
Fasting for 72 hours also protects cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy saves lives, but it also causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.
Detailing the study, the researchers said fasting “flips a regenerative switch” that prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.
Lead researcher of the study Professor Valter Longo, who serves as professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California, said the study proved that fasting could indeed help the human body to produce a new immune system.
It gives the ‘OK’ for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system. And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.” Professor Longo said.
The researchers then found that the fasting helped to produce a new immune system, as well as reducing the enzyme PKA, a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth that is linked to ageing.
Professor Longo expressed how the research team became surprised upon realizing the outcome of their experiment: “What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”
The study said prolonged fasting not only forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat, but it also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Professor Longo added.
With the study having been experimented already, more clinical trials will be able to determine other factors. If that is done, one can see a physician for an appropriate fasting recommendation.
(Natural News) Since avocados are known for their high-fat content, many people tend to steer clear of this unique type of fruit. While you may have heard that eating a little bit of healthy fat every day is good for you, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating an entire creamy avocado every day could significantly lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol among overweight and obese people.
Avocado’s cholesterol-lowering effect works within a few weeks
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University analyzed the effects avocados have on cardiovascular risk factors by swapping saturated fats from the average American diet of overweight and obese volunteers with MUFAs coming from an entire avocado. Other than being overweight, all 45 men and women, aged between 21 and 70 years, were healthy, non-smokers with average or well-controlled blood pressure levels.
First, the volunteers spent two weeks consuming an average American diet with 34 percent of their daily calories coming from fat, 51 percent from carbohydrates and 16 percent from protein. After two weeks, they were either put on a low-fat or a moderate-fat diet without avocado, or a moderate-fat diet with one additional avocado per day.
For the study, the researchers used Hass avocados – the ones with bumpy, dark green to black skin commonly found in most grocery stores. During the five-week avocado experiment, the researchers reported that compared to the baseline average American diet, bad cholesterol was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate-fat diet that included an avocado every day.
In addition, the avocado consuming group showed more favorable blood measurements when it came to total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and non-HDL cholesterol, among other factors. As noted by Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., senior study author, chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee, and distinguished professor of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, these parameters are all important cardio-metabolic risk factors. (RELATED: Find more information about how to protect your heart at Heart.news.)
While Kris-Etherton implied that more research is needed before new nutrition policy recommendations can be made, consumers can already start reaping the benefits by adding an avocado a day to their heart-healthy diet. Though avocados are not yet a mainstream food in America, they are rapidly gaining popularity in many homes. While most people are still uncertain about how to use this fat-rich fruit, avocados are a versatile food that can be added to many of your meals. In addition to guacamole, Kris-Etherton recommends adding avocados to salads, smoothies or sandwiches, and vegetable, chicken or fish dishes.
The Mediterranean diet in combination with avocados – the best way to protect your heart
Since saturated fats can increase bad cholesterol levels and raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases, the researchers stressed the importance of replacing saturated fats in the diet with heart-healthy MUFAs or polyunsaturated fatty acids to lower the odds of heart disease.
The researchers also noted that other beneficial bioactive compounds such as fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols and other beneficial phytochemicals in the Hass avocados could have contributed to the cholesterol-lowering and heart-protective effects. Therefore, it is important to make whole avocados part of your heart-friendly diet.
“This was a controlled feeding study, but that is not the real-world — so it is a proof-of-concept investigation. We need to focus on getting people to eat a heart-healthy diet that includes avocados and other nutrient-rich food sources of better fats,” Kris-Etherton said.
Previous research has shown that the Mediterranean diet – which includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, and MUFA-rich foods – not only includes healthier fats, but also contains certain micronutrients and bioactive compounds that may play a crucial role in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Another study has emerged linking Ibuprofen, the popular over-the counter pain-killer, to harmful and life-threatening health effects in those with cardiac conditions. This time it’s from researchers in Denmark, who found that taking the over-the-counter drug caused a 31% increased risk of cardiac arrest, among other things.
It wasn’t just Ibuprofen, but common painkillers that also fall under this category, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In fact, they found that other drugs in this category, like Tylenol, present an even higher risk.
The study outlines how painkillers are considered completely harmless by the general public, and that few people think twice about hitting the drug store shelves the moment they experience slight pain or a headache. It’s time to start really paying attention to what we are doing here, especially given the fact that NSAIDs are among the most commonly used drugs in the world and easily available to anybody over the counter.
According the the study’s lead author, Dr. Gunnar H. Gislason, a professor of cardiology at Cophenhagen University Hospital Gentofte:
Allowing these drugs to be purchased without a prescription, and without any advice or restrictions, sends a message to the public that they must be safe.
The findings are a stark reminder that NSAIDs are not harmless. Diclofenac and ibuprofen, both commonly used drugs, were associated with significantly increased risk of cardiac arrest. . . .
NSAIDs should be used with caution and for a valid indication. . . .
The current message being sent to the public about NSAIDs is wrong. If you can buy these drugs in a convenience store then you probably think “they must be safe for me.” Our study adds to the evidence about the adverse cardiovascular effects of NSAIDs and confirms that they should be taken seriously, and used only after consulting a healthcare professional.”
Professor Gislason does not think these drugs should be sold outside of pharmacies, where there would be no professional available to advise how best to take them and when to avoid them.
The study collected data from all patients who had a cardiac arrest incident outside of a hospital in Denmark between 2001 and 2010, identified from the nationwide Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry. Data was collected on all redeemed prescriptions for NSAIDs from pharmacies in Denmark since 1995.
The study, which examined a total of 28,947 patients who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Denmark, found that 3,376 of these patients were treated with an NSAID up to 30 days before their event. Ibuprofen was one of the most common used NSAIDs, making up 51% of total NSAID use.
“NSAIDs exert numerous effects on the cardiovascular system which could explain the link with cardiac arrest. These include influencing platelet aggregation and causing blood clots, causing the arteries to constrict, increasing fluid retention, and raising blood pressure.” (source)
Not the Only Study
The amount of literature available on this subject can be overwhelming. It really makes you question what science is allowing companies to get these products onto the market without the proper safety measures in place.
Dr. Peter Gotzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration (the world’s most foremost body in assessing medical evidence), hopes to make clear this very problem. He is currently working to inform the world about the dangers associated with several pharmaceutical grade drugs. Based on his research, he estimates that 100,000 people in the United States alone die each year from the side-effects of correctly used prescription drugs, noting that “it’s remarkable that nobody raises an eyebrow when we kill so many of our own citizens with drugs.”
Gotzche’s two main areas of focus are painkillers, like Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Celecoxib, and Diclofenac, and Vioxx, which was actually withdrawn after it was discovered that it caused more than 100,000 cases of serious heart disease in the United States during the five years that it was on the market.
According to Gotzche, these deaths are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the failure of the drug regulatory process to protect patients:
These terms for our drugs are invented by the drug industry. They had a huge financial interest in calling these things anti-inflammatory. It lured doctors into believing that these drugs somehow also had an effect on the disease process and reduced the joint damage.
Antidepressants for all, as they very likely don’t even work for severe cases of depression
All brain-active drugs in children
Anti-psychotics and other brain-active drugs for the elderly. Psychotropic drugs should be used as little as possible and mostly in very acute situations, as they are very harmful when used long term Anti-dementia drugs, as they very likely don’t work
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for arthritis, muscle pain and headaches, including over-the-counter, low-dose ibuprofen. These drugs should be used as little as possible.
Mammography screening, as it doesn’t prolong life whereas it makes many healthy women ill through overdiagnosis and leads to the premature death for some because radiotherapy and chemotherapy increases mortality when used for harmless cancers detected at screening
Drugs for urinary incontinence, as they very likely don’t work
Next to non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer among men in America, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2013, 176,450 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed, and about 27,681 American men died from this largely preventable disease.
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Since it produces fluid that makes up a part of semen, it’s crucial to human reproduction. Similar to the prostate gland in shape, walnuts provide a host of health-boosting chemicals that can slow prostate cancer growth, research has found.
Previous studies have already established a strong link between diet, especially dietary fat intake, and prostate cancer. A research team from the University of California Davis led by scientist and research nutritionist Paul Davis has been studying the health impact of walnuts for quite some time. They say that the U.S. government has been wrong all along in blaming high-fat diets as the culprit for many of our modern diseases, cancer and heart disease included.
“Walnuts are a perfect example. While they are high in fat, their fat does not drive prostate cancer growth. In fact, walnuts do just the opposite when fed to mice,” Paul Davis added.
In their previous work, Davis and his team found that walnuts reduced prostate tumor size in mice, but the question remained whether it was the nut itself, the oil, or the omega-3 fatty acids that are responsible for the tumor-shrinking effect. Their latest study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, was aimed at finding out which part of the walnut is responsible for the beneficial health effects.
The whole walnut matters, not just the omega-3
For their study, the scientists fed animals either whole walnuts, walnut oil, or a control oil mixture with the same omega-3 fatty acid content as walnuts. After 18 weeks, the researchers found that walnuts and walnut oil lowered cholesterol and slowed prostate cancer growth. The omega-3 control group, however, showed no beneficial effect.
The team also reported lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the walnut and walnut oil group. IGF-1 is a hormone that has been linked to both breast and prostate cancer. Lower cholesterol levels also helped to deprive cancer cells of the nutrients they need, therefore slowing their growth.
Furthermore, walnut consumption was also associated with higher levels of adiponectin and the tumor suppressor PSP94, and lower levels of COX-2, which are all important markers for a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
While the scientists could not pinpoint the exact nutrients responsible for the anti-cancer effects, they ruled out omega-3, fiber, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Additionally, they noted that it is probably the synergetic effect of multiple components in the walnuts that are responsible for the benefits, concluding that the secret to the cancer-killing properties of walnuts is the unique combination of several potent phytonutrients that are found in very few other foods.
They further noted that the health benefits cannot be broken down to one substance and stressed the importance of multiple components that nature has combined into one natural, healing food. Hence why natural, whole foods are so much more than just the sum of their individual phytochemicals.
“We showed that it’s not the omega-3s by themselves, though, it could be a combination of the omega-3s with whatever else is in the walnut oil,” Davis said. “It’s becoming increasingly clear in nutrition that it’s never going to be just one thing; it’s always a combination.”
While more research is needed — because studies in mice do not necessarily translate to humans — Davis added that walnut’s beneficial effects on humans do not require unrealistically high consumption levels to get the protective results. For their study, mice were eating the equivalent of 2.6 ounces of walnuts, or about 482 calories a day.
Conventional health authorities claim getting a flu shot each year is the best way to ward off influenza. But where’s the actual science backing up that claim?
If you’ve repeatedly fallen for this annual propaganda campaign, you may be surprised to find the medical literature suggests vitamin D may actually be a FAR more effective strategy, and the evidence for this goes back at least a decade.
Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an underlying CAUSE of influenza.
His hypothesis1 was initially published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006.2 It was subsequently followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008.3
The following year, the largest nationally representative study4 of its kind to date discovered that people with the lowest vitamin D levels indeed reported having significantly more colds or cases of the flu. In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde stated:
“The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu. Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency.”
Vitamin D Works Better Than Flu Vaccine If Your Levels Are Low
Since then, a number of studies have come to similar conclusions. Most recently, a scientific review5,6 of 25 randomized controlled trials confirmed that vitamin D supplementation boosts immunity and cuts rates of cold and flu.
Overall, the studies included nearly 11,000 individuals from more than a dozen countries. As reported by Time Magazine:7
“… [P]eople who took daily or weekly vitamin D supplements were less likely to report acute respiratory infections, like influenza or the common cold, than those who did not …
For people with the most significant vitamin D deficiencies (blood levels below 10 [ng/mL]), taking a supplement cut their risk of respiratory infection in half.
People with higher vitamin D levels also saw a small reduction in risk: about 10 percent, which is about equal to the protective effect of the injectable flu vaccine, the researchers say.”
Like Cannell before them, the researchers believe vitamin D offers protection by increasing antimicrobial peptides in your lungs, and that “[t]his may be one reason why colds and flus are most common in the winter, when sunlight exposure (and therefore the body’s natural vitamin D production) is at its lowest …”8
According to this international research team, vitamin D supplementation could prevent more than 3.25 million cases of cold and flu each year in the U.K. alone.9Another statistic showing vitamin D is a more effective strategy than flu vaccine is the “number needed to treat” (NNT).
Overall, one person would be spared from influenza for every 33 people taking a vitamin D supplement (NNT = 33), whereas 40 people have to receive the flu vaccine in order to prevent one case of the flu (NNT = 40).
Among those with severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline, the NNT was 4. In other words, if you’re vitamin D deficient to begin with, vitamin D supplementation is 10 times more effective than the flu vaccine.
Optimizing Vitamin D May Be Your Best Defense Against Influenza
In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best flu-prevention and optimal health strategies available. Your diet also plays a significant role of course, as it lays the foundation for good immune function.
A high-sugar diet is a sure-fire way to diminish your body’s innate ability to fight off infections of all kinds by radically impairing the functioning of your immune system.
However, I do not agree that fortifying more processed foods with vitamin D is the best solution, although I realize it could potentially have a more widespread impact among people who remain unaware of the beneficial health effects of sunlight in general.
I believe sensible sun exposure is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement is only recommended in cases when you simply cannot obtain sufficient amounts of sensible sun exposure.
It’s also important to point out that, contrary to what’s reported by most mainstream media, including NPR report above, most people cannot optimize their vitamin D levels by getting the recommended 600 IUs of vitamin D from fortified foods. The dose you need really depends on your current blood level of vitamin D.
If it’s very low, you may need 8,000 to 10,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day in order to reach and maintain a clinically relevant level of 45 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The only way to know how much you need is to get tested at least once or twice each year.
If you’ve been supplementing for some time and your levels are still below 45 ng/mL, you then know you have to increase your dose further. If using an oral supplement, also make sure to boost your vitamin K2 and magnesium intake, as these nutrients help optimize vitamin D levels.
Other Studies Supporting Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Influenza
In a study published in 2010,10 researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study included 430 children, half of which were given 1,200 IUs of vitamin D3 per day while the other half received a placebo.
Overall, children in the treatment group were 42 percent less likely to come down with the flu. According to the authors: “This study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren.”
Another study11 published that same year concluded that infection-fighting T-cells need help from vitamin D in order to activate. This is yet another mechanism that helps explain why vitamin D is so effective against infections.
When a T cell recognizes foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses, it sends activating signals to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene.
The VDR gene then starts producing a protein that binds vitamin D in the T cell. A downstream effect of this is PLC-gamma1 protein production, which subsequently enables the T cell to fight the infection. At the time, lead researcher Carsten Geisler told Food Consumer:12
“When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or “antenna” known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D. This means the T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease. If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won’t even begin to mobilize.”
With that understanding, it’s no wonder flu shots don’t work. Flu vaccines do absolutely nothing to address the underlying problem of vitamin D deficiency, which is effectively hindering your immune system from working properly.
In fact, flu vaccines tend to deteriorate your immune function, and their side effects can be significant.
‘Gold Standard’ Studies Ignored by Mainstream Media
The gold standard of scientific analysis, the so-called Cochrane Database Review, has also issued several reports between 2006 and 2012, all of which decimate the claim that flu vaccinations are the most effective prevention method available. In 2010, Cochrane published the following bombshell conclusion, which was completely ignored by mainstream media:13
“Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission. WARNING: This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration).
An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines …”
So, despite the fact that 15 of the 36 studies included were biased by industry interests, they still couldn’t come up with evidence supporting the conventional claim that flu vaccines are the best and most effective prevention available against influenza!
Scientific Reviews Show Vaccinating Children and Elderly Is Ineffective
Cochrane has issued several reports addressing the effectiveness of flu vaccines on infants and the elderly — two groups that tend to be the most targeted by flu vaccine advertising — and all have had negative findings. For children:
1.A large-scale, systematic review14 of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children under two. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.
2.In 2008, another Cochrane review15 again concluded that “little evidence is available” that the flu vaccine is effective for children under the age of two. Even more disturbingly, the authors stated that:
“It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.”
3.In a 2012 review,16 Cochrane concluded that “in children aged from two years, nasal spray vaccines made from weakened influenza viruses were better at preventing illness caused by the influenza virus than injected vaccines made from the killed virus. Neither type was particularly good at preventing “flu-like illness” caused by other types of viruses. In children under the age of two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo.”
The available evidence with regards to protecting the elderly is equally abysmal.
4.In 2010, Cochrane concluded that:17 “The available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older.”
5.Cochrane also reviewed whether or not vaccinating health care workers can help protect the elderly patients with whom they work. In conclusion, the authors stated that:18 “[T]here is no evidence that vaccinating health care workers prevents influenza in elderly residents in long-term care facilities.”
Annual Flu Vaccinations May Raise Risk of More Serious Infections
Other recent studies have shown that with each successive annual flu vaccination, the protection afforded by the vaccine appears to diminish.19, 20 Research published in 2014 concluded that vaccine-induced protection against influenza was greatest among those who had NOT received a flu shot in the previous five years.21 The flu vaccine may also increase your risk of contracting other, more serious influenza infections.
Compared to children who do not get an annual flu vaccine, those who receive influenza vaccinations have a three times higher risk of hospitalization due to influenza.23
Research also shows that statin drugs — taken by 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 45 — may undermine your immune system’s ability to respond to the flu vaccine.24,25,26 When you consider the low efficacy rate of the flu vaccine in any given year, getting vaccinated if you’re on a statin may well be a moot point.
Independent science reviews have also concluded that influenza vaccine does not appear to prevent influenza-like illness associated with other types of viruses responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory or gastrointestinal infections during any given flu season.27,28,29,30
Other Foods and Supplements That Send Pathogens Packin’
Besides vitamin D, there are a number of other foods and supplements that can be beneficial for colds and influenza, including the following:
Vitamin D Is Important for Optimal Health and Disease Prevention Year-Round
In related news, researchers are also homing in on how vitamin D may help protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The video above discusses research33 showing vitamin D extends lifespan in nematode worms by 30 percent and helps slow or even reverse accumulation of beta amyloid protein, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, autoimmune disease and many other chronic diseases. As noted in a recent issue of Orthomolecular Medicine News:34 “Research on the health benefits of vitamin D continues at a rapid pace. There were 4,356 papers published in 2015 with vitamin D in the title or abstract and 4,388 in 2016 …” Among some of the most impactful studies are ones demonstrating:
•Health benefits from sun exposure unrelated to vitamin D production. One recent review concluded benefits of sun exposure includes lower rates of cancer, heart disease, dementia, myopia, macular degeneration, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. My belief is that the majority of these benefits are due to the near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths.
According to the author: “The message of sun avoidance must be changed to acceptance of non-burning sun exposure sufficient to achieve [vitamin D] concentrations of 30 ng/mL or higher … and the general benefits of UV exposure beyond those of vitamin D.” Also, while intermittent sun exposure is associated with higher rates of skin cancer, “the risks of these cancers is dwarfed by the reduced risk of internal cancers from sun exposure,” William Grant, Ph.D. writes.
•Benefits of higher vitamin D levels during pregnancy. Research demonstrates preterm births steadily decrease as vitamin D levels increase among pregnant women. In one study, raising vitamin D blood concentrations from 20 to 40 ng/mL decreased preterm births by 59 percent.
•Reduction in cancer risk from vitamin D supplementation. One pooled analysis showed that women with higher levels of vitamin D had much lower incidence rates of cancer — from a 2 percent per year cancer incidence rate at 18 ng/mL to 0.4 percent at 63 ng/mL.
Overall, maintaining a vitamin D serum level of 45 to 60 ng/mL year-round may be one of the simplest and most efficient ways to safeguard yourself against chronic disease and acute infections. When it comes to seasonal colds and influenza, the rate of protection you get from vitamin D is actually greater than what you’d get from a flu vaccination, and you don’t have to worry about potential side effects either — which in the case of the flu vaccine can be far worse than the original complaint.
While death and complete disability from a flu vaccine may be rare, so is dying from the flu itself. I strongly recommend weighing the risk of suffering a debilitating side effect of the flu vaccine relative to the more likely potential of spending a week in bed with the flu. Remember, most deaths attributed to influenza are actually due to bacterial pneumonia, and these days, bacterial pneumonia can be effectively treated with advanced medical care and therapies like respirators and parenteral antibiotics.
The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention
A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.
According to one large-scale study, optimal Vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.
How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health
Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. Dr. Robert Heaney is the research director of GrassrootsHealth and is part of the design of the D*action Project as well as analysis of the research findings.
GrassrootsHealth shows how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.
In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)
As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.”
Over the past 100 years, cannabis has gone from being legal, to illegal, to entering a strange legal grey area in our society. The stigma surrounding cannabis has pushed people to believe that it’s a “drug” that’s poor for your health, when in reality, it’s a plant that has incredible healing properties.Cannabis can significantly help people suffering from anxiety or chronic pain, and can even kill cancer cells. Some of the more recent innovations using cannabis were two pain relieving patches created by Cannabis Science, designed for patients with fibromyalgia and diabetic nerve pain.
Medical Uses for Cannabis
Cannabis can and has been used for many years to treat a wide variety of illnesses including cancer. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis.
Consuming cannabis activates cannabinoid receptors in the body, and the body itself creates compounds called endocannabinoids, which help to produce a healthy environment. Cannabinoids play a significant role in immune system generation and re-generation, which is why cannabinoids reduce cancer cells.
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer, conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. Numerous organizations and universities, including Harvard Medical School, have also been studying the effects cannabis has on cancer cells, proving its success and recommending it to be used as cancer treatment for specific types of cancer.
Numerous cancer patients will smoke marijuana or take cannabis oil orally in order to mitigate the pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy. THC has been available in pill form for treating nausea and vomiting in cancer patients since the 1980s.Even the U.S. government has unwittingly confirmed that cannabis kills cancer cells. A group of federal researchers commissioned by the government were selected to prove that cannabis has no accepted medical value, but their findings showed otherwise (read our article here).
Studies show that THC, the compound found in cannabis that gives it its “euphoric” effect, activates pathways in the central nervous system that work to prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain. Likewise, cannabis has been shown to be especially effective against neuropathic pain, or nerve-related pain. Cannabis is essentially an all-natural form of Advil!
Cannabis can also be used to decrease anxiety and mitigate symptoms from PTSD, as the high from THC is associated with temporary memory impairment. Recent studies confirm that oral doses of THC can help relieve a variety of PTSD-related symptoms including flashbacks, agitation, and nightmares.
Cannabis Science’s Innovative “Pain Patch”
Two of the latest cannabis medical innovations were created by Cannabis Science, a U.S. company specialized in the development of cannabis-based medicine, particularly those meant for cancer treatment. Cannabis Science already has some products on the market in California, such as its “When Nature Meets Science” product line, which includes healing bombs, drops, and tinctures, all made with cannabis.
The company recently designed two new pain relieving medications for self-medicating patients with diabetic neuropathy nerve pain and fibromyalgia.