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Archive for March 2013

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

By Dr. Mercola

Tomatoes, which are actually a fruit and not a vegetable, contain a number of valuable nutrients, and according to recent research, organically-grown tomatoes are even more nutritious than their conventionally-grown counterparts.

One of the most well-known nutrients in tomatoes is lycopene — the compound that gives tomato its deep red color.

Lycopene is a vital anti-oxidant that has been shown to have potent anti-cancerous activity. This compound is not naturally produced in your body, so it must be supplied via your diet.

Other fruits and vegetables also contain lycopene, but none has the high concentration of lycopene that the tomato boasts.

Interestingly, when cooked, the bioavailability of lycopene increases rather than decreases, as is the case with many other raw foods, as heat has a tendency to destroy valuable nutrients.

That said, you’re best off avoiding canned tomatoes and tomato sauces as can liners tend to contain potent estrogen mimics such as bisphenol A (BPA), which is also a toxic endocrine disrupting chemical. Your best bet is to make your own organic tomato sauce from scratch, or buy organic sauce sold in glass jars.

Organic Tomatoes have 139 Percent Higher Phenolic Content, Study Shows

It seems perfectly sensible that food grown in healthier soil with natural fertilizers and no synthetic agricultural chemicals would be more nutritious. This is common knowledge among farmers, yet this age-old, common sense wisdom is greatly suppressed in the United States in order to protect the large-scale industrial farming model.

According to a recent study published in the journal PLOS One, growing tomatoes according to organic standards results in dramatically elevated phenols content, compared to tomatoes grown conventionally, using agricultural chemicals.

The researchers compared total phenol content in organic and conventional tomatoes grown in nearby plots in Brazil. This allowed for a more accurate comparison of the tomatoes, as both varieties were grown in similar soil- and climate conditions that might otherwise affect nutrient content.

According to the authors:

“This study was conducted with the objective of testing the hypothesis that tomato fruits from organic farming accumulate more nutritional compounds, such as phenolics and vitamin C as a consequence of the stressing conditions associated with farming system.”

The organic tomatoes were found to contain 55 percent more vitamin C, and 139 percent more total phenolic content at the stage of commercial maturity, compared to the conventionally-grown tomatoes. According to the authors:

“[T]his seems consistent with the more than two times higher activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) we observed throughout fruit development in fruits from organic farming.

Taken together, our observations suggest that tomato fruits from organic farming experienced stressing conditions that resulted in oxidative stress and the accumulation of higher concentrations of soluble solids as sugars and other compounds contributing to fruit nutritional quality such as vitamin C and phenolic compounds.”

Today’s Vegetables Aren’t as Nutritious as They Used to Be…

Continue reading at Mercola

Azithromycin, a commonly-prescribed antibiotic, may trigger a potentially deadly irregular heart rhythm for some patients, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Tuesday.

The antibiotic that’s sold as Zithromax, Zmax or sometimes referred to as a “Z-Pack” is prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or ear infections.

The FDA is warning the public that the pills can cause abnormal changes in the heart’s electrical activity that may lead to a fatal heart rhythm. Not everyone is at risk. Patients with known risk factors such as existing QT interval prolongation, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, a slower than normal heart rate, or those who use certain drugs to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias face the greatest risk.

“Health care professionals should consider the risk of fatal heart rhythms with azithromycin when considering treatment options for patients who are already at risk for cardiovascular events,” the FDA said in its March 12th update.

The new guidance was prompted by a May 2012 study and another study by the antibiotic’s manufacturer, Pfizer, that looked at risks to electrical activity of the heart in azithromycin-takers.

Last May, a New England Journal of Medicine study paid for by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found there would be 47 extra heart-related deaths per one million course of treatment with five days of Zithromax, as compared to 10 days of amoxicillin and other antibiotics. The risks of cardiovascular death associated with levofloxacin (Levaquin) treatment were similar to those associated with azithromycin treatment, according to the FDA.

Zithromax antibiotics tied to rare heart risks
“People need to recognize that the overall risk is low,” Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University health outcomes specialist who was not involved in the study, told the Associated Press last May. He added more research was needed but patients with heart disease “should probably be steered away” from Zithromax for now.

The FDA also issued a statement last May following the study saying the agency was aware of the findings, and it would review the results and communicate any new information.

Sales of Zithromax, one of the U.S.’ top-selling antibiotics, totaled $464 million in 2011 according to health care information company IMS Health, the AP reported.

Source: CBS News

(NaturalNews) The extract of an edible red seaweed was found to be 27 percent more effective than standard chemo in shrinking breast tumors in rats while showing much less toxicity to liver and kidneys, and even improving the rats’ antioxidant status in both blood and tissues.

Eucheuma cottoni – A potential natural treatment for breast cancer

The seaweed used in this remarkable study was Eucheuma cottonii L., an edible, tropical red seaweed which grows naturally within about 20 degrees of the equator and is most commonly found around Southeast Asia. The Euchema group of seaweeds is already widely commercially farmed for use in the production of carrageenan. Researchers at the University Putra Malaysia harvested the seaweed from the coastal waters of North Borneo during January. The seaweed was shade dried for three days and extracted using an 80 percent ethanol solution which was then evaporated to leave a dry powder extract. The extract was found to be rich in iodine, quercetin, catechin, rutin, carotenoids, and more exotic antioxidants such as phytopheophylin and phlorotannins.

To test the extract against breast cancer, Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with LA-7 breast cancer cells and divided into three groups: one group was not treated at all, the second was treated with the most commonly used breast cancer chemo drug at 10 mg/kg body weight, and the third group was treated with the seaweed extract at 100 mg/kg body weight. According to the researchers, this dose is equivalent to giving a 50 kg woman an 800 mg tablet of the seaweed extract.

27 percent more effective than chemo while improving antioxidant status

Learn more: Natural News

(NaturalNews) You may not be aware of it, but every time you bite into that crisp, organic apple or succulent, organic pear, you could be exposing yourself to two different antibiotic drugs that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has quietly allowed to be used on these two fruits since the organic program’s inception back in the 1990s. And unless the health-conscious community makes its collective voice heard on this important issue, the deceptive practice will continue to play a role in the growing antibiotic-resistance epidemic that is sweeping modern society.

It has been a problem since the early days of the National Organic Program (NOP) — a destructive bacterial disease known as fire blight tends to harm many apple and pear varieties, making their trees appear as though they have been burned by fire. If left to run its natural course without effective intervention, fire blight can kill blossoms, shoots, limbs, and sometimes entire trees, making it difficult to effectively grow certain fruits for commercial distribution.

Originally, the argument held that there was no other effective way to cultivate apples and pears, either conventional or organic, without the use of both streptomycin and tetracycline, two antibiotics that are also widely used in the treatment of human pathogens. But since it has become clear that antibiotic-overuse is responsible for causing widespread resistance, and the fact that antibiotic use is inconsistent with the organic philosophy, NOSB decided in 2011 to require that both streptomycin and tetracycline be phased out of use by October 14, 2014.

Organic apples and pears grown in the U.S. for the European Union (EU) market are already effectively grown without the use of either streptomycin and tetracycline — EU provisions do not allow the use of any antibiotics in agriculture — which means there is no valid reason why these same fruits cannot be grown without the two antibiotics for the American market as well. But heavy influence from some large organic apple and pear growers threatens to postpone NOSB’s phase-out requirements until 2016, which threatens both the viability of antibiotics and the safety of the public.

Learn more: Natural News


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