Vitamins

Organic micronutrients essential to normal human metabolism. Unlike fats, carbohydrates and some proteins, vitamins are not metabolized to provide energy. Most are not manufactured by the body but are present in minute quantities in natural foodstuffs. Each of these naturally-occurring organic vitamin compounds performs a specific vital function and is required by the body for disease prevention and good health.

The known vitamins are divided into four fat-soluble types (A, D, E and K) and nine water-soluble types (eight B vitamins and vitamin C). The fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body and do not need to be ingested every day. Fat soluble vitamins in their synthetic form are especially dangerous because they can build up in your fatty tissues and cause toxicity. One of many reasons that the synthetic form is more dangerous is because you get a high, concentrated serving of the vitamin rather than the amount that you would get from a food-based form.

The water-soluble vitamins are more easily eliminated and can be taken in larger amounts without danger of toxicity (if not synthetic). Vitamin C and the eight B vitamins (except for Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid) are water soluble. They cannot be stored and must be consumed frequently for optimal health.

As an initial convention, vitamins were given letters to go with their chemically defined names. Not many people know about the form of vitamin E d-alpha tocopheryl succinate, but most people know what “Vitamin E” is and what it can be used for. Some nutritional factors were originally given “B” names but turned out not to act as vitamins at all. You may not have heard of vitamins B-4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 which were ultimately rejected as vitamin factors.

We know that vitamins prevent disease and promote health, but what do we know about the actual quality of the vitamins we ingest? Hundreds of millions of people take a daily vitamin and/or herbal supplement. For more than 70 years we have been ingesting synthetic vitamins in our supplements and our fortified foods, believing that our health is being protected and improved. Each year in North American alone people spend over $20 billion on vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements, believing that these products are benefiting them. But are they? What is the real truth about vitamins? If we eat a balanced diet, do we really need nutritional supplements?

To answer this question we have to go back to our roots – our soil. The body is unable to manufacture most vitamins for itself, and so they must be obtained from nutritional sources. During the early 1900s, in our grandparents’ time, the soil was rich with nutrients that produced healthy, vigorous crops high in vitamin content. Today, due to modern factory farming practices, our soils are sadly laced with industrial pollution, pesticides and chemical fertilizers that not only contaminate the soil, but activate increased soil erosion. Because of poor soil quality and nutrients, our foods have only a fraction of the nutrient value of 70-100 years ago.

Polluted air and water systems deplete our bodies of their store of nutrients, such as antioxidants including vitamins and minerals, that are necessary for protecting our health. Add the stresses of modern life to this and as a population we are left with ever-weakening genetic and immune systems. Therefore, vitamin and nutrient supplementation is more crucial than before.

The mineral depletion of our soils and foods is not news. The U.S. government has been issuing official warnings since 1936. The U.S. Senate Document #264, published by the 2nd session of the 74th Congress in 1936 stated the following:

“Most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought [back] into proper mineral balance. Foods, fruits, vegetables and grains that are now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us – no matter how much of these foods we eat. Leading authorities state that 99% of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance or any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic, causes problems and we sicken, suffer, and shorten our lives. Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals; but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless.”

This report was offered over 70 years ago. Just imagine how it would read today.

Unfortunately, we all have a big job ahead to restore our soil quality – even on organic farms – and bring back the nutrients that have been farmed out of our food. It is urgent that we reintroduce proper organic farming as the primary method, as well as the rotation of crops to improve the quality of our soils, among other benefits. It has taken many decades to ruin our soils and it will take time to revive them and bring them back to health again. It can be and must be done for ourselves, our children and future generations.

As world citizens we can transform our farmlands; one very simple way is by purchasing organic foods and supporting organic farming. In the meantime, the way to guarantee adequate nutrition is by supplementing our foods with naturally-occurring, non-synthetic vitamin and nutrients from organic farms that focus on soil conservation.

Synthetic Vitamins

Only Mother Nature can make an apple. Only nature can make a cell. While scientists and chemists continue to try in vain to duplicate in a laboratory the molecular structure of many different isolated natural substances. When you analyze natural compounds with an electron microscope they can look identical, yet in some invisible, yet significant, way they are not. Although scientists can make seawater with exactly the same chemical structure as natural seawater, when you put a salt-water fish in this synthetic environment, the fish dies. What is it in natural seawater that sustains life? The creation of life is a divine gift that can never be duplicated by man; it is beyond human intellect.

Putting the word “natural” on the vitamin label is, in most cases today, deceptive. The word is constantly abused and, as such, its meaning has been diluted to a point where it holds little value. Many misleading labels on supplement products take advantage of the ambiguity of the word “natural” to project a wholesome marketing image, even when the product does not merit it. Whereas the term “naturally occurring” on a label usually means that a vitamin or nutrient is completely derived of compounds from naturally-occurring sources – the plants themselves – rather than merely containing a naturally-occurring ingredient mixed with synthetic ingredients.

Almost all vitamins, even ones labeled ‘natural’ or ‘food-based’, you see in commercials (Centrum), at drug store chains, grocery chains, membership club stores (Kirkland brand), vitamin stores, and even Whole Foods are synthetic. Almost all vitamin brands are made by a handful of the largest pharmaceutical companies. They are just in different packaging for marketing purposes.

Let’s get down to the truth about vitamin supplementation and food fortification. There are currently two categories in the family of vitamin and nutritional products with labeled potencies – synthetic and naturally-occurring.

Nearly all vitamin supplements available today, more than 95%, fall into the synthetic category. Some consist of 100% synthesized vitamins, and some are combination formulas containing one or more naturally-occurring vitamin ingredients combined with synthetic vitamins. Naturally-occurring vitamin supplements are comprised only of naturally-occurring food and botanicals. They contain no synthetic vitamins or nutrients whatsoever. Presently there are few manufacturers of this type of vitamin supplement.

Synthetic vitamin supplements packaged as tablets, capsules, gelcaps, or powders comprise the majority of vitamin products found in natural food stores, grocery stores, drug stores and large retail outlets. Within this category there are certain types and distinctions.

  1. Type 1: In some vitamin supplement products a natural base is used and then the synthetic vitamins or nutrients are added to that natural base. An example of a natural base could be Acerola cherry or Rosehip, and even a mixture of botanicals, as a natural base with the synthetic vitamins and nutrients added. Many Vitamin C products which claim to be from Acerola or some other fruit or food are usually spiked with synthetic ascorbic acid or ascorbates. Many multiple vitamin products use a natural base spiked with multiple synthetic vitamins to get their labeled potencies.
  2. Type 2: Some supplements are derived from specially “grown” materials (referred to as “food source” or “whole food” source) such as yeasts and algae. These products typically combine the yeast or algae and create other “mixtures” as a base to which synthetic vitamins are “spiked” or added. Manufacturers call these supplements “natural” because they are derived from yeast or algae – natural botanicals. However, they are not natural because synthetic vitamins or nutrients have been added to the product. This is most often not mentioned on the product label and is “hidden” from consumers, most of whom, ironically, are reading labels to ensure the highest levels of nutrition. Tragically, they fall prey to misleading and dishonest labeling information.

A manufacturer of this cultivated base which has been spiked with synthetics nutrients will supply their own as well as other supplement companies with this raw substance. They then use the raw substance to produce and market their own vitamins under different product names. The fact that this raw material contains a cultivated, so-called “natural” base enables the vitamin producers to make the claim on their label that they are derived from “natural sources” on their label and contain the listed potencies from the “food source” referring to the base. But as you can now see this is a deceptive practice that misleads consumers to believe that they have a natural supplement.

Most vitamin companies compete for customers with identical synthetic vitamin products made from compounds produced by the same few drug manufacturers. The vitamin companies differentiate their products with different names and fancy labels, each making claims of “high potency”. But the higher the potency of the synthetic vitamin or nutrient, the more likely it is to exhibit drug-like, toxic effects, the stress of which can actually lead to disease.

The majority of vitamin companies also purposely mislead the consumer by taking advantage of loopholes in labeling laws. The truth is that the vitamin potencies for most supplements are derived from synthetic vitamins.

Consumers are fooled by the vitamin label claims and believe that the vitamin and nutrient potencies are derived from a natural source. You can avoid this trap by carefully examining the label. Look for the phrase “naturally occurring.” If the label does not say “naturally occurring” and also name the food source of the potency, then be aware that the supplement may contain synthetic vitamins or nutrients. Please go to  www.NOSG.org for a list of companies that are leading the way in NOSG certification, and to see how you can help reverse the tide of deception and take part in this exciting shift in consciousness, which includes mandates for truth in labeling.

High dose, synthetic and isolated dietary supplements – what I call HSAIDS – make up 98% of the products available to consumers. These unnatural supplements are one of two categories of dietary supplement, the other being truly natural supplements. It’s the research on unnatural dietary supplements (the HSAIDS) that show both ineffectiveness and increased risk of death.

Truly natural dietary supplements are made from freeze-dried real food, or otherwise are not heated, and the nutrients they contain are natural doses without added synthetics. Fish oil (containing EPA/DHA), flax oil (containing alpha-linolenic acid), and vegetable or fruit concentrates containing many nutrients are common examples.

Unfortunately, most fruit and vegetable concentrates used in dietary supplements are dried with very high heat, destroying various nutrients. They don’t supply much nutrient but are used in the supplement to make it appear natural, while all the nutrients listed on the label come from synthetic or other unnatural additions. These so-called “whole food” supplements containing fruit or vegetable concentrates have to be “spiked” with synthetic vitamins and other unnatural nutrients in order to list any appreciable amounts of nutrients. Read the supplement facts panel carefully.

Some companies even claim their products are made from real food with real vitamins when, in fact, they feed synthetic vitamins to yeast, then harvest the yeast to use in supplements. Unfortunately, the USDA is yet to address this issue, and the label information won’t let you know the truth, unless the dose is high enough.

The second category of vitamin supplements are derived from naturally-occurring full-spectrum food and botanical sources. These are truly natural vitamin potency supplement products and can be identified by their designation “naturally occurring” or Naturally Occurring Standard (NOS). Products that meet this standard will have a label of approval from NOS proving they are naturally occurring, organic, fairly traded, and free of genetically engineered ingredients, synthetics, and nanoparticles. I anxiously await this standard to be implemented.

Although vitamins from naturally-occurring sources are relatively lower potency, they are actually much more effective at these lower potencies than synthetic vitamins, for the simple reason that the body can easily assimilate their nutrients, and can do so without the toxic side-effects of synthetic vitamins.

Over the past two decades, the Hippocrates Health Institute has seen the negative impact of synthetic supplements by viewing tens of thousands of blood samples with the assistance of a high-powered microscope. What they now know is that the body perceives a synthetic supplement like it would perceive any other foreign chemical as an invader and threat to its survival. As such, it responds by releasing immune-preserving cells such as leukocytes (white blood cells) to combat the enemy and preserve immunity. Unfortunately, this extra activity detracts these cells from their most crucial role of eliminating microbes (viruses and bacteria), spirochetes (such as those that result in Lyme’s Disease), and mutagenic cells (such as those that can result in cancer). Consequently, when one introduces a large number of chemical invaders, such as synthetic vitamin supplements, there are fewer immune-preserving cells to combat more deleterious cell activity, resulting in a greater probability for disease.

Just as natural vitamins from food are more effective than synthetic vitamins, so are natural vitamin supplements from whole-food sources. Low potency vitamins from a full spectrum, naturally-occurring source of the vitamin will produce effective nutrient activity, while positively impacting immune function.

Mega doses of synthetic vitamins can have very serious toxic effects. Naturally-occurring whole-food vitamins are not toxic since the vitamin is complexed in its natural whole integral working form, and requires nothing from the body to “build” a vitamin. When synthetic,  or incomplete vitamins are introduced into the body, the body attempts to “build” a complete vitamin complex by adding the missing factors that it knows should be there, specifically minerals and other vitamin co-factors. This “building” process depletes the body’s nutritional reserves, creating an overall deficiency. The body has a natural intelligence that is always directing its efforts toward wholeness. When you ingest a “partial” or isolated vitamin, the body assumes you meant to ingest a whole vitamin, and works hard to make up for an action that it views as a mistake. Of course, the body has limitations. When it is saturated or overwhelmed with large amounts of synthetic vitamins or does not possess the cofactors necessary for creating fully-complexed supplements, it cannot convert the incomplete synthetic vitamins. It will then work to eliminate the synthetic vitamins through the kidneys, skin and the other elimination organs. This is the reason why the majority of all synthetic vitamins are quickly eliminated by the body and not utilized. We require our bodies to perform a surprising amount of work when we ingest synthetic supplements. Not only must we effort to create a usable supplement by drawing on our own reserves, we must also labor to eliminate the substances that cannot be utilized. This process results in an overall negative health effect while minimizing any gains that could have been achieved by the supplement were it in a usable form to begin with. This is why consuming whole foods and whole-food supplements is critical.

One of the many superior qualities about naturally-occurring whole food vitamins is that small or even minimal quantities are required daily because they are already whole, naturally-complexed supplements that the body does not have to “build” to utilize. On the contrary, one would typically need to ingest much larger doses of synthetic supplements to receive a sufficient level of supplementation, knowing that many of the complexes will not be “completed” and therefore eliminated.

Mainstream marketing of vitamins and minerals has created the myth that synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals may be isolated individually and from one another, and that we can derive total natural benefit from taking these fractionated chemical creations. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Real, natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes work closely together as co-factors for each other’s efficacy. If one part is missing, or is fractionated, or is in the incorrect form or the incorrect amount, entire chains of metabolic processes cannot and will not proceed normally. Only nature can provide us with naturally-occurring vitamins as found in real, wholesome organic foods.

The overwhelming majority of vitamin products sold in grocery stores, drug stores or mass-marketing retailers contain synthetic ingredients, and are unfortunately accompanied by inherent deficiencies and unpleasant ramifications.

What our bodies require are vitamins from whole organic food sources or supplement products made exclusively from naturally-occurring nutrients rather than toxic laboratory synthesized compounds. Currently only a few highly conscious companies produce supplements with naturally-occurring ingredients. These companies should be commended and supported for offering natural health-promoting products to the consumer. (See list of “Supplement product companies that include naturally-occurring potencies on their labels” in Appendix A).

We are grateful to the Naturally Occurring Standards Group (NOSG), Amsar Pvt. Ltd., Treadcorp, Ltd., Hippocrates Health Institute, Healthful Communications, Inc., Organic Consumer’s Association, and others for their efforts in establishing “Naturally Occurring” as a specific standard of quality. This standard should be applied for all truly natural vitamins, ingredients and materials for the entire food, beverage, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industry. The adoption of proposed “Naturally Occurring Standard” (NOS) guidelines will bring clarity to all purveyors and consumers of natural products. The NOS is an important step and regulatory guideline that has been missing from the product label information and literature since the beginning of packaged food sales. The NOS symbol on products will help to eliminate the confusion between truly natural and less than natural product ingredients.

We need more naturally-occurring vitamin supplements to counter the vast array of harmful synthetic vitamin supplements flooding our world markets. Consumers must request the production of more naturally-occurring supplements by petitioning the natural foods industry to support the NOS guidelines, which will ensure that the public is only supplied with health-promoting products. This will mark the beginning of a movement to remove synthetic supplements from our health foods and supplements. The natural foods industry is the last place that synthetics should be allowed. Unfortunately, due to ignorance and economic inertia, even the natural foods industry has, until now, tolerated the presence of harmful synthetic supplements. Real nutrients are always naturally occurring, made only by nature and never by an artificial chemical process.

A MOLECULAR DIFFERENCE

Vitamins are biological complexes. They represent multi-step biochemical interactions whose beneficial action depends upon a number of variables within the biological terrain. Correct vitamin activity can only take place when all co-factors and components of the vitamin complex are present and working together synergistically. Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial chemical commercial forms, these purified, isolated, crystalline synthetics act the same as toxic drugs in the body and compromise the immune system, which can ultimately lead to illness and disease. They are no longer actual vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate. A vitamin is: “a working process consisting of the nutrient, enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, and trace mineral activators.” – Dr. Royal Lee

Theron Randolph, MD wrote four books and over 300 medical articles and was a leading researcher in the fields of food and chemical allergies, as well as general preventive care. Dr. Randolph co-founded the American Academy of Environmental Medicine in 1965. Consider the way he has delineated the difference between natural and synthetic nutrients:

“A synthetically-derived substance may cause a reaction in a chemically susceptible person when the same material of natural origin is tolerated, despite the two substances having identical chemical structures. The point is illustrated by the frequency of clinical reactions to synthetic vitamins – especially vitamin B1 and [vitamin] C when the [same] naturally-occurring vitamins are tolerated.”

Certain studies on natural vs. synthetic vitamins have shown that synthetic vitamins are 50 to 70% less biologically active than natural vitamins.

Synthetic vitamins are actually just fractions of naturally-occurring vitamins synthesized in the dextro- and levo- forms (known as “right” and “left handed” molecules) which form geometric mirror images of each other. It may seem strange, but the geometry of  nutrient compounds is crucial for the bioavailability of the nutrient. The body uses only the levo- forms. Synthetic vitamin compounds have little of the correct geometry (levo-forms) of naturally-occurring vitamins present in food and botanicals.

So, can a synthesized, isolated vitamin fraction made in the laboratory be called a real vitamin? Can it provide you with the nourishment that naturally-occurring, whole-food supplements can? The answer is a resounding and undeniable NO!

Throughout much of the last century, we have been programmed to believe that synthetic chemicals are superior to natural food-source nutritional substances, and therefore an acceptable substitute. This misleading concept is broadcasted mainly by commercial interests who promote this fallacy through sophisticated marketing programs to sell and profit from their inferior “food and nutritional” supplements.

The problems we now have with these synthetic vitamins are parallel to the overall problems we have with pharmaceutical drugs and the development of “modern”, alopathic medicine.

In Western cultures, we have abandoned our history of traditional medicine – medicine that has been practiced successfully for thousands of years – and nearly categorically replaced it with new technologies. We are now suffering the consequences of it.

Although chemistry has provided us with many benefits, when it comes to food and nutrition, a better life through chemistry is a fallacy.

We are now in the midst of a chemical “feast” of harmful and polluting chemical preservatives, excipients, colorings, flavorings, additives, and other life-threatening chemicals.

A century ago when we discovered how to chemically synthesize various isolates of natural compounds, synthetic nutrients became fashionable. Many of the problems that we have today developed many years ago when we embraced the chemical paradigm and rejected our time-proven traditional medicinal practices. It is imperative now that we return to our traditional values and ways of living before the hazardous imbalances we have created destroy us.

VITAMIN ACTIVITY & BIOAVAILABILITY

Why is it that only Nature can create a real vitamin? The differences between vitamins extracted from food and those manufactured by chemical processes is vast, and the distinctions are critically important. Vitamins manufactured in the laboratory come to us without the naturally occurring associated factors and trace substances that insure a vitamin’s bioavailability. If the body can easily digest and absorb nutrients from a food, then they are said to be bioavailable. Tests on natural vs. synthetic vitamins have revealed that synthetic vitamins are less biologically active and bioavailable than natural vitamins. Since our bodies often do not absorb more than 50% of the vitamins and minerals we consume, to ingest a product that is already less active than its natural counterpart leaves very little of the original potency available for our use.

It sounds like a simple concept: you are what you digest or, more to the point, what you assimilate.

The digestive system of humans, similar to that of apes, grazing animals and other herbivores, is complex. The adult alimentary canal measures up to 36 feet; it is long and convoluted. Yet it squeezes into the small space of our abdominal cavity. Many of us assume that we have good and proper digestion and assimilation, and that our bodies can extract nutrients no matter what we eat. This is simply not true, which is why it is important for us to eat wholesome and nutritious foods and maintain high levels of good intestinal flora and other living bacteria that break down our foods completely so that our nutrients can be absorbed.

Furthermore, the human biology has never been able to “digest” synthetic chemicals.

Even though we may voluntarily or involuntarily ingest synthetic chemicals, our digestive systems have not suddenly changed to recognize them as food or nourishment. All the synthetic nutrients in the world are useless, and potentially even dangerous, if they are not digested. The best way to improve digestive absorption of nutrients is to eat good nutrient-rich, living foods and use naturally-occurring vitamins and mineral supplements.

You are what you digest also means that if your digestion is weak, then you absorb fewer nutrients from your food than necessary, which can lead to obesity or other imbalances. When enjoying quality foods, the health of your body and all of its systems are strengthened.

Research with polarized light shows the differences in bioavailability between synthetic and natural vitamins. The experiment involves taking a sample of a natural vitamin and its chemically identical synthetic counterpart, and passing a beam of polarized light through each. The beam passing through a natural vitamin always bends to the right due to the direction of its molecular rotation. When passing through a synthetic vitamin, the beam splits in half. Half the light beam bends to the right, and the other half bends to the left. The direction of the molecular rotation makes half of the synthetic vitamin impossible to use, which is why there is only 50% biological activity or less in synthetic, isolated vitamins. They are lacking the factors found in a full-spectrum real vitamin and more importantly they are not viewed by the body as real nutrition, and are therefore counterproductive to health.

Even if the vitamins you take are “natural” ones extracted from food, they will not be effective if they have been extracted from their full-spectrum matrix. Extracting a vitamin from its full-spectrum matrix eliminates the necessary co-factors which assist in the functioning of that nutrient. When you extract and isolate Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) from an orange, you are also removing the bioflavonoids, which are necessary for Vitamin C’s complete vitamin activity. It’s better to use a full-spectrum concentrate of the whole orange rather than to extract the ascorbic acid or other isolated Vitamin C fractions or to take those factors separately.

For a complex matrix like Vitamin C to be effective, it has to be used as nature created it. Always use a full-spectrum food source supplement of Vitamin C and other supplements to insure that all the naturally-occurring nutrient factors are available to your body.

Worldwide, there is no official government-regulated definition for the term “natural” for use by the natural products industry.  In the USA, the FDA refers to natural ingredients as “ingredients extracted directly from plants or animal products, as opposed to being produced synthetically.” While it’s fine to set a legal definition for natural, the problem is that the FDA’s system of standards for vitamins is not based on nature. This system, known as the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) or what has now been updated to “Daily Values” (DV’s) and RDI’s (Recommended Daily Intake), relates to the amount of vitamins we require daily for maintaining health and is based on the assumed nutrient value of synthetic supplements.

The RDA’s, DV’s or other “standards” that are generally accepted by most agencies and institutions were originally established through animal testing using synthetic vitamins – supplements that we have already determined as indigestible and severely lacking in nutritional value.

There is a proposal for a new standard for vitamins and nutrients called the: “Naturally Occurring Standard” or “NOS”. This standard, which will completely revolutionize the supplement industry, is related to verifiable amounts of naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals or other nutrients as found in natural foods and botanicals.

It is our strong opinion – in the interest of public health – that the NOS should be adopted by the food industry as a consumer standard for all food supplements or fortified foods. The NOS symbol printed on dietary supplements or food products labels will ensure that a product contains only naturally-occurring whole food materials, enabling consumers to make the healthiest choices for themselves and their family. For more information on NOS standards, see the resources section in the back of this book, or go to www.nosg.org.

Synthetic vitamin E products are used in cheaper supplements as dl-alpha tocopherol. So-called “natural” vitamin E, d-alpha tocopherol, is common in many other supplements. However, even though this vitamin E is a natural form, it is very unnatural for two reasons. First, it’s in an isolated form without the rest of the naturally-occurring vitamin E complex. In nature, alpha tocopherol exists with seven other vitamin E compounds: three other tocopherols and four tocotrienols.

Second, supplements of alpha tocopherol are usually very high, unnatural doses. Normally, consuming a full days worth of high vitamin E-rich foods would yield about 30-40 IU of alpha tocopherol, yet the typical dose in supplements is 10 times that, sometimes much more.

Almost all vitamin C in dietary supplements is synthetic, and as such is listed on the label as “ascorbic acid.” The dose also helps identify it as synthetic — it’s almost impossible to get much more than 100-150 mg of vitamin C from food into a tablet or capsule. The amount of vitamin C in a natural supplement, therefore, may be listed in the supplement facts panel as “vitamin C 100 mg” and will not list “ascorbic acid” (or any other of the many types of synthetic vitamin C).

A study on vitamin C (Am J Clin Nutr; Jan 2008) showed adults taking the synthetic version had serious side effects. Doses of 1,000 mg of vitamin C a day impaired their energy systems (significantly hampering their endurance capacity), specifically by weakening the mitochondria of the cell (which burns fat and sugar). It also had significant adverse effects on the antioxidant system (a key immune  regulator). Those who take vitamin C often take this amount or more, and it’s almost always synthetic. Children may be even more vulnerable.

Almost all the B vitamins on the market are synthetic. In this case, the dose is not such a good indicator. The common synthetic B vitamins are usually listed by one of various synthetic names (i.e., folic acid). The truly natural ones, on the other hand, are referred to as active B vitamins. The commonly used active B vitamins are listed on the label, and below:

Some common names of natural (active) B vitamins

Thiamine (B1): Thiamine pyrophosphate; Thiamine triphosphate
Riboflavin (B2): Riboflavin-5-phosphate; Flavin mononucleotide (FMN)
Niacin (B3): Nicotinamide (adenine dinucleotide)
Pantothenic acid (B5): Pantethine
Pyridoxine (B6): Pyridoxal-5-phosphate
Folic acid: Folinic acid; 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate
Cobalamin (B12): Methylcobalamin; Adenosylcobalamin
Choline: Phosphatydlcholine [/su_box]

If you read the label and don’t find these active names for the B vitamins, most likely they’re synthetic. Some synthetic vitamins may convert to their active forms once in the body, but they require additional nutrients. For example, in order for the body to utilize synthetic folic acid additional vitamin C, niacin and vitamin B12 are required.

Vitamin A in its natural form is actually a large group of natural compounds. Natural vitamin A only comes from animal sources, and the truly natural dietary supplement forms usually are from fish oils. Synthetic forms, which don’t contain any natural vitamin A compounds, are typically in a dry form (tablet or capsule). The synthetic form of vitamin A is significantly more toxic than the natural form. The most commonly used synthetic form is vitamin A palmitate.

Beta carotene is not vitamin A, but is a phytonutrient, some of which converts to vitamin A compounds in the body. However, this conversion is not very efficient. Most supplements that list vitamin A will also state, in parentheses, beta carotene. Those listing vitamin A without noting beta carotene are probably synthetic, unless some type of fish liver oil is listed somewhere on the label.

Vitamin D comes in two natural forms: Vitamin D2, called ergocalciferol, comes from plants. Vitamin D3, called cholecalciferol, is from animal sources, and is the active form, like the vitamin D obtained from sunlight. A variety of synthetic vitamin D compounds have been developed, the most common being calcitriol, doxercalciferol and calcipotriene. All vitamin D supplements can be toxic in high amounts, although one could not overdose on vitamin D from the sun.2

Here’s a comparison of Natural vs Synthetic vitamins. Of course, recall that 95% of the vitamin supplements out there are the synthetic variety:

Natural Vitamin A – Vitamin A shows up in food as beta-carotene. The body must convert it into vitamin A to be useful. This sounds less effective, but vitamin A can be toxic in large doses. Beta-carotene allows the body to convert what it needs and discard what it does not as a natural safeguard against damage.

Synthetic Vitamin A – Synthetic vitamin A is retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. This synthetic is made from combining fish or palm oil with beta-ionone. Palm oil is leading to deforestation of rainforest and endangerment of orangutans. Beta-ionone is created using citrus, acetone, and calcium oxide.

Natural Vitamin B1 – Thiamin, or vitamin B1, is a water soluble vitamin created by plants and bound to phosphate. Digestion releases the thiamin using specialized enzymes that target phosphate.

Synthetic Vitamin B1 – Thiamine mononitrate or thiamine hydrochloride is made from coal tar, ammonia, acetone, and hydrochloric acid. It is much less absorbable since it isn’t bound to phosphate. It is crystalline in structure, unlike plant-based vitamins. Many synthetic vitamins are crystalline. Crystals in our blood stream cause damage and mineral accumulation where it isn’t needed, like joints.

Natural Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin is easily absorbed, stays in the blood stream for long periods of time, and is readily used by the body in many important enzymes.

Synthetic Vitamin B2 – Synthetic riboflavin is made with acetic acid and nitrogen or using genetically modified bacteria and fermentation. It has been shown to be less absorbable and then quickly removed from the blood stream and expelled in urine like a toxin would be.

Natural Vitamin B3 – Niacinamide or nicotinamide is what we find in food and commonly call niacin. Niacin can have side effects, but these are minimal when coming from plant foods.

Synthetic Vitamin B3 – Nicotinic acid is created using coal tar, ammonia, acids, 3-cyanopyridine, and formaldehyde. It is less absorbable and has more risks of side effects.

Natural Vitamin B5 – Pantothenate is the natural version of this essential B vitamin.

Synthetic Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid involves isobutyraldehyde and formaldehyde to form a calcium or sodium salt. The alcohol derivative, panthenol, is sometimes used as it is more stable and lasts longer on store shelves.

Natural Vitamin B6 – Like B1, pyridoxine is bound with phosphate in plants to make pyridoxal-phosphate. This is the biologically active form. Any other form of B6 must be converted into this phosphate combination before our body can use it.

Synthetic Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine hydrochloride comes from petroleum ester, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde. It isn’t readily absorbed or converted and has been shown to actually inhibit the action of natural B6 in the body. It also has side effects not normally found with natural food sources of this vitamin.

Natural Vitamin B7 – Biotin is involved in cell growth, fat production, and metabolism.

Synthetic Vitamin B7 – Synthetic B7 is produced using fumaric acid.

Natural Vitamin B9 – This B vitamin exists in food as folate and is very important in the creation and repair of DNA, thus the vital importance of this vitamin before and during pregnancy.

Synthetic Vitamin B9 – Folic acid doesn’t exist in natural foods, is crystalline, and is not easily absorbed despite the large amounts that are added to vitamins and supplements. It comes from petroleum derivatives, acids, and acetylene.

Natural Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin B12 is only created by micro-organisms like the bacteria that grow in soil and our intestines, as well as some micro-algae and perhaps some seaweed species.

Synthetic Vitamin B12 – Cobalt and cyanide are fermented to make cyanocobalamin. That’s correct. Cyanide. It is in miniscule amounts, but it is still cyanide.

Natural Choline – Choline is often grouped with B vitamins. It is combined with phosphate in nature and is important in cell membranes and keeping fat in check.

Synthetic Choline – Choline chloride or choline bitartrate is made using ethylene, ammonia, and hydrochloric acid or tartaric acid. It is not bound to phosphate.

Natural Vitamin C – This vitamin is readily available in citrus, red bell peppers, berries, and many more fruits and vegetables. In nature it is combined with flavonoids and phytonutrients that help in its absorption and use.

Synthetic Vitamin C – Ascorbic acid is an isolated vitamin from genetically modified corn sugar that is hydrogenated and processed with acetone. It does not include the flavonoids and phytonutrients that make it work.

Natural Vitamin D – Technically this one isn’t always thought of as a vitamin since we make it ourselves. Mushrooms, yeast, and lichen produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Humans do too. A daily dose of about 20 minutes of sunlight provides all we need. Vitamin D3 is the most effective kind, the same that comes from our own skin and lichen. Mushrooms and yeast often yield D2.

Synthetic Vitamin D – To mimic the natural production we find in our skin, scientists irradiate animal fat to stimulate vitamin D3 synthesis. They usually use lanolin, the waxy secretions from sheep skin that keeps wool dry.

Natural Vitamin E – Vitamin E actually refers to 8 different fat soluble compounds and it acts as an antioxidant that protects fats from oxidation. The most biologically active form is found in grains, seeds, and the oils from grains and seeds.

Synthetic Vitamin E – The synthetic dl-alpha tocopherol is created using refined oils, trimethylhydroquinone, and isophytol. It is not as easily absorbed, doesn’t stay as long in tissues, and is quickly dispelled like a toxin or unknown chemical.

Natural Vitamin K – This vitamin is important to proper blood clotting and some metabolic pathways. It is found in dark leafy greens.

Synthetic Vitamin K – Synthetic vitamin K, menadione, comes from coal tar derivatives and genetically modified and hydrogenated soybean oil, and uses hydrochloric acid and nickel. It is considered highly toxic and damages the immune system. Vitamins should really come from food sources as much as possible. If you want a multivitamin, reach for ones that use whole food sources like holy basil, guava, and other herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Autism

Individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suffer from significant problems in the areas of social, emotional and communication skills, which can cause serious problems in their daily functioning. There is a strong causal link between the MMR vaccination and autism that was covered up for years. Parental reports, court verdicts, animal studies and human research points to this correlation. Other studies comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children also conclude that vaccines are a leading cause of autism. In several comparative studies involving thousands of children, autism was non-existent in children who were not vaccinated. [source]

Research scientist Seneff maintains that vaccinations containing toxic mercury, aluminum, and glutamate are a major contributing cause to autism. Seneff also correlates the rising use of glyphosate, a herbicide used in Roundup on crops, with neurological damage. Seneff reports the following: “What I think people don’t appreciate is that the vaccines and the glyphosate are synergistically toxic.  The glyphosate is making the chemicals in the vaccines much more dangerous to the children than they would otherwise be.  As I said, the glutamate is very interesting because glyphosate disrupts the body’s ability to metabolize glutamate, so the glutamate becomes toxic and gets into the brain.” 

The greatest cost, which can have no price tag attached, is that of human suffering for those struggling to live with autism. Parents describe extraordinary pain and discomfort for those diagnosed. The emotional turmoil experienced by parents, who struggle to provide comfort to those they love, can also not be captured by any measures.

From an economic stance, the total cost per year for children with autism spectrum disorder in the United States in 2011 was estimated to be $60.9 billion. These costs include medical care, special education and lost parental productivity. Intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD average $40,000-$60,000 per year.

Several organizations started by parent activists are sounding the alarm on the autism epidemic and its link to vaccinations. Several brave physicians and scientists have also spoken out about vaccines’ dangers. These include: Andrew Wakefield, MD; Boyd Haley, PhD; Frank Engley, MD; Mayer Eisenstein, MD; Richard Haverson MD; Bob Sears, MD; Julie Buckley, MD; Chris Shaw, PhD; David Berger, MD; Toni Bark, MD; Ken Stoller, MD; Michael Schachter, MD; Mitchell Fleisher, MD; and Kelly Brogan, MD.

The best way to avoid this autism epidemic is to change our views on vaccinations. Vaccinations are not the mythological giant responsible for eradicating horrible diseases. Improvements in sanitation are largely responsible for elimination and decrease in diseases. [source]

More parents are becoming educated on vaccine dangers and opting out of this barbaric practice. With more parents opting out, there is hope to stop the train wreck of autism rates from continuing to grow.

Likewise, many are recognizing the importance of clean, pesticide free food. Scientist Seneff has discussed the toxic synergy of vaccines with the pesticide glyphosate. Avoiding pesticide-laden food may also decrease the danger of vaccinations. Americans are demanding cleaner, organic food and farmers and grocers are responding to this demand.

Although the mainstream media continues a non-stop propaganda campaign spreading of misinformation concerning the autism epidemic, an ever-growing body of research suggests that there can be many factors contributing to the epidemic of autism, with multiple causes triggering the manifestation of symptoms of autism even in a single person:

Factors include:

  • pollution of food, air, and water with pesticides, herbicides, various man-made chemicals and pharmaceuticals (which get into the water supply), and GMO crops
  • unsafe medical practices and drugs
  • depletion of essential nutrients in foods, including sulfur and Omega 3/DHA oils
  • genetic factors that may predispose a person to autism

Genetic factors seem to point to those with an impaired ability to remove toxins.  These genetic factors tend to run in families  with a history:

  • auto-immune diseases (diabetes, celiac, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia)
  • neurological issues (depression, anxiety, bipolar, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s)

Pollution of food and water:

  • GMO Crops have over 500 studies indicating they cause liver damage, cancer, reduce size of new-born lab animals, and ultimately cause infertility when consumed over several generations.
  • Man-made chemicals –  pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products, often act even in parts per billion as endocrine system disruptors and making epigentic changes (frequently silencing genes) – skewing the development of the fetus in the womb and young children.  The average newborn in the United States has 200-300 man-made chemicals in its body.

There are aspects of mainstream medicine practices in pregnancy, childbirth and pediatrics that may be contributing factors including:

  • immunization of pregnant women for the flu vaccine
  • over-immunization of children with vaccines*
  • use of acetominophen (Tylenl) reduces levels of the neuro-protectant glutathione in pregnant women, infants, and young children.  A study in California indicated that children who had a vaccine reaction and were given acetominophen were eight times more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder.
  • pharmaceuticals used to anesthetize women in childbirth and stimulate contractions (including Pitocin).**
  • encouragement in use of Tylenol for infants, young children, and pregnant women, which depletes Glutathione, the primary anti-oxidant protectant of neurons
  • immunization of military personnel – soldiers and veterans have a 30% chance of having a child within the autism spectrum; there is speculation that this may be due to over-immunization – the Anthrax vaccine is particularly suspect

Increased incidences of autism are found in communities:

  • Living down-wind from a coal fired power plant (they release mercury in to the air) also is correlated to an increase in the incidence of autism – the closer the proximity to the plant, the greater the incidence.
  • Living in heavily polluted areas, such as Brick County, New Jersey.

* An epidemiological study of infant boys born across the U.S.between 1998-2002 found that boys immunized with Hepatits B at birth were three times more likely to develop and autism spectrum disorder.  This is but one of several findings concerning the link between immunizations and autism.  In September 2014, a freedom of information act request filed in the UK has forced Britain’s Department of Health to release confidential documents outlining the details of the MMR vaccine’s approval in the 1980’s. These document reveal that the manufacturer of the vaccine knew there were problems with the vaccine causing a high rate of adverse effects in children, including encephalitis and other conditions associated with autism.  More

* Oxytocin stimulates contractions also is needed to stimulate the growth of the Hypothalamus-Neurohypophisal System (HNS) involved in emotional and social behaviors.   Newborn infants, especially males, need up to 10 days for this system to mature after birth. When the oxytocin level in the infant rises to a certain level (which normally occurs when the infant is nursing) the HNS stops development.  If the mother is given a Pitocin drip to stimulate contractions, this also pumps large amounts of Pitocin (the same as Oxytocin) into the baby at birth – which then causes the infant to stop development of the HNS at birth.  This may result in the child permanently having fewer receptors and means of producing oxytocin which leads to impaired development language, bonding and social skills.  The anesthetics currently used in the hospital birth process have also been implicated in intefering the development of the infant.

Is aborted fetal DNA linked to autism?

The genetic material from which many viral vaccines are produced appears to be a trigger of both autism and cancer, according to shocking research compiled by a renowned molecular and cellular physiologist from Stanford University in California.

Dr. Theresa Deisher, Ph.D., who was the first person to discover adult cardiac-derived stem cells, found that residual cellular DNA from aborted babies demonstrates both oncogenic and infectious characteristics in vaccines.

Aborted human fetal tissue, it turns out, has long been used in the production of vaccines, despite the fact that traces of DNA from this tissue can persist in the final product. The consequences of this, says Dr. Deisher, can include both genetic damage and markers of autism.

“It is possible that these contaminating fragments could be incorporated into a child’s genome and disrupt normal gene function, leading to autistic phenotypes,” wrote Dr. Deisher in a paper titled “Spontaneous Integration of Human DNA Fragments into Host Genome.”

You can access Dr. Deisher’s full study here:http://soundchoice.org [PDF].

Dr. Deisher’s extensive research into the matter clearly proves otherwise, showing that aborted human fetal cells are highly problematic both in terms of brain development and normal cellular function. Not only do vaccines made from these cell lines pose an autism risk, but they also increase one’s risk of cancer.

Specifically with regard to MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), varicella (chickenpox) and hepatitis A vaccines, a statistical analysis compiled by Dr. Deisher reveals that vaccines made from human fetal cell lines, which may contain retroviral contaminants, are associated with an increased risk of both autism and cancer.

“Not only are the human fetal contaminated vaccines associated with autistic disorder throughout the world, but also with epidemic childhood leukemia and lymphomas,” she added.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has known for decades that aborted human fetal cell DNA causes genetic mutations in humans when injected via vaccines. But the agency, which is supposed to be looking out for human health, has done nothing to withdraw these deadly jabs from the market.

In fact, when the agency came to the realization that such DNA is deadly to humans, it decided to regulate it rather than ban it. Legally speaking, the maximum amount of residual fetal cell fragments allowed in vaccines is 10 nanograms, according to the FDA, and the agency admits that even this amount is harmful.

“DNA is a biologically active molecule whose activities pose a significant risk to vaccines,” explains an FDA report on the issue. “[T]hus, the amount of DNA needs to be limited and its activities reduced.”

Dr. Deisher’s research, however, revealed that some vaccines currently on the market contain much more than this. She wrote that fetal DNA levels ranged from 142 ng to upwards of 2,000 ng per dose, or as much as 200 times the legal limit!

“The MMR II and chickenpox vaccines and indeed all vaccines that were propagated or manufactured using the fetal cell line WI-38 are contaminated with [HERV, or human endogenous retrovirus],” wrote Dr. Deisher, noting that this retrovirus is associated with causing childhood lymphoma.

In addition to the MMR vaccine connection, other causes may include medications (specifically valproic acid and thalidomide) taken during pregnancy, exposure to toxins, infections, inflammation, leaky gut, nutrient deficiencies, food allergies and inborn errors of metabolism. Unfortunately, an autism cure is yet to exist, which is why learning about treatment for autism is so crucial.

The following symptoms are common with autism:

  • not point at objects to show interest (for example, not point at an airplane flying over)
  • not look at objects when another person points at them
  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)

A new government survey of parents suggests that 1 in 45 children, ages 3 through 17, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is notably higher than the official government estimate of 1 in 68 American children with autism, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because the new numbers come from a parent survey, they don’t replace the CDC’s 1-in-68 figure as the official estimate of autism prevalence in the United States. There are other studies to suggest that the CDC is hiding the true numbers on autism (See HERE). Autism incidents have increased from 1 in 10,000 in the 1970’s to possibly 1 in 45 today.

Continued on next page…

Organic Food

Organic food refers to food items that are prepared according to the norms set by an organic certifying body. On an overall basis, organic food is food prepared and processed without using any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or chemical preservatives. The USDA categorizes food products into the following sections: (1) 100% organic: Must contain 100% organically produced ingredients, (2) Organic: Must contain at least 95% organic ingredients, (3) Made of organic ingredients: Must contain at least 70% organic ingredients, (4) Have some organic ingredients: May contain less than 70% organic ingredients.

The 2018 documentary, “Organic Food — Hype or Hope?” analyzes the benefits of organically grown foods. How are they different from conventional and do they really live up to the promise of being healthier? One significant problem is the fact that many organic farms are growing their food near farms using conventional methods. They liken it to smoking — if a nonsmoker is sitting next to someone who lights up, the nonsmoker ends up inhaling toxins even though he or she has made the choice to live a healthier lifestyle.

Pesticide Drift Can Decimate an Organic Farm

The film starts out by looking at a problem common to many organic farmers, namely pesticide drift from neighbors growing their crops using conventional methods. The European Union (EU) has strict limits on pesticide residues in organic food, and some farmers cannot sell their products as organic due to chemical drift settling on their crops. Depending on wind conditions during spraying, the chemicals can travel long distances, contaminating organic fields where such pesticides are not legal to use.

What’s worse, some chemicals, such as pendimethalin, can remain airborne for weeks on end, thereby assuring widespread contamination. Stefan Palme, who grows organic fennel for baby food on his farm in Uckermark, Germany, recounts how he has been forced to harvest the fennel earlier in the season to avoid chemical contamination, which would bar him from selling the fennel as organic.

It involves more physical labor and greater care to harvest early, but the alternative is to sell his organic crop as conventional, for a lower price. Rudolf Vögel, a German agricultural engineer, is investigating how long pendimethalin can be detected in the environment.

He believes the phenomenon of drift has been widely underestimated, noting that evidence emerging in recent years “calls for an urgent reassessment of the way certain agents are permitted.” Pendimethalin keeps showing up in organic produce samples, and has become a particularly difficult problem, as organic farmers whose wares test positive for it cannot meet Germany’s strict organic rules.

What’s more, if the EU decides to impose even stricter limits on pesticide residues in organics, drift will prevent many organic farmers from qualifying for organic certification altogether. It’s a troubling Catch-22.

On the one hand, most organic farmers agree with lowering limits, as it is good for health. On the other hand, the contamination is not caused by them and cannot be stopped by them either, and lowering the limits would put many of them out of business. Palme is now pushing for a ban on pesticides such as pendimethalin to protect the organic sector as a whole.

Pesticides Found in Trees and Groundwater

Frieder Hofmann, an environmental engineer, is tracking the drift of pendimethalin by collecting bark samples from trees. He’s been able to confirm this herbicide can spread at least 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the site of the spraying. The drift problem raises an important question: Can organic food be produced anywhere in Germany? The same question is likely to be applicable to any number of other countries, where organic farms are trying to coexist amid conventional farms using copious amounts of toxic chemicals.

In one instance, Hofmann found no fewer than 11 pesticides in the bark of a large tree, two of which were found in “alarming concentrations.” One of them was pendimethalin. Pesticides are not only found in food and trees. When it rains, the chemicals seep through the ground and contaminate groundwater as well. Soil samples taken from a depth of 15 meters, just over 49 feet, reveal the presence of both nitrogen (from fertilizer runoff) and pesticides.

Making matters worse, many pesticides biodegrade very slowly, if at all, and remain in the environment for years. As noted in the film, “This is legalized environmental pollution on a grand scale.” It also threatens our ability to obtain clean water, as pesticides are extremely difficult and costly to filter out.

Who pays? Those who pay for tap water — not the farms that cause the contamination. That said, German water authorities place the blame not on farmers but rather on the chemical industry, noting that in this day and age, we would expect chemical producers to create agricultural chemicals that not only do their job in the fields, but also properly degrade so they won’t contaminate groundwater and contaminate the environment for years to come.

Organic Food Contain Higher Levels of Antioxidants and Fewer Pesticides

Are organic foods healthier and therefore worth the extra expense? If “healthier” means the absence of pesticide contamination and higher nutrient content, then the answer is yes. A meta-analysis1 by Stanford University, published in 2012 — which looked at 240 studies comparing organically and conventionally grown food — confirmed that organics were 23 to 37 percent less likely to contain detectable pesticide residues. Organically raised chicken was also up to 45 percent less likely to contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Following in Stanford University’s footsteps, a group of scientists at Newcastle University in the U.K. evaluated an even greater number of studies, 343 in all, published over several decades. Just like the Stanford study, their follow-up analysis,2 published in 2014, also found that while conventional and organic vegetables oftentimes offer similar levels of many nutrients, the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was four times higher in conventional foods.

Conventional produce also had on average 48 percent higher levels of cadmium,3 a toxic metal and a known carcinogen. Moreover, while many nutrient levels were comparable, a key nutritional difference between conventional and organics was their antioxidant content. In the Newcastle analysis, organic fruits and vegetables were found to contain anywhere from 18 to 69 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown varieties. According to the authors:

“Many of these compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers, in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies … Significant differences were also detected for some other (e.g., minerals and vitamins) compounds.”

The filmmakers visit the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture4 in Frick, Switzerland, where they’ve been investigating the differences between ecological and conventional farming for over four decades. The Institute was the first to confirm that organic apples contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventional varieties. Antioxidants are a very important part of optimal health, as they influence how fast you age by fighting free radicals.

So, the fact that organic foods contain far higher levels of them vouches for the stance that organic foods are healthier in terms of nutrition, in addition to being lower in pesticides. There are also a number of other studies that support the claim that organically grown produce contain higher levels of nutrients in general. For example, a study5 partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found organic strawberries were more nutrient-rich than conventional strawberries.

Is There a Middle Ground Between Organic and Conventional?

Organic farming is more complex and economically challenging than conventional, and some have wondered whether conventional farms could just adopt some, but not all, of the organic criteria. Or vice versa, could organic farms use some conventional methods and still be just as beneficial for human health and the environment?

The short answer is no. Carlo Leifert, agronomist and professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University, heads up the university’s experimental farm. One of the things he’s looking at are the possible overlaps between the two farming systems.

Interestingly, in the film he explains that when you use organic fertilizer in combination with conventional pesticides, you end up with higher pesticide levels in the crop than were you to use conventional (synthetic) fertilizer and pesticides! This surprising result appears to be due to how different minerals and chemicals interact. So, to enjoy all the benefits associated with organic, a conventional farm making the switch to organic really must make a comprehensive changeover.

Organic Grass Fed Milk and Meat Is Healthier Than Factory Farmed, Research Shows

Two 2016 studies6 led by Leifert — one on the compositional differences of organic and conventional meat,7 and one on milk8 — also found clear differences between the two. Said to be the largest studies of their kind, the researchers analyzed 196 and 67 studies on milk and meat respectively.

The largest difference in nutritional content of meat was its fatty acid composition, certain essential minerals and antioxidants. Coauthor Chris Seal, professor of food and human nutrition at Newcastle University, commented on the findings, saying:9

“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function. Western European diets are recognized as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority recommends we should double our intake. But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way toward improving intakes of these important nutrients.”

According to the review on milk, half a liter of organic full fat milk will provide you with an estimated 39 milligrams (mg) or 16 percent of the reference daily intake (RDI) of very long-chain (VLC) omega-3 (EPA, DPA and DHA), whereas conventional milk will provide only 25 mg or 11 percent of the RDI of these important fats.

As noted in the milk study,10 VLC omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including “improved fetal brain development and function, delayed decline in cognitive function in elderly men and reduced risk of dementia (especially Alzheimer’s disease).” Organic milk also contains lower levels of omega-6, providing a healthier ratio between these two fatty acids. Compared to conventional milk, organic milk was also found to contain:

  • Higher levels of vitamin E
  • Higher concentrations of iron
  • Higher levels of antioxidant carotenoids
  • 40 percent more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has a wide array of important health benefits, from fighting cancer to decreasing insulin resistance and improving body composition

Other Studies Confirm Superiority of Grass Fed Milk and Meat

Other studies have come to very similar conclusions. A 2010 study11 looking at grass fed beef versus grain fed beef found the former had healthier fat composition and higher CLA levels.

As noted by the authors, “[C]hanges in finishing diets of conventional cattle can alter the lipid profile in such a way as to improve upon this nutritional package. Although there are genetic, age-related and gender differences among the various meat producing species with respect to lipid profiles and ratios, the effect of animal nutrition is quite significant.”

A 2013 organic milk study12 also confirmed that dairy from cows raised on pasture is higher in many nutrients, including vitamin E, beta-carotene and CLA. Organic milk also contains about 25 percent less omega-6 fats and 62 percent more omega-3 fats than conventional milk. Research has also found that true organic free-range eggs typically contain about two-thirds more vitamin A, double the amount of omega-3, three times more vitamin E, and as much as seven times more beta carotene than conventional eggs.13

How Your Food Is Grown Matters

Studies such as these drive home the point that how food is raised makes a tremendous difference. You simply cannot cut corners during production without impacting the quality of the food and, by extension, human health. As noted by Leifert, commenting on the studies by Newcastle University that he led:14

“People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits … Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s …

We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops,15 meat16 and milk17 suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids …

[T]he fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.”

Why Organic Foods Still Sometimes Contain Contaminants

The film also reviews European efforts to develop testing methods to authenticate organic food. It’s a very complex endeavor, but a much-needed one to protect organic producers and consumers. Unfortunately, the higher prices demanded by organics invite cheating and fraud, which is why many will rely on a farmer’s reputation over a label.

It’s also worth noting that while organic farming does not permit synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, chemicals that should not be in the food supply can be found even in organic foods. The primary reason is not necessarily fraud; rather, it has to do with environmental pollution. As explained in the film, dioxins, for example, are deposited on land via rain.

A hen or other animal can then eat contaminated grass or insects, and since dioxins are fat-soluble, they accumulate in fatty tissues. Disturbingly, organic eggs in Germany often contain up to 30 percent higher levels of dioxin than conventional eggs, and the suspected reason for this is because they spend so much more time outdoors, and eat off contaminated soil. It’s thought the contamination is then transferred into their eggs.

Organic Farming Is Sustainable and Environmentally Necessary

As noted by the filmmakers, “[O]ne thing is certain: Organic farming makes a major contribution to human welfare — by helping to mitigate climate change, protect the groundwater, conserve nature and promote animal welfare.” Indeed, all of these factors are powerful reasons to support a systemwide transition to organic farming. While naysayers claim organic farming cannot sustain our current rate of population growth, the scientific evidence does not support this view at all.

A number of studies have come to the complete opposite conclusion — that organic farming is the only way forward, as chemical farming is simply too destructive and has too many adverse effects on human health. For example, a 2016 study,18 published in the journal Nature Plants, compared the benefits of organics versus conventional in terms of four key sustainability metrics, concluding that organic offers many benefits that outweigh the higher price.

Coauthor John Reganold, professor of soil science and agroecology at Washington State University, noted that in the 1980s when organic farming first began, very little research existed and many claimed it was too inefficient to feed a growing population. Today, at least 1,000 studies have looked at the benefits and differences between organic and conventional farming. The Nature Plants study analyzed data that has emerged in the past 40 years, with a focus on how organic farming impacts sustainability in terms of:

  • Productivity
  • Environmental impact
  • Economic viability
  • Social well-being

Overall, they found that organic farms produce equally or more nutritious foods with fewer or no pesticide residues. Organic agriculture also provides unique benefits to the ecosystem, as well as social benefits. A 2015 study cowritten by Reganold also found that organic farms were more profitable,19,20 earning farmers anywhere from 22 to 35 percent more than their conventional counterparts. According to Reganold:

“If I had to put it in one sentence, organic agriculture has been able to provide jobs, be profitable, benefit the soil and environment and support social interactions between farmers and consumers. In some ways, there are practices in organic agriculture that really are ideal blueprints for us to look at feeding the world in the future. Organic may even be our best bet to help feed the world in an increasingly volatile climate.”

UN Calls for Global Treaty to Promote Organic Farming

Last year, Hilal Elver, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to food, and Baskut Tuncak, special rapporteur on toxics, also called for a global treaty to regulate pesticides, stressing the fact that these chemicals have now become a very troubling and pervasive food contaminant that is threatening the health of children everywhere.

They challenged the pesticide industry’s “systematic denial of harms” and “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics,” noting the industry is spending massive amounts of money to influence policymakers and contest scientific evidence showing their products do in fact cause great harm to human and environmental health.

Even more importantly, their report firmly denied the idea that pesticides are essential to ensure sufficient amounts of food for a growing world population, calling the notion “a myth.”21,22 According to Elver and Tuncak:

“The assertion promoted by the agrochemical industry that pesticides are necessary to achieve food security is not only inaccurate, but dangerously misleading. In principle, there is adequate food to feed the world; inequitable production and distribution systems present major blockages that prevent those in need from accessing it …”

Their report also highlighted developments in sustainable and regenerative farming, where biology can completely replace chemicals, delivering high yields of nutritious food without detriment to the environment. “It is time to overturn the myth that pesticides are necessary to feed the world and create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production,” they said.

European Parliament Report Stresses Benefits of Organics for Human and Environmental Health

Similarly, a 2016 report23 by the European Parliament, “Human Health Implications of Organic Food and Organic Agriculture,” detailed the many benefits of organic farming, based on a global literature search. The report is unusually comprehensive in that it also reviews a wide range of effects of organics, from nutritional content and the benefits of fewer pesticides to environmental impacts and sustainability.

Its conclusions are based on hundreds of epidemiological and laboratory studies and food analyses. Again, the clearest benefits of organics on human health were found to be related to lowered pesticide, antibiotic and cadmium exposure. As noted by the authors, “As a consequence of reduced pesticide exposure, organic food consequently contributes to the avoidance of health effects and associated costs to society.”

Organic Food Resources

While it’s easy to feel helpless, remember you can help steer the agricultural industry toward safer, more sustainable systems by supporting organic farmers and choosing fresh, local produce every day. Remember to buy organic, grass fed beef, poultry and dairy, as well. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods grown in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner:

Demeter USA

Demeter-USA.org provides a directory of certified Biodynamic farms and brands. This directory can also be found on BiodynamicFood.org.

American Grassfed Association

The goal of the American Grassfed Association is to promote the grass fed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education.

Their website also allows you to search for AGA approved producers certified according to strict standards that include being raised on a diet of 100 percent forage; raised on pasture and never confined to a feedlot; never treated with antibiotics or hormones; born and raised on American family farms.

EatWild.com

EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass fed meats and many other goodies.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, hotels and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.

RealMilk.com

If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund24 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.25 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.

Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/06/30/organic-food-hype-or-hope.aspx

Biotech Companies Are Gaining Power by Taking Over the Government

Monsanto and their industry allies will not willingly surrender their stranglehold on the food supply. They must be resisted and rolled back at every turn. There is no doubt in my mind that GMOs and the chemical-intensive agricultural model of which they are part and parcel, pose a serious threat to the environment and our health. Yet, government agencies not only turn a blind eye to the damage they are inflicting on the planet, but actively work to further the interests of the biotech giants.

This is not surprising. It is well-known that there is a revolving door between regulatory agencies and private corporations. This has allowed companies such as Monsanto to manipulate science, defang regulations and even control the free press, all from their commanding position within the halls of government.

Consider for a moment that on paper, the U.S. may have the strictest safety regulations in the world governing new food additives, but has repeatedly allowed GMOs and their accompanying pesticides such as Roundup to circumvent these laws.

In fact, the only legal basis for allowing GE foods to be marketed in the U.S. is the FDA’s tenuous claim that these foods are inherently safe, a claim which is demonstrably false. Documents released as a result of a lawsuit against the FDA reveal that the agency’s own scientists warned their superiors about the detrimental risks of GE foods. But their warnings fell on deaf ears.

Don’t Be Duped by Industry Shills!

In a further effort to deceive the public, Monsanto and its cohorts spoon-feed scientists, academics and journalists a diet of questionable studies that depict them in a positive light. By hiring “third-party experts,” biotech companies are able to take information of dubious validity, and present it as independent and authoritative.

Industry front groups also abound. The Genetic Literacy Project and the American Council for Science and Health are both Monsanto-funded. Even WebMD, a website that is often presented as a trustworthy source of “independent and objective” health information, is heavily reliant on advertising dollars. It is no coincidence that they promote corporate-backed health strategies and products.

Milk

The subject of milk sparks just about as much controversy as the subject of fats. Many alternative practitioners feel that it’s not necessary for humans to consume cow’s milk and link its consumption to health problems, such as ear infections, allergies, cancer and diabetes. On the other hand, the medical community has convinced us that if we don’t drink enough milk our bones will disintegrate. And the American Dairy Association wants us to think we’ll be cool like celebrities with milk mustaches if we drink lots of milk. For those who do–or would like to–drink milk and consume dairy products, then you need to know where your milk has come from and what it has been through.

Living Conditions

If I were to ask you to picture a cow, you would most likely see in your mind a cow grazing in an open pasture, like one you’d probably seen before on a small family farm. That’s a lucky cow, compared to most of the cows bred for dairy production in this country. The majority of commercial dairy cows don’t have the luxury of grazing on open fields. Instead they are kept in intense confinement, in individual stalls, on hard cement floors, hooked up to milking machines, forced to produce milk ten months out of the year, in an overcrowded building. This is how the average commercial dairy cow spends her short, miserable life–42 months on average, compared to 12-15 years for a cow on pasture.

Environment

Not only is the unnatural building environment a problem for the cow, but it can be a huge problem for the people around it as well. The massive amount of waste produced on a factory farm is overwhelming and can have devastating effects on the surrounding environment. Over one-fifth of the country’s dairy products are produced in the central valley of California where confinement operations create as much waste as a city of 21 million people! Much of that waste is forced unnaturally into the environment, polluting our lakes, rivers and streams. On the other hand, small farms are able to recycle manure back into the earth to enrich the soil.

Feed

A cow’s natural diet consists mostly of grass, but since there isn’t enough grass to go around on the factory farm, today’s factory cow is fed a diet of mostly grain, and other things that they would not normally eat. The bulk of the feed consists of corn and soy, which receives 80 percent of all herbicides used in the US. When we think of pesticides we usually think of produce, but animal products can contain up to 14 times more pesticides than plants!1

Simply switching the cow’s diet from grass to grain can cause many problems, but that’s only the beginning. According to a recent article in US News & World Report, some 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs passed along by veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into livestock feed.

Animal-feed manufacturers and farmers also have begun using or trying out dehydrated food garbage, fats emptied from restaurant fryers and grease traps, cement-kiln dust, even newspapers and cardboard that are derived from plant cellulose. Researchers in addition have experimented with cattle and hog manure, and human sewage sludge.”2

When I first read this I thought there were probably only a handful of farmers crazy enough to feed dead cats and dogs and other animals parts to their vegetarian cows, but I was dead wrong! During the BSE scare, the FDA ordered a halt to feeding all slaughterhouse wastes to cattle and sheep in the US. At that time 75 percent of the nation’s 90 million cattle had been eating feed containing slaughterhouse by-products!

Like humans, animals need nutrients to thrive and be healthy. Obviously the feed given to factory farmed cows is not intended to provide proper nourishment. Instead, farmers, or shall I say food manufacturers, are interested in stuffing whatever they can into the cows to bulk them up as quickly as possible. This can quickly lead to sick animals and heavy doses of drugs. Like pesticides, these drugs end up in the milk of the dairy animals, as do trans fats from bakery wastes, undigested proteins from soy and animal foods and aflatoxins from moldy grain. To make matters worse, levels of vitamin A and D drop off precipitously when cows are given any feed other than green growing grass.

Antibiotics

If you’re like a growing number of people today, you would rather not take antibiotics when you get sick. You may even be proud of the fact that you haven’t had to use them in years. However, if you drink commercial milk or eat commercially raised meats and poultry, you could be consuming antibiotics on a daily basis without even knowing it! Over 50 percent of all the antibiotics produced in this country are mixed directly into animal feed. Ideally, antibiotics should be used in farming only when necessary to treat infection. However, due to the sickly nature of factory farmed animals, they are fed a constant supply of antibiotics from birth until the time of slaughter.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious issue that has gotten a lot of press in recent years. Basically, bacteria are mutating and outsmarting the antibiotics, making them ineffective. (The same phenomenon is occurring on farms where bugs are mutating to withstand pesticide applications.) We criticize medical doctors for over-prescribing antibiotics, but that is only part of the problem. Not only are antibiotics overused in this country, but they are also over-consumed. People are unknowingly consuming more antibiotics than they are actually taking by choice. Due to the heavy doses of antibiotics used on factory farmed animals, your steaks, hamburgers, chicken, and hotdogs are all laced with antibiotics. Milk alone contains traces of up to 80 different antibiotics!3

Hormones

Back in 1930, the average dairy cow produced 12 pounds (about a gallon and a half) of milk per day. In 1988, the average was 39 pounds per day. This was accomplished by selective breeding to obtain dairy cows that produced a lot of pituitary hormones, thereby generating large amounts of milk. But the industry was not satisfied with this output. Today rBGH, a synthetic growth hormone, is used to get even more milk out of the dairy cows, bringing the average up to 50 pounds (over 6 gallons) of milk per day.

This sounds like a great thing for dairy farmers, right? However, when you mess with Mother Nature, you will suffer the consequences. FDA documents show that cows injected with rBGH are 79 percent more likely to contract mastitis.4 In 1991, a report on Monsanto’s BGH test herd at the University of Vermont found the same kinds of problems identified by the FDA, plus an alarming number of dead and deformed calves born to cows treated with BGH.5 Other problems include reproductive difficulties, increased need for antibiotics, digestive problems, enlarged hocks and lesions, and foot problems.

According to the Humane Farming Association, The FDA admits that BGH injections increase sickness and drug use in dairy cows. Consumer’s Union reports that because of increased udder infections, it is more likely that milk from treated cows will be of lower quality–containing more pus and bacteria–than milk from untreated cows.”6

Pasteurization

Pasteurization is a process of heat treating milk to kill bacteria. Although Louis Pasteur developed this technique for preserving beer and wine, he was not responsible for applying it to milk. That was done at the end of the 1800s as a temporary solution until filthy urban dairies could find a way to produce cleaner milk. But instead of cleaning up milk production, dairies used pasteurization as a way to cover up dirty milk. As milk became more mass produced, pasteurization became necessary for large dairies to increase their profits. So the public then had to be convinced that pasteurized milk was safer than raw milk. Soon raw milk consumption was blamed for all sorts of diseases and outbreaks until the public was finally convinced that pasteurized milk was superior to milk in its natural state.

Today if you mention raw milk, many people gasp and utter ridiculous statements like, “You can die from drinking raw milk!” But the truth is that there are far more risks from drinking pasteurized milk than unpasteurized milk. Raw milk naturally contains healthy bacteria that inhibit the growth of undesirable and dangerous organisms. Without these friendly bacteria, pasteurized milk is more susceptible to contamination. Furthermore, modern equipment, such as milking machines, stainless steel tanks and refrigerated trucks, make it entirely possible to bring clean, raw milk to the market anywhere in the US.

Not only does pasteurization kill the friendly bacteria, it also greatly diminishes the nutrient content of the milk. Pasteurized milk has up to a 66 percent loss of vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin C loss usually exceeds 50 percent. Heat affects water soluble vitamins and can make them 38 percent to 80 percent less effective. Vitamins B6 and B12 are completely destroyed during pasteurization. Pasteurization also destroys beneficial enzymes, antibodies and hormones. Pasteurization destroys lipase (an enzyme that breaks down fat), which impairs fat metabolism and the ability to properly absorb fat soluble vitamins A and D. (The dairy industry is aware of the diminished vitamin D content in commercial milk, so they fortify it with a form of this vitamin.)

We have all been led to believe that milk is a wonderful source of calcium, when in fact, pasteurization makes calcium and other minerals less available. Complete destruction of phosphatase is one method of testing to see if milk has been adequately pasteurized. Phosphatase is essential for the absorption of calcium.

Ultrapasteurization

As the dairy industry has become more concentrated, many processing plants have switched to ultrapasteurization, which involves higher temperatures and longer treatment times. The industry says this is necessary because many microorganisms have become heat resistant and now survive ordinary pasteurization.

Another reason for ultrapasteurization is that it gives the milk a longer shelf life–up to four weeks. The grocers like this but many consumers complain of a burnt or dead taste. The milk is virtually sterile–is that what you want to drink?

Milk producers are not advertising the fact that they are ultrapasteurizing the milk–the word is written in very small letters and the milk is sold in the refrigerator section even though it can be kept unrefrigerated until opened. Horizon, the major organic brand, is ultrapasteurized, as are virtually all national brands.

Homogenization

Milk straight from the cow contains cream, which rises to the top. Homogenization is a process that breaks up the fat globules and evenly distributes them throughout the milk so that they do not rise. This process unnaturally increases the surface area of fat exposing it to air, in which oxidation occurs and increases the susceptibility to spoilage. Homogenization has been linked to heart disease and atherosclerosis.

Milk: To Drink or Not to Drink?

Considering how modern commercial milk is produced and processed, it’s no wonder that millions of Americans are allergic to it. An allergic reaction to dairy can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting (even projectile vomiting), stomach pain, cramping, gas, bloating, nausea, headaches, sinus and chest congestion, and a sore, or scratchy throat. Milk consumption has been linked to many other health conditions as well, such as asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, chronic infections (especially upper respiratory and ear infections), obesity, osteoporosis and cancer of the prostate, ovaries, breast and colon.

Once you understand how modern milk is produced and processed, it seems logical to just avoid it altogether. But Real Milk–full-fat, unprocessed milk from pasture-fed cows–contains vital nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins A and D, calcium, vitamin B6, B12, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid naturally occurring in grass-fed beef and milk that reduces body fat and protects against cancer). Real milk is a source of complete protein and is loaded with enzymes. Raw milk contains beneficial bacteria that protects against pathogens and contributes to a healthy flora in the intestines. Culturing milk greatly enhances its probiotic and enzyme content, making it a therapeutic food for our digestive system and overall health.

So the answer to the question is–go ahead and drink milk only if you can get unprocessed milk from pastured cows. In the meantime, here are a few steps that can help you make the transition to more natural dairy products.

Remove Commercial Milk from Your Diet

Normally I propose a step-by step process for making a dietary change, but considering where commercial milk has come from, and what it has been through, it is best to just remove it from the diet altogether. Instead use some of the better quality dairy products such as raw cheese, good quality whole yogurt, butter and cream that has not been ultrapasteurized. (You can use butter or cream mixed with water on breakfast porridge.) Check the Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide for a listing of good quality dairy products sold in supermarkets and health food stores.

Real Milk (Raw Milk)

If you’ve been told that drinking raw milk is dangerous, you’ll be surprised to know that you’ve been mislead.  The truth about raw milk? An extensive look into research and claims made by the FDA and CDC related to raw milk being dangerous have been found to be completely unwarranted. It actually benefits your body in many ways, and although it might have earned a reputation among some for being dangerous, you shouldn’t miss out on all this amazing superfood has to offer because raw milk benefits are truly impressive.

Raw milk comes from grass-fed cows, is unpasteurized and unhomogenized. This means raw milk contains all of its natural enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals — making it what many refer to as a “complete food.”

But can’t raw milk cause problems due to the risk of consuming bacteria? The risk of this happening is very, very low. In fact, according to medical researcher Dr. Ted Beals, M.D., you are 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk. (1) The CDC reports that there are an estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses diagnosed each year. Of these 48 million illnesses, only about 42 (about 0.0005 percent!) each year are due to consumption of fresh, unprocessed (raw) milk. (2)

Dr. Chris Kesser did a thorough investigation to get the true impact of raw milk illness and death, as the CDC makes it sound inevitable, and found that your chances of becoming hospitalized from a bacterial illness caused by raw milk is three times less than your chance of dying in a plane crash. In fact, he discovered that you have a better chance of death by infection from raw oysters than you do of ever getting sick at all from raw milk!

As you can see, most accusations and concerns over raw milk have been overstated, and therefore its heath benefits remain underrated. Raw milk benefits are numerous and can help address a large number of nutritional deficiencies that millions of people, especially those eating the standard American diet, are currently experiencing. For instance, raw milk benefits allergies and skin, all while containing beneficial nutrients without the processing dangers.

In states like California, getting real milk is easy because raw milk is sold in health food stores. In other states you need to either purchase raw milk from a farm or through a cow-share program. The best place to start is by contacting your local chapter or visiting the realmilk.com website. Most people who cannot tolerate commercial milk do beautifully on Real Milk–milk that comes from pastured cows, that contains all the fat and that is unprocessed. It is an especially good food for growing children who need extra nutrients during their growing years.

Many consider raw milk to be an “alternative” form of milk, but it is actually how all milk used to be consumed. High-quality raw milk from a reputable source is far preferable to the pasteurized CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) milk found in most supermarkets.

High-quality raw milk has a mountain of health benefits that pasteurized milk lacks. For example, raw milk is:

  • Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract
  • Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies)
  • Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolism
  • Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestible
  • Loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and contains a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live lactobacilli

Continued on next page…

Olive Oil

For millennia, it has been one of life’s necessities-not just as food but also as medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious ritual with strong Christian symbolism. It is made from the fruit of the olive tree, which is naturally high in healthy fatty acids. Unfortunately, it’s common for “extra virgin olive oil” purchased in most major grocery stores to be laced with GMO canola oil and herb flavors. A CBS report found that up to 70 percent of the extra virgin olive oil sold worldwide is watered down with other oils and enhancers, thanks to the Mafia corruption involved in the production process. Real, high-quality extra virgin olive oil has well-researched anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and numerous heart-healthy macronutrients, which explains why there are so many olive oil benefits that include lowering rates of inflammation, heart disease, depression, dementia and obesity.

Olive oil is pressed from fresh olives and is made mainly in the Mediterranean, mostly in Italy, Spain and Greece. It is available all year-round. Just like in wine-making, several factors affect the character of the oil, including climate, soil and the way the olives are harvested and pressed.1

The flavor, smell and color of olive oil can vary significantly, based on its origin and whether it is extra-virgin (finest grade) or not. Generally, the hotter the country, the more robust the oil’s flavor will be.2

Manufacturers often use cheap oils because of the arduous process to make real olive oil, so that have perfected the art of creating fakes that look, smell, and even taste like the real thing. However, they’re far inferior products with way fewer health benefits than the real thing. In fact, consuming this type of modified olive oil can actually pose some real risks to your health, so you’ve got to know which kind is the best to buy (covered below) in order to get the most olive oil benefits you can.

In recent years, the industry-wide corruption has prompted class action lawsuits against several olive oil companies. For example, in March 2014, a suit was filed against a company selling a product labeled “pure olive oil” that was actually olive pomace oil. In December, 2015, Italian authorities also shut down a massive fraud ring in Puglia, involving 12 different olive oil companies.

Olive oil is mainly made up of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, the most important of which is called oleic acid. Oleic acid is known to be extremely heart-healthy and capable of fighting free radical damage (or oxidative stress), which has numerous health implications. This is especially true when compared to compounds found in more refined vegetable oils, trans fats or hydrogenated fats.

Diets high in extra virgin olive oil, including the famous Mediterranean diet, are associated with “a lower incidence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer,” according to a large review of clinical studies. (2) Most recent interest has focused on the biologically active phenolic compounds naturally present in virgin olive oils. Olive oil phenolics have positive effects on certain physiological parameters, including plasma lipoproteins, oxidative damage, inflammatory markers, platelet and cellular function, and antimicrobial activity.

One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains: (3)

  • 119 calories
  • 14 grams fat (9.8 of which is monounsaturated)
  • Zero sugar, carbs or protein
  • 8 micrograms vitamin K (10 percent DV)
  • 2 milligrams vitamin E (10 percent DV)

How much extra virgin olive oil should you aim to consume daily in order to benefit your health? While recommendations differ depending on your specific calorie needs and diet, anywhere from one to four tablespoons seems to be ideal to gain these olive oil benefits.

Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Protects Heart Health

Studies have found that high monounsaturated fat diets lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides better than lower-fat, higher-carb diets do. (4) Thanks to powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, extra virgin oil is considered an anti-inflammatory food and cardiovascular protector. When someone’s immune system essentially begins to fight her own body as a result of a poor diet, stress or other factors, inflammatory responses are triggered that lead to dangerous, disease-causing inflammation.

The purpose of inflammation is to protect us against illnesses and repair the body when needed, but chronic inflammation is extremely harmful to arterial health and linked to heart disease, autoimmune diseases and more. Extra virgin olive oil helps reverse inflammatory along with age- and disease-related changes to the heart and blood vessels, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. Research shows olive oil is beneficial for lowering high blood pressure because it makes nitric oxide more bioavailable, which keeps arteries dilated and clear. (5)

The protective effects of a Mediterranean-style diet rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from olive oil have been shown in many studies, with some finding that this type of higher-fat diet is capable of decreasing the risk of cardiac death by 30 percent and sudden cardiac death by 45 percent! (6)

2. Helps Fight Cancer

According to a 2004 study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, olives and olive oil contain antioxidants in abundance. (7) They are some of the best high antioxidant foods. Olives (especially those that have not been subjected to high-heat processes) contain acteosides, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and phenyl propionic acids. Both olives and olive oil contain substantial amounts of other compounds deemed to be anticancer agents (e.g., squalene and terpenoids) as well as the peroxidation-resistant lipid oleic acid.

Researchers feel that it’s probable that high olive and olive oil consumption in southern Europe represents an important contribution to the beneficial effects of cancer prevention and health in the Mediterranean diet.

3. Helps with Weight Loss and Obesity Prevention

Eating plenty of healthy fats is a key element in controlling excess insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, makes us gain weight, and keeps the weight packed on despite us cutting calories and exercising more. Fats are satiating and help reduce hunger, cravings and overeating. This is one reason why numerous studies have found that diets low in fat don’t result in weight loss or weight maintenance as easily or often as balanced, higher-fat diets do.

After reviewing five trials including a total of 447 individuals, researchers from University Hospital Basel in Switzerland found that individuals assigned to higher-fat, low-carbohydrate diets lost more weight than individuals randomized to low-fat diets. There were no differences in blood pressure levels between the two groups, but triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol values changed more favorably in individuals assigned to the diets higher in fat. (8)

Because diets with ample amounts of healthy fats are more satisfying, people are much more likely to be able to stick with them. A 2002 study published in the Women’s Health Journal, for example, found that an olive oil-enriched diet brought about greater weight loss than a lower-fat diet in an eight-week comparison. Following the eight weeks, the participants also overwhelmingly chose the olive oil-enriched diet for at least six months of the follow-up period. (9)

4. Supports Brain Health

The brain is largely made up of fatty acids, and we require a moderately high level on a daily basis to perform tasks, regulate our moods and think clearly. (10) Like other sources of healthy fats, olive oil is considered a brain food that improves focus and memory.

Olive oil may help fight age-related cognitive decline, as it’s part of the Mediterranean diet and offers monounsaturated fatty acids associated with sustained brain health. (11)

5. Fights Mood Disorders and Depression

Healthy fats, including olive oil, have hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory effects that can prevent neurotransmitter dysfunction. Low-fat diets are often linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety. Mood or cognitive disorders can occur when the brain doesn’t get a sufficient amount of “happy hormones” like serotonin or dopamine, important chemical messengers that are necessary for mood regulation, getting good sleep and thought-processing.

One 2011 study conducted by the University of Las Palmas in Spain found that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intake had an inverse relationship with depression risk. At the same time, trans-fat intake and depression risk had a linear relationship, showing that higher trans-fat consumption and lower PUFA and MUFA could up the chances of battling mood disorders and treating depression. (12)

6. Naturally Slows Aging

An anti-aging diet should have plenty of healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil is a great example. It contains a type of antioxidant called secoiridoids, which help activate gene signatures contributing to anti-aging and a reduction of cellular stress.

Secoiridoids in olive oil may also suppress gene expression related the the Warburg effect, a process related to the formation of cancer, and helps to prevent “age-related changes” in skin cells. (13)

Just remember that olive oil shouldn’t be cooked at high heat, or it could have the opposite effect. Cooking with olive oil produces advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which contribute to “the multisystem functional decline that occurs with aging.” (1415)

7. May Help Lower Risk of Diabetes

Fatty acids influence glucose metabolism by altering cell membrane function, enzyme activity, insulin signaling and gene expression. Evidence suggests that consuming polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fats (the kind found in olive oil) has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and is likely to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. (16)

While carbohydrates elevate blood sugar by providing glucose, fats help stabilize blood sugar levels and regulate insulin. Even when you eat something high in sugar or carbs, adding extra virgin olive oil to the meal can help slow down the impact on your bloodstream. Consuming olive oil is also a great way to feel more satisfied after meals, which can help prevent sugar cravings and overeating that can lead to diabetes complications.

8. Is Associated with Lower Breast Cancer Risk

A case-control study conducted in Italy in 1995 discovered that, over 2,564 cases of breast cancer, higher consumption of olive oil was correlated with a lower risk of developing the disease. (17) While there aren’t clear reasons for this, there is often an assumed interaction between healthy fats and hormone function, which could be one possible explanation.

9. Reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease

In a mice study, olive oil exhibited potential neuroprotective properties against Alzheimer’s disease.27 In another study, this time done on humans, researchers stated that the Mediterranean diet (supplemented with olive oil) helped improve cognition compared to a low-fat diet.28


How to Buy and Use Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil harvesting dates back thousands of years, but today, the large, international commercial olive oil industry is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. To ancient populations, this source of satisfying healthy fat was considered a precious commodity and used for its many healing capabilities. Aside from cooking with olive oil, it was also a key component in lamps, soaps, skincare and cosmetics.

After first making its way to North America in the mid 1500s, olive trees spread quickly to many other nations. Today, olive oil is cultivated largely in Italy, Mexico, the U.S. (mainly California), Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Why does the specific type of oil you buy matter so much? One of the biggest dangers surrounding olive oil is that it has a low smoke point and begins to decompose at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. When olive oil is heated repeatedly or to a very high level, it can oxidize and become rancid or toxic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades olive oil based on flavor, odor, absence of defects and acidity. Extra-virgin olive oil is described as having an excellent flavor and odor, and a free fatty acid content of ≤ 0.8 grams per 100 grams (0.8 percent).3 Commonly sold varieties of olive oil include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: The highest-quality olive oil you can get. It is unrefined and contains more nutrients compared to other processed varieties.4  But, even “extra virgin” olive oil is often diluted with other less expensive oils, including hazelnut, soybean, corn, sunflower, palm, sesame, grape seed and/or walnut to reduce the cost. These added oils will not be listed on the label, nor will most people be able to discern that their olive oil is not 100 percent pure.
  • Pure olive oil:5 Made by combining extra-virgin olive oil and refined olive oil, resulting in a lower-quality product.6 It is sometimes sold as “refined olive oil.”7
  • Light olive oil: The word “light” is a marketing term that simply refers to the oil’s lighter flavor. In truth, light olive oil is simply refined olive oil that has a neutral taste and a higher smoke point.8
  • Olive-pomace oil: This version of olive oil is made from leftover olive pulps, and the remaining liquid is extracted using chemical solvents. Avoid this type of olive oil at all costs.9(Source: Mercola.com)

Always look for bottles indicating that the oil is extra virgin and ideally cold-pressed or expeller-pressed. Here are several other useful tips for recognizing and picking out the real thing:

  • You get what you pay for! If any oil is less than $10 a liter, it’s likely not real. You might spend more on a quality product, but it comes loaded with the many olive oil benefits, tastes better and should last you some time.
  • Check the label for a seal from the International Olive Oil Council (IOC), which certifies the type of oil used.
  • Shop for olive oil that comes in a dark glass bottle that can protect light from entering and damaging the vulnerable fatty acids. A dark bottle that is green, black, etc., protects the oil from oxidation and becoming rancid. Avoid oils that come in a plastic or clear bottle.
  • Look for a harvesting date on the label to know that the oil is still fresh. According to The Olive Oil Timesas long as your oil is stored away from heat and light, an unopened bottle of good quality olive oil lasts for up to two years from the date it was bottled. Once the bottle is opened, it should be used within a few months — and again, keep it in a cool, dark place.
  • Also keep in mind that a clue that you have a good product is if it solidifies when it’s cold and refrigerated. This has to do with the chemical structure of the fatty acids. You can put it in the refrigerator and it should become cloudy and thicken, but if it remains liquid then it’s not pure extra virgin.

Time to Rethink Italian Quality

Italy is world-famous for its high-quality extra virgin olive oil, but it would be a mistake to think that just because an olive oil comes from Italy it must be authentic and high-quality. As explained by Olmsted, most of the olive oil exported from Italy is not their best product. Italy does not produce enough extra virgin olive oil to meet even its own domestic demand, so very little of its highest quality oil ever leaves the country.

Also, just because it comes from Italy does not mean it was grown and made there, because Italy is also the world’s largest importer of olive oil. They buy oil from several countries, including Tunisia, Syria, Morocco and Spain, which is then blended, bottled and exported. A label that says “bottled in Italy” is technically true, but it says nothing about where the olives were grown or pressed, or whether it’s been mixed with other oils.

Rise of the Agromafia

In January 2016, 60 Minutes (below) revealed how the olive oil business has been corrupted by what the Italians refer to as the “agromafia.” According to journalist Tom Muller, featured in the 60 Minutes’ report, the mafia has infiltrated virtually all areas of the olive oil business, including harvesting, pricing, transportation and the supermarkets. In essence, they’ve infiltrated the entire food chain “from farm to fork,” to use Muller’s phrase. The fraud is so massive, at least half of all the extra virgin olive oil sold in Italy is adulterated as well. That’s pretty astonishing, considering the reverence Italians have for olive oil.

In the U.S., your chances of getting the real McCoy is even slimmer, with as much as 90 percent of it being adulterated. Quality can also be seriously compromised by the fact that olive oil is shipped by boat, which takes a long time. It is then stored and distributed to grocery stores, where the oil may sit on the shelf for another several months. As explained by Olmsted, olive oil is similar to fresh-squeezed orange juice, meaning it has a rather short shelf life. Pure olive oil that’s minimally processed contains health-promoting antioxidants and phenolics, provided the oil hasn’t oxidized — and oxidation is an enormous risk for olive oil. By the time you buy and use it, the olive oil may already be on the verge of going bad.

‘Use By’ and ‘Sell By’ Dates Are Meaningless

Unfortunately, the “use by” or “sell by” date on the bottle really does not mean a whole lot, as there’s no regulation assuring that the oil will remain of high quality until that date. The date you really want to know is the “pressed on” date or “harvest” date, which are essentially the same thing because olives go bad almost immediately after being picked.

They’re pressed into olive oil basically the same day they’re harvested. High-quality olive oil is pressed within a couple of hours of picking. Poorer quality olive oils may be pressed 10 hours after the olives are picked. Ideally the oil should be pressed in under an hour but certainly within a few hours. Also, “harvest” date, should be less than 6 months old when you use it. Unfortunately, few olive oils actually provide a harvest date. As for olive oil in restaurants, more often than not, the olive oil served for bread dipping is typically of very poor quality and is best avoided.

Other Meaningless Label Terms

Besides “use by” and “sell by” dates, which have no bearing on quality since such dates are unregulated, other terms found on olive oil labels that are completely meaningless include “cold pressed” or “first press.” They’re effective marketing strategies, evoking feelings of old world dining and romance, but they’re obsolete and meaningless when it comes to oil quality.

Olive Source has a page about obsolete and unregulated terms used by the olive oil industry.11 A prime example is their use of the term “cold pressed.” Cold pressed refers to the time when oil was made using hydraulic presses, and there was a distinction between the first (cold) press and the second (hot) press, but that process is outdated.12

Today, most extra virgin olive oil is made in centrifuges. According to Olive Source, “If anything, the term “first press” on a label should be a warning signal, rather than a sign of quality.”

Terms that are actually meaningful are “early harvest” or “fall harvest” (they’re interchangeable). Early harvest olives (harvested in the fall) are green because they’re not fully ripe, have slightly less oil and are more bitter because they’re higher in polyphenols compared to olives harvested in late winter, which are black. Early harvest olives are more expensive because it takes more of them to make a bottle of oil, but the oil has a longer shelf life and is more nutritious due to the higher antioxidant content.

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