American children are the most vaccinated in the world. The US government recommends 26 vaccine doses in the first year of life. I’ll say it again: that’s 26 vaccinations before the candles on the first birthday cake are blown out. Yet, 33 nations, all of whom administer fewer childhood vaccines, have better (i.e. lower) infant mortality rates than the United States. Even Communist Cuba has lower infant mortality than the USA.
So, two highly respected researchers did a scientific analysis of the question using a technique known as “linear regression analysis,” and they found a solid, statistically significant correlation between higher number of vaccine doses and higher rates of infant mortality. It was published in the highly reputable Human and Experimental Toxicology Journal, which is indexed by the National Library of Medicine.
Of the 10 nations with the lowest infant death rates, 7 of them have among the lowest childhood vaccination schedules in the world. For example, among developed nations, the ones with the lowest number of standard childhood vaccines, as ordained by government, are Japan and Sweden, and they rank 1 and 2, respectively, in having low infant mortality.
What does it mean? Does it mean that vaccinations are killing children? That is certainly what it looks like. I’m sure vaccination defenders would be quick to point out that statistics do not prove causation. They may not prove it, but they certainly do suggest it. But why are we even talking about a higher death rate among the more vaccinated? Vaccinations are supposed to prevent diseases, and even common childhood diseases, such as the measles, have a certain mortality. For instance, the United Nations says that in the year 2000 alone, approximately 733,000 children worldwide died of the measles. If vaccinations are effective, should not the more vaccinated have a markedly lower death rate by virtue of avoiding the ravages of deadly diseases? Isn't that the whole purpose of vaccinating?
Therefore, I believe the next step should be to compare death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. And when I say unvaccinated children, I do not mean children who go unvaccinated because of poverty, neglect, and inadequate care. That would introduce a whole different variable. I am referring to children who go unvaccinated because their parents deem that it would be injurious to their health to vaccinate them, that is, they forego vaccination out of informed conviction.
So far, the medical establishment has refused to do such a study. But, the medical establishment has also long refused to do a study such as the one that was just done, and it, much to their dismay, did get published. So, to the researchers who did that study, Gary Goldman and Neil Miller, I urge you to next look at infant mortality rates and health status between vaccinated and unvaccinated children in developed countries- and again, where not vaccinating was an informed choice and not the product of adverse home circumstances.
Again I’ll say that I had only one child, a boy, and he never received any vaccinations. Today, he is a robust 37 year old man, and he has never had a needle stuck into him.
I deny the evidentiary basis for vaccinations (although, since they refuse to do double-blind, placebo-controlled studies for any vaccine, there really is no evidentiary basis), and I deny the whole theoretical and technical paradigm for vaccinations as well. And if any immunologist wants to debate it, I am available.
Elaine Magee, a registered dietician with WebMD.com, wrote an excellent article defending potatoes, and I applaud her for it. She got the idea from attending a nutrition seminar in which speaker after speaker maligned potatoes, disparaging the lowly spud against other vegetables, saying “vegetables are good- except for potatoes.” But worse than that, there have been moves afoot to ban potatoes from school lunch programs, as if they were a junk food contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic. If they are, it’s only because of the likes of French fries.
Ms. Magee points out that a single medium-size white potato has more Vitamin C, B3, B6, and magnesium than a whole head of iceberg lettuce. If you include the skin of the potato, it has almost as much fiber as the lettuce. As for calories, that medium potato delivers 124, which isn’t bad, versus 116 for the lettuce.
Let me point out a few more things in defense of potatoes. Potatoes are one of the highest dietary sources of lipoic acid, which is an important antioxidant and detoxicant. Besides halting free radical damage, lipoic acid, by virtue of its sulfur content, helps chelate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, and excrete them from the body.
Are potatoes fattening? Experiments have been done putting people on potato diets for extended periods. Each and every time, the potato diet has proved to be slenderizing. Last year (2010) Chris Voigt, the Executive Director of the Washington Potato Commission, went on an all-potato diet for 60 days. He ate 20 potatoes a day, and without toppings, such as cheese or sour cream or bacon bits. That’s 1200 potatoes over two months, totaling 400 pounds of food. The result was: he lost 17 pounds.
But what about all that easily-digested potato starch turning to sugar? Doesn’t that cause diabetes? Let’s examine it. Type I Diabetes is an auto-immune disease that is certainly not caused by potatoes. Genetics are believed to be involved. Allergy to cow’s milk protein has been implicated as a triggering factor. Infections have also been suggested as triggers, and nutritional deficiencies, such as gross Vitamin D deficiency, may set it off. But again, it has nothing to do with potatoes.
Type II Diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, where the cell receptors to insulin just aren’t working. Insulin resistance is caused by obesity, and potatoes fight obesity- unless you fry them or top them with unhealthy fats. Insulin resistance has also been related to Vitamin D deficiency, chromium deficiency, and perhaps other deficiencies. However, no whole, unrefined, properly prepared vegetable, including potatoes, contributes to the development of insulin resistance or diabetes.
But, what if you are already diabetic? Couldn’t potatoes pose a problem then? There is a kernel of truth to that one. You do have to be careful about your entire food consumption once you become diabetic , but I would not eliminate potatoes even from the diet of a diabetic. For instance, a plain potato digests very quickly, but if you combine it with a wholesome fat such as avocado (which is a delicious combination) blood sugar spikes can be avoided. The important thing is to keep your eye on the big picture, and the big picture is that whole, natural, unrefined plant foods, including potatoes, support good health and good metabolism. If you don't want to eat white potatoes because they are white, then do as I do and buy the gold potatoes, which are available yearround. They taste great too.
So, what should you do about acid reflux? Well, there are any number of things you could try, but whatever you do, don't take acid blockers. Do not take the proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, and do not take H2 antagonists such as Tagamet. Hey, if you want to take Regular Tums, I am not concerned about that because it's just calcium carbonate. But don't take the Dual Action Tums because it has an acid blocker added to the calcium.
To protect delicate tissues from the effects of acid reflux, you can take mastic gum. Another good substance for that purpose is deglycerated licorice. We offer the two combined in a product called Ceasefire, but you can find them both separetely, including online. Another thing that works well is peppermint, and we offer it as peppermint gum and peppermint mints. There are other home remedies that people swear by, that work for some but not others. But from the standpoint of addressing the cause, what appeals to me most is taking hydrochloric acid. That's right, if you increase the acid, the secreting stops, and the heartburn goes away. Remember what I said that most heartburn sufferers have too little stomach acid- not too much.
And then there are also all the lifestyle factors you can address. If you smoke, quit, because smoking causes acid reflux. If you drink alcohol, ditto, so cut it out. If you are overweight, drop that excess body fat because it causes acid reflux. And if you are used to stuffing yourself with food as a pastime, find another hobby because it isn't the acid that causes acid reflux: it is the pressure. And obviously, the more you fill your stomach- the more you stuff it- the more pressure there is going to be. So eat moderately. Eat to live; don't live to eat. Does eating spicy food contribute to the problem? Maybe a little, but I am more concerned about overeating than eating spices.
So what does Nexium really represent? The answer is: the crux of everything that is wrong in Medicine. Nexium is bad medicine pushed on millions.
It has been reported widely that watermelon may have an effect similar to the drug Viagra but without adverse side effects. Watermelon is high in the amino acid citrulline. The rinds are particularly high, but even the flesh contains 150 mgs of citrulline per 100 grams. Citrulline is a precursor to arginine, and arginine boosts nitric oxide, which is the main vaso-dilator in the human circulatory system.
Watermelon is truly an extraordinary food. First, it tastes sweeter than it is. The average watermelon has only 6 to 7 percent sugar by weight, which is less than grapefruit. But, most people find it tastes much sweeter. It’s almost like getting something for nothing. Second, red watermelon is very high in lycopene. You actually see the lycopene because it is the lycopene that makes the melon red. And lycopene, like citrulline, has been linked strongly to male sexual health. Third, watermelon is one of the highest dietary sources of glutathione, the sulfur-containing triple-amino acid that protects us from all kinds of free radicals and toxins.
What amuses me is how the mainstream sites, such as WebMD, have been disparaging the whole idea of better sex through watermelon. One doctor said that hoping watermelon will improve sex is like dropping a bottle in the Mississippi River at Minneapolis and hoping that it will have an impact in New Orleans. That is a very unfair and exaggerated analogy, and especially for people like me, because when I sit down to eat watermelon, I make a meal of it. We’re talking about some major flooding of my system with watermelon goodness. I really don’t know how much impact the citrulline model holds, but when you look at the entire phytonutrient content of watermelon, it is truly awesome. But, I understand why they have to disparage watermelon- because they don’t want men rethinking their need for Viagra, Cialis, and/or Levitra.
I am finding that the quality of watermelon this year is exceptionally good, and I think I know why. It’s because here in watermelon country (Texas) we are in the midst of a severe drought. Normally, they grow watermelons in Texas by rain alone, but this year they have had to irrigate. Our weather has not only been very dry but also very sunny. Non-stop sun. We haven’t had a cloudy day in months. And all that sunshine sweetens the watermelons like nothing else can.
Watermelon is probably the most popular food ever to spread out of Africa-unless you consider coffee a food.
Dr. Bruce Ames is one of my heroes. For many decades, he has been the head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Berkeley. It’s unlikely that any single individual has produced more published research in the field of nutrition than Dr. Ames. And, he is still at the top of his profession at the age of 83.
His latest research was published in the June issue of the Journal of American Experimental Biology. It concerns the subtle effects of selenium deficiency. Selenium is very subject to deficiency because many soils in the world are lacking in it, and plants can grow perfectly well without it. You’ve heard about goiter belts resulting from iodine-depleted soils, and a similar situation exists with selenium.
What Dr. Ames discovered is that even modest, sub-clinical selenium deficiency retards the activity of at least 12 important seleno-proteins. These seleno-proteins have protective effects which are directly related to the prevention of age-related diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and immunological condtions.
"The same set of age-related diseases and conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and immune dysfunction, are prospectively associated with modest selenium deficiency and also with widespread dysfunction of nonessential selenoproteins, suggesting that selenium deficiency could be a causal factor in many of the most common diseases of aging. Modest selenium deficiency is common in many parts of the world; optimal intake of selenium could significantly prevent future disease."
So far, selenium has been associated with preventing breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer. More research is underway as we speak, and I look forward to great progress in disease control through selenium nutriture in the years ahead.