|The anti-gunners will try to spin it, of course, but there is no spinning the cold, hard data surrounding economist John Lott’s longtime contention – backed up by years of research, of course: More guns truly does equal less crime. And now, it’s official. According…|
Posts Tagged ‘Percent’
Reason | Poll also found many Americans think the use or possession of small amounts of marijuana should not be punishable at all.
By Dr. Mercola
Carole Baggerly is the founder director of GrassrootsHealth. Her organization’s mission is to increase awareness about vitamin D and the crucial role it plays in many aspects of your health.
Carole is on the cutting edge of vitamin D research, with her finger on the pulse of some of the world’s leading vitamin D scientists.
Prior to this focus, Carole’s educational background included physics and mathematics, and she owned and managed an aerospace business. However, her passion for vitamin D arose from a more personal experience. She is a breast cancer survivor and attributes a large portion of her healing to vitamin D.
Her particular combination of managerial and executive skills, education in the sciences and personal health battles make her uniquely qualified to get this critical information into the hands of the public.
I first interviewed Carole in 2011. In this second interview, Carole discusses what the latest science says about how vitamin D prevents and slows multiple forms of cancer, and why it’s so important to have your serum levels tested on a regular basis.
In fact, optimizing your vitamin D levels may help you prevent more than 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate, and skin cancers.
Modest Vitamin D Levels May Decrease Your Risk of ALL Cancer by 77 Percent
Vitamin D has shown preventative benefits for many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, and can even reduce chronic pain1. But when it comes to cancer, vitamin D is its worst enemy! Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies.
One particularly noteworthy study was completed by Joan Lappe and Robert Heaney in 20072. A group of menopausal women were given enough vitamin D to raise their serum levels to 40 ng/ml.
These women experienced a 77 percent reduction in the incidence of all cancers, across the board, after just four years3. The remarkable thing is, 40 ng/ml is a relatively modest level. The latest information suggests the serum level “sweet spot” for vitamin D is 50 to 70 ng/ml. To have such stunning findings at just 40 ng/ml underscores just how powerful and important vitamin D is to your body’s optimal functioning.
Could Breast Cancer Be 90 Percent Preventable, Just with Vitamin D?
Vitamin D has powerful effects when it comes to breast cancer, to the degree that breast cancer is being described as a “vitamin D deficiency syndrome.” Of course, other lifestyle factors are also important in preventing cancer, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and managing stress. However, vitamin D’s critical importance seems to grow with every emerging study.
Carole believes that 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer is related to vitamin D deficiency — which is 100 percent preventable!
This is absolutely a profoundly important statement. As breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, this has massive implications for women’s health. For more information about breast cancer, I invite you to watch my informational video on the subject. Please be aware though that she is referring to more common types of breast cancer as opposed to inflammatory breast cancer and some of the other unique forms.
Vitamin D Can Make Breast Cancer Cells Fall Apart
The recently deceased Dr. Frank Garland4 was the epidemiologist who connected the dots between vitamin D deficiency and cancer. According to Garland, in nearly all forms of breast cancer, vitamin D affects the structure of your epithelial cells. These cells are held together by a glue-like substance called E-cadherin, which provides structure to the cell. E-cadherin is made up of mostly vitamin D and calcium.
If you don’t have adequate vitamin D, that structure comes apart and those cells do what they are programmed to do in order to survive — they go forth and multiply. If this growth process (cell proliferation) gets out of control, you may end up with cancer.
If you have breast cancer in progress, the addition of vitamin D can help stop cancer cells in their tracks by replenishing E-cadherin. Once cancer growth is slowed, your immune system can begin to get ahead of the cancer cells, because it doesn’t have to deal with gazillions of them. It’s just disposing of the “leftovers.” The theory above is Dr. Garland’s DINOMIT theory and has been substantiated by subsequent studies by other researchers.
Optimizing Vitamin D Reduces Your Risk of Preterm Birth by HALF
In addition to being a strong cancer preventive, if you are a pregnant woman, vitamin D has some important benefits for you and your baby. Unfortunately, an astounding 80 percent of pregnant women are vitamin D deficient, and you definitely do not want to be one of them.
Carol Wagner and Bruce Hollis studied the effects of vitamin D levels on pregnant women, with phenomenal results. The researchers gave 4,000 IUs of vitamin D to a group of pregnant women, lowering their incidence of preterm deliveries by a whopping 50 percent. These stellar results gave rise to a new prenatal program at GrassrootsHealth, called Protect Our Children Now, which you can learn about on their website.
Vitamin D is also known to improve a number of different problems of pregnancy, including reducing your risk of having a low birth weight baby and lowering your chances of C-section. If you’re pregnant and have good D3 levels, you are passing on important health protection to your newborn baby that will continue well after birth.
It’s ALL About Your Vitamin D Blood Level
The most important factor is your vitamin D serum level. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the sun, or how much vitamin D3 you take: if your serum level is low, then you’re at risk, plain and simple. And the only way to know your serum level is to test it. As of the present time, we don’t understand why people differ so widely in their serum responses to vitamin D supplementation. Until science figures this out, the only way to determine your serum level is by testing your blood on a regular basis.
Fortunately, all of the major labs have updated their vitamin D testing protocols, so it no longer matters which lab you use. It’s recommended you check your level every three to six months, because it takes at least three months for it to stabilize after a change in sun exposure or supplement dose.
The window you’re shooting for is 50 to 70ng/ml. More studies are needed to tease out the benefits of getting your serum level above 50, and 60, and 70 — in terms of what specific benefits occur at each increment. Above 20, you’re safe from rickets. Above 30, your gums will be healthy. Above 40, you receive great cancer benefits. But there may very well be reasons to push your level even higher — we just don’t have this information available yet. Science progresses slowly, and researchers are very cautious. For an interesting chart that shows disease prevention by serum vitamin D level, based on the research to date, visit this page on the GrassrootsHealth site.
It is Actually Difficult to Get Toxic
The best way to optimize your vitamin D level is through sun exposure or a safe tanning bed as that virtually eliminates any risk of overdose. As a very general guide, you need to expose about 40 percent of your entire body to the sun for approximately 20 minutes between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is at its zenith. There appears to be no risk of vitamin D toxicity from ultraviolet B exposure.
If you’re using an oral supplement, recent studies suggest adults need about 8,000 IU’s of oral vitamin D3 per day in order to get serum levels above 40 ng/ml. However, remember that if you take oral vitamin D, you also need to boost your vitamin K2, either through your food choices or a supplement. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. In general, however, taking vitamin D3 is very safe. Even the conservative Institute of Medicine has concluded that taking up to 10,000 IU per day poses no risk for adverse effects.
The ideal or optimal ratio between vitamin D and vitamin K2 has yet to be elucidated, so there’s little to go on in this regard. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, suggests 150-200 micrograms of K2 per day will meet the vitamin K2 needs of the “average” healthy person, if you’re not taking a vitamin D supplement. Keep in mind that some of that can come from your diet, such as fermented vegetables. If you take a vitamin D supplement, you may need to increase your vitamin K2 some more.
Your health insurance may very well pay for vitamin D testing. If not, there is a wonderful program you can participate in through the mail, developed by GrassrootsHealth, called D*Action Project. For more information on how to participate, read on.
How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health
Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.
Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. It is showing how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.
In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This is an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.
To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)
As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five year program, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a fee every 6 months for your sponsorship of the project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.”
|The front page lead story of the Los Angeles Times on March 30, 2013, highlighted the significant increase in deaths as a result of painkillers (Glover and Girion, 2013). The good news is that there are alternatives to painkillers and safer treatments that can reduce…|
By Dr. Mercola
One in four teens has misused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, according to new survey results from the partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation.1
This represents a 33 percent increase in the past five years!
Among one of the most commonly abused class of drugs are stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall, of which one in eight teens (13 percent) said they had taken even though it wasn’t prescribed to them.
Prescription drugs don’t hold the same stigma as illegal recreational drugs, even though they can be just as deadly, leading teens to regard them as a “safe” way to get high.
In many cases, parents only add to this assumption, not only because they may take multiple prescription drugs themselves but also, as the survey reported, because close to one-third of parents believe prescription stimulants can improve their teen’s academic performance.
One in Six Parents Believe Prescription Drugs Give a Safer “High” Than Street Drugs
Another shocking belief held by one in six parents was that using prescription drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs. This might explain why 86 percent of teens said their parents had not talked to them about the risks of abusing prescription drugs. In fact, it’s often the parents’ own medicine cabinets that become their children’s “drug dealers” …
Some teens even describe having “skittles parties,”2 where they combine a mix of pills they took from their parent’s medicine cabinet into one big bowl, then take a few just for fun.
Sadly, some teens pay for this one “bad” decision with their lives. Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and these drug-induced fatalities are not being driven by illegal street drugs.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the most commonly abused prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.3 As written in the Baltimore Sun:4
“According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drugs are second to marijuana as the drug of choice for today’s teens. In fact, seven of the top 10 drugs used by 12th-graders were prescription drugs.
More than 40 percent of high school seniors reported that painkillers are “fairly” or “very” easy to get. They also reported that they believed that if they were to get caught, there was less shame attached to the use of prescription drugs than to street drugs. This mirrors the perceptions of their parents, who when queried said that they felt prescription drugs were a safer alternative to drugs typically sold by a drug dealer.”
There’s Nothing “Safe” About Prescription Drug Abuse
If you have a teenager or pre-teen in your life that you care about, please make it a point to sit down and talk to them about the dangers of taking prescription drugs just “for fun.” Far from being “safer” than illegal street drugs, they can sometimes kill in just one pill.
Be sure to let them in on this simple fact: in many cases there’s no difference between a recreational street drug and a prescription drug. For example, hydrocodone, a prescription opiate, is synthetic heroin. It’s indistinguishable from any other heroine as far as your brain and body is concerned. So, if you’re hooked on hydrocodone, you are in fact a good-old-fashioned heroin addict.
Worse, pain-killing drugs like fentanyl are actually 100 times more potent than natural opioids like morphine, making the addictive potential and side effects associated with prescription drug use much higher. Among the most commonly abused prescription medications, along with their risks, which you can share with your teen, include:
Morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl all fall into this category. These drugs are not only addictive, they can lead to slowed breathing and death if too much is taken.
These include drugs such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall (the latter of which actually contains amphetamine, known and sold on the street as “speed” or “crank”), which are often used to teat ADHD, narcolepsy and even sometimes depression. Along with being highly addictive, stimulants sometimes lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia, along with risks like irregular heartbeat, heart failure and seizures.
When a stimulant is combined with another medication, such as an over-the-counter cold medicine that contains a decongestant, it can cause dangerously high blood pressure or irregular heart rhythms.
Used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, medications such as Valium, Xanax, Ambien, and Sonata are also addictive, and cause side effects like confusion, drowsiness and impaired coordination. This can be especially risky among teens if they then get behind the wheel to drive, as it increases the risk of accidents. Further, if these drugs are combined with alcohol or pain medications, the results can be deadly.
In the Popular Science infographic above,5 you can see rankings of some of the deadliest drugs in the US, according to data from the CDC. What is striking about this graphic is not only the steady rise in drug-related deaths, but also the fact that close to 60 percent of the drug overdose deaths involve pharmaceutical drugs such as opioids (oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone), anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs – the very same drugs often preferred by teens for a “safer” high.
Politicians are Worried About Soda … but What About Prescription Drugs?
Soda taxes and other measures to lower soda consumption is a hot topic among politicians. Obviously, helping teens to drink less soda is an admirable and important public health goal, but what about the abuse of prescription drugs? One American dies every 19 minutes from an accidental prescription drug overdose,6 a phenomenon now being described as “the biggest man-made epidemic in the United States.”7 Yet, this is a soaring public health epidemic that receives far too little attention from the media and lawmakers alike.
Unfortunately, we’re living in an era when the drug industry is praised and revered for their “life-saving” medications, when in reality even their proper use often takes lives unnecessarily. Drugs are known to cause well over 125,000 deaths per year in the US when taken correctly as prescribed – and still the FDA allows fast-track approvals and countless new additions of poorly tested drugs to the marketplace that must later be withdrawn due to their lethal consequences.
This “FDA approval” makes teens believe that taking a few pills here and there is no big deal, and parents add to this flawed belief by often giving medications to their kids when they’re not really necessary – a practice that often starts at a very young age.
Nearly Half of Parents Give Cold Meds to Kids When They Shouldn’t
In children under the age of 4, common over-the-counter cough and cold medications can lead to allergic reactions, increased heart rate, slow breathing, confusion, hallucinations, drowsiness, sleeplessness, convulsions, nausea and constipation. This is why, since 2008, labels on these drugs state that they’re not intended for children under 4. Yet, according to a new survey, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, more than 40 percent of US parents give these cough and cold medications to their children aged 3 and younger.8
There is a common perception that if you’re coughing, sneezing or have a low-grade fever, you must take a medication to get rid of it. In reality, coughing and sneezing are tools your body uses to get rid of viruses and irritants, and fever also helps to kill bacteria and viruses.
So if you take a drug to stop these natural protections, you are actually stopping your body’s healing process — and in the long run it will likely take you even longer to feel better. That, combined with the serious risks these drugs can pose to children, makes a strong case against their use … yet many parents still reach for such medications at the first hint of a sniffle. For kids, this sends the message that drugs are necessary to make you “feel better” – a belief they may keep when they reach their teenage years …
Novartis Drug Company Being Sued for Illegal Kickback Scheme
You probably wouldn’t trust that a drug dealer on the street had your best interests at heart … you would assume they’re mostly interested in making a profit. But make no mistake – the leading pharmaceutical companies are also among the largest corporate criminals in the world, behaving as if they are little more than white-collar drug dealers.
In one of the most recent examples, the US government sued the drug company Novartis for giving pharmacies discounts and rebates to switch kidney transplant patients from competitors’ drugs to their own anti-rejection drug Myfortic. Medicare and Medicaid reportedly paid tens of millions of dollars in reimbursements to the pharmacies as a result of the illegal kickback scheme, which has reportedly been going on since 2005.
This is not an isolated incident, either. A 2010 study analyzed trends in criminal and civil actions against drug companies, and revealed that the drug industry is the biggest defrauder of the federal government under the False Claims Act.9 Despite stiffer financial penalties, criminal activity has increased dramatically in recent years. These white-collar criminals are the same ones behind the supposedly “safe” medications sitting in your medicine cabinet; if they’re willing to defraud the federal government, what makes you think they’re not willing to defraud you, too?
12 Signs Your Teen May be Abusing Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug abuse often goes unnoticed by parents until it’s too late, so be sure to keep a close eye out for the following signs that your teen may be abusing prescription drugs:
Changes in sleeping habits or energy level Changes in mood or personality Changes in personal hygiene or appearance Changes in friends Loss of appetite Changes in grades or dedication to schoolwork Constricted eye pupils (“pinpoint pupils”), which may be a sign of opiate use Poor decision making Restlessness or impulsive behavior Missing medications around your home Loss of interest in activities, sports, etc. Sudden weight loss
If you notice these signs or otherwise suspect that your teen may be abusing prescription drugs, talk to them immediately about the dangers and seek professional help if necessary.
|Women consuming at last two servings weekly of peaches or nectarines saw a stunning 41 percent risk reduction for postmenopausal ER- breast cancer, while those eating at least one serving of blueberries weekly saw a 31 percent risk reduction, according to one of the…|
|The medical-industrial complex is backtracking heavily these days from recommending that men undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests for prostate cancer, as continually emerging evidence reveals the test to be dangerous, inaccurate, and essentially useless for…|