FOOD & DIET POLITICS
SAVE YOUR LIFE-TAKE ACTION NOW!
OUR FOOD IS OUR MEDICINE AND OUR MEDICINE IS OUR FOOD
We have all been Brainwashed by food companies
-Most people consider a diet without dairy unhealthy, and are convinced that dairy is the best source of calcium for our bones.
-In fact, hip fractures and osteoporosis are much more common in populations with high dairy comsumption. American women consume 32 times the amount of cows milk as women in New Guinea, but suffer 47 times the number of broken hips
-This does not necessarily suggest drinking milk *causes* osteoporosis, but does call into question the relentless advertising from the dairy industry.
-Studies do prove however, that high levels of fruits and veggies are protective against osteoporosis
-In China, osteoporosis is virtually non-existent, yet Chinese consume less than half the amount of calcium than Americans. The Chinese's primary source of calcium is vegetables.
-A diet heavy in animal proteins is highly acidic, and the body releases calcium from the bones to help neutralize the acid. Refined sugar, caffiene, salt, alcohol also are also highly acidic, resulting in calcium loss. (I read in another book that drinking one Coke has a devastating effect on your body's calcium levels)
-Eskimos have the highest hip fracture rate in the world--their primary protien source comes from fish.
-Bottom line is that the calcium your body takes in from veggies is absorbed at a higher rate, and not excreted- meaning your body retains it.
-The only reason cows milk is considered such an important source of calcium is that the American diet is centered on animal foods, refined grains and sugar- all of which are devoid of calcium
-Green veggies are the best because they have so many nutrients in addition to calcium
Here is Fuhrman's bottom line:
"Dairy is best kept to a minimum. There are many reasons not to consume dairy. For example, there is a strong association between dairy lactose and ischemic heart disease. There is also a clear association between dairy products and cancer. There is also a clear association between milk consumption and testicular cancer. Dairy fat is also loaded with toxins and is the primary source of our nation's high exposure to dioxin....Cheese is also a powerful inducer of acid load, which increases calcium loss further."
MEAT EATING POLITICS
We are not meat eaters
You perhaps have heard comments like, “Eating animals is natural. Humans are omnivores, and we’ve eaten meat for thousands of years.” I usually respond by talking about the suffering of animals and explaining that just because something is supposedly “natural” doesn’t mean it’s right. After all, many people used to think that it was natural to enslave other humans!
Humans aren’t omnivores at all; we’re natural herbivores. We thrive best when we eat only plants. Of course, people eat meat all the time, but our bodies are not well-adapted to meat-eating, and as a result, many people face a greater risk for health problems. Saying that humans are natural meat-eaters is like arguing that humans are natural smokers drug addicts.
Unlike all natural carnivores and omnivores, most humans have no instinct or desire to catch living animals, dismember them with their bare hands, and eat them raw. Natural meat-eaters look at a live rabbit or a cow (or even a roadside carcass) with happy anticipation. They can’t wait to kill their prey and gnaw off a leg. In contrast, many people can’t even eat meat that looks too much like the animal it came from; they want their meat skinned and deboned and placed in a plastic-wrapped tray at the grocery store. Even the less squeamish prefer their meat cooked and would rather not slaughter a deer by tearing his throat out with their teeth.
Our anatomy and physiology are those of natural plant-eaters. Human canine teeth are small and blunt, and we have flat molars for grinding up plant fibers. Look at a dog’s or a cat’s teeth and you’ll see something quite different: long, pointed canine teeth for catching prey and tearing the hide and sharp-edged teeth in the back for shearing off chunks of flesh. Humans have hands that are useful for gathering vegetables and fruits but aren’t that good for killing and ripping skin and flesh. Natural carnivores (like cats) and omnivores (like bears) have claws that they use to grasp and tear at their prey. Why do'nt we act the same?
Humans are not designed to easily digest meat. Natural meat-eaters swallow their meat raw after no or minimal chewing, relying on their highly acidic stomach juices to break down the meat and kill the bacteria that cause food poisoning. We chew our food thoroughly, and we have a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme in our saliva to start the digestive process, just as other herbivores do. Without the stomach acidity that carnivores and omnivores have, we are forced to cook our meat to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Like all herbivores, we have a long intestinal tract, which is necessary for the proper digestion of the cellulose in plants. Carnivores and omnivores have shorter intestines, which are designed to quickly digest meat before it begins to rot.
Another clear indication that we are natural herbivores is the fact that eating meat causes us so many health problems. Meat-eaters face a higher risk of heart disease cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and obesity. Natural carnivores can eat lots of animal fat without getting heart attacks, but humans can’t. In fact, a low-fat vegan diet has been shown to not only prevent but also reverse heart disease in humans. People who avoid animal protein also have dramatically lower rates of prostate, colon, and breast cancer.
The invention of factory farms has made animal protein cheap and plentiful. But that doesn’t change our basic biology. Humans are natural herbivores, but we have chosen to eat something that is unnatural and unhealthy for us—meat.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM'S MIRACLE POWER
Our Body fights against TOXICITY and any foreign or dangerous substanece.
On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and make your immune system stronger? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?
The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Quite a number of researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, herbal supplements, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. Although interesting results are emerging, thus far they can only be considered preliminary. That’s because researchers are still trying to understand how the immune system works and how to interpret measurements of immune function. The following sections summarize some of the most active areas of research into these topics. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
Immunity in action
Immunity in action. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens as shown above, where two bacteria that cause gonorrhea are no match for the large phagocyte, called a neutrophil, that engulfs and kills them (see arrows).
Photos courtesy of Michael N. Starnbach, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Adopt healthy-living strategies
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
•Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
•Maintain a healthy weight.
•Control your blood pressure.
•If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
•Get adequate sleep.
•Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
•Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes.
Attempting to boost the cells of the immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what kinds of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.
Scientists do know more about the low end of the scale. When the number of T cells in an HIV/AIDS patient drops below a certain level, the patient gets sick because the immune system doesn’t have enough T cells to fight off infection. So there is a bottom number below which the immune system can’t do its job. But how many T cells is comfortably enough, and beyond that point, is more better? We don’t know.
Many researchers are trying to explore the effects of a variety of factors — from foods and herbal supplements to exercise and stress — on immunity. Some take measures of certain blood components like lymphocytes or cytokines. But thus far, no one really knows what these measurements mean in terms of your body’s ability to fight disease. They provide a way of detecting whether something is going on, but science isn’t yet sufficiently advanced to understand how this translates into success in warding off disease.
A different scientific approach looks at the effect of certain lifestyle modifications on the incidence of disease. If a study shows significantly less disease, researchers consider whether the immune system is being strengthened in some way. Based on these studies, there is now evidence that even though we may not be able to prove a direct link between a certain lifestyle and an improved immune response, we can at least show that some links are likely.
What is an allergic reaction?
An allergic reaction happens when the body’s immune system is triggered by a substance that it thinks is foreign or dangerous but is in fact harmless.
The immune system is brilliant at defending the body from invaders like unfriendly bacteria and viruses (germs...otherwise know as pathogens). Every day you breathe in thousands of them; they are in the air around us all the time. Your immune system identifies and destroys them all. Very occasionally a virus or bacteria will be missed and you catch a cold, get a sore throat or worse. You will soon recover from your cold because the immune system never gives up. Once it realises it has missed an invader it responds to destroy it. That is why you will always recover from a cold. Your immune system will get it in the end!
If you are bitten by an insect you will develop a red itchy lump. This is a sign that your immune system is doing its job killing any germs that may have got into your body.
The immune system is really valuable piece of kit. Without it people die. This is what happens when a person gets AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The HIV virus attacks the immune system and disables it. It’s not the HIV virus that kills the patient it is all the other germs in the victim’s environment that do the damage because the immune system can no longer fight them.
How does the immune system work?
This a very good question. The body has many ways of fighting infection and new mechanisms are still being discovered but the main response goes like this:
Macrophages are white blood cells whose job is to eat and digest foreign bodies and the remainder of old cells. The name comes from ancient Greek and means big eaters (macro = big, phagein = eat). Some of these foreign objects will be germs (viruses and bacteria:a virus causes things like HIV while bacteria causes things like a sore throat). These will be consumed and destroyed. Bits of the pathogen are however kept and displayed on the surface of the macrophage cell. A pathogen is anything that causes a disease.
T-helper cells are also present in the blood, these interact with the macrophage and pick up the message that there are pathogens of this particular type around in the body. The T-helper cell then releases a chemical messenger (interleukin) which causes the body to produce two new kinds of cells: cytotoxic B-cells and T-cells.
T- cells are the hunter killers of the immune system. The T - cells produced will now recognise any cell infected with a pathogen. They will bind to it and release a toxic chemical that kills the infected cell and the pathogen.
The B-cells can also recognise this particular antigen (an antigen kick starts the immune response). They go on to differentiate into plasma cells. These produce millions of antibodies specific to the antigen. An antibody is basically a label that will automatically stick to any pathogen that it finds. It basically says, ‘come and get me boys, I’m dangerous’.
Macrophages then hunt down the labelled pathogens and destroy them. What’s more, some of the B cells change into ‘memory B-cells’. These can hang around in the system for decades carrying millions of antibodies specific to that pathogen.
If the body is ever re-infected with the same pathogen the immune response is very quick and savage. This is why it is so rare to get the same disease twice! Every cold you catch is a new one, as you get older you build up a stock of memory B cells of lots of different types, so tend to get fewer colds!
There is another immune response that is also important. This is the one that can go wrong and cause allergic responses. This one involves mast cells. Mast cells are present mostly in tissue not in the blood stream. Mast cells contain cytoplasmic granules which store chemicals which produce inflammation. The release of these chemicals is known as degranulation and may be caused by injury to the tissues by, impact, cutting, burning, or exposure to chemical toxins like venom. Inflammation is, again, a way the body protects itself.
These chemicals call lots of different types of white blood cell, including B- and T-cells, to the site of the injury to help prevent infection. This increases the blood flow which causes the tissue to swell, increase in temperature and look red. This can all feel rather uncomfortable or painful. It is really a sign that your body is doing its stuff and repairing itself as quickly as possible.
So where does the allergic reaction fit in?
Well, one of the chemicals released when the mast cells degranulate is called histamine. This is a powerful chemical. Amongst other things this is designed to dilate blood vessels. This means the bloody vessels get wider so that more can get to the damaged region carrying the much needed B- and T-cells needed to fight infection. It also causes smooth muscle to contract, or go into spasm. Smooth muscle is responsible for causing contraction in the in the intestine (peristalsis) and is found surrounding all the major airways. Both effects can cause problems if the response is too strong.
Most allergic reactions are annoying but harmless. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. It affects about one fifth of the population in Britain. When plants are producing pollen in spring and summer people are most affected.
Pollen is breathed into the upper airways where an allergic reaction takes place. The mast cells present in the lining of the nose react to the pollen degranulating and dumping Histamine into these tissues. They become inflamed and produce lots of mucus as a result! Bright red eyes and a runny nose! Lovely! This can be very annoying but is not life threatening. They are fairly easily treated with antihistamine drugs which prevent the mast cells from degranulating. Thankfully most allergic reactions are of this type. Some however are not.
This is the most extreme allergic reaction known. The tinniest amounts of allergen can cause a life threatening response from the immune system. Anaphylactic shock, the most severe type of anaphylaxis, occurs when an allergic response triggers a quick release from the mast cells of large quantities of histamines. This causes the veins and arteries to widen (dilate) causing a sudden drop in blood pressure. The smooth muscle surrounding the breathing passages contracts narrowing the airways. Inflammation leads to the mucus membranes going into overdrive producing too much liquid that can block the already dilated passages. Anaphylactic shock can lead to death in a matter of minutes if left untreated.
How do you treat anaphylaxis?
The main treatment is an immediate injection of a dose of adrenalin (epinephrine). Adrenalin is a natural chemical messenger produced by the body, a hormone. Adrenalin acts against all the effects of anaphylaxis. It causes the blood vessels to get narrower (constrict) and combats inflammation. It is really brilliant stuff.
During anaphylaxis, the body tries to produce adrenalin itself but can’t make it in big enough quantities. Sufferers usually carry an EpiPen. This is an autoinjector that contains a big dose of adrenalin. A spring loaded needle shoots out and delivers a large dose of adrenalin straight into the blood stream.
What are the main allergens?
Anaphylaxis can be brought on by any allergen but the most common in Britain are insect stings and food allergies. Most notably peanuts! About 1 in 50 children in Britain have some form of peanut allergy. Have you ever noticed the ‘Can contain traces of peanuts’ warning on food packaging? This doesn’t mean the product deliberately has peanuts in its recipe. It just means that it is made in a factory where peanuts have been used somewhere at sometime. Some people are so sensitive to peanuts that even a few millionths of a gram of the allergen can threaten their lives. This really is very scary for all concerned.
Is there a cure?
Until recently the answer was no. But a team from Addenbrook’s Hospital in Cambridge think otherwise! The treatment may turn out to be surprisingly simple. The team exposed four children to peanuts over a period of six months gradually building up the dose. By the end the children could eat five peanuts a day without showing signs of a reaction.
This may not sound mind blowing but we need to remember that six months previously a single peanut could have put their lives at risk. Every time a person with a peanut allergy thinks about eating just about anything they worry it might kill them. This treatment could help remove the fear and make their lives much less scary. The treatment may not be a permanent cure but as long as sufferers keep on taking their daily dose they should go on remaining tolerant of peanuts.