Archive for October, 2013
Why should you not eat genetically modified organisms (GMO)? According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) (2009), “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GMO food.” The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GMO foods (www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html). Jeffery M. Smith of The Institute for Responsible Technology adds, “The biggest areas of risks being infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, changes in major organs, and the gastrointestinal system.”
I have been a health supplement educator for 17 years, involved in conventional farming for 14 years, and organic farming for the last 13 years. In that time period, I have noticed some of the changes mentioned in the above quote by Jeffery M. Smith, author, politician, and advocate against GMO foods.
Labeling of GMO foods is the only way to have a choice when deciding what to bring home to cook for dinner tonight. There are a couple of websites where you can get information on labeling efforts; www.labelgmos.org and www.justlabelit.org are dedicated to organizing the efforts to have foods labeled. Until the powers that be are convinced that the fair and just way to deal with this issue is a well-informed consumer, a list of Non-GMO verified products can be found at www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo.
October is non-GMO month; though the month is winding down, the issue of GMOs will continue to touch our lives. Today and tomorrow, read our blogs addressing the concerns of GMOs.
Genetically Modified Organisms are not an organisms’ natural state. GMOs are plants that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. There is a huge difference between hybridized corn and a GMO. It’s one thing when you cross two different species of corn, but when you put a fish gene into a tomato, that is pushing the boundaries of science. A growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.
Use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of super weeds and super bugs, which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons. GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve. While I understand the reasoning for creating GMOs to feed our growing population, at what cost is this to human health?
Tomorrow, read the GMO blog written by my fellow supplement educator, Nancy Gardiner.
Fall foliage is fading and snow storms are nearing. According to the laws of nature, winter months are a time to hibernate. Well, I say hiber-not, young lad! Kick winter in the teeth this year by utilizing Mother Nature’s deceiving gift. Get outside and build a snowman, hit the bunny hills for some skiing, or treat your significant other to a romantic evening of ice skating.
Motivate your winter endeavors with supplemental vitamin D. Nearly every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D, including brain cells; and vitamin D plays a role in serotonin and dopamine production. These feel-good chemicals are sure to raise you out of your seasonal slump.
Maintenance dosing for vitamin D is around 2,000 IU per day depending on each individual, but those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may need a higher doseage. Maximize your mood and immune system this long season with vitamin D and some form of physical activity. Snow-blowing doesn’t count!
Joining a gym is a great way to avoid seasonal claustrophobia. Not only is exercise essential for the release of those feel-good chemicals that increase mood, but gyms are usually brightly lit. If you don’t have a light therapy lamp on hand, hit the gym and kill two birds with one stone. Enjoy your winter!
A nutrient commonly depleted by medications is CoQ10. With Lipitor® being the leading selling prescription drug in the United States, one can see why. Lipitor® (Atorvastatin) along with Zocor® (Simvastatin), Mevacor® (Lovastatin), Pravachol® (Pravastatin), Lescol® (fluvastatin), Crestor® (rosuvastatin), and Vytorin® (ezetimibe/simvastatin), also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or statin drugs, decrease the production of cholesterol, but they also decrease this very important cofactor naturally produced by the body. Other medications have also been implicated in CoQ10 depletion.
CoQ10 is necessary for the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which makes energy, is a cofactor necessary for cellular respiration, and an antioxidant.
Some of the consequences of CoQ10 depletion include:
- Muscle weakness
- Cardiovascular disease
- Periodontal disease
- Weakened immunity
- Loss of cognitive function (Alzheimers, Dementia, Parkinsons)
There are many animal and human studies demonstrating the effectiveness of this coenzyme. A double-blind, three-year trial involved administering 100 mg of CoQ10 daily to patients suffering from cardiomyopathy. Results showed a significant increase in ejection fraction (the amount of blood pumped through the heart), increased cardiac muscle strength, and fewer instances of shortness of breath by the 12-week mark. The effects lasted only as long as CoQ10 was being administered. There was 89% improvement in the 80 patients treated.
A direct correlation of CoQ10 deficiency with increased risk of periodontal disease has been established. Symptoms include swelling, bleeding, loose teeth, redness, pain, deep gingival pockets, and exudates.
Tissues involved with immune function require a significant amount of energy. CoQ10 has an “immune enhancing” effect on the human body according to a study that showed an increased immunoglobulin G in the serum of patients taking the nutritional supplement daily for 27 to 98 days. Improving immune function is necessary when treating AIDS, chronic infections (Candidiasis), and cancer. There are no adverse interactions between CoQ10 and any other drug or nutrient.