Alternatives & Traditional

Archive for February, 2013

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Curezone.org Part 2: Ask Moreless

In my opinion the most dangerous sites on Curezone are the Ask Moreless forum, the Liver Flush Support forum, the Cancer Support forum, the Alkaline/Acid Support forum and in my opinion the most dangerous forum the Iodine Supplementation Support Forum by VWT Team.

The basis of the Moreless forum was that all disease was caused by acidity and that a drink composed of calcium hydroxide (lime), lemon juice, organic unsulfured molasses and kelp was a cure-all.

Moreless was also well known for making up his own science and promoting it as fact.  Some of my favorite claims by Moreless were:

Moreless:  The more hydrogen present in a substance the more acidic it is.

Fact:   As I pointed out to Moreless hydrochloric acid contains one hydrogen atom and it is quite acidic.  On the other hand ammonium hydroxide contains 5 hydrogen atoms and yet is highly alkaline.

Moreless:   Sunlight is acidic.

Fact:   Sunlight does not have a pH.  The sun does contain a lot of hydrogen, which was the basis Moreless used for this claim.  But sunlight consists of photons, not hydrogen and therefore does not have a pH.

Moreless:   Acidity turns the tissues in to a puddle of goo.

Fact:  Many parts of the body are naturally acidic and do not turn in to goo.  I asked Moreless about this and why we don’t turn to goo from the acidic protons when we run but he never replied.

Moreless:  High brix foods are healthier than low brix foods.

Fact:  Brix is simply a measurement of sugar content.  As was pointed out to Moreless  Coca Cola has a higher brix reading than produce we consume, but this does not make it healthier.

Moreless:  Nitrogen is a protein.

Fact:  Nitrogen is a gas, not a protein.  Proteins do contain nitrogen though.

Moreless:  Iodine is an acid.

Fact:  Elemental iodine does not have a pH.

Moreless:  Alcohol is a hydrocarbon.

Fact:  Hydrocarbons consist solely of hydrogen and carbon.  Because alcohol also contains oxygen it is not a hydrocarbon.

Moreless:  “Now remember that our body does NOT absorb the foods we eat or the minerals we take, but ONLY the Energy, which becomes Released from our foods or Minerals we ingest!”.

Fact:  If we did not absorb the compounds such as sugars, amino acids and minerals from our foods then there would be nothing to form our tissues, bones, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.   In other words we would not even exist.

Moreless:  Fats are carbohydrates.

Fact:  Fats are composed of fatty acids.  Carbohydrates are long chain sugar molecules.   They are not the same thing.

Moreless:   “Absolutely No Rock or Mineral in rock form or in food form can enter into our body tissues until this mineral has become Released from the food or Rock as Energy!”

My response:   “Wrong again. I can drink a mineral salt and it will absorb with no problem.  Do the minerals have to react with the stomach acid to be utilized by the body?  That depends on the form it is in.  If the mineral is chelated then it will absorb in that chelated form. If it is in a soluble salt then it will absorb as that salt.  If it is in the form of a hydroxide whatever can react with an acid to form a salt can be absorbed, and the rest will pass unabsorbed.  This is why calcium and magnesium hydroxides are so poorly absorbed, especially as we age.  Then we can also demonstrate that this claim is bogus by the fact that minerals given intravenously are still utilized by the body even though they are being put in to an alkaline environment and they are not being reacted with an acid. “

Moreless frequently talked about the dangers of nitrates and nitrites claiming that they led to methemoglobin production causing animals to suffocate.  I found the link where he got the information but he left out the part where is clearly stated that alkalinity in the stomach promoted nitrite formation.  Therefore, by his own argument his alkalinizing drink would poison people:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1449606#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1449657#i

Here are links to some of the other weird and wild claims made by Moreless:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467298#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467777#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467369#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1467791#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1482445#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1415913#i

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1486171#i

Most of what Moreless posted was in a way hilarious because it was just so ridiculous.  On the other hand it was scary to think he was giving health advice and people were actually following him like he was their God.  Here are some examples I addressed:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1468313#i

Moreless is very anti-science and thinks that his supposed success testimonials are the only proof needed to show he knows what he is talking about.  One problem with this though is that Moreless was famous for deleting posts where people reported adverse effects from his protocol, and then banning anyone reporting adverse effects.  Here is one example though of someone being hurt by the Moreless protocol that was posted on my forum so it could not be erased or edited:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1495260#i

Moreless was also famous for re-wording other people’s messages on his forum so that it would appear the person was agreeing with Moreless or praising his protocol.  It was these actions that finally got Moreless banned from Curezone.

Furthermore, testimonials even if true are not proof of anything as I explained in this post:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1470145#i

Moreless relied heavily on recruiting to try his protocol by touting all the testimonials that he had.  A big problem with this though is that there was no way to verify if the testimonials were real or if he had written them himself or edited people’s posts to make them sound positive, which he was known for doing.

I did run across this post from a supporter who had a change of heart:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1709883#i

The biggest concern with the Moreless protocol was his recommendation to use calcium oxide (lime) to make a drink he wanted people to ingest to alkalize the body.   Calcium oxide is the same stuff used to make cement and when you read the bags it clearly warns about not getting it in contact with tissues.  The reason is that calcium oxide when it comes in to contact with water forms calcium hydroxide.  Hydroxides are very caustic and chemically burn the tissues.  Damage from consuming calcium hydroxide can appear immediately or in some cases may not show up for weeks or months.

The danger is not only from the caustic action of calcium hydroxide.  Calcium hydroxide also reacts with stomach acid neutralizing the stomach acid.  Stomach acid is important for a number of reasons, which I addressed in this post I wrote on the subject:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2945

Neutralizing the stomach acid on a regular basis can lead to numerous health problems including nutritional deficiencies, allergic responses, heart disease, increased risk of infections, etc.  These side effects can result from the inability to absorb certain nutrients needed for tissues such as bone.   The vitamins B6, B12 and folate are all involved in the process of methylation, which is required for around 4,000 methylation reactions in the body.  These include controlling allergic responses, digestion, energy formation, immune regulation, reduction of heart disease promoting homocysteine, hormone and neurotransmitter formation, etc.  All three of these vitamins though require sufficient stomach acid for their absorption.  Most pathogens are controlled by acidity and thrive in alkalinity.  Ingesting calcium hydroxide poses a dual danger here.  First of all the hydroxide can burn the tissues damaging them and making them more prone to infection.  In addition, the calcium hydroxide can neutralize the acids that normally help to control pathogens further increasing the risk of infections.

Moreless does recommend adding some lemon juice to his drink, which does contain citric and malic acids.  These mild organic acids will balance out some or all of the calcium hydroxide depending on the amount added.  The problem though is that unless the person has a pH meter to monitor the pH as the lemon juice is added it is impossible to know when enough of the lemon juice is added to neutralize all the caustic calcium hydroxide.  Don’t add enough of the lemon juice and the drink is still caustic.  Add too much and the drink will be acidic, which according to Moreless the acids will turn the body in to a puddle of goo.  Of course I am being sarcastic in the later since the acids produced by the body or that are found in lemon juice will not dissolve the body despite what Moreless claims.  Still there is the risk of hydroxide damage if insufficient lemon juice is added.

I never understood why Moreless did not have people just start with calcium citrate in the first place, which is readily available, is the main salt created by the reaction of calcium hydroxide and lemon juice and does not present the danger of caustic burns.

Various people had complained of being harmed by using the Moreless protocol, but many of the posts were deleted by Moreless.   Some reports can still be found on other boards though that Moreless did not control and I have a message sent to me by a woman asking for advice after being hospitalized for injuries sustained after following the Moreless protocol.

Two other things that really concern me about the Moreless protocol are the high amount of calcium and the iron from the blackstrap molasses.

Calcium is important to the body, but like anything can be a problem if in excess or not balanced.  Calcium is a muscle contractor for the body.  For example, the process of rigor mortis when a person dies involves the influx of calcium in to the muscles causing them to go in to a strongly contracted state until enzymes finally break down the muscle tissue.   Excessively high serum calcium can cause confusion, depression, high blood pressure, increased risk of asthma attacks, constipation, migraines, muscle cramps, etc.  Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are used to treat various conditions such as high blood pressure and migraines because they prevent calcium from entering the muscle tissue of blood vessels keeping them relaxed.  In holistic medicine and even in hospitals for the treatment of preeclampsia associated hypertension (high blood pressure) magnesium is used to lower calcium induced high blood pressure.

My concern here is that the high amount of calcium poses to many potential problems primarily from calcium induced constriction of blood vessels.  The resultant decrease in blood flow could theoretically even increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes as other blood vessel constricting agents are known for.  Because of this calcium should always be balanced out with sufficient magnesium to maintain the muscle regulatory actions of calcium-magnesium.

As with calcium, iron is essential to the body but dangerous in excess.  Excess iron can lead to increased infections, oxidative tissue damage and can promote cancer.

There is also a condition that used to be considered very rare but is now considered common known as hemochromatosis.  In this condition there is a buildup of excess iron in the body leading to various health problems and can be fatal.  People with hemochromatosis are advised to avoid iron sources and often undergo regular phlebotomy to remove excess iron from the system.

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Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Part 2 Curezone.org Introduction

I started posting on Curezone about 5 years ago.  The moderators liked the detailed posts I wrote explaining health so much that I had several moderators asking me if I wanted my own forum.  Because of time restrictions I originally did not want to have my own forum.   After having my information altered and censored on various Curezone boards because the evidence was contradictory to the moderators of certain boards I finally decided I needed my own forum.  This way I could post evidence without moderators altering, moving or deleting my posts just because the evidence was contradictory to their beliefs.  I aptly named my forum “The Truth in Medicine”.  The archives can be found here:

http://curezone.com/forums/f.asp?f=980

In the time I was on Curezone my forum climbed to 25th position in the top 300 forums and has been still climbing despite my not being there anymore.  Currently The Truth in Medicine is in 23rd place with all the forums ahead being on Curezone for many more years than my forum.   The reason my forum climbed so fast and has continued to climb is simple.  People are putting their health and lives as well as the health and lives of their family and friends in the hands of someone they never met in person.  Therefore, people have to put their trust in the information being presented to them.  Curezone is full of outright ridiculous claims, recommendations from people who have no idea how the body works, people there just to try to sell their products at any cost,  people who are simply repeating what they read somewhere on a sales or propaganda site and people who think the only evidence required are unsubstantiated testimonials.  My forum was one of the few on Curezone where the owner had a medical background and where evidence from actual studies were being presented.

I had repeatedly stated that the concept of Curezone was great, but not the way it was run.  Curezone was overrun by Internet trolls who continually harassed or had banned anyone posting evidence against bogus claims and therapies being presented.  And the rules were very selectively enforced to suppress information that moderators did not agree with.  I actually held the distinction of being banned from more forums than anyone else ever in Curezone history.  Not because I violated the Terms of Service (TOS), but because I was posting actual studies proving that information being presented was not only wrong, but dangerous.   For example, I discussed being banned from the Adrenal Support forum for posting the dangers of ingesting caustic calcium hydroxide here:

http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1822388#i

I was even banned from all the debate forums by the Webmaster for the same reason while the trolls who were repeatedly violating the TOS were given free reign.   Entire threads were even dedicated solely to conduct personal attacks against me and personal attacks were allowed against anyone supporting me in direct violation of TOS and not one of these Internet trolls were banned from Curezone, nor were their personal attacks removed.  One of the moderators who promotes a worthless cancer therapy called “oleander soup” sent out a series of messages to other Curezone members trying to recruit them to join in on his campaign of personal attacks against me.  Messages to the Webmaster that included evidence of these TOS violations only resulted in my being banned from more forums by the Webmaster instead of banning the TOS violators. Why?  Because many claims I was exposing as quackery and the TOS violations were being made by Curezone moderators were also advertising their products on Curezone.  Therefore, profits were being put before health and safety on Curezone.  Ironically, this is the same thing that so many people on Curezone complain the pharmaceutical companies are doing.

It is also ironic that the motto for Curezone is “educating instead of medicating”.  Why is this ironic?  Well first of all how are people being educated when the heavy hand of censorship is being wielded on Curezone?  The only information that is allowed are statements the moderators agree with regardless If it is true or not.  The other irony about the motto has to do with the fact of how often pharmaceutical drugs are pushed on Curezone.  For example, one of the largest sites on Curezone, and from what I heard the founder of the forum is also one of the people who founded Curezone, is the “Iodine Supplementation Support Forum by VWT Team”.  This site routinely promotes toxic levels of Lugol’s iodine, which the forum owner sells.  Lugol’s iodine is not a natural product though, but rather a pharmaceutical drug.  This is not educating, but rather medicating with toxic levels of a drug.  More on that later.  I have also seen various other pharmaceutical drugs pushed on Curezone including Fluconazole on the Candida Support forum and steroids on the Adrenal Support forum.  On the Cancer Support forum the moderator pushes oleander extracts for cancer and other diseases.  The extracts he promotes include pharmaceutical oleander extracts, which have been shown to be ineffective for cancer in human trials.

If the Webmaster of Curezone wishes to be honest then the motto of Curezone should be changed to “Doing whatever it takes to make a profit regardless of who gets hurt”.

Another problem I had with Curezone is that warning of potential dangers was never allowed on support forums.  “Support” was defined as agreeing with the moderator’s opinions.  It does not include safety tips or warning of potential dangers. The first forum I was ever banned from was the “Liver Flush Support” forum.  I was banned for posting there is a risk of lodging a real stone in the bile ducts, which can lead to pancreatitis and require emergency surgery.  Such cases have been reported in the medical journals after people attempted these so-called “liver flushes”.  In my view support should include any and all helpful information, which includes potential dangers.  Otherwise, someone may not realize what is going on and get the proper help if such an event does occur.  I found out though that such warnings will get you banned from a number of Curezone forums.

Such heavy handed censorship really discredits sites like Curezone.  The vast majority of people running Curezone forums have no medical background at all and don’t even know how to research for or interpret medical studies.  Therefore, they simply repeat they read on sales or propaganda sites without ever bothering to verify if the claims have any truth to them.  For example, I have seen it stated on Curezone over and over that Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize for showing that cancer resulted from a lack of oxygen.  This, or variations of this claim, are commonly made on various websites particularly selling oxygenating or alkalizing products.  The problem is that this is not what Warburg won the Nobel Peace prize for, nor did he ever claim that cancer resulted from a lack of oxygen.  Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for discovering a respiratory enzyme he called “iron oxidase”.   Furthermore, Warburg never claimed that cancer resulted from a lack of oxygen.  Warburg claimed that cancer would continue to ferment REGARDLESS of how much oxygen was present.  In fact, we know today that cancer cells actually rely quite heavily on oxygen and respiration.

This is a good example of why researching claims is so important.  Otherwise the same old misinformation just keeps getting recycled over and over misleading people and putting their health at risk.

Different views should be allowed.  For example, I allowed debate on my forum and I still do on MedCapsules.com as long as it is actual debating and it is kept civil.  Debate involves taking stand on a view and presenting evidence to back that view.  Debate is not simply repeatedly saying someone you disagree with is wrong without presenting evidence to back that claim.  It is not name calling either.  I have banned people previously for both actions, but when people actually debated civilly I allowed it because it served several important actions.  First and foremost it requires the presentation of evidence to back the claims.  Not opinions or hearsay, but actual evidence.  Secondly, researching claims to back a stance in a debate increases the knowledge of a subject as the person finds new research on the subject.  It also allows other research to be presented and reviewed to see if any of the research was manipulated or misinterpreted so that old outdated or simple misinformation gets discarded rather than repeated.

Debate is not allowed on Curezone though, even in the debate forums.  If evidence is presented in the debate forums that the moderators disagree with the messages are deleted and the poster is banned from the forum.  Therefore, evidence of quackery nor safety issues behind claims are not allowed unless in line with the moderators beliefs.  You can say that chemotherapy is dangerous and can kill you, but you are not allowed to point out that excess alkalinity is dangerous and can kill you.

Interestingly, one of the arguments I have heard numerous times on Curezone when updated research is presented is that current ideas get changed in the future as new research shows something different.   This is true in some cases, but not always.  For example, it has been known that blood is pumped by the heart for hundreds of years, but this finding has never been discredited with new research.  When it fits their needs though, this principle no longer applies.  Research for example has proven that the big, squishy green blobs passed from doing the so-called “liver flushes” are saponified oil.  This has been confirmed by actual analysis of these blobs by laboratories.  Despite this fact the “liver flush supporters still claim these are real gallstones because this is the misinformation that has been passed down for around a century.

The other tactic I ran in to repeatedly on Curezone when I presented solid evidence against claims being made on Curezone was the chronic name calling.  I had been called everything from the Devil to a quack on Curezone for presenting proof of quackery on Curezone.  More commonly I was referred to as a pharmaceutical shill since the Curezone trolls had nothing to counter my evidence with.  Anyone knowing me though knows that I am highly against pharmaceutical drugs and don’t believe in most medical procedures except in very extreme cases.  This is why I have written extensively about the dangers of various pharmaceutical drugs, false claims made about their effectiveness, medical corruption, how often unnecessary medical procedures are performed, the high inaccuracies of many lab tests, etc.  I have not even been to a doctor myself in 32 years because I have personally witnessed more than enough medical malpractice and quackery by allopathic doctors.  All this gets ignored on Curezone though since facts and evidence are considered highly taboo on most of Curezone.

I have watched activity drop drastically on Curezone over the last year as people realize that Curezone is not a very credible source of health information.  Many of the most informative posters have also left because they did not want to deal with the extreme politics of Curezone where if you are not part of the Curezone troll clique they make sure you know it.  This has also left a large number of people simply too afraid of posting any questions or answers because they have seen other harassed relentlessly on Curezone for simply disagreeing with a protocol, posted evidence to the contrary, posted dangers or mentioned they had side effects to a certain protocol.  One doctor on Curezone, Dr. Lam who was very much in to supporting the adrenals with vitamin C and herbs was harassed so bad he finally left as well.   In my personal case the harassment even included a threat sent to me by one Curezone poster who frequents the Cancer Support forum  and I have had others post things on my old personal message board that was so derogatory that I would not even repeat what was written.  Other Curezone trolls even used my icon and tried to impersonate me to make it sound like I was agreeing with their false claims.

It is really a shame the way Curezone is run because it really is a good concept.  Promoting so much quackery though, censoring real research and prohibiting any posts other than those that are in line with the moderator’s opinion don’t do anyone any good.  Worse yet, such actions are very detrimental to the holistic medicine field.  Holistic medicine is always under a microscope unlike allopathic medicine.   Hundreds of thousands of people can die as a result from chemotherapy and nobody pays attention.  One person dies from a holistic therapy and it is front page news.  When Curezone promotes quackery and suppresses actual functional and safe holistic therapies supported by studies this gives the FDA and other groups more ammunition against the holistic health field.  If we are ever to get holistic medicine to be accepted in the same manner as allopathic medicine then proven bogus therapies such as “liver flushing” need to be stop being promoted and the proven therapies need to be brought back to the forefront.

Aside

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Part 1 NaturalNews.com

When I first found out about NaturalNews.com I would check it out occasionally but did not spend much time reading their stuff.  One of my regular posters on my “The Truth in Medicine” forum had complained about the site several times so I started reading some of the articles from the site to find out why.  It did not take long to get my answer.

Natural News seems like a haven for conspiracy hypothesists, the world is coming to an end fear mongers,  scam artists and people just wanting to jump on to whatever bandwagon happens to be the target of the moment.

Health misinformation abounds on the site.  I have responded to some of the articles in an attempt to clear up some of the misleading and misinformative claims made in some of the articles.  There is just too much to address it all though.

As a great example look at this piece of highly sensationalized piece of false propaganda:

http://www.naturalnews.com/035276_Pepsi_fetal_cells_business_operations.html

Obama agency rules Pepsi’s use of aborted fetal cells in soft drinks constitutes ‘ordinary business operations’

Not only did they manage to lie about there being aborted fetal cells in Pepsi, they also managed to make the issue political by bashing Obama, which has nothing to do with the topic.  The cell line referred to in the article came out in the 70’s, long before the Obama administration.

The scary part was not this science fiction article but rather the fact that so man of the reader actually fell for it hook, line and sinker.  Are we really developing a country where people are incapable of using rational thought and thinking for themselves?  Just read though the comments section and read how comments refer to cannibalism and “soylent green”.  How can this be cannibalism when these cells, which are cultured cells are not even in the product.  People apparently just rad the headline and decided it must be true without ever investigating to find out the story was yet another fabrication of the truth so common on Natural News.  Here is a copy of my comment on the article:

This is a great example of why I don’t pay much attention to Natural News. There is too much sensationalistic journalism with political pot shots whenever possible rather than factual and relevant reporting. For instance look at how they found an angle to make this in to a political issue by blaming the Obama administration who has nothing to do with the original production of the cell line.

People who hate will find any excuse to hate. That is why people keep bashing Obama when Obama is not in charge. Big business runs this country by buying off politicians Democrat and Republican. So to keep bashing Obama either means the person has no clue how the government runs or they are simply looking for anyone to bash so they jump on the Obama bashing bandwagon.

It can be very entertaining though on occasion if you are in to science fiction. And I get a real good laugh reading some of the responses from the sheeple that fall for this crap.

For instance, look at how many people keep making this an issue about abortion and cannibalism. Not only are these cultured cells not aborted cells, but they are not even in the product. But still people fell for the bogus claims hook, line and sinker because people are learning more and more to not think for themselves and to ignore common sense. For example, how many of the people falsely claiming this is cannibalism have stopped to think that they have committed cannibalism themselves? If you are one of these people think about it. Have you ever kissed someone? If you have then some of their cells have ended up in your mouth where you have swallowed them thus making you a cannibal. So did those human cells you consumed taste better than Pepsi?

Another poster put up this link to a more accurate article on the subject:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/01/27/fetal-cells-in-soda-not-quite-the-discomfort-behind-the-controversy/

Did these people who are boycotting Pepsi based on this bogus propaganda article ever stop to think that Pepsi is not the only company using this cultured cell line?  How many of the other products they are consuming have also used these cultured cells to test the potential effects on taste buds?  Probably most commercial foods.

The article was clearly not to promote the truth, but rather to draw in the gullible and to use the article as a political platform to bash the President and so many of the articles on Natural News do.  Unfortunately, all this really does is to discredit Natural News even further while giving a bad name to the whole holistic field.  Other people will see all the bogus propaganda on Natural News and say “see, those holistic people are just a bunch of whack jobs that will believe anything”.  It is really a shame that anyone would run their business this way just to sell products and to boost their own political agenda.

But it is also extremely irritating.  I have been working hard for decades to try and get holistic medicine more accepted by correcting misinformation being blindly repeated and showing how much research there really is backing holistic medicine.  All of this does not mean much though when you have propaganda sites posting such ludicrous information that people will continue to fall for.  Why? Because most people are attracted to negativity.  I could post 500 studies proving the benefit of a particular herb and there could be one study claiming a potential danger and that will be the one study most people and the media will focus on.  Don’t believe it?  Watch the stories on vitamins and herbs reported in the media.  Very few are positive.  For example, recall the recent news reports claiming that vitamins were linked to a higher death rate in women?  Despite the fact that numerous studies prove otherwise this is the one study the media picked up on despite the study not only being highly skewed but also highly flawed.  The mainstream media was simply doing the same thing Natural News does, which is to provide sensationalistic propaganda to meet the desires of the masses that thrive on the negativity.

Interestingly I tried applying as a writer for Natural News because I thought it would be easier to write the articles rather than responding to misinformation in articles in the comments section.  The owner of Natural  News basically makes you jump through hoops to write for him making sure that if you do write for Natural News that you only write in agreement with his opinions. Since I did not agree 100% with his opinions I was turned down.  Apparently evidence based holistic medicine articles are not in line with the Natural News program.

Recently I found out that this also applies to commenting on his articles.  I ran across an article written by Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger” who owns Natural News.  The article was the worst piece of yellow journalism I have seen in a long time.  Here is a link to the article:

http://www.naturalnews.com/039211_organic_food_natural_products_industry_secrets.htmlI

I responded to the article in the comments section with the following:

There are a few things you over looked in your article.

First of all not all of the herbs coming out of China are grown in China.  China actually imports many herbs that they process there then redistribute. For example, I have seen nopales (prickly pear cactus) grown in Mexico, which was processed in to powder or extracts in China and is then being sold by the Chinese vendors.

Secondly, China is really no worse than any other country.  The U.S. for example also has heavily contaminated soil from various sources.  For example, do you what is one the highest lead containing beverage products in the world?  California wines.  All the lead from the decades of using leaded gasoline did not evaporate, it deposited in the soil where it was picked up by plants.  This included the grape vines that produce the grapes used to make wine.  Look some time as to how many grape vineyards are located right next to major freeways.  Same reason bone meal has often been found to be high in lead.  The cows were not born with the high levels of lead.  The lead was picked up from the soil by pants that the cows then ate.

By California’s own laws banning products with a certain level of lead I seriously doubt that most if not all of California’s wines would be legal.  Of course they are not going to mention that fact since the wine industry is so big in California.

There are also organic farms up in Washington state.  So what about all the radioactive material the government was deliberately releasing from the Hanford Nuclear power Plant for decades to test the effects of the radiation on the surrounding public?  All those radioactive isotopes did not evaporate either.  Like the lead in California those isotopes have deposited in the soil.

To achieve an “organic” certification only requires that no herbicides or pesticides have been used for a certain number of years.  Does this mean that organic cleaner and safer than non-organic crops?  Not really.  Again people tend to overlook several important points.

First of all herbicides and pesticides can survive in the soil much longer than the time required for non-use to achieve organic certification.  DDT for example despite being banned is still in our soils as it takes about 100 years to break down.   Systemic takes about 30 years to break down.

Secondly, those plants need to be watered.  Most “organic” farms are irrigated by surface water that has traveled down from the mountains past all sorts of cities and non-organic farms picking up all sorts of pollutants before irrigating those “organic” crops.  Even if watered from underground water sources this does not make it clean.  Underground water sources can be naturally or artificially contaminated from various sources such as naturally occurring heavy metals or fluoride to contaminates from leaking septic systems, agricultural runoff or fracking.

Finally, nearly every company producing supplements these days are using GMP certified products.  In order to get and maintain GMP certification all herbs coming in must be tested over and over and over and over for contaminates such as heavy metals and pathogens.  If these herbs do not meet certain extremely strict standards they cannot be used in the manufacturing process.  It does not matter if the herbs are coming from Taiwan, China, Europe, the U.S. or any other country, they are all subjected to the same exact stringent regulations.

Both raw material suppliers who import these herbs as well as manufacturers that directly import are well aware of these standards and therefore test every batch that comes through their doors multiple times since any batches contaminated beyond regulations cannot be used.  Imagine importing several tons of an herb that fails testing.  This would be a costly mistake for either a raw material supplier or a manufacturer.  Therefore, importers will request samples of the batches first for testing, then test the actual batch coming in multiple times to make sure that they match up.  When packaged batches of the final product are finished samples of all the final products must again be tested to meet GMP guidelines.  If raw material suppliers or manufacturers import and sell herbs that do not meet regulatory standards these companies are not going to stay in business very long.  If the herb exporters sell herbs not conforming to regulatory standards then they are going to develop a bad reputation for selling unusable herbs and companies are going to stop buying from them.  Therefore, the herb export companies have also cleaned up their act and have much more stringent controls on the herbs they export these days.  Therefore, the problem is not as bad as it is being hyped up to be.

Several other of my comments were deleted including one addressing another comment made by Mike Adams.  The comment was regarding his claims that Chinese chlorella  was more contaminated than the Taiwan chlorella he was bringing in to sell.  I was curious about his dubious claims so I did a little research comparing the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for several chlorella sources from both China and Taiwan.  What I found was that not only was there only an insignificant difference in the amount of heavy metals between the two products, but also that in some cases the content of certain heavy metals was higher in the Taiwanese chlorella.  Therefore, this evidence clearly contradicted his sales hype.  Being that Mike Adams clearly stated that the Taiwanese chlorella “is the most expensive in the world, at wholesale”.  How is he going to justify the significantly higher cost of the Taiwanese chlorella he plans to sell unless he bashes all the competing chlorellas with false information, especially the biggest source, which happens to be China.  Keep in mind that as I pointed out that just because the herbs are sold from China this does not mean that they were grown there.

Writing multiple articles though bashing China for its pollution problem in order to make it appear his source of herbs is cleaner despite the COAs showing differently is an interesting, although very deceptive sales tactic.

Mika Adams made a few other comments in his article that also made me skeptical of his whole sales spiel.  According to his sales pitch Adams claims that none of the 17 samples he supposedly had tested from 4 different countries showed any detectable levels of Mercury.   Yet looking at the COAs for chlorella from Taiwan Chlorella Manufacturing Company shows detectable levels of mercury in several of their samples.  The levels were in extreme trace amounts, but still within the detection limit.

Adams also makes sure to bring up the amount of aluminum in Chinese chlorella even though he admits  that the level is far below the content of many common foods.  The ironic part was his comment “Bottom line: Aluminum should be AVOIDED in your diet as much as possible. This metal has no beneficial role in human biology beyond trace amounts” being that he sells a zeolite product in his store.  Zeolites are ALUMINUM silicates, the same form of aluminum found in virtually all plants we consume including chlorella.

Once again sales hype meets reality.

Overall, if I had to rate this site on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give the site maybe a 3 only because there are some occasional tidbits of accurate information.  The site is so chock full of misinformation and misleading information to make it a credible health site.

In addition, a large percentage of the posts have nothing to do with health or healing.  Many of the posts are simply anti-government and political rantings among other non-health topics.  Curezone uses the same tactic in an attempt to boost their search engine rankings by increasing key words on the site.  This also increases the likelihood that people will find the site since people not searching for health information will find their site as the search engines pulls up non-health keywords such as voter fraud or gun control.  The stories are greatly sensationalized to further draw in certain groups, especially those who believe in any conspiracy tale they hear.

Call me old fashioned, but if I go to a health site for health information I want to see substantiated, solid health information.  I don’t go to health sites to read about conspiracy hypotheses about how the government wants to put us all in concentration camps or other bogus claims like the government is trying to reduce the population by feeding everyone soy.

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Introduction

The Internet has made the searching for and sharing of health information much easier than in the old days when this generally meant hours in a medical library.  Along with this ease of information access has come the problem of health misinformation becoming rampant on the Internet.

Some of this misinformation simply comes from sales sites trying to hype up their products or bash their competitors for their own agenda.  Other misinformation can come from simple misconceptions of how the body works or repetition of misinformation.

The later reminds me of the commercial where they say they cannot put it on the Internet if it is not true.  Unfortunately, there are people who actually do seem to think this is true.  For example,  I have been in so many debates with people who think that the big squishy blobs they pass from the so-called “liver flushes” are actually real gallstones just because they read on the internet that they are.  This despite the fact that those big, squishy blobs do not have the shape, texture, color, density or much of anything else in common with real gallstones.

Part of the problem is that it is human nature to be attracted to negativity.   If there is a bad accident people do their best to get a glimpse.  If someone is going to jump off a building people gather around and some may even encourage the jumper.  And people do not watch NASCAR races to see the cars go round and round, they want to see the carnage of wrecks.  When it comes to health information there is not much of a difference.  People tend to believe anything negative they see or read, which has led to so many myths about health and health products being spread on the Internet.  For example, how many people fell for the canola oil myths such as its mustard oil being used to make the chemical warfare agent mustard gas?  Mustard gas is a completely synthetic chemical that has nothing to do with canola or any other plant.  Then there is all the misinformation about soy, which I have addressed numerous times previously such as these posts:

http://medcapsules.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=106

Another part of the problem is that people often do not want to take the time or to put in the effort in to verifying claims.  They want information spoon fed to them.

Once an idea is learned it is hard for people to give up that idea because they are used to an comfortable with that idea.  Furthermore, if they fell for obviously ridiculous claims they may feel ashamed because they fell for the sham.  Take for example someone who repeatedly picked through their feces to collect those big, squishy blobs they were told were gallstones.  Even though they have no characteristics of real gallstones, they are too large to pass through the bile ducts, they are often reported in amounts larger than the gallbladder can hold, they melt unlike real gallstones, etc. people still fall for this scam.   When all this evidence is presented to them proving that those blobs are not real gallstones, but rather saponified oil, they often continue to argue that they are real gallstones because they do not want to admit they were duped.  As evidence to this see my videos on the “liver flush” scam and the replies to the videos.   The playlist for all 11 videos can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNqWHZj4fMo&feature=PlayList&index=0&list=PL55328493D7C85E66

I have spent decades writing about health information and trying to correct rampant health misinformation in both allopathic and holistic medicine.  When the Internet came about I started posting on various health boards posting evidence against many claims. Unfortunately, this has also led to my being banned from numerous boards.  For example, I was banned from the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society message boards after posting medical journal abstracts proving the viral links to leukemias and lymphomas.  After all,  if they admit the cause of these cancers then next comes the proof of cures since there are various ways to destroy these cancer viruses.  And since there are already cures for these cancers this means there is no reason for their existence since their goal is to con people out of their money to fund their executive salaries and expenses.  I was also banned from another health message board after proving how inaccurate HIV testing was including the fact that hepatitis can cause false positive HIV tests.  I later found out the board was actually run by a pharmaceutical company.

Allopathic sites are not the only sources of such censorship though.  I was banned from numerous boards on Curezone.org  for providing evidence against many of the claims being made on the site.  Eventually I was completely banned for posting evidence that the amounts of iodine that were being recommended on the iodine support forum were causing iodine poisoning that the sellers were falsely blaming on a “bromine detox”.

Bottom line is that if you are going to get your health advice from the internet you should research the claims from various non-commercial sites to find out if the information is factual or hype.

The next  series of blog posts are going to cover details from some of the Internet sites I have dealt with or studied explaining why I would not recommend them as sources of health information.

Natural Prevention of Migraines

Migraines start when the blood vessels around the brain constrict tightly.  These blood vessels then rebound vasodilate causing them to leak leading to inflammation.

There can be multiple triggers for migraines including dietary amines, allergies, hormones, bright lights, etc.  Therefore, anyone suffering from migraines should keep a migraine log to look for their trigger so the trigger can be addressed as well.  A migraine log consists of keeping a list of whatever was eaten, or drunk, what you were exposed to (fumes, pollen, etc.), if a woman is it near her menstrual cycle, bright lights, etc. prior to the migraine.  Keeping a migraine log though can help narrow down the possible causes.  For example do they come on after ingesting foods or beverages containing tyramines?  Are they triggered off by smells or bright lights?  Did you ingest anything you were allergic to within the previous couple of days?………….

The best supplements for migraines are magnesium, coleus forskohlii (aka forskohlii) and kudzu.  

Magnesium deficiencies are common and can lead to a host of problems, including frequent migraines.  An influx of calcium causes blood vessels to contract, leading to the initial constriction.  Magnesium is a calcium antagonist, and relaxes blood vessels to help prevent the initial vasoconstriction that precedes migraines.  For this reason the magnesium should be taken by itself, not with any calcium.  This includes with foods that may contain calcium.  

I recommend taking the magnesium on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before meals. Recommended dose is 300mg twice daily, morning and afternoon, on an empty stomach.  

If you take a calcium/magnesium supplement this is best taken at night before bed.  

Not all magnesium supplements are the same.  Magnesium oxide is the most commonly sold magnesium supplement due to being the least expensive form of magnesium.  Magnesium oxide though is poorly absorbed, neutralizes the stomach acid leading to various health problems and is used as a laxative because it burns the intestinal wall.  The best forms of magnesium are magnesium malate or citrate.  Magnesium itself as well as the acids used to make these forms of magnesium supplements, malic acid and citric acid, not only enhance absorption, but they also contribute to increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  ATP is the fuel that helps cells function and function properly.

Forskohlii and kudzu are both vasodilators to help prevent the initial vasoconstriction. Recommended dose is 2 capsules of either herb 3 times daily before meals, and in addition at the first signs of an impending migraine.

Forskohlii not only helps prevent the initial vasoconstriction, but forskohlii is also anti-inflammatory.  Forskohlii’s anti-inflammatory effects comes from fosrskohlii’s ability to block both inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

Kudzu is preferred if there are hormonal imbalances since it also aids in hormone balance.  

For hormonal induced migraines digestive bitters are the quickest way to help normalize the hormones.  When bitters come in to contact with the bitter receptors of the tongue they stimulate the receptors, which in turn stimulates the vagus nerve.  Vagus stimulation increases output of digestive secretions, which is how they got the name digestive bitters.  Bitters also improve liver function though where excess hormones are broken down in the body.   

Bitters are sold in health food stores under names such as  Chinese Bitters, Grape Bitters, Swedish Bitters, etc. 

Recommended use is ½ dropper full on the tongue three times daily before meals.  It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day when using bitters to help with removal of toxins, including excess hormones, being processed by the liver.

Bitters are not recommended though in the cases of peptic ulcer since bitters increase stomach acidity and if the gallbladder has been removed since bitters increase bile release.

Rice bran or oat bran can also help with hormone balance since they are both good sources of B vitamins needed by the liver to break down excess hormones.  These fibers also feed the intestinal flora, which also produce B vitamins for the body and further break down hormone metabolites.

I prefer rice bran since it also contains gamma oryzanol that helps with hormone balance.

Understanding Heart Arrhythmias and Treating Arrhythmias Naturally

Heart arrhythmias occur from what are known as ectopic pacemakers. These are heart cells that try to act as nodes that fire off electrical impulses to control heart contractions.

A very basic description of how things normally work is that the sinoatrial (SA) node fires off an electrical charge that leads to contraction of the atria. This is the first sound you hear in the heartbeat. Then the electrical charge travels to the atrioventricular (AV) node causing the ventricles to contract giving the second sound in the heartbeat. Thus we hear a lub, lub…….lub, lub…….. lub, lub in a normal heartbeat.

When there is a decrease of blood flow or oxygen to the heart muscle cardiac irritability develops and individual cells in the heart try acting as nodes themselves. So the SA and AV nodes still fire off, but additional cells trying to act as nodes also fire off throwing the heart rhythm off. So instead of lub, lub…….lub, lub…….. lub, lub you may get something like lub, lub, lub…….lub, lub, lub…….. lub, lub,lub…..

In severe cases there can be multiple cells in a portion of the heart all trying to act as nodes causing spasms of the heart muscle.  This condition is referred to as fibrillation.

Decreased blood flow is the most common reason for arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm) such as palpitations or fibrillation.  The decrease in blood flow can occur from excessive calcium contracting the blood vessels, arterial plaque, thrombus or embolus, excess epinephrine (adrenaline) release from high emotional stress or allergic reactions, elevated insulin levels in diabetes or severe drops in blood pressure.  The decreased blood flow to the heart decreases oxygen levels to the heart leading the heart to work harder to increase blood flow to itself.  This can exacerbate the condition though if the body does not find a way to increase blood flow such as through the release of prostaglandins or nitric oxide.

As a side note here it is often recommended people take aspirin to prevent a heart attack and even worse to take an aspirin during a heart attack.  Aspirin, or other NSAID therapies can actually contribute to arrhythmias and promote heart attacks:

https://medreview.wordpress.com/2006/12/31/aspirin-and-heart-attacks/

Damage (scar tissue) in the heart muscle is a less common reason for arrhythmias.

Natural methods of dealing with heart arrhythmias include:

*Magnesium- Magnesium works like a natural calcium channel blocker (CCB).  Calcium causes muscles, such as blood vessels, to contract.  Contraction of the blood vessels leads to an elevation of blood pressure and decreased blood flow, which dilates blood vessels increasing blood flow to the heart.  CCBs are used to lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering the muscles of blood vessels causing the blood vessels to relax.  Magnesium works because it is a calcium antagonist.  Magnesium forces calcium out of the blood vessels causing them to relax.

Magnesium also displaces calcium from calcified arterial plaque making it easier for the body to remove the plaque.  This further improves blood flow to the heart over time.

Acidified forms of magnesium are the best absorbed and most effective. These include magnesium malate and magnesium citrate.  I also prefer malate or citrate because the acids used to form these salts, malic acid and citric acid, like magnesium raise adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.  ATP is the fuel for cells that not only allows them to function, but to function properly.  For example, many people take CoQ10 to promote proper heart function.  As with magnesium, malic acid and citric acid, CoQ10 elevates ATP levels to the heart muscle.

Magnesium oxide should be avoided.  Magnesium oxide in contact with water forms the caustic magnesium hydroxide.  Magnesium hydroxide is poorly absorbed and it neutralizes stomach acid leading to a whole host of problems.  The hydroxide though also burns the intestinal wall leading to an influx of water and increased peristalsis.  This is why magnesium hydroxide is sold as a laxative under names such as Milk of Magnesia.

*Cactus grandiflorus (night blooming cereus)-Cactus grandiflorus is a very weak cardiac glycoside source. Cardiac glycosides slow the heart rate, increase contractile force and dilate blood vessels. Therefore cardiac glycosides are used to improve heart function, especially in cases of congestive heart failure, and to lower blood pressure.

*Lily of the valley. This is a slightly stronger cardiac glycoside source.

*Coleus forskohlii (aka forskohlii).  Coleus forskohlii is also a weak source of cardiac glycosides.  Forskohlii also elevates levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which is an extremely important chemical messenger for the body.  Among its many effects, cAMP acts as an antihistamine, which reduces the release of blood vessel constricting epinephrine during exposure to allergens.

Combining nettle leaf with forskohlii will prolong the effects of the forskohlii.

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