Is This The New Cancer Killer?

In 2014, researchers grew breast cancer tumors in a group of lab mice. Then they exposed the tumors to a powerful anti-inflammatory. Growth slowed. Cancer cells began to die off. The tumors shrank.

The compound the researchers used has no side serious effects – even in large doses. It’s proven safe in thousands of animal and human studies. It’s cheap, easy to find, and 100% natural.

So what is this miraculous cancer killer?

It’s curcumin. That name may not sound familiar. But this one probably will: turmeric. Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow color. It does a lot more, too.

For centuries, Ayurvedic healers in India used turmeric for inflammatory diseases. New studies show it may also be one of the most effective anti-cancer agents ever discovered.

Power Against Dozens of Cancers

Curcumin has been tested against all sorts of cancers – in the lab, in animals, and even in humans. As an anti-inflammatory, curcumin affects cancer development in several different ways.

Curcumin interferes with pro-cancer enzymes. It blocks inflammatory molecules. It inhibits growth factors. And it triggers apoptosis – or “programmed cell death” – in cancer cells

Here are just some cancers curcumin fights:

  • Blood cancers, cancers of the digestive and urinary tracts, genital cancers, breast and ovarian cancers, neurological cancer, skin cancers, lung cancer, and cancers of connective tissue.
  • Lymphatic (thymus), brain and bone cancers.
  • Prostate and pancreatic cancers, colon cancer, and cancers of the head and neck.

Some studies show curcumin alone is effective. Others show it boosts the effectiveness of other natural cancer fighters. It can even make drugs more effective.

And it doesn’t just fight existing cancers.

Powerful Cancer Prevention… and More

Researchers say curcumin can prevent cancer, too.

  • As an antioxidant, it sops up free radicals that can damage DNA and lead to replication of defective cells.
  • It reduces pro-cancer inflammation.
  • It triggers defective cells to “self-destruct.”

Curcumin is the multi-tool of cancer fighters. It has properties of all three types of chemo drug. It blocks cancer-promoting compounds… neutralizes free radicals… and fights the multiplication of “rogue” cells.

Plus, curcumin also appears to keep cancerous stem cells from developing into full-blown cancers.

Curcumin has just one drawback…

Amplifying Curcumin’s Cancer Fighting Power

Curcumin isn’t highly bioavailable. That is, your body doesn’t absorb it well.

If your culture eats a lot of turmeric, you’ll get more than the average American. But you’d have to eat an awful lot of curry to raise the level of curcumin in your blood.

But there’s good news.

Scientists have been working on ways to make curcumin more bioavailable. According to The AAPS Journal, labs are working with many different forms of curcumin. And some show promise…

  • Nanoparticles – Extremely tiny particles to slip through barriers.
  • Liposomes – Two-layer “bubbles” that act as a delivery system.
  • Piperine – An extract from black pepper that enhances absorption.

One study found taking curcumin with piperine boosted absorption by an incredible 2,000%.  Plus, the levels of curcumin in people’s blood shot up faster and stayed higher longer with piperine.

Turmeric is available in supplement form, but don’t waste time and money taking plain turmeric. Turmeric with piperine is safe, natural, affordable… and a whole lot more effective.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Lv, Z.D., et al, “Curcumin induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells and inhibits tumor growth in vitro and in vivo,” Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(6): 2818-2824.

Shanmugam, M.K., et al, “The Multifaceted Role of Curcumin in Cancer Prevention and Treatment,” Molecules. 2015; 20(2): 2728-2769.

Anand, P., et al, “Curcumin and cancer: An “old-age” disease with an “age-old” solution,” Cancer Letters. Aug 18, 2008; 267(1): 133–164.

Shehzad, A., et al, “Curcumin in various cancers,” BioFactors, 2013; 39(1): 56–68.

Devassy, J.G., et al, “Curcumin and cancer: barriers to obtaining a health claim,” Nutrition Reviews. Feb 2015; 73(3): 155 – 165.

Park, W., et al, “New Perspectives of Curcumin in Cancer Prevention,” Cancer Prev Res; 6(5); 387–400.

Li, Y. and Zhang, T., “Targeting cancer stem cells by curcumin and clinical applications,” Cancer Letters. May 1, 2014; 346(2): 197–205.

Gupta, S.C., et al, “Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials,” The AAPS Journal. Jan 2013; 15(1): 195–218.

Shoba, G., et al, “Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers,” Planta Med 1998; 64(4): 353-356.


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How Modern Medicine Helped Reverse Health Gains By 100 Years

One hundred years ago, modern medical practice was barely in its infancy. Patent medicines – aka “snake oil” – were all the rage. Kerosene and radium treatments were common. And cigarettes were considered a good way to ease stress.

We’ve come a long way since then. Many diseases that were common then have been all but wiped out. But a few have been making a comeback. And one – childhood rickets – is due, at least in part, to “modern” medical advice.

Rickets is a painful, deforming condition caused by poor bone development. (A similar condition in adults – osteomalacia – is also on the rise.) The disease was common in the Victorian era, but was nearly wiped out in the developed world in the 2nd half of the last century.

Then something went insanely wrong. About 10 years ago, doctors across Europe and the U.S. began to see rickets making a comeback.

Modern Medicine Makes a Bad Situation Worse

A generation or so ago, parents encouraged their kids to play outside whenever the weather allowed. They dosed them with cod liver oil. And sunscreen was unheard of.

This all boosted their children’s vitamin D levels. And vitamin D prevents rickets. Governments got in the act, too. Since few foods are high in vitamin D, anti-rickets campaigns led to adding D to Key foods.

But cod liver oil fell out of fashion. Children started spending more time indoors. And when they do go outside, doctors now warn they should avoid sun exposure. Even though the sun is our #1 source of vitamin D.

Rickets – which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more – has come roaring back. And doctors are still telling us to stay out of the sun at all costs.

Low Vitamin D Is the New Winter Scourge

Study after study shows huge numbers of adults (and children) don’t get enough vitamin D. Half of all adults in Britain are vitamin D deficient in the winter.

In Korea, wintertime vitamin D is low in 73.0% of men and 88.9% of women. A 2006 study found even young adults in Northern Ireland were generally low on vitamin D. In sunny Portugal, almost three-quarters of adults suffer with low vitamin D during the winter months.

Conditions are the same south of the equator, too. In New Zealand, vitamin D deficiency hits 73% of women and 39% of men. In Australia, barely a quarter of adults get enough D in the winter.

Studies on adults in India, Ireland, Germany, and the U.S. all yielded similar results. A significant number of people simply don’t get enough vitamin D – especially in winter.

And here’s why that should concern you…

Low vitamin D levels are linked to myriad health problems. Low D could lead to falls, fractures, colon and breast cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases, and more.

And here’s the kicker: The current guidelines for vitamin D (50 nmol/L – or 20 ng/ml) are probably too low to begin with.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

The current adult RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for vitamin D is 600 International Units (IU) per day. Or 800 IU if you’re over 70. It’s hard to get that much from your diet – unless you eat a lot of oily fish. So you need daily sun exposure or a supplement.

To complicate matters, the winter sun in most of the U.S. is too weak to trigger vitamin D production in your skin. So a supplement is the way to go if you live roughly north of Atlanta.

Many experts now say 800 IU is too low for the best health benefit. They say you need enough to raise your levels to 75 nmol/L… instead of the current guideline of 50 nmol/L.

Don’t worry about the technical lingo here. “nmol/L” stands for nanomole per liter. It’s a measure of the serum level of a substance – in our case, vitamin D. This doesn’t directly tell you how much vitamin D to take.

Both the International Osteoporosis Foundation and the Endocrine Society suggest the 75 nmol/L guideline. A University of Toronto expert also notes you need to reach this higher level for the maximum benefit to your bones.

A group of researchers from universities and hospitals around the world also suggest shooting for the 75 nmol/L target. To get there, they recommend getting at least 200 IU units more vitamin D than the current guidelines.

And with a safe upper limit of 10,000 IU, you should be fine taking 1,000 IU daily year-round – even if it’s just for insurance.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


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Yu, H.J., et al, “Analysis of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Status According to Age, Gender, and Seasonal Variation,” J Clin Lab Anal. Nov 2016; 30(6): 905-911.

Barnes, M.S., et al, “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status and bone turnover markers in young adults,” Eur J Clin Nutr. Jun 2006; 60(6): 727-733.

Bettencourt, A., et al, “Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in a healthy population from the North of Portugal,” J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Nov 5, 2016. pii: S0960-0760(16)30298-9.

Bolland, M.J., et al, “The effects of seasonal variation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and fat mass on a diagnosis of vitamin D sufficiency,” Am J Clin Nutr. Oct 2007; 86(4): 959-964.

Kimlin, M., et al, “Are the current Australian sun exposure guidelines effective in maintaining adequate levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D?” J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. Jan 2016; 155(Pt B): 264-270.

Carlsson, M., et al, “Older Swedish Adults with High Self-Perceived Health Show Optimal 25- Hydroxyvitamin D Levels Whereas Vitamin D Status Is Low in Patients with High Disease Burden,” Nutrients. Nov 11, 2016; 8(11). pii: E717.

Vieth, R., “What is the optimal vitamin D status for health?” Prog Biophys Mol Bio. Sep 2006; 92(1): 26–32.

Dawson-Hughes, B., et al, “Estimates of optimal vitamin D status,” Osteoporosis International. Jul 2005; 16(7): 713–716.


© Copyright 2016 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Vitamins

The Cholesterol Psychosis

Since 1988, mainstream medicine has adjusted the guidelines for cholesterol over and over. Each time, they don’t get the results they want. So they adjust again… and again. 1988… 1993… 2001… 2004… 2013… Each guideline falls short of the goal. So they try again.

As the old saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. It’s a psychosis: A mental disorder so severe, the link with reality is severed.

And that’s exactly what seems to be happening with cholesterol. And with Big Pharma’s #1 cholesterol fighter, statin drugs.

Statin Use… For Health or Money

Each time mainstream medicine has set cholesterol limits, statin use has expanded. Previous efforts to lower cholesterol were successful. But they lowered cholesterol levels more than heart disease.

Obviously, the thinking went, we haven’t lowered guidelines enough. So they’d lower the numbers again… and expand the number of people who “need” statins.

The 2001 cholesterol guidelines tripled the number who “should” be taking statins – from 13 million to 36 million. And 65 million Americans – a third of the adult population – suddenly needed to make lifestyle changes to meet the guidelines.

Surely, tripling the number of people taking statins would solve the cholesterol problem. This broad expansion would certainly erase heart disease.

Except it didn’t.

In fact, a study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, found pretty much the opposite. It found statins were overused in 69% of those on a primary prevention plan.

Because statin use is typically a life sentence, this is bad news for patients. But it’s great news for Big Pharma, which is making money hand-over-fist.

And here’s where it gets interesting. Or, more accurately, scary…

Doubling Down on Stupidity – at Your Expense

Remember how I mentioned the definition of insanity? In 2009, we saw an incredible example of this idea in action.

A large study looked at 135,905 patients in 541 hospitals across the country. That’s almost 136,000 patients admitted for heart attacks.

The study found one little problem. Three-quarters of these heart attack patients had healthy levels of “bad” cholesterol. And nearly half of them had ideal cholesterol levels.
That’s right. Almost half the patients admitted for heart attacks had LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels ranked as “ideal.” Another quarter had healthy levels.

In other words, cholesterol appeared to be a risk factor in only 25% of these heart attacks.

Now, logic would question whether LDL levels were linked to heart attacks. But that’s not what the “experts” decided. They decided this proved we hadn’t set cholesterol levels low enough.

But, as I’ve written to you many times, cholesterol is necessary for life. For example, cholesterol is a key element of your cell walls. You can only lower levels of LDL levels so far before you risk damage.

Besides, statins cause problems of their own.

  • Fatigue, muscle soreness, and breakdown of muscles
  • Raised levels of liver enzymes and liver damage
  • Rashes, flushing
  • Memory loss
  • Digestive problems
  • High blood sugar and Type II diabetes

Ironically, Type II diabetes is a risk factor for heart attack. So the solution could actually increase your risk of the problem!

Cholesterol Control: Insanity Reigns

The mainstream finally abandoned cholesterol numbers in 2013. But new guidelines opened up millions more adults to “needing” statins.

Instead of focusing on lowering cholesterol to specific numbers, the 2013 guidelines focused on general risk factors.

Now, keep in mind that statins are designed to lower cholesterol… not to treat other factors involved in heart disease risk. But the new guidelines still focused on prescribing statins, even though they were no longer looking at cholesterol levels as a primary outcome!

If this sounds a little crazy, don’t worry. It’s not you.
According to a report from the American College of Cardiology, the new guidelines called for statin use based not on “a specific dose of statins.” Instead patients should be given the drugs “regardless of how the medication impacts their cholesterol levels.”

Specific cholesterol targets were dumped. Good enough became good enough. If you were close, there was no point in trying to reach specific targets, the new argument went. That would take other drugs with no proven benefit.

The targets the mainstream had been chasing since 1988 were dropped, seemingly without a second thought.

The new approach meant millions more “should” be taking statins. Anyone with a 7.5% risk of developing atherosclerotic disease – clogged arteries – within 10 years was a prospect for statin drugs.

One writer, facing the “need” to start statins, questioned the guidelines. He found studies show high blood pressure as the biggest risk factor for heart attack… and the famous Framingham Heart Study found dietary cholesterol has almost no effect on cholesterol levels.

The Mainstream Ups the Ante… Again

Apparently, Big Pharma isn’t happy with the millions already taking statin drugs – in spite of their health risks. Because we have a new set of guidelines. Guidelines even crazier than before.

Now the mainstream wants everyone from age 40 evaluated for statin use. Yes everyone!

The chairman of the newest task force claimed, “People with no signs, symptoms, or history of cardiovascular disease can still be at risk for having a heart attack or stroke.”

Which sounds suspiciously like, “Give everyone these drugs… just in case.”

In other words, 100% of the population over 40 is now a candidate for these drugs. Drugs which not only put your health at risk… They can kill you.

Should You Take Statins?

Lowering cholesterol didn’t work. So, after two decades, the mainstream changed the ground rules. Now everyone – even if they have normal blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, and no signs of heart problems – should be considered for statin use?

Statins may help some people control high cholesterol… but so do many natural options. And cholesterol’s link to heart risk is sketchy at best. As the 2009 study showed, cutting cholesterol doesn’t necessarily lead to cutting heart attack risk.

Chances are, your doctor only hears the mainstream story. So don’t be afraid to bring up questions. The best studies seem to indicate blood pressure is a far more important factor than cholesterol.

Regular exercise and losing weight can usually lower blood pressure. Changes to your diet can lower blood fat levels without drugs. And all the side effects of these natural actions are positive.

Do you need statins? Probably not. Can you lower your cholesterol without them? Almost certainly. Before you accept a life sentence to these dangerous drugs, explore your options. Chances are you can achieve heart health without making Big Pharma any richer.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Paxton, A., “One year later, cholesterol guidelines sinking in,” CAP Today. Jul 2002.

Abookire, S.A., et al, “Use and Monitoring of “Statin” Lipid-Lowering Drugs Compared With Guidelines,” Arch Intern Med. 2001; 161: 53-58.

Champeau, R., “Most heart attack patients’ cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk,” UCLA Newsroom. Jan 12, 2009.

Dennis, B. and Bernstein, L., “New guidelines could have far more Americans taking statin drugs for cholesterol,” The Washington Post. Nov 12, 2013.

“Changes in Statin-Use Based on New Guidelines,” American College of Cardiology. Aug 18, 2014.

O’Riordan, M., “New Cholesterol Guidelines Abandon LDL Targets,” Nov 14, 2013.

Petranek, S., “Huge New Change in Cholesterol Guidelines — Do You Need Statins Anymore?” The Daily Reckoning. Feb 2, 2015.

Cha, A.E., “New statin guidelines: Everyone 40 and older should be considered for the drug therapy,” The Washington Post. Nov 13, 2016.


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Posted in Heart

The Awful Price of a Good Night’s Sleep

The 2016 election season delivered plenty of surprises. Winners and losers aside, there’s one surprise nobody saw coming. Doctors across the country reported a jump in the number of patients complaining of stress.

The American Psychological Association reports more than half the population says this election cycle was a source of significant stress. And for folks on social media sites, it’s been especially bad.

One of the side effects of stress is sleeplessness. And millions turn to sleeping pills for relief. What they don’t know is some of these pills can cost a lot more than the price of a prescription.

Studies suggest some of the most common sleeping pills could also cost you your life…

Peaceful Rest or Rest in Peace?

Whether it’s election anxiety, relentless demands at work, or just the pressures of keeping up with home and family, stress is very real. It leaves you lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. Or restlessly tossing and turning. And all the while, your brain is racing at a million miles an hour.

It’s pretty easy to understand why you’d want something – anything – to help you get some sleep. And sleeping pills seem to offer the perfect answer. Because one type of sleeping pill is tailor-made to calm a racing mind.

Benzodiazepines (BZPs) fall into the broad category of “hypnotics.” They’re often used for anxiety and insomnia. That’s because they’re designed to boost levels of GABA in your brain.

GABA – Gamma-amino butyric acid – is your body’s top calming neurotransmitter. It’s the chemical your brain normally releases when it’s time to sleep. GABA slows racing thoughts, calms your mind, and lets you slow down, relax, and drift off into peaceful rest.

BZPs are designed to trigger the release of GABA. And they do. But, like virtually all drugs, BZPs may have a few “minor” side effects. Side effects like raising your risk of an early death…

Out of the Frying Pan…

BZPs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the country. But the side effects have been piling up in recent years. Side effects you shouldn’t ignore.

  • 2012 – A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns BZPs alter brain function. Studies show these drugs raise your risk of car accidents.
  • 2012 – The Scripps Clinic finds BZP users are more likely to die from cancer – and from all causes – than non-users. Even people taking BZPs less than 18 times per year tripled their risk of early death.
  • 2013 – A study published in Thorax reveals BZP users are over 50% more likely to suffer with pneumonia than non-users – and have a 19% – 22% higher risk of death.
  • 2014 – A study of people taking BZPs showed they were almost 3.5 times more likely to die from any cause than non-users over the 7.6 years of the study.
  • 2014 – Heart failure victims often have problems sleeping. BZPs are often prescribed to heart failure victims to help them sleep. A Japanese study shows heart failure victims taking BZPs are 8 times more likely to die than those not using the drugs.
  • 2014 – BZP use is linked to a 50% higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Regular use over about half a year doubled the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • 2015 – A Finnish study – backed by data from the CDC – shows BZP users are more likely to commit homicide than non-users. 

If you’re thinking, “This seems like an awfully steep price for a good night’s sleep,” you’re right.

Now, most of these studies just show a relationship. They don’t prove cause and effect. But here’s the thing: Do you want to take the risk when so many studies show a “relationship”? At some point, it’s just not worth that risk.

Boost GABA Without Dangerous Drugs

BZPs include some pretty familiar drugs. Like Diazepam, Xanax, Librium, and Valium.  Generic names include alprazolam, diazepam, clonazepam, and clorazepate.

One name you won’t find on these lists is lemon balm. This common herb has the advantage of supporting the activity of GABA without side effects.

This calming herb has been studied for its effect on GABA activity. These studies have found lemon balm boosts GABA levels.  It also blocks a key enzyme that lowers GABA levels.

So, before you try a drug with dangerous side effects to ease your sleep problems… maybe have a cup of lemon balm tea. Or take one of the many available lemon balm supplements.

They can help you get a good night’s sleep… without risking your life and health.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“APA Survey Reveals 2016 Presidential Election Source of Significant Stress for More Than Half of Americans,” American Psychological Association. Oct 13, 2016.

Moore, A., “Do Not Drive Under the Influence of These Prescription Medications: Anxiety, Depression and Sleep Pills Increase Accident Risk,” Medical Daily. Sep 13, 2012.

Kripke, D.F., et al, “Hypnotics’ association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study,” BMJ Open. 2012; 2: e000850.

Obiora, E., et al, “The impact of benzodiazepines on occurrence of pneumonia and mortality from pneumonia: a nested case-control and survival analysis in a population-based cohort,” Thorax. 2013; 68: 163-170.

Weich, S., et al, “Effect of anxiolytic and hypnotic drug prescriptions on mortality hazards: retrospective cohort study,” BMJ. 2014; 348: g1996.

Preidt, R., et al, “Sleeping Pill Use Tied to Poorer Survival for Heart Failure Patients,” HealthDay. May 17, 2014.

de Gage, S.B., et al, “Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: A case-control study,” BMJ. 2014; 349: g5205.

Tiihonen, J., et al, “Psychotropic drugs and homicide: A prospective cohort study from Finland,” World Psychiatry. Jun 4, 2015; 14(2): 245–247.

Yoo, D.Y., et al, “Effects of Melissa officinalis L. (lemon balm) extract on neurogenesis associated with serum corticosterone and GABA in the mouse dentate gyrus,” Neurochem Res. Feb 2011; 36(2): 250-257.

Awad, R., et al, “Bioassay-guided fractionation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) using an in vitro measure of GABA transaminase activity,” Phytother Res. Aug 2009; 23(8): 1075-1081.


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Posted in Anxiety, Stress

AMPK – The Overlooked Longevity Secret

For years, resveratrol looked to be the big longevity breakthrough. In simple creatures, it mimics calorie restriction, which extends life span. But we haven’t yet seen the same reaction in humans

Now pterostilbene – a close relative of resveratrol – is all the rage. Its effects are like resveratrol’s, but your body absorbs it more readily. So it’s more potent. Still, no one’s proven it extends human life yet.

But there’s another substance already in your body that’s being overlooked. It mimics the effects of calorie restriction. And in at least one study, it resulted in a 15% longer life.

So what is this substance? It’s the enzyme AMPK – adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. And it could be the easiest way to boost your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

The “Miracle” Hidden in Every Cell

Every cell in your body contains AMPK. Inside those cells, one of its main jobs is to balance energy levels. Here’s what I mean…

ATP (adenosine triphosphate) fuels your cells. Burning ATP creates a waste product called AMP. When a cell has too little ATP on hand – and too much AMP – AMPK kicks in to reestablish balance.

  • AMPK tells the cell to make more mitochondria, your cells’ “energy factories.”
  • It switches cells to burning more fat, to make up for the shortage of ATP.
  • AMPK signals for fat storage – and the generation of fat cells – to stop.
  • It also calls for waste to be transported out of the cell.

These are just a few of AMPK’s jobs. But you can already see how it could boost your health.

First, having more mitochondria makes cells function more like young cells. (Young cells have more mitochondria than old cells. They’re also more energy efficient.)

Then there’s the burning of fat. And shutting down fat storage and production. These actions promote a slimmer, healthier body.

Plus, AMPK improves glucose (sugar) transport, lowers insulin resistance, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowers levels of fat in your liver.

Activating AMPK is almost like turning the clock back on your health. Of course, the question then becomes, how do you activate AMPK?

Simple Ways to Ramp Up AMPK Levels

Researchers at McMaster University tested AMPK levels in a group of cyclists. They took samples from their volunteers before and after a short, intense “interval” workout.

The workout itself consisted of 4 30-second sprints on a cycle, with 4 minutes of rest after each sprint.

At the end of this brief workout, the volunteers’ AMPK were much higher. And even though the workout was very short, it was enough to trigger fat burning and a jump in the number of mitochondria in muscle cells.

In animal studies, tiliroside – a compound found naturally in strawberries, raspberries and rose hips – also activates AMPK.

Japanese scientists gave tiliroside to a group of overweight mice suffering with diabetes for 21 days. The subjects’ triglyceride (blood fat) and insulin levels dropped… fat build-up in their muscles and liver was blocked… and their levels of AMPK went up.

A recent Chinese animal study also found tiliroside leads to improved glucose metabolism and cholesterol levels. The changes were triggered by AMPK activation.

The herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum may also activate AMPK. And this herb – also called jiaogulan – has been tested on humans.

In one study, obese adults took 500 mg of G. pentaphyllum extract for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the volunteers showed big drops in belly fat, all fat, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. A matched placebo group showed very little change over the 12 weeks.

Getting Your Own AMPK Boost

Studies prove short bouts of high-intensity exercise activate AMPK. So using interval-style workouts is your surest bet for taking advantage of AMPK’s benefits. As the McMaster study shows, the workouts don’t have to be long to get the process started.

But you need more than 2 minutes of activity to get the most overall benefit… so don’t be fooled into thinking that’s all the activity your body needs. Shoot for 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week… and do interval-style workouts on at least 2 days.

As far as tiliroside goes, I haven’t seen any human studies… yet. But, unless you have a berry allergy, eating more strawberries and raspberries can’t hurt. With all their other health benefits, they’re already solid anti-aging foods.

G. pentaphyllum is available in supplement form. I’ve seen both 250 mg and 500 mg options online. The study above used 500 mg. So the larger dose is fairly close to what’s proven to work well.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Gibala, M.J., et al, “Brief intense interval exercise activates AMPK and p38 MAPK signaling and increases the expression of PGC-1alpha in human skeletal muscle,” J Appl Physiol (1985). Mar 2009; 106(3): 929-934.

Goto, T., et al, “Tiliroside, a glycosidic flavonoid, ameliorates obesity-induced metabolic disorders via activation of adiponectin signaling followed by enhancement of fatty acid oxidation in liver and skeletal muscle in obese-diabetic mice,” J Nutr Biochem. Jul 2012; 23(7): 768-776.

Chen, Y., et al, “Flavonoid derivative exerts an antidiabetic effect via AMPK activation in diet-induced obesity mice,” Nat Prod Res. Sep 2016; 30(17): 1988-1992.

Park, S.H., et al, “Antiobesity effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract (actiponin): A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,” Obesity. Jan 2014; 22(1): 63-71.


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Posted in Herbs

It’s Not Just Exploding Cell Phones

Thanks to the Galaxy Note 7, batteries are back in the news. Lithium-ion batteries, to be exact. Defective batteries have caused a number of Samsung’s flagship cell phones to burst into flames or explode. But it’s just phones, right?

Not by a long shot. Remember all those hoverboards that burst into flames last year? Lithium-ion batteries. And the many reports of e-cigarettes exploding in people’s pockets and mouths? Lithium-ion batteries.

How about the millions of laptops Dell had to recall in 2006? You guessed it: Faulty lithium-ion batteries.

How does Tesla power its super-sleek electric sports cars? With lithium-ion batteries, of course. At least four have burst into flames so far: two in the U.S. and one each in Mexico and France.

And who could forget the recent Boeing Dreamliner fiasco? The entire fleet was grounded because of overheating lithium-ion batteries.

Billions of these batteries are in use. They’re in our cell phones and cameras… tablets and laptops…  e-cigarettes and toys… and in our power tools, too. They’re everywhere.

So how safe are lithium-ion batteries? Why do they explode? And how can you avoid becoming the next accident statistic?

Lithium-Ion Batteries – Victims of Their Own Success

Lithium-ion – or L-I – batteries are popular because they’re light. You can pack about twice the charge in an L-I battery as you can in an alkaline battery of the same size. Even then, there’s tremendous pressure to make even L-I batteries smaller and lighter. Which can also make them more dangerous.

L-I batteries are built much like any other battery. They have negative and positive electrodes surrounded in an electrolyte solution. In the case of L-I batteries, the electrolyte contains lithium salts.

A very thin sheet of polyethylene separates the electrodes. It’s so thin, it’s measured in microns – or millionths of a meter. Any damage to this sheet can lead to an internal short-circuit. The short, in turn produces heat and pressure builds up. Which can then cause the battery to burst into flames or explode.

Most manufacturers buy batteries from quality sources. But as we saw with the rash of hoverboard fires, not all do. Sometimes, even batteries from reliable suppliers may be defective. As with the Galaxy Note 7.

The chances of your brand-name product going up in flames are slim. But it does happen. So here are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe…

First and Foremost, Monitor Heat

Heat is the most common warning sign that something is wrong with a L-I battery. If your cell phone or other device grows unusually warm, shut it off. Excess heat may signal battery failure.

Don’t expose any device with a L-I battery to excessive heat. That is, keep it away from stoves for example. External heat – if it’s high enough – could also cause the battery to explode.

Don’t charge your L-I batteries in direct sun or near heat sources. This may activate or break a battery’s built-in protection circuits. If activated, the battery won’t charge. If broken, it may overheat.

Only use the proper charger and AC adapter for your battery. Using the wrong adapter or charger could result in overheating.

If you carry spare batteries – such as for a camera or quad-copter – be sure the terminals can’t connect. For example, don’t store the batteries with metal objects. If the battery came with a plastic snap-on cap, use it.

Impacts – such as from dropping a phone or tablet – may damage your battery’s protection circuits, making overheating more likely. Always replace a dented or deformed battery immediately.

There have been plenty of news stories of exploding hoverboards, e-cigarettes, and cell phones. But your risk of injury from an exploding battery is still fairly small. These simple precautions will make that risk even smaller.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


 

© Copyright 2016 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The $24 Billion Pain Scam

Opioid painkillers are a $24 billion market. U.S. doctors wrote almost 260 million opioid prescriptions in 2012. To put that in perspective, America’s population in 2012 stood at 314 million. So doctors wrote an opioid prescription for every 1.2 people in the U.S. that year.

If that sounds like epidemic proportions, it is. CNBC reports the U.S. – with 5% of the world’s population – uses 80% of all opioids. Can we really be hurting that much more than the rest of the world?

Or is something else going on?

If a doctor ever suggests opioids for your pain, there’s something you need to know.

What Are These Drugs, Anyway?

The word “opioid” is from the same root as “opium.” As in the source heroin and morphine. Like heroin and morphine, they attach to so-called opioid receptors in your brain and dull pain and emotions.

And, also like heroin and morphine, they’re highly addictive.

There are good medical reasons to use drugs like morphine and codeine (another opioid). Morphine works well against post-surgical pain. But it’s highly addictive. So doctors traditionally saved morphine for short-term problems… to ease the pain of cancer… or for those near death.

But thanks to the hard sell by drug companies, the use of synthetic opioids like oxycontin has skyrocketed – along with drug company profits.

The problem is it’s not clear we’re getting so much benefit from these dangerous drugs.

NIH: A “Dire Need” for Research

Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a report on these drugs. The report noted a “dire need” for research because there’s “scant” evidence they’re effective for many of their uses.

But there’s plenty of evidence of harm. Here are just a few of the report’s highlights…

  • By 2010, 160,000 people wound up in the hospital due to opioid addiction
  • In 2013, 71% of all prescription drug overdoses were from opioids
  • Opioids killed 16,325 people in 2013
  • Opioids now kill 46 Americans every day – a higher toll than car accidents

Perhaps even worse, up to 8 million Americans take opioids to manage long-term pain. But almost none of the studies on these drugs ran longer than 12 weeks.

And what evidence we have suggests opioids provide very little – if any – long-term benefits.

Opioids Fail in Study After Study

Opioids seem to work well for pain linked to surgery or injury. At least in the short term. But for almost everything else, there isn’t much evidence. In fact, there’s some evidence – especially for chronic, non-cancer pain – they don’t work well at all.

Here are just a handful of the studies I found…

  • 1988 – A study in the journal Pain finds opioids aren’t effective against nerve pain or pain from unidentified causes.
  • 2006 – In a survey of 10,066 Danes with long-term chronic pain, opioids weren’t effective improving function, quality of life, or pain relief.
  • 2006 – A review of 41 studies showed only the strongest opioids beat other drugs against chronic pain. In spite of the longest study lasting just 16 weeks, a third of the participants dropped out over all.
  • 2008 – In the Clinical Journal of Pain, a review of studies finds opioids are often ineffective over the long-term for chronic pain.
  • 2008 – In a special issue of Pain Physician, scientists report finding evidence of long-term effectiveness for only two opioids… and that evidence is “weak.”
  • 2010 – A Cochrane group review of 26 “long-term” opioid studies had a drop-out rate of nearly 70% – 43.9% due to adverse events and 23.7% for lack of relief.
  • 2011 – A multi-center U.S. review found a lack of evidence for using opioids for chronic pain. The authors said doctors should use “great restraint and caution” in prescribing them.

What Are Your Options?

Drug company salespeople are out there pushing these drugs to doctors… and probably not talking up negative studies. And pain clinics hand them out like candy. If you suffer with chronic pain, you’ll have to be your own advocate.

Discuss options with your doctor. He or she may not be aware of the NIH report. Or any of the studies listed here, for that matter. It’s okay to express your concerns.

Other drugs are proven more effective against chronic pain over the long haul. But keep in mind all drugs have drawbacks and side effects.

Other therapies may help. Studies have found physical therapy, acupuncture, herbs (such as white willow bark), and gentle exercises like yoga and Tai chi can ease pain without drugs.

Explore your options. You don’t want to wind up a statistic in the next NIH report.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Gusovsky, D., “Americans consume vast majority of the world’s opioids,” CNBC. Apr 27, 2016.

Alan Yuhas, A. “Prescription painkillers” overuse has become “silent epidemic”, US warns,” The Guardian. Jan 16, 2015.

Arner, S. and Meyerson, B.A., “Lack of analgesic effect of opioids on neuropathic and idiopathic forms of pain,” Pain. Apr 1988; 33(1): 11-23.

Eriksen, J., et al, “Critical issues on opioids in chronic non-cancer pain: An epidemiological study,” Pain. Nov 2006; 125(1-2): 172–179.

Furlan, A.D., et al, “Opioids for chronic noncancer pain: a meta-analysis of effectiveness and side effects,” CMAJ. May 23, 2006; 174(11).

Ballantyne, J.C. and Shin, N.S., “Efficacy of Opioids for Chronic Pain: A Review of the Evidence,” Clinical Journal of Pain. Jul/Aug 2008; 24(6): 469-478.

Trescot, A., et al, “Effectiveness of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain,” Pain Physician. Opioids Special Issue. 2008; 11: S181-S200.

Noble, M., et al, “Long-term opioid management for chronic noncancer pain,” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Jan 20, 2010; (1): CD006605.

Manchikanti, L., et al, “Effectiveness of Long-Term Opioid Therapy for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain,” Pain Physician. 2011; 14: E133-E156.


© Copyright 2016 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Can You Burn More Fat By Eating More Fat?

Twenty-five or 30 years ago – at the height of the low-fat era – a “crazy” diet captured people’s imaginations. This radical diet said you could burn more fat and lose more weight by eating more fat.

The “ketogenic” diet was based on an interesting idea. You can train your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. Look at the Inuit and other Arctic cultures, the diet’s supporters said. They eat a high fat diet and enjoy remarkably good health.

Like most fads, ketogenic diets lost popularity after a few years. But they’ve been making a big comeback. Partly because high-fat diets appear to have a positive impact on people with seizure disorders.

So what is a ketogenic die… is it safe… and does it work? As with so many health issues, the answer is “It depends.”

What Is a Ketogenic Diet, Anyway?

In simple terms, nutritional ketosis is when your body burns fat as its primary fuel. A ketogenic diet helps your body transition to – and maintain – this fat-burning state.

Most people burn glucose – derived from carbs – as their primary fuel. Their bodies primarily use fat as an energy store.

By switching to burning fat, the idea is that your body can more easily used stored fat for energy. Cut back on calories, and you literally burn through extra weight more easily.

A ketogenic diet includes eating high fat, very few carbs, and an “adequate” amount of protein. Sugars and starches should make up a small percentage of calories. And the fats should be balanced heavily towards healthy fats.

Healthy fats include coconut oil and other medium-chain triglycerides, olives and avocados, marine Omega-3s, seeds and nuts, and a limited amount of fat from grass-fed meats.

Ideally, each meal would include two fat servings. Half an avocado or two tablespoons of olive oil would each count as a “serving.”

Do Ketogenic Diets Work?

The people who seem to get the best results from ketogenic diets seem to be those who are very active. But that’s true for almost any diet.

Brand-new research from the Ohio State University looked at elite endurance athletes. They found even top performers did very well on a ketogenic-type diet… and burned fat faster and more efficiently than athletes eating a traditional high-carb diet.

The results were so dramatic, one of the researchers said, “Maybe we’ve got it all backwards and we need to re-examine everything we’ve been telling athletes for the last 40 years about loading up on carbs…”

Even though the high-carb athletes were efficient fat burners, they couldn’t touch the ketogenic athletes. These high-fat athletes burned fat at more than twice the rate of the high-carb group!

In 2014, Polish scientists tested a ketogenic diet vs. a traditional high-carb diet on endurance cyclists. The ketogenic diet resulted in greater loss of fat mass and better body composition, as well as a better cholesterol profile. On the ketogenic diet, cyclists also improved their VO2Max – the maximum amount of oxygen their lungs can process.

But that’s not all ketogenic diets seem to do.

Curbing Appetite and More

A plain donut has about 160 calories. Eat one every day on the way to work, and that’s 800 calories a week. Over a year – taking two weeks’ vacation – that’s 40,000 calories. That’s almost 11-1/2 pounds.

Now, imagine if you could just skip that one donut every day. Without feeling hungry. That’s either 11-1/2 pounds you won’t gain… or 11-1/2 pounds you could lose.

A ketogenic diet could help. (Besides the fact those donuts wouldn’t be on your diet anyway.)

According to Australian researchers, the bulk of studies show a ketogenic diet suppresses appetite. Considering that hunger is the #1 reason for “cheating” on diets, being able to cut back on even one donut – or its equivalent – per day could make a big difference.

Burn more fat, lose weight, feel less hungry… how about defending against oxidative stress, too?

Combat Free Radical Damage From Workouts

All that energy you burn when you’re working out has a side effect. It creates lots of free radicals. That’s because your mitochondria – your cells’ energy factories – make free radicals as a byproduct of energy production.

A Korean study looked at a group of high school Tae kwon do athletes. Some ate a traditional high-carb diet. The scientists gave others a ketogenic diet.

After three weeks, the ketogenic group showed lower signs of oxidative stress. They also had higher HDL (good) cholesterol, while LDL (bad) cholesterol went up in the high-carb group.

So, is a ketogenic diet for you? It could be. But keep a few things in mind…

  • You’re not just swapping carbs for fat. You’re dropping unhealthy carbs for healthy fats.
  • Get enough high-quality protein. Weight loss can include the loss of lean muscle. Getting enough protein helps you hold on to muscle.

It takes time to transition from burning glucose to burning fat. Be patient. It could be two or three months before you’re fully adjusted.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Caldwell, E., “Endurance athletes who ‘go against the grain’ become incredible fat-burners,” The Ohio State University. Nov 16, 2015.

Zajac, A., et al, “The effects of a ketogenic diet on exercise metabolism and physical performance in off-road cyclists,” Nutrients. Jun 27, 2014; 6(7): 2493-2508.

Gibson, A.A., et al, “Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis,” Obes Rev. Jan 2015; 16(1): 64-76.

Rhyu, H.S., et al, “The effects of ketogenic diet on oxidative stress and antioxidative capacity markers of Taekwondo athletes,” J Exerc Rehabil. Dec 31, 2014; 10(6): 362-366.


© Copyright 2016 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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“First, Do No Harm…Please!”

Eight years ago, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a report on adverse events in U.S. hospitals. The report found 13.5% of Medicare patients were victims of an adverse event. That’s about 1 of every 7 patients who “suffer harm” during a hospital visit.

A new study came out this year looking at much the same topic. And the results showed just how much things have changed since 2008.

Almost not at all.

That’s right. The alarm bells went off nearly a decade ago… and hospitals have made very little progress in protecting patients from medical mistakes.

So what’s going on?

15,000 Killed… Per Month

According to the 2008 HHS estimates, medical error led to 15,000 hospital deaths per month. And adverse events – defined as “harm done to a patient as a result of medical care” – affected 134,000 patients per month.

And these numbers only include Medicare patients. So the full tallies were probably a good deal higher.

Look at it this way… Let’s say there was a 1-in-7 chance you’d be injured riding a roller coaster. How many theme parks would you ride that coaster?  Or what if there were a 1-in-7 chance you’d be injured on any given airline flight. How would you feel about flying?

Of course, you can always avoid riding a roller coaster. And you can usually avoid flying. But when you’re seriously ill or injured, avoiding a hospital stay is probably out of the question.

As part of their report, HHS made a number of recommendations to reduce adverse events. But the latest news – published in The British Medical Journal – seems to show progress has been slow in coming.

The #3 Killer in the U.S. – Medical Error

The new study, conducted at Johns Hopkins University, looked at available data from several sources. These include studies published since 1999 and the HHS report.

Pulling all the data together, the authors calculated that medical error leads to over 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. That makes medical error the #3 cause of death – trailing only heart disease and cancer.

In fact, medical error kills more than twice as many people in the U.S. as cars, gun violence, and suicide combined.

If medical error were a disease, there’d certainly be a charity supporting research to end it. And public service spots on TV and radio would urge you to take precautions.

But, though it exists in plague proportions, medical error isn’t discussed much. So – for now, at least – you have to be your own watchdog.

“Defensive Patienting” Could Save Your Life

Years ago, there was an ad campaign about “defensive driving.” The message was to protect yourself from accidents by anticipating other drivers’ mistakes.

By the same token, being a “defensive patient,” can deflect medical errors that could cause you harm.

Drugs: Make sure your doctor knows all the medications and supplements you’re taking. Discuss any drug he/she prescribes with your doctor – including side effects and risks. Make sure you can read any prescription your doctor writes. (If you can’t read it, your pharmacist may have trouble with it, too.)

In the Hospital: Ask any healthcare worker who will touch you to wash their hands first. Hand washing is the #1 way to avoid infection. Ask the nurse to verify any medications you’re given. (Wrong doses – or getting another patient’s pills – are remarkably common.) Be sure you have clear written instructions for homecare when you’re discharged.

Surgery: Choose a hospital that commonly performs the procedure you’re having done. Be sure that you, your doctor, and the surgeon all agree on exactly what’s being done. Use a permanent marker before surgery. If you’re having your right hip replaced, for example, write “Wrong side!” on your left hip and “Replace this one!” on your right hip.

Of course, always feel free to ask questions. You can never be too careful. If a contractor paints your living room the wrong color, you can always repaint. But if a healthcare worker makes a mistake, the consequences can be devastating.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“Adverse Events in Hospitals: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries,” Department of Health and Human Services. Nov 2010.

Makary, M.A. and Daniel, M., “Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US,” BMJ. 2016; 353: i2139.


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How an Industry Effectively Wrote Off Your Health for 50 Years

It reads like a classic 1960s spy novel. A health crisis… a hidden agenda… scientists swayed to reach a pre-determined conclusion… a 50-year disinformation campaign… and you, dear reader, the pawns in an international high-stakes shell game.

No, this isn’t another story on the tobacco industry. It’s all about sugar. And how a handful of scientists appear to have traded your health for a pocketful of cash.

This is the story of Big Sugar and your heart.

The Dawn of a Health Crisis

In the 1950s, heart health was an emerging crisis. Coronary heart disease – CHD – was taking down far too many Americans. And doctors were trying to figure out why. And how could they slow the growth of this killer?

Two competing theories emerged. On one side, there were those who said cholesterol was the problem and saturated fat was the cause. Too much “sat fat” in your diet raised cholesterol levels and led to CHD.

On the other side were scientists who said added sugars were the problem. Their research showed sucrose raised cholesterol and triglycerides… and led to higher rates of CHD and death.

The lines were drawn, but the sides weren’t even. There was no pro-cholesterol lobby. But there was a Sugar Research Foundation (SRF). And they made some calculations. Putting the blame on sat fat as the cause of high cholesterol – and thus CHD – could be very profitable.

Cut fat intake to 20% of calories… replace those calories with “healthy” sugar… and you’d increase people’s intake of added sugars by a third. Boost sales by a third in one fell swoop? The answer was pretty clear.

The industry had to “prove” the fat-cholesterol-CHD connection… and show that sugar was the healthy alternative. How do you do that? Why, buy the science, of course.

Here’s the Study… Here’s Your Material… and Here Are Your Conclusions

In 1965, the SRF essentially hired researchers to prove cholesterol was the culprit behind CHD… and fat the cause of high cholesterol. So they paid two scientists to review the existing literature.

The SRF also provided a lot of the material to review. And hinted – not too broadly – what their concerns were.

University of California (UC) researchers recently uncovered 1,582 pages of text documenting the process that culminated in Project 226, a remarkably biased review of scientific literature that came to the exact conclusion the SRF wanted…

Sat fat and cholesterol were the causes of the rise in CHD. And the research pointing to sugar was flawed or invalid.

50 years later, we’re still experiencing the fallout. In spite of mounting evidence that sugar plays a large role in CHD – the #1 killer in the developed world.

50,000 Reasons to Let Sugar Off the Hook

The main researchers had plenty of reasons to reach the SRF’s preferred conclusion. In fact, they had 50,000 of them. Because that’s the value of the direct payments they received from the SRF in 2016 dollars.

$50,000 is a lot of money. Especially for career academics. And while the UC researchers point out their evidence is only circumstantial… it’s still pretty damning.

The final report – published in two issues of the New England Journal of Medicine – was clearly biased in favor of the sugar industry. Complaints the authors made about studies on sugar and CHD were overlooked in fat studies. Weaknesses in fat studies were glossed over. And the role of triglycerides in CHD risk was all but ignored.

Not surprisingly, this made sat fat look bad… and sugar look like a dietary angel in comparison.

The researchers also failed to disclose the contributions – both in terms of funding and direction – from the SRF in their article.

And the ploy worked. For the next 50 years, the medical world has focused on sat fat – and almost ignored sugar – in terms of CHD.

“He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune”

“There are all kinds of ways that you can subtly manipulate the outcome of a study,” said UCSF professor Stanton A. Glantz, “which industry is very well practiced at.”

“As the saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune,” he added.

“There is now a considerable body of evidence linking added sugars to hypertension and cardiovascular disease…” pointed out co-author Laura Schmidt PhD. “Yet, health policy documents are still inconsistent in citing heart disease risk as a health consequence of added sugars consumption.”

Like Big Tobacco before them, Big Sugar seems to have put profits before public health. And the lesson for us all?

To paraphrase the researchers it’s learning who’s behind the studies… and how much they’re paying for the results.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Kearns, C.E., et al, “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research – A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents,” JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 12, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394.

Fernandez,E. “UCSF reveals how sugar industry influenced national conversation on heart disease,” University of California, San Francisco. Sep12, 2016.


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