Saturday, November 18, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
Ah yes, Charles Atlas, in his "Health and Strength" course, way back in the middle 20th century taught the benefits of "hot and cold" for health. His course is till available.....type 'Charles Atlas' into your Internet Web browser - Keith Hunt
The Many Health Benefits of Cryotherapy
This is the time of the year, as we transition into winter, when you can take full advantage of the many magnificent benefits that regular cold exposure can have to improve your health. One of the mechanisms by which cold exposure or cold thermogenesis aids weight loss and reduces your risk of diabetes and other chronic disease is by inducing brown adipose tissue (BAT).
BAT, which is incredibly mitochondrial-dense, helps improve your mitochondrial function. One of the physiological functions of body fat is to be used as fuel to heat your body if you have active BAT metabolism. This is accomplished by uncoupling the mitochondria from producing ATP and actually producing heat instead. By regularly exposing yourself to cold, you build up a mitochondria-rich tissue in brown fat and help your body generate heat, which actually lowers your blood sugar and decreases insulin resistance.
Beige fat is a derivative of brown fat and is recruited through your white fat, which can then be used to heat your body and maintain a more active-passive metabolism. Indeed, the conclusion I reached after many decades of studying health is that burning fat as your primary fuel is a key to preserving and maintaining your health. There are a number of ways to reach this goal. You can do it through diet, and in my new book, “Fat for Fuel,” I explain how to do that. But there’s also a tremendous synergy with cold thermogenesis.
Cold Exposure Increases Whole-Body Metabolic Rate
A recent study1 in Bioscience Reports looked at the impact of cryotherapy — exposure to cold — on the mitochondrial structure in BAT and skeletal muscle, both of which are thermogenic sites. As explained in this study:
“Mitochondria are very dynamic organelles that undergo dramatic remodeling in response to increase in local energy demand within a cell. The mitochondrial architecture (including cristae density, compactness, length, shape, and size) is a reflection of their level of activity, and thus it is also an indicator of cellular energy status. It is believed that organs involved in thermogenesis within the mammalian body elevate their metabolism in response to cold adaptation.”
While BAT and muscle both generate heat, they do so using different mechanisms. In BAT, heat generation is based on mitochondrial metabolism. In muscle, mitochondrial metabolism plays only a secondary role by supplying energy to the muscle. In other words, mitochondrial metabolism is directly responsible for BAT-based thermogenesis, but only indirectly linked to thermogenesis in skeletal muscle.
Together, these differing thermogenic processes allow your body to maintain a constant core body temperature. As your body adapts to increasingly colder temperatures, several things happen, which together results in an increase in your overall metabolic rate:
Oxygen consumption increases
Enzymatic activity in the mitochondria of your muscle is upregulated
Fibroblast growth factor 21, IL1α, peptide YY, tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 are induced, and appear to play an important role in coordinating the various physiological adaptations to cold, and in the cross-communication that occurs between BAT and muscle
Insulin and leptin are downregulated
BAT becomes browner
The number of mitochondria increases
Health Benefits of Cryotherapy
The fact that cold thermogenesis increases the number of mitochondria and improves their overall function accounts for many of the health benefits associated with cryotherapy. For example, cold thermogenesis has been shown to:2,3,4
Strengthen joint tissue
Support weight loss efforts by increasing metabolism
Increase blood circulation
Speed rate of recovery following joint or muscle injury6
Provide temporary relief lasting about 90 minutes from pain associated with arthritis7
Reduce pain and swelling following injury
Enhance benefits of physical therapy
Reduce pain associated with migraines when applied to the back of the neck for about 30 minutes10
Improve muscle function and strength
Boost mental focus and attention by increasing production of norepinephrine in your brain.
Norepinephrine can be increased twofold just by getting into 40 degree F. water for 20 seconds, or 57 degree water for a few minutes11
In addition to increasing norepinephrine, cold thermogenesis also forces your body to produce cold shock protein, known as the RNA-binding motif 3 or RBM3, in your brain. Interestingly, when you’re exposed to cold, you actually degrade synapses (the connections between neurons), but RBM3 completely regenerates them. This has been shown in hibernating animals like bears and squirrels, and research shows that by increasing RBM3, Alzheimer’s onset can be significantly delayed — at least in rodents.12
Studies have also been done on human cells, showing that RBM3 does get activated when your brain cells are exposed to cold, and that the temperature change needed is only about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. More research needs to be done, but preliminary work such as this suggests cold thermogenesis could have a neuroprotective effect.
Common Cryotherapy Methods
There are a number of different cold thermogenesis methods available. Some high-end spas and gyms will have cryotherapy booths, along with saunas. But you can also take advantage of cold thermogenesis at home by:
Applying an ice pack or cold gel pack
Applying an iced towel (simply wet a towel and freeze it) or massaging the area with ice cubes
Taking a cold shower or alternating between cold and hot in your shower
Taking an ice bath
Exercising in cold weather wearing few articles of clothing
Jumping into an unheated pool following sauna or exercise
Bathing in the ocean when water temperatures are low
Turning down the thermostat in your house in the winter to about 60 F
Keep in mind that cold thermogenesis treatment should not last for more than a few minutes, to 10 or 20 minutes after you have acclimated, and is contraindicated for pregnant women, young children, those with high blood pressure and/or a heart condition. Cold causes acute vasoconstriction, which can be potentially dangerous if you have high blood pressure or heart failure. A quick cold shower would probably be OK, but avoid ice baths or other extreme cold water immersion techniques.
As a general rule, listen to your body. Individual tolerance for hot and cold temperatures vary widely, and if you push it too far you can do yourself harm. That said, over time you will become acclimated to the cold, which will allow you to withstand colder temperatures for longer periods of time.
Wim Hof, aka “The Iceman,” is a perfect example of this. He’s exposed himself to cold on a daily basis for decades. As a result, he’s now able to withstand the cold for much longer periods than one might consider normal, because his body can generate more heat.
Again, the ability to generate more heat is a direct result of increased BAT and, secondarily, improved thermogenesis in your skeletal muscle. The more mitochondria you have in your fat tissue, the more fat you’re able to burn and the more heat your body can generate, which translates into an increased ability to withstand cold for longer periods of time.
One of the simplest ways to improve your BAT metabolism is taking cold showers, which you can do on a daily or near-daily basis. The initial tensing you experience is part of your body’s attempts to heat itself back up. Try to suppress this initial instinct and relax instead. Just how long it takes to build up BAT is still unknown, but we do know that BAT is generally a seasonal tissue.
In the winter, your body generates more of it as a way to boost its ability to stay warm. In the summer, you have less. A primary issue is, how often do you activate it? Without environmental stimuli, meaning exposure to various temperature extremes, your body will not create this metabolically or energy-rich tissue since it has no reason to do so. Taking an ice-cold rinse each day, year-round is a simple way to consistently activate your BAT metabolism.
When to Avoid Cryotherapy
There is one important caveat worth mentioning. When you’re doing strength training, the oxidative stress generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) that actually help increase muscle mass. If you expose yourself to cold within the first hour after strength training, you suppress that beneficial process, so avoid doing cold immersion (such as a really cold shower or ice bath) immediately after strength training.
On the other hand, spending some time in the sauna after exercise may actually help increase muscle mass. It’ll also help with detoxification, allowing you to sweat out toxins that can wreak havoc on mitochondrial function in general. As explained by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., in a previous interview:
“This is what’s important to understand: Exercise is a stress on the body. You’re making ROS. You’re generating inflammation. But that’s a good thing because it’s a short burst, and you want it … There’s a one hour timeframe from the time you stop exercising [in which inflammation peaks].
That is the stressful period. But then as soon as an hour hits, the stress response kicks in and you start to have a potent anti-inflammatory [response]. You start having an antioxidant response from activating all these good genes that stay activate for a long time.
What happens is that because the cold also is causing an anti-inflammatory response, it’s important that you don’t get that anti-inflammatory response too soon, because you need some of that exercise-induced inflammation. You want that inflammation to happen to get the anti-inflammatory response. That’s important for the strength training.
The inflammation you generate during the strength training is part of the mechanism for making more proteins in the skeletal muscle. If you blunt that, then you’re going to blunt the effects of the strength training. The question is then can you do it an hour or two hours later? Studies have shown, yes, you can do cold exposure, cold water immersion and actually get some performance enhancements even from doing [that].”
Cold Thermogenesis Is a Simple Way to Optimize Your Health
When it comes to improving your health, many of the simplest strategies can have a significant impact. Regularly exposing yourself to cold temperatures can catalyze a wide variety of beneficial changes in your biology that can go a long way toward optimizing your health.
One of the things I do regularly, nearly every day when I am home, is to take a 30-minute 170 degree far-infrared sauna and then jump in an unheated pool and swim five laps. In the summer the water is in the 80s but it can go down to the 40s in the winter. It is absolutely amazing how good you feel after coming out of the pool when it’s winter. It’s incredibly invigorating.
Regularly exposing yourself to these kinds of extreme temperature variations will help improve your mitochondrial function, which we have now come to realize is a foundational aspect of good health, disease prevention and longevity.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
MANY OF OUR SICKNESS PROBLEMS COULD WELL BE CONNECTED TO PESTICIDES..... AT LEAST PESTICIDES DO NOT HELP TOWARDS HAVING GOOD HEALTH - Keith Hunt
EPA Refuses to Ban Neurotoxic Pesticide Found in 87 Percent of Newborns
By Dr. Mercola
Exposure to pesticides, herbicides and insecticides has dramatically increased since the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops. Urine output of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by more than 1,200 percent between 1993 and 2016.1 Unfortunately, glyphosate is not the only chemical of concern.
Chlorpyrifos (sold under the trade name Lorsban) — an organophosphate insecticide known to disrupt brain development and cause brain damage, neurological abnormalities, reduced IQ and aggressiveness in children — is another.2 ,3 In adults, the chemical has been linked to Parkinson's disease4,5 and lung cancer.6
Chlorpyrifos has been in use since 1965, and is commonly used on staple crops such as wheat and corn, as well as fruits and vegetables, including nonorganic citrus, apples, cherries, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and dozens of others. Since the chemical has a half-life of several months and can remain on sprayed foods for up to several weeks,7 nonorganic foods are a major source of exposure.
Importantly, nonorganic, non-grass fed meats are likely to be loaded with this chemical, since conventional feed consists primarily of genetically and/or conventionally-raised grains such as corn. This is yet another reason to make sure you feed your family grass fed meats and animal products, especially your young children. Chlorpyrifos is also a commonly found water contaminant, and has even been found in indoor air.8
Children experience greater exposure to chemicals pound-for-pound than adults, and have an immature and porous blood-brain barrier that allows greater chemical exposures to reach their developing brain. Needless to say, the results can be devastating and, indeed, many agricultural and industrial chemicals have been found to affect children's brain function and development specifically.
Decadelong Effort to Ban Chlorpyrifos Fall Through
Permissible uses of chlorpyrifos was limited in the year 2000, at which time the chemical was banned for use in homes, schools, day care facilities, parks, hospitals, nursing homes and malls. However, agricultural use remained, and it can still be used on golf courses and road medians.
Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually pushed for a complete ban on chlorpyrifos, as its dangers are well-documented, and the chemical is in fact classified as a neurotoxin, as it disrupts communication between brain cells. Research shows that living within 1 mile of chlorpyrifos-treated fields increases a woman's risk of having an autistic child by 300 percent.9,10
A petition to ban chlorpyrifos on food was filed over a decade ago, and the lack of response from the EPA finally led to a federal court ordering the EPA to issue a decision.11 Forced to act, Scott Pruitt, President Trump-appointed head of the EPA,12 issued an order denying the petition to revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos on food in March 2017.13,14 As noted by NPR:15
"That's despite the agency's earlier conclusion, reached during the Obama administration, that this pesticide could pose risks to consumers. It's a signal that toxic chemicals will face less restrictive regulation by the Trump administration. In its decision, the EPA didn't exactly repudiate its earlier scientific findings. But the agency did say that there's still a lot of scientific uncertainty about the risks of chlorpyrifos …
Patti Goldman, from the environmental group Earth Justice, calls the decision "unconscionable," and says that her group will fight it in court … 'Based on the harm that this pesticide causes, the EPA cannot, consistent with the law, allow it in our food.'"
87 Percent of Newborns Have Chlorpyrifos in Their Cord Blood
Considering Pruitt's history of championing industry interests and the evidence showing other EPA officials have has taken an active role in protecting chemical giants against rulings that would impact their bottom line, his decision to keep chlorpyrifos on the market does raise suspicions. As noted by USA Today,16 Pruitt "filed more than a dozen lawsuits seeking to overturn some of the same regulations he is now charged with enforcing."
Evidence also suggests Dow Chemical, the maker of chlorpyrifos, pressured government agencies to ignore incriminating studies (see next section). The EPA's earlier conclusion that chlorpyrifos posed a risk to consumers was largely based on research17 showing that exposure to the chemical caused measurable differences in brain function. In one study, compared to children whose exposure to the chemical was negligible, children with high levels of exposure had lower IQ at age 7.18
Research19 published in 2014 showed that pregnant women exposed to chlorpyrifos during their second trimester had a 60 percent higher risk of giving birth to an autistic child. Studies have also shown that genetic differences can make some people far more vulnerable to chlorpyrifos than others.
Moreover, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlorpyrifos is metabolized in the human body into 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy),20 which is even more toxic than the original insecticide. Disturbingly, California's biomonitoring program found TCPy in 82 percent of Californians sampled in 2012, including pregnant women.21
Another 2012 study,22 which measured chlorpyrifos levels in maternal and cord plasma of women and children living in an agricultural community, found measurable levels in 70.5 percent of maternal blood samples and 87.5 percent of cord blood samples. According to the authors:
"Blood organophosphate pesticide levels of study participants were similar in mothers and newborns and slightly higher than those reported in other populations. However, compared to their mothers, newborns have much lower quantities of the detoxifying PON1 enzyme suggesting that infants may be especially vulnerable to organophosphate pesticide exposures."
Dow Chemical Requested Evidence to Be 'Set Aside'
Government-funded studies also reveal that chlorpyrifos poses serious risks to 97 percent of endangered animals in the U.S.23,24 This alone ought to be cause enough to ban this chemical, but it appears industry pressure worked its usual magic.
On April 13, 2017, a legal team representing Dow Chemical and two other organophosphate manufacturers sent letters to the three agencies responsible for joint enforcement of the Endangered Species Act25,26 — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Department of Commerce — asking them to "set aside" these incriminating findings, as the companies believe they are flawed. As reported by USA Today:
"Over the past four years, federal scientists have compiled … more than 10,000 pages indicating the three pesticides under review — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied. Regulators at the three federal agencies … are close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the highly toxic pesticides can be used …
The EPA's recent biological evaluation of chlorpyrifos found the pesticide is 'likely to adversely affect' 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants accessed as part of its study, including critically endangered or threatened species of frogs, fish, birds and mammals … In a statement, the Dow subsidiary that sells chlorpyrifos said its lawyers asked for the EPA's biological assessment to be withdrawn because its 'scientific basis was not reliable.'"
Pruitt claims he's "trying to restore regulatory sanity to EPA's work." I would argue the definition of sanity is first not to abandon the EPA's mandate to protect the public health and, further, not to give developmentally crippling toxins a free pass and ignoring loads of unbiased research documenting its toxicity.
At present, the EPA is also in the process of reassessing atrazine, another pernicious and exceptionally toxic agricultural chemical. It remains to be seen whether the agency will finally take a firm stand against this pernicious toxin, or let it slide like chlorpyrifos and glyphosate.
Toxic Exposures Have Robbed Americans of 41 Million IQ Points
Problems with cognitive function that are not severe enough for diagnosis are becoming even more common than neurobehavioral development disorders. In 2012, David Bellinger, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, published a study funded by the National Institutes of Health where he calculated the impact of toxic exposures on children's IQ.27
He determined that based on a population of 25.5 million children, aged birth to 5, those born to mothers exposed to organophosphates, mercury or lead during pregnancy suffered a combined loss of 16.9 million IQ points. Researchers calculated a collective loss of 41 million IQ points in the U.S. from the same exposures.28 Conventional farmers are reluctant to stop using pesticides as this will put their crops at risk, and pesticide makers will not support a ban for obvious reasons.
But at what point do we say enough is enough? How many children have to be sacrificed for financial profits? Considering the lack of proactive measures from government and industry, it's up to each and every one of us to be proactive in our own lives. One of the most effective ways to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides, herbicides and insecticides is to buy certified organic foods, or better yet, foods certified biodynamic.
Environmental Toxins Kill 1.7 Million Children Annually, Worldwide
Untested chemicals should not be presumed safe.29 The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that environmental pollution, including but not limited to toxic exposures, kills 1.7 million children every year.30 The top five causes of death for children under 5 are related to their environment.
A recent report from CHEMTrust, a British charity working internationally to prevent man-made chemicals from triggering damage to wildlife or humans, found current chemical testing is not adequately picking up chemicals that cause developmental neurotoxicity.31Their "No Brainer" report32 evaluated the impact of chemicals on the development of a child's brain.
The report praised the European Food Safety Authority for work on risk assessment of pesticides and recommended their approach be expanded to include chemicals from other sources.33
They also recommended chemicals used for food contact material be routinely tested and screened for developmental neurotoxicity. The report also called for a taskforce to identify and develop better ways to screen chemicals before use. Without a doubt, the U.S. needs to follow suit and take a stronger stance against chemicals suspected of neurotoxicity.
How to Protect Your Family From Toxic Pesticides
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on pesticide residues in food,34 in 2014, 41 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues. The following year, a mere 15 percent of all the food samples tested were free from pesticide residues. That just goes to show how rapidly and dramatically our pesticide exposure has increased.
Here's a summary of commonsense recommendations that will help reduce your exposure to pesticides, and help you eliminate toxins you may already have been exposed to:
• As a general rule, your safest bet is to grow your own food, followed by buying certified organic or, better yet, biodynamic produce, and grass fed or pastured meats and animal products. See the listing below for sources where you can locate farm-fresh foods locally. If you cannot afford an all-organic/biodynamic diet, focus on buying grass fed and organic pastured meats first.
Next, familiarize yourself with average pesticide loads and buy (or grow) organic varieties of produce known to carry the highest amounts of pesticides. You can find a quick rundown in the Consumer Reports video above.35 Another excellent source, which is updated annually, is the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) shopper's guide36 to pesticides in produce.
• Filtering your drinking water is also important. To remove pesticides, look for a filter certified by the NSF International to meet American National Standards Institute Standard 53 for volatile organic compounds reduction. This will ensure the filter is capable of significantly reducing pesticides.37 Most activated carbon filters will meet this requirement and get the job done.
• Carefully wash all nonorganic produce to remove surface pesticides. According to a recent study,38 the most effective cleaning method, by far, is to wash your produce using a mixture of tap water and baking soda. Soaking apples in a 1 percent baking soda solution for 12 to 15 minutes was found to remove 80 percent of the fungicide thiabendazole and 96 percent of the insecticide phosmet.
• Lastly, if you know you have been exposed to pesticides, eating fermented foods and/or using a low-EMF far infrared sauna can be helpful, especially if combined with an optimal supplemental detox regimen including binders to catch the toxins that are mobilized from the fats. The lactic acid bacteria formed during the fermentation of kimchi has been shown to help your body break down pesticides.
Where to Find Organic Farm-Fresh Foods
If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate wholesome farm-fresh foods in your area:
Demeter-USA.org provides a directory of certified Biodynamic farms and brands. This directory can also be found on BiodynamicFood.org.
The goal of the American Grassfed Association is to promote the grass fed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education.
Their website also allows you to search for AGA approved producers certified according to strict standards that include being raised on a diet of 100 percent forage; raised on pasture and never confined to a feedlot; never treated with antibiotics or hormones; born and raised on American family farms.
EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass fed products.
Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.
The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass fed meats across the U.S.
This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass fed meats and many other goodies.
A national listing of farmers markets.
The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, hotels and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.
The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO "organic" production from authentic organic practices.
If you're still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund39 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.40 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.