Thursday, October 28, 2010

New research on the impact of Roundup to human cells

This should not come as any surprise to people. What it should do it force people to wake up and start looking at their environment and food more closely. Monsanto is the creator of Roundup, they are also the main supplier of GMO seed. Their seeds are genetically modified to withstand Roundup. They can spray the plants with this toxin and they will survive. GMO food has been shown to increase inflammation in the body and theoretically would carry a bigger toxic burden since it would be able to withstand Roundup application. Another very good reason to buy organic produce lies in this article HERE. While we cannot control all of our toxin exposures, we have to be mindful of the tipping point. I had to laugh when the article says "Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, contends that the methods used in the study don’t reflect realistic conditions and that their product, which has been sold since the 1970s, is safe when used as directed. Hundreds of studies over the past 35 years have addressed the safety of glyphosate." Well, should we look at Autism rates back then, ADHD rates, juvenile diabetes rates, juvenile obesity rates? Do we not see a correlation? Just because something has been in use for that long does not make it safe. And what does it say that our rates of neurological and auto-immune diseases have skyrocketed during the same time period? Roundup is a piece of that pie, not the whole pie certainly, but a piece. More and more of our food today is GMO food, everything from schools, playgrounds, churches and HOMES are sprayed with these toxins. The human body is miraculous but come on, we have to help it out here (and let's compare this to our mother Earth as well). Pollute it to this level and yes, bad things happen. Lets wake up and smell the dandelions growing wild in our yards (well if dandelions had a distinct smell but you get the metaphor, right?). I have blogged before, weeds are the least of our problems, same thing with germs. These toxic chemicals we spray all over everything are far more harmful. Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld does an amazing talk at DAN! on protecting yourself in a toxic world. Look at the chemicals found in a newborn baby's cord blood. Hundreds of toxic chemicals are already polluting our precious infants. There are other ways, less profitable to the powers that be but when will we learn that we cannot eat or drink money? Every plot of land soon will be developed. We will only produce GMO corn and soy and import all of our "food" from China. And then we will be up in arms and revolt when we are all obese and everyone has been poisoned with melamine. Educate yourself on the quality of food going into your family. Our food should be pure and unadulterated. Put down those coupons for "fruit" by the foot, goldfish crackers, pop tarts and "juice". Head to your local farmer's market. Buy a juicer and expose your family to true, healthy juice with all those live enzymes, not the dead, pasteurized stuff with dyes, high fructose corn syrup and fillers. Enjoy a smoothie with your kids, throw in some frozen bananas and make this your nightly "ice cream", we do! Eat a salad with fresh greens, red and yellow bell peppers, fresh broccoli or put together a stir fry with fresh veggies, organic rice and maybe some organic chicken. That is what we had for dinner last night. It doesn't have to be hard or expensive. But, it does take getting out of your comfort level and maybe some extra time. A whole cart at the farmer's market runs me about $20, a whole cart FULL of beautiful produce. Homemade sweet potato fries are a huge hit in this house. But, it can take some time to get used to the fresh tastes and remove the tricks that high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and MSG (all 200 forms!!!) have played on our brains. I remember grossing out at a date roll. Now I can appreciate the sweetness, I couldn't then. But, take control of your diet and that of your family. Just like anything, it is hard at first but you get used to it. Don't fall into the trap that your kids NEED capri suns or the crap that they see at school. Rise above it and know you are making a better choice. Know that you are giving your child a better chance than the 1 in 3 that will have diabetes in the future. Make sure YOUR child is one of the other 2!! It may not be easy at first, but I promise it WILL be worth it!

L-Carnitine changes

So some who have been following this blog may know about our issues with L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine. When we tried to introduce these supplements, after 3 days of use my son began to smell very strongly of fish. We started with L-Carnitine and then later switched to Acetyl L-Carnitine, same thing occured with both forms. After some talking to Dr. Woeller and a quick internet search we came up with this HERE. Once again, it comes down to enzymes. So, after our success with Respen-A for almost a year and the tanning that we are seeing as a sign of enzyme progress, we decided to reintroduce Carnitine but very, very slowly. We did 250 mg every 3rd day. By the 2nd dose we were seeing lots of emotional outbursts, screaming "NO, I DON'T WANT TO" when we made requests, craziness. That sealed the deal and we will rest knowing we tried yet again. The last thing we wanted to do was flare clostridia since that had happened in the past when we used Carnitine.

That was last week. This week we are making the transition to Ubiquinol (read more about Ubiquinol HERE) instead of the CoQ10 we were using. This morning is the first dose so we shall see what happens.....always interesting around here. But, We always have to be learning and trying new things to maximize our kiddos' healing I think. I came back from the DAN! conference with a few new tidbits and wanted to see if anything I heard would make a difference. I will keep the blog posted on what changes we see (if any) with this new form of CoQ10.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The importance of vitamin D3, especially during cold and flu season!

I blogged something similar last year as well. Each year there seems to be more data suggesting the important role vitamin D3 has in immune function and protection against the flu, including H1N1. I firmly believe that the only defense is a good immune system. That IS our protection, period. So, the more you can do to boost your immunity, the better you will fare during cold and flu season. And lets remember that contracting and fighting these bugs is what enables our system to continually get stronger. Life is not about NOT getting sick, that is impossible, it is about getting sick, fighting it effectively because you've supported your immune system and then moving on quickly with greater immunity in the future. Nobody likes being sick but it kind of goes with the territory of being human. But our bodies were designed to fight these bugs, we just need to make sure we optimize our health to allow it to do so. Below is an article from on vitamin D3. (By the way, the 1200 ius that the doctors suggest for children to cut risk of flu by 64% is just 2 drops of the mycellized D3 from New Beginnings, FYI).
News on viruses and viral diseases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its flu message on its website on Oct 19 to promote use of influenza vaccine and get ready for the 2010-2011 flu season.

In the meantime, some medical researchers suggest people should take high doses of vitamin D in winter to have additional protection because flu vaccine is not as effective as thought.

The CDC said right now flu activity is low, but everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated even if they received a seasonal or 2009 H1N1 vaccine last year.

According to the agency, the influenza vaccine for 2010 to 2011 season has been updated to include three flu viruses including H1N1, which media reports have said will not be a pandemic in the near future to say the least.

Children, pregnant women, elderly people and those whose immunity such as HIV, cancer patients has been compromised are considered at high risk for flu complications.

At, the first message that shows up on the website is for pregnant women. It says "Protect Yourself and Your Baby Get A flu shot." also reminds consumers that other measures like washing hands need to be taken to prevent influenza.

One important preventative measure, taking vitamin D3 to boost innate immunity against influenza, was not mentioned on both and Recent evidence is convincing that taking high doses of vitamin D can highly effectively prevent flu including H1N1 the swine flu.

Lapinsky S.E. in April, 2010 published a study in Critical Care Medicine saying that pregnant women and immunosupressed patients are at increased risk of severe A (H1N1) influenza.

To respond to Lapinsky's findings, Dr. William B. Grant, PhD, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC) in San Francisco, CA and John J. Cannell, MD, The Vitamin D Council in San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 commented in the journal that the risk of influenza is linked to low serum vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D helps make antimicrobial peptides, which can prevent influenza viruses including H1N1. The role of vitamin D in innate immunity has been known for some time now, even though many people may not have heard of it.

Dr. Cannell said in his newsletter issued last year that two physicians, one in Wisconsin and the other in Georgia reported their observations that taking high doses of vitamin D in winter protected against H1N1 virus effectively.

According to Drs. Grant and Cannell, a Japanese trial has already demonstrated in a trial that children who took 1,200 IU per day of vitamin D3 and no additional vitamin D3 had their risk of influenza reduced by 64 percent.

One needs to know the efficacy of influenza vaccine to appreciate the protective effect of vitamin D reported in the Japanese study. Often, the effectiveness of influenza vaccine is likely no better than what vitamin D3 can provide as shown in the Japanese study.

High levels of serum vitamin D can help prevent other bacterial and viral infections, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes in addition to influenza and pneumonia, Dr. Grant and dr. Cannell said in their comment.

Drs. Grant and Cannell said in their comment "pregnant women should be encouraged to increase their serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to 40 to 80 ng/mL through supplementation with several thousand international units per day of vitamin D3 or solar ultraviolet-B when the sun is high enough that one’s shadow is shorter than one’s height."

It is generally advisable that no matter a person gets influenza vaccine or not, he should make sure to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D to protect seasonal flu and H1N1 in any flu season. This is necessary because in most cases influenza vaccine does not work as effectively as thought.

Jimmy Downs

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Toxins in Halloween face paint

I posted something similar last year but it is worth repeating. Here is an article from Yahoo Green about face paints. It is worth the read and something to be aware of. There are so many ways our children are exposed to toxins that if you can eliminate one, why not? At least you are armed with the knowledge to make an informed decision!

The Food and Drug Administration is warning parents to be wary of Halloween face paint, which the agency has limited jurisdiction over.

Halloween costume makeup is recommended as a good alternative to masks for kids who will be walking the streets trick-or-treating, since masks can obscure vision.

But Halloween face paint can have toxic ingredients (like lead and mercury) if not formulated according to the law; it can cause reactions in those who are allergic to certain ingredients; and it can cause reactions if applied to the wrong parts of the body.

The FDA recommends these simple steps to keep safe:

1. Follow all Halloween face paint directions carefully, including warnings against using around the eyes.

2. Don't decorate your face with products, paints, and colorings that aren't intended for your skin (and check out The Daily Green's 14 favorite homemade Halloween costumes for kids and adults).

3. If your Halloween face paint has a very bad smell, this could be a sign that it is contaminated. Throw it away and use another one.

4. Before using new Halloween costume makeup, perform a simple patch test, particularly if you or your child is prone to allergic reactions, a few days before Halloween.

5. Read ingredient lists and don't buy any product that has non-approved colors. The FDA lists coloring agents approved for use in cosmetics. Go beyond the FDA list and check your Halloween face paint label against The Daily Green's list of six cosmetics ingredients to avoid.

6. Don't use products with fluorescent colors near the eyes. You can identify fluorescent colorings by looking for the following ingredients:

D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11
D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27 and No. 28
D&C Yellow No. 7
7. Don't use luminescent (glow-in-the-dark) colors (like zinc sulfide) near your eyes.

8. Wash thoroughly (and follow label instructions) once trick-or-treating or the party is over. Don't go to sleep with Halloween costume makeup on your skin.

9. Before using an older product, check it against the information included in the May 2009 recall of Fun Express children's face paints, and the June 2009 expansion of that recall. See all children's product and toxic toy recalls.

10. If you have a bad reaction to Halloween face paint, report the incident to the FDA, so that other consumers can be protected.

The Daily Green adds that you can look for natural makeups and cosmetics to cut down on the chance of an adverse reaction (though allergens come in natural and synthetic forms).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Allergen free Halloween candy list

Well, if you are like me and dreading Halloween only from the standpoint of the allergen-filled candy bags that we bring home, then you are going to love this list! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the excitement in the air, the dressing up, coming together as a community and seeing everyone fill our neighborhood streets and going door to door. But, I don't love coming home and not being really sure what my kids are allowed to have. Not only do they suffer from food intolerances but we keep a tight rein on any refined sugar as well. Sugar feeds yeast, affects behavior and depresses the immune system. So, we don't use refined sugar at all except for the very rare cupcake or cake and my dairy free "buttercream" frosting recipe. Other than that, we use all natural alternatives like Stevia or we use honey, dates, fruit, or even crystallized coconut sugar which is made from the sap of the coconut tree. But, I do want my kids to have SOMETHING yummy and something on our "no-no list" once in a while. So, while searching the web about candy corns, I found this gem. As always, read labels to double check whether your child's allergen is listed, but I found this resource very helpful. I am passing it on in the hopes you will too, click HERE. Have a safe and fun Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toxins in our environment

Reducing everyday toxins is a big focus of mine and has been since I have learned more about my son's Autism and some of the things that I believe have contributed to it. It really bugs me to see the hypervigilance on things like disinfecting sprays, wipes, chemicals when our bodies are really designed to handle the bugs, it is the chemicals that it doesn't know what to do with! And we are also contributing to the rise in super bugs. Good handwashing and common sense practices can cut down your chances of getting sick. And common sense things like staying home while sick, and keeping your kids home while sick, covering your cough with your elbow, etc can reduce the risk of you spreading bugs to others, believe me, everyone thanks you for keeping those germs at home! But more than anything, I would challenge you to do an immune system assessment. Our immune system IS our defense. A good, healthy, predominantly plant based diet, maybe a good multi-vitamin, some common sense supplements and herbs and very little "junk" will go a long way to keeping our system working well (did you know that sugar depresses immune function?). Stress and sleep are also big immune system saboteurs. So, finding healthy outlets for stress and getting enough sleep will also help keep you well. Here is a wonderful newsletter by Great Plains Labs, in it Dr. Shaw and others talk about some of the commonplace chemicals that are not so pretty these days, one is Triclosan. It seems that Triclosan, and its evil sister Microban, is showing up all other the place these days. It was even hard to find child's lunchbox or scissors without Microban on them! Do some research of your own on these two gems. I avoid them personally at all cost. Dr. Shaw has some things to say about Triclosan and some great tips on helping the body detox after exposures, and we ALL have exposures. So, understanding what things will help the body get rid of the bad stuff to keep running effectively is important. Read his newsletter HERE.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

T*E*E*M Products

I always have a ton of new ideas floating around. I usually lack the time (or energy) to implement them. But, I have finally decided to bite the bullet and get started so I am jumping in with both feet! I am introducing T*E*E*M GREEN products. I am starting out small, with reusable sandwich and snack bags at first. But, look for a more broad product line as I get packaging and ingredients together for our T*E*E*M CLEAN line. All of our items will focus on health, wellness and environmental impact with an emphasis on green items. We are T*E*E*M-ing with excitement!

So pop on over to our T*E*E*M blog, there you will find my very first products for sale in the T*E*E*M shop. More colors and designs are coming soon, and special requests welcome! I will also have family size assortments to handle snack sized baggies and even larger baggies as well.