Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

The Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About
Posted  June 29th 2015 Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
Millions use aspirin daily without realizing its true dangers. The good news is that there is a natural alternative which preliminary research indicates is safer and more effective.
WARNING: Never discontinue a pharmaceutical product without the guidance of a physician. Doing so could have serious, if not life threatening side effects. This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing here is intended as or should be substituted for medical advice. 
Aspirin is taken faithfully by millions every day as a preventive measure against heart attack, often without the user having any awareness of the serious health risks associated with it, some potentially fatal. You can view over 60 adverse effects of aspirin on the GreenMedInfo.com'saspirin research page if you have any doubts about how serious a concern this is. 
Aspirin's widespread popularity is based on its much-touted blood-thinning properties. But there are safer, surprisingly more effective and far more natural alternatives on the market today.
For instance, pycnogenol, a branded form of an extract of French maritime pine bark, can be found on the shelves of thousands of health food stores around the country, and unique among natural products, has a broad base of human clinical research supporting its use for a wide variety of health conditions. You can view GreenMedInfo.com's pycnogenol research page take a look at the published research. 
Moreover, in cross comparison tests, pycnogenol has been found at least as effective as aspirin in preventing blood from clotting, but at significantly lower doses and with a superior safety profile.
Smoker's Study Proves Pycnogenol More Effective and Safer Than Aspirin
In a previous article titled, "The Powerful Aspirin Alternative That Grows on Trees," we featured a 1999 clinical study published in Thrombotic Research that found that when habitual smokers were given either 500 mg of aspirin or anywhere between 100-200 mg of pycnogenol, the pycnogenol group experienced equivalent platelet aggregation inhibiting effects but with much lower bleeding times:
"Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol. Aspirin significantly (p<0 .001="" 167="" 236="" advantageous="" an="" bleeding="" did="" for="" from="" increased="" nbsp="" not.these="" o:p="" observations="" pycnogenol.="" pycnogenol="" ratio="" risk-benefit="" seconds="" suggest="" time="" to="" while="">
This is a highly significant finding, as aspirin-induced bleeding can result in significantly increased morbidity and mortality. One might ask, if pycnogenol is as effective a 'blood thinner' as aspirin but without the same side effects, then what is the downside of using the natural alternative?

New Study Confirms Pycnogenol's Superiority to Aspirin
Research comparing pycnogenol to aspirin as a blood thinner has been sparse, but a new study promises to add additional weight to the previously reported finding of pycnogenol's superiority. Published this year in the Italian journal Panminerva Medica and titled, "Recurrence of retinal vein thrombosis with Pycnogenol® or Aspirin® supplementation: a registry study," researchers compared the use of either pycnogenol or aspirin in the prevention of retinal vein thrombosis recurrence after a first episode. 
Retinal vein thrombosis is considered to be a relatively common condition intimately related to other conditions that afflict the vascular system, such as hypertension, arteriosclerosis and diabetes.[1]
The study methods were described as follows:
Possible management options - chosen by patients - were: standard management; standard management + oral Aspirin® 100 mg once/day (if there were no tolerability problems before admission); standard management + Pycnogenol® two 50 mg capsules per day (for a total of 100 mg/day). Number of subjects, age, sex, distribution, percentage of smokers, and visThe results were reported as follows:
Recurrent RVT was seen in 17.39% of controls and in 3.56% of subjects supplemented with Pycnogenol® (P<0 .05="" 15.38="" 26="" 2="" 4.32="" 4.88="" 6="" 7.69="" 9="" a="" also="" and="" antiplatelets="" at="" be="" better="" compared="" comparison="" completed="" controls="" does="" dropped="" during="" edema="" effects.="" episodes="" equivalent="" follow-up="" for="" good="" group="" groups.="" has="" hemorrhagic="" higher="" in="" incidence="" indicates="" induce="" it="" level="" linked="" lower="" management="" may="" minor="" months="" nbsp="" new="" nine="" not="" o:p="" observed="" of="" or="" other="" out="" p="" pilot="" problems.="" profile.="" recurrence="" reduce="" reduced="" registry="" retinal="" rvt="" safety="" seems="" side="" significantly="" spirin="" standard="" subclinical="" subjects="" supplement="" supplementation="" that="" the="" theoretically="" there="" this="" times="" to="" tolerability="" use="" using="" very="" vision="" vs.="" was="" were="" with="" without="" ycnogenol="">
As you can see, the clear winner in this comparison study was pycnogenol. Not only was the incidence of recurrent retinal vein thrombosis almost five times higher in the aspirin group, vision and retinal swelling (edema) was significantly lower in the pycnogenol group, as well. Moreover, whereas the pycnogenol group had no reported side effects, 6 of the 26 subjects in the aspirin group dropped out due to tolerability issues, and 7.69% of the aspirin group (2 subjects of 26) were found to have retinal bleeding as a side effect in the follow-up period. 
Nature Provides Time-Tested Solutions
We really shouldn't be surprised that a naturally occurring complex of phytocompounds (i.e. pycnogenol) should outperform a synthetic drug, considering that our bodies have co-evolved for millions of years with natural things, (e.g. foods, herbs, spices), and only a hundred or more with synthetic ones, (e.g. patent drugs). Pycnogenol, as a bark extract, is about 65-75 percent proanthocyanidins (procyanidins), a class of polyphenols found in a wide variety of plants, many of which have been in the human diet since the inception of our species and before. Some classical examples include green and black tea, cranberry, bilberry, cocoa beans, cinnamon, and black currant. Polyphenols, of course, are powerful antoxidants, as well as signaling molecules, which likely perform a variety of gene-regulatory functions, that may have value in a wide range of health conditions. Indeed, we have indexed over 150 health benefits linked to polyphenol consumption on our database alone.
Suffice it to say that as the biomedical machine moves forward, and we see an increasingly voluminous body of literature investigating the health benefits and mechanisms of action underpinning natural interventions for disease prevention and treatment, we will become increasingly compelled to choose time-tested, natural alternatives to synthetic chemicals, as the former are not only much safer but often more effective than most scientists and physicians ever dreamed possible.


Additional References   [1] Prisco D, Marcucci R. Retinal vein thrombosis: risk factors, pathogenesis and therapeutic approach. Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2002 Sep-Dec;32(5-6):308-11. Review. PubMed PMID: 13679663.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Papa John's International Inc. is spending $100 million a year to eliminate artificial ingredients and other additives from its menu

PLS.  NOTE the Drs - Medical system has NEVER said a WORD about the chemical crud in Our foods !! Drs are DANGEROUS poorly educated DRUG pushers - ALL with dangerous side effects ! After high-profile moves by Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co. to purify their menus, restaurant chains are under pressure to go all-natural — and make sure consumers notice. Papa John's started posting its ingredients online this year, shining a spotlight on its food, will now spend $100 million a year to clean up menu
Papa John's International Inc. is spending $100 million a year to eliminate artificial ingredients and other additives from its menu, underscoring the cost of the restaurant industry's shift to more natural foods.
 By Craig GiammonaBloomberg News

The co. removed monosodium glutamate, or MSG, from its ranch dressing last year and pulled trans fats from its garlic sauce. Now Papa John's has homed in on a list of 14 ingredients, including corn syrup, artificial colors and various preservatives, that will be banished by the end of 2016. The ingredients are mostly in the chain's dipping sauces, which some customers use for pizza, and other items like chicken poppers.

After high-profile moves by Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co. to purify their menus, restaurant chains are under pressure to go all-natural — and make sure consumers notice. Papa John's started posting its ingredients online this year, shining a spotlight on its food.
But the push to remove artificial ingredients comes at a cost. In addition to the $100 million in added expenses each year — the result of using higher-priced natural ingredients — the shift has affected the taste of some items, said John Schnatter, the company's founder and chief executive officer.

WHY don't Drs. do anything about the Chemical poisons in food ???  
Too good for revenue ?

"It's hard to remove some of these things and still get the flavor and functionality you want," said Schnatter, the "Papa" in the coy's name. "We gave up flavor on the ranch dressing because I wanted to get the chemical out."  Papa John's latest push on menu transparency started after a food blogger criticized the chain's ingredients in 2013. To track its progress, the company created an internal color-coded "Clean Label Scorecard" that compares it to Chipotle and Panera, two chains seen as standard-bearers for the natural-food push.
Panera has spent the last year removing artificial additives from its food and reformulating its salad dressings. Chipotle, meanwhile, has eliminated genetically modified organisms from its ingredients. It also debuted a marketing campaign that touts its use of simple, unprocessed ingredients.
Larger fast-food chains are getting into the act as well. Taco Bell said last month it would eliminate unnatural ingredients, and McDonald's has pledged to stop serving chicken raised with some antibiotics.
Papa John's is the third-largest pizza chain in the United States by sales, trailing Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza. Pizza Hut, owned by Yum Brands Inc., said last month it would remove artificial colors and flavors from its "nationally available" pizzas by the end of July. The chain previously eliminated trans fats and MSG.  The movement has spread to the packaged-food industry too. General Mills said on Monday that it was removing artificial flavors and colors from its full lineup of breakfast cereals.
Schnatter said his effort to clean up Papa John's menu has nothing to do with moves by competitors. It all started back in 1996 after he visited a factory in Kansas and didn't like how the sausage was being made, he said.  Over the years, Schnatter made changes like removing fillers from the meat used for toppings and improving the pizza dough. The company also previously pulled cellulose, an anti- caking agent, from its mozzarella cheese. Each adjustment has boosted food expenses, he said. It costs more than $2 million just to serve pepperoni free of the preservatives BHA and BHT, Schnatter said.
Papa John's, which has more than 4,600 restaurants worldwide, has long marketed its menu under the tag line "better ingredients, better pizza." Its pizza is generally more expensive than the other major chains, according to Michael Halen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
"Customers already give Papa John's credit for quality ingredients, as shown by their willingness to pay a dollar or two more for their pizzas," Halen said. Still, the bet on natural ingredients may not be a "game changer" the way the switch to digital ordering was, he said. Ten of the ingredients marked for elimination at Papa John's will be gone by the end of this year, with the final four following by the end of 2016, the company said. That will put the chain in a position that's hard for competitors to match, Schnatter said.

"Everybody wants Papa John's quality, but they don't want to take the time or spend the money to do it," he said. "They're going to have to spend a bunch of money to get where we're at. And if they don't, we'll let the customers make the decisions."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health

June 28, 2015 | 
By Dr. Mercola
Most everyone, including many conventional physicians, have begun to appreciate the importance and value of vitamin D. Few, however, recognize the importance of vitamin K2, which is nearly as important as vitamin D.
Dr. Dennis Goodman,1 who was born in South Africa and trained at the University of Cape Town, has multiple board certifications in cardiology (and several subspecialties) and holistic integrative medicine.
After his internship at the Grootte Schuur Hospital—where Dr. Christian Barnard did the first heart transplant in 1967—he came to the US, where he did his cardiology fellowship at the at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where Dr. Michael DeBakey performed the first bypass surgery.
"I was really very lucky to be in a situation where I had these two cardiac giants as mentors and teachers," he says.
Dr. Goodman is also the chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at the New York University (NYU), and has authored the book, Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health. In it, he explains why vitamin K2 isevery bit as important as vitamin D.
“For 20 years I was putting stents in; running around day and night at the hospital. When I got called to the emergency room for someone having a heart attack, I was like a fireman putting out a fire in a house.
Sometimes, you were very lucky and could save the house from burning down, and sometimes not.
What I started to realize is that prevention is really the key for us to making the maximum impact. I’ve always been interested in the idea that everything we need to be healthy is provided by the Lord above –namely what’s out there for us to eat.
80 percent of these chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, and obesity are preventable. So I got into the whole idea of learning integrative medicine,” he says.
He got his training in integrative medicine at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, and ended up being the chief of cardiology at the Scripps clinic for many years.
“Obviously, when you understand holistic medicine, you understand that so much of what we’re doing, unfortunately, in traditional medicine is procedures, testing, and prescribing drugs, because that’s what we’re taught—and making diagnoses instead of taking care of people who basically may not have a disease, but are not healthy and well.”
As a cardiologist, it's quite appropriate to delve into vitamin K2, as it has two crucial functions: one is in cardiovascular health and the other is in bone restoration.
It performs many other functions as well, but by helping remove calcium from the lining of the blood vessels, vitamin K2 helps prevent occlusions from atherosclerosis.

Vitamin K Basics

Vitamins K1 and K2 are part of a family, but they are very different in their activity and function. Vitamin K1, found in green leafy vegetables, is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in the production of coagulation factors, which are critical for stopping bleeding.
This is why when someone's on a blood thinner such as warfarin, they need to be careful not to take too much vitamin K1, as it will antagonize the effect of drug. Vitamin K2 is very different. There's a complex biochemistry that occurs with K2 involving two enzymes:
  • Matrix Gla-protein (MGP)
  • Osteocalcin
“Gla” is short for glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is imported into the cells in the wall of your arteries, where it binds to calcium and removes it from the lining of your blood vessels.
Once removed from your blood vessel lining, vitamin K2 then facilitates the intergration of that calcium into your bone matrix by handing it over to osteocalcin,. The osteocalcin then helps cement the calcium in place.
Vitamin K2 activates these two proteins. Without it, this transfer process of calcium from your arteries to your bone cannot occur, which raises your risk of arterial calcification.
"Vitamin K2 is like a light switch—it switches on MGP and osteocalcin, which takes calcium out of the arterial wall and keeps it in the bone.
There's so much information showing this relationship between osteoporosis (not having enough calcium in your bones) and having an increased incidence of heart disease. What's actually happening, I think, a lot of patients are vitamin K2-deficient," Dr. Goodman says.
“So now, I tell all patients – especially when they have risk factors for calcification – ‘You’ve got to get vitamin K2 when you take your vitamin D, and your calcium, and magnesium.’ Because we need to make sure that the calcium is going where it’s supposed to go.”

Statins May Increase Arterial Calcification by Depleting Vitamin K2

Besides a vitamin K2-poor diet, certain drugs may affect your vitamin K2 status. Dr. Goodman cites a recent article2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which suggests statin drugs may increase calcification in the arteries.
Interestingly enough, another recent study3 published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology shows that statins deplete vitamin K2.
“For me, that is so huge because if that’s true, everybody that is put on a statin, you want to make sure they’re also taking vitamin K2,” Dr. Goodman says.
This is an important observation, considering one in four adults in the US over the age of 40 is on a statin drug. Not only do all of these people need to take a ubiquinol or coenzyme Q10, which is also depleted by the drug, it's quite likely they also need vitamin K2 to avoid cardiovascular harm.

Sources of Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is produced by certain bacteria, so the primary food source of vitamin K2 is fermented foods such as natto, a fermented soy product typically sold in Asian grocery stores. Fermented vegetables can be a great source of vitamin K if you ferment your own using a specially-designed starter culture. My Kinetic Culture is high in strains that make vitamin K2. If you would like to learn more about making your own fermented vegetables with a starter culture, you can watch the video and read more on this page.
Please note that not every strain of bacteria makes K2, so not all fermented foods will contain it. For example, most yogurts have almost no vitamin K2. Certain types of cheeses, such as Gouda, Brie, and Edam, are high in K2, while others are not. It really depends on the specific bacteria. Still, it's quite difficult to get enough vitamin K2 from your diet—especially if you do not eat K2-rich fermented foods—so taking a supplement may be a wise move for most people.

How Can You Tell if You're Deficient in Vitamin K2?

The major problem we face when it comes to optimizing vitamin K2 is that, unlike vitamin D, there’s no easy way to screen or test for vitamin K2 sufficiency. Vitamin K2 cannot at present be measured directly, so it’s measured through an indirect assessment of undercarboxylated osteocalcin. This test is still not commercially available, however. “That’s our problem. If that was available, we could start testing and showing people that their levels are low,” Dr. Goodman says.
Without testing, we’re left with looking at various lifestyle factors that predispose you to deficiency. As a general rule, if you have any of the following health conditions, you're likely deficient in vitamin K2:
That said, it's believed that the vast majority of people are in fact deficient these days and would benefit from more K2. One reason for this is very few (Americans in particular) eat enough vitamin K2-rich foods. So, if you do not have any of the health conditions listed, but do NOT regularly eat high amounts of the following foods, then your likelihood of being vitamin K2 deficient is still very high:
  • Certain fermented foods such as natto, or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria
  • Certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda (these two are particularly high in K2, containing about 75 mcg per ounce)
  • Grass-fed organic animal products (i.e. egg yolks, butter, dairy)

Different Kinds of Vitamin K2

The vitamin K puzzle is even more complex than differentiating between K1 and K2. There are also several different forms of vitamin K2. The two primary ones—and the only ones available in supplement form—are menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7). MK-4 has a very short biological half-life—about one hour—making it a poor candidate as a dietary supplement. MK-7 stays in your body longer; its half-life is three days, meaning you have a much better chance of building up a consistent blood level, compared to MK-4.
In supplement form, the MK-4 products are actually synthetic. They are not derived from natural food products containing MK-4. The MK-7– long-chain, natural bacterial-derived vitamin K2– on the other hand comes from a fermentation process, which offers a number of health advantages.
Research4 has shown MK-7 also helps prevent inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory markers produced by white blood cells called monocytes. MK-7 is extracted from the Japanese fermented soy product natto, and since it's longer lasting, you only need to take it once a day. With an MK-4 supplement, you need to take it three times a day. The duration of action is also much longer with MK-7.
As for a clinically useful dosage, some studies have shown as little as 45 micrograms per day is sufficient. Dr. Goodman recommends taking 180 micrograms per day, making sure the K2 is in the form of MK-7. If you're eating natto, all you need is about one teaspoon.
That said, vitamin K2 is non-toxic, so you don't need to worry about overdosing if you get more. Do keep in mind that vitamin K2 may not necessarily make you "feel better" per se. Its internal workings are such that you're not likely to feel the difference physically. Compliance can therefore be a problem, as people are more likely to take something that has a noticeable effect. This may not happen with vitamin K2, but that certainly does not mean it's not doing anything! Last but not least, remember to always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since it is fat-soluble and won't be absorbed without it.

Magnesium Recommendations

Another important nutrient is magnesium, which Dr. Goodman addressed in an earlier book called Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart & MoreThere are at least 350 enzyme systems in your body that require magnesium for proper function. Perhaps even more importantly, the quartet of calcium, vitamin D, K2, and magnesium all work together synergistically. "They're all in the symphony. You should take them all," Dr. Goodman says. I couldn't agree more, and have discussed this in previous articles.
If you can find a supplement that contains vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K2 in combination, that might be ideal, and then add calcium according to your individual needs. One way to get calcium from your diet that doesn't cost you anything extra is to pulverize the eggshell from an organic, pastured egg. I use a coffee grinder to do this. I then add the powdered eggshell to my smoothie. Do be sure the eggs you use are organically raised on pasture though. You do not want to use eggs from chickens raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Getting back to magnesium, the only people who really need to be concerned about taking too much are those with renal failure. “If your creatinine’s high, or you got renal failure, you can get into trouble with magnesium,” he says. “But everybody else, the only thing that can happen is some loose stools.”
As for the type of magnesium, Dr. Goodman recommends taking magnesium that ends in “ate”: threonate, glycinate, citrate, and dimalate —the latter of which has a slow-release technology (JIGSAW). “I cannot tell you how many people have written to me, e-mailed me, and thanked me because of magnesium supplementation – no more headaches, they’re sleeping at night, no more leg cramps or palpitations. In some patients it actually helped them lose weight. It’s huge,” he says.

More Information

In closing, Dr. Goodman notes, “I really hope that people get the message that we both are trying to send: to be healthy, you’ve actually got to do something about it. You’ve got to get up, think about nutrition, and think about exercise, stress management, and sleep.” In fact, in addition to vitamin K2, we discuss a number of side issues essential to optimal health in this interview, so for additional pointers please listen to the full interview, linked below the condensed video above, or read through the transcript.
I also recommend picking up one or both of Dr. Goodman's books: Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Healthand Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart & More to learn more about these two underappreciated nutrients. While going into complex topics, Dr. Goodman's books are easy to read and understand for the layperson.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fresh food movement sweeping the nation


Fresh food movement sweeping the nation




SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) 
- Many Americans are changing the way they eat.

Genetically modified organisms or GMOs and processed foods are being pushed out and more and more natural foods are moving in. 

"I think people are just thinking about eating healthier and there is so much information available to them socially," said Vice President of Harmon's Bob Harmon. 

It's the fresh food movement and companies like Chipotle, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are listening to customers. They are all now GMO free.  "They are cooking fresh ingredients and they're taking some of their isle way of prepared food space and making it more of prepared food from scratch," said Scott Albert with Nicholas and Company

Nicholas and Company provides food for Subway, Burger King, Kneaders and local restaurants
Like grocery stores, their freezer and dry good space has condensed making way for more refrigeration. 

"People are becoming more veg-centric meaning vegetables are taking more of center plate," Albert adds. 

If you're a meat lover this movement affects you too. Animals are eating non-GMO feed, making them taste better.

"I think for decades we were kind of like marred in this kind of you know processed world and I think people are just really looking at ways to not only feed their families but nutritionally feed their families," said Harmon. 

Grocery stores not only are looking for non-preservative food, they are making it from scratch allowing clerk and customer to talk about what is going into their bodies.