The Non-Essentials




Things You May Want To Know About MSG

Neuroscientists agree that MSG (monosodiumgluconate) is a neurotoxin, killing brain neurons by exciting them to death. In 1980 MSG was added to the FDA's list of additives needing further study. Yet, MSG has been increasingly added to food products as an artificial flavor enhancer.

Studies reveal that when fed to pregnant rats or mice, MSG causes the offspring to suffer from learning disabilities. In other studies performed on small animals, MSG has been proven to cause brain damage in the young. With this information many baby food manufacturers voluntarily removed MSG from their products.There are still some junior food products and baby formulas on the market that contain MSG. Many of the formulas for allergic infants contain larger amounts than the regular formulas.

The most prominent reaction to MSG is migraine headaches, which can take up to 48 hours to appear. This fact is well recognized by headache clinics throughout the country. Other symptoms include, depression, irritability, mood swings, fatigue, learning disabilities, seizures, reproductive dysfunction, digestive disturbance, and liver/gall bladder problems.

MSG also affects the hunger centers of the brain causing those who eat it to crave more food. Could this be why food manufacturers put it in their products? MSG also causes weight gain. It is actually fed to laboratory animals to fatten them up for research without increasing their food intake. When you realize that 90% of the food budget dollars in America are spent on processed, packaged foods and the majority of processed foods on the market today contain MSG, is it any wonder that so many people are sick, fat, or tired?

Food manufacturers disguise this toxic additive under more than 27 different names, natural flavoring is one of them. Despite this fact, MSG can be avoided. The best way to do this is to eat primarily whole, fresh, natural foods. When you do eat processed foods, go with the health food brands that do not contain chemical additives. Choose health.

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The next time you think about adding one of those low-calorie sugar substitutes to your morning coffee, you might want to think again.  Sure, they have fewer calories and are 200 times sweeter than a spoonful of sugar, but this common sweetener used in foods and beverages in more than 90 countries worldwide is actually a dangerous neurotoxin that can lead to serious health problems.
Aspartame (L-aspartl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester) is found in a myriad of food products on market shelves today—diet soda, sports drinks, sugar-free gum, syrup, salad dressing, and certain snack food, just to name a few.  Many consumers seek out these "sugar-free" and "diet" alternatives as a way to lose weight or cut the sugar content in their diet.  
But what many consumers don't realize is that every metabolite in aspartame is actually toxic for human consumption.  Upon ingestion of aspartame, the substance quickly decomposes in the body to become methanol (wood alcohol), then formaldehyde (embalming fluid), then formic acid (insect poison), and finally, carbon monoxide (one component in auto exhaust). 
The FDA approved aspartame in 1981.  But the toxic nature of every ingredient in the sweetener has made thousands of scientists, health professionals, lawyers and consumers ask: how could the FDA allow such a product on the market?  Over the years, their investigations have exposed a disturbing tale of power, political negotiations and deceit at the expense of public health. 
A group of concerned consumers, health professionals and health organizations have joined forces to educate and warn consumers about aspartame disease through the Artificially Sweetened Times, an eight-page informational handout to be distributed nationwide during Aspartame Awareness Weekend, September 6-7, 2003.  This publication reveals the real health threats of this toxic sweetener and the trail of deception, controversy and fraud surrounding aspartame's approval for human consumption.
For more information on aspartame and about Aspartame Awareness Weekend:

Diet Drink Anyone?

Article written by Nancy Markle

I have spent several days lecturing at the World Environment Conference on Aspartame marketed as NutraSweet, Equal and Spoonful. In the keynote address by the EPA, they announced that there was an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus, and they did not understand what toxin was causing this to be rampant across the United States. I explained that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.

When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F; the wood alcohol in Aspartame converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. (Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants). The methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis thus peoples were being diagnosed with having multiple sclerosis in error. The multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, where methanol toxicity is. In the case of systemic lupus, we are finding it has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers. Also, with methanol toxicity, the victims usually drink three to four 12 oz. cans of them per day, some even more. In the case of systemic lupus, which is triggered by Aspartame, the victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. The victim continues its use aggravating the lupus to such a degree, that sometimes it becomes life threatening. When we get people off the Aspartame, those with systemic lupus usually become symptomatic. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse this disease.

On the other hand, in the case of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, (when in reality, the disease is methanol toxicity), most of the symptoms disappear. We have seen cases where their vision has returned and even their hearing has returned. This also applies to cases of tinnitus. During a lecture, I said,and quote, "If you are using Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc.) and you suffer from Fibromyalgia symptoms; spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision or memory loss, you probably have Aspartame disease."

People were jumping up during the lecture saying, "I've got this. Is it reversible?" It is rampant. Some of the speakers at my lecture even were suffering from these symptoms. In one lecture attended by the Ambassador of Uganda, he told us that their sugar industry is adding Aspartame. He continued by saying that one of the industry leader's sons could no longer walk - due in part by product usage. We have a very serious problem. During a visit to a hospice, a nurse said that six of her friends who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with M.S. This is beyond coincidence.

Here is the problem. There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, but to no avail. Nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets. Now there are over 5,000 products containing this chemical, and the PATENT HAS EXPIRED. At the time of this first hearing, people were going blind. The methanol in the Aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the retina of the eye. Formaldehyde is grouped in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic - DEADLY POISONS! Unfortunately, it just takes longer to quietly kill, but it is killing people and causing all kinds of neurological problems.

Aspartame changes the brain's chemistry. It is the reason for severe seizures. This drug changes the dopamine level in the brain. Imagine what this drug does to patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease. This drug also causes Birth Defects. There is absolutely no reason to take this product. It is NOT A DIET PRODUCT. The Congressional record said, "It makes you crave carbohydrates and will make you FAT." Dr. Roberts stated that when he got patients off Aspartame, their average weight loss was 19 pounds per person. The formaldehyde stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs.

Aspartame is especially deadly for diabetics. All physicians know what wood alcohol will do to a diabetic. We find that physicians believe that they have patients with retinopathy, when in fact, it is caused by the Aspartame. The Aspartame keeps the blood sugar level out of control, causing many patients to go into a coma.

Unfortunately, many have died. People were telling us at the Conference of the American college of Physicians, that they had relatives that switched from saccharin to an Aspartame product and how that relative had eventually gone into a coma. Their physicians could not get the blood sugar levels under control. Thus, the patients suffered acute memory loss and eventually coma and death. Memory loss is due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylanine are neurotoxic without the other amino acids found in protein. Thus it goes past the brain barrier and deteriorates the neurons of the brain.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, said, "The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees." Dr. Blaylock has written a book entitled, "EXCITOTOXINS : The Taste That Kills" (Health Press 800-643-2665). Dr. H.J. Roberts, diabetic specialist and world expert on Aspartame Poisoning has also written a book entitled, "Defense against Alzheimer's Disease" (800-814-9800). Dr. Roberts tells how Aspartame Poisoning is escalating Alzheimer's Disease and indeed it is. As the hospice nurse told me, women are being admitted at 30 years of age with Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Roberts will be writing a position paper with some case histories and will post it on the Internet.

According to the Conference of the American College of Physicians, "We are talking about a plague of neurological diseases caused by this deadly poison." Dr. Roberts realized what was happening when Aspartame was first marketed. He said, "his diabetic patients presented memory loss, confusion, and severe vision loss." At the Conference of American College of Physicians, doctors admitted that they did not know. They had wondered why seizures were rampant (the phenylaline in Aspartame breaks down the seizures threshold and depletes serotonin, which causes manic depression, panic attacks, rage and violence). Just possible antidote for this poison because they are experiencing so many problems in their country. This "poison" is now available in 90 plus countries worldwide.

The New York Times, on November 15, 1996, ran an article on how the American Dietetic Association takes money from the food industry to endorse their products. Therefore, they cannot criticize any additives or tell about their link to Monsanto.

How bad is this? We told a mother who had a child on NutraSweet to get off the product. The child was having Grand Mal Seizures every day. The mother called her physician, who called the ADA, who told the doctor not to take the child off the NutraSweet. We are still trying to convince the mother that the Aspartame is causing the seizures. Every time we get someone off of Aspartame, the seizures stop. If the baby dies, you know whose fault it is and what we are up against. There are 92 documented symptoms of Aspartame from coma to death. The majority of them are neurological because the Aspartame destroys the nervous system.

Aspartame Disease is partially the cause to what is behind some of the mystery of the Desert Storm health problems. The burning tongue and other problems discussed in over 60 cases can be directly related to the consumption of Aspartame product and several thousand pallets of diet drinks were shipped to the Desert Storm troops. Diet drinks sat in the 120 degree F Arabian sun for weeks at a time on pallets. The service men and women drank them all day long. All of their symptoms are identical to Aspartame Poisoning.

Dr. Roberts says that consuming Aspartame at the time of conception can cause birth defects. The phenylanine concentrates in the placenta, causing mental retardation, according to Dr. Louis Elsas, Pediatrician Professor - genetics at Emory University in his testimony before Congress. In the original lab tests, animals developed brain tumors (phenylaline breaks down into DXP, a brain tumor agent). When Dr. Espisto was lecturing on Aspartame, one physician in the audience, a neurosurgeon said, "When they remove brain tumors, they have found high levels of Aspartame in them".

A great alternative to using artificial sweeteners is Stevia. Stevia is an all-natural, organic sweeter that has no negative health side effects. Stevia, a sweet food, NOT AN ADDITIVE, that helps in the metabolism of sugar, which would be ideal for diabetics, has now been approved as a dietary supplement by the FDA. For years, the FDA has outlawed this sweet food because of their loyalty to Monsanto.

Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote a bill that would have warned all infants, pregnant mothers and children of the dangers of Aspartame. The bill would have also instituted independent studies on the problems existing in the population (seizures, changes in brain chemistry, changes in neurological and behavioral symptoms). The bill was killed by the powerful drug and chemical lobbies, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting public. Since the Conference of American College of Physicians, we hope to have the help of some world leaders.

You can read more about about Stevia on my herbal Information web pages by clicking here.

Please help us. There are a lot of people out there who must be warned. Please let them know this information. You might want to print it out to hand out or fax it to people who are not online.

Please read on about Splenda. If you were thinking you could use Splenda as an alternative to aspartame, sorry, this is yet another toxic chemical to be avoided. Be informed inorder to make better choices to create health.

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As stated by Dr. Julian Whitaker, "If you read reports from the FDA & the mainstream press, you might conclude that sucralose, also known as Splenda, is perfectly safe. But aspartame also has the FDA's seal of approval & since this artificial sweetener came on the market in 1981, it's accounted for more than 75%  of the complaints reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring system."

Though it is claimed to be made from sugar, Splenda, is made by manipulating the sugar molecule. A non-caloric, artificial sweetener that is 600 times sweeter than sugar is created from this process.

The safety of Splenda is still unclear even though it's manufacturer, McNeil Nutritionals, say it is not absorbed by the body, we know this to be untrue. Infact, according to the FDA's "Final Rule" report, 11-27 % of sucralose is absorbed by the human body. Since it is not all that water soluble and has chemicals bonds that do not dissolve in the body that easily, it stays in the body and the poisons lodge in the cells, doing damage to surrounding cells and DNA.

Most European countries are reserving their approval of Splenda. They point out that there are no long term or independent studies on sucralose and animal research has shown that it can cause shrinkage of the thymus glands, kidney and liver damage, and impaired growth. This raises questions as to whether this product is safe.

To make sucralose, chlorine is used. Chlorine can be harmless, as in combination with sodium. In this case the chlorine forms a harmless "ionic bond" that yields table salt. Or it can be life threatening as when used with carbon, where a "covalent bond" is formed. In the case of Splenda the chlorine atom in sucralose forms a "covalent" bond. The end result is the deadly "organochlorine". Called a Really-Nasty Form of Chlorine (RNFOC). These RNFOC's are molecules like those found in agent orange and other harmful chemicals used as gases during warfare (e.g. Lindane, Chlordane). Does this sound like something you want to eat???

These "covalent chlorines" are a big no-no for the human body. They yield insecticides, pesticides and herbicides". Infact, I have read more than once that Splenda was discovered when the manufacturer was working on a new insecticide. When they realized how sweet it tasted they decided to use it as a sweetener instead. True or not, this still does not sound like something you want to add to your diet.

RNFOC's can potentially do damage to the cells. As I have stated, they are not easily removed from the body and become lodged in the cells. They are known to create many problems in the body and compromise the immune system. Some symtoms include irregular heart beat, agitation, shortness of breath, skin rashes, headaches, liver and kidney damage, birth defects, diabetes, Hodgkins lymphoma, non-lymphoma Hodgkins and various other cancers.


I recommend that the better non-caloric sweetener choice is stevia. This herbal extract has a clean bill of health and it is safe for diabetics to use.

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Taken from an article by Michael Grant White. More valuable health information can be found on Michael's web site

Note: I have made the additions of mentioning organic coconut oil as another healthy choice when choosing oil.

Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, coconut oil from coconuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? 

Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals". 

Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. You can use it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as a illuminate for color pages in magazines. It is an industrial oil. It is not a food.

Rape oil is strongly related to symptoms of emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was discontinued . 


It is genetically engineered rapeseed.
Canada paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape registered and recognized as "safe". (Source: Young Again and others)

Rapeseed is a lubricating oil used by small industry. It has never been meant for human consumption.

It is derived from the mustard family and is considered a toxic and poisonous weed, which when processed, becomes rancid very quickly.

It has been shown to cause lung cancer (Wall Street Journal: 6/7/95)

It is very inexpensive to grow and harvest.

Insects won't eat it.

Some typical and possible side effects include loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, low birth weights in infants and irritability.

Generally rapeseed has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and prohibits normal enzyme function. Canola is a Trans Fatty Acid, which has shown to have a direct link to cancer. These Trans Fatty acids are labeled as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid all of them!

According to John Thomas' book, Young Again, 12 years ago in England and Europe, rape seed was fed to cows, pigs and sheep who later went blind and began attacking people. There were no further attacks after the rape seed was eliminated from their diet. Source: David Dancu, N.D. Apparently peanut oil is being replaced with rape oil. You'll find it in an alarming number of processed foods. I read where rape oil was the source of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skins of hundred of thousands of soldiers and civilians during W.W.I. Recent French reports indicate that it was again in use during the Gulf War. 
Check products for ingredients. If the label says, "may contain the following" and lists canola oil, you know it contains canola oil because it is the cheapest oil and the Canadian government subsidizes it to industries involved in food processing.

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare fatal degenerative disease caused by in a build up long-chain fatty acids (c22 to c28) which destroys the  myelin (protective sheath) of the nerves. Canola oil is a very long chain fatty acid oil (c22).

Those who will defend canola oil say that the Chinese and Indians have used it for centuries with no effect, however it was in an unrefined form.(taken from FATS THAT HEAL AND FATS THAT KILL by Udo Erasmus.)

I heard about a man who  bred birds, always checking labels to insure there was no rape seed in their food. He said, "The birds will eat it, but they do not live very long." A friend, who worked for only 9 mo. as a quality control taster at an apple-chip factory where Canola oil was used exclusively for frying, developed numerous health problems.

Rape seed oil used for stir-frying in China found to emit cancer-causing chemicals. (Rapeseed oil smoke causes lung cancer.) Amal Kumar Maj. The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 1995 pB6(W) pB6 (E) col 1(11 col in). Compiled by Darleen Bradley.

Because of the lungs need for essential fatty acids in the oxidation relationship I have to suspect that canola oil has a quite negative affect on the way we breathe.

Because of the public scare over animal fats, sales of vegetable oils of all types increased. It was the established wisdom that those oils high in polyunsaturated fatty acids were especially beneficial (animal fats are high in saturated fatty acids). The obsession with polyunsaturated versus saturated fats led researchers and nutritionists to overlook some of the other features of vegetable oils that we now know are crucial to health, including: (1) susceptibility to rancidity; (2) ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids and its relevance in inflammatory diseases and immune system function; (3) possible presence of irritating or toxic compounds in particular plant oils. Unlike the case of trans-fatty acids, for which there is massive amount of research data, there is much less documented scientific research on canola oil consumption in humans, specifically.

Experimental rats that were fed canola oil "developed fatty degeneration of the heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. On withdrawing the canola oil from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained on all vital organs." [ref. 3a] In the absence of direct research studies of canola oil and human health, many concerned nutritionists and biochemists have attempted to analyze the canola oil situation on the basis of current knowledge of the biochemistry of fats and oils. While hard-nosed canola industry spokespersons may claim such commentary to be speculative, in the absence of proof of safety, anyone concerned about their family's health should pay close attention to the various arguments and warnings. The Canola Council of Canada has published a report [ref. 3k] that focuses heavily on the high polyunsaturated fatty acid content of canola oil and the presumed benefits of polyunsaturated oils on various blood parameters (platelet phospholipids, platelet aggregation, eicosanoid production, clotting time). In spite of the many scientific references listed at the end of the report, the author studiously avoids discussion of the toxic effects mentioned by many nutritionists and biochemists, and, instead, attempts to link many of the benefits of Mediterranean-type diets high in olive oil to diets high in canola oil, when in fact, no such evidence is presented, and canola oil has never been part of a traditional Mediterranean diet.

Concerns about the risks of using canola (rapeseed) oil focus on several aspects: (1) the presence of long-chain fatty acids, including erucic acid, which are thought by some to cause CNS degeneration, heart disease, and cancer; (2) the high temperatures needed in the refining process to make canola oil palatable, which lead to formation of trans-fatty acids; (3) miscellaneous undesirable chemical constituents (thioglycosides and thiocyanates) whose effects are unclear, as their concentration in the refined product is probably very low.

Although Chinese and Indian peoples have long used rapeseed oil in cooking, it was not refined and processed to the extent of modern commercial methods, and it was never considered to be a high quality oil for human consumption. Ayurvedic physicians have for thousands of years classified olive, almond, and sesame as the best oils for human health, and have considered safflower, soybean and rapeseed oils to be undesirable for human consumption except perhaps when no other oil sources were available. Recent epidemiological studies of high lung cancer rates in Chinese women suggest that wok cooking with rapeseed oil is responsible, rather than tobacco smoking, which was only a weak factor. Chinese rapeseed oil tended to produce the highest emissions of the potentially carcinogenic or mutagenic compounds 1,3-butadiene, benzene, acrolein, and formaldehyde, when compared with soybean oil and peanut oil. [ref. 3n] Canola oil contains a long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which is especially irritating to mucous membranes; canola oil consumption has been correlated with development of fibrotic lesions of the heart, CNS degenerative disorders, lung cancer, and prostate cancer, anemia, and constipation. [ref. 3a, 3b] Canola oil derives from the plants Brassica campestris and B. napus, which have been selectively bred to substantially reduce the erucic acid content. However, some health professionals feel that there is still too much present in current canola oil products for safe use.

Some critics of canola oil focus on the fact that rapeseed oil was originally used as an industrial lubricant and known to be unfit for human consumption, although many vegetable oils have been used in industrial applications as well as in foods. The long-chain fatty acids found in canola have been found to destroy the sphingomyelin surrounding nerve cells in the brain, in some cases leading to a degenerative brain condition remarkably similar to mad-cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy); in advanced cases the brain tissue develops a Swiss-cheese-like appearance, full of holes. Illnesses and conditions that have been associated with canola oil consumption include loss of vision (retinal capillaries are very sensitive and easily damaged), and a wide range of neurological disorders. [ref. 3a] The high temperatures used in canola refining will damage many of the essential fatty acids, which are much more susceptible to damage by heat than saturated fats. (Heat may convert many of the unsaturated double bonds to the "trans" configuration.) While high-quality essential fatty acids are required for human health, in their damaged or rancid forms they become harmful.

Additional problems with canola oil include the presence of minute, but potentially dangerous, amounts of thioglycosides, which have thyrotoxic effects. [ref. 3m] To reduce the concentration of these compounds requires processing with alkalinizing agents plus high temperatures; unfortunately, the high temperatures used in processing have other undesirable effects, the most serious of which is the conversion of unsaturated fats to the trans form.

Rapeseed has been selectively bred and genetically engineered [ref. 3a] in an attempt to reduce the toxic components and processing methods were developed to further reduce the concentration of undesirable compounds. Prior to its entry into the "health" food market, it was known as rapeseed oil, but savvy marketing professionals knew that the health food market, heavily dominated by young, college-educated women, would not purchase a repulsive-sounding product called rapeseed oil. The name of the selectively bred variety was changed to canola (as in "Canadian oil"; it has been heavily promoted by Canadian government and agricultural organizations) oil; the name rolls off the tongue with a mellifluous sound. [3.1]


The biochemistry of plants and natural food products is often complex; the total effect of a given food on human health is dependent upon many chemical constituents and their interaction with biochemical pathways of the body. To radically alter our diets based on scientific evidence regarding only a few aspects of this biochemistry is like cooking in the dark.

Common symptom reactions to unhealthy oils and fats, or to an unhealthy balance of the types of fats in one's diet include joint pain and aggravation of arthritic conditions, a general tendency to have increased tissue irritability and inflammation, and, in the case of unhealthy fats such as hydrogenated oils and excessive amounts of fried foods, abdominal fullness and indigestion. While these conditions also may be due to other factors, quality of fats and oils is important. How one feels immediately to within several days after eating specific types of fat is often a useful indicator of whether one's fat consumption is healthy or unhealthy.

Avoid canola oil; there is too much doubt about its safety. Recommended oils and fats, which are essential nutrients, include moderate amounts of meat in the form of clean sources (organically grown, etc.) of beef, lamb, and other red meats, poultry, fish (especially sardines and mackerel), plus olive, coconut, almond, or sesame oil; of all the vegetable oils, organic olive and coconut oils are probably the safest and best for health reasons. All of these have been in traditional use in various cultures for thousands of years. Individual differences in metabolism will dictate needs for more or less of these types of oils and fats. You can read more about fats in the diet by clicking here.

Dr. Doug Graham states that oils in general inhibit nutrient absorption in the small intestine. With all the choices why take any chances?  If you must use oils.  Organic, extra-virgin Olive or Coconut oils are best. Organic Safflower and Sunflower oils are OK, but they contain Omega 6 which may or may not be not a good option for the heart or the mylin sheaths. Udo's Choice is a real good one for balanced EFAs.

Reject any foods, packaged or otherwise, which have in the label "...may contain vegetable oil, cottonseed, canola oil.." And if the label just says vegetable oil, we reject it outright since it does not specify which oil. Learn to make healthy choices.

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I just read an article by Daniel DeNoon in the WebMD medical news which spoke about the hidden caffeine in the soda and snacks we may be eating. This becomes a particular problem for children as they may become addicted to the caffeine.

According to DeNoon, Sunkist Orange Soda carries about the same amount of caffeine as Coca-Cola Classic. Mild-tasting Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino has more than three times as much caffeine as Pepsi (which has slightly more caffeine than Coke). Glacéau Vitaminwater Energy Tropical Citrus -- a flavored bottled water -- has almost as much caffeine as Coke.
Six ounces of Dannon Natural flavors Low Fat Coffee Flavored Yogurt has more caffeine than a cup of Mountain Dew (which has 50% more caffeine than Coke).

These findings came from tests reported in the July issue of Consumer Reports. Unfortunately many products DO NOT tell us how much caffeine is in the product being consumed. Also, if the caffeine is not an added ingredient the label is not required to list it. He reminds us that almost all foods containing coffee and chocolate have caffeine.

Parents may find it hard to know how much caffeine their kids are getting."Caffeine increases alertness, awareness, and the ability to perform tasks. But with excessive doses, this merges into nervousness, jitteriness, and severe tension. With overdose in susceptible people, seizures can occur." according to Marvin Lipman MD. This is a problem for adults and children alike, though it is an increased problem for children, since the drug's effect is related to weight. The lighter a person the more effect the drug will have.

Consumer Reports notes that a can of Mountain Dew, a cup of Starbucks Coffee Java Chip ice cream, and a half-cup of M&Ms each contain 128 mg of caffeine. A dose of 180 mg can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and muscle twitching in a 40-pound child. Most experts think children should consume no more than 100 mg. of caffeine a day. (Personally I do not recommend caffeine for children, period).

The other problem with sodas and caffeine snacks are that they generally contain huge amounts of sugar. Sugar can deplete the body's vitamin and mineral stores, is dehydrating, provides empty non nutritional calories, which can lead to obesity, and creates increased acidity in the body. The phosphoric acid in these drinks and snacks can lead to depletion of calcium stores in the body also. Is it NO wonder that so many children are developing weakened bones, are suffering from multiple bone fractures, have ADD/ADHD and are developing obesity.

Consumer reports suggests you write to the FDA and demand that food and beverage labels show how much caffeine a product contains. This is a good suggestion however, helping your children develope the means to avoid caffeine rich snacks and sodas provides them with skills they can bring into adulthood. Educate your children and teach them how to recognize healthy alternatives. Many wholesome herbs such as raspberry, blueberry, cherry bark, hibiscus and lemon grass, to name just a few, can provide tasty drinks for your children. When your children are young help them to cultivate a taste for nourishing snacks and drinks. Sugary, caffeine foods are addicting therefore if they are not introduced into their diets at a young age they will be less likely to succumb to these addictions as they grow older. Fruit juices are a tasty treat, though they should always be diluted with water or herbal tea as they are extremely concentrated. Use stevia when a sweetener is needed and make homemade snacks and treats so you have more control over what goes into them. Treats and snacks that contain fruit juice to sweeten, stevia or natural fruit such as dates are a healtier choice. Frozen fruit juice pops are an easy treat to make and kids can make them for themselves. Remember, although heathier, these fruit snacks are highly concentrated so be careful not to over indulge. If you do not have time to create your own snacks, be aware and read the ingredient labels BEFORE purchasing.

If your kids are already getting a lot of caffeine, don't make them go cold turkey. They probably have a caffeine habit -- and withdrawal can result in severe headaches. It is best to gradually reduce their caffeine intake.

Be a good example and help your children learn ways they can take charge and create health without depriving themselves or missing out on treats.

RESOURCES: Consumer Reports, July 2003. News teleconference, Consumer Reports.

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A common preservative called Sodium Benzoate when combined with Vitamin C creates benzene, according to Robert J. Rowen, MD.

This statment can be found his January 2007 alert. I feel this information is so important I wanted to share it with you on my web pages. You can go to for more information from Dr. Rowen.

As many health conscious people know drinking soft drinks instead of water can lead to health risks. First of all, you do not get enough of the water you need when you replace it with soda and other unhealthy, sugar-laden drinks. If you drink sugar-free drinks sweetened with aspartame, we have already discovered these can lead to neuron damage, and if you choose those sweetened with splenda, you will find out they are dangerous too. See these pages to read more about aspartame's and splenda's health risks.

"But now there's an even bigger reason to avoid soft drinks", according to Dr. Rowen. As he states, "many of these drinks have sodium benzoate as an ingredient. It's a common preservative you'll find in many processed foods, as manufacturers typically use sodium benzoate in acidic foods to control bacteria, mold, yeasts, and other microbes. In addition to soft drinks, you'll find it in juices, pickles, salad dressings, and jams. You'll also find it in your car's anti-freeze, as it also inhibits corrosion."

NOW this part is important.... when you mix sodium benzoate with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a chemical reaction occurs. It turns the mixture into benzene. And benzene is a proven carcinogen.

This means many people are getting this harmful benzene in their diets since many processed foods have VItamin C added, not to mention the naturally occuring Vitamin C we find in fruit juices. Dr. Rowen goes on to say that the FDA recently tested 84 soft drink products and found that 54 of them had some detectable benzene. And some had levels as high as 79.2 ppb. Federal rules specify less than 5 ppb in drinking water. But there's no legal limit on benzene levels in drinkable fluids other than water. In 2001, California published information that manufacturers should keep benzene levels below 0.15 ppb.

There is no safe level of benzene, though many will try to convince you that at low levels benzene is harmless. As Dr. Rowne points out, "No one is talking about how benzene reacts with other carcinogens in your body, which could be a serious problem, since we already know it reacts with healthy substances like vitamin C."

So what can you do? You can make a healthy choice to eliminate ALL processed foods and unnatural drinks in your diet, since all processed foods have chemicals in them for preservation. As time goes on we will more than likely find out from science that many of these preservatives damage our health. However, by that time it will be too late. Using your own common sense and logic, it seems a better choice to remove all preservatives from your diet. There are plenty of fresh unadulterated fruit juices, herbal teas and just plain old water you can be drinking to quench your thirst. Read more about these healthy suggestions and ideas on these webpages.


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By Makai Rosa, who is my daugther and was 22 years old when she wrote this. It is heartening to see the great wisdom abiding among many of our young people today.

In today's world, we are making advances every day in all aspects of our lives. We have begun to find cures for diseases that have plagued humans for years, diseases thirty years ago we may have known very little about. In a technically advanced world, we see and hear of our progress in one form or another: television, radio, newspapers and now on the Internet. In recent years pharmaceutical companies helped to amend a law that enabled them to advertise their products in forms other than written ads. As a result to this amendment, we have witnessed a boom in the pharmaceutical industry, an industry claiming that its goal is simply to educate the public. This sudden increase in pharmaceutical ads has helped create the society we see today where any aliment one may have, whether it is allergies or anxiety, a drug ready and available for purchase. We are now looked upon as consumers instead of individuals and continuously presented with the idea that we can solve the immediate health problem with a prescribed drug, where the results out weigh the side effects. It would seem that with all the options and drugs available today, that the health of our nation would be improving and yet just the opposite is occurring. Through the constant bombardment of pharmaceutical drugs in the media, we are persuaded into buying a quick fix that masks our current problem, yet creates a more threatening situation. As a result of these new marketing strategies, we are ignoring the underlying causes of our problems, and our health further deteriorates.

By the beginning of the twenty first century, we were witnessing an explosion of pharmaceutical ads on television. Currently, pharmaceutical ads are one of the largest advertising accounts on the market. In the year 2000, companies spent an estimated 1.7 billion dollars, compared to the estimated 4.3 million dollars in 1998. This inflation in spending is the result of an amendment to an existing law that was amended in 1997. In previous years pharmaceutical companies were required to list nearly all side effects caused by the offered prescription, almost impossible to do in a short commercial. The amendment to this law enabled companies to air commercials as long as the major side effects were listed; for that reason, we see the sudden increase and bombardment in pharmaceutical ads on television today. This continuous advertisement sets the foundation in which the ideas presented are, more times than not, detrimental to our health. Although the amount spent on advertising seems enormous, the profit margin that accompanied this spending would make this spending worthwhile. Sales are soaring giving the interpretation of a successful endeavor, yet our health in fact is being put at risk.

As a result of increased advertising, sales of pharmaceutical drugs climbed setting a goal and creating incentives for other companies to join the new era of television advertisement. Mother Jones Magazine reported that after Aventis spent 43 million to advertise Allegra their sales increased by 50%. They go on to say that during that time there were no reports of extreme allergens. So why the sudden increase in reported allergy sufferers? This reveals that while it is being stated that these drugs are only advertised for the good of the people there must be a handful of people that are taking the drug even though it may not be needed by that individual. A drug that is taken by a person who does not require it, may lead to additional, even more severe problems than they originally began with. One would think, all these people really must suffer from allergies, otherwise doctors would not prescribe the medications for their symptoms. If this is correct, how hard is it really for an individual to get a medication that is only available by prescription? Even though nearly all drugs advertised today are available by prescriptions only, many individuals are able to acquire these drugs simply by requesting them from their local doctor. A recent survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly one in three adults has talked to their doctors, and one in eight has received a prescription for the drug they are requesting. The Food and Drug Administration found that in their survey if a patient asked for a drug by name, 69% of the time the patient left with the drug. With sales continuing to increase, the reason for increase may not simply be that there are more people suffering from diseases, but that people feel that these are the symptoms they suffer from and the drug they saw advertised will cure their ailments. This allows patients to self diagnose their own problems, with only possible advise from their physician. Taking a drug that was created to cure a certain disease may only worsen their current problem if the drug was used improperly or perhaps even by a patient that altogether does not need the drug.

Without the suggestions on television many patients would not approach their doctors with pharmaceutical solutions they presume are able to eliminate health problems. The issues of our ill health would be investigated thoroughly, offering a deeper understanding of their causes, and long-term resolutions could be established. This would establish a foundation for creating well-being, rather than a quick fix and cover up of symptoms. Although doctors are meant to have complete control of prescription medicines, with the constant advertisement and influences, the control is being taken from the doctors and put into the hands of their patients. Doctors are beginning to feel threatened by patients; if they do not fill the requested prescription, the patients may seek treatment elsewhere. To add to the matter, a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 61 of doctors receive some sort of kick back from the pharmaceutical companies, whether it is free travel tickets, entertainment, etc. This reveals a frightening impression that our health is being jeopardized by pharmaceutical influences, as well as personal and company gain. Is it possible for a doctor to change a patients agenda when they walk into their office with a drug in mind that they feel will be beneficial to them? Many doctors are beginning to feel like they no longer have a choice, even if they thought it was not the right drug for the patient. As a result, many patients are walking out of the doctor's office with a drug in hand that may not be suitable for them and their problem.

The public's view on what exists on the market, as well as what is portrayed on television, is being blurred perhaps by the numerous varieties of drugs advertised. More and more we are seeing and hearing that the public is confused and does not truly understand the complexity of the side effects of many drugs offered. A survey done by the FDA represented by CBS shared that, "41% did not read the required side effects warnings, calling them hard to understand. Warnings on television ads apparently were confusing too: 12% recalled hearing what to do if they overdosed, an aspect television ads do not address." People who are looking for relief from something as relatively simple as sinus problems find themselves asking for a prescription for a medication that has side effects more detrimental than the original problem itself. With so many new drugs being offered, doctors are kept busy finding information about the drug and their side effects. It is possible that the patient asking for the drug may actually at the same time be informing the doctor of the new drug that is currently being advertised. With so many new drugs available everyday, it is nearly impossible for doctors to stay current on the drugs and their effects and to keep their patients safe from the media whirlwind of pharmaceutical ads. In the year 1997, there were twelve direct to consumer drugs, drugs that are directly advertised to consumers, on the FDA's list; by the year 2000 there were fifty on this list. Currently there are 10,166 approved drugs on the FDA's list. WOW! What an extraordinary increase from 1997. Doctors are finding that with all the new drugs that are becoming available, it is nearly impossible to stay current, and this is where many of the medical mistakes are occurring.

All pharmaceutical drugs require that the drugs be used according to their correct intent and one must follow the guidelines for the drug as intended. Some patients are excluded from use of certain drugs if they have specific health issues, such as high blood pressure and heart problems. So with doctors feeling the pressure to prescribe these drugs all factors that must be well thought-out in order for the product to be effective or even safe are being hastily overlooked and not taken into thorough consideration. This is when we hear of the most devastating effect of pharmaceutical products: death. Although the common side effects are listed and supposed to be taken into consideration, how are the common side effects weighed against the original problem. How is it that one is considered better than the other? Common side effects: is a term used continuously by the pharmaceutical companies to describe what a user can expect to possibly experience. It is stated by nearly all companies that even though these are the listed side effects, results do vary per individual, leaving no guarantee to you or your health. By visiting the Pfizer home page you can find a list of side effects to all of their products: headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, even temporary sensitivity to light just to name a few. Viagra states that an erection could last for hours; left untreated it could result in permanent damage. Many of the side effects pose greater harm than the original problem; even if you receive the right medication you may end up in a situation that was worse than the original diagnosis.

We are able to read about many of the side effects caused by the product, but that is definitely not the limit to its potential danger. These drugs are created to help people with medical problems, and many times end up creating a new difficulty that the individual may not have considered in the beginning to be a concern. The most severe, yet not uncommon result of prescription drugs is death, especially in new medicines that have not been tested thoroughly. Currently there is much controversy surrounding the drug Relenza. By the year 2000 the FDA found that 22 deaths were directly related to the use of the drug. A statement was later issued by the FDA stating that the drug was safe as long as it was used properly. How safe do you think the families of those 22 people felt it was? Currently on the FDA site containing product safety alerts there are eight drugs listed, one of which has been directly related to deaths. With as many deaths reported that are directly related to pharmaceutical drugs, and with the continued recalls of many of these drugs, it is ridiculous that we as a consumer entertain the idea that these pharmaceutical drugs advertised daily to the masses could be considered beneficial. Only time will tell how long our society will continue to accept treatments that continuously have proven to be detrimental to our health and overall well being.

The health of our nation will not improve by looking for cures to every aliment from pharmaceutical drugs; these drugs offer a temporary and many times ineffective solution that more often than not lead individuals to a position that is worse than where they began. Pharmaceutical drugs mask the original problems, deceiving people into believing that their problems have been addressed, when actually all of this creates is a false perception that their health problem has been alleviated. In reality, the neglect of the underlying original illness may lead to further deterioration of their health. Without the constant bombardment of these pharmaceutical ads, we would not be continuously tempted with these false solutions, and maybe we could begin to find the wise answers we are looking for to create true health and happiness.

Work Cited
Belkin, Lisa. "Prime Time Pushers." Mother Jones Magazine. March/ April 2001

CBS News, Prescription Drugs. Online. Internet. 21 May 2002. Available: http://www.cbsnews.con/stories/2002/04/29/health/main507543.shtml

Food and Drug Administration. Homepage. Online. Internet. 20 May 2002. Available:

Kaiser Family Foundation Surveys. Online. Internet. 18 May 2002 Available: http:

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Homepage. Online. Internet. 22 May 2002. Available:

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