Thursday, March 5, 2009

How Sweet Is It?

There is a saying "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" and in this country we tend to sweeten everything from our water to our meats. In the last post I talked about mercury and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup, the sweetener of choice in most prepared foods, lacks both nutrition and fiber and thus is easily converted to fat on the body. Likewise common white sugar which also lacks nutrition and fiber is liable to go from the lips to the hips.
In an effort to avoid this problem, many people turn to artificial sweeteners. There are currently 2 in common use - aspartame (NutraSweet) and sucrolose (splenda). While marketed as safe non-calorie replacements for sugar, research has shown neither of these products to be safe.
The FDA (in its more honest days) refused to approve aspartame for 16 years due to safety concerns. It was finally approved because of a political favor despite the protests of the majority of scientists at the FDA. Aspartame is comprised of 2 amino acids joined by a methyl group. When aspartame breaks down, the methyl group falls off and becomes methyl alcohol (wood alcohol). This wood alcohol breaks down further to formaldehyde. Another breakdown product of aspartame is aspartic acid - this is the same poison that causes the sting in red ant bites Aspartame will kill ants and is a nonspecific poison. It can cause symptoms from headaches to cancer and can mimic many diseases such as Graves disease and MS. For more in-depth information on aspartame see
Sucrolose is a chlorinated sugar. Chlorinated sugars do not exist naturally in nature. Many man made pesticides such as DDT and Lindane are chlorinated sugars. A foreign graduate student was actually looking for a new pesticide when sucrolose was discovered. His professor told him to test it and he thought he said taste it. Discovering its sweetness, they decided to market this new chemical as an artificial sweetener. Being in the same class as pesticides, it should come as no surprise that recent studies have found sucrolose to have a negative impact on bacteria in the gut. The bacterial flora in our gut plays a large role in our health as our beneficial bacteria help us derive nutrients from food and also keep the bad bacteria in check.. Basically we can not be healthy if our gut bacteria are out of whack.
In addition to the harmful effects that artificial sweeteners have on the human body, the whole premise that they are helpful for weight control is a myth. Studies have shown that people who include artificial sweeteners in their diets tend to be heavier than those that don't. The reason for this is that when one consumes a chemical sweetener, the body sensing sweetness releases insulin to take care of the sugars it perceives to be entering the bloodstream. With no actual sugar for insulin to pair up with the body will then crave carbohydrates to lower the blood insulin level.
Artificial sweeteners are hiding in everything from non-diet breads to multivitamins. Additionally because sucrolose is marketed as a sugar replacement for baking (it even takes a prominent place in the grocery store at eye level while sugar is placed on the bottom shelves) many unsuspecting people have been conned into using it for home cooking. Thus the possibility always exists that any food, even home prepared foods may contain artificial sweeteners.
There is a glitter of hope on the horizon. Stevia a natural herbal sweetener from South America that has been used safely for thousands of years. Once stevia was a thorn in the side of Corporate America who saw it as competition to their chemical sweeteners and tried to have it banned in this country. Only because of DESHA (Dietary and Supplemental Health Act) was stevia allowed to sold and then only as a herbal supplement not as a sweetener (there were even rules forbidding it to be sold in the sugar aisle). In the 1990's the FDA ordered the Stevita company of Texas to burn all cookbooks which utilized stevia as and ingredient (this order was later rescinded when Stevita called in the press). Today however the tide has changed and Corporate America has developed stevia derived sweeteners This is probably in response to the growing consumer knowledge about the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. Interesting enough when Corporate America came out with its stevia products the FDA had nothing to say.
For myself, I use sucronut (evaporated cane syrup), maple syrup and raw honey in limited amounts. At least all of these sugars while devoid of fiber still have a full compliment of nutrients. I also use a liquid stevia that I obtain from Trivita ( My favorite things to use stevia for are lemonade (water. lemon. and stevia) and hot cocoa ( hot almond milk,cocoa powder. and stevia) I found that these 2 beverages will curb my sweet tooth when I am craving something with sugar,

Surprising Sources of Mercury in our Foods

Everyone knows that much of our fish is contaminated by mercury. But few people would guess that things like bread, pastries, yogurt, salad dressings and even soda could also be sources of mercury. This additional source of mercury is brought to us by the Food Processing Industry, via the ingredient high fructose corn syrup.
This so called "natural ingredient" is produced by a process that involves exposing corn kernels to a caustic soda. This caustic soda is made by process that exposes a chemical stew to pools of electrified mercury in a large vat. As a result high fructose corn syrup is likely to be contaminated with mercury.
Corn syrup and high fructose corn sryop being empty calories with limited nutrition and no fiber are not healthy additions to one's diet anyways. Now with the possible mercury contamination, we all have an additional reason to avoid this so called "natural ingredient. Thank goodness for Waiora's NCD!
More info: click here For a commentary by Mike Adams "The Health Ranger" Click here

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Is There Mold In your Life

Mold can live and grow almost everywhere. Common building materials like sheet rock and cellulose insulation are perfect foods for mold. Sometimes mold infestation is visual to the eye and obvious but mold likes to hide behind walls and also in air conditioning and heating vents so you may not be aware that you have a mold problem. Mold loves moisture so if you have any type of water leakage in your home or if the weather has been particularly wet you are likely to have mold. It is estimated that 80-90% of all buildings have a mold problem.

Mold can cause many health problems, including allergies, asthma, flu like symptoms, mental fogginess, chronic coughs, headaches, sleep problems even death. While modern medicine can prescribe medications to help you deal with some of your symptoms, you will not truely solve your mold related health problems unless you can get rid of the mold.

How do we get rid of mold. The most commonly used solution is chlorine bleach.While chlorine bleach will kill mold on contact- chlorine bleach is toxic in itself. In addition because bleach is liquid, cleaning with bleach gives mold the moisture it needs to regrow . There are other chemical fungicides that can be used on mold but even if they are 99.999% effective, since mold can have 1 million spores per square inch, they will still leave behind 10 pores per square inch that will regrow the mold colony A third solution is an ozone generating machine. However ozone generators can cause lung irritation and create unsafe levels of ozone in your home (and are not that effective in controlling mold) In fact the California Department of Health Services strongly recommends that you NOT use an ozone air cleaner in any occupied space

So is there a safe solution to mold problems? Dr. Edward Close, a recognized expert in environmental science, has found certain theraputic essential oils to be a safe and effective way to kill mold. Studies done by Dr. Close indicate that diffusing this blend of essential oils not only destroyed mold spores, but also removed mold spores, dead and alive, from the air. For more information of ridding your home of mold using this nontoxic method see

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Lies We Trust

Do vaccinations really keep us healthy or are they flawed by design. Watch this video" In Lies We Trust" for a scary perceptive of the vaccination issue

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Audio Chemicals in Body Care

Confused about what products are safe and which ones are not. Listen to my talk on Chemicals in Body Care

Monday, July 14, 2008

Help - Olympic's Dirty Secret

Imagine you are an elite athlete. You have spent your entire life training and dreaming of the Olympics. You work hard to keep your body healthy and in superb physical shape so that you will have a competitive edge. You are hopeful that when you make the Olympics you will be able to break the records of those that have come before you. Then it happens - the dream finally comes true, you are accepted to the Olympic team . However, because the Olympics are being held in Beijing, China this year it soon becomes apparent that the dream is really a nightmare. If you decide to accept the challenge of competing, you will be forced to run the marathon in some of the dirtiest air on the planet. This may adversely affect not only your current health but also your future health for many years to come. And because the conditions will be so harsh, it is doubtful that you will be able to break nay records. As a natter of fact some countries like Australia will not even let their athletes run. Read Stephen Fox'(of the Santa Fe Sun News) full expose of this Olympic outrage here

Then take action and tell Jacques Rogge in Lausanne Switzerland and the Olympic Committee that if we want to expect the best from our Olympic athletes then we need to provide our athletes with the best conditions possible. This means moving the marathon out of the city far away from the city smog!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Body Care - Chemical Shuffle

California recently filed a lawsuit Against Whole Foods, Avalon, and others whose products tested positive for the carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane in a study done by the
Organic Consumers Association (OCA) Under California Proposition 65 any substance that contains a known carcinogen must carry a warning label or face prosecution.

Most people are under the assumption that body care products are regulated by the FDA or some other federal agency that assures safety and purity. In fact in 1938, the Cosmetic Act made manufacturers of body care responsible for regulating the products they produced. At the time it was assumed the skin was impervious to any of the chemicals they may have used in their beauty formulas. Today with the introduction and effectiveness of skin patches for drug delivery, we are more aware that chemicals placed on the skin’s surface will be absorbed into the body. Even worse every chemical our body is exposed to may not be totally eliminated and may be stored in the body’s fat and tissues. The storage of chemicals in the body is called “body burden” and there is not a person alive today that does not have some sort of body burden. Additionally each child born today will inherit some of their mother’s body burden and then will add to this burden throughout their lifetime.

There are over 30,000 different chemicals used in body care products today. At least one third are known to be carcinogenic, estrogenic, teratogenic or to cause various problems in human beings. The strategy of the chemical companies who produce these substances is to deny and/or minimize the problems they may cause. One of their key arguments is that these chemicals are in such minute quantities in their products that they couldn’t possibly cause harm. This argument negates the fact that these chemicals are in multiple products that are used daily along with multiple other chemicals that could cause synergistic effects.

The chemical named in the lawsuit is 1.4-Dioxane. 1,4-Dioxane is not added directly to body care products but rather it is a by product of the chemical process that turns Sodium (or Ammonium) Laurel Sulfate (SLS) to Sodium (or Ammonium) Laureth Sulfate. Sodium Laurel a very harsh and powerful sudsing agent and degreaser. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a slightly larger molecule that is little less harsh on the skin. To make the Lauteth version Ethylene Oxide (a petroleum product and known carcinogen) is added to the SLS .in a process called ethoxolation. Chemical companies like to confuse us and claim that one chemical is safer than the other but in truth the safety of neither has been proven. And while only certain manufactures were named in the current lawsuit any body care product or cleanser that has Sodium or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate as an ingredient will also contain 1,4-Dioxane.

There are other unintentional ingredients such as nitrosamines and formaldehyde that also show up in body care products. However, aside from these chemicals we also need to look more closely at the chemicals that manufacturers intentionally put into our personal care, . Many such as phthalates and parabens have been associated with cancers and have been outlawed in Europe. Our manufacturers continue to use these chemicals because they are cheap and effective for the uses they want and manufacturers value profit above safety.. They also choose to confuse us, often by noting the natural source of the chemical in parenthesis as (coconut oil) and by noting the words natural or organic somewhere on the label. But be aware that unless accompanied by a third party certification seal such as USDA organic, these words are just marketing terms designed to have us think these products are greener than they really are. This is a marketing technique called “greenwashing” .

The bottom line is most commercially sold body care products contain chemicals that can harm our health and that of the planet. There are good products available but we have to educate ourselves as to how to read labels and what to look for. As long as our laws allow manufactures to use questionable chemicals in the products they sell us, buying these products in a store such as Whole Foods or a high end department store, .is no assurance of quality. The quickest way to get good products to the market place is to vote with your purse and stop buying products with chemical ingredients. You can also go to and sign the petition to urge our legislatures to take action

For organic and chemical free body care products, check out , and also Also for chemical free mineral make up

BTW: Whole Foods shame on you. Many people trusted you to do better.

Cheryl Rounds