Pesticide usage is an intensely polarizing issue. Many still tout the practice as an essential tool of agricultural efficiency, but mounting evidence suggests that the dangers of these chemicals may not be worth the perceived benefits!

The debate is especially heated around a pesticide chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp.

Commercial usage of glyphosate has been banned or restricted in at least fourteen countries already, due to the health risks that many believe the pesticide poses.[1] Chief among these risks is cancer—the World Health Organization ranks glyphosate as a Class 2A carcinogen (i.e. a “probable human carcinogen).

Monsanto maintains that numerous studies and scientific reviews “support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”[2] This is well-chosen and potentially misleading language, as nearly all medical studies are careful not to evoke causation, especially with a disease as complex as cancer. This does not, however, exonerate glyphosate as a strong contributing risk factor for cancer (this is implied in the WHO’s notion of a “probable human carcinogen”).

For a growing number of people, the connection between glyphosate and cancer isn’t so ambiguous. Over 5,000 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto by individuals who claim that glyphosate exposure caused their cancer.

In August 2018, the first of these lawsuits to go to trial resulted in a major victory for those against pesticide use: a California jury found Monsanto liable, and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

A milestone in the fight against pesticide toxicity

For years, the problem of pesticide toxicity appeared intractable to environmentalists and advocacy groups. Monsanto simply had all the money, power, and influence it needed to defeat regulatory attempts before they could even gain traction.

But a series of significant events has made it clear that Monsanto’s power over public opinion is eroding.

While the story is a complicated one, the tide arguably began to turn with the World Health Organization’s highly publicized reclassification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Monsanto vehemently denied the validity of the classification, and even demanded that the WHO overturn it, to no avail. Suddenly, the possibility of glyphosate’s toxicity was no longer just a fringe idea, but one given serious credence by a globally respected organization.

Soon after, two class action lawsuits were filed against Monsanto on the basis of consumer fraud claims. On February 27, 2017, a judge presiding over one of the cases ordered Monsanto to unseal incriminating documents.

His words clearly reflect a sense of growing suspicion over Monsanto’s tendency toward deception: “I have a problem with Monsanto because…it is insisting that stuff should be filed under seal when it should not be filed under seal.” The documents revealed that Monsanto was tipped off about the WHO’s reclassification of glyphosate (and tried to stop it), that the EPA colluded with the company to prevent a health review of glyphosate, and that Monsanto ghostwrote its own studies and got experts to sign off on them.

The two class action lawsuits were later consolidated in the Missouri federal court, and were settled with  Monsanto agreeing to pay $21.5 million. While this was certainly a victory, it was more of a technical one. The settlement still didn’t draw a direct connection between RoundUp and cancer—instead, it focused on a labeling issue that misrepresented the value of the product being purchased.

This current cancer lawsuit sets a new precedent

The California lawsuit that came to a conclusion in August 2018 is an entirely different story. That suit was personal, not class action—a school groundskeeper named Dewayne Johnson sued Monsanto, on the grounds that RoundUp caused his cancer.

The case was fast-tracked to trial, because of the severity of Mr. Johnson’s cancer (it was made clear that he may not live past 2020). As mentioned earlier, the jury ruled in favor of Mr. Johnson, and Monsanto was ordered to pay $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages. And perhaps even more importantly, the court found that Monsanto failed to warn Mr. Johnson about the cancer risk associated with glyphosate exposure.

This official acknowledgement of glyphosate’s cancer risk sets a new precedent for those advocating stricter regulation of pesticides (and for all of the individuals who have brought similar lawsuits against Monsanto). The anti-pesticide movement was further bolstered by the recent banning of chlorpyrifos-based pesticides, and Mr. Johnson’s victory provides even more leverage in the fight for safe and sustainable agriculture.

Monsanto appealed the jury’s ruling in favor of Mr. Johnson, but the California Supreme Court rejected the request on the basis of the state’s Proposition 65, which follows the WHO’s classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

Regardless of your stance on pesticides, it should be clear that these events are a step in the right direction. They affirm that the judicial system can help us move toward more transparent business practices—ones which, in the words of Mr. Johnson’s lawyer, “put consumer safety first over profits.”[3]






Image source

Prevention is touted as primarily important in the natural health community. Alternative and holistic medicine prides itself on creating overall balance and preventing health issues before they arise—as opposed to allopathic medicine, which endeavors to manage acute symptoms of current conditions.

As the rising incidence of chronic disease demonstrates, symptom management is not a satisfactory approach to healthcare; an increasing number of experts argue that our medical system must prioritize prevention if we wish to make any progress.

Cancer is no exception. While progress has been made in some areas of oncology, and the functional food revival has provided some safe alternatives (or adjuncts) to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the battle against cancer is far from over.

The National Cancer Institute reports that while cancer mortality has declined by 25% since the early 1990s, the overall incidence of cancer continues to rise.[1]

These data points suggest that, while we’re making progress on cancer treatment strategies, we haven’t gotten any better at preventing cancer.

That tide is beginning to turn, though—even mainstream cancer researchers now admit that lifestyle choices play an overwhelming role in epigenetically determining cancer risk, and that it’s critical for Americans to pay attention to cancer risk factors.

Is early detection on par with prevention?

Towards the same end of lowering overall cancer incidence, experts have noted that early detection of cancer is another powerful and important “prevention” strategy.

While it may still be preferable to prevent any development of cancer whatsoever, early detection does have one advantage over lifestyle prevention: it is entirely quantifiable.

Scientists and clinicians can say with empirical certainty that at Stage 0— the earliest possible stage at which signs of cancer development can be discerned—cancer can be treated with a near 100% success rate. For this reason, cancer researchers are currently placing as much emphasis on cancer detection technologies as on treatments for later-stage cancer.

Here’s the issue, though: early cancer detection has always been considered notoriously difficult. Prominent studies have even aggregated study data to demonstrate that “cancer screening has never been shown to save lives.”[2]

In some cases, cancer screening techniques can even do more harm than good. For example, some experts worry about the risks of mammogram breast cancer screenings. A study published in Cancer Biology & Medicine reported that overdiagnosis of breast cancer is a prevalent issue.[3] Such errors—which arise because mammograms do not provide data that allows for reliable discernment between malignant tumors and benign breast lumps—lead women to undergo costly and high-impact cancer treatments unnecessarily.

Further, while conventional oncologists generally believe that the potential benefits outweigh the risks, studies have also shown that the x-ray radiation to which mammograms expose women can actually cause breast cancer.[4] The levels of radiation emitted by mammogram machines may be up to 600% higher than previously estimated, so women should proceed with caution (and seek out thermography, a dramatically safer breast cancer screening method that is just as accurate as x-ray mammography).

Safe, affordable cancer detection tests offer new hope

The good news is that emerging technologies could provide safe, accurate, and affordable early detection of cancer.

Before mentioning the cutting-edge early cancer detection tests that have researchers most excited, though, it’s worth repeating that thermography is available as a breast cancer screening option right now.

Because of how deeply wedded mammography is to oncology networks, patients are often not even told that they have other options. Did you know that the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement (the one with the pink ribbons) is funded by the manufacturers of mammogram machines? It’s no wonder, then, that they’re slow to disclose a safer competing technology like thermography.

Another new technology worth seeking out is called the ONCOblot test, a type of liquid biopsy that requires only a drop of blood, and tests for the presence of a specific protein that is only produced on the surface of cancer cells.

It can be used reliably to detect twenty different sites of cancer origin and a wide variety of cancer types, including breast, bladder, cervical, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, gastric, hepatocellular, kidney, leukemia, non-small cell, lung small cell, lymphoma, melanoma, mesothelioma, myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, sarcoma, squamous cell, follicular thyroid, papillary thyroid, testicular germ cell, and uterine.

One clinical study reported that this test was able to detect mesothelioma 4-10 years in advance of clinical symptoms.[5]

Similarly, another liquid biopsy called the EarlyCDT Lung Test was able to detect the presence of lung cancer well before symptoms were visible on standard CT diagnostic tests. Researchers are elated, as lung cancer is the most common cancer in American men (and fourth most common in American women), and reliable early detection will dramatically increase survival rates.

While both of these liquid biopsy tests are currently still being developed and evaluated, are still subject to FDA approval, and may not be available in your area, they provide a hopeful demonstration of the future of cancer treatment and prevention.








Image source

Even for people in their 70s, exercise can lower risk of cardiovascular disease!


It is very important to remain physically active as we age. Everyone knows that an active lifestyle is decidedly healthier than a sedentary one. Any credible doctor will advocate proper exercise, particularly for the sake of safeguarding cardiovascular health.

Despite this universal agreement about the virtue of exercise, researchers are still endeavoring to understand how and why an active lifestyle is so critical for overall well-being and longevity, and specifically why the heart depends so heavily upon it. Unsurprisingly, granular study data has confirmed that a sedentary lifestyle can be disastrous for your heart (as well as nearly every other aspect of your health.

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, we’d do well to heed our doctors’ exercise recommendations, and to dig deeper into what researchers have uncovered.

Use it or lose it

We all know that avoiding exercise is not in our best interest.

In past articles, we’ve talked about the strong connection between exercise and brain health, how exercise dramatically reduces the risk of stroke, how frequent exercise aids detoxification of heavy metals, radioactive materials, and other toxins, how exercise helps combat depression by increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and how sitting for an extended period of time just might be as unhealthy as smoking.

Living in our work-obsessed society can make it incredibly difficult to prioritize exercise. When faced with the frightening risks of a sedentary lifestyle, though, taking action becomes a bit easier. If you’re in need of this kind of inspiration, look no further than the cardiovascular risks associated with avoiding exercise.

A study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience details a frightening cascade of serious health issues that can ensue when mice are prevented from using their hind legs for a mere 28 days[1]—and their findings are helping us understand why heart failure (and other cardiovascular issues) seem to be so closely associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

The researched reported that, when the mice were deprived of leg exercise for 28 days, they experienced a 70% decrease in neural stem cells that would normally differentiate into nerve cells (compared to normal, exercising mice).[2] This is a significant finding even independent of its implications for cardiovascular health, as it demonstrates how lack of exercise can “contribute to the negative manifestations” of brain metabolism dysfunction and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and spinal muscular atrophy.[3]

The researchers discuss how this decreased neurogenesis can cause heart failure. When stem cells levels decrease, the quantity and quality of nerve tissue also atrophies over time. Eventually, even the nerves that move the heart’s muscles will be affected, thus increasing the risk of heart failure (which explains why heart failure is so common in the neurological diseases mentioned above).

Another study added to these findings by noting that low levels of exercise also lead to mitochondrial dysfunction (which in turn leads to the neurological atrophy described above).[4]

We’ve written before about the fundamental importance of your body’s mitochondria—they’re the “powerhouses” of your cells that make energy production and implementation possible. Mitochondrial dysfunction can not only lead to chronic fatigue, but also may signal the development of serious chronic diseases, including heart disease.

Exercise Helps Your Heart

Regular exercise is an important way to lower your risk of heart disease. Exercising for 30 minutes or more on most days can help you lose weight, improve your cholesterol, and even lower your blood pressure by as many as five to seven points.

A sedentary lifestyle, where your job and your leisure activities involve little or no physical activity, doubles your risk of dying from heart disease. This is similar to the increased risk you’d have if you smoked, had high cholesterol, or had high blood pressure.

The Good News

It’s easier than you might think to improve your health with exercise. You don’t have to jog for an hour a day. In fact, some studies have shown greater health benefits from light to moderate exercise simply because people are more likely to stick with it.

Your heart health improves with just 30 minutes of exercise on most days. Two 15-minute segments of exercise or three 10-minute segments still count as 30 minutes. Just make sure the activity is vigorous enough to raise your heart rate. Try the talk/sing test: If you can’t talk while you exercise, you’re working too hard. If you can sing, you need to work harder.

What Happens With Exercise

Just as exercise strengthens other muscles in your body, it helps your heart muscle become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout your body. This means that the heart pushes out more blood with each beat, allowing it to beat slower and keep your blood pressure under control.

When you exercise regularly, your body’s tissue (including the heart) does a better job of pulling oxygen from your blood. This allows your heart to work better under stress and keeps you from getting winded during high-intensity activities.

Physical activity also allows better blood flow in the small blood vessels around your heart. Clogs in these arteries can lead to heart attacks. There’s also evidence that exercise helps your body make more branches and connections between these blood vessels, so there are other routes for your blood to travel if the usual path is blocked by narrow arteries or fatty deposits.

Exercise also increases your levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that lowers heart disease risk by flushing the artery-clogging LDL or “bad” cholesterol out of your system.

Along with lowering your risk for heart disease, exercise:

  • Keeps your weight down.
  • Improves your mood.
  • Lowers your risk for some types of cancer.
  • Improves your balance.
  • Reduces your risk of osteoporosis by increasing your bone mass.
  • Gives you more energy.
  • Helps you sleep better.




[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.


Image source

After decades of ridicule and denial, the theories of early vitamin C researchers are finally gaining acceptance in the mainstream medical community. Dr. Fredrick Klenner, whose extensive vitamin C research in the 1930s was largely scorned, observed that “some physicians would stand by and see their patient die rather than use ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin.”

Dr. Klenner, as well as other researchers like Linus Pauling, used vitamin C to treat a mind-boggling array of health conditions, including supposedly incurable ones. Though their work is still considered controversial, modern research has confirmed the therapeutic efficacy of ascorbic acid in a wide variety of medical contexts, including hormone regeneration, cancer, heartburn, stomach ulcers, anti-aging skincare, stress relief, sepsis, heart disease, and more.

But some researchers believe that vitamin C deserves even more credit. Viewing it as a therapeutic agent, they argue, still implies that it is “only a vitamin,” rather than an integral and essential part of biological homeostasis in humans.

To understand their point of view, it’s necessary to take a brief tour of human evolution.

The connection between vitamin C production and biological balance

If it sounds a bit strange or overblown to consider vitamin C a fundamental aspect of the body’s self-regulating biology, consider this fact: humans are one of only a few species that do not endogenously produce ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Nearly all mammals (and nearly all vertebrates, for that matter) have a built-in biological mechanism for producing ascorbic acid, which acts as a hormone regulator, modulates the immune system, and protects the body against acute stressors.

Furthermore, humans lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C internally due to what is referred to as a genetic metabolic defect—some researchers even go so far as to state that humans have an “inborn vitamin C deficiency,” for which they must compensate in order to remain healthy.[1]

More conservative researchers claim that the genetic mutation responsible for the loss of vitamin C synthesis is a neutral trait (in genetics, a trait is considered neutral when its loss is neither advantageous or disadvantageous). They contend that the importance of exogenous vitamin C is already highlighted by the fact that its RDA is higher than any other vitamin (60 mg/day), and that a normal diet provides the average person more than enough vitamin C.

There’s a couple facts that suggest that diet is not sufficient to provide us with ample vitamin C, though (especially if we want to enjoy its more acute therapeutic benefits).

For example, while researching the correlation between vitamin C concentrations within certain organs and elite athleticism, one doctor realized that the “optimal” vitamin C concentrations would be very difficult to achieve with an RDA of 60 milligrams (the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin C).[2]

Further, vitamin C is used up much more quickly in individuals who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, in the presence of toxins, and in states of physiological and emotional stress. Thus, even if 60 mg/day is a sufficient baseline dose of vitamin C, it’s likely that our bodies are using it to fight toxins and stress rather than optimizing overall biology.

Given the chronic vitamin C depletion that these ideas suggest, the nearly miraculous reversals of disease states that high-dose vitamin C can facilitate begin to make more sense. What improvements in health and wellness could we all enjoy if vitamin C deficiency was addressed with simple supplementation?

How to start benefiting from vitamin C today

All the researchers and physicians who successfully used ascorbic acid as a therapeutic agent did so by mimicking the endogenous vitamin C production of other mammals—that is, they dramatically raised blood serum levels of vitamin C very quickly (one study found that goats produce nearly 13,000 mg of vitamin C every day, and that this production level increases by almost 10 times in a matter of hours when the animal is placed under acute stress).[3]

To do this requires very specific routes of administration—taking a few of those orange-flavored chewable vitamin C tablets isn’t going to cut it.

Until quite recently, intravenous administration of vitamin C was the most tenable approach. While it’s certainly still viable, the method has its obvious drawbacks: it’s expensive, requires appointment scheduling and doctor supervision, and often is a time-consuming process. Besides, there’s not many people who are willing to deal with intravenous needles just to get their dose of vitamin C.

Thankfully, it’s now possible to raise your blood serum levels of vitamin C at home, safely and affordably, with a simple liquid vitamin C supplement. Two formulation methods—known as micellar and liposomal encapsulation—have revolutionized vitamin C supplementation by raising the bioavailability of ascorbic acid to levels approaching that of intravenous administration.

If you’d like to find the best vitamin C supplement to include in your own regimen, look no further than PuraTHRIVE. They offer the only vitamin C available that’s delivered with both micelle and liposomal encapsulation—this patented, two-part formulation method protects ascorbic acid from breakdown, ensures optimal nutrient utilization, and even enhances the already impressive antioxidant activity of vitamin C.

Give it a try today, and experience how much better the body functions when provided with an optimal quantity of this essential nutrient.




[2] Colgan M, OPTIMUM SPORTS NUTRITION, Advanced Research Press, New York, 1993:11-12.


Image source

After decades of being grossly underrated, vitamin C is beginning to move back into the spotlight. Research demonstrates that this humble nutrient offers benefits far beyond the prevention of scurvy, thus vindicating the writings of early pioneers like Linus Pauling.

In past articles, we’ve detailed how vitamin C fights cancer and improves survival rates, fights heartburn and stomach ulcers, keeps skin radiant and wrinkle-free, provides immediate stress relief, allows for recovery from advanced sepsis, and improves cardiovascular health.

In the 1940s, Dr. Fredrick Klenner followed in Linus Pauling’s footsteps by using vitamin C as a therapeutic agent in his medical clinics—with mega-doses of vitamin C, he claims to have cured his patients of pneumonia, encephalitis, Herpes zoster (shingles), Herpes simplex, mononucleosis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, bladder infections, alcoholism, arthritis, cancer, leukemia, atherosclerosis, ruptured intervertebral discs, high cholesterol, corneal ulcers, diabetes, glaucoma, schizoprenia, burns, infections, heat stroke, radiation burns, heavy metal poisoning, venomous bites, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and more.

The work of both Linus Pauling and Dr. Klenner is quite controversial. They have routinely been referred to as quacks, and are only just beginning to regain favor. As you can see from the article links above, though, there’s more than enough conclusive research to support vitamin C’s healing and health-supporting potential, regardless of your stance on these original vitamin C enthusiasts.

One important area that has vitamin C researchers especially interested is endocrine support.

Vitamin C can regenerate hormones, study finds

As we’ve discussed in past articles, hormone and endocrine dysfunction is a serious and prevalent health issue. Hormones are fundamentally involved in the regulation of the body’s cells, neurotransmitters, and organs. Thus, endocrine imbalance can lead to a staggering array of health problems, including fertility issues, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular issues, depression, anxiety, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, diabetes, cancer, and many others.

Luckily, research suggests that vitamin C can offer powerful endocrine support. In one prominent study, researchers set out to explore the mechanisms through which vitamin C may prevent the breakdown of hormones into toxic metabolites. The results were even more impressive than they expected: vitamin C was shown not only to prevent hormone degradation, but also to regenerate estrone, progesterone, and testosterone.[1]

These findings have remarkable implications. They expand our understanding of vitamin C as an antioxidant, insofar as they demonstrate that ascorbic acid not only neutralizes free radicals, but also prevents the analogous production of “hormone transients.”

This mechanism is especially important because it highlights vitamin C’s potential use as a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy (which is inconsistently effective, and tends to make the problem worse by making the body dependent upon an external source of hormones).

Lastly, this study strengthens the case for vitamin C as a potent protector against the toxins of modern living. The endocrine system is centrally involved in the body’s detoxification functions; thus, by supplying the body with vitamin C, you’re exerting a direct antioxidant influence and optimizing the body’s inherent detox system.

How to supercharge hormone healing

There’s just one catch when it comes to reaping the benefits of vitamin C: high blood serum levels are required, so it can be difficult to get enough vitamin C from food sources alone, or even through conventional supplementation.

Until fairly recently, the only way to achieve therapeutic blood serum levels of vitamin C was by receiving it via intravenous injection. This is still a worthwhile route of administration, but it’s expensive and time-consuming—not to mention ill-advised for those who don’t have the stomach for needles.

The development of a nanoencapsulation method called liposomal delivery, however, has made it safe, easy, and affordable to supplement with vitamin C optimally, without needles or doctor appointments.

Liposomalization sounds complicated, but it’s simple in concept: this formulation process uses phospholipids (fats) to form a sort of protective bubble around vitamin C molecules. The lipid layer protects vitamin C against breakdown and allows it to be utilized directly by the cells in your body.

There are a handful of companies offering liposomal vitamin C products, but we exclusively recommend this one by PuraTHRIVE.

They’ve raised the bar even higher by using a patented “double-encapsulation” method called micelle liposomal formulation. Micelles further increase absorption, ensure that your cells can utilize vitamin C optimally, and even improve the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C.

It should go without saying that you should still eat lots of healthy foods rich in vitamin C, even in the midst of your supplementation regimen. Optimal nutrition should always be the foundation of a healing lifestyle or specific therapeutic protocol—after all, “supplements” are referred to as such because they’re meant to supplement, not replace, food sources of nutrients.

Combined with a healthy diet, though, micelle-liposomal vitamin C is the fastest and easiest way to enhance the incredible hormone-healing benefits offered by vitamin C.




Image source

A couple in British Columbia covers their already-installed smart meter with a metal hood to block its radio transmissions. The company that makes the hoods is doing a brisk business.

In Maine, a smart meter opponent brings a lawsuit against the utility company that wants to install the new technology on his house. He wins his case.

These are just a few of the hundreds of incidents in the media lately about the Smart Meters: the digital devices utility companies are installing on customers’ homes all over North America (and other continents). 

Utility companies say smart meters will reduce stress on an overworked electrical grid and help limit power outages. They point out that more efficient use of power reduces the need for more power plants and helps keep rates low.

Smart meters take the place of your meter reader, digitally sending info about your electricity consumption back to the utility. The info gathered by the meters also lets consumers monitor their own power use, adjusting consumption so they can run power-hungry appliances when rates are low. For example, by turning on the clothes dryer late at night instead of the middle of the day.

But many consumers aren’t convinced their best interests are being served.

A debate is now raging over whether such devices are as safe as manufacturers promise?

Smart Meters: Harmless convenience or serious health risk?

So Why the Outrage?

Basically, the hubbub swirls around three issues:

1. Smart meters aren’t safe. They emit radio frequency energy that some say is a health risk, especially those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).

2. They’re an invasion of privacy. Because the meters record and broadcast the slightest changes in household energy consumption, they can pinpoint when houses are empty, even when occupants go to bed.

3. Smart meters save consumers money. That doesn’t wash with some home owners who claim their utility bills have tripled since the installation of the wireless meters.

Microwave electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been linked with a variety of health issues, including cancer, heart problems, reproductive issues, behavior disorders, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and insomnia.[3] The World Health Organization (WHO) now classifies cell phones as a Class B carcinogen,[4] and other research has demonstrated that the radiation emitted by cell phones (as well as other EMF-producing devices) can increase cancer risk, weaken bone structure, and lower sperm count and motility.[5]

All that being said, the verdict is still out on just how dangerous conventional EMF-emitting devices like cell phones are. In 2016, an animal study with an unprecedented sample size demonstrated conclusively that exposing rats to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation (beginning in utero) will indeed increase the risk of cancer incidence.[6]

This study design leaves many questions and ambiguities, though. Do humans and rodents react to EMFs in the same manner? At what level and frequency of exposure does electromagnetic radiation pose appreciable risks to human health? Are the effects of EMFs negligible below certain levels of exposure?

These grey areas carry over into the debate about smart meters, which operate with essentially the same wireless technology as cell phones.

High-level governmental panels claim that research has revealed no reason for concern over smart meters. The California Council on Science and Technology, for example, stated in a 2011 report that “exposure levels from smart meters are well below the [FCC’s established standards] for such [health] effects,” and that “there is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters.”[7] The report also noted that the levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted by smart meters is significantly less than other conventional devices and appliances, such as microwave ovens and cell phones.

Some experts aren’t convinced, though. Dr. David Carpenter M.D., a graduate of Harvard Medical School, maintains that because there have been no human safety studies conducted on people living in houses with smart maters, we can’t be certain they are safe. Smart meter skeptics worry that, in 50-100 years, we’ll look back at wireless technologies as the unacknowledged catalyst of a human health crisis.

Other opponents argue that smart meters pose security and privacy threats, and that they should be more closely regulated, regardless of their health effects. Any wireless technology (unlike analog devices) are hackable—an eventuality that it particularly worrisome when it comes to controlling the flow of energy through the electrical grid. Many consumers believe that smart meter installation should therefore be the choice of the homeowner, not power companies.

California power customers addressed this issue by fighting to make smart meters an opt-out technology, and recently won the right to forgo their usage in favor of analog, non-transmitting powers meters. Many believe the fight isn’t over, as opting out of smart meter usage in California still comes with a hefty monthly. Nevertheless, the victory sets a precedent for anyone across the United States who wishes to push back against the proclamations of power companies.

Make up your own mind (and be proactive)

When it comes to making a choice about smart meters, remember to do your own research. Don’t be swayed by fearmongering and pseudoscience, but also be willing to entertain a healthy skepticism about the safety of EMFs.

Also, listen to your body—those who feel a sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation are often ridiculed by the mainstream, but it’s entirely possible that EMFs pose risks not yet quantified by science.

And regardless of your stance on smart meters, take measures to minimize the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation. Simple dietary and lifestyle practices can make a huge difference—check out our article on electropollution for more details about how to protect yourself.










Image source


The importance of optimizing the microbiome simply can’t be overestimated. As gastrointestinal microbiologists continue to explore the uncharted territory of the body’s beneficial bacteria, it’s becoming clear that we simply can’t live without these symbiotic microbes. Now researchers have begun to hone in on how supporting these bacteria with probiotics can help prevent many of our society’s most prevalent chronic diseases.

Scientists have known for some time that the beneficial bacteria in your gut aid digestion and nutrient absorption, regulate appetite and metabolism, and boost immune function. To put it bluntly, this means that gut dysbiosis (i.e. an imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut) can make us fat and sick.

Our understanding of the microbiome is still in its infancy. It was hard to recognize microbiome imbalance when we lacked a basic understanding of its function and baseline state. Rigorous study has provided scientists with a much better picture, though—and this improved comprehension has allowed for widespread agreement about the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy gut flora colonies.

Once they knew what to look for, researchers started asking an important question: could gut dysbiosis be linked with chronic disease?

The incidence of many serious and prevalent chronic diseases has risen dramatically in the past few decades, and the cause of this escalating health crisis is widely debated.

Researchers hope that a deeper understanding of the microbiome will help us prevent (and even reverse) a wide variety of chronic diseases, including autoimmune conditions, mental health disorders, heart disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer.

Can probiotics help solve our health crisis?

Probiotic supplementation has increased in popularity, and for good reason. Here are some of the chronic illnesses that probiotics can help us avoid and overcome, according to researchers.

Gastrointestinal conditions. As the gut is the epicenter of the microbiome, it stands to reason that probiotics offer powerful support for a wide range of stomach issues. One comprehensive medical review reports that “perturbation of bacteria microflora of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract” can contribute to the development of GI ailments and disorders like diarrhea (especially when antibiotic-induced diarrhea), colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pouchitis, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

The researchers report that probiotic supplementation is a safe, effective, and time-tested treatment for these conditions.[1]

Auto-immune conditions. The gut microbiome accounts for a large percentage of the body’s immune defense capacity—up to 80%, by some estimates. Thus, gut dysbiosis is a clear precondition of immune dysfunction. Studies have detailed how gut dysbiosis underlies allergies, immunosuppression associated with viral infection, negative vaccination reaction,[2] type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus,[3] and have demonstrated that probiotics can be an effective preventative against and treatment for these conditions. As an added bonus, probiotic supplementation can even help protect the skin against the effects of aging and light damage.[4]

Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis can all be traced back to issues with inflammatory response and immune function. Therefore, by restoring bacterial balance, reducing gastrointestinal inflammation, and modulating immune response, probiotics can play a critical role in the treatment of skin conditions.

Mental health disorders. Research has revealed a profound connection between the gut microbiome and the brain—an association now referred to as the “gut-brain axis.” Consequently, gut dysbiosis has been strongly linked with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, and other mental health disorders, according to medical reviews.[5] Probiotic use has therefore been linked to improved symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.[6]

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States—so you can imagine the excitement with which researchers reported that healthy microflora ratios achieved via regular probiotic supplementation can help prevent heart damage, heart failure, and other age-related cardiovascular issues.[7]

Metabolic disorders. Obesity and type 2 diabetes afflict an enormous percentage of the American population. While poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are certainly the biggest causative factors, researchers have been pleased to find that probiotics can help modulate metabolism, aid weight loss, ameliorate diabetic symptoms, and improve insulin sensitivity.[8]

Cancer. A growing body of medical literature suggests that gut dysbiosis (and the state of chronic inflammation associated with it) is strongly linked with the development of cancer. Studies have demonstrated that probiotics are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of cancer, not only due to their capacity to heal gut dysbiosis and systemic inflammation, but also due to direct anti-metastatic properties (i.e. the property of preventing cancer colony metastasis).[9]

The right way to use probiotics

The evidence above shows just how powerful probiotics can be—but you shouldn’t rely on them as a replacement for a balanced, healthy, nutrient-dense diet. No probiotic supplementation can overcome the damage caused by a diet of processed foods and indiscriminate use of antibiotics, unless you shift your habits in a healthier direction.

As long as you keep this principle in mind, however, probiotics can be an effective tool for rebuilding and protecting your microbiome.

Stick with probiotic products that implement well-tested bacterial strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus (L. rhamnosus). Only use products that use a formulation method that verifiably optimizes absorption—the vast majority of probiotics simply die in the acidic conditions of the stomach before they can even be utilized by the body.

Our Favorite Probiotic: Rhamnosus.

Rhamnosus is one of the good guys. First isolated in the 1980’s, it’s now one of the most WIDELY USED and STUDIED probiotic strains, and has well-documented effects on health and well-being.

Just some of the potential benefits noted in the research include:

  1. Improved Gut Health. Including significant improvements in leaky gut, diarrhea, IBS and more.

  2. Stronger Immune Function. Fighting infections faster & improving the efficacy of conventional treatments.

  3. Enhanced Cognition. Potentially reducing anxiety and mitigating conditions such as ADHD.

  4. Healthy Child Development. Enhancing prenatal gut flora and even cutting the risk of colds.

  5. Easier Weight Loss. Reducing insulin sensitivity and potentially speeding up fat loss.

And that’s not all…

PuraTHRIVE has taken the L. Rhamnosus Strain Probiotic to the next level.

PuraTHRIVE combined the immense gut-supporting power of L.Rhamnosus strain probiotics with a unique RCME technology ProBifferin delivery method – using Lactoferrin to bond with the probiotic and RCME technology.

What does that mean?

The short story – it means it was designed with absorption in mind – helping you get the highest concentration of beneficial bacteria for your money.

Harness the power of L. Rhamnosus to restore your gut health, and improve your overall health












Image source

A federal appeals court recently ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the entire class of chlorpyrifos-containing pesticides in the United States. The decree, while still subject to further delays and appeals, marks a major victory for environmental and public health groups.

This is not the first time these pesticides have been banned. As we reported in a previous article, the EPA overturned a ban on chlorpyrifos in March 2017. The decision was largely carried out by Scott Pruitt, then administrator of the EPA under the Trump administration (his own staff at the EPA recommended that chlorpyrifos-containing products be taken off the market).

Throughout his tenure, Mr. Pruitt was the targeted recipient of intense lobbying on behalf of the pesticide industry—a cozy relationship that led to lavish spending, family favors, and other ethical scandals. Since the summer of 2017, Mr. Pruitt has become the subject of no less than thirteen federal investigations into these “legal and ethical violations,” and has since resigned.[1]

The recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups shortly after the commercial ban was rejected by Mr. Pruitt. The court ruled that there was “no justification for the E.P.A.’s decision in its 2017 order to maintain a tolerance for chlorpyrifos in the face of scientific evidence that its residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children,” and ordered the agency to enact a ban with sixty days.[2]

Studies show adverse effects on childhood neurological development

The EPA still maintains that their staff has been unable to “access” sufficient data to warrant an outright ban of chlorpyrifos, but most experts agree that this stock response is nothing more than a stall tactic originally conceived by Mr. Pruitt. There most certainly is sufficient data to warrant concern over chlorpyrifos toxicity, especially in children.

For example, one study carried out by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health reported “evidence of deficits in Working Memory Index and Full-Scale IQ” in seven-year-old children who had been exposed to chlorpyrifos-containing pesticides for all or most of their lives.[3]

Another study published in the journal Neurotoxicology examined the effects of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos, and found it to be correlated with mild to moderate tremors in children, as well as an increased risk of more serious movement disorders.[4]

Despite the EPA’s reluctance, environmentalists are celebrating

The EPA hasn’t yet made it clear what their next action will be. The agency reserves the right to request a reconsideration of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, to ask for an extension on the chlorpyrifos ban deadline, or to appeal to the Supreme Court.

As mentioned above, representatives still claim that they require more data in order to make their decision. Agency spokesman Michael Abboud stated that “the E.P.A. is reviewing the decision,” and explained that “the Columbia Center’s data underlying the court’s assumptions remains inaccessible and has hindered the agency’s ongoing process to fully evaluate the pesticide using the best available, transparent science.”

While loyalty to genuine, evidence-based science is certainly an admirable sentiment, the slowness of the E.P.A.’s actions is still strange. After all, the agency’s first priority is to protect the health of the environment and American citizens, not corporate interests—one would hope that any evidence that chlorpyrifos adversely affects children would spur at least some degree of swift regulatory action.

Despite these ambiguities, though, environmental activists view the Ninth Circuit’s ruling as cause for celebration.

For starters, the current ban is more all-encompassing than the one rejected by Scott Pruitt in 2017—it prohibits not only commercial household uses of chlorpyrifos (e.g. as an insecticide), but also all industrial use on farms. The previous ban still allowed farmers to legally use chlorpyrifos, a caveat with which environmentalists took issue, given that the chemical’s adverse effects have been shown to be especially pronounced in the children of farming families.

If the ban is enacted, it will be a huge blow to pesticide companies. Over fifty different crops—including a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains—are grown using chlorpyrifos-based pesticides. According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, a whopping 640,000 acres of California farmland was treated with such pesticides in 2016 alone.[5]

Regardless, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling serves as a beacon of hope to many environmentalists who had begun to believe that not even the Environmental Protection Agency could be trusted to, well…protect the environment. The ruling demonstrates that evidence-based science and targeted activism, coupled with a well-functioning judicial system, can still triumph over corrupt politics and corporate cronyism.

With any luck, by the time farmers throughout the United States plant and harvest their next round of crops, law will require them to do so without toxic, chlorpyrifos-containing pesticides.




[2] Ibid.




Image source

Melatonin is critical for optimal regulation of sleep and circadian rhythm, but researchers are finding that it’s much more than just a sleep aid. It plays a complex role in the maintenance and regulation of the endocrine system, and thus offers a number of underappreciated benefits, including antioxidant activity, inflammation control, immune system support, and disease resistance.

For example, studies show that melatonin exhibits an extraordinary brain antioxidant capacity—one study even acknowledged how undervalued it is by stating that melatonin “under promises but over delivers” with regard to oxidative stress protection.[1]

Another study found that melatonin outperforms amitriptyline, the leading pharmaceutical drug for preventing the onset of migraine headaches—and that it does so without any side effects.[2]

Due to the wide-ranging therapeutic potential of melatonin, scientists are examining what aid it may offer for one of the leading health issues of our time: the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Melatonin, hormone health, and the development of cancer

Melatonin is an endogenous hormone predominantly produced by the pineal gland, which acts as a sort of “master control system” for the body’s endocrine processes. It influences nearly every cell in the human body, and has even been shown to safeguard mitochondrial function (mitonchrondria are the “powerhouses” of your cells that regulate energy metabolism and healthy cell growth).[3]

We’ve written before about the myriad health consequences of endocrine dysfunction, most notably in the context of chemical-induced endocrine disruption. Imbalances in melatonin levels can lead to similarly disastrous consequences (we’ll discuss some of the most common causes of melatonin deficiency later in this article).

The mechanisms behind endocrine function, cellular health, and cancer development are enormously complex, but we do know that insufficient levels of melatonin are linked with a higher incidence of cancer.[4]

And the anti-cancer benefits of melatonin aren’t just indirect; this miracle molecule is also classified as a directly cytotoxic hormone and anti-cancer agent. Studies have referred to melatonin as a “full-service anti-cancer agent” due to its ability to inhibit the initiation of cell mutation and cancer growth, and to halt the progression and metastasis of cancer cell colonies.[5]

Researchers attribute these incredible benefits to the fundamental mechanisms mentioned above: protection against oxidative stress, optimization of cell detoxification, regulation of mitochondrial function, and endocrine system maintenance.

How to optimize melatonin levels

Melatonin may have benefits that extend far beyond sleep, but its regulation of circadian rhythm is still central to its therapeutic potential.

It’s important to note that “disruption of normal circadian rhythm” and melatonin deficiency are inextricably tied to one another.[6] Researchers believe that sleep issues undermine health because they lead to melatonin deficiencies—and yet melatonin deficiencies can make it even more difficult to correct sleep patterns (thus maintaining a vicious cycle that increases the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases).

The obvious first step to optimizing melatonin levels, then, is to ensure that you’re getting proper sleep. You can check out our past article for more details on optimal sleep hygiene, but here’s the basics.

  • Any less than seven hours per night is technically considered sleep deprivation by leading sleep researchers.
  • While everyone’s circadian rhythm will vary slightly, it’s generally best to be in bed by 11:00pm. If you’re still awake much later, the endocrine system initiates a cascade of “alert” hormones, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Consistency is key; the less radical variation in your day-to-day sleep schedule, the easier time your body will have falling into an optimized melatonin production schedule.

Another critically important (and often overlooked) element of sleep hygiene is proper interfacing with devices that produce blue light and electromagnetic fields (EMFs), both of which can disrupt the production and release of melatonin.

If at all possible, avoid contact with any such devices a minimum of an hour before bed. Try to ditch the electronics a maximum of two hours after the sun sets, and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy much earlier. Last but not least, remove all sources of blue light and EMFs from your bedroom, and sleep with an eye mask.

If you already struggle with insomnia (despite all attempts to integrate the above sleep hygiene practices into your everyday life), it’s often possible to break the cycle by supplementing with melatonin.

If you choose to take this route, though, remember that it’s very important not to take melatonin everyday for an extended period of time (doing so can cause a dependency on exogenous melatonin, which further decreases natural, endogenous melatonin production). Always take a break after a maximum five nights of taking melatonin supplements (taking a two-day break at least every three nights is ideal).

Use plant-derived (rather than synthetic) melatonin, which is more easily implemented by the body, less likely to cause dependency, and highly effective.

Remember that the goal should be to boost internal melatonin production, so that you can maintain an ideal sleep schedule without supplemental melatonin. Optimizing your body’s own melatonin production not only promotes deep, restorative sleep, but also protects the body against cancer and other serious chronic diseases.









Image source

Medicinal mushrooms are continuing to make a big splash in the natural health and research communities. These rediscovered ancient medicines offer such impressive health benefits that even mainstream medicine is finding them hard to ignore. Recent studies have demonstrated powerful applications in the areas of cancer treatment, immune modulation, and much more.[1]

We’ve written about some of the other top medicinal mushrooms, including chaga, cordyceps, enoki, and reishi. The entire class of medicinal mushrooms is exemplary for activating the body’s self-healing potential and warding off disease by facilitating systemic balance; for this reason, they are often categorized as adaptogens.

But each mushroom also has its own specialties. For example, chaga is commonly used to treat cancer, viral infections, and immune disorders. Cordyceps naturally boosts energy, vitality, and physical performance without taxing the adrenals or stimulating the central nervous system. And reishi fights so many diseases and ailments that it’s been given illustrious titles such as “the Mushroom of Immortality” and “the King of Medicinal Mushrooms.”

No discussion of medicinal mushrooms would be complete, however, without mentioning lion’s mane.

Is Lion’s Mane the ultimate brain adaptogen?

Lion’s mane mushrooms get their name from their appearance, which can look…well, like a lion’s mane. It has been a well-known functional food in Chinese medicine for centuries, but has only recently made a comeback in modern medicine.

It boasts an incredible list of beneficial properties—one study reports that lion’s mane is “antibiotic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antifatigue, antihypertensive, antihyperlipodemic, antisenescence, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and neuroprotective properties, and [that it improves] anxiety, cognitive function, and depression.”[2]

It is perhaps most well-known, though, as a powerful nootropic (that is, a cognitive enhancement tool). If you’re interested in boosting brain function and cognitive performance, protecting against cognitive decline, and even healing damage to brain cells, look no further than this versatile fungus.

The popularity of nootropics has surged in recent years, resulting in an abundance of different products, foods, and supplements. While many nootropics are worthwhile in their own ways (and you should always strive to find the foods and supplements that work best for you), lion’s mane is hard to beat. It is safer and more well-researched than many of the available synthetic nootropics, and usually less expensive too (the “brain blends” that incorporate many ingredients are particularly pricey).

Here are some of lion’s mane’s brain benefits that researchers are discovering.

Enhancement of memory and cognitive function. Lion’s mane is quickly gaining traction as a nootropic of choice among those looking for an acute brain boost. Animal studies validate this mechanism, showing that lion’s mane improves memory and overall cognitive functioning, in both Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimer’s models.[3] In another study, it even improved functioning in individuals with preexisting cognitive impairment (other than Alzheimer’s or age-related cognitive decline).[4]

Improvement of brain cell growth. One primary way in which lion’s mane improves cognitive health and function (both acutely and cumulatively over time) is by stimulating brain cell growth.

This is a big deal, considering that not so long ago, neuroscientists thought that neurogenesis (brain cell regeneration) simply wasn’t possible. Research conclusively demonstrates that lion’s mane enhances neurite outgrowth in the brain, thus enhancing cognitive performance and protecting against cognitive decline.[5] One study also found that lion’s mane regenerates cells damaged by peripheral nerve injury,[6] and another indicated that lion’s mane supplementation may protect against the onset and spread of Parkinson’s disease.[7]

Protection against brain cell damage. In addition to facilitating brain cell growth and repair, lion’s mane also protects against further brain cell damage. It’s this synergistic combination of active growth stimulation and passive protection that makes it an unparalleled brain supporter.

Studies have demonstrated that lion’s mane is able to protect against brain cell damage from ischemic injury (such as the lack of blood flow that occurs during a stroke),[8] and that it protects and dramatically delays the cell death of PC12 cells (the health of which is commonly used as a marker of brain health).[9]

Including lion’s mane in your diet is a no-brainer

Just to reiterate: lion’s mane may be most well-known for its brain-boosting properties, but it has a lot more to offer too.

It heals the body on a fundamental level by functioning as a perfect natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (all in addition to the long list of functions mentioned earlier). So even if your primary goal is to improve and protect cognitive performance, you’ll enjoy plenty of other benefits as part of the deal.

There are lots of way to start putting lion’s mane to work in your own life. Raw mushrooms, dried powder, encapsulated formulas, and concentrated extracts are all readily available online and in well-stocked grocery stores.

Concentrations are especially powerful if you want to feel an immediate mood shift and brain boost, but all forms of lion’s mane work well, provided they’ve been sourced from reliable vendors.

You can even add lion’s mane to your coffee if caffeine is part of your brain-boosting morning ritual (several companies now offer pre-made mushroom coffee blends).

Regardless of which form of lion’s mane you choose, there’s just one important consideration to keep in mind: only purchase products that are made from the fruiting body of the mushroom (which contains all the beneficial components you’re looking for), not from the mycelium. As long as you follow this guideline, you’re bound to experience great results.












Image source