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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.

 


References

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/05/climate/scott-pruitt-epa-trump.html

[2] Ibid.

[3] https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1003160/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26385760

[5] https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pur/pur16rep/chmrpt16.pdf

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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.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27500468

[2] https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2016/05/10/jnnp-2016-313458.long

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3100547/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233441/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412427/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233441/

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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.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26244378

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18844328

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26853959

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23510212

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26988860

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25167134

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25354984

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Despite the prevalence of GMO foods, the FDA approval of GMO salmon (the first commercially available genetically engineered animal), and the pre-approval of Monsanto’s new generation of CRISPR-enabled GMOs, they remain as controversial as ever.

In the CRISPR article linked above, we covered some concerns that experts have about the basic safety of genetically modified foods. One study revealed that CRISPR-edited mice exhibited 1,500 “off-target” gene mutations. [1]

At the very least, this finding should remind us that there’s a great deal we don’t understand about gene modification—and that we should tread lightly. It’s also worrisome that this study was retracted a mere three days after Monsanto announced a massive investment in CRISPR-engineered foods.

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to demonstrate the inherent dangers of genetic engineering. Until “off-target gene mutations” can be conclusively linked with long-term human health issues, it seems that Monsanto’s massive budget will continue to hold more sway.

As a result, the GMO debate has centered primarily around glyphosate-containing pesticides, which is used almost exclusively on GMO crops (for the simple reason that GMO seeds have been modified to resist the devastating effect glyphosate has on vegetation and insects).

Is glyphosate contributing to chronic illness?

In theory, it’s easier to demonstrate the dangers of glyphosate (as opposed to genetic modification in general), given that it’s a specific chemical with acute biological effects. Even this more straightforward approach has been met with opposition and criticism, though.

Let’s take a look at what we do know.

Animal studies have decidedly shown that a diet of GMO foods can lead to detrimental health effects. One study reported that when GMO foods made up just 33% of animals’ diets, 50% of the males and 70% of the females died prematurely.[2]

Another long-term toxicology study found that pigs fed GMO corn and soy experienced multiple organ damage, gastrointestinal damage and dysfunction, tumors, and birth defects.[3]

Yet another preliminary study revealed that hamsters fed GM soy completely lost the ability to have babies after only two generations—the study was never officially published (in part because of vicious backlash from the pro-GMO community), but was covered by Huffington Post.[4]

And let’s not forget that the original research into the toxicity of glyphosate—which led to the approval of RoundUp pesticide for commercial use—was ghostwritten by Monsanto (and credentialed academics were then paid to sign off on the bogus research). In a past article, we covered how this information didn’t even come to light until a court ordered Monsanto to unseal its documents in February of 2017.

Perhaps the most significant and targeted studies on the subject have been published by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff. Their work seeks to posit a direct connection between glyphosate toxicity and the modern rise in chronic illness.

In a series of studies entitled “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases,” they focus on evidence tying glyphosate toxicity with gut microbiome dysbiosis, which leads directly to celiac disease and other gastrointestinal ailments, and indirectly to a variety of chronic illnesses via chronic inflammation.[5]

Unsurprisingly, their work has been met with much criticism. Some opponents point to logical flaws in their arguments, and it’s certainly true that further research into the exact mechanisms involved are necessary. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember what motivated the inquiries of these researchers in the first place: growing concern over the correlation between glyphosate toxicity and chronic illness.

As the studies cited above demonstrate, there is sound evidence demonstrating that we should be concerned about glyphosate toxicity—yet critics continue to insist that there isn’t enough data to implicate glyphosate as a causal factor in chronic illnesses—and advocates of GMO crops and glyphosate are quick to leverage this supposed “missing data” in support of their multi-billion-dollar industry.

Play it safe (your health is worth it)

Regardless of your view on the subject, it’s clear that gut dysbiosis is on the rise, and that it is linked with many of the chronic illnesses mentioned above.

Despite what anyone may say about the need for more data, what we do know is that organic, pesticide-free produce does not undermine the health of the microbiome. This fact alone should be reason enough to choose organic foods, especially if you suffer from gut issues, inflammatory conditions, or other chronic illnesses.

Based on the evidence presented above, it seems highly unlikely that GMO foods and glyphosate will be vindicated as safe in the long-term—so why take the risk? Stick with a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, healthy fats, and clean protein sources.

If you need to heal existing gut issues (or just want to prevent them from developing in the first place), supplements can also be a helpful adjunct to healthy diet.  Choosing a probiotic supplement can be confusing, and some of the supplements might not even be what they say they are!

We like this Probiotic from PuraTHRIVE that uses a very specific, highly potent, targeted bacterial strain backed with a TON of scientific research.  This  high-strength strain, combined with a unique, protective delivery mechanism is one of the most powerful Probiotics on the market.

It is made with Lactoferrin: an iron-binding protein found in milk. Its unique affinity to iron allows it to bind closely to the nutrient.

The unique RcME Delivery Technology takes the power of Lactoferrin to SUPERCHARGE the bioavailability of the Probiotic.  Aside from that, it’s also an ANTIMICROBIAL, ANTI-PATHOGEN and ANTI-BACTERIAL compound that IMPROVES SURVIVAL RATES OF PROBIOTICS.

Learn more here

 

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796662/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11890465

[3] https://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

[4] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/genetically-modified-soy_b_544575.html

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/

Image source

We tend to think that the more delicious a food is, the less likely it is to be healthful and nourishing. While this idea holds true for sugar-laden processed and packaged foods, it’s good to remember that there are notable exceptions. For example, strawberries offer perfect proof that delicious foods (even sweet ones) can also offer incredible health benefits.

Researchers have now officially classified strawberries as a functional food, thanks to their “preventive and therapeutic health benefits.”[1]

Functional foods (also known as nutriceuticals) are those which exhibit acute and quantifiable therapeutic properties beyond basic nutrition. Unlike the term “superfood,” which is as much a marketing gimmick as it is a verifiable label, the term “functional food” has been more widely adopted within the medical research community.

While many researchers would still like to see more stringently defined standards and data applied to functional foods, the term does carry weight—and it’s still noteworthy that strawberries have earned this distinction among researchers.

Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons why strawberries are more than just a sweet summer treat.

High nutrient density. Strawberries are packed with beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants (strawberries have higher ORAC activity than raspberries or blackberries),[2] healthful flavonoids such as quercetin, catechin, epicatechin, kaempferol, and ellagic acid, essential vitamins like vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, folate, and carotenoids, remarkable healing compounds called anthocyanins (which are responsible for their red color), and phytosterols.

Anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants and phenolic compounds in strawberries have powerful anti-inflammatory potential. Sure enough, one long-term study demonstrated that women who consume two or more servings of strawberries per week have significantly lower C-reactive protein (CRP), a primary marker for inflammation (as well as the many conditions to which chronic inflammation can lead).[3]

Cardiovascular support. Inflammation and elevated CRP are strongly associated with cardiovascular issues, so it makes sense that strawberries would offer excellent support for the heart. One study found that just three servings of strawberries per week reduced the risk of heart attack in women by up to 33%,[4] and another demonstrated that strawberry consumption was associated with a significant reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease.[5]

Improvement of other cardiovascular conditions and risk factors. The anthocyanins, polyphenols, and other beneficial compounds in strawberries have also been shown to improve common comorbidities of cardiovascular disease. For example, when reviewing data from the heart attack risk study cited above, researchers found that higher intake of strawberry anthocyanins led to an 8% reduction in hypertension.[6]

Regular consumption of strawberries also lowers LDL (“bad” cholesterol)[7] and raises HDL (“good” cholesterol),[8] reduces oxidized cholesterol by increasing the body’s antioxidant capacity,[9] and improves glucose response.[10]

Brain support. Strawberries are even being hailed as a neuroprotective food. Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that strawberry extracts improved and even reserved signs of age-related neuronal degeneration,[11] and showed that animals eating a diet including 2% strawberries were protected against neuronal damage (as tested by exposure to radiation).[12] These findings have excited many researchers into exploring the role strawberries can play in reversing neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Chemopreventive properties. Last but most certainly not least, studies suggest that strawberries display anti-cancer properties (they’re but one of many functional foods that are being explored as natural anti-cancer agents). One prospective cohort study showed that higher consumption of strawberries (especially when combined with other fresh fruits and vegetables) was associated with a significant reduction in cancer mortality,[13] and other studies even suggest that strawberries can directly slow the growth of esophageal cancer.[14]

How to get the most out of strawberries (all year round)

Whether fresh, frozen, dried, or made into jams and juices, it’s hard to go wrong with strawberries, as long as they’re organic. While all these forms have been shown to be beneficial, a deeper look reveals that processing can alter levels of beneficial nutrients.

Processing strawberries into jams and juices appears to affect their nutritional profile to the greatest degree, reducing levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), polyphenols, and total antioxidant capacity.[15] It’s also worth noting that if refined sugar is added, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities of strawberries are further counteracted.

Canning strawberries is slightly better (especially if no sugar is added), but still has been shown to decrease levels of anthocyanins and phenolic compounds.[16]

Frozen strawberries exhibit significantly higher levels of ascorbic acid and polyphenols than dried strawberries,[17] and sometimes even higher than fresh strawberries.

While fresh strawberries are always a wise choice, they’re nearly always more expensive, and aren’t always in season. Luckily, most experts agree that frozen strawberries are a perfectly suitable substitute for year-round use.

Just remember that you must buy organic strawberries (whether fresh or frozen) to receive the benefits described above. Conventionally grown strawberries are sprayed with copious amounts of toxic pesticides—in fact, they’re the number one crop to avoid in the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24345049

[2] https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9908345

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17906180

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23319811

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17344514

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21106916

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20797478

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18258621

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9868186

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19930765

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9742171

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15725409

[13] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/41/1/32/4691514

[14] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406085056.htm

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15998127

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17995868

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12590461

Image source

Despite the ongoing debate around genetically modified organisms (GMOs), it’s clear to many that we should tread lightly when allowing them into our diets.

The companies responsible for creating and distributing GMO foods maintain that they carry no health risks. Further, they hide behind the moralistic message of saving our ailing food system and solving worldwide food crises using “scientific” systems of mass-scale food production.

While it’s certainly true that our food system is in dire need of saving, the answer is not to tinker with the genetic make-up of foods without knowledge of the repercussions. And besides, if fighting world hunger was truly the mission of corporations like Monsanto, they would focus less on profiting off the indebted farmers of developing nations, and more on actually providing food for those in need.

Besides, GMOs do carry documented health risks, as we’ve covered in past articles. For example, GMO corn and soy have been linked with multiple organ damage, gastrointestinal distress and damage, tumors, and birth defects in animals fed these crops.[1] GMO advocates argue that it’s unclear whether these risks are connected to pesticide contamination or genetic modification itself, but this hardly tempers the inherent dangers.

For this reason and more, the Euopean Union has banned many genetically modified fruits, as well as the toxic pesticides used to grow them. Because no such action seems forthcoming in the United States, it’s up to us to make wise food choices on our own.

A new kind of GMO (and why you should be worried)

Meanwhile, Monsanto is busy developing a whole new kind of genetically modified food. It was recently announced that the company plans to invest at least $100 million in the gene editing technology CRISPR (which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats).

You may have heard of CRISPR in the context of healthcare—it’s been making headlines as a scientific breakthrough that will allow us to fight disease on a genetic level. Unsurprisingly, the technology is hotly debated, and there’s much we still don’t understand about its risks and possibilities.

But the hesitancy of many experts isn’t stopping Monsanto from barreling forward with their investments. They plan to use CRISPR to gene-edit a wide variety of crops, starting with corn, soy, wheat, cotton, and canola (some of their biggest cash crops). The company believes that CRISPR will allow them to modify the food characteristics that current GMOs target—such as flavor, shelf life, color, and size—with even greater accuracy and facility.

It goes without saying, of course, that Monsanto will own the exclusive rights to all of these gene-edited crops.

But even though Monsanto’s CRISPR crops are not set to hit store shelves for 5-10 years, there are already concerns beyond unscrupulous profit motives. One study in particular showed that mice gene-edited with CRISPR exhibited 1,500 genetic mutations—all of these mutations were “off-target,” meaning that they occurred in genes that were not targeted for editing by the CRISPR process.[2] The research is a worrying reminder that we just don’t know what we’re dealing with when it comes to gene editing, and that the advertised benefits may not be worth the risks.

Here’s the strangest part: this study was retracted just three days after Monsanto announced its partnership with a CRISPR-focused start-up called Pairwise Plants. Perhaps this could be brushed aside as coincidence if Monsanto didn’t have such a questionable history of suppressing negative research data about their products.

Luckily, the researchers behind the now-retracted study are committed to performing follow-up studies, which will examine the entire genome sequence of gene-edited foods. As data demonstrating the risks of CRISPR foods becomes more prevalent and comprehensive, we can only hope that Monsanto will have a harder time hiding the truth behind their offerings.

Even before this study was published, molecular geneticists predicted that gene-editing would inevitably yield unpredictable consequences, so the researchers’ results hardly came as a surprise. Leading experts warn that full analyses and long-term toxicity studies should be conducted on gene-edited foods before they’re released to the public—but sadly, exactly the opposite is happening. The USDA has already approved the sale of CRISPR-edited foods years in advance of their public availability.

So what should you do to protect yourself?

The only good news is that it’s easy to protect yourself from the health risks of Monsanto’s upcoming CRISPR foods: just don’t buy them.

Stick with organic foods, and steer clear of any technologically created foods with an unproven safety record, especially if you believe that corporations like Monsanto don’t deserve our support.

Remember that, despite continuing activism efforts, companies are still not required to label GMO products. This means that healthy shopping and eating requires extra vigilance. Don’t purchase produce unless you can confirm it was organically grown (and if you must consume conventional produce, stick to the Clean 15 and avoid the Dirty Dozen).

Scientific innovations certainly can help us improve our food system, but they must be introduced in a safe and thorough fashion that prioritizes our health rather than profits. Unless researchers can prove that CRISPR foods and similar GMOs have no long-term health risks, stick with the food that you know is nourishing and risk-free.

 


References

[1] https://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796662/

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Dementia currently affects at least 47 million people worldwide.[1] As we’ve discussed in past articles, Alzheimer’s disease and other serious forms of dementia are a growing problem. With diagnoses occurring at progressively younger ages, it’s becoming difficult to believe that these neurodegenerative issues are simply a byproduct of natural, age-related cognitive decline.

On the contrary, voluminous evidence suggests that cognitive decline is affected by a wide range of lifestyle and environmental factors. Some of these factors are a matter of direct choice, such as the food we eat, the supplements we take, and our level of physical activity. Others are more difficult to control, such as the hidden industrial toxins in our air, water, and household products.

Luckily, we can mitigate the damaging effects of modern living by consciously committing to as many brain-boosting lifestyle choices as we can. Despite the fact that the Alzheimer’s Association still maintains that the disease “cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed,” research demonstrates that lifestyle can make a profound difference.

Start with foods and supplements

A healthy lifestyle has many facets—exercise, work-life balance, cultivation of a rich and supportive social life, emotional self-care, and much more—but you can make great progress just by optimizing the foods and supplements you consume.

Here are some of the top foods and supplements you can use to stop cognitive decline in its tracks. And even if you’re young, healthy, and unconcerned about cognitive decline, you can still experience an acute boost in cognitive performance and clarity by integrating these foods and supplements into your life.

Cucumbers. Studies have demonstrated that cucumber flavonoids such as luteolin, diosmin, and fisetin can help prevent memory loss and cognitive decline.[2] In recent years, researchers have taken a particular interest in fisetin, which has been described as an “orally active, neuroprotective and cognition-enhancing molecule.”[3]

Berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, also contain brain-boosting flavonoids (including fisetin). One study found that women with a greater long-term intake of blueberries and strawberries (at least a cup per week) were able to slow cognitive decline by at least 2.5 years. Researchers attribute these effects to the potent antioxidant properties of anthocyanidins, fisetin, and other berry flavonoids.[4]  

Grapes have been shown to slow aging and protect against cognitive decline by fighting oxidative stress in the brain. Choose the red and purple varieties, as they contain the most powerfully brain-boosting antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and resveratrol. Studies have shown that daily doses of resveratrol in particular can improve working and spatial memory in older adults.[5]

L-acetyl-carnitine. While proper diet should always be first priority, maintaining an optimized supplement regimen can also be immensely helpful (especially because much of our food is grown in woefully nutrient-depleted soil). Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) has been shown to enhance memory and cognition, both in healthy, young individuals as well as those undergoing cognitive decline. Researchers posit that the improvements in learning and memory it conveys are a function of its ability to increase synaptic neurotransmission.[6] Supplementing with acetyl-L-carnitine is especially important for vegetarians and vegans, as most natural food sources of this compound are animal products.

Algae oil. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially in the form of DHA, are essential for healthy brain function. Studies have demonstrated that proper omega-3 supplementation can lower brain inflammation,[7] limit cognitive impairment and decline,[8] improve memory and overall cognitive function,[9] and reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.[10] The most common source of omega-3s is fish oil, a product often burdened by mercury contamination, a tendency to rancidify, and unsustainability. Algae oil has none of these drawbacks, and offers all the same brain benefits.

Turmeric has proven itself effective for a wide variety of health applications, and brain support is no exception. Turmeric is nearly unparalleled at combatting inflammation, one of the key underlying factors of cognitive decline. Furthermore, researchers have found that a compound in turmeric called ar-turmerone defends the brain against damage and neuroinflammation,[11] and even facilitates neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) by speeding the process by which brain stem cells differentiate into functioning neurons.[12] If you want to experience the brain-supporting power of turmeric and algae oil put together, we highly recommend trying this product.

Leafy greens. It should be common knowledge that leafy greens are an essential part of any health-promoting diet—but in case you need more reasons to eat lots of them, it’s worth noting that they’re a powerful defense against cognitive decline. One prospective study in particular found that eating one serving per day of green, leafy vegetables helps slow cognitive decline dramatically (even if all other lifestyle factors remain constant).[13]

B vitamins are so profoundly supportive of brain health that “B” might as well stand for “brain.” Studies demonstrate that optimized B vitamin levels allow the body to maintain low levels of homocysteine, a critical marker of Alzheimer’s risk.[14] In fact, for every unit increase in B12 blood level, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease drops by 2%.[15] Other studies have shown that ongoing B vitamin supplementation can reduce the brain shrinkage and damage associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s by up to 90%.[16] When starting your regimen, though, always be sure to choose only the most absorbable form of B vitamins.

 

 


References 

 [1] http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia

[2] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507105646.htm

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5527824/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20041738

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20590847

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191260/

[8] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ejn.12406

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22002791

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22002791

[11] https://www.biomedcentral.com/about/press-centre/science-press-releases/26-sep-2014

[12] https://stemcellres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/scrt500

[13] http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2017/12/20/WNL.0000000000004815

[14] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa060900

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20956786

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23690582

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Cannabis certainly has a checkered history, but the medical community is finally beginning to accept its worth as a therapeutic plant. It is now legal for medical use in 30 U.S. states (and recreationally legal in 8 states), but its past reputation as a harmful drug still casts a long shadow.

Medical research data has been critical for vindicating cannabis. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the plant’s therapeutic properties—even the pharmaceutical industry has jumped on board by patenting several FDA-approved cannabis-derived medications. You can read our account of this attempted corporate takeover of the cannabis industry here.

Cannabis has a long history of folk use as a natural analgesic. Evidence now suggests that extracted cannabis oils were vaporized by ancient peoples like the Scythians in the 5th century B.C. As early as 1843, significant authors were remarking on cannabis’s remarkable pain-relieving properties and comparing it favorably with opiates. Cannabis was used throughout the 19th century to ameliorate a variety of painful conditions, but has remained largely unavailable to clinicians, due to its demonization and eventual illegalization.[1]

Modern research has finally caught up with folk medicine, and many researchers are so pleased with cannabis’s pain-relieving properties that it’s being hailed as a potential solution to our nation’s opioid crisis.

Meanwhile, researchers are uncovering how cannabis could help tackle another major health issue—cancer.

How cannabis aids cancer treatment and fights tumors

Cannabis first made its way into oncology as a tool of palliative care—that is, as a way to provide relief from the symptoms and side effects of conventional cancer treatments. Studies have shown that just one month of administering cannabis to advanced cancer patients can improve pain, general well-being, appetite, and nausea by up to 70%, and also that it significantly decreases anxiety and depressive symptoms associated with cancer prognoses.[2]

Before long, though, it became clear that cannabis is much more than just a painkiller. In fact, a rich body of medical literature now demonstrates that cannabis has powerfully anti-cancer properties. Studies have demonstrated its efficacy against a wide variety of cancers—including brain, breast, colon, prostate, lung, thyroid, and pituitary cancer, melanoma, and leukemia. The International Journal of Oncology reported in 2017 that cannabinoids “show great promise” as a universal anti-cancer agent.[3]

Even cannabidiol (CBD), which can be extracted from hemp and has little to no psychoactive effect (unlike THC and other cannabinoids), exhibits anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that hemp slows ovarian cancer cell migration and metastasis,[4] and that it lowers the inflammation associated with cancer progression.[5]

Here are a few of the ways in which cannabinoids help fight cancer.

Proapoptotic activity. We’ve discussed apoptosis previously in the context of other cancer-fighting plants and foods. It refers to the process by which cancer cells literally destroy themselves (it’s also sometimes called “programmed cell death”). A plant or compound is called “proapoptotic” when it has the ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. A comprehensive review of preclinical and clinical findings reports that cannabinoids induce apoptosis and inhibit metastasis in “almost all cancer cell types tested,” in both animals and humans.[6]

Antiangiogenic activity. Angiogenesis is the process by which cancerous tumors form new blood vessels to carry blood to tumors (thus allowing them to grow). Cannabinoids, most notably tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), have also been shown to block this process, thus cutting off the flow of nutrients and inhibiting the growth of tumors.[7]

Increased efficacy of conventional cancer drugs. It’s only natural that, at least for some time, cannabinoids will be integrated into oncology as an adjunct to conventional treatments (rather than replacing them). Luckily, studies have demonstrated that this approach can be greatly beneficial, as well. The International Journal of Oncology reports that administration of cannabinoids (especially CBD and THC used synergistically) can dramatically increase the efficacy of leukemia drugs.[8] This means that a significantly smaller dosage of cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs can be used without sacrificing efficacy (thus decreasing the side effects of these toxic drugs).

The future of treating cancer with cannabis

This is only the beginning of research into cannabis as a cancer-fighting tool. The current legal classification of cannabis as Schedule 1 indicates that it has no accepted medical use—which, given the wealth of medical literature on the subject, is patently untrue.

This legal prohibition makes it very difficult and expensive to research cannabis, so progress has been very slow. As more research emerges and laws begin to relax, however, cannabis treatment protocols for cancer will become more and more refined.

Conventional medicine is finally beginning to acknowledge the wealth of therapeutic possibilities that can emerge from a deeper understanding of the human cannabinoid system. It’s only a matter of time before these powerful, time-tested plant compounds enjoy more mainstream acceptance, both for the treatment of cancer as well as a variety of other conditions.

 


References

[1] https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(04)00221-4/fulltext?code=yjpai-site

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791145/

[3] https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ijo.2017.4022

[4] https://plan.core-apps.com/eb2018/abstract/3c293e66-dc71-4140-8044-1b83d81c7eb4

[5] https://plan.core-apps.com/eb2018/abstract/0ff28721-278c-4d22-9857-004e39739d3a

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791144/

[7] Ibid.

[8] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170605085559.htm

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We write a lot about vitamins, because we recognize the primary role they play in the maintenance of optimal health.

Vitamin deficiency is a risk factor that underlies the vast majority of ailments and health conditions—and thus, a growing body of research demonstrates that vigilant monitoring of vitamin intake can help successfully prevent or even reverse health problems.

But the world of vitamins can be overwhelming. Have you ever stood in front of a wall of vitamin bottles at your local health food store, completely unsure of which one to choose?

It helps to have a basic understanding of vitamins and their applications, so that you can build a regimen that works for you. To that end, we’d like to share a wonderfully helpful infographic, courtesy of 16Best.

The infographic below lays out all the basic details you need to know about the “classic” vitamins: vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. You’ll learn what makes each of these vitamins essential, how much of each vitamin the body needs, which ones are water soluble and which are fat soluble, why some of the letters in the “vitamin alphabet” are missing, and much more.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you peruse the infographic.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Obviously, there are many other nutrients that are worthy of your time and attention, but this infographic should help you get your foot in the door of the vitamin world. If you feel called to explore deeper, there are plenty more articles on our site featuring nearly every major vitamin and nutrient under the sun.

“Daily Minimum Intake” represents just that—the minimum. This infographic discusses the “Daily Minimum Intake” of each vitamin. This terminology is a remarkable improvement over “Recommended Daily Allowance,” which makes it sound like this amount is all we ever need to take. As we’ve written about in past articles, it can often be incredibly beneficial to take doses higher than the RDA for specific vitamins. This is partially because RDAs are far too low in some cases (according to the opinion of many doctors and experts), and partially because the therapeutic mechanisms of vitamins can shift and deepen when higher doses are consumed.

Two prominent examples are vitamin C and vitamin D, both of which exhibit remarkable healing benefits when safely taken at higher doses. When trying out higher doses of supplements of vitamins, though, remember these few rules of thumb: talk to your doctor first, do your own research, and listen to your body.

Some vitamins work better together. Finally, while this infographic presents each vitamin in isolation, it’s important to remember that some are safer and more effective when taken together. For example, you shouldn’t take vitamin D without vitamin K, as doing so can cause your lead to use calcium improperly.

In other cases, vitamin deficiencies can make it difficult for your body to absorb other vitamins. For example, a vitamin D deficiency (as well as mineral deficiencies) can make it harder to absorb vitamin B12 (a nutrient that many people already have trouble absorbing). Therefore, it’s beneficial to take both vitamins (from food sources and as supplements), even if you think you’re only deficient in one.

So without further ado…may this infographic serve as your introductory guide to the world of vitamins!


References

Infographic source

Cancer is the number two cause of death in United States, and among the leading causes of death worldwide—more than 600,000 people die each year from cancer in the United States alone.[1]

Diagnoses (and even morality rates for some cancers) are on the rise, so it’s imperative that we seek a comprehensive understanding of the disease’s risk factors.

We’ve written about many of these risk factors in previous articles: processed foods, refined sugar, and other poor dietary choices; being overweight and having metabolic syndrome; nutrient deficiencies, especially in vitamin D, vitamin C, and endogenous antioxidants like glutathione; a lack of exercise and regular detoxification practices; exposure to industrial and environmental toxins, and more. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption obviously belong on this list, and even genetics have a role to play.

One cancer risk factor that is often overlooked, though, is parasitic infection. We tend to think about the acute dangers of pathogenic infection rather than the long-term risks and repercussions—but research is revealing a startling connection between parasites and the development of cancer.

Cancer as a parasitic disease

In 1890, the Scottish microbiologist and pathologist William Russell reported the presence of parasitic spores within cancer cells. He published his findings in the British Medical Journal,[2] and went on to formulate a comprehensive hypothesis explaining how cancer is a parasitic disease. Like many pioneers whose ideas are not aligned with the momentum of conventional medicine, he and his supporters were utterly dismissed.

However, more recent data presented by oncologists and cancer researchers is making it increasingly difficult to dismiss Russell’s hypothesis. Doctors have noted for some time that a high percentage of cancer patients exhibit some kind of parasitic or pathogenic infection. In 2012, one study examined the correlation more deeply, and concluded that parasitic infection “seems to play a crucial role in the etiology of cancer.”[3]

Other studies have strengthened the theory that parasites have a causative role in the development of cancer. For example, the tick-borne T. parva has been shown to cause a condition nearly identical to lymphoma,[4] and the C. parvum parasite suddenly and unexpectedly causes colon cancer when mice are inoculated with it.[5]  

In 2015, a doctor documented a disturbing case in which tapeworm infection allowed cancer to become its own form of transmissible parasite. The effected immunosuppressed patient suddenly exhibited cancer cell invasion in the lymph nodes, and when researchers analyzed the lymph node tissue, they found tapeworm DNA in the cancer cells.[6]

While tapeworms and the similar organisms mentioned above are usually what come to mind when we think of parasites, the truth is that parasitic infection takes many other forms. Perhaps the most common parasite of all is Candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast that leads to a wide array of gastrointestinal ailments and far-reaching health issues when allowed to proliferate. It’s estimated that up to 70% of the population is affected by Candida.[7]

As we discussed in a past article, there are many reasons why yeast overgrowth can lead to (or worsen) cancer. Studies have conclusively shown that “Candida infection can significantly increase overall and some individual cancer risks,”[8] and even that Candida yeast can “induce cancer development of progression.”[9]

Parasite cleansing as a vector for cancer treatment

Since researchers are finding that parasites can be a cause of (or at least a risk factor for) cancer development, it stands to reason that clearing the body of parasites could effectively prevent or treat cancer.

During one cancer research project, researchers actually stumbled onto this connection accidentally. They screened 2,000 different common drugs for anti-cancer activity, and they found that an anti-parasitic drug called mebenzadole (Vermox) was by far the most promising one.[10] The converse is also true: chemotherapy drugs have been shown to be incredibly effective antiparasitic agents.[11]

Luckily, though, you don’t have to subject your body to antiparasitic or chemotherapy agents to ensure it remains clear of parasites (though these interventions can be necessary in cases of severe infection).

For starters, be very cautious when consuming meat. While the major parasites mentioned above are less common in the United States, infection can still occur through consumption of undercooked meat, especially pork. Tapeworms (particularly Taenia solium, a species known as the “pork tapeworm”) are the most common parasite reported in the United States.

Parasites will thrive on a diet high in sugar, processed foods, alcohol, wheat, and pork, so avoid these foods and drinks altogether if you want to rid your body of these carcinogenic organisms. Instead, eat lots of healthy fats (especially coconut oil, which has antiparasitic properties), leafy greens, garlic and onions, pumpkin seeds, papaya juice, oregano, ginger, and lots of probiotic foods.

For strong, acute parasite clearing, start a regiment of oregano oil, clove oil, black walnut, wormwood, and grapefruit seed extract. These powerful natural products can also kill beneficial gut bacteria, though, and therefore should only be used for a limited period of time (after which you should increase your probiotic intake to help repopulate your gut flora).

 


References

 

[1] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2208600/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671432/

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877959X16300152

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4036476/

[6] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1505892

[7] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-06/ru-bid062504.php

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5609943/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963692

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24160353

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16472182

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