Critical Health News

Pica: The Urge to Eat Dirt


It’s been said proverbially, that every man must eat a peck of dirt before he dies. While the metaphorical wisdom which refers to humility and endurance may be undeniable, many people take its meaning literally. That’s the message of filmmaker Adam Forrester, whose movie “Eat White Dirt” tells the story of practitioners of the bizarre behavior. In fact, Forrester claims that hundreds of thousands of people around the world participate in the strange ritual of eating dirt.

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Bitter is Better!

Bitter Food

Eating is terrible, it’ll ultimately kill us. Oh I know, you have to eat or you’ll starve to death and perhaps that may be true. But that doesn’t dismiss the fact that how we eat today and how our bodies have evolved over the course of millions of years are as different as John Q. Public is from a caveman. And as far as going paleo, that’s a bunch of marketing gibberish. There’s little available in our modern food supply that our paleo ancestors would recognize. Does anyone think our prehistoric forbearers ate coconut flour or bacon?

Yes, it’s true that prehistoric man, was omnivorous and would eat anything, even the dreaded carbs. A recent University of Chicago study suggests that starchy tubers were an important component of the paleolithic diet and critical for speeding up proto-human brain development. But whatever they ate, it was always wild and fresh. And there was a feast or famine aspect for much of our history.

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AUDIO: Pharmacist Ben Fuchs on Coast to Coast AM, September 3rd 2015

Ben Fuchs

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Registered pharmacist Ben Fuchs shared the latest in health information and treatments, as well as current trends in medicine, and the good vs bad of diet fads. He addressed C2C producer Tom Danheiser's recent bout with a pulmonary embolism, a kind of blood clot. It's important to keep the body's circulatory system active through movement, and slow deep breathing to oxygenate the blood, he advised.

Fat processing, he noted, is a problem that can particularly affect women. He recommends using fat dissolving nutrients such as probiotics, as well as digestive enzymes, bile salts, and lecithin granules. Regarding diets, Fuchs favors the CRON-diet, which stands for Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition. By getting on a supplement program, people can eat less but still get needed nutrients without the calories, he remarked.

Regarding Parkinson's, he suggested that it's caused by an inflammatory condition, brought about by damaged cells. To treat inflammation, focus on digestive health by eliminating foods that could be causing problems, and take nutrients to build up the digestive track such as probiotics, fermented foods, cartilage-containing products, and glucosamine, in addition to stabilizing blood sugar, he outlined.

The Importance of Fat


Lipid is chemistry talk for fat, phobia means fear and for decades American consumers have been deluged with lipo-phobic propaganda and low-fat food fad hype. Beginning in the 1950’s, when a University of Minnesota professor named Ancel Keys came up with his “Lipid Hypothesis”, which blamed heart disease on fatty foods, and continuing for over 60 years, dietary fats have been vilified by scientists, academics and medical professionals as causes of obesity, heart attacks and cancer among numerous other health issues.

But, despite its insalubrious and unsavory reputation, fat, on the body and in the diet too, is actually an important part of good health. Fat functions include transportation of nutrients and essential fatty acids thorough the blood, the production of hormones and the production of cells. Fat is a shock absorber. It traps water helping the body and the skin maintain hydration and acts as a type of insulation helping the body regulate body temperature. Healthy digestion depends on substances like bile and prostaglandins, both fat derived. Fat on our frames is actually a type of gland tissue that produces and secrets numerous fatty hormones. And most fundamentally, fat is our body’s primary source for stored energy.

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AUDIO: Dr. Joel Wallach on Coast to Coast AM, August 11th 2015

Dr. Joel Wallach

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Dr. Joel Wallach discussed the human body's innate ability to heal itself through natural means and various minerals and supplements. He argued that diseases and ailments are the result of dietary deficiencies, rather than stemming from genetic causes. Among the health topics he addressed was heart arrhythmia, which he associated with degenerative disc disease or vertebrae moving closer together, which then crush against nerves related to the rate and rhythm of the heart. He treats such conditions by suggesting changes in the diet that reduce inflammation, such as not eating fried foods or processed meats, or consuming various oils that turn into trans fatty acids.

If people want to get rid of their addictions, such as tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, he recommended taking mineral supplements whenever they get a craving. "Usually within a week or two, their addiction is gone," he claimed. Wallach also praised the efficacy of herbs such as burdock root, whether in capsules or tinctures. Plant medicines can provide relief from a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, pain, prostrate problems, PMS, and headaches, he said, adding that herbs have often served as the source for pharmaceutical formulas.

Nominalization: Is Disease a Noun or a Verb?

Dr. - Patient

In the book “God is a Verb”, Rabbi David Cooper makes the argument that the divine supernatural existence called “God”, is best thought of not as a thing but rather as a process. The rabbi suggests that rather than thinking about what is referred to as God as being some kind of “person” who lives in clouds, it might be more accurate to contemplate it as a movement or action, flowing through everything in the cosmos, from the smallest smallest subatomic quanta to the largest galaxies.

This dynamic of naming processes, making nouns out of verbs, in essence “thing-ifying” actions is called “nominalization” and it is nowhere more evident (and reaches a particularly egregious zenith) in the realm of medicine and medicinal diagnostics.

According to Wikipedia, medical diagnosis is the “…process of determining which disease…explains a person’s symptoms and signs.” Unfortunately, that is absolutely NOT what a medical diagnosis is. Rather, medical diagnosis, the major component of the “doctor’s office visit” is nothing more than a description of a patient’s symptoms and complaints recited back to the patient in Latin. This repetition of symptomology in the language of Ancient Rome is then proclaimed a “disease” and a protocol ensues that attempts to somehow “treat” the process being described. Not cure, but “treat” because, as Dr. Andrew Weil reminds us in his book “Spontaneous Healing” when it comes to degenerative diseases, no cures are possible. And of course, he is correct. No cure is possible because no one can “cure” a description!

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The Three Forms of Vitamin A

Vitamin A

While many topically applied vitamins have skin benefits, none can come close to the wide ranging salubrious effects provided by Vitamin A, a powerful and multifunctional oily nutrient that is available in three major forms.

The most common and the most stable form of Vitamin A is called retinyl palmitate. Retinyl is the Latin designation for Vitamin A and palmitate represents a carrying case or ferry for Vitamin A, acting to shuttle to the nutrient around in a protective bubble. This is the type that is absorbed into the body from the digestive system when we take supplements or eat Vitamin A containing foods. Topically it has some nice moisturizing and skin softening properties and there are enzymes in the skin that can break it down and activate it.

The second form of Vitamin A is known as retinol. It’s more active than retinyl palmitate and, in fact, if you use a high enough concentration of retinol (say 5 to 10 or even 20 percent) you can get a nice exfoliating Vitamin A skin peel. However retinol is quite unstable and for this reason you’re really not going to find these kinds of concentrations in topical products. At lower concentrations retinol can be “somewhat effective”, although the amount of retinol in most retail products isn’t going to get you much effect.

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Alternatives to the Latest Cholesterol Drugs


There’s a new cholesterol fighting sheriff in town, called “Praluent”. The first of a class of drugs called PCSK9s (Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9) Inhibitors. These are biological type substances, cloned in a laboratory, that act to shut down the cholesterol processing machinery on the outside of cells. They’re derivatives of a type of chemical called an “Anti-Body”, a science fiction like component of the body’s immune (defense) system that can be thought of as a high tech biochemical weapon - Biology’s versions of seek and destroy missiles.

Over the past ten years, pharmaceutical companies have figured out how to economically produce these chemical weapons, colloquially referred to a “Biologics”. The idea is that by targeting specific problem causing biochemicals for destruction, troublesome symptoms can be reduced. The two best-selling PCSK9s, biologics Humira and Embrel, are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They work by targeting and destroying the inflammatory factors that are associated with joint deterioration and muscle pain. The third bestselling biologic Remicade aims for inflammatory factors in the colon and is used to treat Crohn’s Disease. Other biologics are used to treat Cancer, Psoriasis and neurological conditions. Research engines at pharmaceutical companies are firing on all cylinders searching feverishly for the next biologic blockbuster.

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How to Love Your Liver


Actual letter form a real Liver-hater:

I tried putting a bit of chopped up liver in with my ground beef bolognaise but I could still taste the creamy liver taste that makes me feel physically nauseous. I REALLY want to eat liver for all the nutrients and vitamin A but I physically can't do it…”

I can relate to the author of this anonymous letter recently posted on a paleo website. I hate the stuff too! Nor are we alone. Although the Epicurean among us may delight in Liver’s velvety texture and creamy taste, found that its America’s most hated food. Even the slippery, slimy look of Liver can be enough to activate the gag reflex.

So what exactly is it that accounts for widespread repulsion? Well, the Liver organ is an extreme organ, in fact it's the largest organ in the body. Among the hardest working in the body, its cells perform many of 100’s of biochemical roles like ridding the body of drugs and poisons. It purifies foods we eat, it creates and stores proteins, fats and sugars. It’s also a vitamin and mineral warehouse and is also a major center for hormone production (i.e. Estrogen, Testosterone, Cortisol and many other steroids are processed in Liver). In short, it's the body’s poison control center. What a biological powerhouse!

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TINU & The Triangle of Disease Model


By far the leading cause of death worldwide are a class of illnesses doctors call “non- communicable diseases” or “NCDs”. These are chronic long term illnesses that are not spread from person to person as are infectious illnesses and that do not resolve themselves. According to the World Health Organization there are thousands of different types of non-communicable diseases also called chronic diseases that fall into four major classes: cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer and diabetes.

However, while there are numerous NCD diagnoses, from a healing perspective, the actual names, which are really nothing more than Latin descriptions, really don’t matter. Whether the diagnosis is Fibromyalgia (literally: “muscle fiber pain”) or

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Dirty Blood


“Molecular biology has shown that even the simplest of all living systems on the earth today…cells, are exceedingly complex objects. Although the tiniest…cells are incredibly small, weighing less than .000000000001 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world.”

-Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

It’s called the living biological cell, and scientists know that, though it weighs trillions less than a copper penny, even the simplest ones are exceedingly complex; they are biochemically sophisticated “beings” capable of creating all the chemistry and components of life. When meditated on for even a moment, one can be forgiven for seeing the cell's existence as testimony of a guiding hand behind biological existence. Even if one isn’t inspired to wax divine or poetic, it’s hard not to be awed by this tiny blob of living-ness that can manufacture 10 million molecules a second.

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