Dr. Shellie’s Column- On Healthy Living

TOPIC: DOES REVENGE WORK?
Why Revenge Is a Dish Best Not Served
by Jonathan Vatner

When the (person) in the next office lies about you to your boss or you catch your (significant other)  flirting online, the way to make it all better is with a little well-earned payback, right? Think again. Recent research says you’ll be better off turning the other cheek.
Here’s why:
1. Revenge doesn’t make us feel better.
In a study conducted at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, students played a game in which a player was revealed at the end to be a traitor. One group was allowed to force the rat to forfeit part of his winnings—which most players did—while another was denied that option. Yet the results showed that the punishers wound up stewing longer and feeling more agitated over the outcome than those who didn ‘t exact revenge.
2. It’s not a strategy of highly effective people.
An analysis of a study of more than 20,000 Germans found that people who cared about seeking revenge had fewer close friends, were more likely to be unemployed, and were less happy than people who were eager to grant favors. Think Ted Kaczynski.
3. It creates a vicious cycle.
At SUNY College at Potsdam, New York, a survey of students who were on either the giving or receiving end of vindictive actions determined that avengers generally perceived their actions as fair, while victims typically saw the retaliation as excessive—which could lead to further escalation of a feud.

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TOPIC: THE FLU VACCINE

11/21/09- Do You Know What’s in a flu shot?

•Egg proteins: including avian contaminant viruses

•Gelatin: known to cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis are usually

•associated with sensitivity to egg or gelatin

•Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™): can cause severe allergic reactions,

•including anaphylaxis

•Formaldehyde: known carcinogen

•Triton X100: a strong detergent

•Sucrose: table sugar

•Resin: known to cause allergic reactions

•Gentamycin: an antibiotic

•Thimerosal: mercury is still in multidose vials

Is the Swine Flu Vaccine Safe?

•A new report from a WHO advisory group predicts that global production of vaccine for the novel H1N1 influenza virus could be as much as 4.9 billon doses a year, far higher than previous estimates.

•The report says that vaccine makers are expected to produce about 780 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere’s 2008-09 flu season for the

June 12 Announcement:

•The new H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is going to be made by Novartis. It will probably be made in PER.C6 cells (human retina cells) and contain MF59, a potentially debilitating adjuvant. MF-59 is an oil-based adjuvant primarily composed of squalene, Tween 80 and Span85.

•All oil adjuvants injected into rats were found toxic. All rats developed an MS-like disease that left them crippled, dragging their paralyzed hindquarters across their cages.

•Squalene caused severe arthritis (3 on scale of 4). Squalene in humans at 10-20 ppb (parts per billion) lead to severe immune responses, such as autoimmune arthritis and lupus.

Reference: Kenney, RT. Edleman, R. “Survey of human-use adjuvants.” Expert Review of Vaccines. 2 (2003) p171.

Reference: Matsumoto, Gary. Vaccine A: The Covert Government

Experiment That’s Killing Our Soldiers and Why GI’s Are Only the First   Victims of this Vaccine. New  York:Basic Books. p54.

Federal health officials will probably recommend that most Americans get three flu shots this fall: one regular flu shot and two doses of any vaccine made against the new swine flu strain.

Reference: Washington Post, Wednesday, May 6, 2009

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is talking to school superintendents around the country, urging them to spend the summer planning what to do if the government decides it needs their buildings for mass vaccinations and vaccinating kids first. Reference: CBS News, June 12, 2009.

Protect Yourselves and your Family from  Swine Flu http://www.russellblaylockmd.com/

  • •This flu is transmitted mostly by physical contact rather than by being exposed to coughing by infected individuals. You can use a hand sanitizer and clean commonly used surfaces, such as computer keyboards, telephone speakers, countertops and door handles with sanitizer cloths.
  • •Avoid exhaustion and extreme exercise, both of which lower immunity and greatly increase one’s risk of serious reactions to the infection and even death. Get at least 8 ours of good sleep each night.
  • •Avoid foods that suppress immunity, such as high sugar intake and consuming foods or cooking in oils that suppress immunity and increase inflammation—such as the omega-6 oils—corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, peanut and soybean oils.
  • •Avoid excessive intake of omega-3 containing EPA (anything over 100 mg per serving). EPA is a powerful immune suppressant, even though it reduces inflammation. This increases your risk of getting infected and having difficulty clearing the infection. The DHA component of the oil does not appreciably suppress immunity, but significantly reduces inflammation.
  • •If you are exposed to people in high-risk situations, such as in crowded offices, theaters, airplanes and other forms of public transportation, take beta-1,3/1,6 glucan 250 mg every other day. It is to be taken on an empty stomach with any liquid. If you began to feel ill, take the beta-glucan every day until your illness clears and then every other day for one week afterwards.
  • •Take a well-balanced vitamin/mineral. This will supply you with all the vitamins needed to support immunity, which is especially important for those over age 50—the age of nutrient-based, aged-associated immune suppression. Take the vitamin capsule with each meal.
  • •Vitamin D3. Children and pregnant women should take 2000 IU a day and adults should take 5000 IU once to twice a day. You should also take 500 mg of calcium citrate a day.
  • •Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) that is high in gamma-tocopherol, the anti-inflammatory form of the vitamin. The dose is 400 IU a day.
  • •Buffered vitamin C 1000 mg three times a day taken on an empty stomach to prevent excess iron absorption. One should avoid taking iron supplements during infection, since it worsens the infection.
  • •Curcumin 250 mg and quercetin 250 mg dissolved in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. This greatly reduces inflammation and autoimmune development and has direct antiviral effects by inhibiting protein kinase C. Take the mixture three times a day with meals. It can be mixed with foods as desired.
  • •Avoid all fluoride products, such as fluoridated mouthwashes, toothpaste and fluoride treatments. Fluoride has been shown to increase flu virus budding, making it easier to produce more virus within your body. It is also a cellular toxin.
  • •Avoid other sources of mercury, such as contaminated seafoods and other mercury-containing vaccinations. Dental amalgams, in my view, should be removed by a specially trained dentist (see www. IAOMT.com for a list of such dentists). Mercury greatly increases one’s risk of developing an autoimmune disease and suffering from neurological damage.
  • •Avoid smoking. Smoking damages the protective cells lining the lungs and nicotine is a very powerful immune suppressant. This is also true for nicotine patches and gums.
  • Keep well hydrated. Drinking several glasses or cups of strong white tea (either as iced tea or hot tea) a day also reduces viral growth and protects the lungs against viral and bacterial damage.

Eat a diet containing at least 5 servings of high-density fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked. Avoid a high intake of breads and other high-glycemic foods. Avoid excessive red meats and eat more chicken and turkey that is organically raised.

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TOPIC: THE MAMMOGRAM DEBATE

11/21/09- A government-appointed panel said last week, that women generally should begin routine mammograms in their 50s, rather than their 40s — sparking cries of outrage and claims a taxpayer-funded health care option wouldn’t pay for the screenings. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued its recommendations on Nov. 16, saying getting screened for breast cancer so early and so often leads to too many false alarms and unneeded biopsies without substantially improving women’s odds of survival

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TOPIC: HEALTHY EATING

Studies show that people looking to improve their fitness and improve their health achieve significantly greater results when using a personal nutritionist. An effective personal nutritionist can guide you, motivate you, and educate you. Nutritionists provide support and guidance. A good nutritionist will also make sure that you don’t damage your body with today’s assortment of health fads. It is important to note that there is a right way, and a wrong way, too eat. Don’t risk harming your body…call Max today.

Dr. Shellie will help you to achieve your dietary goals, including weight loss/gain, build muscle, reduce fat, learn how to choose healthy foods in both supermarket and health food store, understand the meaning of nutrition labeling.

Analysis
Before we design a program, we must take into account your current lifestyle and eating habits. We analyze your goals and nutrition needs. Together, we  will create a food diary, analyze your current dietary intake, and then develop a plan that best meets your unique needs.

Consulting
Learn how to eat right without struggling. My program will improve your eating habits, give you more energy, promote overall health, help you stay fit, and assist in weight-loss. I will design a supplement plan to complement your healthy lifestyle. I am an experienced herbalist in addition to being an expert in the area of vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Medical Dietary Evaluation
I will also develop a plan to address any specific health issues or concerns that you have. I can design a plan that can help alleviate or reverse the affects of many ailments. If you are under the care of a medical professional, Dr. Shellie and your health professional will work together as a team to help you achieve your goals.  We can also discuss how to use nutrition to prevent many common ailments. We will evaluate any family history and environmental concerns as well and design a program to address these.

Dr. Shellie can help you address health concerns/family history of heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, skin problems, eyesight, vitality, obesity, and many other issues.

Grocery Store Readiness
Dr. Shellie will take you shopping and teach you how to make smart shopping decisions. You will be amazed how easy it is to buy the right things, and how much money you will save in the process!

Restaurant Survival
See how it easy it can be to eat healthy when dining out. You will be amazed how many choices you will have. You will learn how to look for warning signs on a menu, and distinguish between healthy sounding and actually healthy.

Monitoring Results
I do not conduct a one time assessment. That does not help you. I believe that continual monitoring will help us determine what is effective and what isn’t. Since your body is unique, I monitor how your body responds to the current plan, and continually modify as necessary. If you feel that the plan is too difficult to maintain, we will make adjustments as necessary.

Ongoing Motivation and Support

I never leave you to fend for yourself after a few consultations. Once you are my client, you will always be considered a client. I am always available for motivation, inspiration and support. I will make time for you, whether by email, phone, or an in-person consultation. You can always count on me to be right by your side.

TOPIC: ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

Sugar substitutes and the potential danger of

Splenda

by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP

Few of us are really aware of how many new Splenda® products there are in the supermarkets. We’ve been told that this artificial sweetener is different from all the past failures — Sweet’N Low®, NutraSweet®, etc. — and according to the claims, that this Splenda is the perfect sugar substitute: as sweet as sugar, but no calories; as sweet as sugar, but no surge in insulin; as sweet as sugar, but no side effects or long-term health damage.The wave is coming because “low–sugar” or “sugar–free” is the latest fad — a welcome trend, given the health hazards of all the sugar in the average diet. But of the hundreds of new diet foods that will soon appear, most will use Splenda as a sugar substitute. This is important because for tens of millions of women, their diet soda or artificially-sweetened food is a keystone of what they think are healthy nutrition and food choices — both for themselves and for their families.

On the other side of the argument are responsible experts who say that Splenda is unsafe — the latest in a succession of artificial sweeteners that claim at first to be healthy, only later to be proven to be full of side effects. These authorities say that Splenda has more in common with DDT than with food.

What do we believe? We think that our regulatory system doesn’t do a good enough job ensuring our long-term safety. We’re concerned about the bigger picture, too — the dependence on sweets in the American diet to make us feel good — whether those sweets are satisfied by sugar or artificial sweeteners like Splenda. And we are especially sensitive to the women who can benefit from using artificial sweeteners as a bridge to a better life with healthier nutrition.

What should you think about artificial sweeteners? We want you to be fully informed about the dangers of Splenda (which isn’t what food marketers want!) so you can make the best choices for yourself and for your family. So let’s make sure you are.

Splenda — the public health experiment

“Low–sugar” is the successor to the “low–carb” craze, even though they are essentially the same thing. According to the New York Times, by the end of this summer 11% of the food items on supermarket shelves will be labeled “reduced sugar” — most of those targeted at kids and their health-conscious moms. Sales in granulated sugar have dropped four percent in the past six months. What’s behind this trend? Splenda.

Products featuring Splenda are perceived as “natural” because even the FDA’s press release about sucralose parrots the claim that “it is made from sugar” — an assertion disputed by the Sugar Association, which is suing Splenda’s manufacturer, McNeil Nutritionals.

The FDA has no definition for “natural,” so please bear with us for a biochemistry moment: Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms. (To get a better picture of what this looks like, see this image of a sucralose molecule.)

While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons. The premise offered next is that just because something contains chlorine doesn’t guarantee that it’s toxic. And that is also true, but you and your family may prefer not to serve as test subjects for the latest post-market artificial sweetener experiment — however “unique.” (See our article on endocrine disruptors for more information on toxins and persistent organic pollutants.)

Once it gets to the gut, sucralose goes largely unrecognized in the body as food — that’s why it has no calories. The majority of people don’t absorb a significant amount of Splenda in their small intestine — about 15% by some accounts. The irony is that your body tries to clear unrecognizable substances by digesting them, so it’s not unlikely that the healthier your gastrointestinal system is, the more you’ll absorb the chlorinated molecules of Splenda.

So, is Splenda safe? The truth is we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose (far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet) caused shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in rodents. (A more recent study also shows that Splenda significantly decreases beneficial gut flora.) But in this case, the FDA decided that because these studies weren’t based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. Of course, rats had been chosen for the testing specifically because they metabolize sucralose more like humans than any other animal used for testing. In other words, the FDA has tried to have it both ways — they accepted the manufacturer’s studies on rats because the manufacturer had shown that rats and humans metabolize the sweetener in similar ways, but shrugged off the safety concerns on the grounds that rats and humans are different. In our view, determining that something is safe (or not) in laboratory rats isn’t a definitive answer, as we’ve seen countless examples of foods and drugs that have proved dangerous to humans that were first found to be safe in laboratory rats, both in short- and long-term studies.

Here are two other reasons for our concern: first, in the eleven years after Splenda was put on the market, no independent studies of sucralose lasting more than six months have been done in humans. Second, none of the trials that were done was very large — the largest was 128 people studied for three months, making us wonder, what happens when you’ve used sucralose for a year, or two, or ten? Then there’s the fact that Splenda, as a product, consists of more than just sucralose—it’s made with dextrose, and sometimes also with maltodextrin, neither of which were included in the original studies and trials of sucralose. So the reality is that we are the guinea pigs for Splenda.

And now, are our children the next trial group? Thanks to an agreement between McNeil Nutritionals (makers of Splenda) and PTO Today, which provides marketing and fund-raising aid to parents’ associations, your elementary school’s next bake sale may be sponsored by Splenda — complete with baked goods made with the product.

Splenda side effects

Evidence that there are side effects of Splenda is accumulating little by little. Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger, for example. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. These show up at one end of the spectrum — in the people who have an allergy or sensitivity to the sucralose molecule. But no one can say to what degree consuming Splenda affects the rest of us, and there are no long-term studies in humans with large numbers of subjects to say one way or the other if it’s safe for everyone.

If this sounds familiar, it should: we went down the same path with aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and NutraSweet. Almost all of the independent research into aspartame found dangerous side effects in rodents. The FDA chose not to take these findings into account when it approved aspartame for public use. Over the course of 15 years, those same side effects increasingly appeared in humans. Not in everyone, of course — but in those who were vulnerable to the chemical structure of aspartame.

As food additives, artificial sweeteners are not subject to the same gauntlet of FDA safety trials as pharmaceuticals. Most of the testing is funded by the food industry, which has a vested interest in the outcome. This can lead to misleading claims on both sides.

But one thing is certain: some of the chemicals that comprise artificial sweeteners are known hazards — the degree to which you experience side effects just depends on your individual biochemistry. Manufacturers are banking on the fact that our bodies won’t absorb very much of these compounds at any one time. And many of us don’t. But what happens when we are ingesting a combination of artificial sweeteners like Splenda dozens of times a week through many different “low–sugar” or “sugar–free” products?

People have been using artificial sweeteners for decades. Some react poorly, some don’t — the problem is, you never know until you’re already sick. Scientists are calling Splenda a mild mutagen, based on how much is absorbed. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess what portion of the population is being exposed to the dangers of Splenda or already suffering from Splenda side effects. Until an independent, unbiased research group conducts long-term studies on humans (six months is hardly long-term!), how can we be certain? With all the new Splenda products on our shelves, it looks as if we are now in the process of another grand public experiment — without our permission. And we may not know the health implications for decades. As with all things, time will unveil truth.

So I urge you to be concerned about the potential dangers of Splenda — as with any unnatural substance you put in your body. And I am especially concerned about its use for children, which I recommend you avoid. But unlike many holistic practitioners, I do think artificial sweeteners can serve a purpose for some women. And that has to do with the old question — which is better, sugar or an artificial sweetener? Let’s start with sugar, where the problems all begin.

Aspartame and saccharin: are they safer than Splenda?

Aside from Splenda, the most popular artificial sweeteners are aspartame (and its cousin, neotame) and saccharin. Foods with these additives are marketed to women as low-fat, low-sugar, and low-calorie.

Diet programs like Weight Watchers sell low-calorie foods that trade real nutrients for artificial ingredients, including sugar substitutes. I think it’s great to try and lose unwanted weight, but I question whether these packaged items should be marketed as healthy choices. Good nutrition needs to take more into account than calories and fat content — especially when it comes to how many artificial sweeteners we’re eating and what we’re mixing them with.

Dangers in aspartame

Aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and NutraSweet, is responsible for the most serious cases of poisoning, because the body actually digests it. Aspartame should be avoided by most women, but particularly in those with neuropsychiatric concerns. Recent studies in Europe show that aspartame use can result in an accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can damage your central nervous system and immune system and cause genetic trauma. The FDA admits this is true, but claims the amount is low enough in most that it shouldn’t raise concern. I think any amount of formaldehyde in your brain is too much.

Aspartame has had the most complaints of any food additive available to the public. It’s been linked with MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders. Possible side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, panic attacks, dizziness, irritability, nausea, intestinal discomfort, skin rash, and nervousness. Some researchers have linked aspartame with depression and manic episodes. It may also contribute to male infertility.

Saccharin

Saccharin, the first widely available chemical sweetener, is hardly mentioned any more. Better-tasting NutraSweet took its place in almost every diet soda, but saccharin is still an ingredient in some prepared foods, gum, and over-the-counter medicines. Remember those carcinogen warnings on the side of products that contained saccharin? They no longer appear because industry testing showed that saccharin only caused bladder cancer in rats. Most researchers agree that in sufficient doses, saccharin is carcinogenic in humans. The question is, how do you know how much artificial sweeteners your individual body can tolerate?

That being said, some practitioners think saccharin in moderation is the best choice if you must have an artificially sweetened beverage or food product. It’s been around a relatively long time and seems to cause fewer problems than aspartame. I don’t argue with this recommendation, but I encourage you to find out as much as you can about any chemical before you ingest it.

Artificial sweeteners are body toxins. They are never a good idea for pregnant women, children or teenagers — despite the reduced sugar content — because of possible irreversible cell damage. If you decide it’s worth the risks, then go ahead, but pay attention to your body and your cravings. Once you start tracking your response to artificial sweeteners, it may surprise you.

Short-circuiting the insulin spike

Basically, artificial sweeteners confuse your brain. The enzymes in your mouth begin a cascade that primes your cell receptors for an insulin surge, and when it doesn’t arrive your brain feels cheated. That’s why most diet sodas are loaded with caffeine — so you’ll still feel a jolt.

But even if your brain is distracted momentarily, soon enough it wants the energy boost you promised it — and you find yourself craving carbohydrates. In one study, people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to three times the amount of calories as the control group. But again, this is individual. It all comes down to the brain’s perception of calories, which can get thrown off whenever artificial ingredients are substituted for whole food.

In my practice I’ve seen that many patients are better able to break their addiction to sugar and maintain weight loss with the help of sugar substitutes. This is probably because insulin is not involved. Also, the substitutes are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, so you may use less of them. In certain cases, I think moderate use of artificial sweeteners is okay — as long as you feel well.

But you should know that sugar substitutes don’t have to be artificial. There is another way!

Stevia, Xylitol, Raw Local Honey, Agave, Pure Maple Syrup are natural alternatives to artificial sweeteners

Other countries and diabetics have both taught us a lot about controlling insulin naturally. For many years, diabetics have used products sweetened with polyalcohol sugars like sorbitol, xylitol, malitol, and mannitol. These are natural sweeteners that do not trigger an insulin reaction. (Xylitol can be derived from birch tree pulp.) They have half the calories of sugar and are not digested by the small intestine.

For this reason, we recommend the herb stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) as a natural sweetener to our patients. Known in South America as the “sweet herb,” stevia has been used for over 400 years without ill effect. Stevia has been enormously popular in Japan, where it has been in use for more than 20 years, now rivaling Equal and Sweet’N Low. It’s 200–300 times sweeter than sugar, so just a small portion of stevia will sweeten even a strong cup of tea.

We’ve known about stevia in the US since 1918, but pressure from the sugar import trade blocked its use as a commodity. Today stevia is slowly gaining steam as a sugar substitute, despite similar hurdles. The FDA has approved its use as a food supplement, but not as a food additive due to a lack of studies. Stevia can be used for anything you might use sugar in, including baking. It is naturally low in carbohydrates. You can buy stevia at most health food stores and over the web. There will always be those who have a sensitivity to a substance, but based on reports from other countries it appears to have little to no side effects. For women who want to move through their cravings for sugar without artificial chemicals, stevia is a great option.

More importantly, you can do a lot to support your body in other ways to reduce your dependency on sugar and sugar substitutes — something I encourage every woman to do. Once your body returns to its natural state of balance, you may find that you can toss out those artificial sweeteners and put sugar in its proper place: where you have control over it and not vice versa.

Artificial sweeteners are chemicals, not food! They have no calories because they don’t nourish your body in anyway — they’re toxins your body has to clear, or, depending on how well you detoxify, store. But if you can’t live without your diet drink, don’t beat yourself up about it. Accept it and give your body extra support elsewhere.

FOR A FREE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION WITH DR. SHELLIE:  

EMAIL: drshellie614@gmail.com

CALL: 602-708-9018

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