IN THIS ISSUE:
Letter From Lorna
The Buzz about Mosquitoes
Breast Cancer - We Deserve Better Detection Methods
Anti-depressants and Menopause
Safe Alternative to the Birth Control Pill
Welcome to my newsletter. Thank you to the thousands of people who have been spreading the health message by signing up their friends and family so that they too can enjoy the newsletter.
One evening while giving a lecture to a room filled with over 500 eager listeners it suddenly dawned on me that there was an army of people in that room. If each and every person became a messenger of health, radical changes in consciousness would occur. So I asked those 500 people to help spread the message they had just heard to ten friends and request that those ten friends tell ten more. Just think what would happen if the day after the lecture 500 people descended on the local grocery stores and asked the manager to stock organic produce, milk and meat. Our power as consumers is incredible. North Americans have underestimated how much power they actually have and how quickly they can initiate change in the way foods and goods are manufactured and delivered. When we visit the grocery store and fill our shopping cart with toxic cleaning agents, farmed fish, pesticide and herbicide-laden fruits and veggies, and processed, packaged dead food we are telling the manufacturer we love those products, we want them to continue providing them and that we don't care what it is doing to our environment. But just think what would happen if hundreds of thousands of North Americans stopped buying those goods. Manufacturers would be scratching their heads and realize they must provide what the consumer wants.
Every day I give thanks that I am able to research, write and lecture about something I love—optimal emotional, spiritual and physical wellness. The greatest gift we can give is the service of ourselves. Get passionate about health. Affect change within your family and those you love first then get out there and spread the word. We need to start a "Health Virus" and empower people to tell everyone they know about how to get healthy. Viruses spread quickly and we need a healthier message and we need it now. Start the 'Health Virus' today and sign up your friends and family to receive this newsletter.
(Full editorial published in Alive magazine www.alive.com)
The Buzz about Mosquitoes Back to Top
Anyone who watches television has seen the advertisers of bug repellents capitalizing on the fear surrounding West Nile virus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), West Nile virus, the virus carried and spread by mosquitoes, can cause fatal inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes covering the brain or spinal cord (meningitis) in more than 100 bird species, and nine mammals, including humans, horses and gorillas. American researchers reported the first polio-like paralysis stemming from West Nile virus. In the October 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers with the CDC said: for every five people infected with West Nile, one has mild illness usually lasting three to six days with meningitis or encephalitis developing in about one in 50 people infected with West Nile—more commonly in those over age 50. The researchers suggest severe muscle weakness is a common symptom that may offer doctors a diagnostic clue. Sixteen deaths in Canada and 284 deaths in the United States have been attributed to West Nile virus.
Massive pesticide campaigns have been implemented including killing the mosquito larvae before they have a chance to hatch, aerial spraying to reduce total overall numbers of mosquitoes and educational programs to convince us to use mosquito repellents. I have grave concerns about the use of carcinogenic pesticides, especially large-scale pesticide use and the use of pesticides on our skin. The Canadian government recently lifted the ban on the use of the mosquito repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) for toddlers and children under two. So now it is recommended that we spray this very toxic pesticide on our babies even though no new research has shown it to be any less toxic than it has always been. Some researchers are screaming that labels on these products must be explicit like DEET-containing products sold in South Africa which read "Repeated excessive applications on children should be avoided, as there have been rare reports of encephalopathy in children." Although the new guidelines now allow for application on toddlers the rules for those aged two to 12 have been limited to a reduced percentage of DEET to 10 percent and it can only be applied no more than 3 times a day. Previously the percentage of DEET allowed was 30 percent. DEET containing repellents sold in Canada are not supposed to exceed 30 percent solutions and should be used sparingly. In the U.S. 68 percent of products registered contained 30 percent or less concentrations of DEET but some DEET products contain up to 100 percent DEET. DEET is a neurological toxin, skin irritant and all round dangerous chemical. It can eat through your plastic watch face and should not be inhaled.
Research performed at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in 1997 compared the effectiveness of the natural bug repellent Buzz Away and three commercially available products known as OFF! Skintastic, Jungle Juice and Natropel. The results indicate that Buzz Away provides the same protection provided by OFF! Skintastic which, in the study contained 4.75% DEET and related toluamides 0.25%. Buzz Away was found to provide greater protection than Jungle Juice or Natropel. The participants did not complain of any adverse effects from Buzz Away either. Buzz Away contains citronella oil, oils of cedarwood, eucalyptus, lemon grass and peppermint. My family, but especially my grandson's, will not be using any DEET-containing bug repellants when a product like Buzz Away can provide a non-toxic alternative. Buzz Away is available in health food stores across North America.
Breast Cancer - We Deserve Better Detection Methods
Back to Top
The most popular question I receive is, "Is should I have an annual mammogram? Breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 35 and 54. According to the latest statistics on the Canadian Cancer Society website 21,200 new cases will be diagnosed and 5,300 women will die from the disease this year. In the U.S. 192,700 will be newly diagnosed and 39,600 will die this year.
My grandmother died of breast cancer but not until the disease had ravaged most of her gastrointestinal tract. With a family history, one of the many risk factors for developing breast cancer, I have been determined to learn as much about detecting and preventing this cancer in order to protect myself and my daughters.
Every time I read an advertisement encouraging women to "prevent" breast cancer by having your annual mammogram I sadly shake my head. Mammogram does nothing to prevent breast cancer. It is a diagnostic tool, albeit, as we are discovering, not a very effective method. Mammogram, the "gold standard" for early detection has over the last few years been called into question. The controversy is raging since Danish researchers reviewed seven randomized, controlled mammogram trials which supported the benefits of mammography in reducing death from breast cancer. They found that of the seven trials five were so flawed they could review only two and even these two trials had problems. It was determined that mammogram had no effect on deaths due to breast cancer. This study received national headlines but it was not the first study to prove mammogram's inadequacies. What else have we learned about mammogram over the years?
- The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) states the chance of receiving a false positive is substantial (meaning you have been diagnosed with a cancer when there is none).
- Women having mammograms in their forties are at higher risk of false positives due to dense breast tissue.
- Women may also have a false sense of security as reported in the New York Times as mammograms miss breast cancer in 30 to 40 percent of those that actually have cancer.
- Another study published in 2000 in the JNCI found that mammograms do not reduce death rates from breast cancer any better than a simple breast exam. They followed over 40,000 women between the ages of 50 and 59 and found annual mammograms no more effective than breast exams.
- A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also found that women age 70 and older had little to no benefit from regular mammograms.
- The Lancet reported that breast compression, which occurs during mammogram, may cause tumors to rupture spreading cancer cells leading to metastases.
So what do we do?
Researchers reported at this year's 39th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oncology that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) offered - by - far the highest sensitivity for diagnosing breast cancer, and, at the same time, had the lowest rate of unnecessary biopsies. They found that MRI provided a 96.1% accuracy while mammography offered 42.8% and 41% with ultrasound. Dr. Kuhl, one of the researchers, stated MRI was better able to find breast cancers in younger women with dense, fibrous breast tissue and MRI does not use ionizing radiation like mammogram minimizing mutagenic effects. So why are medical doctors not recommending MRI instead of mammogram? The answer the technology is new and radiologists have to be specialized to read a breast MRI plus mammography is big business in North America even with all its risks and failures.
Every Canadian who has ever had to wait months for an MRI knows that our current medical system is not set up to use MRIs for breast cancer detection. Women in rural areas would have to travel to cities that have an MRI. So do we just continue to have a potentially dangerous substandard detection method? No. We start requesting a breast MRI until those that fund mammograms recognize that women want a better method. We have to create a new "Gold Standard" in breast cancer detection—one that works and has fewer side effects and we have to start adopting methods that truly PREVENT breast cancer. Read my newsletter issue number one for more information on preventing breast cancer.
Summer Headache? Back to Top
Recent research shows that a preservative in hot dogs may be causing your headaches. Nitrites are used to preserve processed meats including hot dogs, bologna, ham, sausage, bacon and other luncheon meats. Nitrites are known to dilate blood vessels and cause headaches in those sensitive to nitrites. Not only are hot dogs associated with headaches but research published in the June 1995 issue of Cancer Causes and Control, found that hot dogs were the culprit in the higher incidence of leukemia among 232 children in Los Angeles. The children, 10 years and under, with leukemia were matched with a control group of children who were healthy. Those with the highest incidence of leukemia regularly ate more than 12 hot dogs per month. Two other reports published in the same issue found that children born to mothers who eat just one hot dog weekly during pregnancy or fathers who ate hot dogs regularly before conception have double the normal risk of developing brain tumors. The researchers suggest that the trigger is the highly carcinogenic nitrosamines, metabolites of nitrites used in processed meats. Switch to tofu or veggie dogs this summer and reduce your consumption of processed meats or better yet eliminate them altogether.
Pediatr Neurol. 2003 Jan;28(1):9-15. The diet factor in pediatric and adolescent migraine.
Anti-depressants and Menopause Back to Top
A new study reports that women can now find relief from hot flashes with psychiatric drugs. This comes on the heels of the latest study showing the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) the combination of estrogen and progestins doubles a women's risk of developing dementia. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, a slow-release version of Paxil one of the top selling anti-depressants, can reduce hot flashes. I really don't think we should be reading this with any seriousness. Why would we want to take perfectly healthy women without depression and put them on an anti-depressant with all its inherent side-effects? The answer is money with the search to find another drug to fill the void caused by the lost sales from estrogen and progestins. Read issue number two to learn more about MENOSMART and how to reduce hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms naturally.
Look for FindaHealthDoctor.com coming soon! You will be able to find an alternative medical doctor, naturopath or other health care professional in your area simply by typing in your city. I am developing FindaHealthDoctor.com due to the thousands of requests I receive for holistically-minded physicians.
Safe Alternative to the Birth Control Pill Back to Top
I have been on a mission to find a safe, effective alternative to birth control pills and I have found it! It is called the Bioself-SymptoTherm, a wonderful device that monitors your temperature every day and provides you with an accurate measure of whether you are fertile or not. Your fertility, which is active for only a few days of your monthly cycle, is now easy to recognize. A better knowledge of your menstrual cycle fosters your health, sex life and wellbeing. Bioself-Sympto Therm is as effective as the pill, but without the side effects. Not only can women use this device to ensure they do not become pregnant but they can also use it to determine the best time to conceive. Bioself-Sympto Therm is a small portable electronic device, composed of a probe to record your temperature, three indicator lights that tell you your daily level of fertility, a push button to record the beginning of your period and a liquid crystal screen which displays your temperature everyday. For more information click here.
Some of the common side effects associated with the birth control pill include spotting, nausea, headaches, decreased sexual desire, vomiting and other stomach complaints, weight gain, breast changes, water retention, vaginal or bladder infections, skin rashes and changes in the eyes causing some to become intolerant to contact lenses. The less common but more serious side-effects include: blood clots, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, elevation of cortisol (stress hormone) and prolactin levels, changes in thyroid hormones, uterine and cervical cancer. Some researchers, including Dr. Louise Brinton, epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, say taking oral contraceptives for five years or more increases estrogen levels associated with breast cancer.
Taking a combined oral contraceptive increases the risk of developing a clot by 3-4 times if you are on a second generation pill, 6-8 times if you are taking a third generation pill, and possibly over 8 times for those on pills containing cyproterone ( Diane 35). Women using progestin-only pills are at little or no increased risk of blood clots. Read newsletter issue number two and issue number three for more information on additional dangers associated with the Pill and how to protect yourself with ESTROSMART
Slow the Skin Aging Process Back to Top
(Excerpted from Healthy Fats for Life)