Archive for May, 2020

Would you like some food with the plastic you eat?

National Graphics had this to say: “Your family might use plastic straws, water bottles, and bags for just a few minutes, but those items don’t disappear when they’re thrown out. Single-use items like these account for more than 40 percent of plastic waste, and each year about 8.8 million tons of plastic trash flows into the ocean. This waste endangers wildlife, pollutes the water, and puts human health at risk.”

The photo above is of just a teensy bit of plastic rubbish that has not yet found its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That patch is floating island of trash the size of Alaska! (By the way, when visiting Alaska, we were told not to say that Texas is the biggest state. Natives warned, that they could divide Alaska in half and make Texas the 3rd largest state!). Plastics can take thousands of years to break down. (The pleistocene era of the earth’s history is notable for ice ages. I shudder to think how the “plastocene” or “plastobscene will be remembered.)

Hopefully, by now, our readers are aware that plastic waste is also a lethal environmental disaster for wildlife. They get tangled in it and mistakenly eat it. Fewer folks are aware that plastic chemicals and microplastics can cause health trouble by remaining in the seafood that we consume. Also, plastic in many other foods and beverages cause health problems.

I was inspired to blog about this topic by a Consumer Reports (CR)* June 2020 Magazine article entitled “How to Eat Less Plastic”. Oddly enough, the article did not tell us how to  eat less plastic. However, the article did make few a excellent points about plastic risks.

  • Apparently, each week we eat about the amount of plastic that is in a credit card!
  • As just as just one example of the many plastic pollutants, in a previous blog and a radio interview with Dr. Anthony Jay, we talked about Bisphenol A (BPA) which disrupts hormones. Among the risks of BPA are: early puberty, prostate cancer, low sperm counts, breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver toxicity, developmental problems with the immune system and brain. A mother’s exposure can reduce testosterone in a male baby.
  • Common sources of this plastic include plastic beverage bottles, the lining of canned foods and most cash register receipts.
  • According to the Environmental Working Group, BPA has even be found in baby formula. (I encourage readers to follow news from that group and to donate to support their important efforts.)
  • In 2012, the FDA banned BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. Unfortunately, manufacturers typically just substitute “BPS” or other plastics in that family. It is often called chemical “wack-a-mole” and it will take years for these substitutes to be banned. Newer ways of measuring BPA indicate that we might have 44 times as much of it as previously thought.
  • Styrene plastic has been linked to nervous system malfunction, hearing loss, cancer and more.
  • One reason why it is so difficult to get the FDA to eliminate toxic chemicals is that the toxicologic studies are only required to show what happens if there is an acute major exposure, but not the effect of small amounts continuously over years.

Here are some ideas for eating less plastic:

  • Do not microwave foods in plastic.
  • Do not store leftovers in plastic. Instead use a glass or silicone container. (I linked to examples but there are many more.)
  • Likewise, when you bring home food sold in plastic wrap, remove it from the plastic and put in one of the safer containers. You can also wrap it in wax paper to provide a shield and put it back in a plastic bag. (By the way, avoid putting anything acidic in aluminum foil because it will transfer the aluminum to the food. Aluminum is a nerve toxin.)
  • Use refillable stainless steel or glass water bottles.
  • Even “paper” coffee cups are lined with plastic, so it is best to take your own cup to the office or coffee house.
  • This green website lists 17 ways of reducing plastics in the environment.

*I’ve been very impressed by the testing Consumer Reports does on toasters, lawnmowers and the like. Their reporting of data on automobiles and the dangers from chemicals is also usually good. However, when it comes to vitamins and other dietary supplements, they don’t seem to review the science or get a balanced view with functional and nutrition experts. (They rely on a medical “expert” who has actually admitted to a bias against supplements.)

Sherry Rogers, MD – Interview Review

Over the past few months, Dr. Rogers has spent 4-6 hours a day digesting all the scientific studies that relate to covid-19. I believe that we should listen to Dr. Rogers–not just because of her impressive credentials and stellar history, but also because, at age 77, she plays tennis two hours a day and is as mentally sharp as ever!

Dr. Rogers brings new ideas because she objectively investigates many prestigious journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Shockingly, she discovered that when autopsies are done on patients who died from covid-19, the lung tissue cells seemed to have suffered from a unique fast-growing type of cancer. The May 16, 2020 interview was very dense with important information (you can listen to it again in the archives at that link), but regrettably, I cannot make this review blog short.

Dr. Rogers reminded us that the US fares worse with covid-19 because we are #43 in world in health. (Let that sink in…never mind we spend twice as much on sickness care, 42 other countries are healthier!)  Unfortunately, we are probably #1 in the prevalence of “underlying conditions” (e.g. high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, etc.) that make people at much higher risk of a serious covid-19 outcome. In her opinion, two of the reasons for our poor standing in the world is that the medical system hasn’t trained docs to dig for and fix the root causes of disease. She also points to the problem that every part of the body is treated by a different specialist and they cannot see the big patterns that link issues.

Back to covid-19. Dr. Rogers lists these stages:

  1. Virus attaches to the outside of our cells. Coronavirus cannot attach if the cell is healthy and has adequate cytokines. It is most fundamental to general health and maintaining protective cytokines to get rid of the 7 Toxic M’s.
  2. Virus enters the cells. A strong, effective cell membrane is the barrier to entry as well as to normal cell function. (Nutrients can get in and wastes can get out). For more on that, we talked about cell membranes and covid-19 during Rogers’ March 7, 2020 interview. She recommends cod liver oil (in glass bottle), Phosphatidyl Choline Powder, vitamin E complex with all 8 forms and Phosphatidyl Serine. (Her newsletters give more details, but, in general, I would say to take those per label instructions.)

Dr. Rogers said the viruses get inside the cell through ACE2 doorways. If a person is taking blood pressure medicines, statin cholesterol drugs, medications for a-fib or heart failure, or many other meds, their cells create 2, 3 or even 4 times more of these ACE2 doorways!  That effect of the very common medications is an often-overlooked reason that people with “underlying conditions” are at higher risk for covid-19. (CAUTION: don’t create a cardio problem by getting off the drugs without first solving that problem with safer natural remedies for most of those conditions.) Vitamin D closes those ACE2 doorways! Dr. Rogers warned that vitamin D Blood Test Result forms incorrectly list 32 ng/ml as “normal”, but it is much safer to be in the ideal 80-100 ng/ml range.

  1. Virus Reproduces (i.e. it uses our cell machinery to replicate itself and spread) That replication is stopped by zinc. (Zinc is in 200+ enzymes. Signs of its deficiency can mimic any) Incidentally, the much-debated drug, hydroxychloroquine works by helping zinc get into cells. That is why President Trump has said several times that he is taking zinc. Bill Sardi taught us that the herbal extract, quercetin, naturally found in onions and apple peel does the same thing but without the side effects of hydroxychloroquine . (Will someone please tell President Trump about quercetin?)
  2. Virus Hides (hibernates). Like many other viruses, it hangs out in the nooks and crannies of the intestinal tract. There it is not detected by the immune system, has a steady food supply and its wastes can be removed. Dr. Rogers pointed out that half of the body’s detox system is in the gut and repeated what I often mention that three fourths of the immune system is also there. When the gut becomes too toxic, it is no longer a useful place for the virus to stay and it comes out of hiding in big numbers.
  3. When it does come out of hiding, the virus can cause “leaky lungs” (she coined that term) and blood clots which is the body trying to repair the damage. It is similar to “leaky gut” and “leaky blood brain barrier” that we have discussed on the show.

Grapeseed extract. Dr. Rogers says that if you were going to take just one thing to keep the virus from multiplying in the gut and causing leaky gut (and it helps insulin resistance and reduces heavy metals), take Grapeseed extract. Mix ¼ tsp powder in a little water and put the cup on the nightstand to take when you wake up during the night. (She suggested you have extra water handy to chase its icky taste.)

Tocotrienols. This is a major component of the vitamin E family mentioned above regarding cell membranes and has many amazing benefits especially for heart disease and cancer. Dr. Rogers says it can be a good test when auditioning doctors. If he or she does not know what Tocotrienols are, you probably won’t be healed by that one.

Callers had more questions than we had time for. I said on air that I would ask her later. But she prefers to come back on the show to answer them. So, I’m making a list—let me know what you want me to ask. By the way, when you subscribe to Dr. Rogers 2020 newsletter you receive any issues that you missed earlier in 2020 (at least that is the case with the emailed version).

Stay safe!

Bill Sardi’s Covid-19 SUMMARY

The photo of the ceramic cat with the mask was taken at our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Norte in Plano. Son Andy Hopkins named it “Catvid-19”.

Investigative Health Journalist, Bill Sardi, has been relentlessly studying all aspects of the pandemic and has written many articles about it. For the convenience of his legions of followers, he produced a “Consolidated Report” reviewing the previous works. Click here to read the entire report which includes links to a lot of the health evidence he acquired. (It also has information and opinions about the politics, greed and power grabs that may be associated with the pandemic and lockdown.) In my blog, I’ve simply cherrypicked from his 21 page report some of the health action points that we can implement. [The brackets below are my comments.] I also added some bonus points of my own at the end.

  • “The virus is still there in summer but the immune system is primed to deal with it in summer when sunshine vitamin D activates the immune system to produce white blood cells like neutrophils that literally blow up infected cells and macrophages that engulf them.”
  • “…blacks who need 6-10 times more sunshine to produce the same amount of vitamin D as Caucasians because of their melanin skin pigment are at greater mortal risk.” [help spread the word about vitamin D supplements.]
  • “All this viral mayhem could be halted if just one hospital started to require vitamin D blood tests upon admission to serve as a public demonstration.” [Apparently not yet in the US, but at least internationally, attention is being paid to vitamin D and covid-19. Bottom line—make sure you have sufficient vitamin D year round.]
  • “The symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus infection match symptoms of zinc deficiency.” “…zinc being an essential mineral required for the thymus gland to produce T-cells and life-long antibodies.” [Sardi explains why zinc helps the very young and the elderly who do not respond well to vaccines. I found this study specifically on zinc and covid-19.]
  • “The widely touted hydrochloroquine drug that is being used to successfully quell coronavirus infections is a zinc “ionophore, meaning that it facilitates entry of zinc into virally-infected cells. The herbal extract quercetin, naturally found in onions and apple peel, mimics hydrochloroquine.“ [Once in the cells, zinc inhibits virus replication.]
  • “Be aware when selecting zinc supplements: zinc oxide is poorly absorbed. Antacids reduce zinc absorption.” [Any type of zinc but oxide is better. The acid-blocking heartburn drugs cause other potentially lethal problems. That is why I wrote a book about them.]
  • “The provision of selenium + zinc releases more zinc.” [besides benefits of its own, the mineral selenium unbinds zinc so it can be used.]
  • “Selenium halts viral mutations. It is yet another natural life saver that public health agencies ignore.  Selenium demonstrably reduces the lethality of COVID-19.”
  • “High carbohydrate foods (bread, rice, pasta, cereal) and refined sugars, as well as alcohol and polyphenols in tea and coffee, block absorption of vitamin B1 (thiamine), which acts as a super antibiotic, and a B1 deficiency can result in signs of lung disease seen in coronavirus infections.  The lack of B1 is associated with viral infections.“ [Vitamin B1 helps oxygen get into the blood and may help reduce the need for ventilators.]
  • “Some high-risk individuals take drugs that deplete the above-mentioned nutrients, such as ACE-inhibitors for blood pressure that deplete zinc, or aspirin and corticosteroids that deplete vitamin C. Vitamin C works like a fire extinguisher, pouring electrons on the flames of COVIC-19-induced inflammation.”  [A recent review of studies confirms that Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) effectively lowers blood pressure. The only AGE is Kyolic. I recommend Kyolic Formula #109 because it contains AGE and other nutrients that support healthy blood pressure.]
  • Licorice root extract completely eradicated the virus in a lab dish” [Unfortunately, they were not talking about the licorice candy. DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated) lozenges are good for cough or sore throat, but only take them when ill, not every day for prevention.]
  • “If you begin to experience shortness of breath, this means you must take immediate action. Call your doctor (do not run to the hospital as a third of the healthcare workers have active COVID-19 infection).” 
  • [One of the biggest risks from covid-19 is excess inflammation in the lungs caused by our own immune systems responding too strongly.] “Resveratrol, quercetin, vitamin D, vitamin A and zinc serve to normalize the immune response and therefore curb the inflammation in the lung; and the use of natural blood thinners (fish oil, resveratrol, garlic, vitamin E) to prevent diffuse blood clots and inositol supplementation to serve as a surfactant (lower surface tension) may be an early remedy for shortness of breath that could delay or avert having to be placed on a ventilator. Inositol…can be used when shortness of breath occurs. [Natural anti-clotting agents such as fish oil, resveratrol, garlic and vitamin E, can be taken without concern of over-thinning the blood even when all are consumed together.]
  • Review: “Dietary Supplements To Fight Viral Infections (typical daily doses): Vitamin A. 2500-5000 IU, Vitamin D 8000 IU, Vitamin C 500-1000 mg 3x/day; 1000 mg per hour if actively infected, Zinc: 15-30 mg, Selenium: 100-200 mcg, Vitamin B1 as benfotiamine, take as directed, Licorice root extract per label, Quercetin 250 mg, Resveratrol 250 mg, Inositol: 2000 mg.” [Don’t forget to account for the amount that is in your multivitamin or other combinations.]

Other odds and ends.

  • One reason that obesity is a risk factor for a more severe case of the coronavirus is that the obese store vitamin D in their fat instead of the liver where it can be used.
  • If you take oil-based vitamin D capsules, for best absorption, take them with a meal that contains fat.
  • The nutrients recommended by Bill Sardi above fight the infamous “underlying conditions” as well as the virus.
  • Joseph Mercola discusses hydrogen peroxide as a virus therapy.

Taming Allergies

A listener’s question about allergies reminded me that it might be time to shift gears from covid-19 and talk about a different source of misery.

Spring is prime time for seasonal allergies. These are usually caused by sensitivity to pollen released from trees and weeds. A great many folks suffer stuffy noses, sinus pressure, coughing, sore throat and irritated eyes. The following is from a new Library page about allergies which also discusses food reactions.

REMEDIES for seasonal allergies:

  • Bee Pollen is a folk remedy that I have found very effective if used correctly: Buy LOCAL bee pollen as loose granules available from a health food store or farmer’s market. It is crucial to begin with only ONE single granule to make sure you aren’t super sensitive to pollen. The next day eat TWO granules. Then continue doubling the number of granules each day until you are taking a teaspoonful. (Note that the grains are different colors indicating different sources, so ideally take a variety) Besides imitating the gradual buildup of tolerance that we gain from allergy shots, pollen is quite nutritious.
  • Vitamin C has great antihistamine properties without the unpleasant rebound effect often seen with antihistamine drugs. Environmental medicine doctors keep intravenous Vitamin C handy to use as a powerful antihistamine in case a patient has a bad reaction during allergy testing. Vitamin C obviously has many other benefits like helping the immune system fend off opportunistic infections that can arise when there is a lot of mucous and inflammation. 500 mg seems to be a minimum daily dose. However, depending on a person’s chemistry and diet, the optimum dose might be 10 times that or even more—especially during illness or an allergy attack. If you experience a loose stool, reduce the dose.
  • Quercetin is well known for its help with allergies as well as balancing immune reaction in other ways.
  • Stinging Nettles is a plant that hurts if your skin brushes up against in the woods. But, as an herb, it has a long-held reputation for helping calm allergic reactions. Some modern science confirms how it works.
  • Combination. This product combines the 3 previous supplements and I found it useful in the past under its previous name, “Allergy Support”.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is good for so many things, I’m not surprised to find that it has been shown to be useful for allergies.
  • Homeopathy. The homeopathic method is very effective because it is so specific. Dr. Frank King has wisely created seasonal allergy remedies based on the threat in the area where you live.
  • Negative ions. A negative ion generator causes pollen and other allergens to drop out of the air. Having one (especially in the bedroom) is helpful. This negative ion generator is what I use because it is small, effective and inexpensive.
  • Neti pot. Flushing out the mucous and along with it the irritants seems to help. Read more.

Inflammation–“Adding insult to injury?” It seems that the more inflammation that you have in your body, the more the seasonal allergies will bother you. Therefore, eating a healthy anti-inflammatory diet may help. One example; omega-6 fats from vegetable oils like corn oil are in general pro-inflammatory and omega-3 fats such as from fish are anti-inflammatory.

Other airborne irritants. Reducing other insults may also make it easier for your body to cope with the seasonal attack. Smog and industrial chemicals in the air are toxic to everyone but some people are simply better able to handle them. Allergy to dust mites is very common. Mites are microscopic arthropods (a type of insect) that feast on flakes of human skin and so are at home in the bedroom. This site has a good list of ideas for getting rid of them.

Chronic sinus issues. If the sinuses are stuffy all year, the cause may be that yeast has taken up residence there. This short article has helpful ideas. Taking antibiotics will only make matters worse, but unfortunately, they are often prescribed. Consumption of dairy creates stuffiness for some people. I found this very surprising and free remedy for chronic sinus congestion—Strong humming!

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