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A petition is circulating to persuade three of the top infant formula brands in the U.S. — Abbott Laboratories (Similac), Mead Johnson Nutrition (Enfamil) and Nestle (Gerber Good Start) — to stop using genetically modified (GM) ingredients in their baby products. Each of these powdered formulas is loaded with corn and soy byproducts, along with sugar, which means they are more than likely GM in nature and harming children.

Several years ago, Natural News warned our readers about these dangerous food products for infants, focusing specifically on Similac’s “Go & Grow” formula. The product, which is marketed for babies aged 9 to 24 months, claims it contains “balanced nutrition for older babies.” But as we pointed out, the product is nearly half composed of corn syrup solids (sugar), with the remaining 50-or-so percent composed of soybean oil, soy protein isolate, safflower oil and more sugar in the form of sucrose.

Besides being an absolutely unhealthy product in general, based on these ingredients, Similac Go & Grow is an utter freak show of GM additives, which are particularly harmful for developing children. GMOs have been linked to hormone disruption, gut damage and other problems that, again, especially in children, can lead to a lifetime of chronic health problems.

But Similac isn’t alone — practically every major brand of commercial infant formula is composed mostly of corn, soy, and sugar components, each of which is more than likely GM due to the fact that upwards of 90 percent of corn, soy and sugar beet crops planted in the U.S. are GMOS.

For the infant that is unable to nurse I insist upon an organic commercial formula,” stated pediatrician Michelle Perro, warning against commercial, GMO-laden infant formulas.”Because of the toxic effects of herbicides, particularly glyphosate (due to its prolific usage) as well as other organophosphates and genetically engineered foods in non-organic commercial formulas, these are not an option for infant feeding. In order to ensure the health of our infants and children, there is no amount of acceptable herbicide or GMO that should be in their diets.”

Major infant formula brands spent millions defeating GMO labeling

Beyond just poisoning our children, Abbott, Mead Johnson and Nestle all want to keep this poisoning a secret. As explained by GMOInside.org, each of these companies spent big bucks fighting California’s GMO labeling initiative, Proposition 37, which would have required that infant formulas contain warnings about GMO content.Abbott reportedly spent $334,500 in support of the “No on 37″ campaign, while Mead Johnson, which has a much smaller market share, spent $80,000. Nestle, an industry leader in commercial infant formula,  contributed $1,461,600 to block Californians from knowing what’s in their food. Combined, these three companies raked in about $135 billion in sales in 2012.

“It’s infuriating that parents in the United States are not given the same assurances as citizens in more than 60 other countries including China, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, when it comes to GM ingredients,” said Green America President Aliza Gravitz. “All parents have a right to healthy food options for their children.”

A Green America petition calls on these Big Three infant formula manufacturers to stop using GMOs, which have never been proven safe for human consumption. The long-term effects of GMOs in humans have never been studied, and because babies’ bodies are already less equipped to deal with processing toxins, it is only logical to stop feeding them untested genetic materials that could lead to permanent health damage.

Maybe Mickey Mouse is responsible for spreading measles to children at Disneyland? This is a more likely hypothesis than health department claims that unvaccinated children are to blame for a recent outbreak that occurred at “the happiest place on Earth,” in which 39 people — and counting — from at least four states, according to the latest reports, have been confirmed as having contracted the disease while visiting the park.

Official reports are claiming that unvaccinated children are to blame because some of those who contracted the measles hadn’t been vaccinated. Some of them had been vaccinated, of course, and the original source of the disease has yet to be determined. But like always, it is automatically those pesky individuals who choose not to inject their bodies with a vaccine linked to brain damage and autism — and that’s been shown to spread the measles — that must have triggered the outbreak.

The interesting thing about this latest measles outbreak is that the media is parading it around as evidence that not getting vaccinated triggers disease outbreaks, even though the original source of the disease is unknown. It is entirely possible that a vaccinated person spread the disease to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, which in and of itself shows the lack of effectiveness of vaccines.

If the vaccine for measles — in the U.S., this vaccine is the combination measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) injection — really did work as claimed, then all the measles cases identified at Disneyland would have been in unvaccinated people. But they weren’t. Early on, media reports claimed that “most” of the cases were in unvaccinated people. More recent reports are saying that “some” of the people were unvaccinated.

MMR vaccines can trigger “atypical” measles, potentially triggering a measles outbreak

As you may already be aware, many previous measles outbreaks have occurred among mostly vaccinated populations, for which health officials have no explanation other than to, again, blame the unvaccinated (which makes no sense). Many measles-vaccinated individuals have also come down with what’s known as “atypical” measles infection later in life, the direct result of having gotten vaccinated.

In a paper published back in 1979, atypical measles infection was described as a “hypersensitivity” response to a natural measles infection due to having previously been injected with an inactivated measles virus. A measles epidemic that occurred several years prior in Northern California exhibited all the signs of atypical measles caused by vaccination.

“In typical measles a maculopapular rash occurs first at the hairline, progresses caudally, is concentrated on the face and trunk, and is often accompanied by Koplik’s spots,” explains the study, as reported by the International Medical Council on Vaccination.

“In AMS [atypical measles] the rash Is morphologically a mixture of maculopapular, petechial, vesicular, and urticarial components. It usually begins and is concentrated primarily on the extremities, progresses cephalad, and is not accompanied by Koplik’s spots.”

Without going into too many details, the point here is that a measles-vaccinated population was responsible for this particular outbreak, and likely many others. And yet the mainstream media is making no mention of AMS in its reports, instead choosing to perpetuate the lie that unvaccinated people are always the cause of disease outbreaks. While they may be the cause in some cases, they are most likely not in most of them.

As we reported back in 2011, the Institute of Medicine even admitted in a report claiming that MMR vaccines don’t cause autism that the vaccines can, in fact, cause measles. On page 574, in fact, this report claims that the evidence “convincingly supports” the notion that MMR vaccines cause measles.

Life is hard and everybody gets anxious and “frazzled” sometimes, but if this is how you feel on/off all day, maybe it’s because you smoke cigarettes. Maybe it’s also because nicotine is only 30-minute relief for the “cigarette hangover” — that feeling that ensues when the commercial cigarette’s insecticide, herbicide, ammonia and bleach enters your lungs, your blood and your cleansing organs.

Maybe you have C.I.D., Chemical Intake Disorder, where your body gets really nervous and upset when you smoke chemicals hourly, or even every half-hour for smokers who “inhale” two packs a day. Problems get a whole lot bigger when you feel lousy and when your central nervous system is in a constant frenzy, unbalanced and reeling from smoking formaldehyde, fiberglass and GMO ingredients. You can call it anxiety, depression or recurring worry, but the insomnia and frequent headaches are no “coincidence,” and they are NOT hereditary.

If your day-to-day events and experiences are overwhelming, it’s time to remove some of the obstacles that stand in the way of not only feeling normal, but feeling great and being able to deal with anything that comes your way. Doctors often misdiagnose general anxiety disorder, and for good reason. Some people take toxic weight loss supplements and consume artificial sweeteners regularly, and their doctors don’t even know. Most MDs in America barely know a thing about nutrition, so they won’t even bring up meat, milk and synthetic sugars like aspartame, sucralose and sorbitol.

Most doctors have no idea how many chemicals are in cigarettes and won’t even suggest to their patients that it’s directly correlated to their anxiety or depression. Plus, allopathic doctors have no clue HOW their patients might stop smoking. Will your doctor prescribe Chantix or Zyban? You may want to do A LOT of research before you consider those! Smoking cessation pills can make anxiety and depression worse, just check the side effects. Chantix blocks nicotine receptor sites in the brain in order to reduce nicotine cravings, but in that process, naturally occurring dopamine and serotonin are blocked, creating dangerous and nearly intolerable side effects.

Did you know that smoking significantly decreases the body’s ability to heal following surgery? Normal healing may not occur if smoking isn’t stopped. The negative effects of smoking on conditions of the musculoskeletal system and treatment of these conditions are well documented; however, most orthopedic surgeons have been reluctant to discuss these with their patients.

Anxiety can be tied to thyroid problems also. There are plenty of toxins in common foods, drinks and cosmetics that have adverse affects on thyroid function, like PCBs, dioxins, GM soy, pesticides, plastics (BPA), heavy metals and flame retardants. How many of these are in your “dirty dozen” vegetables or your Gatorade? You better check. Could these be adding to your anxiety? You bet they could.

Charles Goodstein, an MD and clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said, “Anxiety is part of life. What makes a disorder is when people have anxiety that mounts to such an intensity that they’re no longer able to cope with it.” That’s why you have to kill the urge to smoke, which is really just the urge to kill your anxiety. So what to do?

Stop smoking and feel alive again!

Once again, there is light at the “end of the tunnel.” Natural News has insightful information and resources to help all walks of life cure themselves of C.I.D. What you do is you stop taking in chemicals! It sounds difficult, but it’s rather quite simple. A revolutionary program that is taught in 60 minutes by streaming video is recommended by the Health Ranger and is called “14AndOut – Stop Smoking Naturally in 14 Days.” Get out of the toxic “ritual” of smoking and stay positive forever. You can do it. Share the good news with smokers you know.

gmoNew evidence reveals that despite a ban on cultivation of GM rapeseed in Europe, Monsanto and Bayer’s plants are now freely growing there.

A new study published in PLoS titled,”Unexpected Diversity of Feral Genetically Modified Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.) Despite a Cultivation and Import Ban in Switzerland,”[1] is believed to be the first report of its kind showing that despite a cultivation and seed import ban of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape in Switzerland, Monsanto and Bayer’s GM plants have been introduced into the environment there, confirming fears that once the GM genie has been let out of the bottle it can not be put back.

The GM plants were found growing freely along railway lines and in port areas at four sites in 2011 and 2012, with the most afflicted being the Rhine port of Basel and the St. Johann freight railway station in Basel, Switzerland. The glyphosate-resistant[2] GM plants were identified as Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GM event GT73. Additionally, the researchers found the glufosinate-resistant GM events MS8xRF3, MS8 and RF3 (all traded as InVigor, Bayer) at five sampling locations in the Rhine port. They noted that this is, to their knowledge, the first time that Bayer’s feral MS8xRF3, MS8 or RF3 plants were detected in Europe.

Another concerning finding was the discovery of ‘outcrossing’ (transference of genetic material between differing plant strains) between Monsanto’s GT73 GM plant and two non-GM oilseed rape plants. This confirms fears that GM plants are capable of transforming conventional and/or organically produced plants into GM ones (i.e. ‘biorape’[3]).

In fact, the study addresses this possibility directly:

“Another concern with respect to the cultivation of GM OSR [genetically modified oilseed rape] is an unintended gene flow towards conventional or organic OSR crops which could lead to co-existence conflicts between different farming systems[4].”

Continue reading this article at GreenMedInfo.com.

crowPlenty of information exists demonstrating the intelligence of humans, apes and monkeys. From people’s technological inventions to apes that have learned sign language, it’s clear that the ability to think on advanced levels exists across a variety of species. Now, researchers have a new animal to add to the list of rational thinkers: crows.

That’s right. Crows.

While the large black birds are often thought of as creatures with a caw on par with nails on a chalkboard, capable of not doing much more than picking at roadkill and piercing the insides of trash bags, it turns out that there’s much more to these animals’ brain power.

Crows’ analogical ability surprises, impresses researchers

Researchers from the Department of Biology at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia, tested two hooded crows, assessing their ability to engage in IMTS (identity matching-to-sample) tests. After initially being trained using a food-based reward system to identify and match certain shapes, numbers or colors, they were then tested on their relational-to-matching sample (RTMS) behavior. This part of the study involved arrangement of shapes so that neither test pairs matched the sample pair in the middle. For example, if the sample card showed two same-sized squares, the crows would have to select two same-sized circles instead of two different-sized circles. Not only were the crows able to accurately choose the correct card, but — and this is the part that most impressed the researchers — they did so without explicit training.(1)

Ed Wasserman, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa and corresponding author of the study, expressed the significance behind the fact that the crows chose the correct card without training. “That is the crux of the discovery,” he said. “Honestly, if it was only by brute force that the crows showed this learning, then it would have been an impressive result. But this feat was spontaneous.”(1)

The study, appropriately titled, “Crows Spontaneously Exhibit Analogical Reasoning,” was published in Current Biology. It was also authored by the Russian researchers, who provided in-depth details and conclusions regarding the finding. That article states:

Many theorists deem analogical thinking to be uniquely human and to be foundational to categorization, creative problem solving, and scientific discovery. Comparative psychologists have long been interested in the species generality of analogical reasoning, but they initially found it difficult to obtain empirical support for such thinking in nonhuman animals.(2)

In its summary, it concludes:

Initial evidence suggested that only humans and apes can successfully learn RMTS with pairs of sample and test items; however, monkeys have subsequently done so. Here, we report that crows too exhibit relational matching behavior. Even more importantly, crows spontaneously display relational responding without ever having been trained on RMTS; they had only been trained on identity matching-to-sample (IMTS). Such robust and uninstructed relational matching behavior represents the most convincing evidence yet of analogical reasoning in a nonprimate species, as apes alone have spontaneously exhibited RMTS behavior after only IMTS training.(2)

Findings demonstrate the need to stop “human arrogance” that ignores animals’ wisdom

“For decades such reasoning has been thought to be limited to humans and some great apes. The apparent spontaneity of this finding makes it all the more remarkable,” said Anthony Wright, neurobiology and anatomy professor at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. He hones in on the fact that many humans tend think that they are superior, hardly even considering that other animals think in ways they do.(1)

“We have always sold animals short,” Wasserman said. “That human arrogance still permeates contemporary cognitive science.”(1)

In other studies, ravens — a kind of large-bodied crow — has been shown to alter their social interaction outcomes in order to obtain food and protection. Furthermore, pigs have been able to move computer cursors around on a screen in experiments that proved their ability to differentiate between scribbles they recognized and ones they did not.(3)

The list goes on.

Elephants have been able to demonstrate self-awareness by recognizing themselves in mirrors, while squirrels exhibit behaviors which indicate that they are able to interpret the behavior of others.(3)

During the festive season, the last thing on most people’s minds is healthy choices. After all, when you have chocolate, alcohol, stuffing, and Jello salad sitting in front of you, it often takes a serious act of discipline to choose vegetables, water, and green salad.

However, once the season is over and the mind gravitates towards New Year’s resolutions, consider upgrading these 4 habits to live a healthier and happier 2015.

Dairy consumption

In the past few decades we have been led to believe that dairy is a wholesome and pure source of nutrition that is rich in calcium and other life promoting nutrients. However, anyone who has been paying attention surely knows that this dairy fairytale is not true.

Dairy has become very contaminated due to the treatment given of the animals that produce it. Quarantined in stalls and continuously milked, these cows are injected with antibiotics and hormones to keep them “well” and to produce more milk. Then their enzyme rich milk is pasteurized in order to remove any harmful bacteria that may be present, but in this process the enzymes and other delicate nutrients are destroyed. In the end, you are left with a dead, tainted milk product that arguably causes more health concerns than it fixes.

Even when organic and raw, dairy products can cause excess mucus production and are a big problem for those suffering from any digestive issues. In 2015, make your own coconut, hemp, or sprouted almond milk/ Choose cheese alternatives like daiya cheese, and use more coconut oil than butter (and when you do use butter, make it organic and grass fed).

Coffee habit

Coffee is a staple in 80% of people’s lives, to the tune of 2-3 cups a day on average. This black elixir has received plenty of positive press lately, and although there are some health benefits, they pale in comparison to the drawbacks. When comparing beneficial antioxidants to artificially stimulating caffeine that wreaks havoc on your intestinal system, your hormones, and your liver, it becomes a no contest that the coffee habit needs to be toned down or kicked to the curb altogether.

There are plenty of other hot beverages that could fill its place, including teas, coffee alternatives such as Dandy Blend, and hot cocoa. After a few days of “coffee detox”, you will find living coffee free isn’t as tough as you imagined it to be, and your digestive system and hormones will begin to thank you.

Sugar addiction

By now, you know that the forms of sugar that are added to nearly every food on the planet are highly addictive and feed all kinds of health issues, including diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Most of these ailments stem from an improperly balanced digestive system, with an overgrowth of Candida often at the root. With sugar being a major food source to keep this harmful condition in place, everything becomes worse when consuming sugar, even in moderate quantities.

To transition off sugar, consider using a reputable brand of stevia (which can also be heavily processed) that not only helps sweeten foods and beverages, but also carries a non-existent glycemic load. This ensures a Candida infection is not fed and other diseases that are exacerbated by sugar are not inflamed as well.

Gluten consumption

Another poster child of pain, gluten sensitivities have become widely diagnosed and has resulted in changes in packaging that has gluten free smeared all over it. Indeed, gluten has become a serious issue for the human digestive system, and food producers have acknowledged it and created all kinds of gluten free food products.

If you are not on the gluten free diet, you should be strongly consider eliminating it, even if you don’t have a diagnosed sensitivity. Due to highly hybridized wheat and weak digestive systems, humans are not capable of effectively digesting modern wheat products, and this can cause significant health problems.

In the New Year, consider gluten free grains, or other complex carbohydrates that contain no gluten, such as rice or quinoa. If you do choose wheat or can’t give up your bread, make your own using ancient grains like Einkorn or Red Fife and choose a sourdough culture to make it, which will considerably lower the gluten content and make it much easier to digest.

The leading cause of death (worldwide) is ischemic heart disease, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, combined with stroke, over 13 million people lose their lives – prematurely, every year – due to a completely avoidable chronic health condition.

Western medicine ignores the truth about heart disease. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, Jonathan Landsman and Dr. Daniel Cobb will introduce a natural way – clinically proven – to eliminate the threat of heart disease, without the need for risky surgical procedures or toxic medications.

Exposing the myths surrounding heart disease

Myth #1: High cholesterol is the cause of heart disease.
That’s simply NOT true. Your cholesterol level (alone) is a very poor predictor of future heart attacks. In fact, the Framingham Heart Study – which is the most significant, longest-running study on heart disease to date – showed that dietary cholesterol had NO significant correlation with heart disease. (Does your cardiologist know this?)

“Serum cholesterol is not a strong risk factor for CHD, in the sense that blood pressure is a strong risk factor for stroke or cigarette smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer.” - William Castelli, the director of the famed Framingham Heart Study

“The cholesterol factor is of minor importance as a risk factor in CVD. Of far more importance are smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, insufficient physical activity, and stress.” – Frederick Stare, a long-time American Heart Association member and (former) proponent of the lipid hypothesis

Myth #2: Statin (cholesterol-lowering) drugs are perfectly safe and help to prevent a heart attack.
Simply put, that would be a dangerous (possibly deadly) assumption! Don’t believe me? Read this:

Published in 2001, the Honolulu Heart Program study – with 8,000 participants – said: “long-term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases the risk of death. Thus, the earlier the patients start to have lower cholesterol concentrations, the greater the risk of death.”

Plus, a huge Japanese Lipid Intervention Trial – with over 47,000 participants – stated: “the highest death rate observed was among those with lowest cholesterol (under 160mg/dl); lowest death rate observed was with those whose cholesterol was between 200-259mg/dl”. The truth is plain to see. If your doctor is unaware of this research – find another doctor!

Myth #3: Saturated fat causes heart disease. This myth is ridiculous. In fact, peer-reviewed studies show NO correlation between dietary saturated fat consumption and cardiovascular disease. In reality, you’ll do more damage to your arteries by consuming toxic (trans) fats, processed sugars and too many omega-6 fatty acids – which cause inflammation and damage arterial walls.

On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, you’ll learn how to dissolve blocked arteries, eliminate chest pain and improve your circulation without drugs or painful procedures. If you’re a healthcare provider – do NOT miss this program.

Widely underreported natural health solutions for cardiovascular disease

Western medicine loves to complicate disease in order to maintain its stranglehold on the ‘sickcare’ system and profits. Yet, there are many holistically-minded physicians paving the way to a healthier tomorrow.

For example, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD says, “coronary heart disease is a benign food borne illness which need never exist or progress.” For those interested in a plant-based diet, Dr. Esselstyn wrote a great book called “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. And, if you prefer watching videos, Dr. Esselstyn was profiled on CNN – here’s the link: http://youtu.be/JnDrjY2EgnQ

Another well-known physician, Dean Ornish, M.D. says you can “undo (reverse) heart disease by optimizing four important areas of your life’ including: what you eat; how you manage stress; how much you move; plus how much love and support you have. It’s a comprehensive program – which can be found at: http://ornishspectrum.com

And, finally, Dr. Daniel Cobb – our guest on the next NaturalNews Talk Hour – has a comprehensive (very specific) nutritional protocol designed to quickly eradicate the symptoms of heart disease. His ‘typical prescription’ for heart disease patients include: vitamin C, L-Lysine, vitamin E, magnesium, CoQ10, plus several other nutrients. Best of all, the monthly cost is very low and offers great rewards! To learn more – directly from Dr. Cobb – join us for our next show!

This week’s guest: Dr. Daniel Cobb, natural health educator and heart disease expert

Learn how to REVERSE heart disease naturally without drugs – Sun. Jan. 4

Dr. Daniel Cobb is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) practicing in New Mexico. He became interested in alternative medicine, in 1993, when he became very ill with chronic fatigue complicated by pesticide poisoning.

For over 20 years, Dr. Cobb – a licensed acupuncturist – has focused his attention on chronic conditions and degenerative diseases. Heart disease, in particular, is a condition that Dr. Cobb understood well before acupuncture school based upon his own studies of Mathias Rath, MD and Linus Pauling PhD. As a writer and educator, Dr. Cobb teaches people how to safely and effectively eliminate the symptoms of disease – quickly and effectively.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/048168_ischemic_heart_disease_medical_myths_Dr_Daniel_Cobb.html#ixzz3NksqbfTs

As ugly as the current collapsing economy in Russia is already, it might be about to get a whole lot uglier — and much more dangerous, both for average Russians and the world.

Up to this point, most of the world’s and media’s focus has been on the economics of the Russian currency collapse, which has been fed largely by a rapid decline in oil prices (fully half of Russia’s GDP is dependent upon energy sales) and Western-led sanctions for Moscow’s military aggression in Crimea and Ukraine. Also, many geopolitical analysts have been keeping an eye on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and have tried to predict what he might do.

But, as Zero Hedge — a financial news website — has noted, most of the economic fallout has impacted the country’s wealthy and elite, as there is virtually no middle class there.

But that may be about ready to change:

[A]s Russia’s Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker Sady Pridoniya and others, Russian suppliers are suspending food shipments to stores because of unpredictable FX movements.

The Vedomosti website further notes that food retailers are at the mercy of suppliers because of the dramatic volatility of the country’s currency, the ruble, whose worth is tumbling as devaluation continues daily. As such, suppliers simply cannot “plan their activities in the current environment,” according to a Google Translate version of the story.

Halting food shipments is liable to worsen an already volatile situation

Vedomosti further reported (according to Google Translate):

The largest domestic producer of juices “Gardens of the Don” has suspended shipment of products at the old prices a number of trading companies due to the sharp depreciation of the ruble, the company said. At the cost of its products for more than 70% of foreign exchange component manufacturer said.

The supplier went on to say that the delivery of foodstuffs and other goods will go “first of all to all network companies who understand the situation and [will accept] the new prices.” From December 16 to 21, the company suspended all shipments to those who did not provide a definitive answer regarding the absorption of higher prices for goods, the juice producers such as “Gardens of the Don,” “Golden Russia,” “My,” and “Juicy World” explained.

In addition, some alcohol shipments were halted by a major distributor and importer, Simple. One employee confirmed that the Simple warehouse was to be shuttered for a “two-day pause.”

“We, as a company that depends on the value of currencies, can do nothing in this situation. We are putting prices in rubles, prices in Uslovniye Yedintsy (UY) or ‘conditional units’ are not acceptable under the current laws,” said a representative for Simple CEO Maxim Kashirin. “Buying the currency now or taking out a bank loan, is impossible: banks will not finance receivables.”

By Christmas Day, Russian officials said the ruble had stabilized, while Putin told finance ministry officials to work through the holidays to continue to manage the crisis.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Russian Finance minister on Dec. 25 declared the currency crisis over as the country’s currency rose to a three-week high, following a major push by the government and the Russian Central Bank (RCB) to stabilize markets. The efforts seem to be paying off, at least in the short-term, as the crisis appears less spiraling.

Is the currency crisis abating?

But the efforts to stem the ruble’s bloodletting have led others to question how stable the currency will be and for how long. One of the RCB’s tactics was to dramatically increase interest rates around the country, but that led to less borrowing and fewer rubles in circulation.

The steep rate increase, “along with widening problems in the banking sector, has darkened the outlook for Russia’s economy dramatically,” the paper reported.

WSJ further reported:

Just weeks after dismissing forecasts of a mild recession next year as “too gloomy,” the finance ministry revised its outlook to envision a drop of as much as 4% in gross domestic product next year if oil prices stay around current levels of $60 a barrel, sapping Russia’s economy along with Western sanctions.

On Christmas Day, according to oil-price-tracking website Oil-Price.Net, West Texas Intermediate crude prices had slipped to $55.84, or down $1.28 from the previous day.

antioxidantsHealth researchers have long recognized the biological importance of antioxidants. Due to their ability to inhibit oxidation and peroxidation, these important substances — which are found in most whole foods — provide us with numerous health benefits. They guard us from cellular damage and degenerative diseases, minimize wrinkles and preserve skin texture, reduce the incidence of sunburn and much more.(1)

While most people are familiar with the most common antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, there is one antioxidant that remains relatively unknown outside of the scientific community: glutathione. Despite its obscurity, however, glutathione is possibly the most important antioxidant of all.

Why is glutathione important?

Like other antioxidants, glutathione’s main role is to protect our cells from oxidative and peroxidative damage, which includes scavenging free radicals (unstable atoms, ions or molecules which, if left unchecked, can cause tremendous harm to our DNA and cellular membranes). When seriously deficient in glutathione, we begin to suffer from cardiovascular and inflammatory issues, cancer, muscle fatigue, cancer, liver dysfunction and age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.(2)

Unlike other antioxidants, however, glutathione is intracellular. This means that it exists “inside the cells,” lending it the unique ability to maximize the activity of all other antioxidants. In other words, glutathione not only provides us with health benefits of its own, but also optimizes and amplifies the health benefits of other antioxidants as well. This greatly decreases our bodies’ susceptibility to unrestrained cell disintegration from infections, cancer, oxidative stress and free radicals. For this reason, glutathione is often nicknamed the “master antioxidant.”(3)

Boosting glutathione production

Glutathione is manufactured naturally in our bodies and is found in all our cells. Unfortunately, poor diets, toxins, pollution, stress, medications, aging and countless other internal and external factors help deplete our glutathione levels. Moreover, when our toxic load becomes too great, our bodies’ ability to recycle existing glutathione is compromised, often leading to a deficiency.

To help remedy this issue, many of us turn to glutathione supplements to boost our production of this essential antioxidant. However, most glutathione supplements are shown to possess poor bioavailability and, in the most extreme cases, can even affect our bodies’ production of natural glutathione. Therefore, if you’re looking to increase your glutathione levels, it’s a good idea to stick to whole foods that are proven to boost glutathione production, such as turmeric, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, walnuts, red meat, eggs and raw milk.(4)

memory lossEating a single gram of turmeric each day could cause short-term memory improvements in people predisposed to memory loss, according to a study conducted by researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and several Taiwanese research institutes, and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Our findings with turmeric are consistent with these observations, insofar as they appear to influence cognitive function where there is disordered energy metabolism and insulin resistance,” researcher Mark Wahlqvist said.

Turmeric root has been used as a spice and medicine for thousands of years and is still an important component in traditional Asian cooking and medicinal systems. It is a critical component of curry powders, giving them their yellow color.

That yellow color itself comes from a trio of chemicals known as “curcuminoids,” the most commonly known being curcumin. In recent years, much research has focused on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other health-promoting benefits of curcumin.

Six-hour memory boost

The new study involved testing the working memories of adults over the age of 60 who had recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes — which is known to be associated with memory loss — but who were not receiving treatment. Participants were fed a breakfast of white bread, supplemented with either 1 gram of turmeric or a placebo. Their memories were tested both before the meal and after it.

“We found that this modest addition to breakfast improved working memory over six hours in older people with pre-diabetes,” Wahlqvist said.

As the world’s population ages, health experts believe that the prevalence of conditions linked to memory loss will rise, including diabetes and dementia. The researchers suggested that early intervention, including with turmeric, might lessen the prevalence of those conditions and blunt their effects in those who develop them.

“Working memory is widely thought to be one of the most important mental faculties, critical for cognitive abilities such as planning, problem solving and reasoning,” Wahlqvist said. “Assessment of working memory is simple and convenient, but it is also very useful in the appraisal of cognition and in predicting future impairment and dementia.”

The power of curcumin

Research has also linked turmeric and curcumin more directly to reduced dementia risk. For example, a 2009 study conducted by researchers from Duke University found that curcumin caused changes in the brain counteracting some of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. The chemical specifically targeted the amyloid plaques believed to be one of the main causes of brain damage (and therefore symptoms).

“There is very solid evidence that curcumin binds to plaques, and basic research on animals engineered to produce human amyloid plaques has shown benefits,” researcher Murali Doraiswamy said. “You can modify a mouse so that at about 12 months its brain is riddled with plaques. If you feed this rat a curcumin-rich diet, it dissolves these plaques. The same diet prevented younger mice from forming new plaques.”

“If you have a good diet and take plenty of exercise, eating curry regularly could help prevent dementia,” Doraiswamy said.

Diet and exercise are still the two best ways to prevent the disease, Doraiswamy emphasized.

Research has shown a wide variety of other benefits from turmeric and curcumin, including preventing cancer and improving cancer prognosis, arthritis relief, improved heart health and even reductions in body fat.

A series of 2013 studies conducted by researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that curcumin improved two measures of cardiovascular health as much as aerobic exercise did, while the two together provided the greatest benefit.

Studies have shown that curcumin is best absorbed from the turmeric root (or powder) itself, rather than from supplements.

Article Source: turmeric & memory loss