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Turmeric, Curcumin Ranks as Natural Arthritis Treatment

  • July 30, 2012 1:06 pm


turmericing 235x147 Turmeric, Curcumin Ranks as Natural Arthritis TreatmentWhether you’re young or old, arthritis is a condition that could strike at any moment. Although more common in the elderly, this condition can still be of potential concern if preventative measures are not taken. Not surprisingly, arthritis, like most other health conditions, can be prevented or even treated with the implementation of the right foods. Among these arthritis-fighting foods is turmeric, a powerful spice used widely in India both for it’s taste-enhancing aspects and its ability to heal. This connection between turmeric and arthritis exists thanks to one active compound in turmeric known as curcumin; this compound possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, allowing it to be used as an effective natural arthritis treatment.

Turmeric and Arthritis | Curcumin Used for Natural Arthritis Treatment

In a recent study, published in the March 2012 edition of Phytotherapy Research, the effectiveness and safety aspects of curcumin were researched on individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The human clinical trial and single-blinded pilot study was conducted to determine whether curcumin, both separately and when combined with an arthritis drug known as Voltaren, can help individuals with arthritis.

For the research, 45 individuals were put into 3 different groups: one group taking 500mg of curcumin twice daily, another taking 500mg of curcumin twice daily along with an arthritis drug, and the last only taking the arthritis drug. After 8 weeks, it was found that the curcumin group experienced the greatest improvement.

“The findings of this study are significant, as these demonstrate that curcumin was not only safe and effective, but was surprisingly more effective in alleviating pain compared with diclofenac…Our observations that curcumin alone was able to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in this study are quite encouraging, and these results provide an ideal springboard for investigating the potential of curcumin in other chronic diseases arising in the setting of dysregulated chronic inflammation,” wrote the study authors Binu Chandran and Ajay Goel.

In another study published in November 2006 in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, turmeric extract prevented the production of enzymes that ignite the onset of inflammation. . Similarly, a study in the August 2009 issue of Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed how curcumin extract could be used as a natural arthritis treatment for those suffering arthritis in the knee. Individuals who took curcumin extract felt substantially less pain – even outranking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. The study concludes “These translational studies demonstrate in vivo efficacy and identify a mechanism of action for a well-characterized turmeric extract that supports further clinical evaluation of turmeric dietary supplements in the treatment of RA”.

Curcumin’s ability to inhibit several enzymes involved in the onset of inflammation, including cyclooxygenase-2, or COX-2, makes turmeric rank among any natural arthritis treatment. Since curcumin can suppress the enzyme COX-2, the production of prostaglandins – compounds that trigger inflammation and cause swelling and pain - is reduced.

Additional Sources:


PubMed – 2009 Study

PubMed – 2006 Study


Blueberries and Strawberries, may help keep your brain functioning

  • June 10, 2012 10:32 pm
Regular consumption of berries, such as blueberries or strawberries, may help keep your brain functioning well as you age, new research suggests.

The study found that women with the highest intake of berries appeared to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. Cognition refers to brain activities such as thinking, remembering and reasoning.

Results of the study were published online April 26 in the Annals of Neurology.

Berries and other fruits and vegetables are rich in substances known as flavonoids. Flavonoids help protect the body’s cells from damage and reduce inflammation.

“Flavonoids, which are antioxidants found in berries, apples, citrus fruits, tea, red wine and onions, have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers,” explained nutritionist Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: “Large epidemiological studies, such as this one, add to the basic science research that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of berries have a beneficial role in age-related cognitive decline. I would advise all my patients, at any age, to eat more berries. Berries are an easy, nutritious and delicious way preserve brain function.”

Copperman, the nutritionist, said that “the current study demonstrates that women who consumed the most flavonoids, especially berries, had a slower cognitive decline over time than women with lower intakes. Increasing our intakes of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to live a healthy life.”
Berries contain a particular flavonoid called anthocyanidin. Devore said anthocyanidin helps give berries their rich colors, and it’s found in fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, elderberries, and red and concord grapes.

Curcumin found to prevent brain degenerative diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

  • March 29, 2012 6:56 pm

Curcumin, the bioactive compound found in the Indian curry spice turmeric and commonly referred to as ‘holy powder’, has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat wounds, infections, and other health problems. Today researchers are using the power of the evolving science of epigenetics to reveal how curcumin is crucial in the fight against many forms of cancer, as it causes metastatic cells to undergo programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

Researchers from Michigan State University, publishing the result of a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry have found that this amazing natural compound is able to prevent the destructive formation of alpha-synuclein proteins that are the hallmark presentation in many neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin is one a very select group of structures that is able to cross the delicate blood-brain barrier to affect biochemical and electrical activities in the brain. The turmeric derivative has demonstrated the unique capability to prevent clumping or aggregation leading to disease development.

Curcumin aids protein folding to prevent brain tangles and degeneration

The team lead researcher, Dr. Basir Ahmad and scientists conducting the study commented “Our research shows that curcumin can rescue proteins from aggregation, the first steps of many debilitating diseases… more specifically, curcumin binds strongly to alpha-synuclein and prevents aggregation at body temperatures.”

The team used precise lasers to study the split-second formation of proteins known as ‘protein folding’. Normally, proteins are folded at lightning fast speed at the direction of genes and DNA sequences. Damage to DNA caused by poor diet and lifestyle factors from epigenetic alterations results in mis-folded proteins and neurodegenerative disease.

Researchers found that when curcumin attaches to alpha-synuclein it not only stops clumping, but it also raises the protein’s folding or reconfiguration rate. By slowing the speed that the proteins form, curcumin effectively inhibits abnormal protein clumping to prevent tangles and damage to the nerve synapses. Chemical and electrical communications are retained that help to help prevent the early manifestation of Parkinson’s disease.

Curcumin can be added to the diet with liberal use of the Indian curry spice in meal preparation. Many people do not enjoy the taste of curry infused foods. For those individuals, nutrition advisors recommend a standardized supplement (std. to 95% total curcuminoids for maximum bioavailability) providing 300 to 500 mg daily to prevent neurodegenerative decline.

Sources for this article include:



  • March 18, 2012 5:38 pm

This Non-GMO Shopping Guide is designed to help reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying, and help you find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients. It does not cover other potentially harmful ingredients, allergens, colors or additives.


Avoid products made with any of the crops that are GM. Most GM ingredients are products made from the “Big Four:” corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed, used in processed foods. Some of the most common genetically engineered Big Four ingredients in processed foods are:

* Corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrup
* Sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose
* Modified food starch*


* Soy flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone
* Vegetable oil* and vegetable protein*


* Canola oil (also called rapeseed oil)


* Cottonseed oil *May be derived from other sources

In addition, GM sugar beet sugar recently entered the food supply. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar, to avoid GM beet sugar.


* Anything not listed as 100% cane sugar
Fruits & Vegetables

Very few fresh fruits and vegetables for sale in the U.S. are genetically modified. Novel products such as seedless watermelons are NOT genetically modified. Small amounts of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and sweet corn may be GM. The only commercialized GM fruit is papaya from Hawaii— about half of Hawaii’s papayas are GM.
Meat, Fish & Eggs

No genetically modified fish, fowl, or livestock is yet approved for human consumption. However, plenty of non-organic foods are produced from animals raised on GM feed such as grains. Look for wild rather than farmed fish to avoid fish raised on genetically modified feed, and 100% grass-fed animals.
Meat & Fish: Non-GMO

* Organic Prarie, Tropical Traditions, Vital Choice

Eggs: Non-GMO

* Nest Fresh Organic
* Egg Innovations
* Organic Organic Valley
* Eggland’s Best Organic
* Pete and Jerry’s Organic Eggs
* Horizon Organic
* Wilcox Farms Organic
* Land O’Lakes Organic

Alternative Meat products

Many alternative meat products are processed and include ingredients that can be genetically engineered, so give the ingredient lists close attention to avoid the Big Four at-risk ingredients, especially soy.


* Wildwood
* 365 Brand (Whole Foods)
* White Wave
* Amy’s
* Woodstock Farms*
* Bountiful Bean
* EcoVegan
* Small Planet Tofu
* Sunshine Burger
* The Simple Soyman
* Vitasoy

May contain GMO ingredients

* Boca, unless organic (Kraft)
* Gardenburger
* Morningstar Farms, unless organic soy line (Kellogg)

Dairy products & Alternative Dairy products

Some U.S. dairy farms inject the genetically engineered hormone rbGH, also called rbST, into their cows to boost milk production. Organic dairy products are rbGH-free and do not use GM grains as feed. Products with a label that indicates cows free of rbGH or rbST may come from cows fed GM feed. Many alternative dairy products are made from soybeans and may contain GM materials.

Dairy Products: Non-GMO Certified Organic

* Organic Valley
* Alta Dena Organics
* Radiance Dairy
* Butterworks Farm
* Safeway Organic Brand
* Harmony Hills Dairy
* Seven Stars Farm*
* Horizon Organic
* Straus Family Creamery*
* Morningland Dairy
* Stonyfield Farm
* Nancy’s Organic Dairy*
* Wisconsin Organics
* Natural by Nature
* Woodstock Farms*

Produced Without rbGH National

* Alta Dena
* Grafton Village Cheese
* Belgioioso Cheese Inc.
* Great Hill Dairy
* Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
* Lifetime Dairy
* Brown Cow Farm
* Nancy’s Natural Dairy
* Crowley Cheese of Vermont
* Roth Kase USA
* Dannon
* Walmart store brand
* Franklin County Cheese
* Yoplait

May contain GMO ingredients

* Colombo (General Mills)
* Parmalat
* Kemps , aside from “Select” brand
* Sorrento
* Land O’ Lakes
* The Country’s Best Yoghurt

For regional lists of rbGH-free sources of Dairy Products:

Alternative Dairy Products


* Belsoy
* EdenSoy*
* Imagine Foods/Soy Dream
* Lisanatti
* Nancy’s Cultured Soy*
* Nancy’s Organic Cultured Soy*
* Organic Valley Soy*
* Pacific Natural Foods*
* Silk So Delicious
* Sun Soy
* Stonyfield Farm O’Soy
* Tofutti
* VitaSoy/Nasoya
* WestSoy
* WholeSoy*
* Wildwood
* Yves The Good Slice
* Zen Don

May contain GMO ingredients

* 8th Continent

Baby Foods & Infant Formula

Milk or soy protein is the basis of most infant formulas. The secret ingredients in these products are often soy or milk from cows injected with rbGH. Many brands also add GMO-derived corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or soy lecithin.


* Baby’s Only Organic
* Bella Baby
* Earth’s Best
* Gerber
* Mom Made Meals
* Organic Baby*
* PediaSmart
* Plum Organics
* Tastybaby

May contain GMO ingredients

* Beech-Nut
* Enfamil
* Good Start
* Nestlé
* Similac/Isomil

BOLD with an asterisk * denotes brands with products enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s third party GMO Avoidance Verification Program.
Learn more at:
Grains, Beans & Pasta

Other than corn, no GM grains are sold on the market. Look for 100-percent wheat pasta, couscous, rice, quinoa, oats, barley, sorghum, and dried beans (except soybeans).


* Annie’s *
* Bob’s Red Mill, organic
* Eden*
* Field Day*
* Kamut
* Lundberg Family Farms*
* Organic Planet*
* Sunridge Farms
* Vita-Spelt pasta

Packaged Meals Non-GMO

* Amy’s
* Casbah (Hain-Celestial)
* Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods
* Fantastic Foods*
* Ian’s Natural Foods
* Lotus Foods
* Lundberg Farms Rice Sensations*
* Rising Moon*
* Seeds of Change organic meals

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Betty Crocker (General Mills)
* Knorr (Unilever)
* Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
* Lipton meal packets (Unilever)
* Near East (Quaker)
* Pasta Roni & Rice-A-Roni meals (Quaker)

Cereals & Breakfast Bars

Cereals and breakfast bars are very likely to include GMO ingredients, because they are often made with corn and soy products.


* Annie’s*
* Ambrosial Granola
* Barbara’s, organic
* Cascadian Farms
* Eden*
* EnviroKidz*
* Golden Temple
* Grandy Oats
* Health Valley, organic
* Lundberg Rice Cereal*
* Nature’s Path*
* Nonuttin’
* Omega Smart Bars
* Peace Cereal Organic
* Ruth’s Simple Sweets
* Sunridge Farms

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* General Mills
* Kellogg
* Post (Kraft)
* Quaker

Baked Goods

While baking ingredients such as wheat flour, rice, kamut, and oats are not genetically modified, many packaged breads an bakery items contain other GMO ingredients such as corn syrup.


* Arrowhead Mills, organic
* Bakery on Main
* Berlin Natural Bakery*
* Bob’s Red Mill, organic
* Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods
* Dr Oetker Organics
* French Meadow
* Natural Ovens Bakery, organic
* Nature’s Path*
* Rudi’s Organic Bakery
* Rapunzel
* Rumford Baking Powder
* Tumaros*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Aunt Jemima (Pinnacle Foods)
* Betty Crocker (General Mills)
* Calumet Baking Powder (Kraft)
* Duncan Hines (Pinnacle Foods)
* Hungry Jack (Smucker’s)
* Pillsbury (Smucker’s)

Frozen Foods

Many frozen foods are highly processed. Keep an eye out for the Big Four at-risk ingredients and stay away from frozen foods that contain them, unless they are marked organic or non-GM.


* A.C. LaRocco
* Amy’s Kitchen
* Cascadian Farms
* Cedarlane
* Helen’s Kitchen
* Ian’s Natural Foods
* Linda McCartney
* Mom Made Meals
* Rising Moon*
* The Simple Soyman
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Boca, unless organic (Kraft)
* Celeste (Pinnacle Foods)
* Eggo Waffles (Kellogg)
* Gardenburger
* Green Giant (General Mills)
* Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
* Kid’s Cuisine (ConAgra)
* Lean Cuisine (Nestle)
* Marie Callender’s (ConAgra)
* Morningstar Farms, unless organic (Kellogg)
* Rosetto Frozen Pasta (Nestle)
* Stouffer’s (Nestle)
* Swanson (Campbell’s)
* Tombstone (Kraft)
* Totino’s (Smucker’s)
* Voila! (Birds Eye/Unilever)


Many soups and sauces are highly processed, so give the ingredient lists close attention to avoid the Big Four at-risk ingredients.

Soups: Non-GMO

* Amy’s
* Fantastic Foods*
* Health Valley/Westbrae
* Imagine Natural
* Natural/Hain
* Rapunzel
* ShariAnn’s Organics
* Walnut Acres Certified Organic

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
* Campbell’s products (Healthy Request, Chunky, Simply Home, & Pepperidge Farm)
* Hormel products
* Progresso Soups(General Mills)

Sauces/Salsas: Non-GMO

* Amy’s
* Eden*
* Emerald Valley Kitchen
* Field Day*
* Green Mountain Gringo*
* Muir Glen Organic
* Rising Moon*
* Seeds of Change pasta sauce
* Walnut Acres pasta sauce

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Bertolli (Unilever)
* Chi-Chi’s (Hormel)
* Classico (Heinz)
* Del Monte
* Healthy Choice (ConAgra)
* Hunt’s (ConAgra)
* Old El Paso (General Mills)
* Pace (Campbell’s)
* Prego (Campbell’s)
* Ragu (Unilever)

Canned Food: Non-GMO

* Amy’s
* Annie’s*
* Eden*
* ShariAnn’s, organic
* Westbrae, organic
* Yves Veggie Cuisine (Hain Celestial)
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Chef Boyardee
* Dinty Moore, Stagg, Hormel (Hormel)
* Franco-American (Campbell’s)

Condiments, Oils, Dressings & Spreads

Unless labeled explicitly, corn, soybean, cottonseed, and canola oils probably contain genetically modified products. Choose pure olive, coconut, sesame, sunflower, safflower, almond, grapeseed, and peanut oils. Also choose preserves, jams, and jellies with cane sugar, not corn syrup.


* Annie’s Naturals*
* Bountiful Bean
* Bragg’s liquid amino
* Carrington Farms Flax Seed
* Crofter’s Organic
* Drew’s salad dressing
* Eden*
* Emerald Cove
* Emerald Valley Kitchen
* Emperor’s Kitchen*
* Field Day*
* Follow Your Heart*
* Harvest Moon Mushrooms
* Ian’s Natural Foods
* I.M. Health SoyNut Butters
* Kettle Brand*
* Krazy Ketchup
* Maranatha Nut Butters
* Miso Master*
* Muir Glen, organic ketchup
* Nasoya
* Newmans Own Organic
* Rapunzel
* Ruth’s
* Sage Hills Farms
* Spectrum oils and dressings
* SushiSonic Condiments*
* The Simple Soyman
* Tropical Traditions
* Vegan by Nature Buttery Spread
* Vigoa Cuisine
* Wholemato
* Wildwood
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Crisco (Smucker’s)
* Del Monte
* Heinz
* Hellman’s (Unilever)
* Kraft condiments and dressings
* Mazola
* Pam (ConAgra)
* Peter Pan (ConAgra)
* Skippy (Unilever)
* Smucker’s, unless “Simply 100% Fruit”
* Wesson (ConAgra)
* Wish-Bone (Unilever)

Snack Foods

Look for snacks made from wheat, rice, or oats, and ones that use sunflower or safflower oils. There is no GM popcorn on the market, nor is there blue or white GM corn.

Snacks: Non-GMO

* Annie’s*
* Barbara’s, organic
* Bearitos/Little Bear Organics (Hain Celestial)
* Earthly Treats
* Eco-Planet
* Eden*
* Field Day*
* Garden of Eatin’
* Grandy Oats
* Hain Pure Snax/Hain Pure Foods
* Health Valley
* Ian’s Natural Foods
* Kettle Brand*
* Kopali Organics
* Late July Organic Snacks
* Mary’s Gone Crackers*
* Nature’s Path*
* Namaste Foods
* Newman’s Own Organics
* Newman’s Own, except salad dressings
* Peeled Snacks
* Plum Organics Tots
* Rapunzel
* Revolution Foods
* Ruth’s
* Simple Sweets
* Sunridge Farms
* Tasty Brand
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* FritoLay (Lay’s, Ruffles, Doritos,Cheetos, Tostitos)
* Hostess
* Keebler (Kellogg’s)
* Kraft (Nabisco, Nilla Wafers, Oreos, Ritz, Nutter Butter, Honey Maid, SnackWells, Teddy Grahams, Wheat Thins, Triscuit)
* Pepperidge Farm (Campbell’s)
* Pringles
* Quaker Oats

Energy Bars: Non-GMO

* Clif Bar
* Divine Foods
* Genisoy Bars
* GoodOnYa Bar
* Lara Bar
* Luna Bar
* Macrobars
* MacroLife Naturals
* Nature’s Path*
* Nutiva
* Odwalla
* Optimum Energy Bar
* Organic Food Bar
* Ruth’s
* Weil by Nature’s Path Organic

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Balance Bar
* Nature Valley (General Mills)
* Nabisco Bars (Kraft)
* PowerBar (Nestle)
* Quaker Granola

Candy, Chocolate Products & Sweeteners

Many sweeteners, and products like candy and chocolate that contain them, can come from GMO sources. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar to avoid GM beet sugar, and watch out for soy lecithin in chocolates and corn syrup in candies.

The sweetener aspartame is derived from GM microorganisms. It is also referred to as NutraSweet® and Equal® and is found in over 6,000 products, including soft drinks, gum, candy, desserts, yogurt, tabletop sweeteners, and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.

Chocolate: Non-GMO


* Endangered Species*
* Green & Black’s Organic
* Kopali Organics
* Lindt Chocolate
* Newman’s Own
* Nonuttin’
* Rapunzel
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Ghirardelli Chocolate
* Hershey’s
* Nestlé (Crunch, Kit Kat,Smarties)
* Toblerone (Kraft)

Candy: Non-GMO

* Pure Fun Confections
* Reed’s Ginger Candy, organic
* St. Claire Organic
* Sunridge Farms
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Hershey’s
* Jelly Belly
* Lifesaver (Kraft)
* Nestlé

Sweetners: Non-GMO

* Eden* Sweet Cloud*
* Tropical Traditions
* Woodstock Farms*

Sodas, Juices & Other Beverages

Most juices are made from GMO-free fruit (avoid papaya though, as it could be GMO), but the prevalence of corn-based sweeteners—e.g. high-fructose corn syrup—in fruit juices is cause for concern. Many sodas are primarily comprised of water and corn syrup. Look for 100-percent juice blends.


* After the Fall
* Big Island Organics
* Blue Sky
* Cascadian Farm
* Crofters Organic
* Eden*
* Field Day*
* Frey Vineyards
* Mixerz All Natural Cocktail Mixers
* Nancy’s Organic Lowfat Kefir
* Odwalla
* Organic Valley
* PediaSmart
* Quinoa Gold
* R.W. Knudsen, organic (Smucker’s)
* Santa Cruz Organic (Smucker’s)
* Sea20 Organic Energy Drink
* Teeccino Herbal Caffe
* Walnut Acres Organic Juices
* Woodstock Farms*

May Contain GMO Ingredients

* Coca-Cola (Fruitopia, Minute Maid, Hi-C, NESTEA)
* Hansen Beverage Company
* Hawaiian Punch (Procter and Gamble)
* Kraft (Country Time, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, Capri Sun, Tang)
* Libby’s (Nestlé)
* Ocean Spray
* Pepsi (Tropicana, Frappuccino, Gatorade, SoBe, Dole)
* Sunny Delight (Procter and Gamble)

NOTE: This guide was compiled based on company statements, not genetic testing. Any product labeled as Non-GMO indicates that its manufacturing process is designed to avoid GMOs, but consumers should be aware that GM contamination is possible due to natural pollen movement, weather events, seed contamination, or human error.

Hence there is no guarantee such products are 100% free of GMOs.
Center for Food Safety’s participation in this guide does not necessarily imply endorsement of any of the products or labels listed in this guide.
Invisible GM ingredients

Processed foods often have hidden GM sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO). The following are ingredients that may be made from GMOs.

Aspartame, also called
NutraSweet®, Equal
Spoonful®, Canderel®,
BeneVia®, E951
baking powder
canola oil (rapeseed)
caramel color
citric acid
cobalamin (Vit. B12)
condensed milk
confectioners sugar
corn flour
corn gluten
corn masa
corn meal
corn oil
corn sugar
corn syrup
food starch
fructose (any form)
glutamic acid
glycerol monooleate glycine
high fructose corn
syrup (HFCS)
hydrogenated starch
hydrolyzed vegetable
inverse syrup
invert sugar
lactic acid
malt syrup
malt extract
milk powder
milo starch
modified food starch
modified starch
mono and diglyceride
glutamate (MSG)
oleic acid
phytic acid
protein isolate
soy flour

soy isolates
soy lecithin
soy milk
soy oil
soy protein
soy protein isolate
soy sauce
stearic acid
sugar (unless cane)
teriyaki marinade
textured vegetable
tocopherols (Vit E)
vegetable fat
vegetable oil
Vitamin B12
Vitamin E
whey powder
xanthan gum

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin
C) although usually
derived from corn, is
probably not GM
because it is not
likely made in North

Vegetables Owned by Monsanto

  • March 4, 2012 2:27 am

If you are the type of gardener who purchases vegetable seeds or seedlings, including tomato plants from a local garden center, be mindful the varieties you choose. Conversely, you might be placing money into the hands of Monsanto Corporation. Below is the list of Seminis / Monsanto home-garden vegetable variations.
zucchini.jpgPrint this list, and keep a copy in your wallet. Don’t be caught off guard the next time you impulse shop at a big-box garden center.

The seed varieties you have obtained as “heirlooms” from heirloom or organic seed companies are “NOT” GMO seeds, even though they are officially “owned” by Monsanto. As far as we know, the only GMO vegetable seeds available for sale today are new hybrid varieties of zucchini and summer squash, so be sure you order these from certified organic suppliers.

Please understand that Monsanto only owns the trademark names for these “heirloom” varieties. This stretegic move holds two advantages for Monsanto:

1.) prevents new companies from naming new varieties with these or very similar names.

2.) it is an effort to stop lucrative sales by these other companies trying to leverage the heirloom name and consumer loyalty for those heirloom varieties.

If you have left over seeds, do not be reluctant to plant them. Monsanto will only profit from customers purchasing these varieties from companies that are stocking seeds obtained directly from Monsanto or one of its distributors.

Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema

Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman

Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty

Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III

Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman

Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega

Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening

Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz

Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador

Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno

Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision

Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster

Spinach: Hellcat

Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM

Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation

Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot

Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui

Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia

Case Against Monsanto Struck Down

According to Reuters, Monsanto has nearly 150 such lawsuits on record. Federal District Judge Naomi Buchwald not only dismissed the case on the grounds that Monsanto has not formally sued any of the plaintiffs, but also chastised said plaintiffs for their “transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”

Vegetables Owned by Monsanto – The List is Out

If you are the type of gardener who purchases vegetable seeds or seedlings (including tomato plants) from a local garden center, be mindful the varieties you choose. Conversely, you might be placing money into the hands of Monsanto Corporation. Below is the list of Seminis / Monsanto home-garden vegetable variations.

Father in Jail After He Took Daughter From Hospital

An Elkville, Illinois household is divided up for practically a week. Brittany Jones, 14, is in Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital. Her father, Dana, has been taken into custody and is now in a Wisconsin jail after takiing her from a St. Louis hospital and driving her to the Milwaukee Children Hospital.

Roundup Diluted by 450-Fold is Still Toxic to DNA

Brand-new investigation unveiled in advance of print and published in the journal Archives of Toxicology shows that Roundup, the most prevalent formulation of the herbicide glyphosate, isn’t just more toxic than its constituent ingredients, but is able to damage DNA within a human cell line even when diluted down to 450-fold lower concentrations than presently used in GMO agricultural applications.

Why Parent Should Restrain Children From Using Cell Phones

Technology is quickly becoming more accessible to younger generations, causing the youngest of kids to participate in significant cell phone and TV activity. It is regrettable, as developing children are more vulnerable to the risks brought on by EMFs. Cell phones particularly have grow to be a significant concern, with kids as young as 10 years old possessing them.

Elderberry juice concentrate

  • February 27, 2012 6:57 pm

Humans have a natural inclination to try to heal the sick – our ability to treat illnesses in ourselves and others has contributed in no small way to our success as a species. Why we would do this is no mystery – on the altruistic side, we empathize with each other, we care about each other, and caring for members of our social group is both beneficial and rewarding both for humanity as a whole and for many people as individuals; on the other hand, no one likes being sick. But how we’ve treated illnesses has evolved over time with technology, better understanding of how the body, germs and disease function, and increasingly global access to resources. Before that, how did humankind treat sicknesses? They looked to the natural world. And while very few of us are likely to want to go back to those pre-sanitation days of blood lettings and humor manipulating, there are still things we can learn from our ancestors’ folk medicine.

Elderberry juice concentrate and elderberry extract are two remedies right out of that ancient folk wisdom. Elderberries have been used for centuries as an important part of healing in many cultures. The elderberry tree is native to Europe, Asia and North America, and on each continent, people sought it out for both its health benefits, and its supposed magical protection.

Drinking elderberry juice concentrate is believed – and in some cases even proven – to provide a number of health benefits. Elderberry juice is most well known for its usefulness in improving symptoms of various respiratory diseases, including the flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, and the common cold. Elderberry extract has even been shown in clinical studies to reduce the severity and duration of influenza. Other health benefits of elderberry juice concentrate are boosting the immune system, protecting cells with high levels of antioxidants, lowering cholesterol, improving kidney health and treating urinary tract infections, preventing hemorrhoids, diarrhea and constipation, and improving the symptoms of diabetes. Consuming elderberry juice concentrate can even improve your complexion and help treat breakouts of acne.

How is it that elderberry juice concentrate is able to provide so many startling health benefits? The answer to that is simple: elderberry juice concentrate is incredibly high in a variety of important vitamins. Antioxidant rich elderberry juice concentrate provides the human body with a substantial dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, amino acids, flavonoids, tannin, rutin and carotenoids. It also contains minerals like potassium. Elderberry juice concentrate is something like a naturally occurring multivitamin, and unlike most multivitamins, elderberry juice is easy for the body to recognize and absorb. This boost of important vitamins helps support immune health and protect the body’s natural good working order.

Elderberry juice concentrate is, of course, not a cure all. Drinking elderberry juice or taking elderberry extract is not a cure all for every health problem that a person might have in their life. No product can guarantee that a person will never get the flu, never catch a cold, never get sick or get old. Elderberry juice should not be viewed as a cure for the various ailments that afflict us all through the course of our lives. However, elderberry juice concentrate does seem to have the potential to improve our lives by helping us to be sick less often and less severely. Better health is directly connected to overall better well being and improved quality of life. Our ancestors may not have understood how elderberry juice could help them, but through trial and use, in this instance, those ancient healers were able to identify a sort of naturally occurring vitamin supplement and help themselves and those around them be healthier.

300,000 Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto in Federal Court

  • February 25, 2012 5:31 pm

By Jane Ayers, Nation of Change


Thanks to RSN for reprinting my article from Nation of Change… and thanks to the 13,000+ Likes so far… Just want to make one correction: The title that RSN used was not what I originally wrote so I wanted to point that out because Willie Nelson is not one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, he just called for the national Occupy the Food System. Read the article and find the group’s name on the lawsuit, go to their website, and find the list of plaintiffs. Once again, thanks to RSN for reprinting this article, and also it was nice to see Willie’s picture, as the editorial focused on his work for farmers too.

Take care, Jane Ayers


NOTE: Although it is clear that Mr. Nelson serves as an inspiration to Occupy the Food System groups, we have defaulted to the author’s original title to avoid any confusion about his active participation in the lawsuit. – JPS/RSN

ittle did Willie Nelson know when he recorded “Crazy” years ago just how crazy it would become for our cherished family farmers in America. Nelson, President of Farm Aid, has recently called for the national Occupy movement to declare an “Occupy the Food System” action.

Nelson states, “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil…”

Hundreds of citizens, (even including NYC chefs in their white chef hats) joined Occupy the Food System groups, ie Food Democracy Now, gathered outside the Federal Courts in Manhattan on January 31st, to support organic family farmers in their landmark lawsuit against Big Agribusiness giant Monsanto. (Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association v. Monsanto) Oral arguments were heard that day concerning the lawsuit by 83 plaintiffs representing over 300,000 organic farmers, organic seed growers, and organic seed businesses.

The lawsuit addresses the bizarre and shocking issue of Monsanto harassing and threatening organic farmers with lawsuits of “patent infringement” if any organic farmer ends up with any trace amount of GM seeds on their organic farmland.

Judge Naomi Buckwald heard the oral arguments on Monsanto’s Motion to Dismiss, and the legal team from Public Patent Foundation represented the rights of American organic farmers against Monsanto, maker of GM seeds, [and additionally, Agent Orange, dioxin, etc.]

After hearing the arguments, Judge Buckwald stated that on March 31st she will hand down her decision on whether the lawsuit will move forward to trial.

Not only does this lawsuit debate the issue of Monsanto potentially ruining the organic farmers’ pure seeds and crops with the introduction of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) seeds anywhere near the organic farms, but additionally any nearby GM fields can withstand Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides, thus possibly further contaminating the organic farms nearby if Roundup is used.

Of course, the organic farmers don’t want anything to do with that ole contaminated GM seed in the first place. In fact, that is why they are certified organic farmers. Hello? But now they have to worry about getting sued by the very monster they abhor, and even have to spend extra money and land (for buffers which only sometimes deter the contaminated seed from being swept by the wind into their crop land). At this point, they are even having to resort to not growing at all the following organic plants: soybeans, corn, cotton, sugar beets, and canola, …just to protect themselves from having any (unwanted) plant that Monsanto could possibly sue them over.

“Crazy, crazy for feeling so…..”

The farmers are suffering the threat of possible loss of Right Livelihood. They are creating good jobs for Americans, and supplying our purest foods. These organic farmers are bringing Americans healthy food so we can be a healthy Nation, instead of the undernourished and obese kids and adults that President Obama worries so much about us becoming.

So what was President Obama doing when he appointed Michael Taylor, a former VP of Monsanto, as Sr. Advisor to the Commissioner at the FDA? The FDA is responsible for “label requirements” and recently ruled under Michael Taylor’s time as FDA Food Czar that GMO products did not need to be labeled as such, even though national consumer groups loudly professed the public’s right to know what is genetically modified in the food system. Sadly to remember: President Obama promised in campaign speeches that he would “let folks know what foods are genetically modified.” These are the conflict of interests that lead to the 99% movement standing up for the family farmers.

Just look at the confusing headlines lately that revealed that mid-western farms of GM corn will be sprayed with 2,4-D toxins found in the deadly Agent Orange. Just refer to the previous lawsuits taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court by U.S. Veterans who tried to argue the dangers of Monsanto’s Agent Orange, and high rates of cancers in our soldiers who had to suffer the side effects from their wartime exposures in Vietnam.

In 1980 alone, when all this mess started with corporations wiping out the livelihoods of family farmers, the National Farm Medicine Center reported that 900 male farmers in the Upper Midwest committed suicide. That was nearly double the national average for white men. Even sadder is the fact that some of the farmers’ children also committed suicide. Studies show that when one generation of family farmers lose their farms, then the next generation usually can’t revive the family business and traditions later.

Jim Gerritsen, President of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, has pointed out that there are 5th and 6th generation family farmers being pushed off their farms today, and because of a “climate of fear” (from possible lawsuits from Monsanto), they can’t grow some of the food they want to grow.

These farmers are the ones who have been able to survive the changes over the past twenty years by choosing to go into the budding niche of organic farming. Now look at what they have to deal with while trying to grow successful businesses: Monsanto’s threats.

Even organic dairy farmers have had to suffer lawsuits ( from Monsanto) when they labeled their organic milk “non-BGH” referring to Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone used by conventional dairies.

Consumers want organic food, and they want America’s pure food source to stay protected in America. Made in America, organically, is the way of the future, and family farmers and seed businesses should be free to maintain their high standards for organic foods. They deserve protection from Big Agribusiness’ dangerous seeds trespassing on their croplands, not to mention the use of pesticides and herbicides on GM crops. The organic industry has an “organic seal” which is also important to the success of family businesses, and even that stamp of quality is threatened by the spread of Monsanto’s GM seed contaminating their pure seed banks.

The Banking industry is also partly to blame. Years before the mortgages and home fiasco we have now, the farmers were the first to feel the squeeze. I interviewed Willie Nelson in the 1980’s, and he mentioned even then the high rates of farmer suicides, and that Farm Aid was receiving letters from family farmers saying the banks had “called in their loans”, even though “we had never missed a payment”. Was this just a veiled land grab for fertile lands, or to intentionally bankrupt independent family farmers?

It was so inspiring years ago when Michelle Obama planted an organic garden at the White House. It was a great precedent for the future, but what happened? It was ruined when they discovered sewer sludge from previous Administrations had contaminated their beautiful soil where the organic vegetables were planted. Just one small upset but it was remedied for future plantings. What about our whole country’s organic food supply being contaminated by previous Adminstrations’ bad choices? Why did they ever allow Monsanto to introduce genetically engineered seeds into our pure, organic, and heirloom stockpiles across America in the first place?

Recently, the Obama Administration, in an effort to boost food exports, signed joint agreements with agricultural biotechnology industry giants, including Monsanto, to remove the last barriers for the spread of more genetically modified crops.

But in this recent lawsuit filed by the Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, it was argued that a previous contamination of a “genetically engineered variety of rice”, named Liberty Link 601, in 2006, before it was approved for human consumption, “extensively contaminated the commercial rice supply, resulting in multiple countries banning the import of U.S. rice.” The worldwide economic loss was “upward to $1.285 billion dollars” due to the presence of GMOs…

What are everyday Americans going to do to turn it around, to get rid of Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and its dangerous threat to America’s heirloom and organic seed caches?

There is high rate of cancer in America, and eating healthier, especially organic foods, has been shown to have great benefits in beating cancer and other diseases. When we have Agribusiness threatening independent family farmers, which leads to the farmers feeling so scared that they don’t even plant their organic crops that Americans need, then perhaps we can all see what the 99% Occupy Movement is trying to say about their conflict of interest and seemingly abuse of powers.

Willie Nelson just released a new poem on You Tube: “We stand with Humanity, against the Insanity, We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for… We’re the Seeds and we’re the Core, We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for; We’re the ones with the 99%.”

Monsanto’s practices are a clear example of the wrong direction that the 99% want our country to go in. How about shining some light on Monsanto, and before it is too late, realize the dangers of genetically modified seeds which are contaminating the world’s food supply.

“Crazy, crazy for feeling so…… 99% .



Natural Protection from H1N1

  • February 24, 2012 7:41 pm

There has been a lot of hype in recent years about the potential for a global viral pandemic. SARS, avian flu and West Nile virus are examples from the recent past that could have had far worse consequences than what actually occurred. Now it’s H1N1, the latest version of swine flu, that is the big concern. Indeed, there is no doubt that sooner or later we may be facing a major epidemic similar to what occurred in 1918, or even worse. There are many environmental, social and economic factors that make such a possibility increasingly more likely with each passing year. However, there are solutions to this problem. Unfortunately, most of the approaches that have been adopted by mainstream medicine and governments around the world are only marginally effective and don’t address the root causes of the problem. A number of factors have led to the development of new strains of viruses. There is evidence that the overuse of some pharmaceutical drugs encourages the mutation of viruses. Increased global travel is an obvious avenue for microbes to spread into regions where they formerly did not exist. Global warming has resulted in milder winters in temperate regions. Colder winter temperatures tend to decrease the spread of infectious diseases, warmer winters less so. Habitat destruction can create conditions which increase the likelihood that viruses jump from other species to humans. This can result from exposure of human populations to viruses that were formerly limited to remote regions. Viruses are also more likely to mutate and jump from one species to another when populations of their traditional host species are in decline, another result of habitat destruction. Food markets in countries where there is a common practice of eating wild animals, such as in many parts of Africa and Asia, are areas where new strains of viruses often emerge. In these environments there are many species of animals that wouldn’t normally come in contact with each other. The animals are caged in unhealthy and stressful conditions in close proximity to each other and other domestic species. Stressed animals are less likely to be able to resist infection when they are exposed to novel pathogens, making it easier for a virus to infect a new species. Any viruses that are able to survive in these immune compromised animals will rapidly mutate to become better adapted to infecting the new species. Of course the most common animals in these markets are humans, many of whom may also be immune compromised from living in unhealthy or unsanitary conditions. They can easily become suitable hosts for pathogens to develop the capacity to infect humans. The normal approach to treating these kinds of health concerns has been through the use of drugs, vaccines, and attempting to destroy intermediate host populations, such as mosquitoes. None of these approaches are very effective. There are few effective antiviral drugs and those that are available tend to be very expensive and associated with significant toxicity and side-effects. The more they are used, the more rapidly viruses develop a resistance to them, while new drugs takes years to develop and are very expensive. In addition, viral infections are often treated with antibiotics. Not only are antibiotics ineffective against viral infections, the misuse of these drugs promotes the development of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, organisms that traditionally are controlled by these drugs. In my opinion, vaccination programs such as influenza shots are generally a waste of money. Most of these viruses mutate so fast that new strains can evolve within a couple of months, yet vaccines take many months to develop and produce. Usually by the time the vaccine is available, the virus has already mutated. Public health professionals tend to promote fear among the general population as a means of advocating their programs. They often portray the risks as being many times greater than they really are. This approach is counter-productive since fear is one of the most powerful immune suppressors. A fearful population will be more susceptible to illness. In reality, the majority of people who are exposed to these viruses will not get sick. Most of those who do will only experience mild to moderate ‘flu-like symptoms. Only an extremely small minority of the population is likely to develop serious complications. Rather than handing over billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies to pay for ‘flu shots, it makes more sense to identify the high risk populations and address the reasons why they are at risk. Factors That Weaken the Immune System The main reason for the variability in response to infection among the general population has to do with immune function. Individuals most likely to develop more severe symptoms are those with undeveloped or compromised immune function such as infants, seniors and the chronically ill. People who live in poverty are also at risk because they tend to be malnourished. If we focus on identifying and remedying those factors that lead to compromised immune function, we can put together an action plan that will lead to an increased resistance to these viruses, both in the general population and in higher risk groups. There are also many herbs and other natural health products that, if used correctly, can help to optimize immune function. The major factors that lead to compromised immune function primarily result from poor lifestyle choices and the kinds of environmental and psychological stress factors that are common in our society. Some of these include: Poor diet – especially if it over-emphasizes heavily processed, chemically laden foods and insufficient consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Exposure to chemical pollutants in the environment, workplace and home, such as heavy metals, chemical solvents, air pollution, agricultural chemicals and household cleaning products. Regular use of social and pharmaceutical drugs – which include caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and all hard drugs, and pharmaceuticals. Lack of exercise. Most people should get at least one hour of mild to moderate exercise per day (such as walking) and a minimum 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic workout three times per week. Insufficient sleep. Most adults require eight to nine hours per day, teenagers and children need more. Too much stress. Exercise and sleep can help reduce stress, but most people in our society are so overstressed that some kind of stress management program is necessary. Disciplines such as tai chi, yoga or meditation are helpful, as is spending time in nature. We also need to stop buying into the mindset that we have to be accessible 24/7. People in our society need to learn how to create boundaries and allow themselves some quality time to nurture themselves. Negative emotions. These days anger, fear, frustration, envy and hatred are more common than happiness, contentment, compassion and love. Vaccinations. This is a very controversial subject. Although childhood vaccinations may provide some protection from the viruses they are intended to treat, many are not as effective as the medical establishment would have us believe, and there is growing evidence that vaccinations may lead to depleted immune function. This can increase the likelihood of infection from other illnesses or the development of chronic and autoimmune conditions later in life. Part of the problem is that the immune system of infants and young children isn’t developed enough to handle large amounts of viral antigen or the many chemicals included in vaccines injected directly into their blood. In my opinion, most vaccinations are unnecessary, however there are a few for which there may be a stronger case. Ultimately this is a personal choice. It is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Let the facts guide your decision, not the hysteria that is propagated by extreme factions on either side of the argument. One thing I do recommend, however, is that for those who do decide to vaccinate, put it off until your children are four or five years old. By that time their immune system will have developed a bit more. I also recommend utilizing immune enhancing protocols for some time prior to and after vaccinations. Immune Strengthening Herbs and Nutrients Now let’s look at some of the protocols you can use to boost your immune response and increase your resistance to viral and other infectious diseases. The first thing to consider is that herbs and other natural health products are valuable health-promoting aids, but they are no substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. If we don’t practice preventive medicine, and instead wait until the symptoms of illness have arrived, then the impact of these supplements will be limited and eventually they will become less effective. There are many essential nutrients that are directly or indirectly important for proper immune function. B vitamins are especially important for helping us deal with stress. For maximum effectiveness they should be taken alongside a good mineral supplement. In the mineral department, of particular importance for the immune system are calcium, magnesium and zinc. Antioxidants are also very useful. They include vitamins A, C, D, E and the minerals selenium and manganese. There are also many other important antioxidant nutrients that support immune functioning. These include the carotenes, flavonoids and other polyphenols such as those found in green tea, grape seed, pine bark and various berry extracts. The best food sources of immune-enhancing nutrients are fresh fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms. There are also many herbs that can be helpful as well. Immune stimulant herbs can boost immune functioning in the short term. They may also be used to treat infections in progress. Some of the most versatile immune stimulants include the various species of purple coneflower root and herb (Echinacea spp.), plantain herb (Plantago spp.), elecampane root (Inula helenium), pot marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis), boneset herb (Eupatorium perfoliatum), black elder flower (Sambucus nigra), stinging nettle herb (Urtica dioica) and goldenrod herb (Solidago spp.). To support immune function, combine three or four of these herbs and take them three to four times per day for one to two week intervals. For best results, this should be repeated once or twice, each time after a one to two week break. This protocol can be used to help boost your immune response, which can prevent illness or lessen the severity if you do get sick. Virus-Fighting Herbs There are many herbs that attack viruses directly, which can be used together with immune stimulants by anyone who contracts the ‘flu or some other viral infection. Some of the immune stimulants mentioned above are also antiviral, including purple coneflower, pot marigold and black elder. Other important antiviral herbs include yarrow herb (Achillea millefolium), hyssop herb (Hyssopus officinalis), lemon balm herb (Melissa officinalis), St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) marjoram herb (Origanum majorana), oregano herb (Origanum vulgare), heal-all herb (Prunella vulgaris), rosemary herb (Rosmarinus officinalis) and blue vervain herb (Verbena hastata). If you think you might have influenza, combine two to three herbs from among the immune stimulants with two to three herbs from the antivirals. It is important to begin taking the herbs as soon as you think you are getting sick. Take your formulation four to six times per day until you are better. Deep Acting Immune Tonics Another group of herbs that help to improve and optimize immune function are the immune tonics. These herbs are deeper acting than immune stimulants, but take longer to work. They include North American ginseng root (Panax quinquefolius), lacquered polypore or reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), artist’s conk (Ganoderma applanatum), Chinese milkvetch root (Astragalus membranaceus) and Siberian ginseng root (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Combine two or three immune tonics and take them three to four times per day for two to three months. Immune tonics are not suitable for treating infections in progress. They are used for preventive purposes or to optimize immune function and work best after first doing several cycles of immune stimulants. Dosages and Recommendations Vitamin and nutritional supplements should be taken with meals, whereas herbs should always be taken on an empty stomach, preferably 10 to 15 minutes before meals and 20 to 30 minutes before bed. Herbs are best taken in tincture form, especially tinctures made from fresh plants. However, some of these herbs are also fairly effective when taken as a tea. The dosage of tinctures depends on their strength. Follow the directions of whatever products you are using. If you are combining single tinctures, the dosage of your whole formulation will be similar or slightly higher than the recommended dosage of your individual herb tinctures (i.e. if the recommended dosage for the individual tinctures is 25 drops, the dosage of your entire formulation should be about 25 to 30 drops, not 25 drops of each tincture). If you are making a tea, use two to three teaspoons of your combination of herbs (not each individual herb) for each cup of tea and steep it in a covered container for 10 to 15 minutes. A Better Strategy for Public Health If our health care system were to stop the fear mongering and invest a similar amount of money for proper health education and other appropriate preventive social and environmental measures, instead of what is wasted every year financing vaccinations for the ‘flu, the result would be a significant decrease in the impact of influenza and other viral infections, and improvement in the overall health of all sectors of our population. This would lead to significant savings in health care costs and the quality of health care in Canada would increase with a net reduction in costs. When it comes to health care, it’s time that governments look at the big picture, instead of spending money on expensive band-aids while sweeping the real issues under the carpet. Fortunately, to a large degree we have the ability to educate ourselves and take our health into our own hands, instead of waiting for someone else to solve our problems for us. It requires an acceptance of our personal responsibility to ourselves, our families and our environment. We are fortunate to live in a country where we have the freedom to make these choices and the resources to implement them. Use them wisely! Michael Vertolli is a traditional clinical herbalist practising in Vaughan (just north of Toronto). He is the Director of Living Earth School of Herbalism which offers introductory classes, certificate and diploma programs. For more information contact: Living Earth, 10971 Jane Street, Maple, Ontario L6A 1S1, phone (905) 303-8723, website:



Pomegranate extract

  • November 28, 2011 12:56 am

Punica Granatum

The lovely and delicious pomegranate fruit reminds us of the lush gardens of Andalucia, Spain. The name comes from Pomme de Granada, “apple of Granada” it was thought to have originated there. Granada’s coat-of-arms still displays the picture of this exotic fruit. In ancient times, pomegranate fruit was regarded as a symbol of fertility due to the round shape, and abundant seeds. Recently however, science has discovered important compounds, which indicate its benefits, transcend ancient symbolism.

Pomegranate extract is primarily composed of alkaloids and polyphenols. The active constituent that appears to be responsible for its multiple health benefits is Ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a naturally occurring phenolic compound found in several fruits and nuts. Pomegranate extract has demonstrated a variety of beneficial functions including antioxidant and anti-viral activity. In 1996, a Nottingham, PA University research team learned that pomegranate extract could destroy several viruses nearly on contact. The discovery of this anti-viral activity instigated further experimentation and clinical trials. One study confirmed that Ellagic acid effectively protects cells from damaging free radicals. Additional phenolic compounds found in pomegranate known as anthocynadins (also well known scavengers of free radicals) combine synergistically with Ellagic acid to greatly augment pomegranate’s potency as an antioxidant.

Of great importance is the pomegranate extracts potential use as a chemo-preventive agent. Initial experimentation by Stoner and Mukhtar showed that Ellagic acid decreased the number of chemically induced lung tumors by 44-75%. Mukhtar further illustrated that topical application of Ellagic acid provided protection against chemically induced skin tumors.

Ellagic acid has several mechanisms of actions by which it exhibits its chemo-preventive properties. Research by Barch et al. Demonstrated that Ellagic acid could actually bind to DNA, thus preventing its carcinogenic alteration. Additionally, Ellagic acid has been shown to induce the production of phase 11 detoxification enzymes through its manipulation of gene expression. With an increased concentration of these enzymes, various tissues ability to detoxify harmful compounds is augmented. Finally, Ellagic acid was found to be a potent inhibitor of tyrosine protein kinase, a molecule whose activity has been associated with the ability of certain viruses to transform normal cells into cancerous cells.

At GMA we constantly look for new, promising botanical extracts, and are pleased to offer three Pomegranate extracts standardized to 5%, 10%, and 40% Ellagic acid.


Source  –

Iron supplements cause more harm than good

  • November 1, 2011 4:35 pm

For the last several decades, iron supplements have been routinely handed out like candy. Because iron is a basic requirement for cell growth and longevity, it is often assumed that people should supplement with extra iron. However, this faulty belief may carry serious health risks.

In one Finnish study of more than 2,000 individuals, researchers found that stored iron was more strongly linked to heart attack risk than either high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It is believed that women who menstruate regularly are less likely to experience heart attacks because iron levels are reduced by the loss of blood each month. The same line of logic explains why men who donate blood regularly also experience fewer heart attacks.

High levels of iron are linked to more than just heart attack risk:

- One study showed that iron supplementation disrupted the balance of gut flora in children. Children who were given iron supplements showed an increase in harmful bacteria and a decrease in beneficial bacteria.

- Research indicates that lower levels of iron can actually be protective against infectious disease, leukemia and lymphatic cancers.

- Other studies demonstrate that iron produces free radicals which accelerate the aging process.

It is easy to see why high iron is a common problem these days, when you consider that the modern diet is heavy in muscle meats and countless foods which contain added iron. Typical staples in the American diet – such as breads, pastas and cereals – are required by federal law to be enriched with added iron. In addition, iron is also present in many multivitamin and mineral supplements.

A common misconception is that anemia is directly linked to iron deficiency, so iron supplements are often the first line of defense when anemia is suspected. However, anemia can be caused by other factors as well, such as reduced thyroid function and vitamin B12 deficiency. Supplementing iron in these cases is unnecessary and can exacerbate the problem by not treating the true underlying issue.

It is far more logical to recommend iron supplementation only when tests show an actual deficiency in iron. Using hemoglobin or red blood cell tests to determine iron deficiency may not only be inaccurate, but could be harmful if iron supplementation is given when it is not needed. Even when a true iron deficiency exists, it is safer to eat foods naturally high in iron than rely on supplements.

Sources for this article include:…………

About the author:
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:…