Magnesium & Cancer, Chocolate, Sound Healing, Composites or Amalgam? Probiotics
In This Issue:
- Magnesium Cancer Connection
- The Chocolate Rabbit Hole
- Sound Healing
- Dental Composites or Amalgam?
- Probiotics to the Rescue
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Where did February go? Seems like it was washed away in a deluge of rain. Fortunately, I wasn’t flooded here and I haven’t heard of anyone being killed by all the flooding in California, though many had to evacuate their homes. It was an exciting month for sure. And now it is sunny and warm. Spring is in the air. What’s that old saying – March comes in like a lamb and out like a lion? Or was it the other way around? Anyway, we may have a few more storms in store!
I’ve known for a long time that magnesium is a very important, and often lacking, mineral, but the connection between magnesium deficiency and tumor formation was big news to me. Not only that, it can contribute to just about every other health problem common in our modern world. Who knew we could learn so much from an advertisement?
Dark chocolate is one of the few indulgent foods I regularly consume. Having pretty much left wheat, corn, soy, and animal products behind, and of course junk food, there’s not a lot of temptation to binge on desserts. But chocolate is actually a pretty healthy treat, as long as it is good chocolate. However, there are lots of ethical and health issues to consider when buying chocolate, so listen up and buy accordingly.
I also found an interesting article on the science behind sound healing for this month. And a couple of articles on the toxic effects of BPA in dental composites, particularly for kids, along with a solution to the problem in the form of probiotics. Read on to find out all about it.
As always, I would love to hear what you want to read about. Feel free to send requests, suggestions, or any sort of feedback. I appreciate hearing from my readers. Email Bernadette
To your health!
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in our bodies, yet it is also one of the most common mineral deficiencies. That wasn’t always the case, but with modern farming practices and processed food refinement, much of the magnesium in our foods has been stripped away. The result is higher incidence of cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, atheroscleros, chronic pain, dementia, Alzheimer’s, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and depression. In short, magnesium is essential for proper functioning of every cell in your body.
The International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium also states that magnesium deficiency can lead to the initiation and proliferation of cancer, as well as hinder treatment. This is easy to understand since magnesium is used for so many biochemical reactions, affects the stability of cell membranes, and it protects cells from heavy metals, such as mercury and lead.
Cells will wither and die without adequate magnesium. Low magnesium will weaken the cell wall, making your body’s cells vulnerable to invaders and attackers, and several studies have suggested that this can initiate carcinogenesis, which is a fancy word for “cancer formation”.
A study published in the year 2000 found that almost half of cancer patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) had low magnesium levels.
In addition to depleted magnesium in our foods, there are other factors that are working to destroy magnesium, including pharmaceutical drugs and fluoride in our water supply. The article goes on to say:
And part of the soil depletion is due to our friend, Monsanto. Glyphosate, which is a main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, binds magnesium. And it removes 50 percent of what little is left in the soil. Some research suggests that Roundup can have a very long half-life, as much as twenty-two years, in the soil.
Good grief! It’s bad enough that Glyphosate, a suspected carcinogen, is polluting our bodies, but now we find out that it is destroying the precious magnesium in our soil too. And yet it STILL hasn’t been banned. Hard to believe.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
- Eat lots of organic leafy greens, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Support organic farmers by buying organic produce. They don’t use Roundup/Glyphosate.
- Eat unrefined organic whole foods as much as possible.
- Filter fluoridated water with reverse osmosis or the Clearly Filtered pitcher.
- Avoid prescription drugs whenever possible.
- Take a good magnesium supplement like Calm.
- Take Epsom Salt baths.
Warning, the article linked below has graphic photos of rats with tumors resulting from being deprived of magnesium. (I don’t approve of tormenting animals in labs like that, but otherwise, it is a good article.) The article is actually an ad for a magnesium supplement that actually looks pretty good, but there is also a lot of really good information on the page.
I wanted to write about chocolate this month, but going down that rabbit hole is treacherous business. Since Easter, and the ubiquitous chocolate rabbit, is just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time for a chocolate article, but finding the best information on chocolate is not as easy as it looks. There are a few pitfalls to avoid. Make sure the chocolate you eat is both safe and ethical.
On the plus side, chocolate is delicious – and look at all the good things it can do for us in the list below, from goop.com:
- In what may be my favorite study ever done on cortisol, subjects who had 40 grams (1.5 ounces) of dark chocolate per day, for two weeks, showed lowered urine cortisol levels.
- Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure by 2 to 3 points.
- It reduces low density lipoproteins (LDL), total cholesterol, and lowers your risk of heart disease. (More studies on chocolate and cardiovascular health can be found here, here, and here.)
- It increases blood flow to the brain, which helps the brain remain neuroplastic and young. It improves executive functioning—including attention, working memory, cognitive flexibility, problem solving, and planning.
- Chocolate’s antioxidant boost counters the stress of aging and modern life; from a nutrigenomic perspective, cacao interrupts the mTOR pathway, which helps to slow down aging. It reduces the inflammation associated with acute stress. Dark chocolate dilates blood vessels by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme for 3 hours. (The effect may be even more powerful depending on your genetic makeup.)
- A study at Harvard Medical School found that drinking hot chocolate improves brain health and reduces memory loss in people in their seventies.
Read more about the benefits of chocolate – goop.com/the-good-for-you-chocolate-guide/ – but don’t trust the brands listed there unless they meet the requirements of the articles linked below.
There’s a Dark Side to Chocolate
Actually, it isn’t the chocolate itself that is the problem, but the way it is grown and processed.
The chocolate slave trade – http://www.foodispower.org/alerts/fep-alert-02-06-08/ – Do your homework and buy only fair trade chocolate.
And then there’s the cadmium and lead issue. You can find a list of some of contaminated and uncontaminated chocolates here – http://www.asyousow.org/our-work/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/lead-and-cadmium-in-food/ – But remember that many of the “safe” ones may be from plantations that use slaves – and the list doesn’t include all the brands that have cadmium and lead in them. Do a little searching on the Internet and you’ll find more.
When we take all that information into account, it really narrows down the list of acceptable chocolate brands. I just found out that Endangered Species chocolate (which was on the safe list last year) is now on the contaminated list. Very sad!
Looks like raw, vegan, organic chocolate is the best bet on all fronts – http://buychocolategift.org/how-to-find-lead-free-chocolate – or you can buy raw organic cacao powder and make your own chocolate. There are lots of recipes online. If you prefer the waxy texture and snap of commercial chocolate bars, here’s a recipe that looks good – http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/01/15/three-ingredient-chocolate-bars-1/ – Let me know how it goes if you try it.
Sound healing has been used for many thousands of years, from the Australian didgeridoo to Tibetan bells, shamanic rattles and drums to vocal chanting. Many traditions hold that primordial sound created the world and everything in it, so it is not surprising that sound can be used to heal as well as destroy. Its use is even being explored in modern, Western medicine.
Therapeutic audible sound generally employs a constructive sonic principle, but an intriguing possibility exists to use audible sound destructively in order to shrink tumours22, 23. Dr. James Gimzewski, of UCLA California, has taken a novel approach to studying cellular function. He uses an atomic force microscope to ‘listen’ to the sounds emitted by cells. The focus of this new science, which he has named “sonocytology,” is mapping the pulsations of a cell’s outer membrane, thus identifying the “song” of the cell. Gimzewski’s work suggests that every cell in our bodies has a unique sonic signature and “sings” to its neighbours. Sonocytology could be developed into a potentially powerful diagnostic tool for identifying the sounds of healthy cells versus those of injurious ones. It also offers an even more exciting prospect: the ability to play the destructive sounds of rogue cells back to themselves greatly amplified so that, by the simple law of resonance, the hostile cells implode and are destroyed. In this scenario there would be no collateral damage to surrounding cells since healthy cells would not be resonant* with these frequencies.
You don’t have to be a medical doctor to use sound healing, though. Just singing in the shower with the intention of healing your body will uplift your energy. Your own voice can work wonders, and of course it doesn’t have to be in a shower. There are also many instruments you can use to focus healing energy in particular parts of your body, like tuning forks, bells, drums, flutes, stringed instruments, and rattles. If you want to learn more about the science behind it, read the linked article. Or just trust your intuition and use the sounds that attract you. There’s a reason you are drawn to particular sounds. Experiment with bells, drums, and other instruments on different areas of your body. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.
Here’s a disturbing development on the dental front. It turns out that some of the composite materials used in filling teeth may actually be worse than the mercury-silver amalgams! I guess the best thing is never to get any cavities in the first place, but that is pretty rare in our culture. It seems that some composite materials, particularly BPA, are particularly harmful to children.
Research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that some dental composites — long promoted as overall safer than mercury-based amalgams — are having a significant negative impact on the psychosocial functioning of children. In fact, bisphenol-A based dental restorations were found to be worse than mercury-based amalgams when it came to learning impairment and behavioral issues. [i]
The study used data from The New England Children’s Amalgam Trial, which, surprisingly, found that children randomized to amalgam restorations had better psychosocial outcomes than those assigned to bisphenol-A based epoxy resin composites (bisGMA) for tooth restorations. The new analysis aimed to “examine whether greater exposure to dental composites is associated with psychosocial problems in children.”
Share this information with your dentist and discuss the options. New materials are being developed all the time. There is also evidence that probiotics can help prevent the negative side effects of toxic dental materials if you or your child already have them. See next article below.
Aside from offering wonderful support for gut health in general, probiotics can help to destroy environmental toxins in our bodies. Given the massive amount of chemical exposure many of us face every day, we can use all the help we can get to remove toxins from our bodies.
Here’s what greenmedinfo.com has to say about probiotics:
1. Bisphenol A Toxicity: Absorption/Excretion – Bisphenol A (BPA) is an increasingly omnipresent petrochemical derivative with endocrine-disrupting properties (i.e. it messes up your hormones!) and is found in thermal printer receipts, all world paper currency, plastics, and many other consumer goods. Sadly, it is not a matter of whether or not you will be exposed, but to what degree. Enter the probiotics Bifodobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei. In rats exposed to BPA in their diet, blood concentrations of BPA dropped significantly and it was excreted in their feces 2.4 times more readily than the non-supplemented control group. The researchers concluded that the probiotics “…reduced the intestinal absorption by facilitating the excretion of BPA, and that these probiotics may suppress the adverse effects of BPA on human health.”
2. Bisphenol A Toxicity: Degradation – Novel, bisphenol A-degrading bacterial strains were isolated from the traditional Korean fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi. Three isolates of Bacillus pumilus were shown capable of degrading BPA. The researchers reported that these food-derived bacteria would make efficient and safer systems for the removal of BPA. Logically, the consumption of kimchi (or the probiotics extracted from kimchi) would enable a human’s gastrointestinal tract to break down this harmful chemical, as well.
3. Insecticide Toxicity – Here comes kimchi to the rescue again! In 2009, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that the rather nasty insecticide chlorpyrifos (CP), which has been linked to neurological effects, developmental disorders and autoimmune disorders, may be no match for the bacteria that make possible kimchi fermentation. The researchers found the bacteria in kimchi turned CP into lunch (a source of carbon and phosphorous) and degraded it rapidly until day 3 (83.3% gone!) and degraded it completely by day 9! The superheroes in this story were identified as: Lactobacillus brevis WCP902, Lactobacillus plantarum WCP931, and Lactobacillus sakei WCP904. But then things got even more amazing…..
These toxin-muching superheroes were found to degrade four other insecticides:
Coumaphos – Insecticide
That’s pretty exciting news, since we are all exposed to BPA and other insecticides on a daily basis. Kimchi may be a bit too spicy for some of us, but fortunately, these strains of Lactobacillus are available in supplement form. Look for them in the refrigerated section of your natural food store.