Marion Institute Blog
by Zoe Hansen-DiBello - Grow Education Coordinator
Did you know that Carney Academy public school in the heart of New Bedford had a greenhouse? It hasn't been used by students in over 20 years but that will all change next month. The greenhouse has been gaining support and excitement among teachers, families and the community these last few months. The renovation started with a beautiful new floor, donated and installed by CertaPro Painters of Fairhaven. Teachers are eagerly signing up their students to start seedlings and a team of this year's Leadership SouthCoast cohort has chosen Carney's greenhouse revival as their community project and the support keeps growing!
To make the revitalization even more exciting, Grow Education would like to help beautify the space with some local art. Just a month ago I met Tracy Silva Barbosa, a native New Bedford Artist whose paintings and glass sculptures are collected world wide. Tracy has also fallen in love with the potential in Carney's Greenhouse Project and wants to contribute her gift to create an original illuminated mural. This would be a benchmark work of true art and its beauty will reverberate far wider than just the school walls - a first of its kind in New Bedford.
To complete this magical community-inspired project, we need your help. Visit the project's Go Fund Me website for more information about the Carney Greenhouse Project, Tracy and support her efforts in any way you can. All contributors over $250 will have the option to have their name sandblasted on a glass panel of the greenhouse wall and join us for the grand opening in June! Help us make reach our goal with a gift today!
by Dr. Kurt Tischhauser | Paracelsus Clinic, Switzerland
You have surely heard controversial statements regarding the necessary or even unnecessary intake (supplementation) of vitamins. Is there ever really a shortage? Or why do we need more vitamins now than in the past? After all, we eat enough "vitamin-rich" foods! The answer is very clear: "Yes - we need them!"
What are vitamins and what effect do they have?
Vitamins translated is "life substances", which makes it abundantly clear that we cannot survive without them.
Vitamins cannot be produced by the body itself, we have to rely directly on the intake from food - provided that it contains enough! The exception is vitamin D3, which is formed in the skin by the sun's rays from cholesterol, stored transiently in the liver and then activated in the kidneys. There are no cells and no metabolic processes which do not rely on vitamins.
Here is an overview in brief:
· Vitamin A
Contained in carrots, potatoes, milk, eggs and liver.
Important for vision, bone growth, skin and mucosal protection, production of immune system antibodies
· Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12)
Found in animal products (applies especially to B12), but also in nuts, lentils and yeast.
Our nerves only work properly with vitamin B, it promotes detoxification and is essential for blood and hormone production
· Vitamin C
Contained primarily in citrus fruits, green vegetables and salads. Arguably the most powerful detoxifying agent for liver and kidney, enormously important for strengthening the immune system, protects endogenous substances against damage and "aging" (antioxidant effect)
· Vitamin D
About 90% of the demand is (or rather should be) formed via UV radiation in the skin, and only 10% comes from food (fish, eggs, liver and cheese). Who does not remember cod liver oil in the winter time ...
D3 is important for bone formation, activation of the immune system, muscles and brain
· Vitamin E
Particularly found in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, safflower oil and potatoes.
Prevents the formation of thrombi (blood clots), protects blood, nerve, and muscle cells (= antioxidant), necessary for preserving fertility
· Vitamin K
There is a vitamin K from plant (spinach, cabbage, broccoli, green tea) sources and one derived from animal (liver) sources. Our intestine bacteria can synthesize a large part of one´s daily needs.
K1 is primarily responsible for blood clotting; a deficiency leads to an increased tendency to bleeding. K2 is important for bone metabolism.
We have been determining the vitamin content in blood for years and have primarily measured an increasing deficiency of vitamins D3 and B12!
The reasons for this are complex:
- for D3 due to insufficient tanning of the skin (one protects oneself against skin cancer with a high skin protection factor) and the skin's decreased synthesis capacity caused by environmental toxins
- for B12 due to the reduced content in animal products (in livestock itself and through storage and cooling), the generally reduced meat consumption and the lowered absorption in the intestine (our intestines suffer from the effects of pollution).
Measurably, we rarely find a deficiency of the other vitamins ... but we still recommend a moderate intake. Since our organism is increasingly burdened with environmental toxins, this leads to increased formation of body-damaging oxidative degradation products and free radicals. We can reduce these using vitamins, wich are "antioxidants" and also support the body.
Do we need thus additional vitamins, even if we eat well, because the need for "antioxidants" for "detoxification" has increased? Again, as always ... do not exaggerate, more is not always better ... but for those questions you've indeed to come to the right place!
If you would like more information or are interested in becoming a patient, please contact: Barbara Christian, Patient Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 774-553-5324.
Last spring the Paracelsus Clinic broke ground for an urgently needed addition to accommodate its growth. The addition will be able to accommodate 20% more patients. Things are moving along in a very positive direction. On July 11th, they will move into their new building and an official hoping will take place in August. Very exciting!!
To learn more about the Paracelsus Clinic or if you are interested in becoming a patient, please contact Barbara Christian, Patient Coordinator, at email@example.com or call (774) 553-5324.
by Abigail Haines Smith, Biological Medicine Network Manager
With longer daylight hours but brisk temperatures outdoors, March is the perfect month to start spring cleaning! On my list is the usual washing windows and cleaning floors, but most importantly, this is the time when I go through all of my bathroom cabinets to check ingredients and expiration dates, dispose of what I don’t use anymore and reorganize my shelves.
While many people understand the importance of eating organic to avoid chemicals and pesticides, most people do not think about their exposure to chemicals via personal care products. However, these should not be overlooked, because what we use – lotion, deodorant, make-up, sunblock, etc. – is absorbed by our largest organ, our skin, and contribute to our toxic load. In addition, many of these products have a negative environmental impact. Personal care products are highly unregulated and the FDA does not have a pre-approval process for most products.
Parabens are one of the main preservatives used in almost all personal care products. The most commonly found parabens in personal care products are methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isobutyl-, butyl- and benzyl-paraben. Known hormone disruptors, parabens mimic our natural hormones, specifically estrogen, and have been connected with increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems in women, and decreased sperm counts, prostate and testicular cancer in men (care2.com).
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea are additional synthetic preservatives that the American Academy of Dermatologists have established as the primary cause or contact dermatitis (organicconsumers.org).
Because most organic and natural products do not have preservatives, and may expire more quickly than their chemical-laden counterparts, my first step is always to check expiration dates. Organic and natural products can be expensive, so this step always reminds me to think about my next purchase before I make it and only buy what I really need. I also try to think of how I can re-use the container after the product runs out.
Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion, Hand Soap, Face and Body Wash:
The foaming agent in many of these products are Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These commonly used surfactants are well-documented skin, lung and eye irritants. On the cellular level, “a condition known as protein denaturing is another result of exposure to SLS. The chemical structure forms a bridge between the fat and water soluble portions at the cellular level. This reduces or eliminates the cell’s ability to heal itself. Over time, the destruction of cellular tissue is irreversible. New protein is affected during the construction process and existing protein is damaged. When the protein is damaged, the body has to expend extra energy to try to heal the distressed cells" (slsfree.net). There are also concerns in the scientific community that it may have cancer-causing effects based on its interaction with other chemicals.
Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical, is a skin irritant and endocrine disrupter mimicking thyroid and reproductive hormones (huffingtonpost.com). In addition, studies show that triclosan may be contributing to antibacterial-resistant bacteria and “super germs.”
Under U.S. regulations, fragrances in cosmetics (which according to the FDA is, “anything applied to a person’s body to make the person more attractive”) do not need to be individually listed on labels and can be listed simply as Fragrance. This is because of an restriction in the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. "This law is not allowed to be used to force a company to tell “trade secrets.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be “trade secrets” (fda.gov).
Even products labelled “unscented” may have fragrances to mask the smell of other ingredients. Fragrance therefore, as a category is to difficult to define, as it includes complex and varied mixtures of chemical ingredients, but has been widely linked to allergic reactions, skin irritation and respiratory problems. I look for products that explicitly state that they do not contain synthetic fragrances or voluntarily list their individual components of their fragrance.
In addition to fragrance and parabens, products frequently contain phthalates, a group of chemicals known to be endocrine disrupters. The most commonly used phthalate in personal care products are diethyl- and dimethyl-phthalate, which have been linked to reproductive birth defects as well as an increased risk of breast cancer (sciencedaily.com and huffingtonpost.com). Because phthalates are commonly used in fragrances, they fall under the same labelling protections from the FDA and are frequently not listed on the ingredient lists.
Many exfoliating soaps and scrubs contain microbeads, tiny plastic pieces that are especially detrimental to the environment of our lakes, rivers and streams. These tiny beads are too small to be filtered out in the water treatment process and are ending up in our fresh water, where fish ingest them as they look like food. The plastics are killing fish and scientists suggest that the chemicals could be passed to humans and wildlife as well (npr.org).
There are many concerning ingredients in toothpaste. SLS (described above) and microbeads are frequently in toothpaste, advertised to increase the cleaning and scrubbing power. Functionally, toothpaste just needs to be a paste, but because of the commonly included SLS, most of us expect our toothpaste to create foam or lather when we brush.
Another hotly debated issue is the inclusion of fluoride in almost all toothpastes in the mainstream market. I personally choose not to use toothpaste with fluoride but do understand that it does kill enzymes in the mouth that can contribute to tooth decay. More information about this discussion is available here.
The concerns over sunscreen and sunblock are two-fold, as the active ingredients in most commercial products have been shown to cause health problems and there is a growing debate over whether the public health crisis of Vitamin D deficiency is caused in some part by limited sun exposure.
In addition to often containing the chemicals already discussed, sunscreen and sunblock frequently contain two or more of the following chemicals: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Some of the health effects linked to these chemicals include allergic reactions, hormone disruption, increased risk of endometriosis and decrease in sperm production (ewg.org). The Environmental Working Group website has a very good list of the active ingredient toxicities of these chemicals.
Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is now considered a global public-health problem, affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide and resulting in increases in many diseases including rickets, osteomalacia, skeletal diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, infections and cognitive disorders (medicinenet.com). Our body needs sunlight in order to produce Vitamin D. Our culture is increasingly spending more time indoors and when we do go outside we are fearful of developing skin cancer, so apply sunscreen. Therefore our skin rarely is exposed to the sun's rays.
Personally, when spending time outdoors, I expose my skin to the sun for about 20 minutes and then either find shade, put on a hat and cover-up - or if I can’t help but be in the sun, apply a mineral-based sunscreen.
Also used in other personal care products, synthetic colors and dyes are very common in makeup and cosmetics. Synthetic colors are labelled FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and number. Synthetic colors have been linked to cancer as well as ADHD in children (organicconsumer.org and huffingtonpost.com)
Important to note, in addition to the chemicals previously discussed, an increasing number of foundations, lip balms and powders now include sunscreen as an active ingredient.
Nail polish specifically is made up of some surprisingly dangerous chemicals including formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate, a mix of toxic chemicals known to be carcinogenic and have detrimentally effects on immune, respiratory and nervous system functions (rawlifecoaching.com). While we are not necessarily “absorbing” these chemicals through our skin as we do with other personal care products, many women absent-mindedly put their fingers near their mouth or may even bite their fingernails while wearing nail polish. I became especially concerned with nail polish chemicals watching my now 10 year old niece’s interest in nail polish begin at just a 3 years old when she still put her fingers into her mouth frequently.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirants:
Many of the chemicals explained above are also in most deodorants and antiperspirants, including high amounts of frangrances. The difference between the two products is that deodorant neutralizes or masks armpit odor, while antiperspirant containing aluminum, clogs your pores so that you do not sweat. Dr. Joseph Mercola explains, “Not only does this block one of your body's routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on” (mercola.com). Studies have shown an increase in aluminum in the breasts of women with breast cancer, causing discussion of whether antiperspirant may increase your chance of developing breast cancer. Dr. Mercola’s article provides a great review of this argument.
These are some of my quick tips and are by no means an exhaustive list of all of the potential harmful chemicals. The Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep website is a wonderful resource to research the ingredients in your favorite products.
Read the ingredients when you dispose. Most organic products can be composted or flushed down the toilet. However, if the product has chemicals, you don’t want it to end up in your septic tank and leech into the ground water and soil, so unfortunately the trash is the only option.
Rinse containers and try to think of alternate uses for the bottles and jars. For example, I find a lot of use in the garden, using shampoo bottles and spray bottles to mix and apply natural pest control or fertilizers and small jars to save seeds. If you can’t find a second use for your container, check for a recycling symbol and dispose of accordingly.
From the Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Dr. Thomas Rau with Susan Wyler:
Lemony Hummus with Toasted Cumin Seeds
Fresh lemon juice along with grated zest imparts a lovely citrus flavor to the hummus. It makes a fine snack or an excellent dip for a party. Serve with toasted whole wheat pita triangels or cut-up raw vegetables.
Note: The recipe halves easily. If you don't feel like toasting the seeds, simply substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin; you need a little more because the flavor is milder.
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup tahini (Middle Eastern sesame seed paste)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tables extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup warm water
Paprika, sweet or hot to taste
1. In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan once or twice, until they are lightly browned and fragrant., 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and crush lightly, or grind in a spice grinder or mini food processor.
2. Combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and toasted cumin seeds in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup water and puree until smooth.
3. Season with more lemon juice and additional salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature, with a dusting of paprika on top.
By Dr. David A. Jernigan | Hansa Center for Optimum Health
The majority of homogenized, pasteurized, milk in your grocery stores, including Vitamin D milk, two-percent milk, and skim milk, are all harmful. I do not make this statement lightly. It is supported by a plethora of research.
The bulk of this research can be found in a recently published book, written by Robert Cohen. The book is titled, "MILK - The Deadly Poison."
One of America’s leading alternative medicine advocates, Dr. Julian Whittaker, MD, agrees with the fact that we have all been sold a lie from the dairy advertisers. The research is overwhelmingly consistent in verifying the negative effects on the body by the milk we are being sold.
Harmful Effects of Milk
• Milk is actually a poor source of calcium
• It is a milk protein that contributes to Type-1 diabetes
• A hormone in milk is a key factor in all cancer
• The effectiveness of antibiotics is hindered by milk
• Asthma is linked strongly to milk consumption
• Milk is a contributing factor to heart disease
• Pasteurization does not work as completely as thought
• IGF-1 genetically engineered hormone in milk is the key factor in the increased occurrence of childhood cancers
• The FDA admits today’s milk is chemically different (published in the August 24, 1990 issue of Science magazine.)
• Due to the high protein content of milk, it actually promotes calcium loss, so is not a good source of calcium
• Milk allergies cause sinus problems, diarrhea, constipation, behavioral problems
• Milk is the leading cause of chronic ear infections
• Milk contributes to elevated cholesterol, and is linked to osteoporosis, obesity, and high blood pressure
• Milk in recent studies causes a seven-fold increase in breast cancers, and a four-fold increase in prostate cancers.
• Traces of active medicines such as antibiotics, as well as pus and bacteria are found in the same milk you buy at the store
• A protein from cow’s milk actually destroys the beta-cells of the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin.
• It is estimated that 60% of America’s dairy cows have either leukemia, tuberculosis, or the bovine AIDS virus.
Alternative Options to Cow's Milk
Avoid drinking cow’s milk altogether, or at least sparingly from dairies that are beginning to offer hormone-free, organic milk and milk products. Also, a better alternative is to switch to fresh raw goats milk, or switch to almond or rice milk, which is generally available in your grocery store’s dairy section.
Exactly What Are We Drinking?
As gross as it seems, our government allows 1.5 million pus cells per milliliter of pasteurized, homogenized cow milk.
So how much pus do you want with your cereal today? If you are already sick, how bad do you think this pus would be for you to drink every day?
Did you ever wonder why so many people are allergic to dairy? It has been reported that there are about 30,000 different cows’ milk mixed up within each gallon of cow’s milk from your grocery store. Did you ever see the big milk tanker trucks on the highway, with thousands of gallons of milk? How many cows do you think it takes to fill just one of these?
This is important to know, because every cow has its own unique antigen (allergic factor) on the surface of its fat globule, making each cow's milk uniquely perfect for its own calf. These antigens are what people are reacting to in milk.
With the unique antigens of 30,000 different cows in every gallon of milk, the chances of having allergic reactions, to a lesser or great degree, are practically unavoidable.
Every human mother also has her own unique antigen factor on the surface of the fat cells in her milk. This is why an infant fed by a surrogate or wet-nurse can be allergic to the breast milk of one woman and not another.
If you are sick, please think about just choosing either the milk a single cow from your local organic farmer, or get fresh, raw goat milk. Call your local health food stores and/or co-op for sources.
Toxic, Hidden Additives
As if it couldn't get worse, the powerful Dairy Lobbies are petitioning the FDA to let them put Aspartame (NutraSweet) in your milk...BUT...not require the milk producers to put it on the label!
This is an old trick that somehow the powerful Dairy Association has always done...they are not required to list everything that they put into milk products on the label. Consumers believe that they are consuming a wholesome food, however their belief could not be further from the truth!
I know much of the world drinks and eats the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) that is full of NutraSweet (Aspartame) and they think it is fine, but please hear me when I say there is nothing safe or fine about NutraSweet!
This is about corrupt science, allowing the destruction of lives, and the destruction of the brain's ability to think clearly. They say "Trust us, we know what is good for you." Don't believe them!
Unless what you eat is helping the body, it is absolutely harming the body and the mind!
For additional information on this topic, you can read Dr. Mercola's extensive articles on his website www.mercola.com.
For more information, please contact the Hansa Center for Optimum Health.
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