Monthly Archives: December 2012

Selenium: tumor reducer or fatigue producer?

seleniumSelenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health, but only required in small amounts. Selenium deficiency can lead to problems such as Keshan disease, gastrointestinal issues such as Crohn’s and impact thyroid function when deficient in iodine as well.

The Natural Standard Research collaboration epidemiological data suggests an association between low selenium levels in humans and the risk of cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Clinical trials have shown that the addition of 200 mcg of selenium may reduce the risk of certain cancers.These studies showed a reduction in breast cancer by 82%, colon and rectal cancer by 69% and lung cancer by 39%. Selenium is thought to stop carcinogenic processes and prevent the formation of tumors. It has antioxidant properties and promotes endocrine balance.

Most people think we can get this from our food, but unfortunately modern farming methods do not remineralize the soil with each planting, and therefore most of the selenium has been used up in previous plantings. So what can we do?  

Of course you can supplement but this is where the danger lies. It can be toxic at high levels and cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, fatigue, mood swings, neurological problems, pulmonary edema, cirrhosis of the liver and death. If your breath smells like garlic and you didn’t eat any, and your nails start peeling, your toxic selenium levels may have already caused irreversible damage. As soon as you experience any of the milder symptoms, seek medical help.

The safe levels of selenium in supplements should contain no more than 200 mcg. Unfortunately FDA testing does not always catch higher dosages contained in some supplements even though the label states 200 mcg. We suggest taking a liquid form of ionic trace-minerals containing selenium to be safe. The one we recommend (and take) is JIVA Endurance. If  for some reason your doctor discovers a large selenium deficiency they may prescribe a specific dosage to add to the trace-minerals.

PS. Don’t forget to get a FREE e-copy of my new book “Think and Feel Younger” Click Here



What foods are GMO in your holiday dinners?

croopAs the reliance on GM seeds expands worldwide, concerns about food supply and  safety continue to escalate. Genetically engineered seeds are identical in  structure, and if a problem affects one particular crop a major crop failure can  result. For example, following the recent failure of three GMO corn crops in  three South African provinces, the Africa Centre for Biosecurity has called for  an investigation and immediate ban of all GMO food.

GM crops also manufacture their own pesticides, which puts further poisons into  humans and soil and may cause unforeseen changes in the environment. Another  concern is that toxins contained in the GMO plants may harm other organisms,  such as monarch caterpillars, bees and birds. The pesticide found in genetically  modified cotton and corn is implicated in the deaths of poultry, cows, horses, sheep and buffalo worldwide.

Make your own decision about GMO but we choose to recommend organic as for now, those farmers are using seeds that are not GMO and can re-seed themselves (supposedly if you harvest seeds from GMO crops, they won’t grow food the next year – you have to buy new seeds???)

High-Risk Crops (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S.  crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

ALSO high-risk: animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because of contamination in feed.

Monitored Crops (those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible; we test regularly to assess risk, and move to “High-Risk” category for ongoing testing if we see contamination):

  • Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
  • Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
  • Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip,      rapini, tatsoi)
  • Curcubita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
  • Flax
  • Rice

Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

You may also be wondering about…

  • Tomatoes: In 1994, genetically modified Flavr Savr tomatoes became the  first commercially produced GMOs. They were brought out of production just a few years later, in 1997, due to problems with flavor and ability to hold up in shipping. There are no genetically engineered tomatoes in commercial production, and tomatoes are considered “low-risk” by the  Non-GMO Project Standard.
  • Potatoes: Genetically modified NewLeaf potatoes were introduced by Monsanto  in 1996. Due to consumer rejection several fast-food chains and chip makers, the product was never successful and was discontinued in the spring of 2001. There are no genetically engineered potatoes in commercial production, and potatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
  • Wheat: There is not currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically  engineered wheat on the market. Of all “low-risk” crops, this is the one most commonly (and incorrectly) assumed to be GMO. It is a key commodity crop, and the biotech industry is pushing hard to bring GMO varieties to  market. The Non-GMO Project closely watches all development on this front.
  • Salmon: A company called AquaBounty is currently petitioning the FDA to approve it’s engineered variety of salmon, which has met with fierce consumer resistance.
  • Pigs: A genetically engineered variety of pig, called Enviropig   was developed by scientists at the University of Guelph, with research starting in 1995 and government approval sought beginning in      2009. In 2012 the University announced an end to the Enviropig program,   and the pigs themselves were euthanized in June 2012.