Homeschoolers Sleep Better and Eat Healthier Than Normies

Study finds better sleep, diet habits help homeschoolers counter shortfalls in formal exercise. Homeschoolers see no added health risks over time. 

Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a Rice University study.

A report by Rice kinesiology lecturer Laura Kabiri and colleagues in the Oxford University Press journal Health Promotion International puts forth evidence that the amount of time a student spends in home school is “weakly or not at all related to multiple aspects of youth physical health.”

“Although there may be differences in the health of elementary through high school home-schoolers, those differences don’t seem to change with additional time spent in home school,” Kabiri said. “In other words, staying in home school longer isn’t related to increased health benefits or deficits.”

Earlier this year Kabiri and her Rice team reported that home-schooled students who depended on maintaining physical fitness through outside activities were often falling short.

The flip side presented in the new report should come as good news to parents and students. The study was conducted by Kabiri and colleagues at Texas Woman’s University and the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at San Antonio.

The results from studies of more than 140 children in grades kindergarten through 5, who were tested against statistically normal data for children of their age and gender, accounted for prior published research that showed home-schooled children have less upper-body and abdominal muscle strength and more abdominal fat when compared to public school students. Additional studies also showed that home-schooling benefited sleep patterns, overall body composition and diet.

However, to the researchers’ surprise, these differences in home-schooler health did not appear to be affected either way by increased time in home school.

“Body composition can relate to sleep as well as diet,” Kabiri said. “And as far as muscular health goes, these kids are still active. We’re not saying there’s not an upfront benefit or detriment to their health, but after an initial gain or loss, there aren’t additional gains or losses over time if you’re going to home-school your children for one year or their entire careers. The relationship between their health and the time they spend in home school seems to be irrelevant.”

Article by Rice University. Co-authors of the study are doctoral student Allison Butcher and Associate Professor Wayne Brewer of Texas Woman’s University and Alexis Ortiz, the Berneice Castella Endowed Allied Health Chair in Geriatric Science in the department of physical therapy at UTHealth San Antonio. Read the abstract at https://academic.oup.com/heapro/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/heapro/daz047/5492359.

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Pregnant Women Living Near Fracking Wells Have Higher Concentrations of Metals

Study reveals pregnant women who live near fracking sites had 16 times more aluminum, 10 times more manganese, 6 times more strontium, and 3 times more barium in their bodies.

The Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology last week revealed the findings of a 2016 pilot study that measured pregnant women’s exposure to environmental contaminants in northeastern British Columbia, an area of intensive natural-gas production through hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

The study, directed by Marc-André Verner, a professor at the School of Public Health (ESPUM) of Université de Montréal (UdeM), showed that the women had higher concentrations of some metals, especially barium, aluminium, strontium and manganese, in their hair and urine compared to the general population.

“These results are of concern because a previous study showed that relatively high concentrations of barium, aluminium, strontium and manganese are found in rock samples from B.C.’s Montney Formation, where natural gas is extracted via fracking,” said Élyse Caron-Beaudoin, a post-doctoral researcher at EPSUM and the study’s lead author. “In addition, recent studies analyzing wastewater from fracking generally have shown higher concentrations of the same metals.”

“It’s impossible to say with certainty whether fracking caused the women’s exposure to these metals,” she added, “but our study does provide further evidence that this could be the case.”

Community-initiated studies

Initially requested by people living near the natural-gas production areas, the study was jointly launched by UdeM researchers and the region’s First Nations and public-health authorities. These communities wanted clear answers about how living near natural-gas developments was affecting their health.

“We used data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) to compare trace metal concentrations in the urine and hair of the 29 pregnant women we studied versus the general population,” said Caron-Beaudoin. “However, for some metals we had to use exposure data collected in France, because similar data has never been collected in sufficient quantity in Canada.”

The researchers found that concentrations of manganese in the women’s urine were 10 times higher than in the reference populations. As well, the women’s hair had greater concentrations of aluminium (16 times higher), barium (three times higher) and strontium (six times higher) than in the reference populations in France. Furthermore, barium and strontium concentrations were higher in hair samples from indigenous participants than in those from non-indigenous participants.

Is there a health risk?

At this stage of their investigations, researchers cannot comment on the presence or absence of a risk to human health. Many essential data for this type of toxicological evaluation are still lacking, including epidemiological studies assessing the association between exposure of pregnant women to these trace metals and the adverse effects on children’s health: “We are aware that people would like to have answers right away, but we are only at the beginning of a long process of scientific inquiry,” said Caron-Beaudoin. “Other studies are already underway or being planned to clarify this legitimate issue.”

Pending questions

Data on water quality in the study areas’s Peace River Valley remains scarce and the data that has been collected to date is highly variable. In addition, there’s no systematic water-monitoring program in the region.

A previous study on exposure to volatile organic compounds such as benzene in the same group of pregnant women was published in 2018 in Environment International. Its findings suggested benzene exposure is also potentially higher among study participants, especially indigenous women, than in the general Canadian population.

To learn more, Caron-Beaudoin has returned to the Peace River Valley to recruit a second group of pregnant women so the researchers can measure their exposure to different contaminants. She and her team will also measure concentrations of these contaminants in water and indoor air. In addition, years as part of an epidemiological study, they are assessing the overall health of babies born in the region over the last 10 years.

Article by University of Montreal. About this study:”Urinary and hair concentrations of trace metals in pregnant women from Northeastern British Columbia, Canada: a pilot study,” by Élyse Caron-Beaudoin et al., was published in the online version of the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology in May 2019.

Image from Pixabay.

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Is All Cannabis Use Self-Medication?

By Susan Boskey

Recently I was invited to be on a panel about cannabis use for seniors. In an email exchange with one of the organizers I asked, “Are you referring to recreational or medicinal use?” The response I received back was unexpected. She said, “I see no reason to treat medical and recreational differently. Everyone is using cannabis for medicine whether they realize it or not.”

Really? I have been pondering her response ever since. Seems like this concept has gained traction as a cannabis-culture meme.

First of all, I think her response has something to do with the fact of living in Washington State where both adult-use and medical are legal. What I mean is . . . probably in the 10 states and DC that have legality for both, more people use cannabis than in medical-only states. That’s pretty obvious.

But what’s not so obvious, to me, anyway, is the thought that ALL of these users are using cannabis in an attempt to get better in their own way. That would include those using cannabis products containing an extremely high percentage of THC, say 15+ percent and smoking/using it several times a day and others who go ‘blotto’ to the extent of becoming non-functional on a regular basis.

Self-medicating? Interesting but I’m not so sure it’s true.

I guess it depends on how you define self-medicating. The online Cambridge Dictionary defines it as: “to take medicine or drugs to help you with a condition without asking a doctor”

If someone determines to help a condition they experience by using cannabis, wouldn’t they also want to learn the best ways to use it to accomplish that?

If they don’t have a conscious intent to use cannabis to help their health and wellbeing and consistently use more than necessary to do so, is that an act of medication or potential self-destruction?

Do we give unconscious use of cannabis a high-five pass because it’s cannabis whereas we might not if it were alcohol?

Where do addictive personality traits enter the conversation?

Is the blank-check assertion of self-medication instead cover for denial? Here are some indicators of possible cannabis addiction:

  1. Tolerance and withdrawal
  2. Using more than intended
  3. Unable to cut down or stop use
  4. Lots of time spent getting high
  5. Reduced activities
  6. Continuing to get high despite the problems it causes
  7. Using it to escape from problems
  8. Depending on it to be creative or to relax or enjoy yourself
  9. Choosing relationships and activities based on whether or not you will be able to get high
  10. An inability to attend to daily responsibilities [1]

I have more questions than answers at this point. But what I know for certain is that cannabis is an amazing and beneficial plant and that I am committed to learning and sharing its whole story. In my world every story has at least two sides. Methinks those who paint something as being all one way, may possibly have something to gain by doing so.


Susan is a Certified Cannabis Practitioner and graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectrum of wellness modalities. Her mission today is to intervene in the noise of modern life and help her clients identify and remove stressors that trigger their dis-ease. She personalizes care plans regarding the best cannabis strain, dose and delivery system to address her client’s issue. As a non-physician coach Susan enjoys the added flexibility of also providing protocols for simple lifestyle changes to accelerate the healing process. Visit her website: LifestyleWellnessRx.com 

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Image credit: Pixabay

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What Diet Is Best For You? The One That Makes You Feel Your Best.

By Amanda Warren

If you’re like me, you probably know at least one person who makes horrible dietary choices but still never seems to get sick, looks great, has tons of energy, and is always in a great mood.  In fact, that person may even be you.  Or maybe – once upon a time, that was you.

Many of us learned poor dietary habits from our parents.  Often times, they didn’t know better because they learned poor eating habits from their own parents.  Sometimes they were also misled by whatever diet was being touted by mainstream doctors at the time.

When I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, my mom was one of those parents who tried to stay current on what doctors were recommending.  Her parents had horrible diets, which she later learned and revised only after she went to college.  She wanted my sister and me to learn healthy eating habits when we were young.  This included forcing us to eat green vegetables every night at dinner – whether we liked them or not.

When doctors started recommending whole wheat bread over white bread, my mom started buying less bleached flour-based food products.  Bread, English muffins, bagels, pasta and pancakes often became whole wheat.  It was definitely not as tasty but we adapted.

Like everyone else, though, she was misled by other dietary recommendations.  My sister and I were slim and athletic and we didn’t have any chronic health problems.  But my mom still stopped making us eggs as often because she was concerned about us getting high cholesterol.  She stopped salting our food because there were warnings about salt.  She started buying low-fat milk and cheeses.  She started steaming and boiling vegetables more often than cooking them in oil.  Dinners seemed to become more about pasta than anything else because that was being recommended by doctors.  It seemed like she stopped buying and serving us as much meat too.  Fat was the enemy.

Of course, what we ate was still probably better than what many kids ate while growing up.  Even today, some people do just fine with that kind of diet.  Some people do just fine on vegetarian and vegan diets too.  Everybody is different because every body is different.

Because of health issues I was experiencing a few years ago, my doctor recommended that I try a Keto diet to see if I felt better.  Lots of protein and fat – less carbs including starchy vegetables.  Wow – what a difference.  Not only that – when you start eating this way, it doesn’t take long before you stop craving carbs and sugar.  It’s never a bad idea to have a cheat day once in a while – which I do.  But overall, I feel and look so much better on the Keto diet that I don’t really want to cheat that often.

There is so much information now readily available at everyone’s fingertips that we no longer have the excuse of being enslaved by our parents’ misinformation or bad choices.  Nor should we remain subservient to the often ethically compromised healthcare system and the medical doctors that are often beholden to it. You can easily learn for yourself about new findings that show the benefits of MCT oil, for example, or why it is so essential for the body to have enough hydrolyzed collagen to keep healthy joints and ligaments, as well as healthy skin that keeps you looking your best.

It is essential to begin finding the right combinations for your own body as early on as possible. Far too many people wind up letting their weight and general physical condition get so far out of hand that desperation forces them onto the toxic quick-fix “solutions” of prescription medications, or even the more radical weight loss programs that can have long-lasting negative consequences.

Remember:  Food should be your medicine, not a source of bodily injury.

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“Blue Mind” Docuseries: May 23-26!

By Neenah Payne

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

Did you know that over 75% to 90% of all doctors’ visits are for health problems related to Red Mind? (Download the free 27-page ebook Do You Have Red Mind?)

Wallace Nichols Ph.D., called “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and “a visionary” by Outside Magazine is an entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, voracious idea explorer, New York Times best-selling author, international speaker, loving Dad, strategic advisor, and collaborator.

Dr. Nichols’ experiences as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and non-profit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger and more diverse Blue Movement to inspire a deeper connection with nature through the neuroscience of the human-water connection.

Dr. Nichols’ current focus is on what he refers to as Blue Mind, a powerful new universal story of water and a movement of global proportions.  He communicates the cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual benefits of healthy oceans and waterways.  By connecting neuroscientists and psychologists with aquatic experts and artists, his work is transforming many sectors, including water and food infrastructure; environment and conservation; technology and innovation; health and well-being; education and parenting; arts, architecture and design; real estate and planning; travel and tourism; as well as sports and recreation.

Dr. Nichols has authored more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters, and popular publications; delivered over 300 presentations in more than 30 countries; and reached millions in print, web, radio, podcast, film and television media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among others.

His book Blue Mind: How Water Makes You Happier, More Connected and Better at What You Do quickly became a national bestseller, has been translated to over a dozen languages, and has inspired a wave of media attention and practical applications.

Now you can register for the Free 7-day Blue Mind docuseries at: https://bluemindhealth.com. See the trailer below:

[embedded content]

Blue Mind Movie Sizzle Reel from Working Pictures on Vimeo.

See the interview with Dr. Nichols below:


https://empoweringyouorganically.com/podcast/episode-31/

Blue Mind Health Series: May 23-26

Each episode airs for 24 hours.

Episode 1: Blue Mind Health: Water Is Medicine – May 23 at 12 AM EST — Nichols shows the remarkable human connection to water and the tremendous physiological, emotional, and mental changes that occur when you’re in, on, or around water. Blue Mind can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do.

Episode 2: Blue Mind: A Deep Dive – May 23 at 12 AM EST — Discover the incredible origins of the Blue Mind concept that has already changed lives and brought millions together in a common pursuit of #waterismedicine!

Episode 3: Get Your Blue Mind On: Blue Mind 101 – May 24 at 12 AM EST — Everything you need to know to achieve and apply Blue Mind in your own life right now!  You don’t want to miss this incredible conversation with Dr. Nichols!

Episode 4: A Healing Voyage – May 25 at 12 AM EST — Meet the amazing Special Operations combat veterans who were inspired to transform the health of our planet’s marine resources and use the power of water to heal their minds and bodies as they heal the environment.

Episode 5: A Healing Voyage – The Force Blue Team: Mission Therapy– May 25 at 12 AM EST — You loved the team in “A Healing Voyage”. Discover how Force Blue provides “mission therapy,” for these special men and women by retraining them from combat fighters to our ocean protectors. You won’t be able to get enough of the Force Blue Team!

Episode 6: Blue: 7 Ages of Water – May 26 at 12 AM EST — Discover how water directly influences every stage of your life from birth to death and how you can harness that natural power for better mental, emotional, and physical health right now!

Episode 7: A Flowed State of Calm: Depression and Blue Mind– May 26 at 12 AM EST — The depression epidemic is rocking the world and impacting the quality of life of millions every day. Find out how Blue Mind can help ease the symptoms, manage the disease, and give you back control of your life.



Through a deep and effervescent experience complimented by an e.e. cummings poem, Dr. Wallace Nichols inspires us to engage in a deeper relationship with nature. Using our oceans as the prime example of how insignificant humans can feel while also being unmistakably connected to the spirit of nature, Nichols urges us to embrace our natural surroundings to live robust and full lives.

Dr. Nichols defines “Blue Mind” as “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water, from the color blue to the words we use to describe the sensations associated with immersion.

He knows that inspiration comes sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking — other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he also knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves.

Force Blue Team’s Life-Saving Mission

The Force Blue Team is featured in the visually stunning and inspiring Episode 4 and Episode 5 of the Blue Mind Health docuseries. This will change everything you think you know about our mental well-being and how we take care of our lifeline: the ocean.

FORCE BLUE grew out of a dive trip Jim Ritterhoff and Rudy Reyes took to the Cayman Islands. In the summer of 2015, they traveled to meet their friend Keith Sahm, General Manager of Sunset House  which is the oldest continuously-operated dive resort in the Caribbean. For Ritterhoff and Sahm, experienced recreational divers who’d been reef diving for decades, this was just another week in paradise.

However, for Reyes, a former Recon Marine who had struggled with post-traumatic stress and depression since returning from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the experience was nothing short of life changing! “Here’s this trained combat diver,” Ritterhoff remembers. “One of the best, most highly-skilled individuals you’ll ever encounter underwater. Yet, he’d never seen a fish.” For Reyes, like most dive-trained veterans, diving meant hauling 200 lbs. of gear underwater to destroy potentially dangerous targets in the dead of night. What Cayman offered was transformative.

Reyes immediately proposed another trip so he could bring his recon brothers to experience what he had. However, after a few hours of discussion, the three men hatched a larger plan that included combat divers from all branches of service with marine scientists, conservationists, and journalists. “We saw it as an opportunity to do some good not only for our veterans, but for the planet as well. By starting a program that helps veterans and the marine environment, we’re uniting two worlds,” says Ritterhoff.

FORCE BLUE MISSION: To unite the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine conservation for the betterment of both. To sum it up: “We are so connected to water. If people don’t care about what they’re putting into the ocean, it’s crazy. It’s unsustainable. Every conservationist works hard to bring this to light. Unless you’re seeing it every day, you don’t fully appreciate how our actions have a consequence. We have to act as a team. We have to work locally, regionally, and globally if we’re going to have a positive effect. There really is no excuse anymore.”

Force Blue Saving Florida’s Coral Reefs!

Importance of coral reefs explains why coral reefs are SO vital – and are under SUCH great threat.

This video from the Force Blue Team website shows that the team is working to save Florida’s coral reefs from the disease that began about four years ago. With the help of the Force Blue Team, Florida may be able to save 2,000 corals instead of just 20 or 200. The reefs add over $7 billion to the state’s economy!



Unfortunately 27% of coral reefs are gone and this number could rise to 60% in the next 30 years.  Force Blue says its mission is to change that outcome. The rescue is an urgent task that requires innovation and collaboration between scientists and veterans that has never been seen before.

Sarah Frangman, the Superintendent of the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary says she would like Florida to become a model. She believes that the rescue of the Florida coral reefs can be an example of the kind of teamwork that can be used to save coral reefs elsewhere since this is a global problem.

Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Ocean

Force Blue is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) initiative that unites the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of coral reef conservation for the betterment of both. FORCE BLUE gives former combat divers and SOF veterans the chance to experience and explore one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet and to adapt their training and teamwork to aid in its protection.

Force Blue’s mission is vital for the planet.

The Smithsonian Institution’s Corals and Coral Reefs site points out:

Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic when you consider that reefs cover just a tiny fraction (less than one percent) of the earth’s surface and less than two percent of the ocean bottom. Because they are so diverse, coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea.

Coral reefs are also very important to people. The value of coral reefs has been estimated at 30 billion U.S. dollars and perhaps as much as 172 billion U.S. dollars each year, providing food, protection of shorelines, jobs based on tourism, and even medicines. Unfortunately, people also pose the greatest threat to coral reefs. Overfishing and destructive fishing, pollution, warming, changing ocean chemistry, and invasive species are all taking a huge toll. In some places, reefs have been entirely destroyed, and in many places reefs today are a pale shadow of what they once were.

This CBS News video featuring Force Blue can be seen below:



Film: Mercy, Love, and Grace: The Story of Force Blue

Mercy, Love and Grace: The Story of Force Blue chronicles the nonprofit’s first deployment to the Cayman Islands. It is the story of seven (7) Special Operations combat veterans…two U.S. Reconnaissance Marines, one Air Force Pararescueman, a Navy SEAL, an Army Green Beret, a British Royal Marine and one Combat Medic….each struggling with his own transition back to civilian life, coming together on a mission to preserve the planet and restore themselves.

It is the story of the marine scientists, environmentalists, therapists, and filmmakers who came to instruct them for two weeks, but left having learned their own lessons about sacrifice and service. In the end, Mercy, Love and Grace: The Story of Force Blue is the story of passionate people healing across the divide – and the magic that can still be conjured, even in these partisan times, when we are willing to become one team with one fight.

The moving trailer can be seen below:



Blue Mind: Blue Marble: Our Water World

Dr. Nichols’ research and expeditions have taken him to coasts and waterways across North, Central, and South America, to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe where he continually finds that the emotional connection to waters of all kinds – rather than force or financial gain – is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet.

In each of his talks, Dr. Nichols makes sure that every member of the audience receives a blue marble. At the end of the Organixx podcast, he explained that if the interview had been in person, he would have given each of the interviewers a blue marble.

It is a way to remind people that we live on a big blue marble and that our own health is intimately connected with the health of the oceans, rivers, lakes, bays, creeks, streams – as well as our tap water on which we depend every day for cleaning, flushing, bathing, drinking, and cooking. Our daily lives are TOTALLY dependent on our access to clean water!

Dr. Nichols points out that the waters of the world not only support us physically, but are key to our emotional and mental health – to our Blue Mind.

Credit: Pixabay

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Mount Sinai Study Finds CBD Treats Opioid Addiction By Reducing Cravings and Anxiety

Mount Sinai study finds CBD is effective at treating opioid addiction by reducing cravings and anxiety without harmful side effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) reduced cue-induced craving and anxiety in individuals with a history of heroin abuse, suggesting a potential role for it in helping to break the cycle of addiction, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published May 21 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study also revealed that CBD tended to reduce physiological measures of stress reactivity, such as increased heart rate and cortisol levels, that are induced by drug cues.

The wide availability and use of heroin and prescription opioid medications in the United States during the past decade has resulted in an unprecedented epidemic involving more than 300,000 deaths. Despite this staggering toll, limited non-opioid medication options have been developed. Two of the current options, methadone and buprenorphine, are opioid substitution therapies which work on the same opioid receptors (mu receptors) as heroin and other potent opioid agonists.

These medications, however, carry a stigma as well as their own addiction risk, are mired in tight governmental regulation, and therefore are underutilized by the millions of people diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Such a treatment gap highlights the urgent need to develop novel therapeutic strategies that do not target the mu opioid receptor.

Premium lab-tested CBD products HERE

“To address the critical need for new treatment options for the millions of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic, we initiated a study to assess the potential of a non-intoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals,” says Yasmin Hurd, PhD, the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai and first author of the study. “The specific effects of CBD on cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important in the development of addiction therapeutics because environmental cues are one of the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.”

Previous preclinical work conducted by Dr. Hurd and her lab team at Mount Sinai, in animals with a history of heroin self-administration, demonstrated that CBD reduced the animals’ tendency to use heroin in response to a drug-associated cue. To determine whether the preclinical work could be translated to humans, her lab then conducted a series of clinical studies that demonstrated CBD was safe and tolerable in humans.

The current study used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled design to explore the acute (one hour, two hours, and 24 hours), short-term (three consecutive days), and protracted (seven days after the last of three consecutive daily administrations) effects of CBD administration on drug cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder. Secondary measures assessed participants’ positive and negative affect, cognition, and physiological status.

Through the study, 42 drug-abstinent men and women were randomly assigned to receive either 400 mg or 800 mg of an oral CBD solution or a matching placebo. Participants were then exposed to neutral and drug-related cues during the course of three sessions: immediately following administration, 24 hours after CBD or placebo administration, and seven days after the third and final daily CBD or placebo administration. Neutral cues consisted of a three-minute video showing relaxing scenarios, such as scenes of nature, while drug-related cues included a three-minute video showing intravenous or intranasal drug use and exposure to heroin-related paraphernalia like syringes, rubber ties, and packets of powder resembling heroin. Measures of opioid craving, anxiety, positive and negative affect, and vital signs (skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were obtained at different times during the sessions.

The study team found that CBD, in contrast to placebo, significantly reduced both the craving and anxiety induced by drug cues compared with neutral cues in the acute term. CBD also showed significant protracted effects on these measures seven days after the final short-term exposure. In addition, CBD reduced the drug cue-induced physiological measures of heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. There were no significant effects on cognition, and there were no serious adverse events. The capacity of CBD to reduce craving and anxiety one week after the final administration mirrors the results of the original preclinical animal study, suggesting that the effects of CBD are long-lasting, even when the cannabinoid would not be expected to be present in the body.

Our findings indicate that CBD holds significant promise for treating individuals with heroin use disorder,” says Dr. Hurd. “A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll, enormous health care costs, and treatment limitations imposed by stringent government regulations amid this persistent opioid epidemic.”

Dr. Hurd’s research team is working on two follow-up studies: one delves into understanding the mechanisms of CBD’s effects on the brain; the second paves the way for the development of unique CBD medicinal formulations that are likely to become a significant part of the medical arsenal available to address the opioid epidemic.

Article published by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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Eating Cholesterol and Eggs Does Not Increase Risk of Strokes

A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that a moderately high intake of dietary cholesterol or consumption of up to one egg per day is not associated with an elevated risk of stroke. Furthermore, no association was found in carriers of the APOE4 phenotype, which affects cholesterol metabolism and is remarkably common among the Finnish population. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Findings from earlier studies addressing the association of dietary cholesterol or egg intake with the risk of stroke have been contradictory. Some studies have found an association between high dietary cholesterol intake and an increased risk of stroke, while others have associated the consumption of eggs, which are high in cholesterol, with a reduced risk of stroke.

For most people, dietary cholesterol plays a very small role in affecting their serum cholesterol levels. However, in carriers of the apolipoprotein E phenotype 4 – which significantly impacts cholesterol metabolism – the effect of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol levels is greater. In Finland, the prevalence of APOE4, which is a hereditary variant, is exceptionally high, with approximately one third of the population presenting as carriers. Yet, research data on the association between a high intake of dietary cholesterol and the risk of stroke in this population group has not been available until now.

The dietary habits of 1,950 men aged between 42 and 60 years with no baseline diagnosis of a cardiovascular disease were assessed at the onset the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, in 1984-1989 at the University of Eastern Finland. APOE phenotype data were available for 1,015 of the men participating in the study. Of those, 32% were known carriers of APOE4.

During a follow-up of 21 years, 217 men were diagnosed with stroke. The study found that neither dietary cholesterol nor egg consumption was associated with the risk of stroke – not even in carriers of APOE4.

The findings suggest that moderate cholesterol intake or daily egg consumption are not associated with the risk of stroke, even in persons who are genetically predisposed to a greater effect of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol levels. In the highest control group, the study participants had an average daily dietary cholesterol intake of 520 mg and they consumed an average of one egg per day, which means that the findings cannot be generalised beyond these levels. One egg contains approximately 200 mg of cholesterol.

In this study, about a fourth of the total dietary cholesterol consumed came from eggs. Furthermore, the generalisability of this study is also weakened by the fact that the study population did not have a pre-existing cardiovascular disease at baseline and the size of the study population was relatively small. Therefore, the findings of the study should be verified in a larger cohort as well as in people with a pre-existing cardiovascular disease, who are currently advised to limit their intake of cholesterol and eggs.

Article by University of Eastern Finland. Anna M. Abdollahi, Heli E.K. Virtanen, Sari Voutilainen, Sudhir Kurl, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Jukka T. Salonen, Jyrki K. Virtanen American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online May 16, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz066

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

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Invitation to 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade!

By Neenah Payne

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

Note: Natural Blaze does receive commissions from sales related to some of the products or services mentioned and linked to in this article.


Jeffrey Smith’s life-changing film Secret Ingredients is free online now until May 22.

Free Film “Secret Ingredients” May 15! explains why the film is so important for everyone.

You can see the film at: https://freeshowing.secretingredientsmovie.com/screening/watch/

The site offers you a rare opportunity to participate in a powerful 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade!

Two Shocking Organixx Podcasts

Jeffrey Smith was interviewed in the following two shocking Organixx podcasts:

Jeffrey is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. Masters of Health Magazine named Jeffrey the 2017 Person of the Year for more than two decades of work in 45 countries exposing how biotech companies mislead policymakers and the public and put the health of society at risk.

Jeffrey has counseled government leaders and healthcare practitioners from every continent. He has been quoted by thousands of news outlets including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Time Magazine. He appears on influential radio and television programs, including the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy Now, The Doctors, and the Dr. Oz Show.

Jeffrey is the author of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating. His DVD Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year, and inspired millions to choose healthier non-GMO foods. Jeffrey is the author of the 2017 book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

Jeffrey’s film Secret Ingredients is available on Amazon Prime for rent and purchase.

People Often Heal Very Fast on an Organic Diet!

In the podcasts, Jeffrey explains that people are shocked to learn how QUICKLY so many people have been able to get better from very serious illness JUST by switching to organic foods! Viewers of the film become inspired to change their own lives – but sometimes don’t know what steps to take.

So, below the film is a link that invites you to do the 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade. Jeffrey explained that a growing number of doctors are now prescribing organic diets for their patients. We are going through a Paradigm Shift that is not being reported in the corporate media. However, organic food is the fastest-growing segment of the food industry as more and more people choose health.

The 2017 USA Today article “Organic food is pricier, but shoppers crave it reports”:

After an 8.4% sales increase from the previous year and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, it looks like organic food is growing into a normal part of American life. Organic food sales are setting records as more mainstream Americans fill their shopping carts with everything from eggs to gummy fruit snacks…organic food is among the faster-growing categories in supermarkets…Organic food producers, which now includes giants such as General Mills, are capturing more consumers.

Help Create a Non-GMO Organic World

See the exciting introductory video with Jeffrey at: https://secretingredientsmovement.com/.

The Secret Ingredients film shows that GMO foods are making people sick. It explains that there is a direct correlation between the introduction of GMO foods in the 1990s and the sudden epidemic of chronic illnesses in children and adults.

Jeffrey explains in the Organixx podcasts that our food supply and health are increasingly at risk now because of the spread of GMO crops. Once a plant is genetically-modified, it cannot be reversed.

Jeffrey says in his video introduction that his goal is to create a Non-GMO Organic World!

You can join the 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade and help spread the word! The 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade is a rare opportunity to help yourself, your family, friends, and co-workers learn easy ways to make a huge upgrade in health. People often feel powerless, that there is little they can do to help make the world a better place. Doing the Lifestyle Upgrade is an easy way to be part of the solution now! You can empower yourself and others – just as people shown on the film have done. Imagine a more disease-free life for yourself and for those you love. Each person who chooses organic foods now helps support organic farmers. That makes organic foods more available and lowers the price so more people can afford them. You can help fuel this positive cycle to solve this growing national health epidemic now.

Discount Until May 25

The 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade includes the GMO Summit that Jeffrey co-produced with John and Ocean Robbins and the 2019 Food Revolution Empowerment Package and is available at a discount for a limited time.

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Natural Compound in Broccoli Suppresses Cancer Tumor Growth


By Jacqueline Mitchell

Your mother was right; broccoli is good for you. Long associated with decreased risk of cancer, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables – the family of plants that also includes cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and kale – contain a molecule that inactivates a gene known to play a role in a variety of common human cancers. In a new paper published today in Science, researchers, led by Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, Director of the Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, demonstrate that targeting the gene, known as WWP1, with the ingredient found in broccoli suppressed tumor growth in cancer-prone lab animals.

“We found a new important player that drives a pathway critical to the development of cancer, an enzyme that can be inhibited with a natural compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables,” said Pandolfi. “This pathway emerges not only as a regulator for tumor growth control, but also as an Achilles’ heel we can target with therapeutic options.”

A well-known and potent tumor suppressive gene, PTEN is one of the most frequently mutated, deleted, down-regulated or silenced tumor suppressor genes in human cancers. Certain inherited PTEN mutations can cause syndromes characterized by cancer susceptibility and developmental defects. But because complete loss of the gene triggers an irreversible and potent failsafe mechanism that halts proliferation of cancer cells, both copies of the gene (humans have two copies of each gene; one from each parent) are rarely affected. Instead, tumor cells exhibit lower levels of PTEN, raising the question whether restoring PTEN activity to normal levels in the cancer setting can unleash the gene’s tumor suppressive activity.

To find out, Pandolfi and colleagues identified the molecules and compounds regulating PTEN function and activation. Carrying out a series of experiments in cancer prone mice and human cells, the team revealed that a gene called WWP1 – which is also known to play a role in the development of cancer – produces an enzyme that inhibits PTEN’s tumor suppressive activity. How to disable this PTEN kryptonite? By analyzing the enzyme’s physical shape, the research team’s chemists recognized that a small molecule – formally named indole-3-carbinol (I3C), an ingredient in broccoli and its relatives – could be the key to quelling the cancer causing effects of WWP1.

When Pandolfi and colleagues tested this idea by administering I3C to cancer prone lab animals, the scientists found that the naturally occurring ingredient in broccoli inactivated WWP1, releasing the brakes on the PTEN’s tumor suppressive power.

But don’t head to the farmer’s market just yet; first author Yu-Ru Lee, PhD, a member of the Pandolfi lab, notes you’d have to eat nearly 6 pounds of Brussels sprouts a day – and uncooked ones at that – to reap their potential anti-cancer benefit. That’s why the Pandolfi team is seeking other ways to leverage this new knowledge. The team plans to further study the function of WWP1 with the ultimate goal of developing more potent WWP1 inhibitors.

“Either genetic or pharmacological inactivation of WWP1 with either CRISPR technology or I3C could restore PTEN function and further unleash its tumor suppressive activity,” said Pandolfi. “These findings pave the way toward a long-sought tumor suppressor reactivation approach to cancer treatment.”

Article published by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

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Study: Heavily Processed Foods Cause Overeating and Weight Gain

People eating ultra-processed foods ate more calories and gained more weight than when they ate a minimally processed diet, according to results from a National Institutes of Health study.

The difference occurred even though meals provided to the volunteers in both the ultra-processed and minimally processed diets had the same number of calories and macronutrients. The results were published in Cell Metabolism.

This small-scale study of 20 adult volunteers, conducted by researchers at the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), is the first randomized controlled trial examining the effects of ultra-processed foods as defined by the NOVA classification system. This system considers foods “ultra-processed” if they have ingredients predominantly found in industrial food manufacturing, such as hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, flavoring agents, and emulsifiers.

Previous observational studies looking at large groups of people had shown associations between diets high in processed foods and health problems. But, because none of the past studies randomly assigned people to eat specific foods and then measured the results, scientists could not say for sure whether the processed foods were a problem on their own, or whether people eating them had health problems for other reasons, such as a lack of access to fresh foods.

“Though we examined a small group, results from this tightly controlled experiment showed a clear and consistent difference between the two diets,” said Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D., an NIDDK senior investigator and the study’s lead author. “This is the first study to demonstrate causality — that ultra-processed foods cause people to eat too many calories and gain weight.”

For the study, researchers admitted 20 healthy adult volunteers, 10 male and 10 female, to the NIH Clinical Center for one continuous month and, in random order for two weeks on each diet, provided them with meals made up of ultra-processed foods or meals of minimally processed foods. For example, an ultra-processed breakfast might consist of a bagel with cream cheese and turkey bacon, while the unprocessed breakfast was oatmeal with bananas, walnuts, and skim milk.

The ultra-processed and unprocessed meals had the same amounts of calories, sugars, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates, and participants could eat as much or as little as they wanted.

On the ultra-processed diet, people ate about 500 calories more per day than they did on the unprocessed diet. They also ate faster on the ultra-processed diet and gained weight, whereas they lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Participants, on average, gained 0.9 kilograms, or 2 pounds, while they were on the ultra-processed diet and lost an equivalent amount on the unprocessed diet.

“We need to figure out what specific aspect of the ultra-processed foods affected people’s eating behavior and led them to gain weight,” Hall said. “The next step is to design similar studies with a reformulated ultra-processed diet to see if the changes can make the diet effect on calorie intake and body weight disappear.”

For example, slight differences in protein levels between the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets in this study could potentially explain as much as half the difference in calorie intake.

Over time, extra calories add up, and that extra weight can lead to serious health conditions,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “Research like this is an important part of understanding the role of nutrition in health and may also help people identify foods that are both nutritious and accessible — helping people stay healthy for the long term.”

While the study reinforces the benefits of unprocessed foods, researchers note that ultra-processed foods can be difficult to restrict. “We have to be mindful that it takes more time and more money to prepare less-processed foods,” Hall said. “Just telling people to eat healthier may not be effective for some people without improved access to healthy foods.”

Support for the study primarily came from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

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