Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kreidler: Premera doesn't want you to see what's behind your health rates


Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler called out Premera Blue Cross for attempting - again - to gut a bill that would give the public access to health insurance rate filings.

"I'm extremely disappointed in Premera," said Kreidler. "Their latest attempt to gut our legislation is very troubling. What don't they want the public to see?"

Kreidler's proposal (ESHB 1220) makes the information in a health insurance rate filing public shortly after his office receives it. This includes how much of the proposed rate will go to:

  • Pay medical claims
  • Cover administrative costs -- including salaries
  • Profit

Kreidler added, "People who pay their premiums year after year -even when their rates go up - deserve to see what's behind those increases. Today, state law prevents me from sharing that information with the public. Now, more than ever, people struggling to pay for health insurance deserve full transparency."

Under the latest amendment sought by Premera, the public would see only summaries of rate filings, and only for those filings with increases greater than 10 percent. They could not see the entire rate filing.

"Premera's latest attempt to water down transparency is nothing more than a cruel charade on the public," said Kreidler. "Giving people a pre-canned summary of only certain rate filings is meaningless. Washington consumers deserve better."

A vote on the bill could come as early as tomorrow.

Read the full release and see letters of support from two other major health insurers.

It might be heating up in the desert outside, but inside it looks like a monsoon hit, by blogger of the month Justin Levinson

The BGU campus Purim party, in which the idea of
being PC is not an issue

As the March month blogger, this is my last post. Although I imagine that tons of people are reading my posts and loving it, I have to admit that I'm not sure if anyone is actually reading this... I'll stay positive. Nonetheless, what can I write about this week? Since my last post, life's been pretty boring. We're in the beginning of Finals season, so a lot of my time is just spent studying, or at least complaining about studying. Same difference.
 Ok, I think I know what I'll write about... Story time!

 Three days ago, my landlord urgently calls me in the middle of a break in classes. In a combination of bad Hebrew, broken English, and rusty Spanish, we communicate about a plumbing issue. Now, I'm only fluent in one of those languages (I'll let you guess which one), but it seems that water was leaking into the small corner store under my apartment. And, in wonderful Israeli landlord fashion, my landlord lost the key to my apartment and needed me to run back to the apartment to let him see the problem. I was a little late to class after wards, but at least we discovered a clog in the plumbing which nicely gathered all the dirty shower water from me and my neighbors and collected it on my bathroom floor. It's just as lovely as it sounds.

The healthy bruschetta we were
taught to make in the Nutrition
class of Cardiovascular Week.   This was
followed by Cajun chicken and
then Asian salmon salad.
Although the landlord called a plumber, this is Israel, which means the plumber came today (That's 3 days later, for those of you with short term memory). Don't worry, the water in the bathroom slowly drained, but it's been an awkwardly wet few days; especially whenever me or my neighbors did laundry, cleaned dishes, or showered. In case you're curious, my landlord assured me that the toilet plumbing is a completely different set of pipes and in no way connected to the 'balagan.' So today, the plumber finally came and supposedly cleaned it all out. He'll be back tomorrow to finish – whatever that means? I imagine he took a cigarette break half-way and then just called it an Israeli hard day's work.

And while this story might seem amazingly boring to you, I think it highlights a couple good issues you should think about when in Israel:
1.      Don't trust your landlord when he says he called “his guy” to fix something. Call him the next day and every day after wards to make sure he actually did.
2.      Appointments, even for plumbing emergencies, will take a few days. That doesn't mean that the plumbers in B7 are busy, it just means that they don't want to see you for a few days. And no matter how simple the task, they'll spread their work out over as long as possible – which is confusing because they don't get paid by the hour   :/
3.      Quality of life goes down a bit in Beersheva. Flossing my teeth while standing in a dirty puddle of the water I just showered in– been there, done that.
4.      Don't try to make friends with the people, or store, below your apartment. I'm quite alright with the cashier of the store complaining to me about the water damage on his ceiling while I'm buying something. But I sure as hell don't want them knowing that it's my bathroom they're pointing and yelling at.

And then finally, don't sign up to write 4 blogs for the school blog when you have no idea what to write- You'll just end up writing about plumbing problems.  It's been a pleasure writing these blogs for you all. Next up is Jess. You'll like her, I promise. Shalom. - March blogger of the month, Justin Levinson

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dr. Kevin Patterson on Western Diets and Health

A few readers have pointed me to an interesting NPR interview with the Canadian physician Kevin Patterson (link). He describes his medical work in Afghanistan and the Canadian arctic treating cultures with various degrees of industrialization. He discusses the "epidemiological transition", the idea that cultures experience predictable changes in their health as they go from hunter-gatherer, to agricultural, to industrial. I think he has an uncommonly good perspective on the effects of industrialization on human health, which tends to be true of people who have witnessed the effects of the industrial diet and lifestyle on diverse cultures.

A central concept behind my thinking is that it's possible to benefit simultaneously from both:

  • The sanitation, medical technology, safety technology, law enforcement and lower warfare-related mortality that have increased our life expectancy dramatically relative to our distant ancestors.

  • The very low incidence of obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease and other non-infectious chronic diseases afforded by a diet and lifestyle roughly consistent with our non-industrial heritage.

But it requires discipline, because going with the flow means becoming unhealthy.

WA insurance commissioner issues more than $167,000 in fines against insurers

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined insurance companies more than $167,000 for violations including wrongly denying medical claims and overcharging customers.
“It’s important that companies follow the law, and when they don’t, we’ll hold them accountable,” said Kreidler. “Consumers, competitors and the marketplace all rely on insurers following the rules.”
In 2010, Kreidler’s office levied $583,750 in fines. Fines collected by the state insurance commissioner’s office do not go to the agency. The money is deposited in the state’s general fund to pay for other state services.
Fines and disciplinary actions so far this year include:
■Aetna Life Insurance Co., of Hartford, Conn., was fined $65,000 for violations, including unreasonably denying 220 claims for acupuncture treatment. The company also refunded $16,427 to policyholders.

■Ace American Insurance Co., of Philadelphia, Penn., was fined $50,000 for violations, including using rates that it had not filed with the state.

■Progressive American Insurance Co., Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co, and Progressive Max Insurance Co, all of Mayfield Village, Ohio, were fined $30,000 for improperly deducting sales tax and fees from cash value calculations in more than 1,700 auto claims. The company also refunded $415,299 to customers.

■Homesite Insurance Company of the Midwest, of Mandan, N. Dakota, was fined $12,000 for overcharging more than 300 policyholders for renter’s insurance. The policyholders are receiving refunds.

■Austin Mutual Insurance Co., of Maple Grove, MN, was fined $10,000 for issuing insurance policies that weren’t in accordance with the rates it had filed with the state. As a result, 324 policyholders were overcharged a total of $26,200. The company also agreed to refund the overcharges to policyholders within 60 days.

■Doctors and Surgeons Benefit Association, of Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies; and several related entities were ordered to stop selling unauthorized insurance in Washington state.

In addition, Kreidler also took the following actions against agents or brokers:
■Mitchell A. Steitz, of Cashmere: License revoked, effective March 31, for misappropriating $12,500 from clients and spending it himself, rather than investing it.

■Allen D. James, of Sumner, agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for failing to promptly pay a premium refund to a client.

For details on cases, please see the agency's disciplinary orders site.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tom Hanks sues his insurance broker

Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are suing their former insurance brokers of 20 years, alleging that the brokers:

-falsely inflated and overcharged the couple, "misrepresenting the amounts of the premiums on insurance policies"
-"altering insurance documents and related records to conceal their fraudulent scheme"
-"and...taking other acts to engage in, and conceal, their embezzlement scheme through manipulation and deceit."

(All these quotes are from the Hanks' legal complaint.)

How much, you ask? The complaint says "hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars."

How'd they find out? The couple last month got a new broker, who promptly told their business managers "that he was concerned that the insurance premiums from policies in the last year to two years appeared extraordinarily high for the coverage provided."

The complaint also alleges that the brokers illegally issued certificates of insurance without appointments, charged the Hanks for insurance that was never procured (or overcharged them), and bought "unecessarily duplicative insurance coverage," among other things.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free app helps you create a home inventory

If you're like most of us, you know you need to create a home inventory, but you haven't taken the first step.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has just made it easier. They've developed a cool app for your iPhone - and it's free.

The myHOME app helps you capture photos, bar codes and serial numbers of your items. It also organizes the information for you, room by room, and creates a back-up file for e-mailing.

Why We Do What We Do: Erika Linnander

Erika Linnander, associate director at GHLI, realized her interest in health when she volunteered for the Peace Corps from 2001 to 2003. Even though she went on this trip as an educational volunteer, her experience exposed her to how health issues could spill over and create barriers for educational systems. “Students wanted to come and learn, but they were sick or were taking care of their families. It seemed like HIV wiped out education,” explained Erika.

During her two years as a volunteer in Malawi, Erika’s most vivid memory of that country’s health care system occurred when she was teaching at a secondary school campus. It was nighttime, and a young girl got sick. Erika brought her to the hospital and explained how committed the nurses were, but they couldn’t do anything because they didn’t have medicine. “You had good people working in a broken system,” she observed.

Erika heard about Betsy Bradley while finishing up her degree in public health and business at Johns Hopkins. A friend told her about Betsy and the Ethiopian Hospital Management Initiative program. Even though the program was in its first year, Erika was excited about its practical design and reached out to Betsy to see if there was a role for her with the program. But before Erika joined the GHLI team, she wanted to learn more about how hospitals work through an administrative fellowship with John Hopkins Medicine. Erika applied her knowledge from the fellowship to GHLI when she returned in 2009.

A part of Erika’s role at GHLI includes program development. She shared how watching a program start with a broad objective and then launch is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work. “It makes me excited, humble and mostly grateful for the opportunity that I can do meaningful work with and for good people.”

Amanda Sorrentino, GHLI Intern

Chew your calories and drink water: Industrial beverages and tooth erosion

Dental erosion is a different problem from dental caries. Dental erosion is defined as the removal of minerals from the tooth structure via chemicals. Dental caries are the result of increased site-specific acidity due to bacterial fermentation of sugars.

Still, both have the same general result, destruction of teeth structure.

Losing teeth probably significantly accelerated death among our Paleolithic ancestors, as it does with modern hunter-gatherers. It is painful and difficult to eat nutritious foods when one has teeth problems, and chronic lack of proper nutrition is the beginning of the end.

The table below, from Ehlen et al. (2008), shows the amount of erosion that occurred when teeth were exposed to beverages for 25 h in vitro. Erosion depth is measured in microns. The third row shows the chance probabilities (i.e., P values) associated with the differences in erosion of enamel and root. These are not particularly enlightening; enamel and root are both significantly eroded.

These results reflect a broader trend. Nearly all industrial beverages cause erosion, even the “healthy” fruit juices. This is due in part, but not entirely, to the acidity of the beverages. Other chemicals contribute to erosion as well. For example, Coke has a lower pH than Gatorade, but the latter causes more erosion of both enamel and root. Still, both pHs are lower than 4.0. The pH of pure water is a neutral 7.0.

Coke is how my name is pronounced, by the way.

This was a study in vitro. Is there evidence of tooth erosion by industrial beverages in people who drink them? Yes, there is quite a lot of evidence, and this evidence dates back many years. You would not guess it by looking at beverage commercials. See, for example, this article.

What about eating the fruits that are used to make the erosion-causing fruit juices? Doesn’t that cause erosion as well? Apparently not, because chewing leads to the release of a powerful protective substance, which is also sometimes exchanged by pairs of people who find each other attractive.


Leslie A. Ehlen, Teresa A. Marshall, Fang Qian, James S. Wefel, and John J. Warren (2008). Acidic beverages increase the risk of in vitro tooth erosion. Nutrition Research, 28(5), 299–303.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Randy Tobler Show: Welcome

This morning, I had a conversation with Dr. Randy Tobler on his radio show "Vital Signs", on 97.1 FM News Talk in St Louis. Dr. Tobler is an obstetrician-gynecologist with an interest in nutrition, fitness and reproductive endocrinology from a holistic perspective. He asked me to appear on his show after he discovered my blog and found that we have some things in common, including an interest in evolutionary/ancestral health. We talked about the history of the American diet, the health of non-industrial cultures, what fats are healthiest, and the difference between pastured and conventional meat/dairy-- we took a few questions from listeners-- it was fun.

The show is available as a podcast here (3/26 show), although as far as I can tell, you need iTunes to listen to it. My section of the show starts around 8:20.

To everyone who arrived here after hearing me on the air this morning: welcome! Here are a few posts to give you a feel for what I do here at Whole Health Source:

The Coronary Heart Disease Epidemic

US Weight, Lifestyle and Diet Trends, 1970-2007
Butter vs. Margarine Showdown
Preventing and Reversing Tooth Decay
The Kitavans: Wisdom from the Pacific Islands
Potatoes and Human Health, Part I, Part II and Part III
Traditional Preparation Methods Improve Grains' Nutritional Value
Real Food XI: Sourdough Buckwheat Crepes
Glucose Tolerance in Non-industrial Cultures
Tropical Plant Fats: Palm Oil

It's Time to Let Go of the Glycemic Index

Friday, March 25, 2011

Need health insurance for your kids?

If you'd like health insurance for your kids - don't wait to enroll! You have until April 30 to get an individual health plan or add them to your coverage. (Individual plans are for people who don't get health insurance through their employer).

Until April 30,you can get health insurance for your kids without having them take a health screen.

Use this map to see which companies are available in your county. Then, contact the company directly to enroll. If you have any problems, call our Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-562-6900.

The next chance to get an individual plan for your kids is Sept. 15-Oct. 31. There are some exceptions for people to enroll outside of these time periods. You must apply 31 days after one of the following events:

  • You no longer qualify for a state program.

  • You lose your coverage due to a divorce.

  • You lose your employer's health plan (including COBRA).

  • You move and your plan is not available where you live.

  • Also, parents or guardians can apply year-round for a health plan with 60 days of birth, adoption.

More tips and what if you miss an enrollment period?

An interestingly- long blogger of the month Justin Levinson

You know those days which are way too long for you to believe it was just one day? Well, yesterday in B7, that was our day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. But oh boy, did I sleep well.
To begin, I should state that my peers and I feel relatively safe in Beersheva and Israel, and security events are extremely rare. The morning started off with an early 5:30am citywide wake-up call, in the form of rocket sirens. Now, the right thing to do is go towards a bomb shelter or eastern side of the apartment. The wrong thing to do is to pull the cover over your head and try to go back to sleep. Well, I did the wrong thing. But in my defense, I was in such a deep sleep, I integrated the siren into my dreams, and wasn't actually sure that any siren actually went off until I started getting text messages and emails.

Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, where a group of
students spent a day during Cardiovascular Week.
A short nap later, I woke up again to my alarm and got ready to go to Ashkelon for the day. This week is CV week. It's a special week dedicated to cardiac illnesses with special lectures on atherosclerosis, cardiac surgery, nutrition, etc. And for a few of us, we went to Ashkelon's Barzilai hospital. For those readers unfamiliar with Israeli geography, Ashkelon is on the coast, and the beautiful beach can be seen from the hospital. As well, we had an incredible day of lectures. In the first half, we spoke to a stroke patient and then looked at the angiography of the damaged blood vessel. After lunch, we got a detailed lesson on how to read an angiogram of a severe coronary heart disease (CHD) leading to a Myocardial Infarction. The groups of students were mixed up of MSIHers and Israeli Med students. It was a great way to learn a lot about cardiac illnesses, as well as to make friends with our Israeli counterparts.

We then ran back to BeerSheva after a long and educational day in Ashkelon for IHM Modules. The IHM modules are the introduction to International Medicine classes which first and second years take. In the final class of the Disaster Management module, the students were split up into different NGOs, such as the WFP, WHO, Media, Red Cross, and others. We then had to work together in a mock emergency in the country of “Exotica.” With curve balls being thrown in at every turn, it was a very educational game as we learned the capabilities and restrictions of an NGO. Of course, everyone left a winner.

The musical talent of MSIH at the Spring Formal
The class ended at 7pm, and it was now time to run home and get ready for MSIH's first annual Spring Formal. Although many of us were hoping for the theme of “Bar Mitzvah” being that MSIH is 13 years old, the theme was MSIH Prom. So, all of us got dressed up and had a great meal along with some student led entertainment and dancing. The dancing continued until the restaurant closed at 1am, and the night was immensely fun; or at least, I remember it as fun based on those embarrassing pictures I keep getting tagged in on Facebook.

And there you have it: a day in Beer-Sheva. Started off with a little startle, continued with great Medical classes, then an International health project, and ending with a night of dancing and drinking. - March blogger of the month Justin Levinson

Why We Do What We Do: Martha Dale

It all began when Martha Dale, director for China programs, was on the receiving end of an unexpected phone call in 2005. Elizabeth Bradley, faculty director of the Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI), was on the other end of the line. She wanted to complete a needs assessment in Ethiopia that would be funded by the Clinton Foundation. 

Martha was interested in Elizabeth’s proposal because traveling and hands on projects were two of Martha’s interests. She had experience running a non-profit organization for people with HIV and AIDS in New Haven and had a background with conventional health care administration after receiving her master’s in public health.  After completing individual projects for GHLI, she applied for her current position as the director for China programs. “I was looking for a new adventure in my career life and specifically the China program appeared on the horizon,” explained Martha. “As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘Do one thing every day that scares you,’ and this was what I did.”

Martha has worked on and off for GHLI since 2006, until her appointment as director of China programs in 2009. During this time, her accomplishments include individual learning and program development. For example, even after visiting three countries, Martha explains how no experience can prepare you for the next. Specifically, her range of travels has taught her so much about individual practitioners and systems in other countries and how their health care systems operate in the context of their pressures from the environment and political challenges.

Martha’s successes extend outside of herself. Performance improvement, after listening and responding to the needs participants in programs and turning this feedback into constructive design work, is useful for each new class that participates in the China program. Martha explained how this is not black and white. For example, a woman raised her hand in a management and leadership class and asked how you can communicate more effectively. Although this was not initially a part of the course, Martha thought about how this could be incorporated into the curriculum. This is just one example of how student feedback helped the China program evolve.

One staple of the China program’s 10,000 women, displays a video from Goldman Sachs. Martha’s face lights up when discussing how this video makes her feel.  “Even though I have seen this video at least eight times,” explains Martha.  “Every time I watch it makes me more excited about and committed to the program.”  Martha said seeing this feeling and passion translated in the audience adds to the emotional experience. This video is an example of how Martha’s work has provided her with not only professional achievement, but also with personal growth. She explained how she never actively engaged in women’s empowerment issues during her early career, but now feels personally part of this important cause in other cultural settings. This positive experience reminds her of how easy it was to take this important social issue for granted, as she herself confessed she felt as a recent college graduate. Martha always reminds the students how important they are to the program and for other women.

She describes her role as an “exporter of expertise.” Martha feels a sense of comfort from the connection she has with her program when she visits her program in China. For Martha, her work in global health is more than a job. It has taught Martha you must love your work, no matter what stage of your career you’re in.

Amanda Sorrentino, GHLI Intern

To return to our website:

Kaiser Global Health Initiative Program Funding Report

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report evaluating funding allocation of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) - the Obama Administration's six-year effort aimed at improving the health and lives of people in the developing world --  for the 2010 fiscal year. The report featured an analysis of six programs focused on HIV/AIDS; TB; malaria; maternal, newborn and child health; family planning and reproductive health; and nutrition.

The Foundation’s report found the United States funded support of $5.7 billion to more than 73 countries, with at least one program in 20 countries and all six areas in 12 countries. HIV/AIDS were the most commonly funded program. Eighty percent of GHI funding is directed to programs in Africa. The majority of countries that received funding, 86 percent, are categorized as low income by the World Bank. The Foundation’s report also found that GHI countries represented almost all of the maternal deaths in the world and 85 percent of HIV rates. According to the report, these findings are beneficial to help find improvements for GHI funding opportunities. One quarter of the total funding was allocated to eight countries that serve as “learning laboratories”. 

The report provided a context for the current role of the U.S. in global health and identity future developments. For example, it identified some countries with high funding have relatively low disease rates. GHI can utilize these findings, such as gaps in standardized funding, to allocate support efficiently.  And, the report points to several opportunities and challenges that face the GHI.  A more global look at GHI countries and program presence will not only help to identify overlaps and potential areas for further integration, but may also identify areas in need of particular attention, such as implementation of the GHI’s focus on women, girls and gender equality in those countries that do not currently receive GHI funding.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation dedicated to producing and communicating the best possible information and analysis on health issues. To read the report in its entirety, visit

Amanda Sorrentino, GHLI Intern

To return to our website:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Safflower Oil Study

A few people have sent me a new study claiming to demonstrate that half a tablespoon of safflower oil a day improves insulin sensitivity, increases HDL and decreases inflammation in diabetics (1). Let me explain why this study does not show what it claims.

It all comes down to a little thing called a control group, which is the basis for comparison that you use to determine if your intervention had an effect. This study didn't have one for the safflower group. What it had was two intervention groups, one given 6.4g conjugated linoleic acid (CLA; 50% c9t11 and 50% t10c12-CLA) per day, and one given 8g safflower oil. I have to guess that this study was originally designed to test the effects of the CLA, with the safflower oil group as the control group, and that the interpretation of the data changed after the results came in. Otherwise, I don't understand why they would conduct a study like this without a control group.

Anyway, they found that the safflower oil group did better than the CLA group over 16 weeks, showing a higher insulin sensitivity, higher HDL, lower HbA1c (a marker of average blood glucose levels) and lower CRP (a marker of inflammation). But they also found that the safflower group improved slightly compared to baseline, therefore they decided to attribute the difference to a beneficial effect of safflower oil. The problem is that without a control (placebo) group for comparison, there's no way to know if the improvement would have occurred regardless of treatment, due to the season changing, more regular check-ups at the doctor's office due to participating in a study, or countless other unforeseen factors. A control group is essential for the accurate interpretation of results, which is why drug studies always have placebo groups.

What we can say is that the safflower oil group fared better than the CLA group, because there was a difference between the two. However, what I think really happened is that the CLA supplement was harmful and the small dose of safflower oil had no effect. Why? Because the t10c12 isomer of CLA, which was half their pill, has already been shown by previous well-controlled studies to reduce insulin sensitivity, decrease HDL and increase inflammatory markers at a similar dose and for a similar duration (2, 3). The safflower oil group only looked good by comparison. We can add this study to the "research bloopers" file.

It's worth noting that naturally occurring CLA mixtures, similar to those found in pastured dairy and ruminant fat, have not been shown to cause metabolic problems such as those caused by isolated t10c12 CLA.

Fermented Foods for Digestive Health

It's simple: digestion is the key to good health. Good digestion is absolutely essential for optimal assimilation of the nutrients that we take in with our food. We Americans tend to think of eating food as fueling up and filling up, instead of what the act truly is- the taking in of the nutrients from which all future cells will be made. And those cells, of course, make up every single organ and system in the body. If you think about fermentation at all, you probably think about alcohol. But there are many other kinds of fermented foods such as yogurt out there. Foods that are labeled “pickled” are also fermented foods. Fermented food uses microorganisms to convert sugars into lactic acid, creating a signature sour taste.

That sour taste which many people may find unfamiliar should not be equated with unhealthy or expired. In fact, including fermented foods in your diet a few times a week or more could be beneficial for your health.

Fermented foods include:

  • Miso. A paste made of fermented soy beans, it forms the base of soups or glazes.
  • Sauerkraut. This familiar condiment is made of finely shredded fermented cabbage.
  • Sourdough bread. Real sourdough bread is made with milk and other foods that have been allowed to ferment before making the bread dough.
  • Kefir. A fermented drink made from milk.
  • Yogurt. Yogurt includes live bacteria called probiotics.
  • Kimchi. A traditional Korean dish made from pickled vegetables like cabbage or radish.
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk also includes probiotics.
  • Natto. These fermented soybeans are a traditional Japanese breakfast dish.
  • Poi. A fermented paste made from taro root.
  • Tempeh. A cake made of fermented soybeans.
  • Kombucha. A fermented tea.
Fermented foods help aid in digestion, so enjoying a spoonful of sauerkraut before a meal will go a long way. If you're dairy free, Turtle Mountain has an excellent line called So Delicious using coconut milk instead of cow's milk and they are loaded with healthy bacteria for your belly! And an added plus, consuming sour foods such as some of the ones above will help curb cravings...yippee!

Another way to keep your gut flora filled with the friendly bacteria that your digestive system needs to stay healthy, while boosting your immunity is to invest in a high-quality probiotic. I love New Chapter's line of probiotics (you'll find them in the refrigerated section of the health food store, or even a Vitamin Shoppe), or contact me to purchase high-quality Metagenics probiotics that will work best for you.

Keep it Fresh!
- Lauren

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Welcome to
Advanced Scientific Health

Most people believe that genetics or bad luck gave them diseases for which the only treatments are drugs and surgeries. As a result, organized medicine will sell in excess of  three-trillion-dollars worth of drugs and surgeries in 2012.

Drugs and surgeries are obviously not the solution to our medical problems; each year MORE, not fewer people die slowly (and expensively) from pharmaceutically and surgically-treated diseases.

The good news is you now have a choice.

 The Law of Health and Disease
Just as there is the Law of Gravity, Law of Relativity and Law of Attraction there is also the Law of Health and Disease.

Unfortunately, the Law of Health and Disease is not taken into consideration nor is it being factored in to any diagnosis, prognosis, medical treatment plan or procedure by the medical mainstream or the alternative health care community.

Neglecting this simple Law of Health & Disease is the major contributor to the current health care crisis facing this nation. The numbers being diagnosed and suffering with degenerative diseases continue to rise. Increase in the costs of treating these so-called diseases also continues to rise.

Isn't it time to take a more logical approach?

Science has given us the proof that the human body was Created perfectly. The body was created to have specific elements, minerals and enzymes available in the proper ratio, the correct form and in sufficient supply to create the optimum internal environment. An internal environment that would not [ and could not ] host any disease.

ANY body can heal itself of ANY disease within a very short period of time, once this knowledge is applied. This is a very natural, simple, safe, effective and affordable solution for billions.

Today is the day we truly reform the health care system in this country and around the world. Begin learning today!   It could save your life, or the life of someone you care for. Soon there will be no reason to give thought to dis-ease but only to simply enjoy good health. 



I am available for phone 
calls most every Saturday

 10:00am - 3:00 pm Pacific Time

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Medical Mistakes

1993-2003: Medical mistakes took 7.8 million lives... Organized medicine killed more Americans in last decade than all U.S. wars combined

The most comprehensive report on the state of U.S. healthcare ever conducted shows that organized medicine has killed 7,841,360 Americans in the last 10 years. "Our estimated 10-year total of 7.8 million iatrogenic [doctor-induced] deaths is more than all the casualties from all the wars fought by the U.S. throughout its entire history," commented the Nutrition Institute of America (NIA), in its report, "Death By Medicine" (Oct., 2003).

The concept of the report was prompted by the fact that, while conventional medicine kills hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, government regulators attempt to ban and restrict the use of vitamins and herbs that kill no one.

Incidentally, the report, which resulted from the compilation and analysis of 94 U.S. hospitals and hundreds of medical journal articles, determined that medical error causes an astounding 783,936 deaths per year (and growing). "It is evident that the American medical system is itself the leading cause of death and injury in the U.S.," the authors observed.

The purpose of the report was to memorialize the total failure of the American medical system and to "provide the basis for competent and compassionate medical professionals to recognize the inadequacies of today's system and at least attempt to institute meaningful reforms," wrote the editors of Life Extension magazine.
Life Extension has posted the entirety of the NIA report at its website. This report should be read by everyone who has been or is currently hospitalized or being treated with "conventional" medicine. As more people become aware of the magnitude of the problem, they will become more empowered to take charge of their own healthcare.

Top 10 causes of death in the U.S.
Note: Not mentioned is the true #1 killer-780,000 fatal medical mistakes each year which can be attributed to incorrect diagnoses and adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.

Slices of Pharma Pie
Cardinal Health (healthcare) $47.9 Billion
Merck (pharmaceuticals) $47.7 Billion
Pfizer (pharmaceuticals) $32.3 Billion
Glaxo Smith Kline (pharmaceuticals) $29.5 Billion
Bayer (pharmaceuticals) $27.1 Billion
United Health Group (healthcare) $23.4 Billion
Bristol-Myers Squibb (pharmaceuticals) $21.7 Billion
Pharmacia (pharmaceuticals) $19.3 Billion
Novartis (pharmaceuticals) $18.9 Billion
Amerisource Bergen (healthcare) $15.8 Billion
WellPoint Health Networks (healthcare) $12.4 Billion
Source: Forbes 500, 2002 Revenue

Barney Folger

   Brilliant men and women have discovered how to reverse chronic illness. Their work is supported by known science and decades of case histories. Yet unless you are a student of Nobel prizes, read old medical literature as a hobby or have a penchant for holistic health information, opportunities to become acquainted with this vital information probably never presented themselves. But that is changing. 
Barney Folger's life was saved by orthomolecular nutrition in 1997 after refusing to lay down for a fourth heart surgery. Since then, Barney formed ASH and thousands of lives have been saved.
ASH Founder Barney Folger

In 1997, at the age of 53, land developer Barney Folger of Marietta, Georgia, was being scheduled for his fourth heart surgery since being diagnosed with heart disease in 1990.

To fully understand what was going through Barney's mind after being told by his cardiologists that they needed to operate on his heart again, one must appreciate the months of agony associated with post-operative recovery. Rather than endure another heart surgery, Barney put his clothes back on and went home. The last words from his cardiologists after he fired them and walked out the door was, "You could die, Barney."

But Barney knew that the next surgery would kill him. "Now I had to find a way to save my life," Barney recalls. Several weeks later Barney was talking to a good friend, who happened to be a doctor, about his most recent health-related turn of events. Realizing that Barney had decided he would rather die than survive another operation, his doctor friend described to him a protocol that could reverse his otherwise terminal heart disease. "He explained that many doctors use vitamins and minerals to avoid open heart surgery and that they rarely prescribe the same treatment to their patients."

Thankful for the tip and his friend's candor, but shocked by the revelation that effective alternatives to open heart surgery were common knowledge among doctors' circles, Barney began investigating and discovered the world of orthomolecular nutrition, and the work of doctors Brewer, Pauling, Warburg and others.

His doctor friend later confirmed what Barney's research had uncovered: That it was for purely economic reasons the public was "prescribed" bypass operations at $50,000 each instead of vitamins and minerals costing one-tenth of one percent of that amount.

Since regaining his own health through the supplemental regimen currently being offered through ASH, Barney, healthy at 65, has been driven to inform as many people as possible about the life-saving protocols of orthomolecular nutrition.

Vickie Barker

A headache and "good" medical insurance

   In 1991 I was a 35-year-old district manager for the State Department of Human Resources. I had good medical insurance, so I went to see a doctor about headaches that were really only a minor annoyance.

The doctor prescribed pain pills for my headache. The headache went away but other problems began to surface.

During the next 12 months I was diagnosed with TMJ, sinusitis and even depression. I was given more pills for those symptoms as well. The next year, my doctor told me that I now suffered from "chronic fatigue" and prescribed more pills.

By 1993 another term was added to my list of ailments-something called "fibromyalgia." Now I had a name for the new pains I'd begun to feel all over my body. What a relief it was when I was prescribed more pills for fibromyalgia.

1994 brought a new round of symptoms and extensive testing with nuclear medicine, injections, magnetic waves and, of course, new prescriptions for more drugs. The term "multiple sclerosis" was added to my vocabulary and my doctor told me I had three to five years left to live.

I had five young children and there had to be a better solution than three to five years of more suffering and an early death. It occurred to me that I may be suffering from the adverse effects of prescribed drugs.

I began researching and discovered how the human body works. I also discovered a wonderful mentor: Barney Folger.

We began to realize that all diseases are merely different levels or degrees of degeneration of the body caused by elemental deficiencies which compromise the body's ability to repair and regenerate at the cellular level.

We knew we were on the right track as our efforts to teach people about how their bodies work have been rewarded every step of the way: When we needed a source for certain substances, we found them; when we needed people with specific skills and training, they appeared; when we needed more information, it came; when we needed proof that orthomolecular nutrition works, another person would report that their chronic symptoms had reversed.

The last several years of study and experience have proven to the founders and members of ASH that God created for us a perfect body. All it requires to be healthy are a few vitamins and minerals.

I am thankful to the scientific community, particularly to doctors Warburg, Brewer, Pauling and Klenner. They have provided us with the indisputable facts of how our bodies work, what causes them to get sick and how to help them heal.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" ~Hosea 4:6

I suspect that excellent health insurance, coupled with ignorance of how the body works, is the number one killer of Americans. That combination nearly killed me-but it didn't-and now my life is dedicated to showing others how to heal themselves easily and inexpensively through orthomolecular nutrition.

Evie Roberson

There must be alternatives to pills and surgery : 

Aside from the occasional cold or accidental injury, I had been healthy my whole life. During the mid-90s, a few unexpected hardships created a great deal of stress in my life. The stress affected my health so I went to see doctors who treated my symptoms with drugs-which created more symptoms and adversely affected my psychological well-being. During my annual checkup and mammogram in fall, 1999, my doctor informed me that I now had high blood pressure. He also told me that I had lumps in my right breast. He prescribed high blood pressure pills, told me to watch the lumps in my breast very closely until they become cancerous and insisted I take drugs for depression.
I decided that a life of popping pills and waiting for a mastectomy was not for me. Vickie Barker knew my husband and she put us in touch with Barney Folger. Barney introduced me to the concept of orthomolecular nutrition. This wonderful man explained how my body works and why it gets sick. He then described a simple regimen to correct my bodily imbalances. Hopeful, I ordered Master Formula 1 and Plus Aminos.(now combined as "No Fool i")  Within a few days I felt so much better I threw the drugs out.

Within six months my blood pressure was completely under control and has been ever since. In 2003, I gave myself a breast exam and, to my surprise and relief, the worrisome lumps had disappeared; to this day they have not returned.

There is no doubt in my mind that taking therapeutic amounts of ASH products (which, admittedly, do not taste very good) enabled my body to heal itself. I feel great all the time and am so thankful to have found this wonderful healing regimen. As thankful members of ASH, my husband and I have made it our mission to encourage others to learn about orthomolecular nutrition.

Building Blocks of our Physical Bodies

Calcium, magnesium, potassium:
Essential building blocks of our physical bodies

"Dust to dust" is a Biblical reference describing where our bodies came from and to where they return after our souls have left them. Science has since been able to confirm the dust-to-dust explanation by discovering that the building blocks of our physical bodies are elemental minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. In other words, elemental atoms combine to become molecules, which form bonds to make specific types of cells that arrange themselves to create the skin, bone, muscle, vessels, gray matter, fluids and connective tissues that comprise our bodies. From the aforementioned flowchart, it is easy to understand what happens to the body when it is not provided with adequate supplies of "dust."


Calcium is involved in almost every biological function and is the most abundant mineral in the body-99 percent of which is deposited in the bones and teeth. The remaining one percent provides the electrical energy for the heart to beat and for nerve stimulation responsible for muscle movement. Calcium is also critical to the metabolism of vitamin D and, to function properly, it must be accompanied by magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins A, C, D and E.

Another important biological function of calcium is DNA replication, which is crucial for maintaining a vitally healthy body. DNA replication is the basis for all body repair and can only occur "on a substrate of calcium." Therefore, low calcium levels equate to impaired healing ability and premature aging.

Perhaps the most critical balance the body must maintain is the acid/alkaline balance, or pH. Calcium is vital to maintaining this balance. Calcium to acid is like water to a fire: Calcium quickly destroys oxygen-robbing acid in the body fluids. Sufficient intake of biologically-available calcium creates more oxygen at the cellular level, eliminating the environment necessary for cancer cells to thrive.

 Calcium quantity and quality: Researchers have examined the diet of people throughout the world who consume over 100 times our recommended daily allowance of calcium. These people live 40 years longer than we do, age at half the rate we do and are devoid of cancer, heart disease, mental disorders, diabetes, arthritis and other degenerative diseases. Nearly all of these people- Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Georgians in Russia, Tibetans, Hunzas of Northern Pakistan, Vilcabamba Indians in Ecuador, Bamas in China and the Titicacans in Peru-live at high altitudes above 8,000 feet. Their primary sources of water are melting glaciers, and the glacial water is so turbid and white with ground up rock that these cultures call the water "milk of the mountains."

Each quart of this water contains over 17,000 milligrams of calcium along with other minerals and 60 trace metals. These cultures drink lots of this water everyday and their crops are also loaded with calcium and other trace minerals.

The only long-living and disease-free culture that does not live above an altitude of 8,000 feet is the Okinawans in Japan. Okinawa is home to one of the world's highest concentration of centenarians (people living beyond their 100th birthday are not that unusual in Okinawa).


Though only accounting for about .05% of total body weight, magnesium is essential to many metabolic processes. Nearly 70% of body magnesium is deposited in bones and teeth with calcium and phosphorus; the remaining 30% is found in soft tissues and body fluids.

Magnesium promotes the absorption and metabolism of other minerals and, inside the cell, it activates the enzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids.

The level of magnesium necessary for robust health is related to the amount of other minerals, particularly calcium, that is consumed. Higher levels of magnesium are also needed when blood cholesterol levels are high and when protein consumption is high.

Magnesium deficiency is especially prominent in those with diabetes (and other pancreatic disorders), chronic alcoholics and persons with kidney problems. Magnesium deficiency is linked to heart disease as it tends to result in the formation of blood clots in the heart and brain and contributes to the accumulation of calcium deposits in the kidneys, blood vessels and heart.

An adequate supply of magnesium is also necessary to retain the storage of potassium in the cells.
The use of supplemental magnesium has been known to help alleviate insomnia and, due to its alkalinity, is used in over-the-counter preparations as an antacid. It should also be noted that it is magnesium (combined with calcium), not calcium alone, that forms the hard tooth enamel that is resistant to decay.


An essential mineral found mainly in intracellular fluid, potassium constitutes about 5% of the body's total mineral content.

Potassium and sodium are critical to the regulation of water balances within the body. They work together regulating the distribution of fluids from one cell to another, preserve proper alkalinity of body fluids and the efficient removal of waste products generated by cellular function.

Because of its propensity to regulate the properties of body fluids, potassium is also critical to proper nerve and muscle function which depend upon the body's ability to transmit electrical impulses.

Sodium and potassium must be in balance for our vital body fluids to function properly. Excessive consumption of salt depletes body potassium levels. Excessive consumption of sugar also depletes potassium reserves.

Alcohol and coffee increase the urinary excretion of potassium; hormone pills and water pills compel the body to retain sodium while excreting potassium, aggravating the sodium/potassium balance.

Chronic symptoms of potassium deficiency are nervous system disorders, diabetes, digestive problems, headaches, allergies and cardiovascular irregularities.

Putting it all together

Dr. Carl Reich, M.D., began making advances in the science of preventing and reversing degenerative diseases through the consumption of large amounts of minerals (and the vitamins known to enhance their efficacy) about the same time Pauling, et al, were advancing the science of mega ascorbate therapy. In the 1950s, Dr. Reich discovered that his patients were able to "cure themselves" of almost all degenerative diseases by consuming several times the RDA of calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and D, and other nutrients. Dr. Reich was the first North American doctor to prescribe "mega doses" of minerals and vitamins to his patients and is considered by many to be the father of preventive medicine.

By the 1980s Dr. Reich had cured thousands, but lost his license for explaining that the consumption of mineral nutrients, such as calcium, could prevent cancer and a host of other diseases. This concept was considered by the American Medical Association (AMA) to be "too simple."

During the 1990s, in spite of the AMA, other medical doctors were discovering that calcium, along with other supplements, could indeed reverse cancer and the symptoms of other chronic diseases.

ASH developed Master Formula II as a way to supply the body with bioavailable therapeutic doses of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A and D.

Bechamp Instead Of Pasteur

Avoidable epidemics: Cancer, diabetes, heart disease. If civilization had only followed Bechamp instead of Pasteur...
The work of French biologist Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908) demonstrated that disease causes germs; Bechamp's contemporary (and former student) Louis Pasteur announced that his studies proved that germs cause disease. One man has been forgotten by history; the other is considered the father of modern medicine. If germs are outside attackers invading the body, then we can develop and market an endless array of weapons with which to kill them. But, if disease, or imbalance in the body, causes germs, then we must simply restore balance to remove the conditions upon which germs thrive.
Pasteur's germ theory of disease gave birth to the pharmaceutical age. Had modern medicine adopted Bechamp's disease theory of germs and the subsequent work of doctors Brewer, Warburg and Pauling, it would be common knowledge that the symptoms of disease are prevented or reversed by nutrition at the cellular level.

What Happened?

At the turn of the last century the leading causes of death were infectious diseases, tuberculosis, pneumonia and syphilis. Since the turn of the last century, cancer, heart disease and other chronic ailments have become the leading causes of death. Improvements in public sanitation and personal hygiene-and year-round access to fresh produce-can explain the decline in deaths from infectious disease. But what explains the meteoric rise in death from chronic diseases?

Is "vitamin C" really a vitamin?

 After 40 years of research, Dr. Irwin Stone stated his conclusion that an ancient genetic mutation left the primate virtually alone among animals in not producing ascorbic acid in his own body. By labeling ascorbic acid a "vitamin" and attaching to it a "minimum daily requirement," most people exist in a state of sub-clinical scurvy-the symptoms of which are attributed to other ailments. By the 1950s Dr. Stone's work with ascorbates had explained the success of Dr. Klenner's use of ascorbic acid to treat polio. By the 1960s, Dr. Stone's work had attracted the attention of Nobel laureate Dr. Linus Pauling . Dr. Pauling was then able to successfully apply "mega-ascorbate therapy" to a variety of ailments-including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
The answer is to change our thinking about vitamin C-which is really a metabolite that is essential to health and healing at the molecular level. Dr. Stone's foundational research has provided us with the knowledge to ward off disease, counteract the ill effects of pollution and prolong our lives-easily and inexpensively.

Vitamin C is not just for colds
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient and powerful anti-oxidant. A primary function of vitamin C is maintaining collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of connective tissue in skin, ligaments and bones. It is essential in healing wounds, fractures and burns since it facilitates the formation of connective tissue and in the prevention and treatment of artherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Vitamin C also aids in forming red blood cells, strengthens blood vessels and prevents hemorrhaging.

In his book "Nutrition Against Disease," Dr. Roger Williams observed, "Collagen is not only the most abundant protein in our bodies, it also occurs in larger amounts than all other proteins put together. It cannot be built without vitamin C. No heart or blood vessel or other organ could possibly perform its functions without collagen. No heart or blood vessel can be maintained in healthy condition without vitamin C."

How much vitamin C do we need?
Vitamin C is most well-known for its use as a preventative for the common cold and flu. Thousands can attest to the fact that taking several grams of vitamin C throughout the day for the next couple of days after the onset of a cold or flu minimizes the symptoms and speeds up recovery. The reason is that vitamin C enhances immunity. High blood levels of ascorbic acid have been shown to protect against a myriad of infections, free radicals, the harmful effects of pollution and even cancer.

Vitamin C is also called an "anti-stress" vitamin since it is essential in the formation of adrenaline. Large concentrations of ascorbic acid are found in the adrenal glands. During times of high stress, the level of adrenal ascorbic acid is rapidly used up.

Signs of deficiency

Scurvy, the disease caused by severe vitamin C deficiency, is marked by a failure of strength, general restlessness and rapid exhaustion. The final stages of scurvy are marked by profound exhaustion, diarrhea, and lung and kidney ailments.

Most people today suffer from what is known as "sub-clinical" scurvy. Bleeding gums, swollen or painful joints, slow-healing wounds and fractures, bruising, nosebleeds and impaired digestion are a few of the obvious signs of vitamin C deficiency. Less obvious signs include susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, various autoimmune diseases and cancer.

In the early 1900s, a disease known as Barlow's disease occurred in bottle-fed infants and was characterized by broken bones, bruises, and sores that wouldn't heal. Pasteurization (and heating of any kind) destroys the vitamin C in milk and mothers did not know the importance of supplementing their babies' diet with fresh orange juice as a source of vitamin C. Today we have many cases of Barlow's disease among formula-fed infants whose meager vitamin C reserves are depleted with each vaccine administered. Only today Barlow's disease has been renamed Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Note: At this time we have relatively unfettered access to vitamin C and other vitamins, herbs and supplements. But organized medicine is pushing global governments, including the U.S., to regulate these products like drugs.

Disease Name Game

Disease names are misleading and confuse patients about prevention and treatment  

The fastest way to solve most problems is to immediately establish cause and effect relationships. Failure to identify the true cause of a problem inevitably results in an incorrect assessment of what must be done to correct it. When it comes to sickness, treating the effect as a cause is a prescription for public health disaster.

By Mike Adams Cause or effect?
There is a curious tendency in conventional medicine to name a set of symptoms a disease. I was recently at a compounding pharmacy having my bone mineral density measured to update my health stats. I spotted a poster touting a new drug for osteoporosis. It was written by a drug company and it said exactly this: "Osteoporosis is a disease that causes weak and fragile bones." Then the poster went on to say that you need a particular drug to counteract this "disease." Yet the language is all backwards. Osteoporosis isn't a disease that causes weak bones; osteoporosis is the name given to a diagnosis of weak bones. In other words, the weak bones happened first, and then the diagnosis of osteoporosis followed.

The drug poster makes it sound like osteoporosis strikes first, and then you get weak bones. The cause-and-effect is all backwards. And that's how drug companies want people to think about diseases and symptoms: First you "get" the disease, then you are "diagnosed" just in time to take a new drug for the rest of your life.

But it's all hogwash. There is no such disease as osteoporosis. It's just a made-up name given to a pattern of symptoms that indicate you've let your bones get fragile.

Another example: When a person follows an unhealthy lifestyle that results in a symptom such as high blood pressure, that symptom is assumed to be a disease all by itself and it will be given a disease name. What disease? The disease is, of course, "high blood pressure." Doctors throw this phrase around as if it were an actual disease and not merely descriptive of patient physiology.

Fatal flaw
This may all seem silly, right? But there's actually a very important point to all this.

When we look at symptoms and give them disease names, we automatically distort the selection of available treatments for such a disease. If the disease is, by itself, high cholesterol, then the cure for the disease must be nothing other than lowering the high cholesterol. And that's how we end up with all these pharmaceuticals treating high cholesterol in order to "prevent" this disease and lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in the human patient.

By lowering only the cholesterol, the doctor can rest assured that he is, in fact, treating this "disease," since the definition of this "disease" is high cholesterol and nothing else.

But there is a fatal flaw in this approach to disease treatment: The symptom is not the cause of the disease. There is another cause, and this deeper cause is routinely ignored by conventional medicine, doctors, drug companies, and even patients.

Medical illogic
Let's take a closer look at high blood pressure. What actually causes high blood pressure? Many doctors would say high blood pressure is caused by a specific, measurable interaction between circulating chemicals in the human body. Thus, the ill-behaved chemical compounds are the cause of the high blood pressure and, therefore, the solution is to regulate these chemicals. That's exactly what pharmaceuticals do-they attempt to manipulate the chemicals in the body to adjust the symptoms of high blood pressure. Thus, they only treat the symptoms, not the root cause.

Or take a look at high cholesterol. The conventional medicine approach says that high cholesterol is caused by a chemical imbalance in the liver, which is the organ that produces cholesterol. Thus the treatment for high cholesterol is a prescription drug that inhibits the liver's production of cholesterol (statin drugs). Upon taking these drugs, the high cholesterol (the "disease") is regulated, but what was causing the liver to overproduce cholesterol in the first place? That causative factor remains ignored.

The root cause of high cholesterol, as it turns out, is primarily dietary. A person who eats foods that are high in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils will inevitably produce more bad cholesterol and will show the symptoms of this so-called disease of high cholesterol. It's simple cause-and-effect. Eat the wrong foods, and you'll produce too much bad cholesterol in the liver which can be detected and diagnosed by conventional medical procedures.

Yet the root cause of all this is actually poor food choice, not some bizarre behavior by the liver. If the disease were to be accurately named, then, it would be called Fatty Food Choice Disease, or simply FFCD.

FFCD would be a far more accurate name that would make sense to people. If it's a fatty food choice disease, then it seems that the obvious solution to the disease would be to choose foods that aren't so fatty.
This may be a bit of an over-simplification since you have to distinguish between healthy fats and unhealthy fats. But at least the name FFCD gives patients a better idea of what's actually going on rather than naming the disease after a symptom, such as high cholesterol.

You see, the symptom is not the disease, but conventional medicine insists on calling the symptom the disease because that way it can treat the symptom and claim success without actually addressing the underlying cause, which continues to remain a mystery for modern medicine.

But let's move on to some other diseases so you get a clearer picture of how this actually works. Another disease that's caused by poor food choice is diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the natural physiological and metabolic result of a person consuming refined carbohydrates and added sugars in large quantities without engaging in regular physical exercise that would compensate for such dietary practices.

The name "diabetes" is meaningless to the average person. The disease should be called Excessive Sugar Disease, or ESD. If it were called Excessive Sugar Disease, the solution to it would be rather apparent; simply eat less sugar, drink fewer soft drinks and so on. But of course that would be far too simple for the medical community, so the disease must be given a complex name such as diabetes, effectively putting its solution beyond the intellectual reach of most patients.

Another disease that is named after its symptom is cancer. In fact, to this day, most doctors and many patients still believe that cancer is a physical thing: A tumor. In reality, a tumor is only a side effect of cancer, not its cause. A tumor is simply a physical manifestation of a cancer pattern that is expressed by the body. When a person "has cancer," what they really have is a sluggish immune system. And that would be a far better name for the disease: Sluggish Immune System Disease or SISD.

If cancer were actually called Sluggish Immune System Disease, it would seem ridiculous to try to cure cancer by cutting out tumors through surgery and by destroying the immune system with chemotherapy. Yet these are precisely the most popular treatments for cancer offered by conventional medicine.

These treatments do absolutely nothing to support the patient's immune system in order to prevent further occurrences of cancer. That's exactly why most people who undergo chemotherapy or the removal of tumors through surgical procedures end up with more cancer a few months or a few years later.
It also explains why survival rates for cancer have barely budged over the last 20 years (In other words, conventional medicine's treatments for cancer simply don't work).

This whole situation stems from the fact that the disease is misnamed. It isn't cancer, it isn't a tumor and it certainly isn't a disease caused by having too strong of an immune system that needs to be destroyed through chemotherapy. It is simply a sluggish immune system or a suppressed immune system. And if it were called a sluggish immune system disease or a suppressed immune system disorder, the effective treatment for SISD would be apparent.

Secret language
Many other diseases have been given misleading names by western medicine. But if you take a look at how diseases are named elsewhere, you will find many countries have disease names that actually make sense. For example, in Chinese medicine, Alzheimer's disease is given a name that means, when translated, "feeble mind disease."

In Chinese medicine, the name of the disease more accurately describes the actual cause of the disease, whereas in western medicine, the name of the disease seems to be intended to obscure the root cause of the disease, thereby making all diseases sound far more complex and mysterious than they really are.
This is one way in which doctors and practitioners of western medicine keep medical treatments out of the reach of the average citizen. Because, by God, they sure don't want people thinking for themselves about the causes of disease!

By creating a whole new vocabulary for medical conditions, they can speak their own secret language and make sure that people who aren't schooled in medicine won't understand what they're saying.
That's a shame, because the treatments and cures for virtually all chronic diseases are actually quite simple and can be described in plain language, such as making different food choices, getting more natural sunlight, drinking more water, engaging in regular physical exercise, avoiding specific food toxins, supplementing your diet with superfoods and nutritional supplements and so on.

See, western medicine prefers to describe diseases in terms of chemistry. When you're depressed, you aren't suffering from a lack of natural sunlight; you are suffering from a "brain chemistry imbalance" that can only be regulated, they claim, by ingesting toxic chemicals to alter your brain chemistry.

When your bones are brittle, it's not brittle bone disease; it's called osteoporosis, something that sounds very technical and complicated. And to treat it, western doctors and physicians will give you prescriptions for expensive drugs that somehow claim to make your bones less brittle.

But in fact, the real treatment for this can be described in plain language once again: regular physical exercise, vitamin D supplementation, mineral supplements that include calcium and strontium, natural sunlight, and avoidance of acidic foods such as soft drinks, white flour and added sugars.

Virtually every disease that's prominent in modern society-diabetes, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, clinical depression, irritable bowel syndrome and so on-can be easily described in plain language without using complex terms at all.

These diseases are simply misnamed. And I believe they are intentionally misnamed to put the medical jargon, and therefore medical diagnosis, treatment and prevention, beyond the comprehension of everyday citizens.

The language of health and healing
Mastery of their secret language has created a great deal of arrogance among the practitioners of western medicine. This arrogance deepens the divide between doctors and their patients. Division never results in healing. In order to effect healing, we must bridge the communication between healers and patients using plain language that ordinary people understand and act upon without learning a new language.

We need to start describing diseases in terms of their root causes, not in terms of their arcane, biochemical actions. When someone suffers from seasonal affective disorder or clinical depression, for example, let's call it what it is: Sunlight Deficiency Disorder (SDD). To treat it, the person simply needs to get more sunlight. This isn't rocket science, it's not complex, and it doesn't require a prescription.

If someone is suffering from osteoporosis, let's get realistic about the words we use to describe the condition-it's really Brittle Bone Disease. And it should be treated with things that will enhance bone density, such as nutrition, physical exercise and avoidance of foods and drinks that strip the human body of bone mass.

All of this information, of course, is rather shocking to old-school doctors and practitioners of western medicine, and the bigger their egos are, the more they hate the idea of naming diseases in plain language that patients can actually comprehend. That's because if the simple truths about diseases and their causes were known, health would be more readily available to everyday people, and that would lessen the importance of physicians and medical researchers.

There's a great deal of ego invested in the medical community, and it sure doesn't want to make sound health attainable to the average person without their expert advice. It's sort of the same way that some churches don't want their members talking to God unless they go through their priesthood first.

Doctors and priests all want to serve as the translators of "truth" and will balk at any attempts to educate the public to either practice medicine or talk to God on their own.

But in reality, health (and a connection with spirit) is attainable by every single person. Health is easy, it is straightforward, it is direct and, for the most part, available free of charge. A personal connection with God is the same, if we ask humbly in prayer for a relationship with Him, and guidance.

Don't believe the names of diseases given to you by your doctor. Those names are designed to obscure, not to inform. They are designed to separate you from self-healing, not to put you in touch with your own inner healer. And thus, they are nothing more than bad medicine masquerading as modern medical practice.

Author Mike Adams is a holistic nutritionist with over 4,000 hours of study on nutrition, wellness, food toxicology and the true causes of disease and health. He is well versed on nutritional and lifestyle therapies for weight loss and disease prevention/reversal. Adams uses no prescription drugs whatsoever to maintain optimal blood chemistry and he relies exclusively on natural health, nutrition and exercise to achieve optimum health.

Adams' books include the Seven Laws of Nutrition, The Five Soft Drink Monsters and Superfoods For Optimum Health. In his "spare" time, Adams is president and CEO of a well-known email marketing software company.

What, exactly, did we inherit?

"Heart disease [cancer, diabetes, poor circulation, male pattern balding, stinky feet, schizophrenia] runs in our family." "I come from a long line of men [women] who live into their 90s."

We have been conditioned by "experts" in medicine and the media to ascribe our physical attributes (strengths and weaknesses) to genetics. Surely we inherit many traits from our parents, but where do inherited genes end and inherited habits begin?

Organized medicine prefers that we believe our health is genetically predetermined. If we believe we are powerless to correct health problems on our own, organized medicine can sell us drugs and surgeries to allegedly overcome our presumed genetic weaknesses.

At ASH, we have seen how altering lifelong eating and drinking habits, incorporating exercise into daily activities and developing a more positive attitude toward life can dramatically improve conditions presumed to be genetically "hard wired" into our bodies.