Thursday, September 24, 2015

Health benefits (Momordica charantia) does heal cancer and diabetic

Health benefits of Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)

Info reposted from url
500 years ago African slaves arrived to America, bringing not only a rich cultural heritage and their traditional folklore but also herbs and fruits that rapidly propagated in America and became with the pass of the years part of their own culinary and cultural heritage.
Bitter melon is one of them. Additionally, bitter melon has also become part of some traditional remedies due to the multiple properties and health benefits that it exerts. Image: See credits under ref. [26] below.  

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Momordica
Common name: Bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash, Pavakai in Tamil, Karela in Urdu.


When African slaves arrived to America, back in the 15th century, their access to medical resources and therapies was very limited, they had to rely in their own “traditional herbal remedies”.
Some of these cultural beliefs and traditional practices were more effective than others, but almost all of them were based on years of experience accumulated addressing medical conditions and ailments that were treated by their African ancestors using medicinal herbs and plants that serve for the purpose.
One of these plants is Momordica charantia (Bitter melon), also known as bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash, Pavakai in Tamil, Karela in Urdu [1], that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, a family that also includes squashes, melons and gourds [11]. 


500 years ago African slaves used herbs as Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) without knowing why they exerted these medicinal effects.
Bitter melon was used back then to treat illnesses as diabetes and malaria, not knowing whichactive constituents from Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) could be the ones exerting these beneficial properties, maybe not even knowing that Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) contained any active constituents at all.
Now, 500 years later, the estate of technical development has achieved quite an advance, being able to identify the active constituents responsible for the medicinal properties exerted by Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), and also identifying many others exerting even more beneficial properties for other illnesses and ailments, some of them as important as leukaemia and cancer. Let's see some of those.


MOMORDICA CHARANTIAThe use of Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) for diabetes has been reported in the Ayurvedic and Chinese systems of medicine [15], but only explained since recently by scientists, who discovered some active constituents present in Bitter melon that was able to act on a similar way as insulin, with the only difference that insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source by inhibiting the release of glucagon [11] and Bitter melon inhibits key carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes as α-amylase and α-glucosidase [10,11].Image right: Momordica charantia by Kazuhiro Keino under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0).
The study showed how Bitter melon exerted a hypoglycemic action and could be studied as an alternative nutritional therapy in the management of diabetes [10], in fact Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is used as anti-diabetic plant because of its hypoglycemic effect [12].
Studies have shown that Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) repairs damaged β-cells, increases insulin levels, and also enhance the sensitivity of insulin [14].
From the active constituents found in Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) thought to exert these hypoglycemic properties, namely charantin, momordenol and momordicilin, the study showed that momordicilin was found as the most active compound in the respective target site [12].
Karela (Momordica charantia) contains Gurmarin, a polypeptide considered to be similar to bovine insulin and has been shown in clinical studies to achieve a strong sugar regulating effect by suppressing the neural responses to sweet taste stimuli [24,25].
Other commonly used supplements making use of the hypoglycemic effects include emblica officinalis (gooseberry)fenugreekgreen tea, and cinnamon [13], this last one used in many diets including teas of honey and cinnamon.


Wound healing is a very complex process that requires different phases to take place in order, from haemostasis, to inflammation, proliferation and finally remodeling. In diabetic patients wound healing is grossly impaired and results many times in chronic wounds failing to heal.
Some herbs as Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), Aloe vera, Calotropis procera, Portulaca oleracea, Acalypha langiana, Plagiochasma appendiculatum have been subject of study [16].
In studies done in diabetic rats, the application of Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract improved and accelerates the process of wound healing in diabetic animals [17,18].


Eleven active constituents isolated from Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), including two new cucurbitanetype triterpene glycosides, one new sterol, were tested for their Cytotoxicity activities against lung cancer cell line A549, glioblastoma cell line U87, and hepatoma carcinoma cell lineHep3B.
Two of them exhibited significant cytotoxic activities against cancer cells two new cucurbitane-type triterpene glycosides, one new sterol [19].


Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States.
One of the approaches to control breast cancer is prevention through diet, which inhibits one or more neoplastic events and reduces cancer risk [21].
As part of this approach some herbs, fruits and vegetables have been subject of study among scientists and researchers.
In some cases, as for example with the use of Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extracts, the resulsts of these studies have demonstrated certain effectiveness against breast cancer cells, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines, and the treatment of breast cancer cells resulted in a significant decrease in cell proliferation and apoptotic cell death, suggesting that the use of Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer [21]. Image left: Bixa by Kazuhiro Keino under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0).
In another study, ribonucleases from Bitter gourd seeds reported also certain anti-cancer properties in some studies [20]. One of these studies, done on the effects of Ribonucleases from Bitter gourd seeds on breast cancer cells, showed that this plant may be a potential agent that could be exploited as a new worldwide agent against breast cancer [20].


Eleostearic acid (alpha-ESA) is a conjugated linolenic acid that makes up approximately 60% of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) seed oil.
As studies on the subject showed that a water extract from bitter melon was able to inhibit breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and MDA-ERalpha7 human breast cancer cells, the alpha-ESA acid was also subject of study. The results showed that Eleostearic acid (alpha-ESA) can block breast cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis [22].
BITTER MELON SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS: As with other herbs, plants, fruits and vegetables, bitter melon can interact with many physical conditions, as for example lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics (Hypoglycemia), toxicity from the seeds.
It should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women as it can cause bleeding. The information presented in this website is for informational purposes.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this website is not intended to prescribe or give in any way or form medical advice, recommend or diagnose. Please read the disclaimer at the button of this page for more info.


[1] Antileukemic Potential of Momordica charantia Seed Extracts on Human Myeloid Leukemic HL60 Cells Ramani Soundararajan, 1, 2 , Punit Prabha, 1 Umesh Rai, 2 and Aparna Dixit 1 ,*
[2] Ng TB, Liu WK, Sze SF, Yeung HW. Action of α-momorcharin, a ribosome inactivating protein, on cultured tumor cell lines. General Pharmacology. 1994;25(1):75–77.
[3] 10. Grover JK, Yadav SP. Pharmacological actions and potential uses of Momordica charantia: a review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2004;93(1):123–132.
[4] Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Chen HC, et al. Anti-HIV and anti-tumor activities of recombinant MAP30 from bitter melon. Gene. 1995;161(2):151–156.
[5] Akihisa T, Higo N, Tokuda H, et al. Cucurbitane-type triterpenoids from the fruits of Momordica charantia and their cancer chemopreventive effects. Journal of Natural Products. 2007;70(8):1233–1239. [PubMed]
[6] Vesely DL, Graves WR, Lo TM. Isolation of a guanylate cyclase inhibitor from the balsam pear (Momordica charantia abreviata) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 1977;77(4):1294–1299. [PubMed]
[7] Claflin AJ, Vesely DL, Hudson JL. Inhibition of growth and guanylate cyclase activity of an undifferentiated prostate adenocarcinoma by an extract of the balsam pear (Momordica charantia abbreviata) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 1978;75(2):989–993. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
[8] Barbieri L, Lorenzoni E, Stirpe F. Inhibition of protein synthesis in vitro by a lectin from Momordica charantia and by other haemagglutinins. Biochemical Journal. 1979;182(2):633–635.
[9] Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract suppresses adrenocortical cancer cell proliferation through modulation of the apoptotic pathway, steroidogenesis, and insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor/RAC-α serine/threonineprotein kinase signaling. Brennan VC, Wang CM, Yang WH. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah, Georgia 31404-3089, USA.
[10] Traditional medicinal herbs and food plants have the potential to inhibit key carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes in vitro and reduce postprandial blood glucose peaks in vivo. Mahomoodally MF, Subratty AH, Gurib-Fakim A, Choudhary MI, Nahar Khan S. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Reduit 230, Mauritius.
[11] Wikipedia article on insulin and bitter melon.
[12] Binding Energy calculation of GSK-3 protein of Human against some anti-diabetic compounds of Momordica charantia linn (Bitter melon). Hazarika R, Parida P, Neog B, Yadav RN.
[13] A review of the hypoglycemic effects of five commonly used herbal food supplements. Deng R. Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, 41 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881, USA.
[14] Antidiabetic potentials of Momordica charantia: multiple mechanisms behind the effects. Chaturvedi P. Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.
[15] Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is a cornucopia of health: a review of its credited antidiabetic, anti-HIV, and antitumor properties. Fang EF, Ng TB. School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin.
[16] Wound healing in diabetes mellitus: traditional treatment modalities. Laitiff AA, Teoh SL, Das S. Department of Anatomy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
[17] The effect of topical extract of Momordica charantia (bitter gourd) on wound healing in nondiabetic rats and in rats with diabetes induced by streptozotocin. Department of Anatomy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Teoh SL, Latiff AA, Das S.
[18] Wound-healing property of Momordica charantia L. fruit powder. Prasad V, Jain V, Girish D, Dorle AK. Source Department of Pharmaceutics, Central Drug Research Institute, Chattar Manzil Palace, Lucknow, India.
[19] Structures of new triterpenoids and cytotoxicity activities of the isolated major compounds from the fruit of Momordica charantia L. School of Traditional Chinese Materia Medica, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, China. Wang X, Sun W, Cao J, Qu H, Bi X, Zhao Y.
[20] RNase MC2: a new Momordica charantia ribonuclease that induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells associated with activation of MAPKs and induction of caspase pathways. Fang EF, Zhang CZ, Fong WP, Ng TB. School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
[21] Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation by modulating cell cycle regulatory genes and promotes apoptosis. Ray RB, Raychoudhuri A, Steele R, Nerurkar P. Department of Pathology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA.
[22] Eleostearic Acid inhibits breast cancer proliferation by means of an oxidation-dependent mechanism. Grossmann ME, Mizuno NK, Dammen ML, Schuster T, Ray A, Cleary MP. University of Minnesota, 801 16th Avenue NE, Austin, MN 55912, USA.
[23] Inhibition of MDA-MB-231 human breast tumor xenografts and HER2 expression by anti-tumor agents GAP31 and MAP30. Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Sun Y, Chen HC, Kung HF, Huang PL, Murphy WJ. Source Department of Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10016, USA.
[24] Subhose V, et al. Bull Indian Inst Hist Med Hyderbad. 2005;35:83.
[25] A compilation of Bioactive Compounds from Ayurveda Ramar Perumal Samy,1 Peter Natesan Pushparaj,2 and Ponnampalam Gopalakrishnakone1,*
[26] Pixabay image  Pixabay image under Public Domain License CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).

te asosi

That's bitterweedbitter gourd, or bitter melon leaves.

Scientific name: Momordica Charantia L.
From the family of: Cucurbitaceae

In Haiti, good for treatment of impotence, anemia, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and some digestive problems.  It kills cancer cells, viruses, and bacteria.  It induces abortion in early pregnancy, and promotes milk flow in new mothers.
Also, if you boil these leaves, you may use it as topical treatment for wound care.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Get Rid of Mercury Once and For All in Dentistry

By Dr. Mercola
We are at a critical time in the fight against mercury fillings.
Thanks to your efforts at making your voice heard, on July 15, 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chose a mercury-free dentist by the name of Michael Fleming to be on the Dental Products Panel, which will be the group to reassess the safety of mercury fillings for high-risk groups by way of a hearing this December.
Dr. Fleming has an interesting and varied professional background, with a long track record of listening to consumers.
As we move toward the December hearing, we need your continuing letters and phone calls to the FDA. Although the panel selection process is complete, they need to continue hearing your voice. We must show them there is a large body of consumers out there who are keeping an eye on them — like hawks.
According to the FDA’s website, this panel’s purpose is defined as follows:
“The Dental Products Panel reviews and evaluates data concerning the safety and effectiveness of marketed and investigational products for use in dentistry, endodontics or bone physiology relative to the oral and maxillofacial area and makes appropriate recommendations to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.”
This hearing will hopefully bring us one step closer to the banning of amalgam fillings for children and pregnant women, and eventually for the rest of us.
Children and fetuses, whose brains are still developing, are most at risk for mercury-related neurological damage, and that is why it’s especially dangerous for pregnant women to get amalgam fillings.

To read more click the link

Malware XcodeGhost affecting iOS Apps

More Details on the XcodeGhost Malware and Affected iOS Apps

POSTED BY:  on September 21, 2015 2:30 PM
FILED IN: MalwareThreat PreventionUnit 42
A few days ago, we investigated a new malware called XcodeGhost that modifies Xcode, infects iOS apps and is seen in the App Store. We also found more than 39 iOS apps were infected, including versions of some pretty popular apps like WeChat or Didi, potentially affecting hundreds of millions iOS users. We also analyzed XcodeGhost’s remote control functionalities that can be used by attackers to phish or to perform further attacks. In this post we will discuss a few more details since learned about XcodeGhost and its behavior.

Actions to Stop the Attack

Since our post on September 18, Palo Alto Networks has cooperated with Apple, Amazon and Baidu to share samples, threat intelligence and research. All of them have taken actions to stop the attack or to mitigate the security threat.
Starting September 18, Apple began to remove some iOS apps infected by XcodeGhost from its App Store. Apple also sent an email to affected developers, guiding them to recompile their products by official Xcode, and to re-submit again. Apple has acknowledged XcodeGhost as malware and that it has affected the App Store.
xcode 1
Figure 1. The “Railway 12306″ were temporarily removed in App Store
Amazon has also taken action, including to shutdown all C2 servers on Amazon Web Services that XcodeGhost was seen to have used to upload privacy information and dispatch controlling commands.
Baidu has removed all malicious Xcode installers from its cloud file sharing service, making it much harder for a developer to download an infected Xcode unintentionally.
As of this writing, on Monday, September 21, we notice that there are still some previously known infected iOS apps available in App Store, among them China Unicom Mobile Officeversion 3.2.(Figure 2).
xcode 2
Figure 2. An infected app is still available in App Store in Monday morning

More Infected Apps Disclosed

In the last few days, other security companies claimed many more iOS apps being infected by XcodeGhost. For example, Qihoo 360 listed 344 infected apps in their blog. Pangu Teamclaimed detection of 3,418 different iOS apps being infected.  Pangu Team also released an iOS app to detect the trojanized iOS apps they’ve found.
We have not verified their results. However, considering that the malicious Xcode installers were spread since March 2015, the C2 servers also launched in March, and search engines’ results were polluted, it wouldn’t be surprising if the affected number of iOS apps is far greater than we thought.

More Technical Analysis

Xcode Modification

The most novel attacking technique in XcodeGhost is the modifications to Xcode compiler. This idea itself is not a new one. According to The Intercept’s report on documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, for example, the TCB Jamboree 2012 conference included a presentation called “Strawhorse: Attacking the MacOS and iOS Software Development Kit”.
In this presentation, researchers from Sandia Notional Laboratories presented the idea of attacking the Xcode to infect apps on both iOS and OS X. Note that The Intercept reported this presentation in March 10, 2015 – the same month XcodeGhost was launched.
xcode 3Figure 3. Document leaked by Edward Snowden showed the same attacking method
In our September 17 report, we introduced that XcodeGhost added malicious “CoreServices” object files to those Xcode installers. When developers using infected Xcode to compile an app, the linker will link these malicious object files to the app’s executable file. How is this accomplished?
By analysis, XcodeGhost also modified this file in Xcode to control the linker:
In Xcode, this Ld.xcspec file contains configurations used by the ld linker. In the end of this file, the definition of the “DefaultValue” variable was changed by XcodeGhost by appending a string of:
  • -force_load $(PLATFORM_DEVELOPER_SDK_DIR)/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/CoreServices
xcode 4
Figure 4. XcodeGhost modified the Ld.xcspec file
Using this method, the malicious object file will be forcibly linked to target executable file. This modification won’t be showed in Xcode’s user interface but will be listed in the compiling logs.

Prompting Alert Dialog

In previous reports, we discussed that XcodeGhost’s malicious code can be used for phishing by prompt deceptive alert dialog with built-in remote control functionalities. Here we actually made a mistake in our initial reporting. In the current version of the code, XcodeGhost cannotbe directly used to phish iCloud passwords. However, by changing a few simple lines of code, it can do that. .
In iOS, if an app prompts a dialog by the UIAlertView class, there’s a property alertViewStyle to specify which kind of dialog it wants to show. For example, if a password input dialog is needed, the property should be assigned to UIAlertViewStyleLoginAndPasswordInput. If the iOS developer didn’t specify any value, by default the dialog will have no input form but is just an alert with message and buttons.
We checked all versions of malicious files in XcodeGhost we have available, and didn’t find any one of them specified this property when prompting the alert dialog. Hence, current XcodeGhost cannot be directly used for iCloud password phishing.
xcode 5
Figure 5. XcodeGhost didn’t specify alertViewStyle property
However, it’s pretty easy for the author to add an alertViewStyle value and a delegate to handle user’s input. In this way, XcodeGhost can be used to phish any kind of password.

Potential Vulnerability in XcodeGhost

XcodeGhost used HTTP to upload information and receive C2 commands. The content in these HTTP requests and responses were encrypted by DES algorithm in ECB mode. It’s also not hard to find the encryption key in its code by reverse engineering.
Consider that HTTP traffic can be hijacked or faked in many ways. There’s a vulnerability in the infected iOS apps whereby the malicious code in them can be controlled by any man in the middle. By exploiting this vulnerability, an attacker can construct any URL in any scheme and control infected apps to open, or prompt an alert dialog for further attacks.
Note that although the malware’s C2 servers were shutdown, this vulnerability still exists and can be exploited in all affected iOS devices.

Security Suggestions to iOS Users

iOS users can install Pangu Team’s app (by directly visiting in iPhone or iPad) to detect whether their installed apps were infected. If there is any infected app, we suggest users temporarily delete it until there is an updated version available from its developer.
Two more actions will also be helpful to mitigate potential attacks or exploitation in further. One is to enable two-step verification for your Apple ID, and the other is to avoid using untrusted WiFi network.
Even with all of these steps, it’s still a challenge for iOS users to protect themselves from this kind of malware. The attention this has received will hopefully incent Apple and developers to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Suggestions to iOS and OS X Developers

In order to avoid being affected by similar malware in the future,  we recommend that all developers should always directly download official development tools from official channels. This includes downloading Xcode, SDKs and the Command Line Tools from Apple’s websites or from Mac App Store, and downloading third-party libraries such as Unity3D from their original providers.
Second, we suggest all developers set the Gatekeeper protection level to default value in their Mac computers for development, for integration and for deployment.  To do this, go to System Preferences, Security & Privacy, and set only allowing apps downloaded from “Mac App Store and identified developers.”
Last, we urge iOS and OS X developers check the integrity of their development tools and libraries before a new version of product will be released – every time. This can be done by the “codesign” utility or by hash values checking.


Thanks @noar for notifying us the modification in the Ld.xcspec file.

Retrieved from

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to avoid common toxic metal

Five Common Toxic Metals to Avoid, and Where You'll Find Them

December 27, 2003 | 109,366 views

By Dr. Joseph Mercola
     with Rachael Droege
Are you feeling tired or irritable? Is your head foggy or are you suffering from Alzheimer's disease, depression or anemia? These are just a few of the signs that you may be suffering from metal poisoning--a toxic accumulation of metals in the soft tissues of the body.
Metal poisoning is much more common than most people realize, and if you're thinking that it doesn't apply to you because you haven't been exposed to any, think again. If you've eaten fish regularly, had amalgam fillings, received vaccinations, drank contaminated water, or done industrial or agricultural work or pharmaceutical manufacturing, there's a good chance that you have a fair amount of toxic metals in your system.
The effects of these toxic metals can range from subtle symptoms to serious diseases. Since metals build up in your body over time, symptoms are often attributed to other causes and people often don't realize that they have been affected by metals until it's too late.
The worst part about metals is that once they build up in your body they can cause irreversible damage. Further damage can be prevented by removing the metals, but this can be a slow, difficult process. Prevention is the best defense when it comes to metal poisoning, and this list of five common toxic metals will give you a heads up to avoiding further exposure to these health-degenerating elements.
Mercury is one of the most problematic of all toxic metals because, despite its dangers and known role as a neurotoxin, many people have it implanted in their mouth, injected into their bloodstream, or are consuming it daily in fish.
Dental Amalgams
If you are one of the millions of Americans who has received silver dental fillings, take heed: Mercury makes up about 50 percent of every amalgam dental filling, also known as "silver" fillings. According to the American Dental Association, "Dental amalgam (silver filling) is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which chemically binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness."
However, consider that while 78 percent of Americans have dental fillings, 95 percent of people with disorders of the central nervous system such as MS, epilepsy, paralysis and migraines also have silver dental fillings. This begs the question, would you want mercury, one of the most powerful neurotoxins on the planet, embedded in your mouth, only inches from your brain? The answer is obvious.
Vapors from amalgams are released continually, and studies have found that those with these fillings can have mercury vapor concentration 10 times higher than people without them. Simple activities such as chewing gum, drinking hot liquids and brushing teeth can increase the release of mercury even more.
If you decide to have your amalgams replaced with a non-toxic material, the most important thing is to find a dentist who can remove your amalgams safely. Any dentist can technically replace your amalgams, but if they don't employ proper precautions much of the mercury in your fillings will go straight to your brain. Secondly, I would highly recommend getting healthy BEFORE you start on your fillings. Even a good dentist will likely liberate some mercury in the removal process and you want your detoxification mechanisms optimized prior to removal.
Thimerosal, a mercury-containing vaccine preservative, is still widely used in vaccines, including those routinely administered to children. Thimerosal contains close to 50 percent ethyl mercury by weight. Children are particularly sensitive to the mercury as their nervous systems are still rapidly developing. Years ago, health-related organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that thimerosal be removed from vaccines as soon as possible, yet it's still present in many vaccinations including Hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, acellular pertussis, tetanus and Hib.
Over the past decade, the prevalence of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit disorder have been increasing at epidemic proportions, and many experts believe that mercury from vaccines is at least partly to blame. It is thought that a child's reduced ability to excrete the mercury--children's detoxification abilities may vary greatly--may also play a role.
It is possible to get childhood vaccines without thimerosal, since some manufacturers have developed thimerosal-free vaccines, however, you will have to ask your doctor to check the package insert and provide a written guarantee that the vaccine is mercury-free. Even then you will not know for sure, as the package inserts, which are supposed to detail exactly what is in a vaccine, may not even be accurate. You will also want to read the many other reasons why vaccines can do more harm than good.
Tragically, our oceans are largely contaminated with industrial pollutants like mercury. Ocean and farm-raised fish pick up these toxic chemical residues, which bioconcentrate in their flesh.
The larger the fish, the more problematic because big fish eat smaller fish, thereby getting an even greater dose of accumulated toxins. People who regularly eat fish have higher levels of methylmercury than those who don't.
Even the conservative Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration have issued warnings about the dangers of mercury in fish, and they are now planning to issue a federal warning to pregnant and nursing women, and even those thinking of getting pregnant to limit their consumption of tuna, along with their previous warnings about other types of fish, due to mercury concerns. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can transfer mercury to their newborns, causing significant neurological problems.
Even if you are a man or not planning to become pregnant, mercury from fish can still accumulate in your body and cause serious problems down the road. If you do eat fish, please be sure to have it lab tested for mercury. We have found a brand of salmon, Vital Choice, that has less than .1ppm mercury, so this is one option for those of you looking for a safe source of fish. Alternatively, most sardines have little to no mercury since they are so small, and you can also take a high-quality, purified fish oil or cod liver oil to safely receive the health benefits of fish without the mercury.
If you are concerned about mercury poisoning, please review my Mercury Detoxification Protocol for detox information.
There are many ways that humans can be exposed to lead. Among the major sources are lead-based paint, leaded gasoline, lead-contaminated water, manufacturing of lead batteries, rubber products, glass and other lead-containing products, and lead oxide fumes that result when demolishing industrial buildings. While some of these sources, such as lead-based paint and leaded gasoline, have been discontinued over the past few decades, their effects still show up in the environment. For instance, it is estimated that 64 million homes in the United States still contain lead paint, which can either be ingested in flakes or inhaled as a microscopic dust.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the prevalence of lead toxicity (levels greater than 10 mcg/dL) in U.S. children ranged from 1.5 percent for upper-income white children living in recently built houses in the suburbs, to 36.7 percent for black children residing in large cities. Children are more susceptible to lead absorption than adults, whose lead toxicity is generally related to occupational exposure. It's estimated that more than 800,000 U.S. workers are exposed to lead through their work.
However, low-level exposure to lead, such as through drinking water or living near an incinerator or toxic dump, is also associated with many negative health effects like brain dysfunction in children, neurobehavioral changes in adults (such as a reduction in cognitive abilities and IQ, and personality changes), hypertension and chronic kidney disease.
As with the other elements, aluminum is absorbed and accumulated in the body, and has been linked to serious illnesses including osteoporosis, extreme nervousness, anemia, headache, decreased liver and kidney function, forgetfulness, speech disturbances and memory loss.
Aluminum has also been widely associated with Alzheimer's disease. People who have died from Alzheimer's disease have been found to have up to four times the average amount of aluminum accumulated in the brain's nerve cells.
Antiperspirants contain aluminum that is absorbed by your body. It's best to avoid it all together and use simple soap and water instead. Deodorants aren't as bad as antiperspirants, but I would also avoid using them unless it was made from some form of baking soda.
Aluminum-contaminated water is another significant concern, as studies have found that Alzheimer's disease is more common in regions where levels of aluminum in drinking water are highest.
To find out whether you may be at risk from aluminum and other toxins in your water you'll need to have your water tested by a reliable source. I've worked with AquaMD, a top-notch water-testing agency, to create the "Mercola's Recommended Water Tests"--and to make them affordable compared to other sources--so you can ensure the safety of your tap water today.
Other Common Sources
  • Aluminum cookware: Although aluminum pots are probably less problematic than the sources mentioned above, I personally would not use aluminum cookware.
  • Aluminum foil
  • Over-the-counter drugs: These include many antacids, anti-diarrheal drugs and drugs used for pain and inflammation.
  • Several douche brands
  • Some baking powders: Most baking powders contain aluminum as an additive, but health food stores carry non-aluminum varieties.
  • Refined foods, refined flours, baked goods, processed cheeses, and common table salt
Organic arsenic compounds are mainly used as pesticides, primarily on cotton plants, while inorganic arsenic is primarily used to preserve wood. Once arsenic is released in the environment it cannot be destroyed, and many arsenic compounds dissolve in water.
The primary route of exposure to high levels of arsenic is typically through occupational hazards, or near hazardous waste sites or areas with high natural levels. You can also be exposed by breathing sawdust or burning smoke from arsenic-treated wood. Arsenic has also shown up in drinking water, especially among well water, and long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostate.
Exposure to low levels of arsenic can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of "pins and needles" in hands and feet, and over the long term can cause darkening of the skin and the appearance of small "corns" or "warts" on the palms, soles, and torso.
In January 2001, the EPA revised the standard allowable level of arsenic in drinking water from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb. Levels must reach this lower amount by 2006. However, some experts believe that an even tougher standard of 3 parts per billion should have been adopted.
It's a good idea to have your water tested for arsenic, especially if your water comes from a well, to ensure you are not being slowly poisoned.
Cadmium, a naturally occurring metal, can be found in food, water and cigarette smoke. It is a known human carcinogen that appears to act in two ways: it harms DNA directly and disturbs a DNA repair system that helps to prevent cancer.
Like other metals, cadmium stays in the body for a long time and accumulates after long-term exposure to even low levels. Cadmium is released into the air from mining, industry, burning coal and household wastes, where it then binds to soil particles and dissolves in water. Fish, plants, and animals accumulate cadmium from the environment, as such there are low levels of the metal in most all foods with the highest levels found in shellfish, liver, and kidney meats.
People are exposed to cadmium not only through foods but also through drinking contaminated water and breathing cadmium-contaminated air (such as near burning waste, battery manufacturing, metal soldering or welding). Cadmium is also present in cigarette smoke, and smoking doubles the average daily intake.
It is thought that cadmium is carcinogenic, and long-term exposure to low levels can contribute to kidney disease, lung damage and fragile bones. Animal studies also suggest that it may lead to liver disease, high blood pressure, and nerve or brain damage.
If you are concerned about potential metal poisoning, numerous research projects in the United States and Europe indicate thatchlorella -- a type of green algae -- can aid the body in the breakdown of metallic toxins such as mercury, cadmium and lead, while strengthening the immune system response.
This detoxification of metals and other chemical toxins in the blood will take 3-6 months (to build up enough to begin this process) depending on the dosage of chlorella a person is taking.

What Types of Filling Materials Are Available?

Today, several dental filling materials are available. Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or tooth-colored, plastic, and materials called composite resin fillings. There is also a material that contains glass particles and is known as glass ionomer. This material is used in ways similar to the use of composite resin fillings.

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