When most people think of protein, they think protein foods like chicken, grass-fed beef, eggs, and beans and legumes. But did you know that this essential macromolecule your body needs to build new cells can be consume through protein bread? Yes, you read that right — high-protein bread. Manufacturers all over have launched the revolutionary bread, helping people get their protein intake in bread form.
Expected to be popular among fitness fans, retailers also predict protein bread will be a hit for anyone interested in meeting weight loss goals through diet or reaping other benefits from this nutrient-packed bread.
Protein Bread Benefits
1. Maintains Skeletal Muscle
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with advancing age. Although estimated prevalence and definitions vary, it’s a commonly recognized condition among older adults.
Maintaining skeletal muscle function throughout the life span into old age is important for independent living and good health. Several studies have identified protein as a key macronutrient for older adults. Protein intake greater than the amount needed to avoid negative nitrogen balance may prevent sarcopenia and improve bone health.
Consuming the right amount of protein may improve function and quality of life in healthy older adults, as well as improve the ability older adults to recover from disease and trauma. (1)
2. Aids Weight loss
Protein may be an effective weight loss strategy since it generally increases satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrates and fats. A randomized study of 27 overweight men had the men consume an energy-restricted diet as either high-protein or normal protein for 12 weeks. The high-protein diet group experienced greater fullness throughout the day compared to the normal amount of protein group. (2)
In a six-month randomized trial of 60 overweight and obese subjects, weight loss was almost twice as great in subjects receiving high-protein diet compared with a moderate protein diet. The benefits of consuming higher-protein product was also demonstrated in longer-term studies. In a 12-month study, 50 overweight and obese subjects, weight loss was greater in the high-protein group. During the six-month follow-up period, the high-protein group experienced 10 percent greater reduction in intra-abdominal adipose tissue than the medium-protein group. (3)
3. Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Dietary fiber intake is widely recognized as a part of a healthy diet and keeping serum cholesterol levels at bay. Higher dietary fiber intake is inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Dietary fiber has some beneficial effects on cardiovascular health by lowering serum cholesterol concentrations via an increase in the excretion of bile acids and inhibiting fatty acid synthesis in the liver. High-fiber foods like protein bread may also help control body weight because of causing greater satiety and slower digestion. (4)
4. Boosts Cognitive Function
The brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body by far, representing only 2 percent of body weight but accounting for over 20 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure. B vitamins’ general metabolic functions, alongside their roles in neurochemical synthesis, may therefore impact cognitive function, and enriched high-protein bread is a good source of B vitamins. (5) As for brain atrophy, homocysteine is risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia. Dietary administration of B vitamins, such as in protein bread, may help lower plasma concentrations of homocysteine.
A double-blind, randomized, controlled study found that homocysteine-lowering B vitamins may slow the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Our brains slowly atrophy as we age, but the shrinking is accelerated in participants suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In a recent study, participants who were given B vitamins for two years had decreased rate of brain shrinkage. The rate of atrophy in participants with high homocysteine levels was cut in half. (6)
5. May Help Treat Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer. Evidence from ecological studies, migrant studies and secular trend studies suggest that environmental risk factors are of major importance in the cause of colorectal cancer. (7) Dietary habits have been suspected as important, but only intakes of alcohol and processed and red meat are considered to be convincing dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer.
Dietary fiber found in protein bread may help gastrointestinal peristalsis alleviate constipation and absorb the harmful materials in the gut, leading to their removal. In addition, dietary fiber may improve the intestinal flora and provide energy and nutrition for healthy bacteria in the gut. With increased whole grain consumption, bowel movement frequency increased in six weeks, while there was only a slight, non-significant increase when consuming refined grains. Whole grains have been shown to decrease intestinal transit time, thereby increasing bowel movement frequency and helping prevent and/or treat colorectal cancer. (8)
Protein Bread Nutrition
Protein bread is made of whole wheat flour and consists of flaxseed, millet, oat and sunflower seeds.
One slice (19 grams) of high-protein bread contains about: (9)
Protein bread makes a useful pre-workout snack or part of a post-workout meal and has greater value than protein bars or shakes. It can stay fresh up to eight days or last in the freezer for three months.
Protein bread doesn’t contain artificial preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings or colors. Protein bread brands may consist of milk, soy and gluten so check ingredients for potential allergens.
Where to Find and How to Make Protein Bread
Protein bread is available at your local supermarkets. You can also find it online.
However, if you’re looking to make your own protein bread, there are several options available.
How to make protein bread
There are various recipe books and videos online to help you make protein bread. Preparations and ingredients vary, which is a benefit because these recipes can be tweaked to fit your personal nutritional goals.
One great option is my Keto Bread Recipe. All you need is almond flour, eggs, cream tartar, butter, baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
You can also give You can also give my Pumpkin Bread Recipe a try, which includes almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil and eggs.
Protein Bread History
In Syracuse, N.Y., three brothers — with the help of their personal trainer — wanted to develop a healthy line of bread products that wasn’t only enjoyable to eat on a daily basis, but also helped achieve their fitness goals. In 2008, after a year of development, P28 protein bread was the first original high-protein bread on the market. The demand for P28 bread products has gained popularity as consumers became aware of the benefits of a healthy and high-protein diet.
Meanwhile in Australia, the Protein Bread Co. was founded to help thousands of health-focused and athletic individuals meet their daily nutritional needs with the low-carbohydrate and protein-packed bread.
Some protein bread brands contain wheat, so people who are gluten-intolerant or on the Paleo diet should avoid these brands. In addition, too much protein can lead to conditions such as kidney disease, weight gain, osteoporosis, cancer and kidney stones. (10)
Because there’s no standard formula for high-protein bread, it’s important to scan the packaging for things you may want to avoid as well.
Consuming high-protein bread alone will not help with weight loss, though it can aid the weight loss process. Protein has calories, so if you eat too much, and don’t exercise, it can get stored as fat.
Final Thoughts on Protein Bread
Bread manufacturing companies across the globe launched high-protein bread for those wanting to meet their health goals.
Protein bread is low in carbohydrates but high in calories, omega 3s, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Protein bread benefits include helping build skeletal muscle, weight loss, and help in preventing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer risk factors.
Too much protein can lead to health risk, and it is best to scan the ingredient labels to prevent consuming allergens.
Talcum powder. It seems innocent enough, but did you know scientists have been warning us about potential risks since the 1960s? Talcum powder is a mineral-based product used in baby powder and many other cosmetics. Although published health studies show a link between use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer, millions of men and women still use it to absorb moisture and promote freshness. (1) In fact, it’s still a popular diaper rash prevention tactic used in infants and young children.
Johnson & Johnson shelled out more than $700 million dollars in talcum powder/ovarian cancer-related lawsuit cases in 2016 and 2017 alone. Still, people continue to use products containing talc on themselves and their children. Maybe they aren’t convinced of the potential health hazards of talcum powder, even though many studies and case reports clearly point out its dangers.
Past reports have made it clear — you should never use baby powder or products containing talc on your skin. Plus, even inhaling these products can be problematic. The good news is that there are many natural alternatives for talcum powder that are completely safe and equally effective.
What Is the Use of Baby Powder?
Baby powder is commonly used to absorb moisture and cut down on friction. When applied to the skin, it can help prevent rashes and other skin irritations like chafing. Many women apply baby powder to their perineum, underwear or pads to keep the area fresh and dry.
Talcum powder is also commonly added to makeup products like foundation and cosmetic powder in order to prevent caking and ensure a smooth appearance. And parents commonly apply it to their infants and young children to prevent bacterial overgrowth, yeast and diaper rash.
Baby powder is a product name for talcum powder, which is made from talc, a clay mineral containing magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is mined in proximity to asbestos, another naturally occurring mineral known to have carcinogenic effects. According to information posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “to prevent contamination of talc with asbestos, it is essential to select talc mining sites carefully and take steps to purify the ore sufficiently.” (2)
Although the FDA considers it unacceptable for cosmetic talc to be contaminated with asbestos, there’s no federal mandate to test and approve cosmetic products and ingredients before they land on stores shelves. In an effort to address the safety concerns of talc in powders and cosmetic products, the FDA conducted a survey in 2009 and 2010.
FDA asked nine talc suppliers to participate in the survey by sending samples of their talc. Of the nine suppliers, only four complied with the request. Meanwhile, tested purchased 34 cosmetic products in retail stores in the Washington D.C. area and tested them for asbestos contamination. The survey found no asbestos in any of the samples or products analyzed, but the FDA suggests these findings are limited because only four suppliers provided samples and the testing was limited to just 34 products. Therefore, this survey doesn’t prove that most or all talc-containing products sold in the United States are free of asbestos contamination. (3)
Baby Powder Cancer Threats & Beyond
1. Ovarian Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, many studies in women investigated talcum powder’s link to cancer in the ovaries. When a woman applies baby powder or any product containing talc to her genital area, the powder particles can travel through the vagina, into the uterus and fallopian tubes and to the ovaries. (4)
The first study suggesting the connection of talc and ovarian cancer came out in 1971, when talc particles turned up in human ovarian and uterine tumors. Then, in 1982, a study linked genital talc use with ovarian cancer. Since then, dozens of studies suggest a strong link.
A 2016 study conducted in Boston and published in Epidemiology analyzed the association of ovarian cancer and genital talc use. Researchers examined talc use among 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 women of similar ages and geographic locations that served as the controls. The data showed that genital use of talc increased ovarian cancer risk by 33 percent. The risk of cancer decreased as the longer a women went without using talcum powder in her genital region. Those who used the powder more frequently faced a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. (5)
Another study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention involved more than 1,300 African American women. Baby powder use was common for 62.8 percent of the women with ovarian cancer, implying a significant association between baby powder use and ovarian cancer risk. (6)
According to a New York Times article published in August, 2017, a judge recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million dollars in damages to a 63-year-old woman who developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder on her genital area when she was eleven years old. There have been more than 5,000 baby powder-related cases against Johnson & Johnson, with lawsuits claiming carcinogenic effects. Damages to Johnson & Johnson between 2016 and 2017 exceed $700 million dollars. (7)
2. Lung Cancer
Although inhaling talcum powder alone may not be directly related to the development of lung cancer, there are studies that suggest an increased risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases among talc miners and millers. This is most likely due to the varying forms of asbestos that can come into contact with talc.
A 2015 review of evidence published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found an increase in lung cancer mortality rates among talc miners. However, talc exposure may have been confounded with other carcinogens and the data couldn’t be adjusted to measure the affects of talc only. (8)
Another study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, evaluated the risk of lung cancer and respiratory disease among workers exposed to asbestos-free talc and silica in the manufacture of ceramic plumbing fixtures. Researchers found that workers exposed to high levels of silica dust and no talc did not face a significant risk of developing lung cancer. However, workers exposed to talc in addition to high levels of silica had a significant 2.5-fold increased risk of lung cancer. The mortality rate rose the longer someone was exposure to talc in the workplace. (9)
3. Lung Disease
Inhaling the very small particles that make up talcum powder can lead to lung irritation and respiratory distress. Continuous application of or exposure to talcum powder can negatively affect infants, children, teens and adults. Even asbestos-free talcum powder can cause irritation and inflammation of the respiratory system when ingested or inhaled.
A type of lung disease called pulmonary talcosis is a rare disorder caused by the inhalation of talc through occupational exposure or continued inhalation or ingestion of talc. A report published in BMJ Case Reports describes a 24-year-old woman who had a 4-month ritual of inhaling cosmetic talcum powder. She developed talcosis 10 years later. The disorder involves inflammation, chroniccough and difficulty breathing. (10)
4. Respiratory Conditions in Infants and Children
Many case reports of infants and preschool children experiencing adverse effects from talcum powder exist. Poison control center reports show incidents involving inhalation during a child’s diaper or clothing changing. When babies or children inhale the tiny particles in baby powder, it can produce a drying effect on their mucous membranes and affect breathing ability. If enough powder is inhaled in one moment or over time, it can lead to serious lung damage. (11)
A case report published in the BMJ describes a 12-week-old baby who accidentally inhaled and ingested baby powder accidentally spilt on his face during a diaper change. He immediately coughed and choked on the powder, then vomited and refused to eat. Four hours later he was admitted to the hospital with severe respiratory difficulties. Thirty minutes after hospital admission, his condition deteriorated and he went into respiratory arrest. After his airway was secured, he vomited a white talc-like substance. (12)
Talc granulomatosis occurs when intravenous drug abusers inject tablets containing talc that are intended for oral use. Talc is used in these tablets to hold the components of the medication together. Injecting talc into blood vessels can cause arterial obstruction, loss of blood flow to bone tissue, and the formation of granulomas in the lungs. Granulomas are formed by an infection or inflammation caused by the presence of a foreign substance. (13)
Where Else Talcum Powder It Hide?
Talc isn’t only present in baby powder; in fact, it’s hiding in products that many people use on a daily basis. Here’s a list of products that typically include talc:
Feminine hygiene products
Before buying any of these products, look for “talcum powder” or “cosmetic talc” on the label. If you choose to use products containing talc, choose companies that certify their product is talc-free, especially if you are using the powder or lotion in your pelvic area.
Better Alternatives to Products Containing Talc
There are many natural and safe ways to prevent diaper rash in infants and young children. Instead of relying on commercial products to use on your baby’s skin, make your own DIY diaper rash cream that contains coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, witch hazel and calendula. This homemade diaper cream will help reduce inflammation and skin irritation without putting your baby at risk.
Magnesium oil is another safe alternative. It has anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties that can help to heal diaper rash quickly.
Natural alternatives to using powders or products containing talc exist and help effectively absorb moisture and keep you feeling fresh. For example, there are many baking soda uses for your skin and hair.
Cornstarch also helps relieve skin irritation. Apply it to the skin to ease bug bites, chaffed skin, sunburns, jock itch, athlete’s foot and diaper rash.
If you’re looking for a natural alternative for foundation, try my DIY Foundation Makeup. It’s made with skin-healing and soothing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, non-nanoparticle zinc oxide and vitamin E oil. To add color to this foundation, you use cinnamon and nutmeg, or cocoa powder.
And if you’ve ever wondered how to make lipstick, try my all-natural homemade lipstick with lavender. It’s made with ingredients that will soften and repair your skin, while also getting rid of undesirable lines.
Baby powder is a product name for talcum powder, which is made from talc, a clay mineral that contains magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is mined in proximity to asbestos, another naturally occurring mineral that is known to possess carcinogenic effects.
Many studies in women, infants, children and male miners or millers suggest that inhaling talc or applying products containing talc to the skin can cause health conditions like ovarian cancer, lung cancer, lung disease and respiratory disease.
Using natural alternatives for products containing talc, including cosmetic foundation, deodorant, baby powder, lipstick and lotion, will help you to avoid the dangers of applying talc to your skin or inhaling it.
There are two sides to any story, and that is definitely true in the case of fluoride. Since being introduced into the public water supplies of much of the U.S. (and several other countries) in the 1960s, a consistent debate has existed on whether or not fluoride is truly safe as a water additive or dental health product.
It’s more complex than you might believe at first. On the one side, many public health organizations hail fluoride as a near-miracle for dental health and insist there are no questions or contrary pieces of evidence whatsoever.
For example, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) states on their website, “Because of its contribution to the large decline in cavities in the United States since the 1960s, CDC named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” (1) The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics agree, and have since the beginning of public water fluoridation in the mid 1900s. (2, 3, 4)
Pretty convincing, right?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t that simple.
The controversy over fluoride in water has been the main point of contention for anti-fluoridationists for the last several decades, since it was introduced widely in 1960. (5) Is it just kooks and conspiracy theorists that are continuing the pointless complaining about a public health victory?
Quite the opposite proves to be true after a bit of digging. A growing body of research has existed since before fluoride was ever approved for dental use finding it has the ability to cause long-lasting negative health effects in various bodily systems. (6)
What Is Fluoride?
“Fluoride” refers to any compound containing a fluorine ion. Sporting a chemical symbol of “F” and an atomic number of 9, fluorine is one of the well-recognized elements on the periodic table. As a pure gas, fluorine is “the most reactive and electronegative of all the elements.” It has extremely damaging effects to any living organism with which it comes into contact. (7)
In nature, calcium fluoride (CaF2) is found in soil and water. Spring water in areas without industries that regularly use fluoride generally contains about .01-.03 ppm (parts per million, also known as milligrams per liter or mg/L) of calcium fluoride naturally, while seawater is closer to 1.3 ppm. (8) These amounts vary greatly depending on location — in some parts of the world, calcium fluoride is found up to 10–20 ppm in water supplies, which is universally recognized as an unsafe ingestible amount of the compound.
Despite the insistence of various organizations to tell the public that this same compound is what’s added to their drinking water, this isn’t actually true. Calcium fluoride is not well-absorbed into the body, whereas sodium fluoride (NaF) is. This chemical compound does not occur in nature and was generally considered industrial toxic waste until 1950, when it was announced as a new dental health initiative.
1945 marked the start of studies in several cities across the U.S. to compare the prevalence of cavities (dental caries) between children and adults drinking fluoridated or unfluoridated water. According to the CDC, dental caries were reduced 50–70 percent in fluoridated communities during the 13–15 years of these “studies.” (9)
However, no data is available for the amount of cavity reduction experienced by the “control” communities in these experiments. As dental health has improved steadily in both fluoridated and unfluoridated communities of the U.S., this data would be very worthwhile but, unfortunately, does not exist or is not readily available to the public. (10)
As of 2014, about 74.4 percent of people in the U.S. with community water systems were provided with fluoridated water. (11) This is a 0.2 drop in the previous 2012 statistic, resulting partly from community efforts of citizens urging their leaders to remove fluoride from public drinking water.
Unlike you may expect, though, the fluoride used in your drinking water is not calcium fluoride nor sodium fluoride. Now, in 90 percent of our fluoridated water, it’s a compound known as hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFS or FSA). HFS is a by-product of the process used to create phosphate fertilizers that used to be considered toxic waste and is now (more than likely) an additive in your family’s water. (12)
In a petition submitted in 2013 by a former EPA scientist, J. William Hirzy, Ph.D., and colleagues requested the EPA to discontinue the use of HFS in public water due to the proven adverse effects it may have on human health, including issues via the presence of arsenic. (13)
That’s correct: The additive used to improve your dental health also contains arsenic, which, incidentally, is allowed in measures of .010 ppm in water by EPA standards, although the MCLG (maximum contaminant level goal) is zero, due to arsenic’s cancer-causing impact. (14, 15)
Not only does hydrofluorosilicic acid contain arsenic, it also leaches lead from piping at much greater rates than sodium fluoride, although both compounds have this effect. (16) Lead crosses the blood-brain barrier — as well as to unborn children in pregnant mothers — and has no known safe level of contamination that won’t cause harmful effects, such as cancer. (17)
Is fluoride safe for you?
According to the CDC and other governmental bodies, there is only one known cosmetic issue that occurs from too much fluoride in water or from other sources: fluorosis (which I’ll discuss a little later). (18) In another section of the CDC’s website, they provide a toxicology guide for fluorines, fluoride and hydrogen fluoride. This guide sets a “minimal risk level” of fluoride at .05 mg/kg/day for chronic exposure, which defines the amount of fluoride that would cause issues when chronically ingested. (19)
Doing the math: This means that a 160-pound person drinking an optimal amount of water (80 ounces) from a fluoridated source would ingest 1.66 milligrams of fluoride from that water alone. With the CDC’s given guideline of .05 mg/kg/day, that same person should not consistently consume such high levels of fluoride or may suffer adverse effects.
Not only is that far too close a margin, in my opinion, but this metric doesn’t consider the additional fluoride from toothpaste, mouthwash, food and drinks that the same person would also regularly ingest. It also is considering a full-grown adult who understands how to not swallow toothpaste, which can’t always be said for a small child brushing his teeth with fluoridated toothpaste with 1,000 times the fluoride as tap water per volume.
The adverse effects this includes should just be that one “cosmetic” problem, though, right? Not quite — the CDC has finally included a prevalence of “increased bone fractures in the elderly” related to drinking fluoridated water after they could no longer avoid the evidence. This is not listed on the community fluoridation material they distribute.
A growing number of professionals have doubted the safety of water fluoridation in its current state for many decades. This problem exists, in part, because the amount of long-term, high-quality, unbiased research available is limited to non-existent.
For example, the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (a British governmental body) looked at the evidence about the carcinogenic potential of fluoride. Their results were tentative at best, and they stated at the end of their compilation that, “Given the level of interest surrounding the issue of public water fluoridation, it is surprising to find that little high quality research has been undertaken.” (20)
In 2006, the National Research Council conducted a review entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.” Their research led them to a few conclusions about the safety of fluoride according to available data at that time, such as: (21)
Athletes, outdoor workers and people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes insipidus and poor kidney function are more sensitive to water’s fluoride content.
Infants and children are daily exposed to fluoride three to four times more than adults on a body weight comparison basis.
Even with the “insufficient” data regarding fluoride’s impact on the central nervous system, they felt the results of the existing warranted more investigation.
They acknowledged effects to the endocrine system caused by fluoride, although they referred to them as “subclinical” and not “adverse,” but agree that they deserve more research, particularly because these issues may impact the sexual development of children consuming fluoride within the US’s current guidelines.
They point out the major gaps in the scientific evidence regarding fluoride and make several recommendations for future study focus.
After completing this review, John Doull, the committee’s chair was interviewed by a journalist about the report. He concluded that the opinion of the council was that water fluoridation did play a part in increasing the dental health of communities when first implemented, but that the presence of fluoride in so many foods and other products today should give pause to whether or not our children are getting “too much of a good thing.” (22) Doull continued,
But when we look at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant.
Another expert who spoke out about concerns of the safety of fluoride is John Colquhoun, a dentist in New Zealand who was appointed to Principal Dental Officer of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Dr. Colquhoun, once passionately pro-fluoridation, re-examined the facts and studies available on fluoridation and wrote an explanation of his staunchly anti-fluoridation stance in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine in 1997.
He explains that this dedication to fluoride as the savior of dental health, particularly for low-income families who do not receive regular dental care, is based, in his opinion, on a determination to “bend over backwards to explain away new evidence,” specifically evidence opposing the common view. Colquhoun claims that flawed studies contributed to this issue greatly, but that when he was presented with the evidence of the decline of tooth decay in totally non-fluoridated communities, his conclusion was that fluoride actually does far more harm (to the teeth and other parts of the body) than it ever does good. (23, 24)
As with most things, this view is opposed by many. Herschel S. Horowitz, DDS, MPH, a former Chief of the Community Programs Section of the National Institute of Dental Research, wrote a rebuttal to John Colquhoun’s letter. He concluded that the letter contained poor references to junk science and remains convinced that community water fluoridation is totally safe. (25)
What does fluoride do to the body?
I’ll outline the major dangers of fluoride below, but first, let me give you a little information on what fluoride is known to do once it enters the body.
When ingested, fluoride passes both the blood-brain barrier, meant to protect the brain and nervous system from damage of foreign invaders, and can pass through placenta into the body of an unborn baby. (26, 27)
Fluoride bioaccumulates, meaning that not all of it is metabolized and/or excreted by your body’s natural waste disposal. About 50 percent of the fluoride you ingest through water or other food sources is excreted by urine, while the other half tends to accumulate in the calcified areas of the body, such as bones and teeth. Alkaline urine better removes fluoride from the body than acidic urine. (28)
In addition to bones and teeth, fluoride builds up in the pineal gland, a hormone gland responsible for the secretion of melatonin to manage circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. A study to determine the concentration of fluoride in the pineal gland discovered that, by the time the adults in the study had died in old age, the calcium-to-fluoride ratio of that gland was actually higher than in bone. (29) This suggests fluoride plays a part in the calcification of this gland, which would lead to poor melatonin production over time.
Because it leaches lead from water pipes, fluoride has been suspected to lead to higher levels of lead in the bloodstream. Research from Dartmouth University, published in Neurotoxicology, confirmed this theory in 2000, finding significantly higher lead levels in children exposed to water fluoridated by HFS. The scientists claimed this rendered the hypothesis “null” that there is no difference between sodium fluoride and HFS and that this could lead to concerning levels of lead, particularly in children with additional risk factors, like those who live in older homes. (30)
Since it passes the blood-brain barrier, some research has also focused on the impact of fluoride accumulation in the brain. Scientists in India conducted an animal study in 2014 on these effects (using sodium fluoride, not HFS) and found that: (31)
Increase in the NaF concentration resulted in increased fluoride deposition in brain tissue. This increased fluoride content led to increased levels of certain neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, histamine, serotonin and glutamate and decreased levels of norepinephrine, acetylcholine and dopamine in a dose-dependent manner.
Another interesting fact you may want to be aware of is that rats, like those in the above study, are not as sensitive to fluoride absorption as humans. They must be given significantly higher amounts of the chemical to reach the comparative level of fluoride in their blood (plasma) as a typical person drinking fluoridated water and ingesting other sources of fluoride.
Fluoride also inhibits various enzymes throughout the body responsible for normal processes of your metabolic energy systems. (32)
Is fluoride good for your teeth?
Fluoride is a part of the process by which teeth demineralize and remineralize each day. When you eat and drink certain foods, the mineral on your teeth is stripped by small amounts, and using fluoride topically helps to remineralize and calcify teeth, making them stronger and less susceptible to dental caries (cavities).
Because many families rely on tap water for the most cost-effective method of water intake, fluoride was introduced to public water supplies to prevent cavities in children who may not have good access to regular dental care. According to research from various sources, fluoridation does decrease the incidence of dental caries and the number of teeth affected by these issues, although many of these studies are defined as “low” or “moderate” quality at best when reviewed. (33, 34, 35)
The role of fluoride in dental health was discovered, somewhat by accident, by a dentist named Frederick McKay. McKay documented reports of what was called “Colorado Brown Stain,” a discoloration on the teeth seen in children who grew up in Colorado Springs, CO, and also noted that teeth with this discoloration were more resistant to decay. Subsequent analysis of similar findings led to the realization that water naturally high in fluoride had a teeth-strengthening effect, although it may also result in mottled teeth.
Now known as “dental fluorosis,” this condition is prevalent mostly among children under the age of eight who are not completely rid of their baby teeth. Understood to be mostly a cosmetic problem, fluorosis does not always result in mottled adult teeth (although it can, and is irreversible). A more serious form of this problem that occurs mostly in third-world countries with extremely high levels of naturally-occurring fluoride in water is crippling skeletal fluorosis, marked by rigidity of bones and increasing inability to complete a full range of motion. (36)
Many people consider dental fluorosis to be a problem that may only result in a bit of embarrassment or social anxiety; however, I think it may be an outward symptom of a much more systemic problem, as I’ll explain when we look at the potential dangers of fluoride.
Dental fluorosis has continued to affect a great deal of the U.S. population and rates continue to rise, according to CDC statistics. This is most likely due to the vast number of fluoride sources now available to the public. (37)
When comparing communities with and without fluoridated water, there does seem to be a trend in some areas for fluoridated communities to have less cavities. However, this gap is closing rapidly. (38)
Interestingly, though, the ingestion of fluoride may just not be the answer to the need for healthy teeth. The trend seen in countries widely using fluoridated water in public systems have seen a decline in cavities, yes, but that trend is almost identically matched in similar countries who have never practiced public water fluoridation. (39)
Dr. Arvid Carlsson of Sweden, a Nobel Prize winner, has stated publicly that it’s possible and even probable that fluoride can benefit teeth when applied topically but that it is “against modern pharmacology” to think there’s anything beneficial about ingesting the substance, particularly because the disparity in how much a single person consumes is so vast. (40)
The CDC conducted a study between 1986–1987 of dental caries in children across a number of cities in the U.S. They found, most fascinatingly, that fluoridated communities did, indeed, have a lower number of cavities per child than unfluoridated communities but barely — 2 versus 2.1, when comparing internal quality of teeth (the supposed reason fluoride must be ingested). (41) This incredibly small difference is yet another reason it does not make sense to me that our public water supplies are still “enhanced” with fluoride. (42)
The UK Department of Health still concludes, however, that the fluoridation of water, milk and salt (the latter two are not fluoridated in the U.S.) is the best and safest way to prevent dental caries. (43) This is echoed by the American Dental Association in their public marketing piece, “Fluoridation Facts.” (44)
Is fluoride bad for you?
I believe fluoride is an unnecessary chemical that should not be in public water supplies, and that it has the potential to damage your body.
Many experts have been concerned about the bioaccumulation of fluoride due to the overwhelming availability of fluoride in dental products, food, drinks and water, including a group of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) union members who have urged the EPA to change their stance on water fluoridation and a group of almost 5,000 medical professionals across several countries who have signed the Fluoride Action Network’s petition to end water fluoridation. (45, 46)
Because of the dangers of fluoride toxicity, the FDA began requiring a warning on all fluoride toothpastes manufactured after April 1997 to contact the nearest poison control center if the toothpaste is ingested because this “drug” may cause adverse effects. (47) Remember, toothpaste contains somewhere around 1,000 times more fluoride per volume than fluoridated water.
As I mentioned earlier, one concern held by certain people is the hazards of using silicofluorides (HSF) to fluoridate water, rather than sodium fluoride, the substance which has been used in virtually all fluoride safety research. (48) The petition listed above to remove silicofluorides from drinking water points out that fluoridated water using HSF contains 100 times more arsenic than fluoridated water using sodium fluoride at 0.7 ppm (the current standard).
Whatever the source, the ingestion of large amounts of fluoride is not good for you. While it may offer certain teeth strengthening benefits when used topically, I don’t think the benefits outweigh the very serious long-term costs.
Sources of Fluoride You Probably Don’t Know About
Fluoride isn’t just in toothpaste and tap water. If you’re trying to avoid fluoride, you should be aware that it is found in the following, both naturally and unnaturally:
Medications (anesthetics, cipro, flecainide, niflumic acid and voriconazole)
Many people trying to reduce their fluoride intake opt for bottled water, which does come with its own set of concerns but generally does not contain fluoride. The FDA requires bottled water containing fluoride to be labeled as such. (55)
6 Researched Dangers of Fluoride
1. May cause damage to the brain and central nervous system
One major cause of concern when ingesting fluoride is the potential it may have to negatively affect the central nervous system (CNS). A famed study by Phyllis Mullenix was one of the first occasions on which this CNS effect was quantified. In fact, you couldn’t discover any arguments on the pros and cons of fluoridation that does not include Mullenix’ discovery.
This well-designed study, using the latest technology available at the time, was conducted in the mid-1990s on rats. Emphasis on the study came from reports from China that high levels of fluoride in drinking water (multiples of any current levels in the U.S.) had been seen to affect the CNS preceding skeletal fluorosis. The animals were given varying levels of fluoride at multiple stages of development and compared with controls.
Mullenix discovered that fluoride treatment during fetal, weanling and adult development all had pronounced behavioral effects, even when the plasma (blood) levels of fluoride did not seem to be all that elevated. Prenatal exposures seemed to result in hyperactivity symptoms, whereas weanling/adult exposures both resulted in “cognitive deficits.” (56)
Another brain-related danger of fluoride is the potential that it may result in lower IQ’s. Studies have found varying degrees of IQ disparity, from a 2.5-point drop to a 7-point difference in children exposed to fluoridated water versus those who are not. (57, 58)
The meta-analysis that reflected a 7-point change in IQ was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Although the results were highly suggestive, the scientists were quick to state that the studies they examined were not conclusive enough to draw any sort of cause-and-effect relationship and, in some cases, reflected fluoride levels in water far above what anyone in the U.S. is generally exposed to. (59)
However, they were intrigued enough by their results to begin a pilot study in China to garner more information. This is the first of what is said to be many follow-up studies regarding fluoride and intelligence. In the 51 human study participants, it was found that moderate-to-severe dental fluorosis was correlated with poorer scores on two types of intelligence tests. (60)
Some are also concerned that the combination of aluminum and fluoride exposure might be a contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (61) In animal studies, rats given sodium fluoride (NaF) had significantly higher tissue aluminum levels and “alterations of cerebrovascular and neuronal integrity.” (62) As there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that aluminum plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s, it’s an avenue worth looking into deeper. (63, 64)
Since fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier, there are a number of effects it could have that are currently unknown. However, we do know, according to studies listed above, that fluoride might disrupt circadian rhythms and does alter the levels of certain neurotransmitters that are vital to healthy brain chemistry.
2. Has been associated with moderate cancer risk
Another hotly debated potential risk of fluoride is its potential to influence the risk of certain cancers. (65)
A 1977 study comparing the 10 largest fluoridated and unfluoridated cities at that time found an increase in cancer-related deaths of 18 percent in the fluoridated cities compared to those that weren’t, equating to about 3,000 more cancer deaths per 10 million persons in 1969, the studied year. (66)
A similar study, published earlier in 1977, detailed a review of cancer death rates over 17 years, between 1952–1969. No difference in the rates was discovered in persons up to 44 years of age between fluoridated and unfluoridated communities. In those between 45–64 years of age, an additional 1,500 cancer deaths per 10 million people was recorded in fluoridated cities, and the number rose to 3,500 more cancer deaths per 10 million people when observing those over 65. (67)
One review of cancer instances between 1978–1992 found that:
Cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon and rectum, hepato-biliary and urinary organs were positively associated with FD [fluorinated drinking water]. This was also the case for bone cancers in male, in line with results of rat experiments. Brain tumors and T-cell system Hodgkin’s disease, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma of the skin and monocytic leukaemia were also correlated with FD.
In that study, four types of cancers were actually correlated with a decreased risk in persons exposed to fluoridated water. (68)
Of particular interest in the fluoride debate is the instances of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. A relatively small study was published in 1993 finding a 6.9 times increased risk of osteosarcoma among males under 20 years of age in the most fluoridated parts of a 3-county area. (69)
The Harvard School of Dental Medicine also conducted a study about this risk and found similar results of an increased risk for young males of osteosarcoma when drinking fluoridated water. (70)
However, other follow-up studies have found no link or at least no significant increase in osteosarcoma cases between fluoridated and unfluoridated communities. (71, 72, 73)
3. Could increase risk of bone fractures
Unlike what was originally assumed, it seems the ingestion of fluoride does not have a positive impact on bone health, and may actually have a pronounced negative effect.
A study conducted in Mexico found an increase in bone fractures and major tooth damage in children exposed to fluoridated water. (74)
Other studies have found an increase in hip fracture risk among the elderly when consistently drinking water fluoridated at 1 ppm. (75) Other sources find no link between fluoridation and bone fractures. (76)
It’s true that the rate of hip fractures related to osteoporosis has increased in the elderly over the same period of time as the dawn of water fluoridation, but there is not yet evidence to suggest this could be attributed in any way to fluoride, as the causative factors behind such a disease are vast and not usually just one toxin or risk factor. (77)
4. Associated with hypothyroidism
Possibly related to the association between fluoride and hormonal function is the evidence that fluoride may be linked to hypothyroidism. In a study comparing fluoridated and unfluoridated areas of the U.K., researchers discovered that those living in unfluoridated areas were almost two times less likely to develop hypothyroidism. (78)
5. May interfere with sexual development
Remember that fluoride has been found to collect in the pineal gland? This may have further-reaching effects than just the interference with circadian rhythms. A 1997 study using gerbils discovered that fluoride was associated with faster sexual development in the females in the study. (79)
While these results haven’t been tested further in humans, it could be a very important point, as early puberty may possibly lead to issues ranging from short stature to an increased risk of breast cancer.
6. Associated with diabetes risks
As diabetes diagnoses are at an all time high, a great deal of research is focused on the ways we can reduce the impact of this reversible condition. (80) A literature review of the connection between fluoride and diabetes, conducted by Dr. Geoff Pain, an Australian chemistry specialist, left the scientist in no doubt of the results. Pain stated, (81)
There is strong evidence that fluoride causes diabetes … Diabetics are a “sensitive subpopulation” or “vulnerable group” and no attempt has been made by Australian health authorities to warn diabetics about fluoride toxicity or protect them from harmful exposure.
However, this review does not equate to convincing proof that diabetes truly is caused by fluoride exposure. While it warrants further investigation, another study found that low levels of fluoride, like those found in water in the U.S., actually helps to improve insulin resistance and aids in glucose homeostasis. (82)
How to Detox Your Body of Fluoride
The best way to protect yourself begins with staying informed. For instance, do you know if your community fluoridates its water? The CDC offers a searchable map to find out whether or not your local public water is fluoridated and at what rate (the currently recommended volume is 0.7 ppm, with a top limit of 4 ppm). (83) The county I live in fluoridates its water at 0.7 ppm.
Once y0u know you’re being exposed to fluoride in tap water, and at what rate, what measures can you take to detox your body?
Eat alkaline: An alkaline diet, designed to balance the internal pH of your body, is one of your best lines of defense in fluoride detoxification. While you excrete 50 percent, on average, of the fluoride you ingest, you can drive that percentage up by maintaining an alkaline environment. Alkaline diets rely a lot on plant proteins and raw fruits and vegetables to help the body rid itself of harmful substances.
Try tamarind tea: Research has found that the popular Indian beverage, tamarind tea, can help your body to detox fluoride from your system. (84) It’s not the easiest tea to find, but might be worth ordering online if you’re concerned about your fluoride exposure.
Increase your selenium intake: A rat study suggests selenium supplementation can help to reduce or reverse the effects of fluoride on the brain. (85) This does not necessarily mean this impact extends to human, but foods high in selenium are also good for your thyroid, heart and may reduce your risk of cancer, so incorporating those foods definitely isn’t going to hurt.
Exercise: That’s right, one of the benefits of exercise may be fluoride detox. A 2013 study in Argentina discovered plasma fluoride levels decreased in rats exposed to moderate exercise versus those who did not exercise. The rats also had reduced insulin resistance, leading the researchers to suggest daily physical exercise may help to avoid the negative effects of fluoride on glucose metabolism. (86)
Alternatives to Fluoridated Water
In addition to detoxifying my system of fluoride, it’s also important to reduce future exposure. There are some methods you can use to protect yourself and your family from excess fluoride.
Eat organic: Many pesticides used on food crops are fluoride-based, such as cryolite. Buying certified organic foods means you aren’t exposing yourself to these pesticides. In addition, the more processed a food is, the more fluoride it’s likely to contain, because industrial food-making involves using fluoridated water. You can also reference the USDA National Fluoride Database to verify what foods you’re eating that tend to contain significant amounts of fluoride. (87)
Avoid fluoride while nursing children: Fluoride has been found to transfer to infants via breast milk. (88) To make sure you’re protecting your child from early fluoride exposure, extra precaution should be taken during this sensitive time to avoid fluoride.
Purchase a (specific) water filter: Unlike what you might expect, not all water filtration systems work to reduce or eliminate fluoride. However, there are three types that you can utilize in your home that will filter out fluoride: reverse osmosis, deionizers (using ion-exchange resins) and activated alumina. Activated carbon filters, like the typical brands you might see advertised for the home, do not filter fluoride. One thing to remember when filtering water is that some methods, like steam distillation, might remove fluoride but also remove much of what makes water so beneficial to your health.
Find fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash: Especially if you have youngsters in the home who may be apt to swallow toothpaste, you can protect them from fluoride exposure by using unfluoridated dental products instead of the now-popular fluoride options. Although there may be some dental benefits to the topical use of fluoride in these products, it may be your preference to avoid it altogether.
Use alternative water sources: It is unfortunate to see the dangers that both tap and bottled water pose, but various people are trying to do something to correct this problem. For example, many communities can take advantage of a water delivery service — just be sure to double-check the water has been filtered to remove fluoride. Another option for some people is the much newer option of boxed water, which doesn’t present many of the risks of bottled water and is also absent fluoride.
Take action in your community: I mentioned earlier that the number of fluoridated communities actually decreased in the U.S. from 2012–2014, largely due to people taking action to tell their local leaders they no longer wanted to fluoridate their community water. Communities around the globe are taking this action. (89) As you become more informed, don’t be afraid to use your voice to let your leaders know the dangers of fluoridation.
Fluoride is a complex topic for many concerned about their health because of the opposing views among much of the world on the benefits and dangers of fluoride. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, a few things become clear when the research is revealed, namely, that the issue of fluoride is far from settled and that this chemical is very likely a health hazard when consumed regularly in large amounts, as much of America does.
When you apply fluoride to your teeth in the form of toothpaste or mouthwash, certain benefits might come to light, such as stronger teeth. However, these benefits seem to be overstated at best.
Fluoride is commonly found in food products, some medications and other sources. Scientific evidence leads me to believe the dangers of fluoride probably include central nervous system damage, potential cancer risk, an increased risk of bone fractures, thyroid dysfunction, sexual development disturbances and an increased risk of diabetes and related complications.
If you’ve decided to detox your (and possibly your family’s) body from fluoride, start by eating an alkaline diet, which is clinically shown to increase longevity. Selenium supplementation, tamarind tea and exercise are also fluoride detoxers.
Stay informed — check the CDC’s website for your community’s fluoridation practices and take action if that’s an option you have. As much as you are able, purchase food certified organic and consider drinking fluoride-filtered water via water delivery or proper in-home filtration.
Above all, remember that these effects are cumulative. It would be virtually impossible to avoid all sources of fluoride at all times, but by following these guidelines, you will greatly decrease your exposure to this pesky substance and, subsequently, your risk of toxic side effects.
Understanding the role of fluoride in the human body and the question of how you may want to deal with these questions in your own family are complex issues. A large amount of research and history exists about fluoride and the water fluoridation controversy, more than I can include in this one piece, so I have included additional resources below for you to examine so that you can make informed choices.
* Please note: some of the below links are duplicates of reference links in the above text.
“Fluoridation Facts” — A breakdown of the facts and myth surrounding fluoridation as defined by the American Dental Association.
“The Fluoride Debate” — A response to the ADA’s “Fluoridation Facts” booklet, including the history of the debate over fluoride, answers to each of the ADA’s question in “Fluoridation Facts” and a large amount of additional information.
The Fluoride Deception — This is the full text of the book by Christopher Bryson exposing much of the hidden political issues behind the development of fluoridation, including the experiences of Phyllis Mullenix and various other scientists who have been silenced in their fight to fight fluoridation.
The Mullenix Study — Dr. Phyllis Mullenix conducted a groundbreaking study in the mid-90’s regarding the effects of fluoride on the central nervous system of rats. She was terminated from Forsyth, the company employing her and sponsoring the study, three days after submitting her paper for peer review (which it passed). Mullenix sued Forsyth for wrongful termination and received an unknown out-of-court settlement.
The Mullenix Presentation [Part One | Part Two | Part Three] — This is her original presentation of the completed study, now famed as the disastrous end to her career in research.
Interview with Dr. John Colquhoun — Dr. Colquhoun, a New Zealand dentist, was an avid supporter of fluoridation and appointed at one time as the Principal Dental Officer in Auckland, the largest city in the country. He reversed his position on the fluoridation controversy before his death in 1999 and describes in detail here the reasons that led him to do so.
Lawsuit filed against the EPA by the Fluoride Action Network — On April 18, 2017, a lawsuit was filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco in which the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) is persisting to have the EPA remove fluoride from drinking water across the United States to meet the requirements of its own Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Fluoride and the Manhattan Project — Some sources suggest that fluoride was a chemical warfare agent considered by the United States military during World War II. A 1944 Manhattan Project memorandum is said to have stated, “clinical evidence suggests that uranium hexafluoride may have a rather marked central nervous system effect … It seems most likely that the F [fluoride] component rather than the T [uranium] is the causative factor.”
Europe Statements — Most western European countries have banned or discontinued fluoridation for a variety of political and safety issues. Herein are their various reasons for these choices.
Interview with John Doull — The chair of the NRC committee tasked with determining the efficacy and safety of current water fluoridation standards was interviewed about the results of the review his committee conducted.
John Colquhoun’s Position on Fluoridation [Abstract | Full Text] — Former Principal Dental Officer of Auckland, New Zealand, explains his scientific reasoning for reversing his pro-fluoridation stance.
No matter how health conscious you try to be, the truth is that every single day you’re being bombarded by harmful toxins & stressors.
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Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been found to help alleviate depression, even in severe cases where other kinds of treatment fail to do the job, and new research is providing insight into the secrets of how our brains function.
Led by Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, researchers from Imperial College London have used the psychoactive compound psilocybin, commonly found in so-called magic mushrooms, to treat depression in patients and have used brain scan techniques to observe how precisely the hallucinogen influences the brain, according to a report by The Guardian.
The fact that psilocybin has now been shown to be a potent cure for depression became known in 2016, when Carhart-Harris’s team first used the chemical compound on a group of patients. As Sputnik reported at the time, the initial test included a group of 12 patients, aged 30-64, who failed to find a cure for their condition via conventional pharmaceutical methods. Eight patients out of the original twelve claimed a full remission from what they had documented as decades-long battles with mental and emotional distress.
The results were recognized as a major medical success.
“For the first time in many years, people who were at the end of the road with currently available treatments reported decreased anxiety, increased optimism and an ability to enjoy things. This is an unparalleled success and could revolutionize the treatment of depression,” said Amanda Feilding, co-director of the research.
During that initial test, however, the team observed further research would be needed to understand how exactly the psychoactive compound affects the human brain.
This year, the team gave the psilocybin compound to a group of 20 patients and the treatment was found to be largely successful — about half of the group reported feeling well just five weeks after the ingesting the medication.
But this time, the team acquired additional data on mental activity via brain scans.
First, the scans confirmed the previous year’s finding that psilocybin reduces blood flow in the area of the brain called the amygdala the area responsible for processing emotion — primarily those qualitatively assessed as negative, such as anxiety and fear.
According to the BBC report, the team found that the greater the reduction of activity in the amygdala, the greater the improvement in reducing symptoms. According to BBC, the interconnected brain structure known as the “default-mode network” also became more stable after using the compound.
As an added benefit, psilocybin appears to temporarily limit connectivity between certain parts of the brain. According to a Verge report, this disruption of connectivity is what causes the psychedelic effect of magic mushrooms, in which people lose their sense of “self” — called by psychologists the ego — when experiencing the effects of the compound.
But brain scans performed after the treatment were surprising, as, following the treatments, there turned out to be enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Researchers describe the effects by noting that psychedelics break old connectivity patterns and boost the brain to create new and healthier mental structures.
This effect has been supported by the patients, who all reported some kind of welcomed mental reset.
According to Dr. Carhart-Harris, “Patients were very ready to use this [computer reset] analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up.”
This year’s experiment has its weak sides, though, since the test group was still quite small; there was also no control group — a group of patients given the placebo treatment — to compare results.
According to the Guardian, Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences, and senior author of the paper, said: “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.”
“What is impressive about these preliminary findings,” said Professor Mitul Mehta from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, “is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.”
“This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies,” he said, cited by the BBC.
How to Take Psilocybin Mushrooms – Beginners Guide for Safely Use
There’s no denying the appeal of fast food. Who hasn’t felt the pull of a juicy burger at the end of a long and exhausting work day? And yet, eating that burger often leaves us feeling bloated, heavy and strangely unsatisfied. A groundbreaking new study by researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom may finally have unlocked the reason why certain meals, no matter how large, leave us feeling unsatisfied, while other, smaller meals keep us full for ages.
Science Daily recently reported that the research team, led by Professor Nicholas Dale of the University’s School of Life Sciences, has discovered that cells called tanycytes, which are found in the brain and control energy levels, detect specific nutrients in the foods we eat mere seconds after we eat them. The study will be published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.
Tanycytes respond to the amino acids found in foods using the same receptors on the tongue that detect flavor, and when they react with two of these amino acids – arginine and lysine – they send messages of fullness and satiety to the brain.
Arginine and lysine are particularly prevalent in certain foods, including: almonds, cheese, chicken, tuna, sesame seeds, anchovies, apricots, aubergines, crab, dates, figs, lentils, turkey, peanuts, pistachios, plums, pork shoulder, sweet potatoes, tahini and walnuts.
The research team conducted their investigation by adding concentrated amounts of these two amino acids directly into brain cells. Since the cells were made fluorescent, even microscopic changes or reactions would be visible to the scientists. Within 30 seconds, the team observed the tanycytes reacting to the lysine and arginine, sending messages to the part of the brain that controls appetite and weight. (Related: Learn about the amazing health benefits of Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet at Nutrients.news.)
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” Professor Dale explained. “Finding that tanycytes, located at the centre of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
Obesity remains a global problem, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States more than a third of all adults are clinically obese. Obesity is directly related to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and many forms of cancer – all preventable diseases.
Increasing our intake of the “magic” trigger foods that contain lysine and arginine can be incredibly helpful to the thousands of people who are trying to lose weight and get healthy at any given time.
“Tricking” your mind into feeling full, while at the same time increasing your intake of these nutrient-packed foods is a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight and improve your health in the long-term.
While many people will likely be tempted to try to increase their intake of lysine and arginine in pill form, the truth is the body needs the perfect balance of nutrients and amino acids found in “real” food.
If you’re really serious about setting yourself up for long-term good health, increase your intake of lysine- and arginine-rich clean, organic, foods; maintain a healthy weight; drink lots of pure, filtered water; and incorporate an enjoyable form of exercise into your daily routine.
Your body will reward you with good health and and a long life.
Would you be willing to take some risks to save yourself thousands of dollars a year on pricey medications? Michael Laufer, a genius who studied particle physics as an undergrad and who speaks 18 or 19 languages, believes that there are thousands of people out there whose financial situation makes them desperate enough to do just that. Stat News recently reported that Laufer, a fixture in the biohacker movement, has started publishing DIY manuals for those who have no other alternative but to make their own medications at home.
Price gouging by pharmaceutical giants has escalated astronomically in recent years. Back in 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of a drug called Daraprim – the standard treatment for a parasitic infection – from $13.50 (at most) to $750 per tablet, overnight – that’s a 5,000 percent increase. Turing was not even involved in the cost of developing this drug, but simply purchased it from another pharmaceutical company.
But there are people out there who do care – one of them being Michael Laufer, who along with his colleagues (which, according to Laufer, include medical doctors) has created a DIY epinephrine autoinjector which can be assembled for just $35. The plans are available for free at the group’s website FourThievesVinegar.org.
The site also contains instructions for an “Apothecary MicroLab,” which can be built using materials available online for around $100. The MicroLab can then be used to create various medications, including Daraprim (Pyrimethamine). Again, all the instructions are available for free.
Laufer believes that creating medications in this way should be no harder than assembling Ikea furniture.
Of course, real danger exists in trying to create medications at home.
Creating the homemade equivalent of an EpiPen or Sovaldi involves deadly perils — contamination, overdose, and underdose — that even compounding pharmacies sometimes struggle with. The margins for error are very small.
Nevertheless, for poor people in desperate need of these medications, Laufer’s plans might seem like a godsend.
That means the logical person to use a Four Thieves plan would be a cash-poor, uninsured patient who desperately needs an expensive drug — and who is also a sophisticated and supremely competent tinkerer.
It is unlikely that thousands of people will suddenly stop taking their medications and start trying to make them at home. Nonetheless, it is great to see that there are still people out there who care enough to try to help the less fortunate who have been all but forgotten by money-hungry pharmaceutical companies.
Yes, fermentation. It’s everywhere and happening every day with no escaping it, and you’ve heard all about the benefits of fermented foods. But just what is fermentation, and why is it so important?
Fermentation is a process used to produce the finest wine; many of our basic staples, such as bread and cheese; and pleasurable delights, including beer, chocolate, coffee and yogurt. Fermentation is an easy process, enjoyed and done by anyone and anywhere with the most basic tools. Cultures around the world have been fermenting longer than we’ve been cultivating soil or writing books, benefiting from the countless delicacies as a result.
Best of all, fermentation brings out some amazing health benefits in the foods we eat. What is fermentation good for? Well, fermentation helps increase digestion and bioavailability of nutrients, as well manage and prevent disease, including H. pylori infection, cancer, liver disease, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and lactose intolerance. Furthermore, it’s been shown that fermented foods can reduce social anxiety.
What Is Fermentation?
What is fermentation? It’s the process of using microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, to convert carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids under anaerobic conditions.
There are two types of fermentation: alcoholic and lactic acid. Alcoholic fermentation, or ethanol fermentation, is where pyruvate (from glucose metabolism) is broken down into carbon dioxide and ethanol by bacteria and yeast. Alcohol fermentation has been used to produce beer, bread and wine.
Pyruvate molecules from glucose glycolysis may be further fermented into lactic acid. Lactic acid fermentation converts lactose into lactic acid. (1)
There are several benefits to fermenting food. First, fermentation serves to enhance the digestion of food. Your body needs adequate digestive enzymes to properly absorb, digest, and utilize nutrients in food. When vegetables like cabbage and cucumbers are left to steep and sit until the sugars are broken down to promote the growth of bacteria, this is when the vegetables are fermented.
Fermented foods are also filled with beneficial bacteria that work as reinforcement for the good bacteria in the digestive system. Since 70 percent to 80 percent of the immune system lies in the gut, having proper balance of gut flora is important.
What else is fermentation good for? It preserves food. How? During fermentation, organisms produce acetic acid, alcohol and lactic acid, which are all “bio-preservatives” that retain nutrients and prevent spoilage. Lactic acid acts as a preservative by reducing pH, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. (2) It also influences physical properties of casein to induce a finer suspension, which appears to help promote digestibility.
What Is Fermentation? Fermentation and Probiotics
In the late 19th century, microbiologist realized microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy individuals were different than those who were sick. These beneficial microflora were named probiotics, literally meaning “for life.” Probiotics are microorganisms proven to exert health-promoting influences in humans and animals. The reason why fermented foods and drinks are beneficial is because of the natural probiotics they contain.
According to the Journal of Applied Microbology, the benefits of consuming probiotics include “(i) improving intestinal tract health; (ii) enhancing the immune system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients; (iii) reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance, decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals; and (iv) reducing risk of certain cancers.” (3)
Probiotic bacteria not only balance the good bacteria in the gut, but they also help to “tune up” the immune system. As high as 70 percent of the immune system lies in the intestine, so nurturing the bowel immunity with probiotic bacteria keeps the intestinal tract healthy. Probiotic-rich foods include fermented cheese and soy sauce, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Just as there are fermented foods, you can nurture your intestines with fermented probiotic beverages like kefir and kombucha.
What Is Fermentation Good For? Health Benefits of Fermentation
1. Improves Digestion
Fermentation breaks down nutrients into more easily digestible forms. When lactobacilli in fermented foods proliferate, their vitamin levels increase and digestibility is enhanced. When it comes to soybeans, this protein-rich bean is indigestible without fermentation. Fermentation breaks down the soybeans complex protein into readily digestible amino acids, giving us traditional Asian ingredients, such as miso, tamari (soy sauce) and tempeh. (4)
Milk is also difficult for many individuals to digest. A type of bacteria present in fermented dairy products converts lactose, the milk sugar that many individuals cannot tolerate, into digestible lactic acid. In a study out of France on women who reported minor digestive problems, those women reported improved gastrointestinal digestive symptoms when fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium lactis was consumed. (5)
2. Suppresses H. pylori
H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori infection) is an important risk factor for many gastrointestinal diseases. Some fermented foods serve useful for suppressing H. pylori infection.
An observational study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology involving 464 participants found lower prevalence of H. pylori seropositivity in those who consumed yogurt more than once a week compared to those who did not. (6) This confirms other research findings that fermented milk improves gastrointestinal symptoms in patients who tested positive for H. pylori. (7)
3. Has Anticancer Effects
Cancer is caused by activation or mutation of abnormal genes, which control cell growth and division. Researchers believe probiotic cultures and fermented foods might decrease the exposure to chemical carcinogens by: (8)
detoxifying the ingestion of carcinogens
altering the environment of the intestine and decreasing metabolic activities or populations of bacteria that may generate carcinogenic compounds
producing metabolic products that cause programmed cell death or apoptosis
producing compounds that inhibit the growth of tumor cells
stimulating the immune system to defend itself against cancer cell proliferation
There are several reports on the ways fermented foods can help treat cancer:
Large cohort studies in the Netherlands and Sweden have observed the effects of regular consumption of fermented dairy products in reducing the risk of bladder cancer.
Strains of bacteria called lactobacillus prevent toxicity of heavy metals by excreting harmful heavy metals and heterocyclic aromatic amines, carcinogens found in overcooking meat.
Kimchi, a fermented cabbage cuisine, contains strains that promote the degradation of organophosphorus pesticides, by breaking down a cancer-causing food preservative called sodium nitrate.
4. Enhances Bioavailability of Nutrients
Fermentation helps create new nutrients and has been shown to improve the availability, digestibility and quantity of some dietary nutrients. As microorganisms go through their life cycles, microbial cultures create B vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and biotin. The bioavailability of fat and protein are enhanced by bacterial enzymatic hydrolysis, and the production of lactic acid, butyric acid, free amino acids and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are increased by lactic acid bacteria.
When SCFAs are absorbed, they may help protect against pathological changes in the colonic mucosa. They play an important role in maintaining an appropriate pH in the colon, which is important in the expression of various of bacterial enzymes and in carcinogen and foreign compound metabolism in the gut.
5. Reduces Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Lactobacillus consumes lactose in milk and transforms it into lactic acid that may be easier for individuals to digest. Lactic acid in yogurt reduces symptoms of lactose intolerance in individuals who are lactase-deficient. The beneficial effect appears to be a result of the lactic acid bacteria in fermented milk, increasing lactase in the small intestine.
In clinical practice, replacing milk with fermented dairy products allows for decreased diarrhea, better digestion and improvements in other symptoms of intolerance in participants with lactose intolerance in subjects with short-bowel syndrome and children with diarrhea. Enhanced digestion of sucrose was shown in infants with sucrase deficiency as well. (9)
6. Helps Treat Hepatic Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the buildup of extra fat in the liver cells not caused by alcohol. Liver disease can cause liver swelling, scarring, and even lead to cancer or liver failure.
In a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial, some participants consumed 300 grams a day of fermented probiotic yogurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis, while those in the control group consumed 300 grams a day of conventional yogurt for eight weeks. The group who consumed the probiotic yogurt had reductions in alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared to the control group. The reduction in these parameters may be useful in management of liver disease risk factors. (10)
7. Improves Arthritis Symptoms
Most people know someone with arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability, with symptoms including aching, pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. It is thought that inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may be modulated by the consumption of fermented foods.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of probiotics in active rheumatoid arthritis found that “patients with at least four swollen and four tender joints and stable medications with no steroids for at least one month prior to and during the study, showed a significant improvement in the Health Assessment Questionnaire score after three months of probiotic treatment.” (11)
8. Treats Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Fermented milk supplemented with probiotics can exhibit a direct effect in the gut in managing inflammatory and functional bowel disorders. Clinical trials show that probiotics help reduce abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and flatulence in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease. (12)
Best Fermented Foods
Kefir is a unique cultured dairy product due to combined lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation of lactose in milk. Kefir is produced by microbial activity of kefir grains, which have a relatively stable and specific balance of lactic acid bacteria and yeast.
Due to the benefits of kefir, including reduction of lactose intolerance symptoms, stimulation of the immune system, lowering cholesterol, and antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties, it has become an important functional dairy food. Consequently, research on kefir has increased in the past years.
Kimchi is a spicy and popular fermented food enjoyed in Korea. Since it is low in carbohydrates, fat, and has a high content of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytochemicals, it is a perfect fermented food for weight control.
A sour tonic beverage, like rejuvelac and kvass in Russia, kombucha is a sweetened tea cultured with a a gelatinous colony of bacteria and yeast. Benefits of kombucha include reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, increasing the body’s resistance to cancer and detoxifying the body.
Miso is a paste-like, half-solid food with sweet and salty taste, which has been gaining popularity worldwide. It has been a staple food in Japan and is used to cook miso soup and side dishes as seasoning. The bioactive compounds formed or released by the enzymes during miso production have been shown to exhibit antioxidant, antidiabetic, anticancer and antihypertensive properties.
A traditional Japanese food made from fermented soy with Bacillus subtilis is natto. The enzymes during the fermentation process produce mucilage that contains nattokinase. Natto a natural blood thinner.
Sauerkraut is finely chopped cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid-producing bacteria. Studies have shown that the fermentation of cabbage enhances protective activities, such as protection of blood vessels, vitamin C, dietary folates and manganese.
Tempeh is a soybean ferment from Indonesia that has become a popular vegetarian food in the United States. In a clinical study, daily consumption of boiled tempeh for two months among patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis on standard therapy showed a positive effect on weight gain and physical function change. (13)
No cultured food is more well-known or acknowledged for its health benefits than yogurt. Probiotic yogurt is extremely high in calcium, zinc, B vitamins, probiotics and protein.
What Is Fermentation? How to Ferment Foods
Fermenting your own food seems like a daunting adventure, but it can be done at home with the help of easy-to-follow instructions. Fermented foods are made by a process called lacto-fermentation, which is feeding starch and sugars to natural bacteria in the food, creating lactic acid. This process is used to create beneficial B vitamins, enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids and strains of probiotics. (14)
Fermented food are budget-friendly and will help you to secure food for a longer period of time. Plus, fermenting is better than traditional canning methods. Almost any fruit or vegetable can be fermented, and you can include different herbs and spices to add variety to your ferments. Here’s a list on how to get started: (15)
The basic pieces of equipment required for most fermentation are containers to keep them in. Glass containers are a great option because they don’t contain chemicals like BPA and don’t scratch easily. Plastic containers should be avoided for various of reasons, such as plastic is easy to damage, leeching chemicals and foreign bacteria that can affect the fermentation.
Ceramic containers are commonly used to secure large batches of vegetables. Food-grade porcelain containers can be used to ferment, but avoid vases and decorative pottery because they are not used for fermenting food. Cloth or coffee paper filters are used to secure the small jars with a right rubber band. A butter muslin and a tight-weave towel with a rubber band can also be used to secure the fermented food. Canning lids should have airlocks to reduce the chances of mold and yeast formation.
2. Prepare Vegetables
Chopping, slicing, grating or shredding are several ways to prepare the vegetables for fermentation. Cutting the vegetables into smaller pieces speeds up the fermentation process.
3. Salt, Whey or Starter Culture
Depending on what you want to ferment, the recipe may call specifically for salt, starter culture, sugar or whey.
It’s best to use river rocks to securely hold the vegetables under the brine. Those are available at your local river, or you can boil them for 15–20 minutes after scrubbing them with soap. You can also use heavy parts of a vegetable to add some weight to the fermented vegetables below the brine. It is important to keep the fermented vegetables under the brine to prevent spoilage.
When vegetables are done fermenting, move them to a cold environment. You’ll know when you vegetables are ready for storage if you notice bubbling, a sour aroma and taste good. If you notice a rotting or spoiled smell, discard, clean the container thoroughly and try again another time.
Fermented Foods Recipes
Give your taste buds a tangy and tasty treat with this sauerkraut recipe
Spice up your dishes by adding a warm bowl of miso soup.
What Is Fermentation? History of Fermentation
Many people throughout history have recognized that fermentation as a mysterious life force. Louis Pasteur, a French chemist who turned his attention to fermentation processes, worked with Lillie industrialist, a beetroot alcohol manufacturer whose factory was experiencing inconsistent results. Pasteur’s methodical study of beetroot fermentation quickly convinced him that fermentation was a biological process.
The “Mémoire sur la fermentation appelée lactique,” a study on fermentation, was published in April 1857. Pasteur solved the beetroot alcohol manufacturer’s problem by heating the beet juice to destroy naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria and adding it with alcohol-producing yeast. This was the earliest application of the heating process now credited on every milk carton, pasteurization. Pasteur’s discoveries gave a great boost to the mass production of fermented drinks and foods. These products had been enjoyed for thousands of years, created by using processes learned from nature, often accompanied by prayers, rituals and offerings.
Fish, fruits, meat, milk and vegetables are highly perishable, and our ancestors utilized every technique to store foods for later consumption. The 18th century English explorer, Captain James Cook, was recognized by the Royal Society for having conquered scurvy among his crew by sailing with large quantities of sauerkraut. His 60 barrels of kraut lasted for 27 months, and not a single crew member had scurvy, which previously killed large numbers of the crew member on a long sea voyage.
What Is Fermentation? Precautions with Fermentation
Due to the possibility of contamination of improperly fermented food and raw milk, certain fermented foods should be avoided during pregnancy. (16) Follow recommended temperatures, time and weight usage during fermentation to prevent contamination.
Tyramine, is natural substance found in aged and fermented foods, is a well-accepted migraine trigger, so be careful if you suffer from migraines. (17)
Final Thoughts on What Is Fermentation
Fermentation is everywhere and been used by humans for thousands of years.
What is fermentation good for? Fermentation has many health benefits, such as enhancing bioavailability, reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance, and holding anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
Fermented foods house beneficial bacteria called probiotics that can be found in eating kimchi, kefir, natto, tempeh, kombucha and yogurt.
Proper preparation of fermented foods can allow you to enjoy and benefit from your tasty fermentation for a very long time.
Why is he ignoring you? The different kinds of ignoring behaviours that occur in dating and relationships. Types of ignoring defined in this video are: Is he ignoring you?, ambivalent ignoring, not listening, ghosting and ‘no contact’. What to do if you feel that someone you are dating is ignoring you and tips about how to express your needs without being passive aggressive. If you like this video you may also want to watch my related video on passive aggressive behaviour: https://youtu.be/vbWOh5xjgg8