Could Turmeric Really Boost Your Health?

Bold health claims have been made for the power of turmeric. Is there anything in them, asks Michael Mosley.

Turmeric is a spice which in its raw form looks a bit like ginger root, but when it’s ground down you get a distinctive yellowy orange powder that’s very popular in South Asian cuisine. Until recently the place you would most likely encounter turmeric would be in chicken tikka masala, one of Britain’s most popular dishes.

These days, thanks to claims that it can improve everything from allergies to depression, it’s become incredibly trendy, not just cooked and sprinkled on food but added to drinks like tea. Turmeric latte anyone?

Now I’m usually very cynical about such claims, but in the case of turmeric I thought there could be something to it. There are at least 200 different compounds in turmeric, but there’s one that scientists are particularly interested in. It gives this spice its colour. It’s called curcumin.

Thousands of scientific papers have been published looking at turmeric and curcumin in the laboratory – some with promising results. But they’ve mainly been done in mice, using unrealistically high doses. There have been few experiments done in the real world, on humans.

This is exactly the sort of situation where we on Trust Me like to make a difference. So we tracked down leading researchers from across the country and with their help recruited nearly 100 volunteers from the North East to do a novel experiment. Few of our volunteers ate foods containing turmeric on a regular basis.

Then we divided them into three groups.

We asked one group to consume a teaspoon of turmeric every day for six weeks, ideally mixed in with their food. Another group were asked to swallow a supplement containing the same amount of turmeric, and a third group were given a placebo, or dummy pill.

The volunteers who were asked to consume a teaspoon of turmeric a day were ingenious about what they added it to, mixing it with warm milk or adding it to yoghurt. Not everyone was enthusiastic about the taste, with comments ranging from “awful” to “very strong and lingering”.

But what effect was eating turmeric having on them? We decided to try and find out using a novel test developed at University College, London, by Prof Martin Widschwendter and his team.

Prof Widschwendter is not particularly interested in turmeric but he is interested in how cancers start. His team have been comparing tissue samples taken from women with breast cancer and from women without it and they’ve found a change that happens to the DNA of cells well before they become cancerous.

The change is in the “packaging” of the genes. It’s called DNA methylation. It’s a bit like a dimmer switch that can turn the activity of the gene up or down.

The exciting thing is that if it is detected in time this change can, potentially, be reversed, before the cell turns cancerous. DNA methylation may explain why, for instance, your risk of developing lung cancer drops dramatically once you give up smoking. It could be that the unhealthy methylation of genes, caused by tobacco smoke, stops or reverses once you quit.

So we asked Prof Widschwendter whether testing the DNA methylation patterns of our volunteers’ blood cells at the start and end of the experiment would reveal any change in their risk of cancer and other diseases, like allergies. It was something that had not been done before.


•    Perennial herbaceous plant native to South Asia
•    Spice is gathered from the plants rhizomes (roots)
•    As well as being used in Indian food, turmeric is used in traditional medicine and as a dyeing agent

Fortunately he was very enthusiastic. “We were delighted,” he said, “to be involved in this study, because it is a proof of principle study that opens entirely new windows of opportunity to really look into how we can predict preventive measures, particularly for cancer.”

So what, if anything, happened?

When I asked him that, he pulled out his laptop and slowly began to speak.

“We didn’t find any changes in the group taking the placebo,” he told me. That was not surprising.

“The supplement group also didn’t also show any difference,” he went on.
That was surprising and somewhat disappointing.

“But the group who mixed turmeric powder into their food,” he continued, “there we saw quite substantial changes. It was really exciting, to be honest. We found one particular gene which showed the biggest difference. And what’s interesting is that we know this particular gene is involved in three specific diseases: depression, asthma and eczema, and cancer. This is a really striking finding.”

It certainly is. But why did we see changes only in those eating turmeric, not in those taking the same amount as a supplement?

Dr Kirsten Brandt, who is a senior lecturer at Newcastle University and who helped run the experiment, thinks it may have something to do with the way the turmeric was consumed.

“It could be,” she told me, “that adding fat or heating it up makes the active ingredients more soluble, which would make it easier for us to absorb the turmeric. It certainly gives us something, to work on, to try to find out exactly what’s happening.”

BBC News

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

Curcumin is a diarylheptanoid. It is the principal curcuminoid of the popular South Asian spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric’s other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin.

In October 2010, working with Indena S.p.A., the worldwide experts in botanical extract technology, Good Health Naturally, introduced CurcuminX4000, which includes an answer to better Curcumin absorption – phytosome technology.

Curcumin has continued to be an integral part of my own approach to naturally sustainable good health, since I learnt about it in 2006, as part of My Serrapeptase Adventure.

Diabetes Increase Putting NHS Future ‘At Sake’

Treating Diabetes And The Complications Arising From It Costs The NHS Around £10 Billion Annually

Tackling diabetes is “fundamental” to the future of NHS as the number of adults with the condition nears four million, Public Health England has warned.

Around 3.8 million adults in England now have diabetes, with at least 940,000 of those undiagnosed, new figures have revealed.

About 90 per cent of the cases are Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to being overweight and obese and therefore largely preventable, PHE, who released the data, said.

The other 10 per cent are Type 1, which usually develops in childhood and is often inherited.

Diabetes can lead to serious health complications including limb amputation, kidney disease, stroke and heart attacks. Treating the disease and the complications arising from it costs the NHS around £10 billion annually.

ohn Newton, chief knowledge officer at PHE, said: “The number of people with diabetes has been steadily increasing and tackling it is fundamental to the sustainable future of the NHS.

“Diabetes can be an extremely serious disease for those that have it and treating it and its complications costs the NHS almost £10bn a year.

“Developing Type 2 diabetes is not an inevitable part of ageing. We have an opportunity through public health to reverse this trend and safeguard the health of the nation and the future of the NHS.”

The new Diabetes Prevalence Model was launched ahead of PHE’s conference at Warwick University. It shows that 9 per cent of people aged 45 to 54 have diabetes, but this rises to 23.8 per cent of those aged over 75.

Earlier this month, senior health officials warned that smokers and obese people will be denied surgery on the NHS by cash-strapped hospital trying to save money.

Vale of York Care Commissioning Group announced it will make people wait up to a year for non-essential surgery if they are overweight, until their body mass index (BMI) drops to 30, saying the decision was “the best way of achieving maximum value from the limited resources available”.

Across the entire UK, the number of people with diabetes has exceeded four million mark for the first time, the charity Diabetes UK said using GP practice data.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said of the new data: “These new estimates clearly show the scale of diabetes and the huge impact on people living with the condition.

The Independent

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The Health-Care Survivors Comment

This story is truly tragic, on several levels. First, and foremost, of course because so much suffering is always a tragedy. Secondly, because anything that stands even the slightest chance of jeopardising the NHS, has to be prevented. Most importantly for me, and perhaps conventionally for some, is the fact that much more of the suffering, caused by diabetes, can, and should, be prevented by dietary discipline, than most alopathic positions, believe, or want you to know.

With this in mind, I invite you to consider that, not only is type 2 diabetes completely preventable, but it is virtually curable for anyone who is willing to put in the hard time and work.

It is clear that we are in the midst of a diabetes epidemic. Nearly 20 million people in the US have type 2 diabetes and another 45 million have pre-diabetes. More than 50% are not even aware that they have this disease that can rob them of some of the most enjoyable years of their life.

About Simply Raw

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes In 30 Days is an independent documentary film that chronicles six Americans with diabetes (one with Type 1) who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication.

These stories and resources can help you permanently remove the devastating consequences of diabetes. Please understand that these are simple inexpensive lifestyle adjustments that do not require costly medications. You will also see that David Wolfe, who featured in Food Matters, also appears in the film.

Simply Raw covers
  • The basics to reversing Diabetes
  • The benefits of eating organic raw foods for your body and mind
  • How to get off insulin using this type of diet
  • The science behind raw food nutrition

Simply Raw reveals, with startling clarity, that diet can reverse diabetes and change the quality of people’s lives. The film captures the human drama and struggle of these courageous individuals making a quantum leap of faith from a traditional junk food diet to a raw vegan diet and it shows revealing moments of nurturing, compassion, and human spirit.

Curcumin with Plant Extracts

Curcumin, the chemical compound found within the Indian spice turmeric, has been receiving popular press recently due to its health-promoting properties.

The trouble is that Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body when it’s consumed by itself. But research from Indena, the world leading company in identifying, developing and producing active plant derivatives has found that when the Curcumin extract is added to a plant extract phytosome known as a phosphatidylcholine (PC), it is more readily absorbed by the body.

PC is one of the essential components found in human cells and this is why when Curcumin is added to a phytosome, it can reach the cells that need it the most. Indena have developed a patented formulation known as Meriva, which consists of Curcumin, a dietary phenolic and soy lechitin (non-GMO) for superior absorption.

Improvements In Curcumin’s Bioavailability

A study released in the Cancer, Chemotherapy and Pharmacology journal in 2007 documented the superior bioavailability of Meriva compared to normal curcumin and found it lead to a marked increase in its absorption.

The study demonstrated in Male Wistar rats involved a high oral load of Curcumin (340mg/Kg) and 1.8g/Kg of Meriva®. The presence of the curcumin and the metabolites were evaluated at 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes after being administered into the plasma, liver and intestinal mucosa. 99% of the curcumin was present in the plasma as glucuronides, the remaining 1% was Curcumin sulphate and free curcumin.

Results Indicated That:

“Complexation with phospholipids led to a marked increase in the concentration of all the plasma curcuminoids (over 23 fold in the case of glucuronides, ca 5-fold in the case of free Curcumin, and ca 1.5-fold in the case of sulphates). Since glucuronides are by far the prevailing plasma curcuminoids, the overall bioavailability of Curcumin, as expressed in plasma curcuminoids and calculated from AUC values, was improved by over 23-fold when this compound was administered as Meriva®”

The results confirmed that levels of Curcumin were higher with Meriva supplementation as opposed to ordinary Curcumin.

A human study published by The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy also confirmed that curcumin’s bioavailability was 29x greater with the Meriva supplementation and in both studies, the plasma concentrations of Curcumin were found to be higher than ordinary Curcumin.

Meriva is also thought to have other health benefits that include promoting and supporting a healthy inflammatory response according to an eight month human trial that was carried out recently. Individual health is also thought to have improved when it came to the clinical and biochemical end-points associated with joint health.

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

Curcumin has continued to be an integral part of my own approach to naturally sustainable good health, since I learnt about it in 2006, as part of My Serrapeptase Adventure.

The NHS Will Simply Collapse Unless Politicians Have The Courage To Reform It

Despite the Conservative Party having promised to increase NHS spending by £8 billion a year during this parliament – the minimum demanded by its managers – we learn of a crisis within the institution that promises a financial shortfall of £20 billion by 2020-21. Without (so far) any consultation, the NHS proposes a massive reorganisation that could include hospital closures and cuts, and these could start within months, just as the NHS suffers its winter overload.

Why have things come to this? According to Government figures, the £437 million spent in the first year of the NHS’s existence in 1948-49 is equivalent to £15 billion today. Yet the UK total spent on the NHS is now £116.4 billion, £101.3 billion of which is spent in England. The population is nearly a third larger than in 1948-49; we are 64 million people against the 50 million at the 1951 census, thanks not least to the last Labour government’s mass immigration policies and the EU’s refusal to let us control our borders.

Yet this population growth cannot account for such an enormous real increase in spending. The problem is that the NHS is doing things its founders never envisaged.

It also suffers from grotesque overmanning in non-medical staff, a lack of strategic planning to cope with demographic change, and many of the failures associated with the absence of an effective price mechanism. Without rethinking its whole purpose and method of operation, it will, within a decade or two, simply collapse.

Even though this is no longer 1948 – our standard of living, our disposable income, our awareness of the dangers of smoking are all radically different from then – governments have avoided profound NHS reform for decades.

Labour wouldn’t touch it because of the mythology it has sedulously created: that the NHS, free at point of use and controlled on the shop floor by comrades in the trades unions, for whom it represents a considerable employment opportunity, is “safe” only in Labour’s hands.

“Safe” in this context equates to eating up a sixth of public spending without worrying too much about how and where that money is spent. The NHS now employs 1.5 million people. As its website proudly proclaims, only McDonalds, Walmart, the US Defence Department and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have larger payrolls. It may not have occurred to the NHS that this is not necessarily something to be proud of.

The Tories haven’t addressed the NHS with serious radicalism because they fear reinforcing the Labour mythology: that any reduction in spending, irrespective of how it is found, must prove an underlying Tory hatred of the NHS and, therefore, of the people it serves.

This is utter nonsense, but nonsense that has so crippled the Tories that in one whole election campaign – 2001 – they tried not to mention the NHS at all. One hopes the Government has noted the near-death of the Labour Party, and the near-certainty that it will be at least another five years before Britain has a credible Opposition, and will now take reform of the NHS to a hitherto unimagined level.

We are in this mess not least because of the refusal by all governments over the past 30 years to think strategically. Lord Fowler, one of the best health ministers Britain has ever had, warned colleagues in the mid-Eighties that the growth in the ageing population would put impossible strains on the NHS.

Large amounts of beds and resources are devoted to elderly people in hospital because there is no place for them in a care home, and they can no longer manage at home. This is scandalous and, next to the dismal state of Britain’s defences, the present Government’s greatest dereliction.

The Telegraph

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

The full text of this article, with its accompanying video, and figures, is much more political, in tone, than the articles I usually post. Sadly the provision of health care in the UK is often described as a ‘political football’, used to score party political points, making reasoned argument, and honest debate difficult to find.

This article could be seen as an example of ‘political football’, or an attempt to spark an essential discussion of the future of the National Health Service, if we want to protect it, and therefore ourselves, for the decades to come. Your view of this article will reflect your view of what it does, and what it should mean, to have a health service, free at the point of use.

As always, your comments are welcome.

New Chemo-Free Treatment Uses Body’s Own Immune System To Attack Cancer Cells

With any kind of luck, chemotherapy’s days as one of the leading cancer treatments will be over soon. A new, revolutionary therapy is on the horizon. Researchers have announced that this breakthrough treatment would utilize the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells — a huge improvement over toxic chemo.

Natural News reports that scientists from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, located in New York, claim to have successfully experimented with the new treatment. Sixteen people with advanced leukemia that had run out of alternatives volunteered to be part of their experiment and underwent what the researchers have dubbed “targeted T cell therapy.” Miraculously, the therapy actually eliminated cancerous cells in most of the patients.

Dr David Agus, a CBS News expert contributor who leads the Westside Cancer Center at the University of Southern California has called the team’s work “remarkable.”

The study’s senior author, Dr Renier Brentjens, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering, is very confident about their findings and hopeful for the future. Dr Brentjens told HealthDay News, “ First and foremost, we’ve shown that this isn’t a fluke. This is a reliable result.” Though he notes that the research is budding, he believes that it is quite a promising beginning.

Of the 16 patients who participated in the study, 14 were able to reach total remission. Aggressive leukemia is known for coming back if patients do not undergo a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, patients cannot undergo the transplant until the cancer cells have been eliminated from their bloodstream.

However, the new targeted T cell therapy yielded amazing results and most of the patients saw their blood become cancer-free, allowing them to finally undergo bone marrow transplants. After receiving a transplant, patients can actually be cured of the disease.


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Worse Treatment Of Poor People By GPs Costs The NHS £4.8bn A Year, Study Finds

Excess hospital admissions of people from poorer parts of England cost the NHS £4.8bn in a single year, according to new research.

An analysis by York University academics found there were 264,000 excess admissions from less well-off areas between April 2014 and April 2015.

The researchers said they had not found out the exact reasons behind the problem, but added that poor people were not being looked after as well as rich people by GPs.

They said this was not necessarily the fault of the doctors, but could be a systemic problem or because poorer people were not going to their local surgery for some reason.

Miqdad Asaria, a research fellow at the university’s Centre for Health Economics, worked with the NHS to try to find a solution to the problem.

Asked the reasons behind it, Mr Asaria told The Independent: “We haven’t found this yet, but it seems that people living in poorer areas, who are typically more likely to get sick, aren’t getting the same benefits from primary care as people living in richer areas.

“This might be due to communication issues or even because poorer people find it more difficult to go to GP appointments.”

The figures, based on official NHS data, also found that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) in poorer areas treated people worse on average than CCGs in richer areas.

Mr Asaria said some CCGs were “doing really well” but others “are doing much less well at tackling health inequalities”.

“Looking carefully at these results will allow the NHS to learn lessons about approaches that have worked to reduce inequalities and share these across all areas,” Mr Asaria said.

“At a time when the NHS budget is under a great deal of pressure our work shows that socio-economic inequalities in society are exacting a huge bill on the health service.

“In addition to the strong moral case for tackling the unjustifiable differences in health between the rich and the poor, there is also a strong financial case for doing so.

“As austerity really starts to bite, with public funding cuts targeted at those most vulnerable in our society, it is crucial that we do all we can to stop these cuts causing sickness and premature deaths.”

The analysis also ranked CCGs on their performance. One of the CCGs in the top 10 was Tower Hamlets in London.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets CCG said: “The CCG is committed to improving the health of everyone in our area and we recognise that some communities in our borough are at a higher risk of developing certain health issues.

The Independent

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

This article is well referenced. Please do read the full, original, article in order to find the context, and detail of this story.

FDA: Massive Attack On Supplements

The long-awaited revision of FDA guidance rules for new supplements is finally here. It is very bad news. Highest-level Action Alert!

We normally publish our newsletter on Tuesday, but are sending out this issue today because of its urgency.

What we are dealing with here is whether the supplement industry is allowed to innovate and create new supplements. The FDA, working as usual on behalf of the drug industry, says no. We need your help to stop this right now. It will take a huge effort on all of our parts and we need to start immediately.

Over the last few years, one of the biggest issues facing the supplement industry has been the confusion over how to comply with the new dietary ingredient (NDI) provisions contained in the landmark Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the main law governing supplements. For the layman, “new dietary ingredient” is usually just government jargon for “new supplement.”

Under DSHEA, any dietary supplement introduced to the market in the US after 1994 is considered “new” (an NDI) and the manufacturer must notify the FDA at least seventy-five days in advance of marketing the product.

In 2011, the FDA released a draft guidance setting forth the agency’s thinking on how companies should comply with DSHEA’s NDI requirements: how and when a NDI notification should be submitted, what information should be included, what is or is not considered an NDI, etc.

The 2011 draft guidance was a massive broadside aimed at crippling—if not eliminating—the supplement industry. An economic analysis at the time by an Emory University professor estimated that the FDA’s outrageous interpretation of the DSHEA-mandated NDI notification language would have meant:

  • the elimination of tens of thousands of supplements from the market;
  • an industry-wide cost of between $2 billion and $165 billion in animal and human product safety studies to comply with the FDA’s NDI notification protocols; and
  • the loss of between 55,270 and 104,475 jobs in the supplement industry.

ANH-USA and others submitted detailed comments to the FDA concerning its deeply flawed guidance document, and ANH-USA members flooded the agency with comments. After a major backlash of 146,000 pages of comments, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) stepped in and said the FDA had reversed the intent of DSHEA, which was meant to expand, not restrict, consumer access to supplements.

ANH-USA and our partners were then able to persuade Congress to add language to an appropriations bill urging the FDA to go back to the drawing board, and the agency eventually agreed. We have been waiting for the agency’s updated draft ever since.

We need to keep in mind some history about this and in particular why DSHEA was passed in the first place. In 1992, the FDA published its Task Force Report on Dietary Supplements. It included the statement that dietary supplements represented a disincentive for patented drug research.”

This report, plus the news that the clinic of Dr. Jonathan Wright had been raided at gunpoint (later referred to as “The Great B Vitamin Bust”), sent shockwaves through every integrative doctor’s office and every health food store in America.

News of this raid turned out to be the shot heard ’round the world for health freedom. Everybody got organized and started to fight back.

By 1994, over two million letters went to Congress, which led to the passage of DSHEA. Congress for the first time began to have an inkling that diet mattered greatly for health and that dietary supplements could make a great deal of difference in our diet. When President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law, he stated that it represented “common sense.”

The draft of regulations governing new dietary supplements under DSHEA, arriving twenty-two years after the passage of the legislation, and further delayed after the disastrous first draft in 2011, was finally published last Friday. It is a little better in some respects, but the biggest problems remain. It represents a dire threat to the supplement industry and, by extension, consumer access to supplements.

First, the improvements. In the original guidance, the FDA had said that all dietary ingredients contained in supplements sold before 1994, but not marketed as a standalone dietary supplement, required a NDI notification. So if a green tea supplement marketed before 1994 also contained other natural dietary ingredients, the green tea would be grandfathered and not require a NDI, but the other ingredients would—an absurd stance that has been corrected in the new guidance. Now, dietary ingredients that were marketed as or were contained in dietary supplements before 1994 are grandfathered.

The FDA’s new guidance also allows the submission of “NDI master files,” which contain specifications and other information needed to completely describe an ingredient. If a company wants to make several products with the same ingredient but at different dosages or concentrations, this could save a lot of time. These master files can also be shared with other companies to avoid excessive duplication.

There is still no authoritative list of “grandfathered” ingredients that do not need to submit NDIs, but FDA has said in the new guidance that it is willing to develop such a list based on independent and verifiable data. This appears to be just another stalling tactic after twenty-two years of stalling. We can be sure that the agency will keep the list as short as possible.

Unfortunately, that is the extent of the improvements in the new guidance versus the first draft. Most of the other problems that were in the original guidance remain in the updated draft.

The guidance imposes safety requirements on new supplements that are not even expected of drugs! The FDA describes how to determine what kind of safety studies to submit with an NDI notification. Note that safety studies in the past have been required of drugs, not of supplements. In addition the agency states that additional safety studies may be needed if the target population changes. For example, if a history of safe use has been established with adults, but a substance will be used in a dietary supplement marketed for young children, the FDA would require another NDI notification.

Are other drugs—even dangerous antipsychotics, antidepressants, and stimulants—subject to similar requirements when they are used on children? The answer is a resounding No. In the FDA’s own words, “Most drugs prescribed for children have not been tested in children.” The same is true for use with elderly people. The drugs have almost never been tested on elderly people. This makes the FDA’s new position on supplements especially hypocritical.

The section on investigational new drugs (INDs) also remains. These provisions could destroy the future availability of many supplements. The jargon used here in the guidance is confusing, probably intentionally so, but bear with us.

Remember that an IND refers to a new drug, while an NDI refers to a new supplement. Under current law, if an IND application is filed for an ingredient—that is, an ingredient is being studied for use as part of a new drug—that ingredient can no longer be produced or included in a supplement if a NDI has not previously been accepted. This has already happened to pyridoxamine, a form of vitamin B6, even though in the end it resulted in this valuable form of natural B6 being no longer available either as supplement or drug.

Apparently the FDA couldn’t care less that this form of natural B6 is no longer available in any form. Indeed it has been considering a petition to ban the only remaining natural form of B6, the most important form of all, because all B6, synthetic or natural, must be converted to it in order for our bodies to use it.

In this guidance, the FDA explicitly states that even when an IND is rescinded or does not lead to a new drug, the supplement form is still banned. Well, at least they admit what they are doing!

But just imagine the mischief this could cause when some enterprising drug company decides to corner the market on a whole list of ingredients to keep them out of the hands of supplement formulators forever more. This could very easily be done under this guidance. Remember that it is not always clear what counts as a NDI or what has been grandfathered, so drug companies can use this confusion to claim that supplements which have been around for decades have been sufficiently “altered” that they can be claimed as drugs.

The agency has also kept intact its ridiculous position that synthetic botanical ingredients are, for the most part, not dietary ingredients. This would likely remove many products from store shelves, such as vinpocetine, which is needed to keep our brains healthy. There is an exception for synthetic botanicals that are lawfully used as an ingredient in the conventional food supply, such as vanillin. What makes this even more confusing is that the FDA has already accepted NDI notifications for vinpocetine from a number of supplement producers. Note that in most cases, the FDA does not ever have to resolve the status of NDI notifications.

The FDA is also broadening the group of substances that must submit NDIs by adopting a loose definition of what it means for a supplement to be “chemically altered.” If a post-DSHEA ingredient has been present in the food supply and has not been chemically altered, it is exempted from submitting a NDI notification. The problem is that the FDA’s definition of “chemically altered” is so broad that only the most basic manufacturing methods would not “chemically alter” an ingredient. This language will stifle innovations in manufacturing and ignores the fact that new and more effective ways of producing supplements have arisen in the last twenty-two years since DSHEA passed. It appears that this is quite intentional. The aim is to destroy supplement innovation in the hope that this will eventually destroy the supplement industry.

It’s the same old story. The agency, under the guise of protecting us, is really just protecting its funder, the drug industry, and is throttling any chance of innovation and improvement in supplements. This is so corrupt that it is hard to understand how Congress can continue to turn a blind eye to it, but of course Big Pharma funds political campaigns as well.

Probiotics—the “good” bacteria which our bodies, and in particular, our immune systems, absolutely depend on—could also be on the chopping block. The agency cites risks for these supplements which are purely theoretical and have never posed a problem. Is it a coincidence that Big Pharma is now very interested in producing its own versions of this product? Having probiotics subject to prescription—or costing $100 a bottle—will be a disaster for the health of Americans.

This is pure nonsense. Why would the FDA do this? Clearly these are the actions of an agency looking to restrict the supplement market and remove as many products as possible in as many ways as possible—even thought it openly defies the intent of Congress in passing DSHEA, which was meant to expand consumer access to dietary supplements.

Over the coming weeks we will continue to dissect the guidance and strategize about the best way to overturn this guidance in order to protect consumer access to dietary supplements. But right now, we need to send messages to the FDA but especially to Congress. We need to immediately register our opposition and dismay at what the FDA is, once again, trying to do in its relentless war against dietary supplements.

By now, it should be clear that the FDA cannot provide credible oversight of the supplement industry. Another regulator is needed.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and the FDA to protest this revised guidance that threatens our access to supplements. Please send your message immediately.


The Alliance for Natural Health USA — August 15th 2016.

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Thanks to Dr Sherri Tenpenny for alerting me to this campaign, and the original article.

The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

I have taken the unusual step of republishing this article in full, with absolute recognition for The Alliance for Natural Health USA, rather than posting a curated excerpt, with its usual credit to the original source. I have taken this step because I believe that the campaign behind this article is critical to the defence of our right to choose real, natural medicine and health care, without which I firmly believe that I would not have survived long after 2006, which saw the start of My Serrapeptase Adventure, the remarkable story of “The ‘Miracle’ Enzyme”, Serrapeptase, which gave me back my life, and the four life-changing years in which I learnt that many of the symptoms from which Serrapeptase has rescued me were, in fact, known, and even expected, side effects of the toxic cocktail of prescription medication, which I took before I knew about Serrapeptase and to which I have never needed to return.

On January 3, 2006, with my sceptic’s hat firmly on my head, I took Serrapeptase for the first time, sat back, and waited for the results. I did not have to wait for long. Within just 48 hours, my lungs began to clear and over the following few days my lung capacity improved and stabilised. In the following weeks, my heart rate returned to normal and stabilised and my digestive system returned to normal. Before the end of February 2006, I was able to stop taking all my prescription medication and my condition has been stable and continued to improve since then.

By November 2006, my eyesight and visual perception, which were damaged as a direct result, and integral part, of cerebral palsy, had also begun to improve. My eyesight is now within normal range and the improvement continues to this day. Does this mean that the remarkable enzyme, Serrapeptase, can overcome the impact of congenital brain damage? I do not have a complete medical answer to this, but I am enjoying the challenge of finding one. There is now some research, based upon studies of newborns, suggesting that inflammation may be amongst the underlying causes of cerebral palsy.

When my health began to improve in unexpected ways, it became clear, first to my closest friends, and then to me, that a natural approach to sustainable good health had given me far more than an effective way of managing the impact of cerebral palsy. It had freed me from the tyranny, which so many people, mistakenly, compliment with the names, medicine, and health care.

In short, I had learnt about the paradox, which lies at the heart of the allopathic medical system, and the insidiously destructive pharmaceutical industry, which lies at its foundation, and in which profit depends upon perpetual management of symptoms, making the curing of any condition, disease, or illness, synonymous with failure.

For me, the paradox is that the medical system, which has, undoubtedly, saved my life many times, is the same system that exposed me to a multitude of toxic chemicals, known as medications, sending my health into the inexorable downward spiral, from which I was freed in 2006, and from which I continue to be free today. Once my friends and I realised that it was not only from cerebral palsy, but also health care itself, that I had been rescued, one of them commented that I was, in fact, a ‘health-care survivor’, and the name stuck.

My journey towards good health, and beyond, has taught me that it is crucial to defend the right of people to know the difference between health care and medical care, and to be able to make an informed choice between them.

The more I learn about the pharmaceutical industry and its undue influence upon what most of us think of as ‘health services’, the more convinced I become that many of the good people who work within the allopathic health system, often feel as trapped by its enveloping power as many of its patients do.

I am not opposed to medical treatment, at times and in circumstances where it can be shown to be necessary as the most appropriate response to a traumatic injury or other health emergency. As I have said before, I have benefited from medical treatment and surgery throughout my life, but my own health challenges have taught me to re-evaluate the true meaning and power of health care.

I believe that a naturally sustainable approach to good health should always be my first choice, because naturally good health is the state in which the human body functions at its best, and to which it will return as soon as it is given the right nutrition and environment in which to do so.

Clearly, this approach still provides a defined role for medical professionals, clinicians, therapists, and nurses. I believe that it is the duty of every one of us who values real health care to encourage and also to defend people who have dedicated themselves to providing it, or educating us about its potential, wherever we find them, even within the allopathic system.

We must make it clear to the pharmaceutical industry that good science must become, once again, the powerful servant of good health that its pioneers knew it to be. We must not allow ourselves to confuse a thriving pharmaceutical industry, with the provision of safe and effective health care.

It is challenging enough to sustain and, if necessary, to return to a natural state of good health. No one should ever have to consider the need to fight the health-care system itself, in order to ensure that it is focused upon providing real, safe, and effective medicine.

Set against this very personal background, I hope that my support of The Alliance for Natural Health USA‘s campaign to protect real health care is something you will be able to share, and, in tern, to defend your own right to choose naturally sustainable good health.

Dr Russell Blaylock: Vaccines, Depression And Neurodegeneration After Age 50

It has been estimated that 14.8 million Americans suffer from major depressive disorder and of this number 6 million are elderly. If we include anxiety disorders, which commonly accompany depression, the number jumps to 40 million adults. At a cost of $44 billon dollars a year just for care of the seniors, this impacts the national budget as well.

Depression later in life tends to last longer and be more severe than at younger ages. It is also associated with a high rate of suicide.

Previously, it was thought that major depression was secondary to a deficiency in certain neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly the monoamines, which include serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. While alterations in these important mood-related neurotransmitters is found with major depression, growing evidence indicates that the primary culprit is low-grade, chronic brain inflammation.

In addition, we now know that inflammatory cytokines can lower serotonin significantly and for long periods by a number of different mechanisms.

MSG And Depression

Researchers have also discovered that most people with major depressive disease (MDD) have higher levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate in their spinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma. This is the same glutamate found as a food additive-for example, MSG (monosodium glutamate), hydrolyzed proteins, calcium or sodium casienate, soy protein isolate, vegetable protein concentrate or isolate, etc.

Much of the free glutamate in the brain of depressed people comes from within, that is it escapes from special cells within the brain itself (microglia and astrocytes). Free glutamate, that is, existing outside the neurons, is very toxic to brain connections and brain cells themselves — mainly by a process called excitotoxicity.

This connection between high brain glutamate levels and major depression was discovered quite by accident, when researchers observed that the anesthetic drug ketamine could relieve depression for a prolonged period. Ketamine is a powerful blocking drug for a class of glutamate receptors (NMDA receptors).

For quite some time it was known that depression could cause a loss of neurons in the hippocampus of the brain-the area most important for recent memory (declarative memory or working memory), the form of memory most affected in Alzheimer‘s disease.

This shrinkage of the brain usually occurred with long-term depression, yet it was shown, using sophisticated testing, that even without brain shrinkage, memory could be adversely affected. Some antidepressants could not only reverse the memory loss but could reverse the shrinkage as well.

The implication was that the elevated brain glutamate, via excitotoxicity, was destroying brain connections and later killing brain cells in the hippocampus and that the antidepressants were lowering brain glutamate levels. Subsequent studies have confirmed that drugs that block excitotoxicity also reduce depression and that some antidepressants reduce brain glutamate levels.

The Link Between Elevated Brain Glutamate And Inflammation

A tremendous amount of research has now demonstrated the link between chronic low-level brain inflammation, elevated brain glutamate levels and major depression. We know that as we age, the level of inflammatory immune cytokines increase (such as interleukin-1ß (IL-1), IL-6 and TNF-a). That is, the level of inflammation in our body increases, with high levels being seen at the extremes of life — the 80s and 90s.

This progressive elevation in the body‘s inflammation increases our risk of a number of inflammation-linked diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, muscle weakness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory loss and confusion. People with Alzheimer‘s and Parkinson‘s disease have even higher levels of these inflammatory cytokines — much higher.

When inflammatory chemicals are elevated in the brain it makes brain cells more vulnerable to a number of toxins, many of which are in the environment. One study demonstrated, using a series of sophisticated techniques, that if brain cells were exposed to low levels of a pesticide there was little toxicity seen and that if you exposed these same brain cells to an immune stimulant alone, little damage occurred.

But if you first exposed the brain cells to the immune stimulant, the same low dose of pesticide could destroy a great number of brain cells.

The importance of this observation was that the vaccine made the brain cells hypersensitive to the toxin so that even in concentrations that normally would do not cause harm, could wiped out most of the neurons. One of the strongest connections between an environmental toxin (pesticides) and a neurological disorder is with Parkinson‘s disease.

The reason it is more common in the elderly is that they have the highest levels of inflammatory cytokines. This also explains the high incidence of Alzheimer‘s disease, which reaches incidences of 50% after age 80.

The link to depression was also serendipitous

Doctors using immune cytokines to treat patients with cancer or hepatitis found that one third of the patients developed major depressive illness within days of the treatment and that it resolved only when the treatment was terminated. Other studies, in which inflammatory cytokine levels were measured in people with major depressive illness, also found most had high levels of these inflammatory chemicals.

To their surprise, they found that many of the antidepressant medications commonly used lowered inflammatory cytokines levels and that patients who failed to respond had the highest level of the cytokines.

So, how is this linked to excitotoxicity?

Neuroscientists have known for some time that inflammatory cytokines cause the brain to release higher levels of glutamate — the more intense the inflammation, the higher the brain glutamate level. The highest levels are found in the prefrontal lobes and limbic system, the areas most related to mood control. MSG also increases brain inflammation.

Vaccination And Brain Inflammation

A great number of studies have shown that when you vaccinate an animal, the body‘s inflammatory cytokines not only increase dramatically, but so do the brain‘s inflammatory chemicals. The brain has its own immune system that is intimately connected to the body‘s immune system. The main immune cell in the brain is called a microglia. Normally, these brain cells are lying throughout the brain in a resting state (called ramified).

Once activated, they can move around, traveling between brain cells like amoeba (called amoeboid microglia).

In the resting state, they release chemicals that support the growth and protection of brain cells and their connections (dendrites and synapses). But when activated, they secrete a number of very harmful chemicals, including inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, complement, free radicals, lipid peroxidation products, and two excitotoxins — glutamate and quinolinic acid.

In essence, these brain immune cells are out to kill invaders, since the body‘s immune system sent an emergency message that an invasion had occurred. With most infections, this phase of activation last no more than a few days to two weeks, during which time the immune system successfully kills off the invaders.

Once that is accomplished, the immune system shuts down to allow things to cool off and the brain to repair what damage was done by its own immune system.

What researchers knew was that during this period of activation, people generally feel bad and that what they experience closely resembles depression — a condition called “sickness behavior”. Most of us have experience this when suffering from a viral illness — such things as restlessness, irritability, a need to get away from people, trouble sleeping, fatigue and difficulty thinking.

Studies have shown that there are two phases to this “sickness behavior”; one in which we have the flu-like symptoms and a later onset of depression-like symptoms that can last awhile. They have also shown that all of these symptoms are due to high levels of inflammatory cytokines in the brain, which come from activated microglia.

A number of studies have also shown that after age 50, people have exaggerated and prolonged “sickness behavior”, much more so than younger people. This is one of the reasons why many elderly hang onto flu symptoms for months after exposure.

There is also another immune phenomenon that plays a major role in vaccine-related brain injury. Researchers discovered that when you vaccinate an animal, the brain microglia immune cells turn on partially (called priming), that is, they are in a state of high readiness. If the immune system is activated again soon after (days, weeks to months), these microglia explode into action secreting levels of their destructive chemicals far higher than normal. This overreaction can be very destructive and make you feel very depressed.

Stimulating your immune system with a vaccine is far different than contracting an infectious illness naturally. Vaccines are made of two components — the agent you wish to vaccinate against — for example, the measles virus; and an immune system booster called an immune adjuvant.

These adjuvants are composed of such things as aluminum compounds, MSG, lipid compounds and even mercury. Their job is to make the immune system react as intensely as possible and for as long as possible.

Studies have shown that these adjuvants, from a single vaccine, can cause immune overactivation for as long as two years. This means that the brain microglia remain active as well, continuously pouring out destructive chemicals. In fact, one study found that a single injection of an immune activating substance could cause brain immune overactivation for over a year. This is very destructive.

Flu Vaccines And An Expanding Vaccine Schedule for The Elderly

Public health authorities and physician societies are in an all out campaign to have every elderly person vaccinated every year with the flu vaccine as well as a growing number of newer vaccines. When I was practicing neurosurgery, the hospitals had an automatic written order on all older patients‘ charts mandating a flu vaccine, unless it was countermanded by the physician, which I always did.

Now, they are giving the shots in malls, tents and every available site they can muster. And worse still, using lies and scare tactics to frighten the elderly into getting the shots (such as the bold lie that 36,000 elderly die of the flu every year).

As you age, your immune system, including that special immune system in your brain, releases significantly more inflammatory immune cytokines than when you were younger. This serves to prime the microglia, as discussed. So, when you get your first flu shot your microglia overreact and does so for a very long period — perhaps years.

Many elderly report that the flu shot gave them the flu. Proponents of vaccines, retort with a condescending laugh; that it is impossible because the flu vaccine contains killed flu viruses. In truth, what these people are reporting is a prolonged, intense “sickness behavior” response to the vaccine. To the body, it is worse than getting the flu.

Remember, no one is recording the number of elderly who die after getting the flu shot, especially if they die months later, which can happen with sickness behavior, especially if they have a preexisting chronic illness or are infirm.

The Shocking Truth

With the elderly already having increased inflammatory cytokine levels both systemically and in their brain, stimulating these primed microglia so that a chronic overstimulation of the brain‘s immune system is triggered, will not only increase their risk of developing one of the neurodegenerative diseases, but will also substantially increase their risk of developing major depression. Remember, this also increases their risk of suicide, and even homicide, dramatically.

Anxiety is a major problem with depression, and vaccinations will greatly worsen the condition. In fact, vaccination, especially multiple vaccinations, will maintain the brain in a state of inflammation that will be self-perpetuating, because the excess release of glutamate in the brain, as well as glutamate in the diet, will further enhance microglial activation and excitotoxicity.

Those who are prone to developing one of the neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer‘s disease or Parkinson‘s disease will be at a drastically increased risk as we have seen experimentally when even animals exposed to subtoxic concentrations of environmental toxins and vaccinated develop neurologic worsening.

Most people use pesticides in their home, and studies have shown that the concentrations in homes are sufficient to trigger Parkinson‘s disease in susceptible people. Vaccinations, as these studies have shown, will greatly increase that risk. Most doctors are completely unaware of this important research.

You must keep in mind that “health authorities” urge the elderly to get the flu vaccine each and every year. This will keep the microglia in a primed and even activated state continuously. Recently, neurologists announced that the incidence of neurodegenerative disease had been grossly underestimated and that neurological diseases of aging were increasing at a frightening rate. They have no explanation.

Over the last three decades the number of elderly receiving yearly flu vaccines has risen from 20% before 1980 to over 60% today.

If this were not depressing enough, now the public health authorities and medical specialty societies are adding a whole new set of vaccines for those above 50 years of age, including the pneumococcal and meningiococcal vaccines. What is being completely ignored by the promoters of these vaccines is the effect of multiple doses of immune adjuvant that accompany each of these vaccines.

Let‘s say you see your doctor and he talks you into getting the flu vaccine, the pneumococcal and meningiococcal vaccine all during the same office visit. That way, he can save you extra office visits. What your doctor ignores is that he is giving you three doses of powerful immune adjuvant all in one sitting, which means that your body and brain are assaulted by a massive dose of powerful immune activators, which have been proven to activate the brain‘s immune system to dangerous levels, even when given as a single dose.

Proof of this mechanism exists not only in animal studies, but in humans as well.

Mercury And Aluminium

There are other ways that vaccines can cause havoc in the brain. Most vaccines contain aluminium compounds. A multitude of studies have shown that aluminum, especially if combined with fluoride, is a powerful brain toxin and that it accumulates in the brain. With each vaccine injection, a dose of aluminium is given. These yearly aluminum inoculations accumulate not only at the site of the injection, but travel to the brain, where it enters neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and microglia).

A number of studies have shown that aluminium can activate microglia and do so for long periods. This means that the aluminum in your vaccination is priming your microglia to overreact. The next vaccine acts to trigger the enhanced inflammatory reaction and release of the excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolinic acid.

You must also appreciate that any infection, stroke, head injury or other toxin exposure will also magnify this inflammatory brain reaction initially triggered by your vaccines. Studies have now indicated that the more one‘s immune system is activated the more like he or she will suffer from one of the neurodegenerative diseases.

Mercury is also a powerful activator of brain microglia and can do so in extremely low concentrations — in nanomolar amounts. Because of its numerous reactions with sulfhydral compounds in the body (which are ubiquitous), mercury can poison a number of enzymes, both systemically and in the brain. Of special concern is the ability of mercury, especially ethylmercury (the kind found in vaccines called thimerosal) to inhibit the regulation of brain glutamate levels. (It does this by inhibiting the glutamate transfer proteins that control the removal of glutamate from outside the neuron, where it does its harm.)

In essence, mercury, in the concentrations being injected with vaccines, triggers excitotoxicity, increases brain free radicals and lipid peroxidation products, inhibits critical brain enzymes, inhibits antioxidant enzymes and impairs DNA repair ability. The flu vaccine contains enough mercury to do all of these things. You must keep in mind that each flu vaccine adds to the mercury supplied by your last vaccine — that is, it is progressively accumulating in your brain.

In addition, the aluminum in the vaccines also primes microglia, and when combined with mercury is infinitively more toxic to the brain. Now, if this is not enough, we also have to consider the contamination of vaccines with foreign viruses and viral components. Studies have shown that this is not a rare occurrence, with up to 60% of vaccines being contaminated in one study of several major manufactured vaccines.

When confronted with this fact, vaccine proponents just shrug their shoulders and say — “We don‘t think these things are harmful.”

Yet, the studies say otherwise.

It has been found that insertion of viral fragments, not even the whole virus, is sufficient to trigger the brain‘s microglial system and subsequent excitotoxicity, leading to progressive brain degeneration. This is accepted to be the mechanism by which the HIV virus causes dementia in a great number of AIDS victims. Fragments of the virus (gp140 and Tat) are engulfed by the microglia and this triggers chronic brain inflammation and excitotoxicity. The herpes virus and measles virus can do the same thing.

Danger Of Live Virus Vaccines

A number of studies have shown that live viruses used in vaccines can enter the brain and reside there for a lifetime. One such study, in which autopsied elderly were examined for the presence of the measles virus, found that 20% of the brains had live measles viruses and 45% of other organs were infected. These viruses were highly mutated, meaning that they could be just as potent as other measles viruses, but could be even more virulent.

Worse, is that in most cases they cause a smoldering destruction of tissues without the obvious symptoms of infection, which has been shown in a number of studies.

Live virus vaccines are made using a process to attenuate the pathogenic or disease-causing virus by passing it through a series of cultures. The problem is that the reverse can also happen within the body. A number of studies have shown that when we produce free radicals in our body (and we produce tons of such radicals over a lifetime), it mutates the viruses residing in our tissues. This is what was found in the autopsy study I referred to above.

Likewise, these viruses can trigger brain inflammation and degeneration, which has been shown in a number of studies — that is, there exist a chronic degeneration of the brain over years or decades. Because it is so far separated from the time of the original vaccine, physicians just attribute it to old age or heredity. Anything but the vaccines.

Virologists are also concerned that such mutated live viruses can also infect other people, leading to outbreaks of disease totally unsuspected by health authorities.


Current recommendations by the CDC for adult vaccinations include a total of 14 separate inoculations with infectious agents and powerful immune adjuvants. To be fair, some of these are for special medical risks and conditions, such as high-risk behaviors, illegal drug use and HIV infected individuals.

If we eliminate these, women will be exposed to 10 inoculations and men 7, should they follow CDC guidelines, which doctors follow.

According to CDC recommendations, multiple vaccinations for a single disease are separated by no more than 4 weeks, which is close enough together to produce priming and subsequent hyperactivation of brain microglia. We have seen that this can trigger a smoldering process of brain inflammation and excitotoxicity that can not only result in depression, anxiety and high suicide rates, but can increase one‘s risk of developing one of the neurodegenerative diseases as well.

We have also seen that in many cases a person will be injected with several vaccines during a single office visit and that this means their body is exposed to a very large dose of immune adjuvant. Compelling studies, using many animal species as well as humans, have shown that this overactivates brain inflammatory mechanism that can last for years.

In addition, several additives to vaccines, such as mercury and aluminum, are powerful brain toxins that are known to accumulate in the brain over years and can trigger brain inflammatory/excitotoxic mechanisms. Vaccine contaminants, such as bacteria, mycoplasma and viral fragments can also produce prolonged brain inflammation and neurodegeneration.

Because the elderly already have high levels of inflammatory cytokines, they are at a special risk. The very young (babies and small children) are at a high risk because their brains are undergoing the most rapid development at the very time they receive the greatest number of vaccinations — the first two years of life. In fact, they receive 22 vaccines during the first year of life, one of which contains a full pediatric dose of mercury.

Like adults, they receive many inoculations (up to 9 inoculations) in one office visit. This is insane and in my estimation, criminal.

Nasal flu vaccines are even worse, because they introduce a live virus into the nasal passages, which can then travel along the olfactory nerves, which leads to the very part of the brain first and most severely affected by Alzheimer‘s disease. A number of studies have shown that viruses and bacteria can pass along this route to the brain.

In fact, in one study scientists sprayed a bacterium into the nose of mice and observed a rapid development of Alzheimer‘s type plaques in the mouse‘s brain.

So What Should Older People Do?

First, studies have shown that the primary cause of immune deficiency in the elderly is purely dietary. The carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, canthaxanthin, lutein and lycopene significantly enhance the immunity of the elderly. Zinc, magnesium and selenium are also essential. One should also avoid omega-6 oils (the vegetable oils: corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, soybean and peanut oils), since they greatly enhance inflammation and depress immunity. The EPA component of fish oils (omega-3 oils) is also a powerful immune suppressant. DHA is not.

Dr Russell Blaylock

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

In common with All articles by Dr Blaylock, and articles featured by Dr Mercola, this is very well referenced. It is well worth reading the original article. You may also be interested to listen to Dr Gary Null’s interview with Dr Blaylock, which accompanies this article.

Thanks to Dr Joseph Mercola

NHS Testing A Cannabis Product For The First Time

A cannabidiol (CBD) vaporiser that has helped thousands of people suffering from a variety of conditions is being tested by an NHS unit, an unprecedented step that could increase scrutiny on cannabis’ medical benefits and have a huge impact on the UK’s legislation on it.

The MediPen, a legal way to consume CBD, which, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is non-psychoactive, has been on sale for a year now and drew very positive reviews, relieving the pain of people with everything from depression and anxiety to arthritis and fibromyalgia.

The company told The Independent it has been consulting with a group of production and regulatory support pharmacists from the NHS for the past few months, who have been testing their proprietary cannabis oil formulation.

A detailed public report outlining the testing process and extraction methodology will follow, and though it is only about confirming purity and cannabinoid profile at this stage, this is a big first step for the medical cannabis industry in the UK.

MediPen is confident that by setting a precedent for testing cannabis products with the NHS, it will have a huge impact on the public’s perception of cannabis.

“Over the past year the MediPen has quickly become without a doubt one of the most highly-rated CBD products in the world,” said managing director Jordan Owen. “We’ve recently been working very closely with a team of NHS production and regulatory support pharmacists who’ve been able to meticulously analyse our proprietary formulation for both safety and cannabinoid concentration.

“As the UK’s industry leading consumer cannabis biotechnology company, we’re excited to have set a new benchmark in providing a much-needed sense of legitimacy to the UK’s rapidly growing legal cannabis industry.”

“As the first consumer cannabis product to be tested by the NHS, we are confident that this will go a long way towards creating a properly regulated cannabis market in the UK and are extremely excited to see what the future holds.”

The NHS was unable to comment due to a non-disclosure agreement preventing them from sharing any client information, with the exemption of official government bodies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It did however point out that cannabidiol is present in the authorised multiple sclerosis spray product Sativex, though this is prescription only.

The Independent

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Dirty Medicine: The Handbook By Martin J Walker

Dirty Medicine: The Handbook, is a follow-up to ‘Dirty Medicine ‘ that appeared in 1993. Anybody involved in alternative medicine will be aware of direct and also subterfuge campaigns by powerful interests against them. Obviously in a pluralistic society other viewpoints will challenge and so it should be. If somebody invents a bizarre new form of therapy this should be looked at in a sceptical manner. However this book argues that ‘scientific corporatism’ is attempting to gain complete control in an anti-democratic and sinister manner.

This book aims to give a resume of the most important players in these attacks. The book has a strong political component which argues that ’20th century industrial capitalism’ is inadequate to protect the public interest. Science is seen as taken over by vested corporate interests who are out to crush challenges to their ways of thinking.

Quotations From The Book

Twenty years ago, the use of undercover groups and disinformation in aid of competitive marketing was restricted to a small number of toxic industries, such as those of asbestos and tobacco. As the run–down of the public sector has moved relentlessly forward, and the spaces left by ‘independent’ government–led bodies have been filled by corporate industry groups, so lobbying, undercover groups and disinformation have become, instead of peculiarities, the order of the day.

Just as, in 1985, one might have mistrusted a news item obviously promoted by the tobacco industry, today it would be unwise to believe any news item about science and environmentally caused illnesses. Today almost all information about the environmental causes of ill health is corrupted with hidden messages slipped in by corporate interests.

…the public relations industry has changed radically over the past 30 years, from an industry that promoted the good effects of products and services, to an industry primarily concerned with hiding or downplaying the high–risk, high–damage aspects of products and services. … If we are looking for an analysis of how unsafe products are protected, we need look no further than the structure of the PR industry and its connections with government.

Dirty Medicine: The Handbook, is available at The College of Naturopathic Medicine. The college, is one of the UK’s largest, highly-respected and well-known natural-medicine training providers, with sites in London, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh, and Manchester.