Monday, May 29, 2017

The Brain Literally Starts Eating Itself When It Doesn't Get Enough Sleep

The reason we sleep goes far beyond simply replenishing our energy levels every 12 hours - our brains actually change states when we sleep to clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity left behind during the day.
Weirdly enough, the same process starts to occur in brains that are chronically sleep-deprived too - except it's kicked into hyperdrive. Researchers have found that persistently poor sleep causes the brain to clear a significant amount of neurons and synaptic connections, and recovering sleep might not be able to reverse the damage.
A team led by neuroscientist Michele Bellesi from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy has examined the mammalian brain's response to poor sleeping habits, and found a bizarre similarity between the well-rested and sleepless mice.
Like the cells elsewhere in your body, the neurons in your brain are being constantly refreshed by two different types of glial cell - support cells that are often called the glue of the nervous system.
The microglial cells are responsible for clearing out old and worn out cells via a process called phagocytosis - meaning "to devour" in Greek.
The astrocytes' job is to prune unnecessary synapses (connections) in the brain to refresh and reshape its wiring. 
We've known that this process occurs when we sleep to clear away the neurological wear and tear of the day, but now it appears that the same thing happens when we start to lose sleep.
But rather than being a good thing, the brain goes overboard with the clearing, and starts to harm itself instead.
Think of it like the garbage being cleared out while you're asleep, versus someone coming into your house after several sleepless nights and indiscriminately tossing out your television, fridge, and family dog.
"We show for the first time that portions of synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss," Bellesi told Andy Coghlan at New Scientist.
To figure this out, the researchers imaged the brains of four groups of mice:
  • one group was left to sleep for 6 to 8 hours (well-rested)
  • another was periodically woken up from sleep (spontaneously awake)
  • a third group was kept awake for an extra 8 hours (sleep-deprived)
  • and a final group was kept awake for five days straight (chronically sleep-deprived).
When the researchers compared the activity of the astrocytes across the four groups, they identified it in 5.7 percent of the synapses in the well-rested mouse brains, and 7.3 of the spontaneously awake mouse brains.
In the sleep-deprived and chronically sleep-deprived mice, they noticed something different: the astrocytes had increased their activity to actually eating parts of the synapses like microglial cells eat waste - a process known as astrocytic phagocytosis. 
In the sleep-deprived mouse brains, the astrocytes were found to be active across 8.4 percent of the synapses, and in the chronically sleep-deprived mice, a whopping 13.5 percent of their synapses showed astrocyte activity.
As Bellesi told New Scientist, most of the synapses that were getting eaten in the two groups of sleep-deprived mice were the largest ones, which tend to be the oldest and most heavily used - "like old pieces of furniture" - which is probably a good thing.
But when the team checked the activity of the microglial cells across the four groups, they found that it had also ramped up in the chronically sleep-deprived group.
And that's a worry, because unbridled microglial activity has been linked to brain diseases like Alzheimer's and other forms of neurodegeneration.
"We find that astrocytic phagocytosis, mainly of presynaptic elements in large synapses, occurs after both acute and chronic sleep loss, but not after spontaneous wake, suggesting that it may promote the housekeeping and recycling of worn components of heavily used, strong synapses," the researchers report.
"By contrast, only chronic sleep loss activates microglia cells and promotes their phagocytic activity ... suggesting that extended sleep disruption may prime microglia and perhaps predispose the brain to other forms of insult."
Many questions remain, such as if this process is replicated in human brains, and if catching up on sleep can reverse the damage.
But the fact that Alzheimer's deaths have increased by an incredible 50 percent since 1999, together with the struggle that many of us have in getting a good night's sleep, means this is something we need to get to the bottom of - and fast.
The research has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Understanding the Cancer and Treatment: Chemotherapy

This video about chemotherapy, created by Nucleus Medical Media, depicts normal cell division, apoptosis, tumor cell formation, tumor development, and angiogenesis of a tumor. It describes the cause of tumor cell formation at the genetic level with DNA, and metastasis through blood and lymph vessels. This animation covers the various effects of chemotherapy: cancer cell death, tumor death, destruction of normal cells and tissue. It also covers the side effects associated with chemotherapy treatments. Also described are related treatments, such as, radiation, pills, capsules, liquids, intravenous injections, surgical procedures, catheterization, CSF injection, wafter placement, and schedule of treatments.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Coconut Oil Kills >93% of Colon Cancer Cells In Vivo

In this newly published lab study, lauric acid (coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid) killed over 93% of human colon cancer cells (Caco-2) after 48 hours of treatment. Intriguingly, the lauric acid poisoned the cancer cells by simultaneously unleashing profound oxidative stress while strongly reducing their levels of glutathione (which is exactly what the cancer cells needed to protect themselves from the increased oxidative stress).
While we are just now discovering coconut oil’s full anti-cancer potential, its many health benefits have already been well established through medical research. It naturally kills multiple viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. It aids digestion and liver metabolism, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthier skin and faster wound healing when applied topically. It may also be an effective aid for diabetes. It has been shown to raise levels of the beneficial cholesterol HDL in women, improve their LDL: lassHDL ratio, and resulted in superior weight loss and abdominal loss compared to soybean oil.
Coconut oil is now being used in clinical trials for improving cholesterol in patients with chronic heart disease, in fighting Alzheimer’s, and for improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Coconut oil is unique in that it is about 50% lauric acid, a medium-chained triglyceride that is otherwise very hard to find in our diets (palm kernel oil is also about 50% lauric acid). Interestingly, lauric acid makes up about 2% of the fat in cow’s milk but 6% of the fat in human milk, implying that humans may have a naturally higher need for this fatty acid.
These studies don’t necessarily mean coconut is the panacea of cancer. What it means is that nature has provided many natural ways to combat disease. The more research we can do and the more information we can share with others gives us opportunities to possibly find cures and preventive measures using Mother Nature instead of simply putting our faith in the medical communities singular approach to disease.

New Harvard Study Confirms Cannabis Makes You Smarter

Over the past few decades, scientists have been trying to uncover whether or not cannabis harms long-term brain health. Much of the research thus far has been focused on the adolescent use and IQ in adulthood. Yet, it has been difficult to nail down many firm impacts. Now, a small study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology conducted by Harvard University, Tufts University, and McLean Hospital, has found that cannabis seems to improve cognition.

Harvard pilot study finds cannabis improves cognition

The pilot study included 24 participants, who were studied over a three-month time span. Unfortunately, only 11 patients returned at the end of the testing period. All participants were patients with medical cannabis authorizations for either anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and sleep. Though, most of the patients had two or more ailments.
After three months of cannabis treatment, the patients took two different cognitive tests. The first is called the Stroop Color Word Test. This test assesses thinking ability by measuring how long it takes for a person to name a color of a printed word that does not match the written word itself. For example, black. Patients also performed a trail making test, which requires them to connect numbered dots.
The three-month scores were then compared to their original baseline. After herbal therapy, the study found that patients were faster in completing tasks. They also did not make any more errors than they had before. Patients also self-reported improvements in a variety of symptoms, including condition-related symptoms, sleep, and overall health.

Patients pick cannabis over opioids

In a report released by McLean Hospital, Staci Gruber, Ph.D. and Director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) explained that 42 percent of patients chose cannabis over prescription opioid painkillers. Gruber is enthusiastic about this number. She explains,
This is significant, particularly for those of us in Massachusetts and other areas of the country where the opioid epidemic is ravaging so many. This preliminary finding certainly warrants deeper and broader investigation.
Similar findings have been reported in other surveys, such as one with 271 respondents published in February [2017]. This study found that 30 percent of respondents preferred cannabis to opioid pain relievers. More research suggests that patients see cannabis as a viable alternative to pain relievers.
Still, Gruber wants to play it safe on the subject until more researcher is completed. She says,
As a clinical researcher, I’m not interested in exploring only the good or the bad, I’m only interested in the truth. That’s what our patients and our recreational users have a right to know and a right to expect from us. People are going to use it. It’s up to us to figure out the very best and safest ways in which they can do that.
Still, this pilot study has promise. Recently, a study performed in rodents found that a daily dose of THC improved cognitive ability and seemed to reduce brain aging. When older rodents were treated with the cannabis compound for a month, they were better able to complete maze tasks and remember things they had learned before.
Young rodents treated with THC performed worse in the tests, but the seniors had rapidly improved cognitive ability. Post-treatment, senior mice showed similar mental faculties to non-treated young mice.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


A number of health experts agree that boosting your metabolism is probably the most effective ways to burn fat. And, there’s no better way to achieve this than by including some foods into your diet. The thing is some simple ingredients, such as spices, are amazing metabolism boosters. All you have to do is include these into your diet on a regular basis and burn fat without doing anything.

On the other hand, everyone who’s at least once been on a weight loss program will know that hunger is a common obstacle you have to overcome again and again. But, if you make the right dietary choices, you won’t have to starve your body so that you lose weight.
According to a study by researchers from the Medical Sciences University of Iran, cumin is extremely efficient in stimulating the fat-burning process in the body. The 3-month study included two groups of 44 women, all of which were overweight. During the research, the women were given advice on healthy nutrition and were allowed to consume 500 calories a day. The only difference was that one group was also asked to include 3 grams of powdered cumin into their diet on a regular daily basis. The women in this group combined the spice with 140g of yogurt, whereas the second group only consumed the same amount of yogurt minus the cumin.
The findings were astonishing. The cumin group lost 14 pounds more than the group who only consumed yogurt. In addition, the cumin group lost more fat – 14.64%, as opposed to the second group, who only lost 4.91% fat.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cannabis 'could reverse ageing process' after THC found to improve memory and learning in older mice Small-scale study on humans aged 60 to 70 planned for later this year

The chemical in cannabis that makes people feel ‘high’ appears to improve learning and memory in older mice, a new study has found – with similar tests on humans planned for later this year.
Researchers gave a low dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to mice of different ages as part of a new study investigating the brain systems involved in the ageing process.
They tested the rodents’ memory and found that after the old mice received THC, their powers of recollection matched those of young mice who had not been given anything.
Andras Bilkei-Gorzo, who led the study published in the journal Nature Medicine, said he is now organising a small-scale study of around 100 volunteers aged 60 to 70 to find out if similar effects are seen in humans.
“THC restored the cognitive ability of the old mice to the level of the young ones,” he told The Independent
With age, the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which affects mood, memory and sensations such as pain and is also receptive to marijuana compounds, “actively declines,” he said. “Giving THC artificially activates the system in the old [mice]. It can restore signalling to a normal level.”
However, when the young mice were given THC, they performed the memory task less well than those who did not receive the compound.
“If you do the very same treatment, with the same dosage, to young mice, you overdrive the whole system,” said Dr Bilkei-Gorzo. “It’s at a much higher level than it should be.”
Physciatrist Michael Bloomfield, from University College London, said the”well-conducted” study was “exciting” as it “opens up a whole new chemical system, called the endocannabinoid system, as a potential target for new avenues of research which could include illnesses like dementia.”
Older mice who received cannbinoids showed improved learning and memory (Getty Images / iStockphoto)
“However, we are still in very early days and further research is needed. This is because THC produces very complicated and sometimes seemingly opposite effects depending on, for example, its dose, age of the person or animal, how often the drug is administered and species differences in all of the above," he said. 
"This means that the possibility of doctors potentially prescribing, cannabis THC or similar compounds for memory problems in older people is still a long way off.”
Dr Bilkei-Gorzo and his team at the University of Bonn in Germany tested the effects of THC in mice aged two months, 12 months and 18 months.
In one of the three cognitive tests used in the study, they gave the mice the choice of interacting with an object or another mouse, which they usually find “much more interesting,” choosing to spend 70 per cent of their time in the cage with the other animal.
Then, 24 hours later, the scientists put the mice back in the same place, and give them the choice of interacting with the mouse they met before, or a completely new mous.
“Does the animal remember it saw the animal before, and spend more time with the new one? If it can’t remember, it spends half of its time with the new one and half of its time with the older one,” said Dr Bilkei-Gorzo.
“That’s what we saw in the old animals – a day after they first met the other mouse, they couldn’t distinguish between the old and new one. The young ones have no difficulty; they do distinguish and they spend more time with the new one.”
However, when the old mice were given THC, they improved at recognising the mouse they had already met, to the same level as the young mice.
While it would be “fantastic” if clinical studies on humans were to see similar positive results, Dr Bilkei-Gorzo said he did not recommend taking up smoking cannabis.
“If everyone over 60 starts to smoke marijuana, it probably wouldn’t have a good outcome,” he said, with a slight giggle. “It’s a real danger, because we know that everything depends on the dosage and the age that you start.”
Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This study shows that a component of cannabis, called THC, could have a beneficial effect on memory and learning in older mice. 
“Though an interesting finding, the study does not shed light on the effect of THC on people with dementia, as it only looked at age-related memory decline in mice. 
“The study also does not reveal anything about the effect of cannabis on dementia, or memory problems in old age, as THC is only one of many chemicals that make up cannabis, and we don’t know what effects the other chemicals might have.“

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Marijuana decreases the risk of lung cancer. Marijuana does not cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Thus, Pot is safer than cigarettes.

Professor emeritus of medicine at UCLA and one of the United States’ leading pulmonologists who has been studying weed and its effects on lungs for more than 30 years, Dr. Donald Tashkin once sought to prove pot causes lung cancer, but the evidence forced him to conclude that average weed smoking does not cause lung cancer or impair lung function:
“The smoke content of marijuana is very similar to that of tobacco. There is a higher concentrate of cancer-causing chemicals in marijuana tar, and it reaches the lungs before any other organ, so there is this idea that they are related in causing the same health issues of the lungs. But through my studies we failed to find any positive association [with cancer]. Instead, the association would be negative, between lung cancer and the use of marijuana. The likelihood is, that despite the fact that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens, we don’t see the same heightened risks of cancers that we see in tobacco.
Dr. Tashkin is not alone in his analysis. To investigate the association between cannabis smoking and lung cancer risk, data on 2,159 lung cancer cases and 2,985 controls were pooled from 6 case-control studies in the US, Canada, UK, and New Zealand within the International Lung Cancer Consortium. Results from the pooled analyses in 2014 provided little evidence for an increased risk of lung cancer among habitual or long-term cannabis smokers.
“I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects. But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.” – Dr. Tashkin.
“Reasoning for this may be that marijuana is a potent anti-inflammatory and suppressive. But COPD is activated by tobacco smoke and other toxic substances. The other major impact of tobacco smoking on the lungs is the association between smoking tobacco and the development of destructive pulmonary disease, the third cause of death in America.”

Again, his current findings echo results from previous research. In a large cross-sectional analysis of US adults aged 18 to 59 using data from two rounds of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), researchers from Georgia’s Emory University found in 2015 that occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.
Cumulative lifetime marijuana use, up to 20 joint-years, is not associated with adverse changes in spirometric [a person’s ability to exhale] measures of lung health. Although greater than 20 joint-years of cumulative marijuana exposure was associated with a twofold increased odds of a FEV1/FVC less than 70%, this was the result of an increase in FVC [forced vital capacity], rather than a disproportional decrease in FEV1 [forced expiratory volume]as is typically associated with obstructive lung diseases.
The largest and longest study ever to consider the issue [Researchers tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years, starting in 1985 when they were aged 18 to 30], published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that occasional marijuana smoking does not impair lung function.
Marijuana may have beneficial effects on pain control, appetite, mood, and management of other chronic symptoms. Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for these or other purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function.
Marijuana plus tobacco equals lung poison
Consultant Physician at St. Lucia’s Victoria Hospital, Dr. Martin Didier, warns:
Tobacco contains over 4,000 toxic substances which destroys your lungs. Marijuana for all we know is less toxic, probably contains up to 400 but the combination of smoking marijuana and tobacco they interact and it changes the whole thing into a poison. A poison which destroys the structure and function of the lungs with a lot of consequences.”
Marijuana use alone doesn’t cause significant abnormalities to the lungs
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, told ThinkProgress:
“If we’re serious public policy people, we would let the scientists figure this out. Does one set of vegetative matter produce a certain range of carcinogens? If so, to what degree and amount? How do people consume it? This entire discussion should be based on science. But the laughable thing is that the government is against this type of research. All we have are anecdotes but we need science that meets the standards of a proper peer review.”

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New research shows cannabis heals broken bones and prevents rejection of transplanted organs

by Justin Gardner, Intellihub
The medical uses of cannabis and its derivatives are continuing to be discovered at an astonishing rate. This is despite the fact that U.S. government clings to an absurd, baseless classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which severely limits research and scientific advancement.
We can add bone fractures and organ transplants to the diverse list of conditions that medicinal cannabis can treat.

study performed by Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University researchers finds that the non-psychotropic component cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) helps heal bone fractures. They administered the compound to rats with mid-femoral fractures and found that it “markedly enhanced the healing process of the femora after just eight weeks.”
The team had found in earlier research that our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors stimulate bone formation and inhibit bone loss. It was a natural progression to test how this can be utilized to aid bone healing.
“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” said Dr. Gabet. “While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactivity.”
Back in the U.S., researchers at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine discovered another new field of cannabis treatment. They found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, can delay the rejection of incompatible organs.
The research performed in mice provides clear justification for its testing in clinical trials. If THC can be used to prevent organ rejection, as the authors suggest is possible, it can literally save lives. Again, the work focuses on cannabinoid receptors.
“More and more research is identifying potential beneficial effects of substances contained in marijuana, but a major challenge has been identifying the molecular pathways involved,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. “These new studies point to important roles for the cannabinoid receptors as targets that might be exploited using approaches that refine how we think about substances derived from marijuana.”
Scientists around the world are resuming the exploration of medical cannabis that was interrupted in the 1930s and ‘40s by irrational government prohibitions. We are only just discovering its usefulness in treating epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
For centuries, cannabis was used as a medical remedy. The tools of modern medicine are now allowing extraordinary insights into this plant and the powerful capabilities of cannabinoid receptors.
Despite the amazing benefits of this plant, in police state USA, police officers will kill you for it — and they will call it “justice.”
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hempseed: Nature's Perfect Food?

Hempseed: Nature's Perfect Food?

Modern medicine has defeated the most feared killers of antiquity like smallpox, tetanus and typhoid. Why can't it find a cure for cancer and heart disease? Is it possible the American diet is killing us? Is it true that hempseed butter can reduce the risk of cancer? Lynn Osburn, co-editor of the Emperor Wears No Clothes searches for these and other answers regarding the nutritional potential of hempseed.
by Lynn Osborn

In May 1991, as the California Hemp Initiative was fully underway, Jack Herer did a guest spot on a radio talk show in Los Angeles. One listener was a PhD biochemist from UCLA. Dr. Roberta Hamilton got in touch with Jack and arranged for a meeting to tell him about the nutritional value of the oils in hempseed. Jack asked Judy, my wife, and me to attend. We joined him at Dr. Hamilton's house near UCLA.

Dr. Hamilton, a talkative and intelligent woman in her sixties, invited us into her library. Jack was excited and wasted no time getting into the subject.

Hempseeds "What's so nutritious about the oils, the hempseed oil? You said they're essential?" he asked.

"Yes, linoleic and linolenic acids. They're essential. Life requires them. GLA, linoleic and linolenic acids, EPA, sunshine and protein high in phosphorus are all part of the battery of life. They assist the prostaglandins that . . ."

Jack interrupted, "Whoa, wait a minute, what's this other stuff? Is any of it in hemp?"

Dr. Hamilton looked at Judy and me and said, "You're his editors Do you know anything about these oils?"

"GLA is gamma linolenic acid, and EPA is eicosapentaenoic acid, I think, but it's been awhile. And don't the prostaglandins have something to do with immunity?" Most of what I knew had come from reading research about life extension.

"Good. You know what I'm talking about. You can fill in the others later," she said. "It's where Pritikin went wrong. He limited the oils in his patients' diets. He didn't know the oils were essential.

These essential fatty acids are responsible for our immune response. In the old country the peasants ate hemp butter. They were more resistant to disease than the nobility. The higher classes wouldn't eat hemp porridge because the poor ate it. To them hemp was low-class food."

She discussed many interesting bits of biochemistry from the nutritional viewpoint and nutrition's relevance to disease. But Jack wanted more simplification. He was concentrating on the CHI political campaign and needed a short statement he could use in speeches and for the press.

"Dr. Hamilton - Roberta - could you give me one line summing up the essential fatty acids in hemp that I could quote you on?"

"Yes. Hemp is the highest of any plant in essential fatty acids." She went on to point out that hempseed oil is 55% linoleic acid and 25% linolenic acid. Only flax oil has more linolenic acid at 58%, but hempseed oil is the highest in total essential fatty acids at 80% of total oil volume. And hempseed oil is among the lowest in saturated fats at 8% of total oil volume.

I explained to her how important it was for our campaign to have documentation on the claims we made about hemp. She took a book down from her library shelf and said, "This book has in it most everything we've talked about today. You should get a copy." The book was Fats and Oils: The Complete Guide to Fats and Oils in Health and Nutrition, by Udo Erasmus, a PhD nutritionist from Canada.

The next day I called Dr. Erasmus to order a copy of his book. When I told him we were very much interested in hempseed essential oil content, he became curious.

"Well, that is marijuana, you know." He wondered why I was so interested in hemp.

"Hempseed is legal here in the United States. We can still buy it legally," I replied. "We're trying to get hemp back into the California economy, but first we have to legalize marijuana. I'm a proponent for an initiative here to change the law so we can get hemp back.."

He had a good laugh and wished me luck. Then he related remembrances his parents had told of the hemp fields in Russia and the delicious hempseed butter they used to make, "Their hemp butter puts our peanut butter to shame for nutritional value."

CHI failed to make the ballot. Jack had promised the volunteer petitioners an Extravaganja - win or lose. Jack sponsored, and Judy and I hosted, the four-day celebration during the full moon in June. The cannabis drought was so extreme that one CHI patriot proclaimed this to be a "Smokeless Extravaganja."

There may not have been any ganja, but there was plenty of hempseed food. Carol Miller of the Sonoma Civil Rights Action Project (SCRAP) and other hempseed nutrition enthusiasts brought their stone mills. Alan Brady, exuding a feeling of health and vitality affecting anyone near him, introduced many to the spiritual aspects of Zen seed grinding. His smile was contagious.

SCRAP had catered the first ever hempseed banquet at the San Francisco Earth Day Hemp Expo in April 1991. That was my first exposure to hempseed cookery. The meal was unique, but some diners had difficulty accepting the texture and taste of the Nutty Hempseed and Walnut Loaf. I found it to be satisfying, with a flavor that grew on you. My banquet favorite was the Chocolate Almond Hempseed Tort. The hempseed banquet left me with a sense of good health that lasted well into the next day - and I don't mean intoxication. Hempseed won't get you high, but the feeling of food health is an exalted state that few people in modern society experience anymore.

When the Extravaganja was over and the last of the CHI patriots had gone, we finally had time to sit back and relax a bit. I noticed how supple my skin had become. The chronic dry spot on my scalp had disappeared. After four days and nights of near nonstop hosting duties I should have been exhausted, but I felt quite content and contemplative. And since the birth of our youngest daughter, Judy had been experiencing painful breast swelling just prior to her menstrual period. Now for the first time in years there was no painful swelling. We had been eating loads of hempseed foods for the last four days. And we both remembered well the feeling of good health we had experienced after the hemp banquet back in April.

Brady had given us his surplus hempseed date and raisin bars. We continued to eat them and ordered fifty pounds of legally imported, sterile, Chinese hempseed from a national distributor. We believed it was the oil in hempseed that was responsible for our feelings of good health.

Fats and Oils was finally delivered to my mailbox a week after the Extravaganja. The book was so compelling I couldn't put it down. The oils in hempseed had noticeably improved our health and sense of well-being. And as it turns out, the secret of life-giving health in those oils is the fulcrum of a shameful and deadly conspiracy perpetrated by the other oil companies - the big time vegetable oil refiners - the food oil companies (FOCs).

We have to look back to the turn of the century to learn what happened. American society was rapidly changing as more people departed rural-agricultural communities to become dwellers in densely-populated and fast-paced cities. Getting large quantities of perishable foods to people in metropolitan areas was a difficult task. Spoilage and food poisoning occurred regularly. The advent of refrigeration solved many of the problems.

Food manufacturers sought alternatives to the traditional ways of small scale production on farms and ranches. Vegetable oil production was no exception. The hydrogenation process was patented in 1903, and Procter & Gamble marketed the first commercial vegetable oil shortening, Crisco, in 1911. Since then butter use has fallen to one-fifth of its 1910 consumption level, while margarine use has increased by a factor of nine. Vegetable fat consumption increased by more than 300% and animal fat intake went down slightly. Overall, total fat consumption increased by 35% from 1910 to 1980. Fifty-seven percent of this increase is from refined and hydrogenated vegetable fats and oils. Dairy products account for 7% and 31% is from meat, poultry and fish.

During that period, the cancer rate climbed from one person out of every 30 to one in five. The dearth rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) was one in seven at the turn of the century. It is now the leading killer in Western civilization. One out of two Americans will die from CVD.

We eat a little less animal fat than our grandparents did. And we've been taught that it is healthier for us to eat vegetable oils. Our consumption of salad and cooking oils has increased 1200%. So why have cancer and CVD become our worst epidemics?

Vegetable oil production used to be a small scale industry even though seed oil crops were cheap and easy to grow. Because these raw oils spoil rapidly, batches were made weekly, often in home kitchens and sold locally while still fresh. This cottage industry employed many independent homesteaders throughout the country providing stability in local economies - until large companies applied chemical engineering principles to food production. Then food technology was born. And the giant food oil refining industry came into being.

They didn't know it at the time, but refining the vegetable oils to retard spoilage changed the electro-chemical activity of the oils. The seed crops readily available to the FOCs contained high percentages of unsaturated fatty acids, now called mono- and polyunsaturates. Decades would pass before nutrition scientists discovered that we can't live without two polyunsaturated oils in our diet. Cis-linolenic acid (LA) and cis-alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) are the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) indispensable to human nutrition.

LA and LNA quickly become rancid when exposed to light and air. Then the oils smell and taste bad so no one wants to eat them. That's good because the rancid oil is full of toxic compounds dangerous to health and highly reactive oxidation breakdown products called free radicals. Free radical chain reactions in the body is a persuasive theory used explain the biochemistry of degenerative disease and of aging in general.

Most of us in the
civilized world are
starving though we
eat more than
people in developing
We're starving
because a great
many of the foods
we eat have little or
no nutritional
value. They're
dead. Just like the vegetable
oils in our supermarkets.

The oil makers overcame the problem of rancidity by heating the oils to very high temperatures. That changed cis-LA to trans-LA and cis-LNA to trans-LNA. The FOCs weren't able to tell the difference, because the chemical analysis necessary to make that determination had yet to be developed. But they refrained from using seeds with the highest percentage of EFAs (especially LNA) like hemp and flax because they spoiled the fastest. LNA breaks down five times faster than LA, so flax and hempseed oils while being the most nutritious vegetable oils are at the same time the most susceptible to toxic rancidity upon exposure to light and air.
The FOCs could have overcome the problem of rancidity without making trans-fatty acids by simply cold pressing the oils into small airtight opaque bottles, but that was too expensive. Plus it is not possible to make vegetable fats like Crisco without hydrogenation in high heat. Their main goal was to make and market uniform stabilized vegetable fats and oils that undercut prices for food products made from animal fats. Mass production, volume storage and long shelf life were the major elements in the FOC battle plan. Their incredible success built the mega food oil industry of today.

Go into any supermarket and you will find shelves fully stocked with clear bottles of colorless oils. Light shines right through them causing free radical chain reactions to happen a thousand times faster than on exposure to air. But only the EFAs that weren't turned into trans-LA or trans-LNA after refining are affected.

Cheap generic vegetable oils look quite the same as the more expensive oils with polyunsaturated written in large print on the labels. Bottles of canola, corn, peanut, safflower and soy oils seem to offer the consumer a good selection of different vegetable oils to choose from, but the only variation they offer is in the percentage of trans-polyunsaturates, toxic compounds and free radicals each contains. And that depends on the amount of EFA in the seed oil and what percentage of the EFA was changed from the cis- to the trans-shape during refining. Manufacturers are not required to give the percentage of trans-polyunsaturates in their oils or shortenings. And they do not have to account for the toxic polymers and free radicals either.

Today FOCs are enjoying the good press health journals give to polyunsaturated oils. But nutrition science has determined the bodily needs for cis-polyunsaturates - not the trans-polyunsaturates. So the FOCs have applied their formidable economic power lobbying to make sure trans-fatty acids are treated the same as cis-fatty acids when nutritional guidelines are determined.

One pioneer nutrition scientist in Germany, Dr. Johanna Budwig, has proposed that trans-fatty acids are at the heart of cancerous tumor growth. Dr. Budwig developed new techniques to accurately identify the different fatty components in a mix of biological material. She systematically analyzed thousands of blood samples from sick and healthy people. Blood samples from people suffering from cancer, diabetes, and some liver diseases consistently lacked the EFA cis-linoleic acid and substances which combine with LA: phosphatides, vital to cell membranes, and fatty acid carrying albumin, a type of blood lipoprotein. The blood lipoproteins containing LA plus sulphur-rich proteins were gone. In their place Dr. Budwig found a sickly yellow-green protein substance.

She reasoned that if cancer is a deficiency disease involving a lack of EFA then feeding patients a diet high in EFAs should alleviate some of their problems. When she fed flax oil high in LNA and LA along with sulfur-rich skim milk protein to cancer patients whom traditional cancer therapy had failed the yellow-green pigment slowly disappeared; tumors receded and patients recuperated. It took about three months and during this time symptoms of diabetes and liver disease also disappeared.

Dr. Budwig has used her oil-protein combination therapy to successfully treat cancers of the brain, breast, liver, lymph and stomach; leukemia; melanoma; CVD; diabetes; acne and other skin conditions; weak vision and hearing; dry skin; menstrual problems like cramps and breast pain; glandular atrophy; fatty liver; gall stones; pancreas malfunction; kidney degeneration; immune deficiency; low vitality and many other ailments including arthritic conditions.

Dr. Budwig ran afoul of the FOCs when she discovered that fatty substances in soft tumors contained polymerized fats of marine animal origin. These polymers are formed when highly unsaturated fish and whale oils are heated to very high temperatures. She knew these oils were used to make margarine, a partially hydrogenated fat that cannot be made without high temperatures.

The director of the institute where she worked had financial interests in margarine. He held patents on its manufacture including the hydrogenation processes that produced the toxic polymers she had found in tumors. He was afraid her discoveries would ruin margarine sales. He offered her money and ownership of a drugstore to keep her quiet. Dr. Budwig refused to be bribed, and in her official capacity made public statements warning people of the possible health hazards from consuming margarine.

Access to her laboratory was cut off. She was prevented from using research facilities at other institutes, and she could not get any more of her papers published in the fat research journals. This was astonishing because she had worked in collaboration with several hospitals, plus she held a high government post. It was her official responsibility to monitor the effects of drugs and processed foods on health.

Dr. Budwig courageously fulfilled her public duty in the face of FOC opposition and threats to her career. She left the government position in 1953 and opened the clinic where she has successfully treated cancer patients by nutritional therapy. Because this great woman was blackballed by FOC greed, EFA research has been slowed for over 30 years. Current investigations are merely following in her footsteps.

Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the greatest killers in modern society because we have become obese and malnourished. It's an insane paradox that most of the foods offered in the commercial marketplace ultimately fatten us up while our strength and vitality slowly shrivel and wane.

We eat too much junk food loaded with empty calories from starch, sugar, saturated animal fat and refined vegetable fat. Few would defend the nutritional value of junk foods. They're simply convenient.

A great deal of the foods we eat come from ingredients conveniently available at the supermarket. You buy wheat flour by the five-pound sack. It's refined and bleached white. That means the protein, vitamins and fiber have been refined out of the grain; the starch remains. The human body is built with protein not starch. It can't make disease-fighting antibodies with starch. In fact, you can live without starch or any other carbohydrates including sugar. Excess carbohydrates your body can't burn outright or store as glycogen in the liver are converted into sticky fats that can clog up your arteries. But sugar is delicious and a sweet tooth is fun to feed. If you're health conscious and concerned about what you eat, you have to look long and hard or go somewhere else to find any stone-ground whole-grain flour on the supermarket shelf.

You will have to go on a crusade not unlike the quest for the Holy Grail if you want to find food oils rich in cis-polyunsaturated fatty acids. Food oil companies don't make cold pressed raw vegetable oils because the cis-fatty acids - the EFAs - they contain are too unstable. Our bodies utilize that very instability - that sensitivity to light and oxygen - to enable the energy of life to flow through each of us. The high percentage of trans-polyunsaturated fatty acids in refined vegetable oils dampen the flow-of-life energy through our bodies, causing short circuits and brown-outs that eventually manifest as one or more of the degenerative symptoms of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

When I contacted Procter and Gamble to ask about the nutritional value and chemical content of the food oils and shortenings they manufacture, my call was immediately transferred to product nutrition information. However, the spokesperson was unable to answer any questions about the essential fatty acid content of their food oil products. Instead she offered to send me the free Procter & Gamble official product nutrition brochure.

Procter & Gamble's "Helpful Guide to Understanding Dietary Fats" says polyunsaturated fats are "Fatty acids with two or more double bonds, such as the essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. Previous studies showed that polyunsaturates can have the beneficial effect of lowering serum cholesterol. Recent studies suggest that moderation in consumption of polyunsaturates is desirable."

Proctor & Gamble recognizes that LA and LNA are essential fatty acids, yet they make no distinction between EFAs and trans-polyunsaturates in their fats and oils products. Instead they divide fat and oil content into three categories: polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated. They downplay the issue by suggesting moderation. Of course, common sense says moderation is desirable when consuming any food. But trans-fatty acids are not food; they're artificially-altered unnatural vegetable fats and oils.

Like the tobacco companies, the FOC nutrition think tanks are very guarded when it comes to questions about the health value of their products.

I contacted the FDA to see if the government could shed some light on the nutritional value of vegetable oils. John Wallingford from the FDA's clinical nutrition division said the FDA has established no minimum daily requirements for LA and LNA. When I asked if the FDA considered LA and LNA to be essential to human nutrition, he replied by stating the FDA does not take a position on whether one type of food is essential to the diet, but prefers to consider nutritional value from the standpoint of a balanced diet.

"Is the FDA aware of the electro-chemical difference between the cis- and trans- forms of LA and LNA?"

"Yes," he answered, and went on to say FDA clinical nutrition scientists had completed extensive analysis of the European research papers on fatty acid value to human health.

"And what did they find?"

"The results were inconclusive."

Dr. Budwig's clinical reports and research papers are published in German. Europeans are way ahead of the US in realizing that bigger is not always better. They're turning away from the unnatural trans-polyunsaturates refined by the FOCs. The flax oil cottage industry in Europe is making a big comeback using the old cold press methods that make fresh, unrefined, nutritious oils. This trend is slow in coming to the US because most of the European studies haven't

"The energy of life
is in the whole
seed. We need to
eat seeds to build
strong bodies and
maintain vitality
and health."

been published in English. Our ignorance is fading now, and the FOCs are worried after seeing European trends in food oil consumption change, adversely affecting refined oil sales.
The energy of life is in the whole seed. And we should eat more whole seeds to insure we get enough essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, to build strong bodies and immune systems, and to maintain vitality and health. You can get the most of both by adding hempseed to your diet.

The amino acids in hempseed are complete and easy to digest. The EFAs in hempseed are in the optimum ratio for human nutrition, two-and-one-half parts LA to one part LNA. Hempseed can abundantly supply the human body with these essential nutrients. And the seed's outer shell safely protects the vital oils and vitamins within from spoilage. It's a perfect food in a perfectly edible container.

Ground hempseed has a taste similar to peanut butter only more delicate. And even more wholesome foods are being created from it by the new George Washington Carvers of hempseed, who like the original, work quietly out of the way getting no respect from conventional wisdom.

EPILOGUE: Allen Brady was arrested on September 6, 1991, after he took a large shipment of legal, sterilized Chinese hempseed to a Hollister seed company to be cleaned. The bulk hempseed contained small stems, pebbles and debris that had to be removed before Brady could made the popular snacks he sells in the Santa Cruz community.

The Hollister company called the local sheriff after Brady dropped off the hempseed. When Brady returned to pick up his cleaned hempseed, a narco-spy in company clothing propositioned him, "Can you get me some buds?" Brady said no and drove home. The narco-cops, using Department of Justice test standards, claimed the hempseed was marijuana. They got a search warrant and staked out Brady's house for six hours, then burst in on him at midnight and dragged him off to jail after they found personal-use quantities of hashish, marijuana and magic mushrooms. Alan Brady was never charged with possessing the hempseed. It was found to be legal after all. And just as a picture is worth a thousand words, Brady's hempseed snacks had more to say to the people of Santa Cruz than government wanted them to hear.