As someone who suffers from Irlen syndrome, I know that many children are being misdiagnosed with learning difficulties and dyslexia, when in fact, they are suffering from a condition that affects the way they perceive visual information and light.

In a bid to inform parents about this condition, I have decided to tell my story and explain how a pair of specially tinted Irlen glasses transformed my life, forever.

Many people know me as an Internet journalist, an author and an activist, writing on the subject of vaccination. However, as a child, I struggled not only to read and write, but also with everyday life.

At school, I was identified as having special needs and, as a result, was taught in a small group. However, I knew that I did not have learning difficulties and that I could read and write perfectly well. I did not understand why I was being treated differently than my peers. I knew that the only problem from which I suffered was trying to read words as they appeared to move around the page, which I found extremely difficult. 

I became angry with my teachers for treating me as a child with special needs and for labelling me as different, when I knew there was nothing wrong.

Over the years, I noticed that I had other problems besides reading. The colour white blinded me and made me suffer from severe headaches. Daylight and artificial lighting made me feel dizzy and disoriented because they were too bright and hurt my eyes. I would squint, shield my eyes with my hands and blink a lot to protect them from the light.

At home, I preferred soft lighting, dimming the lights and changing the colour of the bulbs to feel calm.

I had difficulties with depth perception and spatial awareness and have always found simple jigsaw puzzles to be impossible. I found patterns on flooring difficult to see and could not identify where there was a step. As a consequence, I fell easily and was identified as being clumsy. I often bumped into things and knocked things over and when I was out, I would walk diagonally instead of in a straight line, often bumping into people.

I suffered from huge panic attacks because everything was too noisy for me and if someone were talking to me, I could not filter out the other noises around me and therefore, I was bombarded with unwanted sound from everywhere.

The best way to describe how Irlen Syndrome feels is having the sensation of living inside a bubble and everything you see and hear outside of the bubble is distorted.

Irlen Syndrome Explained

It was not until I met child psychologist Lisa Blakemore-Brown, who came into my life to assess my two sons for autism, that my problem was identified.

She noticed that I had difficulties and believed that I was suffering from Irlen syndrome. She explained that many children were being falsely diagnosed as suffering from dyslexia, when in fact they were suffering from something entirely different.

She urged me to go and get tested for the condition, telling me that she had seen for herself how specially tinted lenses had transformed children’s lives and pointed me to the website [1]

Reading through the information on the website, I was shocked to discover, that, like me, many people suffered from similar issues on a daily basis. I found pages and pages full of information; one page was full of endorsements, recommending the work of Helen Irlen, the founder of the Irlen Institute.

One of the endorsements was written by Ms. Blakemore-Brown. She wrote:

“Many children experience visual distortions which grossly affect their functioning. What is quite remarkable is how a non-invasive intervention (Irlen Method) can remove distortions in an instant for many people.”

In fact, many professionals specializing in the field of dyslexia have used the methods recommended by Ms. Irlen with huge success.

One such professional is Dale Jordan, Ph.D., the author of the book Overcoming Dyslexia in Children, Adolescents, and Adults and Attention Deficit Disorder. He wrote:

All of us who have labored to help dyslexics conquer reading disability have groped our way, trying to find techniques to reduce the perceptual handicap seen for more than 80 years in the dyslexic population. Helen Irlen’s color procedure has given us a dramatic solution to this age-old problem. Seeing is believing! This method is an answer to a prayer for the dyslexic population.”

What is Irlen Syndrome?

Irlen Syndrome is a condition that affects the way that a person processes visual information and light and was first identified by psychologist Helen Irlen in 1983.

According to the short film shown at the end of this article, today, the Irlen spectral filters and the colored overlays are being used in over 47 different countries worldwide and they have been found to help millions of children, as well as adults. This non-invasive technology is the only method that is scientifically proven to correct the processing problems associated with reading, learning and attention difficulties.

The Irlen Institute describes Irlen syndrome as the following:

“Irlen® Syndrome causes eye problems for many people because it alters the way they see things. These eye problems are based on their visual perception. The eyes are not the main source of the problem. The problems are caused by the way in which the brain interprets the visual information that is being sent through the eyes. Having Irlen Syndrome prevents many people from reading effectively and efficiently. Individuals with Irlen Syndrome perceive reading material and/or their environment differently. They must constantly make adaptations or compensate for their eye problems. Individuals are often unaware of the extra energy and effort they are putting into reading and perception.” [2]

Imagine living in a world in which everything is too loud, where everyday colors in the world around you are so bright and confusing, that you feel completely overwhelmed. This is what it feels like to have Irlen Syndrome.

However, there is an answer. With the use of colored overlays and Irlen glasses, a person’s life can be totally transformed.

Colored Overlays Changing the World of Reading

Firstly, it is advisable for anyone who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, or is having any of the problems that I have identified, to be fully assessed for Irlen Syndrome by a qualified Irlen screener.

An Irlen screener will carry out a series of tests to identify whether or not a person is suffering from the condition. The screener searches for telltale signs of the syndrome. For example, they will examine whether or not the client displays excessive blinking, rubbing of the eyes, reading avoidance or complains that the room is too bright. They will also listen to the client reading to assess how fluently they read.

The screener asks their client how they feel about certain colors and if there is any color that makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.  If they are testing a child, they will speak to the parent about whether or not the child has poor attention, finds concentration difficult and whether or not they are clumsy and fall over a lot, more than a typical child.

The screener will then ask the client if they enjoy reading. If the client says no, the screener will then ask them why not and score them on their answers. The client will then be asked to read out loud and to describe what they are seeing when they read. A person suffering from Irlen syndrome will often describe seeing rivers running through the words on the page, the words blurring in and out of focus, moving around the page or falling off the edge of the page as they read.

The screener will then lay a series of colored overlays on a page of writing (age appropriate) and will ask the client if there is any difference in what they are seeing. A person with Irlen syndrome often finds that one of the colored overlays, placed over the page, will help to correct what they are seeing, making the words easier to read.

It is important to note, at this point, that this method is unlikely to make any difference to a truly dyslexic person.

At the end of the first session, the screener will send the client home with the appropriate overlay and arrange another appointment.

The overlays have been so successful that many schools are now adopting these methods and using the overlays at school. This is because the overlays have been found to help a wide range of children with reading difficulties.

Irlen Filters Can Change a Child’s Life Forever

The second session looks at other ways for the screeners to help their clients. The Irlen Institute states:

 The second testing session is only for individuals who show moderate to significant improvement with colored overlays. In this session, we target the precise wave lengths of light causing your problems by using a limitless number of color filter combinations. Your precision color is worn as glasses or contact lenses. The color worn as glasses will not be the same as your plastic overlay color. If your problems are related to math computation, copying, depth perception, light sensitivity, and headaches, colored glasses are your best treatment option because they correct problems with the printed page and also the environment.”

 They continue by stating:

Importantly, wearing the wrong color can actually cause or worsen your problems. The testing to identify your correct colored glasses can only be conducted by Certified Irlen Diagnosticians/Clinics.

Colored lenses provided by optometrists and vision specialists to treat reading problems are NOT the same as the Irlen Method. These professionals do not have the right colors, or diagnostic process for color selection. Inaccurate colour selection can result in headaches, eye strain, and fragmented brain processing resulting in more distortions and reading problems. [3]

An Irlen diagnostician has a briefcase containing hundreds of different colored lenses which they will test in many different combinations until they discover a color or combination of colors that considerably helps their client.

When the colored lenses are placed in front of the eyes or the transparent colored overlays are placed directly over the page, they normalize the brain's ability to process visual information.

For furtherinformation,please see this short film that is below this blog post.

There are no known causes of Irlen Syndrome; however, many professionals  have contributed the syndrome to head injuries, specific medical conditions and, in some cases, adverse reactions to vaccinations.

In her book Reweaving the Autistic Tapestry, Lisa Blakemore-Brown wrote:

"The way in which the unique person tapestry is constructed and unified into the wider social tapestry is still a beguiling mystery. Behaviors and interactions which can weave together into interwoven developmental disorders include autism, ADHD, language spectrum disorders including the dystonias and dyspraxias, Tourettes syndrome, Irlen syndrome and other behavioral presentations as well as some of the shared difficulties experienced by children with specific medical conditions including central nervous system disorders such as hydrocephalus. Clusters of behaviors can interweave together but if they are understood only as purely separate disorders without understanding the threads, the interweave and other factors which also impact, interventions may be of little use." [4]

I would recommend that anyone who wishes to further explore Irlen Syndrome read the Irlen website or read Ms. Blakemore-Brown’s book.


As a person suffering from the condition, I know just how effective this treatment can be and what a positive difference it can make to a person's life. Since wearing my Irlen glasses, I have gained far more confidence and I feel as if I can see for the first time without pain and discomfort.

When I first tried on my glasses, it was like bathing my eyes in a bath of warm water. The intense glare and pain that I had become accustomed to suddenly disappeared and for the first time I could see what was really there and not what I thought was there. My eyes felt calm, relaxed and rested.

As a result of the Irlen treatment, I have been able to go to university and, for the first time in my life, study for the career that I had always wanted. I have since graduated and qualified to become a journalist, enabling me to have a career that I believed was totally impossible for me to achieve.

I can confidently go into shops as the lights no longer blind me. I can walk up and down stairs without holding on to the railing and I no longer bump into people and knock things over. These may be little things to others, but to me they mean the world.

I have far more confidence in myself. I am no longer shy and do not find talking to people difficult as I once did. Since being diagnosed and receiving treatment, I have spoken at conferences worldwide and been a guest on many radio shows.

I am not saying that things are perfect; they are not. I still have difficulties with the color white, noise, columns of figures and reading for long periods. However, compared to what my life was like before diagnosis and treatment, my life since then has changed completely.

I would urge any parent who believes that their child is having difficulties to have their child tested for the condition. It could change their lives forever, as it did mine.

I would like to thank Lisa Blakemore-Brown for noticing my difficulties and teaching me about Irlen Syndrome, my wonderful diagnostician, Sonia Dimont. for all her patience and kindness over the years and finally, Helen Irlen, for all of her amazing work.





For further info please check the video below this blog post

The Decline Of The Bees

Written by  |  Published in Health



A Queen Bee creating a buzz in the hive!

 Sarah Orrechia, founder of Unbeelievable Health, the celeb loved immune support products featuring Bee Propolis, is on a quest to help save the bees.
Sarah wrote an article entitled More Than Honey, which you can read by clicking on this link.

She was also named Director of the Month in Director magazine and this article gives real insight into the woman behind the brand.

The products were also featured in the Daily Mail named the Celeb It Vit, as favoured by Gwyneth PaltrowEmma Forbes and Victoria Pendleton.
And it's not just these ladies who have picked up on the Bee Trend - 

About the Decline of the Bees 

The decline of the bees is a serious worldwide problem. As goodness from the hive is the heart of our brand, we are trying to raise awareness about bees and the issues they are facing. In the UK alone, honeybee colonies have fallen by 50% in the last 20 years. Bees work incredibly hard for us and experts have warned that by 2018 it’s possible that bees could disappear almost entirely from Britain. The decline of the bees may well be the next ‘global warming’.

Aside from plants and trees bees pollinate: one third of our food; much of what cows and other animals eat.
Bees are responsible for coffee, chocolate, cotton and many other things we all depend on for our daily existence
Bees and wild pollinators are responsible for pollinating a whopping 84% of EU crops

The decline of the bees is a serious matter that could have dramatic long-term effects on our worldwide food supply, the Earth’s ecosystem, the world’s landscape and the global economy. Honeybees have been inexplicably abandoning their hives en masse:

2011/12 - 25% of beehives lost in the USA
2011/12 - 16% loss of honeybees in the UK

(some bee species are now extinct and others are at just 4% of their previous numbers.)

The decline of the bees has numerous suggested causes including  varroa mites, malnutrition and even the theory that radiation waves from mobile phones may be interfering with the bees sense of direction making them unable to find their hives. However, most research has shown the main culprits behind the decline of the bees are pesticide use and lack of flowers, wildflowers and hedgerows which bees depend upon to survive.

 These factors, combined with an increase in mono-crops and modern beekeeping practices (for example, moving bees en masse to pollinate farms far away from their habitat), ends up compromising their immune systems and makes bees vulnerable to disease. 

Many of you have probably heard the quote (often attributed to Einstein) “If  bees disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live”. Not sure if this is true but we would sure be in trouble. The decline of the bees is a major issue we should all be worried about. Help save the bees!

What Can I Do To Help?

* Write About and Buy Bee Products

There’s a lot you can do to help with the decline of the bees, starting with the most delicious option: eat more honey! Creating a demand for honey and other bee products such as propolis, royal jelly,  bee pollen etc will keep the demand for bee-related products strong. More people will then be likely to take up beekeeping, which will help sustain bee colonies. 

* Sign the Friends of the Earth UK Petition to David Cameron:  Save bees!

* Make Your Garden Bee-Friendly- plant more flowers

UC Berkeley has published Urban Bee Gardens, a fantastic guide to turning your garden into a bee paradise.  It includes a comprehensive list of the best plants and flowers to attract bees, as well as information about the different species of bees, garden behaviour, stinging: facts v. fears and more. 

* Spread The Word

A lot of people don’t know about the decline of the bees, and the more people who do know, the better.  Tell your friends and family about the decline of the bees,  post info on your blog or your Facebook or twitter page.  Write your MP to let him or her know that the decline of the bees is an important issue for you.  All hope is not lost for the bees.  There’s really a lot we can do to help.

* Help the Decline of the Bees- Adopt a Beehive

We’re very happy to report that we recently adopted a beehive, and you can read about it here: The Unbeelievable Hive. If you’d like to join the growing number of adoptive bee parents, check out the British Beekeepers Association’s Adopt A Beehive page.  The money raised by this programme will fund research into honeybee health and education programmes for beekeepers. 

* Support BEES for Development

* Start Your Own Colony 

The British Beekeepers Association estimates that over 90% of the UK’s honeybee population is cared for by 17,000 amateur beekeepers.  There’s a load of information out there on how to go about it, but we recommend getting started by searching for a seminar in your area or picking up one of the many how-to guides like A Practical Manual of Beekeeping.

to check out the fab range of Unbeelievable health products please click here:

Nordic Oil

Written by  |  Published in Health

Nordic Oil was founded in 2010 by James Slade who was frustrated by the low quality of many Omega 3 supplements found on the high street. With an extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry and experience as a chiropractor, James was in a good position to develop and launch Nordic Oil as the premium supplement brand that it is today.

The oil is produced from carefully selected fish sources from the deep, clear waters, including sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, species that are characterized by especially low levels of environmental impurities. Nordic Oil is produced at the state-of-the-art production facilities in Northern Europe.

The Nordic Oil range includes two primary products; High Grade Omega 3 Oil and High Grade Omega 3 Capsules. Both are of a premium quality, as they are sourced from the purest ingredients and are refined, filtered and distilled to ensure the seal of excellence.

Nordic Oil is an official partner of four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington MBE, triathletes Dan Halksworth, Tamsin Lewis, Eimear Mullan, Ritchie Nicholls and Ultra Runner Mimi Anderson.


By Dr. Mercola

There are now many studies clearly documenting that if you eat processed foods, you're being exposed to toxic herbicides. These toxic chemicals have been found in everything from breast milk to umbilical cords and placentas.

This of course means that children are now born with a chemical burden unknown to previous generations. What are some of the relatively unknown consequences of this exposure?

In this interview, Dr. August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics, helps answer this important question. His company specializes in mineral products for hydroponics and home gardens. More specifically, Dr. Dunning's expertise is in ionic mineral extraction from ocean water for use in sustainable agriculture.

While contraindicated for citrus, these mineral extracts can do "miracles" for most flowering plants, fruits, and vegetables. Dunning recounts one of his earliest experiences with his partner Pam McKenzie, which led to the formation of Eco Organics:

"We tried some of these ocean minerals on some roses in the backyard of her house in Bakersfield, California. At 105-degree heat, these almost-dead roses came back in full bloom in 21 days. We saw the power of mineralization in foods and decided to put a little company together."

Eventually, his interest in organic gardening led him to evaluate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's broad spectrum herbicide Roundup. He recently completed a five-year study on how the decrease in food-borne minerals match up with the agricultural processes used.

Glyphosate Use Has Rapidly Increased Disease Rates

Earlier in February this year, he gave a presentation at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi, in which he discussed the importance of minerals in food, and how the continual depletion of minerals in food matches the progressive implementation of agricultural practices like mechanization, nitrogen-heavy fertilizers, and pesticide use. As each new strategy was implemented, soil mineralization deteriorated.

"But then something really weird happened," he says. "We see this exponential increase in disease since 1988 or early '90s, which was when genetically modified (GM) food was introduced.

GM food is a patented food because it can be used with their patented herbicide, glyphosate and Roundup... That seems to have a very detrimental effect on what exists on the ground...

In commercially grown food, the mineral depletion has caused a vulnerability to the biological systems in human beings. When you start introducing these very strong chelators and endocrine disruptors, which are what glyphosate and polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA) are, you see this huge burst in illnesses and disease rates.

I mean, it's exponentially off the chart. It's not just the mineral problems so much; it's this introduction of... in my opinion, toxic endocrine element into the food supply."

How Chemical Farming Destroys Food Quality

The following chart shows the rapidly decreasing amounts of minerals in food, initially coinciding with the introduction of mechanized farming in 1925. This began depleting minerals faster than the microorganisms in the soil could replenish the ionic minerals needed for the following year's growth, in order to maintain stable levels in the food.

In 1946, the introduction of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stimulated greater yields, but also changed the sub surface chemistry of the soil structure to lock up calcium, burn out the Humus, and cause acidic conditions to occur. This altered the subsurface decomposition chemistry to where gasses like formaldehyde and alcohol started attracting pests.

Unfortunately, instead of replenishing the mineral content to fix the pH and re-establish microorganism/mineral balance (which is the natural way to combat pests), toxic chemistry was introduced in the 1950s. These pesticides effectively killed the pests and fungi. But they also killed microorganisms, along with nature's ability to provide ionic elements needed for proper plant growth and nutrition.

As explained by Dr. Dunning, by the mid-1990s, when genetically engineered (GE) seeds and glyphosate were introduced, any minerals left were hyper-chelated and made unavailable to plants except the patented GE plants. The United States alone applies 200 million pounds of glyphosate to croplands each year. Worldwide, more than one billion pounds of glyphosate are used each year.

So, how bad is the situation, really? The sad reality is, it's quite bad. For example, Dr. Dunning's work shows that in order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples! The reason food doesn't taste as good as it used to is also related to the deterioration of mineral content. The minerals actually form the compounds that give the fruit or vegetable its flavor.

Fewer Minerals = Greater Disease Rates

As demineralization increases, disease rates rise, as indicated in the following chart. Dr. Dunning also scoured the archives of the CDC, NIH, American Heart Association, and other agencies, tracking the incidence of disease over the same periods, and came up with the second chart below. As you can see, a very clear pattern emerges when all this information is combined.

"An interesting thing just came out on the news recently about this new swine virus, where this virus is wiping out all these pigs, but not the pigs that were fed organic food, non-GMO corn," Dr. Dunning says"If that's the case, then it would seem logical to try and investigate the idea that the GM food, which is damaging the endocrine system that protects the animals from toxins and virus attack, is actually destroying that ability. The swine aren't dying from just the virus; they're dying from the lack of protection against viral attacks due to this GM-contaminated food."

Roundup Is Even Worse Than You Thought

Polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA) is an adjuvant surfactant in Roundup. It's derived from animal fat, and according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA), it's an inert ingredient that is safe for use. However, inert does not automatically mean harmless, and this is a critical distinction to make.

"What they really aren't telling you is that it's inert in that it doesn't kill bugs, but that doesn't mean that it's not toxicologically harmful. It's inert as a bug killer, but might not be inert as a human killer," Dr. Dunning says.

POEA has actually been shown to be cytotoxic (toxic to cells) at doses far lower than glyphosate itselfIt also amplifies the toxic effects of glyphosate. Dr. Dunning also notes POEA causes hemolysis—a condition where the membrane of your red blood cells burst. This removes the hemoglobin, which decreases oxygen transport in your body. If your blood isn't transporting oxygen to your brain for example, it may contribute to a wide variety of neurological problems.

"Glyphosate has several different formulations, but most of it has this additive—POEA—which is a surfactant. In other words, glyphosate tends to be hydrophilic. It doesn't want to go through the leaf surface, so they have surfactants that get dried into the leaf," Dr. Dunning explains. "Because it dries into the leaf, it doesn't wash off. It gets into the system of the plant...

POEA [also] has extremely strong detrimental effects itself. It destroys the cytochrome P450 enzyme in the liver, which is designed to detoxify toxins. When that enzyme system is damaged, these toxins are way more effective. It also destroys the ability of glutathione to be used.

Moreover, there's an interesting phenylalanine issue. Phenylalanine is needed for tyrosine, which also gets your epinephrine and norepinephrine made. If you decrease your phenylalanine [production], you don't get that cascade of chemicals. It also destroys tryptophan. Tryptophan is needed for serotonin and melatonin, so you can sleep at night. We're seeing a lot of sleep disorders in the population. Well, if you're destroying your tryptophan and your serotonin and melatonin cascade, you're going to see sleep disorders.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has studies that show that these chemicals mimic adrenaline, which is also a big part of that because norepinephrine makes your adrenaline. We're seeing these illnesses occur in humans that are very similar to endocrine-disrupting systems. We're seeing the introduction of chemicals in food that do exactly that, and no one wants to really address this issue."

How to Improve Soil Health, Naturally

Dr. Dunning has come up with a really novel biological way to address deteriorating soil health. And he's compared the results between his methods and conventional chemical-based agriculture.

In terms of food quality, his method, which involves adding naturally-occurring ocean minerals back into the soil in which the sodium has been removed, results in food with higher mineral content. This typically results in a 10-15 percent jump in the food's mineral content, compared to foods grown in untreated soils.

"We also found that when you grow organically, you get better mineral content even if you don't mineralize, because you don't have these constricting chemicals in the soil," he notes.

"What's nice about our stuff is you can mix it with water and just pour it in because it's only ionic minerals; there are no plant hormones, additives, or anything. The plant will use what it needs, because it's ionic. It only takes little, teeny, microliter sizes of the minerals to produce millions of available ions... Within a week or two, you'll see this huge greening and this growth effect."

As for application, you can use it as a soil treatment to get the roots going. The plant will develop a very large root mass, very early, which will make the plant grow very strong, very quickly. When you want to really infuse your plant with minerals, you can use it as a foliar spray.

Do You Have Earthworms?

Other important ingredients for a successful garden are carbon and earthworms, which are intrinsic allies.

"They're top tiller of the soil, you know," Dr. Dunning says. "By the time it gets out of the rear end of the worm, those minerals are ionic. The reason worm castings work is they're ionic minerals. In the carbon sink, it is great. The biochar is fantastic... You need carbon because cellulose is sugar. Plants are cellulosic materials. You need the carbon to make the sugars. You need the carbon sink and all those materials to lock the minerals, because these are anions and cations.

They're positive and negatively charged ions. When they go in the soil, they're going to grab onto something of its opposite force and dwell there... Microorganisms are producing the electrolytes, which then chelate out these ionic elements to make it available for the roots in the soil. It's a beautiful, beautiful system going on in the soil, [and] the worms are the key here. If you've got good worms, generally speaking you've got good soil."

Compost Tea and BioChar

Compost tea is another phenomenal way to increase the soil's worth. But compost tea without the right soil structure will not work all that well, because there's not enough to support the life. If the microbes don't have a "home" where they can thrive and multiply, they will soon die. Biochar, as it turns out, is an ideal home base for microorganisms, which helps explain some of its benefits to plant growth.

Biochar is created by slowly burning biomass like wood chips, corn stalks, coconut shells, or any similar organic material, in a low-oxygen environment, such as a kiln. When burned this way, about 70 percent of the carbon in the organic material is not released into the atmosphere as CO2; rather it traps the carbon and forms a type of charcoal that has a reef-like structure, which serves as a magnificent microbial home. This is completely different than wood ash, in which nearly all the carbon is released as CO2 and only minerals are left.

The introduction of Biochar into soil is not like applying fertilizer; rather it's the beginning of a process—most of the benefit is achieved through the activity of the microbes and fungi that take up residence in the treated soil. They colonize its massive surface area and integrate into the char and the surrounding soil, dramatically increasing the soil's ability to nurture plant growth. As explained in a recent Ecologist1 article, research shows Biochar can more than double a plant's yield! Besides providing excellent living quarters for soil microorganisms, Biochar also has a number of other benefits, including:

  1. Serving as a magnificent home for soil microbes, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, that are ultimately responsible for extracting the nutrients from the soil and feeding them to the plant
  2. Improving overall soil quality and fertility. Biochar serves as a magnet for nutrients and time releases them back to the plants when they need it
  3. Raising the soil's water retention ability and helps regulate the moisture in the soil much like a humidistat
  4. Returning much of the depleted carbon to the soil (carbon sequestration), where it can remain for hundreds or even thousands of years
  5. Potentially helping to "filter" toxic chemicals in the soil, much like carbon-based water filtration systems can filter toxins out of your water

More Information

The conclusion I've reached after being trained as a physician and then transitioning into focusing primarily on natural health, is that once you really apply the disciplines of health and seek to take it to the highest levels, the inevitable conclusion is that you've got to get back to having a direct connection to the soil. It's essential to understand the relationship between the soil in which your food is grown, and your health.

In the end, you cannot optimize your health without good food. It's just impossible. And this is why learning what we need to do to reverse the massive destruction of our global crop soils is absolutely imperative—both on a personal and global scale. To learn more about Dr. Dunning's ionic mineral products—which include two lines: EcoVie and My Grow Minerals—please see Acres USA is another great resource where you can find a lot of information about the minerals needed for optimal soil health.


Vote with Your Pocketbook, Every Day


The food companies on the left of this graphic spent tens of millions of dollars in the last two labeling campaigns—in California and Washington State–to prevent you from knowing what’s in your food. You can even the score by switching to the brands on the right; all of whom stood behind the I-522 Right to Know campaign. Voting with your pocketbook, at every meal, matters. It makes a huge difference. By boycotting GMA member Traitor Brands, you can help level the playing field, and help take back control of our food supply.

I-522 poster

I encourage you to continue educating yourself about genetically engineered foods, and to share what you’ve learned with family and friends. Remember, unless a food is certified organic, you can assume it contains GMO ingredients if it contains sugar from sugar beets, soy, or corn, or any of their derivatives.


Note from Anna

If you'd like to take a mineral supplement that is plant derived check out For under £30 a month you can give yourself and your family 75 essential minerals. They come in wafers, which can be added to water, or capsules and even in a pure powder and liquid. 

One feature you'll be seeing more often from Healing Gourmet is what we call our Best Brands. These are the companies whose products we personally consume - brands you can trust for purity and quality.

Usually, these will be food products - ones you can easily find at your local grocery store, health food store, or online. And in each review, we'll tell you why we like it and the nutritional benefits you can expect.

In some cases, Healing Gourmet's Best Brands will be products you already use or companies you're familiar with. But in every case we hope to bring new insight as to why these products are the best. And we also hope to introduce you to new companies and healthy foods that you might not know about.

  • Today, we feature a company that produces the most potent form of Vitamin C on the planet (a FOOD - not a supplement)
  • We'll discuss why Vitamin C is so important to your health - and why you should AVOID the "vitamin C" in most supplements and fortified foods
  • Finally, we'll give you our easy-to-make recipe for a truly healthy, immune boosting, super elixir that is 100 times better than those "Emergen-C" packets you see in the store.

So, let's begin...

You're probably already familiar with the immune-boosting and anti-viral benefits of vitamin C and its effects against colds and flu. But that's just a taste of what this water-soluble vitamin can do...

Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage to DNA. This is why it shows great promise in the prevention and treatment of cancer and heart disease.

It's also been shown to help prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries and brain - making it a powerful weapon against heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer's. It protects the nervous system and the eyes and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent - making it critical in the prevention of every degenerative disease.

Of course, vitamin C is not a single, magic-bullet solution to every health concern. But you would be hard pressed to find a health problem that it won't benefit. And it should be an important part of your overall nutritional strategy.

But as you might imagine, not all vitamin C is created equal...

Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamin C

Scientists and health experts have known about the benefits of vitamin C for many decades. In fact, it was as early as the 1700s when we discovered that lemon juice could prevent scurvy in sailors.

As public awareness of the benefits of vitamin C grew, food manufacturers understood that the claim "high in vitamin C" could help increase sales of certain products.

But there was a problem...

When exposed to heat, the natural, full-spectrum form of vitamin C breaks down and becomes useless. So food scientists began to fortify all manner of products with a synthetic version, known as ascorbic acid.

When you drink a glass of heat-pasteurized commercial orange juice in the morning (which we don't recommend, because of all the sugar), you aren't really consuming vitamin C. You are consuming a synthetic imposter that was added to replace the real thing that was destroyed by processing.

To date, there are only a few studies, which suggest that this ingredient can be overtly harmful and there is some debate as to their methods, so we won't go into the details.

However, one of these studies, published in Science, showed that synthetic vitamin C may contribute to the formation of genotoxins (which can lead to cancer). Another, published in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that the compound can interfere with antioxidant enzymes. And another showed a correlation with thickening of the arteries.

What we do know for sure is that ascorbic acid doesn't grow on trees. Eighty percent of the world's supply is produced in laboratories or manufacturing plants in China from corn syrup - which is almost certainly GMO.

We also know that ascorbic acid is anti-bacterial. In fact, some food manufacturers add it to their products as a preservative. Unfortunately, however, the synthetic compound can't differentiate between "good" and "bad" bacteria in the gut - and destroys them both.

But the real issue is that the synthetic version isn't really vitamin C and can't hold a candle to the benefits conferred by the real thing.

You see, in nature, vitamins are not isolated compounds - they are complexes. That's why alpha tocopherol is not vitamin E... and retinoic acid is not vitamin A.  True vitamins  - from whole foods - consist of enzymes, coenzymes, trace mineral activators and antioxidants that work synergistically.


If you were to compare vitamin C to an egg, ascorbic acid would be the shell - with nothing inside.Unfortunately, the FDA allows this synthetic imitation to be labeled as "vitamin C."

So, what is the best way to get the tremendous health-promoting benefits of vitamin C?

Mother Nature's Superior Source of Vitamin C

There are numerous fruits, vegetables and berries that contain a reasonable amount of vitamin C. But there is one food, native to the lush river-side climates of the Peruvian rainforest, that contains a greater density of this super-vitamin than any other food on the planet - the Camu Camu Berry.

What food usually comes to mind when you think of vitamin C?

Most people would say an orange. But the typical commercially-produced orange will contain about 1,000 ppm of vitamin C. The average camu berry, on the other hand, has a concentration of about 50,000 ppm!

On a gram-for-gram basis, camu camu provides about 50 times more vitamin C than an orange... and 200 times more than banana. Antioxidant-rich camu berries are also a rich source of potassium, calcium, protein, beta carotene, amino acids and an assortment of phytochemicals.

So, how can you enjoy the benefits of this super-fruit without booking a flight to Peru?

Navitas Naturals: Your Source for Raw Organic Camu Powder

Navitas Naturals is a family-owned California company that specializes in organic superfoods from around the world. They use a slow drying and low-heat milling process to produce organic camu powder with no fillers, preservatives, sweeteners or additives of any kind.

And just one teaspoon gives you nearly 1,200% of the RDA of vitamin C!

You can find Navitas Naturals Camu Powder at most health food stores, as well as online at Amazon, Vitacost and through the company's own website. We highly recommend this product as a superior source of vitamin C.

Homemade Emergen-C Recipe

The recipe below is a perfect vitamin C booster any time you want to increase your intake of this age-defying, disease fighting nutrient complex. And it comes in especially handy when you feel a cold or flu coming on.

Each easy-to-mix serving provides 1,180% of the RDA for vitamin C!

If you want a hot drink, let the liquid cool down before adding the mixture. Heat reduces camu's potency.


  • ¼ cup camu camu powder
  • 2 Tbsp. inulin powder (a prebiotic fiber from artichokes)
  • ½ tsp. stevia extract (to taste)


  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Pour into a mason jar. Seal and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

For Vitamin C Lemonade: Add 2 tsp. of homemade vitamin C powder to a glass with 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (organic bottled lemon juice is OK as well). Stir to dissolve. Add cold filtered water and enjoy.   

For Cranberry "C-Monster": Add 2 tsp. of homemade vitamin C powder to a glass with 2 Tbsp. organic unsweetened cranberry juice. Stir to dissolve. Add cold filtered water and enjoy.   



For more valuable insights on nutrition, disease prevention and effortless fat loss, check out Healing Gourmet's health transformation program, The Food Cure... 


If you go out and buy a car which the dealer knows has serious undisclosed faults, a crime has been committed.

It is an accepted fact even in the drug industry that most drugs do not work in most people.  So if you go out and buy a drug which for most people does not work and which has serious undisclosed faults which could kill or injure [eg. VIOXX] no one in the drug industry goes to gaol.

This CHS post is about safety: your safety, your children’s safety and your family’s safety.

This is also in part about how drug companies withhold data on drug trials which show their drugs do not work and are dangerous.

This post is also about Dr Ben Goldacre’s role in giving the appearance of holding the drug industry to account over drug trial data whilst the end result seems to be Dr Ben Goldacre is helping the drug industry make it look like progress is made whilst in fact manipulating drug safety issues so that we have the same old same old.  In recent times Dr Goldacre along with Dr Fiona Godlee, British Medical Journal Editor, have been campaigning to get drug companies to sign up to the AllTrials campaign. 

Dr Ben Goldacre founded the AllTrials campaign.  Why did he found the AllTrials campaign? What was in it for him?  Who suggested it?  Who funded it? Who supported it? And why have we ended up with what Dr Healy describes as a disaster for us all and a victory for the drug industry, all successfully fronted by Dr Ben Goldacre:

Everyone is in a spin.  AllTrials are asking for more donations to continue their successful campaign.

As someone who has been working the GSK system, I can say with confidence that this is a disaster.

Dr David Healy has published HERE a remarkably astute analysis of how GlaxoSmithKline has succeeded in manipulating the AllTrials campaign and giving the appearance of transparency in making drug trial data available:

…….  soon after being fined $3 Billion, GSK trumpeted their endorsement of transparency by signing up to the AllTrials campaign and declaring their intention to put in place a method to allow researchers access to clinical trial data that would go beyond the wildest dreams of researchers.  See April Fool in Harlow, and GSK’s Journey.

Healy notes regarding Dr Ben Goldacre:

When GSK signed up to AllTrials Ben Goldacre rolled over and purred.  The BMJ featured Andrew Witty on their front cover as the candidate of hope.  ………….

In contrast, on this blog, 1boringoldman and on RxISK a small group have warned consistently that this was not good news.  That what would be put in place was a mechanism that gave the appearances of transparency but in fact would lock academics into agreeing with GSK and other companies as to what the outcomes of their trials have been.

No one wanted to rain on the AllTrials parade – it never seems like a good idea to fracture a coalition. RxISK put the AllTrials logo on its front page.

Not content with a few academic ghost authors, GSK’s maneuver has put industry well on the way to making Academia a ghost, a glove puppet manipulated by company marketing departments.

Meanwhile Iain Chalmers co-wrote an editorial with GSK endorsing the GSK approach (The Attitude of Chicks to Trojans and Horses) and the British Government produced a document on clinical trial data access that could have been written in GSK central.

Seasoned observers of Dr Goldacre’s progress and career may feel they have good reason to be sceptical of Dr Goldacre’s actions and motives.  Sun Tsu counselled that to know what the enemy thinks observe what they do, not what they say.

Dr Goldacre in his books and other writing gives the appearance of being critical of the drug industry.  But he only ever seems to write about issues and events that have been known about for a very long time.  Of course, if enough people start making the same observation then perhaps Dr Ben Goldacre may change his approach and write the occasional exposé. Until then, it is a fairly safe bet that Dr Ben Goldacre will carry on as he has always done and never write anything critical about the drug industry which has not already been well covered elsewhere.

In short, Goldacre has ensured he and his camp followers have the fig-leaf to claim he is critical of the drug industry whilst the reality is no damage is done as it has already been done by many others before.

The fact that Dr Goldacre, from absolutely nowhere, suddenly emerged to found the AllTrials campaign is frankly bizarre.  Why him and why then and now?

Dr Ben Goldacre also owns and operates an online “BadScience” forum.  Members of the forum are encouraged to attack practitioners of herbal and complementary and alternative medicine on blogs, in comment fora and to public authorities claiming they treatments are not scientifically proven.  Dr Goldacre wrote in his advice to his forum members: “The time for talking has passed. I draw the line at kidnapping, incidentally.

Now there are good reasons to conclude one too many of these people are bullies.  But there is one supervening reason.  Other reasons include that some members of the BadScience forum block discussion and that somefor sport in their spare time disrupt other fora on the internet and attack, bully, abuse and harass ordinary people and parents of very sick children wanting to share information. Groups like Dr Ben Goldacre’s BadScience forum are organised for just such a purpose on the internet.

A bully picks on others who are weaker than them and Dr Ben Goldacre and one too many of his followers seem to be no exception to this. A bully makes sure, right or wrong, he is always on the stronger side.  Dr Ben Goldacre’s main approach is to attack what he claims is “Bad Science“.  He has for years written as a columnist in a UK national newspaper, The Guardian, a “Bad Science” column.  His website is called “BadScience” and his forum is called “BadScience“.

It is of course also a mystery how it could be that a medical doctor with no degree level scientific training and qualifications was appointed to write a column about science.  And at the time Dr Ben Goldacre was a psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry.  Psychiatry is the least successful branch of medicine in history with treatments lacking any scientific foundations like cutting nerves in a patient’s brain and applying 400 volts to a patient’s brain with what is called electro-convulsive “therapy” [ECT].  Do that to your laptop and the results will not fail to disappoint.

So here is the problem and harm Dr Ben Goldacre poses to everyone by his actions.  The drug industry has had the same approach for over a century.  Medicines from herbs, vitamins and many other other natural products like cod liver oil are known for be safe and effective.  The modern pharmaceutical industry has its foundations and origin in supplying just such products.  But now they are inexpensive and not patented, but still effective and so are a threat to the drug industry’s profitability.

The main reason why Complementary and Alternative Medicine is not “scientifically proven” is because no one has been funding the research to prove remedies already known to be safe and effective for hundreds and even thousands of years.  Dr Ben Goldacre knows this.  So like all bullies he takes the stronger side to bully those in a weaker position.

Now let us put some numbers to this so you can see just exactly what kind of bully Dr Ben Goldacre is.  The U.S. National Institutes of Health [NIH] spends annually on medical research about US$27 billion, on pharmaceutically-oriented Western medicine.  The amount it spends on alternative medicine is a tiny tiny fraction of approximately US$130 million and it did not start supporting CAM research until 1992.

So how can Goldacre claim most of CAM has no scientific basis?  That is easy.  No one has paid to do the science on it whereas they spend billions of dollars on research the drug industry benefits from.  For CAM research to catch up would require the US NIH to devote its entire annual budget just to CAM research and do so for several decades.

Yet Dr Ben Goldacre is reported to have said:

one of the central themes of my book [Bad Science] is that there are no real differences between the $600 billion pharmaceutical industry and the $50 billion food supplement pill industry“.

Clearly that is not true when one looks at the amount just the US government spends via the NIH on pharmaceutically-oriented Western medical research.

One of the other problems with Dr Ben Goldacre is that he targets easy targets where criticism might be justified say where an individual makes claims about a product which are not supportable.  That kind of thing is easy.  But the impression given to the entire world by the actions of Dr Ben Goldacre is that all of these treatments are useless and peddled by charlatans when that is not true.

And you must also ask yourself, how can it be then that Dr Ben Goldacre is not campaigning for say half of the US NIH budget to be spent establishing the sound scientific credentials for CAM?  Surely, Dr Goldacre cannot be ignorant of the fact that herbal and CAM treatments and remedies have in many cases long histories of safe and effective use? 

And so why does Dr Ben Goldacre spend so much of his time bullying others when he would be doing a much greater service campaigning for research to prove CAM treatments as safe and effective.  Instead he spends his time trying to eradicate safe and effective CAM treatments and deny them to everyone to the benefit of the drug industry.

Why would he do that if we all can benefit from the wider availability of proven safe effective inexpensive natural treatments?  What is in it for him to harm everyone else’s interests in that way?

And why is he so hell-bent on pursuing the drug industry’s agenda of wiping out herbal medicine and CAM treatments instead of campaigning to establish they are safe and effective?

To know what the enemy thinks observe what they do, not what they say.

And we recommend to all CHS readers to go to Dr David Healy’s blog andread what Dr Healy has to say about Dr Ben Goldacre’s AllTrials campaign and how badly it has ended for all of the rest of us.

This is what Dr Healy has to say about what Dr Ben Goldacre’s AllTrials campaign has achieved:

The key thing that companies are trying to hide are the data on adverse events.  To get to grips with the adverse events in a clinical trial is a bit like playing the children’s game Memory – where you have a bunch of cards with faces turned face down and you get to pick up two and then have to remember where in the mixture those two were when you later turn up a possible match.

Patterns of Deception

In the same way, picking up adverse events is about recognizing patterns – patterns of events, and patterns of deception.

To do this you have to be able to spread maybe a hundred documents out over a big area and dip back into them if something in one document reminds you of something in another.  The new GSMA-ESK remote access system simply won’t allow this.

Not only will it not allow this but it is about to make things far far worse than they are at present.

At the moment when it comes to studies like Study 329, GSK have been stuck by a Court order with putting the Company’s Study Reports up on the web where they can be downloaded and pored over – all 5,500 pages of them for Study 329.  They have refused to do the same for the 77,000 pages of raw data from Study 329, making it available to a small group of us through a remote desktop system.

For all other trials – future and past – investigators won’t even be able to get the Company Study Reports in usable form.  They too will only be accessed remotely.

For anyone who wants to look at the efficacy of a drug this might just about work for outcomes that involve rating scale scores or lipid levels.   The efficacy of drugs is pretty well all that most Cochrane groups, Iain Chalmers and Ben Goldacre are interested in.  The Cochrane exceptions have been Tom Jefferson, Peter Doshi and the Tamiflu group.

But this system is a bust when it comes to adverse events and it won’t work if the efficacy outcomes are in any way complex.

Making Sense of Science - Aluminum Featured

Written by  |  Published in Health

Last Saturday 10 May, a full page article was featured in the Sun Newspaper, on page 6 about my forthcoming book, Toxic World Toxic People - The Essential Guide To Health, Happiness, Parenting and Conscious Living. Journalist Helen Gilbert pulled facts from it to write her article.  

Helen had written about 4 dangerous common toxins in her article titled 'Whats Your Poision'.  -  She focused on lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminium (known as aluminum in the USA) that are all around us - not only in the environment but which are now  found in some of the foods we eat, the medicines we take, the products we put on our skin and what we build our homes and other structures with. Even many infant formulas contain concerning levels of multiple toxic chemicals, including aluminum.  I have written about these 4, fairly extensively in one of the chapters in my book.  Helen pulled some facts from that chapter.

By Tuesday afternoon, I had discovered that one of the UK's largest Science websites "Sense About Science'' had completely discredited the article. They wrote a counter article called 'Tackling Misconceptions About Toxins'

Judging by some pretty major events throughout history, mainstream Science doesn't always seem to want the public knowing about certain dangerous chemicals because usually they were the organisations that said they were safe from the start, only to be proven otherwise years later.

Does anyone remember the huge lies we were told about smoking , DDT, Lead, Thalidomide, Vioxx to name just a small few?  All of these were promoted as safe, healthy, and good for us by these sorts of 'science' organisations.

Now we all know the real truth.

These were not just a little lie but were in fact big big lies, with billions upon billions of pounds being made by many corporations. But more important than that, think about all the people that were harmed because of these lies, the lack of proper testing, and how they were marketed to the public. Deaths, disease and cancers were caused  directly because of these lies. And it could actually be in the millions. In all of these cases, studies were falsified, people were paid off to keep quiet or paid to tell lies so that they could continue to sell their product.  It wasn't an easy task to get them to take responsibility for the harm they caused. And in each of these instances, Doctors and Scientists were speaking on behalf of these companies for their medicines, pesticides and cigarettes saying to the public 'you can trust us we are experts' 

Yet look at what we now know. They lied. 

Most of you reading this will know that we are now living in a world where our authorities are being bought more than ever before, to do what powerful companies want them to do.  Congressmen are being bought to vote on things that interest companies, our Governments tell lies constantly and don’t ever seem to do what they promise and pharmaceutical companies are being sued for fraud and misconduct left right and center.  This is pretty much a fact. And its not on a small scale - its rampant abuse.

To those who are aware of this, nowadays when mainstream science ridicule something, it usually is because they are trying to squash the truth from being brought to light to the majority of the public. They try desperately to pull the wool over the eyes of the people by using the same old routine 'trust me, I'm a expert'

In these situations, I often remind myself of this very famous quote:

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860)

Yep. Damn straight.  The concerns about DDT, Lead, Smoking, Vioxx and Thalidomide were all at first ridiculed, violently opposed, but now, are self evident.

Sence About Science pulled apart Helen’s article saying that every statement I had made, was not true and that I was alarming the public.  

But little do they realise that how they wrote their article (see the very badly written PDF, see here) was an absolute joke and I can show you why.  There are so many holes in what they have written that its almost laughable. 

Its immediate to see, that they basically want the public to believe that natural chemicals are far more dangerous than manmade ones, and that no disease or cancer is ever caused to anyone by being exposed to chemicals! Whilst it's true, some natural chemicals can harm in certain amounts or in those that are sensitive to them, but most of them do not as they don't have the chemical compositions that synthetic chemicals do.  And a good point to make about chemicals in general is, how do we know that some individuals won't be sensitive to them or worse, seriously harmed by them?  Something that is not harmful to one person may in fact be very harmful to someone else! If you have a system in your body that is already suffering from something else, for instance your endocrine system (hormones) aren't perhaps working efficiently, then a chemical that is proven to harm the endocrine system may very likely make you worse! 

It is therefore highly likely that synthetic chemicas are causing cancers (and in this case, causing Alzheimer's) because we know in the studies that have been done on some of the concerning chemicals that this is where the evidence is pointing! Many man made chemicals are known carcinogens! That is a fact. Yet what is more worrying is that some of the chemicals these organisations support, and say are safe, have been put onto the market before being effectively tested for safety over the long term, or if they are safe when mixed with other chemicals!

So these science bodies are making statements that have not been proven at all to be true in the first place!  

They do not know that their chemicals DO NOT CAUSE harm. The statements they make to the public are not based on real facts. They twist words around very cleverly and are relying on gullible people coming to their site who think that what they say is always 100% scientifically and ethically correct.  Often these sorts of science websites mix truth in amongst their lies, so that the average person won't be able to read into the real lies!

They said I am alarming the public with my information but that is GOOD, I want people to be alarmed, we are facing an epidemic with toxicity, like never before seen in the world. 

Now, onto the topic of this blog post.  

Does Aluminum exposure cause Alzheimer's?

Well, what is Aluminum?

Aluminum is a natural metal that is found in the earth’s crust. Its now around us in ways we can’t quite even comprehend. Its basically everywhere. Now the science community like to say this that it is indeed everywhere too, but they forget that it wasn't as prevalent as this 100 years ago! It was always in the soil and some was found in the air, but now its also found in our foods, cosmetics, medicines, and homes.

Many power plants and other industries put loads of aluminium particles into the air. And whilst we do ingest a lot of it through what we eat, we now are also having aluminum added to many everyday items! This is where the problem lies, that its not just found naturally its being added on purpose to cosmetics, food and medicines. Some are saying there’s now also huge levels of extra aluminum in the air, due to ‘geo-engineering’

Most of the public simply do not know this stuff! 

When something is found around us so much, its only natural our bodies will also then contain these metals and chemicals. Whilst some levels of course is normal, increased levels is not always safe for an individual, and many studies are showing this to be very true.  As you will soon discover, studies have been done on deceased Alzheimer brains and high levels of aluminum have been found in their tissues.

When you understand that aluminum is a proven neurotoxin (which even the scientists don’t deny) and that its found in so many aspects of our lives, then you can perhaps understand that there comes a point when a high level of aluminum becomes a problem (for some people) because the brain just can’t handle anymore of it. Its like slowly drinking alcohol, you might not feel the effects at first, but the more you have, the more likely you are going to behave strangely and eventually feel unwell. 

Whilst our body can naturally detox things to a degree, we are not like bottomless garbage bins that can handle having chemicals piled into us. There comes a time when its too much.  And many people now have bodies that are already struggling to cope with the amount of chemicals in their bodies. 

Lets look at what Sense about Science said in relation to aluminium contributing to causing Alzheimer's. 

Alzheimer’s Society says:

“There is no evidence that aluminium causes Alzheimer's disease. Aluminium is found in protein build-ups associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but that doesn’t mean that this is due to too much aluminium being present in the body - the same is true of other metals.” 

I love how they made such a sweeping and 'final' statement to really throw people off the scent. 'The same is true of other metals'. Oh really. Have you studied all the other metals in relation to Alzheimer's then and have you studied the effects other chemicals have with several other ones, or what about the thousands of others we have in our environment and therefore in our bodies?

Lets now exam what the 'other side of science' is saying about whether or not Alzheimer's is being contributed to by Aluminum.

A study published on the highly esteemed peer reviewed medical journal site, pub med stated in the abstract of a study by Professor Chris Exley (who by the way seems to be doing a lot of research into the effects aluminum and other metals are having in regards to causing Alzheimer's and other health problems - so he's one to pay attention to i'd say - click on his name to read his further studies!):

Aluminium is neurotoxic. Its free ion, Al3+ (aq), is highly biologically reactive and uniquely equipped to do damage to essential cellular (neuronal) biochemistry. This unequivocal fact must be the starting point in examining the risk posed by aluminium as a neurotoxin in humans. Aluminium is present in the human brain and it accumulates with age. The most recent research demonstrates that a significant proportion of individuals older than 70 years of age have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminium somewhere in their brain. What are the symptoms of chronic aluminiumintoxication in humans? What if neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are the manifestation of the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin? How might such an (outrageous) hypothesis be tested? You can see the link for this study here:

And its also very interesting to note that when you type the following keywords Aluminum Alzheimer’s into pub med, 988 studies come up! Of course not all are going to support the hypothesis that Aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s but if you have the time, check out how many actually do! Looks like there’s a lot of concerned people (Scientists!) with some compelling proof, right?  And, from what I have been reading their have been scientists that have been very concerned about Aluminium for the last 100 years! 

Now it's also worth saying, am I the only person in the world saying that aluminium could be causing alzheimer's? No, of course not! Could it be that I have read books, and studies on the same subject matter, and that I also listened to Doctors and Scientists speak out about this very valid health concern in the world today? Yes! Am I lone horse, saying something that no one else knows? Of course not.  The numbers on 'this side' are increasing every day. And its purely because of Science! The medical studies that have proven certain things in relation to chemicals to be true!

In an article appearing in the Townsend Letter for Doctors (November 1993), Dr. Michael A. Weiner, executive director of the Alzheimer's Research Institute summarized our present understanding of the dangers of aluminum exposure when he stated:


"aluminum has been known as a neurotoxic substance for nearly a century. The scientific literature on its toxic effects has now grown to a critical mass. It is not necessary to conclude that aluminum causes Alzheimer's disease to recommend that it be reduced or eliminated as a potential risk. It is the only element noted to accumulate in the tangle-bearing neurons characteristic of the disease and is also found in elevated amounts in four regions of the brain of Alzheimer's patients."

In the past, there hasn't been many definitive studies that proved this link but last month, a study came out that was undertaken by Professor Exley from Keele University in the UK which showed that they had found 'unequivocally', high levels of aluminum in the brain of a deceased Alzheimer's sufferer.  The deceased had been exposed to aluminum at work. (1)

Another subject in the study, also a British woman, who had died of Alzheimer's was also found to have high levels of aluminum in her tissues.  Approximately 16 years before her death, there had been an industrial accident near where she lived where 20 metric tons of aluminum sulphate had gone into the local water supply. So its highly likely the lady literally drank herself to developing Alzheimer's.


Interesting to note in this image that the 'alzheimer' brain reduces greatly in size and looks like its been eaten by something. What could do this? Hmmm perhaps something that eats away at nerves and tissues? What has been shown to do this? Aluminium! It is a selective neurotoxin that attacks the nerves.  

And in a story seen in the Daily Mail article titled Top Scientist Links Disabilities with mother's exposure to mass poisoning in 1988 Professor Exley,  (mentioned previously in this article) has been investigating other concerns associated to this massive spill of aluminum sulphate (in case you are wondering why its added to our water supplies it's to make it appear clear) which happened in Camelford North Cornwall back in 1988. Instead of this chemical going into a storage tank, it was added directly into the water supply without the publics knowledge.

Many locals then went on to drinking this highly toxic water.  One of them was Sarah Matta, now a mother to 7 children.  After being unsure as to why so many of her children were seriously unwell, Sarah got in contact with Professor Exley (who is one of the UK's top Scientists in relation to bioinorganic chemistry) to tell him what had happened to her and her family.

6 of her 7 children have disabilities which sound suspiciously to me, like problems that can occur from toxicity. Between them they have: possible autism, developmental problems, speech problems, and anxiety. Sarah herself had blood tests taken and was found to have aluminium levels 20 times higher than is normal. 

Professor Exley is extremely concerned that others who were also in contact with the poisoned water supply may have harmed themselves, including their children through their exposure. He told the Daily Mail:

''Aluminium is toxic. Studies in animals show that if you feed mothers aluminium in the water supply, the offspring will exhibit developmental problems.''

I find it interesting we have Science bodies (with very dubious funding connections) talking about Aluminium as being 'nothing to worry about' yet a highly esteemed scientist who is an expert in his field has been studying this chemical for many years and is discovering many alarming connections.  And it's interesting to note that he is not gaining anything out of saying Aluminium is dangerous! Yet as you will read below, could it be that Pharmaceutical companies and chemical companies have a lot more to lose?

A Film maker also became so concerned about Aluminum and how it has invaded our lives, that he made the film The Age Of Aluminum - you can see the full movie below this post, I highly recommend you take a look.   The film exposes environmental disasters that have happened in the UK, South Africa and Hungary due to the Aluminum Industry.   The film features an interview with Christopher Shaw who is a well known neuroscientist.  He shares his concerns about the effects Aluminum is having on human health:

"Many researchers are beginning to accept that aluminum has some sort of role to play in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Whether it does in others is still an open question, but Alzheimer's is really coming into focus and it's fairly clear that the body burden of aluminum from all the sources to which humans are exposed may be contributing to Alzheimer's disease."

And Dr Joseph Mercola stated in his article First Case Study To Show Direct Link Between Alzheimer's and Aluminum Toxicity that Aluminum heads straight to your brain:

Aluminum is to your central nervous system as cigarette smoke is to your lungs. Scientists are clear that toxic metals damage brain tissue and lead to degenerative disease by producing oxidative stress—and aluminum is one of the worst offenders. With Alzheimer's rates skyrocketing, today's multiple avenues of aluminum exposure are of great concern. Just as with particles in the environment, once aluminum is in your tissues, your body has a difficult time releasing it. This toxic metal serves absolutely no biological purpose, so the less of it you ingest, the better.

Once in your body, it travels around easily, unimpeded, piggybacking on your iron transport system. It crosses biological barriers that normally keep other types of toxins out, such as your blood-brain barrier. Over time, aluminum can accumulate in your brain and do serious damage your neurological health—regardless of your age. Aluminum toxicity may be doing as much damage to our children as to our seniors.

I could continue on and on about this subject. I could link to the studies proving the concerns.  I spent about an hour writing this, I don’t have time to go into it more, but oh boy, I easily could. All that I would urge you to do is, do your own research, look for non government, non pharmaceutical, non chemical company funded studies.  That’s where the truth lies.  I've written a fair bit more about this subject in my book.

Many Alzheimer’s organisations are often funded by the drug companies who make the medications for the treatment of this awful disease. And many of these drug companies also add aluminum to their medicines.

People like myself are simply trying to educate people about decreasing their exposure to Aluminum, and to encourage them to detox their body with proven metal chelators.  If the public started doing this on a huge scale, then perhaps its worth considering, would the Alzheimer’s drug industry fall apart? Is this why there is such a huge denial amongst the mainstream Science industry? Whilst some say Aluminium accumulation is not the only cause of this brain disease, it is quite possibly a huge factor.

Another area where a lot of aluminium is also found, is in the vaccine industry as its used as an adjuvant.  When you take a look at the chart below, and see how much money is tied up with vaccinations, you can quickly understand that the purchase of Aluminium for just these medicines alone, is actually quite hard to fathom, and therefore, if someone is threatening that industry for fears around its safety, there's going to be people fighting very hard to keep it all quiet. 

And, Alzheimer’s is not the only neurological problem Aluminium can cause. It is now also being linked to causing Autism and other neurological problems. Christina England, investigative journalist for Vactruth writes:

A recent study conducted by Canadian scientists Professor Christopher Shaw and Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic revealed that the more vaccines that children receive containing the adjuvant aluminum, the greater their chance is of developing autism, autoimmune diseases and neurological problems in the future.

In 2013, in their paper, published by Springer Science+Business Media, titled Aluminum in the Central Nervous System: Toxicity in Humans and Animals, Vaccine Adjuvants, and Autoimmunity, they revealed that during a 17-year period, the rates of autism had increased significantly in countries that had the most vaccinations containing the adjuvant aluminum. [2]

And in another study titled Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are They Safe? also by Canadian scientists Professor Christopher Shaw and Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic their abstract states: 

Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science's understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences.

So it seems that Aluminum exposure and harm, can come from many different ways, and is very much something to seriously have concerns about.  And its alarming if you look a bit deeper at other medicines such as common antacids, taken by millions of people around the world for indigestion, calls for even more concern.  Talcid, which is made by Bayer which contains an aluminum derivative clearly states on the insert that:

'long-term use of high dosage may lead to aluminum deposits in bone and nerve tissue. This may lead to brain damage (dementia) and anaemia. In the case of renal insufficiency and long term use of Talcid necessitates regular check of patient's aluminum levels

WOW, right from the horses mouth. The drug company is clearly stating that aluminum can cause dementia! Yep, now you know that they know.

It's a little bit sinister isn't it, that these 'Science' websites are trying to discredit little old me - who receives no funding from anyone I want to ad, yet they don't even know what they are talking about.  Have they read the package insert of antacids and other medications containing Aluminium derivatives I wonder?

And if anyone wants to dispute that Vaccines aren't proven to cause autism and mentions Dr Wakefield being a fraud, then why are these 28 studies published in highly esteemed medical journals showing the same findings as his? Sense About Science are the type of organisation that say there's no link, yet LOOK right here, theres proof that it is true. 

Here is a list of 28 studies from around the world that support Dr. Wakefield’s research:

  1. The Journal of Pediatrics November 1999; 135(5):559-63
  2. The Journal of Pediatrics 2000; 138(3): 366-372
  3. Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003; 23(6): 504-517
  4. Journal of Neuroimmunology 2005
  5. Brain, Behavior and Immunity 1993; 7: 97-103
  6. Pediatric Neurology 2003; 28(4): 1-3
  7. Neuropsychobiology 2005; 51:77-85
  8. The Journal of Pediatrics May 2005;146(5):605-10
  9. Autism Insights 2009; 1: 1-11
  10. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology February 2009; 23(2): 95-98
  11. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2009:21(3): 148-161
  12. Journal of Child Neurology June 29, 2009; 000:1-6
  13. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders March 2009;39(3):405-13
  14. Medical Hypotheses August 1998;51:133-144.
  15. Journal of Child Neurology July 2000; ;15(7):429-35
  16. Lancet. 1972;2:883–884.
  17. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia January-March 1971;1:48-62
  18. Journal of Pediatrics March 2001;138:366-372.
  19. Molecular Psychiatry 2002;7:375-382.
  20. American Journal of Gastroenterolgy April 2004;598-605.
  21. Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003;23:504-517.
  22. Neuroimmunology April 2006;173(1-2):126-34.
  23. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol Biol. Psychiatry December 30 2006;30:1472-1477.
  24. Clinical Infectious Diseases September 1 2002;35(Suppl 1):S6-S16
  25. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2004;70(11):6459-6465
  26. Journal of Medical Microbiology October 2005;54:987-991
  27. Archivos venezolanos de puericultura y pediatría 2006; Vol 69 (1): 19-25.
  28. Gastroenterology. 2005:128 (Suppl 2);Abstract-303

This where I found writing this article so much fun! For those that are interested in Sense About Science; they say they are a charity and pretty much rely on outside funding and guess where most of it looks like it comes from? Pharmaceutical and chemical companies. And, yes, I'm being a bit lazy here, as I'm just cutting and pasting this next section from wikipedia and it is a bit out of date, but I think you will see what I found is enough to prove my point!

Funding for the trust has been increasing. Some is derived from industrial organizations engaged in scientific dispute, clinical trials and research for which SAS is supportive (e.g. genetically modified crops) as well as major publishing houses. For example for the fiscal year ending 5 April 2008, the trust received £145,902 in donations. Disclosed corporate donations comprised £88,000 with pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca donating £35,000. Previous donations included other pharmaceutical industries such as Pfizer. This dependency has now been diminished since for the fiscal year ending April 2010, the trust received £183,971 in donations of which only £17,500 was derived from the pharmaceutical industry (Unilever and G E Healthcare), in 2011 the amount diminished further to less than 6% funding derived from industry sources (the trust received £268,184 in donations with £15,000 from industry) with the rest derived from Science Bodies and individuals.

And, I've also now found the direct link to Sense about Science's funding, please check out their huge list thats plain to see - wow, kinda shocking, right?  

Do you think perhaps its a bit clearer now to see they may have vested interests to protect and don't want the public understanding that chemicals are dangerous?

I was contacted by someone from Sense About Science to say that its not true, they don't receive any funding from pharmaceutical and chemical companies as of this financial period ending 2014 and to please remove this information But, even if they didn't receive any funds in the last year, that does not mean they haven't received lots of money from them in the past.

And here is when it gets even more suspect, when you take a look at their funding page it says this:

''Sense About Science is grateful to over 6,000 individuals for their contributions received in the last two years, and to the following organisations''

Right. Are you thinking what I am thinking? WHO are the 6000 individuals?? Where are they from, and how much did they give? Sure, some random people will have just donated little bits of money here and there but I am very suspicious of these many thousands of individuals. That's a lot of money! 

And just to show you something else quite interesting about how they operate is something I also found online. Seems 'Joss' a man who initially contacted me through my Facebook page (at first he seemed friendly but quickly turned a bit snarky when I told him that I wasn't going to listen to what Sense about Science said especially after I saw their funding sources.). I think he wants to look like he is just a regular dude who just loves science, it now seems clear he has some ties to either Sense About Science or some other organisation associated with them. He is always commenting on this website below, it seems on every topic they have. check it out here:

Isn't it nice how likened me to a dead horse? What a charming chap.  And another interesting bit of what he wrote was that 'she thinks you are all in the pay pockets of the chemical industries'. Hmm, might be a good idea to go back now and read again just where Sense About Science either has gotten their funding from in the past.  

And on doing a wee bit more googling, I found something Zac Goldsmith, former editor of the Ecologist Magazine wrote about the organisation, seeming to confirm my suspicions. Isn't it very interesting to read what he has to say about them?

George Monbiot, well known author and respected Guardian Journalist also discovered some pretty alarming connections about Sense About Sciences political roots in his article Invasion of The Entryists - How Did A Cultish Political Network become the face of the Scientific Establishment

After reading George's article, Ive personally now zero doubt that this organisation is spouting out deadly and dangerous advice into the world and are deeply connected to many corporations that are doing the world, a lot of harm.  They are also very pro GMO.

And its also interesting to read what some other people have said about the ties between Sense About Science on the Health Unlocked forum: 


Is this discussion forum run by Sense About Science?


I notice that Sense about Science 'members' are involved in providing answers to many questions. Given the organisation's close relationship with the healthcare (and other life science) industries, are we seeing a truly balanced view of healthcare in their replies?. In view of the attitude of pharma companies to data disclosure, as demonstrated by Tamiflu, how can ever be confident that commercially-influenced 'evidence' is reliable?


I share your suspicions. This forum feels like the Colosseum on a bad day. 
The attempt of so many medical scientists to pretend that somehow there is uncontaminated evidence 'out there' is laughable, not least because from the very beginning, the research questions asked often already set up the answers that will be found and that is because the funding comes from a source that 'prefers' one answer rather than another. You will of course find a cascade of rabid responses will now fall on your head for daring to ask the question you did. 

I am sure you are capable of doing your own research but and both offer interesting perspectives and a wealth of bibliographical references that suggest Sense about Science should be treated warily and so too those who rush to answer so many of the questions here. Ho hum, putting my armour on now.


FourMark, I have no 'agenda' to pursue, nor am I irrational or mired in conspiracy theories. I am, in fact, a well qualified life scientist, with 30 years experience in healthcare, 20 of that in industry including in research, marketing and senior management. I speak from a position of knowledge and experience that the influence of the biosciences industry is far greater than most people realise. I personally was paid by one employer to cultivate relationships with clinical opinion leaders to get them to publish industry generated data as if it was their own, to support NICE guidelines that used our products, and I worked with colleagues to devise trials that made our products look good and our competitors' products less favourable. There's a lot of good in the biosciences industry, not least plenty of employment for scientists, some wonderful innovators producing some great medicines and technology, but there's also a lot of murky marketing and an enormous amount of lobbying that goes unseen. Sense About Science looks to me to be part of that. 

Yes, there does need to be a better understanding of the science and technology by the general public, as your average person on the street doesn't have the ability to think critically, but the first loyalty of industry is to their shareholders, and if that means burying data (which DID happen with Tamiflu), or spinning out good stories to keep up the shiny image of previously tarnished company, then they will do it.


I also found this from Alliance for Natural Health, a UK not for profit organisation who fight for health freedom in the UK and Europe. When Sense About Science published their guide book saying that Detoxing was a waste of time and not necessary, AnH wrote Debunking Sense About Science Stance on Detox.  A scientist and Doctor, have compiled this information. I highly recommend you read it. You can click here to access it

Anyway, I'm going to finish this here, I've done enough to defend my case in relation to the very valid concerns about aluminium and it's connection to dementia and Alzheimer's and that Sense About Science may not have your best intentions.  If you'd like to know more about Aluminium dangers, please view the very informative video below. 

'She's In The Business of Selling Books And Products'

I want to make it quite clear as well that long before my book was written or even a twinkle in my eye so to speak, I was a very ill person who could not seem to get better, no matter what doctor I visited. They couldn't find anything wrong with me because they weren't testing me for chemical toxicity, or looking at me holistically! I eventually found out I had been suffering from toxicity that had caused damage to my body including my brain. I had mercury in my body. And more than likely I was suffering from lead toxicity also. I only began to heal when I started taking supplements that were scientifically proven to chelate heavy metals and other toxins from the body.  That was my proof that toxicity was in fact my main problem.  

What can mainstream science say about how sick I was, that their tests I had always came up negative, yet I was so ill I couldn't walk far or breathe very well, couldn't concentrate, couldn't work, and was so mentally ill that I thought I would never be able to feel sane - yet look where I am today. I do not suffer with any of those problems anymore. And you don't just wake up one morning and feel like a brand new person without effective treatments.

I have a story very similar to hundreds and thousands of others who have had 'mystery illnesses' who had no help from modern medicine and had to look for other outlets to get well. My book only became something real in the last few years. My aim about spreading the awareness of toxicity came about because I was so sick! I didn't just wake up one day and think oh detoxing is a big fad, I might try and take advantage of that and write a book scaring people and I will sell some detox products! My book has over 200 references, with at least another hundred quotes from Doctors, scientists, experts and toxicologists who are very well respected in their fields. 

And, I only sell one detox product on my site. I am not someone that has a huge online shop with many different things for sale.  So in my defence when someone like Joss says that I am 'in the business of selling books and detox products' I think its clear to see that I am only selling things on a very small scale. Right now I only have two things for sale on my site! 

And in regards to pure body, it has been studied in over  300 studies which are found on the Pub med website.  I sell this particular brand because its the best I have found, is very effective and very affordable!  

There are many organisations that don't want us to know the truth about what is going on with our health, because when the masses find out, there will be mass lawsuits, just like what happened in the days when smoking was touted as safe. It only broke down when a huge lawsuit hit the tobacco industry.  And to give you a taste of the sort of money I am talking about that can be won in a lawsuit of this scale, the Tobacco industry had to fork out US$ 205 Billion over a period of 25 years in the USA.(3) 

We have to fight for our health and that also means fighting what some mainstream outlets are trying to make us believe!

You can read more about this and other kinds of Toxicity in my book Toxic World, Toxic People which is available for pre order now.

In the near future I will also be writing about the other statements Sense about Science wrote about regarding the very real dangers of Lead, & Mercury.


            Journal of Medical Case Reports February 10, 2104

2 Toxic Levels Of Aluminum January 28 2014



High acidity in the human body weakens its systems and creates an environment for diseases. To neutralize the high acidity, body uses alkaline reserves, which weakens us. People taking acid forming foods normally have high PH in their body, which destroys body functions. It results in numerous chronic diseases, like cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis, premature aging, poor digestive system and many others. Today, we’ll talk about few natural ways to maintain the PH level in our body and enjoy a good living with lasting wellness.

Leafy Green Vegetables:

Leafy greens are great natural alkaline foods and counter the impact of high acidic foods. By taking green leafy vegetables at breakfast, lunch and dinner will make you healthy by alkalinizing your body. Green leafy vegetables allow bowel movements and scavenge toxins and undigested stuff from the body. Most of the green foods give cooling effect to the body, give relief from inflammation and detoxify heavy metals and chemicals present in the blood and body.

Avoid High-Fat Meats:

Meats are high in protein, which are metabolized to acids. High-fat cuts of meat, like beef, pork, lamb, and shellfish are more acidic. Though meat and seafood are metabolized to acids, it doesn’t suggest that we should abandon them altogether. A healthy body needs both acidic and alkaline foods, but by balancing the diet with vegetables and fruits, the body will neutralize acidity produced by meat and give us a health body.

Increase Magnesium Intake:

The deficiency of calcium and magnesium can result in many serious health issues, like osteoporosis, pre-mature aging, heart attack, migraine. When the body is high in acidity, the loss of calcium and magnesium is also high. Minerals are essential for certain body functions, especially strengthening of hard tissues, like bones and teeth. It helps in regulating muscles and nerve activities. Other core functions include working as electrolytes and being a significant cofactor in enzyme catalysis. The activation of more than 300 enzymes in our body is dependent on magnesium, so magnesium is very vital mineral for biochemical activities of body. Without magnesium, the body is not able to use calcium.

Acidic Beverages and Drinks:

Soda, coffee, energy drinks and alcohol have high amount of phosphoric acid. Processed cheese, ice cream, fried foods and artificial sweeteners also produce acids. These high acidic beverages and drinks should be substituted by healthier drinks, like green tea, lemon water and almond milk. There is nothing better than water to flush our body system. By drinking water regularly throughout the day, it scavenges acids and improves the body’s natural level of alkalinity.

Final Thoughts:

Though our eating habits affect the acidity level, but stress is also the most significant factor in making our body acidic. Negative thoughts trigger the hormones adrenaline. The release of these hormones boosts up the acid levels. It signifies that along with healthy alkaline diet and drinks, we must also follow healthy lifestyle. We should take good sleep, take regular vacations, exercise, and take deep breaths and meditation. The key is good knowledge of alkaline lifestyle; therefore, we must read about health benefits of alkaline water and alkaline foods too to stay updated. All these healthy efforts will improve PH level in your body and give you lasting wellness.

With so many vitamins available, it can be difficult to determine which ones you need and which ones you can afford to leave aside.

To help, we have put together this guide that gives an overview of many well-known vitamins, as well as why and when you should make them a key part of your diet. The list is in alphabetical order too, for easy reference.



Found in: Green peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots.

The benefits: Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A as it moves around the body. This is an important vitamin, helping to keep your vision healthy and your immune system in tip-top condition.



Found in: Yogurt, milk and cheese.

The benefits: Calcium helps to defend the body against the loss of bone density as you age. It is also proven to help build strong teeth from an early age, as well as assist your nervous system.


Coenzyme Q10

Found in: Rich organ meats like liver and kidney are high in Coenzyme Q10. Furthermore, the vitamin is available as a dietary supplement, from specialist chemists such as

The Benefits: Your cells need Coenzyme Q10 as a means of giving the body energy. This energy then enables the body to achieve cell growth and maintenance. On top of this, Coenzyme Q10 acts as an antioxidant in order to keep youhealthy.



Found in: Fortified breakfast cereal, citrus fruit juice, dark green vegetables, bread and pasta.

The benefits: Also referred to as B9, folate is a great vitamin to have when pregnant as it is known to assist fertility and fetal development. Most importantly, folate helps to prevent neural tube defects in babies.



Found in: Seafood, nuts, green leafy vegetables, lean meats and liver (the latter of which is particularly high in iron).

The benefits: Iron will ensure red blood cells are functioning properly around the body, which results in you being at lower risk of anemia and your immune system becoming weaker as a result.



Found in: Fish oil and algae.

The benefits: Omega-3 helps keep the body healthy by lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. Omega-3 is also found to generally improve the mood of people who consume it regularly.



Found in: Milk, oranges, leafy green vegetables, raisins and bananas.

The benefits: Blood pressure can be lowered with the consumption of potassium, while the vitamin also works to reduce the effects of irregular heart rhythms.


Vitamin D

Found in: While a small amount of Vitamin D can be found in liver, eggs and fatty fish, the main source for your body to access the vitamin is through sun exposure.

The benefits: Research has suggested that Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and depression. It also assists the body when consuming calcium, the benefits of which we have already discussed earlier.

Air travel, for anyone who regularly participates in this modern miracle of technology, can be both terrifying and exhilarating. Not only will you be lofted at speeds greater than 500 miles per hour into the lower reaches of the stratosphere (30,000–39,000 ft) where you will be exposed to DNA-damaging cosmic x-ray radiation, but before you are in the clouds, you will inevitably face a wide range of physiological stressors, such as manmade irradiation via whole-body imaging, the prospect of body searches, some of the world's most non-nutritious food, and the constant worry of missing your flight or connection.  Is it any wonder that people experience jet lag, or much worse?

While all the health risks associated with modern air day travel are significant, especially when you add in the infectious disease risks associated with lackluster sanitation and jet fumes – which is one topic rarely discussed and so profoundly serious in its health implications that we can not do it justice here -- there is one deadly risk associated with air travel – particularly long haul flights[1] – which is perhaps most serious: venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The highly unnatural conditions of flight can result in increased risk of VTE, which is caused when a clot forms in a vein deep in the leg (deep vein thrombosis (DVT)) vein or vein in the lung (pulmonary embolism). VTE is believed responsible for 50,000 deaths annually in the United States alone.[2] But as is the case for so many modern day conditions that result from manmade causes, natural 'remedies' exist. Indeed, research indicates a plant extract named pycnogenol may provide an ideal preventive during air travel.

pinebark extract

Pycnogenol is an extract derived from maritime pine tree bark, and is exceedingly rich in the plant compounds known as proanthocyanidins, which are also found in a number of common foods, from apples to cocoa, and cinnamon to grapes.  What is so unique about pycnogenol is that it's extremely concentrated in these vital compounds, and has been specifically studied for preventing VT and other flight-associated health risks:

  • Pycnogenol Reduces the Risk of Deep Vein Clots (Thrombosis): A 2004 study[3] found that pycnogenol (dosage: 100 mg ,two capsules between 2 and 3 hours before flights; two capsules were taken 6 hours after the flight, and one capsule the next day) administered to subjects on flights on average 8 hours and 15 minutes, resulted in zero deep vein thrombosis events, and only nonthrobotic, localized phlebitis (inflammation of a vein, usually in the legs), in the treatment group, with five thrombotic events (one DVT and four superficial thromboses) in the control group.

According to the study, "The ITT (intention to treat) analysis detects 13 failures in the control group (eight lost to follow up + five thrombotic events) of 105 subjects (12.4%) vs. five failures (4.7%; all lost, no thrombotic events) in the treatment group (p<0.025). No unwanted effects were observed.

The study concluded: "[T]his study indicates that Pycnogenol treatment was effective in decreasing the number of thrombotic events (DVT and SVT) in moderate-to-high risk subjects, during long-haul flights."

  • Pycnogenol Reduces Ankle Swelling (Edema): A 2005 study,[4] which looked at the risk of edema (which is associated with increased risk of deep vein thrombosis) found that 100 mg of pycnogenol (two capsules between 2 and 3 hours before flights with 250 mL of water and two capsules 6 hours later with 250 mL of water and one capsule the next day), significantly reduced the risk of ankle swelling (a sign of edema).

According to the study, "After the in those treated with , the edema score was increased only by 17.9% (vs. an increase of 58.3% in the control group) (p<0.05). The RAS (a measure of ankle swelling), evaluated in 22 subjects in the Pycnogenol group (age 44.5; SD 8) and in 23 in the control group (age 45; SD 9) was increased on average by 91% in the control group and 36% in the Pycnogenol group (p<0.05). The variation on circumference at the ankle was 6% in the group (11% in the control group; p<0.05). These results indicate a positive effect of on edema during flights when considering subjective and objective data. No unwanted effects were observed."

Obviously, anything that can safely help you avoid deep vein thrombosis is promising, considering conventional approaches have serious side effects. Pycnogenol, however, is a powerful supplement and should and should be taken with caution – ideally, under the supervision of an integrative medical professional or medical herbalist– because it is anti-thrombotic and a blood thinner, much like aspirin. If you are already taking aspirin or a prescription blood thinner, combining pycnogenol could be dangerous – owing to the fact that aspirin by itself, like most pharmaceutical blood thinners, already carries a significant risk of hemorrhagic side effects, i.e. excessive bleeding. And therefore, adding pycnogenol on top of an already dangerous blood thinning chemical can have dire consequences. 

With that said, it should be noted that a 1999 study found that pycnogenol was superior to aspirin in preventing platelet aggregation (a risk factor for pathological clotting) in smokers.According to the study, "...a single, high dose, 200 mg Pycnogenol, remained effective for over 6 days against smoking-induced platelet aggregation. Smoking increased platelet aggregation that was prevented after administration of 500 mg Aspirin and 125 mg Pycnogenol. Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol."

Most saliently, "Aspirin significantly (p<0.001) increased bleeding time from 167 to 236 seconds while Pycnogenol did not. These observations suggest an advantageous risk-benefit ratio for Pycnogenol."  In other words, pycnogenol was not only as effective as aspirin at preventing aggregation (at a lower dosage) but it reduced the risk of hemorrhagic side effects (excessive bleeding), clearly demonstrating its superiority over aspirin, and perhaps enabling those who are looking for a natural alternative to pharmaceutical blood thinners to 'free two birds with one hand.'  For more information on this topic read "The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives."

If You Fly, This Supplement Could Save Your Life

There are two more compelling reasons why pycnogenol may be one of your most valuable air travel companions:

  • Pycnogenol is Radioprotective.[5]-[6]  This is relevant because according to the EPA's website, "About eight percent of our annual radiation exposure comes from outer space. The atmosphere shields us from cosmic radiation, and the more air that is between us and outer space, the more shielding we have. The closer we get to outer space, the more we are exposed to cosmic radiation. This holds true when we live at high altitudes or fly." Add in the largely unknown risks associated with whole-boding scanning devices at airport security, and taking a flight today may generate exposures as significant as radiation-based medical diagnostics – each time you fly
  • Pycnogenol is Supports Immunity. Flight involves subpar sanitation (have you ever seen a cleaning crew between flights?), and re-circulating air can increase the risk of exposure to airborne infections. Thankfully pycnogenol has been found to help fight off retrovirus infections in the animal model, [7] and there is indication that it has antibiotic properties, as demonstrated by an cell study on its ability to inhibit Helicobacter pylori.[8]

Finally, pycnogenol has been studied to fight jet-lag and the associated brain edema (yes, flying can make your brain swell).  A 2008 study found that subjects given pycnogenol (50 mg tablets 3 times/day, for 7 days starting 2 days prior to the flight) experienced both significant reductions in jet-lag symptoms (reduced from 39.3 hours in the control group to 18.2 hours in the treatment group).[9] They also tested a separate group using brain CT scans in order to measure brain edema, in association with typical signs and symptoms, observed in previous published flight studies. The study found the "...difference between the Pycnogenol and the control groups was statistically significant (P<0.05) for all items assessed including the cerebral edema score obtained by CT scan. The short-term memory was significantly altered in the control group and associated to edema and swelling of the lower limbs. The score (and the level of edema) was comparatively higher in a subgroup of hypertensive subjects in the control group. Minor alterations of cardiac function were observed in association with de-stabilisation of blood pressure. Fatigue was also significantly higher in the control group in comparison with the Pycnogenol group. A number of spontaneously reported symptoms was also scored and there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the Pycnogenol and control groups. In conclusion, Pycnogenol was useful to control jet-lag and minimal brain edema."

While supplements like pycnogenol have powerful, evidence-based properties, it is always good to be reminded that optimizing your nutrition via whole, organic, traditionally prepared foods is always going to be your best bet for ensuring good health while traveling.  On the other hand, it is always reassuring to know that Mother Nature provides effective, clinically tested solutions where no pharmaceutical one exists – that is, not without health risks that can be greater than the one(s) they are taken to prevent or treat.





© Miss Eco Glam 2014