INFECTED FACTORY FARMED MEAT MAY BE CAUSATIVE FACTOR FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Long, but interesting, article from Mercola.com.   Happy reading!

Infected Factory Farmed Meat May Be Another Causative Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Mad Cow
July 31, 2014  Visit the Mercola Video Library
By Dr. Mercola
Alzheimer’s disease, which affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans,1 is a devastating degenerative brain disease that develops slowly over time, and tends to be quite lethal in its final stages.

According to the latest data, the death toll from Alzheimer’s exceeds half a million Americans per year.2 This places Alzheimer’s in the top three killer diseases in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

There’s no conventional cure, and few if any successful medical treatments available once Alzheimer’s sets in. There is, however, compelling evidence indicating that your diet plays a significant role. This means you may have quite a bit of control when it comes to prevention.

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the links between high-carb, low-fat diets, and Alzheimer’s. Sugar, it turns out, is a major promoter of the disease. Some research even suggests that Alzheimer’s may be a form of “brain diabetes,” instigated by high sugar/fructose consumption.

The dietary links do not end there, however. More recently, investigators have raised the possibility that this severe form of dementia may be linked to eating meat from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)…

The Intriguing Connections Between Alzheimer’s, Mad Cow, and Chronic Wasting Disease
The key player here is an infectious protein called TDP-43. This protein has already been linked to a number of animal and human diseases, including:
•Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease)
•Mad Cow disease
•Chronic wasting disease, a transmissible neurological disease in deer and elk

Researchers have found that this protein may also play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease,3 as it is correlated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, thereby causing memory loss.

By examining the autopsied brains of more than 340 Alzheimer’s patients, the researchers found that TDP-43 was present in nearly 200 of them. As reported by MedicineNet.com:
“The study is unlike some others because it looked at two types of patients who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after death — those who showed symptoms in life and those who didn’t.

Abnormal levels of TDP-43 were found in those who had the disease and were significantly affected by it… [T]he investigators found that those with abnormal levels of TDP-43 were 10 times more likely to have thinking problems such as memory loss at death than the other patients.

How could people have signs of Alzheimer’s, but not have symptoms? That’s not clear… But, maybe people who have [beta-amyloid] plaques and [tau] tangles don’t develop symptoms unless they also have TDP-43, the researchers hypothesized.” [Emphasis mine]

Feeding Animals Animal-Byproducts Is a Common CAFO Farming Technique, and It Can Be Deadly
The common denominator between Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting Disease5 is forcing natural herbivores to eat animal parts. Animal byproducts are in a variety of ways mixed into the feed given to CAFO livestock, and we have repeatedly seen the devastating effects of this practice.

Even in cases where omnivores, such as pigs, are fed byproducts of animals of their own kind, the practice still poses significant problems, as an infection originating in even a single sick animal can rapidly spread this way.

Over the past year, nearly 10 percent of the entire swine population in the US has been wiped out by a highly lethal virus traced back to pig’s blood used in piglet feed for example.

As explained by the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, the infectious agent that causes both Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting Disease is believed to be prions—an infectious type of protein—not bacteria or viruses. While some prions6 serve beneficial cell functions, others, acting like an infectious agent, are known to cause neurodegeneration. TDP-43 is in this latter category.

According to a University of Pennsylvania report titled, “The Saga of a Disease Protein, TDP-43 reacts to oxidative stress, suggesting that antioxidant therapy might be helpful for disease prevention.

Mad Cow Disease Is a Man-Made Plague
Mad Cow Disease is another classic example of why the CAFO “cannibal” solution, i.e. feeding animal parts back to the same species of animal tends to be a bad idea. One of the primary ways Mad Cow Disease is transmitted is when cows are fed bone meal and waste products from other cattle infected with the disease.

As a result, it’s now illegal to feed beef-based products to cows. Alas, the beef industry circumvents this rule by using a feed product known as “chicken litter,” and that too can introduce this devastating disease into our food system.

Mad Cows Disease is still a factor when using chicken litter because this rendered down mix of chicken manure, dead chickens, and feathers, is also comprised of nearly one-third spilled chicken feed, which includes cow meat and bone meal used to feed the chickens—the very ingredients that are supposed to be off limits for cows.

So, any cow that eats chicken litter may also be consuming various cow byproducts–the very same feed products that spurred Mad Cow Disease in the first place.

Pigs, chickens, and turkeys can also be fed cattle byproducts, and current laws permit byproducts of those animals to be fed back to cattle.8 This is yet another loophole that can allow Mad Cow agents to infect healthy cattle—and you, should you end up eating any of these infected meats.

The CAFO-Alzheimer’s Connection
Eating CAFO meat carries a number of health risks, including the rare occurrence of Mad Cow disease. But could the infectious prions associated with Mad Cow, Chronic Wasting, and Alzheimer’s be spread via CAFO meats as well? Mad Cow Disease is a prion disease that can spread like wildfire in CAFOs. And there’s speculation that diseased cattle, which is ground up for feed to chickens and other non-bovine animals, may be retransmitting the disease by virtue of it passing on through the food chain, albeit indirectly.

When a foreign protein is introduced, your body will respond with inflammation. Chronic inflammation, we know, is a hallmark of most degenerative diseases. TDP-43 is one such foreign protein, but it certainly isn’t the only foreign protein you might ingest via CAFO foods.

CAFO livestock are also given feed consisting primarily of genetically engineered (GE) grains, and GE plants are also known to produce unfamiliar proteins—some of these proteins have in fact never existed in the human food chain prior to the introduction of GE foods. It’s no small wonder then that researchers keep finding that GE foods tend to be far more allergenic than non-GE foods.9

Now, when it comes to CAFO meats, be it chicken, pork, or beef, you’re being exposed to any number of foreign proteins—and TDP-43 might be one of them… Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), or the human version of Mad Cow, has a long incubation period, and few dementia-related deaths in the US are ever investigated. An infected person usually starts having symptoms in their 60s. As noted by the Centers for Food Safety,10 the symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s, and include staggering, memory loss, impaired vision, and dementia.

Mad Cow Keeps Resurfacing…
In 2012, a California dairy cow was diagnosed with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow Disease). According to the USDA, milk from cattle infected with Mad Cow is safe for human consumption, but dairy cows can also be processed into meat, and if they’re infected with BSE, such meat can cause vCJD when consumed.11 As noted by Center for Food Safety,12 which reported on the 2012 outbreak:
“Tissue from infected cows’ central nervous systems (including brain or spinal cord) is the most infectious part of a cow. Such tissue may be found in hot dogs, taco fillings, bologna and other products containing gelatin, and ground or chopped meat. People who eat contaminated beef products are at risk of contracting the human version of mad cow disease… The disease slowly eats holes in the brain over a matter of years, turning it sponge-like, and invariably results in death. There is no known cure, treatment, or vaccine for BSE diseases. The incubation period for ‘mad cow’ disease in cattle is thought to be approximately 5 years; it may be latent in humans for a decade or more before manifesting itself.”

This year, Mad Cow is rearing its ugly head again, this time claiming the life of a Texas man. He was the fourth American victim of the disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease—Another Aspect of the Same Problem
Another type of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) disease is known as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is now rapidly spreading among deer and elk. As with Mad Cow, the disease is the result of domesticating wild animals, as discussed in the featured video. CWD now affects animals in 22 US states, and 68 game farms in Saskatchewan, Canada now have infected animals, imported via game farm animals from the US… CWD-infected animals shed the infectious prions in saliva and urine, starting around three months after being infected. They remain contagious for the remainder of their life, contaminating land and water as they go along.

According to some experts, the prions causing CWD are the most resistant disease agent currently known. As noted in the featured video, should CWD spread among humans the way it’s spreading through the deer population, HIV-Aids would seem like “a walk in the park” in comparison.

Game farms cater to hunters who are more or less guaranteed a kill, and the potential for CWD to spread to humans through consumption of these game animals is a serious concern. A recent paper in the journal Landes Bioscience offers the following sobering assessment on the ability of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to affect humans:
“We hypothesize that both BSE prions and CWD prions passaged through felines will seed human recPrP more efficiently than BSE or CWD from the original hosts, evidence that the new host will dampen the species barrier between humans and BSE or CWD. The new host effect is particularly relevant as we investigate potential means of trans-species transmission of prion disease.”

Losing Your Mind for the Sake of a Burger
The idea that neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and ALS may be spread via CAFO foods is not entirely new. A 2005 study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, titled: “Thinking the unthinkable: Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Mad Cow disease: the age-related reemergence of virulent, foodborne, bovine tuberculosis or losing your mind for the sake of a shake or burger,” states:
“In the opinion of experts, ample justification exists for considering a similar pathogenesis for Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and the other spongiform encephalopathies such as Mad Cow disease. In fact, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Alzheimer’s often coexist and at this point are thought to differ merely by time-dependent physical changes. A recent study links up to 13 percent of all ‘Alzheimer’s’ victims as really having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.” [Emphasis mine]

The researchers also note that bovine tuberculosis serves as a vector for human Mad Cow Disease. Bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis and M. avium-intracellulare or paratuberculosis) is one of the most prevalent disease threats in American CAFOs, and the researchers quote USDA data suggesting that anywhere from 20-40 percent of American dairy herds are infected at any given time! According to the authors:
“The health risk for milk tainted with M. bovis has been known for decades and there was a time not so long ago when ‘tuberculin-tested’ was printed on every milk container. Schliesser stated that meat from tuberculous animals may also constitute a significant risk of infection. At the turn of the 20th century 25 percent of the many US deaths from TB in adults were caused by M. bovis. Dairy products aside, when past and present meat consumption are factored in, there is three times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in meat eaters as opposed to vegetarians.

The investigation into the causal trail for Creutzfeldt-Jakob, indistinguishable from Alzheimer’s except for its shorter, lethal course might have grown cold where it not for Roel’s and others who linked mad cow in cattle with M. bovis and related paratuberculosis on clinical, pathologic and epidemiological grounds. The southwest of the UK, the very cradle of British BSE and CJD outbreaks, saw an exponential increase in bovine tuberculosis just prior to its spongiform outbreaks. All of this brings up the unthinkable: that Alzheimer’s, Cruetzfeldt-Jackob, and Mad Cow Disease might just be caused by eating the meat or dairy in consumer products or feed.” [Emphasis mine]

Are We Paying Far Too High a Price for Cheap Meat?
In my opinion, the answer to that question is yes. We are paying an exorbitantly high price for factory farmed foods. Some of the health effects associated with CAFO animal products are easier to estimate than others. In all likelihood, the news that Alzheimer’s disease, which now appears to be the third leading cause of death in the US, may be the result of a slower-acting form of Mad Cow or Chronic Wasting Disease is bound to come as a complete shock for most people. And yet the links between the diseases are quite compelling, and they all point to one main culprit: factory farming practices, which eliminate hygiene and replace animals’ natural diets with unnatural grain diets, into which animal byproducts are mixed in.

This “cannibal” solution, and the loopholes that end up permitting same-species cannibalism, has set in motion a disease-producing cycle that can only be stopped by putting an end to such unnatural food production practices. The bottom line is, an animal’s diet matters greatly. You cannot judge the benefits of the animal’s diet based on added weight gain or added milk production alone… There can be all sorts of unforeseen ramifications when you alter the natural course of nature, including never-before-seen diseases.

Organic, grass-fed and finished meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really about the only type of meat that is healthy to eat. By purchasing your meat from smaller farms that raise their animals in a humane fashion, according to organic principles, you’re promoting the proliferation of such farms, which in the end will not only help protect your health, it will ultimately benefit everyone, including the animals, by putting the brakes on farming practices that are actively sowing the seeds of degenerative diseases… The following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods in your local area that has been raised in a humane, sustainable manner:
•Local Harvest — This Web site will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
•Farmers’ Markets — A national listing of farmers’ markets.
•Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
•Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
•FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

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Pain Relievers May Cause Hearing Loss

Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Ext...

Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Extra Strength Tylenol PM, pain relievers with the active ingredient acetaminophen/paracetamol. Tylenol PM (the white-and-blue tablets) also contains diphenhydramine, a sleep aid. These drugs were made by McNeil-PPC, Inc. The expiration date for the Tylenol is April 2007; the expiration date for the Tylenol PM is April 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interesting article from Whole Health
Insider

 By Larissa Long

While over-the-counter pain relievers are usually considered very safe and effective by the majority of people, they do have a dark side—especially if used in excess.

One of the biggest drawbacks of taking too much acetaminophen—better known as Tylenol—is liver failure, while overuse of the popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ibuprofen—also called Advil or Motrin—can cause gastritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, increased risk of cardiovascular events, kidney damage and a variety of other side effects.

Unfortunately, that’s not all.

Recent research has discovered that excessive use of certain over-the-counter analgesics could dramatically raise the risk of hearing loss in both men and women! This is pretty astounding when you consider that roughly 48 million adults in the U.S. report some degree of hearing loss, and by the age of 65, one-third of the population is affected. But what, exactly, is the tie to painkillers?

A team of Harvard researchers first discovered this link several years ago and published their results in 2010.1 In this study, they examined the association between regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs and acetaminophen in 51,529 men aged 40-74 years. The participants completed questionnaires, which asked about their use of painkillers, at baseline (in 1986) and every two years thereafter for 18 years. (Regular use was defined as two or more times per week.)

In 2004, these men completed a final, detailed questionnaire that included an inquiry about whether or not they had been professionally diagnosed with hearing loss. Of the 31,496 men who returned this questionnaire to researchers, 8,291 (26.3 percent) had been diagnosed with hearing loss. After excluding the men who were diagnosed prior to the start of the study, who received chemotherapy (which can be ototoxic) and who reached age 75 during follow-up (since advanced age is a strong risk factor for hearing problems), the number of men included in final analysis totaled 26,917—with 3,488 in that group suffering from hearing loss.

The researchers found that regular use of all three of the pain relievers was independently associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. With NSAIDs and acetaminophen in particular, the risk increased with longer duration of use. This problem seemed to affect men younger than age 50 more drastically than older men.

In a study published a few years later, this same team of researchers linked certain analgesics with hearing loss in women.2 Using a similar design as their previous study, the researchers followed women who were part of the Nurses Health Study II.

At baseline (in 1995), these women were 31-48 years of age. Just like their male counterparts, the women completed questionnaires at baseline, then every other year for 14 years.

Of the 77,956 women who turned in the detailed, long-form questionnaires at the end of the study period, 23.8 percent reported having a hearing problem. Using exclusion criteria similar to that used in the male study, 62,261 women remained for final analysis—10,012 of whom had some form of hearing loss.

Compared to the women who used ibuprofen less than one time per week, those who used this NSAID two or three days per week raised their risk for hearing loss by 13 percent. The women who took ibuprofen four or five days per week had a 21 percent higher risk, while those who used the medication six or seven days per week had a 24 percent increased risk.

Acetaminophen fared no better. Compared to those who used this pain reliever less than once per week, women who took it two or three days per week had an 11 percent higher risk for hearing loss, and four to five days per week equated to a 21 percent heightened risk.

Unlike in men, aspirin appeared to have little to no effect on hearing in women. However, just like with the men, age played a role. Women younger than age 50 had the greatest risk—especially if they used ibuprofen six or seven days per week.

According to the lead author of these studies, “Possible mechanisms might be that NSAIDs may reduce blood flow to the cochlea—the hearing organ—and impair its function. Acetaminophen may deplete factors that protect the cochlea from damage.”3

What Should You Do?

As this study highlights, just because a drug is sold over the counter does not mean it’s completely safe and free of harmful, long-term side effects.

If you take painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen as intended—on an occasional, as-needed basis for acute pain—then there is no reason to stop using these medications. Theydo help most people and are usually well tolerated when used as directed. However, if you find that you use these meds more than once a week for chronic, lingering pain or inflammation, you may want to consider other options that don’t have nearly the risk profile.

Some of the most effective naturally sourced pain relievers you can find include capsaicin (which is an ingredient in some over-the-counter topical creams), bromelain, turmeric/curcumin, white willow bark and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). You can find all of these at your local health food store, vitamin retailer or online.

In addition, be sure you are getting enough vitamin D every day, either through adequate sun exposure or supplementation. (Blood levels above 30 ng/mL are ideal.) Research links low levels of D to more severe pain sensitivity in those who suffer from chronic pain conditions.4

References:

  1. Curhan SG, et al. Am J Med. 2010 Mar;123(3):231-7.
  2. Curhan SG, et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Sep 15;176(6):544-54.
  3. Harvard Gazette. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/09/pain-relievers-increase-hearing-loss-risk.
  4. von Känel R, et al. Pain Med. 2014 Apr 14. [Epub ahead of print.]

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Is Your Child Getting the Right Nutrition?

We all know how important nutrition is for everybody, including our kids.  I ran across the following article from Whole Health Insider which gives some important information on kids’ nutrition and the need for supplementation.,  Hope you find it as interesting as I did.

 

By Alicia Potee

In a perfect world, your kids wouldn’t fidget or fuss at the table. They’d never refuse a fresh-cooked meal. They would always eat their vegetables—steamed, sautéed or straight from the ground. And that would ensure that they get all the nutrients they need from the food they eat.kids nutrition

But that’s not the world we live in, is it? Even with the best efforts at getting your growing kids to eat right, there are no guarantees. (Especially if you’re dealing with picky eaters.) Because at the end of the day, you can lead your family to the Farmer’s Market… but you can’t make them eat.

And that’s where supplements come in.

Even if your kids live for kale chips and fresh crudités, these four staples serve as an insurance policy for optimal development. And as you’ll see, you don’t want to start the school day without them.

Nutrient #1: A Daily Multivitamin

You may have heard that your child doesn’t need a daily multivitamin. But, unfortunately, that’s just not necessarily true.

A team of researchers recently set out to settle this issue by looking at nutritional data from more than 7,000 children between the ages of 2 and 18 years old. Their findings appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics back in 2012. They found that intakes of calcium and vitamin D—two of the most crucial nutrients for growing children—were low across the board.1

Even with supplement use, more than a third of these kids were falling short. And the problem seemed to get worse as the children got older. In kids over the age of eight, supplementation made up for otherwise inadequate intakes of magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins A, C and E. Not a short list of nutrients, by any stretch of the imagination.

The bottom line? Don’t stop giving your children their daily multivitamin. Just opt for a food-based product, which delivers these nutrients in as natural a form as possible. And make sure you check the label to be sure they’re not coming with a hefty side of artificial flavorings, dyes, fillers, sugar and allergens.

Nutrient #2: Vitamin D

Vitamin D may be the single most important nutrient for your child’s overall health. And that makes the skyrocketing rate of deficiency among American children all the more disturbing.

In 2009, Pediatrics published a pair of studies exposing this shocking trend. A sampling of thousands of U.S. kids between the ages of 1 and 21 showed that a whopping 61 percent had insufficient levels of vitamin D. (In this case, falling somewhere between 15 and 29 ng/mL.) And nearly 10 percent were completely deficient, with levels below 15 ng/mL.2

But the news gets worse. These researchers also found that low levels of D correlated to poor bone health, higher blood pressure and cholesterol problems. And similar studies underscore just how serious this problem really is.

For one thing, research shows that teens with low vitamin D levels are more likely to be overweight or obese. Plus, low vitamin D levels increase the risk of hypertension, high blood sugar and metabolic syndrome, even after accounting for factorslike weight, socioeconomic status, race or physical activity levels.3

And these aren’t the only crucial factors that vitamin D status influences, either. Recent research shows that low vitamin D levels are a lot higher among critically ill children, as well. Moreover, supplementing with this nutrient daily can lower the incidence of chronic ear infections significantly.4

This points to vitamin D’s vital role in immune health. But there are a lot more benefits where that came from. In fact, studies suggest that adequate vitamin D levels can also protect against cavities, lower risk of anemia and even help with growing pains.5-7

Here’s the catch, though: You can’t expect a healthy diet to be enough to keep your child’s levels in check. Because the best source of vitamin D isn’t food—it’s the sun.

Exposure to UVB rays is what allows your child’s body to generate vitamin D. (Which is both a vitamin and a hormone.) And between regular sunscreen applications and increased time spent indoors, chances are good that your kids simply aren’t getting enough.

That’s why supplementing with vitamin D3—the most bioavailable form of this nutrient—is so essential. Just bear in mind that your child may need more than what’s in their daily multivitamin.

The standard U.S. recommendation is 600 IU of vitamin D per day. (Up slightly from the previous recommended intake of 400 IU.) But, according to many experts, this dosage is hardly sufficient.

In fact, the Vitamin D Council suggests dosages nearly twice as high—urging 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per 25 pounds of your child’s weight daily.8 This means a 25-pound child should take 1,000 IU daily, while a 50-pound child will need 2,000 IU a day.

Nutrient #3: Omega-3s

A high-quality omega-3 supplement is right there next to vitamin D when it comes to essential ingredients for childhood health. And that’s because, much like the sunshine vitamin, most kids are falling short in this department, too.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that as few as 22 percent of North American children are getting enough EPA and DHA.9 A 2013 study of school-aged kids in the U.K. revealed similar trends, along with a few other important findings—ones that shed a whole new light on increasingly common diagnoses, like hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder.

Most notably, this study showed that blood concentrations of omega-3s—and of DHA, in particular—were significant predictors of both behavior and learning ability. Kids with higher levels of these essential fats were better readers, with sharper memories and fewer behavioral issues, according to reports from parents and teachers.10

And this is hardly the first study to come to this conclusion. It’s just one of the more recent among many.

Of course, that only makes sense, given omega-3 fatty acids’ essential role in brain health. These fats are the building blocks of your nervous system. Which means that they’re especially important for your child’s developing brain. (Not to mention the other benefits they have to offer—ranging from better sleep to allergy protection.11-12)

The good news is that, unlike vitamin D, you can get plenty of omega-3s from dietary sources. The bad news is that most Western kids don’t.

Your children would need to eat at least two servings of fatty fish per week to get the bare minimum of omega-3s. Otherwise, it’s time to start looking for a high quality supplement.

Recommended intakes for kids vary anywhere between 500-1,500 mg of omega-3s per day, depending on age.13 In addition to increasing your child’s fish intake, there are plenty of purified, flavored fish oils on the market that fit this bill. Many of these can be easily mixed into smoothies or yogurt, which is generally a better choice than relying on popular gummies, which typically feature very small amounts of DHA and EPA per serving.

Nutrient #4: Probiotics

You might be shocked by how much a few good bugs can do. Which is why your kids need them every bit as much as you do.

Research on the benefit of probiotics for kids has been picking up a lot of steam in recent years. And much of it has focused on the how beneficial bacteria can be in combating the constant barrage of illness that hits once your children start daycare or preschool.

One recent study, published in Pediatrics just this year, looked at more than 300 kids between age six months and three years. Half of them received a supplement featuring the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri daily for three months.

Results showed that probiotics dramatically lowered the frequency and severity of both diarrhea and respiratory infections among the kids supplementing with them. And these protective benefits lasted a full three months after treatment ended to boot.14

When all was said and done, this meant fewer visits to the doctor and less missed days of school and work. (A win-win for parents and kids.) It also meant fewer antibiotic prescriptions—and amid growing fears over antibiotic resistance, this is a benefit that speaks for itself.

Supplement Smart

In this day and age, eating right can be difficult at best. And getting your children to eat real food, chock full of fruits and vegetables, can be darn near impossible. By providing them with a daily multinutrient, vitamin D, fish oil and probiotics, you can ensure their basic needs will be met and they will have a solid foundation of health to grow on.

References:

1. Bailey RL, et al. J Pediatr. 2012 Nov;161(5):837-42.
2. Kumar J, et al. Pediatrics. 2009 Sep;124(3):e362-70.
3. Reis JP, et al. Pediatrics. 2009 Sep;124(3):e371-9.
4. Marchisio P, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 Oct;32(10):1055-60.
5. University of Washington. “Vitamin D linked to lower rates of tooth decay.” ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127130321.htm>.
6. Atkinson MA, et al. J Pediatr. 2014 Jan;164(1):153-8.
7 Qamar S, et al. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2011 May;21(5):284-7.
8.Vitamin D Council. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs.
9.Madden SM, et al. J Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):528-32.
10. Richardson AJ, et al. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e43909.
11. Montgomery P, et al. J Sleep Res. 2014 Mar 8.
12. D’Vaz N, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Aug;42(8):1206-16.
13. DHA/EPA Omega-3 Institute. http://www.dhaomega3.org/Overview/DHAEPA-and-the-Omega-3-Nutrition-Gap-Recommended-Intakes.
14. Gutierrez-Castrellon P, et al. Pediatrics. 2014 Apr;133(4):e904-9.

 

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DIY Emergency Water Filter Project

Ran across this item in my email from Survivalist.com and thought I would share with you.  Hope you find it of interest.  Hopefully this is something we will never need to use,  but just in case of an emergency,  there’s no harm in being prepared…yes?


Water filter

DIY Emergency Water Filter Project

Water filterBuying a water filter is by far the easier option to consider when deciding to implement security and safety to the water portion of the prepper plan. In an emergency situation this type of project can be used to provide safe, clean drinking water for you and your family. There are several things preppers and survivalist would like to acquire at the most affordable price possible, and many of them must be purchased due to the fact we cannot realistically hope to build, create, or manufacture everything we could need or want in our survival gear.

One of the easiest prepper projects we can all participate in is building our own water filters. These water filters are made out of ordinary materials that can be found around the house, or purchased for much less than a prefabricated filter from a manufacturing company.

Materials List:
• 5 gallon food grade bucket
• Sand
• Gravel
• Charcoal
• Separate container for catchment
• Strips of cloth wide enough to cover the opening of the bucket
• Raising apparatus
DIY Water Filter Materials List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The water tight container can be made out of almost anything. An old coffee can, a food grade plastic bucket, or a clean plastic bag. The primary purpose of the bucket is to hold the layers of material that will act as a filter system for the water being introduced. It needs to be clean, and able to withstand modification without completely falling apart. There are several designs to choose from which may require a few additional modifications. For the purpose of this instructive article we will focus on making the water filter with what we have listed.

Step by Step Directions:
1. Drill hole in the bottom of the bucket near the lip.
DIY Water Filter 1
 

 

 

 

 

DIY Water Filter 1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Place one layer of cloth material in the bottom of the bucket, ensuring the drain hole previously drilled in Step #1 is covered.
DIY WF 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Add a layer of charcoal. Charcoal can be manufactured for this filter by starting a fire, another essential prepping skill, and using the charcoal created by the logs. Charcoal pieces should be approximately the size of small stones.
DIY WF 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Add a second layer of cloth over the charcoal, ensuring the entire layer is covered.
DIY WF 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Add a layer of sand, not dirt but sand, like the sand you find on a beach.
DIY WF 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Place another section of cloth over layer of sand.
DIY WF 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Add a layer of gravel. Pea size gravel if available, but any small rocks will suffice.
DIY WF 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Stretch a piece of cloth over the top of the bucket, secure in place with other strips of cloth.

9. Erect a raised platform for housing the bucket filter. This can be a couple of larger rocks rolled into place, fallen logs, etc. The filter needs to sit high enough to allow the secondary catch can to sit beneath it. Tilt slightly forward if possible, placing the drain hole at an angle that promotes water drainage.
DIY WF Finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Slowly administer unpurified water through the cloth, pouring only enough to prevent overflow.
DIY WF Dirty Water
 

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring Dirty Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Monitor lower catch can to prevent overflow as well.
12. Store or use purified water and repeat.
Clean Water Dripping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a very basic DIY water filter. Believe it or not, all steps followed, this water filter will remove far more contaminants from your water than a standard faucet fixture. There are several improvements that can be made to this basic for a few pennies more.

Prepping is often considered an expensive endeavor, especially by those just getting started. These basic DIY projects are time and cost effective. They also assist the prepper, beginner or seasoned, with developing the necessary skills and knowledge to fend for themselves under dire circumstances.

Concerns & Cautions:
Waterborne diseases remain the leading cause of death globally, far exceeding cancer and all other known conventional medical maladies. This water filter project will not move all known contaminants capable of polluting a fresh water system, nor should it be used to purify sea water. It should be used with care and caution at all times. If the water collected in the catch can(s) is still discolored, or has a foul and repugnant odor, then it should be assumed the water remains contaminated.

The layers in this DIY water filter project should also be removed and replaced accordingly. Life expectancies for this project will vary depending on the amount of water filtered and the contaminants within the water being filtered. This is a basic project to get you familiar with the idea and aspect of building your own emergency water filter when a disaster strikes. The materials used for the body of the filter and the catch can, may be modified to accommodate what you have readily available. Additional layers of all internal materials may be included if desired. In the event you want to add more layers of filtering material, stagger them appropriately, charcoal, sand, gravel. Place additional cloth layers between the materials if desired. Cloth should be clean, not oily or stained.

This DIY project can be used to filter water on a daily basis, even that from your city supplied water system, and/or to filter water harvested from a fresh water system, such as a river, creek or stream. It should not be used as a primary purifying source for stagnant water systems. Water may filter through this system rather slowly depending on the number of layers and how well they are packed.

Disclaimer:
This DIY Water Filter Project offers no guarantees. Each individual deciding to experiment with this project assumes sole responsibility for their own actions

- See more at: http://survivalist.com/diy-emergency-water-filter-project/#sthash.cJEPiCQk.dpuf

There are several comments from readers of this article at http://survivalist.com/diy-emergency-water-filter-project/ for anyone interested.

CHOOSING BATTERIES THAT DON’T DAMAGE OUR PLANET

Here’s an interesting article from Care2.com.  Thought you might find it of interest.

How to Choose Batteries That Don’t Damage our Planet

How to Choose Batteries That Don’t Damage our Planet

Household batteries’ small size belies the big impact they have on the planet. Americans purchase two to three billion dry-cell batteries every year to power radios, toys, cell phones, watches, laptop computers, various kitchen tools and appliances, and even garden and workshop tools. This portable power is great. Its impact on the environment? Not so much.

* Batteries contain heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium and nickel.

* Household batteries, especially alkaline and button batteries, are the single-largest source of mercury in our trash.

* Mercury is highly toxic. Long-term exposure can permanently damage the brain and kidneys and the fetus in pregnant women. As much as possible, we should avoid throwing mercury-laden batteries “away,” since they’ll eventually break apart in landfills and the mercury could leach into groundwater.

Fortunately, following the Three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) can minimize the impact batteries have on us and Nature.

REDUCE

It is possible to shift away from throwaway batteries almost completely. Here’s how:

* Buy fewer toys, appliances, and electronics that need battery power. Instead choose products that can be powered electrically or by hand. We actually have a couple of portable radios that we hand-crank. They’re particularly handy to have during power outages, or even when you’re looking for a little exercise to do when you’re watching tv.

* Turn off battery-powered appliances when you’re not using them to extend the life of the battery. This should be a no-brainer. Why deplete the power when there’s no need? If you won’t be using something for a long time, it actually makes sense to remove the batteries altogether so their juice won’t slowly drain away, which can happen even if they’re not turned on.

REUSE

* Choose rechargeables. You’ll use fewer batteries overall, though even rechargeables contain heavy metals and ultimately should be recycled. Some batteries come with a USB port on one end so you can plug them into a laptop or desktop hard-drive and recharge them without using any extra electricity.

* Tap into the power of the sun. Many innovative batteries are actually mini panels of electricity-generating photovoltaic cells. They can be free-standing or part of something like a backpack and can be plugged into cell phones, iPods and MP3 players, and other devices.

* Use your car cigarette lighter. I bought an adapter for my car’s cigarette lighter that has a port that fits my phone. I probably charge my phone as much using the car lighter as I do using other devices.

RECYCLE

No matter what kind of battery you use, eventually it will die. Rather than throw it in the trash, you can do the following:

* Take batteries from mobile devices to big-box appliance stores and retailers that sell office equipment. They usually have a bin on hand where you can toss these used electronics for recycling.

* Contact your community’s solid waste management facility or department of public works. Many communities now hold hazardous waste pick-ups or collections a couple of times a year. Keep all your used batteries in a shoe box, plastic container with lid, or heavy duty zip-lock type plastic bag until you can turn them over to be properly disposed of. NOTE: If replacing a car battery, make sure to have the work done at a shop that recycles the batteries.

* Contact Earth 911 to locate battery recycling facilities convenient to your home.

What battery alternatives work best for you? Please share!

Related Posts

How to Dispose of Old Batteries
Could Sugar-Filled Batteries Help Combat Climate Change?
Recycling Batteries, Light Bulbs and Sneakers: Easy Greening

Photo Credit:

Ian Britton – Rechargeable Battery
C-DR-C – Corroded Battery

 

Read more:http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-choose-batteries-that-dont-damage-our-planet.html#ixzz38W3Ap2of

Nature