Thursday, July 31, 2014

Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide!

Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide!

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide!

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 01:04 PM PDT

pesticides-petition

I have recently received an email from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) attempting to spread awareness around a new herbicide, Enlist Duo. This toxic product is produced by the Dow Chemical Company, a multinational, multibillion-dollar organization that supports the proliferation of genetically-modified crops into our food supply. At the moment, the Dow Chemical Company is seeking approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to market this herbicide to farmers as a potent and effective weed killer. While herbicides can certainly aid in combating competing plant life, they also promote more harm than good by interfering with human health.

The main ingredients in Enlist Duo are 2,4-D and glyphosate, two compounds also found in Monsanto’s dangerous Roundup weed destroyer. Genetically-engineered, non-organic crops will be subjected to this weed killer if it is approved by the EPA, causing an enormous toxic load to be spilled directly into our environment. Sticking to organic produce is great for reducing exposure; however, this is not enough. Herbicides and pesticides have the potential to travel through the air, affecting humans and nearby crops. The ingredients in Enlist Duo have the potential for causing endocrine and reproductive issues in people exposed, even indirectly.

More than 5,600 schools are located near corn and soy fields, two types of crops that are typically genetically modified and sprayed with toxic chemicals. This exposes hundreds of thousands of children to a toxic chemical that could negatively affect their endocrine system and future reproductive health. 2,4-D also has the potential of affecting literally dozens of endangered species and may also contribute to the shocking decline of honeybees and various other beneficial insects necessary for human survival.

You Can Help!

This is where you come in. Oregon and Main representatives have already written letters to the EPA ad USDA in an effort to reject Dow’s application for Enlist Duo’s approval. Click here to to contact your state’s representative and urge them to take action against this new toxic threat. Not only will you be protecting your own health, you will be standing up against the chemical’s effects on the population at large. Your voice, your effort, and your concern are powerful forces that can make a positive change!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

The post Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide! appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

How Does Digestion Work?

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 08:00 AM PDT

how-does-digestion-work

The garbage passed off as food today and the high rates of digestive disorders plaguing the nation make it clear that the importance of the digestive process is not understood. Digestion is a process that can affect our daily quality of life, playing a direct role in our mental health and mood. [1] In essence, digestion is where our health begins, and recent research has blatantly illustrated this fact. Let’s look at how the digestive system performs its function and discuss the key facts you need to know when seeking to protect your digestive health.

The Digestive Process

The digestive process involves three basic steps: the cephalic phase, the gastric phase, and the intestinal phase. Here are some of the main focus points associated with each phase:

  • The Mouth. Upon chewing, enzymes in the mouth begin the digestive process by breaking down food. Amylase is one of the main enzymes in saliva that aid in the digestion of starch (carbohydrates).
  • The Esophagus. This long, muscular tube aids in the passage of food from the mouth into the stomach. Hydrochloric acid will further break down food particles while killing microbes and denaturing proteins. Due to the high acidity of hydrochloric acid, a protective mucosal layer of tissue lines the stomach, protecting it from acid erosion and gastric ulcers.
  • The Small Intestine. Once food has traveled to the stomach and been subjected to the actions of hydrochloric acid, the contents then travel to the small intestine. This is the main organ that is responsible for absorbing calories, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins. Small finger-like projections called “villi” line the small intestine to offer protection and facilitate absorption. The small intestine also hosts a wide range of beneficial bacteria responsible for digestion, specifically Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
  • The Large Intestine. This is the final stage of the digestion process. Once nutrients have been absorbed by the small intestine, the leftover wastes travel to the large intestine before being eliminated. Water and salts are reabsorbed before elimination.

Components

While digestion requires the three phases listed above, it also requires four essential components–stomach acid, enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics.

Enzymes

Digestive enzymes break molecules into smaller parts so they can be absorbed by the body. These enzymes are categorized as:

  • Protease – breaks down protein into amino acids
  • Lipase – catabolizes lipids (fats) into fatty acids
  • Amylase – breaks down carbohydrates, starches, and sugar into simpler monomers

Those that are deficient in these enzymes, or those that suffer from an impairment in enzyme function, may benefit from enzyme supplementation. [2]

Probiotics

These bacterial colonies, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria being the most common, play an essential role in digestion. Probiotics aid in the synthesis of vitamin K, B12, and biotin (B1), contribute to the digestion of foods, denature proteins, and kill off hostile microbes. Some studies even suggest that probiotics may aid in balancing mood. [3] [4] [5] This effect is observed in relation to serotonin, a neurotransmitter found mainly in the gastrointestinal system.

Prebiotics

These “bionics” are essentially the food for probiotic colonies. [6] Generally speaking, prebiotics are pectins or fibers and aid in the nourishment and flourishing of probiotic bacteria. Some probiotic supplements come with prebiotics, an addition believed to increase the effectiveness of the probiotic bacteria.

Are there certain foods you find you can’t digest? Which ones are they? Leave us a comment below to let us know!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Jane A. Foster. Gut Feelings: Bacteria and the Brain. Cerebrum. 2013 July-August; 2013: 9.
  2. Roxas M. The role of enzyme supplementation in digestive disorders. Alternative Medicine Review. 2008 December;13(4):307-14.
  3. Farmer AD, Randall HA, Aziz Q. It's a Gut Feeling – how the gut microbiota affects the state of mind. The Journal of Physiology. 2014 March 24.
  4. Benton D, Williams C, Brown A. Impact of consuming a milk drink containing a probiotic on mood and cognition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007 March;61(3):355-61.
  5. Desbonnet L, Garrett L, Clarke G, Bienenstock J, Dinan TG. The probiotic Bifidobacteria infantis: An assessment of potential antidepressant properties in the rat. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2008 December;43(2): 164-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.03.009.
  6. Roberfroid MB. Prebiotics and probiotics: are they functional foods? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 June;71(6 Suppl):1682S-7S; discussion 1688S-90S.

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