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Sicko part II

26 Jul

My Challenge to the Presidential Candidates

by Michael Moore
The Huffington Post
Posted July 25, 2007 | 12:01 PM (EST)

The American government isn’t afraid to hand out free health care. Senior citizens get it. Veterans get it. As SiCKO shows you, even the detainees at Guantanamo Bay get it.

So, too, do our federal elected officials. It doesn’t matter if they are Republicans or Democrats, young or old, healthy or sick — they are entitled to free, government-provided health insurance. They don’t have to worry about being able to pay for medical help — even if many of their constituents do.

When Senator Sherrod Brown was running for a seat in the House of Representatives over 10 years ago, he saw something wrong with this. He pledged not to accept his free government health care until everyone in the United States had the same luxury. (He’s still waiting.)

Brown reasoned that politicians should have the same privileges as those they represent. I know a lot of the Democrats running for President understand this principle. Monday night during their YouTube debate, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, and Bill Richardson all pledged to work for the minimum wage should they be elected president — to show that they’re in touch with the plight of everyday Americans, and to make sure they are personally invested in making sure the minimum wage in this country is a livable one. Good for them.

Now, candidates, how about giving up your health care too? If elected president, you and your family will be entitled to free government health care, courtesy of the fine doctors at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. But nearly 50 million of your constituents will go without any medical care at all — and 18,000 of them will die during your first year in office simply because they lack health insurance. As the head of the government, how can you take advantage of its health care services, but deny it to so many citizens?

I am calling on each presidential candidate to pledge to refuse their free government health care until every person in this country also has it. I want every candidate who said they’d work for the minimum wage as president to work uninsured, too, until health care is universal. And I want the other candidates to join them. (Yes, I’m looking at you, too, Republicans. I know you can afford to do it.)

During Monday night’s interactive debate, I submitted this exact challenge on YouTube, just like everyone else. CNN didn’t choose it — maybe Dr. Gupta was making the selections? Anyway, I am issuing it here. All candidates should pledge to take whatever health care is available to the least fortunate American. Right now, that’s nothing. Hopefully as president, they’ll have to make it something.

‘SiCKO’ Star Julie Pierce Continues the Fight


28 May

Michael Moore was on “Real Time” a couple nights ago to plug his new film, SICKO, that examines America’s failed healthcare system. Moore hopes the film, which has been lauded by FOX News of all people, will be less divisive than his others and spark a national debate about how our corporatized healthcare system is failing us.

‘Sicko’ Shows Michael Moore’s Maturity as a Filmmaker
Sunday , May 20, 2007
By Roger Friedman

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s brilliant and uplifting new documentary, “Sicko,” deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity.

Unlike many of his previous films (“Roger and Me,” “Bowling for Columbine,” “Fahrenheit 9-11”), “Sicko” works because in this one there are no confrontations. Moore smartly lets very articulate average Americans tell their personal horror stories at the hands of insurance companies. The film never talks down or baits the audience.

“This film is a call to action,” Moore said at a press conference on Saturday. “It’s also not a partisan film.”

Indeed, in “Sicko,” Moore criticizes both Democrats and Republicans for their inaction and in some cases their willingness to be bribed by pharmaceutical companies and insurance carriers.

In a key moment in the film, Moore takes a group of patients by boat to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba because of its outstanding medical care. When they can’t get into the U.S. naval base, Moore proceeds onto Havana where the patients are treated well and cheaply.

This has caused a great deal of controversy, with the federal government launching an investigation into the trip, which officials say was in violation of the trade and commerce embargo against the Communist country.

“This administration flaunts the law, flaunts the constitution,” Moore said at the press conference, explaining the flap over the trip to Cuba.

Moore now claims the U.S. government says his Cuban footage may be illegal, and Moore said he made a second master copy of “Sicko” and had it shipped it to France immediately just in case of potential government issues.

Grokking Caring

Making Health Care More Caring

Donna Karan| BIO

Along with my friend and partner in crime, Sonja Nuttal, I launched the two week Well-Being Forum at Urban Zen in what for me is a heart space — my late husband Stephan Weiss’ sculpture studio — to bring in the best minds and healers from all traditions to figure out how to make our health care more patient-centered and caring. That journey is one we’ll all travel one day.

I’m really touched hearing from so many of you. I’ve never written for a blog before and it’s amazing to connect with so many people in this way. When I started the Well-Being Forum because of what happened to my husband and me, I knew that this is what this is a journey many people have been on in one way or another. But even knowing that, it’s still wonderful to hear your stories. Each one is precious to me. I know that every one of us will have to go through something like this — no one is immortal, none of our loved ones are immortal. That’s an important part of this. So I really want to thank you for joining the discussion and contributing what you’ve learned from your experience. It means a lot to me to hear from you.

First of all, I want to say that I totally agree with what Hippocrates said in that beautiful quote one of you wrote in to the blog, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” That’s exactly what I want us to focus on. What can we do, what simple things can we take on, like yoga, nutrition, mindfulness, self-empowerment, self-care — how do we learn them and use them and make them part of our lives especially when we become patients?

But my second question is what big things can we all join together and make happen so that the medical system we have includes prevention of disease, rather than only crisis management. There is a place for the latter, and I wouldn’t want to do without it. It saves people’s lives and I know that from personal experience. But it’s not an either/or… it’s both. How do we have the best of both worlds because I am convinced that each offers something of value.

Someone also wrote in to say that the benefits of integrative approaches are “rather subjective.” That’s an interesting comment because I’m trying to understand how we’ve all come to a place where the power of what we feel is somehow considered “not important.” My feelings of love for my husband, family, and friends are the most important things in my life, and I’m not ashamed of that. My feelings about what is beautiful have guided me to create every single thing from a piece of clothing to a flower arrangement in my home. This is my life. So why would my feelings or your or anyone’s feelings suddenly become unimportant the moment that we become ill?

Feeling sick doesn’t feel good; feeling healthy does. We can’t leave that out — we can’t ignore that. We must become our own guides. I can point to many, many examples when personal intuition has led the healing process.

The doctors and journalists at the conference also tell me that many scientific studies document the connection between feeling states, immunity, and health. Feeling good makes a real difference to improve health. To me, that’s just a no-brainer. But why do we believe that when we read it in a study and not believe it when it’s in us? I think we need to learn to trust ourselves more. There is medical evidence to support this.

This is where I have to say that I don’t believe we are just a body — or just our mind and feelings. Somehow all of these things are wrapped up together. I don’t feel you can separate them. That’s the human experience. It’s mysterious, yes. But I encourage you all to be open to that. I feel we have to be.

So my new question for you today is: When you realize we’re all going to go through something one day, how can we recreate what goes on in health care as a more caring, human experience? When Stephan got his diagnosis, we were just naïve — we had to find our way.

I believe we need prevention, I know we need self-care, and I also feel that we have to help create a medical system that serves us.

Doctors and nurses need self-care as much as we do. As someone said, “The last thing you want is a stressed out doctor working on you.”
But medical staff are human too, and when illness comes, there needs to be that one person that each patient has with them to help navigate their journey.

My husband always said, “Don’t forget the nurses, they’re the ones who really take care of patients.” So I made sure that the nurses helping us were not just technicians, but people who were gifted as healers.

From that experience, I know that nurses are the unsung heroines (and heroes) of medicine. They are there 24/7. They know how to be there unconditionally, how to be present.

At the conference, we had a whole conversation about that which you can read about on health journalist Alison Rose Levy’s blog here.
I really love your comments and suggestions about what needs to be done. Check out our website for more info and you can also give us your contact information so we can get you involved.

Leaping Real Eyes Blog

Arugula – Rocket Power

23 May

Arugula – Rocket power your own protean transformation to a healthy vibrant life.

Chance favors the prepared mind – Louis Pasteur

Last winter we scattered chance seeds in our garden.

Chance seeds being the variety of seed that defies titles and demands that us gardeners employ our curiosity and bestowe our gift of providence upon them. We obligingly plant them in our garden without the slightest notion of what?? they are.

Weeks of precious water, manure tea, and a few zany dances around their plot; upbeat big 80’s dance music like ABC or Culture Club works well in this situation (Karma Chameleon, yeah!). Why? Because plants love happy gardeners.

Soon, they revealed themselves. Spiky, thin, dark green leaves with a pungent, sweet and slightly sweaty aroma. It’s unmistakable: wild Arugula, a.k.a. Arugula Selvatica, has taken over our garden.

Wild Arugula
Our beyond Organic Arugula
“Maybe arugula can only compensate
For all the cards you were dealt at the hands of fate”

(we took artistic license with “How to Be a Millionaire” lyrics by ABC)

This is not your common supermarket variety Arugula (Eruca sativa) . Selvatica has an intense and potent flavor. This taste alone may elevate your spirit to a higher plane. You laugh,but we dare you to try it for yourself.

We love to infuse extra virgin olive oil with our wild arugula.
We also eat copious amounts of arugula in salads, burritos, with dutch oven chicken, and as a main ingredient in pesto.
Wild Arugula Pesto Wild Arugula, Boy George, Mr T

  • 1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves of our Beyond Organic Elephant Garlic, peeled
  • 2 Cups Wild Arugula
  • 1/4 cup toasted Pinon Nuts
  • 2 Dashes of Tapatio hot Sauce
  • 4 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup freshly grated, parmigiano reggiano (*see note below)
  • 1 dash of Kelp granules

Mr. T Says, “I Pity the Fool who don’t eat Arugula!”

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
It will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator, although we prefer to eat it fresh.
Eat this twice a week and soon you will realize that you are well on the path to happiness.

Wild Arugula Salad

  • 1 Cup Wild Arugula (10 + leaves)
  • 2 TBSP Italian Parsley (diced)
  • 1 Cup Cilantro (diced)
  • 4 to 5 Yu Choy leaves and stems (chopped)
  • 1/2 large Cucumber (sliced thin)
  • 1/4 sweet onion (diced)

Salad Dressing

Blend the following:

  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP White Miso
  • 2 cloves Garlic (grated)
  • Dash of Black Pepper

Heres the background info:

Arugula is known by many names: Brassica Eruca L. Arugula, Eruca vesicaria, Eruca sativa, Arugula Selvatica, arugula sylvatica, garden rocket, aeruca rocket, eruka psevnaya (Russian), oruga (Spanish), jaramago (Spanish), rocket gentle, rucola gentile(Italian), ruchetta (Italian), rucchetta selvatica or rucola selvatica (Italian), rockette (French), krapkool (Flemish), roketa, Roman rocket, ruke (German), salad rocket, sciatica cress, shinlock…

Arugula has been cultivated since Roman times. The Romans used the leaves in salads and used the seeds to make aromatic oils. Arugula seed has been a frequent ingredient in aphrodisiac potions since the first century.

Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable, containing cancer-fighting phytochemicals called indoles. Arugula is also good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese.

Informative Links:

Arugula Selvatica

NOTE*: Our original pesto recipe included Locatelli brand of romano cheese.
We’ve been informed that Locatelli is a well known italian dairy giant with lots of chemical issues in the past. We have NO idea what they could concoct for US export. It’s been suggested that they would make the cheese out of evaporated excess milk stocks.
We now use certified 100% Parmigiano Peggiano cheese. NOT Grana Padano brand; it’s way toxic. Even though it’s more expensive, real Parmigiano Reggiano is made with raw milk, grass-fed cows and limited drugs and hormones. All the “lookalike” Parmesans like Grana and such collect all the pussy residues of the mass dairy market.
If you love Romano cheese and want a healthy alternative to Locatelli, real Pecorino Romano comes in a black peel (goat’s milk) and can be found in cheese specialty shops.



I Love Pomegranate Juice

9 May

PomegranateI love the pomegranate tree. I love pomegranate Juice. Every year we wait patiently for the large red fruits to ripen. What a fantastic taste delight.

We have been tending our pom trees for years and spend the early winter months drinking the pomegranate juice and making pomegranate ice cream.

The pomegranate, my favorite fruit, has recently made research news, and I suspect folks will become more aware in its remarkable health giving benefits.

I Love My Arteries: Carotid Care
View Animation: Cardiovascular Health

I HAVE READ THE Research DONE AT the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel WHO treated patients with carotid artery stenosis using FRESH pomegranate Juice for three years and the results were nothing short of remarkable.

The carotid arteries are the two large vessels that run along either side of your neck and supply the brain with blood.

Blockage if these arteries is called Stenosis, of these which is simply a narrowing of the blood flow due to a buildup of deposits along the arterial wall.

Carotid artery narrowing often goes unnoticed for years. Individuals with the problem may not experience any symptoms, though some start to complain that they hear a “swishing” noise with each heartbeat, which is due to blood swirling past the blockage.

A more common complaint is eventually this narrowing can lead to a mini stroke. This occurs when small pieces of the fatty deposits lining the arteries break loose and block small blood vessels further up in the brain. The result can be memory loss, temporary blindness, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.

Fortunately, the effects are generally temporary, but these events are often just a prelude to a bigger, full-blown serious stroke.

Normal treatment for carotid artery blockage falls into basically two categories. If the blockage is less than 70 percent, the treatment is to keep the blood thin and flowing with aspirin, anticoagulants, and other drugs-and hope nothing “breaks loose.” If The blockage is over 70 percent; surgery to clear out the blockage is often the course of action.
Many folk who have blockage of the artery also have narrowing elsewhere in the body, too. It’s a systemic problem, so there is likely some degree of blockage in the arteries of the heart and elsewhere.

Reading the research

Reading the research done on pomegranate juice is exciting and may be the perfect treatment for removing the blockages in the carotid arteries.

It seems that atherosclerosis is best addressed through diet and nutrition. And that’s where pomegranate juice has been shown to be a tremendous help.

Pomegranate Tees and GiftsGo figure! My favorite juice is not only delicious makes tasty ice cream it also helps my arteries stay healthy.

Everyday is an opportunity to nurture your body-mind, every day is an opportunity to tend your garden, and to nurture all that nurtures you in return.

Now that’s our grokking Numian way to live.
My secret of aging with wellness.

HAPPINESS IS: A daily jogging, grazing the greens from our gardens, and meals made from garden grown veggies.

Pomegranate Juice the Miracle Nectar

Dr. Michael Aviram, with the Lipid Research Laboratory at Rambam, thinks it’s possible that many high-risk cardiovascular patients can be spared both bypass and carotid surgery by simply drinking pomegranate juice.

Why Pomegranates Are Better Than Red Wine

NEW YORK, N.Y. and HAIFA, Israel, May 4, 2000 — In a strong confirmation of the power of pomegranates to fight heart disease, studies of healthy human subjects and mice with atherosclerosis showed why even moderate consumption of pomegranate juice could have significant clinical results.

According to studies at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the cholesterol oxidation process -– which creates atherosclerotic lesions that narrow arteries and result in heart disease — was slowed by as much as 40 percent when healthy subjects drank 2-3 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for two weeks. Further, the juice reduced the retention of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol that after its oxidation aggregates and forms atherosclerotic lesions.

The study is published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Pomegranates are proving to be the most powerful antioxidant available, better than red wine, tomatoes, vitamin E and a variety of other headline makers,” says Prof. Michael Aviram of the Lipid Research Laboratory at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who led the team. Prof. Aviram, who was the first to prove the beneficial effects of red wine on cholesterol oxidation in humans, is an internationally recognized authority on the effect of food on heart disease.

Earlier, pomegranate juice was tested on mice from a special strain susceptible to atherosclerosis. When these mice were fed pomegranate juice for 11 weeks, their arteries had only half as many lesions as did the arteries of the control mice who got no juice. This strengthened the evidence that the juice would also slow or prevent the formation of lesions in humans.

Most recently, using sections of excised human arteries, Prof. Aviram showed that the active ingredient in pomegranates not only slows down cholesterol oxidation but actually minimizes the retention and aggregation of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, two additional processes that create atherosclerotic lesions. These lesions are minimized if the cholesterol is not retained, oxidized and subsequently aggregated.

When the subjects stopped drinking the pomegranate juice, the beneficial effects lasted for about a month.

Aviram chose pomegranates for his study because the fruit has long been in use in folk medicine in the Middle East, Iran and India for treating disease and infections, and he suspected that some of its medicinal value could be due to antioxidants.

Dr. Aviram’s recent study involved 19 patients (5 women and 14 men, 65-75 years old) with severe carotid artery stenosis.

Ten were selected to receive 250 mL (8.3 ounces) of 100 percent pomegranate juice daily, and the other 9 were given a placebo.

“Several tests were performed on the different groups. The primary one Utilized ultrasound to measure any changes in the thickness of the walls of the carotid arteries.

After one year, those not consuming the pomegranate juice had a 9 percent increase in thickness of their carotid arteries, meaning their arteries were becoming even less resilient. Those consuming the juice showed a decrease in thickness of 35 percent. These changes began to show up rather quickly. There was a 13 percent reduction in just the first three months of drinking the juice. And there were other benefits, as well. While the blood pressures of those on the placebo didn’t change, the systolic pressure (top number) of those on pomegranate juice went from an average of 174 to 162 mm Hg in just a month. And it reduced even further, to an average of 152 mm Hg at twelve months.

Other tests indicated that the juice drinkers had lower blood levels of oxidized cholesterol and more antioxidants. Even though this study was relatively small, the results are quite remarkable and confirm the similar findings of previous studies. In one earlier study, atherosclerotic lesions in mice were reduced in size by 44 percent by supplementing the diet with pomegranate juice.

The Promise of Pomegranate

An important branch of his research focuses on the protective role against oxidative stress and atherosclerosis development played by antioxidants and paraoxonases. Dietary antioxidants studied by Aviram include the polyphenolic flavonoids found in red wine, pomegranate, licorice, ginger and olive oil; as well as vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, and tomato’s lycopene. HDL (“the good cholesterol”) – associated paraoxonase was shown by Aviram to act as a second line of defense against oxidative stress, by hydrolyzing specific oxidized lipids.

Pomegranate juice has exhibited some of the strongest antioxidant activity of any food. For thousands of years, pomegranates have been used medicinally particularly in the Middle East. In fact, the healing powers of pomegranates have been mentioned in the Bible, Greek mythology, and ancient Chinese literature. Some scholars believe that the fruit referenced in the Garden of Eden story was actually a pomegranate. It may be new to our society, but researchers are just rediscovering one of the ancient health secrets known to our ancestors thousands of years ago.

Pomegranate juice may also prove to be promising in the treatment/prevention of breast and prostate cancer as well as in the treatment of diabetes. Additionally, one of the more unusual uses of pomegranate juice has to do with preventing the spread of AIDS.
Since the AIDS pandemic continues to spread researchers have started to look at topical microbicides in the form of creams or suppositories to block the entry of HIV into cells.
Efforts are underway to discover a microbicide that would be acceptable, accessible, affordable, and able to be moved quickly from the development stage to the millions of people who need it.
Researchers evaluated numerous juices and their ability to block HIV infections, pomegranate juice showed remarkable potential. It was not only safe, stable, and economical, it was also more effective than any other juice tested.

Pomegranate juice is rich in tannins, phenolic acids, polyphenols, and flavonoids. It is also known to contain a rare fatty acid, punicic acid that is structurally related to conjugated linolenic acid.

If you’re looking for paradise on Earth, Grow a pomegranate tree, plant fig plants, tend your organic gardens and go solar.

Now let’s relax, watch the sunset and have a glass of red wine or pomegranate juice together.
Tony Crow, Numian Institute

THE SCIENCE : This randomized controlled study is the FIRST! to show that pomegranate juice may reduce the amount of plaque in the arteries of patients with heavy plaque buildup (severe carotid artery stenosis) as well as substantially benefiting several important blood parameters.

Ten patients consumed 8 oz a day of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice for 1 year. Nine patients who did not consume pomegranate juice served as controls.

The thickness of the carotid artery wall (intima-media thickness, IMT) was measured and blood samples were taken at the beginning of the study and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. After 1 year, those patients who did not consume pomegranate juice showed a 9% increase in IMT, while those consuming juice showed a decrease of 30%. Furthermore, for those on pomegranate juice, systolic (but not diastolic) blood pressure was reduced by 21%, total antioxidant status of the blood increased by 130%, LDL oxidation decreased by 90%, antibodies to oxidized LDL decreased by 19% and serum paraoxonase 1 (PON1) increased by 83%. Major blood biochemical markers were not affected, including levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol.

Benefits were maintained in five patients who continued pomegranate juice treatment for 3 years, with further improvements in serum lipid peroxidation.

Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years
by patients with carotid artery stenosis
reduces common carotid intima-media thickness,
blood pressure and LDL oxidation

Pomegranate Juice Research Report

Oxidative stress, a major contributor to cardiovascular diseases, is associated with lipid peroxidation in arterial macrophages and in lipoproteins.1–4 Oxidized low density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) has been shown to be atherogenic and inhibition of LDL oxidation by potent dietary flavonoid antioxidants4,5 attenuated atherosclerosis development in laboratory animals.

Recently, it was shown that vitamin E supplementation to patients with carotid artery stenosis inhibited LDL accumulation in arterial macrophages.6 Protection of lipids from oxidation can be also achieved by serum paraoxonase 1 (PON1), an HDL-associated esterase that can hydrolyze and reduce specific lipid peroxides in arterial cells and in lipoproteins in coronary and carotid lesions.


The medicinal properties of pomegranate are described by all major religions and by folk medicine.11 Pomegranate juice (PJ) was indeed shown recently to possess impressive antioxidative properties due to its polyphenolics, tannins and anthocyanins.

We have recently shown the antioxidative and antiatherogenic characteristics of PJ consumption in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E deficient (E0) mice.

Also, in healthy humans, PJ consumption was shown to possess potent antioxidative capabilities against lipoprotein oxidation, and increased serum PON1 activity and serum total antioxidant status.13 In the present study, thus, we analyzed for the first time the effects of PJ consumption by patients with carotid artery stenosis, on their serum oxidative stress in association with the progression of carotid atherosclerotic lesions.

Subjects and methods

Nineteen patients from the Vascular Surgery Clinic, 5 women and 14 men, aged 65–75 years, nonsmokers, with asymptomatic severe carotid artery stenosis (CAS, defined as 70–90% stenosis in the internal carotid arteries) were included in the study. These patients had an abnormal echo Doppler of the carotids, which was performed following a finding of carotid ‘‘bruit’’ on physical examination, or complains of headache or dizziness.

The patients were randomized to either pomegranate juice or placebo, and they signed an informed consent before the beginning of the study. Ten patients were included in the PJ treated group. Nine patients that did not consume PJ served as a control group.

Both groups were matched, with similar serum concentrations of lipids and glucose, and with similar blood pressures (data not shown). Both groups were treated with similar hypocholesterolemic and anti-hypertensive drugs. In each group, 60% of the patients were treated with statins, 60% were treated with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, 20% were treated with b-blockers, and 20% were treated with calcium channel blockers.

The patients continued their therapy along the study, and their dietary habits and life style did not change during the whole study. Ten patients consumed 50 ml of PJ per day (which contain 1.5 mmoles of total polyphenols) for a period of 1 year, and five out of them agreed to continue for up to 3 years. This PJ concentration was chosen based on our previous study on the beneficial PJ properties in healthy volunteers.13 Blood samples were collected after 12 h fast.

Blood analyses and echo doppler of the carotid arteries were performed at the beginning of the study and 3, 6, 9, 12, 22, 28 and 36 months after PJ consumption. In the control group echo doppler of the carotid arteries was performed at the beginning of the study and after 1 year.

The study was approved by the Helsinki Committee of the Rambam Medical Center, Israel Ministry of Health.

Pomegranate processing

Pomegranates were picked by hand, washed, and stored in tanks. The fruits were crushed, and squeezed. The juice was filtered, pasteurized, concentrated and stored at -18C

ach day along the study period, the concentrated PJ was diluted 1:5 (v:v) with water in order to obtain a single strength PJ.

The antioxidant composition of the juice include: 1979 mg/l of tannins (1561 mg/l of punicalagins and 417 mg/l of hydrolyzable tannins), 384 mg/l of anthocyanins (delphinidin 3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin 3,5-diglucoside, delphinidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin 3-glucoside, pelargonidine 3- glucoside), and 121 mg/l of ellagic acids derivatives. The juice contained also 3mg of vitamin C per 100 ml of PJ.

Atherosclerotic lesion analysis by B-mode ultrasonography

Common carotid artery IMT from B-mode ultrasound is a widely used measure of early atherosclerosis.

14–16 After careful axial scan, longitudinal B-mode images of common carotid artery wall boundaries were obtained with a high resolution color power Doppler ultrasound (ATL 5000 or 3500 Advanced Technological Laboratories, Bothell, WA) with a 5–12 MHz multifrequency transducer. IMT was electronically measured at the far wall of the distal common carotid arteries, about 1 cm from the carotid bifurcation, by assessing the boundaries of intima and media with electronic calipers.

Atherosclerotic plaques at the common carotid arteries and the carotid bulb, as well as the proximal and distal internal carotid arteries were imaged and the length and width of the plaque were assessed.

On duplex examination of the internal carotid arteries, flow velocities were calculated at the stenotic sites, and expressed by peak systolic velocity (PSV), and end diastolic velocity (EDV).

The ultrasound outcome analyses were the change over time in IMT, which was measured in the same preselected carotid artery segments, the change in the plaque dimensions and the change in blood flow velocities. A protocol was adapted in order to ensure that the arteries were examined from the same angle (601) at all followup examinations.

Patients had up to eight duplex examinations of the common and internal carotid arteries on each side: there was one ultrasound Doppler examination at baseline, and seven more examinations during PJ consumption.

All ultrasound studies were done by the same physician (DG), assuring reproducibility of the site of IMT and plaque measurement, as well as site and interrogation angles on the duplex follow-up examinations. In order to avoid potential introduction of scannerdependent variabilities, the same ultrasound system was used for individual patients on all followup examinations.

Analytical methods

All biochemical determinations were performed in serum. Blood glucose was measured using enzymatic kit (Roche). Total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in serum were measured by diagnostic kits (Raichem).

Serum apolipoproteins A-I and B- 100 concentrations were determined using specific antibodies by an immunoturbidimetric assay.17 Serum paraoxonase 1 (PON1) arylesterase activity Serum arylesterase activity was measured using phenylacetate as the substrate. Initial rates of hydrolysis were determined spectrophotometrically at 270nm.

1.0 mmol/l phenylacetate, and 0.9 mmol/l CaCl2 in 20mmol/l Tris HCl, pH 8.0. Non-enzymatic hydrolysis of phenylacetate was subtracted from the total rate of hydrolysis. The E270 for the reaction is 1310M1 cm1. One unit of arylesterase activity is equal to 1 mmol of phenylacetate hydrolyzed/min/ml.18

Serum total antioxidant status (TAS)

Total antioxidant status was measured in serum with a commercially available kit (Randox Laboratories, Antrim, United Kingdom, catalog no. NX 2332).

Serum anti Ox-LDL antibodies

Serum anti Ox-LDL antibodies concentration was measured in samples collected from the patients before treatment and after 3 or 6 months of PJ consumption, by using the immunoelisa anti-Ox-LDL test (Immco Diagnostics, Inc. Buffalo, NY, USA, Cat No 1158). Results are expressed as Enzyme Units per milliliter (EU/ml).

Serum lipids peroxidation

Serum lipids peroxidation was measured before and after 12, 22, 28 and 36 months of PJ consumption. Plasma samples were incubated without or with 100mM of 2.2’-azobis, 2-amidinopropane hydrochloride (AAPH, Wako, Japan) for 2 h at 371C.19 At the end of the incubation period, the amount of lipid peroxides was measured by the method of Pomegranate juice consumption attenuates carotid artery stenosis 425 El-Saadani et al.20 Plasma lipids peroxidation was calculated by subtracting the values obtained in the absence of AAPH.

LDL isolation

Serum samples were drawn from the patients before and after 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of PJ consumption and kept frozen at 701 until all the samples were collected.

Blood was collected also from healthy volunteers in the same time periods, for standardization of the assays. LDL was isolated from the frozen plasma samples by discontinuous density gradient ultracentrifugation as previously described.

The LDL was washed at d¼1.063 g/ml, dialyzed against 150 mmol/l NaCI, 1 mmol/l Na2 EDTA (pH 7.4) at 41C.

The LDL fractions were then sterilized by filtration (0.45 mm), kept under nitrogen in the dark at 41C and used within 1 week. The lipoprotein protein concentration was determined by the Lowry assay.22 Prior to oxidation, LDL was dialyzed against EDTA-free, phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution at pH 7.4, and at 41C. LDL oxidation LDL (100 mg of protein/ml) was incubated with 5 mmol/l of CuSO4 for 2 h at 371C.

Formation of conjugated dienes was continuously monitored by measuring the increase in absorbance at 234 nm.23 Lag time required for initiation of lipoprotein oxidation was calculated from the oxidation curve. The amount of LDL-associated lipid peroxides was measured by the method of El-Saadani et al.20 LDLs isolated from healthy volunteers at the same time periods were used for standardization of the oxidation studies.

Carotid Lesion analyses

Complete atherosclerotic plaques, (including the common, internal and external, carotid parts of the lesion) were collected from 2 groups of patients after endartherectomy. One group included seven patients with CAS that did not consume PJ. The second group included two patients that consumed PJ (for 3 or for 12 months).

The two groups were age matched and had similar serum lipids and glucose concentration. Treatment with PJ was the only relevant difference between these two groups. Lesions were washed in saline, dried, and their weight measured. The lesions were cut into small pieces and rinsed in PBS, followed by their sonication in an ultrasonic processor (320 s at 80 W).

The lesion’s cholesterol content was measured in the homogenate samples by enzymatic, colorimetric assay using commercial kit (Sigma Co. Ltd). The lipid peroxide content in the lesion was also measured.20 Reduced glutathione (GSH) content was measured by the DTNB-GSSG reductase recycling assay.


The ANOVA test was performed for all statistical analyses used to compare repeated measurements. Results are given as mean7SEM. Assays in each sample were performed in triplicate. All comparisons are shown for data after PJ consumption vs. results obtained before treatment


Mean intima-media thickness (IMT) of the left and right common carotid arteries from severe carotid artery stenosis (CAS) patients that did not consume pomegranate juice (PJ), increased significantly (Po0.01), by 9%, during 1 year period from 1.5270.03 to 1.6570.04 mm. In contrast, mean IMT (of the left and right common carotid arteries) in CAS patients that consumed PJ for up to 1 year was reduced after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of PJ consumption by 13%, 22%, 26% and 35%, respectively, in comparison to baseline values

The inhibitory effect of PJ consumption on carotid PSV was significant only after 1 year, with a reduction in mean PSV of both left and right carotid arteries by 21% (Fig. 1B).

Mean carotid EDV of both left and right carotid arteries however, gradually decreased, by 16%, 20%, 31% and 44%, after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of PJ consumption, respectively (Fig. 1C).

PJ consumption by the patients did not significantly affect the levels of all major serum biochemical markers studied including: glucose and cholesterol in HDL and LDL (Table 1).

Serum triglyceride concentration however increased by 16%, as reflected by a similar increase in VLDL cholesterol concentration after 12 months of PJ consumption (Table 1), but these increased levels were still in the normal range. Serum markers for heart, kidney and liver function, as well as homocysteine, Lp (a), and total protein concentrations remained unchanged during the whole study

Similarly, blood coagulation and blood cell count were not significantly affected by PJ consumption (data not shown).

The patient’s systolic blood pressure was significantly (Po0.05) reduced by 7%, 11% ,10%, 10% and 12% after 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of PJ consumption, respectively, compared to values obtained before treatment (Table 1).

In contrast, PJ consumption had no significant effect on the patient’s diastolic blood pressure (Table 1). In the control group, systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were not significantly changed along 1 year of follow-up (16077/8874 vs. 16379/8576mmHg at baseline and after 1 year, respectively).

In order to analyze the effect of PJ consumption on the patients’ serum oxidative state, we measured serum concentration of antibodies against oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL).

A significant (Po0.01) reduction in the concentration of antibodies against Ox-LDL by 24% and 19% was observed after 1 and 3 months of PJ consumption, respectively, (from 2070761 EU/ml before treatment to 1563769 and 1670752 EU/ml after 1 and 3 months of PJ consumption, respectively, n¼10). Similarly, total antioxidant status (TAS) in serum was substantially increased, by 130%, from 0.957 0.12 nmol/l at baseline to 2.2070.25nmol/l after 12 months of PJ consumption (n¼10).

These results indicate that PJ administration to the patients substantially reduced their serum oxidative status, and could thus inhibit serum lipid peroxidation. Indeed, serum lipid peroxidation, induced by the free radical generator AAPH, was significantly reduced, by 59%, after 1 year of PJ consumption (from 1670766 to 691743nmol of lipid peroxides/ml, n¼10).

The increased resistance of the patients’ serum to oxidation after PJ administration could have also resulted from increased serum paraoxonase1 (PON1) activity. Fig. 2A demonstrates a significant (Po0.01) increase in serum paraoxonase, measured as arylesterase activity, by up to 83%, after 1 year of PJ consumption (n¼10)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Everyday groceries contain ingredients that cause heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases If you go to your favorite corner drugstore, you’ll find two types of things for sale: 1) processed foods and beverages that cause disease, and 2) prescription drugs that treat the symptoms of those diseases. It’s a brilliant racket: buy the stuff at the front of the store and get diseased, then you become a customer for the drugs sold at the back of the store. That’s called “customer retention” in marketing-speak.

The floor plan of these drug stores even encourages this codependent cycle: the pharmacy is hidden away in the back of the store, forcing customers to walk through aisles loaded with high-impulse junk food items like soft drinks, chocolate bars and snack chips. This is no coincidence: store designers know exactly how to boost impulse sales by forcing customers to navigate through shelves that are intentionally stocked with the most high-profit (and low-nutrition) items available.

And, just to make sure nobody gets away without being at least partly diseased, these drug stores also sell products that claim to be helpful for people with diseases, but that actually give them even more disease. For example, did you ever look at the ingredients on those meal replacement shakes for diabetics? The first three ingredients are water, sugar and sugar (sucrose)! It’s primarily sugar water, sold as a product for diabetics. With products like this on the shelves, even people who think they’re enhancing their nutrition actually end up with a lifelong diabetes problem. (Sugar for diabetics… gee, can it get any crazier?)

On top of all this, virtually every grocery store in America sells a vast array of foods that promote chronic diseases. Foods made with white flour are very common. That includes most breads, cookies, crackers, pastries and pastas. And this one ingredient — refined white flour — strips the body of essential nutrition, leaving it deficient in B vitamins as well as minerals like magnesium and zinc. These are precisely the minerals that children need in order to build healthy nervous systems and avoid behavioral disorders later in life. These are also the same nutrients that pregnant women need to be able to give birth to babies that don’t have birth defects.

Every grocery store in America sells foods containing cancer-causing chemicals (sodium nitrite), heart disease promoting ingredients (hydrogenated oils), and drinks that promote osteoporosis and bone loss (carbonated soft drinks). It’s almost like a disease store, not a grocery store, since most items on the shelves are actually “disease in a box” rather than real food.

In Washington these days, there’s a lot of talk about “protecting Americans.” But I say that if we really want to protect Americans, we need to start banning the food ingredients that are killing Americans. We could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year right here in America if we just banned hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and the refining of whole-grain flour into unhealthful white, bleached flour.

And if we told Americans the truth about their foods — if we gave them honest nutritional advice and dietary advice — we would help people make better decisions that would eliminate chronic disease in their own life, and, for expectant mothers, allow them to give birth to children without birth defects. We need honest food labeling and we need to outlaw toxic ingredients like aspartame, monosodium glutamate, food additives and chemical preservatives like sodium nitrite that directly cause cancers of the digestive tract.

These ingredients are, technically, chemical assaults on the American public. While the Bush administration is out there worrying about biological agents like anthrax and smallpox, people are consuming bacon every morning all across America made with sodium nitrite, a chemical additive that causes colon cancer.

  • And yet the USDA remains silent.
  • The FDA remains silent.
  • The Bush administration remains silent.

And the food companies, playing a full-press game of food politics, continue to insist that all of these ingredients are perfectly good for you, even while suppressing precisely the information that would educate you about ways to enhance your health by making healthier food choices.

Thankfully, there is a growing list of pioneering doctors and researchers out there who are telling the truth about foods; people like Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Gary Null, Dr. Julian Whittaker and Dr. David Williams. Book authors like Dr. Elson Haas and Eric Schlosser.

I feel honored to be joining those people in telling the truth about the dangers of the American food supply and the real cause of chronic disease in this country. Because we have all our priorities mixed up in this country. We’re spending $300+ billion fighting a war in Iraq, and we won’t spend even $100 million a year educating our own people on how they can prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, birth defects, osteoporosis, clinical depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other diseases.

And the decision makers in our federal regulatory agencies who claim to be acting on your behalf are actually censoring the information, making sure the American public doesn’t learn the truth, because the truth would hurt the corporate profits of soft drink companies, food processors, fast food restaurant chains and drug companies. After all, there are lobbyists to please. The public be damned.

To turn the tables on the food lobbyists, and in an effort to educate the public about the details of which grocery ingredients to avoid, I’ve written a book on the subject called “Grocery Warning.” This book reveals all the dangerous ingredients to be avoided, along with which foods and beverages contain them. It presents shopping lists: foods to avoid vs. foods to buy, and helps shopper make informed, health-enhancing foods choices each time they shop for groceries (see related ebook on groceries). You’ll find details on this book at


* Everyday groceries contain ingredients that cause heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases


Sunrise Real Eyes Drink

6 May

Tony Crow’s Shamyn’s (Shaman’s) Sunrise Real Eyes Drink

Awaken to the Sunrise with Tony Crow’s Shamynic Real-Eyes Elixir
REAL EYES YOUR DAY with this delicious sunrise elixir;
My shamanic Ingredients are:

This Elixir is a wonderful heart tonic.

The drink improves cardiovascular function, as it increases the supply of blood to the heart muscle, resulting in enhanced circulation throughout the body. Hawthorn Berry has been shown to help stabilize angina pectoris, as well as aiding recovery from heart attacks.

Whey protein is an excellent protein choice for individuals of all ages. It provides a number of benefits in areas including sports nutrition, weight management, immune support, bone health, and general wellness.

Bilberry along with vitamin E supplements stopped the progression of cataracts. bilberry has also shown promise in the treatment of other eye disorders, such as diabetic retinopathy and pigmentary retinitis, so bilberries and eyes seem to go together.

Anthocyanosides also appear to strengthen collagen, the protein that provides support to healthy connective tissue. Anthocyanosides help larger blood vessels maintain good circulation throughout the body. A 1988, single-blind, placebo-controlled study of this herb included 60 patients with poor circulation (venous insufficiency). The results showed that bilberry extract decreased the participants’ discomfort when taken over a period of 30 days.

Bilberry is also strongly antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. Extracts of bilberry have proven antiviral in cell culture for herpes simplex virus II, influenza, and vaccinia viruses. Kills or inhibits the growth of funguses, yeasts, and bacteria. It also kills protozoans such as Trichomonas vaginalis.

Now its your turn to create and Drink my elixir.
Gain wellness through drinking spiritual intellegence.
You can order the ingredients from the links given above, and buy organic eggs at your local organic center.

Now try creating your own elixirs, for your personal wellness needs.


Sunrise Real Eyes Drink is one of the “Shamyn’s Basic Food Medicines”
Note: The term “shamyn” is used variously. In my definition, shamynic practices involve the regulation and transformation of human life and human society through the use of alternate states of cosciousness by means of which specialist practitioners are held to communicate with a mode of reality alternative to, and more fundamental than, the world of everyday experience. A shaman is a teacher, a healer, a visionary, Hir gifts of cosmic zight allow for deeper and clearer insights.