Not Many Junk Food Commercials Banned

In 2007, countries like Canada and the U.K. banned junk food commercials during kids’ television. It seemed like a good idea, but now a new study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood reveals many commercials aren’t actually getting the ban. Researchers analyzed 2,315 adverts from Canada and 1,365 from the U.K., 52% to 61% were for unhealthy food, with 5% to 11% likely to be seen by children, but only 5% of the ads would be prohibited under the ban; via EurekAlert!

Even 5% can’t hurt, because previous research has shown most commercials during kids’ programming are for junk food, with American children being exposed to food of poor nutritional quality, like Honey Smacks cereal, which have as much sugar as a glazed doughnut.

In related news, a recent study found advertisements for unhealthy snack foods, like chocolate bars and ice cream, often appear right next to health articles in health magazines!

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Angioplasty and Stent Placement is Worthless

In the most recent study, investigators reviewed 61 trials, involving 25,388 patients, in a meta-analysis comparing angioplasty and stent placement with no treatment or medications alone. A meta-analysis pools numerous studies on the same subject. The findings indicated that there was no evidence that angioplasty and stent placement for coronary artery disease resulted in fewer heart attacks or deaths when compared to patients with the same level of disease who were not treated in this manner.

Interventional cardiology and cardiovascular surgery is basically a scam based on a misunderstanding of the nature of heart disease. Searching for and treating obstructive plaque does not address the areas of the coronary vascular tree most likely to rupture and cause heart attacks. If there was never another CABG or angioplasty performed or stent placed, patients with heart disease would be better off. Doctors would be forced to educate our citizens that their heart disease risk is determined by what they place on their forks. Millions of lives would be dramatically extended. To abandon the theory of stretching and cutting out areas with plaque would shut down interventional cardiology, nearly all cardiovascular surgery, and many suppliers of the biotechnology. In many cases, interventional cardiology is the major income generator to hospitals. The ending of this ill-conceived, out-dated and ineffective technology would dramatically downsize hospitals in the United States and free up over $100 billion annually in medical care costs. Besides being ineffective, interventional cardiology places the responsibility in the hands of the doctor and not the patients. When patients finally realize they must take control of their heart problems with aggressive dietary modifications (and when needed medications for temporary periods) we will essentially solve the health crisis in America.

The sad thing is surgical interventions and medications are the foundation of modern cardiology and both are relatively ineffective compared to nutritional excellence. My patients routinely reverse their heart disease, and no longer have vulnerable plaque or high blood pressure, so they do not need medical care, hospitals or cardiologists anymore. The problem is that in the real world cardiac patients are not even informed that heart disease is predictably reversed with nutritional excellence. They are not given the opportunity to choose and just corralled into these surgical interventions.

Trying to figure out how to pay for ineffective and expensive medicine by politicians will never be a real solution. People need to know they do not have to have heart disease to begin with, and if they get it, aggressive nutrition is the most life-saving intervention. And it is free.

Representative Case Studies

The interesting part of the results achieved with excellent nutrition is that lots of these individuals were already on “healthy diets” and getting worse, before following my nutritional protocols to reverse heart disease. Some were even worsening on vegetarian diets. The other notable achievement is they do not get a small amount of reversal of atherosclerosis, they get a dramatic amount of reversal:

  • Case 1: 60 year old male, with chest pain. Height 5’ 8” weight 158. This 60 year old male had read “Fit For Life” over 10 years ago and was following a healthy “starch-based Mediterranean-type diet.” He ate mostly vegetarian foods with brown rice, potato and whole wheat, fruits and vegetables, chicken only a few times a month, fish once or twice a week and some olive oil on salads. He began an exercise program in June of 2006 and surprisingly found he had chest pain with exertion. His weight was stable at 158 for years. A stress thallium test indicated a significant coronary artery disease with an LDL cholesterol of 126. And Lipo (a) of 202. His CT angiogram done on 6/30/06 showed near total obstructive disease in the proximal LAD (left anterior descending artery) due to low density plaque. He began my careful dietary protocol for the reversal of heart disease and did not have angioplasty or bypass as was suggested by the cardiologists. After following my nutritional advice for one month the chest pains resolved and his weight dropped to 140 in the first 8 weeks (loss of 18 pounds). One year later a repeat of the CT angiogram showed the LAD with a non-obstructive mixed density plaque with a stenosis estimated at 50 – 70 percent estimated. His weight has remained around 138 – 140 since following my dietary suggestions. In August of 2008 the last evaluation of his coronary arteries was performed showing normal cardiac blood flow and no evidence of heart disease.
  • Case 2: 44 year old male weight 240 height 5’ 9” high cholesterol. Carotid artery 60 -80 percent as measured by carotid ultrasound. First year after reading Eat To Live and then following the high nutrient protocol he lost 80 pounds. His repeat carotid ultrasound in one year showed no visible plaque.
  • Case 3: Middle age male on the strict version of the Pritikin program for over 3 years while his carotid artery disease as measured by ultrasound, continued to worsen. "After a year on Pritikin, the results were same or very slight improvement. I went on very strict Pritikin for 2 years, to improve it. After 2 years on very strict Pritikin, significantly worse! The radiologist said "The lesion on the left side is stable, there is some early buildup on the right side. I got a nice picture of a lipid (fat) inclusion in the artery wall. I was recommended to Dr. Fuhrman by Jeff Novick, at the Pritikin Center. After 20 months of Fuhrman program, great results. Thinner artery walls. Radiologist comments: "Borderline evidence for evidence of atherosclerotic burden" No longer talking about a lesion or early buildup!! Barely any sign of atherosclerosis. In the 20 months, following my dietary protocol this person, Lost 10 pounds, to pinch 1/2 inch to 6'0" 157 pounds. Last 5 months no snacking, eating 3-4 oz seeds and nuts daily. Ran 2 miles/day, whereas he was running 4 miles/day during the last 2 unsuccessful years on Pritkin. Pritikin was different in that I was living on lots of whole grains, and ate 6+ meals. Much less high nutrient food.
  • Case 4: 66 year old male with a history of Wolfe Parkinson White Syndrome, which was responsible for his sensitivity to develop a rapid heartbeat with the ingestion of caffeine, alcohol and sometimes even heavy exercise. He changed his diet first to vegetarian and then to low fat vegan. After a little more than one year on the very low fat vegan diet his irregular heart beat (arrthymias) worsened and he then developed atrial fibrillation. In June of 2008 he changed his diet to my nutritional recommendation, high micronutrient intake, strict salt avoidance, but not low fat, with the liberal use of nuts and especially seeds and within three months his cardiac arrhythmias completely disappeared. Since then he has religiously kept to this program with no further heart evidence of atrial fibrillation.


Come to your own conclusion.

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Red Bull All Coked Up...

Red Bull might give you wings, but apparently it might also give you the frantic energy you need to build a barn at 2 o’clock in the morning. German authorities report finding trace of amounts of cocaine in Red Bull energy drinks. As a result, Red Bull is now banned in Germany. Official testing revealed 0.4 micrograms of booger sugar per liter of the drink. Experts say the dose was too small to do harm and Red Bulls insists the drink is harmless; the Associated Press reports.

Energy drinks are hardly harmless. They are high in caffeine and caffeine is a stimulant, which allows you to get by with less sleep, but lack of sleep promotes disease and premature aging. And recently, coffee was linked to shrinking breasts and even hallucinations. Eek!

Last year, an Australian study determined drinking Red Bull, as little as one can, can increase your risk of stroke. Even still, Red Bull managed to sell 3.5 billion cans in 143 countries in 2008.

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Heart Disease Starts Before a Heart Attack

New findings in the International Journal of Clinical Practice reveal the symptoms of cardiovascular disease prior to a heart attack go largely undiagnosed. Of the 1,573 heart patients surveyed, over 50% claimed their ailment was not identified until they started showing symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath or an actual heart attack, with 22% saying they were diagnosed while being treated for something else; via Booster Shots.

Listen, heart disease doesn’t just happen. In fact, in Dr. Fuhrman’s book Disease-Proof Your Child, he explains precursors to cardiovascular, like high cholesterol, start in childhood and lead to heart disease in adulthood, but the problem is, young people don’t take heart health seriously.

In related news, a recent report found people with poor cardiovascular fitness have a 56% higher risk of heart attack and eating red meat is linked to a 27% higher risk of heart disease.

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Food Face Off: Pollan vs. Colbert

Last week, Michael Pollan, New York Times journalist and natural food advocate, stopped by The Colbert Report to discuss his book In Defense of Food and went one on one with high-fructose corn syrup addict Stephen Colbert. It got ugly:



Michael Pollan is a really cool guy. I haven’t read his book yet, but it’s on my list, along with Marley and Me. Now, if you don’t know who Michael Pollan is, check out this awesome interview with him from Democracy Now.

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Skipping Sleep May Lead to Weight-Gain

Stop yawning! It’s a bad sign. Discussed at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference, a new study suggests body mass index and sleep share a strong relationship. Scientists analyzed sleep, activity levels and energy expenditure of 14 nurses enrolled in a heart-health program, which included stress management and sleep improvement. Data revealed numerous conclusions, but most notably that insufficient sleep causes or worsens stress, leading to stress eating and weight-gain; via EurekAlert!

Sleep is very important. According to Dr. Fuhrman, sleep allows your body to clean up brain waste, which helps keep your nervous and endocrine systems functioning normally. Your immune system too! Not getting enough sleep makes you more likely to get the sniffles.

And just last week, a report conveyed the grim news that lack of sleep in areas with extended seasons of daylight, like Greenland, increases the number of suicides. Eek!

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Over 100,000 Americans Have Swine Flu

Officials confirm there have been 4,700 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States, but now experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim the actual number may have hit 100,000 nationwide. Not all incidences are severe, with many cases appearing to be mild. States hit hardest are Illinois with 638 infections, Wisconsin 613, Texas 506 and California with 504 and deaths have been reported in Arizona, Texas, Washington and now New York; HealthDay News reports.

The swine flu is frightening. While it may not be the big one, Dr. Fuhrman insists a flu epidemic is likely—at some point—because most Americans are unhealthy and flu vaccines don’t work. Instead, a better defense is a healthy-immune system bolstering diet and good hygiene, like hand washing.

In related pig news, Japan insists cloned meat, including swine, is safe to eat. And some scientists suggest pigs may easily transmit deadly bacteria, like Staphylococcus, to humans.

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Q & A: Men, Soy Does Not Lower Testosterone

Soy gets a bad rap, people associate it with being a hippie and tree hugging, even though soy is a very healthy food, like edamame beans, but there is this silly notion that eating soy lowers testosterone and is bad for men. Not true. From his member center, Dr. Fuhrman talks about soy and manliness:

Question: My husband and I just started your plan, but recently my mother-in-law said that I was hurting my husband by making him eat more soy. She said that soy is not good for men because it contains phytoestrogens. Is what she is saying true? She cited an article in Men's Health that mentioned lower testosterone and sperm counts.

Dr. Fuhrman: Totally untrue, that is a biased, meat-promoting article written to bash soy. Men's magazines are not the place for reliable information about complicated health issues. If soy did lower testosterone it might be good because the high-meat American diet causes an excess of testosterone, leading to higher prostate cancer risk. Nevertheless this is not true anyway. See this study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Citrus Fruits Help Stave Off Vision Loss

Its not just citrus fruits, new findings in the journal Ophthalmology suggest older adults eating a lot of leafy greens, citrus fruits and fish are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major contributor to vision lose. Studying the diets of 4,000 adults, experts claim foods rich in omega-3s, vitamin C and E, zinc and antioxidants lower the risk of AMD. These low-sugar foods do not cause surges in blood pressure, which may harm retinas; Reuters reports.

Actually, last year researchers determined plant nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, found in foods like spinach, kale and collard greens, promote eye health and prevent cataracts, while eating red meat 10 times week increases the likelihood of age-related macular degeneration by 47%.

In related news, a recent study showed vegetable-based diabetes offer superior diabetes control and omega-3 fatty acids, like those contained in walnuts, reduce inflammation linked to heart disease.

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Health-Points: Friday 5.15.09

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How Healthy is Artie Lange's Poor Liver...

I’m a huge Howard Stern fan and I love sidekick Artie Lange. He’s hilarious, but very unhealthy. Artie’s a recovering drug addict and heavy drinker. He’s obese, smokes and loves cupcakes and fast food. Now, Artie knows he’s a mess and is trying to get better, but for some reason he is always worried about his liver, it’s a running joke, but I was curious. So, I asked Dr. Fuhrman what liver health might mean for somebody with Artie’s past:

The leading cause of death for obese people is heart disease, not liver failure. But, the problem is they can suffer tremendously with heart failure, circulatory impairment, swollen legs, infections and pain before they die.

Abnormalities on a "liver function" blood test occur because dying and injured liver cells give off enzymes as they die into the blood stream. Fortunately the liver is a forgiving organ and can regenerate and heal itself before something like cirrhosis sets in.

Nevertheless, if your habits are so poor to injure your liver you have most likely also damaged other organs.

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Coffee in Pregnancy Increases Cleft Lip Risk

Cleft lip is a fissure causing a gap in the top lip and findings of a new study in American Journal of Epidemiology reveal drinking coffee during pregnancy slightly ups the risk of cleft lip or harelip. Experts compared data on 573 women who had babies with cleft lip and 763 women whose kids did not. Women drinking a daily cup of coffee during the first 3 months of pregnancy were 1.39 times more likely to have a baby with harelip and the likelihood increased to 1.59 for women who drank 3 or more cups of coffee a day; Reuters reports.

Sometimes I have a cup of coffee. Luckily I can’t get pregnant. Coffee, i.e. caffeine, isn’t healthy. Drinking coffee has been shown to double arthritis risk, raise blood pressure and disturb heart function. Caffeine is a toxin, which can cause headaches, anxiety and detox symptoms similar to coming off drugs.

Recently, a study showed women drinking more than 3 cups of coffee a day had 17% smaller breasts. Oh, and instant coffee can make you hallucinate. Far out man.

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Health-Points: Friday 5.8.09


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Kentucky is the Saddest State

Printed in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers claim Kentucky residents have the highest level of distress and prolonged mental health problems, but not surprisingly, people living in Hawaii were the least likely to experience mental health issues. Experts defined mental distress as 14 or more days of emotional discomfort and 14.4% of Kentuckians clocked in with difficulties. For the study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 2.4 million adults; via National Geographic.

Not good news for Kentucky. Dr. Fuhrman insists a satisfying emotional environment is an important part of good health. For example, a stressful job can cause angina and heart-related chest pain, and eating comfort food, i.e. bad stuff, for emotional fulfillment may lead to weight gain and obesity, both aren’t doing your mood or health any favors.

In November, the CDC named Burlington, Vermont the healthiest city in the United States, with 95% of citizens in good or great health. So take your pick, Vermont or Hawaii.

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Obese Kids Get More Allergies

Appearing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, scientists believe a positive association exists between obesity and allergies. Research involving 4,000 children, ages 2 to 19, revealed antibodies for specific allergens, such as indoor, outdoor and food allergens, were higher in overweight or obese children. Data revealed obese kids were 26% more likely to have some kind of allergy and the rate for food allergies was 59% higher among obese children; Reuters investigates.

The CDC now claims 3 million kids have food allergies. According to Dr. Fuhrman breastfeeding is major-preventer of allergies. Antibodies derived from mother’s milk help maximize immune system function. Now, allergies are bad enough, but overweight kids, even as young as 3 years old, can start showing signs of heart disease, for real!

In related news, a study of 3,000 children found kids spending two or more hours watching television per day, were twice as likely to develop asthma as kids watching less.

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Salt Storage Leads to High Blood Pressure

A new study in the journal Nature Medicine claims consuming too much sodium leads to an increased accumulation of salt in the interstitium of the skin, i.e. the area between cells. This process is regulated in our bodies by special white blood cells known as macrophages and within these macrophages scientists found a gene regulator called TonEBP. TonEBP turns on another gene that controls the production of lymphatic blood vessels. In the study, experts observed a high-salt diet causes lymphatic vessels to increase, leading to hypertension in animals; via EurekAlert!

In March, research showed consuming salt decreases levels of an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which signals nearby muscles to relax, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. This is similar to another study that showed switching to a low-salt diet helps blood vessels relax.

In related news, a previous report determined regardless of genetics or gender, people who excreted more salt had higher blood pressure.

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Q & A: Balancing Your Omega Fats

We all know fat can be bad, like trans-fat. Trans-fat raises LDL or bad cholesterol and also lowers HDL or good cholesterol, but still, many fats are very healthy, like omega fats, found in stuff like avocados. Here’s a quick Q & A about balancing omega fats from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: My dim understanding is that our diet and consequently our blood and our tissues should contain some ideal ratio of omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats, such as a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 ratio of ecicosapentanoic acid (EPA) to arachidonic acid (AA). So the fact that a blood test would detect some AA is not necessarily bad, so long as the test detects a roughly equal amount of EPA, is this correct?

Dr. Fuhrman: Yes, you need some AA. Only in excess is it a problem. Some of fats are more pro-inflammatory, but it is a question of balance. When you eat a diet rich in greens with about half seeds and nuts in a 1 to 1 ratio, with some supplemental DHA if you do not eat fish regularly, then you get the right balance of fatty acids, obsessing to get a 1 to 1 or even a 2 to 1 ratio results in food paranoia.

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News Coverage Slows Trans-Fat Purchases

Trans-fat’s been quiet lately, but for good reason. New findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine claim negative news reports on the dangers of trans-fat, such as heart risks, influences people to avoid foods with trans-fat. Trans-fat raises LDL or “bad cholesterol” and also lowers HDL or “good cholesterol” and is commonly found in junk foods like cookies, crackers and French fries. Researchers found shoppers in Los Angeles, California were more careful about their purchases after media coverage on artery-clogging trans-fats, but only for a short time; Reuters reports.

Not to long ago there was a great debate about banning trans-fat. Many health experts want trans-fat gone, but other say trans-fat is a market issue and consumers should decide whether or not they want to buy it. But trans-fat is unhealthy, linked to both colon cancer and breast cancer.

Trans-fat has gotten the shaft nationwide, from New York to California, even retailers and restaurants like Wal-Mart and Kentucky Fried Chicken have given trans-fat the heave-ho.

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Cancer in Minorities to Skyrocket in 20 Years...

According to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology cancer cases among Hispanics and African Americans could reach 157 million by 2030, up from 46 million in 1980. For the study, scientists analyzed information from a national health database and projected Hispanics will experience the highest increase in cancer incidence with 142%. Now, these figures may be higher than what will actually happen, but researchers warn the trends are very clear and strong; HealthDay News investigates.

Actually, many experts believe these trends can be reversed with better diet, i.e. more fruits and vegetables, and more exercise. Plant foods are potent cancer fighters. Just yesterday pomegranates were shown to improve prostate cancer recovery. Also, switching to a diet including more fiber and less sugar can stave off diabetes in Latinos.

In related news, recent studies show foods like green vegetables and nuts help prevent ovarian cancer, while stuff like charred meat raises the risk of pancreatic cancer.

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