Could Global Warming trend be over?

The sun is a major factor in our solar system and literally affects everything here on Earth. I’ve been watching a growing number of bright minds talk about  the sun and how it affects how we live, but they don’t get much airtime due to the vast number of stories about C02, Global Warming and ice melt. The video below is a guy who has been watching the sun for a long time and I think worth sharing for those of us who enjoy research.

Warming or cooling, our food supply is no less in jeopardy. A full thirty % of land in the U.S. is used to grow corn. The reason? Well, multinational corporations are finding new ways to use corn that never used to exist before. For one example: The majority of cows raised for the beef industry are now raised on corn. Unfortunately, before they raced ahead in an attempt to grow them bigger and faster, no one stopped to find out if it made sense. Truth is, it doesn’t make sense because the cows digestive system is not designed to digest corn. Increase in eColi anyone?

More corn, more sugar shit for the masses. Few realize that high fructose corn syrup is in 90% of all food on store shelves and is made from chemicals and corn.

TRUE: The FDA conducted over 50,000 food inspections annually in 1970. In 2007 they did less than 9,000.

TRUE: There used to be over one thousand slaughterhouses in the U.S. and now there are only 13

Faster, Fatter, Bigger Cheaper – that is the corporate moto for growing food to feed a growing population. This equates to no accountability and no integrity of our food supply. Bad food means more sickness. More illness means more need for healthcare. More healthcare means politics takes over. Sound familiar?

TRUE: In 1996, Two % of all soybeans had the genetically modified patented gene inside

TRUE: In 2008, Eighty % of all soybeans have it

Monsanto has 75 full time attorneys protecting their seed patents and countless teams of investigators harassing farmers who choose not to use their GMO seeds.

The US Government has passed bills to prevent anyone from posting a disparaging picture or text comment about the food production, cattle ranchers or slaughterhouses controlling our food supply.

If you havnt rented Food Inc. you should. Some things we all should be aware of.

Now for the “sun part” Some scientists agree the climate change patterns may be shifting due to the significant changes in the sun’s solar activity. We may be starting to cool off and Global Warming may be near its cyclic end. That’s said, Climate extremes may be here to stay and may actually get worse. More reason to learn how to grow healthy organic food Aquaponically. 

SEE VIDEO

California drought and food supply

By now everyone with a TV or mobile device is aware of the challenges facing California due to the extensive drought. However, I’m not sure everyone in America understands how it affects them. As conditions worsen by the day, policy makers and local residents are actually arguing about protecting some rare fish instead of diverting water from reservoirs and canals to the agricultural regions that need it most. Additionally from my research only two new Desalinization plants are currently under construction at a hefty cost to tax payers. Why is it that Australia can figure it out and California cannot? Australia has the first wind powered desalinization plant.

Wind Powered Water

Wind Powered Water

Are coastal residents so ignorant that they would vote down an efficient wind turbine that would deliver all the clean water they could need for a lifetime simply because they think it’s unsightly and affects their ocean view? Priorities rarely seem to mesh with logic anytime emotion is at play.

 

California is one of the biggest suppliers of fruits, vegetables and nuts to the United States. In fact 82% of the world’s Almond supply comes from California. Expect prices to double at the very least. A recent report by industry expert stated the following. “The less obvious consequences of how climate change may affect the nation indirectly through shifts affecting the Southwest, given that Southwestern states produce more than half of specialty fruit, nuts and vegetables for the U.S., and more than half of the nation’s shipping container traffic comes in through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. All of these conditions, particularly those in mid to Northern California, where a large percentage of U.S. food is produced, have implications far beyond the state. The drought’s effects will ripple far beyond the fields. Consumers can expect tighter supplies and higher prices for most fruits and vegetables by summer. And farm suppliers will feel the pinch. “We’re in the middle of what potentially is looking like a huge catastrophe,” said Ryan Jacobsen, chief executive of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. “We’re looking at some very harsh realities, as far as water allocations.”

Flushing toilets only once a day, as one member of the audience suggested, certainly does help, the panelists agreed, but efforts to cut back on residential water use only go so far given that “agriculture consumes almost 80 percent of the water in our region.” This has been a driver for the Aquaponic community since Aquaponics is very water wise and uses 90% less water than soil farming. Large commercial Aquaponic farms are being converted from soil farms in an attempt to stay alive. This drought is causing farmers to look for solutions and Aquaponics is a major solution. The drought causes a wide range of negative effects and the obvious ones are; loss of jobs, economic degradation, and significant property value decline. What is a house worth when nothing comes from the faucet?

Fire Danger Earlier in 2014.

“It’s unprecedented for us to do this in January,” said Battalion Chief Mike Giannini, whose Marin County Fire Department is one of the first to be called upon to send aid north. “We’ve sent crews this early in the year in the past to Southern California, because their fire season never seems to end,” Giannini said. “But not up there. Not to places like Humboldt, which has coastal, high-humidity, forested types of conditions we would normally equate with low fire danger.”

Together these spell problems for the nation’s largest state, 40 million people, and 4th largest economy in the world. Let’s hope and pray they get their priorities worked out and please let’s all pray for rain and a much needed summer El Nino`for all our sake.

The Distraction Era

For five years my business partner and I worked hard to help a lot of people through the financial crisis. I remember having a conversation with Mel (my partner) around Christmas 2009 when we talked about the current cycle and how long it would last. Around that time I began to do research into what would be the next stage of my career and how I would earn a living once the real estate market recovered and our client base shrunk. It wasn’t until late 2011 when I realized that we as a society had a lot of pressing issues that really needed to be addressed. I found enormous amounts of data on various subjects that would eventually lead us all to a path of no return. At that time I gave though to the fact that there was nothing I could do about these “macro” issues. But I still felt a responsibility to learn. Brushing aside all the conspiracy theories and people “selling” fear in books and seminars, and weeding through volumes of data and reports from credible sources, I found myself a little depressed. It seemed so obvious to me. Why were only a few people paying any attention to the signs of what was just around the corner? I brushed it aside temporarily and watched for another two years to see if it would really worsen or perhaps change for the better. After all, I have always believed that the Earth would just do what it was going to do. It ebb’s and flows and would always do just that. The question was always how that ebbing would affect 7 billion people. One of the biggest issues seemed to be the food supply and agriculture.

I looked at a variety of businesses from high end tattoo studio’s, smoothie bars with real fruit instead of ice and syrup, coffee cafes and even E-Cigarette Vapor lounges. Mel my partner, has since opened a Vapor lounge and she is doing very well. I could not see myself selling E-cigs to people day in and day out. For me the money was secondary to the work, and my work had to have meaning. I also never liked being beholden to others. I prefer to be in control of my own destiny. That was hard to find in a business model. Fast forward two years and the information that I came across then was much more prevalent now, and far more “dire”. I watched daily as the mainstream media peddles insignificant news to millions of people. The level of nonsense was overwhelming. Pushing news primarily dealing with three topics: Politics, sports and entertainment. Benghazi, the draft, or who won or lost last nights game and why; and who was voted off Dancing with the stars, The Voice, or American Idol. Add to that the newest and greatest mobile device that everyone “has to have”, as if it will make their life any better. I walk through the super market and listen to people. I go to Starbucks, or to dinner and listen to people. I’d hear nothing with any real value. Turn on the radio, if you don’t hear an advertisement trying to sell you something, or convince you to move your 401k, then you hear the DJ saying you need to buy your car from X dealer because they did. Are people in denial or are they totally immune to the issues that surround them and will greatly affect them and their children in a short period of time?

I realize that the majority of people have trouble with change, but I never realized how many people live in “complete ignorance” to what is going on around them. Geologist worldwide have been, and continue to, sound the alarms all over the globe. We are at a tipping point and there is nothing we can do about what comes next. In 1972 scientists warned us of the hole in the ozone layer of the Earth and we took steps to remove the CFC’s fairly quickly and the hole healed itself (for the most part). That was easy compared with what is happening today. While many argue over what is causing the climate change and the dramatic warming of the polar regions, no one disputes it. It is happening and it is accelerating.

I recently posted a video that summarizes very accurately what is happening today. I posted it and emailed it to hundreds of people. Other than a few responses no one said anything. This post is a chronicle to the seriousness of the issues that will soon threaten our daily routines. We have 2-5 years before everyone will be very surprised! Don’t take my word for it, there are many people much smarter than I all saying the same thing. Here is One Example.

At this point the best option for each of us is to begin planning for your own independent sources of food water and energy. Planning where you want your 12 year old to go to college is foolish. Sorry, to appear negative, but this is true. There has already been a 1.5 inch rise in sea levels since 2002 so Fl and the LA will have serious issues and millions will be forced to move within the next 5 years. This is just one issue that by itself will cause a ripple effect. In New Orleans the government has spent 14 billion building a sea wall 6 miles out, hoping to protect the city from future Katrina-like storms. It helped a lot of people with work and a paycheck, but it will do nothing to the escalating storms that will come as a result of increase in precipitation. Educate yourself a little with this VIDEO

Global Methane

Global temp anomalies

Ocean Heat chart

As more heat comes from the sea which covers 70% of the Earth, so then the precipitation increases which then increases the amount of moisture that is collected and dumped from the atmosphere when it rains. Record rain fall has been increasing for the last 10 years and it causes major floods and displaces tens of thousands if not millions. We’ve watched storms increase their intensity for 10 years and this cycle is only going to get worse.

Climate change is one of dozens of issues facing our future. As of March 2014, Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is still melting down and the 4th reactor has melted through the concrete floor barriers and is leaking high level radioactivity deep into the water table below the plant. This ground water ends up leaching into the Pacific Ocean. Elevated radiation levels have been measured in marine life in Seattle and San Diego.  Marine life is a perfect transmitter. The smallest creatures absorb the most toxins and they are then eaten by larger marine life and so on up the food chain. By the time the large 4 foot Tuna eats the 1 foot Mackerel the toxins increase 50-100 fold. News of massive die off of plankton and the cascading affect of algae growth is a big topic. Just Google China’s Algae bloom.

Marine Life Eco System

At this point, a main source of food has been removed by the Fukushima disaster and will affect millions of people worldwide. We still don’t know the full extent of the disaster. Some claim that this will cause a mass extinction within 10 years from the  Caesium-134/137 which causes cancer in very small amounts and has since been detected in air and water around the world. Obviously exposure to low levels of these toxins will react differently in all people depending on their age and immune system. Nevertheless, the toxins are not good for anyone at any levels.

A report from the Huffington Post on March 7th 2014 warned of cascading system failures due to climate change driven events. “From roads and bridges to power plants and gas pipelines, American infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a pair of government reports released Thursday”.

Full article here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/climate-change-effects_n_4914116.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

I’m not trying to freak anyone out. I’m simply trying to get people to wake up a little and take notice and begin their own research into these issues so they can begin planning for their future. We owe our children the truth of what they face and knowledge to work through it. Knowledge is power and will give them the ability to be resourceful when they need to be. I am currently working with my children on three things. 1. Aquaponic farming so they can grow their own organic food. 2. Rain water capture and filtration. 3. Various types of radiant heating and Solar power.

No one knows when their time is up, and I for one do not worry about dying. I have lived a wonderful life. For some reason, I have a desire to help people, help themselves and until I grow tired of that, I will keep trying even when laughed at or ignored. Blessings to all who keep trying.

The increase of GMO’s in our food

A recent series titled Food for Thought on the Huffington Post blog explored some common secrets of GMO’s that are worth sharing.

I have posted them below and also added to them in my own words.

1. Don’t mention the food waste: “We need this technology to feed to world,” is the marketing cry of the big chemical companies. In truth, they do need this technology to feed the expectations of shareholders, but it turns out that more than one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste. That amounts to 1.3 billion tons every year, costing us economically. In this country alone, we throw away 96 billion pounds of food every year, or 27 percent of the total amount of available food. That’s 3,000 pounds of food a second. With the United Nations on record saying that we need more than just genetically engineered food tools in the toolbox, it appears what we also need is a smarter distribution model to address this waste.

2. It’s Big Razor’s playbook: Gillette will practically give away the razor to get people hooked on buying the razor blade. It’s a smart strategy for chemical companies, too. They offer the genetically engineered seed at a discount, then get farmers on the hook for buying the chemicals and suite of chemical products required to make their seeds grow. Pesticide application is up 527 million pounds since the introduction of these genetically engineered crops.

FYI…did you know that by using your regular inexpensive hair conditioner to shave your legs (woman) or face (men) that your razor will stay sharp 50% longer than buying shaving cream? TRUTH. Shaving cream actually dulls the blades faster so instead of buying another product to shave with…often a more expensive product, simply use what you already have. Your conditioner. Additionally, the more ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner the worse it is for your body and scalp. Remember, what you rub on your skin or scalp does enter the bloodstream. SAVE SOME MONEY.

3. EPA now regulates this genetically engineered corn as a pesticide. Seriously, if you had the choice on your kitchen table or at a BBQ between a corn regulated by the EPA as a pesticide and one that wasn’t, which would you choose? No brainer. We should know which one is the pesticide and which foods it is going into.

4. Pre-treated seeds doused in chemicals: It’s called an accelerating agent, and seeds are pretreated before they are ever even put in the ground. Is it any wonder that farmers using these seeds are increasingly worried about what it is doing to the quality of their soil? Monsanto owns almost all the Patents with regard to plant stress. They own 90% of all the genetically modified seeds on the planet and will eventually control the nations food supply. They own drought tolerant seeds that grow with less water and they are are now monitoring the farmers grow data. See Blog Titled  http://empoweringconsumers.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/monsantos-recent-move-to-control-farm-data/

5. Pouring on the Pesticides: The latest analysis shows that genetically engineered crops have driven up overall pesticide use across the country, contributing to a 527 million pound increase in herbicide use between 1996 and 2011. And last year alone, genetically engineered crops used 20 percent more pesticides on average than non-GE crops. Who pays for that? Farmers and the people that eat them. Who benefits? The chemical companies selling the seeds engineered to withstand these increasing doses. It goes straight to the bottom line and into the bank. Not only are the chemicals a danger, but the antibiotics in our food have increased dramatically as well. 

Antibiotics in food

Antibiotics in food

6. Patent the Chemicals as a Drug: The increasingly controversial weed killer, glyphosate, has been patented an antibiotic: Who knew that the patent had been filed? Apparently the US Patent and Trademark Office. As a growing number of farmers express concern over what this chemical is doing to their soil as headlines around the world express concern over what it is doing to humans, you have to ask yourself: given the 21st century technology we have today, is it time to make this 20thcentury, chemically intensive operating system, obsolete?

FYI – you can buy distilled white Vinegar for about $2.29 per gallon and add 20% water and use it to spray on your weeds with no harm to the soil. The weed killer Monsanto sells at your local hardware store costs $25.00 and is toxic. SAVE SOME MONEY.

7. Patents protect intellectual property: “The development of genetic engineering of plants in the 1980s was accompanied by a sequence of increasingly specific confirmations of the patentability of various types of life forms, provided that they met the standard patent criteria of novelty, utility and nonobviousness.” Nonobviousness is pretty discreet. So let’s say a pediatric cancer or autism group wanted to study if these crops and chemicals are contributing to the rates of cancer or autism. They’d have to go to Monsanto or the other big chemical companies for permission. It’s worth considering that just as Big Tobacco did before it, these chemical companies just might possibly be relying upon concealment of its documents from the public under intellectual property law to avoid liabilities and to evade regulation.

8. Technology Stewardship Agreements lock farmers into contracts for genetically engineered seeds. Want to break the contract? They’ll sue you. A farmer in Iowa is living testament to this happening. Once he realized that the details of that contract locked him into purchasing Monsanto’s suite of products for the life of the farm, it felt like a noose. When he wanted out, they made a point of showing the farming world that it wasn’t an option and sued. TRUTH…Monsanto is also involved with weather modification and as floods and storms wipe out small farmers, they buy the land and add it to their holdings. WATCH THE MOVIE HERE

9. Labels mean liability: Right now the companies using these genetically engineered foods want a ban on state labeling and are trying to stop a growing call for mandatory national labeling. Why? Because without labels, this “GMO Buyers Club” can claim that there is no evidence that these crops have ever caused any harm. And guess what? Without labels, they are right, there is no evidence. Labels would bring accountability, traceability and liability. It’s no wonder that the food industry is so allergic to labeling these genetically engineered ingredients in the United States. An allergic reaction to food sends someone to the ER once every three minutes.

Without labels on genetically engineered ingredients, the industry can claim “no evidence of harm.” Without labels, there is no traceability, accountability and liability. No way for these companies to be held accountable for the costs that they are externalizing onto society, our farmers, their farms and our economy. The food awakening is on, and the companies that are opting out of genetically engineered ingredients and willing to be transparent with the consumers are capturing market share.

I never like to tell people what to do, but I think it’s time to turn off “Dancing With The Stars” and begin learning how to farm our own food. This is the only way to ensure the quality of what we put in our bodies. As the poles continue to melt and the weather continues to accelerate, we will all be affected within the next 3-5 years. There are a lot of solutions out there if you know where to look.

Arctic Methane release likely to be trouble

A combined team of U.S. and Russian researchers has found that large amounts of methane are bubbling up from the subsea permafrost along the East Siberian Shelf. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes research they’ve conducted over several years. North of Russia lies the Arctic Ocean, over time, parts of it have been given different names—one of those the Laptev Sea, lies north of Siberia, and is bounded by peninsulas on both sides. The sea normally freezes in the winter and thaws in the summer, but the water remains so cold that the seafloor has, at least until recent years, remained frozen. The researchers in this latest effort have been monitoring the amount of methane released into the sea as the subsea permafrost melts in the summer.

Methane stored in sea floor

Methane stored in sea floor

The melting of the subsea permafrost in the Arctic Ocean can’t be blamed on modern humans—it’s been slowly warming down there for thousands of years—it’s just recently however, reached the point where it melts in the summer just enough to allow the methane gases to seep out and bubble up into the sea column above. The researchers have been seeing record levels of methane in the both seawater and permafrost core samples they’ve been collecting over the past several years (they also use sonar to measure the density of bubbles emanating into the seawater). Worse, they have found that methane levels drop dramatically during storms. This means, the researchers report, that all that methane in the seawater is whipped into the atmosphere, adding to the other greenhouse gasses that are contributing more to global warming.

The researchers note that their measurements contradict predictions by other “more dire” reports that a massive “pulse” of methane will very soon add as much as 50 billion tonnes of methane to the atmosphere, causing a dramatic spike in global air temperatures. Instead, they suggest, it appears more likely that the methane will continue to bubble up slowly, but increasingly contributing to greenhouse gases much as is happening currently. They do caution that it is possible the current warming could cause more or bigger storms in the Arctic Ocean, releasing methane on a bigger scale.

Methane increase

Methane increase

One of the many conservative voices of climate change is the IPCC who gathers information from leading scientist and reviews their research. The IPCC reports are prepared and then shared with politicians and then adjusted prior to publication. One such report published in 2009 about the Arctic ice decline stated ( and charts showed ) the summertime ice in the arctic would be gone by 2100. Updated reports not published by the IPCC, but shared by concerned scientists state very clearly that the summertime ice shelves will be gone by 2016. See the MOVIE about Climate Change here

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and is highly flammable and toxic to breath. There are trillions of tons of methane stored within the Earths core and much of it lies beneath the permafrost under the Arctic sea ice and Greenland. Methane has and will continue to seep from the sea floor, but researchers have been finding increased rates of this gas since 2007. With the reduction of ice shelves and the warming of the poles (average warming at the poles is 6 degrees versus 1 degree for the rest of the planet) some are getting concerned for what appears to be more methane and co2 which will only contribute to further warming of the Globe.

John Callahan is committed to educating people on issues that affect their health and well-being.

Toxic Chemical Found in Fast Food Bread

This week, Subway found out customers don’t like eating a chemical found in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather. After one blogger’s petition against azodicarbonamide generated widespread uproar, (see below) Subway Corporate announced plans to remove the ingredient from its bread but did not say when. Currently, its 9-grain wheat, Italian white and sourdough breads contain Azodicarbonamide and so does many more foods.

Petition to remove toxic chemical from food

Petition to remove toxic chemical from food

To left is the petition that the “Food Babe Blog” initiated which created all the news. Bravo to the Food Babe, http://www.foodbabe.com. The media blitz has uncovered serious questions about the food we all eat on a regular basis and has at least one other major chain pondering its own products containing the chemical, but its use at other restaurant chains is fairly widespread and is just coming into light. It is important to realize that the product is approved for use in the U.S. as a dough conditioner and flour bleaching agent up to a certain limit, Apparently Europe and Australia have banned the substance as a food additive.

According to restaurant websites, the following is a list of some products that contain it as an ingredient:

  • Arby’s: croissant, french toast sticks, harvest wheat bun, honey wheat bread, marble rye bread, mini bun, onion bread and sesame seed bun
  • Jack in the Box: bakery style bun, jumbo bun, croissant, grilled sourdough bread and regular bun
  • Chick-fil-A: chargrilled chicken sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, and chargrilled chicken club sandwich
  • McDonald’s: regular bun, bakery style bun, bagel and english muffin, Big Mac bun and sesame seed bun.
  • Burger King: specialty buns, artisan-style bun, sesame seed bun, croissant, english muffin, home-style caesar croutons and french toast sticks.
  • Wendy’s: bagel, premium toasted bun, sandwich bun and panini bread

Following Subway’s announcement, McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb told CNBC in an interview that “Azodicarbonamide is commonly used throughout the baked goods industry, and this includes some of the bread goods on our menu. While this ingredient is recognized as safe and approved by the FDA, we listen to our customers and evolve to continue to serve the great tasting, quality food they expect from McDonald’s. This ingredient, like all the ingredients we use, is available to consumers on our website.”

Dunkin’ Donuts also said to CNBC in a recent response that, “There are trace amounts of azodicarbonamide, a common ingredient approved as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, in three Dunkin’ Donuts bakery items, including the Danish, Croissant and Texas Toast. All of our products comply with federal, state and local food safety standards and regulations. We are evaluating the use of the ingredient as a dough conditioner in our products and currently discussing the matter with our suppliers.”

Following the recent petition, on www.FoodBabe.com website, (who originally broke the story through her own research) the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest lobbied for the USDA to consider banning it. It noted that when bread containing the chemical is baked, it produces the carcinogen urethane  and “leads to slightly increased levels of urethane in bread that pose a small risk to humans” when azodicarbonamide  is used at its maximum limit. Evidence also suggests the product is harmful in its more industrial form. The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive lists it as a substance that can cause occupational asthma. Meanwhile, a World Health Organization report states, “Case reports and epidemiological studies in humans have produced abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide  can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization in exposed workers. Adverse effects on other systems have not been studied.” So it is clean to us that if it affects the skin then it certainly will affect your health when consumed.

The lesson here folks is that we really have no idea what chemicals are used to manufacture the processed foods that we eat on a regular basis. It is likely that there are more laying in wake and further research will undoubtedly uncover more harm to our bodies from the consumption. The only solution is to begin growing your own fully organic food. This is the only way to control what you eat and have longevity and health.

You can learn how to begin growing your own fully organic food with an EZ Aquaponic kit of your own and a contribution will be made to the Global Aquaponic Initiative for efforts to combat global hunger.

Do multi-vitamins really work?

Medical Journal says multi-vitamins are not what you think.

More than half of all adults in the United States take some sort of multivitamin; many do so in hopes of preventing sickness like the flu, heart disease, cancer or even to help with memory. But a recent editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine says that using supplements and multivitamins to prevent chronic conditions is a complete waste of money. “The (vitamin and supplement) industry is based on anecdote, people saying ‘I take this, and it makes me feel better,’ said Dr. Edgar Miller, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-author of the editorial. True, we can never underestimate the power of the human mind. But why not just meditate? Seems like it would be a whole lot cheaper and healthier than wasting money and then telling yourself that it works?

“When you put it to the test, there’s no evidence of benefit in the long term. It can’t prevent mortality, stroke or heart attack.” The editorial, “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements,” is based on three studies looking at the effects of multivitamins on preventing heart attacks and cancer, as well as improving cognitive function in men older than 65. All three studies were also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The first study was a meta-analysis of 27 studies that covered more than 450,000 participants and found that multivitamins had no beneficial effect on preventing cardiovascular disease or cancer. In addition, taking vitamins didn’t prevent mortality in any way. (obviously anyone thinking otherwise is wasting their money) One interesting finding that few would ever have though is that the analysis did confirm that smokers who took only beta carotene supplements actually “increased” their risk of lung cancer.

When taking multivitamins to prevent a second heart attack, authors again found no beneficial evidence. The second study looked at 1,700 patients who previously had heart attacks. They were assigned to take three multivitamins or placebos twice a day for five years. However, with more than 50% of patients stopping their medications, it was difficult for authors to come to any real conclusions about the vitamins’ effectiveness. With such a high drop-out rate, “interpretation is very difficult,” said Dr. Miller. The final study followed nearly 6,000 men older than 65, who took either a multivitamin or a placebo for 12 years. The men were administered cognitive functioning tests, and test results found no differences between the two groups. However, Gladys Block, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at University of California Berkeley, pointed out that the group of men followed in the cognitive study were all physicians with no health problems. “These are very well-nourished, very health-conscious people,” she said. In fact, she says none of the studies accurately represents the American population. So basically, she is saying very few Americans eat right and are healthy so they really do need vitamins? Not sure I agree.

Block has spent her life studying the role of Vitamin C, in particular, on disease risk factors and says that most Americans are undernourished. This I will agree with! She says that most Americans don’t have a healthy diet, and therefore don’t get the vitamins and minerals they need. “You’re not getting any of these micronutrients from Coke and Twinkies,” said Block. “Two-thirds of us are overweight, a quarter over 50 have two or more chronic conditions, so there’s a substantial population that one would hesitate to call healthy.” Agreed, so why are we not working harder to educate the population on eating for health? Why is the healthcare industry not helping people learn more about the benefits of a natural raw food diet?

Fruits and vegetables = health and well being

Fruits and vegetables = health and well being

Block went on to say, “There’s always a nontrivial minority that’s actually getting a questionable level of some micronutrients. So multivitamins are a backstop against our poor diet.” Cara Welch, senior vice president of the Natural Products Association, agreed with Block. “It is pretty common that in this day and age with the lifestyle many of us lead that we don’t always take the time to have a balanced diet, and even if you do have a balanced diet, you can still have nutritional deficiencies.” The National Products Association is the largest trade organization representing the manufacturers and retailers of the natural products industry, including vitamins. The vitamin and supplement industry rakes in nearly $12 billion annually, according to the researchers, with multivitamins its most popular product. So obviously they have a vested interest in their existence. “Multivitamins address the nutritional deficiencies in people,” Welch said. “We don’t believe they are the answer to all life’s ailments, as the editorial suggests.”

Hmmm, seems very similar to the doctors who for years swore that smoking was not addictive or harmful, but where on the payroll of big tobacco.

Miller, also disagreed that the studies didn’t represent the general public. “They didn’t select people who eat good diets or bad diets,” he said. “You assume that these people selected are the typical American diet. Taking a supplement in place of a poor diet doesn’t work.” Some groups, however, do need supplements, he said. “For people with deficiencies, malabsorption issues, and to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy — there are a small number of conditions where we prescribe them.” Miller also said the jury is still out on Vitamin D, which can help strengthen bones, and omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. Miller said the studies were unlikely to change any clinical standards, and that focusing on diet and exercise remain key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s something with which Block can agree. “Eat fruits and vegetables,” she said.

So now that we have some data to use to educate people, we need to address the key question, “what is a poor diet”? Well for the most part, more than half of Americans do not eat a healthy diet. Several recent reports state that americans are eating better, but these reports are based on one thing. Caloric intake and the main factor was the recession, so people had to cut back. That has nothing to do with eating “quality” food. If you learn the basics about the human body, you will find that without the adequate minerals in the blood stream contained primarily in raw foods and especially raw nuts and legumes, almost all of the described benefits of vitamins can never even get absorbed. Additionally, the more you learn, the more it is understood that vitamins in hard pill form often leave the body in waste before they completely dissolve, so the best form of supplement is food grade capsules that have not been dried or significantly modified. Good luck finding that on the shelves. Modification of the molecular structure of any natural raw food makes it less effective. It doesn’t matter what retired doctor is trying to convince you otherwise. Nor does it matter what rare tree the herb came from in south america. More often than not, these MLM companies are just trying to take your money.

There is a very basic answer to this problem, eat healthy food. To do so, you really need to buy or grow your own fresh fruits and veggies. That is the only sure-fire way to be sure you’re getting the proper nutrients for optimal health. Then the rest is up to your genetics (which is another huge factor, too long for this blog) and God.