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November 1-6 to be "Vaccine Awareness Week"? Not so fast, Barbara Loe Fisher and Joe Mercola! [Respectful Insolence]

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 18-10-2010

Posting will probably be very light the next couple of days because I'm at the Lorne Trottier Symposium. Not only have the organizers have packed my day with skeptical and science goodness, but I only have Internet access when I'm back at the hotel, which isn't very much. This is somewhat distressing to me because several readers have sent me a truly bad study implying that (with the press out and out saying that) because investigators couldn't detect signs of cancer in Egyptian mummies there must not have been cancer in pre-industrial times, the further implication being that all cancer is "man-made." Such burning stupid demands a heapin' helpin' of not-so-Respectful Insolence, but it may not get it because by the time I'm back to my regular schedule in a day or two, the timeliness of the story may be history.

The trials and tribulations of actually trying to do more than be at home, work, and blog aside, thereby spreading my fame far and wide (or at least as far as Montreal), I couldn't let this one pass. A reader and friend sent me this little tidbit from the website of über-quack Joe Mercola. Buried near the bottom of Mercola's "newsletter" is an announcement of an initiative:

Mercola.com & NVIC Dedicating November 1-6 Vaccine Awareness Week

In a long-scheduled joint effort to raise public awareness about important vaccination issues during the week of November 1-6, 2010, Mercola.com and NVIC will publish a series of articles and interviews on vaccine topics of interest to Mercola.com newsletter subscribers and NVIC Vaccine E-newsletter readers.

The week-long public awareness program will also raise funds for NVIC, a non-profit charity that has been working for more than two decades to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and protecting informed consent to vaccination.

The November 1-6 Vaccine Awareness Week hosted by Mercola.com and NVIC will follow a month-long vaccine awareness effort in October that was recently announced on Facebook by parents highlighting Gardasil vaccine risks.

The six-week-long focus this fall on vaccine issues will help raise the consciousness of many more Americans, who may be unaware that they can take an active role in helping to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths and defend the legal right to make voluntary vaccination choices.

And remember, you can always visit Vaccines.Mercola.com and NVIC.org for the latest vaccine news updates and other important vaccine information.

Read the rest of this post… | Read the comments on this post…


Drinking bleach is good for you? [Pharyngula]

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 18-10-2010

I haven't heard much about Rhys Morgan in the US (if you follow Ben Goldacre, though, you know all about him), but he won an award at TAM London for his skeptical work, so I thought I should do my part to spread the news. Simply put, he was participating in a forum on Crohn's Disease and boldly took on peddlers of evil woo: they were selling some crap called Miracle Mineral Solution, which is nothing but bleach.

Amazing, isn't it? It takes some gall for a quack to prescribe a treatment for a chronic intestinal disorder that involves glugging down a corrosive poison, and then when the poor patient suffers with a painfully sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea, to claim that they should drink more, that's a sign that it is working…but that's what they were doing.

Morgan took the step of being aware of what constitutes an unlikely medical claim and looking it up.

First off, I found an FDA safety bulletin posted on 30th July 2010. From the FDA page which can be found here, I learned that MMS was an industrial bleach, when made up as according to the instructions. It produces chlorine dioxide, which is used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment. I'll come back to the FDA warning in a minute. After learning what it actually is, I went to the official MMS website. It is utterly disgusting. It claims that MMS is a cure for AIDS, cancers, hepatitis A, B and C, malaria, herpes and tuberculosis. This started my alarm bells ringing. The website screams DANGEROUS WOO to me.

Then he went further and alerted people about the dangers. And for that he was harrassed and threatened with expulsion from the discussion.

You should read his blog. Realize too that he's only 15 years old, so we can look forward to another hundred years or so of Mr Morgan shredding the quacks. I almost feel sorry for the poor lying frauds.

rhysmorgan.jpeg

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When GMO Mutants Attack!

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 16-10-2010

Genetically modified mutant frankenfoods threaten your health and our food supply. In this humorous look at a serious issue, watch as the Leptin family fights for your safety and the safety of our entire planet.

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Bleeding gums can kill you

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 16-10-2010

Minty fresh breath isn't the only reason to keep your mouth clean–good oral hygiene will also help protect your heart.

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Half a Teaspoon of This Each Day Can Benefit Diabetics

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 15-10-2010

Researchers have investigated the "insulin-like" effects of cinnamon for a number of years now, and as the latest study in Diabetic Medicine shows, cinnamon keeps proving it's a viable co

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Empowering Poses

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 15-10-2010

379378 thumbnailI’m not big on yoga, as most of you know. Too much idle time for me. I’d rather be playing. But last Sunday (a beautiful, sunny, SUP kinda day), I caved to the pressures of my wife Carrie, who loves yoga, and attended a session. It was to be a multi-hour event (a “workshop”) so we brought pillows and fur blankets to be comfortable. As we’re entering the studio, bedding in tow, I run into Michael Anderson, the owner of CrossFit Malibu sitting in the atrium, sipping on a Starbucks coffee. I must have looked like a deer caught in headlights and he just grinned. Mark Sisson, Mr. Primal, with a furry blanket and just moments from striking a pose and singing some oms. I told him that nothing was going on here, mumbled something about research and that he hadn’t seen anything. We winked and went our separate ways. I kid, of course, but there might be something to this after all.

A few months ago, I wrote about the concept of embodied cognition, a relatively new (or renewed, as is often the case) area of study that focuses on the body’s influence over the mind. Our kinesthetic engagement with our environment, our movements both large and subtle have dramatic sway, embodied cognition suggests, over everything from our emotion experience to our learning ability. Yet, new research (PDF) broadens the picture significantly. The findings, I think, can add a new wrinkle to our wellness endeavors.

Professors from Harvard Business School and Columbia University measured the impact of “expansive” and “constrictive” postures on subjects’ subjective sense of power, their tolerance for risk, and hormonal secretion. The researchers directed half of the 42 participants to pose in two “expansive” positions: one in which they sat on a chair with their feet elevated on a desk and their hands behind their heads, and one in which they leaned over the desk with their hands widely spread and resting on the desk. The other subjects were assigned “constrictive” postures: one in which they sat on a chair with legs together and hands on their thighs, and one in which they stood with legs and arms crossed. Participants didn’t know the real purpose of the study and believed researchers were assessing electrode placement in varying positions.

Following the exercises, researchers took samples to measure testosterone and cortisol levels, which they compared to levels taken before the pose exercises. As the researchers note, higher testosterone levels are associated with dominance in the animal world. Correspondingly, higher cortisol levels reflect increased stress and are associated with lower status in animal groups.) The researchers also directed subjects to fill out a form asking them questions that assessed how powerful they felt. Finally, they gave the subjects two dollars and offered them the opportunity to gamble the money with the chance to win an additional two dollars.

The results? Those who had been placed in the expansive poses reported feeling more powerful and were significantly more likely to participate in the gambling opportunity (86% compared to 60%). Their hormone readings showed (PDF) lower cortisol and higher testosterone levels than those who had assumed the constrictive positions.

The researchers attribute the phenomenon to evolutionary strategies of competition and survival. The bigger an animal can make its body appear (by puffing its chest, standing upright, raising its wings or fanning its feathers), the more intimidated – and hesitant – a predator will be. Expansion of physical appearance prepares the animal to fend off an attack. Likewise, the researchers say, constrictive poses reflect a protective stance, such as prey would take during an attack when instinct directs them to shield essential organs.

Although the study only tested four particular poses, the overall expansive/constrictive principle is key. Those who practice yoga have likely observed these sensations. (Warrior pose and goddess pose – two “expansive” positions – have their commanding names for a reason.) Manipulating our physical posture, embodied cognition suggests, can have a dramatic psychological impact. In the case of yoga therapy, open, expansive poses can help initiate the release of blocked emotion. This particular study offers the first evidence that officially links embodiment to both hormonal changes and “behavioral choice.”

The researchers see extraordinary implications to their findings. Individuals can use these kinds of poses to, in essence, practice empowerment. In the short term, striking a power pose before walking into an interview, for example, can give a quick but very real boost in confidence. Yet, the more significant benefits are likely long-term. As the researchers note, high cortisol impairs immune function, while higher testosterone levels together with lower cortisol readings are associated with positive health outcomes like “disease resistance and leadership abilities.” Over time, this pose training can change both our mindsets and our neuroendocrine profiles in positive ways. The result? Better physical health and mental well-being. What’s not to love here?

In the pursuit of wellness, there’s naturally a lot of focus on maintaining a positive attitude. The mental game we bring to our efforts can obviously make a huge difference in our motivation and staying power. Nonetheless, embodied cognition teaches us that the mind-body connection is a two-way street if not a full-on cycle of physiological and psychological linkages. Our brains can influence our physiology, yes. Conversely, our physical actions and postures have the power to alter our mental state. The cycle continues through the course of attitudes, choices and hormonal responses that stem from this initiated mental state. As the researchers say, “fake it ‘til you make it.” It opens up a whole new angle of thinking about motivation and success, doesn’t it?

How many of us find ourselves identifying here? Yoga buffs, what perspective does your practice add to this research? I’ll be interested to read your thoughts. Have a great afternoon, everybody.

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Related posts:

  1. Yoga Therapy?
  2. Dear Mark: Embodied Cognition
  3. Compassion Meditation

Taking Fall Inventory

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 13-10-2010

autumnleavesWith the whirlwind of the Primal Challenge behind us, I have been enjoying getting back into the normal swing of things. Although nothing stands still here for long, it’s kind of nice to return to a familiar rhythm. With the calendars well into October now, I have my sights on fall – and seasons in general. While the topic of evolution and seasonality is intriguing, what I’d like to discuss today is what the seasonal transitions inspire: the reflection, the experimentation, the renewal. It’s a perfect time, I think, to rejuvenate stagnant routines (e.g. the week’s monotonous dinner menu, the gym circuit, etc.) and envision new practices. For some of us, the imaginative exercise might simply help us appreciate our choices from a new angle.

Even though school begins and obligations resume that were on hiatus during summer, somehow fall always takes on a slower, more introspective feel. Perhaps it’s because the return to routine encourages us to take more advantage of quiet moments. Maybe because the dramatic peak of fall is so fleeting, it inspires lingering attention and a more intentional mindset. It’s a season of uncultivated, raw beauty, of traditions without the hype of major holidays yet. Although Southern California isn’t exactly known for its spectacular autumn displays, fall still has significant meaning for me. We always make a point of traveling north this time of year to spend time with family and good friends, whose locales happen to also offer some of the best fall scenery. The season somehow always brings me back to my roots in a comforting way.

Wherever you live, the seasonal ebb and flow encourages us to check in with our own rhythms – however enlivening or stagnating they might be. Who says goal setting is just for New Year’s? Seasonal prompts can spur us toward revitalizing transitions in our routines. It’s more than a convenient parallel though. The changing light, dropping temps, and seasonal fare present very real influences to our Primal lifestyles. All the better to embrace it, I say.

Food

pumpkinsoup

Yes, the food. I think most of us associate fall with rich, warm dishes. (I’m salivating as I write this.) Maybe crock pots and gravy boats make a reappearance in your kitchen. Stew, soup, chili, oven roasted meats – fall food at least matches if not beats out summer fare for me. Maybe it’s the Maine spirit still coursing through my veins, but every year I look forward to getting out that cast iron Dutch oven.

If you’re new to the PB, think about how you’ll navigate fall eating this year. How can you Primal-ize old favorites or infuse your menu with new ideas? (MDA can help with that of course.) What worked in summer might not hold the same appeal on cooler days. Think ahead and enjoy the chance to get creative. The forethought and experimentation will help you stay on track later. Long-time adherents undoubtedly have some fall favorites, but there’s always room for one more masterpiece in a Primal kitchen. Anyone want to share?

Fitness

If you’re well established in your exercise routine, fall is a great time to consider shaking it up – for progress’ sake and for general interest. Yes, the temperatures might bring many of us indoors or at least alter the schedule later in the season. However, there’s a physiological benefit to switching up your workout. Infusing your routine with some new activities helps you break beyond a fitness plateau and capitalize on new physical challenges to increase power, speed and endurance.

Others of us might choose to take on a quieter practice like yoga or Tai Chi this time of year. Sometimes the mood guides us in different ways, and there’s likely something genuine behind the intuition. Let your interests direct you. See where they lead and what the experience opens for you.

Outdoor Life

hiking

Some of us are summer people at heart who thrive in baking heat and thick humidity. Others of us impatiently wait for cooler temps to really throw ourselves into nature. Either way, take real advantage this year and decide how you’re going to play this fall. If you have young kids, their imaginations can help lead the way. If not, reclaim some favorite pastimes. Carrie and I love to bike the trails by our friends’ farm, and I always make time for a kayaking day at some point. Try something new. Take a rock climbing class or try your hand at caving.

It’s not just about day-long adventures or oodles of free time, however. Challenge yourself to weave as much outdoor time into your daily life as possible. Work outside if you can. Pay bills in one of the backyard lounge chairs. Set up the laptop on the patio table. Cook outside, eat outside, talk outside after the kids are in bed. Grab an evening walk – even if it is dusk or dark. Stand outside before bed and remind yourself what that crisp fall air feels like at midnight. Sit outside and just watch the leaves. Listen. If you wait, something interesting will happen.

Social Life

As much as people get out and about during summer, divergent vacation schedules and a more spontaneous brand of busyness can make it hard to get together with some friends or family. So often we end up saying that we’ll get together in fall “when everybody gets back in the groove.” Before the holidays overtake your calendar, schedule in those quieter, more casual times you always mean to with the people who matter the most in your life. Maybe it’s a long promised day trip with a partner or a dinner with good friends. Resurrect the potluck or progressive dinner, plan an afternoon hike or picnic, or just share a bottle of wine and some quality time.

Sleep

With the extra light in summer, it’s easy to stay up and make the most of every hour. I know I benefit from the reminder an earlier darkness brings. It’s a good time to settle in for the evening, enjoy a good book or take the extra time to make a new recipe in the kitchen. With the quieter nighttime activities, I end up going to bed earlier and sleeping better. Let yourself appreciate – and luxuriate in – the extra quiet and rest.

Thanks, everybody, for reading today. I’m excited to hear what thoughts all of you are bringing to fall this year. Share your inspirations, and enjoy the best of it!

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Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Fall Vegetables
  2. Fantastic Fall Recipes

Primal Fuel Updates for Inquiring Minds

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 13-10-2010

There was quite a response to the Primal Fuel release on Monday. Numerous early adopters were quick to order a canister or two of Primal Fuel. Others were vocal about what they thought was wrong with the product (for some it appeared that the sky was falling!), most notably that it was out of their price range. I’d like to respond to some of the feedback and make a few announcements you might be interested in learning.

First of all, I did in fact design this in response to the hundreds of people who have been requesting a convenient, delicious Primal-approved drink. While many consider me to be the “guardian” of the Primal lifestyle, I am and have always been intent on finding ways to honor our Primal genes in the context of a realistic, comfortable, pleasurable 21st century lifestyle. This is simply another tool to use as part of a Primal lifestyle for those who want one. Not everyone needs or wants such a tool, but I did, so I designed it with me, my family and my friends in mind.

The $99 price point certainly ruffled a few feathers. I note that people have been commenting, “Well, it’s just whey and coconut milk. You can make your own for much less.” Sure you can. I did it for years, but I could never get the flavor exactly the way I wanted or the soluble prebiotic fibers to provide the right mouth-feel and/or not cause gas. And I always had to be near a blender; otherwise I couldn’t get the ingredients to mix well. This isn’t like some protein powder you choke down or have to mix with milk or juice. Primal Fuel tastes exceptionally good when shaken and mixed with plain water. And for some people (Atkins or other non-Primal low-carb dieters), this might be the healthiest thing they consume all day. It is also intended to be convenient, so anyone on the run or on the go can put a few scoops of dry Primal Fuel in a blender bottle and take it with them for later use (and just add water).

But yes, it’s not cheap. Of course, neither are the bulk ingredients (more than just whey and coconut, BTW!), the lab testing of every batch, the labor, packaging, the cost of shipping and doing business and everything else involved in bringing a top-shelf meal replacement to market. At the end of the day, Primal Fuel needs to be priced competitively, so what gives?

While this is somewhat unorthodox, I think it’s important that the facts are made clear and you understand how I originally arrived at the $99 price point.

The product is made in an ISO 9001 GMP-certified manufacturing facility. Raw materials are required to have a certificate of assay when delivered and are still tested for microbial or heavy metals before they are released to manufacturing. The product is tested again before I can sell it. The ingredients are all the best of the best. The flavoring and sweetening systems were intended to assist people in weaning themselves off the typical cravings for sweet drinks and represent a unique combination of some very expensive ingredients – no cheap, artificial sweeteners in sight. Ultimately, the retail price has to be based on the cost-to-manufacture, which I do with all my products. This costs a lot to make.

The price point also compares favorably to other products I have seen in the marketplace, most notably Shakeology® which sells for $119 for 30 servings and offers 17 grams of protein per serving. Primal Fuel offers 20 grams of protein, healthy fats and far fewer carbs. I think it tastes better, too.

I came to the final price point of $99 based on a few other factors:

  1. It was designed to be an autoship-based product; hence the larger tub size and 30-servings designed to last a month. I could have introduced a smaller container and fewer servings for under $50, but shipping is expensive and I pay for shipping on all my autoship products. For this product (which weighs over 3 lbs when shipped) the cost of USPS Priority shipping averages around $12.
  2. I believe maintaining gut health is critical for good health, so I designed Primal Fuel to work synergistically with Primal Flora. The prebiotics in the Fuel coupled with the probiotic blend in the Flora can help support a healthy digestive tract. A full bottle of Primal Flora (retail value – $26.95) shipped each month was built into the $99 autoship price tag. The early feedback I have received suggests that you guys are more interested in a reduced price on Primal Fuel than receiving a discount on Primal Flora when purchasing the product. It appears the value of the Primal Flora is not fully appreciated. This doesn’t fall on deaf ears. See what I have in mind below.
  3. Autoship customers also get a free Blender Bottle (retail value – $8.95).

That’s nearly $40-50 in value built into the total price of Primal Fuel when purchased on autoship.

I believe firmly that Primal Fuel is the best meal replacement on the market and that many people are going to benefit from using it – myself included. But I have heard your thoughts loud and clear, so here is what I’m going to do going forward.

  1. As I said, the autoship price of $99 was set to cover the cost of the Primal Fuel, Primal Flora (retail value – $26.95), the cost of shipping and handling, and the cost of the Blender Bottle. Primal Flora and Primal Fuel are a match made in heaven, but I understand that you would prefer a price cut to getting the Primal Flora and Blender Bottle included in the total, so I will be removing both from the original offer and pricing Primal Fuel accordingly, at $79/canister if you go on autoship. And I’ll still pay the S&H. A single canister order will remain at the $99 price point (but see #5 below).
  2. Since I strongly believe that many can benefit from taking Primal Fuel and Flora together, if you purchase Primal Fuel you can still add Primal Flora to your order for only $13.50. The shopping cart will take care of the special pricing if you want to take advantage of that.
  3. Many have expressed an interest in being able to try Primal Fuel on for size before committing to purchasing a full canister. I offer a 100% no-risk, 30-day, money-back guarantee on the Primal Fuel, but if you’d prefer to receive a single-serving sample of each flavor in the mail I will ship them to you at less than cost, just $5.95. This offer is only available to domestic orders. Call 888-774-6259 and my team will get a sample of each flavor in the mail to you. This offer probably won’t last indefinitely.
  4. Also, many have expressed an interest in Primal Fuel being available in a smaller size. In the next 90 days I hope to have a 15-serving version of Primal Fuel available at half the cost of the 30-serving size version.
  5. Because this product was created for you, because I believe that it will do many of you good and that you’ll love it, and because I’m sensitive to some of your concerns over the price, I’ll be sending every newsletter subscriber a $20 coupon code that can be used on the purchase of a single canister of Primal Fuel. (This coupon code isn’t valid for Primal Fuel autoship orders.) Keep your eyes peeled.
  6. This was a small initial production run. In the event I can get the cost of manufacturing down further. I will pass the savings along to you.

Everyone that has already purchased Primal Fuel on autoship will get Primal Fuel at the new price in addition to receiving the Primal Flora, the Blender Bottle and the free shipping and handling they were promised at checkout. Everyone that purchased a single canister will be billed as if they had used the $20 coupon.

This is my attempt to respond to your feedback and make Primal Fuel available to a broader audience. I hope you’ll give it a try and see what you think.

Learn more about Primal Fuel here.

Related posts:

  1. Announcement: Primal Fuel Now Available!
  2. The Primal Essentials Kit Now Available! (with Special Limited-Time Offer)
  3. Ask Me Anything and Primal Blueprint Updates

ScienceMom deconstructs "Dr. Bob" Sears so Orac doesn't have to [Respectful Insolence]

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 12-10-2010

About a week and a half ago, Dr. Bob Sears, he of the "alternative vaccine schedule," appeared on Fox & Friends. Somehow, someway, even though I meant to deconstruct it I never got around to it. Believe it or not, during the interview Dr. Sears stooped to the anti-vaccine idiocy that calls vaccines "unnatural" because they are "injected directly into the bloodstream" (they're not, by the way), and I couldn't let that pass.

But I did.

Fortunately, ScienceMom at Just the Vax has taken it on so that I don't have to anymore.

Read the comments on this post…


One week from today in Montreal… [Respectful Insolence]

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Posted by admin | Posted in צמחי מרפא ורפואה משלימה | Posted on 12-10-2010

Trottier-Symposium-2010.jpg

Well, this looks interesting. It's the 2010 Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium at McGill University in Montreal. This year, the theme is Confronting Pseudoscience: A Call to Action. A certain "friend of the blog" will be speaking with Ben Goldacre and Michael Shermer on Monday, October 18 from 5 to 7 PM on the Threat of Pseudoscience. He'll also be on Dr. Joe's radio show on CJAD 800. On Tuesday, October 19, the ever-amazing Randi will speak on investigating paranormal claims.

If you happen to be in the Montreal area or can get there on October 18 and/or 19, come on over to McGill. It'll be a rousing good skeptical time.

Read the comments on this post…


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