Aspartame Associated with Increased Risk of Blood Cancers in Long-Term Human Study

Story at-a-glance

  • The longest ever human aspartame study, spanning 22 years, found a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and leukemia in men
  • Leukemia was associated with diet soda intake in both sexes
  • The study was done out of Harvard but after caving to pressure from industry, a press release was issued that minimized the impact of the study
  • The long-term nature of this study is crucial as one of the primary tricks companies use to hide Continue reading

Stimulant Marketed as ‘Natural’ in Sports Supplement actually of Synthetic Origin

A new study published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis found that DMAA, a stimulant often found in many nutritional and sports supplements, does not originate from natural substances and is actually comprised of synthetic compounds.

The substance DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) is a stimulant existing in Continue reading

The Amazing Healing Powers of This Fruit

It’s great when a food is not only healthy but also delicious. Such is the case with kiwifruit. This tasty fruit has become a well-known staple in North American grocery stores — which is a lucky thing for you! Kiwis are full of super- charged nutrients. They’re high in vitamins C and E, flavonoids, and carotenoids, as well as other beneficial compounds. Continue reading

Latest Discovery Could Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Have you heard anything about cocoa husks? They’re a by- product of the chocolate industry that researchers have discovered to be rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. In fact, when cocoa husks first appeared in nutritional trials, they were marketed as a weight-loss tool. But now, researchers are finding that this functional food is capable of a whole lot more when it comes to health benefits.

Researchers at Continue reading

Your Best Defense against the “D” Word

Versus Acute Diarrhea
Using probiotics for treating sudden cases of infectious diarrhea in children is well studied. Good-quality studies have shown that probiotics (“Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG,” “L. reuteri,” “L. casei,” “Shirota,” and “Bifidobactrium factis”) shortened the duration of diarrhea caused by a virus. It seems, though, that probiotics are effective only for rotavirus-associated diarrhea, and not diarrhea triggered by another virus or bacteria. This is the most common form of viral diarrhea in the world, and affects children under the age of five mostly. It accounts for many hospital trips every year. Whatever the case, probiotics seems to work in relieving acute cases of diarrhea in infants and children, although only certain kinds show this beneficial effect. Only “Lactobacillus GG” has been proven. Continue reading

Coconut Sugar fast Replacing Agave Nectar as the Natural Sweetener

Over the last two years, we’ve witnessed a mass exodus away from agave nectar and a search for more natural sweeteners that are both low on the glycemic index and high in nutrient density. Several candidates have emerged, but the winner has become coconut sugar, which is really more like a coconut caramel sap.

This sweetener is fast becoming extremely popular among raw foodies, vegans and vegetarians. Many have switched from agave nectar to coconut sugar.

Use a coconut sugar (sap) that is a 100% pure organic crystallized coconut sap . It’s best harvested from the sap of unopened coconut blossoms, then boiled under controlled heat to drive off the water and condense the liquid to a dark brown sap. There are no additives used, no bleaching, and absolutely no stripping of minerals or other nutrients. It’s not a raw food, however. Cooking the sap is a necessary part of concentrating it, just like with maple syrup, which is really a concentration of the watery maple sap.

The result is a thick, liquid “caramel” sap that’s brown in color and extremely sweet. It tastes almost like fudge, and some people even eat it like fudge. Continue reading

Treat Ulcers with Probiotics not Antibiotics

Ulcers caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterial strain may be more effectively treated by beneficial probiotics rather than by conventional antibiotics, according to a new study published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers from Spain say that probiotic strains like Bifidobacterium have an incredible success rate in fighting inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcers.

The team conducted tests on the effectiveness of several unique strains of bifidobacteria in treating H. pylori and found that one particular strain, Bifidobacterium bifidum CECT 7366, protected against infection roughly 95 percent of the time. Continue reading

The Mercury Poisoning of Our Bodies and Planet

This essay is about the work of Dr. Rashid Buttar, author of The 9 Steps to Keep the Doctor Away, who along with Dr. Boyd Haley, then chairman of the chemistry department of Kentucky University, had considerable influence over my early thoughts in terms of the chemistry of Mercury and the misery it measured in human terms. I actually worked in cooperation with Dr. Buttar in research and writings about The Rising Tide of Mercury that is occurring on our planet.

It is the inability to see the effects of chronic, low-level toxicities on human health that has been, and remains, our greatest failing as intelligent beings. Dr. Boyd Haley

People should not be happy to know that even in these six short years since I began my study of the exceptionally strong neurotoxin, mercury pollution has gotten disturbingly worse in the world, and we have reports from the United States to confirm that. Our failure as intelligent human beings is costing us stupendously in terms of enormous increases in chronic disease in children and adults alike.

Power plants in America emitted 134,365 pounds of mercury pollution in 2009, according to the new Environment America report, ‘Dirty Energy’s Assault on Our Health: Mercury.’ The report found that power plants in just four states – Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia – are responsible for over 35 percent of all mercury pollution from power plants in the United States.

In the late 1990s the estimates for coal-fired plants stood closer to 50 tons or 100,000 pounds, so Americans have been living through a 30 percent increase in the past decade or so. Globally the count is worse because China alone has been putting on the electrical grid one new coal-fired plant after another. India also has been expanding its industrial base rapidly using much more coal.

At the same time we have some nightmarish reports about recent dramatic rises in the incidence of diabetes but of course no one is connecting the dots between increasing mercury exposure and the diabetes pandemic. The number of diabetics in the United States has grown to nearly 26 million, a 10 percent increase over 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in January 2010.

About five years ago I published an essay entitled ‘The Hun Hordes of Mercury and Diabetes’ but not many paid attention. In the case of diabetes, mercury is especially telling for it affects the beta cells, the insulin itself, and the insulin receptor sites setting off a myriad of complex disturbances in glucose metabolism.

Scaring everyone is a recent study that estimated one in three Americans will have diabetes if current trends continue. And of course one’s chance of getting cancer, stroke or a heart attack increases when one is diabetic. The damage mercury is doing is well hidden and not openly discussed by doctors and dentists because they still use mercury themselves, pretending and living with the fantasy that they are doing no harm with it.

Mercury plays no part in sustaining human life. It is a dangerous and volatile heavy metal that can devastate every aspect of human physiology and even collapse the sulfur bonds in insulin. Signs of mercury poisoning include excessive peeling skin, discoloration, rapid heartbeat, muscle weakness and others. It has even been linked to the onset of autism in some cases. Mercury poisoning is highly treatable if caught in the early stages and I strongly recommend using the most natural and pure medicinals, starting with the purest water possible.

In 2009, 12 coyotes died on the beach across the length of the Padre Island National Seashore, and more likely died hidden among the dunes. Scientists at first attributed the die-off to a red algae bloom that caused toxins to build up in fish the coyotes ate. But necropsies revealed a surprise: the animals had mercury levels of 16 parts per million in their livers. Mercury toxicity eventually kills and this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the impact on the animal kingdom and the impact on our children and our own lives.

‘I can now very comfortably and definitively state to you,’ says Dr. Rashid Buttar, ‘that, in my opinion, based on the evidence, every single chronic insidious disease process is related to one word: toxicity. You cannot address the issues of aging unless you address detoxification.’ Dr. Buttar, board certified and a diplomat in preventive medicine and clinical metal toxicology, and vice-chairman of the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology, contends that he only recently (around 2004) arrived at this conclusion. ‘Five years ago I wouldn’t have said this; even a year ago I wouldn’t have said it. But the more success we’ve had, the clearer it has become: All chronic disease is toxicity. You get rid of the toxicity and you put out the fire. You may need to rebuild afterward, but you must put the fire out. Conventional medicine is just covering your eyes so you don’t see the fire.’

Dr. Boyd Haley believes that the CDC and the FDA are strongly influenced by the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries and that they have been derelict in their duty to safeguard the health of the American people. As a result of their delinquency, we have been systematically poisoned by mercury derived from silver amalgam fillings in our teeth, and our children, especially boys, have been severely damaged by vaccines containing thimerosal.

Dr. Rashid Buttar is well known for his work with the synthetic chelator TD-DMPS for children with autism as well as his cancer work with adults. His thoughts on the basic principles of managing and ridding our bodies of mercury burdens reach to people of all ages with numerous illnesses. With mercury being proven to be increasingly involved in disease processes, the need for chelation and detoxification becomes more and more clear every day. Below are his beliefs.

‘Children diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorders suffer from acute mercury toxicity secondary to huge exposure while in utero (maternal amalgam load, dietary factors, maternal inoculations, Rhogam injections, etc.) and early on in life (vaccinations preserved with thimerosal, etc.). Adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s suffer from chronic, insidious mercury toxicity secondary to exposure over a long time (amalgam load, inhalation of mercury vapors, combustion of fossil fuels, dietary factors, etc.).By addressing and eliminating the mercury ‘spark,’ the secondary ‘fires’ become far easier to manage clinically and the improvements realized from treatment of the resulting imbalances become easier to maintain.

‘The reason for some individuals to have severe damage from mercury where others do not have serious adverse neurological deficits is due to various factors that include biological individuality and genetic predisposition. In addition, factors such as the type of toxicity exposure the individual was exposed to makes an enormous difference. Was it inhaled, ingested, injected or exposed on their skin? What type of mercury exposure did the individual receive? Was it organic or inorganic mercury? If it was organic, was it ethyl mercury or methyl mercury? How frequent was the exposure to the source of toxicity? Was there a significant maternal load present prior to birth?

‘Was the situation exacerbated by the mother being inoculated, or having Rhogam administration either during gestation or prior to conception? How many vaccine administrations took place and over what period of time? What about the diet? How about the proximity to industrial sites, and exposure to combustion of fossil fuel? As you can see, the variables are extensive. But the treatment is essentially the same. The only difference is the extent of continuity of treatment.

‘The underlying common denominator in chronic neurodegenerative disease seems to be either decreasing vascular supply (less blood to the brain) or accumulation of heavy metals, specifically mercury. The inability of an individual to eliminate toxic metals, especially mercury, is directly related to the level of neurodegeneration experienced. In the young patient population suffering from autism or pervasive developmental delay, the vascular supply is not an issue. The underlying pathology of children with autism and the geriatric population with Alzheimer’s is of the same etiology, specifically mercury toxicity. Both these patient populations suffer from the inability to excrete mercury as a result of a genetic predisposition resulting from the Apo E allele. This allele appears to be associated with the inability to get rid of mercury from the system. If these patient populations inhabited a complete mercury-free environment, they would not have the problems associated with autism or Alzheimer’s.

When the mercury is successfully removed from their systems, these individuals begin to significantly improve due to a cessation of the destruction and denudation of the neurofibrils, as evidenced by steady improvement in cognitive function. Mercury is the ‘spark’ that causes the ‘fires’ of autism as well as many other neurodegenerative diseases including PDD, ADD, ADHD and Alzheimer’s. Autism is the result of high mercury exposure early in life versus Alzheimer’s where there is a chronic accumulation of mercury over a lifetime. A doctor can treat ALL the ‘fires,’ but until the ‘spark’ is removed, there is minimal hope of complete recovery with most realized improvements being transient at best.

‘Mercury is the underlying common denominator of all the problems from which these children suffer due to impairment of their excretory pathways. And the only solution for these non-eliminators is to effectively remove the mercury while repairing and enhancing the damaged elimination and detoxification pathways. Concomitantly addressing the GI tract is vital if the goal of treatment is to achieve permanent recovery.

‘Once the process of mercury removal has been effectively initiated, the source of damage is now curtailed and full recovery becomes possible. Complete recovery can now be attained and further enhanced by utilizing various additional essential therapies including nutrition.’

Physicians treat heavy metal toxicity in a number of ways that can be quite confusing. The field of detoxification and chelation is a strange one where wars are fought over whose method is better. My approach through Natural Allopathic Medicine is comprehensive, using basic substances like magnesium, iodine and sodium bicarbonate to support detoxification, chelation and healing. Magnesium Oil is both necessary in detoxification and protective against mercury damage in autism and diabetes.

I even use super nutritional substances like Rejuvenate whose backbone is made from chlorella and spirulina for there is nothing like it or better tasting to support overall cell physiology and recovery.

For those who are new to the concept that nutritional maximization has a lot to do with the removal of heavy metals we can look to mercury compromised children with autism. Traditionally there are several nutrients that children suffering from autism (mercury toxicity) are routinely lacking at the proper levels. They include calcium, zinc, vitamins C and E, varied amino acids, selenium, magnesium, taurine, and essential fatty acids.

It’s hard to miss the changes that a dietary change will bring about in your child. Potentially, the severity of your child’s behaviors can be reduced, and they may also improve in the area of social interaction if you feed them the rocket fuel provided by super concentrated nutritional substances.

But we do need to go after the heavy metals and especially mercury very specifically and pointedly. I will report on this more in my upcoming book Toxicity Syndrome, but for years I have been recommending HMD (Heavy Metal Detox) developed by Dr. George Georgiou in Europe along with the internal and external use of clay.

Courtesy of Mark Sircus., AC, OMD

THE SECRET OF A LONGER LIFE

VARIETY on our meal tables holds the key to a long and healthy life.

Food that contains anti-oxidants, wholegrain and vital fatty acids can cut the risk of killer illnesses including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, a study shows.

Scientists found that the diet could reduce cholesterol – a significant cause of heart disease – by a third and bring blood pressure down by nearly a tenth.
But rather than just a narrow range of foods being responsible for boosting health, the research showed that the answer was a widely varied diet that might include oily fish, porridge oats and blueberries.

Nutritionist Angela Dowden said: “The key is definitely to introduce these kinds of foods into the diet. It is a very healthy diet and completely proves the point that it is about healthy eating as a whole, not just doing one thing.

“It is a lifestyle change instead of tweaks here and there. It could be that it is just one of the foods that is producing these effects but it is much more likely that it is an additive affect of them all contributing.

“I think this study is very interesting and it is showing time and time again that it is about an additive approach, not just doing one thing.”

Ms Dowden, who was not part of the research group, added: “This is another spin on the Mediterranean diet.“All of these foods have independently been shown to have some health benefits so it makes sense that they have a big impact when combined.”

It has long been known that keeping active and a healthy diet can hold back the onset of a range of diseases like heart problems and cancer.
Previous studies have put this down to eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and nuts, others to a diet rich in fish containing essential fatty acids, like fresh mackerel, and some to wholegrain cereals.

But the results of the study carried out at Ant diabetic Food Centre at Lund University in Sweden have shown that it is multiple rather than just single foods with anti-inflammatory effects that work wonders.

Inger Björck, professor of food-related nutrition at the university and head of the Ant diabetic Food Centre, who carried out the research, said: “The results have exceeded our expectations. I would like to claim that there has been no previous study with similar effects on healthy subjects. Our purpose was to find out which preventive effect can be obtained on established risk markers by combining food concepts with an expected positive impact on inflammation.

“We hope that these results on healthy subjects will inspire more intense preventive efforts in society.”

She said it was not possible to tell precisely which food factors had a greater or lesser impact on the research results.

“That’s the point,” she added. “We believe in the idea of combined effects. Drug or specific products with health claims affect only one or maybe a couple of risk factors.

“By a combination of food you can in a simple and striking way affect many risk parameters simultaneously.”

The study saw 44 healthy but overweight people between the ages of 50 and 75 take part.

They ate foods which are presumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body, a condition which in turn triggers metabolic syndrome which leads to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The test diet was high in antioxidants, low-GI foods – which release carbohydrates slowly – omega fatty acids, wholegrain products, probiotics and viscous dietary fiber.

Examples of foods the test group ate included oily fish, barley, soy protein, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, vinegar and a certain type of wholegrain bread.
The results showed that the diet slashed bad cholesterol by 33 per cent, lipids – blood fats – by 14 per cent, blood pressure by 8 per cent and a risk marker for blood clots by 26 per cent.

A marker of inflammation in the body was also greatly reduced, while memory and cognitive function were improved.

Inflammation is thought by some experts to be one of the chief causes of chronic diseases.

It can lead to cells becoming damaged and turning cancerous and inflammation has been linked to a higher risk of developing heart disease.

This is Britain’s biggest killer, claiming the lives of one in five men and one in seven women.

About 2.6 million people in this country have Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by poor diet and a lack of exercise.

More than 820,000 people have a form of dementia, with more than half suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, a million people will have dementia, soaring to 1.7 million by 2051.

How To Slow Down Your Eating

Slow down, you eat too fast!

It takes 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our brains that we are full. If we eat fast, we can eat way past what we need. This causes us to be overweight, develop chronic health problems and reduce our quality and quantity of life.

Slow down using this “Fork Down!” technique that has helped many people. You may even notice yourself tasting your food, enjoying it more and losing weight.

Here’s How:

  1. Put food in your mouth.
  2. Put your fork, spoon, or chopsticks on the table.
  3. Release your fork, spoon or chopsticks from your hand.
  4. Chew your food. Chew it well. Pay attention to taste and texture.
  5. Empty your mouth.
  6. Pick up your fork and reload it with food. (Do not do step six until your mouth is 100% empty.)
  7. Continue the technique through the whole meal. Notice if your eating time increases. Notice too if you naturally eat less.

Definitions of Herbal Properties

adaptogen: a non-toxic substance which helps the body to adapt to stressful situations while also normalizing physiology

alterative: gradually alters the body towards health, also often referred to as a blood cleanser. Alteratives work directly through the metabolism

anodyne: pain relieving

antibacterial: effective against bacteria

anticoagulant: prevents blood from clotting, blood thinner

antidepressant: relieves depression

antifungal: effective against fungal infections

anti-inflammatory: reduces inflammation

antimicrobial: inhibits micro-organisms

antioxidant: prevents free radical or oxidative damage

antiseptic: prevents growth of microbes

antispasmodic: stops spasms

anti-tumor: inhibits growth of tumors

antiviral: inhibits growth of viruses

aphrodisiac: increases libido

aromatic digestant: promotes digestion through aromatic actions of moving energy and relieving stagnation (promoting peristalsis, expelling gas, etc)

astringent: tightens tissues, useful for toning organs, stopping diarrhea and other excessive fluid loss

bitter: a taste that stimulates salivation and the secretion of bile and HCL to promote

carminative: expels gas from the intestines (often an aromatic digestant)

cell proliferant: promotes cell growth

cholagogue: stimulates bile flow from the gall bladder

circulatory stimulant: promotes circulation

demulcent: internally soothing, often times a mucilaginous that coats and protects the

diaphoretic: a relaxing diaphoretic relaxes the exterior to allow for heat to leave the body a stimulating diaphoretic engages the tissues to help push the heat out.

digestant: aids digestion

diuretic: stimulates urination

emetic: promotes vomiting

emmenagogue: promotes menstruation

emollient: soothing and softening to the skin

expectorant: promotes the expulsion of mucous from the lungs

hemostatic: stops bleeding

hepatoprotective: protects the liver

hypotensive: lowers blood pressure

immunomodulator: promotes health in the immune system by modulating extremes in hyper or hypo action

laxative: promotes bowel evacuation

lymphatic: promotes lymphatic movement; an example is reducing enlarged lymph glands

mood elevator: promotes a happier disposition

nervine: can be relaxing or stimulating. A relaxing nervine relaxes constricted or contracted tissues in the nervous system. . A stimulating nervine stimulates stagnant or overly relaxed tissues of the nervous system.

nutritive: contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals

sialagogue; promotes the salivary glands to secrete saliva

styptic: stops bleeding usually through astringent actions

tonic: gradually increases organ tone and is often considered invigorating

trophorestorative: a nourishing herb or food that usually has an affinity to a particular organ or system of the body, it acts on the particular system to bring it into balance and can also restore function

vulnerary: heals wounds

CDC Says 50 Million Americans Suffer Joint Pain – Arthritis

A surprising jump in the number of Americans hobbled by arthritis may be due to obesity, health experts said.

About 22 percent of U.S. adults have been told by a doctor that they have arthritis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The statistic comes from national telephone polling of tens of thousands of adults in 2007 through 2009.

That translates to nearly 50 million people with the joint disease. It’s also roughly the same percentage with arthritis as reported in a 2003-2005 study.

But there was a significant jump in adults who said their joint pain or other arthritis symptoms limited their usual activities, to 9.4 percent from 8.3 percent. That means more than 21 million adults have trouble climbing stairs, dressing, gardening or doing other things, up from less than 19 million only a few years before, the CDC researchers estimated.

That jump was “more than we would have expected,” said Dr. John Klippel, president of the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation.

Klippel said the increase probably was due mainly to baby boomers, who are at an age when they are more likely to suffer osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. It breaks down cartilage and causes pain and joint stiffness.

He added that a complicating factor is high rates of baby boomers who are overweight and obese. Extra weight puts more pressure on arthritic joints, making the problem worse, he said.

The percentage of people who were hobbled was more than twice as high in obese people as those who were normal weight or were underweight, the CDC researchers found. Obesity can lead to or worsen osteoarthritis in the knees, the researchers wrote.

The study is published in a CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Study Suggests a Daily Vitamin Pill Causes Risk of Skin Cancer

Millions of people who take vitamin pills could be putting themselves at risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer. Research has revealed that supplements containing antioxidants and minerals appear to increase the chances of developing a malignant melanoma.

Volunteers given pills containing vitamin E, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc were four times more likely to get cancer than those who took dummy pills.

The findings come from a follow-up study to one in 2007, which revealed the risks to vitamin-pill poppers.

The results of that research, by French scientists, showed that out of 13,000 adults, those who took daily supplements to stay healthy were at much higher risk of skin cancer.

To double-check their findings, the same team monitored patients for several more years. These results, published in the latest European Journal of Cancer Prevention, confirm that the increased risk virtually disappeared once patients stopped daily supplements.

Now scientists behind the research, carried out at the National Centre for Rare Skin Diseases in Bordeaux, are calling for those most at risk of skin cancer — fair-skinned types or those with a history of excessive sun exposure — to steer clear of supplements.

Women may be more at risk than men, possibly because they have more fat around the skin, where antioxidants and vitamins are mainly stored.

Malignant melanomas kill about 1,700 a year in the UK and are the third most common cancer in those aged 15 to 39. Over-exposure to the sun’s rays is the biggest cause. So far, the only proven way of reducing risk is to use high protection creams and wearing suitable clothing.

But it had been widely assumed that taking antioxidants would reduce the risk, since supplements theoretically protect the skin against damage from the sun’s rays.

The study, however, suggests supplements have the opposite effect. Scientists do not think taking vitamins actually causes malignant melanoma, rather it somehow speeds up the development of a tumor.

The findings are likely to heighten concerns about overuse of vitamins. Earlier this year, Swedish researchers found that taking daily multivitamin pills raised the risk of breast cancer in women by almost 20 per cent.

It is estimated that nearly a quarter of all adults in the UK take antioxidant supplements or multi-vitamins on a regular basis. The market is worth about Pounds 500million a year.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Health Supplements Information Service, which represents supplement suppliers, said other studies had found no link between vitamins and skin cancer. She added the low number of skin cancer cases in the French research also cast doubt on the results.

Cancer Research UK stressed that vitamins and minerals found in foods did not appear to harm skin in the same way.

A spokesman said: ‘The best way to reduce the risk is to avoid sunburn.’

RECORD numbers of Scots from the ‘package holiday generation’ are dying of skin cancer, new figures show.

Deaths have risen by a third in only two years, most markedly among the age group which first took sunshine breaks in the 1960s and 70s.

The disease is now a bigger killer than either cervical or uterine cancer in Scotland. General Register Office for Scotland figures show that between January and June 2010, 102 people died from malignant melanoma. A decade ago, the disease claimed 115 in the entire year.

The Scottish Executive said it was funding campaigns to raise awareness of the disease.

6 Myths About Your Eyes

Parents ever tell you that eating carrots would save you from wearing glasses? Or that sitting too close to the TV could make you go blind? Their advice may sound rather mixed to you as an adult. But what exactly is good or bad for your eyes? Read on to find out whether any of the offbeat stuff you’ve heard is truly legitimate or the stuff of urban eye-health legends.

Myth: Eating carrots will improve your vision.
The truth: No studies to date show that your eyesight will get sharper just by eating more carrots. Carrots do, however, contain vitamin A — a nutrient your eyes need to function properly — so a deficiency would be bad news for your eyes. Keep the rabbit food on the menu. Just don’t bother with vitamin A supplements, because your body doesn’t need a ton of the stuff, and getting more than you need of the supplement form can be harmful to your health.

Myth: Working on a computer is bad for your eyes.
The truth: Computer eyestrain has less to do with computers and more to do with the way you work on them. Most of us forget to blink and take breaks as often as we should while working or reading, so all that time spent staring at the screen can make eyes tired and dry. It might even give you a headache. But it won’t damage your eyes, especially if you treat your eyes right while working.

Myth: Reading in dim light damages your eyes.
The truth: Reading or doing crossword puzzles in lower light won’t hurt your eyes, but it is very likely to tire them out. That’s the extent of the damage. Still, you should try to make things easier on your eyes and work in adequate lighting as much as possible.

Myth: If you wear glasses or contacts, your eyes will become dependent on them, and your vision will get worse.
The truth: Wearing glasses or contact lenses doesn’t weaken your eyesight. It’s things like aging, injury, disease, or genetic factors that make vision worse — not using vision correction.

Myth: Sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes.
The truth: Just like when you stare at your computer screen too long, you might get a headache from sitting too close to your TV. But there is no proof that the close distance is damaging. Still, needing to sit closer to the TV might be a sign of nearsightedness, so you may need to have your vision checked.

Myth: Wearing the wrong eyeglasses is bad for your eyes.
The truth: Wearing the wrong prescription (like someone else’s glasses) or not wearing glasses at all won’t harm your eyes. But only wearing your correct prescription will give you optimal vision — and who wouldn’t want that?

Hazelnuts- Good Fuel For The Body

If a national research group has its way, U.S. farmers will soon add a new crop to their fields — hazelnuts.

The U.S. currently produces only about five percent of the world’s hazelnuts.

Traditionally known as a European crop used to make sweets and healthy cooking oils, hazelnuts may have even bigger potential as a bio-fuel and feed for livestock, researchers say. And hazelnuts are environmentally friendly to grow according to researchers at the Arbor Day Foundation, a tree conservation organization.

The U.S. currently produces only about five percent of the world’s hazelnuts — and almost all of that comes from Oregon, an area of the U.S. with a climate ideal for tree growth. But a consortium of the Arbor Day Foundation and three universities — the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oregon State University and Rutgers University — thinks the U.S. can do better.

To increase the hazelnut’s presence in American fields, researchers first have to develop a hybrid that will grow well in a variety of climates across the country.

The group, which has been conducting research for more than a decade, received a $1.3 million grant last fall from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — it’s largest to date — to help make hazelnuts a commercially viable crop. The research had previously been funded by smaller grants or by the institutions themselves.

Scott Josiah, state forester and director of the Nebraska Forrest Service says both the economic and environmental potential of hazelnuts were likely motivating factors behind the USDA’s decision to award the grant.

“They are looking for crops that show potential,” said Josiah. “Hazelnuts will grow where other crops won’t — such as on sloped terrain.”

The versatility of the hazelnut is what makes it so appealing as a new crop, researchers say. It’s used in candies and as a food supplement. As a cooking oil, it has a similar composition to olive oil with a high content of Omega-9 and Omega-6.