Antidepressant Use Explodes among Developed Nations as Big Pharma Pushes Pills as Magical Problem Solvers

Many of the world’s most unhappy and depressed people live in developed countries where rates of antidepressant use have skyrocketed over the past decade, says a new report issued by the U.S.-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Continue reading

How to Cut Your Diabetes Risk by 80%

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes in the U.S. alone. Why the epidemic? It has a lot to do with lifestyle choices. In fact, a recent study has found that living a healthy lifestyle could cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80%.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health have of course known for some time that diet, exercise, smoking and drinking have an impact on whether someone is likely to develop type 2 diabetes. What they didn’t know was how each individual factor affects the risk.

So they devised a clinical trial that looked at physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, Continue reading

Seed Hunters Make Mad Dash to Save the Food Crops of Humanity

In the face of today`s burgeoning loss of seed diversity, the need for a doubling in food production in the next fifty years and the threatened spread of deadly food fungus has instigated seed hunters to scour world markets in a desperate search for the last varieties of wheat, rice, barley, lentils and chickpeas.

Food diversity extinction is rampant. In the USA, 90 percent of historic fruit and vegetable varieties have vanished. In the Philippines thousands of varieties of rice are now shrunk to a few hundred. China has lost perhaps 90 percent of wheat varieties. This former diversity was the result of more than 10,000 years of domestication.

Without seed diversity,  Continue reading

Scientific Mystery Connected to the Kava Plant

There is a recent scientific mystery connected to a plant that was once used in dietary supplements.

Kava, a plant used in the U.S. in the 90s as an herbal supplement to treat anxiety, was found to sometimes cause liver damage in Westerners who consumed it. Pacific Islanders, however, have been consuming the plant in different forms for years with no side effects, and scientists continue to struggle to determine why.

The U.S., U.K. and Canada ban or regulate products that contain kava, while those living in the Pacific Islands consider it a normal part of an everyday diet. Researchers reviewed 85 different studies on kava toxicity and were unable to determine why the plant is sometimes toxic to Westerners and not to Pacific Islanders, where the plant is still used for holistic purposes.

“To date, there remains no indisputable reason Continue reading

80% of Fish Eaten in US is Imported of which 50% is Farmed. Beware of Drugs.

Does the fish on your plate need a drug test? According to an April 14, 2011 report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, The Food and Drug Administration is not doing enough to ensure that the fish available to American consumers is uncontaminated by antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. They found that the FDA lacks “procedures, criteria and standards” to see that the fish being sent to U.S. markets are safe. The European Union, on the other hand, has a much tougher inspection and regulation system for seafood.

The Problem with U.S. Fish Inspection

Of all the fish consumed in the United States, 80 percent are imported. Half of imported fish comes from fish farms. China is the largest producer, providing a quarter of the fish imported  Continue reading

U.S. 1 in 5 Kids found Deficient in Vitamin D

Chicago-At least 1 in 5 U.S. children ages 1 to 11 doesn’t get enough vitamin D and could be at risk for a variety of health problems including weak bones, the most recent national analysis suggests.

By a looser measure, almost 90 percent of black children that age and 80 percent of Latino kids could be vitamin D deficient – “astounding numbers” that should serve as a call to action, said Dr. Jonathan Mansbach, lead author of the new analysis and a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

The deficiency is a concern because recent studies suggest the vitamin might help prevent infections, diabetes and some cancers.

The new analysis, released online today by the journal Pediatrics, is the first assessment of varying vitamin D levels in children ages 1 through 11. The study used data from a 2001-06 government health survey of almost 3,000 children who had blood tests measuring vitamin D.