Posts Tagged ‘health’

The Wonders of Probiotics

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms thought to be healthy for the host organism. According to the currently adopted definition by FAO/WHO, probiotics are: “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics; but certain yeasts and bacilli may also be helpful. Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures; such as in yogurt, soy yogurt, or as dietary supplements.

Etymologically, the term appears to be a composite of the Latin preposition pro (“for”) and the Greek adjective βιωτικός (biotic), the latter deriving from the noun βίος (bios, “life”). At the start of the 20th century, probiotics were thought to beneficially affect the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance, thus inhibiting pathogens and toxin producing bacteria. Today, specific health effects are being investigated and documented including alleviation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, prevention and treatment of pathogen-induced diarrhea, urogenital infections, and atopic diseases.

Studies show there is no single probiotic supplement that is best for everyone. However, there are many probiotic strains that have been proven to work for almost everyone.

Products like vsl 3 and probiotic plus contain high quality acidophilus supplements.

There are also many probiotic foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut or kimchi that will often contain prebiotics, which help feed your probiotics. But the best healthy bacterium will be found through personal experimentation.

Proven Probiotic Strains:

acidophilus bifidus blend
probiotic lactobacillus
lactobacillus acidophilus
lactobacillus gg

L. reuteri
bifidobacterium lactis
bifidus infantis

Acidophilus Bifidus Blend

Acidophilus Bifidus is a probiotic blend that is a mixture of the popular L. acidophilus probiotics and bifidus microflora. But why on earth would we want to mix two types of probiotics together?
Acidophillus Strains and Bifidus Strains Work Together

It’s natural to us that different people have different jobs. Likewise, in nature, different types of probiotics have different functions. Because of the complementary roles that they play, we should ideally have 5% acidophillus (Lactobacillus Acidophillus) and 90% Bifidus (Bifidobacteria). The remaining 5% is neutral or pathogenic bacteria (which is okay when it’s only at 5%). But what do each of the different probiotic bacteria do?
How Do Acidophilus Microflora Benefit Us?

Acidophillus primarily lowers the pH of the intestines, making your body inhospitable for bad bacteria. There are more than 127 health benefits of taking probiotics, and there are many Acidophillius benefits.
How Do Bifidus Probiotics Benefit Us?

Bifidobacteria are especially important for consistent bowel movements, keeping pathogens out of the blood stream and processing our waste. Additionally, they also manufacture B-vitamins and combat antibiotic side effects. At birth, infants primarily have bifidobacterium in their colons and a lack of colonization from this bacteria can increase susceptibility to rotavirus, e coli. and other bacteria.


Probiotic Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus probiotics comprise a small percentage of the good bacteria in our body, but they have a huge health effect. Research studies have shown probiotic strains of Lactobacillus are known for numerous health benefits for everyone from babies and infants to adults and the elderly.

These benefits range from reducing allergies (eczema), fighting cancer, reducing cavities, to lowering blood pressure. They also can help with digestive problems such as occasional diarrhea, flatulence, IBS and ulcerative colitis.

But perhaps most importantly, the lactobacillius microflora lower the pH of the intestines and pave the way for other probiotics such as SBOs and Bifidobacteria. So when we use lactobacillus bacteria in a blend with other type of probiotics, such as an Acidophilus Bifidus blend, we can reap the benefits of all the probiotics.

Among the various strains of probiotic Lactobacillus, we are afforded an amazing number of benefits, at least 140 have been proven by scientific research.

L. acidophilus Benefits

  • Chronic Conditions (25)
  • lower LDL and total cholesterol
  • increase (good) HDL-cholesterol
  • lower total cholesterol
  • reduce blood pressure among hypertensive patients
  • decrease blood pressure
  • reduce systolic blood pressure
  • reduce blood pressure
  • inhibit H. pylori (and ulcers)
  • reduce uninary oxalate levels (associated with kidney stones)
  • reduce kidney oxalate levels (kidney stone risk)
  • reduce anemia
  • produce ACE-inhibitor molecules (reduces blood pressure)
  • inhibit keratoconjunctivitis (when used as eye drops)
  • decrease triglycerides (linked to heart disease and stroke)
  • decrease PTH (marker for bone loss)
  • maintain remission of diverticular disease
  • improve glucose control (reduce symptoms of diabetes)
  • decrease colds and influenza
  • reduce colds and flu
  • reduce colds and influenza
  • reduce risk of ear infections
  • inhibit CRE (antibiotic-ressistant)
  • reduce burn infections (topical)
  • increase burn healing
  • reduce symptoms and aid healing of multiple traumas among injured patients
  • improve liver function (3)
  • decrease risk of cirrhosis
  • help restore healthy liver enzymes (in mild alcohol-induced liver injury)
  • support liver function
  • immue systetem boosting (36)
  • inhibit pathogenic bacterial infections
  • Inhibit Salmonella spp.
  • inhibit E. coli
  • inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • reduce pancreatic sepsis (infection)
  • reduce postoperative infection
  • inhibit pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in repiratory tract
  • inhibit clostridium difficile
  • inhibit pneumonia
  • inhibit bronchitis
  • increase immune response in HIV/AIDS patients
  • decrease symptoms of HIV/AIDS
  • stimulate immunity in HIV children
  • produce virus-specific antibodies
  • inhibit viruses
  • inhibit viral infections
  • inhibit candida overgrowth
  • reduce fungal infections
  • inhibit severe systemic inflammatory response syndrome
  • reduce inflammation
  • reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines
  • reduce inflammatory response
  • increase vaccine efficiency
  • stimulate the immune system
  • stimulate the immmune system among the elderly
  • stimulate the immune system
  • stimulate the immune system
  • strengthen the immune system
  • increase immune response
  • reduce risk of strep throat caused by S. pyogenes
  • inhibit upper respiratory infections
  • reduce risk of pneumonia
  • reduce frequency and severity of respiratory diseases during the cold and flu season
  • reduce lower respiratory infections
  • inhibit respiratory tract infections
  • reduce risk of respiratory infections
  • Infant Conditions (11)
  • increase growth rates (in infants)
  • reduce IgE eczema in infancy
  • reduce infant colic
  • stimulate growth and feeding among preterm infants
  • stimulate infant growth
  • increase growth in preterm infants
  • reduce infection from rotavirus
  • inhibit rotavirus
  • decrease rotavirus infections
  • reduce necrotizing enterocolitis (primarily occurs in infants)
  • normalize gut colonization similar to breast-fed infants among formula-fed infants
  • Vaginal Health (4)
  • help re-establish the pH of the vagina
  • inhibit vaginal candidasis
  • reduce vaginosis and vaginitis
  • reduce mastitis
  • allergies (8)
  • help prevent atopic eczema
  • reduce eczema
  • reduce allergic response
  • decrease allergic symptoms
  • reduce allergy symptoms
  • reduce asthma symptoms
  • reduce atopic dermatitis in children
  • decrease atopic dermatitis
  • digestive issues (28)
  • reduce constipation
  • reduce nausea
  • reduce flatulence
  • decrease nausea
  • reduce stress-induced GI problems
  • reduce intestinal permeability
  • inhibit various intestinal pathobiotics (such as Clostridium difficile)
  • reduce intestinal permeability
  • stabilize barrier function (reducing intestinal permeability)
  • stabilize intestinal barrier function (decreased permeability)
  • reduce intestinal permeability
  • reduce IBS symptoms
  • decrease symptoms of IBS
  • reduce IBS symptoms
  • reduce occurrence, risk and symptoms of IBS
  • reduce IBS
  • relieve and inhibit IBS
  • decrease IBS symptoms
  • reduce dyspepsia
  • decrease dyspepsia
  • reduce intestinal bacteria
  • relieve and inhibit ulcerative colitis
  • reduce ulcerative colitis
  • inhibit and resolve acute diarrhea
  • decrease diarrhea (rotavirus and non-rotavirus)
  • inhibit and reduce diarrhea episodes
  • inhibit antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • reduce diarrhea (rotavirus and non-rotavirus)
  • Increased Vitamins and Nutrients (7)
  • increase calcium absorption
  • increase serum levels of calcium
  • help digest milk
  • decrease milk intolerance
  • increase absorption of dairy (lactose)
  • break down nutrients for bioavailability
  • produce vitamins B1 and B2
  • general health benefits (3)
  • increase appetite
  • increase sleep quality and duration
  • increase general health perception
  • oral health (7)
  • reduce dental carries
  • reduce salivary mutans in the mouth
  • reduce mouth ulcers
  • reduce gingivitis
  • inhibit periodontal disease
  • reduce plaque on teeth
  • inhibit tonsilitiis
  • cancer and cancer treatment (8)
  • prevent recurrence of bladder cancer
  • reduce risk of bladder cancer
  • increase white blood cell counts after chemoterapy
  • inhibit malignant pleural effusions secondary to lung cancer
  • inhibit tumor growth of carcinomatous peritonitis/stomach cancer
  • reduce the risk of colon cancer
  • prevent colorectal tumor growth
  • reduce cervix tumors when used in combination radiation therapy


Lactobacillus Acidophilus

L. Acidophilus probiotics have been proven to have amazing health benefits. For example, Lactobacillus Acidophilus has been shown to improve digestion of milk and reduce blood pressure. Also, there are a number of ways you can consume.

It is genuinely amazing that just eating a few good acidophilus bacteria can lower your blood pressure, but our body is an amazingly complex system.

Our L. Acidophilus probiotic friends are good for digestive issues, enhancing immunity, healthier infants, allergies & fighting viruses.

The list of below benefits come from the many studies we have read & Dr. Casey Adams’s Probiotics book.


The Wonderful Benefits of Acidophilus Probiotics

Improve Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

  • increase HDL-cholesterol (good)
  • lower (bad) LDL cholesterol
  • lower total cholesterol
  • decrease triglycerides
  • reduce blood pressure

Help Digestive Conditions

  • decrease in stress-induced digestive system problems
  • reduce (too many bad tummy bacteria) dyspepsia
  • relieve/prevent IBS
  • relieve/prevent ulcerative colitis
  • relieve/prevent acute diarrhea
  • relieve/prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • reduce intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
  • decrease lactose intolerance

Improvement of Infant Conditions

  • increase growth in preterm infants
  • fight rotavirus in infants
  • reduce necrotizing enterocolitis (mostly occurs in infants)

Fight Viral, Bacterial & Fungal Infections

  • prevent E. coli infection
  • reduce/prevent H. pylori (ulcers)
  • enhance vaccine effectiveness
  • produce virus-specific antibodies (so cool)
  • prevent tonsilitiis
  • fight viruses
  • reduce upper respiratory infections
  • reduce cadida spp. overgrowths
  • reduce keratoconjunctivitis (when used as eye drops)
  • decrease vaginosis and vaginitis

Nutritional Benefits

  • increase calcium absorption
  • produce B vitamins and other some nutrients
  • increase appetite

Reduce Allergy Severity

  • mitigate allergic response
  • decrease allergy symptoms

Fight Other Chronic Conditions

  • reduce anemia
  • reduce uninaryoxalate levels (associated with kidney stones)



Lactobacillus gg

Lactobacillus gg is an extremely well researched probiotic strain. It was patented in 1985 and there have been numerous studies proving more than 44 health benefits of this good bacteria.

Lactobacillus gg, also known as L. rhamnosus gg, has extremely good intestinal wall adhesion and thus considered a good probiotic for clearing the way for your body’s native friendly bacterial strains. This probiotic is also great for stimulating the immune system. See the rest of the benefits below :D

How Can I Consume Lactobacillus gg?

The best way to get lactobacillus gg into your diet is through consuming yogurt or probiotic supplements, such as culturelle.

Lactobacillus gg Benefits

Diabetes management

  • improve glucose control

Immunity Boosting

  • fight bacterial infections (general)
    • reduce risk of ear infections
    • reduce risk of respiratory infections
    • inhibit vaginosis
  • reduce colds and flu
  • inhibit ulcer causing H. pylori
  • stimulate the immune system (general)
  • increase immune response in HIV/AIDS patiens
  • decrease symptoms of HIV/AIDS

Reduce Allergies And Inflammation

  • reduce eczema
  • help prevent atopic eczema
  • reduce inflammation

Infant and Baby Benefits of Lactobacillus gg

  • inhibit rotavirus
  • reduce colic
  • stimulate infant growth

Cancer Fighting And Preventing

  • reduce risk of colon cancer
  • stimulate tumor killing activity among NK-cells

Digestive Benefits of Lactobacillus gg

  • reduce IBS symptoms
  • reduce constipation
  • stabilize intestinal barrier function

Lower Bad Cholesterol

  • reduce LDL-cholesterol levels


L. Reuteri

Benefits of L. reuteri

L. reuteri
inhibit gingivitis
reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines
help re–establish the pH of the vagina
stimulate growth and feeding among preterm infants
inhibit and suppress H. pylori
decrease dyspepsia
reduce nausea
reduce flatulence
reduce diarrhea (rotavirus and non-rotavirus)
reduce salivary mutans streptococus
stimulate the immune system
reduce plaque on teeth
inhibit vaginal candidasis
decrease symptoms of IBS
reduce IgE eczema in infancy
reduce infant colic
reduce vagina pH
reduce colds and influenza
stabilize barrier function (reducing intestinal permeability)
decrease atopic dermatitis

Bifidobacterium Lactis

Bifidobacterium Lactis is a very powerful transient probiotic bacteria. Scientific studies have proven that B. Lactis enhances immunity, fights tumor growth, improves digestion and can lower cholesterol.

B. animalis/lactis inhabit the intestines & the colon in great numbers. Generally, their job is to break down body waste & the absorption of various vitamins & minerals

Bifido Lactis is present in raw milk and is used as starter culture for cheese, cottage cheese and butter milk.

Full List of B. Lactis Benefits

Fight Cancerous Tumors

  • increase tumoricidal activity

Improve Digestive Conditions

  • reduce constipation
  • improve digestive comfort
  • reduce acute diarrhea (rotavirus and non-rotavirus)
  • reduce IBS symptoms
  • reduce diarrhea
  • normalize bowel movements
  • decrease intestinal permeability

Oral Health from B. Lactis

  • reduce dental caries
  • reduce salivary mutans in mouth

Enhance Immunity

  • increase vaccination immune response
  • increase T-cell activity as needed
  • increase immunity among the elderly
  • otitis media (middle ear inflammation)
  • reduce respiratory diseases (severity and frequency)
  • reduce colds and flu
  • strengthen the immune system
  • inhibit H. pylori (can cause ulcers)

Reduce Allergies and Inflammation

  • reduce allergic inflammation
  • reduce inflammatory responses
  • stimulate improvement in atopic dermatitis patients
  • improve atopic dermatitis symptoms and sensitivity

Diabetes Management

  • increase blood glucose control

Improve Cholesterol

  • increase HDL-cholesterol
  • decrease total cholesterol

Other Health Benefits

  • increase absorption of dairy
  • increase body weight among preterm infants


Bifidus Infantis

Given the name “B. Infantis“, it is clear that this probiotic strain is important to healthy babies. This probiotic also present in adults and older children. Moreover, Bifido Infantis also help reduce the severity of diarrhea, kidney stones and a host of other scientifically proven benefits.

B. Infantis produce large amounts of acid (like L. acidohpillus) to protect from invading bad pathogenic bacteria. In women, these bacteria also colonize and protect baby’s vaginas. Thus making it advisable for pregnant women to take Bifidobacterium Infantis probiotic supplements.

Bifidobacterium decline with age, so it could be argued that it is worth supplementing them.

B. infantis Benefits (9)

Reduce IBS Symptoms and Acute Diarrhea

  • reduces acute diarrhea (rotavirus and non-rotavirus)
  • reduce or eliminate symptoms of IBS

Protect Vaginal Canal

  • B. infantis protect vaginal canal from infection and invasion

Bifido infantis Benefits for Babies and Infants

  • establish infant microflora
  • reduce death among very low birth weight infants
  • increase immunity among very low birth weight infants

Improve Immune System

  • improve immune system efficiency
  • reduce inflammatory allergic response
  • increase polio vaccine efficiency

Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones

  • reduce urinary oxalate (associated with kidney stones)



Bifodo probiotics, also know as bifidobacterium is a group of probiotics that have amazing health benefits. Below are a few strains that have been scientifically proven to improve or cure digestive ailments, lower cholesterol and even fight the common cold.

They typically reside in the intestines & colon. Their main jobs are:

  • absorb nutrients before elimination
  • process bile & other body waste products
  • help regulate bowel rhythm (peristalsis)
  • produce B vitamins
  • inhibit yeast growth

And there you have it ! Probiotics also fight colds, stop diarrhea and prevent cavities. In fact, there are more than 127 scientifically proven probiotic benefits that bacteria like L. acidophilus have.

I hope this blog was helpful and informative ~ Good Health to you !


Globally conscious herbal teas and supplements


New Events on the Millions Against Monsanto World Food Day Map!


New Events on the Millions Against Monsanto World Food Day Map!

This World Food Day, October 16, 2011, is going to be the biggest single day of action for labels on genetically engineered food in U.S. history.

New events are being posted to the Millions Against Monsanto map on a daily basis.

Zoom in to see what’s happening in your town

Many of the Millions Against Monsanto events are of national importance. In Pleasanton, CA, activists are rallying at Safeway headquarters. Like most supermarkets, most of the food sold in Safeway contains unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients. Act in solidarity with the Pleasanton rally by sending a letter to Safeway, letting them know that 9-out-of-10 shoppers want genetically engineered foods labeled.

Another way to participate no matter where you are by posting a photo of yourself with your wittiest anti-GMO slogan in the Virtual Rally for the Right to Know About GMOs on Flickr.


We incorporate genetic information from the food we eat – new study

We incorporate genetic information from the food we eat – new study

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:12

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Below (item 2) is the abstract of an interesting new study which has implications for any animal or human that eats a GM food. In fact, it brings new light to the old truism, “You are what you eat”.

The study shows that we incorporate genetic information from the food we eat and that ingested nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA, can have physiological influences.

The study is yet another nail in the coffin of the already discredited ‘safety assessment’ process for GM foods in the EU and elsewhere. These assessments do not consider the effects described.

Item 1 is a compilation of comments on the paper from scientists.

1. Comments on new study (below) from scientists

This is a very interesting discovery. In the light of this, a GM crop incorporating miRNA knock-down technology should be evaluated for gene expression-disturbing effects in the animals/humans who eat it. On a more general note, this makes another strong link between what we eat and our gene expression profile that could either lead to health or disease.

Micro RNA (miRNA) and short interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules are part of the naturally occurring “RNA interference” (RNAi) system found in both plants and animals. miRNA and siRNA molecules bind to specific mRNA targets that results in them being destroyed with the final outcome in effect being that expression from a given gene is reduced or virtually eliminated (“knock-down”). Note: as a reminder, mRNA is the RNA copy of a gene with the information within which the cell uses to synthesise a required protein. So is you knock-down (reduce) levels of a given mRNA via binding of an miRNA or siRNA you reduce or eliminate the amount of protein product that is encoded in the gene/mRNA.

It is important to note that miRNA and siRNA are naturally occurring systems that cells use to control levels of gene expression. However, miRNA and siRNA molecules can be custom-designed for a mRNA target of choice and delivered via GM approaches to the desired cells or organism.

The totally surprising finding of the study in question is that miRNA molecules are not destroyed during digestion, and, even more unexpectedly, can enter intact into the body of the animal that has eaten it, find an mRNA target (in this case in the liver) and interfere with (destroy/knock-down) its function.

So what this new study is implying from a GM perspective is that if a GM crop has been produced by the incorporation of a gene that will express a miRNA molecule to knock-down expression of a host or pest gene (see Auer C, Frederick R. Crop improvement using small RNAs: applications and predictive ecological risk assessments. Trends in Biotechnology. Nov 2009; 27(11): 644-651), then the potential negative effect of ingesting this crop by an animal or human also should now also be considered. miRNA and siRNA molecules in the crop can inadvertently switch off (knock-down) expression of a gene system in the animal or human who has eaten it, resulting in ill health.

miRNA or siRNA molecules are prone to “off-target” effects; that is, they can bind to and knock-down mRNA that they were not designed to target! So the picture of outcomes can get very complex. It will be interesting to see if this study can be replicated by looking at other miRNA molecules in plant foods and their effect on animals who eat them.

Even more interesting would be to see if a GM crop engineered with a novel miRNA results in this molecule being taken up with measurable effects by the animal in a feeding trial.

2. Zhang L, Hou D, Chen X, et al. Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA. Cell Res. Sep 20 2011.

Our previous studies have demonstrated that stable microRNAs (miRNAs) in mammalian serum and plasma are actively secreted from tissues and cells and can serve as a novel class of biomarkers for diseases, and act as signaling molecules in intercellular communication. Here, we report the surprising finding that exogenous plant miRNAs are present in the sera and tissues of various animals and that these exogenous plant miRNAs are primarily acquired orally, through food intake. MIR168a is abundant in rice and is one of the most highly enriched exogenous plant miRNAs in the sera of Chinese subjects. Functional studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrated that MIR168a could bind to the human/mouse low-density lipoprotein receptor adapter protein 1 (LDLRAP1) mRNA, inhibit LDLRAP1 expression in liver, and consequently decrease LDL removal from mouse plasma. These findings demonstrate that exogenous plant miRNAs in food can regulate the expression of target genes in mammals.

Plant RNAs Found in Mammals

Plant RNAs Found in Mammals

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 15:40

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Plant RNAs Found in Mammals
Cristina Luiggi
The Scientist, September 20, 2011

*MicroRNAs from plants accumulate in mammalian blood and tissues, where they can regulate gene expression.

MicroRNAs from common plant crops such as rice and cabbage can be found in the blood and tissues of humans and other plant-eating mammals, according to a study published today in Cell Research. One microRNA in particular, MIR168a, which is highly enriched in rice, was found to inhibit a protein that helps removes low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from the blood, suggesting that microRNAs can influence gene expression across kingdoms.

“This is a very exciting piece of work that suggests that the food we eat may directly regulate gene expression in our bodies,” said Clay Marsh, Director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at the Ohio State University College of Medicine who researches microRNA expression in human blood but who was not involved in the study.

MicroRNAs are, as the name implies, very short RNA sequences (approximately 22 nucleotides in length) discovered in the early 1990s. They are known to modulate gene expression by binding to mRNA, often resulting in inhibition. With the recent discovery that microRNAs circulate the blood by hitching a ride in small membrane-encased particles known as microvesicles (see our July 2011 feature on microvesicles, “Exosome Explosion”), there has been a surge of interest in microRNAs as a novel class of biomarkers for a variety of diseases.

Chen-Yu Zhang, a molecular biologist at Nanjing University in China, was studying the role of circulating microRNAs in health and disease when he discovered that microRNAs are present in other bodily fluids such as milk. This gave him the “crazy idea” that exogenous microRNAs, such as those ingested through the consumption of milk, could also be found circulating in the serum of mammals, he recalled.

To test his hypothesis, Zhang and his team of researchers sequenced the blood microRNAs of 31 healthy Chinese subjects and searched for the presence of plant microRNAs. Because plant microRNAs are structurally different from those of mammals, they react differently to oxidizing agents, and the researchers were able to differentiate the two by treating them with sodium periodate, which oxidizes mammal but not plant microRNAs.

To their surprise, they found about 40 types of plant microRNAs circulating in the subjects’ blood—some of which were found in concentrations that were comparable to major endogenous human microRNAs.

The plant microRNAs with the highest concentrations were MIR156a and MIR168a, both of which are known to be enriched in rice and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Furthermore, the researchers detected the two microRNAs in the blood, lungs, small intestine, and livers of mice, in variable concentrations that significantly increased after the mice were fed raw rice (although cooked rice was also shown to contain intact MIR168a).

Next, the researchers scoured sequence databases for putative target genes of MIR156a and MIR168a and found that MIR168a shared sequence complementarity with approximately 50 mammalian genes. The most highly conserved of these sequences across the animal kingdom was the exon 4 of the low-density lipoprotein receptor adapter protein 1 gene (LDLRAP1).

LDLRAP1 is highly expressed in the liver, where it interacts with the low-density lipoprotein receptor to help remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL), aka “bad” cholesterol, from the blood.

The researchers hypothesized that MIR168a could be taken up by the epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, packaged into microvesicles, and secreted into the blood stream, where they can make their way to target organs. Once in the liver, MIR168a binds to LDLRAP1 mRNA, reducing the protein levels and ultimately impairing the removal of LDL from the blood.

To test this hypothesis in vitro, the researchers transfected synthetic MIR168a into a human epithelial cell line and collected the secreted microvesicles. When they added these microvesicles to a liver cell line called HepG2, they found that while it did not change the levels of LDLRAP1 mRNA, it did decrease the levels of the actual LDLRAP1 protein.

Likewise, the LDLRAP1 protein level decreased in the livers of live mice 3 to 7 days after eating fresh rice or being injected with synthetic MIR168a—significantly increasing LDL in the blood. When the researchers injected the mice with an RNA sequence that bound to and neutralized MIR168a, the protein and LDL levels returned to normal.

“This microRNA inhibits this protein and increased the plasma LDL levels,” Zhang said. With higher levels of circulating cholesterol, “it can possibly increase the risk of metabolic syndrome,” he added. But more importantly, this research points to a “new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of diseases,” based on the enhancement or inhibition of exogenous microRNAs.

Although the team has still a long way to go in elucidating the mechanisms by which plant microRNAs can regulate gene expression in humans, these initial results promise to increase the understanding of how specific ingredients in food can mediate health and disease, Marsh said.

Indeed, Zhang suspects that this is just one example of many. With time, “I’m confident other people will find more exogenous plant microRNAs that can pass through the GI tract and also have effects on the host physiology,” Zhang said.

L. Zhang, et. al., “Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA,” Cell Research, doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158, 2011.


GE Crops in Midwest National Wildlife Refuges – Survey

GE Crops in Midwest National Wildlife Refuges – Survey

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has allowed farming of genetically engineered soybeans and corn on several National Wildlife Refuges in the Midwest Region. The Service’s Midwest Region (Region 3) is home to a rich diversity of natural resources spread across 8 states: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Center for Food Safety is concerned that, among other things, the Fish & Wildlife Service made the approval without considering the risks to the environment or wildlife posed by cultivating genetically engineered crops in these refuges. National Wildlife Refuges are important places for wildlife and serve as wintering and breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl, among other restorative purposes. Genetically engineered crops have no place in wildlife refuges, and we need your help to stop it.

We are looking for information from members who live near or visit National Wildlife Refuges in these states. NWRs are a great place for birding and other outdoor recreation.  If you have visited, or reside near a National Wildlife Refuge in the Midwest Region, or if you are an organic farmer near a Refuge we could use your help. In your email, please tell us: 1) Where you live, 2) Which refuge(s) you visit or farm near, and 3) The last time visited for each refuge.  Reply to Sylvia at or call 415-826-2770. Please contact us by Thursday, September 15, 2011.

Thank you,
The Center for Food Safety


REPORT: Acrylamide-containing foods


chemical formula C3H5NO

Acrylamide — a chemical suspected of causing cancer — forms in some foods when they’re fried, baked, toasted or roasted at high temperatures. Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid naturally found in plant-based foods when exposed to high heat. Although high levels of acrylamide cause cancer in laboratory animals, there is insufficient evidence about the risks to human health, if any, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So, here we go…..
Carbohydrate-rich products that have been subjected to heating and the “browning reaction” – when flavors colors and textures are formed -generally contain acrylamide.  Acrylamide is formed in thousands of different products.  Among the foods which develop acrylamide during cooking are coffee, chocolate, almonds, french fries, potato chips, cereal, crackers, bread, and even some fruits and vegetables.

Potato Chips and French Fries (even in “Prince Charles Organic Potato Chips)

Potato chips and French fries are the foods containing the highest amount of acrylamide. Potatoes that are boiled or microwaved contain no acrylamide. Avoid dark brown fried, roasted or baked potatoes — they contain the most acrylamide. Instead, enjoy them fried only to a golden yellow color. Don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator; it increases the amount of acrylamide formed during cooking. Slice and soak potatoes in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking to reduce acrylamide, according to the FDA. Also on the list are Hula Hoops, Ryvita, Pringles and Tesco Ginger Nut biscuits.

Despite its warning, the Agency said it has concluded the levels of acrylamide found during its survey ‘do not increase concern about the risk to human health’.

The highest readings for acrylamide were found in Tesco own-brand potato rings, ahead of the Duchy Originals vegetable crisps.

Among the fast-food chains, acrylamide levels were highest in the chips served by KFC, ahead of McDonald’s and Burger King.

Procter & Gamble, which makes Pringles, criticised the FSA for going public with its findings.

Toast, Cookies and Breakfast Cereals

Products made from grains — especially toast, cookies and breakfast cereals — are high in acrylamide. Acrylamide increases with longer cooking times and higher temperatures. Toast bread only until it’s light brown and avoid eating any dark brown areas. Consider limiting your intake of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals by replacing them with homemade oatmeal or other foods if you’re worried about acrylamide, according to


Coffee is high in acrylamide, but there’s no known way to reduce the chemical because the beans are roasted before you brew them. Choosing a light roast instead of a dark one can help.


The Players

The pet food market has been dominated in the last few years by the acquisition of big companies by even bigger companies. With $15 billion a year at stake in the U.S. and rapidly expanding foreign markets, it’s no wonder that some are greedy for a larger piece of the pie.

  • Nestlé’s bought Purina to form Nestlé Purina Petcare Company (Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, One, ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets).
  • Del Monte gobbled up Heinz (MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Nature’s Recipe, and pet treats Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce).
  • MasterFoods owns Mars, Inc., which consumed Royal Canin (Pedigree, Waltham’s, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel).

Other major pet food makers are not best known for pet care, although many of their household and personal care products do use ingredients derived from animal by-products:

  • Procter and Gamble (P&G) purchased The Iams Company (Iams, Eukanuba) in 1999. P&G shortly thereafter introduced Iams into grocery stores, where it did very well.
  • Colgate-Palmolive bought Hill’s Science Diet (founded in 1939) in 1976 (Hill’s Science Diet, Prescription Diets, Nature’s Best).

Private labelers (who make food for “house” brands like Kroger and Wal-Mart) and co-packers (who produce food for other pet food makers) are also major players. Three major companies are Doane Pet Care, Diamond, and Menu Foods; they produce food for dozens of private label and brand names. Interestingly, all 3 of these companies have been involved in pet food recalls that sickened or killed many pets.

  1. Are there other ways humans are exposed to acrylamide?Food and cigarette smoke are the major sources of acrylamide exposure. Exposure to acrylamide from other sources is likely to be significantly less than that from food or smoking, but scientists do not yet have a complete understanding of all sources of exposure. Acrylamide and polyacrylamide are used in some industrial and agricultural procedures, and regulations are in place to limit exposure in those settings.
  2. What are other health effects of acrylamide?High levels of acrylamide in the workplace have been shown to cause neurological damage, e.g., among workers using acrylamide polymers to clarify water in coal preparation plants.

  3. Are acrylamide levels regulated?The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates acrylamide in drinking water. The EPA established an acceptable level of acrylamide exposure, set low enough to account for any uncertainty in the data relating acrylamide to cancer and neurotoxic effects. The U.S. FDA regulates the amount of residual acrylamide in a variety of materials that come in contact with food, but there are currently no guidelines governing the presence of acrylamide in food itself.

WHAT EPA PROGRAM OFFICES REGULATE ACRYLAMIDE, AND UNDER WHAT LAWS IS IT REGULATED? __________________________________________________________________________ EPA OFFICE LAW PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________________________________ Pollution Prevention Toxic Substances Control Act (202) 554-1404 & Toxics Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Regulations (Sec. 313) (800) 424-9346 Toxics Release Inventory data (202) 260-1531 Air Clean Air Act (919) 541-0888 Solid Waste & Comprehensive Environmental Emergency Response Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund)/ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act / EPCRA (Sec. 302/304/311/312) (800) 424-9346 Water Safe Drinking Water Act (800) 426-4791 A technical support document can be requested from the TSCA Assistance Information Service, (202) 554-1404. WHAT OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES OR GROUPS CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ON ACRYLAMIDE? __________________________________________________________________________ AGENCY/GROUP PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________________________________ American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (513) 742-2020 Consumer Product Safety Commission (301) 504-0994 Food and Drug Administration (301) 443-3170 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (800) 356-4674 Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Companies that produce acrylamide:
Anhui Jucheng Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd. manufactures polyacrylamide. It offers acrylamide that is used in used in petroleum, coal washing, papermaking, textile, sewage treatment, metallurgy, sugar making, construction, coating, drug, and daily chemicals.

Dongying Kechuang Biochemical Industrial Co., Ltd.

Acrylamide has also been advertised as a soil conditioner called Krilium by Monsanto Company(No surprise there) in the 1950s and today “MP”, which is stated to be a “unique formulation of PAM (water-soluble polyacrylamide)”.

Chemical Use Type

Describes the most common use(s) for a pesticide active ingredient. If there is more than one use for the chemical, the most common use is listed first.

Use Type Description
Used in pesticide products to increase the effectiveness of the active ingredients, make the product easier to apply, or to allow several active ingredients to mix in one solution. Solvents, emulsifiers, and spreaders fall in this category.
Kills algae.
Used in paints and other coatings to inhibit growth of algae, barnacles and other shellfish on the hulls of ships.
Kills birds.
Substance used to attract pests, including sugar, honey, meat, oatmeal, etc.
Bear repellent
Repels bears. , usually by producing an offensive odor.
Bird Repellent
Repels birds.
Breakdown product
The chemical transformation product resulting from metabolism of a pesticide in a biological system or from reaction of a pesticide with oxygen, water, light or other substances in the environment. In the PAN database, known breakdown products are listed as related chemicals for the parent pesticide (see Related Chemicals section at the bottom of the Chemical Infomation page); however, it is important to note that not all pesticide transformation products have been identified. Breakdown products can sometimes be more toxic than the starting pesticide.
Kills leaves on broadleaf plants. Commonly used in cotton production to remove leaves before harvest.
Used to remove moisture, such as sulfur dioxide used in producing dried fruits.
Dog and Cat Repellent
Repels dogs and cats, usually by producing an offensive odor.
Coloring agent.
Chemical used to add a particular odor to a pesticide product. Sometimes these fragrances are attractants for insects; other times, they are added to hide an unpleasant chemical odor.
Exist as gases or produce a gas when they break down in the environment. Fumigants typically kill all living things. Used in agriculture to sterilize soil before planting and to kill pests in stored food or before shipment to other countries. In urban settings, fumigants are used to treat dwellings for termites, ants, and roaches. The target pests for many soil fumigations are nematodes. Most of these pesticides are highly acutely toxic.
Kills molds, mildews, and other fungi.
Kills unwanted plants.
Herbicide safener
Compounds applied prior to the application of an herbicide to increase the tolerance of a specific crop (corn, rice, etc.) to a specific herbicide. Typically used on germinating seeds.
Compounds produced during chemical synthesis that contaminate an active ingredient. Sometimes impurities are more toxic than the active ingredient itself, for example dioxin contaminants in 2,4-D.
Insect growth regulator
Interferes with normal growth and development of insects, blocking maturation or causing production of sterile offspring.
Insect Repellent
Repels insects such as mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies.
Kills insects. As used in the PAN Pesticide Database, the term “insecticide” encompasses miticides, acaracides, and nematicides as well.
Kills microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi and used in disinfectant or antibacterial products.
Kills snails, slugs, and shellfish.
Kills nematodes, microscopic soil organisms that can deform roots, limit water uptake, and even kill plants.
pH adjustment
An acidic or basic substance used to alter the acidity (pH) of a solution or product.
Insect sex-attractant hormones used to disrupt mating. These compounds are used in very small quantities and are very selective for a particular insect species.
Kills fish.
Plant growth regulator
Blocks or accelerates plant growth.
Gaseous compounds used in spray formulations of pesticides to create an aerosol mist of the pesticide.
Pruning Aid
Used to cover freshly cut surfaces on trees and vines after pruning. Normally a wax or tar-like substance.
Kills rodents such as rats, mice and gophers.
Compounds that have surfactant or detergent properties.
A liquid compound used to dissolve other substances.
A chemical compound that reacts with a pesticide active ingredient to accentuate its pesticidal activity. Often used with pyrethroids.
Water treatment
Chemicals used for treating water to make it potable.
Wood preservative
Used to prevent wood decay from microbial attack. Most wood preservatives are highly toxic.



I just made granola with new ingredients and would like to share this recipe with you as it came out so delicious !

INGREDIENTS: ( I use all organic ingredients )

DRY:   Oats – Sea salt – cinnamon –  Ground Flax seedChopped Almond and PecansSesame seeds – Chopped figs – Chopped sweet prunes.

WET:   Honey – Agave – Maple syrup – Molasses – Vanilla.

I don’t give you the amounts as I don’t measure. I simply know how much I want to make and taste as I go along.

In a food processor or Mixer chop the Almonds, Pecans, Sesame seeds, Flax seeds to desired size.

In a Large bowl mix Oats with all dry ingredients;  Sea salt, cinnamon, Flax seed, Almonds, Pecans, Prunes, Figs and Sesame seeds.

Mix well with a large spoon till well blended.

In a glass or clay bowl add the Honey, Vanilla, Molasses, Agave and Maple syrup and warm 1/2 minute in microwave oven. Mix well with a spoon and pour over the Oats mixture.

Continue mixing for 2-3 minutes as the sticky mix has to incorporate with all the Oats.

Place in dehydrator for 8 to 12 hours – depending on your taste of crunchiness.

Keep in sealed tight container and enjoy with your favorite milk.


%d bloggers like this: