Banana Republics – an old novel for a current era

11/2017 – the USDA Food Composition Database is still missing critically important information – and until we can discuss that there is much else that isn’t going to be discussed. Note – this is about my concern that the entire public is being victimized by inadequate health care options as well as the information missing from a public database, and the history likely involves the radioactive incidents and factory work that took place in Hanford, Washington. Adequate iodine supply helps protect the body and thyroid gland from developing cancer and yet instead of educating the public regarding that fact the opposite occurred. Radioactive iodine is treated as a therapy for detecting cancer with the use of X-ray machines and for destroying thyroid cancer. Emergency supplies of higher dose iodine are produced for use in case of a nuclear incident but long term adequacy of iodine would work just as well or better than a short term use of high dose iodine if/when a nuclear incident occurred. The negative health effects of radioactive iodine have also been tested on the U.S. public without permission in covert experiments that took place during the Cold War years. See number six: http://theweek.com/articles/622448/8-government-conspiracy-theories-how-could-right/

Another plant can help reduce radiation in the soil – sunflowers have been used to help clean up radioactive hazardous waste sites. So instead of growing banana plants it might be helpful in some areas to plant sunflowers. https://gardencollage.com/change/sustainability/scientists-using-sunflowers-clean-nuclear-radiation/

Happy Holidays anyway – food sources for iodine and selenium, another trace mineral that is important for thyroid health is collected in an initial draft on my newer website: https://effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-%26-thyroid

Don Quixote, USA is a novel by Richard Powell that I read many times as a youth. Banana growing was a serious love for a nerdy young man who joined the Peace Corps and went to a South American country to help teach others. Somehow in the ensuing comedic adventures and misadventures he managed to grow bananas and takeover a Banana Republic – it is never too late to catch up on the classics.

I read the Reader’s Digest version which is mentioned in this book review. Reader’s Digest publishes slightly condensed versions of full length novels and publishes a book that includes four novels. Having read a few of the novels in their original and the Reader’s Digest condensed version I would say, great job Reader’s Digest at putting books in young adult’s and adult’s hands. I have not read the full length version of Don Quixote, USA but trust that it is even better than the Reader’s Digest version. Part of their success might be in choosing great books in the first place.

Book Review: Don Quixote, USA by Richard Powell

The novel is also available in a Kindle version and has an all star review on Amazon: Don Quixote, USA .

Take home lesson – if you don’t like something don’t just smash walnuts, unless you can also grow bananas. Read Don Quixote, USA to find  out more.

/Or spoiler for those who like to take things the wrong way, when the nerdy looking Peace Corps first arrives he is met by the current dictator who liked to crack nuts – smashing them – with the handle end of his pistol. When the now swash buckling Peace Corps member finds himself in the dictator’s chair as the people’s choice he finds the desktop has rounded indentations that do hold the walnut in place for handing cracking with the pistol handle (or whatever type it was, I don’t quite remember). The point in my sharing this is about negative smear campaigns against information – why is iodine information being withheld from the U.S. public when it was once available. No other nutrients seem to be missing and several non-nutrients are included. In 2012 I had an account on a social media site and multiple fake looking accounts were following it in a way that seemed to be trying to link me to the President in office at the time – I closed the account as the simplest way to end the parody followers attempt at a negative smear campaign. I didn’t know who might have been behind the fake looking followers but there were many of the same type of persona.

More on the less amusing history of the term Banana Republic is available on the Smithsonian website: Where we got the term Banana Republic. 

The take home lesson – don’t let your country be taken over by a business dictatorship where money talks, dictators listen, and everyone else asks how high to jump because they know that more than walnuts will be smashed.

Disclosure: Among my many houseplants I have grown a banana plant. they would need more sun than normal indoor light provides to actually produce fruit but as a large, lovely green tropical plant banana plants grow quickly and easily. https://www.thespruce.com/grow-bananas-indoors-1902483

Growing bananas in the right outdoor climate is relatively easy because new sprouts grow around the base of the older fruit bearing plant which can be the size of a small tree. The individual small plants can be dug up, and replanted with more space around them so that they all will be able to have the nutrients and sunlight that they will need in order to become a fullsize fruit bearing plant. I’ve never grown more than one potted plant banana but the book explains the process and it is an important part of the story – the young man changed himself in the process of helping the struggling people grow a more productive product for export. The dictator was overthrown by the will of the people who had grown to appreciate the young man’s help.

The Peace Corps volunteer knew about the amazing properties of the banana plant and his hard work led to a productive country, while the dictator that had been in charge knew more about cracking walnuts. The book includes details about growing bananas as the problem with the dictatorship at the time was a lack of productivity and lack of income.

The lesson isn’t about one Peace Corps worker or one dictator, it is about the group of people learning productive skills – no one alone can grow an entire field of bananas – it took a while for the young man to get enough interest and help.

A row of immature banana plants that need to be separated and replanted in a field. Or needed to be separated and replanted before they got this big. Ideally the sprouts would be used when they first appear and are only a few inches tall. This row would have roots that are too intertwined to be able to be separated.
A full size banana plant in the autumn, with a row of immature sprouts at the base – used for decorative purposes, I just happened to notice them.

And a daily reminder iodine content in our food supply was removed from a public database. This would not have been an accident – government agencies do what they are told. Why would the Obama Administration want to remove iodine information from public use? and why would the Trump Administration continue the policy? Food sources and other information about iodine and selenium is collected in a draft form on a different website: G9: Iodine & Thyroid

Where’s the iodine? Still missing from the USDA Food Composition Database, November, 2017.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Caring about others may mean caring about our food supply too

I care about others and that is why I worked in a very demanding job for a reasonable but not large salary for my profession and credentials, and why I shared health information online after resigning my demanding job. Good news I thought, about health being obtainable with some attention to neglected nutrients, however it was met with more difficulty than I expected or could ever have imagined, but also with an outpouring of love and support, that was more than I could ever have imagined. I realized that we are a very divided nation, and so I’ve continued to try to share the good news that health can be obtained – with a lot of effort and a very restricted diet in the current food climate.

Whether standard or “health” foods our modern food supply has too many negative chemicals and not as many nutrients as food would have contained prior to about 1950-1985. Modern humans are no longer built out of the same ingredients that we once were. Toxins have been found in most people and types of body fluids that have been sampled in some areas/some research. Many things are not tested for however and that lack of testing is not shared.

In 1983 there was concern that the rate of infertility in women of childbearing age had increased significantly from 6% to 9%. A type of birth control that was used at the time was thought to have been involved in the increased rate. http://www.nytimes.com/1983/02/10/garden/infertility-increases-in-young-women.html

Today 12% of women aged 15-44 (the range considered of childbearing age) have sought fertility services – 7.3 million women. Of the 15-44 year old group of women 6.7% are considered infertile and 12.1% are considered to have impaired fecundity (–> dictionary “fecundity” ~ the ability of females to produce great numbers of offspring – or ideas – or for the planet’s level of fruitfulness and fertility). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

The average rate of childbirth has dropped fairly rapidly and in most areas of the U.S.. Other nations are also seeing a reduction in childbirth rates and have had some success with changes in policy to be more supportive of childbearing but even those have had limited success in increasing average rate of childbirth. https://medium.com/migration-issues/the-great-baby-bust-of-2017-2f63907402fc

Pesticide residue in produce has been linked to a reduced likelihood of becoming pregnant when using fertility treatments and a 26% lower liklihood of delivering a live birth. The study compared women who ate 2 to 6 servings of commercially grown produce with low pesticide residue produce. Increased risk was associated with increasing number of servings of the commercially grown produce. Organic produce may be a safer source of nutrients for prenatal health. https://www.medpagetoday.com/endocrinology/infertility/68977

An overview of a theory regarding glyphosate, is available here: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/environmental-toxins/glyphosate-in-collagen/. Glyphosate is an artificially produced amino acid analogue that is being used as an herbicide on many crops. It is chemically so similar to the amino acid glycine that it may be incorporated directly into protein structures in plants, animals and humans.

I share information because I’m concerned about individual and planetary fecundity. As a health professional I trusted that my recommendations were based on adequate research, however once I resigned and I had more time to look into the background information I was very dismayed to find out that much of the nutrient guidelines are based on very old research or research that seems skewed by corporate or political goals or lack of common sense. Medical research in the for-profit industry is skewed towards finding a way to hijack a step in physiology and substitute a pharmaceutical medication that modifies a symptom or lab test slightly more than a placebo.

The worse news is that the placebo isn’t necessarily no treatment but may be a comparison of the ingredients of the test substance that are considered inert/inactive, however they may not be safe either. A better comparison would be the test substance or treatment compared to no treatment or just whatever dietary and lifestyle recommendations that are part of the standard treatment for the experimental condition.

Roundup is an herbicide that contains glyphosate but it also contains other ingredients that are considered inactive/inert and safety tests are primarily only done and only required to have been performed on the glyphosate. Studies have not been required to continue for an entire animal’s lifespan in the U.S. or for a few generations. I recently learned that generational research was performed elsewhere.

“A Russian study found that feeding hamsters GMO soy resulted in complete sterility after 2 or 3 generations.”  page 35 http://farmwars.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Glyphosate-Destructor-of-Human-Health-and-Biodiversity-2.pdf

The combination of the ingredients in Roundup may be even more harmful than the glyphosate alone and may particularly affect aquatic species, particularly amphibians. http://stopthespraybc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Literature-Review-of-Impacts-of-Glyphosate-Herbicide1.pdf

The rate of infertility and spontaneous abortions has increased in a variety of animal species in the wild and raised domestically for the food industry. A new infectious pathogen has also been identified that is more prevalent in animals raised with more Roundup Ready GMO foods in their diet. “The pathogen is also found in the fungal causative agent of SDS (Fusarium solani fsp glycines).”  http://farmandranchfreedom.org/letter-dr-huber-roundup-animal-miscarriage-infertility/ However that research claim has not been followed up by more substantiated work in peer reviewed journals. He mentions a specific pathogen that includes the word glycines – more recent research suggests a risk that glyphosate is being incorporated into proteins in place of glycine. That is a wild card scenario that nature never experienced in such quantity. We as humans are unlikely to have any idea what differences might occur in a pathogen that is formed with glyphosate in the place of glycine within proteins.

Tests to detect the DNA of a pathogen based on it containing glycine might not detect the pathogen if it is present but made with glyphosate in the place of glycine. The following article discusses testing for the presence of the Fusarium solani fsp glycines pathogen and failing to do so when preliminary tests suggesting that it would be found were positive. See the discussion section regarding the PCR assay that was developed for the study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-3059.2003.00797.x/full

In later articles online that aim to disprove his (unpublished in peer reviewed journals) work he is asked about genetic sequencing of the organism that was discovered and he didn’t provide samples and said it didn’t have DNA and was more like a prion (a protein that can replicate like a virus but which contains no nucleus with DNA). https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/10/13/robyn-obrien-defends-anti-gmo-crusader-don-huber-whistleblower-or-crank/#.VDvzVVfLnVk.google_plusone_share

Prions are an infectious protein that does not contain DNA or RNA but which can infect humans and animals and be replicated by the infected cells. Brain damage can be a long term result that causes physical symptoms of loss of muscle control. An active section of the prion does contain several molecules of glycine. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/recent-research-advances-in-the-glycinexxxglycine-motif-of-mammalian-prion-proteins-2167-0501.1000e151.php?aid=24132 So in an environment/food supply where glycine was in limited supply and glyphosate was prevalent it is possible that prions might occur that are different in structure and activity because they were built with the similarly shaped molecules of glyphosate instead of glycine.

An earlier concern about unknown prion production from the GMO process as a long term potential human health hazard was expressed by a scientist who actually was working with Monsanto during development phases and who quit because of ethical concerns. http://responsibletechnology.org/allfraud/monsanto-whistleblower-says-genetically-engineered-crops-may-cause-disease/

If pathogens exist that are actually other types of pathogens but which were formed with glyphosate instead of glycine, we don’t know what they might be capable of doing because they would be brand new. Canadian research suggested there is an increased risk for Fusarium infection in glyphosate crops.  https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/ge/monsanto121503.php

If we impair the base of the food chain than all species who eat those smaller species will also be at risk of lack of food if not also being at risk of impaired health and fecundity due to the toxins in the environment. If we raise our domesticated animals who are used directly for human food on crops that contain increased amounts of a toxin than we are also increasing our own intake of the potential toxin.

Humans are intelligent but are we also wise?

/Guidance that might be helpful to avoid negative effects of glyphosate – supplemental vitamin D3, coQ10, and trace minerals may help and bathing or soaking in magnesium sulfate salt (Epsom salt) for about 20 minutes every few days. The skin’s ability to make bioactive sulfate and vitamin D may be impaired by glyphosate. To avoid the glyphosate itself – choose as much organically grown ingredients as you can afford. Organic foods used in dietary change research has shown a reduction in the body’s load of toxins before the dietary switch was made. – a summary, use at your own risk as the standard recommendation is that standard food is fine for promoting health for everyone.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

 

What do we have in common with pine trees and ticks?

Cannabinoids is the short answer.

Excerpts from p59 and p62, Editors, Emmanuel S. Onaivi, Takayuki Sugiura, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond, (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006, Florida), pages 59 and 62 are from Chapter 3, by: E.S. Onaivi, H. Ishiguro, P. W. Zhang, Z. Lin, B. E. Akinshola, C. M. Leanoard, S. S. Chirwa, J. Gong, and G. R. Uhl, Chapter 3, Endocannabinoid Receptor Genetics and Marijuana Use,

“This chapter discusses the current state of description of the genes encoding the CBRs, [cannabinoid receptors], from their serendipitous identification to the existence of an EPCS, [Endogenous P_?__ Cannabinoid System – I can’t find the acronym spelled out within the text]. This previously unknown but ubiquitous EPCS consists of the membrane cannabinoid receptors, their ligands, endocannabinoids that are known to act as retrograde messengers, and the associated proteins for their biosynthesis, e.g., phospholipase D, and for their inactivation, e.g., fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerols.” (p59)

Cannabinoids are essential throughout the body and in most forms of life, including plants, animals and some insects:

“The occurrence of a novel cannabimimetic molecule 2-scia-donoylglycerol (2-SG) in the plant seeds of umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) has also been reported (Nakane et al., 2000). 2-SG was found to have effects on the CB1R similar to, but with lower activity than, 2-AG, demonstrating the occurrence of these interesting molecules, not only in plants and animals but also in disparate organisms such as ticks. This widespread occurrence of endocannabinoids and related fatty acid amides and their receptors appears to be highly conserved in nature, indicating a fundamental role in biological systems. For example, the salivary glands of ticks, which are ectoparasitic and obligate blood-feeding arthropods, can make endocannabinoids and their congeners with analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity, which possibly participate in the inhibition of the host defense reactions (Fezza et al., 2003).” (p 62)

Ticks know that cannabinoids have medical properties – are U.S. politicians dumber than ticks? – or are they just under the control of corporate profit influence? The Eli Lilly company made $4.8 billion off of the cannabinoid system in 2007 alone with the sale of olanzapine/Zyprexa.

The paragraph continues:

“Apparently, the EPCS plays a critical role in the survival and mechanisms of cell death.”

In other words the endogenous cannabinoid system is essential for controlling apoptosis – the enzymatic blast of death that white blood cells can deliver to infected, cancerous, or otherwise damaged cells. The cure for cancer has always been within us – when we are well nourished and functioning correctly.

The paragraph continues (it’s a long paragraph, which actually started half way up the previous page, but this does include the rest of the paragraph.):

“Previously, the existence of anandamide analogs in chocolate had been demonstrated (di Tomaso et al., 1996). It is thought that chocolate and cocoa contain N-acylethanolamines, which are chemically and pharmacologically related to anandamide. These lipids could mimic cannabinoid ligands either directly by activating CBRs or indirectly by increasing anandamide levels (Bruinsma and Taren, 1999). These observations demonstrate that endocannabinoid analogs exist in plants and animals and further illustrate that evolutionary conservation of the cannabinoid system in nature. In this section, we will briefly review the properties and functions of these endocannabinoids. Thus, the EPCS represented by CBRs, endocannabinoids, and enzymes for the biosynthesis and degradation of these ligands is conserved throughout evolution. Endocannabinoids are present in peripheral as well as in brain tissues and have recently been demonstrated to be in breast milk. In addition, the recent demonstration of the expression of functional CB1R in the preimplantation embryo and synthesis of anandamide in the pregnant uterus of mice suggested that cannabinoid ligand-receptor signaling is operative in the regulation of preimplantation embryo development and implantation (Paria and Dey, 2000). 2-AG has been characterized as a unique molecular species of the monoacylglycerol isolated from rat brain and canine gut as an endogenous CBR ligand (Sugiura and Waku, 2000). 2-/ag also exhibits a variety of cannabimimetic activities in vitro and in vivo, and clearly further studies are necessary to determine the relative importance of 2-AG and anandamide in the human body and brain. This is because the levels of anandamide (800 times lower than the levels of 2-AG) found by some investigators in several mammalian tissues, and its production mainly in the postmortem period in the brain, have led to questions about the physiological significance of anandamide, especially in the brain, despite its high-affinity binding to CBRs (Sugiura and Waku, 2000). These research findings undoubtedly have advanced cannabis research and have allowed us to hypothesize that the EPCS consists of a previously unrecognized but elaborate network of endocannabinoid neuromodulators complete with their accompanying biosynthetic, uptake, and degradation pathways just like the monoaminergic and opiodergic systems.” (p62)

So olanzapine/Zyprexa prevents the breakdown of anandamide – which normally becomes more elevated in the postmortem (dead) brain while a different endocannabinoid – 2-AG – is normally more elevated in the live brain. Personally I like my brain to function more like a live brain than a dead brain, as I’m not partial to zombies or negative side effects such as diabetes, suicide, or homicide. So the Eli Lilly company may be similar to blood sucking parasitic ticks in that they are pleasuring some patients to the point of sickness or death with the prescription medication olanzapine/Zyprexa.

There was a warning from the FDA about Zyprexa in 2005, but regarding a problem with it being given in error to people who actually had been prescribed the allergy medication Zyrtec. Zyprexa causes many negative side effects and Zyrtec doesn’t cause any — at least for me, I’ve used it for allergies in the past. Zyprexa is described within the FDA warning as being an anti-psychotic that is only for the short term or maintenance management of schizophrenia or for the short term use for manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. So be sure to check your Zyrtec bottle every time you refill it, just in case the pharmacist makes a mistake and grabs Zyprexa instead or couldn’t read a hand written prescription accurately and thought that it did say Zyprexa.[http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm152869.htm]

The medication, in an injectable form, was also under FDA review due to two patient deaths — autopsy found higher than expected levels in the blood of the two patients a few days following a standard injection (a one month sustained release dose is given as a intramuscular injection). The FDA required animal studies which showed that some animals did have increased amounts of the drug in their blood following death. No changes were required for the medication’s patient care or label requirements. The article includes the information that since 2011 that total sales of olanzapine had dropped for the year 2014, due to an increase in the use of generics. “Zyprexa’s 2014 sales have fallen to $1.04 billion from $4.62 billion in 2011, primarily due to competition from generic medications, Reuters reported. ” [http://www.biospace.com/News/deaths-review-of-eli-lillys-antipsychotic-zyprexa/369798?type=twitter_zyprexalilly032415]

The two patients are still dead though. Maybe enough patients complained to their doctors in 2012 and 2013 about the negative side effects of the medication to cause the large increase in use of different generics. — No that isn’t what happened, the FDA approved a generic form of olanzapine in 2014, so now Eli Lilly isn’t the only parasitic tick pleasuring patients to sickness or death. [http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm277022.htm]

Obviously Eli Lilly and the generic drug company is making billions off of our cannabinoid system — so clearly cannabinoids have medical uses within the body.

Cannabinoids are essential throughout the body and not all people can make them from other molecules. They may have a deficiency of the nutrient since birth, due to genetic defects, or some people may have been able to make adequate cannabinoids when they were young but then they may have lost the ability later in life due to malnutrition, disease, or aging. So for some individuals from birth and for others later in life cannabinoids are an essential nutrient that has to be obtained from external sources. The nutrient guidelines need to be changed to reflect the fact that some people and some babies may need an external source of cannabinoids in their diet or with an alternate external source, (such as medical marijuana or the prescription Sativex which contains a balanced amount of THC and CBD extracted from medical marijuana), and all infant formula should be required to have cannabinoid content equivalent to what would be provided naturally within breastmilk.

The herb rosemary, from the pine family, is a natural source of cannabinoids, so is nutmeg, cardamom, chocolate and cocoa, buckwheat, the inner germ of corn, and some seeds such as cucumber seeds and pomegranate seeds.

Sources: 1. Weihrauch et al, 1983 The Phospholipid Content of Foods (JAOCS, vol 60, no. 12 (December 1983) and 2. James Duke – Greenpharmacy.com for the herbal plants, Ethnobotanical and Phytochemical Database of medicinal plants and chemical activities, (This website still exists, however the Database is no longer available.)

See a couple of my older posts for more information and excerpts about the phospholipid content of many foods:

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./